The Tree of History (III). Christianity
The Christianity arises due to a confluence of diverse factors that precipitate in a lapse of very few years, those that go from the 303 CE until the 325 EC. And we can not say that there is a cause, but many.
At the beginning of the fourth century of the Common Era, the Roman Empire has just emerged from a crisis that almost destroyed it. And it does so thanks to the talent and reforms of the Emperor Diocletian. These reforms fundamentally changed the structure of the imperial government and helped to stabilize it economically and militarily, allowing the Empire to last more than a hundred years, when it had been on the verge of collapsing a few years before. Diocletian realized two things, the first was too empire to be governed by a single person and the second was much better to choose and go preparing the future emperors and were relieved.
Diocletian breaks with the nefarious habit of changing government killing the emperor and putting anyone in front, which was what led the crisis to the empire in the third century.
Diocletian divides the administration of the Roman Empire into two halves, the western half and the eastern half, each of which is governed by an august (Diocletian in the east and Maximian in the west). These, in turn, had the support of a Caesar, or junior emperor , with the idea of inheriting power at the death of his august. To this end, in the year 286 Diocletian promoted his military colleague, Maximianus, to the rank of co-emperor of the western provinces, while he reserved the government of the eastern part of the empire, beginning the process that would eventually end the division of the Roman Empire in two halves, the Roman Empire of the West and that of the East.
We should note that Diocletian rules in Nicomedia, present-day Izmit, Anatolia city 60 kilometers from Istanbul in a deep bay of the Sea of Marmara. Nicomedia was the metropolis of the province of Bithynia under the Roman Empire, and Diocletian makes it the main city of the Eastern Roman Empire, adorning it with spectacular buildings. Constantine the Great established his residence there. It was the legal center and the place where the provincial council met to celebrate the ceremonies of the imperial cult. Later, during the fourth century, Nicomedia was a key site of Arianism.
It is important to note that we are within the area of influence of the Greek language.
On the other hand, the religious panorama in the Empire was a reflection of the multiculturalism that represented having on its borders the fourth part of Humanity of that time. The official religion of the Empire coexisted in common spaces, even sharing places of honor, with an enormous variety of religions, being the oriental ones the most popular. Among them there are four remarkable and were the Phrygian cult to Cybele, the Persian to Mitra, the Egyptian and Osiris-Isis ( Ast ) and Horus and the Jew to Yahweh.
The Jewish religion lived a phase of great expansion and popularity throughout the Mediterranean, thanks to the Golden Age that marked the third century in Judea.That expansion had its origin in an active proselytism. This religion also had two distinctive characteristics, the first was that they worshiped a unique God, Yahweh, to whom Josiah made a single god a millennium before, an abstract god in the Persian way, for the economic and political advantages that he supposed. The second was the difficulty in becoming Jewish due to the various taboos they maintained such as the prohibition of eating pork or circumcision, among others.This generated around this religion the existence of a large group of supporters, the God fearing , who had not taken the step to have to accept the above and also renounce idolatry.
Judaism was widespread in North Africa and Hispania, from where the Sephardim emerged who, until the appearance of the Khazars, were the largest ethnic group of those who integrated the Jewish religion.
The center of the cult of Isis ( Ast in Egyptian) was in Phile, where the goddess found the heart of her husband and a temple dedicated to her was built during the XXX Dynasty. The cult of Isis spread from Alexandria throughout the Hellenistic world after the fourth century BC. It appeared in Greece in combination with the cults of Horus, his son, and Serapis, the Greek name of Osiris. The Greek historian Herodotus identified Isis with Demeter, the Greek goddess of the earth, agriculture and fertility. The tripartite cult of Isis, Horus and Serapis was introduced after 86 BC, in Rome during the consulate of Lucius Cornelius Sulla and became one of the most popular cults of the Roman religion. He came to acquire a bad reputation due to the libertine character of some of his priestly rites, in such a way that some later consuls made efforts to suppress or limit the cult of Isis. The cult disappeared in Rome after the establishment of Christianity and the remaining Egyptian temples to Isis were closed in the middle of the sixth century AD
The cult of Isis had a considerable influence on that of the Virgin Mary. Isis was also the model for all the queens of Egypt, who were known as «daughter of God», «great wife of the king» and «the mother of God». Coptic Christian images inherited this conception of the goddess (Isis), giving rise to later representations of Maria Lactans . Scholars have made comparisons with the cult of Isis at the end of Roman times and the cult of the Virgin Mary. After the Christian religion gained popularity and began to disperse in Europe and then in Rome, Christians converted the sanctuary of Isis in Egypt into a Church in honor of Mary, as well as in deliberate ways took images of the pagan world and used these images . This was the result of the exposure of primitive Christianity to Egyptian art. Numerous Egyptologists agree that the image of Horus child and Isis has influenced the Christian iconography of the Virgin and Child. The first Christians sometimes paid homage, to the statues of Isis suckling the child Horus, seeing in it an ancient and noble rite about as through the woman (that is, the feminine principle), all things were created, that finally She became the Mother of God.
If the birth of Jesus is related by its details to that of Horus, his adult life, death and resurrection seem to be drawn from the adventures of Osiris.
More parallels: Plutarch (125 – 50 BCE) already tells how the god Osiris was killed on a Friday and resurrected on the third day. The texts of the pyramids also corroborate it. Both Osiris and Jesus were betrayed by very close people and were both women, Isis and Mary Magdalene, the first to certify their return to life.
The name » chrestos » (kind or kind) was applied to both and both shared the symbol of the cross. And the similarities between the cult of Serapis and Christianity, including the repentance of sins, confession, the rite of immersion in water, the sacred family composed of Isis, Osiris and Horus, or the celebration of the birth of Horus at the end of December. These «coincidences» were already «discovered» in 1600 by the Dominican Giordano Bruno who was burned in Rome for defending, among other things, that the true origin of the cross was pharaonic.
Mithraism was one of the greatest religions of the Roman Empire which was derived from the ancient Persian god of light and wisdom. The cult of Mithra was quite important in ancient Rome, especially among the military. Mitra was the god of war, battle, justice, faith and contract. According to Mithraism, Mithras was called the son of god, who was born of a virgin, had disciples, was crucified and rose from the dead on the third day, atoned for the sins of humanity and returned to heaven. And not only that: women were excluded from the mysteries of Mitra. As for the boys, it seems that a minimum age was not required to be admitted, and several children were even initiated. The language used in the rituals was Greek, with some formulas in Persian (surely incomprehensible for the majority of the faithful), although progressively was introduced the Latin.
It seems that the main rite of the Mithraic religion was a ritual banquet, which could have certain similarities (in its external appearance) with the Eucharist of Christianity. The food offered at the banquet was bread, libations with wine and perhaps meat from slaughtered animals. At some point in the evolution of Mithraism, the rite of taurobolium or baptism of the faithful was also used with the blood of a bull, also practiced by other Eastern religions.
On December 25 (coinciding approximately with the winter solstice) the birth of Mitra was commemorated.
The one that tries to transmit the knowledge through the «religious experience» is qualified like mystery religion or religion of mystery . It then presents certain mysteries that are not proposed explicitly, since the doctrinal details have to be known through the initiatory ritual experience and not through words or reason.The reasons for choosing this path can be several, from the defense of the community itself to reprisals from major collectives, protection of personal interests, the experience of belonging to an exclusive society, or simply the impossibility of rationally explaining those data related to religion. .
Therefore, more than a religion is a way of living a religion, there are many who can fit into this type throughout the history of religions. The secrecy and exclusivity of some of these mystery religions entails a series of initiatory rites, and often a period of preparation and testing, before accepting a new adept in the community.These ceremonies were called mysteries.
In Greece, the mystery religions of the Near East began to have many followers, such as the Phrygian gods (Cybele, Attis, Sabacio, Mitra) or the Egyptians (Anubis).However, the cult of these deities does not show mysterious characteristics in their places of origin, but seems to acquire these characteristics upon arrival in Greece.Some authors believe that the success and expansion of the mystery religions were due to the fact that classical Greco-Roman mythology did not involve the individual in their beliefs, while the mystery religions welcomed the believer, providing protection and promise of happiness.
The mystery religions extend from Greece towards the totality of the Roman Empire, in spite of the efforts of several emperors to avoid it, between which Augusto emphasized. Soon after, with Tiberius, the protagonism of the mystery religions was an inevitable reality.
During the Roman imperial period there was a phenomenon of religious syncretism between the Latin cults and those of divinities from Africa and the East.In Rome, for example, the Eleusinian mysteries, whose origin dates back to Ancient Greece, were introduced under the name of mysteries of Ceres or the good goddess, taking other names according to the places where they were celebrated.Likewise, the cults of Hermes Trismegistus and Asclepius prospered, with Egyptian antecedents, although Hellenized.
The term «mystery» derives from the Latin mysterium , from the Greek musterion(usually, as the plural musteria μυστήρια ), and in this context means «secret, rite or doctrine». A person who followed such a «mystery» was a mystes , «one that has been initiated» (from myein , close), a reference to the secret (the closing of «the eyes and the mouth»), since only the initiate was allowed to observe and participate in the rituals. Mysteries are often substitutes for civil religion, and that is why we speak of mystery cults instead of religions. Mysteries are the set of tests and rites that the aspirant must fulfill to be accepted as a member of the law of religion. The mysteries are forms of primitive pedagogy that start from the premise that true knowledge or understanding is the result of the assimilation of information through the totality of the human being. In this mystical representation, the initiate receives simultaneous information of intellectual, emotional and physical type, being the active character of said drama. Thus, the initiate becomes the god (or son of a god) or hero.
Lucio Cecilio Firmiano Lactancio, the father of Christianity and author of the idea is a North African of Berber origin of Latin speech. He was a student of Arnobio, who taught in the Roman colony of Sicca Veneria, today El Kef in Tunisia, an important city of Numidia, where an important Jewish community had been established there for a long time. The important annual pilgrimage, which brought together Tunisian Jews and Jewish clans from eastern Algeria, illustrated the veneration that their synagogue called Al Ghriba, «the lonely one», was subjected to.We know that Lactantius developed a vicious hatred towards the Jews and that he knew perfectly his beliefs and rites.
Lactancio began with a successful public career. At the request of the Roman emperor Diocletian, he became an official professor of rhetoric in Nicomedia; his journey from Africa is described in his poem Hodoeporicum (now lost). There, he was associated in the imperial circle with the administrator and polemicist Sossianus Hierocles and the philosopher Porfirio; and there he met Constantino and Galerio.
Lactantius was a difficult and very fanatical person. As soon as he had occasion he tried to malign Diocletian against the Jews. By rejecting him and falling into disgrace, Constantine recovers that he saw in him the opportunity to organize an imperial religion that was at his service, and takes him to the Gauls where he lived while scheming to seize the Empire in any way possible.
The emperor Constantine appointed the elder Lactantius tutor for his son Crispus who was named Caesar (junior co-emperor) and condemned to death by order of his father Constantine.
Eusebio of Caesarea
Called the Father of ecclesiastical history, among other things because it was invented, Eusebius of Caesarea, was born in Palestine, about 265 and died there about 339), was historian and favorite of the Emperor Constantine, whom he met in Palestine in the year 296, when he was accompanying Diocletian on a visit to the province. I was not a leader
born, nor a deep thinker, but fell into the grace of the emperor. At the Council of Nicea he took a moderate position in the controversy with Arius, and presented the baptismal symbol of Caesarea which eventually became the basis of the Nicene Creed. At the end of the Council, Eusebio signed his decrees.
Eusebio intervened in the struggles between Orthodox and Arians. Carried by his conciliatory spirit, he faced Atanasio several times. He set the foundations of chronology up to 323 in his chronicle and wrote a history of Christianity up to that date. He is also the author of two apologetic works: Evangelical Preparation and Evangelical Demonstration .
Adversary of lactation «orthodoxy» (the second Council of Nicea excluded him) and considered almost as the prototype of the courtier bishop, Eusebius of Caesarea was much appreciated and imitated by his historical work and his extensive and multiform literary activity.
Subject of discussions concerning the authenticity of the documents contained in the work, is his Life of Constantine, text to some extent completed by the two booklets that make up the Praise of Constantine , surely the eulogy of the thirtieth anniversary, and a speech by Constantine himself to an assembly of bishops called Oratio ad Sanctorum coetus .
Eusebio tried to give verisimilitude to the character he created together with Lactantius, to fit it into the story and be credible.
The reason for Christianity as a religion built by Constantine is thus the result of various factors. First, the important expansion of Judaism throughout the Empire but leaving the reach of the new religion to a huge number of supporters, the God-fearing , reluctant to deny the pork, idolatry and undergo circumcision .Constantine facilitated the conversion of that group by adding the prohibition under penalty of death of the Jewish proselytism that had given him such success.
To this we must add the possible determination of a divine revelation before the battle, along with the attractive commitment to a divinity that represents very well the interests of unity that Constantine wants to promote by establishing himself as absolute power, and the work that a structured Church and with some hierarchical organization can play in favor of his power.
We could add several other factors: as the possible docility that a religion created to its measure that is obviously subject to the power of the Empire; the idea of a universal and non-national Church like Judaism; social work and care and concern for the other that the Christian faith pursues and that does not prevent having a socially and economically privileged position.
This he did by supplanting the role of food distribution for times of famine of the tribunes to the bishops, so Christianity appeared as the benefactor of the poor, while ending up persecuting any other creed.
It was for this reason that the expansion of Christianity was very rapid through the cities of the Empire, which depended on the stores of imperial provisions and not so much in the countryside, in payments, where they were self-sufficient. Hence, the term » pagan » to designate non-Christians.
Whatever it was, the maneuver of Constantine and his Christianity was definitive for the future of history, although his religiosity we believe that we must understand it differently to the idea of conversion that we have today, his bet gave unpredictable results in the powerful alliance of a monotheistic religion that satisfied the saving needs of the ordinary man and the soldier, and that was supported by a strong power that could help maintain the cohesion and unity of the creed and the rite.
Lactantius was the father of the idea.
The idea was to build the figure of a fantastic hero, with all the characteristics that were attributed to the most popular gods of the time, elevating him not only as the true Messiah of the Jews, but even as the son of the same Yahweh and rising even more the bet, being the character God himself. In this way, it emptied the Jewish religion of content, emptied it of content and took advantage to blame the Jews themselves for the misadventures of their hero.
This man in the year 303 went to speak with the emperor Diocletian to tell him that the «Unique God» was outraged with Rome because it allowed to worship many gods and that, which was a sign of indispensable tolerance for a power that conquered all peoples that they were put ahead, according to Lactantius was something that tremendously angered the One God and was going to command the End of the World . Diocletian did not pay attention to such an absurdity, but Constantine did listen to him or it suited him for what he wanted. The fact is that he protected it and took it with him when he returned with his father Constancio Chloro, Caesar from the West, to Gaul.
Lactantius told Constantine that you had to create a writing team because you had to build a story and he was not a historian, he was a professor of rhetoric, and Constantine thought of Eusebius of Caesarea who was his historian and friend and called him to Gaul and between the two, Lactantius and Eusebius of Caesarea, created the entire New Testament.
Lactantius had his ideas and he alone wrote Paul’s epistles before the arrival of Eusebius. In it he gave for his version of what Jesus Christ was, a half mythical, half foggy being. Evidently, when he wrote Paul’s epistles to the year 305 he could not put anything of the story of Jesus Christ of the Gospels because they were simply not written and he did not know how to do it.
The Christ of Paul is the Christ of Lactantius. In the year 307 with Constantine and owner of the fourth part of the Roman Empire calls Eusebio to the Gauls where Lactantius is and begins to write the Gospels. Lactantius, not being a historian, does not dare with this subject, so let Eusebio write first. Eusebio writes the Gospel of Mark what is the simplest and does it his way following the instructions of Lactantius, with many special effects, putting many miracles, founding a church and apostles and all those things and dying on the cross, because according to Lactantius , the character had to die on the cross because being the son of God, the One God would feel thus reconciled with Humanity.
Next, Lactantius writes the Gospels of Luke and Matthew looking at Mark’s, adding more things that had occurred to him. Finally, already with the three gospels written, Eusebius wrote the Gospel of John completely different from the other three that were too similar, that is why they are called synoptics. In this way, with the four Gospels and the letters of Paul already written, the two are put together with the rest of the New Testament, at 50% each.
Between the year 303 that Lactantius began to write to satisfy Constantine until the year 323, a little before the Council of Nicaea, there are 20 years and at that time two professionals like them, grammarians, enlightened writers, wrote not only the 27 books of the New Testament, but many more things. If they are going to post the birth of the son of God, that fictitious one they have invented, placing it in the time of Tiberius, three hundred years before to avoid any kind of tracking, things had to happen from that point until the date they wrote it.
When a church and a religion have been founded, logically the followers of that religion must have written things, they must have left written marks of their beliefs. So they also need to invent a series of writings of these alleged Christian writers of the first century, the second century and the third century. And not only that, but also writings of other authors who attacked them, who reviled and criticized them.
So they created all the authors who are now called apostolic fathers because they were supposed to be in the time of the Apostles and fathers Greek apologists who are alleged to have been later, from the second century and a series of false authors were invented for example Arnobio de Sica, Minucio Felix, Tertullian, Irenaeus of Lyon and a long etcetera to fill the gap of those 300 years almost that would have elapsed since the events reported.
All these characters speak only of Jesus Christ, obviously, they will not talk about anything else since they were created to give base and sustenance to the falsification.
But they also use four real authors: Flavius Josephus, Suetonius, Tacitus and Pliny the Younger. For this, they took their letters and added paragraphs that speak of Jesus Christ, in the form of interpolation. The two interpolations made by Eusebio, which he did when he resisted the ones he was doing, although he could not say it clearly since Lactantius was his boss, he put the signature of » simon » (false, mockery) also in the passages he interpolated of Flavio Josefo and Plinio.
In the eyes of Eusebio, Lactantius was exceeding himself, and the form he had of silent protest was to place the signature of falsehood in everything he wrote.
This ideological war is the first thing that stands out from the writings of the New Testament. This war was the one that later gave rise to the schism of Arius and centuries later, to the genesis of Islam.
Lactantius was the chief and the man of the idea and defended the magical vision of Jesus Christ, son of God, even God himself, while Eusebius was the opposite.You could not make God a hero if there was a One God, which was «solved» by creating a third God, the Holy Spirit to unify the One God with Jesus Christ. For Eusebio this was an outrage, too incredible to be history, but being the subordinate was dedicated to boycott everything that was possible.
Before an illiterate, ignorant and poor Roman town, the emperor Constantine favored with all his authority the establishment of Christianity. When there were famines in the cities, which were frequent, wheat and food were distributed to the needy. Constantine snatches the keys of the imperial stores from the tribunes and hands them to the bishops. In this way, if they wanted to eat, they had to be baptized. The Church continues to maintain these bad tricks because of the enormous success that they have always given her.
That did not happen in the countryside, because not being dependent on imperial charity they had no obligation to convert. The term «pagans» is still conserved, as those non-converts derived from the word «payment» from Latin, pagus , or peripheral territory to a locality.
But then came the Emperor Theodosius and forced by decree that everyone became Christian, because he who was not could not make a testament so his property, instead of his children, became the emperor. With these coercions in the end, everyone became a Christian, the only feasible solution.
There was, therefore, an invasion of political power over the world consciences.That caused Europe to be delayed 17 centuries.
There is nothing based on any reality in any real character. They placed a person 300 years earlier so that they could not be traced and even less with the information tools of the time and make a person credible. Eusebio tried to mount a character that was credible and gave him the format of a master of the knowledge of the Greeks. But there is only a very small part of his contribution, because he had to listen to Lactantius who was the team leader and had to put the magical Jesus Christ, that son of God that Lactantius wanted. Thus in the Gospels of Mark and John they are built with an original gospel made by Eusebius, but submitted to a battery of interpolations with the ideas of Lactantius. It is normal that Eusebio did not feel comfortable with the situation.
Before the printing the writings were transmitted by manual copy and precisely that is why the way of writing with structure was used . The author was forced to write with certain lengths of the text so that the reader knew at all times that he was indeed reading the work without alterations, and not a bad copy. Lactantius used complex structures typical of a rhetorician like him. For his part, Eusebio placed acrostics in everything he wrote to prove it was false and not only placed acronyms of » simon » in the New Testament, but he placed them in his main work The Ecclesiastical History what is false history to the root of what the previous 300 years would have been. And then there are the two stages of relationship with opposing ideas. Writing lies has the problem that they end up being discovered for those who know how to look.
The structures are similar to a sonnet written with very strict rules: two quartets and two tercets that rhyme in a certain way. Absolutely all the ancient writers wrote with structure. Structures are subject to number orders. If one created a very complicated structure, it was very constrained at the time of writing or, on the contrary, if the structures were simpler they were freer and therefore they were not limited to writing.
Lactantius, who was an egomaniac, wrote with a very strict structure, very rigorous, very complicated and very difficult. He made the mistake of writing all his books, both these and the rest of his work, with exactly the same type of structure. He liked to show off, he was a great rhetorician and he mastered the techniques of the structures to perfection and he knew how to apply them to writings. Therefore, the Gospel of Luke, the Gospel of Matthew, the letters of Peter, the letters of Paul and the letter of Judas, all are written with the same type of structure that denotes that everything is the work of the same person. The same one that wrote the works of Lactantius. There is not much calculation to understand that we refer to him.
They did not take long to realize this error, so they tried to change the structures.That is why over time they began to produce an enormous amount of variants of the New Testament, starting chapters, for example. But Lactantius was much more baroque and applied other types of structures in texts such as, for example, using adverbs of time at the beginning of certain chapters, so that the original text can be reconstructed. On the other hand, Eusebio introduced in his writings the acrostic » simon «, so it is perfectly followed.
The structures were built by chapters. Each chapter had its own structure and in the case of being written by Eusebio de Cesarea he had his signature, his acrostic.Well, they have changed the length of the chapters, they have joined two chapters in one, they have split an original chapter in half, starting half a chapter with a chapter so that the topic of structures can not be followed and disguised. But the bad thing is that the ancient writers wrote making each chapter start with a certain one with a certain similarity. For example, in the current Gospel of John that has been altered, merging chapters you can see that from the second chapter onwards to the fourth and fifth begin with an adverb of time: «and the next day» and «the next day» and «one day later Jesus and his disciples left …». These are ways to indicate the beginning of the chapter, something from what goes unnoticed to the person who does not know about these issues.
Lactantius was a very special person, very difficult and very fanatical. This is seen in his writings, specifically in Divine Institutions . He had an impressive mania to Jews and Greeks. To the Greeks because they had the knowledge of the Greek masters, what we now call philosophy but that was the Knowledge. He also knew that this knowledge was the greatest potential enemy of Christianity and as he wanted to implant his religion, what he did was to attack the knowledge of the Greeks and they were forbidden. The schools were closed, all the books were burned and nothing was left, so that everything he taught that is worthy of the human being and accurate, all that has been buried and hidden. And that is the worst sin of Christianity that has delayed Europe 1700 years. Possibly, Christianity is the most harmful hoax in the history of mankind. A lie that has provoked wars, deaths, persecutions, hatred and delay.
Appendix. Historic environment
Cayo Aurelio Valerio Diocleciano Augusto; born on December 24, 244 and died on December 3, 311), 4 born with the name of Diocles, was emperor of Rome from November 20, 284 to May 1, 305. Born in an Illyrian family of low social status, was climbing positions in the military hierarchy to become the commander of the cavalry of Emperor Carus. After the death of Caro and his son Numeriano in campaign in Persia, Diocleciano was acclaimed emperor by the army. He managed to gain access to the throne after a brief confrontation with Carino, the other son of the Emperor Caro, in the battle of the Margus, and his coming to power ended the crisis of the third century.
Diocletian appointed Maximian co-emperor, granting him the title of Augustus of the West in 285. On March 1, 293 he named Galerius and Constantius as Caesars, a title similar to that of prince or heir of the august. This new regime, known as the tetrarchy, or «government of four,» implied that the government of the empire was divided geographically among the four rulers. This detail will be fundamental in the genesis of the new religion.
Diocletian’s reforms fundamentally changed the structure of the imperial government and helped to stabilize it economically and militarily, allowing the Empire to last more than a hundred years, when it had been on the verge of collapsing a few years before.