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St Athanasius the Great LIFE OF ST ANTHONY THE GREAT, Complete

Translated by Cardinal Newman.

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1. Bibliography. a. Sources. The only reference to Anthony in other writings of Athanasius is in Hist. Ar. 14. See also Fest. Index x. Vita Pachomii in Act. SS. Mai., Tom. iii. Appx. (written late in the fourth century, but by a person who had known Pachomius). Coptic fragments and documents (for early history of Egyptian monasticism with occasional details about Anthony) in Zoega, Catalogus codd. Copticorum, (Rome, 1810), Mingarelli, Codd. copticorum reliquiae, (Bologna, 1785), Revillout, Rapport sur une mission, etc. (in Archives des Missions scientifiques et litteraires, 3^me, serie, 1879, vol. 4), Amelineau, Hist. de S. Pakhome, &c. (Annales du Musee Guimet, vol. xvii. Paris, 1889).

b. Modern discussions. Since the Reformation the general tendency of protestant writers has been to discredit, of Roman Catholics to maintain the authority of the Vita. To the former class belong the Magdeburg Centuriators, Rivet, Basnage, Casimir Oudin; to the latter, Bellarmin, Noel Alexandre, and above all Montfaucon in the Benedictine edition of Athanasius (especially in the Vita Athanasii, Animadversio II. in Vitam et Scripta S.A., and the Monitum in Antonii Vitam, which latter may still claim the first rank in critical discussions of the problem). We may add, as more or less unbiassed defenders of the Vita, Cave (Hist. Lit. i. 193), and Tillemont (Mem. vol. vii.). All the above belong to the period before 1750. In more recent times the attack has been led by Weingarten (Ursprung des Moenchtums in nachkonst. zeitalter, reprinted in 1877 from Zeitschrift fuer K.G. 1876, and in Herzog, vol. x. pp. 758 sqq.), followed by Gass (in Ztsch. K.G. II. 274), and Gwatkin (Studies, &c. pp. 98-103). Israel, in Zeitsch. Wiss. Theol. 1880, p. 130, &c., characterises Weingarten's attack on the Vita as 'too bold.' Keim (Aus dem Urchr. 207 sqq.) and Hilgenfeld (in Zeitsch. f. Wiss. Theol. 1878) put the book in the lifetime of Ath. without absolutely pronouncing for him as the author, while Hase (J. Prot. Th. 1880), Harnack (especially in Th. Ltz. xi. 391, see also 'Das Moenchtum' u.s.w., Giessen, 1886), Moeller, Lehrb. der K.G. i. 372, and Eichhorn ('Athanasii de vita ascetica testimonia,' Halle, 1886, the most convincing discussion of recent date, and indispensable) decide without hesitation in its favour. The discussion of Bornemann (In investigando monachatus origine, quibus de causis ratio habenda sit Origenis, Leipzig, 1885) may also be mentioned as bearing on the general subject; also the articles 'Monastery,' 'Coenobium,' and 'Hermits' in D. C. A. The article 'Anthony' in D. C. B. passes over the question without discussion, excepting the trite, but untenable, statement that the Vita 'is probably interpolated.' Farrar (Lives of the Fathers, and Contemp. Review, Nov. 1887) follows Gwatkin. Picturesque representations of Anthony (from the Vita) in Kingsley's Hermits and Newman's Historical Sketches, vol. 2.

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