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The Ecclesiastical History Of Theodoret by Theodoret

Chapter III.--Second Exile of St. Athanasius.--Ordination and Death of Gregorius.

With these and similar arguments, the bishops assailed the weak-minded emperor, and persuaded him to expel Athanasius from his church. But Athanasius obtained timely intimation of their design, and departed to the west. The friends of Eusebius had sent false accusations against him to Julius, who was then bishop of Rome . In obedience to the laws of the church, Julius summoned the accusers and the accused to Rome, that the cause might be tried . Athanasius, accordingly, set out for Rome, but the calumniators refused to go because they saw that their falsehood would easily be detected . But perceiving that the flock of Athanasius was left without a pastor, they appointed over it a wolf instead of a shepherd. Gregorius, for this was his name, surpassed the wild beasts in his deeds of cruelty towards the flock: but at the expiration of six years he was destroyed by the sheep themselves. Athanasius went to Constans (Constantine, the eldest brother, having fallen in battle), and complained of the plots laid against him by the Arians, and of their opposition to the apostolical faith . He reminded him of his father, and how he attended in person the great and famous council which he had summoned; how he was present at its debates, took part in framing its decrees, and confirmed them by law. The emperor was moved to emulation by his father's zeal, and promptly wrote to his brother, exhorting him to preserve inviolate the religion of their father, which they had inherited; |for,| he urged, |by piety he made his empire great, destroyed the tyrants of Rome, and subjugated the foreign nations on every side.| Constantius was led by this letter to summon the bishops from the east and from the west to Sardica , a city of Illyricum, and the metropolis of Dacia, that they might deliberate on the means of removing the other troubles of the church, which were many and pressing.
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