Anatolius of Laodicea

Infobox Saint
name=Saint Anatolius
birth_date=early 3rd century
death_date=July 3, 283
feast_day=July 3
venerated_in=Roman Catholic Church; Eastern Orthodox Church;

birth_place=Alexandria, Egypt
death_place=Laodicea in Syria, (now Latakia, Syria)
titles=Bishop and Confessor

Saint Anatolius, (early 3rd century - July 3, 283 ["Lives of the Saints," Omer Englebert New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1994, p. 256] ) was Bishop of Laodicea in Syria, and was one of the foremost scholars of his day in the physical sciences as well as in Aristotelean philosophy.


Anatolius was born and raised in Alexandria, Egypt, during the early 3rd century. Prior to becoming one of the great lights of the Church, Anatolius enjoyed considerable prestige at Alexandria, and was credited with a rich knowledge of arithmetic, geometry, physics, rhetoric, dialectic, and astronomy. ["Lives of the Saints," p. 256]

There are fragments of ten books on arithmetic written by him, and also a treatise on time of the Paschal celebration. ["Lives of the Saints," p. 256]

A very curious story is told by Eusebius of the way in which Anatolius broke up a rebellion in a part of Alexandria known then as Bruchium. It was held by the forces of Zenobia, and being strictly beleaguered by the Romans was in a state of starvation. The saint, who was living in Bruchium at the time, made arrangements with the besiegers to receive all the women and children, as well as the old and infirm, continuing at the same time to let as many as wished profit by the means of escaping. It broke up the defence and the rebels surrendered. It was a patriotic action on the part of the saint, as well as one of great benevolence, in saving so many innocent victims from death.

In going to Laodicea he was seized by the people and made bishop. Whether his friend Eusebius had died, or whether they both occupied the see together, is a matter of much discussion. The question is treated at length in the Bollandists.

St Anatolius' feast day, like that of his namesake Saint Anatolius of Constantinople, is celebrated on July 3.


*Acta Sanctorum,, I, July
*Michaud, "Biog. Univ."
*Sabine Baring-Gould, "Lives of the Saints" (London, 1872)
*"Lives of the Saints," Omer Englebert, New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1994, pp 532, ISBN 1-56619-516-0 (casebound)

Further reading

*cite encyclopedia
last = Kieffer
first = John
title = Anatolius of Alexandria
encyclopedia = Dictionary of Scientific Biography
volume = 1
pages = 148-149
publisher = Charles Scribner's Sons
location = New York
date = 1970
isbn = 0684101149

External links

* [ Paschal Canon]
* [ Catholic Encyclopedia: "St. Anatolius"]

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