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Related to simonist: barrators, Simoniacal alienation

SIMONY, eccl. law. The selling and buying of holy orders, or an ecclesiastical benefice. Bac. Ab. h.t.; 1 Harr. Dig. 556. By simony is also understood an unlawful agreement to receive a temporal reward for something holy or spiritual. Code, 1, 3, 31 Ayl. Parerg. 496.

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Miniato from fear of contamination by the simonist abbot Ubertus, but his subsequent status as a gryovage or wandering monk was justified by a miraculous multiplication of bread and eggs for a poor beggar, a sign of divine favor on his public denunciation of abuse.
For the Apostles, the tongues of fire were the Holy Ghost, which descended on them to help in their divinely ordained mission of guiding the church of Christ; for the simonists, the flames are a punishment for having failed to guide the church and for, metaphorically at least, having bought and sold the Holy Ghost as Simon wished to do.
However, under Smarr's lens this tale, with its narrative within the narrative, reveals a heretofore unsuspected complexity, with links to the Book of Matthew and Dante's depiction of the Simonists in Inferno 19.
Among the evil counselors who have used their high mental gifts for guile, Ulysses is deeper down than the simonists and thieves.