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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

448                              POLITICAL SCIENCE.
whom they lived. Both religions were, as yet, without the
protection of the law, and the adherents of both were spread
through the empire. Both, by their exclusive monotheism
and aversion to idolatry, rebuked and called forth the hatred
of the populace; while the meetings of the Christians at the
love-feasts and the Lord's supper gave occasion to malicious
stories of grossly sensual practices in secret. The Jews,
moreover, were glad -to divert the ill-will of the populace
against themselves by joining in the outcry against the Chris-
tians. Add to this that the policy of Augustus and his suc-
cessor was to keep out foreign religions, strolling astrologers
from the east, and practisers of magic as much as possible.
Tiberius, it is said by Suetonius (vit. Tib., ^ 36), "checked
foreign ceremonies, both ^Egyptian and Judaean rites ; the
adherents to these religions being forced to burn their super-
stitious vestments with the utensils of their worship." Jewish
young men (at Rome) were sent as soldiers into unhealthy
provinces, and the other residents of the same nation * lie sent
out of the city, threatening them with slavery unless they
obeyed. When the Christians were persecuted, the old prac-
tice of forbidding religiones illicit^ seems to have justified
doing this at first. Afterwards, from the well known letter of
Pliny to Trajan (Epist., x., 97), we find that a special edict had
been issued against hetceria, brotherhoods or unions, so called
in a Greek-speaking province, and answering to sodalitates>
also frowned upon at Rome. (ib.y x., 43.) Thus political sus-
picion must have been one ground for the persecution in
Bithynia, under one of the best emperors. A little before
this time it would seem as if atheism itself, i. e., Judaism, in-
cluding Christianity, had become a crime, for Dio Cass. tells
us (Ixvii., 14) that under Domitian, A.D. 95, the death of
Flavius Clemens, then consul, and the banishment of his wife
Flavia Domitilla, were procured by the tyrant " on the charge
of atheism, on which charge many others were condemned
* "Reliquos gentis ejusdem vel similia sectatos."    The last words
seem to refer to proselytes, not Jews, but of similar faith.