To help counter Christians in denial, a Greek correspondent, Florin Achaios, has submitted the following chronology of Christian persecution especially of the Greeks…
314 Immediately after its full legalisation, the Christian Church attacks the gentiles (non-Christians). The Council of Ancyra denounces the worship of Goddess Artemis.
324 The emperor Constantine declares Christianity as the only official religion of the Roman empire. In Dydima, Minor Asia, he sacks the Oracle of the god Apollo and tortures the Pagan priests to death. He also evicts all non-Christian peoples from Mount Athos and destroys all the local Hellenic temples.
326 Constantine, following the instructions of his mother Helen, destroys the temple of the god Asclepius in Aigeai Cilicia and many temples of the goddess Aphrodite in Jerusalem, Aphaca, Mambre, Phoenicia, Baalbek, etc.
330 Constantine steals the treasures and statues of the Pagan temples of Greece to decorate Nova Roma (Constantinople), the new capital of his Empire.
335 Constantine sacks many Pagan temples of Minor Asia and Palestine and orders the execution by crucifixion of “all magicians and soothsayers”. Martyrdom of the neoplatonist philosopher Sopatrus.
341 Flavius Julius Constantius persecutes “all the soothsayers and the Hellenists”. Many gentile Hellenes are either imprisoned or executed.
346 New large scale persecutions against non-Christian peoples in Constantinople. Banishment of the famous orator Libanius accused as a “magician”.
353 An edict of Constantius orders the death penalty for all kind of worship through sacrifices and “idols”.
354 A new edict of Constantius orders the closing of all Pagan Temples. Some of them are profaned and turned into brothels or gambling rooms. Executions of Pagan priests. First burning of libraries in various cities of the Empire. The first lime factories are built next to closed Pagan Temples. A large part of Sacred Gentile architecture is turned into lime.
356 A new edict of Constantius orders the destruction of the Pagan Temples and the execution of all “idolaters”.
357 Constantius outlaws all methods of Divination (Astrology not excluded).
359 In Skythopolis, Syria, the Christians organise the first death camps for the torture and executions of the arrested non-Christians from all around the empire.
361 to 363 Religious tolerance and restoration of the Pagan cults declared in Constantinople (11th December 361) by the Pagan emperor Flavius Claudius Julianus.
363 Assassination of Emperor Julianus (26th June).
364 Emperor Flavius Jovianus orders the burning of the Library of Antioch. An Imperial edict (11th September) orders the death penalty for all Gentiles that worship their ancestral Gods or practice Divination (“sileat omnibus perpetuo divinandi uriositas”). Three different edicts (4th February, 9th September, 23rd December) order the confiscation of all properties of Pagan Temples and the death penalty for participation in Pagan rituals, even private ones.
365 An Imperial edict (17th November) forbids the gentile (Pagan) officers of the army to command Christian soldiers.
370 Valens orders a tremendous persecution of non-Christian peoples in all the Eastern Empire. In Antioch, among many other non-Christians, the ex-governor Fidustius and the priests Hilarius and Patricius are executed. Tons of books are burnt in the squares of the cities of the Eastern Empire. All the friends of Julianus are persecuted (Orebasius, Sallustius, Pegasius etc.), the philosopher Simonides is burned alive and the philosopher Maximus is decapitated.
372 Valens orders the governor of Minor Asia to exterminate all the Hellenes and all documents of their wisdom.
373 New prohibition of all divination methods. The term “Pagan” (pagani, villagers, equivalent to the modern insult, “peasants”) is introduced by the Christians to demean non-believers.
375 The temple of god Asclepius in Epidaurus, Greece, is closed down by the Christians.
380 On 27th February, Christianity becomes the exclusive religion of the Roman Empire by an edict of Emperor Flavius Theodosius, requiring that “all the various nations, which are subject to our clemency and moderation should continue in the profession of that religion, which was delivered to the Romans by the divine Apostle Peter”. Non-christians are called “loathsome, heretics, stupid and blind”. In another edict Theodosius calls “insane” those that do not believe in the christian god and outlaws all disagreements with the Church dogmas. Ambrosius, bishop of Milan, starts destroying all the Pagan Temples of his area. Christian priests lead the mob against the Temple of Goddess Demeter in Eleusis and try to lynch the hierophants Nestorius and Priskus. The 95 year-old hierophant Nestorius, ends the Eleusinian Mysteries and announces the predominance of mental darkness over the human race.
381 On 2nd May, Theodosius deprives of all their rights the Christians that return back to the Pagan religion. In all the Eastern Empire the Pagan temples and Libraries are looted or burned down. On 21st December, Theodosius outlaws even simple visits to the temples of the Hellenes. In Constantinople, the temple of goddess Aphrodite is turned to a brothel and the temples of Sun and Artemis to stables.
382 “Hellelujah” (“Glory to Yahweh”) is imposed in the Christian mass.
384 Theodosius orders the Praetorian Prefect Maternus Cynegius, a dedicated Christian, to cooperate with the local bishops and destroy the temples of the Pagans in Northern Greece and Minor Asia.
385 to 388 Maternus Cynegius, encouraged by his fanatic wife, and bishop “Saint” Marcellus with his gangs scour the countryside and sack and destroy hundreds of Hellenic temples, shrines and altars. Among others they destroy the temple of Edessa, the Cabeireion of Imbros, the temple of Zeus in Apamea, the temple of Apollo in Dydima and all the temples of Palmyra. Thousands of innocent Pagans from all sides of the empire suffer martyrdom in the notorious death camps of Skythopolis.
386 Theodosius outlaws (16th June) the care of the sacked Pagan temples.
388 Public talks on religious subjects are also outlawed by Theodosius. The old orator Libanius sends his famous Epistle “Pro Templis” to Theodosius, with a hope that the few remaining Hellenic Temples will be respected and spared.
389 to 390 All non-Christian date-methods are outlawed. Hordes of fanatic hermits from the desert flood the cities of the Middle East and Egypt and destroy statues, altars, libraries and Pagan temples, and lynch the Pagans. Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria, starts heavy persecutions against non-Christian peoples, turns the temple of Dionysos into a Christian church, burns down the Mithraeum of the city, destroys the temple of Zeus and burlesques the Pagan priests before they are killed by stoning. The Christian mob profanes the cult images.
391 On 24th February, a new edict of Theodosius prohibits not only visits to pagan temples but also looking at the vandalised statues. New heavy persecutions occur all around the empire. In Alexandria, Egypt, pagans, led by the philosopher Olympius, revolt and after some street fights they lock themselves inside the fortified temple of the god Serapis (the Serapeion). After a violent siege, the Christians take over the building, demolish it, burn its famous library and profane the cult images.
392 On 8th November, Theodosius outlaws all the non-Christian rituals and names them “superstitions of the gentiles” (gentilicia superstitio). New full scale persecutions against Pagans. The Mysteries of Samothrace are ended and the priests slaughtered. In Cyprus the local bishop “Saint” Epiphanius and “Saint” Tychon destroy almost all the temples of the island and exterminate thousands of non-Christians. The local Mysteries of goddess Aphrodite are ended. Theodosius’s edict declares: “the ones that won’t obey pater Epiphanius have no right to keep living in that island”. The Pagans revolt against the emperor and the Church in Petra, Aeropolis, Rafia, Gaza, Baalbek and other cities of the Middle East.
393 The Pythian Games, the Aktia Games and the Olympic Games are outlawed as part of the Hellenic “idolatry”. The Christians sack the temples of Olympia.
395 Two new edicts (22nd July and 7th August) cause new persecutions against Pagans. Rufinus, the eunuch Prime Minister of emperor Flavius Arcadius directs the hordes of the baptised Goths (led by Alaric) to the country of the Hellenes. Encouraged by Christian monks the barbarians sack and burn many cities (Dion, Delphi, Megara, Corinth, Pheneos, Argos, Nemea, Lycosoura, Sparta, Messene, Phigaleia, Olympia, etc.), slaughter or enslave innumerable gentile Hellenes and burn down all the temples. Among others, they burn down the Eleusinian Sanctuary and burn alive all its priests (including the hierophant of Mithras Hilarius).
396 On 7th December, a new edict by Arcadius orders that Paganism be treated as high treason. Imprisonment of the few remaining Pagan priests and hierophants.
397 “Demolish them!”. Flavius Arcadius orders all the still standing Pagan temples to be demolished.
398 The Fourth Church Council of Carthage prohibits to everybody, including to the Christian bishops, the study of the books of the Pagans. Porphyrius, bishop of Gaza, demolishes almost all the Pagan temples of his city (except 9 of them that remain active).
399 With a new edict (13th July) Flavius Arcadius orders all the still standing Pagan temples, mainly in the countryside, to be immediately demolished.
400 Bishop Nicetas destroys the Oracle of the god Dionysus in Vesai and baptises all the non-Christians of this area.
401 The Christian mob of Carthage lynches non-Christians and destroys temples and “idols”. In Gaza too, the local bishop “Saint” Porphyrius sends his followers to lynch Pagans and to demolish the remaining 9 still active temples of the city. The 15th Council of Chalkedon orders all the Christians that still keep good relations with their gentile relatives to be excommunicated (even after their death).
405 John Chrysostom sends hordes of gray dressed monks armed with clubs and iron bars to destroy the “idols” in all the cities of Palestine.
406 John Chrysostom collects funds from rich Christian women to financially support the demolition of the Hellenic temples. In Ephessus he orders the destruction of the famous temple of goddess Artemis. In Salamis, Cyprus, “Saints” Epiphanius and Eutychius continue the persecutions of the Pagans and the total destruction of their temples and sanctuaries.
407 A new edict outlaws once more all the non-Christian acts of worship
408 The emperor of the Western Empire, Honorius, and the emperor of the Eastern Empire, Arcadius, order together all the sculptures of the Pagan temples to be either destroyed or to be taken away. Private ownership of Pagan sculpture is also outlawed. The local bishops lead new heavy persecutions against the Pagans and new book burning. The judges that have pity for the Pagans are also persecuted. “Saint” Augustine massacres hundreds of protesting Pagans in Calama, Algeria.
409 Another edict orders all methods of divination including astrology to be punished by death.
415 In Alexandria, Egypt, the Christian mob, urged by the bishop Cyrillus, attacks a few days before the Judaeo-Christian Pascha (Easter) and cuts to pieces the famous and beautiful philosopher Hypatia. The pieces of her body, carried around by the Christian mob through the streets of Alexandria, are finally burned together with her books in a place called Cynaron. On 30th August, new persecutions start against all the Pagan priests of North Africa who end their lives either crucified or burned alive.
416 The inquisitor Hypatius, alias “The Sword of God”, exterminates the last Pagans of Bithynia. In Constantinople (7th December) all non-Christian army officers, public employees and judges are dismissed.
423 Emperor Theodosius II declares (8th June) that the religion of the Pagans is nothing more than “demon worship” and orders all those who persist in practicing it to be punished by imprisonment and torture.
429 The temple of goddess Athena (Parthenon) on the Acropolis of Athens is sacked. The Athenian Pagans are persecuted.
435 On 14th November, a new edict by Theodosius II orders the death penalty for all “heretics” and Pagans of the empire. Only Judaism is considered a legal non-Christian religion.
438 Theodosius II issues an new edict (31st January) against the Pagans, incriminating their “idolatry” as the reason of a recent plague!
440 to 450 The Christians demolish all the monuments, altars and temples of Athens, Olympia, and other Greek cities.
448 Theodosius II orders all non-Christian books to be burned. All copies of Julian’s work which could be found were destroyed, and they would have been lost entirely if bishop Cyril of Alexandria (376-444 AD), had not cited extracts from the first three of seven of Julian’s books in his refutation of him, while admitting that he would not cite some of his srguments!
450 All the temples of Aphrodisias (the City of the Goddess Aphrodite) are demolished and all its libraries burned down. The city is renamed Stavroupolis (City of the Cross).
451 New edict by Theodosius II (4th November) emphasises that “idolatry” is punished by death.
457 to 491 Sporadic persecutions against the Pagans of the Eastern Empire. Among others, the physician Jacobus and the philosopher Gessius are executed. Severianus, Herestios, Zosimus, Isidorus and others are tortured and imprisoned. The proselytiser Conon and his followers exterminate the last non-Christians of Imbros Island, Norheast Aegean Sea. The last worshippers of Lavranius Zeus are exterminated in Cyprus.
482 to 488 The majority of the Pagans of Minor Asia are exterminated after a desperate revolt against the emperor and the Church.
486 More “underground” Pagan priests are discovered, arrested, burlesqued, tortured and executed in Alexandria, Egypt.
515 Baptism becomes obligatory even for those that already say they are Christians. The emperor of Constantinople, Anastasius, orders the massacre of the Pagans in the Arabian city Zoara and the demolition of the temple of local god Theandrites.
528 Emperor Jutprada (Justinianus) outlaws the “alternative” Olympian Games of Antioch. He also orders the execution—by fire, crucifixion, tearing to pieces by wild beasts or cutting to pieces by iron nails—of all who practice “sorcery, divination, magic or idolatry” and prohibits all teachings by the Pagans (“the ones suffering from the blasphemous insanity of the Hellenes”).
529 Justinianus outlaws the Athenian Philosophical Academy and has its property confiscated.
532 The inquisitor Ioannis Asiacus, a fanatic monk, leads a crusade against the Pagans of Minor Asia.
542 Justinianus allows the inquisitor Ioannis Asiacus to convert the Pagans of Phrygia, Caria and Lydia, Minor Asia. Within 35 years of this crusade, 99 churches and 12 monasteries are built on the sites of demolished Pagan temples.
546 Hundreds of Pagans are put to death in Constantinople by the inquisitor Ioannis Asiacus.
556 Justinianus orders the notorious inquisitor Amantius to go to Antioch, to find, arrest, torture and exterminate the last non-Christians of the city and burn all the private libraries down.
562 Mass arrests, burlesquing, tortures, imprisonments and executions of gentile Hellenes in Athens, Antioch, Palmyra and Constantinople.
578 to 582 The Christians torture and crucify gentile Hellenes all around the Eastern Empire, and exterminate the last non-Christians of Heliopolis (Baalbek).
580 The Christian inquisitors attack a secret temple of Zeus in Antioch. The priest commits suicide, but the rest of the Pagans are arrested. All the prisoners, the Vice Governor Anatolius included, are tortured and sent to Constantinople to face trial. Sentenced to death they are thrown to the lions. The wild animals being unwilling to tear them to pieces, they end up crucified. Their dead bodies are dragged in the streets by the Christian mob and afterwards thrown unburied in the dump.
583 New persecutions against the gentile Hellenes by the Mauricius.
590 In all the Eastern Empire the Christian accusers “discover” Pagan conspiracies. New storm of torture and executions.
692 The “Penthekto” Council of Constantinople prohibits the remains of Calends, Brumalia, Anthesteria, and other Pagan/Dionysian celebrations.
804 The gentile Hellenes of Mesa Mani (Cape Tainaron, Lakonia, Greece) resist successfully the attempt of Tarasius, Patriarch of Constantinople, to convert them to Christianity.
950 to 988 Violent conversion of the last gentile Hellenes of Laconia by the Armenian “Saint” Nikon.
Source: Vlasis Rassias, Demolish Them!… published in Greek, Athens 1994, Diipetes Editions, ISBN 960-85311-3-6. Any similar material will be received gratefully.