Saint and eighteenth patriarch of the See of (311-312) (feast day: 19 Ba’unah). Achillas succeeded , who lost his life toward the end of the persecutions begun by . He was a contemporary of (305- 310) and Licinius (308-324). During the term of Licinius, the church had a respite from persecutions after the abdication of . Previously ordained a presbyter by with , he was placed at the head of the after Pierius either went to Rome or was martyred in Alexandria. Apparently he distinguished himself so much in Greek philosophy and theological science that later described him as “the Great” ( 7.32).

Achillas inherited from Peter I the troubles of the church in the and schism at in , and the heresy of in Alexandria. However, after his accession, a considerable number of supporters of prevailed upon him to lift the sentence of and imposed by his predecessor on the future heresiarch. Thus, Arius was not only forgiven but also granted the of the Church at , the oldest in Alexandria. This appears to be the only major event of Achillas short , which according to the (Vol. 1, Pt. 2, p. 401) lasted only six months. His early death was ascribed by the faithful to his breach of the command of his predecessor Peter in regard to Arius. He is commemorated in the .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

  • Altaner, B. Patrology, Eng. trans. Hilda Graef. London, 1958. Bardenhewer, O. Geschichte der altkirchlichen Literatur, 3 vols. Freiburg, 1902-1912.
  • Duchesne, L. Early History of the , Vol. 1, pp. 341ff. London, 1909.
  • Quasten, J. Patrology, 3 vols. Utrecht and Antwerp, 1975.
  • Smith, W., and H. Wace. , 4 vols. New York, 1974.

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