The Story of Philosophy, 2

On the uses of philosophy

There is a pleasure in philosophy, and a lure even in the mirages of metaphysics, which every student feels until the coarse necessities of physical existence drag him from the heights of thought into the mart of economic strife and gain.

Some ungentle reader will check us here by informing us that philosophy is as useless as chess, as obscure as ignorance, and as stagnant as content. “There is nothing so absurd,” said Cicero, “but that it may be found in the books of the philosophers.” Doubtless some philosophers have had all sorts of wisdom except common sense; and many a philosophic flight has been due to the elevating power of thin air. Let us resolve, on this voyage of ours, to put in only at the ports of light, to keep out of the muddy streams of metaphysics and the “many-sounding seas” of theological dispute.

But is philosophy stagnant? Science seems always to advance, while philosophy seems always to lose ground. Yet this is only because philosophy accepts the hard and hazardous task of dealing with problems not yet open to the methods of science—problems like good and evil, beauty and ugliness, order and freedom, life and death; so soon as a field of inquiry yields knowledge susceptible of exact formulation it is called science. Every science begins as philosophy and ends as art; it arises in hypothesis and flows into achievement.

Philosophy is a hypothetical interpretation of the unknown (as in metaphysics), or of the inexactly known (as in ethics or political philosophy); it is the front trench in the siege of truth. Science is the captured territory; and behind it are those secure regions in which knowledge and art build our imperfect and marvelous world. Philosophy seems to stand still, perplexed; but only because she leaves the fruits of victory to her daughters the sciences, and herself passes on, divinely discontent, to the uncertain and unexplored.

So let us listen to these men, ready to forgive them their passing errors, and eager to learn the lessons which they are so eager to teach, “Do you then be reasonable,” said old Socrates to Crito, “and do not mind whether the teachers of philosophy are good or bad, but think only of Philosophy herself. Try to examine her well and truly; and if she be evil, seek to turn away all men from her; but if she be what I believe she is, then follow her and serve her, and be of good cheer.”
 

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Editor’s comment:

All this sounds very nice. I will never have a command of the English language as Durant had it. But I had to celebrate more than fifty springs to begin to understand things I did not see when, as a teenager, I wanted to pursue a philosophy course. Now I see things that not only an adolescent is incapable of seeing on his own, but that even when doing a philosophy career the ‘mature’ academic usually doesn’t see.

With elementary knowledge of the central tragedy of the West—the takeover by the Judeo-Christians that destroyed the classical world—, Durant’s exposition seems ignorant. Although he does not devote whole chapters to the scholasticism that he so despises, he does not seem to notice, as Ferdinand Bardamu realised in an entry reproduced this month, that the ‘secular’ liberals, socialists and utopians were influenced by the Christian ethic in an extraordinary way.

But long before I read Bardamu I was extremely irritated by the philosophy of the back doors of Kant and Descartes (and I don’t forget the chapter on ‘The New Understanding of God’ in Does God Exist? by Hans Küng and in his erudite study on Hegel). Descartes alleged that he began his philosophical system in tabula rasa but, as soon as he reached the conclusions he wanted, he immediately went to the church to thank Providence. The self-deception not only of Kant and Descartes but of other modern philosophers is truly overwhelming: everything opposite to the ‘Know Thyself’ that was recorded in the Oracle of Delphi before the damned Christians destroyed it.

Now I see from another point of view what in the academy is called philosophy. The transition from Christianity to an authentic secularism is so traumatic that the so-called modern philosophers were stuck in a sort of chess for the sophisticate: epistemologies and metaphysics, instead of using their minds to culminate the apostatising process from Christianity.

Only Nietzsche started to succeed from the viewpoint of this new understanding of philosophy. Keep in mind that not even the vast majority of secular white nationalists have apostatised altogether, as seen in the fact that they continue to preach love for the Jews, whom they want to deport to Israel. Compare such love with the hatred the Jews feel for the Aryans—no ethnic state for them until they become extinct—and we will see how ‘Neo-Christians’ are still those atheists among contemporary racists. The love that these ‘racists’ feel for the Jews and other races is something that the Greeks and Romans of the ancient world would not have understood. Comparing it to chess again, those who have the white pieces but hold Semitic malware in their minds and ‘love their enemies’, the coloured pieces, are doomed to lose the battle.

In the previous entry about Durant’s book I said that philosophy did not exist. I exaggerated and would like to correct myself. We can rescue the term philosophy as long as we apply it to the thinkers of the Greco-Roman world. There has not been, nor will there be again, philosophy in the West until the day when all the churches that have installed Semitic malware on the Aryan psyche have been brought down by a triumphant Fourth Reich.

As I said a couple of days ago, the message on this site is the very opposite of what Andrew Fraser recently wrote in The Occidental Observer.

Why Europeans must reject Christianity, 21

by Ferdinand Bardamu

 
A Europe without Christianity?

The world of classical antiquity shone as a lamp in the dark, filled with a youthful vigor that ensured its institutions and ideas would endure long after Greece and Rome ceased to exist as viable political entities. Science and reason were then snuffed out by the darkness and imbecility that followed in the wake of Christianity. Libraries were destroyed; art treasures were smashed; building in non-perishable materials almost vanished from memory; personal hygiene disappeared; ignorance was considered a virtue; chaos ensued. This was the triumph of Christianity, a syphilis of the mind that nearly wiped out Western civilization. Although Christian power and influence were shattered long ago by the rediscovery of science and reason, a resurgent Christianity now dominates the West in the form of liberal egalitarianism and cultural Marxism. These philosophies serve as the ideological basis of endless mass Third World immigration and other multiculturalist policies. This neo-Christianity has been imposed on the West by totalitarian liberal-leftist governments.

Understanding Christianity through the prism of group evolutionary strategy can shed light on the significant threat the religion poses to Europeans. As a seminal concept originally formulated by Prof. Kevin MacDonald, it was used with devastating effect in his analysis of 20th century Jewish intellectual and political movements. In a world characterized by in-group ethno-racial preference, absence of a group evolutionary strategy allowing populations at the species and sub-species level to survive and replicate is highly maladaptive.

A group evolutionary strategy is defined as an “experiment in living.” This refers to the establishment of culturally mediated processes or ideological structures that allow humans to exercise control over natural selection at the group level. The basic characteristics of Jewish evolutionary group strategy are:

1.) the rejection of both genetic and cultural assimilation into neighboring populations. Jews in Europe and the Middle East segregated themselves from gentiles by fashioning a distinct identity for themselves. This was accomplished through enforcement of strict endogamy and residential segregation. The genetic relatedness between Jewish groups, such as the Sephardi and Ashkenazi, is higher than between Jews and European populations because of this age-old resistance to assimilation; 2.) successful economic and reproductive competition that has driven Europeans from certain sectors of their own societies (such as finance); 3.) high ethnocentrism; 4.) within-group altruism favoring Jews at the expense of outgroup members, and; 5.) the institutionalization of eugenic practices that selected for high intelligence and conscientiousness in Jewish populations.

In contrast, Christianity undermines group survival by suppressing natural ethnocentric tendencies and maximizing the spread of dysgenic traits. Christianity provides no effective barrier to the cultural and genetic assimilation of Europeans by surrounding non-white populations; for example, during the Spanish and Portuguese colonization of the Americas in the 16th and 17th centuries, the Roman Catholic Church aggressively promoted miscegenation among the conquistadores. Ecclesiastical officials encouraged the European colonists to marry and interbreed with their native Indian and African concubines. This resulted in large-scale demographic genocide, which replaced European genetic homogeneity with mestizaje.

That Christianity is a non-ethnocentric ideology based on moral universalism is another serious problem with the religion. Europeans will always champion the interests of hostile out-groups at the expense of fellow Europeans in the name of Christian love and brotherhood. Christianity also opposes the high aggressiveness directed towards outgroup members; instead, believers are expected to practice nonviolence and compassion in the face of demographic replacement. High aggressiveness is a defining feature of Jewish group evolutionary strategy. It has allowed Jews to outcompete Europeans in their own societies.

Lastly, Christianity is militantly anti-eugenic, which is why it allows weaklings to survive and reproduce. This has decreased average IQ and the prevalence of other beneficial traits in European societies. In contrast, Jewish group evolutionary strategy institutionalizes eugenic practices that positively select for these traits, especially high intelligence. These eugenic practices have allowed Jews to exercise a degree of influence over Western societies vastly disproportionate to their actual numbers. Unlike Judaism for Jews, Christianity does not function as a group evolutionary strategy for Europeans, but as a recipe for racial and cultural suicide on a massive scale.

All aggressively pro-active measures against Christianity are certainly ethically justifiable in the face of Western decline and European racial extinction. In this essay, a more scientific approach is recommended. The European intellectual, before he devises any plan of action, must first acknowledge that no other biological process is as important for humans as evolution through natural selection. If he is to have any belief-system, it must be the civil religion of eugenics. Incorporating eugenics into the fabric of civic life would obviate coercion, making racial hygiene a matter of voluntary acquiescence. He would also do well to embrace the trifunctional worldview of the ancient Indo-Europeans.

For many thousands of years, trifunctional ideology served as an effective deterrent to the pathology of moral universalism. By envisaging the tripartite caste system as the fundamental pillar of a new order, the iron law of inequality is exalted as the highest law, the one most conducive to the achievement of social harmony. In this vision, the highest caste, equivalent to the brahman of Aryan-occupied India or the guardians of Plato’s Republic, would be absorbed in scientific and technological pursuits for their own sake. They would be entrusted with the material advancement of civilization. Their moral system, informed by the principles of evolutionary biology and eugenics, would be derived from the following axiom:

What is morally right is eugenic, i.e. improves the race biologically;

what is morally wrong is dysgenic, i.e. degrades the race biologically.

The second class of individuals will be bred for war and the third will consist of industrial and agricultural producers. These correspond to the Aryan kshatriyas and vaishyas or the “silver” and “bronze” castes of Plato’s Republic. Since these individuals do not possess the cognitive ability to participate in the highly abstract civil religion of the brahmans, they will worship their distant ancestors as the racial gods of a new religion founded on eugenic principles.

Christianity is an irrational superstition, which means that its influence will not be mitigated through logical argument. The child-like simplicity of Christian dogma is “a feature, not a bug.” Without an ability to appeal to the lowest common denominator, Christianity would not have spread as rapidly as it did during the 4th century. An enlightened European humanity, educated in the principles of Darwinian evolution and eugenics, cannot co-exist side by side with this ancient Semitic plague. The negative correlation that exists between Christian religiosity and intelligence simply reinforces this conclusion. Christianity is a seemingly intractable problem for primarily eugenic and biological reasons. Although a eugenic approach is clearly needed, other things must be done. If Christianity is to be abolished, all state-sanctioned programs of multicultural indoctrination must be completely eliminated along with it.

Through a program of rigorous eugenic breeding and media control, Europeans will be weaned from the neo-Christian ethical system they have imbibed since childhood. They will come to see eugenics as a necessary form of spiritual transcendence instead. Through a process of evolutionary development that is both culturally and technologically mediated, the lowest castes will embrace the brahman civil religion and see themselves as gods; the more evolved brahmans will move on to a more intensive contemplation of increasingly sophisticated mathematical and scientific abstractions. This progressive development of European racial consciousness will ensure the adoption of a successful group evolutionary strategy among Europeans.

The gradual phasing out of individuals with IQs below 100 will be carried out as an act of religious devotion among the lower castes. Aryan kshatriyas, the “knights of faith” of the new Aryan race religion, will impose a eugenic regime over the entire globe, repopulating the Third World with highly evolved super-organisms that will turn these former hellholes into terrestrial paradises. Wasting precious material resources caring for less evolved members of the human species will be a thing of the past. Humanity, whose scientific and technological progress stagnated during the late 20th century, will once again resume its upward journey toward the stars.

Eugenic breeding will force Europeans to realize the truth of Nietzsche’s core insight: Christianity, a transvaluation of all values driven by ressentiment, is a slave morality. It is the revolt of the underman against the aristocratic Indo-European virtues of strength and magnanimity, pride and nobility. By repudiating the syphilitic poison of Christianity, Europeans will become a race of value-creators, once again in charge of their own destinies as they affirm the beauty of life in all its fullness.

– End of Bardamu’s essay –

Why Europeans must reject Christianity, 15

by Ferdinand Bardamu

 
What has Christianity done for Europe?

Christianity is a violent, destructive, murderous cult. It is dangerous for the following reasons: 1.) the religion promotes the survival of the sick, the weak and the stupid at the expense of good racial hygiene. This drastically lowers population IQ and capacity for civilizational attainment, and; 2.) the cult relies on blind faith instead of rational persuasion, which has resulted in long periods of widespread chaos and bloodshed, especially during the Christianization of Europe. These dangers were even noticed by contemporary pagan writers, who immediately recognized the threat a triumphant Christianity would pose to the survival of Western culture.

Christianity never “civilized” or “domesticated” Europeans. On the contrary, Europeans were forced to endure a Neolithic existence when Christians were at the apogee of their power and influence. The church sent men of genius to monasteries or had them consecrated to the priesthood. This prevented them from passing on their genes, a significant dysgenic effect that lowered the collective European IQ. Only the pagan science and reason of classical antiquity could re-domesticate Europeans after 500 years of total intellectual darkness.

The church successfully defended Europe from invasion, argue some apologists, but nothing could be further from the truth. Charles Martel’s confiscation of church property to defend Europe from Moslem intruders was met with significant ecclesiastical opposition. If the church had succeeded in withholding the necessary funds, all Europe would have been reduced to a province of the Umayyad caliphate. Nevertheless, Martel was unable to pursue the Saracens across the Pyrenees and dislodge them from their Andalusian stronghold. The Moslems would continue their occupation of the Iberian Peninsula for 800 years, until their final expulsion by Ferdinand and Isabella in the late 15th century.

Southwestern France and Italy were periodically raided and sometimes controlled by Moslem invaders. The emirate of Sicily endured for over two centuries. Even after Norman conquest, a significant Moslem presence remained on the island. The Moslems of Sicily were finally expelled by the middle of the 13th century. The crusades to retake the Holy Land from the Saracens (1095-1291), a series of large-scale military operations under the joint leadership of papacy and feudal aristocracy, failed to achieve its primary objective. In 1204, Christian crusaders sacked Constantinople in an orgy of rape, pillage and murder. The crusaders caused so much damage that the Byzantines were unable to resist their Ottoman conquerors in 1453.

Christianity provided no adequate defense of Europe. The church only did enough to maintain herself as a viable institution. In the process, the church weakened Europe, making her ripe for conquest by the Umayyad and Ottoman caliphates.

Apologists tentatively acknowledge that although Christianity hindered scientific and technological progress, it still made “contributions” to fields as diverse as architecture and philosophy. On closer examination, these “contributions” are neither “Christian” nor worthy of being considered “contributions.” The great churches of the Middle Ages are frequently trotted out, but these have their origin in Roman building methods. The dome, the arch and the vault, the typical features of the medieval Romanesque style of architecture are all borrowed from the imperial Roman architecture of pre-Christian times. The basic architectural plan of most medieval churches is the Roman basilica, a public building reserved for official purposes. Even the Gothic style that supplanted Romanesque still employed architectural features of Roman origin. The ribbed vaulting that was typical of Gothic architecture was originally used in Vespasian’s Roman colosseum and by Hadrian in the construction of his Tibertine villa.

While acknowledging Romanesque as an “accomplishment,” the Christian religionist will conveniently ignore the almost total disappearance of Roman building methods from western Europe for almost 300 years. This was a direct result of the church’s active suppression of Western scientific and technical knowledge. From the completion of Theodoric’s mausoleum in Ravenna to the consecration of Aachen in 805, nothing of monumental significance was built in western Europe. During the intervening period, Europeans, like their Neolithic ancestors, had returned to the use of perishable materials for use in building.

Apologists for Christianity will mention Aquinas and scholasticism as the highpoints of not only medieval, but European intellectual development, even though Aquinas set European scientific and technological progress back by hundreds of years. Scholasticism was an object of ridicule and mockery during the Renaissance. Religionists mention the Christian “contribution” of the university, oblivious to the many institutions of higher learning that existed and even flourished in the ancient world. The first universities taught scholasticism, so they were the frontline in the Christian war against the pagan values of intellectual curiosity, love of progress for its own sake and empirical rationality.

In the Christian religious mind, science and technology are of Christian origin because the men doing the discovering and inventing during the Scientific Revolution were nominal Christians, like Galileo and Newton. This argument is just as absurd as arguing that the Greek invention of logic, rhetoric and mathematics were the result of Greek pagan theological beliefs because Aristotle and other ancient scientists and philosophers were pagans. No, these men were “Christians” because public avowals of atheism were dangerous in an age where even the most innocuous theological speculation could smear reputations and destroy careers. It is a glowing tribute to the courage and honesty of these men that they were able to abandon Christianity’s reliance on blind faith, often in the face of public censure, and consciously re-embrace the pagan epistemic values that produced the “Greek miracle” 2000 years before the Scientific Revolution.

Christian religionists claim that the New Testament, a collection of childish scribblings penned by semi-literate barbarians, is a great contribution to Western civilization. As has been pointed out for generations, even by other Christian religionists, the work is notorious for its use of bad grammar and unrefined literary style. Much of it was composed by Jews who were not even fluent in koine Greek. Overall, the New Testament is an inferior production compared to the meanest writers of Attic prose. Even St. Jerome, the translator of the Vulgate, expressed contempt for the crude, unsophisticated literary style of the Bible. He preferred the elegant Latin of Cicero instead.

What has Christianity contributed to Europe? The answer is nothing! No art, culture, architectural monuments, science or technology. Christianity was a massive waste of European intellectual and physical potential. Furthermore, Christianity almost destroyed Europe.

The church discarded over 99% of ancient literature, including works on science, mathematics, philosophy, engineering and architecture. This was the largest campaign of literary censorship and suppression in history, an act of cultural and physical genocide that nearly severed medieval Europe from the great achievements of classical antiquity.

This was cultural genocide because the church nearly wiped out an entire civilization and culture; this was physical genocide because the church’s deliberate eradication of secular knowledge placed millions of lives in danger, unnecessarily subjecting them to the ravages of disease, war, famine and poverty.

Far from being largely benign, the Christian church is a power-mad religious mafia. It bears sole responsibility for perpetrating the greatest crimes in history against Europeans. How long shall the Christian church escape punishment for this criminal wrongdoing? No other religion has caused as much suffering and as much damage to Europe as this spiritual syphilis known as Christianity.

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Why Europeans must reject Christianity, 13

by Ferdinand Bardamu

 
Christianity: bringer of violence and bloodshed

Word of mouth is notoriously ineffective as a means of spreading religious propaganda. This explains why Christianity’s growth remained largely unspectacular until the early 4th century. Of course, the primary reason for the Christianization of the empire was the conversion of Constantine to the new religion. The influence of Christianity in the empire was continuously reinforced and strengthened by the imperially coercive legislation of his successors. Christianization also sanctioned acts of religious violence against pagans, which contributed significantly to the religion’s spectacular growth in numbers and influence. Christianity unleashed a wave of violence that nearly drowned Europe in an ocean of blood. Without Constantine, and the religious violence of his successors, Christianity would have remained just another competing religion in the provincial backwaters of the empire, like Mithraism or the Eleusinian Mysteries.

The imperial policy of Christianization was further aided by the religion’s intrinsic advantages over rival philosophical and religious belief systems, making it more palatable to the ignorant masses. This facilitated its rapid spread across the empire until, by the reign of Theodosius in the late 4th century, most urban areas were predominantly Christian. These advantages included the egalitarian ethos of the Christian church. Unlike Mithraism, which was elitist, Christianity accepted all potential recruits, regardless of ethno-linguistic or socio-economic difference. The Christians of the first three centuries practiced a form of primitive communism. This attracted the chronically indigent, as well as freeloaders. Another advantage was the child-like simplicity of Christian doctrine.

The Crisis of the 3rd century, where rival claimants fought each other for the title of Caesar, was an internecine conflict lasting for decades. It produced widespread economic instability and civil unrest. This disruption of daily life encouraged men and women to seek refuge in the mystery religions, but also Christianity, which offered easy answers in an increasingly chaotic and ugly world. The Christian religion promised life everlasting to those who successfully endured tribulation on earth.

Passage of the edict of Milan in 313 meant that Christians would go from being a persecuted minority to a persecuting majority. Although persecution of religious dissidents had occurred before Constantine, such events were comparatively rare. Roman “persecution” of Christianity was mild and sporadic. It was not even religious in nature, but political; Christians refused to swear loyalty to the state by offering the pinch of incense to the emperor’s genius. Christians were not so much persecuted as they were subjected to Roman police action for disobeying the laws of the land. In contrast, Christian persecution of pagans and heretics was entirely motivated by religious hatred. It combined the authoritarian anti-pagan legislation of the emperors with the bigotry of the clergy and the violence of the Christian mob.

The first repressive laws against paganism were passed by Constantine. In 331, he issued an edict that legalized the seizure of temple property. This was used to enrich church coffers and adorn his city of Constantinople. He redirected municipal funds from the curiae to the imperial treasury. The curiae used these funds for the construction and renovation of temples, as well as for pagan banquets, processions and festivals. The redirection of municipal funds significantly diminished the influence of paganism in the public sphere. Constantine also showed preference for Christians when considering prospective candidates for government posts. For the first time in the empire’s history, conversion to Christianity was considered an attractive proposition.

Pagan temples and statuary were first vandalized and destroyed under Constantine. Christians believed that this first wave of iconoclasm was in fulfillment of scriptural command: “Ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves; . . . for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” (Exod. 34.13f). The earliest Christian iconoclasm included the partial destruction of a Cilician temple of Asklepios and the destruction of temples to Aphrodite in Phoenicia (ca. 326 AD).

Constantine’s sons, Constans and Constantius II, followed in their father’s footsteps. In 341, Constans issued an edict banning animal sacrifice. In 346, Constans and Constantius II passed a law ordering the closure of all temples. These emperors were egged on by the Christian fanatic Firmicus Maternus who, in an exhortation addressed to both emperors in 346, called for the “annihilation of idolatry and the destruction of profane temples.” The fact that pagans continued to occupy important posts in the imperial administration made it difficult to legislate the active destruction of temples, statuary and inscriptions without alienating a large segment of the empire’s population. Nevertheless, Constantine’s sons turned a blind eye to private acts of Christian vandalism and desecration.

After the death of Constantius II, Julian was made emperor in 361. Having succumbed to the influence of pagan tutors in his youth, he developed a deep hatred for the “Galilean madness.” Accession to the throne allowed him to announce his conversion to Hellenism without fear of retribution. Julian set about reversing the anti-pagan legislation first enacted by his uncle. He re-opened the temples, restored their funding and returned confiscated goods; he renovated temples that had been damaged by Christian vandals; he repealed the laws against sacrifice and barred Christians from teaching the classics. Julian’s revival of pagan religious practice was cut short in 363, when he was killed in battle against the Persian Sassanids.

His successor Jovian revoked Julian’s edicts and re-established Christianity as most favored religion in the empire. The emperors who came after Jovian were too occupied with barbarian invasion to be concerned with internal religious squabbles; it was more expedient to simply uphold the toleration imposed on pagans and Christians alike by the Edict of Milan. Anti-pagan conflict again came to the forefront with Gratian. In 382 he angered pagans by removing the altar of Victory from the Senate. In the same year, Gratian issued a decree that ended all subsidies to the pagan cults, including priesthoods such as the Vestal Virgins. He further alienated pagans by repudiating the insignia of the pontifex maximus.

In 389, Theodosius began his all-out war on the old Roman state religion by abolishing the pagan holidays. According to the emperor’s decrees, paganism was a form of “natural insanity and stubborn insolence” difficult to root out, despite the terrors of the law and threats of exile. This was followed by more repressive legislation in 391, which re-instated the ban on sacrifice, banned visitation of pagan sanctuaries and temples, ended imperial subsidies to the pagan cults, disbanded the Vestal Virgins and criminalized apostasy. He refused to return the altar of Victory to the Senate house, in defiance of pagan demands. Anyone caught performing animal sacrifice or haruspicy was to be arrested and put to death. In the same year, the Serapeum, a massive temple complex housing the Great Library of Alexandria, was destroyed by a mob of Christian fanatics. This act of Christian vandalism was a great psychological blow to the pagan establishment.

Pagans, dissatisfied with the imperially-sponsored cultural revolution that threatened to annihilate Rome’s ancestral traditions, rallied around the usurper Eugenius. He was declared emperor by the Frankish warlord Arbogast in 392. A nominal Christian, Eugenius was sympathetic to the plight of pagans in the empire and harbored a certain nostalgia for pre-Christian Rome. He restored the imperial subsidies to the pagan cults and returned the altar of Victory to the Senate. This angered Theodosius, emperor in the east. In 394, Theodosius invaded the west and defeated Eugenius at the battle of Frigidus in Slovenia. This ended the last serious pagan challenge to the establishment of Christianity as official religion of the empire.

Apologists for Christianity argue that imperial anti-pagan legislation was more rhetoric than reality; their enforcement would have been difficult in the absence of a modern police state apparatus. This objection is contradicted by archaeological and epigraphic evidence. First, based on stratigraphic analysis of urban temples, cult activity had virtually ceased by the year 400, after passage of the Theodosian decrees. Second, temple construction and renovation declined significantly under the Christian emperors. In Africa and Cyrenaica, temple construction and renovation inscriptions are far more common under the first Tetrarchy than the Constantinian dynasty, when pagans still constituted a significant majority of the empire’s citizens. By the end of the 4th century, the authoritarian legislation of the Christian emperors had seriously undermined the strength and vitality of the old polytheistic cults.

The emperors did not stop with the closure of pagan religious sites. In 435 AD, a triumphant Theodosius II passed an edict ordering the destruction of all pagan shrines and temples across the empire. He even decreed the death penalty for Christian magistrates who failed to enforce the edict. The Code Justinian, issued between 529 to 534, prescribes the death penalty for public observance of Hellenic rites and rituals; known pagans were to seek instruction in the Christian faith or risk property confiscation; their children were to be seized by officials of the state and forcibly converted to the Christian religion.

Imperially mandated closure of all urban temples resulted in the privatization of polytheistic worship. This further exacerbated the decline of the pagan religious cults because of the object-dependent nature of ritual practice, which could not be fully realized in the absence of statuary, processions, festivals, lavish banquets and monumental building. In urban areas, imperial legislation was clearly effective. This was ruthlessly enforced by professional Christians and zealous magistrates, who used the additional muscle of the Roman army to get their own way, especially when preaching and public example failed.

Pagan rites and rituals were still observed at rural sanctuaries and temples for some time after the closure of urban centers of worship. These remained off the beaten track, so to speak, and were harder to shut down.

Churchmen like the fiery John Chrysostom, cognizant of this fact, exhorted the rich landowning class of the east to convert the heathen on their country estates. Those who allowed pagan worship on their rural properties were just as guilty of violating imperial anti-pagan legislation as the pagans themselves. Itinerant Christian evangelists, like Martin of Tours, fanned out across the countryside, winning souls for Christ through a campaign of intimidation, harassment and violence. In the end, aggressive evangelism, privatization of pagan religious practice and social marginalization ensured the death of paganism in rural areas.

Christianization of the empire was complete by 600 AD, although it is unclear to what extent Christ was considered just another deity to be worshipped alongside the old pagan gods.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Why Europeans must reject Christianity, 6

by Ferdinand Bardamu

 
Christianity: bringer of ignorance

Christianity is dangerous because it elevates ignorance and stupidity over reason. In the gospel, Jesus encourages his followers to be like “sheep,” the stupidest and most docile of animals. Here, the ideal Christian is a character of low intelligence and little education. Jesus said that unless one becomes a child again one cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. In response to doubting Thomas, Jesus said: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” The apostle Paul echoed this point of view when he wrote “the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the eyes of god.” Through a program of religious indoctrination from cradle to grave, the church forced Europeans to accept these beliefs as so many divinely revealed truths from heaven. Widespread acceptance of these beliefs helped retard scientific and technological progress in Europe for over a thousand years.

The fathers of the church promoted “holy ignorance” as an ideal to be emulated. Tertullian is noted among patristic writers for his militant anti-intellectualism. Although one of the most prominent despisers of classical philosophy and science, he was by no means in the minority. His attitude is typical of ecclesiastical officials during the patristic and medieval periods. This long list of Christian bigots includes Tatian, a noted apologist who regarded all pagan scientific and philosophical achievement as worthless, even harmful to the Christian faithful. Clement of Alexandria, another prominent ante-Nicene writer, argued that education was not necessary for salvation. Origen donated his extensive collection of pagan literature because of the fundamental incompatibility between secular learning and Bible study. The 4th century Apostolic Constitutions, an early work of canon law considered authoritative in the east, commands the Christian believer to shun all pagan learning as “strange” and “diabolical.”

Basil of Caesarea advised the faithful: “Let us Christians prefer the simplicity of our faith to the demonstrations of human reason… For to spend much time on research about the essence of things would not serve the edification of the Church.” Ironically, Basil is considered an example of moderation by apologists for Christianity. He believed that the usefulness of pagan literature should depend on level of scriptural agreement, making philosophy and science a kind of second- or third-rate handmaiden of theology. Writings least in accord with the Bible, almost all secular philosophy and science, were to be consigned to the trash bin.

Athanasius of Alexandria scorned all secular wisdom as blasphemy against the crucified god. In his famous hagiography of St. Antony, the illiterate monk is portrayed as a wise man. Despite his illiteracy, Antony’s hermit-like existence is considered the “perfect pattern of anchoretic life.” Antony even asks visiting pagan philosophers to become just like him in his “wisdom,” even though he is ignorant of all worldly learning.

The homilies of John Chrysostom, a noted anti-intellectual of the 4th century, are filled with vile denunciations of philosophy and science. He even periodically exhorted the Christian faithful to empty their minds of all secular wisdom. John routinely spewed vitriol against the classical heritage, advocating its systematic eradication, but only to magnify the power and influence of the gospel in daily life. Preaching before an elite audience in Constantinople, John’s vision was of a radically pure and ascetic Christianity, one stripped of all pagan influence. Given his oratorical ability and considerable powers of invective, as well as high standing in the patristic canon, there can be no doubt that John’s great hatred of secular knowledge played an influential role in the church’s decision to censor and suppress the writings of classical antiquity.

John Cassian, the great spiritual guide of Latin Christendom, advised the monk to seek out the company of uneducated peasants for his own personal edification. The abbot Arsenius, a former imperial tutor, regarded his education in classical Greek and Latin as inferior to the “wisdom” of illiterate Egyptian monks. The 4th century Christian ascetic and theologian Evagrius Ponticus declared: “Blessed is the man who has attained infinite ignorance.” The 5th century Statuta Ecclesia Antiqua banned the clergy from reading pagan books, unless their anti-Christian and heretical opinions needed to be refuted. This was incorporated into the 12th century Decretum Gratiani, a source of canon law for the Roman church until 1918.

Although considered a text-based religion, Christian teachings were orally transmitted until Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press in 1440. Patristic and medieval Christianity viewed literacy in a negative light. Church tradition had always maintained that the first apostles lived in a state of “blessed ignorance.” In imitation of these men, Christians refused to teach their congregations how to read and write, especially during the first three centuries of the church’s existence.

The ante-Nicene church produced no translations of the bible for the indigenous populations of the provinces and frontiers, even though these populations were in regular contact with itinerant missionaries since the earliest days of primitive Christianity. The few patristic exhortations to Bible reading were aimed at a small minority of educated Christians. Centuries of theological controversy contributed to a view of Bible reading as a subversive undertaking. It was actively discouraged by the clergy, who ensured that the common people under their pastoral care would remain illiterate for generations. During the Middle Ages, church councils were convened to forbid the laity from having in their possession the Bible in Latin or any of the Romance languages. The penalty was burning at the stake for anyone caught translating the Bible into the vernacular.

Paideia suffered under the new ecclesiastical and Christian imperial bureaucracy. Officials of church and state had more important things to do then educate little children in the rudiments of Latin grammar and arithmetic. Illiteracy deepened and became more widespread under Christian influence. The anti-educational priorities of the church, increasing in virulence with the passage of time, discouraged more and more people from getting an education. This continued until literacy vanished from entire regions of post-Roman Europe. The Christian church’s deep-seated hostility to learning and scholarship, besides its positive estimation of ignorance and illiteracy, maintained western Europe at a prehistoric level of development for centuries.

The 4th century, which saw the triumph of Christianity, was a period of significant intellectual decline. There were no great figures in science, architecture or medicine. The 4th century could boast of no philosophers of the same caliber as Plotinus; there were no great writers or dramatists. Schools were closed, higher studies were abandoned, and the pagan libraries were sealed shut. The intellectual and artistic productions of the age were of little depth and substance. The all-pervasive Christian hostility to the life of the mind brought about this age of sterility.

Kriminalgeschichte, 56

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.

 
The Ambrosian policy: archetype for the Church to the present

The same as Athanasius, Ambrose (in his post of 374-397)—according to Augustine’s testimony, ‘the best and most renowned bishop of Milan’—was not so much a theologian as a politician of the Church: equally inflexible and intolerant, although not so direct; more versed and ductile and acquainted with power since birth. His methods, more than those of Athanasius, remain to date an example for ecclesiastical politics.[1]

The agents of the saint are among the highest officials of the Empire. He acts skilfully from the background and prefers to let be that the ‘community’ does things, which he fanaticised with so much virtuosity that even the military proclamations directed against it fail.

Son of the prefect of Gaul, Ambrose was born about 333 or 339 in Trier. Orphaned at an early age he grew up, with two brothers, under the tutelage of Roman aristocrats. Having studied rhetoric and law he was appointed, around 370, administrator (consularis Liguriae et Aemiliae) in Milan. On December 7, 374 he would be consecrated bishop, barely eight days after his baptism and without even having the Christian knowledge of an educated layman.

Milan (Mediolanum), founded by the Gauls and a remarkable knot of communications, especially with important roads that lead to the alpine passes, was in the 4th century the capital of Italy and increasingly the imperial residence. Valentinian II sought to stay there as long as possible; Gratian still more, and Theodosius I remained there from 388 to 391, and also after his victory over Eugene (394).

Roman columns in front of basilica di San Lorenzo
in what remains of Mediolanum, the ancient Milan.

Sometimes Bishop Ambrose saw the sovereigns daily. Since when Valentinian II was proclaimed Augustus (375) he was barely five years old, his tutor and half-brother Gratian had just turned sixteen and the Spanish Theodosius was at least a very determined Catholic, the illustrious disciple of Jesus could handle perfectly their majesties. Valentinian I died a few years after Ambrose’s inauguration. His son Gratian (375-383), of just sixteen years of age, succeeded him on the throne.

The emperor, blond, beautiful and athletic had no interest in politics. ‘I have never learned what it means to govern and be governed’ (Eunapius). He was a passionate runner, javelin thrower, fighter, rider, but what he liked most was killing animals. Neglecting the affairs of state, every day he killed countless of them, with an almost ‘supernatural’ ability, even lions, with a single arrow. In any case, he also prayed every day and was ‘pious and clean of hearing’, as Ambrose affirmed so that he would soon deliver biting hints: ‘His virtues would have been complete had he also learned the art of politics’ (Epit. de Caesaribus).[2]

However, this art was practiced by Ambrose for him. Not only did he personally guide the young sovereign, effectively since 378: he also influenced his government measures. At that time the sovereign had promulgated, by an edict, precisely tolerance towards all confessions, except a few extremist sects. However, Ambrose, who four years before was still unbaptized, hastened to write a statement, De fide ad Gratianum Augustum, which he quickly understood.

And as soon as Gratian himself arrived at the end of July 379 in Milan, neutral as he was from the point of view of religious policy, he annulled on August 3, after an interview with Ambrose, the edict of tolerance promulgated the year before. He decided then that only would be considered ‘Catholic’ what his father and he in numerous decrees had ordered eternal, but that ‘all heresies’ should ‘be muted for eternity’. He thus prohibited the religious services of the other confessions. Year after year, except for 380, he issued anti-heretic decrees, ordering the confiscation of meeting places, houses and churches; he dictated exiles and, as a fairly new means of religious oppression, repealed the right to make wills. He was also the first of the Christian emperors who got rid of the title of Pontifex Maximus (that the Roman monarchs used since Augustus), or rather, he refused to accept it, although the year is still the subject of discussions. The military under Sapor was ordered to ‘expel from religious facilities the Arian blasphemy as if they were wild animals and return them to the true shepherds and flocks of God’ (Theodoret). Tolerance towards paganism, which was common among his predecessors, also soon disappeared. In fact, his father still allowed the reparation of damaged temples, making the government pay the expenses. In 381, Gratian moved to northern Italy. In 382 he attacked the pagan cult of Rome, most probably advised by Ambrose; although sanitation of the State coffers may also have played an important role. He also persecuted the Marcionists and, like his father, the Manichaeans and the Donatists: whose communities in Rome had been dissolved without further ado, at the request of Pope Siricius (383-399), with state aid.[3]

Valentinian II (375-392), much younger still, had a remarkable influence on the saint. He habitually used him against the Senate of Rome, mostly pagan, and against the entire Council of the Crown. And the last Westerner on the throne of the East, the independent Theodosius (379-395), dictated in almost every year of his government laws against pagans or ‘heretics’. However, according to Father Stratmann, he was more tolerant than the bishop of the court, who encouraged him to take stricter measures on all sides against the pagans, the ‘heretics’, the Jews, and the extreme enemies of the Empire. The reason: ‘It is no longer our old life that we continue to live but the life of Christ, the life of maximum innocence, the life of divine simplicity, the life of all virtues’ (Ambrose).[4]

The way in which Ambrose lived the life of Christ, the life of maximum innocence, of divine simplicity and of all the virtues, manifests itself in multiple ways—for example, in his behaviour against the Goths. We will deal with them because the Goths played a very important role in the history of Europe, especially between the 5th and 6th centuries. The sources are better in this case than in the other tribes of eastern Germans, and richer is the historiography on them.[5]
 
_______________

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] August. conf. 5,13.

[2] Eunap. Excerpt. de Sent. 48. Auson. Grat. Act 64 f. Ammian. 27,6,15; 31,10,18 f. Soz. 7,25,11. Vict. Epit. de Caesaribus 47,5 f. Seeck, Untergang V 165. Dudden I 217 f.

[3] Ammian 30,9,5. Theodor. e.h. 4.24.2 f; 5.2; 5.21.3 f. Socr. 5.2; Cod. Theod. 13,1,11; 16.5.4 f. Cod. Just. 1,5,2. Soz. 7,1,3. Ambros. ep. 1 f; 7 f. Auson. Grat. Act. 14.63. Epistula Gratiani imperat. (CSEL 79.3 f). Zos. 4,36,5. Rauschen 47.49 f. RAC II 1228 f. Kraft, Kirchenväter Lexikon 27. Seeck, Regesten 252. The same, Untergang V 104 f, 137. Sesan 60 f. Stein, Vom römischen 304 f. Heering I 60 f. Dudden I 191 f. V. Campenhausen, Ambrosius 15, 36, 40 f. Alföldi, A Festival. According to this author, Gratian abandoned the title of Pontifex Maximus at the beginning of 379, p. 36. Kornemann, Römische Geschichte II 420. Ensslin, Die Religionspolitik 8 f. Lorenz 38. Diesner, Kirche und Staat 23. Maier, Verwandlung 53. Hornus 168 f. Widmann 59. Grasmück 131 f, 151 f. Lippold, Theodosius 16, 34 f. Kupisch I 91. Schneider, Liebesgebot 46. Aland, Von Jesus bis Justinian 224. Heinzberger 12, 227 Notes 37; here the corresponding bibliography. Thraede 95. Grant, Christen 177. – Chronology, as so often happens, is still subject to controversy. G. Gottlieb, who is not followed here, in his work of opposition to chair in Heidelberg fixed for the writing of the first part of ‘de fide’ not the 378 (or 379), that is, not as was done until the date immediately before (or shortly after) the battle of Adrianople, but a year later. Cf. G. Gottlieb, Ambrosius von Mailand und Kaiser Gratian, Zusammenfassung 83 f. G. discusses even any influence of Ambrose on Gratian’s legislation on matters of the Church and faith, 51 f, or at least explains that such influence ‘cannot be seen anywhere’ (87). Cf. in this regard also Gottlieb, Gratianus RAC VII 718 f, especially 723 f.

[4] Ambros. Über die Flucht vor der Welt 44. Heilmann, Texte II 396. Stein, Vom römischen 296 F. Stratmann III 76. V. Campenhausen, Ambrosius 166. Bloch 197. Aland, Von Jesus bis Justinian 225. Rubin I 27 speaks precisely of the ‘submission’ of Theodosius to Ambrose.

[5] Cf. recently Strzelczyck 1 f.