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certain reference to it as the Fides Athanasii till the ninth century, though many striking parallels with different portions of it can be quoted from writings of an earlier date. Consequently, some writers have maintained that, even if the materials out of which it is compiled are comparatively early, yet in its completed form it must be set down as a work of the ninth century.

This view the present writer finds it quite impossible to accept. It appears to him that although Waterland's chapters on the external testimonies, commentaries, and MSS. of the creed may require rewriting, yet a considerable portion of the early evidence adduced by him remains unshaken, and fresh evidence unknown in his day has been discovered, so that we are compelled to assign to the creed a date if not actually during the fifth century, yet at the latest in the earlier part of the sixth.

1. Manuscripts of the creed, which were undoubtedly written during the ninth and tenth centuries, are comparatively numerous, some of them being assigned by competent authorities to the early years of the ninth. But besides these there are at least three MSS. of it, which in the opinion of the highest authorities on palæo

1 Waterland gives three MSS. earlier than the ninth century as assigning it to Athanasius, namely, King Athelstan's Psalter, in the British Museum (Galba, A. xviii.), which he dates in 703. A S. Germains' MS. (257) at Paris, collated by Montfaucon, assigned to 760, and the Psalter given by Charles to Hadrian, now at Vienna (1861), which, if Charles be Charlemagne, and Hadrian the first of that name, must belong to the year 772. But the dates of all these MSS. have been questioned (see below).

* The late Dr. Swainson strongly contended that it belonged to the ninth century; and with him Lumby to some extent agreed, as he held that in its present form the creed was only compiled between A.D. 813 and 850; though he maintained that "before that date two separate compositions existed (one on the Trinity and the other on the Incarna. tion) which form the groundwork of the present Quicunque.".-History of the Creeds, p. 254.

graphy were written before the close of the eighth century, viz. :

(a) Paris, Bibliotheque Nationale, 4858 (formerly 4908).- A copy of the Chronicon of Eusebius, to which is appended at the close of the MS. a copy of the Athanasian Creed. In this it is without title, and only the first eleven verses are found, as the volume is mutilated and the remainder is torn off. This MS. is assigned by the present authorities of the MS. department at Paris, as it was by Montfaucon, to the later part of the eighth century.

(6) Paris, 13159.-A Psalter with Canticles followed by the Athanasian Creed, with no title. Internal evidence seems to fix the date of this MS. beyond question to the period between 795 and 800, as, in the litany contained in it, there are prayers for Leo who became pope in 795, and for Charles as “Rex,” which shows that it was written before he was crowned Emperor in 800. This date is accepted by M. Delisle and other authorities. It may be added that this MS. was unknown to Waterland.

(c) Milan, Ambr. 0. 212.—A MS. containing various documents, including among others the Athanasian Creed without title. This MS. was assigned by Muratori to the seventh century, by Montfaucon to the eighth, and with him agrees the present librarian at Milan, Dr. Ceriani.

Besides these three MSS., two of which contain the creed complete, the other being mutilated, there is (d) what is known as the “Trèves fragment." This is only known to us from a Paris MS. (3836) generally dated about 730. It contains a fragment of an address by a preacher to his congregation comprising much of the latter part of the Athanasian Creed, which address the writer says that he found in a book at Trèves. The original Trèves manuscript has not been discovered, but its date must be placed considerably earlier than that of the Paris MS. in which it was copied, and some have thought that it must have been written not later than the fifth century. It has been suggested that it gives the groundwork from which the latter part of the Quicunque was subsequently worked up, but it would seem to be a truer view that the preacher whose sermon is given in the MS. was actually quoting the creed, and applying it. If this is so, the document may be appealed to as bearing witness to the previous existence of the creed, the language of which it adopts and modifies.

· Lumby mentions this MS., but does not really attempt to prove that it is later than the date assigned to it. See History of the Creeds,

p. 225.

Swainson describes this MS., and was evidently perplexed by it, but honestly tells us that M. Delisle assigns it to the year 795.-Nicene and Apostles' Creeds, p. 350. Lumby fails to notice it at all.

3 Swainson and Lumby both try to make out that it is later, but their opinion on such a matter can hardly be set against the judgment of such experts as those mentioned in the text.

Mention must also be made of two other MSS. of the creed.

(e) Vienna, 1861.—This is the psalter presented by *Charles” to Pope Hadrian, which Waterland, identifying Charles with Charlemagne, and Hadrian with the first pope of that name, assigned to 772. It has, however, been pointed out that Charles may be identified with Charles the Bald, and the pope with Hadrian II., in which case the MS. will belong not to the eighth but to the latter part of the ninth century. It contains the creed under the title “ Fides Sci Athanasii Epi Alexandrini.”

See Lumby, History of the Creeds, p. 216. ? So Swainson and Lumby.

See Ommanney, Critical Dissertation on the Athanasian Creed, pp. 4 and 461, where a copy of the fragment is given.

* See Swainson, p. 372, and Lumby, p. 221.


() St. Germains, 257, as described by Montfaucon, is placed by Waterland after him as of the date 760, and the title of the creed in it is given as "Fides Sancti Athanasii Episcopi Alexandriæ."~Unhappily the MS. is now lost," and therefore the date cannot be appealed to with absolute confidence, though the opinion of Montfaucon on such a subject is not lightly to be set aside. Without, however, laying stress on the last two manuscripts enumerated (e) and (f), there remain, in addition to the Treves fragment, three in regard to which there is absolutely no reason for refusing to credit the judgment of experts on the question of their date. And if the dates assigned to them be accepted we may dismiss without further consideration the notion that the creed itself can have been a compilation of the ninth century.

2. A second important branch of evidence to the antiquity of the creed is to be found in early collections of canons in which it finds a place.

(a) Paris, 3848 B.-A MS. of the early part of the ninth century contains not only a collection of canons, which includes the Autun Canon, ordering “the faith of the holy prelate Athanasius” to be learnt by heart by all the clergy, but also a series of testimonies to the faith preceding the canons. Among these the Athanasian Creed itself is given in full under the title of "Fides Sanct. Athanasii Episcopi.'

(b) Paris, 1451, is another MS. assigned by the best authorities to the same date, being probably written before the death of Leo III. in 816. It also contains & collection of canons, and also the full text of the Atha

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* Unless it can be identified with Cod. QoT 1. i. 6 in the Imperial Library at St. Petersburg, which Mr. Burn tells me is probably the case.

King Athelstan's Psalter in the British Museum (Galba A, xviji.), which Waterland put at the date 703, is now universally assigned to the ninth century.

Maassen, Biblioth. Latina Juris Canonici; cf. Swainson, p. 268. Ommanney, Early History of the Athanasian Creed, p. 92.


nasian Creed, “Incipit exemplar fidei cht Sci Athanasii Epi Alexandrine ecclesie.” 1

© Vatican, Palat. 540.-A MS. also belonging to the ninth century; contains a Gallican collection of canons assigned to the sixth century, immediately followed by some other documents, including the creed: “Incipit fides Catholica beati Athanasii Episcopi.”

(d) Further, the Canon of Autun, mentioned above, even if it cannot be unhesitatingly connected with the Synod held under S. Leger in the year 670 cannot be later than the eighth century. Dr. Swainson himself admits that it is found in “five manuscripts of the ninth century, and one of the eighth or ninth ”; 3 and in the face of the evidence borne by the Paris MS. (3848 B) mentioned above, it is absurd to suppose that “the faith of the holy prelate Athanasius” can mean anything but the Quicunque vult.

3. Thirdly, we have the evidence of the early commentaries upon the creed. Our knowledge of these has been considerably increased of late years by the researches of Mr. Ommanney, and we are now able to state that there are several other comparatively early ones as well as (a) that which Waterland ascribed to Venantius Fortunatus. As we have already seen, there is no doubt that he was wrong in thus ascribing it to him. But though the authorship of the commentary is unknown, internal evidence is strongly in favour of its belonging to an early date. Besides this, Mr. Ommanney describes four other important commentaries (6) the “Paris" Commentary which he holds to have been drawn up “not


Maassen, Biblioih. Latina Juris Canonici ; cf. Swainson, p. 268. Om manney, The S.P.C.K. and the Creed of S. Athanasius, p. 28.

· De Antiquis Collectionibus Canonum (Ed. Ballerini) ii, ch. x. $$ 2, 3. Of. Maassen and Swainson, uti supra.

* Nicene and Apostles' Creeds, p. 272.

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