Fathers of the Church

Index to the Festal Letters (Chronicon Athanasianum)

Description

This is one of our most important sources for the life of St. Athanasius; it provides a careful chronology and summarizes Athanasius’s movements and activities for each year.

Provenance

This index serves as an introduction to the Festal Letters of St. Athanasius; it was written by an early editor.

by Unknown in Unknown | translated by Archibald Robinson

AN Index of the months of each year, and of the days, and of the Indications, and of the Consulates, and of the governors in Alexandria, and of all the Epacts, and of those [days] which are named 'of the Gods,' and the reason [any Letter] was not sent, and the returns from exile — from the Festal Letters of Pope Athanasius.

The Festal Letters of Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, which he sent year by year, to the several cities and all the provinces subject to him; that is, from Pentapolis, and on to Libya, Ammoniaca, the greater and the lesser Oasis, Egypt, and Augustamnica, with the Heptanomis of the upper and the middle Thebais; [commencing] from the 44th year of the Diocletian Era, in which the Paschal Festival was on xvi Pharmuthi; xviii Kal. Mai, xviii Moon; when Alexander, his predecessor, having departed this life on xxii Pharmuthis, he [Athan.] succeeded him after the Paschal festival on xiv Pauni, Indict. i, Januarius and Justus being Consuls, the governor Zenius of Italy being the Praefect of Egypt, Epact xxv; Gods, i.

I. (Aug. 29, 328, to Aug. 28, A. D. 329.) In this year, Easter-day was on xi Pharmuthi; viii. Id. Ap.; xxii Moon; Coss. Constantinus Aug. viii, Constantinus Caes. IV; the same governor Zenius being Praefect of Egypt; Indict. ii; Epact vi; Gods, ii. this was the first Letter he [Athan.] sent; for he was ordained Bishop in the preceding year after the Paschal feast, Alexander, as is known, having despatched one for that year, before he was relaesed from life. This was in the 45th year of the Diocleatian Aera.

II. (329-330.) In this year, Easter-day was on xxiv Pharmuthi; xiii Kal. Mai; xv Moon; Coss. Gallicianus, Symmachus; the governor Magninianus the Cappadocian being Praefect of Egypt; Indict. iii; Epact xvii; Gods, iii. In this year he went through the Thebais.

III. (330-331.) In this year, Easter-day was on xvi Pharmuthi; xviii Moon; iii Id. Ap.; Coss. Annius Bassus, Ablavius; the governor Hyginus[6a] of Italy, Praefect of Egypt; Epact xxviii; Indict. iv. He sent this Letter while journeying on his return from the Imperial Court. For in this year he went to the Imperial Court to the Emperor Constantine the Great, having been summoned before him, on account of an accusation his enemies made, that he had been appointed when too young. He appeared, was thought worthy of favour and honour, and returned[6b] when the fast was half finished.

IV. (331-332.) In this year, Easter-day was on xvvii Pharmuthi; xx Moon; iv Non. Apr.; Epact ix; Gods, vi; Coss. Pacatianus, Hilarianus; the same governor Hyginus, Praefect of Egypt; Indict. v. In this year he went through Pentapolis, and was in Ammoniaca.

V. (332-333.) In this year, Easter-day was on xx Pharmuthi; xv Moon; xvii Kal. Mai; Epact xx; Gods, vii; Coss. Dalmatius, Zenophilus; the governor Paternus, Praefect of Egypt; Indict. vi.

VI. (333-334.) In this year, Easter-day was on xii Pharmuthi; xvii Moon; vii Id. Apr.; Indict. vii; Epact i; Gods, i; Coss. Optatus, Paulinus; the same governor Paternus[8a] Praefect of Egypt. In this year he went through the lower country. In it he was summoned to a Synod, his enemies having previously devised mischief against him in Caesarea of Palestine; but becoming aware of the conspiracy, he excused himself from attending.

VII. (334-335.) In this year, Easter-day was on xiv[8b] Pharmuthi; xx Moon; iii Kal. Ap.; Indict. viii; Epact xii; Gods, ii; Coss. Constantius[8c], Albinus; the same governor Paternus, Praefect of Egypt.

VIII. (335-336.) In this year, Easter-day was on xxiii Pharmuthi; xx Moon; siv Kal. Mai; Indict. ix; Epact xxiii; Gods, iv; Coss. Nepotianus, Facundus; the governor Philagrius the Cappadocian, Praefect of Egypt. In this year he went to that Synod of his enemies which was assembled at Tyre. Now he journeyed from this place on xvii Epiphi, but when a discovery was made of the plot against him, he removed thence and fled in an open boat to Constantinople. Arriving there on ii Ahtyr, after eight days he presented himself before the Emperor Constantine, and spoke plainly. But his enemies, by various secret devices, influenced the Emperor, who suddenly condemned him to exile, and he set out on the tenth of Athyr to Gaul, to Constans Caesar, the son of Augustus. On this account he wrote no Festal Letter.

IX. (336-7.) In this year, Easter-day was on viii Pharmuthi; xvi Moon; iv[11a] Non. Ap.; Indict. x; Epact iv; Gods, v; Coss. Felicianus, Titianus; the governor Philagrius, the Cappadocian, Praefect of Egypt. He was in Treviri of Gaul, and on this account was unable to write a Festal Letter.

X. (337-8.) In this year, Easter-day was on xxx Phamenoth; vii Kal. Ap.; xix[11b] Moon; Indict. xi; Epact xv; Gods, vi; Coss. Ursus, Polemius; the governor Theodorus, of Heliopolis, Praefect of Egypt. In this year, Constantine having died on xxvii Pachon[12a], Athanasius, now liberated, returned from Gaul triumphantly on xxvii Athyr. In this year, too, there were many events. Antony, the great leader, came to Alexandria, and though he remained there only two days, shewed himself wonderful in many things, and healed many. He went away on the third of Messori.

XI. (338-9.) In this year, Easter-day was on xx Pharmuthi; xx Moon; xvii Kal. Mai; Epact xxvi; Gods, vii; Indict. xii; Coss. Constantius II, Constans I; the governor Philagrius, the Cappadocian, Praefect of Egypt. In this year, again, there were many tumults. On the xxii Phamenoth he was pursued in the night, and the next day he fled from the Church of Theonas, after he had baptized many. Then, four days after, Gregorius the Cappadocian entered the city as Bishop.

XII. (339-340.) In this year, Easter-day was on xiv Pharmuthi; xv Moon; iii Kal. Ap.; Epact vii; Gods, ii; Indict. xiii; Coss. Acyndinus, Proclus; the same governor Philagrius, Praefect of Egypt. Gregorius continued his acts of violence, and therefore [Ath.] wrote no Festal Letter. The Arians proclaimed [Easter] on xxvii Phamenoth, and were much ridiculed on account of this error. Then altering it in the middle of the fast, they kept it with us on iv Pharmuthi, as above. He [Athanasius] gave notice of it to the presbyters of Alexandria in a short note, not being able to send a Letter as usual, on account of his flight and the treachery.

XIII. (340-341.) In this year, Easter-day was on xxiv Pharmuthi; xvi Moon; xiii. Kal. Mai; Epact xviii; Gods, iii; Indict. xiv; Coss. Marcellinus, Probinus; the governor Longinus, of Nicaea, Praefect of Egypt. Augustamnica was separated[17a]. On account of Gregorius continuing in the city, and exercising violence, although his illness commenced, the Pope did not write a Festal Letter even this time[17b].

XIV. (341-2.) In this year, Easter-day was on xvi Pharmuthi; xx Moon; iii Id. Ap.; Epact xxix; Gods, iv.; Indict xv; Coss. Constantius III, Constans II; the governor Longinus of Nicaea, Praefect of Egypt. Because Gregorius was in the city, [though] severely ill, the Pope was unable to send [any letter].

XV. (342-3.) In this year, Easter-day was on 1 Pharmuthi; xv Moon; vi Kal. Ap.; Epact xi; Gods, v; Indict. i; Coss. Placidus, Romulus, the same governor Longinus of Nicaea, Praefect of Egypt. In this year the Synod of Sardica was held; and when the Arians had arrived, they returned to Philippopolis, for Philagrius gave them this advice there. In truth, they were blamed everywhere, and were even anathematised by the Church of Rome, and having written a recantation to Pope Athanasius, Ursacius and Valens were put to shame. There was an agreement made at Sardica respecting Easter, and a decree was issued to be binding for fifty years, which the Romans and Alexandrians everywhere announced in the usual manner. Again, he [Athan.] wrote a Festal Letter.

XVI. (343-4.) In this year, Easter-day was on XX Pharmuthi; xix Moon; xvii Kal. Mai; Epact xxi; Gods, vi[i]; Coss. Leontius, Sallustius; the governor Palladius, of Italy, Praefect of Egypt; Indict. ii. Being at Naissus on his return from the Synod, he there celebrated Easter. Of this Easter-day he gave notice in few words to the presbyters of Alexandria, but he was unable to do so to the country.

XVII. (344-5.) In this year, Easter-day was on xii Pharmuthi; xviii Moon; vii. Id. Ap.; Epact ii; Gods, i; Indict. iii; Coss. Amantius, Albinus; the governor Nestorius of Gaza, Praefect of Egypt. Having travelled to Aquileia, he kept Easter there. Of this Easter day, he gave notice in few words to the presbyters of Alexandria, but not to the country.

XVIII. (345-6.) In this year, Easter-day was on iv Pharmuthi; xxi Moon; iii. Kal. Ap.; Epact xiv; Gods, ii; Indict. iv; Coss. Constantius Aug. IV, Constans Aug. III; the same governor Nestorius of Gaza, Praefect of Egypt. Gregorius having died on the second of Epiphi, he returned from Rome and Italy, and entered the city and the Church. Moreover he was thought worthy of a grand reception, for on the xxiv Paophi, the people and all those in authority met him a hundred miles distant, and he continued in honour. He had already sent the Festal Letter for this year, in few words, to the presbyters.

XIX. (346-7.) In this year, Easter-day was on xvii Pharmuthi; xv. Moon; Prid. Id. Apr.; Epact xxv; Gods, iii; Indict. v; Coss. Rufinus, Eusebius; the same governor Nestorius of Gaza, Praefect of Egypt. He wrote this Letter while residing here in Alexandria, giving notice of some things which he had not been able to do before.

XX. (347-8.) In this year, Easter-day was on viii Pharmuthi; xviii Moon; iii Non. Ap.; Epact vi; Gods, v[4a]; Indict. vi; coss. Philippus, Salia; the same governor Nestorius of Gaza, Praefect of Egypt. This Letter also he sent while residing in Alexandria.

XXI. (348-9.) In this year, Easter-day was on xxx Phamenoth; ... xix Moon, ... vii Kal. Ap.; Epact svii; Gods, vi; Indict. vii. But because the Romans refused, for they said they held a tradition from the Apostle Peter not to pass the twenty-sixth day of Pharmuthi, nor .. the thirtieth day of Phamenoth, xxi Moon ............, vii Kal. Ap.; Coss. Limenius, Catullinus; the same governor Nestorius of Gaza, Praefect of Egypt. He sent this also while residing in Alexandria.

XXII. (349-50.) In this year, Easter-day was on xiii Pharmuthi; xix Moon, the second hour; vi Id. Ap.; Epact xxviii; Gods, vii; Indict. viii; Coss. Sergius, Nigrianus; the same governor Nestorius of Gaza, Praefect of Egypt. In this year, Constans was slain by Magnentius, and Constantius held the empire alone; then he wrote to the Pope [Athan.], telling him to fear nothing because of the death of Constans, but to confide in him as he had done in Constans while living.

XXIII. (350-1.) In this year, Easter-day was on v Pharmuthi; Moon xviii; Prid. Kal. Ap.; Epact ix; Gods, i; Indict. ix; the Consulship after that of Sergius and Nigranius; the same governor Nestorius of Gaza, against Praefect of Egpyt.

XXIV. (351-2.) In this year, Easter-day was on xxiv Pharmuthi; xviii Moon; xiii Kal. Mai; Epact xx; Gods, iii; Indict. x; Coss. Constantius Aug. V, Constantius Caesar I; the same governor Nestorius of Gaza, Praefect of Egypt. Gallus was proclaimed Caesar, and his name changed into Constantius.

XXV. (352-3.) In this year Easter-day was on xvi Pharmuthi; xxi Moon; iii Id. Ap.; Epact i; Gods, iv; Indict. xi; coss. Constantius Aug. VI, Constantius Caesar II; the governor Sebastianus of Thrace, Praefect of Egypt. In this year, Serapion, Bishop of Thmuis, and Triadelphus of Nicion, and the presbyters Petrus and Astricius, with others, were sent to the emperor Constantius, through fear of mischief from the Arians. They returned, having effected nothing. In this year, Montanus, Silentiarius of the Palace, [was sent] ... against [the] Bishop, but, a tumult having been excited, he retired, having failed to effect anything.

XXVI. (353-4.) In this year, Easter-day was on i[8a] Pharmuthi; xvii Moon; vi Kal. Ap.; Epact xii; gods, v; Indict. xii; Coss. Constantius Aug. VII, Constantius Caesar III.; the same governor Sebastianus of Thrace, Praefect of Egypt.

XXVII. (354-5.) In this year, Easter-day was on xxi Pharmuthi; xviii Moon; xvi Kal. Mai; Epact xxiii; Gods, vi; Indict. xiii; Coss. Arbetion, Lollianus; the governor Maximus the Elder of Nicaea, Praefect of Egypt. In this year, Diogenes, the Secretary of the Emperor, entered with the design of seizing the Bishop. But he, too, having raged in vain, when away quietly.

XXVIII. (355-6.) In this year, Easter-day was on xii Pharmuthi; xvii Moon; vii Id. Ap.; Epact iv; Gods, i; Indict. xiv; Coss. Constantius Aug. VIII, Julianus Caesar I; the same governor Maximus the Elder of Nicaea, Praefect of Egypt, who was succeeded by Catphronius of Byblus. In this year, Syrianus Dux, having excited a tumult in the Church on the thirteenth of Mechir, on the fourteenth at night entered Theonas with his soldiers; but he was unable to capture [Athanasius], for he escaped in a miraculous manner.

XXIX. (356-7.) In this year, Easter-day was on xxvii Phamenoth; xvii Moon; x Kal. Ap.; Epact xv; Gods, ii; Indict. xv; Coss. Constantius Aug. IX, Julianus Caesar II; the same governor Cataphronius of Byblus, Praefect of Egypt, to whom succeeded Parnassius. Then Georgius entered on the thirtieth of Mechir, and acted with excessive violence. But Athanasius, the Bishop, had fled, and was sought for in the city with much oppression, many being in danger on this account. Therefore no Festal Letter was written[9a].

XXX. (357-8.) In this year, Easter-day was on xvii Pharmuthi; Prid. Id. Ap.; xvii Moon; Epact xxvi; Gods, iii; Indict. i; Coss. Tatianus, Cerealis; the governor Parius of Corinth, Praefect of Egypt. Athanasius, the Bishop, lay concealed in the city of Alexandria. But Georgius left on the fifth of Paophi[9b] being driven away by the multitude. On this account, neither this year was the Pope able to send a Festal Letter.

XXXI. (358-9.) In this year, Easter-day was on ix[9c] Pharmuthi; Prid. Non. Ap.; xx Moon; Epact vii; Gods, iv; Indict. ii; Coss. Eusebius, Hypatius; the same governor Parius, who was succeeded by Italicianus of Italy for three months; after him Faustinus, of Chalcedon. Neither this year did the Pope write [any letter].

XXXII. (359-60.) In this year, Easter-day was on xxviii Pharmuthi; ix Kal. Mai; xxi Moon; Epact xviii; Gods, vi; Indict. iii; Coss. Constantius Aug. X, Julianus Caesar III; the governor Faustinus, of Chalcedon, Praefect of Egypt. This Praefect and Artemius Dux, having entered a private house and a small cell, in search of Athanasius the Bishop, bitterly tortured Eudaemonis, a perpetual virgin. On this account no [Letter] was written this year.

XXXIII. (360-1.) In this year, Easter-day was on xiii Pharmuthi; vi Id. Ap.; xvii Moon; Epact xxix; gods, vii; Indict. iv; Coss. Taurus, Florentius; the same governor Faustinus, Praefect of Egypt,who was succeeded by Gerontius the Armenian. He was unable to send [a Letter]. In this year, Constantius died[10a], and Iulianus holding the empire alone, there was a cessation of the persecution against the Orthodox. For commands were issued everywhere from the emperor Julianus, that the Orthodox ecclesiastics who had been persecuted in the time of Constantius should be let alone.

XXXIV. (361-2.) In this year, Easter-day was on v[10b] Pharmuthi; Prid. Kal. Ap.; xxv Moon; Epact x; Gods, i; Indict. v; Coss. Mamertinus, Nevitta; the same governor Gerontius, who was succeeded by Olympus of Tarsus. In this year, in Mechir, Athanasius the Bishop returned to the Church, after his flight, by the command of Julianus Augustus, who pardoned all the Bishops and Clergy in exile, as was before said. This year, then, he wrote [a Letter].

XXXV. (362-3.) In this year, Easter-day was on xxv Pharmuthi; xii Kal. Mai; xx Moon; Epact xxi; Gods, ii; Indict. vi; Coss. Julianus Augustus IV, Sallustius; the same governor Olympus, Praefect of Egypt. Pythiodorus Trico of Thebes, a Philosopher, brought a decree of Julianus on the twenty- seventh of Paophi, and set it in action against the Bishop first, and uttered many threats. So he [Athan.] left the city at once, and went up to the Thebais. And when after eight months Julianus died, and his death was announced, Athanasius returned secretly by night to Alexandria. Then on the eight of Thoth, he embarked[10c] at the Eastern Hierapolis, and met the emperor Jovian, by whom he was dismissed with honour. He sent this Festal Letter to all the country, while being driven by persecution from Mmphis to the Thebais, and it was delivered as usual.

XXXVI. (363-4.) In this year, Easter-day was on ix Pharmuthi; Prid. Non. Ap.; xvi Moon; Epact iii; Gods, iv; Indict. vii; Coss. Iovianus Aug., Varronianus; the governor Aerius of Damascus, Praefect; who was succeeded by Maximus of Rapheotis, and he again by Flavianus the Illyrian. In this year, the Pope returned to Alexandria and the Church on the twenty-fifth of Mechir. He sent the Festal Letter, according to custom, from Antioch to all the Bishops in all the province.

XXXVII. (364-5.) In this year, Easter-day was on i Pharmuthi; v[i] Kal. Ap.; xix Moon; Epact xiv; Gods, v; Indict. viii; Coss. Valentinianus Aug. I, Valens Aug.; the same Flavianus, the Illyrian, being governor. We received the Caesareum; but again, the Pope being persecuted with accusations, withdrew to the garden of the new river. But a few days after, Barasides, the notary, came to him with the Praefect, and obtained an entrance for him into the Church. Then, an earthquake happening on the twenty-sevent of Epiphi[13a], the sea returned from the East, and much damage was caused.

XXXVIII. (365-6.) In this year, Easter-day was on xxi Pharmuthi; xvi Kal. Mai; xx Moon; Epact xxv; Gods, vi; Indict. ix; in the first year of the Consulship of Gratianus, the son of Augustus, and Daglaiphus; the same governor Flavianus, Praefect. On the twenty-seventh of Epiphi, the heathen made an attack, and the Caesareum was burnt, and consequently many of the citizens suffered great distress, while the authors of the calamity were condemned and exiled. After this, Proclianus the Macedonian, became chief.

XXXIX. (366-7.) In this year Easter-day was on vi Pharmuthi; Kal. Ap.; xvi Moon; Epact vvi; Gods, vii; Indict. x; Coss Lupicinus, Jovinus; the same Proclianus being governor, who was succeeded by Tatianus of Lycia. In this year, when Lucius had attempted an entrance on the twenty-sixth of Thoth, and lay concealed by night in a house on the side of the enclosure of the Church; and when Tatianus the Praefact and Trajanus Dux brought him out, he left the city, and was rescued in a wonderful manner, while the multitude sought to kill him. In this year he [Ath] wrote, forming a canon of the Holy Scriptures.

XL. (367-8.) In this year, Easter-day was on xxv Pharmuthi; xii Ka. Mai; xvi Moon; Epact xvii; Gods, ii; Indict xi; Coss Valentinianus Aug. II, Valens Aug. II; the same governor Tatianus, Praefect. He [Athan.] began to build anew the Caesareum, on the 6th of Pachon, having been honoured with an imperial command by Trajanus Dux. He also discovered the incendiaries, and immediately cleared away the rubbish of the burnt ruins, and restored the edifice in the month of Pachon.

XLI. (368-9.) In this year, Easter-day was on xvii Pharmuthi; Prid. Id. Ap.; xv Moon; Epact xxviii; Gods, iii; Indict. xii; Coss. Valentinianus (son of Augustus) I, Victor; the same Tatianus being governor. The Pope began to build that Church in Mendidium which bears his name, on the twenty-fifth of the month Thoth, at the beginning of the eighty-fifth year of the Diocletian Era.

XLII. (369-70.) In this year, Easter-day was on ii Pharmuthi; v Kal. Ap.; xv Moon; Epact ix; Gods, iv; Indict. xiii; Coss. Valentianus Aug. III, Valens Aug. III; the same Tatianus being governor who was succeeded by Olympius Palladius, of Samosata. The Pope finished the Church, called after his name, at the close of the eighty-sixth year of the Diocletian Era; in which also he celebrated the dedication, on the fourteenth of Mesori.

XLIII. (370-1.) In this year, Easter-day was on xxii Pharmuthi; xv Kal. Mai; xvi Moon; Epact xx; Gods, v; Indict. xiv; Coss. Gratianus Aug. II, Probus; the same Palladius being governor: who was succeeded as Praefect of Egypt by Aelius Palladius, of Palestine, who was called Cyrus.

XLIV. (371-2.) In this year Easter-day was on xiii Pharmuthi; vi Id. Ap.; xix Moon; Epact i; Gods, vii; Indict. xv; Coss. Modestus, Arintheus; the same Aelius Palladius the governor, called Cyrus, Praefect of Egypt.

XLV. (372-3.) In this year, Easter-day was on v Pharmuthi; Prid. Kal. Ap.; xxi Moon; Epact xii; Gods, i; Indict. i; Coss. Valentinianus IV, Valens IV; the same governor Aelius Palladius, Praefect of Egypt. At the close of this year, on the seventh of Pachon, he [Athan.] departed this life in a wonderful manner

The end of the heads of the Festal Letters of holy Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria.

Taken from "The Early Church Fathers and Other Works" originally published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. in English in Edinburgh, Scotland, beginning in 1867. (NPNF II/IV, Schaff and Wace). The digital version is by The Electronic Bible Society, P.O. Box 701356, Dallas, TX 75370, 214-407-WORD.