Kriminalgeschichte, 61

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

Ambrose’s struggle against Hellenism

Like many other Church fathers, Ambrose was subject to the influence of Greco-Roman philosophy, especially Plotinus. However, he speaks of it quite critically, relating it to ‘idolatry’, a special invention of Satan, and also to the ‘heretics’, especially the Arians. If this philosophy has something good it is that it comes from the ‘Holy Scriptures’, from Ezra, David, Moses, Abraham and others. It also considers all the natural sciences as an attack on the ‘Deus maiestatis’. The Hellenism is for him, as a whole, an ‘arma diaboli’, and the fight against it ‘a fight against the Empire of the devil’ (Wytzes).

The young Gratian at first had given a good treatment to the Hellenists, but he learned from his spiritual mentor ‘to feel the Christian Empire as an obligation to repress the old religion of the state’ (Caspar). This was no longer difficult, since Christianity was established and paganism was in retreat. After the visit to Rome by Gratian and his co-regent in 376, the city, still largely clinging to the old faith, experienced the destruction of a sanctuary of Mithras by the prefect Gracchus, who, pending baptism, thus demonstrated his merits.

In the summer of 382, Ambrose was in Rome, probably horrified by the many Gentiles, the ‘demented dogs’, as were called by Pope Damasus I, a Spaniard, and while he was talking about persecution, the Christian members of the Senate had to pay their official oath before the image of the goddess Victoria.

At the end of that same year, the sovereign (who would soon be assassinated) disposed, ‘evidently by the advice of Ambrose’ (Thrade), ‘with all certainty not without the influence of his paternal adviser Ambrose’ (Niederhuber), a series of peremptory anti-Hellenist edicts for the city, by virtue of which the support of the State was withdrawn from various cults and clergy, like the popular Vestals, the exemption from taxes was annulled and the ownership of the land of the temples was denied.

The monarch also ordered the removal of the statue of the goddess Victoria, a masterpiece of Tarentum taken from the enemy and also a highly venerated symbol of Roman rule. Since Victoria was one of the oldest national deities, with a cult statue in the Senate hall since the time of Augustus (only Constantius II had recently withdrawn her), most of the senators and Hellenist citizens of Rome felt offended about what was most sacred.

______ 卐 ______

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Why Europeans must reject Christianity, 13

by Ferdinand Bardamu

Christianity: bringer of violence and bloodshed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kriminalgeschichte, 58

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

Saint Ambrose drives the annihilation of the Goths, 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[2] Ambros. Lukaskommentar 5,73 f.

[3] Schneider, Liebesgebot 27 f, 56.

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

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

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

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

Kriminalgeschichte, 56

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

The Ambrosian policy: archetype for the Church to the present

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[1] August. conf. 5,13.

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

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

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

[5] Cf. recently Strzelczyck 1 f.

Kriminalgeschichte, 41

Note of the Editor: Julian had designated a successor, Secundus Salutius, in case he prematurely died or was assassinated. When Julian was indeed assassinated, Salutius, who supported Greco-Roman culture, inexplicably rejected the purple that belonged to him according the Emperor’s will. And when the Christian Jovian was then chosen but soon died in an accident (as we will see in this post), the army offered once more the purple to the pagan Salutius and he rejected it again!

‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing’.


______ 卐 ______


Jovian, Valentinian I and Valens

Although a ‘convinced Christian’, at the time of accessing the throne Jovian ordered to celebrate a sacrifice and consult the viscera. His first act of government was a shameful treaty with the Persians, in which he made great territorial concessions.

Very different from the ascetic Julian, the Catholic emperor Jovian, of mediocre culture although fond of playing being a patron, celebrated by the Church as ‘companion of the saints’, was lover of the wine, women and the celebrations. He restored the labarum as an imperial banner and not only murdered a senior notary of the same name, whom he feared as a possible candidate for the throne, but also deposed numerous civil and military officials among those named by Julian, confiscating their property and exiling them or executing them.

Solidus of emperor Jovian

According to Theodoret, these measures only affected those who had committed abuses against Christians or against the Christian Church. Jovian spared the life a certain Vindaonius Magnus, who had destroyed a ‘house of God’ in Berytus, in exchange for his paying for the reconstruction from his pocket. Paganism was not especially persecuted, even if one or another temple (such as that of Corfu) was closed or destroyed, sacrifices were forbidden or a library established by Julian in the temple of Trajan burned in Antioch (mainly because it contained anti-Christian works).

A little incapable, but obedient to the suggestions of the clergy, as soon as he stepped on Roman lands Jovian restored the privileges to the jubilant priests, in addition to giving them others that they did not have before. In the course of time they snatched many more. The exiled priests returned; the prelates crowded the court in droves, and even in the East the Nicene faith revived.

Saint Athanasius, distinguished by the emperor with an epistle and triumphantly received at Hierapolis, prophesied to Jovian in writing ‘a long and peaceful reign’—only eight months later, on February 17, 364, the emperor died in Dadastana (Bithynia), at the young age of thirty-one years, ‘beautifully prepared for death’, according to Theodoret, but actually intoxicated by a coal brazier. He was buried in the apostolic temple of Constantinople.

Again Second Salutius rejected the purple, reason why after hard discussions the dignitaries of the empire chose, at the end of February of the year 364, Valentinian, descendant of some farmers of Pannonia and son of the general Gratian. On March 28, in the field of Mars, the new emperor appointed co-regent for the eastern part of the empire his brother Valens, although he reserved for himself lapotior auctoritas.

It is from the time of Valentinian and Valens that the use of the word pagani was generalized to designate the adherents of the old religion.

Among the high positions of the army and of the administration the pagans still predominated, although for the last time and by the scarce majority of 12 to 10. In the part assigned to Valens, the payroll of the known officials gives us, along with nine polytheists, a Manichaean, three Arians and ten Orthodox. Many prestigious senators from Julian’s time and before left office, evidently because of their beliefs. In addition, the co-regulators enacted confiscations of temple properties (to incorporate them into their private funds), punishments against astrologers and threats of capital punishment for practitioners of night spells.

Both emperors were confessed Christians; it is even said that Valentinian had been retaliated for it in Julian’s time, while there is no similar incidence for Valens’ case. Both announced by decree (supposing it to be authentic) that ‘the Trinity is constituted by only one essence and three persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and we order that this is what everyone should believe…’

Soon, however, there were doctrinal differences between them and each one devoted himself to promoting his own. While Valentinian I, the emperor of the West, remained faithful to the Nicene Creed, Valens, who ‘had been orthodox at the beginning’ (Theodoret) promoted Arian beliefs in the East. In a certain way, it could be said that this is how the eternal rivalry between the East and the West was expressed. Both, and especially Valens, were quite uneducated; both were brutal, in particular Valentinian, and both had a deer-like panic of witchcraft.

After their proclamation, Valentinian and Valens travelled together through Thrace and Dacia, to separate in Sirmium.

Julian, 5

Julian presiding at a conference of Sectarians
(Edward Armitage, 1875)

Priscus to Libanius

Athens, June 380

I send you by my pupil Glaucon something less than half of the Emperor Julian’s memoir. It cost me exactly thirty solidi to have this much copied. On receipt of the remaining fifty solidi I shall send you the rest of the book. I can only assume that the copying you had done in Athens last summer was the work of an admirer who gave you a cut price as a sign of his esteem for your high contributions to philosophy and rhetoric.

I do not share your pessimism about the new Emperor. He is hardly what we would have picked had the choice been ours, but then the choice never has been ours. Julian’s accession was the work of Fortune, a deity notable for her absence in human affairs. We can hardly hope to have another Julian in our lifetime. And that is that.

I have studied the edict since I wrote you last, and though it is somewhat sterner in tone than Constantine’s, I suspect the only immediate victims will be those Christians who follow Arius. But I may be mistaken. I almost always am in political matters, a weakness no doubt of the philosophic temperament.

However, what does give me hope was last year’s appointment of the “poet” Ausonius as consul. Do you know him? I am sure you’ve read him. If not, you have a treat in store. I have lately become rather an expert on his career. He started life as the son of a well-to-do doctor in Bordeaux. His phenomenal luck began when the Emperor Valentinian made him tutor to his son Gratian. As Ausonius himself puts it, he “moulded the tiny mind of the infant prince”.

When the prince became emperor, he rewarded his old tutor by making him praetorian prefect of Gaul as well as consul for last year. I mention all this because Ausonius is inclined favourably to us, and he exerts a considerable influence not only on Gratian (who is far too busy hunting wild boar in Gaul to distress us unduly) but on Theodosius as well. He is obviously the man for you to cultivate.

Not long ago I sent round to the library to see what they had by Ausonius. The slave returned with a wheelbarrow full of books. Ausonius must be read to be believed! As poet, no subject is too trivial for him; as courtier, no flattery too excessive. He did write one passable nature poem on the Moselle, but I’m not keen on rivers. The rest of his work is quite marvellous in its tedium. Particularly those verses he wrote at Valentinian’s request. Among the subjects chosen by the Emperor were the source of the Danube (Ausonius did not locate it but he made a good try), Easter, and (best of all) four odes to the Emperor’s four favourite horses.

I had one of these equine odes copied out and Hippia reads it to me whenever I am depressed. It begins “Oh raven steed, whose fortune it is to spread the golden thighs and Mars-like firm convexities of divine Augustus…” I don’t know when I have enjoyed a poem so much.

I’ll enclose a copy. Anyway, I suggest you see Ausonius as soon as possible. And of course you will remember to express admiration for his work! In a good cause hypocrisy becomes virtue.

I never go to evening parties. The quarter I referred to in my letter was not the elegant street of Sardes but the quarter of the prostitutes near the agora. I don’t go to parties because I detest talking-women, especially our Athenian ladies who see themselves as heiresses to the age of Pericles. Their conversation is hopelessly pretentious and artificial. Their dinners are inedible, and for some reason they all tend to be rather squat with dark vestigial moustaches; no doubt Aphrodite’s revenge on the talking-woman.

I live very quietly at home with an occasional visit to the quarter. Hippia and I get along rather better than we used to. Much of her charm for me has been her lifelong dislike of literature. She talks about servants and food and relatives, and I find her restful. Also, I have in the house a Gothic girl, bought when she was eleven. She is now a beautiful woman, tall and well made, with eyes grey as Athena’s.

She never talks. Eventually I shall buy her a husband and free them both as a reward for her serene acceptance of my attentions, which delight her far less than they do me. But that is often the case with the feminine half of Plato’s ugliest beast. But then Plato disliked sexual intercourse between men and women. We tend of course to think of Plato as divine, but I am afraid he was rather like our old friend Iphicles, whose passion for youths has become so outrageous that he now lives day and night in the baths, where the boys call him the queen of philosophy.

I am sorry to hear that your health grows worse but that is to be expected at our age. The rash you refer to does sound like bad fish. I suggest a diet of bread and water, and not much of either. On receipt of the money, I will send you the balance of the memoir. It will disturb and sadden you. I shall be curious to see how you use this material. Hippia joins me in wishing for your good—or should I say better?—health.

You will note in the memoir that Julian invariably refers to the Christians as “Galileans” and to their churches as “charnel houses”, this last a dig at their somewhat necrophile passion for the relics of dead men. I think it might be a good idea to alter the text, and reconvert those charnel houses into churches and those Galileans into Christians. Never offend an enemy in a small way.

Here and there in the text, I have made marginal notes. I hope you won’t find them too irrelevant.

Published in: on June 25, 2017 at 12:01 pm  Comments (1)  

Julian, 2

As to yesterday’s London terrorist attack I agree with Hunter Wallace that “There is nothing new to add here” (at any event, remember that only the news that I consider important will be mentioned at the Addenda). More important is to hammer on our view that the religion of our parents means white genocide. In the first pages of Julian we see a dramatisation of how ancient intellectuals dealt with a hostile takeover of their Hellenic culture by a cult of Levantine extraction:




Libanius to Priscus

Antioch, March [A.D.] 380

Yesterday morning as I was about to enter the lecture hall, I was stopped by a Christian student who asked me in a voice eager with malice, “Have you heard about the Emperor Theodosius?”

I cleared my throat ready to investigate the nature of this question, but he was too quick for me. “He has been baptized a Christian.”

I was non-committal. Nowadays, one never knows who is a secret agent. Also, I was not particularly surprised at the news. When Theodosius fell ill last winter and the bishops arrived like vultures to pray over him, I knew that should he recover they would take full credit for having saved him. He survived. Now we have a Christian emperor in the East, to match Gratian, our Christian emperor in the West. It was inevitable.

I turned to go inside but the young man was hardly finished with his pleasant task. “Theodosius has also issued an edict. It was just read in front of the senate house. I heard it. Did you?”

“No. But I always enjoy imperial prose,” I said politely.

“You may not enjoy this. The Emperor has declared heretic all those who do not follow the Nicene Creed.”

“I’m afraid Christian theology is not really my subject. The edict hardly applies to those of us who are still faithful to philosophy.”

“It applies to everyone in the East.” He said this slowly, watching me all the while. “The Emperor has even appointed an Inquisitor to determine one’s faith. The days of toleration are over.”

I was speechless; the sun flared in my eyes; all things grew confused and I wondered if I was about to faint, or even die. But the voices of two colleagues recalled me. I could tell by the way they greeted me that they, too, had heard about the edict and were curious to know my reaction. I gave them no pleasure.

“Of course I expected it,” I said. “The Empress Postuma wrote me only this week to say that…” I invented freely. I have not of course heard from the Empress in some months, but I thought that the enemy should be reminded to what extent I enjoy the favour of Gratian and Postuma. It is humiliating to be forced to protect oneself in this way, but these are dangerous times.

I did not lecture yesterday. I went straight home. I am now living in Daphne, by the way, a charming suburb which I prefer to Antioch proper because of the quiet. As I get older, I find that the slightest sound in the night disturbs me and, once awake, I have difficulty falling asleep again. You can imagine how intolerable my old house in the city became. You remember the house; it was there that I gave the reception for the Emperor Julian when he…

But I forget. You were not there, and you were much missed! My memory plays me odd tricks these days. Even worse, I tend to mislay the notes I jot down as reminders, or (terrible confession!) when I do find them, I am often unable to decipher my own handwriting. Age spares us nothing, old friend. Like ancient trees, we die from the top.

Except for occasional lectures, I seldom go into town, for the people, though my own, distress me with their loud voices and continual quarrelling, their gambling and sensuality. They are hopelessly frivolous. Nights are made day with artificial light, while nearly all the men now use depilatories, which makes it difficult to tell them from women… to think how I once eulogized this city! But I suppose one must be tolerant, recalling that the Antiochenes are the victims of a demoralizingly sultry climate, the proximity of Asia and of course that pernicious Christian doctrine which asserts that a sprinkling of water (and a small donation) will wash away sin, again and again and again.

Now, my old friend, as I sit here in my study surrounded by our proscribed friends (I mean those books of Greece which made the mind of man), let me tell you what thoughts I had last night—a sleepless night not only because of the edict but because two cats saw fit to enliven my despair with the noise of lust (only an Egyptian would worship a cat). I am weary today but determined.

We must fight back. What happens to us personally is not important, but what happens to civilization is a matter of desperate concern. During my sleepless night, I thought of various appeals that might be made to our new Emperor. I have a copy of the edict before me as I write. It is composed in bad bureaucratic Greek, the official style of the bishops, whose crudity of language is equalled only by the confusion of their thought. Not unlike those celebrated minutes of the council at—where was it? Chalcedon?—which we used to read aloud to one another with such delight! Carefree days, never to come again. Unless we act now.

Priscus, I am sixty-six years old and you are, as I recall, a dozen years older than I. We have reached an age when death is a commonplace not to be feared, especially by us, for is not all philosophy but preparation for a serene dying? And are we not true philosophers who have nothing to lose but that which in the natural course we shall surrender in any case, more soon than late?

I have already had several seizures in recent years which left me unconscious and weakened, and of course my chronic cough, aggravated by an unseasonable wet winter, threatens to choke me to death at any time. I am also losing my sight; and I suffer from a most painful form of gout. Therefore let us, fearing nothing, join forces and strike back at the Christians before they entirely destroy the world we love.

My plan is this. Seventeen years ago when you returned from Persia, you told me that our beloved friend and pupil, the Emperor Julian, had written a fragment of memoir which you had got hold of at the time of his death. I have often thought to write you for a copy, simply for my own edification. I realized then, as did you, that publication was out of the question, popular though Julian was and still is, even though his work to restore the true gods has been undone.

Under the Emperors Valentinian and Valens we had to be politic and cautious if we were to be allowed to go on teaching. But now in the light of this new edict, I say: an end to caution! We have nothing but two old bodies to lose, while there is eternal glory to be gained by publishing Julian’s memoir, with an appropriate biography to be written by either or both of us. I knew his quality best, of course, but you were with him in Persia and saw him die.

So between the two of us, I his teacher and you his philosopher-companion, we can rehabilitate his memory and with close reasoning show the justice of his contest with the Christians. I have written about him in the past, and boldly. I refer particularly to the eulogy I composed just after his death when, if I may say so, I was able to bring tears even to hard Christian eyes.

Shortly afterwards, I published my correspondence with Julian. Incidentally, I sent you a copy and though you never acknowledged this gift, I do hope you found it interesting. If by any chance you did not receive it, I shall be happy to send you another one. I kept all of Julian’s letters to me over the years, as well as copies of my own letters to him.

One can never rely on the great keeping one’s letters; and should those letters vanish, one is apt to be remembered only as the mysterious half of a dialogue to be reconstructed in the vaguest way from the surviving (and sometimes lesser!) half of the exchange. Finally, I am at work on an oration to be called “On Avenging the Emperor Julian”. I mean to dedicate this work to Theodosius.

Let me know as soon as possible if you concur in my plan. I repeat: we have nothing to lose. And the world has much to gain. By the way, as a sign of the times, there is now a Latin Academy at Antioch, with a heavy enrolment. It is enough to chill the blood. The young men are deserting Hellenic studies for Roman law in the hopes of government preferment. My own classes are still large but many of my colleagues are literally starving to death. Recently, a student (Christian, of course) most tactfully suggested that I, Libanius, learn Latin! At my age and after a life-time devoted to Greek!

I told him that as I was not a lawyer there was nothing I needed to read in that ugly language, which has produced only one poem and that a depressing paraphrase of our great Homer. I hope after so many years of silence between us that this letter finds you and your admirable wife, Hippin, in good health. I envy you your life at Athens, the natural centre of our universe. Do I need to add that I will of course defray any expenses you might incur in having Julian’s memoir copied? The price of copying, luckily, is less at Athens than here at Antioch. Books always cost more in those cities where they are least read!

Added: An old rumour has just been confirmed. The Great King of Persia, Sapor, is dead at last. He was over eighty and reigned most of his life. A strange coincidence that the king who struck down our beloved Julian should die just as we are about to restore his memory. I was once told that Sapor had read my Life of Demosthenes and admired it. How marvellous books are, crossing worlds and centuries, defeating ignorance and, finally, cruel time itself. Let us make Julian live again, and for all time!

Published in: on June 4, 2017 at 10:18 am  Comments (1)