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Toward the end of the 2nd c., however, during the pontificate of Pope Victor, a dramatic conflict arose over the Quartodeciman observance, almost certainly because the presbyter Blastus set forth much propaganda in favor of that observance at Rome see Euseb., HE V, 15, compare with V, 20, 1 and ps.-Tertullian, Adv. omn. haer. 8, 1. After having convoked a synod see Euseb., HE V, 23, 3, Victor the bishop of Rome wrote a letter to Polycrates of Ephesus telling him to observe Easter on Sunday and threatening him with excommunication if he continued to celebrate Easter on the 14th of Nisan; Victor’s letter has been lost, but its content can be deduced from Polycrates’s reply, fragments of which have been preserved by Eusebius HE V, 24, 2-8.

With unbending determination Polycrates defended the apostolicity of the Quartodeciman tradition and upheld the desire of the Eastern churches to remain faithful to tradition. To reconcile the parties involved and to preserve ecclesiastical communion, Irenaeus of Lyons intervened in this crisis in the name of the brothers from Gaul see Euseb., HE V, 24,12-17: he openly agreed with the principle that Easter should be celebrated on Sunday but maintained that it was more opportune not to oppose harshly the Quartodeciman practice of the Eastern bishops, which he believed was established on the authority of John, the disciple of the Lord, and allowed by Victor’s predecessors. The documents that have come down to us do not allow us to determine what Victor’s final position on the matter was, but it seems that the parties involved did not break ecclesial communion. However, the Church of Rome considered the Quartodeciman followers of Blastus to be heretics, and it is significant that even the Philos.

VIII, 18, written around 235, lists the Quartodecimans among other heretical groups, and the anonymous author of the Adv. omn. haer., transmitted under the name of Tertullian, almost certainly inspired by Hippolytus’s Syntagma, mentions Blastus’s Quartodeciman followers among other heretical groups 8, 1. In the 2nd c., the Easter controversy made itself known through other historical-exegetical expressions: within the very Quartodeciman observance, John’s chronology of Christ’s passion must have been fiercely debated, which placed the death of Jesus on the 14th of Nisan, the day of the Jewish Passover, in contradistinction to the chronology of the Synoptic Gospels, according to which Jesus completed the celebration of the Passover on the 14th of Nisan and was crucified the following day, that is, the 15th of Nisan. Toledo Map Tourist Attractions Eusebius informs us of this disagreement which took place primarily at Laodicea HE IV, 26,3: Melito of Sardis and Apollinaris of Hierapolis must have been directly involved in this matter; but one also detects an echo of this debate in Clement of Alexandria’s work on Easter and in the writings of Hippolytus of Rome see the texts of the Chronicon Paschale, ed. Dindorf, Bonn 1832, 13-15. In subsequent ages, Easter controversies would return, but these were centered primarily on the specific problem of the date of Easter Sunday, which at that time was set for different days, according to the various ecclesiastical computi that had been adopted such as the controversy against the churches of Syria and Cilicia after the Council of Nicaea see Protopaschites and the arguments between the Celtic and the Roman observance of Easter in Ireland during St. Columbanus’s time.

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