Front Page Titles (by Subject) 2.: ST. GEORGE — ( P. 98 ) - The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 4
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2.: ST. GEORGE — ( P. 98 ) - Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. 4 
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, ed. J.B. Bury with an Introduction by W.E.H. Lecky (New York: Fred de Fau and Co., 1906), in 12 vols. Vol. 4.
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ST. GEORGE — (P. 98)
The article on St. George by Zöckler in Herzog and Plitt’s Encyclopædia has been superseded by the discussion of F. Görres in the Zeitsch. f. wiss. Theologie, xvi. 1890, p. 454 sqq. “Ritter St. Georg in Geschichte, Legende, u. Kunst.” [There is no question that the Acta (in Act. Sanct. 23rd April) are apocryphal and legendary. They are remarkable for the horrible descriptions of scenes of martyrdom, which might serve as a text to elucidate the pictures on the walls of the curious round Church of San Stefano on the Esquiline.] Görres arrives at practically the same conclusion as Tillemont (Mém. eccl., v. 185-9, 658-60). All the details of St. George’s martyrdom are uncertain; but St. George existed and suffered as a martyr in the East in some pre-Constantinian persecution. Tillemont established the reality of St. George by the existence of his cult (he was a μεγαλόμαρτυς) in the sixth century; Görres proves that it already existed in the fifth century. (1) The round Church of St. George at Thessalonica is not younger than the fifth century and possibly belongs to the fourth; (2) Venantius (Carm. ii. 12, p. 41, ed. M.H.G.) mentions a Gallic basilica to St. George, founded by Sidonius Apollinaris; (3) the decree of Pope Gelasius de libris non recipiendis, at end of fifth century, condemns the Acta of St. George as apocryphal, but confesses his historical existence.
The connection of his name with a dragon-slaying legend does not relegate him to the region of myth. For over against the fabulous Christian dragonslayer, Theodore of the Bithynian Heraclea, we can set Agapetus of Synnada and Arsacius, who though celebrated as dragon-slayers were historical persons.
Gibbon’s theory which identifies St. George with George of Cappadocia has nothing to be said for it; but Görres points out that it is not open to any objection on the ground that George of Cappadocia was an Arian. For there are examples of Arians admitted into the Martyrologium: he cites Agapetus of Synnada and Auxentius, afterwards bishop of Mopsuestia. (It is to be noted that one recension of the Acta S. Georgii was edited by Arians.)