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the type of vision where God could 'really' be seen.69 This may have been a gentle warning not to let Hellenic dream interpretation displace reading the Christian scriptures. Basil was sharply critical of hired dream interpreters, whose pronouncements, he feared, might stir up criticism against himself.70 Basil nowhere condemns Christian dream divination in his canons. On another occasion, Basil counselled a man to be cautious about a folk superstition perhaps fuelled by 'daemonic prompting' that numinous powers (ta automata) existed in the nature of water.71 He may have been referring to a sacred spring whose healing waters lay in the tutelary domain of an underworld deity.

The movement of Christianity into the countryside as late as c. 443-6 is indicated in the life of Hypatius of Rufinianae (ob. 446), who on 3 April 400 established the monastery of Sts Peter and Paul on an estate in the territory of Chalcedon.72 Hypatius' life provides abundant examples of how monastic colonisation led to the demise of pre-Christian religion. In the 430s, Hypatius summoned local archimandrites with the ringing phrase 'fight with me' and marched on Chalcedon, intending to disrupt the celebration of the Olympia in the theatre. The festival would have involved athletic, literary and musical competitions, but it was also the occasion of sacrifices performed in private houses. In a heated interview with the archbishop Eulalius, Hypatius threatened to disrupt the festival by physically attacking the urban prefect of Constantinople, who was scheduled to be in attendance, and suffering martyrdom at the hands of Christian officials. In consequence, the festival was cancelled.73 Hypatius' demarche points to disagreements between hard-line ascetics and the ecclesiastical hierarchy about tolerating sacrifice, for the archbishop is reputed to have said: 'Do you simply wish to die if no one compels you to sacrifice? You are a monk. Sit down and let the matter rest. This is my affair.'74 One of Hypatius' associates is said to have put it differently: 'The Olympia, an outrageous festival of Satan, was full of idol madness and at the same time a slippery and destructive thing for Christians.'75

The monks of Rufinianae took strident measures in the countryside. Whenever Hypatius heard of a sacred tree being worshipped, he had it cut down and burned. In this way the rustics became Christian 'in part'.76 Rumours about

72 Callinicus, De vita S. Hypatii 8.7.

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