Whoever, like the emperor Constantine who turned every so slightly to the truth and issued the edict freeing the Christians
- A Discourse Which Was in the Presence of Antoninus Caesar, and He Exhorted1 The Said Caesar to Acquaint Himself with God, and Showed to Him the Way of Truth.
2 … Scripture reference – Rev.: 18:3, 9; Isaiah: 23:17; Rev.: 14:8
3 … Scripture reference – Rev.: 12:3; 13:1
4 … Scripture reference – Rev.: 18:16
5 … Scripture reference – Rev.: 19:2
6 … Scripture reference –
7 … Scripture reference –
8 … Scripture reference – Rev.: 17:11; 11:7!; 13:3, 8!
9 … Scripture reference – Rev.: 13:18
10 … Scripture reference –
11 … Scripture reference – Rev.: 17:8
12 … Scripture reference – Dan.: 7:24
13 … Scripture reference –
14 … Scripture reference – Rev.: 19:16; 1Tim.: 6:15!
15 … Scripture reference –
16 … Scripture reference – Rev.: 19:20; Dan.:7:11
17 … Scripture reference – Prv.: 21:1
18 … Scripture reference –
VI: BABYLON THE GREAT
The Woman on the Scarlet Beast
1 ¶ And there came one of the seven angels who had the seven vials and spoke with me, saying: Come, I will shew thee the condemnation of the great harlot, who sitteth upon many waters: … Scripture reference – Rev.: 15:1,6; 21:9; 19:2
2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication. And they who inhabit the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her whoredom. … Scripture reference – Rev.: 18:3, 9; Isaiah: 23:17; Rev.: 14:8
3 And he took me away in spirit into the desert. And I saw a woman sitting upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. … Scripture reference – Rev.: 12:3; 13:1
4 And the woman was clothed round about with purple and scarlet, and gilt with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand, full of the abomination and filthiness of her fornication. … Scripture reference – Rev.: 18:16
5 And on her forehead a name was written: A mystery:  Babylon the great, the mother of the fornications and the abominations of the earth. … Scripture reference – Rev.: 19:2
6 And I saw the woman drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And I wondered, when I had seen her, with great admiration.
The Angel’s Explanation
7 ¶ And the angel said to me: Why dost thou wonder? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman and of the beast which carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.
8 The beast which thou sawest, was, and is not, and shall come up out of the bottomless pit and go into destruction. And the inhabitants on the earth (whose names are not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world) shall wonder, seeing the beast that was and is not. … Scripture reference – Rev.: 17:11; 11:7!; 13:3, 8!
9 And here is the understanding that hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, upon which the woman sitteth: and they are seven kings. … Scripture reference – Rev.: 13:18
10 Five are fallen, one is, and the other is not yet come: and when he is come, he must remain a short time. … Scripture reference –
11 And the beast  which was and is not: the same also is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into destruction. … Scripture reference – Rev.: 17:8
12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, who have not yet received a kingdom: but shall receive power as kings, one hour  after [with] the beast. … Scripture reference – Dan.: 7:24
13 These have one design: and their strength and power they shall deliver to the beast.
14 ¶ These shall fight with the Lamb. And the Lamb shall overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings: and they that are with him are called and elect and faithful. … Scripture reference – Rev.: 19:16; 1Tim.: 6:15!
15 And he said to me: The waters which thou sawest, where the harlot sitteth, are peoples and nations and tongues. … Scripture reference –
16 And the ten horns which thou sawest in the beast: These shall hate the harlot and shall make her desolate and naked and shall eat her flesh and shall burn her with fire. … Scripture reference – Rev.: 19:20; Dan.:7:11
17 For God hath given into their hearts to do that which pleaseth him: that they give their kingdom  to the beast, till the words of God be fulfilled. … Scripture reference – Prv.: 21:1
18 And the woman which thou sawest is the great city which hath kingdom over the kings of the earth.  … Scripture reference –
 -Ver:-5. A mystery: the name is not literal but symbolical and its meaning is that it will be revealed in due time. (mystery in Greek is musterion, that is “revealed”). In the final ‘universal recapitulation of evil’ (St. Irenaeus’ expression) the “woman” who is the “great harlot” will be the recapitulation of all the diabolic, demonic, gnostic, infidel, false religion of the world since Adam. In short, today it is the Pan-heresy of the Ecumenical movement (utterly opposed by Mortalium Animus, Pius XI, 1928), which is the culmination of modernist Judeo-Mason blasphemy of: the True God and His Christ and the Holy Spirit. This Pan-heresy is centered at Rome in the Vatican since 1958 especially, and has permeated all churches; this is the great apostasy that St. Paul the Apostle warned us about (see: 2 Thess.2:3, 6, 7). He who holds the great apostasy back (2 Thess: 2:6, 7) until the appointed time is Jesus Christ Himself, according to St. Justin Martyr. The beast that the woman rides is the world’s political-religious systems opposed to the True God, the Trinity, Who is the Creator and Ruler over all. These taken together are the precursor of the final beast of verse 11 which includes all the former systems within it.
 -Ver. 11. The beast spoken of here seems to be the Roman Empire, as in chapter 13. At the end of days it will be the final world system opposing Christ and His Church. This world system will be, according to the Church Fathers and Doctors of the Church, the one world empire of the Antichrist who is the son of perdition, headquartered in the rebuilt Solomonic temple in Jerusalem. See 2 Thessalonians 2nd chapter. This is the ultimate Babylon and is utterly damned by Christ and His Church. “Such a secular, earthbound state [Israel] could easily become the political and military power base for the Antichrist when he comes. For the Antichrist will be in perfect accord with the ideals of such a Zionist state. Moreover, the State of Israel has demonstrated that it has the will and ability to go to war and win the secular goals to which its heart is attached. Thus when the Antichrist comes to power as head of such an efficient, superbly equipped, scientific State, founded on nationalism, race and blood, he will be able to conquer the rest of the world. He will be the first, the only Jew to reign with political, economic, military power over the whole world from his capital city, Jerusalem, the city in which Our Lord was crucified” (Fr. Vincent Miceli, S.J., The Antichrist, p. 152).
 -Ver. 12. One hour: ten other kingdoms are allies of the beast and battle against the Church. But their dominion is short; typified as an hour. These occur at the same time and not in succession.
 -Ver. 17. The Greek text reads: “. . . to
do his purpose and to make common cause and to give their kingdom. . . :”
 –Ver. 18. …great city which hath kingdom over the kings of the earth.: at the time that the Apocalypse was seen and recorded by St. John the Apostle, that city was Rome, Italy, of the seven hills (1 – Janiculum with the Vatican on the lower slope today, 2 – Aventine, 3 – Palatine with the Capitoline and the Tiburtine oracle, 4 – Caelian, 5 – Esquiline, 6 – Viminal, 7 – Quirinal), in the future it will be Jerusalem of the seven hills (1 – The Citadel, 2 – Acra, 3 – Temple Mount, 4 – Mount of Olives, 5 – Mt. Scopus, 6 – Mt Zion, 7 – Golgotha) when the Antichrist rules from there. The eighth head which is a king and has dominion over the kingdoms of the earth and therefore is identified with that world wide (ecumenical in the narrow sense) kingdom as well, was Caesar, in the days of ancient Rome. Caesar was ruler over Rome, the Pontifex Maximus (head of all Roman religion) and Princeps Senatus – first member by precedence of the Roman Senate (therefore functional dictator without the title); and also the Emperor (Imperator) over the Roman Empire. In the future the eighth head ruling over Jerusalem and having world wide dominion for a short space will be the Antichrist. The exact arrangement of how that will be enacted is known to God.
2 … Scripture reference – Rev.: 14:8!; Isaiah: 13:21, 22!
3 … Scripture reference – Rev.: 14:8; 17:2; Jer.: 51:7!; Rev.: 18:9, 15
4 … Scripture reference – Jer.: 51:45!; 2 Cor.: 6:17!; Eph.: 5:7!; 1 Tim.: 5:22
5 … Scripture reference – Jer.: 51:9
6 … Scripture reference – Jer.: 50:29!; 2 Thess.: 1:6
7 … Scripture reference – Isaiah: 47:8
8 … Scripture reference –
9 … Scripture reference – Rev.: 18:3; 17:2; 18:18
10 … Scripture reference – Rev.: 18:15, 16, 17
11 … Scripture reference – Ezek.: 27;32!
12 … Scripture reference –
13 … Scripture reference –
14 … Scripture reference –
15 … Scripture reference – Rev.: 18:3, 10
16 … Scripture reference – Rev.: 17:4
17 … Scripture reference – Ezek.: 27:29, 30!; Rev.: 18:10
18 … Scripture reference – Ezek.: 27:29, 30!; Rev.: 18:9
19 … Scripture reference – Ezek.: 27:29, 30!, 32, 33!
20 … Scripture reference – Rev.: 12:12
21 … Scripture reference – Jer.: 51:63, 64
22 … Scripture reference – Ezek.:26:13!; Jer.: 25:10!
23 … Scripture reference – Jer.: 25:10!
24 … Scripture reference – Rev.: 16:6!
The Fall of Babylon
1 ¶ And after these things, I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power: and the earth was enlightened with his glory. … Scripture reference – Rev.: 10:1; Ezek.: 43:2
2 And he cried out with a strong voice, saying: Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen: and is become the habitation of devils and the hold of every unclean spirit and the hold of every unclean and hateful bird: … Scripture reference – Rev.: 14:8!; Isaiah: 13:21, 22!
3 Because all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication: and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her; And the merchants of the earth have been made rich by the power of her delicacies. … Scripture reference – Rev.: 14:8; 17:2; Jer.: 51:7!; Rev.: 18:9, 15
Her Sins and Punishment
4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying: Go out from her, my people; that you be not partakers of her sins and that you receive not of her plagues. … Scripture reference – Jer.: 51:45!; 2 Cor.: 6:17!; Eph.: 5:7!; 1 Tim.: 5:22
5 For her sins have reached unto heaven: and the Lord hath remembered her iniquities. … Scripture reference – Jer.: 51:9
6 Render to her as she also hath rendered to you: and double unto her double, according to her works. In the cup wherein she hath mingled, mingle ye double unto her. … Scripture reference – Jer.: 50:29!; 2 Thess.: 1:6
7 As much as she hath glorified herself and lived in delicacies, so much torment and sorrow give ye to her. Because she saith in her heart: I sit a queen and am no widow: and sorrow I shall not see. … Scripture reference – Isaiah: 47:8
8 Therefore, shall her plagues come in one day, death and mourning and famine. And she shall be burnt with the fire: because God is strong, who shall judge her.
Dirge of the Kings
9 ¶  And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived in delicacies with her, shall weep and bewail themselves over her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning: … Scripture reference – Rev.: 18:3; 17:2; 18:18
10 Standing afar off for fear of her torments, saying: Alas! alas! that great city, Babylon, that mighty city: for in one hour is thy judgment come. … Scripture reference – Rev.: 18:15, 16, 17
Dirge of the Merchants
11 And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her: for no man shall buy their merchandise any more. … Scripture reference – Ezek.: 27;32!
12 Merchandise of gold and silver and precious stones: and of pearls and fine linen and purple and silk and scarlet: and all thyine wood: and all manner of vessels of ivory: and all manner of vessels of precious stone and of brass and of iron and of marble:
13 And cinnamon and odours and ointment and frankincense and wine and oil and fine flour and wheat and beasts  and sheep and horses and chariots: and slaves and souls of men.
14 And the fruits of the desire of thy soul are departed from thee: and all fat and goodly things are perished from thee. And they shall find them no more at all.
15 The merchants of these things, who were made rich, shall stand afar off from her, for fear of her torments, weeping and mourning, … Scripture reference – Rev.: 18:3, 10
16 And saying: Alas! alas! that great city, which was clothed with fine linen and purple and scarlet and was gilt with gold and precious stones and pearls. … Scripture reference – Rev.: 17:4
17 For in one hour are so great riches come to nought.
Dirge of the Mariners
And every shipmaster and all that sail into the lake, and mariners, and as many as work in the sea, stood afar off, … Scripture reference – Ezek.: 27:29, 30!; Rev.: 18:10
18 And cried, seeing the place of her burning, saying: What city is like to this great city? … Scripture reference – Ezek.: 27:29, 30!; Rev.: 18:9
19 And they cast dust upon their heads and cried, weeping and mourning, saying: Alas! alas! that great city, wherein all were made rich, that had ships at sea, by reason of her prices. For, in one hour she is made desolate. … Scripture reference – Ezek.: 27:29, 30!, 32, 33!
20 Rejoice over her, thou heaven and ye holy apostles and prophets. For God hath judged your judgment on her. … Scripture reference – Rev.: 12:12
The Angel’s Promise
21 And a mighty angel took up a stone, as it were a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying: With such violence as this, shall Babylon, that great city, be thrown down and shall be found no more at all. … Scripture reference – Jer.: 51:63, 64
22 And the voice of harpers and of musicians and of them that play on the pipe and on the trumpet shall no more be heard at all in thee: and no craftsman  of any art whatsoever shall be found any more at all in thee: and the sound of the mill shall be heard no more at all in thee: … Scripture reference – Ezek.:26:13!; Jer.: 25:10!
23 And the light of the lamp shall shine no more at all in thee: and the voice of the bridegroom and the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee. For thy merchants were the great men of the earth: for all nations have been deceived by thy enchantments. … Scripture reference – Jer.: 25:10!
24 And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints and of all that were slain upon the earth. … Scripture reference – Rev.: 16:6!
 -Ver. 9-19. This passage is not an account of a vision but rather a direct prophecy, after. the manner of the prophecies of Isaias and Ezechiel concerning Tyre. Tyre furnishes a type of the vengeance of God upon satanic pride and luxury.
 -Ver.13. Beasts [of burden]: the Greek has “cattle.”
 –Ver. 22 The city had boasted previously of her craftsmen, skilled in every craft.
God and His Messiah Jesus Christ our Lord - our right and duty to witness to Him: Emperor Domitian and the Temple Construction
Domitian’s desire to be viewed as a member of this partnership was uncompromising. He depicted himself as the earthly representative of Jupiter, and the chosen leader of the Roman Empire (Scott, 139). This is evidenced on the Column of Trajan where Domitian is shown hurling thunderbolts at his Dacian enemies, thus defeating the forces of disorder (Fears, 79). Domitian also had himself represented in this manner on coinage after his victories against the Chatti, once again being represented with a thunderbolt (Mattingly, 372, 377, 381, 386, 389, 403, 406). The Great Arch at Cumae is also crowned with a representation of Domitian wielding thunderbolts, and is complemented by such laudatory comments as those of Statius: en! Hic est deus, hunc iubet beatis pro se Iuppiter imperare terris; quo non dignior has subit habenas, ex quo me duce praescios Averni Aeneas avide futura quaerens lucos et penetravit et reliquit (Silv., 4.3.128-9). Martial also refers to this style of identification in his Epigrams, when he says: at te protexit superum pater et tibi, Caesar, pro iaculo et parma fulmen et aegis erat (Martial, 9.20). This remark creates an unmistakable link between Domitian and Jupiter, with the emperor also frequently identified with the bearer of the aegis, Minerva, the protector.
Domitian’s devotion to Jupiter and his desire to create a definite association between himself and the supreme deity, was splendidly complimented by a private veneration for Minerva who was his personal divine patroness (Fears, 78). Although the relationship between Domitian and Minerva existed on a more private level, this did not prevent him making public offerings to her. The most important of these was his construction of the Templum Minerva Chalcidicia, late in Domitian’s reign. It was built in close proximity to the Pantheon, and was also connected to the Divorum Vespasiani et Titi by a flight of steps as can be seen on the Severan Marble Plan. This connection between Minerva and his deified predecessors is symbolic in terms of the attachment that Domitian felt towards his patron goddess, being linked, as it were, with his family who were also deified. This correlation is also found in the close proximity of the Vespasianic Templum Pacis (Josephus, 7.158), which was completed by Domitian, to the Forum Transitorum, or Forum Nervae (Aur.Victor, 12.2; Eutropius, 7.23), which contained an impressive temple to Minerva (CIL, 6.953). The construction has been confirmed to be Domitianic, with the architectural features being similar to those of the Palatine Palace. Domitian also restored the Templum Castorum et Minervae, as implied by Martial (9.3.11). The relationship between the two divinities was purely topographical, but their affinity is relevant considering that the Aedes Castoris (Suet., Julius, 10) was one of the most important and well known temples (Jones, 91). Anderson considers the most likely location for the Temple of Minerva was at the entrance to the Domus Augustana, Domitian’s private palace on the Palatine (1983, 100).
One of the most obvious signs of Domitian’s personal veneration for Minerva was the shrine, which Domitian had erected in his bedroom for his private and diligent supplication to her (Suet., Dom., 15.2; Dio, 67.16.1). This in itself illustrates the multiple roles each divinity played in Domitian’s life, and his purposes in his devotions. Jupiter’s role was to render his position legitimate, while his relationship with Minerva was more personal, hence his insistence on being referred to as the son of Minerva (Philostratus, 7.24). The solemnity of Domitian’s feelings towards Minerva are reflected in the establishment of a college of priests to Minerva (Suet.,Dom., 4), and he also named a new legion after her, the I Minervia, when ordinarily legions were named directly after the emperor, or the imperial family (Viscusi, 85). Further, her imagery dominated the coinage of Domitian (Carradice, 189-91), where she is sometimes depicted wielding the thunderbolt of Jupiter (Morawiecki, 187). To a certain degree these coins were linked with war, but they also symbolized her protection of Domitian, the military and personal patronage of Minerva armifera for Domitian (Ovid, Fasti, 3.681).
When examining the representation of Minerva on the coinage of Domitian, it is clear that depictions of this goddess dominated the reverse throughout his reign on gold and silver coinage minted in Rome. A good example of this is the period from AD 90-91, where there were 26 issues, of various denominations, and of these 23 had Minerva on the reverse. Throughout his reign, on the remainder of these valuable issues, there are also frequent references to Jupiter. It is also pertinent that Minerva was repeatedly shown wielding a thunderbolt, which furthers Domitian’s association with both Minerva and Jupiter. It is also pertinent to note that on the gold and silver coins, when Minerva was depicted on the reverse, only Domitian was represented on the obverse - furthering the importance of their association. When the obverse depicted Domitia or Julia, none of these issues had Minerva on the reverse. In the period from AD 95-6, there were also seven depictions of temples, which may refer to both Domitian’s piety, but also to the large number of temple restorations and constructions that he had undertaken throughout the previous years. It is also pertinent to note that of these representations, Minerva was shown in association with one temple and Jupiter was also shown with a temple in another issue. The eight denarius piece issued in AD 85 also depicted Minerva with two shrines, which accentuated the Emperor’s piety and devotion to this goddess.
On the bronze coinage there were naturally more issues throughout his reign, owing to their wider circulation and thus a greater opportunity for personal propaganda. In these issues Domitian was frequently depicted upon both the reverse and obverse of the coinage, often referring to his military victories. These representations of the emperor were frequently associated with both Jupiter and Minerva in either a victorious or pious guise. The imagery of Minerva is also prominent on the Flavian reliefs from the Palazzo della Cancelleria, demonstrating and accentuating Domitian’s reverence for Minerva (Jones, 100; Last, 9).
Every year Domitian also held a private literary contest, the Quinquatria, at the Alban Villa in honour of Minerva (Ovid, Fasti, 3.809; Dio, 67.1.2), thus combining two of his passions, and also, being a poet (Suet.,Dom., 4), gained Minerva’s special protection. This difference in the deities’ roles would have been a factor in Domitian’s motivation in placing the Templum Minerva Chalcidicia in close proximity to the temple of his deified family, and the Templum Castorum et Minervae in such close proximity to the entrance of the Palatine Palace, and the personal shrine to her in his palace bedroom. This close relationship between Minerva and Domitian is also alluded to by Martial (9.3), when he refers to Minerva as the emperor’s consort. The occurrence of revolts, such as those of Sallustius Lucullus, the false Nero, and Saturninus, would have naturally escalated Domitian’s concern for his safety, especially when combined with the senate’s growing hostility towards him (Garzetti, 272, 275).
Despite Minerva’s importance to Domitian, his private devotion was not allowed to surpass his homage to Jupiter in public. Domitian’s view of Minerva as his personal protector was quite appropriate as she was Jupiter’s celestial vice-regent (Stat., Sil., 4.3.128). Domitian certainly recognized the power of Jupiter and the possible influence of Minerva. Suetonius (15.2) reports that Domitian had an ominous dream shortly before his death concerning Minerva’s inability to protect him anymore, while Philostratus (8.25) states that Domitian’s dying words were a plea to the goddess. Even if these reports are apocryphal, they provide a clear and significant illustration of the contemporary view of his veneration for Minerva. In the eyes of Domitian, Jupiter had the power to confer earthly power, but also the power to remove it, and it was he that had disarmed Minerva, and therefore sealed Domitian’s fate. Seneca (2.45.1-2.) refers to Jupiter as: rectorem custodemque universi, animum ac spiritum mundi, operis huius dominum et artificem, cui nomen omne convenit. Vis illum fatum vocare, non errabis. This embodiment, even in Stoic theology, of Jupiter as Fate provides a clear view of Jupiter’s role in deciding the events that occurred in the universe, even those affecting his earthly vice-regent (Ferguson, 40). It is therefore possible that Domitian also saw Minerva as a celestial representative, perhaps a protector from Jupiter, who was renown for his vindictive and changeable nature, as well as for his protection. This response is entirely understandable when the number of revolts are taken into account, combined with the events of the Civil War, all of which surely revealed to Domitian the fragile nature of the Principate.
Such a view of Minerva as consort and protector was complemented by Domitian’s devotion to Isis, the Egyptian counterpart of Minerva, who, he believed, had hidden and protected him in her Isaic procession in 69 while fleeing from Vitellian soldiers (Tac., Hist., 3.74). Devotion to Isis had been an element of the religious beliefs of Vespasian and Titus, Suetonius reporting that Vespasian was said to have healed a crippled man through the intervention of Serapis (Tac., Hist., 4.81; Dio, 66.8.1), who had apparently appeared to him (Suet., Vesp., 7.1). The significance of Isis to Titus and Vespasian is demonstrated in Josephus’ report that they spent the night in an Isaic temple before they celebrated their joint triumph (Josephus, 7.123), which was also celebrated on numismatic issues, with imagery of the Isaic temple on the reverse (Mattingly, 572, 659, 780). The reasoning behind the Flavian support of the Isis cult owed to the assistance they believed they received in attaining Imperial domination in both the Jewish and Civil Wars (Liebeschuetz, 181). The popularity of the Isaic cult during the Flavian era has also been exhibited in several wealthy houses in Pompeii, such as the Praedia of Julia Felix, which included a small altar to Isis in the garden, as well as Nilotic wall paintings in the main triclinium and statues along the long euripus in the garden (Richardson, 295). Domitian’s motives for following the Egyptian cult were based on his previous experience of Isaic protection. According to both Suetonius and Tacitus, it was by disguising himself in the dress of an Isaic priest, and mingling in a procession of these followers, that Domitian was able to make his escape from the Vitellian soldiers in 69 AD (Suet.,Dom., 1.2). Prior to the Flavians, such emperors as Caligula and Otho had favoured the Egyptian cult, but otherwise it had received fluctuating support (Witt, 49). Egyptian cults were abolished from Rome during the reign of Tiberius, mainly due to the Paulina and Decius Mundus scandal, at which point Tiberius had closed the Isis temple, destroyed the cult statue, crucified all of the Isaic priests, and forced all citizens to burn their Isaic religious vestments (Tac., An., 2.85; Witt, 138). The cult was officially consolidated with Rome again by 65 (Lucan, 8.831), with a temple to Isis and Serapis being dedicated in Rome, possibly by Caligula (Wiseman, 174). This temple was another casualty in the fires of 80, and was restored by Domitian (Martial, 2.14.7, 10.48.1; Juvenal, 9.22, Eutropius, 7.23), with the Iseum adjoined by a Serapeum. The buildings have been identified in accordance with an inscription on the Severan Marble Plan, reading Iseum et Serapeum, and also supported by fragments of Domitianic architecture from the area (Anderson, 1982, 96).
In addition to the Iseum and Serapeum, Domitian erected a number of obelisks with a total of four in various parts of Rome (Jones, 86). One of the most interesting obelisks founded by Domitian was discovered in Beneventum, which had a flourishing Isaic cult in the Domitianic period. This obelisk is of great interest because of the depiction which exhibits Domitian wearing Egyptian dress, with the invocation reading, “Domitian living forever” (Witt, 86). The imagery of Domitian in Egyptian garb is certainly referring to both his escape from the Capitol in 69, and also to the reverence in which he held Isis as his rescuer from destruction. The location of this obelisk also complies with this symbolism because, as Dio comments, after the Civil War the first meeting between Domitian and his father took place in Beneventum, symbolizing victory and security to Domitian (Dio, 66.9.3; Last, 10-12).
St. John before the Latin Gate
From St. Jerom in Jovin. t. 1, p. 14. Tertullian, Præscr. c. 36. Tillem. t. 1, p. 338, and L’Istoria della Chiesa di S. Giovanni avanti Porta Latina, Scritta da Gio, Mario Crescimbeni. Roma, 1716. 4to.
WHEN the two sons of Zebedee, James and John, strangers as yet to the mystery of the cross and the nature of Christ’s kingdom, had, by their mother Salome, 1 besought our Lord to allot them the two first places in his kingdom, (implied by sitting at his right and left-hand,) he asked them whether they were disposed to drink of his cup, or, in other words, to suffer with him, in which case they should not fail to be considered in proportion to their pains and fidelity. The two disciples answered boldly in the affirmative, assuring their divine Master that they were ready to undergo anything for his sake. Our Lord, thereupon, foretold them that their sincerity should be brought to the trial, and that they should both be partakers of his cup of sufferings, and undergo bitter things for the honour and confirmation of the Christian religion. This was literally fulfilled in St. James, on his being put to death for the faith by Herod: and this day’s festival records in part the manner in which it was verified in St. John. It may be said, without any violence to the sense of the words, that this favourite disciple, who so tenderly loved his Master, and was so tenderly beloved by him, drank of his chalice, and experienced a large share of its bitterness, when he assisted at his crucifixion; feeling then in his soul, by grief and compassion, whatever he saw him suffer on the cross. This was further fulfilled after the descent of the Holy Ghost, when he underwent the like imprisonment, scourging, &c. with the other apostles, as is recorded in the fifth chapter of the Acts. But our Saviour’s prediction was to be accomplished in a more particular manner, and still more conformable to the letter, and which should entitle him to the merit and crown of martyrdom; the instrument whereof was Domitian, the last of the twelve Cæsars.
He was a tyrant, detestable to all men on account of his cruelty, and the author of the second general persecution of the church. In the beginning of his reign he accustomed himself to take pleasure in acts of inhumanity, spending part of his time in his closet in catching flies, and sticking them with a sharp bodkin. He debauched his own niece, and impiously took the titles of God and Lord, as Suetonius and Eusebius have recorded. He reigned fifteen years, that is, from the year of Christ 81 to 96. Tacitus says, that in cruelty he surpassed Nero, who often shunned the sight of barbarous executions, whereas Domitian was known to take delight in beholding them. He deluged Rome with the blood of its illustrious citizens, and out of a hatred to virtue, banished the philosophers; on which occasion, Epictetus (whose Enchiridion is the most perfect abstract of the justest sentiments of moral virtue ever published by a heathen) and Dio Chrysostomus, with others, were expelled the city. As for the Christians, not only the sanctity of their doctrine and manners was the strongest reproach of the crimes of the tyrant, but the general hatred of the heathens against them excited him to glut his insatiable cruelty with their innocent blood. St. John, who was the only surviving apostle, and who at that time governed all the churches of Asia with the highest reputation which his dignity, extraordinary virtue, and miracles had acquired, was apprehended at Ephesus, and sent prisoner to Rome in the year 95. The emperor did not relent at the sight of a man of his most venerable old age and countenance, which alone might suffice to command respect, but condemned him to a most barbarous death, by ordering him to be cast into a caldron of boiling oil. The holy apostle was probably first scourged, according to the Roman custom with regard to criminals before execution, who could not plead the privilege of being Roman citizens. It is at least certain from Tertullian, St. Jerom, and Eusebius, that, by the order of the tyrant, he was thrown into a vessel of boiling oil. The martyr doubtless heard, with great joy, this barbarous sentence, exulting at the thought of speedily rejoining his Redeemer, and desiring to repay love for love in the best manner he was able, and to die for Him who had laid down his most precious life to save us sinners from hell. The most cruel torments seemed to him light and most agreeable, because they would, he hoped, unite him for ever to his divine Master and Saviour: but God accepted his will, and crowned his desire; he conferred on him the honour and merit of martyrdom, but suspended the operation of the fire, as he had formerly preserved the three children from hurt in the Babylonian furnace. The seething oil was changed in his regard into a refreshing bath, and the saint came out more fresh and lively than he had entered the caldron. Domitian, with most of the heathens, entertained a great idea of the power of magic, in which he had been confirmed by the reports concerning the prodigies pretended to be wrought by the famous magician, Apollonius of Tyana, whom he had sent for to Rome. He therefore saw this miracle without drawing from it the least advantage, but, like another Pharaoh, remained hardened in his iniquity. However, he contented himself after this with banishing the holy apostle into the little island of Patmos, one of the Sporades, in the Archipelago or Ægean sea. Domitian being assassinated the year following, his statues were every where pulled down, his name erased from all public buildings, and his decrees declared void by the senate. Upon which St. John returned to Ephesus, in the reign of Nerva, who by mildness, during his short reign of one year and four months, laboured to restore the faded lustre of the Roman empire.
This glorious triumph of St. John happened without the gate of Rome, called Latina, because it led to Latium. A church was consecrated in the same place in memory of this miracle, under the first Christian emperors, which has always borne this title.
Typologically, Modern day burning of another Rome -
Modern day Herod - Nero - Domitian - ad Dajjal candidate for Antichrist -