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Israel and Sparta

Published June 8, 2018 by amaic
Image result for spartans


 Damien F. Mackey



“King Arius [Areus] of Sparta to Onias the High Priest, greetings. We have found a document about the Spartans and the Jews indicating that we are related and that both of our nations are descended from Abraham”.

 I Maccabees 12:20-21




According to this famous letter sent by king Arius of the Spartans to the Jewish High Priest, Onias, as recorded in the First Book of Maccabees, the Spartans, likewise, were of the stock of the great Hebrew patriarch Abraham.

This information has caused scholars to search avidly for a connection between the two nations.


Amongst the conclusions at which scholars arrive, the Spartans arose from Abraham’s wife Keturah, or they were from the sea-faring tribe of Dan, or from the warrior tribe of Gad.

Or, according to Steve Collins (and others), the Spartans were of the fierce tribe of Simeon (“The Missing Simeonites”):


The Spartans themselves declared that they were a fellow tribe of the Jews and corresponded with an ancient Jewish High Priest about their relationship. The book of I Maccabees14:16-23 records this correspondence, which includes this statement:


“And this is the copy of the letter which the Spartans sent: The Chief magistrates and the city of the Spartans send greeting to Simon, the chief priest, and to the elders and the priests and the rest of the Jewish people, our kinsmen.” (Emphasis added.)


Notice the Spartans called the Jews “our kinsmen.” The Spartans did not proclaim themselves to be Jews, but rather that they were “kinsmen” to the Jews (i.e. members of one of the other tribes of Israel). That the Spartans acknowledged a common ancestry with the Jews of the tribe of Judah gives powerful weight to the assertion that they were Israelites who migrated to Greece instead of the Promised Land. The Spartan culture is most like that of the tribe of Simeon, most of which apparently left the Israelite encampment in the Wilderness after a Simeon prince was executed by a Levite.


There is a third group of wanderers in ancient history which manifested a Simeonite/ Israelite ancestry, but this column is now long enough. The story of another band of Simeonites who struck out on their own in the world will be told in a future column. ….


[End of quote]

Coin depicting King Areus I of Sparta



Collins will also tell of these interesting points by Professor Jones:


…. The Book, Sparta, by A.H.M. Jones, a Professor of Ancient History at Cambridge University, noted several things about Sparta. He states the Spartans worshipped a “great law-giver” who had given them their laws in the “dim past” (page 5 of his book). This law-giver may have been Moses.


Professor Jones also noted the Spartans celebrated “the new moons” and the “seventh day” of the month” (page 13). Observing new moons was an Israelite calendar custom, and their observance of “a seventh day” could originate with the Sabbath celebration. Prof. Jones also notes, as do other authorities, that the Spartans were known for being “ruthless” in war and times of crisis. This sounds exactly like the Simeonite nature, which was given to impulsive cruelty, as the Bible confirms.


Interestingly, Prof. Jones writes that the Spartans were themselves divided into several “tribes” which constituted distinct military formations within the Spartan army (pages 31-32).


At the Jewish site: which gives the article, “When Jews and Greeks Were Brothers: The Untold Story of Chanukah”, the question is asked: “Incredibly, the Spartan king suggests that the Spartans are descendants of Abraham, too! Where does this bizarre belief come from?” It proceeds from there to consider various possibilities, noting Hebrew and Spartan similarities:


Greek Sons of Abraham


Sometime in the 2nd century BCE lived a Greek historian and sage named Cleodemus, sometimes referred to as Cleodemus the Prophet. He also went by the name Malchus which, because of its Semitic origins, makes some scholars believe he could have been Jewish. Cleodemus wrote an entire history of the Jewish people in Greek. While this text appears to have been lost, it is cited by others, including Josephus (Antiquities, i. 15).


Cleodemus commented on Abraham’s marriage to Keturah (typically identified with Hagar), and their children. This is recorded in Genesis 25, which begins:


And Abraham took another wife, and her name was Keturah. And she bore him Zimran, and Yokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuach. And Yokshan begot Sheva and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Ashurim, and Letushim, and Leumim. And the sons of Midian were Ephah, and Epher, and Chanokh, and Avidah, and Elda’ah. All these were the children of Keturah. And Abraham gave all that he had to Isaac, while to the sons of the concubines that Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and he sent them away from Isaac, while he was still alive, to the east country.


Abraham had six children with Keturah, from which came at least seven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren which the Torah names explicitly. The Torah then makes it clear that Abraham gave everything that he had to Isaac—including the Covenant with God and the land of Israel—while the others received gifts and were sent away from the Holy Land.


Cleodemus suggests that Epher (or another child named Yaphran), the great-grandson of Abraham, migrated to Africa—which is where the term “Africa” comes from! (This is particularly interesting because Epher was the son of Midian, and Tziporah the wife of Moses was a Midianite, and is described as a Cushite, or African/Ethiopian.) Cleodemus states that Epher, Yaphran, and Ashurim assisted the Greek hero Hercules in one of his battles. Following this, Hercules married one of their daughters—a great granddaughter of Abraham—and had a son with her. This son was Diodorus, one of the legendary founders of Sparta!


It appears that the Spartan king Areus was aware of this possible historical connection, and accepted it as fact. This connection may explain why the Spartans were so similar to ancient Israelites. (Others have suggested that because the Israelite tribe of Shimon—known for being fierce warriors—did not receive a set portion in the Holy Land, many of them moved elsewhere and ended up in Sparta, or ended up in Sparta after being expelled from Israel by the Assyrians alongside the other lost tribes.) In his book Sparta, renowned historian Hugo Jones writes that the Spartans held in the highest regard a certain ancient law-giver, much like Moses the law-giver of Israel.


Mackey’s comment: For more on this “certain ancient law-giver [Lycurgus], much like Moses the law-giver of Israel”, see my article:


Moses and Lycurgus


The article continues:


The Spartans celebrated new moons (Rosh Chodesh), and unlike their Greek counterparts, even a seventh day of rest! Of course, the Spartans themselves were very different from other Greeks, particularly those in Athens, whom Sparta often battled. The Spartan form of government was different, too, not an Athenian-style democracy but a monarchy that governed alongside a “council of elders”, much like Israel’s king and Sanhedrin.


Perhaps most similarly, the Spartans were known for their “stoic” way of life. The later Greek school of stoicism was modeled on the ancient way of the Spartans. This meant living simply and modestly, being happy with what one has, and most importantly, putting mind above body, and logic above emotion. This almost sounds like something out of Pirkei Avot, and is a teaching echoed across Jewish texts both ancient and modern. In fact, when Josephus tried to explain who the rabbis were to his Roman audience, he said that they were Jewish stoic philosophers!


Bust of Zeno of Citium (c. 334-262 BCE), founder of the Athenian school of Stoicism. Zeno taught that God permeates the whole universe, and knowledge of God requires goodness, fortitude, logic, and living a life of Virtue.


Gideon and Leonidas


Undoubtedly, the most famous story of the Spartans is the Battle of Thermopylae.


Mackey’s comment: For my Jewish version of the real “Thermopylae”, the Battle that changed the world, see my series:


Thermopylae changed nothing. Part One: Introductory


The article continues, adding the further biblical elements of Gideon and his 300, Mordecai from the Book of Esther, and the Maccabees:


Around 480 BCE, the Persian emperor Xerxes invaded Greece with a massive force. Xerxes first sent messengers to the Greek city-states to offer peaceful surrender. According to the historian Herodotus, Sparta’s king Leonidas told the messenger: “A slave’s life is all you understand, you know nothing of freedom. For if you did, you would have encouraged us to fight on, not only with our spear, but with everything we have.” Spoken like a true Maccabee.

The messenger then told Leonidas and his men to bow down, to which Leonidas, like his historical contemporary Mordechai, said: “We bow down before no man.” Later, when the Persian boasted that his empire was the wealthiest in the world, with gold reserves the likes of which Leonidas could only dream of, Leonidas replied: “Ares is lord. Greece has no fear of gold.”


This statement almost makes Leonidas seem like a monotheist. Indeed, the Spartans worshiped Ares—the god of war—above all others. Interestingly, the Torah commonly describes Hashem in similar military terms, like a great warrior riding a merkavah or chariot, as a “God of Legions” (Hashem Tzva’ot), and even as a “Man of War” (Ish Milchamah, see Exodus 15:3). Of course, the Spartans had their abominable statues and idols, which is perhaps the greatest distinction (and a critical one) between them and ancient Israel.


‘Gideon choosing his men’ by Gustav Doré. God told Gideon to choose worthy soldiers based on the way they drank from a spring. Those that went on their knees and bent over to drink were disqualified. Those three hundred who modestly took cupfuls to their mouth were selected. (Judges 7:5-7)


King Leonidas went on to assemble just three hundred brave men to face off against the massive Persian invasion. Although they ultimately lost, the Spartans fought valiantly, inspired their fellow Greeks, and did enough damage to hamper Persian victory. This story of three hundred, too, has a Biblical parallel. The Book of Judges records a nearly-identical narrative, with the judge Gideon assembling three hundred brave men and miraculously defeating a massive foreign invasion.


Which came first? The earliest complete Greek mythological texts date back only to the 3rd century BCE. By then, the Tanakh had long been completed, and in that same century was first translated into the Greek Septuagint. It isn’t hard to imagine Greek scholars and historians of the 3rd century getting their hands on the first Greek copies of Tanakh and incorporating those narratives into their own. In fact, the Greek-Jewish philosopher Aristobulus of Alexandria (181-124 BCE) admitted that all of Greek wisdom comes from earlier Jewish sources. The later Greek philosopher Numenius of Apamea said it best: “What is Plato but Moses speaking Greek?”


Mackey’s comment: Hooray! At last a right perspective – the pagan Greek story influenced by the Jewish one, and not the other way around as is usually suggested.

The article continues:


Yafet and Iapetus


The similarities between Greek myth and more ancient Jewish texts are uncanny. Hercules was a mighty warrior whose first task (of twelve) was to slay a lion, like the mighty Shimshon who first slays a lion in Judges. Deucalion survives a great flood that engulfs the whole world as punishment from an angry Zeus. Like Noah before him, Deucalion has a wife and three sons, and like Noah, Deucalion is associated with wine-making (the root of his name, deukos). Pandora’s curiosity brings about evil just like Eve’s, while Asclepius carries a healing serpent-staff like Moses. Aristophanes even taught that Zeus first made man as male and female in one body, and later split them in half, just as the Torah and Talmud do.


Roman mosaic of Hercules and the Nemean Lion, and a Roman fresco of Samson and the lion, from the same time period.


In Jewish tradition, the Greeks come from the Biblical Yavan, son of Yafet (or Yefet or Japheth), son of Noah (Genesis 10:2). Yavan is the same as the Greek Ion (or Iawones), one of the Greek gods, and Ionia, referring to one of its most important regions, and the dialect of the great Greek poets Homer and Hesiod, as well as the scholars Herodotus and Hippocrates. Meanwhile, the Greeks worshipped Iapetus (same as Yafet) as a major god. Iapetus was the father of Prometheus, the god who supposedly fashioned man from the mud of the earth. So, not surprisingly, the Biblical Yavan and Yafet are firmly in the Greek tradition as well.




On Chanukah, we celebrate the Jewish victory over the Seleucids. Not of the Greeks as a whole, but of a relatively small faction of Syrian Greeks, far from the Greek heartland which always enjoyed a good relationship with Israel, starting with Alexander the Great and through to the Spartans and Maccabees.




Hannah widow-martyr, St. Sophia and Hadrian

Published June 5, 2018 by amaic
Saint Sophia and daughters: Faith, Hope and Love by GalleryZograf



 Damien F. Mackey

“An official named Antiochus denounced them to the emperor Hadrian … who ordered that they be brought to Rome. Realizing that they would be taken before the emperor, the holy virgins prayed fervently to the Lord Jesus Christ, asking that He give them the strength not to fear torture and death. When the holy virgins and their mother came before the emperor, everyone present was amazed at their composure. They looked as though they had been brought to some happy festival, rather than to torture”.

This story bears remarkable parallels to that of the widow-martyr, Hannah, in 2 Maccabees, especially in my revised context according to which Antiochus IV ‘Epiphanes’ was Hadrian:

Antiochus ‘Epiphanes’ and Emperor Hadrian. Part One: “… a mirror image”




Antiochus ‘Epiphanes’ and Emperor Hadrian. Part Two: “Hadrian … a second Antiochus”


For one, an “Antiochus” denounces the mother and her daughters to the emperor Hadrian.

In 2 Maccabees 7 it is Antiochus ‘Epiphanes’ who tortures the victims, but who is named in Jewish legends, “Hadrian”.


In the Christian tale the mother has only daughters.

In the Maccabean account the mother has only sons.


St. Sophia is, as Hannah is (according to Jewish tradition), a widow.


In both tales the children remain composed even whilst being tortured.


In both tales the pious mother, who encourages her children, outlives them all, but soon dies (St. Sophia 3 days later).


Here is my account of the Jewish widow-martyr, according to my revised history, with the Herodian and Maccabean ages now contemporary, and Hannah tentatively suggested as the New Testament widow, Anna the prophetess:


A New Timetable for the Nativity of Jesus Christ


Anna was a widow – and, appropriately, the woman-martyr in Maccabees has no husband with her but only sons. Soon we shall read that she was, according to rabbinic tradition, “a widow”.

And she was indeed very wise and prophetic, as would befit an Anna the prophetess.

Moreover, Anna had had the inestimable privilege of witnessing the future hope of Israel and she accordingly “gave thanks to God and spoke about the Child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem” (Luke 2:38).

If Anna were also the woman of Maccabees, then her experience of meeting the Holy Family would have greatly fortified her in her worthy task of urging her seven sons not to apostatise. Her hope had become their hope.

And so the youngest of the sons can hopefully proclaim to the king (2 Maccabees 7:32-35):


‘It is true that our living Lord is angry with us and is making us suffer because of our sins, in order to correct and discipline us. But this will last only a short while, for we are still his servants, and he will forgive us. But you are the cruelest and most disgusting thing that ever lived. So don’t fool yourself with illusions of greatness while you punish God’s people. There is no way for you to escape punishment at the hands of the almighty and all-seeing God’.


The wise mother also manages to ‘shatter the theory of evolution’ with her ex nihilo remark (7:28): ‘God did not make them out of existing things’: “that is, all things were made solely by God’s omnipotent will and creative word; cf. Heb 11:3. This statement has often been taken as a basis for “creation out of nothing” (Latin creatio ex nihilo)”.


Hannah’s (Anna’s) martyrdom, along with her seven sons, we estimate to have occurred very soon after the Presentation. The Holy Family was now safe from “the king”, in Egypt.

Now, a traditional Jewish interpretation of this dramatic account of martyrdom may have great import for our revised Maccabean-Herodian history and for the ‘shaving off’ of Romans.

Very early in this article we followed up our question about the relationship of Antiochus to Herod with: And who is Caesar Augustus?

… whilst Antiochus ‘Epiphanes’ was the king present during the martyrdom of the woman and her seven sons, there are accounts in the Jewish Talmud and Midrash according to which the king in the story was “Caesar” (e.g. Talmud, Gittin 57b and Midrash Eicha Rabba 1:50). Even more shockingly (in standard historical terms) the cruel king overseeing the martyrdom is sometimes named “Hadrian”. Stephen D. Moore, in The Bible in Theory: Critical and Postcritical Essays, p. 196, when discussing the famous incident in the Maccabees of the mother and her seven martyred sons, adds this intriguing footnote (51) according to which Antiochus was replaced in rabbinic tradition by Hadrian:


Nameless in 4 Maccabees, the mother is dubbed … Hannah … in the rabbinic tradition …. The tyrant in the rabbinic versions, however, is not Antiochus Epiphanes but Hadrian: “Hadrian came and seized upon a widow …” (S. Eliyahu Rab. 30); “In the days of the shemad [the Hadrianic persecutions]…” (Pesiq. R. 43). ….


As said, this is ‘shocking’ in a conventional context which would have Antiochus (c. 170 BC) separated in time from the reign of the emperor Hadrian (c. 117-138 AD) by some three centuries. But it accords perfectly with the descriptions of Hadrian as “a second Antiochus” and “a mirror-image of Antiochus”.

[End of quote]


Now, here is the story of the Christian saint and her daughters – all so marvellously named:


Martyr Love with her mother and sisters at Rome


The Holy Martyrs Saint Sophia and her Daughters Faith, Hope and Love were born in Italy. Their mother was a pious Christian widow who named her daughters for the three Christian virtues. Faith was twelve, Hope was ten, and Love was nine. Saint Sophia raised them in the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. Saint Sophia and her daughters did not hide their faith in Christ, but openly confessed it before everyone.

An official named Antiochus denounced them to the emperor Hadrian … who ordered that they be brought to Rome. Realizing that they would be taken before the emperor, the holy virgins prayed fervently to the Lord Jesus Christ, asking that He give them the strength not to fear torture and death. When the holy virgins and their mother came before the emperor, everyone present was amazed at their composure. They looked as though they had been brought to some happy festival, rather than to torture. Summoning each of the sisters in turn, Hadrian urged them to offer sacrifice to the goddess Artemis. The young girls remained unyielding.

Then the emperor ordered them to be tortured. They burned the holy virgins over an iron grating, then threw them into a red-hot oven, and finally into a cauldron with boiling tar, but the Lord preserved them.

The youngest child, Love, was tied to a wheel and they beat her with rods until her body was covered all over with bloody welts. After undergoing unspeakable torments, the holy virgins glorified their Heavenly Bridegroom and remained steadfast in the Faith.

They subjected Saint Sophia to another grievous torture: the mother was forced to watch the suffering of her daughters. She displayed adamant courage, and urged her daughters to endure their torments for the sake of the Heavenly Bridegroom. All three maidens were beheaded, and joyfully bent their necks beneath the sword.

In order to intensify Saint Sophia’s inner suffering, the emperor permitted her to take the bodies of her daughters. She placed their remains in coffins and loaded them on a wagon. She drove beyond the city limits and reverently buried them on a high hill. Saint Sophia sat there by the graves of her daughters for three days, and finally she gave up her soul to the Lord. Even though she did not suffer for Christ in the flesh, she was not deprived of a martyr’s crown. Instead, she suffered in her heart. Believers buried her body there beside her daughters.

The relics of the holy martyrs have rested at El’zasa, in the church of Esho since the year 777.


Ezra and ‘Uzair

Published May 30, 2018 by amaic

Story of Prophet Uzair/Ezra a.s

Ezra ‘Father of the Jews’

dying the death of Razis


Part Three:

Appropriated as ‘Uzair of the Koran (Qur’an)




“… if the equation ‘Uzair = Ezra be valid, and there seems no reason to gainsay it, then Mohammed had either been misinformed, or had purposely invented this queer dogma”.

 J. Walker



This is the opinion of J. Walker, as expressed in his article “Who is ‘Uzair?”:

Though I have been at pains to show in articles that the Prophet Mohammed (Muhammad) was not a real flesh-and-blood historical person – but a biblical composite.

And the same is probably true of this ‘Uzair of the Koran.


Walker writes:


A Koranic passage which has bewildered many students, is that anent … the name of ‘Uzair. It is the sole reference … in the Koran to a personage whose identity is by no means certain, but is usually equated with that of the biblical Ezra. The Sura (IX) in which it is found is of the late Medina period, and the verse in question (30) reads: “The Jews say ‘Uzair (Ezra?) is God’s son: and the Christians say, the Messiah is God’s son… How are they misguided!”


The interpretation of this may be taken in the expanded form found in Damir (Hayat al-Hayawan, trans. Jayakar, Vol. I. 553), as follows:-


“When ‘Uzair claimed that God had sent him to the Jews to renew the Pentateuch they disbelieved saying, ‘God has not placed the Pentateuch in the memory of anyone after its being lost, unless he is His son,’ so they called him, ‘Uzair ibn Allah.”


The difficulty that presents itself is the fact that no historical evidence can be adduced to prove that any Jewish sect, however heterodox, ever subscribed to such a tenet. What grounds were there for the accusation? Was it a figment of Mohammed’s [sic] own imagination? Rodwell frankly believes it was. Goldziher accepts it as “a malevolent metaphor for the great respect which was paid by the Jews to the memory of Ezra as the restorer of the Law and from which Ezra legends of apocryphal literature (II. Esdra, XXXIV, 37-49) originated ….” But we are inclined to inquire, if it were “a malevolent metaphor,” on whose side was the malevolence? Whence originated such an accusation? It is not probable that the Prophet uttered an indictment of this nature in a city like Medina where Jews abounded, without some foundation.


The Jewish post-biblical writings do not seem to yield any possible solution for this erroneous statement. The quotation from the Talmud (Sanhedrim, 21, 2) given by Geiger … to the effect that Ezra would have been worthy of receiving the Law had Moses not preceded him, does not assist us in unraveling the puzzle. Lidzbarski … favors the possibility of a Jewish sect in Arabia venerating Ezra to such a degree as to deify him; thus casting shame on their orthodox brethren.


All these views are held on the supposition that the text of the Koranic passage is reliable. Emendations, of course, on the other hand, have been proposed, but it always seems a precarious operation to have resort to conjectural alteration in order to elucidate a troublesome text. There are two such textual emendations which have been proposed and which are worthy of mention because of their ingenuity. The first is by Casanova … who reads ‘Uzail instead of ‘Uzair, and equates with ‘Azael, who, according to the Jewish Hagada, is the leader of the “sons of God” of Genesis VI:2, 4. The second is by J. Finkel … who alters the diacritic points, substitutes z for r, and reads Aziz – “king” or “potentate”. This emended text he connects with the verse in the Psalms (2:7): “The Lord said unto me, thou art my son; this day have I begotten thee.”


In spite of such conjectures, however, Horovitz (op. cit. 167), considers that there is no reason to doubt the equation ‘Uzair = Ezra. He himself in this treatment of the subject (op. cit. 127-128) suggests in conclusion that, “it is very probable that Mohammed received his information from a Jewish or Judeo-Christian sect who revered Ezra in similar manner as certain sects did Melchisdek (See Epiphan. Haeres, LV, 1-9)”.


To conclude, if the equation ‘Uzair = Ezra be valid, and there seems no reason to gainsay it, then Mohammed had either been misinformed, or had purposely invented this queer dogma. Certainly among the Jews, Ezra the Scribe, the second Moses, as leader of the men of the Great Synagogue played a most important part in the editing of the Jewish Scriptures and the re-establishment of Judaism in Zion after the Captivity, but so far as is known, no Jewish sect ever held such an extreme doctrine as is herein imputed to them by Mohammed. If the idea did not germinate in Mohammed’s own mind, and since it is quite alien to Judaism, it is obviously a slanderous accusation made against the Jews by their protagonists. I would suggest therefore that perhaps the libelers were none other than their old enemies the Samaritans, who hated Ezra above all because he changed the sacred Law and its holy script. We do not readily associate the Samaritans with matters Islamic but in a very able article (in the Encyclopedia of Islam on the Samaritans) Dr. Gaster has demonstrated that Mohammed seems to have made several borrowing from Samaritan sources. May not this be another?


Let us look at the question through Samaritan eyes. Ezra had acted presumptuously. He had changed the old divine alphabetic character of the holy Books of the Law – a character still used and revered to this day by the rapidly dwindling Samaritan community – for the mercantile Aramaic script. He had acted in a dictatorial manner as if he were God Himself, or the very Son of God. The Samaritans, thoroughly shocked, accused the Jews of following Ezra … and accepting his new edition of the sacred text. They not only accused the Jews of altering the sacred scriptures. Dr. Gaster (in his Schweich Lectures on the Samaritans) indeed proposes to find in this the origin of Mohammed’s conception of the Tahrif, or the doctrine of the corruption of the Holy Bible by the People of the Book. For example, in Sura IV, 48: “Among the Jews are those who displace the words of the Scriptures.” If Dr. Gaster’s suggestion be correct, then Mohammed had found an ally against the Jews in the Samaritans. And if he found the accusations of the latter a useful weapon against the former in one instance, might he not do likewise in another instance, and that especially in the case of a personality like Ezra, whose name was the subject of controversy between the Jews and the Samaritans? Mohammed we know may have acquired his information from the Samaritans during his journeying to Syria, but on the other hand there might have been Samaritan off-shoots in Arabia, although no trace of such is discoverable in the historical records, unless a vestige be found in the feud of Sumair between the two Jewish tribes of Medina. That is highly problematical, and need not be stressed. But it is not at all unlikely that the source of Mohammed’s indictment of the Jews is to be found amongst the Samaritans or amongst Arab tribesmen of Samaritan strain. If we found in Samaritan literature the opposite belief that Ezra (or Uzair) was the son of Satan, we would be well-nigh sure of having settled the matter. Unfortunately, access to Samaritan records is not possible at the moment for the present writer, and the argument from silence is not of substantial value. ….



Roman anomalies associated with Francesco Petrarch

Published May 1, 2018 by amaic
Image result for petrarch and rome

Famous Roman Republicans

beginning to loom as spectral



Part Five:

Roman anomalies associated with Francesco Petrarch




 Damien F. Mackey


“Apollo was rumoured to have been an astrologer, the devil, and the god of the Saracens! Plato was considered to have been a doctor, Cicero a knight and a troubadour, Virgil a mage who blocked the crater of the Vesuvius, etc”.


Could some of the following, at least, be true?

(I do not necessarily accept the dates given below):


…. How Petrarch created the legend of the

glory of Italian Rome out of nothing


…. In 1974 the world celebrated 600 years since the death of Francesco Petrarch (1304-1374), the first prominent writer of the Middle Ages who, according to Leonardo Bruni, “had been the first who… could understand and bring into light the ancient elegance of the style that had been forlorn and forgotten before” ([927]).


The actual persona of Petrarch is nowadays perceived as mysterious, vague and largely unclear, and reality often becomes rather obfuscated. But we are talking about the events of the XIV century here! The true dating of the texts ascribed to Petrarch often remains thoroughly unclear.

Already an eminent poet, Petrarch entered the second period of his life – the period of wandering. In the alleged year of 1333 he travelled around France, Flanders and Germany. “During his European travels, Petrarch became directly acquainted with scientists, searching the libraries of various monasteries trying to find forgotten ancient manuscripts and studying the monuments to the past glory of Rome” ([644], page 59). Nowadays it is assumed that Petrarch became one of the first and most vehement advocates of the “ancient” authors who, as we are beginning to understand, were either his contemporaries, or preceded him by 100-200 years at the most.


Mackey’s comment: Or, some of these were – as according to this present series – fictitious, and based on real characters of the Hellenistic era.

The article continues:


In 1337 he visited the Italian Rome for the first time ([644], page 59).What did he see there? Petrarch writes (if these are indeed his real letters, and not the result of subsequent editing),“Rome seemed even greater to me than I could have imagined – especially the greatness of her ruins” ([644]).Rome in particular and XIV century Italy in general had met Petrarch with an utter chaos of legends, from which the poet had selected the ones he considered to fit his a priori opinion of “the greatness of Italian Rome.” Apparently, Petrarch had been among those who initiated the legend of “the great ancient Italian Rome” without any solid basis. A significant amount of real mediaeval evidence of the correct history of Italy in the Middle Ages was rejected as “erroneous.” It would be of the utmost interest to study these “mediaeval anachronisms” considered preposterous nowadays, if only briefly.

According to mediaeval legends, “Anthenor’s sepulchre” was located in Padua ([644]). In Milan, the statue of Hercules was worshipped. The inhabitants of Pisa claimed their town to have been founded by Pelopsus. The Venetians claimed Venice to have been built of the stones of the destroyed Troy! Achilles was supposed to have ruled in Abruzza, Diomedes in Apulia, Agamemnon in Sicily, Euandres in Piemont, Hercules in Calabria. Apollo was rumoured to have been an astrologer, the devil, and the god of the Saracens!

Plato was considered to have been a doctor, Cicero a knight and a troubadour, Virgil a mage who blocked the crater of the Vesuvius, etc.

All of this is supposed to have taken place in the XIV century or even later! This chaos of information obviously irritated Petrarch, who had come to Rome already having an a priori concept of the “antiquity” of the Italian Rome. It is noteworthy that Petrarch left

us no proof of the “antiquity of Rome” that he postulates. On the contrary, his letters – if they are indeed his real letters, and not later edited copies – paint an altogether different picture. Roughly speaking, it is as follows: Petrarch is convinced that there should be many “great buildings of ancient times” in Rome. He really finds none of those. He is confused and writes this about it:

Where are the thermae of Diocletian and Caracallus? Where is the Timbrium of Marius, the Septizonium and the thermae of Severus? Where is the forum of Augustus and the temple of Mars the Avenger?


Mackey’s comment: These various, supposedly Republican Roman, characters, Marius, Cicero, Augustus, are (tentatively) given Hellenistic real identities in this series.

The article continues:


Where are the holy places of Jupiter the Thunder-Bearer on the Capitol and Apollo on the Palatine? Where is the portico of Apollo and the basilica of Caius and Lucius, where is the portico of Libya and the theatre of Marcellus? Where are the temple of Hercules and the Muses built by Marius Philip, and the temple of Diana built by Lucius Cornifacius? Where is the temple of the Free Arts of Avinius Pollio, where is the theatre of Balbus, the Amphitheatre of Statilius Taurus? Where are the numerous constructions erected by Agrippa, of which only the Pantheon remains? Where are the splendorous palaces of the emperors? One finds everything in the books; when one tries to find them in the city, one

discovers that they either disappeared [sic!] or that only the vaguest of their traces remain”. ([644])

These countless inquiries of “where” this or the other object might be, especially the final phrase, are amazing. They indicate clearly that Petrarch came to the Italian Rome with an a priori certainty that the great Rome as described in the old books is the Italian Rome. As we are now beginning to understand, these books most probably were referring to the Rome on the Bosporus. However, in the early XIV century or even later, it was ordered to assume that the ancient manuscripts referred to the Italian Rome. Petrarch had to find “field traces” of the “great Roman past” in Italy; he searched vigorously, found nothing, and was nervous about this fact.

However, the letters attributed to Petrarch contain traces of a Roman history that differs considerably from the history we are taught nowadays. For instance, Petrarch insists that the pyramid that is now considered to be “the Pyramid of Cestius” is really the sepulchre

of Remus ….

The real parochial Italian Rome of the XIV century surprised the poet greatly, since it strangely failed to concur with his a priori impressions based on the interpretation of the ancient texts which he considered correct. This most probably means that he had rejected

other evidence contradicting this “novel” opinion. The gigantic Coliseum, for instance, proved to be the castle and the fortress of a mediaeval feudal clan, and the same fate befell such “ancient” constructions as the mausoleum of Adrian, the theatre of Marcellus, the arch of Septimius Severus, etc. Plainly speaking, all of the “ancient” buildings turned out to be mediaeval. This presents no contradiction to us; however, for Petrarch, who apparently already perceived Rome through the distorting prism of the erroneous chronology, this must have been extremely odd.

Apparently, we have thus managed to pick out the moment in the Middle Ages when the creation of the consensual erroneous version of the history of Italian Rome began. This couldn’t have preceded the first half of the XIV century – although we should add that it is possible that all of these events occurred significantly later, namely, in the XVI-XVII century.

According to Jan Parandowski, “Petrarch’s arrival marks a new era in the assessment of the state of the great city’s decline. Petrarch had been the first person of the new era whose eyes filled with tears at the very sight of the destroyed columns, and at the very memory of the forgotten names” ([644]). Having wiped off the tears, Petrarch became quite industrious in what concerned the creation of the “true history” of the Italian Rome. He searched for statues, collected Roman medals, and tried to recreate the topography of Rome. Most of Petrarch’s energy was however directed at finding and commenting on the oeuvres of the “ancient” authors. The list of books that he allegedly owned survived until our days, the list that he compiled himself in the alleged year of 1336 a.d., on the last page of the Latin codex that is now kept in the National Library of Paris. Whether or not Petrarch had been in the possession of the original works of the authors, remains unknown. The following names are mentioned in the list:

Horace, Ovid, Catullus, Propercius, Tibullus, Percius, Juvenal, Claudian, Ovid, the comedians Plautus and Terentius; the historians Titus Livy, Sallustius, Suetonius, Florus, Eutropius, Justin, Orosius, Valerius Maximus; the orators and philosophers Quintillian, Varro, Pliny, Apuleius, Aulus Gellius, Macrobius, Vitruvius, Marcian Capella, Pomponius Mela, Cassiodorus, Boetius. As well, the names of a large number of holy fathers are listed.

We ask the following questions:

Can we trust in Petrarch’s ownership of these volumes?

How was the list dated?

Did Petrarch actually hold any of the oeuvres written by the abovementioned authors in his hands, or did he just collect the names?

Do we interpret Petrarch’s statements correctly nowadays? After all, they reach us via a filter of the Scaligerian editors of the XVI-XVII century. We perceive them through the glass of a distorted chronology. Petrarch’s letters are to be studied again, if they really are his and haven’t been written or edited on his behalf a great while later. One also has to emphasize that Petrarch didn’t specifically occupy himself with the dating of the texts he found. He was looking for the “works of the ancients” – apparently without questioning whether they preceded him by a hundred years, two hundred, or a thousand. Let’s not forget that a hundred years, let alone three hundred, is a long period of time.

With the growth of his income, Petrarch founded a special workshop with scribes and secretaries, which he often mentions in his letters. Everyone knew about his infatuation with collecting old books. He mentions it in every letter he writes to his every friend. “If you really value me, do as I tell you: find educated and trustworthy people, and let them rake through the bookcases of every scientist there is, clerical as well as secular” ([644]). He pays for the findings bounteously. And they keep coming to him from all directions. He makes some important discoveries himself – thus, in the alleged year of 1333 he finds two previously unknown speeches of Cicero’s in Liège, and in 1334, Cicero’s letters to Atticus, Quintus and Brutus in Verona ([927], [644]). Let us remind the reader that according to the mediaeval legends, Cicero was a knight and a troubadour, q.v. above.

“Petrarch had reasons for considering himself to be responsible for the revival of interest in the philosophical works and essays of the great Roman orator” ([927], pages 87-88). Petrarch wrote: “as soon as I see a monastery, I head that way in hope of finding some work by Cicero.” The history of how he “discovered” the Cicero’s lost tractate titled De Gloria is very odd indeed. Its existence became known from a letter to Atticus that is attributed to Cicero. Petrarch claimed that he had allegedly discovered this priceless manuscript, but gave it to his old friend Convenevola. Who

is supposed to have lost it.

Nowadays Petrarch’s endeavours are usually written about with great pathos:

“It had really been the first one of those glorious expeditions rich in discoveries that shall be undertaken by the humanists of the generations to follow, who have journeyed like Columbus… in their search for parchments gobbled by numerous rats” ([644]). Cicero’s letters were allegedly discovered by Petrarch in the Chapter Library of Verona, where no-one had been aware of their existence. For some reason, the original was soon lost by Petrarch, and he demonstrated a copy instead.

  1. I. Chlodowsky wrote that:

“Petrarch proved a naturally born philologist. He had been the first to study the oeuvres of the ancient Roman poets, comparing different copies and using data provided by the neighbouring historical sciences… It had been Petrarch the philologer who had destroyed the mediaeval legend of Virgil the mage and sorcerer, and accused the author of the Aeneid of a number of anachronisms; he had deprived Seneca of several works that were ascribed to him in the Middle Ages, and proved the apocryphal character of Caesar’s and Nero’s letters, which had a great political meaning in the middle of the XIV century since it gave authority to the Empire’s claims for Austria”. ([927], pp. 88-89).

This is where the really important motives become clear to us – the ones that Petrarch may have been truly guided by in his “archaeological endeavours.” These motives were political, as we have just explained. We have ourselves been witness to countless examples in contemporary history when “science” was used as basis for one political claim or another. This makes chronology largely irrelevant. However, today when the characters of that epoch have long left the stage, we must return to the issue of just how “preposterous” the letters of Caesar and Nero were, and what was “wrong” in the mediaeval legends of Virgil.

The poet’s attitude to the ancient documents was far from critical analysis. Petrarch’s declarations of “antiquity” may have been made for meeting the conditions of some political order of the Reformation epoch in Western Europe (the XVI-XVII century). The order had been made to create a dichotomy between “barbaric contemporaneity” and “beauteous antiquity”. See Chron6 for details. At any rate, one clearly sees that either Petrarch or someone else acting on his behalf was creating the mythical world of antiquity without bothering about the exact epoch when Cicero’s speeches were written, and whether it had preceded that of Petrach by 200 years, or 1400. It is possible that all of this activity really took place in the XVI-XVII century and not the XIV, during the Reformation in the Western Europe, and had archly been shifted into the XIV century and ascribed to Petrarch so that it would gain the “authority of antiquity.” The reality of the XVI-XVII century, which Petrarch cites as the antithesis of “ancient civilization,” was later baptized “feudal barbarism.” ….


Solomon and Charlemagne. Part Four: Carolingians a “new Israel”

Published April 27, 2018 by amaic
Image result for charlemagne



Damien F. Mackey



“Therefore, once Charlemagne received the imperial title, the concept of the Franks

as the “new Israel,” already circulating at court, began to intensify”.

 Constance B. Bouchard




So much of French regal history, Merovingian and Carolingian, smacks of the Bible.

King Chlodomer, for instance, smacks of the Elamite king, Chedorlaomer (Genesis 14:1):


Chedorlaomer and Chlodomer


Whilst King Chilperic I has been likened to ‘Herod’:


King Chilperic I a ‘Nero and Herod’


and, again, to the wicked Old Testament king, Ahab: “Gregory, who as bishop of Tours had confrontations with Chilperic and Fredegund, implicitly likens himself in books 5 and 6 to Elijah prophesying against Ahab and Jezebel …”. (Zachary S. Schiffman, The Birth of the Past, p. 123).


Along similar lines we find:


Queen Brunhild [as] the ‘second Jezebel’


And, in a supposedly later era, there is this classic:


Isabella of France, ‘iron virago’, ‘Jezebel’


To name just a few.


Perhaps even more apparent are the striking Davidic and Solomonic likenesses of the Carolingian kings. See e.g. my:


Solomon and Charlemagne. Part One: Life of Charlemagne


“Emperor Charlemagne’s life bears some uncanny likenesses to
that of the ancient King Solomon of Israel and his family”.




Solomon and Charlemagne. Part Two: Archaeology of Charlemagne


“For AD history to be fully convincing and to be made to rest on firm foundations, it will need to undergo a rigorous revision similar to the one that scholars have been undertaking for BC history, with the application of a revised stratigraphy. There may be some indications that the history of Charlemagne is yet far from having been established on such firm stratigraphical foundations”.


No wonder that conspiracy theorists and authors, such as Dan Brown, have had so much fun with the Merovingians and Carolingians!

To give just one intriguing example of this sort of thing, we read at:


The Carolingians were partly of Merovingian descent, but more importantly, they represented the union of the once divided lineage of the several families responsible for the formation of Mithraism, mainly, the House of Herod, of Commagene, the Julio-Claudian Emperors of Rome, and the Priest-Kings of Emesa. This lineage had survived in two branches. Julia, the heiress of the Edomite royal bloodline, was the daughter of Herod Phollio King of Chalcis, whose grandfather was Herod the Great, and whose mother was the daughter of Salome. Julia married Tigranes King of Armenia, the son of Alexander of Judea. Their son Alexander married Iotape of Commagene, the daughter of Antiochus IV, from whom was descended St. Arnulf, was a Frankish noble who had great influence in the Merovingian kingdoms as Bishop of Metz, and who was later canonized as a saint, and who lived from 582 to 640 AD.[2]


Always tracing it all back to biblical kings.

I find it most interesting that there is a connection made here between an Antiochus IV and the biblical king Herod the Great, since, recently, I have actually made so bold as to identify the latter, Herod, as Antiochus IV ‘Epiphanes’ of the Maccabean era:


Jesus Christ born in Maccabean era


And I suspect that the “Antiochus IV” named in the above quote is simply, as I have written:


Antiochus IV ‘Epiphanes’ Doubled



Anyway, Constance B. Bouchard has, in “Images of the Merovingians and Carolingians”, provided extra support for the Israel-like-ness of the enigmatic Carolingians and Charlemagne:


Although historians do not denigrate the quite real Carolingian achievements, they are now analyzing the many models, from the kings of ancient Israel to the Caesars, to which the emperors were compared by their publicists.


The Carolingians themselves appear to have been very sensitive to the possibility that they would be considered rulers who enjoyed divine favor only at the pleasure of the pope. Therefore, once Charlemagne received the imperial title, the concept of the Franks as the “new Israel,” already circulating at court, began to intensify. The choice of the ancient Hebrew kings provided a model which would not be based on a connection to the papacy.42 The kings of Israel had stood halfway between their people and God, without needing the mediation of priests and certainly not of popes. As the new David and the new Solomon, Charlemagne and his heir could take on a similar position: one that required great responsibility, certainly, but one in which no one stood between them and God.


Not surprisingly, too, we find books and articles with titles like “The Franks as the New Israel? Education for an Identity from Pippin to Charlemagne,” by M. Garrison (in Hen and Innes (eds.), Uses of the Past).

Antiochus ‘Epiphanes’ and Emperor Hadrian “… a mirror image”

Published May 1, 2017 by amaic


Damien F. Mackey



“Hadrian, revisits the actions of [the] predecessor Antiochus IV Epiphanes and

sets up a Temple of Jupiter on the Temple mount, ordering circumcision to cease …”.



Hadrian “a mirror image”

of Antiochus Epiphanes


That, at least, is how Anthony R. Birley has described the emperor Hadrian in his book, Hadrian, The Restless Emperor (p. 228):


The influence on Hadrian’s thinking of the first and most famous bearer of that name, Antiochus IV Epiphanes of Syria, had already been seen at Athens. It had, after all, been that king who had revived and gone a long way to completing the construction of the Olympieion. He too, like Hadrian, had promoted the cult of Zeus Olympios. There are various other aspects of the character and policies of the eccentric monarch which find an echo in Hadrian, of whom he seems to be almost a mirror image. In his long years as a hostage the Seleucid prince had acquired a fervent admiration for Roman ways. His behaviour at Antioch, mingling with the common people like a would-be civilis princeps, recalls Hadrian the plebis iactantissimus amator. Antiochus was also, at least in his latter years — and notwithstanding his promotion of Zeus Olympios — a devotee of [Epicureanism]. ….

[End of quote]


On shared Epicureanism still, we also read at:


The transformation of Epicureanism into a competitive sect celebrating Epicurus as “savior” increased the already existing opposition to it. Rhetorical literature falsely accused Epicurus of materialistic hedonism. Complaints of Epicurean dogmatism, “beguiling speech” (Col. 2:4), and compelling argumentation (of Avot 2:14 “…[know] what to answer the Epicurean”) are frequently heard. Rabbinic condemnation reflects knowledge of Greco-Roman rhetoric, experiences with individuals and centers (Gadara, Gaza, Caesarea), and, possibly, the favoritism shown to Epicureanism by *Antiochus Epiphanes and *Hadrian. “Epicurean” became thus a byword for “deviance” – ranging from disrespect to atheism – in Philo, Josephus, and rabbinism alike (see *Apikoros).


[End of quote]


Stephen D. Moore, in The Bible in Theory: Critical and Postcritical Essays, p. 196, when discussing the famous incident in the Maccabees of the mother and her seven martyred sons, adds this intriguing footnote (51) according to which Antiochus was replaced in rabbinic tradition by Hadrian:


Nameless in 4 Maccabees, the mother is dubbed Miriam bat Tanhum, or Hannah, in the rabbinic tradition, Solomone in the Greek Christian tradition, and Mart Simouni in the Syriac tradition (see further Darling Young 1991, 67). The tyrant in the rabbinic versions, however, is not Antiochus Epiphanes but Hadrian: Hadrian came and seized upon a widow …” (S. Eliyahu Rab. 30); “In the days of the shemad [the Hadrianic persecutions]…” (Pesiq. R. 43). ….

[End of quote]


Whilst Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175-164 BC, conventional dating), a Macedonian Greek, had, as we read above, “acquired a fervent admiration for Roman ways”, Hadrian (117-138 AD, conventional dating), supposedly a Roman emperor, was “strongly Philhellene [Greek loving]”



According to the article, “The Temple in Jerusalem over the threshing floor which is presently under the Al Kas fountain”, “Hadrian [a Hitler type] … revisits … Antiochus IV Epiphanes” (


After Titus destroyed the Temple in 70 AD, Hadrian became Caesar in 117 – 138 AD [sic]. Hadrian, revisits the actions of [the] predecessor Antiochus IV Epiphanes and sets up a Temple of Jupiter on the Temple mount, ordering circumcision to cease and expelling the Jews from Jerusalem altogether. He not only made himself the object of worship in this temple, but made Jerusalem the capital city of the Roman world for the worship of Jupiter. He also built [a] temple to Jupiter in Baalbek, Lebanon that is still standing today. Just as Hitler deceived British Prime Minister Chamberlain in 1938 AD that there would be “peace in our time”, so too Hadrian deceived the Jews to believe that he was peacefully rebuilding the Jewish Temple, when in fact he was constructing the world headquarters “Temple of Jupiter”. As construction began, the Jews probably even helped in thankfulness and praise to Hadrian. But when the Jews finally learned of Hadrian’s true intent, as did England learn of Hitler’s, they rebelled and a huge war broke out in 132 AD [sic] where 85 major Jewish towns were destroyed and 580,000 Jewish men were killed. The false promises of peace of Hadrian and Hitler both resulted in major holocausts against the Jews. Israel came to the promised land with about 600,000 men and they were finally expelled from the land by having about 600,000 men killed by Hadrian. The Temple of Jupiter was completed on the temple mount in 135 AD [sic] and was the most important (Jupiter Capitolinus) “Temple to Jupiter” in the world. While the Jews of Hadrian’s time may have been looking for the story of 2 Maccabees conclude with a similar victory for the Jews, Hadrian was likely reminded of the same 2 Macc. text to make sure the ending was different. ….


And again:


Dan 9:27; 11:31; Matt 24:15; Luke 21:20 are specific prophecies that the “abomination of desolation that will make sacrifice cease” in the Jewish temple which was fully fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. But there were two other shadow or anti-typical fulfillments of these same prophecies. One was in 167 BC with Antiochus IV Epiphanes and the other was in 117 AD with the rise of Hadrian to power. Whereas Antiochus merely offered sacrifices to Jupiter in the Jewish Temple, Hadrian built the largest temples of Jupiter in the world in place of the Jewish temple. ….

[End of quote]






Simon Magus was a “Son of Perdition”

Published April 29, 2017 by amaic

Image result for simon magus


Damien F. Mackey


Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great, and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, ‘This man is rightly called the Great Power of God’. They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his sorcery”.

Acts 8:911


According to some, Simon the Magician was, all at once, Book of Revelation’s Beast and 666; the Antichrist; “the man of sin” and “the son of perdition”.

Jack Walton introduces Simon Magus as “… the most important person in history you never heard of” (


Simon Magus — The lluminati’s Jesus?


January 3, 2011


The full life of Simon Magus is mostly unknown ….


He was the towering figure of his time, along with his wife, Helen, the Jezebel and whore of Babylon from Revelation.


According to Bible Scholars Barbara Thiering and Hans Jonas, Simon Magus was the founder of the Gnostic church and was the direct competitor with Christianity for the hearts and minds of the Greco Roman world.


Simon is the Beast, the original Antichrist, and the true identity of the number 666. He was so powerful in fact, that he is known by many different names in the Bible.  Once all his “names” are learned, a very different picture of the Gospel emerges, one in which Jesus and Simon were creating two very different religions, for the reformation of Judaism, and the conversion of the Greco Roman/Pagan world to the Judaic god.


The circles that Magus worked in were the Illuminati of his time. At the time this consisted of what we would consider both “white” and “black” magicians, including the apostles of Jesus [sic] and the sects they led, (the “good” guys) as well as the Herod family, and the higher echelons of Rome, and the gnostic magicians (the Saturnalian or “black” magicians).


Thus, the “good guys” and the “bad guys had their start together at this time and later split up.   Simon Magus was a Samaritan Jew, whose particular version of Judaism incorporated the sexual licentiousness of the ancient Babylonian religions.


According to Clement, the early church father, Magus could, levitate items on command, speak with spirits, summon demons and place them into statues making the statues walk and talk, fly, and even raise the dead.


These were all deceptions designed to indoctrinate his followers into believing he was a god.  His religion, the Gnostic religion, was the sect that preceded Christianity in the Diaspora.  The current Illuminati religion (freemasonry) is based on Gnosticism and the ancient Babylonian mysticism (Satanism?) that he incorporated into his version of Judaism that he was selling (quite literally) to the masses of the Greco-Roman world.


He is the inspiration for Faust, and modern televangelist deceivers continue his tradition whether they realize it or not (i.e., religion based on deception.)  Anytime there is a reference to someone selling their soul to the devil, it is a reference to Faust, who was inspired by Simon Magus.


The medieval Rosicrucians who compiled the story of Faust understood all this (are they not Illuminati?)  One of the great untold stories of Christianity is how Peter and Paul came behind Simon and converted his many followers to Christianity.


In the beginning, Magus had been a follower of John the Baptist, and because of his genius and ability, was accepted by … the other Apostles. Simon’s early role in Judaism before his diaspora career, would be seen today as like an intelligence operative. He was of course, cast out of their ranks when they learned who he was.


One of the major things he did was attempt to organize a mass revolt against Pilate and the son of Herod, which was put down brutally. ….

Because of his stature, and the complexity of his life … Simon’s  accomplishments were divided by the Christians, and attributed to multiple people, under multiple pseudonyms.  In other words, he was so dangerous, that he was practically wiped from history, except for those “in the know.”


A great animosity existed between Simon and Peter.  Simon’s religion was based on deception, (Simon represented himself as a god), allowed for sexual licentiousness (the origins of “sex-magic”, which included orgies and homosexuality by his followers.


Peter taught abstinence in marriage, except for procreation, and this drew a lot of women to his flock. ….

[End of quote]


According to David L. Eastman, in “Simon the Anti-Christ? The Magos as Christos in Early Christian Literature”, Simon Magus was, for the early Christians, a “wicked, deceitful anti-Christ, the very embodiment of evil”



None of the early Christian sources denies that Simon had power to do things that others could not do. He is consistently remembered and presented as a figure who could perform amazing deeds to astound the crowds, even if he did so through the despicable arts of sorcery. In his various, reimagined guises, Simon was formidable because he was powerful, even if that power came from demons, as Peter asserts in his prayers to strike down Simon. In the earliest Christian centuries, when there existed a perceived threat of alternative Christologies, Simon is presented as the champion of ‘heresies’ such as Modalism and Docetism.

…. The authors of the later apocryphal texts, writing in a different cultural and ecclesiastical context, amend the earlier traditions and present a potent Simon in order to highlight the even greater power of the apostles. Peter and Paul confront and conquer this wicked, deceitful anti-Christ, the very embodiment of evil. ….

[End of quote]



The following description of “the man of sin”, “the son of perdition”, in Wayne Jackson’s article “Who Is Paul’s ‘Man of Sin’?”, seems to me to be perfectly applicable to Simon Magus (though this is by no means the conclusion that Wayne Jackson himself will reach):


Traits of the Man of Sin


Once a student has thoroughly read 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12, we believe that it is possible to isolate certain tell-tale qualities of this diabolical force, and work toward a solution as to the identity of the “man of sin.”


Consider the following factors.

The Man of Sin and The Apostasy


The Man of Sin is the ultimate result of the falling away from the faith (v. 3).


The expression “falling away” translates the Greek term apostasia. Our English word “apostasy” is an anglicized form of this original term.


In the Bible, the word is used of a defection from the religion ordained by God. As a noun, it is employed of departure from the Mosaic system (Acts 21:21), and, in this present passage, of defection from Christianity. The verbal form of the term is similarly used in 1 Timothy 4:1 (cf. Heb. 3:12).


Note also that the noun is qualified by a definite article (the apostasia). A definite movement is in the apostle’s prophetic vision — not merely a principle of defection.

The Man of Sin Was Yet to Be Revealed


This sinister force, from a first-century vantage point, was yet to be revealed (v. 3).


This appears to suggest that the movement had not evolved to the point where it could be identified definitely by the primitive saints. It awaited future development.

The Man of Sin and Son of Perdition


This persecuting power was designated as the man of sin (v. 3), because sin was its “predominating quality” (Ellicott, p. 118). This character, referred to in both neuter and masculine genders (vv. 6-7), is the son of perdition (v. 3), because its end is to be perdition, i.e., destruction, by the Lord himself (v. 8).

The Lawless One


This opponent of God is called the lawless one (v. 8). This power has no regard for the law of God. One cannot but be reminded of that infamous “little horn” in Daniel’s vision: “[H]e shall think to change the times and the law” (7:25).

Man of Sin: Opposes God, Exalts Himself, and Sits in the Temple of God


The Man of Sin opposes God and exalts himself against all that is genuinely sacred (v. 4). He feigns religiosity, but his true character reveals that he is diabolic. His activity actually is according to the working of Satan (v. 9).


In some sense, the Man of Sin will sit in the temple of God (v. 4). The “temple” is not a reference to the Jewish house of worship. The Greek word is naos, used by Paul eight times. Never does he employ this term of the Jewish temple.


In fact, after the death of Christ, the Jewish temple is never again called the temple of God (Newton, p. 441). Rather it is used of the Christian’s body (1 Cor. 6:19) or of the church as God’s spiritual house (1 Cor. 3:16, 17; Eph. 2:21).


The implication of Paul’s warning is this. This unholy being is viewed as being a “church” character.


The expression “sitteth” may hint of unparalleled arrogance (Ellicott, pp. 119-120). Mason notes that the language describes the Man of Sin as attempting to exact “divine homage” from people (p. 169).


Moreover, this Son of Perdition sets himself forth as God. The present participle (“sets forth continually”) reveals that this presumptive posture is characteristic of the Man of Sin.


This person represents himself as God, either:


  • by making claims that belong only to deity;
  • by receiving adoration reserved exclusively for God; or,
  • by usurping prerogatives which only God can accomplish.

Clearly, the Man of Sin is an ecclesiastical character. Recall the description of John’s lamb-like beast in Revelation 13:11ff.

The Man of Sin Deceives with Lying Miracles


He deceives those who love not the truth, by virtue of the lying wonders he effects (vv. 9-10).

Bloomfield calls these “pretended miracles” (p. 345). These “wonders” are not in the category of Christ’s miracles. Lenski has well commented:


“So many are ready to attribute real miracles to Satan and to his agents; the Scriptures never do” (p. 426).



Man of Sin Already at Work in Paul’s Day


The early stages of this ecclesiastical apostasy were already at work in the early church (v. 7). The Greek term (energeitai, a present tense, middle voice form) suggests that this movement currently was working itself towards a greater goal.

The child, later to become a Man, was growing in Paul’s day. The error was “already operative” (Lenski, p. 417), but not yet “revealed” (v. 6). This is a crucial point.

Restrained During Paul’s Day


In Paul’s day there was some influence that restrained the budding Man of Sin. This was some sort of abstract force, as evidenced by the neuter form of katechon, “the restraining thing” (v. 6).

And yet, this force was strongly associated with a person/persons as suggested by the masculine, “he who restrains” (v. 7). Likely the significance is that of a broad power, operating under individual rulers.


Unlike the Man of Sin, whose identity was later to be revealed, the early saints knew personally of this restraining force. “You know (oidate — “to know from observation” — Vine, p. 444).


This indicates that the restraining power was an entity contemporary with Paul, not a modern one.

Restraining Force To Be Removed


The restraining force eventually would *be taken out of the way”, or, more correctly, “be gone.” And so, the Man of Sin, in “his own season,” would be revealed openly (vv. 6, 7).


Ellicott says that it is a season “appointed and ordained by God” (p. 121). One recalls that the “little horn” of Daniel’s fourth beast only rose to prominence after three horns were plucked up to make room for it.


Too, the earth-beast of John’s vision came into full power after the sea-beast had received a death-stroke, but was healed. And so here, the restraining power will give way to the horrible revelation of the Man of Sin. ….

[End of quotes]


Movement of apostasy, lawlessness, against all that is genuinely sacred, feignedly religious, diabolical, working according to power of Satan, a pseudo-Christian pretender, setting himself forth as a God, and so on. It reads just like the blasphemous profile of Simon Magus.