But wherever the idea of sacred exists, sacrilege is possible..
Old age was held in high honour, but it was sacrilege to speak, or even to think, of the dead.
He revoked numerous pensions and grants conferred by his predecessors upon idle courtiers, and, meeting the reproach of sacrilege made by the patriarch of Constantinople by a decree of exile, resumed a proportion of the revenues of the wealthy monasteries.
The subject matter of ecclesiastical jurisdiction in Russia during the whole patriarchal period included matrimonial and testamentary causes, inheritance and sacrilege, and many questions concerning the Church domains and Church property, as well as spiritual offences of clergy and laity (ib.).
The whole wide field of Jewish taboo naturally involves sacrilege as its reverse side.
In the earliest of them, sacrilege in the narrower sense is not a separate class of crime, but the wider usage goes with variations through the different collections.
The murder or injury of the clergy is also sacrilege in both penitentials and capitularies.
Such violations of holy things as making mock of the Scriptures, or even reciting them as one would ordinary literature, was sacrilege in the eyes of the rabbi.
But it was rather that an enlarged application of the idea of sacred made the crime of sacrilege in the sense of violatio sacri a more general one.
In the Theodosian Code the various crimes which are accounted sacrilege include - apostasy, heresy, schism, Judaism, paganism, attempts against the immunity of churches and clergy or privileges of church courts, the desecration of sacraments, &c. and even Sunday.
Along with these crimes against religion went treason to the emperor, offences against the laws, especially counterfeiting, defraudation in taxes, seizure of confiscated property, evil conduct of imperial officers, &c. There is no formal definition of sacrilege in the code of Justinian but the conception remains as wide.
The practice of magic, superstition, &c., are also frequently referred to as sacrilege, especially during the long struggle with German heathenism.
A somewhat distorted, but well-substantiated use of the word sacrilegium in medieval Latin was its application to the fine paid by one guilty of sacrilege to the bishop.
The worst sacrilege of all, defiling the Host, is mentioned frequently, and generally brought the death penalty accompanied by the cruellest and most ignominious tortures.
Yet even in the enlightened 18th century popular fanaticism made of sacrilege the most heinous offence.
The Franciscans began to urge fantastic' objections, and, when Savonarola insisted that his champion should bear the host, they cried out against the sacrilege of exposing the Redeemer's body to the flames.
After this crime, which combined the disgrace of sacrilege with that of murder under tryst, Bruce was forced to take arms at once, though his preparations were incomplete.
His reputation for sacrilege, increased five years later by the abolition of many monasteries, became notorious when the formation of the kingdom of Italy (1861) took away all the dominions of the pope except the patrimony of Peter, thereby reducing the papal provinces from twenty to five, and their population from over 3,000,000 to about 685,000.
In 1198 Hubert, who had inherited from his predecessors in the primacy a fierce quarrel with the Canterbury monks, gave these enemies an opportunity of complaining to the pope, for in arresting the London demagogue, William Fitz Osbert, he had committed an act of sacrilege in Bow Church, which belonged to the monks.
The need which drove Antiochus to this sacrilege rested heavily upon his successor Seleucus IV.
The Ephesians even dragged out and slew those Romans who had fled to the precinct of Artemis for protection, notwithstanding which sacrilege they soon returned from their new to their former masters, and even had the effrontery to state, in an inscription preserved to this day, that their defection to Mithradates was a mere yielding to superior force.
A sermon on sacrilege, which was duly published, and displays the high ideal which even then he had formed of the clerical office; and about the same time he was presented to the vicarage of Norton, in the diocese of Durham, and obtained a licence, through William Cecil, as a general preacher throughout the kingdom as long as the king lived.
Kennett published in 1698 an edition of Sir Henry Spelman's History of Sacrilege, and he was the author of fifty-seven printed works, chiefly tracts and sermons.
A very large proportior of the Scottish nobility regarded Bruce as a usurper who had opened his career with murder and sacrilege, and either openly opposed him or denied him help. His resources were small, and it was only by constant effort, often chequered by failures, that he gradually fought down his local adversaries, and reduced the English garrisons one by one.
To tamper with a constitution that had so proved its quality seemed not so much a sacrilege as a folly.
Indeed the country people would look on the destruction of the high places with their Asheras and Mazzebas as sacrilege and would consider Josiah's death in battle as a divine punishment for his sacrilegious deeds.
Achan's sacrilege, the cause of the repulse at Ai and of the naming of the valley of Achor (vii.), is introduced by vi.
Peter permanently transferred to the secular forum the testamentary jurisdiction and that concerning inheritance, as also questions of " sacrilege " (ib.
In other words the governors were ordered merely to punish sacrilege, and, under Aurelius, Christianity was regarded as such.
In 105, Caepio suffered a crushing defeat from the Cimbri at Arausio (Orange) on the Rhone, which was looked upon as a punishment for his sacrilege; hence the proverb Aurum Tolosanum habet, of an act involving disastrous consequences.
But Herod was not dead yet, and the instigators and the agents of this sacrilege were burned alive.
SACRILEGE, the violation or profanation of sacred things, a crime of varying scope in different religions.
The history of sacrilege reflects a large phase of the evolution of religion.
The primitive defence against sacrilege lay directly in the nature of sacred things, those that held a curse for any violation or profanation.
This was partly due to the influence of Christianity, which sought to include as objects of sacrilege all forms of church property, rather than merely those things consecrated in pagan cults, partly to the efforts of the later emperors to surround themselves and everything emanating from them with highest sanctions.
Decreed the same penalty for sacrilege joined to superstition and impiety, and in the somewhat belated religious persecution of the duke of Bourbon in 1724 those convicted of larceny in churches, together with their accomplices, were condemned, the men to the galleys for life or for a term of years, the women to be branded with the letter V and imprisoned for life, or for a term.
In the midst of the French Revolution respect for civic festivals was sternly enacted, but sacrilege was an almost daily matter of state policy.
"Theft sacrilege" was treated in a separate series of equally savage clauses.
- In English law, sacrilege is the breaking into a place of worship and stealing therefrom.
The tendency of the later law has been to put the offence of sacrilege in the same position as if the offence had not been committed in a sacred building Thus breaking into a place of worship at night, says Coke, is burglary, for the church is the mansion house of Almighty God.
A raid on Delphi attempted by the Persians in 480 B.C. was said to have been frustrated by the god himself, by means of a storm or earthquake which hurled rocks down on the invaders; a similar tale is told of the raid of the Gauls in 279 B.C. But the sacrilege thus escaped at the hands of foreign invaders was inflicted by the Phocian defenders of Delphi during the Sacred War, 356-346 B.C., when many of the precious votive offerings were melted down.
Sacrilege was made a crime punishable by death, and the ministry were preparing a law to alter the law of equal inheritance, and thus create anew the great estates.
The sacrilege, as they considered it, may have been an attempt to recover arrears of tribute; but they were convinced that Florus was providing for himself and not for Caesar.
"If all Russians are in the least like you, it is sacrilege to fight such a nation," he said to Pierre.