Back to Documents Concerning the Melitian Schism

Date 335
Ancient Source(s) Athanasius, Ap. 78

To the most illustrious Count Flavius Dionysius, from the bishops of the catholic Church in Egypt who have come to Tyre.

We suppose that the conspiracy which has been formed against us by Eusebius, Theognius, Maris, Narcissus, Theodorus, Patrophilus and their fellows, is no longer uncertain. From the very beginning we all objected, through our fellow minister Athanasius, to the holding of the enquiry in their presence, knowing that the presence of even one enemy only, much more of many, is able to disturb and injure the hearing of a cause. For their enmity which they entertain is manifest, not only towards us, but also towards all the orthodox, because they direct their assaults, they form conspiracies against all. And when, being confident in the truth, we desired to show the falsehood which the Melitians had employed against the Church, Eusebius and his fellows endeavored by some means or other to interrupt our representations and strove eagerly to set aside our testimony, threatening those who gave an honest judgment and insulting others, for the sole purpose of carrying out the design they had against us. Your goodness was probably ignorant of the conspiracy which they have formed against us, but we suppose that it has now been made manifest. For indeed they have themselves plainly disclosed it; for they desired to send to the Mareotis those of their party who are suspected by us, so that, while we were absent and remained here, they might disturb the people and accomplish what they wished. They knew that Arian madmen, Colluthians, and Melitians were enemies of the Church, and therefore they were anxious to send them, that in the presence of our enemies, they might devise against us whatever schemes they pleased. And those of the Melitians who are here, even four days previously (as they knew that this enquiry was about to take place), dispatched at evening two individuals of their own party, as couriers, for the purpose of collecting Melitians out of Egypt into the Mareotis, because there were none at all there, and Colluthians, and Arian madmen from other parts, and to prepare them to speak against us. And your goodness knows that he himself confessed before you, that he had not more that seven persons in his congregation. When therefore we heard that after they had made what preparations they pleased against us, and had sent these suspected persons, they were going about to each of the Bishops and requiring their subscriptions, in order that it might appear that this was done with the consent of them all; for this reason we hastened to refer the matter to your honor and to present this our testimony, declaring that we are the objects of a conspiracy, under which we are suffering by and through them, and demanding of you that having in your mind the fear of God, and the pious commands of our most religious Emperor, you would no longer tolerate these persons, but condemn their conduct in sending whom they pleased without our consent.

I Adamantius Bishop have subscribed this letter, Ischyras, Ammon, Peter Ammonianus, Tyrannus, Taurinus, Sarapammon, Aelurion, Harpocration, Moses, Optatus, Anubion, Saprion, Apollonius, Ischyrion, Arbaethion, Potamon, Paphnutius, Heraclides, Theodorus, Agathammon, Gaius, Pistus, Athas, Nicon, Pelagius, Theon, Paninuthius, Nonnus, Ariston, Theodorus, Irenaeus, Blastammon, Philippus, Apollos, Dioscorus, Timotheus of Diospolis, Macarius, Heraclammon, Cronius, Myis, Jacobus, Ariston, Artemidorus, Phinees, Psais, Heraclides.

Translation from NPNF2 vol. 4, p. 141-2

Adapted by SMT

Last updated: 2-4-2011

Previous DocumentNext Document

No Responses yet