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(1,051 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham) | Gerber, Simon (Kiel)
(ἐκκλησία; ekklēsía). Assembly of the adult male citizens, which was entitled to the ultimate decision-making authority in the Greek states. At times also called (h)ēliaía (with differences due to dialect) or agorá. The frequency of meetings, the areas of authority, the degree to which independent actions were restricted by the officials' and/or the council's realm of authority, and the number of members of the ekklesia varied depending on the type of the political organisation; thus, oligarchies can exclude the poor from the ekklesia by requiring a minimum of wealth. In the Homeric…


(437 words)

Author(s): Gerber, Simon (Kiel)
[German version] Early Christianity's view of the Devil (Gr. διάβολος/ diábolos, 'vilifier', 'deranger', Lat. diabolus; many other names, too) was derived from the Bible, early Judaism and the apocrypha, but also connected with other cultures' and religions' views of harmful and evil powers (Satan; Demons). The Devil was generally regarded as an angel or angel prince, originally good, created by God, who then through pride or envy fell from God and took some of the angels with him to be the demons. "And the demon, i.e. the devil, is also called 'dragon' [ drákōn] on account of his fleeing [ ap…


(1,618 words)

Author(s): Beck, Hans (Cologne) | Gerber, Simon (Kiel)
(ἡ σύνοδος/ hē sýnodos; literally 'meeting', 'the synod'). Greek name for assemblies and meetings of various kinds; see Associations. [German version] I. Greek public law As a term in Greek public law, synodos means in general the meeting in rotation of representatives or citizens as a whole to exercise political powers in a body of federal states [1.1318f.]. In the Achaean Confederacy (Achaeans, Achaea) of the Hellenistic Period, synodos was the customary term for the central decision organ: initially the full assembly of citizens, which convened four times a ye…


(271 words)

Author(s): Gerber, Simon (Kiel)
[German version] Christian creed in Greek, composed in AD 325 at the council of Nicaea [5] to counter the doctrine of Arius [3] (Arianism). Apparently the Nicaenum is based on older Greek formulas of faith; however, the statements directed at Arius in the article on Jesus Christ and in the sanctions (anathemata) at the end of the Nicaenum are additions by the council. In contrast to Arius the Nicaenum defines Christ as the true God, not created in time and from nothing, but begotten in eternity fr…


(289 words)

Author(s): Gerber, Simon (Kiel)
[German version] (from Greek ἄγγελος/ ángelos, 'messenger', equivalent of the Hebrew malāk; Latin angelus). Angels as messengers between the heavenly and earthly spheres are familiar in many religions (cf. e.g. Zoroastrianism; Hermes). In the Old Testament the Angel of God appears (in human form) as a helper of Israel (Ex 14:19; 32:34) and a divine messenger, often hard to distinguish from Yahweh himself (Judg 2,1-4). Winged composite creatures (Kerub, Seraph) are not counted by the Old Testament as angels.…


(126 words)

Author(s): Gerber, Simon (Kiel)
[German version] Definition of faith of the Council of  Calchedon (AD 451;   Sýnodos II. D.): Christ is completely God and man, of one substance with God the father ( Nicaenum) and with humanity. When Christ became man, both natures united into one indivisible person (πρόσωπον/ prósōpon, ὑπόστασις/ hypóstasis; against  Nestorius), but remained distinct in their duality (against  Cyrillus [2]). The teaching of the two natures in Christ, rejected by  Monophysitism, was contested in the Greek Church until 518 ( Henotikon). The councils of 553 …