Scepticism in religious matters is not what comes to mind when think of Byzantium. In fact, it is routinely asserted that there was no such thing, indeed that it could not have existed because a credulous religious mentality was allegedly pervasive and overpowering. Byzantium produced intellectuals who questioned or dissented from Christian beliefs, and it is clear that the bulk of the population disregarded many rules of social and private life that the Church wanted to impose; they may also have been more indifferent to official doctrine than many of imagine. To state the uncomfortable and unacknowledged fact bluntly, in virtually all texts of sufficient length about miracle-performing saints there appear men and women who doubt, question, dissent or challenge the truth of a saint’s or a shrine’s supernatural powers. This phenomenon can be considered an extension of the scepticism directed in ancient Roman society toward the claims of the elite.