Turks Franks Cumans and Manichaeans part 29

Consequently many of the Manichaeans on that occasion went to the priests without any hesitation, confessed their sins and received divine baptism. But many too could be seen who with a tenacity exceeding that of the Maccabeans of old clung to their own religion and quoted passages and proofs from the sacred writings, thinking thereby to confirm their own detestable doctrine. But by the Emperor’s continuous arguments and frequent admonitions the majority of these too were convinced and accepted divine baptism. For from the first rays of the sun in the East to deepest night very often the controversy was continued and he would not desist from the conference but often remained without food and this too in summer-time in an open-air tent.

Without delay the Emperor started for the Danube

IX While this was going on and that wordy disputation with the Manichaeans was being hammered out, a messenger came from the Ister and announced that the Comans had crossed. Without delay the Emperor started for the Danube, taking with him what soldiers he had. On reaching Bidyne and not finding the barbarians (for they had already crossed back directly they heard of the Emperor’s approach) he at once detached a band of brave soldiers and bade them go in pursuit of the barbarians. So they crossed the Danube and started off after them.

They pursued them for three days and nights but when they found that the Comans had crossed the river beyond the Danube on rafts, they returned to the Emperor without having effected anything. The Emperor was indeed somewhat annoyed that his soldiers had not over-taken the barbarians, and yet he considered it a species of victory that by the mere sound of his name he had driven the barbarians away, and converted many from the Manichaean heresy to our faith. So he set up a double trophy, one for a victory over the barbarians by means of arms, and the other over the heretics by most pious discourses.

Then he returned to Philippopolis and after a short rest applied himself to fresh contests. For Culeon and Cusinus and with them Pholus, the chief upholders of the Manichaean heresy, and in other respects like the rest of the Manichaeans, but clever at maintaining their heterodoxy, were adamantine against all verbal persuasion; they were also exceedingly able in pulling the Scriptures to pieces and in interpreting them perversely; so the Emperor summoned them every day and engaged in a war of words with them. Then could be seen a double contest–on the one side, the Emperor contending with all his might for their salvation, and on the other, these three men disputing earnestly to gain, if possible, a so-called Cadmean victory.

Read More about Victory over the Turks part 22

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