Athanasius, His Life and Work by Henry Robert Reynolds

Athanasius of AlexandriaThis is a brief study of the life and work of Athanasius of Alexandria [296-8 – 373]. My thanks to Book Aid for making available a copy of this public domain title for digitisation.

Henry Robert Reynolds [1825-1896], Athanasius. His Life and Life-Work. The Church History Series V. London: The Religious Tract Society, 1889. Hbk. pp.192. [Click to visit the download page]

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  1. The Scene and Conditions of a Vital Controversy
    1. Alexandria
    2. The Church at Alexandria and the Civil Power
    3. The Conditions of Theological Controversy
  2. The Early Days of Athanasius
  3. Arius and the Council of Nicaea
  4. The Meletian Schism
  5. Athanasius, Archbishop of Alexandria
  6. Athanasius in Exile at Trèves (Trier), and What Happened in the Interim;
    1. The Dedication of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Resurrection
    2. The Eusebian Synod at Constantinople, and the Condemnation of Marcellus
    3. The Death of Arius
    4. The Death of Constantine the Great
  7. The Return of Athanasius from the First Exile and the Commencement of the Second Exile
  8. The Council of Sardica and the Second Return of Athanasius
  9. The Resumption of the Arian Persecution, and the Third Exile
  10. The Ministry of the Wilderness
    1. The Fate of the Church in Egypt
    2. The Writings of Athanasius during the Exile
    3. The Four Discourses against the Arians
    4. The Divisions in the Arian Party
    5. The Divinity of the Holy Spirit
  11. The Accession of Julian, and the Third Restoration of Athanasius to his See
  12. The Acts of Athanasius on his Reappearance after his Six Years of Exile
  13. The Cause and Issue of the Fourth Exile of Athanasius
  14. The Fifth Exile and Closing Years of Athanasius
  15. The Character of Athanasius
  • Index


The life-story of Athanasius has often been told. During half a century the biography of this man becomes a history of Christianity and of the Church, when both were alike face to face with a Pagan reaction. The extant writings of Athanasius—wbich have been edited and also translated in convenient form for the English reader—cast a bright light upon contemporary religious politics and parties, proclaim the dawn of rational exegesis, and are especially valuable from the eagerness with which the author dealt with ideas and things rather than with terms or phrases. The ecclesiastical histories of Eusebius, Rufinus, Socrates, Sozomen, Theodoret and Evagrius, as well as the fragments of the Arian Philostorgius, when these are checked by Athanasius himself, warmed by the studied panegyrics of Gregory of Nazianzus, criticised in the light of the epistles of Julian and the pages of the Roman historians or Greek sophists, furnish abundant material for the student of the fourth century…

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