g2 CONSTANTINOPLE AND ITS ENVIRONS;
carried them off whenever the Iconoclasts attempted to deface or destroy them. Certain
Iambics were composed, in which the practice was declared superstitious and impious,
and every person detected in it was seized, and a mark set upon him like Cain. The
lines were indelibly inscribed on the person by puncturing them on the skin. In this way
St. Theodore was stigmatized; the denunciation was tatooed on his forehead, and thence
he obtained the name of Graft, or " the inscribed." He is held in great estimation by
the Latin church, as a martyr to orthodoxy; but is of no repute in the Greek, which still
professes a horror at image-worship.
The present church of St. Theodore at Pergamus, is a poor, mean edifice, forming a strong contrast with the noble remains of the church of St. John, beside it :
yet it is the only place of Christian worship now in the city. It stands on the
side of the hill of the Acropolis, and appears but the remnant of a former church.
The sanctuary is the only part not altogether dilapidated, the rest being only a mud-
built heap. The screen, which in all Greek churches, however humble, glitters
with gilding and gaudy paint, is here so dark and dingy, that even in the glow
of the sun, or the ever-lighted lamps, the figures are scarcely discernible; yet it is
pleasing to find, even in this dim temple, a spark of Christianity is cherished, likely to
beam into a clearer light. The poor papas of the church have formed a school under
the roof, in which more than thirty children are instructed, and the bibles of the British
and Foreign Society are introduced.
Among the objects presented in our illustration, is one characteristic of the saint to
whom the church is dedicated. The expulsion of devils was included among the miracles
performed in the name of Theodore; and in our illustration is a poor maniac waiting
before the sanctuary, for the purpose, while the appointed papas are exorcising him.
A belief in actual possession by evil spirits, is the dogma of the Greek church at the
present day; and in many of them are seen chains and manacles passed through rings in
the floor, where the unfortunate maniac is bound night and day while the process of
exorcism is being gone through. In a Greek monastery on the islands, is a chapel famed
for the efficacy of its prayers in this way, to which patients are sent from Constantinople,
and the floor of the church, at times, was almost covered with those demoniacs chained
down to the ground. During the excitement of the Greek insurrection, the priests were
the particular objects of Turkish persecution; and the Caloyers of this convent were
particularly proscribed. They all escaped but one, and he was anxiously preparing to
fly, expecting every moment his executioners; he saw them ascending the hill, on the
summit of which the convent is situated, and, as a forlorn hope, he ran into the chapel,
thrust his legs and arms into the fetters, and appeared violently possessed, so that no
man " could bind him, no, not with chains." The Turks entertain great respect for
maniacs, whom they believe to be, when bereft of reason, in the immediate care of
Allah; so they only looked compassionately on the poor man, and left the church. The
Caloyer escaped, descended in the dark into a caique, which was secretly waiting for
him, and escaped finally to Russia, the great refuge of the proscribed Greeks.