Turks Franks Cumans and Manichaeans part 27

I rather wished to treat lightly of the doctrine of the Manicha~ans and to explain it very concisely, and even attempt a refutation of their most godless doctrines. But I will omit these as I know that everybody considers the Manichaean heresy an absurdity and also because I wish to hasten on with my history.

Moreover I know that not only men of our own court have refuted them, but that Porphyrius, our great opponent, reduced the nonsensical doctrine of the Manichaeans to utter absurdity when in several chapters he very scientifically examined the question of two principles, although his doctrine of the unity of God compels his readers -to support Plato’s “Unity ” or “the One.” We do indeed worship the unity of the Divine nature, but not that Unity which contains only one Person. Nor do we accept the ‘One’ of Plato; that which is with the Greeks, the ‘Mysterious’ and with the Chaldeans the ‘Ineffable’; for from it they make many other principles dependent, both mundane and hyper-mundane.

The regions of Chalybes and Armenia

Now these followers of Manes and of Paul and John, the sons of Callinice, who were very uncivilized and cruel and would not hesitate to shed blood, were conquered in war by that most admirable of Emperors, John Tzimisces; then he led them as slaves out of Asia and transported them from the regions of Chalybes and Armenia to Thrace and compelled them to take up their abode near Philippopolis. This he did firstly to drive them out of their strong cities and forts which they held as despotic rulers, and secondly to post them as trustworthy guards against the inroads of the Scythians by which the country of Thrace was often oppressed; for the barbarians crossed the passes of the Haemus and over-ran the plains below.

This Haemus is a very long mountain range running along a line parallel to Mount Rhodope. The range begins at the Euxine sea, leaves the cataracts a little on one side and continues right into Illyria; there it is cut through by the Adriatic Sea, I fancy, and emerges again in the opposite continent and finishes right away in the Hercynian forests. On either side of its slopes dwell many very wealthy tribes, the Dacians and the Thracians on the northern side, and on the southern, more Thracians and the Macedonians.

In olden days the Scythian nomads would cross the Haemus, before Alexius’ spear and his many battles brought them almost to extermination, and spoil the Roman territory with their large armies and especially the nearer towns, of which the chief one was the formerly renowned city of Philippopolis. But John Tzimisces converted our opponents of the Manichaean heresy into our allies, as far as arms are concerned, by opposing them as redoubtable forces to these Scythian nomads, and from that time the cities had a respite from most of their incursions. However the Manichaeans, being naturally free and unruly, soon acted as usua:1 and reverted to their original nature.

Read More about The Revolt of the Comneni part 3

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