Ἀπὸ δὲ τούτου τοῦ χρόνου πλείονι μανίᾳ κατὰ τῶν ἁγίων ἐκκλησιῶν ἐχρήσατο.  ἀποστείλας γὰρ κατήνεγκε Πέτρον τὸν ἀοίδιμον στυλίτην ἀπὸ πέτρας, καὶ μὴ ὑπείξαντα τοῖς δόγμασιν αὐτοῦ ζῶντα δήσας τῶν ποδῶν ἐν τοῖς Πελαγίου καὶ τοῦτον διὰ τῆς Μέσης συρόμενον ἐκέλευσε ῥιφῆναι, ἄλλους ἐν σάκκοις δεσμῶν καὶ λίθοις προσαρτίζων ἐν τῷ πελάγει ῥίπτεσθαι προσέταττεν, τυφλόνων, ῥινοκοπῶν, μάστιξι ξαίνων, καὶ πᾶν εἶδος κολάσεως κατὰ τῶν εὐσεβούντων ἐπινοῶν· καὶ ἐν μὲν τῇ πόλει δι’ ἑαυτοῦ ταῦτα ἔδρα καὶ τῶν ὁμοφρόνων αὐτοῦ, Ἀντωνίου, φημί, πατρικίου καὶ δομεστίκου τῶν σχολῶν καὶ Πέτρου μαγίστρου καὶ τοῦ ἐκπαιδευθέντος ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ λαοῦ τῶν ταγμάτων, ἐν δὲ τοῖς ἔξω θέμασι διὰ τῶν προρρηθέντων στρατηγῶν. αὐτὸς δὲ κιθαρῳδίαις ἔχαιρε καὶ συμποσιασμοῖς, αἰσχρολογίαις τε καὶ ὀρχησμοῖς ἐκπαιδεύων τοὺς περὶ αὐτόν. καὶ εἴ πού τις συμπίπτων ἢ ἀλγῶν τὴν συνήθη Χριστιανοῖς ἀφῆκε φωνήν, τὸ “θεοτόκε βοήθει,” ἢ παννυχεύων ἐφωράθη ἢ ἐκκλησίαις προσεδρεύων ἢ εὐλαβείᾳ συζῶν ἢ μὴ ὅρκοις χρώμενος ἀφειδῶς, ὡς ἐχθρὸς τοῦ βασιλέως ἐκολάζετο καὶ ἀμνημόνευτος ὠνομάζετο.
(Theophanes Homologetes, Chron. p. 442-443 de Boor)

From this time onwards he* behaved with increased fury towards the holy churches. He sent his men to remove the celebrated stylite Peter from his rock and, since the latter did not yield to his doctrines, had him tied by the feet and ordered him, too, to be dragged alive along the Mesê and thrown in the ditch of Pelagios. Others he tied up in sacks which he weighted with stones and commanded to be cast in the sea, and he went on blinding, amputating noses, scourging, and inventing every kind of torment for the pious. In the City he perpetrated these things by himself and through those who shared his views, namely Antony, patrician and domestic of the Schools, the magistros Peter, and the men of the tagmata who had been instructed by him, while in the provincial themata he did so through the aforementioned strategoi. He himself delighted in music and banquets and educated his courtiers by means of foul language and dancing. And if anyone on falling down or being in pain let out the usual Christian exclamation, ‘Mother of God, help me!’ or was convicted of attending night vigils or frequenting churches or living in piety without constantly using oaths, he was punished as an enemy of the emperor and was called an ‘unmentionable’.

* Konstantinos V.

(tr. Cyril A. Mango & Roger Scott)

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