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A History Of The Church In Seven Books by Socrates

SOME of the monks inhabiting the mountains of Nitria, of a very fiery disposition, whom Theophilus some time before had so unjustly armed against Discorus and his brethren, being again transported with an ardent zeal, resolved to fight valiantly in behalf of Cyril. About five hundred of them therefore quitting their monasteries, came into the city; and meeting the præfect in his chariot, they called him a Pagan idolator, and applied to him many other abusive epithets. He supposing this to be a snare laid for him by Cyril, exclaimed that he was a Christian, and had been baptized by Atticus the bishop at Constantinople. The monks gave but little heed to his protestations, and one of them named Ammonius threw a stone at Orestes which struck him on the head, and covered him with the blood that flowed from the wound. All the guards with a few exceptions fled, fearing to be stoned to death: but the populace among whom the fugitive guards had mingled, running to the rescue of the governor, put the rest of the monks to flight, and having secured Ammonius delivered him up to the præfect. Orestes immediately put him publicly to the torture, which was inflicted with such severity that he died under the effects of it: and not long after he gave an account to the emperors of what had taken place. Cyril on the other hand forwarded his statement of the matter also: and causing the body of Ammonius to be deposited in a certain church, he gave him the new appellation of Thaumasius, ordering him to be enrolled among the martyrs, and eulogising his magnanimity as that of one who had fallen in a conflict in defence of piety. This approval of Ammonius on the part of Cyril, met with no sympathy from the more sober-minded Christians; for they well knew that he had suffered the punishment due to his temerity, and had not lost his life under the torture because he would not deny Christ. And Cyril himself being conscious of this, suffered the recollection of the circumstance to be gradually obliterated by silence. But the animosity between Cyril and Orestes did not by any means subside, but was kindled afresh by an occurrence not unlike the preceding.








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