Continued from Part 1...
And while the Romans were always oppressive, in Judea circa 66-73 CE during the Great Revolt, the Beast revealed its most appalling nature. But this was just the first of three uprisings in the Roman-occupied Province of Yahuwdah (Iudaea in Latin) between 60 and 135 CE. All three insurrections grew out of religious oppression, criminal activity on behalf of the Romans, and excessive brutality and taxation. And with exception of religious persecution, since the other abuses were common throughout the Empire, this became a religious war. So when rabbinical Yisra’elites rebelled, the Empire responded by pummeling then plundering the object of their devotion, the most famous Temple in the world. Then to dissuade future displays of conscience and character, Rome crucified six-thousand Yahuwdym in Yaruwshalaim.
By way of background, so long as a vanquished race or region accepted the gods of the Roman pantheon, and also acknowledged that Rome’s Emperors were divine, so long as they were willing to sign an oath of allegiance to them, the Empire didn’t much care how many other gods or goddesses the people enshrined. But there was one place, a tiny sliver of land at the crossroads of continents, where one race acknowledged only one God. And that God was unique. He was not only real, He was had provided a very specific set of instructions on how to engage in a relationship with Him. As a result, He had a Covenant, a Chosen People, and a Promised Land. Especially important, this God was loving, and therefore jealous, and would not share His children with a deity or institution of man’s making. And that was not acceptable to the Roman Republic, the Roman Empire, or the Roman Catholic Church. This God’s prerequisite for engaging in a relationship with Him was walking away from all political and religious associations.
Immediately preceding the initial conflict, Roman citizenship reached six million souls. And during this time, King Herod ruled Yahuwdah as a Roman vassal. He was essentially Roman: an egomaniacal tyrant, killing anyone and everyone he perceived to be a threat – especially members of his own family. He ran Rome’s client as if it were his own private plantation, similar to the lords of feudal Europe, treating laborers as if they were his slaves. And he used the priesthood to his advantage, appointing religious clerics who endorsed him, much like the marriage of church and state throughout the world under the corruptive influence of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church.
Although Herod was a miserable man, when he died, in the vacuum of power that ensued, the Yahuwdah became susceptible to uprisings, political, religious, and economic. Initially the revolts were localized because the first Roman Procurators over Judea granted a partial exemption from pagan rights, from images of gods on coins, from statues of gods in sensitive places, and even from Sunday worship. That changed, however, with Gessius (note the similarity to the Christian misnomer “Jesus”) Florus. He set the Great Revolt in motion by stealing from the Temple treasury in 66 CE, then murdering the Yisra’elites who exposed and condemned his crime.
But there is some history we should reconsider before this, because rather than lighten the yoke, in 6 CE, Yahuwdah transitioned from a client kingdom to a Roman Province – a change that brought greater governmental interference, especially the imposition of Roman Law. And because the Romans adored Greek culture, Greek philosophy, and the Greek religion, even their Gnosticism, these influences began spreading throughout the Land, effecting both the religious fundamentalists and political liberals in Judea, with both embracing some Hellenistic ideals while chafing against others. But all the while, Greeks continued to look down their noses as Jews. They were, and they remain, among the most anti-Semitic people on earth. Even today, nearly two-thousand years later, recent polls reveal that nearly seventy percent of Greeks are vehemently prejudiced against Jews – by far the highest level of racial hatred in Europe.
Therefore, the legacy of Alexander the Great’s conquests continued to chafe Yisra’elites. And now as a Province, Roman Law became much more pervasive and therefore onerous in Iudaea. Yisra’elites as a whole were noncompliant, causing them to be discriminated against. And leading up to this time, Caligula’s persona became an issue. This repulsive man with hideous tendencies became paranoid, so to curry favor with him and avoid his deadly wrath, Roman vassals like Flaccus in Egypt started placing monstrous statues of Caligula inside of Jewish synagogues, beginning in 38 CE in Alexandria. This as we know, stirred riots, which Caligula dealt with by abusing Jews and assassinating Flaccus. Caligula’s successor, Claudius, forbade Jews from emigrating into Alexandria henceforth. He would also expel Jews from Rome, primarily because as a zealous pagan fundamentalist, he found their public bickering regarding the identity of “Chrestus” irritating. Fascinating, however, as a passable writer and historian, Claudius added the letters W and Y to the Latin alphabet. But unfortunately, these contributions to being able to properly transliterate Yahowah’s name, didn’t survive his reign.
As we discovered a moment ago, thereafter, Agrippa accused Herod Antipas, the Tetrarch of Galilee, of planning a rebellion against Roman rule. This appeared plausible because in 40 CE, riots broke out between Jews and Greeks in Alexandria after the Yisra’elites destroyed one of many pagan alters. In response, Caligula, arguably the most self-absorbed ruler in Roman history, arranged to have a massive statue of himself erected inside of Yahowah’s Temple in Jerusalem. Knowing that doing so would bring war, Publius Petronius, the governor of Syria, delayed implementing it for nearly a year. Thereafter, Agrippa finally convinced Caligula to reverse the order. But at this time, Yahuwdah remained a powder keg ready to explode. Rebellions became commonplace, with protests occurring in 46 and continued through 48 CE. The brothers believed to have inspired it, were publicly and painfully executed.
According to Josephus, the noted Jewish traitor, the Great Rebellion was provoked by pagan Greek merchants who sold and sacrificed birds to honor the Greek gods in front of a synagogue in Caesarea in 66 CE, rendering the synagogue unclean. Rome didn’t intervene, allowing Hellenistic animosity towards Jews to fester, in fact, they favored Greeks over Jews. In response, one of the Temple clerks, Eliezar ben Hanania, terminated prayers and sacrifices on behalf of the Roman Emperor. Protests over taxation followed, especially after Nero increased each province’s tribute payments to fund his new palace.
It was then that Gessius Florus, who had been assigned by Nero, and who was noted for his greed, breached the Temple with Roman troops and stole seventeen talents from its treasury – an account used to aid widows and orphans. Mocking him, the population began passing baskets around to collect money for Gessius, as if he were impoverished. The Roman Procurator responded by raiding Jerusalem and arresting civil and religious leaders – all of whom were flogged and then crucified. Outraged, various religious and political factions throughout the Judean Province crafted improvised arms and attacked the Roman military garrison in Yahuwdah / Judah, quickly overrunning them.
Rather than apologize, the pro-Roman King Agrippa II and his sister, together with Roman officials, fled the capital. Given the opportunity, Yisra’elites cleansed the country of all vestiges of the Roman Empire – removing all of its pagan symbols.
At this moment, Nero, who was noted for duplicity, debauchery, and extravagance, was nearing the end of his life and reign. He is often blamed for having lit Rome afire to expand his palace and for having turned people into torches to illuminate his gardens, but neither are likely true. And if the latter were so, his luminaries would have been Jews, not Christians. And while we are clearing away some myths, he did not “fiddle while Rome burned.” It’s an anachronism, not only because of the preference for the lyre at the time, but also because there were no fiddles in first-century Rome.
Nero inherited the throne at seventeen after his mother, Agrippina, poisoned Claudius, his lame and innocuous predecessor, with laced mushrooms. A mean spirited momma’s boy, Nero constantly insulted Claudius’s memory, joking that he “played the fool among mortals.” The murdering mother was omnipresent, by his side in statues, eye to eye on coins, and sitting in the accompanying thrown during meetings and functions. All the while, Nero grew to hate, Octavia, his wife, and entered into an indiscrete affair with a slave. The undignified interloper put a wedge between mother and son, with Agrippina promoting Nero’s teenage stepbrother as his replacement. But the family feud was negated when Nero poisoned him. Then, once he tired of the captive coietus, he tried adultery, becoming romantically entwined with Sabina, the wife of his friend and future Emperor, Otho. And since Agrippina objected yet again, Nero killed his mother, calling it a suicide. Then, ever the hypocrite, Nero divorced Octavia for infidelity. When she complained, he had her executed. Evidently hard to please, he kicked Sabina to death. But then evidently developing post mortem feelings for her, he had her body stuffed with spices and embalmed. Looking for alternative means of satisfaction, Nero selected a young castrated by named Sporus from his household staff and married him.
Evidently concerned that he may have been tarnishing his reputation with so many unexplained deaths, Nero decided to have a Praetor who spoke critically of him at a party, put to death. According to the historian, Suetonius, Nero “showed neither discrimination nor moderation in putting to death whomsoever he pleased.” And yet, since Nero only robbed and killed the richest elitists, he remained popular with the people. In fact, like so many infamous individuals, Nero was obsessed with his personal popularity – especially among the drunkards in taverns and working ladies in brothels, frequenting both regularly. He reigned in the cruelest tax collectors and impeached government officials most noted for extortion. He even reduced the federal tax rate from 4.5% to a paltry 2.5%. Then to lower food costs, he made merchant shipping tax exempt.
After the Great Fire in 64 CE, Nero provided financial relief for ordinary citizens while embarking on civic reconstruction. He, himself, engaged trying to find and save victims of the blaze, often shifting through the rubble with his own hands. Nero would also open the doors of his palaces to provide shelter for the homeless. He participated in planning the new Rome, with wide boulevards and homes built of brick, each with their own porticos. Yet it wasn’t all altruistic. Nero built a grand new palace complex for himself in one of the areas cleared by the fire. It included several hundred acres of lush landscapes and a one-hundred foot tall bronze statue of himself that was covered in gold: the Colossus Neronis. It was designed to present Nero as Sol, the sun god.
So to finance its construction, Rome’s colossus imposed heavy tributes upon every province within the Empire. This project, as well as the means to fund it, are telling. It is in this garden that Tacitus, who was nine at the time of the fire and therefore twelve at this moment, became the first immensely credible secular historian to chronicle the profound nature of the life of an individual from the Province of Judea the Greeks referred to as Chrestus – the Ma’aseyah. He would go on to say that some of the Jews who followed Him were blamed for the fire and therefore crucified as living torches to illuminate the golden statue within Nero’s garden. Moreover, the dramatic increase in taxes demanded from the provinces to fund this celebration of human extravagance contributed substantially to the rebellion in Yahuwdah that would follow.
Even with higher tributes, the cost to rebuild Rome was greater than the dwindling treasury could bear. Especially costly was the Golden House Nero had constructed to overlook his Golden Colossus. His new palace was the first Roman building constructed with concrete, and featured walls covered in gold leaf while many ceilings were veneered in ivory and bejeweled in dazzling gemstones to represent the stars that were perceived to be fellow gods and goddesses. These ceilings were ingeniously designed so that when cranks were manipulated by slaves, the dome would revolve like the heavens. The floors, many vaulted ceilings, and some walls were covered in mosaics, a technique which was extensively copied in Christian cathedrals throughout Rome and Constantinople, inspiring a fundamental feature of Church art.
With so much money devoted to one god, emperor, and pope, Nero devalued the Roman currency, doing so for the first time in the Empire’s history. He reduced the weight of the Denarius from 3.85 grams of silver to 3.35 grams. He also reduced the purity of the silver from 99.5% to 93.5. And all the while, with the Roman economy contracting, Nero continued promoting public works and charitable entitlements because they seemed to flavor the public’s perception of his economic malfeasance.
And so it would be, as the riots broke out throughout the Province of Yahuwdah in 66 CE, Nero dispatched his army. Immediately thereafter, Cestius Gallus, the Legate of Syria, arrived with the Twelfth Thunderbolt Legion, a total of thirty-thousand troops, to restore Roman authority and collect Nero’s tribute. He began in Caesarea and then Jaffa, murdering 8,400 civilians. Narbata and Sipporis surrendered without a fight as a consequence. Lydda was taken next. But in Geba, the Judean rebels led by Shim’own Giora, engaged and managed to kill five hundred Roman troops. The defeat caused Gallus to retreat toward the coast, where the XII Legion was ambushed and routed during the Battle of Beth Horon, leaving six-thousand Romans dead, thousands more wounded, and their Aqila / Eagle lost – shocking and humiliating the Empire. Second only in carnage to what the Germanic tribes inflicted in the forest ambush, it was the worst defeat the Roman Empire had ever suffered in one of its provinces at the hands of a civilian militia. Gallus abandoned his troops as the survivors fled in disarray to Syria.
Emperor Nero replaced Gallus with Titus Flavius Vespasian, assigning him the task of snuffing out the righteous indignation of the Yisra’elites. His son, Titus, was appointed second in command. They were given four Legions to crush the life out of the Iudaean Province, with the X Fretensis and V Macedonica arriving in April 67 CE. Titus then brought the XV Apollinaris from Alexandria. It was combined with the troops on King Agrippa’s control, collectively bringing sixty-thousand soldiers to crush Yahuwdah.
Beginning where his predecessor had left off, he terrorized Galilee, eliminating resistance in the north by 68 CE, perpetrating a campaign of terror designed to punish the population. His next objective was the Judean coastline, thereby delaying direct confrontation with the rebels in Jerusalem. But even with the force of four Legions against a civilian uprising, it took the Romans several months to suppress Galilee. The last holdout was Jodapatha, which survived a forty-seven day siege.
In both Rome and Jerusalem political turmoil arose, with corrupt politicians vying for power. Nero’s megalomania was becoming a serious issue, prompting increasingly erratic behavior. And he had manufactured rivals. In March 68 CE, Gaius Vindex, the Governor of Gallia (the Gallic Province covered most of northern France), also rebelled against Nero’s tax and tribute policies. So Nero ordered Lucius Rufus, the Governor of Germania (due east of Gallia), to suppress Vindex’s rebellion. But rather than capitulate, Vindex solicited the support of Sulpicius Galba, the Governor of Hispania (covering most of modern-day Spain), encouraging him to join the rebellion and claim the throne for himself. And while that plan had merit, it didn’t work out for Vindex. When the Governor of Germania defeated Gallia, Vindex committed suicide. Nero’s strategy, however, backfired, because the Germanic Legions declared Lucius Rufus Emperor.
At the same time, some Senators, most all of the Praetorian Guard, and a number of aristocratic Romans, came to favor Sulpicius Galba, and they conspired to assassinate Nero, labeling him “an Enemy of the People.” Already unstable, Nero fled Rome, hoping to sail off to a supportive province in the East and reestablish himself. But when the military officers he met along the way to the harbor refuse to obey his orders, Nero chirped, “Is it so dreadful a thing then to die?” Evidently, Nero didn’t like the prospect, so he wrote a speech, hoping to beg Romans to pardon him for his past offenses, while at the same time requesting control of a minor province, suggesting Egypt. And while a copy of the speech has been found, Nero, who found the courage to return to Rome, couldn’t muster the nerve to deliver it. He would spend the night in his palace overlooking the Colossal Nero. But come morning, he found himself without servants or guards, allegedly muttering a line similar to Paul’s last pathetic lamentation, “Have I neither friend nor foe?”
Later that day, wrongly believing that the Senate planned to torture him to death, Nero, who couldn’t bring himself to take his own life, forced his secretary to do the deed. And in his dying breath, the insane and delusional beast uttered, “What an artist dies in me!” It was June 9th, 68 CE. He was the last of the short-lived Julio-Claudian dynasty. Aristocrats celebrated his death while the lower classes who were beneficiaries and recipients of the fabulous excesses, bemoaned the news. The army, as it turns out, was bribed to turn against him.
Sulpicius Galba, the Governor of Hispania, became Nero’s replacement. His short reign was spent executing most every potential rival, including allies of Nero. But then Galba was murdered a few months later by one of his intended victims, Marcus Salvius Otho, at the time the Governor of Portugal, triggering a third Civil War. This chaotic period was called the “Year of the Four Emperors,” even though there were actually five. Otho was encouraged to this action on the counsel of astrologers, making it a religious response.
Otho, who had squandered his inheritance, somehow found the money to bribe some twenty members of the Praetorian Guard. They took him to their barracks and heralded him as Emperor. Now with an imposing force, the would-be Emperor Otho made his way to the Forum at the base of Capitoline Hill, where the actual Emperor, Galba, was wading through the crowds to reach the barracks Otho had departed. He had become alarmed by the rumors that treachery was afoot. But along the way, Galba’s cohort deserted him, and the Praetorian Guard turned on him, brutally murdering Galba and his immediate family. Celebrating the slaughter, Otho claimed the throne.
Subsequently, we learn that the reason Galba became vulnerable was that he had promised to lavish large amounts of gold on the Legions Praetorian Guards who supported his ascension, but then reneged. Further demonstrating the deterioration of Roman character, Otho, the man whose wife had been taken by Nero, the man who had been banished to Portugal by Nero, adopted Nero’s name. He even became intimate with Sporus, Nero’s castrated lover. He moved into Nero’s Golden House and reestablished all of the statues of Nero that Galba had taken down, in recognition of how popular the perverted Emperor remained with the populous. It was a lesson learned and a strategy often repeated: rob the rich to indulge the poor and most people will love you, even if the welfare state bankrupts the country, devalues its currency, and precipitates war.
After arranging his predecessor’s death, the man whose reckless temperament, grandiose extravagance, and effeminate and yet murderous demeanor, was said to be identical to Nero’s, was confronted by another rival, this one Vitellius, the commander of the Rhine Legions. He and they were advancing on Rome with Otho in their sites. So after vainly trying to conciliate Vitellius, offering him a share of the Empire, Otho prepared to combat him. For reasons now lost to history, the Legions of Dalmatia, Pannonia, and Moesia rallied to Otho’s cause, as did the Praetorian Guards. As Emperor, Otho also had access to Rome’s formidable fleet which was dispatched to Liguria along the coast of northwestern Italy to prevent Vitellius’s advance. Undeterred by foreboding omens and prophecies, Otho barricaded himself in Brixellum, while ordering his men to attack the Vitellian Legions. They did, they failed, and they retreated right back to Brixellum. Vitellius pursued them, expecting another battle, but upon his arrival, the disheartened army of Otho welcomed Vitellius’s army into their camp as friends. It was then that Otho would allegedly declare: “It is far more just to perish one for all, than many for one,” before stabbing himself to death. Some soldiers were so impressed, Rome’s propagandists claim that they threw themselves on Otho’s funeral pyre to die with their Emperor.
This then allowed Vitellius to become the fourth Emperor of Rome in less than a year. But that was not the end of it. The Danube armies (III Gallica, IV Macedonica, VIII Augusta, and VII Claudia) were brought against Vitellius after swearing an oath initially to him and then later to Vespasian. To counter their duplicity, Vitellius composed an army of XXI Rapax, V Alaudae, I Italica, and XXII Primigenia. But as Vespasian’s Legions saluted the Sun, acknowledging their god at sunrise as was their custom, Vitellius misinterpreted the gesture. He was led to believe that they were welcoming reinforcements. So the General turned Emperor lost heart and retreated. Vitellius was taken prisoner and after a matter of months on the throne, was summarily executed. He was prepared to abdicate, but that wasn’t the Roman way.
In the midst of this chaos, Vespasian, who was now hailed as Emperor by his Legions, returned to Rome and claimed the throne, affirming beyond any doubt that the Empire had become a military state. Also confirming this realization, in dating his rule, Vespasian chose the date of the decree of his Legions over the Senate’s affirmation, a decision that transformed the Roman military into an electoral college for would-be dictators.
Meanwhile, the Yahuwdym were not of one accord either. Menahem ben Yahuda’s attempt to lead the Sicarii (men wielding daggers) into Yaruwshalaim / Jerusalem was repulsed by the Sadducees. Ben Yahuda was executed and his Sicarii were driven back. All the while, Ananus, the Sadducean leader, was reinforcing the city in preparation for the beastly siege that was sure to come.
But surprisingly, the first siege wasn’t from the Romans. Driven from Galilee, the Zealot rebels and thousands of homeless civilians sought refuge in Yahuwdah / Judah, creating political and social turmoil in Yaruwshalaim. Infighting between the Zealots (conservative religious fundamentalists) and Sadducees (liberal secular politicians) became violent and bloody. With Edomites fighting on behalf of the Zealots, Ananus was killed and his faction of the fractured rebellion suffered substantial casualties. And as a result, Bar Giora, commanding a militia of fifteen-thousand men, was invited into Jerusalem by the Sadducees in an effort to ward off the Zealots. They prevailed, but at a tremendous cost of lives and treasure that would have been better invested fighting Rome.
Back during the time Vespasian had been in Judah, he opposed an open siege against Jerusalem. The city, situated on a hill and protected with three walls, was a formidable target, and Vespasian was concerned that he would lose too many troops in a direct assault. Mind you, his concern wasn’t for his soldier’s lives, but for his own career. Generals who squandered Legions were summarily dismissed. But when Vespasian withdrew to Rome, he left his son, Titus, in command.
Younger, brash, and impervious to the human cost of his strategy, Titus, trying to build a name for himself, immediately struck the heart of the opposition, besieging Yaruwshalaim in early 70 CE. He breached the outer two walls within a few weeks, but the inner wall was thicker and resistance was aggressive, keeping the Romans at bay for seven months. Inside the city, the brutal Civil War raged on, with the religious Zealots ultimately prevailing over the political Sadducees. Then without internal opposition, they mounted a passionate defense, turning the siege of Jerusalem into a stalemate.
The Romans, predictable as ever, in support of their siege, built walls and dug trenches around the city, creating a fearsome barrier in hopes of starving the population to death. Anyone who dared run the gauntlet between the two walls in an attempt to flee the city was captured, crucified, and displayed in long lines on top of the dirt walls the Romans had made, always facing Jerusalem. The message was clear: every Jew would die an excruciating death at the hands of the Romans. The Beast crucified an average of five hundred Jews a day, day after day, week after week, month after month, for seven month. That equates to over one-hundred thousand excruciatingly slow and agonizingly painful deaths. The only reprieve was that the dying couldn’t suck enough air into their lungs for their pitiful screams to be heard over any distance.
It wasn’t all unbearable torture, however, because at the same time the Romans began constructing ramparts to facilitate their ultimate invasion of the city. Contemplating the inevitable, the Zealots, in a deliberate and desperate act, inflicted a wound that accomplished what the siege implements and crucifixions could not achieve. To motivate Yaruwshalaim’s population to fight the Romans as if their lives were dependent upon it, the religious fundamentalists intentionally burned the city’s stockpile of food. As a result, the entrapped Yisra’elites would either die hopelessly fighting a vastly superior force without appropriate weapons, starve to death, or be crucified.
Most of the remaining six-hundred thousand to one million besieged men, women, and children engaged in the resistance, fighting Romans in hand to hand combat after the walls finally gave way. But it was futile. The Romans ransacked the entire city, burning Yahowah’s favorite place on Earth to the ground. The last bastion of Yisra’elite resistance, the Temple itself, was destroyed and plundered by the most depraved nation in human history on July 30, 70 CE.
The Arch of Titus outside the Coliseum in Rome chronicles the moment, showing the Legions hauling away the Temple’s implements, including the Menorah, during the frenzied celebration. The Arch was built to commemorate Titus’s Triumphal procession in Rome, demonstrating all that is wrong with humanity. Roman coins were distributed throughout the Empire with the inscription “IVDEA CAPTA – Judea Captured.” They were minted to demonstrate the futility of rebelling against the Empire. On the coins, Yahuwdah was represented by woman whose head was bowed, bent over in shame and sorrow, crying. As for Titus, he allegedly refused the wreath of victory, claiming that he had “lent his arms to god.” I strongly suspect that God disagrees.
The last Jewish holdout was Masada, which the Romans, led by Lucius Silva, destroyed in the Autumn of 72. To do so, they deployed the X Fretensis (Sea Strait) and an army of Jewish slaves. Once they finally achieved their immoral aim, they found all but seven of the nine-hundred sixty-seven men, women, and children inside, having already committed suicide.
Above Masada, everything surrounding Jerusalem was destroyed, either torn to the ground or burned. The war the Romans had started with thievery and stupidity, ended ruthlessly and vengefully, even sadistically. The survivors where either crucified or enslaved. In all, one million one-hundred thousand Yisra’elites were killed during the Roman siege. At least one-hundred thousand Jewish slaves were carted off to Rome, initiating the Diaspora. They were initially tasked with building the Flavian Amphitheater, more commonly known as the Roman Coliseum. The project was funded out of the treasure stolen from the Temple.
Nothing in all of human history speaks louder or more clearly regarding the Beast of Rome than the fact that they funded their Coliseum with the metals they looted when they destroyed Yahowah’s Temple, constructing the most carnal amphitheater on earth using Jewish slaves. In the Temple, Yahowah celebrated life and relationships. In the Coliseum, the Romans celebrated conquest and death.
With the Temple’s destruction, a feat Yahowah deliberately allowed, the debate between those who had claimed that the Torah was a compilation of Laws that had to be meticulously obeyed and those like Dowd / David who realized that the Towrah was comprised of teaching to be understood and parental guidance to be embraced, should have been over. All of the Towrah’s instructions pertaining to the Temple were now impossible to perform, making the religious interpretation invalid. And yet every nuance of every word remained relevant for those seeking to know God, for those wanting to participate in His Covenant Family. The failure on behalf of Jewish theologians and scholars to adjust their thinking accordingly and to embrace the simple truth of Yahowah’s message, further alienated the Chosen People from their Land and their God. As a matter of fact, it was at this time that Rabbis began weaving the Towrah and the Temple, along with its Author and Host, out of their religion, crafting their Talmud to focus Judaism and Jews on them, instead.
While I’m not sure anyone should care, and I know God doesn’t, there were more battles in more places. And while my heart tells me to leap ahead sixty years, my head realizes that we should complete what we have started. Since Yahowah detailed His utter disgust for Rome, the Empire and what it represents today in Roman Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity, and since He had to witness its most gruesome crimes against the people He had created, the least we can do is delineate why Rome has earned Yahowah’s enduring wrath.
In 84 CE, Romans scored another military victory, this one in Scotland. Although in the aim of full disclosure, the only account we have of this battle was described by Tacitus who was not there, and nothing he said can be confirmed by modern excavations, leaving many historians to doubt whether it even took place. The vanquished were illiterate.
A great deal more is known about Domitian’s Dacian War. It was waged against the Dacian Kingdom in 86 CE to confront King Duras who had invaded the Roman Province of Moesia. This tiny strip of land in the Balkans sat along the south bank of the Danube River in modern-day Serbia, and included northernmost Macedonia and parts of Bulgaria. He caught the Romans by surprise, annihilating the V Alaudae / Gallica Legion. Following the attack, Domitian replaced the lost Legion, brought in the IV Flavia, and the I and II Adiutrix. And while historians disagree on whether Domitian personally led the operation or returned to Rome, the result was a Roman victory, clearing the Dacians out of Moesia, with Domitian claiming credit, throwing a Triumph in his honor. It was perhaps a bit premature, because in 87 CE, Fascus crossed the Danube, was ambushed, and Rome’s V Alaudae Legion was destroyed.
As we move into the Second Century, the battleground remains unchanged. In 101 CE, Emperor Trajan defeated the Dacian King Decebalus. This is telling because in 88 CE, the Dacians and the Romans signed a long-term and comprehensive peace accord. But unwilling to honor its terms, afforded the opportunity, Trajan annihilated the remainder of the Dacian armed forces the following year near Adamclisi (in modern Romania). After the battle, a new peace accord was negotiated, this time favoring the Romans.
This Pax Romana didn’t last either. The Romans laid siege to the Dacian capital in 106 CE, sacking it. Upon their return to Rome, they carried 165,000 kilograms of Dacian gold and 331,000 kilograms of their silver along with them, even Decebalus’s head and right arm. Even this battle and its covetous and ghoulish conclusion would be memorable. This assault marked the final conquest of the Roman Empire. From this point on, every battle would be defensive, fought to retain control of their crumbling country. From the moment they executed the Ma’aseyah Rome began to die.
The Beast was dying, not dead, unfortunately. The second of three wars between Rome and Yisra’el, called “Kitos War,” was waged between 115-117 CE. While many hundreds of thousands of Yisra’elites had been murdered and enslaved forty-five years earlier, there were still many Jews living around the Mediterranean. But they were not happy. Following the brutal and sadistic Roman assault against Yahuwdah between 66 and 70 CE, the Jews in Diaspora were righteously indignant. As a result, they are said to have initiated revolts in Cyrene, Cyprus, and Egypt, allegedly killing many Romans to avenge the deaths of their countrymen and destruction of their homeland. And while the fourth century Christian theologian Orosius exaggerated the scope of the Jewish protests to demonize Jews, as was the Roman custom, there is indisputable evidence that Greeks throughout the late first and early second century became increasingly prejudiced against Jews, largely as a result of the growing popularity of Paul’s letters among Gentiles.
At the time, Emperor Trajan was victoriously advancing through northwestern Mesopotamia in his pursuit of the Parthian Empire. And with a remnant of Jews still living where they had been enslaved long ago by the Babylonians, there is every reason to believe that, given the opportunity, Jews menaced Trajan’s rear, attacking some of the smaller garrisons stretched out along his supply line. During the same period, unrest in Cyrenaica, along the coast in northeastern Libya, spread into Egypt and then Cyprus, inciting supportive demonstrations in Judaea.
The most notable protest occurred in Lydda, known as Lowd in Hebrew, which was located some ten miles southeast of today’s metropolis of Tel Aviv. The Romans were concerned over the dissent because it might potentially threaten grain supplies grown in Egypt that were being transported to Trajan’s troops. Lusius Quietus, the bane of Jews in Mesopotamia, was put in command of the Roman army in Judaea. He immediately laid siege to Lydda, crucifying thousands of Jews in the process.
Simultaneously, back in Cyrenaica, Yisra’elites began desecrating Roman and Greek temples to Jupiter, Apollo, Artemis, and Isis. To which, interpreting these events in the fifth-century CE, the Gallaecian (Spanish) priest, Christian theologian, and budding historian, Paulus Orosius, wrote: “The Jews...waged war on the inhabitants throughout Libya in the most savage fashion, and to such an extent was the country wasted that, its cultivators having been slain, its land would have remained utterly depopulated, had not the Emperor Hadrian gathered settlers from other places and sent them thither, for the inhabitants had been wiped out.” (Orosius, Seven Books of History Against the Pagans, 7.12.6) In reality, as a Christian, Paulus had been indoctrinated by his namesake to hate those Yahowah had chosen and was simply doing his part to justify his religious hatred of them.
Since early Christian clerics so substantially reshaped Roman and Church history to serve their agenda, it should be noted that Orosius, who took the Christian name, Paulus, became one of Augustine’s students and is said to have had significant contact with Jerome – the author of the Latin Vulgate. He was also a Roman apologist at times, influenced by the barbarian invasions of the Roman Empire in Braga (in the Iberian Peninsula) during his youth. This event caused him to migrate to Algeria where he met Augustine. There as his student and secretary, it is thought that Orosius may have contributed to the writing of Augustine’s most acclaimed work, The City of God.
In 413 CE, and for the next 13 years, beginning three years after the fall of Rome, Aurelius Augustinus Hipponensis, long after the influence of Constantine, set out to prove that Christianity wasn’t responsible for the destruction of the Roman Empire. Half of the book is devoted to this purpose. And while he was correct in not blaming the religion for Rome’s meltdown, he missed the point that Yahowah makes in Dany’el: Rome is still very much alive and is now menacing the whole world through the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church. In fact, according to Augustine, the City of God is the Roman Catholic Church, while according to Yahowah, the Church of Rome is the Beast.
Correct in condemning the greed and decadence of Rome, he was wrong in associating the Roman Church with Christ and Roman Catholicism with the New Jerusalem. God does not have a Church, He hates Rome, and there won’t be a single Roman Catholic in heaven.
While most all of Augustine’s arguments relative to Christianity were derived from the poisoned Roman pen of Paul, the fulcrum of his world view pivots on removing the millennial presentation found in Revelation 20 and 21 from Yahowsha’s prophetic letters condemning the “Church Age” in Revelation 2 and 3 and also from Yahowsha’s explanation of Dany’el 7 through 9 found in Revelation 12 through 19. As a result, the second half of his book is a romp through the make-believe world of religion.
It is telling that Augustine, like Paul, was a Gnostic. Just as Paul’s letters present the Gnostic view of the spirit and the flesh, with one being good and the other evil, the actual city of Rome is contrasted with a spiritual construct in The City of God. Augustine was heavily influenced by Manichaeism, the original version of Gnosticism that was founded by the prophet Mani in Sasanian Babylonia. This elitist philosophical belief system thrived during Augustine’s lifetime, especially between the third and seventh centuries where it was not only as widespread and as influential as Christianity, the religions became so similar, Gnosticism was amalgamated into Christianity. This explains Augustine’s fascination with Plato, the Greek scholar who popularized Gnosticism among intellectuals.
Since Augustine’s The City of God, second only to Paul’s letters, is the most influential text in developing Christianity, it should be noted Augustine was wrong in developing the Doctrine of being enslaved to Original Sin along with the Doctrine that Grace was the only means to freedom. His Doctrine of the Trinity was purely Babylonian. And his Doctrine of Amillennialism was completely Gnostic. And while all of Augustine’s errors continue to haunt Christianity, the least known, Amillennialism, may be the most troubling. His projected prophetic timeline of the last days on earth, which is still the prevalent Christian view today, is that the millennial celebration of Sukah and the Shabat is a wholly invalid concept, wrong in nature, wrong in time, wrong in place, and wrong in purpose. This perspective, which is the antithesis of Yahowah’s promise, was advanced because Augustine was opposed to the Shabat, to the Miqra’ey, to the Towrah, to the Covenant, to Yahowah’s six plus one formula, and to what Yaruwshalaim and Eden represent. With Augustine, all of these things were replaced by the Roman Catholic Church, making them superfluous. In Augustine’s mind, the millennium had already begun and it was synonymous with the advent of Roman Catholicism.
Much of The City of God paints paganism and Christianity as black and white, as good versus evil. And yet in reality, most every material aspect of the Christian religion has pagan roots. The Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church grew through syncretism, by combining complementary and contradictory mythologies that were practiced and accepted by the different cultures the Church wanted to influence and control.
And while Augustine was a Catholic apologist, his affinity for predestination made him a favorite of Calvinists and therefore many Protestants. He’s even become a saint, with his Feast Day celebrated on June 15th. And since for much of his life he was a hedonist and bisexual libertine, he and his City of God have become popular again in academia. It should also be noted that his conversion experience occurred while reading Paul’s attack on the flesh in the midst of his letter to the Romans.
As an interesting insight into this unique slice of history during Christianity’s formative years, it was Augustine who sent Orosius to “Palestine” to meet with Jerome in Bethlehem, the author and translator of the Roman Catholic Church’s Latin Vulgate. The intent of the trip was to undermine Augustine’s most effective foe, Pelagius, who recognized that Augustine’s promotion of original sin and predestination were absurd. Augustine wanted Pelagius to be declared a heretic, thereby demeaning the man, since Augustine could not refute Pelagious’s arguments. And that is because Pelagious consistently cited the Torah to prove that his assessment was consistent with God’s testimony. Noting the fact that Pelagious relied expressly on the testimony of God in the Torah and Prophets, I love his retort to his critic: “Who is Augustine to me?”
Returning to Orosius, he was also extraordinarily influential, especially as a result of his book History Against the Pagans – an ironic title considering Christianity is a syncretistic blend of many pagan beliefs. And yet Orosius believed that Christianity’s three persona Trinity was monotheistic while the Towrah’s proclamation that Yahowah, Yisra’el’s God was one, was somehow pagan, and needed to be corrected. As a result, he found utter futility trying to convert Jews to Christianity. The purpose of the book was to claim that the world had improved because the introduction of Christianity had replaced the villainous nature of Jews and Judaism. He contrasted Rome’s initial decadence with what it had become, Christian, odd since it was never worse than at the time of Orosius’s writing. Rome was sacked by the Visigoths led by Alaric in 410 CE. But neither truth nor reason have ever been popular among those advancing Christian myths.
The ground we are currently tilling is the soil in which Christianity was planted and took root. It explains, in part, the mindset of the Romans and Greeks, as well as the Church which emerged from them. Everything associated with Yahowah, His Towrah, His Covenant, His People, and His Land was rejected and despised. Christianity was born out of animosity and it grew adverse. If this review of Roman history accomplishes nothing more than explaining why Christianity is so overtly hostile to everything God cherishes, then for that reason alone, this long march through human depravity has been worth our time.
Turning to another Roman and Christian apologist to assess the situation circa 115 CE, we find Dio Cassius, who also was prone to revisionism and exaggeration, claiming: “‘Meanwhile the Jews in the region of Cyrene had put one Andreas at their head and were destroying both the Romans and the Greeks. They would cook their flesh, make belts for themselves of their entrails, anoint themselves with their blood, and wear their skins for clothing. Many they sawed in two, from the head downwards. Others they would give to wild beasts and force still others to fight as gladiators. In all, consequently, two hundred and twenty thousand perished. In Egypt, also, they performed many similar deeds, and in Cyprus under the leadership of Artemio. There, likewise, two hundred and forty thousand perished. For this reason no Jew may set foot in that land, but even if one of them is driven upon the island by force of the wind, he is put to death. Various persons took part in subduing these Jews, one being Lusius, who was sent by Trajan.” (Dio’s Rome, Volume V, Book 68, paragraph 32) Some small portion of this is accurate, but the preponderance of it is not, including all of the most demonizing accusations.
But we cannot simply dismiss this racist rant as irresponsible hyperbole from an isolated individual. Cassius Dio was an insider and elitist. He was the son of a Roman Senator. He became a Byzantine Consul – the highest elective and appointed office in the Empire. He was born as Lucius in Nicaea in 155 CE, not long after the obliteration of the Promised Land. He was directly related to Dio Chrysostom, the famed Greek philosopher. And as a Nicaean, he was heavily influenced by the Council of Nicaea where Christianity became pagan and grew out of the Gnosticism and the cult of Dionysus. Further, he was a contemporary and compatriot of Theodosius – a name that will soon loom large in the imposition of Christianity. His historical musings, while often mythological and fanciful, were hardly trivial. Over the course of twenty-two years he composed eighty books detailing the history of Rome, from its legendary founding in 756 BCE up until 229 CE. So while his voice is shrill, while he is prone to revisionist history, while he is a Christian propagandist, and while he is a raging anti-Semite, his views reflect the prevailing view from Constantinople circa 200 CE.
There is evidence, however, that rebellious Jews molested the tomb of Pompey, a crime which elicited a strong and vicious response from Trajan. And in Cyprus, Jews actually took control of the island and may have killed several thousand of the Greeks and Romans who were oppressing them. But as a result, Trajan dispatched an army to crush the rebellion, and thereafter, laws were passed forbidding any Jews to live in Cyprus.
While Trajan was busy creating a name for himself by conquering Nisibis, the capital of Edessa in today’s Turkey, and then Seleucia on the Tigris in today’s Iraq, his very presence was sufficient to irritate the large Jewish populations still living there as exiles. And as it would transpire, in the summer of 117 CE Trajan suffered heatstroke and died after a long and grandiose speech delineating his accomplishments.
Trajan was replaced at the head of the Beast by Aelia Hadrian sometime in 118 CE. This action was not without effect. Hadrian demoted Lusius Quietus, later executing him, because he had been too soft of the Jews. And wanting to resolve that issue for all time, Hadrian began planning a final solution. But to accomplish his objective, he would need to gather resources and eliminate distractions. To that end, he withdrew his troops from Mesopotamia and garrisoned Legio VI Ferrata in Caesarea, a harbor town on the Mediterranean coast in northern Judea.
And while that was no doubt irritating and indeed fearsome and foreboding, it was insufficient. A grand deception would be required to entice wandering Jews back into the land from which they had been expelled. So just as a hunter lures his prey into his trap, Hadrian publicly appeared sympathetic to Jews. He encouraged them to return home to Jerusalem with the promise that they would be allowed to rebuild the Temple his predecessors so hastily destroyed. What’s worse, Jews believed him.
But as the expectations of the returning Yisra’elites rose, and as they busied themselves with plans to rebuild the Temple, Publius Aelia Hadrianus Augustus sprung his trap. He arrived on the Temple Mount and announced his intentions, which was to rebuild Yaruwshalaim as a Roman city named in his honor: Aelia Capitolina – making it a Shrine to Hadrian. His vision for the holy city would make it a vacation home for Legionaries, a place where pagan deities could be celebrated. He had already laid out its broad avenues and urban grid in Roman style, replete with piazzas, forums, and baths. In addition to announcing that Aelia Hadrian was god, there would be lesser shrines built for regional deities and other grand Capitolina for the Trinity of the Roman pantheon, Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva. Upon the Temple Mount a grand Temple would be constructed for the Best and Greatest Jupiter Capitolina. The goddess Venus would be similarly honored, with her temple situated so strategically, it would later become the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
With his plan revealed, and Jews now clustered in one place, Hadrian knew what would follow. They would riot and he would respond by crushing them. Aelia Hadrianus was playing with Jews like a conductor leads his orchestra – but this time the gestures, the notes, and the instruments would all be sour.
The intended consequence of Hadrian’s final solution was the Third Roman War against Judea – a time when every city in Yisra’el would be laid waste, when over half a million Yisra’elites would be killed, and when virtually every survivor would be dispersed, sold in the Roman slave markets. The Promised Land would be completely depopulated. For eighteen long centuries, the Roman assault on Yahuwdah remained the most horrific genocide ever perpetrated against a nation or race. And all the while the Jews were baited into being victims by a depraved man at the helm of a ruthless empire.
The battle was waged over religion and politics, over military power and economic oppression. The spark, as previously mentioned, that ignited the Great Jewish Revolt was Aelia Hadrian’s visit to the Temple Mount in 130 CE when he disclosed that the city would become a shrine to himself with a temple to Jupiter erected where Yahowah’s Home once stood. To mark the occasion, Rome minted a coin inscribed “Aelia Capitolina” in 132 CE, just as the people’s indignation boiled over.
The Jewish reaction was predictable, immediate, and obviously adverse. But Aelia Hadrian was ready, having brought a second Legion, the VI Ferrata, into the Province of Ieuda.
Then in early 131 CE, as work commenced on the shrine to Roman ego, Senator Tineius Rufus presided over the foundation ceremony for Aelia Capitolina. He thereby officially announced the decision to rename, reshape, and repurpose Yaruwshalaim to serve the Roman Empire rather than Yahowah’s Children. The perverse lie that was Rome would be placed directly on top of the place where Yahowah’s testimony had been manifest to the world. In this way, it would be a dress rehearsal for Christianity. It would also serve as a model Muslims would follow.
But there was more to Tineius Rufus than just master of ceremonies. He was a sexual pervert who found great pleasure in raping Jewish women. And he, like so many other Romans, was sadistic and anti-Semitic. I suspect Hadrian knew this, which is why he was appointed.
Desecrating Jewish women, Yaruwshalaim, and the Temple in this way was offensive, especially to rabbinical Jews. But the Roman Emperor wasn’t done yanking their chain. Demonstrating his animosity toward Yahowah and His Covenant, Hadrian, a Hellenist, abolished circumcision – effectively nullifying God’s family and the means to salvation. Greeks and Romans, like the Babylonians and Persians before them, considered the rest of the world inferior. But because Yisra’elites knew that they were God’s Chosen People, they were unwilling to bow before their pervasive prejudice. Therefore, their every peculiarity, and especially circumcision, was viewed as a barbaric. And since Romans and Greeks were typically bisexual lustful libertines fixated and enamored with the male genitalia, they considered circumcision a form of mutilation. This then explains in part why, Paul, a Roman speaking to Greeks, was so opposed to it. Most Romans and Greeks agreed with him.
At the time, and on the opposing side, a man most probably on God’s top ten most despised list, Rabbi Akiba, promoted the myth that a local thug, Simon Bar Kosiba, whom he renamed Bar Kokhba (“Son of a Star” in Aramaic), was ha Mashiach. It made since to some because the coming year, 133 CE, would be a Yowbel, this one within a century of Year 4000 Yah. And during the Yowbel, slaves are freed and land is returned.
Unfortunately, like most things in Rabbinic Judaism, Akiba’s assertion regarding Bar Kokhba was as phony as his name. But truth seldom if ever matters to the proponents of religion, so Akiba saw to it that Jews either accepted his declaration or die – an unconscionable admission for the many Yahuwdym who were now part of the Covenant as a result of Yahowsha’s fulfillment of its Towrah and Miqra’ey. Those who had actually come to know the Ma’aseyah were persecuted mercilessly when they refused to accept the Akiba’s religious lie. So once again Yisra’el was a house divided.
Rabbinic lore portrays Shimon Bar-Kokhba capturing scores of Roman forts and nearly one thousand undefended villages, including Jerusalem. Impressed with himself, especially after some initial success, Simon Bar Kokhba began referring to himself as “Nasi Yisra’el – the Prince of Israel.” This declaration was hauntingly similar to Adolf Hitler’s “der Fuehrer – the Leader” moniker. The newly coined Prince minted sheckels showing his star above a façade of the Temple. His currency proudly proclaimed: “The Era of the Redemption of Israel.”
But Hadrian wasn’t impressed. He simply recalled General Sextus Julius Severus from Britain and gathered troops from as far away as the Danube, from Romania, Hungary, Serbia, Austria, Germany, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Croatia, Ukraine, Moldova, and Macedonia. Reinforcements would also come from Egypt, Syria, and Britain. It would become the largest army ever assembled in the history of the Roman Empire – a total of twelve Legions. Hadrian’s plan to exterminate the Jews was playing out with Roman precision.
Predictable as ever, General Severus surrounded Jewish towns and withheld food. When the people were too weak to fight effectively, he attacked. This cruel strategy played out for three years before the rabbinical revolt was finally crushed in the summer of 135 CE. One by one, Rome antagonized, starved, assaulted, captured, and then eradicated every village, town, and city in Judea and then Israel.
In spite of Severus’s strategy of weakening his foe before killing him, when people have nothing to lose, when their enemy becomes inhuman, even when wielding farm paraphernalia and kitchen utensils, they become deadly. So great was the resulting carnage, Rome was forced to disband the XXII Diotariana Legion due to its irrecoverable losses. The Legio IX Hispana was also dismissed immediately after the war – and never heard from again.
Bar Kokhba’s last stand occured at Bethar. It served as his headquarters, the home of the Sanhedrin, and a strategic fort, situated on a mountain ridge overlooking the Sorek Valley. The Fifth Macedonian Legion and the Eleventh Claudian coordinated the siege – killing everyone. According to the Talmud, “the Romans went on killing until their horses were submerged in blood to their nostrils.” So enraged were the Romans, they wouldn’t even allow the bodies of Jews to be buried for six days, and some say six months. This defeat fell on the 9th of Ab, a fast day for rabbinical Jews who were commemorating the day Rome had destroyed the Temple in 70 CE.
Cassius Dio, neither a friend of the Jews nor of the truth, wrote: “580,000 Jews were killed, fifty fortified town were destroyed, and 985 villages were razed to the ground.” A Rabbinic Midrash states that in addition to Bar Kokhba, the Romans executed the ten most senior members of the Sanhedrin, including the High Priest. The Rabbinic account details agonizing tortures, with Rabbi Akiba being flayed alive. Rabbi Ishmael had the skin on his face pulled off slowly over time. Rabbi Hanania was burned alive with a dampened Torah scroll wrapped around his body to prolong his agony.
Hadrian subsequently imposed policies that made Judaism illegal, prohibiting the practice of the Jewish faith anywhere in the Roman Empire. In addition, the Roman Emperor outlawed the Torah, making its Shabat, its calendar, and its seven appointed meetings illegal – as remained the case with circumcision. Every Torah scroll found in Yisra’el was burned upon the Temple Mount. All Hebrew scholars were executed. Hadrian had achieved what he had sought to accomplish.
At the site of the Temple, the Roman Emperor erected two massive statues, one of himself and the other of Jupiter. Jerusalem would become as he had envisioned, the pagan polis of Aelia Capitolina. Jews were forbidden entry – except on Tisha B’Ab – the date which commemorates the destruction of the Temple at the hands of Romans. Then to erase any memory of Judea or Israel, Aelia Hadrian wiped both names off of every map, replacing them with the name of an ancient, albeit long extinct foe, Palestina, for the Philistines. To further add insult to injury, he salted the land.
As for the man who would be god, the man whose ambitions ignited the war that he then ruthlessly prosecuted, he died in 138 CE. As for the rabbis that foisted the debilitating religious deception upon their own people, they were executed. But even in opposition to one another, collectively they brought either death or enslavement to most every Jew. The few who were able to freely flee from the carnage moved to Babylon. There they came to accept Babylonian religious customs. They allied themselves with the Persians and then wrote the Babylonian Talmud in the heart of the Beast. As a result, Judaism would become as Babylonian as Christianity.
As an interesting and relevant aside, centuries removed from this day in 614 CE, after contributing to the Islam’s Qur’an, after being savaged by Muhammad and the first Muslims, amoral Jews joined the Devil’s brigade, and along with Persian Muslims attacked the Byzantine garrison in Jerusalem. Their return, however, would be short lived. They would surrender to Byzantine forces in 625 CE and were summarily massacred four years later. A dozen years thereafter, in 637 CE, Arab Muslims under the command of Umar ibn al-Khattab devastated the Byzantines, claiming Yisra’el for Islam.
It remained the Promised Land, but there were no Chosen People. It was a fight to the death over religion, with God opposed to both sides.
Inexplicably, rather than renouncing him for promoting a lie that cost the Yisra’elites everything, their freedom, their lives, and their land, Rabbi Akiba grew to become the father of Rabbinic Judaism – the most revered man in the only surviving form of the religion. Bar Kokhba, who embodied his lie, became a symbol of valiant national resistance when he should have become the poster child for false hope. His star, not David’s, remains the symbol of the state.
Before we move on, recognizing how disorienting carnage and duplicity of this magnitude can be, I’d like to reestablish our bearing. Two Yowbel and two years prior to this historic date, Yahowah through Yahowsha’ had affirmed the promises He had made in His Towrah to liberate His children and give them life. And yet now under the influence of Rome, His Torah was outlawed and His people were either dead or enslaved. Four score and four years prior to this infamous occasion, Paul, a Roman citizen and rabbi, the author of half of the Christian New Testament, would denounce Yahowah’s Towrah, claiming that it enslaved and could not save. And three score and three years prior to the culmination of ancient history’s most diabolical plot and subsequent crime, the Roman Empire had initiated it all by a brazen act of common thievery – by robbing the Temple treasury. Rome and the Beast that lives within her sought to claim that which belongs to Yahowah, fulfilling, albeit temporarily, Satan’s ultimate objective. In reality, that is all this story has been about – right from the very beginning.
It should also be duly noted and specifically reinforced, Rome’s final conquest occurred between the two wars the Empire fought against Yisra’el. From this point, the Beast would only fight to delay the inevitable. Rome was dying – although its death would play out over another nineteen centuries. Its wound was self-inflicted. It had become the implement of Satan and the plague of death – literally.
As we have done in the past, let’s review the life of Aelia Hadrian. He sat upon the Beast’s throne at age forty and remained for twenty years. He rebuilt the Pantheon – the universal home of Rome’s pagan gods. He served as the architect and then arranged for the construction of the Temple of Venus and Eternal Rome, erecting Rome’s second most imposing building between the Forum and Coliseum. This tribute to the Everlasting and Divine Fortune of Rome was set upon the porticoed vestibule of Emperor Nero’s Domus Aurea, requiring him to move the Colossus of Nero which was modified to become the Colossus of Sol. Later repurposed by Pope Honorius, and with the concent of Emperor Heraclius, the gilt-bronze tiles from the roof of the Temple were used to adorn the roof of St. Peter’s Cathedral. The building itself was transformed into the church of the New Saint Mary, with the columns of the pagan temple still visible and dominant in the rear. Since the papacy of Saint John Paul II, the Temple has been used as a platform for large public addresses, especially on Good Friday, when a cross is carried by the pope from the Temple to the Coliseum. And so it is with every stroke, the Beast of Empire and Church become one.
As will be the case with the Towrahless One, Hadrian is regarded as a humanist – as a man who celebrated the works of men. In this regard he was also a Philhellenist – a lover of Greek culture and philosophy. Hadrian actually established an extensive and enduring Greek religious cult in Rome and served as its leading evangelist. His first tour of Greece as a Roman Emperor was climaxed by his participation in 124 CE in the Eleusinian Mysteries where he, himself, was initiated. Less than a year later, during Easter week in March 125 CE, Hadrian presided over the Festival of Dionysia to honor the god Dionysus, the deity upon which the Christian caricature of Jesus Christ was fashioned. This makes it all the more intriguing that Paul, a Roman himself, quoted Dionysus’s most famous line during his conversion experience seventy-five years earlier.
The Festival of Dionysia was held over four days approaching the full moon in the midst of the lunar month nearest the spring equinox. It is thereby the inspiration of the Catholic Holy Week celebration associated with Easter this exact same time of year. The first day of the Festival, statues of Dionysus, who was believed to be the Son of the Sun, were brought into Athens. Once they arrived in the Theatre of Dionysus on the southern slope of the Acropolis, this god in the image of a man was rejected, with Dionysus being severely punished, mirroring the Christian Good Friday. This is said to have plagued the male genitalia, which was then cleansed and cured, saving the people when the preponderance of the population accepted Dionysus and joined his cult by splashing holy water. This was a symbolic counterfeit for circumcision, the sign of the Covenant, which Christian’s replaced with baptism.
The faithful pagans acknowledged their devotion by marching in the streets carrying a phallus on poles, a rite also associated with Mercury, the Messenger of the Gods. Chorus leaders in the most expensive and ornate robes carried holy water and wine in the procession. Bulls, the symbol of the sun, were sacrificed.
In the Eleusinian Mysteries, Dionysus, who was known to Romans as Bacchus, was called the “Liberator” who “frees his faithful from fear and from the oppressive restraints of the laws imposed by the most powerful. This then became synonymous with “Jesus” freeing Christians from the Law through the Gospel of Grace.
Those who partook in his mysteries were believed to be possessed and empowered by the god, himself, which is why the faith was called the “Cult of Souls.” His devotees were restored to life by feeding on bread representing his dead flesh and by drinking wine, symbolizing his blood during a divine communion – effectively establishing the tradition upon with the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Eucharist would be based.
Dionysus was the son of Zeus, the Father of the gods. But he had a mortal mother Semele, who thereby served as the model for the Roman Catholic devotion to Mary, the Mother of God. This illicit divine – mortal affair conceived a human being who was also considered to be the Son of God. His birth was celebrated by bringing trees into homes during the winter solstice, then December 25th, thereby establishing the timing and tradition of Christmas. In addition to his birth, his death and resurrection were worshipped in many mystery religions and held great mystical significance. In another parallel, Dionysus appears before King Pentheus on charges of claiming divinity, which is comparable to “Jesus” being tried on the same claim before Pontius Pilate. And in Rome, Dionysus is celebrated bringing an end to the Law, freeing the faithful from its restraints.
Nietzsche claimed that the oldest forms of Greek Tragedy were entirely based upon the suffering of Dionysus. And the Roman form, Bacchus, appears in C.S. Lewis’s Prince Caspian, which as part of The Chronicles of Narnia, is supposedly a story celebrating the Christian Christ.
Speaking of scholars and theologians, the author of The Prince, Machiavelli, who was the patron of papal supremacy and strategy, placed Hadrian among Rome’s five greatest Emperors. British historian Edward Gibbon agreed, and wrote in 1776 that Hadrian’s “vast genius, equity, and moderation” created the “happiest era of human history.” Methinks, God disagrees.
But no one disagrees with the fact that Emperor Hadrian, like today’s Popes, wielded absolute power. He spoke for Rome and the Gods. His edicts could not be questioned. Additionally, Hadrian served as supreme commander of the military state. He most always dressed for appearances, creating the illusion of being a great General by wearing his elaborate military uniform. He, like today’s Pope, was never seen in civilian attire.
Hadrian’s father was of Patrician rank and a Senator. As a young man, he began public life as the Tribune (an officer considered sacrosanct, prohibiting any assault on their person) of Legio II Adiutrix – Second Rescuer Legion, which was levied by Vespasian from naval marines. He was transferred to Legio I Minervia when the First Army Devoted to the Goddess Minerva was stationed in Germania. Then upon Emperor Nerva’s death, Hadrian was appointed Legate of a Legion in Pannonia, eventually becoming Governor of the Province. And prior to becoming the Legatus of Syria and Emperor of Rome in 117 CE, as Archon / Lord and Ruler of Athens, he accepted Athenian citizenship.
It is interesting that at the time Trajan became gravely ill after his long speech embellishing his resume, Hadrian, who had served with him during the expedition against Parthia, had not been adopted as Trajan’s heir. And the fact that the document finally adopting him was signed by Plotina, Trajan’s widow, the evidence suggests that Trajan was dead before his contrived inheritance affirmed. But it didn’t matter because Hadrian quickly secured the support of the Legions, and the Senate’s endorsement quickly followed.
Hadrian, however, initially shied away from Rome, preferring to busy himself with admiring the Greek religion and eradicating Jews. And before returning to the capital, in typical Roman fashion, Hadrian charged anyone loyal to Trajan with conspiracy, hunting them down and killing them.
Apart from his obsession with obliterating Yahuwdah and Yisra’el, Hadrian wasn’t much of a fighter. He surrendered his predecessor’s conquests of Mesopotamia, claiming that the territory was indefensible. He used diplomacy rather than the military with Parthia. He built the massive wall in Britain and others near the Danube and the Rhine to separate the barbarians from the Romans. He maintained peace through these divisions and through the constant threat of war. The extinct Province of Ieuda served as Example A.
As will be the case with the Towrahless One, as is the case with the Roman priesthood, Emperor Hadrian’s his closest and most enduring sexual relationship was with Antinous, a beautiful Greek boy. Upon his death from drowning, Hadiran “wept like a woman.” At his request, “the Greeks deified Antinous, and henceforth spoke oracles through him that were composed by Hadrian, himself.” The sullen Emperor even founded the Egyptian city of Antinopolis in his memory. The resulting Cult of Antinous at Hadrian’s direction became extremely popular in Greece, Egypt, and Rome, serving as the means to unify the religions, cultures, and politics, synchronizing these things with Roman authority. It was an act that would foreshadow the development of Christianity.
Hadrian’s Villa at Tivoli included a sacred Alexandrian garden which was then repurposed by Roman Catholic Cardinal d’Este to erect his Villa d’Este, replete with its Tivoli Fountains. And while Hadrian considered himself to be a great architect, the leading designer of the day, Apollodorus criticized his sense of proportions. In response, Hadrian had him exiled and then executed. And as was the case with Nimrod, Hadrian fancied himself a great hunter. He established cities in places that he or Antinous claimed bears and lions.
Prior to his death, Hadrian designed the largest mausoleum in Rome for himself – a building that was later transformed into a papal fortress: Castel Saint Angelo. Atop his grandiose tomb, Hadrian had a statue of himself erected driving a four-horse chariot that was so enormous, it not only dwarfed those offering tribute, each horse’s eye was bigger than the largest man. So each time we investigate the character of the men who shaped the Beast, we come to see the personality of the Beast that will shape the Tribulation.
With the ongoing war against Parthia continuing apace, and commanding Rome’s attention from 161 to 166 CE, something happed that changed the course of history. Marcus Aurelius’s returning troops caught the plague. Soon thereafter, the army infected the heart of the Beast with a deadly pandemic. Five million Romans would die as a consequence, crippling the Empire.
At the same time, great migrations were occurring throughout occupied Europe, with the Goths moving westwards and into land foraged by the Germanic tribes. Against this backdrop, six-thousand Langobardi and Lacringi invaded Pannonia, and while their advance was checked by the Legio I Adiutrix, the encounter marked the beginning of the end. The military governor of Pannonia, Marcus Iallius Bassus was forced to negotiate with eleven Germanic tribes in hopes of maintaining some semblance of control. But, the Marcomannic King Ballomar, a Roman client, acting as mediator, was unable to reach an accord. Then as Bassus had feared and anticipated, the Vandals and the Sarmatian invaded Dacia, killing the Roman governor. The Legio V Macedonica was moved to Dacia so that it would be closer to this rising menace to Roman supremacy.
Marcus Aurelius, being a good Roman, which made him a bad person, wanted to lead a punitive expedition against the Vandals, but the plague his army had contracted was ravaging his military, causing him to postpone his vengeance. Then, beginning in 166 CE and continuing through 180, the previously mentioned Marcomannic King, Ballomar, asserted his dominance against his former benefactor.
With all of these pieces in play, in the spring of 168, Marcus Aurelius established a headquarters at Aquileia and supervised the defense of Italian Peninsula. He raised two new legions, the II and III Italica, and crossed the Alps into Pannonia. By the autumn of the following year, Aurelius and his son were ready to subdue barbarians of all shapes and shades. But the tribes they were pursuing weren’t staying put, and in fact were moving in their direction. The Costoboci crossed the Danube and plundered Thrace. They would reach Eleusis, near Athens, destroying the Temple of the Eleusinian Mysteries. Meanwhile, the Marcomanni, as part of a confederation of Germanic tribes, were maneuvering in the west. They crossed the Danube as well, winning a decisive victory over a force of twenty-thousand Roman soldiers near Opitergium. Next, they set siege to Marcus Aurelius’s headquarters in Aquileia. It would be the first time that hostile forces had invaded Italy since 101 BCE.
It should be noted that these Germanic tribes were called barbarians by the Empire that embodied the concept. But there is no indication that they were any more savage than the Beast menacing them. Also relevant, the Marcomanni were liberated, and thus able to rebel as a direct result of Rome removing so many of its Legions from the Danube and the Balkans into Judea to annihilate Jews.
Faced with so many foes, Marcus Aurelius had to re-establish Rome’s priorities, withdrawing forces from the frontier to protect Italy. And while by 171 CE, many of the most recent invaders had been evicted, Rome’s attempts at diplomacy continued to flounder. They had earned a bad reputation for not honoring their agreements. The Quadi wouldn’t comply, nor would the Varistae, nor Naristi. It got so bad, that in one battle when the Legio XII Fulminata was hemmed in by a superior Germanic force, and were dying of thirst, a thunderstorm was required to save them. The aforementioned Cassius Dio would call it “divine intervention, saying: “the rain started as a result of an Egyptian magician praying to Mercury.” Tertullian attributed the rain to Christian prayer. Both were wrong.
And speaking of wrong, each time Rome defeated a foe, they forced their victim to surrender their sons to fight as slaves in the Roman military. After subduing the indigenous people living in the plain along the Tisza River, Marcus Aurelius required that their king forfeit one hundred thousand young men to serve in Rome’s infantry and another eight thousand to serve in the cavalry.
With his new recruits, Aurelius marched eastward to suppress the rebellion of Avidius Cassius. And while he was successful, Rome was running out of fingers to plug leaks in the dam. And the respite was brief. By 177 CE, the Quadi rose up against Roman oppression a third time, now motivating the Marcomanni to ally with them. Marcus Aurelius jumped upon his horse and galloped north once again. And once again, Rome prevailed, chasing the Quadi westwards and deeper into Germania, but Aurelius would not survive to celebrate.
Aurelius’s successor, Commodus, didn’t have much of a taste for war. He was a diplomat. So against the advice of his generals, he negotiated a lasting peace with the Marcomanni and the Quadi, and left for Rome. Even though he had decided not to fight, he arranged for a Triumph to be celebrated in his honor in the fall of 180 CE. He was the new “Germanicus Maximus.”
But Rome was now vulnerable and knew it. Sixteen of her thirty-three Legions were currently stationed along the Danube and Rhine Rivers – along the frontier. But the Legions were ineffective in stopping mass migration into northern Italy. Even when Rome banned settlers, who they referred to as “barbarians,” Germans kept coming.
The Battle of Cyzicus followed in 193 CE, but this fight wasn’t to hold barbarians at bay. It was between Roman rivals, the forces of Septimius Severus and his competitor for the throne, Pescennius Niger. It would be the Year of the Five Emperors, a tumultuous period in Roman history. It began when the Praetorian Guards assassinated Emperor Pertinax. While not very good at providing protection, these aspiring entrepreneurs held an auction for the throne of Rome. Didius Julianus was high bidder and became Emperor. But not everyone bought into the idea of an auction, and Septimius Severus and Pescennius Niger, the military governors of Syria and Britain decided to settle the dispute the old-fashioned way – through civil war. Severus marched to Rome where Didius capitulated and was decapitated. Then he turned to cross swords with Niger in Asia Minor, defeating him, also.
But since once was never enough, in the Battle of Nicaea, Severus attacked his rival Niger once more, defeating him a second time at Issus in 194 CE. That was interesting because the battlefield was where Alexander the Great defeated the Persian King Darius in 332 BCE. Severus’s strategy was quite different than his predecessors. He kidnapped the wives and children of neutral parties, motivating them to play along with him to earn their release. Niger, of course, was captured and executed.
Then to close out the second century, in the Battle of Lyon, France in 197 CE, the newly minted Emperor Severus caught up with Clodius Albinus, a usurper for the throne, and former ally of Severus. The propagandists tell us that it was the “largest, most hard fought, and bloodiest of all clashes between Roman forces.” Our resident anti-Semite and exaggerator extraordinaire, places the number of combatants at three-hundred thousand – farfetched because that would represent most all of Rome’s soldiers at the time. What appears likely is that Albinus took three Legions from Britannia to Gaul, meeting another there, the Legio VII Gemina. Severus was in command of the Danubian and German Legions. Albinus struck first, defeating the Germanic slaves, but not decisively enough to trot into Rome for a Triumph. So these former allies engaged again, with Severus appearing to prevail. Albinus withdrew but was pursued and ultimately crushed. Albinus was stripped and beheaded by Severus, who to the delight of his troops, ran back and forth over his naked body with his horse. Albinus’s head was then sent to Rome, where it was probably mounted in Severus’s trophy room.
By 210 CE, the Romans and Parthians were back at each other’s throats. The dispute occurred because Emperor Carcalla, who considered himself the living incarnation of Alexander the Great, decided to take advantage of an internal dispute between rival monarchs. He proposed an alliance to Artabanus, even offering to marry his daughter. So then when the alliance was agreed upon, Caracalla entered Mesopotamia unopposed, ostensibly to break bread with his new ally and to meet and marry his new wife. But when Caracalla entered the Parthian palace, he attacked and slew the king’s court. While Artabanus escaped, the Romans freely plundered the lands east of the Tigris before returning to Edessa for the winter.
However, the treacherous Roman schemer fell victim to a plot by his Praetorian Prefect and was murdered in April 217 CE. Macrinus, who most likely orchestrated his murder, was immediately pronounced Emperor by his Legions, and would now have to deal with the irate foe his predecessor had created. So with Artabanus approaching with a massive army and looking for revenge, Marcrinus was in a pickle. He then did something few if any Romans have ever done. He told the truth: “You see the barbarian with his whole Eastern horde already upon us, and Artabanus seems to have good reason for his enmity. We provoked him by breaking the treaty, and in a time of complete peace we started a war.... This is no quarrel about boundaries or river beds; everything is at stake in this dispute in which we face a mighty king fighting for his children and kinsmen who, he believes, have been murdered in violation of solemn oaths.”
After the pep talk, Macrinus, having no military experience, and wanting to avoid conflict, tried to placate Artabanus. When that failed, he tried to reach an accommodation. But Artabanus wanted the Romans to pay to rebuild the towns they had destroyed and plundered, and he wanted them out of his hair – the cession of all Roman provinces in northern Mesopotamia. What seemed at the moment too expensive in money and prestige to surrender, soon appeared cheap.
The Battle of Nisibis then was waged between Emperor Macrinus and Artabanus IV. The Romans had a more disciplined infantry while the Parthians were better horsemen, and thus more mobile. Artabanus attacked at sunrise, launching a volley of arrows while the heavily armored cavalry, supported by lancers on camels, charged Macrinus’s line. When the Roman line buckled, the Parthians roared in, only to find Roman caltrops littering the battlefield. These four-pronged iron spikes were the landmines of antiquity, destroying the effectiveness of the Parthian cavalry and dromedaries. In the resulting hand-to-hand combat, the Romans held a slight advantage. And yet there were no winners, only death. The adversaries fought to a draw that day and the next. By the third day, the entire plain was covered in corpses piled up in huge mounds.
With his army now on the verge of collapse, Emperor Macrinus sent another envoy to Artabanus, informing him that Caracalla had been killed and that Rome was now ready to reimburse the Parthians for the cities they had razed. Artabanus agreed to peace after receiving two hundred million pieces of silver. The battle would also cost Rome any claims it would ever have against Parthian territory. This was the last major battle between Rome and Parthia, although Rome and Persia would soon rekindle old wounds.
Now broke, Macrinus cut the pay of his legionnaires. So the Legio III Gallica hailed Elagabalus Emperor in May 218, with other Legions following suit. In retaliation, Macrinus dispatched his cavalry with Julianus in command to stem the flow of desertions. But the cavalry killed the Julianus along the way and joined Elagabalus. Even when Macrinus offered to reinstate the original wage and to pay retention bonuses, his offer was considered a day late and a dollar short. Every Legion under his command defected to Elagabalus. Macrinus could not even flee effectively. He shaved his beard and changed his clothes to look like a commoner, but he was recognized by a centurion along the Bosporus, taken back to Antioch and executed.
The infighting continued. In 238 CE in the Province of Africa, forces loyal to Emperor Maximinus Thrax engaged those commanded by Emperors Gordian I and II – a father and son duo endorsed by the Roman Senate. The conflict arose as a result of the increased taxation imposed on Roman landowners which was required to offset the Parthian concessions. The opposing Roman armies met near Carthage. Gordian II was killed, and his father, learning of his son’s death, committed suicide.
But there would be another Gordian, this one the GIII. He arranged a campaign to retake the Roman cities of Hatra, Nisblis, and Carrhae in modern Turkey. His forces were initially successful, but their momentum was halted far short of their objective.
Then in 250 CE, during the Battle of Philippopolis, between the Romans and the Goths, King Cniva prevailed. His success during a previous siege emboldened other oppressed peoples to ally with him, and collectively they attacked and defeated the Roman Emperor Decius in the Thracian city in modern-day Bulgaria.
The following year, they would meet again, this time in Abritus, just west of the Black Sea. The Goth King Cniva, leading a federation of Scythians, shot and killed Emperor Decius’s son and co-regent, Herennius Etruscus, during pre-battle maneuvers. And yet his father, addressing his troops, said that the loss of his son was irrelevant: “Let no one mourn. The death of one soldier is not a great loss to the Republic.” Thereafter, Cniva outmaneuvered the Romans who marched directly into a swamp and were slaughtered. The defeat was one of the most catastrophic in the history of the Roman Empire. The Emperor and his army were lost in the mud. No one was spared.
In 259 CE, Emperor Valerian was out fighting the Sassanid Empire, which along with the Goths, had sacked the Province of Thrace and were plundering Asia Minor. Unable to protect Rome’s borders, Valerian appointed his son, Gallienus, co-Emperor. As bad as the situation was becoming in the east, it was worse in the western half of the crumbling Empire. Apparently “barbarians” don’t much like being abused, starved, or oppressed. Germanic tribes led by the Alamanni, living between the Rhine and Danube Rivers, had crossed the Alpine steps and claimed the harvest from the fertile farmland along the Po River. Since the Po flows eastward across northern Italy, through cities like Turin and Milan and into a delta near Venice, and since the federation of Germanic tribes were in a foul mood and had sacked the region, Rome, knowing that it was defenseless, was terrorized.
At the same time the Romans were discovering that armies comprised of disgruntled slaves, forced conscripts, and mercenaries can be a little twitchy. As the young Gallienus marched towards Dacia and Moesia to confront unrest in the Balkans, the Legions of Moesia and neighboring Pannonia rebelled and decided to ally with Ingenuus, declaring him Emperor. So after battling his own army, and subduing Ingunuus, Gallienus turned to intercept the Alamanni and associated Germanic barbarians in northern Italy. He was in command of the I Adiutrix, the II Italica, and the II Parthica Legions.
Simultaneously, Romans were beginning to realize that dispersing their military to protect the borders of the Empire was a risky proposition. Especially since the oppressed inhabitants within the Empire were now a far more present and menacing danger. So to protect themselves against the righteous indignation of those they had subjugated, the Roman Senate hastily conscripted Plebeians, the lowest ranking Roman citizens, into the army. Patriotism and self-preservation aside, fighting might have had some appeal to them because the only way to climb up the Roman caste system was to be adopted into Noble Household or to achieve one of the three highest military awards. Recognizing the need for a pep talk, and thereby patting their pawns on their backs, the Senate proclaimed: “You are not a lowly peasant. You are a citizen of Rome, and you must never bend a knee in supplication to either lords or gods.” That was funny in a way. Every Roman was required to bow to the Patrician Lords who as Emperors claimed to be Gods.
When Gallienus reached the Po Valley, the Alamanni were camped around Milan. Catching them off guard, the victory was resounding, with three-hundred thousand German barbarians dying in a single day. For anything even approaching this level of massacre to occur, particularly at the hands of three relatively novice Legions, the overwhelming preponderance of the people killed were non-combatants: women, children, and the elderly. And yet for his act of wonton depravity, Gallienus was declared Germanicus Maximus. It was nothing more than propaganda borne out of a desperate sense of patriotism, whereby the military, no matter how counterproductive, was presented as protecting the public.
Ending any pretence that Rome was a republic, upon his return, Emperor Gallienus disbanded the Senate’s guardian plebs. Dictators are typically paranoid, making them uncomfortable with any potential threat to their authority, real or imagined. At the same time, he began building a wall around Rome.
Meanwhile, in 260 CE, Emperor Gallienus’s father, Emperor Valerian, was fighting the Sassanids under Shahanshah (“Shah of Shahs or King of Kings”) Shapur. It did not go well. His army was defeated and captured by the Persian forces. For the first time in Roman history, the Empire’s Emperor was taken hostage.
Prior to the battle, Shapur had successfully penetrated Roman territory, conquering and plundering Antioch in Syria. Valerian was gradually able to restore Roman order, but there were too many challenges. A Gothic naval invasion ravaged Pontus and was poised to plunder Cappadocia. And there was nothing Emperor Valerian could do to stop them. Plague was once again debilitating the Roman military. And against this backdrop, the Shah of Shahs invaded northern Mesopotamia.
Plague or no plague, and perhaps believing the patriotic propaganda, the sixty-year-old Emperor marched eastward toward King Shapur, meeting his army between Carrhae and Edessa, in modern-day Turkey. There are no Roman sources to tell us what happened because the entire Roman army was lost. It appears from Persian historians that Valerian tried to negotiate a truce, but was captured in the process, causing his army to surrender.
The Persian sources also reveal that Shapur sent Valerian along with part of his army to Bishapur, where the Romans may have lived out their lives as free men. The remaining soldiers according to this accounting, were deployed building a dam near Susa. But to be fair, some scholars claim that Shapur humiliated Valerian, using the former Emperor as a human stepping stool when mounting his horse. Then once that got wearisome, he had Valerian’s body skinned and stuffed with manure to serve as a macabre trophy.
Following Valerian’s capture, the Shah of Shahs raided Cilicia. He was finally rebuffed by Macrianus, Callistus, and Odenathus of Palmyra, commanding a Roman force. Thereafter, Macrianus proclaimed his sons Macrianus and Quietus, co-Emperors. Then while in the Balkans, as we have already discovered, Ingenuus and Regalianus revolted, only to be defeated by an army sent by Gallienus, the son of the captured Emperor Valerian.
In the mounting chaos, Rome occasionally won a battle. Such is the case in 268 CE when an invading Gothic coalition was defeated near Naissus in present-day Serbia. Emperor Aurelian’s success on the battlefield suppressed the threat of the Germanic tribes in the Balkans for several decades. But we must be careful. Throughout the troubled third-century, Roman history is muddled and often more myth than reality.
Our primary source is now Zosimus, a Byzantine from the sixth century. He, himself, relied on Dexippus, Eunapius, and Olympiodorus – sources with varying degrees of credibility. Exacerbating this dilemma, Imperial disinformation during Constantine’s dynasty contributed to the confusion. The propagandists wanted to attribute all of the calamities occurring during this period to Gallienus to avoid blemishing the legacy of Claudius. The reason becomes obvious once we realize that Constantine claimed to be a descendant of Claudius, not Gallienus.
It was tortured reasoning especially since Gallienus was the first Emperor to issue an edict of tolerance toward Christians, creating forty years of peaceful coexistence. But as a result of their creative accounting, Roman history was revised to such an extent, it becomes nearly impossible to know what invasions occurred, what battles were fought, and under whose reign they were repulsed.
While it doesn’t much matter who fought whom, when, where, or why, Constantine’s proven propensity for propaganda and revisionist history ought to send shivers up the spines of Christians. Constantine is the father of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church and his historical portraits are neither consistent nor accurate. The religion of Christianity was comprised and shaped by this man and his clerics – and they consistently wove a web of lies.
The Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church are the living legacy of Rome that is accused in Dany’el’s prophecy of trampling the whole world while giving rise to the Beast. Therefore, this trend toward duplicity is troubling. Moreover, Christianity is based entirely on revisionist history. It is modeled upon religious propaganda designed to popularize a false reality – one which has “Jesus Christ” emerging out of the pagan legacy of Dionysus. This is one of many reasons the text of the Christian New Testament was manipulated, becoming unreliable.
Returning to the lore of Rome as seen through Constantine’s jaundiced eyes, we find that the Battle of Naissus was the result of two massive invasions by Scythian / Iranian tribes (more likely Goths) between 267 and 269 CE. The first wave approached during the reign of Gallienus, when the Heruli sailing five-hundred ships ravaged the southern coast of the Black Sea. Somehow faltering at Byzantium (which became Constantinople and then Istanbul) and then at Cyzicus (a city on the southwestern coast of the Sea of Marmara), they were allegedly rebuffed by the Roman navy. They are said to have escaped into the Aegean Sea, where they assaulted the islands of Lemnos and Scyros, sacking cities in southern Greece in the process, including Athens, Corinth, Argos, and Sparta. Saving the day, an Athenian militia led by the historian Dexippus pushed the invaders to the north where they were intercepted in Macedonia by the Roman army under Gallienus.
The propagandists would have us believe that Gallienus subsequently negotiated a truce with the Heruli, but more recent research suggests that the victory Gallienus achieved at Nessos was so overwhelming that Claudius’s claims to have ultimately defeated the Goths were contrived. Historians have also learned that after prevailing in Macedonia, Emperor Gallienus left hastily for Italy to suppress an insurrection led by his cavalry officer, Aureolus. But that misadventure did not go as well. Gallienus was assassinated outside of Milan in the summer of 268 CE as part of a plot pursued by his generals. They declared Claudius Emperor and headed to Rome to establish his claim. But Claudius was diverted, as he was thrust into combat against the Alamanni, who were again provoking northern Italians. After prevailing over them in the Battle of Lake Benacus, he marched back to the Balkans to suppress the incursions occurring there.
All the while, a second and much larger seaborne invasion commenced. The Goths (called Scythians and Iranians by the Constantinian propagandists), lead by the Heruli, assembled a force of six-thousand ships and three-hundred thousand men at the mouth of the Tyras River in what is currently called the Ukraine, not far from Odessa and the Crimean Peninsula. And while the numbers are clearly exaggerated, the Goths attacked Byzantium and Chrysopolis (on the southern shore of the Bosporus Strait). Thereafter, some portion of their fleet was wrecked, either failing to navigate the currents in the Sea of Marmara, or by the Roman navy. The surviving contingent, however, sailed through the Dardanelles Strait and into the Aegean, where they plundered Crete and Rhodes. Then while building siege works to take Thessalonica and Cassandreis, the Goths retreated into the Balkans on rumors that Emperor Claudius was advancing – or so we are told.
Roman legend would then have us believe that this contingency of Goths ran into a Romany army near Naissus in 269 CE. The fiercely contested battle claimed many lives, with the Romans prevailing by feigning retreat. The Goths were ambushed, with some fifty-thousand killed or taken captive. Aurelian, who was in charge of all Roman cavalry during Claudius’s reign, implemented the prevailing strategy.
The surviving Goths, who contracted an epidemic plague from the Romans, in their weakened state were harassed and starved, ultimately surrendering. Then as was the Roman custom, the able-bodied men were conscripted into the Roman Legions, where they brought the plague with them, killing Emperor Claudius, who died from it in 270 CE.
After his death, to instill a since of Roman exceptionalsim and to affirm the Empire’s manifest destiny, Claudius would be renamed “Claudious Gothicus – Conqueror of the Goths.” But in the real world, the Goths had not been conquered. The breakaway faction of Rome known as the Gallic Empire would continue to threaten Rome’s Legions, commencing again a year later in 271 CE. It is interesting to note that at its peak, the Gallic Empire was substantial and included Germania, Gaul (France), Britannia, and Hispania (Spain).
With Roman Legions occupied along the Danube keeping the Vandals at bay during the winter of 270, we find the Juthungi tribe seizing the opportunity to invade Italia. Emperor Aurelian, who was in Pannonia chasing after the nomadic Vandals, hastily returned to Italy to defend the region around Milan. When he arrived, he sent the invaders a message, demanding their immediate surrender. But they now considered themselves freemen and had no interest in returning to Roman servitude. So they fought, surprising the exhausted Roman army near Placentia, defeating them.
Buoyed by their success, the Juthungi moved towards Rome, panicking its defenseless inhabitants. So the Romans turned to their gods for help. According to Historia Augustus, the Sibylline Books were consulted and religious ceremonies were conducted to illicit the assistance of the Roman deities.
Should you be interested, the Sibylline Books were tightly controlled by the Roman Senate, demonstrating that in the Roman Republic and Empire, there were no distinctions between politics and religion. The texts were used to set religious observances, to resolve political disputes, and to preclude military defeats. The script itself was never made available to the public, but like the Roman Catholic Church and its Vulgate, interpretations were conveyed, leaving ample opportunity for abuse.
The Sibylline Books had superintendence in the worship of Apollo, the Father of the Gods, the “Magna Mater – Great Mother” Cybele, and Ceres (a fertility and harvest goddess who established Plebeian Law). In this way, they are quite similar to the Christian New Testament, which claims to take supremacy over the erroneously named “Old Testament.”
Returning to 271 CE, Emperor Aurelian avenged his loss during the Battle of Fano, defeating the Alamanni as they advanced on Rome. Aurelian was able to pin the Alamanni against the Metaurus River, just inland of Fano. Pressured by the Roman advances, many Juthungi slipped into the River and drowned.
The Juthungi requested peace, but Aurealian rejected their plea for safe passage out of Italy and back home. He was more interested in repairing his now shattered reputation. So Aurelian attacked the retreating Juthungi while they crossed the open plains near Ticinum, slaughtering all remaining survivors. For his victory, Aurelian assumed the title of “Germanicus Maximus – the Greatest Victor Over the Germans.”
As the ongoing “Crisis of the Third Century” continued to play out, Rome found itself unable to defend its eastern provinces from the Sassanid invasion. So a Palmyra chief, Septimius Odaenathus, stepped up and improvised an army capable of repelling the Sassanid onslaught. As a result, Gallienus made him a king and protector of the Eastern Empire. After Odaenathus’s death, his wife Queen Zenobia, assumed direct control of the provinces of the Eastern Empire that were under Palmyrian protection. A shrewd diplomat, she convinced many in Asia Minor to recognize her authority, and to view Palmyra as the capital of the Eastern Empire. She then expanded her holdings into Egypt, effectively building a Palmyrene Empire inside of Rome. She did this very cleverly by maintaining the facade that she was in partnership with Rome, always placing her son in a subordinate position to Aurelian in all official documents and coins.
And that was all well and good, until she connived her way into Egypt, which was considered personal property of the Emperor. So Aurelian viewed her claim as nothing short of a declaration of war against him. Therefore, once Aurelian had his way with the Alamanni, he restored his army to full strength and commenced a campaign into the East to deal with Queen Zenobia in 272 CE, racing toward Antioch.
Realizing that her charade was over, Queen Zenobia, who was ruling through her son, had him declared “Augustus,” and mobilized an army, placing it under the command of General Zabdas. But Aurelian out maneuvered him, turning Zabdas’s superior heavily armored cavalry into a liability in the intense heat. After allowing the Palmyrene cataphracts to gallop through their ranks, the moment they grew weary, the superior infantry of the Romans overwhelmed them, driving Zabdas back to Antioch. Queen Zenobia and General Zabdas withdrew to Emesa during the night. Then fearing Aurelian’s reputation for savage retribution, Antioch surrendered.
Aurelian, of course, pursued the clever Queen to Emesa. And while his cavalry was no match for the Palmyrene cataphracts, Zabdas’s forces were sufficiently dispersed to allow the Roman infantry to carry the day – interesting in that enslaved Judean units armed with clubs turned the tide of the battle in favor or the Romans, slaughtering the Palmyrene horsemen. Also interesting, while Queen Zenobia was ultimately captured, she was not executed. Aurelian was perhaps learning that a nation cannot slaughter people into submission.
Two years later, in 274 CE, during the Battle of Chalons in Champagne, France, Aurelian and Tetricus met to decide the fate of the Gallic Empire after thirteen years of autonomy. Truth be known, infighting among the Gauls had weakened the breakaway entity to the point Tetricus couldn’t have beaten Liechtenstein. Predictably, Tetricus was captured early in the battle, and his army was torn to shreds by Aurelian’s troops. The only distinguishing aspect of the battle was the high death toll.
Then in 285 CE, we find Roman Emperors squaring off against one another yet again. On this occasion it was Diocletian v. Carinus. They were in the Margus River Valley in today’s Serbia, and therefore playing army in the Balkans. Carinus owned more soldiers, but having abused them, they were less reliable. Carinus had also made a lifetime of enemies, forcing Senator’s wives into his lair to satiate his twisted desires while also seducing the wives of his senior officers. So it wasn’t much of a fight. Emperor Carinus was killed during the battle by his own troops.
This placed Diocletian in sole control of the Empire. He was unique among Roman Emperors, in that he was born of lowly status and had worked his way up the cast system by being in the right place at the right time. He was Emperor Carus’s cavalry commander at the time the Carus and his son, Numerian, were both killed sparing with the Persians. The Legions declared Diocletian Emperor, solely because he was the highest-ranking surviving officer. But there was a rival. Carinus was also one of Carus’s sons, so when Diocletian attacked him, he was revealing a deeply flawed character.
Diocletian humble beginnings didn’t influence his reign. He presented himself and his royal court as above the population. He spared no expense promoting lavish ceremonies. His personal extravagance required greater taxation, which he also imposed. He then tried unsuccessfully to control the inflation that he had caused with the Edict on Maximum Prices. Administratively, Diocletian appointed fellow military officer Maximian, as Augustus and Co-Emperor a year into his reign, in 286 CE. Seven years later, he appointed Galerius and Constantine as Caesars and Junior Co-Emperors. But it is his persecution of Christians late in his reign, sometime after 303 CE, that colors his historic portrait. Second only to Rome’s war against Judaism, it was the Empire’s last, largest, and bloodiest official persecution of a religion.
Diocletian began the process inadvertently, trying to restore Rome’s lost luster. It is why he surrounded himself with patriotic proponents of the pantheon of Roman gods, with men like Constantine and Galerius. Both were fierce advocates of the old ways and of new wars. Purging the army of Chrestucians, later known as Christians, came next. It was done for practical reasons. The Followers of the Way were pacifists.
While we will never know for sure, it is said that Galerius urged Diocletian to begin a general persecution of Christians. Roman lore would also tell us that Diocletian was wary of this advice, so he asked the oracle of Apollo for guidance. The counsel was predictable and was used to endorse the carnage which followed. Then once the Imperial Palace was burned under a cloud of suspicion, Christians were blamed and burned as they had been under Nero. It was particularly sad that they were willing to suffer in this way for their religion, recognizing that they had been beguiled by an even more duplicitous Roman – Paul.
Speaking of duplicity, the pagan warrior who militarized, politicized, and legitimized Christianity, Constantine, wasn’t willing to share power with anyone, which made him the next Roman in long line of egotistical men who fought other Romans for control of the most depraved civilization in human history. His initial rival was Maxentius. He was not only the legitimate heir to the throne, he had just completed fortifying Rome with one-hundred thousand soldiers. But since Constantine couldn’t play nicely with others, the Empire was split between these men.
The Junior Co-Emperor initiated hostilities against his brother-in-law, Emperor Maxentius Augustus in 312 CE by crossing the Alps from Gaul with forty-thousand troops. Constantine was resisted at Susa, Italy, when they refused to open their gates to the usurper. So the Junior Co-Emperor took the city by force and burned it, only to extinguish the flames thereafter to gain the support of the people. This example of what’s now known as the Stockholm Syndrome would be deployed again.
Constantine would first encounter his brother-in-law, Emperor Maxentius Augustus at Turin, Italy. Displaying a head for conflict, not family, Constantine elongated his line, hoping that the superior heavily-armored cavalry of his foe would ride into the middle of his line, leaving his opponent’s flank vulnerable to his more maneuverable cavalry. Wielding heavy clubs with iron spikes, Constantine’s horsemen ripped Maxentius’s riders off of their mounts, clubbing them to death on the ground. The Junior Co-Emperor then ordered his infantry to advance against fellow Romans, cutting the retreating army of Emperor Maxentius Augustus down as they fled. Celebrating death, the citizens of Turin cheered while the Roman troops loyal to Maxentius were slaughtered with their backs up against the city’s walls.
Later that same year, Milan changed allegiance, drawing Constantine further south towards Rome. Following this defection, Verona, which was an imposing Maxentian stronghold, became the next target. But when the city was encircled to begin the siege, the Emperor’s army attacked. Constantine’s Legions prevailed, however, forcing their foe to retreat into the city. But as Constantine continued his siege, Maxentius summoned additional troops, forcing the Junior Co-Emperor to fight on two fronts. And yet, even with his army divided, Constantine prevailed, routing the newly arrived recruits while demoralizing those still garrisoned in Verona. With the surrender of the city, and the death of Emperor Maxentius’s most trusted General, all opposition to Constantine in northern Italy collapsed. One city after another changed their allegiance.
Soon thereafter, the history of the world would change at the Battle of Milvian Bridge. If only there had not been the claim of a vision, if only Constantine had not won.
The problem isn’t just that Constantine legalized Christianity. Gallienus’s edict a century earlier had actually been far more effective. Even Galerius, the man accused of inspiring the persecution, ended the harassment with a declaration enormously favorable to the new religion. In fact, Constantine’s edict wasn’t even specific to Christianity, but instead was written on behalf of every religion – not unlike the U.S. Constitution.
The problem with Constantine wasn’t just that he was an anti-Semite who passed laws in opposition to Jews and the Torah. Hadrian had been infinitely worse, and Vespasian and Trajan had been equally as bad.
The problem wasn’t just that Constantine was first and foremost a warrior, a man whose life had been devoted to killing. Roman Emperors were always chosen based upon their military prowess and vengeful nature.
The problem wasn’t just that Constantine was an egomaniac, willing to lead Romans into battle to slaughter fellow Romans simply to satiate his lust for power. Civil wars had become commonplace in Rome.
The problem wasn’t just that Constantine feigned his conversion and remained a pagan. Romans had made hypocrisy and duplicity performance arts.
The problem with Constantine is that he blended all of these adverse characteristics together, in addition to all of his pagan beliefs, creating an immensely popular, deadly and demonic, duplicitous and hypocritical, politicized and militant, anti-Semitic religion driven by rival egomaniacs that was economically and socially integrated into Roman society. The problem with Constantine is that he boasted of an encounter with Satan that he attributed to God, beguiling billions as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The problem with Constantine is that he integrated Christianity into the fabric of the Beast that is Rome, making the nation and the religion homogenous. The problem with Constantine is that he initiated the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church as an extension of the Roman Empire, so that the Beast would live on and trample the world – right up to the very end.
There is no common accord when, where, what, or how Constantine experienced the vision that would change Rome and then the world. Some say it was during the day and emblazoned before the sun, while equally credible sources suggest that it was during a dream in the middle of the night. It is most commonly stated that during the evening of October 27, with both armies preparing for battle, Constantine had a vision which “led him to fight under the sign of the Christian god.” If only this pagan recognized that the sign of God was actually circumcision not Chi-Rho, the world would be markedly different today.
This dream version of the revelation is recorded by Lactantius, who reports: “the night before the battle, Constantine was commanded in a dream to delineate the heavenly sign on the shields of his soldiers.” (On the Deaths of the Persecutors 44.5) Lactantius describes that sign as a “staurogram,” or Latin cross, with its upper end rounded in a P-like fashion. But in reality, there is no evidence whatsoever that Constantine envisioned anything or ever deployed the sign.
The historian Eusebius provides two conflicting accounts. In his Ecclesiastical History, he promotes the belief that god helped Constantine, but he does not mention any vision. Then in his second depiction, Life of Constantine, Eusebius, who had become the Emperor’s premier propagandist, provides a detailed account of a vision and stresses that he had heard the story from the Emperor himself. According to this version, “Constantine was marching with his army, when he looked up to the sun and saw a cross of light above it, and with it the Greek words ‘Εν Τούτῳ Νίκα,’ usually translated into Latin as ‘in hoc signo vinces,’ with both phrases meaning ‘In this sign, conquer.’” Eusebius, however, does not specify the actual location of the momentous event, or even indicate when it occurred, but testified that it was absolutely not near the camp outside Rome where the battle was waged. And that is to say, Constantine couldn’t remember the details because it did not actually happen. The alleged sign on the shields was never reported inscribed nor seen by any of the participants or witnesses. Moreover, there is no evidence to even suggest that the Greek letters Chi Rho were identified with any individual or with any religion before Constantine. It is a religious myth, one developed five years later on Roman coinage to facilitate Constantine’s grandiose ambition and to legitimize his role as Pope of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church.
Those who have studied Constantine, speak of a solar halo phenomenon, common in the presence of thin clouds or dust, which was then recast to fit with Christian beliefs. Coins that overtly depict Constantine as a “companion of Mithras” were minted as late as 313 CE, a year after the battle. The Roman solar deity, “Sol Invictus – the Unconquerable Sun,” was not only pictured with a halo, Constantine’s official coinage continued to feature the Unconquerable Sun as the companion of the Emperor through 356 CE, doing so with much greater frequency than his predecessors. His gold coinage, or solidus, depict his bust with intertwined Sol Invictus – Constantine Invictus scripts. Moreover, the official cults of Sol Invictus and Sol Invictus Mithras, were especially popular with the Roman Legions. Statuettes of Mithras as the Unconquerable Sun were carried by the Legion’s Standard Bearers along with their Eagles. These likenesses even appear on the Arch of Constantine, which was positioned to align with the Colossus of Sol Invictus (formerly the Colossus of Nero) outside the Roman Coliseum – the most depraved pagan amphitheater in human history. This is all to say, Emperor Constantine was a pagan – as are those who believe the religion he fashioned to promote his legend.
It would have been reasonable to assume that Satan facilitated the vision, as he had with Sha’uwl two and a half centuries earlier, because the experiences are somewhat similar. But there is absolutely no possibility that Yahowah was involved, wanting to ally with one Roman over another. God’s depiction of Rome is as condescending, foreboding, and dismissive as words allow.
The two Roman generals, Junior Co-Emperor Constantine and Emperor Maxentius Augustus, met again on October 28, 312 along the banks of the Tiber River just eight miles from Rome. Constantine camped in Prima Porta, famous for its statue of the Divine Augustus. After his stay, the modest the Junior Co-Emperor would erect the Arch of the Divine Constantine to mark the spot.
It was assumed that Emperor Maxentius Augustus would remain in Rome and endure the expected siege, a strategy he had deployed successfully twice before. In preparation, he had even stockpiled sufficient food supplies. But instead, he met his brother-in-law in battle formation after consulting the oracle of the Sibylline Books. Since the religious sage declared “on October 28 an enemy of the Romans would perish,” he assumed that his rival and usurper was doomed.
History tells us that Maxentius organized his superior forces in long lines along the Tiber River next to the Milvian Bridge. Defending the portal was critical if the Emperor was to keep Constantine’s Legions out of Rome. He knew that the fickle Senate, in an act of self-preservation, would endorse whoever the Legion’s closest to Rome favored. But inexplicitly, Maxentius positioned his troops with their backs to the river, removing an obstacle from his opponent and creating one for himself. He was so close to the Tiber, he left no room to reposition his forces or strengthen his lines.
Initially, the cavalry on both sides engaged, with Constantine’s horsemen prevailing. Then the Junior Co-Emperor’s infantry pushed Maxentius’s infantry back and into the Tiber River. At that point the Emperor wanted to retreat back into the city and make another stand from inside Rome. But since he had already destroyed the original Milvian Bridge in preparation for a siege, the substantial rock bridge had been replaced with a temporary pontoon conduit. With panicked troops scrambling for their lives, the only escape route collapsed. Constantine took advantage of his brother-in-law’s misfortune, slaughtering the men who were now stranded on the north bank of the Tiber. The troops which were not killed, were taken prisoner. Most of those who tried to swim across the river drowned, including Emperor Maxentius Augustus.
The following day, Constantine entered Rome as a conquering god, personally staging a grand religious and political celebration in his honor. He fished Maxentius’s body out of the river, decapitated him, and paraded his head through the streets for all to see. Shortly thereafter, religious structures such as the Temple of Romulous and the Basilica of Maxentius were rededicated to Rome’s new god: Emperor Constantine. Then Rome’s new divinity condemned his brother-in-law to “Damnatio Memoriae – Damnation of Memory.” All of Maxentius’s legislation was invalidated. And the fine fellow who did these things is the founder of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church.
In reality, at this point Constantine was only Emperor of the Western Roman Empire. Licinius was still in control of the East. He had come to that position as the close childhood friend and most trusted confidant of Co-Emperor Galerius. He had received the title Augustus in 308 CE, when he was put in command of the Provinces of Illyricum, Thrace, and Pannonia. Thereafter, he successfully fought the Sarmatians in 310 CE. So upon the death of Galerius in 311, Licinius entered into an agreement with Emperor Maxentius to share the Eastern Provinces between them. Also noteworthy, in 313 Licinius married Julia Constantia, Constantine’s sister. It was during the wedding that Emperors Licinius and Constantine jointly issued the Edict of Milan, allowing freedom of religion “on behalf of any Divinity whatsoever in the seat of the heavens” – including pagan gods but excluding the God of the Jews throughout the Empire. Subsequent edits returned confiscated Christian property and provided Christian clerics with a tax-exempt status.
Licinius wasn’t Emperor Galerius’s only appointment, however. Daia, the son of Galerius’ sister, rose in rank after joining the Roman army. So in 305 CE, when his maternal uncle Galerius became the Eastern Augustus, he adopted Daia and gave him the rank of Caesar, making him the Junior Eastern Emperor over Syria and Egypt. Therefore, when Maxentius and then Constantine leagued with Licinius, Daia become envious.
As our saga continues, Junior Emperor Daia decided to attack Emperor Licinius Augustus. He left Syria with seventy-thousand troops, but by the time he reached Bithynia, as a result of harsh weather he encountered along the way, his army had been gravely weakened. Nonetheless, in April 313, he crossed the Bosporus to blockade Byzantium which was held by Licinius’s troops. He prevailed after an eleven-day siege. He quickly moved on to Heraclea, which he attacked immediately thereafter.
With half as many troops, Emperor Licinius arrived at Adrianople, in East Thrace along the border between modern-day Greece and Bulgaria. As Licinius readied his troops for the battle, he also claimed to have had a vision in which a spirit recited a generic religious benediction which could be prayed by the followers of every cult. So Licinius repeated it to his soldiers. Then on April 30, 313, the two armies clashed at the Battle of Tzirallum in Eastern Thrace (later renamed Constantinople then Istanbul).
In the ensuing scuffle, Caesar Daia’s forces were routed. So ridding himself of the imperial purple and dressing like a slave, Daia fled. But once he reached Nicomedia, he somehow came to believe he had the chance to prevail, so Daia attempted to stop the advance of Licinius who was pursuing him at the Cilician Gates. His second attempt didn’t work and Daia retreated to Tarsus where Emperor Licinius killed him.
In 314, another in the long line of Roman Civil Wars commenced, this one instigated by Emperor Constantine against Emperor Licinius. The paranoid and manipulative Constantine accused Licinius of harboring Senecio, his Dux Limitis (consul and/or general). Constantine had accused Senecio of plotting to overthrow him. By way of background, Constantine had promoted Senecio’s brother, Senator Bassianus, who was also Constantine’s brother-in-law, to the rank of Caesar. Then once empowered, Constantine accused him of promoting a conspiracy to assassinate him. So Constantine killed Bassianus and wanted to do the same to his brother, Senecio. But when Licinius refused to hand him over, this was used as a pretext for war.
Emperor Constantine marched his Legions into Pannonia, which was Emperor Licinius’s territory in present-day Croatia. The opposing Roman armies met on the plain between the rivers Save and Drave. The infantry fought to a bloody draw, but Constantine positioned his cavalry against Licinius’s flank, breaking his ranks. Twenty-thousand of Emperor Licinius’s were killed in the ensuing mêlée. By nightfall, Licinius and his cavalry fled under the cover of darkness.
Emperor Licinius, after collecting his family and treasury, moved into Thrace, where he commenced peace negotiations with Constantine. Initially successful, both men shared power throughout 315 CE. But the next year, a new war erupted once Licinius promoted one of his generals, Valerius Valens, to the rank of Augustus, thereby securing his loyalty. The move irritated Constantine, who tried to intimidate Licinius into demoting Valens to keep his rival vulnerable.
The founder of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church conveyed his condescending ire in the following note: “The Emperor made clear the extent of his rage by his facial expression and by the contortion of his body. Almost unable to speak, he said, ‘We have not come to this present state of affairs, nor have we fought and triumphed from the ocean till where we have now arrived, just so that we should refuse to have our own brother-in-law as joint ruler because of his abominable behavior, and so that we should deny his close kinship, but accept that vile slave [i.e., Valens] with him into Imperial College.’”
All the while, Constantine moved his army through the Balkans and established a base at Philippi. He struck Licinius at Mardia, Thrace, located in modern-day Bulgaria in the fall of 316 CE. The outcome was predictably gory. After fierce fighting between Romans, both sides endured massive casualties. While they struggled to a draw, during the night, Licinius retreated with much of his army intact. Constantine declared victory.
Thinking that Licinius might flee to Byzantium, Constantine pushed his bloodied Legions in that direction, which unintentionally and dangerously caused his rival’s forces to be between himself and his supply lines with Rome. So while Constantine was vulnerable, Licinius was in too precarious a position to retaliate. Instead, Licinius requested a truce, which Emperor Constantine denied until he learned that his royal entourage and his baggage had been captured. Then in the ensuing agreement, Constantine forced Licinius to cede to him all European Provinces except for Thrace, to depose and then execute Valens, and to acknowledge and declare that Constantine was superior. This means that they had fought and men had suffered and died over their egos.
With Constantine able to gloat for having gained control over the Balkan Peninsula, there was an uncomfortable peace between the grand and lesser Emperors for seven or eight years. Licinius kept busy fighting the Sarmatians, beginning in 318 CE. But the truce wore thin three years later, in 321 CE, when Constantine also engaged against the Sarmatians, pursuing them and allied Visigoths across the Danube and into Licinius’s territory. Constantine followed that battle with another invasion in 323, this time pursuing the Goths into Thrace. So Licinius duly noted that Constantine had broken the treaty by using Thrace as a repository for Roman foes.
Considering the truth an insult, Constantine wasted no time going on the offensive. He invaded Thrace with an army comprised of grizzled veterans. And now that he controlled the Balkans, supply lines were no longer an issue. Of the crusade, one of his publicists would later write: “Constantine, tempted by the advanced age and unpopular vices of his colleague, again declared war against him.”
Emperor Licinius positioned his army at Adrianople, in East Thrace, near the border between Greece and Bulgaria. Constantine advanced from Thessalonica in the west. They met at the Hebrus River near Adrianople, a site which nearly defined the purpose of their meeting. With both armies aligned in typical Roman formations, they glared at each other for several days. With the Hebrus River between he and his rival, and with Licinius better positioned on higher ground, the normally aggressive Constantine was hesitant.
Then as Eisenhower would do with Patton, positioning him at the head of a fake army to deceive the Germans into believing that the Allies would be crossing the English Channel at Pas de Calais, the shortest distance, Constantine ordered his men to conspicuously stage most of their equipment at the most suitable crossing, where the Hebrus narrowed and where his men would be best protected by thick forests, thereby giving the impression that he was going to build a bridge at this point. But it was a ruse. Constantine secretly moved his archers and cavalry across the river upstream and caught his rival off guard. A great massacre followed, with Constantine’s army slashing thirty-four thousand Romans to death over the course of several hours.
This time, Constantine murdered his countrymen by prominently displaying the Rho Chi Labarum Standard, with the P for the Greek letter Rho superimposed upon the X for Chi, encircled by a halo comprised of little suns and moons. Without the halo, this Rx nomenclature became the international symbol for drugs, which is something to ponder since chrisos, the basis of Christos and thus Christ, speaks of the application of drugs.
Needing some of those medication, Constantine who had been slightly wounded in the thigh, halted the attack at sunset. This allowed Licinius and what little was left of his army to retreat. They withdrew to Byzantium and to the safety of his fleet of nearly three-hundred fifty ships – one of the largest in the world at that time.
Again with egos outweighing lives, Emperor Constantine besieged Byzantium, the city he would one day rename Constantinople in his honor. At the same time, he dispatched his son, Criprus, in command of the Roman navy. His orders were to gain control of the Bosporus Strait – the narrow waterway separating Thrace from Asia Minor. He was successful initially, but not in the Bosporus, instead at the western end of the Sea of Marmara in the narrow waters of Hellespont, known today as the Dardanelles.
Crispus at the command of just eighty ships was able to prevail against the Licinian fleet of two-hundred vessels principally because the Strait was too narrow to maneuver a large navy. The Licinian fleet withdrew to the eastern end of the Dardanelles, but at the same time, Crispus augmented his fleet with ships that sailed in from the Aegean Sea. The opposing navies met again off shore Gallipoli, but as they did, a storm blew most of Licinius’s ships into the shore, wrecking all but four of them. As a result, Constantine could now safely cross the Bosporus into Bithynia. But upon hearing the news that his navy had been destroyed, Licinius left Byzantium and repositioned his army at Chrysopolis, along the Asiatic shore of the Strait.
This brings us to 18 September 324 and to the final battle between the rival Roman Emperors and brothers-in-law. The Empire wasn’t big enough for them to share. Constantine wanted it all, to be both god and man, general and politician, pope and king.
In dire straits and fighting for his life, Emperor Licinius replaced Valens, the general that Constantine had wanted executed, with Sextus Martinianus, naming him co-Emperor. They attempted to unify their armies and supplement their force with Visigoths under the command of Aliquaca, but Constantine may have struck before any of this transpired.
Constantine’s historians tell us that after summoning “divine guidance” in a tent meeting with his god or gods, Constantine attacked his brother-in-law. The religious nature of the battle was undeniable, with Emperor Licinius prominently displaying images of Rome’s pagan gods throughout his battle lines. His troops also carried images of Licinius with a halo, implying that he was the son of the Sun. On the other side, Constantine’s soldiers drew upon occult powers with talismans worn as magic charms and amulets in addition to their RX Labarum above a red field with three golden suns. And while I realize that the order of the letters is typically revered as XR, all of the images I’ve examined show the Rho superimposed upon the Chi.
In this regard, it should be noted that Constantine and his Legions worshipped Mithras, a Persian, Hindu, Chinese, Greek, and Roman solar deity. The god’s name means “Covenant,” making it a clever counterfeit. According to the ancient mythology, Mithras was the son of the Sun, born of a virgin known as the “Mother of God.” Therefore, Mithraism’s Trinity explains there were three golden suns on Constantine’s war banner.
Salvation though baptism and Sunday worship were among countless similarities between Mithras and Christianity. And as was the case with Dionysus, the devotees of Mithras observed an annual Last Supper featuring wine and bread, symbolizing the body and blood of their pagan god. Mithras’ birthday was observed at the same time Christians celebrate Christmas. On Easter Sunday, Mithras who had died for the sins of the faithful was resurrected, making Mithras very similar to Tammuz, Osiris, Adonis, Dionysus, Bacchus, and the Christian Jesus.
Also interesting, especially considering Paul’s influence on Christianity, Mithraism was developed in the city of Tarsus, Paul’s birthplace. The followers of Zoroaster are credited with developing the sun god into a religious cult, one which became especially popular in the first century CE, particularly among Roman soldiers.
While the religious artwork may have taken days to construct, the battle was over in minutes. Emperor Constantine struck the center of Emperor Licinius’s line and it buckled. According to the historian Zosimus: “There was great slaughter at Chysopolis,” affirming that it was indeed a religious spectacle. More than twenty-five thousand Romans died this day. But Licinius escaped, gathering thirty-thousand troops around him at Nicomedia.
In a brief moment of sanity, Constantine’s sister, who was Licinius’s wife, convinced him to surrender. Responding to her tears and pleas for mercy, Constantine vowed to spare the life of brother-in-law. But once his sister was out of earshot, he ordered his execution, breaking his vow. He justified the hanging by accusing him of treason – which is an odd charge to pin on an Emperor. Consistent, a year later, Constantine’s nephew, the son of Licinius, fell victim to the Emperor’s suspicions. He was killed as was Martinianus, the short-lived Co-Emperor.
Constantine, ever the egomaniac, and always seeking to promote his legacy, made every effort to besmirch the reputation of his former Imperial colleague. To this end, he circulated stories about Licinius’s cruelty – which is funny considering Constantine’s propensity to be savage. The Emperor claimed that Licinius had murdered Severianus, the son of Emperor Severus, as well as Candidianus, the son of Emperor Galerius. On a roll, Constantine claimed that Licinius had ordered the execution of the wife and daughter of Emperor Diocletian. It was all propaganda on the part of Constantine, who turned Licinius’s capitol, Byzantium, into Constantinople – a shrine to his ego.
Then, just as Muslims would strive to minimize the obvious concerns about the initial duplicity and ruthlessness of Muhammad’s religion by inappropriately casting aspersions against pagan Arabs preceding Islam, Christianity’s newly minted apologists attempted to minimize concerns over Constantine’s questionable behavior by besmirching the character of his predecessors. Licinius was portrayed as anti-Christian. But this was not the case. Contemporary evidence demonstrates that he co-authored the Edict of Milan which ended the Great Persecution. Licinius was even more aggressive than Constantine in reaffirming the rights of Christians in his half of the Empire. And like Constantine, Licinius orchestrated the affairs of the Church, establishing it hierarchy while determining its doctrine.
And yet according to Eusebius, Constantine’s lead propagandist, Emperor Licinius simply feigned sympathy for the sect while actually being a bloodthirsty pagan who had to be stopped by the virtuous Constantine. On Licinius’s death, his memory was branded with infamy, and his statues were toppled. Every law, edict, and judicial proceeding during his reign was overturned. In other words, Constantine treated Licinius’s legacy the same way he had treated Maxentius’s reputation. But in doing so, it’s Constantine’s reputation for duplicity and revenge that is laid bare. Christianity could not have had a much more pathetic man than Constantine to transform the Empire into a Church.
Since we have now chronicled the lives and wars of the most influential Romans, and have detailed the character flaws among men like Trajan, Caligula, Nero, Hadrian, and Constantine who shaped the Empire and cultured its animosity toward God, His People, Land, Torah, and Covenant, we will now move more quickly through Rome’s flickering future.
Constantine’s son, Constantius II, kept the Persian army under Shapur II from acquiring territories that had been lost by the Eastern Roman Empire in 344 CE. But shortly thereafter there would be another Civil War, this one waged between 350 and 351 CE. Constantine II, who was given control over Gaul, Spain, and Britain, resented his brothers Constantius II, who ruled over Asia Minor, Egypt, and Syria, and Constans I, reigning in Italy, North Africa, and Illyricum. They did not respect the fact that he was older and therefore the senior Augustus. So he invaded Italy, only to be killed in an ambush, further empowering Constans. But alas, Constans was despised by the Legions, causing him to be the victim of a military coop. With two of the three princes gone, the army promoted a barbarian officer, Magnentius, declaring him Emperor.
Constantius II, following in his father’s footsteps, responded by attacking Magnentius in 351, defeating him in one of the bloodiest battles in Roman history. Magnentius lost two-thirds of his army while Constantius sacrificed half of his, squandering the lives of fifty-thousand men in a single day.
But we are told that it was a religious affair. Magnentius evidently restored some pagan rites and Constantius is said to have prayed while men were bludgeoning other Romans to death. His Church would have us believe that the “bishop of Mursa, Valens, told the pious Constantius that an angel had reported news of the victory, thus ending any chance of a pagan revival.” But these same men would choose to fight again two years later in the Battle of Mons Seleucus. Constantius’s forces prevailed and Magnentius committed suicide. Now Christian pagans would be defending pagan Rome from invading pagans, ending any chance that the prophecy was accurate.
A handful of years later, in the Battle of Reims in 356 CE, Caesar Julian the Apostate was defeated by the Alemanni a pagan tribe. But the following year, the Alamanni tribal confederation lost a subsequent battle to Deputy Emperor Julian near Strasbourg, France, thereby reducing the nuisance of the Gallic marauders.
In the East, the Persian Sassanids under Shah Shapur II besieged the Roman city of Amida in 359. After crushing the Arabs slightly south of their position, Shapur sought to recapture additional territories the Persians had lost to Rome. Realizing this, Constantius II wanted the region to be as inhospitable to the invaders as possible, so he ordered “the Romans living around Carrhea to flee, moving their families and livestock to safety, setting their entire country on fire behind them, leaving nothing but scorched earth.”
But the wholesale destruction panicked the Roman military stationed in the region and they retreated chaotically to escape the Persian advance. Then once in Syria, the Sassanid Persians were actually provoked into attacking Amida. Shapur’s son, Grumbates, was shot and killed by a Roman archer. Shapur reacted by comparing the provocation with that of Patroclus at Troy. So the Sassanids attacked. Festooned with a golden and jeweled ram’s head, Shapur rallied his men who succeeded in their pursuit of the city only to find it inflected with the plague.
Shortly thereafter, Emperor Julian was killed in the Battle of Ctesiphon fighting against Shapur and the Sassanids. While the battle ended in a draw, His successor, Jovian, signed a truce, whereby five Roman Provinces along the northwestern banks of the Tigris were ceded to the Persians.
The Romans would fight another Civil War in 366 CE at Thyatira, Phygia, this time between Emperor Valens and Procopius. It was yet another case of a general being heralded Caesar by his Legions. Valens prevailed, capturing, imprisoning, and then killing Procopius.
By 368 CE, the Romans were battling the Alamanni again. Emperor Valentinian managed to win the conflict but may have lost the war as a result of sacrificing too many of his troops fending off the Germans.
The Goths would be targeted next. They were accused of rebelling and then of plundering the Balkans. Western and Eastern Legions converged in present-day Bulgaria to stop them. Men on both sides fought to achieve a bloody draw. Then in 378, the invading Lentienses, a branch of the Alamanni, were defeated when their king was killed.
Later that same year, Emperor Valens would confront Gothic tribes north of Adrianople in the Roman Province of Thrace. It was an overwhelming victory for the Goths who had no interest in fighting. They had been displaced by the Huns, and simply wanted to settle in the region. But the Romans were not good at sharing.
On the morning of August 9th, Valens left the Imperial treasury in Adrianople and marched his troops seven hours over difficult terrain. When he arrived at the Gothic camp, his men were exhausted and dehydrated. Worse, they were disorganized and the Goths held the high ground. Despite their disadvantage, the Romans struck first but were pushed back. The Gothic cavalry, arriving late, galloped through the haze of dust and smoke to surround the Romans, routing them. The Emperor was abandoned by his guards and Valen’s fate remains unknown. His body was never found. But this was clearly the beginning of the end for Rome.
In 380 CE, in the Battle of Thessalonica, the Goths pummeled the Romans yet again. Eastern Emperor Theodosius, who led the Byzantines, surrendered. Then to further insure their impending demise, Rome fought two additional Civil Wars, the first pitting Magnus Maximus against the Eastern Roman Empire led by Theodosius. The usurper was defeated, and Maximus was captured and executed.
In the second of these two internal conflicts, Byzantine Emperor Theodosius engaged the army of Roman Emperor Eugenis. This conflict was seen as a major milestone because Eugenius, the king of the Western Empire, while professing to be a Christian, has been presented as having had some pagan sympathies – which is to say that he was willing to let people make their own choices in this regard. So his defeat meant that the politicized Christianization of the Roman Empire was complete. Christianity wasn’t just accepted; it was required. Greco-Roman polytheism was replaced by the Babylonian Trinity. Although in reality, there was little difference.
It should be noted that the supposed hero, Theodosius the Great, as he was now called, was the last Emperor to rule over both halves of the Roman Empire but his reign would shape Europe for a thousand years. Much of the horror imposed on the continent by the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Church can be laid at Theodosius’s feet. He inaugurated the feudal system and imposed religious mandates that plagued the masses, robbing them of personal freedom. He forced the church’s and state’s interpretation Christianity on everyone, declaring that the Eastern Orthodox Church was the official state religion of the Roman Empire. It was not open hunting season on pagans and heretics. Every polytheistic ritual which hadn’t already been incorporated into the Church’s nomenclature was banned. The mantra was: convert or die.
The imposed orthodoxy was Constantinian – which is now the only surviving form of Christianity. Every Christian denomination in the world today, no matter if it is Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or Protestant, was conceived and established in Nicea in 325 CE – and is thereby plagued by its creed. The bishops of the emerging Church throughout the Roman Empire convened the Council of Nicea on Constantine’s orders. The purpose was to remove Yahowah and His Old Testament from their religion and replace Him and His Word with Iesous Christos and their New Testament. To accomplish this less-than-divine duplicity, the Christian man-god had to be equal to and then equivalent with the Father – “homoousios – the exact same essence and being” – turning the man into the totality of God. It was, of course, a Gnostic notion promoted by Paul.
But there were men at the time who knew that this was nonsense. Yahowsha’, by His own admission, revealed that He was a diminished manifestation of Yahowah. He had to be. The very transition from spirit / energy to matter / a physical being requires a degradation of scale equivalent to the speed of light multiplied by the speed of light: E=MC2. All of God won’t fit into our solar system, therefore it cannot be confined to the body of a man. Yahowsha’ is a part of Yahowah set apart from God to reveal Yahowah to us and to fulfill His promises. Nothing more. Nothing less. Yahowsha’ did not come for us to pay attention to Him, for us to worship Him, for us to pray to Him, but instead to reveal Yahowah to us and make it possible for us to know the Father. Those who focus on Yahowsha’ rather than looking through Him to Yah, miss the purpose and benefit of His mission. In perspective, it is akin to worshipping a toenail clipping rather than looking up and coming to know the individual from which it came.
The most outspoken advocate of the truth at the time was Arius. He cited Yahowah’s and Yahowsha’s testimony to prove that according to God, Yahowsha’ was not equivalent to the Father. But this truth had to be irradiated for the new religion to prosper in the anti-Semitic culture of Greece and Rome. As a result, Arians were labeled heretics and Iesous Christos became the “Lord God,” entirely divine – with “the fullness of the godhead residing upon him bodily.” With all of Christendom agreed politically and religiously, the only things left to accomplish were to establish the uniform observance of the pagan celebration of Easter, promulgate cannon law, degrade the Torah, outlaw God’s actual instructions, and then impose the resulting religion on everyone. The first step in the process was initiated in Paul’s letters to the Galatians and then to the Romans. The second step was inaugurated under Constantine and the Nicean Council. The third materialized seventy-five years later under Theodosius when he imposed the resulting religion. Nothing has changed since. The Beast that was the Empire of Rome was soon to be severed and then die, only to be resurrected as the Christian Church. And it is Christianity that will give rise to the Beast of the Tribulation.
There would be more meetings and decrees to be sure, but the world was profoundly punished during the Easter Nicean Council in 325 when “Jesus Christ” became the principle Christian god. It was pummeled again in 380 when the Trinitarian religion was imposed as the only legitimate Imperial and Catholic religion in the Edict of Thessalonica. While Rome was two distinct Empires, West and East, it was one religiously.
The following year, Theodosius reiterated his ban on all religions except the officially accepted version of Christianity. And with this decree, he began to prosecute any magistrate who failed to enforce his laws against polytheism. Persecution followed, with Christians being the doling out the abuse. All non-Nicean Christians were excommunicated from the Church. Roman holidays, as had been the case with Yahowah’s Feasts, were now outlawed. Witch hunts were pursued vigorously. All temples were either shuttered or transformed into churches. Theodosius even banned the Olympics due to its association with Mount Olympus. He encouraged the destruction of any ancient edifice that had any association with any god other than his own Christian god, unless, of course, they could be converted into palaces for his lords or churches for his priests.
Like Constantine, his comrade in crime, Theodosius was a product of his environment. He began his career in the military, accompanying his father into Britannia. Together they quelled the “Great Conspiracy.” His father, however, was disgraced and executed after losing two Legions to the Sarmatians (Iranians) in 374 CE. Theodosius, not wanting the same fate, retired to live the life of a feudal lord as a provincial aristocrat on an enormous family plantation in Galicia (extreme northwestern), Spain. But four years later when Gratian invited Theodosius to take command of the Illyrian army following Valens’s death, it served as his de facto invitation to become Co-Augustus of the Eastern Roman Empire. Within five years, Gratian was killed during a rebellion, enabling Theodosius to fight his way to supremacy.
While the Church regales him, he was hardly a bastion of virtue. In 390 CE, after one of his garrisons in Thessalonica abused the indigenous population, they rebelled, and in the ensuing chaos, the Roman commander was killed. So in retaliation, Theodosius ordered a garrison of enslaved Goths under his command to “kill all of the spectators in the Circus.” Theodoret, a contemporary witness, reports: “The anger of the Emperor rose to the highest pitch, and he gratified his vindictive desire for vengeance by unsheathing the sword most unjustly and tyrannically against all, slaying the innocent and guilty alike. It is said seven thousand perished without any forms of law, and without even having judicial sentence passed upon them; but that, like ears of wheat in the time of harvest, they were alike cut down.” And yet this horrible man’s shadow would linger over Europe and the Church for one-thousand years – establishing and imposing the only surviving form of the Christian religion along with its preferred financial system, feudal fascism.
But there was yet another incident in Theodosius’s morbid existence that would influence the world for the next millennia. As a result of the massacre of civilians in Thessalonica, the Bishop of Milan, Saint Ambrose, excommunicated Theodosius for a couple of months, readmitting him to the Eucharist after proper penance and payments. His contribution to Christendom was the removal and transfer of an enormous obelisk from Alexandria, Egypt to Constantinople. The Obelisk of Pharaoh Thutmosis III, now a monument to Emperor Theodosius the Great, still stands in the Hippodrome, the long racetrack in the center of the city. The Christian obelisk was replete with sun-god slogans and imagery devoted to Amen Ra. It had originally been dedicated in Karnak, the Vatican of the Egyptian priesthood. The Church, in order to make the pagan object Christian, carved a supporting base that shows Theodosius and his royal family set apart from other nobility, offering a laurel wreath – another symbol of the sun.
This obelisk was actually part of a pair of religious icons. Its partner, now called the Lateran Obelisk of Constantius II, was shipped to Rome a few years earlier. The Pharaoh Thutmosis IV / Emperor Constantius II Obelisk currently stands next to the Papal Palace in the Vatican. It is also covered from tip to base in pagan religious pontifications. The most famous Roman Catholic obelisk, the one in the center of the Vatican, was brought from Egypt to Rome by Caligula. It all reveals that there is no distinction between this evil Empire and its Church. One simply emerged out of the other.
Militarily, another factor that would loom large in Theodosius’s reign as Pope, Lord, Emperor, and General was his predilection for using barbarians to suppress barbarians. Goths were allowed to settle alongside Romans so long as they gave their sons to the Legions. But they were as prone to pounce on their masters as they were to leave and go back home.
A moment ago, we discovered that Theodosius would fight not one, but two civil wars in pursuit of his ambition. In the second battle of egos, Theodosius sought to rid the Empire of Eugenis, simply because he was reluctant to impose his religion on all Romans. During the ensuing conflict, Christian propagandists masquerading as historians want us to believe that the Christian Eugenius placed a statue of Jupiter on the battlefield. To position this as the ultimate battle between good and evil, he is said to have had images of Hercules drawn on his Legion’s banners. In this way, we are told, he had hoped to reclaim Rome’s greatness. It wasn’t true, but truth has never been Christianity’s strong suit.
With the landscape duly colored, the Lord Pope General Emperor Theodosius, Rome’s fascist and dictatorial Christian, deployed a Gothic army comprised principally of pagans. With them holding little value, he sacrificed them first, having the Goths charge headlong into the Roman lines, hoping to prevail by attrition. It produced nothing but blood and death. Then the following day, some Western troops deserted, which the Christian Emperor looked upon as an omen from god, even though they were also pagans.
But the plot would thicken. A fierce tempest blew over the Western Empire, allegedly casting their arrows back at them. Theodosius announced that it was an answer to his prayers and the fulfillment of a prophecy. Buffeted by the winds, the Western Empire’s lines broke, enabling the Lord Pope Emperor General Theodosius and his Eastern Empire, aided as they were by barbarian mercenaries, to claim supremacy over the West, turning out the lights on Rome and eventually the whole of Europe.
Roman Emperor Eugenius, a fellow Christian, was captured. He was brought before the Emperor of the East where he begged for mercy. None was shown and he was beheaded.
In the real world, there was no divine wind. If there was a breeze at all, it blew before the battle was even waged according to contemporary sources. The whole religious underpinning was contrived by the Christian theologian Rufinus to demonstrate the validity of his faith. This fanciful myth was promoted by the propagandist poet, Claudian, to make war seem godly. Pagans were fighting pagans under different names, but it was now: “Onward Christian Soldiers Marching Off to War.” But in reality, all this battle did was hasten Rome’s demise. Theodosius died a mere four months later, leaving the crumbling Empire to be governed by his incompetent children, Honorius and Arcadius.
But for the moment, the Empire was united as was Christianity. And soon thereafter, the pagan aristocracy in Rome reinvented themselves as papal families providing decadent popes for the new Church. It all became Machiavellian.
We have now arrived in the fifth century. It opens in 402 CE with the Battle of Pollentia. Stilicho, who was the son of a Vandal father, was serving as Consul on behalf of Theodosius’s children, who were still too young to govern. He was assigned the task of subduing the disgruntled Visigoths. They were rebelling because Rome reneged on most every promise. Taking back what they felt they were due by force, they plundered the territory immediately adjacent to Constantinople. The Empire was in such deplorable shape, the city bribed the Visigoths to stop robbing them. But that did not work, so the Visigoths, who were now Christians, devastated the Peloponnese and the Balkans. After doing so, their leader, Alaric, tried negotiating with the Western Empire for status, as well as rations and supplies for his troops. But turnabout wasn’t considered fair play, and he was rebuffed. The Roman government which had imposed all manner of onerous deals on those they considered barbarians, thought it beneath them to make deals with barbarians.
Before his death, Emperor Theodosius set these pieces into motion. He had signed a treaty with the Visigoths, who at the time were the Empire’s most formidable foe. He would call the rabble subjects, and thus serfs, but their kings were allotted vast territorial concessions. Soon thereafter, one of the enriched monarchs, Alaric, unified the Visigoths, becoming king of kings. Desirous of learning the Roman ways in order to help his people survive them, Alaric accompanied Theodosius’s army. He saw how the Romans willingly sacrificed the lives of his people in their battles, witnessing half of the Visigoths deployed in combat between the Eastern and Western Empire die in a single day. He realized that Romans sought to weaken the Goths by having them bear the brunt of Roman battles. Conflicts between Emperors became a game, with barbarian lives used as pawns. So rather than continue to fight with Rome, he began fighting against Rome.
And while Alaric would try, his early attempts to invade Italy were repulsed, initially by the aforementioned Stilicho. Then suddenly, Stilicho did an about face and allied with those he was opposing. His motives were simple enough; he wanted to reclaim Illyricum for the Western Empire and thought Alaric could help. However, when the Vandals crossed the Rhine and invaded Gaul, the invasion was called off, leaving the Visigoths with the cost of preparing for the battle without anyone to plunder. So Stilicho persuaded a fickle Roman Senate to reimburse Alaric, essentially buying him off with the promise of status and thousands of pounds of gold. But then the Senate changed its mind and displaying their inbred prejudice, began to demean Stilicho, Alaric and the Visigoths, creating the resentment that would lead to Rome’s demise.
Realizing that the city could no longer be defended against the aspiring Visigoths, the capital of the Western Empire was moved to Mediolanum, and then from there to Ravenna. Worse, as Alaric marched toward central Italy in early 402 CE, the Roman Legions were distracted fending off a Vandal rebellion in the north, giving the approaching Visigoths unimpeded access.
Alaric, however, and the marauding Visigoths, took a momentary break from their siege of Italia to celebrate Easter in Pollentia (modern Pollenzo, Italy). With them distracted with religious observances, Stilicho attacked, resulting in a draw that left many Christians dead on both sides. But by sneaking behind the battle lines in a terrorist ploy, Consul Stilicho had managed to capture Alaric’s wife, children, and extended family. The Christian propagandists reporting on the battle, men like Claudian, praised the strategy, calling it divinely inspired: “Thy glory, Pollentia, shall live forever.... Fate pre-ordained thee to be the scene of our victory and the burial-place of the barbarians.” Easter, indeed.
By 405 CE, Stilicho (the Easter kidnapper) approved another treaty with Alaric, conceding to his earlier demands. The Visigoths were afforded the titles and status they desired along with four-thousand pounds of gold for his troops in exchange for Alaric promising to respect the authority of the man who had robbed him of his wife and children. The Senate wasn’t impressed with the gift or Stilicho’s negotiating skill so they labeled him “an enemy of the people.” It wasn’t a criminal offense to kidnap a monarch’s wife and children, but it was treasonous to deal with a barbarian, even if the savages were Christians. For his trouble, Consul Stilicho was executed.
This brings us to a glorious moment in this hideous journey through Roman history. It is 410 CE. By August Rome will be in ashes, a tumbled heap of ruins – its just dessert. The spiritual heart of the Roman experience, “the Eternal City” would receive a fatal blow. If only it hadn’t been resurrected, the Empire becoming the Church.
The fall had been inevitable. Rome treated so many people so badly for so long, it was only a matter of time before someone gave them a taste of their own. On this day it was Alaric and the Visigoths.
The chain of events was simple enough. The Huns, a loose federation of nomadic tribes originating in China and Mongolia, migrated west toward the Caucasus Mountains and Caspian Sea around the first century. They would resume their westward migration in the fourth and fifth centuries, appearing north of the Black Sea in today’s Ukraine around 370 CE. They would then cross the Volga and attack the Alans, whom they subjugated. From that point, the Huns began plundering Gothic settlements. Unsatisfied, the Huns would pursue the Visigoths, displacing native peoples who sought asylum initially in the Balkans and then in northern Italy. It was the domino effect, with one people pushing into another, toppling over the next.
But the Romans did a strange thing. Rather than befriend the victims of the Huns, they opposed the Goths. Then noting their ability to fight and their lust for plunder, the Romans afforded the Huns Foederatus status, providing them with all manner of inducements and benefits in exchange for military assistance. That made the Huns mercenaries in the modern vernacular. Allowed to settle in the Pannonia Province, the Huns used it as a base to raid the Eastern Roman Empire, attacking Thrace and pillaging Cappadocia, before invading Syria. And while they turned north and east from there and did not pursue Rome, the mass migration they had initiated by destroying the Gothic kingdoms pushed the Visigoths in Rome’s direction.
The other overriding problem was that the Romans had been racists and imperialists, subjugating and oppressing everyone within reach of their massive military. They taxed their subjects to death, making them serfs to a Beastly Lord. They were carnal and corrupt and couldn’t be trusted. The real barbarians were those dressed in elegant togas.
Thereafter, the young Honorius, the eldest son of Theodosius, craved adventure and journeyed east to settle a brewing succession battle in the Eastern Empire, something his former consul, Stilicho, had discouraged while he was alive. Somehow it led to a mutiny, one orchestrated by Olympius, a Roman bureaucrat, who murdered most of Stilicho’s appointees. Olympius persuaded the gullible Honorius that anyone loyal to the late Stilicho was a threat. The solution, he said, was to appoint him Magister Officum. And during this time of intrigue and misadventure, Rome’s military commanders became especially vicious toward the Gothic slaves in their service, many of whom were captured by Stilicho and forced into the army. Some thirty thousand escaped Italy and joined forces with Alaric, providing him with motive and means to sack Rome.
Collectively they would hold Rome accountable for the misery the Empire had inflicted on them and so many others. They would invade Italy and lay siege to Rome in the autumn of 408 CE. With its dying population starving and diseased, Senators offered Alaric five-thousand pounds of gold and thirty-thousand pounds of silver, in addition to undisclosed amounts of silk and pepper to lift the siege. But Alaric didn’t trust the Senate.
So the Senate, which by this time had become a breeding ground for popes, dispatched Pope Innocent to Ravenna to encourage the child Emperor Honorius to make a deal with the Goths. During an interim meeting with Innocent, Alaric requested that the provinces of Rhaetia and Noricum be given to him as a home for the Visigoths and that he be appointed a general in the Roman army. However, when it came time to engage Honorius, he wouldn’t even meet with the man who he considered inferior. With extreme prejudice, he composed a letter refusing his requests, foolishly insulted Alaric because he considered him a barbarian. Then, making matters worse, Honorius tried to sneak Illyrian soldiers into Rome. Alerted to the backhanded ploy, Alaric intercepted them. Outraged by the insults and diplomatic failures, he besieged Rome a second time, this time beginning his assault by destroying the food supplies warehoused in the harbor at Portus.
The Senate and its Pope capitulated, giving Alaric more than he had previously requested. Rather than declaring him one of a hundred “dux – generals,” he was named: Magister Utriusque Militium – Supreme Military Commander. His brother-in-law, Ataulf, was afforded the title “Comes Domesticorum Equitum,” which made him part of the Roman Elite Guard over equestrian units which protected the Emperor and served as his staff officers. Properly commissioned, they marched toward the boy who roared, seeking to depose Honorius. And this time, little Honorius was shaking in his sandals, ready to surrender, that is until an army from the Eastern Empire arrived at his doorstep. But that is not to suggest Rome or the Goths were suddenly united. Heraclian, the governor of Africa, cut off Rome’s food supply from Egypt. And Sarus, a fellow Gothic commander who was allied with Honorius and who had an ongoing blood feud with Ataulf, attacked Alaric.
So Alaric, recognizing that Honorius was behind the assault, returned to Rome a third time. When he arrived on August 24, 410, slaves inside the city opened Rome’s Salarian Gate allowing the Visigoths to enter without a fight. They looted the city for three days, ransacking the mausoleums of Augustus and Hadrian, shattering the urns that contained the ashes of these despicable men. But beyond this, the barbarians were better behaved than Romans. They pillaged the Basilica Aemilia, where the merchants that had pillaged them sold their wares, and the Basilica Julia, which housed the offices of the Roman bureaucracy that had taxed and oppressed them. The Roman citizens that had plundered them and enslaved them, were taken hostage.
Ever willing to attribute all manner of absurdities upon the gullible, Roman patriots and pagan theologians said that the sack was divine punishment for turning away from the traditional gods. Seeing just the opposite, Saint Augustine wrote De Civitate Dei contra Paganos - The City of God against the Pagans to describe Christianity’s relationship with competing religions and with the Roman government. In the aftermath of Rome’s sacking by the Visigoths, the man considered the most influential Father of the Church, wanted to reassure Christians that even if the earthly rule of the Roman Empire was imperiled, it was the City of God that would ultimately triumph.
In 419 CE, a coalition of Suebi (Baltic Germans) allied with Imperial Roman forces to combat a confederation of Vandals (East Germans) and Alans (Iranians) in Leon, Spain. Then in 432, Romans clashed with Romans when the Junior Magister Militum Flavius Aetius and the Senior Magister Militum Bonifacius spared. Bonifacious, while victorious, was mortally wounded, taking some of the luster away from his success. As for Aetius, he fled to the Huns and returned with them to fight another day.
So now with Flavius Aetius perched on the throne, he would send his Huns after the Visigoths in 436. Surprising them, the Huns defeated the Visigoths, with Rome claiming it as a victory of sorts.
Then in the Battle of the Utus in 447, the Byzantines would face off against the Huns again, but this time they were led by the infamous Attila. And yet with the Christian influence over Rome, the Empire had long since abandoned any pretence of historical accuracy, so it is difficult to know what actually occurred. The Huns didn’t leave us a written legacy and the Christians had a predilection for revisionism. Our view is therefore obscured, precluding a reconstruction of the events.
But this we know, beginning in 443, the Byzantines stopped paying tribute to Attila the Hun. Thereupon, in 447, he invaded the Balkans. A Roman force moved northeast to intercept him. They engaged in the Province of Dacia Ripensis, and thus along the Danube. The Byzantines lost. The city of Marcianopolis, Thrace, in modern-day Bulgaria, was completely destroyed. Constantinople, the capital of Byzantine Rome and the Eastern Orthodox Church, was now vulnerable, especially in light of the fact that an earthquake earlier that year had destroyed its protective walls. But since the city’s inhabitants were suffering from the plague, Attila the Hun wisely decided against infecting himself and his men.
There were safer hunting grounds with easier prey. So Attila pillaged and plundered the Balkan Provinces, including Illyricum, Thrace, Moesia, Scythia, and Dacia. In haunting echos of past glory, he was finally turned back at Thermopylae – the site of Spartan heroism against the Persians long ago, and the place Greeks thought was the gateway to Hades. But that was just the lull before the storm.
In hopes of delaying the inevitable, Emperor Theodosius II, a Junior Augustus, and Honorius’s nephew, decided to bribe Attila, paying him an enormous annual tribute to dissuade him from destroying Constantinople, Byzantium, and the Eastern Orthodox Church.
Like his namesake, Theodosius II made his mark on Christendom. He is noted for compiling all of the laws and edicts promulgated by Constantine, thereby creating the Corpus Juris Civilis of the Eastern Orthodox Church, which by this time had become synonymous with Byzantium. He also presided over a significant religious dispute. After meeting Nestorius, a renowned monk, Theodosius II appointed him Archbishop of Constantinople in 428 – further demonstrating that there was no distinction between church and state. But Nestorius quickly became involved in an argument whereby he tried to find a middle ground between those who insisted on calling the Mary “Theotokos –Mother of God” and those who rejected that title because God, as an eternal being, could not have been born. Nestorius’s compromise, a heresy later called Nestorianism, was initially supported by the Emperor, but opposed by Archbishop Cyril of Alexandria. At the request of Nestorius, the Theodosius II convened a council in Ephesus in 431. They condemned Nestorius and affirmed the title Theotokos, making Mary the “Mother of God,” just as the Babylonians had done with the Queen of their Trinity.
In 451 CE, during the Battle of Chalons, General Flavius Aetius and the Visigoth King Theodoric I were allied against Attila the Hun. The Visigoths, who at this time comprised the preponderance of soldiers in the Roman army, kept the Huns from conquering Gaul.
Attila, as was his custom, had his diviners examine the entrails of an animal sacrifice the morning before battle. The soothsayers allegedly predicted the Hun’s defeat, even that one of the enemy leaders would be killed. Wanting Aëtius to die and to hedge his bets, Attila decided to engage, but delayed until sunset so that he and his troops could escape if their fortunes turned. And as it would transpire, Theodoric was thrown from him horse and trampled to death by his own men. The following day, with the battlefield littered with dead bodies, the Huns stayed in their camp while the Visigoths sang heroic songs to their fallen king.
The Vandals were up next, drawn into the conflict to oppose Emperor Petronius Maximus who had usurped the throne. His reign would be short-lived, even by Roman standards. As wealthy Senator and prominent aristocrat, he had been instrumental in the murders of General Flavius Aetius and Emperor Valentinian. And murder had its rewards. He was designated the “Comes Sacrarum Largitionum – Count of Sacred Largess,” because he led the restoration of the Old St. Peter’s Basilica. But it didn’t do him much good. He would be dead within two months, killed during the third sack of Rome.
The dual murders were interesting in their own right. Rome evidently fiddled as the city burned. Emperor Valentinian and the High and Mighty Maximus placed a wager on a game that Maximus lost. Without his purse, Maximus left his royal ring as collateral, guarantying that he would pay the debt. But according to Roman lore, Valentinian used it to court Lucina, the beautiful wife of Maximus, whom Valentinian had lusted after. Believing she had been summoned by her husband, Lucina found herself at dinner with Valentinian. He raped her. So much for Valentine’s Day.
Lucina, upon returning home, accused her husband, Maximus, of betrayal, believing that he had sent her to the Emperor to curry political favor. This in turn gave Maximus every motivation to eliminate an obviously detested and despicable individual. But he had to be careful, knowing that while Aetius was the Supreme Military Commander and a Maximus loyalist, he could not exact the vengeance he craved on Valentinian without it costing him his own life. Then as the story goes, Maximus cozyed up to a eunuch serving Valentinian, the Primicerius Sacri Cubiculi Heraclius, who had quietly shown his contempt for General Aetius. Conspiring together, they convinced Emperor Valentinian that Aetius was planning to assassinate him, urging Valentinian to strike first, which he did with the help of his eunuch on September 21, 454.
With the general dead, Maximus asked Emperor Valentinian to appoint him Supreme Commander. But he refused based upon the eunuch’s council. Now with two reasons to kill the king, Maximus nurtured two willing accomplices in Optilia and Thraustila, both Scythians who had fought under Aetius, but were now serving as Valentinian’s escort. Maximus simply told the truth, albeit not the whole truth, revealing that Valentinian had killed their General. Then after offering them a reward for the betrayal of the Emperor, on March 16, 455, they executed him along with the previously complicit eunuch. The Scythians took the imperial diadem and robe and brought them to Maximus, who used them to claim the throne. To his credit, the Scythians were properly paid for the fine work that they had done. Then working quickly, Emperor Maximus married Licinia, Valentinian’s widow.
With no time for a honeymoon, the murdering Maximus sent a mission to Toulouse to gain the support of the Visigoths, recognizing that Rome’s foe now comprised most of its army. At the same time, he canceled the betrothal of Licinia’s daughter, Eudocia, to Huneric, the son of the Vandal King Geiseric. Instead, he wanted his son, Palladius to wed Eudocia, all to strengthen his ties with the Theodosian dynasty in Constantinople. But it proved to be a miscalculation. The Vandal King claimed that the canceled marriage invalidated his treaty with Valentinian, which was sufficient to motivate the Vandals to invade Italy.
Within two months of Maximus assuming the throne, the Vandal fleet was en route to Rome. Recognizing that the Visigoths would not arrive in time to save him, Maximus was minimized when he rode out of the city on May 31, 455 without an escort. He was stoned to death by a soldier who mutilated his body and tossed it into the Tiber River. Maximus’s son was also killed.
Three days later, Vandal King Geiseric captured Rome. In actuality, the gates were thrown open to him on the order of Rome’s actual authority, Pope Leo, who requested that the Vandals not destroy his Basilica or any of the religious buildings of ancient Rome that the Church had converted for their use. In that they were all Christians, the Vandal soldiers would plunder the city for weeks, but respecting the pope’s directives, they minimized their use of arson, torture, and murder, but not stealing or kidnap.
The English term “vandalism” is derived from this period, because the Vandals stripped away most everything, including the bronze roof tiles of the Temple of Jupiter. The women of the royal court were kidnapped and forced to “marry” Vandal chieftains, which is to say that they were raped. And countless shiploads Roman citizens, now captives, were sent off to Africa to be sold as slaves. But St. Peter’s wasn’t burned and the priests and pope were not harmed.
After begging the Visigoths to rescue them from the Vandals, the Western Roman Empire under General Aegidius confronted the army of their fickle friend and often foe under King Theodoric at the Battle of Orleans. Two years earlier, the general had announced Northern Gaul’s secession from Rome, as Imperial assassinations continued to plague the crumbling Empire. Having been stripped of his title by Ricimer, Rome’s emperor de jour, Aegidius decided to invade Italy. Meanwhile, the Visigoths saw an opportunity to expand their territory. The opposing armies met in 453 CE in north-central France. The result was scored as a marginal victory for the breakaway sub-province.
Deprived of the soldiers required to menace the world, the battles were now fewer and further between. It wasn’t until 486 that a Roman rump state would fight again. The breakaway province of Northern Gaul, which was now called the Domain of Soissons, would fight the Franks in 486 CE. Clovis, who had dared the Gallo-Roman leader Syagris to fight, led the Franks. He prevailed, thereby substantially expanding Frankish holdings.
The last battle of the fifth century was waged sometime around 495 CE, but the sources are now exceptionally sketchy. The Battle of Badon Hill was allegedly fought between Britons and Anglo-Saxons – stirring the legend of King Arthur. Gildas, writing The Ruin of Britain not long thereafter in the early sixth century, claims: “The Saxons dipped red and savage tongue in the western ocean.” Obviously an impressionable Christian, Gildas would write: “From that time, the citizens were sometimes victorious, sometimes the enemy, in order that the Lord, according to His wont, might try in this nation the Israel of to-day, whether it loves Him or not. This continued up to the year of the siege of Badon Hill, and of almost the last great slaughter inflicted upon the rascally crew. And this commences, a fact I know, as the forty-fourth year, with one month now elapsed; it is also the year of my birth.”
Consulting a late tenth-century source, one equally prone to embellishments, in the Annals of Wales we read: “The Battle of Badon, in which Arthur carried the Cross of our Lorde Iesus Christi for three days and three nights upon his shield, and the Britons were the victors.”
This brings us to the only reason for recounting this otherwise meaningless affair. The propensity of Roman Christians to develop mythical characters and then set them into the flow of their revisionist history to sensationalize the merits of their ancestors and promote unifying religious, political, and military propaganda speaks to how they created the false characterization of Yahowsha’, removing from Him everything that actually mattered, while replacing the truth with a plethora of pagan predilections.
There would be fourteen wars waged by the Romans in the sixth century. The Byzantines would fight the Sassanid Persian Empire eight times, prevailing on six occasions. They would engage the Vandals twice, winning both battles.
In the West, Rome would be sacked again in 546 CE, this time by the Gothic King Totila. But even this battle was a spillover from the twenty-year war between the Ostrogoths and Byzantines. The Gauls, seeking to recapture Latium, moved against Rome, laying siege to the city for many months. Inside, Bessus, the Commander of the Imperial garrison, wouldn’t allow anyone other than the pope to leave. He then profiteered by selling grain to the civilian population at greatly inflated prices. We are told that Plebeians were eventually reduced to eating nettles, dogs, mice, and finally each other’s dung. Many committed suicide. Pope Vigilus, who had fled to the safety of Syracuse, dispatched his fleet of ships to Rome but they were intercepted by the Goths. Meanwhile, the remaining Imperial forces, led by Belisarius, remained mostly idle in their camp at Portus, awaiting reinforcements.
Totila’s men would scale Rome’s walls during the night of December 17, 546. As they opened one gate, the Roman defenders fled out through another, leaving only five hundred people in what had once been the heart of the Empire. Eighty-six of them were killed, mostly civilians huddling in churches. What little was left in Rome was plundered by Totila, whose intent was to turn the gated ruin into an enclosed pasture for his sheep. But with visions of carnage swirling in his head, he relented to pursue the Byzantine army in Apulia – the slender, southern-most Italian peninsula set between the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. And as he rides off into the sunset, leaving nothing but the Church of Rome in the dust, thus ends our romp through the gory and glorified history of Rome.
Those who are impressed by architectural grandeur and military might revere Rome. Those who are opposed to arrogance, decadence, savagery, and paganism are less impressed, and view the Roman Empire from Yahowah’s perspective: monstrous, fearsome, horrifying, appalling, and evil with the power, capacity, and will to destroy.
Let’s reestablish our bearings. We have just completed the first seven verses of Dany’el 7. By way of review, they reveal...
“In the first year of (ba chad shanah la) Belsha’tsar (Belsha’tsar), the king of (melek) Babel - Confusion (Babel), Dany’el (Dany’el) saw (chazah) a revealing vision (chelem) and (wa) supernatural revelations (chazuw) in his mind (re’sh) while upon his bed (‘al mishkab). Thereupon (‘adayn), in (ba) the prophetic revelation (chelem), he was prompted to write a complete copy of (katab) the things (milah) being communicated (‘amar). (7:1)
I, Dany’el (Dany’el), responded (‘anah) and then said (wa ‘amar), ‘I am able to see (hawah chazah), with my sensory perceptions, the vision (ba chazuw) during night (‘im lyly ‘a).’ And then (wa), behold, right there (‘aruw), four (‘arba’) spirits (ruwach) out of the heavens (shamaym ‘a) churning up (guwah) the approach to the Great Sea (la yam ‘a rab ‘a). (7:2)
Then four (wa ‘arba’) great beasts (rab chyuwah) were coming up out of the Sea (calaq min yam ‘a), being transformed and different (shanah) one from the other (da’ min da’). (7:3)
The first (qadmay ‘a) was similar to (ka) a lion (‘aryeh) but with (wa) wings (gaph) of (dy) an eagle (nashar) upon her (la). I kept watching (hawah chazah) while (‘ad) her wings were plucked off (marat gap). But then (wa) she was lifted up (natal) from the earth (min ‘ara’ ‘a) and (wa) upon (‘al) feet (ragal) like a human (k ‘anash), she was established and made to stand upright (quwm). Then (wa) a human (‘anash) heart and thought processes (labab) were given to her (yahab la). (7:4)
And then behold (wa ‘aruw) another (‘achoran) beast (chyuwah), a second one (tinyan), actually resembling (damah la) a bear (dob). And on one side (wa la satar chad), she was established (quwm). And (wa) three (telat) ribs (‘ala’) were in her mouth (ba pum) between her teeth (ben shen shen). And (wa) thusly (ken) they said to her (‘amar la), ‘Rise up (quwm) and devour (‘akal) an abundance (sagyi’) of human flesh (basar).’ (7:5)
At this same site (ba danah ‘atar), I kept focused and observant (hawah chazah) and then, behold (wa ‘aruw), another (‘achoran), this one resembling (ka) a leopard (namar). And upon her (wa la) were four wings (‘arba’ gaph) such as (dy) a bird (owp). They were on her back side (‘al gab gab). There were also four heads (wa ‘arba’ re’sh), all associated with this awesome beast (la chywah ‘a). And governmental dominion (wa shalatan) was imparted (yahab) to her (la). (7:6)
In this same place (ba danah ‘atar) I remained observant (hawah chazah) during the night vision (ba lyly chazuw ‘a), and right there, behold (wa ‘aruw): the fourth and final (raby’ay raby’ay) awesome and monstrous beast (chywah), the most fearsome and frightening, yet also revered and respected by some, – dazzlingly beautiful yet terrible and terrorizing, often longing for revenge (dachal), horrifying and appalling, awful and evil, dreadful and horrific, sickening and gruesome (wa ‘eymatan), yet (wa) exceedingly and preeminently (yatyr) powerful with the prodigious capacity to destroy (taqyph).
With (wa) her teeth comprised of iron (shen dy parzel la), multitudes, including the largest, most numerous and powerful (rab), she devoured, devastated, and destroyed (‘akal), crushing the remainder (daqaq sha’ar ‘a) with her feet (ba ragal) by trampling them down violently (raphats) under foot (ba ragal). But (wa) this one was different (hyi’ shanah) from all the other (min kol) beasts (chywah ‘a) which preceded her (dy qodam). And (wa) ten (‘asar) horns, indicative of leaders and nations (qeren), were upon her (la).” (Dany’el / God Judges and Vindicates / Daniel 7:7)
While it is unlikely, the ten horns may depict the ten ethnicities of the Western Roman Empire. They were: Alemanni (Gaul / Germany), Franks (France), Burgundians (Switzerland), Suevi (Portugal), Vandals (exterminated), Visigoths (Spain), Anglo-Saxons (England), Ostrogoths (exterminated), Lombards (Italy), and the Heruli (who were also exterminated). But ultimately these diverse people coalesced into five political and geographic divisions: Britain, France, Spain, Germany, and Italy. But let us not forget, there were also five kingdoms in the east. They were: Greece, Turkey, Syria, Egypt, and Libya. These ten principalities are important, so we’ll want to remember them.
Yahowah bequeathed Dany’el with the ability to interpret dreams, so it’s no surprise that he was able to highlight the key elements contained within this revelation so that we would be able to understand them. This is no exception...
“I was thinking about, trying to understand (hawah sakal – I was contemplating, considering, and reflecting upon, prudently evaluating the insights and instruction regarding) the horns (ba qeren a’) and then, behold (wa ‘aluw), another and final (‘achoran – someone else which appears in the end) horn / individual leader (qeren), a smaller one of lower status (za’eyr – little and lowly, insignificant and worthless), came up between them and among them (celaq ben – grew out and ascended in their midst).
And three (wa talat) among (min) the initial group of horns (qadmay qeren ‘a – the previous horns) were de-horned (‘aqar ‘aqar – were deprived of their horns, with them pulled out at their roots, cutting them off at the stump) from before (qodam qodam – from involvement in the previous relationship). Then behold (wa ‘aluw), eyes (‘ayn), like the eyes of a human (ka ‘ayn ‘enash – similar to the perceptions and sight of a mortal man) in this unique horn (ba qeren ‘a da’) along with (wa) a mouth (pum) speaking powerfully and abundantly as an esteemed authority (malal rab – prolifically conversing from a position of high status, pontificating verbosely as a great individual, conveying big words which are considered high and mighty, while discussing the big and important issues regarding the almighty).” (Dany’el / God Judges and Vindicates / Daniel 7:8)
I caught myself laughing out loud. Sha’uwl, the founder of the Christian religion and the author of half of the faith’s “New Testament,” chose the Roman name “Paulos” which means “lowly and little.” Paul, evidently, serves as the archetype for the “Antichrist.”
While this was written in Aramaic, Yahowah uses ‘achoran to address the “last” days leading up to and during the Tribulation. So this final horn emerges long after the fall of the Roman Empire – although not its Church. The horn, as always, speaks of power, of influence, and therefore of kingdoms and institutions. Horns were initially used in the crowns of kings and leading clerics, and thus speak of governmental and religious leaders.
In trying to ascertain the identity of the newly fashioned, lowly and little horn emerging in the last days from among the ten divisions of Rome, we should commence our search by trying to identify a country has been recently established, that is small, even insignificant. And fortunately, we have been given several marvelous clues which will help us hone in on the country and its emerging leader.
Let’s begin by considering, then eliminating, the candidates. The potential geographic regions include: Britain, France, Spain, Germany, and Italy in the West and Greece, Turkey, Syria, Egypt, and Libya in the East. In the United Kingdom, we find that Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland have recently become independent, and Scotland is about to become so, but they are based upon very old and established communities and they are not lowly economically. Moreover, as we shall learn in the next chapter, the emerging Beast is every bit as much Greek geographically as he will be a legacy of Rome religiously, so the newly emerged nations in Britain are way too far northwest to be considered.
There are no new nations which have been carved out of France, Spain, Germany, or Italy, disqualifying these countries as the birthplace of the Beastly horn. The only small nations which have emerged from them are Monaco and the Vatican, but both have long histories and neither is lowly economically. And as I’ve mentioned, further disqualifying France, Spain, Germany, and Italy, Dany’el 8:7-11 reveals that this unique and verbose leader will come out of the Macedonian Empire, which grew southeast of Greece.
Among the Roman divisions in the East, there have been no modern, lowly, or little countries carved out of land originally part of Egypt or Libya. Turkey and Syria both emerged out of the demise of the Ottoman Empire, but that was one hundred years ago and neither country could be considered insignificant. So that leaves us with a lone candidate: Greece – but not in the sense of the modern nation, because it became sovereign and independent when it seceded from the Ottoman Empire in 1828. And yet regions within the ancient Roman Province meet every condition delineated in the prophecy – including those described in Dany’el 8 (where in 8:9 it is the homeland of Alexander the Great) and 11 as well as those found in Revelation 13 and 17.
The Romans called Helena “Macedonia” in tribute to Alexander the Great. This region included the entire Greek Peninsula, all of present-day Macedonia, and most all of Albania, in addition to the western Aegean Islands. While it may be superfluous, in the second and third centuries CE, greater Macedonia was divided into the provinces of Achaea (the southern tip of the Greek Peninsula), Macedonia (northern and eastern Greece, southern Albania, including today’s Macedonia, and southwestern Bulgaria), Epirus (extreme northwestern Greece), Thrace (southeastern Bulgaria and extreme northwestern Turkey), Sparta (southeastern Peloponnese), and Crete (in the Mediterranean Sea south of Greece and west of Turkey).
Recognizing that modern-day Greece is neither newly conceived, small geographically, insignificant in population, nor immaterial internationally, there are only two candidates left to consider: Albania and modern Macedonia. Albania was established after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in Europe following the Balkan Wars, declaring its independence in 1913. While it is no doubt small, it is part of NATO, suggesting that it isn’t completely insignificant. And since it will be one-hundred thirteen-years old at the time addressed in this prediction, I suspect that’s too senior to qualify. And that leaves us with Macedonia.
The Republic of Macedonia declared its independence from Yugoslavia and became a sovereign state in 1991. It is tiny, less than ten thousand square miles. Its Gross Domestic Product is just $22 billion. A scant two million people call this landlocked country in the central Balkan peninsula of Southeastern Europe home – a quarter of which are Muslims who want to leave the predominantly Eastern Orthodox nation. It has been rejected by the European Union and by NATO. Further, its flag and national anthem pay tribute to the sun, Satan’s principle guise. It is an interesting blend of Socialist Humanists, Eastern Orthodox Christians, and fundamentalist Muslims. Moreover, since Yahowsha’ affirms in His dissertation on Dany’el 7, 8, and 9 that the Beast will “come up out of the sea,” meaning that the Towrahless One will be a Gentile, it is interesting to note that there are less than 200 Jews residing in Macedonia today.
In compliance with the prophecy, Macedonia is surrounded by a number of small nations, several of which could easily be amalgamated into it. The options include: Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo, and Serbia. However, since the prophecy reveals that three of the previous Roman principalities would be cut off, we should be looking for larger and older prey.
Even a cursory economic evaluation of annual national deficits and cumulative debt reveal that a time is quickly approaching when the European Union will divest itself of Greece and Italy – making them susceptible to a Macedonian alliance. But don’t forget about Turkey. It has consistently been denied admission into the Eurozone. Therefore, as worldwide recessions turn into depressions, Turkey might readily join such an alliance – in fact, I’d bet on it.
However, in Dany’el 8:9, after revealing that the Terror if the Tribulation will come out of the place Alexander descended upon the world, Macedonia, we discover that his influence will expand southward and eastward toward the Promised Land. That excludes Italy south of Rome, but becomes a perfect fit for Greece and Turkey. And then as we continue to move toward Israel, either Syria or Lebanon would qualify for the third assimilated nation. By this time, based upon Yasha’yah / Isaiah 17, the Syrian government will have fallen to Islamic terrorists.
If you are looking for the Towrahless One, known to Christians as the “Antichrist,” the prophetic evidence reveals that you’ll find this unique and verbose statesman among Macedonian politicians. And based upon the “lowly and little” reference, I suspect he will be a Pauline Christian, a devotee of the Eastern Orthodox Church and a product of a Socialist Secular education. He will be an Anti-Semite and Muslim sympathizer. I would also expect him to cultivate a following in Greece, Turkey, Syria, and Lebanon, perhaps even Rome, creating an economic alliance that will quickly grow into something more, especially as the world maneuvers in reaction to the fall of the Syrian government and the threat of world war.
The following statement suggests that the Towrahless One will keep the leaders of the assimilated nations in place, but will orchestrate their influence within his alliance. And if true, this next statement should be associated with the previous one.
“I continued to watch (hawah chazah – I kept focused and observant (peal perfect)) while (‘ad – until and as) those thrones (dy karatse’ – these positions of power) were set in place (ramah – were imposed and completely positioned (piel perfect)).” (Dany’el / God Judges and Vindicates / Daniel 7:9)
And we shall as well. Yahowah is revealing our history, past, present, and future. He does not want any of us to be left in the dark.