Author Topic: Primary Sources Concering the Personality of Saint Athanasius of Alexandria  (Read 2309 times)

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Offline Severian

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Many modern critics of Saint Athanasius claim he used violence and persecution to achieve victory over his enemies and for personal gain. Is there any truth to this? Could someone produce primary sources concerning his personality and conduct towards his enemies?
« Last Edit: August 10, 2012, 07:57:49 PM by Severian »
"I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die [...] These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." -The Lord Jesus Christ

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Offline Asteriktos

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Though it is by St. Athanasius himself, Apologia de Fuga (Defense of His Flight) might be of some interest to you regarding this topic...
« Last Edit: August 10, 2012, 07:55:48 PM by Asteriktos »

Offline Asteriktos

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Historians from not long after St. Athanasius that discuss him (d. 373)...

Sulpitius Severus (finished c. 403) - Sacred History, 2, 36-39
Socrates Scholasticus (finished c. 439) - Ecclesiastical History, Books 1-4
Sozomen (finished c. 443) - Ecclesiastical History, Books 2-6
Theodoret (finished mid-5th century) - Ecclesiastical History, Books 1-4
« Last Edit: August 11, 2012, 12:30:04 AM by Asteriktos »

Offline ialmisry

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Many modern critics of Saint Athanasius claim he used violence and persecution to achieve victory over his enemies and for personal gain. Is there any truth to this? Could someone produce primary sources concerning his personality and conduct towards his enemies?
Many of his admirers say the same thing, at least the "victory over his enemies" part.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline Severian

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Historians from not long after St. Athanasius that discuss him (d. 373)...

Sulpitius Severus (finished c. 403) - Sacred History, 2, 36-39
Socrates Scholasticus (finished c. 439) - Ecclesiastical History, Books 1-4
Sozomen (finished c. 443) - Ecclesiastical History, Books 2-6
Theodoret (finished mid-5th century) - Ecclesiastical History, Books 1-4
Could you condense what they had to say about him into an easy-to-appreciate post? Thanks.
"I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die [...] These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." -The Lord Jesus Christ

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Offline Asteriktos

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Historians from not long after St. Athanasius that discuss him (d. 373)...

Sulpitius Severus (finished c. 403) - Sacred History, 2, 36-39
Socrates Scholasticus (finished c. 439) - Ecclesiastical History, Books 1-4
Sozomen (finished c. 443) - Ecclesiastical History, Books 2-6
Theodoret (finished mid-5th century) - Ecclesiastical History, Books 1-4
Could you condense what they had to say about him into an easy-to-appreciate post? Thanks.

I don't remember Socrates or Sozomen well enough to just do it off the top of my head (and the other two I've only read excerpts of). Let me bookmark this thread and I'll go over them a bit at a time, and I'll post back here anything that seems relevant. Do you need it sooner or can it be a bit later?

Offline Severian

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It can be later. Don't worry, no rush...

Maybe I'll decide to not be so lazy and read them myself. :D
"I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die [...] These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." -The Lord Jesus Christ

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Offline Asteriktos

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Well, I didn't really see a lot about what you are asking about, it was mostly just history about the Arian controversy, condemnations, interference from emperors, exiles, and so forth as it was done to St. Athanasius and those who supported him. Not a lot about how St. Athanasius acted when he would have had the power to return the favors. I mean, they clearly favored St. Athanasius (Sulpicius, just thirty years after the death of St. Athanasius, was already calling him "a holy man" [SH 2.36] and a great man [SH 2.37]), but there isn't a lot about St. Athanasius as a person in there.