We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of all things visible or invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten… not made, being of one essence ( homoousion ) with the Father… who for us men and our salvation came down and was made flesh, was made man, suffered, rose again the third day, ascended into heaven, and comes to judge the quick and the dead….

Only five bishops, finally only two, refused to sign this formula. These two, with the unrepentant Arius, were anathematized by the Council and exiled by the Emperor. An imperial edict ordered that all books by Arius should be burned, and made the concealment of such a book punishable with death.

Constantine celebrated the conclusion of the Council with a royal dinner to all the assembled bishops, and then dismissed them with the request that they should not tear one another to pieces. He was mistaken in thinking that the controversy was ended, or that he himself would not change his view of it, but he was right in believing that he had struck a great blow for the unity of the Church. The Council signalized the conviction of the ecclesiastical majority that the organization and survival of the Church required a certain fixity of doctrine; and in final effect it achieved that practical unanimity of basic belief which gave the medieval Church its Catholic name. At the same time it marked the replacement of paganism with Christianity as the religious expression and support of the Roman Empire, and committed Constantine to a more definite alliance with Christianity than ever before. A new civilization, based on a new religion, would now rise over the ruins of an exhausted culture and a dying creed. The Middle Ages had begun.