Letter of Ninety Bishops of Egypt and Libya Including Athanasius
1). Pre-Eminence of the Council of Nicaea. Efforts to Exalt that of Ariminum at Its Expense.
The letters are sufficient which were written by our beloved fellow-minister Damasus, bishop of the Great Rome, and the large number of bishops who assembled along with him; and equally so are those of the other synods which were held, both in Gaul and in Italy, concerning the sound Faith which Christ gave us, the Apostles preached, and the Fathers, who met at Nicaea from all this world of ours, have handed down. For so great a stir was made at that time about the Arian heresy, in order that they who had fallen into it might be reclaimed, while its inventors might be made manifest. To that council, accordingly, the whole world has long ago agreed, and now, many synods having been held, all men have been put in mind, both in Dalmatia and Dardania, Macedonia, Epirus and Greece, Crete, and the other islands, Sicily, Cyprus, Pamphylia, Lycia, and Isauria, all Egypt and the Libyas, and most of the Arabians have come to know it, and marvelled at those who signed it, inasmuch as even if there were left among them any bitterness springing up from the root of the Arians; we mean Auxentius, Ursacius, Valens and their fellows, by these letters they have been cut off and isolated. The confession arrived at at Nicaea was, we say once more, sufficient and enough by itself, for the subversion of all irreligious heresy, and for the security and furtherance of the doctrine of the Church. But since we have heard that certain wishing to oppose it are attempting to cite a synod supposed to have been held at Ariminum, and are eagerly striving that it should prevail rather than the other, we think it right to write and put you in mind, not to endure anything of the sort: for this is nothing else but a second growth of the Arian heresy. For what else do they wish for who reject the synod held against it, namely the Nicene, if not that the cause of Arius should prevail? What then do such men deserve, but to be called Arians, and to share the punishment of the Arians? For they were not afraid of God, who says, ‘Remove not the eternal boundaries which thy fathers placed1 ,’ and ‘He that speaketh against father or mother, let him die the death2 :’ they were not in awe of their fathers, who enjoined that they who hold the opposite of their confession should be anathema.
2). The Synod of Nicaea Contrasted with the Local Synods Held Since.
For this was why an ecumenical synod has been held at Nicaea, 318 bishops assembling to discuss the faith on account of the Arian heresy, namely, in order that local synods should no more be held on the subject of the Faith, but that, even if held, they should not hold good. For what does that Council lack, that any one should seek to innovate? It is full of piety, beloved; and has filled the whole world with it. Indians have acknowledged it, and all Christians of other barbarous nations. Vain then is the labour of those who have often made attempts against it. For already the men we refer to have held ten or more synods, changing their ground at each, and while taking away some things from earlier decisions, in later ones make changes and additions. And so far they have gained nothing by writing, erasing, and using force, not knowing that ‘every plant that the Heavenly Father hath not planted shall be plucked up3 .’ But the word of the Lord which came through the ecumenical Synod at Nicaea, abides for ever4 . For if one compare number with number, these who met at Nicaea are more than those at local synods, inasmuch as the whole is greater than the part. But if a man wishes to discern the reason of the Synod at Nicaea, and that of the large number subsequently held by these men, he will find that while there was a reasonable cause for the former, the others were got together by force, by reason of hatred and contention. For the former council was summoned because of the Arian heresy, and because of Easter, in that they of Syria, Cilicia and Mesopotamia differed from us, and kept the feast at the same season as the Jews. But thanks to the Lord, harmony has resulted not only as to the Faith, but also as to the Sacred Feast. And that was the reason of the synod at Nicaea. But the subsequent ones were without number, all however planned in opposition to the ecumenical.
3). The True Nature of the Proceedings at Ariminium.
This being pointed out, who will accept those who cite the synod of Ariminum, or any other, against the Nicene? or who could help hating men who set at nought their fathers’ decisions, and put above them the newer ones, drawn up at Ariminum with contention and violence? or who would wish to agree with these men, who do not accept even their own? For in their own ten or more synods, as I said above, they wrote now one thing, now another, and so came out clearly as themselves the accusers of each one. Their case is not unlike that of the Jewish traitors in old times. For just as they left the one well of the living water, and hewed for themselves broken cisterns, which cannot hold water, as the prophet Jeremiah has it5 , so these men, fighting against the one ecumenical synod, ‘hewed for themselves’ many synods, and all appeared empty, like ‘a sheaf without strength6 .’ Let us not then tolerate those who cite the Ariminian or any other synod against that of Nicaea. For even they who cite that of Ariminum appear not to know what was done there, for else they would have said nothing about it. For ye know, beloved, from those who went from you to Ariminum, how Ursacius and Valens, Eudoxius7 and Auxentius8 (and there Demophilus9 also was with them), were deposed, after wishing to write something to supersede the Nicene decisions. For on being requested to anathematise the Arian heresy, they refused, and preferred to be its ringleaders. So the bishops, like genuine servants of the Lord and orthodox believers (and there were nearly 20010 ), wrote that they were satisfied with the Nicene alone, and desired and held nothing more or less than that. This they also reported to Constantius, who had ordered the assembling of the synod. But the men who had been deposed at Ariminum went off to Constantius, and caused those who had reported against them to be insulted, and threatened with not being allowed to return to their dioceses, and to be treated with violence in Thrace that very winter, to compel them to tolerate their innovations.
4). The Nicene Formula in Accordance with Scripture.
If then any cite the synod of Ariminum, firstly let them point out the deposition of the above persons, and what the bishops wrote, namely that none should seek anything beyond what had been agreed upon by the fathers at Nicaea, nor cite any synod save that one. But this they suppress, but make much of what was done by violence in Thrace11 ; thus shewing that they are dissemblers of the Arian heresy, and aliens from the sound Faith. And again, if a man were to examine and compare the great synod itself, and those held by these people, he would discover the piety of the one and the folly of the others. They who assembled at Nicaea did so not after being deposed: and secondly, they confessed that the Son was of the Essence of the Father. But the others, after being deposed again and again, and once more at Ariminum itself, ventured to write that it ought not to be said that the Son had Essence or Subsistence. This enables us to see, brethren, that they of Nicaea breathe the spirit of Scripture, in that God says in Exodus12 , ‘I am that I am,’ and through Jeremiah, ‘Who is in His substance13 and hath seen His word;’ and just below, ‘if they had stood in My subsistence14 and heard My words:’ now subsistence is essence, and means nothing else but very being, which Jeremiah calls existence, in the words, ‘and they heard not the voice of existence15 .’ For subsistence, and essence, is existence: for it is, or in other words exists. This Paul also perceiving wrote to the Hebrews, ‘who being the brightness of his glory, and the express Image of his subsistence16 .’ But the others, who think they know the Scriptures and call themselves wise, and do not choose to speak of subsistence in God (for thus they wrote at Ariminum and at other synods of theirs), were surely with justice deposed, saying as they did, like the fool did in his heart17 , ‘God is not.’ And again the fathers taught at Nicaea that the Son and Word is not a creature, nor made, having read ‘all things were made through Him18 ,’ and ‘in Him were all things created, and consist19 ;’ while these men, Arians rather than Christians, in their other synods have ventured to call Him a creature, and one of the things that are made, things of which He Himself is the Artificer and Maker. For if ‘through Him all things were made’ and He too is a creature, He would be the creator of Himself. And how can what is being created create? or He that is creating be created?
5). How the Test ‘Coessential’ Came to Be Adopted at Nicaea.
But not even thus are they ashamed, although they say such things as cause them to be hated by all; citing the Synod of Ariminum, only to shew that there also they were deposed. And as to the actual definition of Nicaea, that the Son is coessential with the Father, on account of which they ostensibly oppose the synod, and buzz around everywhere like gnats about the phrase, either they stumble at it from ignorance, like those who stumble at the stone of stumbling that was laid in Sion20 ; or else they know, but for that very reason are constantly opposing and murmuring, because it is an accurate declaration and full in the face of their heresy. For it is not the phrases that vex them, but the condemnation of themselves which the definition contains. And of this, once again, they are themselves the cause, even if they wish to conceal the fact of which they are perfectly aware,—But we must now mention it, in order that hence also the accuracy of the great synod may be shewn. For21 the assembled bishops wished to put away the impious phrases devised by the Arians, namely ‘made of nothing,’ and that the Son was ‘a thing made,’ and a ‘creature,’ and that ‘there was a time when He was not,’ and that ‘He is of mutable nature.’ And they wished to set down in writing the acknowledged language of Scripture, namely that the Word is of God by nature Only-begotten, Power, Wisdom of the Father, Very God, as John says, and as Paul wrote, brightness of the Father’s glory and express image of His person22 . But Eusebius and his fellows, drawn on by their own error, kept conferring together as follows: ‘Let us assent. For we also are of God: for “there is one God of whom are all things23 ,” and “old things are passed away, behold all things are made new, but all things are of God24 .”’ And they considered what is written in the Shepherd25 , ‘Before all things believe that God is one, who created and set all things in order, and made them to exist out of nothing.’ But the Bishops, beholding their craftiness, and the cunning of their impiety, expressed more plainly the sense of the words ‘of God,’ by writing that the Son is of the Essence of God, so that whereas the Creatures, since they do not exist of themselves without a cause, but have a beginning of their existence, are said to be ‘of God,’ the Son alone might be deemed proper to the Essence of the Father. For this is peculiar to one who is Only-begotten and true Word in relation to a Father, and this was the reason why the words ‘of the essence’ were adopted. Again26 , upon the bishops asking the dissembling minority if they agreed that the Son was not a Creature, but the Power and only Wisdom of the Father, and the Eternal Image, in all respects exact, of the Father, and true God, Eusebius and his fellows were observed exchanging nods with one another, as much as to say ‘this applies to us men also, for we too are called “the image and glory of God27 ,” and of us it is said, “For we which live are alway28 ,” and there are many Powers, and “all the power29 of the Lord went out of the land of Egypt,” while the caterpillar and the locust are called His “great power30 .” And “the Lord of powers31 is with us, the God of Jacob is our help.” For we hold that we are proper32 to God, and not merely so, but insomuch that He has even called us brethren. Nor does it vex us, even if they call the Son Very God. For when made He exists in verity.’
6). The Nicene Test Not Unscriptural in Sense, Nor a Novelty.
Such was the corrupt mind of the Arians. But here too the Bishops, beholding their craftiness, collected from the Scriptures the figures of brightness, of the river and the well, and of the relation of the express Image to the Subsistence, and the texts, ‘in thy light shall we see light33 ,’ and ‘I and the Father are one34 .’ And lastly they wrote more plainly, and concisely, that the Son was coessential with the Father; for all the above passages signify this. And their murmuring, that the phrases are unscriptural, is exposed as vain by themselves, for they have uttered their impieties in unscriptural terms: (for such are ‘of nothing’ and ‘there was a time when He was not’), while yet they find fault because they were condemned by unscriptural terms pious in meaning. While they, like men sprung from a dunghill, verily ‘spoke of the earth35 ,’ the Bishops, not having invented their phrases for themselves, but having testimony from their Fathers, wrote as they did. For ancient bishops, of the Great Rome and of our city, some 130 years ago, wrote36 and censured those who said that the Son was a creature and not coessential with the Father. And Eusebius knew this, who was bishop of Caesarea, and at first an accomplice37 of the Arian heresy; but afterwards, having signed at the Council of Nicaea, wrote to his own people affirming as follows: ‘we know that certain eloquent and distinguished bishops and writers even of ancient date used the word “coessential” with reference to the Godhead of the Father and the Son.’
7). The Position that the Son is a Creature Inconsistent and Untenable.
Why then do they go on citing the Synod of Ariminum, at which they were deposed? Why do they reject that of Nicaea, at which their Fathers signed the confession that the Son is of the Father’s Essence and coessential with Him? Why do they run about? For now they are at war not only with the bishops who met at Nicaea, but with their own great bishops and their own friends. Whose heirs or successors then are they? How can they call men fathers, whose confession, well and apostolically drawn up, they will not accept? For if they think they can object to it, let them speak, or rather answer, that they may be convicted of falling foul of themselves, whether they believe the Son when He says, ‘I and my Father are one,’ and ‘he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father38 .’ ‘Yes,’ they must answer, ‘since it is written we believe it.’ But if they are asked how they are one, and how he that hath seen the Son hath seen the Father, of course, we suppose they will say, ‘by reason of resemblance,’ unless they have quite come to agree with those who hold the brother-opinion to theirs, and are called39 Anomoeans. But if once more they are asked, ‘how is He like?’ they brasen it out and say, ‘by perfect virtue and harmony, by having the same will with the Father, by not willing what the Father wills not.’ But let them understand that one assimilated to God by virtue and will is liable also to the purpose of changing; but the Word is not thus, unless He is ‘like’ in part, and as we are, because He is not like [God] in essence also. But these characteristics belong to us, who are originate, and of a created nature. For we too, albeit we cannot become like God in essence, yet by progress in virtue imitate God, the Lord granting us this grace, in the words, ‘Be ye merciful as your Father is merciful:’ ‘be ye perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect40 .’ But that originate things are changeable, no one can deny, seeing that angels transgressed, Adam disobeyed, and all stand in need of the grace of the Word. But a mutable thing cannot be like God who is truly unchangeable, any more than what is created can be like its creator. This is why, with regard to us, the holy man said, ‘Lord, who shall be likened unto thee41 ,’ and ‘who among the gods is like unto thee, Lord42 ;’ meaning by gods those who, while created, had yet become partakers of the Word, as He Himself said, ‘If he called them gods to whom the word of God came43 .’ But things which partake cannot be identical with or similar to that whereof they partake. For example, He said of Himself, ‘I and the Father are one44 ,’ implying that things originate are not so. For we would ask those who allege the Ariminian Synod, whether a created essence can say, ‘what things I see my Father make, those I make also45 .’ For things originate are made and do not make; or else they made even themselves. Why, if, as they say, the Son is a Creature and the Father is His Maker, surely the Son would be His own maker, as He is able to make what the Father makes, as He said. But such a supposition is absurd and utterly untenable, for none can make himself.
8). The Son’s Relation to the Father Essential, Not Merely Ethical.
Once more, let them say whether things originate could say46 , ‘all things whatsoever the Father hath are Mine.’ Now, He has the prerogative of creating and making, of Eternity, of omnipotence, of immutability. But things originate cannot have the power of making, for they are creatures; nor eternity, for their existence has a beginning; nor of omnipotence and immutability, for they are under sway, and of changeable nature, as the Scriptures say. Well then, if these prerogatives belong to the Son, they clearly do so, not on account of His virtue, as said above, but essentially, even as the synod said, ‘He is of no other essence’ but of the Father’s, to whom these prerogatives are proper. But what can that be which is proper to the Father’s essence, and an offspring from it, or what name can we give it, save ‘coessential?’ For that which a man sees in the Father, that sees he also in the Son; and that not by participation, but essentially. And this is [the meaning of] ‘I and the Father are one,’ and ‘he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father.’ Here especially once more it is easy to shew their folly. If it is from virtue, the antecedent of willing and not willing, and of moral progress, that you hold the Son to be like the Father; while these things fall under the category of quality; clearly you call God compound of quality and essence. But who will tolerate you when you say this? For God, who compounded all things to give them being, is not compound, nor of similar nature to the things made by Him through the Word. Far be the thought. For He is simple essence, in which quality is not, nor, as James says, ‘any variableness or shadow of turning47 .’ Accordingly, if it is shewn that it is not from virtue (for in God there is no quality, neither is there in the Son), then He must be proper to God’s essence. And this you will certainly admit if mental apprehension is not utterly destroyed in you. But what is that which is proper to and identical with the essence of God, and an Offspring from it by nature, if not by this very fact coessential with Him that begat it? For this is the distinctive relation of a Son to a Father, and he who denies this, does not hold that the Word is Son in nature and in truth.
9). The Honest Repudiation of Arianism Involves the Acceptance of the Nicene Test.
This then the Fathers perceived when they wrote that the Son was coessential with the Father, and anathematised those who say that the Son is of a different Subsistence48 : not inventing phrases for themselves, but learning in their turn, as we said, from the Fathers who had been before them. But after the above proof, their Ariminian Synod is superfluous, as well as any49 other synod cited by them as touching the Faith. For that of Nicaea is sufficient, agreeing as it does with the ancient bishops also, in which too their fathers signed, whom they ought to respect, on pain of being thought anything but Christians. But if even after such proofs, and after the testimony of the ancient bishops, and the signature of their own Fathers, they pretend as if in ignorance to be alarmed at the phrase ‘coessential,’ then let them say and hold, in simpler terms and truly, that the Son is Son by nature, and anathematise as the synod enjoined those who say that the Son of God is a Creature or a thing made, or of nothing, or that there was once a time when He was not, and that He is mutable and liable to change, and of another Subsistence. And so let them escape the Arian heresy. And we are confident that in sincerely anathematising these views, they ipso facto confess that the Son is of the Father’s Essence, and coessential with Him. For this is why the Fathers, having said that the Son was coessential, straightway added, ‘but those who say that He is a creature, or made, or of nothing, or that there was once a time when He was not,’ the Catholic Church anathematises: namely in order that by this means they might make it known that these things are meant by the word ‘coessential.’ And the meaning ‘Coessential’ is known from the Son not beinga Creature or thing made: and because he that says ‘coessential’ does not hold that the Word is a Creature: and he that anathematises the above views, at the same time holds that the Son is coessential with the Father; and he that calls Him ‘coessential,’ calls the Son of God genuinely and truly so; and he that calls Him genuinely Son understands the texts, ‘I and the Father are one,’ and ‘he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father50 .’
10). Purpose of This Letter; Warning Against Auxentius of Milan.
Now it would be proper to write this at greater length. But since we write to you who know, we have dictated it concisely, praying that among all the bond of peace might be preserved, and that all in the Catholic Church should say and hold the same thing. And we are not meaning to teach, but to put you in mind. Nor is it only ourselves that write, but all the bishops of Egypt and the Libyas, some ninety in number. For we all are of one mind in this, and we always sign for one another if any chance not to be present. Such being our state of mind, since we happened to be assembled, we wrote, both to our beloved Damasus, bishop of the Great Rome, giving an account of Auxentius51 who has intruded upon the church at Milan; namely that he not only shares the Arian heresy, but is also accused of many offences, which he committed with Gregory52 , the sharer of his impiety; and while expressing our surprise that so far he has not been deposed and expelled from the Church, we thanked [Damasus] for his piety and that of those who assembled at the Great Rome, in that by expelling Ursacius and Valens, and those who hold with them, they preserved the harmony of the Catholic Church. Which we pray may be preserved also among you, and therefore entreat you not to tolerate, as we said above, those who put forward a host of synods held concerning the Faith, at Ariminum, at Sirmium, in Isauria, in Thrace, those in Constantinople, and the many irregular ones in Antioch. But let the Faith confessed by the Fathers at Nicaea alone hold good among you, at which all the fathers, including those of the men who now are fighting against it, were present, as we said above, and signed: in order that of us too the Apostle may say, ‘Now I praise you that ye remember me in all things, and as I handed the traditions to you, so ye hold them fast53 .’
11). Godhead of the Spirit Also Involved in the Nicene Creed.
For this Synod of Nicaea is in truth a proscription of every heresy. It also upsets those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit, and call Him a Creature. For the Fathers, after speaking of the faith in the Son, straightway added, ‘And we believe in the Holy Ghost,’ in order that by confessing perfectly and fully the faith in the Holy Trinity they might make known the exact form of the Faith of Christ, and the teaching of the Catholic Church. For it is made clear both among you and among all, and no Christian can have a doubtful mind on the point, that our faith is not in the Creature, but in one God, Father Almighty, maker of all things visible and invisible: and in one Lord Jesus Christ His Only-begotten Son, and in one Holy Ghost; one God, known in the holy and perfect Trinity, baptized into which, and in it united to the Deity, we believe that we have also inherited the kingdom of the heavens, in Christ Jesus our Lord, through whom to the Father be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen).
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.
For the arrangement of the Letters, the reader is referred to the general Table of Contents to this volume. We now give
a. The Historia Acephala or Maffeian fragment, with short introduction.
b. The Chronicon Praevium or Festal Index, with introduction to it and to the Festal Letters.
A.—The Historia Acephala.
This most important document was brought to light in 1738 by the Marchese F. Scipio Maffei († 1755), from a Latin ms. (uncial parchment) in the Chapter Library at Verona. It was reprinted from Maffei’s Osservazioni Letterarie in the Padua edition of Athanasius; also in 1769 by Gallandi (Bibl. Patr. 5,222), from which edition (the reprint in Migne, 26,1443 sqq. being full of serious misprints) the following version has been made. The Latin text (including letters 46, 47, and a Letter of the Council of Sardica) is very imperfect, but the annalist is so careful in his reckonings, and so often repeats himself, that the careful reader can nearly always use the document to make good its own gaps or wrong readings. Beyond this (except the insertion of the consuls for 372, §17 ad fin.) the present editor has not ventured54 to go. The importance and value of the fragment must now be shewn.
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. 2,1) 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, 2,50, Eng. Tr., is therefore in error here).
I would add that the same obvious principle of correcting a dearly 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.
Epiphi 17, 335 (July 11)
Payni 14, 328 (June 8)
Pharmuthi 21, 339 (Apr. 16)
Athyr 27, 337 (Nov. 23)
Mechir 13, 356 (Feb. 8)
Paophi 24, 346 (Oct. 21)
Paophi 27, 362 (Oct. 24)
Mechir 27, 362 (Feb. 21)
Paophi 8, 365 (Oct. 5)
Mechir 19, 364 (Feb. 14)
Mechir 7, 366 (Feb. 1)
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. 5,) 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 Athanasius55 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 authorities56 . 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. 2,§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:
I. 1. The Emperor Constantius also wrote concerning the return of Athanasius, and among the Emperor’s letters this one too is to be found.
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 Prophi xxiv, Coss. Constantius IV, Constans III (October 21, 346); that is after [vii] years vi [months and iii days,] and remained quiet at Alexandria ix57 years iii58 months [and xix days].
II. Now after his return, Coss. Limenius59 and Catulinus (349), Theodore60 , Narcissus61 , 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 Nicomedia62 , 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 east him out; but the people, heating 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 Antioch63 , whence [the partakers] in this secession are called Macedonians, making shipwreck concerning the Holy Spirit.
III. 3. After this time Athanasius, heating that there was to be disturbance against him, the Emperor Constantius64 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 Constantius65 Caesar 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 Constantius66 Augustus to the bishop Athanasius, forbidding him to come to court, on which account the bishop was exceedingly desolate, and the whole people much troubled67 . 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 months68 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 14,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 Mechir69 . 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. Constantius70 VIII and Julianus Caesar I (June 10, 356).
V. 6. And four days after they entered71 the Athanasians were ejected from the Churches, and they were handed over to those who belonged to George72 , and were expecting him as Bishop. So they received the Churches on the xxi day of Pahyni. Moreover George73 arrived at Alexandria, Coss. Constantius74 IX, and Julianus Caesar II, Mechir xxx (Feb. 24, 357), that is, eight months and xi days from when his party received the Churches. So George75 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 George76 was ejected from Alexandria on the x77 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 George78 , and held the Churches two monthsand 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 George79 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 Caesareum, 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 fictions and exiled to return to their towns and provinces. Now this letter was published on the following day Mechir 15,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.
II. 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 Thereu80 . Soon after his departure Olympus the prefect, in obedience to the same81 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 Antinopolis. 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 settled82 , received a letter, and came to Alexandria and entered into the Church on the xix day of Athyr83 Coss. Jovianus and Varronianus. From his leaving Alexandria according to the order of Julian until he arrived on the aforesaid xix day of Athyr84 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 Patricius85 of Nicaea, 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 Seleucius86 and Macedonius, and Hypatian87 , 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 Patricius88 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 beginning89 . 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 Earlier 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 serpents90 , 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 whiteness91 …
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 copies92 ). 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 time93 .
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 River94 . 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 hack 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 days95 , 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 vi96 months and xvii years and97 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 Nicopolis98 , 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).
B.—The Festal Letters, and Their Index Or Chronicon Athanasianum
The latter document is from the hand, it would seem, of the original collector of the Easter Letters of Athanasius (yet see infr. note 6a). He gives, in a paragraph corresponding to each Easter in the episcopate of Athanasius, a summary of the calendar data for the year, a notice of the most important events, and especially particulars as to the Letter for the Easter in question, viz., Whether any peculiar circumstances attended its publication, and whether for some reason the ordinary Letter was omitted.
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. 7,20), and at the Council of Nicaea, 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 15,and Ep 18). This was probably due to the astronomical learning for which Alexandria was famous99 . At any rate we have fragments of the Easter letters of Dionysius and of Theophilus, and a collection of the Letters of Cyril100 .
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 volume101 .
(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 antiquity102 , 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 passe les 46 ans: car pour peu qu’il fust entré dans la 47me année, S. Cyrille auroit dû naturellement luy donner 47 ans103 .’ 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 Scrapion 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. 1? 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 Ep 11, Ep 47 Ep 4, .. 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. 7.1O). Of special importance is the Canon of Holy Scripture in Ep 39, on which see Prolegg. ch. iv § Ep 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 (§ I) 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. 2,p. 50) than Athanasius himself. Its special value is in the points where it agrees with the Hist. Aceph. (supr. Prolegg. ch. 5,), 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 3,with Letter 4,and p. 512, note I, Index 13,with Letter6a 13,!), 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 II. 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, ,37. Antecedent: death of Constantine on previous 22nd of May (i.e. 337 7). (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.
1 (Pr 22,28,
2 (Ex 21,17,
3 (Mt 15,13,
4 (1P 1,25).
5 ii. 13.
6 (Os 8,7, LXX.
7 Eudoxius was at Seleucia, not at Ariminum.
8 See note on §10 infr.
9 Bishop of Beroea in Macedonia Tertia, and from 370–380 successor of Eudoxius as Arian bishop of CP.
10 There were some 400 in all, so that the orthodox majority must have been far more than 200 (see (de Syn. 8, 33). But Gwatkin (Stud. 170, note 3), inclines to accept the statement in the text.
11 i.e. at Niké, 359.
12 (Ex 3,14,
13 uposthmati, Jr 23,18, LXX.
14 upostasei, v. 22.
15 uparxi", Jr 9,10, LXX.
16 (He 1,3).
17 (Ps 14,1,
18 (Jn 1,3,
19 (Col 1,16,
20 (Rm 9,33,
21 This passage repeats in substance the account in de Decr. 19.
23 (1Co 8,6,
24 (2Co 5,17-18,
25 Herm). Mand. 1.
26 Cf). de Decr. §20, ubi supr.
27 (1Co 11,7,
28 (Ps 115,18, 2Co 4,11,
29 dunami", Ex 12,41.
30 (Jl 2,25 Jl 2,
31 dunamewn, Ps 46,7.
33 (Ps 36,9,
34 (Jn 10,30).
35 (Jn 3,31,
36 See de Syn. §43, and de Sent. Dionys. 18, 19, also supr. p. 7.
37 But see Socrates, 2,21, and D.C.B. ii. p. 347.
38 (Jn 10,30, and Jn 14,9,
39 Cf). de Syn. §31 (a chapter added after the death of Constantius). The Anomoean sect, headed by Eunomius, and deriving its intellectual impetus from Aetias, belongs to the second generation of the Arian movement (their watchword is characterised as recent in the creed of Niké, 359 a.d.), and was comparatively unfamiliar to Athanasius. Cf. Prolegg. ch. 2,§8.
40 (Lc 6,36 Mt 5,48,
41 (Ps 83,1, LXX.
42 (Ps 86,8,
43 (Jn 10,35,
44 Jn 10,30.
45 Jn 5,19: the word poiew is taken in the sense of making.
46 (Jn 16,15).
47 (Jc 1,17
49 Omit h with most mss.
50 (Jn 10,30, and Jn 14,9,
51 Auxentius (not in D.C.B). was a native of Cappadocia (Hist. Ar. 75), and had been ordained presbyter at Alexandria by Gregory (next note). Upon the expulsion of the somewhat weak-kneed Dionysius after the council at Milan (355) he was appointed to that see by Constantius, although according to Athanasius (ubi supr.) he knew no Latin, nor any thing else except irreligion (‘a busybody rather than a Christian’). He took a leading part along with Valens and others at the Council of Ariminum (de Syn. 8, 10) and was included in the deposition of Arian leaders by that synod. Under the orthodox Valentinian he maintained his see in spite of the efforts of Philaster, Evagrius, and Eusebius of Vercellae, and in spite of the condemnations passed upon him by various Western synods (362–371, see ad Epict. 1). In 364, Hilary travelled to Milan on purpose to expose him before Valentinian. In a discussion ordered by the latter, Hilary extorted from Auxentius a confession which satisfied the Emperor, but not Hilary himself, whose persistent denunciation of its insincerity caused his dismissal from the town. Auxentius seems after this to have intrigued to obtain Illyrian signatures to the creed? (Niké or Ariminum (Hard). Conc. 1. pp. 771. 773). Upon his death (374) Ambrose was elected bishop of Milan, but was confronted by the Arian party with a rival bishop in the person of a second Auxentius, said to have been a pupil of Ulfilas.
52 The intrusive bishop of Alexandria, 339–346. He had ordained his fellow-countryman Auxentius (Hilar). in Aux. 8).
53 1Co 11,2.
54 The corrections were made before he could obtain the essay carefully and gratefully used, but his text is defective, especially and text of Sievers (Zeitsch. Hist. Theol. 1868), where he now from the accidental omission of one of the key-clauses of the finds them nearly all anticipated. Sievers’ discussion has been whole (§17)).
55 But our annalist gives May 3, while Fest Ind. gives May 2, the day solemnised in the Coptic Martyrologies (Mai, Script. Vett. vol. 4, part 2, pp. 29, 114), and doubtless the right one. Perhaps, if Athanasius died in the night of May 2–3, the former day might be chosen for his commemoration, while our annalist may still be literally exact.
56 See Tillera. 8,719 sqq.
57 Corrected from §§5, 17). infr.; text ‘xvi.’
58 Corrected from §5; text ‘6 months.’
59 Text ‘Hypatius.’
60 Of Heraclea.
61 Cf). Apol. Fug. 1, &c., &c.
62 Bishop of CP. 338–341. On his death Paul was restored, but Maccdonius appointed by the Arians. This was in 341–2. The final expulsion and death of Paul was about the date given in the text; but the events of several years are lumped together without clear distinction.
63 In 360.
64 Text ‘Constans.’ This passage (3–5), is used by Soz. 4,9.
65 Text ‘Constans.’ This passage (3–5), is used by Soz. 4,9.
66 Text ‘Constans.’ This passage (3–5), is used by Soz. 4,9.
67 Fatigatus,’ Soz). etaracqhsan.
68 Cf). Apol. Const. 22; read ii years ii months.
69 Text throughout ‘Methir.’
70 Text ‘Constans.’ This passage (3–5), is used by Soz. 4,9.
71 Supr. p. 290.
72 Text ‘Gregory;’ §§6, 7 are used by Soz. 4,10, §8 by Soz. 5,7.
73 Text ‘Gregory;’ §§6, 7 are used by Soz. 4,10, §8 by Soz. 5,7.
74 Text ‘Constans.’ This passage (3–5), is used by Soz. 4,9.
75 Text ‘Gregory;’ §§6, 7 are used by Soz. 4,10, §8 by Soz. 5,7.
76 Text ‘Gregory;’ §§6, 7 are used by Soz. 4,10, §8 by Soz. 5,7.
77 Read. ‘34th.’
78 Text ‘Gregory;’ §§6, 7 are used by Soz. 4,10, §8 by Soz. 5,7.
79 Text ‘Gregory;’ §§6, 7 are used by Soz. 4,10, §8 by Soz. 5,7.
80 Compare ‘Chereu’ in Vit. Ant. 86.
81 The previous reference to him has dropped out; see Fest. Ind. xxxv.
82 Used by Soz. 6,5.
83 Read Mechir, i.e. Feb. 14, 364.
84 Read Mechir, i.e. Feb. 14, 364.
85 Can this be the Hypatius of Philst. ix. 19? For Heliodorus and Stephen see Hist Ar. p. 294; de Syn. 12; Theod). H.E. 2,28 and Gwatkin, Studies, pp. 226, 180 note.
86 i.e. Eleusius.
87 i.e. Eustathius.
88 Can this be the Hypatius of Philst. ix. 19? For Heliodorus and Stephen see Hist Ar. p. 294; de Syn. 12; Theod). H.E. 2,28 and Gwatkin, Studies, pp. 226, 180 note.
89 Lat. ‘dominio’ for arch.
90 Cf. Mt 3,7.
91 Text imperfect, ‘Externo autem conniventes oculos egressi.’
92 i.e. the memoranda printed as Appendix to Letter 56. §14 is used, but badly, by Soz. 6,5).
93 §§15, 16 are used by Soz. vi, 12.
94 i.e. in the western suburb.
95 i.e. July 11, 335, to Nov 23, 337, see above, p. 496.
96 Migne 11,(misprint).
97 The following 14 words are left out by an error in Sievers.
98 A short distance east of Alexandria, see Dict, Gr. and Rm Geog. s.v).
99 (So Leo Magnus ( Marcian. Imp.) ‘apud Aegyptios huius supputationis antiquitus tradita peritia.’
100 We trace differences of opinion in spite of the authority of the Alexandrian Pope in ‘Index’ xii, 15,xxi, and Ep. 18.
101 Further details in Migne, P.G. xxvi. 1339 sqq. and Preface (by Williams?) to Oxford Transl. of Fest. Epp. (Parker, 1854).
102 The very late Arabic Life of Ath. alone gives 47 (Migne 25,p. ccli)., a statement which we may safely ignore in view of the general character of the document which is ‘crowded with incredible trivialities and follies’ (Montf)., outbidding by tar the ‘unparalleled rubbish’ (id). of the worst of the Greek biographies (see (Migne 25,p. liv). sq.).
103 The italics are ours. Cf. Rufin). H.E. ii. 3, ‘xlvi anno sacerdotii sui.’
The following Tables bear specially on the Festal Index.
Table C). The Egyptian Year.
After the final settlement of Egypt by Augustus as a province of the Roman Empire, the use of the Julian form of computation was established in Alexandria, the first day of the new Calendar being fixed to the 28th of August, the 1st of Thot of the year in which the innovation took place; from which period, six, instead of five, supplementary days were added at the end of every fourth year; so that the form of the Alexandrian year was as follows). The months from Phamenoth 5 (Mar. 1) onwards arc unaffected by leap-year.
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 strewn above. (See Ideler, vol. I, pp. 161, 164, also 140, 142).
N.B.—The Year of our Lord, the Golden Numbers, and Dominical Letter, and the date of Easter according to theModern Reckoning, are added. The age of the Moon on Easter-day is apparently given from observations or reckoned by somelost system (see (Index x. xxii).; in about one case out of three it varies from the modern reckoning, perhaps once or twice from corruption of text. The Epact is a day too little for 342, 344, 361, 362, 363 (see (Galle in Larsow ;). F.B. 48, sqq.).
Moon on Mar. 22).
XVIII Kal. Mai
VIII Id. April
XIII Kal. Mai
III Id. April
IV Non. April
XVI I Kal. Mai
VII Id. April
III Kal. April
XIV Kal. Mai
III Non. April
VII Kal. April
XVII Kal. Mai
III Kal. April
XIII Kal. Mai
III Id. April
VI Kal. April
XVII Kal. Mai
VII Id. April
III Kal. April
Prid. Id. April
III Non. April
VII Kal. April
VI Id. April
Prid. Kal. April
XIII Kal. Mai
III Id April
VI Kal. April
XVI Kal. Mai
VII Id. April
X Kal. April
Prid Id. April
Prid. Non. April
IX Kal. Mai
VI Id. April
Prid. Kal. April
XII Kal. Mai
Prid. Non. April
VI Kal. April
XVI Kal. Mai
XII Kal. Mai
Prid. Id. April
V Kal. April
XV Kal. Mai
VI Id. April
Prid. Kal. April
An Index of the months of each year, and of the days, and of the and of the Consulates, and of the Governors in Alexandria, and of all the Epacts, and of those [days] which are named ‘of the (Gods).’ and the reason [any Letter] was not sent, and the returns from exile—from the Festal Letters of Pope Athanasius.
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 Praefect 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; 8,Id. Ap.; xii Moon; Coss. Constantinus Aug. viii, Constantinus Caes. IV; the same governor Zenius being Praefect of Egypt; Indict. ii; Epact vi; Gods, 2,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 theDiocletian era.
II. (329–330). In this year, Easter-day was on xxiv Pharmuthi; xiii Kal. blat; xv Moon; Coss. Gallicianus, Symmachus; the governor Magninianus the Cappadocian being Praefect of Egypt; Indict. iii; Epact xvii; Gods, 3,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, Praefect of Egypt; Epact xxviii; Indict. 4,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, 6,Coss. Pacatianus, Hilarianus; the same governor Hyginus, Praefect of Egypt; Indict. 5,In this year he went through Pentapolis, and was in Ammoniacal
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, Praefect 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 Praefect 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 Caesarea of Palestine; hut 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, Praefect 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, Praefect 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 Caesar, 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, Praefect 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(fl) Moon, Indict. xi; Epact xv; Gods, vi; Coss. Ursus, Polemius; the governor Theodorus, of Heliopolis, Praefect 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, Praefect 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, Praefect 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; 13,Kal. Mai; Epact xviii; Gods, iii; Indict. xiv; Coss. Marcellinus, Probinus; the governor Longinus, of Nicaea, Praefect 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 Nicaea, Praefects 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 Nicaea, Praefect 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, Praefects of Egypt; Indict. 2,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; 7,Id. Ap.; Epact ii; Gods, i; Indict. iii; Coss. Amantius, Albinus; the governor Nestorius of Gaza, Praefects 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, Praefect 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, Praefect 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, Praefect 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. 7,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, Praefect 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, Praefect of Egypt. John 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. i Epact ix; Gods, i; Indict. ix; the Consulship after that of Sergius and Nigrianus; the same governor Nestorius of Gaza, again Praefects 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 Caesar I; the same governor Nestorius of Gaza, Praefects of Egypt. Gallus was proclaimed Caesar, 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 Caesar II; the governor Sebastianus of Thrace, praefect 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 Pharmuthi; xvii Moon; vi Kal. Ap.; Epact xii; Gods, v; Indict. xii; Coss Constantius Aug. VII Constantius Caesar III.; the same governor Sebastianus of Thrace, Praefect 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 Nicaea, 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 Caesar I; the same governor Maximus the Elder of Nicaea, Praefects 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 Caesar II; the same governor Cataphronius, of Byblus, Praefect 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, Praefect 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(fl) Pharmuthi; Prid. Non. Ap.; xx Moon; Epact viii 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 Caesar III; the governor Faustinus, of Chalcedon, Praefect of Egypt. This Praefect and Artemius Dux, having entered a private house and a small cell, in search of Athanasius the Bishop, bitterly tortured Eudaemonis, 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, Praefect 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; Cods, 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. I 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, Praefects 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, Praefect 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 Caesareum; 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 Praefect 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, Praefects On the twenty-seventh of Epiphi, the heathen made an attack, and the Caesareum 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 bad 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 Praefect 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, Praefects He [Athan.] began to build anew the Caesareum, 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;