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Arius
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Religious Figure
    (circa 250-336)
    Born in Alexandria, Egypt
    Leader of a Christian congregation in Alexandria
    Rejected the Trinity
    Argued that Jesus was neither co-equal nor co-eternal with God
    Beliefs, known as Arianism, were declared heretical at the Council of Nicea (325)
    Was excommunicated and exiled
    Despite the name, he did not originate Arianism, as doubts about the Trinity preceded him by decades.
    Little is known of his life, since few of his writings survived.
    Debate at the Council of Nicea became so heated that he was reportedly slapped in the face by St. Nicholas. (That's right: he was bitch-slapped by Santa Claus.)
    He allegedly shat himself to death. (During evacuation, his bowels, part of his spleen and liver, and a whole lot of blood allegedly came out, with fatal results.)
    At the time, many orthodox Christian writers claimed his death was divine punishment for his heretical beliefs.
    Even one of his enemies wrote, 'Women doted on him, charmed by his beautiful manners, touched by his appearance of asceticism. Men were impressed by his aura of intellectual superiority.'
    Some Scripture verses support his theology, such as John 14:28, where Jesus declares, 'The Father is greater than I.'
    In the interest of pacifying the religious conflict, Emperor Constantine allowed him to return from exile and ordered that the excommunication be lifted.
    Several historians have suggested his death was less the result of divine wrath than poisoning by his enemies.

Credit: C. Fishel


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