On 24 February 303, Diocletian, influenced by Galerius, issued an edict that every Christian soldier in the army should be degraded and every soldier required to offer sacrifice to the Roman gods. Seeing the edict, George freed his slaves, distributed his wealth to the poor, and prepared to meet his fate. He then confronted the emperor about the edict and declared himself to be a Christian. Diocletian attempted to convert George, offering gifts of land, money, and slaves if he would sacrifice to the gods, but the tribune refused. Recognizing the futility of his efforts and insisting on upholding his edict, Diocletian ordered that George be arrested. In an effort to undermine his resolve, the emperor sent a woman to the prison to spend the night with George, who having little time for earthly concerns managed to convert her instead. 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, where Christians soon came to honour him as a martyr.