Arians sing hymn against "three are one" - La Cava - Cavensis "audiat hoc Arius et ceteri" - '...where are they that affirm that the Three are One?'"

Steven Avery

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Arians sing against "three are one"

Early Latin La Cava ms. counters Arian hostility to the heavenly witnesses


The Elements of Plainsong: Compiled from a Series of Lectures Delivered Before the Members of the Plainsong & Mediaeval Music Society (1895)
Henry Bremridge Briggs

"Cassian tells us of the custom in the 4th century of lengthening out the Psalms with Antiphons. S. Chrysostom employed this method of chanting, by way of opposing the heretical practice of the Arians, who sang their Psalmody antiphonally, intercalating the verses with the blasphemous refrain, 'And now where are they that affirm that the Three are One?'"



Reported by Henry Bremridge Briggs (1850-1901) and Frederic William Farrar (1831-1903).


Gathering Clouds: A Tale of the Days of St. Chrysostom
Chapter XXII - Manifold Struggles
Frederic Ferrar

When the earthquakes ceased the Arians began to give trouble. They had been a powerful party in Constantinople since the days of Valens, and they were strong in the adherence of so many of the warrior Goths of Gaïnas. By a decree of Theodosius they were not allowed to worship within the walls of Constantinople, but they still cherished the determination to get a church assigned to them. They began to inaugurate nightly processions, which marched through the streets and colonnades chanting in antiphon the strange theological hymns of Arius. Among these was one which had the taunting refrain:

Where are now the men who say,
In their enigmatic way—
Who the riddle right can see?—
’Three are one, and one is three?’

Having chanted such strains all the night, they retired at dawn to their church outside the walls.



We shall be searching out the primary sources. Already there was great controversy about the "three are one". The Greek textline would be the original source of the controversy. And yet the verse was largely dropped from the line, so the Greek Arians might be derisive without feeling they were countermanding scripture. (No such derision known in the Latin historical controversies, see the Council of Carthage as an example.)


The La Cava Latin manuscript, likely from the 5th century, breaking the Greek-Latin non-barrier, shows awareness of the Arius hostile position to the heavenly witnesses verse with the marginal note:

"audiat hoc Arius et ceteri"
(Wiseman - Audiat hoc Arrius et ceteri)

New Plea for the Authenticity of the Text of the Three Heavenly Witness (1867)
Charles Forster

Scrivener, following Wiseman, points out that, while mentioning Arius, to the scribe who wrote La Cava "its authenticity was unquestioned".

A plain introduction to the criticism of the New Testament (1883)
Frederick Henry A. Scrivener

We should note that this emphasis on the verse contra Arius (who did not write or speak in Latin afawk) is the:

** first actual ms commentary on the heavenly witnesses.**

(There are more in the later period around 900 AD.) And the emphasis and result is exactly the opposite of the convoluted "margin commentary to text" theory of the Metzgerians. The note simply affims authenticity, encouraging the Arians to hear the scripture.


And this of course fits perfectly with the use by Athanasius in the Disputation against Arius at Nicea. And his likely authorship of the Synopsis of Greek Scripture. Recently discussed on this forum.

Overall, so much fits together. Many infallible proofs that there was a Greek controversy that originated directly from the heavenly witnesses verse being in early Greek mss. Internal evidences are strongly supportive as well, to the point of proof for any who have a high view of scripture.

The difference was that the verse was in the process of being dropped from the Greek mss, while the Latin maintained the role of long-term viability and preservation of the inspired scripture.

The preservational imperative would not allow a single verse to be lost in all the major lines, and later the harmony of the Greek and Latin was stabalized in the Reformation Bible. And it would not allow a false scripture to take over a line.


Referrring to the amazing La Cava note:

Essays on Various Subjects, Volume 1 (1853, originally 1832-1833)
Nicholas Patrick Wiseman

3. The dogmatical use made of this text in the margin is likewise worthy of very particular attention. The very earnest manner in which every argument for the Divinity of Christ seems urged by the writer of the notes, would almost lead us to suppose that they were written during the Arian controversy. The energetic and pithy annotation, audiat hoc Arius et ceteri demonstrates better than the longest commentary could have done, the force which the writer attributed to our verse, and the total absence from his mind of any doubt of its genuineness. ... the document shows... the dogmatical use made of the passage.

Additional historical evidences corroborate, this post is only touching on those that rather directly relate to Arius.

In that regard, we have additional confirmation of the Christological centrality of "the three are one" in the Arian controversies from Melitus.


Agapius, Universal History (1909) part 2. pp.1-287.
[Translated by Alexander Vasiliev]

Going up (into the pulpit) to preach, Meletius showed them, during his sermon, his three fingers; and he said to them: "All three are one." Arians, seeing that he did not agree with them, deposed him, after he had governed (the Church) for two years, and established in his place Euzoius, who was an Arian from Egypt.

Meletius of Antioch (d. 381)

Agapius of Hierapolis


More Meletius on PBF
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Steven Avery

"certain passage of scripture"
One other element about the doctrines of Arius really needs to be noticed in the context of the notes above:
1) Arians singing against "three are one"
2) La Cava ms shows Arians hostile to heavenly witnesses
3) Athanasius Disputation with Arius at Nicea evidences verse (also his Synopsis of Scripture)
4) a "certain passage of scripture" was at the center of the controversy
Per the historian Socrates in his Ecclesiastical History, Book 3, Section V, and also earlier Eusebius Life of Constantine.
Here you can see Thomas Burgess discussing this passage:
A letter to the reverend Thomas Beynon ... in reply to A vindication of the literary character of professor Porson, by Crito Cantabrigiensis, and in further proof of the authenticity of 1 John, V 7


A reply to Burgess is here:
London Quarterly Review (1825)
William Orme


One likely verse would be the one which the Arians were singing against! The one that would be at the heart of the controversy. (Which most likely was in some mss and missing in others.) There is also a theory that the verse was Proverbs 8, with Wisdom personified.
General History of the Christian Religion and Church, Volume 2 (1855)
August Neander
According to both the reports, the bishop Alexander had his attention first directed to the danger which threatened from other quarters; according to Sozomen, he at first appeared undecided. Socrates mentions the theological conference. There is also an allusion to this in the letter of the emperor Constantine to Alexander and Arius, cited by Eusebius, de vita Constantini, 1. II. c. 69, when he says, that the bishop Alexander had asked all his presbyters how they understood a certain passage of scripture.


ADDED: Here is the text in English translation:
Documents of the Early Arian Controversy – Emperor Constantine to Alexander of Alexandria and Arius
(6.) I understand that the origin of the present controversy is this. When you, Alexander, demanded of the priests what opinion they each maintained respecting a certain passage in Scripture, or rather, I should say, that you asked them something connected with an unprofitable question. You then, Arius, inconsiderately insisted on what ought never to have been speculated about at all, or if pondered, should have been buried in profound silence. Hence it was that a dissension arose between you, fellowship was withdrawn, and the holy people were rent into diverse factions, no longer preserving the unity of the one body.




Compare with disciplina arcani
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Steven Avery

Wiseman (with pics) in WOGIG


• [Wiseman] I will now proceed to give the portion of the first Epistle of St. John, which contains the verse of the three Heavenly Witnesses, commencing at the fourth verse of the fifth chapter, and preserving the exact order and orthography of the words, and its marginal annotations:


• [Wiseman (cont)] In this manuscript, the eighth verse comes before the seventh ; and Griesbach has, in fact, remarked, that this is the case in the most ancient manuscripts. "The ancients generally place verse eight before seven." (Latin: Antiquiores fere anteponunt comma octavum septimo.)

3. The dogmatical use made of this text in the margin is likewise worthy of very particular attention. The very earnest manner in which every argument for the Divinity of Christ seems urged by the writer of the notes, would almost lead us to suppose that they were written during the Arian controversy.

[Who is it that conquers the world except he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. (I Jn 5:4)
Annotation: "And Arius calls Him the first creature." (Latin: Et arius praedicat creaturam.)]

* Si veritas quo modo creaturn quum creatura vera es se possit. denique de nullo angelo rum legitur quod veritas sit.

The energetic and pithy annotation, "Let Arius and the others listen to this!" (Latin: Audiat hoc Arrius et ceteri) demonstrates better than the longest commentary could have done, the force which the writer attributed to our verse, and the total absence from his mind of any doubt of its genuineness. The second note may appear a little obscure, from the omission of the second member of an antithesis. It says that a creature might indeed be said to be "true", but could not with propriety be called "the truth". ["If ‘the Truth’ in what way can He be a creature? While it is possible that a creature be ‘true’. In fact, about none of the angels it is read that he is ‘the Truth’."

(Latin: Si veritas quo modo creatura quum creatura vera esse possit. Denique demnullo angelorum legitur quod veritas sit.)]

To conclude, we have here a Latin manuscript which contains the verse, anterior by at least three centuries to the age allowed by its adversaries for its admission into the text: and the document shows, at the same time, the dogmatical use made of the passage.

(Wiseman, "Two Letters on 1 John 5:7 1832", in Essays on Various Subjects, 1853, vol 1, p. 10-11)
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Steven Avery

The ninth-century Spanish bible known as “Codex Cavensis” (La Cava de’ Tirreni, Biblioteca della Badia, ms memb. 1), has a note in the margin next to verse 7, indicating the doctrinal weight given to the comma in the fight against heresy: “Let Arius and the others listen to this!” (Audiat hoc Arrius et ceteri).76

76 Thiele, 1966, 21*; Wachtel, 1995, 316. This could be a loose quotation of Fulgentius, De Trinitate ad Felicem IV.1, cited above. Ziegler, 1876, 6, 149, points out that Cavensis contains a number of anti-Arian marginalia, including one in the margin of ljn 5:4: “Et Arrius eum praedicat creaturam.”

Thiele, Walter.
-----. (Ed.). Vetus Latina: die Reste der altlateinischen Bibel 26/1, Epistulae Catholicae, Bd. 5. Freiburg: Herder, 1966

Ziegler, Leo. Italafragmente der paulinischen Briefe nebst Bruchstücken einer vorhieronymianischen Übersetzung des ersten Johannesbriefes aus Pergamentblättern der ehemaligen Freisinger Stiftsbibliothek zum ersten Male veröffentlicht und kritisch beleuchtet. Marburg: Elwert, 1876.
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Steven Avery

Socrates L. VI. c. 28
Socrates H.E. 6.8.6-g
Socrates H.E. 6.8.4 (sc 505.296); cf.

Sozomen L. VIII. c. 8.
Sozomen H. E. 8.8.2.
Sozomen H. E. 8.8.4-5
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Steven Avery


make the above into a post - Socrates the Sozomen - also Eusebius and Jerome

Socrates ch.6

is this a theological hymn
Where are now the men who say,
In their enigmatic way—
Who the riddle right can see?—
’Three are one, and one is three?’
Ferrar in Gathering Clouds - history or fiction?

Valesius - Ecclesiastical History ii:21.

‘Codex Cavensis full texts and date theories. - urls and Wiseman urls add pics

”certain. Passage of scripture”- Constantine to Bishop Alexander of Alexandria
Socrates on 1 John
p. 59
First Epistle of John Corrupted
Does Witness have Certain Passage of Scripture ??
p. 65
The Emperor Constantine being grieved at the Disturbance of the Churches, sends Hosius the Spaniard to Alexandria, exhorting the Bishop and Ariusto Reconciliation and Unity.

PBF - fulcrum verse
Also cause of omission page

Joseph Bingham - antiphonal and alternate singing
see p. 11-16
Vol 5 in 1834, Vol 4 in 1845

Theodotus per Kidd

John Cassian section on lengthening Psalms with Antiphons (minor)
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Steven Avery

Three annotations in 1 John 5, starting with. 1 John 5:

Latin: Et arius praedicat creaturam.
"And Arius calls Him the first creature."

Latin: Si veritas quo modo creaturn quum creatura vera es se possit. denique de nullo angelo rum legitur quod veritas sit.
"If ‘the Truth’ in what way can He be a creature? While it is possible that a creature be ‘true’. In fact, about none of the angels it is read that he is ‘the Truth’."
i.e. -- a creature might indeed be said to be "true", but could not with propriety be called "the truth".

Latin: Audiat hoc Arrius et ceteri
"Let Arius and the others listen to this!"

3. The dogmatical use made of this text in the margin is likewise worthy of very particular attention. The very earnest manner in which every argument for the Divinity of Christ seems urged by the writer of the notes, would almost lead us to suppose that they were written during the Arian controversy.

The energetic and pithy annotation, "Let Arius and the others listen to this!" (Latin: Audiat hoc Arrius et ceteri) demonstrates better than the longest commentary could have done, the force which the writer attributed to our verse, and the total absence from his mind of any doubt of its genuineness.

(Wiseman, "Two Letters on 1 John 5:7 1832", in Essays on Various Subjects, 1853, vol 1, p. 10-11)

The second note … says that a creature might indeed be said to be "true", but could not with propriety be called "the truth". ["If ‘the Truth’ in what way can He be a creature? While it is possible that a creature be ‘true’. In fact, about none of the angels it is read that he is ‘the Truth’."

[Who is it that conquers the world except he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. (I Jn 5:4)
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Steven Avery

PBF - this post is copied over from Marius Victorinmus

CARM - Arians Sing Against the Three are One

Facebook - Patristics for Protestants


Here is one that looks like the orthodox flip-side to the Arians singing against the three are one!

Marius Victorinus
or .. (Gaius) Marius Victorinus (Afer)

Gaius Marius Victorinus (also known as Victorinus Afer; fl. 4th century) was a Roman grammarian, rhetorician and Neoplatonic philosopher. Victorinus was African by birth and experienced the height of his career during the reign of Constantius II. He is also known for translating two of Aristotle's books from ancient Greek into Latin: the Categories and On Interpretation (De Interpretatione).[1] Victorinus had a religious conversion, from being a pagan to a Christian, "at an advanced old age" (c. 355).

The Witness of God is Greater

The three are therefore one,
And three times over,
Thrice are the three one,
O Blessed Trinity.

o Tres ergo unum,
et ergo ter,
ergo ter tres unum:
o beata Trinitas.

• Marii Victorini Afri, Hymnus 3, Migne Latina, PL 8.1146

The Epistles and Gospels of the Sundays Throughout the Year, Volume 2 (1866)
Daniel McCarthy


Marius Victorinus has additional writings related to the heavenly witnesses verse, writing against the Arians and in his Commentary on Philippians. Grantley Robert McDonald gave him some note in Raising the Ghost of Arius, The Witness of God is Greater has good material and I am adding some from the verse debate history.

A good research study would be to see if there are additional flip-side hymns that were used to counter the Arians.

Bengel mentions the hymn here, in his superb section about heavenly witnesses evidences.

D. Io. Alberti Bengelii Apparatus criticus ad Novum Testamentum: criseos sacrae compendium, limam, supplementum ac fructum exhibens (1763)

D Christiani Friderici Schmidii ... Historia antiqua et vindicatio canonis sacri Veteris Novique Testamenti (1775)
Christian Friedrich Schmid

Marius Victorinus is in the heavenly witnesses verse debate involving Michaelis, Porson, Burgess, Turton and others, although off-hand I am not sure if they are mentioning the hymn.
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Steven Avery

The Church of the first three centuries; or, notices of the lives and opinions of the early Fathers, with special reference to the Doctrine of the Trinity ... Second edition ... enlarged. Edited by Ezra Abbot (1875)
Alvin Lawson

Such are the principal circumstances of the case, as given by the historians and Athanasius, though their narratives vary in some minute

* Soc., 1. i. cc. 37, 38 ; Soz., 1. ii. cc. 29, 30 ; Theod., 1. i. c. 14. Valcsius contends that the Arius who died at Constantinople, a.i>. 336, was not the archlicretic, but one of his followers of the same name. This it is impossible to believe. All the historians and Athanasius speak of the Arius who thus died, without giving any intimation that it was another Arius. It is impossible to read their accounts, as it seems to us, without a conviction that the writers all along have in view the author of the heresy. No historical fact appears more ceitain.

His enemies indecently exulted, and publicly returned thanks to God, who, as they thought, had graciously interposed to rid the world of a monster of impiety, and, by a visible token, confirm the consubstantial faith.*

* See particularly his Orat. contra Arianos, cc. 4, 5; ami De Syn. Arim. et Sel.,
c. 15 ; also De Syn. Nic. D.cret., c. 16.

Arius .... Of his writings, with the exception of two letters, and the Confession already mentioned, we have little positive information. Philostorgius, as represented by his orthodox epitomizer, tells us, that he wrote songs for mariners and those who were engaged at the mill and in travelling, that, by calling to his aid the charms of melody, he might the better disseminate his opinions among the illiterate portion of the community. If such were his motive, there was nothing culpable in it. But he might have had other objects in view. Persons employed in grinding at the mill, in ancient times, it is well known, were accustomed to cheer their labours with song, and those devoted to other occupations, no doubt, did the same. The motion of the oar, we know, in modem times, is often accompanied by chanting or music. If Arius could furnish popular songs preferable to those in general use in his time; if he could substitute those which had a meaning, and were unexceptionable in point of expression and thought, for such as were loose, profane, or contained erroneous sentiments,— he had a right to do it. More than this, it was an act of great benevolence to do it.

There is another work of Arius, which is often mentioned by Athanasius,* the “Thalia,” which he calls a poem,—a light and effeminate poem, “after the manner of the Egyptian Sotades.” He seems to speak of it as a sort of pleasant, jesting performance, a piece of profane buffoonery. It is difficult to say what Athanasius means by all this. He gives several extracts from the work, in which there is certainly nothing comic or humorous, or soft and effeminate. The introduction, if Athanasius has quoted it correctly, exhibits a kind of sonorousness and jingle, a pomp and affectation, and some expressions which occur in it savour of a childish vanity. But, with this exception, the performance appears, for aught we can discover, to have been us plain, sober prose as was ever written. The quotations given by Athanasius, which are very short fragments, contain some statements of Arius's views and arguments in their favour, but perfectly grave and decorous.


If Athanasius means only that Arius in his songs, (which, however, he plainly distinguishes from his “Thalia,") made use of the Sotadean measure, which was peculiar, there was nothing criminal in that. A similar charge was brought against the early Protestant reformers, who were accused-of taking their “airs” from the “best songs of the times.”

But then the songs of Arius, it is objected, were doctrinal; and so are those of Dr. Watts, and fifty others we could name. And, if we mistake not, the Athanasian Creed (which will he admitted, we suppose, to be somewhat doctrinal) is to this day somewhere appointed to be "said or sung " in the churches.*




“ According to faith of God’s elect, God’s prudent ones,
Holy children, rightly dividing, God’s Holy Spirit receiving,
Have I learned this from the partakers of wisdom,
Accomplished, divinely taught, and wise in all things.”
Lib. of the Fathers, viii. 185.



Thalia pr Ariaism and the Council of Nice (1878)
by Abbe A. Bayle

G. C. Stead

Hymn #27: Where's the Thalia? (2016)
In Search of an Arian Hymn
Dmitri Gheorgheni

Enchantment and Creed in the Hymns of Ambrose of Milan (2016)
Brian P. Dunkle




The Early Church Blog
Be careful what you sing… Arian music and the battle for the masses. (2020)
Dick Lucas


The lesson of Arius is clear: music has great potential. How often we forget the words of the
pastor, yet can gladly sing the words of the hymn! We read in contemporary histories of the crisis
that the orthodox Christian leaders of Alexandria were enraged at how many folk were turning to
follow Arius, clearly his methods were effective. Clearly his well-written, catchy musical tunes
were having an impact.
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Steven Avery

Constantine the Great: The Reorganisation of the Empire and the Triumph of the Church (1914)
John Benjamin Firth (1868-1943)

Nor was Arius idle. It must have been about this time that he composed the notorious poem, Thalia, in which he embodied his doctrines. He selected the metre of a pagan poet, Sotades of Crete, of whom we know nothing save that his verses had the reputation of being exceedingly licentious. Arius did this of deliberate purpose. His object was to popularise his doctrines. Sotades had a vogue; Arius desired one. What he did was precisely similar to what in our own time the Salvation Army has done in setting its hymns to the popular tunes and music-hall ditties of the day. This was at first a cause of scandal to many worthy people, who now admit the cleverness and admire the shrewdness of the idea. Similarly, Arius got people to sing his doctrines to the very tunes to which they had previously sung the indecencies of Sotades. He wrote ballads, so we are told by Philostorgius—the one Arian historian who has survived—for sailors, millers, and travellers. But it is certainly difficult to understand their popularity, judging from the isolated fragments which are quoted by Athanasius in his First Discourse Against the Arians (chap. xi.). According to Athanasius, the Thalia opened as follows:


It is rather the unspeakable tediousness and frigidity of this exordium than its arrogant impiety that strike the modern reader. Athanasius then proceeds to quote examples of Arius’s “repulsive and most impious mockeries.” For example, “ God was not always a Father; there was once a time when God was alone and was not yet a Father. But afterwards He became a Father.” Or, “the Son was not always,” or “the Word is not very God, but by participation in Grace, He, as all others, is God only in name.” If these are good specimens of what Athanasius calls “the fables to be found in Arius’s jocose composition,” the standard of the jocose or the ridiculous must have altered greatly. Why such a poem should have been called the Thalia or “ Meriymaking,” it is hard to conceive.

Yet, one can understand how the ribald wits of Alexandria gladly seized upon this portentous controversy and twisted its prominent phrases into the catch-words of the day. There is a passage in Gregory of Nyssa bearing on this subject which has frequently been quoted.

“Every corner of Constantinople, ’ he says, “was full of their discussions, the streets, the market-place, the shops of the money-changers and the victuallers. Ask a tradesman how many obols he wants for some article in his shop, and he replies with a disquisition on generated and ungenerated being. Ask the price of bread to-day, and the baker tells you, ; The Son is subordinate to the Father.’ Ask your servant if the bath is ready and he makes answer, ‘The Son arose out of nothing.’ 'Great is the only Begotten,' declared the Catholics, and the Arians rejoined, 'But greater is He that begot.' "

It was a subject that lent itself to irreverent jesting and cheap profanity. The baser sort of Arians appealed to boys to tell them whether there were one or two Ingenerates, and to women to say whether a son could exist before he was born. Even in the present day, any theological doctrine which has the misfortune to become the subject of excited popular debate is inevitably dragged through the mire by the ignorant partisanship and gross scurrilities of the contending factions. We may be sure that the “Ariomaniacs” — as they are called — were neither worse nor better than the champions of the Catholic side, and the result was tumult and disorder. In fact, says Eusebius of Caesarea,

“in every city bishops were engaged in obstinate conflict with bishops, people rose against people, and almost, like the fabled Symplegades, came into violent collision with each other. Nay, some were so far transported beyond the bounds of reason as to be guilty of reckless and outrageous conduct and even to insult the statues of the Emperor.”

- certain passage of scripture

Constantine felt obliged to intervene and addressed a long letter to Alexander and Arius, which he confided to the care of his spiritual adviser, Hosius, Bishop of Cordova, bidding him go to Alexandria in person and do what he could to mediate between the disputants. We need not give the text in full. Constantine began with his usual exordium. His consuming passion, he said, was for unity of religious opinion, as the precursor and best guarantee of peace. Deeply disappointed by Africa, he had hoped for better things from “the bosom of the East,” whence had arisen the dawn of divine light. Then he continues:

“But Ah! glorious and Divine Providence, what a wound was inflicted not alone on my ears but on my heart, when I heard that divisions existed among yourselves, even more grievous than those of Africa, so that you, through whose agency I hoped to bring healing to others, need a remedy worse than they. And yet, after making careful enquiry into the origin of these discussions, I find that the cause is quite insignificant and entirely disproportionate to such a quarrel.* ... I gather then that the present controversy originated as follows. For when you, Alexander, asked each of the presbyters what he thought about a certain passage in the Scriptures, or rather what he thought about a certain aspect of a foolish question, and you, Arius, without due consideration laid down propositions which never ought to have been conceived at all, or, if conceived, ought to have been buried in silence, dissension arose between you ; communion was forbidden ; and the most holy people, torn in twain, no longer preserved the unity of a
common body.”


The Emperor then exhorts them to let both the unguarded question and the inconsiderate answer be forgotten and forgiven. The subject, he says, never ought to have been broached, but there is always mischief found for idle hands to do and idle brains to think. The difference between you, he insists, has not arisen on any cardinal doctrine laid down in the Scriptures, nor has any new doctrine been introduced. “You hold one and the same view”;* reunion, therefore, is easily possible. So little does the Emperor appreciate the importance of the questions at issue, that he goes on to quote the example of the pagan philosophers who agree to disagree on details, while holding the same general principles. How then, he asks, can it be right for brethren to behave towards one another like enemies because of mere trifling and verbal differences ?“Such conduct is vulgar, childish, and petulant, ill-befitting priests of God and men of sense. It is a wile and temptation of the Devil. Let us have done

with it. If we cannot all think alike on all topics, we can at least all be united on the great essentials. As far as regards divine Providence, let there be one faith and one understanding, one united opinion in reference to God.” And then the letter concludes
with the passionate outburst:

“Restore me then my quiet days and untroubled nights, that I may retain my joy in the pure light and, for the rest of my days, enjoy the gladness of a peaceful life. Else I needs must groan and be diffused wholly in tears, and know no comfort of mind till I die. For
while the people of God, my fellow-servants, are thus torn asunder in unlawful and pernicious controversy, how can I be of tranquil mind ? ”

Some have seen in this letter proof of the Emperor’s consummate wisdom, and have described its language as golden and the triumph of common sense. It seems to us a complete exposure of his profound ignorance of the subject in which he had interfered. It was easy to say that the question should not have been raised. “Quieta non movere" is an excellent motto in theology as in politics. But this was precisely one of those questions which, when once raised, are bound to go forward to anissue. The time was ripe for it. It suited the taste and temper of the age, and the resultant storm of controversy, so easily stirred up, was not easily allayed. For Constantine to tell Alexander and Arius that theirs was merely a verbal quarrel on an insignificant and non-essential point, or that they were really of one and the same mind, and held one and the same view on all essentials, was grotesquely absurd. The question at issue was none other than the Divine Nature of the Son of God. If theology is of any value or importance at all, it is impossible to conceive a more essential problem.
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Steven Avery

The Works of Cardinal Newman: Select treatises of St. Athanasius in controversy with the Arians. Freely tr. by John Henry Cardinal Newman. 1911

5. How then can they be Christians, who for Christians are Ario-maniacs ? or how are they of the Catholic Church, who have shaken off the Apostolical faith, and become authors of what is new and evil ? who, after abandoning the oracles of divine Scripture, call Arius’s Thalias a new wisdom ? and with reason too, for a novelty that wisdom is. And hence a man may marvel that, whereas many have written many treatises and abundant homilies upon the Old Testament and the New, yet in none of them is a Thalia found; nay nor among the more respectable of the Greeks, but among those only who sing such strains over their cups, amid cheers and jokes, when men are merry, that the rest may laugh; till this marvellous Arius, who, taking no grave pattern, and ignorant even of what is respectable, while he stole largely from other heresies, would in the ludicrous go nothing short of Sotades.5 For what beseemed him more, when he would dance forth against the Saviour, than to throw his impious words into dissolute and abandoned metres ? that, while a man, as Wisdom says, is knoion from the utterance of his word, so from those numbers should be seen the writer’s effeminate soul and corruption of thought. So much for his style of writing; now let us inquire into the matter of which it is the expression.


continues with blasphemies

The Christianity Reader (2007)
edited by Mary Gerhart, Fabian Udoh

The Sacred Writings of Saint Athanasius (Annotated Edition) (2012)

A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church: Second Series (1892)
Volume IV - St. Athanasius: Select Works and Letters
Four Discourses Against the Arians - Chapter II
Editoars: Schaff and Wace
Special Editior - Archibald Robertson
Mountfaucon and Tillemont
Cardinal Newman - Arians
Dr. Bright - Later Treatises of S. Athanasius
Mr. Gwatkin - Studies of Arianism
And two more editor helps.

NPNF2-04. Athanasius: Select Works and Letters
Last edited:

Steven Avery

Symeonis Junioris (949-1022 AD)
• Symeonis Junioris (949-1022 AD). Symeon the New Theologian (sometimes spelled”Simeon") (Greek:
Συμεὼν ὁ Νέος Θεολόγος; 949–1022 AD) was a Byzantine Christian monk and poet who was the last of three
saints canonized by the Eastern Orthodox church and given the title of”Theologian”(along with John the
Apostle and Gregory of Nazianzus). ....
Symeon the New Theologian. Wikipedia. <>.

[Hymn 33] On theology: that those who have kept conformity in the image of God, trample on evil
powers of the Prince of Darkness; while the others, living by their passions, are under his power and
under his empire.
• Light is the Father, light is the Son, light is the Holy Spirit.
• Beware what you're going to say, my brother, watch so you don't fall.
• The three in fact are a single Light, unique, not separated but unified in three Persons, without
• God, in fact, is perfectly indivisible by nature, and by his essence he truly exceeds all essence.
• It is not divided in either its power, its form, its glory or its aspect: it lets itself be seen entirely, in fact,
like a simple light.
• The Persons are One, the three hypostases are One.
• The three are indeed in the One or better the Three are One.
• The Three are one power, the three are one glory, the three are one nature, essence and

• Greek: ΛΓ’. Περί θεολογίας˙ καί ὅτι οἱ τό κατ᾿ εἰκόνα φυλάξαντες τάς πονηράς δυνάμεις τοῦ
ἄρχοντος τοῦ σκότους καταπατοῦσιν, οἱ δ᾿ ἄλλοι, οἷς ἐμπαθής ὁ βίος, ὑπ᾿ αὐτοῦ κρατοῦνται καί
βασιλεύονται. (268)
• Φῶς ὁ Πατήρ, φῶς ὁ Υἱός, φῶς τό Ἅγιον Πνεῦμα.
• Βλέπε τί λέγεις, ἀδελφέ, βλέπε μή παρασφάλῃς!
• Ἕν γάρ τά τρία φῶς εἰσιν, ἕν, οὐ κεχωρισμένον,
ἀλλ᾿ ἡνωμένον ἐν τρισί προσώποις ἀσυγχύτως.
• Θεός γάρ ἀδιαίρετος ὅλως ἐστί τῇ φύσει,
καί τῇ οὐσίᾳ ἀληθῶς ὑπέρ πᾶσαν οὐσίαν˙
οὐ τῇ δυνάμει τέμνεται, οὐ τῇ μορφῇ, οὐ δόξῃ,
οὐ τῇ ἰδέᾳ, ὅλος γάρ ἁπλοῦν φῶς καθορᾶται.
• Ἐν τούτοις ἕν τά πρόσωπα, ἕν αἱ τρεῖς ὑποστάσεις˙
τά τρία γάρ ἐν τῷ ἑνί, ἕν τά τριά δέ μᾶλλον,
τά τρία μία δύναμις, τά τρία μία δόξα,
τά τρία μία φύσις γε, οὐσία καί θεότης.