This fall of the church series of stories are a collection of events that could not have happened before the emperor Constantine became involved in the affairs of the church at the Council of Nicea. Before Constantine, Christians were not violent.
The actual story is below. This section tells you where I got it and some historical background.
The histories written before and after Nicea by Christians of that time are significantly different. The two that I have read are Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History, written in A.D. 323, and The Ecclesiastical History of Socrates Scholasticus, written after A.D. 439. This work, however, comes from Sozomon's Ecclesiastical History (IV:10), written somewhat earlier than Socrates'.
The story included here, like the first in this series, could never be found in Eusebius' history, written a century earlier. Whole congregations of Christians simply were not violent before Constantine. After the fall of the church, however, with most Romans professing Christianity but not really embracing it, such violence and similar evils were common.
This story concerns one of Athanasius' banishments. He was banished five separate times, as the emperors after Constantine flopped back and forth between supporting and opposing the Nicene Creed.
Notice that after the fall of the church both the Arians and the Nicene believers were quick to violence. Athanasius, glorified in Socrates' history, is above such things, but his followers are not, wanting to literally tear George apart with their bare hands.
I have updated to modern English where necessary, but basically the wording belongs to Sozomen. It took place around A.D. 355.
The Ecclesiastical History of Sozomen IV:10
After Athanasius had escaped … from those who were trying to arrest him, his clergy and people remained in possession of the churches for some time.
Eventually, however, the governor of Egypt and the commander of the army forcibly evicted all those who maintained the sentiments of Athanasius. This allowed them to turn the government of the churches over to those who favored George [an Arian bishop from Laodicea], who was expected to arrive soon. Not long afterwards, he reached the city, and the churches were placed under his authority.
He ruled by force rather than by priestly moderation. He worked at striking terror into the minds of the people and carried on a cruel persecution against the followers of Athanasius. In addition, he imprisoned and maimed many men and women. Everyone considered him a tyrant.
For these reasons he was soon hated by everyone. The people were so deeply incensed at his conduct that they rushed into the church, wanting to tear him to pieces. The danger was extreme, and he only escaped with much difficulty, fleeing to the emperor.
Once again, those who held the sentiments of Athanasius gained possession of the churches. But they did not hold onto them for long. The commander of the troops in Egypt came and restored the churches to those who sided with George.
Afterward, an imperial shorthand writer of the notary class was sent to punish the leaders of the uprising against George, and he tortured and scourged many citizens. Thus, when George returned shortly thereafter, he was apparently more formidable than ever. He was regarded with greater loathing than before because he was instigating the emperor to perpetrated many evil deeds.
On top of this, the monks of Egypt openly declared him to be treacherous and inflated with arrogance. The opinions of these monks were always adopted by the people, and their testimony was universally received because they were noted for their virtue and the philosophical bent of their lives.