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  • Writer's pictureThe Other Paul

The Caroline Books (Libri Carolini) - GPT-4 Translation of the Prefaces & Tables of Contents

What follows is what I so far have of my project to translate the entirety of the Caroline Books with AI. The results below had been done some months ago, but I had long since taken a break from the project to deal with more immediate affairs, though I only just now realised that I haven't posted my current results, which I should. I was and still am shocked that no full translation of this text has yet been done, given its massive significance for early medieval western Christianity, particularly on the question of image veneration. I decided to first translate the prefaces of the 3 volumes and their tables of contents first, so that I can translate the text's chapters in the order I want (i.e. I see this or that interesting chapter in the ToC, so I go to it in the Latin text and translate that). So, I hope this gets you all excited for the full thing.

But also remember this as usual; this is a translation of a language model, specifically GPT-4 (from around June/July; it has been updated since then), and so do not take this as an authoritative translation.

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Our mother Church, redeemed by the most precious blood of her spouse Christ and washed in the regenerating flood of salvation, and satiated with the salutary nourishment of the body and the drink of the blood, and tasted with the anointment of the nectar-like liquid, and spread in peace throughout the entire globe, sometimes suffers wars, both external and internal, sometimes she is shaken by invasions from outsiders, sometimes she is beaten by the commotions of her own citizens. Indeed, at times she is plagued by the hostilities of unbelievers or heretics, and at other times, she is disturbed by the conflicts of schismatics or the arrogant.

For it is the ark containing within itself the souls to be saved, which carries the type of that ancient father's ark, which navigates through the most severe floods of this age without the danger of shipwreck and knows not to yield to the deadly floods of the present age nor to confess under the siege of hostile adverse powers, but he who is established in her and especially fighting in her, who was placed in her as a wall, the prophet saying: “Our city of strength is our savior, a wall and rampart will be placed in it,” and who “sets guards upon its walls,” who “shall not cease all day and all night forever,” resisting adversaries and tolerates tumultuous disturbances, and having taken into her lap those who are rushing to the true confession of faith, and having rejected those stubbornly resisting the same confession, she persists unshaken and undefiled, and she does not cease to sing with David: "They have often attacked me from my youth, let Israel now say, they have often attacked me from my youth, but they could not prevail against me." Which continuously explains the mystery of the Holy Trinity through the parts of a three-fold prayer, while she implores for her words to be perceived by the ears of the divine majesty, that is, the melody of psalming, which she offers without intermission, and pleads with a devoted mind for the cry to be understood, that is, the affection of the heart, which is wonderfully received not by carnal ears, but by the ineffable ears of the divine majesty, and demands that the voice of her prayer be intensified, so that she may declare this to be the perfect prayer, which the affection of a burning mind inflames. And although she mixes our senses with metaphorical words changed, she believes that the divine nature is not to be discerned by the parts of the members, but to accomplish all things with one power, who hears those things which seem to us, and looks into what we have thought or are about to think, and nothing can be hidden from his ineffable light. To perceive words with the ears, to understand the cry, to attend to the voice of the prayer, although they are repeated three times under the variety of words through that type of speech which is called metabole by rhetoricians, the three-fold repetition however signifies the same thing. Which she also demonstrates that she believes and confesses three persons and one substance in divinity in the invocation of the king and God or Lord, when she says: "My king and my God, for I will pray to you, Lord," when she inserts singular and not plural words into the invocation of three names.

For she is the holy mother, she is immaculate, she is illustrious, she is incorrupt, and she is fertile, who knows not how to lose virginity and does not cease to bear sons, who, the more she is struck by worldly adversities, the more she expands with increasing or excellent virtues, and the more she is oppressed, the higher she is exalted. The prophet introduces her thus speaking to God through ethopoeia: "When I called upon you, you heard me, God of my justice; in tribulation, you have enlarged me."

Since we have taken up the reins of her kingdom in her bosom by the Lord’s granting, it is necessary for us to strive with all our might in her defense and for her exaltation with the help of Christ, so that we may be worthy to be considered by Him as good and faithful servants. Indeed, this must be carefully observed not only by us, to whom it is committed to rule in the stormy waves of this world, but also by all those nurtured from her breasts, so that, from her union, he who is known to be her members, does not depart in any way, since he who is not with her, is against her, and he who does not gather with her, scatters. Therefore, the cause of this matter compels us to speak, which we follow not without some sorrow of mind, indeed who are taught by the apostolic example to be weak with the weak and to burn with those who cause scandal.

Therefore, the inflated ambition of windy arrogance and the most insolent desire for vain praise have inflamed certain people not only of the kings, but also the priests, of the eastern parts, so that, putting aside healthy and sober doctrine and thinking little of that apostolic saying: "If anyone preaches to you other than what has been preached, even if he is an angel, let him be anathema," and transgressing the boundaries of the elders against prophetic instruction, they try to impose on the church, through infamous and most inappropriate synods, what neither the Savior nor the apostles are known to have imposed, and while they try to elevate the peak of their own praise, they heap up a great fall for their souls, and while they want to entrust the order of their deeds to the memory of posterity, they tear apart the bond of ecclesiastical unity.

Indeed, some years before these, a synod was held in the parts of Bithynia so recklessly and with such undiscerning audacity that they would carelessly abolish the images placed in the ornaments of the church and in memory of the things accomplished by the ancients, what the Lord commanded concerning idols, they carried out concerning all images; not knowing that an image is a kind, but an idol is a species, and a species cannot be referred to a kind, nor a kind to a species. For while almost every idol is an image, not every image is an idol. An idol is of one definition and far different is the image, specifically when these are made for ornamentation or for showing accomplished deeds, but that (idol) is never but for enticing the souls of the miserable with a sacrilegious rite and vain superstition, and an image is said to be for something, an idol for itself. Indeed, they were so darkened by the fog of such great blindness, that they anathematized all who were known to have them in churches or who were to have them, and among other errors, they also added this to their error, that King Constantine had freed them from idols, and they, wanting to detract the title of victory from him who "rejoiced like a giant to run his course," of whom it was said: "Behold, the lion from the tribe of Judah, the root of David, has triumphed," and from the triumphant one who brought back the spoils of the world, they would attribute to their king, when not about their king, but about the true victor, Christ, the prophet foretold: "Behold, the Lord will ascend upon a light cloud, and will enter into Egypt, and the idols of Egypt will be moved at his presence," the light cloud meaning the human body, which he had assumed from a virgin, weighed down by no filth of human mingling, wanting Egypt to be understood as the world, which he had also long before promised he would do through Jeremiah in almost the same words, saying: "I will rather break the images, and cause the idols to cease from Memphis."

Furthermore, almost three years ago, another synod was held in those parts by their successors, or by most of those who are reported to have been in the first. This synod, though it differs from the first in intention, does not differ in error; and if it is disparate in matter, it is nevertheless similar in offense; and while it is later in time, it is not lesser in crime. Not unjustly do they seem to converge into one muddy pit of a chasm, though flowing through different channels, as they are believed to have sprung from one source of arrogance and vain glory. This synod, having anathematized and abhorred the previous one with its authors, compels to adore images, which the previous one did not even permit to be seen; and wherever in the locations of divine Scripture or in the commentaries of the holy fathers they find any mention of images, they twist it towards the whim of their own will into adoration. They are connected in 'having' and 'adoring' with a spirit of no lesser absurdity than those who are connected in image and idol, since the former considered image and idol to be the same, and the latter thought 'having' and 'adoring' to be one, yet they are separate from each other both by the diversity of the thing and the association of the predicament, for one of them is a condition, the other an action. For those, even though they differ greatly, at least are joined in that one is a species, the other a genus; but these do not cohere to each other either by genus or species or any such association, since things can be adored which are not had, and had which are not adored. Thus, rejecting the restraints of moderation and ignoring the proverb aptly said by the ancients: “Nothing in excess”, they forsake the path of moderation and stray through byways, just as if someone caring to prescribe a measure in speaking to a loquacious person, he, on the contrary, would study silence so much that he would become mute, and who was shamed by uncontrolled talk, would also be shamed by lazy silence, or if a physician rebukes a patient for drunkenness, he, thinking to obey the physician's advice, not only forbids himself the liquid of wine but also milk, so that he who formerly was weakened, soaked by too much drinking of wine, now, with all liquid forbidden to him, is weakened, dried out by thirst, although, even if the cause of the weakness is different, the effect is the same of lazy error. In the meantime, while on neither side do either these or those hold the reins of temperance, but both run headlong through precipices and are carried with a dissimilar course, they nevertheless attempt to impose a stain on the spouse of Christ, the Church, to whom he himself says in the Song of Songs: “You are all beautiful, my beloved, and there is no blemish in you,” they attempt to impose a stain, when both these and those suggest to cast off what is well possessed and to use poorly what is well possessed, when both these strive to take away her ornaments and those provoke her to adore her ornaments. These two evils, as we have said, have sprouted from the source of arrogance.

While they wish to have human favors and to be called Rabbi by men, and they set their own praises on their own peaks and do not consider what is said by a certain wise man: "Let others praise you, not your own mouth; a stranger, not your own tongue," they abandon the traditions of the ancient fathers, who decreed not to worship images, but allowed them to be kept for the ornamentation of the churches, they strive to introduce new and unusual constitutions to the church, by which they rather assign a stain than a decorum to it. For if it is arrogance to impose new constitutions on the church, it is a schism, which however should not happen in the church. But if it is a schism, it is a stain, which is denied to be in the bride. Therefore, if it is arrogance to impose new constitutions on the church, it is without doubt a stain, which is denied to be in the bride. Hence, it is given to understand that he is not a friend of the bridegroom, who so wishes to pile up the peak of his praise, that he does not fear to dull the sharpness of the church through the marks of errors; and by this, if a stain does not befit the bride, no one should try to imprint it on her. If no one should try to imprint it, he who tries, does an injury to the bridegroom. Therefore, if a stain does not befit the bride — and indeed it does not befit —, he who tries to imprint it, does an injury to the bridegroom.

Finally, content with the prophetic, evangelical, and apostolic scriptures, imbued with the institutions of the holy and orthodox fathers, who in no way deviated in their dogmas from the way, truth, and life, and accepting the holy and universal six synods, which were held by the holy and venerable fathers for the various infestations of heresies, we reject all novelties of words and foolish inventions and not only do not accept, but also despise as dregs, as well as that synod, which was held in Bithynia because of the most impudent tradition of adoring images. The text of whose scripture, lacking eloquence and sense, has come down to us.

We were compelled to write against these errors so that if perhaps they have attempted to contaminate the hands of those holding or the ears of those hearing, they may be repelled by the authority of the divine Scriptures armed in the attack of our style, and by the favor of God, the sentence of the holy fathers may strike the inert or rather unarmed enemy coming from the eastern part towards us in the western part. We have undertaken this work with the assembly of the prelates of the Catholic flocks in the kingdom granted to us by God, not for arrogance over the eyebrow, but for the zeal of God and the love of truth, because as it is holy to adhere to just and honest things, so it is undoubtedly a sin to accommodate the mind to the worst and disordered things. Hence David, who avoided the societies of evildoers, offers to God as a pure sacrifice, when he says: "I have hated the assembly of the wicked, and I will not sit with the ungodly." And King Jehoshaphat of Judah, because he was joined in friendship to the worst king of the Israelite people, is reproached by the Lord through a prophet. Therefore, since the founders of the aforementioned two synods neither have that unskilled speech by which the Apostle calls himself unskilled "in speech, but not in knowledge," nor that brilliance of eloquence with spiritual sense, about which it is said on behalf of the holy preachers in the Song of Songs to the Church: "We will make you towers of gold with studs of silver," we wonder why they have been so inflated with the wind of such vanity, that they not only presumed to stir them up, but even tried to add them to the six venerable synods. Which of them should be considered not the seventh after Nicaea, but either the third preserved after the former Ariminum or the second destroyed after the former, we will more carefully discuss in the following, when the matter has demanded, with the Lord granting. These are to be compared to the six synods no more than the altar of the Reubenites and Gadites and half-tribe of Manasseh could be compared to the altar, which was established by the legislator by the command of the Lord. The rage of the Israelite sword would have destroyed its authors, if a humble confession mixed with prayers had not prevented brotherly anger. Finally, instructed by the prophecy of Isaiah, who says: "This is the way, walk in it, you will not deviate from it either to the right or to the left," and warned by the preaching of the teacher of the nations, who taught us to hold the royal way, having images in the ornaments of the churches and the memory of things done and adoring God alone and showing appropriate veneration to His saints, we neither break with those nor do we adore with these, but rejecting the writing of that most foolish synod, which lacks not only that language in which small things are modestly, medium things temperately, and great things are grandly put forth, but also neglects the measure of pedestrian speech, we strive to become followers of our founder, namely the Word of the Lord, everywhere. Therefore, since both the sons of the anathematizing fathers and the fathers of the anathematizing sons are contained in the aforementioned synod in mixed discourses of dullness, our style, with the Lord favoring, would arrange a mixed reproof of both, passing by nothing undiscussed, nothing untouched, nothing obstructed by the caves of silence, unless perhaps what the difficulty of disordered speech has denied to impart to our intellect or our speech has despised.




I. About that which Constantine and Haerena say in their writings: 'Through him who reigns with us, God'.

II. About that which Constantine and Haerena wrote in a letter directed to the venerable Pope Adrian of the apostolic see: 'God has chosen us, who seek his glory in truth'.

III. About that which Constantine and Haerena name their deeds or writings as 'divalia'.

IV. About that which Constantine and Haerena wrote in their letter to the venerable Pope Adrian of the city of Rome: 'We ask your fatherhood, and above all, God asks, who does not want any man to perish'.

V. That it is not a small sin to understand the holy scriptures differently than they should be understood, and to adjust to those senses that they do not contain, as in the erroneous synod, which was held in Bithynia, with Constantine and Heraena his mother reigning, with Tharasius of Constantinople residing as bishop.

VI. That the holy Roman, catholic, and apostolic church should absolutely be consulted over other churches for matters of faith, when a question arises.

VII. That it does not pertain to the worship of images, that which is written: 'God created man in his image and likeness'.

VIII. What is the difference between image and likeness or equality.

IX. How it should be understood, what is written: 'Abraham worshipped the people of the land, sons of Eth', or that Moses is read to have worshipped Ietro — by these examples, those who make synods for the sake of worshiping images, support their mistake — and because neither Jacob is read to have worshipped Pharaoh nor Daniel is read to have worshipped King Nebuchadnezzar, as they say.

X. About that which John, presbyter and legate of the East, striving to establish the worship of images imprudently, is read to have said: 'Jacob erected a title to God, as far as he also blessed him'.

XI. About what the aforementioned John said: 'He wrestled with him in human form and called him Israel, which is interpreted: Mind seeing God'.

XII. That it does not pertain to the adoration of images nor is it found in our books, which have been translated from Hebraic truth, that which they say in their synod: 'Jacob, receiving from his sons the ruined coat of Joseph, kissed it with tears and put his own eyes upon it'.

XIII. About what they ignorantly and disorderly say: 'If you slander me because I worship the wood of the cross as God, why do you not slander Jacob worshipping the top of Joseph's rod?' But it is clear that he did not adore seeing the wood, but through the wood Joseph, as we through the cross Christ.

XIV. That it does not pertain to the adoration of images, as they say, what is written: 'Jacob blessed Pharaoh'.

XV. How absurdly they act, who to confirm images bring forth an example of divine law saying that Moses made the mercy seat and two golden cherubim and the ark of the covenant by God's command.

XVI. That it does not pertain to the adoration of images, as they foolishly and irrationally think, that which is written by the legislator: 'Behold, I have called by name Bezalel son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding to perfect the work of gold and silver, and I have given him Aholiab son of Ahisamach' etc.

XVII. That they do not think rightly, who say: 'If according to the lawful tradition of Moses, it is ordered for the people to place purple hyacinth on the fringes at the ends of the garments for memory and guard of the commandments, much more for us it is through the similar picture of holy men to see the outcome of their conversation and to imitate their faith according to the apostolic tradition'.

XVIII. That their hope is vain, who place their salvation in images saying: 'As the Israelite people were saved by looking at the bronze serpent, so we by looking at the images of the saints will be saved'.

XIX. That it is a great recklessness to say: 'As the tablets and the two cherubim to the Jews, so to us Christians the cross and the images of the saints were given to write and to worship'.

XX. That it is not less for all, but almost more for all, Tharasius is known to have erased saying: 'As the ancients had cherubim overshadowing the mercy seat, and we have images of our Lord Jesus Christ and of the holy Mother of God and of His saints overshadowing the altar'.

XXI. John the presbyter did not have a good understanding, who, in order to establish the adoration of images, said: 'And Jesus Nave set up twelve stones in memory of God'.

XXII. The adoration, as they say, of the prophet Nathan towards King David is not equal to the adoration of images.

XXIII. That in what is written: 'The light of your face is signed upon us, Lord', or: 'Your face, Lord, I will seek', there is nothing to understand regarding a man-made image, as they say.

XXIV. That it does not pertain to any man-made image, that which is written: 'All the rich of the people will beg your face', as they assert.

XXV. An inopportune and delirious speech by Bishop Leo Focius, who, having converted to the adoration of images, applies to himself the verse of the psalmist saying: 'You have turned my mourning into joy for me, you have cut off my sackcloth and surrounded me with joy'.

XXVI. That it does not pertain to the adoration of images to despise that which the psalmographer sang: 'In vain they have spoken, each one to his neighbor, with deceitful lips, they have spoken evil in mouth and heart'.

XXVII. That it does not pertain to their parents, as they say: 'May the Lord destroy all deceitful lips and the boastful tongue'.

XXVIII. That it has not been fulfilled in their parents, as they say, what is written: 'Enemies have been depleted to the end by the sword and their cities you have destroyed'.

XXIX. How it should be understood, what is written: 'Lord, I have loved the beauty of your house'. What beauty these ones understand as images.

XXX. That it was not said by the psalmist for the manufactured images, as they say: 'Just as we have heard, so have we seen'.


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Having discussed in the previous book as briefly as possible certain clauses of divine law, which, as we often mentioned, are brought forward by those against whom our style is set in conflict, to support the matter of their vanity, or even some chapters proposed in the same book, which were appropriately produced for their reproach, it is necessary that in this present, namely the second, book we, favoring the Lord, approach both the remaining clauses of divine law very soberly and truly and restoring the wrongfully usurped views of some holy fathers to their own senses. In this same book, certain chapters are inserted that cut off the access of their error to the minds of the faithful, by which things lacking in sanctity or authority strive to equate themselves with most holy things and those established by the Lord himself; so that in these two volumes, resisting their most vain nonsense with the saving weapons of both Testaments, we may more freely approach the third, at the beginning of which will be the foundation of our faith, so that, because the holy and only confession of the Trinity will be contained in it, the number of the third book also may be adorned and decorated with the most holy number, which is to be adorned with the mystery of holy faith, indeed placing all hope of our disputation or other actions not in the argumentative allegations of worldly arts, but in Him who both by bodily presence says: "For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father, who speaks in you," and formerly said through the prophet: "Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it." Therefore, through a certain order of progression, we have distinguished the steps of this our disputation with certain interstices of books, lest the indistinct path of an unordered journey becomes tedious from excessive length, nor did it please us to present something unarranged or undigested, lest the disordered heap of work should provide some rustic uproar to the reader with disturbed outcry, because even those who carve a journey do not refuse to rest at suitable times and cultivators of fields, vineyards, or even gardens are accustomed to set boundaries through certain interstices of fields or even through the dimensions of fields.




I. That it is not written for those who despise worshipping images, as those who adore them say, that which is read in the Psalm: 'How greatly has the enemy maligned your saints'.

II. That neither does this matter pertain to this, as they say, that which is written: 'For there is no longer a prophet, and we will no longer recognize him'.

III. How it should be understood: 'Lord, in your city you will reduce their image to nothing'; this chapter, like the others, they understand differently than what is said.

IV. How it should be understood, what the Psalmographer has sung: 'Mercy and truth have met each other, righteousness and peace have embraced'; this is said to be fulfilled rashly and adoringly by the presbyter John and the Eastern legate in participation with the venerable Pope Adrian and Patriarch Tarasius.

V. That it does not pertain to the adoration of images, as they say, that which is written: 'Exalt the Lord our God and worship the footstool of his feet, for he is holy'.

VI. That neither can the adoration of images be proven by this, as they think, that which is written: 'Worship on his holy mountain'.

VII. That it is not, as they boast, said for those who worship images 'For the Lord will not leave the rod of sinners over the lot of the righteous, so that the righteous do not extend their hands to iniquity'.

VIII. That it is not for those who despise the adoration of images, as they delete, it is said through the prophet: 'The Lord will bring those declining to the obligation with those working iniquity'.

IX. That the adoration of images cannot be confirmed from that which Solomon is said to have made oxen and lions in the temple, as those who pant in their adoration dream.

X. How it should be understood, what is written in the Song of Songs: 'Show me your face and make me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet and your face is beautiful'; this chapter they brought forward most shamelessly to the vision of images.

XI. How should we understand what is written by the prophet Isaiah: 'The altar of the Lord will be in the middle of the land of Egypt'; this chapter they stupidly and uneducatedly try to refer to the adoration of images.

XII. Most absurdly and carelessly against those who despise the worship of images, the testimony of the holy gospel has been brought forth by those who worship them: 'No one lights a lamp and puts it under a bushel'.

XIII. Regarding what they say to confirm their error, that the blessed Sylvester, the Bishop of the city of Rome, delivered images of the apostles to Emperor Constantine, although he is not read to have ordered them to be worshiped.

XIV. The opinion of the blessed Athanasius, the bishop of the city of Alexandria, should not be understood as they who try to adapt it to the worship of images believe.

XV. It is wrongly used by those who wish to strengthen their error through the opinion of the blessed Ambrose, the bishop of the city of Milan, which they falsely claim to be from the third book, ninth chapter, to confirm the adoration of images.

XVI. The blessed Augustine did not say for material images, as they erased, 'What is the image of God, if not the face of God, in which the people of God are signed?'

XVII. That the life and preaching of Bishop Gregory of Nyssa, from whom they draw testimonies to confirm their error, are unknown to us.

XVIII. The testimony that they have brought forth from the sixth council does not pertain to the adoration of images.

XIX. The opinion of John, the bishop of Constantinople, which they bring as evidence for the worship of images, is found not to pertain to what they believe.

XX. The opinion of the blessed Cyril in the explanation of the gospel according to Matthew does not pertain to the adoration of images, as they assert.

XXI. That it is not against the Christian religion, as they say, not to venerate and not to adore images.

XXII. That they do not have a good memory, who, in order not to forget the saints or indeed the Lord himself, therefore erect images.

XXIII. That it is against the principles of blessed Gregory, bishop of the city of Rome, to venerate or break images.

XXIV. When apart from God alone, nothing else should be adored; it is one thing to venerate a person out of love and respect, another thing to venerate manufactured images.

XXV. That nowhere in the examples or words of the apostles, as they chatter, is it established to venerate images.

XXVI. That it is no small error to attempt to equate manufactured images with the ark of the Lord's covenant, as they tried to do in their synod.

XXVII. That it is great recklessness and enormous absurdity often to want to equate the aforementioned images with the body and blood of the Lord, as is read in the same vanity that is written for their veneration.

XXVIII. How much the mystery of the Lord's cross is distinct from images, which indeed they strive to equate with it.

XXIX. That Tarasius with his followers does not fear to presumptuously and ignorantly equate these with sacred vessels.

XXX. Against those who say: 'Just as we have the books of divine Scriptures, so we have images for the memory of veneration, observing the purity of our faith'.

XXXI. That they act against the command of the Lord's voice, who anathematize their parents, and if according to their opinion their predecessors were heretics, these have been born, taught and consecrated by heretics; or: About not judging those who have departed from the world; or: How much their error disagrees with the error of their parents, since evidently those broke images, these judged to venerate.


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It is clear that our work's style, whether in previous volumes, which have already been digested, God permitting, or in the present one, which we are about to begin, or even in the one we will subsequently digest with the Lord's help, is always vigilant against the madness of those who, although at different times and with different intentions, usually convene synods to decide whether images in the church should be renounced or worshipped.

And because the writings of this madness, which they aspire to be judged under the hollow desire of the name of the seventh synod, is seen to be supported, like members with errors of their own senses and with inappropriately applied witnesses of divine law, like wings, we decided in the preceding books to remove those wings which it believed it was supported in vain, and in the following ones to desolate it of the vain assembly of members, which it suspects it could rely on, so that those before it might remove the oars, those following might dismantle its limbs piece by piece, the preceding ones depriving it of flight, the following ones of walk, so that it may appear exhausted, bereft of all suitable senses and witnesses of divine maxims, the wings of divine speech, by which it was believed to be transported greatly, cut off, and its own senses, which were violently compelled to wander in others, restored, and shaken by the force of the strong and impregnable fist of the Catholic faith, mounds of assertions devoid of reason.

This is not believed to be digested by all, since while it aims to lift the glory of its authors in high praise, it does not fear to disturb the prosperity of domestic affairs with civil strife; and while it ignominiously provokes citizens to the forbidden worship of certain things, it terrifies citizens with its own domestic weapons and compels the strikes of spears, by which freedom ought to have been defended and resisted against hostile groups, to be turned tragically against the natives.

Therefore, we have decided not to recklessly weaken this with cunning objections, not with legal eloquence, not with guileful phrases wandering far from the cause, not with the allure of a seductive cothurnus, not with the knotted arguments of cunning execution, but we color it purely and within the scope of simple speech, solidified with the robust cords of divine eloquence and the eloquence of healthy and sober doctrine, which, devoid of the ostentation of pride, is more a lover of the progress of the holy Church, rather than a pursuer of our own or our windy praise.

Therefore, since in the text of this current book, where it now clearly behooves us to attack, we are somewhat going to dispute about the faith, discussing the opinions of those who have placed certain things differently in their synod than what was handed down by the holy fathers, the order demands that we first lay the foundation of our faith, specifically, about which the Apostle says: “No one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ." Once we have sincerely professed this revered faith, as we "believe in our heart, confess with our mouth," and have fortified the beginnings of future work with the firmness of such a foundation, our structure, rising more freely, may be built more upright and more solid, and that of others, wherever it may have arisen less correctly or less solidly, may be more easily overthrown.

Therefore, because we must first fortify and establish ourselves and afterwards battle against and resist the opposing, we are not only instructed by the documents of the holy scriptures, but also warned by the author's own Roman eloquence, who says: “We must argue in such a way that we first establish our own positions, then break down those of our adversaries.”




I. The confession of the catholic faith, which we have received from the holy fathers, we hold and believe with a pure heart.

II. That Tarasius has tried to smear error with error and has slipped from sickness to sickness, when indeed, converted suddenly from being a layman to being promoted to a bishop, he tries to correct this in the adoration of images, which he admitted in the sudden reception of consecration.

III. Does Tarasius rightly feel, who confesses in his reading of faith that the Holy Spirit does not proceed from the Father and the Son according to the truest rule of the holy faith, but 'proceeds from the Father through the Son'?

IV. Does Theodore, the bishop of Jerusalem, think correctly, who, when he said he believed the 'Father to be without a beginning and eternal', confessed that the Son, I don't know under what ambiguous words, 'acknowledges no other beginning than the Father and has existence from him'?

V. That the same Tarasius did not rightly say that the Holy Spirit is 'co-generating with the Father and the Son', when it would suffice to say 'co-eternal, consubstantial and of the same essence and nature'.

VI. About the fact that Basil, bishop of Anchire, inserted the kissing and adoration of images and relics in his reading of faith after confessing the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, saying he has faith to partake in their sanctification, but has been completely silent about the remission of sins or the resurrection of the flesh or the life to come.

VII. About the fact that Theodosius, bishop of Amorium, lazily concealed the faith of the holy and unique Trinity, but said recklessly and extraordinarily about images: 'I confess and promise and accept and kiss and adore images'; and after a few: 'Anathema to those who do not diligently instruct all people beloved by Christ to adore and venerate the sacred and honorable images of all the saints, who have pleased God from the world.'

VIII. That it is almost doubted about the faith of all, when some have confessed that the Holy Spirit proceeds only from the Father, but others neither from the Father nor the Son.

IX. Concerning the fact that, if perhaps some error in the pronouncements on faith given by the aforementioned bishops remains undiscussed, it will remain due to the difficulty and enormity of their speech, which is often so obscured by laziness, that what it wishes to signify or what meaning should be understood in it, is least clear.

X. The statement of faith of Bishop Theodore is ludicrously and childishly said: 'God is wonderful in his saints', and then: 'To the saints, who are in his earth, he has made all my wills wonderful among them', as if this verse follows the former.

XI. That the Greeks have uselessly and recklessly tried to anathematize the Catholic Church in their synod, because it does not adore images, when they certainly should have first thoroughly investigated what each part of the church would want to feel about this issue.

XII. That they have largely thrown away gentleness and patience in not controlling their mouth and speaking excessively.

XIII. Because a woman should not teach in the synod, as Herena is read to have done in their synod.

XIV. Against those, who say: 'Cooperating with God, we have directed to gather you' or: 'God has gathered you wanting to establish his own council'.

XV. Against those, who say: 'For if imperial effigies and images encounter people in cities and provinces with wax and incense, not honoring the wax-covered tablet, but the emperor, how much more should images of our Savior God and his immaculate mother and all the saints be painted in the churches of Christ!'.

XVI. Against those, who claim that the honor of an image is transferred to its original form.

XVII. It was unfortunate, hasty, or foolishly said by Constantine, Bishop of Constantia in Cyprus: 'I accept and embrace with honor the holy and venerable images, and those according to the service of adoration, which I send to the substantial and life-giving Trinity; and those who do not feel so nor glorify, I segregate from the holy, catholic, and apostolic church, and submit to anathema, and I send to the party, who have denied the incarnate and saving dispensation of Christ, our true God.'

XVIII. Eutimius, Bishop of Sardis, does not greatly disagree from the aforementioned Constantine's error in that he says: 'I wholeheartedly accept venerable images with suitable honor and embracing adoration. For those, who feel or dogmatize against the sacred images in another or contrary way, I deem aliens to the catholic church, and I preach and announce as heretics.'

XIX. The useless and demented statement and laughter-worthy dictum of Agapius, Bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, is criticized in that he said: 'It is written in our divine Scriptures.'

XX. Concerning what the presbyter John said to Theodosius, the abbot of the monastery of St. Andrew, when reciting the words of John Chrysostom and saying: 'I saw an angel in an image pursuing a multitude of barbarians', he said: 'Who is this angel, unless he is the one about whom it is written: For the angel of the Lord struck one hundred eighty-five thousand Assyrians in one night around exercising Jerusalem?'

XXI. That they have no authority to claim, nor is it found in any of the authentic books, that a certain person was deterred from committing adultery by the image of a certain Polemon: indeed, they strive to equate this with the miracle that was performed by the hem of the Lord's garments, which a woman touched and received her desired health.

XXII. That the judges, who were in the aforementioned synod, tried insolently and unsuitably to extol the art of painting, saying: 'The art of the painter is devout, and some foolishly detract from it incorrectly; the Father himself commends the devoutly acting painter.'

XXIII. The useless and full of lies statement of the presbyter John and legate of the East, saying: 'Painters do not go against the Scriptures; but whatever the Scripture says, they demonstrate this, insofar as they are in agreement with the Scriptures.'

XXIV. That images should not be equated with the relics of the holy martyrs and confessors, as they try to do in their erroneous synod, because relics are either from the body or from things in the body, or from things that were around the body of a certain saint, but images are not believed to have been or to be in the body or around the body of those to whom they are ascribed.

XXV. That images are not to be adored for that reason, that they, as they say, are thought to have shown certain signs through them, although not all things are adored, through which or in which miracles appear.

XXVI. That Theodore, Bishop of Mira, acted ridiculously and childishly, who, in order to establish the adoration of images, recounted the dreams of his archdeacon in the same synod.

XXVII. That, since God is non-local, they less learnedly said: 'We venerate and adore as the place of God.'

XXVIII. A useless, foolish, and error-filled statement that they say: 'Whoever fears God, truly honors, adores and venerates as the Son of God, our God Christ, and his cross's sign and the figure of his saints.'

XXIX. The most senseless and irrational statement by John, presbyter of the East, in that he said, 'the image of the emperor is honored when the emperor is not present, for it is not dishonored; thus also now, with the Lord of all Jesus Christ not visibly appearing to us — for he is invisible to our carnal eyes, just as God is everywhere present — the Father perceived his image to be honored just as the emperor.'

XXX. Regarding those who inserted apocryphal and ridiculous tales into their discourses.

XXXI. A mad error-filled delusion, which they said about a certain retreated one, who is reported to have sworn to a demon and then made that oath void, whose abbot is recognized to have scolded him strongly, telling him that it would be more appropriate for him to enter all the brothels in the city than to deny the adoration of the image of the Lord or his holy mother.


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