When emperors became converts, the church, so lately a victim and a pleader for liberty, readily learned to persecute.
On returning to Rome he was nominated to the honorary office of sevir equitum romanorum, and was actively engaged as a pleader before the centumviri, the chancery court of Rome (vi.
POLYAENUS, a Macedonian, who lived at Rome as a rhetorician and pleader in the 2nd century A.D.
The opposition, which was led by one Eusebius, a "scholasticus" or pleader who afterwards became bishop of Dorylaeum, chose to construe this utterance as a denial of the divinity of Christ, and so violent did the dispute upon it become that Nestorius judged it necessary to silence the remonstrants by force.
This was at once his strength and his weakness: his strength, for as a professional pleader he had learned how to deal with an adversary according to the rules of the art - to pull to pieces his theses, to reduce him ad absurdum, and to show the defects and contradictions of his statements, - and was specially qualified to expose the irregularities in the proceedings taken by the state against the Christians; but it was also his weakness, for it was responsible for his litigiousness, his often doubtful shifts and artifices, his sophisms and argumentationes ad hominem, his fallacies and surprises.
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