Arius’ End(s): A Sh*tty Way to Die

Warning: Do not have this anecdote ready-to-hand when traveling in far-flung locales where it is typical to experience some gastro-intestinal distress. Arius was the man proponent of the ‘Arian Heresy’ regarding the divinity of Jesus.


Socrates Scholasticus, Ecclesiastical History 1.38.16-30

When it was the day of the Sabbath, [Arius] was expecting to congregate on the following day. But justice caught up with Arius’ overreaching. When he was exiting the courtyard of the peace he was followed by a group of followers of Eusebios through the middle of the city in a parade. And when he was near what was named Constantine’s Forum, where the pillar of porphyry was stationed, a fear took ahold of Arius from some kind of sudden understanding. Along with this terror a sudden loosening moved his stomach. When he asked if there was some place near to squat and he learned that there was behind Constantine’s Forum, he went there. Then a faintness overtook the man and as his bowels themselves fell out with their contents suddenly, followed by a mass of blood and the smaller intestines. His blood carried out his spleen and his liver as well. Then, he died right away. The scene is on display to this day in Constantinople, as I have said, behind the form of Constantine in the ruins of the colonnade. As everyone who passes by points out their fingers at it, an eternal memory is made of this kind of death.”



Σαββάτου δὲ ἦν τότε ἡμέρα, καὶ τῇ ἑξῆς προσεδόκα συνάγεσθαι. Δίκη δὲ ἐπηκολούθει τοῖς ᾿Αρείου τολμήμασιν. ῾Ως γὰρ ἐξῆλθε τῆς βασιλικῆς αὐλῆς, ἐδορυφορεῖτο μὲν ὑπὸ τῶν περὶ Εὐσέβιον διὰ μέσης τότε τῆς πόλεως, περίοπτός τε ἦν· καὶ ἐπεὶ ἐγένετο πλησίον τῆς ἐπιλεγομένης ἀγορᾶς Κωνσταντίνου, ἔνθα ὁ πορφυροῦς ἵδρυται κίων, φόβος ἔκ τινος συνειδότος κατεῖχε τὸν ῎Αρειον· σύν τε τῷ φόβῳ τῆς γαστρὸς ἐκινεῖτο χαύνωσις· ἐρόμενός τε εἰ ἀφεδρών που πλησίον, μαθών τε εἶναι ὄπισθεν τῆς ἀγορᾶς Κωνσταντίνου, ἐκεῖσε ἐβάδιζεν. Λαμβάνει οὖν λιποθυμία τὸν ἄνθρωπον· καὶ ἅμα τοῖς διαχωρήμασιν ἡ ἕδρα τότε παραυτίκα παρεκπίπτει, καὶ αἵματος πλῆθος ἐπηκολούθει, καὶ τὰ λεπτὰ τῶν ἐντέρων, συνέτρεχε δὲ αἷμα αὐτῷ σπληνί τε καὶ ἥπατι· αὐτίκα οὖν ἐτεθνήκει. ῾Ο δὲ ἀφεδρὼν

ἄχρι νῦν ἐν τῇ Κωνσταντινουπόλει δείκνυται, ὡς ἔφην, ὄπισθεν τῆς ἀγορᾶς Κωνσταντίνου καὶ τοῦ ἐν τῇ στοᾷ μακέλλου, πάντων τε τῶν παριόντων ἐγειρόντων δάκτυλον κατ’ αὐτοῦ, ἀειμνημόνευτον τοῦ θανάτου τὸν τρόπον ἀπεργαζόμενος.


2 thoughts on “Arius’ End(s): A Sh*tty Way to Die

  1. I see that his guts fell out homoousion (as one substance)! The punishment is evidently meant to cast aspersions on his heresy; otherwise, he would have emptied his bowels AND THEN they would have fallen out.

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