Alsace is a cultural and historical region in eastern France, on the west bank of the upper Rhine next to Germany and Switzerland. From 1982 to 2016, Alsace was the smallest administrative région in metropolitan France, consisting of the Bas-Rhin and Haut-Rhin departments. Territorial reform passed by the French legislature in 2014 resulted in the merger of the Alsace administrative region with Champagne-Ardenne and Lorraine to form Grand Est. Alsatian is an Alemannic dialect related to Swabian and Swiss German, although since World War II most Alsatians speak French. Internal and international migration since 1945 has changed the ethnolinguistic composition of Alsace. For more than 300 years, from the Thirty Years' War to World War II, the political status of Alsace was contested between France and various German states in wars and diplomatic conferences; the economic and cultural capital of Alsace, as well as its largest city, is Strasbourg. The city is the seat of bodies; the name "Alsace" can be traced to the Old High German Ali-saz or Elisaz, meaning "foreign domain".
An alternative explanation is from a Germanic Ell-sass, meaning "seated on the Ill", a river in Alsace. In prehistoric times, Alsace was inhabited by nomadic hunters. By 1500 BC, Celts began to settle in Alsace and cultivating the land, it should be noted that Alsace is a plain surrounded by the Vosges mountains and the Black Forest mountains. It creates Foehn winds which, along with natural irrigation, contributes to the fertility of the soil. In a world of agriculture, Alsace has always been a rich region which explains why it suffered so many invasions and annexations in its history. By 58 BC, the Romans had established Alsace as a center of viticulture. To protect this valued industry, the Romans built fortifications and military camps that evolved into various communities which have been inhabited continuously to the present day. While part of the Roman Empire, Alsace was part of Germania Superior. With the decline of the Roman Empire, Alsace became the territory of the Germanic Alemanni; the Alemanni were agricultural people, their Germanic language formed the basis of modern-day dialects spoken along the Upper Rhine.
Clovis and the Franks defeated the Alemanni during the 5th century AD, culminating with the Battle of Tolbiac, Alsace became part of the Kingdom of Austrasia. Under Clovis' Merovingian successors the inhabitants were Christianized. Alsace remained under Frankish control until the Frankish realm, following the Oaths of Strasbourg of 842, was formally dissolved in 843 at the Treaty of Verdun. Alsace formed part of the Middle Francia, ruled by the eldest grandson Lothar I. Lothar died early in 855 and his realm was divided into three parts; the part known as Lotharingia, or Lorraine, was given to Lothar's son. The rest was shared between Louis the German; the Kingdom of Lotharingia was short-lived, becoming the stem duchy of Lorraine in Eastern Francia after the Treaty of Ribemont in 880. Alsace was united with the other Alemanni east of the Rhine into the stem duchy of Swabia. At about this time, the surrounding areas experienced recurring fragmentation and reincorporations among a number of feudal secular and ecclesiastical lordships, a common process in the Holy Roman Empire.
Alsace experienced great prosperity during the 13th centuries under Hohenstaufen emperors. Frederick I set up Alsace as a province to be ruled by ministeriales, a non-noble class of civil servants; the idea was that such men would be more tractable and less to alienate the fief from the crown out of their own greed. The province had a central administration with its seat at Hagenau. Frederick II designated the Bishop of Strasbourg to administer Alsace, but the authority of the bishop was challenged by Count Rudolf of Habsburg, who received his rights from Frederick II's son Conrad IV. Strasbourg began to grow to become the commercially important town in the region. In 1262, after a long struggle with the ruling bishops, its citizens gained the status of free imperial city. A stop on the Paris-Vienna-Orient trade route, as well as a port on the Rhine route linking southern Germany and Switzerland to the Netherlands and Scandinavia, it became the political and economic center of the region. Cities such as Colmar and Hagenau began to grow in economic importance and gained a kind of autonomy within the "Décapole", a federation of ten free towns.
As in much of Europe, the prosperity of Alsace came to an end in the 14th century by a series of harsh winters, bad harvests, the Black Death. These hardships were blamed on Jews, leading to the pogroms of 1336 and 1339. In 1349, Jews of Alsace were accused of poisoning the wells with plague, leading to the massacre of thousands of Jews during the Strasbourg pogrom. Jews were subsequently forbidden to settle in the town. An additional natural disaster was the Rhine rift earthquake of 1356, one of Europe's worst which made ruins of Basel. Prosperity returned to Alsace under Habsburg administration during the Renaissance. Holy Roman Empire central power had begun to decline following years of imperial adventures in Italian lands ceding hegemony in Western Europe to France, which had long since centralized power. France began an aggressive policy of expanding eastward, first to the riv
A beadle, sometimes spelled "bedel", is an official of a church or synagogue who may usher, keep order, make reports, assist in religious functions. The term has pre-Conquest origins in Old English, deriving from the Old English bydel, itself deriving from beodan. In Old English it was a title given to an Anglo-Saxon officer, it is known in Medieval Latin as bedellus. The Domesday Book refers to Beadles as under-sheriffs of manors. In England, the word came to refer to a parish constable of the Anglican Church, one charged with duties of charity. A famous fictional constabulary beadle is Mr. Bumble from Charles Dickens's classic novel Oliver Twist, who oversees the parish workhouse and orphanage of a country town more than 75 miles from London; the work of a real constabulary beadle of Whitechapel in that period may be exemplified by Richard Plunkett. In the Church of Scotland, the title is used for one who attends the minister during divine service as an assistant. In Judaism, the term beadle or sexton is sometimes used for the gabbai, the caretaker or "man of all work", in a synagogue.
Moishe the Beadle, the caretaker of a synagogue in Sighet in the 1940s, is an important character in Night by Elie Wiesel. In the medieval universities, beadles were students chosen by instructors to act as assistants: carrying books, taking attendance, assisting in classroom management. In the collegiate universities in the United Kingdom and in universities in some other countries, the post of Esquire Bedell still exists; the beadle has varying duties, always relating to management or security, represents the college to outsiders through wearing a uniform and providing information. The position of Beadle still exists at the King's School, where the beadle's task is making sure that pupils are dressed and arrive at lessons on time. In Scotland, the ancient universities, as well as other newer universities, have a ceremonial bedellus, sometimes given the designation of head janitor; the bedellus is responsible for the administration of the university buildings. The most notable responsibility of the bedellus is carrying the university mace in academic processions.
Jesuit secondary schools maintained the post of beadle—some still do. In each classroom, a student designated as beadle reports attendance to the teacher, acts as messenger, assists in distributing materials, leads the class in activities. Outside of religious and educational institutions, the designation of "Beadle" is most held by officers of secular bodies of some antiquity. Sometimes the title is used by uniformed security guards. For example, security duties at the Burlington Arcade, an upmarket shopping mall in Piccadilly, are carried out by staff called Beadles wearing what appear to be nineteenth century uniforms. Ely Place, a street in central London, part of Cambridgeshire, is patrolled by a beadle, police cannot enter the street without the beadle's permission; the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire employs a Beadle to perform ceremonial duties. In the City of London the title is held by two distinct groups; the first group are the Ward Beadles. Their duties today are ceremonial in that they accompany the Aldermen in the eight major ceremonies of the civic calendar and open and close the Wardmotes.
The second group are paid employees of the Livery Companies of the City. These Beadles are assistants to the Company's Clerk, being responsible for attendance on the Court and Master of the Company to enforce its trade policy and uphold discipline but now to act as Masters of Ceremony at formal banquets and to accompany the Master on civic occasions; the title "Hall Beadle" is sometimes used by the Hall Manager of a Livery Hall responsible for the Company's treasure and the efficient running of the hall if let on a commercial basis. Notes SourcesThis article incorporates text from The Modern World Encyclopædia: Illustrated.
Jerusalem is a city in the Middle East, located on a plateau in the Judaean Mountains between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea. It is one of the oldest cities in the world, is considered holy to the three major Abrahamic religions—Judaism and Islam. Both Israel and the Palestinian Authority claim Jerusalem as their capital, as Israel maintains its primary governmental institutions there and the State of Palestine foresees it as its seat of power. During its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed at least twice, besieged 23 times and recaptured 44 times, attacked 52 times; the part of Jerusalem called the City of David shows first signs of settlement in the 4th millennium BCE, in the shape of encampments of nomadic shepherds. Jerusalem was named as "Urusalim" on ancient Egyptian tablets meaning "City of Shalem" after a Canaanite deity, during the Canaanite period. During the Israelite period, significant construction activity in Jerusalem began in the 9th century BCE, in the 8th century the city developed into the religious and administrative center of the Kingdom of Judah.
In 1538, the city walls were rebuilt for a last time around Jerusalem under Suleiman the Magnificent. Today those walls define the Old City, traditionally divided into four quarters—known since the early 19th century as the Armenian, Christian and Muslim Quarters; the Old City became a World Heritage Site in 1981, is on the List of World Heritage in Danger. Since 1860 Jerusalem has grown far beyond the Old City's boundaries. In 2015, Jerusalem had a population of some 850,000 residents, comprising 200,000 secular Jewish Israelis, 350,000 Haredi Jews and 300,000 Palestinians. In 2011, the population numbered 801,000, of which Jews comprised 497,000, Muslims 281,000, Christians 14,000 and 9,000 were not classified by religion. According to the Bible, King David conquered the city from the Jebusites and established it as the capital of the united kingdom of Israel, his son, King Solomon, commissioned the building of the First Temple. Modern scholars argue that Jews branched out of the Canaanite peoples and culture through the development of a distinct monolatrous — and monotheistic — religion centered on El/Yahweh, one of the Ancient Canaanite deities.
These foundational events, straddling the dawn of the 1st millennium BCE, assumed central symbolic importance for the Jewish people. The sobriquet of holy city was attached to Jerusalem in post-exilic times; the holiness of Jerusalem in Christianity, conserved in the Septuagint which Christians adopted as their own authority, was reinforced by the New Testament account of Jesus's crucifixion there. In Sunni Islam, Jerusalem is the third-holiest city, after Medina. In Islamic tradition, in 610 CE it became the first qibla, the focal point for Muslim prayer, Muhammad made his Night Journey there ten years ascending to heaven where he speaks to God, according to the Quran; as a result, despite having an area of only 0.9 square kilometres, the Old City is home to many sites of seminal religious importance, among them the Temple Mount with its Western Wall, Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Outside the Old City stands the Garden Tomb. Today, the status of Jerusalem remains one of the core issues in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.
During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, West Jerusalem was among the areas captured and annexed by Israel while East Jerusalem, including the Old City, was captured and annexed by Jordan. Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan during the 1967 Six-Day War and subsequently annexed it into Jerusalem, together with additional surrounding territory. One of Israel's Basic Laws, the 1980 Jerusalem Law, refers to Jerusalem as the country's undivided capital. All branches of the Israeli government are located in Jerusalem, including the Knesset, the residences of the Prime Minister and President, the Supreme Court. While the international community rejected the annexation as illegal and treats East Jerusalem as Palestinian territory occupied by Israel, Israel has a stronger claim to sovereignty over West Jerusalem. A city called Rušalim in the execration texts of the Middle Kingdom of Egypt is but not universally, identified as Jerusalem. Jerusalem is called Urušalim in the Amarna letters of Abdi-Heba.
The name "Jerusalem" is variously etymologized to mean "foundation of the god Shalem". Shalim or Shalem was the name of the god of dusk in the Canaanite religion, whose name is based on the same root S-L-M from which the Hebrew word for "peace" is derived; the name thus offered itself to etymologizations such as "The City of Peace", "Abode of Peace", "dwelling of peace", alternately "Vision of Peace" in some Christian authors. The ending -ayim indicates the dual, thus leading to the suggestion that the name Yerushalayim refers to the fact that the city sat on two hills; the form Yerushalem or Yerushalayim first appears in the Book of Joshua. According to a Midrash, the name is a combination of "Yireh" and "Shalem" the two names were un
Nero Claudius Drusus
Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus, born Decimus Claudius Drusus called Drusus Claudius Nero, Drusus I, Nero Drusus, or Drusus the Elder was a Roman politician and military commander. He was a patrician Claudian on his legal father's side but his maternal grandmother was from a plebeian family, he was the legal stepson of her second husband, the Emperor Augustus. He was brother of the Emperor Tiberius, father to both the Emperor Claudius and general Germanicus, paternal grandfather of the Emperor Caligula, maternal great-grandfather of the Emperor Nero, he launched the first major Roman campaigns across the Rhine and began the conquest of Germania, becoming the first Roman general to reach the Weser and Elbe rivers. In 12 BC, Drusus led a successful campaign into Germania; that year he led a naval expedition against Germanic tribes along the North Sea coast, conquering the Batavi and the Frisii, defeating the Chauci near the mouth of the Weser. In 11 BC, he conquered the Marsi, extending Roman control to the Upper Weser.
In 10 BC, he launched a campaign against the resurgent Sicambri, subjugating both. The following year, while serving as consul, he conquered the Mattiaci and defeated the Marcomanni and the Cherusci, the latter near the Elbe. However, Drusus died that year, depriving Rome of one of its best generals. Drusus was the youngest son of Livia Drusilla from her marriage to Tiberius Claudius Nero, declared his father before the couple divorced. Drusus was born between mid-March and mid-April 38 BC, three months after Livia married Augustus on 17 January. Gerhard Radke has proposed the date of March 28 as his most birthday, while Lindsay Powell interprets Ovid's Fasti as indicating a date of 13 January. Rumors arose that Augustus was the child's real father, although this has never been authoritatively proven. Claudius, encouraged the rumor during his reign as emperor to create an impression of more direct lineage from Augustus. According to Suetonius, Drusus was given Decimus as his praenomen, the first of a Roman male's conventional three names in Roman naming practice at the time.
Nero was a traditional cognomen of the Claudii, whereas Drusus was given to a branch of the gens Livia. Using a cognomen such as Nero as a first name was unusual, as was the prominence given to his maternal lineage in adopting Drusus as his cognomen. Drusus was raised in Claudius Nero's house with his brother, the future emperor Tiberius, until his legal father's death; the two brothers developed a famously close relationship. Tiberius named his eldest son after his brother, Drusus did although eldest sons were named after their father or grandfather. Drusus married Antonia Minor, the daughter of Mark Antony and Augustus' sister, Octavia Minor, gained a reputation of being faithful to her, their children were Germanicus, Claudius, a daughter named Livilla, at least two others who did not survive infancy. After Drusus' death, Antonia never remarried. Three emperors were direct descendants of Drusus: his son Claudius, his grandson Caligula, his great-grandson Nero. Augustus bestowed many honors on his stepsons.
In 19 BC, Drusus was granted the ability to hold all public offices five years before the minimum age. When Tiberius left Italy during his term as praetor in 16 BC, Drusus legislated in his place, he became quaestor the following year. Drusus repelled them, gaining honors, but was unable to smash their forces, required reinforcement from Tiberius; the brothers defeated the local Alpine tribes. Drusus arrived in Gaul in late 15 BCE to serve as legatus Augusti pro praetore of the three Gaulish provinces, his contribution to the ongoing building and urban development in Gaul can be seen in the establishment of the pes Drusianus, or ‘Drusian foot’, of about 33.3 cm, in use in Samarobriva and among the Tungri. From 14 to 13 BCE, Augustus himself was active in Gaul, whether in Lugdunum or along the Rhine frontier; as governor of Gaul, Drusus made his headquarters at Lugdunum, where he decided to establish the concilium Galliarum or ‘council of the Gaulish provinces’ sometime between 14 and 12 BCE. This council would elect from its members a priest to celebrate games and venerate Rome and Augustus as deities every 1 August at the altar of the three Gauls that Drusus established at Condate in 10 BCE.
Drusus' son Tiberius—the future emperor Claudius—was born in Lugdunum on the same day that this altar was inaugurated. Starting in 14 BCE, Drusus built a string of military bases along the Rhine—fifty according to Florus—and established an alliance with the Batavi in preparation for military action in Germania Libera, he is to have had seven legions under his command. In spring of 12 BCE, he embarked an expeditionary force consisting of the Legiones I Germanica and V Alaudae, by ship from the vicinity of modern Nijmegen, making use of one or more canals he had built for the purpose. Drusus sailed to the mouth of the Ems and penetrated into the territory of the Chauci in present-day Lower Saxony; the Chauci concluded a treaty acknowledging Roman supremacy, would remain allies of Rome for years to come. As they continued to ascend the Ems, the Romans were attacked by the Bructeri in boats. Drusus' forces defeated the Bructeri, but, as it was now late in the campaign season, turned back for their winter quarters in Gaul, taking advantage of their new alliance
A league is a unit of length. It was common in Europe and Latin America, but is no longer an official unit in any nation; the word meant the distance a person could walk in an hour. Since the Middle Ages, many values have been specified in several countries; the league was used in Ancient Rome, defined as 1 1⁄2 Roman miles. The origin is the leuga Gallica, the league of Gaul; the Argentine league is 5.572 km or 6,666 varas: 1 vara is 0.83 m. On land, the league is most defined as three miles, though the length of a mile could vary from place to place and depending on the era. At sea, a league is three nautical miles. English usage included many of the other leagues mentioned below; the French lieue – at different times – existed in several variants: 10,000, 12,000, 13,200 and 14,400 French feet, about 3.25 to 4.68 km. It was used along with the metric system for a while but is now long discontinued. Metric lieue was used in France from 1812 to 1840, 1 lieue = 4000 m; as used in Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, a league is four kilometres.
In some rural parts of Mexico, the league is still used in the original sense of the distance that can be covered on foot in an hour, so that a league along a good road on level ground is a greater distance than a league on a difficult path over rough terrain. In Portugal and other parts of the former Portuguese Empire, there were several units called league: Légua of 18 to a degree = 6,172.84 meters Légua of 20 to a degree = 5,555.56 meters Légua of 25 to a degree = 4,444.44 metersThe names of the several léguas referred to the number of units that made the length corresponding to an angle degree of a meridian arc. As a transitory measure, after Portugal adopted the metric system, the metric légua, of 5.0 km, was used. In Brazil, the légua is still used where it has been described as about 6.6 km. The legua or Spanish league was understood as equivalent to 3 millas; this varied depending on local standards for the pie and on the precision of measurement, but was equivalent to 4,180 meters before the legua was abolished by Philip II in 1568.
It remains in use in parts of Latin America, where its exact meaning varies. Legua nautica: Between 1400 and 1600 the Spanish nautical league was equal to four Roman miles of 4,842 feet, making it 19,368 feet; that seems pretty straightforward until one realizes that the accepted number of Spanish nautical leagues to a degree varied between 14 1/6 to 16 2/3 so in actual practice the length of a Spanish nautical league was 25,733 feet to 21,874 feet respectively. Legua de por grado: From the 15th century through the early 17th century, the Spanish league of the degree was based on four Arabic miles. Although most contemporary accounts used an Arabic mile of 6,444 feet, which gave a Spanish league of the degree of 25,776 feet others defined an Arabic mile as just 6,000 feet making a Spanish league of the degree 24,000 feet. Legua geographica or geográfica: Starting around 1630 the Spanish geographical league was used as the official nautical measurement and continued so through the 1840s, its use on Spanish charts did not become mandatory until 1718.
It was four millias in length. From 1630 to 1718 a millia was 5,564 feet, making a geographical league of four millias equal 22,256 feet, but from 1718 through the 1830s the millia was defined as the equivalent of just over 5,210 feet, giving a shorter geographical league of just over 20,842 feet. Legua marítima: From around 1840 through the early 20th century, a Spanish marine league equaled 18,263.52 feet, i.e. about 35 feet longer than our modern maritime league. In the early Hispanic settlements of New Mexico, Texas and Colorado, a league was a unit of area, defined as 25 million square varas or about 4,428.4 acres. This usage of league is referenced in the Texas Constitution. So defined, a league of land would encompass a square, one Spanish league on each side. A comparison of the different lengths for a "league", in different countries and at different times in history, is given in the table below. Miles are included in this list because of the linkage between the two units. Similar units: 1066.8 meters – verst, see Obsolete Russian units of measurement 3200 meters – kosh, used in North Bihar, India.
Medieval weights and measures for various definitions of the league. List of obsolete units of measurement Portuguese customary units Spanish customary units Seven-league boots Walking
Godmanchester is a small town and civil parish in the Huntingdonshire district of Cambridgeshire, in England. Within the parish its buildings are concentrated at the north end including a section of the south-to-east bank of the River Great Ouse facing the large Portholme flood-meadow at the south end of the town of Huntingdon; the urban-to-suburban core of the area is south of the A14 arterial road. The town is on the site of the Roman town of Durovigutum. There is archaeological evidence of Celtic and earlier habitation prior to the establishment of a key Roman town and a Mansio, so the area has been continuously occupied for more than 2,000 years; the settlement was at a crossroads of Roman roads Ermine Street, the Via Devana and a military road from Sandy, Bedfordshire. The Roman settlement was sacked by Anglo-Saxons in the third century. In contrast to Huntingdon archaeological finds have been extensive in the centre of Godmanchester, which has two conservation areas of early recognition including many timber-framed Tudor houses, the largest being Tudor Farm, dating from 1600 and restored in 1995.
The Roman castra is mentioned in Godmanchester's name, which comes from Anglo-Saxon Godmundceaster, referring to a Roman fortified place or army camp of/belonging to Godmund, a Saxon name. The location is to have been settled due to the gravel beds providing a ford across the River Great Ouse; the place was listed as Godmundcestre in the Domesday Book of 1086 in the Hundred of Leightonstone in Huntingdonshire. The survey records that there were 26 ploughlands, with capacity for a further 31 and, in addition to the arable land, there was 160 acres of meadows, 50 acres of woodland and three water mills, a church and a priest; the town was first chartered by King John in 1212, though it had been a market town and royal manor for some years. In 2003, Godmancheester had a population of about 5,500 in 3,500 homes, with the largest increase in population occurring between 1981 and 1991 and more modest growth since. A rendering of Godmundceaster as Gunecestre occurs in formal text in 1399. A minority of visitors, former residents and residents continue to pronounce the place as Gumster, though this has long-since been superseded by Godmunchester, with stress identified in the summary section IPA pronunciation guide to this article.
Godmanchester was in the county of Huntingdonshire until 1965. From 1965, the town was part of the new administrative county of Peterborough. Since 1974, the former diminutive, county of Huntingdonshire has been a part of the administrative county of Cambridgeshire; the highest tier of local government is Cambridgeshire County Council, locally represented by two county councillors serving Godmanchester and Huntingdon East The second tier of local government, the planning authority and council-tax collecting body, is Huntingdonshire District Council, a non-metropolitan district, locally represented by two councillors elected for an eponymous ward. The third and lowest tier of local government is Godmanchester town council; the council comprises 16 councillors, including a deputy mayor. At Westminster, the local Huntingdon seat and has been represented in the House of Commons since 2001 by Jonathan Djanogly. Since 1801, the population has been recorded every ten years by the UK census, the only exception being in 1941 due to the Second World War.
In the 19th century, the population ranged from 1,573 to 2,438. Population figures since 1911 are: All population census figures from report Historic Census figures Cambridgeshire to 2011 by Cambridgeshire Insight. In 2011, the parish covered an area of 4,900 acres and so the population density for Godmanchester in 2011 was 876.5 persons per square mile. There are several bridges across the Great Ouse to Huntingdon, but until 1975 Old Bridge, Huntingdon, a medieval bridge, was the only one, it is now used only for light traffic, a parallel footbridge has been built for pedestrians. Construction of the A14 bypass means. Between Godmanchester and Brampton lies England's largest meadow, which remains an important flood plain but which has served as an equestrian racecourse and centre for early aviation. South of the town centre is the headquarters and a large operational shelter of veterinary/rescue charity Wood Green Animal Shelters. Original historical documents relating to Godmanchester, including the original church parish registers, local government records, maps and the surviving borough charters, are held by Cambridgeshire Archives and Local Studies at the County Record Office, Huntingdon.
In October 2003 BBC1's Songs Of Praise was hosted by the parish church of St Mary the Virgin and featured the new hymn tune Godmanchester, written by the vicar, Peter Moger. One of the town's largest public works of art and of landscaping is its Chinese Bridge which connects to a water meadow. Local legend has it that the bridge was built without the use of other fixings; the bridge was removed by crane on 9 February 2010. A new replica was built off-site in two parts and was installed on 15–16 February 2010. Today the Chinese Bridge does feature nails; the claims are believed to be false. Expert commentators write; the non-League football club Godmanchester Rovers F. C. play at Bearscroft Lane whose teams play in various regional divis
Athanasius of Alexandria
Athanasius of Alexandria called Athanasius the Great, Athanasius the Confessor or in the Coptic Orthodox Church, Athanasius the Apostolic, was the 20th bishop of Alexandria. His intermittent episcopacy spanned 45 years, of which over 17 encompassed five exiles, when he was replaced on the order of four different Roman emperors. Athanasius was a Christian theologian, a Church Father, the chief defender of Trinitarianism against Arianism, a noted Egyptian leader of the fourth century. Conflict with Arius and Arianism as well as successive Roman emperors shaped Athanasius' career. In 325, at the age of 27, Athanasius began his leading role against the Arians as a deacon and assistant to Bishop Alexander of Alexandria during the First Council of Nicaea. Roman emperor Constantine the Great had convened the council in May–August 325 to address the Arian position that the Son of God, Jesus of Nazareth, is of a distinct substance from the Father. Three years after that council, Athanasius succeeded his mentor as archbishop of Alexandria.
In addition to the conflict with the Arians, he struggled against the Emperors Constantine, Constantius II, Julian the Apostate and Valens. He was known as Athanasius Contra Mundum. Nonetheless, within a few years after his death, Gregory of Nazianzus called him the "Pillar of the Church", his writings were well regarded by all following Church fathers in the West and the East, who noted their rich devotion to the Word-become-man, great pastoral concern and profound interest in monasticism. Athanasius is counted as one of the four great Eastern Doctors of the Church in the Catholic Church. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, he is labeled as the "Father of Orthodoxy". Athanasius is the first person to identify the same 27 books of the New Testament that are in use today, he is venerated as a Christian saint, whose feast day is 2 May in Western Christianity, 15 May in the Coptic Orthodox Church, 18 January in the other Eastern Orthodox Churches. He is venerated by the Oriental and Eastern Orthodox Churches, the Catholic Church, the Lutheran churches, the Anglican Communion.
The Council of Nicaea, "passed twenty disciplinary canons for the better government of the Church. By one, C. 6, of these the Bishops of Rome and Antioch, were declared to possess jurisdiction over the Churches in their respective provinces". Hence, the Alexandrian Bishop was declared with the authority of Patriarch. Athanasius was born to a Christian family in the city of Alexandria or the nearby Nile Delta town of Damanhur sometime between the years 293 and 298; the earlier date is sometimes assigned due to the maturity revealed in his two earliest treatises Contra Gentes and De Incarnatione, which were admittedly written about the year 318 before Arianism had begun to make itself felt, as those writings do not show an awareness of Arianism. However Cornelius Clifford places his birth no earlier than 296 and no than 298, based on the fact that Athanasius indicates no first hand recollection of the Maximian persecution of 303, which he suggests Athanasius would have remembered if he had been ten years old at the time.
Secondly, the Festal Epistles state that the Arians had accused Athanasius, among other charges, of not having yet attained the canonical age and thus could not have been properly ordained as Patriarch of Alexandria in 328. The accusation must have seemed plausible; the Orthodox Church places his year of birth around 297. His parents were wealthy enough to afford giving him a fine secular education, he was clearly not a member of the Egyptian aristocracy. Some Western scholars consider his command of Greek, in which he wrote most of his surviving works, evidence that he may have been a Greek born in Alexandria. Historical evidence, indicates that he was fluent in Coptic as well given the regions of Egypt where he preached; some surviving copies of his writings are in fact in Coptic, though scholars differ as to whether he himself wrote them in Coptic or whether these were translations of writings in Greek. Rufinus relates a story that as Bishop Alexander stood by a window, he watched boys playing on the seashore below, imitating the ritual of Christian baptism.
He discovered that one of the boys had acted as bishop. After questioning Athanasius, Bishop Alexander informed him that the baptisms were genuine, as both the form and matter of the sacrament had been performed through the recitation of the correct words and the administration of water, that he must not continue to do this as those baptized had not been properly catechized, he invited his playfellows to prepare for clerical careers. Alexandria was the most important trade center in the whole empire during Athanasius's boyhood. Intellectually and politically—it epitomized the ethnically diverse Graeco-Roman world more than Rome or Constantinople, Antioch or Marseilles, its famous catechetical school, while sacrificing none of its famous passion for orthodoxy since the days of Pantaenus, Clement of Alexandria, Origen of Alexandria and Theognostus, had begun to take on an secular character in the comprehensiveness of its interests, had counted influential pagans among its serious auditors. Peter of Alexandria, the 17th archbishop of Alexandria, was martyred in 311 in the closing days of the persecution, ma