Christianity’s Criminal History, 124

‘The Catholic clergy has a good part of the responsibility for unleashing the wars of extermination of the time. The influence of the Church reached the last village’.

—Berthold Rubin, Das Zeitalter Iustinians (1960).

Editors’ note: Here I reproduce some translated excerpts from a chapter about the extermination of two Germanic peoples in the 6th century: one of the unheard of crimes of Christianity because, until now, almost all church historians had been Christians (like the Jews, Christians lie by omission). To contextualise this entry see instalments 121, 122 and 123 of the same series.
 

______ 卐 ______

 

The Catholic clergy in favour of a crusade against the Vandals

In June 533, a fleet of 500 transport ships and 92 warships were brought to the sea by order of Emperor Justinian carrying 15,000 to 20,000 combatants on board. Huns were also part of them. The patriarch of Constantinople, Epiphanius, had impregnated in the same port the blessing of heaven for a company so pleasing to God. He blessed the troops himself and pronounced ‘the habitual prayers’ (Procopius) of the farewells. The general in chief was Belisarius, a good Catholic, a good soldier, ‘a gentlemanly Christian, in whom the teachings of his Saviour had penetrated not only in his head, but in his blood’ (Thiess). […] The troops disembarked at the beginning of September of 533, two hundred kilometres south of Carthage. […]

After the victory, most of the Vandal men lost their lives. Women and children were made slaves. The [Germanic] king was taken to [the mud capital] Constantinople and presented in the summer of 534 at the racecourse during the triumph held there. Stripped of the purple he had to kiss the dust before the imperial throne. He ended his days as a vassal in a large property in Galatia. The king declined the conversion to Catholicism, despite all the honours that made it more appetising. His captive companions were framed in the Roman army and went mostly to the Persian border. Five regiments were formed, the so-called Vandali justiniani. One regiment, however, fled back to Africa after reducing the crew of the ship that was to transport them from the island of Lesbos. […]

The pope congratulated the emperor for his zeal in the expansion of the Kingdom of God. In spite of all the throat-cutting, Arianism was still far from its eradication in Africa, much less since it could penetrate the troops of Belisarius thanks to the Arian Goths. But also they (who were deceived in the distribution of the lots of lands and subjugated from the religious point of view, together with the surviving Arian vandals) had to bite the dust after hard and long struggles. Even the Vandal women who had married them were deported. ‘Of the Vandals, what remained in their homeland’, writes Procopius, ‘there remained no trace of my time. Being few, they were crushed by the border barbarians or voluntarily mixed with them so that they disappeared to their very name’. ‘In this way’, the archbishop Isidore of Seville writes triumphantly, ‘it was exterminated, in 534, the Vandal kingdom until the last sprout, a kingdom that lasted 113 years from Gunderic until the fall of Gelimer’.

But the times that took control of Africa, also in its political and religious aspect, were everything but peace. The Byzantine administration was largely corrupted, the fiscal oppression was such that the population sadly longed for the liberality of the Vandals. The settlers were now much worse treated than under the domain of the ‘barbarians’. […]

In the meantime Vitiges had already, until March 538, a long year attacking Rome with his Goths, with rolling towers, assault scales and battering rams. Again and again he restarted his rush, and again and again the Hungarian and Moorish riders made dangerous outings. The surroundings of the city, farms, villas and sumptuous buildings were totally razed. In Rome, the most beautiful Greco-Roman creations, irreplaceable masterpieces, were demolished to kill the Goth raiders with their stones. To this were added the ravages of asphyxiating heat, hunger and epidemics. Senators paid disgusting meat sausages of dead mules with gold. A relief army from Constantinople reinforced the besieged. But 2,000 horsemen, under the command of Chief John ‘The Bloodthirsty’ (epithet of the chroniclers), were merciless in Piceno against the Gothic women and children, whose husbands and fathers stood before the walls of Rome. After almost seventy rejected assaults Vitiges withdrew in the middle of terrible losses caused by Belisarius who, with tactical and technical superiority, came on his heels and occupied almost the entire country to the plain of the Po.

In the winter of 538 to 539, when the Byzantines expelled all the Goths of Emilia and Vitiges repaired the walls of Ravenna, a severe famine ravaged the northern part of central Italy, with thousands and thousands of people succumbing. Procopius, an eyewitness, reports the death of approximately fifty thousand people in the Piceno alone and even more in the northern regions.

What people looked like and how they died is something I want to tell in more detail for having seen it with my own eyes. They were all skinny and pale because their flesh, according to the old proverb, ate itself for lack of nutrition and the gall, which because of its excessive weight now had power over all bodies, produced in them a greenish paleness. And it progressed, human bodies lost all their moods so that their skin, completely dry, resembled leather, presenting the appearance of being firmly attached to the bones. Their pale colour was blackening so that they looked like teas that had burned too much. Their faces had an expression of horror, their gaze resembled the insane who are contemplating something awful… Some among them, totally dominated by hunger, came to commit atrocities against others. In a small village in Ariminus, it seems, the only two women left devoured seventeen men. Well, the strangers who came their way used to spend the night in their homes, then they killed them while they slept and ate their flesh… Driven by hunger, many threw themselves on the grass and tried to tear it off on their knees. But in general they were too weak, and when they were totally lacking in strength they fell exhaling the last breath. Nobody buried them, because nobody was interested in burying. However, not a single bird came to the bodies, although there are many species that would devour them with pleasure, as there was nothing to bite in them. Well, as already said, all the meat was totally dried out by hunger.

Around the same time Milan was also going through a horrible hardship. Dacius, the archbishop of the city—which according to Procopius was, after Rome, the first city in the West due to its size and number of inhabitants and prosperity—, went to Rome in the third year of war, informed Belisarius about the anti-Goth uprisings throughout Liguria and the Byzantine re-conquest of the territory, urging him to occupy Milan. An occupation was carried out although it supposed to break the armistice with Vitiges in April of 535. Very soon, however, the nephew of Vitiges, Uriah, surrounded Milan with a strong army supported by 10,000 Bergonds sent by the king of Theudebert’s Francs. He wanted above all to probe the situation to his advantage. From there, little by little, the famine ravaged the city frightfully. The inhabitants eat dogs, rats and human corpses. At the end of March 539 the Roman garrison capitulated obtaining a security retreat.

As far as the city is concerned, Procopius writes, ‘the Goths left no stone upon stone. They killed all men, from teenagers to the elderly in a number not less than three hundred thousand. They turned women into slaves and gave them to the Bergonds as a reward for their alliance. J.B. Bury describes the Milan massacre as one of the worst in the long series of premeditated atrocities in the annals of mankind: ‘Attila’s life path does not register such an abominable war action’. All the churches were also destroyed: the Catholic churches at the hands of the Arian Vandals; the Arian churches at the hands of the Bergond Catholics. A truly progressive ecumenical cooperation: they call it a history of redemption… The personalities of the high social hierarchy, including the prefect, brother of the pope, were torn to serve as food for the dogs. Bishop Dacius, the real cause of that hell, had set foot in dusty time.

As soon as the Bergonds returned to their land, well loaded with loot, Theudebert himself fell on Liguria, in the spring of 539, at the head of an army. Already at the beginning of the conflict, Justinian had summoned the Franks to the ‘great fight against the Goths’, as the Catholic Daniel-Rops says in the 20th century. […]

But when it seemed to him that the Goths were getting too strong he fell on them in the back, in the spring of 539, with some 100,000 francs that crossed the Alps from the south of Gaul. He devastated with his hosts Liguria and Emilia and when crossing the Po, Procopius writes, ‘they tore apart how many Goth children and women on whom they could put their hands on, and as an offering they threw their bodies into the river as first fruits of war’. The Goth warriors fled like an exhalation to Ravenna to ran into Roman swords. However, hunger and epidemics decimated Theudebert’s army in such a way that he had to leave Italy after losing a good part of it. Surrounded by sea and land, Ravenna fell in May 540 by the work of a traitor. This one burned at the request of Belisarius the barns of the city so that Vitiges had to surrender. […]

Rome itself, from which the entire Arian clergy is expelled, and in which an atrocious hunger reigns, falls twice in 546 and 550. All the walls of the squares are demolished so that no enemy can get on it and that their inhabitants will be forever free from the torture of the siege. The Romans themselves recognise after the fall of the city in 546 that Totila lived among them as a father with his children. Even the Byzantine soldiers themselves, whose pay had been subtracted, are passed on to him, and, in greater numbers still, the tenant peasants are expelled from their lands. All this enabled the hatred of the great landowners, the Catholic Church, which, like it once did in Africa with the Vandals, now spreads frightening stories about the cruelty of the Goths. […]

The year 552, in a decisive battle next to Busta Gallorum, in the vicinity of Taginae, Via Flaminia, north of Spoleto, with the support of by 3,000 Heruli and 5,500 Lombards the Goth army is completely destroyed. King Totila is killed in the flight and also the victors show off his head by shaking it at the tip of a spear. And in October of 553 the last Goth king, Teia, also falls with his army’s core after a desperate sixty-day fight at the foot of Vesuvius. And in 554, in Volturnus, next to Capua, Narses liquidates in a bloodthirsty battle other considerable troops of Franks and Alemannen who wanted to take advantage of the Goth debacle by conquering Italy. They were stabbed like cattle. The rest must have died in the waters of the river. It is assumed that only five men of seventy thousand returned alive. The castrated Narses, received by the clergy with songs of glory in the stands of St. Peter, knelt to pray on the supposed tomb of St. Peter and urged his unbridled soldiery to cultivate piety and the continued exercise of weapons. The last Goth stronghold resisted in the Apennines until 555. In the north it was not possible to take Verona and Brescia until 562 (with Merovingian help). From now in Ravenna would reside an imperial governor. The Ostrogoths would disappear from history too.

In the final phase of his extermination, Justinian took advantage of a dynastic complaint in the Visigothic kingdom to initiate a new invasion with troops led by the patrician Liberius, militarily inexperienced and more than octogenarian. In Spain, where the powerful and rich Catholic bishops reluctantly admitted their subordination to the ‘heretics’, the noble Athanagild had risen against King Agila. And as in Africa and Italy, Catholics now welcomed the intervention of the Catholic sovereign, which began a war between Byzantium and the Visigoths, a war that would last more than seventy years. In any case, Justinian did not achieve total extermination here, but his weak contingent managed to conquer the Balearic Islands, and the main port cities and strongholds in the southeast of the country.
 

Cui bono? The great beneficiary of all that hell: The Roman Church

The Gothic wars, with their twenty years of duration, turned Italy into a smoking ruin, a desert. According to L. M. Hartmann, who is still probably the foremost German connoisseur of that time, the injuries caused by that conflict to the country were worse than those suffered by Germany in the Thirty Years’ War. The blood tribute presumably rises to millions of victims. Entire shires were depopulated, almost all cities suffered one or more sieges and their inhabitants were more than once killed in their entirety. Many women and children were captured as slaves by the Byzantines and the men on both sides died at the edge of the sword as enemies and ‘heretics’. Rome, the millionaire city, conquered and devastated five times, ravaged by the sword, hunger and plague, had only 40,000 inhabitants. The big cities of Milan and Naples became depopulated.

Concurrently with depopulation, a horrific impoverishment spread everywhere, caused mainly by the desertification of the fields but also by the frequent slaughter of the herds. Aqueducts and damaged hot springs fell into total abandonment. Many works of art and culture of unrecoverable value were ruined. Everywhere could be seen the same spectacle of corpses and ruins, of epidemics and famines that caused the death of hundreds of thousands. Only in the Piceno region, writes Procopius, an eyewitness, about fifty thousand people died of hunger in a single year, in 539, whose bodies were so dry that not even the vultures themselves deigned to approach them. The ‘good hope’ of the emperor had been fulfilled, that ‘God, well in his grace, may grant that we recover again what the ancient Romans possessed of their borders of both oceans and lost because of later neglect’. In the year 534 Justinian could give himself the ostentatious nicknames of ‘Victor of the Vandals’ and ‘Conqueror of the Goths’.

Even the Jesuit Hartmann Grisar acknowledges that ‘what the Byzantines established in substitution of the Gothic regime was not freedom but the image of it in negative […] that amounted to subjugate the free development of personality, a system of servitude’, while ‘among the Goths authentic freedom had its own homeland there’. […]

The Arian ‘heresy’ was eradicated from Africa. Italy also disappeared as an independent kingdom while, in that general chaos, the ‘State of the Church’ was growing as an immense parasite. The ancient privileges of Rome were restored and Justinian increased the power and prestige of the Roman bishop. […]

The one especially benefited by the war was the Ravenna church, whose regular income was estimated at that time at some twelve thousand solidi (pieces of gold). Its territorial possessions, that reached Sicily, continuously increased through the donations and the inheritance legation. Wealthy bankers built and equipped many, let’s call them, houses of God. But, above all, the Bishop of Ravenna benefited especially from the appropriation of the churches and Arian goods whose number was particularly increased in the surroundings of the ancient Goth capital. […]

But while it is true that the emperor did not precisely wage his wars, lasting more than twenty years ‘for the freedom of the subjects’, he did it for the ‘right faith’. For the sake of this, as it is firmly stated, he had sacrificed and erased two peoples from the Earth. For the recuperatio imperii, so amazing for many contemporaries and for Justinian himself, consisted essentially of the bloody re-conquest of northern Africa and Italy in favour of Catholicism. The despot thus became ‘champion of the Roman Church’ (Rubin). […]

The chronicler of the time, Procopius, a model of Byzantine historiography, incessantly accuses the emperor of murder and robbery of his subjects. Procopius’s accusations culminate in the 18th chapter, which presumably adheres to the truth essentially in spite of some exaggerations, especially as regards the figures, or when using hyperbole like this: ‘It would be easier to count all the grains of sand than the victims sacrificed by this emperor’.

Of Libya, of such extensive dimensions, he plunged it into such a ruin that even a long walk would hardly give one the surprise of meeting a person. And if there were at first 80,000 vandals in arms, who could estimate the number of women, children and servants? How could anyone enumerate the multitude of all Libyans (Romans) who previously lived in cities or engaged in agriculture, navigation or fishing as I myself could see far and wide with my own eyes? And all of the Numidia population, even more numerous, perished with women and children. And finally the land housed many Roman soldiers and their companions of Byzantium. So whoever indicated for Africa the figure of five million dead would fall somewhat short of reality [emphasis by Ed.].

Italy, at least three times larger than (the province of) Africa, is, in large regions, even more depopulated than this one so that it will not be very difficult to guess the number of those who perished there. […] Before that war, Gothic power extended from Gaul to the borders of Dacia, where the city of Sirmium is located. The Germans (the Franks!) seized many territories in Gaul and Venice, when the Roman army arrived in Italy. Sirmium and its surroundings were occupied by the Gepids, but everything, said briefly, is now depopulated. […]

Such were, therefore, the consequences of the war in Africa and Europe.

When the tyrant died the people were not free and the Empire was economically exhausted, on the verge of bankruptcy. For the papacy, on the other hand, the Justinian era—due to the re-conquest, the extermination of two powerful Arian towns, and the dissolution of the autonomous kingdom of Italy—proved to be extremely advantageous in material and legal terms.

Published in: on November 19, 2019 at 2:38 pm  Comments Off on Christianity’s Criminal History, 124  

Christianity’s Criminal History, 123

Editors’ note: Footnotes have been omitted. To contextualise this section of Vol. II of Karlheinz Deschner’s encyclopaedic history of the Church in 10 volumes, Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums, see the abridged translation of Volume I (PDF: here, hard copy: here), which reproduces a syntactically corrected edition of instalments 1-100 on this site. Instalments 101-122 can also be read on this site.
 

The Vandal state

Gaiseric created the first independent Germanic state on Roman soil. This Germanic state had its richest and most fertile provinces: Mauretania Tingitana, Africa Zeugitana, Byzacena and Numidia Proconsularis. Gaiseric also became the owner of Corsica and Sardinia, whose forests were cut down by workers under forced labour to build his ships. By 455 he added the Balearic Islands, which he had already sacked in 425. He dominated the seas from Gibraltar to Constantinople and did not even give nominal recognition to the Byzantine emperor, although in pledge of peace he had to send his son Huneric to Italy. […]

The rich churches and monasteries were sacked, as they were ‘bastions of Roman domination’ (Diesner). It is understood that, in general, the Catholic civilian population offered no resistance anywhere, remaining indifferent or sympathising with the invaders. Some of them even converted to Arianism despite Gaiseric’s attacks which were particularly brutal against clerics, monks, and nuns who were often raped. […] Occasionally, as happened after the occupation of Carthage, the king appropriated all the property, furniture and real estate of the adversary clergy. He also ordered that all churches be closed, handed over to the Arian clergy and used as barracks. […]

As comprehensible as the outrage of the Catholic chroniclers against Gaiseric is, one of them at least concedes something. The Father of the Salvian Church of Marseille praises Gaiseric’s fight against ‘impurity’. Well, this blood-stained Christian was tremendously puritan: a very frequent combination, as we know. He not only fought against pederasty but also against brothels, even forcing all prostitutes to marry.

The king of the Vandals, who, if necessary, was not intimidated by any bloody action, experiences such disgust at the plague of public sexual lewdness—a plague characteristic of the big cities—, and considers it such an abomination for his compatriots, that he proposed to eradicate it from end to end. And everything indicates that he achieved it while he lived.

The history of the Vandal State has only been bequeathed to us, almost exclusively, by Catholic clerics. Even the few historical testimonies of a profane nature are strongly influenced by them. Therefore, it is more than likely to have been distorted by their biases […]. Despite all the exaggerations, even falsifications, of the history by the Catholic tradition, there can be no doubt that the proceeding of Gaiseric towards the Catholic clergy was very tough and sometimes bloodthirsty. That clergy was, of course, not only a bitter adversary of Arianism. Arianism increasingly became an enemy of the State. […]

Gaiseric died very old at the beginning of the year 477. His son and successor was Huneric (477-484), whose wife, daughter of Valentinian III to which Gaiseric abducted from Rome in 455, fled in 472 to Jerusalem: presumably by aversion to her husband’s Arian faith […]. Huneric succumbed early, in December of the year 484, victim of a disease. The Catholics welcomed the news joyfully as every time one of their adversaries dies.

Darkening Age, 6

In chapter three of The Darkening Age: The Christian
Destruction of the Classical World
, Catherine Nixey wrote:

A few decades after Celsus wrote On the True Doctrine, an even more monumental assault was made on the Christian faith by another Greek philosopher. It shocked the Christian community with its depth, breadth and brilliance. Yet today this philosopher’s name, like Celsus’s, has been all but forgotten. He was, we know, called Porphyry. We know that his attack was immense—at least fifteen books; that it was highly erudite and that it was, to the Christians, deeply upsetting. We know that it targeted Old Testament history, and poured scorn on the prophets and on the blind faith of Christians…

This much, then, is known—but not much more. And the reason we don’t know is that Porphyry’s works were deemed so powerful and frightening that they were completely eradicated. Constantine, the first Christian emperor—now famed for his edict of ‘toleration’—started the attack.

In a letter written in the early part of the fourth century; he heaped odium on the long-dead philosopher, describing him as ‘that enemy of piety’; an author of ‘licentious treatises against religion’. Constantine announced that he was henceforth ‘branded with infamy’, overwhelmed ‘with deserved reproach’ and that his ‘impious writings’ had been destroyed.

In the same letter Constantine also consigned the works of the heretic, Arius, to the flames and announced that anyone who was found hiding one of Arius’s books would be put to death.

Constantine burning the above-mentioned books
(illustration from a book of canon law, ca. 825).

A century or so later, in AD 448, Porphyry’s books were burned again, this time on the orders of the Christian emperors Theodosius II and Valentinian III.

Kriminalgeschichte, 59

Editors’ Note: Keep in mind the fact that Ambrose was non-white, and that many of the Goths—pure Aryans—were converts from Germanic paganism to Arian Christianity.

 

Saint Ambrose drives the annihilation of the Goths, 2

The holy bishop constantly incites against the Goths, conjures the world not to let down the guard, and for him ‘practically any means is not only justified but also necessary’ (K.P. Schneider).

Ambrose had sent the holy emperor his pastoral work De fide, written during the conflict with the Goths, to the battlefield of Illyria, knowing that a victory should provide ‘more faith in the emperor of the courage of the soldiers’ (fide magis imperatoris quam virtute militum), with which he again incites against the Arians, who in reality are only human beings in their outward appearance, because in their interior they are ferocious animals. Although he prophesies the triumph, he is sure of victory ‘as a testimony of the true faith’.

The Arians, who ‘arrogated to themselves the name of Christians’ and yet ‘tried to wound with deadly weapons’ the Catholics, seemed, according to Ambrose, like the Jews, although they were worse, and also like the pagans, although in fact they were even worse: more like the antichrist and the devil himself. They had ‘gathered the poison of all heresies’,’ they were human beings only in their external aspect, but inside they were full of the rage of animals’.

Kriminalgeschichte, 58

Editors’ Note: Always keep in mind the fact
that Ambrose was non-white.

Saint Ambrose drives the annihilation of the Goths, 1

The Goths saw in their bishop Ulfilas, born about 311 of Gothic parents of Cappadocian descent, a ‘sacrosanct man’. He would write on his deathbed: ‘I, Ulfilas, bishop and confessor’, an honorary title that is related to the persecution of the Christian Goths, probably in 348. However, like him, only in Arianism did he see the una sancta; in all others, Christians antichrists, in their churches he saw ‘synagogues of the devil’ and especially in Catholicism a ‘lost theory of evil spirits’. Bishop Ambrose, for his part, believed that the fact that they did not accept salvation by the cross but only in imitation of Christ, whatever they understood by it, constituted ‘The most outstanding characteristic of Gothic Arianism’ (Giesecke). [1]

Even when commenting on the Gospel, Ambrose could quote praisefully the words of Paul, an even greater abominator: ‘Love is patient, it is kind, it does not show zeal, it does not boast’. He could let the imagination run: ‘But would not it be wonderful to offer the other cheek to the one who hits you?’ However, in reality Ambrose did not offer one cheek or the other, as he incited with especially Christian (and Pauline) consideration: ‘Is it not achieved with patience to return the blows twice [!] to the one who hits, in the form of the pain of the repentance?’ [2]

About our saint it is significant that he often speaks of the love of his neighbour and that he even approaches the subject as a whole in his monograph, De officiis ministrorum, but apparently only alludes to the love of enemies. For him—the same for Augustine and the whole Church—it was not useful, but only a sign of the greater perfection of the New Testament against the Old. However, this does not imply any binding requirement for Ambrose. What he rather does is ‘curiously not to reject anywhere war, categorically, as illicit’ (K.P. Schneider). On the contrary! The idea of a ‘justified war’ is constantly and ‘indirectly’ sketched by him. [3]

And not only indirectly, because while in the East the philosopher and educator of Princes, Themistius, who stood by several emperors and never adhered to Christianity, tried to mediate between the ecclesiastical parties and also between pagans and Christians (and, at the same time, vigorously supported the policy of a peaceful compromise between the Goths and Valens), St. Ambrose did just the opposite. As soon as he could, he sent his 19-year-old protégé Gratian in the name of Jesus against the Goths, the pagans, the ‘heretics’, the ‘barbarians’. [4]

The bishop did not cease to show passion. ‘There is no certainty from where they will attack the faith’, he exclaimed, angered before the emperor.

Raise up, O Lord, and unfold your standard! This time it is not the military eagles that lead the army and it is not the flight of the birds that directs it; it is your name. Jesus is the one who is cheered and it is your cross that goes before them… You have always defended it against the barbarian enemy; now take revenge!

Although he should not take revenge precisely in the name of Jesus! However, Ambrose took as a reference—as the clergy have done in all wars to date—the Old Testament: where Abraham, with a few men, annihilated numerous enemies; where Joshua triumphed over Jericho.

The Goths are for the saint the Gog people (‘Gog iste Gothus est’), whose annihilation predicts the prophet, de quo promittitur nobis futura victoria: a people that Yahweh, in his lapidary style, wants to ‘give to devour’ to raptors and other animals, and also to their own: ‘And you must eat the fat until you are fed up and drink blood until you get drunk of the victim I sacrifice for you’. According to Ambrose, for whom ‘Germanic’ and ‘Arian’ (or ‘Roman’ and ‘Catholic’) were almost equivalent terms, to defeat the Goths one thing is needed: true faith! This, in spite of the fact that the emperor of the East, Valens, was Arian! But the bishop conveniently ignored these facts. Faith in God could not be separated from fidelity to the Empire. ‘Where fidelity to God is lost, the Roman State is also broken’. Where the ‘heretics’ appeared, they were followed by the ‘barbarians.’ [5]

Of course, the military aspect was accompanied by an aspect of ecclesiastical politics. However, in occupied Illyria, that is, near northern Italy and Milan, in addition to the war with the outside adversary, the internal enemy—the disputes with the Arians—also wreaked havoc. Secundianus resided in Singidunum as bishop, Palladio in Ratiaria, Julian Valens in Poetovium, Auxentius in Durostorum, but Ulfilas also lived there, who displayed his activity mainly in the eastern provinces of the Danube. Ambrose incited the emperor against these influential Christians, especially when the Illyrian Arians made propaganda also in Milan and other cities in northern Italy, and the entry of Goths gave new impulses to the ‘heresy’. Thus, this Catholic did not cease to invoke the religious situation and the performance of the Arians as a danger to the Empire and to military security, which would provide the ‘heretical’ subjects with a protection against the Goths, their fellow believers, much smaller than the Orthodox. [6]

Nevertheless, it is evident that the military aspect was now more important for Ambrose than the religious one that he highlights, insofar as his diocese was not far from the Goths and in Roman Christianity, according to an ancient tradition, the same distinction was done among Romans and ‘barbarians’ as between human beings and animals. The danger arose from the enemies of the country. Thus, the religious zeal of the bishop is now anticipated by the national zeal. Ambrose especially emphasised the propensity to a vice of the ‘barbarians’, their depravity ‘worse than death’.

For him, the unquestioning patriot, the enemy is also any ‘stranger’, an ‘alien’ almost equivalent to infidel. To the Goths and the like (Gothi et diversarum nationum viri) he calls ‘people who once dwelt in wagons’, beings more fearsome than the gentiles (gentes). Thus, he does not fight the infidel Romans; what he does rather is to place the army of the pagans on his side and incite it against the ‘barbarians’, and to win over the emperor with pretexts of religious motives, while seeking the predominance of ‘Roman culture’, which he himself provides protection and a very prestigious life. [7]
 
________________

Note of the translator: The footnotes still lack the general bibliography, which will be ready as I finish the abridgement of this first volume.

[1] Jord. of orig. act Get 25. Soz. e.h. 2.6. Philostorg. e.h. 2.5. Basil ep. 164.2. Lex dtv Antike, Religion 1176. Seeck, Untergang V 90. K.-D. Schmidt, Die Bekehrung 216 f, 231 f, 236 f, 257 (here citation). Giesecke, Die Ostgermanen 6 f, 16 f, 44, 69. Thompson, Christianity 69 f. K. K. Klein, Gotenprimas Wulfila 84 f, especially 98 f. Previté-orton, The shorter 56. Claude, Die Westgoten 11 f, 26 f. Aland, Glaubenswechsel 58. Klein, Constantius II, 253 f.

[2] Ambros. Lukaskommentar 5,73 f.

[3] Schneider, Liebesgebot 27 f, 56.

[4] Pauly V 677 f. Straub, Regeneratio 203 f. Wolfram, Gotische Studien 13.

[5] Ambr. of fide ad Grat. 2,16,130; 2.16, 139 f; 3,16,138 f. Ez. 38 f, especially 38.4; 39.4; 39.19. Ambr. ep. 10.9; 25 f. of off. 1.35175 f. from Tob. 15.51. On the concept of ‘barbarians’, cf. for example Wemer, Barbarus 401 f. Jüthner 103 f. V. Campenhausen, Ambrosius 37 f, 46 f. The same, Lateinische Kirchenväter 88 f. Beumann, Zur Entwickiung 219 f. Stratmann III 72. Christ, Römer 273 f. Homus 169. Pavan, Gothic Politics 70 f, especially 76 f. Schneider, Liebesgebot 49 f. Chadwick, Die Kirche 174. Haendier, Von Tertullian 102.

[6] Ambros. of fide 2.16, 139 f. Sulp. Sev. Vit. Mart. 6.4. V. Campenhausen, Ambrosius 9 f, 18 f, 37 f. Schneider, Liebesgebot 45 f. Gottiieb, Ambrosius 21 f, 83 f.

[7] Ambros. ep. 19.7 f; 20.12; 20.20. of off. 2,136; 3.84. de fide 2,16. Prudent. c. Symm. 2,816 f. V. Campenhausen, Ambrosius 48 f. Schneider, Liebesgebot 49 f. Straub, Regeneratio 251. Haendier, Von Tertullian 102.

Kriminalgeschichte, 54

Below, an abridged translation from the first volume of Karlheinz Deschner’s Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums (Criminal History of Christianity). For a comprehensive text that explains the absolute need to destroy Judeo-Christianity, see here. In a nutshell, any white person who worships the god of the Jews is, ultimately, ethnosuicidal.

 

Patriarch George, an Arian ‘wolf’, monopolist and martyr

George of Cappadocia, an ultra Arian, seized power in Alexandria. He was one of the followers of the sovereign who joined his ecclesiastical office with a surprising sense of finances.

Patriarch George raised a funerary monopoly, although apparently also acquired the one of the sodium carbonate and tried to buy the papyrus lagoons, along with the Egyptian salt mines. Among his favourite religious projects were the inheritances, a special field of the saviours of Christian souls throughout all the centuries. Bishop George not only tried to get the heirs to lose what their relatives had left them, but he even told the emperor that all the buildings of Alexandria were public property. In short, the Egyptian primate ‘took advantage of the ruin of many people’, so, as Ammianus writes, ‘everyone, without distinction, hated George’.[1]

Although he was ordained for Alexandria as early as 356, he did not start working until the end of February 357, with savage fury, ‘like a wolf or a bear or a panther’ (Theodoret). In front of a blazing bonfire, he caused Catholic widows and maidens to be beaten on the soles of their feet, apparently completely naked, with palm branches or to burn them on a low fire. He made ‘whipping in a totally new way’ (Athanasius) to forty men; many died. Athanasius reports of raids, assaults, the capture of bishops, who were chained; of imprisonments, the exile of more than thirty bishops ‘with such lack of consideration that some of them committed suicide on the road and others in exile’.

In the autumn of the year 348, Athanasius resorts to violence. Patriarch George is saved from an assassination attempt in the church and must flee. On November 26, 361 he returns, to his disgrace, without knowing the death of his protector Constantius. He is quickly locked up, on December 24, but Catholics and pagans take him out and, together with two very unpopular imperial officials, he is dragged through the streets and beaten until he dies.

However, shortly before Bishop George had called the strategist Artemius, military governor of Egypt, and with his help had also persecuted the pagans; destroyed the temple of Mithras, demolished statues and sacked the pagan shrines, of course for the benefit of the Christian churches that they wanted to build. (Julian had the temple destroyer Artemius decapitated in the year 362, for which he was venerated as an Arian martyr.)

Catholics and ‘idolaters’ walked the streets with Bishop George’s corpse on the back of a camel. For hours they raged with the dead man. Then they burned him and scattered his ashes, mixed with those of animals, by the sea.

And while the wild Arian wolf becomes a martyr, precisely at Christmas, Athanasius returned once more and, finally—after the pagan Julian again banished him in 362; the Catholic Jovian made him return in 363, and the Arian Valens will exile him for the last time in 365-366—, Athanasius slept in the Lord on May 2, 373, old and much appreciated.[2]

 
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Note of the translator: The footnotes still lack the general bibliography, which will be ready as I finish the abridgement of this first volume.

[1] Epiphan. Haer 76,1,4 f. Ammian. 22,11,4 f. Grant, Christen 75 f.

[2] Ammian. 22,11,3 f. Theodor. 2,14; 3,4; 3,9. Socr. e.h. 3,2 f; 3,7; 4,1,14 f; 4,8,4; 4,13; 4,16. Soz. 4,9 f; 4,28,3 f; 5,7,3 f; 5.12; 5,15. Philostorg. 7,2. Athan. ad episc. Aeg. 7. Hist. Arian. ad mon. 48 f; 54 f; 59 f. Apol. de fuga sua 6 f; 24. syn. 37. Historia Acephala 5 f. Theodor. e.h. 2,14; 3,18,1. Rufin e.h. 10,34 f. Epiph. haer. 76,1. Greg. naz. or. 4,86; 21. Pallad, hist. Laus. c. 136. Chron. pasch. 546,4 f. Pauly I 626. RAC I 861. LThK 1st ed. I 706. Lecky II 159. Lippl XV f. Geffcken, Der Ausgang 119 f. Schuitze, Geschichte I 137 f. Bidez, Philostorgios III f. Stein, Vom römischen 236 f, 255 f, 270 f. Seel 175 f. V. Campenhausen, Griechische Kirchenväter 80 f. Dannenbauer, Entstehung I 76. Lacarrière 150 f. Jacob, Aufstände 152. Camelot, Athanasios 977. Poppe 50.

Kriminalgeschichte, 50

Note of the Editor:

The city Antioch, ‘the cradle of Christianity’ was a melting-pot town that played a central role in the emergence of both Hellenistic Judaism and early Christianity. Evropa Soberana mentions that Luke the Evangelist was from Antioch, and when writing about St. Ignatius of Antioch, a subversive ideologue thrown to the lions by the Romans, Soberana adds: ‘It is interesting to pay attention to the names of the preachers since they always come from the mongrelised areas: eastern and Judaised’.

Left, one of the maps that appear in Soberana’s PDF (Caption: ‘The extension of Christianity around the year 100. Note that the areas of Christian preaching coincide with the densest Jewish settlement areas’). Also remember that, right after Julian was assassinated, a Christian emperor ordered the burning of the Antioch library that had been founded by Julian: a library that presumably contained documents showing the true origins of Christianity.

Below, an abridged translation from the first volume of Karlheinz Deschner’s Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums (Criminal History of Christianity):

______ 卐 ______

Antioch

For a long time the divisions had split the great patriarchal seat of Antioch. The current Turkish Antakya (28,000 inhabitants, including 4,000 Christians) does not reveal what it once was: the capital of Syria, with perhaps 800,000 inhabitants, the third largest city in the Roman Empire—after Rome and Alexandria—, the ‘metropolis and eye’ of the Christian East.

Located not far from the mouth of the Orontes in the Mediterranean, built majestically by the ostentatious Syrian kings, famous for its luxurious temples, churches, arcaded streets, the imperial palace, theatres, baths and the stadium, an important centre of military power, Antioch played a great role in the history of the new religion from the beginning.

It was the city in which the Christians received their name from the pagans; the city in which Paul preached and already entered into conflict with Peter; where Ignatius stirred the spirits, and where the theological school founded by Lucian, the martyr, taught his teachings, representing the ‘left wing’ in the Christological conflict, and marked the history of the Church of that century, although most of the members of the school (even John Chrysostom) were accused of heresy throughout their life or part of it, especially Arius.

Antioch was a place of celebration of numerous synods, especially Arian synods, and more than thirty councils of the old Church. It was here where Julian was residing in the years 362-363 writing his Against the Galileans; where John Chrysostom ‘saw the light of the world’. Antioch became one of the main bastions of the expansion of Christianity, ‘the head of the Church of the East’ (Basil) and seat of a patriarch who in the 4th century ruled the political dioceses of the East: fifteen ecclesiastical provinces with more than two hundred bishoprics.

Antioch was full of intrigue and turmoil, especially since the Arians had deposed the patriarch Eustochius, one of the most passionate apostles of the Nicene doctrine, for ‘heresy’ because of his immorality and his rebellion against Emperor Constantine, who banished him until his death.

However, at the time of the Meletian schism, which lasted fifty-five years, from 360 to 415, there were three suitors who fought among themselves and who tore at their disputes both the Eastern and the Western Church: Paulinians (fundamentalists) followers of the doctrine of Nicaea, semi-Arians and Arians.

Published in: on February 15, 2018 at 1:04 pm  Comments Off on Kriminalgeschichte, 50  

Kriminalgeschichte, 49

Below, an abridged translation from the first volume of Karlheinz Deschner’s Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums (Criminal History of Christianity). For a single online book that explains the importance of the subject of the destruction of the Greco-Roman world by Judeo-Christians, see here. In a nutshell, any white person who worships the god of the Jews is, ultimately, ethno-suicidal.


The ‘battlefield’ of Alexandria

The departure of Athanasius in June from Trier, the city of the West that had received him triumphantly and had treated him in an extraordinary way, was the first act of the government of Constantine II.

During the long trip back, the repatriated Athanasius took the opportunity to establish peace in his own way in Asia Minor and Syria, that is, helping Catholics to regain power. For that reason, after his campaign, ‘anti-bishops’, discord and new splits appeared everywhere. ‘Where there were anti-bishops there were regular riots and street fights, after which the pavement was covered with hundreds of corpses’ (Seeck).

When the remaining exiles returned to their homeland, orthodoxy flourished everywhere.

In the first place, the churches stained by the ‘heretics’ were thoroughly cleaned, although not always with sea water, as the Donatists did. These Catholic bishops practiced more drastic customs. In Gaza, the supreme pastor Asclepius had the ‘desecrated’ altar destroyed. In Akira, Bishop Marcellus tore from his adversaries their priestly garments, hung the ‘debased’ hosts around their necks and threw them out of the church. In Hadrianopolis, Bishop Lucius fed the dogs with the Eucharistic bread and, later, when they returned, he denied communion to the eastern participants of the Synod of Serdica, provoking even the population of the city against him.

The first official act, so to speak, of the repatriated Athanasius at the end of November of the year 337 was to interrupt the supply of grain (destined by the emperor to feed the poor, all the supporters of his opponent) to appease with the surplus the new members of his Praetorian guard.

In mid-March of 339 Athanasius fled to Rome with a criminal complaint on his back, addressed to the three emperors and accusing him of new ‘murders’. (However, now he could not use the imperial courier as he used to do in his exile and travels; he travelled by sea.) His people burned the church of Dionysus, the second ‘divine temple’ in terms of Alexandria’s size, so that he could escape at least from the profanation.

While with the help of the State, Bishop Gregory exercised a strict command, Athanasius, with other deposed Church princes, settled in Rome at the side of Bishop Julius I who, with almost the entire West, favoured the Nicene Council. For the first time in the history of the Church, prelates excommunicated by oriental synods obtain their rehabilitation in a Western episcopal tribunal. The only ones we know with certainty are Athanasius and Marcellus of Akira, the profaner of clerics and hosts mentioned above.

After demonstrating his ‘orthodoxy’ Julius I admitted them, along with the remaining fugitives, into the fellowship of his church. And it is here, in Rome and in the West, that Athanasius acquires a decisive importance for his politics of power; where he works towards ‘a schism of the two halves of the Empire’ (Gentz), which is embodied in the year 343 in the Synod of Serdica.

The Arians, furious at the intrusion of Rome, ‘surprised to a great degree’, as stated in the manifesto they presented in Serdica, excommunicate Bishop Julius I: ‘the author and ringleader of evil’. And while Athanasius incites the spirits and serves for his ’cause’ in one of the halves of the Empire against the other, so that the struggle for the power of this Alexandrian bishop becomes the struggle for power in Rome, religiosity reaches culminating peaks in the East.

Kriminalgeschichte, 48

Below, abridged translation from the first
volume of Karlheinz Deschner’s Kriminalgeschichte
des Christentums
(Criminal History of Christianity)

 
Other defamations of Athanasius, forgeries and the death of Arius

As he did to the emperor, Athanasius, of course, also attacked and defamed Arius. He constantly talks about Arius’ ‘delirium’, his ‘aberration’, his ‘deplorable and atheist speeches’, his ‘sour attitudes overflowing with atheism’. Arius is ‘the liar’, ‘the impious’, the precursor of the ‘Antichrist’. And likewise he rages against all the other ‘philandering of the Arian nonsense’, the ‘malicious’, the ‘quarrelsome’, the ‘enemies of Christ’, ‘the ungodly who have fallen into thoughtlessness’, ‘in the trap of the devil’.

However, Athanasius also reviled mercilessly, labelling them as ‘Arians’, all his personal adversaries and even, what is historically false, all the Antiochene theology. The one who opposes him he ‘declares without mercy, in a tone of utmost indignation, as a notorious heretic’ (Domes). The holy father of the Church, who boasted saying ‘we are Christians and we know how to appreciate the message of joy of the Redeemer’, says about Christians of different faith: ‘They are the vomit and the stool of the heretics’; he harasses by saying ‘his doctrine induces vomiting’, that they ‘carry it in their pocket like filth and they spit it like a serpent his poison’. The Arians even overcome ‘the betrayal of the Jews with their defamation of Christ’.

Nothing worse can be said. We already know this zeal and this Christian rage against any other faith, which have remained throughout the ages. The fact that Athanasius not only lacks scruples but possibly even believes much of what he preaches, only makes things worse: more dangerous as he encourages bigotry, intolerance, obstinacy and vanity of those who do not doubt never of themselves, perhaps not even of their cause, of their ‘right’.

The scandalous election of the saint led to the establishment of an anti-bishop and in many places to such street riots that the Emperor Constantine, in the year 332, complained in writing to the Catholics of Alexandria, impressed by the painful spectacle of the children of God, saying that they were not one iota better than the pagans.

Athanasius continued with ‘his own policy of pacification’ (Voelkl), beatings, imprisonments and expulsions of the Meletians (recently discovered papyrus epistles show that these accusations are justified). John Arcaph, the successor of Meletius, even claimed that, by order of Athanasius, he had bound Bishop Arsenius to a pillar and had him been burned alive. The saint had to answer for it before the court and in two synods. With the emperor he was acquitted but he did not appear before a synod summoned in the spring of the year 334 in Caesarea, Palestine.

In Constantinople, in the year 336, immediately after being readmitted into the Church, Arius died suddenly and mysteriously on the street, apparently when he was going to take communion, or perhaps on the way back. For the Catholics it was a divine punishment, for the Arians a murder. In a story full of details, Athanasius explains twenty years later that Arius had expired in response to the prayers of the local bishop: that he burst in public toilets and that he disappeared in the dung: an ‘odious legend’ (Kühner), a ‘fallacious story’ (Kraft) ‘which since then remains rooted in popular controversy, but which is revealed to the critical reader as the report of a death by poisoning’ (Lietzmann).[1]

Whoever in this way literally throws an enemy into the mud is capable of everything, not only as a politician of the Church but also as a religious writer. Athanasius did not just adorn his Vita Antonii (Saint Anthony or Antony was a monk who played an important role in the conversion of Augustine; was the archetype of the lives of Greek and Latin saints, and for centuries inspired the monastic life of the East and the West) with increasingly crazy miracles, but he also falsified documents in the worst of styles, so to speak.

In a letter written by Athanasius, after the death of Constantine and written in Constantine’s name, Athanasius wanted to see all those who kept even a writ of Arius, without appeal or clemency, condemned to death.

 
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[1] Note of the Ed.: In his Historia Ecclesiastica, chapter XXXVIII, ‘The Death of Arius’, Socrates of Constantinople writes: ‘Soon after a faintness came over him, and together with the evacuations his bowels protruded, followed by a copious haemorrhage, and the descent of the smaller intestines: moreover portions of his spleen and liver were brought off in the effusion of blood, so that he almost immediately died. The scene of this catastrophe still is shown at Constantinople, as I have said, behind the shambles in the colonnade: and by persons going by pointing the finger at the place, there is a perpetual remembrance preserved of this extraordinary kind of death’.

Published in: on December 23, 2017 at 11:34 am  Comments Off on Kriminalgeschichte, 48  

Kriminalgeschichte, 46

The Council of Nicaea, with Arius depicted
as defeated by the council, lying under
the feet of Emperor Constantine.

______ 卐 ______

Below, abridged translation from the first
volume of Karlheinz Deschner’s Kriminalgeschichte
des Christentums
(Criminal History of Christianity)

 
The Council of Nicaea and the profession of ‘Constantinian’ faith

Constantine had recommended the place, Nicaea, for the bonanza of its climate and had promised a pleasant stay. He was the one who convened the council, not the ‘Pope’. He also opened it on May 20 and held the presidency. The emperor paid the expenses of the participants, on whose number the data oscillate between 220 and 318 (for the 318 children of Abraham!). Silvestre, the supreme pastor of Rome, missed the meeting.

The emperor presented himself before the bishops ‘like an angel of God descending from heaven, resplendent in his bright garments, dazzling with light, with the fiery glow of purple and adorned with the clear gleam of gold and costly precious stones’ (Eusebius). The lords of the clergy themselves were guarded by guards and halberdiers ‘with sharp drawn swords’.

By decree of the sovereign they were ‘offered every day an opulent maintenance’. According to Eusebius, at a banquet ‘some sat at the table on the same cushions as the emperor, while others did on both sides. It could easily have been thought or imagined that it was an image of the kingdom of Christ, which was only a dream and not a reality’. As far as the dogmatic aspects are concerned—no recordings were made—, the great majority of these servants of God showed little or no interest, something that the host did not care about.

Although Constantine may not have led the sessions—a problem that has been much discussed—he did determine its course and make the decisions. For this he made sure to have the majority, and even imposed the decision formula. The formula was the somewhat changeable concept (which means the same, identical, but also similar, of the Greek homos) of the homousios of the homousia: the equality of the natures of the ‘Father’ and of the ‘Son’: ‘a sign of antagonism in front of science, which thought about the paths of Origen’ (Gentz).

In the Bible, not a single mention is made about it. That slogan—which, notoriously the emperor himself had formulated—had been opposed to the beliefs of the majority of the Eastern episcopate, even though it stemmed from Gnostic theology. The Monarchians had also used it, other ‘heretics’ (anti-Trinitarians). However, the young Athanasius, who accompanied Bishop Alexander as a deacon, ‘had not used it in his first writings as a motto of his theology’ (Schneemelcher) and ‘it took him 25 years to take a liking’ (Kraft). Although already in the council ‘he pronounced against Arianism’ and did not put it in writing until a quarter of century later.

No reasons were given nor was explained in more detail that decision of faith. The emperor, who was undeniably interested in unity and who considered the dispute of the clergy only as an intransigence, forbade any theological discussion and simply demanded compliance with the formula.

The ‘Holy Fathers’ (Athanasius), whose presence presumably gave the dictator a happiness ‘that exceeded any other’ and whom for a quarter of a year he honoured and covered them with honours, obeyed. And today, millions of Christians continue to believe in the fides Nicaena, the faith confession of Nicaea—which should be better called, according to Johannes Haller, the faith of Constantine: the work of a layman who was not even baptized. ‘We believe in one God, the almighty Father… and in one Lord, Jesus Christ… true God of the true God, begotten, not created, of the same nature (homousios) as the Father…’

In the West, the Nicaea confession of faith was still barely known a few decades later and in orthodox circles it was the subject of discussion. Even the father of the Church, Hilarius, initially opposed that baptismal faith; although he later returned to it. However, the holy bishop Zeno of Verona, a passionate enemy of the infidels and the Arians, mocked a creed that worked with formulas. At the end of the 4th century, in the sermons of Gaudentius of Brescia or Maximus of Turin, it is still mentioned ‘Nicaea at no time’ (Sieben, Jesuit).

Even Luther, in 1521, admits to hating ‘the word homousios’ although in 1539, in his work On the Councils and the Church he accepts it. Goethe is right when he affirms that ‘the dogma of the divinity of Christ decreed by the Council of Nicaea was very useful, even a necessity, for despotism’.

The behavior of Constantine was not in any way an isolated event. Since then, the emperors, and not the popes, were the ones who made the decisions about the Church. Throughout the 4th century the bishops of Rome did not play any decisive role in the synods nor were they determining authorities. From Constantine, the ‘imperial synodal power’ prevailed.

The confession of faith of the Arians, which contrasted the homoiusios (of a similar nature) to the homousios, was snatched from the speaker’s hands, in Nicaea, shattering the document before he had finished reading it. ‘At once it was rejected by all and branded as erroneous and false; there was a great tumult’ (Theodoret). In the sacred meetings, speaking through the mouth of Eusebius, a participant in them, there reigned ‘everywhere bitter disputes’, as was often the case in councils.

The emperor threw directly into the fire, without even reading them, the writings of complaints and quarrels of the bishops. All those who shared ‘of good will the best opinion’ received ‘his highest praises; on the contrary, he rejected the undisciplined with horror’.

Arius was again condemned.

Published in: on December 9, 2017 at 5:28 pm  Comments Off on Kriminalgeschichte, 46