Saint George George of Lydda, was a soldier of Cappadocian Greek origins, member of the Praetorian Guard for Roman emperor Diocletian, sentenced to death for refusing to recant his Christian faith. He became one of the most venerated saints and megalo-martyrs in Christianity, he has been venerated as a military saint since the Crusades. In hagiography, as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers and one of the most prominent military saints, he is immortalised in the legend of Saint George and the Dragon, his memorial, Saint George's Day, is traditionally celebrated on 23 April. England, Georgia and several other nation states, universities and organisations all claim Saint George as their patron. Little is known about St George's life, but it is thought he was a Roman officer of Greek descent from Cappadocia, martyred in one of the pre-Constantinian persecutions. Beyond this, early sources give conflicting information. There are two main versions of the legend, a Greek and a Latin version, which can both be traced to the 5th or 6th century.
The saint's veneration dates to the 5th century with some certainty, still to the 4th. The addition of the dragon legend dates to the 11th century; the earliest text which preserves fragments of George's narrative is in a Greek hagiography, identified by Hippolyte Delehaye of the scholarly Bollandists to be a palimpsest of the 5th century. An earlier work by Eusebius, Church history, written in the 4th century, contributed to the legend but did not name George or provide significant detail; the work of the Bollandists Daniel Papebroch, Jean Bolland, Godfrey Henschen in the 17th century was one of the first pieces of scholarly research to establish the saint's historicity via their publications in Bibliotheca Hagiographica Graeca. Pope Gelasius I stated in 494 that George was among those saints "whose names are justly reverenced among men, but whose actions are known only to God." The most complete version of the fifth-century Greek text survives in a translation into Syriac from about 600. From text fragments preserved in the British Library a translation into English was published in 1925.
In the Greek tradition, George was born in Cappadocia. His father died for the faith when George was fourteen, his mother returned with George to her homeland of Syria Palaestina. A few years George's mother died. George travelled to the eastern imperial capital, where he joined the Roman army. George was persecuted by one Dadianus. In versions of the Greek legend, this name is rationalised to Diocletian, George's martyrdom is placed in the Diocletian persecution of AD 303; the setting in Nicomedia is secondary, inconsistent with the earliest cultus of the saint being located in Diospolis. George was executed by decapitation before Nicomedia's city wall, on 23 April 303. A witness of his suffering convinced Empress Alexandra of Rome to become a Christian as well, so she joined George in martyrdom, his body was returned to Lydda for burial. The Latin Acta Sancti Georgii follows the general course of the Greek legend, but Diocletian here becomes Dacian, Emperor of the Persians. George died in Melitene in Cappadocia.
His martyrdom was extended to more than twenty separate tortures over the course of seven years. Over the course of his martyrdom, 40,900 pagans were converted to Christianity, including the empress Alexandra; when George died, the wicked Dacian was carried away in a whirlwind of fire. In Latin versions, the persecutor is the Roman emperor Decius, or a Roman judge named Dacian serving under Diocletian. There is little information on the early life of Saint George. Herbert Thurston in The Catholic Encyclopedia states that based upon an ancient cultus, narratives of the early pilgrims, the early dedications of churches to Saint George, going back to the fourth century, "there seems, therefore, no ground for doubting the historical existence of St. George", although no faith can be placed in either the details of his history or his alleged exploits. According to Donald Attwater, "No historical particulars of his life have survived... The widespread veneration for St George as a soldier saint from early times had its centre in Palestine at Diospolis, now Lydda.
St George was martyred there, at the end of the third or the beginning of the fourth century. And that Saint George in all likelihood was martyred before the year 290. Although the Diocletianic Persecution of 303, associated with military saints because the persecution was aimed at Christians among the professional soldiers of the Roman army, is of undisputed historicity, the identity of Saint George as a historical individual had not been ascertained as of the lifetime of the 16th-century English poet, Edmund Spenser. Edward Gibbon argued that George, or at least the legend from which the above is distilled, is based on George of Cappadocia, a notorious Arian bishop, Athanasius of Alexandria's most bitter rival, that it was he who in time became Saint George of England. J. B. Bury, who edited the 1906 edition of The Decline and Fall, wrote "this theory of Gibbon's has nothing to be said for it." He adds that: "the connection of St. George with a dragon-slaying legend do
Francis D. Lee was an American architect and inventor from Charleston, South Carolina, he graduated from the College of Charleston in 1846 and completed his master's degree in 1848. He worked with the community of Charleston, through his work as a member of the South Carolina Society, the Scots Rites Masonic Lodge and as a member of the Unitarian Church. In 1852 he was hired as the architect to design the enlarged and remodeled Unitarian Church in Charleston, which took him 2 years to complete, he worked as an architect until the outbreak of the American Civil War, where he became a Confederate Army Captain under the staffing of General Beauregard, who took full advantage of his inventiveness, by encouraging him to design and construct a small Torpedo Boat, named The Torch. This boat was a spar boat, named so due to explosive devices placed at the end of a long pole or spar, in The Torch's case, it had 3 such spar's mounted to the bow to attack blockading warships. After the war, he returned to Charleston to set up a partnership with Edward C. Jones which became the firm Jones & Lee, under this guise he went on to design many nationally recognised buildings and monuments.
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