Isenheim Altarpiece

Hagenauer & Grünewald
Isenheim Altarpiece
~ 1512-1516
Unterlinden Museum at Colmar

Published in: on June 20, 2018 at 11:24 am  Comments (8)  
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Darkening Age, 1

PROLOGUE

Palmyra, c. AD 385

‘There is no crime for those who have Christ.’

—St. Shenoute

The destroyers came from out of the desert. Palmyra must have been expecting them: for years, marauding bands of bearded, black-robed zealots, armed with little more than stones, iron bars and an iron sense of righteousness had been terrorizing the east of the Roman Empire.

Their attacks were primitive, thuggish, and very effective. These men moved in packs— later in swarms of as many as five hundred—and when they descended utter destruction followed. Their targets were the temples and the attacks could be astonishingly swift. Great stone columns that had stood for centuries collapsed in an afternoon; statues that had stood for half a millennium had their faces mutilated in a moment; temples that had seen the rise of the Roman Empire fell in a single day.

This was violent work, but it was by no means solemn. The zealots roared with laughter as they smashed the ‘evil’, ‘idolatrous’ statues; the faithful jeered as they tore down temples, stripped roofs and defaced tombs. Chants appeared, immortalizing these glorious moments. ‘Those shameful things,’ sang pilgrims, proudly; the ‘demons and idols… our good Saviour trampled down all together.’ Zealotry rarely makes for good poetry.

In this atmosphere, Palmyra’s temple of Athena was an obvious target. The handsome building was an unapologetic celebration of all the believers loathed: a monumental rebuke to monotheism. Go through its great doors and it would have taken your eyes a moment, after the brightness of a Syrian sun, to adjust to the cool gloom within. As they did, you might have noticed that the air was heavy with the smoky tang of incense, or perhaps that what little light there was came from a scatter of lamps left by the faithful. Look up and, in their flickering glow, you would have seen the great figure of Athena herself.

The handsome, haughty profile of this statue might be far from Athena’s native Athens, but it was instantly recognizable, with its straight Grecian nose, its translucent marble skin and the plump, slightly sulky mouth. The statue’s size—it was far taller than any man—might also have impressed. Though perhaps even more admirable than the physical scale was the scale of the imperial infrastructure and ambition that had brought this object here. The statue echoed others that stood on the Athenian Acropolis, well over a thousand miles away; this particular version had been made in a workshop hundreds of miles from Palmyra, then transported here at considerable difficulty and expense to create a little island of Greco-Roman culture by the sands of the Syrian desert.

Did they notice this, the destroyers, as they entered? Were they, even fleetingly, impressed by the sophistication of an empire that could quarry, sculpt then transport marble over such vast distances? Did they, even for a moment, admire the skill that could make a kissably soft-looking mouth out of hard marble? Did they, even for a second, wonder at its beauty?

It seems not. Because when the men entered the temple they took a weapon and smashed the back of Athena’s head with a single blow so hard that it decapitated the goddess. The head fell to the floor, slicing off that nose, crushing the once­ smooth cheeks. Athena’s eyes, untouched, looked out over a now-disfigured face.

Mere decapitation wasn’t enough. More blows fell, scalping Athena, striking the helmet from the goddess’s head, smashing it into pieces. Further blows followed. The statue fell from its pedestal, then the arms and shoulders were chopped off. The body was left on its front in the dirt; the nearby altar was sliced off just above its base.

Only then does it seem that these men—these Christians—felt satisfied that their work was done. They-melted out once again into the desert. Behind them the temple fell silent. The votive lamps, no longer tended, went out. On the floor, the head of Athena slowly started to be covered by the sands of the Syrian desert.

The ‘triumph’ of Christianity had begun.

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.

Why Europeans must reject Christianity, 7

by Ferdinand Bardamu

 
Christianity: bringer of darkness

Section I: The Christian destruction of Europe’s artistic heritage

Theodosius was the first Christian emperor to systematically legislate paganism out of existence. He began by enacting a series of draconian measures, soon after his declaration that Nicene Christianity was the official state religion in 380 AD. Towards the end of his reign, legislation proscribing Hellenistic religion—the so-called Theodosian decrees—became increasingly harsh. This imperial program of cultural genocide descended into an orgy of violence and destruction in the final decades of the 4th century.

The coming storm was foreshadowed by the Christian fanatic Maternus Cynegius, appointed by Theodosius as praetorian prefect in 384. Under imperial orders to suppress pagan sacrifice and divination, he launched his own personal crusade against the Hellenistic religion. With the help of bishops, priests and an army of rampaging monks, Cynegius demolished some of the holiest sites in the Greek east. Many of these buildings housed antiquity’s greatest artistic treasures.

Archeological evidence, gathered from eastern Mediterranean sites, reveals significant temple destruction and desecration. This can be dated to the period of Cynegius’ activity in the east. Contemporary hagiographical sources, like the Vita Porphyrii, bear witness to the spectacular religious violence directed against the pagan shrines and temples of the Levant.

In 386, the pagan orator Libanius, an outspoken critic of Christian iconoclasm, begged Theodosius to preserve the temples and shrines of the empire. He spoke of armies of “black-robed monks,” gluttons and drunkards, who would

hasten to attack the temples with sticks and stones and bars of iron, and in some cases, disdaining these, with hands and feet. Then utter desolation follows, with the stripping of roofs, demolition of walls, the tearing down of statues and the overthrow of altars, and the priests must either keep quiet or die. After demolishing one, they scurry to another, and to a third, and trophy is piled on trophy, in contravention of the law. Such outrages occur even in the cities, but they are most common in the countryside. Many are the foes who perpetrate the separate attacks, but after their countless crimes this scattered rabble congregates and they are in disgrace unless they have committed the foulest outrage…

Christians not only vandalized temples, they also mutilated pagan statuary and defaced inscriptions. Violent destruction of pagan religious artifacts is archeologically well-attested in the Levant and Africa, where Christian iconoclasts were at their most active.

This pattern of destruction was empire-wide and can be seen in places as far away as North-western Gaul and Britain. Far more destructive than the temple destruction carried out by Christian zealots was the imperial anti-pagan legislation ending all subsidies to the once thriving polytheistic cults of the empire. Without subsidies from the imperial treasury, pagans were unable to maintain and repair their religious monuments. This was reinforced by additional legislation ordering the closure of all shrines and temples, threatening pagans with death if they continued to practice haruspicy and animal sacrifice. This condemned the empire’s major structures and artistic monuments to permanent disrepair and eventual ruin.

The widespread Christian vandalism of late antiquity was the largest campaign in world history to destroy an entire civilization’s artistic and architectural heritage. This campaign to erase the great monuments of antiquity from memory was significantly more destructive than the barbarian invasions of the 5th century. The Christians of the late empire were the ISIS or the Taliban of their day, although this may be an understatement as Christians were many times more destructive. Without this added ingredient of ritualized violence, Christianity would never have become the dominant religion of the ancient world.

Faith of the Future, 3

by Matt Koehl

 

III. The Decline of Christianity

The imposition of Christianity on the Aryan peoples of Northern Europe had one lasting effect. It resulted in an inner tension, a disquiet—an angst—which has been a protruding feature of Western culture from its inception. Throughout the history of the West, there has always existed a soul struggle keenly felt by the more perceptive spirits of the race, occasioned by the contradiction between the inverted values and tenets of an Oriental/Semitic belief system on the one hand and the natural religious feeling of Nordic/Aryan man on the other.

If the former furnished the ideological matrix of the culture, it was the latter which provided the creative inspiration, the divine spark. Indeed, the greatest moments of Western culture as a manifestation of Aryan genius—whether expressed in a specifically Christian or extra-Christian form—occurred despite the stricture of Church dogma, rather than because of it. Dante, Chaucer, [Edmund] Spenser, Shakespeare, Milton, Goethe, Schiller, Shelley, Wordsworth, Keats, Byron, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, Botticelli, Dürer and Rembrandt all testify to this, no less than do Vivaldi, Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner and Bruckner.

As we have seen, the external character of Christianity was greatly modified in its metamorphosis from a small Jewish cult into the mighty religion of the West. The medieval institution known as chivalry, in fact, with its refined honor code—which save for its Christian trappings more properly reflected the outlook and mores of a pre-Christian time—resulted from this very process, and provided a modus vivendi for opposing spiritual interests during the Middle Ages.

Thus, through a mutual accommodation of sorts was the underlying contradiction largely contained. And yet despite any institutional adjustment, the unease deriving from an alien idea remained latent within the fabric of the culture. The social and intellectual response to this inner tension varied. For their part, the kings, emperors and other secular rulers tended to treat the matter with cynical detachment, accommodating and offering resistance as political requirements dictated.

Among scholars and thinkers, on the other hand, there were those who, like Giordano Bruno, rose in open revolt against Church dogma. More often, however, the stirrings of disquiet were manifested in subtle attempts to orient Christian doctrine toward innate Aryan religiosity. This was particularly true of the mystics of the Middle Ages, like Scotus Erigena, Amalric of Bena and Meister Eckhart, who—going beyond the theology of the Church—looked inward into their own souls and to Nature itself to discover the kingdom of God.

It was with the Renaissance, however, that there appeared the most significant movement to challenge Church doctrine—a movement which would, in fact, set in motion an irreversible chain of events leading ultimately to the discrediting of that very doctrine as the core idea of a culture.

Now, for the first time, was the Promethean impulse able to break out of the clerical mold. Art came to express, not merely a sterile Semitic outlook, but the feelings of a Northern racial soul—a most notable development, which announced that creative vitality had stepped beyond the mythic prescriptions of the culture. The entire Judeo-Christian cosmology was called into question by new discoveries in the natural and physical sciences. Exploration across unknown seas commenced. Perhaps the most revolutionary single development of this time, however, was the discovery of movable type by Johannes Gutenberg, which enabled a much wider circulation of knowledge—knowledge other than that bearing an ecclesiastical imprimatur, knowledge transcending the basic ideology of the culture.

* * *

The most important consequence of the Gutenberg invention is to be seen in the Protestant Reformation, to which it was a contributing factor and whose development it greatly influenced. Up until the time of Martin Luther, the focus of Christian authority was the Papacy, whose word was unquestioned in matters of faith and dogma. Now, with the great schism in Christendom, a direct challenge was presented to ecclesiastical authority. It certainly was not, of course, die intent of Luther and the other dissenters to undermine or eliminate the Christian faith; rather the opposite. They merely wished to reform it. And yet, by challenging the one unifying institution of Christendom and causing a split in Christian ranks, they inadvertently opened the door to disbelief in the Christian mythos itself.

To replace papal authority in matters religious, Luther proposed to substitute the authority of the Book; and so, with the prospect of employing the Gutenberg invention, he undertook the prodigious task of translating obscure Hebrew scriptures into the German language—to the everlasting misfortune of Christianity.

It is ironic that in his quest for spiritual freedom, the Great Reformer should have rejected the despotism of the Papacy only to embrace the tyranny of the Torah and the ancient Jewish prophets. The arcane texts which had remained on musty shelves behind cloistered walls and accessible only to priests and theologians now became universal property. And now, instead of one single authority in matters of Christian exegesis, everyone—and no one—became an authority. Out of this there could be but one result: contradiction and confusion.

The effect on intelligent minds, of course, was devastating. For here it was now possible—in the best Talmudic fashion—to prove mutually exclusive points of view by reference to the same Semitic texts. Not only that, but critical examination of biblical literature gave rise to serious doubt concerning the veracity and validity of the subject matter itself, not to mention the peculiar mentality of its various authors. For the first time, perceptive minds could observe the obvious contradiction between empirical reality and what was claimed as holy writ.

Gradually there grew the inner realization that the faith itself was flawed, and creative genius began to look beyond the ideology of the Church for inspiration and direction. Even in those instances where Christian motifs continued to provide the external form for artistic expression—such as in the works of Bach, Corelli and Rubens, for example—the vital daemon which spoke was clearly extra-Christian and of a religious order transcending Church dogma.

And so even the Counter-Reformation, and the stylistic mode it inspired, succumbed to widening skepsis. A lessening of traditional belief had set in, and Aryan creativity now began to look increasingly in other directions for the divine. At the intellectual level, philosophy—which had long separated itself from theology—pursued its own independent quest for truth, while at the artistic level a succession of stylistic periods—impelled by irrepressible inner tension—sought ever newer forms of expression. Thus, the Baroque, having exploited all of its possibilities, gave way to the Rococo and the Classical, which in turn yielded to the Romantic of the last century and to the Impressionist, which has now been succeeded by the Modem era—which concludes the historical experience of the West.

* * *

Today, Christianity has reached its final stage. From both a spiritual and a scientific standpoint, its fundamental beliefs have become untenable. The advances of Aryan science have forever shattered the old Jewish myths. The cumulative impact of such figures as Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Newton and Darwin could not be eternally suppressed by ecclesiastical edict. When Church dogma, for example, insisted that the earth was the center of the universe and scientific investigation demonstrated otherwise, Aryan man was compelled by his innate regard for the truth to accept the latter at the expense of the former. In so doing, he came to question all other aspects of a once-sacrosanct belief system.

For the modem Church, this poses an impossible dilemma. The more it adheres to its fundamental doctrines, the more preposterous they must appear and the quicker will be its demise. On the other hand, once it attempts to reconcile itself with the findings of science by reinterpreting and redefining its basic tenets, it automatically concedes its moral position and its very reason for existence as an arbiter of truth.

The fact is that Christianity, as the dominant ideology of the West, has failed. It has exhausted all of its historical possibilities. No longer does it carry the emotional, mythic, polarizing force necessary to direct the spiritual life of a culture. Indeed, it is a spent cultural force no longer capable of adapting successfully to new organic realities.

All of this can be readily seen in the emptiness and sterility of modem cultural expression—reflecting the absence of any real spiritual values—as well as in the secularization of the Christian idea itself into liberal democracy and Marxism. Especially is this to be noted in the self-devaluation process of ecumenism and interfaith/inter-ideological dialogue, which constitutes the clearest concession by Christianity that it has failed and no longer has anything vital to offer. For once the Church admits that its doctrines are coequal with those of the nonbeliever, then what reason is there to be a believer?

It is not without significance that while the influence of Christianity is waning in the West, it is—through the sheer force of demographic pressure—gaining souls and expanding among nonwhites. Not only is this particularly true in Latin America, but also in Africa and—to a lesser extent—in Asia as well.

This development has, of course, not escaped the notice of the Church, which—with obsequious interracial posturing and attempts to divorce itself from its historical Western setting—has chosen to redirect the Christian appeal toward the colored world as the primary area of its interest and concern. In abandoning its Western role, however, Christianity has announced its conclusion as a cultural force. And so, whatever it may have traditionally represented for past generations of Europeans and North Americans no longer obtains.

Accordingly, it would be a mistake to assume that the Judeo-Christian idea has anything to offer the white peoples in their contemporary struggle for survival—that it might in any way be capable of addressing the vital needs and concerns of endangered Aryan life on this planet.

What now exists in the name of Christianity—apart from certain nostalgic, retrograde attempts to revive a historical corpse in a world of uncertainty and personal insecurity—is nothing more than fossil formalism and sterile nominalism without genuine vitality or substance, reflecting the marginal relevance of this particular ideology in today’s society. For in the face of modem realities, the Christian worldview simply has nothing more to say. It has fulfilled its historic role; it is now moribund. At best, it is irrelevant. At worst, it is an avowed enemy, a deadly menace to the Aryan race and its survival.

It may well be argued that the worst consequences of such ideological and spiritual error were far less conspicuous before the Second World War. Does the same hold true today, however, when the final effects of that error can be plainly seen? For well over a millennium now, Christianity has held a monopoly as the self-proclaimed custodian of the spiritual and moral well-being of an entire cultural order—for which one must reasonably assume that it has accepted concomitant responsibility.

What, then, are the fruits of its spiritual regime? We see them all around us. They are the symptoms of a diseased civilization: decadence, degeneracy, depravity, corruption, pollution, egoism, hedonism, materialism, Marxism and ultimately atheism. Yes, atheism. By destroying whatever natural religious feeling once existed in the hearts of our people and substituting alien myths and superstitions, it must now bear full responsibility for the diminished capacity for spiritual belief among our folk.

It will perhaps be objected that the Church itself is opposed to all of the above indesiderata. I am sorry: the responsibility for what has been claimed as a divine charge cannot be so easily evaded. Words aside, these happen to be the actual results of its earthly reign.

The Promethean spirit of Aryan man, for its part, must now look in other directions.

Apocalypse for whites • XXXV

by Evropa Soberana

The destruction of the Greco-Roman World – 3

(Fifth century)

401
A crowd of Christians lynched the Hellenists in Carthage, destroying temples and idols. In Gaza, the Hellenists are lynched at the request of Bishop Porphyry, who also orders the destruction of the nine temples still standing in the city. That same year, the 15th Council of Chalcedon commands the excommunication—even after their deaths!—of Christians who keep good relationships with their Hellenist relatives.

St. John Chrysostom, ‘Holy and Father of the Church’, raises funds with the help of rich, boring, idle and resentful Christian women against the patriarchal Roman worship of perfection and war (such women are fascinated by the sickly Christian sadomasochism). Thus financed, he carries out a work of demolition of Greek temples. Thanks to John Chrysostom, the ancient temple of Artemis in Ephesus is demolished.

The immense temple of Artemis in Ephesus was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and had been built in the 6th century BCE over an area considered sacred since, at least, the Bronze Age. Its construction took 120 years and it could be said that it was perfectly comparable to a cathedral. The Christians end the existence of this
almost millennial building.

406-407
Emperor Arcadius returns to launch a decree in which he prohibits all non-Christian cults, which means that at this point so-called ‘paganism’ persists. A group of foederati tribes (federated to Rome, residents within its borders and faithful defenders of the empire), the Vandals, the Swabians and the Alans (the latter of Iranian origin, not Germanic) invaded France, destined for Spain.

408
Emperor Honorius of the Western Empire and Emperor Arcadius of the Eastern Empire ordered together that all Greco-Roman sculptures be destroyed. There are again destructions of temples, massacres and fires of their writings. Around this time, the famous African St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, ‘Saint, Father and Doctor of the Church’ massacred hundreds of adepts of the old ways in Calama, Algeria. (It will not be long before he died at the hands of the Vandals, a Germanic people that doesn’t walk around nonsense.) Augustine also established the persecution of judges who show mercy to the ‘idolaters’.

This same year of 408 the emperor Arcadius dies, being succeeded by the Emperor Theodosius II. To get an idea of the fanaticism, dementia and moral quality of this abortive subhuman, suffice it to say that he ordered children to be executed for playing with pieces of destroyed Greco-Roman statues. According to the same Christian historians, Theodosius II ‘meticulously followed the Christian teachings’.

Emperor Theodosius II. Judging by the quality of the portrait, the
empire was not in good shape under his reign, or perhaps
it is that the old sculptors had been killed.

While all this takes place, this same year of 408 a Roman chief of Germanic origin who had courageously defended the borders of the empire, Stilicho the vandal, is executed by a party of decadent Romans envious of his triumphs. After his unjust death, this party gives a sort of coup d’état and the women and children—we are talking about a minimum of 60,000 people—of the German foederati are massacred throughout Italy by the Christians. After this cowardly act the fathers and husbands of these families (30,000 men who had been faithful soldiers of Rome) went over the ranks of the Visigothic king Alaric, devastated with rage and calling for revenge against the murderers.

409
The Roman Empire collapses in irremissibly crisis, in filthy corruption and overwhelmed by the Germans. But the powerful Christians are in a hurry to eradicate the Greco-Roman legacy before the Germans discover it—lest the Germanised empire becomes Greece-Rome II! That same year, Swabians, Vandals and Alans cross the Pyrenees and invade Spain.

410
An army of Visigoths and other German allies loot Rome itself, continuing later in the south of France, Spain and Africa. From there, they try to dominate the Mediterranean.

Apocalypse for whites • XXXIV

by Evropa Soberana

 

The destruction of the Greco-Roman World – 2

(Fourth century – Cont.)

372
Emperor Valentinian orders the governor of Asia Minor to exterminate all the Hellenes (meaning as such the non-Christian Greeks of ancient Hellenic lineage, i.e., the Aryans; and especially the old Macedonian ruling caste) and destroy all documents relating to their wisdom. In addition, the following year he again prohibits all methods of divination.

It is around this time when Christians coined the contemptuous term ‘pagan’ to designate the Gentiles, that is, all who are neither Jews nor Christians. ‘Pagan’ is a word that comes from the Latin pagani, which means villager. In the dirty, corrupt, decadent, cosmopolitan and mongrelised cities of the now decadent Roman empire, the population is essentially Christian but in the countryside, the peasants, who keep their heritage and tradition pure, are ‘pagans’. It is in the countryside, oblivious to multiculturalism, where the ancestral memory is preserved. (Both Christians and communists did their best to end the way of life of the landowner, the farmer and the peasant.)

However, this peasant ‘paganism’, stripped of priestly leadership and temples and finally plunged into persecution and miscegenation, is doomed to eventually become a bundle of popular superstitions mixed with pre-Indo-European roots, although something of the traditional background will always remain, as in the local ‘healers’ and ‘witches’ who for so long subsisted despite the persecutions.

Ending classical culture was not so easy. It was not easy to find all the temples or destroy them. Nor was it easy to identify all the priests of the old religion, or those who practiced their rites in secret. That was a long-term task for a zealous, meticulous and fanatical elite of ‘commissaries’ that would last for many, many generations: centuries and centuries of spiritual terror and intense persecution.
 
375
The temple of the god Asclepius in Epidaurus, Greece is forcibly closed.

378
The Romans are defeated by the Gothic army in the battle of Hadrianopolis. The emperor intervenes and, through a sagacious diplomacy, makes allies (foederati) of the Goths, a Germanic people originally from Sweden: famous for their beauty, and who had a kingdom in what is now Ukraine. Some time later, in 408, after the fall of Stilicho (a general of Vandal origin who served Rome faithfully but who was betrayed by a Christian and an envious political mob), the women and children of these Germans foederati will be massacred by the Romans, propitiating that the men, prisoners of the rage, join en masse the German commander Alaric.

380
Emperor Theodosius I (Theodosius the Great for Christianity) decrees, through the edict of Thessalonica, that Christianity is officially the only tolerable religion in the Roman Empire, although this has been obvious for years. Theodosius calls non-Christians ‘crazy’ as well as ‘disgusting, heretics, stupid and blind’.

Emperor Theodosius I

Bishop Ambrose of Milan starts a campaign to demolish the temples in his area. In Eleusis, ancient Greek sanctuary, Christian priests throw a hungry crowd, ignorant and fanatical against the temple of the goddess Demeter. The priests are almost lynched by the mob. Nestorius, a venerable old man of 95 years, announces the end of the mysteries of Eleusis and foresees the submergence of men in darkness for centuries.

381
Simple visits to the Hellenic temples are forbidden, and the destruction of temples and library fires throughout the eastern half of the empire continues. The sciences, technology, literature, history and religion of the classical world are thus burned. In Constantinople, the temple of the goddess Aphrodite is turned into a brothel, and the temples of the god Helios and the goddess Artemis are converted into stables! Theodosius persecutes and closes the mysteries of Delphi, the most important of Greece, which had so much influence on the history of ancient Greece.

382
The Jewish formula Hellelu-Yahweh or Hallelujah (‘Glory to Yahweh’) is instituted in Christian Masses.

384
The emperor orders the praetor prefect Maternus Cynegius, uncle of the emperor and one of the most powerful men of the empire, to cooperate with the local bishops in the destruction of temples in Macedonia and Asia Minor—something that Cynegius, a Christian fundamentalist, does it happily.

385-388
Maternus Cynegius, encouraged by his fanatical wife, and together with Bishop St Marcellus, organises bands of Christian ‘paramilitary’ murderers who travel throughout the Eastern Empire to preach the ‘good news’; that is, to destroy temples, altars and reliquaries.

They destroy, among many others, the temple of Edessa, the Kabeirion of Imbros, the temple of Zeus in Apamea, the temple of Apollo in Didyma and all the temples of Palmyra. Thousands are arrested and sent to the dungeons of Scythopolis, where they are imprisoned, tortured and killed in subhuman conditions. And in case any lover of antiquities or art comes up with restoring, preserving or conserving the remains of the looted, destroyed or closed temples, in 386 the emperor specifically prohibits the practise!

Bust of Germanicus defaced by Christians,
who also engraved a cross on his forehead.

388
The emperor, in a Soviet-like measure, forbids talks on religious subjects probably because Christianity cannot be sustained and can even suffer serious losses through religious debates. Libanius, the old orator of Constantinople once accused of magician, directs to the emperor a desperate and humble epistle Pro Templis (‘In Favour of the Temples’), trying to preserve the few remaining temples. The emperor did not pay attention to him.

389-390
All non-Christian holidays are banned. The antifa of those times, headed by hermits of the desert, invade the Roman cities of East and North Africa. In Egypt, Asia Minor and Syria, these hordes sweep away temples, statues, altars and libraries: killing anyone who crosses their path. Theodosius I orders the devastation of the sanctuary of Delphi, centre of wisdom respected throughout the Hélade, destroying its temples and works of art.

Bishop Theophilus, patriarch of Alexandria, initiates persecutions of the adepts of classical culture, inaugurating in Alexandria a period of real battles on the streets. He converts the temple of the god Dionysus into a church, destroys the temple of Zeus, burns the Mithraic and profanes the cult images. The priests are humiliated and mocked publicly before being stoned.

391
A new decree of Theodosius specifically prohibits looking at the shattered statues! The persecutions in the whole empire are renewed. In Alexandria, where the tensions were always very common, the Hellenistic minority, headed by the philosopher Olympius, carries out an anti-Christian revolt.

After bloody street fights with dagger and sword against crowds of Christians who outnumber them greatly, the Hellenists entrench themselves in the Serapeum, a fortified temple dedicated to the god Serapis. After encircling—practically besieging—the building the Christian mob, under the patriarch Theophilus, breaks into the temple and murder all those present; desecrates the cult images, plunders the property, burns down its famous library and finally throws down all the construction.

It is the famous ‘second destruction’ of the Library of Alexandria, jewel of ancient wisdom in absolutely every field, including philosophy, mythology, medicine, Gnosticism, mathematics, astronomy, architecture or geometry: a spiritual catastrophe for the heritage of the West. A church was built on its remains.

392
The emperor forbids all ancient rituals, calling them gentilicia superstitio, superstitions of the Gentiles.

The persecutions return. The mysteries of Samothrace are bloodily closed and all their priests are killed. In Cyprus, the spiritual and physical extermination is led by the bishops St Epiphanius—born in Judea and raised in a Jewish environment, with Jewish blood himself. The emperor gives carte blanche to St. Epiphanius in Cyprus, stating that ‘those who do not obey Father Epiphanius have no right to continue living on that island’. Thus emboldened, the Christian eunuchs exterminate thousands of Hellenists and destroy almost all the temples of Cyprus. The mysteries of the local Aphrodite, based on the art of eroticism and with a long tradition, are eradicated.

In this fateful year there are insurrections against the Church and against the Roman Empire in Petra, Areopoli, Rafah, Gaza, Baalbek and other eastern cities. But the Eastern-Christian invasion is not going to stop at this point in its push towards the heart of Europe.

393
The Olympic Games are banned, as well as the Pythia Games and the Aktia Games. The Christians must have sensed that this Aryan cult for ‘profane’ and ‘mundane’ sports of agility, health, beauty and strength must logically belong to the Greco-Roman culture, and that sport is an area where Christians of the time could never reign. Taking advantage of the conjuncture, the Christians plunder the temple of Olympia.

394
In this year all gymnasiums in Greece are shut down by force. Any place where the slightest dissidence flourishes, or where unchristian mentalities thrive, must be shut down. Christianity is neither a friend of the muscles nor of athletics; or of triumphant sweat: but of the tears of impotence and of terrifying tremors.

That same year, Theodosius removed the statue of Victory from the Roman Senate. The war of the statues thus ended: a cultural conflict that pitted Hellenist and Christian senators in the Senate, removing and restoring the statue numerous times. The year 394 also saw the closing of the temple of Vesta, where the sacred Roman fire burned.

395
Theodosius dies, being succeeded by Flavius Arcadius (reigned between 395-408). This year, two new decrees reinvigorate the persecution. Rufinus, eunuch and prime minister of Arcadius, makes the Goths invade Greece knowing that, like good barbarians, they will destroy, loot and kill. Among the cities plundered by the Goths are Dion, Delphi, Megara, Corinth, Argos, Nemea, Sparta, Messenia and Olympia. The Goths, already Christianized in Arianism, kill many Greeks; set fire to the ancient sanctuary of Eleusis and burn all its priests, including Hilary, priest of Mithras.

The emperor Arcadius. At first glance an eunuch,
a brat, especially when compared to the Roman emperors
and soldiers of yore.

396
Another decree of the emperor proclaims that the previous culture will be considered high treason. Most of the remaining priests are locked in murky dungeons for the rest of their days.

397
The emperor literally orders to demolish all the remaining temples.

398
During the Fourth Ecclesiastical Council of Carthage (North Africa, now Tunisia) the study of Greco-Roman works is forbidden to anyone, even the Christian bishops themselves.

399
The emperor Arcadius, once again, orders the demolition of the remaining temples. At this point, most of them are in the deep rural areas of the empire.

400
Bishop Nicetas destroys the Oracle of Dionysus and forcibly baptizes all non-Christians in the area. By this final year of the fourth century, a definite Christian hierarchy has already been established which includes priests, bishops, archbishops of larger cities and the patriarchs: the archbishops responsible for major cities, namely Rome, Jerusalem, Alexandria and Constantinople.

To this image of a priestess of Ceres, the Roman Demeter, goddess of agriculture and grain, patiently carved on ivory around the year 400 and of an unprecedented beauty, the Christians mutilated her face and threw it into a well in Montier-en-Der, a later abbey in the northeast of France.

It is possible that the image was not thrown into the pit because of hatred (the Christians were more prone to directly destroy), but that the owners got rid of her for fear that the religious authorities would find it. Impossible to know the amount of artistic representations, even superior to this one in beauty, that were destroyed, and of which nothing has remained.

Apocalypse for whites • XXIII

by Evropa Soberana

 
Consequences of the Palestinian revolt

The revolt had paramount consequences both for Rome and for Jewry. To begin with, the Roman losses were such that, in addition to Hadrian’s refusing to say in the military offices to the Senate that everything was going well, he was the only Roman leader in history who, after a great victory, refused to return to Rome celebrating a triumph. Titus Vespasianus had only rejected a crown of laurels in his day; Hadrian took it to the next step.

However, if the Roman losses were considerable, the Jewish losses were huge. According to Cassius Dio, 580,000 Jews were killed, 50 cities and 985 Jewish villages were completely destroyed—and they were not rebuilt—and hundreds of thousands of Jews sold as slaves throughout the Empire.

It is not surprising that the Talmud called this process ‘the war of extermination’, and that it even made outrageous statements to mythologize the conflict, such as ‘Sixteen million Jews were wrapped in parchments and burned alive by the Romans’ (Gittin, 58-A). The Jews, in any case, were definitively deprived of the will to rise against Rome by force of arms. On the other hand the Jewish threat, which had caused so many headaches to Rome, was going to increase throughout the Mediterranean due to the greater extension of the Diaspora and the ideal breeding ground that this meant for the expansion of another anti-Roman rebellion: Christianity.

The conditions of the defeat imposed on the Jews were even harsher than the triumph of Titus in the year 70. As measures against the Jewish religion, Hadrian prohibited the Jewish courts, the meetings in synagogues, the Jewish calendar, the study of the religious writings and Judaism itself as a religion! He executed numerous rabbis and burned masses of sacred scrolls at a ceremony on the Temple Mount. He tried to eradicate the very Jewish identity and Judaism itself, sending them into exile, enslaving them and dispersing them away from Judea. This persecution against all forms of Jewish religiosity, including Christianity, would continue until the death of the emperor in 138.

Furthermore, in another attempt to obliterate Jewish identity and dismantle its centre of power, the eastern provinces were restructured, forming three Syrian provinces: Syria Palestina (named in honour of the Philistines: a people of European origin and enemies of Jewry who had inhabited the area); Phoenicia under Roman rule and Coele-Syria.

In the new territorial order decreed by Hadrian, Judea became Syria Palestina, and Jerusalem was turned into Aelia Capitolina: a Greek and Roman city in which the Jews were proscribed. The three Syrias form the Levant: an extremely active and conflictive strip in history, to this day. From there came the Neolithic, the Phoenicians, Judaism and Christianity, and practically all the civilizations of antiquity, creating an ethnic chaos that always ended up in conflicts. Centuries later, these areas would see the establishment of European Crusader States.

As for the city of Jerusalem, Hadrian carried out with it the plans that had unleashed the revolt: the Jewish capital was demolished and destroyed, and the Romans ploughed over the ruins to symbolize its ‘purification’ and its return to the earth. Hadrian finally built the projected Aelia Capitolina over the ruins, introducing a new urban planning, so that even today the old city of Jerusalem coincides with the one built by the Romans.

In the centre of the city a forum was established, which contained a temple dedicated to Venus. In the place of the temple Hadrian had two statues erected, one of Jupiter and another of himself, although he respected the Wailing Wall.

Also, next to Golgotha, where Jesus was crucified, Hadrian placed a statue of Aphrodite. This was intended to symbolize the triumph of Rome over Orthodox Judaism and over Christianity, considered a Jewish sect like so many: another sect that in Rome was persecuted without distinguishing it from official Judaism. For the Greeks and Romans, the statues of their gods were representatives of the divine, solar, luminous and Olympic spirit on earth, while for the Jews, including the Christians, nothing stirred their stomach more than a naked, strong statue, beautiful, of Nordic features and invincible aspect.

To top off the de-Judaization of the city, Hadrian prohibited any Jew from settling in Aelia Capitolina, on pain of death. (This law would only be revoked two centuries later by Constantine, the first Christian emperor.)

Kriminalgeschichte, 32

Editor’s note: The author states below: ‘This provision [by Constantine] had serious consequences, as it was one of the first to deprive Jews, in practice, of owning farms’. This is how the first seeds were planted for the Jews to do what today is called ‘white collar’ jobs.

In the days of Ancient Rome the Jews still did not have an IQ superior to Whites. This policy of cornering Jews to work outside of what is now called ‘blue collar’ jobs continued until the French Revolution. Although the anti-Semitic seed of Constantine described below could be applauded by white nationalists, seeing it in perspective was a shot that backfired.

Parallel to allowing Jews in banking and usury, throughout the Middle Ages the best genes of White intellectuals ended, excuse me the crude expression, in the asses of the novices of the monasteries instead of in the fair sex. Unlike the Christians, medieval Jews never practised vows of celibacy. The artificial selection of genes that raised the IQ of the Jews at the expense of the lack of descendants of intelligent Whites (Aryan monks) was a courtesy of Christendom.

In previous chapters the author constantly used quotation marks around the word ‘pagans’. In this chapter he removed the quotation marks. Since ‘pagan’ was Christian newspeak of the 4th century, in some instances of this entry I’ll take the liberty to substitute the textual ‘pagan’ for something like ‘adepts of Greco-Roman culture’.

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

 

______ 卐 ______

 

Constantine against Jews, ‘heretics’ and pagans

The emperor was not very friendly with the Jews, surely he was greatly influenced by the permanent anti-Semitic attacks of the doctors of the Church, which we have seen in chapter 2, and the recent Synod of Elvira, which had sanctioned with very strong penances the relations between Christians and Jews, in particular the attendance to blessings of fields and banquets celebrated by Jews.

The Roman emperors were quite tolerant of Judaism; not even Diocletian tried to force them to comply with the pagan rites. But after the Council of Nicaea Constantine comes to the conclusion, reflected in an epistle to all the communities, that the Jews ‘tainted by delirium’, ‘wounded by the blindness of the spirit’, ‘deprived of the right judgment’, are ‘an odious nation’ and except for one day a year forbids them to set foot on the city of Jerusalem that he and his mother had filled with churches.

In addition, he forbade them to have slaves like Christians. This provision had serious consequences, as it was one of the first to deprive Jews, in practice, of owning farms. The Christian who Judaized was sentenced to death. In addition, Constantine renewed a law of Trajan, promulgated two hundred years before, according to which the pagan who was converted to Judaism was condemned to the stake.

Even harder was the policy against the ‘heretics’, and this already from the time of the regency, from the year 311, on the grounds that many of those who had abjured Christianity wanted to receive baptism again. This resulted in a schism with bloody repercussions that lasted for several centuries. It is at that time when the definition of ‘catholic’ as opposed to the figure of the ‘heretic’ appears for the first time in an imperial document.

The Donatists rejected the association with the State, the Constantinian alliance between the throne and the altar. They judged that they were the true Ecclesia sanctorum and that the Roman Church was the civitas diaboli. They appealed to the Christian’s beliefs by demanding greater austerity for the clergy. Constantine’s campaign against Licinius turned against the Donatists at the instigation of Bishop Caecilianus in a campaign that lasted several years, presided over by the decision to ‘not tolerate even the slightest hint of division or disunity, wherever it may be’. Moreover, in a letter from early 316 to Celsus, vicar of Africa, Constantine threatened: ‘I intend to destroy the errors and repress all the nonsense, in order and effect to offer to all the human race the only true religion, the only justice and unanimity in the worship of the almighty Lord’.

To the Donatists he took away their churches and their fortunes, exiled their chiefs and commanded troops who slaughtered men and women. The hecatomb of the adepts of Hellenism had not yet begun and Christians were already making martyrs of other Christians.

Constantine also fought against the Church of Marcion, an older church and at some point probably also more followed than the Catholic Church. Constantine prohibited the offices of the Church of Marcion even when they were held in private homes; had their images and properties confiscated, and ordered the destruction of their temples. His successors, most likely instigated by the bishops, stepped up the persecution of this Christian sect after having defamed it and by all means, including through falsifications during the 2nd and 3rd centuries. In 326, shortly after the Council of Nicaea, Constantine issued a scathing edict ‘against heretics of every kind’, in case it was authentic of course and not a figment of Eusebius.

Constantine’s actions against the ‘heretics’ set an example, but at least he respected life most of the time. After all, he did not care about religion as much as the unity of the Church on the basis of the Nicaea Council, and hence the unity of the empire. Undoubtedly, he had an exclusively political concept of religion, although religious problems always, and from the first moment, were presented in relation to social and political conflicts. In the interest of state power he promoted the unity of the Church. This, and not another, was the cause of his hatred of all kinds of discord. ‘I was sure that, if I could complete my purpose of uniting all the servants of God, I would reap abundant fruits in the public interest’, he wrote in a letter to Arius and Bishop Alexander.

In the year 330, Constantine sends a sentence against the Neo-Platonic school and even orders the execution of Sopater, who had been presiding over this school since the death of Iamblichus. The adepts of Hellenism become ‘fools’, ‘people without morals’ and their religion a ‘hotbed of discord’. Constantine’s true intention was that all humans ‘revered the one true God’ and that they forsake ‘the temples of the lie’.

While the adepts of Hellenism of the western provinces still enjoyed relative tranquillity, in the East the persecutions began after the definitive defeat of Licinius (324). Constantine forbade the erection of new statues to the gods, the worship of existing ones, and the consultation of oracles and all other forms of Greco-Roman worship.

In 326 Constantine came to order the destruction of all the images, while in the East he began the confiscation of temple properties and the plundering of valuable works of art. In his new capital, blessed on May 11, 330 after six years of work funded in part through the treasures confiscated from the temples, Constantine banned the worship and the festivals of the adepts of Hellenism and rents were no longer paid to the temples of Helios, Artemis Selene and Aphrodite.

Constantine, described as a ‘renegade’ and ‘innovator and destroyer of ancient and venerable constitutions’ by Emperor Julian, but praised by many modern historians, soon prohibited the repair of Greco-Roman temples and ordered numerous closures and destructions ‘directed precisely against those who had been most revered by the idolaters’ (Eusebius). He arranged the closing of the Serapis of Alexandria, the temple to the Sun-God in Heliopolis, the demolition of the altar of Mamre (because the Lord himself had appeared there to Father Abraham, in the company of two angels), and that of the temple of Aesculapius in Aegae, the latter being fulfilled with such diligence ‘that not even the foundations of the ancient ravings remained’ (Eusebius).

Constantine also ordered the destruction of the temple of Aphrodite on Golgotha, for the ‘great scandal’ that it represented for the believers; it was also the turn of Aphaea in Lebanon from whose sanctuary came ‘a dangerous web to hunt souls’ and which, according to the emperor, ‘does not deserve the sun to shine’. There was no stone left upon a stone; and the very famous Heliopolis was burned down and reduced to rubble by a military command.

Constantine burned Porphyry’s controversial writings. From the year 330, when Neo-Platonism was forbidden, Christians abounded in looting of temples and breaking images, as all Christian chroniclers celebrated and despite such activities having been implicitly prohibited by the Council of Elvira.

Contrary to what Christian historians would like us to believe, the emperor, naturally, was not interested in fighting face to face with the Greco-Roman culture that still held the majority in much of the empire and retained part of its strength, which of course does not mean that there were not well received ‘the small material expropriations’ (Voelkl): the stones, the doors, the bronze figures, the vessels of gold and silver, the reliefs, ‘the valuable and artistic ivory votive offerings confiscated in all the provinces’, as Eusebius highlights.

‘Everywhere they went stealing, looting and confiscating the images of gold and silver and the bronze statues’ (Tinnefeid). Constantine did not even respect the famous tripods of the fortune-teller of the sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi. The historian Kornemann notes ‘a theft of works of art as has never been seen in all of Greece’.

Even St. Jerome criticized that the city of Constantinople had been built with the booty of almost all other cities. ‘In the blink of an eye, whole temples would disappear’, rejoices Eusebius. The entire Olympus was gathered in the ‘new Rome’, where the emperor, even without daring to tear down the temples, had all the statues removed from them. The most venerated gods were installed in bath-houses, basilicas and public squares. The deified Apollo, which had been the most venerable monument in the Hellenic world, was converted into a Constantine the Great. ‘Immense riches disappeared from the coins or went to fill the empty coffers of the Church’, Voelkl reminds us.

Eusebius tells us that… the temples and sanctuaries, once so proud, were destroyed without anyone ordering it, and churches were built in their place and the old delirium was forgotten.

However, at the Easter of 337 the sovereign fell ill. First he sought remedy in the hot baths of Constantinople, and then in the relics of Lucian, protective patron of Arianism and disciple of Arius himself. Finally he received on his farm, Achyronas of Nicomedia, the waters of baptism despite his desire to take them on the banks of the Jordan in imitation of Our Lord. At that time (and until about 400) it was customary to postpone baptism until the last minute, especially among princes responsible for a thousand battles and death sentences. As Voltaire suggests, ‘they believed they had found the formula to live as criminals and die as saints’. After the baptism, which was administered by another colleague of Lucian named Eusebius, Constantine died on May 22 of the year 337.

While the Christians have almost dispensed with their common sense for praising Constantine, obviously there are very few testimonies of his critics that have reached us, among them those of the Emperor Julian and the historian Zosimus.

W. B. Yeats

“Puritanical anti-Europe has become exactly what it set out to become: New Zion,” wrote Sebastian Ronin a couple of years ago referring to the US. Regular visitors of this site know that from my point of view the etiology of white decline is, in order of importance: (1) materialism, (2) Christian ethics and (3) Jewish influence. These excerpts from Kerry Bolton’s essay on Yeats in his book Artists of the Right give the idea of the most harmful factor of all:

 

The rise of industrialism and capitalism during the 19th century brought with it social dislocation, the triumph of the commercial classes and interests, and the creation of an urban proletariat on the ruins of rural life. Smashed asunder were the traditional organic bonds of family and village, rootedness to the earth through generations of one’s offspring, and attunement to the cycles of nature.

With the ascendancy of materialism came the economic doctrines of Free Trade capitalism and Marxism and the new belief in rationalism and science over faith, the mysteries of the cosmos, and the traditional religions. The forces of money had defeated everything of the Spirit. As Spengler explained in his Decline of the West, Western Civilization had entered its end cycle. Such forces had been let loose as long ago as the English Revolution of Cromwell and again by the French Revolution.

There was, however, a reaction to this predicament. The old conservatives had not been up to the task. The spiritual and cultural reaction came from the artists, poets and writers who reach beyond the material and draw their inspiration from the well-springs of what C. G. Jung identified as the collective unconscious. This reaction included not only the political and the cultural but also a spiritual revival expressed in an interest in the metaphysical.

Among the artists in “revolt against the modern world” was the Irish poet William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), leader of the Irish literary renaissance and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923. Despite his English and Protestant background, Yeats was involved in the Young Ireland movement, much of his poetry celebrating the Irish rebellion and its heroes.

Yeats had been as a youngster introduced by his father John, himself a Pre-Raphaelite artist, to the paintings of the Pre-Raphaelites, the romantic imagery of which stood then as a rebellion against the encroachments of modernism and industrialism. Having lived in England as a child twenty years before, Yeats was now struck by how much had radically changed under the impress of “progress.” The modern era had even impacted upon the aesthetic of Yeats’ own family, writing of how his father now made his living, and also alluding to the changes being wrought by modernism in art:

It was a perpetual bewilderment that my father, who had begun life as a Pre-Raphaelite painter, now painted portraits of the first comer, children selling newspapers, or a consumptive girl with a basket of fish upon her head, and that when, moved perhaps by memory of his youth, he chose some theme from poetic tradition, he would soon weary and leave it unfinished. I had seen the change coming bit by bit and its defence elaborated by young men fresh from the Paris art-schools. ‘We must paint what is in front of us,’ or ‘A man must be of his own time,’ they would say, and if I spoke of Blake or Rossetti they would point out his bad drawing and tell me to admire Carolus Duran and Bastien-Lepage. Then, too, they were very ignorant men; they read nothing, for nothing mattered but “Knowing how to paint,” being in reaction against a generation that seemed to have wasted its time upon so many things.

For Yeats the mystical was the basis of both his poetry and his political ideas. He was particularly interested in the Irish mystical tradition and folklore. He saw the peasantry and rural values as being necessary to revive against the onslaught of materialism.

Additionally, the “occult” provided a literally hidden culture that was above and beyond the crassness of democracy, of the herd, and of material existence, hence its being termed the “Royal Art,” where again, as in traditional societies over the course of millennia, a priestly caste, at the apex of a hierarchical society, served as the nexus between the terrestrial and the divine, serving as that axis around which High Culture revolves.

Yeats’ poetry was intended as an expression of these symbols of the unconscious and the archetypal. This resurgence of these age-long memories required a “revolt of soul against intellect now beginning in the world.” What is here called “intellect” was the advance of rationalism, scientism, and Enlightenment doctrines that had destroyed man’s nexus with the divine embodied in traditions and hierarchical social orders, and which has repressed man’s spiritual nature in favor of the crassly material.

Yeats, like D. H. Lawrence, Ezra Pound, et al., was particularly concerned that commercialism would mean the pushing down of cultural values in the pursuit of profit rather than artistic excellence. Hence, he called for a revival of aristocratic values. He lamented that, “the mere multitude is everywhere with its empty photographic eyes. A declaration of war on the masses by higher men is called for. Everywhere the mediocre are coming in order to make themselves master.”

His appeal was to the artist and to the individual of taste and culture for, as Nietzsche had pointed out, culture is the faculty that distinguishes the human from other organisms. In this spirit, Yeats applauded Nietzsche’s philosophy as “a counteractive to the spread of democratic vulgarity.”

Yeats’ keen sense of historical context is reflected in “The Curse of Cromwell.” Here he identifies the English Revolution as what we can see as the inauguration of the cycle of “Money over Blood,” in Spenglerian terms: the victory of the merchant class over the traditional order, which was to be re-reenacted in the French Revolution. The Bolshevik Revolution was of the same spirit of money against blood, of the materialistic against the spirit and culture.

All three revolutions were carried out in the name of “the people” against the traditional rulers, only to create a greater tyranny in the service of money. Spengler had written in The Decline of the West: “Practical communism with its ‘class war’… is nothing but the trusty henchman of big Capital, which knows perfectly well how to make use of it… in that their object is not to overcome money-values, but to possess them.”

Cromwell’s English revolution has had lasting consequences for the entire West. The cycle of Money over culture and tradition that Cromwell inaugurated has never been overcome. America was founded on the same Puritan money ethics and continues to spread that spirit over the farthest reaches of the world.

The specter of Puritanism has haunted the entire world ever since, “far and wide.” Nobility of character, regardless of “class”—itself a vulgarization of the traditional castes—was destroyed by the inauguration in the West of the reign of money by Cromwell, and one that was not overcome, but rather adopted by its supposed “enemy,” socialism, as Spengler was to point out. Yeats, as “The Curse of Cromwell” shows, has been one of the few to realize the full depth and lasting significance of Puritanism under whatever name it might appear.

No longer are there left those of noble tradition, those who served as part of a long heritage, “the tall men”; and the old gaiety of the peasant village, the squire’s hall and aristocrat’s manor have been beaten down.

All neighborly, content and easy talk are gone,
But here’s no good complaining, for money’s rant is on.

The artists, once patronized by the aristocracy, must now prostitute their art for the sake of money on the mass market, as script writers, and “public entertainers” to sell a product. All individuals are now producers and consumers, including the artist producing for a consumer market.

And we and all the Muses are things of no account.

Yeats considered himself heir to a tradition that has been repressed by democratic vulgarity, and he lived in service to that tradition, now virtually driven to the catacombs under the dead weight of “mass culture,” which is nothing more than consumerism posturing as “art,” “literature,” and “music” manufactured according to market demands. He and a few others of the same temperament lived in the service of High Culture as contemporary troubadours “against the modern world” to uplift the spirits of the remnant who have managed to maintain their nobility in the face of the crass.

One product of democracy and capitalism that Yeats feared was the proliferation of those he regarded as inferior people. Yeats advocated planned human up-breeding and joined the Eugenics Society at a time when eugenics was a widely held belief among the intelligentsia. Yeats had “On the Boiler” published the same year, where he endorsed the psychometric studies that were showing intelligence to be inherited, and expressed concern at the proliferation of the unintelligent.

The aristocracy of old, the noble lineage of blood, of familial descent, has been replaced by the new rich, the merchants, our new rulers are those who measure all things by profit. Like Spengler, Yeats saw hope in Fascist Italy: “The Ireland that reacts from the present disorder is turning its eyes towards individualist Italy.” In particular, he admired the educational reforms and cyclic historical doctrine of Italian Fascist philosopher and Minister of Education, Giovanni Gentile, stating in 1925 before the Irish Senate, of which he was a member, that Irish teachers should study the methods that Gentile had enacted in Italian schools, “so to correlate all subjects of study.”

The following year Senator Yeats stated that the Italian educational system was “adapted to an agricultural nation” which was applicable also to Ireland, “a system of education that will not turn out clerks only, but will turn out efficient men and women, who can manage to do all the work of the nation.”

With the assumption to Government of De Valera in 1932, the following year Yeats was seeking to formulate a doctrine for Ireland that would be a form of “Fascism modified by religion.” History consisted broadly of “the rule of the many followed by the rule of the few,” again reminiscent of Spengler’s idea of a “new Caesarism” that follows on the rule of plutocracy at the end cycle of a civilization.

For Yeats, the rule of the few meant a return to some form of aristocracy.