Page:A History of the Inquisition of the Middle Ages-Volume I .pdf/236

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urging Narses to suppress heresy by force, sought to quiet the scruples of the soldier by assuring him that to prevent or to punish evil was not persecution, but love. It became the general doctrine of the Church, as expressed by St. Isidor of Seville, that princes are bound not only to be orthodox themselves, but to preserve the purity of the faith by the fullest exercise of their power against heretics. How abundantly these assiduous teachings bore their bitter fruit is shown in the deplorable history of the Church during those centuries, consisting as it does of heresy after heresy relentlessly exterminated, until the Council of Constantinopole, under the Patriarch Michael Oxista, introduced the penalty of burning alive as the punishment of the Bogomili. Nor were the heretics always behindhand, when they gained opportunity, in improving the lesson which had been taught them so effectually. The persecution of the Catholics by the Arian Vandals in Africa under Genseric was quite worthy of orthodoxy; and when Hunneric succeeded his father, and his proposition to the Emperor Zeno of mutual toleration was refused, his barbarous zeal was inflamed to pitiless wrath. Under King Euric the Wisigoth, also, there was a spasmodic persecution in Aquitaine. Yet, as a rule, the Arian Goths and Burgundians set an example of toleration worthy of imitation, and their conversion to Catholicism was attended with but little cruelty on either side, except a passing ebullition in Spain at the crisis under Leuvigild, about 585, followed by disturbances which were rather political than religious. Later Catholic monarchs, however, enacted laws punishing with exile and confiscation any deviations from orthodoxy, which are notable as the only examples of the kind under the Barbarians. The Catholic Merovingians in France seem never to have troubled their Arian subjects, who were numerous in Burgundy and Aquitaine. The conversion of these latter was gradual and apparently peaceful.[1]

  1. Cod. Eccles. African. c. 67, 93. Augustin. Epist. 185 ad Bouifac. c. 7.Ejusd. contra Cresconium Lib. m. c. 47.-Possidii Vit. Augustini c. 12.-Leonis PP. I. Epist. 60.-Pelagii PP. I. Epistt. 1, 2.- Isidori Hispalens. Sententt. Lib IT. C. l. 3-6.-Balsamon. in Photii Nomocanon Tit. ix. c. 25. Victor. Vitens de Persecutione Vandalica Lib. 1IIVictor. Tunenens. Chron. ann. 479.-Sidon Apollin. Epistt. VII. 6.-Isidor. Hist. de Regg. Gothor. c. 50.-Pelayo, Heterodoxos Españoles, I. 195 sqq.-Legg. Wisigoth. Lib. xii. Tit. ii. 1. 2; Tit. ii, l1. 1,2 (cf. Fuero Juzgo eod. loc.)