probable that another Syrian god, Seimios by name, received joint
honours with them; for inscriptions attest a Heliopolitan triad
Latinised as Iupiter, Venus, and Mercurius1.
Ba'albek, the seat of this remarkable cult, has seen many changes.
Of its Syrian, Greek, and Roman phases we have already spoken.
It remains to sketch its subsequent history and to indicate the
present condition of its ruins.
Heliopolis was for long a battle-ground of paganism and
Christianity. Of this great struggle we get but intermittent
glimpses. In 297 A.D. Gelasinos the mime2 was suddenly con-
verted while in the very act of parodying the Christian rite of
baptism: he at once made a profession of his faith, and
was thereupon dragged out of the theatre by the enraged
audience and stoned to death3. Later, Constantine the Great
(306-337 A.D.) destroyed the temple of Aphrodite, instituted a
Christian church in its stead, and abolished by law the ancient
local custom of prostitution.before and even after wedlock4. The
pagans were furious and retaliated by prostituting the Christian
virgins and heaping upon them the most infamous tortures5. About
the same time the people seized the deacon Kyrillos, who had
defaced many of their idols, did him to death and—if we may
believe Theodoret—ripped him up and got their teeth into his liver6.
1 Corp. inscr. Lat. iii Suppl. no. 7280 (Athens) = Dessau Inscr. Lat. sel. no. 4284
[I. o.] m. et Ve|neri et | Mercurio j Heliopoli | [t]anis Q. Tejdius Maxi|mus v. 1. a. (sic),
A. von Domaszewski in the Westdeutsche Zeitschrift 1897 xvi Korrespondenzblatt p. 172
(near Seligenstadt) I. [o.] m. | Helio[p]olita|no, V[e]neri f|elici, Mercjurio [A]ug.,
M. I Iulius Marci | fil. Fa[bi]a Rufjus Papinianus | Sentius Gemellus do[m]o Beryt. |
praef. coh....A[q]uit. | castris E .. id. Em[ili]an[o] n et Aqu[ili]n[o cos.] (= 249 A.D.)
v. s. s. 1. m., P. Perdrizet in the Comptes rendus de FAcad, des inscr. et belles-lettres 1901
p. 131 (cp. P. Ronzevalle ib. 1900 p. 255) I. o. m. H. | Veneri Me[rcurio] | M. Sentius
Em[.....] j M. Sentisex [respon|so] divi M. B. (= Megrin Balmarcodis), Corp. inscr. Lat.
iii Suppl. no. 11139 [I.] o. m. H., | Veneri ] Victrici, | M. Titius | Heliodorus | Aug.
col. I Kar. (= augustalis or augur coloniae Karnunti), v. s. | sacerdotib. Vibio | Crescente
et Heren. | Nigriniano, ib. iii Suppl. no. 11140 [Iovi optimo maximo Heliopolitano et
Venejri victrici sacr. | [pro salute imp. Caesaris M. Aureli Antonini Comjmodi Augusti |
...............sac(erdotibus)...... See now R. Dussaud in Pauly—Wissowa Keal-Enc. viii. 54.
2 On the ugly connotation of the words /u^os, jXLjxds in the Hellenistic east see
I. Bloch Die Prostitution Berlin 1912 i 597.
3 Chron. Pasch. p. 513 Dindorf. See further the Rev. G. T. Stokes in Smith—Wace
Diet. Chr. Biogr. ii. 617.
4 Euseb. v. Constantin. 3. 58 (cp. supra p. 550 n. 8), Sokr. hist. eccl. 1. 18. On
this custom consult E. S. Hartland ' Concerning the rite at the temple of Mylitta' in the
Anthropological Essays presented to Edward Burnett Tylor Oxford 1907 pp. 189—202,
Nilsson Gr. Feste p. 366 n. 2, Frazer Golden Bough3 : Adonis Attis Osiris2 p. 32 f.
5 Sozom. hist. eccl. 5. 10, cp. Greg. Naz. invectiva adv. Julian. 1. 86 f. (Migne xxxv.
616), Nikephor. 10. 9 (Migne cxlvi. 464^), Abulpharag. hist. comp. dynast, p. 75.
6 Theodoret. eccl. hist. 3. 7.