eklogai

polytheist extractions

Tag Archives: temples

Caesarius of Arles, Sermon 54.6

“There are those who from naivety or ignorance or surely – which is more believable – from greed, neither feared nor blushed to eat of sacrifices or of sacrilegious food prepared in the Pagan fashion. True Christians, however, ought to avoid the devilish banquets held in the vicinity of a shrine or springs or of particular trees. And even if you keep yourself away from the diabolical feast, that is not enough, for there are some who eat the food that others prepare and bring home from the shrines, which is completely unacceptable.” – Caesarius of Arles, Sermon 54.6

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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

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

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

Sig3 1004

“Gods! From the onset of winter until the spring plowing season the priest of Amphiaros is to go into the sanctuary with no greater interval than three days between visits, and he is to be in residence there not less than ten days in each month. He is to require the neokoros to care for the sanctuary in accordance with the law and also for those who visit the sanctuary. If anyone commits a crime in the sanctuary, whether a stranger or a member of the deme, the priest has authority to fine him up to the maximum of five drachmas, and he is to require security from the person so fined. Should he pay the fine, he is to deposit it in the treasury in the presence of the priest. If anyone suffers some private injury in the sanctuary, whether a stranger or a member of the deme, the priest is to give judgement up to a maximum of three drachmas; as for larger sums, the judgments provided in the laws for each victim are to be in effect here also. Any summons arising from an offense in the sanctuary must be issued on the same day. If the defendant does not make restitution, a trial is to be held on the next day. When a person comes to be healed by the god, he is to donate a first-fruit offering of at least nine obols of silver, and deposit it in the treasury in the presence of the neokoros. When he is present, the priest is to say the prayers over the sacrifices and place the victim on the altar; when he is not present the person making the sacrifices is to do this. During the public sacrifice each person to say the prayers for himself, but the priest is to say them over the public sacrifices and he is to receive the skin of all the victims sacrificed within the sanctuary. Each person may offer whatever sacrifices he wishes. No portions of meat are to be carried out of the precinct. Sacrificers are to donate the shoulder-portion of each victim to the priest except during a festival; at that time he is to receive the shoulder portion only from the public victims … Rules for incubation: the neokoros is to record the name and city of the incubator when he deposits his money, and to display it on a bulletin board for anyone to read. In the sleeping-hall men and women are to sleep separately, the men to the east of the altar, the women to the west …” – Sig3 1004

SIG3 1097

“Gods! The orgeones rent the sanctuary of Ergetes to Diognetos, son of Arkesilos from the deme Melite, for ten years, at the rate of 200 drachmas each year; he is to manage the sanctuary and the buildings constructed in it as a sanctuary; Diognetos shall whitewash the walls which need it, and shall construct and arrange whatever else he wants. At the expiration of the ten year period, he shall take away with him the woodwork, the roof-tiles and the doors and posts; but he shall remove none of the other furnishings. He shall tend the trees growing in the sanctuary; if any dies, he shall replace it and hand on the same number. Diognetos shall pay the rent money to the treasurer of the oregeones in office each year, one half of which is due on the first day of Elaphobolion. When the orgeones sacrifice to the hero in Boedromion, Diognetos is to have open the structure where the shrine is, as well as the shed, the kitchen, and the couches and tables for two dining rooms. Should Diognetos fail to pay the rent on time or meet any of the other requirements of the lease, the lease is to be void and he is deprived of all the property and contributions to the sanctuary’s upkeep that he has made, and the orgeones may rent to whomever they wish thereafter. Diognetos is to inscribe this lease on the stone which stands in the sanctuary. The term of the lease begins in the year when Koroibos is arkhon.” – SIG3 1097

SIG3 986

“Resolved by the council, Tellis presiding: In the sacred groves there is to be no pasturing or dumping of manure. If any one does herd sheep, pigs or cattle, the person who sees it should report it to the authorities in order to remain pure in the god’s sight. The fine for the shepherd, swineherd or cowherd shall be 1/12 stater for each animal. If any one is caught dumping manure, he shall pay five staters to become pure in the god’s sight. If the person who sees it does not report it he shall pay five staters, sanctified to the god.” – SIG3 986

IGS 13.7.2

“Resolved by the council and the people, on the motion of Agenor, when Meliton was presiding officer: No stranger is permitted to put in at the sanctuary of Hera; the temple attendant is to take care to keep them out. If he does not keep them out, he is to pay a fine of ten drachmas, sanctified to Hera, for each day. The superintendents are to take care to inscribe this decree in front of the doors.” – IGS 13.7.2

LGS 95

“Resolved by the council and the people, on the motion of Orthsileos: No one is to light a fire in the sanctuary of Hera at the corner of the new building and the temple, nor at the Lykeion. If anyone does light one, he is to pay a fine of ten drachmas, sanctified by Hera.” – LGS 95

Aristophanes, Ploutos 654-695, 707-747

CARIO

Having arrived near to the temple with our patient, then so unfortunate, but now at the apex of happiness, of blessedness, we first led him down to the sea to purify him.

WIFE

Ah! what a singular pleasure for an old man to bathe in the cold seawater!

CARIO in the manner of the tragic messenger

Then we repaired to the temple of the god. Once the wafers and the various offerings had been consecrated upon the altar, and the cake of wheaten-meal had been banded over to the devouring Hephaestus, we made Plutus lie on a couch according to the rite, and each of us prepared himself a bed of leaves.

WIFE

Had any other folk come to beseech the deity?

CARIO

Yes. Firstly, Neoclides, who is blind, but steals much better than those who see clearly; then many others attacked by complaints of all kinds. The lights were put out and the priest enjoined us to sleep, especially recommending us to keep silent should we hear any noise. There we were all lying down quite quietly. I could not sleep; I was thinking of a certain stew-pan full of pap placed close to an old woman and just behind her head. I had a furious longing to slip towards that side. But just as I was lifting my head, I noticed the priest, who was sweeping off both the cakes and the figs on the sacred table; then he made the round of the altars and sanctified the cakes that remained, by stowing them away in a bag. I therefore resolved to follow such a pious example and made straight for the pap.

WIFE

You rogue! and had you no fear of the god?

CARIO

Aye, indeed! I feared that the god with his crown on his head might have been near the stew-pan before me. I said to myself, “Like priest, like god.” On hearing the noise I made the old woman put out her hand, but I hissed and bit it, just as a sacred serpent might have done. Quick she drew back her hand, slipped down into the bed with her head beneath the coverlets and never moved again; only she let flee a fart in her fear which stank worse than a weasel. As for myself, I swallowed a goodly portion of the pap and, having made a good feed, went back to bed.

Asclepius did the round of the patients and examined them all with great attention; then a slave placed beside him a stone mortar, a pestle and a little box.

WIFE

Of stone?

CARIO

No, not of stone.

WIFE

But how could you see all this, you arch-rascal, when you say you were hiding all the time?

CARIO

Why, great gods, through my cloak, for it’s not without holes! He first prepared an ointment for Neoclides; he threw three heads of Tenian garlic into the mortar, pounded them with an admixture of fig-tree sap and lentisk, moistened the whole with Sphettian vinegar, and, turning back the patient’s eyelids, applied his salve to the interior of the eyes, so that the pain might be more excruciating. Neoclides shrieked, howled, sprang towards the foot of his bed and wanted to bolt, but the god laughed and said to him, “Keep where you are with your salve; by doing this you will not go and perjure yourself before the Assembly.”

WIFE

What a wise god and what a friend to our city

CARIO

Thereupon he came and seated himself at the head of Plutus’ bed, took a perfectly clean rag and wiped his eyelids; Panacea covered his head and face with a purple cloth, while the god whistled, and two enormous snakes came rushing from the sanctuary.

WIFE

Great gods!

CARIO

They slipped gently beneath the purple cloth and, as far as I could judge, licked the patient’s eyelids; for, in less time than even you need, mistress, to drain down ten beakers of wine, Plutus rose up; be could see. I clapped my hands with joy and awoke my master, and the god immediately disappeared with the serpents into the sanctuary. As for those who were lying near Plutus, you can imagine that they embraced him tenderly. Dawn broke and not one of them had closed an eye. As for myself, I did not cease thanking the god who had so quickly restored to Plutus his sight and had made Neoclides blinder than ever.

WIFE

Oh! thou great Asclepius! How mighty is thy power!

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

CMRDM 1.69

“Great is Meis Axiottenos who rules Tarsi! When a scepter was set up to involve the god if anyone stole anything from the bath-house and a himation was then stolen, the god punished the thief and caused him after some time to bring the himation back and confess. The god then ordered by an angel that the himation be sold for the benefit of the temple and the thief to write the power of the god on a stele.” – CMRDM 1.69

CMRDM 1.44

“Great are Artemis Anaeitis and Men Tiamou! When Jucundus got into a manic state and it was being bruited about by all that poison was being given him by Tatias his mother-in-law, Tatias set up a scepter and placed oaths in the temple that she would get her satisfaction about her being talked about in such a blameworthy way. But the gods put her in a  punishment, which she did not escape. Likewise her son Socrates, as he was going through the entrance that leads to the grove, holding a grape-cutting sickle in his hand – it fell on his foot, and thus he was dispatched in same-day punishment. Great then are the gods in Axitta! And they instructed the scepter and oaths which had been made in the temple to be dissolved and for the families of those previously mentioned to be responsible for the dissolving and to propitiate the gods in whatever fashion they desire, and to write the power of the gods on a stele.” – CMRDM 1.44

Censorinus, De die natali 12.2

“If music were not welcome to the immortal gods, theater spectacles would not have been established to conciliate the gods, the flute-player would not be used in all sacrifices in sacred temples, nor would a triumphal parade be conducted with the flute and horn player in honor of Mars, nor the lyre to Apollo, nor the flute and similar instruments to the Muses.” – Censorinus, De die natali 12.2

CRAIBL 263-64

“By command of the Lord Aesculapius, Lucius Numisius Vitalis son of Lucius erects this podium at his own expense. Anyone wishing to ascend the podium should abstain for three days from women, pork, beans, barbers and city baths, and should not enter wearing shoes.” – CRAIBL 263-64

Aulus Gellius, Attic Nights 10.15

“Of the ceremonies of the priest and priestess of Jupiter; and words quoted from the praetor’s edict, in which he declares that he will not compel either the Vestal virgins or the priest of Jupiter to take oath. Ceremonies in great number are imposed upon the priest of Jupiter and also many abstentions, of which we read in the books written On the Public Priests; and they are also recorded in the first book of Fabius Pictor. Of these the following are in general what I remember: It is unlawful for the priest of Jupiter to ride upon a horse; it is also unlawful for him to see the ‘classes arrayed’ outside the pomerium, that is, the army in battle array; hence the priest of Jupiter is rarely made consul, since wars were entrusted to the consuls; also it is always unlawful for the priest to take an oath; likewise to wear a ring, unless it be perforated and without a gem. It is against the law for fire to be taken from the flaminia, that is, from the home of the flamen Dialis, except for a sacred rite; if a person in fetters enter his house, he must be loosed, the bonds must be drawn up through the impluvium to the roof and from there let down into the street. He has no knot in his head-dress, girdle, or any other part of his dress; if anyone is being taken to be flogged and falls at his feet as a suppliant, it is unlawful for the man to be flogged on that day. Only a free man may cut the hair of the Dialis. It is not customary for the Dialis to touch, or even name, a she-goat, raw flesh, ivy, and beans. The priest of Jupiter must not pass under an arbour of vines. The feet of the couch on which he sleeps must be smeared with a thin coating of clay, and he must not sleep away from this bed for three nights in succession, and no other person must sleep in that bed. At the foot of his bed there should be a box with sacrificial cakes. The cuttings of the nails and hair of the Dialis must be buried in the earth under a fruitful tree. Every day is a holy day for the Dialis. He must not be in the open air without his cap; that he might go without it in the house has only recently been decided by the pontiffs, so Masurius Sabinus wrote, and it is said that some other ceremonies have been remitted and he has been excused from observing them. The priest of Jupiter must not touch any bread fermented with yeast. He does not lay off his inner tunic except under cover, in order that he may not be naked in the open air, as it were under the eye of Jupiter. No other has a place at table above the flamen Dialis, except the rex sacrificulus. If the Dialis has lost his wife he abdicates his office. The marriage of the priest cannot be dissolved except by death. He never enters a place of burial, he never touches a dead body; but he is not forbidden to attend a funeral. The ceremonies of the priestess of Jupiter are about the same; they say that she observes other separate ones: for example, that she wears a dyed robe, that she has a twig from a fruitful tree in her head-dress, that it is forbidden for her to go up more than three rounds of a ladder, except the so called Greek ladders; also, when she goes to the Argei, that she neither combs her head nor dresses her hair. I have added the words of the praetor in his standing edict concerning the flamen Dialis and the priestess of Vesta: ‘In the whole of my jurisdiction I will not compel the flamen of Jupiter or a priestess of Vesta to take an oath.’ The words of Marcus Varro about the flamen Dialis, in the second book of his Divine Antiquities, are as follows: He alone has a white cap, either because he is the greatest of priests, or because a white victim should be sacrificed to Jupiter.” – Aulus Gellius, Attic Nights 10.15

Lucian, On Sacrifices 10-13

“That is the way the gods live, and as a result, the practices of men in the matter of divine worship are harmonious and consistent with all that. First they fenced off groves, dedicated mountains, consecrated birds and assigned plants to each god. Then they divided them up, and now worship them by nations and claim them as fellow-countrymen ; the Delphians claim Apollo, and so do the Delians, the Athenians Athena (in fact, she proves her kinship by her name), the Argives Hera, the Mygdonians Rhea, the Paphians Aphrodite. As for the Cretans, they not only say that Zeus was born and brought up among them, but even point out his tomb. We were mis­taken all this while, then, in thinking that thunder and rain and everything else comes from Zeus ; if we had but known it, he has been dead and buried in Crete this long time! Then too they erect temples, in order that the gods may not be houseless and hearthless, of course; and they fashion images in their likeness, sending for a Praxiteles or a Polycleitus or a Phidias, who have caught sight of them somewhere and represent Zeus as a bearded man, Apollo as a perennial boy, Hermes with his first moustache, Poseidon with sea-blue hair and Athena with green eyes ! In spite of all, those who enter the temple think that what they behold is not now ivory from India nor gold mined in Thrace, but the very son of Cronus and Rhea, transported to earth by Phidias and bidden to be overlord of de­serted Pisa, thinking himself lucky if he gets a sacrifice once in four long years as an incident to the Olympic games. When they have established altars and formulae and lustral rites, they present their sacrifices, the farmer an ox from the plough, the shepherd a lamb, the goatherd a goat, someone else incense or a cake ; the poor man, however, propitiates the god by just kissing his own hand. But those who offer victims (to come back to them) deck the animal with gar­lands, after finding out far in advance whether it is perfect or not, in order that they may not kill some­thing that is of no use to them; then they bring it to the altar and slaughter it under the god’s eyes, while it bellows plaintively—making, we must suppose, auspicious sounds, and fluting low music to accom­pany the sacrifice! Who would not suppose that the gods like to see all this ? And although the notice says that no one is to be allowed within the holy-water who has not clean hands, the priest himself stands there all bloody, just like the Cyclops of old, cutting up the victim, removing the entrails, plucking out the heart, pouring the blood about the altar, and doing everything possible in the way of piety. To crown it all, he lights a fire and puts upon it the goat, skin and all, and the sheep, wool and all; and the smoke, divine and holy, mounts upward and gradually dissipates into Heaven itself.” – Lucian, On Sacrifices 10-13

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

Achilles Tatius, Leucippe and Clitophon 5.2

“We were fortunate to arrive in time for the sacred festival of the great god whom the Greeks call Zeus, the Egyptians Serapis, and there was a procession of torches. It was the greatest spectacle I ever beheld, for it was late evening and the sun had gone down; but there was no sign of night — it was as though another sun had arisen, but distributed into small parts in every direction; I thought that on that occasion the city vied with the sky for beauty. I also visited the Gracious Zeus and his temple in his aspect as god of heaven; and then praying to the great god and humbly imploring him that our troubles might be at last at an end, we came back to the lodgings which Menelaus had hired for us.” – Achilles Tatius, Leucippe and Clitophon 5.2

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

AE 631

“To the liberator of the Roman world, the restorer of the temples, reviver of town councils and of the state, destroyer of the barbarians, our lord Julian ever Augustus, mighty victor over the Almanns, mighty victor over the Franks, mighty victor over the Sarmatians, chief priest, father of his country: the provincial assembly of the Phoenicians ordered this.” – AE 631

I.Strat. 1101

“When Ptolemaios was the chief magistrate, in the month of Artemisios, with Sosandros, son of Diomedes, secretary of the town council, the following was proposed: In former times the city has been saved from many great and constant dangers by the providence of its protective and mighty deities, Zeus of Panamara and Hekate, whose sanctuaries were recognized by a decree of the sacred Roman Senate as being inviolable and possessing the right to receive suppliants, on account of the manifest miracles which they performed for the safety of the eternal empire of our Roman lords. It is right to apply all possible zeal to honoring Zeus and Hekate and not neglect any opportunity to honor and entreat them. Statues of the aforementioned deities stand in the august council-chamber, producing miracles which manifest their divine power. On account of these miracles the whole populace offers sacrifice, burns incense, prays and gives thanks without ceasing to these deities who manifest themselves. It is right to honor them with a hymn-singing procession. The council has decided to select thirty boys from among the well-born, whom the supervisor of education and the public guardians of boys shall lead each day to the council-chamber, dressed in white, wearing crowns made of olive branches, likewise carrying olive branches in their hands and accompanied by a lyre-player and herald. Moreover the annually chosen priest of Hekate is to select boys from within the precinct of the goddess’ temple and from the neighborhood every year and they are to sing the customary hymn to the goddess.” – I.Strat. 1101

P.Lond. 26

“To King Ptolemy and Queen Kleopatra the sister, gods Philometores, greeting. Thaues and Taous, twins, perform rites in the great Sarapeion at Memphis. And formerly, when you stayed in Memphis and went up to the temple to sacrifice, we petitioned you and presented a petition to you, carrying before you our complaint that we had not received the required salary that should have been given to us by the Sarapeion and the Asklepeion. But since we still have not received this in full, we have necessarily been compelled— undone as we are by hunger—to peition you once again and to place before you in a few words the selfishness of those who are treating us unjustly. For you had previously set aside an allocation for the Sarapeion and the Asklepeion; and from this the twins who preceded us also received the daily necessities. And furthermore, they indicated to us, when we first went into the temple, for a few days rightaway, that whatever was appropriate for us would be carried out in due course; but subsequently it has not been done. Consequently, we both sent people who petitioned the director, and we reported on these things to you when you happened to be in Memphis. And when the appointed administrators of the Sarapeion and Askleprion were cruel to us, and denied us the privileges you granted, and paid no attention to religious duty, being oppressed by necessities, we asked Achomarres, the temple supervisor, several times to pay us. And we approached the son of Psintaes, the temple supervisor, when he was going up to the temple the day before yesterday, and gave him information about each of these things. And when he had summoned Archomarres, he ordered him to pay all we were owed. But the latter, who is the most unfeeling of men, promised us that he would comply with the order. But when the son of Psintaes had departed from Memphis, he (Archomarres) no longer took any account of the issue. And not only this man, but also others associated with the Sarapeion and others in the administration of the Asklepeion, from whom it is customary for us to receive our necessities, are cheating us, whose names and obligations, on account of being so numerous, we decided not to record. We beg you, therefore—hoping on the basis of the aid which comes from you—to send our petition to Dionysios—a member of the court and stratêgos —in order the he might write to Apollonios the director so that he, in turn, having received from us the written list of what pay is owed us, and for what length of time and by whom, may compel them to pay it to us in order that, when we have everything in order, we may fulfill the customary duties to Sarapis and Isis much better on behalf of you and your children. May it be granted to you to rule all the land that you desire. May you prosper.” – P.Lond. 26

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