Saturday, May 28, 2011

Jews were behind the Byzantine Iconoclasm:
An anti-Jewish tale dated at the 8th cent.
written down by the name of John of Damascus /

Οι Εβραίοι ήταν η αιτία της Εικονομαχίας:
Ένας αντιιουδαϊκός θρύλος του 8ου αι.
καταγραμμένος υπό το όνομα του Ιωάννη του Δαμασκηνού




Καὶ γὰρ ὁ τὴν αἵρεσιν ἐμπνεύσας πρῶτος, ψεύστης ὢν καὶ ὕπουλος, τῆς βασιλείας ἐδράξατο. Κόνων γὰρ ὀνομαζόμενος, Λέοντος προσηγορίαν ἑαυτῷ περιεβάλλετο, ἐξ Ἑβραίων τοῦτον τὸν σκοπὸν καὶ τὸ φρόνημα εἰληφώς. Καὶ γὰρ περιπατοῦντος αὐτοῦ, μήπω τῆς βασιλείας αὐτοῦ χειρισθέντος, φησὶ πρὸς αὐτὸν ὁ Ἑβραῖος· Βασιλεὺς μέλλεις γένεσθαι. Ἀλλὰ τὸν λόγον ὃν εἴπω σοι, ἐὰν κρατήσῃς, ἔσται πολυχρόνιος ἡ βασιλεία σου καὶ ἡ τιμή σου. Ἀποβαλοῦ τὴν προσηγορίαν, ἥνπερ κέκτησαι, ὀνομασθεὶς Λέων. Ἐν γὰρ ταῖς ἡμέραις τῆς βασιλείας σου καταστραφήσονται τὰ ἰνδάλματα εἰκόνων, ὧνπερ οἱ Χριστιανοὶ πιστεύουσι. Διὸ δός μοι λόγον τοῦ καταστρέψαι αὐτὰ ἐν τοῖς καιροῖς τῆς βασιλείας σου. Δελεασθεὶς οὖν ὁ βύθιος δράκων, δέδωκεν αὐτῷ, τὴν τιμὴν τῆς ἀξίας ἔχων εἰς ἐπιθυμίαν ὁ ἀνάξιος· καὶ τῶν πραγμάτων ἐλθόντων εἰς ἐμφάνισιν, ἐδράξατο τῆς βασιλείας τὰ σκῆπτρα. Καὶ μετὰ δεκατὸν χρόνον τοῦ ὁδηγοῦ τῆς ἀπωλείας ὑπαντήσαντος ἐπὶ προελεύσεως, καὶ δεδωκότος αὐτῷ τὴν χάρτην, ὡς δῆθεν δεητικοῦ, καὶ ἀναγνόντος αὐτὸν τοῦ παρανόμου, παρ’ αὐτὰ τὸν Ἑβραῖον εἰς τὰ βασιλεῖα ἐκέλευσεν εἰσελθεῖν, καὶ λαβὼν αὐτὸν ἀπὸ τότε συμμύστην καὶ συῤῥάμμονα τῆς αὐτοῦ ἀνομίας, ὡς ἀληθῶς ὁ ἄγριος θὴρ, τῇ Ἐκκλησίᾳ εἰσεπήδησε, καὶ πολλοὺς ἐξ αὐτῆς ἀπέσπασε, καὶ ἐκ τῶν κόλπων αὐτῆς ἐσπάραξε, καὶ οὕσπερ αὕτη ἀνοδύνως ἐγέννησε, καὶ ἐθρέψατο τοῖς τῶν Πατέρων δόγμασιν, οὗτος αὐτοὺς ἀλλοτρίους ἐποίησε, καὶ ξένους τῆς μητρικῆς αὐτῶν ἀγχιστείας.


The first man to give the inspiration to this heresy [iconoclasm] was named Konon, but adopted the name Leo. He acquired that dark notion from the Hebrews. Before his accession, while he was out for a walk, a Hebrew said to him, "You shall become emperor and if you will adhere to the advice which I now give you, your reign and glory will be long-lasting. Discard your present name and call yourself Leo, for during your reign, the images in which the Christians believe, will be overthrown. So give me your word to overthrow them during your reign." Taken in by this, "the dragon of the deep" promised accordingly [...] Ten years after his accession, upon going out, he met his guide to destruction, who handed him a paper, no doubt containing his request. The emperor recognized the Hebrew, immediately invited him into the palace, and accepted him from then on as collaborator in his impious work. [...]

* Ψευδοιωάννης Δαμασκηνός,
Λόγος αποδεικτικός περί των Αγίων και Σεπτών Εικόνων προς βασιλέαν Κωνσταντίνον τον Καβαλίνον /
De sacris imaginibus contra Constantinum Cabalinum,
MPG vol./τ. 95  col./στ. 336D-337A*

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