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1. None of the many influential occupants of the see of Alexandria and of the many distinguished heads of the Catechetical School in that city seem to have been held in higher respect by the ancients than Dionysius. By common consent he is styled “the Great,” while Athanasius, one of his most famous-successors as Bishop, calls him “Teacher of the Church universal,” and Basil (of Cæsarea) refers to him as “a person of canonical authority” (κανονικός). He took a prominent and important part in all the leading movements and controversies of the day, and his opinions always carried great weight, especially in Eastern Christendom. His writings are freely referred to and quoted, not only by Eusebius the historian,11In one of Eusebius’s works (the Præparatio Evangelica) he is quoted side by side with great authors like Plato and Aristotle. but also by Athanasius, Basil and John of Damascus amongst others. And what we gather of his personal story from his letters and various fragments embodied in the works of others—and very little, if anything else, for certain has come down to us—undoubtedly leaves the impression that the verdict of the ancient world is correct.

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