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Church-State Relations and the Book of Revelation
An Introduction to The Parousia: A Careful Look at the New Testament Doctrine of the Lord's Second Coming
by James Stuart Russell (1878) // Written by
Todd Dennis, Curator
 



 

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 1-1000

070: Clement: First Epistle of Clement

075: Baruch: Apocalypse Of Baruch

075: Barnabus: Epistle of Barnabus

090: Esdras 2 / 4 Ezra

100: Odes of Solomon

150: Justin: Dialogue with Trypho

150: Melito: Homily of the Pascha

175: Irenaeus: Against Heresies

175: Clement of Alexandria: Stromata

198: Tertullian: Answer to the Jews

230: Origen: The Principles | Commentary on Matthew | Commentary on John | Against Celsus

248: Cyprian: Against the Jews

260: Victorinus: Commentary on the Apocalypse "Alcasar, a Spanish Jesuit, taking a hint from Victorinus, seems to have been the first (AD 1614) to have suggested that the Apocalyptic prophecies did not extend further than to the overthrow of Paganism by Constantine."

310: Peter of Alexandria

310: Eusebius: Divine Manifestation of our Lord

312: Eusebius: Proof of the Gospel

319: Athanasius: On the Incarnation

320: Eusebius: History of the Martyrs

325: Eusebius: Ecclesiastical History

345: Aphrahat: Demonstrations

367: Athanasius: The Festal Letters

370: Hegesippus: The Ruin of Jerusalem

386: Chrysostom: Matthew and Mark

387: Chrysostom: Against the Jews

408: Jerome: Commentary on Daniel

417: Augustine: On Pelagius

426: Augustine: The City of God

428: Augustine: Harmony

420: Cassian: Conferences

600: Veronica Legend

800: Aquinas: Eternity of the World

 


1000-2006

FUTURIST
HISTORICAL
MODERN

1265: Aquinas: Catena Aurea

1543: Luther: On the Jews

1555: Calvin: Harmony on Evangelists

1556: Jewel: Scripture

1586: Douay-Rheims Bible

1598: Jerusalem's Misery ; The dolefull destruction of faire Ierusalem by Tytus, the Sonne of Vaspasian

1603: Nero : A New Tragedy

1613: Carey: The Fair Queen of Jewry

1614: Alcasar: Vestigatio arcani sensus in Apocalypsi

1654: Ussher: The Annals of the World

1658: Lightfoot: Commentary from Hebraica

1677: Crowne - The Destruction of Jerusalem

1764: Lardner: Fulfilment of our Saviour's Predictions

1776: Edwards: History of Redemption

1785: Churton: Prophecies Respecting the Destruction of Jerusalem

1801: Porteus: Our Lord's Prophecies

1802: Nisbett: The Coming of the Messiah

1805: Jortin: Remarks on Ecclesiastical History

1810: Clarke: Commentary On the Whole Bible

1816: Wilkins: Destruction of Jerusalem Related to Prophecies

1824: Galt: The Bachelor's Wife

1840: Smith: The Destruction of Jerusalem

1841: Currier: The Second Coming of Christ

1842: Bastow : A (Preterist) Bible Dictionary

1842: Stuart: Interpretation of Prophecy

1843: Lee: Dissertations on Eusebius

1845: Stuart: Commentary on Apocalypse

1849: Lee: Inquiry into Prophecy

1851: Lee: Visions of Daniel and St. John

1853: Newcombe: Observations on our Lord's Conduct as Divine Instructor

1854: Chamberlain: Restoration of Israel

1854: Fairbairn: The Typology of Scripture

1859: "Lee of Boston": Eschatology

1861: Maurice: Lectures on the Apocalypse

1863: Thomas Lewin : The Siege of Jerusalem

1865: Desprez: Daniel (Renounced Full Preterism)

1870: Fall of Jerusalem and the Roman Conquest

1871: Dale: Jewish Temple and Christian Church (PDF)

1879: Warren: The Parousia

1882: Farrar: The Early Days of Christianity

1883: Milton S. Terry: Biblical Hermeneutics

1888: Henty: For The Temple

1891: Farrar: Scenes in the days of Nero

1896: Lee : A Scholar of a Past Generation

1902: Church: Story of the Last Days of Jerusalem

1917: Morris: Christ's Second Coming Fulfilled

1985: Lee: Jerusalem; Rome; Revelation (PDF)

1987: Chilton: The Days of Vengeance

2001: Fowler: Jesus - The Better Everything

2006: M. Gwyn Morgan - AD69 - The Year of Four Emperors

Print and Use For Personal Bookmark or Placement in Bookstores


 

 

69 A.D., The Year of the Four Emperors

BY

M. Gwyn Morgan
Oxford University Press. 322 pages

 

Military might, not lineage, decided rulers in 69 A.D.

 

 

CLICK HERE FOR PDF FILE OF ENTIRE BOOK

 

Reviewer Richard Berg, a writer based in Charleston and designer of historical simulations

Certain years ring out, numbers signifying plateau events, such as 1066 for England or 1776 for the United States. For the Roman Empire, one of those numbers is 69 A.D., the year that saw, in the person of four different emperors, the end of the original line of rulers that had traced its lineage, family-style, back to Julius Caesar and Octavian/Augustus.

Even more importantly, instead of family ties and parentage deciding who would reign, these four emperors - Galba, Otho, Vitellius and Vespasian - were made militarily, outside of the actual city of Rome. The focus of power had taken a seismic shift, never to return to the arbitrarily imposed sense of Latinum-centered normalcy that the Julio-Claudian emperors provided.

First-time author M. Gwyn Morgan tells this tale of what happened after Nero committed suicide (in 68 A.D.) in an entertaining, if somewhat wordy, manner, with his focal point being the whys and wherefores of what happened, rather than just relating the series of events. He places great emphasis on the reliability of the sources of information.

The narrative itself is filled with enough characters, incidents, battles and assassinations to fill an entire HBO series.

And while it does rattle along with verve and vigor, this is not a book for the casual reader.

However, in highlighting the small-mindedness and short-sightedness of almost everyone involved in this "Clean cup, Move on" epic, it can serve as an insightful object lesson for those casting an eye on many of our present leaders.

Perhaps books like this should be required reading for holding office. If you have any interest in history, especially history that attempts to show why people did things, this should be required reading.


"The period between June 68 and December 69 saw four different men claim the imperial throne, aided by murders, suicides, conspiracies, mutinies, civil war and no small amount of happenstance. Five ancient historians recorded these events, chief among them Tacitus, Suetonius and Plutarch. Since their accounts do not always agree, it falls to their present-day counterparts to adjudicate fact from fiction and history from invention. Morgan (Classics and History/Univ. of Texas, Austin) does an admirably thorough job of guiding his readers through the minutiae of political intrigue and the conflicting chronicles that have come to define the year 69.

Few details escape his purview: A precise account of the emperor Galba`s incongruously pompous march into Rome is representative of the narrative`s tenor, as is the patient sifting through different versions of the suicide of Galba`s usurper, Otho. In addition to supplying a near-forensic level of detail, the author also considers how contemporary historians have misunderstood their predecessors. Literary conventions shaped the ancient historical method, he argues. Failing to acknowledge this, 20th-century studies of 69 A.D. in general and Tacitus in particular have drawn erroneous conclusions about both the facts of the period and Tacitus` opinion of them. Famous for his curt and epigrammatic style, the senator and orator emerges here not so much as disdainful or obscure but rather as a literary stylist of the first order.

Unfortunately, Morgan`s dedication to fleshing out the ambiguous moments in the lives of Tacitus and others slows the book`s pace considerably. Only scholars and the most diehard Roman aficionados will feel compelled to read it cover to cover.

Informative, but heavy as a sack of Roman coins."


Pass us another pike liver…
By Christopher Hart

For 99 years, from the Battle of Actium in 31BC to the year AD68, the Julio-Claudian dynasty ruled the Roman Empire. And then in June 68, Nero put himself to death by stabbing himself in the throat, with the immortally luvvie words, “Qualis artifex pereo!” (What an artist I die!). And for the next tumultuous 18 months, the Roman world was plunged into unprecedented uncertainty, chaos, revolt and civil war, as no fewer than three emperors came and went with bewildering swiftness, before a fourth appeared on the scene: a jovial, bluff, no-nonsense soldier-emperor called Vespasian. It was quite a year.All of which makes it more regrettable that Gwyn Morgan, Professor of Classics and History at the University of Texas, renders the year so dismally dull. As dry as the Numidian desert, as heavy-going as Hannibal’s crossing of the Alps. He mistrusts Suetonius for being far too entertaining and gossipy, for his “delight in the rumours”, but equally he cannot allude to the more sober Tacitus without interminable digressions on the historian’s rhetorical devices or unreliable exaggerations. Plutarch, too, makes “wild claims”, while previous modern histories of the period have been too “overtly popular”. Professor Morgan himself need have no worries on that score. His kind of historical writing, as drained of life as if it has just spent the night with Dracula, will never be overtly popular. We can’t be sure of the truth of some of the more outrageous gossip. We can’t be sure that, as Suetonius tells us, the moment Galba heard about Nero’s death from Icelus, “one of his old time bed-fellows… Galba openly showered him with kisses and begged him to get ready and have intercourse without delay”. Professor Morgan, however, denies us this colourful titbit, although he can have no more idea than you or I whether this really happened. You’ll have to go back to Suetonius himself for such entertainment.

Galba, ageing, parsimonious and conservative, marched on Rome from Spain at once, and a precedent was set. Military muscle, not ancestry, would henceforth tend to decide Imperial succession. One could argue that military might had decided political power ever since Caesar crossed the Rubicon, but nevertheless, this moment of Galba’s march on Rome sent shockwaves through the Empire. Galba was no more attractive in character than many subsequent Emperors, and he was certainly tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime. He once sentenced a dishonest money-changer to have both his hands cut off and nailed to the counter, and when he ordered another man to be crucified and the felon objected that he was a Roman citizen - citizens could not be crucified - he mirthfully gave orders for his cross to be whitewashed first.

Galba was killed by the henchmen of the next Emperor-in-waiting, Otho. A soldier had to carry his severed head to the boss “with his thumb stuck in Galba’s mouth”, as you might carry an old-fashioned milk bottle, since Galba was bald and couldn’t be carried by his hair. Otho was even more of a nonentity as Emperors go, bow-legged, splay-footed and carefully depilated all over his body. His reign was even shorter than Galba’s, a mere three months, ending in suicide.

Then came the worst of the three, Vitellius. Tacitus evidently despises Vitellius especially, but other sources make him sound pretty ghastly too. He had spent his boyhood on Capri amid Tiberius’s appalling orgies (not at all a healthy atmosphere for a young lad to grow up in), throwing himself so enthusiastically into the proceedings that he earned himself the nickname Spintria. “Poofter” or “Faggot” is the only fair translation of this word. Famed for both extravagance and cruelty, Vitellius banqueted three or four times a day, vomiting frequently to clear the way for the next course. He once demanded a vastly expensive dish made of pike livers, peacock brains, flamingo tongues and lamprey milt. He was killed by the horrible “Torture of Little Cuts” before being dragged down to the Tiber by a hook and thrown in.  Thank Jupiter for Vespasian, the pragmatic, worldly soldier-emperor, generally much-loved and respected, except for that unfortunate incident at Hadrumetum in Africa, where an angry populace pelted him with turnips. On another occasion, a young officer came to him reeking of perfume. Vespasian was so outraged that he stripped him of his command on the spot. “I wouldn’t have minded if he’d stunk of garlic!” The words might have been bellowed by Wellington.   Vespasian made one of the all-time great death-bed jokes. Pace the recent-ish and ridiculous Roman custom of deifying Emperors after their deaths, as he lay expiring he murmured dryly, “I think I am turning into a god!” It was a good 10 years that he held power and, just as importantly, he managed what so few decent emperors managed (Augustus gave way to the monstrous Tiberius, remember): he passed on the succession to his equally just and humane son, Titus, who carried the baton for a further 12 years.

But what of the magnificent bust of Vespasian that survives, currently in the Terme Museum in Rome? Broad-faced, balding, a distinct smile hovering round the mouth, one of the most appealing images of all the Roman Emperors? Why isn’t it reproduced here? Because there are no images at all in Professor Morgan’s dense tome. No busts, no coins, no ruins, nada. Such fripperies might make the text too “overtly popular”, perhaps.

 


 

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