Having considered the original controversy surrounding the Trinitarian doctrine of consubstantiality, Stephen goes on in Proteus to think in more personal terms of "poor dear Arius," a 4th century Christian bishop who met a very bad end, first being judged a "heresiarch" whose books should be burned, and then dying a painful and degrading death.

John Hunt 2014

2008 photograph by JJensen of an icon in the the Mégalo Metéoron Monastery in Greece, representing the First Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. The condemned Arius lies at the bottom, in an iconographic Hell. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

The burning of the heretic Arius' books by order of the emperor Constantine, in a 2008 photograph of an illustration from a book of canon law, ca. 825. Source: Wikimedia Commons.