Key Facts:

Date 359
Location Ariminum (Rimini, northern Italy)
Summoned by
Constantius II
Chaired by Restitutus of Carthage
Number of Participants
c. 400
Key Participants
Valens; Ursacius; Germinius
Purpose Constantius’ effort to achieve compromise between the pro and anti-Nicene bishops
Key Events
The anti-Nicene Valens and Ursacius led c. 80 bishops to oppose the majority; the majority deposed this group and condemned their propositions; later Constantius II forced the council to submit to a vague compromise that defined the Son as “like the Father”; the anti-Nicene party viewed this is as a victory.
Ancient Descriptions
Hilary Coll. Antiar A 5-6, B 7.2; Athanasius De Synodis 10.1-11.2, 55.1-7; Socrates HE II.37; Sozomen HE 4.17-19; Theodoret HE 2.18-20 (2.15 in NCPNF); Jerome Adv. Luciferanos 17-18; Sulpicius Severus Chronica 2.41-45; Collectio Avellana 1a (Liber precum), 13-19

Surviving Documents:

Letter from the Council at Ariminum to Emperor Constantius (Sozomen, HE 4.18; Socrates, HE 2.37; Theodoret, HE 2.19-1-13; Athanasius, De Synodis 10)

Letter from Constantius to Ariminum (Socrates, HE 2.37; Athanasius, De Synodis 55)

Letter from the Council to Constantius (Socrates, HE 2.37; Theodoret, HE 2.20; Athanasius, De Synodis 55)

Decree of the Council* (Athanasius, De Synodis 1.11; Hilary, Fragmenta historica 7.3)

*Latin text available in Hahn’s Bibliothek der Symbole und Glaubensregeln der Alten Kirche (Breslau: E. Morgenstern, 1897) p. 208.


M. Simonetti, “Council of Rimini”  in The Encyclopedia of the Early Church (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992).

R.P.C. Hanson, The Search for the Christian Doctrine of God (New York: T&T Clark, 1988).

Created by MKM, JCB and PSAM

Last updated: 2-15-2012


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