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.
Letters of Athanasius
with Two Ancient Chronicles of His Life.The Letters cannot be arranged in strict sequence of time without breaking into the homogeneity of the corpus of Easter Letters. Accordingly we divide them into two parts: (1) all that remain of the Easter or Festal Epistles: (2) Personal Letters. From the latter class we exclude synodical or encyclical documents, or treatises merely inscribed to a friend, such as those printed above pp. 91, 149, 173, 222, &c., &c., the ad Serapionem, ad Marcellinum, &c. There remain a number of highly interesting letters, the survivals of what must have been a large correspondence, all of which, excepting six (Nos. 52, 54, 56, 59, 60, 61), now appear in English for the first time. They are arranged as nearly as possible in strict chronological order, though this is in some cases open to doubt (e.g. 60, 64, &c.). They mostly belong to the later half of the episcopate of Athanasius, and are therefore placed after the Festal Collection, which however itself extends to the end of the Bishop's life. The immemorial numbering of the latter collection is of course retained, although many of the forty-five are no longer to be found.
Prefixed to the Letters are two almost contemporary chronicles, the one preserved in the same ms. as Letters 46, 47, the other prefixed to the Syriac ms., which is our sole channel for the bulk of the Easter Letters. A memorandum appended to Letter 64 specifies certain fragments not included in this volume. The striking fragment Filiis suis has been conjecturally placed among the remains of Letter 29.
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a. The Historia Acephala or Maffeian fragment, with short introduction.
b. The Chronicon Prævium or Festal Index, with introduction to it and to the Festal Letters.
The annalist evidently writes under the episcopate of Theophilus, to which he hurriedly brings down his chronology after the death of Athanasius (§19). At the fortieth anniversary of the episcopate of Athanasius, June 8, 368, he makes a pause (§17) in order to reckon up his dates. This passage is the key of the whole of his chronological data. He accounts for the period of forty years (thus placing the accession of Ath. at June 8, 328, in agreement with the Index), shewing how it is exactly made up by the periods of `exile' and of `quiet' previously mentioned. To `quiet' he assigns `xxii years v months and x days,' to `exile' xvii years vi months xx days; total xl years. He then shews how the latter is made up by the several exiles he has chronicled. As the text stands we have the following sum:
Now the exact result of the figures as they stand is 182 months, 9 days, i.e. 15 years 2 months and 9 days, or 2 years 4 months and 11 days too little. Moreover of the well-known `five exiles,' only four are accounted for. An exile has thus dropped out, and an item of 2 years 4 months 11 days. Now this corresponds exactly with the interval from Epiphi 17 (July 11), 335 (departure for Tyre, Fest. Ind. viii), to Athyr 27 (Nov. 23), 337 (return to Alexandria F. I. x). The annalist then (followed apparently by Theodt. H. E. ii. 1) reckoned the first exile at the above figure. But what of the first figure in our table, xc months iii days? It again exactly coincides with the interval from Pharm. 21 (Apr. 16, Easter Monday), 339 to Paophi 24 (Oct. 21), 346, on which day (§1) Athan. returned from his second exile. This double coincidence cannot be an accident. It demonstrates beyond all dispute that the missing item of `ann. ii, mens. iv, d. xii' has dropped out after `Treveris in Galliis,' and that `mens. xc, dies iii' relates to the second exile, so that, in §1 also, the annalist wrote not `annos vi' but `annos vii menses vi dies iii,' which he repeats §17 by its equivalent `mens. xc, d. iii,' while words have dropped out in §1 to the effect of what is supplied in brackets. (Hefele, ii. 50, Eng. Tr., is therefore in error here).
I would add that the same obvious principle of correcting a clearly corrupt figure by the writer's own subsequent reference to it, enables us also to correct the last figures of §2 by those of §5, to correct the items by the sum total of §§6, 7, and lastly to correct the corrupt readings `Gregorius' for Georgius, and `Constans' for Constantius, by the many uncorrupt places which shew that the annalist himself was perfectly aware of the right names.
In one passage alone (§13 `Athyr' twice for Mechir, cf. Fest. Ind. viii) is conjecture really needed; but even here the consuls are correctly given, and support the right date.
We are now in a position to construct tables of `exiles' and `quiet' periods from the Historia as corrected by itself.
N.B. In the above Table, (a) denotes dates or figures directly implied in the existing text, (b) those implied by it in combination with other sources, (c) those based on conjectural emendation of the existing text. All unmarked data are expressly given.
Table B shews the deliberate and careful calculation which runs through the system of our annalist. Once or twice he indulges in a round figure, exiles 1 and 5 are each a day too long by the Egyptian calendar, and this is set off by his apparently reckoning the fifth quiet period as two days too short. But the writer clearly knew his own mind. In fact, the one just ground on which we might distrust his chronology is its systematic character. He has a thorough scheme of his own, which he carries out to a nicety. Now such a chronology is not necessarily untrustworthy. Its consistency may be artificial; on the other hand, it may be due to accurate knowledge of the facts. Whether this is so or not must be ascertained partly from a writer's known opportunities and capacity, partly from his agreement or discrepancy with other sources of knowledge. Now our annalist wrote in the time of Theophilus (385-412), and may therefore rank as a contemporary of Athanasius (cf. Prolegg. ch. v.) His opportunities therefore were excellent. As to his capacity, his work bears every trace of care and skill. He is no historian, nor a stylist, but as an annalist he understood what he was doing. As to agreement with other data, we remark to begin with that it was the publication of this fragment in the 18th century that first shed a ray of light on the Erebus and Chaos of the chronology of the Council of Sardica and its adjacent events; that it at once justified the critical genius of Montfaucon, Tillemont and others, against the objections with which their date for the death of Athanasius  was assailed, and here again upset the confused chronological statements of the fifth-century historians in favour of the incidental evidence of many more primary authorities  . But most important of all is its confirmation by the evidence of the Festal Letters discovered in 1842, and especially by their Index, the so-called `Chronicon Athanasianum.' It is evident at a glance that our annalist is quite independent of the Index, as he gives many details which it does not contain. But neither can the Index be a compilation from the annalist. Each writer had access to information not embodied in the other, and there is no positive evidence that either used the other in any way. When they agree, therefore, their evidence has the greatest possible weight. Their main heads of agreement are indicated in the Chronological Table, Prolegg. sub fin.
It remains to notice shortly the two digressions on the doings of Eudoxius and the Anomoeans (§§2, 12 of Migne, paragraphs II, IX of Gallandi). Here the annalist is off his own ground, and evidently less well informed. In §2 we learn nothing of interest: but the `Ecthesis' of the Anomoeans in par. IX is of importance, and only too evidently authentic. It still awaits a critical examination, and it is not easy to give it its exact place in the history of the later Arianism. Apparently it belongs to the period 360-364, when the Anomoeans were organising their schism (Gwatkin, pp. 226, 180) the names being those of the ultra-Arians condemned by the Homoeans in 360 (Prolegg. ch. ii. §8 fin.).
The contrast between the vagueness of statement in these digressions, and the writer's firmness of touch in dealing with Alexandrian affairs is most significant.
The fragment runs as follows:
2. And it came to pass after the death of Gregory that Athanasius returned from the city of Rome and the parts of Italy, and entered Alexandria Paophi xxiv, Coss. Constantius IV, Constans III (October 21, 346); that is after [vii] years vi [months and iii days,] and remained quiet at Alexandria ix  years iii  months [and xix days].
II. Now after his return, Coss. Limenius  and Catulinus (349), Theodore  , Narcissus  , and George, with others, came to Constantinople, wishing to persuade Paul to communicate with them, who received them not even with a word, and answered their greeting with an anathema. So they took to themselves Eusebius of Nicomedia  , and laid snares for the most blessed Paul, and lodging a calumny against him concerning Constans and Magnentius, expelled him from CP. that they might have room there, and sow the Arian heresy. Now the people of CP., desiring the most blessed Paul, raised continual riots to prevent his being taken from the city, for they loved his sound doctrine. The Emperor, however, was angry, and sent Count Hermogenes to cast him out; but the people, hearing this, dragged forth Hermogenes through the midst of the town. From which matter they obtained a pretext against the Bishop, and exiled him to Armenia. Theodore and the rest wishing to place in the See of that Town Eudoxius, an ally and partisan of the Arian heresy, ordained [Bishop] of Germanicia, while the people were stirred to riot, and would not allow any one to sit in the See of blessed Paul,--they took Macedonius, a presbyter of Paul, and ordained him bishop of the town of CP., whom the whole assembly of bishops condemned, since against his own father he had disloyally received laying on of hands from heretics.
However, after Macedonius had communicated with them and signed, they brought in pretexts of no importance, and removing him from the Church, they instal the aforesaid Eudoxius of Antioch  , whence [the partakers] in this secession are called Macedonians, making shipwreck concerning the Holy Spirit.
III. 3. After this time Athanasius, hearing that there was to be disturbance against him, the Emperor Constantius  being in residence at Milan (353), sent to court a vessel with v Bishops, Serapion of Thmuis, Triadelphus of Nicotas, Apollo of Upper Cynopolis, Ammonius of Pachemmon,...and iii Presbyters of Alexandria, Peter the Physician, Astericus, and Phileas. After their setting sail from Alexandria, Coss. Constantius VI Augustus, and Constantius  Cæsar II, Pachom xxiv (May 19, 353), presently four days after Montanus of the Palace entered Alexandria Pachom xxviii, and gave a letter of the same Constantius  Augustus to the bishop Athanasius, forbidding him to come to court, on which account the bishop was exceedingly desolate, and the whole people much troubled  . So Montanus, accomplishing nothing, set forth, leaving the bishop at Alexandria.
4. Now after a while Diogenes, Imperial Notary, came to Alexandria in the month of Mensor (August, 355) Coss. Arbetion and Lollianus: that is ii years and v months  from when Montanus left Alexandria. And Diogenes pressed every one urgently to compel the bishop to leave the town, and afflicted all not a little. Now on the vi day of the month Thoth, he made a sharp attempt to besiege the church, and he spent iv months in his efforts, that is from the month Mensor, or from the [first] day of those intercalated until the xxvi day of Choiac (Dec. 23). But as the people and the judges strongly resisted Diogenes, Diogenes returned without success on the xxvi day of the said month Choiac, Coss. Arbetion and Lollianus, after iv months as aforesaid.
IV. 5. Now Duke Syrianus, and Hilary the Notary, came from Egypt to Alexandria on the tenth day of Tybi (Jan. 6, 356) after Coss. Arbetion and Lollianus. And sending in front all the legions of soldiers throughout Egypt and Libya, the Duke and the Notary entered the Church of Theonas with their whole force of soldiers by night, on the xiii day of Mechir, during the night preceding the xiv. And breaking the doors of the Church of Theonas, they entered with an infinite force of soldiers. But bishop Athanasius escaped their hands, and was saved, on the aforesaid xiv of Mechir  . Now this happened ix years iii months and xix days from the Bishop's return from Italy. But when the Bishop was delivered, his presbyters and people remained in possession of the Churches, and holding communion iv months, until there entered Alexandria the prefect Cataphronius and Count Heraclius in the month Pahyni xvi day, Coss. Constantius  VIII and Julianus Cæsar I (June 10, 356).
V. 6. And four days after they entered  the Athanasians were ejected from the Churches, and they were handed over to those who belonged to George  , and were expecting him as Bishop. So they received the Churches on the xxi day of Pahyni. Moreover George  arrived at Alexandria, Coss. Constantius  IX, and Julianus Cæsar II, Mechir xxx (Feb. 24, 357), that is, eight months and xi days from when his party received the Churches. So George  entered Alexandria, and kept the Churches xviii whole months: and then the common people attacked him in the Church of Dionysius, and he was hardly delivered with danger and a great struggle on the i day of the month Thoth, Coss. Tatianus and Cerealis (Aug. 29, 358). Now George  was ejected from Alexandria on the x  day after the riot, namely v of Paophi (Oct. 2). But they who belonged to Bishop Athanasius, ix days after the departure of George, that is on the xiv of Pa[ophi], cast out the men of George  , and held the Churches two months and xiv days; until there came Duke Sebastian from Egypt and cast them out, and again assigned the Churches to the party of George on the xxviii day of the month Choiac (Dec. 24).
7. Now ix whole months after the departure of George from Alexandria, Paulus the Notary arrived Pahyni xxix, Coss. Eusebius, Hypatius (June 23, 359), and published an Imperial Order on behalf of George, and coerced many in vengeance for him. And [ii years and] v months after, George came to Alexandria Athyr xxx (Coss. Taurus, and Florentius) from court (Nov. 26, 361), that is iii years and two months after he had fled. And at Antioch they of the Arian heresy, casting out the Paulinians from the Church, appointed Meletius. When he would not consent to their evil mind, they ordained Euzoius a presbyter of George  of Alexandria in his stead.
VI. 8. Now George, having entered Alexandria as aforesaid on the xxx Athyr, remained safely in the town iii days, that is [till] iii Choiac. For, on the iv day of that same month, the prefect Gerontius announced the death of the Emperor Constantius, and that Julianus alone held the whole Empire. Upon which news, the citizens of Alexandria and all shouted against George, and with one accord placed him under custody. And he was in prison bound with iron from the aforesaid iv day of Choiac, up to the xxvii of the same month, xxiv days. For on the xxviii day of the same month early in the morning, nearly all the people of that town led forth George from prison, and also the Count who was with him, the Superintendent of the building of the Church which is called Cæsareum, and killed them both, and carried their bodies round through the midst of the town, that of George on a camel, but that of Dracontius, men dragging it by ropes; and so having insulted them, at about the vii hour of the day, they burnt the bodies of each.
VII. 9. Now in the next....day of Mechir the x day of the month, after Coss. Taurus and Florentius (Feb. 4, 362), an order of the Emperor Julian was published commanding those things to be restored to the idols and temple attendants and the public account, which in former times had been taken away from them.
10. But after iii days, Mechir xiv, an order was given of the same Emperor Julian, also of the Vicar Modestus, to Gerontius prefect, ordering all Bishops hitherto defeated by factions and exiled to return to their towns and provinces. Now this letter was published on the following day Mechir xv, while subsequently an edict also of the prefect Gerontius was published, by which the Bishop Athanasius was ordered to return to his Church. And xii days after the publication of this Edict Athanasius was seen at Alexandria, and entered the Church in the same month Mechir, xxvii day, so that there is from his flight which took place in the times of Syrianus and Hilary till his return, when Julianus....Mechir xxvii. He remained in the Church until Paophi xxvi, Coss. Mamertinus and Nevitta (Oct. 23, 362), viii whole months.
11. Now on the aforesaid day, Paophi xxvii, he [the prefect] published an Edict of the Emperor Julianus, that Athanasius, Bishop, should retire from Alexandria, and no sooner was the Edict published, than the Bishop left the town and abode round about Thereu  . Soon after his departure Olympus the prefect, in obedience to the same  Pythiodorus, and those who were with him, most difficult persons, sent into exile Paulus and Astericius, presbyters of Alexandria, and directed them to live at the town of Andropolis.
VIII. 12. Now Olympus the same prefect, in the month Mensor, xxvi day, Coss. Julianus Augustus IV. and Sallustius (Aug. 20, 363), announced that Julian the Emperor was dead, and that Jovianus a Christian was Emperor. And in the following month, Thoth xviii, a letter of the Emperor Jovianus came to Olympus the prefect that only the most high God should be worshipped, and Christ, and that the peoples, holding communion in the Churches, should practise religion. Moreover Paulus and Astericius, the aforesaid presbyters, returned from exile at the town of Andropolis, and entered Alexandria, on the x day of Thoth, after x months.
13. Now Bishop Athanasius, having tarried as aforesaid at Thereon, went up to the higher parts of Egypt as far as Upper Hermopolis in the Thebaid, and as far as Antinoopolis. And while he was staying in these places, it was learned that the Emperor Julian was dead, and that Jovian a Christian was Emperor. So the Bishop entered Alexandria secretly, his arrival not being known to many, and went by sea to meet the Emperor Jovian, and afterwards, Church affairs being settled  , received a letter, and came to Alexandria and entered into the Church on the xix day of Athyr  Coss. Jovianus and Varronianus. From his leaving Alexandria according to the order of Julian until he arrived on the aforesaid xix day of Athyr  after one year and iii months, and xxii days.
IX. Now at CP. Eudoxius of Germanicia held the Church, and there was a division between him and Macedonius; but by means of Eudoxius there went forth another worse heresy from the spurious [teaching] of the Arians, Aetius and Patricius  of Nicæa, who communicated with Eunomius, Heliodorus, and Stephen. And Eudoxius adopting this, communicated with Euzoius, Bishop at Antioch, of the Arian sect, and they deposed on a pretext Seleucius  and Macedonius, and Hypatian  , and other xv Bishops belonging to them, since they would not receive `Unlike' nor `Creature of the Uncreated.' Now their Exposition is as follows:--
Exposition of Patricius  and Aetius, who communicated with Eunomius, Heliodorus, and Stephen.
These are the attributes of God, Unbegotten, without origin, Eternal, not to be commanded, Immutable, All-seeing, Infinite, Incomparable, Almighty, knowing the future without foresight; without beginning  . These do not belong to the Son, for He is commanded, is under command, is made from nothing, has an end, is not compared [with the Father], the Father surpasses Him...of Christ is found: as pertaining to the Father, He is ignorant of the future. He was not God, but Son of God; God of those who are after Him: and in this He possesses invariable likeness with the Father, namely He sees all things because all things...because He is not changed in goodness; [but] not like in the quality of Godhead, nor in nature. But if we said that He was born of the quality of Godhead, we say that He resembles the offspring of serpents  , and that is an impious saying: and like as a statue produces rust from itself, and will be consumed by the rust itself, so also the Son, if He is produced from the nature of the Father, will consume the Father. But from the work, and the newness of work, the Son is naturally God, and not from the Nature, but from another nature like as the Father, but not from Him. For He was made the image of God, and we are out of God, and from God. Inasmuch as all things are from God, and the Son also, as if from something [else]. Like as iron if it has rust will be diminished, like as a body if it produces worms is eaten up, like as a wound if it produce discharges will be consumed by them, so [thinks] he who says that the Son is from the Nature of the Father; now let him who does not say that the Son is like the Father be put outside the Church and be anathema. If we shall say that the Son of God is God, we bring in Two without beginning: we call Him Image of God; he who calls Him `out from God' Sabellianises. And he who says that he is ignorant of the nativity of God Manicheanizes: if any one shall say that the Essence of the Son is like the Essence of the Father unbegotten, he blasphemes. For just as snow and white lead are similar in whiteness but dissimilar in kind, so also the Essence of the Son is other than the Essence of the Father. But snow has a different whiteness  ...
Be pleased to hear that the Son is like the Father in His operations; like as Angels cannot comprehend the Nature of Archangels, let them please to understand, nor Archangels the Nature of a Cherubin, nor Cherubins the Nature of the Holy Spirit, nor the Holy Spirit the Nature of the Only-begotten, nor the Only-begotten the nature of the Unbegotten God.
14. Now when the Bishop Athanasius was about coming from Antioch to Alexandria, the Arians Eudoxius, Theodore, Sophronius, Euzoius and Hilary took counsel and appointed Lucius, a presbyter of George, to seek audience of the Emperor Jovian at the Palace, and to say what is contained in the copies  . Now here we have omitted some less necessary matter.
X. 15. Now after Jovian, Valentinian and Valens having been somewhat rapidly summoned to the throne, a decree of theirs, circulated everywhere, which also was delivered at Alexandria on Pachon x, Coss. Valentinian and Valens (May 5, 365), to the effect that the Bishops deposed and expelled from their Churches under Constantius, who had in the time of Julian's reign reclaimed for themselves and taken back their Bishopric, should now be cast out anew from the Churches, a penalty being laid on the courts of a fine of ccc pounds of gold, unless that is they should have [ba]nished the Bishops from the Churches and towns. On which account at Alexandria great confusion and riot arose, insomuch that the whole Church was troubled, since also the officials were few in number with the prefect Flavian and his staff: and on account of the imperial order and the fine of gold they were urgent that the Bishops should leave the town; the Christian multitude resisting and gainsaying the officials and the judge, and maintaining that the Bishop Athanasius did not come under this definition nor under the Imperial order, because neither did Constantius banish him, but even restored him. Likewise also Julian persecuted him; he recalled all, and him for the sake of idolatry he cast out anew, but Jovian brought him back. This opposition and riot went on until the next month Payni, on the xiv day; for on this day the prefect Flavian made a report, declaring that he had consulted the Emperors on this very point which was stirred at Alexandria, and so they all became quiet in a short time  .
XI. 16. iv months and xxiv days after, that is on Paophi viii, the Bishop Athanasius left the Church secretly by night, and retired to a villa near the New River  . But the prefect Flavian and Duke Victorinus not knowing that he had retired, on the same night arrived at the Church of Dionysius with a force of soldiers: and having broken the back door, and entered the upper parts of the house in search of the Bishop's apartment, they did not find him, for, not long before he had retired, and he remained, staying at the aforesaid property from the above day, Paophi viii, till Mechir vi, that is iv whole months (Oct. 5-Jan. 31). After this, the Imperial notary Bresidas, in the same month Mechir came to Alexandria with an Imperial letter, ordering the said Bishop Athanasius to return to Town, and hold the Churches as usual; and on the vii day of the month Mechir, after Coss. Valentinian and Valens, that is Coss. Gratian and Degalaifus, the said notary Bresidas with Duke Victorinus and Flavian the Prefect assembled at the palace and announced to the officers of the courts who were present, and the people, that the Emperors had ordered the Bishop to return to town, and straightway the said Bresidas the notary went forth with the officers of the courts, and a multitude of the people of the Christians to the aforesaid villa, and taking the Bishop Athanasius with the Imperial order, led him in to the Church which is called that of Dionysius on the vii day of the mouth Mechir.
XII. 17. From Coss. Gratian and Dagalaifus (366) to the next consulships of Lupicinus and Jovinus (367) and that of [Valentinian II. and] Valens II. on Payni xiv (June 8, 368) in [this] Consulship xl [years of the Bishopric] of Athanasius are finished. Out of which [years] he abode at Treveri in Gaul [ii years iv months xi days  , and in Italy and the West] xc months and iii days. At Alexandria [and] in uncertain places in hiding, when he was being harassed by Hilary the notary and the Duke, lxxii months and xiv days. In Egypt and Antioch upon journeys xv months and xxii days: upon the property near the new river iv months. The result will be exactly vi  months and xvii years and  xx days. Moreover, he remained in quiet at Alexandria xxii years and v months x days. But also, he twice stayed a little time outside Alexandria in his last journey and at Tyre and at CP. Accordingly, the result will be as I have stated above, xl years of the episcopate of Athanasius until Payni [x]iv, Coss. Valentinian and Valens. And in the following consulate of Valentinian and Victor, Payni xiv, i year, and in the following consulships of Valentinian [III] and Valens III Payni xiv, and in the following Consulships of Gratian and Probus, [and the next of Modestus and Arintheus], and another consulship of Valentinian [IV] and Valens IV, on Pachon viii he falls asleep (May 3, 373).
XIII. 18. Now in the aforesaid consulship of Lupicinus and Jovinus, Lucius being specially desirous to claim for himself the episcopate of the Arians a long time after he had left Alexandria, arrived in the aforesaid consulship, and entered the town secretly by night on the xxvi day of the month Thoth (Sept. 24, 367): and as it is said, abode in a certain small house keeping in hiding for that day. But next day he went to a house where his mother was staying; and his arrival being known at once all over the town, the whole people assembled and blamed his entry. And Duke Trajanus and the Prefect were extremely displeased at his irrational and bold arrival, and sent officials to cast him out of the town. So the officials came to Lucius, and considering all of them that the people were angry and very riotous against him they feared to bring him out of the house by themselves, lest he should be killed by the multitude. And they reported this to the judges. And presently the judges themselves, Duke Trajan, and the Prefect Tatianus [came] to the place with many soldiers, entered the house and brought out Lucius themselves at the vii hour of the day, on the xxvii day of Thoth. Now while Lucius was following the judges, and the whole people of the town after them, Christians and Pagans, and of divers religions, all alike with one breath, and with one mind, and of one accord, did not cease, from the house whence he was led, through the middle of the town, as far as the house of the Duke, from shouting, and hurling at him withal insults and criminal charges, and from crying, `Let him be taken out of the town.' However, the Duke took him into his house, and he stayed with him for the remaining hours of the day, and the whole night, and on the following the xxviii of the same month, the Duke early in the morning, and taking him in charge as far as Nicopolis  , handed him over to soldiers to be escorted from Egypt.
19. Now whereas Athanasius died on the viii of the month Pachon, the v day before he fell asleep, he ordained Peter, one of the ancient presbyters, Bishop, who carried on the Episcopate, following him in all things. After whom Timothy his B[rother] succeeded to the Episcopate for iv years. After him Theophilus from [being] deacon was ordained Bishop (385). The End.
The variations of practice which had rendered the Paschal Feast a subject of controversy from very early times (see Dict. Christ. Antiq. Easter) had given rise to the custom of the announcement of Easter at a convenient interval beforehand by circular letters. In the third century the Bishops of Alexandria issued such letters (e.g. Dionysius in Eus. H. E. vii. 20), and at the Council of Nicæa, where the Easter question was dealt with (ad Afros. 2), the Alexandrian see was requested to undertake the duty of announcing the correct date to the principal foreign Churches as well as to its own suffragan sees. (This is doubted in the learned article Paschal Letters D.C.A. p. 1562, but the statement of Cyril. Alex. in his `Prologus Paschalis' is express: cf. Ideler 2, 259. The only doubt is, whether the real reference is to Sardica, see Index xv. and Ep. 18.) This was probably due to the astronomical learning for which Alexandria was famous  . At any rate we have fragments of the Easter letters of Dionysius and of Theophilus, and a collection of the Letters of Cyril  .
The Easter letters of Athanasius were, until 1842, only known to us by allusions in Jerome (de V. illustr. 87) and others, and by fragments in Cosmas Indicopleustes purporting to be taken from the 2nd, 5th, 6th, 22nd, 24th, 28th, 29th, 40th, and 45th. Cardinal Mai had also shortly before the discovery of the `Corpus' unearthed a minute fragment of the 13th. But in 1842 Archdeacon Tattam brought home from the Monastery of the Theotokos in the desert of Skete a large number of Syriac mss., which for over a century European scholars had been vainly endeavouring to obtain. Among these, when deposited in the British Museum, Cureton discovered a large collection of the Festal Letters of Athanasius, with the `Index,' thus realising the suspicion of Montfaucon (Migne xxvi.) that the lost treasure might be lurking in some Eastern monastery. Another consignment of mss. from the same source produced some further portions, which were likewise included in the translation revised for the present volume  .
(1) Number of Festal Letters of Athanasius.--This question, which is of first-rate importance for the chronology of the period, must be regarded as settled, at any rate until some discovery which shall revolutionise all existing data. The number 45, which was the maximum known to antiquity  , is confirmed by the Index, and by the fact that the citations from Cosmas (see above) tally with the order of the Letters in this Syriac version in every case where the letter is preserved entire, while Letter 39, preserved by a different writer, also tallies with the reference to it in the Index. It is therefore unassailably established on our existing evidence that the last Easter letter of Ath. was his `45th,' in other words that 45 is the full or normal number of his festal letters. This clinches the reckoning of the Index and Hist. Aceph. that he was bishop for 45 Easters (329-373 inclusive), i.e. for parts of 46 years (328-373 inclusive). Moreover it corroborates, and is rivetted firm by, the statement of Cyril. Alex. Ep. 1, that Athan. graced the see of Alexandria `fully 46 years.' `Il le dit en voulant faire son eloge: de sorte qu'il y a tout lieu de croire qu'il n'a point passé les 46 ans: car pour peu qu'il fust entré dans la 47^me année, S. Cyrille auroit dû naturellement luy donner 47 ans  .' So Tillemont (viii. 719), whose opinion is all the more valuable from the fact that he is unable to harmonise it with his date for the accession of Ath., and accordingly forgets, p. 720 (sub. fin.), what he has said on the previous page.
But we observe that many of the 45 Letters are represented in the `corpus' by blanks. This is doubtless often the result of accidental loss. But the Index informs us that in several years, owing to his adversities, `the Pope was unable to write.' This however may be fairly understood to refer to the usual public or circular letter. Often when unable to write this, he sent a few cordial lines to some friend (Letter 12) or to the clergy (17, 18) or people (29? see notes there) of Alexandria, in order that the true Easter might be kept (cf. the Arian blunder in 340, Ind. xii, with the note to Serapion Letter 12 from Rome). But occasionally the Index is either corrupt or mistaken, e.g. No. xiii, where the Pope is stated to have written no letter, while yet the `Corpus' contains one, apparently entire and of the usual public kind. We may therefore still hope for letters or fragments for any of the `missing' years.
(2) The Festal Letters are fully worthy to rank with any extant writings of Athanasius. The same warmth, vigour, and simplicity pervades them as we find elsewhere in his writings, especially in such gems as the letter to Dracontius (Ep. 49). Their interest, however (apart from chronology), is mainly personal and practical. Naturally the use and abuse of Fast and Festival occupy a prominent place throughout. Repeatedly he insists on the joyfulness of Christian feasts, and on the fact that they are typical of, and intended to colour, the whole period of the Christian's life. We gather from Ep. 12 that Lent was kept less strictly in Egypt than in some other Christian countries. He insists not only upon fasting, but upon purity and charity, especially toward the poor (Ep. 1. 11, cf. Ep. 47. 4, &c.). We trace the same ready command of Scripture, the same grave humour in the unexpected turn given to some familiar text (Ep. 39) as we are used to in Athanasius. The Eucharist is a feeding upon the Word (4. 3), and to be prepared for by amendment of life, repentance, and confession of sin (i.e. to God, Ep. 7. 10). Of special importance is the Canon of Holy Scripture in Ep. 39, on which see Prolegg. ch. iv § 4.
It should be observed that the interval before Easter at which notice was given varied greatly. Some letters (e.g. 1, 2, 20) by a natural figure of speech, refer to the Feast as actually come; but others (17, 18) were certainly written as early as the preceding Easter. Letter 4 was written not long before Lent, but was (§ 1) unusually late. The statement of Cassian referred to below (note to Ep. 17) is therefore incorrect at any rate for our period.
(3) The Index to the Festal Letters.--This chronicle, so constantly referred to throughout this volume, is of uncertain date, but probably (upon internal evidence) only `somewhat later' (Hefele, E. Tr. vol. ii. p. 50) than Athanasius himself. Its special value is in the points where it agrees with the Hist. Aceph. (supr. Prolegg. ch. v.), where we recognise the accredited reckoning of the Alexandrian Church as represented by Cyril and Proterius (see Tillem. ubi supr.). The writer undoubtedly makes occasional slips (cf. Index iii. with Letter iv. and p. 512, note 1, Index xiii. with Letter  xiii.!), and the text would be a miracle if it had come down to us uncorrupt (see notes passim): but on the main dates he is consistent with himself, with the Chron. Aceph. and (so far as they come in contact) with the notices of the Alexandrian bishops above mentioned.
The writer's method, however, must be attended to if we are to avoid a wrong impression as to his accuracy. Firstly, his year is not the Julian but the Egyptian year (infr. Table C) from Aug. 29 to Aug. 28. Each year is designated by the new consuls who come into office in the fifth month. Secondly, in each year he takes a leading event or events, round which he groups antecedent or consequent facts, which often belong to other years. Two or three examples will make this clear. (a) Year Aug. 30, 335-Aug. 28, 336: leading event, exile of Athanasius (he reaches CP. Oct. 30, 335, leaves for Gaul [Feb. 7], both in the same Egyptian year). Antecedent: His departure for Tyre July 11, 335, at end of previous Egyptian Year. (b) The `eventful' year Aug. 337-Aug. 338: leading event, triumphant return of Athanasius from Gaul, Oct. 21, 337. Antecedent: death of Constantine on previous 22nd of May (i.e. 337  ). (g) Year 342-3: leading event, Council of Sardica (summons issued, at any rate, before end of Aug. 343). Consequent events: temporary collapse of Arian party and recantation of Ursacius and Valens (344-347? Further examples in Gwatkin, Studies, p. 105). Bearing this in mind, the discriminating student will derive most important help from the study of the Index: when its data agree with those derived from other good sources, they must be allowed first-rate authority. This is the principle followed in the Prolegomena (ch. v.) and throughout this volume. On the main points in dispute, as strewn above, we have to reckon with a compact uniform chronological system, checked and counter-checked by careful calculations (Hist. Aceph.), and transmitted by two independent channels; in agreement, moreover, as concerns the prior and posterior limits, with the reckoning adopted by the successors of Athanasius in the see.
N.B.--The translation of the Index and Festal Letters is revised by Miss Payne Smith from that contained in the Oxford `Library of the Fathers.' A German translation by Larsow was published at Berlin 1852. The Latin Version (from an Italian translation) of Card. Mai is in Migne, xxvi. 1351 sqq.
The following Tables bear specially on the Festal Index.
Thot 29 August Pharmuthi 27 March Paophi 28 September Pachon 26 April Athyr 28 October Paoni (Payni) 26 May Choiak 27 November Epiphi 25 June Tybi 27 December Mesori 25 July Mechir 26 January Epagomena 24 August Phamenoth 25 February
N.B.--In leap-years, the Diocletian year (see p. 503, note 4) began on the previous Aug. 30, which was accordingly the First of Thot, owing to the additional `epagomenon' which preceded it. Accordingly all the months to Phamenoth inclusive begin a day late. Then, the Julian intercalary day coming in as Feb. 29, Pharmuthi and the succeeding months begin as shewn above. (See Ideler, vol. I, pp. 161, 164, also 140, 142.)
Easter Day. Number of Letter. Year of Diocl. Year of our Lord. Egyptian Calendar. Roman Calendar. Modern Reckoning. Day of Lunar Month. Epact (age of Moon on Mar. 22). Sunday Letter and Concurrentes. Indict^n. Golden Numbers.
... 44 328 19 Pharm. XVIII Kal. Mai 14 April 18 25 1 F 1 6 I 45 329 11 Pharm. VIII Id. April 6 April 22 6 2 E 2 7 II 46 330 24 Pharm. XIII Kal. Mai 19 April 15 17 3 D 3 8 III 47 331 16 Pharm. III Id. April 11 April 18 28 4 C 4 9 IV 48 332 7 Pharm. IV Non. April 2 April 20 9 6 A 5 10 V 49 333 20 Pharm. XVI I Kal. Mai  15 April 15 20 7 G 6 11 VI 50 334 12 Pharm. VII Id. April 7 April 17 1 1 F 7 12 VII 51 335 4 Pharm. III Kal. April 30 March 20 12 2 E 8 13 VIII 52 336 23 Pharm. XIV Kal. Mai 18 April 20 23 4 C 9 14 IX 53 337 8 Pharm. III Non. April 3 April 16 4 5 B 10 15 X 54 338 30 Pham^th. VII Kal. April 26 March 18½ 15 6 A 11 16 XI 55 339 20 Pharm. XVII Kal. Mai 15 April 20 26 7 G 12 17 XII 56 340 4 Pharm. III Kal. April 30 March 15 7 2 E 13 18 XIII 57 341 24 Pharm. XIII Kal. Mai 19 April 16 18 3 D 14 19 XIV 58 342 16 Pharm. III Id. April 11 April 16 29 4 C 15 1 XV 59 343 1 Pharm. VI Kal. April 27 March 15 11 5 B 1 2 XVI 60 344 20 Pharm. XVII Kal. Mai 15 April 19 21 7 G 2 3 XVII 61 345 12 Pharm. VII Id. April 7 April 19 3 1 F 3 4 XVIII 62 346 4 Pharm. III Kal. April  30 March 21 14 2 E 4 5 XIX 63 347 17 Pharm. Prid. Id. April 12 April 15 25 3 D 5 6 XX 64 348 8 Pharm. III Non. April 3 April 18 6 5 B 6 7 XXI 65 349 30 Pham^th. VII Kal. April  26 March 19 17 6 A 7 8 XXII 66 350 13 Pharm. VI Id. April 8 April 19 28 7 G 8 9 XXIII 67 351 5 Pharm. Prid. Kal. April 31 March 18 9 1 F 9 10 XXIV 68 352 24 Pharm. XIII Kal. Mai 19 April 18 20 3 D 10 11 XXV 69 353 16 Pharm. III Id April 11 April 21 1 4 C 11 12 XXVI 70 354 1 Pharm. VI Kal. April 27 March 17 12 5 B 12 13 XXVII 71 355 21 Pharm. XVI Kal. Mai 16 April 18 23 6 A 13 14 XXVIII 72 356 12 Pharm. VII Id. April 7 April 17 4 1 F 14 15 XXIX 73 357 27 Pham^th. X Kal. April 23 March 17 15 2 E 15 16 XXX 74 358 17 Pharm. Prid Id. April 12 April 17 26 3 D 1 17 XXXI 75 359 9 Pharm. Prid. Non. April 4 April 20 7 4 C 2 18 XXXII 76 360 28 Pharm. IX Kal. Mai 23 April 21 18 6 A 3 19 XXXIII 77 361 13 Pharm. VI Id. April 8 April 17 29 7 G 4 1 XXXIV 78 362 5 Pharm. Prid. Kal. April 31 March 25  10 1 F 5 2 XXXV 79 363 25 Pharm. XII Kal. Mai 20 April 20 21 2 E 6 3 XXXVI 80 364 9 Pharm. Prid. Non. April 4 April 16 3 4 C 7 4 XXXVII 81 365 1 Pharm. VI Kal. April 27 March 19 14 5 B 8 5 XXXVIII 82 366 21 Pharm. XVI Kal. Mai 16 April 20 25 6 A 9 6 XXXIX 83 367 6 Pharm. Kal. April 1 April 16 6 7 G 10 7 XL 84 368 25 Pharm. XII Kal. Mai 20 April 16 17 2 E 11 8 XLI 85 369 17 Pharm. Prid. Id. April 12 April 15 28 3 D 12 9 XLII 86 370 2 Pharm. V Kal. April 28 March 15 9 4 C 13 10 XLIII 87 371 22 Pharm. XV Kal. Mai 17 April 16 20 5 B 14 11 XLIV 88 372 13 Pharm. VI Id. April 8 April 19 1 7 G 15 12 XLV 89 373 5 Pharm. Prid. Kal. April 31 March 21 12 1 F 1 13
The Festal Letters of Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, which he sent year by year, to the several cities and all the provinces subject to him; that is, from Pentapolis, and on to Libya, Ammoniaca, the greater and the lesser Oasis, Egypt, and Augustamnica, with the Heptanomis of  the upper and middle Thebais; [commencing] from the 44th  year of the Diocletian Era, in which the Paschal Festival was on xvi  Pharmuthi; xviii Kal. Mai; xviii Moon; when Alexander, his predecessor, having departed this life on xxii Pharmuthi  , he [Athan.] succeeded him after the Paschal festival on xiv Pauni, Indict. i, Januarius and Justus being Consuls, the governor Zenius of Italy being the Præfect of Egypt, Epact xxv; Gods, i.
I. (Aug. 29, 328, to Aug. 28, a.d. 329.) In this year, Easter-day was on xi Pharmuthi; viii. Id. Ap.; xxii Moon; Coss. Constantinus Aug. viii, Constantinus Cæs. IV; the same governor Zenius being Præfect of Egypt; Indict. ii; Epact vi; Gods, ii. This was the first Letter he [Athan.] sent; for he was ordained Bishop in the preceding year after the Paschal feast, Alexander, as is known, having despatched one for that year, before he was released from life. This was in the 45th of the Diocletian era.
II. (329-330.) In this year, Easter-day was on xxiv Pharmuthi; xiii Kal. Mai; xv Moon; Coss. Gallicianus, Symmachus; the governor Magninianus the Cappadocian being Præfect of Egypt; Indict. iii; Epact xvii; Gods, iii. In this year he went through the Thebais.
III. (330-331.) In this year, Easter-day was on xvi Pharmuthi; xviii Moon; iii Id. Ap.; Coss. Annius Bassus, Ablavius; the governor Hyginus  of Italy, Præfect of Egypt; Epact xxviii; Indict. iv. He sent this Letter while journeying on his return from the Imperial Court. For in this year he went to the Imperial Court to the Emperor Constantine the Great, having been summoned before him, on account of an accusation his enemies made, that he had been appointed when too young. He appeared, was thought worthy of favour and honour, and returned  when the fast was half finished.
IV. (331-332.) In this year, Easter-day was on xvii  Pharmuthi; xx Moon; iv Non. Apr.; Epact ix; Gods, vi; Coss. Pacatianus, Hilarianus; the same governor Hyginus, Præfect of Egypt; Indict. v. In this year he went through Pentapolis, and was in Ammoniaca.
V. (332-333.) In this year, Easter-day was on xx Pharmuthi; xv Moon; xvii Kal. Mai; Epact xx; Gods, vii; Coss. Dalmatius, Zenophilus; the governor Paternus  , Præfect of Egypt; Indict. vi.
VI. (333-334.) In this year, Easter-day was on xii Pharmuthi; xvii Moon; vii Id. Apr.; Indict. vii; Epact i; Gods, i; Coss. Optatus, Paulinus; the same governor Paternus  Præfect of Egypt. In this year he went through the lower country. In it he was summoned to a Synod, his enemies having previously devised mischief against him in Cæsarea of Palestine; but becoming aware of the conspiracy, he excused himself from attending.
VII. (334-335.) In this year, Easter-day was on xiv  Pharmuthi; xx Moon; iii Kal. Ap.; Indict. viii; Epact xii; Gods, ii; Coss. Constantius  , Albinus; the same governor Paternus, Præfect of Egypt.
VIII. (335-336.) In this year, Easter-day was on xxiii Pharmuthi, xx Moon; xiv Kal. Mai; Indict. ix; Epact xxiii; Gods, iv; Coss. Nepotianus, Facundus; the governor Philagrius, the Cappadocian, Præfect of Egypt. In this year he went to that Synod of his enemies which was assembled at Tyre. Now he journeyed from this place on xvii Epiphi  , but when a discovery was made of the plot against him, he removed thence and fled in an open boat to Constantinople. Arriving there on ii Athyr  , after eight days he presented himself before the Emperor Constantine, and spoke plainly. But his enemies, by various secret devices, influenced the Emperor, who suddenly condemned him to exile, and he set out on the tenth of Athyr  to Gaul, to Constans Cæsar, the son of Augustus. On this account he wrote no Festal Letter.
IX. (336-7.) In this year, Easter-day was on viii Pharmuthi; xvi Moon; iv  Non. Ap.; Indict. x; Epact iv; Gods, v; Coss. Felicianus, Titianus; the governor Philagrius, the Cappadocian, Præfect of Egypt. He was in Treviri of Gaul, and on this account was unable to write a Festal Letter.
X. (337-8.) In this year, Easter-day was on xxx Phamenoth; vii Kal. Ap.; xix  Moon, Indict. xi; Epact xv; Gods, vi; Coss. Ursus, Polemius; the governor Theodorus  , of Heliopolis, Præfect of Egypt. In this year, Constantine having died on xxvii Pachon  , Athanasius, now liberated, returned from Gaul triumphantly on xxvii  Athyr. In this year, too, there were many events. Antony, the great leader, came to Alexandria, and though he remained there only two days, shewed himself wonderful in many things, and healed many. He went away on the third of Messori. 
XI. (338-9.) In this year, Easter-day was on xx Pharmuthi; xx Moon; xvii Kal. Mai; Epact xxvi; Gods, vii; Indict. xii; Coss. Constantius II, Constans I  ; the governor Philagrius, the Cappadocian, Præfect of Egypt. In this year, again, there were many tumults. On the xxii Phamenoth  he was pursued in the night, and the next day he fled from the Church of Theonas, after he had baptized many. Then, four days after, Gregorius the Cappadocian entered the city as Bishop.
XII. (339-340.) In this year, Easter-day was on xiv  Pharmuthi; xv Moon; iii Kal. Ap.; Epact vii; Gods, ii; Indict. xiii; Coss. Acyndinus, Proclus; the same governor Philagrius, Præfect of Egypt. Gregorius continued his acts of violence, and therefore [Ath.] wrote no Festal Letter. The Arians proclaimed [Easter] on xxvii Phamenoth, and were much ridiculed on account of this error. Then altering it in the middle of the fast, they kept it with us on iv  Pharmuthi, as above. He [Athanasius] gave notice of it to the presbyters of Alexandria in a short note, not being able to send a letter as usual, on account of his flight and the treachery.
XIII. (340-341.) In this year, Easter-day was on xxiv Pharmuthi; xvi Moon; xiii. Kal. Mai; Epact xviii; Gods, iii; Indict. xiv; Coss. Marcellinus, Probinus; the governor Longinus, of Nicæa, Præfect of Egypt. Augustamnica was separated.  On account of Gregorius continuing in the city, and exercising violence, although this illness commenced, the Pope did not write a Festal Letter even this time  .
XIV. (341-2.) In this year, Easter-day was on xvi Pharmuthi; xx  Moon; iii Id. Ap.; Epact xxix; Gods, iv; Indict. xv; Coss. Constantius III, Constans II; the governor Longinus of Nicæa, Præfect of Egypt. Because Gregorius was in the city, [though] severely ill, the Pope was unable to send [any Letter].
XV. (342-3.) In this year, Easter-day was on i Pharmuthi; xv Moon; vi Kal. Ap.; Epact xi; Gods, v; Indict. i; Coss. Placidus, Romulus; the same governor Longinus, of Nicæa, Præfect of Egypt. In this year the Synod of Sardica was held  ; and when the Arians had arrived, they returned to Philippopolis, for Philagrius gave them this advice there. In truth, they were blamed everywhere, and were even anathematised by the Church of Rome, and having written a recantation to Pope Athanasius, Ursacius and Valens were put to shame. There was an agreement made at Sardica respecting Easter, and a decree was issued to be binding for fifty years, which the Romans and Alexandrians everywhere announced in the usual manner. Again he [Athan.] wrote a Festal Letter.
XVI. (343-4.) In this year, Easter-day was on xx Pharmuthi; xix Moon; xvii Kal. Mai; Epact xxi; Gods, vi[i], Coss. Leontius, Sallustius; the governor Palladius, of Italy, Præfect of Egypt; Indict. ii. Being at Naissus on his return from the Synod, he there celebrated Easter  . Of this Easter-day he gave notice in few words to the presbyters of Alexandria, but he was unable to do so to the country.
XVII. (344-5.) In this year, Easter-day was on xii Pharmuthi; xviii Moon; vii. Id. Ap.; Epact ii; Gods, i; Indict. iii; Coss. Amantius, Albinus; the governor Nestorius of Gaza, Præfect of Egypt. Having travelled to Aquileia, he kept Easter there. Of this Easter-day, he gave notice in few words to the presbyters of Alexandria, but not to the country.
XVIII. (345-6.) In this year, Easter-day was on iv Pharmuthi; xxi  Moon; iii Kal. Ap.; Epact xiv; Gods, ii; Indict. iv; Coss. Constantius  Aug. IV, Constans Aug. III; the same governor Nestorius of Gaza, Præfect of Egypt. Gregorius having died on the second of Epiphi  , he returned from Rome and Italy, and entered the city and the Church. Moreover he was thought worthy of a grand reception, for on the xxiv Paophi  , the people and all those in authority met him a hundred miles distant, and he continued in honour. He had already sent the Festal Letter for this year, in few words, to the presbyters.
XIX. (346-7.) In this year, Easter-day was on xvii Pharmuthi xv. Moon; Prid. Id. Apr.; Epact xxv; Gods, iii; Indict. v; Coss. Rufinus, Eusebius; the same governor Nestorius of Gaza, Præfect of Egypt. He wrote this Letter while residing here in Alexandria, giving notice of some things which he had not been able to do before.
XX. (347-8.) In this year, Easter-day was on vii Pharmuthi; xviii Moon; iii Non. Ap.; Epact vi; Gods, v  Indict. vi; Coss. Philippus, Salia; the same governor Nestorius of Gaza, Præfect of Egypt. This Letter also he sent while residing in Alexandria.
XXI. (348-9.) In this year, Easter-day was on xxx Phamenoth;...xix Moon,...vii Kal. Ap.; Epact xvii; Gods, vi; Indict. vii. But because the Romans refused, for they said they held a tradition from the Apostle Peter not to pass the twenty-sixth day of Pharmuthi, nor..the thirtieth of Phamenoth, xxi Moon,..................  , vii Kal. Ap.; Coss. Limenius, Catullinus; the same governor Nestorius of Gaza, Præfect of Egypt. He sent this also while residing in Alexandria.
XXII. (349-50.) In this year, Easter-day was on xiii Pharmuthi; xix Moon, the second hour; vi Id. Ap.; Epact xxviii; Gods, vii; Indict. viii; Coss. Sergius, Nigrianus; the same governor Nestorius of Gaza, Præfect of Egypt. In this year, Constans was slain by Magnentius, and Constantius held the empire alone; then he wrote to the Pope [Athan.], telling him to fear nothing because of the death of Constans, but to confide in him as he had done in Constans while living.
XXIII. (350-1.) In this year, Easter day was on v Pharmuthi; Moon xviii; Prid. Kal. Ap.; Epact ix; Gods, i; Indict. ix; the Consulship after that of Sergius and Nigrianus; the same governor Nestorius of Gaza, again Præfect of Egypt.
XXIV. (351-2.) In this year, Easter-day was on xxiv Pharmuthi; xviii Moon; xiii Kal. Mai, Epact xx; Gods, iii; Indict. x, Coss. Constantius Aug. V, Constantius Cæsar I; the same governor Nestorius of Gaza, Præfect of Egypt. Gallus was proclaimed Cæsar  , and his name changed into Constantius.
XXV. (352-3.) In this year, Easter-day was on xvi Pharmuthi; xxi Moon; iii Id. Ap.; Epact i; Gods, iv; Indict. xi; Coss. Constantius Aug. VI, Constantius Cæsar II; the governor Sebastianus of Thrace, præfect of Egypt. In this year, Serapion  , Bishop of Thmuis, and Triadelphus of Nicion, and the presbyters Petrus and Astricius, with others, were sent to the emperor Constantius, through fear of mischief from the Arians. They returned, having effected nothing. In this year, Montanus, Silentiarius of the Palace, [was sent]...against [the]  Bishop, but, a tumult having been excited, he retired, having failed to effect anything.
XXVI. (353-4.) In this year, Easter-day was on i  Pharmuthi; xvii Moon; vi Kal. Ap.; Epact xii; Gods, v; Indict. xii; Coss. Constantius Aug. VII, Constantius Cæsar III.; the same governor Sebastianus of Thrace, Præfect of Egypt.
XXVII. (354-5.) In this year, Easter-day was on xxi Pharmuthi; xviii Moon; xvi Kal. Mai; Epact xxiii; Gods, vi; Indict. xiii; Coss. Arbetion, Lollianus; the governor Maximus the Elder of Nicæa, Prefect of Egypt. In this year, Diogenes, the Secretary of the Emperor, entered with the design of seizing the Bishop. But he, too, having raged in vain, went away quietly.
XXVIII. (355-6.) In this year, Easter-day was on xii Pharmuthi; xvii Moon; vii Id. Ap.; Epact iv; Gods, i; Indict. xiv, Coss. Constantius Aug. VIII, Julianus Cæsar I; the same governor Maximus the Elder of Nicæa, Præfect of Egypt, who was succeeded by Cataphronius of Byblus. In this year, Syrianus Dux, having excited a tumult in the Church on the thirteenth of Mechir, on the fourteenth  at night entered Theonas with his soldiers; but he was unable to capture [Athanasius], for he escaped in a miraculous manner.
XXIX (356-7.) In this year, Easter-day was on xxvii Phamenoth; xvii Moon; x Kal. Ap., Epact xv; Gods, ii; Indict. xv; Coss. Constantius Aug. IX, Julianus Cæsar II; the same governor Cataphronius, of Byblus, Præfect of Egypt, to whom succeeded Parnassius. Then Georgius entered on the thirtieth of Mechir, and acted with excessive violence. But Athanasius, the Bishop, had fled, and was sought for in the city with much oppression, many being in danger on this account. Therefore no Festal Letter was written  .
XXX. (357-8.) In this year, Easter-day was on xvii Pharmuthi; Prid. Id. Ap.; xvii Moon; Epact xxvi; Gods, iii; Indict. i; Coss. Tatianus, Cerealis; the governor Parius of Corinth, Præfect of Egypt. Athanasius, the Bishop, lay concealed in the city of Alexandria. But Georgius left on the fifth of Paophi  being driven away by the multitude. On this account, neither this year was the Pope able to send a Festal Letter.
XXXI. (358-9.) In this year, Easter-day was on ix  Pharmuthi; Prid. Non. Ap.; xx Moon; Epact vii; Gods, iv; Indict. ii; Coss. Eusebius, Hypatius; the same governor Parius, who was succeeded by Italicianus of Italy for three months; after him Faustinus, of Chalcedon. Neither this year did the Pope write [any Letter].
XXXII. (359-60.) In this year, Easter-day was on xxviii Pharmuthi; ix Kal. Mai; xxi Moon; Epact xviii; Gods, vi; Indict. iii; Coss. Constantius Aug. X, Julianus Cæsar III; the governor Faustinus, of Chalcedon, Præfect of Egypt. This Præfect and Artemius Dux, having entered a private house and a small cell, in search of Athanasius the Bishop, bitterly tortured Eudæmonis, a perpetual virgin. On this account no [Letter] was written this year.
XXXIII. (360-1.) In this year, Easter-day was on xiii Pharmuthi, vi Id. Ap.; xvii Moon; Epact xxix; Gods, vii; Indict. iv; Coss. Taurus, Florentius; the same governor Faustinus  , Præfect of Egypt, who was succeeded by Gerontius the Armenian. He was unable to send [a Letter]. In this year, Constantius died  , and Julianus holding the empire alone, there was a cessation of the persecution against the Orthodox. For commands were issued everywhere from the emperor Julianus, that the Orthodox ecclesiastics who had been persecuted in the time of Constantius should be let alone.
XXXIV. (361-2.) In this year, Easter-day was on v  Pharmuthi; Prid. Kal. Ap.; xxv Moon; Epact x; Gods, i; Indict. v; Coss. Mamertinus, Nevitta; the same governor Gerontius, who was succeeded by Olympus of Tarsus. In this year, in Mechir, Athanasius the Bishop returned to the Church, after his flight, by the command of Julianus Augustus, who pardoned all the Bishops and Clergy in exile, as was before said. This year, then, he wrote [a Letter].
XXXV. (362-3.) In this year, Easter-day was on xxv Pharmuthi; xii Kal. Mai; xx Moon; Epact xxi; Gods, ii; Indict. vi; Coss. Julianus Augustus IV, Sallustius; the same governor Olympus, Præfect of Egypt. Pythiodorus Trico of Thebes, a Philosopher, brought a decree of Julianus on the twenty-seventh of Paophi, and set it in action against the Bishop first, and uttered many threats. So he [Athan.] left the city at once, and went up to the Thebais. And when after eight months Julianus died, and his death was announced, Athanasius returned secretly by night to Alexandria. Then on the eighth of Thoth, he embarked  at the Eastern Hierapolis, and met the emperor Jovian, by whom he was dismissed with honour. He sent this festal Letter to all the country, while being driven by persecution from Memphis to the Thebais, and it was delivered as usual.
XXXVI. (363-4). In this year, Easter-day was on ix Pharmuthi; Prid. Non. Ap.; xvi Moon; Epact iii; Gods, iv; Indict. vii; Coss. Jovianus Aug., Varronianus; the governor Aerius, of Damascus, Præfect; who was succeeded by Maximus of Rapheotis, and he again by Flavianus the Illyrian. In this year, the Pope returned to Alexandria and the Church on the twenty-fifth of Mechir. He sent the Festal Letter, according to custom, from Antioch to all the Bishops in all the province.
XXXVII. (364-5.) In this year, Easter-day was on i Pharmuthi; v[i] Kal. Ap.; xix Moon; Epact xiv; Gods, v; Indict. viii; Coss. Valentinianus Aug. I, Valens Aug.; the same Flavianus, the Illyrian, being governor. We received the Cæsareum; but again, the Pope being persecuted  with accusations, withdrew  to the garden of the new river. But a few days  after, Barasides, the notary, came to him with the Præfect and obtained an entrance for him into the Church. Then, an earthquake happening on the twenty-seventh of Epiphi  , the sea returned from the East, and destroyed many persons, and much damage was caused.
XXXVIII. (365-6.) In this year, Easter-day was on xxi Pharmuthi; xvi Kal. Mai; xx Moon; Epact xxv; Gods, vi; Indict. ix; in the first year of the Consulship of Gratianus, the son of Augustus, and Daglaiphus; the same governor Flavianus, Præfect. On the twenty-seventh of Epiphi, the heathen made an attack, and the Cæsareum was burnt and consequently many of the citizens suffered great distress, while the authors of the calamity were condemned and exiled. After this, Proclianus the Macedonian, became chief.
XXXIX. (366-7.) In this year, Easter-day was on vi  Pharmuthi; Kal. Ap.; xvi Moon; Epact vi; Gods, vii; Indict. x; Coss. Lupicinus, Jovinus; the same Proclianus being governor, who was succeeded by Tatianus of Lycia. In this year, when Lucius had attempted an entrance on the twenty-sixth of Thoth  , and lay concealed by night in a house on the side of the enclosure of the Church; and when Tatianus the Præfect and Trajanus Dux brought him out, he left the city, and was rescued in a wonderful manner, while the multitude sought to kill him. In this year he [Ath.] wrote, forming a Canon of the Holy Scriptures.
XL. (367-8.) In this year, Easter-day was on xxv Pharmuthi; xii Kal. Mai; xvi Moon; Epact xvii; Gods, ii; Indict. xi; Coss. Valentinianus Aug. II, Valens Aug. II; the same governor Tatianus, Præfect. He [Athan.] began to build anew the Cæsareum, on the 6th of Pachon, having been honoured with an imperial command by Trajanus Dux. He also discovered the incendiaries, and immediately cleared away the rubbish of the burnt ruins, and restored the edifice in the month Pachon.
XLI. (368-9.) In this year, Easter-day was on xvii  Pharmuthi; Prid. Id. Ap.; xv Moon; Epact xxviii; Gods, iii; Indict. xii; Coss. Valentinianus (son of Augustus) I, Victor; the same Tatianus being governor. The Pope began to build that Church in Mendidium which bears his name, on the twenty-fifth  of the month Thoth, at the beginning of the eighty-fifth year of the Diocletian Era.
XLII. (369-70.) In this year, Easter-day was on ii Pharmuthi; v  Kal. Ap.; xv Moon; Epact ix; Gods, iv; Indict. xiii; Coss. Valentinianus Aug. III, Valens Aug. III; the same Tatianus being governor, who was succeeded by Olympius Palladius, of Samosata. The Pope finished the Church, called after his name, at the close of the eighty-sixth year of the Diocletian Era; in which also he celebrated the dedication, on the fourteenth  of Mesori.
XLIII. (370-1.) In this year, Easter-day was on xxii Pharmuthi; xv Kal. Mai; xvi Moon; Epact xx; Gods, v; Indict. xiv; Coss. Gratianus Aug. II, Probus; the same Palladius being governor; who was succeeded as Præfect of Egypt by Ælius Palladius, of Palestine, who was called Cyrus.
XLIV. (371-2.) In this year, Easter-day was on xiii Pharmuthi; vi Id. Ap.; xix Moon; Epact i; Gods, vii  , Indict. xv; Coss. Modestus, Arintheus; the same Ælius Palladius the governor, called Cyrus, Præfect of Egypt.
XLV. (372-3.) In this year, Easter-day was on v Pharmuthi; Prid. Kal. Ap.; xxi Moon; Epact xii; Gods, i; Indict. i; Coss. Valentinianus IV, Valens IV; the same governor Ælius Palladius, Præfect of Egypt. At the close of this year, on the seventh of Pachon  , he [Athan.] departed this life in a wonderful manner.
The end of the heads of the Festal Letters of holy Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria.
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