Writings of Athanasius b

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Edited by Archibald Robertson
Principal of Bishop Hatfield's Hall, Durham, Late Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford

Under the editorial supervision of Philip Schaff, D.D., LL.D., Professor of Church History in the Union Theological Semimary, New York, and Henry Wace, D.D., Principal of King's College, London

Published in 1892 by Philip Schaff, New York: Christian Literature Publishing Co.

I. General Chronological Table of the Life of S. Athanasius.

N.B.--Dates upon which the Historia Acephala and Festal Index coincide are printed in Thick Type. Where the agreement, though certain, is constructive and not explicit, an asterisk is added. Where the month, or day, is in ordinary type, the agreement does not extend to the details in question. The more doubtful points of chronology are marked by italics.

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BELIEVE Religious Information Source - By Alphabet Our List of 2,300 Religious Subjects
284. Aug. 29. Beginning of `Diocletian era.'

298. Birth of s. athanasius about this year.

301. Death of Bishop Theonas. Peter, bishop of Alexandria.

303. Feb. 23. First edict of persecution by Diocletian and Galerius.

December. Vicennalia of Diocletian at Rome.

304. `Fourth Edict' of Persecution.

305. Retirement of Diocletian (Constantine and Maximin `Cæsars').

306. Constantine proclaimed `Augustus' at York.

307. Maximin assumes title of `Augustus' (holds Syria and Egypt).

311. First edict of Toleration, and death of Galerius.

311. Renewed persecution by Maximin in Syria and Egypt. Martyrdom of Peter, &c., at Alexandria.

312. Edict of Toleration by Constantine at Milan.

Oct. 26. Constantine defeats Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge.

Achillas, bishop of Alexandria.

313. Edict of Milan (third Edict of Toleration), by Constantine and Licinius.

Alexander, bishop of Alexandria.

Maximin defeated by Licinius. His Edict of Toleration, and death.

Earliest possible date for the `boy-baptism' of Athanasius.

318. Probable date of the contra Gentes, his first book.

319. Commencement of Arian controversy.

321. Deposition of Arius by an Egyptian Synod.

322. Mareotic defection to Arius.

Memorandum of deposition signed by Clergy of Alexandria.

Schism of Colluthus.

323. Letter of Alexander of Alexandria to his namesake of Byzantium.

Sept. 18. Final defeat of Licinius. Constantine sole Emperor.

324. First intervention of Constantine in Arian question.

Hosius at Alexandria. Council there.

325. Summer. Council of NicÆA.

327. November Entire Meletian Episcopate collected at Alexandria, and reconciled to the Church (p. 137).

328. April 17. Death of Alexander.

June 8. Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria.

329, 330. Visitation of the Thebaid: ordains Pachomius presbyter.

330. Council at Antioch deposes Eustathius.

331. Athanasius defends himself before Constantine.

334. Council at Cæsarea. Athan. refuses to attend.

335. July 11*. Athanasius leaves Alex. for Council of Tyre (beginning of first exile, Epiphi 17).

Aug.-Sept. Mareotic commission in Egypt.

End of Sept.? Council at Jerusalem. Arius received to communion.

Oct. 30. Athanasius at CP.

336. Feb. 8. Athanasius starts for `Treveri in Gaul.'

Council at CP., Marcellus (Asclepas), &c., deposed. Basil, bishop of Ancyra.

Death of Arius at CP.

337. May 22. Death of Constantine at Nicomedia.

June 17. Letter of `Constantius Cæsar' ordering return of Athanasius (p. lxxxii.).

Nov. 23*. *Return of Athanasius to Alexandria.

338. July 25-27. Visit of Antony to Alexandria.

Pistus intrusive bishop of Alexandria.

Winter. Council of Egyptian bishops at Alexandria.

Envoys of both parties in Rome.

339. January. Synod at Antioch appoint Gregory bishop of Alexandria.

339. Mar. 19. Flight of Athanasius from `Theonas.'

Mar. 22. Arrival of Gregory at Alexandria.

April 16. *Departure of Athanasius for Rome (p. lxxxii., the authorities agree as to the year, and their data combine readily as to the exact days).

340. January. Eusebian bishops meet at Antioch and reply to Julius. Their letter reaches Rome in spring.

Autumn. Roman council and reply of Julius to Eusebians (eighteen months from arrival of Ath. in Rome).

341. Midsummer. Council of the Dedication at Antioch. Four creeds.

342. May. Athanasius leaves Rome (after three years' stay) for Milan.

Constans leaves him there (Frankish Campaign).

Summer. Constans repels Eusebian deputies at Treveri (p. xlv.).

Late autumn. Death of Eusebius of Nicomedia or CP.

343. Easter. Athanasius at Treveri.

July. Assembly of Council of Sardica.

344. Easter. Athanasius at Naissus.

After Easter. Deposition of Stephen: Council at Antioch appoint Leontius and issue `Macrostich.'

August. Constantius writes forbidding persecution of orthodox at Alexandria.

345. Easter, April 7. Athanasius at Aquileia.

Council at Milan. Photinus condemned.

June 26. Death of Gregory at Alexandria (about ten months after letter of Constantius).

346. September. Interview of Ath. with Constantius at Antioch.

Oct. 21. Return to Alexandria.

End of year. Earliest possible date for consecration of Frumentius by Athanasius.

347. First council at Sirmium against Photinus.

349. Controversy with Rome concerning Easter.

350. Jan. 18. Murder of Constans.

351. Mar. 15. Gallus proclaimed as `Constantius Cæsar.'

Sep. 28. Battle of Mursa.

Second council of Sirmium. Photinus deposed.

353. May 19. Legation of Serapion, &c., to Constantius. Montanus at Alexandria.

353. Autumn. Council at Arles against Athanasius.

354. Execution of Gallus.

355. Council at Milan against Athanasius.

July-Dec. Diogenes at Alexandria.

November. Julian `Cæsar. '

356. Jan. 6. Syrianus at Alexandria.

Feb. 8. Church of Theonas stormed by Syrianus.

Beginning of third exile.

June 10. Cataphronius becomes Prefect of Egypt.

357. Feb. 24. George enters Alexandria as Bishop.

Summer. Third council, and second creed (`blasphemy') of Sirmium.

358. Lent. Council of Ancyra.

Oct. 2. Expulsion of George from Alexandria.

359. May 22. Conference of Sirmium. The dated Creed.

May-Dec. Councils of Ariminum and Seleucia.

Dec. 31. Creed of Niké accepted by delegates at CP.

360. Jan. Julian proclaimed `Augustus' at Paris.

Dedication council at CP. (Homoean; deposition of `Semi-Arian' leaders and excommunication of Aetius).

361. Meletius elected bishop of Antioch and deposed. Euzoius, Arian bishop.

Nov. 3. Death of Constantius.

362. Feb. 9. Julian's edict (for recall of bishops) posted at Alexandria.

Feb. 21. Return of Athanasius.

Summer. Council of the confessors at Alexandria.

Lucifer founds the schism at Antioch.

October 4. Renewed order of Julian against Athanasius.

Retirement of Athanasius.

363. June 26. Death of Julian. Athan. in Upper Egypt.

August? Athanasius secretly in Alexandria.

Sep. 6. Athan. crosses the Euphrates.

Sep. Meets Jovian at Edessa.

Winter. At Antioch.

364. Feb. 14 (or 20). Returns to Alexandria.

Feb. 17. Death of Jovian.

Mar. 29. Valens appointed `Augustus' by Valentinian.

Autumn. Council of Lampsacus.

365. Spring. Valens at Antioch. Renewal of Arian persecutions.

May 5. Rescript arrives at Alexandria for expulsion of Athanasius.

Oct. 5. Athanasius retires to his country house.

Sep. 28. Revolt of Procopius at CP.

366. Feb. 1. Athanasius officially restored.

May 21. Defeat of Procopius.

July 21. Cæsareum burnt at Alexandria.

367. Sep. 24. Attempt of Lucius to enter Alexandria.

368. Sep. 22. Athanasius begins his Memorial Church.

370. Aug. 7. Memorial Church dedicated.

Correspondence between Athan. and Basil begins.

371. Deputation of the Marcellians of Ancyra to Athanasius.

372. Two books against Apollinarianism.

373. May 2-3. Death of Athanasius.

A table of the Egyptian months, and a table of the date of Easter, &c., in each year of the episcopate of Athanasius, will be given at the end of the introduction to the collection of Letters at the close of this volume (p. 501 sq.). A list of the consuls of each year is given in the Festal Index.


II. Synoptical Table of the Bishops of the Chief Sees.

And of the principal Councils held, during the lifetime of Athanasius.

N.B.--The names of bishops in italics are open to doubt regarding their date.

An asterisk prefixed to a bishop's name means that he was elected when the see was not de facto vacant (the case of Ursinus of Rome in 366 is not free from doubt).

/- after the name of a synod indicates that although not formally Arian it was held under the influence of Eusebius of Nicomedia.

* denotes a synod more or less implicated in Arianism by its creeds (N.B. no creed at Arles or Milan, 353-355).

** denote a formally Arian synod.

`Semi-Arian' synods are printed in italics.









301. Peter

305. Galerius

305. Illiberis

306. Constantine

307. Licinius

309. Eusebius

308-313. Maximin

310. Melchiades

312. Achillas

313. Alexander

313. Rome

314. Silvester (d. 335)

314. Arles

314? Ancyra

315? Neo-Cæsarea

319. Philogonius.


320? Alexander

321. Alexandria

323. Constantine, sole Augustus

c. 324. Eustathius

324. Alexandria

325. Nicæa

328. Athanasius

330. `Paulinus?'

[330. `Constantinople' made the new Rome]

330. Antioch/-


332. Euphronius

333. Flacillus (or Placitus)

334. Cæsarea/-

335. Tyre/- and Jerusalem/-

336. Mark

336. Paul (d. 350?)

336. CP./-

337. Constantine II. (d. 340). Constans (d. 350)


337. Julius

338. *Pistus

337? *Eusebius (d. 341-2)

339. *Gregory

339&40. Antioch/-

340. Rome

340. Gangra/-

341. Antioch/-*

342. Stephen

342. *Macedonius


343. Philippopolis*

344. Leontius

344. Antioch*

345. Milan

347. Sirmium I*

350. Constantius, sole Augustus

351. Sirmium II*

352. Liberius

353. Arles*

355. Milan*

357. *Felix

357. *George

357. Eudoxius

357. Sirmium III**

358. Ancyra

359. *Anianus

359. Sirmium IV*

Ariminum* Seleucia*

360. *Eudoxius

360. CP**

361. Julian

361. Meletius


362. *Paulinus (schism).

362. Alexandria

362. Laodicea??

363. Jovian

363. Antioch

364. Valentinian Valens

364. Lampsacus

366. Damasus (d. 384)

366-7. *Ursinus

367. *Lucius

367. Tyana

370. Demophilus [Evagrius]

373. Peter

375. Gratian (d. 383)

Valentinian II. (d. 392)

379. Theodosius



The Civil and Military Government of Egypt in the Lifetime of Athanasius.

The name Egypt in the fourth century was applied firstly to the `diocese' or group of provinces governed by the Præfectus Ægypti or `Præfectus Augustalis,' secondly to the Delta or Ægyptus Propria, one of the provinces of which the diocese was made up. These provinces (Ammian. Marc. XXII. xvi.) were originally three in number: Egypt proper, Libya, and the Thebais. During our period they became five, firstly by the separation of the Eastern Delta from Egypt proper under the name of Augustamnica in 341 (infr. pp. 130, 504, note 17a); secondly by the subdivision of Libya (at an uncertain date) into Hither Libya (Libya `Inferior,' or `Siccior'), and the Pentapolis or Libya Superior of which Ptolemais was the capital. At a later date still the Heptanomis was separated from `Ægyptus' under the name of Arcadia, given in honour of the Emperor Arcadius. These then are the six provinces which make up `Egypt' in the Notilia (shortly after a.d. 400). Each province, with the exception of Augustamnica, whose governor enjoyed the title of `corrector,' was under a præses (hegoumenos): not one of the six was of consular rank. This regulation was due to the peculiar constitution of the diocese or province of Egypt in the wider sense. At the head of this latter, and subordinate in rank, though scarcely second in dignity, to the Comes Orientis, was the Prefect of Egypt, who enjoyed an exceptional position among the greater provincial officers. He appears to have been, at least in practice, directly under the Præfectus Prætorio per Orientem, the supreme civil representative of `Augustus' throughout the Eastern Empire. The title Præfectus had in fact a different history as applied to the Prefect of the East and the Prefect of Egypt respectively. As applied to the latter, it was as old as Augustus. The importance of Egypt, mainly but not solely as a granary of Rome, had led the politic heir of Julius Cæsar to ensure its complete and peculiar dependence on the emperor. For this object, its government was committed to a nominee of the emperor, who must be not a Senator but an Eques only; i.e. he must never have held one of the great offices of state from Consul to quæstor. No one of senatorial rank was to be permitted to set foot in Egypt. (For the prerogatives of the præfectus Ægypti under Augustus see Tacitus Ann. xii. 60. also Ulp. Digest. I. xvii.). This arrangement survived the various vicissitudes of Egypt in the third century, and even the reorganisation of the Empire by Diocletian. Egypt was severed off between 365 and 386 from the Eastern `Diocese' (Sievers, p. 117, appealing to Mommsen in Abhandl. der Berliner Akad. 1862). Upon the above facts was founded the (perhaps merely popular) title `Augustalis' which we find already applied to the Prefect of Egypt about a.d. 350 (infr. p. 143, cf. p. 93 note). But Sievers (ubi supr.), following Mommsen, contends that there is reason to think that the dignity of `Augustal' Prefect was officially created about a.d. 367. This view cannot be adequately discussed here, but it rests only in part upon the series of governors furnished by the Festal Index.

From that document we learn that the prefect of `Egypt' in the wider sense in almost every case held also the office of `governor' of Egypt in the narrower sense. The exceptions noted by Sievers (§14) are in most cases based on the errors of Larsow. But in 365 Flavianus is `governor' only, next year `Prefect' also: his successors Proclianus and Tatianus are each `governor' only (366-7), but the latter is Prefect in 368, and `governor' only in 369-70, as also is Palladius, 370-371, who is yet succeeded by Olympius as `Prefect.' These variations may be due merely to careless use of language, or possibly to some change about the time referred to.

The list of prefects of Egypt is fuller than any that exists for a Roman province over so long a period, and on the whole it is in the highest degree trustworthy. But there are one or two drawbacks to take account of. Firstly, there are the discrepancies between the Index iii., vi., vii., and the headings to the corresponding letters (see notes). Also, the heading to Letter x. presupposes a change of governor in the previous year of which the Index tells us nothing. Again, a letter of Julian's (No. 23) is addressed to a `Hermogenes, governor of Egypt' for whom it is difficult to find room in the following list at the date required (end of 361, when Gerontius was prefect). Julianus, uncle of the Emperor, if not disguised under the name Italicianus (see below), possibly ruled Egypt (Jul. Ep. 11), as Comes Orientis, which office he held in 362. On the other hand the Olympus of Index xxxiv., and the Ecdikius of Julian, Epp. 6, 50, and Cod. Theod. xv. i. 8, are probably one and the same (Sievers, p. 124).

The Military command of Egypt was now in the hand of the `dux,' who had the disposal of the troops in Egypt proper; those of Libya and of the Thebais were, at any rate later on, entrusted to separate `duces.' In the Notitia, while the two latter `duces' remain, the Dux Ægypti is replaced by a higher official, entitled the `Comes Rei Militaris per Ægyptum.' But this belongs to a later date. In the time of Athanasius `Counts' appear in Egypt only as extraordinary or special commissioners whose authority is exercised concurrently with that of the Dux, as, e.g., Count Heraclianus or Heraclius (infr. pp. 290, 292), whose commission runs parallel with the command of the new `dux' Sebastianus; and Count Asterius (p. 289), who was in Egypt when Felicissimus was `Duke.'

We now give a list of the governors and dukes of Egypt, with references to the Festal Index: these must also be supplemented by the general index to this volume:--

(1) Prefect and Governor.

328, 329. Septimius Zenius (Index i., Heading i.).

330. Magninianus (Index ii., Heading ii.).

331. Hyginus (or `Eugenius,' Index iii.), but Florentius (Heading iii.).

332. Hyginus (Heading iv. and Index iv.).

333. Paternus (Heading v. and Index v.).

334, 335. Paternus (Index), but Philagrius (Heading iv., v.).

336-7. Philagrius (Index viii., ix.).

338. Theodorus (Index x.), superseded by Philagrius (Heading x.).

339, 340. Philagrius (Index xi., xii., Heading xi.).

341-343. Longinus (Index xiii.-xv., Headings xiii., xiv., and cf. Cod. Th. XVI. ii. 10, 11, correcting date by Sievers, p. 114).

344. Palladius of Italy (Index xvi.).

345-352. Nestorius of Gaza (Index xvii.-xxiv., Headings xvii.-xx., also infr. pp. 218, 219, notes, &c.).

353, 354. Sebastianus of Thrace (Index xxv., xxvi.).

355, 356. Maximus `the elder' of Nicæa (Index xxvii., xxviii., and see pp. 246, 301).

356, 7. Cataphronius (Index xxviii., xxix.; he arrived on June 10, 356, see p. 290, note 9; also cf. Liban. Epp. 434, 435).

357-359. Parnassius (Index xxix., xxxi., cf. for the latter year Amm. Marc. XIX., xii.).

359. (For 3 months only) `Italicianus of Italy,' perhaps for Julianus (so Siev., p. 121, cf. Index xxxi.).

359-361. Faustinus (Index xxxi.-xxxiii., cf. p. 291?).

361, 362. Gerontius (Index xxxiii., xxxiv., Liban. Epp. 294, 295, 547, 548).

362, 363. Ecdikius Olympus (Index xxxiv., xxxv., cf. remarks above).

364. Hierius or Aerius (Index xxxvi., Sievers, Leben des Libanius, Appendix A).

364. Maximus (Index ib., Liban. Ep. 1050, written in July or Aug.), for a short time only.

364-366. Flavianus (Index xxxvi., xxxviii., Liban. Ep. 569, supr. ch. v. §3, k).

366, 367. Proclianus (Index xxxviii., xxxix.).

367-370. Tatianus (Index xxxix., xlii., see Gibbon ch. xxix. and notes 6-8, for references).

370, 371. Olympius Palladius (Index xlii., xliii.).

371-373. Aelius Palladius (Index xliii.-xlv., Socr. iv. 21, &c.).

(2) Dux Ægypti.

Our materials for this list are very scanty, but we can verify the following:--

340 and 345. Balacius or Valacius (pp. 219, 273, &c.).

350. Felicissimus (p. 289).

356. (Jan. and Feb.) Syrianus (Index xxviii., &c.).

356. (Apparently after Midsummer, cf. p. 292 with 290.) Sebastianus (`successor of Syrianus,' Ep. Ammon. 21); he remains till after 358 (cf. Siev. p. 125 for references to letters of Libanius).

360. Artemius (`succ. of Sebastianus,' ib., Index xxxii., Letter 53. note 1).

365, 366. Victorinus (ch. v. §3, k).

367, 368. Traianus (Index xxxix., Sievers, pp. 146, sq.).

On the matters dealt with in this appendix, consult Mommsen, Provinces (Eng. Tra.), ii., pp. 233, 246; the Notitia (ed. Panciroli, Genev., 1623, Böcking, Bonn, 1839-1853, Seeck, Berlin, 1876); Gibbon, ch. xvii.; Marquardt, Röm. Staats-verwaltung, vol. i.; and Kuhn, Die städtische, &c., Verfassung des R. Reiches, vol. ii.; also Sievers on the Hist. Aceph. (supr. ch. i., §3).

On the Egyptian bishoprics, see, in addition to Le Quien, a Coptic list of sees in De Rougé, Géographie de la Basse-Egypte, Paris, 1891, which came out too late to be used for this volume.

Also, see links to 3500 other Manuscripts:

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