People - Ancient Rome
Arius in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities
（Ἄρειος). A celebrated writer and theologian of Alexandria,
who denied the eternal divinity and consubstantiality of the
Second Person of the Trinity. Though much persecuted for his
heresy, he succeeded in winning the favour of the emperor
Constantine, and supplanted his great opponent St. Athanasius.
When about to enter the cathedral at Constantinople in
triumph, he suddenly died, A.D. 336. From him the sect of the
Arians gets its name.
Arius in Roman Biography
A-ri'us or A-rei'us, popularly called A'rl-us, [Gr.
"Aohoc,] the founder of Arianism, and author of the
greatest schism that ever divided the Christian Church
before the Reformation, was born at Cyrene, in Africa,
shortly after the middle of the third century. He was
ordained a deacon at Alexandria by the patriarch Peter,
and promoted to the highest rank among the clergy by
the patriarch Alexander.
The controversy which arose between Alexander and
Arius about 318 A.D. caused Constantine to summon
the first general council, which met at Nicaea (or Nice) in
325 A.D., and condemned with great unanimity the doctrines
of Arius, who denied that the Son is coeternal
and coessential with the Father. Arius, who had attended
this council, was exiled to Illyricum by Constantine,
but this sentence was revoked two or three years
later. Arianism spread rapidly in Syria and Asia Minor,
and was approved by the Synods of Tyre and Jerusalem
in 335 a.d.
Soon after this date he returned to Alexandria; but
his presence excited there so great a disturbance that
Constantine recalled him to Constantinople, where the
Arians were numerous and powerful. According to
some writers, he avowed his submission to the creed
adopted by the Council of Nice, and was about to be
restored to communion, when he died suddenly near
336 a.d. Authorities differ respecting the place of his
death and many events of his life. Arianism was patronized
as the religion of the state by the emperor Constantius,
and by Valens. The contest between the
Arians and Athanasians (see Athanasius) raged for
more than two centuries and carnal weapons were resorted
to by each party to enforce its arguments. The
Goths, Vandals, and Suevi of the fifth and sixth centuries
were nearly all Arians.
The sect became divided into two portions, called
" Hetero-ousians" (who were strict or ultra-Arians) and
Semi-Arians or "
Homoiousians," who admitted the
" similar essence" of the Son with the Father.
The followers of Arius were often called Eusebians,
from Eusebius, Bishop of Nicomedia.
See Neandf.r," History of the Christian " Church;"
Histoire de 1'Arianisme , Stark,
Essay on Arianism," fin German,)
1783; G. M. Travasa, "Storia critica della Vita di Ario,"
Vita Constantini ;" Sozombn,
" Panarium :" Theodoret, "
Reuterdahl, "Memorabilia Arii ejuaque Hx-reseos," 1813.
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Arius in Wikipedia
Arius (AD 250 or 256 Ė 336) was a Christian presbyter from Alexandria, Egypt. His teachings about the nature of the Godhead,
which emphasized the Father's Divinity over the Son, and his opposition to the Athanasian or Trinitarian Christology, made
him a controversial figure in the First Council of Nicea, convened by Roman Emperor Constantine in 325 A.D. After Emperor
Constantine legalized and formalized the Christianity of the time in the Roman Empire, the newly recognized Catholic Church
sought to unify theology. Trinitarian partisans, including Athanasius, used Arius and Arianism as epithets to represent
disagreement with co-equal Trinitarianism, a Christology representing the Father and Son (Jesus of Nazareth) as "of one
essence" (consubstantial) and coeternal.
Although virtually all positive writings on Arius' theology have been suppressed or destroyed, negative writings describe
Arius' theology as one in which there was a time before the Son of God, where only God the Father existed. Despite concerted
opposition, 'Arian', or nontrinitarian Christian churches persisted throughout Europe and North Africa, in various Gothic
and Germanic kingdoms, until suppressed by military conquest or voluntary royal conversion between the fifth and seventh
Although "Arianism" suggests that Arius was the originator of the teaching that bears his name, the debate over the Sonís
precise relationship to the Father did not begin with him. This subject had been discussed for decades before his advent;
Arius merely intensified the controversy and carried it to a Church-wide audience, where other "Arians" such as Eusebius of
Nicomedia and Eusebius of Caesarea would prove much more influential in the long run. In fact, some later "Arians" disavowed
that moniker, claiming not to have been familiar with the man or his specific teachings. However, because the conflict
between Arius and his foes brought the issue to the theological forefront, the doctrine he proclaimed-though not originated
by him-is generally labeled as "his"...