Talk:Athanasius of Alexandria

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New addition to Athanasius' return...[edit]

The change to: ".....and sent back to his See to enthusiastic demonstrations of the populace,..." from Encyclopaedia Britannic in NOT a Neutral statement........ In fact it is quite patronising to the people of Alexandria..... It is suggesting that they are "Plebs"....

This confirms why I do not include desertions from the Encyclopaedia .....

Not it appears that that is a statement by Cornelius Clifford......

This Article Page took a lot of research and only the best / researched was used......

MacOfJesus (talk) 19:31, 22 December 2016 (UTC)

Well, in my opinion it's not in the least patronizing. It is well known that Athanasius was well-loved by the Christians there, and that his return was indeed acclaimed as a joyful event. I hope you're not suggesting that it's plebian to have admiration for someone else. The celebrating was a significant fact of church life at the time, in that it reflected the Alexandrians' rejection of Arianism, even over support of it coming from within the Roman capital. This whole issue has great religious importance, but it also had political implications, inasmuch as civil strife had broken out in many places, and governance was threatened, and Alexandria was one place that had suffered a good deal of that. So having some material to say what happened is not out of line; it had significance.
Encyclopedia Brittanica is not always a good source for information about the Orthodox Church. Like many western sources, all sincerely and honestly dedicated to getting things right, it still suffers from lack of familiarity with the Orthodox Church, what it is, what its religious beliefs and values are, how it worships, what its orientation is. That orientation is what is most difficult for westerners: too easily they think they get it, and too seldom realize they haven't. So I won't make exaggerated claims about EB. However, this is merely a recognition of a historical occurrence, and one that doesn't require much insight into the areas where EB falls short. It's right in line with reputable ancient historians also.
If you feel there's something misstated or skewed in the article's wording, you can make an edit, so long as its found in a source. If you wish to provide an alternate source, you can also do that. But this text was not a new entry. It was a restorative where it had been improperly removed a few days earlier. My argument is primarily that material needs to be included, not to say that the job of including it is yet perfect. Evensteven (talk) 21:23, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
I feel that at least brackets or indications of what is sourced from where should be used..... As it stands the reference is mid-paragraph..... Some have said, recently, that there are too many different styles of writings and questioned how references were working... [see this page]....
Hence, why did you remove the brackets....??? To seek a top rating for the Article Page, the references mid-pagagraph have to be clear......
MacOfJesus (talk) 00:09, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
If you look at the key paragraph just above it, I have used brackets mid-paragraph in indicating the different sources..... The research was immense and finding the best sourced took a lot of effort..... and was the reason why the page was cleared and we began again..... due to the opposing sources.... some true and some false.....
MacOfJesus (talk) 00:28, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
It is important to understand the conflicts and the stands of the different sides to appreciate Athanasius..... Indeed some sources are false and it took historical research to " iron them out "...  ::Some sourced accounts use opinion, liberally.... Some refuse to mention the conflict details.....
It is important to avoid any unnecessary labels....
MacOfJesus (talk) 01:27, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
Well, the brackets struck me as questionable: that is, it made me wonder why they were there - the meaning was not clear to me. But, not everyone is going to look at it the same way. So I won't stand in your way if you want to put them back. It was just my opinion, and you've clearly been working on this in depth. Best of everything in your editing. Evensteven (talk) 05:06, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
Thank you, I will restore them.... And I am looking forward to an A1 rating for this key page...... MacOfJesus (talk) 13:11, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
This would please me greatly, too. Thanks for your good work! Evensteven (talk) 16:57, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
FWIW, I think the addition in question might be reasonable included. From what I have myself read of the history of Alexandria regarding this time (which, admittedly, isn't that much), Athanasius was seen by the people of Alexandria as being a "defender of the truth" and such by the majority of the Christian population of Alexandria, and his return to Alexandria as an indication that the orthodox beliefs which the majority of them held and supported were going to be in some way restored, which that majority would welcome. That being the case, the enthusiastic reception of Alexandria to his return would be no more an indication of a group of people being "plebes" than would an enthusiastic reception of a successful presidential candidate, or other person newly placed or restored to a position of power, in that person's home town would be. John Carter (talk) 17:12, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
And too, there is no perfectly natural statement..... Also the Arian Bishop who came to Alexandria George of Cappadocia taking-over the See was killed, we believe.... So I'll restore Cornelius Clifford's words..... Thank you....... The next thing that needs re-writing is the Article Page: Council of Sardica, it contains just the discussion points.... MacOfJesus (talk) 17:22, 28 December 2016 (UTC)
I am very aware of neutrality in statement and I include the complete wording of Cornelius Clifford here in 1900 to 1907......
" He was accorded a gracious interview by the vacillating Emperor, and sent back to his see in triumph, where he began his memorable ten years' reign, which lasted down to the third exile, that of 356......" MacOfJesus (talk) 17:38, 28 December 2016 (UTC)

George of Cappadocia was reportedly killed by pagans. He had reportedly spend his term as Bishop of Alexandria persecuting the pagans. With Julian on the throne, the pagans retaliated. He was kicked to death by a mob of people. His corpse was first paraded throughout Alexandria, then it was cremated and the ashes were cast to the sea. Dimadick (talk) 14:05, 29 December 2016 (UTC)

Yes, everyone feared the Mobs..... But, Dimadick, if you have a source for this it could be added to the Article Page: George of Cappadocia..... MacOfJesus (talk) 18:57, 29 December 2016 (UTC)

It is already in that article, and it is citing Ammianus Marcellinus as the main source. Dimadick (talk) 10:03, 30 December 2016 (UTC)

The Termination of the Council...[edit]

The wording:  :"The termination of the Council"..... even though strange in modern times, meant that the protocol was entered.... It meant that all the reports to the Emperors were made and delivered.... This, then, took time as the directives had to be implemented..... The Nicene Fathers had to report back to Rome and the Creed presented...... [This is the Creed that all the Main-line Christian Churchs hold today.] The Historian was T. Gilmartin, published in 1890..... MacOfJesus (talk) 19:06, 29 December 2016 (UTC)

Well done! but some editing requested![edit]

I don't have the time to do what I feel is needed, so I can only suggest. Great article, basically, I love the phrase "Athanasius contra mundum" and understand Athanius' situation only too well.

The Patriarch section, opening with "T. Gilmartin, (Professor of History, Maynooth, 1890), writes in Church History, Vol. 1, Ch XVII" jumped out as being much too long for a reference - surely it's possible to hide away most of it and just have something like "Gilmartin wrote in 1890..." And isn't it normal to put this long a quote in a separate indented paragraph?

From the Patriarch section on, I wonder if there is misspelled copying or archaic use of language (begging for indented paragraphs) - or if you sometimes have difficulty with spelling, grammar and syntax. In several places the text does not read smoothly, or the meaning is not quite clear. The subject matter is fine, it just seems to need a quantity of minor editing to clarify and correct. Good luck! Lucy Skywalker (talk) 19:10, 29 April 2017 (UTC)

17:35, 1 May 2017 (UTC)17:35, 1 May 2017 (UTC)17:35, 1 May 2017 (UTC)17:35, 1 May 2017 (UTC)~~

Thank you...... I do appreciate that the reference to T. Gilmartin may be a little long..... but, consider that 8 to 10 years ago we had to start again on the Page........ Reason: There are false historical accounts and accounts that are full of bias...... Some accounts were challenged, contradicted, by the accounts of the Council of Sardica..... Athanasius was put on trial for murder at a full Council and acquitted... Yet the Faction's documents continued to oppose these.... The Historians that are trustworthy are those that are outlined.... Hence, I felt it necessary to hi light the importance of this trustworthy historian...... Do remember I challenged bad histories and the Page agreed with me..... I took on Professor Timothy Barns of Harvard, Professor of Greek and the Ancient Greek...... Hence I do think that T. Gilmartin's work, here, should have pride of place as he carefully researched the originals.... His work references clearly the originals.....

Hence, going back to a small reference in place, here, could see the Page reverting to the Faction's Accounts...... and their references..... So, you can see that the discipline of History of this period took us to the originals and The Councils of the Church and their reports...... In contrast we discovered a lot about the Factions' activities during that period....

I feel, therefore, it is necessary to show the work of the top Historians in the Page for their reports contradict the false....

I wish all a happy feast day tomorrow the 2nd of May, Athanasius' Day....

MacOfJesus (talk) 17:33, 1 May 2017 (UTC)

On referencing the work of the Historians in question I kept to their original wording, as my experience in doing so in my work shows that it is safer to adjust to style of language that was used originally..... I have given an example in the case of; "termination of The Council"..... We might say today implementing the finding / rulings of the Council..... However, that concept would be inaccurate.... What is meant is that the representatives went to the Emperor and were abused, who gave their report under opposition... .... Athanasius fled across the Alps....

So my aim was to be true to the Historical accounts..... In my studies of histories and writing on them, this accuracy was a must.... MacOfJesus (talk) 19:44, 1 May 2017 (UTC)

There is a difference between the USA members use of English and those of us who spend our lives in the UK and in the adjacent Islands..... For Historians working with historical accounts we tend to get into a use of language that we follow fully but is a little strange to the newcomer...... But it would be wrong to change to a modern language jargon, for the concepts are often false in the historical settings..... Example: "Termination of the Council"...... versus: "Implementing the findings of the Council"...... One cannot substitute for the other because the reporters from the Council had not the authority to implement.... They had to face an Emperor who could as quickly kill them.... So the language we use often takes on its own supplied meanings.... Witnessing to the travels of Saint Athanasius after one Council is breath-taking. He fled over the Alps..... MacOfJesus (talk) 09:59, 2 May 2017 (UTC)


I am surprised that the Article Page on the feast day of Saint Athanasius was not used as the front page of Wikipedia.... MacOfJesus (talk) 10:03, 2 May 2017 (UTC)

The use of paragraphs and splitting up existing paragraphs to smaller ones may not be a good idea...... The paragraphs I used followed the various accounts I was referring to..... A Paragraph should contain a central concept. Hence, the splitting up of existing paragraphs may lose the original reference and thought... MacOfJesus (talk) 10:32, 2 May 2017 (UTC)

Do you understand the significance of the Homean Party and the Homoiousion Party and Jerome's words regarding the world groaning...???? History is a Science and to understand and appreciate it you have to transport yourself to that period of time. I do not think that you appreciate the efforts involved in getting the Article Page to a level where it is accurate and true, in the face of false and untrue accounts... MacOfJesus (talk) 19:20, 4 May 2017 (UTC)

Pope versus Patriarch as his title...[edit]

In those days there were three Centers of the Church; namely Rome, Antioch and Alexandra in Egypt.......

One of the contended issues at the Councils was whether a minor Council ruling would be valid for all the Church. This concept is key in understanding the history of Athanasius. For the Councils originating in Antioch condemned Athanasius, whereas, the Councils of the full Church exonerated him...... So the issue was; can a minor Council rule for the whole Church....

The Pope was / is the Bishop of Rome.

Patriarch, was the title of the others.

Now, at the first image of Saint Athanasius in the Article Page, he is referred to as "Pope"..... This is inaccurate...... For though Athanasius was very liked and known by the populous of Alexandria and referred to as "Pope", it was not his correct title....... [The other, Arian Bishops, were not so kind in their bearing, and were killed ....]


This title in the Article Page gives rise, now, to a grey area.....

MacOfJesus (talk) 07:34, 12 May 2017 (UTC)


I have corrected this to read: Patriarch, Saint and Doctor of the Church...... "Confessor" here is included in the title: Saint.... It means some one who confessed Jesus as Lord....

MacOfJesus (talk) 18:12, 12 May 2017 (UTC)

MacOfJesus (talk) 12:07, 22 June 2017 (UTC)

There's a bit of jargon which doesn't do any damage. Saints that aren't martyrs are called Confessors.--2001:A61:260D:6E01:A865:1FCA:DA8A:D95E (talk) 20:28, 9 December 2017 (UTC)

The use of; 'following the Fathers of the Church'[edit]

In historical accounts the term; '..following.......' has a very definite meaning...

Following the Fathers of the Church, for instance, means that you are referring to a pattern in the life of Athanasius that is witnessed beforehand by Church Accounts or is accepted by previous Church Fathers... that Athanasius is, in this context, of the pattern of previous Church Fathers....

It is not used, here, in the sense of imitation or in the sense we use this term today....

MacOfJesus (talk) 19:13, 28 May 2017 (UTC)

The Language we use in particular disciplines....[edit]

In History Accounting we tend to use a language that follows-on from the original writers. They may not have used English.

If we suddenly use a modern English we find misunderstanding...

May I give an example..... ?

In the discipline of Science, all Science subjects, there are basic principles that we cannot deviate from, without destroying the subject itself....

That is:

Energy cannot be lost......

We use the verb "lost / lose" in the modern languages to mean "misplaced".... That is not the meaning here.....

MacOfJesus (talk) 08:45, 7 June 2017 (UTC)


Is there more in other disciplines..??? Yes.......

Philosophy, Logic......

There are no innate ideas.....

see: innatism

MacOfJesus (talk) 17:29, 7 June 2017 (UTC)


MacOfJesus (talk) 17:24, 7 June 2017 (UTC)


Jean-Paul Sartre, gave speeches (all in French) of studies in Philosophy and Psychology at conferences...... Indeed it was full of specialised wordings and phrases...... The Press were there who were not unfamiliar with the terminology....... The Newspapers were full of criticism...(some said all this specialised jargon was so so un-French...)... Next time the Conference Hall was packed..... (Press was there, too..... ). John Paul Sartre stood up and said: " At the age of 40, a man is responsible for his own face... !! "... That was the complete lecture...... MacOfJesus (talk) 19:28, 25 June 2017 (UTC)...

The section 'Critics' versus the Historical Accounts[edit]

The account termed 'Critics' give mention of the differing faith accounts of the 'Arian Parties'.

The historical accounts on the Article Page go into detail on these differences. It mentions the Arian Party, the semi-Arian Party and how no final agreement could be reached at Council... It mentioned them not liking the popular term "Arian"....

The Greek terms are used to refer to their different belief systems in the historical accounts...

It shows some took their position very seriously.

Athanasius was put on trial at the full Council of Sardica and found innocent.

The Arian Party left and plotted to the Emperor to have him killed if he should return to his See.... !

Hence, the Critic Account is myopic in it's view. The 'Arians' left Councils when they think they could not get their way and plot killing Athanasius.


MacOfJesus (talk) 00:18, 1 August 2017 (UTC)

Athanasius' study and learning[edit]

On the Article Page in beginning section on his study and learning, it is claimed that he could quote scripture and 'supposedly' show references to the Trinity....

Throughout Scripture there are clear foreshadowings of events of the Christ and of Jesus that in the Gospels Jesus is clearly referring to.....

A clear reference to the Trinity in the Book of Genesis....? Could that be possible....? See Chapter 18 of Genesis.... God appears to Abraham in the form of three men... Abraham recognises God..."My Lord..."

Scripture is full of foreshadowings even of things yet to come........

Hence, I feel that 'supposedly' is a bit strong, here.....

MacOfJesus (talk) 21:15, 9 August 2017 (UTC)

Trinity is not mentioned anywhere in the Bible, thus all "references to the Trinity" are "supposed". Vanjagenije (talk) 21:47, 9 August 2017 (UTC)

"Divinity" is not mentioned at any stage including St John's Gospel, throughout...... This term was used, then, in different context..... Hence, it was avoided for in the early Church times it had a very different usage...

The term "Trinity" is not used...... However, the concept is.... particularly in the suggested reading above..... MacOfJesus (talk) 15:45, 10 August 2017 (UTC)

However, to go back to the subject at hand: This section and indeed the paragraph above it and below it are without clear references..... Only one sentence claims to be a quote from Cornelius Clifford's work. I can check if it is true, but it still leaves the rest without references.... MacOfJesus (talk) 15:58, 10 August 2017 (UTC)

I have found the quote from Cornelius Clifford's work and quoted it fully.... However, I have located an account of the famous Cathectical School of Alexandria but the wording and claims of the involvement with Athanasius I cannot find. Hence, I cannot verify it's credibility..... Other accounts avoid this and show each wanted to quote Athanasius as supporting them.... Hence, I think that the statements in the Article Page: Athanasius, should stay: "Citation Needed"... Reliable historical accounts have Athanasius studying at Rome..... MacOfJesus (talk) 06:05, 2 September 2017 (UTC)

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