Cioffi, Paul L., 1928-2004
Christianity spread rapidly in North Africa during the 3rd century C.E. During the following century, it also became a center for the Donatist movement, splitting Christians over doctrinal and social issues. Hippo played a role in the history of early Christianity as the site of several Church councils (393, 395 and 426); and, between 395 and 430 it was the bishopric of Augustine, the great philosopher, theologian, monastic founder and opponent of the Donatist position which maintained that the effectiveness of Sacraments depended on the moral character of the minister.Archaeological evidence demonstrates that the controversy among Orthodox and Donatist Christians was played out within the boundaries of Hippo. However, the Donatist position was banned by the Conference of Carthage in 411. Excavations of the site are chiefly the work of Erwan Marec, a French naval officer, whose studies were published in the mid-20th C. June 1983
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