Pope Achillas of Alexandria


Achillas the Great
Pope of Alexandria & Patriarch of the See of St. Mark
Papacy began24 December 312
Papacy endedJune 313
PredecessorPeter "Seal of the Martyrs"
Personal details
BornAlexandria, Egypt
DiedJune 313
BuriedChurch of the Cave, Alexandria
DenominationChurch of Alexandria
ResidenceSaint Mark's Church
Alma materCatechetical School of Alexandria

Achillas was the 18th Pope of Alexandria from 312 to 313.

He was born in Alexandria, Egypt, and was renowned for his knowledge and piety; this was why Pope Theonas had ordained him priest and appointed him head of the Catechetical School of Alexandria upon the departure of Pierius. He was apparently very highly thought of for his work in Greek philosophy and theological science, as Pope Athanasius the Apostolic later described him by the honorific "Achillas the Great".[1]

As recommended by Pope Peter "Seal of the Martyrs", he was enthroned patriarch in December (Kiahk) 312 AD, after the martyrdom of Peter during the Diocletianic Persecution.[2] As soon as he sat on the throne of Saint Mark, Arius beseech him to return him to the participation in the church. With flattery and persuasion, Arius attracted the nobility and the renowned and asked them to intervene for him to the patriarch, so they interceded for Arius to be allowed to participate in the service of the church. Believing that indeed, he was repentant for all his sins, Achillas responded to their request and returned him to his former position, before his heresy, which was priest and preacher. He had thus disobeyed his predecessor, Pope Peter I, because he believed Arius’ pretence of leniency. Achillas died six months later on the 19th of Paoni (26 June), in 313 AD.

After his departure, Arius nominated himself to become Bishop of Alexandria, but the clergy and the people did not accept his nomination, and chose instead Alexander of Alexandria.[1]



  • "Achillas (311–313)". Official web site of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa. Retrieved 2011-02-08.
Titles of the Great Christian Church
Preceded by
Peter I
Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria
Succeeded by
Alexander I