A younger brother of Basil, he is certainly one of the greatest speculative and mystical theologians of the Greek Church. Born around 335, he was greatly influenced by Basil, whom he called his master, and by his sister Macrina, of whom he wrote an uplifting biography. After being a lector in the Church, he decided to pursue a civilian career and became a teacher of rhetoric. But, recalled by his brother Basil, who needed his support in the struggle against Arianism, he was elected Bishop of Nyssa, a town in the metropolitan district of Caesarea, in the autumn of 371. He ran into the Arians who deposed him from his see in 376 and forced him into exile until the death of Emperor Valens in 378. From then on, and even more so following Basil's death shortly afterwards, his fame and influence continued to grow. Assuming Basil's legacy and resuming his struggle against Eunomius' radical Arianism, he was considered one of the main representatives of the Neo-Nicene Orthodox movement. In this capacity, he played a leading role in the Ecumenical Council of Constantinople in 381 and at the synod of 383. He died in 394.
|Author group||Greece, Minor Asia (including Constantinople)|