Κακοὶ γὰρ καὶ οἱ πρὸς τοὺς ἔξωθεν ἐχθροὺς πόλεμοι, ὅσοι δὲ πρὸς πατέρας, πρὸς ἀδελφούς, πρὸς φίλους, πρὸς ὁμοπίστους, πρὸς τοὺς ἕνα θεὸν ἐπιγραφομένους, ἕνα κύριον καὶ δεσπότην καὶ σωτῆρα, τί ἄν τις εἴποι;
—Νικόλαος Α' ο Μυστικός, Επιστολή 31.100-104.
Wars are bad even against outside enemies; but what shall one say of wars against fathers, brothers, friends, fellow-believers, who have chosen one God, one lord and Master and Saviour?
—Nicholas Mystikos, Epistle 31.100-104.
Ὅταν δὲ οἱ σφάζοντες καὶ σφαζόμενοι οὐ μόνον καθ’ ὃν εἴπομεν λόγον ἔχουσι κοινωνίαν, ἀλλὰ καὶ πατέρες τυγχάνωσιν καὶ τέκνα καὶ ἀδελφοί, ναὶ δὴ καὶ κληρονομία τοῦ Χριστοῦ καὶ θεοῦ ἡμῶν τοῦ τὸ αἷμα τῆς ἁγίας αὐτοῦ πλευρᾶς τὸ ἀσύγκριτον τοῦτο τίμημα δεδωκότος, ἵνα ἡμᾶς ἐξωνήσηται καὶ κλῆρον οἰκεῖον ἀποδείξῃ· ὅταν οὗτοι κατ’ ἀλλήλων ὁπλίζωνται, ὅταν τὴν γῆν καὶ τὰς χεῖρας μιαίνωσι ταῖς σφαγαῖς, τί ἄν τις εἴποι;
—Νικόλαος Α' ο Μυστικός, Επιστολή 17.41-47.
But when slaughterers and slaughtered are partners not only in the way I have described, but are fathers and sons and brothers of one another, yea, and the Inheritance of Christ our God, Who has paid the price of the Blood of his holy Side (this incomparable benefit), that he might redeem us and make us his one Portion–when these people arm themselves against one another, and pollute the earth and their hands with slaughter, then what can one say?
—Nicholas Mystikos, Epistle 17.41-47.
* Ioannis Stouraitis,
“Byzantine War against Christians—An emphylios polemos?”,
Byzantina Symmeikta 20 (2010).