Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Athanasius, the most illustrious of the Greek Fathers, was born at Alexandria about 296 A.D. He was protected by Alexander, the Bishop of Alexandria, and as a deacon took an active part in combating the views of Arius at the Council of Nice. In 328 he was chosen Bishop in succession to Alexander, but the Arians resisted his appointment by fair means and foul, till in 327 a council held at Tyre deposed him, and Constantine banished him to Treves. Constantine II. restored him, and again he was expelled by two councils at Antioch. He now went to Rome, and found a friend in Constans, who induced his brother, Constantius, after the vote of councils held at Milan and Sardica, to reinstate the persecuted bishop (349 A.D.). After the death of Constans he was driven out once more, and sought refuge in the Thebaid, where he began the composition of his works. Julian's accession permitted him to return to Alexandria, but he had again to fly into hiding. During Jovian's reign he resumed quiet possession of his see, and though Valens exiled him for a short time, he spent the last ten years of his episcopacy in comparative peace, dying in 373. His works consist mainly of treatises and orations in support of the doctrine of the Trinity and the Incarnation, opposing the heresies of Arius and his followers. The Athanasian Creed was not composed by him, but was either the production of Hilary of Aries in the fifth century or of Spanish theologians of a later date.