Peter of Alexandria

d.311. Martyr. He served as head of the Catechetical School at Alexandria, and succeeded Theonas as bishop about 300. He administered the church from prison during Diocletian's* persecution, and drew up rules for readmission of the Lapsed into the church in his Paschal letter (306), reflecting the milder attitude. The usurpation of his duties by Melitius of Lycopolis led to the Melitian Schism.* Peter excommunicated Melitius at a synod in 306, deciding that Melitian baptism was invalid. He returned after the edict of tolerance (311), but was beheaded on 24 November in Maximin's persecution. He wrote treatises against certain Origenist doctrines, e.g., the preexistence of the soul, the premundane Fall.

Another Peter of Alexandria (d.380), a presbyter who succeeded Athanasius* in 373, is noteworthy for his opposition to the efforts of Basil of Caesarea* to restore unity after the Arian controversy. He later intrigued against the appointment of Gregory of Nazianzus* as bishop of Constantinople.