Death by Burning, c.100-300 AD

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Leucius Charinus
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Re: Death by Burning, c.100-300 AD

Post by Leucius Charinus »

billd89 wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 12:14 pm Some early Xian atrocities listed here:
https://churchandstate.org.uk/2016/06/c ... rsecution/
Atrocities mentioned at link:

370
Valens orders a tremendous persecution of non-Christian peoples in all the Eastern Empire. In Antioch, among many other non-Christians, the ex-governor Fidustius and the priests Hilarius and Patricius are executed. Tons of books are burnt in the squares of the cities of the Eastern Empire. All the friends of Julianus are persecuted (Orebasius, Sallustius, Pegasius etc.), the philosopher Simonides is burned alive and the philosopher Maximus is decapitated.

395
Two new edicts (22nd July and 7th August) cause new persecutions against Pagans. Rufinus, the eunuch Prime Minister of emperor Flavius Arcadius directs the hordes of the baptised Goths (led by Alaric) to the country of the Hellenes. Encouraged by Christian monks the barbarians sack and burn many cities (Dion, Delphi, Megara, Corinth, Pheneos, Argos, Nemea, Lycosoura, Sparta, Messene, Phigaleia, Olympia, etc.), slaughter or enslave innumerable gentile Hellenes and burn down all the temples. Among others, they burn down the Eleusinian Sanctuary and burn alive all its priests (including the hierophant of Mithras Hilarius).

415
In Alexandria, Egypt, the Christian mob, urged by the bishop Cyrillus, attacks a few days before the Judaeo-Christian Pascha (Easter) and cuts to pieces the famous and beautiful philosopher Hypatia. The pieces of her body, carried around by the Christian mob through the streets of Alexandria, are finally burned together with her books in a place called Cynaron. On 30th August, new persecutions start against all the Pagan priests of North Africa who end their lives either crucified or burned alive.

528
Emperor Jutprada (Justinianus) outlaws the “alternative” Olympian Games of Antioch. He also orders the execution—by fire, crucifixion, tearing to pieces by wild beasts or cutting to pieces by iron nails—of all who practice “sorcery, divination, magic or idolatry” and prohibits all teachings by the Pagans

(“the ones suffering from the blasphemous insanity of the Hellenes”).

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Re: Death by Burning, c.100-300 AD

Post by andrewcriddle »

Leucius Charinus wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 4:09 am
billd89 wrote: Fri Aug 05, 2022 12:14 pm Some early Xian atrocities listed here:
https://churchandstate.org.uk/2016/06/c ... rsecution/
Atrocities mentioned at link:

370
Valens orders a tremendous persecution of non-Christian peoples in all the Eastern Empire. In Antioch, among many other non-Christians, the ex-governor Fidustius and the priests Hilarius and Patricius are executed. Tons of books are burnt in the squares of the cities of the Eastern Empire. All the friends of Julianus are persecuted (Orebasius, Sallustius, Pegasius etc.), the philosopher Simonides is burned alive and the philosopher Maximus is decapitated.

395
Two new edicts (22nd July and 7th August) cause new persecutions against Pagans. Rufinus, the eunuch Prime Minister of emperor Flavius Arcadius directs the hordes of the baptised Goths (led by Alaric) to the country of the Hellenes. Encouraged by Christian monks the barbarians sack and burn many cities (Dion, Delphi, Megara, Corinth, Pheneos, Argos, Nemea, Lycosoura, Sparta, Messene, Phigaleia, Olympia, etc.), slaughter or enslave innumerable gentile Hellenes and burn down all the temples. Among others, they burn down the Eleusinian Sanctuary and burn alive all its priests (including the hierophant of Mithras Hilarius).

415
In Alexandria, Egypt, the Christian mob, urged by the bishop Cyrillus, attacks a few days before the Judaeo-Christian Pascha (Easter) and cuts to pieces the famous and beautiful philosopher Hypatia. The pieces of her body, carried around by the Christian mob through the streets of Alexandria, are finally burned together with her books in a place called Cynaron. On 30th August, new persecutions start against all the Pagan priests of North Africa who end their lives either crucified or burned alive.

528
Emperor Jutprada (Justinianus) outlaws the “alternative” Olympian Games of Antioch. He also orders the execution—by fire, crucifixion, tearing to pieces by wild beasts or cutting to pieces by iron nails—of all who practice “sorcery, divination, magic or idolatry” and prohibits all teachings by the Pagans

(“the ones suffering from the blasphemous insanity of the Hellenes”).

Simonides was executed (possibly on false information) for seeking to predict the replacement of Valens by another Emperor.
https://lexundria.com/amm/29.1/y

I can't find a primary source for the death of Hilarius. Can you supply one please ?

Andrew Criddle
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John T
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Re: Death by Burning, c.100-300 AD

Post by John T »

andrewcriddle wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 3:49 am I can't find any examples of a Christian government killing by burning a heretic before the year 1000 CE. (I am excluding death by burning for offences other than heresy and execution for heresy by means other than burning. )

After 1000 we have examples in East and West. Basil the Bogomil was burnt in 1110 in Byzantium.
In 1022 supposed heretics were apparently burnt in Orleans.
The routine use of this method of execution for heresy develops in the West in the late 1100's.

Andrew Criddle
John Calvin the Presbyterian founder had Michael Servetus burned at the stake for his rejection of the Trinity, October 27, 1553. Of course Calvin himself did not light the match but it was his doing from start to finish.

It is estimated that Calvin had over 40 innocent people murdered for their religious or non-religious faith.
Calvin is a prime example of a right-wing terrorist.
Ironically, Calvin was condemned to be burnt at the stake by the Pope if he was ever caught.
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Leucius Charinus
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Re: Death by Burning, c.100-300 AD

Post by Leucius Charinus »

andrewcriddle wrote: Sat Aug 06, 2022 4:27 am
Simonides was executed (possibly on false information) for seeking to predict the replacement of Valens by another Emperor.
https://lexundria.com/amm/29.1/y
Here is what we have in Ammianus:

36
After the establishment of these facts, the prisoners were removed; and Eutropius, who at that time was governing Asia with the rank of proconsul, having been involved in the accusation as having been a partisan of theirs, was nevertheless acquitted; being exculpated by Pasiphilus the philosopher, who, though cruelly tortured to make him implicate Eutropius by a wicked lie, could not be moved from his vigorous resolution and fortitude.

37
To that was added the philosopher Simonides, a young man, but the most rigidly virtuous of all men in our time. An information had been laid against him as having been made aware of what was going on by Fidustius, as he saw that his cause depended, not on its truth, but on the will of one man, avowed that he had known all that was alleged, but had forborne to mention it out of regard for his character for constancy.

38
When all these matters had been minutely inquired into, the emperor, in answer to the question addressed to him by the judges, ordered them all to be condemned and at once executed: and it was not without shuddering that the vast populace beheld the mournful spectacle; filling the whole air with lamentations (since they looked on the misery of each individual as threatening the whole community with a similar fate) when the whole number of accused persons, except Simonides, were executed in a melancholy manner. Simonides being reserved to be burnt alive by the express command of the savage judge, who was enraged at his dignified constancy.

39
And he, abandoning life as an imperious mistress, and defying the sudden destruction thus coming on him, was burnt without giving any sign of shrinking; imitating, in his death, the philosopher Peregrinus, surnamed Proteus, who having determined to quit the world, at the quinquennial games of Olympia, in the sight of all Greece, mounted a funeral pile which he had built himself, and was there burnt alive.

40
After his death, on the ensuing days a vast multitude of almost all ranks, whose names it would be too arduous a task to enumerate, being convicted by calumnious accusations, were despatched by the executioners, after having been first exhausted by every description of torture. Some were put to death without a moment’s breathing-time or delay, while the question was still being asked whether they deserved to be punished at all; in fact, men were slaughtered like sheep in all directions.

41
After this, innumerable quantities of papers, and many heaps of volumes were collected, and burnt under the eyes of the judges, having been taken out of various houses as unlawful books; in order to lessen the unpopularity arising from so many executions, though in fact, the greater part of them were books teaching various kinds of liberal accomplishments, or books of law.


Simonides was executed - death by burning. "in fact," says Ammianus, "men were slaughtered like sheep in all directions." This was Valens. Theodosius turned up the heat and things got steadily worse for the typical pagan in the street. Welcome to the world of the end-game of Christian Revolution of the 4th century.

In the beginning it was Constantine who first started the torture of pagan philosophers and magistrates in Antioch. Following his first attested oration as the the supreme military ruler and emperor he ordered for the torture pagans "in authority in the city" - so that they admitted religious fraud.



395
Two new edicts (22nd July and 7th August) cause new persecutions against Pagans. Rufinus, the eunuch Prime Minister of emperor Flavius Arcadius directs the hordes of the baptised Goths (led by Alaric) to the country of the Hellenes. Encouraged by Christian monks the barbarians sack and burn many cities (Dion, Delphi, Megara, Corinth, Pheneos, Argos, Nemea, Lycosoura, Sparta, Messene, Phigaleia, Olympia, etc.), slaughter or enslave innumerable gentile Hellenes and burn down all the temples. Among others, they burn down the Eleusinian Sanctuary and burn alive all its priests (including the hierophant of Mithras Hilarius).

I can't find a primary source for the death of Hilarius. Can you supply one please ?
Thanks Andrew. Don't have one at the moment. Spent some time googling but empty handed at the moment. Many times I have wished to obtain Vlasis Rassias, "Demolish Them!" just to be able to determine the footnotes. BTW has anyone read the book (in Greek I believe)?


I have certainly tracked down some his references myself. One of the more important claims he makes is this one:

359
In Skythopolis, Syria, the Christians organise the first death camps for the torture and executions of the arrested non-Christians from all around the empire.

The source for this is also Ammianus. (Book 19,CH 12) IMO this is the first attested Christian State inquisition in history. The deaths "involving numbers without end". The Christianisation of the empire in the 4th century has a very grim history.
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Re: Put to Death, by Burning?

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I'm aware Christianity wasn't State-sanctioned in the Empire until AFTER 300 AD. I wondered about the immolation of apostates/heretics by any groups or minor authorities (recorded, but that I do not know of) before 300 AD.

I was also curious if/when Nazoreans might have been burned, either by Roman or Jewish or Christian authorities. The suggestion Nazoreans and the Fire of Rome (true or false) is also duly noted. So what is meant exactly by this:

Donald K. Sharpes, Outcasts and Heretics: Profiles in Independent Thought and Courage [2007], p.140:
... orthodox Jews did not wait for further events to overwhelm them, and about eighty-five Jewish officials anathematized the Nazarene movement and made it a part of their liturgy thus officially branding all Nazarenes heretics.18 Christian heresy would soon follow this precedent. In quick succession came six heretics — Basilides, Marcion, Valentinus, Montanus, Nestorius, Arius — each with his own interpretation of who Jesus was, and what the writings about him meant.

18.Known from documents found among a large deposit of medieval manuscripts in the Cairo Genizah in the late nineteenth century. "For the apostates let there be no hope... and may the Nazarenes and the heretics perish in a moment and be blotted out of the Book of Life..." {or: "Let the noẓerim and the minim be destroyed quickly..." "May the Nazarenes (ha-naẓarim/noṣrim/notzrim) and the sectarians (minim) perish as in a moment. Let them be blotted out of the Book of Life..."}


Revelation 20:15: "And if any one's name was not found recorded in the Book of Life he was thrown into the Lake of Fire."

Condemned to the pyre. Where does THAT come from? It is exquisitely Egyptian. Self-immolation, immolation of books (and heretics?), recall the terrifying vision of Zosimos of Panopolis (a memory of an atrocity, I suppose: "Zosimos saw a crowd of people immersed in boiling water on the altar, burned and wailing"), etc.

Philo Judaeus is rather on point, isn't he? It doesn't seem to be merely symbolic, by context and inference.

Mireille Hadas-Lebel, Philo of Alexandria: A Thinker in the Jewish Diaspora [2012],pp.172-3:
Philo, in the 'Letter from Calanus', alludes to the Indian practice of suicide by fire: “Immense are the sufferings that Fire occasions in the living organisms it consumes. But in our case, we take hold of ourselves: we all burn alive”. Philo attests elsewhere41 to a certain admiration for the Indian Gymnosophists who, he says, “even now, when the long incurable disease of old age begins to take hold of them, before they are completely in its clutches, make up a funeral pyre and burn themselves on it.

And burning the house of books.
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Re: Death by Burning, c.100-300 AD

Post by andrewcriddle »

The claim about Hilarius may be a distortion of Eunapius

Where we have two passages:
a/ The end of Eleusis during the invasion of Alaric
Now when his studies with them were prospering, he heard that there was a higher wisdom in Greece, possessed by the hierophant of the goddesses,67 and hastened to him with all speed. The name of him who was at that time hierophant it is not lawful for me to tell 68; for he initiated the author of this narrative. By birth he was descended from the Eumolpidae. 69 He it was who in the presence of the author of this book foretold the overthrow of the temples and the ruin of the whole of Greece, and he clearly testified that after his death there would be a hierophant who would have no right to touch the hierophant's high seat, because he had been consecrated to the service of other gods and had sworn oaths of the uttermost sanctity that he would not preside over temples other than theirs. Nevertheless he foretold that this man would so preside, though he was not even an Athenian. To such prophetic power did he attain that he prophesied that in his own lifetime the sacred temples would be razed to the ground and laid waste, and that that other would live to see their ruin and would be despised for his overweening ambition; that the worship of the Goddesses would come to an end before his own death, and that deprived of his honour his life would no longer be that of a hierophant, and that he would not reach old age. Thus indeed it came to pass. For no sooner was the citizen of Thespiae made hierophant, he who fathered the ritual of Mithras,70 than without delay many inexplicable disasters came on in a flood. Some of these have been described in the more detailed narrative of my History, others, if it be permitted by the powers above, I shall |439 relate. It was the time when Alaric with his barbarians invaded Greece by the pass of Thermopylae, as easily as though he were traversing an open stadium or a plain suitable for cavalry. For this gateway of Greece was thrown open to him by the impiety of the men clad in black raiment,71 who entered Greece unhindered along with him, and by the fact that the laws and restrictions of the hierophantic ordinances had been rescinded. But all this happened in later days, and my narrative digressed because I mentioned the prophecy.
b/ The death of Hilarius
Hilarius too was known to the author; he was by birth a Bithynian, but he grew old at Athens, and, besides the whole range of learning, he had so mastered the art of painting that it seemed as though in his hands Euphranor was still alive. The author of this narrative used to admire and love him beyond other men, because of the beauty of his portraits. Nevertheless, even Hilarius could not escape his share in the general disasters, for he was captured outside Athens (he was staying somewhere near Corinth), and together with his slaves was beheaded by the barbarians.96
Even if FTSOA Hilarius was the unnamed last hierophant at Eleusis, Eunapius says he was beheaded not burnt.

Andrew Criddle
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Re: Put to Death, by Burning?

Post by John T »

billd89 wrote: Sun Aug 07, 2022 9:13 am
Revelation 20:15: "And if any one's name was not found recorded in the Book of Life he was thrown into the Lake of Fire."

Condemned to the pyre. Where does THAT come from? It is exquisitely Egyptian. Self-immolation, immolation of books (and heretics?), recall the terrifying vision of Zosimos of Panopolis (a memory of an atrocity, I suppose: "Zosimos saw a crowd of people immersed in boiling water on the altar, burned and wailing"), etc.

Philo Judaeus is rather on point, isn't he? It doesn't seem to be merely symbolic, by context and inference.
You are conflating Lake of Fire with pyre. Got to keep them separated.

Whereas Theodosius (381 CE) condemn Manicheans to be hunted down and killed. There is no record I know of calling for them to be burned at the stake. In reality, it was more of threat than a practice. "The historian Theodoret, writing in the late 440's, recalls that their suppression was accomplished "without tumult or bloodshed in all the provinces of the East." When Jesus Became God. pg 225

It may come across as strange to billd89 but early Christians unlike like Jews and pagan Romans did not call for the death of non-believers/blasphemers.

Also, the early Christians just like today would have condemn the left-wing fire bombings of pro-life groups.
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Re: Death by Burning, c.100-300 AD

Post by Leucius Charinus »

andrewcriddle wrote: Sun Aug 07, 2022 11:31 am The claim about Hilarius may be a distortion of Eunapius

Where we have two passages:
a/ The end of Eleusis during the invasion of Alaric
Now when his studies with them were prospering, he heard that there was a higher wisdom in Greece, possessed by the hierophant of the goddesses,67 and hastened to him with all speed. The name of him who was at that time hierophant it is not lawful for me to tell 68; for he initiated the author of this narrative. By birth he was descended from the Eumolpidae. 69 He it was who in the presence of the author of this book foretold the overthrow of the temples and the ruin of the whole of Greece, and he clearly testified that after his death there would be a hierophant who would have no right to touch the hierophant's high seat, because he had been consecrated to the service of other gods and had sworn oaths of the uttermost sanctity that he would not preside over temples other than theirs. Nevertheless he foretold that this man would so preside, though he was not even an Athenian. To such prophetic power did he attain that he prophesied that in his own lifetime the sacred temples would be razed to the ground and laid waste, and that that other would live to see their ruin and would be despised for his overweening ambition; that the worship of the Goddesses would come to an end before his own death, and that deprived of his honour his life would no longer be that of a hierophant, and that he would not reach old age. Thus indeed it came to pass. For no sooner was the citizen of Thespiae made hierophant, he who fathered the ritual of Mithras,70 than without delay many inexplicable disasters came on in a flood. Some of these have been described in the more detailed narrative of my History, others, if it be permitted by the powers above, I shall |439 relate. It was the time when Alaric with his barbarians invaded Greece by the pass of Thermopylae, as easily as though he were traversing an open stadium or a plain suitable for cavalry. For this gateway of Greece was thrown open to him by the impiety of the men clad in black raiment,71 who entered Greece unhindered along with him, and by the fact that the laws and restrictions of the hierophantic ordinances had been rescinded. But all this happened in later days, and my narrative digressed because I mentioned the prophecy.
b/ The death of Hilarius
Hilarius too was known to the author; he was by birth a Bithynian, but he grew old at Athens, and, besides the whole range of learning, he had so mastered the art of painting that it seemed as though in his hands Euphranor was still alive. The author of this narrative used to admire and love him beyond other men, because of the beauty of his portraits. Nevertheless, even Hilarius could not escape his share in the general disasters, for he was captured outside Athens (he was staying somewhere near Corinth), and together with his slaves was beheaded by the barbarians.96
Even if FTSOA Hilarius was the unnamed last hierophant at Eleusis, Eunapius says he was beheaded not burnt.
Thanks Andrew. Yes it is possible that the claim may be a distortion of Eunapius. Or there may be another source intended. I would like to know whether in his book "Demolish Them!" the author (Rassias) has his massive list of claims footnoted with his sources.

https://www.rassias.gr/9011.html
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Re: Death by Burning, c.100-300 AD

Post by andrewcriddle »

Leucius Charinus wrote: Sun Aug 07, 2022 4:41 pm
andrewcriddle wrote: Sun Aug 07, 2022 11:31 am The claim about Hilarius may be a distortion of Eunapius

Where we have two passages:
a/ The end of Eleusis during the invasion of Alaric
Now when his studies with them were prospering, he heard that there was a higher wisdom in Greece, possessed by the hierophant of the goddesses,67 and hastened to him with all speed. The name of him who was at that time hierophant it is not lawful for me to tell 68; for he initiated the author of this narrative. By birth he was descended from the Eumolpidae. 69 He it was who in the presence of the author of this book foretold the overthrow of the temples and the ruin of the whole of Greece, and he clearly testified that after his death there would be a hierophant who would have no right to touch the hierophant's high seat, because he had been consecrated to the service of other gods and had sworn oaths of the uttermost sanctity that he would not preside over temples other than theirs. Nevertheless he foretold that this man would so preside, though he was not even an Athenian. To such prophetic power did he attain that he prophesied that in his own lifetime the sacred temples would be razed to the ground and laid waste, and that that other would live to see their ruin and would be despised for his overweening ambition; that the worship of the Goddesses would come to an end before his own death, and that deprived of his honour his life would no longer be that of a hierophant, and that he would not reach old age. Thus indeed it came to pass. For no sooner was the citizen of Thespiae made hierophant, he who fathered the ritual of Mithras,70 than without delay many inexplicable disasters came on in a flood. Some of these have been described in the more detailed narrative of my History, others, if it be permitted by the powers above, I shall |439 relate. It was the time when Alaric with his barbarians invaded Greece by the pass of Thermopylae, as easily as though he were traversing an open stadium or a plain suitable for cavalry. For this gateway of Greece was thrown open to him by the impiety of the men clad in black raiment,71 who entered Greece unhindered along with him, and by the fact that the laws and restrictions of the hierophantic ordinances had been rescinded. But all this happened in later days, and my narrative digressed because I mentioned the prophecy.
b/ The death of Hilarius
Hilarius too was known to the author; he was by birth a Bithynian, but he grew old at Athens, and, besides the whole range of learning, he had so mastered the art of painting that it seemed as though in his hands Euphranor was still alive. The author of this narrative used to admire and love him beyond other men, because of the beauty of his portraits. Nevertheless, even Hilarius could not escape his share in the general disasters, for he was captured outside Athens (he was staying somewhere near Corinth), and together with his slaves was beheaded by the barbarians.96
Even if FTSOA Hilarius was the unnamed last hierophant at Eleusis, Eunapius says he was beheaded not burnt.
Thanks Andrew. Yes it is possible that the claim may be a distortion of Eunapius. Or there may be another source intended. I would like to know whether in his book "Demolish Them!" the author (Rassias) has his massive list of claims footnoted with his sources.

https://www.rassias.gr/9011.html
After a lot of searching I can't find any source except Eunapius. And I am increasingly doubtful whether Eunapius can be taken to imply that Hilarius (mentioned only by Eunapius who liked him) was the unnamed last hierophant at Eleusis whom Eunapius disapproved of.

Andrew Criddle
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