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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. IV:
Apology to the Emperor. (Apologia Ad Constantium.): Athanasius could not write to one who did not even know him.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

9. Athanasius could not write to one who did not even know him.

For myself, I am so surprised at the enormity of the thing, that I am quite uncertain what I ought to say in my defence. I can only declare, that I condemn myself to die ten thousand deaths, if even the least suspicion attaches to me in this matter. And to you, Sire, as a lover of the truth, I confidently make my appeal. I beseech you, as I said before, investigate this affair, and especially with the testimony of those who were once sent by him as ambassadors to you. These are the Bishops Sarvatius 1313 and Maximus and the rest, with Clementius and Valens. Enquire of them, I beseech you, whether they brought letters to me. If they did, this would give me occasion to write to him. But if he did not write to me, if he did not even know me, how could I write to one with whom I had no acquaintance? Ask them whether, when I saw Clementius and his fellows, and spoke of your brother of blessed memory, I did not, in the language of Scripture, wet my garments with tears 1314 , when I remembered his kindness of disposition and his Christian spirit. Learn of them how anxious I was, on hearing of the cruelty of the beast, and finding that Valens and his company had come by way of Libya, lest he should attempt a passage also, and like a robber murder those who held in love and memory the departed Prince, among whom I account myself second to none.



Sarbatius, or Servatius, and Maximus occur in the lists of Gallic subscriptions [supr. p. 127]. The former is supposed to be S. Servatius or Servatio of Tungri, concerning whom at Ariminum, vid. Sulp. Sev. Hist. ii. 59. vid. also Greg. Turon. Hist. Franc ii. 5. where however the Bened. Ed. prefers to read Aravatius, a Bishop, as he considers, of the fifth century.


Ps. vi. 6.

Next: His loyalty towards Constantius and his brother.

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