Sunday, January 31, 2010

Latest Reading

Culture of Corruption; Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies, by Michelle Malkin, Regnery Publishing, 2009. Its a pretty good read. But, what impressed me is the similiarity between Obama's crowd and the gang that came to Washington with Reagan, many of which, if you recall went down in flames. Its worth reading, but only if you like gossip about political hacks. Can we say President Harding here? President Grant? Of course, it remains to be seen if this bunch will embarass him.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

World History, Chapter Eight, revised

Meanwhile, in other news; Imperial China to Peru, India to Nubia
The Beginning of Christianity and the Second Diaspora

“And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;”
Acts 17:26

“When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.”
Deuteronomy 32:8

“34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.”
Acts 10:34,35

Briefly, let us discuss the Feudal Age of China. This period is said to have lasted from 770BC to 255BC, according to Durant’s work, “Our Oriental Heritage” from his series “The Story of Civilization”. During this time we have several persons of importance to note. The first one is named Kuang Chung, the prime minister of Ts’i. He was the organizing genius of this most important of the original 55 provinces of China, consisting of a type of city-state as in Canaan and Greece with a walled town and farmland and small walled villages or suburbs, as recorded in the Bible, surrounding it. Kuang Chung or simply Kuang replaced bronze tools with iron and established a government monopoly or control of iron and salt. He taxed money, fish, and salt. As the advisor to Duke Huan, not the political leader himself but much like Joseph, the second in command, he made his little country a well ordered state which became the basis for Chinese government. He was applauded later by Confucius for giving order to the state. He served from 683BC to 640BC.

There was a great struggle in China between those who believed that the proper order of society was best served by following local customs and practices thought to have come from above and those who wanted the state to codify laws issued by state. The legal codes, which were usually beneficial to the aristocracy, came into being in the duchies or provinces of Cheng and Chin about 535BC and 512BC respectively. Custom and law found a compromise and this resulted in the Chou-Li. This Law of Chou set for two thousand years the Chinese government with an emperor ruling as the vicar and “Son of Heaven” and, as Durant says, “holding power through the possession of virtue and piety; an aristocracy, partly of birth and partly of training, administering the offices of the state; a people dutifully tilling the soil, living in patriarchal (father or elder brother governed) families, enjoying civil rights but having no voice in public affairs; and a cabinet of six ministries controlling respectively the life and activities of the emperor, the welfare and


early marriage of the people, the ceremonies and divinations of religion, the preparation and prosecution of war, the administration of justice, and the organization of public works.” You will note that in China, as well as elsewhere, the union of church and state, of religion and government, is complete from the start and there is little discussion of freedom of conscience, freedom of association, or freedom of religion.

From about 604BC to 517BC we have Lao-tze. The dates, of course, are questionable but widely accepted as being reasonably accurate. He ran the Royal Library of Chou, according to historian, Szuma Ch’en, and disgusted with politicians was determined to go live in seclusion. When requested, since he was going into retirement, to write a book, he consented to write a book in two parts; one called Tao and one called Te. Lao-tze was his title, The Old Master, and it is said that his real name was Li, meaning; the Plum. The book is now known as the Tao Te Ching or Book of the Way and of Virtue. It is the primary book of the religion known as Taoism. In Taoism one must follow the path of nature. The Tao, like Einstein’s god, is an impersonal force that operates the universe. Like Allah, it doesn’t love its adherents and like Brahma, it is unknowable. In fact, in Taoism, knowledge is not virtue, in fact, it is a problem, for it leads to trouble and sorrow. But, King Solomon already had that figured out hundreds of years before the Tao Te Ching, which many Chinese scholars say was not written by Lao-tze but was written before he was born.

“For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.” Ecclesiastes 1:18

Lao-tze believed, among other things, that the worst possible leader of a state would be a philosopher.

From about 551 to 478BC we have Confucius or K’ung-fu-tze, meaning K’ung the Master. Born in Shantung province, he was China’s most famous philosopher. His work remains today in The Analects of Confucius. He, like all other deluded and deceived leaders of philosophy and religion denied the Bible’s one path to God without even ever seeing a Bible perhaps. A famous statement of his was, “all the rivers of righteousness flow into the lake of heaven”. He would fit right in with today’s universal religionists. According to legend, Confucius began his career as a teacher at age 22 teaching out of his home charging whatever modest fee his pupils could pay. Like the ancient Greeks, the Chinese were always looking to learn something new.

“(For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.) “ Acts 17:21

Like the Greek philosopher, Socrates, whom we did not mention in our class on Greece, he taught by asking questions. Socrates wrote nothing down and we are dependent upon his student, Plato, for most of our information on him. Both Confucius


and Socrates taught in this fashion, asking pointed questions of their students, supposedly to lead them closer to the truth. Socrates was finally condemned by an Athenian court and sentenced to drink poison for his disturbances. Confucius, on the other hand went on to hold several offices for the Duke of Lu and legend has it that he was so wise that when he was Minister of Public Works, everything went smoothly, and when he was Minister of Crime, crime disappeared. Resigning his position eventually over his disapproval of his employer’s worldliness and lack of virtue, he wandered homeless for many years with a few faithful disciples. He wrote on many topics regarding everything from good government to the proper family life and set the example for Chinese philosophy and ideal government as well as personal virtue and home life for over 2.000 years.

Confucius also left behind five books known as Five Ching by the Chinese. To this they added four books or Shu of the philosophers and this became known as The Nine Classics. Confucius was an agnostic, a term coined by Thomas Huxley, Charles Darwin’s biggest supporter. Basically, it means that the person doesn’t profess to believe in God or not to believe in God as he simply doesn’t know. I would say to you that an agnostic is an atheist who is too afraid to admit it just in case God is listening. Confucius’ greatest passion was for morality, not religion.

The period of time from 403BC to 221BC is known as the Period of Contending States in China, a time of chaos, disorganization, and much war. The man who unified China was known as Shih Huang-ti or Ch’in Shih Huang-Ti from the dynasty, Chin, from which we get the name for the country. He was the illegitimate son of the Queen of Ch’in and a minister named Lu. Shih forced his father to commit suicide and persecuted his mother, assuming the throne at the age of 12, according to historian Szuma Ch’en. When he was 25 he began to conquer the petty states into which China was divided. In 230BC he conquered Han; in 228BC, Chao; in 225, Wei; in 223, Ch’u; in 222, Yen, and then the important state of Ch’i in 221BC. China was finally under one rule.

He then pieced together many walls on the northern frontier designed to protect China from barbarian attack, thus creating the 1500 mile long Great Wall. This is the largest structure ever built by mankind. Although this wall did not keep out barbarians it did slow them down. Durant says that it slowed the Hun attack down so much that they chose to attack to the west and he goes on to say that Rome fell because China built a wall. An 8th century Arab chronicle is reported to have called the wall, ‘The Ramparts of Magog’. Remember that when you read Ezekiel and Revelation about the end times. He moved China away from rule by custom to rule strictly by law and a strong central government. He destroyed the power of local warlords or feudal barons and replaced them with a nobility of civil servants placed in each province. He, in other words, gave an order and a structure to Chinese government and therefore society that it had not had. He was, however, the enemy of scholars and particularly hated Confucian scholars, ordering all copies of Confucius’ books burnt. The scholars saw that under one supreme government they would not have the freedom of thought and liberty of conscience that they had when


things were more disordered. It is an historical fact that as power is concentrated into the hands of a very few and then perhaps one, individual freedom is set aside. The emperor
burnt many books of philosophy and consigned those who hid those books to forced labor on the Great Wall where most died.

Shih Huang-Ti spent his final years paranoid and trying to find an elixir for immortality. He was buried in a tomb with several hundred young girls who were buried alive to keep him company in eternity, behind hidden traps to kill intruders, and even the workmen were killed to keep the secrets of his tomb from the world. Chaos again reigned at his death.

The Han dynasty followed after Wen Ti restored order. He permitted freedom of speech and writing once again. Also, he permitted criticism of the government which had been outlawed by the previous emperor. The Han ruled China for 400 years and the Chinese who claim to trace their roots to this dynasty are proud to call themselves Han Chinese today to separate themselves from what they consider to be inferior Chinese. The greatest of the Han emperors was Wu Ti, who reigned over a half a century, from 140BC to 87BC. He successfully fought barbarians and made China master over Korea, Manchuria, Annam (a kingdom in Central Vietnam), Indo-China (loosely defined, the area of current day Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia), and Turkestan in central Asia.

Wu Ti would be considered today a socialist as he established national ownership of China’s natural resources to prevent private monopolies and wealth gained from manipulation of these resources by private individuals. Even the production and sale of alcoholic beverages was a state run industry. He nationalized export and trade and tried to stabilize the way prices were established. The system flourished for a time and trade grew as he ruled from his capital at Lo-yang. Scholarship and poetry abounded and pottery was beautiful, Szuma Ch’en tells us through Will Durant. The imperial library had nearly 10,000 books and no one came to public office without passing the national examinations, which were open to all. China had never been so prosperous.

Natural disasters such as great floods and droughts ruined his price fixing scheme making food and clothing in such short supply that prices skyrocketed. Businessmen complained that state control had destroyed competition and incentives to produce anything for sale. After the death of the emperor, court intrigue, corruption, and exploitation of the mass of people by unethical businessmen and politicians became the norm until a new reformer arose named Wang Mang in 5AD.

Japanese origins are lost, like many others. A primitive strain of Japheth (Caucasian) entered the islands and they were followed by a Shemitic strain coming from Korea (or Hamitic depending upon which Bible scholar you read as some claim a descent from Shem for the Asian races while others insist upon Ham as their progenitor). The Mongol strain coming in from the north was added to a darker Malay and Indonesian group from


the south. This unique mixture resulted in a unique culture, language, and appearance.

The Chinese dismissed the Japanese as “dwarf people” in the 4th century and had little
respect for their early culture. Contrast this Chinese report with the urbane, sophisticated Japanese corporate culture we know today; “they have neither oxen nor wild beasts, they
tattoo their faces in pattern varying with their rank; they wear garments woven in one piece; they have spears, bow and arrows tipped with stone or iron. They wear no shoes, are law abiding and polygamous (have multiple wives), addicted to strong drink and long lived…The women smear their bodies with pink and scarlet paint…..There is no theft and litigation is infrequent”. (This comes from H.H. Gowen’s ‘Outline History of Japan’ as reported in Durant’s ‘Our Oriental Heritage’). We will have much more to report on Japan later. The Yayoi culture in Japan, around 300BC, introduced rice farming, according to some sources. The Kofun period then marked the rise of strong military clans. The Japanese did not even start writing their own histories until the 5th and 6th centuries after Christ (AD or anno domini, ‘the year of our Lord’). According to Japanese mythology the 3,000 island culture was founded by the Emperor Jimmu in the 7th century BC, a descendant of the god, Ameratsu, daughter of Izanagi. She became the ruler of the High Celestial Plain, called Takamagahara. While commonly thought of as female other Japanese works, such as the Hotsuma Tsutae regard her as a he. I refer you to the Ancient Near Eastern concept of a he/she-god/goddess who is, as Madame Blavatsky would have put it, the same god, Lucifer, the celestial virgin, at once, god and goddess, Satan and Ishtar, so predominant in so many forms throughout human history.

To quote one pagan website from the 21st century, this understanding of the identity of female deities from other cultures with the Babylonian Ishtar is well known. I am quoting a website called ‘The Divine Feminine’;

“From Ameratsu and Cannon in Japan, to Quanyin in China, to Tara in Tibet, to Shakti in India, to Akua'ba in Africa, to Isis in Egypt, to Ishtar and Astarte in the Middle East, to Demeter, Aphrodite and Venus in Greece and Rome, to the Great Goddess of Willendorf and Laussel, to Freya in Scandinavia, to Spider Woman and Ixchel the Weaver in North America, the Divine Mother has a long tradition in the history of the planet's consciousness.”

Across the Pacific Ocean in Peru, from about 850BC to 300BC we have the Chavin period as termed by archaeologists. It is also known as the middle formative period and is characterized by its pottery which still has its effects seen today in pottery of indigenous (native) cultures around the area. This culture, according to archaeologists, mysteriously disappeared, which means they can’t find evidence that fits their theories, and from this perspective nothing much of significance happened for another 500 years. This period represents the earliest culture in Peru and shows the beginnings of basket weaving, textiles, and other industry that shows the people were doing things other than merely trying to survive from day to day. The Andes Mountains are the primary geological


feature of Peru and the Andean terrain is a very difficult one in which to survive. The next significant period in Peru’s history doesn’t start until about 100AD.

While there is no written history of BC North America, there are many archaeological designations for cultures that have been uncovered there. One of the most interesting is the Adena culture of Ohio. They lived in villages and by hunting and gathering, as well as
fishing from about 500BC to 100BC, according to archaeologists, but most of what we know about them comes from studying the mounds they left behind. Adena artifacts have been found from New York, to Pennsylvania, to Southern Illinois. Their mounds started out as simple burial sites but were probably used for other religious purposes as well as most of the common people appear to have been cremated. One of the most interesting thing about the Adena people was their unusually large size and strong or robust frames. All of them, men and women, appear to have been over six feet tall, which is very strange for that time. The most famous of the mounds is the Great Serpent mound featuring a serpent swallowing a round object like the sun, which archaeologists tell us was related to one of their myths.

The Hopewell culture of the Eastern woodlands is another culture of interest. It lasted from 200BC to 400AD, we are told. They were supposedly the first fully committed farmers or what scholars call agriculturalists. As with the Adena, they are distinguished by their massive burial mounds.

There are many people who contend that travelers from the Old World or Europe, Africa, and the Near East sailed by sea to the various locations of communities in the New World, the Americas. One such book about the possible interaction between populations is called America BC by Barry Fell. The problem with scholars who do not accept the Bible narrative is that they cannot understand how cultures around the world can be so different and yet have such fundamental similarities because they can’t see the common origin of human society in the pre-flood culture passed on through Noah’s sons. In any event, the oldest human remains found in North America, called Kennewick Man, dated by conventional scholars at 9,000BC, are Caucasian not Amerindian.

We have previously mentioned the Olmecs of the East Mexican lowlands in Central America. Their culture lasted from about 1300BC to 400BC and this culture is often referred to as the mother of Middle American cultures. They are known for leaving behind statues of colossal, deformed heads. Some researchers say they came from Asia and some from Africa. It is likely that they were part of that slow migration from the Ancient Near East through western Asia to Eastern Asia and across what was thought to be the land bridge that is now the Bering Straits separating Alaska from eastern Asia. But, it is also possible that they came by sea from across the Atlantic. They had an advanced calendar and their writing is similar to that of certain West African tribes.


When Mayan hieroglyphs were examined it was found that they resembled North African and Near Eastern glyphs.

The Mayan culture lasted from 500BC to around 1200AD scholars tell us. The Mayans are in the news today because of the great tragedy of many of their villages becoming mass graves due to the impact of Hurricane Stan in 2005. These people have had a long
and tragic history, carving out an advanced civilization in the jungles of Central America and then declining into the poor and often remote subsistence farmers we know today. They are also famous for their advanced calendar consisting of cycles that end mysteriously in 2012. Many end time prophecy buffs insist that this means something about the end of history; however, could it not also mean that that was as far as they
could mathematically project with their system? Still, a study of the Mayan Calendar, the year, 2012, and end time prophecy buffs can be very interesting as long as we remember the Biblical admonition that we cannot know the exact date of either the Rapture or the second advent of Christ. In addition, Mayan pyramids, while not as famous as pyramids from Egypt and the Far East, are very impressive. The high point of the Mayan civilization comes later than the focus of this particular session so we will save information about them for later unless you do your own study of their culture from beginning to end for your class assignment.

Moving to India we find that from 599BC to 527BC we are told that Mahavira, the founder of the Indian religion known as Jainism lived. His parents believed that the rebirth of Hinduism was a curse and the religious sect they belonged to valued suicide. When Mahavira reached the age of 31, his parents did just that by starving themselves to death. Distraught over his parents’ suicide he renounced the world and wandered for 13 years, finally being declared a Jina or conqueror by his disciples who followed him. The Jina, like Alice Bailey’s new age doctrine, The Coming One, was someone who regularly came throughout history to enlighten the world in some way. Mahavira’s followers called themselves Jains and before he died at the age of 72 they had created a celibate (stayed single and did not marry) clergy and an order of nuns.

Jainism started out logically according to modern thought, that there is no absolute truth in that all truth is relative to someone’s opinion. What is true to me might not be true to you. Absolute truth only came to those rare Jinas who came to teach mankind. They went on to deny the existence of God because it was just as hard for them to accept a creator without a beginning as it was for them to accept that things never had a beginning. They believed in the eternal pre-existence of the universe, much like the Greek Aristotle and many modern scientists who look to the Big Bang’s singularity as being eternal. But, it wasn’t long before the Jains, after emptying heaven of God, began to people it with deified saints of Jain legend. These were worshipped as gods with great devotion and ceremony. They even believed that stone and metal had souls. If one achieved a sinless life he or she became a supreme soul and was spared reincarnation. In other words, like many other manmade and Satan inspired religions and science they simply made it up as they went along. The road to this supreme state of being was by


complete ahimsa or abstinence from injury to any living thing, even an insect. Suicide, though, is approved of as the only killing permitted is the killing of oneself. Eventually, they split into different sects with varying beliefs but in a land where life can be so hard and so short, they have always had a following.

From 563 to 483BC we have the life of Buddha. The religion named after him has found a great many adherents in the Far East but also a great many followers in the west, particularly since the late 1800’s when Buddhism became more known to England due to England’s rule over India. Buddha was born into a wealthy family, was married, and was living a happy, prosperous life when he saw suffering and it had a great affect on him. He realized that traditional Hindu philosophy didn’t answer the questions these scenes of
sickness and poverty laid on him so he began to pursue an introspective search for truth. He left his wife and newborn son and became an ascetic or one who renounces possessions and comfort, living in the desert. When he leaves, legend tells us that Mara, prince of evil, tries to tempt him but he refused and rode on not looking back.

Eventually, Buddha reached a state of enlightenment, according to that religion’s traditions, after sitting for a long time under the Bodhi-tree. He came to the conclusion that birth is the beginning of all evil and that if a man could live a life of perfect justice, unvarying patience, and kindness to all, he could avoid being reborn. The ultimate goal of Buddhism is Nirvana, where all cravings and desires have ended and the mind and soul have merged with unconscious infinity losing all personality and self-awareness. This God denying and Bible rejecting religion is believed in a sort of hybrid way with many pagan beliefs in the modern New Age movement.

Alexander the Great of Macedon, the Greek general, conquered Persia entering India in 327BC, by Durant’s reckoning. Early in 326BC he crossed the Indus River and began a three year campaign that resulted in his claiming western India as a tributary of Macedon. Among other things he brought knowledge of a Greek combat sport called Pankration, or
“all powers” similar to the brutal combat sports one can see on television today. This became the Indian fighting arts of Kalaripayat and Vrajmushti which were later taken into China by the monk, Daruma, and became Kung Fu and other Shaolin arts. It finally reached Japan by way of Okinawa and changed into the many forms of Karate we know today.

It only took about 7 years for Macedonian authority to be removed from India by the great Indian ruler, Chandragupta. He was a young noble of the Kshatriya or warrior clan. Chandragupta organized a small army and overthrew the Macedonian garrison left to rule India and freed the natives from the Greek bondage. He then conquered what was called Hindustan and Afghanistan, creating the Mauryan Dynasty that ruled for over a century.

The ruler, Ashoka, a successor to Chandragupta, was known as the philosopher-king. He ruled Afghanistan and all of India except for the very remote southern portion called Tamilakam, or Tamil Land beginning in 273BC. He was a cruel ruler and the Chinese


related how a prison he kept in Northern India was still known even 900 years later as “Ashoka’s Hell”. Eventually, he had a religious conversion and abandoned his cruelty, demolished his prison, and began to rule like some sage or philosopher, calling his citizens, his children.

The so-called Golden Age of India, from the death of Ashoka until the Gupta Dynasty, a period of about 600 years, was characterized by great universities, Persian and Greek influence in art and architecture, and a flourishing civilization although very little written contemporary records have been found. Greeks and Syrians did conquer the area known as Punjab and established a Greco-Bactrian culture there. The Kushans, related to Turkish people, conquered what is now called Afghanistan. Their greatest king, Kanishka, ruled a kingdom producing magnificent architecture at Peshawar, Taxila, and Mathura which was a combination of Greek and Buddhist. He permitted religious freedom but himself worked toward the spread of Buddhism.

Now, to Africa where bordered by the first cataract of the Nile and the 6th cataract there was the country of Nubia. A cataract is a large waterfall. It extended then from around the Nile town of Elephantine southward to just above Khartoum, Sudan. Through much of history it was dominated by Egypt but when internal troubles kept Egypt within its borders Nubia flourished. Modern people in Southern Egypt and the Sudan still refer to themselves as Nubian and even speak Nubian.
By 800 B.C., Egypt had fragmented into rival states. In 747 B.C., the city of Thebes in southern Egypt was threatened by northerners, and the Egyptians called upon the Nubian king for protection. The Kushite king, Piye, marched north from his capital at Napata, rescued Thebes and reunified Egypt. For the next 100 years, Kushite kings ruled both Nubia and Egypt. This era was brought to a close by the invasion of Assyrian armies in 663 B.C., and the Nubian king fled south to his capital at Napata.
By 200 B.C., the capital had shifted yet farther south to Meroe, where the kings continued to be buried in pyramid tombs and to build temples to Nubian and Egyptian gods in a hybrid Egyptian Roman-African style. Roman historians record the skirmishes and treaties which marked the relation ship of Roman Egypt and Nubia.
Meroe had existed as the capital of Cush since the 4th century. It is possible that the kingdoms of Cush and Nubia were one and the same as there seems to be some confusion among historians as to whether there is a distinct identity for each. Cush/Nubia was one of the oldest, if not the oldest kingdom of the Nile River. Cush was the name of one of the sons of Ham, brother to the founder of Egypt, Mizraim. Although Meroe was an important city in ancient times it was mentioned, but not visited by, Herodotus. The only things that remain today are ruins of temples and many pyramids.
In the Ethiopian highlands bordering the Red Sea was the kingdom of Axum from about 500BC. This was a fabulously wealthy trading center for Africa, India, and the

Near East. Historians believe that the Axumites were a mixture of Cushites and Arabians. You will find Axum also spelled Aksum.
As there is little, if any, evidence of advanced civilization in sub-Saharan Africa, at this time, it is most likely that the movement of people into the jungles of Africa was a slow process due to the diseases of such a hostile environment. But, many legends state that King Solomon had mines in central Africa and, of course, we have the account in the Bible of his ships bringing gold and apes and peacocks in 1 Kings 10:22 and 2 Chronicles 9:21. In Northern Africa we have many tribal peoples living along the shores of the Mediterranean, one of the most noteworthy are the Libyans also called Cyrenians.
Although populations had long been moving into the South Pacific islands, there was still not established civilization there at the time of this time of study. Some historians even state that the Maori didn’t enter New Zealand until 1000AD or thereabouts so there is little to mention other than archaeological classifications of primitive hunters, fishers, and primitive farmers.
Let’s move to the Middle East with the revolt by the Maccabees, Jewish rebels who overthrew one of the successors to Alexander’s empire, Antiochus IV. The Jews had fully established their independence by 143BC. The Seleucid Empire was named after one of Alexander’s generals, Seleucus, who established his own empire from Babylon in 312BC. In the time between the Old and the New Testament, this empire slowly waned until the Roman leader, Pompey, made what was left of the Seleucid Empire the Roman province of Syria in 63BC. Egypt, which had been ruled by the Ptolemaic dynasty of the descendants of Alexander’s general, Ptolemy, also became an Roman tributary. Its most famous ruler, Cleopatra IV, has been the subject of many works of fiction as the seductress who knew Julius Caesar.
“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.” Luke 2:1

“Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene,” Luke 3:1

Who was Caesar is the question that starts our study of Christianity’s beginnings? Who was the ruler of the empire that provided a contradictorily safe and yet perilous environment for the faith to grow and yet was the legal authority under which our Lord was executed?

Caius Julius Caesar, according to Durant in his 3rd book in the series ‘The Story of Civilization’ called ‘Caesar and Christ’, traced his pedigree to Iulus Ascanius, son of Aeneas who had escaped from Troy, son of Venus or Ishtar, who may be the feminine counterpart to Satan, as we have previously discussed. If you remember, some early gods


were possessed of feminine and masculine identities. In any event, Caesar, a person’s name, is the name from which words for leaders like the Tsar or Czar of Russia were derived. He personally believed that his ancestry began with Jupiter, Venus’ father, the Roman derivation of the name, Zeus, whom I have stated is the same god as Odin in Norse mythology, Viracocha in Peru, Quetzlcoatl in Mexico, and many others but also
Baal in Canaan, Bel in Babylon (according to Herodotus) and as per the words of Christ Himself, Baal is Satan. Of course, we don’t know if he truly believed this claim or if it was, as Plato had said of his own leaders, a political ploy to claim legitimacy by descent from the gods themselves.

Theodore Ayrault Dodge, in his book, “Caesar”, states that Caesar came from an old patrician family that had moved to Rome from Alba under the reign of Tullus Hostilius and had held many public positions through the years. His father, a public official, had died when he was about sixteen. His mother, Aurelia, was of plebeian origin but was a woman of fine character. Caesar was very, very proud of his ancestry and brought it up quite frequently, particularly at a famous funeral oration for his aunt.

Aurelia devoted her life to her son’s education which Dodge claims was the foundation of his success. Michael Grant, in his work entitled “The Twelve Caesars” quotes a more ancient work by Roman biographer Suetonius who wrote “Lives of the Caesars”, when he tells us how Caesar’s aunt was the wife of the great general Marius and that Caesar himself married the daughter of Marius’ successor Cinna. We are told that his first great success was his appointment as Chief Priest or Pontifex Maximus, a title the Pope, head of the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church, is known by today. This was in 63BC. Three years later he was snubbed for his bid to be the governor of Spain and he formed
an alliance with the Roman general and political leader, Pompey, and the wealthy Crassus. In 59 he became Consul in a ruthless power drive. Then, between 58 and 51 he conquered the whole of central and northern Gaul as far as the Rhine River, which he briefly crossed. In 55 and 54 he entered Britain unsuccessfully and left us a vivid description of the Celtic warriors he found there. The union between the three powerful men broke down and as Rome’s democracy was a hotbed of corruption and chaos, it was inevitable that a civil war would ensue. Caesar came out on top in that conflict and became absolute dictator of Rome.

One side issue of note is that the decaying Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt was ruled by a queen named Cleopatra, who Durant tells us, was by origin a Macedonian Greek and was therefore probably a blonde and not the raven haired brunette of movie fame. Caesar’s relationship with her was disastrous and has been the subject of many soap opera style movies but in the grand scheme of human history is practically irrelevant. So, we move on.

Grant calls Caesar’s conquest of Gaul a decisive act in world history, by which central Europe was opened up to Mediterranean civilization. He also goes on to quote the Roman, Cicero, that Caesar’s conquests were a disaster for Rome. Grant tells us that “His


army was the most potent, effective, responsive martial instrument the world has ever seen.” Dodge has written a nearly 800 page book on Caesar’s military successes and Caesar himself authored books relating his successes. In fact, there are countless books on the subject of his military victories and how they affected world history.

Eventually, he was assassinated by his political rivals, even some he thought to be friends, for his arrogance and his assumption of all power in Rome.

Gaius Octavius, who became the Caesar Augustus spoken of in Luke 2:1, was known as Octavian during his rise to power. Julius Caesar sponsored his career and adopted him. Octavian pursued a 14 year struggle after the dictator’s death for power and eventually became emperor of Rome finally defeating Caesar’s friend Marc Antony through Octavian’s own ally, Agrippa, in 31 BC. The struggle which had lasted since Julius Caesar’s murder in 44BC was destined to come to an end with Antony’s defeat. The next year, Antony and Cleopatra, who had become his lover also, committed suicide. Augustus received the title of Chief Priest in 12BC and “Father of the Country” in 2BC. . He continued to rule until his death in 14AD with his handpicked successor, Tiberius, exercising most of the real power, or so Grant tells us.

The Tiberius of Luke 3:1, was in his mid-50’s when he finally assumed power although he had been, in fact, if not in name, ruler for some time. These rules overlap as an old (Augustus was 76 when he died) Caesar looks to his successor for carrying on the more difficult duties of office. But, one would assume that the events of Luke 3:1 would have occurred 15 years after his official taking of office as emperor. This would fit in with Christ’s age, as understood by both theologians and historians.

To God, these important men in secular history deserve only a footnote and His appearance with mankind, living as a man, suffering temptation, hunger, thirst, and eventually death, as men do, is the most important event in human history. The birth, life, death, and resurrection represent the hinge upon which all human history swings. You won’t find Christ mentioned in contemporary secular writings during his life or even just after it, as to the world’s way of thinking, He was just another insignificant person. He did not lead armies, conquer territories, or slaughter millions of people but more has been written about Him than about any other man in history. As the Christian movement grew, from what was thought to be a mere sect of Judaism, to a religious annoyance to Rome, to finally the state religion of declining Rome, it filled the earth, like the mustard seed of Matthew 13, that grew to a great size, only to have the birds of the air, a reference to Satanic entities, lodge in its uppermost branches. Still, as God showed Elijah in 1 Kings 19:18, God has always kept a remnant to Himself.

The events after Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection in about 33AD are dominated by the Jewish war of rebellion against Roman authority and such events as the destruction of Jerusalem and other events such as the mass murder and suicide at the hilltop fortress of Masada. Josephus, a priest and a Pharisee, was put in charge of the Galilean resistance


and was eventually captured by the Romans. He then chronicled the destruction of Judea and the city of Jerusalem in his writings which are still available today. By many, he is not considered to be an impartial historian, given to exaggeration and the peculiar kind of fancy that comes when one is passionate and personally involved in the historical events about which one is writing. But, he gives a dramatic account of the way the Jewish
nation, subservient to Rome, turned in on itself and destroyed many of its own. Their appears to have been both a war of rebellion against Rome and a civil war among the various Jewish groups themselves. The destruction of Jerusalem and the temple are foretold by Jesus Himself, as you will read. Josephus speaks about Jesus as being Christ and tells of His resurrection so that it must have been common knowledge due to the statements of Christians. His reference to Jesus, as quoted by Eusebius, and found in extant (currently existing) copies of his work, is highly controversial and many consider it to be a later interpolation (addition) but others point out that it does not imply that Josephus was a believer but rather mocking the belief that Jesus is the Messiah.

The historian, Suetonius, writing nearly a century later, mocks the whole belief of the resurrection as mere superstition, certainly after he sacrificed a chicken to one of his own deities. Pliny the younger refers to early Christian worship in one of his letters to the Emperor Trajan and Lucian of Samosata mocks the faith of Christians in his extant writing. So, there is clear historical reference to the existence of the Christian faith in the first and second centuries and it is therefore certain that it was not, as some liberals say, an invention of the early third or late second century.

In Josephus’ work, “Antiquities”, he details the war between the Jews and Rome that led to Jerusalem’s destruction in which more than a million Jews were slaughtered and again they were dispersed in what is known as the second Diaspora, all over the world.

As we have previously stated, in 143BC Simon Maccabee secured the independence of Judea, the area that was formerly part of the ancient state of Israel, from the Seleucid king. He was named general and high priest of the Second Jewish Commonwealth by a popular assembly which also made his office hereditary in his Hasmonean family. Judea became a theocracy or a union of state and religion under this dynasty of priest-kings. His family spent two generations trying to strengthen the borders of this militarily weak kingdom by conquering or absorbing Samaria, Edom, Moab, and Galilee among other areas. This dynasty, whose forbears had fought so hard to have religious freedom under the tyranny of the pagan Greek Seleucids now used the sword to enforce the dictates of Hebrew law on the conquered. Eventually, they lost their religious zeal as well, though, and reverted more and more back to the Hellenized pagan habits of their former conquerors. Finally, when a dispute over rulership occurred both parties appealed to the superpower, Rome, under the general Pompey, for support. In 63BC he made Judea a part of the Roman province of Syria. In 54BC Crassus robbed the temple of the treasures that were left.


Herod was installed by Rome, according to Durant, in 37BC. He was by all accounts an evil man, a despotic ruler. He killed entire families if one was accused of conspiring against him and even imprisoned and killed members of his own immediate family. He tore down the Temple of Zerubbabel and built the one that would later be destroyed by Rome. When Herod died his will divided his kingdom between his three remaining sons. There was a tremendous tension between the pagan Greek inhabitants of this small
country and the devout Jewish population. Most people were peasant farmers so successful that in the time of Christ they raised enough wheat to export a surplus. The Temple itself was the national bank where the Sanhedrin or the Great Council of the Elders of Israel met. This institution might have arose under the Seleucids to replace the Biblical advisors to Moses in Numbers 16 but we aren’t sure. A group of Israeli dissidents against Prime Minister Sharon’s government reinstituted a version of the Sanhedrin in October, 2004 and challenged the secular government’s authority. The Sanhedrin of the first century BC or AD could command a punishment of death for a religious offense but could not carry it out without the consent of the civil power. The two main factions were the Pharisees and the Sadducees mentioned in the Bible.

The conflict between pagan authority and Jewish worship came to a head under the emperor Caligula who wanted to make the worship of the emperor the unifying religion throughout the empire. This took place after Christ’s resurrection, with Caligula acclaimed emperor in 37AD according to Grant. To sum up his reign one can easily say that he was a monster; perverse, cruel, hateful, and completely demented. Caligula had insomnia, was plagued by nightmares, and was called everything from schizophrenic to a chronic alcoholic. He was mocking and cruel to the Jews, particularly.

Jewish rebellion was constant and getting worse as each Roman puppet ruler over them increased their misery by misrule. The Jewish expectation was for relief at the hand of a military messiah who would throw off foreign yokes and reinstitute the glory of Solomon’s reign. There was no room in their theology for a suffering Messiah, come to save them from their sins, to die, and then to return to save them from the world or Hell. The verses in the prophets concerning the suffering of the Messiah were completely ignored in favor of those verses that predicted victory. The two advents of Christ were completely misunderstood, even when He Himself made the distinction clear to them. Bands of Zealots would assassinate disloyal Jews and Roman retribution was violent and merciless. While older Hebrews argued that revolt against the world’s greatest empire would be national suicide the younger, hot-heads reacted violently to the Roman crucifixions of rebels and the theft of their families’ property. Two factions, one wanting to fight Rome and one resisting that effort, fought a bloody civil war. In 68BC a pitched battle was fought and the radicals won. Josephus said that it was not uncommon to see towns filled with corpses from the fighting. The gentiles of Caesarea rose up and killed many Jews and sold others into slavery. The Jewish radicals destroyed many towns in Palestine in their rage.


When Josephus was defending Jotopata under siege by Vespasian, he was captured. He then made the statement that Vespasian was destined to be emperor. This resulted in his release and then his job as an advisor to the general in the war against the Jews, making Josephus a traitor. When Vespasian left for Alexandria, Josephus stayed and accomp-anied Vespasian’s son, Titus, to Jerusalem to lay siege to that city. Tacitus, Roman historian, claimed that 600,000 rebels were held up in Jerusalem. When the inhabitants of Jerusalem were starving they made forays for food and thousands of them were crucified when caught by the Romans. The siege lasted for five months and the streets were clogged with corpses. Over a hundred thousand bodies were thrown over the walls. Some Jews swallowed gold coins and tried to escape only to be captured and to have their bellies slit open to retrieve the money. When Titus took half the city he offered liberal surrender terms but they were rejected. Against his express orders soldiers set fire to the Temple and burned the wooden part of it completely. No quarter was given and over a million Jews were slaughtered. Some rebels fled to the hilltop fortress of Masada, where they committed suicide en masse after killing their families before they could fall to the Romans.

There was then scattered rebellion here and there but for the most part Rome was completely victorious. 70AD marked the Temple’s destruction. The high priesthood and the Sanhedrin were abolished. Another million Jews fled and spread around the empire, the first dispersion or Diaspora being six centuries or more before with the Babylonian Captivity. There were already many Jews scattered around the empire, so much so, that nearly 50 years previous to this Strabo announced that they were everywhere but this resembled a flood of refugees to every part of the empire. There was another revolt in 115AD and thousands of Jews were once again slaughtered in Egypt and Cyrene. But, the
last effort was under the leadership of Simeon Bar Cochba in 132. When that, too, failed it was said that so many Jews were sold into slavery that the price of a Jew was less than that of a horse. Jews hid in the ruins of the ancient city of Babylon and within a hundred years it was said that only Jews lived in Babylon. But, unlike virtually all ancient people, the Jews did survive as a people for 2,000 years, being harassed and murdered by nearly everyone they came into contact with, more proof of God’s providence in keeping them intact in spite of their rebellion. The Bible is replete with prophecies that God is not yet done with the Jewish people and at the end of history they play an important role.

The Jewish race has long been very involved in the history of the world and as a dispersed people, with no homeland, they were everywhere, bringing intellect and vitality to every culture in which they resided. It has been said that if seven men were involved in some important event in human history that at least three of them had to be Jews. They hold positions of influence all out of proportion to their numbers in medicine, finance, entertainment, and all other fields of human endeavor. It has been said that when a French king asked for proof of God’s existence, an advisor offered him, “The Jew”.

According to Carsten Thiede, as revealed in his book, ‘Eyewitness to Jesus’, the earliest known papyrus that exists containing a small part of the gospel of Matthew is


from just before the fall of Jerusalem. It may well have been that the apostle Matthew was still alive when this copy was made. Other scholars insist that this scrap of papyrus is much older than the 60’s AD date that Thiede ascribed to it. It is called the Magdalen Papyrus.

The oldest thing that traditional historians are certain of in regard to Christianity is not the existence of Christ Himself but the existence of Christians. There are references to their persecution written early in the second century. However, in Josh McDowell’s ‘ The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict’ he outlines several extrabiblical sources for
Christ’s life. These are pagan, non-Christian, non-Jewish sources. One is Cornelius Tacitus, a Roman historian who lived from 55 to 120AD. His most famous works were the Annals and Histories He has been considered Rome’s greatest historian, a man known for his integrity and truthfulness. He refers to Christ’s death when talking about the persecution of the Christians by Nero. He is also the only pagan historian who mentions Pontius Pilate by name.

As previously mentioned, Lucian of Samosata, a Greek satirist of the latter half of the second century, mockingly speaks of Christ’s crucifixion and the Christian’s worship of Him in his work, The Death of Peregrine. Suetonius, historian from which Michael Grant’s “The Twelve Caesars” derives much of its base information, writing in his Life of Claudius speaks of the Christians being expelled from Rome and speaks also of Christ Himself. This reference places Christians in Rome less than twenty years after the crucifixion. Around 52AD a Roman writer named Thallus wrote about Christ, but this is found only in a reference by Julius Africanus in 221AD. Phlegon, in his history called Chronicles is also referred to by Africanus in his Chronography. Mara Bar-Serapion, a Syrian stoic philosopher, writing about 70AD, pens a letter from prison to his own son comparing Jesus to Socrates and Protagoras, two Greek philosophers.

In addition, there are Jewish references to Christ’s crucifixion in the Babylonian Talmud. Then we have the disputed testimony of Josephus. All of these references and many more waiting to be found can be added to the testimony of the early Christian leaders called the Ante-Nicene (before the council of Nicea in the 300’s AD) “Fathers”, a term Jesus Himself forbade the use of when referring to religious leaders in Matthew 23:9, to give a full picture of the reality of the historical Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, many historians, inspired by the doubts of so-called professing Christians of the German “Higher Criticism” of the late 18th and the 19th centuries tend to doubt whether or not Jesus even existed.

A Christian is a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ according to Acts 11:26 and a disciple in Luke 14:26,27, & 33 is someone who has put all else aside to follow the Lord Jesus Christ. So, who were these disciples? Well, in the early church they, with few exceptions such as Paul, the physician Luke, and perhaps the Theophilus that Luke writes to in Acts, chapter one, common, ordinary people. We have several fishermen listed in the Bible, of which Simon Peter was one, a tax collector named Matthew also known as Levi, and in


Paul’s letters mention is made of a Quartus, a common numerical designation for a slave (Romans 16:23), Lydia, a business woman engaged in selling purple dye (Acts 16:14), and others who are anonymous people with no fame or celebrity attached to them. For the first century, at least of the Christian faith it was populated by people who would not have been considered important at all by the Romans, outside of the occasional runaway slave like Onesimus of Colossians 4:9 and the Book of Philemon.

The apostles, according to atheist Durant, and I quote, “were apparently unanimous in believing that Christ would soon return to establish the Kingdom of Heaven on earth”.
This expectation of Christ coming to set up His literal Kingdom of Heaven, spoken of in many verses in the Old Testament as an everlasting kingdom that would physically crush all others and one which Jesus Himself said was not now of this earth (John 18:36; Acts 1:6,7; Daniel 2:44; Revelation 11:15) is in contrast to the spiritual Kingdom of God which we are told in Luke 17 is invisible and lies within each believer (Luke 17:20,21) and consists of righteousness and peace according to Paul in Romans 14:17 and is present now. Durant makes his statement ignoring the rather obvious statements by the apostles that even though the Christian was to be in constant watchfulness for Christ’s imminent return that God’s sense of time and ours were completely different and what we might expect to be a short time could indeed be thousands of years (Psalm 90:4; 2 Peter 3:8). Each generation is told to be looking up, waiting expectantly for Him to come back to claim the earth’s kingdoms. Later, when Rome began to become melded with Christianity and to some the state and the church were one unified entity it began to be believed by politically minded and powerful Christians that they were living in the millennium of Christ’s reign on earth which was now and not in the future and which was changed from being the thousand year period literally spoken of in the scripture to simply being a long period of time. This belief that Christ instituted both the Kingdom of Heaven and the Kingdom of God led the political state church of later years to believe that it was a
spiritual entity ruling a temporal entity that controlled spiritual matters and that much of prophecy was not literal but merely an allegory. This is the basis for crusades, inquisitions, and untold slaughter for two millennia, down to the present day. Eventually, a belief even arose that Christ already returned at the destruction of Jerusalem and to justify the belief in the presence of both kingdoms that He was even ruling in a spiritual dimension right now, pleased with crusades and inquisitions, done in His name. Even today, most Protestant and Catholic thinkers believe that both kingdoms are one and the same. But, it was not so with the early Christians.

The early Christians continued to live under Judaic religious practice as we are told in the book of Acts that they went regularly to the Temple and observed the dietary and ceremonial laws. Christianity itself was viewed, at first, as merely a sect of Judaism, the Nazarenes after Jesus of Nazareth, like one would look at a Pharisee or Sadducee or the Essenes, a sect that withdrew itself from society and lived in isolation. At first, they proclaimed their faith mostly to Jews, even preaching in the Temple itself. After the martyrdom of Stephen in Acts 7 Greek converts fled to Samaria and Antioch, establishing strong Jewish communities there. It is at Antioch where they were first called Christians.


Apostles and disciples spread the Gospel from Damascus to Rome. Paul himself was converted on the road to Damascus on a mission to arrest and imprison Christians. The believers met in private houses or rented rooms and modeled themselves on the synagogue. The term ekklesia which was the term for a popular assembly of municipal government was used to describe their gatherings. It has come to us as the church, when referring to the people. We have also come to refer to the building that Christians assemble in as a church. The Christians admitted slaves and were mostly lower class people with a sprinkling of the rich and powerful. Women were also admitted to the congregation and some became important figures in the early church.

Tacitus, the Roman historian, was no fan of the Emperor Nero, and in his Annals he blames the great fire that destroyed much of Rome between 64AD and 67AD (depending on which historian you read) on that evil tyrant. He then tells how Nero blamed the fire on the unpopular Christians and how this led to the first great persecution by Rome. I am including a translation of this famous passage from Tacitus made by Richard Hooker;

“Yet no human effort, no princely largess nor offerings to the gods could make that infamous rumor disappear that Nero had somehow ordered the fire. Therefore, in order to abolish that rumor, Nero falsely accused and executed with the most exquisite punishments those people called Christians, who were infamous for their abominations. The originator of the name, Christ, was executed as a criminal by the procurator Pontius Pilate during the reign of Tiberius; and though repressed, this destructive superstition erupted again, not only through Judea, which was the origin of this evil, but also through the city of Rome, to which all that is horrible and shameful floods together and is celebrated. Therefore, first those were seized who admitted their faith, and then, using the information they provided, a vast multitude were convicted, not so much for the crime of burning the city, but for hatred of the human race. And perishing they were additionally
made into sports: they were killed by dogs by having the hides of beasts attached to them, or they were nailed to crosses or set aflame, and, when the daylight passed away, they were used as nighttime lamps. Nero gave his own gardens for this spectacle and performed a Circus game, in the habit of a charioteer mixing with the plebs or driving about the race-course. Even though they were clearly guilty and merited being made the most recent example of the consequences of crime, people began to pity these sufferers, because they were consumed not for the public good but on account of the fierceness of one man.”

John Foxe in the famous Foxe’s Book of Martyrs describes Nero’s persecution as such;
“The first persecution of the Church took place in the year 67, under Nero, the sixth emperor of Rome. This monarch reigned for the space of five years, with tolerable credit to himself, but then gave way to the greatest extravagancy of temper, and to the most atrocious barbarities. Among other diabolical whims, he ordered that the city of Rome should be set on fire, which order was executed by his officers, guards, and servants. While the imperial city was in flames, he went up to the tower of Macaenas, played upon

his harp, sung the song of the burning of Troy, and openly declared that 'he wished the ruin of all things before his death.' Besides the noble pile, called the Circus, many other palaces and houses were consumed; several thousands perished in the flames, were smothered in the smoke, or buried beneath the ruins.
This dreadful conflagration continued nine days; when Nero, finding that his conduct was greatly blamed, and a severe odium cast upon him, determined to lay the whole upon the Christians, at once to excuse himself, and have an opportunity of glutting his sight with new cruelties. This was the occasion of the first persecution; and the barbarities exercised on the Christians were such as even excited the commiseration of the Romans themselves. Nero even refined upon cruelty, and contrived all manner of punishments for the Christians that the most infernal imagination could design. In particular, he had some sewed up in skins of wild beasts, and then worried by dogs until they expired; and others dressed in shirts made stiff with wax, fixed to axletrees, and set on fire in his gardens, in order to illuminate them. This persecution was general throughout the whole Roman Empire; but it rather increased than diminished the spirit of Christianity. In the course of it, St. Paul and St. Peter were martyred.
To their names may be added, Erastus, chamberlain of Corinth; Aristarchus, the Macedonian, and Trophimus, an Ephesians, converted by St. Paul, and fellow-laborer with him, Joseph, commonly called Barsabas, and Ananias, bishop of Damascus; each of the Seventy.”
In spite of the fact that Roman politicians would lament on how Christian congre-gations not only took care of their own poor but the pagan poor around them as well, in spite of statements about how exemplary and virtuous Christian women were thought to be, and in spite of the Christian habit of hanging around garbage dumps to save and raise discarded Roman children, unwanted by their parents, the second great persecution occurred around 81AD and performed by the Emperor Domitian Christians were accused of everything from cannibalism from a misunderstanding of the Lord’s Supper to hatred of humanity by the doctrine that people are not born good but bad and must be saved. Of course, there was also the refusal to worship the emperor, which was the chief source of resentment toward them by the civil authority.
The second great persecution of the Christians was under Domitian in or about 81AD and is described by Foxe in this way;
‘The emperor Domitian, who was naturally inclined to cruelty, first slew his brother, and then raised the second persecution against the Christians. In his rage he put to death some of the Roman senators, some through malice; and others to confiscate their estates. He then commanded all the lineage of David be put to death.
Among the numerous martyrs that suffered during this persecution was Simeon, bishop of Jerusalem, who was crucified; and St. John, who was boiled in oil, and afterward

banished to Patmos. Flavia, the daughter of a Roman senator, was likewise banished to Pontus; and a law was made,
"That no Christian, once brought before the tribunal, should be exempted from punishment without renouncing his religion."
A variety of fabricated tales were, during this reign, composed in order to injure the Christians. Such was the infatuation of the pagans, that, if famine, pestilence, or earthquakes afflicted any of the Roman provinces, it was laid upon the Christians. These persecutions among the Christians increased the number of informers and many, for the sake of gain, swore away the lives of the innocent.
Another hardship was, that, when any Christians were brought before the magistrates, a test oath was proposed, when, if they refused to take it, death was pronounced against them; and if they confessed themselves Christians, the sentence was the same.
The following were the most remarkable among the numerous martyrs who suffered during this persecution.
Dionysius, the Areopagite, was an Athenian by birth, and educated in all the useful and ornamental literature of Greece. He then travelled to Egypt to study astronomy, and made very particular observations on the great and supernatural eclipse, which happened at the time of our Savior's crucifixion.
The sanctity of his conversation and the purity of his manners recommended him so strongly to the Christians in general, that he was appointed bishop of Athens.
Nicodemus, a benevolent Christian of some distinction, suffered at Rome during the rage of Domitian's persecution.
Protasius and Gervasius were martyred at Milan.
Timothy was the celebrated disciple of St. Paul, and bishop of Ephesus, where he zealously governed the Church until A.D. 97. At this period, as the pagans were about to celebrate a feast called Catagogion, Timothy, meeting the procession, severely reproved them for their ridiculous idolatry, which so exasperated the people that they fell upon him with their clubs, and beat him in so dreadful a manner that he expired of the bruises two days later. “
We have gone on beyond the intended timeline scope of this class and we will return to the development of Christianity in another class. But, for the next class we will examine what life was like in the Roman Empire of the first century.

First Thessalonians, Chapter Four

1 ¶ Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.
They have been taught how to live in such a way as pleases God and Paul wants to see them grow more and more.
2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: 4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;
Fornication is one of the biggest social problems our country has and is the source of all sexually transmitted diseases, unintended and unwanted pregnancies, and often the cause for marital splits and the resultant destruction that divorce wreaks on children.
Sex has a tremendous religious application. The first time the word, fornication, is used in the Bible it is in reference to idolatry, God’s people going after other gods, devils. The relationship between a husband and wife should mirror that between Christ and the church as Ephesians makes clear. The joys of sexual union are provided to be enjoyed ONLY in that setting. Anything outside of that marriage bond is fornication. Since Jesus makes thoughts and intentions equal to action in his famous statement on “lusting after” then fornication also includes pornography. Adultery, specifically going to someone other than your spouse, covers both parties as being married to someone.
However, fornication has a more broader application and can include adultery as 1 Corinthians 5:1 shows. Fornication can be pre-marital sex between boyfriend and girlfriend. Let me point out something to the young people. If you choose to defy God by doing this, you will pay a price later, even if you “get right with God”.
Like David, you can be forgiven and yet still face terrible consequences in your family. Let me say again, if you willfully commit this sin that unites your body to someone without the commitment before God and man to stay together for life, your future family, even if you turn fully to God and repent and ask forgiveness and “raise ‘em right” will suffer.
How can I say this in a more acceptable way. A family that starts out on the basis of fornication, with a surprise pregnancy, a marriage of necessity, and all the ambivalence and uncertainty that goes with that will be a damaged family from the beginning. The greatest thing you, young people, can give your future children is to do it right from the beginning.
TheBible makes it clear that sex is a good thing, a thing of joy where both parties most intimate needs and longings should be met and, believe me, there are as many non-Biblical and perverse marital relationships as there are unions based on fornication so just going before the preacher and getting a license from the state doesn’t mean you’re going to be right.
First, both of you have to love Jesus Christ. Both of you have to love each other THROUGH Jesus Christ. Then, both of you have to abandon yourselves physically to the other. Marriage is not a 50-50 proposition. It is a 100-100 proposition. Young men, the Bible gives you as much a responsibility to meet your wife’s needs as she has to meet yours.
But, outside of a Christ centered marriage, any sexual thoughts toward others or actions, and every man in here, at least, knows what I’m talking about, is fornication. I can’t speak for the women but I can assume. But, for the men, if you tell me that you have never looked at a pretty girl and thought, wow, since you’ve been married, I’m going to squint my eyes at you and say sarcastically, “sure”.
Young people, get busy, work, sports, serving Christ, serving your parents. Get busy and don’t dwell on your hormonal urges. Like the Pastor said, sleep on that one, and wait for God to bring you a spouse. If you don’t dwell on your feelings and stay away from visualization (guys) and romance garbage (girls) then you will have an easier time not engaging in this most destructive of all sins.
I didn’t quote a bunch of verses here because if you would just read 1 Corinthians you’d get a clear picture of this. Read the entire letter. Think about it.
5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:
We’ve discussed concupiscence before. It is found;
Romans 7:8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.
Colossians 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
It is, according to Websters 1828 dictionary as it is not clearly defined in the Bible except by association with other words, as a lust for carnal things. It is synonymous with inordinate affection and covetousness. Evil concupiscence would be a desire to obtain something that is not rightfully yours to obtain like another woman’s husband or someone else’s money. It is all characterized as idolatry in Colossians 3:5. We Christians obsess about so many things; sports, politics, money, education, someone else’s big, big ministry.
6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.
This is a clear command and the last part of the verse might be linked to the following verses;
I Corinthians 6: 1 ¶ Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? 2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? 4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. 5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? 6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. 7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? 8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.
Leviticus 19:13 clearly defines defraud as robbery. 1 Corinthians 7:5 defines denying sexual satisfaction to your mate, your spouse, as robbery. Mark 10:19 defines coveting your neighbor’s possessions or his wife, as defrauding him. Contrast with Exodus 20:17. See how coveting is replaced with defraud.
So, you defraud someone when you want what they have, when you steal if from them, or when you desire their mate.
7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.
We have been called to separate ourselves from that which is unclean and I think most of us have a pretty good handle by now on what God considers to be unclean. God’s standard of righteousness is found in the Law given to Moses. Although we aren’t justified by the moral laws, and in no way is our salvation’s security dependent upon them, our adherence to them gives evidence of what is in our hearts.
The first time ‘unclean’ is mentioned in the Bible it is associated with touching a carcass in Leviticus 5:2.
Colossians 3:5, Ephesians 4:19, and 5:3 link uncleanness with greed and covetousness as the foundation for a whole host of sins. Also, read the absolute statement of 1 Timothy 6:10. So, uncleanness is linked not only to sexual sins but to greed, and they are all idolatry, following another god.
8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.
The “therefore” implies a conclusion. We have discussed before how to “despise” means to hold in low regard, to view with contempt, to love less than one should. These are all Biblical definitions of “despise” as it is used in the Bible. We’ve gone from verses 2-4 where abstaining from fornication was the focus, to 5, where wanting something that it is not lawful to have was the focus, and, in context, referring to the previously mentioned fornication and then opening up the door to greed, another lust, which leads us to cheat our brothers and sisters.
A love for money and for sex without regard for God’s calling on those two things, is made possible by not holding people in anything but contempt. If you view other people as “things” to use to satisfy your unlawful lusts, whatever they may be directed to, it is God whom you are holding in contempt.
When the people wanted a king, God told the judge and prophet, Samuel, that it wasn’t him they were rejecting but God. Here, Paul shows us that when we use people to satisfy our wicked desires it isn’t them we are holding in contempt but God. Young people, if someone says they love God, or are a Christian, a follower of Christ, and they want you to break your fellowship with God for theirs and presumably your pleasure or greed they are false, at least in that instance, and I would run, not walk, to get away from them.
God has given us His Holy Spirit. Should we hold Him in such low esteem? This passage goes all against the excuse of saying, “I can’t help myself. God will understand.” Understand what? That you don’t care for Him?
9 ¶ But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.
This is how Jesus said that people would know we were his followers.
John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Charity, the love that one Christian has toward another, a step above brotherly kindness;
2Peter 1:7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
And does no harm to your brother or sister;
Romans 14:15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.
10 And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more;
They have already shown great love toward their fellow Christians in Macedonia and he pleads with them to grow stronger and stronger in their love, their charity toward them. These people weren’t like American Christians who may have an issue with paying the mortgage on the church building but since these people met in homes, the issue, more often than not was like for our Liberian brethren, one of simple survival. I, personally, am not so interested that you are doing God’s work by helping the church across the way pave their basketball court as I am by you all pitching together to help some elderly Christian with the costs of their medicines. A youth group playing volleyball is not near so Christian to Paul as would be a youth group cleaning up an ill Christians yard and house.
I doubt that God would have a problem grading one thing above the other if your choice was between helping a brother or sister keep a roof over their head (if they were giving it an honest effort but failing) and having a bake sale so the youth could go to Hershey Park. I am shocked at the things Christians today say are “working for the Lord”, when there are so many needs, so great, even among a nation of such wealth as ours that are ignored.
Let brotherly love increase and keep the main thing the main thing.
11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;
Here’s some things that I wish modern Christians would take to heart. Study to be quiet. They warn you before you go into the Army, if it moves salute it, if it doesn’t move pick it up, if you can’t pick it up paint it, and above all, never volunteer for anything and keep a low profile.
There is nothing more obnoxious than a loud, noisy ANYBODY who has the answers to something and that includes us. There is strength in quiet, moral power. Let them say, he or she is what they are and that’s all. It’s one thing to always be in people’s faces but if fundamentalist Christians would simply do what they say they believe is right then Emerson’s old adage, “Your actions are speaking so loudly, I can’t hear what you’re saying” would be a good, not a bad thing, for us.
Christians complain about the language at NASCAR races or pro football games. What are Christians doing at worldly amusements like that? Christians complain about Ellen Degeneres, the lesbian, having a TV show. What are Christians doing watching worldly entertainment? A relative of mine once complained that her mother was complaining that FORD advertized in gay magazines. Another cousin wryly said to her, tell your mother to stop reading gay magazines.
If you want to have an effect on your culture for Christ then stop supporting wickedness. Stay away from worldly passions and entertainments. Focus on Christ and your testimony. The way you live and your attitude say more about your Christianity than how loud you are. Being annoying is satisfying to the flesh but hardly reveals Christ to a fallen world. Back on FORD. Every major US Corporation has sensitivity classes on how to avoid offending homosexuals and now that the government controls them it is even more an imperative. Don’t like it? Build your own car or fly yourself to your vacation destination. Don’t get me wrong. I am not against boycotts. They work. I am not opposed to refusing to buy something because of the policies of the corporation. What I am opposed to is this constant complaining and whining in the name of Christ. The world is covered in darkness. The god of this world is Satan. That’s what the Bible says. Get over it. Do what you are supposed to be doing. Keep the main thing the main thing. You are the advanced commando unit for a soon to be invading Army. You are fighting a SPIRITUAL, not carnal, war. You are not here to be a TV critic! Let’s put Christ back in Christ’s mass? Let’s put Christ back in our lives and be examples for a fallen world.
Do your own business and work with your own hands seems a common sense and clear call that the ideal Christian employment is self employment, producing something useful. Before the Industrial Revolution it was common for people to be involved in farming and agriculture and to have their own little cottage industry where they made things at home and sold them in the market. This is a far better, if tenuous, existence than wage slavery and the modern view of employer as Big Daddy or Big Momma. There are many sermons that can be written about this concerning time off to worship, prayer in the workplace, the roles of men and women under authority, and how people are to be paid. But, that’s not for now. Think on this statement a bit, young people, when you start your life out. What skill can you learn that will allow you to follow God’s admonitions, live a Christian life, and have something to offer the world in exchange for a livelihood.
12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.
As the great African-American educator, Booker T. Washington pointed out to people of his color, if you have something to offer that people want and need, you’ll never go hungry. Having your own small business where you provide a service or a product that the world needs will help you maintain an honest presence before the world and keep you and your family from want, with the Lord’s blessing.
It is very hard to have a good testimony while working your way up a corporate or bureaucratic ladder where in order to be successful depends not so much on what you know as on who you know in the organization. This is a very dangerous road for a Christian. Young people, learn a useful trade. You can always do something else after you’ve established yourself, later.
13 ¶ But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
Sleep is a metaphor for death in the Bible in some cases while in others it is obviously about sleep.
John 11:11 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep. 12 Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. 13 Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.
It is fundamentally obscene for Christians to mourn like nonbelievers when a loved one dies. It makes it look to all like you don’t really believe what the Bible says. Well, do you? Do you believe that a saved brother or sister in Christ is in heaven before the doctor even pronounces them dead? If you believe that and you believe that a joyous reunion is awaiting you then why aren’t you cheering and joyful and happy at the funeral of someone you know is saved?
Unless you aren’t sure they’re saved or maybe that you’re saved, huh? We need to quit acting like pagans and start acting like we believe.
1Corinthians 15:19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
This clearly says that when a Christian dies he or she goes to be with the Lord, lest how could they be brought with Him when He returns? Ask anyone who teaches soul sleep or no Rapture. How is it possible for this verse to be true if you don’t go to be with Him? Thank about it.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
Prevent like “let” has different meanings based on context but the meaning in the Bible is pre-event, to go before.
Matthew 17:25 He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?
Psalm 119:147 I prevented the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in thy word.
Psalm 88:13 But unto thee have I cried, O LORD; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee.
Psalm 119:148 Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.
The context does not allow for prevent as meaning “to not permit” but to “go before”. But be convinced in your own mind of what you believe. My point is the next verse indicates that to prevent is “to go before”, at least in this context.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
“the dead in Christ shall rise first” shows that they go before us. The Lord shall descend from heaven with 1) a shout, 2) the voice of the archangel of which Michael is the only one named in Jude, verse 9, and 3) the trump of God. Which trump in Revelation is it? Might it be;
Revelation 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.
This is what we think of as the reference to the Rapture of the church. There are three times when the words, “Come up hither(here)” are said in the Bible;
1. Proverbs 25:7 For better it is that it be said unto thee, Come up hither; than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen.
2. Rev. 4:1
3. Revelation 11:12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.
These correspond with the statements in 1 Corinthians 15.
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.
This is the first resurrection, those that belong to Christ; the Rapture of the church, the body of Christ, at the beginning of the Tribulation and the Rapture of the faithful Jews at the end of the Tribulation as indicated in Revelation 11:12. Proverbs 25:7 would be a reference to the Old Testament saints that Christ caused to be resurrected at his crucifixion.
Matthew 27:50 ¶ Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. 51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; 52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
The final resurrection will be the unsaved dead who must stand before God, the second resurrection, the white throne judgment in Revelation 20, after the Millennial reign of Christ.
1 ¶ And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. 4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. 7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. 10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
11 ¶ And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
This corresponds to 1 Corinthians 15:24 reflecting the end of the Millennium.
1Corinthians 15:24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1Corinthians 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
The question presented by these two verses is when do we get our resurrection body? Is it at the Rapture? If it is not at the Rapture, but at the “last trump”, then what is raised of the dead in Christ. Spirit and soul are with the Lord. This confusion is wrapped around the phrase “the last trump”. This seems to fit in with the second removal of believers, specifically the Jewish believers in Revelation 11. Or is the Rapture toward the end of the Tribulation? But this would contradict other verses that say we will not taste of God’s wrath.
Revelation 11:14 ¶ The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly. 15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
So, here is a conundrum we must answer to understand the sequence of events. I don’t have an answer for you. Just knowing I’m going is good enough for me.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
We need to always remember the promises concerning resurrection, specifically our resurrection. Keep looking up.
Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Latest Reading

Black May, The Epic Story of the Allies' Defeat of the German U-boats in May of 1943, by Michael Gannon, Harper Collins, New York, 1998. This is a riveting account of the epic Battle of the Atlantic in many places but the laborous going over of technical detail which could have been done in appendices and footnotes messes with the drama. Its one of those books that would be most interesting to those who were there, their descendants, or a technophile. I would, however, recommend it to any modern day submariner. Go rent Das Boot before you read it, though. Title Blog Entry Black May, The Epic Story of the Allies' Defeat of the German U-boats in May of 1943, by Michael Gannon, Harper Collins, New York, 1998. This is a riveting account of the epic Battle of the Atlantic in many places but the laborous going over of technical detail which could have been done in appendices and footnotes messes with the drama. Its one of those books that would be most interesting to those who were there, their descendants, or a technophile. I would, however, recommend it to any modern day submariner. Go rent Das Boot before you read it, though.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

World History, Chapter Seven, revised

The Rise of Rome and Greek Military Power

Although, people began moving into the Italian peninsula around 2000BC and built villages on pilings sunk in the water to keep them safe from animal attack, the first named inhabitants of that place were called the Etruscans. We discussed them very briefly before from the Michael Grant book, “The Etruscans”, as having began to appear about 800BC. They ruled the Romans for over a century and left 8000 inscriptions and numerable works of art to give us some clue as to what their lives were like. The Romans, the Greeks, and the Etruscans themselves all agreed that they came from Asia Minor (modern Turkey), probably Lydia. Lydia’s capital was Sardis and it later was home to one of the churches mentioned in the book of Revelation.

The Etruscans, who resided primarily in the present day area known as Tuscany, were ruled by a loose federation of tribes dominated by the Tarquinii (present day Corneto), among others. Through the 6th century, before they were subdued by Rome they were the strongest political force in Italy, with a well organized army, a famous cavalry, and a powerful navy that ruled what is still called the Tyrrhene, or Etruscan, sea.

Like Rome, their rule started out as a monarchy, then became an oligarchy of important families, then an assembly of citizens with property who voted annually for magistrates.

Their tombs reveal that they had imported rather advanced medicine from Egypt and Greece and dental bridgework has been found. The tombs also abound in jewelry. They loved to wage war, hunt, bullfight in the arena, have chariot races sometimes pulled by four horse teams, threw discus and javelin, pole-vaulted, raced, wrestled, boxed, and fought in gladiatorial bouts. Their tomb paintings reveal all of this along with their propensity for cruelty, weightlifting, gambling with dice, playing the flute, and dancing. Like all ancient peoples they practiced slavery and bouts of riotous drunkenness.

Their religion consisted of a greatest god, named Tinia, who was a god of thunder and lightning. He had a circle of gods who did his bidding without question, called the Twelve Great Gods, whose names it was forbidden to mention. Mantus and Mania were master and mistress of the underworld, ruling a horde of winged demons. The Etruscans divined the future like the Babylonians by examining the entrails of sheep and they practiced animal and human sacrifice. Prisoners of war were massacred as the Phocians in 535BC were stoned to death in the forum of Caere, and some 300 Romans captured in 358BC were sacrificed at the town of Tarquinii. The Etruscans believed that a slain enemy escaped the clutches of Hell.

They had a highly developed view of Hell where one went to be judged, then was either punished or sent to reside with the gods. Normally, they buried their dead but cremation was also practiced. Historians only know about Etruscan history by the artwork they left behind with the most famous of it being their pottery.


They captured Rome in about 618BC and ruled for a hundred years influencing the attitudes and practices of that culture.

Archaeologists believe that people of uncertain origin began settling the area known as Latium around 1,000BC. There, after crossing the Tiber, they mingled with the local population, or killed them, depending upon who you read. Then, over time a few small independent city-states developed, the strongest being Alba Longa, lying at the foot of Mt. Alban, according to Durant, probably where the Pope’s summer home, Castel Gandolfo, exists today. Around 800BC, a colony of these now called Latins moved about 20 miles northwest and founded Rome. This theory of the origin of Rome is highly speculative but is given much more credence than the Romans’ own traditions. As all written documents regarding its beginning were allegedly burned by the Gauls in a sack of the city in 390BC then we are left with the Romans own explanation or the guesswork of scholars.

According to tradition, a large amount of stories, and poems, Aeneas, the child of the union between the demon or goddess, Aphrodite-Venus, and a mortal man, escaped the burning Troy, an event which we will discuss more closely in our lesson on Greece, and after many adventures brought the Trojan tradition to Latium. There, he married Lavinia, daughter of the king, and 8 generations later their descendant Numitor was the king at Alba Longa. He was overthrown by a usurper, or someone who takes a throne usually by violence or trickery to which he is not entitled as in Satan’s deceit regarding Adam and Eve. This person, named Amulius, killed Numitor’s sons and forced his only daughter to become a priestess of the goddess, Vesta, also known as a Vestal Virgin, a type of pre-Christian nun. The beautiful daughter, named Rhea Silvia, was then impregnated by the demon or god, however you wish to call it remembering that the Greeks called their gods demons, Mars, whose statue is one of the ones gracing our Capitol building in Washington D.C., and their offspring were named Romulus and Remus. Amulius ordered the twins to be drowned and they were placed on a raft which was carried to land by the waves. There, they were suckled by a she-wolf or a shepherd’s wife named Acca Larentia or Lupa, depending upon whose story you read. When they grew up they killed Amulius, restored Numitor to the throne, and then went out and built Rome.

Archaeology provides no confirmation of this tale. Perhaps there is some grain of truth in it but most of the ancients ascribed some supernatural origin to their kingdoms. Rome consisted of seven hills which were often called seven mountains. In fact, much later, in the imperial era, it was said that a man of Rome was a man from the seven mountains. The three tribes that lived on the seven hills; the Latins, the Sabines, and the Etruscans, formed a federation called the Septimontium, or the Seven Mountains. This is important to remember when reading the book of Revelation in the Bible.

The story goes on to tell of how Romulus, in order to secure wives for his settlers, arranged for public games with the Sabines and other tribes in attendance, during which the Romans kidnapped the Sabine women and drove off the Sabine men. The King of the


Sabines declared war on and attacked Rome. Tarpeia, the daughter of the Roman who had charge of the fortress on the Capitoline hill from which our Congress’ Capitol building derives its name, opened the gate to the invaders. She was crushed by their shields in retaliation and later people gave the name “Tarpeian Rock” to the site where condemned men were hurled to their deaths. The kidnapped women stopped the conflict due to fear of losing their new husbands if their fathers and brothers were successful and losing their fathers and brothers if their new husbands were successful. Romulus persuaded the Sabine king to form an alliance with the Latins in common citizenship so, as the Sabines had been called Curites, it became common later to call all Roman freemen Curites.

After a long time as king, Romulus was, according to legend, lifted up in a whirlwind to heaven, and was after that worshipped as Quirinius, one of the Roman’s favorite gods. A Sabine was then chosen king. The real power was in the hands of the elders or senators, while the functions of the king were chiefly those of a high priest. This first Sabine king of Rome was Numa Pompilius. He established a uniform worship for the different tribes that comprised Rome, the Roman historian, Livy, tells us, and according to Cicero, another historian of Rome, gave them 40 years of peace. Think of the word that has come down to us, “pomp”, as in “pomp and circumstance”. His successor was Tullus Hostilius, as in “hostile”, whose main efforts were to look for opportunities for war. Alba Longa, the mother city, was his first victim, and its king was pulled apart by driving chariots in opposite directions while having him tied in between.

According to tradition along with Will and Ariel Durant, around 655BC, a rich merchant banished from Corinth in Greece and named Demaratus, came to live in Tarquinii and married an Etruscan woman. His son, Lucius Tarquinius moved to Rome and eventually seized power there. The office of king became more powerful politically and the Etruscan influence began to dominate Rome’s art, religion, politics, and engineering. He enriched the other Etruscan cities at Rome’s expense and was finally assassinated by the nobility or class of people who actually owned land, who attempted to put the king back into a priestly status. However, his widow, Tanaquil, managed to place her son, Servius Tullius, on the throne and he was the first king of Rome not chosen by vote of the wealthy and powerful. According to Cicero he governed well but due to his conflict with the nobility or patricians he made alliances with the wealthier members of the common people called the plebeian. He took a census and classified people by wealth rather than birth. He thereby balanced out the old aristocracy with a class of equites, literally those who owned a horse and armor or in Latin, equus (imagine being classed today as those who own a car and those who don’t). The census of that era revealed a population of about 260,000 or 80,000 men who could go to war, Rome’s national sport. When Servius was charged with ruling illegally he submitted himself to a plebiscite, a direct vote of the entire electorate today, and, according to Livy, received a unanimous vote. But, Tarquinius Priscus, had him assassinated anyway and was himself killed. Tarquinius Superbus became absolute monarch, king, or rex. Guess what word we get from his last name. He was a tyrant, surrounded by a bodyguard and ordering Roman


freemen into forced labor. He put to death many leaders of the upper class and ruled brutally earning the hatred of all. In one of the great moments of Roman history the senate deposed him around 508BC while he was away with the army. The Roman Republic was born.

According to the Roman poet/historian, Livy, this is about the time that one of the Tarquin nobility sexually assaulted the wife of another, a lady named Lucretia, who after informing her father and brother of the assault committed suicide. It was then that Lucius Junius Brutus, who had survived Tarquin brutality that murdered his father and his brother by playing crazy, urged the Romans to throw out the Tarquin king. Brutus appealed to the Army with the story of Lucretia, who became the model for feminine virture, and the Tarquin king had to flee for his life.

Now, an assembly of citizen-soldiers convened and instead of a king, elected two consuls, with equal powers, to rule for a year. The first consuls, legend holds, were Brutus and the husband of the deceased Lucretia, who resigned and was replaced by Publius Valerius, known as Publicola, or “friend of the people”. Now, you know where the word, “Public” comes from historically. He got his name by putting through several laws that became standards in Rome. One was that any man who tried to make himself king could be killed without trial (look forward to what happened to Julius Caesar in a different light). Also, any citizen condemned to death had the right to appeal. Durant says, “It was Valerius who inaugurated the custom whereby a consul, upon entering the Assembly, must part the axes from the rods (the rods and axes were the symbols of Rome, called the Fasces or bundle, from which we get Fascist) and lower them as a sign of the people’s sovereignty and sole right, in peace, to impose a sentence of death”.

This political effort had two consequences; one, it freed Rome from Etruscan dominance and replaced the monarchy with an aristocracy that ruled until Caesar. This did not help the poor, however, who were never free from exploitation by the powerful.

Not surprisingly, the Etruscans under Tarquin leadership, allied themselves together and marched on Rome. Civil unrest inside of Rome led to Brutus becoming famous in Roman history for being forced to silently watch his two sons be flogged and beheaded. The bridges were destroyed to keep the Etruscans from entering Rome and it is here that Horatius stands alone against the invader as the last man on the Etruscan side of the ruined bridge who fights off the enemy and then swims in a hale of arrows and spears to his comrades on the other shore. In spite of this, Rome surrendered and a peace was created but the monarchy was not restored.

The Etruscan influence on Rome remained, even though its power was overthrown. The Latin language, Roman numerals, and the name Roma from the Etruscan word, Rumon, for river all came from them. For several hundred years it was a custom for Roman aristocrats to send their children to Etruscan cities to be educated and even the


coins of Rome were adorned with the prow of a ship, an Etruscan symbol. Etruscans gave the Romans their gladiatorial games, their public works such as sewers and water supply, and drained the swamps to make the city of Rome. Rome, which had a higher status for women, than Greece did, got that, too, from the Etruscans. Roman weddings, funerals, musical instruments, and music all originated with the Etruscans. The term “Tuscan Style” still survives. However, the inordinate emphasis placed on self-discipline and sacrifice to the state and the greater good, the brutality and love of bloody death as entertainment, and super-patriotism were all Roman.

As the Roman Republic was born the struggle for power continued among the upper class of Patricians and the Populus or ‘people’, who came to be known as the plebs. Livy tells us that the original hundred clan heads that Romulus had chosen to help him start Rome and be his council and senate were the Patres or ‘fathers’. Their descendants were called the Patricii or ‘descendants of the fathers’. These clans gave Rome its generals and politicians for 500 years. The word classicus applied to them and we derived our word ‘classical’ from that, originally meaning of the highest rank or class.

The equites were close in wealth but not anywhere near in power. Some bought their way into the Senate and became patres conscripti or ‘patricians and coinscribed’ men. These two classes were called the “orders”. The Romans used the word virtus to described power and nobility, rank and prestige. The word vir for man came from that meaning the qualities that make up a man. To the Roman, a man was not a man if he did not contain an air of nobility and a sense of responsibility about him. Unlike today, virtue and manhood were synonymous.

The main body of Roman citizens, the populus or plebs, were craftsmen, tradesmen, artisans, or peasants, some attached as clientes or dependents to an upper class patronus in return for land and protection. We get our words client and patron from these Latin words as in an architect has his clients and a person is a patron of the arts. Lowest of all were the slaves whose lot, as they became more numerous, got worse and worse. They were dealt with as any other piece of property and since they were often prisoners of war looked upon slavery as a merciful commutation of a miserable death. Sometimes they managed their master’s property and were permitted to earn money, many buying their own freedom over time.

The constant class struggle in ancient Rome led to the Senate sending a delegation to Greece in 454BC to study democracy, composed of three Patricians. They came back and chose ten men, decemviri, to form a new law code. This commission, under Appius Claudius overhauled the old Roman system and created the Twelve Tables, a formalized code of man-made law that traditional historians say was Rome’s greatest contribution to civilization. It is as this point that Livy inserts the story of Appius falling madly in lust with Virginia, declaring her a slave so that he can do whatever he wants, and then losing her when her enraged father kills her to save the dishonor, then fleeing the country, only to return to overthrow the tyrant.


There was a long war with the Gauls from 405-396, during which Rome was sacked. This quieted disunity for a time and drew the nation together but increased the class struggle as the plebs would leave their lands to patriotically fight the invader only to have their debtors demand loan repayment without mercy anyway. The Licinian Laws were a reform designed to decrease the friction between the classes.

These laws which proposed that interest payments, in certain cases should be applied to the principal, and limiting the amount of acreage or iugera a person could own to about 500 iugera or 300 acres, suggested by tribunes Licinius and Sextus in 376BC were a major step toward equalizing the gap between classes. Plebeians were admitted to all levels of government including the priesthood. The Senate eventually regained its absolute mastery over the lower classes, though, as being an unpaid position, it automatically excluded the poor. Businessmen allied themselves with the Patricians in order to get lucrative government contracts for public works. The final nail in the coffin for true egalitarianism was the century of war with Carthage. The Senate led the way by necessity and the poor meekly followed along to save the nation.

Rome’s government was a complex and ever changing entity whose constitution depended in the end on the most successful military organization in history. We don’t have the time here to go into every detail of Roman law or civil organization but the Roman Legion, composed of 4200 infantry, 300 cavalry, and various auxiliary groups divided into centuries of a hundred men, later two hundred, commanded by centurions composed the backbone of its success. Two legions composed a consul’s army. Each legion had its vexillum, its banner or colors, which were never supposed to fall into an enemy’s hands. Many scholars have made a detailed study of Rome’s military organization and battlefield tactics and many books have been written on the subject. The Roman military concept changed with the challenges it met and its most basic premises still are with us today in some form.

Rome’s first task was to go beyond the 350 square miles it controlled after it emerged from monarchy to a weak city-state. It proceeded to conquer all of Italy. At the same time, the long standing conflict with Gaul, a force which comprised loosely knit tribes in what is now France, Germany, and Northern Italy, which was only ended by Caesar’s successes, began in earnest in 390BC. Rome was attacked several times and sacked and nearly destroyed once. Rome even had to pay a tribute to make the Gauls go away. The land they succeeded in taking for a time in Northern Italy was called Cisalpine Gaul. The city itself was nearly abandoned due to how great the destruction was. Between the Gallic north and the south dominated by Greek colonies Rome became master of Italy.

The Greek cities of Magna Grecia or Greater Greece eventually merged with Rome except for Tarentum, which called for help from King Pyrrhus, of Epirus in Greece. He defeated the Romans but at such a great cost to himself we get the term Pyrrhic Victory from his disastrous success. To paraphrase his famous quote, “If we win another battle, we’re finished”. Finally, after driving the Carthaginians from the Greek city-states of


Sicily he returned to Italy and then gave up, returning home. Now, the Romans faced an enemy older than themselves, with a Canaanite religion and tradition, backed by military and naval power that imprisoned Italy. The Phoenician colony of Carthage on the African coast was the most powerful force in the Mediterranean Sea and the war between it and Rome for domination of the region was known as the Punic Wars; first, second, and third. They ended with the complete destruction of Carthage.

Before we go there let’s look at Roman religion again for a brief time. Public worship was conducted by several collegia (colleges) or associations of priests, all under the head of single priest elected by the centuries, called a pontifex maximus or supreme pontiff. The college of Vestal Virgins were white clad nuns who took a vow of virginity and service for thirty years. The most influential college of priests was called the augures who studied the intent and will of the gods. Eventually, Caesar himself would be elected supreme pontiff, thereby controlling the state religion and priesthood, celebrating his alma mater (virgin mother, as in modern favored school songs) Venus, who is also Ishtar or Ashtoreth of the Bible. Eventually, Emperor Gratian, according to some sources, declined the title and it was taken up by Pope Damasus, who contracted Jerome to revise the Old Latin or Vetus Latina Bible the early church fathers used to be more to his liking. Later, as we shall see, the Roman Catholic Church transformed the Roman Empire into a spiritual entity ruling over a political world. As noted historian Will Durant says in his book, “Caesar and Christ”, “When Christianity conquered Rome the ecclesiastical structure of the pagan church, the title and vestments of the pontifex maximus, the worship of the Great Mother and a multitude of comforting divinities, the sense of supersensible presences everywhere, the joy or solemnity of old festivals, and the pageantry of immemorial ceremony, passed like maternal blood into the new religion, and captive Rome became her conqueror. The reins and skills of government were handed down by a dying empire to a virile papacy…the revolting provinces, accepting Chrsitianity, again acknowledged the sovereignty of Rome.” The Roman Catholic Church, the ultimate state church of history is the inheritor and continuance of the Roman Empire with the Pope as Emperor, the College of Cardinals as Senate, and on down to the Priest as Civitas or lowest level administrators, complete with Vestal Virgins as Nuns, the sign of the cross, relic worship, idol procession, purgatory and prayers for the dead all brought forward seamlessly from earlier pagan society. We will approach this in more detail later. This stable organization has allowed Rome to remain so powerful and important for nearly 2800 years.*

The Phoenician colony of Carthage ruled the western Mediterranean enriched by the mines of Spain and a vast trade network. Around 813BC some colonists built their homes on a promontory ten miles northwest of the present day city of Tunis. Tradition has the founding of the city performed by Elissa, or Dido, daughter of the king of Tyre. Her husband having been slain by her brother she led the colonists to Africa. Her settlement was named Kart-hadasht – Newtown- the Greeks called it Karchedon, the Romans called it Carthago. The Latins gave the name Africa to the region around Carthage and, like the


Greeks called the native population Poeni or Phoenicians. The sieges of Tyre by Shalmaneser, Nebuchadnezzar, and Alexander drove many wealthy Tyreans to Carthage.

The Carthaginians were distinctly Canaanite in their culture and religion displaying all of the grossly, immoral traits that God said he hated in Leviticus, chapter 18. They worshipped both Baal-Moloch or Molech and Astarte or Asthtoreth/Ishtar and developed corresponding deities named Baal-Haman and Tanith. Even Dido, the legendary founder of the city, was worshipped. Living children were sacrificed, or “passed through the fire to Molech”, as the Bible says, as many as 300 in a day, according to Durant. They were placed on the outstretched arms of the idol and rolled into the fire beneath; the infant’s cries drowned out by trumpets and cymbals. Their mothers were required to look on without showing emotion or even a tear less they be accused of impiety, Durant says, and lose the credit due them from their god. No class was spared this evil and it is said by Diodorus, the Greek historian, that when Agathocles of Syracuse besieged Carthage that 200 upper class infants were sacrificed in one day to save the city. When the Romans destroyed the city they left nothing for us to examine, neither architecture, written records, nor much pottery; their hatred of Carthage was so intense, so we have only the testimony of others to base our history upon.

Carthage and Rome started out as friends, if not allies. A 508BC treaty recognized Roman authority over its area of Latium as long as Rome didn’t sail west of Carthage or land in Sardinia or Libya except to fix a ship or get food. Carthaginian naval crews had a habit of drowning any foreign sailors they found between Sardinia and Gibralter, according to one Greek geographer.

The Romans wanted Carthaginian influence out of Sicily, where they knew that half of Rome’s yearly grain needs could be supplied. They also wanted to strengthen their trade with the Greek city-state and ally, Massalia, which we know today as Marseilles. They found their excuse for war in 264BC, known in modern history as a casus belli when a group of mercenary/pirates known as Mamertines or Men of Mars (the god of war who is actually a derivative of the Canaanite Baal) appealed to Rome for help against Carthage after Carthage had delivered them from the dictator of Syracuse, Hiero II. It seems that their deliverers had no intention of leaving the city, Messana, which the Mamertines themselves had stolen from Greek colonists. Rome decided to drive Carthage from Sicily, with consul Regulus leading the charge. The Romans won a great naval battle off Ecnomus, the greatest naval battle of the ancient world, in 256. Then, they tried to attack Carthage without proper planning and Regulus was taken prisoner. Their fleet was destroyed, much like the later Spanish Armada, by a storm and Rome lost 284 ships and 80,000 men in history’s worst naval calamity. The Romans showed their fortitude by rebuilding this navy within a few months. Regulus, after refusing to be traded in return for peace, was tortured to death by not being allowed to sleep. His sons at Rome did the same to two Carthaginians of high rank they had captive at Rome.


Hamilcar was the name of the most famous and successful Carthaginian general of this war but he did manage to lose Sicily. Rome was simply better prepared for war and was always preparing for war. Hamilcar, in spite of being considered to be brilliant, lost Sardinia and Corsica, as well, and then had to deal with an uprising of unpaid mercenaries that threatened to destroy Carthage. This, he did ruthlessly. Having lost Spain, he and his sons, Hasdrubal, Hannibal, and Mago, reconquered it. Hamilcar died leading a charge against a Spanish tribe loyal to Rome in 229BC. Hasdrubal was assassinated in 221. At that point Hannibal was elected leader by the army at the age of 26. His father had made him swear at the altar of Baal that he would revenge his country against Rome when he was 9 years old. He didn’t forget his oath.

Rome did little to prevent the reconquest of Spain due to internal strife, its expansion into the Adriatic Sea towards Greece with its eliminating of the pirates who commanded it, and war with Gaul. Rome had made a treaty with Hasdrubal to quiet the struggle with Carthage in Spain and also made treaties with former Greek colonies there. In 225 a Gallic army attacked Rome and was defeated with great loss at Telamon. All the Gallic tribes were now ready to march on Rome. Hannibal saw this as the time to invade the Roman peninsula with angry Gauls as his allies against Rome. Hannibal, who had spent 19 of his 28 years in military camp, was a hardened soldier and experienced leader by now, loved by his soldiers. He was a ruthless enemy but often very chivalrous, who won his battle more with brains than with the lives of his soldiers and utilized such things as behind the lines espionage very well. The Second Punic War started with Rome breaking its treaty with Carthage and Hannibal proceeded, after subduing a Roman inspired rebellion in one of the cities under its control, to march toward Rome. He had to fight his way to the Rhone River, with major battles being a regular occurrence. He led his troops toward Vienne (Vienna) and then, in one of the most amazing feats of military history, across the Alps, complete with cavalry and elephants. It took him seventeen days to do it and by the time he arrived on the Italian Peninsula he had half of the force he started out with from New Carthage in Spain.

Defeating several Roman armies, he ravaged the Italian peninsula for years. The Romans suffered a disastrous defeat at Cannae but time, lack of resources and supplies, and lack of help from Spain due to Rome keeping any reinforcements pinned down by fighting eventually wore him down. The Romans had Scipio Africanus, who had been successful in Spain, attack Carthage itself, which required Hannibal to return to defend his homeland. Hannibal was conclusively defeated at the battle of Zama. Hannibal eventually fled to Antioch, Syria and committed suicide rather than be captured. Rome now ruled the wealthy mines of Spain and the western Mediterranean Sea was hers.

Rome’s conquest of Greece, we are told, was precipitated by Philip V of Macedon’s alliance with Hannibal and the Greek Aetolian League thinking that he also wanted to invade Greece, like his political ancestor, Alexander. This is a subject we will discuss more in the next section on Greece. Greece was subdued by Rome completely by 146BC and it ceased to be a political entity on its own for 2,000 years. After a conflict between


Numidia, in Africa, and a much weakened Carthage, Rome, allied with the former, destroyed Carthage, leveling the city to the ground. Although Carthage lasted for three years in a brutal siege it could not resist the might of Rome. Carthage ceased to exist as a city. The Roman battle cry of “Delenda Est Carthago” or “Carthage must be destroyed” was finally fulfilled. The destruction of Carthage and the Greek city of Corinth in 146BC were two of the most brutal massacres of ancient history. At this point Rome is the complete master of the Mediterranean Sea.

Cato, the first great writer of Latin Prose, lived and died during this time. He served as an example, often copied, in future Roman history.

Rome now suffered through an agrarian revolt, partly because a nation of free farmers had become dependent upon external plunder and internal slavery. All domestic work and the mundane drudgery of daily life began to be handled by slaves. The slaves were often prisoners of war. Particularly on the large farms the slave rarely saw his or her master and was worked like a farm animal. There were several slave uprisings. Notable Romans of this period were Tiberius Gracchus, Caius Gracchus, Spartacus, leader of one slave revolt, and Marius. Along with slave revolts there were revolts of tribes which Rome had conquered. Wars dealing with rebellious slaves were called Servile Wars. These resulted in wholesale revolt in the entire Italian peninsula which a leader named Sulla was expected to quell but who wound up marching on Rome itself. He had the Senate declare him dictator, a term normally reserved for someone elected to absolute power in times of national emergency. Having his enemies slaughtered he adorned the Forum with their heads. New enemy lists were often posted so the citizenry could see if they would be allowed to live. Massacre, banishment, and confiscation of property made Roman life a horror. His brutal laws, called the Cornelian Laws for his first name, Cornelius, weakened the Roman government but he was never assassinated, having killed off anyone who might have had the courage to do so, and died of natural causes after dictating this appropriate epitaph; “ No friend ever served me, and no enemy ever wronged me, whom I have not repaid in full.”

Sulla had shown mercy on the son and nephew of his enemies, a young and brilliant man named Caius Julius Caesar. What came after Sulla’s death was chaos, corruption, and the decadence that money stolen from conquered people brought destroyed the disciplined stoicism of Rome. Famous statesman-philosophers like Cicero and Cato spent lavish sums of money for personal items and vast palaces. Rome was unbelievably wealthy and incredibly decadent. Large theaters and extended games were commonplace in that first century before Christ. In 55BC Pompey, a Roman general and statesman, financed a 17,500 seat theatre in Rome. When Caesar took control of Rome 10,000 gladiators took part in one day’s games. The obscene increase in wealth and the corruption in politics loosened morals and weakened family bonds. Marriage became among the aristocracy nothing more than a way of cementing alliances and keeping potential enemies at bay. Cato growled that the empire had become one big marriage agency. Speaking of Cato, called Cato the Younger to distinguish himself from an


ancestor, he was considered to be one of the noblest Roman politicians of the time, harking back to the day of the old Roman discipline and self-sacrifice. When Caesar took power he killed himself. I will save the rise of Caesar for the lesson on the first century of the Christian era as it will provide a good base and a refresher for our discussion of Rome. For now, I will provide a timeline of Roman history, arts, and sciences to put everything in perspective.

748BC – Rome founded by Romulus according to Fabius Pictor as recorded by Ussher.
600-509BC – Rome under the Tarquin kings, Etruscans.
578-534 – Reign of legendary Servius Tullius who gave Rome many laws which created its identity
509BC – Republican revolt. Horatius Cocles holds the bridge over the Tiber River against Tarquin Lars Porsena.
500BC – Hanno of Carthage navigates down the West African coast and describes, among other things, the gorilla.
496BC – Battle of Lake Regillus against Etruscans or other Latins.
458BC – Dictatorship of Cincinnatus, called from his farm to fight and defeat the Aequi, then returning to his plow.
439BC – Cincinnatus recalled to fight the Volsci.
438-425BC – Rome fights the Veii.
431BC- Dictator Postumius Tubertus defeats the Aequians.
405-396BC – War with the Veii again which results in their utter destruction, regular pay for troops in the field, and a professional army from which one could retire. Camillus appointed dictator for first of five times.
390BC – Sack of Rome by Gauls after defeating Romans at Battle of Allia.
367BC – Second Celtic invasion.
362-345BC – Latin uprisings among recently conquered people in Italy.
343-338 – First Samnite war against conquered hill tribes in Italy. Corvus wins Battle of Mount Gaurus.
340-338BC – The Latin War, an uprising of Latin allies and colonies, threatened to overthrow Rome. The uprising was finally crushed at the Battle of Trifanum after an earlier draw at the Battle of Vesuvius.
327BC – 304- Second Samnite War results in Rome being defeated at Battle of Caudine Forks and a reorganization of Rome’s military system. This resulted in Rome’s ultimate victory. The Appian Way gave Rome an advantage in moving troops and supplies.
312BC – The Roman consul Appius Claudius begins building the Appian Way, a 132 mile road from Rome to Capua, later extended to Brindisium or modern Brindisi.
298-290BC – Third Samnite War results in their final defeat but due to their heroism Rome allows them to enter Rome as allies rather than defeated subjects.
285-282BC – Revolt of Etruscans and Gauls. After a Roman army is annihilated the invasion is smashed by Dolabella at Lake Vadimo and at Populonia.
281-272BC – War with Pyrrhus.
280BC – Battle of Heraclea in which Pyrrhus defeats Rome by a smart use of elephants but loses so many men himself that the term Pyrrhic Victory is coined.


279BC – Battle of Asculum in which Pyrrhus again wins with great losses.
278-276BC – Pyrrhus invades Sicily.
275BC – Pyrrhus invades the Italian peninsula again and is decisively defeated at Battle of Beneventum.
272-265BC – Rome becomes master of Italy and consolidates victories.
264-241BC – First Punic War with Carthage.
229-228BC – First Illyrian War begins expansion into Greece.
260BC – The Roman numeral system derived from the Etruscans, is at its most advanced and is used until Arabic numerals replace it during the Dark Ages.
254BC – Roman playwright Titus Maccius Plautus is born. He produced 130 comedies taking existing Greek plays and Romanizing them. He wrote Mostellaria (The Haunted House) among them.
239BC – Roman poet Quintus Ennius, known as the father of Latin Literature is born. He wrote, among other things, Annales.
234BC – Roman politician, Cato the Elder, is born. He was a spokesman for a high standard of morality and military discipline. He wrote on the art of writing among other things but only one of his works still exists, De re rustica.
219-202BC – Second Punic War.
200-191BC – Rome moves north and re-conquers Po Valley.
200-196BC – War with Macedonia.
200BC – Lucius Afranius writes a comedy based on daily life in Rome called the Togata
192-188BC – War with Antiochus III, Greek ruler of Syria.
100’s BC – Rome conquers Greece and copies its art, its architecture, and its intellectual traditions, greatly weakening the Roman character.
172-167BC – War with Macedonia.
170BC – Lucius Accius is born. He is a famous playwright.
152-146BC – Uprisings in Macedonia, sometimes called the Fourth Macedonian War.
149-146BC – Third Punic War results in utter destruction of Carthage.
112-106BC – Jugurthine War with Numidia, in Africa.
106BC – Marcus Tullius Cicero is born. He becomes Rome’s most famous orator or public speaker. He speaks against Marc Antony and speaks on philosophy. He is murdered by his political opponents.
101BC – The Romans first employ water power to mill flour.
99BC- Roman physician, Asclepiades, opposes theory of humors set forth by Hippocrates, the famous Greek physician of which the modern doctor’s Hippocratic oath is named. He attempts to cure disease by exercise, bathing, and a varied diet.
98BC – The Roman poet, Lucretius, is born. He will write on the nature of the universe, based on the philosophy of Greeks, Democritus and Epicurus.
90BC- The bronze statue, L’Arringatore aka Aulius Meteillus, is created. It introduces the Roman gesture of address and salutation which is copied hundreds of times.
89-84BC – First Mithridatic War with the king of Pontus.
88-82BC – A Roman civil war takes place which involves a democratic uprising led by Marius and crushed by Sulla.
83-81BC – Second Mithridatic War.


84BC – Roman poet, Catullus, is born. 116 of his influential love poems survive.
75BC- Marble portraits appear in Rome during Sulla’s rule based on wax preservation of the faces of the dead.
75-65BC – Third Mithridatic War.
60-50BC – The First Triumvirate under Pompey, Crassus (victor of Spartacus), and Caesar.
59BC – Roman historian, Livy, whom we have mentioned lives.
58BC – Caesar writes Commentaries on the Gallic Wars
46BC – Julius Caesar institutes the Julian Calendar based on 365 ¼ days. This calendar, including reforms made by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 is the one we use now.

Now, by relating this rather monotonous timeline I merely want you to see how Rome became the ultimate warfare state and how the thirst for empire always leads to more wars and more bloodshed.

*”The Church assimilates and sanctifies Roman civilization—From its foundation the Church had gradually absorbed the best of the life, the organization, the institutions, the laws, the learning, and whatever else of good and worthy there was in the Roman empire.”
History of the Church of God, pages 378-379 quoted by O.C. Lambert in Catholicism Against Itself.


Mycenaean civilization, the civilization that gave us the conquerors of Troy; Achilles,
Agamemnon, Odysseus aka Ulysses, has few scant remains for us to examine. Most of our information comes from the epic poems of Homer known as the Iliad and the Odyssey, about the legendary war between the city-states of the Greek mainland and the west Asia Minor city of Troy. This culture was more primitive than later Greek culture in industry, trade, and accomplishment. But one thing that stands out is their metalwork of which the best example is found in a tomb at Vaphio, near Sparta, where goldwork is very sophisticated and skillfully done. The doubleheaded ax, sacred also at Crete, is found here along with a mother goddess associated with a son and intertwined snakes as deities. The Cretan Rhea becomes Demeter, called by Durant “the Mater Dolorosa of the Greeks, after Demeter, the Virgin Mother of God.” Civilizations come and go but Satanic religion standing in opposition to God’s revelation of Himself continues. Read 2 Corinthians 4:4 and Romans 1:19-25.

The Mycenaeans prospered after the fall of Crete and the Minoan civilization. Their artwork became even more distinctive. Their trade reached into the Near East and Troy apparently was a stumbling block. The Trojans, although given various origins, depend-ing upon which historian you study, did have the same gods that the Greeks and


Mycenaeans worshipped and feared the same demons. Durant believed that these people were originally from the Balkans. He believes they or their immediate ancestors are the same people mentioned by the Egyptians in a papyrus about those who fought at the Battle of Kadesh in or around 1287BC, according to Durant, or1294BC according to Bryan Perrett’s “The Battle Book”, and called the Dardenui or Homer’s Dardenoi.

The theories about the origins of the people of both Achilles and Hector run on for book after book of endless assumptions and conjectures. The Illiad and the Odyssey, having been oral poetry, possibly, long before they were put to pen and paper, might have embellished their characters as being more Greek than they were. I recommend reading both the Illiad and the Odyssey or perhaps a summary of the events of the two works. They can be found free online for you to view and skim over. I would, however, avoid movies about them as they tend to butcher the story.

Durant says that around 1500BC, according to Greek tradition, Zeus (whom we have stated is Satan by another name) was angry with the human race and caused a flood through which only Deucalion and his wife, Pyrrha, survived, in an ark or chest that rested on Mount Parnassus. Their son, peculiarly named Hellen, was the father of all Greek tribes. He was the grandfather of Achaeus and Ion, who begat the Achaean and Ionian tribes, which, after many adventures, settled the Peloponnesus and Attica. Durant goes on to relate that one of Ion’s descendants, Cecrops, with the help of the goddess, Athena, founded the city named after her. His descendants ruled Athens as kings. Theseus was his grandson. Theseus supposedly gave Athens order and peace, and ended the sacrifice to Minos. According to Plutarch in his “Lives”, he also coined money and
instituted the Isthmian games. In addition, he fought a war with the Amazons (a tribe of women warriors from where we get the name for the river in South America and the slang word for a physically tough woman, i.e. “She’s quite an Amazon”) that resulted in a truce. After his death he was worshipped as a sort of god, a demigod. Plutarch claims that some of the Greeks fighting at the Battle of Marathon claimed to have seen a vision of him rushing on with them to fight the enemy.

Boeotia, to the north, was a rival to Athens. Legend has it that in the 14th century BC a Phoenician, Cretan, or Egyptian king named Cadmus founded the capital, Thebes, at a crossroads that separated Greece’s north and south, and east and west. He taught the Greeks how to write and then killed a dragon. After Cadmus, reigned his son Polydorus, his grandson Labdacus, his great grandson Laius, and Laius’ son, Oedipus, who, according to the playwright Sophocles, killed his father and married his mother although unintentionally. When he died his sons fought over his throne, both dying several years later in a war that resulted in Thebes being burnt to the ground.

According to legend, one of Thebes’ aristocrats or ruling class was Amphityron, whose wife, Alcmene, had an affair with Zeus while her husband was away at war, resulting in the birth of the hero, Heracles (Latin-Hercules). Zeus’ wife, Hera, sent two serpents to kill the child and Hera-cles or “glory of Hera” strangled them both. Linus, not Snoopy’s


Linus, but one of the oldest names in music tried to teach him the lyre, a stringed instrument, but he didn’t much like music so he killed Linus with it. He then killed a lion with his bare hands, married Cleon of Thebes’ daughter, Megara, and had some children. Hera sent madness upon him and he killed his own children. He then consulted the Oracle at Delphi and following orders, went to serve the king of Tiryns for twelve years performing twelve labors, joined the Argonauts who searched for the supernatural Golden Fleece, sacked Troy, helped the gods fight the giants, freed Prometheus who gave men fire, brought Alcestis back to life, and, occasionally, killed his own friends by accident. After his death he was worshipped as a god and several tribes claimed he was their originator, apparently due to his fundamental lack of morals. His descendants were supposed to have conquered Greece, ending the age of heroes.

Now, back to earth, there are some ancient historians who claim that the legend of Heracles was a reworking of the stories of both Jonah and of Samson. Aristotle, in his Metaphysics, chapter 8, claimed that the origins of the Greek religion and philosophy had been lost and much was added to it, for political purposes, said Polybius. A Bishop Horsley, according to writer E.W. Bullinger, traced virtually all Greek mythology back to the Hebrew Bible. Aratus, a statesman biographed by Plutarch in his “Lives”, who chronicled the constellation of Hercules in the 3rd century BC, wrote about Hercules standing on the coiled serpents head. Read Genesis 3:15 and Romans 16:20.

As I said earlier, Achaean Greece as well as Mycenaean Greece can hardly be discussed outside of references to Homer’s works. The Achaean Greeks are called the Greeks of the Heroic Age and some historians say that Homer himself is a myth. So, to categorize things in a way that makes sense let me say that we first have the civilization of Ancient Crete that moves to the mainland of Greece, perhaps after the fall of the palace at Knossos, the Mycenaeans who inherit this wasted civilization, the Achaeans who over-run them and are less civilized than they are, and the Dorians who are the lowest of the lot who invade and conquer the Achaeans. After the Dorians conquer the historians create a Dark Age as the evidence found does not fit their dating methods which presume that the dating of Egypt is fixed and absolute and inerrant, although I suspect few would actually admit that. A self-trained historian, like the renegade Velikovsky, in his book, Ages in Chaos, called into question the traditional thinking. One of the byproducts of this curiosity is what is called “New Chronology” today. Once again, dates of ancient historical events are not all agreed upon, by any means. Let it also be said that from reading Durant, it’s hard to tell if the conquerors of Troy were Mycenaeans or Achaeans. Burns, in “Western Civilizations”, defines a Mycenaean Age and a Dark Age of 300 years.

The Achaeans were ruled by the family and in times of crisis were controlled by the clan or genos. The small fortress or citadel which protected the chieftain was the center and beginning of the city and the source of law and order. When something had to be done the free males were called to an assembly where a proposal was made and debated and where persuasive speeches could be made to sway the vote one way or the other. The


clan chiefs would all follow the strongest clan chief who would be a king. Those chieftains nearest the king would be called the King’s Companions and this was done through Philip of Macedon and Alexander the Great’s time. While the king’s rule was hereditary, he could be deposed by the boule or council, composed of important members or nobles of the tribes. The nobles exercised freedom of speech and addressed the king as a peer who may only temporarily be in charge. Out of this eventually came the constitutions and parliaments of the western world.

The king equips his people with weapons, leads them in war, and more importantly is the high priest of all religion. Here, as in Rome, Persia, Babylon, Assyria, and Egypt the supreme leader has a supreme religious function as well. Church and state are very rarely, if ever, separate in history. The United States is one of those unique experiments where religion was not meant to be upheld or religious dogma enforced by the political leadership. Otherwise, as in so many countries throughout history there would be an official religion and all others would practice, if at all, at the mercy of the state religion.

According to Durant, the Dorian invasion began around 1100BC, coming from the north, to end the Age of Heroes. They were herders and hunters who depended on cattle for their livelihood and were therefore semi-barbaric by settled agrarian or farming community standards. They brought the Hallstatt iron culture to Greece, named after a town in Austria where Europeans were thought to have started using iron. With these harder weapons they conquered. While historians call this the Dorian conquest, the Greeks called this the return of the Heracleidae or sons of Hercules, coming to take vengeance. The Greek poet, Hesiod, refered to this age of disorder and political chaos of an interruption in the so-called progress of Greece, as the Age of Iron. For a long time every aspect of civilization was reduced to a limited scale but, contrary to some historians who say that all evidence of human activity ceases, there was life, albeit crude life by previous standards. The Mycenaean civilization was not completely destroyed and many elements of it passed down to democratic Greece.

Greek speaking refugees from the earlier cultures fled to the Aegean Sea islands and the western Asia coast to found city-states there and mingled with the merchant families who had preceded them, in all likelihood. These populations of Greek speaking people were called Ionian. In addition, these refugees and later expatriates (former citizens of a particular country who have left for various reasons to live somewhere else) formed the core of Greek mercenaries or soldiers who fought not for patriotism or duty but purely for money for the highest bidder or the most convenient. These Greek speaking mercenaries were used in virtually every army of the Ancient Near East according to Serge Yalichev in his book, “Mercenaries of the Ancient World”, with Greeks often fighting Greeks as kings like Nebuchadnezzar and Pharaoh opposed each other. Every ancient army and many more recent ones had contingents of mercenaries, often from the countries with which the employer was at war. For instance, Persia hired a great many Greeks to help them in their failed attempt to conquer Greece, Caesar subdued Gaul with a large part of his force being Gallic cavalry, and Hitler even used Bosnian Muslim SS volunteers and


Croatian Catholic paramilitary to slaughter Serbians during the Serbian holocaust of World War Two although the latter might not be considered technically to be mercenaries.

In the reverse sense the Greeks had ample opportunity to learn about the stories of the Bible and to create their myths by manipulating these stories for political purposes due to the influx of Jewish children sold as slaves to them by a clear reading of Joel 3:6 taking place at least from the 8th century BC. Greek mercenaries would have introduced many Greek words and cultural practices into the countries in which they offered their services, as well.

Durant tells us that it was the belief of most Greeks that their culture came from Africa. Afro-centrists have tried to argue this point for years but have been rebuffed by books such as “Not Out of Africa” and others where the Greeks themselves are called liars. The fact is that the Greeks insisted that they derived their science and philosophy from Egypt. Ussher has Egyptian king Danaus flee to Greece in 1482BC making himself king of the Argos in 1474BC. Eusebius said that Cecrops, an Egyptian, transported a colony to Attica or Greece and established the Athenian kingdom in 1556BC. It is known that from the 7th century onwards, under the Saite kings of Egypt, many famous Greeks traveled to Egypt to learn. Men such as Thales, Pythagoras, Solon, Plato, and Democritus visited Egypt. Herodotus and Plutarch claimed that the concept of judgment after death was learned from Osiris and Isis and that Demeter and Persephone stories taught them about resurrection. Thales of Miletus learned geometry in Egypt, Rhoecus and Theodorus of Samos learned the art of hollow casting in bronze, and pottery, textiles, metalworking, and ivory. Greece merged its own gods with Bible truths and Egyptian and Assyrian,
Canaanite, and Babylonian myths and passed that mixture on to Rome. The Phoenicians also had a great influence upon the Greeks.

Greek colonists, sailors, and merchant landed on every shore in the Mediterranean Sea. The people they found on any of these shores were not used to having the Greek freedom to speak out, to think freely, or to do what they wished and this contrast with what the Greeks had come to expect out of life made the rest of these people babaroi or barbarians, people content to live on myth and without liberty. The modern term Berber for the North African Arab tribes comes from that word, also.

A list of Greek city states would include Sparta, a union of five villages with a population at its most important of 70,000 people. To the Spartan there was only two alternatives in life; to conquer or to be a slave. War was their business. But, before we discuss Sparta we find so many references to a religious site in Greek literature that I feel we must define it now so you will know what it is when mentioned. The Oracle at Delphi, near Corinth, was a place where many famous personages of Greek history went to hear what they hoped would be accurate prophecies of the success or failure of their plans; for war, for business, or of a personal nature. The Delphic Oracle, according to


Stuart Rossiter’s book, “Greece”, was the most famous of Greek oracles. Quoting from page 400 of that book: “ Those who wished to consult it first sacrificed a sheep, goat, boar, or other animal, after which (if the omens were favourable) they went into a room adjoining the Adyton [inner shrine]. There they awaited their turn, which was determined by lot, unless they had received from the Delphians the Promanteia, or prior right of consultation. No women were admitted. They handed in questions written on leaden tablets, many of which have been discovered. The Pythia, or priestess who delivered the oracle, was a peasant woman over 50 years old. At the height of the oracle’s fame there were three of them. After purifying herself in the Castalian Fountain and drinking of the water of the Kassotis, and munching a laurel leaf, she took her seat upon the tripod, which was placed over the chasm in the Adyton. Intoxicated by the exhalations from the chasm, she uttered incoherent sounds, which were interpreted in hexameter verse by a poet in waiting. The interpretation, which was always obscure and frequently equivocal, was handed over to the enquirer, who not seldom returned more mystified then he had come. Even Croesus, the great benefactor of Delphi, was cruelly misled by the oracle on the eve of his war with Persia.” So, this is how the great men of ancient Greece made important decisions, at least publicly. But, common sense tells us that those of the strongest will and greatest desire could use the oracle’s confusing statements as an excuse to justify almost any action.

Now, back to Sparta. You will hear and read of Sparta also referred to as Laconia and as Lacedaemon. Sparta is the capital of the plain, Lacedaemon, of which Laconia is the name of the five villages, which we now simply refer to as Sparta. They claimed a direct lineage from the sons of Hercules or Heracles, the Heracleidae, who historians say was simply a euphemism for the Dorian invaders who over-ran Greece around 1100BC. The Spartans first conquest was Messenia, whose king sacrificed his own daughter at the
behest of the oracle at Delphi supposedly after the suggestion of the god, Apollo. Sparta consisted of a master class of Dorians, freemen called Perioeci, and slaves called Helots, named after Helos, a town that the historian Strabo claimed that was one of the first conquered by Sparta. Due to slaves conquered in war, the Helots were always more numerous than the Dorians and were always a potential threat for uprising and violent rebellion. The Helots were about as free as a medieval serf in that they could work, marry, and even buy their freedom, particularly if they served heroically in war.

Sparta’s “Golden Age” came when a politician named Lycurgus’ uncle, King Charilaus, received certain laws from the oracle at Delphi. They were called rhetra or edicts and were supposedly the laws that Lycurgus would give to Sparta. This is recorded by Herodotus, the Greek historian, and may have happened in the 7th century BC. There were other lawgivers in Greek city-states at that time; Zaleucus at Locris in 660BC, Draco at Athens around 620BC, and Charondas at the Sicilian city of Catana around 610BC. With the interplay between the Near East and Greece as described earlier it is no wonder that they might be inspired by the law of Moses, rediscovered by Josiah around 621BC (2 Kings 22), according to Durant, which matches Ussher’s calculations to within


three years. Lycurgus gave his law to Sparta, in spite of having his eye put out by an objector named Alcander, whom he proceeded to win over. Finally, the lawgiver retired
to Delphi and starved himself to death as he felt that was the service every politician should give to the state and I can’t help but agree. One legend is that he forbade the writing down of his laws. Historians disagree on the importance of the laws he gave to Sparta. Plutarch and Polybius speak of land redistribution. Thucydides, another Greek historian, denies that ever happened. The Spartan constitution was the result of Lycurgus’ code.

Sparta would have been called a fascist state in today’s world. Eugenics, manipulation of who gets to live and die, was practiced in its crudest form. After birth, a father decided if his child was fit enough to live or if it was to be thrown off of Mt. Taygetus to the jagged rocks below. Surviving infants were often killed in the toughening up process that Spartan life, the Spartan Code, required. Men and women were counseled on marrying healthy people rather than for love. King Archidamus was fined for marrying too small a wife. Husbands were encouraged to lend their wives to men of outstanding accomplishments so that superior children might be born into their family. Lycurgus ridiculed, says Plutarch, jealousy and sexual faithfulness in marriage and believed that people should be bred like horses and dogs to improve the stock of citizens for the state. At the age of 7 the Spartan boy was taken from the parents and brought up by the state. His entire education was designed to make him a better warrior, to make him tough. He lived with his comrades until the age of 30, usually sleeping outside, and suffering every discomfort possible for the purpose of toughening him up. The Spartans were bisexual and homosexual behavior was encouraged. Celibacy was a crime, though, and the men and women were expected to produce offspring for the state. Childless couples were the subject of ridicule and scorn, as well. Remember, this is, like all Greek culture, a people without God, subject to Satan under his proxies, called gods, or daemons, and while western culture; books and movies, have elevated Spartan ideals and Spartan ethics to a
high level, they were in reality, if you judge them by the Bible, completely Satanic and wicked. It is not wise to glorify Greek culture at all. It was immoral and ultimately decadent, not God honoring in the least, the heroism and patriotism of its members notwithstanding.

Spartans hated foreigners and were not allowed to travel abroad themselves without permission from the government. One would also think in this environment that women were treated very badly, their only real purpose to produce children for the state. Women did have the freedom to speak out, engage in athletic activities, and spend a lot of time out of doors according to the book “Women in the Classical World”, but ultimately the reasoning for this was to make them better at breeding healthy children and raising them to be brave soldiers. Women’s right to own property and other freedoms in Sparta contrasted with their subservient role as suppliers of warriors for the state so that while Plato spoke of the totalitarian (total state authority with little freedom) of Sparta, Aristotle, (Greek philosopher/historian and teacher of Alexander the Great) lamented about how free the women were.

Corinth is located on the Isthmus of Corinth, the sliver of land that connects the Peloponnesian (Peloponnesos) Peninsula from mainland Greece. The online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, speaks of it this way; “Some very ancient names for places, such as Korinthos derive from a pre-Greek, "Pelasgian" language; it seems likely that Corinth was also the site of a Bronze Age Mycenean palace-city, like Mycenae, Tiryns or Pylos. Myth made Sisyphus the founder of a race of ancient kings at Corinth. In Corinth, Jason abandoned Medea.
Later, in classical times the ancient city rivalled Athens and Thebes in wealth, based on the isthmian traffic and trade. Until the mid-6th century Corinth was a major exporter of black-figure pottery to cities around the Greek world. Athenian potters later came to dominate the market. Corinth's great temple on its acropolis was dedicated to Aphrodite. According to most sources, there were more than one thousand temple prostitutes employed at the Temple of Aphrodite. In ancient Greece a "corinthian girl" was a common nickname for a prostitute. Corinth was also the host of the Isthmian Games.
In the 7th century BC, when Corinth was ruled by the tyrants Cypselus and Periander, the city sent forth colonists to found new settlements: Syracuse, Ambracia, and with Corcyra, itself perhaps the site of an early Corinthian settlement, Apollonia and Anactorium. The city was a major participant in the Persian Wars, but afterwards was frequently an enemy of Athens and an ally of Sparta in the Peloponnesian League. In 431 BC, one of the factors leading to the Peloponnesian War was the dispute between Corinth and Athens over the Corinthian colony of Corcyra.
In the 4th century BC, Corinth was home to Diogenes of Sinope, one of the world's best known cynics. The Romans under Lucius Mummius destroyed Corinth following a siege in 146 BC; when he entered the city Mummius put all the men to the sword and sold the women and children into slavery before he torched the city, for which he was given the cognomen Achaicus as the conqueror of the Achaean League. While there is archeological evidence of some minimal habitation in the years afterwards, Julius Caesar refounded the city as Colonia laus Iulia Corinthiensis in 44 BC shortly before his assassination. According to Appian, the new settlers were drawn from freedmen of Rome. Under the Romans it became the seat of government for Southern Greece or Achaia (Acts 18:12-16). It was noted for its wealth, and for the luxurious, immoral and vicious habits of the people. It had a large mixed population of Romans, Greeks, and Jews.”
One thing to note of the preceding paragraphs is that the temple prostitutes in the acropolis of Corinth had short hair, according to Spiros Zhodiates, which is the basis for Paul’s approval of the Corinthian church’s insistence upon its women growing their hair long in 1 Corinthians, chapter 11 so that the Christian women of that city could in no way be confused with them.


With regard to Athens, after King Codrus died fighting the Dorian invasion, legend tells us that the office of king was replaced with an archon who ruled for life. In 752BC they changed that rule to ten years and then in 683 to one year. Eventually, the rule was split among nine archons; eponymous, whose name was given to the year in order to date events, basileus, who carried the name of king but was the head of the state religion as in other ancient nations where the king and high priest were one and the same, polemarchos, military commander, six thesmothetai, or legislators (lawmakers). This was Athens under what is called an oligarchy, a state governed by a few persons. It is worthy of note that the term king even though “reduced” to a priestly function remained a part of Athens until the end of its history. The social classes of Athens in this period consisted of Eupatrids, or the wealthy slave owning elite, hippes, the knights or those who owned horses and could fight as cavalry, zeugitai, those who owned a yoke of oxen and could fight as hoplites or heavily armored infantry, and thetes, hired laborers who could fight as light infantry.

In 594, a man named Solon was elected to the office of eponymous and created a change in Athenian government by canceling all debts, both public and private. All persons enslaved because of debt were released. He freed all persons accused of political crimes. He went on to repeal all of the legislation of 7th century lawmaker, Draco, which were so tough and harsh we get our term Draconian from them. The word ekklesia from which we get our word church for a called out assembly, which had been in use in Homer’s time, was revived and all citizens were invited to participate.

After the dictator who followed Solon, Peisistratus, died a movement toward democracy in Athens began which is considered to be the foundation of modern democracy. As stated before, Greek merchants and mercenaries, settled around the Mediterranean and Greek philosophy, spoken of in Acts as Paul disputes in Athens, spread with it. The names of philosophers and scientists and some of their achievements will be related in a timeline in a few moments. First, we will, for the sake of time move on to Macedon, in the North.

Macedon, which had been founded in the 7th or 8th century BC grew in power under Philip II of Macedon (359BC to 336BC) and conquered its neighbors. Alexander (336-323BC), known as Alexander the Great in history, carried this expansion onward to conquer the Persian empire and Egypt, where he had himself declared the son of god. He spread the Greek language, culture, and religion as far east as did the former merchants and mercenaries west and south. He died after a drinking bout, as the result of poisoning, or of a disease or combination thereof at the age of 33 or thereabouts and is a great type of anti-Christ in history, mentioned as the “prince of Grecia” in Bible prophecy (Daniel 10:20). After his death his empire was divided between his four generals whose heirs, called the Diadochi, ruled this vast area in varying degrees until much of it was taken by Rome. This was the Hellenistic period of Ancient Near Eastern history with Greek influence all the way to western India. The word Hellene for the Greeks is derived from their earliest times, if you will note what we said in the beginning of this class. Alexander


was said, according to legend, to have been the offspring of Zeus and his mother, his conception being witnessed secretly by his father, Philip II. Glorification by historians aside, he was, from a Biblical perspective, an evil, immoral tyrant. If you are interested in studying Alexander, I would recommend Theodore Dodge’s “Alexander”, rather than some ignorant movie, which is apparently how most modern people get their history.

Now, to wrap things up for Greece, we will review a brief timeline;

1600-1200 BC – Mycenaean Age (Durant)
1581 BC – Foundation of Athens by Cecrops (Durant)
1450-1400 BC – Destruction of Crete and Minoan civilization (Durant)
1313BC – Foundation of Thebes by Cadmus (Durant)
1192BC – Siege of Troy (Durant)
1104BC – Dorian invasion of Greece (Durant)
1100-850BC – Migrations to Asia and around the Med. Sea (Durant)
1000BC – Temple of Hera at Olympia (Durant)
840BC – Probable period of Homer (Durant)
800-700BCBC – Music is a part of everyday life for all social classes, even in Sparta. Professional singing storytellers called Bards sing of war and adventure. Choral and dramatic music develop. Greek poet Hesiod writes Theogony about the origin of the Greek gods and Works and Days about farming and morals (Timeline)
776BC – First Olympic Games (Durant)
750BC – Archaic Greek sculpture is simple with a narrow range of subjects and artists trying to get at the essence of their subject. They begin to copy Near Eastern forms of sculpture and ivory and metalwork from Phoenicia and Syria. (Timeline)
650BC – Greeks begin mass copying of Egyptian form for religious statues (Timeline)
630BC – Lycurgus at Sparta (Durant)
625BC – Thales of Miletus, who accurately predicts and explains solar eclipses, is born (Timeline).
620BC – Laws of Draco at Athens (Durant)
600BC – Rise of Sparta- Age of Tyrants (Harper’s)
500’sBC – Greek poet Sappho leads a group of women devoted to music and poetry on the island of Lesbos. We get our word Lesbian from this just as we get our word Archaic for something old or outdated from that period of Greek history. Actors in Greece begin to perform in open air theaters, wearing masks. (Timeline)
594BC – Laws of Solon at Athens (Durant)
560-520BC – Rise of Athens (Harper’s)
550BC – Lydia controls Greek cities in Asia Minor
547BC – Death of Anaximander, one of the first known believers in evolution and, along with Xenophanes, of the idea that the earth was covered by many floods over time. (Timeline)
545BC – Persia subjugates Ionia (Durant)
544BC – Anaximenes, philosopher born (Durant)


530BC- Pythagoras proves the Pythagorean theorem, which was discovered by the Babylonians in 1900BC (Timeline)
529BC – Pythagoras, philosopher born, conflicting with the Timeline. (Durant)
522BC – Greek poet, Pindar, is born, who writes Greek classical music.
519-507BC – War between Athens and Thebes (Harper’s)
510BC- Greek traveler, Hecataeus, draws first map of Mediterranean world (Timeline)
510-507BC – Intervention of Sparta in Athens politics (Harper’s)
499-448BC – Graeco-Persian Wars (Harper’s)
499-493BC – Ionian revolt against Persia (Harper’s)
493BC – Themistocles, archon at Athens (Durant)
490-480BC – Persia prepares to invade Greece started by Darius then completed by Xerxes with between 200,000 (Harper’s) and a million men.
490BC – Battle of Marathon, victory against invading Persians (Durant/Perrett)
480BC – Battles of Artemisium, Thermopylae, Salamis against Persians attempting to invade (Durant, Perrett)
480BC – Herodotus, called the Father of History, is born (Timeline)
479BC – Battle of Platea against Persians (Durant)
472BC – Greek playwright, Aeschylus, produces his play The Persians and later will produce his famous Seven Against Thebes. (Timeline)
470BC – Greek historian, Thucydides, is born. He is the author of History of the Peloponnesian Wars.
470BC – Greek physician, Alcmaeon, becomes first known physician to practice dissection of human bodies. (Timeline).
460BC – Hippocrates, writer of the physician’s Hippocratic Oath is born.
460-445BC – First Pelopponesian War with peace negotiated by Pericles (Harper’s)
469BC – Birth of Socrates (Durant)
450-432BC – Greek sculptor, Phidias, is creates statue of Zeus at Olympia and Athena in the Parthenon (Timeline)
448BC – Greek playwright, Aristophanes, is born.
447-432BC – Parthenon, the temple to Athena, is built on the acropolis, in Athens.
445-432BC- Golden Age of Pericles (Harper’s)
441BC – Playwright, Sophocles, writes Antigone.(Timeline)
440BC – Democritus proposes atomic theory and theory that our galaxy, the Milky Way, is composed of many stars (Timeline)
438BC – Greek playwright, Euripides, writes Alcestis. (Timeline)
431-404BC – Peloponnesian War (Durant)
430BC – Empedocles theorizes that matter is composed of earth, air, fire, and water (Timeline)
429BC – Death of Pericles (Durant)
428BC – Anaxagoras dies. He went to jail for proposing that the sun was a large, hot stone rather than a god (Timeline)
425BC – Comic playwright, Aristophanes, writes (Timeline)
400BC – Greek inventors working for Dionysus of Syracuse are given credit for inventing the catapult.(Timeline). Compare with 2 Chronicles 26:15 as Uzziah already


had done this nearly 400 years previously. Note credit given to Greeks such as Pythagoras and these inventors for the work of previous inventors and scholars.
300’sBC – Aesop’s Fables appear (Timeline)
390BC – Greek astronomer, Heracleides, is born and later declares that Mercury and Venus orbit the sun (Timeline).
386BC – Plato founds the Academy. He influenced ancient Catholic philosophy to a large degree. He wrote the famous The Republic which idealizes a fascist state where an intellectual elite rules as master over a subordinate populace. (Durant)
384BC – Aristotle is born. Alexander’s tutor, he influenced medieval Catholic thought and science to a great degree. (Timeline)
371BC – Superior use of Phalanx (explain) by Thebes against Sparta (Warry’s ‘Warfare in the Classical World)
351BC – Demosthenes, greatest Greek orator, lives.
336BC – beginning of reign of Alexander the Great (Durant)
323BC – death of Alexander (Durant)
300BC – Adventurer, Pytheas, sails into the Atlantic as far as Scandinavian and the Baltic Sea (Timeline).
3rd century BC – Golden Age of Greek Mathematics with Euclid and Archimedes (Timeline)
295BC – Physician Praxagoras distinguishes between arteries and veins (Timeline)
279BC – Gauls invade Greece, later bought off and moved into Asia Minor and their area becomes Galatia (Durant)
247BC- Archimedes of Syracuse (Durant)
221-179BC – Philip V, king of Macedonia, makes league with Carthage (Durant)
180BC – Great altar to Zeus at Pergamum (Durant)
166BC – First rising of the Maccabees against Greek rule in Israel, temple services restored (Durant)
146BC – Greece and Macedonia become Roman provinces (Durant)