Monday, February 14, 2005

After this, I'm off for a spittle bath

i thought this was going to be the most bizarre thing i read yesterday:

Theodoret personally met an aged Marcionite who had all his life washed his face in his own spittle to avoid using water, the creation of the demiurge.

but then i read the next four sentences:

Augustine records from personal knowledge the practices of the Abelonii, a sect which survived to his own day in a village of his own city of Hippo. They held that marriage and continence were obligatory on all believers. Each couple adopted a boy and girl, who on the death of both foster parents, succeeded to the family farm and in turn adopted a boy and a girl. There was never any difficulty, Augustine tells us, in maintaining the sect, as neighbouring villages were always ready to provide children to be adopted in the certainty of ultimately acquiring a farm.

(a.h.m. jones, LRE 953)

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