Roman Troubles

So I tend to browse the internet on the Ipad Pro on waking, listening to classical music and go through the various blogs to catch up the latest political situations; one must read is Martin Armstrong’s blog.  I find an interesting post, skim it and either continue to the next or mark it for reading when I get to the workstation in the study.  This morning I somehow managed to retrieve posts of August 13th, one of which is titled “Islam v Christianity Part II”; Which raised my eyebrows a little as it was unexpected and I am not that ham-fingered that I swiped the wrong links.

So accepting that it wasn’t a random event I read it and discovered that

When Rome began to fall during the 3rd century, became known as the Great Persecution since it was the last and most severe persecution of Christians even to take place during the Roman Empire. The year was 303AD, when the Emperors Diocletian, Maximian, Galerius, and Constantius issued a series of edicts rescinding the legal rights of Christians. They demanded that they comply with traditional Roman religious practices because the prevailing view was the gods were punishing Rome because the Christians would not acknowledge them. They also then went after the clergy ordering all inhabitants of Rome must sacrifice to the Roman gods. This persecution lasted for 8.6 years until it peaked and began to decline. Maximian issued coins depicting himself as Hercules savior of the world.

Ignoring the 8.6 business cycle reference, this passage can be interpreted two ways – literally or allegorically.

Those of us who have been inculcated in the standard geological model based on Sir Charles Lyell’s worldview, that of a devout Methodist, would interpret Armstrong’s account as allegorical rather than literal. On the other hand the account could also be interpreted literally and that the Roman Gods were physical things causing climate mayhem in the Roman sky in order to punish the Romans; the Velikovskian view.

303 AD falls smack into the academic abyss identified by Tim Cullen and physically Libby’s cedar tree ring chronology shows significant peturbations in atmospheric isotope levels at that time.

This allows us to deduce that the Roman gods were physical phenomena affecting the climate and most likely meteoric debris etc associated with larger celestial objects such as Mars or Venus, or both.

So why were the Christians  being persecuted?

The Romans were Pagans as were others around the ancient world, including the Indian Hindu faith, and the meso-americans who also worshipped celestial prodigies and practised human sacrifice, right up to the arrival of the Spaniards. The Jewish innovation of monotheism was opposed to sacrifice, especially human and at the same time created the abstract authority of G-d as a replacement for the physical ones, the planetary gods.

The Christian innovation was to return to paganism but elevate human sacrifice as an abstraction, rather than a physical activity, probably earning the hatred of the Judaians, but at the same time placating the pagan Romans; the best of both worlds, at the time.

Abstract sacrifice is also an improvement over direct physical sacrifice because any failure could be countered with rhetorical counter arguments and other mind altering ploys.

It’s important that both modern Christianity and Islam appeared as functioning institutional systems from the academic abyss described in detail by Tim Cullen.

And given the confusion of those times, precise chronological timing would be difficult, especially if the planets (including the Earth) were jostling for the present-day positions around the sun.

More on this as time progresses and new data arrive.

Update: (I suspect Christianity was adopted as the principal state religion by Constantine as it was obvious pagan human sacrifice was not placating the celestial gods so rhetorically the Christians had a more “cunning-plan” founded in rhetoric rather than fact but made use of the ploy for political survival in the obviously traumatised populations of the Roman Empire. That Constantine was in the East and most destruction was in the West probably convinced him that he was saved by the Christian G-d with the more sinful inhabitants of the Western Empire seated in Rome more severely punished).

About Louis Hissink

Retired diamond exploration geologist. I spent my professional life looking for mineral deposits, found some, and also located a number of kimberlites in NSW and Western Australia. Exploration geology is the closest one can get to practicing the scientific method, mineral exploration always being concerned with finding anomalous geophysical or geochemical data, framing a model and explanation for the anomaly and then testing it with drilling or excavation. All scientific theories are ultimately false since they invariably involved explaining something with incomplete extant knowledge. Since no one is omniscient or knows everything, so too scientific theories which are solely limited to existing knowledge. Because the future always yields new data, scientific theories must change to be compatible with the new data. Thus a true scientist is never in love with any particular theory, always knowing that when the facts change, so too must he/she change their minds.
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