Studies of Arianism
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I have not however been in a position to give it the thorough revision I could have wished, so that some things are left unaltered which do not now fully satisfy me. The whole question of Antony in particular urgently needs a com prehensive revision from the Coptic side, which few of us are competent to give. Dom Butler has made a good be ginning, though he rightly points out that others may differ greatly from him in their estimate of some conspicuous parts of the evidence. Without entering on particular criticism, it may safely be said that the investigation needs to be much more closely connected with the whole development of Roman Egypt. What for example was the exact relation of Christian asceticism to the old pagan asceticism?
I may add that I cannot follow another of my critics in setting down Athanasius as a genuine ascetic. If indeed all self-denial be called asceticism, there must be a good deal of asceticism in every character that is not contemptible: but if the word be limited as it ought to be to self-denial resting on an idea that the pleasures of sense are of the nature of sin, there are comparatively few traces of it in Athanasius.