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393Canon LXI.

Those who give themselves up to soothsayers or to those who are called hecatontarchs or to any such, in order that they may learn from them what things376376    Bev. reads ὅτι. they wish to have revealed to them, let all such, according to the decrees lately made by the Fathers concerning them, be subjected to the canon of six years.  And to this [penalty] they also should be subjected who carry about377377    Bev. reads ἐπιφερομένους. she-bears or animals of the kind for the diversion and injury of the simple; as well as those who tell fortunes and fates, and genealogy, and a multitude of words of this kind from the nonsense of deceit and imposture.  Also those who are called expellers of clouds, enchanters, amulet-givers, and soothsayers.

And those who persist in these things, and do not turn away and flee from pernicious and Greek pursuits of this kind, we declare are to be thrust out of the Church, as also the sacred canons say.  “For what fellowship hath light with darkness?” as saith the Apostle, “or what agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?  And what concord hath Christ with Belial?”


Ancient Epitome of Canon LXI.

Whoever shall deliver himself over to a hecatontarch or to devils, so as to learn some secret, he shall be put under penance for six years.  So too those who take around a bear, who join themselves with those who seek incantations and drive away the clouds, and have faith in fortune and fate, shall be cast out of the assembly of the Church.


According to Balsamon (in Beveridge, Synod., Tom. I., p. 228) old people who had the reputation of special knowledge [were called “hecatontarchs”].  They sold the hair [of these she bears and other animals] as medicine or for an amulet.  Cf. Balsamon and Zonaras ut supra.

St. Chrysostom in his Homilies on the Statutes explains, in answer to certain who defended them on this ground, that if these incantations are made in the name of Christ they are so much the worse.  The Saint says, “Moreover I think that she is to be hated all the more who abuses the name of God for this purpose, because while professing to be a Christian, she shows by her actions that she is a heathen.”

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