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Old 08-28-2006, 07:35 PM   #51
arricchio
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Originally Posted by mountainman View Post
That's why he hired Eusebius Pamphilus of Caesarea,
the right man for the right job, as editor-in-chief
of what Julian later refers to as "the fabrication
of the Galilaeans".

He did not need to understand any form of theological
complexity for his Roman fiction, so long as his newly
created church continued to assist his interests.
Julian would of course call the Christianity a fabrication, he was a pagan. This is no different that Christians calling the pagan religion the work of demons. It proves nothing. I have never seen any historical evidence that Constantine "hired" Eusebius. Eusebius, who was the student of Pamphilus (himself a student of Origen) was elected bishop of Caesarea
in 312 or 313, at least 11 years before Constantine's victory over Licinius.

Quote:
He did not need to understand any form of theological
complexity for his Roman fiction, so long as his newly
created church continued to assist his interests.
Interesting that Constantine could be the fabricator of Christianity without knowing its theology.

Quote:
Constantine commemorated this brilliant victory by the construction
of a monument which still stands upon which, although there are
ample references to the ancient Hellenic traditional "gods and
goddesses", and "sol invictus", there appears to be absolutely
no reference whatsoever to christianity. I wonder why?
Well, two possibilities exist, as I described in my orginal post. Either he was an uniformed convert (Treadgold) or no convert at all (Burkhardt). But according to you he was created Christianity out of whole cloth without either knowing its theology or being a Christian himself. This seems highly dubious.

Quote:
He was still planning, as most successful rulers do.
He was wise enough to last another 12 years, which in
those days was not simply an academic exercise.
I think Professor's Treadgold's point was that Constantine was more lucky than he was smart. I happen to agree.


Quote:
Constantine in all seriousness was laughing his head off.
I have seen no historical evidence that Constantine was doing anything of the kind.


Quote:
Our thesis is that the "Arian controversy" is in fact the
controversy over Constantine's forced implementation of the
new Roman religion called "christianity" upon the empire,
at Nicaea, now that he at last had become the supreme thug.

The Arian controversy arose in the east as a result IMO of
Constantine sending manuscript propaganda to the eastern
side of the Roman empire during the period 317-324 CE.
No, this puts the cart before the horse. The Arian controversy started in Alexandria because of the teachings Arius was already promulgating. It was first condemned by a church council in Alexandria in 321. When this failed to settle the controversy Constantine dispatched Bishop Hosias of Cordoba to work out a compromise. When this failed,then the matter was referred to Constantine, probably by Hosias.

Quote:
The Alexandrians were justifiably incensed that the respectable
authors of antiquity, such as Origen, Josephus, and others, had
ever made any reference whatsoever to this newly fabricated set
of manuscripts under Constantine.
I doubt this. Origen had been delcared a heretic and Josephus was a Jewish historian, not an ante-Nicene church father.

Quote:
In our opinion, the words of Arius are the words of someone who,
being clever in disputation, and not being able to say to the
face of Constantine "this is a work of fiction" instead selected
to say the words that are even unto this very day preserved in
the exclusion clause on the Nicaean Oath (ie: it is not a creed,
in terms of the general non-ecclesiastical definition and valid
distinction between a creed and an oath. See for example, "The
Diggers Oath", Eureka Stockade). [/Qoute]

Again, this stands the Arian controversy on its head. Arius was teaching an explanation of the Son's relation to the Father which depended too much on an anology to human father/son relations. I know of no evidence that Arius was conscious of any political maneuverings on the part of Constantine nor that he formulated his ideas in response to any such maneuverings.

Quote:
These words are:

"before he was born he was not"

and

"he was made out of nothing existing"

and

"he is from another subsistence or substance"

and

"he/it is subject to alteration or change"
This only states what Arius taught. It does not say why he taught it.

Quote:
Our thesis is that Arius was saying that the new testament is
a fiction from beginning to end, in other words, a fabrication.
But he did not have Julian's protection at the time of facing
Constantine at Nicaea, for which very reason Constantine
purportedly called the council -- the words of Arius.

He did not want to die.
Instead, he used words that were very clever in disputation.
The above words, or close enough.
Again, I find no historical evidence that Arius said any such thing. I know of no evidence that Constantine ever intended to kill Arius for his views. I do see evidence that what Constantine wanted was for everyone to behave and to get along. As I said earlier, he exiled Arius, not simply because he thought Arius was wrong, but because Arius refused to compromise.

Quote:
Constantine summoned a whole stack of important people to appear before
him at the Council of Nicaea, immediately after becoming supreme. Our
thesis is that, apart from the christian bishops that Constantine had
bred during his beta-site in Rome (312 CE), none of the other attendees
were bishops, but in fact importangt land-holders, importantg and key
administrators under the previous eastern regime of Lucinius, brought
in to the meeting in order to sit down and talk turkey with the new
supreme imperial mafia thug, in control of the ROman empire.

They did not walk in as bishops of the new and strange Roman religious
order, but it is our thesis that most of them walked out of the meeting
as one of COnstantine's new bishops of christianity, for they all became
very very important men (almost) overnight.
This is quite simply wrong. You've already mentioned Bishop Eusebius of Casearea - who was bishop of Caearea (an eastern city) before Constantine defeated Licinius. There was also Athanasius of Alexanderia. There was also another Eusebius, Bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia, formerly the Bishop of Antioch. Additionally, there were Secundus of Ptolemais and Theonas of Marmarica, the two bishops of who refused to accept the Nicene Creed and were exiled with Arius. These men were in fact Bishops in Eastern cities before the Council of Nicea.

Quote:
Constantine needed no skills as a theologian since he was collecting tithes
from his own new and strange Roman religious order, building churches for
the faithful, and generally trying to convert as many people as possible,
by gross tax-exemption measures, to a new religious order that was clearly
not the same traditional Hellenic religious order that he was plundering
for gold, and ordering the execution of its philosopher/priests, a practice
which continued well after his death.

The new and strange fabrication of the Galilaeans overcame the literature
of the ancient Greeks, and that of the Second Sophistic, and of Apollonius
of Tyana, by supreme imperial oath, at Nicaea, signed by his attendees,
in the presence of the THRICE-BLESSED APOSTLE OF GOD, the thug Constantine.
You are overly fond of this phrase by Julian, which as I said, proves nothing concerning Constantine. It is not true that Christianity had completely overcome pagan thought by Constantine's time since there was still enough of it left in Julian's for him to reassert. Again, I find it amazing that you can claim that Constantine was the fabricator of Christianity when he himself, according to you, did not know its theology.

Quote:
Agreement had been planned for decades prior to Nicaea, by Constantine.
Of course he was agreeable to his new Roman religion.
Our thesis is that the following staged progression was enacted:

I know of know historical source that tells what Constantine was thinking decades before Nicea.
Quote:
Stage 1: 312-324 CE

Constantine takes Rome and implements a mini-proto-Nicaea (see below)
He consolidates his position, constantly looking east, planning supremacy.
He promotes the new religion in the west, and send literature to the east.
Eventually this results in the Arian controversy.

(NOTE: Our hypothesis sees the Arian controversy
as the reaction of the eastern empire against the new
testament texts, and the new religion. The controversy
is stated by the dogmatic assertion of a series of phrases
by Arius, such as:


* there was time when he was not.
* he was made out of nothing existing)

(See above for full listP
No, since at the time there was no eastern empire. Constantine had reunited the empire. I know of no evidence that Constantine thought in terms of an "Eastern" or "Western" empires, or, if he did, that he favored the east over the west. Why should he since he was a "Westener"?

Quote:
Stage 2: 324-325 CE

Constantine takes the eastern empire, and has Lucinus strangled.
He calls the Council of Nicaea on account of the words of Arius.
(See the above words of Arius).
He summons attendees to the council.

There were no "christian bishops" in the eastern empire, as they did
not then exist. The only "christian bishops" in attendance being those
whom Constantine had "cultivated in Rome". The pope didn't make it,
but sent some juniors in his stead.

Our hypothesis is that the attendees summoned to Nicaea were the
patrician level land-holders, governors, nobility and other important
key people of the eastern empire, whom Constantine had just conquered.

They were summoned to Nicaea to discuss how the new empire was
going to fuction for the maintenance phase under the taxation and
regulation and administrative and new religious regimes, which were
to be implemented by Constantine.
Again, the idea that there were no Christian bishops in east is quite simply wrong. Unless you plan to fall back on the "No True Scotsman fallacy" and claim that those that did exist were not "true Christians". I have seen no evidence that taxation or imperial regulation was discussed at the Council of Nicea. Perhaps it was, and perhaps you have a source.

Quote:
Stage 3: 325 CE

Nicaean Council Meeting: what happened?

Constantine ran the show.

[Qoute]Constantine sold the package of christianity to the attendees.
The whole package was subscribed to voluntarily.
New churches were going to be built on lands new you.
Signatures were collected to attest comitment to Constantine.
The big DISCLAIMER CLAUSE got rid of the words of Arius.
Again, I think this gives Constantine way too much credit. And it does not explain why Constantine later in his reign would adopt a modified version of Arianism.

[Quote]


Quote:
Stage 4: 326-337 CE


Constantine implements a new and strange ROMAN church.
He wanted to get rid of the Hellenic culture and religions.
He did not to pay tribute to any of the old traditional Roman religions.
These were all Hellenic is nature. (See Julian's summaries).
He wanted their treasure, lands, temples, statues, etc, for himself.
Once the one true religion was implemented, all else became taxable.

Adherance to the words of Arius ceased being controversial.
It became the Arian Heresy, and the downhill slide started.
No, the Arianism did not cease being a controversy after the Council of Nicea. It remained a contentious issue through the reigns of Constantine II, Constantius II and Valens, all of whom were in fact sympethetic towards Arianism. It was not until the Council of Constantinople in 381 that Arianism was outlawed by the Emperor Theodosius I.

Quote:
The attendees at Nicaea became key figures in a power network
that distributed favors from Rome to the eastern empire, and taxation
revenue, lands, etc, etc back to Roman central.
This seems backward. The Eastern half of the empire was always the richer. It had larger, wealthier cities. And did far more overseas trade than the West. If any "favors" were exchanged, it would have been the East granting them to the West. Not the other way around.

I could go on, but I think I've made my point. It simply didn't happen the way you describe it. I see a number of historical problems with your thesis. But what I think is more important is that your thesis completely misrepresents the way religions develop.

Religions are the products of cultures, not of an individuals. True, a culture may create its religion around the teachings of an individual, or a few individuals. Nevertheless, it is the culture that creates the religion. It is not true, as Herodotus claimed, that Hesiod and Homer created the Greek gods. Nor is it true, as Livy claimed, that Numa Pompilius created the Roman religion. And it is not true that Constantine created Christianity. Religions reflect the cultures that create them. And it takes a culture to create one.
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Old 08-28-2006, 11:15 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darstec View Post
How many of those so-called paleographers do not have a vested interest in Christianity? The very fact of that vested interest gains them access to the original material. Other than those who learned and later shugged off the brainwashing, being a Christian scholar encompasses their mindset. So they are apt to buck the status quo, why exactly?

Exactly how many expert paleographers are we speaking of, and where did they get their training? Is any of it in contemorary document examination. Are any called as expert witnesses for contemporary cases to court, or is "ancient writing" using different methodology (spiritual revelation perhaps) not recognized by modern scientific paradigms?

In addition to the issues raised above, is that relating to
the date at which these catalogued paleographic assessments
were actually conducted. Many are earlier than 1930.

Quote:
Outside of a very few radiocarbon testing samples (absolutely none from the first or second century CE) what other collaborating evidence backs up these paleographers?
It should be noted that there are 2 relevant datings:

1) Nag Hammadi, c.360 CE (gThomas & binding??)
2) LOCATION, c.280 CE (+/- 60 years), (gJudas).

And that although the mean dating of #2 is in the third
century, the papyrus itself could easily have been a few
decades old. I mention this so as to extend support to
the more specific and pertinent claim: absolutely no C14
from the pre-Nicaean epoch (ie: 1st, 2nd, 3rd CE's)

Quote:
It is all part of that same fragile house of cards that wants to date the NT to the first century with evidence ranking slim to none.



Pete Brown
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Old 10-01-2006, 09:52 PM   #53
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Abbreviated from
Epitome de Caesaribus
Sextus Aurelius Victor
Translated by Thomas M. Banchich
http://www.roman-emperors.org/epitome.htm
as relates to Constantine .....

11. But Constantine, when mastery of the entire Roman empire had been obtained through the wondrous good fortune of his wars, with his wife, Fausta, inciting him, so men think, ordered his son Crispus put to death.

12. Then, when his mother, Helena, as a result of excessive grief for her grandson, chastised him, he killed his own wife, Fausta, who was thrown into hot baths.

13. He was, to be sure, too desirous of praise, as is able to be ascertained. On account of the legends inscribed on many structures, he was accustomed to call Trajan "Wall Plant." He built a bridge over the Danube.

14. The royal garb he adorned with gems, and his head, at all times, with a diadem. Nevertheless, he was most agreeable in many matters: by means of laws most severe he checked malicious prosecutions; he nurtured the fine arts, especially studies of literature; he himself read, wrote, reflected, and listened to legations and the complaints of the provinces.

15. And when, with his children and his brother's son, Delmatius, confirmed as Caesars, he had lived sixty-three years, half of which thus, so that thirteen he alone ruled, he was consumed by disease.

16. He was a mocker rather than a flatterer.
From this he was called after Trachala in the folktale,
for ten years a most excellent man,
for the following second ten a brigand,
for the last, on account of his unrestrained prodigality,
a ward irresponsible for his own actions.


17. His body was buried in Byzantium, called Constantinople.
18. With him dead, Delmatius was put to death by the violence of the troops.

It is interesting to note the downhill run in Constantine's
perceived character over the three decades of his rule
outlined at 16 above, and that the rise of christianity under
Constantine, with effect from the council of Nicaea, marked
a sort of transition from him being a brigand, to him being an
unrestrained and irresponsible ward.




Pete Brown
AUTHORS of ANTIQUITY
http://www.mountainman.com.au/essenes/article_029.htm
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Old 10-02-2006, 04:22 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arricchio View Post
Julian would of course call the Christianity a fabrication, he was a pagan.
This is no different that Christians calling the pagan religion the work of demons. It proves nothing.
Julian was a well educated man, who was convinced that the fabrication
of the Galilaeans was a fiction of men composed by wickedness, and took
the time to write a treatise, setting out his charge.

We do not seek "proof". Those who seek "proof" are often misguided.
We seek a historical account of antiquity capable of bearing the
highest possible degree of relational integrity. At present we test
the hypothesis that christianity was a fourth century phenomenom.
This (surprisingly enough) appears to satisfy a reasonable degree
of relational integrity, if one is able to temporarily suspend
disbelief in the act of entertaining the hypothesis.



Quote:
I have never seen any historical evidence that Constantine "hired" Eusebius. Eusebius, who was the student of Pamphilus (himself a student of Origen) was elected bishop of Caesarea
in 312 or 313, at least 11 years before Constantine's victory over Licinius.
Constantine obtained considerable power in the western tetrachy with effect
from 306 (Briton), and total western control from 311 CE. Constantine is recorded
to have officially asked Eusebius to prepare 50 bibles after Nicaea, and during
Nicaea, sat at the right hand of Constantine, the place of power. And if you are
still unconvinced, read the Eusebian "Life of the Thrice-Blessed Emperor".


Quote:
Interesting that Constantine could be the fabricator of Christianity without knowing its theology.
What theology? The Jews deliver the One True God to the ROmans,
and the imperial empire crucifies the One True God? The simple
theology is "Dont f**k with the Roman Empire".

Constantine, who saw himself as "bishop of bishops", it is pretty
clear to see, might have adopted such a theology, and called it christian,
than handed the literary fabrication exercise over to his editor-in-chief.

Quote:
Well, two possibilities exist, as I described in my orginal post. Either he was an uniformed convert (Treadgold) or no convert at all (Burkhardt). But according to you he was created Christianity out of whole cloth without either knowing its theology or being a Christian himself. This seems highly dubious.
See above for a note concerning christian theology. As far as there being
exactly two possibilities (Treadgold's and Burjhardt's), and no further
possibilities, period, this is your assertion. Sometimes things are not
as simple as an EITHER/OR gate.

Quote:
I think Professor's Treadgold's point was that Constantine was more lucky
than he was smart. I happen to agree.
One does not last 30 years as a supreme imperial mafia thug is one
is simply lucky. Moreover, Constantine never lost a military battle,
and in this, smartness counts over luck. So I happen to suspect
that you and the professor could be wrong about this specific issue.


...[trimmed]...


Quote:

I could go on, but I think I've made my point. It simply didn't happen the way you describe it. I see a number of historical problems with your thesis. But what I think is more important is that your thesis completely misrepresents the way religions develop.

Religions are the products of cultures, not of an individuals. True, a culture may create its religion around the teachings of an individual, or a few individuals. Nevertheless, it is the culture that creates the religion. It is not true, as Herodotus claimed, that Hesiod and Homer created the Greek gods. Nor is it true, as Livy claimed, that Numa Pompilius created the Roman religion. And it is not true that Constantine created Christianity. Religions reflect the cultures that create them. And it takes a culture to create one.
Sorry about the delayed response to your post arricchio, but I must have missed it.

In the year 361 CE, Constantine was charged by Julian ...
"as an innovator and a disturber of the ancient laws
and of customs received of old."


Our thesis is that christianity is a fourth century phenomenom created
by Constantine in order to separately administer the control of his newly
acquired complete Roman empire, with a new Roman religion servicing in
every diocese along with the new civilian service, and the separate military
service, each separately reporting to Constantine, on new initiatives,
such as the implementation of a per-head poll tax for each citizen.

He was essentially a dictator, and his 30 year rule has been
reduced to three decades summed up by one of his contemporaries:

"He was a mocker rather than a flatterer.
From this he was called after Trachala in the folktale,
for ten years a most excellent man,
for the following second ten a brigand,
for the last, on account of his unrestrained prodigality,
a ward irresponsible for his own actions."



I do not find it impossible that Constantine created christianity.
I do not find it impossible that Julian called out the "fiction".
OTOH, mainstream theology, and any history of antiquity associated
with mainstream christian theology relies implicitly, and exclusively
upon the history written by Eusebius, in the fourth century.

Have you read Eusebius? Would you buy
a used chariot off him?




Pete Brown
Authors of Antiquity
http://www.mountainman.com.au/essenes/article_029.htm
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Old 04-03-2007, 08:07 PM   #55
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Note the additional attributes of Emperor Constantine
as being described as an 'eminent theologian'
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Old 04-05-2007, 02:22 AM   #56
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I've got Gore Vidal's Julian (or via: amazon.co.uk). Love it!

P17 (Julian is writing)

Quote:
On 22 May 337 Constantine died at Nicomedia, to his apparent surprise, since he had just taken the water cure at Helenopolis and all the omens suggested a long life. On his deathbed he sent for our cousin, Bishop Eusebius, to baptize him. Just before the Bishop arrived, Constantine is supposed to have said, rather nervously, "Let there be no mistake." I'm afraid that sounds exactly like him. He was not one to leave, as Aristophanes so wittily puts it, a single stone unturned. Constantine was never a true Galilean; he merely used Christianity to extend his dominion over the world. He was a shrewd professional soldier, badly educated and not in the least interested in philosophy, though some perverse taste in him was hugely satisfied by doctrinal disputes, the mad haggling of bishops fascinated him.
Is Gore Vidal in an honorary tradition, of which the Gospels are another example, of historical fiction, except Julian existed and Jesus did not?
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Old 04-05-2007, 02:59 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clivedurdle View Post
I've got Gore Vidal's Julian. Love it!
P17 (Julian is writing)

Is Gore Vidal in an honorary tradition, of which the Gospels are another example, of historical fiction, except Julian existed and Jesus did not?
There was at least one place in the novel where Gore Vidal seems
to indicate that in an historical sense we are to assume that Jesus
had existed 300 years ago. However he paints a very vivid picture
of the political climate, he very early charges Constantine as being
one "of the Flavian Emperors" (are you listening Joe?).

His Julian is described with a great deal of historical research, and
the story ends with a twist that I'll not disclose since you're perhaps
not yet up to it. Glad your enjoying it.
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Old 06-18-2007, 09:02 PM   #58
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Constantine as a malevolent despot (dictator)

The collection of letters purportedly written by, and
a collection of histories written about, Constantine
have been collected here.

Perhaps the central letters to be explained in a political
historical fashion are the two letters sent immediately
before and after The Council of Nicaea.

The letters reveal Constantine as a malevolent despot
edicting for the destruction of the writings of the greatest
academic of the time, and for the death by beheading for
anyone found secreting said writings.

There has to date, AFAIK, been no political interpretation
of the Council of Nicaea, seeing as though this historical
event has always been adopted into the explicationary
fold of "Ecclesiastical History", and viewed in terms of
"theological disputations".

However there is good reason to re-examine this "council"
from the perspective of standard political history, as simply
another instance of a military supremacy party,
called and managed by Constantine, for his own ends,
which ultimately included publication of the "Constantine
Bibles" and other related propaganda.

This alternative theory of the history of antiquity sees
christianity as an invention in the fourth century by an
intelligent malevolent despot. A megalomaniac with a
large army, to whom nothing appeared impossible.
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Old 06-19-2007, 11:09 PM   #59
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Default Notes on Constantine by Isaac Newton

Notes on Constantine by Isaac Newton
As to the faith, both parties allowed the Nicene decree but interpreted it variously: the western bishops by una substantia una usia & una hypostasis, the eastern by ὁμοιούσιος & ὅμοιος κατ᾽ ὁυσίαν. And at length for putting an end to the controversy about the interpretation the bishops in the Councils of Sirmium, Nice in Thrace, Ariminum, Seleucia & Constantinople in the years 357, 358, 359 & 360 abolished the use of the word usia with its compounds & that for these resons. 1 because the ὁμοούσιος had been rejected by the Council of Antioch which deposed Paul of Samosat above 50 years before the Council of Nice decreed it & therefore the tradition of the Church was against it. & the proceedings of that Council were approved by the Church Catholick & therefore being grounded upon tradition were irreproachable in matters of faith., 2 because the Nicene fathers had put it without mature deliberation, the Emperor Constantine coming into the" Council upon a day appointed & proposing & pressing it & getting it decreed at once before he went out of the Council 3 Becaus the word ὁμοούσιος was a stumbling block to the people being misunderstood by them & leading them into various errors 4 because it created great disturbances in the Churches & 5 because the word usia with its compounds was not in scripture which commands us to hold fast the form of sound words received from the Apostles of our Lord.

...[***]...

The next article that was inserted was the consubsantiality of the father & son. Eusebius of Cæsarea in the Council of Nice produced the Creed which he had received from his ancestors & into which he had been baptized, & it is this. We beleive in one God the father almighty, creator of all things visible & invisible: & in one Lord Iesus Christ, the Word of God, God of God, light of light Life of life, the only begotten son, the first begotten of every creature, begotten of his father before all worlds, by whom all things were made, who for our salvation was incarnate & conversed among men, who suffered & rose again the third day, & ascended to his father, & shall come again with glory to judge the quick & the dead. We beleive also in one Holy Ghost. This Creed was approved by the Emperor Constantine & all the Council, but the Emperor proposed & pressed to have the consubstantiality of the Son inserted & so the Council composed this Creed.

...[***]...

The mystery of iniquity was to end in the Man of sin & the many Antichrists in the great Antichrist. For while the heathen Roman Empire stood it was impossible for an heretical Empire to rise up. And because that which letted was to be taken out of the way therefore the Apostle does not name it least the heathens should think him an enemy to their Empire, but tells the Christians that they knew it already, & the writers of the 4th century tell us it was the Roman Empire. This heathen Empire began to be taken out of the way by the victories of Constantine over Maxentius & Licinius, & was fully taken out of the way by the death of Iulian & then the man of sin was to be revealed & come with all signes & lying wonders.
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