The Blood Libel - the accusation that Jews kill Christian children,
has a long history. This is a version recorded without challenged
by Socrates Scholasticus.
The Jews commit Another Outrage upon the Christians
and are punished.
Soon afterwards the Jews renewed their malevolent and impious
practices against the Christians, and drew down upon themselves
deserved punishment. At a place named Inmestar, situated between
Chalcis and Antioch in Syria, the Jews were amusing themselves
in their usual way with a variety of sports. In this way they
indulged in many absurdities, and at length impelled by drunkenness
they were guilty of scoffing at Christians and even Christ himself;
and in derision of the cross and those who put their trust in
the Crucified One, they seized a Christian boy, and having bound
him to a cross, began to laugh and sneer at him. But in a little
while becoming so transported with fury, they scourged the child
until he died under their hands. This conduct occasioned a sharp
conflict between them and the Christians; and as soon as the
emperors were informed of the circumstance, they issued orders
to the governor of the province to find out and punish the delinquents.
And thus the Jewish inhabitants of this place paid the penalty
for the wickedness they had committed in their impious sport.
Translation as in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers
This text is part of the Internet Medieval Source Book. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts related to medieval and Byzantine history.
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© Paul Halsall June 1997