Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Roman Empire

“Unfruitful Nostalgia”, controlled nationalism and degraded sharing of cultures…

There was a tradition, long time ago, in several City-States in the Levant. This custom was for the city council to encourage and coax unmarried males and new couples, who could not afford the life-style in the city, to buy them a one-way ticket to a far away land, to work in mines, fend for themselves and survive on their own, and eventually participate in building a new town

These “unwanted citizens”, as was the case in the modern  colonial nations, and as it’s practiced now in financially “depressed countries”, discovered  lands and transferred their knowledge, language, customs and traditions.

The world was dominated by the rule of the Elite Class of dispatching abroad the unwanted, undesirables, and untouchables.

This “civilized world” was built with the unwanted classes of people who quickly learned that “It is not where you were born, but where you live and were accepted, as one of the community member in the “New World”, that is Your Home

New City-States around the Old World were created with the knowledge and customs of the period of the current generation of unwanted caste-off people.

Not long ago, apprenticeship was the system for acquiring the skills for an artisan job. There were a few disadvantages in that system:

1. The kids lived as a slave with his master, and if the sons of the master or one of his close relatives turned out to be as talented as the slave, there were no outlet for the kid to be paid decently as a talented artisan. The Gild system would cast out the talented poorer relative and he was to move outside the city limits or be transferred to one of the “colonies”

2. After many years of slaving, it is possible that the kid showed no talent in what he was supposed to master.  Given the short life expectancy, it was difficult to change job.

There came a time when transportation were relatively accessible to return to the Homeland, and to die there, setting the stage to this Unfruitful Nostalgia.

This kind of nostalgia gave rise to Controlled Nationalism, a gathering of closed-minded citizens who refused to associate with the world communities and share with their cultures.

I want to die where I was born” generated the downhill of cultural sharing trend.

As the unwanted got it in their mind to return and confront the old system, the Old Guard decided that it would be best to control the poorer classes instead of sending them to taste freedom abroad.

Instead, The Old Guard  dispatched the poor citizens to wars of expansion under the premise that “What benefit the Elite class will trickle down to the poorer classes of the newer generations”.  

After colonizing a land, the less skilled “citizens” were sent to manage, direct, and train the promising natives in the mines and manufacturing outlet… where they spent most of their lives in foreign lands and left generations of new breeds.

The Roman Empire started the process of forcing their “civilization” on native people. The European colonial powers added insult to injury by allowing their criminals and violent prisoners to instill Law and Order on the occupied natives.

The less educated members of their elite classes were sent to “administer” the colonies, adopting the brute force and the latest techniques and vilest of ideologies in crushing the will of the natives, labeling them animals and barbarians, devoid of mankind soul that enable them to enjoy human rights.

And the ugly preemptive wars degenerated into the nastier of violence and brutality, and mankind learned to increase his brutality by a notch with every war.

Note: I wrote this post around 4 am while watching the movie Marugi or Ohuru Freedom. A 80-year old Kenyan who participated in the Mao Mao uprising against the British colonial power. The British killed his two kids and wife, and was detained in several concentration camps and was beaten and handicapped.

Marugi decided to learn to read and to joined a school with the kids after Kenya independence. He eventually was allowed to sit with the kids and was asked to deliver a speech at the UN to encourage learning and free schools for children…

For curiosity sake: Many Popes of Rome were from the Near-East (Lebanon and Syria)…

A few of Roman Emperors were from the Near-East. Alexander Sawirus threw a grandiose celebration on the millennium anniversary of the Roman Empire around the year 220. In order to be able to celebrate, Alexander had to sign a peace treaty with Persia, and to agree to pay a yearly tribute…(The borders of the Roman Empire extended to the western side of the Euphrates River)

The clerics Emile Eddeh published an article detailing the 6 Popes of Rome who were originally from ancient Lebanon:

1. Anicetus I (155-166). He was elected at the death of Pius I, and encouraged the priests to have their long hair cut and wearing simple black attire.  He prohibited the clerics to wear loose and colorful garments. Saint Policarpus, bishop of Smyrna (current Turkey), discussed with Anicetus the case of reserving a common date for the celebration of Paques among the Oriental and Western Christian Churches.

Emperor Marcus Aurelius executed the Pope . Anicetus body finally rested in 1617 at Rome where Emperor Alexander was buried.

2. John V (685-686). Pope Agathon had dispatched John to Constantinople in 680 to represent him at the Third Conclave during Emperor Constantine IV. John was elected to replace Pope Benedictus II. He wooed the churches in Sardinia to join the central church of Rome, and died during the reign of Justinian II who hated the Maronite bishop John (Yuhanna) Maron.

3. St. Sergius I (687-701). He reconfirmed the temporal power of the church and was ideologically in conflict with the Byzantium Emperor. Sergius was key in the election of John Maron as the first Patriarch of Antioch.  Sergius spread the custom of veneering the Virgin Mary as mother of God, in grandiose celebrations: Mary was not included in the theology and not adored or veneered up until this period…

4. Sicinius (708): He replaced Pope John VII and was already pretty old. He undertook to rebuild the demolished walls surrounding the city of Rome.

5. Constantine I (708-715).  He confronted the schism that proclaimed Jesus to have a unique will (Monotoly sect)…

6. St. Gregory III (7131-741). He organized a conclave in St.Peter Cathedral that welcomed 193 bishops. The results of this conclave was to counter the decisions of Emperor Leon III. The Emperor ordered the destruction and removal of all icons and pictures of saints in churches and homes…

Pope Gregory found refuge at the French King Charles Martel who had stopped the incursion of the Spanish Arabs into France.  The Saxon King went to pilgrimage to Rome and issued the monetary coin of “St. Peter dinar

“Beryte (Beirut) School of law” by Joy Tabet

In the previous two articles, I recounted the story of Beirut (Lebanon), confirming its status as the Roman Empire city for teaching laws and generating professors of jurisprudence between 150 to 556 AC.

Beirut was the “Mother and wet-nurse of laws“.  This article is providing details on the 5 most famous jurists in the second and third century who acceded to the highest functions in administration and governance in the Roman Empire and Byzantium Empire.

The Roman Emperial Constitution called “law of citations” ordered judges to applying the opinions of the five illustrious jurists.  When there is equality in alternative opinions then, it was Papinian opinion that prevailed.

Gaius (110-180) produced the course in law school called “Institutes”; it was a manual in 4 volumes exposing the Roman laws for civil rights.  He commented on the “Twelve Tables” code in seven books.  The doctrine of Gaius was authority to judges in the second and third centuries.

Armilius Papinian (142-212) was born in Homs (Syria).  Cervidius Scaevola was his law teacher and emperor Septimus Severus was his schoolmate and relative.  He was named “Lawyer of the treasury” by Emperor Marcus Aurelius and then became the prefect of the magistrate (the first dignitary of the Empire).  Emperor Septimus died in 211 and asked Papinian to guide his two sons Caracalla and Geta.

A year later, Caracalla assassinated Geta and demanded of Papinian to justify to the senate and the people the murder.  Papinian refused saying: “It is easier to commit parricide than to justifying it.  It is worse than a new parricide to accusing an innocent victim.”  Papinian was assassinated by a praetorian guard of Caracalla.  He was considered the “primus” among the other four illustrious classic masters of laws.

The doctrine of Papinian constituted the curriculum of the third years in law school; only 8 out of 19 books of “responses” were taught in that year.  In a period where slaves were considered chattel Papinian stated the principle of “Equality to all and liberty for each individual” almost 1,800 years before the UN universal declaration on human rights in 1948.

Julius Paulus was born in Tyr (Lebanon) and became a member of the “Emperor council”.  He ruled the Empire with the Emperor grand mother Julia Maesa as Emperor Alexander Sevirus was under age.  He wrote 236 works and was the most prolific among the classic jurists.  Of all his production, only the “fragments” in the “Digeste” and 5 books addressed to his son remain.  The 23 books of “Responses” were taught at the 4th year in law school.  There are over 2,000 citations of Paulus in the Digeste.

Domitius Ulpian (170-228) was born in Tyr (Lebanon) and lived in Beirut.  He succeeded Papinian as head of the law school and taught jurisprudence in Rome for a while.  He revised laws to reforming the Roman society and to limiting the dictatorship and vast privileges of the Praetorian Guards.

Even Emperor Alexander Severus could not protect Ulpian from the wrath of the praetorian guards who assassinated Ulpian in the presence of the emperor.  Ulpian wrote 16 books called “Libri ad edictum” that were taught in the second year at law school.  Over the third of the Digeste are compilation of Ulpian opinions.  He contributed to Roman civil code more than all the combined Roman jurists.  He stated: “All mankind are equal in natural rights”

Herennius Modestinus was a famous jurisconsult under Emperor Alexander Severus (222-235).  He was the most brilliant disciple of Ulpian.  He became consul with emperor Probus (276-282) and wrote 92 books of laws.

Beirut was destroyed by earthquake in 556 and was finished up by a major fire.

In the beginning of the 20th century, Beirut was a quaint fishing and small port village.  The European consuls deserted Sidon in order to build an adequate merchant port in Beirut.  The civil war destroyed Beirut again and is being rebuilt according to commercial standards of high towers devoid of any Orient character or spirit.

You can no longer rent a small apartment in Beirut:  Oil money after the latest financial crash overvalued Real Estate by 600% within two years in Beirut and Lebanon.

Wet-Nurse city of laws: Beirut of Lebanon (Beryte during Roman Empire). Part 2

Between 150 and 551 AC, the city of Beirut (Beryte) was the official Roman State law center and this recognition extended to the Byzantium Empire.

Beirut had the preferred law school for law students and professors flocking from the four corners of the Empire.  Beirut was called “Mother of laws” and “The most magnificent city” during the Roman Empire.

Emperor Justinian I (527-566) attributed to Beirut the title of “wet-nurse of laws”. In the 5th century, Beirut law school started teaching law in both Latin and Greek languages.  Paradoxically, the main language of the common people was the written language Syriac (Aramaic,  the language spoken by Jesus).

Another demonstration that written languages are the domain of the elite classes used as coded language for administrations and government of people.  Common people had to suffer the consequences of not knowing the language of their dominating Masters; in this case either Latin or Greek.

In the second and third century, Beirut produced the 5 most famous and illustrious classical Jurists who had written the “Digeste”, “Institutes”, Rules, Sentences, and Constitutions.

They are:  Gaius (110-180), Papinian (142-212) and assassinated for his stands, Paulus, Ulpian (170-228) and assassinated for his positions, and Herrenius Modestinus.  They were called the “Oracles of Roman laws” because judges had to decide cases based on the opinions of these  five justices.  If there is equality in opposing opinions then it was the opinion of Papinian to be the definitive resolution.

The third century generated the State professors Gregorius, Hermogenius, Marcian, Scaevola, and Tryphoninus.

The fourth century produced the professors Domninus, Scylacius, and Sebastianus.

The fifth century, called the most brilliant for the law school of Beirut, generated the state professors Euxon, Sabinus, Cyril the elder, Patricius, Demostenes, Domninus, Eudoxius, Amblichus, and Leontius.  Most of the illustrious law professors were born in Lebanon and Syria and reached the highest positions in the Roman and Byzantium Empires.

In the sixth century, Beirut school of law had the professors Dorotheus, Anatolius, Julien, Thalelee, Isidore, Stephane, and Thereupon.

Rome fell in 476 and Western Europe had to wait until the Crusader’s campaigns (1096-1291) for the Justinian civil code of laws the “Digeste” to be found and rediscovered and then applied in Europe starting in the 12th century.

In 551, an earthquake demolished the city of Beirut.  The law school was temporarily moved to Sidon.

In 560, as the professors returned to Beirut then a huge fire burned the city again.  Beirut was still in ruin by 600.

As Islam Arab conquered the Near East region in 635, Beirut recaptured its previous status as a law center, but without the brilliance of previous periods.

Beirut was compiling Islamic laws according to “Charia”.  During the last 7 Omayyad caliphs and the first two Abbassid caliphs (690 to 770) the Lebanese theologians (ulema) and judges (fakihs and cadis) were the cornerstones for the nascent Islamic jurisprudence.

Imam El Uzahi (707-774) from Baalbek and who studied in Beirut and lived was the most brilliant and most sought after fakih in his life.  His doctrine was applied in Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria for 200 years.

Then, the doctrines of Hanafi (Syria), the Chafii (Egypt), the Maliki (Andalusia and Northern Africa)  took the ascendancy.

In 1877 was founded the first modern law school in Beirut bu Bishop Youssef el Debs.  The law school of the Wisdom (La Sagesse) had the professors Nicolas Naccache and Boulos Effendi Zein wo compiled the ottoman civil law (Medjellet) in 16 books of 1851 law articles grouped in six subjects.  Current Beirut has the law schools of the french Jesuits founded in 1913 by Paul Huvelin; the State Lebanese school established in 1959; the Arab University under the patronage of the University of Alexandria and instituted in 1960; the Byblos law school linked to the Maronite Order of Kaslik Holy Spirit University; and the Islamic Chiaa faculty instituted in 1994 by Imam Chamseddine.

Beirut and Lebanon were ruined by mankind during the civil war that started in 1975 and lasted 15 years.  Beirut is being rebuilt with modern highrises that lack its original spirit

Note 1:  The American University of Beirut has not yet opened a law faculty.  If we know that most of the members in the Lebanese Parliament are lawyers and barely anyone of them master the English language then, whatever deal the US government had with France for the monopoly of jurisprudence philosophy and procedure must be outdated.

Note 2:  Topic taken from the book “Beryte School of law” by Joy Tabet (67 pages)

Beirut: Wet Nurse of laws during Roman Empire. Part 1

A brief history:  Between 150 and 551 AC, the city of Beirut (Beryte) was the official Roman State law center and this recognition extended to the Byzantium Empire.

Beirut had the preferred law school for law students and the professors flocked from the four corners of the Empire.  There were 6 other law centers such as the ones in Rome, Constantinople, Athens, Alexandria, Caesar of Cappadocia, and Caesar of Palestine, but Beirut kept her high standing over four centuries as the main official law center.

Beirut was called “Mother of laws” and “The most magnificent city” during the Roman Empire.  Emperor Justinian I (527-566) attributed to Beirut the title of “wet-nurse of laws

Between 150 and 551, Beirut was the official location for posting law articles and saving the Constitutions and compilations of laws.

Comparative law studies is the immediate successor of the roman laws that was initiated and updated in Beirut.  In the 5th century, Beirut law school started to teach in both languages of Latin and Greek.

Paradoxically, the main language of the common people was the written language Syriac (Aramaic,  the language spoken by Jesus).  Another demonstration that written languages are the domain of the elite classes, and used as coded language for administrations and government of people.

The Common people had to suffer the consequences of not knowing the language of their dominating Masters; in this case either Latin or Greek.

Rome fell in 476 and Western Europe had to wait until the Crusader’s campaigns (1096-1291) for the Justinian civil code of laws the “Digeste” to be found and rediscovered and then applied in Europe starting in the 12th century.

In 551, an earthquake demolished the city of Beirut.  The law school was temporarily moved to Sidon. In 560, as the professors returned to Beirut then a huge fire burned the city again.  Beirut was still in ruin by 600.

As Islam Arab conquered the near east region in 635, Beirut recaptured its previous status as a law center but without the brilliance of previous periods. Beirut was compiling Islamic laws according to “Charia”.

During the last 7 Omayyad caliphs and the first two Abbassid caliphs (690 to 770) the Lebanese theologians (ulema) and judges (fakihs and cadis) were the cornerstones for the nascent Islamic jurisprudence.  Imam El Uzahi (707-774) from Baalbek and who studied in Beirut and lived was the most brilliant and most sought after fakih in his life.  His doctrine was applied in Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria for 200 years.

Then, the doctrines of Hanafi (Syria), the Chafii (Egypt), the Maliki (Andalusia and Northern Africa  took the ascendency.

Note: The next chapters will give details on the most famous law professors in ancient Beirut and a few current updates.

What is Israel? Beyond clichés?

The new generations of Jews outside of Israel feel estranged with the irrational clichés heaped on the State of Israel.

The new generation of Jews have been wondering for a long while why the older generations of Jews were supporting and drumming up supports to a State that has been flaunting international laws for over 60 years.  They have been uneasy that a State claiming to represent their hopes and moral values is practicing policies alien to moral and human rights standards that were proclaimed by the United Nations Charter, and acting irresponsible with diplomatic conducts and behaviors.

What is not disseminated are the hundreds of Jewish soldiers who commit suicide serving in the occupied territories in the Palestinian West Bank or live on the margin of society once they finish their military obligation.

Four main clichés are very disturbing and out of subject matters relative to what is really happening within Israel.

First, is Israel discredited by the world community?

The latest senseless military boarding of the “Peace boats” in international water and the killing of 20 civilians in their boats and dozens of injured people was the straw that pressured the international community to re-open files of racist activities against human rights that were covered up by the US and many European States such as France and Germany.

Spain, England, Belgium, Sweden, and Norway have taken steps to prosecuting Israel’s public figures who bear responsibilities of mass killing and collective punishment of Palestinians.  Many European States are getting ready to apprehending Israeli criminals against human rights. Israel is being reminded that occupied lands are its responsibility toward the world community and the occupied population have to be respected according to the UN Charter.

The UN adopted a resolution that “Israel is a racist State” and it stuck for a decade.  The US couldn’t rest until this label be dropped and woed the “moderate” Arab States to aid in that endeavor.  So what happened after the racist label was removed?  Israel resumed its old habits and at a larger scale and refuses any serious peace initiatives under various lame excuses.

Second, Is Israel a democracy?

The Western States maintained and disseminated for over 60 years the myth that “Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East.”  The State of Israel was forcefully recognized by the UN in 1948 by a simple majority of one vote when the UN was constituted by three dozens of States representing the victor States or who sided with the allies.  The Western States wanted to shift the “Jewish problem” of recurring pogroms by their racist citizens to a far away land.  It was a political decision of taking care of a very hot potato that the Western States didn’t want to handle because their only solutions resided by the sword and blood.  Thus, for over 60 years, the US, Russia, and the European States did their best not to condemn Israel’s practices in the UN for all its flaunting of the UN Charter.

Is Israel a democracy?  The main difficulty is defining what are the characteristics of a democratic system (give or take a few exceptions to the rule).  Israel Constitution never delimited its borders (contrary to the UN requirements for recognizing a State); Israel hoped to extend its boders from the Nile to the Euphrates River based on mythical claims.  The Justice system in Israel is supposed to be an independent instituion; the Higher Court in Israel claims not to have any authority of what the army is perpetraiting in the occupied lands in matters of confiscating private properties, demolishing houses, imprisoning Palestinians for years without any due legal proceedings and taking out organs from Palestinian prisoners to the benefit of criminal organizations that the Israeli governments gave blessing to these atrocities. The Palestians holding an Israeli citizenship have not the same rights as a new comer Jew who know nothing about Israel.

There are many indication that the democratic system in Israel is not as developed as democracies in ancient City-States such as Athens, Rome, Tyr, or Sidon.  Citizenship in City-States was not extended to people in their stretched colonies for practical reasons of difficult communication facilities.  The Roman Empire kept improving and extending its citizenship rights to all its conquered lands.  Many Syrians became Emperors.  St. Paul enjoyed due legal proceedings and was beheaded instead of crucified as St. Peter. If Israel respected democratic systems it would have recognized Hamas in Gaza as a duely elected government.

Third, is Israel representative of “Semitic” moral standing?

It is known that semitic people, by the definition of the Jewish and Islamic religions, are people descending from Abraham or Noah or whoever religious sects would love to be originating from.  Jewish propaganda exclusively restricted semitic terminologies to Jews and thus, labeled Jew haters or perceived of harboring “anti-semite” feelings. Worse, if you critique Zionist ideology or the policies and practices of the governments of the State of Israel then, immediately you casted as anti-semite. The new generations of jews are increasingly skeptical, they are saying: “If denouncing the blockade of Gaza is a potential excuse to be labeled anti-semite then, why take so seriously the other typical accusations?  Is the Holocaust another pretext to excusing the Israelites for their apartheid conducts and practices?”  The State of Israel and its lobbying organizations in the US, European States, and Russia adopt this flawed communication scheme of badgering everyone and every institution as “anti-semite” when Israel’s policies and practices are critiqued and discredited.

The latest disturbing facts are showing that the Sefarade Jews in Israel are refusing to send their kids in Ashkenazi schools or even mingling in the same classrooms.  To the Sefarade Jews, the Ashkenazi are pseudo-jews originating from central Europe and who do not care about the 650 religious laws of the ancient (Pharisee sect) that inflict stringent daily customs of behavior and eating diet.

Fourth, do Jewish lobbying groups bear any responsibilities to the current state of affairs in Israel’s policies and practices?

Although Jews in the US, Russia, France, and Germany constitute less than 1% of the populations their lobbying organizations exercise unduly high pressures on the political structures in these States.  Basically, it is their hold on communication media that is their best leverage and their specialized political inside trading.  Yes, the “Zionist” lobbying organizations bare a huge responsibility for the aggravated affairs in the development of Israel’s policies and practices.

The newer generations of Jews are realizing that the State of Israel has degenerated into the biggest burden on the US and Europe in their strategies in the Middle East and Central Asia, not counting the exorbitant constant financial, military, and economic support that Israel demands to enjoy as a given. The US had to support Israel in maintaining its huge conquered lands after the 1967 war and then it had to pay again for Israel retreats.  The US tax payer aided in the establishment of over 300 colonies in conquered lands and will pay again for the withdrawal of Israeli colons.

The longer Israel lingers in not agreeing on two States status the longer the American tax payer will be burdened with supporting policies contrary to world community desires and decisions.

Christianity: From total persecution to State religion: what happened? (Nov. 2, 2009)

            By the beginning of the fourth century, Christians in the Roman Empire were no longer persecuted as a sect behaving contrary to the Roman values.  The Christians have suffered one of the worst waves of persecutions from 303 to 311.

The father of Constantine persecuted the Christian mercilessly and Constantine witnessed the massacres. Constantine inherited England and France as co-Emperor, one of three other co-Emperors to the Roman Empire that dominated the Mediterranean Sea.

This article is not about the fictitious story or not of Constantine seeing the symbol of the Christians at night or in a dream before the battle to capturing Rome from Maxence in 312. This post intends on explaining the moratorium on Christian persecutions as this sect reached the threshold of a minority of 10% of the total population.

At that period, a Christian was not born a Christian: he was not baptized a week or longer after birth.  A Christian had to prove that he believed in Christ as the Redemptor of our sins, that Christ resurrected from death and that God is the creator of man and the universe and that God is One and all powerful, and all our actions were to be offered in honor of Him.

The intellectuals and educated leaned toward this concept of a unique God, an abstract God who is not emulated on earthly natural powers or actual planets and Sun: it was the cultural rage of the time.  The high ranked in the Roman caste system didn’t have to proselytize or proclaim their conversion; this task was relegated to the poorer Romans in the caste system so that the Christian religion spread its tenants with example of persecutions in arenas for the pleasure of the Romans.

The four co-Emperors needed stability in their respective allocated Empires and they needed the Christians support in the highest administrative jobs.  If the Christians were about 10% of the total they constituted a much higher ratio in the Orient and in Africa.  After Constantine won the Orient he was left with only one co-Emperor Licinius in Africa.

Emperor Constantine who build Constantinople (later to be named the Byzantium Empire) converted to Christianity and was both pragmatic toward the vast majority of pagans and an intolerant Christian who wanted to unite all the Christian sects in his empire, a sort of centralized orthodox church with a dogma that suited a newly converted Emperor.

Christianity was Not a new ideology to Emperor Constantine; that would be the case a century later. The people were born in the rituals to being “patriotic” to the Roman Empire and to obeying the reigning Emperor. The people were not dupe: not a single ex-voto (in Greek or Latin) to an Emperor (living or dead) was found. People asked and demanded from their Gods to be cured or saved from calamities.

The temporal sovereign was considered a need to safeguard the peace and continuity of the communities; as long as no new heavy taxes were imposed the Emperor could be labeled “The so good and beloved monarch”. The luxurious way of life of the monarch was accepted as a right that fit the position: the monarch didn’t have to abuse of pageantry to impress upon the people, it was not a sort of propaganda to remind the people of his role and power. It was simply a right attached to the position of power.  All that an Emperor had to do is to occasionally speak on the virtue of the existing rituals so that to clear the void and the silence in the kingdom.

In 325 Emperor Constantine summoned all the Bishops to a conclave in Nicaea (Turkey).  The conclave dragged on for four months and ended with a slight majority agreeing to a new abstract dogma of the Trinity of Father, Son, and the Virgin Mary, the Holy Ghost and the Credo.  The dissenting Christian sects were labeled “heretics” because they wanted to believe in One God and not bestow divinity on Jesus and much less on Mary.

Ten years later Emperor Constantine defeated Licinius and became the sole Emperor to the Mediterranean Sea Empire. Persecution of the heretic Christian sects started in earnests and they had to flee to the eastern shores of the Euphrates River, a kingdom under the Persian Sassanide Empire.

Apparently, Emperor Constantine was never defeated in military battles; if he were he might have had a second thought about his all powerful protector new God; at least he might have listened more seriously to the heretic Christian Unique God.  Two years before his death, Emperor Constantine defeated the Germans and wrote to the Bishops meeting in conclave in Tyr (Lebanon) “The Germans are converting to Christianity; they are convinced that our God cannot be defeated or vanquished.”

Constantine died in 337.

From this year to 400 Christianity could have easily lost its supremacy as the Emperor religion.  Emperor Julian reverted to paganism but died two years later; he could have easily converted the whole Empire to paganism which was the vast majority.  Several Christian Emperors were elected by factional armies not on religious ground but for many other reasons.

One main reason that Christian Emperors succeeded to the throne in the next 60 years was because the paganism was flexible, indifferent, and tolerant, while the Christian Church was exclusive (once converted then you are sucked in) and it grabbed tightly at any rights it gained.  The minority Church used to the hilt the temporal power of the Emperors to affirm its positions.

In 394, Emperor Theodosius managed to defeat the pagan German General Arbogast in Slovenia. This defeat was a pure fluke of nature: a violent wind blew in the face of the combined more powerful Roman/Germanic army.  Arbogast had reigned in Rome and installed a figure head Emperor Eugene; he re-confirmed paganism in Rome and for six years paganism was master in the western provinces. Also, two years earlier to the definitive battle, Theodosius had banished all public pagan rituals in the Orient in reaction to Arbogast attempts to restore paganism.

This military defeat had set the stage for the supremacy of Christianity in the Roman Empire. Thus, in the 5th century, the number of bishops jumped drastically; from around 6 to 50 in North Italy, from 20 to 70 in France (Gaul), and in North Africa the number tripled. The pagans transformed Christianity into paganism rituals of visiting every new sanctified Saint or shrines where miracles were invented and propagated.  Pictures and statues of Saints and the Virgin Mary proliferated much quicker than churches.

When Islam conquered the Near East by defeating Heracles in the battle of Yarmouk, the heretic Christian sects (the true monolithic sects) converted to a religion that coincided with their belief system in One and Unique God and that accepted all the Jewish and Christian Bibles as forming integral part of Islam’s fundamental doctrine.  If the Byzantium Empire had selected the Christian heretic dogma instead of the Trinity Islam would have never emerged to fill this vacuum since the Prophet Muhammad was initially a convert to one of the Christian-Jewish sects in Mecca.

There are two distinct civilizations around the Mediterranean Sea. 

The main difference is in the transmission of rituals and traditions among the people.  The Oriental civilization accepts a temporal sovereign who appoints the religious clergy of bishops and Imam (a decentralized religion) and the western civilization was comfortable with the cast of the clergy using the temporal power to expand its dominion over the people (a centralized religious power in Rome); that was the case after the year 400 in pagan Rome.

The Christian religion emulated the trend of former civilizations and a major schism occurred in 1000 between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches based on the perception, power, and the rights of the temporal power. In fact, Emperor Theodoric of Constantinople exerted pressures on Pope Gelase 1st to submit to the temporal rights of the sovereign; then, the Pope created the theory of separation of the spiritual and temporal powers in order to appease the Emperor.

While the Orient experienced a resurgence of the sciences and rational thinking in the 7th century, Europe was engulfed in the Dark Age till the 15th century because the Catholic Church prohibited any rational challenges to its authority.


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July 2020
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