Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Last Pagans Plead for Tolerance

God has made diversity a common attribute of the nature of men, so that all should be duly disposed to piety but the mode of their worship should depend on the will of each. Remember, Lord, that the Author of the universe rejoiced in this diversity. . . . This is a law against which no confiscation, no crucifixion, no death at the stake has ever yet availed. You may maim and kill the body, but the mind will escape you, taking with it freedom of thought and the right of the law as it goes, even if it is subjected to force in the language used by the tongue.
--Themistius to Emperor Jovian
There cannot be only one way to so great a secret.
--Symmachus on the removal of the pagan altar from the Senate House.

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