In some measure we find this practice adopted by more than one of the Fathers, but it was the Alexandrian school, with its pronounced taste for symbolism, that made the most of it.
Under Ammonius Plotinus became imbued with the eclectic spirit of the Alexandrian school.
With its character largely determined by Jewish elements, and even more by contact with the dogmas of Christianity, this second Alexandrian school resulted in the speculative philosophy of the Neo-Platonists and the religious philosophy of the Gnostics and early church fathers.
But in reducing Alexandrian dates to the common era it must be observed that Julius Africanus placed the epoch of the Incarnation three years earlier than it is placed in the usual reckoning, so that the initial day of the Christian era fell in the year 5503 of the Alexandrian era.
The Alexandrian people now chose an illegitimate son of Soter II.
He was entrusted by Ptolemy with the task of arranging the comedies in the Alexandrian library, and as the result of his labours composed a treatise On Comedy.
A supernatural pride was blended with a natural anxiety, and it was at this juncture that Origen brought to light again a book written in the days of Marcus Aurelius, which but for the great Alexandrian might have been lost for ever.
This was undoubtedly an infringement of the rights of the Alexandrian bishop; at the same time it was simply a piece of spite on the part of the latter that had kept Origen so long without any ecclesiastical consecration.
The most conspicuous controversialist on the Orthodox side was the young Alexandrian deacon Athanasius, who returned home to be made archbishop of Alexandria (A.D.
The intellectual influence of Greece, manifested in Alexandrian philosophy, tended to remove God still further from the human world of phenomena into that of an inaccessible transcendental abstraction.