Robin Lane Fox's
Pagans and Christians
Part 2: a critical review of the evidence both for and against
the existence of christianity in the pre-nicene epoch
Welcome to Part Two of a two part review. In the first part of this review
we are defending the Eusebian fiction postulate against Fox's citations from
ancient historical sources that appear - at first glance - to represent
evidence for the existence of christianity in the pre-nice epoch. In other papers
related to the thesis that Constantine invented christianity
in the fourth century, and implemented it in the Roman Empire with effect
from his military supremacist council of Nicaea, we have emphasised that the field
of this thesis is ancient history.
An alternative theory of the history of antiquity is being explored
in which the christian "Biblical History" was inserted
into the political history of the Roman Empire
no earlier than the rise of Constantine. As outlined in earlier articles, this
thesis in the field of ancient history
is founded on one hypothesis - the Eusebian fiction postulate. In this
we postulate that Eusebius fraudulently misrepresented the natural course of
ancient history under instructions from Constantine. As Smedley Butler keenly
perceived, "War is Racket".
With this in mind, the following annotated review of Robin Lane Fox's (RLF) book,
"Pagans and Christians, in the Mediterranean World from the second century AD
to the conversion of Constantine", presents a series of references, quotations
and citations that I noted in review. Some notes have been made on issues which are
neutral to my central thesis, but others - in the opinion of this editor - support
the notion that Constantine invented christianity.
For example we learn that "The Boss Himself" (Constantine) takes the stand
in the lead up to his Council of Nicaea, probably at Antioch 325 CE,
and in his "Oration" tells us that Jesus Christ was predicted by a
trinity of prophecies: by the Apollonian Sybil, and by two ancient
Roman Poets. In mocking admission of his own authenticity, he then adds:
I would like to acknowledge the research of Professor Robin Lane Fox.
"Our people have compared the chronologies
with great accuracy", and the 'age' of the Sibyl's verses
excludes the view that they are a post-christian fake."
We are all students of life and of ancient history
Mountain Man Graphics, Australia
Southern Winter of 2007
Robin Lane Fox's Pagans and Christians - Research Notes
Council of Antioch: Three of the "bishops" who supported Arius refused to join concensus.
- p.30 [FN:9] "The Recognitions" - whose core probably goes back to the early 3rd century
termed "a fine christian fiction"; Ps.Clem, Recog 8.2.2; cf Suetonius Tib.69; Vett. Val 5.9
[Editor: Scholars have assessed "fine christian fiction" for some time.]
- p.31: the word "pagani: in everyday use meant "civilian" and/or "rustic".
"pagani: first appears in christian inscriptions from early 4th century.
"pagani: earliest use in the Law Codes in Codex Theodosius 16.2.18 (c.370)
"pagani: is a word coined by christians -- of the towns and cities.
[Editor: And yet the author uses the terminology "Pagan" with respect to earlier centuries!
This wilful anachronism is practiced by most ancient historians and biblical historians.
The appropriate terminological reference should be something like "Hellenic"]
Thus in a terminological reality consistent with the historical record we suggest:
in the pre-Nicaean epoch we have the "Hellenic culture", afterwards the "Pagan".
This is an extremely important issue to understand.
There were literally no pre-Nicaean pagans.
When Constantine invented christianity's exclusivity, he also invented the "religious other":
and there was little tolerance for the "non-christian" or "pagan" beliefs constituting "the other".
It could be said that the Christians and the Non-Christians ("Pagans" if you will)
were created as virtual pairs; like an atomic particle and its associated anti-particle.]
- 185 CE: Didyma "Apollo's precinct was "encircled with altars of every God". [FN:22]
CH.2 to 5: Largely concerns a rich and extremely interesting
[Editor: Except the "new" (and according to Eusebius, "strange") christian god.
We dont find any such altars to the christian god until after Nicaea.]
source of information about Roman-Hellenic society, collated
by Robin Lane Fox from the pre-Nicaean epoch .... Brilliant !!.
[Editor: Unfortunately I did not have the time to exhaustively appreciate the huge list
of ancient historical citations to the pre-Nicene culture of the Roman Empire.
I can only hope to emulate the authors review at some future point.
For students of ancient history, the non-christian references in Fox are lavish.]
- p.270: "Although Christian's numbers are elusive, the volume of their writings is conspicuous.
"to read these books is to attend to a small, but extremely articulate, minority"
[Editor: Our thesis is that they were all written with the privilege of hindsight.
This explains immediately why the polemics are extremely articulate:
Eusebius (whom we believe to be their editor-in-chief), possessed excellent rhetoric.]
- p.271: "The clearest impressions of their growth derive from the church historian Eusebius ..."
p.272: Eusebius suggests three phases of expansion:
1) Apostles, 2) in the 180's CE, 3) just before Nicaea.
- p.274/5: Map of christian churches "reconstructed from Eusebius' account of 256 CE "Council".
- nb: Eusebius' story of Pantaenus (an "Alexandrian christian") missionary to India 180 CE.
- p.292: "of the major christian authors between 100 and 250, all except Irenaeus
wrote from cities; : Rome, Carthage, Alexandria, Ephesus and Antioch.
- p.299: "Not until the 4th century and the rise of monastic communities
do we find clear hints of Christian attempts to better the slaves' position."
[Editor: Well I can offer a very good reason why that evidence is the way it is.]
- p.302: Tertullian - "community problems of high society being felt and experienced more widely for the first time"
[Editor: Tertullian is used as evidence of "christian evolution".
Our thesis is that Eusebius reporting the writings of Tertullian was simply Eusebius reporting Eusebius.]
- p.304: christian soldiers - Tertullian as source
- "As a religion of the book, Christianity had a particular relationship with texts.
In the first communities ... christians used the codex, or book [papyrus],
for their biblical texts. In contrast ... "pagans still vastly preferred the roll [parchment]"
[Editor: Why then was Constantine the first to bind together the codex of new and old texts?
If each of these scores and scores of purported pre-Nicene "christian authors" published writings,
such that these writings came down to Eusebius in the fourth century, why were they (even the heretical)
not each bound in a codex with the Hebrew Texts, the older testament, which each author possessed.
Further, such authors had the obligation to preserve and hand down these more primal Hebrew texts.
Why were they therefore not bound together before the initiative of the despot Constantine c.331 CE?]
- Aristeides Apology to the emperor Hadrian; Athenogora's Embassy
p.306: with reference to these apologies to the emperor Fox says "The setting is a literary fiction". [FN:38]
[FN:38]: Against Barnes, JTS, 1975, p.111 I agree with Brunt, Studies in Lat.Hist, 1979, p.506-7
[Editor: Needless to say, I agree with Barnes: "The setting is a literary fiction".]
- p.306: "Celsus' book best understood as rebutting the impudent link between Platonism and christianity
which apologies like Justin had proposed in petitions to the Emperor".
[Editor: The fragments of Celsus are tendered via Origen by Eusebius.]
- Clement's Paedagogus: "urged an ethic of simplicity on Christian readers in a language the very denial of its ideal".
[Editor: Perhaps there was a little more rhetoric and a little less simplicity than absolutely necessary here.]
- p.311: Origen was praising [Mary's] deep reading of the Bible".
[Editor: Origen is tendered by Eusebius.]
- The martyr Perpetua; the "loyal christian gravediggers, underground heroes of christian cemetries and catacombs"
[Editor: As has been separately outlined elsewhere, our thesis is that
the martydoms and persecutions were also totally ficitious and fabricated.
In a separate article another author has written why he things that Eusebius forged
the Letters of the Gallic Christians, re the martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicita.
This article is yet to appear at this website, but is located elsewhere.]
- p.313: Philo (St. Pauls contemporary): "A breath of divine Spirit lives in all men from birth as their higher reason."
[Editor: Philo of Alexandria not once mentions "christianity" but writes alot about "The Holy Spirit"]
- p.315: "Compared with the preachers of popular philosophy, Christians kept a low profile."
[Editor: When one assumes the existence of pre-nicene christianity one finds a very low profile indeed.
In fact, if one looked only at the evidence, one might in fact argue they did not have a pre-nicene existence.]
- p.332: The writings of "knowing" Christian gnostics, who dissolved history and the Gospels into a complex myth
of Creation and the human predicament .... [were] ... "like Buddhist mystics".
[Editor: The "Gnostics" evidenced more "virtual evolution of christian thought".
Take an appropriate neoplatonic or neopythagorean text, and add a smattering of references
to "christ" or "christian issues", and lo and behold, one has a "gnostic christian text."]
- p.334: "The faith ... was making progress among more prominent people which Eusebius rightly noted.
It was no accident that the progress Eusebius noted followed and overlapped with the efforts
of thinking christians to relate their faith to existing philosophies and ethics.
Even if the Christian apologists books were not widely read, their existence
was a proof that christianity was now acceptable".
CH.7 - Living Like Angels
[Editor: The assertion of the existence of such Christian apologists books is Eusebian.]
- p.337: "By the mid 3rd century grades of sin and penance had begun to be defined,
varying from a few weeks correction to a lifetime of entreaty."
- p.338: "These gradations helped to compound the quality of the christian church."
[Editor: Tom Paine: "Religion is unique among tyrannies in that it seeks pursue its victims beyond the grave.]
- p.339: "Early christian literature ... multiplied to support their own practice. There methods were very simple:
where no authority existed, they invented texts and ascribed them to authors who never wrote them."
[Editor: The supreme imperial mafia thug, malevolent despot - Constantine - had absolute power.
See notes on The Oration of Constantine to the Assembly of the Saints below,
where "The Boss Himself", Constantine, invents a number texts and ascribes them,
in the presence of his personally screened assembly to the recently subjected Antiochans,
to authors who never wrote them.
What is to differentiate between such genre of literature, and the canon, but the nod of Eusebius?.
An army of texts was assembled, at least in the fourth century. Some were classified canonical.
Others were obtained by means of the perversion of extant writings, from minor interpolation
to the wholesale forgery of new books in the name of earlier authors (eg: Porphyry, Origen)]
This thesis that Constantine invented christianity is supported here.]
- p.340: "Like their Jewish contemporaries, [the christians] lacked the critical concern for history"
and its sources, which would have excluded these fabrications.
Narrative fictions tended to name no authors (eg: Acts of Peter, Acts of Thomas) whereas bogus letters
of disciples and revelations tended to claim a false authorship (eg: Apocalypse of Peter, the Teaching of the Apostles)
In either case, the deceit had one primary aim: success. At bottom they used the same device: falsehood.
[Editor: Emperor Julian: "The fabrication of the Galilaeans is a fiction of men composed by wickedness."]
- the entire of Part II - p.340-374: Sex and morality in the Roman empire
(Paul, Cyprian, Tertullian, etc, etc, etc) --- nothing new here
CH.8 - Visions and Prophecy
- p.381-392: the Shepherd of Hermas - no full greek text survived; set near Cumae, Italy -- in about 90 CE.
names Clement as a leader of the church (of Rome?)
[Editor: The writings may easily have been appropriated, as is the case for many others.
See below, in the case of the Nag Hammadi instance of a christian-appropriated "pagan" letter,
and in general, see Momigliano.]
- p.381: [FN:25] The author diagrees with ER Dodds (Pagans and Cs, 1965, p59) that it is "an artificial allegory".
Instead the author considers that "Hermas combined [symbolic allegory]
with personal history which ought to be taken at face value [FN:26]"
[Editor: Of course I agree with ER Dodds (Pagans and Cs, 1965, p59) that it is "an artificial allegory"]
- As proof that Hermas had a very early date, the author writes
"The book must be read out 'to this city' in the presence of the presiding elders.
"We do not know where this city was -- but it did not have a single recognised bishop."
[ED: The hypothesis that there were pre-Nicene christians peeks through the logic.
In part 1 of this review we have seen that evidence is often presumed from this postulate.]
- p.392: "Nobody remembered what Jesus looked like" [FN:68 = Clement]
[Editor: We must remember that the author who forged Clement understood it was a fiction story.]
- by 200 CE [Jesus] was being shown on early christian sarcophagi in a sterotypes pagan image,
as a philosopher teaching among his pupils .. shepherd and flock." [Citation??]
[Editor: Still tracking the citation for this one; Apollonius?]
Nag Hammadi Archive
[Editor: What was popular in "Christian Literature"
eleven years after the Boss, it's inventor, went to the underworld?]
- p.414: Nag Hammadi Library - in Upper Egypt, near Nile
12 books (codices) with leaves from a 13th in jar (1945)
Consistent of 57 Coptic tracts; "spurious gospels".
But "none of the "gnostic christians" wrote/read Coptic."
[Editor: The "gnostic christians" (see above), were part of the fabrication (of the Galilaeans).]
- "The collection is not a single library, not uniformly heretical, nor even entirely christian."
includes a poor trans of Plato's republic, and a pagan letter of "Eugnostos the Blessed"
the letter was then given a christian preface and a conclusion and represented in another copy
as the "wisdom" which Jesus revealed to his Apostles after his death.
[Editor: Again, here we see the act of "christianisation of literature" essentially in-progress 348 CE.]
- Extant also are three texts: a prayer and two discourses of Thrice-great Hermes.
[FN:35] "Fascinating postscript on prayer, carefully inscribed in decorated rectangle"
(Codex 6.7, Robinson,p299)
Later, RLF summarises ... The picture is intriguing. By c.350,
we have a group of Christian monks who owned such a quantity of texts
from the pagan's spiritual master, "The Thrice-Great Hermes",
that a scribe hesitated before sending any more.
- Bindings of the codices carbon-dated to 348 CE.
[Editor: Aside from this C14 citation, with respect to the entire corpus of new testament related texts,
and this is inclusive of all papyrii fragments, and codexes, I know of only one other C14 citation.
The second and final C14 citation was publsihed in reference to the newly acquired Gospel of Judas.
In this instance the bindings of the codices (gJudas) carbon-dated to 290 CE (+/- 60 years).]
- conjectured that the books were owned by monks from the nearby monastic community (Pachomius)
- p.415: "Coptic was the language of the majority in the early Pachomian monasteries (after 350 CE)".
- "There were no 'Gnostics' at Nag Hammadi in the mid-fourth century"
- "certainly no study group of Coptic-speaking Hermeticists, pagans who wished to own so many christain books besides their own."
- SUMMARY (p.415):
"Our texts seem to fall into three separate collections,
which were gathered, perhaps, by their owners,
and hidden near a deserted pagan temple when the books
in the monasteries began to be questioned and sought out.
The picture is intriguing. By c.350, we have a group of Christian
monks who owned such a quantity of texts from the pagan's spiritual
master, "The Thrice-Great Hermes", that a scribe hesitated
before sending any more.
- 300 CE: "christian authors already welcomed "Thrice-Great Hermes"
as a pre-Christian to the Christian theology".[FN:39]
[FN:39] R.M. Ogilvie, Library of Lanctatius (1978) 33-6; earlier Hermes in Athenag. Leg. 28.6
[Editor: When the boss went west (poisoned by family,
in revenge for the execution of his son Crispus, 326 CE),
Eusebius in his Vita Constantini 337 CE, goes thrice-blessed balistic:
It seems clear enough that Constantine had planned
- "I contemplate his thrice-blessed soul in communion with God himself";
- "The end of his life was honorable and thrice blessed";
"royal deeds of this thrice-blessed prince";
- "our thrice blessed prince";
- "and all united in honoring this thrice blessed prince";
- "and sometimes the thrice blessed one addressed the people ...";
- "the earthly tabernacle of his thrice blessed soul,
according to his own earnest wish,
was permitted to share
the monument of the apostles.
in advance to be the "Thrice-Blessed Thirteenth Apostle"
of the religion which, according to this thesis, he invented.]
- p.580: [FN:19] P.Oxy. 1025; 1026
"When a local notable returned to Hermopolis from Gallienus' Rome in the 260's,
the council honored him with magnificent literary allusions and praises of:
'Thrice-great Hermes, our father's god, who always stands besides you."
- p.659: "By 324, Lactantius was an old man, possibly over 80, family tutor.
"As a pagan witness, the 'Thrice-great Hermes' was dear to Lactantius,
yet absent from Oration. Lactantius had stressed that the truth of miracles
and the power of the cross had a symbolic and prophetic meaning.
He said nothing about the wisdom of the apostles, whom the Oration exalted."
- The libraries extract from Plato (mistranslated in Coptic) refers to the virtue of ...
"casting down every image of the evil Beast and trampling on them, together with the image of the Lion.
Monks were the supreme destroyers of pagan's religious art, the "image of the Beast and Lion".
[Editor: He who controlled the technology of literature controlled the dreams of the future.
Here it appears that the literature of Plato is being perverted for political incitement
Such evidence, and the patterns of similar facts surrounding the propaganda
of malevolent despots the world over has its characteristic signs and signals.
This represents a clear citation for the political perversion of patristic literature
at Nag Hammadi c.348 CE, a practice which was commenced 312,
when Constantine took Rome as his own; and Eusebius took up the stylus.]
- Besides three texts of Hermes, another pagan text called "Zostrianos" [FN:41]
- p.416: "[Father Pachomius] used a cryptic alphabet with a mystical significance which has still to be deciphered."
[Editor: There's nothing like a good mystery.]
- Another Nag Hammadi text -- from a pagan disciple of Hermes, reads:
"I have found the beginning of the power
that is above all powers,
the power without beginning.
I see a fountain bubbling with life.
I have said, 'O my son, I am Mind.
I have seen ...
no words can reveal it ..."
- p.417-8: the life of Saint Antony (first christian hermit 350 CE), written in greek by St Athanasius.
[Editor: See Momigliano and Michael Grant
on the invention of new historiographic traditions:
Both attribute Eusebius as the inventor of a new form of historiography in terms of ecclesiastical history,
and Athanasius as the inventor of "christian hagiography", or the lives of the christian Saints.]
CH.09 - Persecution and Martyrdom
CH.10 - Bishops and Authority
[Editor: With respect to our thesis that Constantine invented christianity,
all citations in these chapters resolve to details of the Eusebian (or later)
CH.11 - Sinners and Saints
- p.572: Between 250's and the early 270', no continuous literary history survives
the longest texts are christians with a case to plead."
[Editor: We assess all these texts as fourth century Eusebian/Constantinian propaganda.
Readers should begin to brace themselves for the time "The Boss" Constantine
personally pleads his case for the history of christianity before the Assembly of the Saints.]
- p.573: Vicars and dioceses are a pre-nicene "pagan" initiative:
"By the sole reign of Constantine, in 325 CE, people were paying
more taxes to support more men in the Emperor's service, although
the scale and the dating of the increase is still uncertain. 
The number of provinces and governors had also been multiplied:
by Diocletian, governors were given deputies, their "vicars",
and provinces were grouped into bigger regions or "dioceses".
A generation later, the Christian's own organisation
followed this framework, giving these pagan words
an unexpected history."
[FN:3] A.H.M. Jones, Later Roman Empire 26-32; 37-70, R. MacMullen,
Klio (1981) 451, R. Duncan-Jones, Chiron (1978) 541, P.A.Brunt,
J.R.S (1981) 170-1
[Editor: We must be prepared to follow where the evidence leads.]
- p.572: Between 250's and the early 270', cities in the empire were were beset by barbarian raiders,
plague and inflation. From the 260's the great great Greek and Latin inscriptions shrink in numbers
and say little.
- CRISIS ... After 268 CE almost every Greek city ceased to issue inscribed local coins.
- p.574: RE: by the later 260's all over the empire, from Rome to Egypt, Africa to Asia Minor
"The absence of dated inscriptions does demonstrate
p.580: "Papyrii show traces of continuing pagan festivals and cult,
a decline of interest in rendering services to the gods".
[FN:6] J. Geffcken, The Last Days of Graeco-Roman Paganism (1978, Eng), p.25:
even in the most obscure and difficult decades.
- p.582: "In the eastern provinces of Africa, 61 inscriptions now survive,
attesting new building work in cities during the 280's and 290's,
much of which concerns the gods. Above all, scenes of civil life
in the succeeding century show pagan processions, cults, festivals
and dances persisting in many cities throughout the Empire in the
mid-to-late fourth century." [FN: 25]
[Editor: Business as usual until "The Boss" turned up one day in 324 CE with a big army,
and a whole new set of plans on the value and utility of fourth century technology.
One prominent fourth century technology was literature,
its empire-wide creation and preservation.
Constantine is cited for the perversion and forgery
of the extant patristic literature of the early fourth century,
and for the destruction and burning
of written petitions in the presence of the petitoners,
whom he had summoned to his supremacy council, Nicaea, June 1, 325 CE.]
- p.583: "In the 2nd and 3rd centuries many inscriptions ("epigraphic habit") via local notables, office holders.
From mid-third century on, the donors tend to be governors, Imperial officials, dignatories of Rome."
The 3rd century crisis marks a watershed in their importance."
- p.586: "To Eusebius, with hindsight, Christianity had enjoyed high favour in the years from 260 to 300.
Connoisseurs of his history may note that he cites no details for a view which he presents as a rhetorical question.
He names no christian senators or governors and, as usual, gives no idea of the scale of increase which he assumes."
[Editor: Constantine employed Eusebius for his gifted historical hindsight.
Eusebius declares his Ecclesiastical History to be:
an attempt to traverse as it were
a lonely and untrodden path.]
- p.587: "Evidence for the christian's growing presence is very tenuous indeed."
[Editor: The tenuous evidence is addressed at Part 1 of this review.]
- p.588: "Eusebius knew only of 3 little "christian townships" in the entire Holy Land 324 CE." [FN:6]
- "By c.300 Oxyrhynchus had 2 churches .. 12 pagan temples and a synogogue.
[Editor: Notably Oxyrhynchus also had a very well used rubbish dump.
Much of the early christian papyrii fragments are sourced from the Oxyrhynchus Tip.
The east resisted Constantine's "christianity" for a few generations in the fourth century.]
- p.589: "Allusion to christians in non-christian contexts, the harvest is very thin indeed."[FN:13]
[FN:13] P. Bas 17; P. Oxy. 2276 and wills in P. Oxy. 2404 and 907.
p.590: the author makes the necessary disclaimer when he says "two wills in which Christians (probably) .."
[Editor: The (probable) evidence is addressed at Part 1 of this review.]
- "There is not a hint of any christian "triumph" in what evidence we have [before Constantine.]
- "It is hard to be sure what phrases establish a christian author or christian presence in the papyrii,
but on a tight definition there is next to nothing before 300 which is not related to the problem of persecution."
[Editor: Our explanation is that there were no "christian" persections before Constantine.
Notably however it is common knowledge that many Roman emperors inflicted savage persecutions.
These persecutions were for goods or wealth, military, strategic and/or political purposes
- In the persecution of Julius Caesar one million Gallic celts were killed,
- while another million were deported to become slaves in the Roman empire.
- In the perseuction of the emperor Trajan, two thousand Jews of Ennaus were crucified.
- Trajan is also said to have enacted genocide on the Dacians.
- Closer to Constantine, Diocletian inflicted a savage persecution on the Egyptians.
and had absolutely nothing to do with a religion yet to be invented.]
- "At present a negative point does emerge from the papyrii." [FN:14] - R.S. Bagnall, B.A.S.P (1985), 105
Very few examples before c.300 of the personal names which christians in Egypt later preferred to adopt.
From c.340 onwards, references to christians, churches and christian authorities multiply
as do the numbers of favored christian names".
[Editor: Fox's negative point is a positive point
to the thesis that Constantine invented christianity.
The statistical distribution of chronologically allocated "christian names"
does not exhibit the expected smooth and gradual continuous fuction; rather we see
zero evidence in the prenicene epoch and then a chaotic boundary event, 325 CE,
after which time the ancient historical records tell us that "christian names" existed.]
- "In 325, we know of 51 bishoprics in Egypt but we do not know how many had existed there c.300"
- p.593: 270 CE "The cult of a new Sun god had been promoted in Rome by the Emperor Aurelian."
- p.605: Fox's assessment of Lactantius and Eusebius:
"In Lactantius, a sharp moral sense,
in Eusebius, a concern for precise, often accurate details and biblical exegesis.
Both were authors with an above-average gift for rhetoric;
both were prolific writers, capable of keen polemic.
When the context required, they could distort
the course of events to suit their argument."
[Editor: Fox's assessment becomes realistic.]
- p.608: "[Eusebius] was an author who dictated to practised scribes"
CH.12 - Constantine and the Church
[Editor: Fox actually mentions this twice.]
- p.609: "To us, as to contemporaries, the conversion of
Constantine remains an entirely unexpected event.
These events do something to prepare for the conversion
of an emperor himself:
They do not, however, take us very far.
- Bishop Dionysius' letter in praise of Gallenius.
- the rumors of christian sympathies in King Abgar of Edessa.
- the rumors of christian sympathies in Philip the Emperor.
- the interest of an Empress in Origen's teaching.
[Editor: Robin Lane Fox is leading us somewhere.
Each of these citations resolve to an irony that would be amusing
were it not for inability of scholars to perceive the package itself
in the same light that these above events, atomic level integral details
in the package, are themselves perceived.
Bishop Dionysius' letter is a forgery.
King Abgar's Letter is a forgery, as is the handwritten response by Jesus to the King, cited by Eusebius.
Eusebian assertion that Philip Arabus converted to christianity for Rome's Millenial celebration c.251 CE
These are the events above, and the package is pre-Constantinian "christianity".
The package is constituted from entirely such events.
Neither existed - both were fabricated.]
- "Constantine's conversion had changed Eusebius' own perspective.
He had moved from a vivid sense of the immanent End
to a new sense that history was happening quickly
and that a christian needed to write
and explain why his Church was now where it was."
[Editor: Fox certainly has a way with words..
Behind Eusebius was his boss Constantine.
Eusebius liked to keep his head intact.
(Pamphilus may not have been as lucky)]
- p.614: Writes Robin Lane Fox:
"Details of Constantine's conversion were said to derive from Constantine himself,
who had described them "ON OATH" in the hearing of Eusebius
However much we might suspect [Eusebius'] own fiction,
"this authority is too boldly emphasised to be the Bishop's deceit."
- Constantine's religious policy remains one of history's great surprises,
"An erratic block which has diverted the stream of human history" [FN:2]
[FN:2] Barnes (1981), 38, prison disputes, Epiphan. Panar 68.3.3, Acta Saturnini 17
[Editor: What was Barnes possibly thinking
when he described Constantine's religious policy as:
"An erratic block which has diverted the stream of human history"?
Is he describing the same thing that Julian describes as "the fabrication of the Galilaeans"?
No, because I doubt whether Barnes (or anyone) presently understands the scope of Julian's invectives.]
- p.610 re: ARIUS - "Constantine did not create these deep divisions: he inherited them
They stretched back to the 250's and 260's, when ...."
[Editor: Eusebius informs us of this pseudo-history.]
- "Constantine promoted the Christians' cult as his personal religion,
not as the official religion of the Roman state."
- "The religion of Constantine's family is not entirely clear to us."
- p.657: "Constantine's family was so undistinguished that he had to devise a new ancestry."
[Editor: Noone has yet suggested that he sponsored the creation of the Historia Augusta.
We may as well suggest this possible solution to this outstanding historiographic mystery.]
- p.620: Arch of Constantine dedicated 315/16 CE "depicted the usual pagan helpers from heaven"
- p.623 re: the BASILICAS - "This deluge of Christian publicity exceeded any other program
in precious stone which was realised by a ruler in antiquity."
[Editor: Greater in scope than the pyramids: supreme imperial mafia thug dicator.]
- "Christian prayers, said Constantine, were intimately connected
with the safety of the state." [FN:45]
[FN:45] Codex Theodosius 16.2.1-6 and 14; Eus HE 10.7.1-2; T.G. Elliott (1978), 326
[Editor: Malevolent and inventive despot at the center of the web of power.
NOTE: English Translations of Codex Theodoisius, Book 16 are not on the net.
This Book 16 lists the fourth century anti-pagan legislations,
and the christian persecutions and attrocities listed by Vlassis Rassias.]
- "This enormous favor was an open invitation to false pretence:
by 320 Constantine already had to legislate against rich pagans
who were showing a fascinating ingenuity and were claiming exemptions
as alleged Christian priests." [FN:47]
[FN:47] Codex Theodosius 16.2.3 and 6
[Editor: Confidence was great in the power of Constantine's religion.
A few executions of key prominent "pagan" priests started a stampede.
There was a great rush of trading in "the Boss' new and strange" religion.]
- "Constantine enacted a law that stressed the validity of a man's death bed
legacies to a church fund, a topic which was particularly sensitive
because of the clergy's special presence at the moment of death." [FN:48]
[FN:48] C.Theod 16.2.4
[Editor: Such citations from the ancient records of Roman Law Codes
provide consistent support for the historian Sextus Aurelius Victor's
brief assessment of the life of Constantine:
"He was a mocker rather than a flatterer.
The motivation behind these edicts by the malevolent despot was simple greed.]
From this he was called after Trachala [Ed: "bullneck"] in the folktale,
for ten years a most excellent man, [Ed: the decade 306-315]
for the following second ten a brigand, [Ed: the decade 316-325]
for the last, on account of his unrestrained prodigality,
a ward irresponsible for his own actions." [Ed: the period 326-337]
- p.626: "After 312, Constantine still lived and ruled among an overwhelming pagan majority.
His troops were almost all pagans, and so were his ruling class and the aides whom he inherited.
They drafted his laws, they issued his publicity, they attended his panegyrics."
- "The pagan Greek views are more readily ascribed to prejudice. To belittle
Constantine's Christianity, subsequent writers of pagan history postponed its date. [FN:58]
[FN:58] Liban. Or.30.6; Zos 2.29; Julian 336 A-B; F. Paschoud (1971), M. Stern (1968), 171
- "Some ascribed it to greed: to pay for Constantinople,
Constantine, they said,
became a Christian and plundered the pagan temples".
- "Others ascribed it to guilt:
Constantine, they said,
converted to Christianity after murders in his own family in 326."
- One stubborn group of pagans in the city of Harran ascribed it to disease:
Constantine, they said, had been a leper
and had converted to Christianity when he learned
that it did not exclude lepers from its company."
Robin Lane Fox comments: "To refute this Eastern point of view,
we must look to ...[...]... Constantine's Oration"
Constantine's Letters and Orations
- p.627: "Constantine's speech "To the Assembly of the Saints" contained in Vita Constantini,
Book 5, and if genuine it is our longest surviving statement from an emperor
between Marcus' Meditations and Julian's letters."
- p.627-662 Arguments relating to the specific dating of "The Oration"
Robin Lane Fox spends many pages leading up to this oration.
- We know that at least part of the Oration was in Greek.
p.630: "At very best, the Greek translators cooperated
with the emperor before the speech was made public."
Eusebius notes (Vita) that the emperor composed his orations in Latin,
but that they were translated into Greek by special interpreters." (p.627)
- p.636: "Letters to the Persians, and provincials - strong resemblance to Oration themes"
- p.637: 2nd Letter to Eastern Provinces (Early 325) - Constantine is "God's servant":
- TIMELINE of movements - provided pp.634-662:
324, September 18: Constantine defeats Lucinius for the last time.
324, November 8: Constantine marks out the boundaries of his new city, Constantinople.
324, December 20: The Bishop of Antioch dies (there was no bishop when Ossius arrived)
325, Early ??: a "great and holy synod" of Christian leaders summoned to Ancyra
325, Early ??: Osius (the Christian emminence in Constantine court) sent to Antioch. Alexandria.
325, Early ??: Osius intervenes at both Antioch and Alexandria; summoned meetings.
325, January 13: Constantine's "coming visit to Egypt" (P. Oxy. 1261; VC 2.72)
325, February 23: Constantine issueing laws entitled "At Nicomedia".
325, April: Local synod at Alexandria - Ossius deposes schismatic bishop.
325, April: [FN:18] Ossius presided over every council he attended.
325, April: Council of Antioch - presided over by Ossius [FN:18]
325, April: "Constantine's sermon read on "Good Friday" after the Council of Antioch.
325, April: Antioch (R.L. Fox) - Constantine's Oration to "The assembly of the Saints"
325, Early May: Ossius to Alexandria with Letter for Arius from Constantine
325, May 26: papyrus refes to animals "despatched for the divine visit" (P. Oxy. 1626)
325, June 1: Constantine present at the Council of Nicaea.
[Editor: Timeline between "Bullneck's" military victory in the east and Nicaea.]
- Fox notes (p.641) "Yet the visit to Egypt never took place.
As the Emperor remarked in his letter,
("he was a greater part of the way to Arius ...")
the Arian controversy turned him back."
Constantine's Orations to the Saints
- At p.646/7 Fox suggests that Constantine's Oration to the Saints
was authored and orated by Constantine "at Antioch, Good Friday, 325".
Most ancient historians are today convinced that Constantine
both authored and read aloud this "document" in 324/325 CE.
It contains a number of novel social and political insights,
and a whole string of fraudulent misprepresentations:
- (1) Berates the philosophers: "Socrates critical questioning ... menace to the state".
"Pythagoras had stolen his teaching from Egypt, Plato believed there were many gods."
"Plato strived for the unknowable ... wrote about a first and second God."
[Editor: When critical questioning is a menace to the state there's a problem.
When military supremacists edict for the destruction of the writings
of leading present and past academics (eg: Porphyry, Arius, Apollonius of Tyana)
by book burning, it is a clear and unambiguous signal (from modern history)
that we are dealing with a malevolent dictator, a megalomaniac with a big army.]
- (2) Berates the poets as worse than the philosophers;
because "poets wrote falsely about the gods".
FOX: "In a few broad sweeps, Constantine had damned
the free use of reason and banished poetic imagination."
[Editor: Our thesis is that Constantine invented and sponsored christianity.
He would not lightly tolerate any opposition to his new invention.]
- (3) "A dove, said Constantine, had alighted on the virgin mary,
like the dove which had flown from Noah's ark.
[Editor: A fact never before mentioned by casts of thousands.
Constantine probably enjoyed his own stories the most.
Nero wanted to be on stage and be a divine actor,
Constantine wanted the spotlights, and to be a divine author.]
- (4) Constantine refers to an ancient Sibyl, a priestess from Erythrae
who had served Apollo at the 'serpents Tripod' at Delphi.
Constantine then quotes (in the Greek) thirty-four hexameters,
from the inspired truth of the Sibyl.
Most notably, the acrostic formed by the first Greek letter
of each line spelt "Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour, Cross."
But Constantine was alive to the arguments of skeptics ...
"They suspect that "someone of our religion,
not without the gifts of the prophetic muse,
had inserted false lines and forged the Sibyl's moral tone.
These skeptics were already known to Origen ... (Constantine continues)
"Our people have compared the chronologies with great accuracy",
and the "age" of the Sibyl's verses excludes the view
that they are a post-christian fake."
[Editor: Here "The Boss" essentially shoots himself in the foot.
He explicity defines the recently appeared genre:
"We may be suspected of clever forgery"
said the Boss to his new troops, civilians and saints,
but our best intelligence people assure us
that these things definitely aren't fake."
Does this sort of propaganda sound familiar?
What is the modus operandi of malevolent despotism?]
- (5) But wait, Robin Lane Fox has more to say:
His proof of this comparison was unexpected: Cicero (106-43 BCE)
Cicero chanced upon this poem and translated it to Latin.
The Sibyl, Constantine said, had prophecised christ
in an acrostic, known to Cicero.
Robin Lane Fox comments ... "the proof was a fraud twice over."
[Editor: Fraud is demonstrated in the microcosm of the Oration.
Fraud is also demonstrated in the macrocosm of political reality.
Our thesis is that Constantine invented a fabrication and fiction.
Ancient history informs us that c.331 CE, he lavishly published.]
- (6) Moving on through the Oration, Constantine informs us that
the advent of Christ had been predicted by Virgil (70-19 BCE)
in a Latin poem, written 40 BCE, to the poet's patron Pollio.
Fox says: "Constantine cites Latin's loveliest Eclogue
to a christian audience [ED: this is DISPUTED]
for a meaning which it never had."
Constantine began with the seventh line, in a free Greek translation which changed its meaning"
p.651: Fox writes:
"Has there ever been such a sequence of misplaced discoveries in a christian sermon,
let alone in a speech at the end of a Christian [ED: DISPUTED] synod?
[Editor: The Boss is on record, in his Oration to the Saints,
for outright fraudulent misrepresentation of the literature.]
- (7) One sentence of the Oration trod unwarily on Arius' ground.
Conclusion: "Men have witnessed battles and watched war in which
[Editor: The Arian controversy arose in opposition
to the fraudulent historical claims of christianity.
The words of Arius may be interpretted as historical commentary
raised in opposition to Constantine's new god.]
God's Providence granted victory to this host." God, in short, had willed
Constantine's victory in response to his piety and prayers,
the themes of which ran through history and his entire Oration ...
Philosophy and paganism were as dead as the old Assyrian cities:
Constantine had freed the East by his prayers and piety,
and before them both lay the promised future of God."
Constantine writes letter to Arius after this council finished.
Ossius, Constantine's agent presiding, interrogated each one of its paricipants privately.
[Editor: Clearly note that before the meeting at Antioch Ossius personally
interrogated each of the attendees, in a screening process to gauge support
for the implementation of the brand new (and strange) religion of Constantine.
Standard modus operandi of despots in the establishment of power.
Names and address are taken, rank and serial number if military.
City, civil position and direct supervisor if civilian, and
in either case, the gods to whom the attendee devoted their thought.
Constantine's scribes are taking it all down for future reference.
How to win friends influence people, and to levy the maximum tax.
Such pre-meeting informalities were big business, for all parties.
"War is a racket" --- Smedley Butler]
The Council of Nicaea
p.655: "Among his other innovations, it was Constantine who first mastered
the art of holding, and corrupting, an international conference."
On entering, recalled Eusebius
"units of the bodyguard and other troops
surrounded the palace with drawn swords,
and through them the men of God proceeded
without fear into the innermost rooms of the Emperor,
in which some were companions at table,
while others reclined on couches either side."
It was "like a dream", he said,
an anticipatory picture
of the kingdom of Christ.
Osius first announced the creed and signed it.
[Editor: Notably, Constantine is addressing letters to various parties
as "The King" rather than the customary title of "Emperor".
Constantine was simply a military supremacist with boundless ambition.
Eusebius was his treasured minister for religious propaganda.
Eusebius dictated to practiced scribes. He was an editor-in-chief.]
The creed was taken around to each individual by Constantine's notaries,
[Editor: Ossius was Constantine's trusted agent; and presider over councils.]
led by Philumenus, the "master of offices" ---
"the signatures (of the Arians) were thus given under pressure
Constantine imposed criminal sentences of exile on the bishops [DISPUTED] who refused to sign.
"In the Oration we hear the 'first crowned Christian apologist."
[Editor: We dispute the existence of any "Pre-Nicene Eastern christian bishops".
The attendees were personally summoned to Nicaea by the military supremacist.
Perhaps the personal interviewing of people at the Council of Antioch
had produced a suitable mailing list for Constantine's main event.
A first draft of the warlords "Domesday Report" -- the rich and wealthy landowners.
So they decided whether to run away or to face "The New Boss" at Nicaea.
Constantine's army milled around the council, parting to let through the attendees.
The highest echalons of the eastern Roman empire waited on Constantine.
Then they waited again, so that they could personally vote by signature.
Two choices: go with Arius, or go with "The New Boss".]
"At Antioch in those months, a fine gold coinage circulated,
[Editor: Fox is here referring to Constantine as an emperor.
By our thesis however, Constantine was chronologically
the first "living and breathing" Christian apologist.
All those before him were part of his fiction.]
showing the emperor receiving a figure of victory
from the pagan Sun god. The legend declared:
"To the Sun, Companion of Our Emperor".
"Constantine did not ban pagan cult, nor did he drop the Emperor's role of Pontifex Maximus.
p.662: "The Oration is thus our best public statement of the way
[Editor: Constantine sponsored his own cult, and its own literature.
It was called "christianity", and by this instrument he robbed "non-christians"]
in which the new Christian Emperor wished history to be seen.
It included touches which have to be the Emperor's own:
- the lessons of Memphis and Babylon
- the proofs of God's anger
- the favor of God for his new servant, Constantine himself.
"To Marcus, it had seemed wholly mistaken to attribute anger to a god."
[Editor: Constantine succumbed to absolute power.
He became a malevolent despot.
He had waited for this moment: supreme power.
For the time when the east was his (alone).]
CH.13 - From Pagan to Christian
[Editor: Fox takes the time to point to
the Meditations of "a good emperor".]
p.661: "The public statements and circular letters of 324/5 mark the start
of a new chapter in the life of the Greek-speaking city culture [of earlier centuries].
Christian letters and speeches were distributed throughout the empire, and christian business
became public business, visible in the great synods, buildings and privileges of the new era.
"This involvement [of Constantine] was felt in two areas:
[Editor: Citations for the existence of christianity bloom after Nicaea.]
- the internal life of the church and
- the relations between christians and non-christians.
"The Emperor's criminal sentences against christians [ED: DISPUTED] at Nicaea
were followed by Church councils at which his own court advisers presided.
As "servant of Christ", the Emperor wished only to bring about christian unity."
p.664: Octagonal plan Golden Church in Antioch - "Church of Concorde"
[Editor: We DISPUTE the existence of Eastern christians at Nicaea.
Constantine is a fabricator of literature and literature citations.
The Persians were always just beyond the border, and they were unified.
The Roman Empire, Constantine must have considered fragmented in solidarity.
So, like Ardashir did with the Parthians, so did Constantine do with the pagans.]
p.667: "Constantine allowed the parties in a civil or criminal suit
to appeal to a bishop's final "judgement" and "testimony".
The bishop's decision was then binding on any other judge.
Perhaps this law only covered disputes between christians,
but it was a remarkable recognition of the christian "state within a state."
"The many who benefited from the new circulation of funds
[Editor: Constantine saw the new religion as another extention of his power.
He personally appointed his bishops, and he considered himself to be
"the bishop of bishops".]
will have found little to challenge in the prominence of the new religion.
Pagan shrines, meanwhile, lost funds and treasures which were melted down
to pay for the christians' publicity."
p.668: "We learn from Gregory of Nazianzus how his father, a great landowner,
[Editor: You were either with Constantine or against Constantine"
Many people were forewarned in dreams to take the former option.
There was great profit to be had doing business with "The Boss".]
was converted to christianity by an opportune dream in the year 325:
he had a christian wife already and ended his days
a the powerful bishop of the family's home town. [FN:14]
p.587: "In 324/5 the Phrygian settlement of Orcistus petitoned Constantine, referring to its totally christian population."
[Editor: Rich landowners saw the signs of the times, if they wanted to survive.]
p.669: "In 325 Constantine legislated against gladiatorial games and withdrew
[Editor: Progressive town councils saw the signs of the times, if they wanted to survive.]
imperial support: eventually, they dies in every province of the empire. [FN:17]
[FN:17] Codex Theod. 15.12.1
[Editor: Our thesis does not paint an absolutely black painting of Constantine.
Persecution of the Old Religions
p.666: "The postscript to his Oration at Antioch was to be rather more robust:
torture of pagans "in authority in the city" so that they admitted religious fraud.
p.671: The list of pagan sites to have suffered under Constantine:
[Editor: Citation required here.]
p.672: "In the early 340's, we find the first surviving Christian texts which asks for something more,
- Mambre: a site of great holiness in the Hebrew testament
- Jerusalem: shrine of Aphrodite, stood on the site of the crucifixion and sepulchre.
- Aphaca: an offensive Phoenician centre of sacred prostitution.
- Didyma: Christians seized a prophet of Apollo and had him tortured.
- Antioch: Christians seized a prophet of Apollo and had him tortured.
- Aigai, in Cilicia: christians raised the shrine of Asclepius.
the total intolerance of pagan worship." [FN:25] - Firmicus, De Errore 16.4
FOX: "Why were these latter shrines singled out so promptly?
[Editor: After the rule of Constantine things went from bad to worse.
See the list of citations from "Demolish Them!",
published in Greek, Athens, 1990, by Vlasis Rassias.]
- (1) At Aigai, the pagan wise man Apollonius was believed
to have "turned the temple into an Academy":
this temple, or a nearby shrine, had been honoured
with a fine pagan inscription
in honour of "godlike" Apollonius,
perhaps as recently as the reign of Diocletian.
[Editor: This is an intriguing citation.]
- (2) Porphyry had compiled books of Philosophy from Oracles
which publicised texts from Didyma.
- (3) At Antioch, prophets were duly tortured and obliged to confess "fraud".
These reprisals are the counterpart to two written works by Eusebius,
his polemic against the books on Apollonius and his "Demonstrations of the Gospel,"
which disproved Apollo's oracles by quoting them against themselves.
p.673: "Constantine, said Eusebius, sent his emmisaries into
[Editor: Constantine puts a big scare into the opposition religions.]
"every pagan temple's recess and every gloomy cave." [FN:28] - Eus., V.C. 3.57.4
"Intolerance had never been rooted in the long history of pagan and religious thought.
After Constantine, many pagans could still extend to the new worship
a tolerance which its exclusivity refused to extend to them."
"Eusebius tells how his [Constantine's] agents broke up divine statues
and exhibited their stuffing as mere rubbish." [FN:30] - Eus., V.C. 3.54.6
p.674: The age of Constantine has been aptly described as "age of hiatus":
we can carry this notion to our major theme, the "presence of the gods".
p.679: "In the early fourth century, two aging Christian authors
had shown possible ways of "defusing" the words of the pagan gods.
Eusebius had dismissed them as demonic and used them to refute their authors,
whereas Lactantius had quoted them with Christian improvements
and claimed them as proofs of the Christian faith ... In the first
flush of the "new empire", it must have been on the christians' initiative
that torture was applied to Apollo's prophet at Didyma and to others at Antioch,
"people taken from the magistrates of the city".
They were not humble, ignorant people, Eusebius asserted proudly:
they were people of "wonderful and noble philosophy",
at Antioch civic notables, at Didyma a "prophet and philosopher",
last of the long line of cultured voices who had kept philosophy
running in oracles, the voices of Polites, Theophilus, Macer and
the rest. [FN:48] - Eus. P. Ev. 4.135C-136A.
Philosophic oracles had begun when Apollo's wisdom
advanced with the culture of the prophets.
They ended when christians tortured the prophets.
who had recently helped to torture them too. [ED: DISPUTED]
[Editor: We dispute the hypothesis of pre-nicene christians.
If we were to know a tree by its fruit,
Christianity is not known for its toleration and peace.
Our thesis is that christianity did not exist before the rise of Constantine.
That the christian pre-nicene history is a fabrication and a pseudo-history.
That the christian persecutions and martydoms were part of the fictions.
Christianity began aggressively with Constantine's appearance.
And then within the fourth century, became itself supreme.]
In Part 1 of this review we have listed and examined the evidentiary citations
which are variously put forward to substantiate the truth of the
claim (and hypothesis) that there were christians before the rise
of Constantine. Part 2 of this review, containing notes and interesting citations well
researched by the author (RLF) contains more manifest evidence that Constantine
was the brigand and fraud that Aurelius Sextus Victor claimed.
Julian's Invectives require re-examination
At the moment my conclusion is best articulated by Julian:
I am convinced that the fabrication of the Galilaeans
I am often asked the question, why didn't Julian name these
wicked men, Constantine and Eusebius, in his writings. This
is a very good question to which I will later attempt an answer,
but for which the answer may forever remain
unknown. Julian's three books, presumably entitled Against
the Galilaeans did not survive the censorship of later christians.
However, after many hundreds of years, a fragmentary copy of the
three Books of Julian may one day re-appear - perhaps in the Arabic,
perhaps in the Greek. But what will they report?
is a fiction of men composed by wickednes."
Before the three books were destroyed, a number of very concerned
christians, including the Bishop Cyril of Alexandria, attempted
a refutation of it. I have not yet determined what other authors
disclose, however Cyril admits the following:
- the treatise was causing many people to turn away from christianity
- the treatise was regarded as particularly dangerous
- the treatise had shaken many believers.
- the treatise contained invectives against Christ
- the treatise contained matter that contaminated the minds of Christians
On the basis of this, my betting is that Julian berated Constantine
and Eusebius for the fraud, and fabrication, and forgery, and
interpolation and perversion of literature and history. The political
censorship of Cyril just as likely omitted these specific and
critical details. In other writings, Julian makes explicit references
to Constantine and to the christian religion and Jesus, for example:
Authors of Antiquity |