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Introduction and Key

BOOKS:  BIBLICAL STUDIES (1500BC-AD70) / EARLY CHRISTIAN PRETERISM (AD50-1000) / FREE ONLINE BOOKS (AD1000-2008)

Church-State Relations and the Book of Revelation
By Todd Dennis, Curator (Futurist: 1979-1996; Full Preterist: 1996-2006; Idealist: 2006-Forevermore)



Revelation 13:8 666/616

Number of the Beast
Found at Oxyrhynchus!
P.Oxy. LVI 4499

a-chil1.gif (4873 bytes)

Papyrus Reveals New Clues to Ancient World - National Geographic News

"The latest volume includes details of fragments showing third- and fourth-century versions of the Book of Revelations. Intriguingly, the number assigned to "the Beast" of Revelations isn't the usual 666, but 616. "

Number of the Beast | P.Oxy. LVI 4499 "Dr. Aitken said, however, that scholars now believe the number in question has very little to do the devil. It was actually a complicated numerical riddle in Greek, meant to represent someone's name, she said. "It's a number puzzle -- the majority opinion seems to be that it refers to [the Roman emperor] Nero."

666 and Nero - "The preterist takes a relatively uncommon form of Nero's name, Nero Cćsar or Cćsar Nero, and adds an "n", resulting in Neron Cćsar. Next the Latin is transliterated into Aramaic, resulting in nrwn qsr, which when using the numeric equivalent of the letters, then adds up to 666 as follows:

Nun 50 
Resh =200 
Waw =
Nun 50 
 
Qoph 100 
Samech 60 
Resh 200 

An example of this spelling has apparently been recently discovered in one of the Dead Sea scrolls. (If you use the same process, but without the added "n" the result is 616. Interestingly, some early manuscripts of the Bible have 616 rather than 666, but even scholars such as Irenćus attribute the 616 to only a copyist error.)

666, 616 and NERO
"The textual variant is Latin, and the Latinized version of Nero’s name is different than the Hebrew, which goes to 666, but the Latinized name goes to 616. The variant probably existed to keep consistent the meaning of Nero as the Beast. "

 

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"Nero (54-58 CE): Ne/rwn o( ku/rioj (PLond 1215; POxy 246; GOA 1038) = "Nero the lord"; Ne/rwn Kai=sar o( ku/rioj (OPetr 288; POxy 246) = "Nero Caesar the lord"; Ne/rwn Klau/dioj Kai=sar... o( swth\r kai\ eu)erge/thj th=j oi(koume/nhj (OGIS 668) = "Nero Claudius Caesar… the savior and benefactor of the inhabited world";

(POxy 1021) = "The good god of the inhabited world, the beginning of all good things"; to\n uio\n tou= megi/stou qew=n (IM 157b) = "the son of the greatest of the gods"; o( tou= panto\j ko/smou ku/rioj Ne/rwn (SIG 814) = "Nero Lord of the whole world."
(source)

 

 

Roman Legion-Hare (1955)

Centurion Sam and Nero, the Grouch

JIMMY GREEN, HIS TIME MACHINE & NERO
Nero
1968, Yorkshire Television Marionettes

Emperor Nero
Man of Sin? | Roman Empire | "Domitius"

Born: 37 Died: 68 CE | Heritage: Roman | Faith: Pagan | Father: Ahenobarbus | Mother: Agrippina the younger | Spouse: 1. Octavia,  2. Poppaea,   3. Messalina | Children: By Poppaea: Name unknown, died as baby.

Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus , also called (AD 50–54) Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus, original name Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus 

REIGN OVER ROMAN EMPIRE
October 16, 54 - June 9, 68

FINAL EMPEROR OF ROME
(Last Caesar - After, "Caesar" means heir to throne)


Peter Ustinov as Nero

Nero suffers DAMNATIO MEMORIAE and rescission of all his acta (Judicial decisions are all wiped from the books, the abolition of taxes for Greece is invalid, Sept. isn't Neronia any more)

"There will come to pass in the last time about the waning of the moon, a war which  will throw the world into confusions and be deceptive in guile.   A man who is a matricide will come from the ends of the earth in flight and devising penetrating schemes in his mind.  He will destroy every land and conquer all." (Sibylline Oracles, 5, 361-366)

  • Quo Vadis (1951) - Theatrical Trailer // Nero dubbed "The Beast" ; "The Antichrist" From the Sienkiewicz novel: "The words of the Apostle inspired the Christians with fresh hope. The end of the world seemed to them always at hand. Yet they now began to realize that the terrible final judgment had been postponed, and that the first thing that would happen would be the end of Nero, whose reign they considered as that of Antichrist, and whose crimes cried to God for vengeance."

  • Tertullian/666/Beast: Ad Nationes and Nero - I,7,8 (197) "This name of ours took its rise in the reign of Augustus; under Tiberius it was taught with all clearness and publicity; under Nero it was ruthlessly condemned, and you may weigh its worth and character even from the person of its persecutor. If that prince was a pious man, then the Christians are impious; if he was just, if he was pure, then the Christians are unjust and impure; if he was not a public enemy, we are enemies of our country: what sort of men we are, our persecutor himself shows, since he of course punished what produced hostility to himself. Now, although every other institution which existed under Nero has been destroyed, yet this of ours has firmly remained----righteous, it would seem, as being unlike the author (of its persecution).   (Principe Augusto nomen hoc ortum est, Tiberio disciplina eius inluxit, Nerone damnatio inualuit, ut iam hinc de persona persecutoris ponderetis : si pius ille princeps, impii Christiani; si iustus, ¦si castus, iniusti et incesti Christiani; si non hostis publicus, nos publici hostes : quales simus, damnator ipse demonstrauit, utique aemula sibi puniens.)  Ad Nationes and Nero - I,7,8

    • "Melito connected the rise of Christianity with the development of the Roman Empire, and asserted that only the bad emperors Nero and Domitian had persecuted Christians.3 Tertullian borrowed the idea and coined the phrase 'institutum Neronianum' to stigmatize persecution."

    • "Persecution of the Christians goes back to the time of Nero who was notorious for his character defects. And to this day, 200 years after its origin, Christianity is still subject to persecution. Let us consider the reliability of these two Christian enemies -- Nero and rumor. Tongue in cheek, Tertullian raises the question of whether Nero was just and pure. The response of Nero’s contemporaries and historians ever after has been a resounding "no."

  • The Roman Empire - B.C. 29 to A.D. 476 (1908 PDF)

  • Bernard Henderson - The Life and Principate of Emperor Nero (1903 PDF) "That thereby the Jewish nation as a nation perished from the face of the earth; that the destruction of Jerusalem emancipated the Christian Church from the danger of Jewish restrictions, and from that very narrow spirit of Jewish exclusiveness which had itself in no small measure contributed to the overthrow of the city ; that a legacy of scorn and hate was left behind to every age and people; all such and other considerations belong rather to his province, who would narrate the events of the Principate of Vespasian, Nero's general and conqueror of Judaea. We have transgressed across our proper boundaries, albeit of some necessity, and must return to trace, as our concluding task, the course of those events whereof the tidings, in the summer of A.D. 68, stayed Vespasian's vengeance upon Jerusalem." .. "The verses (of Revelation) 17. 10, can be differently explained. Almost certainly Caesar is not the first, but Augustus, so we have "five fallen," "one is," "one is not yet come and is to continue a short space," and " the beast that was and is not, even he is the eighth and is of the seven " (certainly = Nero, cf. 13. 3 ; 17. 8). The list then is, on the two rival theories, (a) Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero = the five. Galba = he who is; Galba's successor (naturally unknown ex hyp.) = the one to come, but he can only last a short time because the end is fast approaching, and besides the pseudo-Nero is already active. Nero again = the eighth. (b) Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero = the five. Vespasian = he who is. His successor is undefined because " the writer did not like to say the reigning Emperor would be overthrown." Nero again = the eighth. For the Domitian theory I fail to see any possibility of a satisfactory list at all."

    "It is a dangerous office to give good advice to intemperate princes" - Seneca, Nero's Tutor
    (Morals, p. 232)

Severus on Nero | Russell on Nero on the Antichrist | Number of the Beast | Narrative Concerning John the Apostle | Man of Sin | The Mark of the Beast | Gwinn - Nero (1603) | St. John Lateran and Nero - Rome, Italy | Antichrist was Nero to Early Church | The Antichrist | Fiddling was his talent | Die Christenkatastrophe unter Nero (1907 - German)

July, 64 A.D. - The Great Fire of Rome - PBS "Though the infamous emperor Nero ruled Rome for less than two decades, his reign witnessed tremendous changes to the empire's capital city. Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus -- more often known as Nero -- was a great-grandson of Caesar Augustus."

“It is unbiblical to use the term ‘Antichrist’ for a present-day or future political ruler. The proper context is theological and pre-A. D. 70” (Gary DeMar, Last Days Madness, p.204).

4/5/4: Quo Vadis, Sir Peter! The Hindu - "That bloke had real power," Ustinov recollected as he sat down for a chat. "It was a good role, I could pop into my mouth as many grapes I wanted but had to leave charming Deborah Kerr alone because she had been claimed by one of Nero's warriors played by Robert Taylor."  When asked what type of advice he'd received from director Mervyn Le Roy to play Nero, he lowered his voice, winked, leaned closer and whispered, "Le Roy told me that Nero was the kind of guy who played with himself every night."

Son of Agrippina and Ahenobarbus; Parents banished, consigned to care of Aunt Domitia; Survives plot by Empress Messalina ; M. assassinated; Mother marries Emperor her uncle, whose daughter is betrothed to Nero; Mother poisons Emperor; Nero placed upon throne; N. poisons bro-in-law, rightful heir to throne (usurper);  contracts a mesalliance with Poppaea Sabina (Jewish convert), who prompts him to murder mother.  N. kicks her to death; suspected of the burning of Rome; Charges Christians; Opens first Roman persecution of Christians; saluted as "the saviour of the world"; Romans revolt; N. flees city; Commits suicide

Who has not marveled at the might of kings
When voyaging down the river of dead years?
What deeds of death to still an hour of fears,
What waste of wealth to gild a moth's frail wings!
A Caesar to the breeze his banner flings,
An Alexander with his bloody spears,
A Herod heedless of his people's tears!
And Rome in ruin while Nero laughs and sings:
Ye actors of a drama, cruel and cold,
Your names are by-words in Love's temple now,
Your pomp and glory but a winding-sheet;
Then Christ came scorning regal power and gold
To wear warm blood-drops on a willing brow,
And we, in love, forever kiss His feet.
         ... John Richard Moreland

Babylonian Talmud
""When Nero came to the Holy Land, he tried his fortune by belemnomancy thus:—He shot an arrow eastward, and it fell upon Jerusalem; he discharged his shafts towards the four points of the compass, and every time they fell upon Jerusalem. After this he met a Jewish boy, and said unto him, "Repeat to me the text thou hast learned to-day." The boy repeated, "I will lay my vengeance upon Edom (i.e., Rome) by the hand of my people Israel" (Ezek. xxv. 14). Then said Nero, "The Holy One—blessed be He!—has determined to destroy His Temple and then avenge Himself on the agent by whom its ruin is wrought." Thereupon Nero fled and became a Jewish proselyte, and Rabbi Meir is of his race. (Gittin, fol. 56, col. 1.)(source)

Jewish Sibylline Oracles (Written "Sometime after A.D.70")
"Then Beliar will come from the Sebastinoi [i.e., the line of Augustus] and he will raise up the height of mountains, he will raise up the sea, the great fiery sun and shining moon, and he will raise up the dead. . . . But he will, indeed, also lead men astray, and he will lead astray many ftithful, chosen Hebrews, and also other lawless men who have not yet listened to the word of God. (Sibylline Oracles 3:63-70; OTP 1:363.)

"One who has fifty as an initial will be commander, a terrible snake, breathing out grievous war, who one day will lay hands on his own family and slay them, and throw every-thing into confusion, athlete, charioteer, murderer, one who dares ten thousand things. He will also cut the mountain between two seas and defile it with gore. But even when he disappears he will be destructive. Then he will return declaring himself equal to God. But he will prove that he is not. Three princes after him will perish at each other’s hands." (.5:28-35; OTP 1:393.)

"a savage-minded man, much-bloodied, raving nonsense, with a full host numerous as sand, to bring destruction on you." (5:96; OTP 1:395.)

"a terrible and shameless prince whom all mortals and noble men despise. For he destroyed many men and laid hands on the womb. (5:143- 145; OTP 1:396.)

"There will come to pass in the last time about the waning of the moon a war which will throw the world into confusion and be deceptive in guile. A man who is a matricide will come from the ends of the earth in flight and devising penetrating schemes in his mind. He will destroy every land and conquer all and consider all things more wisely than all men. He will immediately seize the one because of whom he himself perished. He will destroy many men and great rulers, and he will set fire to all men as no one else ever did. Through zeal he will raise up those who were crouched in fear. There will come upon men a great war from the West. Blood will flow up to the band of deep-eddying rivers. Wrath will drip in the plains of Macedonia, an alliance to the people horn the West, but destruction for the king." (Oracles 5:361-374; OTP 1:401-402.)

"making himself equal to God." (12:79, 81, 86; OTP 14-47.)

Mosheim
"Foremost in the rank of those emperors, on whom the church looks back with horror as her persecutors, stands Nero, a prince whose conduct towards the Christians admits of no palliation, but was to the last degree unprincipled and inhuman. The dreadful persecution which took place by order of this tyrant, commenced at Rome about the middle of November, in the year of our Lord 64. . . . This dreadful persecution ceased but with the death of Nero. The empire, it is well known, was not delivered from the tyranny of this monster until the year 68, when he put an end to his own life." (Historical Commentaries, I:138,139).

Ascension of Isaiah (mid-second century)
"Beliar (Nero). . . shall descend . . . in the form of a man, a lawless king, a slayer of his mother, who . . . will persecute the plant which the Twelve Apostles of the Beloved have planted. . . . He will act and speak in the name of the Beloved and say ‘I am God and before me there has been none else.’ And all the people in the world will believe in him, and will sacrifice to him. " (Ascension of Isaiah, 41 Ill)

Augustine (4th Century)
"What means the declaration, that the mystery of iniquity already works?... Some suppose this to be spoken of the Roman emperor, and therefore Paul did not speak in plain words, because he would not incur the charge of calumny for having spoken evil of the Roman emperor: although he always expected that what he had said would be understood as applying to Nero." (quoted by
Stuart
in Apocalypse)

Clement of Alexandria (2nd Century)
"We have still to add to our chronology the following, -- I mean the days which Daniel indicates from the desolation of Jerusalem, the seven years and seven months of the reign of Vespasian. For the two years are added to the seventeen months and eighteen days of Otho, and Galba, and Vitellius; and the result is three years and six months, which is "the half of the week," as Daniel the prophet said. For he said that there were two thousand three hundred days from the time that the abomination of Nero stood in the holy city, till its destruction. For thus the declaration, which is subjoined, shows: "How long shall be the vision, the sacrifice taken away, the abomination of desolation, which is given, and the power and the holy place shall be trodden under foot? And he said to him, Till the evening and morning, two thousand three hundred days, and the holy place shall be taken away."

"These two thousand three hundred days, then, make six years four months, during the half of which Nero held sway, and it was half a week; and for a half, Vespasian with Otho, Galba, and Vitellius reigned. And on this account Daniel says, "Blessed is he that cometh to the thousand three hundred and thirty-five days." For up to these days was war, and after them it ceased. And this number is demonstrated from a subsequent chapter, which is as follows: "And from the time of the change of continuation, and of the giving of the abomination of desolation, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and thirty-five days." " (The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. 2, p. 334)

St. Jerome
"As for the Antichrist, there is no question but what he is going to fight against the holy covenant, and that when he first makes war against the king of Egypt, he shall straightway be frightened off by the assistance of the Romans. But these events were typically prefigured under Antiochus Epiphanes, so that this abominable king who persecuted God's people foreshadows the Antichrist, who is to persecute the people of Christ. And so there are many of our viewpoint who think that Domitius Nero was the Antichrist because of his outstanding savagery and depravity." (St. Jerome - Commentary on Daniel; notes on Daniel 11:27-30, -- BAKER BOOK HOUSE Grand Rapids 6, Michigan 1958)

 Sulpicius Severus (403)
"As to Nero, I shall not say that he was the worst of kings, but that he was worthily held the basest of all men, and even of wild beasts. It was he who first began a persecution; and I am not sure but he will be the last also to carry it on, if, indeed, we admit, as many are inclined to believe, that he will yet appear immediately before the coming of Antichrist. Our subject would induce me to set forth his vices at some length, if it were not inconsistent with the purpose of this work to enter upon so vast a topic. I content myself with the remark, that he showed himself in every way most abominable and cruel, and at length even went so far as to be the murderer of his own mother. After this, he also married a certain Pythagoras in the style of solemn alliances, the bridal veil being put upon the emperor, while the usual dowry, and the marriage couch, and wedding torches, and, in short, all the other observances were forthcoming--things which even in the ease of women, are not looked upon without some feeling of modesty. But as to his other actions, I doubt whether the description of them would excite greater shame or sorrow. He first attempted to abolish the name of Christian, in accordance with the fact that vices are always inimical to virtues, and that all good men are ever regarded by the wicked as casting reproach upon them. For, at that time, our divine religion had obtained a wide prevalence in the city. Peter was there executing the office of bishop, and Paul, too, after he had been brought to Rome, on appealing to Caesar from the unjust judgment of the governor. Multitudes then came together to hear Paul, and these, influenced by the truth which they were given to know, and by the miracles(1) of the apostles, which they then so frequently performed, turned to the worship of God. For then took place the well-known and celebrated encounter of Peter and Paul with Simon.(2) He, after he had flown up into the air by his magical arts, and supported by two demons (with the view of proving that he was a god), the demons being put to flight by the prayers of the apostles, fell to the earth in the sight of all the people, and was dashed to pieces. " (Section XXVIII)


G.R. Beasley-Murray
(On Nero Myth) "One point must be clarified concerning John's use of the so-called Nero myth. There is no question that John looked for Nero literally to return from the dead to fulfill the role of the antichrist. He utilized the current expectation to portray the works of the antichrist as those of another Nero, and that for a good reason: Nero was the first Roman emperor to persecute the Christian church, and he did so with such bestial cruelty as to provide a pattern for the beast of Satan to follow in his war with the Lamb (Rev 11:7-10; 13:7; 17:12-14). By his presentation of antichrist as another Nero, John has made it clear that the cult of the emperor is a projection of what will take place when the seeds of its beginning reach their full harvest." (Beasley-Murray, GR.  "Revelation, Book of")

Joel P. Green
"How would John's first readers have understood these images?  Already in New Testament times, the emperor of Rome was increasingly seen not only as an agent of the gods, but as a god himself.  For many, the emperor was the deity who guaranteed sustenance and fulfillment in life.  Thus he was to be worshiped as a god.  This state of affairs consituted no small problem for Christians, who gave their highest allegiance to their Lord and who looked to him, not to the Roman emperor, for daily provision.  As this imperial religion developed furthe, the state would harass Christians more and more, pressing them to renounce Christ in favbor of emperor worship.  In such a context, the beast from the sea would have symbolized the deified emperor.  His counterpart from the earth would have represented those persons - priests, philosophers, and the like - who promoted the imperial religion." (How to Read Prophecy, 76-77)

"this is a political antichrist, the Roman emperor demanding divine adoration.  In claiming for himself the title Lord the emperor became for Christians a rival Christ, an antichrist." (How to Read Prophecy, 108)

Dr. James Kennedy, Jerry Newcomb
"He had received the finest of pagan philosophical educations, and yet he degenerated into one of the worst conceivable men.  He visited brothels, frequently in disguise.  He practised, as one historian says, "lewdness on boys... striking, wounding, mudering."  He took a mistress.  He wanted to have an affair with her and his wife objected.  What do you do in a case like that?  Well, it should be obvious to any and all: you simply kill your wife! -  Which is what he did.  But his mother objected.  So he killed his mother.  But he wasn't completely without feeling.  In fact, when he looked down on her corpse at her funeral he said, "I did not know I had so beautiful a mother." 

And so he married his mistress.  Then one day she made the sad mistake of nagging him because he came home late from the races.  She was in the latter stages of pregnancy.  Nero kicked her in the stomach, killing both her and the child.  Keep in mind, this was the ruler of the world at that time!" (What if Jesus Had Never Been Born?, 160)

Pate, Haynes
“Nero’s infamous character merits the title of “beast applied to him by the seer of the Apocalypse (v.1).  Revelation 13:1-6 gives the generic background of the beast, which is the roman empire of the first century,  The seven heads correspond to the seven hills of Rome, while the ten horns allude to the Caesars of the first century, however one may number them (v.1).  The blasphemous worship demanded by the beast distinctly reminds one of the imperial cult of the first century, and the war the beast wages on the saints cannot help but recall the intense persecutions Nero, and later Domitian, inflicted on Christians because they did not worship Caesar.  Nero’s persecution of Christians from November AD 64 to June AD 68 could account, in part, for the forty-two months (or 3 ˝ years) of oppression mentioned in Rev. 13:5.  The reference in Revelation 13:11-15 to the beast of the land securing worship for the beast from the sea (Rome was across the sea from the place of the writing of the Apocalypse, Asia Minor) reminds one of the local priests of the imperial cult in Asia Minor whose task was to compel the people to offer a sacrifice to Caesar and proclaim him Lord.  Megalomaniac that he was, Nero had coins minted in which he was called “almighty God” and “Savior.”  Nero’s portrait also appears on coins as the god Apollo playing a lyre.  While earlier emperors were proclaimed deities upon their deaths, Nero abandons all reserve and demanded divine honors while still alive (as did also Caligula before him, AD 37-41).  Those who worshipped the emperor received a certificate or mark of approval – charagma, the same word used in Revelation 13:16.  Furthermore, in the reign of Emperor Decius (AD 249-251), those who did not possess the certificate of sacrifice to Caesar couldn not pursue trades, a prohibition that conceivably goes back to Nero, reminding one of Revelation 13:17”  (C Martin Pate and Calvin B. Haynes, Doomsday Delusions, 41-42)

Merrill C. Tenney (1965)
"Having exhausted the imperial treasury by his heedless expenditures, he looked for some method of replenishing it. Heavy taxation of the estates of childless couples, false accusations followed by confiscation of wealth, and outright murder of the aristocracy or else invitation to suicide made life unbearable. Wealthy men lived in dread of the emperor’s displeasure, and so great was the terror that the senatorial class endured unimaginable insults and mistreatment as the price of staying alive. Men betrayed their best ftiends, perjured themselves, and stooped to any infamy to aver the emperor’s hatred or cupidity." (New Testament Times (Chicago: Moody, 1965, p. 289).

 

Conybeare and Howson (1835)
‘Over this distinguished bench of judges presided the representative of the most powerful monarchy which has ever existed,---the absolute ruler of the whole civilised world. But the reverential awe which his position naturally suggested was changed into contempt and loathing by the character of the sovereign who now presided over that supreme tribunal. For Nero was a man whom even the awful attribute of "power equal to the gods" could not render august, except in title. The fear and horror excited by his omnipotence and his cruelty, were blended with contempt for his ignoble lust of praise and his shameless licentiousness. He had not as yet plunged into that extravagance of tyranny which, at a later period, exhausted the patience of his subjects and brought him to destruction. Hitherto his public measures had been guided by sage advisers, and his cruelty had injured his own family rather than the State. But already, at the age of twenty-five, he had murdered his innocent wife and his adopted brother, and had dyed his hands in the blood of his mother. Yet even these enormities seem to have disgusted the Romans less than the prostitution of the Imperial purple by publicly performing as a musician on the stage and a charioteer in the circus. His degrading want of dignity and insatiable appetite for vulgar applause drew tears from the councillors and servants of his house, who could see him slaughter his nearest relatives without remonstrance.’ (Quote in
The Parousia
)

Hank Hanegraaff (2004)
"John is saying to his readers that with wisdom and understanding they could discern the number of the Beast and the number of his name.  If, in fact, the Beast was not around at that time, he would be have been giving them false information.. The beast is singularly Nero." (Voice of Reason 11/21)

"No one can be worse than Nero.  It's not only because he violated every one of the Ten Commandments.   He personified evil about as well as anyone can personify evil, and it absolutely  befuddles me when I hear people like Tim LaHaye refer to him as if he were some sort of eccentric character that lived in the past.    Nothing could be farther from the truth..   the reason that its the mother of all tribulations is because the persecution took place against the very foundation of the Christian Church.  Paul, and Peter, for example, die at the hands of Nero." (BAM 11/22/4)

Philip Schaff (1877)
"the Neronian persecution [was] the most cruel that ever occurred" (History of the Christian Church, 8 vols. [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, (1910) 1950] 1 :386).

"Nero's mother, Agrippina the younger, daughter of Germanicus and of Agrippina the elder, was assassinated at Nero's command in 60 a.d. in her villa on Lake Lucrine, after an unsuccessful attempt to drown her in a boat so constructed as to break to pieces while she was sailing in it on the lake. His younger brother Britannicus was poisoned by his order at a banquet in 55 a.d. His first wife Octavia was divorced in order that he might marry Poppaea, the wife of his friend Otho, and was afterward put to death. Poppaea herself died from the effects of a kick given her by Nero while she was with child."  (footnote to Eusebius, #291)

"We learn from Tacitus, Ann. XV. 39, that Nero was suspected to be the author of the great Roman conflagration, which took place in 64 a.d. (Pliny, H. N. XVII. I, Suetonius, 38, and Dion Cassius LXII. 18, state directly that he was the author of it), and that to avert this suspicion from himself he accused the Christians of the deed, and the terrible Neronian persecution which Tacitus describes so fully was the result. Gibbon, and in recent times especially Schiller (Geschichte der Römischen Kaiserzeit unter der Regierung des Nero, p. 584 sqq.), have maintained that Tacitus was mistaken in calling this a persecution of Christians, which was rather a persecution of the Jews as a whole. But we have no reason for impeaching Tacitus' accuracy in this case, especially since we remember that the Jews enjoyed favor with Nero through his wife Poppaea. What is very significant, Josephus is entirely silent in regard to a persecution of his countrymen under Nero. We may assume as probable (with Ewald and Renan) that it was through the suggestion of the Jews that Nero's attention was drawn to the Christians, and he was led to throw the guilt upon them, as a people whose habits would best give countenance to such a suspicion, and most easily excite the rage of the populace against them. This was not a persecution of the Christians in the strict sense, that is, it was not aimed against their religion as such; and yet it assumed such proportions and was attended with such horrors that it always lived in the memory of the Church as the first and one of the most awful of a long line of persecutions instituted against them by imperial Rome, and it revealed to them the essential conflict which existed between Rome as it then was and Christianity."  (footnote to Eusebius, #307)

 

F.W. Farrar (1882)
"all the earliest Christian writers on the Apocalypse, from Irenaeus down to Victorious of Pettau and Commodian in the fourth, and Andreas in the fifth, and St. Beatus in the eighth century, connect Nero, or some Roman emperor, with the Apocalyptic Beast ." (p.541)

"the clue is preserved for us, not only by Jewish Talmudists, and Pagan historians and authors, such as Tacitus, Suetonius, Dion Cassius, and Dion Chrysostom; but also by Christian fathers like St. Irenaeus, Lactantius, St. Victorinus, Sulpicius Severus, and the Sibylline books, and even by St. Jerome, and by St. Augustine. Nothing can prove more decisively than these references that for four centuries many Christians identified Nero with the Beast."

"It is probable that this silence is in itself the result of the terrible scenes in which the apostles perished. It was indispensable to the safety of the whole community that the books of the Christians, when given up by the unhappy weakness of 'traditores,' or discovered by the keen malignity of informers, should contain no compromising matter. But how would it have been possible for St. Luke to write in a manner otherwise than compromising, if he had detailed the horrors of the Neronian persecution?  It is a reasonable conjecture that the sudden close of the Acts of the Apostles may have been due to the impossibility of speaking without indignation and abhorrence of the Emperor and the Government, which, between A.D. 64 and 68, sanctioned the infliction upon innocent men and women, of atrocities which excited the pity of the very Pagans. The Jew and the Christians who entered on such themes, could only do so under the disguise of a cryptograph, hiding his meaning from all but the initiated few, in such prophetic symbols as those of the Apocalypse. In that book alone we are enabled to hear the cry of horror which Nero's brutal cruelties wrung from Christian hearts." ("The Early Days of Christianity," vol. 2. pp. 82, 83)

"Beyond all shadow of doubt or uncertainty, the Wild Beast from the sea is meant as a symbol of the emperor Nero. Here, at any rate, St. John has neglected no single means by which he could make his meaning clear without deadly peril to himself and the Christian Church. He describes this Wild Beast by no less than sixteen distinctive marks, and then all but tells us in so many words the name of the person whom it is intended to symbolize."   (Early Days of' Christianity, 5.28.5)

Ernest Renan (1873)
"THE period covered by the present volume is, after the three or four years of the public life of Jesus, the most extraordinary in the entire development of Christianity. Here, by a singular touch of the great unconscious Artist who appears to rule in the seeming caprice of historic evolution, we shall see Jesus and Nero - Christ and Antichrist - set, as it were, in contrast, face to face, like heaven and hell. The Christian consciousness is now full-grown. Hitherto it has known little else than the law of love: Jewish intolerance, though harsh, could not fret away the bond of grateful attachment cherished in the heart of the infant Church for her mother the Synagogue, from whom she is still hardly sundered. Now at length the Christian has before him an object of hate and terror. Over against the memory of Jesus rises a monstrous form, the ideal of evil, as He had been the ideal of holiness. Held in reserve, -like
Enoch
or Elias, to play his part in the last great tragedy of the world, Nero completes the cycle of Christian mythology: he inspires the first sacred book of the new canon; by a frightful massacre he lays the corner-stone of Romish primacy, and opens the way to that revolution which is to make of Rome a second Jerusalem, a holy city. At the same time, by a mysterious coincidence not infrequent in great crises of human destiny, Jerusalem is overthrown; the Temple disappears; Christianity, disburdened of a restraint already painful and advancing to a broadening freedom, follows out its own destinies apart from conquered Judaism. " (Antichrist, Intro.)

Reviewer of Renan's "St. Paul" in the pages of "The Edinburgh Review," April, 1870

"This volume ["The Life of St. Paul"] takes us through the whole period of, what we may call, the ministry of the great apostle, embracing those all-important fifteen or sixteen years (A.D. 45-61), during which his three missionary journeys were undertaken, and the infant Church, with four bold strides, advanced from Jerusalem to Antioch, from Antioch to Ephesus, from Ephesus to Corinth, and from Corinth to Rome. Once arrived there, once securely planted in that central and commanding position, strange to say, the Church, with all its dramatis personae, suddenly vanishes from our view.  The densest clouds of obscurity immediately gather round its history, which our eager curiosity in vain attempts to penetrate. It is gone, amid a wreath of smoke, as completely as when a train plunges into a tunnel. In the words of M. Renan - 'The arrival of St. Paul at Rome, owing to the decision taken by the author of the "Acts" to close his narrative at that point, marks for the history of the origin of Christianity the commencement of a profound night, illuminated only by the lurid fire of Nero's horrible festivities, and by the lightning flash of the Apocalypse.' The causes of this sudden and confounding disappearance have not, to this day, been thoroughly investigated. . . . The history of St. Paul's life, and the history of the Apostolic age, together abruptly end. Black darkness falls upon the scene, and a grim and brooding silence - like the silence of impending storm - holds in hushed expectation of the 'day of the Lord' the awe-struck, breathless Church. No more books are written, no more messengers are sent, the very voice of tradition is still.  One voice alone, from amid the silence and the dread, breaks upon the straining ear; it is the Apocalyptic vengeance-cry from Patmos, 'Babylon the Great is fallen, is fallen!  Rejoice over her, thou heaven! and ye holy apostles and prophets! for God hath avenged you on her:  she shall be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.' " (Rev.18:20) (quoted in The Parousia, afterword.)

James Stuart Russell
"It is with great satisfaction that he finds himself in substantial agreement with the distinguished ecclesiastical historian and theologian, Dr. Dollinger, of Munich, in his interpretation of St. Paul's prediction in 2 Thessalonians. (1) Dr. Dollinger distinctly identifies the "Man of Sin" with Nero, a conclusion now so generally accepted by the highest authorities, that it may be regarded as a settled point. (2) He clearly distinguishes between the "Man of Sin" and "the Apostasy," so frequently confounded by the mass of interpreters.  Dollinger shows that the former is a person, the latter a heresy. (3) He recognizes "the Beast" of the Apocalypse as the Emperor, and therefore identical with the "Man of Sin." (4) The miracles wrought by the "Second Beast" (the Beast from the earth) he regards as a representation derived from our Lord's prophecy on the Mount of Olives." (The Parousia, afterword.)

Moses Stuart (1836)
"The idea that Nero was the man of sin mentioned by Paul, and the Antichrist spoken of so often in the epistles of St. John, prevailed extensively and for a long time in the early church.."

"Augustine says: What means the declaration, that the mystery of iniquity already works?... Some suppose this to be spoken of the Roman emperor, and therefore Paul did not speak in plain words, because he would not incur the charge of calumny for having spoken evil of the Roman emperor: although he always expected that what he had said would be understood as applying to Nero." (Excurs. iii.)

Israel P. Warren
"The man of sin,' ' that wicked.' In attempting to show whom Paul meant by these appellations I would speak with becoming diffidence where the ablest commentators of every age have been so much puzzled. Apart from that fact, however, I confess it does not seem to be such an unresolvable mystery, Three things, I think, ought to concur in the solution : 1, the man of sin must be a person ; 2, he must be one in such position, and holding such relation to the Thessalonians as to be an object of apprehension to them personally . . . ; 3, he must be, nevertheless, one whom, for some reason, it would be unsafe to name more definitely. . . . Taking these, then, as our clew, we are conducted at once to the emperor Nero as the monster in whom all the probabilities of the case meet." (Parousia, pp. 69, 70)
 

HISTORIANS

Apollonius of Tyana (Philosopher, b. 4 B.C.)
"commonly called a Tyrant": "In my travels, which have been wider than ever man yet accomplished, I have seen many, many wild beasts of Arabia and India; but this beast, that is commonly called a Tyrant, I know not how many heads it has, nor if it be crooked of claw, and armed with horrible fangs. . . . And of wild beasts you cannot say that they were ever known to eat their own mothers, but Nero has gorged himself on this diet." (Philostratus, Life of Apollonius 38. Cited in John A. T Robinson, Redating the New Testamsnt (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1976), p. 235, from J. S. Phillimore (Oxford, 1912) 2:38.)

Orosius, Paulus (early fifth century)
"he (Nero, by context) was the first at Rome to torture and inflict the penalty of death upon Christians, and he ordered them throughout all the provinces to be afllicted with like persecution; and in his attempt to wipe out the very name, he killed the most blessed apostles of Christ, Peter and Paul." (The Seven Books of History Against the Pagans 7:7.)

Pliny the Elder (contemporary of Nero; died in the eruption of Vesuvius in A.D. 79)
"Marcus Agrippa is said to have been born in this manner [i.e., breech position], almost the solitary instance of a successful career among all those so born – although he too is deemed to have paid the penalty which his irregular birth foretold, by a youth made unhappy by lameness, a lifetime passed amidst watiare and ever exposed to the approach of death, by the misfortune caused to the world by his whole progeny but especially due to his two daughters who became the mothers of the emperors Gaius Caligula and Domitius Nero, the two firebrands of mankind. . . . Nero also, who was emperor shortly before and whose entire rule showed him the enemy of mankind." (Pliny, Natural History 7:45.)

Suetonius
“Although at first his acts of wantonness, lust, extravagance, avarice and cruelty were gradual and secret, and might be condoned as follies of youth, yet even then their nature was such that no one doubted that they were defects of character and not due to his time of life. No sooner was twilight over than he would catch up a cap or a wig and go to the taverns or range about the streets playing pranks, which however were very far from harmless; for he used to beat men as they came home from dinner, stabbing any who resisted him and throwing them into the sewers…Little by little, however, as his vice grew stronger, he dropped jesting and secrecy and with no attempt at disguise openly broke out into worse crime…Besides abusing freeborn boys and seducing married women, he debauched the vestal virgin Rubria. The freedwoman Acte he all but made his lawful wife, after bribing some ex-consuls to perjure themselves by swearing that she was of royal birth. He castrated the boy Sporus and actually tried to make a woman of him; and he married him with all the usual ceremonies, including a dowry and a bridal veil, took him to his house attended by a great throng, and treated him as his wife. And the witty jest that some made is still current, that it would have been well for the world if Nero’s father Domitius had had that kind of wife. This Sporus, decked out with the finery of the empresses and riding in a litter, he took with him to the assizes and marts of Greece, and later at Rome through the Street of Images, fondly kissing him from time to time. That he even desired a sexual relationship with his own mother, and was kept from it by her enemies, who feared that such a relationship might give the reckless and insolent woman too great influence, was notorious, especially after he added to his concubines a courtesan who was said to look very like Agrippina. Even before that, so they say, whenever he rode in a litter with his mother, he had incestuous relations with her, which were betrayed by the stains on his clothing….He so prostituted his own chastity that after defiling almost every part of his body, he at last devised a kind of game, in which, covered with the skin of some wild animal, he was let loose from a cage and attacked the private parts of men and women, who were bound to stakes, and when he had sated his mad lust, was finished off by his freedman Doryphorus; for he was even married to this man in the same way that he himself had taken Sporus, going so far as to imitate the cries and lamentations of a maiden being deflowered.”

Tacitus
"inflicted unheard-of punishments on those who . . . were vulgarly called Christians" (Tacitus, Annals 15:44). Suetonius praises Nero for the persecution of Christians, but mentions no Domitianic persecution (Nero 16).

OTHER SOURCES

Thomas Beer (1926)
"
Nero has always been popular among clergymen, to whom he represents the pure depravity; he did everything that he wished in the most expensive fashion. He began to be denounced in America along with the slaveholders. Bad historical painters of the nineteenth century enhanced him. Piloty showed him swaggering over ruins; Sigalon made him rather thin, scowling at a poisoned slave, a likeness of Mr. Calvin Coolidge; Siemeradski made him a point in a tumble of naked folk watching some Christians burn on flowery stakes. All these eulogies may be seen in a costly edition of Suetonius, issued by Gebbie of Philadelphia in 1889. The book sold amazingly; it is hardly expurgated. In 1890 came another edition of Suetonius, without a publisher's name, at one dollar, unexpurgated and illustrated by some Frenchman who admired Félicien Rops but who could not draw. Also in 1890 there is historical record of a parody on "Nearer, My God, to Thee," which begins: "Nero, my dog, has fleas." Novels representing Nero disagreeably were current, such as Dean Farrar's scholarly "Darkness and Dawn," probably the worst of his books. The emperor figured disgracefully in sermons; no pastor ever seems to have thought of saying: "This silly child." As only one-twentieth of the sermons annually delivered in the United States are printed, it may be assumed that some preacher once put in a word for the scared clown running in black streets while the soldiers yelled up a new emperor, whose servants begged his body from his enemies and spent two hundred thousand sesterces to burn it decently in the gold and white, not purple, robes he wore just last year at the feast of January. They were simple people, slaves and freedmen, and not literary. His old nurses and his first mistress carried the ashes to his family's tomb. If it hadn't been for all those trashy poets, they said, and his mother spoiling him so, why, he might have had a good, long reign and behaved himself. It is probable that they cried a good deal. But perfection of form is virtue, and the pastors carried out the instructions of Plotinus in the case of Nero. In 1892 a Reverend Earl J. Stimson circulated in the Middle West, lecturing, with magic lantern, on Nero "the Anti-christ." A leaflet announcing his performance insists that "He will conclusively prove to you that Nero sank below the most degraded inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrha. See Genesis XIX, 5." Dr. Stimson also had for sale copies of a work on harlotry. "The Maiden Tribute to Babylon," by William Stead. "The Sign of the Cross" followed. So there must have been an understanding nudge from elbow to elbow in December of 1896 when the president of Princeton told the undergraduates that Oscar Wilde was the vilest sinner since Nero. "  (The mauve decade)


Burning passions : Nero

 A vicious tyrant, incestuous, decadent, capable of the foulest crimes yet racked with guilt … No wonder Emperor Nero has inspired so many first-rate operas.

Tim Ashley
Saturday January 20, 2007
The Guardian

On June 11 AD68, Emperor Nero died at a villa owned by one of his freedmen on the outskirts of Rome. History records it as being a messy, ignoble end. Deserted by his political supporters, Nero fled the capital accompanied only by four retainers. Among them was Sporus, one of his lovers, who bore a resemblance to Nero’s second wife, Poppaea Sabina, whom he had kicked to death in a fit of temper when she dared to reprimand him on his late return from a chariot race. Nero had had Sporus castrated; he dressed him as empress and took him in his litter on imperial tours. When his companions suggested suicide as the only alternative to public humiliation, Nero - dithering, terrified and repeatedly muttering the words “What an artist dies in me!” - instructed Sporus to begin an appropriate lamentation. Nero’s secretary, Epaphroditus, eventually helped the emperor to drive a dagger into his own throat. His eyes, Suetonius tells us, “stared widely to the horror and dread of those looking on”.

The historians of antiquity present Nero’s death as a morally apt conclusion to a life synonymous with tyranny, libertinage and excess. Abusive power is suddenly replaced by powerlessness. The murderer becomes a coward, who has to be helped to die. Sporus’s presence is a tacit reminder of Nero’s violent, publicly flaunted bisexuality, while his remark about his death as an artist functions as a scornful comment on an emperor who preferred the delights of music, theatre and the circus to the rigours of effective rule.
Approaching Nero as a historical figure is difficult, however. The principal chronicles of his life and reign, by Suetonius, Tacitus and Cassius Dio, were all written long after the events they describe and are shot through with a combination of moral outrage, literary artifice and covert political agendas. Nero’s death brought to an end the Julio-Claudian dynasty that had ruled Rome since Augustus, and its replacement required justification. All three historians present Nero as an irrational monster, whose actions suggest a pathological inability to distinguish illusion from reality and to separate the private from the public. Accounts of his theatrical performances as Oedipus and Orestes read like garish reactions to the murder, in AD59, of his mother, the power-hungry Agrippina, with whom he is also supposed to have had an incestuous relationship. The notorious image of Nero “fiddling as Rome burned” derives from Suetonius’s statement that he sang his own poems about the fall of Troy during the fire that nearly destroyed the city in AD64, which he started for the purpose of having real-life illustrations for his narrative. Illusion, reality and symbolism blur together in the telling, however, because Rome itself, founded by the descendents of Aeneas, was the new Troy, and had to be seen as emerging morally intact from its second conflagration, this time envisioned as the work of its ultimate enemy within.

Whether Nero was guilty of all his reported crimes remains disputed. There seems little doubt that he was responsible for many of the murders committed in his name, including those of Agrippina and Poppaea, although many historians now consider his active involvement in the burning of Rome and his incestuous relationship with Agrippina to be propagandistic fictions. However, modern scholarship has emphasised that the ancient historians were dealing with a figure that had already passed from history into legend when they began their chronicles.

Nero was popular with many Romans, who enjoyed the gory spectacles he staged in his arenas. In Greece, where he permitted autonomous government and cut taxes, many believed reports of his death to be lies and that he would eventually return. For decades, there were Elvis-like sightings at the fringes of the empire. Another of his supposed lovers, Poppaea’s second husband, Otho, was able to exploit the idea of Nero’s potential reappearance to justify, in part, his own brief assumption of power in AD69. Christianity gave this legend of his return its most bizarre twist. Nero remains unforgiven by posterity, above all, for being the first of many Roman emperors to persecute the early church, and for centuries many believed he was the antichrist, identifying him with the apocalyptic beast in the Book of Revelation.

Nero was a myth, in other words, even before history attempted to make sense of him. And, like any myth, he continues to stalk the western imagination as each age effectively reinvents him in its own image.

Given that music and theatre are integral to Neronian iconography, it comes as no surprise that opera composers were drawn to him almost as soon as the form emerged in the early 17th century. He inspired more than 15 operas, of which three are masterpieces - Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppaea (1642), Handel’s Agrippina (1709) and Arrigo Boito’s comparatively unfamiliar Nerone, premiered in 1924, six years after its composer’s death. Each adapts history and myth to serve its own ends. All three deal with the relationship between sex and power, and grapple with the complex, irrational nature of Nero’s psychology.

The Coronation of Poppaea is essentially an examination of the pervasive nature of desire, perceived both as a motivating force within the human psyche and as a metaphysical entity that guides a cosmos in which conventional morality has become redundant. Monteverdi opens with a prologue in which Cupid announces his victory over the outmoded concepts of Fate and Fortune, embodied in the opera by the figures of Seneca, the Stoic philosopher- playwright who was Nero’s tutor, and Octavia, his first wife, historically also his stepsister. Nero’s desire for Poppaea, and her determination to achieve political ascendancy by exploiting him, are conveyed in music of such tangible eroticism that it obliterates everything in its path, though Seneca’s calmly dignified utterances and Octavia’s implacable imprecations resonate in the listener’s memory long after both characters have been silenced. The final duet - not by Monteverdi, but a late addition to the score - is at once the ultimate consummation of the lovers’ desires, both political and personal, and one of the greatest celebrations of sex in all music.

Some have found the opera’s amorality offensive. Others have argued that Monteverdi’s portrait of Nero presents him as less of a tyrant than his mythology allows, an argument that in some respects is specious. The historical Seneca took his own life after being implicated in a conspiracy against Nero in AD65: Monteverdi’s Nero impulsively orders him to commit suicide in response to Poppaea’s complaints that the philosopher exercises too strong an influence on him. The propensity for sudden, arbitrary cruelty, which one day will erupt against Poppaea herself, is very much part of his nature throughout. His sexuality is also portrayed as ambivalent. The troilistic nature of his relationship with Poppaea and Otho is played down, it is true, but after Seneca’s death we find Nero not, as we might expect, with Poppaea, but with one of his cronies, the poet Lucan, the future author of Pharsalia. They sing an extravagantly erotic hymn to Poppaea, each arousing the other by playing on his fantasies of the same woman’s beauty. Like the final duet, it is one of the most unforgettable scenes in opera.

Agrippina, which enters English National Opera’s repertory next month, forms in some respects a prequel to The Coronation of Poppaea. Handel’s Nero is not yet emperor, and the opera, an acerbic satire on sleaze and spin, deals with his mother’s attempts to secure his succession to the doltish Claudius, Nero’s stepfather and Agrippina’s second husband. Handel presents us with a world in which everyone lies to further their own ends, and in which sexual and political intrigues are inseparably intertwined. The imperial candidates - Nero and, unhistorically, Otho - are vying for Poppaea’s bed as well as Claudius’s throne, and matters are further complicated by the fact that the doddering emperor also wants Poppaea for himself. The resulting conflicts are only temporarily resolved at the end. Claudius appoints Nero as his successor, but commands that Otho should marry Poppaea. Juno, the proprietorial goddess of marriage, hastily descends to earth to bless a union that we know is already doomed.

Nero’s symbiotic relationship with his mother, who is determined to keep him under her thumb in order to rule through him, is the fulcrum around which the opera swings. There is no overt mention of incest, though Handel tellingly presents Nero as a man in whom the maternal and the erotic are dangerously confused. His first two arias, addressed to Agrippina and Poppaea respectively, are both cast in the swaying form of the siciliana, and are perilously similar in expression. Later, when Agrippina has convinced him of Poppaea’s multiple deceptions, he reacts with explosively violent coloratura as his emotions and his vocal line run repeatedly out of control. As with Monteverdi, the potential for violence is already present and we have a cannily convincing portrait of a psychopath in the making.

Boito’s Nerone inhabits very different territory. Boito steers us away from the closeted, palatial worlds of Monteverdi and Handel, and into the arenas and theatres where Nero’s absolute power, now fully unleashed, permits the perpetration of obscene atrocities. Boito is most familiar to us as the writer-composer who provided Verdi with the librettos for Otello and Falstaff. His imagination was close to that of Baudelaire, however, and his work also reveals the influence of Sade. Nerone, which occupied Boito on and off for his entire creative life, is at once a study in extreme decadence and a prophecy of the totalitarian horrors of the 20th century. By the time the work was first performed in Mussolini’s Italy, the nightmare it prefigures had already begun.

As with Monteverdi, the opera’s motivating force is the irrationalism of Nero’s psyche, though aggression has replaced sensuality as its dominant mode of expression. Sex itself, consensual in Monteverdi and Handel, is now associated with violation and has become transformed into one of the brutalities attendant on power. Boito’s starting point is a single line in Suetonius, to the effect that Nero “forced himself on the vestal virgin Rubria”. This act of savage desecration has taken place before the work opens, though it informs the entirety of the drama. Rubria, a secret convert to Christianity, shuttles between the new sect’s meetings in the Roman catacombs and the arenas, where, in her role as vestal virgin, she has the right to intercede for Nero’s victims.

Nero, unhinged by guilt following his murder of Agrippina, fashions worlds in his own deranged image by organising sickening entertainments in which the massacres of antiquity are re-enacted in reality. Boito elides the descriptions of his crimes that we find in Suetonius, Tacitus and Dio with the Sadean theatres of cruelty that they also disturbingly prefigure. The populace, as if infected by his violence, eggs him on at every turn. Boito’s publisher persuaded him not to set the last act of this nerve-racking drama, in which Nero’s reason finally implodes as he enacts the role of Orestes in a performance of Aeschylus’s The Eumenides, while Sporus looks silently on. The opera, as we have it, ends in the charnel house beneath the arena, where Rubria, mutilated and dying, envisions a world beyond this human hell in which God’s love reigns supreme.

Boito’s music captures the charismatic allure of Nero’s universe, even as it heaves with revulsion at the horror it contains. Much of its power derives from Boito’s equation of the orchestra, the driving force of the music, with the irrationality unleashed on the world by Nero himself. The opera opens with Nero’s cronies digging Agrippina’s grave near the Appian Way. The orchestra is silent at the outset and unseen voices accompany their actions with a glutinously sensual nocturne. A terrified scream from the emperor, who believes the Furies are already pursuing him, finally propels the orchestra into seething life.

Nerone makes fearsome emotional demands on its listeners; its continued neglect is inexplicable. Toscanini, who conducted the premiere, claimed that the opera was infinitely superior to anything by Puccini. His judgment is erroneous, though Puccini envied Boito’s opera in his turn, possibly because Nero was a figure for whom, he admitted, he felt a curious empathy. In 1898, while he was working on Tosca, itself a study of political and sexual violence set in Rome, he wrote to a friend of how “the Neronian instinct manifests and fulfils itself” in his own creativity.

Nero, in all his incarnations, is one of opera’s most fascinating characters. But perhaps, as Puccini reminds us, all opera composers are potential Neros themselves, for they, like tyrants, have the cruel power to create and destroy worlds, and to kill the people they also grant life.

 


THE STORY OF NERO

Nero is recorded as one of the worst Emperors that Rome endured. His rise to power is littered with scandals and murders. In 59AD he became besotted with a woman and when his own mother opposed the affair, he killed her.

Nero had few morals and took to bed anyone he fancied. He scandalised Rome by "the shamelessness of his vices and his extravagances". He thought of himself as intellectual and musical, and a religious mystic, and would bore anyone within range by playing musical instruments. The most famous story connected to Nero is that he "fiddled while Rome burned". Whether this is true or not, it certainly illustrates his character - self-centred, ruthless, and unconcerned with the common people.

The story refers to the Great Fire of Rome in AD64 when half the city burnt to the ground. Nero seemed to have enjoyed the thrill of it all, and cared little about the city or the people. Afterwards, when his popularity plummeted, he tried to salvage his reputation by blaming the Christians, and used their bodies as flaming torches to illuminate his gardens.

He eventually sheltered the homeless, however, and rebuilt the city taking measures against fire. But his building programmes, like the lavish performances and free grain he provided for the populace, were financed by plundering Italy and the provinces.

It was said that nobody was truly safe while Nero ruled, for men who posed any kind of threat or challenge to the Emperor, or men whose wealth or wife the Emperor coveted, had a habit of disappearing mysteriously.

Nero grew more and more unpopular, but while he was firmly established as Emperor there was nothing the people could do. He did as he pleased. Meanwhile, the empire was in turmoil. Nero established Armenia as a buffer state against Parthia, but only after a costly, unsuccessful war.

Revolts broke out in Britain (60-61) and in Judaea (66-70). In 65 Gaius Calpurnius Piso led a conspiracy against Nero; 18 of the 41 prominent Romans implicated in the plot perished.

In 68 the Gallic and Spanish legions, together with the Praetorian Guards, rebelled against Nero, forcing him to flee Rome. Declared a public enemy by the Senate, he committed suicide on June 9, 68.

Some Christians of that day, fiercely persecuted by Nero, believed him to be the antichrist. When he died, some said Nero would rise again. Maybe, in a strange sort of way, he has?

AN ALTERNATIVE IMAGE OF NERO

This bust is from the Musei Capitolini, Rome.

Contrasting with the younger Nero of the above statue, this shows Nero as an older man with heavy jowls. His face displays the dissoluteness of his nature. (From CrossWord)

McClintock & Strong's "Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature"


2. Early Christian Views -  The early Christians looked for Antichrist  in a person, not in a polity or system.  "That he would be a man armed  with Satanic powers is the opinion of Justin Martyr, A.D. 103 (Dial.  371, 20, 21, Thirlbii, 1722); of Irenaeus, A.D. 140 (Op. v, 25, 487,  Grabii, 1702); of Tertullian, A.D. 150 (De Res. Carn c.24; Apol. c. 82);  of Origen, A.D. 184 (Op. i, Delarue, 1733); of his contemporary,  Hippolytus (De Antichristo, 57, Fibricii, Hamburgi, 1716); of Cyprian,  A.D. 250) (Ep. 58; Op. 120, Oxon. 1682); of Victorinus, A.D. 270 (Bibl.  Patr. Magna, iii, 136, Col. Agrip. 1618); of Lactantius, A.D. 300  (Div. Inst. vii, 17); of Cyril of Jerusalem, A.D. 315 (Catech. xv, 4);  of Jerome, A.D. 330 (Op. iv pars i, 209, Parisiis, 1693); of Chrysostom,  A.D. 347 (Comm, in 11 Thess.); of Hilary of Poitiers, A.D. 350 (Comm.  in Matt.); of Auguatine, A.D. 354 (De Civit. Dei, XX, 19); of Ambrose,  A.D. 380 (Comm. in Luc.). The authors of the Sibylline Oracles, A.D. 150,  and of the Apostolical Constitutions, Celsus (see Orig. c. Cels. lib. vi),  Ephraem Syrus, A.D. 370, Theodoret, A.D. 430, and a few other writers,  seem to have regarded the Antichrist as the devil himself, rather than  as his minister or an emanation from him.  But they may, perhaps, have meant no more than to express the identity of his character and his power  with that of Satan.  Each of the writers to whom we have referred gives  his own judgment with respect to some particulars which may be expected  in the Antichrist, while they all agree in representing him as a person  about to come shortly before the glorious and final appearance of Christ,  and to be destroyed by His presence.  Justin Martyr speaks of him as the  man of the apostasy, and dwells chiefly on the persecutions which he would  cause.  Irenaeus describes him as summing up the apostasy in himself;  as having his seat at Jerusalem; as identical with the Apocalyptic Beast  (c. 28); as foreshadowed by the unjust judge; as being the man who "should  come in his own name," and as belonging to the tribe of Dan (c. 30).   Tertullian identifies him with the Beast, and supposes him to to about   to arise on the fall of the Roman Empire (De. Res. Carn. c. 25).  Origen describes him in Eastern phrase as the child of the devil and the counterpart  of Christ.  Hippolytus understands the Roman Empire to be represented by  the Apocalyptic Beast, and the Antichrist by the False Prophet, who would  restore the wounded Beast by his craft and by the wisdom of his laws.   Cyprian sees him typified in Antiochus Epiphanes (Exhort. ad Mart. c. 11).   Victorinus, with several others, misunderstanding _Paul's expression that  the mystery of iniquity was in his day working, supposes that the Antichrist  will be a revivified hero; Lactantius, that he will be a king of Syria,  born of an evil spirit; Cyril, that he will be a magician, who by his arts  will get the mastery of the Roman Empire.  Jerome describes him as the son  of the devil, sitting in the Church as though he were the Son of God;  Chrysostom as "the Anti-God", sitting in the Temple of God, that is, in all  the churches, not merely in the Temple at Jerusalem; Augustine as the adversary holding power for three and a half years--the Beast, perhaps, representing  Satan's empire.  The primitive belief may be summed up in the words of Jerome (Comm. on Daniel): "Let us say that which all ecclesiastical writers have  handed down, viz., that at the end of the world, when the Roman Empire is to  be destroyed, there will be ten kings, who will divide the Roman world among  them; and there will arise an eleventh little king, who will subdue three of  the ten kings, that is, the king of Egypt, of Africa, and of Ethiopia, as we  shall hereafter show; and on these having been slain, the seven other kings  will also submit.  "And behold," he says, "in the ram were the eyes of a man'--this is that we may not suppose him to be a devil or a demon, as some have  thought, but a man in whom Satan will dwell utterly and bodily--"and a mouth  speaking, great things;" for he is "the man of sin, the son of perdition, who  sitteth in the temple of God, making himself as God" ' (Op. iv, 511,  Col. Agrip. 1616).  In his Comment. on Dan. xi, and in his, reply to Algasia's eleventh question, he works out the same view in greater detail, the same line  of interpretation continued.  Andreas of Caesarea, A.D. 550, explains him to be a king actuated by Satan, who will reunite the old Roman Empire and reign at Jerusalem (In Apoc. c. xiii); Aretas, A.D. 650, as a king of the Romans,  who will will reign over the Saracens in Bagdad (In Apoc. c. xiii)."

3. Middle-Age Views.-In the Middle Age it was the prevailing opinion that  Antichrist would either be brought forth by a virgin, or be the offspring  of a bishop and a nun.  About the year 950, Adso, a monk in a monastery of  Western Franconia, wrote a treatise on Antichrist, in which he assigned a  later time to his coming, and also to the end of the world (see Schrockh, Kirchengesch. xxi, p. 248).  He did not distinctly state whom he meant to  be understood by Antithriat (Hegenbach, Hist. of Doctrines, &203). "A Frank king," he says, "will reunite the Roman Empire, and abdicate on Mount Olivet,  and, on the dissolution of his kingdom, the Antichrist will be revealed."  The same writer supposes that he will be born in Babylon, that he will be  educated at Bethsaida and Chorazin, and that he will proclaim himself the  Son of God at Jerusalem (Tract. in Antichr. apud August. Opera, ix, 454, Paris, 1637).  In the singular predictions of Hildegarde (1197), Antichrist  is foretold as the spirit of doubt.  She states that the exact season of  Antichrist is not revealed, but describes his manifestation as an impious imitation or "parody of the incarnation of the Divine Word" (Christian Remmbrancer, xliv, 50).  See Hilldegarde.  But "the received opinion of the twelfth century is brought before us in a striking manner in the interview  between Richard I and the abbot Joachim of Floris (1202) at Messina, as the  king was on his way to the Holy Land.  "I thought," said the king, I that  Antichrist would be born in Antioch or in Babylon, and of the tribe of Dan,  and would reign in the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem, and would walk in  that land in which Christ walked, and would reign in it for three years and  a half, and would dispute against Elijah and Enoch, and would kill them, and would afterward die; and that after his death God would give sixty days of repentance, in which those might repent which should have erred from the  way of truth, and have been seduced by the preaching of Antichrist and  his false prophets."  This seems to have been the view defended by the  archbishops of Rouen and Auxerre, and by the bishop of Bayonne, who were present at the interview, but it was not Joachim's opinion.  He maintained  the seven beads of the Beast to be Herod, Nero, Constantius, Mohammed, Melscmut, who were past; Saladin, who was then living; and Antichrist,  who was shortly to come, being already born in the city, of Rome, and about  to be elevated to the apostolic see (Roger de Hoveden, in Richard I,  anno 1150).  In his own work on the Apocalypse, Joachim speaks of the second Apocalyptic Beast as being governed by "some great prelate who will be like  Simon Magus, and, as it were, universal pontiff throughout the world, and be that very Antichrist of whom St. Paul speaks."  These are very  noticeable words.  Gregory I had long since (A.D. 590) declared that any  man who held even the shadow of the power which the popes of Rome soon  after his time arrogated to themselves would be the precursor of Antichrist.   Arnulpbus, bishop of Orleans (or perhaps Gerbert), in an invective against John XV at the Council of Rheims, A.D. 991, had declared, that if the Roman pontiff was destitute of charity and puffed up with knowledge, he was  Antichrist; if destitute both of charity and of knowledge, that be was a  lifeless stone (Man.4i, ix, 132, Ven. 1774); but Joachim is the first to  suggest, not that such and such a pontiff was Antichrist, but that the  Antichrist would be a Universalis Pontifex, and that he would occupy the apostolic see.  Still, however, we have no hint of an order of men  being the Antichrist; it is a living individual man that Joachim  contemplates." Amalrich of Bena (12th century) seems to have been the first to teach explicitly that the pope (ie. the papal system) is  Antichrist: Quia Papa esset Antichristus et Roma Babylon et ipse sedet  in monte Oliveti, i. e. in pinguedine potestatis (according to Caearius  of Heisterbach; comp. Engelhardt, Kirchenhistorische Abhandlungen, p.256, quoted by Hagenbach)...

12/14/3: The Mark of the Beast And Roman Taxation - "Rome was not an anarchy, but a complex system of laws, regulations and obligations. The burdens that fell upon the average laborer in order to support this burgeoning bureaucracy and apathetic welfare state were immense and they depended upon a elaborate system of tax collectors and revenue officers."


Nero, By David J. Coffta

 Nero's Early Life and Reign

The death of Claudius in 54 A.D., generally thought to have been planned and carried out by his wife Agrippina Minor, secured for her son Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus the place as emperor which she had so carefully arranged. Before his death, Claudius, though he already had a son Britannicus, had adopted Lucius, who changed his name to Nero Claudius Caesar, (a great-great-grandson of Augustus) at Agrippina's instigation; instrumental too in the transfer of power was the influence of Seneca, Nero's tutor, and of Sextus Afranius Burrus, the praetorian prefect. Since Nero was only an adolescent, the early part of his reign was characterized by direction from these older figures, including Agrippina herself. Some scholars see a struggle between Agrippina against Seneca and Burrus for control of the young emperor, and when Agrippina began to show favor to Britannicus, a legitimate (though slightly younger) heir and possible rival, Britannicus' murder was arranged (55 A.D.) and Agrippina's authority displaced.

Nero's Dissolute Nature

The traditional portrait of Nero's dissolute life derives at least in part from the years which followed soon after his accession; the attraction of Poppaea Sabina who was married first to Rufrius Crispinus and then to Otho (himself a close friend of Nero), may have had same connection with the divorce, exile, and murder of Nero's first wife, Octavia, Claudius' daughter. Poppaea became Nero's mistress in 58 A.D., and the next year Agrippina herself was murdered, with Nero's knowledge. Burrus and Seneca continued in their guidance until 62 A.D. when the former died and the latter entered retirement. In their place that year appeared a counselor, Gaius Ofonius Tigellinus, who had been exiled in 39 A.D. by Caius (Caligula) for adultery with Agrippina, but who returned to find favor with Nero and a post for himself as praetorian prefect, from which position he exerted a further degenerating influence on Nero.

Nero's Marriage and the Burning of Rome

Poppaea and Nero married in 62 A.D., and she bore a daughter to him the next year, but the child died only a few months later. The events of 62 and the next few years did little to improve public perception of Nero. In 62, at Tigellinus' instigation, a series of treason laws was put to deadly use against anyone considered a threat. In 64 A.D. a great fire left much of the city in ruins, and while it is not certain that Nero himself had the fires set, it is true that his ambitious building campaign, which followed the fires (and in particular the construction of the Domus Aurea), represented to many a private selfishness at a time when public reconstruction was most needed. In 65 A.D. Nero's artistic inclinations, present since his accession, became truly public, and in a display which shocked conservative tastes he appeared on stage and sang for audiences.

Nero's Fall From Power

His enemies had become numerous, and that same year a plot to assassinate Nero and to replace him with Gaius Calpurnius Piso was both formulated and betrayed; among those forced to commit suicide in connection with the Pisonian conspiracy were Seneca, Lucan, Petronius, and Tigellinus' colleague in the prefecture (his replacement, Nymphidius, was to be influential in the accession of Galba three years later). Poppaea died in 66 A.D., and the next year Nero left Rome altogether for a tour of Greece, during which his extravagances alienated him further still from general citizens and military commanders alike. More crucially, in his paranoia after the conspiracy he ordered a popular and successful general, Gnaeus Domitius Corbulo, to commit suicide, a decision which left other provincial leaders in doubt about his next move and inclined toward rebellion rather than inaction.

The Year of the Four Emperors

In 68 A.D. Vindex revolted in Lugdunensis, as did Clodius Macer in Africa. Galba declared his allegiance to the Senate and the Roman people, rather than to Nero. Such unrest in the provinces, coupled with intrigue at Rome among the praetorians (orchestrated at least in part by Nymphidius), provided Nero's enemies, especially within the Senate, with their chance to depose him. He committed suicide on 9 June 68 A.D.

A Historical Assessment of Nero as Emperor

Nero, last of the Julio-Claudians, had been placed in the difficult position of absolute authority at a young age coupled with the often-contradictory efforts of those in a position to manipulate him. Augustus, however, had not been much older when he began his bid for power, and so a great deal of the responsibility for Nero's conduct must also rest with the man himself. Nero's reign was not without military operations (e.g., the campaigns of Corbulo against the Parthians, the suppression of the revolt of Boudicca in Britain), but his neglect of the armies was a critical error. He left Rome not to review his troops but to compete in Greek games, and as a further slight had left a freedman, Helius, in his place at Rome to govern in his absence. The suspicion which surrounded him after the treason trials and the conspiracy set the stage for a series of civil upheavals, "the Year of the Four Emperors," which included the rise to power of men, such as Otho in Lusitania and Vespasian in Judaea, whom Nero himself had sent to the frontiers, unaware that they were to become his successors.

Bibliography
Sources for this Entry:

Cary, M., A History of Rome Down to the Reign of Constantine, London, 1962, 528-533.

Charlesworth, M.P., "Nero (1)," OCD,2 603-604.

Grant, M., History of Rome, New York, 1978, 283-285.

Scullard, H.H., From the Gracchi to Nero, New York,1982, 288-321.
Ancient Sources:

Tacitus, Annales, Books 13-16; Suetonius, Nero; Dio Cassius, Roman History, Books 61-63; cf. also the speeches and letters of Nero collected in M.P. Charlesworth, Documents Illustrating the Reigns of Claudius and Nero, London 1939.
Recent Bibliography:

Bartsch, S. Actors in the Audience: Theatricality and Doublespeak from Nero to Hadrian. Berkeley 1992.

Bishop, J.H. Nero: The Man and the Legend. London, 1964.

Bowman, Alan K., Edward Champlin, Andrew Lintott.The Cambridge Ancient History X; The Augustan Empire.2 Cambridge, 1996.

Brian, H. Nero: Reality and Legend. New York, 1970.

Elsner, J. et al. Reflections of Nero: Culture, History, and Representation London, 1994.

Grant, M. Nero: Emperor in Revolt New York, 1970.

Griffin, N. Nero: The End of a Dynasty New Haven, 1985.

Sherk, R.K. The Roman Empire: Augustus to Hadrian. Cambridge, 1988.

Sutherland, C.H.V. Roman Imperial Coinage. vol. 1 London,1984.

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Date: 14 Dec 2003
Time: 14:33:00

Comments

A Quote from me, Sean Mandall age 16, "A good leader gets people to trust in him, yet a great leader gets people to trust in themselves."


Date: 24 Jan 2004
Time: 20:39:40

Comments

I stopped reading at Clinton... I thought that the Bible says that Rev 17:8 KJV The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. How then is it clinton? The beast must be ressurected true? He was and is not and yet "is"? Doesnt that imply a literal resurection, and a literal healing of the sword wound to the head? And, wont the woman, ride the beast?  [The Clinton thing was a joke - removed]


Date: 07 Mar 2004
Time: 12:18:16

Comments

I've seen sites that link evey modern day leader to the number 666 and as being the antichrist... ive come to the conclusion... GET A LIFE PEOPLE! THIS IS WHAT A BUNCH OF NOMADS WROTE DOWN 5000 YEARS AGO TO JUSTIFY WARS! WAKE UP.


Date:
09 Sep 2004
Time:
23:10:37

Comments

Quote From Jon&Jeff of Trinity College of Florida "A good leader can make you follow them, a great leader can make you believe in yourself, yet the best leader of them all should make you follow the one true God and His Son Jesus Christ"


Date:
14 Dec 2004
Time:
17:25:33

Comments

this topic was good to read it was interesting to read also from sommer


Date: 09 Apr 2005
Time: 11:45:29

Comments:

II Thessalonians vs. 1-4 talks about the man of sin --son of perdition.  Is this the beast?


Date: 26 Apr 2005
Time: 17:04:17

Comments:

Didnt read any of this but it is a common historial fact that many christians during the middle ages and within a few decades of Nero's death believed him to be the fortold Anti-Christ. He stabbed himself in the neck with a dagger according to Seutonius. Nero persecuted the christians and was the one responsible for the death of paul and peter.


Date: 05 Jan 2006
Time: 11:42:06

Comments:

According Arthur S. Peake's commentary on the book of revelation (l920), pp. 323-329, none of the early church fathers proposed Nero as the intended solution to Rev. l3:l8 (666). The Nero proposal wasn't offered by scholars until the first half of the l9th century a.d.! Curiously, Jewish Midrash Rabbah Ecclesiastes refers to the Roman emperor, Trajan, as "a descendent of Nebuchadnezzer." (The sense being one of spirituality or typological rather than biological.) The 2nd century b.c. apocryphal work titled JUDITH refers to Nebuchadnezzer variously as "Lord of the whole world and God." Jewish Midrash Rabban Canticles refers to Rome as "ROME-BABYLON." In The Legends of the Jews by Ginzburg the Roman emperor Titus is being alluded to but it states that the Palymrene archers who fought on the side of the Romans in the seige of Jerusalem were giving "assistance to Nebuchadnezzer."


Date: 12 Jan 2006
Time: 16:02:05

Comments:

If Nero is so bad, and fulfillment of major Bible prophecy is clear, then why is this still not clear, and based on very circumsantial evidence? Besides, it's not like Nero was the worst tyrant that ever lived. Ever hear of Vlad the Impaler? Good grief. He makes Nero look like a good guy. AND he did it with "Christian" "armies" for the Roman Catholic church. The fact is that world tyrants get worse and worse and worse.

I very much respect Hank Hanegraaf, but when he says, "No one can be worse than Nero. It's not only because he violated every one of the Ten Commandments," I feel intellectually insulted. Oh yeah? How about Vlad and others? Oh, and according to Jesus's definition of the Law, we've ALL broken the Ten Commandments in one way or another. Read Matthew 5.


Date: 27 Jan 2006
Time: 06:27:25

Comments:

well I read the whole articel of Nero being the antichrist. YOu sure do have a litany of heavy wieght theologians supporting the premise. The one thing I find importantly missing however is his fitting what the bible says in toto as to who and what the beast would do and be. That outvotes all opinions of men.


Date: 15 Mar 2006
Time: 13:13:34

Comments:

Why is the number 666 the only one mentioned when discussing the number(s) of the beast? A few other manuscrpits upon which Revelation l3:l8 is based cite a few alternate numbers, e.g.: 605, 606, 6l6, 646, 747.


Date: 26 Jun 2006
Time: 00:10:13

Comments:

Israel became a Nation again in 1948 after Hitler persecuted the Jews and was probably worse than Nero. 70 weeks of years was determined on Daniel's people and 69 of those weeks are complete. The last week will begin with the covenant that will be made with the Prince that will come(Dan. 9:27). In Zach. we find Israel morning and repenting over the one they have pierced. I don't believe as a Nation, they have done that. In fact with current Jews, excluding Messianic Jews, Jesus is referred to as the God of the Gentiles. I believe in God's Plan with Man he is going to include Israelites along with Gentiles and when the Gospel is preached to the whole world, the end of the age will come. All of us have inherited the sin nature from the Garden of Eden and God provided a remedy in the person of his Son, Jesus Christ. Satan is good at providing counterfits and the Antichrist(Nero is a type) will fool many. Some will take his Mark or they won't be able to Buy or Sell(Cashless Socie


Date: 11 Jan 2007
Time: 13:47:49

Comments:

When our biblestudy was studying the seven heads and ten horns, we weren't sure where or what it was referring to. We could see the scripture said the seven heads are seven mountains, but of where? Then I picked up an atlas I have that includes alot of information on bodies of water and mountains. I turned to the page that was headed "principle mountains of the world". It listed them from the largest, Mt. Everest to the smallest, Mt. Mitchell in No. Carolina. I started with the idea that the seven mountains would have to be in the same area. I circled first, all those in China. Too many to mention. Then So. America. Again, too many to mention. America? Whew! We have nine. Then Europe....they have seven. I don't believe it's a coincidence, just the Lord backing up his word with understanding.


Date: 01 Nov 2007
Time: 13:14:07

Comments:

There are currently two monks who fit the desciption of Enoch and Elijah. They are Bros. Peter and Michael Dimond,O.S.B. They are at www.mostholyfamilymonastery.com. They are currently preaching against AntiChrist. AntiChrist denies that Jesus is the Messiah,dissolves Jesus,(1 John 2:22,4:2-3), and teaches that man is God.(Pope St. Pius X, E Supremi Apostolatus)


Date: 11 Jun 2008
Time: 10:17:43

Comments:

Greetings!
I would like to post my opinion.

 The BEAST  with 7 heads & 10 horns & 7 crowns is SATAN (GREAT DRAGON, OLD SERPENT,        DEVIL)

 The BEAST  with 7 heads & 10 horns & 10 crowns is the ANTICHRIST (from SYRIA, a MUSLIM).

The 7 heads of Satan
are: (according to the book of Daniel, Revelation 17 & Israel's history)
                                        Rev.17:10 - and there are 7 kings: 5 are fallen, and 1 is, and the other is not yet                                                                  come....
                                        1st EGYPT  -  fallen
                                        2nd  ASSYRIA - fallen
                                        3rd BABYLON - fallen
                                        4th  MEDO-PERSIA - fallen
                                        5th  GREECE - fallen
                                        6th  ROME - one is
                                        7th  REVISED ROME - the other is not yet come
The BEAST (Antichrist) will rise up from SYRIA ( like the story of Antiochus  IV Epiphanes in Daniel 11.), a MUSLIM!  Syria was once under Grecian Empire and later under Roman Empire.
The BEAST (Antichrist) is the 11th horn under the 4th beast in Daniel 7, and in Revelation 17 the 10 horns will receive power with the Beast (Antichrist), the 11th horn.
The BEAST (Antichrist) is the 8th head of the Beast (Satan). Rev. 17:11, "...the Beast...he is the 8th


Date: 31 Jan 2009
Time: 04:47:04

Your Comments:

nero!!!you are the most worst roman emperor....
BY:>BUNSO<


Date: 12 Feb 2009
Time: 12:00:35

Your Comments:

I love Nero.He is the graetest king on earth.He was the last of the Blood lined ceasars.His mother killed his father.He killed his mother in a aqua circus.He burned down Rome and built his own Private residens with parks,reservate,hunting ground,water pools the bath in and sail in,a big house in marmor,gold and precious stones(all buried under todays rome)Then he took his life because he was so drugded that he could not come out of the B-side of life.God is great.HAIL CEASAR.


 

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