THE STATE'S RELATIONS TO RELIGION. 447 offences, among which may be named atheism, denial of a providence of the gods, ridicule of the divinities acknowledged by the state, profanation, neglect and derision of the sacred festivals, offerings, and games, departure from usage in mak- ing offerings, injuries done to altars and temples, and viola- tion of the right of asylum belonging to them, profanation of graves and neglect of duties towards the dead, scoffing at mysteries or revealing them to the uninitiated, rooting up the sacred olive trees, intercourse with persons defiled by homi- cide, and the entrance of a murderer into a holy place.* An- other crime against religion, sacrilege (iepoa-vXia), seems to have been viewed in two lights, as a desecration of a temple, or as the abstraction of sacred property. In the worst form it was punished with death, confiscation of property, and pro- hibition of burial in Attic soil. The vague crime of impiety was visited with no absolute penalty, but the accuser and the court might estimate it as high as loss of life. It is highly interesting to find the Athenians punishing opinions, and that accusations were made against many of the philosophers. Thus, besides the well-known case of Socrates, Anaxagoras is said to have been prosecuted for teaching that the sun, then still regarded as a living divinity, was but a fiery mass of stone. Protagoras, Aristotle, Theodorus Atheus, and others are said to have sustained similar prosecutions for impiety. And it is remarkable that, with this censure of serious opinion, great license was allowed to the comic poets of putting the gods in the most ridiculous light, and even of introducing them on the stage in the most censurable and immoral parts of the national mythology. Towards the end of the Roman republic, Jews began to fre- Laws against jews ^uent the capital, and soon Christians also came andchnsdans. ^rz, who at first were confounded with Jews. They both were called, in popular language, through the eastern provinces, atheists, either as having no visible object of worship, or as rejecting the gods of the heathen among * These are enumerated by Meier u. Schoem., Att. Proc., pp. 300, 301, whose words I have for the most part translated.