Christianity’s Criminal History, 116

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Darkening Age, 21

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

 

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

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

* * *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kriminalgeschichte, 63

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

 
Against Hellenism

An anti-Hellenistic law passed the following year sanctions for the offering of sacrifices as a crime of lese-majeste. In case incense was offered, the emperor confiscated ‘all the places that would have been hit by the smoke of the incense’ (turis vapore fumasse). If they were not owned by the person who burned it, he had to pay 25 pounds of gold, as well as the owner. The indulgent administrative chiefs were punished with 30 pounds of gold and their staff was charged the same amount. Geffcken considers this law ‘almost in the tone of a rhetorical missionary sermon’. Gerhard Rauschen speaks of the ‘funeral song of paganism’. It resulted in the prohibition of worship of the gods throughout the Empire.

In this way, many temples were victims of the Christian furore, such as that of Juno Caelestis in Carthage or that of Sarapis in Alexandria. Theodosius, who ‘eliminated the sacrilegious heretics’, as Ambrose praised him in his funeral address, transformed the temple of Aphrodite of Constantinople into a garage. He also threatened with exile or death for performing religious services of the Hellenistic superstition (gentilicia superstitio); it was forbidden to offer incense, light candles, place crowns and even private worship in the house itself. Augustine also praises this fanatic because ‘from the beginning of his government he had been tireless’, ‘helping the threatened (!) Church by very just and merciful laws against the pagans’, and because ‘he had the images of the pagan idols destroyed everywhere’.

But Theodosius repressed Hellenism even through a violent war; in circumstances that, once again, show the behaviour of Ambrose.

(Editor’s Note: Returning to my quotable quote from my previous entry, ‘Only revenge heals the wounded soul’. If whites will survive they must strike back: destroy all the Christian idols in addition to their temples. That alone would heal their psyche from suicidal Judaization: having dared to have a fucking jew as their personal lord and saviour. After three pages describing a bloody episode, Deschner continues:)

Augustine was also glad that the victor overthrew the statues of Jupiter placed in the Alps and that he gave his gold rays ‘gladly and obligingly’ to the messengers of the troops. ‘He had the images of the idols destroyed everywhere, for he had discovered that the granting of the earthly gifts also depends on the true God and not on the demons’. ‘That’s how the emperor was in peace and in war,’ says the devout Theodoret, full of joy. He always asked for God’s help and it was always granted’.

On January 17, 395, at 48 years of age, Theodosius died of dropsy. And Ambrose himself died, on April 4, 397. His remains rest today, which he had never imagined, in a coffin with those of the saints Gervase and Protase.

Kriminalgeschichte, 62

The ignorance of Aryans in general and of white nationalists in particular exasperates me. Not long ago, a Christian commenter on Occidental Dissent glorified Theodosius in the comments section of that blog. Once one becomes acquainted with the history of Christianity written by a non-Christian, unheard-of facts emerge that the typical educated Westerner knows nothing about.

Left, an idealised painting of Ambrose barring Theodosius from Milan Cathedral as, in real life, Ambrose was a non-white. After hearing about the Massacre of Thessalonica, the bishop of Milan refused to celebrate a mass in the Emperor’s presence.

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

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Theodosius’ massacres

What Theodosius ‘the Great’ was capable of is a good example of what happened in the year 387 in Antioch, after a revolt of the people as a result of an increase in taxes in February. The tax was exorbitant. Death sentences were issued, and countless people, including children, were beheaded, burned or thrown to the beasts—and yet, almost a trifle compared to the bloodbath of Thessalonica.

In February of the year 390 the people of Thessalonica killed Butheric, the Gothic military commander, because of the imprisonment of a popular charioteer, who was courting Butheric’s beautiful cup washer. The pious Theodosius, one of the ‘notoriously Christian sovereigns’ of the century (Aland), immediately ordered to gather the population into the circus with the lure of a spectacle, and had them killed right there.

Bishop Theodoret describes it in poetic terms: ‘as in the harvest of the ears, they were all cut off at once’. Although Theodosius later denied it, his slaughterers put to the knife, for several hours, more than seven thousand women, men, children and the elderly. It is one of the most monstrous massacres of Antiquity, which does not prevent St. Augustine from glorifying Theodosius as the ideal image of a Christian prince. The Church granted the sovereign the nickname of ‘the Great’ and went down in history as the ‘exemplary Catholic monarch’ (Brown).

Kriminalgeschichte, 60

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 Emperor Theodosius ‘the Great’

Theodosius I (reign 379-395) found in the father of the Church, Ambrose, an energetic travelling companion. ‘There is hardly a year of his reign’, says the Protestant theologian Von Campenhausen, ‘that he does not proclaim a new law or other measures to fight against paganism [Note of the translator: Hellenism] and to suppress heresy and to favour the Catholic Church’. ‘The annihilation of those who thought differently was, from the beginning, the goal of his government, and the ecclesiastical tradition, which describes Theodosius as an indefatigable protector of Catholicism and an enemy of all heresies and paganism [Hellenism], has portrayed him with complete fidelity’.

(Above, a Nummus of Theodosius.) However, the special merit of the Catholic sovereign consisted in a new policy towards the Germans. In his reorganization of the army, seriously severed, he incorporated ‘barbarians’ (they followed a trend that existed since Constantine) even in the leadership: Franks, Alemanni, Saxons and especially Goths, and with this ‘Gothfied’ army he cleansed the Balkans of Goths, that although officially they belonged to the Empire were not citizens but servants. In his first year of reign, he thus won victories over the Goths, the Alans, and the Huns.

Theodosius, as they always say full of ‘magnanimity towards the vanquished’ (Thiess), ‘the last great protector of the Germans on the Roman imperial throne’ (von Stauffenberg), never fought battles following every rule. Following Valens’ hunting of Gothic heads, he carried out a kind of guerrilla warfare, for which he sacrificed ‘unscrupulously or intentionally’ also the Gothic troops themselves (Aubin). The same as Gratian, he sought to annihilate one after another the various groups of ‘barbarians’.

Thus, he attacked isolated Goth contingents where he thought fit, as for example in 386 a troop of Ostrogoths led by Prince Odotheus. In autumn, they had requested permission to cross the river at the mouth of the Danube, although at first Promotus, the Magister militum that ruled Thrace, denied it. However, a dark night drew them to the river to fall into the hands of the Roman army. They set out to cross it with three thousand boats—the river was full of corpses—and were immediately defeated, while the women and children were left in captivity. However, surely the emperor’s Goth policy would have been different if he had had enough strength.

Theodosius hurried to celebrate the feat and on October 12, with his chariot drawn by elephants (a gift of the Persian king), entered triumphantly in Constantinople, where he had a commemorative column of 40 meters high in memory of this and other massacres of ‘barbarians’. Some years later, his general Stilicho caused a serious setback to another group of Goths. Bishop Theodoret informs with joy about ‘killings’ with ‘many thousands’ of ‘barbarians’ massacred. On the other hand, the prisoners of such operations flooded the slave markets throughout the East.

And from then on, thanks to the ‘merits’ of Theodosius, in all the battles of the invasion of the barbarians there are Germans fighting on both sides.

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Published in: on April 19, 2018 at 10:02 am  Comments Off on Kriminalgeschichte, 60  

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’.

 

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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.

Published in: on November 22, 2017 at 2:05 pm  Comments Off on Kriminalgeschichte, 41