Kriminalgeschichte, 4

Below, translated excerpts from the first chapter of Karlheinz
Deschner’s Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums

(“Criminal History of Christianity”):

 
The sacred warmongering of the Maccabees

Once obtained the high priesthood, Jason established in Jerusalem a gymnasium or ephebeión, and raised the possibility of bringing the political and religious situation in the capital with the numerous Hellenistic cities of the country, turning Jerusalem into a Greek polis.

This provoked a reaction from the traditionalists, who saw a menace for the old Jewish laws and beliefs. Unrest, riots and street altercations grew, all of which triggered strong repressive measures by the energetic Seleucid ruler Antiochus IV, who was trying to consolidate his shaky kingdom by introducing a syncretic religion that unified the peoples.

He also desecrated the Temple in Jerusalem (in 168 he reformed the great altar of burnt offering and laid right there an altar to Olympian Zeus); banned the Jewish religion and burned the city, but not before looting the treasury of the Temple and taking 1,800 talents from it. (Centuries later, the painter Raphael was commissioned by Pope Leo X to solemnize such a significant episode in one of the walls of the Vatican.)

According to Elias Bickermann, if the stringent measures against the Jews by Antiochus IV had taken effect, it would not only have meant the end of Judaism, but also “would have prevented the rise of Christianity and Islam.”

Our imagination almost fails to conceive a world so different…

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Why did Nietzsche think that Caesar Borgio would have swept away Christianity?

    According to Elias Bickermann, if the stringent measures against the Jews by Antiochus IV had taken effect, it would not only have meant the end of Judaism, but also “would have prevented the rise of Christianity and Islam.” Our imagination almost fails to conceive a world so different…

    And also modern liberalism, i.e. the cult of egalitarianism, would never have become a mass phenomenon as well. The Maccabean Revolt may be the most important “what-if” moment in Euro-history. One event could have resulted in the death of Jewish tribalism as well as Christian and Islamic monotheism. The last two thousand years of history would have been very different.

    • Cæsar Borgia could have been the epitome of the military Popes: Popes that fought wars as if they were ruthless generals (in fact, some of them, like the one who sponsored Michelangelo, were generals).

      Both the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation reacted against Neo-pagan Rome. It was a setback for the revival of ancient Greco-Roman values. A series of Popes who behaved like the Borgia could have produced, Nietzsche believed, a crack in the medieval worldview: not only in the arts but in thought also.

    • The Maccabees won by forcibly circumcizing Greek captives. The Greeks didn’t have a counter-tactic.


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