Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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The term Donatists refers to an ecclesiastical movement in North Africa, which, after the Diocletian persecution, claimed to represent the true church. While the term Donatistae (besides Donatiani and esp. pars Donati – “party of Donatus”) was coined by the contemporary opponents and later victors (esp. Optatus of Milevis and Augustine of Hippo) with regard to the long-time leading champion of the party, Donatus of Carthage (Donatus the Great), the term Donatism is modern. The reason why Donatism is…

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Weidmann, Clemens, “Donatism/Donatists”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 02 October 2023 <>
First published online: 2018

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