Julian, 65

At dawn on the first of December I left Milan for Gaul. I said farewell to Helena, who was to join me later at Vienne. We both behaved according to the special protocol the eunuchs have devised governing a Caesar’s farewell to his new wife as he goes to a beleaguered province. Then, accompanied by the newly arrived Oribasius, I went down to the courtyard of the palace to place myself at the head of my army.

Outside in the frosty air, some three hundred foot soldiers and a score of cavalry were drawn up. I took this to be my personal bodyguard. I was about to ask the whereabouts of the army of Gaul when I was joined by Eutherius. He was frowning. “I’ve just spoken to the Grand Chamberlain. There has been a last-minute change in plans. Your legions have been assigned to the Danube.”

I indicated the men in the courtyard. “Is this my army?”

“I am afraid so, Caesar.”

I have never in my life been so angry. Only the arrival of Constantius prevented me from saying the unsayable. I saluted the Emperor; gravely, he returned the salute. Then he mounted a black horse and I mounted a white one. His personal guard (twice the size of my “army”) fell into place behind him. My troops and household brought up the rear. Thus the Augustus and his Caesar launched the power of Rome against the barbarians. It was ludicrous.

The few citizens who were up and around at this hour cheered us dutifully. We made a particularly fine impression at the vegetable market which is just inside the city gate. The farm women waved their carrots and turnips at us, and thought us a brave sight.

Neither Constantius nor I spoke until we were out on the main road, the high Alps visible to us across the Lombard Plain. He had agreed to escort me as far as the two columns which stand on either side of the road midway between Lumello and Pavia. He had obviously decided this would give us sufficient time for a good talk. It did.

Constantius began with, “We have great confidence in Florentius, our praetorian prefect at Gaul.” This was an announcement; there was no invitation for me to comment.

Of course he has confidence in Florentius, I thought savagely, otherwise he would have had him murdered by now. But I said, “Yes, Augustus.” And waited. We rode a few more yards. Occasionally, our armoured legs touched, metal striking metal, and each would shrink instinctively from the other. The touch of another man has always disturbed me; the touch of my father’s murderer alarmed me.

We passed a number of carts containing poultry; they had pulled off the road at our approach. When the peasants saw the Emperor, they fell fiat on their bellies, as though blinded by the sight of that sacred figure. Constantius ignored them.

“We are fond of our sister Helena.” This was also launched upon the dry cool air in an oracular tone.

“She is dear to me, too, Augustus,” I replied. I was afraid he was going to lecture me on my marital duties, but he made no further mention of Helena.

Constantius was constructing a case. His occasional fiat sentences, suitable for carving in marble, were all part of an edifice created to contain me. I was to obey the praetorian prefect of Gaul, even though as Caesar I was his superior. I was to remember that Helena’s first loyalty was to her brother and ruler, not to her husbafid. So far, I understood him clearly.

“We have heard from your military instructor that you show promise.”

“I shall not fail you, Augustus. But it was my understanding that I was to go to Gaul with an army, not an escort.”

Constantius ignored this. “You have come to soldiering late. I hope you are able to learn what you will need to know.”

This was not optimistic, but not unnatural. There was no reason for anyone to suspect that a philosophy student should show any talent for war. Curiously enough, I had every confidence in myself because I knew that the gods would not desert me now they had raised me up. But my cousin had no way of knowing my feelings, or judging my capacity. He merely saw a young untried soldier about to go into battle against the fiercest fighters in the world.

“At all times remember that we are divine in the eyes of the people and sacred to heaven.”

I took the “we” to mean Constantius and myself, though he may have been merely reminding me of his own rank. “I shall remember, Augustus.” I always called him by his proper title, though he much preferred Lord, a title I despise and do not use for it means that one is the master of other men, rather than simply first among them.

“Control your generals.” Though he still sounded as if he were repeating maxims, I could tell that now he was on the verge of actual advice, if not conversation. “No officer should be admitted to senatorial rank. All officers must be under strict civilian control. Any governor of any province outranks any general sent to him. No officer must be allowed to take part in civil affairs. Our praetorian prefects are set over all military and civil officials. That is why the administration of the empire runs as smoothly as it does.”

Needless to say, I did not remark that the collapse of Gaul was hardly a sign of smooth administration. But in principle Constantius’s advice was good and I tend still to follow it. There is no denying that he had a gift for administration.

“In matters of taxes, take whatever is owing us. Show no mercy to the cities and villages which are delinquent in meeting payments. It is their nature to complain. Assume that your tax gatherers are honest unless proved otherwise. They are never honest, but no one has yet found a way to correct their abuses. As long as they return to you the larger part of what they collect, be satisfied.”

I was later to revise the system of taxation in Gaul, disproving everything he said. But all that in its proper place.

“Control the generals.” He repeated this suddenly as if he’d forgotten he had already said it to me. Then he turned and looked at me for the first time that day. It was startling. No longer was he the sun god on his charger. This was my cousin, my enemy, my lord, source of my greatness and potential source of my death. “You must know what I mean,” he said, sounding like a man, not an oracle. “You have seen the state disrupted. Our high place threatened. Provinces wrecked. Cities destroyed. Armies wasted. The barbarians seizing our lands, because we were too busy fighting one another to protect ourselves from the true enemy. Well, Caesar, remember this: allow no general sufficient power to raise an army against you. You have seen what I have had to suffer. Usurper after usurper has wasted our power. Be on your guard.”

“I will, Augustus.”

Then he said, very slowly, his eyes on mine, “As I am on my guard.” He looked away when he saw that his meaning was quite clear. Then he added for good measure, “We have never yet lost so much as a foot of earth to any usurper, nor will we ever.”

“As long as I live, Augustus, you shall have at least one arm to fight for you.”

We rode until midday. Then at the two columns we stopped. It was a fine brisk noon and, despite the chill in the air, the sun was hot and we were all sweating under our armour. A halt was ordered.

Constantius and I dismounted and he motioned for me to accompany him into a hard stubbled field. Except for our troops, no one was in sight. In every country peasants vanish when they see armed men coming: all soldiers are the enemy. I wish one could change that.

Constantius walked ahead of me towards a small ruined shrine to Hermes which stood at the edge of the field (a favourable omen, Hermes has always watched over me). Behind us, our men watered horses, rearranged armour, swore and chattered, pleased by the good weather. Just as Constantius entered the shrine, I broke a dead flower off its stalk. Then I followed him inside the shrine, which smelled of human excrement. Constantius was urinating on the floor. Even in this, he was grave and majestic.

“It is a pity,” I heard myself saying, aware as I spoke that I was breaking protocol, “what has happened to these old temples.”

“A pity? They should all be torn down.” He rearranged his clothes. “I hate the sight of them.”

“Of course,” I muttered.

“I shall leave you here,” he said. We stood facing one another. Though I deliberately stooped, I could not help but look down on him. He edged away from me, instinctively searching for higher ground.

“Whatever you need, you shall have. Call on me. Also, depend on our praetorian prefect. He represents us. You will find the legions of Vienne alert, ready for a spring campaign. So prepare yourself.”

He handed me a thick document. “Instructions. To be read at your leisure.” He paused. Then he remembered something. “The Empress has made you a gift. It is with your baggage. A library, I believe.”

I was effusive in my gratitude. I said words but Constantius did not listen. He moved to the door. He paused; he turned; he tried to speak to me. I blushed. I wanted to reach out and take his hand and tell him not to fear me, but I did not dare. Neither of us was ever able to face the other.

When Constantius finally spoke, his voice broke with tension. “If this should come to you…” Awkwardly he gestured at himself to indicate the principate of the world. “Remember…” Then his voice stopped as if a strangler’s thumb had blocked the windpipe. He could not go on. Words had failed him again, and me.

I have often wondered what it was he meant to say; what it was I should remember. That life is short? Dominion bitter? No. Constantius was not a profound man. I doubt if he had been about to offer me any startling insight. But as I think back on that scene in the ruined shrine (and I think of it often, I even dream of it), I suspect that all he meant to say was, “Remember me.” If that is what you meant, cousin, then I have, in every sense, remembered you.

Constantius left the shrine. As soon as his back was to me, I placed the withered flower on the profaned floor and whispered a quick prayer to Hermes. Then I followed the Emperor across the field to the road.

Once mounted, we exchanged formal farewells, and Constantius rode back to Milan, the dragon banner streaming in the cool wind before him. We never saw one another again.

Robert Morgan’s comment

This idea, pervasive on the right, that white people can’t defend themselves is a pet peeve of mine. Granted, there would be penalties for doing so, but they could be a race of Brenton Tarrants if they wanted to be. The truth is, nobody is responsible for white compliance with the culture of political correctness but white people. White people invented this culture of totalitarian control and worship of the Other. They enforce it and inflict it on themselves. The idolization of the Jew Jesus is the prototype for 2000 years of it. For what was and is Christianity but worship of the racial Other? During the Christian takeover of Western civilization almost every vestige of what preceded was intentionally destroyed by the fanatic devotees of the crucified rabbi. Temples to the gods were demolished, pagan philosophers were tortured and murdered, whole libraries consigned to flames, and—the ultimate in “de-platforming”—even the possession of pagan literature was declared a capital offense.

That these totalitarian trends again visible in the modern world continue and arguably even originate from America, a country founded by Christian religious fanatics, does not surprise me, nor should it surprise anyone. Americans have their own history of worship of the racial Other. They fought a Civil War over it, the point of which was to elevate the negro to a status equal to themselves, as shown by the subsequent passage of amendments to the Constitution granting him citizenship and the vote. A big part of this was again driven by religious mania, notably white and Christian.

So, “Whites do not enjoy these same privileges, …”? I don’t buy it. They have all the privileges they allow themselves. The only thing keeping them in check is their own unwillingness to act in their own defense. Throwing off two thousand years of religious nuttery and prostration before the racial Other isn’t going to be easy. It will take a cultural revolution, and can’t happen without lots of bloodshed and tears. But possible? Yes.

Christianity’s Criminal History, 116

The non-white Honorius:
one of the children-emperors.

Editors’ note: To contextualise this translation of a 5-page section, ‘Honorius, Stilicho, Alaric and the first incursions of Germanic Christians’ taken from Karlheinz Deschner’s encyclopaedic history of the Church in 10-volumes, Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums, read the abridged translation of Volume I.
 

______ 卐 ______

 
At first, in the name of the western emperor Honorius (395-423), crowned when his father Theodosius was already on his deathbed, and who was only eleven years old when he died, the half-vandal and general of the imperial army (magister militum), Flavius Stilicho, ruled.

Son of a Vandal officer, who led a cavalry regiment with Valens, Stilicho was Catholic. He ordered that the golden ornaments to be removed from the doors of the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus. He also ordered the burning of the very ancient Sibylline books, and prosecuted the ‘heretics’, especially the Donatists, thanks to the intervention of Augustine, and restored the privileges of the Church. […]

In Stilicho’s time the irruption in Italy of the Visigoths occurred, a Germanic tribe that had embraced Christianity prematurely. The Goths became the main missionaries among the Germanic peoples. Soon most of the ‘barbarians’ that had settled since the middle of the 4th century in the Danubian provinces, especially in Pannonia and Messia (where in other times there were already ‘bishoprics’), were no longer ‘pagans’ but Arians. According to the historian of the Church Socrates, impressed by their defeat before Constantine, that is, forced by the sword, the Goths ‘believed in the religion of Christianity’.

These despots eager of power constantly fought against the Romans—in 315, 323, 328—who defeated them, with an especially serious defeat in 332, in which their dead, which apparently included women and children, were estimated at one hundred thousand. The most recent investigations also admit that Constantine’s warlike successes and the political relationship of the Goths with the Roman Empire gave ‘impulse’ to the Christianisation of the latter. Already bishop Theodoret, the father of the Church, said that such policy proved its effectiveness in a curious saying: ‘The historical facts show that war gives us greater benefits than peace.’ […]

According to Eunapius of Sardis (around 345-420), a fervent enemy of the Christians, the betrayal of the monks also allowed the attack of Alaric in the Thermopylae. Be that as it may, Greece had never been so devastated before: Macedonia, Thessaly, Boeotia, Attica. The Thebans were saved by their thick walls. Athens (which was protected by Athena and Achilles, a tendentious pre-Christian tale) was terribly plundered. The rest of the country, its villages, temples and works of art, suffered harsh punishments; Corinth was set on fire, and Boeotia was desolate for decades. […]

Honorius, mounted on the victory cart and with Stilicho at his side, hurried to Rome, for the Milvian Bridge, with the glorious spoils of victory in the escort of Christ, as Prudentius sings.

Mantra letter

Hello Mr. Tort,

Raised profoundly as a Catholic, today I am convinced that it is not enough to leave the religion of our parents. Liberation will need us to burn down worldwide all Christian churches to the ground. Such is my inspiration and mentality in the struggle for our survival.

—Albus


What happened to the immense Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World?

It was built near Ephesus in the 6th century BCE over an area considered sacred since, at least, the Bronze Age. Its construction took 120 years and it could be said that it was comparable to a cathedral.

St. John Chrysostom and his henchmen flattened it in 401 following a Christian emperor’s edict (the year after Chrysostom had instigated the massacre of 7,000 blond Goths in Constantinople). The stones were used for a tomb and a bath-house and a cross was raised on the spot where Diana’s statue had stood (what remains today of the temple can be seen: here).

Published in: on February 16, 2019 at 12:01 am  Comments (7)  

Darkening Age, 21

Pieter Coecke van Aelst, Story of Saint Paul: The Burning of the
Books at Ephesus
, designed ca. 1529, woven before 1546 (medium:
wool and silk, woven under the direction of Jan van der Vyst).

 

Editor’s note. Bold-typed emphasis in the last paragraph is mine. In chapter eleven of The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World, Catherine Nixey wrote:

In Egypt, a fearsome monk and saint named Shenoute entered the house of a man suspected of being a pagan and removed all his books. The Christian habit of book-burning went on to enjoy a long history. A millennium later, the Italian preacher Savonarola wanted the works of the Latin love poets Catullus, Tibullus and Ovid to be banned while another preacher said that all of these ‘shameful books’ should be let go, because if you are Christians you are obliged to burn them’…

* * *

Before there had been competing philosophical schools, all equally valid, all equally arguable. Now, for the first time, there was right—and there was wrong. Now, there was what the Bible said—and there was everything else. And from now on any belief that was ‘wrong’ could, in the right circumstances, put you in grave danger.

As Dirk Rohmann has highlighted, Augustine said that works that opposed Christian doctrine had no place in Christian society and had scant time for much of Greek philosophy. The Greeks, Augustine said dismissively, ‘have no ground for boasting of their wisdom’. The Church’s authors were greater, and more ancient. John Chrysostom went far further. He described pagan philosophy as a madness, the mother of evils and a disease.

Classical literature was filled with the incorrect and demonic and it came under repeated and vicious attack from the Church Fathers. Atheism, science and philosophy were all targeted. The very idea that mankind could explain everything through science was, as Rohmann has shown, disparaged as folly. ‘Stay clear of all pagan books!’ the Apostolic Constitutions advised Christians bluntly. ‘For what do you have to do with such foreign discourses, or laws, or false prophets, which subvert the faith of the unstable?’ If you wish to read about history, it continued, ‘you have the Books of Kings; if philosophy and poetry, you have the Prophets, the Book of Job and the Proverbs, in which you will find greater depth of sagacity than in all of the pagan poets and philosophers because this is the voice of the Lord… Do therefore always stay clear of all such strange and diabolical books!’…

An accusation of ‘magic’ was frequently the prelude to a spate of burnings. In Beirut, at the turn of the sixth century, a bishop ordered Christians, in the company of civil servants, to examine the books of those suspected of this. Searches were made, books were seized from suspects and then brought to the centre of the city and placed in a pyre. A crowd was ordered to come and watch as the Christians lit this bonfire in front of the church of the Virgin Mary. The demonic deceptions and ‘barbarous and atheistic arrogance’ of these books were condemned as ‘everybody’ watched ‘the magic books and the demonic signs burn’. As with the destruction of temples, there was no shame in this…

What did the books burned on such occasions really contain? Doubtless some did contain ‘magic’—such practices were popular prior to Christianity and certainly didn’t disappear with its arrival. But they were not all. The list given in the life of St Simeon clearly refers to the destruction of books of Epicureanism, the philosophy that advocated the theory of atomism. ‘Paganism’ appears to have been a charge in itself—and while it could mean outlawed practices it could, at a stretch, refer to almost any antique text that contained the gods. Christians were rarely good chroniclers of what they burned.

Sometimes, clues to the texts remain. In Beirut, just before the bonfire of the books, pious Christians had gone to the house of a man suspected of owning books that were ‘hateful to God’. The Christians told him that they ‘wanted the salvation and recovery of his soul’; they wanted ‘liberation’. These Christians then entered his home, inspected his books and searched each room. Nothing was found—until the man was betrayed by his slave. Forbidden books were discovered in a secret compartment in a chair. The man whose house it was—clearly well aware of what such ‘liberation’ might involve—‘fell to the ground and begged us, in tears, not to hand him over to the law’. He was spared the law but forced to burn his books. As our chronicler Zachariah records with pleasure, ‘when the fire was lit he threw the books of magic into it with his own hands, and said that he thanked God who had granted him with his visit and liberated him from the slavery and error of demons’. One of the books removed from the house in Beirut is mentioned: it is very possible it was not magic but a history by a disapproved-of Egyptian historian.

Divination and prophecy were often used as pretexts to attack a city’s elite. One of the most infamous assaults on books and thinkers took place in Antioch. Here, at the end of the fourth century, an accusation of treasonous divination led to a full-scale purge that targeted the city’s intellectuals. By sheer chance, Ammianus Marcellinus, a non-Christian and one of the finest historians of the era, happened to be in the city; a wonderful piece of luck for later historians and wretched luck for the man himself, who was horrified. As Ammianus describes it,

the racks were set up, and leaden weights, cords, and scourges put in readiness. The air was filled with the appalling yells of savage voices mixed with the clanking of chains, as the torturers in the execution of their grim task shouted: ‘Hold, bind, tighten, more yet.’

A noble of ‘remarkable literary attainments’ was one of the first to be arrested and tortured; he was followed by a clutch of philosophers who were variously tortured, burned alive and beheaded. Educated men in the city who had considered themselves fortunate now, Damocles-like, realized the fragility of their fortune. Looking up, it was as if they saw ‘swords hung over their heads suspended by horse-hairs from the ceiling’.

And, once again, there was the burning of books as bonfires of volumes were used as post-hoc justification for the slaughter. Ammianus Marcellinus writes with distaste that

innumerable books and whole heaps of documents, which had been routed out from various houses, were piled up and burnt under the eyes of the judges. They were treated as forbidden texts to allay the indignation caused by the executions, though most of them were treatises on various liberal arts and on jurisprudence.

Many intellectuals started to pre-empt the persecutors and set light to their own books. The destruction was extensive and ‘throughout the eastern provinces whole libraries were burnt by their owners for fear of a similar fate; such was the terror which seized all hearts’. Ammianus wasn’t the only intellectual to be scared in these decades. The orator Libanius burned a huge number of his own works…

* * *

The Great Library of Alexandria might have attempted to collect books on every topic, but Christianity was going to be considerably more selective…

One surviving Byzantine manuscript of Ovid has been scarred by a series of ridiculous redactions—even the word ‘girl’ seems to have been considered too racy to remain. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Jesuits were still censoring and bowdlerizing their editions of the classics. Individual abbots, far from Umberto Eco’s avenging intellectual ideal, sometimes censored their own libraries. At some point in the fifteenth century, a note was left in a mutilated manuscript in Vienna. ‘At this point in the book,’ it records, ‘there were thirteen leaves containing works by the apostate Julian; the abbot of the monastery… read them and realised that they were dangerous, so he threw them into the sea.’

Much classical literature was preserved by Christians. Far more was not. To survive, manuscripts needed to be cared for, recopied. Classical ones were not. Medieval monks, at a time when parchment was expensive and classical learning held cheap, simply took pumice stones and scrubbed the last copies of classical works from the page. Rohmann has pointed out that there is even evidence to suggest that in some cases ‘whole groups of classical works were deliberately selected to be deleted and overwritten in around AD 700, often with texts authored by [the fathers of the Church or by] legal texts that criticised or banned pagan literature’. Pliny, Plautus, Cicero, Seneca, Virgil, Ovid, Lucan, Livy and many, many more: all were scrubbed away by the hands of believers…

The texts that suffer in this period are the texts of the wicked and sinful pagans. From the entirety of the sixth century only ‘scraps’ of two manuscripts by the satirical Roman poet Juvenal survive and mere ‘remnants’ of two others, one by the Elder and one by the Younger Pliny.

From the next century there survives nothing save a single fragment of the poet Lucan.

From the start of the next century: nothing at all.

Far from mourning the loss, Christians delighted in it. As John Chrysostom crowed, the writings ‘of the Greeks have all perished and are obliterated’. He warmed to the theme in another sermon: ‘Where is Plato? Nowhere! Where Paul? In the mouths of all!’

The fifth-century writer Theodoret of Cyrrhus observed the decline of Greek literature with similar enthusiasm. ‘Those elaborately decorated fables have been utterly banned,’ he gloated. ‘Who is today’s head of the Stoic heresy? Who is safeguarding the teachings of the Peripatetics?’ No one, evidently, for Theodoret concludes this homily with the observation that ‘the whole earth under the sun has been filled with sermons’.

Augustine contentedly observed the rapid decline of the atomist philosophy in the first century of Christian rule. By his time, he recorded, Epicurean and Stoic philosophy had been ‘suppressed’—the word is his. The opinions of such philosophers ‘have been so completely eradicated and suppressed… that if any school of error now emerged against the truth, that is, against the Church of Christ, it would not dare to step forth for battle if it were not covered under the Christian name’…

Much was preserved. Much, much more was destroyed. It has been estimated that less than ten per cent of all classical literature has survived into the modern era. For Latin, the figure is even worse: it is estimated that only one hundredth of all Latin literature remains. If this was ‘preservation’—as it is often claimed to be—then it was astonishingly incompetent. If it was censorship, it was brilliantly effective. The ebullient, argumentative classical world was, quite literally, being erased.

Darkening Age, 20

In chapter 10 of The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World, Catherine Nixey wrote:
 
In Alexandria, Cyril conducted house searches to hunt out works by the loather pagan emperor Julian ‘the Apostate’…

This was a new literary world and a newly serious one. ‘The extent to which this new Christian story both displaced and substituted for all others is breathtaking,’ writes the modern academic Brent D. Shaw… And in the place of humour, came fear. Christian congregations found themselves rained on by oratorical fire and brimstone. For their own good, of course. As Chrysostom observed with pleasure: ‘in our churches we hear countless discourses on eternal punishment, on rivers of fire, on the venomous worm, on bonds that cannot be burst, on exterior darkness’…

Less than a hundred years after the first Christian emperor, the intellectual landscape was changing. In the third century, there had been twenty-eight public libraries in Rome and many private ones. By the end of the fourth they were, as the historian Ammianus Marcellinus observed with sorrow, ‘like tombs, permanently shut’…

As a law of AD 388 announced: ‘There shall be no opportunity for any man to go out to the public and to argue about religion or to discuss it or to give any counsel.’ If anyone with ‘damnable audacity’ attempted to then, the law announced with a threat no less ominous for being vague, ‘he shall be restrained with a due penalty and proper punishment’…

In Athens, some decades after Hypatia’s death, a resolutely pagan philosopher found himself exiled for a year…

What was not ‘of profit ‘ could easily fade from view. The shocking death of Hypatia ought to have merited a good deal of attention in the histories of the period. Instead it is treated lightly and obliquely, if at all. In history, as in life, no one in Alexandria was punished for her murder. There was a cover-up. Some writers were highly critical—even to fervent Christian eyes this was an appalling act.

But not all: as one Christian bishop later recorded with admiration, once the satanic woman had been destroyed, then all the people surrounded Cyril in acclamation for he had ‘destroyed the last remains of idolatry in the city.’ The affected myopia of Christian historians could be magnificent: as the historian Ramsay MacMullen has put it, ‘Hostile writings and discarded views were not recopied or passed on, or they were actively suppressed.’

The Church acted as a great and, at times, fierce filter on all written material, the centuries of its control as ‘a differentially permeable membrane’ that ‘allowed the writings of Christianity to pass through but not of Christianity’s enemies.’

Christianity’s Criminal History, 112

Editor’s note: Here we see once again some passages on the historical Libanius: a central character in Gore Vidal’s Julian. What Deschner says here about Libanius is splendidly novelized by Vidal in the very final paragraph of his novel.

To contextualise these translations of Karlheinz Deschner’s encyclopaedic history of the Church in 10-volumes, Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums, read the abridged translation of Volume I.
 

The Western world darkens more and more

Culture was highly esteemed in the 4th and 5th centuries. It was one of the legacies of antiquity and enjoyed an ‘almost religious veneration’ (Dannenbauer). Still in the year 360 a law of the emperor Constantius could declare that education was the supreme virtue. And really many noble families of that time, Gallic and Roman, were consecrated to it and particularly in the bosom of the Senatorial proceedings.

But they were already simple custodians of the culture, to which they did not enrich. And everywhere there were circles and social forces of a very different kind, even in the highest positions. The Christian king Theodoric the Great was no longer able to write his own name on the documents: neither could most of the Christian princes. Theodoric wrote the four letters LEGI (‘I read it’) by means of an aureus mold expressly forged for him. The instruction of the Goth children was practically forbidden by him, since, as he seems to have said, he who trembled before the master’s blows would never know how to despise the cuts and rushes of the sword in battle.

In Gaul, apparently, where the school system had flourished from the beginning of the 2nd century until the end of the 4th century, public schools are disappearing over the course of the next century, no matter how much here and there, in Lyon, Vienne, Bordeaux and Clermont there still are schools of grammar and rhetoric in addition to, naturally, the private ones. But all the teachings, at least the literary, served exclusively for the collection of material for sermons and treatises, to deal with the Bible and for the consolidation of the faith. Scientific inquiry was already a thing of the past: it no longer counted or was appreciated. The knowledge of Greek, which for centuries was the requirement of every authentic culture, became a rarity. Even the Roman classics, such as Horace, Ovid and Catullus, were cited less and less.

Libanius, the champion of Hellenistic culture, the most famous professor of rhetoric of the century, complains about the aversion aroused by that profession. ‘They see’, he says, referring to his students, ‘that this cause is despised and thrown on the floor; that does not bring fame, power or wealth but a painful servitude under many lords, parents, mothers, pedagogues and other students, who put things upside down and believe that it is the teacher who needs them. When they see all this they avoid this depreciated profession like a boat the pitfalls’.

In the time of Augustine there are hardly any schools of philosophy in the West. Philosophy is frowned upon, it is a thing of the devil, the original father of all ‘heresy’, and it causes fear to the pious. Even in a centre of culture as important as Bordeaux philosophy is no longer taught. And even in the East, the largest and most important of the universities of the Roman Empire, that of Constantinople, has only one chair of philosophy out of a total of 31.

The knowledge of something that had existed for a long time was lost in almost all areas. The spiritual horizon became increasingly narrower. Ancient culture languished from Gaul to Africa, while in Italy it practically disappeared. The interest in natural science vanished. Also jurisprudence, at least in the West, suffers ‘havoc’, an ‘astonishing demolition’ (Wieacker).

The bishop Paulinus of Nola, who died in 431, never read a historian: a typical attitude of the moment. Whole eras fall in the oblivion, for example, the time of the Roman emperors. The only renowned historian in the late 4th century is Ammianus Marcellinus, a non-Christian. Entire synods forbid the bishops to read ‘pagan’ books. In short: scientific research ceases; experimental testing stops; people think increasingly with less autonomy.

A few decades later no doctor could heal Bishop Gregory de Tours, a man with a mind full of superstitions, but he could miraculously be healed through a drink of water with some dust taken from the tomb of St. Martin.

Only clerics will still read.

Commissary to the Gentiles, 2

by (((Marcus Eli Ravage)))

But even these plots and revolutions are as nothing compared with the great conspiracy which we engineered at the beginning of this era and which was destined to make the creed of a Jewish sect the religion of the Western world. The Reformation was not designed in malice purely. It squared us with an ancient enemy and restored our Bible to its place of honor in Christendom. The Republican revolutions of the eighteenth century freed us of our age-long political and social disabilities. They benefited us, but they did you no harm. On the contrary, they prospered and expanded you. You owe your preeminence in the world to them.

But the upheaval which brought Christianity into Europe was—or at least may easily be shown to have been—planned and executed by Jews as an act of revenge against a great Gentile state. And when you talk about Jewish conspiracies I cannot for the world understand why you do not mention the destruction of Rome and the whole civilization of antiquity concentrated under her banners, at the hands of Jewish Christianity.

It is unbelievable, but you Christians do not seem to know where your religion came from, nor how, nor why. Your historians, with one great exception, do not tell you. The documents in the case, which are part of your Bible, you chant over but do not read. We have done our work too thoroughly; you believe our propaganda too implicitly. The coming of Christianity is to you not an ordinary historical event growing out of other events of the time; it is the fulfilment of a divine Jewish prophecy—with suitable amendments of your own. It did not, as you see it, destroy a great Gentile civilization and a great Gentile empire with which Jewry was at war; it did not plunge mankind into barbarism and darkness for a thousand years; it came to bring salvation to the Gentile world!

Yet here, if ever, was a great subversive movement, hatched in Palestine, spread by Jewish agitators, financed by Jewish money, taught in Jewish pamphlets and broadsides, at a time when Jewry and Rome were in a death-struggle, and ending in the collapse of the great Gentile empire. You do not even see it, though an intelligent child, unbefuddled by theological magic, could tell you what it is all about after a hasty reading of the simple record. And then you go on prattling of Jewish conspiracies and cite as instances the Great War and the Russian Revolution! Can you wonder that we Jews have always taken your anti-Semites rather lightly, as long as they did not resort to violence?

And, mind you, no less an authority than Gibbon long ago tried to enlighten you. It is now a century and a half since The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire let the cat out of the bag. Gibbon, not being a parson dabbling in history, did not try to account for the end of a great era by inventing fatuous nonsense about the vice and degradation of Rome, about the decay of morals and faith in an empire which was at that very time in the midst of its most glorious creative period. How could he? He was living in the Augustan Age in London which—in spite of nearly two thousand years since the coming of Christian salvation—was as good a replica of Augustan Rome in the matter of refined lewdness as the foggy islanders could make it.

No, Gibbon was a race-conscious Gentile and an admirer of the culture of the pagan West, as well as a historian with brains and eyes. Therefore he had no difficulty laying his finger on the malady that had rotted and wasted away the noble edifice of antique civilization. He put Christianity down—the law which went forth from Zion and the word of God from Jerusalem—as the central cause of the decline and fall of Rome and all she represented.

So far so good. But Gibbon did not go far enough. He was born and died, you see, a century before the invention of scientific anti-Semitism. He left wholly out of account the element of deliberation. He saw an alien creed sweeping out of the East and overwhelming the fair lands of the West. It never occurred to him that it was precisely to this destructive end that the whole scheme of salvation was dedicated. Yet the facts are as plain as you please.

Let me in very brief recount the tale, unembroidered by miracle, prophecy or magic.

For a good perspective, I shall have to go back a space. The action conveniently falls into four parts, rising to a climax in the third. The time, when the first curtain rises, is roughly 65 B.C. Dramatis persona; are, minor parts aside, Judea and Rome. Judea is a tiny kingdom off the Eastern Mediterranean. For five centuries it has been hardly more than a geographical expression. Again and again it has been overrun and destroyed and its population carried into exile or slavery by its powerful neighbors. Nominally independent, it is now as unstable as ever and on the edge of civil war. The empire of the West, with her nucleus in the City Republic of Rome, while not yet mistress of the world, is speedily heading that way. She is acknowledged the one great military power of the time as well as the heir of Greece and the center of civilization.

Up to the present the two states have had little or no contact with one another. Then without solicitation on her part Rome was suddenly asked to take a hand in Judean affairs. A dispute had arisen between two brothers over the succession to the petty throne, and the Roman general Pompey, who happened to be in Damascus winding up bigger matters, was called upon to arbitrate between the claimants. With the simple directness of a republican soldier, Pompey exiled one of the brothers, tossed the chief priesthood to his rival, and abolished the kingly dignity altogether. Not to put too fine a point on it, Pompey’s mediation amounted in effect to making Judea a Roman dependency.

The Jews, not unnaturally perhaps, objected; and Rome, to conciliate them and to conform to local prejudice, restored the royal office. She appointed, that is, a king of her own choosing. He was the son of an exciseman, an Idumean by race, named Herod. But the Jews were not placated, and continued making trouble. Rome thought it very ungrateful of them.

All this is merely a prelude, and is introduced into the action to make clear what follows. Jewish discontent grew to disaffection and open revolt when their Gentile masters began importing into Jerusalem the blessings of Western culture. Graven images, athletic games, Greek drama, and gladiatorial shows were not to the Jewish taste. The pious resented them as an offense in the nostrils of Jehovah, even though the resident officials patiently explained they were meant for the entertainment and edification of the non-Jewish garrison. The Judeans resisted with especial strenuousness the advent of the efficient Roman tax-gatherer. Above all, they wanted back a king of their own race and their own royal line.

Among the masses the rebellion took the form of a revival of the old belief in a Messiah, a divinely appointed savior who was to redeem his people from the foreign yoke and make Judea supreme among the nations. Claimants to the mission were not wanting. In Galilee, one Judas led a rather formidable insurrection, which enlisted much popular support. John, called the Baptist, operated in the Jordan country. He was followed by another north-country man, Jesus of Nazareth. All three were masters of the technique of couching incendiary political sedition in harmless theological phrases. All three used the same signal of revolt—“The time is at hand.” And all three were speedily apprehended and executed, both Galileans by crucifixion.

Personal qualities aside, Jesus of Nazareth was, like his predecessors, a political agitator engaged in liberating his country from the foreign oppressor. There is even considerable evidence that he entertained an ambition to become king of an independent Judea. He claimed, or his biographers later claimed for him, descent from the ancient royal line of David. But his paternity is somewhat confused. The same writers who traced the origin of his mother’s husband back to the psalmist-king also pictured Jesus as the son of Jehovah, and admitted that Joseph was not his father.

It seems, however, that Jesus before long realized the hopelessness of his political mission and turned his oratorical gifts and his great popularity with the masses in quite another direction. He began preaching a primitive form of populism, socialism and pacifism. The effect of this change in his program was to gain him the hostility of the substantial, propertied classes, the priests and patriots generally, and to reduce his following to the poor, the laboring mass and the slaves.

After his death these lowly disciples formed themselves into a communistic brotherhood. A sermon their late leader had once delivered upon a hillside summed up for them the essence of his teachings, and they made it their rule of life. It was a philosophy calculated to appeal profoundly to humble people. It comforted those who suffered here on earth with promised rewards beyond the grave. It made virtues of the necessities of the weak. Men without hope in the future were admonished to take no thought for the morrow. Men too helpless to resent insult or injury were taught to resist not evil. Men condemned to lifelong drudgery and indigence were assured of the dignity of labor and of poverty.

The meek, the despised, the disinherited, the downtrodden, were—in the hereafter—to be the elect and favored of God. The worldly, the ambitious, the rich and powerful, were to be denied admission to heaven.

A Jew who told the truth


Published ninety years ago, the following article, abridged here for The West’s Darkest Hour, has been re-published in April 2018 by Lenculus, a white nationalist printer, with the disclaimer that the article was:

Written by a Jewish author and originally published in The Century Magazine in January 1928.

This article asserts that if Whites understood the depths to which Jews control our countries and their institutions of power and the way in which they wield that power in an effort to destroy our interests, we would rise-up and eradicate them immediately.

As far as I know, Friedrich Nietzsche was the first man to wake up from the Matrix and see that Christianity was a Jewish psyop from its beginning (see, e.g., these passages from On the Genealogy of Morality). Nietzsche wrote from the Aryan point of view of course. But in the following centuries two Jews said something similar. Marcus Eli Ravage in the 20th century, and Mitchell Heisman in the 21st century agree with this interpretation of Christianity, though they side their tribe. To use a line from a poem of the former, ‘Your avenues – Are dance-halls for my gloating soul’.

The Third Reich German propaganda ministry used Eli Ravage’s texts as evidence that the world is dominated by Jewish conspirators. His articles ‘A real case against the Jews’ and ‘Commissary to the Gentiles’, originally published in English were translated in the Czernowitz Allgemeine Zeitung on September 2, 1933.

Like the Nazis, I consider Eli Ravage’s article so important, that the following document will be included in the 2019 edition of The Fair Race’s Darkest Hour. For this blog entry, however, the bold-typed words are mine:
 

______ 卐 ______

 

A real case against the Jews

by Marcus Eli Ravage

Of course, you do resent us. It is no good telling me you don’t. So let us not waste any time on denials and alibis. You know you do, and I know it, and we understand each other…

We shirk our patriotic duty in wartime because we are pacifists by nature and tradition, and we are the arch-plotters of universal wars and the chief beneficiaries of those wars (see the late “Dearborn Independent,” passim, and “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”).

We are at once the founders and leading adherents of capitalism and the chief perpetrators of the rebellion against capitalism.

Surely, history has nothing like us for versatility!

And, oh! I almost forgot the reason of reasons. We are the stiff-necked people who never accepted Christianity, and we are the criminal people who crucified its founder.

But I tell you, you are self-deceivers. You lack either the self-knowledge or the mettle to face the facts squarely and own up to the truth. You resent the Jew not because, as some of you seem to think, he crucified Jesus but because he gave him birth. Your real quarrel with us is not that we have rejected Christianity but that we have imposed it upon you!

Your loose, contradictory charges against us are not a patch on the blackness of our proved historic offense. You accuse us of stirring up revolution in Moscow. Suppose we admit the charge. What of it? Compared with what Paul the Jew of Tarsus accomplished in Rome, the Russian upheaval is a mere street brawl.

You make much noise and fury about the undue Jewish influence in your theaters and movie palaces. Very good; granted, your complaint is well-founded. But what is that compared to our staggering influence in your churches, your schools, your laws and your governments, and the very thoughts you think every day?

A clumsy Russian forges a set of papers and publishes them in a book called “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” which shows that we plotted to bring on the late World War. You believe that book : All right. For the sake of argument we will underwrite every word of it. It is genuine and authentic. But what is that beside the unquestionable historical conspiracy which we have carried out, which we have never denied because you never had the courage to charge us with it, and of which the full record is extant for anybody to read?

If you really are serious when you talk of Jewish plots, may I not direct your attention to one worth talking about? What use is it wasting words on the alleged control of your public opinion by Jewish financiers, newspaper owners and movie magnates, when you might as well justly accuse us of the proved control of your whole civilization by the Jewish Gospels?

You have not begun to appreciate the real depth of our guilt. We are intruders. We are disturbers. We are subverters. We have taken your natural world, your ideals, your destiny, and played havoc with them. We have been at the bottom not merely of the latest great war but of nearly all your wars, not only of the Russian but of every other major revolution in your history. We have brought discord and confusion and frustration into your personal and public life. We are still doing it. No one can tell how long we shall go on doing it.

Look back a little and see what has happened. Nineteen hundred years ago you were an innocent, carefree, pagan race. You worshipped countless gods and goddesses, the spirits of the air, of the running streams and of the woodland. You took unblushing pride in the glory of your naked bodies. You carved images of your gods and of the tantalizing human figure. You delighted in the combats of the field, the arena and the battle-ground. War and slavery were fixed institutions in your systems. Disporting yourselves on the hillsides and in the valleys of the great outdoors, you took to speculating on the wonder and mystery of life and laid the foundations of natural science and philosophy. Yours was a noble, sensual culture, unirked by the prickings of a social conscience or by any sentimental questionings about human equality. Who knows what great and glorious destiny might have been yours if we had left you alone.

But we did not leave you alone. We took you in hand and pulled down the beautiful and generous structure you had reared, and changed the whole course of your history. We conquered you as no empire of yours ever subjugated Africa or Asia. And we did it all without armies, without bullets, without blood or turmoil, without force of any kind. We did it solely by the irresistible might of our spirit, with ideas, with propaganda. We made you the willing and unconscious bearers of our mission to the whole world, to the barbarous races of the earth, to the countless unborn generations. Without fully understanding what we were doing to you, you became the agents at large of our racial tradition, carrying our gospel to the unexplored ends of the earth.

Our tribal customs have become the core of your moral code. Our tribal laws have furnished the basic groundwork of all your august constitutions and legal systems.

Our legends and our folk-tales are the sacred lore which you croon to your infants. Our poets have filled your hymnals and your prayer-books. Our national history has become an indispensable part of the learning of your pastors and priests and scholars. Our kings, our statesmen, our prophets, our warriors are your heroes. Our ancient little country is your Holy Land. Our national literature is your Holy Bible.

What our people thought and taught has become inextricably woven into your very speech and tradition, until no one among you can be called educated who is not familiar with our racial heritage.

Jewish artisans and Jewish fishermen are your teachers and your saints, with countless statues carved in their image and innumerable cathedrals raised to their memories. A Jewish maiden is your ideal of motherhood and womanhood.

A Jewish rebel-prophet is the central figure in your religious worship.

We have pulled down your idols, cast aside your racial inheritance, and substituted for them our God and our traditions. No conquest in history can even remotely compare with this clean sweep of our conquest over you.

How did we do it? Almost by accident. Two thousand years ago nearly, in far-off Palestine, our religion had fallen into decay and materialism. Money-changers were in possession of the temple.

Degenerate, selfish priests mulcted our people and grew fat. Then a young patriot-idealist arose and went about the land calling for a revival of faith. He had no thought of setting up a new church.

Like all the prophets before him, his only aim was to purify and revitalize the old creed. He attacked the priests and drove the money-changers from the temple. This brought him into conflict with the established order and its supporting pillars.

The Roman authorities, who were in occupation of the country, fearing his revolutionary agitation as a political effort to oust them, arrested him, tried him and condemned him to death by crucifixion, a common form of execution at that time.

The followers of Jesus of Nazareth, mainly slaves and poor workmen, in their bereavement and disappointment, turned away from the world and formed themselves into a brotherhood of pacifist non-resisters, sharing the memory of their crucified leader and living together communistically. They were merely a new sect in Judea, without power or consequence, neither the first nor the last.

Only after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans did the new creed come into prominence.

Then a patriotic Jew named Paul or Saul conceived the idea of humbling the Roman power by destroying the morale of its soldiery with the doctrines of love and non-resistance preached by the little sect of Jewish Christians. He became the Apostle to the Gentiles, he who hitherto had been one of the most active persecutors of the band. And so well did Paul do his work that within four centuries the great empire which had subjugated Palestine along with half of the world was a heap of ruins.

And the law which went forth from Zion became the official religion of Rome.

This was the beginning of our dominance in your world. But it was only a beginning. From this time forth your history is little more than a struggle for mastery between your own old pagan spirit and our Jewish spirit. Half your wars, great and little, are religious wars, fought over the interpretation of one thing or another in our teachings. You no sooner broke free from your primitive religious simplicity and attempted the practice of the pagan Roman learning than Luther armed with our gospels arose to down you and re-enthrone our heritage. Take the three principal revolutions in modern times—the French, the American and the Russian. What are they but the triumph of the Jewish idea of social, political and economic justice?

And the end is still a long way off. We still dominate you. At this very moment your churches are torn asunder by a civil war between Fundamentalists and Modernists, that is to say between those who cling to our teachings and traditions literally and those who are striving by slow steps to dispossess us.

In Dayton, Tennessee, a Bible-bred community forbids the teaching of your science because it conflicts with our ancient Jewish account of the origin of life; and Mr. Bryan, the leader of the anti-Jewish Ku Klux Klan in the Democratic National Convention, makes the supreme fight of his life in our behalf, without noticing the contradiction. Again and again the Puritan heritage of Judea breaks out in waves of stage censorship, Sunday blue laws and national prohibition acts. And while these things are happening you twaddle about Jewish influence in the movies!

Is it any wonder you resent us? We have put a clog upon your progress. We have imposed upon you an alien book and an alien faith which you cannot swallow or digest, which is at cross-purposes with your native spirit, which keeps you ever-lastingly ill-at-ease, and which you lack the spirit either to reject or to accept in full.

In full, of course, you never have accepted our Christian teachings. In your hearts you still are pagans. You still love war and graven images and strife. You still take pride in the glory of the nude human figure. Your social conscience, in spite of all democracy and all your social revolutions, is still a pitifully imperfect thing. We have merely divided your soul, confused your impulses, paralyzed your desires. In the midst of battle you are obliged to kneel down to him who commanded you to turn the other cheek, who said “Resist not evil” and “Blessed are the peacemakers.”

So why should you not resent us?

Darkening Age, 18

Editor’s Note: The recent Occidental Observer article ‘Words Like Violence: The Left’s Total War on Freedom of Speech’ which reproduces a segment of the book of Richard Houck, is good for the normie to wake up to the fact that we are living in the darkest hour of the West. In the comments section of that article, one visitor opined that what Houck wrote is Alt Lite, as the author ‘sounds like he refrains from naming the actual (((enemy)))’.

It is true that without mentioning the subversive Jew the pilgrim from Normieland to National Socialism has not stepped on the stone of Jew-wise white nationalism. But after stepping on white nationalism in his attempts to cross the psychological Rubicon, he still needs to understand why the Jews seized the Western narrative. For this we have to step on the next and last stone before reaching the other side: the Christian question. For example, the above-mentioned text of Houck contains this passage:

It’s incredibly telling that in America, you can freely criticize American foreign policy. Yet if you criticize the foreign policy of Israel, a country on the other side of the planet, groups with hundred-million-dollar budgets immediately lobby Congress to silence you. And our politicians, in an incredible show of cowardice and greed, capitulate. The US State Department even has an entire department called The Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism. Our tax dollars are going to provide programs ensuring that certain foreign peoples are not having their feelings hurt… The absurdity of the situation is incredible. Imagine if there were a massive pro-Russia lobby that made it illegal to disagree with or criticize Russian foreign policy.

So true. But that those who read The Occidental Observer are in the middle of the river is clear. In the Northern American states, the red carpet was rolled out for the Jews in line with the dominant liberal ideology. This was because the type of Christianity that conquered North America has been pathologically philo-Semitic since its beginnings.

But why were the Jews praised by George Washington, who said that the US ‘gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance’? The United States did not originate ethno-suicidal philo-Semitism in the West. Everything began a thousand seven hundred years ago with a history that has been as concealed as the holocaust perpetrated by the Allies during and after the Second World War. I have tried to recreate that time by reproducing passages from the novel by Gore Vidal, Julian, where the correspondence between Priscus and Libanius immerse the reader into the fascinating world of the 4th century of the Common Era.

Libanius, a central character in Vidal’s novel, existed in real life. On chapter 8 of The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World, Catherine Nixey wrote:

 

______ 卐 ______

 

At the end of the fourth century, the orator Libanius looked out and described in despair what he observed. He and other worshippers of the old gods saw, he said, their temples ‘in ruins, their ritual banned, their altars overturned, their sacrifices suppressed, their priests sent packing and their property divided up between a crew of rascals’.

They are powerful words; and it is a powerful image. Yet in the Christian histories, men like Libanius barely exist. The voices of the worshippers of the old gods are rarely, if ever, recorded. But they were there. Some voices, such as his, have come down to us…

For a Christian, reasoning was not shrouded in ambiguity: it was explicitly laid out in the Bible. And the Bible, on this point, was clear. As those thundering words of Deuteronomy had it, toleration of other religions and their altars was not what was required. Instead, the faithful were required to raze them to the ground… To a Christian there were not different but equally valid views. There were angels and there were demons. As the academic Ramsay MacMullen has put it, ‘there could be no compromise with the Devil’. And, as Christians made clear in a thousand hectoring sermons and a hundred fierce laws, objects associated with other religions belonged to the Dark Lord.

Then, some twenty years later, in AD 408, came one of the fiercest pronouncements yet. ‘If any images stand even now in the temples and shrines,’ this new law said, ‘they shall be torn from their foundations… The buildings themselves of the temples which are situated in cities or towns or outside the towns shall be vindicated to public use. Altars shall be destroyed in all places.’