Libmonster ID: U.S.-1502
Author(s) of the publication: A. I. Pavlovskaya

Archbishop Athanasius of Alexandria went down in history as an outstanding church figure, and his name is associated with a tense and long struggle with Arianism on the most important trinitarian issue for Christianity at that time. The definition of faith formulated at the Council of Nicaea - "dogma 318 of the Holy Fathers", which stated that God the father and God the Son are consubstantial, and which Athanasius actively participated in defending already at this council, accompanying Archbishop Alexander (as a deacon), was repeatedly discussed and modified at subsequent church councils and each time in one way or another arose the question of Athanasius, his removal or reinstatement as Bishop of Alexandria. In the extant writings of Athanasius, the most important place is also occupied by the refutation of the "Arian heresy" and the argumentation of the main provisions of the Nicene dogmas. Naturally, this aspect of Archbishop Athanasius ' activity, as well as his role in the religious and political life of the Roman Empire in the middle of the fourth century, primarily attracts the attention of researchers .1 But I would like to draw your attention to the activities of Athanasius within his diocese, to the situation within the diocese and above all in Egypt (I want to warn readers that I have not previously studied the history of the church and, of course, may not know any special studies). It is from this point of view that I will try to examine the biographical information about Athanasius preserved in the sources and the rich material of his writings, which reveals not only his ideological ideas, but also his relationship with the surrounding world, primarily with his diocese, as well as information about Christianity from documentary papyri of the fourth century.

Athanasius tells almost nothing about himself and his life outside the framework of church activities. His "Life", compiled by Simeon Metaphrastus 2, oche-

1 See, for example: Spassky A. History of dogmatic movements in the era of Ecumenical Councils (in connection with the philosophical teachings of that time). A trinitarian question. Sergiev Posad, 1914. and also a review of modern literature in art.: Sidorov A. I. Arianism in the light of modern research. VDI. 1988. N 2. With the collection of articles " Politique et theologie chez Athanase d'Alexandrie "(Ed. Ch. Kannengiesser. Paris, 1974) - I did not manage to get acquainted.

2 For Simeon Metaphrastus, see Popova T. V. Antique biography and Byzantine hagiography // Antiquity and Byzantium, Moscow, 1975, p. 243 sll.

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apparently, it was formed on the basis of the stories of his contemporaries and followers. In the earliest extant work on the history of the Christian Church, the writings of Eusebius Pamphilus, bishop of the Church of Caesarea, written in 310-340, there is no mention of Athanasius, and this is obviously not accidental: his attitude towards Athanasius was hardly benevolent. Socrates Scholasticus, describing the childhood and youth of Athanasius, relies on Rufin (Rufin. N. E. I. 14). Rufinus, as is known, lived in Alexandria in 372-377 and was on friendly terms with people who were part of Athanasius ' entourage. Referring to him ("this is how Rufinus speaks of Athanasius in his writings - and this is not improbable, because such things are often told about" - Socr. Sch. N. E. I. 15), Socrates writes 3 that even as a child Athanasius and his peers "played a sacred game: it was a sacred game." imitation of the priesthood and the initiated class. In this game, Athanasius received the episcopal throne, and each of the other children represented either a presbyter or a deacon." Bishop Alexander of Alexandria, who was passing by, saw this game, called the children to him and, by their role in the game, "tried to find out something about their characteristics". He ordered their parents to take the children to church and teach them, especially Athanasius (ibid.). These brief accounts of Athanasius ' youth, preserved in ancient historiography, were recounted in the tenth century by Simeon Metaphrastus in the life of the Archbishop of Alexandria and later included in the Acta Sanctorum and Vitae Sanctorum Patrum, as well as in Metropolitan Makarii's Great Minei Chetii and Demetrius of Rostov's Chetii Minei .4 Based on ancient and Byzantine sources, researchers believe that Athanasius was born in 293 to a Greek Christian family and may have attended the Didascalia of Alexandria .5

Athanasius spent his childhood and youth in a difficult environment. The last decade of the third and early fourth centuries were very difficult for Alexandria and Egypt. The decline in the value of the Alexandrian coin and the rise in the price of bread, which began in the country in the late 270s, 6 primarily affected the situation of the urban population, arousing discontent among the poor. The Blemmian raids on Egypt's southern borders caused unrest in Coptic and Busiris. In the mid-290s, unrest swept almost all of Egypt, and a certain Lucius Domitius Domitian was proclaimed emperor in Alexandria. and in The Thebaid, Achilleus led the revolt as a military commander, called in the papyri (=corrector). Such a title was supposed to indicate the intention of the new government to correct something, to improve the life of the population, and this already allows us to conclude that the events went beyond the military coup .7 Sources report that Diocletian subdued Alexandria only 8 months later, and then marched to the southern borders of Egypt, severely punishing the rebels (Eutropius IX. 22-23; Aurelius Victor. XXXIX. 33).

Having pacified Egypt, Diocletian carried out very significant tax and administrative reforms: Egypt was divided into three provinces, civil power was separated from the military, the administrative apparatus grew, and control over the population increased.-

3 References in the subsequent text of the article to the works of Eusebius Pamphilus and Socrates Scholasticus are quoted from translations into Russian in the publications: Works of Eusebius Pamphilus / Translated from Greek at the St. Petersburg Theological Academy. T. I. St. Petersburg, 1848; Church History of Socrates Scholasticus. St. Petersburg, 1850.

4 See Derzhavin A." Chetii Minei " svyatitelya Demetrii, mitropolita Rostovskogo, kak tserkovno-istoricheskii i literaturnyi pamyatnik ["Chetii Minei" of St. Demetrius, Metropolitan of Rostov, as a Church-historical and literary monument]. 1977. XVI. p. 46-141.

5 See Spassky. Uk. soch. p. 263 sl.; Florensky G. V. Vostochnye Ottsy IV-go veka. R., 1990. p. 26; Gorsky L. V. Zhizn sv. Afanasy Velikogo [The Life of St. Athanasius the Great, Archbishop of Alexandria]. Ch.I-IV. Holy Trinity St. Sergius Lavra, 1902-1903 = reprint edition of the Works-Vol. 1. Moscow, 1994. pp. 24-25. In the article, the works of Archbishop Athanasius are quoted in the Greek translations of the 1994 edition.

6 See A. I. Pavlovskaya, Egyptian Choir in the fourth Century, Moscow, 1979.

Pavlovskaya A. I. 7 Reklechenie sotsial'no-politicheskoi borby v Egipte v privatnoy perepiske i petitiyakh [Reflection of the socio-political struggle in Egypt in private correspondence and petitions]. VDI. 1988. N 1.pp. 43-55.

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tax reforms, such as the introduction of a head tax and a new form of land taxation, were particularly difficult for the population: instead of the traditional practice of paying a certain share of the crop (the amount of which depended on the level of water rising in the Nile during a flood), a fixed tax quota was introduced - one and a half artabs from the royal land, At the same time, the responsibility for collecting and delivering taxes was assigned to the villagers (see R. Cairo Isidor I-Edict of the Prefect Aristius Optatus). This led, in the event of a low flood, to massive debt, ruin, and the flight of farmers to the city, desert, farms and under the protection of rich owners of private land. Following the tax reform, a census of population and land was conducted, which, according to Lactantius, was perceived by the population as a public disaster (De mort. persec. XXIII). Already in the first years of the fourth century. bread prices started rising again.

Such was the situation in Egypt in the childhood of Athanasius. And if he could not yet perceive it, then his parents and their environment were undoubtedly affected by it. People sought refuge in the midst of the difficulties and misfortunes that oppressed them, and such a refuge they found in the Christian Church, which consoled them and promised that in the afterlife they would find compensation (if not material, then spiritual) for all earthly misfortunes. And in addition, local Christian communities continued to preserve the traditions of early Christianity to varying degrees-they supported their poor members and beggars .8

Athanasius grew up in a Christian environment, so in games with his peers, he imitated what he saw in the church, and thanks to a tenacious memory, he repeated what he heard there and thereby attracted the attention of Bishop Alexander, which determined his future fate. But when did this happen? Apparently, before the persecution of Christians or in the first years of persecution, which began in 303-304, because it is unlikely that such games during the persecution were safe for children and, to a greater extent, for their parents. According to the reports of Eusebius (Euseb.n. E. VIII. 2), the persecution unfolded gradually: the first edict, issued on February 24, 303, ordered the destruction of churches (and immediately the church in Nicomedia was destroyed), the holy books were taken away, Christians were deprived of their posts, the title of honestiores, they were deprived of civil rights and judicial protection of their property, they were allowed to be tortured, Christian servants were converted to slavery, Christian slaves were denied the right to emancipation. This edict seems to have been directed against Christians in the inner circle of the emperors, the nobles, and their servants. A second edict followed a little later, which ordered that the clergy of the church - bishops, presbyters, deacons, readers - should be imprisoned, forced to offer sacrifices to pagan gods, and those who had made the sacrifice should be released. Then in 304 (apparently with the aggravation of the situation), the compulsion to offer sacrifices to pagan gods was extended to all Christians, 9 under the threat of torture.

There is no doubt that the edicts concerning the church clergy and ordinary Christians significantly affected the population of Alexandria and Egypt. But the persecution in Egypt was not as widespread as it is portrayed by Eusebius of Caesarea (CE VIII.8-10), reporting hundreds and thousands of Christians who were tortured, executed, and exiled to the mines. The specific facts he cites show that the victims were primarily church leaders, Christian officials who were opposed to the central or local authorities, and rich Christians convicted on denunciations of their enemies, whose property confiscation could replenish the imperial treasury. So, among the dead is Eusebius

8 The emperor Julian, for example, writes about this in a letter to the high priest Galatius: "It is a disgrace ...if the wicked Galileans (as he calls Christians) are not so. - A. P.) feed not only their own, but also our own, and our own are deprived of our own help" (Juliani Imp. Epistulae. 84. 430 d-see VDI. 1970. N 2. P. 259. Translated by D. E. Furman).

9 It is possible that, in an effort to strengthen the empire not only by military and administrative measures, but also by ideological measures, the tetrarchs, like their predecessors, considered the main method in this regard to check the loyalty of subjects to state cults.

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Names katalikos (administrator of the imperial estate in Egypt) Philorom and Bishop Phileas of Tmuitsk, "famous for their wealth, nobility, dignity, eloquence and philosophy" (N.E. VIII. 9), as well as Bishops Pileus and Nile, who died in the Arabian mines, and Bishops Hesychius, Pachomius, Theodore, and Presbyters Faustus, Dius, and Hermas, who were executed and died from torture (n. E. VIII. 13). Some bishops and presbyters who were imprisoned and exiled survived the persecution, like Bishop Melitius of Lycopolis, and many were able to take refuge, including Bishops Achilles and Alexander, who later became archbishops of Alexandria (apparently, Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea, who, according to him, visited Alexandria during the persecution, - N.Y. VIII. 9). Archbishop Peter 10 , who died only after the resumption of persecution under Maximinus, i.e. after 310, was also in hiding.

Very interesting message from Athanasius: in the "Life of St. John the Baptist" compiled by him. He tells us that during these persecutions the hermit Anthony left his monastery in order "to fight if we are called, or to see those who fight." The judge, noticing the guardianship of Anthony and the monks who were with him about the Christians brought to trial and punished, " ordered that none of the monks should appear in the court and that they should not stay in the city at all. Everyone else thought it best to hide that day. Antony is the same... and the next day, standing in front of everyone on a high place, he appeared before the hegemon in clean clothes. When everyone marveled at this, even the hegemon saw him, and with his soldiers passed by him, he stood there without trembling, thus showing our Christian zeal... For it was desirable for him to become a martyr" (Athanasius. Creations. III. p. 216). But the hegemon (duk) and his soldiers passed by, and again Athanasius began to "serve the confessors", i.e. Christians who were subjected to judicial persecution and torment.

Athanasius probably related the actual event, and this account strongly proves, first, that the persecution was not directed against any Christian, and, second, that the population of Alexandria, including the judge, Douk, and his soldiers, did not show hostility to people, possibly Christians, who supported the "confessors". Consequently, the persecutions initiated by the imperial authorities were directed against certain groups of Christians in this province, and were more or less clearly political in nature. The persecution, which lasted for quite a long time-about 6 years, during which there were significant changes in the ruling imperial circles, led to the death of the most zealous and influential supporters of Christianity and, to some extent, to the weakening of the organizational and moral pillars of the church: the authority of the bishops who were hiding during the persecution was shaken. Thus, in Egypt, especially in The Thebaid, there were conditions for the appearance of "Melithians", supporters of Bishop Melitius of Lycopolis, a" confessor " who did not submit to the Alexandrian archbishops after the end of the persecution .11

One might think that the period of persecution was a turning point in the life of young Athanasius. As already mentioned, his meeting with Bishop Alexander probably took place before the beginning of the persecution, i.e. when Athanasius was 10-11 years old. But the possibility of children's games during the persecution is not excluded, taking into account the contagiousness of Christian fanaticism for children, with which they went to torment in the name of their beliefs and faith. However, the report that children organized games annually in memory of Archbishop Peter is erroneous (or not related to Athanasius ' peers), since Peter died in November 311 after the resumption of persecution of Christians by the Emperor Maximin. By this time Afanasy was at least 17-18 years old. G. V. Florovsky writes that

10 This is stated by V. V. Bolotov, referring to the "Documents of Verona", he considers Epiphanius ' report that Peter and Melitius (as he believes it is correct to write this name) were together in prison to be erroneous-see Bolotov V. V. Lectures on the History of the Ancient Church. II. History of the Church in the period before Konstantin V. St. Petersburg, 1910. p. 424.

11 For Melitia, see Bolotov. Uk. soch. pp. 423-428. See also: Hauben N. La premiere annee du schisme melitien (305/306) / / Ancient society. 1989. 20. P. 267-280; Martin A. Les conditions de la readmission du clerge melitien par Ie Concile de Nicee // Ibid. P. 281-290.

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Athanasius was noticed early by Bishop Alexander, lived in his house, and under his guidance was educated by grammarians and rhetoricians. [12 ] According to Gregory of Nazianzus (the Theologian), he "studied the secular sciences, but for a short time, so as not to appear completely inexperienced and ignorant of what he considered despicable" (Orat. XXI). Athanasius entered the clergy early: at first he was an anagnost (reader), then a deacon and archdeacon (Theodorit. N. E. I. 26); describing Athanasius, Theodoret writes that he was "a man imbued with divine teaching from childhood and passed with special dignity all the degrees of the church rank "(ibid. 13 ).

As already mentioned, in 325, Athanasius accompanied Archbishop Alexander to the Council of Nicaea and together with him actively participated in defending the creed formulated at the council, based on the doctrine of the consubstantiality of God the Father and God the Son. Shortly after the Council of Nicaea, Archbishop Alexander died, and in 328 Athanasius was elected Archbishop of Alexandria .

How could it happen that a recent deacon, who was very young compared to other bishops and presbyters - he was no more than 35 years old-turned out to be the head of such an important church-the diocese of Alexandria and its diocese (Egypt, Thebes, Pentapolis and Libya)? This" leap " in the career of Athanasius was due to a number of reasons. Apparently, a big role was played by the recommendation of Archbishop Alexander, whose assistant (secretary?) for many years there was Athanasius. It may be assumed that even as a deacon, he acquired the sympathy of the flock, since the duties of the deacon, who was in charge of the church's property and treasury, included helping widows, orphans and the poor. Undoubtedly, his participation in the discussion of religion at the Council of Nicaea was of considerable importance, as well as his apologetic works "The Word against the Gentiles" and "The Word about the Incarnation of God the Word and his Coming to us in the Flesh", written by him before his trip to the council (according to G. V. Florovsky, in 317-319). 15 ). Although Theodoret writes (n.E. I. 26) that Athanasius passed "with special dignity all the degrees of the ecclesiastical rank", this does not mean that before his election to the episcopate he had the rank of presbyter. V. V. Bolotov notes the repeated cases of filling vacant episcopal sees with archdeacons16, but among the names mentioned by him the first is indicated Athanasius. Athanasius ' election was hardly unanimous: apart from the supporters of Arius, whose condemnation at the Council of Nicaea he actively promoted, Bishop Melitius of Lycopolis and his followers were also hostile to Athanasius. Melitius, who claimed the archiepiscopal see, arbitrarily performed the chaerotony of presbyters in some churches of Thebes and Egypt, and although his willfulness was condemned at the Council of Nicaea, both he and his supporters retained their titles. Thus, the position of Athanasius as archbishop turned out to be quite difficult.

The Council of Nicaea, after condemning Melitius, confirmed the submission of the churches of Egypt, Thebes, Libya and Pentapolis to the Bishop of Alexandria. At this time, the Diocese of Alexandria included more than 100 bishops: already in 320-321, Archbishop Alexander in his message on the decisions of the Council of Alexandria, which condemned Arius and his son.

12 See Florensky. Uk. op. p. 26.

13 Theodoret's writings are quoted from the publication: Theodoret, Bishop of Kyra. Church History, Moscow, 1993.

14 The "Table of Contents "to the" Holiday Epistles " states that Archbishop Alexander died on Farmuth 22 (after Easter), 328, and on Pawnee 14 of the same year (i.e., 50 days later) he was elected to the see of Archbishop Athanasius of the Diocese of Alexandria (Works III. p. 377). On the differences of opinion among church historians about the date of his election as archbishop (in 326 or 328), see Spassky. Uk. op. p. 263. Note 1.

Florensky. 15 Uk. op. p. 28. On these works of Athanasius, see Meijering E. P. Orthodoxy and Platonism in Athanasius. Synthesis or Antithesis? Leiden, 1968.

Bolotov. 16 Cc. op. p. 166. See also Socr. Sch. N. E. II. 6 on the possibility of electing an archbishop from among the deacons.

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He writes that the bishops of Egypt and Libya participated in the council "in the number of about a hundred" (Socr. Sch. N. E. I. 6). We will try to find out from the sources at our disposal specific information about the location of churches within the Diocese of Alexandria. In Alexandria itself, even before the persecution, in addition to the main church, where the archbishop led the divine service, there were other prayer centers headed by presbyters (for example, they are referred to as the Alexandrian presbyters Arius, Kolluthus, Macarius -Theodorit. N. E. I. 4; II. 8). It is also known that even before the beginning of the persecution, there were bishops in Ptolemais, Marmaricia (in Pentapolis), and The Thebais (Tmuitis). After the legalization of Christianity, church organizations began to grow rapidly: houses of worship and churches appeared everywhere, even in the rural settlements of Mareotida and Fayum. The presbyters of the local churches hardly understood the dogmatic arguments of the Nicene Council's proponents with the Arians and Miletians, but those ordained by Miletius or Arianist bishops naturally became their followers.

Athanasius ' activity in his diocese (both organizational and ideological) is illustrated by his so-called "Holiday Epistles" related to the determination of the time of Easter celebration and the duration of Lent, which contained ritual and dogmatic instructions to the flock that corresponded to this moment in his ideas. As is well known, the question of the time and order of the celebration of Easter was the subject of disagreement between the churches in the third and fourth centuries and was specifically discussed at local and ecumenical councils .17 The disagreements were caused by both ritual problems and different chronological (astronomical) calculations of the date of the celebration of 18 . The Council of Nicaea condemned the celebration of Easter according to the Jewish calendar and ritual, and assigned to the Churches of Alexandria and Rome the responsibility of establishing a single date for celebrating Easter according to Christian custom for all churches. Therefore, the Archbishop of Alexandria was obliged to inform the flock in advance of the date of Easter celebration and the time of the beginning of Lent. These epistles were also accompanied by sermons-explanations of certain texts from the Gospel and the Bible. Among the works of Archbishop Athanasius, 14 complete and 2 incomplete holiday epistles have been preserved, they have come down in Syriac translation (only a few fragments of the original Greek have been preserved).e. A" Table of Contents " containing a list of these epistles, indicating the day of Easter according to the Egyptian and Roman calendar (and dating by consulate and indication), and some information about events in the Diocese of Alexandria and the activities of Athanasius. Thus, the" Table of Contents " indicates that (in accordance with the duties of the archbishop) Athanasius made detours of his diocese: in 330 - in Thebaid, in 332 - in Pentapolis and Ammoniac, in 334 - in Lower Egypt. Athanasius begins his first epistle after entering the episcopal see with a discussion about the" timely " celebration of Easter, speaks about the essence of the celebration, about the meaning of fasting: one should fast not only with the flesh, but also with the soul, feeding it with virtue, justice, abstinence, patience, and humility (Works III. pp. 392-403). In this first festive message, only the dates of "holy Lent" - the last pre-Paschal (Holy) week-are indicated; in subsequent congratulations, the dates of "Lent", i.e. the preceding six weeks of Lent, are necessarily included.

The Easter epistles shed some light on the situation in the Egyptian diocese. Thus, in the epistle of 331, Athanasius writes:: "Even though we are enslaved by our oppressors... even though we are overcome by the malice of our accusers, we are not silent... " and when "the time of tribulation has come for us by the will of the heretics, we must first glorify the Lord "(Works III. p. 412). Go ahead-

17 See: Euseb. Vita Const. III. 5. 14; Socr. Sch. N. E. I. 9; V. 22; Theodorit. N. E. I. 9.

18 See the special excursion "Disputes about the time of Easter celebration": Bolotov. U k op. s. 428-451.

19 См. The Festal Letters of Athanasius, Discovered in Ansient Siriac Version and Edited by W. Cureton. L., 1846, 1848; Die Fest- Briefe des Heiligen Athanasius von Alexandria / Aus dem Syrischen libers, und durch. Anm. eriaut. von F. Larsow. Lpz, 1852.

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Consequently, Athanasius ' position as Archbishop of Alexandria was becoming increasingly difficult at this time: in addition to his difficult relations with Arians and Melithians within the diocese of Alexandria, he faced hostility from some influential bishops from other eastern dioceses. In ancient and Byzantine sources and in church literature, this hostility is usually explained by the dogmatic opposition of Athanasius, most consistently (and sharply!) He defended the "creed" formulated at the Council of Nicaea-the thesis of the consubstantiality of God the Father and God the son, and the bishops who challenged the concept of "consubstantiality" 20. But it is possible that psychological factors played a certain role - the rejection of such a young man in the rank of archbishop, moreover from among ordinary people, as well as career and property interests: after all, the diocese of Alexandria was one of the richest and most significant. So, after the Emperor Constantine I returned Arius from exile three years after the Council of Nicaea, his supporters and friends - Bishops Eusebius of Nicomedia and Theognis of Nicaea, who had previously sent a "letter of repentance" (Socr. Sch. N. E. I. 14) and had already returned to their dioceses, began to fight Athanasius for the Diocese of Alexandria (for Arius). And it is characteristic that in the 330s, when discussing the question of the deposition of Athanasius at church councils, the accusations were mainly formal-liturgical or domestic in nature. These accusations are mostly described by Athanasius himself in his apologies, as well as by Socrates Scholasticus and other authors based on them.

According to Socrates Scholasticus (n.E. I. 23), the enemies of Athanasius "at first began to attack his ordination and claimed that he did not deserve the episcopate and was chosen by unreliable people. But on this side, Athanasius was clearly above slander." This was followed by accusations of illegal or criminal actions of Athanasius in the process of governing the diocese, accusations intended to provoke the wrath of the emperor or the condemnation of the church council. The first clash with the Emperor Constantine I was over Athanasius 'refusal to accept Arius and his followers into the church of Alexandria, which was followed by a letter to Athanasius from the emperor ordering him to accept anyone who wanted to join the church, and threatening:" If I find out that you have prevented anyone from joining the church or forbid anyone from joining." When you enter it, I will immediately send you to depose you at my command" (Socr. Sch. n. E. I. 27). However, Athanasius managed to settle this conflict by letters. This was followed by a report from the Melithian bishops Isio of Athribis, Eudaemon of Tanis, and Callinicus of Pelusium about the forced supply of linen fabrics to the Alexandrian Church for making surplices (Ibid.). This statement was explained to the Emperor by the Alexandrian presbyters Apis (Alypius?) both Macarius and the emperor denied the charges. It was probably a violation of the state monopoly in the trade in linen fabrics. The next accusation of Melitian, that Athanasius had sent a purse of gold to a certain Philumen, was explained to the emperor by Athanasius himself, who was summoned to Nicomedia. From the" Table of Contents " and the fourth festive epistle on the celebration of Easter in 332, it follows that Athanasius sent him from the imperial residence, where he was summoned in connection with the repeated accusations of Melithians and on the way there fell seriously ill. When he met with Constantine, he was able to prove that he was slandered by the Melithians who were there, who persecuted him with their hatred, they (already mentioned Kallinikos, Ision, Eudaemon, and also Eulogius) were caught and expelled (Athanasius. Creations. III. p. 425). Athanasius made a favorable impression on the emperor, and in his letter to the Alexandrians "to all the faithful of the universal church," Constantine I wrote:: "The evil ones could do nothing against your bishop... And I was very welcome

20 See, for example, Theodoret: "For those who decided to wage war against the only-begotten Son of God knew from experience that he (Athanasius. - A. P.) is ready to defend the truth, then, having inquired that the helm of the Alexandrian church was entrusted to him, they considered his leadership a ruin for their sect " (n. E. I. 26); see also Socr. Sch. N. E. II. 15.

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your Bishop Athanasius and conversed with him in the full conviction that I was conversing with a man of God" (Theodorit. n. E.I. 27).

Having failed to gain the support of the emperor in their attempts to remove Athanasius, since the archbishop, who had already gained experience as a deacon, apparently did not go beyond the limits permitted by the imperial authorities, his opponents among the episcopate of the eastern dioceses direct their accusations against the Archbishop of Alexandria to the church councils. This time they took advantage of the complaint of a cleric from the Mareotida of Ishiras against Presbyter Macarius (allegedly sent by Athanasius), who was guilty of overturning a meal in the local church, breaking a cup, and burning books. At the same time, a certain Archaph 21 accused Athanasius of murdering Bishop Arsenius of Ipsilis (in The Thebaid), while for magical purposes the dead man's right arm was cut off. Both of these charges were to be heard at the Council of Caesarea, but Athanasius did not go there. The accusation of Arseny's murder was brought to the attention of Constantine, who entrusted the investigation to the Dalmatian censor, who informed Athanasius about it. Athanasius undertook a vigorous search for the missing Arsenius, and at a council held by the emperor in Tyre in 335, he refuted the slander that had been levelled against him, presenting Arsenius alive and unharmed .22

The situation with Ishiras ' complaint was more complicated: to investigate, it was decided to send a commission to Mareotida, which included bishops hostile to Athanasius (Patrophilus, Narcissus, Theognis, Theodore). In a letter to the council and to the comitatus Flavius Dionysius, who was in charge of the council on behalf of the emperor, the Egyptian bishops who arrived with Athanasius in Tyre condemned the composition of the commission sent to Mareotida. The clergy and presbyters of Alexandria and Mareotida also defended Athanasius, complaining about the bias of the work of the commission sent, writing to the eparch (prefect) Philagrius and Ducenarius Palatine Palladius that Ishiras is not a presbyter, since he was appointed by the deposed Bishop Kolluth, and he has no church. Fearing a certain bias in the results of the commission's investigations, Athanasius went to Constantinople, hoping for the support of the emperor. But the bishops summoned by Constantine to investigate the case brought a new charge against Athanasius: he allegedly threatened to stop the delivery of bread to Constantinople from Egypt, the main granary of the capital. The enraged emperor refused to listen to Athanasius ' explanation and exiled him to Trevera (Trier) in Gaul .

Thus, the first period (328-335) of Athanasius ' activity as Archbishop of the Diocese of Alexandria ended in exile. His enemies managed to prove that his administration of the diocese was not always consistent with the interests of the imperial authorities. And indeed, judging by the nature and content of the charges, Athanasius ' activities, seemingly conditioned by the needs of the church and concerns for the flock, went beyond purely ecclesiastical matters. Apparently, through local Christian officials, he receives linen fabrics for making surplices, disposes of some sums of money. But the latest accusation is particularly significant: the archbishop threatens the authorities to suspend the shipment of grain from Egypt to Constantinople. But how could Athanasius prevent the export of grain from Egypt? Apparently, only because of his influence on the flock, including those responsible for the shipment of grain. And it seems that this is exactly what the archbishop's influence and moral authority caused

21 This is what Athanasius calls him (Works, I. p. 368). In Socrates Scholasticus we read: "Achaab, otherwise called John" (n. e. I. 30). The publishers ' note indicates that this was a Melitian bishop from Memphis.

22 Socrates Scholasticus colorfully describes the episode of presenting the supposedly murdered Arsenius to the Council (n. E. 1. 29), and Theodoret prefaces the story of this episode with an equally colorful description of the failure of an attempt to accuse Athanasius of raping a certain woman (N.E. I.30).

23 In the" Table of Contents "to the Paschal Epistles, it is stated that Athanasius went to the council of Tyre on the 17th Epiphany of 335," fled " from there to Constantinople, arrived there on the 2nd Atyur, and was already exiled to Gaul on the 10th Atyur of 335.

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The fears of Constantine I led to the expulsion of Athanasius from Egypt, without placing anyone else in the see of the bishop of Alexandria .24

As already mentioned, the cessation of persecution (and the persecution and decent behavior of the persecuted Christians made the opposite impression on the people than the imperial authorities would have liked) and the recognition of the legality of the Christian religion led to an increase in its influence in Alexandria, where demonstrative investigations, trials and executions were carried out, and in The Thebaid, where convicted Christians were sent mines. And in Middle Egypt, for example, in Fayum, in the 320s and early 330s, there are no noticeable traces of the growth of Christian communities. In one of the largest private archives of Fayum papyri of this time - the Aurelius Isidore Archive - there is practically no definite information about Christians. This is primarily due to the nature of documents, mainly economic and legal, that were valuable in the eyes of the owner of the archive, Aurelius Isidore, son of Ptolemy, a farmer from Coma Karanis-contracts, receipts, reports, copies of complaints, property declarations, receipts, etc. The time of Aurelius Isidore's life and activity falls mainly in the 280s-320s (the last document is dated 324-A.D. Cair. Isidor. 140), a period full of acute events in the political, religious, administrative and economic life of Egypt. The archives of Isidore reflect the revolt of Achilleus, the economic reforms of Diocletian (tax reform, land and population census), and the administrative reforms of Maximinus and Licinius (division of the nomes into pagi, introduction of the posts of preposit of pag, tessarary, quadratary), but there is no information about the persecution, mention of ministers of the Christian church. It is true that traces of Christian terminology are present in some of Isidore's petitions, but they can hardly be regarded as evidence of Isidore's own attraction to Christianity, since his claims that he belongs to the "poor and virtuous living" of Isidor. 74-316), that he, "gone into his own affairs," has no quarrel with anyone in a coma (R. Cair. Isidor. 75-316), contradict the information contained in other documents of his archive: Isidore, who processed 140 arura, can not be attributed to the poor, besides, during these years he was fighting a lawsuit with two residents of his coma. It is likely that the use of such phrases should be seen as the usual methods of rhetorical processing of petition26 for that time , and it can be assumed that among the scribes to whom Isidore addressed, there may have been Christians.

The legalization of Christianity, the patronage of the Christian Church by Emperor Constantine I, and the corresponding change in the attitude of local officials, as already mentioned, resulted in the rapid spread of church organizations. In Egypt, the appearance of churches in urban and rural settlements of the nomes probably contributed to the active activity of the young and enterprising Archbishop Athanasius of Alexandria, who found the support of the flock (this is indicated by letters in his defense of the clergy and presbyters of Mareotida and Alexandria against the accusations of the cleric Ishiras at the council in Tyre). And if in the 320s and early 330s papyri from Fayum do not contain direct evidence of the appearance of churches in the comas of the Arsinoite nome, then in the second half of the 330s and in the 340s presbyters and deacons were repeatedly mentioned among the inhabitants of Fayum settlements. Since that time, the period of the most severe confrontation between Athanasius and Arianism begins.

24 Socrates Scholasticus, explaining Athanasius ' exile as a result of the emperor's anger at this accusation, adds: "Some say that this was determined by him in order to unite the Church, because Athanasius did not want to have any communion with the Arians" (n.E. I.35). This message is preferred in works on the history of the Church, see Spassky. Uk. op. p. 304.

25 The Archive of Aurelius Isidores / Ed. A.E.R. Boak, H.Ch. Youtie. Ann Arbor, 1960.

26 See Kovelman A. B. Rhetoric of petitions and mass consciousness in Roman Egypt / / VDI. 1984. N 2. pp. 170-184.

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After Athanasius was exiled to Gaul, the efforts of his opponents to install Arius or one of his followers in the see of Alexandria (Arius died in 336) were unsuccessful, either because of the rivalry of applicants, or because of the resistance of the clergy of the Egyptian diocese, or because of the emperor's disagreement. Church historians attribute this to the emperor's unwillingness to replace Athanasius with someone else. Theodoret writes: Before his death, Constantine I, having received baptism and appointed his sons Constantine II, Constantius and Constans as his heirs, "also ordered the great Athanasius to return to Alexandria, and this command was given in the presence of Eusebius, 27 who tried in every possible way to inspire him with the opposite" (n.E. I. 32). However, Socrates Scholasticus reports that Athanasius, who returned to Alexandria, "was authorized to do so by letter... Constantine the Younger", sent from the Gallic Trevera to the Alexandrian people (n. E. II. 2), and reproduces the text of this "charter", cited by Athanasius in his apology against the Arians (Creations. I. P. 396; Socr. Sch. N. E. II. 3); it states that the exile to Gaul was intended to save Athanasius from his enemies, that he lived under the protection of Constantine the Younger, "having everything he needed in abundance", that the emperor intended to return Athanasius to Alexandria, but did not have time to fulfill it.

Athanasius spent more than two years in exile, probably during this period he learned Latin and established friendly relations with some Western bishops. When he returned to Alexandria at the end of 337, the people received him with great joy (Socr. Sch. N. E. II. 3; Theodorit. N. E. II. 2). His epistle on the celebration of Easter in 338, he apparently wrote while still in exile, mentioned the tested ones he sharply condemned the Arians, calling them "violent", "Christ-worshippers", heretics, and comforted the parishioners: "Calamity is followed by consolation, suffering is followed by comfort, illness is followed by recovery, and death is followed by immortality... it is not fitting to be afraid when a nonentity who fights with Christ openly rebels against godliness "(Works III. p. 461). This tough stance of Athanasius naturally provoked a backlash from his opponents. The Arians immediately launched a campaign against him, and this time they found support in the ruling circles - Constantius and his entourage were on their side.

In fact, Athanasius found himself at the center of not only religious, but also political struggle between the heirs of Constantine I: his sons Constantine II and Constans, who inherited power in the western provinces of the empire, had the support of the episcopate of these provinces and Rome, who adhered to the orthodox (Nicene) direction of the Christian church, while Constantius, who received power in the eastern provinces and in Constantinople, he found himself surrounded by adherents of the Arian doctrine and became a supporter of it himself. In this situation, Athanasius, the main and active opponent of Arianism, who had a stable and massive support in his diocese, became a significant figure in the political history of the Roman Empire in the middle of the IV century.

Athanasius wrote a festive epistle for Easter in 339 in Alexandria, in which he explains to the flock some passages from the Psalms and Gospels, calls for true piety, but does not make sharp attacks against the Arians, only "the Eusebians who hate us" are mentioned, who "even now... they try to harm us and impose heavy guilt on us because of Godly piety." Soon enough, the harassment of Athanasius began. According to Socrates Scholasticus, Athanasius was accused of arbitrarily assuming the archiepiscopal throne in Alexandria without a conciliar decree revoking the decisions of the Council of Tyre (n.E. II. 8). In 340, in a military conflict between Constans and Constantine II, his elder brother died, Athanasius lost political support, and this intensified the actions of the Russian Orthodox Church. his opponents. Socrates also reports that the Arians intended to send Eusebius of Emis to replace Athanasius, but

27 This refers to Eusebius, Archbishop of Nicomedia. Theodoret has a tendency to dramatize events and a hostile attitude towards Bishop Eusebius.

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the latter refused, and at the Council of Antioch (340) Gregory was elected bishop of Alexandria, who was only able to expel Athanasius by military force (n. e. II. 10). Athanasius himself, in his" District Epistle "addressed to the bishops of Egypt, Libya, and Thebaid, describes these events somewhat differently: he does not mention Eusebius of Amis, but writes about the bishop Pist sent by the Arians, whom the Egyptian bishops, under the influence of Athanasius (according to his letter),"were anathematized and excommunicated for his impiety." To avoid a repetition of such an incident, the Arians slandered Athanasius before Constantius, and" by the emperor's will " the edict of the prefect Philagrius 28 announced the appointment of Gregory of Cappadocia as Archbishop of Alexandria (Athanasius. Creations. I. S. 278-280). The removal of Athanasius seems to have caused unrest in Alexandria (Socrates writes: when Bishop Gregory took possession of the church, "the Alexandrian people, out of indignation at what had happened, burned this so-called Dionysian Church" - N.E. II, 11). Athanasius managed to escape, and he went to Rome, hoping to find protection and help among the supporters of the Orthodox (Nicene) faith.

This time, Athanasius was in exile for about 5 years. All these years, he actively participated in the inter-church struggle of the Roman and other Western dioceses, which adhered to the creed formulated at the Nicene Council, with the eastern Arian dioceses, which received the support and patronage of the Emperor Constantius. At the request of Athanasius, Archbishop Julius of Rome convened a local council to consider the complaints of Athanasius and Marcellus (from Gaul), in which more than 50 bishops of the Western churches participated, invitations were also sent to the head of the Arians, Eusebius, who had previously occupied the see of Nicomedia, and by then had already become archbishop of Constantinople, and other eastern bishops, but no one came. The Council of Rome in 340 declared the charges against Athanasius unconvincing, and Pope Julius sent a message to Eusebius and the Eastern episcopate regarding the appointment of Gregory as Archbishop of Alexandria as illegal. However, the response, which came only a year later, confirmed the decision of the Council of Antioch to depose Athanasius and brought him a new charge - of embezzling and selling in his own interests the bread provided to the Church of Alexandria to feed the poor. Then Athanasius and Bishop Paul, who had been expelled from Constantinople by the Arians, appealed to the emperor of the western half of the empire, Constans, to convene a new ecumenical council .29 With the consent of both emperors, in 343 at Cerdic (modern times). A new ecumenical council was convened to reconcile the warring parties and agree on the basic formulas for the presentation of the Christian faith ("consubstantiality" and "subsubstantiality" of God the Father and Son). But the council did not become" ecumenical": the bishops of the Eastern Arian churches refused to participate in it because of the presence of their deposed Athanasius and Paul and gathered for their council in Philippopolis, As a result, the confrontation between the churches became more obvious: the council of Cerdica confirmed its commitment to the decisions of the Council of Nicaea, the council of Philippopolis categorically rejected the Nicene dogma of the consubstantiality of God the Father and God- son and refused to cancel the conviction of Athanasius and Paul and other deposed bishops. On the contrary, the Council of Serdik decided to restore Athanasius and other deposed bishops to their former titles, declared all the charges against Athanasius false, and announced the deposition of the accusers, including Archbishop Gregory. 30

During the years of his exile, Athanasius lived first in Rome, during the Council of Cerdic in Cerdic and Nyssa, after the council in Aquileia, and wherever he was, he was still alive.

28 Philagrius held this position in 335-337 and again in 338-340 - see Vandersleyen Cl. Chronologie des prefets d'Egypte de 284 a 395. Bruxelles, 1962. p. 15.

29 Socrates Scholasticus: "Paul and Athanasius began to demand another ecumenical council, which would put an end to the work, both about them and about the faith, proving that the depositions (of bishops) are made in order to overthrow the faith" (n.E. II. 20).

30 See Theodorit. N. E. II. 8-Conciliar epistle of the Council of Cerdic to the bishops of the entire universe. For the cathedrals of Serdica and Philippopolis, see Spassky. Uk. soch. p. 324-333.

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he continued to maintain contacts with his diocese. In 340, after Bishop Gregory was established in Alexandria, Athanasius" because of flight and persecution "did not send a "Festive message", but when it turned out that the Arians had made a mistake in determining the day of Easter, Athanasius in a letter to Serapion (and other bishops) pointed out the mistake and strongly advised to announce Lent - "on the necessity of fasting in order that when the whole world fasts, we alone, who live in Egypt, may not be ridiculed for not observing the fast, but rather give ourselves up to joy on these days "(Works III. p. 482). In the same letter, he also gives Serapion a list of deceased bishops and the bishops appointed in their place. In 341, from Rome, Athanasius sent another "Festive message" to Egypt with a notice of the time of fasting and the celebration of Easter, wrote about the cruel persecutions that had befallen the church, and called on them to resist the temptation when "drunk with malice", heretics "promise the distribution of sacred titles" (Creations. III. p.490). In the same year, 341. From Rome, Athanasius addressed his flock with the above-mentioned "District Message", where he called on his" local co-servants "not to allow"the famous church of Alexandria to be trampled upon by heretics." He writes that according to the information that has reached him, pagans and Jews invade Christian churches, plunder church property, burn books, the authorities throw Christians into prisons, flog, take away property, transfer churches to Arians; he complains that the people and clergy are "silent, fearing violence" from the authorities. Athanasius advises not to accept Gregory's epistles (even if he dares to write about reconciliation), but to condemn those who deliver them for impiety and excommunicate them from the Church, and asks them to write to him (Works, I. p. 286).

This is how Athanasius saw the state of affairs in his diocese from afar, probably from reports that reached him from Alexandria. One might think that after the Arians expelled Athanasius and his followers from Alexandria, the situation there was quite tense, but it is also possible that Athanasius or the authors of the reports exaggerated the colors under the influence of stenciled descriptions of the persecution of Christians by pagans. Unfortunately, we do not have any documentary evidence (in the form of inscriptions, papyri, or legal sources) about the situation in Alexandria at that time. The papyrus accounts of the life of rural and urban settlements in the years 330-340 show only very faint traces of internal church struggle, although there is no doubt that Christianity is playing an increasing role in the public life of Egypt, as evidenced by the prevalence of Christian terminology in private letters and business correspondence. This was mainly reflected in the addresses to the addressee, in greetings and wishes , and less often in the subject of letters. Based on these signs, M. Naldini collected 97 letters in his book "Christianity in Egypt", 31 most of which date back to the fourth century. (He dates 19 letters to the II-III centuries, 15 to the end of the III - beginning of the IV century, 55 to the IV century, and 8 to the end of the IV-V century), but the origin of almost half of the letters is unknown. Most of the letters localized by publishers in the place of discovery come from Oxyrhynchus, the rest from Fayum, Hermopolis nome, Antinoupol, Panopolis, and the Great Oasis, i.e., from the nomes of Middle and Upper Egypt. Christian letters also show an increase in the number of references to church officials-bishops (letter No. 39), presbyters (No. 21, 50, 56), and both under the designation (N 49, 82, 83, 86, 91, 95, 97) and (N 6, 25, 40), " catechumens"- N 20, 29, 47), anchorites-N 82, 86), monasteries are mentioned-N 2, 30, 47, 50, 94), churches-N 56, 95). All this undoubtedly indicates the spread of Christianity and church organizations. However, due to the complexity of localization and dating (mainly based on handwriting, style, terminology, and other indirect data), it is difficult to link the content of letters to any particular settlement, social phenomena, and events.

Naldini М. 31 II Cristianesimo in Egitto. Lettere private nei papiri dei secoli II-IV. Firenze, 1968.

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insert it in the historical context. However, M. Naldini does this - and not without success. Thus, when publishing R. Lond. 1658 (=Naldini 42) - a fragment of a letter from Anthony to the "beloved son" of spiritual content, Naldini, following the first publisher and other researchers, attributes it to the hermit St. John the Baptist. To Anthony the Great. In their opinion, the letter is addressed to Ammun, a Nitrite hermit, but in connection with what and when it was written, it is not possible to determine. It is known that in 338 (?) At the invitation of Archbishop Athanasius, St. Anthony visited Alexandria, and at about the same time Ammun began asceticism on Mount Nitria .32 Isn't this the time of Antony's letter?

Two interesting letters from the Naldini collection come from the Great Oasis: first, a letter from Presbyter Psenosiris to Presbyter Apollonius (Naldini 21 = R. Grenf. 11.73 = W. Chrest. 127), in which he reports that (gravediggers?) Politikia, exiled by the authorities to the Great Oasis, is brought to Toete and recommended to be guarded until her son Neil arrives. Researchers associate this report with the persecutions33, but it is possible that the fact in question took place after the legalization of Christianity. Secondly, it is a letter from Presbyter Apollonius (probably from the one already mentioned) to Deacon Stephen (Naldini 43 = R. Gissen. 103) with instructions to bring some hemp and purple and other household tasks. Apollonius sends greetings and good wishes to the brothers of this Christian community and their children. Naldini notes that textile craft was a common occupation in church and monastery communities. The letter of Apollonius is written on verso papyrus, the text of which is dated 309. It can be assumed that it was sent to Stephen several years later than this date and to some extent suggests the existence of a significant Christian community in the Great Oasis in 320-340.

Evidence of the growth of Christian communities in Oxyrhynchus can be found in the letters of the head of the church community Sotas. In one of them (Naldini. 28 = PSI 208), he asks the "beloved brother" Peter to " receive one of our brothers, according to custom," Heracles, in the second (Naldini. 29 = PSI 1041), he asks another" beloved brother "Paul to" receive according to custom" the brothers Heron, Gorion, Philadelphus, Pecusius, and Naarous and Leon. (We are talking about "catechumens" of varying degrees of preparation for baptism 34 .) In both letters, Sotas sends greetings to the addressee and those who are with him (brothers or flock?), from himself and "his own". Sotas ' third letter is addressed to ("to my son in God") To Demetriano (Naldini. 30 = R. Ohu. 1492), it refers to the provision of 1 arura of land (to a monastery or church community), apparently for some church needs 35 .

A very fragmentary petition of Bishop Dionysius of Oxyrhynchus, addressed to the strategos Flavius Parannius (aka Macrobius), dated 336 (A.D. 2344), also refers to some kind of land tenure and guardianship (see JJP. IX-X. P. 367). In the A.D. 43 verso (= W. Chrest. 474), which contains a list of night guards on the main streets of Oxyrhynchus, among the objects of protection are named Caesarion, Sarapeion, the temples of Isis, Teoris (= Athens) and two Christian churches. The recto of this papyrus-the bill for the supply of fodder is dated 295-obviously, the document we are interested in, written in verso, was compiled after the legalization of Christianity, when the protection of Christian churches was equated with the protection of pagan temples, and we can assume that the presence of two Christian churches to some extent indicates an internal church confrontation.

32 For Ammun (or Ammon), see Socr. Sch.n. E. IV. 23.

33 For the literature on this document, see Naldini. Op. cit. P. 131-135.

34 M. Naldini translates in the first case - catecumeni partecipanti, in the second-catecumeno iniziati (Op. cit. P. 154).

35 For more information, see I. F. Fikhman, Oxyrhynchus-the City of Papyri, Moscow, 1980, p. 88.

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Of considerable interest is R. Naldini. 39 (= PS1. IV. 311) - this is a letter of instruction to a certain "brother" about going to the city of Laodicea in Coilesiria, where Bishop Theodotus is located in order to transfer something directly into his hands. The names of the author of the letter and the person being instructed have not been preserved, some researchers suggest that that the letter is addressed to the aforementioned Sotas 36 . The letter was found in Oxyrhynchus, where it was sent from is unknown, but someone from Oxyrhynchus Christians (maybe Sotas?) He was to go to Laodicea to see Bishop Theodotus. It is known from Theodoret's Ecclesiastical History (n. E. V. 7) that Theodotus of Laodicea was one of the prominent representatives of Arianism; he is mentioned in a letter from Arius to Bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia among the" pastors of the East " who were anathematized by Archbishop Alexander even before the Council of Nicaea (Theodorit.N. E. I. 5). M. Naldini (referring to Sozomena-N.E. III. 5) notes that Theodotus remained bishop of Laodicea until 341, so the letter of instruction must have been written earlier than that time, perhaps before Athanasius ' second exile from Alexandria. It is difficult to say whether the addressee's trip to Laodicea took place.

More specific information can be extracted from the documentary papyri archives of private individuals . It has already been mentioned that the archive of Aurelius Isidore of Koma Karanis, covering 293-324, contains almost no information about Christianity-official documents and business letters are of a traditional nature: obligations are confirmed by an oath with the names of pagan deities, and only in petitions written by scribes, traces of the influence of Christian terminology can be seen. The documents of the following decades reflect a somewhat different situation. So, among the papyri associated with the archive of Sakaon, son of Satabut of Theadelphia 37, dated 290-343. there is very definite information about the existence of a Christian community in this coma in late 330-early 340. In the archives of Sakaon, who for many years held the position of komarch (headman) of Theadelphia, there are two petitions (separated by three decades) from the inhabitants of this coma, Melas and his son Zoilus, about the oppression of their family by Sakaon. In the first, dated 312, Melas, son of Heraclides, complains that Sakaon forcibly and illegally took his daughter Tawes away from her husband Zoilus, son of Melas (R. Sakaon. 38 = R. Flor. 36 = Mitt. Chrest. 64). Fearing a confrontation with Sakaon, Melas describes himself as a cautious and God-fearing man and asks the prefect to force Sakaon to return his wife Zoila. The scribe's written complaint ends with the traditional thanksgiving (benevolence?). Chuhe prefect. Such an ending in 312 was probably the only possible one, but the use of such a phrase as suggests that Melas belonged to Christians. This assumption becomes quite plausible if we compare the petition of Melas with that of his son Zoilus, addressed to the preposition of pag in 343 (R. Sakaon. 48 = SB. VI. 9622). Zoilus has already become a deacon of the Catholic Church, but his family is still oppressed by Sakaon, the son of Satabut, the head of one of the rich families of Theadelphia. Zoilus lists a number of grievances inflicted on his family: Sakaon again took his wife (his granddaughter?) from the dying son of Zoilus, Gerontius, together with his relatives, beat Paesius, another son of Zoilus, stole the cattle rented by the Zoilus family. Zoilus endured these insults for a long time, "practicing a righteous life," but apparently the great damage to the farm from cattle theft forced him to file a petition. However, we can also make another suggestion about the motive: judging by the description of Sakaon and his family in Zoilus ' petition, they are people "full of contempt for the present-day law and our peaceful way of life."

Fichman. 36 Uk. soch. P. 88. Note 169. According to Naldini, this letter raises many questions that remain open (Op. cit. P. 184-185).

Parassoglou G.М. 37 The Archive of Aurelius Sakaon: Papers of an Egyptian Farmer in the Last Century of Theadelphia. Bonn, 1978.

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life" i.e., obviously not Christians. In numerous other documents from the Sakaon archive, there is no sufficiently definite evidence of its religious affiliation, there is only a receipt issued by the epimelete of the temple of Hermaeus from Memphis about the performance of the liturgy on the works for this temple by Sakaon and the komarchs of Theadelphia in 324 (p. Thead. 34.). Taking advantage of the position (peacefulness, non-possessiveness) of Zoilus (who probably belonged to the Nicene wing of the church, which had no support from local officials), a pagan (?), Sakaon behaved confidently and unceremoniously towards him. But in 341, the Emperor Constantius issued a decree prohibiting pagan sacrifices (see Cod. Theod. XVI. 10.2), directed against traditional cults, and when this rescript reached such outlying settlements as Theadelphia, it could have prompted Deacon Zoilus to try to defend his moral and property rights (but hardly successfully, since the petition ended up in the archives of the same Sakaon).

The very existence of the petition of Deacon Zoilus suggests that already in the early 340s there were church communities (parikia) on the outskirts of Fayum. In the subsequent 340s and 350s, the number of documents mentioning Christian communities and church clergy in the Fayum gradually increased. Thus, in addition to Deacon Zoilus, Aurelius Heron, a deacon of Berenice, is known in Theadelphia (p. Lond. 412 = p. Abinn. 55), Pope Aurelius Ammonius of Coma Taurinos (R. Ross.- Georg. III. 28), Papa Kaor from the coma of Germoupolis (p. Lond. 417 = p. Abinn. 32), ana Mios from some marginal coma of Fayum (p. Lond.413 = p. Abinn.6 and others), Apa Ision, mentioned in the letter of Apa Mios (p. Abinn. 7). The same picture is probably observed in other nomes. Representatives of the church clergy are also mentioned in official documents, for example, in the land register from the Hermopolis nome, dating from 332-350 years (R. Flor. 71), Bishop Dios from Hermopolis, bishops from Antinoupol Ammonios, Arion, Macarius and Presbyter Pancrtius and another presbyter Pancratius, possibly from Hermopolis. There is no doubt that during Athanasius ' absence, many of the clergy were ordained Arians.

As already mentioned, even in exile, Athanasius continued to maintain contacts with his diocese, sending almost annually "Festive messages" with notifications about the time of the beginning of Lent and the day of Easter celebration and his instructions. His epistles of 341 and 342 have been preserved. It should be noted that in the latter (AD 342) there are no harsh denunciations of Arians and Melithians; at the end, he calls on the flock to " surpass one another in purity of fasting, vigil in prayer, exercise in reading the Scriptures, giving alms to the poor, and reconciliation with our enemies; let us try to unite those who have been sown, put a barrier to arrogance, and again return to humility, having been reconciled to all, and endearing all the brethren to love" (Works, III. p. 497). Calling for reconciliation, Athanasius apparently hoped for some agreements during the preparation and holding of the ecumenical council in Serdica, but reconciliation did not take place. Although the Council of Cerdica refuted the accusations against Athanasius and demanded his reinstatement as Archbishop of Alexandria, the Emperor Constantius did not consider it necessary to comply with the decisions of this council .38 Athanasius continued to live in Aquileia, and only after the intervention of Constans was he able to return to Alexandria. Socrates Scholasticus quotes a very characteristic fragment of a letter from Constans to his elder brother, emphasizing the role of secular imperial power in the internal church struggle: "Here I have Athanasius and Paul, who, as I probably learned, are being persecuted for their piety. If you will give your word to restore their thrones and punish those who cling to them unnecessarily, then I will send these men to you. If you do not agree to this, then know that I will go there myself, and without any help from you.

38 Constantius may have delayed Athanasius ' return to Alexandria until after the death of Archbishop Gregory, who was seriously ill, in order to avoid possible unrest. On Gregory's illness and death, see Athanasius. Creations. III. Table of Contents, Pp. 381-383.

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with your consent, I will restore them to their thrones " (n. E. 11.22). The threat of civil war forced Constantius (who was at war with the Persians at that time) to yield: Bishop Paul was returned to Constantinople, and an invitation was sent to Athanasius to come to the imperial court.

However, Athanasius was in no hurry to go to Constantinople, not trusting the promises of Constantius, expressed in streamlined phrases. The second letter of Constantius did not dispel his doubts, and only after receiving the third letter sent by Deacon Achita, who was supposed to confirm the reality of the promises, did Athanasius leave Aquileia for Rome, show the letters of the Emperor Constantius to the Roman Archbishop Julius, and , with his support, 39 went to Constantinople. Constantius received him graciously, and in confirmation of his reconciliation with Athanasius and his followers, sent three letters: the first, addressed to all bishops and presbyters, ordered that "all suspicion of him (i.e., Athanasius) should be abandoned", all " previous definitions concerning persons who had communion with him, now given over to oblivion", and "the clergy who are with him must return to their former advantages", bishops and clerics (supporters of Athanasius) will continue to enjoy security. In his epistle to the "People of the Catholic Church of Alexandria," Constantius called for unanimity and agreement "according to the law of the church," having Athanasius as his "representative and intercessor before God," while warning that in the event of any outrage, the judges were ordered to subject the rebels to "the strictness of the laws." Letters sent to the Prefect Nestorius and the eparchs of Augustamnica, Thebais, and Livia instructed them to revoke orders that had harmed and dishonored Athanasius ' supporters and restore them to their former status - as well as other clerics-and to release them from public office (Athanasius. Creations. I. S. 355-357).

In this way, Athanasius seems to have been able to restore the influence of the Nicene adherents in the diocese of Alexandria. But already from Constantius ' letter to Nestorius and the eparchs, it appears that this can cause serious resistance of the Arians both inside Egypt and in other eastern dioceses. Athanasius also understood this. Mindful of the fact that his opponents had declared his return to the see of Alexandria in 337 illegal, since the ecclesiastical council had not revoked the decision to depose him that had been declared by the Council of Tyre in 335, Athanasius set out for Egypt via Syria and Palestine for a specific purpose: he persuaded Archbishop Maximus of Jerusalem to convene a council of bishops of Jerusalem and of the Syrian dioceses in 345, which revoked the decisions of the Council of Antioch in 340, which confirmed the deposition of Athanasius, and restored him to his former dignity. In June 345, Archbishop Gregory died, and at the end of that year Athanasius returned to Alexandria. His supporters, according to Socrates Scholasticus, Theodoret and other authors, met him with exultation, there were apparently no clashes with the Arians inside Egypt, but opponents of Athanasius from the eastern dioceses began to accuse him of illegally ordaining presbyters in churches outside his diocese. However, the general situation at this time was relatively favorable for Athanasius, he managed to stay in Alexandria for about 10 years, although there is very little information about his activities in Egypt during these years.

While still on his way to Egypt, Athanasius sent a brief message to the presbyters and deacons of his diocese, indicating that in 62 AD Diocletian (i.e. 346 AD), Easter should be celebrated on the 4th farmuth according to the Egyptian calendar, i.e. on March 30 (and not on March 23 = 27 famenoth, as was believed in Egypt) in accordance with by the definition of the Serdik Church Council (Creation. III, p. 500). In the following year, 347, he addressed the congregation with a large "Holiday Message" with moral, ethical and religious instructions-an interpretation of some biblical and evangelical sayings

39 See Bishop Julius ' letter to the Christians of Alexandria and Egypt, quoted by Athanasius in his apology against the Arians-Creation, I. pp. 352-354. - See also Socr. Schl. N.E. II. 23.

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regarding the differences between Jewish and Christian celebrations, the condemnation of sacrifices, the call to strictly observe fasting. At the end of the epistle, he gives a list of bishops who were "installed" in the place of those who died: in Siena - Nilammon, in Latopolis-Mazis, in Coptos-Psenosiris, in Panopolis to help the elderly Artemidorus - Arius, in Gipsel-Arsenius, "after he was purchased again for the church", in Lycopolis - Eudaemon, in Antinous-Arion, in Oxyrhynchus-Theodore, in Nilopolis-Amatos and Isaac "after their mutual reconciliation", in Arsinoitis-Andrew, in Prosopontis-Triadelphus, in Diosphacus ("what is on the seashore") - Theodore, in Saigon (Sais?) - Paphnutius, in Xoisus - Theodore, "and with him Isidore after he has been purchased again for the church," in Sephroitis - Orion, in Clismus-Typhonas, and with him Paul "after he has been purchased again for the church." This careful wording, repeated three times in the list (and all three of these settlements were located on the border with the desert), obviously meant that the named bishop was returned from exile or imprisonment, but Athanasius did not want to note this, so as not to immediately aggravate his relations with the Arians from the imperial administration and with the local Arian clergy..

The fact that the situation in some nomes of Egypt was quite difficult can be judged, for example, by the Fayum papyri from the so-called "Abinnei Archive" 40 . The name of Flavius Abinnaeus, who served for 8-9 years as prefect of Ala and head of the camp in Dionysiad (a fortress in the north-west of Fayum on the caravan route to the Small Oasis), is associated with more than 80 different documents. His functions were diverse: his business correspondence - reports, invoices, petitions, contracts, letters-included about 300 names, many documents contain Christian greetings and wishes of the time , etc.Among the many documents sent to Abinnay by civilians and military personnel, there are two petitions and four letters written by a deacon and two presbyters of the Christian churches of Fayum. Pope Kaor from the coma of Germupol asks Abinnaeus to forgive Stratiot Paul, who escaped from the Dionysiad camp, and promises to return him to the camp (R. Abinn. 32 = p. Lond. 417, letter dated approximately 346-347) Judging by the tone and style, this is more of a business letter than a petition. The petition of Aurelius Heron, deacon of Coma Bereniciades, dated 351, is written in a different style (p. Abinn. 55 = p. Lond. 412). He complains that a certain Euporus, the son of Hermias, from Philagrida's coma, has broken into his house by robbing him, taken away his clothes and uses them, although Heron has caught him in this. Heron asks Abinney to force the robber to return the stolen clothes, which undoubtedly belongs to him, since he is a deacon Publishers translate these words of the principal church, i.e. "the main (or main) church". But the question arises, which church did Heron consider the main one? In the writings of Archbishop Athanasius, the phrase is translated as "universal church", referring to the church of followers of the Nicene faith, to which he himself belonged. Does not this mean that Deacon Heron was a supporter of Athanasius and, finding no support from the local authorities, turned to the prefect Abynneus, the head of the Dionysiad camp, for help? A characteristic phrase in the preamble of the petition is :" If we were not governed by the justice of the laws , we would have been ruined by robbers long ago." Obviously, Heron assigns Prefect Abinnay the functions of a defender of law and justice. Unlike other petitions addressed to Abinnay, this one does not ask to bring the complaint to the attention of the dooc, so that it can review the case and punish the culprit. Does not Deacon Heron's appeal to Abinney suggest the nature of the latter's religious orientation?

More specific information in this regard is provided by the letters of Apa Mios, but all of them are written by him.

40 The Abinnaeus Archive. Papers of a Roman Officer in the Reign of Constatius II / Ed. Y.I. Bell, V. Martin, E.G. Turner, D. Van Berchem. Oxf., 1962.

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The four surviving letters are undated, and the time of their writing and their order can only be estimated. The reason for writing them was mainly everyday affairs and worries: in one of them, apa Mios asks for some time to send nets to catch gazelles that spoil the harvest (R. Abinn. 6), in another (R. Abinn. 8) writes about the shipment of wine sent at the request of Abinnay, asks to pay for it and not to detain the camel drivers who delivered the wine; in the third letter (R. Abinn. 19), the beginning of which is lost and its belonging to Mios was established by the publishers by a characteristic appeal and address: apa Mios asks Abinney either to release his wife's brother from recruitment, or not to send him to the field army. The fourth letter seems difficult to interpret (R. Abinn. 7), possibly preceding the previous ones, in which apa Mios writes that he strongly wanted to see Abinnai, but he did not come, so apa went to him himself, but could not meet him. Apa Myos warns Abinnei against being careless about something, reminding him that " therefore apa Ision...", but the meaning of these words remains unclear. He goes on to say that he sent Abinney some "spatia" (bottles of wine?) and additionally with Hermas, who was sent to Dionysiad, and asks to know whether the meeting took place.It seems that the meaning of the letter is not reduced to negotiations about the supply of wine, as the publishers assume, 42 - in this case, the warning against carelessness and the mention of Apa Ision are incomprehensible. Were there any church matters involved? For example, about the functioning of a church organization on the territory of the Dionysiad? The words of Apa Mios in p. Abinn. 6 are also noteworthy: "I am aware of your zeal and your mercy to us, for the sake of the Lord God you are doing this" - and further: "For I know that you do more than I ask of you." Letters of Apa Mios to R. Abinn. 7 and 6 seem to refer to the first years of the Prefect Abinnaeus ' service in the Dionysiad, during which time, it may be assumed, friendly relations were established between them, and in the following letter (R. Abinn. 19) Apa Myos addresses Abinnei with a personal request-to release his wife's brother from recruiting service, and at the same time comforts Abinnei himself in connection with some troubles, recalling the gospel saying: "(He who gives) a cup of water to one of these little ones will not be left without his reward. Don't let your soul worry about difficulties, trust in God and he will put an end to them." Last updated email (p. Abinn 8) is a short business note sent by the camel drivers who delivered the wine, in which apa Myos asks (in addition to paying for the wine), if the "brothers" come, to make an ointment and send it, and invites Abinnei: "And if you have free time, come to see us." Thus, it is possible to trace the gradual rapprochement of Apa Mios and the prefect of Ala Flavius Abinney.

What did these people represent, what did they bring together? Apa Myos is the presbyter of a Christian church in one of the outlying settlements of Fayum, he has some land under crops (they are spoiled by gazelles) and a vineyard that allows him to produce wine not only for his needs, but also to send it to the Abinneu camp. He has a wife (and can hardly be considered the abbot of the monastery) who goes by the biblical name of Naomi. There is a group of people under his authority or direction, and on their behalf he writes to Abynneus and, after consulting with them, sends Hermas to Dionysiad. Of the four letters, three, according to the publishers, were written by the same scribe and only signed Apa Mios, while the addressee's name is written in the local pronunciation "Aminnei" and only R. Abinn. 7 is written in the same handwriting, apparently by Apoi Mios himself, and is addressed to "beloved and truly brother Abinnaeus", i.e., in accordance with the Latin form of this name. It can be assumed that Apa Mios was quite an educated person, his letters are not only of a business nature,

41 Publishers make the procedure similar to giving a" gift " (sportula), see The Abinneus Archive, p. 75.

42 Ibid. P. 46.

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but also religious and instructive, they contain maxims that go back to the texts of the Bible and the Gospels. So, introductory phrases in R. Abinn. 7" Let us give thanks to God for your perfect health and zeal, so that the fear of the Lord may increase in you, for all things are accomplished through the fear of God", the publishers compare the words about the reward of mercy in R. Abinn with the sayings in the Psalms (Ps. 110-111). 6-with sayings in the Gospel of Matthew VI. 1-4; fragment of a phrase in R. Abinn. 19 about "a cup of water for one of these little ones" coincides with the saying in Matthew X, 42. Apa Myos correlated these sayings with Abinnei's activities, approving them, supporting him in the difficult situation in which Abinnei found himself in the first years of his service in the Dionysiad. Apa Myos apparently assumed that through Abynneus, prefect of Ala and head of the camp, he would be able to influence the Christianization of the military unit in Dionysiad (where, according to archaeologists, the statue of Fortuna 43 was located, i.e. pagan beliefs and rituals had not yet been eradicated) and thereby strengthen the position of his church.

But what church did Apa Myos belong to? Although Arian bishops dominated the diocese of Alexandria during Athanasius ' exile, they hardly succeeded in replacing all the presbyters, especially in the outlying settlements. The statements from the Bible and the Gospels given in Apa Mios ' letters do not give sufficient grounds for judging his religious orientation, but some indirect information can be extracted from other papyri from the Abinney archive concerning the owner of the archive.

Flavius Abinnaeus, who served in the army for 30 years, and in the last years in the border troops in Upper Egypt under the command of the Comitatus Senetius, on his behalf delivered the Blemmian envoys to the imperial court, and then, by order of the emperors, escorted them to their homeland, helped them to achieve power in their tribe. For these services, he was awarded the honor of purpuram adorare and in 340 was appointed prefect of ala, which stood in the fortress of Dionysiades. But when Abinnei arrived in Alexandria and presented the letter of appointment, the Duc Valacius ' office there told him that another person had already been appointed to the position. Abinnay sent a petition to the emperors (R. Abinn. 1), emphasizing the opposition of the local authorities of Egypt to the will of the emperor. The complaint was successful, and in early 342 Abinnaeus was already serving as prefect of Ala and head of the military camp at Dionysiades (R. Abinn. 44). However, in 344, Ducatius sent him an order to hand over the command of the ala and all the property under his jurisdiction to the newly appointed prefect, since the term of his command ended (p. Abinn. 2). But Abinnaeus did not accept this, he again went to Constantinople and achieved reinstatement: another petition to him as prefect of Ala is dated in the spring of 346 (p. Abinn. 47) 44 .

This was the situation: Abinnaeus, who enjoyed the favor of the Emperor Constantius (an active supporter of the Arians) and was loyal to him (he named his son Constantius), met with hostility among the Alexandrian administration, where, after the expulsion of Archbishop Athanasius, Arians also apparently prevailed. It is definitely known that Duka Valatia belongs to the Arians. Athanasius, in the Life of St. Anthony, writes: "A certain military commander named Valacius mercilessly drove us Christians out of zeal for the evil-named Arians. He was so cruel that he beat the virgins, stripped the monks naked and punished them with whips" (Works III. p. 244). However, there is no sufficient reason to explain the hostility of Valacius towards Abinnaeus by religious differences; most likely, he wanted to see his protege, and not the protégé of the Comite Senetius, as the commander of the garrison in Dionysiad. But Abinnay undoubtedly considered himself unfairly wronged, sought the sympathy and support of the people around him in a new environment, and found such support from Apa Mios (see p. Abinn. 19). Why, then, did this presbyter take such a kindly view of the church?

43 См. Martin V. The Fortress of Dionysias // The Abinnaeus Archive... Introduction. P. 19-21.

44 Apa Mios ' letter to Abinn probably refers to this difficult period for Abinn. 19. On the secondary appeal of Abinnaeus for help to the emperor, see Turner E. G. The Career of Abinnaeus // The Abinnaeus Archive ... P. 6-12.

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Abinnay? Perhaps because he himself experienced some hostility on the part of the local administration, that is, he did not belong to the dominant Arian trend in the Christian church during these years? But this can only be stated as a hypothesis. Although it should be noted that after the appointment of Nestorius 45 as prefect of Egypt, the death of Valacius 46 , the return of Archbishop Athanasius to Alexandria and the ordination of the new bishop of Arsinoitida Andrew, the position of the garrison commander in Dionysiad was also strengthened: the prefect of Ala Abinnaeus remained in his position until his death or retirement due to old age - the last dated document of R. Abinn. 55 refers to 351, this is the petition of Deacon Heron discussed above. Unfortunately, nothing definite can be said about Ape Mios, maybe R. Abinn. 8-a business note addressed to Abinnay regarding payment for the wine sent to him and inviting him to visit any Mios dates back to this time.

The change of leadership in the Egyptian imperial administration and the conciliatory attitude of the Emperor Constantius towards Athanasius and his supporters obviously contributed to the normalization of the situation in other nomes. This was reflected not only in the increasing role of the church clergy in economic life - information from the land register of the Hermopol nome (R. Flor. 71) on the land holdings of bishops and presbyters, but also in legal practice: in R. Lips. 43 (=Mitt. Chr. 98) from Hermopolis, it is said that Bishop Plusian, in the portal of the Catholic Church, makes a decision on a judicial dispute about the division of property in the presence of bulevt Dioscorides and two or three other persons, including the deacon. In the Ross river. Georg. 28 there is a marriage contract between Aurelius Asepus of the coma of Taurinos in Fayum and Apia, the daughter of Aron, recorded (witnessed) by the presbyter of the same coma, Aurelius Ammonius (in 343 or 358).

At the same time, pagan traditions continued to persist among the people, despite the decrees prohibiting sacrifice (Cod. Theod. XVI. 10.2 of 341) and the closing of pagan temples (Cod. Theod. XVI. 10. 4 of 346 or 354). Thus, Aurelius Thonios, a priest of Zeus, Hera, and other gods, declares under oath to the logistician Oxyrhynchus in 336 that he inherited the priesthood from his father (r. Ox. X. 1265). Such an official attestation of a priestly position at that time, apparently, still had some significant significance. In 342, in the same Oxyrhynchus, a contract was drawn up for the protection of the temple of the goddess Thoeris (r. Ohu. XIV. 1627). In the above-mentioned land register from Hermopol (R. Flor. 71) among the Antinopolitan landowners are the priests Lutys and Severis and the astrologer Foibammon.

Archbishop Athanasius obviously understood that clashes with the Arians did not strengthen the authority of the Christian church and even to some extent contributed to the preservation of paganism, so after returning to Egypt, he sought to smooth out the contradictions.: he did not remove the old bishops from the pulpits; he placed his supporters, who had been rehabilitated by Constantius, in the vacant pulpits, and in the occupied ones - as deputies or assistants. So, for example, in the "Festive Epistle" of 347, Arius is reported to have been appointed assistant to the aged Artemidorus in Panopolis, and those "newly acquired for the church" are appointed: Isidore under Theodore in Xoisos, Paul under Typhonas in Klismos. As already mentioned, the holiday epistles of 346-348 no longer mention Arians, but only generally condemn heretics. "And how can those who seek violence exercise themselves in the cause of justice? How can a man love who is determined to hate? How can he have love (for God) whose thoughts are directed to Mammon?" - writes Athanasius, " ... the world is like

45 According to C. Vandersleyen's calculations, Nestorius served as Prefect of Egypt from January 1, 345, to December 31, 352 (Op. cit. p. 16).

46 Athanasius, in the Life of St. Anthony, relates that Anthony wrote to Valens:" I see the wrath of God coming upon you. Stop persecuting Christians, otherwise anger will befall you. For he is ready to strike you," but Valacius threw the letter on the ground, spat on it, and threatened Antony, but a few days later, while traveling with the Prefect Nestorius to Chereus, he was involved in a traffic accident and died (Works III. p. 244).

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to the sea... just as there is storm and tumult on the sea, so there are many calamities and temptations in the world," those who are weak in faith do not have the strength to withstand difficulties, but believers "do not weaken under temptations, but endure everything to the end." "He who stirs up divisions and dissensions among the brethren has departed from the truth "(Works III. pp. 509-510). By celebrating Easter, he writes in his "Holiday Epistle" in 348, Christians are reassured, the scattered gather together, the lost find finding, those who were far away become close (ibid., p. 513).

Athanasius may have managed to soften the confrontation between his supporters and the Arians in Egypt, but outside of it, hostility to Athanasius did not decrease among the church leadership of the eastern dioceses. As already mentioned, immediately after his return to Alexandria, he was accused of exceeding his authority, it was a question of ordaining followers of the dogma of the Council of Nicaea in the territory of the Arian dioceses, but these accusations did not affect Constantius. The situation became more complicated after the assassination of the Emperor Constans on the orders of the usurper Magnentius: Athanasius and the followers of the Nicene faith lost their main political support, and Constantius, pressed by the Persians in the east, was drawn into a war with the usurpers in the west - Magnentius and Vetronianus. Fearing a new wave of persecution, Athanasius began to write an "Apology" - "A defensive word against the Arians", in which he described the circumstances of his two expulsions in 336 and 340, cited the accusations against him forged by the Arians, his excuses, the attitude of the emperor and the councils towards them, and most importantly-judgments about him as a bishop in the letters of Constantine I and Constantine II (see Works, I. pp. 287-398). Meanwhile, the opponents of Athanasius from the Arian circle of Constantius did not abandon their intention to deprive him of the see of the Archbishop of Alexandria. Unable to use any internal Egyptian material, they began to suggest to Constantius that Athanasius was the main culprit in his clashes with his brothers, and during the war with Magnentius, he was accused of correspondence with the usurper, and most importantly - the name of Athanasius was associated with incessant strife in the church environment.

Therefore, as soon as the external threats were mostly passed and Constantius, now the sole ruler of the entire Roman Empire, was faced with the task of consolidating its internal stability, he, following the example of his father, Constantine I, considered the Christian Church to be his main support in solving this problem, but the Arian trend as closer to him in beliefs and economically dependent on the imperial authorities in the eastern dioceses. Naturally, the first object of Constantius ' religious policy was the Church of Alexandria, headed by the most consistent opponent of Arianism, Archbishop Athanasius, who also enjoyed authority in the Roman Church and had friendly relations with many bishops of the western half of the empire.

The surest way to get rid of Athanasius, the emperor and his entourage considered excommunicating him from the Church and thereby removing him from the bishopric of Alexandria. However, an attempt to resolve this issue at the Council of Arelatum in 353 failed: the Western bishops refused to discuss this issue in the absence of Athanasius. Then Constantius tried to force Athanasius to leave Alexandria through his officials. Athanasius tells about this in his second apology - "A protective word before the Emperor Constantius", written already in exile in 356-357. (Creations, II. pp. 41-76). In this apology, first of all, he exposes the falsity of the accusations of "slander" against Constantius in order to quarrel with his younger brother, resolutely denies the accusation of correspondence with Magnentius and demands that the informer and scribes be called in for questioning, explains the reason for holding the Easter service in the new church before the emperor consecrated it with the narrowness of the old church, and justifies why He left Alexandria at the first order of the emperor. It turns out that, apparently, as early as 353 (during the Council of Arelat?) Athanasius received a letter from the emperor with permission to go to Italy, as if in response to his request. But, as Athanasius writes, he did not make such a request to the emperor, and therefore

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He considered this order to be the result of a misunderstanding caused by the machinations of his enemies, for not long before 47 Constantius had written to him: "We desire, according to our purpose, that you should always be bishop in your own place" (Works II. p. 61).

In 355, by order of the emperor, a council was convened in Mediolanum, which brought together mainly bishops from the western provinces, many of whom adhered to the Nicene faith, and Constantius with difficulty succeeded in deposing Athanasius. Some of them, who most actively opposed his condemnation (the Bishop of Rome of Liberia, Bishops Paulinus of Trivera, Dionysius and Eusebius of Italy, and others), lost their dioceses and were exiled (Socr. Sch. n. E. II. 36; Theodorit., N. E. II. 15-16). Apparently, immediately after the decisions of the Council of Mediolanum, the notary Diogenes was sent to Alexandria with a demand for Athanasius to leave the episcopal see, but he did not obey, and the same demand was made by Duc Sirian. But, as Athanasius writes, he demanded from the representatives of the imperial administration not verbal notifications, but a letter from the emperor with a corresponding instruction, so that there would be no grounds for accusing him of unauthorized abandonment of the pulpit (so as not to turn out to be a "fugitive who left the church" - Creations II. p. 62), and since the people supported Athanasius, duc Sirian and the Prefect Maximus promised to inform the emperor of this.

However, three weeks later, an order was received to capture Athanasius by military force. Here is what Athanasius tells about this in his "Word of Defense (apology) for his flight": it was already night, those who remained for the all-night vigil were waiting for the service, suddenly Dukanian appeared with a detachment of armed soldiers, surrounded the church, placing the soldiers tightly so that no one could escape. "Considering it unwise to leave the people in such confusion," Athanasius remained in his place, ordered the deacon to read Psalm 135 (praising the Lord), the worshippers to sing along "For His mercy endures forever", and the people to gradually disperse. After the Syrians and the soldiers had forcibly occupied the sanctuary, the laity and clergy raised a cry and asked him to leave, but it was only when most of the people had left that the monks and clerics took him with them.

After the expulsion from the church and the flight of Athanasius, the Arian George from Cappadocia was appointed bishop of Alexandria, the massacre of Athanasius ' supporters began, about 90 bishops in Egypt and Libya were removed, the churches were transferred to the Arians, 16 bishops were exiled (or 17, see Socr. Sch.N. E. II. 28), many fled. In his" Speech of Defense to the Emperor Constantius, " Athanasius quotes the text of the emperor's letter to the Alexandrians, in which Constantius declares that his favor for the city eclipsed Alexander the Great himself, although most of the inhabitants are blind, it was taken over by a person "who came from the most extreme baseness." For the emperor and his entourage, Athanasius is "a man from the crowd of the people", "no different from laborers", a violator of public peace, and therefore it is necessary not only to expel "the pernicious Athanasius, who was convicted of such heinous deeds that he will never suffer a worthy punishment, even if his life was taken from him ten times", but also and to persecute "his flatterers and minions," people who "have long been commanded by the judges to put to death," but who may not be put to death if they fall from their former errors. Praising Bishop George, the emperor advises all the inhabitants of the city to "renounce their allegiance to Athanasius", so as not to expose themselves to danger and so that "we do not need either cross-sections or cauterization to heal people who are corrupted in heart" (Works II. Pp. 67-69). Athanasius also cites a letter from the Emperor Constantius to the rulers of Axum, in which it is prescribed, based on the previous command, "that the same teaching may be valid in your churches with us", to send to Egypt for his trial

47 The" Table of Contents " under 350 indicates that Constantius wrote to Athanasius: "That he should not be alarmed at the death of Constans, but should rely on him just as much as on him when he was alive" - Works III. p. 384.

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Bishop Frumentius, ordained by Athanasius. If Frumentius readily appears and gives an account, he will be reappointed bishop (ibid., pp. 70-71).

At the end of this apology, Athanasius accuses the Arians of exceeding the strictness of Constantius ' instructions to their followers. Under the influence of the Arians, the emperor's threats could lead to the murder of Athanasius and other bishops, so when he learned of the emperor's messages, he again retired to the desert. Nevertheless, Athanasius ends his "Speech of Defense before the Emperor Constantius" by expressing the hope that the emperor will confine himself to threats, including against him, and asks to accept his excuses and return all clerics from exile.

The letters of the emperor cited by Athanasius in the apology provide important information about the situation in the Egyptian diocese and about the archbishop himself. The fact that threats of severe punishments (up to the death penalty) against the most loyal supporters of Athanasius, i.e. followers of the Nicene dogmas and opponents of the Arians, are combined with promises to release them from punishment if they abandon their previous delusions, indicates, on the one hand, the use of the former (as during the persecution) administrative practices of the imperial authorities. On the other hand, it is about the relatively weak position of Arianism in Egypt and the great influence of Athanasius. The characterization of Athanasius in Constantius ' letter to the Alexandrians ("a man from Ochlos", "no different from labourers"), which is supposed to cause disdain from the positions of secular and ecclesiastical nobility, apparently reflects just those features of his appearance (ascetic and preacher) that attracted the common people of Alexandria and Egypt to him.

Thus, since 356, according to the emperor Constantius (in a letter to the rulers of Axum), Athanasius "wanders in the world, finds no place anywhere, moves from one side to another" (Athanasius. Creations. II. p. 70). During this exile, which lasted from 356 to 362, Athanasius hid mainly among monks in the deserts of Thebes and Libya, but occasionally appeared in Alexandria and even allegedly at a church council in Seleucia Isauria .48 During this period, he wrote many of his works -the already mentioned apology addressed to the Emperor Constantius, and the apology for fleeing during his persecution by the Duc Sirian, the main dogmatic and historical polemical works: four words against the Arians (the ownership of the fourth to Athanasius is disputed), epistles to Serapion, Bishop of Tmu, " District Epistle to the bishops of Egypt and Libya against the Arians", "History of the Arians in an Epistle to the monks", "Epistle on the Councils of Ariminum and Seleucia of Isauria", "The Life of St. Anthony" and a number of other works.

Even in hiding from the persecution of the imperial administration and the Arian episcopate, Athanasius continued to lead the Egyptian diocese as far as possible. Thus, in his District Epistle to the Bishops of Egypt and Libya, he lists Arian bishops whose writings should not be trusted: Secundus of Pentapolis, George of Laodicea, Leontius the Eunuch, Stephen and Theodore of Heraclea, and the famous Ursacius, Valens, Acacius, Patrophilus, etc. Athanasius asks us not to be influenced by them and to trust only the writings of the great Hosea (Bishop of Cordoba), Maximian (Bishop of Gaul), Julius and Liberius (bishops of Rome), Cyprian (Bishop of Mysia), Pist and Aristus (bishops of Hellas), Caecilian (Bishop of Africa), Alexander (Bishop of Constantinople), Macarius (Bishop of Saint Alexander (Bishop of Egypt) and other Orthodox bishops of Dacia, Italy, Sicily, Cappadocia, Heraclea, Armenia, Pontus, Cilicia, and Mesopotamia. Unfortunately, history has not preserved the "Holiday Epistles" of Athanasius over the years, only a few fragments have survived, allegedly extracted from the Easter epistles for 356 and 357, and it is possible that in subsequent years he did not write them.

Hiding in the monastic kinovia 49, Athanasius considered it his duty to be among them as well

48 For the presence of Athanasius at the Council of Seleucia of Isauria, see Spassky. U k op. p. 398. Note 1.

49 On monasticism in Egypt in the IV century, see Vankova A. B. On the question of the number of monks in Egypt in the second half of the IV century / / VDI. 1998. N 3. pp. 164-174.

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conduct a preachy struggle against Arianism. He addresses two epistles to the monks: the first, apparently addressed to the monks of his diocese - "All who strive everywhere in this region" (Works II. pp. 103-105), contains only a brief condemnation of the Arian heresy; the second, addressed to "Monks who dwell everywhere" (ibid., pp. 105-176The story is about the Arians 'persecution of those who follow the Nicene faith since the time of the Emperor Constantius' coming to power, about the robbery of Orthodox churches with the help of pagans, about the greed and cruelty of the Arians, patronized by the comite Heraclius, Eparch Cataphronius 50 , Catholicos Faustinus, Duc Sebastian (Manichaeus) and the heretic Bithynus, about the expulsion of bishops loyal to Athanasius, the destruction of monasteries, the appointment of young pagans as bishops on the basis of their wealth and influence in society, the dominance of former pagans in the church, who think that "the church is the same senate" (Creation. II. P. 170). In contrast to the" Apology to Constantius", the epistle to the monks clearly describes the emperor negatively, accusing him of patronizing" the most impious heresy " (ibid., p. 166). Probably, at the same time of open confrontation with Arianism, an inscription found in Thebes contains a letter from Archbishop Athanasius to the monks urging them not to follow Arianism.

Athanasius, who was excommunicated and persecuted, could not participate in the church councils of Ariminum and Seleucia. 52 Nevertheless, in his epistle On the councils of Ariminum in Italy and Seleucia in Isauria, he writes that he considered it appropriate "to bring to your attention what he himself saw and recognized exactly "(Works. III. p. 92). It is possible that this refers to the texts of documents he saw discussed at the councils, and to the council epistles, copies ("lists") of which Athanasius cites in the epistle. In this work, Athanasius refutes as heretical the Arian formulas of confession, beginning with the "Aryan blasphemy" and the letter of the Arians to Archbishop Alexander, and then in texts discussed at the councils of Jerusalem in 335 and 341, in Antioch in 341 and 344, in Sirmium in 351 and 357, in Seleucia of Isauria in 359 city of Defending the definition of" consubstantiality " of the Father and Son and pointing out the fallacy of the term "subsubstantial", Athanasius nevertheless expresses the hope of ending all strife and word disputes (Creations. III. p. 164). The "Epistle" does not indicate to whom it is addressed, but, as it seems, not so much to the outside world as to its own diocese - the Egyptian and Alexandrian congregations, divided and dogmatic disputes (Arians dominated Alexandria, in 356). Aetius, the founder of the Anomaean heresy, began to preach) and property stratification, the emergence of a new generation of church clergy mainly from Arians, who sought the titles of presbyters and bishops for the sake of the honors and income associated with them, as Athanasius wrote in an epistle to the monks.

Papyri also confirm the presence of very rich people among the clergy, for example, among the landowners in the Hermopolis nome is Bishop Dios, who owned land plots of more than 460 aruras .53 One of the richest people in the world

50 According to the Chronicon acephalon. 5, Cataphronius arrived in Alexandria to assume the office of prefect in June 356 (Vanderslcyen. Op. cit. p.124), i.e. shortly after Athanasius ' exile.

51 Perhaps not only their way of life, but also their long association with Archbishop Athanasius, contributed to the predominance of Orthodox Christianity among them. One might think that the words of Apa Shenute addressed to the Lord: "Do you not see that the Greeks and the Gentiles and the ungodly could not understand You, because they did not take the trouble in their unbelief and in their uncleanness?" (Shenoute. Against Kronos. II // Sayings of the Egyptian fathers. Monuments of Coptic literature. St. Petersburg, 1993, p. 181), echo the reproaches of Archbishop Athanasius addressed to Jews, heretics and Arians that "they were negligent and did not take care to achieve true knowledge", did not "understand the teaching revealed by God" (Creations. III. p.507).

52 For the possible presence of Athanasius at the council of Seleucia of Isauria, see note 48 above.

53 For comparison, we will point out the ones preserved in the Thead River. 17 = Sacaon river. 44 data on the land holdings of the koma of Theadelphia of the Arsinoite nome: in 332, according to a petition of the komarchs, this decayed koma paid taxes from 500 aruras.

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Archbishop George, who took over the see after the expulsion of Athanasius in 356, became Archbishop of Alexandria. The son of a woolworker from Cappadocia, he gained business experience and then wealth before joining the clergy (Amm. Marc. XXII. 11; Epiph. Haeres. 76), in Alexandria, he became actively involved in business life: as the head of the church, he received a monopoly on the trade in salt, saltpetre, papyrus, and on the organization of funerals. His economic activities affected the interests of all segments of the population, he worked in contact with the city authorities, on his advice all the houses of Alexandria were taxed, and with his encouragement and connivance there was a robbery of pagan churches (and Orthodox churches?). Arrogant, cruel, and self-serving, he aroused the hatred of the Alexandrian populace, and maintained his position as archbishop only thanks to the support of the Emperor Constantius and his military might. According to Ammianus Marcellinus (XXII. 11: 5-6), George stooped to the role of an informer: "before Constantius, who had a tendency to allow fraud," he " slandered many as if they did not obey his orders."

With the coming to power of the Emperor Julian, the central and provincial administration was replaced: prefect Faustinus, mentioned in the letters of Athanasius 359-361, was replaced in November 361 by Prefect Gerontius (Chronicon Achefalon. 8; 10), on the complaint of the Alexandrians addressed to Julian, Duc Artemius was executed (Amm. Marc. XXII. 11.2). In this situation, the growing general hostility to George led to a spontaneous explosion and reprisals against Bishop 54 on the day of the Mithraic celebration of Dies Natalis Solis Invicti-December 24, 361. Here is what Socrates Scholasticus tells us about this: on a desolate plot that previously belonged to the Mithraists and was given to Christians by the Emperor Constantius, Archbishop George decided to build a " prayer house "(church). When clearing the site at great depth, a sacred cave was opened, where pagan sacraments were performed, and human skulls were found. The Christians who discovered the cave " deliberately tried to expose the pagan sacraments to everyone for ridicule. Seeing this... The pagans of Alexandria were inflamed with anger, seized some weapons, and attacked the Christians, killing many in various ways" (Socr. Sch.N. E. III. 2). And then "the pagans dragged George out of the church, tied him to a camel, tormented him, and then burned him along with the camel" (ibid.). Ammianus Marcellinus, who also tells about the death of Archbishop George, does not mention the desecration of the Mithraic monument, but adds that at the same time George was torn to pieces by the head of the mint Dracontius (who destroyed the recently erected altar in the mint) and Comitus Diodorus, who was in charge of the construction of the church, all three were burned and their ashes were thrown into the sea from fear that "Christians will gather their remains and build churches for them," like the martyrs (Amm. The magician. XXII. 11.9-10).

After learning of the events in Alexandria, the Emperor Julian in his epistle to the Alexandrians (Julian. Epist. 60), while condemning them for the lawless massacre of Archbishop George, at the same time writes that he would have deserved no less severe punishment in court, and blames him for the previous unrest in Alexandria , 55 caused by the plundering of valuables from the temple of Serapis, when Duc Artemius " dared to send soldiers against you "unjust, lawless, and godless," probably fearing George even more than Constance did. Since the initiative in the massacre of Archbishop George, Draconius and Diodorus belonged to the pagans, Julian, condemning the "audacity of the people", limited himself to this epistle with "admonitory words".

In the first months of his reign, the emperor Julian, along with the restoration of the pagan temples closed under Constantius, issued a decree on the return from exile

54 This event is reported by: Socr. Sch.N. E.III. 2; Amm. Marc. XXII. 11; Sozomen. V. 7; Philostorg. VII. 2.

55 The" Table of Contents "to the festive Easter epistles indicates that in 358 the festive epistle was not compiled, since Archbishop Athanasius was in hiding, and" George left the city of 5 Paofa, pursued by the crowd of people " - Creations. III. p.387.

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56 Christian bishops ("Galileans") and the return of their private property. At the same time, Christian churches and Christians had to return stolen items from pagan temples. In accordance with this decree, Archbishop Athanasius returned to Alexandria in the month of Mehir, i.e., at the beginning of February 362. According to Socrates Scholasticus," the people of Alexandria received him with joy", Athanasius again took the see of the archbishop, and most of the congregation, churches and houses of worship returned under his leadership, but some of the houses of worship in the diocese remained under the rule of the Arians and they " ordained Lucius in the place of George "(Socr. Sch. N.E. III. 4). At the same time, pagan Egyptian and Greco-Roman cults are being resumed in Egypt, as in other provinces, temples are being restored, and fees for their maintenance are being introduced. There is, for example, a letter from the syustat (representative) of one of the quarters of Oxyrhynchus, Aurelius Musa, addressed to the logistician Flavius Psouyt, with the recommendation of Aurelius Zakaon for the position of overseer of fees for the temple of Augustus in Alexandria (b. Ox. 1116), dated 363.

Under the threat of the restoration of paganism, which was insistently carried out by the emperor Julian, dogmatic disputes among Christians lost their former acuteness, a tendency towards reconciliation appeared, and Athanasius, who had called for unity in the mid-350s, immediately after returning from exile in 362, gathered-together with Bishops Lucifer (from Sardinia)returning from exile to Thebaid and Eusebius (from Vercelles in Gaul) and bishops from Italy, Libya, Egypt and Arabia-Council of Alexandria 57 . The participants of the council formulated a clear definition of the concepts of "essence" and" hypostasis", confirmed the confession of the" three hypostases " and appealed to the dioceses of Antioch and other dioceses to reunite on the principle of recognizing the Nicene dogma of faith. The appeal to the Antiochians preserved in the writings of Athanasius was signed together with Athanasius by the bishops of his diocese: Eusebius and Asterius from Alexandria, Gaius from Paratonia, Agathus from Fragon (Elearchia), Ammonius from Pachnemunis (Elearchia), Agathodaimon from Schedia and Menelaitis, Dracontius from lesser Hermopolis, Adelphius from Onuf of Lychnia, Hermion from Tanis, Mark of Zygros near Libya, Theodore of Atribis, Andrew of Arsinoita, Paphnutius of Sais, Mark of Philae, Zoilus of Andropolis, Mina of Antiphronus, as well as deacons Erenius and Agapitus sent from Bishop Lucifer, Deacons Maximus and Calimer from Bishop Paulinus, and some monks from Bishop Apollinaris ("Scroll to the Antiochians". - Creations. III. pp. 166-175).

The active activity of Athanasius caused sharp dissatisfaction with the emperor Julian, he regarded it as a counteraction to his desire to revive pagan cults. In a letter to the Alexandrians, he accused Athanasius, who had returned to the episcopal see without an edict from the emperor, of violating the law, since the "Galileans" were allowed "to return to their homeland, but not to their churches" (Epist. 110), and ordered them to leave the city immediately, threatening punishment. But Julian was particularly outraged by the request of the Christians of Alexandria to return Athanasius to the archiepiscopal see. He responded with a new long epistle to the Alexandrians (Epist. Ill) denouncing Christianity and preaching paganism, with a sharply negative review of Athanasius ("schemer", "not a man, but a pathetic little man") and ordering him not only to leave the city, but also to leave Egypt. In a letter to the prefect of Egypt Ekdikios (Epist. 112), the emperor demands that before the December kalends (i.e., before December 1, 362), the "enemy of the gods" Athanasius, who dared to "persuade noble Hellenic women to baptize", should be expelled from Egypt.

So, in 362, Athanasius occupied the episcopal see for about 10 months and at the end of the year was again forced to go into hiding. According to the story of Socrates Scholasticus (n.E. III. 14), Theodoret (N. E. III. 9) and other authors, Athanasius went down the river to Thebaid, but,

56 This is reported by: Rufin.N. E. X; Socr. Sch. N. E. III. 1; 24; Theodorit. N. E. III. 4; Philostorg. VI. 7; Sozomen. V. 5.

57 A high assessment and detailed account of the results of the Council of Alexandria in 362 are given in the review of dogmatic movements of the fourth century in the book: Spassky. Uk. soch. p. 425-437.

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When he learned of the persecution, he returned to Alexandria and hid in the city until the persecution ended. However, the" Table of Contents "reports that Athanasius sent a festive message from Memphis in 363, and only when it became known about the death of the emperor Julian in the Persian campaign and the proclamation of Jovian as emperor, did he" secretly come to Alexandria during the night " (Works. III. p. 389). But probably to avoid this time being accused of unauthorized occupation of the pulpit, the 70-year-old Athanasius went to Antioch in September 363, when Jovian arrived there to receive his sanction. Since Jovian adhered to the Nicene dogmas of the faith, "he approved by letter the Bishop of Alexandria, Athanasius, who immediately after the death of Julian took over the administration of the Church of Alexandria, and by the power of the royal letter, having then received more freedom, was freed from all fear" (Socr. Sch. N.E. III. 24). In his Epistle to the Emperor Jovian, Athanasius, in accordance with the wishes of "the most God-loving Augustus," briefly outlined the foundations of the Nicene creed and its distortion by the heretics Arius and his followers.

Unexpectedly, in February 364, Jovian died suddenly and Athanasius was again threatened with exile. Power in the eastern half of the Roman Empire was in the hands of the Emperor Valens, who was influenced in matters of religion by the Archbishop of Constantinople, Eudoxius, a staunch Arian. By the decree of Valens on the exile of all the bishops who had been exiled by Constantius and returned under Julian, Athanasius was again forced into exile in 365 .58 This time, according to Socrates Scholasticus, he hid in the tomb of his father for four months, his absence caused discontent among the people, and Valens, "having learned of the real cause of unrest in Alexandria, ordered Athanasius to rule the churches without fear" (n. E. III. 13). In the "Table of Contents" the events of this year are described somewhat differently: it is reported that the Christians took possession of Caesarion (Caesar's temple), that the bishop was again persecuted by enemies and he retired to the settlement at the new canal, but" after a few days "the notary Brasidus and the eparch came to him and "assisted" in his return, and on 27 epiphany =July 21, 365, an earthquake occurred, accompanied on the eastern coast by the appearance of the sea "from its limits", because of which many lost their lives and significant devastation occurred (Creations. III. pp. 389-390; Socrates Scholasticus also mentions the earthquake. - n. E. III. 3). Are they related are these events related? Athanasius, who was exiled in March, could have been asked to return after four months under pressure from people terrified by the earthquake.

In the following years, there is no record of any harassment of Athanasius by the imperial administration, but his life was hardly peaceful. In the" Table of Contents " of the holiday epistles, it is reported that in 366 there was a revolt of the Gentiles, Caesarea, taken from them a year earlier, burned down, and many citizens suffered great disasters. Until the end of his life, Athanasius continued to defend in his writings the principles of religion formulated at the Council of Nicaea and refute Arian and similar dogmatic constructions, but in everyday church practice he was not irreconcilable. As already mentioned, he was the initiator of the Council of Alexandria in 362, where there was a convergence of supporters of the dogma of the "consubstantiality" of the Father and Son and the dogma of their "subsubstantiality". There were essentially two archbishops in Alexandria at this time: the Arians, as already mentioned, after the death of Archbishop George, ordained Lucius in his place. In the Scroll to the Antiochians (Works III. p. 166), Bishop Lucius is also mentioned among those present at the Council of Alexandria, but he is not mentioned among the signatories of this epistle. When the Emperor Julian ordered the expulsion of Athanasius from Alexandria and Egypt, his injunction was obviously favorable to Lucius, just as the expulsion of Athanasius in 365 A.D. The consolidation of Athanasius ' position, according to the decree of Valens, apparently caused some complications in inter-ecclesiastical relations.

58 See Florensky. Uk. op. p. 28.

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The" Table of Contents "to the" Festive Epistles "says that in September 367" Lucius tried to take possession of the church of 26 Thoth; he hid in a house near the holy of holies of the temple, and when the eparch Tatian and Duc Trajan escorted him out, he left the city and was thus miraculously saved, as the crowds of the people were searching for him." kill him" (Works. III. p. 390). It is difficult to say what Athanasius had to do with these events.

As usual, Athanasius annually sent to all the churches of his diocese "Festive Messages" with notification of the dates of the beginning of Lent and the celebration of Easter and dogmatic instructions, but, unfortunately, many of the" Messages " were not preserved. In 367, Athanasius compiled a " Canon of Divine Writings "and published it in another" Holiday Epistle " to warn his flock against apocryphal (secret and false) writings. He included in the canon 22 books of the Old Testament and books of the New Testament (the four Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, the seven Synodal epistles, the 14 Epistles of the Apostle Paul, and the Revelation of John), but called the canonical books " these are the sources of salvation; ... in them only instruction in piety is proclaimed "(Works. III. p. 520), Athanasius adds to them books that, as he writes, were assigned by the Fathers to be read by new comers who wanted to " begin the catechumens and study of piety." These are the biblical books: "The Wisdom of Solomon", "The Wisdom of the Son of Sirach", "Esther", "Judith", "Tobias", as well as the books of the New Testament: "The Teaching of the 12 Apostles "("Didache") and "Shepherd Herma", all of them are mainly instructive moral and ethical in nature. This list of Sacred writings accepted by the church was only part of the" Holiday Epistle " of 367, the rest of the text has not been preserved, and even smaller fragments of the holiday epistles have been preserved for the subsequent 368-373 years.

From the" Table of Contents " to these epistles, it is known that in 368 Athanasius undertook the restoration of the burned-down Caesarion (as an Orthodox church). The following year he began building a church in Mendidia, which was completed in 370, and in the same year the church was consecrated and named after him. This is the last act of Athanasius in favor of his diocese, attested by sources - in 373, he died.


A.I. Pavlovskaya

The author attempts a comprehensive survey of Athanasius' life and works (chiefly in connection with his own eparchy) based both on the historical sources and vast papyrological evidence of the epoch: Fayum papyri from the archives of Isidores and Sakaon, as well as the letters by Christians published by Naldini (Firenze, 1968) enable the author to show the growing influence of Christian Church in Egyptian chora. Some papyri from the archive of Abinnaios (e.g. letters by ара Mios) are of special interest for the history of Arianism in this region.

Analysing the circumstances of Athanasius' third exile, the author shows that the bishop's popularity was strengthened by his opposition to Arian Church elite, as well as by his tolerance and postoral care. Further survey describes Athanasius' pastoral, literary and polemic activity in the later period of his life.


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