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2. Of ALEXANDRIA, contemporary with the foregoing, from whom he is distinguished by the epithet ALEXANDRINUS ( Ἀλεξανδρεύς), or POLITICUS (Πολιτικός), i.e. URBICUS, and sometimes JUNIOR. Palladius, who lived with him three years, has given a tolerably long account of him in his Historia Lausiaca, 100.20; but it chiefly consists of a record of his supposed miracles. He was a native of Alexandria where he followed the trade of a confectioner, and must not be confounded with Macarius, the presbyter of Alexandria, who is mentioned by Socrates (H. E. 1.27) and Sozomen (H. E. 2.22), and who was accused of sacrilegious violence towards Ischyras [ATHANASIUS]. Our Macarius forsook his trade to follow a monastic life, in which he attained such excellence, that Palladius (ibid. 100.19) says that, though younger than Macarius the Egyptian, he surpassed even him in the practice of asceticism. Neither the time nor the occasion of his embracing a solitary life is known, for the Macarius mentioned by Sozomen (H. E. 6.29) appears to be a different person. Tillemont has endeavoured to show that his retirement took place not later than A. D. 335, but he founds his calculation on a misconception of a passage of Palladius. Macarius was ordained priest after the Egyptian Macarius, i. e. after A. D. 340, and appears to have lived chiefly in that part of the desert of Nitria which, from the number of the solitaries who had their dwellings there, was termed "the Cells" ("Cellae," or "Cellulae," τὰ κελλία); but frequently visited, perhaps for a time dwelt, in other parts of the great Lybian wilderness, and occasionally at least of the wilderness between the Nile and the Red Sea. Galland says he became at length archimandrite of Nitria, but does not cite his authority, which was probably the MS. inscription to his Regula given below, and which is of little value. Philippus Sidetes calls him a teacher and catechist of Alexandria, but with what correctness seems very doubtful. Various anecdotes recorded of him represent him as in company with the other Macarius (No. 1) and with St. Antony. Many miracles are ascribed to him. most of which are recorded by Palladius either as leaving been seen by himself, or as resting on the authority of the saint's former companions, but they are frivolous and absurd. Macarius shared the exile of his namesake [No. 1] in the persecution which the Arians carried on against the orthodox. He died, according to Tillemont's calculation, in A. D. 394, but according to Fabricius, in A. D. 404, at the age of 100, in which case he must have been nearly as old as Macarius the Egyptian. He is commemorated in the Roman Calendar on the 2d January, and by the Greeks on the 19th January. Socrates describes him as characterized by cheerfulness of temper and kindness to his juniors, qualities which induced many of them to embrace an ascetic life.

Further Information

Socrat. H. E. 4.23, 24; Sozom. H. E. 3.14, 6.20; Theodoret. H. E. 4.21; Rufin. H. E. 2.4; and apud Heribert Rosweyd, De Vita et Verbis Senior. 2.29; Pallad. Hist. Lausiac. 100.20; Bolland. Acta Sanctor. a. d. 2 Januar.; Tillemont, Mémoires, vol. viii. p. 626, &c.


To this Macarius are ascribed the following works--


This Regula, which is extant in a Latin version, consists of thirty " Capita," and must be distinguished from another, which is also extant in a Latin version, under the title of Regula SS. Serapionis, Macarii, Paphnutii et alterius Macarii; to which the first of the two Macarii contributed capp. v--viii., and the second ("alter Macarius") capp. xiii.--xvi. Tillemont and others consider these two Macarii to be the Egyptian and the Alexandrian, and apparently with reason. The Regula S. Macarii, which some have supposed to be the Epistola of Macarius the Egyptian [No. 1] mentioned by Gennadius, is ascribed to the Alexandrian by S. Benedict of Anagni, Holstenius, Tillemont, Fabricius, and Galland. Cave hesitates to receive it as genuine.


Holsten. Codex Regularum, vol. i. pp. 10-14, 18-21, ed. Augsburg, 1759


A Latin version of this is subjoined to the Regula; it is short and sententious in style.


The Regula was first printed in the Historia Monasterii S. Joannis Reomaensis (p. 24) of the Jesuit Rouerus (Rouvière), 4to. Paris. 1637; and was reprinted together with the Epistola, in the Codex Regularum of Holstenius (4to. Rome, 1661), and in the Bibliotheca Patrum of Galland, vol. vii. fol. Venice, 1770.

III. Τοῦ ἁγίου Μακαριου τοῦ Ἀλεξανδρέως λόγος περὶ ἐξόδου ψυχῆς δικαίων καὶ ἁμαρτωλῶν: τὸ πῶς χωρίζονται ἐκ τοῦ σώματος, καὶ πῶς εἰσιν,

In one MS. at Vienna it is ascribed to Alexander, an ascetic and disciple of Macarius. Cave is disposed to ascribe to Macarius of Alexandria the Homiliae of Macarius the Egyptian [No. 1].


This was printed, with a Latin version, by Cave (who, however, regarded it as the forgery of some later Greek writer), in the notice of Macarius in his Historia Litteraria ad ann. 373 (vol. i. fol. Lond. 1688, and Oxford, 1740-1742); and was again printed, more correctly, by Tollius, in his Insignia Itineris Italici, 4to. Utrecht, 1696. Tollius was not aware that it had been printed by Cave. It is given, with the other works of Macarius of Alexandria, an the Bibliotheca Patrum of Galland.

Further Information

Cave, l.c.; Fabric. Bibl. Graec. vol. viii. p. 365; Galland, Biblioth. Patr. Proleg. to vol. vii.; Tillemont, Mémoires, vol. viii. pp. 618, 648; Ceillier, Auteurs Sacrés, vol. vii. p. 712, &c.

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