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St. Dionysius of Alexandria Letters and Treatises   By:

St. Dionysius of Alexandria Letters and Treatises by Bishop of Alexandria

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TRANSLATIONS OF CHRISTIAN LITERATURE SERIES I GREEK TEXTS

ST. DIONYSIUS OF ALEXANDRIA

TRANSLATION OF CHRISTIAN LITERATURE. SERIES I GREEK TEXTS

ST. DIONYSIUS OF ALEXANDRIA LETTERS AND TREATISES

By CHARLES LETT FELTOE, D.D.

SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE. London The Macmillan Company. New York

PREFACE

Not long after my edition of this Father's writings appeared in the Cambridge Patristic Texts (1904), I was invited to translate the Letters and some of the other more certainly genuine fragments that remain into English for the present series; but it is not until now that I have been able to accomplish the task I then undertook. Since then, though chiefly occupied in other researches, I have naturally acquired a more extensive and accurate knowledge of St. Dionysius and his times, some of the results of which will be found in this volume. Nevertheless, I was bound to incorporate a considerable amount of the information and conclusions arrived at in the former work, and wish to express my acknowledgments to the Syndics of the University Press for leave to do so, as well as to those again whose names I mentioned as having assisted me before.

In the present book Dr. A. J. Mason was kind enough to advise me over the choice of extracts from the two treatises, On Nature and Refutation and Defence , and on one or two minor points, while a friend and neighbour (the Rev. L. Patterson) read through the whole of the MS. before it went to the printer and gave me the benefit of a fresh mind upon a number of small details of style and fact, for which I sincerely thank him.

C. L. Feltoe.

Ripple by Dover March 1918.

CONTENTS

PAGE PREFACE V INTRODUCTION 9 LETTERS 35 TO BASILIDES 76 "ON THE PROMISES" 82 "ON NATURE" 91 "REFUTATION AND DEFENCE" 101 ADDITIONAL NOTE 108 INDEX 109

INTRODUCTION

1. None of the many influential occupants of the see of Alexandria and of the many distinguished heads of the Catechetical School in that city seem to have been held in higher respect by the ancients than Dionysius. By common consent he is styled "the Great," while Athanasius, one of his most famous successors as Bishop, calls him "Teacher of the Church universal," and Basil (of C├Žsarea) refers to him as "a person of canonical authority" ({kanonikos}). He took a prominent and important part in all the leading movements and controversies of the day, and his opinions always carried great weight, especially in Eastern Christendom. His writings are freely referred to and quoted, not only by Eusebius the historian,[1] but also by Athanasius, Basil and John of Damascus amongst others. And what we gather of his personal story from his letters and various fragments embodied in the works of others and very little, if anything else, for certain has come down to us undoubtedly leaves the impression that the verdict of the ancient world is correct... Continue reading book >>




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