Editors’ note: To contextualise these excerpts of a 2-page section of Vol. II, ‘Theodosius II, Executor of All the Precepts of Christianity’ in Karlheinz Deschner’s encyclopaedic history of the Church in 10-volumes, Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums, read the abridged translation of Volume I.
Regarding this portrait of Theodosius II, remember what one of the authors said in The Fair Race: ‘Judging by the quality of the portrait, we may surmise that the Empire was not in good shape under his reign, or perhaps it is that the old pagan sculptors had been killed!’
______ 卐 ______
Arcadius’ son, Theodosius II (408-450), counted at the beginning of his regency seven years of age. For that reason, the government first took the Praetorian prefect Artemius, an anti-Germanic military, who had already educated Arcadius…
As regards to the so-called ‘pagans’, Theodosius assumes in the year 423 that they no longer exist. A godly desire. In fact, since 415 they had been separated from the high positions and the army. In 416 all non-Christians were expelled from state offices. In 423 the participation in sacrifices was punished with banishment and the confiscation of property. In 435 and 438 the celebration of the old religion was punished with death, even attributing the bad crops and epidemics to ‘idolatrous cults’.
We prohibit all execrable animal sacrifices and the damnable libations of the pagan ideology, and everything already prohibited by the authority of older provisions. We send by official disposition that all its sanctuaries, temples and sacred places be destroyed, if there is still one that has gone unnoticed, and that they be redeemed by erecting the sign of our venerable Christian religion. Everyone should know that if someone can be brought before the competent judge with adequate evidence of having transgressed this law, they must be punished with death.
The prince burned in the year 418, when he was only seventeen years old, all the anti-Christian works. At the end of the 4th century and in the 5th century, almost all non-Catholic literature was almost systematically destroyed, and already in 398 the possession of treaties by ‘heretics’ was threatened with death. In 418, under Theodosius II, the last copies of the fifteen books of Porphyry Against the Christians went to the fire, after Constantine had already ordered in the Council of Nicaea, in 325, the burning of the works of said author.