Alexander, St.

, bishop of Alexandria, succeeded St. Achillas in the year 313. Arius, who had pretensions to this see, resented the preference given to Alexander by attacking his opinions, which were strictly orthodox, and substituting his own, which were at that time new: The bishop at first opposed him only by mild exhortations and persuasions; but, being unable to prevail, he cited him before an assembly or synod of the clergy at Alexandria, and on his refusing to recant his errors, excommunicated him and his followers. This sentence was confirmed by above an hundred bishops in the council of Alexandria, in the year 320; and Alexander signified the same by a circular letter to pope Sylvester, and all the catholic bishops; and his conduct was approved by Osius., who had been employed by the emperor Constantine to inquire into the matter. Alexander afterwards assisted at the council of Nice, to which he was accompanied by St. Athanasius, then only a deacon, and died Feb. 26, 326, appointing Athanasius for his successor. Of his numerous epistles, written against the Arian heresy, two only remain; one, the circular letter already mentioned, in Socrates, lib. I.e. 6; and in Gelasius Cyzicus’ history of the council of Nice, lib. 2. c. 3. The other, addressed to Alexander of Byzantium, is in Theodoret, lib. I. c. 4. In the Bibl. Vindob. Cod. Theol. is a very short letter of his to the presbyters and deacons of Alexandria; this is also in Cotelerius: and he wrote an epistle against the Arians, of which are two fragments in S. Maximus Opus. Theol. et Polem. vol. II. 152, 155. 2


Cave, vol. l.—Lardner’s Works, vol. IV. 103.