Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Series II/Volume IV/Apology to the Emperor/Apologia Ad Constantium/Chapter 4

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4. The movements of Athanasius refute this charge.

This certainly is sufficient for proof, yet suffer me nevertheless to lay before you an account of my travels, which will further lead you to condemn the unfounded calumnies of my opponents. When I left Alexandria[1], I did not go to your brother’s head-quarters, or to any other persons, but only to Rome; and having laid my case before the Church (for this was my only concern), I spent my time in the public worship. I did not write to your brother, except when Eusebius and his fellows had written to him to accuse me, and I was compelled while yet at Alexandria to defend myself; and again when I sent to him volumes[2] containing the holy Scriptures, which he had ordered me to prepare for him. It behoves me, while I defend my conduct, to tell the truth to your Piety. When however three years had passed away, he wrote to me in the fourth year[3], commanding me to meet him (he was then at Milan); and upon enquiring the cause (for I was ignorant of it, the Lord is my witness), I learnt that certain Bishops[4] had gone up and requested him to write to your Piety, desiring that a Council might be called. Believe me, Sire, this is the truth of the matter; I lie not. Accordingly I went down to Milan, and met with great kindness from him; for he condescended to see me, and to say that he had despatched letters to you, requesting that a Council might be called. And while I remained in that city, he sent for me again into Gaul (for the father Hosius was going thither), that we might travel from thence to Sardica. And after the Council, he wrote to me while I continued at Naissus[5], and I went up, and abode afterwards at Aquileia; where the letters of your Piety found me. And again, being invited thence by your departed brother, I returned into Gaul, and so came at length to your Piety.


Footnotes[edit]

  1. [a.d. 339.]
  2. πύκτια, a bound book, vid. Montf. Coll. Nov. infr. Tillemont (t. viii. p. 86.) considers that Athan. alludes in this passage to the Synopsis Scr. Sacr. which is among his works; but Montfaucon, Collect. Nov. t. 2. p. xxviii. contends that a copy of the Gospels is spoken of. [cf. D.C.B. i. 651.]
  3. [a.d. 342.]
  4. Tillemont supposes that Constans was present at the Council of Milan [345], at which Eudoxius, Martyrius, and Macedonius, sent to the west with the Eusebian Creed, made their appearance to no purpose. [But this was long after the events related in the text, cf. Prolegg. ii. §6, sub. fin.]
  5. [Easter 344, see Fest. Ind. xvi.] Naissus was situated in Upper Dacia, and according to some was the birthplace of Constantine. The Bishop of the place, Gaudentius, whose name occurs among the subscriptions at Sardica, had protected S. Paul of Constantinople and incurred the anathemas of the Easterns at Philippopolis. Hil. Fragm. iii. 27.