(Α᾿λεξανδρεύς), an inhabitant of Alexandria in Egypt, spec. a Jew living there (Ac 6:9; Ac 18:24). Alexandria was much frequented by Jews, so that 10,000 of them are said to have been numbered among its inhabitants (Philo, In Flacc. p. 971; Josephus, Ant. 19, 5, 2). SEE ALEXANDRIA. It appears from Ac 6:9, that they were accustomed to attend the festivals at Jerusalem, and that they even had a synagogue there for their special use (Kuinol, Hackett, in loc.). SEE SYNAGOGUE.

ALEXANDRIAN CHRONICLE, the name given to a MS. found in Sicily by Jerome Surita, and carried to Rome, and preserved by Antonio Augustine, auditor of the Rota. Charles Sigonius and Onuphrius Panvinius made considerable use of it in the composition of their Consular Fasti, and published it in Greek and Latin. The name "Sicilia Fasti" was given to these annals because of their having been found in that island. It is not so easy to assign a reason for the name of "the Chronicle of Alexandria," except that the name of Peter of Alexandria is at the head of the Augsburg MS. found in the library of Augsburg by Casaubon. Mattheus Raderus, a Jesuit, published the first complete edition of this chronicle at Munich, in 1615, in Greek and Latin. Dufresne, who published an improved edition (Gr. and Lat. with notes, Paris, 1688), gives it the name of the Paschal Chronicle, because it treats of the time of celebrating Easter. Cave and Ussher attribute it to George Pisides, A.D. 640; Casimir Oudin to George of Alexandria, A.D. 620. This chronicle begins at the creation, and is carried up to the tenth year of the consulate of the Emperor Heraclius, or A.D. 628. It seems to have been written by two authors, of whom one carried the work on to the year of Christ 354, and the other completed it. It is compiled without any great judgment or research, but the writer evidently had access to many ancient monuments, which are now lost. — Cave, Hist. Lit. anno 640.

Bible concordance for ALEXANDRIA.

ALEXANDRIAN LIBRARY. This remarkable collection of books, the largest of the ancient world, was founded by Ptolemy Soter, in the city of Alexandria, in Egypt. Even in the time of its first manager, Demetrius Phalereus, a banished Athenian, the number of volumes or rolls already amounted to 50,000; and during its most flourishing period, under the direction of Zenodotus, Aristarchus of Byzantium, Apollonius Rhodius, and others, is said to have contained 400,000, or, according to another authority, 700,000. The greater part of this library, which embraced the collected literature of Rome, Greece, India, and Egypt, was contained in the Museum, in the quarter of Alexandria called Brucheium. During the siege of Alexandria by Julius Caesar this part of the library was destroyed by fire; but it was afterward replaced by the collection of Pergamos, which was presented to Queen Cleopatra by Mark Antony, to the great annoyance of the educated Romans. The other part of the library was kept in the Serapeion, the temple of Jupiter Serapis, where it remained till the time of Theodosius the Great. When the emperor permitted all the heathen temples in the Roman empire to be destroyed, the magnificent temple of Jupiter Serapis was not spared. A mob of fanatic Christians, led on by the Archbishop Theophilus, stormed and destroyed the temple, together, it is most likely, with the greater part of its literary treasures, in A.D. 391. It was at this time that the destruction of the library was begun, and not at the taking of Alexandria by the Arabians, under the Caliph Omar in A.D. 642. The story, at least, is ridiculously exaggerated which relates that the Arabs found a sufficient number of books remaining to heat the baths of the city for six months. The historian Orosius, who visited the place after the destruction of the temple by the Christians, relates that he then saw only the empty shelves of the library (Gibbon, Decline and Fall, c. 51). See Petit-Radel, Recherches sur les Bibliotheques Anciennes et Modernes (Paris, 1819); and Ritschl, Die Alexandrinischen Bibliotheken (Berlin, 1838). See ALEXANDRIA.

ALEXANDRIAN MANUSCRIPT (CODEX ALEXANDRINUS, So called from its supposed origin at Alexandria), one of the three or four most famous copies of the Holy Scriptures, and designated as A of the N.T. It contains the whole Bible in Greek, including the Septuagint version of the O.T., with the first (or genuine) Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, and part of his second (or apocryphal). It is defective, however, in several passages of the N.T. (Mt 1:1; Mt 25:6; Joh 6:50 -8:52; 2Co 4:13 - 12:6), and in part of the Psalms, where the leaves are totally missing. Letters here and there have also been cut away in binding; and in a considerable part of the N.T. one of the upper corners of the leaves is gone. The N.T. books are found in the order in which they are arranged in the other ancient MSS.: the Catholic Epistles follow the Acts; then come the Pauline Epistles, but with that to the Hebrew before the Pastoral Epistles; the Apocalypse, so rare in extant ancient codices, stands as usual at the close of the N.T.; and in this copy it has been preserved from the injury which has befallen both ends of the volume by reason of the Epistles of Clement having been added. The MS., which is on thin vellum and in semi-folio form, is now bound in four volumes, the first three of which contain the O.T. The pages are about thirteen inches long and ten broad; the writing on each is divided into two columns of fifty lines each, having about twenty letters or upward in a line. These letters are continuously written in uncial characters, without any space between the words, the uncials being of an elegant yet simple form, in a firm and uniform hand, though in some places larger than in others. The punctuation merely consists of a point placed at the end of the sentence, usually on a level with the top of the preceding letter, but not always, and a vacant space follows the point at the end of the paragraph, the space being proportioned to the break in the sense. Capital letters of various sizes abound at the beginning of books and sections, not painted as in later copies, but written by the original scribe in common ink. Vermilion is freely used in the initial lines of books. Accents and breathings are found in the beginning of Genesis only. At the end of each book are neat and unique ornaments in the ink of the first hand. Contractions occur as in other very ancient MSS. It has the Ammonian divisions of the Gospels, with references to the canons of Eusebius; the headings of the large sections are placed at the top of the page, the places where they begin being indicated in the text, and in Luke and John the numbers being set in the margin of the column. The subdivisions of the Acts, Epistles, and Apocalypse, by Euthalius and others, are not indicated; a cross occasionally appears as a separation of the chapters of the Acts — a large initial denoting a paragraph throughout (Davidson, Bib. Crit. 2, 271 sq ).

Definition of alexandrian

This MS. is now in the manuscript room of the British Museum, where it was placed on the formation of that library in 1753. It previously belonged to the king's private collection, having been presented to Charles I through Sir Thomas Roe, English ambassador to Turkey, by Cyril Lucar, patriarch of Constantinople. An Arabic inscription, several centuries old, at the back of the table of contents, on the first leaf of the MS., states that it was written by the hand of Thecla the martyr, and given to the Patriarchal Chamber in the year of the Martyrs 814 (A.D. 1098). Another, and apparently an earlier inscription, in Moorish Arabic, declares that the book was dedicated to the Patriarchal Chamber at Alexandria. But upon neither of these notices can much reliance be placed. That the codex was brought from Alexandria by Cyril (who had previously been patriarch of that see), need not, however, be doubted, though Wetstein, on the dubious authority of Matthew Muttis of Cyprus, Cyril's deacon, concluded that it came from Matthew Athos. It is now very generally assigned to the beginning or middle of the fifth century. The reasons for this are in part the general style of the characters, especially the shape of certain distinctive letters (e.g. α, δ, ε, π, σ, φ, and ω), the presence of the Eusebian canons (A.D. 268- 340?), and of the Epistle of Marcellinus by Athanasius before the Psalms (303?-373), which place a limit in one direction; while the absence of the Euthalian divisions of the Acts and Epistles, and the shortness of the subscriptions appear tolerably decisive against a later date than A.D. 450. The insertion of Clement's Epistles points likewise to a period when the canon was yet unsettled. These were added as parts of the specified number of the N.T. books; while the apocryphal Psalms bearing the name of Solomon, which the MS. appears to have once contained, were separated in the list, as something wholly different in point of authority. The latter were prohibited by the Council of Laodicea, soon after the middle of the fourth century, from being read in the churches; and to this prohibition the MS. is conformed, although it treats the epistles of Clement so differently. Wetstein's and Woide's objections to this date (such as the use of Θεοτόκος as a title of the Virgin in her song added to the Psalms) are anachronous. Woide believes that a different hand was employed upon it from 1 Corinthians 5, onward, but this is not clear. The original copyist was not very careful, and the later corrector was by no means accurate. Yet of all the uncials, this holds a rank as one of the first value. It contains indeed the itacisms (interchange of ι and ει, η and ι, ε and αι) common to that period, and certain orthographical peculiarities (e.g. χημψομαι, ελαβαμεν, etc.) frequent in the Egyptian MSS. The reference to St. Thecla as its writer is plausibly explained by Tregelles, who remarks that, inasmuch as the text (Mt 25:6) where this MS. now begins was the lesson in the Greek Church for her festival, the Egyptian scribe may have hastily concluded that she wrote it (Scrivener, Introd. to N.T. p. 82). SEE MANUSCRIPTS, BIBLICAL.

The N.T. portion of this Codex was published by Woide, from facsimile letters cast expressly for the purpose, under the title "Nov. Test. Groec. e Cod. Alexandr." (Lond. 1786, fol.); revised by Cowper (Lond. 1860). The O.T. part was printed from the same characters by Baber (4 vols. fol. Lond. 1816-28). On its critical value, see Semler, De oetate Cod. Alexandr. (Hal. 1759); Woide, Notitia Cod. Alexandr. curavit Spohn (Lips. 1788). Comp. Michaelis, Orient. Bibl. 9, 166 sq.; Cramer, Beitr. 3, 101-146;. Tregelles, in Home's Introd. ed. 1846, 4:152 sq., 678; Princeton Rev. Jan. 1861; Am. Theol. Rev. July, 1861; Chr. Remembrancer, Apr. 1861; Dietelmaier, Antiquitas Cod. Alex. vindicata (Hal. 1739); Jorke, De estate Cod. Alex. (Hal. 1759); Spohn, Notitia Cod. Alex. (Lpz. 1789); Stroth, De Cod. Alex. (Hal. 1771). It has also been published in phototype (Lond. 1888, 3 vols. fol.).

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

ALEXANDRIAN SCHOOLS, a term usually applied to the various systems of philosophy and religious belief that have characterized or originated among the citizens of Alexandria at different periods in its history. SEE ALEXANDRIA.

I. Pagan.— When Alexander the Great built the city of Alexandria, with a determination to make it the seat of his empire, he also opened a new mart of philosophy, which emulated the fame of Athens itself. A general indulgence was granted to Egyptians, Grecians, Jews, or others, to profess their respective systems of philosophy without molestation. The consequence was that Egypt was soon filled with religious and philosophical sectaries of every kind, and particularly that almost every Grecian sect found an advocate and professor in Alexandria. The family of the Ptolemies, who, after Alexander, obtained the government of Egypt, from motives of policy encouraged this new establishment. Ptolemy Lagus, who had obtained the crown of Egypt by usurpation, was particularly careful to secure the interest of the Greeks in his favor, and with this view invited people from every part of Greece to settle in Egypt, and removed the schools of Athens to Alexandria. Under the patronage, first of the Egyptian princes and afterward of the Roman emperors, Alexandria long continued to enjoy great celebrity as the seat of learning, and to send forth eminent philosophers of every sect to distant countries. Philosophy during this period suffered a grievous corruption from the attempt which was made by philosophers of different sects and countries, Grecian, Egyptian, and Oriental, to frame from their different tenets one general system of opinions. The respect which had long been universally paid to the schools of Greece, and the honors with which they were now adorned by the Egyptian princes, induced other wise men, and even the Egyptian priests and philosophers themselves, to submit to this innovation. SEE PHILOSOPHY.

Naturally enough, therefore, the philosophy which seems to have obtained most at Alexandria was an eclectic teaching, aiming at bringing together the best features of every school, and combining them into one harmonious aggregate. Antiochus is the best representative of that movement: the fundamental idea of his metaphysics consists in asserting that the writings of Plato, connected with those of Orpheus and of Pythagoras, form a code of doctrine, a species of revelation, given by heaven, and superior to all the attempts of human speculation. The eclecticism taught by Antiochus was exclusively confined to the doctrines of the Greek school. The celebrated Philo (q.v.), who flourished from A.D. 40 to 60, borrowing from the works of Plato a great number of ideas and views, endeavored to amalgamate them with the truth contained in the Old Testament, the traditions of the Cabala, and the Essenian philosophy. Philo may be said to have spiritualized Judaism by the means of Platonism; and in turning the mind of his countrymen away from mere verbal criticism, and from the minutiae of legal observances, he prepared them, to some degree, for the reception of the Gospel. But the philosopher whose name is chiefly connected with the history of Alexandria is Ammonius Saccas (q.v.), surnamed Θεοδίδακτος, on account of the beauty of his teaching, who was a mystic theosophist, but a theosophist who blended his views with polytheism, and engrafted them there, not on Christianity. Seeing how fast the old convictions were vanishing away before ideas, feelings, and hopes of a totally different origin, he endeavored to renovate philosophy by showing that on the most important points Plato and Aristotle agree. This was the ruling axiom of his theories, which he completed in systematizing the Greek demonology by the help of elements derived from Egyptian and Eastern sources. As soon as the Christian religion became the creed of the state, the pagan school of Alexandria fell to the ground. It had to maintain, single-handed, a desperate struggle against the united forces of Gnostic philosophers and of the new religion, which, after having originated in an obscure corner of the Roman empire, was advancing with rapid strides to the conquest of society. The best accounts of the literary history of Alexandria, its pagan schools, libraries, philosophy, etc., may be found in M. Matter's Histoire de l'ecole d'Alexandrie (Paris, 2d ed. 3 vols. 8vo) and in Simon's Histoire de l'ecole d'Alexandrie (Paris, 1845, 2 vols. 8vo). A rapid and vigorous, but not very trustworthy sketch is given in Kingsley's Alexandria and her Schools (Cambridge, 1854, 12mo).

II. Jewish. — For some time the Jewish Church in Alexandria was in close dependence on that of Jerusalem. Both were subject to the civil power of the first Ptolemies, and both acknowledged the high-priest as their religious head. The persecution of Ptolemy Philopator (B.C. 217) occasioned the first political separation between the two bodies. From that time the Jews of Palestine attached themselves to the fortunes of Syria, SEE ANTIOCHUS THE GREAT; and the same policy which alienated the Palestinian party gave unity and decision to the Jews of Alexandria. The Septuagint translation, which strengthened the barrier of language between Palestine and Egypt, and the temple of Leontopolis (B.C. 161), which subjected the Egyptian Jews to the charge of schism, widened the breach which was thus opened. But the division, though marked, was not complete. At the beginning of the Christian aera the Egyptian Jews still paid the contributions to the temple-service (Raphall, Hist. of Jews, 2, 72). Jerusalem, though its name was fashioned to a Greek shape, was still the Holy City, the metropolis, not of a country but of a people ( ῾Ιερόπολις, Philo, In Flacc. § 7; Leg, ad Cai. § 36), and the Alexandrians had a synagogue there (Ac 6:9). The internal administration of the Alexandrine Church was independent of the Sanhedrin at Jerusalem; but respect survived submission.

There were, however, other causes which tended to produce at Alexandria a distinct form of the Jewish character and faith. The religion and philosophy of that restless city produced an effect upon the people more powerful than the influence of politics or commerce. Alexander himself symbolized the spirit with which he wished to animate his new capital by founding a temple of His side by side with the temples of the Grecian gods (Arr. 3, 1). The creeds of the East and West were to coexist in friendly union; and in after-times the mixed worship of Serapis (comp. Gibbon, c. 28; Smith, Dict. of Class. Geogr. 1, 98) was characteristic of the Greek kingdom of Egypt (August. De Civ. Dei, 18, 5; S. maximus AEgyptiorum Deus). This catholicity of worship was further combined with the spread of universal learning. The same monarchs who favored the worship of Serapis (Clem. Al. Protr. 4, § 48) founded and embellished the museum and library; and part of the library was deposited in the Serapeum. The new faith and the new literature led to a common issue, and the Egyptian Jews necessarily imbibed the spirit which prevailed around them.

The Jews were, indeed, peculiarly susceptible of the influences to which they were exposed. They presented from the first a capacity for Eastern or Western development. To the faith and conservatism of the Oriental they united the activity and energy of the Greek. The mere presence of Hellenic culture could not fail to call into play their powers of speculation, which were hardly repressed by the traditional legalism of Palestine (comp. Jost, Gesch. d. Judenth. p. 293 sq.): and the unchanging element of divine revelation, which they always retained, enabled them to harmonize new thought with old belief. But while the intercourse of the Jew and Greek would have produced the same general consequences in any case, Alexandria was peculiarly adapted to ensure their full effect. The result of the contact of Judaism with the many creeds which were current there must have been speedy and powerful. The earliest Greek fragment of Jewish writing — which has been preserved (about 160 B.C.) SEE ARISTOBULUS, contains large Orphic quotations, which had been already moulded into a Jewish form (comp. Jost, Gesch. d. Judenth. p. 370); and the attempt thus made to connect the most ancient Hellenic traditions with the law was often repeated afterward. Nor was this done in the spirit of bold forgery. Orpheus, Musaeus, and the Sibyls appeared to stand in some remote period anterior to the corruptions of polytheism, as the witnesses of a primeval revelation and of the teaching of nature, and thus it seemed excusable to attribute to them a knowledge of the Mosaic doctrines. The third book of the Sibyllines (cir. B.C. 150) is the most valuable relic of this pseudo-Hellenic literature, and shows how far the conception of Judaism was enlarged to meet the wider views of the religious condition of heathendom which was opened by a more intimate, knowledge of Greek thought; though the later Apocalypse of Ezra, SEE ESDRAS, 4 exhibits a marked reaction toward the extreme exclusiveness of former times.

But the indirect influence of Greek literature and philosophy produced still greater effects upon the Alexandrine Jews than the open conflict and combination of religious dogmas. The literary school of Alexandria was essentially critical and not creative. For the first time men labored to collect, revise, and classify all the records of the past. Poets trusted to their learning rather than to their imagination. Language became a study; and the legends of early mythology were transformed into philosophic mysteries. The Jews took a vigorous share in these new studies. The caution against writing, which became a settled law in Palestine, found no favor in Egypt. Numerous authors adapted the history of the Patriarchs, of Moses, and of the Kings to classical models (Euseb. Proep. Ev. 9, 17-39. Eupolemus, Artapanus [?], Demetrius, Aristaeus, Cleodemus or Malchas, "a prophet"). A poem which bears the name of Phocylides gives in verse various precepts of Leviticus (Daniel, sec. LXX, Apolog. p. 512 sq. Romae, 1772); and several large fragments of a "tragedy" in which Ezekiel (cir. B.C. 110) dramatized the Exodus have been preserved by Eusebius (1. c.), who also quotes numerous passages in heroic verse from the elder Philo and Theodotus. This classicalism of style was a symptom and a cause of classicalism of thought. The same Aristobulus who gave currency to the Judaeo-Orphic verses endeavored to show that the Pentateuch was the real source of Greek philosophy (Euseb. Proep. Ev. 13, 12; Clem. Al. Strom. 6, 98).

The proposition thus enunciated was thoroughly congenial to the Alexandrine character; and henceforth it was the chief object of Jewish speculation to trace out the subtle analogies which were supposed to exist between the writings of Moses and the teaching of the schools. The circumstances under which the philosophical studies first gained a footing at Alexandria favored the attempt. For some time the practical sciences reigned supreme, and the issue of these was scepticism (Matter, Hist. de l'ecole d'Alex. 3, 162 sq.). Then at length the clear analysis and practical morality of the Peripatetics found ready followers, and, in the strength of the reaction, men eagerly trusted to those splendid ventures with which Plato taught them to be content till they could gain a surer knowledge (Phoed. p. 85). To the Jew this surer knowledge seemed to be already given, and the belief in the existence of a spiritual meaning underlying the letter of Scripture was the great principle on which all his investigations rested. The facts were supposed to be essentially symbolic; the language the veil (or sometimes the mask) which partly disguised from common sight the truths which it enwrapped. In this way a twofold object was gained. It became possible to withdraw the Supreme Being (τὸ ὄν, ὁ ὤν) from immediate contact with the material world, and to apply the narratives of the Bible to the phenomena of the soul. It is impossible to determine the process by which these results were embodied; but, as in parallel cases, they seem to have been shaped gradually in the minds of the mass, and not fashioned at once by one great teacher. Even in the Sept. there are traces of an endeavor to interpret the anthropomorphic imagery of the Hebrew text, SEE SEPTUAGINT, and there can be no doubt that the Commentaries of Aristobulus gave some form and consistency to the allegoric system. In the time of Philo (B.C. 20-A.D. 50) the theological and interpretative systems were evidently fixed even in many of their details, and he appears in both cases only to have collected and expressed the popular opinions of his countrymen. SEE PHILO.

In each of these great forms of speculation — the theological and the exegetical — Alexandrianism has an important bearing upon the apostolic writings. But the doctrines which are characteristic of the Alexandrian school were by no means peculiar to it. The same causes which led to the formation of wider views of Judaism in Egypt, acting under greater restraint, produced corresponding results in Palestine. A doctrine of the Word (Memra), and a system of mystical interpretation grew up within the rabbinic schools, which bear a closer analogy to the language of the Apostle John and to the "allegories" of Paul than the speculations of Philo. SEE LOGOS.

The speculative doctrines which thus worked for the general reception of Christian doctrine were also embodied in a form of society which was afterward transferred to the Christian Church. Numerous bodies of ascetics (Therapeutoe), especially on the borders of Lake Mareotis, devoted themselves to a life of ceaseless discipline and study. SEE THERAPEUTAE. Unlike the Essenes, who present the corresponding phase in Palestinian life, they abjured society and labor, and often forgot, as it is said, the simplest wants of nature in the contemplation of the hidden wisdom of the Scriptures (Philo, De Vit. Contempt. throughout). The description which Philo gives of their occupation and character seemed to Eusebius to present so clear an image of Christian virtues that he claimed them as Christians; and there can be no doubt that some of the forms of monasticism were shaped upon the model of the Therapeutae (Euseb. H. E. 2, 16).

At the beginning of the second century the number of Christians at Alexandria must have been very large, and the great leaders of Gnosticism (q.v.) who arose there (Basilides, Valentinus) exhibit an exaggeration of the tendency of the Church. But the later forms of Alexandrine speculation, the strange varieties of Gnosticism, the progress of the catechetical school, the development of Neoplatonism, the various phases of the Arian controversy, belong to the history of the Church and to the history of philosophy. To the last Alexandria fulfilled its mission; and we still owe much to the spirit of its great teachers, which in later ages struggled, not without success, against the sterner systems of the West. — Smith, Dict. of Bible, 1, 46.

See Kirchbaum, D. Judische Alexandrinismus (Lpz. 1841); Dahne, Geschichtliche Darstellung der Judisch Alexandrinischen Relgions- Philosophie (Halle, 1834); Gfrorer, Philo, und die Judisch- Alexandrinische Theosophie (Stuttgart, 1835). To these may be added, Ewald, Gesch. des Volkes Israel (Gottingen, 1852), 4:250 sq., 393 sq.; Jost, Gesch. des Judenthums (Leipzig, 1857), 1:344 sq., 388 sq.; Schaff, Hist. of the Church, § 126.

III. Christian. — The Christian school of Alexandria at first aimed only at the instruction of converts from heathenism, and the instruction was catechetical. It was afterward developed into a theological seminary. Jerome, dates its origin from the time of St. Mark, but there is no authority for his statement. Eusebius (Hist. Eccl. 5, 10) states that it had existed from "ancient times;" but the first definite account dates from about 181, when Pantsenus, a philosopher who had abandoned first Stoicism and then Platonism, and had been a Christian missionary in India, commenced lecturing in Alexandria (Euseb. loc. cit.). Whether Athenagoras, a philosopher who embraced Christianity about the middle of the 2d century, and who is called by Philip of Sida (see Dodwell, Dissert. in Iren. Oxon. 1689, p. 488, 497) a predecessor of Pantaenus, was ever at Alexandria, is extremely doubtful. The testimony of Philip of Sida is not very trustworthy, and the silence of Eusebius, and Athenagoras's way of teaching, which is by no means Alexandrine, speak against it. About A.D. 190 Clement became assistant to Pantaenus, and, about 203, head of the school. Origen became connected with the school as teacher when only a youth of 18 years, and he labored then, with some brief interruptions, until 232, when he was expelled from Alexandria. In the later years of his stay at Alexandria he was assisted by his disciple and successor Heraclas, who subsequently became bishop of Alexandria. Heraclas was succeeded by Dionysius, also a disciple of Origen, and later, likewise a bishop of Alexandria. The celebrity of the Alexandrian school continued for some time after the death of Dionysius, notwithstanding the rival institution which arose at Caesarea Palaestinae, and which was for some time conducted by Origen. It did not cease until the close of the fourth century.

Of the history of the school after the death of Dionysius we are, however, but imperfectly informed. Eusebius (H. E. 7, 32) names among the successors of Dionysius only Achillas, whose name is wholly omitted by Philip of Sida, and who, at all events, was less prominent than Pierius, who is mentioned by Philip and by Photius (Cod. 118). The names of Theognostus and Serapion are given as principals of the school only by Philip. It is possible, as Philip states, that about the close of the third century the Alexandrian bishop and martyr, Peter (Euseb. H. E. 7, 32), gave catechetical instruction, and later, about the middle of the fourth century, an Alexandrian monk, Macarius. Arius, the originator of Arianism, seems to have likewise been for some time principal of the school. The name of the learned and pious Didymus is mentioned as an Alexandrian catechist not only by Philip, but by Sozomen (H. E. 3, 15) and Rufin (H. E. 2, 7), and there is reason to believe that he presided over the school during the long period from 340 to 395. His assistant in later years, and his successor as catechist, was Rhodon, the teacher of Philip of Sida, and his withdrawal from Alexandria to Sida about 395 led, according to the testimony of Philip, to the close of the Alexandrian school. It is more probable that other causes had a greater share in bringing about this event. The controversies concerning Origen, and later, concerning Nestorianism and Monophysitism, in which the Alexandrian spirit degenerated and became extinct; the complete victory of Christianity, which diminished the number of adult converts and lessened the need of catechetical Instruction for adults, and the prosperous development of Christian science, gradually undermined the prominent position of the Alexandrian school in the Church. It again became what it had been at the beginning, a school in which children received catechetical instruction.

In the best days of the school the number of students was very great, but it seems never to have had buildings or endowments. The head master chose his own assistants; the teachers were paid only by presents from the scholars; and the students lodged where they could. The manner of teaching was as in the schools of the ancient philosophers, accommodated in many cases to the needs of individuals, and frequently it was catechetical. Whoever wished it received instruction in philosophy also. In general the instruction was related to the Christian Gnosis, as milk to more substantial food. It did not depart from the plainness of faith; and the speculative doctrines of the essence of God, the origin of the world, the relation of reason to revelation, were excluded (Strom. 5, 685). Probably what is contained in the Cohortatio of Clement constituted the contents of his introductory catechetical lectures; and it was followed by instructions in a pious, moral life, as we find them in the Pedagogus, and by a discussion of the fundamental doctrines of Christianity. To impart a more profound "gnostic" insight into Christianity, he reserved for private conversations. The following chronological list of the catechists is given in Guerike, De Schola Alexandrina (Halle, 1824-25, 2 pts.):

Schaff gives the following brief but clear account of the influence of the Alexandrian school on theology: "From this school proceeded a peculiar theology, the most learned and genial representatives of which were Clement and Origen. This theology is, on the one hand, a regenerated Christian form of the Alexandrian Jewish religious philosophy of Philo; on the other, a Catholic counterpart and a positive refutation of the heretical Gnosis, which reached its height also in Alexandria but half a century earlier. The Alexandrian theology aims at a reconciliation of Christianity with philosophy, or, subjectively speaking, of pistis with the gnosis; but it seeks this union upon the basis of the Bible and the doctrine of the Church. Its center, therefore, is the Logos, viewed as the sum of all reason and all truth, before and after the incarnation. Clement came from the Hellenic philosophy to the Christian faith; Origen, conversely, was led by faith to speculation. The former was an aphoristic thinker, the latter a systematic. The one borrowed ideas from various systems; the other followed more the track of Platonism. But both are Christian philosophers and churchly gnostics. As Philo, long before them, in the same city, had combined Judaism with Grecian culture, so now they carried Grecian culture into Christianity. This, indeed, the apologists and controversialists of the second century had already done as far back as Justin the 'philosopher.' But the Alexandrians were more learned and liberal-minded, and made much freer use of the Greek philosophy. They saw in it, not sheer error, but in one view a gift of God, and a theoretical schoolmaster for Christ, like the law in the practical sphere. Clement compares it to a wild olive-tree, which can be ennobled by faith; Origen (in the fragments of an epistle to Gregory Thaumaturgus) to the jewels which the Israelites took with them out of Egypt, and turned into ornaments for their sanctuary, though they also wrought them into the golden calf. It is not necessarily an enemy to the truth, but may, and should be its handmaid, and at least neutralize the attacks against it. The elements of truth in the heathen philosophy they attributed partly to the secret operation of the Logos in the world of reason, partly to acquaintance with the Jewish philosophy, the writings of Moses and the prophets. So with the Gnostic heresy. The Alexandrians did not successively condemn it, but recognised the desire for deeper religious knowledge which lay at its root, and sought to meet this desire with a wholesome supply from the Bible itself. To the γνῶσις ψευδώνυμος they opposed a γνῶσις ἀληθινή. Their maxim was, in the words of Clement, ' No faith without knowledge, no knowledge without faith;' or, 'Unless you believe, you will not understand' (Isa 7:9, in the Sept. ἐὰν μὴ πιστεύσητε, οὺδὲ μὴ συνῆτε). Faith and knowledge have the same substance, the saving truth of God, revealed in the Holy Scriptures, and faithfully handed down by the Church; they differ only in form. Knowledge is our consciousness of the deeper ground and consistency of faith. The Christian knowledge, however, is also a gift of grace, and has its condition in a holy life. The ideal of a Christian gnostic includes the perfect love as well as the perfect knowledge of God. Clement describes him as one 'who, growing gray in the study of the Scriptures, and preserving the orthodoxy of the apostles and the Church, lives strictly according to the Gospel.' The Alexandrian theology is intellectual, profound, stirring, and full of fruitful germs of thought, but rather unduly idealistic and spiritualistic, and, in exegesis, loses itself in arbitrary allegorical fancies. In its efforts to reconcile revelation and philosophy, it took up, like Philo, many foreign elements, especially of the Platonic and Gnostic stamp, and wandered into views which a later and more orthodox, but more narrow-minded and less productive age, condemned as heresies, not appreciating the immortal service of this school to its own and after times" (History of the Christian Church, § 126).

A full account of the (Christian) Alexandrian school is given in the Am. Bib. Repos. Jan. 1834, art. 1; and its doctrines, and their influence on Christianity, in the same journal, April, 1834, art. 1. See also Herzog, Real-Encyclopadie, 1, 239 sq.; Michaelis, De Schol. Alex. etc. (Halle, 1739); Neander, Ch. Hist. 1, 527-557; Hist. of Dogmas, 1, 62 sq.; Mosheim, Comm. 2, 166; Prat, Histoire de l'eclectisme Alexandrine considere dans sa Lutte avec le Christianisme (Lyon, 1843, 2 vols. 8vo); comp. Prof. Jowett, Philo and St. Paul; St. Paul's Epistles to the Thessalonians, etc. (London, 1855), 1:863 sq. Other treatises, bearing more or less directly upon the subject, are the following: Feuerlain, De ratione docendi theologiam in schola Alexandrina (Gotting. 1756); Hilscher, De Schola Alexandrina (Lips. 1776); Ritter, Gesch. d. Christl. Philos. 1, 421 sq.; Hasselbach, De schola quae Alex. floruit (Stettin, 1826); Henry, Epit. of Hist. of Philos. (from the French), 1:207-220; Hase, Hist. of Chr. Ch. (Am. ed.), § 85; Weichmann, De schola Origenis sacra (Viteb. 1744).


Topical Outlines Nave's Bible Topics International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online King James Bible King James Dictionary

Verse reference tagging and popups powered by VerseClick™.