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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

ABOUT the same period, the queen was attacked with a disease, and Tarbula, the sister of Symeon the bishop, a holy virgin, was arrested, as likewise her sister, who was a widow and had abjured a second marriage, and her servant, who, like her, had devoted herself to a religious life. The cause of their arrest was the calumny of the Jews, who reported that they had injured the queen by their enchantments, in revenge for the death of Symeon. As invalids easily give credit to the most frightful representations, the queen believed the calumny, and especially because it emanated from the Jews, for she had great confidence in their veracity and in their attachment for herself; she had embraced their sentiments, and lived in the observance of the Jewish rites. The Magi having seized Tarbula and her companions, condemned them to death; and, after having sawn them asunder, fastened them up to posts, advising the queen to pass through the place of execution, that the charm might be dissolved and the disease removed. It is said that Tarbula was extremely beautiful, and that one of the Magi having become deeply enamoured with her, sent some money secretly to her, and promised to save her and her companions if she would accede to his desires. But, instead of listening to his proposals, she rebuked his licentiousness, and joyfully prepared for death, for she preferred to die rather than to lose her virginity.

As it was ordained by the edict of Sapor, which we mentioned above, that the Christians should not be slaughtered indiscriminately, but that the priests and teachers of religion should be slain, the Magi and Arch-magi traversed the whole country of Persia in search of the bishops and presbyters. They sought them especially in the country of the Adiabenians, a part of the Persian dominions in which many Christians were located.








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