Athana'sius or St. Athana'sius
（*)Aqana/sios), ST., archbishop of Alexandria, was born in that city, a few years before the close of the third century.
The date of his birth cannot be ascertained with exactness ; but it is assigned by Montfaucon, on grounds sufficiently probable, to A. D. 296. No particulars are recorded of the lineage or the parents of Athanasius.
The dawn of his character and genius seems to have given fair promise of his subsequent eminence; for Alexander, then primate of Egypt, brought him up in his own family, and superintended his education with the view of dedicating him to the Christian ministry. We have no account of the studies pursued by Athanasius in his youth, except the vague statement of Gregory Nazianzen, that he devoted comparatively little attention to general literature, but acquired an extraordinary knowledge of the Scriptures. His early proficiency in Biblical knowledge is credible enough; but though he was much inferior in general learning to s