Neither the extent nor the importance of this author's writings would entitle him to a prominent place among the great ecclesiastical writers. His name, however, is so associated with the literature of the great church controversy, that we can not understand that literature without recognizing his work. He was a presbyter in the church at Alexandria, and first attracted notice by an attack upon his bishop, Alexander, on the subject of the Trinity. The outcome of the resulting controversy was the Council of Nice and its doctrinal definition. After this council Arius was banished to Illyrium and his writings were publicly burned. In a few years, however, he was recalled, and through the influence of Eusebius, who persuaded Constantine that he differed from the churchmen only in the words which he used, he was received with favor at court. An earnest effort was also made to restore him to standing in the church, but it was defeated by Arius's sudden death (see page 41). He was a man of eloquence, and the purity of his moral character was unquestioned. His chief work was his "Thalia," a theological writing in prose and verse. He also wrote popular songs teaching his peculiar views.
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