Chapter XIII.—The Flight of Simon.
While Peter was thus talking, there entered one of those who had gone before to Antioch, and who, coming back from Antioch, said to Peter: “I wish you to know, my lord, that Simon, by doing many miracles publicly in Antioch, and calling you a magician and a juggler and a murderer, 1522 has worked them up to such hatred against you, that every man is eager to taste your very flesh if you should sojourn there. 1523 Wherefore we who went before, along with our brethren who were in pretence attached by you to Simon, seeing the city raging wildly against you, met secretly and considered what we ought to do. And assuredly, while we were in great perplexity, Cornelius the centurion arrived, who had been sent by the emperor to the governor of the province. He was the person whom our Lord cured when he was possessed of a demon in Cæsarea. This man we sent for secretly; and informing him of the cause of our despondency, we begged his help. He promised most readily that he would alarm Simon, and make him take to flight, if we should assist him in his effort. And when we all promised that we should readily do everything, he said, I shall spread abroad the news 1524 through many friends that I have secretly come to apprehend him; and I shall pretend that I am in search of him, because the emperor, having put to death many magicians, and having received information in regard to him, has sent me to search him out, that he may punish him as he punished the magicians before him; while those of your party who are with him must report to him, as if they had heard it from a secret source, that I have been sent to apprehend him. And perchance when he hears it from them, he will be alarmed and take to flight. When, therefore, we had intended to do something else, nevertheless the affair turned out in the following way. For when he heard the news from many strangers who gratified him greatly by secretly informing him, and also from our brethren who pretended to be attached to him, and took it as the opinion of his own followers, he resolved on retiring. And hastening away from Antioch, he has come here with Athenodorus, as we have heard. Wherefore we advise you not yet to enter that city, until we ascertain whether they can forget in his absence the accusations which he brought against you.”
Supplied from Epitome. The passage in Epitome Second renders it likely that the sentence ran: “But Simon, while doing many miracles publicly in Antioch, did nothing else by his discourses than excite hatred amongst them against you, and by calling you,” etc.343:1523
This passage is amended principally according to Wieseler and the Recognitions.343:1524
An emendation of Wieselers.