Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. III:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
The Ecclesiastical History, Dialogues, and Letters of Theodoret.: Of the sorcery at Carræ which was detected after his death. After he was slain the jugglery of his sorcery was detected. For Carræ is a city which still retains the relics of his false religion.
Chapter XXI.—Of the sorcery at Carræ which was detected after his death. After he was slain the jugglery of his sorcery was detected. For Carræ is a city which still retains the relics of his false religion.
Julian had left Edessa on his left because it was adorned with the grace of true religion, and while in his vain folly he was journeying through Carræ, he came to the temple honoured by the impious and after going through certain rites with his companions in defilement, he locked and sealed the doors, and stationed sentinels with orders to see that none came in till his return. When news came of his death, and the reign of iniquity was succeeded by one of piety, the shrine was opened, and within was found a proof of the late emperors manliness, wisdom, and piety. 662 For there was seen a woman hung up on high by the hairs of her head, and with her hands outstretched. The villain had cut open her belly, and so I suppose learnt from her liver his victory over the Persians. 663
This was the abomination discovered at Carræ.
The reading εὐσέβειαν for ἀσέβειαν seems to keep up the irony.106:663
ἡπατοσκοπία, or “inspection of the liver,” was a recognized form of divination. cf. the Sept. of Ez. xxi. 21. “καὶ ἐπερωτῆσαι ἐν τοῖς γλυπτοῖς, καὶ ἡπατοςκοπήσασθαι” and Cic. de div. ii. 13. “Caput jecoris ex omni parte diligentissime considerant; si vero id non est inventum, nihil putant accidere potuisse tristius.” Vide also Æsch. Pr. V. 503, and Paleys note.
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