Über cuck: Alexander the Great

I have been in friendly discussion with a correspondent from New York about my criticism of monocausalism. Like some white nationalists, he’s a proponent of reductionism. I’ll illustrate his point with an anecdote.

Yesterday an erudite criollo that speaks fluent Latin and also reads in Greek visited my house. As he was a professor of Hispanic literature at Harvard, he’s fairly knowledgeable of the history of the Americas.

He informed me about something I was unaware of: the ‘prueba de sangre’ (for a wiki article on the subject see: here) that the New Spaniards performed on those suspected of being crypto-Jews. What I ignored is that it was far tougher than the Nuremberg laws, as no less than eight generations in the past were investigated to make sure that the guy in question would not behave subversively in New Spain (now Mexico).

However, even with such stringent controls, the New Spaniards committed ethnosuicide through the miscegenation approved by the Pope himself. My New Yorker correspondent still believes that it is possible to salvage the single-cause hypothesis (Jewish subversion as the primary factor of white decline) as he sees Christianity as a form of Jewish psyop for whites.

I appreciate and respect his point, but the sad truth is that even before Christian takeover after Constantine, so well explained in the masthead of this site by the Spaniard Evropa Soberana, very powerful Aryans suffered from ethno-suicidal behaviour. In ‘Costin Alamariu Is Damn Right About The Alt-Right’ the author includes a quote of Alexander the Great that proves my point: side by side with the JP we have an Aryan Problem.

Alexander was one of the most startling universalist figures of his day. His Oath from 324 BC, as recorded by Eratosthenes and others, reads:

‘From now on, let all mortals live as one people, in fellowship, for the good of all. See the whole world as your homeland, with laws common to all, where the best will govern regardless of their race. Unlike the narrow-minded, I make no distinction between Greeks and Barbarians. The origin of citizens, or the race into which they were born, is of no concern to me. I have only one criterion by which to distinguish their virtue. For me, any good foreigner is a Greek and any bad Greek is worse than a barbarian’.

Why Europeans must reject Christianity, 11

by Ferdinand Bardamu

 
More Christian excuses

Christian religionists tout Aquinas and Bacon as exceptions to the anti-scientific world-view of the church, but these men were writing in response to Aristotle, who had just been rediscovered in the 12th century. Even in antiquity, Aristotle was considered outdated.

Neither Aquinas nor Bacon were scientists, none of them performed any real scientific experiments and none of them advanced science in any real or tangible way. Their achievement was to reconcile the Semitic doctrines of Christianity with the superior pagan ways of Aristotle, but the results of this were highly unsatisfactory.

Aquinas was also the father of medieval scholasticism, which proved highly detrimental to the rise of modern science in Europe. Scholastic methodology was eventually mocked for its absurdities by Renaissance writers like François Rabelais.

Because of the Christian emphasis on scripture and tradition as final source of authority, the church was opposed to the pagan epistemic values of public verifiability of evidence and empirical rationality. To the church hierarchy, the search for knowledge in accordance with such principles was both arrogant and dangerously heretical. Even with the reintroduction of pagan science and philosophy in the 12th century, there was still significant ecclesiastical opposition to the unaided reason as guide to truth.

The Christian church persecuted those who chose to question Christian religious orthodoxy with impunity. This fostered an environment in which pursuit of scientific and technical progress became a virtual impossibility. For example, the posthumous condemnation of the 6th century Alexandrian philosopher John Philoponus as a heretic ensured that his principled rejection of Neoplatonic and Aristotelian philosophy would remain unknown for centuries to come. This organized ecclesiastical persecution of free thinkers ruled out any possibility of material progress until the Scientific Revolution.

Despite what the facts reveal, Christian religionists have tried to distort the historical record by pretending otherwise. They believe that Christianity was a necessary ingredient, the “spark” that began the Scientific Revolution of the 17th century. This ignores the fact that science and religion, specifically Christianity in this case, are fundamentally incompatible.

Christianity is about blind faith, with revelation and authority serving as the only valid criteria for the evaluation of truth. In contrast, science is the accumulation of knowledge through logical reasoning, empirical observation and measurement. Christianity is a form of magical thinking; it is not open to revision. Science, on the other hand, is continuously in search of new ideas with ever greater explanatory power. Though scientific and technological progress occurred between 400 BC to 300 AD, leading to the development of ideas that would not be surpassed until the Scientific Revolution, there was virtually no progress from 300 AD to the 12th century, the apogee of Christian power and influence in Europe.

Even Christian Byzantium, which was more successful than the post-Roman successor states of the Latin West, never made any significant progress in science and technology. Under Christian influence, Europe regressed to a Neolithic stage of existence. This is well-supported by recent archeological evidence revealing numerous medieval simplifications of the earlier Roman material culture. Trade, industry and agriculture all witnessed significant declines in technical sophistication, economic productivity and output. Population size also decreased because of overall declines in prosperity and comfort.

Common behaviour?

In Luke Ford’s recent interview of the guy who hosts ‘blood sports’ in the Alt-Right, Jean-François Gariépy, this JFG said that he has had sex with a thousand different women (many teenagers he said elsewhere).

I must be living in a parallel universe, but is this common destructive behaviour there up in the north (I thought that only homos could be so promiscuous…)?

Published in: on March 30, 2018 at 6:41 pm  Comments (15)  

Why Europeans must reject Christianity, 10

by Ferdinand Bardamu

 
Section IV: Christianity and the narrowing of the Western intellectual horizon

Christians declared all-out war on the secular foundations of the Roman state. In doing so, they inevitably attacked Rome’s tradition of great art and architecture, as well as the vast storehouses of scientific and technical knowledge that had been accumulated over the centuries. Christians who desired the total eradication of paganism had nothing viable with which to replace the secular culture of the late antique world.

Many Christians, conscious of the inferiority of their own religious traditions when compared to the majestic scientific and philosophical achievements of Western culture, attacked secular learning out of envy and spite. This intellectual poverty of the Christian religion induced a significant narrowing of Western intellectual horizons. The entrenchment and consolidation of the Nicene state religious cult obviated the necessity of a classical education for worldly success. Many pursued a religious vocation instead, an option that suddenly became attractive as the Christian church increased in power and influence.

The 4th century witnessed the dismantlement of the public education system by zealous Christians, who were disgusted with the paganism of the classical academic curriculum. The Christian emperors, unlike their pagan antecedents, did not patronize secular philosophy and science; the administrative apparatus responsible for disbursement of state funds, now controlled by an ecclesiastical bureaucracy, withheld them in the case of teachers who specialized in the classics. This angered many of the last remaining pagans of late antiquity, who bitterly complained about the role of Christianity in spreading a general lack of interest in pursuing a secular education.

A man with a classical education was no longer as highly esteemed as he once was before the age of Constantine. The leaders of the empire’s most powerful institution, the church, contemptuously dismissed their learning as mere “worldly wisdom.” In the eyes of the church, reliance on the faculty of reason alone was the mark of demonic possession, a path fraught with snares for lost souls on the way to eternal damnation in the fires of hell.

This made the educated man condescending and arrogant, as well as too sophisticated for the simple message of the gospels, which he derided as a collection of childish fables. An educated man would also question Christian doctrine, even embrace heresy, making him especially dangerous from an ecclesiastical point of view. The existence of the classical curriculum posed a significant obstacle to the imperial policy of Christianization. By downgrading and marginalizing the pursuit of a secular education, the church was able to gradually eliminate this threat, producing a more docile public, like the sheep in the parables of Jesus. From now on, Christians like Martin of Tours would have more important things to do than learn how to read and write.

The final triumph of orthodoxy over reason is enshrined in the church’s canon law, which forbade clergy and laity from reading the secular literature of antiquity. This canonical prohibition was famously enforced by Pope Gregory I, who severely reprimanded his bishops for instructing students in classical literature. “One mouth cannot praise both Christ and Jupiter at the same time,” thundered Gregory from the Papal See in Rome.

The Church controlled all medieval scriptoria in Europe. Advice to monks from church leadership, ordering them to despise all secular knowledge as “foolishness in the eyes of god,” exercised a damaging influence on the scribal transmission of classical literature, merely strengthening the clerical refusal to not copy works of pagan origin. What followed was the inevitable loss of the knowledge needed to run an advanced pre-industrial society.

This only worsened and prolonged the Dark Ages, reducing Europeans to a Neolithic existence in the process. Gregory’s hatred of Rome’s secular past was so fierce he was rumored to have personally hunted down and burnt every copy of Titus Livy’s History he could get his hands on. The Library of the Palatine Apollo, first established by Augustus in Rome, was burnt to the ground on his orders. This was to protect the faithful from being contaminated by the “poison” of secular Greek and Latin literature.

Isidore of Seville was the only real “intellectual” for 200 years of western European history. His Etymologies, the most popular and widely used textbook of the Middle Ages, was written in support of Christian “fundamentalism.” Although unsurpassed in topical comprehensiveness, Isidore’s intellectual depth and range of knowledge are considerably inferior to the Roman encyclopedists who preceded him.

Isidore lived in a geocentric universe enclosed within a rotating star-studded sphere, not unlike the cosmology of the ancient Hebrews. Between the flat earth and the outer sphere are seven concentric inner spheres. The concept of infinite space was completely alien to Isidore’s way of thinking; the universe is a small place with definite boundaries. The fact that all knowledge could be summarized in a single volume shows how drastically intellectual horizons had narrowed under Christian influence. Isidore regarded all pagan science and philosophy as heresy anathema to right-thinking Christians.

The church, using the Etymologies as a guide, censored and suppressed the pagan literature quoted in its pages. Isidore further denigrated intellectual curiosity as “dangerous” and “harmful.” Isidore’s widely influential Monastic Rule warned monks of the dangers of reading pagan literature; the rule stated that ideally monks should be completely ignorant of all secular knowledge. Isidore’s condemnation of secular knowledge reinforced the prevailing “fundamentalist” orthodoxy of the church, which demanded the censorship and suppression of all pagan science and philosophy.

On Nathan Cofnas’ paper

Now that Cofnas’ paper criticising Kevin MacDonald’s study on Judaism is being mentioned in several forums, I’d recommend Luke Ford’s recent interview of the admin of Age of Treason after minute 40. Or if you want a debate on the JQ simply listen to the whole interview, but take note that Ford is a convert to Judaism. (The pic of Ford was taken eighteen years ago, about the time when he visited Israel.)

Published in: on March 29, 2018 at 10:07 am  Comments (4)  

Why Europeans must reject Christianity, 9

by Ferdinand Bardamu

 
Section III: Censorship and the Christian War on Western Culture

The ecclesiastical decision to censor and suppress classical literature was influenced by militant Christian “fundamentalists,” bigoted anti-intellectuals like Ambrose and John Chrysostom. These men, because of their prominence in ecclesiastical affairs and importance for the patristic canon, were able to aggressively push for an agenda calling for the eradication of all pagan artistic, cultural and scientific achievement. The patristic attack on the intellectual foundations of the ancient world was continued by the medieval church. Isidore of Seville, the most influential and widely read author of the Dark Ages, repeatedly warned his flock of the spiritual dangers posed by reading secular philosophy and science. The canon law of the church had long prohibited Christians from reading secular literature, excluding clergy who consulted these writings to combat heresy and paganism.

The Christianization of 4th century Rome made the church sole inheritor of the great storehouses of ancient wisdom that had been accumulated throughout the centuries. As pagans dwindled in numbers and influence, the monastic scriptoria came to dominate textual transmission, especially after 400. Guided by ecclesiastical censure and canon law, the scriptoria, with few exceptions, ceased copying secular writings for over 300 years, severing medieval Europe from the great scientific and technological achievements of the ancient past. During the Dark Ages, nearly all Greco-Roman literature was removed from circulation and replaced with patristic, biblical and liturgical writings. Works of science and philosophy, some well ahead of their time, were discarded by ecclesiastical officials as rubbish. Sometimes they were re-used for mundane purposes; relics were once found wrapped in the pages of Livy’s Histories. Italian Renaissance scholar Pietro Bembo estimated that less than 1% of all Greek literature survived the turmoil and chaos of the Dark Ages. Modern scholars have made similar estimates for the survival of Latin literature.

Christian religionists allege barbarian invasion as a significant factor in the loss of Western scientific and technical knowledge; they neglect to mention that the barbarians who terrorized the western half of the empire were also Christians. At any rate, barbarian invasion played virtually no role in the destruction of the West’s literary heritage; the majority of Greek and Latin literature was still extant by 500 AD, as the age of Germanic migration was drawing to a close. Although there is no evidence of barbarians burning books or libraries, there is an abundance of evidence implicating Christians in the active destruction and censorship of an entire civilization’s repository of secular knowledge. After the Christian destruction of the Library of Alexandria, the second most destructive act of Christian literary vandalism was the burning of over 120,000 manuscripts by crusaders during the sack of Constantinople in 1204.

Apologists for Christianity emphasize the role of economic and material factors in the disappearance of Western culture during the Dark Ages. In their view, most pagan works simply disintegrated because they were written on papyrus, a fragile material. But this is a myth; papyrus is a highly durable medium, able to withstand the centuries under the right conditions. They cannot explain why the fragility of papyrus was never an issue for the transmission of classical texts until after late antiquity, when the Christian church was at the apogee of its power and influence in Europe. Other religionists speculate that the transition from papyrus to parchment in late antiquity made the copying of pagan literature a costly enterprise. This argument fails because the relative cost of papyrus and parchment cannot be ascertained from the available sources; cost is irrelevant anyway because parchment replaced papyrus in Egypt.

The Christian religionist unwittingly reveals another mode of ecclesiastical censorship and suppression: the refusal to recopy pagan works from papyrus to parchment, which happened during the large-scale replacement of papyrus with parchment in the early medieval period. Still, and embarrassingly enough for the Christian religionist, he cannot explain why Christian writings, whether patristic, liturgical or biblical, outnumber pagan writings by a staggering ratio of 25 to 1. Only widespread Christian censorship and suppression of pagan science and philosophy can adequately account for these glaring statistical discrepancies.

Apologists say Islamic conquest of Egypt in 642 disrupted trans-Mediterranean shipments of papyrus, which resulted in the loss of much ancient literature. However, the historical record reveals that the West’s barbarian rulers, as well as the Byzantine emperor, always had access to a steady supply of Egyptian papyrus. Although Egypt came under Moslem rule, papyrus manufacture remained a Christian enterprise, with Moslems now exporting it to Europe. The irony is that, although Byzantine rulers always had access to an abundant supply of papyrus, the Greek and Roman literature in their possession still gradually dropped out of circulation and vanished from library shelves.

In the Latin-speaking West, decline in papyrus as a writing material is related to large-scale abandonment of Roman forms of government. For example, the Code Justinian contains legislation mandating the use of papyrus for government documents. In keeping with Roman bureaucratic norms, the Merovingian chancery used papyrus until the late 7th century. This practice disappeared under the Carolingians, a dynasty originating in the Germanic east. Unlike the Romanized west, which was more urban and centrally administered, the Germanic east was decentralized and rural. For these reasons, parchment gradually supplanted papyrus in Europe.

In the Christian religious mind, Irish monasteries played an instrumental role in the “preservation” of Western scientific and technical knowledge, but this is a risible claim. What work of preservation was there when over 99% of all secular writings were either destroyed or suppressed by the Christian church? There was no preservation. What did manage to survive, did so in spite of Christianity, not because of it.

That almost nothing of this literature managed to survive shows that the Christian church conducted a remarkably successful campaign of censorship and suppression, the most successful in all history. This is further reinforced by statistical data on book production from 400 to 800 AD. In the fifth century, 27% of extant manuscripts copied were pagan, with the rest being works of a largely patristic, biblical or liturgical nature; this declined to 7% in the sixth century, 2% in the seventh century and 1% in the eighth century, out of a grand total of 834 extant Latin manuscripts.

Over a 400-year period, we see classical works being gradually removed from circulation. This is a pattern indicative of widespread and systematic literary censorship and suppression. If the steep decline in the number of classical texts copied had continued uninterrupted, all pagan scientific, technical and philosophical knowledge would have vanished from memory.

Contrary to the bigoted claims of Christian religionists, we do not see “preservation.” Careful examination of the historical record reveals that the Christian church bears sole responsibility for the destruction and suppression of over 99% of Greek and Latin literature.

Christianity’s eradication of the accumulated wisdom of the ages is one of the greatest crimes ever committed against the West. No act of censorship has been more destructive in world history than the one carried out by this institution. Without the life-giving knowledge of the ancient world, maintaining an advanced pre-industrial civilization became virtually impossible. Christian censorship and suppression of secular knowledge is the main reason behind Europe’s descent into the Dark Ages after the collapse of imperial rule in the West.

Apologists foolishly condemn all criticism of the church for suppressing the technical and scientific knowledge of antiquity as anachronistic. The fact of the matter is that progress, curiosity and reason are among Europeans’ most important inheritance from the classical world. Modern Western civilization would cease to exist without these values.

The decision of the scriptoria to discard works of science, mathematics, engineering and philosophy was a complete rejection of progress, intellectual curiosity and reason. It was the rejection of civilization in favor of a prehistoric existence as the Christian ideal. As a direct result of Christianization, the scriptoria nearly ceased copying the writings of antiquity for centuries; for the first time in history, Europe was in danger of losing her ancient storehouse of scientific, technical and philosophic knowledge that would be so crucial for the Renaissance and the Scientific Revolution.

Hunter hunts the Stormer

The monocausalists on The Daily Stormer, who believe that everything was great with America before Jewish immigration, are being challenged by Hunter Wallace (see his latest article on Occidental Dissent).

Isn’t it funny how the Stormer has metamorphosed itself from the above Nazi logo into the American flag?

Published in: on March 28, 2018 at 12:49 pm  Comments (11)  

Why Europeans must reject Christianity, 8

by Ferdinand Bardamu

 
Section II: Christian book burning and literary vandalism

There was widespread, active destruction of heretical and pagan writings through book burning. Although sometimes used by pagan magistrates to destroy subversive literature, it was only during the imperially coerced Christianization of Rome that book burning increased significantly in volume and frequency. Under the Nicene state religion, book burning became a prominent form of ritualized violence against heresy and paganism. The literature that was burned was chiefly of the magical, astrological, religious, philosophical or anti-Christian variety. People had their limbs amputated for copying heretical and other banned books.

According to the book of Acts, Christianity began its campaign of active literary destruction as early as the 1st century. A group of Ephesian converts, in response to a Jewish sorcerer’s failed exorcism, gathered together their religious and prophetic books and had them burnt. This act of religious violence is spoken of with approval as an example of how god’s word spread widely, gaining influence among the people. This served as one of the chief theological justifications for the many book burnings that were carried out in Christian Rome.

Legislation that prescribed the burning of heretical and pagan, especially magical and astrological, books was enacted by Constantine in the early 4th century. These included books by Arius, the priest who denied that Christ was consubstantial with the father, and the Neoplatonist philosopher Porphyry, who wrote a book attacking the Christian religion. The pagan Library of Antioch, which contained Julian’s extensive collection of Greek and Roman classics, was burnt to the ground in 363 by the Christian emperor Jovian, an act of retaliation against Julian for replacing Christianity with Hellenistic paganism.

Imperial legislation prescribing the burning of pagan books, specifically by magicians and astrologers, is found in the Codex Theodosianus. The burning of pagan books continued into the 6th century, where it is well-attested in contemporary sources associated with the reign of Justinian. Not only were the books of heretics such as Nestorius and the Manicheans to be consigned to the flames, but also books by the hated Porphyry and other pagan critics of Christianity. The laws of Theodosius II and Valentinian, ordering their inquisitors to burn the writings of Porphyry and any pagan work judged anti-Christian, was maintained by the Codex Justinian. The Digest grants the inquisitor considerable latitude in deciding which books were sufficiently heretical, magical or anti-Christian enough to warrant being consigned to the flames.

There was a systematic and empire-wide destruction of pagan literature through book burning under Justinian. The most spectacular book burnings were carried out by Christian officials in Constantinople and Asia. Amantius, the Byzantine inquisitor, ruthlessly hunted down pagans in Antioch. He smashed their idols, burned their books and confiscated their wealth by imposing exorbitant fines. Justinian even found it necessary to ban pagans from all teaching positions in the empire. This legislation is associated with Justinian’s closing of the Neoplatonic Academy in 529, a great deathblow to secular education in philosophy and the sciences.

How successful was the church’s war on Western culture through incineration of pagan texts? The entire ancient corpus of magical, astrological and religious literature was so thoroughly destroyed that nothing has managed to survive. We have none of the many scholarly writings that could have shed light on traditional Greco-Roman polytheistic worship, such as Varro’s monumental Antiquitates rerum humanarum et divinarum.

Christian officials diligently rounded up and burnt any work of philosophy written from a materialist perspective, like those by Epicurus and his followers. The fragmentary literary remains of Epicurus, a voluminous author who published over 300 books, is due to the zealous efforts of Christian book burners. Christians also successfully eradicated all pagan literature that openly criticized the Nicene state religion on both rational and philosophical grounds.

Of the most famous anti-Christians, only fragments of their prolific literary output survive. Pagan anti-Christian writings were considered so dangerous that even their Christian refutations had to be incinerated along with them. Of the anti-Christian works that bothered Christians the most, Porphyry was repeatedly singled out by imperial legislation for burning, followed by Julian’s diatribe against the “Galileans.” We know that many pagans wrote against Christianity, but the fact that barely any of this literature survives is a clear indication that what Christianity could not dispel through reasoned argument, it silenced through brute force.

The monastic scriptoria played a major role in the church’s eradication of all secular knowledge. The monks would recycle parchment from secular manuscripts by scraping off the ink with a mild acidic solution; a “washed” parchment was then re-used for the copying of Christian manuscripts. This was subsequently known as a palimpsest. For centuries, manuscripts overwritten with patristic, biblical and liturgical texts were almost always of pagan origin.

The systematic destruction of classical literature somewhat abated by the eve of the Carolingian “Renaissance,” but the secular writings of antiquity were still far more likely to be destroyed by Christians than any other body of literature.

That this was the case is further demonstrated by examination of the ratio of classical to Christian manuscripts. When extant manuscripts are considered, the ratio is 1:25 or 4%. A 7th century copy of the Vulgate, for example, is listed by Codices Latini Antiquiores (CLA) as a palimpsest with sheaves pilfered from the manuscripts of 9 different classical authors, including Livy, Cicero, and Seneca. Given the 4% ratio, the statistical likelihood of so many classical authors being used for a single manuscript because of fortuitous circumstance is so remote it borders on the impossible. This is made even more improbable given the fact that the libraries of the late antique and medieval periods were typically stocked with patristic, biblical and liturgical writings. The Vulgate manuscript would never have been assembled unless the church was deliberately targeting the ancient cultural patrimony of an entire civilization and people for systematic eradication.

The most notorious—and the most destructive—act of Christian cultural genocide was the deletion of Archimedes’ mathematical treatises. In their place was found a Byzantine liturgical manual. This is known as the famous Archimedes palimpsest. The most important of these manuscripts, the Method of Mechanical Theorems, reveals that Archimedes had a rudimentary understanding of the integral calculus; he was the first to calculate the area and volume of solid geometric figures using infinitesimal magnitudes. This was some 2000 years before Newton and Leibniz, the modern discoverers of the integral and differential calculus. If Christianity had not retarded scientific and technological development in ancient and medieval times, mankind would be far more advanced than he is now. Christianity was the single greatest impediment to material progress in the history of Europe.

Christians actively destroyed the writings of classical antiquity under the delusion that they were sanctifying a text formerly under demoniacal influence and reclaiming it for god. They believed that everything that had happened in the past was a mistake. Eradicating ancient civilization would reduce Europeans to a prehistoric existence, but it would free them from all worldly attachment. It would allow Europeans to focus exclusively on the redeeming work of god in Christ, the crucified Jew whose triumph over reason ushered in the Dark Ages.

Shakespearian Molyneux

Watch the theatrics and lyric rant of Stefan Molyneux after the 7th minute of this clip. He passionately champions ‘the truth’ but, in thousands of videos, he hasn’t properly tackled the JQ.

Recently Spencer re-tweeted ‘Stefan Molyneux & Richard Spencer: Have a discussion gentleman. It’s time’. But the only open racialist that Molyneux has invited is precisely a philo-Semite: Jared Taylor.

I doubt Molyneux✡ will cross swords with a Jew-wise intellectual in the near future. If he ever does he will immediately be challenged, as Spencer recently did it with Jordan Peterson.

The Alt-Lite (Molyneux, Peterson) are stepping stones for normies. Those who have already crossed the psychological Rubicon do not need them. Personally, I hate those who get stagnated on a stepping stone in the middle of the river.

Published in: on March 27, 2018 at 9:00 am  Comments (3)  

Why Europeans must reject Christianity, 7

by Ferdinand Bardamu

 
Christianity: bringer of darkness

Section I: The Christian destruction of Europe’s artistic heritage

Theodosius was the first Christian emperor to systematically legislate paganism out of existence. He began by enacting a series of draconian measures, soon after his declaration that Nicene Christianity was the official state religion in 380 AD. Towards the end of his reign, legislation proscribing Hellenistic religion—the so-called Theodosian decrees—became increasingly harsh. This imperial program of cultural genocide descended into an orgy of violence and destruction in the final decades of the 4th century.

The coming storm was foreshadowed by the Christian fanatic Maternus Cynegius, appointed by Theodosius as praetorian prefect in 384. Under imperial orders to suppress pagan sacrifice and divination, he launched his own personal crusade against the Hellenistic religion. With the help of bishops, priests and an army of rampaging monks, Cynegius demolished some of the holiest sites in the Greek east. Many of these buildings housed antiquity’s greatest artistic treasures.

Archeological evidence, gathered from eastern Mediterranean sites, reveals significant temple destruction and desecration. This can be dated to the period of Cynegius’ activity in the east. Contemporary hagiographical sources, like the Vita Porphyrii, bear witness to the spectacular religious violence directed against the pagan shrines and temples of the Levant.

In 386, the pagan orator Libanius, an outspoken critic of Christian iconoclasm, begged Theodosius to preserve the temples and shrines of the empire. He spoke of armies of “black-robed monks,” gluttons and drunkards, who would

hasten to attack the temples with sticks and stones and bars of iron, and in some cases, disdaining these, with hands and feet. Then utter desolation follows, with the stripping of roofs, demolition of walls, the tearing down of statues and the overthrow of altars, and the priests must either keep quiet or die. After demolishing one, they scurry to another, and to a third, and trophy is piled on trophy, in contravention of the law. Such outrages occur even in the cities, but they are most common in the countryside. Many are the foes who perpetrate the separate attacks, but after their countless crimes this scattered rabble congregates and they are in disgrace unless they have committed the foulest outrage…

Christians not only vandalized temples, they also mutilated pagan statuary and defaced inscriptions. Violent destruction of pagan religious artifacts is archeologically well-attested in the Levant and Africa, where Christian iconoclasts were at their most active.

This pattern of destruction was empire-wide and can be seen in places as far away as North-western Gaul and Britain. Far more destructive than the temple destruction carried out by Christian zealots was the imperial anti-pagan legislation ending all subsidies to the once thriving polytheistic cults of the empire. Without subsidies from the imperial treasury, pagans were unable to maintain and repair their religious monuments. This was reinforced by additional legislation ordering the closure of all shrines and temples, threatening pagans with death if they continued to practice haruspicy and animal sacrifice. This condemned the empire’s major structures and artistic monuments to permanent disrepair and eventual ruin.

The widespread Christian vandalism of late antiquity was the largest campaign in world history to destroy an entire civilization’s artistic and architectural heritage. This campaign to erase the great monuments of antiquity from memory was significantly more destructive than the barbarian invasions of the 5th century. The Christians of the late empire were the ISIS or the Taliban of their day, although this may be an understatement as Christians were many times more destructive. Without this added ingredient of ritualized violence, Christianity would never have become the dominant religion of the ancient world.