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In the Council, generally called _Concilium Africanum_, held A.D. 408, "stage-playes and spectacles are forbidden on the Lord's-day, Christmas-day, and other solemn Christian festivalls." Theodosius the younger, in his laws _de Spectaculis_, in 425, forbade shows or games on the Nativity, and some other feasts. And in the Council of Auxerre, in Burgundy, in 578, disguisings are again forbidden, and at another Council, in 614, it was found necessary to repeat the prohibitory canons in stronger terms, declaring it to be unlawful to make any indecent plays upon the Kalends of January, according to the profane practices of the pagans. But it is also recorded that the more devout Christians in these early times celebrated the festival without indulging in the forbidden excesses.

The Romans now declared war against Antiochus, and in the following year (B.C. 191) the Consul Acilius Glabrio marched into Thessaly. The king had intrenched himself in the passes of Thermopylae, that he might prevent the Romans from penetrating into Central Greece. But there was, as is well known, a difficult passage across Mount Oeta, by which the Persians had descended to fight with Leonidas. This passage was now forced by M. Cato, who was serving as one of the Consul's lieutenants, and as soon as he appeared in the rear of the Syrian army they fled in confusion, and the battle was won. Antiochus now hastened back to Asia, abandoning all farther hopes of conquest in Greece. As soon as he had placed the sea between himself and the Romans he thought that he was safe; but Hannibal warned him of his error, and said that he wondered that the Romans had not already followed him.

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