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Chapter VIII.—Concerning Theodore, the Keeper of the Sacred Vessels of Antioch. How Julian, the Uncle of the Traitor, on Account of these Vessels, falls a Prey to Worms.

It is said that when Julian, the uncle of the emperor,13791379    Philost. vii. 10, variations; Theodoret, iii. 12, 13. Cf. Am. Marcel. xxiii. 1. 4–6. was intent upon removing the votive gifts of the church of Antioch, which were many and costly, and placing them in the imperial treasury, and also closing the places of prayer, all the clergy fled. One presbyter, by name Theodoritus, alone did not leave the city; Julian seized him, as the keeper of the treasures, and as capable of giving information concerning them, and maltreated him terribly; finally he ordered him to be slain with the sword, after he had responded bravely under every torture and had been well approved by his doctrinal confessions. When Julian had made a booty of the sacred vessels, he flung them upon the ground and began to mock; after blaspheming Christ as much as he wished, he sat upon the vessels and augmented his insulting acts. Immediately his genitals and rectum were corrupted; their flesh became putrescent, and was changed into worms. The disease was beyond the skill of the physicians. However, from reverence and fear for the emperor, they resorted to experiments with all manner of drugs, and the most costly and the fattest birds were slain, and their fat was applied to the corrupted parts, in the hope that the worms might be thereby attracted to the surface, but this was of no effect; 332for being deep buried, they crept into the living flesh, and did not cease their gnawing until they put an end to his life. It seemed that this calamity was an infliction of Divine wrath, because the keeper of the imperial treasures, and other of the chief officers of the court who had made sport of the Church, died in an extraordinary and dreadful manner,13801380    Felix and Elpidius, officials whom Philost. and Theodoret assert to have been punished. as if condemned by Divine wrath.


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