Judecând după cele scrise în cartea dnei Catherine Nixey, s-ar putea crede că în antichitatea târzie creștinii erau puși pe distrugere de „bunuri culturale”, iar păgânii erau mereu în rolul de victime ale acțiunii distructive ale adversarilor lor.

Parcurgând astăzi niște pagini din Istoria bisericească a lui Sozomen, am dat peste un pasaj care descrie distrugerile la care se dedau păgânii. Episodul datează din epoca lui Iulian Apostatul.

Among so many remarkable events which occurred during the reign of Julian, I must not omit to mention one which affords a sign of the power of Christ, and proof of the Divine wrath against the emperor.

Having heard that at Cæsarea Philippi, otherwise called Paneas, a city of Phœnicia, there was a celebrated statue of Christ which had been erected by a woman whom the Lord had cured of a flow of blood, Julian commanded it to be taken down and a statue of himself erected in its place; but a violent fire from heaven fell upon it and broke off the parts contiguous to the breast; the head and neck were thrown prostrate, and it was transfixed to the ground with the face downwards at the point where the fracture of the bust was; and it has stood in that fashion from that day until now, full of the rust of the lightning. The statue of Christ was dragged around the city and mutilated by the pagans; but the Christians recovered the fragments, and deposited the statue in the church in which it is still preserved. Eusebius relates, that at the base of this statue grew an herb which was unknown to the physicians and empirics, but was efficacious in the cure of all disorders. It does not appear a matter of astonishment to me, that, after God had vouchsafed to dwell with men, he should condescend to bestow benefits upon them.

It appears that innumerable other miracles were wrought in different cities and villages; accounts have been accurately preserved by the inhabitants of these places only, because they learned them from ancestral tradition; and how true this is, I will at once show. There is a city now called Nicopolis, in Palestine, which was formerly only a village, and which was mentioned by the divine book of the Gospel under the name of Emmaus. The name of Nicopolis was given to this place by the Romans after the conquest of Jerusalem and the victory over the Jews. Just beyond the city where three roads meet, is the spot where Christ, after His resurrection, said farewell to Cleopas and his companion, as if he were going to another village; and here is a healing fountain in which men and other living creatures afflicted with different diseases wash away their sufferings; for it is said that when Christ together with His disciples came from a journey to this fountain, they bathed their feet therein, and, from that time the water became a cure for disorders.[1]

[1] Sozomen, “The Ecclesiastical History of Salaminius Hermias Sozomenus,” in Socrates, Sozomenus: Church Histories, ed. Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, trans. Chester D. Hartranft, vol. 2, A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church, Second Series (New York: Christian Literature Company, 1890), 342–343.