Kriminalgeschichte, 69

A note of the Editor to those who tried
to defend the statue at Charlottesville:

Perhaps you ignore that removing the statues that represent the white and healthy part of a culture has been a practice that goes back to Antiquity.

As to why the non-white, African Augustine, considered the destruction of the Greco-Roman statues an act of devotion, recall what Evropa Soberana wrote in his essay on Judea against Rome: ‘To destroy a statue was to destroy the Hellenic human ideal: it was to sabotage the capacity of [Aryan] man to reach the very Divinity, from which He proceeds and to which He must return one day’.
 

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Augustine attacks classical culture

Just as he repressed the ‘heretics’, evidently Augustine also repressed the so-called ‘pagans’.

The bishop fought against ‘the infamous gods of all kinds’, ‘the ungodly cults’, ‘the rabble of gods’, the ‘impure, abominable spirits’; ‘they are all bad’, ‘throw them away, despise them!’ Augustine insults Jupiter by calling him ‘seducer of women’, speaks of his ‘numerous and malignant acts of cruelty’, of the ‘irreverence of Venus’; defines the cult of the mother of the gods as ‘that epidemic, that crime, that ignominy’, to the great mother herself as ‘that monster’ who ‘through a multitude of public gallants gets the Earth dirty and offends the sky’, and says that Saturn surpasses them ‘in that shameless cruelty’.

Like Thomas Aquinas or Pope Pius II, Augustine defends the maintenance of prostitution so that ‘the violence of the passions’ does not ‘throw everything down’: the usual Catholic double standard. (Popes like Sixtus IV [1471-1484], creator of the feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, and bishops, abbots and priors of honourable convents, kept profitable brothels!) Augustine repeats the already trite arguments against polytheism, from the matter and insensibility of the statues until the inability of the gods to help. And, like many others before him, he identifies them with demons.

The scope, the methods and the disrespectful mockery that the saint shows are evident, and extraordinarily detailed, in his magnum opus The City of God (413-426), directed specifically against the adepts of classical culture: twenty-two books that were one of Charlemagne’s favourite readings. In this work, as the Catholic Van der Meer ponders, Augustine ‘sets accounts, from a high point of view, with all the old culture of lies’, in favour of a new and far worse culture!

Augustine even resorts to counterfeiting, since in The City of God, in which the belief in the gods appears as the capital vice of the Romans; in which polytheism appears as the main cause of moral defeat as well as the fall of Rome in 410; as the main motive of all crimes, of all the mala, bella, discordiae of Roman history—in his masterpiece, then, Augustine does not hesitate to ‘discredit by means of conscious deformations’ (F.G. Maier) the world of the gods, allowing himself, when writing about the so-called pagans ‘any means’, even the ‘falsification of quotations’ (Andresen). ‘Lying and scandal are the two great things on which everything is based on the polytheistic faith’ (Schuitze).

At the beginning of his life as a bishop, Augustine had simply preached to use the wicked against the violence of the wicked. He soon fights the adepts of classical culture with the same lack of scruples as the ‘heretics’.

The Roman state itself is bad, a second Babylon, ‘condita est civitas Roma velut altera Babylon’. He justifies with resolution the eradication of the Old Faith; he orders the destruction of temples, centres of pilgrimage and images, the annihilation of all cults: a measure of reprisal against those who had previously killed Christians. He also affirmed that there was a common front of all those he condemned—heretics, adepts of classical culture and Jews—’against our unity’. Thus, around the year 400 he says triumphantly: ‘Throughout the Empire temples have been destroyed, idols are broken, sacrifices abolished, and those who worship the gods, punished’.

In response to Augustine’s phrase in which he says to welcome the Hellenists ‘with pastoral kindness and generosity’, the theologian Bernhard Kötting writes:

But he agrees with the laws and the measures of the emperor against the pagan cult and the sacrifices and the places where they are practiced, the temples. It is based on precepts of the Old Testament, where it is ordered to destroy the places of sacrifice to the idols, ‘as soon as the country is in your hands’.

As soon as one has power, annihilation follows ‘with pastoral goodness and generosity’! Several times Augustine rejected a literal understanding of the Old Testament in favour of an allegorical exegesis. However, the same as so many, other times he conveniently rejected the allegorical in favour of the literal.

As usual, the Catholic State fulfilled the requirements of the Catholic Church. Just as with the dispute with the ‘heretics’, in confrontations with the adepts of the classical culture there were first defamatory sermons by the clergy, strict canons, and then the corresponding civil laws. Then Greco-Roman culture in Africa was pushed back and annihilated.

In March of 399 the Gaudentius and Jovius committees profaned in Cartago the temples and the statues of the gods, according to Augustine, a milestone in the fight against the infernal cult. Later, Gaudentius and Jovius also destroyed the temples of the cities of the province, evidently with enormous satisfaction on the part of the holy bishop, for which the demolition of the idols already foreseen in the Old Testament is fulfilled. Augustine approves the decrees of 399 by the Christian emperor—who, based on Psalm 71: 11, finds justified—, in which he demands the destruction of idols and warns with the capital punishment those who worship them.

On June 16, 401, the fifth African synod decided to ask the emperor to demolish all the Greco-Roman shrines and temples that still remain ‘all over Africa’. The synod did not even allow so-called pagan banquets (convivio), because they performed ‘impure dances’, sometimes even in the days of the martyrs. The old Church again threatens Christians who participate in such meals with penances of several years or excommunication. There would be no communication with those who think differently.

At the time, in June 401, Augustine again incited the destructive rage. In a Sunday sermon in Carthage, he congratulated himself on the fervour against ‘idols’, and mocked them so primitively that the listeners laughed. At the foot of the golden-bearded statue of Hercules, we read: Herculi Deo. Who is? He should be able to say it. ‘But he can’t. He remains as silent as his sign!’ And when he remembers that even in Rome the temples have been closed and the idols have been thrown down, a clamour resounds throughout the church: ‘As in Rome, also in Carthage!’ Augustine continues to stir: the gods have fled Rome to come here. ‘Think about it, brothers, think about it! I already said it, apply it now you!’

Emperor Honorius (393-423), one of the sons of Theodosius I, made great concessions in his time to the Church. He was subject to both the influence of Ambrose and that of his pious sister Galla Placidia, founder of temples and persecutor of ‘heretics’ by legal means, which in turn influenced Saint Barbatian (festivity: December 31), his counsellor for many years and great miracle worker.

Thus, after repeated requests of the Church, the emperor, through a series of edicts promulgated in 399, 407, 408 and 415, ordered to remove in Africa the images of the temples, destroy the altars and close or confiscate the sanctuaries, assigning the goods for other purposes. When Augustine asked in court a more severe application of the laws, Honorius did so, threatening even to resort to the garrison. ‘The Government was increasingly inclined to meet the demands raised from the Christian side’ (Schulze).

With the support of the Church and the State, the Catholic hordes were no less brutal in the ‘cleansing’ of the rural properties of Greco-Roman gods than the Circumcellions were previously. At times, Augustine even established as a rule that those who converted to Christianity should destroy the temples and the images of the gods themselves. This happened in Calama, near Hippo, where Bishop St. Possidius, biographer and friend of Augustine, was so hated that neither the members of the curia, the councillors, protected him.

However, while they assaulted the monastery and beat a monk with blows, the prelate escaped. And when the Christians demolished the temple of Hercules in Sufes, a tumult arose such that Augustine, who denounced the government of the city, still of the old religion, had to mourn the loss of 60 slaughtered brothers of faith. He reports it with a strange mixture of indignation, hatred and sarcasm, without saying a single word about how many adepts of classical culture lost their lives in the uproar caused by the Christians. It should be noted that in Sufes, as a response from the Church, the temples and images of gods that were still preserved were destroyed, with bloody fights, partly in the sanctuaries themselves.

If out of fear of the fanaticism of their adversaries, the Hellenists abjured their faith—as a multitude of Christians once did in front of the pagans—Augustine mocks: ‘These are the servants that the devil has’. He considered the destruction of the Greco-Roman cult centres and their statues as an act of devotion. On the battlefield against the Hellenists he celebrated the final victory achieved. Is it surprising that, in a letter to the father of the Church, the Neo-Platonist Maximus called the saints knaves?

At the request of Augustine, his disciple Orosius, an Iberian priest, continued the disruption and defamation of classical culture. Following the tendency of his teacher he wrote Historiarum Adversum Paganos Libri VII (Seven Books of History Against the Pagans). This apologetic, a sloppy and superficial product, became one of the most read works during the Middle Ages, perhaps the history book by antonomasia. It appeared in almost all clerical libraries and has completely contaminated historiography. Until the 12th century, this image of history manufactured by Augustine and Orosius predominated in the Christian world, and continued for a long time.
 

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Note of the Ed.:

The complete title of Augustine’s magnum opus was The City of God Against the Pagans. His legacy was so influential that, as Deschner says above, Charlemagne (742-814) was a fan of The City of God Against the Pagans (emphasis added).

Charlemagne was the first European emperor since the fall of Rome, and he slaughtered thousands of those Germanics who were not Christians or refused to become Christians. The Nazis even created a stone memorial to those Saxon victims in 1935.

White nationalists still ignore the tragic history of those centuries when the last Germanics, who still resisted the enforced infection of an originally Semitic cult, fell.

 

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Apocalypse for whites • XXXIII

by Evropa Soberana

 
The anti-Hellenist genocide continues, with more virulence

Julian, the last patriotic emperor of Rome, is succeeded by Emperor Flavius Jovian: a fundamentalist Christian who reinstates terror, including the Scythopolis camps. In 364 he orders the burning of Antioch’s library. We must assume that what has come to us today from the philosophy, science, poetry and art in general of the classical era is nothing but a mutilated dispossession of what was left behind by Christian destruction.

Through a series of edicts, the emperor decrees the death penalty for all individuals who worship gods instead of the god of the Jews (including domestic and private worship) or practice divination, and all the assets of the temples of the old religions are confiscated. With a decree of 364, the emperor forbids non-Christian military leaders to command over Christian troops.

That same year, Flavius Jovian is succeeded by Emperor Valentinian, another insane fundamentalist. In the eastern part, his brother Valens continued the persecution of the followers of classical culture, being especially cruel in the easternmost part of the empire. In Antioch, he executed the former governor and the priests Hilary and Patrician.

The philosopher Semonides is burned alive and Maximus, another philosopher, is decapitated.[1] All the Neo-Platonists and loyal men to Emperor Julian are persecuted with fury. At this point there should already be a strong anti-Christian reaction from the part of the wise men and all the patriots in general. But it was too late; and all they had left was to preserve their knowledge in some way.

In the squares of the eastern cities huge bonfires are erected where the sacred books, the Gnostic wisdom, the Egyptian teachings, the Greek philosophy, the Roman literature burns… The classic world is being destroyed, and not only in that present, but also in the past and in the future. The Christian fanatics want, literally, to erase all traces of Egypt, Greece and Rome; that nobody knows that they ever existed and, above all, know what the Egyptians, the Greeks and the Romans have said, thought and taught.
 
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[1] Maximus of Ephesus is mentioned in my previous Julian entry: a novel in which the author has him playing an important role in the plot (see also Kriminalgeschichte 43).

Julian, 25

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

Julian Augustus

When the dinner was over, Sosipatra presented her sons to us. They were about my age. Two of them grew up to be speculators in grain, and most unsavoury. The third, Anatolius, I heard news of only recently. Some years ago he attached himself to the temple of Serapis at Alexandria. After Bishop George destroyed the temple, Anatolius climbed on to a broken column and now stares continually at the sun. How I envy the purity of such a life! But that night at dinner, the future holy man seemed a very ordinary youth, with a slight stammer.

When the sons had withdrawn, Sosipatra sent for a tripod and incense. “And now you will want to know what the gods advise you to do. Where to go. With whom to study.” She gave me a dazzling smile.

I blurted out, “I want to study here, with you.” But she shook her head, to Ecebolius’ relief. “I know my own future and a prince is no part of it. I wish it were otherwise,” she added softly, and I fell in love with her on the spot, as so many students had done before me.

Sosipatra lit the incense. She shut her eyes. She whispered a prayer. Then in a low voice she implored the Great Goddess to speak to us. Smoke filled the room. All things grew vague and indistinct. My head began to ache. Suddenly in a loud voice not her own, Sosipatra said, “Julian!”

I looked at her closely. Her eyes were half open but only the whites showed: she slept while the spirit possessed her. “You are loved by us beyond any man alive.” That was puzzling. “Us” must mean the gods. But why should they love a Galilean who doubted their existence? Of course I had also begun to question the divinity of the Nazarene, which made me neither Hellenist nor Galilean, neither believer nor atheist. I was suspended somewhere between, waiting for a sign. Could this be it?

“You will rebuild our temples. You will cause the smoke of a thousand sacrifices to rise from a thousand altars. You shall be our servant and all men shall be your servants, as token of our love.”

Ecebolius stirred nervously. “We must not listen to this,” he murmured.

The voice continued serenely. “The way is dangerous. But we shall protect you, as we have protected you from the hour of your birth. Earthly glory shall be yours. And death when it comes in far Phrygia, by enemy steel, will be a hero’s death, without painful lingering. Then you shall be with us for ever, close to the One from whom all light flows, to whom all light returns. Oh, Julian, dear to us… Evil!” The voice changed entirely. It became harsh. “Foul and profane! We bring you defeat. Despair. The Phrygian death is yours. But the tormented soul is ours for ever, far from light!”

Sosipatra screamed. She began to writhe in her chair; her hands clutched at her throat as though to loosen some invisible bond. Words tumbled disjointedly from her mouth. She was a battleground between warring spirits. But at last the good prevailed, and she became tranquil.

“Ephesus,” she said, and her voice was again soft and caressing. “At Ephesus you will find the door to light. Ecebolius, when you were a child you hid three coins in the garden of your uncle’s house at Sirmium. One was a coin of the reign of Septimus Severus. A gardener dug up the coins and spent them. That coin of Severus is now in Pergamon, in a tavern. Oribasius, your father insists you sell the property but hopes you will not make the same mistake you made last year when you leased the lower meadow to your Syrian neighbour, and he would not pay. Julian, beware the fate of Gallus. Remember… Hilarius!” She stopped. She became herself again. “My head aches,” she said in a tired voice.

We were all quite shaken. I most of all for she had practically said that I would become emperor, which was treason, for no one may consult an oracle about the imperial succession, nor even speculate in private on such matters. Ecebolius had been rightly alarmed.

Sosipatra had no memory of what was said. She listened carefully as we told her what the goddess—and the other—had said. She was intrigued. “Obviously a great future for the most noble Julian.”

“Of course,” said Ecebolius nervously. “As a loyal prince of the imperial house…”

“Of course!” Sosipatra laughed. “We must say no more.” Then she frowned. “I have no idea who the dark spirit was. But it is plain that the goddess was Cybele, and she wants you to honour her since she is the mother of all, and your protectress.”

“It also seems indicated that Julian should avoid Phrygia,” said Oribasius mischievously.

But Sosipatra took this quite seriously. “Yes. Julian will die in Phrygia, gloriously, in battle.” She turned to me. “I don’t understand the reference to your brother. Do you?”

I nodded, unable to speak, my head whirling with dangerous thoughts.

“The rest of it seems plain enough. You are to restore the worship of the true gods.”

“It seems rather late in the day for that.” Ecebolius had found his tongue at last. “And even if it were possible, Julian is a Christian. The imperial house is Christian. This makes him a most unlikely candidate for restoring the old ways.”

“Are you unlikely?” Sosipatra fixed me with her great dark eyes.

I shook my head helplessly. “I don’t know. I must wait for a sign.”

“Perhaps this was the sign. Cybele herself spoke to you.”

“So did something else,” said Ecebolius.

“There is always the Other,” said Sosipatra. “But light transcends all things. As Macrobius wrote, ‘The sun is the mind of the universe.’ And nowhere, not even in the darkest pit of hell, is mind entirely absent.”

“What is at Ephesus?” I asked suddenly.

Sosipatra gave me a long look. Then she said, “Maximus is there. He is waiting for you. He has been waiting for you since the day you were born.”

Ecebolius stirred at this. “I am perfectly sure that Maximus would like nothing better than to instruct the prince, but, unfortunately for him, I was appointed by the Grand Chamberlain to supervise Julian’s studies and I am not at all eager for my pupil to become involved with a notorious magician.”

Sosipatra’s voice was icy. “We think of Maximus as being something more than a ‘notorious magician’. It is true that he can make the gods appear to him, but…”

“Actually appear?” I was fascinated.

“Actors, from the theatre,” muttered Oribasius, “carefully rehearsed, tricks of lighting…”

Sosipatra smiled. “Oribasius! That is unworthy of you! What would your father say to that?”

“I have no idea. You see more of him nowadays than I do.” Sosipatra ignored this. She turned to me. “Maximus is no charlatan. If he were, I would have unmasked him years ago. Of course people question his powers. They should. One must not take anything on blind faith. Yet when he speaks to the gods…”

“He speaks to them, but do they really speak to him? That’s more the point,” said Ecebolius.

“They do. I was present once in Ephesus when a group of atheists questioned him, just as you have.”

“Not to believe in Maximus does not make one an atheist.” Ecebolius was growing irritated.

She continued through him. “Maximus asked us to meet him that night in the temple of Hecate. Now the temple has not been used in years. It is a simple building, containing a bronze statue of the goddess and nothing more, so there was no way for Maximus to… prepare a miracle.” She looked sharply at Oribasius. “When we had all arrived, Maximus turned to the statue and said, ‘Great Goddess, show these unbelievers a sign of your power.’ There was a moment of silence. Then the bronze torches she held in her bronze hands burst into flame.”

“Naphtha,” said Oribasius.

“I must go to Ephesus,” I said.

“But that was not all. The statue smiled at us. The bronze face smiled. Then Hecate laughed. I have never heard such a sound! All heaven seemed to mock us, as we fled from that place.”

Sosipatra turned to Ecebolius. “He has no choice, you know. At Ephesus his life begins.”

Published in: on January 20, 2018 at 4:23 pm  Comments (9)  
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Kriminalgeschichte, 43

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

A marble bust of Valens

 
Trembling and gnashing of teeth under the Arian Valens

Valentinian’s brother, Valens (364-378), was the last emperor who officially supported Arianism. He acted against the sects and other deviations, even against the semi-Arians who then, in order to thrive, made a shameful abjuration in Rome.

The Catholics were very harshly persecuted during the last years of the regime of this emperor, which met resistance and made even the exiled be considered martyrs. Among these were the bishops Athanasius of Alexandria, Meletius of Antioch, Pelagius of Laodicea, Eusebius of Samosata, Barses of Edessa and many others. Some Catholics were drowned in Antioch, and there were also martyrs in Constantinople. It is even said that in the year of the Lord 370, Valens sent secret letters to his prefect Modesto, arranging that eighty Catholic bishops and priests be led with deceit aboard a ship, which was burned with all its passengers on the high seas; it is also said that whole hosts of ‘true faith supporters’ were thrown into the Orontes.

‘A persecution has fallen upon us, my venerable brothers, the most bitter of all’, lamented, in 376, Basil, doctor of the Church, in a letter to the bishops of Italy and Gaul (although he personally had not been molested). Houses of prayer were closed, the service of the altars abandoned, the bishops imprisoned under any false pretext, and sent at night to exile and death. ‘It is well known’, continues Basil, ‘although we have preferred to silence it’, the desertion of priests and deacons, the dispersion of the clergy; in a word, ‘the mouth of the believers has been closed, while the blasphemous languages are loose and dare everything’.

Valens was so afraid of witchcraft that he punished it with the death penalty from the first year of his term. For this reason, he continued the persecution begun by Constantine against the followers of black magic, the clairvoyants, the interpreters of dreams, since the winter of 371 and for two years ‘like a beast in the amphitheatre; his fury was so great that he seemed to regret not being able to prolong the martyrdom of his victims after death’ (Amianus).

In the year 368, a senator lost his head because a lady with whom he was in relationships felt the victim of an enchantment. Prosecutor Marino suffered the death penalty because he had procured the hand of a certain Hispanila with magical arts. The coachman Athanasius died burned for exercising the arts of black magic.

Fear spread throughout the East; thousands were detained, tortured, liquidated, including high public officials and wise philosophers. Participants or simple witnesses were burned alive, strangled, beheaded, as in Ephesus, despite being ill, the philosopher Maximus, who had been friend and preceptor of Julian. Their property was confiscated, they were extorted with heavy fines; it was enough a reckless word, or have dared to make a scallop.

The demagoguery burned entire libraries, claiming that they were ‘magic books’. And since the machinery of justice was still too slow for Valens, beheadings and bonfires dispensed with judicial formalities; at the same time, he considered himself a merciful sovereign, like his brother Valentinian, as well as a faithful Christian, a good husband and a chaste man. No one denies that the ‘purity of manners’ prevailed in his court. An executioner who led to the execution of a naked adulteress was also burned alive in punishment for such shamelessness.

Procopius, forty years old and a relative of Julian, rose up in Constantinople, mainly with the support of the pagans. Valens had him beheaded without delay on May 27, 366 AD. Valens ‘lost all sense of the measure’ (Nagí). He persecuted even the women of the insurgents, burned countless books and continued to enrich himself along with his executioners. All this happened in the middle of almost a decade of conflicts with the Persians.

In the year 367, the emperor also began a campaign against the Ostrogoths, who had helped Procopius. The operations ran between peat bogs and swamps, and although a price was placed on the heads of the Goths, the war ended without success in 369. On August 9, 378, in Adrianople, Valens lost the battle and life.

We have seen, then, how that formidable empire was ruled by the first Christian majesties: Constantine, his sons, and the emperors Jovian, Valentinian I, Valens. Did they behave in a more benign, more humanitarian, more peaceful way than their predecessors, or Julian the Apostate?

Along with the constant massacres inside the empire, at the borders, in enemy territory, the eternal clerical quarrels intervened. The internal politics of the 4th century was determined by the struggle between the two main confessions, the Arians and the Orthodox. At the crucial point was Athanasius of Alexandria, the most prominent bishop straddling between Constantine and Valens and one of the most nefarious of all times, whose imprint would be noted in the days to come.