Marcellus of Ancyra
(c.280 - 374)

Theology on the Web helps over 2.5 million people every year to find high quality theological resources that will help to equip them to serve God and to know Him better (2 Timothy 2:15). Like other websites that provide free services, it is dependent on donations to enable it to grow and develop and only 0.004% of visitors currently do so. If you would like to support this site, please use one of the options to the right of this message.


MARCELLUS, Bishop of Ancyra in Galatia, appeared as a zealous adherent of the homoousian doctrine at the synods of Nicaea (325), where he met Athanasius, Tyre and Jerusalem (335), hut fell, by his work De subjectione Dornini Christi, written against the Arians, under the suspicion of Sabellianism, and was deposed, by the Council of Constantinople, 336. Eusebius of Caesarea wrote against him, Contra Marcellum and De ecclesiastica theologia; and the copious quotations in the books of Eusebius give a tolerably clear idea of his peculiar theology. After the death of Constantine the Great, he was able to resume his see. Nevertheless, he was again deposed, probably at the same time as Bishop Paulus of Constantinople, and sought refuge in the West. Bishop Julius of Rome recognized him as orthodox; and so did the synod of Sardica, 343. It does not seem, however, that he ever returned to Ancyra; and when, under Constantius, the Arians came into ascendency, he was condemned, together with Athanasius, by the synods of Aries (353) and Milan (355). Even his relation with Athanasius was disturbed by his Sabellianism, though the confession which the Marcellians of Ancyra sent to Athanasius was by him accepted as satisfactory. See Eugenii legatio ad Athanasium, in MONTFAUCON: Nova Coll. Veterum Patrum, ii.; MANSI: Coil. Conc., iii.; and RETTBERG: Marcelliana. After the rupture with Athanasius, he seems to have lived in retirement; and, according to Epiphanius, he died two years before the publication l of Ad. Hær., that is, in 373 or 374. See ZAHN: Marcelius von Ancyra, Gotha, 1867.

W. Möller, "Marcellus," Philip Schaff, ed., Religious Encyclopaedia or Dictionary of Biblical, Historical, Doctrinal, and Practical Theology, 3rd edn, Vol. 3. Toronto, New York & London: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1894. p.1402.

Primary Sources

Book or monograph

Secondary Sources

On-line Resource Marcellus of Ancyra (Catholic Encyclopedia)
Article in Journal or Book J.T. Leinhard, "The Exegesis of 1 Cor 15:24-28 from Marcellus of Ancyra to Theodoret of Cyrus," Vigiliae Christianae 37 (1983): 340-59.
Article in Journal or Book J.T. Leinhard, "Basil of Caesarea, Marcellus of Ancyra and "Sabellius'," Church History 58 (1990): 157-67.
Book or monograph Lienhard: Contra Marcellum: Marcellus of Ancyra and Fourth-century TheologyJoseph T. Lienhard, Contra Marcellum: Marcellus of Ancyra and Fourth-century Theology. Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 1999. Hbk. ISBN: 0813209013. pp.280.
Article in Journal or Book M.J. Suggs, "Eusebius' Text of John in the 'Writings Against Marcellus'," Journal of Biblical Literature75 (1956): 137-42.
On-line Resource Henry Wace, "Marcellus," A Dictionary of Christian Biography and Literature to the End of the Sixth Century A.D., with an Account of the Principal Sects and Heresies.

Related Subjects

Alexander of Alexandria | Ambrose | Aristides | Arnobius | Athanasius | Athenagoras | Augustine | Basil | Boethius | John Cassian | Celsus | Clement of Alexandria | Clement of Rome | Constantine | Cyprian | Cyril of Alexandria | Cyril of Jerusalem | Dionysius the Areopagite | Ephraem the Syrian | Epiphanius | Eusebius of Caesarea | Gregory of Nazianzus | Gregory of Nyssa | Gregory Thaumaturgus | Hermas | Hilary of Poitiers | Hippolytus | Ignatius of Antioch | Irenaeus of Lyons | Julius Africanus | Jerome | John Chrysostom | Josephus | Justin Martyr | Justinian I | Lactantius | Leo the Great | Marcellus | Macarius | Martin of Tours | Melito | Methodius | Minucius Felix | Novatian | Origen | Pachomius | Papias | Philo | Polycarp | Synesius of Cyrene | Tatian | Tertullian | Theodore of Mopsuestia | Theodoret | Theophilus | Tyconius | Ulfilas | Victorinus | Marius Victorinus

Become a Patron!Buy Me a Coffee! Support this siteSponsored Ad: Biblemesh ActivEreader