Catalogue Entry: THEM00010

'Paradoxical Questions concerning the morals & actions of Athanasius & his followers'

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: Keynes Ms. 10, King's College, Cambridge, UK

[Normalized Text] [Diplomatic Text]

Custodial History

Bought by Keynes at the Sotheby sale for £34.

Sotheby Lot



Each question is followed by an answer discrediting the Athanasians.

f. 1r 'Quest. 1. Whether the ignominious death of Arius in a bog-house was not a story feigned & put about by Athanasius above twenty years after his death.'

f. 5r 'Quest. 2. Whether the Meletians deserved that ill character wch Athanasius gave them.'

f. 5v 'Quest. III. Whether the Council of Tyre & Ierusalem was not an orthodox authentick Council bigger then that of Nice.'

f. 9r 'Quest IV. Whether it was a dead man's hand in a bag or the dead body of Arsenius wch was laid before ye Council of Tyre to prove that Arsenius was dead.'

'Quest V Whether it was Arsenius alive or only his letter wch Athanasius produced in ye Council of Tyre to prove that he was not dead.'

'Quest. VI Whether the story of producing the dead man's hand and the living Arsenius in ye Council of Tyre was not feigned by Athanasius about five & twenty years after the time of the Council of Tyre.' [Questions 4 to 6 are addressed en bloc.]

f. 12r 'Quest. VII. Whether the Letter of Pinnes for proving Arsenius to be alive was not feigned by Athanasius at the same time wth the story of the dead man's hand.'

f. 13r 'Quest. VIII. Whether the Letter of Arsenius was not feigned by Athanasius before the convening of the Council of Tyre'

f. 14v 'Quest. IX. Whether the Letter of Ischyras was not feigned by Athanasius.'

f. 16v 'Quest. X. Whether the Recantation of Valens & Vrsatius was not feigned by the friends of Athanasius.'

f. 18r 'Quest. XI. Whether Athanasius was falsly accused or did falsly accuse Eusebius of adultery before the Council of Tyre.'

f. 18v 'Quest. XII. Whether Athanasius did sincerely acquit himself of the crime of breaking the communion cup of Ischyras.'

f. 19v 'Quest. XIII. Whether Athanasius was not made Bishop of Alexandria by sedition & violence against the Canons of that Church.'

f. 20v 'Quest. XIV. Whether Athanasius was not justly deposed by the Council of Tyre.'

f. 24r 'Quest XV [altered from 'XIV']. Whether Athanasius was not seditious.'

f. 28v 'Quest. XVI. Whether Constantius persecuted the Athanasians for religion or only punished them for immorality.'


For dating, see Shapiro, 'Dating Game', 196-7. ff. 1-26 contain watermark fleur de lys/CSH and ff. 27-32 contain fleur de lys/HD. The latter also appears on papers dated between June 1691 and July 1695, while watermarks of the earlier clusters are identical to those occuring on a letter to Locke of 3 May 1692, and also on some revisions to the Principia of the early 1690s and drafts of 'De quadratura curvarum' dating from autumn-winter 1691-2.

Later draft of Clark Library Ms. **N563M3 P222. Questions printed from this manuscript, with summaries of the answers, in Brewster (1855), 2: 342-6. Full text printed in McLachlan, Theological Manuscripts, 60-118.

[1] 335

[2] Arius

[3] Extat Epistola {i}n operibus Atha{n}asij et apud Theodoritum Hist Eccl. L. 1. c. 14

[4] ✝ ὁύτω δὴ ὀυν ἀυτοὺν ἐξ ελθόντα παρὰ του βασιλέω ἠθέλησαν ἐισταγαγειν ἀυτὸν ἐις τὴν ἐκκλησίαν ὁι περὶ Ευσεβιος τη συνήθει ἀυτων βία: {8}

[5] ✝ καὶ ἀρων Ἄρειν

[6] ✝ καὶ ἐυθέως κατὰ τὸ γεγραμμένον πρηνὴς γενόμενος, ἐλάκησε μέσος, καὶ πεσὼν ἐυθὺς ἀπέψυχεν.

[7] Athan. Orat. 1. pag.

[8] ✝ Theod. Eccl. Hist. l. 1. c. 13.

[9] ✝ Socr. l. 1. c 26, 27, 33, 37, 38. Sozom. l. 2, c. 27 28, 29. Ruffin. l 1. c. 11

[10] ✝ καὶ μετὰ τὸ ἐξορισθηναι τὸν ἐπίσκοπον της Ἀλεξανδρέιας Ἀθανάσιον, γράφοντες δειν δεχθηναι Ἄρειον καὶ τοὺς σὺν ἀυτω

[11] Athan. Apol. 2.

[12] Epiphan. Hæres. 68.

[13] Apud Theodoritum l. 1. c. 6.

[14] a Concilium Antiochenum in Epist. ad Iulium Papam.

[15] Euseb. in vita Constant. l. 4, c. 43, 47, ex versione Valesij.

[16] Εγνώσθη κρυπτομενος ὁ Αρσένιος &c. Athanas. Apol. 2 p. 783.

[17] Apud Athanas. Apol. 2, & Hilar. ffragm.

[18] a Vide Hilarij Fragm.

[19] a Vide Hilarij Fragm.

[20] Philostorg. l. 2. c. 12

[21] Sozom. l. 2 c. 25. Theod. l. 1. c. 30.

[22] Sozom. l. 2. c. 25

[23] Euseb. Vit. Const. l. 3 c. 23.

[24] Socr. l. 1. c. 23.

[25] d Sozom. l. 2. c. 17 & 23.

[26] e Philostorg. l. 3 c. 11.

[27] Epist. Concil. Alexandr. apud Athanas. Apol. 2.

[28] c Constantin. Imp. apud Athanas. Apol. 2. p. 780.

[29] a

[30] b. Sozom. l.     c. 24.

[31] c. μηδὲ τὸ μάρτυρεις ὁι δικαστος γενέσθαι παροντήμενοι. Epist. Concil. Alex

[32] b Athanas. Apol. 1

[33] c Constant. Epist. ad Ægyptios apud Athanas. Apol. 1.

[34] d Sozom l. 4. c. 9

[35] e Epist Liberij Papæ apud Lucif. Calar. in fin. et to 9 Bibl. Sanct.

[36] f Apud Baron. an. 353. s. 19.

[37] g Athan. Apol. 1 Sozom. l. 4. c. 9 Baron. an. 354. s. 17.

[38] h. Hilar. ad Constantium.

[39] k Maximus apud Ambros. serm. 69 de natali Eusebij

[40] m Severus Hist. l. 2. c

[41] n. Extat in Hilar. fragm.

[42] Sozom. l. 4. c. 9 Sever. l. 2. c. 55.

[43] p Sozom. l. 2. c. 24.

[44] Sozom

[45] Sozom. l. 2. c. 29.

[46] 2 Cor. 5.

[47] Sozom. l. 4, c. 9.

[48] Sozom. ib.

[49] Lucifer de Moriend. pro Dei ffilio

[50] Extat Epistola apud Athanasium

[51] Athanas. Apol. 1 pag.

[52] Athanas. Epist. ad solitariam vitam agentes p. 857.

[53] ib. p. 811

[54] Lucif. lib. moriend. pro filio Dei.

[55] Hilar. cont. Constantium. p. 323. edit. Paris. 1652.

[56] p.325

[57] Baron. an. 360 sect. 8, 9.

[58] Greg. Naz. Carm. Iamb. 21. p. 23.

[59] ✝ Hæres. 69. sect. 12.

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