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 Arius, who had attended this council, was exiled to Illyricum by Constantine, but this sentence was revoked two or three years later.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;" Maimbourg, Histoire de 1'Arianisme , Stark, " Essay on Arianism," fin German,) 1783; G. M. Travasa, "Storia critica della Vita di Ario," 174S; Eusebius, " Vita Constantini ;" Sozombn, " Historia Ecclesiastical" Epiphanius, " Panarium :" Theodoret, " Historia Ecclesiastical" Reuterdahl, "Memorabilia Arii ejuaque Hx-reseos," 1813.

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