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Since many persons have transgressed their faith in God at the time of barbarian invasion and have fulfilled barbarian oaths, tasting certain illicit things, which were offered to them in the presence of magic idols, they shall be disciplined in accordance with the canons already published by the Fathers . . . Those who, without great necessity, have betrayed their faith in God, and have touched the table of daemons and have sworn pagan oaths, [shall suffer a longer penance].

Gregory and Basil both specify 'magic idols', hintingthat some ofthe forbidden sacrifices took place in Cappadocia and the Armenian borderlands, where Zoroastrians are reported to have lived in large numbers in the fourth and fifth centuries.56 Basil's report about them to Epiphanius of Salamis fails to mention the existence of fire temples, but the temple undoubtedly still existed in Cappadocia at this time.57 The theophoric names of dedicants at Comana in Cappadocia suggest that Mithra and other Iranian divinities were gods in the local pantheon,58 but they were worshipped using conventionalised names of cognate Greek divinities.59

Anatolian liturgical practices influenced Christian folk religion in certain respects. The story of Glycerius may be an example of this. As deacon of a rural commune called Venesa, he wore unusual robes and acquired a retinue of the local youths and unmarried women who were criticised for dancing and otherwise boisterous conduct at a local festival (synodos). Basil does not tell us whether this event lay in the Christian or pagan liturgical calendar. Basil condemns Glycerius for leading his congregation into the abyss (barathron ,akin to bathos and bothron)60 The term may well allude to the gaseous subterranean water channels and caverns that had a numinous significance in Anatolian religion, and whose tutelary divinities were sometimes Attis or Cybele.61

Families in Basil's congregation were at times divided on questions of religious allegiance. He cites two instances where the sons of aristocratic families acceptedbaptism. One was a certain Dionysius whose mother remainedpagan, the other the son of pagan Harmatius, whom Basil counselled to forget his bitterness: 'Since [your son] has preferred the God of us Christians, that is true God, before the gods of your people, which are numerous and are worshipped

56 Basil, Ep. 258; Lee, Pagans and Christians, 169-73.

57 Procopius, De bellis 1.17.18; F. W. Deichmann, 'Frtihchristliche Kirchen in antiken Heiligtiimern', 129, no. 62.

58 Harper, 'Tituli Comanorum Cappadociae,' nos. 1.01, 2.02, 2.04, 2.05, 2.11, 3.01, 5.24, 5.25, 6.10.

61 Damascius, Epit. Phot. 131 (ed. Zintzen, 176; trans. Asmus, 78 and 174); cf.Basil, Ep. 74.

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