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The Christian Church now well established and also well mingled as Roman Church and State would continue on unabated for the next one thousand years. With a status quo existing between Church and State neither institution sought change of any kind and as a result human history would enter into one of the most stagnant eras of mankind in bringing in and the establishing of the Middle Ages. An era so disastrous that it would be called many names among them the Medieval and Dark Ages. [article link]

The Sack of Rome 410 A.D. - "My voice sticks in my throat; and, as I dictate, sobs choke my utterance. The City which had taken the whole world was itself taken." Jerome, (412 A.D.) Letter CXXVII to Principia -- Emperor Theodosius I had decreed a ban on the native paganism, further enforcing Christianity as the official state religion - Just before his death in AD 395, Theodosius I divided the [Roman] Empire (for the third and last time) into East [Byzantium - still centred in the capital of Constantinople] and West [Rome], to be ruled by his two sons - Honorius was only ten years old at the time, and the west was governed in his stead by Flavius Stilicho, his guardian and commander (magister militum) of the army - The two halves of the empire were in contention, a situation exploited by Alaric, whose Visigoths had been used as allies (foederati) but now, with the death of Theodosius I, renounced their allegiance and rose in revolt

Alaric [the older son] died that same year 410 A.D. Two years later, his kinsman Athaulf led the Visigoths into southwestern Gaul, where, in AD 418, Honorius was obliged to recognize their kingdom at Toulouse. The Vandals and other Germanic tribes who had crossed over the frozen Rhine on the last day of AD 406 now were in Spain under their leader, Genseric. Honorius permitted them to stay, as well, although there was little he could have done otherwise. In AD 423 Honorius died and eventually was succeeded by Valentinian III, who was still a child at the time. The Vandals crossed into North Africa, defeated the Romans there, and, in AD 439, conquered Carthage, which Genseric made his capital. In AD 451, Attila and the Huns, who already had become so powerful that they were paid an annual tribute by Rome, invaded Gaul, in alliance with the Vandals. They were defeated at the Battle of Châlons by the Visigoths under the command of Flavius Aetius, magister militum of the west. In AD 455, the death of Valentinian III served as a pretext for the Vandals to enter an undefended Rome, which they plundered for two weeks, carrying away the treasures of the Temple of Peace and the gilded bronze tiles from the Temple of Jupiter. Temple of Vespasian. [article link]

Wikipedia: Pope Leo I (391 - 10 November 461 A.D.) was pope from 29 September 440 A.D. to his death - He was an Italian aristocrat, and is the first pope of the Catholic Church to have been called "the Great" - He is perhaps best known for having met Attila the Hun in 452 A.D. and persuading him to turn back from his invasion of Italy - He is also a Doctor of the Church - Leo was a significant contributor to the centralisation of spiritual authority within the Church and in reaffirming Papal authority - An uncompromising foe of heresy - {Note: With Pope Leo I the Church and State of Rome had become so intermixed that it was Pope Leo assuming the dual roles of General and Politician that went forward to meet with the invading forces of Attila the Hun and in persuading him not to attack Rome Pope Leo I saved Rome from being sacked again and possibly conquered.}

Papal authority: Decree of Valentinian - Leo was a significant contributor to the centralisation of spiritual authority within the Church and in reaffirming papal authority. While the bishop of Rome had always been viewed as the chief patriarch in the Western church, much of the pope's authority was delegated to local diocesan bishops. Not without serious opposition did he succeed in reasserting his authority in Gaul. Patroclus of Arles (d. 426) had received from Pope Zosimus the recognition of a subordinate primacy over the Gallican Church which was strongly asserted by his successor Hilary of Arles. An appeal from Chelidonius of Besançon gave Leo the opportunity to reassert the pope's authority over Hilary, who defended himself stoutly at Rome, refusing to recognize Leo's judicial status. Feeling that the primatial rights of the bishop of Rome were threatened, Leo appealed to the civil power for support, and obtained from Valentinian III the famous decree of June 6, 445, which recognized the primacy of the bishop of Rome based on the merits of Peter, the dignity of the city, and the Nicene Creed (in their interpolated form); ordained that any opposition to his rulings, which were to have the force of ecclesiastical law, should be treated as treason; and provided for the forcible extradition by provincial governors of anyone who refused to answer a summons to Rome. Faced with this decree, Hilary submitted to the pope, although under his successor, Ravennius, Leo divided the metropolitan rights between Arles and Vienne (450). -- Dispute with Dioscorus of Alexandria: In 445, Leo disputed with Pope Dioscorus, St. Cyril's successor as Pope of Alexandria, insisting that the ecclesiastical practice of his see should follow that of Rome on the basis that Mark the Evangelist, the disciple of Saint Peter and founder of the Alexandrian Church, could have had no other tradition than that of the prince of the apostles. This, of course, was not the position of the Copts, who saw the ancient patriarchates as equals. -- Council of Chalcedon: A favorable occasion for extending the authority of Rome in the East was offered in the renewal of the Christological controversy by Eutyches, who in the beginning of the conflict appealed to Leo and took refuge with him on his condemnation by Flavian. But on receiving full information from Flavian, Leo took his side decisively. In 451 at the Council of Chalcedon, after Leo's Tome on the two natures of Christ was read out, the bishops participating in the Council cried out: "This is the faith of the fathers ... Peter has spoken thus through Leo ..." -- Battling heresies: An uncompromising foe of heresy, Leo found that in the diocese of Aquileia, Pelagians were received into church communion without formal repudiation of their errors; he wrote to rebuke them, making accusations of culpable negligence, and required a solemn abjuration before a synod. Manicheans fleeing before the Vandals had come to Rome in 439 and secretly organized there; Leo learned of this around 443, and proceeded against them by holding a public debate with their representatives, burning their books, and warning the Roman Christians against them. Nor was his attitude less decided against the Priscillianists. Bishop Turrubius of Astorga, astonished at the spread of this sect in Spain, had addressed the other Spanish bishops on the subject, sending a copy of his letter to Leo, who took the opportunity to exercise Roman policy in Spain. He wrote an extended treatise (21 July 447), against the sect, examining its false teaching in detail, and calling for a Spanish general council to investigate whether it had any adherents in the episcopate, but this was prevented by the political circumstances of Spain. -- On Dignity and Equality: In his Nativitate Domini, in the Christmas Day sermon "Christian, Remember your Dignity" Leo appears to articulate a fundamental and inclusive human dignity and equality: The saint, the sinner, and the unbeliever are all equal as sinners, and none is excluded in the call to "happiness": "Our Saviour, dearly-beloved, was born today: let us be glad. For there is no proper place for sadness, when we keep the birthday of the Life, which destroys the fear of mortality and brings to us the joy of promised eternity. No one is kept from sharing in this happiness. There is for all one common measure of joy, because as our Lord the destroyer of sin and death finds none free from charge, so is He come to free us all. Let the saint exult in that he draws near to victory. Let the sinner be glad in that he is invited to pardon. Let the gentile take courage in that he is called to life." [article link]

Medieval Sourcebook: [Pope] Leo I and [King] Attila [of the Huns] - The Prosper Account of the events recorded in 455 A.D.

Prosper: Account 1 - Prosper, a Christian chronicler, writing about 455, gives the following simple account of Leo's famous interview with the king of the Huns three years before: Now Attila, having once more collected his forces which had been scattered in Gaul [at the battle of Chalons], took his way through Pannonia into Italy. . . To the emperor and the senate and Roman people none of all the proposed plans to oppose the enemy seemed so practicable as to send legates to the most savage king and beg for peace. Our most blessed Pope Leo -trusting in the help of God, who never fails the righteous in their trials - undertook the task, accompanied by Avienus, a man of consular rank, and the prefect Trygetius. And the outcome was what his faith had foreseen; for when the king had received the embassy, he was so impressed by the presence of the high priest that he ordered his army to give up warfare and, after he had promised peace, he departed beyond the Danube. -- Anonyomus Later Account 1 [somewhat condensed] In a life of Leo the Great by some later author, whose name is unknown to us, the episode as told by Prosper has been developed into a miraculous tale calculated to meet the taste of the time Attila, the leader of the Huns, who was called the scourge of God, came into Italy, inflamed with fury, after he had laid waste with most savage frenzy Thrace and Illyricum, Macedonia and Moesia, Achaia and Greece, Pannonia and Germany. He was utterly cruel in inflicting torture, greedy in plundering, insolent in abuse. . . . He destroyed Aquileia from the foundations and razed to the ground those regal cities, Pavia and Milan; he laid waste many other towns, and was rushing down upon Rome. [This is, of course, an exaggeration. Attila does not seem to have destroyed the buildings, even in Milan and Pavia.] Then Leo had compassion on the calamity of Italy and Rome, and with one of the consuls and a lar,e part of the Roman senate he went to meet Attila. The old man of harmless simplicity, venerable in his gray hair and his majestic garb, ready of his own will to give himself entirely for the defense of his flock, went forth to meet the tyrant who was destroying all things. He met Attila, it is said, in the neighborhood of the river Mincio, and he spoke to the grim monarch, saying "The senate and the people of Rome, once conquerors of the world, now indeed vanquished, come before thee as suppliants. We pray for mercy and deliverance. O Attila, thou king of kings, thou couldst have no greater glory than to see suppliant at thy feet this people before whom once all peoples and kings lay suppliant. Thou hast subdued, O Attila, the whole circle of the lands which it was granted to the Romans, victors over all peoples, to conquer. Now we pray that thou, who hast conquered others, shouldst conquer thyself The people have felt thy scourge; now as suppliants they would feel thy mercy." As Leo said these things Attila stood looking upon his venerable garb and aspect, silent, as if thinking deeply. And lo, suddenly there were seen the apostles Peter and Paul, clad like bishops, standing by Leo, the one on the right hand, the other on the left. They held swords stretched out over his head, and threatened Attila with death if he did not obey the pope's command. Wherefore Attila was appeased he who had raged as one mad. He by Leo's intercession, straightway promised a lasting peace and withdrew beyond the Danube. From the accounts translated in J. H. Robinson, Readings in European History, (Boston: Ginn, 1905), pp. 49-51. [article link]

{Basic Christian: Gnosticism Exposed} Rise of Modern Islam - The Myth of Mecca (as the early center of Islam) - Let's face it . . . Islam began in the year 666 AD.

In her book, Meccan Trade and the Rise of Islam, Dr. Crone demonstrates that Islam did not originate in Mecca. Mecca is located in the Hejaz region of what is today Saudi Arabia. It is portrayed by traditional belief as a wealthy trading center, full of merchants trading goods by caravan from Yemen in the south and Syria and the Byzantium empire in the north. Crone shows that Mecca was in fact way off the incense route from Yemen to Syria, which bypassed where Mecca is today by over 100 miles. Further, there is no mention whatever of Mecca in contemporary non-Moslem sources: ... While there may well have been a historical individual named Ubu'l Kassim who was later entitled Mohammed ("The Praised One"), who raised followers and participated in the initiation of the Arab Conquest, he likely came from northeast Arabia in what is now southern Jordan. The deity that Ubu'l Kassim chose to follow was Allah, a contraction of al-Lah, the ancient Arab God of the Moon [note: which is why the symbol of Islam to this day is the crescent moon]. Ubu'l Kassim died, however, some years before the Arab Conquest was fully underway (the traditional date is 632). Al-Rawandi summarizes what then happened: [article link]

{Basic Christian: Gnosticism Exposed} Muslim - British financing of "Da Vinci Code" Movie questioned

Mohammed Yusef, the founder of Invicta Capital in Great Britain, is using a government tax-incentive program to fund the movie version of the anti-Christian "Da Vinci Code" novel for Sony Pictures. According to the Times of London, the London-based Invicta is taking advantage of British tax rules to provide Sony with 100 million pounds of the 114 million pounds that the movie reportedly cost. The capital allows Sony to dramatically reduce its cost of borrowing money to produce and market the movie. [article link]

{Basic Christian: Gnosticism Exposed} Movie: Ron Howard Prepares to Unleash Angels & Demons (2009) - the follow-up to The Da Vinci Code [Angels & Demons is part 1 - The Da Vinci Code was actually part 2] - Tom Hanks reprising his role as Robert Langdon from The Da Vinci Code - Variety's report goes on to note that, although the Angels & Demons novel was written before and takes place before The Da Vinci Code, the film will be a sequel {The next Ron Howard movie "Angels & Demons" is a continuing part of the agenda to rise the evil fallen Nephilim [the occult considers Nephilim to be powerful, wise, illuminated (enlightened) and call themselves the followers "Illuminati"] and submit mankind to these fallen evil spirits. Note: Biblically fallen Angels and Demons are probably not the same thing though people often refer to them as being the same thing. Fallen Angels are Angels [that generally do not attempt to possess (indwell) people] while Demons [desire to possess and indwell people] may be offspring of the Nephilim (fallen Angels) & human intermixing that occurred in Geneses chapter 6 and that were all killed in the flood [the reason for the flood] of Noah's time. So saying Angels and Demons does not make one group good and the other bad both groups (angels and demons) would be bad if the Angels are fallen and in rebellion against God.}

One of the many high-profile productions being affected by the looming writers' strike is Angels & Demons, the follow-up to The Da Vinci Code -- but if director Ron Howard and his fellow filmmakers have anything to say about it, their sequel's progress will be unimpeded. Variety reports on the last-minute preparations behind the scenes of Angels & Demons, which will find Tom Hanks reprising his role as Robert Langdon from The Da Vinci Code, the $758 million-grossing adaptation of Dan Brown's bestselling book. Angels is scheduled to start filming in Europe next February, but with the writers' strike coming as early as November 1, Howard's team has to move quickly. ... Meanwhile, the "Angels" team have begun casting around Tom Hanks, who will reprise his role as Robert Langdon. Hanks' character, a Harvard-based expert on religious symbols, this time sleuths a mystery that involves a secret society and a conspiracy that leads to Vatican City and threatens the future of the Catholic Church. Variety's report goes on to note that, although the Angels & Demons novel was written before -- and takes place before -- The Da Vinci Code, the film will be a sequel. [article link]

King Charlemagne (742 - 814 A.D.) the "Father of Europe" - The greatest of medieval kings was born in 742 A.D., at a place unknown, he was of German blood and speech - To the medieval mind, only King Arthur vied with Charlemagne as the finest example of what a Christian king could be -- Charlemagne the King a biography from Will Durant's STORY OF CIVILIZATION 1950 A.D.

King Charlemagne: The greatest of medieval kings was born in 742, at a place unknown. He was of German blood and speech, and shared some characteristics of his people- strength of body, courage of spirit, pride of race, and a crude simplicity many centuries apart from the urbane polish of the modern French. He had little book learning; read only a few books- but good ones; tried in his old age to learn writing, but never quite succeeded; yet he could speak old Teutonic and literary Latin, and understood Greek. In 771 Carloman II died, and Charles at twenty-nine became sole king. Two years later he received from Pope Hadrian II an urgent appeal for aid against the Lombard Desiderius, who was invading the papal states. Charlemagne besieged and took Pavia, assumed the crown of Lombardy, confirmed the Donation of Pepin, and accepted the role of protector of the Church in all her temporal powers. -- Returning to his capital at Aachen, he began a series of fifty-three campaigns- nearly all led in person- designed to round out his empire by conquering and Christianizing Bavaria and Saxony, destroying the troublesome Avars, shielding Italy from the raiding Saracens, and strengthening the defenses of Francia against the expanding Moors of Spain. The Saxons on his eastern frontier were pagans; they had burned down a Christian church, and made occasional incursions into Gaul; these reasons sufficed Charlemagne for eighteen campaigns (772-804), waged with untiring ferocity on both sides. Charles gave the conquered Saxons a choice between baptism and death, and had 4500 Saxon rebels beheaded in one day; after which he proceeded to Thionville to celebrate the nativity of Christ. -- The empire [of Europe] was divided into counties, each governed in spiritual matters by a bishop or archbishop, and in secular affairs by a comes (companion- of the king) or count. A local assembly of landholders convened twice or thrice a year in each provincial capital to pass upon the government of the region, and serve as a provincial court of appeals. The dangerous frontier counties, or marches, had special governors- graf, margrave, or markherzog; Roland of Roncesvalles, for example, was governor of the Breton march. All local administration was subject to missi dominici- "emissaries of the master"- sent by Charlemagne to convey his wishes to local officials, to review their actions, judgments, and accounts; to check bribery, extortion, nepotism, and exploitation, to receive complaints and remedy wrongs, to protect "the Church, the poor, and wards and widows, and the whole people"from malfeasance or tyranny, and to report to the King the condition of the realm; the Capitulare missorum establishing these emissaries was a Magna Carta for the people, four centuries before England's Magna Carta for the aristocracy. That this capitulary meant what it said appears from the case of the duke of Istria, who, being accused by the missi of divers injustices and extortions, was forced by the King to restore his thievings, compensate every wronged man, publicly confess his crimes, and give security against their repetition. ... (Charlemagne) had four successive wives and five mistresses or concubines. His abounding vitality made him extremely sensitive to feminine charms; and his women preferred a share in him to the monopoly of any other man. His harem bore him some eighteen children, of whom eight were legitimate. -- The ecclesiastics [priests] of the court and of Rome winked leniently at the Moslem [Muslim] morals of so Christian a king. He was now head of an empire far greater than the Byzantine, surpassed, in the white man's world, only by the realm of the Abbasid caliphate. But every extended frontier of empire or knowledge opens up new problems. Western Europe had tried to protect itself from the Germans by taking them into its civilization; but now Germany had to be protected against the Norse and the Slavs. The Vikings had by 800 A.D. established a kingdom in Jutland, and were raiding the Frisian coast. Charles hastened up from Rome, built fleets and forts on shores and rivers, and stationed garrisons at danger points. In 810 the king of Jutland invaded Frisia and was repulsed; but shortly thereafter, if we may follow the chronicle of the Monk of St. Gall, Charlemagne, from his palace at Narbonne, was shocked to see Danish pirate vessels in the Gulf of Lyons. Perhaps because he foresaw, like Diocletian, that his overreaching empire needed quick defense at many points at once, he divided it in 806 among his three sons- Pepin, Louis, and Charles. But Pepin died in 810, Charles in 811; only Louis remained, so absorbed in piety as to seem unfit to govern a rough and treacherous world. Nevertheless, in 813, at a solemn ceremony, Louis was elevated from the rank of king to that of emperor, and the old monarch uttered his nunc dimittis: "Blessed be Thou, O Lord God, Who hast granted me the grace to see with my own eyes my son seated on my throne!" -- Death: Four months later, wintering at Aachen, he was seized with a high fever, and developed pleurisy. He tried to cure himself by taking only liquids; but after an illness of seven days he died, in the forty-seventh year of his reign and the seventy-second year of his life (814 A.D.). He was buried under the dome of the cathedral at Aachen, dressed in his imperial robes. Soon all the world called him Carolus Magnus, Karl der Grosse, Charlemagne; and in 1165 A.D., when time had washed away all memory of his mistresses, the Church which he had served so well enrolled him among the blessed. [article link]

Wikipedia: Charlemagne (742 - 28 January 814 A.D.), also known as Charles the Great - was King of the Franks [German Tribes] from 768 A.D. - The conquest of Italy brought Charlemagne in contact with the Saracens [Muslims] who, at the time (799 A.D.), controlled the Mediterranean - [With his victory over the Saracens] Charlemagne was declared Emperor of the Romans (Imperator Romanorum) from 800 A.D. to his death in 814 A.D. - He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe -- During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned Imperator Augustus by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800 A.D.

Wars with the Moors [Muslims]: The conquest of Italy brought Charlemagne in contact with the Saracens who, at the time, controlled the Mediterranean. Pippin, his son, was much occupied with Saracens in Italy. Charlemagne conquered Corsica and Sardinia at an unknown date and in 799 the Balearic Islands. The islands were often attacked by Saracen pirates, but the counts of Genoa and Tuscany (Boniface) kept them at bay with large fleets until the end of Charlemagne's reign. Charlemagne even had contact with the caliphal court in Baghdad. In 797 (or possibly 801), the caliph of Baghdad, Harun al-Rashid, presented Charlemagne with an Asian elephant named Abul-Abbas and a clock. -- In Hispania [Spain], the struggle against the Moors continued unabated throughout the latter half of his reign. His son Louis was in charge of the Spanish border. In 785, his men captured Gerona permanently and extended Frankish control into the Catalan littoral for the duration of Charlemagne's reign (and much longer, it remained nominally Frankish until the Treaty of Corbeil in 1258). The Muslim chiefs in the northeast of Islamic Spain were constantly revolting against Córdoban authority, and they often turned to the Franks for help. The Frankish border was slowly extended until 795, when Gerona, Cardona, Ausona, and Urgel were united into the new Spanish March, within the old duchy of Septimania. -- In 797 Barcelona, the greatest city of the region, fell to the Franks when Zeid, its governor, rebelled against Córdoba and, failing, handed it to them. The Umayyad authority recaptured it in 799. However, Louis of Aquitaine marched the entire army of his kingdom over the Pyrenees and besieged it for two years, wintering there from 800 to 801, when it capitulated. The Franks continued to press forward against the emir. They took Tarragona in 809 and Tortosa in 811. The last conquest brought them to the mouth of the Ebro and gave them raiding access to Valencia, prompting the Emir al-Hakam I to recognize their conquests in 812 A.D. [article link]

Ancient Saracens - Saracen was a term used by the ancient Romans to refer to a people who lived in desert areas in and around the Roman province of Arabia, and who were distinguished from Arabs - In Europe during the Middle Ages the term was expanded to include Arabs, and then all who professed the religion of Islam - The expansion of the meaning occurred first among the Byzantine Greeks and then among the Latins - By the time of the Crusades, beginning in 1095, a "Saracen" had become synonymous with a "Muslim" in European chronicles

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