"Some of today's historians believe that it was originally written in Latin, not in Greek, and thus Athanasius cannot have been the original author."
I think the Saint was once exiled to Augusta Treverorum (Gm. Trier, Fr. Trèves) and that this was close enough to the Barbarians for him to be obliged to learn some Latin. Which also explains the simplicity and lack of rhetoric of the Latin, if it be true.
One more note: he did certainly not use it as a Creed. In the Summa Theologiae*, St Thomas Aquinas (yes, I still consider him a Saint) tells us that for St Athanasius (we can extrapolate: for anyone who was the author) made a simple exposition of the Faith, and that a Pope of Rome finding it excellent later adopted it as a Creed.
Hans 08:17, February 28, 2007 (PST)
- On the discussion page of Athanasian Creed article I have added new material without response. Resumé from other discussion page on same thing:
- In the year 1644, Gerard Voss, in his "De Tribus Symbolis", gave weighty probability to the opinion that St. Athanasius was not its author. His reasons may be reduced to the two following: > >firstly, no early writer of authority speaks of it as the work of this doctor; and >secondly, its language and structure point to a Western, rather than to an Alexandrian, origin."
- Both points are answered by the hypothesis that St Athanasius wrote them in simple Latin (which he never fully mastered, and in which he dared no stylistic flourish) when he met the men of Augusta Treverorum (Trier, Trèves) who know no Greek, during his two year exile there. And that it was for that very reason preserved independently of the Greek tradition until very late.
- ["Secunda Secundae, Qi A10, ad3"] (scroll down)
I was right. THis is from a timeline of the life of the saint, it is in Swedish, but the years are in numerals and I footnote the exile and return:
- 335 Kejsar Konstantin landsförvisar Athanasios av Alexandria till Trier(1).
- 336 Det äldsta belägget för firande av Kristi födelse 25/12 i västkyrkan. Areios avlider.
- 337 Kejsar Konstantin döps på dödsbädden och avlider. Han efterträds av sina tre söner: arianerna Constantius och Konstantin II, samt den ortodoxe Constans. Constantius låter Athanasios återvända till Alexandria.(2) Homoiousianerna i Syrien kompromissar mellan arianismen och Athanasios ståndpunkt.
(1)exiled to Augusta Treverorum, whether that be Trier or Trêves in English (at present it is in Germany, close to France and Luxemburg) (2)returned to Alexandria
Hans 07:19, March 15, 2007 (PDT)
Note on text tradition
It was known to Boethius, since he quotes it in the letter[] Utrum Pater et Filius
Hans 04:24, July 5, 2007 (PDT)