eklogai

polytheist extractions

Tag Archives: persecution

The Council of Turin 23

“Returning to their own houses after mass, they return to the errors of the Pagans; having received the body of the lord they accept food sacrificed to demons. We urge pastors as well as priests to take care that on holy authority they drive out of the church those whom they notice persisting in this folly or doing things contrary to the teachings of the church at heaven knows what rocks, trees or springs, the chosen places of Pagans, and that they do not allow those who keep Pagan customs to participate in the sacrament of the altar.” – The Council of Turin 23

Ghärbald of Lüttich, Capitulary 2.10

“Let lot-casters and fortune-tellers be sought out, as well as those who observe the months and favorable moments and who observe dreams, and the people who carry around their necks those amulets which are inscribed with who knows what kind of words and veneficae, that is women who administer different potions in order to abort a pregnancy and who perform certain divinations so that they will be loved the better by their husbands as a result. Have all malefici, of whatever they be accused, brought in front of us so that their cases may be heard by us.” – Ghärbald of Lüttich, Capitulary 2.10

Caesarius of Arles, Sermon 193.1-3

“I rebuke the demented customs of those who for the sake of foolish gaiety observe the Kalends of January or the folly of other superstitions which men think give them license to get drunk and indulge in obscene chanting and games. Worse still is the indecent flaunting of men in women’s clothing and make-up grotesque enough to make the demons themselves blanch. They sing bawdy songs in praise of vice, sung with shameless gusto and accompanied by disjointed gestures and mumming in the likeness of she-goats and stags. The inventor of evil makes his entry through these in order to master souls ensnared by the appearance of play. I call upon the sober and upright members of this congregation to reprimand your neighbors and subordinates, to forbid them to use indecent language or sing those bawdy songs, and especially to deny alms to those who by sacrilegious custom are carried away by insanity rather than playfulness. And unless you want to share in their guilt I tell you: do not allow a little stag or a little yearling or monstrosities of any other sort to appear before your houses, but rather chastise and punish them and, if you can, even tie them up tightly. Admonish your household not to follow the sacrilegious customs of the unhappy Pagans.” – Caesarius of Arles, Sermon 193.1-3

Charlemagne, Concilia 2.1.1-4

“We have decreed that each bishop, with the help of the gravio, who is the defender of the Church, should take care according to the canons that the people of god in his diocese do not perform Pagan acts but cast off and spurn every filth of Paganism, and that they should forbid sacrifices of the dead or sorcerers or soothsayers or amulets or omens or enchantments or the sacrificial victims which stupid men honor in the name of the blessed martyrs or confessors in the vicinity of churches, provoking god and his saints to anger, or those sacrilegious fires which they call nied fyr, and all those who love Pagan observances.” – Charlemagne, Concilia 2.1.1-4

The Council of Toledo 12.11.398-9

“We admonish all those who worship idols, venerate stones, light torches and honor sacred springs or trees, that they should know that they who are seen to sacrifice to the devil subject themselves to death. And, accordingly, as soon as the priests and civil authorities discover such things they are to devote themselves to uprooting the sacrilegious idolatry and all that is against the holy faith, which foolish men, entrapped by diabolic cults, devote themselves to. These are to be removed and destroyed. Moreover they are to restrain with blows those who assemble for such vileness and hand them over, loaded down with iron, to their masters if, at least, their masters promise under oath to guard them so vigilantly that they will be unable to further practice such wickedness. If their masters are unwilling to keep the guilty persons of this sort in their charge, they are then to be brought before the king by those who had punished them, so that the prince’s authority may exercise its free power to dispose of them. Nevertheless, let their masters, who have delayed in punishing the proclaimed faults of such slaves, be subject to the sentence of excommunication: let them also be aware that they have lost their power over the slave whom they refused to correct. If free-born persons are implicated in these faults, they are both to suffer the sentence of perpetual excommunication and to be punished with a particularly stringent exile.” – The Council of Toledo 12.11.398-9

The Council of Toledo 16.129-30

“We declare that bishops and judges together are to destroy idols and that masters are to forbid their slaves to practice idolatry. Since the sacrilege of idolatry has developed throughout almost all of Span and Gaul, the holy synod has decreed with the consent of the most glorious prince that every priest, together with the district judge, is to examine carefully the sacrilege reported in his region, and to expel any that they find without delay. Moreover, they are to use force on all those implicated in such error by whatever punitive measures they can, up to a penalty of death. If they fail to do this, both should know that they are subject to the danger of excommunication. Moreover if any masters fail to uproot this evil from their estates and are unwilling to prohibit their households, they are to be banished by the bishop from the communion of the faithful.” – The Council of Toledo 16.129-30

Caesarius of Arles, Sermon 53.1

“If, dearly beloved, we rejoice indeed because we see you hasten faithfully to church, we are saddened and grieved because we know that some of you go off even more often to the ancient worship of idols, like godless Pagans who lack the grace of baptism. We have heard that some of you pay your vows to trees, pray to springs and commit acts unmentionable. In fact there are unhappy wretches who not only do not want to destroy the shrines of Pagans but even do no fear nor blush to rebuild what was destroyed. And if someone who is mindful of god wants to burn sacred trees or scatter and destroy diabolical altars, they go mad with rage and are overcome by great frenzy, so that they even dare to strike those who tried to overturn the sacrilegious idols for the love of god … And why do such wretches bother to come to church or accept the sacrament of baptism if afterwards they are to return to the sacrilege of idols?” – Caesarius of Arles, Sermon 53.1

Letter of Pope Gregory to King Ethelbert in Bede HE 1.32.12

“Do not follow the cult of idols; overturn the sanctuaries used as shrines and edify your subjects by the great purity of your life and by exhortation, threats, persuasion, chastisement and good example.” – Letter of Pope Gregory to King Ethelbert in Bede HE 1.32.12

St. Columban, Penitential 24.104-5

“But if any layman ate or drank in the vicinity of shrines out of ignorance, let him promise immediately never to do so again, and let him repent for forty days on bread and water; if, however, he did it for contempt after a priest preached to him that this was sacrilege, and he communed afterwards at the table of demons, and if he did it or repeated it only because of the vice of gluttony, let him repent for three quadragesimae on bread and water; if, in fact, he did this as a cult of demons or in honor of idols, let him do penance for three years.” – St. Columban, Penitential 24.104-5

The Edict of King Childebert, 1.2-3

“Because it is necessary that our authority be used to correct the common people who do not observe the priests’ teaching as they should, we order that this charter be sent out generally into every locality, commanding that those persons who were warned about their land and other places where statues were put up or man-made idols dedicated to a demon, and who did not immediately cast them down, or who forbade the priests from destroying them, should be arrested and brought into our presence for trial … A report has reached us that many sacrileges occur among the population whereby god is injured and the people sink down into death through sin: night watches spent in drunkenness, obscenity and song even on the holy days of Easter, the Nativity and other feasts, with dancing women promenading through the villages. In no way do we permit the performance of any of these deeds which injure god. We command that whoever dares to perpetuate these sacrileges after having been warned by the priest and our edict shall receive an hundred lashes – unless he be a freedman or of higher status.” The Edict of King Childebert, 1.2-3

John of Ephesos as quoted in the third book of the Chronicle of Zuqnin

“In the nineteenth year of the Emperor Justinian, they were busy, thanks to my zeal, with the matter of the Pagans who were discovered in Constantinople. These were illustrious and noble men, with a host of grammarians, sophists, scholastics and physicians. When they were discovered and, thanks to torture, denounced themselves, they were seized, flogged, imprisoned, and sent to the churches so that they might learn the Christian faith as was appropriate for Pagans. There were among them patricians and nobles. Then a powerful and wealthy Pagan named Phocas, who was a patrician, saw the harshness of the inquisition and knowing that those arrested had denounced him as a Pagan, and that a severe sentence had been given against him because of the zeal of the emperor, that night took deadly poison and so left this earthly life. When the emperor heard this, he ordered with justice that he should be interred like an ass, that there should be no cortege or prayer for him. So his family during the night put him on a litter, carried him, made an open grave and threw him in it like a dead animal. Thanks to this the Pagans were afraid for some time. Later on the goodness of god visited Asia, Caria, Lydia and Phrygia, thanks to the zeal of the victorious Justinian and by the efforts of his humble servant. So by the power of the holy spirit, 70,000 souls were instructed, and left behind the errors of Paganism, the worship of idols and the temples of the demons for the knowledge of the truth. All were converted, disavowed the errors of their ancestors, were baptized in the name of our lord Jesus Christ, and were added to the number of Christians. The victorious Justinian paid the expenses and clothing for baptism; he also took care to give three gold pieces to each of them. When god had opened their minds and had made known the truth, they helped us with their own hands to destroy their temples, to overthrow their idols, to extirpate the sacrifices that were offered everywhere, to cut down their altars, soiled with the blood of sacrifices offered to demons, and to cut down countless trees that they worshipped because they were leaving all the errors of their ancestors. The salutary sign of the cross was planted everywhere among them, and churches of god were founded everywhere. They were built and erected, to the number of eighty-six, with great diligence and zeal, in the high mountains and steep and in the plains, in all the places where there was Paganism. Twelve monasteries were also founded in places which were Pagan, and where the name of Christian name had never been heard from the beginning of the world until this time. Fifty-five churches were founded at public expense and forty-one at the expense of the new Christians. The victorious emperor gave them willingly, by our hands, the sacred vessels, clothes, books and brass items.” – John of Ephesos as quoted in the third book of the Chronicle of Zuqnin

St. Eligius, MGH SRM 4.706-07

“We abjure those who believe in or invoke the names of foul demons such as Neptune, Orcus, Diana, Minerva, the Genius and all such similar nonsense. Furthermore let no woman dare to name Minerva or other ill-omened personages while weaving or dyeing or doing any other work.” – St. Eligius, MGH SRM 4.706-07

Charlemagne, Admonitio Generalis 65

“Let no one be found among you who accepts arioli and observes dreams and omens, nor one who is a sorcerer or enchanter nor one who consults a pythoness.” – Charlemagne, Admonitio Generalis 65

St. Boniface, Sermons 6.1

“All the sacrifices and soothsayings of the Pagan are sacrileges, as are the sacrifices of the dead and those conducted around corpses or over tombs. Also omens, amulets and offerings made on stones, or to springs, trees, Jupiter, Mercury or the other Pagan gods, because they are diabolic; and many other things which would take too long to list are all, according to the judgment of the holy fathers, sacrileges to be avoided and detested by Christians, and they are recognized as capital sins.” – St. Boniface, Sermons 6.1

Homilia de sacrilegiis 2

“Whoever goes to the ancient altars, temples, groves of trees, stones or to any other place, or offers animals or some other thing there, or holds a feast in such a place, shall be liable to punishment.” – Homilia de sacrilegiis 2

Capitulatio de partibus Saxoniae 21

“All those who make vows to springs, trees or groves, or who bring offerings there according to the custom of the Pagans and consume feasts in honor of demons shall be punished.” – Capitulatio de partibus Saxoniae 21

Ghärbald of Lüttich, Capitulary 2.12

“You must give up the names and inform me of the nature of their crime of all those in our diocese who foolishly make and observe their vows by springs, trees and stones for reasons of health, protection or as some kind of devotion.” – Ghärbald of Lüttich, Capitulary 2.12

ZINU 59.420-3

Order of Anathemas for Orthodox Sunday: Anathema on those who claim to be pious but shamelessly or rather impiously introduce the ungodly teachings of the Hellenes into the orthodox catholic church concerning human souls and heaven and earth and other created objects. Anathema on those who go through a course of Hellenic studies and are taught not simply for the sake of education but follow these empty notions and believe in them as the truth, upholding them as a firm foundation to such an extent that they lead others to them, sometimes secretly, sometimes openly, and teach them without hesitation. Anathema on those who of their own accord invent an account of our creation along with other myths, who accept the Platonic forms as true, who say that matter possesses independent substance and is shaped by the forms, who openly question the power of the creator to bring all things from non-existence to existence.” – ZINU 59.420-3

Prokopios, The Secret History 11.24-36

“Now all the residents of my own Caesarea and of all the other cities, regarding it as a foolish thing to undergo any suffering in defence of a senseless dogma, adopted the name of Christians in place of that which they then bore and by this pretence succeeded in shaking off the danger arising from the law. And all those of their number who were persons of any prudence and reasonableness showed no reluctance about adhering loyally to this faith, but the majority, feeling resentment that, not by their own free choice, but under compulsion of the law, they had changed from the beliefs of their fathers, whether Manichaeans or polytheists. And all the farmers, having gathered in great numbers, decided to rise in arms against the Emperor, putting forward as their Emperor a certain brigand, Julian by name, son of Savarus. And when they engaged with the soldiers, they held out for a time, but finally they were defeated in the battle and perished along with their leader. And it is said that one hundred thousand men perished in this struggle, and the land, which is the finest in the world, became in consequence destitute of farmers. And for the owners of the land who were Christians this led to very serious consequences. For it was incumbent upon them, as a matter of compulsion, to pay to the Emperor everlastingly, even though they were deriving no income from the land, the huge annual tax, since no mercy was shewn in the administration of this business. Justinian then carried the persecution to the Hellenes as they are called, maltreating their bodies and plundering their properties. But even those among them who had decided to espouse in word the name of Christians, seeking thus to avert their present misfortunes, these not much later were generally seized at their libations and sacrifices and other unholy acts. And the prosecution of these cases was carried out in reckless fashion, since the penalty was exacted even without an accuser, for the word of a single man or boy, and even, if it so happened, of a slave compelled against his will to give evidence against his owner, was considered definite proof. Those who were thus convicted had their privates removed and were paraded through the streets.” – Prokopios, The Secret History 11.24-36

Register of the Church of Carthage 58; 60-61

“There remain still other requirements to be sought from the most pious emperors: that they should command the remaining idols throughout all Africa to be utterly extirpated, for in a number of coastal areas and in various rural estates the wickedness of such error flourishes. Thus the emperors should direct both the idols themselves to be destroyed and their temples which have been set up in these rural and remote areas. Further we request that those religious gatherings which occur contrary to decrees, namely those brought together by Pagan error and which both Pagans and Christians attend together – a horrible thought that Christians under Christian emperors might attend these secret celebrations! – that it is only right for the emperors to order them prohibited and banned from cities and estates by imposing a penalty. This is particularly necessary since the Pagans show no compunction about celebrating these sorts of rites on the birthdays of the most blessed martyrs in some cities and out in the sacred spots in the countryside. On those days, indeed – shameful to declare! – the dancing of the most wicked folk goes on in town squares and open spaces, and the respect due to the marital state and the modesty of countless women assembled in piety for the most sacred day is assaulted by lascivious insults, while access to holy worship itself is almost barred. We also request this: that theatrical shows and those of the games be removed from the Lord’s day and other most celebrated Christian days, especially because on the Eighth Day of holy Easter the people gather more at the Circus than at the church. The day of their worship will have to be moved – if indeed they do foregather – nor should any Christian be obliged to attend such shows, especially because in putting them on, contrary to god’s commands as they are, no pressure or persecution should be applied by anyone, but rather (as ought to be the case) a man should stand on his free will, divinely granted him.” – Register of the Church of Carthage 58; 60-61

Theodoret, Ecclesiastical History 5.21

“The Prefect of the East attempted to destroy the huge and richly decorated temple of Zeus, but found that the building was firm and solid and that it was beyond the power of man to break up its closely compacted stones, for they were immense and well and truly laid, and moreover clamped fast with iron and lead. When the divine Marcellus saw the Prefect’s timidity he sent him on to the rest of towns while he himself began to pray fervently for the destruction of the temple. Next morning there came uninvited to the bishop a man who was no builder or mason or artificer of any sort, but only a simple laborer who carried stone and timber on his shoulders. The laborer begged the bishop to be given the chance to destroy the temple and Marcellus gave him everything that he requested for the job. Round the four sides of the temple went a portico united to it and on which its upper story rested. The columns were of great bulk, commensurate with the temple, each being sixteen cubits in circumference. The quality of the stone was exceptionally hard, offering great resistance to the mason’s tools. In each of these the man dug through its entire diameter, propping up the superstructure with olive timber before he went on to another. After he had hollowed out three of the columns, he set fire to the timbers. But a black demon appeared and would not suffer the wood to be consumed, as it naturally would be, by the fire, and stayed the force of the flame. After the attempt had been made several times and the plan was proved ineffectual, news of the failure was brought to the bishop, who was taking a nap. Marcellus forthwith hurried to the church and began to beseech the lord not to give in to the usurping power of the demon but to lay bare its weakness and exhibit his own strength, lest unbelievers should henceforth find excuse for greater wrong. At this the demon fled and the wood immediately caught fire and began to burn. When their support had vanished the columns themselves fell down and dragged twelve others with them. The side of the temple which was connected with the columns was dragged down by violence of their fall and carried away with them. The crash, which was tremendous, was heard throughout the town, and all ran to see the sight.” – Theodoret, Ecclesiastical History 5.21

Nicetas Choniates, Historia 647-51

“Even now they were still desirous of money, for absolutely nothing can satiate the avarice of the barbarians. They eyed the bronze statues and threw them into the fire. And so the bronze statue of Hera, standing in the agora of Constantine, was broken into pieces and consigned to the flames. The head of this statue, which could hardly be drawn by four oxen yoked together, was brought to the great palace. The statue of Paris, also called Alexander, opposite it was cast off its base. This statue was connected with that of the goddess Aphrodite to whom the apple of Eris was depicted as being awarded by Paris. These barbarians – who do not appreciate beauty! – did not neglect to overturn the statues standing in the Hippodrome or any other marvelous works. Rather, these too they turned into coinage, exchanging great things for small, thus acquiring petty coins at the expense of those things created at enormous cost. They then threw down the great Hercules Trihesperus, magnificently constructed on a base and girded with the skin of a lion, a terrifying thing to see even in bronze. He was represented as standing, carrying in his hands neither quiver nor arrows nor club, but having his right foot and right hand extended and his left foot bent at the knee with the left hand raised at the elbow. He was very broad in the chest and shoulders and had thick hair, plump buttocks, and strong arms, and was of such huge size, Ι think, as Lysimachus considered the real Hercules to have been – Lysimachus who sculpted from bronze this first and last great masterpiece of his hands. The statue was so large that the rope around his thumb had the size of a man’s belt and the lower portion of the leg, the height of a man. But those who separate manly vigour from other virtues and claim it for themselves (considering it the most important quality) did not leave this Hercules (although it was the epitome of this attribute) untouched.” – Nicetas Choniates, Historia 647-51

Lampridius, Vita Antonini Heliogabali 3.4-5; 6.6-7.4

“He established Elagabalus as a god on the Palatine Hill close to the imperial palace and built him a temple, to which he desired to transfer the emblem of the Great Mother, the fire of Vesta, the Palladium, the shields of the Salii, and all that the Romans held sacred, purposing that no god might be worshipped at Rome save only Elagabalus. He declared, furthermore, that the religions of the Jews and the Samaritans and the rites of the Christians must also be transferred to this place, in order that the priesthood of Elagabalus might include the mysteries of every form of worship … He violated the chastity of a Vestal Virgin, and by removing the holy shrines he profaned the sacred rites of the Roman nation. He also desired to extinguish the everlasting fire. In fact, it was his desire to abolish not only the religious ceremonies of the Romans but also those of the whole world, his one wish being that the god Elagabalus should be worshipped everywhere. He even broke into the sanctuary of Vesta, into which only Vestal Virgins and the priests may enter, though himself defiled by every moral stain and in the company of those who had defiled themselves. He also attempted to carry away the sacred shrine, but instead of the true one he seized only an earthenware one, which the Senior Vestal had shown him in an attempt to deceive him, and when he found nothing in it, he threw it down and broke it. The cult, however, did not suffer at his hands, for several shrines had been made, it is said, exactly like the true one, in order that none might ever be able to take this one away. Though this be so, he nevertheless carried away the image which he believed to be the Palladium, and after washing it over with gold he placed it in the temple of his god. He also adopted the worship of the Great Mother and celebrated the rite of the taurobolium; and he carried off her image and the sacred objects which are kept hidden in a secret place. He would toss his head to and fro among the castrated devotees of the goddess, and he infibulated himself, and did all that the eunuch-priests are wont to do; and the image of the goddess which he carried off he placed in the sanctuary of his god. He also celebrated the rite of Salambo with all the wailing and the frenzy of the Syrian cult — thereby foreshadowing his own impending doom. In fact, he asserted that all gods were merely the servants of his god, calling some its chamberlains, others its slaves, and others its attendants for divers purposes.” – Lampridius, Vita Antonini Heliogabali 3.4-5; 6.6-7.4

UPZ 1.8

“To Dionysios one of the friends and strategos, from Ptolemaios son of Glaukias, Makedonian, one of those in katoche in the great Serapeion in Memphis in my 12th year. Being outrageously wronged and often put in danger of my life by the below-listed cleaners from the sanctuary, I am seeking refuge with you thinking that I shall thus particularly receive justice. For in the 21st year, on Phaophi 8, they came to the Astartieion in the sanctuary, in which I have been in katoche for the aforesaid years, some of them holding stones in their hands, others sticks, and tried to force their way in, so that with this opportunity they might plunder the temple and kill me because I am a Greek, attacking me in concerted fashion. And when I made it to the door of the temple before them and shut it with a great crash, and ordered them to go away quietly, they did not depart; but they struck Diphilos, one of the servants compelled to remain by Serapis, who showed his indignation at the way they were behaving in the sanctuary, robbing him outrageously and attacking him violently and beating him, so that their illegal violence was made obvious to everybody. When the same men did the same things to me in Phaophi of the 19th year, I petitioned you at that time, but because I had no one to wait on you it happened that when they went unwarned they conceived an even greater scorn for me. I ask you, therefore, if it seems good to you, to order them brought before you, so that they may get the proper punishment for all these things. Farewell. Mys the clothing seller, Psosnaus the yoke-bearer, Imouthes the baker, Harembasnis the grain-seller, Stotoetis the porter, Harchebis the doucher, Po… os the carpet-weaver, and others with them, whose names I do not know.” – UPZ 1.8

Prokopios, The Wars of Justinian 1.19.34-37

“Diocletian went so far as to select a certain island in the River Nile close to the city of Elephantine and there construct a very strong fortress in which he established certain temples and altars for the Romans and the barbarians in common, and he settled priests of both nations in this fortress, thinking that the friendship between them would be secure by reason of their sharing the things sacred to them. And for this reason he named the place Philae. Now both these nations, the Blemyes and the Nobatae, believe in all the gods in which the Hellenes believe, and they also reverence Isis and Osiris, and not least of all Priapus. But the Blemyes are accustomed also to sacrifice human beings to the sun. These sanctuaries in Philae were kept by these barbarians even up to my time, but the Emperor Justinian decided to tear them down. Accordingly Narses, a Persarmenian by birth, whom I have mentioned before as having deserted to the Romans, being commander of the troops there, tore down the sanctuaries at the emperor’s order, and put the priests under guard and sent the statues to Byzantium.” – Prokopios, The Wars of Justinian 1.19.34-37

Quodvultdeus, The Book of the Promises and Prophecies of God 3.38

“At Carthage Caelestis had a temple of very substantial size ringed about by sanctuaries of all their gods. Its precinct was decorated with mosaic pavements and expensive columns and walls, and extended nearly one thousand paces. When it had been closed for a long time and, from neglect, thorny thickets invaded the enclosure, the Christian inhabitants wanted to claim it for use of the true religion. The Pagan inhabitants grew angry at this and clamored that there were snakes and other venomous creatures there to protect the temple. This only aroused the fervor of the Christians until the feast of holy Easter arrived and a great crowd gathered there, approaching from every direction to purify the temple, destroy the images and consecrate it to their own use. All the other temples of the city were razed to the ground, leaving only a narrow strip of land for the dead. Later the Vandals destroyed even the sacred way that once wound through the temples, appropriately enough leaving no reminders of the evil that had once flourished here.” – Quodvultdeus, The Book of the Promises and Prophecies of God 3.38

Besa, Life of Shenoute 83-84

“Another time our holy Apa Shenoute arose to go to the village of Pleuit in order to throw down the idols which were there. So when the Pagans came to know of this, they went and dug in the place which led to their village and buried some magical potions which they had made according to their books because they wanted to hinder him on the road. Our father Apa Shenoute mounted his donkey, but when he began to ride down the road, as soon as the donkey came to a place where the potions had been buried, it would stand still and dig with its hoof. Straightaway the potions would be exposed and my father would say to the servant, ‘Pick them up so that you can hang them around their necks!’ When he entered the village, the Pagans saw him with the magical vessels which the servant had gathered up. They immediately fled away and disappeared, and my father entered the temple and destroyed the idols, smashing them one on top of the other.” – Besa, Life of Shenoute 83-84

I.Sardis 19

“List of the decisions reached and of the unholy and loathesome Hellenes banished by Hyperechius, the highly esteemed judicial officer and imperial judge … -ipsos was banished for ten years … was … to the hospital for the insane …” – I.Sardis 19

The Life of the Younger Saint Symeon the Stylite 161

“On his way to the city of Antioch he destroyed many of the unrighteous found en route, so that men shuddered with fear at his countenance. For everywhere he suppressed all evil-doing whether in word or deed, inflicting punishment, including death, on those who had gone astray, so that from then on even those living a blameless life feared his presence. He claimed that what he did was in response to an oracle from god which appeared to him in a dream, namely that the lord was angry with the Hellenes and heretics and he should reveal the idolatrous errors of the atheists and gather together all their books and burn them. After some investigation he discovered that the majority of the leaders of the city and many of its inhabitants were preoccupied with Hellenismos, Manichaeism, astrological practices, automatism and other hateful heresies. He arrested them and put them in prison, and after gathering together all of their books – a huge number – he burned them in the middle of the stadium. He brought out their idols and their polluted accoutrements and hung them along the streets of the city, and their wealth was expended on numerous fines.” – The Life of the Younger Saint Symeon the Stylite 161

Pope Gregory, Epistle 11.56

“The temples of idols found in the land should not be destroyed, though it is proper to do so with the idols that are contained in them. Let blessed water be prepared, and sprinkled in these temples, and altars constructed and relics deposited since these are well-built temples and it is only proper that they be transferred from the worship of idols to that of the true god. And when the people see that the temples are not destroyed they may put error away from their hearts and, knowing and adoring the true god, may have recourse to the places that, over long centuries, their people have become familiar with. And since they are wont to kill many oxen in sacrifice to demons, they should have also some solemnity of this kind in a changed form, so that on the day of dedication, or on the anniversaries of the holy martyrs whose relics are deposited there, they may make for themselves tents of the branches of trees around these temples that have been changed into churches, and celebrate the solemnity with religious feasts. Nor let them any longer sacrifice animals to the devil, but slay animals to the praise of god for their own eating, and return thanks to the giver of all for their fullness, so that while some joys are reserved to them outwardly, they may more easily incline their minds towards the inner joys. For it is undoubtedly impossible to cut away everything at once from hard hearts, since one who strives to ascend to the highest place must needs rise by steps or paces, and not by leaps.” – Pope Gregory, Epistle 11.56