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The Edict of Milan (1700 anniversary)
Internet Medieval Sourcebook at Fordham ^ | AD 313 | Constantine Augustus and Licinius Augustus

Posted on 06/19/2013 5:10:26 AM PDT by annalex

The Edict of Milan

Constantine Augustus and Licinius Augustus

When I, Constantine Augustus, as well as I Licinius Augustus fortunately met near Mediolanum (Milan), and were considering everything that pertained to the public welfare and security, we thought -, among other things which we saw would be for the good of many, those regulations pertaining to the reverence of the Divinity ought certainly to be made first, so that we might grant to the Christians and others full authority to observe that religion which each preferred; whence any Divinity whatsoever in the seat of the heavens may be propitious and kindly disposed to us and all who are placed under our rule And thus by this wholesome counsel and most upright provision we thought to arrange that no one whatsoever should be denied the opportunity to give his heart to the observance of the Christian religion, of that religion which he should think best for himself, so that the Supreme Deity, to whose worship we freely yield our hearts) may show in all things His usual favor and benevolence. Therefore, your Worship should know that it has pleased us to remove all conditions whatsoever, which were in the rescripts formerly given to you officially, concerning the Christians and now any one of these who wishes to observe Christian religion may do so freely and openly, without molestation. We thought it fit to commend these things most fully to your care that you may know that we have given to those Christians free and unrestricted opportunity of religious worship. When you see that this has been granted to them by us, your Worship will know that we have also conceded to other religions the right of open and free observance of their worship for the sake of the peace of our times, that each one may have the free opportunity to worship as he pleases ; this regulation is made we that we may not seem to detract from any dignity or any religion.

Moreover, in the case of the Christians especially we esteemed it best to order that if it happens anyone heretofore has bought from our treasury from anyone whatsoever, those places where they were previously accustomed to assemble, concerning which a certain decree had been made and a letter sent to you officially, the same shall be restored to the Christians without payment or any claim of recompense and without any kind of fraud or deception, Those, moreover, who have obtained the same by gift, are likewise to return them at once to the Christians. Besides, both those who have purchased and those who have secured them by gift, are to appeal to the vicar if they seek any recompense from our bounty, that they may be cared for through our clemency,. All this property ought to be delivered at once to the community of the Christians through your intercession, and without delay. And since these Christians are known to have possessed not only those places in which they were accustomed to assemble, but also other property, namely the churches, belonging to them as a corporation and not as individuals, all these things which we have included under the above law, you will order to be restored, without any hesitation or controversy at all, to these Christians, that is to say to the corporations and their conventicles: providing, of course, that the above arrangements be followed so that those who return the same without payment, as we have said, may hope for an indemnity from our bounty. In all these circumstances you ought to tender your most efficacious intervention to the community of the Christians, that our command may be carried into effect as quickly as possible, whereby, moreover, through our clemency, public order may be secured. Let this be done so that, as we have said above, Divine favor towards us, which, under the most important circumstances we have already experienced, may, for all time, preserve and prosper our successes together with the good of the state. Moreover, in order that the statement of this decree of our good will may come to the notice of all, this rescript, published by your decree, shall be announced everywhere and brought to the knowledge of all, so that the decree of this, our benevolence, cannot be concealed.

from Lactantius, De Mort. Pers., ch. 48. opera, ed. 0. F. Fritzsche, II, p 288 sq. (Bibl Patr. Ecc. Lat. XI).

Both texts translated in University of Pennsylvania. Dept. of History: Translations and Reprints from the Original Sources of European history, (Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press [1897?-1907?]), Vol 4:, 1, pp. 28-30

I fixed a few typos. A-x


TOPICS: History; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS:
Can we have another 100? I doubt it.
1 posted on 06/19/2013 5:10:26 AM PDT by annalex
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To: NYer; narses; Salvation

For your pinging pleasure.


2 posted on 06/19/2013 5:11:17 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex


Left: Bust of Roman Emperor Licinius, Vatican Museums.
Right: Head of the colossal statue of Constantine I, Musei Capitolini, Rome. Marble, Roman artwork, 313–324 CE.

3 posted on 06/19/2013 5:13:39 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

Next question: Did Constantine really believe in Jesus Christ? Or did he “convert” for political purposes?


4 posted on 06/19/2013 5:28:14 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: annalex

Summarized “You will no longer pick on the Christians and give them back all the property you took from them no matter who owns it today”.

And yet some “Christians” view this as a bad thing.....


5 posted on 06/19/2013 5:43:06 AM PDT by wonkowasright (Wonko from outside the asylum)
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To: SeekAndFind

He received a vision of the Holy Cross. That does not agree with the theory of calculated political move.


6 posted on 06/19/2013 5:46:39 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: wonkowasright
Observe, by the way, that there were established churches already:
Christians are known to have possessed not only those places in which they were accustomed to assemble, but also other property, namely the churches, belonging to them as a corporation and not as individuals

7 posted on 06/19/2013 5:49:02 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

First decree in regards to religious freedom.


8 posted on 06/19/2013 5:59:07 AM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: annalex

Indeed. And since the times of, Timothy and Titus, there were those appointed by a higher ranking church man [paul] assigned to territories to appoint and depose parish level leaders too. What is that called, an Episcopal structure ? And there were also teachers without authority, who were the ones causing all the confusion per Acts, then as now .....


9 posted on 06/19/2013 6:03:24 AM PDT by wonkowasright (Wonko from outside the asylum)
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To: annalex; netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; ...

Ping!


10 posted on 06/19/2013 6:34:10 AM PDT by NYer ( "Run from places of sin as from the plague."--St John Climacus)
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To: annalex
Wait, wait, wait, one doggone minute you mean we Catholics were telling the truth and Constantine was not the first Pope?

Next you are going to make the claim that Jesus really meant it when he said "This is My Body" and "This is My Blood".

11 posted on 06/19/2013 6:50:30 AM PDT by verga (A nation divided by Zero!)
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To: annalex

both those who have purchased and those who have secured them by gift, are to appeal to the vicar if they seek any recompense from our bounty, that they may be cared for through our clemency,.


It seems the vicar is some one with authority but at the same time it looks like the Christians are the ones who had been persecuted against So was the vicar a Christian or a Roman official.

Plainly freedom of religion, but Constantine does not seem to be identified as a Christian.


12 posted on 06/19/2013 7:04:42 AM PDT by ravenwolf
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To: verga

No, we are just asking what the pope has to do with the word of god from the Bible.


13 posted on 06/19/2013 7:13:06 AM PDT by ravenwolf
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To: annalex

RE: He received a vision of the Holy Cross. That does not agree with the theory of calculated political move.

The Israelites were blessed with the parting of the Red Sea and various miracles from God through Moses Himself. That did not make them obedient to God.

Here is something from the life of Constantine many people do not know:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantine_the_Great#Executions_of_Crispus_and_Fausta

On some date between 15 May and 17 June 326, Constantine had his eldest son Crispus, by Minervina, seized and put to death by “cold poison” at Pola (Pula, Croatia).

In July, Constantine had his wife, the Empress Fausta, killed at the behest of his mother, Helena. Fausta was left to die in an over-heated bath.

Their names were wiped from the face of many inscriptions, references to their lives in the literary record were erased, and the memory of both was condemned. Eusebius, for example, edited praise of Crispus out of later copies of his Historia Ecclesiastica, and his Vita Constantini contains no mention of Fausta or Crispus at all.

Few ancient sources are willing to discuss possible motives for the events; those few that do offer unconvincing rationales, are of later provenance, and are generally unreliable. At the time of the executions, it was commonly believed that the Empress Fausta was either in an illicit relationship with Crispus, or was spreading rumors to that effect. A popular myth arose, modified to allude to Hippolytus–Phaedra legend, with the suggestion that Constantine killed Crispus and Fausta for their immoralities.

One source, the largely fictional Passion of Artemius, probably penned in the eighth century by John of Damascus, makes the legendary connection explicit.

As an interpretation of the executions, the myth rests on only “the slimmest of evidence”: sources that allude to the relationship between Crispus and Fausta are late and unreliable, and the modern suggestion that Constantine’s “godly” edicts of 326 and the irregularities of Crispus are somehow connected rests on no evidence at all.

Although Constantine created his apparent heirs “Caesars”, following a pattern established by Diocletian, he gave his creations an hereditary character, alien to the tetrarchic system: Constantine’s Caesars were to be kept in the hope of ascending to Empire, and entirely subordinated to their Augustus, as long as he was alive.

Therefore, an alternative explanation for the execution of Crispus was, perhaps, Constantine’s desire to keep a firm grip on his prospective heirs, this—and Fausta’s desire for having her sons inheriting instead of their stepbrother—being reason enough for killing Crispus; the subsequent execution of Fausta, however, was probably meant as a reminder to her children that Constantine would not hesitate in “killing his own relatives when he felt this was necessary”.


14 posted on 06/19/2013 7:35:10 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: ravenwolf
No, we are just asking what the pope has to do with the word of god from the Bible.

Seriously since I have been on this forum no less than 20 non Catholics have told me Constantine was the first Pope.

BTW in answer to your question I am certain you may have heard that our first Pope (Peter) wrote two books, 1 Peter, and 2 Peter.

You folks have taken those out mistake as well have you?

15 posted on 06/19/2013 8:24:53 AM PDT by verga (A nation divided by Zero!)
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To: verga
Constantine was the 89th pope...elected in 708, died in 715.
16 posted on 06/19/2013 9:28:27 AM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: verga

BTW in answer to your question I am certain you may have heard that our first Pope (Peter) wrote two books, 1 Peter, and 2 Peter.


Yes, i have heard that peter was the first pope, i have also heard quite a few other things that i have not been able to verify by reading the bible.

And you did not answer my question which i do not believe was a trick question and has everything to do with the truth.

Which is this
Where is Pope even mentioned in the Bible, and where is it mentioned that Peter was made pope.

Personally i hold peter as the highest where the apostles are concerned but Jesus said that is not the way it was to be.

Mark 20
25
But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.

26
But it shall not be so among you:


Seriously since I have been on this forum no less than 20 non Catholics have told me Constantine was the first Pope.

I don,t know who was called the first pope and don,t even know where the word came from or when it came, i believe it is plain that the Apostles never heard of it or they would have mentioned it somewhere.


17 posted on 06/19/2013 9:31:27 AM PDT by ravenwolf
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To: Verginius Rufus

Constantine was the 89th pope...elected in 708, died in 715.


Pardon me for butting in, but how many of the popes between Peter and Constantine knew they were popes, in other words when was the name of pope first recognized or when did it first appear?


18 posted on 06/19/2013 9:48:52 AM PDT by ravenwolf
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To: Verginius Rufus
Constantine was the 89th pope...elected in 708, died in 715.This was not the Emperor Constantine that gave us the Edict of Milan (Edict of Toleration) in 323. Two different men.
19 posted on 06/19/2013 10:13:35 AM PDT by verga (A nation divided by Zero!)
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To: ravenwolf
Yes, i have heard that peter was the first pope, i have also heard quite a few other things that i have not been able to verify by reading the bible.

Nothing against you; I am trying to make a strict policy of dealing only with the topic of the thread. I have been pulled into way to may tangential topics lately.

As it would be rude to not answer your polite request I will state that Catholics do not believe in the practice of Sola Scriptura. The reason being that there are many truths that many Christians believe which are not found EXPLICITLY in the Bible. Examples would include "The Rapture", The Trinity, the "Sinners" prayer, etc....

If you want to start a different thread discussing any of those then please ping me.

20 posted on 06/19/2013 10:23:28 AM PDT by verga (A nation divided by Zero!)
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To: verga

Nothing against you; I am trying to make a strict policy of dealing only with the topic of the thread. I have been pulled into way to may tangential topics lately.


I appreciate that but the below comment is your comment that i was referring to. so i don,t think i was talking about anything different than you were.


Wait, wait, wait, one doggone minute you mean we Catholics were telling the truth and Constantine was not the first Pope?

Next you are going to make the claim that Jesus really meant it when he said “This is My Body” and “This is My Blood”.


As far as the topics of the thread goes i also have questions about some of them.

Who was Your Worship that the letter seemed to be addressing, and who was the Vicar?

It appears that the rulers confiscated the property from the Christians and then either gave it to others as a gift or sold it to others.

It had to be taken away from the ones who had it and given back to the Christians.

It is only natural that these people, at least the ones who paid for it would have been cheated, not by the Christians but by the people who had stolen it from them then sold it.

If these people wanted their money back they had to take it up with the Vicar, since the Christians had nothing to do with it, my question is who was the Vicar and is he the top figure who was in on the theft of the property to begin with? other wise why would they have to go to him.

Maybe i read it wrong, or maybe i assume wrong but it puts a lot of questions into my feeble mind.


21 posted on 06/19/2013 11:48:24 AM PDT by ravenwolf
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To: verga
Yes, I know an 8th-century pope and and a fourth-century Roman emperor are different men.

There was a meeting between Constantine and Licinius in 313 in Milan, and a little later the emperor Licinius issued an edict of toleration in Nicomedia. Constantine had already been favoring the Christians since his victory over Maxentius in October 312--so the Christians in the western half of the empire did not need an edict of toleration by that point. There was no "Edict of Milan."

22 posted on 06/19/2013 1:05:00 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: verga

There are two books in the New Testament which appear to be letters written by St. Peter but not all scholars agree that they were written by the Apostle Peter. Putting the name of a revered figure on a piece of writing was a common practice (many say that is the case with the book of Daniel in the Old Testament). There are stylistic differences between the two letters. I think some critics would put II Peter after A.D. 100.


23 posted on 06/19/2013 1:13:31 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: verga

Pftt...you obviously don’t know how to read the early church fathers correctly... < /sarc >


24 posted on 06/19/2013 1:26:13 PM PDT by FourtySeven (47)
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To: wonkowasright
What is that called, an Episcopal structure ?

Of course. Both episcopacy and priesthood (presbytery) are mentioned in the New Testament a number of times, and St. Ignatius of Antioch, around AD 100, already describes the modern understanding of the episcopacy.

25 posted on 06/19/2013 6:01:06 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: verga
Next you are going to make the claim that Jesus really meant it

Yup. He meant it. Cuz the Bible tells me so.

26 posted on 06/19/2013 6:02:03 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: ravenwolf
So was the vicar a Christian or a Roman official.

The vicar generally refers to Christian clergy, but I cannot say for sure.

Constantine does not seem to be identified as a Christian.

Not in this document, but that is understandable that in this context he only needs to be identified as Western Emperor. However, it si also true that St. Constantine did not become Christian till on his deathbed, as he had been advised not to get baptized while he was still in charge of armies, etc. (Wiki)

27 posted on 06/19/2013 6:08:26 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: SeekAndFind

Thank you. No one has made any claims of St. Constantine to be impeccable all his life; most people aren’t.


28 posted on 06/19/2013 6:10:11 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: NYer

Thank you.


29 posted on 06/19/2013 6:12:07 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

The vicar generally refers to Christian clergy, but I cannot say for sure.


Thanks, i was aware of that and that is why i wonder if there is any connection.

In the thread it looks to me like Both Your Worship and the Vicar are not among the Christian Church, but could be mistaken.

Thanks again


30 posted on 06/19/2013 7:14:18 PM PDT by ravenwolf
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To: annalex; ravenwolf
I believe in the context of this edict, the vicar was a local representative of Constantine, here is a definition from Wikipedia. "A vicar (/ˈvɪkər/; Latin: vicarius) is a representative, deputy or substitute; anyone acting "in the person of" or agent for a superior (compare "vicarious" in the sense of "at second hand"). In this sense, the title is comparable to lieutenant. Linguistically, vicar is the root of the English prefix "vice", similarly meaning "deputy". The title appears in a number of Christian ecclesiastical contexts, but also as an administrative title, or title modifier, in the Roman Empire. In addition, in the Holy Roman Empire a local representative of the emperor, perhaps an archduke, might be styled "vicar"."
31 posted on 06/19/2013 7:35:32 PM PDT by rwa265
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To: rwa265; ravenwolf
As a general proposition, while this is the form in which the Edict survives, it is not a form of a government decree, but rather an open letter. It is evident here:

your Worship should know that it has pleased us to remove all conditions whatsoever, which were in the rescripts formerly given to you officially
Today, the style "your Worship" is reserved for judges, but it could also be addressed to a bishop. It seems that the letter is supposed to please "his Worship" as it removes the "conditions" imposed on him previously. That the letter is not an official document we can see in the qualifier "officially" attached to the "rescripts" but not to the letter. So, from this letter it is not clear who "his Worship" is, but the composition of the letter makes me think that he is the one notified that the restrictions on his religion are removed, and so he is a high-ranking Christian clergy.

As to the "vicar", here is the context:

appeal to the vicar if they seek any recompense from our bounty

I think it proves that the "vicar" is a government official since he appears in charge of the Emperors' "bounty", that is, the treasury. Further, it would be logical if the appeals in this situation be handled by someone other than the Christian beneficiary of the Edict.

32 posted on 06/20/2013 5:33:59 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: A.A. Cunningham; andyk; Belteshazzar; bert; Bigg Red; blueunicorn6; boxlunch; ...

I did not want to abuse the esteemed participants in my new ping list with this thread, that had every potential to become a religious war; but the thread turned out irenic and it is a historical matter of relevance to all conservatives, so here you are.


33 posted on 06/20/2013 5:52:07 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: verga

You don’t say.


34 posted on 06/20/2013 6:43:12 AM PDT by JCBreckenridge (Un Pere, Une Mere, C'est elementaire)
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To: annalex

Some historical background—in AD 303, just ten years earlier, the emperor Diocletian launched a campaign to wipe out Christianity and revive the old Roman religion. As a result, churches throughout the Roman Empire were destroyed, Christians were jailed and killed and their property was seized.

Diocletian is someone liberals should love, a Christophobe who instituted progressive taxation and price controls.


35 posted on 06/20/2013 7:01:22 AM PDT by Fiji Hill
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To: annalex

As a general proposition, while this is the form in which the Edict survives, it is not a form of a government decree, but rather an open letter. It is evident here:


This is the one that made me wonder.

We thought it fit to commend these things most fully to your care that you may know that we have given to those Christians free and unrestricted opportunity of religious worship.

But i can also see it as you said and can except that until i see more proof otherwise.


I think it proves that the “vicar” is a government official since he appears in charge of the Emperors’ “bounty”

Makes sense to me.
Thanks.


36 posted on 06/20/2013 7:35:57 AM PDT by ravenwolf
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To: rwa265

I believe in the context of this edict, the vicar was a local representative of Constantine,


Ok, i understand that vicar can be used in more than one situation, so this Vicar has nothing to do with the Vicar of Christ.

Thanks for helping me clear that up.


37 posted on 06/20/2013 7:42:34 AM PDT by ravenwolf
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To: rwa265; ravenwolf
On the second thought.

I finally checked with the Latin original. It turns out, the translation "your Worship" is inaccurate: the original said "Dicationem tuam ... Dicatio tua", which is then "your Reverence", a form of address of a priest rather than a judge. Compare:

As a title: tua dicatio, your Reverence, Cod. Theod. 11, 30, 1; Lact. Mort. pers. 48 al.

38 posted on 06/20/2013 6:41:27 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: Fiji Hill
Diocletian is someone liberals should love, a Christophobe who instituted progressive taxation and price controls.

Ah. The left is always the left. Thank you.

39 posted on 06/20/2013 6:43:06 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

I finally checked with the Latin original. It turns out, the translation “your Worship” is inaccurate: the original said “Dicationem tuam ... Dicatio tua”, which is then “your Reverence”, a form of address of a priest rather than a judge


According to that it does refer to a priest.


40 posted on 06/21/2013 9:58:22 AM PDT by ravenwolf
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To: ravenwolf

Not to the exclusion of possibly a bishop, — which would be a likelier recipient.


41 posted on 06/21/2013 6:36:43 PM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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