Apocalypse for whites • XXIX

by Evropa Soberana

 
Christianity takes hold outside Judea

As soon as the Jews learn about the events in Rome with the Christians, they begin to plan an uprising and, perfectly coordinated, rebel throughout the Roman Empire. Thus, in the year 66, in a rapid and well-planned coup d’état, they put to the knife all the non-Jewish inhabitants of Jerusalem except the slaves. Nero uses his legions to crush the revolt harshly in the rest of the Empire, but in their capital the Jews become strong. In the year 68, just as General Vespasian left to take Jerusalem, Nero is mysteriously murdered.

Vespasian, then, becomes emperor and sends his son Titus to the front of the X Legio, with the aim of crushing the Jews. The year 70 Rome triumphs; Jerusalem is devastated and sacked by the Roman legionaries and it is said that in the process a million Jews died under Roman arms (only in Jerusalem the town had accumulated, during the siege, three million Jews). This year 70, fateful, traumatizing, outrageous and key for Jewry, sees the enslavement and dispersion of Jews throughout the Mediterranean (Diaspora), greatly enhancing the growth of Christianity.

There are successive emperors (Trajan, Hadrian) very aware of the Jewish problem, who do not pay much attention to Christians, mainly because they are too busy with the Judaic puzzle in ‘holy land’, repressing the Jews again and again, without destroying them completely.

In this time, the new religion grows little by little, gaining followers among the enslaved masses thanks to its egalitarian ideology and also in high positions of the administration: among an increasingly decadent and materialist bureaucracy. Christianity glorified misfortune instead of glorifying the struggle against it; considered suffering as a merit that dignifies itself and proclaimed that Paradise awaits anyone who behaves well. (Remember how the pagans taught that only fighters entered the Valhalla.)

It is the religion of the slaves, and they willingly subscribe to it. Early Christianity played a very similar role to that of the later Freemasonry: it was a Jewish strategy dressed up using weak and ambitious characters, fascinating them with a sinister ritualism. The result was like a communism for the Roman Empire, even favouring the ‘emancipation’ and independence of women from their husbands by capturing them with a strange and novel Christian liturgy, and urging them to donate their own money to the cause (a scam quite similar in its essence to the current New Age cults).

This map in Spanish shows the extension of Christianity around the year 100. The Roman Empire is represented in a lighter shade than the barbarian territories. Note that the areas of Christian preaching
coincide exactly with the densest Jewish settlement areas.

It is at the beginning of the second century that the figure of Christian fat cats called ‘bishops’ begins to take on importance. Saint Ignatius of Antioch wrote in the year 107, in the most corny way: ‘It is obvious that we must look to a bishop like the Lord in person. His clerics are in harmony with their bishop like the strings of a harp, and the result is a hymn of praise to Jesus Christ of minds that feel in unison’. St. Ignatius is captured by the Roman authorities, and thrown to the lions in 107. (It is interesting to pay attention to the names of the preachers, since they always come from eastern mestizo and Judaized areas; in this case, Syria.)

Around the year 150, the Greek Marcion tries to form a kind of ‘de-Judaised’ purification in Christianity, rejecting the Old Testament; giving pre-eminent importance to the Gospel of St. Luke and adopting a Gnostic worldview with Orphic and Manichean airs. This is the first attempt of reform or Europeanization of Christianity: trying to deprive it from its obvious Jewish roots.[1] Marcion’s followers, the Marcionites, who professed a Gnostic creed, are classified as heretics by mainstream Christianity.

This map shows the general expansion of Christianity in 185. Note the great difference with respect to the previous map and note also that the area most influenced by Christianity is still the Eastern
Mediterranean: a highly Semitic zone.

Sometime after the year 200, in view of the incorporation into Christianity of great new masses that did not speak Greek but Latin, a Latin translation of the Gospels began to circulate in most western Christian centres.

The emperor Diocletian (reigned 284-305) divided the Empire into two halves to make it more governable. He keeps the eastern part and hands over the western part to Maximian, a former comrade in arms. He establishes a rigid bureaucracy, and these measures smell like irremediable decadence. Despite this, Diocletian is a just and realistic veteran. He allows its Christian legionaries to be absent from pagan ceremonies, provided they maintain their military discipline.

But this was precisely the trickiest issue, where the bishops insolently defy the authority of the emperor. Diocletian, however, is benevolent and only one Christian pacifist is executed. However, he now insists that Christians participate in state ceremonies of a religious nature, and the Christian response to this decision is growing pride and arrogance, with numerous revolts and provocations.

But even at this point, Diocletian renounces to apply the death penalty, contenting himself with making slaves of the rebels that he captured. The answer to this are more riots and a fire in the imperial palace itself, and provocations and Christian insolence occur throughout the Empire. But the most Diocletian does is to execute nine rebellious bishops and eighty rebels in Palestine, the area most troubled by Christian rebellions.

One of these rebels was a spawn named St. Procopius of Scythopolis. To get an idea of which kind of creature Procopius was, let’s see the words of a contemporary, Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea: ‘He had tamed his body until turning it, so to speak, into a corpse; but the strength that his soul found in the word of God gave strength to his body… He only studied the word of God and had little knowledge of the profane sciences’. That is to say, this sub-man was a sick body and a crushed and resentful spirit, moved away from all the natural goods of the world, and who only knows the Bible and the speeches of the bishops.

In the beginning Christianity was nourished of similar men: Jewish practitioners of an asceticism bordering on sadomasochism who turned their bodies into a wreck, and their spirits into tyrannical and resentful shepherds.

Despite the softness of these persecutions, Diocletian goes down in history as a monster thirsting for Christian blood (history is written by the victors). The certain thing is that, after emperor Diocletian’s reign, Rome entered frank decay.
 
____________________

[1] Note of the Editor: In our times, adepts of Christian Identity also desperately try to square the circle by claiming that Aryans descend from the biblical characters.

Kriminalgeschichte, 22

Editor’s note: Lactantius’ words quoted below (‘Now those who pretended to defy God are laid prostrate on the ground, those who knocked down the Temple [of Jerusalem] were slow to fall…’) make me think once again that there were a number of cryptos among those who defined early Christianity. In other words, it is false what white nationalists say: that Christianity was only cucked in recent times.

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

Pagan emperors viewed retrospectively

Even the pagan emperors, in spite of being considered designated ‘by God’ and maintainers of their ‘order’, were subject to the pejorative treatment from the Fathers of the Church. Those of the second century, which according to Athenagoras were still ‘clement and kind’, wise and truth-loving, peaceful and enlightened benefactors, at the beginning of the fourth century were replaced by monsters without comparable parallels.

The triumphal shrieks of the Christians began around 314, by Lactantius. His pamphlet De Mortibus Persecutorum (‘On the Deaths of the Persecutors’) is so bad by the choice of its theme, its style and its level, that for a long time it was wanted to deny the authorship to this Cicero Christianus, although today its authenticity is considered (almost) indisputable.

In his writing, Lactantius pulls no punches on the Roman emperors, published in Gaul as he educated Crispus, son of Constantine: ‘Enemies of God’, ‘tyrants’ whom he compares to wolves and describes as ‘beasts’. The political environment had barely changed, Campenhausen said, and ‘the old ideology of martyrs and persecuted people disappears from the Church as if it had been carried away by the wind, replaced by its opposite’.

Although persecutor of the Christians, the emperor Decius (reign 249-251) had set out to govern peacefully, as he left recorded in his coins (pax provinciae), and according to historical sources was a man of excellent qualities until he fell defeated before the Gothic leader Kniva and died in Abritus, a place corresponding to the present region of the Dobruja.

Decius was for Lactantius ‘an enemy of God’, ‘an abominable monster’ that deserved to end as pasture of ‘beasts and vultures’. Of Valerian (reign 253-260), who also persecuted the Christians and who died as prisoner of the Persians, Lactantius affirms that ‘they stripped the skin, which was tanned with red tint to be exposed in the temple of the barbarian gods as a reminder of that great triumph’.

Diocletian (reign 284-305) had used Lactantius as rhetor latinus in Nicomedia when he was a poor man and then, during the persecutions and Lactantius residing in the imperial capital, Diocletian did not touch a single thread of his clothing. But he deserves the appellation of ‘great in the invention of crimes’. As for Maximian (reign 285-30), co-regent with Diocletian, according to Lactantius, ‘he was not able to refuse any satisfaction of his low passions’, ‘Wherever he went, they took the maidens from the arms of their parents, and put them at his disposal’.

But the worst ‘of the wicked who ever encouraged’ was Emperor Galerius (305-311), son-in-law of Diocletian. Lactantius considers him the true inspirer of the pogroms initiated in 303, in which he proposed to ‘mistreat the whole human race’.

When ‘the mean-spirited man wanted to amuse himself’ he called one of his bears, ‘in fierceness and corpulence comparable to himself’ and cast it human beings to eat. ‘And while he broke the limbs of the victim, he laughed, so that he never ate dinner without accompanying the outpouring of human blood’, ‘the fire, the crucifixions and the beasts were the daily bread’, and he ‘reigned with the most absolute arbitrariness’.

Taxes were so abusive that people and pets died of starvation, and only beggars survived… But behold, that so compassionate sovereign remembered them also, and wishing to put an end to their hardships had them assembled to take them out in boats to the sea and drown them there.

Christian historiography!

At the same time, Lactantius never fails to assure us in this ‘first contribution of Christianity to the philosophy and theology of history’ (Pichon), that he has compiled all these facts with the most conscientious fidelity, ‘so that the memory of them is not lost and that no future historian can disfigure the truth’.

The punishment of God reached Galerius in the form of cancer, ‘an evil sore in the lower part of the genitals’ while Eusebius, more modest, prefers to allude to those ‘unnamed’ parts. Subsequently, other ecclesiastical writers such as Rufinus and Orosius invented the legend of a suicide.

Instead, Lactantius, after establishing Galerius’ fame in historiography as a ‘barbarian savage’ (Altendorf), devotes several pages to describing with a sneer the evolution of the disease. The lexicon is similar to that used in another passage where he explains, following the example of Bishop Cyprian, the satisfactions that the elect will experience when contemplating the eternal torment of the damned:

The body is covered with worms. The stench not only invades the palace, but spreads throughout the city… The worms devour him alive and the body dissolves in a generalized rot, among unbearable pains.

Bishop Eusebius added to his account the following passage: ‘Of the doctors, those who could not resist that repugnant stench above all measure were slaughtered there, and those who afterwards could not find remedy, tried and executed without compassion’.

Christian historiography!

The case is that Galerius, whose agony was painted by the Fathers of the Church without sparing any of the old issues, although he died sick on 30 April 311 he signed the so-called Edict of tolerance of Nicomedia, by the which he ended persecutions against the Christians and proclaimed that Christianity was a lawful religion.

Galerius was not a monster as painted by the pens of Lactantius and other Fathers of the Church, but as described by more reliable sources, a just and well-intentioned sovereign, though certainly uneducated. Lactantius is the one who then states that the sovereigns of the gentiles were ‘criminals before God’, and he celebrates that they have been ‘exterminated from the root with all their type’. ‘Now those who pretended to defy God are laid prostrate on the ground; those who knocked down the Temple were slow to fall, but they fell much lower and had the end they deserved’.

In contrast, the Father of the Church only finds praise for the massacres perpetrated by Constantine with the Frankish prisoners in the amphitheatre of Trier. ‘The Lord has annihilated them and wiped them out from the face of the earth; let us sing, then, the triumph of the Lord, let us celebrate the victory of the Lord with hymns of praise…’

Kriminalgeschichte, 21

Editor’s note: Volume 3 of Deschner’s opus deals with forgery and brainwashing in the Ancient Church.

But since Volume 1 we get a taste of the flavour of how the early Christians grossly exaggerated the ‘gentile’ sins (see my hatnote on the previous instalment of this series), just as presently the fate of the Jews in World War II has been grossly exaggerated.

In the hostile takeover of Aryan civilisation, be the Ancient World or today, the art of making whitey feel guilty has been a formidable weapon. No wonder why Hitler called Christianity ‘the Bolshevism of the Ancient World’.
 

A Christian Dirce, by Henryk Siemiradzki. A Christian woman is martyred under Nero in this re-enactment of the myth of Dirce.

 

______ 卐 ______

 

Below, abridged translation from the first volume of Karlheinz
Deschner’s Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums

(Criminal History of Christianity)

 
The persecutions against Christians in the mirror of ecclesiastical historiography

The accusations against the pagans began, precisely because of these persecutions, presented with enormous exaggeration. And in that vein we have followed well into the 20th century, when it is still written that during the 1st century Christianity was ‘bathed in its own blood’, ‘innumerable hosts of heroic characters’ are weighed, and ‘the second century is recalled by the procession of those bearing on the forehead the bloody mark of martyrdom’ (Daniel Rops); although, at times, it must be confessed that ‘they were not millions’ (Ziegler).

The most serious and undisputed investigations estimate the number of Christian victims sometimes at 3,000, others at 1,500 for the total of three centuries of persecution. A Christian as worthy of respect as Origen, who died in 254 and whose father was a martyr, and who suffered torture himself, says that the number of witnesses of blood of Christianity was ‘small and easily re-countable’.

In effect, it happens that most of the ‘martyrs’ acts are forgeries, that many pagan emperors never persecuted Christianity, and that the State did not meddle with Christians because of their religion. In fact, the civil service of the old regime treated them with enough tolerance. They granted them deferrals, they ignored the edicts; tolerated deceptions, set them free, or taught them the legal arguments with which they could free themselves from persecution without abjuring their faith. Those who denounced themselves were sent home, and even often they indifferently endured the provocations.

In the first half of the 4th century, however, Bishop Eusebius, ‘father of ecclesial historiography’, is inexhaustible in inventing stories about the wicked pagans, the terrible persecutors of Christianity. To this theme he devotes the whole eighth book of his Ecclesiastical History, from which surely one can affirm what a scholar of the 9th and 10th volumes of this work said (which is almost the only available source on the history of the Church in the antiquity): ‘Emphasis, periphrasis, omissions, half truths, and even falsification of the originals replace the scientific interpretation of reliable documents’ (Morreau).

We see there how, again and again, the wicked pagans—actually our bishop Eusebius—torture Christians with lashes, ‘those really admirable fighters’; they rip their flesh out, break their legs, cut their noses, ears, hands and other members. Eusebius throws vinegar and salt in the wounds, heaves sharpened reeds under the nails, burns backs with molten lead, fries the martyrs in grills ‘to prolong the torment’. In all these situations and many more, the victims retain their integrity, even their good humour: ‘They sang praises to the God of heaven and gave thanks to their torturers, to the last breath.’

Other believers, Eusebius informs us, were drowned in the sea ‘by order of the servants of the devil’, or crucified, or beheaded ‘sometimes in number of up to a hundred men, young children [!] and women in a single day… The executioner’s sword mended, and the tired executioners were forced to relieve themselves’.

Others were thrown ‘at the anthropophagous beasts’, to be devoured by wild boars, bears, panthers. ‘We have been eyewitnesses [!] and we have seen how, by the divine grace of our Redeemer Jesus Christ, of whom they bear witness, when the beast was ready to leap it receded again and again, as repulsed by a supernatural force’.

The bishop tells of the Christians (five in all) who were to be ‘shattered by an enraged bull’: ‘As much as he dug with its hooves and delivered goring from one side to the other, spurred by red irons, snorting with rage, the Divine Providence did not allow any harm on them’.

Christian historiography!

In one passage, Eusebius mentions ‘a whole village of Phrygia inhabited by Christians’, whose inhabitants, ‘including women and children’, were burned alive… but unfortunately he forgot to tell us the name of the village in question.

It is a habitual feature of Eusebius to get by without the details despite having been, as he says, an eyewitness. He prefers to speak of ‘innumerable legions’, of ‘great masses’ exterminated partly by the sword, sometimes by fire, ‘countless men and women and children’ who died ‘in various ways by the doctrine of our Redeemer’. ‘Their display of heroism defy description’.

During the persecution of 177 in Gaul under Marcus Aurelius (161-180), the philosopher-emperor whose Meditations Frederick II of Prussia admired, Eusebius tells us that there were ‘tens of thousands of martyrs’. However, the martyrology of the Gallic persecution under Marcus Aurelius totals… 48 victims. Of all these, the so-quoted Lexikonfür Theologie und Kirche only recounts eight, ‘St Blandina with Bishop Photinus and six of his followers’. On the contrary, the number of pagan victims in Gaul was, in later centuries, ‘far superior’ (C. Schneider).

On the persecution by Diocletian, the bloodiest (against the express will of this remarkable emperor), Eusebius could not regret—or perhaps it would be better to say to celebrate, since the leaders of the Church always considered providential the persecutions, and popes of our 20th century have affirmed it—that the victims would have counted by tens of thousands, since many eyewitnesses still lived. Persecutions are a stimulus. They foster the unity of the persecuted and are the best propaganda imaginable of all time. Eusebius, author of a chronicle ‘on the martyrs of Palestine’ wrote in his Ecclesiastical History: ‘We know the names of those who stood out in Palestine’ and cites a total of 91 martyrs, and not ‘tens of thousands’.

In 1954, De Ste Croix reviewed for the Harvard Theological Review the figures of the ‘father of Christian historiography’ and only sixteen Palestinian martyrs were found, and that for the worst of the persecutions, which lasted there ten years, bringing the average not even two victims a year. In spite of all this, one of Eusebius’s modern panegyrists rejects the conclusion that Eusebius lacked ‘scientific scrupulousness’ (Wallace-Hadrill).

Guide to investing in gold & silver, 1

by Mike Maloney


 

Chapter One:
The Battle of the Ages

Throughout the history of civilizations an epic battle has always been waged. It is an unseen battle, unknown by most of the people it affects. Yet, all feel the effects of this battle in their daily lives. Whether it be at the supermarket when you notice that a gallon of milk is a dollar more than it was last time, or when you get your heating bill and it has unexpectedly jumped by $50, you are feeling the effects of this hidden battle.

This battle is between currency and money, and it is truly a battle of the ages.

Most often this battle takes place between gold and silver, and currencies that supposedly represent the value of gold and silver. Inevitably people always think that currency will win. They have the same blind faith every time, but in the end, gold and silver always revalue themselves and they always win.

To understand how gold and silver periodically revalue, you first need to know the differences between money and currency.

Throughout the ages many things have been currency. Livestock, grains, spices, shells, beads, and paper have all been forms of currency, but only two things have been money. You guessed it: gold and silver.
 
Currency

A lot of people think currency is money. For instance, when someone gives you some cash, you presumably think of it as money. It is not. Cash is simply a currency, a medium of exchange that you can use to purchase something that has value, what we would call an asset.

Currency is derived from the word current. A current must keep moving or else it will die (think electricity). A currency does not store value in and of itself. Rather, it is a medium whereby you can transfer value from one asset to another.
 
Money

Money, unlike currency, has value within itself. Money is always a currency, in that it can be used to purchase other items that have value, but as we’ve just learned, currency is not always money because it doesn’t have value in and of itself. If you are having a hard time grasping this, just think about a hundred-dollar bill. Do you think that paper is worth $100?

The answer is, of course, no. That paper simply represents value that is stored somewhere else—or at least it used to be before our money became currency. Later we will study the history of our currency and the gold standard, but for now all you need to know is that the U.S. dollar is backed by nothing other than hot air, or what is commonly referred to as “the good faith and credit of the United States.” In short, our government has the ability to, and has been, creating money at will without anything to back it up. You might call this counterfeiting; the government calls it fiscal policy. The whole thing is what we refer to as fiat currency.
 
Fiat currency

A fiat is an arbitrary decree, order, or pronouncement given by a person, group, or body with the absolute authority to enforce it. A currency that derives its value from declaratory fiat or an authoritative order of the government is by definition a fiat currency. All currencies in use today are fiat currencies.

For the rest of this book I will use these proper definitions. At first it will sound strange to you, but it will only serve to highlight, and bring greater understanding of, the differences between currency and money.

Hopefully, by the end of the book you will see that it is the general public’s lack of understanding concerning this difference between currency and money that has created what I believe will be the greatest wealth accumulation opportunity in history What you will learn about currency and money in this book is knowledge that probably 99 percent of the population has no clue about or desire to learn. So congratulations, you will be way ahead of the game.
 
Inflation

When I talk about inflation or deflation I’m talking about the expansion or contraction of the currency supply. The symptom of monetary inflation or deflation is rising or falling prices, which I will sometimes refer to as price inflation or price deflation. Regardless, one thing is for sure. With inflation everything gets more valuable except currency.
 
Adventures in currency creation

Fiat currencies don’t usually start out that way, and those rare cases when they have were very short-lived. Societies usually start with high value commodity money such as gold and silver. Gradually, the government hoodwinks the population into accepting fiat currency by issuing paper demand notes that are redeemable in precious metals. These demand notes (currency) are really just “certificates of deposit,” “receipts,” or “claim checks” on the real money that is in the vault. I would venture to say that many Americans think this is how the U.S. dollar works today.

Once a government has introduced a paper currency, they then expand the currency supply through deficit spending, printing even more of the currency to cover that spending, and through credit creation based on fractional reserve banking (something we’ll cover later on). Then, usually due to war or some other national emergency, like foreign governments or the local population trying to redeem their demand notes (bank runs), the government will suspend redemption rights because they don’t have enough gold and silver to cover all of the paper they have printed, and poof! You have a fiat currency.

Here’s the dirty little secret: Fiat currency is designed to lose value. Its very purpose is to confiscate your wealth and transfer it to the government. Each time the government prints a new dollar and spends it, the government gets the full purchasing power of that dollar. But where did that purchasing power come from? It was secretly stolen from the dollars you hold. As each new dollar enters circulation it devalues all the other dollars in existence because there are now more dollars chasing the same amount of goods and services. This causes prices to rise. It is the insidious stealth tax known as inflation, robbing you of your wealth like a thief in the night.

Throughout the centuries, gold and silver have battled it out with fiat currency, and the precious metals have always won. Gold and silver revalue themselves automatically through the free market system, balancing themselves against the fiat currency in the process. This is a pattern that has been repeating and repeating since the first great currency crash in Athens in 407 B.C. Whenever an investor detects the beginning of one of these battles, the opportunities (according to history) to accumulate great wealth in a very short period of time are enormous.

It always seems to start the same way. Energy builds as the currency supply is expanded, and then, through natural human instincts, the coming crash is felt by the masses, and suddenly, in an explosive move and in a relatively short amount of time, gold and silver will revalue themselves to account for the currency that has been created in the meantime, and then some. If you see the writing on the wall and then take action before the masses do, your purchasing power will grow exponentially as gold and silver grow in value relative to an inflated currency. If you don’t, you’re in for a wipeout.

These heavyweight bouts between fiat currency and gold and silver can end one of two ways:

  1. A technical decision, where the fiat currency becomes an asset backed by gold or silver again.

Or:

  1. A knockout blow that is the death of the fiat currency.

Either way, gold and silver are always declared the victors. They are always the reigning heavyweight champions of the world. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Let’s see what history has to say.
 
It’s all Greek to me

Winston Churchill once said, “The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” So in the spirit of Churchill, we are going to look back… way back to the time of the Greeks.

Gold and silver have been the predominant currency for 4,500 years, but they became money in Lydia, in about 680 B.C. when they were minted into coins of equal weight in order to make trade easier and smoother. But it was when coinage first made its appearance in Athens that it truly flourished. Athens was the world’s first democracy. They had the world’s first free-market system and working tax system. This made possible those amazing architectural public works like the Parthenon.

Indeed for many years the Athens star shone brightly. If you’ve studied your history, then you know they are considered one of the great civilizations of all time. You’ll also know that their civilization fell a long time ago. So what happened? Why did such a great and powerful civilization like Athens fall? The answer lies in the same pattern we can see time and time again throughout history: too much greed leading to too much war.

Athens flourished under their new monetary system. Then they became involved in a war that turned out to be much longer and far more costly than they anticipated (sound familiar?). After twenty-two years of war, their resources waning and most of their money spent, the Athenians came up with a very clever way to continue funding the war. They began to debase their money in an attempt to soldier on. In a stroke of genius the Athenians discovered that if you take in 1,000 coins in taxes and mix 50 percent copper in with your gold and silver you can then spend 2,000 coins! Does this sound familiar to you? It should… it’s called deficit spending, and our government does it every second of every day.

This was the first time in history that gold or silver had a price outside itself. Before the Athenians’ bright idea, everything that you could buy was priced in a weight of gold or silver. Now, for the first time, there was official government currency that was not gold and silver, but rather a mixture of gold or silver and copper. You could buy gold and silver with it, but the currency supply was no longer gold and silver in and of themselves.

Over the next two years their beautiful money became nothing more than currency, and as a consequence it became practically worthless. But obviously, once the public woke up to the debasement, anyone who had held on to the old pure gold and silver coins saw their purchasing power increase dramatically.

Within a couple of years the war that had started the whole process had been lost. Athens would never again enjoy the glory they once knew, and they eventually became nothing more than a province of the next great power, Rome.

And the very first regional heavyweight bout between currency and money goes to the “real money,” as gold and silver are crowned the “heavyweight champions of Athens”.
 
Rome is burning

Rome supplanted the Greek empire as the dominant power of its day, and during its centuries of dominance, the Romans had ample time to perfect the art of currency debasement. Just as with every empire in history, Rome never learned from the mistakes of past empires, and therefore they were doomed to repeat them.

Over 750 years, various leaders inflated the Roman currency supply by debasing the coinage to pay for war, which would lead to staggering price inflation. Coins were made smaller, or a small portion of the edge of gold coins would be clipped off as a tax when entering a government building. These clippings would then be melted down to make more coins. And of course, just as the Greeks did, they too mixed lesser metals such as copper into their gold and silver. And last but not least, they invented the not so subtle art of revaluation, meaning they simply minted the same coins but with a higher face value on them.

By the time Diocletian ascended to the throne in A.D. 284, the Roman coins were nothing more than tin-plated copper or bronze, and inflation (and the Roman populace) was raging.

In 301, Diocletian issued his infamous Edict of Prices, which imposed the death penalty on anyone selling goods for more than the government-mandated price and also froze wages. To Diocletian’s surprise, however, prices just kept rising. Merchants could no longer sell their wares at a profit, so they closed up shop. People either left their chosen careers to seek one where wages weren’t fixed, or just gave up and accepted welfare from the state. Oh yeah, the Romans invented welfare. Rome had a population of about one million, and at this period of time, the government was doling out free wheat to approximately 200,000 citizens. That equaled out to 20 percent of the population on welfare.

Because the economy was so poor, Diocletian adopted a guns and butter policy, putting people to work by hiring thousands of new soldiers and funding numerous public works projects. This effectively doubled the size of the government and the military, and probably increased deficit spending by many multiples.

When you add the cost of paying all these troops to the swelling masses of the unemployed poor receiving welfare and the rising costs of new public works projects, the numbers were staggering. Deficit spending went into overdrive. When he ran short of funds, Diocletian simply minted vast quantities of new copper and bronze coins and began, once again, debasing the gold and silver coins.

All this resulted in the world’s first documented hyperinflation. In Diodetian’s Edict of Prices (a very well preserved copy of which was unearthed in 1970), a pound of gold was worth 50,000 denari in the year A.D. 301, but by mid-century was worth 2.12 billion denari. That means the price of gold rose 42,400 times in fifty or so years. This resulted in all currency-based trade coming to a virtual standstill, and the economic system reverted to a barter system.

To put this in perspective, fifty years ago the price of gold was $35 per ounce in the United States. If it rose 42,400 times, the price today would be just under $1.5 million per ounce. In terms of purchasing power, that means if an average new car sold for about $2,000 fifty years ago, which they did, the average car today would sell for $85 million.

This signaled the second great victory for gold and silver over fiat currency in history. So there you go, gold and silver are now 2 and 0.

In the end it was currency debasement and pure deficit spending to fund the military, public works, social programs, and war that brought down the Roman Empire. Just as with every empire throughout history, it thought it was immune to the laws of economics.

As you will see, debasing the currency to pay for public works, social programs, and war is a pattern that repeats throughout history. It is a pattern that always ends badly.

Porphyry

The following excerpts are taken from the introduction and epilogue of Joseph Hoffman’s book, Porphyry’s Against the Christians. Ellipsis omitted between unquoted passages:


wanderer
Persecution is a slippery term in the annals of the early church. An older generation of church historians, using the martyrologies and writings of the church fathers as their sources, believed that the era from Nero to Constantine was one of almost unremitting slaughter of professing Christians. Their opinion was enfeebled somewhat by the certainty that the Romans could have tried a “final solution” to the Christian problem much earlier, if they had wanted, and the fact that along with boasting of their many martyrs, church writers like Origen also bragged that rich folk, high officials, elegant ladies, and illuminati were entering the church in great numbers. The pagan writers tried to counter this trend in their insistence that Christianity was really a religion for the lazy, the ignorant and superstitious, and the lowborn—“women, yokels and children,” Celsus had sneered. But the ploy was ineffective. Diocletian’s persecutions revealed that Christianity had crept into the emperor’s bedroom: his wife, his daughter, their servants, the treasury official Audactus, the eunuch Dorotheus, even the director of the purple dye factory in Tyre, were Christians or Christian sympathizers. Insulting the new converts did not stop the process of conversion. The political solution of the third century, therefore, was an attempt to scare people off—to make being a Christian an expensive proposition. Persecution was the strong-arm alternative to failed polemical tactics by the likes of Celsus, Porphyry and Hierocles.

In 250 Decius decreed simply that Christians would be required to sacrifice to the gods of Rome by offering wine and eating sacrificial meat. Those who refused would be sentenced to death. To avoid this punishment, well-to-do Christians seem to have given up this new religion in substantial numbers, becoming in the eyes of the faithful “apostates,” a new designation derived from the Greek word revolt. The apostates also numbered many bishops, including the bishop of the important region of Smyrna, as well as Jewish Christians who rejoined the synagogue, as Judaism was not encompassed in the Decian order.

In the reign of Valerian (253-260) the focus shifted from the practice of the Christian faith to the church’s ownership of property. In August 257, Valerian targeted the wealth of the clergy and in 258 the riches of prominent Christian lay persons. The tactic was obviously intended to make upper-crust Romans think twice before throwing their wealth in the direction of the “beggar priests” as Porphyry called them.

On 31 March 297, under the emperor Diocletian, the Manichean religion was outlawed. Like Christianity it was an “import” of dubious vintage. More particularly, it was Persian, and Rome was at war with Persia. Holy books and priests were seized and burned without much ado. Professing members of the cult were put to death without trial. The most prominent Roman Manicheans (the so-called honestiores) were spared, but their property was confiscated and they were sent to work in the mines. The process against the Manicheans boded worse things to come for the Christians.

Diocletian published his first decree against the Christians in February 303. The edict to stamp out (“terminate”) the Christian religion was issued. Diocletian had hoped to cripple the movement. Termination would have meant extermination. But the survival tactics of the movement made police work difficult. Christians had become sly. The enthusiasm of martyrdom was now paralleled by accomplished doubletalk.

Executions increased, especially after rumors reached Galerius that plots against the throne were being fomented in Christian circles. New edicts were issued with regularity, each a little more severe than the one before. The fourth edict (304) required that all the people of a city must sacrifice and offer libations to the gods “as a body,” Christians included. Diocletian abdicated, in declining health. Galerius issued an edict of toleration.

Maximinus Daia, who had an active retaining program in place, designed to reeducate lapsed Christians in their pagan heritage. But the life was going out of the movement to repress Christianity. The pagan critics had not succeeded in stemming the popularity of the movement, and the “persecuting” emperors (except perhaps Diocletian himself) had miscalculated both the numbers and the determination of the faithful. The movement was Rome’s Vietnam, a slow war of attrition which had been fought to stop a multiform enemy. Even at their worst under Diocletian, the persecutions had been selective and, in their intense form, short-lived. And (as has been known since the seventeenth century) the number of martyrs was not great.

The goal of the fourth edict against the Christians in 304, in fact, had been to compel loyalty to unpopular rulers, and in 308 the greatly detested Maximinus tried the same tactic, “to offer sacrifices and wine-offerings.” The tactic was ineffectual, Eusebius says, because even the enforcers had lost their heart to impose the penalties and to support the machinery required for the “sacrifice factories” Maximinus tried to set up.

Unhappy with this failure, he sponsored a literary attack, circulating forged gospels and memoirs containing the stock slanders against Jesus. These were posted in public gathering-places and schoolteachers were required to assign portions of them to children as lessons. To substantiate charges against the moral habits of the Christians, Maximinus then hired agents (duces) to round up prostitutes from the marketplace in Damascus. Tortured until they confessed to being Christians, they then signed statements to the effect that the churches routinely practiced ritual prostitution and required members to participate in sexually depraved acts. These statements were also distributed to the towns and cities for public display.

Desperate times, desperate men, desperate measures.

By the time Galerius issued his edict of toleration in favor of the Christians on 30 April 311 three waves of attack had failed: the erratic policies of emperors Nero and Marcus Aurelius; the literary and philosophical attacks, carried on in collusion with imperial sponsors; and the more sustained persecutions of the third century, ending in 311. Paganism was dying. Maximinus’ plan for “reeducating” Christians in the religion of their ancestors had failed.

After Constantine’s conversion—whatever it may have been—only Julian (332-363), his nephew, remained to pick up the baton for the pagan cause. Julian did his best to reestablish the old order. He reorganized the shrines and temples; outlawed the teachings of Christian doctrine in the schools, retracted the legal and financial privileges which the Christians had been accumulating since the early fourth century; wrote polemical treaties against the Christians himself, and—in a clever political maneuver—permitted exiled bishops to return to their sees to encourage power-struggles and dissention within the church. Naturally, the Christians despised him. The distinguished theologian Gregory of Nazianzus had been Julian’s schoolmate in Athens, where both learned a love for the classical writers (but where Julian had been converted to Greek humanism). Cyril of Alexandria wrote a long refutation of Julian’s Adversus Christianos (Against the Christians), parts of which hark back to Porphyry and Hierocles. All in all, this pagan interlude—never really a renaissance—lasted only three years, until Julian’s death in June 363.

In the middle of this period we have just described stands Porphyry of Tyre. Born in 232, Porphyry was eighteen when the persecution broke out under emperor Decius. Twelve years later, his dislike for Christianity was firmly established. Porphyry had heard Origen preach, studied the Hebrew scripture, especially the prophets, and the Christian gospels, and found them lacking in literary quality and philosophical sophistication. He had joined a “school” in Rome (ca. 262) run by the famous neoplatonic teacher, Plotinus, where he remained until about 270. In Sicily, following Plotinus’ death, and back again to Rome, Porphyry developed an intense dislike of popular religion—or superstition, as the Roman intellectuals of his circle preferred to call it, regarding Christianity as the most pernicious form of a disease infecting the empire. In a work titled Pros Anebo he pointed out the defects in the cults. Then he tackled Christian teaching in a work. Popular under the rescript of Galerius in 311, the work was targeted for destruction by the imperial church, which in 448 condemned all existing copies to be burned.

The first thing to say about Porphyry’s fifteen books against the Christians is that they are lost. The exact title is not known, and its popular title, Kata Christianon, can be dated securely only from the Middle Ages. Opinions radically differ over the question whether the books can be substantially restored. A few facts can be stated succinctly, however. First, the church was unusually successful in its efforts to eradicate all traces of Kata Christianon from at least 448. Not only were Porphyry’s books destroyed, but many of the works of Christian writers incorporating sections of Porphyry’s polemic were burned in order to eliminate what one critic, the bishop Apollinarius, called “poison of his thought.”

Second, the ninety-seven fragments gathered by Harnack, half of which were taken from the fourth-century writer Macarius Magnes, are enough—if barely enough—to give us shape of Porphyry’s critique. That Macarius does not name his opponent and sometimes seems to characterize rather than quote his opinions could easily be explained as a strategic decision by a Christian teacher who wished his defense to survive. Naming his adversary—or quoting him too precisely—would have almost certainly guaranteed the burning of Macarius’ defense. Put appositely, anyone wishing to write a defense of the faith in the fourth or fifth century would have been foolhardy to identify the enemy as Porphyry.

[Third], I think we owe it to Porphyry and his “interpreters” to permit them speak to us directly. Having been buried—more or less successfully—since 448, the words should be permitted to breathe their own air.