Reference numbers Urk. 4a
Doc. 2.1
CPG 2001
Incipit: Εἰ καὶ φθάσοντες
Date: c. 318
Ancient source: Athanasius, Defense of the Nicene Definition 34
Modern edition used H-G. Opitz, Athanasius Werke, vol. 2.1 (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1940).


Alexander, to his assembled and beloved brethren, the priests and deacons of Alexandria, and the Mareotis.  Greetings in the Lord.

(1.)Indeed, you have already subscribed to the letter I addressed previously to Arius’s supporters, in which I encouraged them to renounce his impiety, and to submit themselves to the sound catholic faith.  You have shown your right commitment to and agreement with the doctrines of the catholic church.  Yet, since I have written also to our fellow-ministers in every place concerning those supporting Arius, I decided that I needed to assemble you, the clergy of the city, and to send for you the clergy of the Mareotis.  (2.) This was especially needed since some in your own ranks – the priests Chares and Pistus and the deacons Serapion, Parammon, Zosimus, and Irenæus – have joined themselves with the Arian faction, and devoted themselves to undergo destruction with them.  You need to learn what I am now writing, and to testify your agreement to it and to vote together for the deposition of those supporting Arius and Pistus.  (3.) For it is desirable that you understand what I write, and that each of you have a heart-felt adherence to it, as though each had written it himself.

Translation from NPNF2 vol. 4 p. 69, adapted by GLT

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