The Virgin Nativity Cathedral
Section of Western Crosswise Nave. West View

Arius in Prison

Dionisy's frescoes. Arius in Prison

Arius, presbyter from Alexandria, starting from 318 claimed that the Son of God was not eternal, did not exist prior to the incarnation and was not equal to God. In 325, the Nicaea council was convened to fight the widespread Arian heresy. After a long debate the Orthodox teaching that was expressed in the Nicene creed, where after the words “begotten of the Father” it said “not made, being of one substance with the Father”, triumphed. Arius was excommunicated and exiled to Illyricum but soon afterwards he was freed. In 336, on the eve of the day Arius was to receive communion, he died suddenly. Orthodox believers attributed his sudden death to divine justice, whereas the Arians alleged he was the victim of poisoning by his enemies. The depiction of Arius’s death is thematically linked with the composition of the First Ecumenical Council on the south wall.