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Bands of violent monks were deployed to ensure the domination of the orthodox line. As a modern, devout Christian, historian says: The monks were often formed, or formed themselves, into black-robed squads for the execution of the Church's business, first to smash up pagan temples, later to rampage through the streets in time of doctrinal controversy.Monasticism attracted misfits, bankrupts, criminals, homosexuals, fugitives as well as the pious; it was also a career for raw peasant youths who could be drilled into well-disciplined monkish regiments to be deployed as an unscrupulous bishop might think fit1 Other recruits included draft-dodgers, runaway slaves and lunatics. The pattern continued until Julian was declared emperor in 360.Countless thousands of architectural treasures from classical times were soon being vandalised in the same way and turned into Churches.Christians were keen to emulate selected Jewish practices.Gold and treasure were removed from Eastern temples.Under Constantine's Christian sons, the trend developed further.Constantius II passed laws against pagans in 341, and in the following years further laws were passed to the effect that all superstition (i.e. Soon, anyone performing traditional sacrifices would be liable to the death penalty.In town and country, temples were demolished or seized and turned into churches.
Under his influence, the Emperor adopted an official policy of Christian uniformity.By 326 Constantine had authorised the confiscation and destruction of anything that challenged orthodoxy (i.e. This included non-Christian places of worship as well as works by pagan authors and by all other Christian factions.Soon afterwards Constantine's mother Helena and Macarius, the Bishop of Jerusalem, were supervising the destruction of a temple in Jerusalem dedicated to Aphrodite, and building a Christian basilica on the site.As soon as the Empire became Christian, this toleration ceased.The only writings to be permitted were those supported by the line currently regarded as orthodox.
As part of its campaign books were burned, works of art destroyed, families dispossessed, and temples desecrated.