Fordham University

 

Home | Ancient History Sourcebook | Medieval SourcebookModern History Sourcebook | Byzantine Studies Page
Other History Sourcebooks: African | East Asian | Global | Indian | IslamicJewishLesbian and Gay | Science | Women's


Ancient History


Full Texts Legal Texts Additions Search Help


Studying History Human Origins Mesopotamia Egypt Persia Israel Greece Hellenistic World Rome Late Antiquity Christian Origins
IHSP Credits

Ancient History Sourcebook:
Deeds of Zenophilus:
How the Romans Tried to Seize Christian Books, c. 395 CE


[Davis Introduction]

In the great persecution started by Diocletian, a special effort was made to seize all copies of the Christian scriptures, in the hope of depriving the persecuted sect of the means of preserving and propagating its doctrines. The following tells how the search for the books was conducted in Cirta, an important city of Numidia.

When the magistrates and a policeman, guided by the apostatizing secretaries of the bishop, came to the house of Felix the tailor, he brought out five books, and when they came to the house of Proiectus he brought out five big and two little books. Victor the schoolmaster brought out two books, and four books of five volumes each. Felix the "Perpetual Flamen" said to him: "Bring your scriptures out: you have more." Victor the schoolmaster said, "If I had had more I should have brought them out."

When they came to the house of Eutychia who was a Caesarian [i.e., in the government service], the flamen said, "Bring out your books that you may obey the law." "I have none," he replied. "Your answer," said Felix the flamen, "is taken down."

At the house of Coddeo, Coddeo's wife brought out six books. Felix said "Look and see if you have not got some more." The woman said, "I have no more." Felix said to Bos, the policeman, "Go in and see if she has any more." The policeman reported "I have looked and found none."


Source:

From: William Stearns Davis, ed., Readings in Ancient History: Illustrative Extracts from the Sources, 2 Vols. (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1912-13), Vol. II: Rome and the West,  289-290.

Scanned by: J. S. Arkenberg, Dept. of History, Cal. State Fullerton. Prof. Arkenberg has modernized the text.


This text is part of the Internet Ancient History Sourcebook. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts related to medieval and Byzantine history.

Unless otherwise indicated the specific electronic form of the document is copyright. Permission is granted for electronic copying, distribution in print form for educational purposes and personal use. No representation is made about texts which are linked off-site, although in most cases these are also public domain. If you do reduplicate the document, indicate the source. No permission is granted for commercial use.

© Paul Halsall, June 1998
halsall@murray.fordham.edu