In the nine years since its first appearance, however, this translation seems to have been used as much by students as by those who have no academic interest. But though no other English version is at present available, those for whom St. Athanasius' "golden treatise" is a set book for examination must continue to look elsewhere for any sort of learned commentary on it. In this second edition there are no more notes than in the first; and the only important alterations in the text concern the noun e)pidhmi/a and its corresponding verb e)pidhme/w. The former, so the late Dom Gregory Dix informs us,  is the regular Egyptian word for the Incarnation; orginally an epidemia meant the state entry of a governor into his province, and it was used also of the "appearances" of pagan gods. He himself translates it as "advent"; and in the nine passages where one or other word occurs in De Incarnatione I have now put "advent" for the noun, in place of "sojourn" in the first edition, and "come" instead of "dwell" for the verb.
As an Appendix to the De Incarnatione we print now the Epistola ad Marcellinum, which was first published separately in 1949 under the title St. Athanasius on the Psalms. This letter bears no date, nor is there any external reference by which to fix it. But two pieces of internal evidence suggest that, like the De Incarnatione, it was a work of St. Athanansius' youth. One of these is the frequent reference to persecution as a normal element in the Christian life, which after 313 it ceased to be; and the other is the absence of reference to the Arian heresy, which first reared its ugly head in 319. Alternatively, the saint may have written the letter as a leisure product during one of his five exlies for the Faith between 335 and 366. It makes no difference. Whenever written, Ad Marcellinum is a window on to a very holy soul; and it shows us also how Christians used the Psalter, both in their private and in their corporate worship, at a time when the Divine Office existed only in embryo and even the Liturgy was only beginning to take shape.
The De Incarnatione was translated from Dr. F. L. Cross's edition of the text, published by S.P.C.K. in 1939; the Epistola ad Marcellinum was done by comparing the Benedictine edition of 1698 (most kindly lent by Dr. Cross) with the text given in Migne's Patrologia Graeca, Vol. 27. The latter is based on an Alexandrian MS unknown to the earlier editor, and is usually the better; but even so there are some passages where the text as it stands can hardly be correct. The apparent meaning is brought out by paraphrase where this occurs; and throughout the letter I have substituted the familiar English-Hebrew numbering of the Psalms for that of the Septuagint, though it is always the Greek text that is translated.
My very grateful thanks are due again to Dr. Cross, to our former Chaplain the Reverend G. B. Enders, and to three of our Sisters, one of whom is now in Paradise, for help and encouragement over one or both translations between 1942 and 1948; and also to Mr. C. S. Lewis for the delightful Introduction that is reprinted here. And behind these recent debts my gratitude goes out to my former tutor, the late Dr. B. J. Kidd, also Warden of C.S.M.V., who over forty years ago first fired me with love and reverence for the saint who save the Catholic Faith.
WANTAGE, January 1953.