2. Of ALEXANDRIA. When, on the death of the emperor Constantius, and the murder of the Arian patriarch George of Cappadocia [GEORGIUs, No. 7], Athanasius recovered the patriarchate of Alexandria, the Arians were expelled from the churches, and held their meetings in obscure places. While in this condition, they elected Lucius to be their patriarch (Socrat. H. E.
3.4), who on the death of the emperor Julian and the accession of Jovian, presented a petition to the latter, begging him to annul the re-establishment of Athanasius; but their petition was contemptuously rejected ( Petitio ad Jovian. Imperat. Antiochiae facta à Lucio aliisque,
printed with the works of St. Athanasius, vol. i. p. 782, &c. ed. Benedict). When the Arian Valens became emperor of the East, the hopes of Lucius and his party revived; but the emperor would not allow him to return to Alexandria during Athanasius' lifetime, though he obtained the bishopric of Samosata, where, however, he was insulted even by the children of the orthodox party, in consequence of which he incited the officers of the government to inflict some severities on the orthodox. On the death of Athanasius (A. D. 373) and the ordination of Petrus or Peter, whom he had nominated as his successor, Valens sent Lucius to Alexandria, in company with Euzoius, Arian patriarch of Antioch, with orders to the authorities of Alexandria, in consequence of which Peter was deposed and imprisoned, and Lucius forcibly established in his room.
A severe persecution of the orthodox then commenced, especially of the priesthood and the nuns, whom Lucius charged with exciting popular disturbances. Peter, who had escaped, fled to Rome, where he was supported by the pope Damasus I., who after some time sent him back to Alexandria, with letters confirming his ordination, in consequence of which he obtained possession of the patriarchate, and Lucius in turn was obliged to flee to Constantinople.
This was probably in A. D. 377 or 378, not long before the death of Valens. Whether Lucius was ever restored is doubtful; if he was, he was soon again expelled by the emperor Theodosius.
According to some authorities he still remained director of the Arian churches in his patriarchal city.
He withdrew from Constantinople at the time of the expulsion of Demophilus, Arian patriarch of that city (A. D. 380), and nothing more is known of him.
Letters and small works
He wrote, according to Jerome, Solemnes de Paschate Epistolae,
and a few little books (libelli
) on various subjects.
The acts of the Lateran Council, A. D. 649, contain an extract from his Εἰς τὸ πάσχα λόγος
, Sermo in Pascha.
Whether this Sermo
was one of what Jerome has described as Solemnes Epistolae,
is not certain.
Socrat. H. E.
3.4, 4.21, 22, 24, 37; Sozomen, H. E.
6.19, 20, 39; Theodoret, H. E.
4.15, 20-23; Hieronym. De Vir. Illustr.
c. 118; Tillemont, Mémoires,
vols. vi. vii. viii. passim ; Cave, Hist. Litt.
ad ann. 371; Fabric. Bill. Gr.
vol. ix. p. 247, Concilia,
vol. vi. col. 313, ed. Labbe, vol. iii. col. 892, ed Hardouin.