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A History Of The Church In Seven Books by Socrates

WHILE matters were in this state, the church was profaned in the most outrageous manner. For the domestics of a man of quality who were foreigners, having experienced harsh treatment from their master, fled from him to the church, and ran up to the very altar with their swords drawn. Nor could they be prevailed upon by any entreaties to withdraw, so as not to impede the performance of the public services; but they obstinately maintained their position for several days, brandishing their weapons in defiance of any one who dared to approach them. At last after having killed one of the ecclesiastics, and wounded another, they slew themselves. A person who was present at this desecration of the sanctuary, remarked that such a profanation was an ominous presage, and in support of his view of the matter, quoted the two following iambics of an ancient poet:

“For such prognostics happen at a time

When temples are defiled by impious crime.”

Nor did succeeding events falsify these inauspicious forebodings: for there followed division among the people, and the deposition of the author of it.








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