Summary[ edit ] In the introduction to the complete works, which is the beginning of the first volume, Deschner explains his intention by starting with what is not to be found in his work: an answer to the question "What is Christianity good for? According to the sentence Audiatur et altera pars "one should listen to the other side, too" he wants to counterbalance the gigantic ascendence of the existing glorification of Christianity. Also, he does not want to write about the alleged or - exceptionally - really positive effects of Christianity. Instead, he wants to demonstrate that the advocates of a primary moral instance not only partially but permanently failed their own ideals. Deschner anticipates the main criticism at his work, namely the one-sidedness of selection of facts, and responds with a clear counter. His aim was not a history of churches, but an illustration of all including non-churchy phenomena of Christianity.
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To contextualise this entry see instalments , and of the same series. The Catholic clergy in favour of a crusade against the Vandals In June , a fleet of transport ships and 92 warships were brought to the sea by order of Emperor Justinian carrying 15, to 20, combatants on board. Huns were also part of them. The patriarch of Constantinople, Epiphanius, had impregnated in the same port the blessing of heaven for a company so pleasing to God.
Women and children were made slaves. The [Germanic] king was taken to [the mud capital] Constantinople and presented in the summer of at the racecourse during the triumph held there. Stripped of the purple he had to kiss the dust before the imperial throne. He ended his days as a vassal in a large property in Galatia. The king declined the conversion to Catholicism, despite all the honours that made it more appetising. His captive companions were framed in the Roman army and went mostly to the Persian border.
Five regiments were formed, the so-called Vandali justiniani. One regiment, however, fled back to Africa after reducing the crew of the ship that was to transport them from the island of Lesbos. In spite of all the throat-cutting, Arianism was still far from its eradication in Africa, much less since it could penetrate the troops of Belisarius thanks to the Arian Goths.
But also they who were deceived in the distribution of the lots of lands and subjugated from the religious point of view, together with the surviving Arian vandals had to bite the dust after hard and long struggles. Even the Vandal women who had married them were deported. But the times that took control of Africa, also in its political and religious aspect, were everything but peace.
The Byzantine administration was largely corrupted, the fiscal oppression was such that the population sadly longed for the liberality of the Vandals. Again and again he restarted his rush, and again and again the Hungarian and Moorish riders made dangerous outings.
The surroundings of the city, farms, villas and sumptuous buildings were totally razed. In Rome, the most beautiful Greco-Roman creations, irreplaceable masterpieces, were demolished to kill the Goth raiders with their stones.
To this were added the ravages of asphyxiating heat, hunger and epidemics. Senators paid disgusting meat sausages of dead mules with gold. A relief army from Constantinople reinforced the besieged. After almost seventy rejected assaults Vitiges withdrew in the middle of terrible losses caused by Belisarius who, with tactical and technical superiority, came on his heels and occupied almost the entire country to the plain of the Po.
In the winter of to , when the Byzantines expelled all the Goths of Emilia and Vitiges repaired the walls of Ravenna, a severe famine ravaged the northern part of central Italy, with thousands and thousands of people succumbing. Procopius, an eyewitness, reports the death of approximately fifty thousand people in the Piceno alone and even more in the northern regions. What people looked like and how they died is something I want to tell in more detail for having seen it with my own eyes.
They were all skinny and pale because their flesh, according to the old proverb, ate itself for lack of nutrition and the gall, which because of its excessive weight now had power over all bodies, produced in them a greenish paleness.
And it progressed, human bodies lost all their moods so that their skin, completely dry, resembled leather, presenting the appearance of being firmly attached to the bones. Their pale colour was blackening so that they looked like teas that had burned too much.
Their faces had an expression of horror, their gaze resembled the insane who are contemplating something awful… Some among them, totally dominated by hunger, came to commit atrocities against others. In a small village in Ariminus, it seems, the only two women left devoured seventeen men. Well, the strangers who came their way used to spend the night in their homes, then they killed them while they slept and ate their flesh… Driven by hunger, many threw themselves on the grass and tried to tear it off on their knees.
But in general they were too weak, and when they were totally lacking in strength they fell exhaling the last breath. Nobody buried them, because nobody was interested in burying. However, not a single bird came to the bodies, although there are many species that would devour them with pleasure, as there was nothing to bite in them.
Well, as already said, all the meat was totally dried out by hunger. Around the same time Milan was also going through a horrible hardship. Dacius, the archbishop of the city—which according to Procopius was, after Rome, the first city in the West due to its size and number of inhabitants and prosperity—, went to Rome in the third year of war, informed Belisarius about the anti-Goth uprisings throughout Liguria and the Byzantine re-conquest of the territory, urging him to occupy Milan.
An occupation was carried out although it supposed to break the armistice with Vitiges in April of He wanted above all to probe the situation to his advantage. From there, little by little, the famine ravaged the city frightfully. The inhabitants eat dogs, rats and human corpses. At the end of March the Roman garrison capitulated obtaining a security retreat. They killed all men, from teenagers to the elderly in a number not less than three hundred thousand.
They turned women into slaves and gave them to the Bergonds as a reward for their alliance. All the churches were also destroyed: the Catholic churches at the hands of the Arian Vandals; the Arian churches at the hands of the Bergond Catholics. A truly progressive ecumenical cooperation: they call it a history of redemption… The personalities of the high social hierarchy, including the prefect, brother of the pope, were torn to serve as food for the dogs.
Bishop Dacius, the real cause of that hell, had set foot in dusty time. As soon as the Bergonds returned to their land, well loaded with loot, Theudebert himself fell on Liguria, in the spring of , at the head of an army.
The Goth warriors fled like an exhalation to Ravenna to ran into Roman swords. Surrounded by sea and land, Ravenna fell in May by the work of a traitor. This one burned at the request of Belisarius the barns of the city so that Vitiges had to surrender.
All the walls of the squares are demolished so that no enemy can get on it and that their inhabitants will be forever free from the torture of the siege. The Romans themselves recognise after the fall of the city in that Totila lived among them as a father with his children.
Even the Byzantine soldiers themselves, whose pay had been subtracted, are passed on to him, and, in greater numbers still, the tenant peasants are expelled from their lands. All this enabled the hatred of the great landowners, the Catholic Church, which, like it once did in Africa with the Vandals, now spreads frightening stories about the cruelty of the Goths.
King Totila is killed in the flight and also the victors show off his head by shaking it at the tip of a spear. And in , in Volturnus, next to Capua, Narses liquidates in a bloodthirsty battle other considerable troops of Franks and Alemannen who wanted to take advantage of the Goth debacle by conquering Italy.
They were stabbed like cattle. The rest must have died in the waters of the river. It is assumed that only five men of seventy thousand returned alive. The castrated Narses, received by the clergy with songs of glory in the stands of St. Peter, knelt to pray on the supposed tomb of St. Peter and urged his unbridled soldiery to cultivate piety and the continued exercise of weapons.
The last Goth stronghold resisted in the Apennines until In the north it was not possible to take Verona and Brescia until with Merovingian help. From now in Ravenna would reside an imperial governor. The Ostrogoths would disappear from history too. In the final phase of his extermination, Justinian took advantage of a dynastic complaint in the Visigothic kingdom to initiate a new invasion with troops led by the patrician Liberius, militarily inexperienced and more than octogenarian.
And as in Africa and Italy, Catholics now welcomed the intervention of the Catholic sovereign, which began a war between Byzantium and the Visigoths, a war that would last more than seventy years. In any case, Justinian did not achieve total extermination here, but his weak contingent managed to conquer the Balearic Islands, and the main port cities and strongholds in the southeast of the country. Cui bono? The great beneficiary of all that hell: The Roman Church The Gothic wars, with their twenty years of duration, turned Italy into a smoking ruin, a desert.
According to L. The blood tribute presumably rises to millions of victims. Entire shires were depopulated, almost all cities suffered one or more sieges and their inhabitants were more than once killed in their entirety.
Rome, the millionaire city, conquered and devastated five times, ravaged by the sword, hunger and plague, had only 40, inhabitants. The big cities of Milan and Naples became depopulated. Concurrently with depopulation, a horrific impoverishment spread everywhere, caused mainly by the desertification of the fields but also by the frequent slaughter of the herds.
Aqueducts and damaged hot springs fell into total abandonment. Many works of art and culture of unrecoverable value were ruined. Everywhere could be seen the same spectacle of corpses and ruins, of epidemics and famines that caused the death of hundreds of thousands. Only in the Piceno region, writes Procopius, an eyewitness, about fifty thousand people died of hunger in a single year, in , whose bodies were so dry that not even the vultures themselves deigned to approach them.
The ancient privileges of Rome were restored and Justinian increased the power and prestige of the Roman bishop. Its territorial possessions, that reached Sicily, continuously increased through the donations and the inheritance legation. But, above all, the Bishop of Ravenna benefited especially from the appropriation of the churches and Arian goods whose number was particularly increased in the surroundings of the ancient Goth capital.
For the sake of this, as it is firmly stated, he had sacrificed and erased two peoples from the Earth. For the recuperatio imperii, so amazing for many contemporaries and for Justinian himself, consisted essentially of the bloody re-conquest of northern Africa and Italy in favour of Catholicism.
Of Libya, of such extensive dimensions, he plunged it into such a ruin that even a long walk would hardly give one the surprise of meeting a person. And if there were at first 80, vandals in arms, who could estimate the number of women, children and servants?
How could anyone enumerate the multitude of all Libyans Romans who previously lived in cities or engaged in agriculture, navigation or fishing as I myself could see far and wide with my own eyes?
And all of the Numidia population, even more numerous, perished with women and children. And finally the land housed many Roman soldiers and their companions of Byzantium. So whoever indicated for Africa the figure of five million dead would fall somewhat short of reality [emphasis by Ed. Italy, at least three times larger than the province of Africa, is, in large regions, even more depopulated than this one so that it will not be very difficult to guess the number of those who perished there.
The Germans the Franks! Sirmium and its surroundings were occupied by the Gepids, but everything, said briefly, is now depopulated. When the tyrant died the people were not free and the Empire was economically exhausted, on the verge of bankruptcy.
Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums - Band 1-10 - Karlheinz Deschner
Криминальная история христианства
Kriminalgeschichte Des Christentums