Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM the OXFORD CLASSICAL DICTIONARY ( (c) Oxford University Press USA, 2020. All Rights Reserved. Personal use only; commercial use is strictly prohibited (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 31 October 2020


, c. 260–336 CE
  • John Norman Davidson Kelly
  •  and David M. Gwynn


Remembered as the great heresiarch of the 4th-cent. Church. Probably Libyan by birth, he became a leading presbyter at *Alexandria (1), but in 318 or 320/1 came into conflict with his bishop Alexander for teaching the subordination of the Son to the Father within the Trinity. He was expelled from Egypt and, although supported by several prominent bishops including Eusebius of Nicomedia and Eusebius of Caesarea, Arius was condemned at the council of *Nicaea (1) (325). Although rehabilitated in c.335, Arius died shortly afterwards in a Constantinople latrine. The heresy of *‘Arianism’ is named after him, but in fact Arius and his teachings exerted little influence on 4th-cent. theological debates after Nicaea. Only a few letters and some fragments of his Thalia (verse and prose popularizations of his doctrines) survive, confirming that Arius did not deny the Son’s divinity, but reduced Him to a created being inferior to God the Father.


  • Early Christianity

You do not currently have access to this article


Please login to access the full content.


Access to the full content requires a subscription