Fragments of a letter from Alexander of Alexandria to Sylvester of Rome

We are continuing our look at the Arian documents of the Fourth Century. For those of just joining us, this is an exercise for me, although I hope others feel free to join in.

This Sylvester was the Bishop of Rome during Nicea. He didn’t attend, but did send legates. It is rightly said that the Arian controversy concerned the East, rather, played out in the East, but Rome kept an eye on it, and eventually would be the See which offered the compromise which because standarized in 381.

From a festal letter of the holy Alexander of Alexandria to Sylvester:

The true Word of God, the Life, the image of the unseen God, the firstborn of all creation , our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ emptied himself on our behalf, taking the form of a slave, and being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself to the point of death .

Part Two:

A letter of Bishop Alexander survives which was once sent to Sylvester, of blessed memory. It indicates that before the consecration of Athanasius there were already eleven priests and deacons who had been removed from the church because they were followers of the heresy of Arius. Some of these, although they have been put outside the catholic church, are apparently now holding their own public meetings, whom George* in Alexandria is confirmed to have given letters of fellowship.

Translation by AJW

As a note, these resources, and more, are found here.

Modern edition used
for part one
Marcel Richard, “Quelques nouveaux fragments des Pères anténicéens et nicéens” in Symbolae Osloensis 38 (1963), p. 82.
reprinted in Marcel Richard, Opera Minora, vol. 1, (Turnhout: Brepols, 1976) as article number 5.
Ancient source
for part two
Hilary: Fragmenta historia, Ed. Feder A, 7 (VII)
Modern edition used
for part two
Feder, A. L., S. Hilarii episcopi Pictaviensis Opera, CSEL vol. 65, part 4 (Vindobonae : F. Tempsky, 1916), pp. 91-9

You Might Also Like

Leave a Reply, Please!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.