A Riot in Ephesus

Charles Seltman helps explain the mysteries of the Diopet.

The civilized world, that comfortable economic union of nations which Greeks called “the Economy ”, was a pleasant place for free men to live in between AD 41 and 54, when the ruler of the Roman Empire was Tiberius Claudius Drusus Caesar Augustus. Gifted, eccentric and a passionate antiquarian, Claudius gave to the study of Etruscan lore and ancient Roman religion as much time as the cares of State permitted. His Roman legal mind found in observation of the flights of birds and study of entrails, with their well-coded and predestinate interpretations, a soothing sense of rule and order. Obedience to established law and the ancient wisdom of augury comforted him; and he would have been glad to win back Rome and Italy, to the old order of his ancestors. What of the Greeks who were his subjects? He could not altogether approve their volatile nature, which, with an insatiable curiosity combined a dangerous avidity for knowledge; and he might have shared the opinion of a contemporary of his, named Luke, who said of the Athenians, that “they had no leisure for anything but talking about or listening to the last new idea”. The Greeks, however, had the greatest of all virtues—a frank, generous and fervent tolerance of any religious, belief or practice whatsoever.

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