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(744 words)

1. Life

Born in Alexandria about 297, Athanasius evidently knew both Greek and Coptic, and neither suffered nor saw persecution. At an early age he was attached to the house of Alexander, bishop of the metropolis. Made a deacon about 318, Athanasius accompanied the patriarch to the Council of Nicaea in 325 and acted as his secretary there. When Alexander died in 328, Athanasius succeeded him and led portions of the Egyptian church until his own death on May 2, 373.

We know from his writings, supportive church historians, and antagonists like the Arian hist…

Cite this page
Norris, Frederick W., “Athanasius”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 24 June 2022 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_A673>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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