Theological Controversy Against the Postal Service

Ammianus Marcellinus, Histories XXI:

“The bitterness of these times was increased by the insatiable rapacity of the suppliants who conferred upon Constantius more hatred than money. This seemed to many to be rather intolerable because he never heard a case nor had a care for the indemnity of the provinces when they were being vexed by the multiplied tributes and taxes.

Confounding the pure and simple Christian religion with the superstition of an old lady, Constantius excited many quarrels in scrutinizing this religion with more perplexity than settling it with authority, and he nursed these quarrels in a broader channel once they had developed through the idle wrangling of words. The result was that the various factions of theological opponents, rushing here and there on the public posts to their synods (as they call them) in an effort to bend every rite to their own judgment, nearly cut the sinews of the public transport.”

Augebat etiam amaritudinem temporum flagitatorum rapacitas inexpleta plus odiorum ei quam pecuniae conferentium. Hocque multis intolerantius videbatur, quod nec causam aliquando audivit nec provinciarum indemnitati prospexit, cum multiplicatis tributis et vectigalibus vexarentur. Eratque super his adimere facilis quae donabat.

Christianam religionem absolutam et simplicem anili superstitione confundens, in qua scrutanda perplexius quam conponenda gravius, excitavit discidia plurima, quae progressa fusius aluit concertatione verborum, ut catervis antistitum iumentis publicis ultro citroque discurrentibus per synodos, quas appellant, dum ritum omnem ad suum trahere conantur arbitrium, rei vehiculariae succideret nervos.

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