George the Arian

George The Arian, also George THE FULLER, or OF CAPPADOCIA, was called by the first name from the occupation of his father, and by the second because he was an inhabitant of that province. Few men have been more corrupt and more despicable. He began life as a parasite. Afterwards he was provided with a subaltern office in the commissariat department of the army, and he there embezzled the money intrusted to him, and was obliged to fly. He then became a vagabond. To so many bad qualities he added profound ignorance; he had no knowledge of letters, and still less of the holy Scriptures and theology. Notwithstanding these disadvantages, this man appeared to the Arians a fit instrument to work their will. They brought the emperor Constans into their views; he was their protector and their support. At Antioch, in the year 356, there was an assembly of thirty Arian bishops, and in this assembly George was ordained, and received the mission to go and govern the Church of Athanasius. George entered Alexandria accompanied, by the order of Constans, by soldiers under the command of Sebastian, duke of Egypt, and a Manichean. Under pretext of searching for Athanasius, they violated the most sacred places, and committed every kind of crime. The Alexandrians rose against him and obliged him to fly; but, supported by Constans, he returned more powerful than ever. But "the pagans, whose temples George had pillaged, afterwards rose in revolt, threw themselves upon George, and overwhelmed him with abuse and with blows. The next day they paraded him through the town upon a camel, and, having lighted a pile, they threw him and the animal on which he was mounted upon it, after which they threw his ashes to the winds, and plundered his house and his treasures (A.D. 361). Julian, on learning this outrage, was much irritated, or pretended to be so; he wrote a severe letter to the insurgents, but pursued them no further. As a lover of books, he endeavored to recover the library of George, which was very numerous. It is hard to reconcile the accounts of George's extreme ignorance with the accounts given of this library. — Socrates, Hist. Eccl. book 2, chapter 14:28; book 3, chapter 2; Neander, Ch. Hist. 2:60; Hook, Eccles. Biog. 5:295; Sozomen, Hist. Eccl. 3:5; 4:10; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, 20:116.

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