As I've looked around the internet at reactions to Athanasius' magnum opus On the Incarnation, I've seen some accusations of latent Apollinarism. The work was published before the Apollinarian heresy was formally defined and condemned, but they say that it was materially there in his writings. That's just background, it's not what my question is about. You need not defend his orthodoxy to me.

Before the heresy was condemned at the ecumenical First Council of Constantinople, it was condemned at a local council in Alexandria headed by none other than Athanasius. So clearly Athanasius was as opposed to this heresy as he had famously been opposed to Arianism. But are there any surviving writings I can read where he lays out the case against Apollinarism?

  • To those awaiting an answer, it looks like there aren't any. But Gregory of Nazianzus' Theological Orations (compiled in On God and Christ) looks like it will be a good read on the subject. I'll keep the question open, but I think that will be the book I end up reading on the subject regardless of whether this question gets an answer. Commented Jan 18, 2014 at 22:13

1 Answer 1


According to Schaff's history, Athanasius wrote Against Apollinaris

about the year 372 against Apollinarianism in the wider sense, without naming, Apollinaris or his followers; so that the title above given is wanting in the oldest codices. Similar errors, though in like manner without direct reference to Apollinaris, and evading his most important tenet, were combated by Athanasius in the Epist. ad Epictetum episcopum Corinthi contra haereticos

I can't find an English translation of this work - although Schaff refers to it, it isn't in his complete works of Athanasius. If it's any use to you, the Greek text is here.

The letter to Epictetus is found in translation here.

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