Excerpt: ...Jews, which was in no way a concern of ours, as we are tolerant of the religions of all people." "But Suetonius attacked our sacred island and slew the priests on the altars," Beric objected. "That is quite true," Norbanus said, "but his had nothing whatever to do with the religion, but was simply because the priests stirred up ...Read MoreExcerpt: ...Jews, which was in no way a concern of ours, as we are tolerant of the religions of all people." "But Suetonius attacked our sacred island and slew the priests on the altars," Beric objected. "That is quite true," Norbanus said, "but his had nothing whatever to do with the religion, but was simply because the priests stirred up insurrection against us. We have temples in Rome to the deities of almost every nation we have subdued, and have suffered without objection the preachers of this new doctrine to make converts. The persecutions that have already begun against the sect are not because they believe in this Christus, but because they refuse to perform the duties incumbent upon all Roman citizens. Two of my slaves belong to the sect. They know well that I care not to what religion they belong, and indeed, for my part, I should be glad to see all my slaves join them, for the moral teaching is high, and these slaves would not steal from me, however good the opportunity. That is more than I can say of the others. Doubtless, had I been fixed in Rome, the fact that they belonged to these people would have been kept a secret, but in the provinces no one troubles his head about such matters. These are, to my mind, matters of private opinion, and they have leave from me to go on their meeting days to the place where they assemble, for even here there are enough of them to form a gathering. "So long as this is done quietly it is an offence to no one. The matter was discussed the other day among us, for orders against Christians came from Rome; but when the thing was spoken of I said that, as I believed members of the sect were chiefly slaves, who were not called upon to perform military duties, I could not deem that the order applied to them, and that as these were harmless people, and their religion taught them to discharge their duty in all matters save that of carrying arms, I could not see why they should be interfered with. Moreover, did we move in...Read Less
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