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Antichrist Legend 

H Cbaptec in Cbristian anö Jewisb 






A. H. KEANE, F.R.G.S. 

Late Vice-President Anthropological Institute; 
Author of " Ethnology" etc. 



» 2 62 4 8 

Printed by Hazell, Watson, & Viney, Ld., London and Aylesbury. 



Author's Preface ix 

Prologue to the English Edition . . . . xi 
Key to the Eeferences to Authorities . . xxix 



Introduction — Methods of Interpretation— Rela- 
tions TO THE Babylonian Dragon Myth . . 3 

Statement of the Problem 19 


Pseudo-Ephrem : A Latin Homily on the End of the 
World — S. Ephrem : A Greek Homily on the 
Antichrist, and other Prophetic Writings— 


— The Pseudo-Johannine Apocalypse— S. Cyril 
OF Jerusalem : Fifteenth Catechesis— Philip the 
Solitary : Dioptra— Pseudo-Chrysostom . . 33 




Two Medieval Sibylline Documents (Bede and 
Usinger) — Adso on the Antichrist — Pseudo- 
Methodius— S. Ephrem : Syriac Homily on the 
Antichrist — Review of the Group of Ephremite 
Writings— The Common Source of Adso's Anti- 
christ AND OF Bede's Sibyl— S. Jerome's Apoca- 
lyptic Material 45 


The Greek and Armenian Apocalypses of Daniel — 
The Arabic, Syriac, and Ethiopic Apocalypses 
OF Peter — The Syriac Apocalypse of Ezra . . Qß 


Commodian's Carmen Apologeticum — Lactantius : 
Institutiones Divine, VIL x.— Relations of 
commodian to the work of hippolytus on the 
Antichrist — S. Martin of Tours : Eschatological 
Testament— ViCTORiNUS : Commentary on Reve- 
lation—The Parts of the Book of Clement, and 


Things ; Relations to 4 Ezra .... 79 


The Apocalypse of Zephaniah— Survey of other 
Patristic Writings bearing on the Antichrist 
Legend 87 


Jewish Sources— The Sibylline Literature— The 
Fourth Book of Ezra and the Book of Baruch — 
The Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs — 



Later Jewish Sources — The Mysteries of Simon 


— The Book of Zorobabel — The Persian History 
OF Daniel— Non-Christian and Non-Jewish 
Sources — The Elder Edda (Völuspa)— The 
Bahman-Yast Parsee Apocalypse— The Arab 
Tradition of the Antichrist 95 



Signs and Forewarnings — The Fall of the Eoman 
Empire before the End — Origin of the Anti- 
christ 121 


The Jewish Origin of the Antichrist— His Name — 
The Devil and Antichrist — Belial — The Anti- 
christ figured as a Monster .... 133 


First Victories of Antichrist— Seats himself in 
THE Temple — Antichrist the Pseudo-Messiah of 
THE Jews — His Birth in the Tribe of Dan . 158 


The Wonders of the Antichrist— A Retrospective 
Glance — The Antichrist's Ministers . . .175 




Antichrist Kuler of the World— Drought and 
Famine — The Mark of Antichrist. . . .191 

Enoch and Elias— The Flight of the Faithful . 203 


The Shortening of the Days— The Last Stress— 
The Deliverance — The Doom of the Antichrist 218 


The Sign of the Son of Man — The Time of His 
Advent — The Destruction of the World by Fire 
— The Four Winds— The Sounding of the Trump 
— The Last Judgment 232 

An Old Armenian Form of the Antichrist Saga . 253 
Appendix. Greek and Latin Texts . . . ,263 
Index 301 


T CANNOT better introduce the present treatise 
-'- than by a remark appended by Gutschmid to his 
critique of Zez schwitz' work On Roman Imperialism 
of German Nationality : " The whole of this apocalyptic 
literature, extending on the one hand from the Book 
of Daniel, or even from the Old Testament Prophets, 
and on the other from the Cymaean Sibyl, in an all 
but unbroken chain, down to the time of Capistrano 
and the capture of Constantinople by the Turks, has 
hitherto been strangely neglected by historians. Yet 
it would be difficult to mention any other manifestation 
of popular thought in which was at all to the same 
extent directly reflected the impression produced by 
historical events on contemporary generations, on their 
ideas, hopes, and fears." * I may here add that in this 
work I have been unable to offner more than an indis- 
pensable preliminary essay on the subject to which 
Gutschmid draws attention. I trust, however, still 

* Kleine Schriften, V. 505. 





to find time and strength for a comprehensive treat- 
ment of the eschatology of the Christian Church. 
Meanwhile the sketch, such as it is, may perhaps 
serve to stimulate the efforts of other workers in this 
endlessly entangled and almost limitless field of 
literature, and thus promote its study and bring fresh 
materials to light. 

I may further remark that in the list of authorities 
referred to the editions of all quoted works are given 
together with an indication of the way the quotations 
are made. The reader is therefore requested to con- 
sult this list wherever the quotations may not be 



June, 1895. 





"TT may be safely afifirmed that no popular myth 
-■- can compare with that of the Antichrist legend 
in general interest, widespread diflfusion, and persis- 
tence, from a hoar antiquity down to the present 
time. In the present work, which deals mainly with 
the early Christian and media3val aspects of the 
subject, no attempt is made to trace the origin of 
the saga much farther back than about the dawn 
of the new era. But the author leaves no doubt 
on the mind -of the reader that he regards it not 
merely as a pre-Christian tradition quite independent 
of the New Testament writings, but as prior even to 
the oldest of the Old Testament records themselves. 
From many passages it is evident that he is in 


full accord with Gnnkel, whose canons of interpre- 
tation he adopts, and whose views regarding the 
ultimate Babylonian source of the myth he implicitly 
accepts, though of course not in all their details. 
Thus Gunkel's reference of the mystic number 666 
to the "primeval monster" (p. 11) is for obvious 
reasons rightly rejected, and a complete reconstruction 
of the old Babylonian legend by the aid of S. John's 
Eevelation is declared to be opposed to all evidence, 
and consequently to be " nothing more than a piece 
of pure fancy work." 

But on the other hand it is clearly implied that 
the Antichrist legend is nothing less than a later 
anthropomorphic transformation of the Babylonian 
Dragon myth, which is " doubtless one of the earliest 
evolved by primitive man" (p. 13). And although 
Gunkel may have exaggerated the influence of this 
legend on the New Testament writers, he is none 
the less declared to have done a real service 
by following up the after-effects of the Dragon 
myth " to its last echoes in the New Testament " 
(p. 13). 

My own attention was first attracted to this subject 
by the stimulating writings of Mr. Andrew Lang, 
and I was struck in a special manner by the theory, 
now almost become an axiom amongst folklorists, 
that the elucidation of the widely diffused mythologies 
of cultured peoples is to be sought, not in later 
" solar myths " or in literary influences of any kind. 


but rather in the beliefs and traditions of our rnder 
forefathers, of uncultured peoples, and possibly of 
primitive man himself. 

This theory, it seems to me, receives a brilliant 
confirmation from the early history of the legend 
under consideration — a legend which may without 
exaggeration be said to link together some of the 
very oldest reminiscences of struggling humanity 
with its aspirations for a better future (the Millennium) 
and its forebodings of the final consummation (the 
Last Judgment). At least this much may be said, 
that Gunkel's views regarding the evolution of the 
Antichrist legend from the Dragon myth have been 
greatly strengthened by the results of recent studies 
in the hitherto almost unexplored field of early 
Babylonian folklore. 

In Mr. Th. G. Pinches' Religious Ideas of the 
Babylonians we plainly see how the myth of Tiamat, 
"the Dragon of Chaos," prevalent amongst the 
Akkadian founders of Babylon and by them trans- 
mitted to the later Assyrian Semites, is the very 
first and oldest element in the current mythologies 
of those ancient peoples. At the same time this 
primeval dragon presents so many features in common 
with the dragon of Revelation, as well as of the 
independent Antichrist legend, that the descent of 
one from the other can scarcely any longer be denied. 
All the more readily may the identification be 
accepted, when such obvious connecting links are 


afforded as may be drawn from the Books of Daniel 
and of Enoch, and even from many passages in the 
prophets and other earlier biblical writings. The 
parallelism between dragon and serpent is too close 
to need discussion, while the intimate association of 
the Hebrew writers with their Assyrian kinsfolk is 
attested by such common popular names as Marduka 
(Mardochai),Shama'-ilu (Samuel), Ishm^-ilu (Ishmael), 
Mutu-sha-ili (Methusael), Gamal-ili (Gamaliel), and 
many others. 

Ninip, the deity who, according to the Tell-el- 
Amarna tablets, was worshipped at Jerusalem before 
the advent of the Israelites, seems to have been 
identified with many gods, amongst others with 
Bel mätäti, " Lord of the Lands," this, as Mr. Pinches 
tells us (p. 17), being one of the titles of Merodach. 
But Merodach himself (Amar-uduk, " Brightness of 
the Day") was the chief deity of the Babylonian 
pantheon, though not the father or the oldest of the 
gods. In fact he was originally only the son of fia or 
Ae, king of the underworld, and acquired the place 
of eminence by his triumph over Mummu-Tiamat, 
the Dragon of Chaos, who is not distinguishable 
from the Kirbish-Tiawat associated with the " Bel 
and the Dragon" myth. In the Semitic account 
of the creation this Tiamat or Tiawat (both words 
meaning the " sea ") is represented as presiding over 
the waste of waters in a time of disorder and con- 
fusion prior to the creation of Lahmu and Lahamu, 


of Anshar and Kishar, of Ann and the other gods 
of the heavens and the earth. 

Then comes a period of strife between the primordial 
chaos and the established order. Tiawat rises in 
rebellion against the gods, and arms herself (she is 
always represented as a female monster, the prototype 
of the scarlet woman of Babylon) with formidable 
weapons for the straggle. " I have collected un- 
rivalled weapons — the great serpents are hostile (they 
war on her side) — sharp-toothed also, and I have 
made them relentless. I have filled their bodies with 
poison like blood. I have clothed dreadful monsters 
with terrors — fearful things I have set up and left 
on high — scorpion-men, fish-men — wielding weapons, 
ruthless, fearless in battle," and so on, in strains that 
recall the descriptions of the combatants in the Old 
English poem of Beowulf. 

In the first encounters the gods are worsted ; Anu, 
god of the heavens, avails not ; Eä himself trembles 
and, in prosaic language, runs away. Then there 
appears to be a gathering of the gods, in which Ea's 
son, Merodach, boldly offers to come to the rescue. 
He also arms himself for the fight with formidable 
weapons, with spear, bow, and arrows ; he flashes 
lightning before him, fills his body with darting fiames ; 
and sets his net to catch and entangle the evil one. 
She cries out in her rage, utters spells and charms, 
but is overthrown, and Chaos being thus ended, 
Merodach orders the world anew, and in gratitude 


for his great deeds lie is proclaimed king of the gods. 
And the Assyrian text goes on : 

As he tirelessly thwarted Kirbish-Tiawat, 

Let his name be Nibu^u, seizer of Kirbish-Tiawat. 

May he restrain the paths of the stars of heaven. 

Like sheep let him pasture the gods, all of them. 

May he imprison the sea [tiawat], may he remove and 

store up its treasure, 
For the men to come, in days advanced (i&., p. 6). 

But if all this goes a long way to connect the 
Antichrist legend with the Babylonian Dragon myth, 
it may still be asked with Herr Bousset, though in 
another and a wider sense, " Whence this whole cycle 
of thought ? " (p. 24) ; whence the Babylonian myth 
itself ? Here we are reminded by folklorists that man 
invents little. He borrows, modifies, recasts, freely 
adapts the legacies of preceding ages to the ever- 
shifting environment, to his own immediate surround- 
ings. The apocalyptic writers themselves, we are 
here told, do not create or invent their materials. 
'' They of course modify here and there ; but their 
function consists essentially in adaptation, not in 
invention — in application to the times, not in fresh 
creations " (pJ 6). Hence it may be infe^^ed that, as 
neither the Christians nor the Jews invented their 
dragon, but borrowed it from the Babylonians, so did 
the Babylonians in their turn borrow it from some 
still earlier source. 


But the Dragon myth was the property, not merely 
of the later Assyrians, but of their far more ancient 
Akkadian (and Sumerian) precursors, as shown by 
the above-given Akkadian interpretation of the name 
Merodach, " Brightness of the Day." Now the Akka- 
dians were beyond all question the first civilised 
inhabitants of Mesopotamia, although it need not be 
supposed that they entered this region already in the 
possession of an advanced culture. It is obvious 
enough that they may have themselves developed this 
advanced culture on the spot, as their Egyptian con- 
temporaries certainly did in the Nile valley. But 
however this be, whether the Akkadians were civilised 
or savage intruders in the Lower Euphrates valley, 
we have no knowledge of any possible earlier culture 
prior, for instance, to the foundation of their city of 
Lagash (Tell-Loh), which its discoverer, M. de Sarzec, 
assigns to about 4000 b.c., or, say, 6000 years ago. 
Thus nothing is known to stand between these presum- 
ably Mongolo-Turki settlers in Chaldaea and primitive 
man himself. Consequently their dragon, if borrowed, 
could only have been borrowed from the men of the 
Stone Ages. 

It is evident that these rude prehistoric peoples 
could not be credited with the invention of such an 
anthropomorphic conception as thatr here in question. 
Nor is it necessary to suppose that they did invent it. 
In my Ethnology (Part II., chap, x.) I advance grounds 
for believing that Pleistocene man may well have 



readied the Mesopotamian plains both from South 
Asia and from North Africa ; and Professor Flinders 
Petrie's recent explorations in Upper Egypt prove 
that men of the Old Stone Age were already settled 
in that region at a time when '^ the Nile still rolled 
down as a vast torrent fifty times its present volume 
at the latter age of palaeolithic man." 

What was the condition of the Euphrates and 
Tigris basins at that remote epoch and for long 
generations afterwards ? We know that there was 
no Shatt el- Arab in the comparatively recent Akkadian 
times, when the Persian Gulf penetrated much farther 
inland than at present, and when Lagash itself may 
have almost been a seaport. At that time the twin 
rivers entered the head of the gulf through independent 
channels ; and what a vast volume they rolled down 
during the floods may be inferred from Mr. D. G. 
Hogarth's description of the Euphrates, which, during 
the melting of the snows, is even still, in its upper 
reaches, " a fuller, broader Rhine, rushing six miles 
an hour between towering banks which had weathered 
to fantastic pinnacles, and displaying a hundred metres' 
breadth of turbid flood, boiling in mid-stream over 
sunken rocks " {A Wandering Scholar in the Levant). 

Lower down the estuaries were infested by huge 
crocodiles, which may well have been over thirty 
feet long, like their plesiosaurian and ichthyosaurian 
precursors. Even now the Gangetic gavial reaches 
twenty-five feet, and the crocodiles in many tropical 


African rivers range from twenty to thirty, while a 
water-camoodi measured by Mr. E. im Thurn was found 
to be thirty feet long {Among the Indians of Guiana^ 
p. 133). Assuredly the chief difficulties that primitive 
man had to contend with on first reaching the Lower 
Mesopotamian plains were the turbulent streams 
themselves and their voracious saurian fauna. Nor 
can there be any doubt that the struggle with these 
relentless foes must have been maintained from age 
to age throughout the Old and New Stone epochs 
right into prehistoric times. 

Here therefore was a region of all others most likely 
to have given rise to popular tales of fights with 
monsters of the deep and with the watery element 
itself — fights real enough at first, but gradually 
assuming a fabulous character, according as the actual 
occurrences faded into mere memories of past contests, 
of heroic deeds, of dangers overcome. Then the fore- 
most champions engaged in these contests acquired 
their apotheosis in the minds of a grateful posterity, 
while the vanquished enemy assumed more and more 
the form of unearthly monsters and demons hostile to 
man. Such memories easily passed on from generation 
to generation until they acquired consistency and per- 
manency in the written records of the cultured Baby- 
lonian peoples. The interval between the dawn of 
Babylonian culture and the last amphibious monster 
slain by neolithic man cannot have been too long for 
the oral transmission of such reminiscences from pre- 


historic to historic times. And thus may the elements 
of the Dragon myth, without being invented, have 
been passed on through the Stone Ages to the first 
civilised inhabitants of Mesopotamia, and later by 
them handed on to the forefathers of the Israelites, 
Terah and his son Abram, who " went forth . . . from 
Ur of the Chaldees to go into the land of Canaan " 
(Gen. xi. 31). And if not to Terah and Abram, then 
to their descendants ; for the great extent of Baby- 
lonian influences throughout this region during the 
whole of the period from Abraham to Moses has now 
been fully revealed by the researches of Akkadian 
and Assyrian scholars.* 

We now begin also to understand the peculiar form 
assumed by the Semitic account of the creation, which 
is itself based on earlier Akkadian traditions. Before 
the dawn of Akkadian (and Sumerian) civilisation all 
was still chaos and disorder, the chief elements of 
confusion being the periodical freshets of the Euphrates 
and Tigris, which were caused by the melting of the 
snows on the Armenian and Kurdistan highlands, and 
which produced widespread devastation among the 
early settlements on the low-lying plains of Chaldaea. 
Then the next great difficulty that the settlers had to 
contend with were the saurian inhabitants of these 
turbulent waters ; so that there could be no peace or 
progress until the waters were quelled (confined within 

* See, amongst others, Professor A. H. Sayce, Fatriarchal 
Palestme, 1896. 


their banks, and diverted into irrigation canals), and 
until their presiding genius (the reptile or dragon, 
"lord of chaos") was overthrown. 

In these respects the Mesopotamian rivers must 
have assumed, in the eyes of the early Akkadian or 
pre-Akkadian dwellers on their banks, much the same 
aspect as did the Achelous and other wild torrents 
to the early Hellenic settlers in Greece. The Achelous, 
which also had its rise in a mountainous region 
(Pindus), and which by its recurrent floods spread 
havoc over the lowlands, had, like the Euphrates, to 
be vanquished — that is, restrained within its natural 
bed. Hence it was afterwards fabled to have con- 
tended under various forms (man, serpent, bull) with 
Herakles, a sort of Greek Merodach, a general re- 
dresser of wrongs and restorer of order throughout 
the Hellenic world. Here it is specially noteworthy 
that when Herakles breaks oif one of the bull's horns 
the vanquished Achelous retires to its bed, and the 
broken horn is presented to the goddess of Plenty, 
that is, becomes a cornucopia, emblem of the abun- 
dance that follows the subsidence of the flood-waters 
and their confinement to their natural channel. 

So in Babylonia law and order succeed chaos when 
the gods of heaven and earth are created — that is, 
when man himself becomes strong enough to contend 
successfully with the difficulties of his physical en- 
vironment. But before that time Tiawat (the sea, 
the Euphrates estuary) ruled supreme, and the dragon 


is represented as an aquatic monster aided in the fight 
with Merodach by " fish-men," " scorpion-men," and 
such-like allies. Then in the Assyrian text Merodach 
himself opens his mouth, and says : " I will confine 
Tiawat — I will save you." Such language, hitherto 
misunderstood or given up as hopeless, is now clear 
enough. Tiawat, the waste of waters, cannot be slain; 
but it may be " confined " (to its proper channel), and 
the people seated on its margin may thus be " saved." 
In other words, they may be enabled to sow and reap 
their crops in peace, when protected by Merodach's 
victory from the periodical inundations, and from the 
attacks of the fierce dragon, the huge reptiles coming 
up out of the deep, the "great serpents" that are 
'^ hostile " and " sharp-toothed " like Machairodon, or 
" sabre-tooth," associated with palaeolithic man in 

After the combat Tiawat is represented as being 
divided ; one portion being made into a covering for the 
heavens — "the waters above the firmament" — while 
the other remained below — " the waters under the 
firmament" (Pinches, p. 4). But the meaning would 
rather seem to be, that henceforth the turbulent streams 
are brought under better control, the waters on high — 
that is, the flood-waters from the uplands — being 
regulated by irrigation works, while the others — that 
is, the surface waters — subside into their respective 
river-beds, where they are confined by dykes and 
embankments. Those who might suppose that this 


is a fancy picture should remember that such works 
were carried out on a vast scale by the ancient 
Babylonians thousands of years ago. The plains of 
the Lower Euphrates and Tigris, rendered desolate 
under Turkish misrule, are intersected by the remains 
of an intricate system of canalisation covering all the 
space between the two rivers, and are strewn with 
the ruins of many great cities, whose inhabitants, 
numbering many scores of thousands, were supported 
by the produce of a highly cultivated region which is 
now an arid waste encumbered by crumbling mounds, 
stagnant waters, and a few fanatical Arab tent-dwellers. 
The scribe who has left to posterity this fragmentary 
Semitic account of the creation goes on to sing the 
praises of the legendary hero by whom order was 
evolved out of chaos : " May he imprison Tiawat ; 
may he remove and store up its treasures for the men 
to come, in days advanced, . . . that his land may 
prosper and he himself have peace." Here again the 
nature of the great change brought about by Merodach 
is clearly indicated. Tiawat is once more " imprisoned " 
(confined), and its treasures are stored up (possibly 
an allusion to the development of trade and navigation) 
for the benefit of ^^ the men to come " (future genera- 
tions) ; the land prospers, and Merodach, now 'Hhe 
lord of the gods," has peace, rests after his triumph 
over the foes of his people. He receives another title, 
Zi, " Life," for he is the " life-giver," who " doeth 
glorious things, God of the good wind, lord of hearing 


and obeying ; he who caiiseth glory and plenty to exist, 
establishing fertility." These continual references to 
prosperity, abundance, fertility present a most striking 
parallelism with the ^^ cornucopia " of the Achelous 
legend, although it does not follow that one is borrowed 
from the other. The resemblances may be equally 
well accounted for, whether we assume one origin, or 
merely analogous causes for both. 

Thus we see that even in many of its details all 
this legendary matter, saturated as it is with local 
colouring, carries us back to the primeval conditions 
under which it grew up and crystallised into later 
national mythologies. These conditions were here, as 
elsewhere, the circumstances incident to the struggle 
of primitive man with his physical surroundings. Thus 
also the weird story of the Antichrist legend is com- 
pleted in its three successive phases — from the new 
era to mediaeval times, a millennium (Bousset) ; from 
Babylonia to the~new era, four millenniums (Gunkel) ; 
from the Stone Ages to Babylonia, as here suggested, 
many millenniums. 

And still a boundless and fascinating field of inquiry 
is open to folklorists, who may be tempted to follow 
the endless ramifications of the saga throughout the 
rich mythologies of the Greeks, Scandinavians, Teutons, 
and other imaginative peoples. But before plunging 
into these fathomless depths of speculation they will 
be wise to carefully study Herr Bousset's judicious 
remarks on Gunkel's method of interpretation (chap, i.), 


and remember that in the wide range of comparative 
mythology " the temptation to yield to fancy flights is 
all but irresistible " (p. 16). 

And here we are forcibly reminded of the reckless 
way in which certain popular and unscrupulous 
" expositors " are accustomed to handle such extremely 
difficult texts as, for instance, the Books of Daniel 
and Revelation. We all know how the rage for 
expounding these texts breaks out at intervals, and 
especially how it has tended to assume the character 
of a virulent epidemic towards the close of each suc- 
cessive century of the Christian era. Symptoms are 
not wanting that as the present century approaches 
its end the intermittent fever will again reach its 
centennial crisis, and the advertisement columns of 
the periodical press show that prophecy-mongering 
about the Antichrist and " the crack of doom " is 
already '^ in the air." 

A sober, and above all a scholarly, treatment of the 
subject, such as is here presented to the thoughtful 
reader, may perhaps be found the best corrective of 
such disorders. These professional and not always 
disinterested '' latter-day saints and seers " may at 
least here learn that, " to understand Revelation, we 
need a fulness of eschatological and mythological 
knowledge " (p. 17), and that " no one should venture 
on an exposition of this book without a comprehensive 
knowledge of all its bearings " (p. 9). These pre- 
sumptuous charlatans should take warning from the 


repeated failures of their illustrious predecessors, such 
as Hippolytus, Irenasus, and other Fathers of the 
Church, all of whose predictions served only to show 
how rash it is, even for qualified expositors, to venture 
into the dangerous field of prophetic interpretation. 
And they will do well to bear in mind the solemn 
words of Origen : '' Because perhaps amongst the Jews 
were some persons professing to know about the Last 
Things either from Holy Writ or from hidden sources, 
therefore he [Paul] writes warning his disciples to 
believe no one making such professions " (p. 31). 

Lastly, they should clearly understand that the 
Antichrist legend, connected, as it undoubtedly is, 
with the Babylonian Dragon myth, if not also with 
reminiscences of primitive man himself, is far less 
a biblical subject than a chapter in uninspired folklore, 
the most persistent, the most widespread, of all popular 

A few words will suffice to explain the plan I have 
adopted in preparing this English edition of Herr 
Bousset's book. Such changes as have been made affect 
the arrangement of the subject-matter only — chapters 
substituted for indicated sections, a clause here and 
there removed from the text to the notes, a note now 
and then transferred to the text, and above all the 
text disencumbered of a large number of Greek and 


Latin passages from the documents consulted by the 
author and by him left untranslated. All these 
will be found brought together in an Appendix at 
the end, their place being taken by versions as close 
as was compatible with English idiom. I have not, 
however, thought it necessary to print any of these 
passages more than once, or to reproduce those from 
the Greek and Latin Scriptures, which are easily 
accessible to all. By this plan the book is made 
more generally readable without detriment to its 
value for serious students, while folklorists unfamiliar 
with the classical languages will here find, for the 
first time, placed at their disposal a multiplicity of 
out-of-the-way texts bearing on the Antichrist legend 
in all its varied aspects, at least for a period of about 
a thousand years, from the new era far into mediaeval 
times. The scheme of references is explained in a note 
at the beginning of each chapter. Several of the Greek 
and Latin passages, such especially as those from 
the Sibylline sources, are not only designedly obscure, 
but are also extremely corrupt. Two or three of these 
have been given up as hopeless, while I have to thank 
Mr. Henry Chettle, Head Master of Stationers' School, 
for his kind assistance in the elucidation of the others. 
Herr Bousset, who has looked over the proofs, has 
also favoured me with a German version of the passage 
from an old Bavarian poem reproduced in English at 
p. 243. The figure of Bel and the Dragon on the 
cover has been prepared from a cast taken by 


Mr. A. P. Ready from a Babylonian cylinder in the 
British Museum. 

No complete text is anywhere given by Herr 
Bousset of any particular form of the Antichrist 
legend, such as might serve the purpose of an object- 
lesson in enabling the reader to understand the 
general character of the saga as it exists in extant 
documents. Through the courtesy of Mr. F. C. 
Conybeare I am enabled to supply this want by 
reproducing, at the end of the volume, an old 
Armenian form of the legend, a translation of which 
was given by Mr. Conybeare in the Academy of 
October 26th, 1895. 


79, Broadhurst Gardens, N.W., 
March, 1896. 






Andr. : Andreas, Commentary on the Apocalypse^ Sylburg's 

Bk. K. : Booh of S. Clement (BißXiov KXj//x6i/T0ff), ed. Lagarde, in 
Reliqicice JuriSj etc, 80 et seq, 

Cyr. : Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lectures (Karrjxw^t^s, 15), 
in Migne, Vol. XXXIII. 

D. A. Gr. : Greek Apocalypse of Daniel^ ed. Klostermann, 
Änalecta, 113 et seq. 

D. A. Arm. : Armenian Apocalypse of Daniel, ed. Kalemkiar, 
Wiener Zeitschrift, VI. 127 et seq, 

Eluc. : Elucidarium of Honorius of Autun, III. 10 ; Migne, 
Vol. CLXXII., p. 1163. 

Ephr. Gr. : Discourse on the Antichrist (Aoyoy ds tov ' AvtIxpio-tov), 
Assemani, III. 134-143 ; Prologue from W* Meyer's MSS* 


Ephr. Syr. : Discourse on the Consummation {Sermo de fine 
Extermo), Lamy, III. 187. 

Eter. : Eterianus Hugo, On the Return of the Souls from the 
Lower Regions {Liber de Regressu Animarum ab Liferis), 
chaps, xxiv. et seq. ; Migne, Vol. CCII., p. 168. 

Hild. : Hildegard, Scivias, III. 11 ; Migne, Vol. CXCVI., p. 709. 

Hipp. : Hippolytus, Exposition . . , on the Antichrist (^Anobei^is 
. . . Trepl Tov ^AvTLxpiO'Tov), ed. Lagarde, 1 et seq, 

J. A. : Pseudo-Johaymine Apocalypse ; Tischendorf, Apocalypses 
Apocryphce, Ixx. 

Joh. Damasc. : S. Jolin of Damascus, Exposition of the Ortho- 
dox Faith (''EKÖeo-i.s rrjs opdodo^ov ttiWcos), iv. 27. 

Lact. : Lactantius, Institutiones Divince, VII. 10 et seq.^ ed. 
Brandt, Corpus Scriptorum Latinorum^ Vol. XIX. 

Mart. : S. Martin of Tours, in Sulpicius Severus, Dialog., II. 
14 ; Migne, Vol. XX. 

I Ethiopic, Arabic, Syriac Recension of Clement's 
P. A. Ar. : > Petrine Apocalypse {Petri Apostoli Apocalypsis 
V A Svr • ) ^^^ dementem) ; Bratke. 

Phil. Sol. : Philippus Solitarius, Dioptra, III. 10 et seq. ; 
Migne, Vol. CXXVIL 

Ps. Chrys. : Pseudo-Chrysostom, On the Second Coming, etc. 
{Els Trjv devTcpau TTapovcrlav, k. t. X.), amongst the WOrks of 

S. Chrysostom ; Migne, Vol. LXL, p. 776. 
Ps. E. : The Syriac Apocalypse of Ezra ; Baethgen. 

Ps. Ephr. : Pseudo-Ephrem, the Discourse preserved under the 
name of S. Ephrem ; Caspari, Briefe und Abhandlungen, 
1890, pp. 208 et seq. 


Ps. H. : Pseudo-Hippolytus, On the End of the World (Ilept t^s 
a-vvTekclas tov Koa-jxov) ; Lagarde, 92. 

Ps. M. : Pseudo-Methodius, Orthodoxograjpha (Greek 93, Latin 
100 pp.). 

Sib. B. : The Sibylline document included in the works of the 
Venerable Bede ; Migne, Vol. XC, p. 1183. 

Sib. Us. : The Sibyl published by Usinger in his Forschungen 
zur Deutschen Geschichte, X. 621. 

Vict. : Victorinus, Commentary on Revelation ; ed. de la Bigne, 
Vol. I. (2nd ed., 1589). 

Z. A. : The Apocalypse of Zephaniah ; Stern, Zeitschrift für 
ägyptische Sprache^ 1886, 115 et seq. 

Note. — In the English edition most of the abbreviated forms 
have been extended. The same remark applies to many other 
forms of reference, which might be unintelligible to any but 
specialists. Thus Z. K. W. K. L. becomes Zeitschr.fiir Kirhliche 
Wissenschaft und KirJdiches Lehen (p. 84), and so on. 



Inteoduction — Methods of Interpretation — Relations 
TO the Babylonian Dragon Myth. 

THE present work was originally undertaken with 
a view to the explantion and interpretation of 
some obscure passages in the Revelation of S. John. 
My inquiries were first turned in this direction by the 
remarks contained in Isolin's Comparative Study of 
Revelation with the Later Syriac Apocalypse at- 
tributed to Ezra.^ Then my attention was drawn to 
these remarkable literary problems by Bratke's work 
on the Arabo-Ethiopic Petrine Apocalypse. 

After reading a fellow-worker's treatise on the 
Apocalypse two years ago, it seemed to me highly 
probable that at least chap. xi. of the Johannine 
Apocalypse had its origin in an earlier tradition which 
might still be recovered. Corrodi's History of the 
Millennium for the first time brought under my notice 
the writings of S. Ephrem bearing on this subject. 
Then one branch after another of this astonishingly 
widespread literature was in due course brought to 

* This work, however (Theol. Zeitschrift aus der Schiveis, 1887), 
is known to me only by report. 



light, although I should have still undoubtedly over- 
looked some important documents but for the help 
repeatedly rendered to me by Professors Bonwetsch 
and W. Meyer. My thanks are also due to Dr. 
Achelis and to Dr. Rahlfs for the assistance kindly 
afforded by them on several points occurring in the 
course of my investigations. But even so I am 
far from claiming any finality for these researches, 
many documents from which light might be derived 
being still inaccessible to students. However, I have 
at least reason to believe that nothing essential has 
been overlooked in connection with the current of 
tradition on the Antichrist saga in the early Church. 
I would, nevertheless, here point out that the later 
mediaeval history of the saga has only been glanced at 
by me, so that here I make no kind of pretence to 
thoroughness. I was fain to set this limit to my work 
in order not to break down altogether in the attempt 
to elucidate the apocalyptic text. 

At the same time my researches have thus developed 
into something more than a mere aid to the interpre- 
tation of Revelation. The interest felt by me in the 
spread and influence of the Antichrist legend itself, 
once aroused, grew steadily stronger, and thus it came 
about that the work has assumed the character of a 
contribution to the eschatology of the early Church. 
Despite their entangled and fantastic nature, the 
records here dealt with in their literary connection 
possess at least a great and special charm. In this 
literature are simply and directly mirrored the senti- 
ments, the sufferings, hopes, and aspirations of the 


masses in times ^of great political throes and con- 
vulsions. The generations pass before our eyes in a 
weird, fantastic light, for it is never to be forgotten 
that all these whirling and checkered thoughts at one 
time throbbed with life ; they excited the popular 
imagination more than dogmatic wranglings, and at 
least in media3val times they made history. 

Meanwhile I would indulge the hope that my efforts 
to unravel the apocalyptic entanglement may yield 
no little fruit both directly and above all indirectly. 
We have not yet come to an end in the interpretation 
of the Apocalypse. Much has doubtless been cleared 
up by the historical and critical methods of inquiry. 
But these very methods themselves have plunged us 
into deep complications and an almost boundless range 
of hypotheses. Hence fresh ground must be broken, 
fresh processes applied, nay, a thoroughly new method 
of investigation will be needed, if the subject is to be 
advanced beyond the phase it has now reached. But 
the essential point will be to form a clear conception of 
the method to be applied. In my studies I have not 
failed to notice the law of eschatological tradition 
apparent in a whole series of apocalyptic documents. 
And precisely herein lies in my opinion the indirect 
value of my labours for the interpretation of the 

It is at this point that the present work comes in 

contact with Gunkel's Creation and Chaos {Schöpf 

fung und Chaos), a work which has already struck out 

or indicated new lines of inquiry. In fact a feeling of 

gratitude requires that at the very outset I should 


state how greatly I have been stimulated and en- 
couraged by this work, more especially as regards 
the method and the statement of the problem. I 
emphasise this point all the more willingly that, in 
respect of the results, I have frequently found myself 
in points of detail at variance with the author himself. 
In the present connection, however, I am concerned 
mainly with the second half of Gunkel's work, where 
in proposing an explanation of Revelation, chap, xii., 
he formulates the laws for the interpretation of all 
apocalyptic traditions bearing on the Last Days. 

Of these laws the most frequent and valuable in my 
opinion is that laid down by Gunkel at pp. 252 et seq. 
Here he suggests that, speaking broadly, the several 
apocalyptic writers do not themselves create or invent 
their materials, or even merely weave them together 
of all sorts of scattered threads. How could they else 
succeed in passing off their fancies for authentic holy 
revelations ? This could be done only by the posses- 
sion of an unbroken chain of traditions hallowed with 
age, so that these seers simply reveal the sacred lore 
of primeval times. They of course modify here and 
there ; but their function consists essentially in adapta- 
tion, not in invention, in application (to the times), 
not in fresh creations. " Such personal activity must 
always be taken as confined to those limits within 
which the belief of the writer in his own words does 
not become impossible " (p. 254). 

Naturally this limitation is somewhat vague ; one 
apocalyptic writer may be trusted less, another more, 
but the limitation exists. Gunkel's assumption is, 


in fact, confirmed by the history of the eschatological 
literature which I have here surveyed, and which — 
herein consists its advantage — lies in the clear light of 
history. Let it not here be objected that the later 
epochs of Christian apocalyptic literature should not 
be applied to the laying down of rules for the inter- 
pretation of the inspired Revelation of S. John. In 
the course of the present work it will be shown that 
the eschatological literature here dealt with still 
stands in a position of independence in respect of the 
New Testament, and more especially of the Johannine 

From the following review of a literature spread 
over a thousand years the clearest evidence will also 
be afi'orded of the great persistence of eschatological 
imagery, which passes on from hand to hand with 
scarcely a change of form in the course of centuries. 

To explain this persistence of legendary eschato- 
logical conceptions, Gunkel advances the hypothesis 
of an esoteric oral tradition, and endeavours to support 
his assumption by 2 Thessaloniatis ii., and by passages 
from the Apocalypse of Ezra (pp. 265, 292). I am 
now in a position to bring forward proof of such a 
secret eschatological tradition even for the first 
centuries of Christianity. 

It has been objected to Gunkel that he does not 
make it sufiiciently clear how utterly unconscious the 
author of Revelation may have been of adopting 
earlier mythical and eschatological materials, how 
largely he dealt with unintelligible and half-under- 
stood eschatological traditions. Although this is 


repeatedly acknowledged by Gunkel himself, there 
is still some force in the objection. The contact of 
Revelation more particularly with the early Babylonian 
myths — a contact which Gnnkel has really proved — 
is after all frequently limited to some misunderstood 
borrowings. And on the strength of such contacts it 
was very venturesome to credit the circles amongst 
which the Apocalypse grew up with the further know- 
ledge of a coherent early Babylonian myth, of which 
no trace is elsewhere to be found. Yet this is what 
Gunkel attempts to do in his explanation of Revela- 
tion, chap, xii., and of the numerical riddle in chap, 
xiii. 18. So much may be admitted without prejudice 
to the accuracy of the above-mentioned law respecting 
the persistence of eschatological tradition. If the 
Book of Revelation is not to be explained, or 
explained only to a very small extent, by the old 
Babylonian myth, it may still perhaps find its 
interpretation in some less remote tradition. 

At the same time the potency of early traditions 
and the possibility of their being still partly understood 
are not to be underestimated. In fact they can hardly 
be overrated; in this connection centuries need scarcely 
be taken into account, and it must be frankly stated 
that no one has a right to an opinion on this subject 
who has not earnestly and sedulously studied the 
traditions of mythical and eschatological records. 

But even if the fullest weight be given to the 
objection urged against Gunkel, and if nothing more 
than a few scattered fragments of early Babylonian 
mythology can be detected in Revelation, still the 


verified relations must be regarded as something more 
than mere literary ^' curiosities." They might even 
afford a sure means of distinguishing in the interpre- 
tation of this book between the material handed down 
by tradition and that special to the apocalyptic writer. 
And in such discrimination lies the whole art of sound 
exegesis for all apocalyptic writings. Everything 
depends on clearly distinguishing between the tradi- 
tional and what is peculiar to each document. 

Gunkel's work may accordingly be regarded as the 
starting-point of a new method of interpretation of 
Revelation. To the study of contemporary history and 
of textual criticism is superadded that of traditional 
history, by which both are controlled but not super- 
seded, as might appear from occasional passages in 
Gunkel's work. 

The method of textual criticism so much in vogue 
at present will certainly have to greatly modify its 
pretensions ; an end must once for all be put to the 
reckless use of the knife, and critics must henceforth 
refrain from laying rude hands on original documents. 
As is rightly urged by Gunkel, all attempts at verbal 
criticism must be preceded by a far more accurate 
knowledge of the logical connection of all available 
materials. A few exegetic remarks on the Johannine 
Apocalypse, such as every one fancies himself capable 
of, will no longer suffice. No one should venture on 
an exposition of this book without a comprehensive 
knowledge of all its bearings, and a satisfactory elucida- 
tion will assuredly for a long time exceed the powers 
of any individual student. Such an elucidation 


involves nothing less than a thorough grasp of its 
special character within the compass of an eschato- 
logical tradition embracing a period of nearly a thousand 
years. Yet I already begin to fear that Gunkel's 
canon may soon be so far overstrained as to cause the 
critical study of the text to fall into complete neglect. 
Hence it may here be urged that a sound method of 
verbal criticism will always act as a healthy counter- 
poise to an arbitrary treatment of mythical sources. 
I hope to show in the first part of this work how 
much may be achieved in this field even by textual 

The method based on a study of contemporary 
history will also have to confine itself within narrower 
limits. Against this method Gunkel advances the 
most diverse arguments. He protests especially 
against the favourite process of interpreting independ- 
ently isolated passages of Revelation, and points out 
the absolutely arbitrary character of such a course. 
A limitation of the contemporary historical method 
follows, in fact, as a matter of course from the 
recognition of the claims of traditional history. When 
we once recognise that at many points the writer is 
leaning on tradition, we become instinctively more 
guarded against explanations suggested by con- 
temporary events. But above all Gunkel absolutely 
rejects those adaptations to current history that date 
back to times antecedent to the apocalj^ptic writer as not 
in harmony with the essential character of Revelation. 

But, however encouraging they may be, these de- 
ductions require to be somewhat modified. Even 


when the apocalyptic writer takes over distinctly 
traditional materials, he often does so not quite 
purposelessly. He may, in fact, be still thinking of 
his own and immediately antecedent times. Thus the 
description of those slain under the altar (Rev. vi. 9 
et seq.) is after all a mere adaptation of an older 
tradition. But when borrowing this incident the 
writer was thinking of the martyrs of his ojvn time, 
of those that had already suffered, and of those that 
were to follow. Nor is it altogether beside the 
question to consider and to ask to what temporal 
relations he is alluding. For to me Gunkel does not 
seem to have proved that there are no references in the 
Johannine Apocalypse to past times. Even the Books 
of Daniel, chap, vii., and of Enoch, chap. Ixxxviii., have 
also allusions to the period antecedent to that of the 
assumed writer. Why may we not therefore under- 
stand chap. xii. of Revelation to be a retrospective 
historical introduction to chap, xiii., at least in the 
mind of the writer who has given it the last touch ? 

But in any case it must be regretted that Gankel 
makes a decided mistake when he attempts to upset 
the long-standing accepted allusion to current events 
during the reign of Nero, supporting his contention 
with much straining of the text, but with little solid 
argument. Let it be said once for all that the refer- 
ence to Nero is not to be eliminated from the Revelation 
of S. John. It is to be feared that Gunkel's reference 
of the number 666 to the '^ primeval monster," * 
whereby he strives to put aside the allusion to Nero, 


will ere long be ranked with those apocalyptic 
curiosities on which he lavishes so much scorn. But 
so long as the allusion to Nero justly holds its ground, 
the interpretation of Revelation in the light of con- 
temporary events will also be justified. Nor will the 
question be in any way affected by the assurance of 
Gunkel and of his reviewer Edward Meyer * that this 
method has here proved a failure. 

But here again all exaggeration must be deprecated. 
A claim to exclusiveness is no recommendation for 
any new method. Gunkel claims far too much when, 
for instance, he chngs to the fundamental principle 
that the method based on historical tradition is to 
be applied wherever the allusion to current events is 
not quite clear or does not lie on the surface. A 
cautious inquiry will accept the results based on 
allusions to contemporary history when such allusions 
are not strained. But the caution here insisted upon 
has nothing in common with that hair-splitting 
reasoning with which Gunkel rejects the Neronic 
interpretation ; it is a caution which will accept all 
genuine inferences and results of the traditional 
method, but will admit moot questions wherever both 
principles are unconvincing, will even allow the 
possibility of allusions to contemporary events of 
which we have no knowledge — in a word, it will in 
many cases apply both methods concurrently. 

But in Gunkel's work the student has above all to 
be on his guard against postulates or assumptions. 

■'^ In the Supplement to the Augsburg Allgemeine Zeitung^ 
December 13th, 1894. 


To attempt, as Gunkel does, to completely reconstruct 
from our Revelation a now lost old Babylonian myth 
by patching together a few surviving shreds of some 
fragmentary contacts, whose connections are no longer 
clear, is tantamount to flying in the face of all evidence 
and ignoring the limits of scientific proof. Gunkel's 
interpretation of Revelation xii. 13 is nothing more 
than a piece of pure fancy work, which had better 
have been left undone. Many will be only too ready 
on this ground to shut their eyes to the real merits 
of a work which as a whole has certainly opened up 
new methods of research. 

In any case Gunkel has done a real service by 
following up in a separate treatise the after-effects 
of the old Babylonian Dragon myth to its last 
echoes in the New Testament. And even though he 
may have largely overrated the influence of this myth 
in the New Testament, he has still considerably 
sharpened our perception of the mythological element 
in Revelation. 

In some respects I might describe my work as a 
modest continuation of Gunkel's inquiry. In it proof 
might be advanced to show that the Antichrist legend 
is a later anthropomorphic transformation of the 
Dragon myth, and further that this myth has made 
itself felt in its traditional form far beyond the time 
of the New Testament, cropping out again and again 
now in one now in another feature of its old charac- 
teristic aspects. On the other hand, I might in a 
certain sense justify Gunkel's work. Of the Dragon 
myth scarcely anything has found its way into the 


Apocalypse beyond a few unintelligible fragments. 
The Apocalypse has, in fact, been to a far greater extent 
influenced by another eschatological tradition, which 
is connected with that of the Dragon, and which may 
still be recognised by the student. 

I am also in accord with the traditional method 
so energetically advocated by Gunkel, and with his 
equally vigorous contention for the persistence of 
eschatological tradition. But it did not fall within 
the scope of my work to embrace the early Babylonian 
period, with a view to recovering in this field the key 
to the understanding of Revelation. My aim has 
rather been to seek my material in the later Christian 
tradition, with a retrospective view of the New 
Testament period — that is, so far as such tradition 
maintains its independence of the New Testament 
itself. And my belief is that the key thus recovered 
works better, at least as regards the understanding of 

At the same time I am quite aware that after all 
I have not arrived at a thorough understanding of 
this legendary eschatological imagery. But it may 
be asked. Can such an understanding ever be arrived 
at by any process ? Gunkel thinks he has found an 
explanation of the Dragon myth ; bufc this is precisely 
what Edward Meyer {loc. cit,) demurs to. Here, when 
all is said and done, everything seems uncertain. 
Enough will have been done if we can in a measure 
realise to ourselves the nature of the eschatological 
imagery prevalent at any given period, say, for instance, 
in New Testament times, and thus help to unravel 


this almost inextricable tangle of traditional and 
contemporary representations, of intelligible and un- 
intelligible elements. But while saying this we do 
not of course mean to withhold our thanks for any 
further light that in the course of his investigations 
Gunkel may still throw on the subject. 

For me the main point was to examine the nearest 
available documents tending to elucidate Revelation, 
and nearer than the old Babylonian mythology was 
the early Christian eschatological tradition, which, 
taken as a whole, is independent of the Johannine 
document. It is precisely the study of the writings 
nearest to hand that has been often neglected by 
Gunkel. The remark applies especially to his 
comments on chap. xii. of Revelation. 

Another matter has to be mentioned in which I 
am indebted to Gunkel. All praise is due to the 
restraint which he has imposed upon himself in this 
work. It was especially in the mythological field, 
which he undertook to investigate, that lay the 
greatest temptation to indulge in wild flights into 
extraneous mythological systems far removed from 
the subject in hand. Both the Greek and Norse 
mythologies present numerous parallelisms, and there 
occur many other traces of the influence of this 
primeval myth, doubtless one of the earliest evolved 
by primitive man. Gunkel has happily avoided the 
danger both of the dilettanteism which here lurked 
close at hand and of premature judgments on the 
ascertained facts. 

The same can by no means be said of all mytho- 


logical researches. However stimulating, for instance, 
may be Dietrich's investigations in the history of 
religion, however valuable they may be in a domain 
where he is at home (and here are naturally included 
his commentaries on the Petrine Apocalypse), still 
his conclusions on Jewish and early Christian 
eschatology bear none the less the stamp of the 
amateur. How superior Gunkel is to this writer 
appears from the few pages in which he dijffers from 
Dietrich in his attempt to elucidate chap. xii. 
of Revelation. Much serious work has still to be 
done, many careful inquiries into special points have 
still to be concluded, before any decided inferences, 
such as those of Dietrich, can be drawn in detail 
on the origin of the eschatological representations 
regarding the destruction of the world, heaven and hell, 
or even on the fundamental moral concepts involved 
in the pictures of the last judgment. Nor in my 
opinion has the time yet arrived for an inquiry into 
the intricate mythology of the Edda, or for an attempt 
to discriminate between the Christian and earlier 
elements of this compilation, as is done by E. H. Meyer 
in his Völuspd. I mention this work because I have 
had repeated occasion to refer to it in this treatise. 
The colossal work of a comparative mythology will 
have to be done step by step, if it is to give 
the impression of anything more than a fantastic, 
amateurish experiment. The temptation to yield to 
fancy flights is all but irresistible, and in the little 
that I have brought together from outlying quarters 
I may have myself perhaps already trespassed too far. 



Although the labour still to be done is of a 
comprehensive character, its sphere of action will be 
extended only to extraneous works. These investi- 
gations do not penetrate into the essence of things, 
into all that lives and has real force in every religion. 
For the pith and marrow of all creeds lies in what 
is special to each, not in what one people or one faith 
may have borrowed from another ; it lies in the 
original creations of distinct personalities, not in what 
one generation may have handed down to another. 
To understand Revelation we need a fulness of 
eschatological and mythological knowledge ; to under- 
stand the Gospel all this may for the most part 
be dispensed with. Nevertheless this work has also 
to be done, and such work remains instructive in 
many respects. It delivers a lesson of modesty and 
lowliness, showing how each individual, each genera- 
tion of men is but a ripple in the stream of the endless 
life of history ; it teaches what an infinite variety 
of knowledge, feelings, and sentiments every age un- 
consciously inherits from previous ages. But it also 
quickens our vision — and herein lies its fullest value — 
for all that is original in every living belief ; it shows 
us indirectly whence flow the living waters of life. 

The present work comprises two main divisions. 
In the first I have endeavoured to give a survey of 
the extremely difficult relations of the literature 
bearing on the subject. In the second I have pre- 
sented a reconstruction of the legend, an exposition 
of its origin and history. In this second part I quote 
very fully from the various authorities dealing with 



the question in hand. This seemed all the more 
necessary that the literature under consideration is 
very scattered and of difficult access. The second 
part also often affords support to the exposition of 
the mutual relation of the sources to each other — an 
exposition which, owing to the abundance of materials, 
had often to be given in a very summary manner. 


Statement of the Problem. 

A SURVEY of the eschatological parts of the 
New Testament, and more especially of those 
referring to the fearful storms and stress of the last 
days shortly before the general doom, gives a decided 
impression that we have here nothing more than the 
fragmentary survivals of a tradition which points at 
greater associations now shrouded in mystery. 

This character of the tradition is most pronounced 
in chap. xi. of the Revelation of S. John. Specially 
puzzling is here the sudden appearance of the 
beast that comes up out of the pit and kills the 
two witnesses (ver. 7). If we suppose that in the 
expression "the beast that ascendeth out of the 
bottomless pit" the hand of the '^editor" of Reve- 
lation has been at work, still there is the reference 
in ver. 7 to a demoniacal power by which the two 
witnesses are slain. As this can by no means be 
separated, as Spitta would have it, from the general 
context, the fragment remains all the more puzzling. 
In any case the sudden cessation of the testimony 
of the witnesses after three years and a half must 
* For Notes ^ to ^ of this chapter, see Appendix, p. 263, 



still have been brought about by some hostile power. 
But where are we elsewhere to look for the appearance 
of the witnesses and of the beast? According to 
ver. 8, in Jerusalem. Even apart from the words 
'^ where also our [their] Lord was crucified," 
Jerusalem is unmistakably indicated both by the 
connection with vers. 1 and 2, and by the circum- 
stance that in the earthquake in which the tenth 
part of the city fell seven thousand men were slain 
(ver. 13). For the assumption that the scene takes 
place in Rome there is not a particle of evidence. 
The assertion that Jerusalem could not be called 
"the great city" can be shown to be groundless, 
while the fact that Rome is elsewhere in Revelation 
also called '' the great city " proves nothing for the 
explanation of this quite exceptional chapter. 

But if everything thus points to Jerusalem as the 
theatre of these events, then comes the question, 
How are we to explain the appearance in Jerusalem 
of the beast which is elsewhere in Revelation 
associated with the Roman empire, with Rome itself, 
or with Nero returning from the Euphrates ? Here a 
too hasty exposition of a single chapter of Revelation 
would avail nothing. For after all it is quite possible, 
nay, even tolerably certain, that we have in this 
book diverse cycles of thought lying close together. 
Moreover, who are the two witnesses ? Why are 
they here introduced at all ? Why, and against 
whom, do they forebode the plagues ? In what 
relation do they stand to the beast? Why does 
the beast of all others slay the witnesses ? Who 


are the dwellers upon the earth who rejoice and make 
merry and send gifts one to another during the three 
days and a half that the witnesses lie dead ? If we 
are to suppose that they gathered about Jerusalem, 
how did they get thither ? Is it the Roman legions 
that are to tread Jerusalem underfoot ? But if so, 
how can these be spoken of as " they that dwell 
upon the earth " ? All these are moot points which 
will never be solved by discriminating the sources 
within chap. xi. 

Now let us take it as unquestioned that in this 
chapter the figure of the Antichrist appears in 
Jerusalem, that he here stands in no relation to Rome 
and the Roman empire, or to, the Gentiles, who, as 
would seem, tread Jerusalem underfoot. Then a 
parallel passage will at once be found in the eschato- 
logical section of the SecondEpistletotheThessalonians, 
whose authenticity I accept without however in my 
researches laying too much weight on this assumption. 
Here the very mysterious fragmentary manner of the 
exposition is obviously intentional. The author will 
not say more than he has said, but refers to his 
previous oral communications, giving the impression 
of an allusion to some esoteric teaching. In fact Paul 
speaks of a mystery in the words — ^^ Remember ye 
not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these 
things ? And now ye know what withholdeth that he 
might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of 
iniquity doth already work : only he who now letteth 
will let^ until he be taken out of the way" (chap, ii., 
vers. 5-7). We read of '' the man of sin," a '' son 


of perdition," who is yet to come. This figure also 
of the Antichrist appears in Jerusalem ; he sitteth in 
the Temple of God, and proclaims himself God. His 
advent will be ^^ after the working of Satan " ; he will 
work " signs and lying wonders," and will beguile 
them that perish '^with all deceivableness of un- 

Here therefore we have also an Antichrist who has 
nothing whatever to do with the Roman empire. For 
the passage is not applicable even to Caligula and his 
whim to have his statue set up in the Temple of 
Jerusalem. By such an interpretation we should miss 
the most essential point — that is to say, the threatened 
profanation of the Temple by foreign armies. Here 
we have nothing but signs and wonders and deceits, 
and it is characteristic of the passage that it contains 
an altogether unpolitical eschatology— an Antichrist 
who appears as a false Messiah in Jerusalem and 
works signs and wonders. And when Paul says that 
this man of sin will lead astray those destined to 
perish because "they received not the love of the 
truth, that they might be saved" (ver. 10), it is quite 
evident that he is thinking of the Jews, to whom a 
false Messiah will be sent because they have rejected 
the true Messiah. But whence does Paul know all 
this, and who is the one that " letteth,'' who has to 
be " taken out of the way " before the coming of the 
Antichrist ? 

I turn to a third allied passage, the section of the 
Lord's discourse in Matthew xxiv. and Mark xiii. on 
the Second Coming, and I assume, with many recent 



expositors, that the distinctly apocalyptic part is a 
fragment of foreign origin introduced amid genuine 
utterances of the Lord. It is also evident that com- 
pared with that of Mark the text of Matthew is the 
original. Here we have again the same phenomenon of 
short mysterious forebodings. The writer speaks of the 
'' abomination of desolation " in the holy place, followed 
by the flight of the faithful (one scarcely knows from 
what) ; of a shortening of the days (we know not 
what days, or whether any definite period of time is 
meant) ; of the " sign of the Son of man," which still 
remains a puzzle, although treated lightly by most 
expositors. In any case the view is steadily gaining 
ground that the allusion to the siege of Jerusalem 
and the flight of the Christians to Pella is an expla- 
nation introduced as an after-thought into Revelation. 
Yet one is reluctant to understand the passage except 
in association with the time of the emperor Caligula. 
How then is to be explained the flight after the pollution 
of the Temple ? Was the writer one of the advocates 
of peace, who wished to dissuade his fellow-countrymen 
from taking to arms ? But if so, he might have spoken 
in plainer language. A life-and-death struggle would 
after all seem probably to have taken place before the 
setting up of the emperor's statue. 

The simplest way out of the difficulty will be to apply 
2 Thessalonians to the explanation of Matthew xxiv. 
Then the profanation will be the Antichrist who takes 
his seat in the Temple of Jerusalem, and the flight 
will be that of the faithful from Antichrist and his 


But then the question will again arise, Whence this 
whole cycle of thought ? What was the source of this 
conception of the Antichrist in the Temple of Jerusalem ? 
Do the last verses of Revelation ii., 2 Thessalonians ii., 
and Matthew xxiv. all belong to the same legendary 
matter, and will it be possible again to bring the 
scattered fragments together ? Apart from the New 
Testament, are there any sources still at all available 
calculated to afford fresh information on this common 
tradition ? We can now say that there is, in fact, still 
extant a superabundance of such material. 

When we pass on to the eschatological commentaries 
of the Fathers on Daniel, Revelation, 2 Thessalonians 
ii., Matthew xxiv., etc., we everywhere observe the 
same phenomenon, a multiplicity of details, causing us 
to ask in amazement, How does it happen that these 
expositors of the Old and New Testament writings are 
all alike so full of those wonderful and fantastic 
representations which occur precisely in this particular 
domain ? Even beneath the most arbitrary exegetic 
fancies and allegorical explanations we may still per- 
ceive how this came about. But in this field of 
research there is opened up a world of fresh eschato- 
logical imagery, for which scarcely any support is 
sought in the Bible, at least beyond mere suggestions. 
Yet these very suggestions or assertions everywhere 
crop out with surprising persistence, so that when the 
matter is more closely examined we begin to detect 
order, consistency, and system in what we had regarded 
as a mere congeries of marvellous fancies. 

Doubtless explanations of a chapter in eschatology 


are not to be sought in the apostolic Fathers or in the 
apologists. But with Iren tens the above-mentioned 
statements already begin to be more clearly formulated 
and supported by a series of instances. I prefer, 
however, to illustrate the point from Hippolytus' 
treatise On the Antichrist^ reserving for the next 
section a general survey of the whole material. In 
chap. vi. Hippolytus sets forth the following con- 
trasts : '^ A lion is Christ, and a lion is the Antichrist ; 
King is Christ, and king is the Antichrist. ... In 
the circumcision came the Redeemer into the world, 
and in like manner will the other come ; the Lord sent 
apostles unto all nations, and in the same way will 
the other send false apostles ; the Saviour gathered 
the scattered sheep, and in like manner will the other 
gather the scattered people. The Lord gave a seal to 
those that believed in Him, and a seal will the other 
likewise give; in the form of a man appeared the 
Saviour, and in the form of a man will the other also 
come ; the Lord stood up and exhibited His holy body 
as a temple, and the other will also set up the temple 
of stone in Jerusalem." 

Whence did Hippolytus get all these data concern- 
ing the Antichrist? In any case it cannot be said 
that from the figure of Christ the several features in 
the figure of the Antichrist were inferred by the law 
of contrasts ; it would seem rather that the case was 
here and there reversed ; compare, for instance, the 
last antithesis, and that other further back, '' The Lord 
gave a seal to those that believed in Him." In what 
follows a biblical passage is quoted only for the first 


statement — the Christ, like the Antichrist, was called a 
lion. Then comes a proof (chap, xv.) that the Anti- 
christ will spring from the tribe of Dan, on the strength 
of Genesis xlix. 16, 17 and Jeremiah viii. 16. This 
last notion, so surprisingly widespread amongst the 
Fathers, seems, however, to have had its origin in 
those passages of Scripture, though we cannot yet say 
when it arose. But before any one thought of applying 
those passages to the Antichrist, the idea must have 
already prevailed that the Antichrist would spring 
from the people of Israel. 

This idea is also shared by Hippolytus, and thus is 
obtained another very important factor in the problem. 
For Hippolytus, the Eoman empire is not the kingdom 
of the Antichrist, which is all the more remarkable 
that the Johannine Apocalypse distinctly indicates the 
Roman empire as the last great foe before the end of 
the world. Nor could Hippolytus be personally at all 
opposed to such an assumption, considering the judg- 
ment he himself pronounces on the Roman empire at 
the end of chap, xxxiv. He so far agrees with chap, 
xiii. of Revelation that he certainly understood the 
allusion in the first part of the chapter to point at the 
Roman empire ; but then for him the Antichrist is 
the second beast with the two horns, who will establish 
his sway after the fall of the Roman empire. 

By such an exposition we may gather what violence 
Hippolytus does to the text of Revelation (see 
chap, xlix.) ; nor did his exegesis on this point find 
much approval in after-times. Yet none the less is 
the conception itself a commonplace for nearly all the 


Fathers, beginning with Irenaeus. They hold, not that 
the Roman empire is the Antichrist, but that the 
Antichrist will appear after its fall. The Roman 
empire is the power referred to as ^'he who now 
letteth " in 2 Thessalonians ii. 7. In this application 
the Antichrist saga has made its way into history, and 
in fact has acquired a historic mission. 

Bearing this in view, it becomes extremely remark- 
able that, despite the after-effect of Revelation, the 
assumption of the Jewish origin of the Antichrist 
should acquire such general acceptance as to be so 
unanimously applied to the solution of the really 
puzzling passage in 2 Thessalonians. How short-lived, 
on the other hand, was the notion that the relations in 
Revelation had reference to Nero, and how infinitely 
varied and manifold are the interpretations of the 
passage in question ! 

Here we are again confronted with the puzzling- 
assumption of a Jewish Antichrist who appears in Jeru- 
salem. Hippolytus, like Ireneeus, shows (chap, xliii.) 
that the two witnesses (Rev. xi.) will be Elias and 
Enoch. He has of course little difficalty in quoting- 
Scripture for the return of Elias ; but he nowhere tells 
us how he discovered that Enoch was to be the asso- 
ciate of Elias. 

This assumption also that Elias and Enoch are the 
two witnesses is so prevalent in patristic traditional 
lore that scarcely any other names are mentioned. 
How is the firm belief in this tradition to be ex- 
plained? In support of his theory, Hippolytas in 
one place actually quotes as an inspired authority a 


document absolutely unknown to us (chap, xv.) : " And 
another prophet says : lie [the Antichrist] will gather 
all his power from the rising to the setting of the sun. 
Those whom he has called and whom he has not 
called will go with him. He will make white the sea 
with the sails of his ships, and the plain black with 
the shields of his hosts. And whoso will war with 
him shall fall by the sword." This passage he repeats 
in chap, liv., and in this and the following chapter 
he brings together specially remarkable statements 
regarding the Antichrist, statements the evidence for 
which we vainly seek in the Old or the New Testa- 
ment. We may assuredly regard as unconvincing the 
occurrence of the curious combination from Daniel vii. 
and xi., implying that on his first appearance the 
Antichrist will overcome the kings of Egypt, of 
Libya, and Ethiopia, a combination with which again 
is connected the interpretation of Revelation xvii. 
In these details, however, Hippolytus is dependent on 
Iren sens. 

It is again still more difficult to understand how 
Hippolytus knows that the Antichrist's next exploit 
will be the destruction of Tyre and Berytus (Beyriit). 
But so much will suffice to show that in his treatise on 
the Antichrist Hippolytus is dependent on a tradition 
which no doubt has something in common with many 
eschatological parts of the Old and New Testaments, 
but which none the less stands out quite distinctly as 
an independent concrete tradition. In fact he may 
well have borrowed the legend from some document 
already quoted by him as '' a prophet." 


As a second case in point I may appeal to the 
Commentary of Victorinus. On the foreboding of 
the famine imder the third seal this writer observes : 
'^ But properly speaking the passage has reference to 
the times of the Antichrist, when a great famine 
will prevail." The flight of the woman in the second 
half of Eevelation xii. he refers to the flight of the 
144^000, who are supposed to have received the faith 
through the preaching of Elias^ supporting his inter- 
pretation with Luke xxi. 21. The water which the 
Dragon casts out of his mouth after the woman is 
taken to mean that the Antichrist sends out a host 
to persecute her, while the earth opening her mouth 
signifies the woman's miraculous deliverance from the 
host by the Lord. 

Although holding fast to the Neronic interpretation, 
Victorinus connects it in a remarkable way with 
another. Nero will appear under another name as the 
Antichrist, and then he continues (chap, xiii.) : " He 
will lust after no women, and acknowledge no God 
of his fathers. For he will be unable to beguile the 
people of the circumcision, unless he appears as the 
champion of the law. Nor will he summon the saints 
to the worship of idols, but only to accept circumcision, 
should he succeed in leading any astray. Lastly, he 
will so act that he will be called Christ by them. 
The false prophet (Rev. xiii. 11 et seq,) will contrive 
to have a golden statue set up to him in the Temple 
of Jerusalem. The raising of the dead to life is 
mentioned among the wonders wrought by this false 


Eevelation xiii. 2 is explained as indicating the 
captains or leaders of the Antichrist, who are over- 
taken by the wrath of God in xiv. 20. Here again 
we see what a wealth of special traditions is revealed 
by such interpretations. And again we stand before 
the figure of the Jewish Antichrist, which is here 
rarely interwoven with the other figure of Nero 

But to avoid going twice over the same ground, I 
will break off at this point. Both examples sufficiently 
bear out the argument as above stated, and it will be 
enough here to assure the reader that the demonstra- 
tion might still be carried to a great length. Mean- 
while I would draw attention to a few considerations. 
The farther we advance into the centuries, the richer 
and the more fruitful become the sources. At the same 
time it is by no means to be supposed that the later 
documents merely introduce farther embellishments 
into the still extant earlier materials. On the 
contrary, it is precisely from them that we obtain 
much supplementary matter needed to fill up the 
gaps and omissions in the earlier and more frag- 
mentary documents. How is this to be explained ? 
As seems to me the explanation lies in the fact that 
in many cases the eschatological revelations have 
been passed on, not in written records, but in oral 
tradition, as an esoteric doctrine handled with fear 
and trembling. Hence it is that not till later times 
does the tradition come to light in all its abundance. 
We may learn from Hippolytus (chap, xxix.) what in 
his time was thought of traditional lore ; '' This, 


beloved J I communicate to thee with fear. . . . For 
if the blessed prophets before us, although they knew 
it, were unwilling openly to proclaim it in order not 
to prepare any perplexity for the souls of men, but 
imparted it secretly in parables and enigmas, saying 
^ whoso readeth let him understand,' how much more 
danger do we run if we openly utter what was couched 
by them in covert language ! " 

With this may be compared 8ibyll,, X. 290 : '^But 
not all know this, for not all things are for all." ^ It is 
very significant that Sulpicius Severus (Hist,, II. 14) 
wrote down the Antichrist legend from an oral de- 
liverance of S. Martin of Tours. Hence the secret 
teaching concerning the Antichrist was still in the time 
of S. Martin passed on from mouth to mouth. An 
interesting passage also occurs in Origen on 2 Thessa- 
lonians ii. 1 et seq, : " Because perhaps amongst the 
Jews were certain persons professing to know about 
the Last Things either from Scripture or from hidden 
sources, therefore he writes this, teaching his disciples 
that they may believe no one making such professions " ^ 
(in Matthceum Gomm., IV. 329).* In Commodian's 
Carmen Apologeticum there also occurs the line : 
" About which, however, I submit a few hidden things 
of which I have read."^ 

In the following chapters I give a survey of the 
sources here consulted. Besides the Fathers, the later 
and latest Christian Apocalypses come naturally under 

* For this passage I am indebted to Bonnemann, Kommentar 
zu den Thess, -Brief en. 


consideration. But of course mucli of this material 
is still inaccessible, and the Syriac, Coptic, and Slavic 
manuscripts will yet yield rich fruits. As, however, 
the tradition of the Antichrist legend is extremely 
persistent, the still missing documents will change 
but little in the general character of the tradition. 



Pseudo-Ephrem : A Latin Homily on the End of the 
World— S. Ephrem : A Greek Homily on the Anti- 

HippoLYTUs : On the End of the World — The 

SALEM : Fifteenth Catechesis— Philip the Solitary : 
Dioptra — Pseudo-Chrysostom. 

THE first group of documents bearing on the 
subject is connected with, that highly interesting 
Apocalypse which was published in 1890 by Caspari.f 
From chap. i. to iv. the treatise has rather the 
character of a sermon, after which in chap. v. the 
Apocalypse is related in the usual way in a simple, 
quiet flow of speech. In the very first chapter a clue 

* For Notes ^ to ^^ of this chapter, see Appendix, p. 263. 

t Briefe^ Abhandlungen^ etc., pp. 208 et seq. (Text), pp. 429 et 
seq, (Abhandlung). The document is contained in the Codex 
Barberinus^ XIV. 44, ssec. viii., under the title : " Dicta sancti 
Effrem de fine mundi et consummatio sseculi et conturbatio 
gentium " ; that is, " The Utterances of S. Ephrem about the 
End of the World, and the Consummation of the Universe, and 
the Tribulation of the Nations." It occurs also in a codex of 
S. Gall, 108, 4% ssec. viii., under the title : " Incipit sermo sancti 
Ysidori define mundi '\; that is, '' Here begins the Discourse of 
S, Isidore on the End of the World." 

33 3 


to its dates is afforded in the following sentences : 
'' And amid all these things are the wars of the Persians 
— in those days will two brothers come to the Roman 
kingdom, and with one mind they stand forward (?) ; 
but because one precedes the other, schism will arise 
between them." ^ Caspari has brought proof to show 
that these allusions indicate the time of the emperors 
Valentinian and Valens, the first of whom was raised 
to the purple in 364, and the second soon after chosen 
by his brother to share the throne with him. " Schism 
will arise between them " is referred by Caspari to the 
division of the empire, which took place soon after. 
The question might nevertheless be asked, whether 
with these words the apocalyptic writer does not 
forebode some dissension foreseen by him, but which 
has not yet come to pass, whence the future tense '' will 
arise." This would also agree better with the words 
" because one precedes the other." Caspari, however, 
is right in supposing the passage was not written before 
the close of Valentinian's reign, or about the year 373 
when the war with the Persians broke out again. At 
the same time he raises serious doubts against the 
inference that the treatise was written about 373. For 
in that case we should have to assume that the writer 
had projected his own time into the future, after the 
manner of the Sibylline utterances. But as this 
Sibylline method is not elsewhere to be detected 
in the whole treatise, he thinks it more probable 
that the writer has quite clumsily interwoven some 
extraneous (Sibylline) matter into the text. If so, 
we should have nothing but the age of the extant 


manuscripts to help us in determining the age of 
the work. 

But all these assumptions of Caspari are groundless. 
A mere cursory perusal of the document makes it 
tolerably clear that the author simply reproduces not 
a contemporary but an early prophecy regarding the 
Antichrist, merely superadding a short historical and 
exhortative introduction. This view will be confirmed 
by the comparative study of the sources appended 

The author speaks in his own person only in the 
first chapter, where he partly brings the ensuing 
revelation into connection with current events, partly 
introduces it with commonplace exhortations. Thus 
we see that the first chapter alone is available for 
determining the period. Nor is it easy to imagine 
that a writer living centuries later would have accepted 
such a distinct earlier prophecy had he not seen its 
fulfilment in his own days. In this Apocalypse on 
the Antichrist we have accordingly a document com- 
posed about the year 373. 

Caspari then proceeds to discuss with much acumen 
the relation of the foregoing Apocalypse to the writings 
of S. Ephrem.^^ Unfortunately he has neglected to 
clear the ground respecting the tradition of the 

* For the present I assume the genuine character of the 
Greek homilies here in question ; nor do I know any reasons 
against their ascription to S. Ephrem. In any case the whole 
of this literature is closely associated with the name of Ephrem. 
Compare, for instance, the Syriac homily on the Antichrist, 
which will be dealt with farther on, and which has also been 
banded down under the same name. 


Ephremite writings under consideration, despite the 
incredibly careless way that Ephrem has been edited 
by Assemani. The extant manuscripts have been 
simply printed off without any attempt at sifting, 
although from the first a heterogeneous mass of 
homilies had acquired currency under the name of 
Ephrem. No doubt some of these formed originally 
a connected group ; but they were for the most part 
bundled together in the manuscript collections in the 
most diverse ways. Thus four distinct documents, 
a, 5, ^, <f, are, for instance, found recurring in such 
combinations as(z + i5; a + b •{■ c] b + c + d] c + d^ 
and so on ; so that in Assemani the same manuscripts 
get printed three, four, or five times over— a fact only 
in the rarest instances noted by the editor. 

A case in point is the very first document under 
consideration, the '' Discourse on the Coming of the 
Lord, and about the End of the World, and on the 
Coming of the Antichrist,"^ which appears in Vol. I., 
pp. 222-230 ; and again (all but the first section, that 
is, pp. 222-225 E of Vol. II.) in Vol. III., pp. 134-143, 
this, however, being by far the better text. During 
the first revisions numerous shorter sections disap- 
peared, and the originality of the last recension can 
be determined only by a comparison with Gerard 
Vossius' Latin edition of Ephrem (Antwerp, 1619, 
pp. 172 et seq)j which, however, was itself partly based 
on still more valuable manuscripts, and with a writing 
of the pseudo-Hippolytus to be considered farther on. 
Proofs in detail will be given in due course. 

An excellent means of restoring the text is, more- 


over, presented by the remark made by Professor 
W. Meyer that Ephrem's homilies were composed and 
even translated in verse, although no doubt verse of 
a very peculiar kind, heedless of quanticy, stress, or 
cadences. Syllables alone are reckoned, an Eastern 
process which Ephrem was probably the first to 
employ in Syriac. Vossius' Latin edition, where is 
still to be seen the transition from one measure to 
another, shows that we have here two kinds of versi- 
fication. There is first of all the stanza foot of seven 
lines, each consisting of fourteen syllables, the caesura 
falling almost invariably in the middle, and every two 
verses forming a strophe. Then comes the stanza of 
four lines, in which each verse consists of sixteen 
syllables, with a caasura throughout on the eighth, 
and wherever possible every fourth syllable coincides 
with the close of a word. In quoting Ephrem I have 
as far as possible restored this metrical system. 

For the Antichrist document I have also been able 
to utilise several collections and extracts from manu- 
scripts * kindly placed at my disposal by Professor 
Meyer. As the text can be restored with almost 
absolute certainty on the above-mentioned principles, 
I have not noted the variants occurring in manu- 
scripts, but quote from the recension in Vol. III., 
so far as it is still extant, and for the first part from 
W. Meyer's extract and collations. According to 
the Latin edition and the pseudo-Hippolytus, the title 
runs : '- About the End of the World and about the 

* Vindob. TheoL, 165 ; Vatican, 1524, 1815, 2030, 2074. 


Antichrist "; ^ and according to the Greek manuscripts : 
" Discourse of S. Ephrem on the Antichrist." * 

Other Ephremite writings bearing on the subject^ 
comprising four documents differently thrown together 
in the different codices, may be tabulated as under : 

A. A Discourse about the Cross.^ 

B. A Discourse on the Second Advent of Christ.^ 

C. and D. Questions and Answers concerning the 

Last Judgment.'' 

There are also to be considered the following 
writings, here given as they occur in Assemani's 
edition : 

III., pp. 144-147 : On the Sign of the Cross.^ 
II., pp. 247-258 : Discourse on the Precious and 
Life-giving Cross, and on the Second Coming, 
and about Love and Almsgiving.^ 
II., pp. 192-208 : On the Second Coming of our 

Lord Jesus Christ.^^ 
IL, pp. 377-393 : Questions and Answers.^^ 
IL, pp. 209-220 : About the Universal Resurrec- 
tion, and on Repentance and Love.^^ 
III., pp. 215 et seq. : Questions on Renunciation.^^ 
III., pp. 371-375 : About Repentance and the 
Judgment, and on the Second Coming.^^ 

In the following scheme I have grouped these 
seven writings together just as the pages of the 
respective documents correspond, roughly of course, 
with each other. Wherever necessary I have more 



carefully indicated the openings of the corresponding 
sections, as well as the conclusion of A, B, C, D, 
by the subdivisions of the pages in Assemani. By 
means of the cross-lines the four original documents, 
from which the seven homilies have been composed, 
stand out clearly and distinctly. 








248 B 

371 F 






















195 (A, B) 



166 377 




197B 380E 



256 BO 





200 B 384 A 



258 A 

201 E 385E 


202A 385F 

203 386 

204 387 

205 DE 388 

206 389E 


207 390 

208 391 


Parallelisms with the Apocalypse about the Anti- 
christ are offered especially by our document B, which 
thus gets printed no less than five times in Assemani. 


From a more thorough examination, which for lack 
of space cannot here be given in detail, it results that 
there are extant two recensions of this document, 
which differ not a little from each other, but neither 
of which can claim absolute superiority in all respects. 
One of these (1) occurs in III., p. 144, and IL, p. 192; 
the other (2) in II., pp. 250, 212 ; III., p. 373, so that 
the last two stand again in the closest connection. 
In my quotations the recension is given. 

Moreover, chap. ii. of the Apocalypse (comprised 
in the exhortative part) shows direct contacts with 
Ephrem's '^ Discourse about Repentance," III., pp. 
376-380, and with the twentieth essay on the " Other 
Beatitudes," I. 294-299,^' and still more with the 
Latin translation * of the latter treatise (Caspari, pp. 
447, 456). Contacts with the other writings brought 
forward by Caspari are unimportant. 

On the whole the relations between the Apocalypse 
on the Antichrist and the Ephremite writings are 
correctly set forth by Caspari. That the Antichrist 
document itself was written by Ephrem is a groundless 
assumption of one of the copyists. But then Caspari 
has rightly perceived that the details in Ephrem and 
in the Antichrist can neither be derived from nor 
explained by each other (see p. 454). 

Yet this conclusion itself needs to be more ac- 
curately understood. For Ephrem is by no means 
to be taken as the source of all the passages in which 
Caspari shows that parallelisms occur. It seems to 
me that a connection with Ephrem has been placed 
* " Liber de beatitudine animaB." 


beyond doubt only for the exhortative part in cbap. ii. 
And even here it has again to be asked, Whence has 
Ephrem himself obtained the copious eschatological 
material which he deals with in his homilies ? Here 
also the only answer* can be that he assuredly did 
not invent it himself, but borrowed it from one or 
more of the Apocalypses current in his time. But 
then immediately follows the important inference that 
in the Antichrist treatise we have the same apocalyptic 
material still in the relatively original though already 
embellished form, on which the writer relies in his 
homilies ; it is even more original in so far that we 
have here the actual form of the Apocalypse but not 
of the homily. 

There comes next under consideration the homily 
bearing the name of Hippolytus (Lagarde, p. 92), and 
entitled : ^^ About the End of the World, and about the 
Antichrist, and on the Second Coming of our Lord 
Jesus Christ." ^^ This document may be dealt with 
more briefly. In its first part, with which we are 
here less concerned, it depends on the genuine work 
of Hippolytus ; in the second (beginning with 
chap, xxii.) on Ephrem's homily bearing the same 
title, which is included in the original recension, 
III., pp. 134-143. But it is still more intimately 
related to the homily which is found in the Latin 
edition, and which is itself closely connected with 
III., pp. 134-143. The proof of this will be given 
in the third section by a continuous clause for clause 
comparison of the texts. 

After chap, xxxvi., which again depends on 


Hippolytas' genuine work, the pseudo-Hippolytus 
utilises those documents in Ephrem's homilies which 
I have above indicated by the letters G and D. In 
these sections, which deal with the Last Judgment 
(compare the title, " And on the Second Coming of 
our Lord Jesus Christ "), there also occur many 
things which are to be referred to some apocalyptic 
tradition still perhaps known to the pseudo-Hippolytus. 
But speaking generally the detailed description of 
the judgment pronounced on the various classes of 
men should apparently be exclusively credited to the 
author of the homilies. 

To this series belongs also the pseudo-Johannine 
Apocalypse, which is comprised in Tischendorfs 
Apocalypses Apocryphce^ xviii. et seq.^ pp. 70 et seq. ; 
and which varies greatly in the written records. It 
professes to give certain revelations made to S. John 
on Mount Tabor after the Resurrection, and contains 
much the same material as the pseudo-Hippolytus 
(chap. xxii. et seq.). It takes the form of a dialogue, 
and in the second half shows connections with C and 
D of Ephrem — that is, the '^ Questions and Answers." 
In fact its interrogatory form may probably be due 
to this source — that is, to Ephrem's homilies. Yet in 
the opening it adheres more to the form of the 
Apocalypse, and no doubt the writer had direct 
access to apocalyptic material. Moreover it betrays 
direct imitations of the canonical book of Revelation, 
as, for instance, in chap, xviii. 

With regard to the widely diverging traditions 
occurring here and there in some of the manuscripts, 


those are to be considered the best in which the text of 
the pseudo-John approaches nearest to the apocalyptic 
tradition of our group. Such is especially E Cod. 
Venet. Marc, Class II., cod. xc, as is best seen in 
chap. vi. of the Apocalypse. Here in E alone occurs 
a report on the first appearance of the Antichrist, 
which corresponds exactly with the tradition con- 
tained in our group. After E consideration may 
next be claimed by B Parisiensis (N. 947, anno 
1523), and lastly A Venet. Marc, Class XI., cod. xx. 
(15th century). 

Here may further be mentioned Cyril of Jerusalem, 
who introduces in his fifteenth catechetical lecture 
the Antichrist legend in the traditional form occurring 
in our group. It is noteworthy that Cyril already 
shows correspondence with Ephrem's " Questions and 
Answers." I am not quite sure whether a more 
distinct account of the Last Judgment, possibly the 
common source drawn upon both by Cyril and Ephrem, 
may not be assumed as already current in some 
apocalyptic tradition. 

In the same series is comprised the version occurring 
in the Dioptra of Philip the Solitary, III. l^ et seq. (in 
Migne's Patrol. Grcec.^ CXXVII.), which is likewise 
closely connected with Ephrem. Nevertheless here 
also are found some interesting details which cannot 
be traced directly back to Ephrem. 

Lastly, here may be tentatively introduced a frag- 
ment to which Professor Bonwetsch has called my 
attention. It occurs amongst the works of S. Chry- 
sostom (Migne, LXI. 776), under the title, '' On the 


Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christy and about 
Almsgiving." ^^ Here the fragment opens with the 
judgment (the sign of the Son of man). The cor- 
responding Antichrist legend is completely preserved 
in Slavonic under the name of Palladius. 


Two Medij£VAl Sibylline Documents (Bede and Usingee) 
— Adso on the Antichrist— Pseudo-Methodius— 
S. Epheem : Syeiac Homily on the Anticheist — 
Review of the Geoup of Epheemite Weitings — The 
Common Souece of Adso's Anticheist and of Bede's 
Sibyl— S. Jeeome's Apocalyptic Mateeial. 

I NOW come to a second group of extremely in- 
teresting documents, whose literary connection, 
however, presents extraordinary difficulties. 

I begin with the latest, a paraphrase or revised text of 
some earlier Sibyl, which occurs both in Bede (Migne, 
Vol. XC, p. 1183), and in the Pantheon (Book X.) 
of Godfrey of Viterbo {ob. 1190), and which has with 
some probability been ascribed to Godfrey himself.! 
A description of nine generations of mankind, in 
which there are many echoes of the predictions of 
Lactantius, is followed by the account of a ruler 
bearing the name of C, after which comes a long 
series of other rulers, who cannot be more definitely 
determined, all being indicated merely by their initial 

* For Notes ^ to ^^ of this chapter, see Appendix, p. 264. 
t Zezschwitz, 45 ; Usinger, Forschungen zur deutschen Geschichte^ 
X. 629. 



letters. The list of the German emperors, however, may 
be clearly traced from Charlemagne (K.) to Frederick I. 
and Henry VI. Then follow strange, fantastic fables 
regarding their successors, and at the end the de- 
scription of a last ruler, who is spoken of as " king 
by name and of steadfast mind." ^^ Then comes the 
account of the Antichrist's appearance and of the 
end of the world. 

Farther on we come upon a similar paraphrase, 
which has been published by Usinger {op. cit,^ pp. 621 
et seq,\ but which is extant only in a fragmentary 
state. It begins somewhat obscurely with a pre- 
diction of the period of the three Othos (tenth cen- 
tury), and then carries on the history down to the time 
of Henry IV. (1050-1106). t The account of the 
reign of Henry merges in that of some Byzantine ruler 
with the words : '^ From him is then to proceed a king 
of Byzantium of the Romans and Greeks, having 
written on his forehead that he shall uphold the 
kingdom of the Christians, overcome the children of 
Ishmael, and reduce them and rescue the kingdom of 
the Christians from the most vile yoke of the Saracens. 
In those days no one under heaven shall be able to 
overthrow the kingdom of the Christians. Thereafter 
the nation of the Saracens will rise up for seven times, 
and they will do all evil things throughout the whole 
world, and nearly destroy all Christians. After these 

* " Eex nomine et animo Constans." At least, so it runs in 
the original text of Godfrey of Viterbo {Monumenta^ 22, 146), not 
rex nomine H animo Constans (Gutschmid, 149, Anmerkung 1). 

t According to Zezschwitz and Gutschmid (ib, 147). 


things the kingdom of the Romans will arise and 
smite them, and thereafter there will be peace and 
the kingdom of the Christians unto the time of the 
rule of the Antichrist." ^ 

Then follows a brief reference to the Antichrist's 
rule, to the appearance of Gog and Magog, and the 
announcement that the last king will found his throne 
in Jerusalem. 

Retracing our steps from these Sibylline writers of 
the end of the twelfth and eleventh centuries, we come 
to a work which was written in 954 by the monk 
Adso * at the request of Queen Gerberga. From Adso 
it was borrowed by Albuinus, a priest of Cologne, who 
embodied it in a comprehensive treatise dedicated 
to Archbishop Herbert. Thus it happened that the 
work became current under the name of Albuin, and 
even got printed both amongst Alcuin's and Austin's 
works (Migne, CI. 1289, and XL. 1130). It forms 
a collection of eschatological essays, in the last part 
of which Adso gives a Sibylline treatise on his own 
authority. To Zez schwitz f is due the credit of having 
shown that the Sibyl utilised by Adso is the same that 
lies at the base of the document in Bede. The close 
agreement begins with the account of the last ruler ; 
whence it must be inferred that the whole of the 
previous list of rulers, as in Bede, was not found 
in the common source, according to which the account 
of the last ruler ran thus : 

* W. Meyer, Ludus de Äntich7^isto, Munich, 1882, p. 4. 
t Op. cit.j p. 42, and in his Zumvimenstellung der Texte^ 
p. 159. 


Bede. Adso. 

And then will arise a king In the time of the said 

by name and of steadfast king, whose name will be C, 

mind. The same will be the king of the whole Roman 

steadfast king of the Romans empire. . . .^ 
and Greeks.^ 

Then follows an account of the glorious appearance 
of this king, and of the opulence which will prevail in 
his time ; after which we read : 

Bede. Adso. 

And the king himself will He will always have be- 

have before his eyes the fore his eyes the Scripture 
Scripture saying : thus saying : 

The king of the Romans [will] claim for himself [acquire] 
the whole kingdom of the lands [of the Christians] ; there- 
fore will he lay waste all the islands and cities [of the 
heathen], and destroy all the temples of the false gods, and 
all the pagans will he call to baptism, and the cross of 
Christ [Jesus] shall be raised over all the temples.^ 

During the reign of this king the Jews are to be 
converted, and he will vanquish the nations of Gog 
and Magog with their twelve or twenty-two kingdoms 
which had once been reduced by Alexander the Great ; 
" [and thereafter the king] will come to Jerusalem, 
and there laying aside his diadem [and all his royal 
state], he will resign unto God the Father and His 
Son Christ Jesus the Christian kingdom." ^ The length 
of the king's reign is given in Bede as one hundred 
and twenty-two, in Adso one hundred and twelve, 


and in manuscripts twelve years. That this last 
alone is correct, and the others nothing more than 
fabulous embellishments, is evident from a surprising 
parallelism in the Greek Apocalypse of Daniel, which 
will be considered farther on : '' And after him another 
sprung of him will reign twelve years. And he, fore- 
seeing his death, went to Jerusalem in order to deliver 
his kingdom unto God." ^ 

Who is this king whose description is found in all 
these sources (compare above Usinger's Sibyl) ? By a 
comparison of the various notices, especially those in 
Bede (the king by name, etc.) and in the account in 
the Sibyl of Henry IV. 's time of the victories of the 
king in question over the Ishmaelites, Gutschmid 
infers that it was Constans II., so that the common 
sources would have originated at the beginning of this 
emperor's reign, a conclusion which is certainly very 
attractive. At the same time it is to be considered that 
the reign and personality of Constans II. by no means 
correspond with the description, which would accord- 
ingly have to be regarded as purely fantastic ; further, 
that there is no mention of triumphs over the Ishmael- 
ites in the source of the documents in Adso and Bede ; 
lastly, that the quibble with the name of the king 
might conceivably point just as well to a Constantius 
or a Constantine. The account of the king here intro- 
duced also agrees with the fourth century, the early 
period of the Christian emperors, quite as well as with 
the seventh century. 

On the other hand, Zezschwitz (p. 43) is fully 
justified in suggesting that in the concluding part of 



this apocalyptic tradition events are no longer passing 
in the Western but in the Eastern empire. At the 
close the prediction points to its Oriental origin, while 
the idea of the last Roman emperor going to Jerusalem 
and there abdicating could have arisen only in times 
preceding the Crusades. Zezschwitz accordingly ex- 
tends his investigations to the apocalyptic collection 
known as the Revelation of the pseudo-Methodius. 
In the more detailed account of the last emperor's 
abdication in Jerusalem he shows a direct parallel 
between the Sibyl of the time of Henry IV. and the 
pseudo-Methodius (p. 162) ; he also finds in the 
description of the appearance of Gog and Magog 
a parallelism between pseudo-Methodius and Adso. 

On the pseudo-Methodius itself no clear idea can be 
formed pending a trustworthy edition of that work. 
The available text is found in the Monumenta Patrum 
Orthodoxographa^ 2nd ed., Basel, 1569, Vol. I. (Greek 
93, Latin 100 pp.). The Greek text, however, is 
according to Gutschmid (p. 152) a free re-cast dating 
from the twelfth century. Relatively far more valu- 
able appears to be the editio princeps^ Cologne, 1475. 
The editions of the Latin text all derive from that of 
Augsburg, 1496. Some of the sections of this interest- 
ing work, and those the most important for our 
purpose, have been reproduced by Caspari ; * the Greek 
from the second edition of the Orthodoxographa^ the 
Latin from two revised manuscripts. 

In Gutschmid's opinion (p. 152) nearly all the 
materials are lacking in the original Greek text, on 
* Briefe und A hhandlungen, pp. 463 et seq. 


which all attempts have hitherto been made to assign 
a more accurate date to the document. Such is 
especially the long section giving a detailed account 
of some siege of Byzantium. Zezschwitz,* who has 
taken great pains to determine the date of this docu- 
ment, points to the blockade of Byzantium, which 
took place in 715 and the following years, and to the 
three rulers whose names occur in this connection — 
Philippicus Bardanes, Leo the Isaurian, and Con- 
stantine V. (Copronymus). It seems to me that these 
indications are correct, and I may here point to the 
interesting parallel passage in the Greek Apocalypse 
of Daniel (117, 2 et seq.). 

The ruler here described as the liberator and the 
restorer of peace is Leo the Isaurian. No doubt he 
reigns according to the Greek text thirty-six, but 
according to the Slavonic translation thirty-two years, f 
like the Leo of the pseudo-Methodius in the revised text. 
Farther back (117, 55) occurs the passage : '^ And the 
great Philip with eighteen tongues and they shall be 
gathered together in the Seven Hills and prepare 
for war." ^ Here we have Philippicus Bardanes, while 
a perfect parallel passage occurs in 117, 61 : ^^ Then 
shall the ox bellow and the arid hill lament." ^ 

There is, however, a discrepancy. The successor to 
Leo is described in the Apocalypse of Daniel as the 
last emperor who lays aside his crown in Jerusalem, 
whereas in the pseudo-Methodius this ruler (Con- 

* Pages 64 et seq, 

t According to a communication kindly made to me by 
Professor Bonwetsch. 


stantiüe V.) is very unfavourably judged. The passage 
in Daniel may, however, possibly be older than the 
corresponding passage foisted into pseudo-Methodius ; 
for the expectation of a good emperor as successor 
to Leo could only have arisen before the reign of the 
hated Constantine. 

We thus obtain a standpoint for fixing the age of 
the pseudo-Methodius through the discovery that a 
document dating from the eighth century had already 
been interpolated into this work. Gutschmid also 
thinks that it was certainly composed before the over- 
throw of the Ommiades, which is again confirmed by 
the existence of manuscripts of the Latin translation 
as old as the eighth and ninth centuries. Gutschmid 
goes even so far as to assert with some confidence that 
the work was composed between the years 676-678. 

Considering the hopeless confusion of the textual 
tradition as embodied in this Methodius, it may seem 
somewhat risky to venture any further opinion on 
its contents. Nevertheless to me it seems safe to 
conclude that the Latin and Greek texts in the Ortho- 
doxographa belong to two totally different streams of 
tradition, so that wherever these two witnesses agree 
they stand on tolerably safe ground. All the pieces 
excluded by Gutschmid, on the strength of his better 
manuscripts, are also shown by a like collation to 
be interpolations now in the Latin, now in the Greek 

The pseudo-Methodius is, in fact, a collection of 
apocalyptic materials, which, however, is pervaded 
by a uniform sentiment. It was obviously composed 


under the powerful and vivid impression produced 
by the ceaseless and irresistible onslaught of Islam 
against the whole civilised world as at that time 
constituted. In it may be distinguished about seven 
different documents. 1. A survey of the early history 
of nations, beginning with Adam. 2. Gideon's victory 
over the Ishmaelites, concluding with the ominous 
foreboding that these nomads will once again issue from 
their settlements in the wilderness and lay the world 
in ruins, but that at last the Roman empire will still 
come out triumphant. 3. The history of Alexander 
the Great ; the erection of the rocky barrier against 
Gog and Magog ; the prediction of the irruption of 
these nations in the last days (compare Bede and 
Adso) ; the marriage of Bisas, first king of Byzantium, 
with Khuseth, mother of Alexander,* and of their 
daughter Bisantia with Romulus, ^' who is also called 
Armgelius." f 4. A comment on the Pauline pre- 
diction in 2 Thessalonians, chap, ii., with the indication 
that by the kingdom which lasts to the end is to be 
understood the Roman empire, despite the ascendency 
of the Ishmaelites. 5. On the " reign of terror " of 
Islam. 6. On the brilliant victory of a Roman 
emperor, who must no doubt be identified with 
Constantine IV. when he fixes the date of the work 
at 676-678 a.d. : " Then will suddenly arise a king 

* On the evolution of these fables, see Zezschwitz, pp. 52 et seq. 

t " Qui et Armseleus dictus." This gloss, which is not 
found in the Greek text, is here introduced because it confirms 
the identification of the Jewish Antichrist Armillus, Armilaos, 
with Eomulus. 


of the Greeks or of the Romans, like unto a man 
refreshed with wine from sleep." ^ 7. The end: 
Gog and Magog and their overthrow by the Roman 
emperor ; the birth of the Antichrist ; the emperor's 
abdication ; the sway of the Antichrist ; the last 

Now the relation with the already described sources 
stands thus. Adso and Bede with their common 
source coincide only in one point with Methodius (see 
below), but are only more remotely connected with 
No. 7, while Usinger's Sibyl shows a closer relation 
to No. 7, and Adso in the first part of his work with 
Nos. 4 and 7. Adso, however, has here nothing 
of the further development of the Methodius saga, 
according to which the crown laid aside in Jerusalem 
is to be borne heavenwards with the cross. 

These remarks enable us to advance a conjecture 
regarding the apocalyptic sources which lie far beyond 
the Methodius itself. This -work is not, as was still 
supposed by Zezschwitz (p. 50), the last link of the 
chain bearing on the subject. Even Gutschmid has 
already noticed that Adso, Bede, [and Usinger] lead 
us back to an earlier document, which, as he thinks, 
dates from the time of Constans II. (642-668). In the 
common source of Adso and Bede the above-mentioned 
expansion of the statement regarding the deposition 
of the crown is not yet found, though already occurring 
in Usinger. 

Zezschwitz himself retraces his steps, and con- 
jectures that the historical foundation of the apoca- 
lyptic expectations in Methodius is to be sought in 


tlie reign of the emperor Heraclins. During his 
triumphant entry into Jerusalem, Heraclius is sup- 
posed, in accordance with the saga, to have been 
arrested by an angel at the city gate, and to have laid 
aside both crown and purple before entering Jerusalem 
(p. 58). He is also supposed to have summoned to 
his aid against the Saracens the nations of Gog and 
Magog, whom Alexander the G-reat had shut up 
within the Caspian gates (p. 61). The Heraclius saga 
would thus be the starting-point of that apocalyptic 
tradition, with which view Gutschmid agrees. But 
it may well be asked whether its origin may not be 
traced still farther back. 

We are, in fact, now in the fortunate position of 
being able to follow up the cycle of legends back to a 
far more remote time. 

A glance at Malvenda's comprehensive work de 
Antichristo (I. 570) might have already brought us, in 
connection with the Gog and Magog legend, to the 
paragraph in S. Jerome's epistle to Oceanus (77, 8) 
to the effect that " the swarms of the Huns burst forth 
from the remote Maaotis Palus [Sea of Azov] between 
the gelid Tanais [river Don] and the vast nation of 
the Massagetee, where the barriers of Alexander [at 
Derbend] confine the rude populations to the rocks of 
Caucasus." * Then Caspari has called attention to the 
parallelisms between the pseudo-Methodius and the 

* " Ab ultima Maeotide inter glacialem Tanain et Massage- 
tarum immanes populos, ubi Caucasi rupibus feras gentes 
Alexandri claustra cohibent, erupisse Hunnorum examina" 
(compare Hegesippus, de Excidio Jer., V. 50). The legend that 


Discourse of the pseudo-Ephrem (p. 20). Once there 
occurs an exact parallel in pseudo-Ephrem (chap, iv.) 
with Methodius in the description of Gog and Magog ; 
and here also we find (chap, v.) the important passage : 
" And already the kingdom of the Romans is abolished 
and the empire of the Christians is delivered up to 
God and the Father ^ and then comes the consum- 
mation, when the kingdom of the Romans shall begin 
to be consummated and all the principalities and 
powers brought to an end." ^ 

Even allowing that Caspari's doubts regarding the 
date of the Discourse (about 373) were justified, we 
are in any case led back beyond the reign of Heraclius. 
For there is still no trace in the Ephremite Discourse 
of the irruption of Islam, the foes of the Roman 
empire being still the Persians. Thus the apoca- 
lyptic tradition in question cannot be founded on the 
Heraclius saga, which could not possibly have sprung 
up till after the year 629. 

But now comes, on the other hand, a welcome 
confirmation of the correct epilogue in the pseudo- 
Ephremite Discourse. Professor W. Meyer directs my 
attention to Th. J. Lamy's Hymns and Discourses of 
S. Ephrem the Syrian^^ where we have a sermon pre- 
served in Syriac ^' about Agog and Magog and the 
End and the Consummation," f showing the closest 

Alexander built the Caspian gates against the incursions of 
the surrounding wild tribes goes even still farther back (Pliny, 
Natur. Historia, VI. 13). 

SanctiEphraem Syri Hymni et Sermones^ol. III., pp. \Slet seq. 
t " De Agog et Magog et de fine et consummatione." 


connection with the Latin Discourse and with the 
work of Methodius ; thus : 

Ephrem, III. 190.1Ö Pseudo-Ephrem, I.^^ 

Now, like the Nile, which In those days shall many 

rising floods the land, the rise up against the Roman 
regions shall girdle them- state, . . . for there shall 
selves against the Eoman be commotions amongst the 
empire, and peoples shall peoples, 
war against peoples and 
kingdom against kingdom, 
and from one land unto 
another shall the Romans 
hurry as if in flight. 

But the most striking agreement occurs between 
Ephrem Syr., chaps, v. et seq.^ the Discourse of ps.- 
Ephrem, ch. v., and ps.-Method., VII. , chap, v.,* in the 
account of the savage peoples Gog and Magog, '' who 
dwell beyond those gates which Alexander built." t 
Ephrem the Syrian has in common with pseudo- 
Methodius the enumeration of the twenty-four tribes, 
while the parallels in the Discourse of Ephrem and in 
pseudo-Methodius are mere scanty excerpts from the 
detailed description of these fierce populations. And 
here are also mentioned Gog and Magog, that is to say, 
the Huns, whose irruption into the Edessa district 

* The parallelisms between pseudo-Ephrem and pseudo- 
Methodius brought together by Caspar! (pp. 463 et seq.) are 
explained by their common dependence on Ephrem the 

t " Qui sunt ultra illas portas quas fecit Alexander." 


took place during the time of Ephrem himself, as we 
learn from an Armenian life of him which states that 
he wrote against the Huns.* 

Here, therefore, we have, as conjectured by Caspari, 
the common source of the Discourse and of pseudo- 
Methodius, and probably also the historical event 
whence arose the Gog and Magog saga in the form 
with which we are concerned. Then follows in 
Ephrem the Syrian, beginning with chap, viii., the 
Antichrist legend proper. Here, however, I have not 
found any special relations between Ephrem and the 
Discourse ; and remembering the great persistence of 
the saga, we have to be very careful in comparing two 
independent sources. On the other hand, pseudo- 
Methodius, VII., is manifestly dependent on Ephrem, 
as may be seen by comparing the account of the 
wonders wrought by Antichrist and of Enoch and 
Elias. In the Antichrist saga Ephrem has introduced 
a great many archaic elements. The statement 
(chap, xii.) that Enoch and Elias are awakened by 
the angels Michael and Gabriel I have met elsewhere 
only in the Ethiopic Petrine Apocalypse,! in which 
they are also the assailants of Antichrist. % 

* Lamy, 198, remark 2. With this may be compared the 
Apocalyptic Commentaries of Andreas, edited by Sylburg 
(p. 94, 45) : " But some consider Gog and Magog to be hyper- 
borean Scythian peoples, whom we call the most numerous and 
warlike of all the surrounding territory." ^^ 

t In pseudo- Johannes, however, chap, ix., the universal 
awakening of the dead after the murder of the two witnesses 
is also brought about by Michael and Gabriel. 

X Cf . also Adso and Bede. 



In the account of the destruction of the world by 
fire the pseudo-Johannine Apocalypse comes nearest to 
Ephrem, while Gog and Magog are destroyed by Michael 
the Archangel (chap. xiii.). The same incident occurs 
also in the Syriac Apocalypse of Ezra (chap, xiii.), 
which has been published by Baethgen from the manu- 
script Sachau, 131.* This apocalypse will be dealt 
with farther on. 

Lastly it will be necessary to inquire into the 
mutual relations of the various writings which have 
been handed down under the name of Ephrem, and 
which will have to be repeatedly referred to in the 
course of our inquiry. At the very outset doubts 
arise with regard especially to the authenticity of 
Ephrem's Syriac Discourse itself. In chap. iii. occurs 
the passage : " The saints shall lift their voice, and 
their clamour shall mount unto heaven, and from the 
wilderness shall go forth the people of Hagar, hand- 
maiden of Sarah, who made the covenant with 
Abraham, husband of Sarah and of Hagar, and they 
shall be stirred so that they may come in the name of 
the wilderness as the envoy of the son of perdition." ^^ 
There can be scarcely a doubt that the Arabs are 
here meant, and in the following chapters (iii., iv.) a 
very vivid description is given of the devastation 
which will be caused by this people of the wilderness. 
But all the more decidedly is an earlier period indicated 
in the description of the Huns, which then follows. 
If we omit chap. iii. from the words '' and from the 
wilderness," and the whole of chap, iv., then chap. v. 

* Zeitschr.fiir alttestamentliche Wissenschaß., YI., pp. 204 etseq. 


will accurately fit in with the words : " Then will the 
divine Justice summon the kings, that is, Gog and 
Magog." It is obvious that the twofold description 
of an irruption of a savage people as in chaps, iii., v., 
et seq, would be absolutely meaningless. 

It may even be more clearly shown that we have 
a passage^interpolated in the text. In the enumeration 
of the twenty-four peoples of Gog and Magog there 
is an identical parallelism between Ephrem and the 
pseudo-Methodius ; and' from a comparison of the two 
it is seen that the names Thogarma, Medi, PersaB, 
Armeni, " Turcae " have been interpolated. Then we 
get also the number twenty-four which is expressly 
given in the Latin version of Methodius ; only the 
Khusas are reckoned twice over. But in other respects 
the lists in Ephrem the Syrian and in Methodius 
(both Greek and Latin texts) fully correspond, which 
at first sight might scarcely be supposed possible.* 

In other respects there seems to be no objections 
to the text as it stands. The vivid description of 
the Huns brings us to the lifetime of Ephrem, and 

* Bearing in mind the above-indicated interpolations, we 
find the numbers almost completely corresponding. Thus : 
Eph. 1-8 ; Meth. Gr. 1-8 ; Meth. Lat. 1-2, 5-10 (M. Lat. 
puts Nos. 18, 17, Mosakh Tubal, in 3 and 4 of the list). 
E. 9-13 -- M. Gr. 14, 15, 18, 16, 17 = M. Lat. 16-20. 
E. 14-19 =-M. Gr. 9-13 (12 seems = 17 + 18) = M. Lat. 
11-13, 4, 3, 15. E. 20-24 M. Lat. 14, 20-24 (in M. Gr. 
20 and 21 are missing). In E. I take 20 to be the Nemrukhaei 
= M. Lat. Lamarchiani, and a glance at the Syriac text will 
show the possibility of this transposition ; 22, however, that 
is, Phisolonici, c^iXoi/iKtot, cannot be fitted in, unless we suppose 
it derived from the Syriac ^olopi:^ 197, 3. 


gives credibility to the tradition which assigns this 
Syriac Discourse to him. 

Coming now to Ephrem's authentic Discourse, full 
support is given to its assumed date about the year 373 
by the correct identification of the Huns with the 
savage people here described. But to the question, 
Is the Discourse to be also ascribed to Ephrem himself ? 
I think I must give a negative answer. In the Syriac 
Discourse Ephrem presents a different picture of the 
destruction of the Roman empire. Thus in chap. viii. : 
'' And there shall arise in the place of this people the 
kingdom of the Romans, which shall subdue the world 
unto its confines, and there shall be no one to stand 
up against it. But when wickedness shall be multi- 
plied on the earth, . . . then shall arise the divine 
Justice and shall utterly destroy the people, and the 
man of wickedness [that is. Antichrist] proceeding 
from perdition shall come upon the earth." ^^ 

Remembering that the reigning emperor was tainted 
with the Arian heresy, we cannot be surprised at this 
judgment of Ephrem. In the Latin Discourse, on the 
other hand, it is for the first time stated that the 
Roman empire shall not perish, but voluntarily deliver 
up its sway ; and for this very reason the Discourse 
cannot be ascribed to Ephrem. But it originated 
soon after on the base of the details supplied by 
Ephrem. But then in what relation does the above- 
described Greek Discourse of Ephrem stand to the 
Syriac ? The fact that it is destitute of any political 
motives is no reason for doubting its authenticity, 
because this Discourse deals exclusively with the very 


last days. It is more important to notice that in tlie 
Syriac Ephrem no mention yet occurs of the apparition 
of the Cross at the universal judgment, a feature to 
which such prominence is given in the Greek homilies. 
On the other hand, there is nothing in the Greek 
Discourse about the part which Michael and Gabriel 
play in the last days. But on one important and 
remarkable point the Greek and the Syriac are in 
accord ; in both the servants and messengers of the 
Antichrist are represented as demons. If we have, 
in the Greek perhaps, a revision of Ephrem's genuine 
work, most of the details given by him are doubtless 
still to be traced back to Ephrem. 

Here at last the question of the common source of 
Adso, II., and of Bede's Sibyl can again be discussed. 
Should not this Sibyl, with its allusion to the " king 
by name and of steadfast mind," be after all traced 
back to some period long antecedent to Constans II. ? 
At least the notion that the last Roman emperor 
delivers up his crown to God is already found in a 
document of the fourth century. It by no means 
dates from the time of Heraclius, and it may be 
confidently affirmed that the idea of the Roman 
empire being destroyed before the appearance of 
the Antichrist must have very soon undergone some 
such modification after the empire had become 
Christian. But if we once go beyond the time of 
Heraclius, then we must assuredly also shift that source 
back to the fourth century, for the emperor spoken 
of in it is unanimously described as ^^king of the 
Romans and Greeks." Hence there remain but two 


alternatives, to look for the "king by name . . . 
steadfast " (" Constans ") either in the fourth century 
or in the time following the reign of Justinian. It 
is still, however, possible that in the word " Constans " 
we have, not the actual name of the king, but merely 
a play of words ; thus here, for instance, the allusion 
might perhaps be to Constantius, or even, though less 
probably, to Constantine I. 

In determining the point we get little help from 
the twelve years given as the duration of his reign, 
and this term must be regarded as a purely apocalyptic 
fancy. The last king is conceived as the counterpart 
of Alexander the Great, whose reign lasts twelve 
years in the pseudo-Methodius. The influence of the 
history of the Macedonian epoch is similarly felt in 
the Greek Apocalypse of Daniel,* where is described 
yet another partition of the world into four kingdoms, 
as taking place after the death of the king, who in 
the last times reigns twelve years. 

An interesting confirmation of this legend is afforded 

by a remark made by Zezschwitz (p. 21). In the 

chronicle where Godfrey of Viterbo sings the glories of 

Alexander, the Conqueror is introduced as saying : 

Reddo tibi restituamque thronum, 
Te solo dominante volo tibi regna reHnqui. 

That is to say : " To thee I deliver up and restore the 
throne ; to thee, sole ruler, will I that the kingdom 
be resigned." Thus in some particulars are merged 
together the Alexander and the Antichrist sagas. 
Here may, in conclusion, be examined another special 
* Klostermann, 118, 84. 


feature from tlie cycle of traditions under considera- 
tion. It occurs in the Ludus de Antichristo^ a play 
which was composed about the year 1160, and the 
author of which has not hitherto been quoted as a 
special authority because he draws his material 
mainly from Adso.^^ Here we read how the Anti- 
christ overcomes the Greek king by war, the French 
by gifts, and the German by miracles. The source of 
these fancies has now been discovered by Meyer in 
the following passage of Adso : '^Against the faithful 
will he rise up in three ways — that is, by terror, by 
gifts, and by wonders ; to the believers in him will he 
give gold and silver in abundance ; but those whom 
he shall fail to corrupt by presents he will overcome 
by fear, and those whom he shall fail to vanquish by 
fear he will seek to seduce by signs and wonders " 
(1294 A).^* These fancies, however, are still more 
widespread, as seen in the Elucidarium (treated below), 
where are enumerated four kinds of temptations used 
by the Antichrist: 1. divitice (riches); 2. terror \ 
3. sapientia (wisdom) ; 4. signa et prodigia (signs 
and wonders). In Eterianus also (see below) occurs 
the passage : " By threats, blandishments, and all 
[other] ways will he seduce." ^^ But in their essence 
all these passages may be traced back to S. Jerome. 

In his Commentary on Daniel xi. 39, Jerome is 
already able to tell us that '' Antichrist also will 
lavish many gifts on the beguiled, and will divide the 
world among his army, and those whom he shall fail 

* Cf» W. Meyer, the Ludus de Ä7itickristo, pp. 10 et seq. and 14 
et seq. 


to quell by terror lie will overcome by greed." ^® 
Scarcely bas Jerome extracted tbis information from 
tbe obscure passage in Daniel, wbicb he is even 
unable to translate, when be falls completely back on 
apocalyptic tradition, as will be sbown farther on.* 
Here we again clearly see how deep-rooted are even 
such apparently remote and isolated elements of our 
apocalyptic tradition. It is noteworthy that we here 
come for the second time on a parallelism between 
Jerome and the group of Antichrist documents under 
consideration. Hence Jerome's apocalyptic tradition, 
which occurs chiefly in his Commentary on Daniel as 
well as in his epistle to Algasia {Qucestio XL), belongs 
also perhaps to the cycle of traditions in question. 

In the documents just dealt with we have accord- 
ingly a literary series which, beginning with Ephrem, 
extends through pseudo-Methodias and Adso to the 
mediaeval Sibylline writers and the miracle play 
composed in the Hohenstaufen epoch. Thus may be 
seen how the Antichrist legend gets modified when 
the Roman empire embraces Christianity, and how it 
preserves traces of such events as the beginning of 
the migrations of the peoples and the irruption of 
the Huns. It also tells us about the history of the 
Byzantine emperors and the destructive effects of the 
flood of Islam bursting over the Eastern provinces. 
Lastly we find it interwoven with the history of the 
German empire and the Crusades. 

* Cyprian also goes beyond Jerome in his reference to 
" Antichrist's threats and corruptions and dens of vice " {Antl- 
christi niiiias et corruptelas et lupanarla) in de Mortalitate, 15. 



The Greek and Armenian Apocalypses of Daniel — The 
Arabic, Syriac, and Ethiopic Apocalypses of Peter 
— The Syriac Apocalypse of Ezra. 

A THIRD group of sources is from later apoca- 
lyptic works now to be considered. In the 
Sticliometry of Nicephorus and in the Synopsis of 
Athanasius there is a Book of Daniel, while a seventh 
Vision of Daniel is mentioned in a list of apochrypha 
by Mekhithar of Airivank in 1290.t The text of 
a Greek Apocalypse of Daniel was first published by 
Tischendorf {Apocalypses Apocryphce^ xxx.-xxxiii.), 
and again in a legible form by Klostermann (Ä7ialecta 
zur Septuaginta^ Leipzig, 1895, pp. 113 ^^ seq.). Ad 
Armenian seventh Vision of Daniel has also been 
published by Gr. Kalemkiar in the Vienna Zeitschr, 
für die Kunde des Morgenlandes (Vol. VI. 109 et seq.^ 
227 et seq.). 

A comparison of the two documents made by Zahn % 
before the appearance of Klostermann's text showed 
that both, although quite different, point back to a 
common source. Here we shall endeavour to bring 
out this source still more distinctly. 

* For Notes ' to ^ of this chapter, see Appendix, p. 266. 
t Zahn, Forschungen, Vol. V, 115, 116. t Ibid., Y. 119. 



In the opening, couclied in the Sibylline style, the 
two writings have much in common. Yet these 
predictions, as they are generally considered, defy 
all interpretation. But both apocalypses agree in 
one important detail, a prophecy launched against 
Rome, the city of the seven hills, which clearly points 
to the end of the Western empire (compare the 
Armenian, 237, 9, with the Greek, 116, 28). After 
referring by name to the reign of Olybrius (472) = 
Orlogios, that is, if Zahn's conjecture is right,* the 
texts run : 

Greek. 1 Armenian. 

37. But the sons of per- Z. 30. And the king will 
dition standing up will turn turn his face towards the 
their faces to the setting of west. 

the sun. 

38. Woe to thee, Seven- Then woe to thee, thou 
hilled, from such wrath Seven-hilled, when thy king 
when thou wert girdled is a youth. 

round by a great host, and 
[when] a youth shall rule 
over thee wretched. 

Then follows in both a reference to the beginning 
of the Gothic rule, the dynasty '' of another religion, 
that is Arianus," t ^s it reads in Ar. ; or '' of the fair 
race," t as it runs in Gr. But whether we are to 
understand Ar., 238, 29-32 to refer to the establish- 
ment of the exarchate of Ravenna is not quite clear. 

* Zahn, Forschungen^ Yol. V., 118. 
t TO ^avSov yevos. 


This particular clause is not found in Gr., hence must 
be a later insertion. 

Then, immediately after the mention of these 
events, Ar. gives an account of the rule of the Anti- 
christ and of the end, while the Greek Apocalypse 
also concludes with the details about the Antichrist. 

The source of both apocalypses now comes out 
clearly and distinctly. The essential element is the 
old apocalypse about the Antichrist, who according 
to remote tradition was to come when the Koman 
empire lay in ruins. Nothing was more natural than 
the revival of this old Antichrist legend (introduced 
with an allusion to current events) at the time when 
the Western empire was falling to pieces. In any 
case, the title of this revelation was doubtless the 
Apocalypse of Daniel. But it is another question 
whether the common source itself also bore this 
name (see above). 

Thus the two later legends (Ar. and Gr.) had 
their origin in the earlier apocalypse. In Ar., 230, 
24 et seq. the destinies of the Eastern empire are 
predicted by anticipation. Marcian is mentioned by 
name (231, 19) ; the history of Leo I., of Zeno and 
of the usurper Basiliscus is still clearly related ; 
while Kalemkiar finds events predicted down to the 
emperor Heraclius — a conjecture, however, which is 
already questioned by Zahn. If, however, 234 refers 
to the seven-hilled Babylon,* to the reign of a widow, 
and to a dragon who is to persecute the foreigners, 

* The author of Ar. no longer understands it in this sense 
(231, 16). 


then we have here some elements again borrowed 
from the common source of Ar. and Gr. In Gr. also 
there is a prediction entirely independent of Ar. It 
has reference to the history of the Eastern empire, 
which, as would seem (117, 42), begins with the fall 
of the Western empire, and lasts till the reign of 
Constantine V. Thus it becomes quite clear how 
the interpolation came about. Like the Armenian, 
the Greek writer has also forgotten the meaning 
of the '^ seven-hilled " (119, 88). He accordingly 
dissociates the sway of the Antichrist from the fall 
of the Western empire, his relation passing from the 
Western to the Eastern empire, whereas in Ar. the 
order is reversed. 

In the common source a Sibylline style is evident, 
and is very pronounced, especially in the opening 
section of the apocalypses. The very word eTrraXoipo^ 
(" seven-hilled ") has also become current in Sibylline 
literature as the distinctive by-name of Rome. 

In this connection I may call attention to the 
article by Kozak on the apocryphal biblical literature 
amongst the Slavs in the Yahrbuuch für Protest, 
Theologie, 1892, 128 et seq. From N. xviii. of 
Kozak's papers it appears that a Vision of Daniel has 
also been preserved and already printed in the South 
Slavonic (Serb) and Russian languages, and according 
to this authority the documents correspond with the 
Greek Apocalypse of Daniel.^' In N. xxxviii. mention 

* Professor Bonwetsch has kindly favoured me with a trans - 
lation of some parts of the Slavonic Apocalypse, which seems 
identical with the Greek. 


is made of a l^arration about the Antichrist^ which, 
as briefly summarised, contains a record of the 
Byzantine emperor^ a prediction of a famine, and the 
rule of a virgin who receives the Antichrist as a 
bird, the appearance of John the Theologian and 
his contention with the Antichrist, the appearance of 
Elias and his death, the sway of the Antichrist and 
the end of the world.* 

The mention of the rule of a virgin is interesting. 
With it is to be compared the frequent reference to 
the rule of a widow in Ar. and in Gr. : ^' And there 
being no man available, a polluted woman shall reign 
in the [city of the] seven hills, and defile the 
holy altars of God, and standing in the midst of the 
seven hills shall cry out with a loud voice, saying : 
Who is God but I, and who shall resist my sway ? 
And forthwith the seven hills shall be shaken and all 
life cast into the deep." ^ Then follows (119, 100) the 
dominion of the Antichrist. 

Perhaps some light is thrown by this passage on 
an obscure part of the Sibylline literature. In 
Sibyl III. 75 we read : ^^ And then verily the whole 
world under the hands of a woman — there shall be 
a ruler and a prevailer in all things — then when a 
widow shall rule the whole earth — and cast gold and 
silver into the vast deep — the bronze and eke the 
iron of mortal men — shall cast into the sea, then 
truly all the elements — shall be bereft of order when 
God dwelling on high — shall roll up the heaven.''^ 

* It may further be mentioned that a fourteenth Vision of 
Daniel is extant in some Coptic manuscripts (Klostermann, 114). 


It is noteworthy that here the appearance of the 
Antichrist (Belial) comes first. 

On the title of the Apocalypse of Daniel it is 
further to be noted that Lightfoot (quoted by Zahn, 
120) draws attention to a miscellaneous codex 
of the twelfth century in Wright's Catalogue of 
Syriac MSS., I. 19, which, after the deuterocanonical 
additions to Daniel, contains a fragment " from the 
Little Daniel on our Lord (?) and the End of the 
World." ^^ Here we may perhaps conjecture that we 
have a part of the Apocalypse, which again lies at 
the base of the rediscovered source. Zahn is further 
of opinion that, in accordance with a notice of Ebed 
Jesu (Assemani, Bibl. Orient,, III. 15), Hippolytus 
had already commented on this apocryphal book of 
the Little Daniel. Professor Bonwetsch, who was 
consulted by me on the subject, is inclined to see in 
the notice of" the Little [Young] Daniel and Susanna" 
only one and the same work — that is, the apocryphal 
history of Susanna and Daniel of the Old Testament. 
I should greatly desire to have this matter cleared 
up, for it would be very important to find that 
Hippolytus had already known and commented upon 
an Apocalypse of Daniel. What has been said higher 
up regarding Hippolytus is no longer an impossibility. 
The relations of the Greek Apocalypse of Daniel to 
the pseudo-Methodius, and especially to the inter- 

* Compare what is stated below on a Jewish Book of 
Daniel of the ninth century. Apocalyptic material also occurs 
in the Life of Daniel contained in Vi tee Proiohetarum (" Lives 
of the Prophets ") wrongly attributed to Epiphanius. 


polatecl passage on the siege of Constantinople, has 
abeady been discussed (p. 51). Here may farther 
be mentioned the interesting title of a treatise 
occurring in Fabricius : " The Last Vision of the 
Great Prophet Daniel/' etc.^ 

At the head of a further group of documents I place 
the apocalyptic writings, which are still extant in the 
Arabic, the Ethiopic (Geez), and probably also the 
Syriac languages under the name of Liber dementis 
discipuli S. Petri Q' Book of S. Peter's Disciple 
Clement "), or also Petri Apostoli Apocalypsis per 
Glementem, etc. Q' Apocalypses of the Apostle Peter 
by Clement," etc.). A review is given by Bratke of 
the very confused tradition respecting this book.* To 
Dillmann, however, is due the fullest survey of the 
Ethiopic translation of this work, which has nowhere 
yet been printed. But we have to consider the special 
eschatological sections, which, according to Dillmann, 
are found in the second and fourth parts, the first 
being a prediction about Islam, the second another 
about the rule of the Antichrist. Farther down it 
will be made evident that both of these now separated 
sections are essential parts of an original apocalypse, 
possibly that of S. Peter. 

The section most interesting to us contains especially 
a prophecy on the history of Islam, which Dillmann 
has interpreted with brilliant success. First comes a 
reference to twelve rulers of the Ommiades (Muhammad 
to Abu-Bekr II.), the first four of whom are indicated 
by their initial letters (Muhammad, Abu-Bekr, Omar, 

* ZeiUchr.für Wissenschaft, Theologie^ 1893, I., pp. 454 et seq. 


Othman). Then the history is continued through six 
rulers down to Merwan 11., after which follows an 
account of battles fought by the King of the South 
(Merwan) against the King of the East (the Abassides), 
and we are told how the King of the East conquers 
Egypt. The author speaks of four empires : the 
Eagle representing the Babylonian, the Panther the 
Greek, the Lion the Roman (of which it is remarked 
^' the king of Rome reigns till my second coming "), 
and a beast called Arne (Dragon, Snake), the children 
of Ed^yo. By this last, which takes the second place, 
presumably according to its rank, is represented the 
empire of Islam. 

At that time, when the dynasty of the Ommiades was 
overthrown, the Lion's son rises again and triumphs 
over Islam, this Lion's son being, according to Dill- 
mann, Constantine Copronymus. Damascus, capital 
of the Ommiades, is to be destroyed ; but when the 
Lion's son returns from his expeditions, then the 
end is near, as was known, to Peter. Then comes an 
unintelligible indication of a period when all this is 
to happen. Here should probably immediately follow 
that section about the Antichrist which is now found 
in the second part of the book. We have here, there- 
fore, an apocalypse, the solution of which is complete 
in all its details. 

To show that in the Arabic Apocalypse of S. Peter we 
have an almost identical work, the reader may consult 
Nicoll's Bibliotkecce Bodleiance Codices Manuscr, 
Orient. Catalog,^ Oxford, 1821, II., pp. 149 et seq. 
Unfortunately the contents of chaps, xxxi.-xliv. are not 


given. In chap. xlvi. we have already the mention of 
the Lion's son, while in chap, xlvii. the four empires 
are enumerated as above. The second empire is that 
of the Beni'l Abu, the fourth that of the Romans, of 
which it is said that " this shall remain till the advent 
of Christ." * Chap, xlviii. has a description of the Beni'l 
Abu, the beginning of whose rule is determined by the 
year 923 from Alexander. A discrepancy is shown in 
chaps, lii. and liii., inasmuch as here the Lion's son 
is represented as a foe of the Christians, and a promise 
given of his overthrow by the archangel Michael. In 
chap. Ixvii. we are told of '' the going forth of the ac- 
cursed son of Dan, who is Antichrist, and of the descent 
of Elias and Enoch, and that these he is to kill and 
perform great wonders and many marvels." ^ 

In the second and third parts of the Ethiopic Apoca- 
lypse of S. Peter were also comprised the fragments 
of a " Syriac Apocalypse of Simon Peter/' which are 
published by Bratke (pp. 468 et seq.). A comparison 
of the two fragments on the Antichrist here given 
at pp. 471 and 481 shows that in the details great 
changes naturally occur. 

Here therefore we have in all probability an 
Ethiopic, an Arabic, and a Syriac recension of the 
same work, the apocalyptic elements of which 
were composed about the time of the fall of the 

By a lucky chance Dillmann has given us a transla- 
tion of the following fragment touching the Lion's son 
(p. 73 a) : ^^ I will awaken the Lion's son, and he shall 
* " Quorum hoc ad Christi adventum mansurum est." 


slay utterly all the kings and tread them down, for I 
have given him the power thereunto, and therefore is 
the appearance of the Lion's son like that of a man who 
is awakened from his sleep." This stands in obvious 
relation to the passage quoted above (p. 54) from the 
book of Methodius (Part VI.). But a close connection 
is also manifest between the Ethiopic Petrine Apoca- 
lypse and the pseudo-Methodius. It may therefore 
be conjectured that the pseudo-Methodius was one of 
the sources of the Petrine document, even though in 
other respects Gutschmid may be right in identifying 
the Byzantine ruler of pseudo-Methodius with Con- 
stantine IV. 

Starting from this assumption, we shall now 
arrive at a solution of the puzzle to which the Syriac 
Apocalypse of Ezra published by Baethgen gives rise.* 
Obviously the opening of the Apocalypse is a re-cast 
of the Petrine Apocalypse. In chap. iii. a Serpent 
appears with twelve horns on its head and nine on 
its tail. When this is compared with the above given 
particulars, it becomes evident that here the allusion 
is to the rule of the Ommiades. Certainly the number 
nine does not agree with the enumeration in the 
Petrine Apocalypse of the second line of rulers sprung 
from the House of the Ommiades ; but such a slight 
discrepancy is immaterial. An Eagle coming from 
the South destroys the last horns of the Serpent — that 
is, the sway of the Abassides. 

From the East comes a Viper, which stands in 

* Zeitschr.f. alttest. Wissenschaft., VI., pp. 200 et seq., from the 
MS. Sachau, 131, in the Berlin Royal Library. 


association with the land of Egypt, and therefore 
represents the Fatimite dynasty. We thus see that 
the two particulars " from the South," " from the 
East," are taken from the Petrine Apocalypse and 
wrongly applied. The four kings on the Euphrates 
river, the Ravens which come from the East, are the 
Turki Sultanates, four of which are already mentioned 
by contemporary historians. Then comes (chap, vii.) 
the account of the young Lion's victories concluding 
with the destruction of Damascus, after which follows 
(chap, viii.) the description of the time of the Anti- 
christ. It is thus made clear that we have here an 
adaptation of the Petrine Apocalypse dating from some- 
where about the time of the first Crusades. 

But another interesting observation has still to be 
made. I hold that the description of the Lion's son in 
chap. vii. does not derive directly from the Petrine 
Apocalypse, but from an earlier one dating from the 
time of Heraclius, which already formed the foundation 
of the Petrine and of the pseudo-Methodius. Here the 
account turns entirely on a fight between a Lion and a 
Bull, of which animal no mention had previously been 
made. But when we find it stated that he is the King 
of the Ravens (chap, vii.), it becomes clear even from 
the image itself that we have here a compilation. The 
Bull who " stirs up the East " is Chosroes, King of 
Persia. Chosroes marches with three armies against 
Heraclius ; the Bull also has three horns, with which 
he tosses. One of his horns wages war with the 
young Lion (Heraclius) ; with another army Chosroes 
laid siege to Constantinople, and in pseudo-Ezra the 


Bull plans an evil design against the seven hills and 
the city of Constantinople. 

At that time Heraclius summoned Tiirki hordes to 
his aid, while in 4 Ezra the young Lion strikes an 
alliance with, the Leopard of the North, with whom 
multitudes advance like winged locusts. Then the 
young Lion leaps up between the horns of the Bull, 
both of which he breaks. And then we read at the 
end : " And the young Lion will march with a mighty 
host to the Land of Promise, . . . and up to Jerusalem 
will he ascend with great pomp, and from thence will he 
depart and march up to his royal city." I can scarcely 
believe that the whole of this account can originally 
have referred to any person except Heraclius and his 
defeat of Chosroes. 

In support of this view the following considerations 
present themselves. In the Ethiopic version we 
have a little before the passage dealing with the 
Lion's son a list of emperors brought down to 
Heraclius.* In pseudo-Methodius also we have the 
account of the Byzantine emperor making his entry 
into Jerusalem on his victorious march against Islam. 
Is this a fancy picture, or, as seems much more 
probable, an adaptation from some early account 
dating from the time of Heraclius ? When Heraclius 
made his entry into Constantinople people thought the 
end of the world was near. Compare the above-quoted 
passage of the Petrine Apocalypse : " But when the 
Lion's son shall have returned from his expeditions, 

* So also in the Arabic Apocalypse of S. Peter (Lagarde, 
Mitteilungen^ IV., pp. 6 et seq.). 


let Peter know that the time of the end is near." The 
author of the Armenian Apocalypse of Daniel probably 
expected the end to come in the time of Heraclius. 

Thus we have again secured fresh connecting links. 
The pseudo-Methodius and the kindred recensions of 
the Petrine Apocalypse show how the Apocalypse of 
the Antichrist legend became modified with the rising 
flood of Islam. The luminous picture of the victorious 
Lion's son delineated on the obscure background is 
probably of still earlier date, and has its historic 
foundation in the events of Heraclius' reign. The 
Syriac Apocalypse of Ezra is a living witness to show 
how unintelligible predictions were again and again 
reproduced in ever fresh combinations. 


Commodian's Cakmen Apologeticum — Lactantius : In- 


— S. Maetin of Toues : Eschatological Testament 


Paets of the Book of Clement, and of the Ascensio 
Jesai^ eefeeeing to the Last Things ; Eelations 


WE now come to a singularly interesting group, in 
which the chief documents are Commodian's 
Carmen Apologeticum and the Sibylline source of the 
eschatological details embodied in the Institutes of 
Lactantius. The connecting element in the writings 
in question is their common recognition of a twofold 
appearance of an Antichrist — one as a Roman emperor 
(the Nero redivivus)^ and another who appears in 

The eschatological part of Commodian begins with 
ver. 791, t for fixing the date of which we have the 
trustworthy guidance of Ebert.J In the interpretation 

^' For Notes Ho ^ of this chapter, see Appendix, p. 267. 
t In Dombart's edition of the Corpus Scriptorum Eccles. 
Lat, 15. 
X In his contributions to the Abhandlungen der Königlich 



of this work it must be steadily borne in mind tbat 
tbe prophetic fancies of the writer begin with the 
appearance of the Nero redivivus (Cyrus) in ver. 823. 

The statement in ver. 871 that Nero adopts {sibi 
addit) two Caesars is not to be explained in the light 
of contemporary events, but is rather to be interpreted 
by the passage in ver. 911. In accordance with the 
early Antichrist legend, this person (the second ruler 
in Commodian, who nevertheless is the Antichrist 
proper) on his first appearance overcomes and slays 
three kings. But these kings had to be found some- 
where, and so Commodian has the '' happy thought " 
to make Nero redivivus adopt the two Caesars, for 
which the Roman empire itself afforded him a pre- 
cedent. But it would be more than absurd to ask, 
Who then were these Caesars ? Hence there remain 
but two alternatives to help in determining the date 
of the poem. Following up the clue afforded by the ap- 
pearance of the Goths, as described in ver. 810, Ebert 
refers the Apocalypse to the time of Philip the Arab 
or of Decius, holding, however, that it could scarcely 
have been written during the severe persecution of 
Decius. Yet Commodian states (ver. 808) that the 
beginning of the end was the then raging seventh 
persecution ; and it is remarkable that in later 
accounts of these persecutions of the Christians that 
of Decius is always reckoned as the seventh.* Hence 

Sächsischen Ges. der Wissenschaften^ Vol. V., pp. 387 et seq. 
Rovers' recently attempted elucidation (Apocalyptische Studien^ 
pp. 89 et seq.) misses the mark. 
* Thus Sulpicius Severus, Historia Sacra, II. 32 ; Jerome, de 


it is after all probable enough that Commodian's 
Carmen Apologeticmn was really composed during the 
Decian persecution. 

The eschatological matter bearing on the present 
subject, which we owe to Lactantius, occurs in his In- 
stitutiones Divince^ VII., chap. x. et seq. He frequently 
quotes as his authority a Sibyl, VII. 16 (VII. 18 alia 
Sibylla), As in Commodian, here also the Antichrist 
has a " double," and here also the second Antichrist 
kills the first, that is, the last ruler of the Roman 
empire : '^ There also shall arise another king from 
Syria, who shall destroy the remnants of that first 
evil one together with the evil one himself." * It is 
further noteworthy that, whereas elsewhere according 
to the universal tradition two witnesses appear against 
the Antichrist, Elias and Enoch, Lactantius knows of 
nothing except of an appearance of Elias. In Com- 
modian we have a double tradition ; in vers. 839 and 
850 Elias alone is spoken of, but in 853, 856, 858, 
prophets are mentioned in the plural — evidently an 
extremely careless fusion of two diff*erent traditions. 

But, after what has been said, we can scarcely be 
wrong in conjecturing that the same, or at least very 
similar, Sibylline sources were accessible to Com- 
modian and Lactantius, between whom in other 
respects also there is much agreement. Nearest to 
these assumed common sources comes the passage in 

Script. Ecdes., chap. Ixii. ; Orosius, Book VII. 21 (see Malvenda, 
de Antichristo, II. 132). 

* " Alter rex orietur ex Syria qui reliquias iUius prioris mall 
cum ipso simul deleat " (VII. 17). 



the Sibyl 11., pp. 154 et seq. Here also we have the 
appearance of the Antichrist (Beliar) at p. 167, and 
of Elias alone at p. 187. As in Commodian, the ten 
(twelve ?) tribes appear in the last days, and the de- 
struction of the world is similarly described (pp. 186 
et seq.). The description of the new life resembles 
that occurring in Lactantius. This Sibyl, however, 
has been retouched, and is far from covering the whole 
ground embraced by Lactantius and Commodian. 

Now this Sibylline source utilised by Commodian 
must stand in some relation to the treatise of Hippo- 
lytus on the Antichrist. Higher up (p. 28) I have 
drawn attention to the unknown quotation twice 
made by Hippolytus from an unnamed prophet. A 
parallelism occurs in the Carmen Apologeticum^ vers. 
891 et seq. : ^^ Again shall arise in the slaughter of 
this Nero — a king from the East with four nations 
therefrom — and summon to himself very many nations 
unto the City — who shall bring aid although he be 
himself most valiant — and fill the sea with ships many 
a thousand — and whoso shall oppose him shall be slain 
by the sword — and first he takes the captured Tyre and 
Sidon." 1 

Although the prophecy is based on Daniel xi. 40, 
still the parallelism between Hippolytus and Com- 
modian is not explained by the passage from Daniel ; 
hence there was some common source other than our 
Book of Daniel. A parallel to this passage occurs 
also in Hippolytus a little before the place where he 
for the second time quotes the unnamed prophet in 
chap. Hi. : '' But his assault will first be against Tyre 


and Berytus."^ Doubtless a common Sibyl was in 
any case drawn upon by Commodian and Lactantius, 
and Hippolytus quotes his authority as prophets. 
Still both writings cannot have been identical, although 
they may have stood in the closest relation to each 
other. It may be assumed that the Sibyl was based 
on the prophet quoted by Hippolytus ; but the reverse 
can scarcely have been the case. Moreover, the 
Antichrist legend, as will be shown farther on, is 
found in a decidedly more original form in Hippolytus 
than in Lactantius and Commodian. Can Hippolytus 
after all have at the end already known and com- 
mented upon the Little Daniel, and is this very 
document that quoted as '^ another prophet " ? 

In his Dialogue, II. 14, Sulpicius Severus has left 
us the oral tradition of S. Martin of Tours on the 
Antichrist and the end. Here also we find the double 
of the Antichrist. The Antichrist proper here again 
makes his appearance in Jerusalem, and it is quite 
distinctly stated that '' Nero himself is at last to be 
destroyed by the Antichrist." ^ 

Lastly, here should be mentioned the short treatise 
comprised in Lagarde's Reliquice Juris^ etc., 80 et 
seq.^ " The First Book of Clement called the Testament 
of our Lord Jesus Christ."^ Here we read, 81, 15 : 
" But there shall arise in the dissolution a king of 
another nation, lord of many devises, a godless slayer 
of men, a beguiler , . . hating the faithful, a perse- 
cutor." Then (82, 40) : '' Then shall come the son 
of perdition, the adversary and boaster and vaunter," 


As will be shown later, we have in these apocalypses, 
where the Antichrist appears in double form, a 
mingling of two cycles of legends — on the one hand 
the old and simple Antichrist saga, on the other 
its political adaptation to Nero redivivus. As above 
already remarked (p. 29), we have in the Commentary 
of Victorinus another interesting blending of the 
currents of thought. Victorinus knows of but one 
appearance of Antichrist, and for him the demonic 
figure of Nero is still the Antichrist. Of all com- 
mentators on Revelation down to the period of the 
Reformation he is the only one who was aware that 
the Neronic saga had any bearing on the Johannine 
Apocalypse. But for him Nero, the Nero redivivus, 
has now become the Jewish Antichrist, as will be 
more fully explained below. The work of Victorinus 
has accordingly to be included in the group of docu- 
ments now under consideration. 

One branch of the twofold Antichrist tradition, 
which at last brought about those wonderful combina- 
tions, finds its chief witnesses in the still extant 
Sibylline literature. Here have specially to be con- 
sidered Books (II.), III., IV., v., VIII. (XIL, XIII.), 
where we have everywhere the fusion of the Neronic 
with the Antichrist legend.* All the chief points will 
be dealt with lower down. 

Lastly, there remains to be mentioned a fragment 
of the Visio Jesaice. In chap. iii. (beginning at 
about iii. 23) and in chap. iv. we have an interpolated 

* Cf. Zahn, Zeitschr. für Kirchliche Wissenschaft und Kirchliches 
Lehen, 1886, 32-45, 77-87, 337-352. 


Antichrist x\pocalypse, which is especially interesting, 
because in it the figure of the Nero redivivus has been 
foisted into an earlier apocalyptic tradition, which can 
be clearly recognised. This point also will be estab- 
lished farther on. 

In connection with the foregoing may here be 
appended a reference to the Antichrist Apocalypse 
interpolated in the already mentioned Book of 
Clement. In the Text and Studies (II. iii., pp. 151 et 
seq.) has recently been published an apocalyptic 
fragment in Latin, which seems to represent the early 
source utilised in the Book of Clement. The 
obviously later detailed description of the destruction 
of the Church before the coming of the Antichrist 
(Clement, p. 81, 1. 33 — p. 82, 1. 38) now appears in the 
light of the Latin parallel as an addendum, so that 
here we have again a relatively ancient source. 

At the end of the Latin fragment the name of the 
Antichrist is stated to be Dexius,* which James 
(p. 188) conjectures to be meant for Decius. There 
is much to support this suggestion, though the 
weighty objection still remains, that in this (compare 
Clement), as in all the other apocalypses, no Roman 
emperor appears to be originally identified with Anti- 
christ. Still the clause might after all be a later 
gloss, which would then show that our Apocalypse 
must have already existed in the time of Decius. 

In any case it was composed while the persecutions 
of the Christians were still raging, at least if we may, 
as seems highly probable, refer to it the passage in 
* " Dexius erit nomen AntichristV^ 


Clement, p. 81, 1. 15 et seq. : '' But there shall arise in 
the dissolution a king of another nation . . . hating 
the faithful, a persecutor ; and he shall rule over 
barbarous nations and shed much blood, . . . and 
there shall be in all cities and in all places rapacity 
and incursions of robbers and bloodshed." ^ 

This description would apply in a special manner to 

To show that we have here an earlier source, we 
may conclude with the subjoined striking parallelisms 
with some eschatological parts of 4 Ezra : 

And a sound and a voice Ezra, chap. v. 7. The sea 

and seething of the sea. of Sodom . . . shall give out 

a voice by night. 

And on the earth shall Chap. v. 8. And the 

be monsters, a generation of beasts of the field shall stray 

dragons of men (?) and like- beyond their ground, and 

wise of serpents. women . . . shall bring forth 

And presently a woman Chap. vi. 21. And babes 

shall wed [and] bring forth of a year shall speak with 
children uttering perfect their voices, and the preg- 
words."^ nant shall bring forth im- 

mature babes of three and 
four months."^ 


The Apocalypse of Zephaniah — Survey of other 
Patristic Writings bearing on the Antichrist 

QUITE a special inquiry, such as would be im- 
possible till we had reached this point, is called 
for by the recently discovered Apocalypse of Zephaniah. 
A series of fragments from this source are found in 
the Upper and Lower Sahidic dialects of Coptic, repre- 
senting two recensions of a single work, as appears 
from a comparison of the fragments where they run 
parallel. These have all been collated and translated 
by Stern,* though we are concerned only with the 
fifth and sixth, f 

It is no easy matter to fix the time of this Apocalypse. 
To be sure it is already quoted by Clement of 
Alexandria ; J but the passage cited by him, which 
strongly recalls the Ascensio Jesaice^ does not occur 
amongst our fragments. § Even were it recovered, 

* Zeitsclirift für ägyptische Sprache^ 1886, pp. \\b et seq. 
t Ib., pp. 122 et seq. 

t Cf. the passage in Fabricius, Cod. Pseud. Vet. Test, I. 1140. 
§ Cf. the close analogy with the Ascensio at the end of the 
fourth fragment, p. 122. 



it migM be assumed with some confidence on a priori 
grounds that the document quoted by Clement has 
survived to our time only in a greatly modified 
form. Such is the inference to be drawn from all the 
observations hitherto made, and even from a mere 
comparison of both recensions of the Apocalypse itself. 
Stern (p. 135) from their language and contents 
refers the fragments to the fourth century, which 
would give us a certain standpoint for estimating the 
period of the document lying at the base of both 
recensions. Further determinations of the date can 
be obtained only from the beginning of the fifth 
fragment, although here the two recensions show 
great discrepancies. The details regarding the struggle 
between the Persian and Assyrian kings with their 
fabulous imagery are found only in the Upper, not 
in the Lower Sahidic recension. But both have one 
characteristic feature in common. Immediately before 
the appearance of the Antichrist they each, although 
even here with great diff"erences, describe the dominion 
of a ruler, who restores peace and favours Christianity, 
and is hostile to the heathen. The key to this passage 
is afforded by the foregoing inquiry into the history 
of the Antichrist saga. Here we find, although still 
only half understood and overladen with fantastic 
accessories, the characteristic element that was added 
to the saga during the epoch of the first Christian 
emperors (see above, p. 62).* Hence the original 

* According to the Zephanian Apocalypse the Antichrist is 
to come in the fourth year of the peaceful emperor, while 
elsewhere twelve years are given as the duration of his reign. 



draft of the Zephanian Apocalypse, as it now stands, 
would also date at the earliest from the second half 
of the fourth century, so that both recensions should 
perhaps be referred to a somewhat later time than 
that assigned to them by Stern. 

Immediately before the description of the peaceful 
king the following passage occurs in the Upper 
Sahidic version : 

"And when they shall behold a king rising up in 
the North, then shall they call him the King of Assyria 
and the King of Unrighteousness. On Egypt shall 
he bring his many wars and disorders." 

This extract vividly recalls Lactantius, YII. 16. In 
both places a special forerunner of the Antichrist is 
spoken of; in both this forerunner is called a king 
from the North, although in Lactantius the second 
king comes from Syria. 

In the Lower Sahidic recension alone (although it 
cannot be positively asserted that it was not originally 
found also in the Upper Sahidic) there occurs at 
p. 124 the following highly remarkable description 
of the advent of Christ : 

"The Christ, when He cometh, shall come in the 
form of a dove, with a crown of doves about Him, 
hovering on the clouds of heaven, with the sign 
of the Cross before Him, whom* all the world 
shall behold like unto the sun shining from the 

* Whom in reference to Christ, although it may be asked 
whether the relative might not refer to the sign of the Cross. 
Farther on I will give the parallel passages from Ephrem 
embodying a similar conception. 


regions of the rising to the regions of the setting 

We are warned by this fantastic image also not 
to go too far back in search of the source of onr 
document. Material representations of these apoca- 
lyptic fancies may be found even in later times. 
From a poem by Paulinus of Nola describing such 
a conception, F. Wickoff has reconstructed the mosaics 
of the apsis in the Church of S. Felix at Nola.* 
Here we see the Cross appearing in the sky encircled 
by a crown of doves, emblematic of Christ with the 
twelve Apostles. A similar picture is seen in the 
apsis of the Church of S. Clement in Rome.f 

With the other writings already discussed the 
Zephanian Apocalypse shows the most manifold 
literary relations, as in the account of the wonders 
worked by the Antichrist with pseudo-Methodius, and 
the description of the Last Days of the Antichrist 
(p. 128), and in many other places with the Ephremite 
group. In the account of the glorious times preceding 
the Antichrist rule Zephaniah agrees with pseudo- 
Johannes, with Adso, and the other writings bearing 
on the subject. 

But it is above all noteworthy that the description 
of the Antichrist (p. 125) stands in the closest literary 
connection with a series of Jewish apocalj^pses to be 
dealt with farther on. Surprising parallels are shown 
especially by the Apocalypse of Elias found in the 

* Römische Quartalschrift, 1889. 

t De Eossi, Mus. Christ, Plates VII., VIII. For these 
particulars I am indebted to my colleague Dr. AcheHs. 


Bet-ha-Midrash. It would seem that in tliis docu- 
ment, before all others, the many earlier records 
worked into it should be investigated. Moreover, 
the Zephanian Apocalypse comprises many other 
original and archaic elements which shall be discussed 
in their proper place. Meanwhile the assumption 
in any case does not lack support that, behind this 
Coptic Apocalypse of Zephaniah, there stands a much 
earlier work, which is probably of Jewish origin. In 
fact the Zephanian work is found, like the Vision of 
Daniel, the Ascension (Vision) of Jesse and others, in 
a series of canonical lists amongst the Old Testament 

It would be a laborious task to give even an 
approximate survey of the patristic literature which 
touches on this subject. Here I must confine myself 
to the most important, while referring the reader to 
Malvenda's careful and valuable collations in his 
work on the Antichrist.* 

In this connection the foremost place amongst the 
commentaries on the Johannine Apocalypse is taken 
by that of Victorinus, which has already been referred 
to in the Introduction. Thanks especially to its exu- 
berant and archaic exegesis, this work is of the very 
highest interest. The later Latin commentaries depend 
all alike on the spiritualistic interpretations of Ticonius. 
Hence amongst them are only occasionally found some 
stray realistic features derived from the Antichrist 

* De Äntichristo, pp. 2 et seq. I may here remark that in 
my quotations from the Fathers I have in many places been 
aided by Malvenda's indications. 


tradition. Valuable also is the Commentary of Andreas, 
as well as that of his follower, Aretha. In Andreas 
is comprised a quantity of very important materials, 
which come at many points in contact with the tradition 
emanating from Ephrem. Compare, for instance, the 
identification of Gog and Magog with the Huns. In 
the later Commentary of Beatus there is a special 
section showing how the Antichrist is to be recognised.* 

Nor can the commentaries on Daniel be overlooked, 
and especially the interpretations of chaps, vii., xi., 
and xii., where the commentaries of Jerome and of 
Theodoretus are of the first importance. Much 
valuable material is found also in the commentaries on 
2 Thessalonians, chap, ii., such as those of the so-called 
Ambrosiaster, Pelagius, Chrysostom, Theodoretus, and 
Theophylactus ; those on Matthew, chap, xxiv., and the 
corresponding passage of Mark (Hilarius, Ambrosius, 
Chrysostom, the author of the unfinished work on 
Matthew in Chrysostom, Euthymius) ; on John v. 43 
(Chrysostom, Theophylactus, Euthymius) ; lastly on 
Genesis xlix. and Deuteronomy xxxii. (Ambrosius, 

We have further some more lengthy treatises, such 
especially as Irenaeus, Adversus Hcereses, V., chaps, 
xxviii. et seq.y where the details in many places come 
in contact with Hippolytus, de Antichristo ; Jerome, 
epistle ad Algasiam (121), Quaestio XI.; Prosper 
Aquitanicus (?), de Promissionibus et Frcedictionihus^ 
IV., p. 4, 1. 16 ; Theodoretus, Hceret. Fabulce^ Book V. 
(see section 23 on the Antichrist) ; S. John of Damascus, 
* " Qualiter cognoscatur Antichristus," pp. 443 et seq. 


"Ef€0€crL^ tt)? opdoS. iriarew^^ iv. 27. The reader should 
also consult the Qucestiones ad Antiochum ducem^ 
included amongst the works of Athanasius (Migne, 


But specially important are also some mediaeval 
sources, conspicuous amongst which are the Predic- 
tions of S. Hildegard (cf. Scivias^ Book III. ; Migne, 
CXCVI.), and less so the Revelationes 8tce Birgittce, 
Then should above all be mentioned the Elucidarium 
of Honorius of Autun (Migne, CLXXII.), in which, 
as in Adso and apparently subordinate to him, the 
tradition of the Antichrist is included. On Honorius 
of Autun and his important position in the history of 
literature, see E. H. Meyer's Völuspd, pp. 41 et seq. 
Lastly I may mention the details in Hugo Eterianus, 
Liber de Regressu Animarum ab Inferis^ chaps, xxiv. 
et seq. (Migne, CCII., p. 168). I would, however, here 
state emphatically that for the present I make no 
attempt to give a complete indication of the authorities 
on the history of the Antichrist legend in the medi^Bval 
period.* Such an inquiry would greatly exceed my 

But even without extending our researches farther in 
this direction, the above-mentioned sources cover a very 
considerable period of time. In the third and fourth 
chapters the documents coming in some instances down 
to the eleventh and twelfth centuries led us on the other 
hand back to the works of Ephrem. In the fifth and 

* Much information will still be found in Zezschwitz, 
especially at pp. 26 et seq. of his Observations on the German 
poem of the Endchrist, 


sixtli chapters is especially seen the development of 
the apocalyptic outlook daring the Byzantine empire, 
while the seventh carried us far beyond Ephrem to the 
times of Commodian, Lactantius, Victorinus, Hippo- 
lytus, and Iren^eus. A survey of patristic literature 
reveals the immense extent of the influence exercised 
by the Antichrist tradition on the early Christian 
writers. During the first thousand years of the 
history of Christendom the eschatological expectations 
of the faithful may be said to have been determined, 
not by the Revelation of S. John, but by our apoca- 
lyptic tradition. 

Hitherto our sources have been carried back no 
farther than the second century. The eschatological 
material occurring in the Apostolic Fathers and 
apologists is too slight for consideration. But a vista 
has already been opened up of a Jewish tradition 
reaching farther back than that of the early Fathers 
of the Church ; attention has also already been called 
to some coincidences of our tradition with the Fourth 
Book of Ezra. This observation, should it be con- 
firmed, brings us at once back to the time of the 
New Testament and the antecedent period. 


Jewish Sources— The Sibylline Literatuee— The Fourth 
Book of Ezra and the Book of Baruch — The Testa- 
ment OF THE Twelve Patriarchs — Later Jewish 
Sources — The Mysteries of Simon — Midrash va- 
YosHA— The Signs of the Messiah— The Book of 
ZoROBABEL— The Persian History of Daniel— Non- 
Christian AND NoN- Jewish Sources — The Elder 
Edda (Yöluspa)— The Bahman-Yast Parsee Apoca- 
lypse—The Arab Tradition of the Antichrist. 

HERE has in the first place to be coDsidered the 
Sibylline literature, and especially Sibyl III. 
46-91. On the strength of a series of parallel passages 
with Book VIIL, Alexandre refers it to a time prior 
to this book, and considers that the work in question 
has been put together from every possible part of the 
Sibylline literature. He gives no reason for this 
assumption, while a simple comparison of both 
Messianic descriptions in III., pp. 46 et seq.^ and 
VIIL, pp. 169 et seq.y suffices to clearly show that the 
priority lies with our document. So far from being 
more recent, this writing is to be regarded as one of 
the earliest of Sibylline literature. When the Sibyl 
begins, '^ But when Rome shall hold sway over 

* For Notes Ho ^ of this chapter, see Appendix, p. 268, 



Egypt," ^ and then proceeds to speak of three rulers 
of Rome (p. 51), and later of a widow who reigns over 
the world, it is obvious that the times of Antony and 
Cleopatra are here clearly indicated.* 

In its second part the Sibyl contains a short account 
of the Antichrist and the destruction of the world. 
Here he is called Beliar, and a difficulty is certainly 
presented by the statement that this Beliar is to come 
" from the Sebastenoi " f — that is, the descendants of 
the Sebasti. It might seem as if such an expression 
could not have arisen till after the reign of Augustus, 
or Sebastus as he was called by the Greeks. But 
since everything else in the document in question 
points so clearly to the period prior to Augustus, 
it may here be simply inferred that the title Sebastus 
was from the first plainly understood by the Eastern 
peoples as referring to the Roman emperors, and 
that the Sebasti might consequently have already 
been spoken of before the time of Augustus. 

It therefore appears that the Sibyl expects the 
Antichrist to spring from the dynasty of the 
Roman Caesars. Hence we have here already a 
political application of the Antichrist legend, for 
Beliar, as will be seen farther on, had originally 
nothing to do with a Roman emperor. It is also 
evident that this identification of the Antichrist with 
a Roman ruler was by no means made during or after 
the reign of Nero, but at a much earlier period. 

* Cf. Friedlieb, Prolegomena. 

t iK ^eßao-TTjvoov ; from 2€ßa(rT6s, revered, venerable — hence 
answering to the Latin Augustus. 


Bearing this in mind, we also begin to understand 
the puzzling statement in Suetonius (chap, xl.) that 
to Nero during his lifetime was already foretold 
the dominion of the East, and even specially that 
of the kingdom of Judah. Here we have a Sibylline 
prophecy that Nero is to be the Antichrist, and that 
he will consequently, like the Antichrist himself, 
be regarded as king of the Jews.* In this Sibyl, 
III. 45 et seq,^ there are no Christian elements. On 
the contrary, its Jewish origin may be confidently 
inferred from the vers. 69 et seq. ; so that from^this 
aspect of the case our deduction is established. 

This political interpretation of the Beliar Apocalypse 
points at some earlier source, in which such an inter- 
pretation had not yet been made. 

A description of Beliar, such as might here be pos- 
tulated, is presented in Sibyl II. 167 et seq., although 
no doubt in a very summary manner. That a literary 
connection exists between the two passages at 154 
and 213 is shown by a comparison of the two 
descriptions of the destruction of the world by fire 
in III. 80-92 and II. 196-213. The original con- 
ception of the Beliar saga is found, as we see, in 
Sibyl II., though even here no longer in its pristine 
state. For the document, as must be admitted, ha3 
already undergone a Christian transformation.! But 
that here also a Jewish Sibyl forms the background 
must also be frankly admitted. Thoroughly Jewish, 
for instance, is especially the expectation of the return 

* Cf. Zahn, Zeltschr.fiir Kirch. Wiss. u. Kirch, Leben, VII. 337. 
t Cf. vers. 168, 170, 178-182. 



of the ten (twelve) lost tribes (170 et seq.). The 
obscure vers. 174 et seq. find their explanation only 
in the later Jewish tradition. On the assumption of a 
Christian origin, the account of one precursor of the 
Thesbite Elias (187 et seq.) also presents something 
unusual ; while the " triple signs " * will also probably 
find their explanation in the Jewish traditions. 

We may go farther. Friedlieb t has shown with 
much probability that Sibyls I. 1-323 and II. 6-33 
constitute originally a Jewish prediction, in which the 
Sibyl foretells the history of the ten generations of 
man from the beginning to the end. In the Sibyl 
the end seems to be missing; but I now hold that 
this is really found in a slightly modified form in 
II. 154-213. For in the fourth Sibyl after the 
account of the universal doom (47) we read : " But 
verily all these things shall be accomplished in the 
tenth generation; but now will I tell who shall be 
from the first generation."^ In fact the fourth is 
merely an echo of an earlier sibyl, in which was 
described the fate of the ten generations of man down 
to the judgment. This is clearly shown in what 
follows, where a strained attempt is made to harmonise 
the assumption of ten generations (vers. 50, 55) with 
four universal empires. 

Equally clear is Sibyl VIII. 199 : ''But when the 
tenth generation [shall descend] into the house of 
Hades " ; ^ after which comes the account of the 

^ Tpla-aa (rr)ixaTa. 

t Oracula Sihyllina^ XX. Here it is rightly seen that the 
Christian interpolations begin with I. 324 and II. 34. 


rale of a woman, as is also described in Sibyl III. 77 
in the last days. That here the consummation is 
expected after the tenth generation cannot mislead 
us as to the final result, which may also be described 
as taking place after the tenth generation in the 
source drawn upon by Sibyls I. and II. An eleventh 
generation of men is even spoken of by Sibyl IV. 20. 

Here we may also briefly refer to those passages 
in which mention is made of the rule of a woman 
at the end of the world. In Sibyl III. 77 we read : 
'' Then when a widow shall rule over the whole 
world " ;* and in VIII. 20 : " Thereafter great [shall 
be] the power of a woman ; surely shall God Himself 
increase many evils when she shall be crowned with 
royal honour."^ 

Have we here merely an allusion to Cleopatra? 
Or rather the exposition of an earlier mysterious pre- 
diction touching the sway of a mighty woman in the 
last days ? The line in Sibyl V. 18, " And an unvan- 
quished woman falling on the waves," ^ gives a picture 
of Cleopatra distorted to a superhuman demonic form. 

From this the expectation of a woman's rule would 
appear to have also found its way into the Greek 
Apocalypse of Daniel. 

Here I would venture with some hesitation to offer 
a suggestion. If the Antichrist, as will be shown 
farther on, is to be regarded as the embodiment in 
human form of the old figure of the Dragon, may we 
not have in this woman " falling on the waves " a 
surviving reminiscence of the same marine monster 
originally conceived as of the female sex ? The 


passage, however, may also recall the woman [of 
Babylon "that sitteth upon many waters." 

From this a fresh ray of light falls on the Sibyl 
imbedded in Bede. For here also we have in the 
opening part a survey of the generations of men. I 
cannot, however, explain how the ten have shrunk 
to nine generations in Bede. But if the decidedly 
later central part be removed, that account will then 
be immediately followed by a prediction of the Anti- 
christ and of the last things. Thus are completed the 
links in a chain of written tradition, which embraces a 
period of about a thousand years.* 

In conclusion it may be mentioned that in the 
Christian re-cast of Sibyl II. the description of hell 
shows a close relationship with the earlier Petrine 
Apocalypse. And in this form, as will be more fully 
explained farther on, the Sibylline document makes 
its influence felt down even to the Edda poems. 

Of Jewish literature there are here also to be con- 
sidered some sections of 4 Ezra and of the Book of 
Baruch. Amongst these are especially to be men- 
tioned the accounts of the signs of the last times in 

* Perhaps Ezra also (xiv. 11) read, according to the Ethiopic 
version : " For in ten parts is the world divided " {decern enim 
partibus dispositus est mundus). With the literature here under 
consideration may also be compared some isolated passages of 
the Sibyl. Such is the description of the end of the world in 
IV. 172 et seq. (V. 288 et seq.) ; V. 376 et seq. ; YII. 118 ; VIII. 
15 ; VIII. 203 et seq. ; but above all the acrostic (VIII. 217 
et seq. and VIII. 337 et seq.) already known to Lactantius ; 
lastly, all passages referring to the Nero redivivus, as above 
pointed out. 



4 Ezra, which are loosely connected with the first 
three chief visions.* Here in the opening of V. 1 
et seq. the reference is quite clear to the fall of the 
Roman empire. It will be shown below that the 
prediction " he shall reign whom they expect not " f 
also alludes to the Antichrist. Attention will more- 
over be drawn to many points of contact occurring 
elsewhere in the accounts of the signs of the end. X 

For reasons which will be fully explained farther 
on, special attention will have to be paid to the 
Testament of Dan, comprised amongst the Testaments 
of the Twelve Patriarchs. Unfortunately the passage 
bearing on our subject has reached us in a very corrupt 
form. Mention has already been made of the Asceiisio 
Jesaice (see above, p. 87). I think I shall be able to 
show that the passage here interpolated (chaps, iii. and 
iv.) is of Jewish origin. Further details follow below. 

Coming to the later Jewish apocalyptic writings, I 
must here confine myself to briefly pointing out that 
their evolution was completed in direct association 
with the Antichrist legend. Leaving the exploration 
of this field to specialists, I will confine myself to a 

* Cf. V. 1 et seq. ; VI. 20 et se(i. 

t " Regnabifc quem non sperant." 

X I would also call attention to Ezra v. 4 = Sibyl YIII. 203 ; 
Ezra xi. 21 = Sibyl II. 155. Cf. further 4 Ezra xiii. and 
Barucli, chaps, xxxvi.-xl., chap, xxvii. (48, 34), chap. Ixx. ; be- 
sides the above-mentioned parallelisms between 4 Ezra and the 
Book of Clement. Moreover, Sibyl II. 155, etc., goes probably 
back to Hesiod ; cf. Dietrich, Nekyia, p. 184 (Anmerkung 2), 
Sibyl II. 165 et seq., and the Egyptian Gospel in Clement 
of Alexandria (Strom, iii., p. 445). But I cannot follow 
Dietrich in his further comments on Sibyl II, 


few indications which can make no claim to exhanst 
the subject. 

Higher up attention has already been called to the 
expectation of the return of the ten tribes of Israel, 
a notion by which Commodian amongst others was 
influenced. It belongs to the very earliest elements 
of the apocalyptic tradition with which we are here 
concerned, and is already found in Ezra xiii. 34 et seq. 
Here it is stated that under God's miraculous aid the 
ten tribes wander away beyond the Euphrates to a far- 
distant land, whence they are some day to return. The 
same myth occurs again in Commodian's Carmen Apolo- 
geticum^ where God leads against the second Antichrist 
a people of whom we read (942) : '' But enclosed are 
the Jews [in the land] beyond the Persian stream, 
where God willed they should bide to the end."^ 
Then follows immediately a detailed description of the 
glorious wonderland where the Israelites dwell. 

So also in the Othoth ha-Mashiakh (for which see 
below) a glowing description is given of the homeward 
march of the ten tribes of Israel from the river Gozan 
out of the land of Khalakh and Khabor, this being 
the tenth and last sign of the end — that is, after the 
appearance of the Messiah. That the ten tribes dwell 
beyond a great river is likewise in accordance with 
an ancient legend, from which were later developed 
in the Rabbinic traditions monstrous fables about the 
river Sabbation.* 

* See Eisenmenger, II. 533 et seq. On the Book of the Danite 
Eldad mentioned here (1238), cf . Malvenda, II. 206. The founda- 
tion of these fables is already found in Josephus, B, J., YII. 24. 


In Sibyl II. 170-176 we have also an account of 
the return of the ten tribes and of their victories ; 
and the passage, though very short, is important. It 
would appear from the extremely obscure text as if 
the triumph of the ten tribes is not to be final, but 
that they are again to be overcome by the Gentiles. 

Thus, however, the legend of the ten tribes assumes 
a close resemblance to that of Gog and Magog. 
From this it also becomes evident that a fusion of 
both took place in the hands of mediaeval Christian 
writers. We read, for instance, in Godfrey of Viterbo 
(XI.) that ^' Alexander shut in Gog and Magog for 
ever. The eleven tribes of the Hebrews he compassed 
round in the mountains for ever."^ 

With this is to be mentioned another and later 
tradition — that is, the assumption of two distinct 
Messiahs, one overcome and slain in battle, the other 
triumphant. The notion of a suffering and dying 
Messiah would seem to have been suggested by 
disputations with the Christians, by reference, for 
instance, to such telling passages of Scripture as 
those of Zechariah xii. 10 et seq. Justin, however 
{JDialogus cum Try]phone)^ knows nothing yet of these 
speculations, and considering his great familiarity 
with the Jewish theological treatises, this argument 
based on his silence is not without weight. A stand- 
point for approximately determining the date of this 
conception is afforded by the fact that a very distinct 
application of Zechariah xii. 10 to the Messiah ben 
Joseph is already found in the Jerusalem Talmud.* 
* See Wünsche, Leiden des Messias^ 110 et seq. 


But then comes the question, What gave rise to the 
conception of a Messiah ben Joseph or ben Ephraim ? 
It may presumably have been suggested by the 
already existing legend of the return of the ten tribes 
of Israel. The Messiah ben Joseph is the leader of 
the ten tribes on their return, and in fact he is so 
described in the later work of Mikwäh Israel * 

But it may still be doubted whether all this suffices 
to sufficiently account for the origin of the two 

Here I would merely raise the question whether 
the notions both of the two witnesses, widespread in 
the Christian Apocalyptics, and of the two Messiahs, 
may not both rest upon a common source, which, 
however, is still to be sought farther back than 
Jewish tradition. As Victorinus in his Commentary 
calls the two prophets (Apoc. 11) the eagle wings 
of the woman, so we read in Yalkut Khadash : 
" His [Israel's] two wings shall be the two Mes- 
siahs, the Messiah ben Joseph and the Messiah 
ben David." t 

But, to return to the farther development of the 
cycle of legends, that Messiah of the ten tribes had 
to suffer and perish, and the commentators appear 
to have assumed that Gog and Magog were the power 
by which he was to be overthrown. % Thus stands the 
tradition in the Haggaditic or Homiletic Exposition of 

•-' Fol. 47, 48 (Wünsche, 115 et seq.). 
t Fol. 132 (Wünsche, 114). 

X On the influence of the Alexander saga on this point, see 
Wünsche, 117. 


the Messiah* and in the Pesikta Siitarta^] and a 
translation also occurs in Schöttgen's Messias JudcEO- 
rum. X Other evidence of the same tradition may be 
seen in Wünsche^ 117. 

At this stage of its development the legend 
begins to be again influenced by this Jewish 
apocalyptic tradition through the tradition of the 

The figure that now stands out in the foreground of 
the new apocalyptic picture is that of Armillus, which 
is the Hebrew form of Romulus. This name is itself 
significant^ for the political application of the Anti- 
christ legend, which disappeared in the Christian 
tradition, was preserved in the Jewish. The Romans 
— kingdom of Edom, children of Esau, dominion of 
Sammael — remained the fierce hereditary foes of the 
Jews, more especially after the Roman empire had 
become Christian. Hence the Antichrist power, the 
Antichrist himself, is Armillus (Romulus). 

As already remarked, a trace of this Jewish 
apocalyptic conception is already found in the Latin, 
though not in the Greek, text of Methodius, where it 
is expressly stated that Romulus is Armaaleus. § 

The following are the writings with which we are 
here concerned : (1) The Mysteries of Simon ben 

■^ Jellinek, Bet ha-Midrash, III. 141 et seq. Jellinek pro- 
nounces this work to be one of the earliest (III., XXVIII.). The 
Pirke (Sayings) of the Messiah, III. 68-78, seems dependent on it. 

t Fol. 58, 1 (twelfth century, Schürer, I. 103). 

X German translation, Leipzig, 1748, pp. 163 et seq. 

§ " Romulus, qui et Armseleus." 


Yokhai/ which Graetz has dealt with in his History 
of the Jews (V. 191 et seq.). It gives a clear account 
of the period of Merwan II., and was evidently com- 
posed at the time of the overthrow of the Ommiades 
rulers. (2) A closely related eschatological tractate on 
the Antichrist and the two Messiahs included in the 
Midrash va-Yosha on Exodus xiv. 30 ; xv. l-8.t 
(3) The Othoth ha-Mashiakh, % of which there is a 
translation in Eisenmenger, II. 703 et seq. (4) The 
Book of Zorobabel, § which covers the period from the 
destruction of the Temple to the end, some 990 (970) 
years, hence cannot have been written later than the 
eleventh century. The three last-mentioned books, 
which seem to have had a common history, were 
published collectively in the year 1524 || in Constanti- 
nople, but judging from the specimens given by 
Eisenmenger (II. 708 et seq.) in a recension showing 
considerable variants. 

In the Mysteries of Simon and in the Signs of the 
Messiah, the eschatological predictions properly so 
called begin with the prophecy of a nine months' 
renewed dominion of the '^ wicked " Roman (Byzantine) 
empire. In this characteristic statement we see the 

* Jellinek, III. 78 et seq. ; the chief passages translated by 
Wünsche, 120. 

t Jellinek, I. 35 et seq. This work was known to Yalkut, and 
was consequently composed before the thirteenth century. 

X Jellinek, II. 58 et seq., from the Amsterdam edition, 

§ Jellinek, II. 54 et seq. 

II Eisenmenger, II. 708 ; JelHnek mentions (IL, XXXIII.) an 
edition dated Constantinople, 1519. 


connection between the Christian legend and these 
Jewish apocalypses. Here also, since the time of 
the book of Methodius, a dominant trait is the 
expectation that in the end the Byzantine empire 
will prevail over Islam and conquer Palestine. Then 
in both apocalypses appears the Messiah ben Joseph, 
who overthrows the Roman empire ^^ and rebuilds the 
Temple, after which comes Armillus. 

In all the documents except the Midrash va-Yosha 
we find the puzzling statement that Armillus is to 
be begotten by Satan of a stone, and in the Signs 
of the Messiah t he is expressly called the Antichrist. 
Then follows in all except the Book of Zorobabel 
a description of this Antichrist, who is represented 
as a frightful monster. Then comes everywhere an 
account of the flight of Israel to the wilderness, and 
the death of the Messiah ben Joseph in the battle 
with Armillus ; only in the Midrash va-Yosha this 
Messiah is slain in Jerusalem. Both in the Signs of the 
Messiah and in Zorobabel, Armillus is already distinctly 
described as a false Messiah. But in the other sources 
also he is prominently mentioned in connection with 
the Romano- Byzantine empire, which, in fact, is 
alluded to by his very name. Here again is clearly 
seen the influence of the Christian legend. 

Then comes the Messiah, the son of David, called 

^ In the Midrash va-Yosha, which seems to represent a 
somewhat earlier tradition, Ave have the reference to the Koman 
empire replaced by an account of the destruction of Gog and 

t Jelhnek, II. 60. 


also the Menakhem ben Ammiel, while the Messiah 
ben Joseph takes also the name of Nehemia ben Uziel. 
Now the son of David slays Armillus with the breath 
of his mouth ; in the Signs of the Messiah, however, 
Armillus is killed by God Himself. It is characteristic 
of these sources that the description of the end does 
not abruptly break off with this event, as it does in 
the Christian tradition. For there still follows the 
description of the revival of the New Jerusalem, and 
also the resurrection of the dead, and in the Signs 
of the Messiah the return of the ten tribes. In the 
Mysteries of Simon we have even the description of 
a kingdom lasting for two millenniums, after which 
comes the last judgment. It is noteworthy that in this 
Jewish tradition there is much more in common with 
the Johannine Apocalypse than is found in the Chris- 
tian tradition. We have especially in the Book of 
Zorobabel some striking points of contact, for instance, 
with Revelation, chap. xvii. So also the description 
in the last part of the Mysteries of Simon : '' And 
fire falls from heaven and consumes Jerusalem, and 
sweeps from the midst of her all strangers and 
uncircumcised and unclean."* Direct parallelisms 
with John are also found in the interesting Apocalypse 
of Elias.f 

It should be mentioned that here this figure of Elias 
comes on the scene, although quite in the background, 
together with that of the Messiah ben David. With 
this may be compared what has been stated above 

* Wünsche, 121, t JelHnek, III. 65. 


(p. 82) about Lactantius ;and Commodian ; and also 
Sibyl II. 187. 

In the development of the Jewish legend a special 
place is taken by an apocalypse which has been 
preserved in the Persian language, and for the text 
and translation of which we are indebted to Zotenberg.* 
The very title, History of Daniel, is significant, and 
recalls the evidences brought forward higher up in 
support of the early existence of an Apocalypse of 

The treatise in question begins with a description 
of the Muhammadan caliphs, Muhammad himself 
being easily recognised in the opening (407). In the 
ruler with his three sons we may also confidently 
recognise Harun ar-Ilashid,t after whom mention is 
made of two other rulers. Hence the Apocalypse 
must date from the first half of the ninth century. 

Then follow the eschatological predictions, beginning 
with an account of the victory of a Eoman ruler over 
Islam, and of his reign lasting for nine months (see 
above, p. 106). Then we are told another, whose name 
is not given, is to come, who will proclaim himself 
as the Messiah, and whose personal appearance is 
described in the usual way. With him will come 
Gog and Magog, while Israel takes refuge in the 
wilderness. Then we read : " Thereupon a man shall 
appear in that distant place, and every Israelite shall 
leave his seat, and they shall all be gathered." That 

* Marx, Archiv^ I. 386 et seq. 

t 411, 12 ; I have toj thank my colleague Dr. Kahlfs for this 


man shall be of the children of Ephraim, and they 
will all of them flock to that wicked one, who says, 
^^I am the Messiah, your king, your possession." 

The Israelites will ask signs of him, which he 
cannot perform ; and especially is he unable to raise 
the dead again. Then he persecutes the Israelites, 
and Israel flees to the desert. Then are the Israelites 
made partakers in the grace of God, who opens the 
floodgates of heaven ; a month will be as a week, 
a week as a day, a day as an hour. Then shall 
Michael and Gabriel appear to the Israelites in the 
wilderness, and they shall slay the false Messiah. 

Thereupon comes the Messiah ben David and J kills 
the wicked one (that is, the above-mentioned ruler) 
with the breath of his mouth ; '' and the banner of 
the Messiah, son of David, shall appear." The same 
shall kill the whole host of Gog and 'Magog, after 
which comes Elias. Then shall the [new era be 
announced with four blasts of the trumpet.!^ The 
dead arise ; the Israelites are gathered from all 
quarters of the world (on the wings 'of Simurg ?) ; 
a pillar of fire appears in the Temple, the glory of 
God is made manifest, and all mountains disappear. 
Then follows for thirteen hundred <years the time of 
rejoicing and of domination, and then the everlasting 
great doom. 

Obviously the Apocalypse is a genuine collection 
of manifold traditions, and betrays the influence of 
the Christian legend in far greater measure than the 
other sources. From this influence, which may^even 
be closely followed in the style of composition itself, 


it also becomes probable that here the Messiah ben 
Joseph has been transformed to the Antichrist. The 
statement, however, on this point is not quite clear. 
Presumably Abar ben-el may have also had a similar 
tradition in mind, when in his work, the Mashmia 
Yeshua, he utters the enigmatical sentence : " The 
Messiah, son of Joseph, whom we expect to come 
in the beginning of the deliverance, is the Antichrist, 
whose coming they, the Christians, predict." * Or in 
these few surviving fragments have we not rather a 
primeval tradition about some false Messiah destined 
to appear amongst the Jews ? But no final judgment 
can yet be pronounced on this point. In any case we 
have in the remarkable document under consideration 
a great mass of archaic traditions. In its whole 
composition it also shows the closest connection with 
the Mysteries of Simon. Let me add that we are 
here told how at first the Jews do not believe in 
the Messiah ben David, who thereupon hides himself, 
until at last he appears to them as the Son of man 
in the clouds of heaven. t 

But on the. whole the conclusion may be hazarded that 
the Jewish cycle of legends taken collectively, with 
the figure of Armillus and of both Messiahs, was 
developed in this connection in the seventh and eighth 
centuries under the influence of the Antichrist saga. 

The survey of this Jewish literature has revealed 
numerous interminglings of the Jewish and Christian 

* Eisenmenger, II. 74V. 

t With this may be compared the end of the Midrash va- 


traditions of our apocalyptic material. In the light 
of the evidence brought together in chap, vii., the 
conjecture becomes a certainty that the expectation 
of an Antichrist had its origin on Jewish ground. 
Thus the tradition might have been traced back to a 
period prior to that of the New Testament writings, 
while full confirmation is given to the view advanced 
in the Introduction that the apocalyptic documents 
there described imply the existence of an earlier 
tradition. Thus, while the Antichrist legend was 
adopted by the Christians from the Jews, the fully 
developed Christian tradition reacted in its turn on 
the Jewish eschatology during the sixth, seventh, 
and eighth centuries. 

But this eschatological tradition of the Antichrist 
has also made its influence felt beyond the pale of 
the Christian and Jewish worlds. Here I shall bring 
together a few notices on the subject, without making 
any pretence to completeness. 

In a full and careful inquiry into the Völuspä of 
the elder Edda (Berlin, 1889), E. H. Meyer has 
endeavoured to follow step by step the influence of 
Christian tradition on the poem which covers the 
whole ground from the creation to the last judgment. 
Still more definitely has he advanced the view that 
the author of this poem depends essentially on the 
theological works of Honorius of Autun, and especially 
on the Elucidarium. But if the Völuspä depends on 
the one hand on Honorius, it is influenced on the 
other by the Antichrist legend, and in fact works up 
the same material. Still, despite its comprehensive 


and learned treatment, the question seems to me 
not yet cleared up. For Meyer's assumption the 
strongest argument seems to be the fact that the 
last great battle between the good and evil powers 
of the world, that is to say the end, begins with the 
passage : * 

Brothers will one another slay, and 
Murderers one of another become ; 
Kindred their kinsfolk will kill ; 
Heavy times are in the world. . . . 

As will be seen farther on, this has become an 
almost stereotyped introduction to the tradition of the 
Antichrist. The description also recalls the punish- 
ments in Hades,t while the opening strongly reminds 
one of the Sibylline literature as known to us. Hence 
a general connection of the Edda with the Christian 
literature and with the Antichrist legend admits of 
no denial. 

But in the details much remains uncertain. The 
difficulties we had to contend with in the elucidation 
of these poems may be seen, for instance, in strophe 47 
(in Meyer, 46). Here the usual translation is, " The 
world all burns at the blast of the horn " ; whereas 
Meyer (190) here reads, '^The Healer shines on 
that old renowned cross." If Meyer is right, which, 
however, is doubtful, owing to the express mention 
that follows of Heimdall's horn, then we have here 

* A. Holtzmann, die altere Edda übersetzt und erhlürt^ Leipzig, 
1875, p. 23. 
t Page 23, ver. 43. 



again a characteristic feature of the Antichrist 

Altogether Meyer seems to me to have gone much 
too far in his attempt to establish direct Christian 
influences in the Eddas. He greatly underrates the 
primeval mythological stuff contained in these lays. 
Take, for instance, what is told in Völuspd (3) of the 
giant Ymir and of Chaos, and in Vaf-druonismul (21) 
of the creation of the universe. It is a great mistake 
to derive these primitive myths from a passage in 
Honorius, where all analogy completely breaks down. 
According to Honorius the body of (the first) man is 
formed from the several elements of the earth. From 
this Meyer argues that the creation myth of the 
Edda has been evolved by a kind of reverse process ! 
Equally strained and wide of the mark seems Meyer's 
attempt to derive from Revelation the magnificent 
description of the five battles of the gods, with which 
the end of the world is introduced ( Völuspd, strophes 
50 et seq,). With what an effort the required number 
five is here obtained by the expedient of tacking on 
Hades and Death to the three hostile powers, the 
Beast, the Dragon, and the False Prophet I * Nor does 
Meyer seem to me to establish with his vague 
parallelisms the identity of Surtr (strophe 51) with 
the Antichrist (p. 206). To my mind primeval 
myths stand in the background of the descriptions of 
the battles between the gods, as well as in the account 
of the two monsters, the Midgard Serpent and Fenris 
the Wolf. 

* Orjplov, dpaKoav^ slrevboTrpocfirjTrjs, 


But if the influence of the Antichrist saga on the 
earlier Edda can be spoken of only as slight, it 
is otherwise with the MuspilU^ an old Bavarian 
poem, dating from the ninth century. In this half- 
heathen, half-Christian work, the local colouring 
employed in the description of the destruction of 
the world is taken bodily from our tradition. This 
statement needs no further proof, as the parallel 
passages bearing on the point will be given farther 

Clear traces of the Antichrist legend are also found 
in the literature of the Parsees extant in the Pehlevi 
language. Here attention is claimed especially by the 
Bahman Yast Apocalypse, of which a translation is 
contained in the Sacred Books of theEast^ Vol. V., 191 
et seq. As far as I can make out, the Bahman Yast 
is based on an apocalypse which was composed at 
the time of the overthrow of the Iranian (Persian) 
monarchy by the Muhammadan Arabs in the seventh 
century. In II. 14: et seq. Zaratustra (Zoroaster) 
sees a tree with seven branches, which alludes in 
the usual way to seven dynasties. The sixth is that 
of Chosroes (the Sassanides), and in the seventh is 
described the irruption into happy Iran of the demons 
with upraised spear and streaming hair. This irrup- 
tion of Islam was witnessed by the author of the 
original Apocalypse, who after that event expects the 
end of the world. It is this consummation that is 
described under the direct influence of the Antichrist 

* For this reference to the MuspilU I have to thank my 
young friend W. Lueken, 


legend, as will appear from the large number of 
parallel passages quoted farther on.* 

This Apocalypse appears to have undergone a re- 
vision in the time of the Crusades (see especially 
III. 3 et seq,), when an intricate eschatological 
system with several Messiahs was also foisted into 
the text.f 

Last of all the Antichrist legend found its way to 
the Arab world. In Tabari's Chronicle J we have an 
interesting excursus on the Antichrist. He is to be 
a king of the Jews, who rules the whole world, whose 
figure overtops the welkin, and whose name will be 
Dejjal. He will appear at the end of time, when Gog 
and Magog break through the walls built up against 
them by Alexander the Great. § On his march he 
will be accompanied by monsters, snakes, scorpions, 
dragons ; he will reduce the greater part of mankind, 
and no one will be able to resist him in war. He will 
march from east to west, to the north and to the 
south, and his sway will last forty days. But the 

* Cf. II. 30 et seq., the signs of the end ; II. 54, the rule of the 
Wicked Spirit ; III. 13, the birth of the Messiah, with the sign 
of the star announcing the event ; III. 24, the two messengers, 
Neriosang and Srosh"; HI. 26 et seq, (cf. 30), the advent of the 
Messiah (Peshyotanü), and the overthrow of the Antichrist 
with his whole host. 

t On the Persian eschatology, see also Spiegel, Avesta, 
Leipzig, 1852, pp. 32 et seq. 

X Translated by Zotenberg, Paris, 1867. See chap, xxiii., 
p. 67. For this reference I am indebted to Professor W. 

§ This cycle of sagas, for the diffusion of which see Zezsch- 
witz, p. 170, is also given in detail in Tabari, cxii., p. 518. 


faithful will flee before him ; and then Jesus, together 
with the Mahdi (the Guided) Muhammad ben 
Abdallah, will overthrow the Antichrist.* 

This relation with its reminiscences both of Jewish 
and Christian traditions, the Bahman Yast Apocalypse, 
and the Jewish eschatologies above collated, all serve 
to illustrate in a striking manner the religious 
syncretism (combination, communion) that prevailed 
during the sixth, seventh, and eighth centuries be- 
tween Christians, Jews, Muhammadans, and Parsees. 

* Dietrich, Abraxas^ 125 (Anmerkung 1), mentions an old 
Muhammadan tradition that Jesus is to vanquish the Anti- 
christ (Dajjat) before the walls of Lydda. 




Signs and Fore warnings — The Fall of the Roman Empire 


ATTENTION has already been called (p. 86) to 
the striking analogy between 4 Ezra and 
the Apocalypse which forms the basis of the 
Book of Clement in the account of the premonitory 
signs of the end ; and it was further seen how 
individual traits reappear in Sibyl II. and in Ephr. Gr. 
Such parallelisms show of themselves that we have 
here a widely ramifying current of tradition. Our 
limited space prevents the reproduction of all the 
excerpts bearing on the point. But the various 
descriptions of tremendous convulsions in the realm 
of nature, all cast in the same groove of thought, may 
be compared, as they are recorded in 4 Ezra v. 1 
et seq. and vi. 21 et seq.^ and again in pseudo-Hippo- 
lytus, chaps, viii., xcvi. 26, and in Lactantius, 
VII. 16. 

But in the Antichrist legend a specially character- 
istic feature recurs again and again. It turns on the 
account of the ever-increasing hatred which will be 

* For Notes Uo ^ of this chapter, see Appendix, p. 269. 



stirred up in the world even between kith, and kin, 
and which goes back to Micah vii. 6 : " A man's 
enemies are the men of his own house." Thus in 
4 Ezra v. 9 : ^^ And all friends shall overcome one 
another utterly " ; ^ and vi. 24 : '^ And it shall happen 
in that time [that] friends shall overthrow friends as 
foes."^ In pseudo-Hippolytus the section describing 
the signs of the last days begins with a detailed account 
of this strife between kindred, with which compare 
the opening of pseudo-Ephrem, chap. i. 

So intimately associated is this trait with the 
Antichrist tradition that even in quite remote authori- 
ties it affords the very first indication of the influence 
of the legend. Thus, as already seen, we read in the 
Völuspa how " brothers will one another slay," etc. 
So in the Bahman Yast the unmistakable influence of 
our saga begins with the description (II. 30) : '' All 
men will become deceivers, great friends will become 
of diff'erent parties, the aff'ection of the father will 
depart from the son, and that of the brother from 
his brother, . . . and the mother will be parted and 
estranged from the daughter." The uprising of nation 
against nation, as in Matthew xxiv. 7, is also frequently 
described in the opening of the apocalypses,* and 
lamentations are poured out especially on the discord, 
the unrighteousness, and misrule prevailing in the 
world. Here may be mentioned 4 Ezra ; the 
Apocalypse of Baruch, chap. xlix. 32 et seq.^ and 
chap. Ixx. (cf. XXV. 3) ; Lactantius, VII. 15, all of 

* Cf. 4 Ezra v. 5 ; Lactantius, VII. 15 ; pseudo-Ephrem 
chap. i. ; Book of Clement, etc. 


which stand in perceptible literary connection with 
each other.* 

In many apocalypses the general descriptions of the 
forewarnings are replaced by more definite pictures 
of current events* But the mention of one distinct 
premonitory sign constantly recurs in nearly all the 
sources. The end is at hand when the Roman empire 

In 2 Thessalonians ii. 6, 7 we read : " And now 
ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed 
in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already 
work : only he who now letteth will let^ until he be 
taken out of the way." With this compare 4 Ezra 
V. 3 : " And of disorderly condition shall that region 
be which thou now beholdest dominant, and they 
shall see it desolate ; but if the Most High shall grant 
thee to live and thou behold [those things which] 
after the third [hath passed away?] in disorder. . . ."^ 
Here the allusion is to the fourth (Roman) empire 
which succeeds the third (Greek), and after the fall 
of which the end comes. 

Irenaeus (V. 26), drawing on Daniel ii. and Revela- 
tion xvii., is able to tell us that in the last days the 
Roman empire will be partitioned into ten kingdoms, 
after which the Antichrist will appear in the character 
of a foreign ruler. Hippolytus (chaps, xxv. and liv.) t 

* Cf. also the detailed descriptions in the Ascensio Jesaim, 
HI. 23 et seq., in Bk. K., in pseudo-HippoIytus, and elsewhere. 

t Cf . with this Jerome on Daniel vii. 8 : '' Ergo dicamus quod 
omnes scriptores ecclesiastici tradiderunt " (" Therefore let us 
relate what all the Church writers have delivered ")• 


borrows from Ireneens, and neither of these writers 
has derived his knowledge of the future from a mere 
investigation of Daniel and Revelation. 

Special consideration is next claimed by Tertullian 
{Apologetics^ 32) : " There is also a greater need for 
us to pray for the emperors as also for the whole state 
of the empire, and for Roman affairs since we know 
that by the provision [ prosperity ?] of the Roman 
empire the mighty power impending on the whole 
world and threatening the very close of the century 
with frightful calamities shall he delayed ; and as 
we are loth to suffer these things, while we pray for 
their postponement we favour the stability of Rome." 
And again, ad Scapulam (2) : " The Christian is 
hostile to no one, least of all to the emperor, to whom 
... he wishes well, with the whole Roman empire, so 
long as the world shall last, for so long it shall last," * 
that is, so long as Rome endures. 

In VII. 15 (634, 18) Lactantius writes : ^^The Sibyls, 
however, openly speak of Rome being destined to 
perish. Hystaspes also, who was a very ancient king 
of the Medes, . . . predicted long before that the 
empire and name of Rome should be effaced from 
the globe." And in 16 (635, 1) : '^ But how this shall 
come to pass I will explain. ... In the first place, 
the empire shall be parcelled out, and the supreme 
authority being dissipated and broken up shall be 
lessened, . . . until ten kings exist all together ; . . . 
these . . . shall squander everything and impair and 
consume." VII. 25 (664, 18): '^The very fact 
proclaims the fall and destruction to be near, except 


that SO long as Kome is safe it seems that nothing 
of this need be feared. But when indeed that head 
of the world shall fall and the assault begin that the 
Sibyls speak of coming to pass, who can doubt that 
the end has already come ? . . . That is the city 
that has hitherto upheld all things, and we should 
pray and beseech the God of heaven, if indeed His 
decrees and mandates can be postponed, that that 
detested tyrant may not come sooner than we think." ^ 

So in pseudo-Ephrem, 1 : '^ And when the kingdom of 
the Eomans shall begin to be consumed by the sword 
then the advent of the Evil One is at hand." 5 : " And 
already is the kingdom of the Romans swept away, 
and the empire of' the Christians is delivered unto 
God and the Father ^ and when the kingdom of the 
Romans shall begin to be consumed then shall come 
the consummation." ^ 

And Cyril, xv. 11: " The man magician . . . seizing 
for himself the power of the kingdom of the Romans, 
. . . and this predicted Antichrist cometh when are 
fulfilled the seasons of the kingdom of the Romans." ^ 

In the works of Ephrem (I. 192) we find under the 
name of Jacob of Edessa an exposition of the prophecy 
in Genesis xlix. 16 on Dan, where the words ^' that 
biteth the horse heels so that his rider shall fall 
backward " are referred to the Antichrist : " That that 
empire belongeth to those that are called Latins, the 
Spirit hath already . . . declared and taught through 
Hippolytus in that book in which he interprets the 
Revelation of John the Theologian." ^ 

This widespread accordance acquires extraordinary 


significance from the following consideration. In the 
Johannine Apocalypse the Roman empire is plainly 
enough indicated as the last anti-Christian power, and 
it might be supposed that those vivid pictures of fierce 
hatred and sublime imagery would for ever have 
branded imperial Eome as the anti-Christian power 
that rises up against God. The legend of Nero 
redivivus survived long enough in association with the 
prophecies of Revelation ; the whole of the Sibylline 
literature is overshadowed by this weird demoniac 
personality ; even Victorinus was still familiar with 
the relations of the Johannine Apocalypse to Nero. 

How then, it may once more be asked (see above, p. 26), 
was it possible that such a conception as an Antichrist 
hostile to Rome could have arisen in the very teeth of 
Revelation and in direct opposition to its teachings ? 
Surely the Roman empire gave the Christians reason 
enough to regard it as the last anti-Christian power, 
and in one of its rulers to see the Antichrist himself, 
the devil incarnate. How did it come about that the 
very opposite notion acquired such unlimited preva- 
lence ? For now the Roman empire so far from being 
the Antichrist stands in the way of his coming, while 
he is declared to be a non-Roman ruler. How was 
it possible that, even where the Neronic saga still 
survived, as with Lactantius, Commodian, and S. Martin 
of Tours, Nero redivivus came to be looked upon as 
the last Roman emperor, precursor of the Antichrist ? 
Hippolytus fully understands that in the first half of 
Revelation xiii. the allusion is to the Roman empire. 
Yet for him (chap, xlix.) the second beast ^^ coming 


out of the earth " is the Antichrist rule which is to 
come after the Eoman empire. Hence he has to refer 
the two horns of the beast to the false prophet who, 
according to the Apocalypse itself, was to accompany 
the Antichrist. Then the description of the second 
beast as minister of the first he explains in such a way 
as to represent the second beast as ruling the world 
" according to the law of Augustus " ^^ (the first). 
Whence originates this persistent and violent distor- 
tion of the clear sense of Revelation ? 

It might be pointed out that 2 Thessalonians ii. 
reacted on the eschatology of the Fathers of the 
Church. Still it is ä priori improbable that this short 
Pauline allusion could have had a more potent in- 
fluence than the whole of Revelation, which at least 
in the first age (Irenasus, Hippolytus, TertuUian, 
Victorinus) enjoyed unquestioned authority. But then 
fresh problems present themselves. Whence did Paul 
himself, or whoever was the author of 2 Thes- 
salonians, derive this notion ? And how does it 
happen that the extremely enigmatical allusions of 
this epistle were expounded with such confidence, 
definiteness, and unanimity by the whole body of 
patristic writers ? Austin alone seems to hesitate, 
remarking {City of God^ XX. 19) that '^some think 
this was said of the Roman empire."^ Chrysostom 
also mentions another interpretation. But with this 
general unanimity compare the wild gropings of 
modern expositors, some of whom suppose that in 
the passage of Thessalonians Paul expresses himself 

* Kara tov Avyovorrov vofiov. 


in this mysterious manner in order to avoid openly 
speaking of tlie fall of the Roman empire.* 

Nor are we helped much by a reference to the 
influence of Daniel vii., on the strength of which the 
last beast with the ten horns is supposed to repre- 
sent the Roman empire. But in that case one scarcely 
sees how the idea could have arisen of explaining 
the small (eleventh) horn as some foreign non-Roman 
ruler. Even from Revelation xvii. such an inference 
could not be arrived at independently. Here no 
doubt the Neronic Antichrist marches with the ten 
kings against Rome ; but here also he is too clearly 
identified with the Roman emperor himself. In fact 
the endless embarrassment of the Fathers in expound- 
ing the passage in question plainly shows that the 
writers did not draw their apocalyptic ideas from, but 
rather read them into, this chapter of Revelation. 

There is but one solution of the problem. Before 
the composition of this work a fully developed Anti- 
christ legend was already current, no doubt derived 
partly from, but also partly independent of, Daniel. 
This legend was still destitute of any political meaning, 
such as the application of the coming of the Anti- 
christ to the Roman empire, to Nero redivivus, or to 
any other Roman ruler. On the contrary, the Roman 
empire is regarded in the tradition as the power which 
so long as it holds together wards off the frightful 
time of the last days. It is, moreover, highly 
probable that this conception of the Roman empire 

* Cf. Jerome, E'lrist. ad Algasiam ; Austin, Chrysostom, and 


must have arisen some considerable time before the 
destruction of Jerusalem. 

The sources of this tradition are deeply rooted in the 
past. It had already influenced Paul ; and that we 
have here no genuine Christian eschatology is evident 
from its contacts with 4 Ezra. It will be shown 
farther on that chaps, li. and following of this book 
are to be taken as direct sources of the Antichrist 
saga. Both Paul and 4 Ezra clearly exhibited the 
enigmatic and purely suggestive treatment of the 
esoteric tradition which we had assumed for all this 
eschatological legendary matter. Gunkel (224) con- 
jectures that in the " he who now letteth " of Paul 
is contained an earlier mythological tradition. That 
by these words Paul himself understood the Roman 
empire from the parallel passages handed down to his 
time I have no doubt. But what may have been 
originally understood by the expression is compara- 
tively speaking irrelevant so far as regards the 
exegesis of the New Testament. 

The Book of Eevelation itself was unable to give 
another direction to this tradition. In the second 
century the earlier figure of the Antichrist might seem 
to have been once for all banished by the ghost-like 
image of the Nero redivivus, as current, for instance, 
in the Sibylline literature. But that the lingering 
influence of the Johannine Apocalypse and of the 
Neronic legend should have so rapidly died out was 
also essentially due to the fact that the old hallowed 
tradition in its turn soon obliterated the later political 
application of the Antichrist legend. Henceforth the 



figure of the Nero redivivus still persists at most as 
a secondary form in apocalyptic imagery, or else, as 
in Victorinus, it becomes identified witli the earlier 
embodiment of the Antichrist originating in pre- 
Roman times. 

It was precisely in this form, in which it was not 
directed against Rome, that the Antichrist legend 
exercised a most powerful political influence. For 
what could have been of more far-reaching conse- 
quence than the idea, everywhere current in the early 
Christian communities, that after all the Roman 
empire did not represent the Antichrist rule — that, on 
the contrary, the time of the Antichrist would be far 
more dreadful and calamitous ? The Roman empire 
and the C^sars were prayed for, because they were 
looked upon as the last bulwark against the coming 
sway of the Antichrist, as is evident from the above- 
quoted passages from Tertullian and Lactantius. 

We have also seen how the legend took another 
turn with the conversion of the empire to Christianity. 
Henceforth it became impossible any longer to imagine 
that the holy Roman empire could perish at all. 
Accordingly the last Caesar is not vanquished, but 
voluntarily delivers up his crown to God. Probably 
we have this new application of the saga already in 
pseudo-Ephrem, chap. v. : " And the empire of the 
Christians is delivered up to God and the Father." * 
This would harmonise with the assumption that such 

* With this, inspired by 1 Corinthians xv. 24, compare the 
above-quoted passages in Adso and pseudo-Methodius and in 
Bede's and Usinger's Sibyls ; also the paralleHsms in Wetstein 


a notion had already been developed in tlie first half 
of the fourth century. 

Thus the legend went wandering about, ever assum- 
ing new aspects under the shifting conditions of the 
times. When Rome fell at last and was followed 
by the rule of the Northern Barbarians, hopes were 
turned towards the new Home (Constantinople) and 
the Byzantine emperors.* Then arose a holy Roman 
empire of German nationality, and the legend again 
wandered westwards, as we find it in Adso. But with 
the epoch of the Crusades thoughts were once more 
turned eagerly towards Jerusalem, and the notion 
again became possible that a last Roman emperor 
might after all deliver up his crown to God in the 
holy city. Thus was the saga quickened to new life, 
becoming in the renewed freshness of all its details 
the source of the twelfth-century miracle play of " the 

AVith the Reformation it assumes a new aspect, for 
the necessity now arises of opposing the dangerous 
tendency of the Protestants to identify the power of 
the Antichrist with modern Rome and the Papacy. 
The Roman Catholic interpreters, some of them men 
of vast erudition, accordingly fell back on the early 
unpolitical tradition of the Antichrist, gathering 
traces of it from all quarters in huge tomes full of 
colossal industry. Here it will sufiice to mention 

{N. Test, II. 167, 24) from Abarbanel and EHeser's Pirlce 
("Sayings'') (Zezschwitz, p. 167). 

* Of. Apocalypse of Daniel (above, pp. 67 et seq.\ and 


sncli writings as the Commentaries of Ribeira and 
Alcassar, the works of Cardinal Bellarmine and of 
Malvenda, from all of which there is still much to 
learn. Thus were laid the foundations of a scientific 
inquiry into these apocalyptic and mythological 
traditions, which in the course of ages have assumed 
so many marvellous phases. Their persistency as 
well as the progress of their evolution can be measured 
only by the duration of recorded time. 



The Jewish Origin of the Antichrist — His Name — 
The Devil and Antichrist— Belial— The Antichrist 
figured as a monster. 

HERE we shall touch, only on the more important 
points, without attempting to exhaust the 
subject. Fuller details will be given in subsequent 

We already learn from Paul that the Man of Sin 
shall be seated in the Temple of God : " Even him, 
whose coming is after the working of Satan with all 
power and signs and lying wonders, and with all 
deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish ; 
because they received not the love of the truth, that 
they might be saved. And for this cause God shall 
send them strong delusion, that they should believe 
a lie : that they all might be damned who believed 
not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness " 
(2 Thess. ii. 9-12). That Paul is here thinking of the 
unbelieving Jews, who have rejected the true Messiah, 
and have therefore received the false one from God, 
there can scarcely be any doubt. A direct parallel is 
presented by John v. 43 : '^ I am come in My Father's 

* For Notes ^ to ^^ of this chapter, see Appendix, p. 270. 



name, and ye receive Me not : if another shall come in 
his own name, him ye will receive." I do not know 
who else can here be understood except the Antichrist. 
For a perfectly distinct person is spoken of, and the 
allusion can surely not be to Bar-Cochab. We thus 
come nearer to a solution of the enigma, how the 
beast, coming out of the bottomless pit, appears in 
Jerusalem (Rev. xi.). In the course of our inquiry 
clear proof will also be given that the abomination of 
desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing 
in the holy place (Matt. xxiv. 15), is the Antichrist. 
We are ever and everywhere confronted with this 
spectacle of an Antichrist, who appears in Jerusalem, 
a godless power, who in the last days rises up amid 
the holy people, a false Messiah equipped with signs 
and wonders. 

We now also understand how Hippolytus came to 
know (chap, vi.) that ^' in the circumcision the Saviour 
came into the world, and he [Antichrist] in like 
manner shall come." ^ It also becomes clear how the 
idea occurred to Victorinus of speaking of Nero in 
such language as this : '' Him therefore God having 
raised up shall send as a king worthy to the worthy 
[of such], and as a Christ such as the Jews deserved. 
. . . And since he shall bring another name, he 
shall likewise institute another life, so that him the 
Jews may receive as Christ, [for] saith Daniel 
(xi. 37), ' Neither shall he regard the God of his 
fathers, nor the desire of women,' he who hereto- 
fore had been most foul, for no one shall be able 
to seduce the people of circumcision unless [he 


be himself] a defender of the law." ^ So univernal 
is the unanimity on this point that it will suffice to 
adduce one more witness, Jerome on Daniel xi. 21 : 
" But our [expositors] interpret both better and more 
correctly that at the end of the world these things 
shall be done by the Antichrist, who is to rise up 
from a small nation — that is, the nation of the Jews." ^ 

In Lactantius alone occurs the variant (VII. 
17, 638, 14) : ^^ Another king shall rise up out of 
Syria " ; ^ but even by Lactantius this alien king is 
described as the pseudo-Messiah. So also Commodian 
(vers. 891 et seq.) : ^^ Again there shall arise ... a king 
out of the East."^ But at 933 he also is spoken of 
as a false Messiah : " For us Nero, for the Jews He 
[Christ], is made the Antichrist."^ Moreover, this 
ruler, after slaying Nero, marches on Judsea, which is 
obviously assumed to be the seat of his power. Thus, 
in the Jewish source common to Lactantius and 
Commodian, the false Messiah is again transformed 
to a hostile ruler, but in such a way as to leave the 
original figure clearly perceptible. 

Still more clearly and distinctly is now seen the 
whole aspect of that apocalypic tradition : an Anti- 
christ is expected, but not from the Roman empire, 
which, on the contrary, is the power that still bars 
the way to the appearance of the Antichrist. Hence 
the godless power, a false Messiah who claims divine 
worship, arises in Jerusalem in the midst of Israel itself. 

But is it conceivable that in this form the prediction 
can have at all originated on Jewish ground ? How 
did the notion arise ? Have we not here an apocalyptic 


dream of nascent Christianity inspired by hatred of 
the Jews ? In any case this must be a very early 
prediction which was current in the first centuries of 
the new era, and which had already assumed a definite 
form for Paul — a prediction which, being at first un- 
political, dates neither from the time of Caligula nor 
of Nero. 

The name, however, of the Antichrist (1 John ii. 18 ; 
2 John 7) is not older than the New Testament. 
By Paul he is spoken of quite in a general way as 
the '^man of sin," ^'the son of perdition" (2 Thess. 
ii. 3). Yet even Paul seems already to know of some 
distinct name, as seen from the following passages : 

2 Corinthians vi. 15: "And what concord hath 
Christ with Belial ? " This association of Christ with 
Belial (Beliar) is significative. 

Testam, Fatriarcharum^ Dan 5 : ^^ And unto you 
shall ascend from the tribe of Judah and of Levi the 
salvation of the Lord, and he shall make war against 

Sibyl IL 37: "And Beliar shall come and work 
many signs for men." ^ 

Sibyl III. 63 : " But hereafter shall Beliar come 
from the Sebastenes."^ Compare also III. 73. 

Ascensio Jesaice, IV. 2 : " Beliar a great angel, 
king of this world, shall descend ... in the form of 
man." ^^ This name Belial occurs also in the Dioptra ; 
and in the Book of Zorobabel Belial is the father of 
Antichrist ; with which compare the Commentary of 
Andreas, 92, 2. 

Paul was thus acquainted with a distinct name of 


the Antichrist — Belial or Beliar, being somewhat 
equivalent to the expression "man of sin." It is 
noteworthy this very name has a wide cmTency in 
Jewish literature. The above-quoted Sibylline passages 
are certainly taken, one (II.) directly the other in- 
directly, from Jewish writings ; and the extract from 
the Testament of Dan seems to me to be derived 
from the fundamental Jewish element in that book. 
The Ascensio Jesaice (III. and IV.) is also probably 
based on a short Jewish apocalypse, while in a late 
Jewish document the name of Belial has survived 
with reference to the Antichrist. The original meaning 
of this word will be dealt with farther on. 

The following descriptions of the Antichrist may 
also be quoted for the sake of their literary associations : 

IrenaBus, V. 25 : " He . . . shall come ... as an 
apostate and wicked one and murderer, as a robber." ^^ 

Pseudo-Ephrem, 5 : " Then shall appear that most 
wicked and detestable dragon, he whom Moses named 
in Deuteronomy, saying, ' Dan is a lion's whelp ; he 
shall leap from Bashan.' For he croucheth that he 
may seize and destroy and slay. . . . But a lion's 
whelp not as the lion of the tribe of Dan, but roaring 
with rage that he may devour." ^^ With this compare 
Hippolyfcus, de AntichristOy chap. xiv. ; and the de- 
scriptions in pseudo-Methodius and Adso (1292 B). 

Ephr. Gr., IL 225 et seq. : '' 

For since the thief — and the persecutor and cruel one 

Shall first come — in his own times 

Wishing to steal and — to slay and destroy. 

Pseudo-Johannine Apocalypse, 6 : " Then shall 


appear the denier and lie who is born of darkness, 
who is called the Antichrist." ^^ 

Greek Apocalypse of Daniel, 104 : " And the thrice 
accursed demon shall prevail." ^^ 

Noteworthy are also the following : 

4 Ezra v. 6 : " And he shall reign whom the dwellers 
on earth expect not." ^^ 

Iren^us, V. 30, 2 : ^^ He who shall come of a sadden 
claiming the dominion for himself." ^^ 

Armenian Apocalypse of Daniel, 239, 1 : ^^ After the 
coming of him whom they desired not nor hoped for." 

By a collation of these parallelisms we may perhaps 
restore a passage in the Ascensio Jesam^ V. 13 : " And 
many of the faithful and of the saints, when they 
beheld Him whom they expected (not) [the Lord 
Jesus Christ suspended, when I Jesse saw Him who 
was suspended and ascended (?), and the believers also 
in Him, of those but few shall remain in those days, 
His ministers] fleeing from desert to desert, awaiting 
the coming of Him (the Lord)." ^^ The mention of the 
crucijfixion of Christ in the middle of a description 
of the Antichrist times is quite meaningless. But 
if the clause in square brackets be struck out, there 
remains the puzzling "whom they expected," which 
in the light of the parallel passages should perhaps 
read "whom they expected not." Then the sense 
will be completed by simply supplying the words 
"the Lord" at the end of the sentence. 

These preliminaries bring us to the specially impor- 
tant subject of THE Devil and the Antichrist. On the 
mutual relations of these two personalities the greatest 


discordance prevails in traditional lore. Yet it is of 
the greatest interest to investigate these discrepancies 
and conflicting fancies. For this very chaos of clash- 
ing views enables us to get behind the beginnings of 
our eschatological tradition, and thus follow them up 
to their essential original form. 

The Fathers of the Church, whose writings have 
acquired great influence in this exegesis, speak very 
plainly and distinctly. Foremost amongst them is 
Jerome on Daniel vii. 8 : " Nor let us think that he 
[Antichrist] ... is the devil or a demon, but one of 
men in whom Satan is wholly to dwell bodily." ^^ 
Quite in a similar sense runs Chrysostom's exposition 
of 2 Thessalonians ii., in Homily 2 : '^ But who is 
this one ? Think you, Satan ? By no means, but some 
man possessed of all his energy." ^^ So also Irena3us, 
V. 25, 1 : '^ Receiving all the virtue of the devil, . . . 
summing up within himself the apostasy of the 
devil." In any case it is clear enough that this, and 
this alone, is the New Testament view of the Anti- 
christ. The influence of Jerome may be distinctly 
traced in the Western Church, and that of Chry- 
sostom in the Eastern Church.* Henceforth the 
assumption that the Antichrist is the devil himself 
practically dies out of ecclesiastical tradition. 

Yet the very interpretations of Jerome and Chry- 

* For Jerome, of. Haymo of Halberstadt on 2 Thessalonians 
ii. ; for Chrysostom, John of Damascus, ''EK^eo-ty rij? opBobo^ov 
7rioT60)y, Verona, 1531, p. 135 ; also the Commentaries of CEcu- 
menius and Theophylactus on the passage of 2 Thessalonians 
in question. 


sostom presuppose an earlier tradition, in which Satan 
was identified with Antichrist, or at least was brought 
into a much closer relation with him than is assumed 
in the notion of a man possessed of satanic energy. 

To begin with the earliest evidence, in Hippolytus 
the relations are already far from clear. Here 
(chap, vi.) we read : " In the form of man appeared 
the Saviour, and he also [the Antichrist] shall come in 
the form of man." ^^ From this quite another repre- 
sentation might be inferred. »Farther on, where we 
are told of the birth of the Antichrist in the tribe of 
Dan, it is added (chap, xiv.) : ^' ' Dan shall be a 
serpent.' . . . But who is the serpent except the 
deceiver from the beginning, he who in Genesis is 
called the beguiler of Eve and the crusher of Adam ? " ^^ 
In what follows the Antichrist would seem to be 
called " the devil's son." Although the identification 
is not complete, still for Hippolytus the Antichrist is 
in any case Satan incarnate. 

But in Firmicus Maternus the identification is 
clenched with the words : '' The devil is Antichrist 
himself"* Equally clear is the passage of pseudo- 
Hippolytus, xxii. 105, 21 : " Because the Savioar of 
the world, wishing to save mankind, was born of the 
immaculate Virgin Mary, and in the form of flesh 
trod underfoot the enemy by the special virtue of His 
own divinity, in the same way the devil also shall 
come of a polluted woman on the earth, but be born 
by deception of a virgin, for our God dwelt with us in 
the flesh. . . . But the devil, even if he take flesh 
* Liher de Erroribus, chap. xxii. 


he does so by simulation." ^^ The passage points back 
to the source of pseudo-Hippolytus, and to Ephr. 
Gr., III. 134 C : 

" Let us learn, my friends — in what form shall come on 
earth — the shameless serpent — Since the Redeemer — wish- 
ing to save all mankind — was born of a Virgin — and in 
human form — crushed the enemy — with the holy power — 
of His godhead." 137 E: "This then the enemy having 
learnt — that again shall the Lord come from heaven — in the 
glory of His divinity — thus bethought him — to assume the 
form — of His coming — and [thus] beguile all men. ... So 
in very truth shall he be born — of a defiled woman — his 
instrument — [though] he shall not [really] be incarnate. " ^4 

Although here everything is based on the notion 
that Satan, simulating the birth of the Lord, appears 
personally in the Antichrist, still at the close the 
point of this notion is blunted, the Antichrist after all 
appearing only as the " organ " or instrument of Satan. 
It is strange that the pseudo-Hippolytus, who depends 
on Ephrem, here shows quite a strained sequence 
of thought. Are we to suppose that Ephrem was 
accessible to him in some other recension ? Moreover, 
as will be seen farther on, the Antichrist is elsewhere 
also in the homily of the Greek Ephrem ^^ absolutely 
described as a demoniac superhuman figure. But so 
far as the Ephremite Greek text runs, the relation 
between Satan and Antichrist is after all here conceived 
in a different way from Jerome and Chrysostom. 
This is at once seen from the parallel passage (already 
alluded to in Hippolytus) between th^^ appearance of 


Satan on earth in the Antichrist and the miraculous 
birth of Christ. So also Ambrosiaster on 2 Thessa- 
lonians ii. 3 : "As the Son of God in His human birth 
manifested His divine nature, so also shall Satan 
appear in human form." A like comparison, though 
in a somewhat weakened manner, is drawn by Theo- 
doretus commenting on 2 Thessalonians ii. 3 : " For 
the persecutor of men simulates the incarnation of our 
God and Saviour ; and as He by assuming our human 
nature accomplished our salvation, so that one also 
by making choice of a man capable of receiving the 
fulness of his power shall tempt men." ^^ In this last 
conception Theodoretus certainly approximates to the 
idea of Jerome and Chrysostom, but still he obviously 
goes beyond them. 

Another parallel occurs in the work passing under 
the name of Prosper Aquitanicus, Oil the Promises 
and Predictions of Qod^ IV. 8, where the Antichrist 
appears in a man, "just as, on the other hand, the 
holy angel in the Book of Tobias assumed the form 
and resemblance ... of Azarias."^^ But somewhat 
different again seems the relation in Lactantius : 
" begotten of an evil spirit " ; ^^ and in S. Martin of 
Tours : " conceived of an evil spirit." ^^ 

We thus see how the tradition wavers between the 
concept of the Antichrist as of a man controlled by 
the devil and that of his identification with Satan. 
But it is manifest that the notion of him as of a 
superhuman spectral and demoniacal apparition is 
widespread and primeval ; possibly this is the earlier, 
and consequently comes again and again to the surface. 


Side by side with these ideas we find still a character- 
istic intermediate form in later writers, who firmly 
hold that the Antichrist was to come into the world 
in the natural way from human parents, but that Satan 
must at least have co-operated in his conception. 

How are we to explain these discrepancies in the 
notion of the Antichrist ? In my opinion only by a 
reference to the origin of the Antichrist legend itself. 
Whence comes the idea of such a personality at all, 
that is, of a hostile pseudo-Messiah, who rises up in 
the midst of the people of God themselves, as repre- 
sented in Paul, Matthew xxiv., Revelation xi., and here 
obviously on the ground of Jewish traditions ? Gunkel 
(pp. 221 et seq,) is fully justified in holding that the 
expectation of an Antichrist in no way originated in 
any distinct political situation, and that all explanations 
have failed that are based on current events, whether 
those of Caligula's or of Nero's reign. Such times of 
political excitement give rise to no new eschatological 
yearnings, whose growth and being are a much slower 
process, in fact one to be measured by centuries. 
Long-standing expectations may indeed be interpreted 
by contemporary history, but no fresh imagery takes 
its rise in this way. Gunkel holds that we are to 
regard the Antichrist tradition as a Jewish dogma, 
which had its origin in such visions as those of Daniel 
vii. and the like, by imparting a spiritual meaning 
to a tradition which had at first a political character. 

But to me it still seems that it is a far cry from 
Daniel vii. to 2 Thessalonians. How did the description 
of a foreign dominion revolting against God give rise to 


the idea of a godless power rising up against God in 
the midst of the people of God themselves ? More- 
over, the notion of the Antichrist seated in the Temple 
of Jerusalem is so concrete and vivid, that it becomes 
difficult to imagine it inspired by Daniel's foreboding 
of the dreadful desolation of the holy place. With 
the knowledge that Daniel's prophecy itself was not 
uttered for a definite purpose, but rested on an earlier 
tradition, Gunkel held in his hands the clue to a 
correct solution of the problem. My belief is that we 
have here merely an exposition, and that behind this 
Antichrist saga there lies an earlier myth. As con- 
vincingly shown by Gunkel himself,* we find in the 
Old and here and there in the New Testament litera- 
ture very numerous traces of a primeval Creation 
myth, which was later transformed to an expectation 
of the last things. As may still be seen in Revelation, 
there existed in the popular Jewish belief the fore- 
boding of another revolt of the old marine monster 
with whom God had warred at the creation, but who 
in the last days was again to rise and contend in 
heaven-storming battle with God. The expectation 
is not of any hostile ruler and of the oppression of 
Israel by him and his army, but of a struggle of Satan 
directly with God, of a conflict of the Dragon with the 
Almighty throned in heaven. To me the Antichrist 
legend seems a simple incarnation of that old Dragon 
myth, which has in the first instance nothing to do 
with particular political powers and occurrences. For 
the Dragon is substituted the man armed with 

* Schöpfung und Chaos, passim. 


miracnlous power who makes himself God's equal — 
a man who in the eyes of the Jews could be no other 
than the false Messiah. 

But the Antichrist legend is after all unable quite 
to conceal its origin in a far wilder and more fantastic 
world of thought and sentiments, from which it has 
received an indelible impression. During its further 
development there continually arises behind the Anti- 
christ the still wilder figure of the God-hating demon, 
of Satan, ever seeking to thrust Him aside. The 
history of the saga bears on its face the impress of 
our assumption regarding its origin, as will be more 
clearly seen in the following remarks. 

To begin with, the Antichrist is even still frequently 
represented as a dragon and a demon. Especially is 
this the case in Ephr. Gr., whose homily opens with 
the announcement that he is about to speak " on the 
most shameless and terrible dragon who is to bring 
disorder into the whole world." ^^ Here the term 
'^ dragon " often recurs, and as in Ephr. Syr. the mes- 
sengers and ministers of the Dragon are demons. So 
the pseudo-Ephrem : ^' Then shall appear that most 
wicked and detested dragon " ; * while in the Greek 
Apocalypse of Daniel (116, 35) we have the character- 
istic expression : '^ The serpent that sleepeth shall 
awaken." ^^ At 119, 105, the Antichrist is " the thrice 
accursed demon " ; and in Cyril (xv. 15) '' the fearful 

^ " Tunc apparebit ille nequissimus et abominabilis draco " 
(cf , chap. viii.). In chap. vii. also the Antichrist is the " nequis- 
simus serpens," with which compare the " signum serpentinum " 
of chap. viii. 



beast, the great dragon, unconquerable by men " ; ^^ 
while Philip the Solitary " compares him to the subtle 
and deceitful dragon," ^^ as in Genesis xlix. 17. 

Without further quotations, and especially omitting 
those passages in which the figure of the Dragon 
might somehow have arisen under the influence of 
Revelation xii., I turn to some highly interesting 
and suggestive details. 

In the opening of Ephr. Gr. we have the following 
description of the Antichrist, which nowhere recurs in 
later writings : 

A great conflict, Brethren — in those times 

Amongst all men — but especially amongst the faithful, 

When there shall be — signs and wonders 

[Wrought] by the Dragon — in great abundance (?) 

When he shall again — manifest himself as Grod 

In fearful phantasms — flying in the air 

And [show] all the demons — in the form of angels 

Flying in terror — before the tyrant. 

For he crieth out loudly — changing his forms also — 

To strike infinite dread — into all men.^* 

A detailed description drawn directly from this 
source occurs in pseudo-Hippolytus, xxix. Ill, 10 : 
'' For his demons he shall represent as angels of light, 
and hosts of bodiless [spirits] he shall lead forth, of 
whom there is no number, and before the face of all he 
exhibits him received into heaven with trumpets and 
shouts and great cries hailing him with unutterable 
hymns, and shining like a light that shareth in 
darkness, and now flying aloft unto heaven, and now 
coming down on the earth in great glory, and again 


marshalling the demons as angels to do the will of 
him with much fear and trembling." ^^ 

A reflection of this image occurs in Philip the 
Solitary : " Flying aloft as an angel, nay as a demon, 
and fashioning terrors and wonders unto deception." ^^ 

Perhaps light is thrown by these passages on a 
puzzling sentence in the old Apocalypse of Baruch, 
where it is stated (chap, xxvii.) that in the eighth 
time of the Messianic end there shall come " a multi- 
tude of phantasms and a gathering of demons (?)." 
Here we may have a parallel to those later and fuller 

But is all this strange and absolutely unique 
imagery really nothing more than fantastic accounts 
of the marvellous works of the Antichrist ? We are 
warned to be guarded in our conclusions by the very 
circumstance that we have here evidently cropping out 
that Dragon myth which lies behind the Antichrist 
legend. And in point of fact it is highly probable that 
this marvellous spectacle of the Antichrist encircled 
by his angels and flying in the air had originally a far 
more serious meaning. 

Here we are carried further by the consideration that 
the Antichrist saga is beyond question connected with 
another cycle of legends, which has become interwoven 
with the person of Simon Magus of Samaria."^ In the 
following remarks it will be shown that the further 

* Cf. The Acts of the Apostles^ ed. Lipsius and Bonnet, I., 
1891 ; Actus Petri cum Simone^ chaps, xxxi., xxxii. ; Martyrium 
Petri et Pauli, ib., 118 et seq., chaps, liii.-lvi. ; Acta Petri et 
Pauli, 1*78 et seq. ; Passio Petri et Pauli, 223 et seq. ; Arnohius 


development of the history of Simon Magus in the 
apocryphal legendary matter of apostolic times has 
been carried out under the influence of the Antichrist 

When the Simon Magus legend is viewed from this 
standpoint, we are at once struck by a parallelism 
in this connection. In the fabulous relation dating 
back to the second century and perhaps earlier, the 
magician's end is brought about in the following way. 
After promising to fly heavenwards before the as- 
sembled multitude, and thus prove himself God, he is 
borne aloft by the aid of demons ; but on the prayer of 
Peter he tumbles down, and so perishes miserably. A 
special original version occurs in Arnobius, II. 12 : 
" For they [the Romans] had seen the flight of Simon 
Magus and his fiery chariots dissipated by the breath 
of Peter and vanish at the name of Christ ; they had 
seen . . . the truster in false gods betrayed by them in 
their terror and precipitated by his own weight." But 
either way the legend of the flight to heaven already 
acquires a deeper meaning, and in the case of Simon it 
becomes an essay to prove his divinity — an ascension ! 
We are also told that on beholding him soar upwards 
the people begin to hail him as a god. The narrative 
is thus seen to be a direct revolt against God.* 

adx). Gentes^ II. 12 ; Cyril, Catechetical Lecture^ VI. 15 ; Sulpicius 
Severus, Sacr. Hist., II. 28 ; Theodoretus, Heeretic. Fabularum^ 
1. 1 ; Austin, de Hoiresihus, I. ; Constit. Apost., VI. 9. 

^' Cf. also Actus Petri cum Simone, chap, iv., where Simon 
performs his flight in Eome ; and Martyrium Petri et Pauli, II., 
where amongst his wonders it is related that he has been able 
to appear flying in the air. 


It now becomes highly significant to note that in 
the Scivias of S. Hildegard the same end is related of 
the Antichrist. Here we read : '^ For when he shall 
have fulfilled all the pleasure of the devil^ the beguiler, 
because in the just judgment of God he shall not by 
any means be permitted any longer to have so much 
potency for his wickedness and cruelty, he shall gather 
all his host and say unto the believers in him that 
he intendeth to go aloft — and lo ! as if stricken by a 
thunderbolt suddenly coming [down] he strikes his 
head with such force that he is both cast down 
from that mountain and delivereth his soul unto 
death." '' 

The supposition must be at once excluded that 
S. Hildegard invented these fancies herself; evidently 
she must have been acquainted with some surviving 
primeval traditions, whence she drew her predictions. 
Nor is this description of the fate of the Antichrist 
borrowed from the Simon Magus legend. We need 
but ask ourselves whether this idea of the attempted, 
or here only planned, ascension adapts itself better to 
the Antichrist or to Simon Magus. We infer rather 
that in S. Hildegard's Visions is preserved a variant 
of the Antichrist legend, which is itself presupposed 
by the Simon Magus saga. 

The Antichrist perishes in the attempt to fly aloft 
and thus prove himself God, and by God is hurled 
down.* How is it possible here to overlook the deeper 

* Cf. for instance, Co7istit., YI. 9, 165, 11 : Aeycoi/ els ovpauovs 
avilvai KCLKeiBev avrols ra dyaOa eTrtxoprjyelv (" Saying that he goes 

unto heaven and thence sends them [all] good things "). This 


sense of the saga and its connection in this point with 
the earlier Dragon myth ? The notion that the Dragon 
storms the heavens and in the assault on the throne of 
God is cast down is found quite clearly expressed in 
the New Testament, and Revelation xii. is assuredly 
based on the same myth. In chap, xiii., ver. 6, also we 
have an echo of the legend in the words '^ to blaspheme 
His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in 
heaven "; so also, '^ I saw Satan like unto the lightning 
falling from heaven." 

In that variant of the Antichrist legend and in that 
of Simon Magus we have reminiscences of the 
primeval myth, which even Ephrem seems to have 
known, only with him the ascension of Antichrist 
becomes a miraculous spectacle. 

In Ephrem (see above, p. 146) it is further related 
that in his flight the Dragon changes his form, with 
which may be compared the Martyrdom of SS. Peter 
and Paul J chap. xiv. : " But he [Simon] began sud- 
denly to change his forms, so as instantly to become 
a child, and after a little an old man, and again 
a youth ; . . . and he raged, having the devil a 
helper." ^' 

Then we read of the Antichrist in Philip's Dioptra : 
'^ But also altogether like Proteus by changes of 
forms and colours [he makes himself] one from 
another, . . . flying on high like an angel, nay, like a 

announcement is of frequent occurrence, as in Mart. Petri et 
Pauli, where Simon says to Nero : ne/x\|/>a) tovs dyyeXovs fxov wpos 
cr€ KOL TTOLTjo-ü) (T€ eXdclv TTpos /i6 (" I wlll Send my angels to thee 
and cause thee to come unto me"). 


demon, and fashioning portents and wonders unto 
deception." ^^ So also in the Apocalypse of Ezra 
(p. 29) we have concerning the Antichrist : '' And he 
becomes a child and an old man, and no one believeth 
in him that he is my beloved son." ^^ Similarly in 
the Apocalypse of Zephaniah (123) in the sight of the 
onlookers he transforms himself, growing at one time 
young at another aged. Here is clearly seen how 
both cycles of legends come in contact. 

In early Christian (New Testament) times the 
Antichrist saga had already acquired a political 
tendency with reference to Nero. When the figure 
of this ruler, returning with the Parthians after the 
lapse of a generation, had gradually been distorted to 
a demoniac and spectral being, the elements of the 
primeval Dragon myth also found their way into this 
picture of Nero returning from the lower regions. 
Cases in point are presented in superabundance by 
the Sibyls, Thus V. 214 : 

Weep thou also, Corinth, for the dire undoing of thee ; 
For when with their twisted threads the three sister Fates, 
Having ensnared him fleeing by the Isthmian oracle, 
Shall raise him on high, then let all look to it.^^ 

In VIII. 88 the figure of the Dragon stands out 
clearly : 

The fiery -eyed Dragon when he cometh on the waves 
With full belly, and shall oppress the children of thee, 
Famine also pending and fratricidal strife, 
Then is nigh the end of the world and the last day.^^ 


And again, VIII. 154 : 

From the Asian land [he shall come] mounted on the Trojan 

With the python's (?) fury ; but when the isthmus he shall 

Changing from sea to sea in eager search of all, 
Then shall he encounter the great beast of black blood .^^ 

And V. 28 : 

And whoso hath fifty horns (?) received, lord shall he be, 
A dire serpent begetting heavy war. 

32 : 

And the height 'tween two seas shall he sever and with gore 

And unseen shall be the pernicious one ; [but] again shall 

he return. 

Holding himself equal to God, and shall contend that He 

is not.^^ 

Here is lastly to be mentioned yet another reference 
in Ephr. Syr., 7,* where the Antichrist comes from a 
place which is translated by Lamy " perdition," but 
which probably means from the lower world, that is, 
the Hebrew Abaddon.] Although in Eevelation this 
is a personal name, it is translated in the Old Testa- 
ment by the Syriac term in question. 

Andreas, who in his Commentary points to many 
coincidences with Ephrem, remarks on Revelation 
xi. 7 : " The Antichrist coming out of the dark and 


deep recesses of the ground, to which the devil had 
been condemned."*^ Here might again be compared 
the Abaddon of Revelation ix. 11, and the expression 
" son of perdition " in 2 Thessalonians ii. 3. 

Note on Belial, 

As above remarked, Paul was already acquainted 
with this name as that of the Antichrist (2 Cor. 
ii. 3), and the Greek expression " man of sin " 
(properly '' man of lawlessness ") is probably a trans- 
lation of the Hebrew Belt- air We thus come upon 
firm Jewish traditional ground. Who then is Belial ? 
The best explanation occurs in Ascensio JesaicBj 
IV. 2 : '' . . . And after the consummation the angel 
Berial shall descend, the great king of this world, over 
which he ruleth since it existeth, and he shall descend 
from his firmament [in the form of man, king of 
wickedness, matricide ... he is king of this world]. 
. . . This angel Berial [in the form of this estate] 
shall come, and with him shall come all the powers 
of this world, and they shall hearken unto him in 
all things as he shall will."^^ 

It may be, and indeed is probable enough, that the 
reference to Nero (see the clauses in square brackets) 
is not here made for the first time. Still we clearly 
see that originally Belial had naught to do with Nero, 
but is an evil angel, who is called the ruler of this 
world, who has his abode in cloudland, and to whom 


are subject other angels, the '' powers of this world." 
Of this Belial it is announced that he is to set up his 
dominion at the end of the world. 

In equally plain language Belial is also described as 
the ruler of the last time in Sibyl III. 63 et seq,y 
where he is brought into relation with Nero : " And 
from the Sebastenes shall come Beliar." Although 
this reference is lacking in Sibyl II. 167, Belial is also 
in the Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs an evil 
spirit, apparently the devil or Satan himself, and here 
also we read of the " spirits of Beliar." ^^ Likewise in 
the Testament of Daniel, Belial is spoken of as the 
foe of the last days ; as in chap, v., where it is said 
of the Messiah that " He shall make war against 
Beliar, and the vengeance of victory shall He grant 
for our translation [to heaven]."*^ Some of the 
following passages also have perhaps been modified in 
a Christian sense. Thus, while Codex R reads "in 
the kingdom of Jerusalem," all the others have " in the 
new Jerusalem." 

Some light may now be shed on a passage in the 
Ascensio Jesaice^ VII. 9 : " And we ascend into the 
firmament, I and he, and there I beheld Sammael and 
his powers, and a great battle was there and Satanic 
speeches, and one was wrangling with another ; . . . and 
I asked the angel : What is this strife ? And he said 
to me : So is it since this world existeth until now, and 
this contest [abideth] until He shall come whom thou 
art to behold, and He shall destroy it [the world]." ^^ 
It is not clear in what relation Sammael stands to 
Belial, and possibly Sammael was not originally in the 


text at all.* But in any case here also we read of an 
evil spirit whose domain is the sky Q' firmament "), 
and who in the last days is to be vanquished. 

How is the figure of Belial himself to be explained ? 
Whatever view be taken, it is a figure which from its 
name and tradition must have originated on Jewish 
ground, and in it we have seemingly to recognise a 
first phase of the Antichrist legend. The Dragon 
who revolts against God is here metamorphosed to 
a wicked angel who becomes the ruler of the aßthereal 
regions and prince of this world. Thus is accom- 
plished the first step in the migrations of the Baby- 
lonian mythology. 

As seen, Paul is already familiar with the figure 
of Belial as the opponent of the Messiah in the last 
days. But what can Christ and Belial have in 
common ? But with Paul Belial has already ceased 
to be an angel or a demon, and becomes '^ the man of 

This determination is of unusual importance. Even 
allowing that the notion of the Antichrist seated in 

* The Latin text (Dillmann, 77) varies greatly ; but the 
Etliiopic version is confirmed by the Latin fragment, p. 85. 
Still there remains the possibility that the original reading has 
been preserved by the Latin text I., as compared with the 
two other documents. This text knows absolutely nothing of 
Sammael, while in the recension represented by the Ethiopic 
and Latin II. Sammael and Belial are brought into artistic 
relation one with the other. Thus p. 84 (III. 13) : ^' Fuit enim 
Beliac bilem habens in Esaiam propter quod in se ostenderit 
Samael " (" For Beliac was enraged against Isaiah for that he 
held up Samael against him ")• 


the Temple originated with Christianity in opposition 
to the Jews, nevertheless it has its roots in Judaism, 
that is, in the distinctly Jewish expectation of the 
revolt of the aerial spirit, Belial, and this again in 
the Babylonian Dragon myth. 

The Antichrist in the Character of a Monster. 

In this connection it may further be mentioned that 
a description of the Antichrist as of a hnman monster 
is found widely diffused. Such a variant of the 
Antichrist occurs in the Apocalypse of Ezra, where 
we read (Tischendorf, Apocalypses Apocryphce^ xxix.) : 
" The form of the face of him as of a field ; his 
right eye as the morning star, and the other one 
that quaileth not ; his mouth one cubit ; his teeth 
of one span ; his fingers like unto sickles, the 
imprint of his feet two spans, and on his brow the 
inscription Antichrist." ^^ 

So also in some manuscripts of the pseudo- 
Johannine Apocalypse, chap. vii. 

Moreover, we have in the Armenian Apocalypse of 
Daniel (239, 11) a diff'erent description couched in 
similar language, as also in the Book of Clement, 
with which compare the part extant in Latin. Then 
the same fanciful description reappears in the accounts 
of Armillus occurring in the late Jewish apocalypses. 
So also in the Apocalypse of Elias, where, however, 
no reference yet occurs to Armillus, though, strange 
to say, appeal is made to a Vision of Daniel. In the 
Midrash va-Yosha (Wünsche, 119) we read: "He 



shall be bald-headed, with a small and a large eye ; 
his right arm shall be a span long, but his left two 
and a half ells ; on his brow shall be a scab, his 
right ear stopped, but the other open." Similar 
accounts may be seen in the Mysteries of Simon ben 
Yokhai, in the Book of Zorobabel, in the Signs of the 
Messiah, and in the Persian History of Daniel.* 

It is very noteworthy that a description clothed 
with this distinctly Jewish tradition occurs also in 
the Apocalypse of Zephaniah, p. 125. Such a coinci- 
dence points at the original Jewish character of the 
work. With this compare also the extravagant 
description of the personal appearance of Judas 
Iscariot in the fragment of Papias.f About its 
source there can no longer be any doubt. 

* Cf. also Quoestiones ad Antiochum, 109 (Migne, XXVIII.) : 
Kai, (rrjixelov tl iif rrj xeipi rfj fxia kol ev r« 6cj)dakfX(Z reo eVt KeKTrjraL 
(" And he hath received a certain sign in one hand and in one 

t Patres Apost^ I. 94. Cf. also the comparison drawn 
in pseudo-Methodius, p. 99, between Antichrist and Judas. 


First Victories of Antichrist—Seats himself in the 
Temple— Antichrist the Pseudo-Messiah of the Jews 
— His Birth in the Tribe of Dan. 

FROM a collation of Daniel xi. 43 with vii. 8 
there arises the notion that at the outset of his 
career Antichrist will vanquish the kings of Egypt, 
Libya, and Ethiopia — that is to say, three of the ten 
last kings of the Roman empire. This Rabbinical 
interpretation seems to be utilised in the Anti- 
christ legend, and the tradition is already known to 
Iren^us (V. 26, 1) and to Hippolytus (li. 27, 7).t 
These writers apply it even to the interpretation of 
Revelation, striving in direct opposition to the text 
to connect the seven heads and the ten horns of the 
beast in such a way as to assume that both images 
represent the Roman kings of the last days, of whom 
Antichrist kills three and subdues the remaining 

* For Notes ^ to ^^ of this chapter, see Appendix, p. 276. 

t Cf. also Jerome on Daniel xi. 43, and many other ex- 
positors of Kevelation and of Daniel, all writing under the 
influence of Jerome. 



In Ephr. Gr. we find the same fancy interwoven 
with the Antichrist saga. III. 138 D : 

And forthwith is set up — his kingdom, 

And in his wrath shall he smite — three great kings.^ 

This trait belongs so essentially to the substance 
of the legend, that Commodian, in accordance with 
contemporary historical precedents, associates two 
CaBsars with his Nero, precursor of the Antichrist, 
the object being to enable the Antichrist to triumph 
over three kings (911 et seq.) : 

And to oppose him shall three Caesars go forth ; 
Whom having slain he gives as food to the birds.^ 

Hence nothing could be more absurd than to 
attempt to explain this passage of Commodian by 
reference to historical events. Here we have, in fact, 
nothing but an eschatological picture. 

A further parallel is presented by Sibyl V. 222 : 

And first having by a mighty stroke from the roots 
Three heads severed, he will give them to be scattered 

amongst others. 
So that they may eat the royal polluted flesh of their 

fathers ! 

The persistency with which this eschatological fancy 
was propagated, despite the silence of Revelation on 
the subject, again shows that the following age was 
influenced not by this work, but by our eschatological 

For the notion derived from Daniel xi. 41 of an 
alliance between Antichrist, Moab, and Ammon, see 


Hippolytus (li. 27, 1), Greek Ephrem (III. 138 C), and 
pseudo-Ephrem (chap. vii.). 

It is, however, possible that this element, suggested 
by an exposition of Daniel, may not have found its 
way into the tradition till later times. As already 
seen, the Antichrist Apocalypse holds on the whole 
a position independent of Daniel. But of course this 
does not exclude the idea that in some respects it 
may have been developed under the influence of that 
work. Considering its manifold points of contact 
with Daniel in certain details, fresh significance is 
added to the remarks above made (p. 71) in reference 
to the early existence of an apocryphal Apocalypse 
of Daniel — the Little Daniel, the History of Daniel, 
the Last Visions of Daniel. 

After triumphing over those three kings, the Anti- 
christ is to take his seat in the Temple of Jerusalem. 

This characteristic belief, already mentioned in 
2 Thessalonians ii. 3, prevailed to an extraordinary 
extent, and is very frequently referred to by Irenseus, 
as in V. 30, 4 : " But when this Antichrist shall have 
wasted everything in this world, ... he shall seat 
himself in the Temple " ; and in V. 25, 1 : " And 
[shall] indeed depose the idols, that he may persuade 
[the people] that he is himself God, setting himself 
up as the one idol."^ So also Hippolytus, Hi. 27, 12 
(liii. 27, 19) : "He shall begin to be exalted in his 
heart, and rise up against God, holding sway over the 
whole world."* The Sibyl XIL (x.) : "Making 
himself God's equal, he shall argue that He is not." ^ 


Psendo-Ephrem : " And entering that [Temple] he 
shall seat himself as God, and command all nations 
to worship him." ^ And the pseudo-Johannine Apoca- 
lypse, 6, Cod. E : " And him he represents as God, 
and shall set up the place of him on the place of 
Calvary (?)." ' 

It is remarkable that the incident occnrs neither in 
the Greek Ephrem nor in pseudo-Hippolytus, while 
but a very slight allusion is made to it in Philip the 

On the other hand, it is still mentioned by Hilarius 
commenting on Matthew xv. ; by the Syriac Ephrem, 8 ; 
by pseudo-Methodius, 99 ; John of Damascus ; Jerome 
(on Daniel vii. 25 ; xi. 30, etc.) ; by Adso and Bede's 

A special variant, also dating somewhat far back, 
occurs in the Ascensio Jesaice^ IV. 6 : " And he shall 
say, I am God, the excellent and greatest, and before 
me was no one." IV. 11 : " And his image shall be 
set up before his face in all the cities."^ 

In Victorinus on Revelation xiii. 15: "He shall 
also cause a golden statue to be set up to the Anti- 
christ in the Temple of Jerusalem, that a fleeing 
[fallen ?] angel may enter and thence emit voices and 
oracles." ^ 

In the Ethiopic Apocalypse of Peter: "And his 
statue shall stand in the churches and before all in 
Jerusalem, the holy city of the great king." 

Can these variants in the tradition date perhaps 
from the time of Caligula, seeing that a tendency 
has also been shown to explain 2 Thessalonians ii. 



and Revelation xiii. by the events of the same 
period ? 

But if the Antichrist is to be seated in the Temple 
of Jerusalem, then the Temple mnst exist, and must 
consequently be re-erected after the destruction of 
Jerusalem. Hence this incident in the tradition is 
also of very early occurrence, although of course 
forming no part of its original substance. Thus 
Hippolytus, c. 6, 5, 11 : " The Saviour raised up and 
manifested His holy body as a temple ; in the same 
way he also [the Antichrist] shall raise up the temple 
of stone in Jerusalem." ^^ 

GreekEphrem, III. 138C : 

Whence also as preferring — the place and the temple 

To all those he displays — his exercise (?) of foreknowledge.^^ 

Cyril, XV. 15 : " In order the more to deceive them 
[the Jews] he builds for himself the Temple in great 
haste, giving out that he is of the race of David." ^^ 

The Greek Apocalypse of Daniel : " And the Jews 
he shall exalt, and dwell in the Temple that had been 
razed to the ground." ^^ 

Andreas, xlv. 42 : " And be seated in the Temple 
... to be erected by him as expected by the Jews 
contending with God." ^* 

Adso, 1293 C: '^The ruined Temple also, which 
Solomon [had] raised to God, he shall [re] -build and 
restore to its [former] state." ^^ 

Haymo on 2 Thessalonians ii. 4 : " And they shall 
rebuild the Temple that the Romans had destroyed, 
and he shall seat himself therein." ^^ 


Elucidarium : " Antichrist shall rebuild the old 
Jerusalem^ in which he shall order himself to be 
worshipped as God." ^^ 

Lastly, in Lactantius, VII. 16, 639, 7, or rather in 
his Jewish source, we have a most remarkable variant : 
"Then shall he strive to raise the Temple of God, 
and the righteous people shall he oppress." ^^ Com- 
modian, from whom something similar might be 
expected, has no reference at all to this incident. 

But the last-quoted passage gives rise to some re- 
flections. Is not the notion of a ruler hostile to and 
contending with God, a ruler arising amid the Jews, 
having the centre of his sway in Jerusalem, and seating 
himself in the; Temple of Jerusalem, — is not such a 
notion essentially Christian, and not of Jewish origin in 
times prior to the New Testament epoch, so that here 
Lactantius may have somehow preserved the old type 
of the legend ? And this, even if it were a question 
of a false Messiah, such as the figure of " the man of 
lawlessness " already partly grasped by Paul ! For 
surely this utterly reckless revolt against God and 
the seat in the Temple scarcely harmonise with the 
idea of a false Messiah. 

Is there any means at all of explaining this remark- 
able element in the Antichrist legend ? It depends 
not a little on one consideration. If we wish to get 
on the right track, the first thing to be done is to get 
rid of all interpretations based on current events. In 
this we adhere to the above-enunciated principle, that, 
during the excitement caused by momentous contem- 
porary occurrences, the apocalyptic writer, speaking 


generally, does not invent new, bnt applies old 
imagery. From the disorders of Caligula's reign it 
is impossible to elucidate Revelation xiii., 2 Thes- 
salonians ii., or Matthew xxiv. From Caligula's 
well-known doings how could the idea have arisen 
of the Antichrist seating himself in the Temple of 
Jerusalem, even had this incident survived only in 
the above-quoted variants in the Ascensio Jesaice^ in 
Victorinus, and the Ethiopic Apocalypse of Peter ? As 
matters stand it must, on the contrary, be inferred 
that the variant, as in 2 Thessalonians ii., was perhaps 
revived in the exciting time of Caligula, being based 
on an earlier representation. The belief, however, was 
at that time current that the old prediction of Beliar 
enthroned in the Temple of Jerusalem would be ful- 
filled by Caligula's threat to set up his statue in the 

Where, then, are we to look for a solution ? The 
question must in any case be asked, whether this 
notion may not, after all, be somehow conceived as 
a belief prevailing amongst the later Jews. For it 
already occurs with great distinctness in the most 
divers places in the New Testament, and we know 
that such eschatological notions are of very slow 

Involuntarily our eyes are turned searchingly in the 
direction of the Dragon myth, in the hope of here 
finding light. It has already been seen that ^Hhe 
man of lawlessness " is nothing more than an incar- 
nation of the old foe of God, the demoniacal Dragon. 
Now this Dragon storms the welkin, the heavenly 


abode of God. A distinct echo of this old represen- 
tation occurs in Revelation xiii. 6 : '' And he openeth 
his month in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme 
His name and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in 
heaven" (the angelic hosts). So also the Dragon 
storms (blasphemes) the abode of God in heaven, the 
Antichrist ejects God from His sanctuary on earth, 
seats himself in the Temple of Jerusalem. 

Such may perhaps be the solution of this highly 
enigmatic fancy. If so, we can at least understand 
how such an idea could have arisen and spread 
amongst the Jews. It may not have spread far, but, 
as was only natural, dawning Christianity eagerly 
seized on and further developed it. Paul especially 
adopted the notion, and a place was even given in the 
inspired writings to a short Jewish apocalypse which 
dealt with the Antichrist times, the frightful desola- 
tion of the Temple. For it becomes clearer and 
clearer that Matthew xxiv. 15-31 represents such an 
apocalypse of the Antichrist. So also the author of 
Revelation, chap, xi., makes the beast coming out of the 
bottomless pit quite naturally appear in Jerusalem, 
although amongst the later Jews this incident was 
completely forgotten. By them the Antichrist after 
the first century was brought into direct relation with 
the Roman Cassars and the Roman empire. But the 
Antichrist legend is older than the special hate 
harboured by the Jews against the Roman destroyer 
of their Jerusalem. 

And thus this representation with its dualistic 
feature borrowed from the Dragon myth remains an 


exotic growth on the soil of Judaism. The idea of 
a demoniac power hostile to God and ejecting Him 
from His Temple very soon became degraded to the 
simple expectation of a false Messiah. 

For Paul the Antichrist is this false Messiah, who 
works by the power of Satan with signs and wonders, 
and who, above all, is sent by God to the Jews because 
they refuse belief in the true Messiah. Attention has 
already been called to an interesting parallel in 
John V. 43 : ^' I am come in My Father's name, and 
ye receive Me not : if another shall come in his own 
name, him ye will receive." The other, who shall 
come in his own name, is the Antichrist. So is the 
passage expounded by nearly all the Fathers, from 
whom in this field of inquiry there is much to learn.* 

Thus in our authorities the Antichrist is everywhere 
described as a false Messiah appearing amongst the 
Jews. Hippolytus, chap, vi., already draws the com- 
parison between the true and the false Messiah : '' The 
Saviour has gathered the scattered sheep, and he 

* Cf. Malvenda, de Antichr., I. 599 ; Commentaries on John 
V. 43, by Chrysostom, Cyril of Alexandria, Euthymius, Bede ; 
Irenseus, V. 25, 3 ; Cyril's Catechetical Lectures, XII. 2 ; Aretas 
on Revelation xi. 7 ; Ambrosius on Psalm xliii. 19 ; Prosper? 
Dimidium Temp., 9 ; Eufinus, Expositio SymhoU, 34 ; Jerome, ad 
Algasiam, in Ahdiam, V. 18 ; Adso, 1296 A ; Hugo Eterianus, 
chap, xxiii. Both of the last quoted collate a series of the 
Fathers on the characters of the Antichrist ; cf. the Commen- 
taries of Ambrosiaster, Theodoretus, Theophylactus, CEcu- 
menius ; Jerome, ad Algasiam, 11 ; Theodoretus, Hceret. FabuL, 
V. 23; John of Damascus, Altercatio Synagogce et Ecclesice, 
chap. xiv„ etc. 


[Antichrist] also shall likewise gather the scattered 
people." 1^ And Hippolytus, liii. 27, 30 : " For he 
shall summon all the people to himself from all the 
land of dispersion, making them as his own children, 
proclaiming that he will restore the land and recon- 
stitute the kingdom." ^^ 

Characteristic details are even already found in 
Irenaeus, who applies the contrast between the un- 
righteous judge and the widow (Mark xviii.) to the 
Antichrist (V. 25, 3) : " To whom the widow unmind- 
ful of God, that is, the earthly Jerusalem, appeals for 
vengeance on her adversary." ^^ So also Victorinus in 
his Commentary (on chap, xiii.), although he associates 
the Antichrist with Nero : " Him therefore shall God 
having raised up send as a worthy king to the worthy 
[of him] , and a Christ such as the Jews deserved." ^ 
In Commodian we read (927 et seq.) : 

But thence marches the Conqueror into the land of Judah ; 
. . . Many signs does he work that they may believe, 
Because unto their seduction has the wicked one been sent. 
. , . For us Nero has become the Antichrist, he for the Jews.^^ 

Throughout the whole cycle of literature associated 
with the name of Ephrem the same thought prevails. 
Ephr. Syr. : " But in him shall the Jews exult, and 
girdle themselves to come unto him ; but he shall 
blaspheme, saying, I am the Father and the Son," etc.^* 

Ephr. Gr., III. 238 A : 

Honouring unto excess — the race of the Jews. 
For they shall await — his coming. 


238 C: 

But more doth the people — the murderous people of the Jews 
Honour and rejoice — in the kingdom of him.^^ 

After this passage pseudo-Hippolytus (xxiv. 107, 
12) gives a somewhat lengthy exposition. 

Cyril, XV. 10 : '' And through the name of Christ 
he deceiveth the Jews expecting the Anointed." ^^ 

Pseudo-Ephrem : '' Then shall the Jews give [him] 
thanks that he hath restored the use of the former 

Pseudo- Johannine Apocalypse, 6, Cod. E. : " And 

there shall be gathered the ignorant and unlettered, 

saying one to another, Do we indeed find him 
just? "28 

Greek Apocalypse of Daniel : " And he shall work 
wonders and incredible things, and shall exalt the 
Jews." 29 

Hence respecting the diffusion of the tradition 
Jerome is able truthfully to say (on Daniel xi. 23) : 
'' But our [expositors] interpret both better and more 
correctly, that at the end of the world these things 
shall be done by the Antichrist, who is to spring of a 
' small people,' that is, from the Jewish nation." ^^ 

Compare further the Ethiopic Apocalypse of Peter : 
"In those days shall a king come, evil-minded and 
evil-doer ; on that day shall Zabulon rise up and 
Naphthali stretch his neck on high and Capernaum 
exult, . . . because they shall take that man for 

Adso, 1296 A : " Then shall [all the Jews] flock unto 


him, and thinking they receive Christ they shall 
receive the devil." ^^ 

Hence the Antichrist will get circumcised, as in 
Hippolytus, chap, v.: "In the circumcision came the 
Saviour into the world, and he [Antichrist] will come 
in like manner." ^^ 

Hence also Victorinus says of the Nero redivivus 
(on Revelation xiii.) : " And because he shall bring 
another name, so shall he also institute another life, 
that so the Jews may accept him as Christ, for saith 
Daniel that he shall not regard the desire of women, 
although he was before most corrupt, nor regard any 
god of [his] fathers, for the upholder alone of the law 
shall be able to beguile the people of the circum- 
cision." ^^ 

The same strange and mistaken translation of the 
passage in Daniel (xi. 37) occurs in pseudo-Ephrem, 7: 
" Then shall be fulfilled that utterance of the prophet 
Daniel, ^ And the God of his fathers shall he know 
not, nor shall he know the desire of women.' " ^* But 
Lactantius also must have had under his eyes the 
same relation as Victorinus, although with him the 
old connection can no longer be recognised. Thus 
VII. 16 635, 15: "New counsels in his breast 
shall he harbour, that ... at last by change of name 
and removal of the seat of empire there may ensue 
disorder and perturbation amongst mankind." ^^ 

With these may further be compared the following 
passages : 

Adso, 1293 C : " And he shall circumcise himself, and 
lie that he is the Son of God Almighty " ; and else- 


where (1296 A): ^^ Coming to Jerusalem he shall be 
circumcised, saying to the Jews, I am the Christ 
promised unto you, who have come for your weal 
that I may gather and defend you that are scattered." ^^ 
Haymo, on 2 Thessalonians ii.: *^ And when he shall 
come to Jerusalem he will circumcise himself, saying 
to the Jews, I am the Christ promised to you." ^^ 

Elsewhere the rite of circumcision is enforced, as in 
Victorinus : " Nor is he lastly to call back the saints 
to the worship of idols, but to observe the circum- 
cision ; and should he be able to seduce any, them he 
will in the end compel to call him Christ." ^^ 

A noteworthy parallel drawn from the Simon 
Magus legend occurs in the Martyrdom of S8. Peter 
and Paul : " Nero asked, Was Simon then circum- 
cised? Peter answered, [Surely], for otherwise he 
could not have beguiled the souls, except by explaining 
that he was a Jew, and showing that he taught the law 
of God." ^' 

This notion of the Antichrist appearing as the false 
Messiah is further developed in the series of Ephremite 
writings. Ephr. Gr., II. 137 : 

In the form of him — shall come the all-polluted 
As a false wily thief — to beguile all beings, 
Humble and gentle — hating the speech of the unjust, 
Overturning the idols — honouring piety, 
A good lover of the poor — exceeding fair, 
Altogether well disposed — pleasant towards all.^° 

An exact parallel occurs in pseudo-Hippolytus, xxiii. 
106, 18 ; while in pseudo-Ephrem, chap, vi., we read of 


" that impious corrupter more of souls than of bodies, 
that subtle dragon [who] in his youth seems to move 
about under the form of justice before he assumes 

Pseudo-Johannine Apocalypse, 6, Cod. E : " And he 
begins by judging with mildness and much charity 
and consideration for sinners, and as he says makes 
allowance for sin."^^ 

Cyril, XV. 10 : ^^ At first indeed he simulates dis- 
cretion and humanity, as a wise and shrewd person 
[might exercise] clemency." *^ 

John of Damascus : " And at the beginning of his 
reign he simulates benevolence." ^* 

With all this is associated the notion that the 
Antichrist was expected to come from the tribe of 
Dan. This is an indication that the apocalyptic 
tradition in question originated under the influence 
of the Jewish hagadic (homiletic) interpretation. 
For the belief itself arose out of the Rabbinical 
exposition of such passages as Deuteronomy xxxiii. 22, 
Genesis xlix. 17, and Jeremiah viii. 16, and is every- 
where in patristic literature supported by reference to 
these passages.* 

* Cf. Malvenda, I. 140 ; Caspari, 217, Anmerkung 22. This 
idea is already found in Irenaeus, V. 30, 2 (on Jeremiah viii. 16) ; 
Hippolytus, chaps', xiv., xv., and after him pseudo-Hippolytus, 
chaps, xviii., xix. ; Ambrosius, de Benedict. Patriarcharum, 7 (on 
Psalm xl.) ; Eucherius, on Genesis, III., p. 188 ; Austin, in Josuam, 
Qucestio XXII. ; Jacob of Edessa (in Ephrem, I. 192 et seq.) ; 
pseudo-Ephrem, chap. vi. ; Theodoretus, on Genesis, Qucest. CX. ; 


This notion is probably of long standing. At least 
we have in Irenaens, V. 30, 2 : '^ And for this reason 
this tribe [Dan] is not numbered in Revelation 
amongst those that are saved." *^ It seems to me that 
this interpretation, especially as it is now a mere link 
in the chain of a much wider connection, is the only 
one possessing a certain degree of probability. If so, 
the idea must have already been known to the author 
of Revelation, chap. vii. 

With this is connected the more definite assumption 
of later authorities that the Antichrist would come 
from Babylon, where the tribe of Dan was supposed 
to dwell. Here we seem to feel the later influence 
of Jerome, who writes (on Daniel xi. 37) : " But our 
[expositors] interpret in the above sense everything 
concerning the Antichrist, who is to be born of the 
Jewish people and to come from Babylon." ^^ 

The above-suggested connection is seen most dis- 
tinctly in Andreas' comment on Revelation xvi. 12 : 
"It is probable also that the Antichrist shall come 
from the eastern parts of the land of Persia, where is 
the tribe of Dan of the Hebrew race."*^ 

We may now trace farther afield this idea of the 
Antichrist coming from the East, although not yet in 
connection with the notion of his origin in the tribe 
of Dan. 

Prosper Aquitanicus, Dimid. Temp., 9 ; Gregory, Moralia, XXXI. 
24 ; pseudo-Methodius ; Anastasius Sinaita, in Hexcemeron, Lib. 
X., 1018 B ; Adso, 1292 B ; Bede's Sibyl ; Hugo Eterianus ; 
Primasius and Ambros. Ansbertus, Commentaries (on Revela- 
tion xi, 7). 


Lactantius, VII. 17 : ^^ Another king shall arise in 
the East."^ 

Still more weighty is the passage in Commodian, 
932 : "A man [coming] from the Persian land pro- 
claims himself immortal." ^^ 

On the other hand, we have in psendo-Methodius 
a different tradition : " He is begotten in Choraza 
[Chorasmia ?], because amongst them hath the Lord 
tarried, and in Bethsaida (?), because there he was 
nourished." ^ Both Adso (1293 B) and the Elucidarium 
betray the influence of this tradition in so far as to 
hold that the Antichrist grows up in the said regions. 
The origin of the fancy is now clear. 

It is significant, however, that the notion of the 
Antichrist springing from the tribe of Dan is unknown 
to Ephrem and the sources directly dependent on him. 
To me this seems another proof of the great antiquity 
of the views regarding the Antichrist which are here 
in question. 

Nevertheless the opinion that the Antichrist is to 
come from Dan occurs also in the Testament of the 
Twelve Patriarchs (Dan, chap, vi.), a document probably 
of Jewish origin, unfortunately the text is here so 
corrupt that no definite conclusions can be arrived at. 
Beliar, however, is described as the Antichrist in the 
prediction (chap, v.) which is made touching the 
children of Dan : '' And unto you shall the salvation of 
the Lord arise from the tribe of Judah and of Levi ; 
and he shall make war against Beliar." ^^ 

Now this Beliar seems to stand in a definite relation 
to the children of Dan : " For I knew in [from] the 


Book of Enoch the Just that your ruler is Satan, and 
that all the spirits of fornication and of arrogance shall 
be subservient to Levi, in order to lie in wait (?) for 
the children of Levi, to make them sin before the 
Lord." ^^ As it stands the passage is meaningless, for 
what sense can there be in their being subservient or 
obedient to Levi, in order to lie in wait for his children ? 
In Codex E, however, '' Levi " is missing ; and if it be 
struck out, then '' shall be obedient " remains without 
its object. But the error would seem to lie in this 
last expression, for which a Latin manuscript version 
has " sese applicabit " — that is, all the evil spirits " will 
plot," etc. But possibly we should read lirohvaovraL — 
that is, all the evil spirits shall strive to ensnare the 
children of Levi. Thus we arrive at the suggested 
idea of the sons of Dan in league with Beliar and his 
angels against Levi. In what follows, however, this 
idea again disappears, for here emphasis is laid above all 
on the sinfulness of the children of Levi and of Judah. 
It is urgently to be desired that the whole apparatus 
of the text of this work be made available for study. 

Meanwhile the important fact remains that in this 
very Testament of Dan, where we had conjectured 
such an incident, allusion is made to a league between 
Satan and the children of Dan. Here, however, there 
is yet no question of the Antichrist's birth in the tribe of 
Dan. In the Testament of Dan Beliar is not yet even 
a human being, but is conceived as an evil demon — 
the demon, however, who in the last days is to revolt 
against God. 


The Wonders of the Antichrist— A Ketrospective 
Glance— The Antichrist's Ministers. 

IN our aathorities prominence is given above all to 
signs and wonders in heaven. But respecting 
these, as well as all other manifestationsj it is every- 
where insisted upon that the works wrought by the 
Antichrist are only lying and magical portents. Thus 
Sibyl III. 64 : 

And the mountain-tops he shall make stand still, and the ocean 
And the great flaming sun and the bright moon.^ 

AsceJisio Jesaice^ IV. 5 : " And at his word the sun 
shall rise at night, and the moon also he shall cause 
to appear at the sixth hour " (after dawn).^ 

Here it again becomes clear that 4 Ezra v. 1 et seq. 
is influenced by the Antichrist legend. Thus v. 4 : 
" And suddenly shall the sun shine again at night, and 
the moon during the day."^ With this is also con- 
nected Revelation, chap. xiii. 13, as will be seen later. 
To the same distinctly Jewish cycle of traditions 
is also to be referred Lactantius, VII. 17, 639, 4 : 

* For Notes ^ to ^^ of this chapter, see Appendix, p. 281. 



" He shall bid fire fall from heaven, and the sun stand 
still on its course " * (an echo of Revelation). 

Apocalypse of Zephaniah, 124 : '' To the sun he shall 
say, Fall, and he falleth. He shall say, Light, and 
he lighteth. To the moon he shall say, Be as blood, 
and so shall it be. From the sky he shall make it 

Ephr. Syr., 9 : " Then shall he begin to show lying 
signs in heaven and on earth, in the sea and on the 
dry land ; rain shall he call upon, and it shall come 
down." ^ 

Pseudo-Methodius, 93 B : '' The sun shall he turn 
to darkness, and the moon to blood." ^ 

Ethiopic Apocalypse of Peter : " The sun shall 
he cause to rise in the West, and the moon towards 

Pseudo-Hippolytus, xxvi. 108, 28 : ^^ The day he shall 
make dark, and the night day ; the sun he shall turn 
aside whither he willeth, and before the spectators 
shall he show all the elements of the earth and of the 
sea absolutely obedient to the power of his display." ^ 

Moreover, special prominence is given to his 
miraculous cures ; but here again all his wonders are 
emphatically declared to be mere shams. 

Thus Sibyl III. 66 et seq. : 

And the dead he shall raise, and many wonders work 

For man ; but for him fruitless they shall be 

And deceptive, and surely many mortals he shall beguile.^ 

Pseudo-Hippolytus, xxiii. 106, 14 : '' And after all 
these things he shall signs perform, . . . but not real. 


but in deceit, that lie may beguile those impious as 
himself." 24 : '^ The leprous cleansing, the palsied 
lifting up, driving out demons, raising the dead." ^ 

Apocalypse of Zephaniah, 125 : " The halt he shall 
cause to walk, the deaf to hear, the dumb to speak, 
the blind to see ; the leprous he shall cleanse, the sick 
shall he heal, and the spirits drive from the possessed." 

Ephr. Syr. : '^ He shall cry out to the leprous, and 
they shall be made clean ; to the blind, and they shall 
see the light : he shall call the deaf, and they shall 
hear ; the dumb, and they shall speak." ^^ 

Pse ado-Methodius, 99 : "^ The blind shall see, the 
halt shall walk, the demons shall be healed, . . . and 
in his false signs and fanciful portents." ^^ 

Andreas, Ivi. 27 : ^^ By whom [that is, the devil] he 
shall seem to raise the dead, to perform signs for those 
of distorted mental vision." ^^ 

The Armenian Apocalypse of Daniel, 239, 15 : ^' Of 
stones making bread, causing the blind to see, the 
maimed to walk." 

Elucidarium : "Fov he shall work such stupendous 
marvels, as to bid fire come down from heaven . . . and 
the dead arise." ^^ 

But in this stereotyped description, presumably 
based on Matthew xi. 2 et seq., and consequently of 
later introduction, it is often expressly remarked 
that the Antichrist fails to quicken the dead. Thus 
in Apocalypse of Zephaniah, 125 : " He shall do the 
things that Christ shall do, all but the awakening of 
the dead. Therein shall ye know that he is the son of 
lawlessness, that he hath no power over the soul." 



Eph. Syr., 9 : " For indeed many signs shall he do 
that our Lord hath done in the world ; but the departed 
he shall not raise because he hath no power over 

Diemer, Deutsche Gedichte Q' German Poems ") of 
the eleventh and twelfth centuries, 280 : 

But from the signs that he shall make 
No good shall anybody take, 
Nor shall he any dead awake. ^^ 

Qucestiones ad Antiochum Ducem^ 109 : ^^ Some say 
that after working all the other wonders the Antichrist 
could not raise a dead man." ^^ 

The tradition runs somewhat differently in Cyril, 
XV. 14 : ^^ For the father of deceit shall simulate the 
works of deceit, that the multitude may think it sees 
the dead raised that is not raised." ^^ 

Adso, 1293 D : " The dead forsooth [are] to be 
resuscitated in the sight of men, . . . [but they are 
lies and beside the truth] " ; ^^ with which compare 
Haymo on 2 Thessalonians ii. 

Elucidarium : '' He shall raise the dead, not verily, 
but the devil shall enter some [dead man's] body . . . 
and speak in him, that he may seem alive." ^^ 

In the late Jewish Historv of Daniel it is also 
stated emphatically that the Antichrist succeeds in 
working all the wonders demanded of him, but fails to 
quicken the dead. In Eph. Syr., chap, xi., say Elias 
and Enoch to the Antichrist : " If thou art God, call 
on the departed, and they shall arise ; for it is written 
in the books of the prophets and also by the apostles, 


that, when He shall appear, Christ shall raise the dead 
from their graves." ^^ 

But here again quite a special tradition is preserved 
in Greek Ephrem, III. 138 E : 

Magnifying his miracles — performing his portents, 
Deceiver and not in truth — manifesting these things. 
In such fashion — the tyrant removeth 
The mountains, and simulates (?) — falsely and not truly 
While the multitude stands by — many nations and 

Applauding him — for his illusions, ^i 

There follows a lengthy^acconnt of how the Antichrist 
removes mountains by fraud and only in appearance. 
Then we read (139 C): 

Again this same dragon — stretches out his hands 
And gathers the multitude — of reptiles and birds ; 
And likewise he moves over — the surface of the deep, 
And as on dry ground — he walks thereon. 
But he simulates all these things.^^ 

A perfect parallel to the first half of these details 
occurs in pseudo-Hippolytus, xxvi. 108, 19 et seq. With 
them may also be compared the pseudo-Johannine 
Apocalypse, chap, vii.. Cod. E : " The mountains and 
hills he shall move aside, and shall beckon with his 
polluted hands : Come hither to me all [of you] ; and 
by illusions and deception they assemble in the same 
place." ^^ 

A noteworthy parallel is found in the Apocalypse of 
Zephaniah, 125 : '^ He shall walk on the sea and on 
the rivers as on dry ground," 


It is noteworthy that very similar traits are found in 
the Simon Magns legend and its fabulous descriptions. 
In the Acts of Peter with Simon^ xxviii. et seq,, we 
have, for instance, a long account of how Simon Magus 
is able so reanimate a dead body, but only in appear- 
ance, and the charm vanishes as soon as he withdraws 
from the corpse, which is then really resuscitated by 
Peter. In the various sources the whole contest 
between Peter and Simon culminates in this incident 
of Simon's failure and of Peter's success in raising 
the dead. In the RecognitioneSj III. 47, Simon's 
wonders are thus related : " I have flown through the 
air ; mingling with the fire, I have been made one body 
with it ; I have caused statues to be moved ; I have 
reanimated the extinct ; I have made stones to bread ; 
I have flown from mountain to mountain ; I have 
crossed over upheld by angels' hands ; I have alighted 
on the ground." ^* 

Similarly the Homily ii. 32 : " Statues he causes to 
walk, and rolling in the fire is not burnt ; at times 
also he flies, and of stones makes loaves ; he becomes 
a snake, is changed to a goat ; puts on two faces." 
33 : " Working wonders to astonish and deceive, not 
healing works unto conversion and salvation." ^^ 

To such parallels the patristic writers were often 
attracted. In his Commentary, chap, xxxvii. 58, 39 
et seq., Andreas points out how in the presence of 
Peter Simon had almost raised a dead body, and infers 
that in like manner the precursor of the Antichrist 
(Revelation xiii. 11 et seq,) will also perform his 
signs and wonders. He also alludes, in connection 


with Kevelation xiii. 3, to a wonderful resuscitation to 
be effected by Antichrist, and again (Ivi. 13) Andreas 
calls attention to the precedent of Simon Magus. 

So Eterianus, de Regressu Animarum Q' On Appari- 
tions "), 23 : '^ For by his magic art and illusions he 
will beguile men, as is supposed to have been done by 
Simon Magus, who seemed to do what he did not." ^® 

From Revelation xiii. 3 it was later inferred that 
in order to place himself completely on a level with 
Christ, the Antichrist will suffer death, and then raise 
himself from the dead. I find the earliest allusion in 
Primasius, and then in Gregory, Epistle^ xiii. 1.* 

Here Adso again calls attention to the parallel with 
Simon Magus : " By his magic art and deception he 
will deceive men, as Simon Magus deceived the man 
who, thinking to kill him, kills a ram instead." ^^ 
Here we see how both legends are merged in one, so 
that it becomes difficult to say to which belongs the 

There is even a much earlier and interesting passage, 
which preserves the original representation from which 
the two cycles of legends became intermingled. 

In Homily ii. 17 Peter says : ^^Thus truly, as the 
true prophet hath told us, the false gospel must first 
come through the fraud of some one [that is, Simon], 
and then, after the destruction of the holy place, the 
true evangel is tobe secretly sent, . . . and thereafter 
towards the end again must the Antichrist first come, 

* From Primasius it is borrowed by Bede, pseudo-Ambrosius, 
Ansbertus, Haymo ; and it is also known to S. Hildegard 
cf. Malvenda, II. 125 et seq.). 


and tlien the very Christ onr Saviour shall appear, 
and after that, the eternal light having risen, all the 
deeds of darkness shall vanish." * 

It will here be worth while to sum up the results so 
far established. In the collective Christian tradition 
the Antichrist rule is not the Roman empire, which 
on the contrary is conceived as the '^letter," the 
obstacle that stands in the way, and this despite 
Revelation and the early history of Christianity. 
The Antichrist is the false Messiah appearing in the 
midst of the Jews in Jerusalem, working signs and 
wonders through the power of Satan, and seating 
himself in the Temple of God. As ruler of the Jews 
he is joyfully greeted by them. He is no peaceful 
monarch, no political personality, but a purely 
eschatological figure in every sense of the word. 

Thus is the concept already presented to us in the 
New Testament. According to Paul the " man of 
lawlessness " is the false Messiah, who is sent to the 
Jews to punish them for having rejected the true 
Messiah. So also John v. 43, while the clause inter- 
polated in Matthew xxiv. is drawn from the same 

* Cf. Rec.^ II. 60. Here Simon's wonders are compared 
with those which the evil one will have power to work in the 
last days. Simon performs merely useless miracles, whereas 
at the end of the world cures and such-like (resuscitations are 
not mentioned) will be effected by the powers of evil. Thus 
here also we have the Antichrist tradition standing in the 
background of the Simon Magus legend. In this connection it 
may further be mentioned that what we are told of Simon's 
miraculous birth (i?ec., II. 14) finds an echo in the Antichrist 


apocalyptic tradition. The writer who imagined 
chap. xi. of Revelation could have had no difficulty 
in making the beast coming out of the bottomless 
pit appear in Jerusalem. 

When we more diligently examine the Revelation 
of S. John, where traces may to some extent still be 
met of the same eschatological tradition, attention 
is above all claimed by chap. xiii. 11 et seq. The 
idea of " the beast coming up out of the ground " 
is based originally on that of the Antichrist. He 
represents no hostile, foreign political power, but 
comes "like a lamb," and in the mind of the 
apocalyptic writer he is the false prophet not greatly 
to be distinguished from the false Messiah. He 
speaks " as a dragon " — here again another survival — 
an evidence that the figure of the Antichrist grew out 
of the Dragon myth. He works signs and wonders, 
which show a certain resemblance with those of the 
Antichrist as brought together just before. The 
specially characteristic trait of the " mark in their 
right hand, or in their foreheads," and the buying and 
selling in virtue of that mark, will find their explana- 
tion farther on in the Antichrist legend. 

This second beast comes out of the ground and 
appears in the land of Palestine,* whereas the first 
beast, the Roman empire or one of its Caesars, 
naturally rises out of the sea, comes over the sea. 

* Tli,is explanation, I think, suits better than that proposed 
by Gunkel, who traces both beasts in chap. viii. back to the old 
myth of two primeval monsters dominating the sea and the 
dry land. 


The apocalyptic writer, for whom the universal 
sway of Rome has become the manifestation of 
the Antichrist, and who expected the Antichrist 
in the Nero redivivus, could make nothing better 
of the old unpolitical and purely eschatological 
figure of the Antichrist than degrade him to the 
position of a servant of the first beast. But in 
the process the writer has naturally ascribed to 
the earlier figure all those characters in virtue of 
which the second beast is brought into association 
with the first.* 

We now also clearly see how Hippolytus, despite 
his extremely confused exposition, was able to hold 
that the second beast is the Antichrist, who appears 
after the fall of the first — that is, of the Roman 
empire. He was acquainted with the old legend, 
and in the second half of chap. xiii. still distinctly 
recognised the original figure of the Antichrist. 

Here we are in the presence of a decisive intro- 
spective view of the essence and growth of the whole 
myth in which we are interested. The Antichrist 
legend was evolved out of the old Dragon myth about 
the time of the New Testament writings. This legend 
thus again acquires political significance with reference 
to the Roman empire and the Nero redivivus. For 
reckless criticism alone will venture to deny that 
the picture of the Nero redivivus stands in the 
foreground of Revelation, chaps, xiii. and xvii. This 
picture is, in fact, so inextricably interwoven with the 

* Such are Rev. xiii. 12 ; 14 ; last clause of 15 (the first clause 
is drawn from the old saga) ; last clause of 17 ; 18. 


whole representation that it seems to me impossible 
to disentangle it from all the details. 

Especially in Jewish circles has this political 
application of the Antichrist legend retained all its 
freshness. It dominates the Sibylline literature pre- 
cisely in those parts which are directly due to Jewish 
influence. Thanks to the postponement of Nero's 
return for over a generation, the simple expectation of 
his reappearance with the Parthians became transformed 
to the fantastic belief in a Nero redivivus. Thus it 
came about that the elements of the old Dragon myth 
became incorporated in the Neronic saga, so marvellous 
is the tendency of such currents of legendary matter 
to merge in a common stream. In this form we 
already meet the Neronic saga in Revelation xiii. and 
xvii., but still more distinctly in the Sybilline docu- 
ments. Here Nero has become a python, a wrath- 
breathing dragon, a weird ghost-like demoniac being 
wafted through the air by the Fates. Nay, to me 
it seems not quite impossible that, as Gunkel holds, 
the enigmatic expression in Revelation xvii. 8 
originally referred to the old Serpent, who, already 
once overthrown in his struggle with God, shall 
in the last days again revolt against God and His 
heavenly kingdom. Here we read of '^ the beast 
that was, and is not, and yet is " — that is, will 
again '^ ascend out of the bottomless pit, and 
go into perdition." Thus the writer would seem 
to have applied to Nero this dark passage, which 
presumably was scarcely any longer intelligible to 
himself. In the later Greek Apocalypse of Daniel 


we are even told that the slumbering Serpent shall 
again awake. 

Amongst the Jews this turning of the saga against 
the Roman empire was preserved, completely effacing 
its original form. The hatred cherished against Edom 
under the sway of Sammael survived till the seventh 
and eighth centuries, when the old Antichrist legend 
again came to the surface. But even so their un- 
dying hatred of Christian, as before of Pagan, Rome 
is betrayed in the very name of Armillus (Romulus) 
associated with the revived legend. Armillus, how- 
ever, is no Roman Caesar, but a ruler destined to 
come after the domination of the godly empire 

Amongst the early Christians, thanks no doubt 
partly to their detestation of the Jews, the feeling 
of hostility against Rome, as expressed in Revelation, 
very soon disappeared, as is already to be seen in 
Tertullian. The Antichrist comes from the midst 
of the Jews, and is above all a satanic pseudo- 
Messianic figure — such is the universal belief. Never- 
theless this old conception displays such tenacity 
and persistence that a doubling of the Antichrist 
figure is the result, at least in a few writers amongst 
whom the application of the legend to the Roman 
empire survives under the influence of the Jewish 
Sybilline literature. In this connection Lactantius, 
Commodian, and S. Martin of Tours come under 
consideration. By all three the immediate precursor 
of the Antichrist (who appears with the fall of the 
Roman empire) is more or less distinctly identified 


with the Nero redivivas, whereas the second appear- 
ance, that is, the Antichrist proper, by whom Nero 
is overcome and killed, bears the familiar characters 
of the true Antichrist. And although he is not here 
represented as coming from the Jews, his power is 
nevertheless set up in Jerusalem, he is welcomed by 
the Jews as the Messiah, he works signs and wonders, 
and so on. Here we have a strange spectacle, the 
saga in course of time assuming a double and even 
a threefold aspect. But these separate aspects of the 
same figure become once more merged in one. The 
very remark above made in connection with Lactantius, 
Commodian, and S. Martin of Tours confirms in a 
striking manner the explanation of the two beasts 
given in our comments on Revelation xiii. Here, as 
there, we have a blending of the two streams of 
tradition ; only the old figure of the Antichrist, which 
in Revelation is made subordinate to its own shadow, 
to its political interpretation, is by those writers made 

Thus we also understand how the old and most 
distinct reference in Revelation to the Nero redivivus 
so soon disappears from the tradition of the patristic 
writers. Victorinus, with whom alone it holds its 
ground, has, however, left us a surprising jumble of 
the Jewish pseudo-Messiah and Nero redivivus, in 
which the latter actually appears as the Jewish 
Messiah. But Revelation is mainly interpreted in 
the light of the earlier eschatological traditions. And 
on the whole the further evolution of these traditions 
during the ensuing centuries has taken place under 


the influence, not of the Johannine Apocalypse, but 
of those earlier reminiscences. 

A close study of the effect of Eevelation on the 
Fathers, as seen in their expositions, almost pro- 
duces the impression that these writers possessed 
no living eschatological imagery, and that such 
imagery lay dormant till reawakened in mediaeval 

Thus the saga with which we are here occupied 
may be likened to the figure of Proteus ever shifting 
its form, and in its shifting phases even doubling 
itself. Revelation xii. and xiii. may be taken as its 
living material image. In xii. we have the old 
Dragon myth, in xiii. 11-18 the Antichrist legend, in 
xiii. 1-10 its political application. The three shifting 
forms of the legend are the three juxtaposed figures 
of the Dragon, the Beast, and the False Prophet 
that have been merged in one great eschatological 
picture I 

The Antichrist has in his service a host of devoted 
ministers. Hippolytus is already able to tell us 
(chap, vi.) that " the Lord sent His apostles unto all 
nations, and he [Antichrist] shall likewise send his 
false apostles." ^^ In Adso also we read (1293 C): 
" Thereafter shall he send his messengers and 
preachers to the whole world." ^^ From these sources 
the notion found its way into the miracle play of the 
Antichrist (W. Meyer, 27). 

Even more interesting parallels occur, as in the 
opening of the Homily in Greek Ephrem : 


For the shameless one — grasping authority 
Sends his demons — unto all the ends of the earth, 
To announce unto all — that a great king 
Hath appeared in glory — Come hither and behold. ^^ 

So also in Ephr. Syr., 9 : ^^ The lightnings shall be 
his ministers and signify his advent ; the demons shall 
constitute his forces, and the princes of the demons 
shall be his disciples ; to far-distant lands shall he 
send the captains of his bands, who shall impart virtue 
and healing." ^i p^üip the Solitary (816 B) : " Verily 
the demons shall he send unto the whole world to 
preach and commend him, saying. The great king has 
risen in Jerusalem. . . . Come ye all unto him." ^^ With 
the variants also Adso is familiar (1293 B) : '' And the 
evil spirits shall be his captains and associates ever 
and his counts." ^^ A clear retrospective light is shed 
by these passages on Irenaeus, V. 28, 2 : " Nor is it to 
be wondered at that, the demons and apostate spirits 
being his ministers, he shall through them work signs 
by which to beguile the dwellers on earth." ^* 

Again behind the figure of the Antichrist with his 
false apostles there stands the still more powerful 
embodiment of a superhuman evil spirit hostile to 
God, whose messengers are demons and wicked genii. 
And thus the legend again stretches back to New 
Testament times, and explains Revelation xvi. 13: 
'^ And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out 
of the mouth of the dragon. . . . For they are the 
spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto 
the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to 


gather them to the battle." With this is to be com- 
pared the exposition of Ambrosiaster : " The three 
unclean spirits signify the disciples of Antichrist, who 
are to preach him throughout the whole world, who, 
although they are to be men, they are called unclean 
spirits and spirits of devils, because demons shall 
dwell in them and shall speak through their mouths." ^ 


Antichrist Ruler of the World — Drought and Famine 
— The Mark of Antichrist. 

FROM the foregoing passages we see that the 
Antichrist is not only to seduce the Jews, but 
also to gather round him the peoples from all the 
regions of the earth. This is fully described in Ephr. 
Gr., IL 138 B: 

To conciliate all — he plots craftily 

That he may be loved — soon by the peoples ; 

Neither gifts shall he accept — nor speak in anger, 

He shows himself not sullen — but ever cheerful. 

And in all these — well-planned schemes 

He beguileth the world — so long as he shall rule. 

For when the many peoples and nations — shall behold 

Such great virtues — fair deeds and powers, 

All of one mind — shall become 

And with great joy — shall crown (?) him. 

Saying one to another — Surely there is not found 

Such [another] man — so good and just.^ 

An almost literal parallel occurs in pseudo-Hip- 
polytus, chaps, xxiii. and xxiv. ; while we read in 

* For Notes ^ to ^^ of this chapter, see Appendix, p. 285. 



pseudo-Ephrem : " For towards all shall he be craftily 
complaisant, refusing bribes, preferring no one, 
pleasant to all, calm in all things, neither seeking 
friendly gifts, [but] making show of courtesy to- 
wards his neighbours, so that all may bless him, 
saying. This is a just man." Chap. vii. : " Then shall 
all flock to him in Jerusalem from all quarters."^ 

In Hippolytus, Ivi. 28, 24, we already read : " He 
therefore having everywhere gathered the people that 
had become disobedient," etc.^ And in imitation of 
Jeremiah xvii. 11* he compares the Antichrist to the 
partridge which with crafty voice entices the young 
brood that belongs not to her. So in pseudo-Ephrem, 
5 : ^' Who like the partridge gathers to herself the 
offspring of confusion, . . . and calleth whom he hath 
not begotten." * 

Ephr. Syr., 10 : " The peoples shall be gathered, 
and they shall come that they may see God, and the 
crowds of the peoples shall cleave to him, and all 
shall deny their own God and invite their fellows to 
praise the son of perdition, and one on another they 
shall fall and with swords each other destroy." A 
similar notion is presupposed (though here not actually 
expressed) in the Apocalypse of Zephaniah. See the 
descriptions on p. 128. 

Still more important are the following passages, 
going back, as they do, to a far older tradition. 

* So in the Vulgate, " Perdix fovit quae non peperit " ; ^.e., 
" The partridge cherisheth the chicks she has not hatched," 
having enticed them, etc. The passage in the EngHsh Author- 
ised Version makes nonsense. 


Hippolytus, XV. 8, 8 : " But saith another prophet 
also : He shall gather all his power from the rising of 
the sun to the setting thereof ; whom he hath called 
and whom he hath not called, they shall go with him. 
He shall make white the sea with the sails of his 
ships, and make the plain black with the shields of 
his heavy-armed, and whoso shall stand up against 
him in war shall perish by the sword." ^ 

Commodian, 891 et seq. : 

Again shall arise unto this Nero's destruction 
A king from the East leading four nations thence, 
And summon to himself very many peoples to the city, 
And they shall bring aid, though he be most powerful ; 
And the sea he shall fill with ships many a thousand. 
And whoso shall oppose him shall be slain with the 
sword. ^ 

It has already been pointed out that both of these 
passages must be referred back to a common source, 
which is already quoted by Hippolytus as a " prophet." 
Such a postulated source certainly shows a strong 
kinship with Daniel, although we cannot yet say that 
it really derives from him. The conjecture might 
rather be hazarded that Daniel himself was already 
drawing on an earlier apocalyptic tradition at the end 
of chap, xi., where he foretells the fate of Antiochus 
in language that has hitherto defied all historical 

With the above-quoted passages may be compared 
4 Ezra xiii. 5 : '^And thereafter I saw, and lo ! there was 
gathered a multitude of people, of whom there was no 



number, from the four winds of heaven, that they might 
war down the man who had come up from the sea." '^ 

No explanation has hitherto been offered of the 
statement in Revelation xi. 9 that " they of the people 
and kindreds and tongues and nations " of the whole 
world shall assemble in the vicinity of Jerusalem 
and take part in the scene there taking place. Such 
language cannot very well be applied to the Roman 
legions, who could feel little interest in the final 
overthrow of the two witnesses by the Antichrist. 
Hence the reference was originally rather to those 
multitudes who had been drawn together from all 
lands and had assembled round the Antichrist. But 
the greatest confusion has been introduced in the 
picture by the writer of Revelation xi., who connected 
the old Antichrist legend with a prediction about the 
capture of Jerusalem by the Roman army at that time 
marching on the city (xi. 1,2). 

Thus was the passage xi. 7 still understood by 
Andreas, who says of the assembled peoples (46, 56) 
that " they of the Jews and of the Gentiles [were] 
once prepossessed by the false portents of the Anti- 
christ, having indelibly inscribed on their hearts the 
abominable name of him." ^ 

Elsewhere also Revelation betrays a knowledge of 
this feature of the tradition, an echo of which is again 
found in the gathering of the kings and peoples at 

Now with this gathering of the peoples about the 
Antichrist is associated the expectation of the coming 
of the nations of Gog and Magog. Their appearance 


is usually made to precede that of the Antichrist, as 
in Commodian, 809, where they are identified with 
the Goths, who are represented as coming before the 
appearance of the first Antichrist.* In nearly all the 
Jewish apocalypses of the Antichrist Gog and Magog 
are also the forerunners of Armillus, and it is further 
stated that the Messiah ben Joseph is to perish before 
their coming, as has been more fully described farther 

As the appearance of Gog and Magog is so intimately 
associated with the Antichrist in all traditions, it may 
also be conjectured that from these sources was taken 
Revelation xx. 7-10, where distinctly Jewish char- 
acters are betrayed. Only here the Antichrist is 
brought into direct relation with Gog and Magog, and 
the whole scene made to come after the millennium. 

A long drought together with a terrible famine is 
with great unanimity described as the chief plague 
that is to prevail in the Antichrist period. 

In the foreground here again stands the series of 
documents grouped around the same of S. Ephrem. 
Thus Ephr. Gr., I. : 

The sea is stirred up — [and ?] the land parched ; 
The skies rain not — plants pine away. ^ 

* To the Goths reference is also made by Ambrosius in de 
Fide ad Gratianum, ii. 16, with which cf. Jerome, Proo&mium in 
Ezech.^ xi. (Malvenda, I. 555). See also Ephr. Syr., 6, where the 
reference is, not to the Goths, but to the Huns ; pseudo- 
Ephrem, 4 ; Andreas, who also applies Revelation xx. 8 to 
the Huns ; pseudo-Methodius ; Adso, 1296 ; Bede's Sibyl and 
Usinger (?) ; Ezra, Syr. Apoc, 12. 


139 F:* 

Then the skies no longer rain, the earth 

No longer beareth fruit, 

The springs run out, 

[The] rivers dry up, 

Herbs no longer sprout, 

Grass no longer grows, 

Trees wither from [their roots] 

And no longer put forth fruits. 

The fishes of the sea 

And the monsters therein 

Die out, and thus 

[They say] a fetid stench 

Emits [the] sea 

With fearful roar, that 

Men shall fail and perish 

Through terror. ^^ 

Then follows in another measure : 

And then in dread shall moan and groan — all life alike. 

When all shall see — the pitiless distress 

That compasseth them — by night and eke by day 

And nowhere find — the food wherewith to fill themselves.^^ 

Exact parallels occur in pseudo-Hippolytus, xxvii, 
109, 9 et seq. J IQ et seq. 

* The edition based on two Greek codices (Vatican, 438 and 
562) gives this passage awkwardly appended to the continuous 
text, which concludes with 139 D. ,Here the Latin version 
shows the proper connection. In the Greek the interruption 
139 D to E 1 yivaxTKovaiv should be struck out, being merely a 
duplicate of what goes before. Nor does the longer ending 
occur in the Munich MSS. collated by W. Meyer. But that is 


Pseudo-Ephrem, 8 : '^ The sky shall withhold its dew, 
for no rain shall fall on earth, . . . for all the rivers 
shall dry up and the fountains, . . . the torrents shall 
run out in their beds because of the intolerable heats, 
. . . and infants shall waste away at their mothers' 
breasts, and wives on the knees of their husbands, 
having no food to eat, ... for in those days there 
shall be dearth of bread and water." ^^ 

Pseudo-Johannine Apocalypse, 6, Cod. E. : '' God 
seeing the unrighteousness of him sendeth from heaven 
his angel Bauriel, saying, Come away, blow the trump, 
[they shall ?] control the rain ; and the earth shall 
be made arid, and the herbage shall languish ; and he 
shall make the sky brazen, that it yield no moisture 
to the ground, and hide away the clouds in the 
bowels of the earth, and curb the horn of the 
winds, that no wind be gathered on the face of all 
the land."^^ 

Apocalypse of Zephaniah, 128 : ^^ In those days shall 
the earth fall into unrest, the birds shall fall dead on 
the ground, the land grow arid, the waters of the sea 
dry up." 

Ephr. Syr., 12 : " The sea shall roar and become 
dry, and the fishes shall die therein."^* But here 
these things are deferred to the day of judgment. 

Then we have a much earlier parallel from 4 Ezra 

no argument against its authenticity, which is proved to evidence 
by the parallels following farther on from the Epliremite 
group of writings. Unfortunately the text of the codices on 
which the edition is based is so corrupt that I must give up 
the attempt to restore the rhythmic measure throughout. The 
Latin version shows great differences. 


V. 6, where are enumerated all the signs of the 
Antichrist times : '' The sea of Sodom [the Dead Sea] 
shall cast up its fishes, and at night utter a voice 
which many understand not, but all shall hear the 
voice of it." ^^ 

Compare also Lactantius, VII. 15, 635, 23 : '' For 
the air shall be infected and become corrupt and 
pestilent, now by rains, now by baneful drought ; . . . 
nor shall the earth yield fruits for man, . . . the springs 
also with the rivers shall become dry ; wherefore shall 
four-footed creatures fail on the land, and fowls in the 
air, and fishes in the deep." ^^ 

On Revelation vi. 5 Victorinus remarks (1252 E) : 
" But in strictness the saying extends to the times of 
the Antichrist, since there is to be a great hunger, 
of which all shall sufi'er." ^^ 

Ambrosius on Luke x. 18 : " Then [shall come] the 
false prophets, then famine, . . . and then . . . thou 
shalt behold the dryness of the earth, . . . [and] at 
last the just man in the wilderness and the impious 
in power." ^^ 

Armenian Apocalypse of Daniel, 239, 21 : '' There 
shall be a great stress of hunger ; from heaven shall 
no rain fall, nor the earth yield any green thing." 

Greek Apocalypse of Daniel, 103 : " And the waters 
shall be dried up, and no rain be given to the earth." ^^ 

Ethiopic Apocalypse of Peter : '' In that day shall 
the Lord God stem the rain from heaven, and the 
earth shall be without dew or fog ; . . . nor shall the 
springs yield any welling water, and the sea shall be 
dried up." 


Book of Clement, 82, 30 : '' And all his stores shall 
be wasted by many, and there shall be a great scarcity 
of fruits, and a fierce gale shall prevail." ^^ 

Another variant, however, is able to tell us that 
shortly before the Antichrist's time there is to be an 
nnusual yield of crops.* This recalls vividly the well- 
known statement handed down by Papias, as uttered 
by the Lord : '^ Then the ear of wheat shall yield half 
a choinix [about three-quarters of a pint], and the 
bend of the vine-twig a thousand bunches of grapes, 
and the bunch half a jar of wine."^^ Can these 
^^ words of the Lord " have possibly formed part of 
the original Antichrist legend ? 

A parallel to the above-mentioned tradition is 
obviously presented by Revelation xi., and it will be 
seen farther on that the tradition here under considera- 
tion is more original than that of Revelation xi. 

Meanwhile it may here be remarked that the whole 
body of tradition in question treats this plague im- 
pending on the world quite apart from the appearance 
of the two witnesses, to whom in Revelation the 
power is given (xi. 6) to ordain this very plague. As 
will be seen, the appearance of the two witnesses 
acquires in our tradition quite a different significance. 

In any case an interesting parallel may here be 
quoted from the Bahman Yast, II. 48 : " And a dark 
cloud makes the whole sky night, and the hot wind 
and the cold wind arrive, . . . and it does not rain, 

* So in pseudo-Johan. Apoc, 5 ; Dan. Apoc. Gr., 77 et seq. ; 
Adso, 1296 B ; ßede's Sibyl, with which compare the Sahidic 
(Coptic) recension of Zeph. Apoc, p. 124, etc. 


and that wliicli rains also rains more noxious creatures 
than water, and the water of rivers and springs will 
diminish." Compare also the description given 
farther on of the effect of the want of rain on the 
animal kingdom. 

In this dire distress the Antichrist through his 
subordinates beguiles the inhabitants of the earth 
to accept his mark. Under this condition alone are 
they allowed to buy bread. 

Ephr. Gr., 140 B : 

For stern governors of the people — shall be appointed each 

in his place, 
And whoso bears with him — the seal of the tyrant 
May buy a little food.''' 

Pseudo-Ephrem, 8 : " And no one can sell or buy 
of the wheat of decay, except those only who shall 
have the mark of the Serpent in the forehead and 
in their hand."^^ 

This tradition may now be traced farther. 

Lactantius, VII. 17, 639, 9: ^'Whosoever shall 
believe and gather to him shall be marked by him 
like cattle." ^^ 

Armenian Apocalypse of Daniel, 239, 18 : ^^ Woe to 
those that believe in him, and receive his mark. Their 
right hand shall be bound fast, so that they return not 
to him in whom they had before put their hope." 

* Cf. pseudo-Hippolytus, xxviii. 110, 1, and Phil. Solitarius, 
816 D. It should be noted that both add that whoever is 
marked with the sign of the Beast can no longer receive the 
sign of the Cross. Cf. Eph. Gr., III. 143 A. 


Adso, 1297 A : " And whoso shall believe in him shall 
receive the mark of his character in their forehead" ;^* 
with which compare psendo-Johannine Apocalypse, 7, 
Cod. E : ''' And he brands their right hands that they 
may dwell with him unto the fire everlasting."''^^ 

Here, then, fresh light is thrown upon the last- 
remaining enigmatical trait in Revelation xiii. IQ et seq. 
It was above pointed out that the Antichrist legend lay 
at the basis of this very passage, and Revelation xiii. 
16, 17 is now to be explained as a simple appro- 
priation from this legend, which stands as a parallel 
tradition independent of the Johannine text. For, in 
the first place, direct mention is here made of the 
sealing of the believers by the Antichrist, whereas 
in Revelation the sealing is done by the second beast 
in the name of the first. Secondly, the statement 
that only the sealed shall be allowed to buy (and 
sell) stands in easy and natural connection with the 
context, whereas in Revelation it presents a complete 
puzzle. Obviously the writer borrowed it without 
more ado from the oral tradition, though in doing so 
he may have had the imperial currency of Rome in his 

Specially important in this connection is the detail 
in pseudo-Ephrem, who speaks of a " mark of the 
Serpent." It is such a mark that is branded by the 
Antichrist on the forehead and hand of his adherents, 
and thus the Dragon myth is again revived. We thus 
also understand why Ephrem, III. 143 A, opposes the 
sign of the Cross to that of Antichrist. When the 
writer of Revelation xiii. 17 introduces the laboured 


clause " save he that had the mark, or the name of the 
beast, or the number of his name," it becomes very 
probable that it was he who first added the reference 
to ^Hhe name of the beast." And thus the original 
Antichrist legend is presented to us in Kevelation 
xiii. in almost all its details. 

Then follows in the same connection the statement 
in Ephr. Gr., 141 C,* that with the ever-increasing 
famine the mark of the Antichrist is of no use to his 
adherents, who appeal to him in their distress, but are 
scornfully spurned from his presence, he having him- 
self become helpless. I mention this later picturesque 
addition, because a striking parallel occurs in the 
Apocalypse of Zephaniah, p. 128 : '' Sinners shall 
lament on earth, and say. What hast thou done unto us, 
thou son of lawlessness, when thou saidst, I am the 
Christ, and yet art the devil ? Thou canst not rescue 
thyself, and so rescue us. Thou hast worked signs 
before us until thou hast alienated us from Christ. 
Since we have hearkened unto thee, behold now how 
full we are of misery and distress." 

* Also pseudo-Hippolytus, chap. xxxi. 112, 3 ; and Phil. Soli- 
tarius, 818 A. 


Enoch and Elias— The Flight of the Faithful. 

USUALLY the two witnesses, who are also men- 
tioned in Revelation xi., appear before, though 
often after the incident of the flight of the faithful to 
the wilderness. With almost absolute unanimity the 
tradition identifies them with Enoch and Elias, and in 
this tradition their appearance has quite a diflPerent 
and more significant meaning than in Revelation xi. 

Our survey may begin with Ephr. Syr., chap. xi. : 
" But when the son of perdition shall have attracted 
the whole world to his cause, Enoch and Elias shall be 
sent to convict the wicked one by a question full of 
gentleness."^ Thereupon they ask him: "If thou 
art God, tell us what we ask thee " ^ — i.e. respecting 
their own hidden residence, which in patristic litera- 
ture passed for a great mystery (Malvenda, II. 144). 
Then they demand of him the test of the raising of the 
dead, whereupon "the impious one shall be enraged 
against the saints, and seizing a sword the most 
nefarious one shall sever the necks of the just";^ 

* For Notes ^ to *^ of this chapter, see Appendix, p. 288. 



after which the prophets are resuscitated by Michael 
and Gabriel. 

Pseudo-Ephrem, 9 : " God, seeing the human race 
endangered and wavering under the breath of the 
frightful Dragon, sends them a consoling exhortation 
through His servants the prophets Enoch and Elias ; 
and when these just ones shall appear, they shall 
indeed confound their adversary, the Serpent, with his 
cunning, and bring back the faithful elect to God, 
that from his wiles"* [gap in the codex]. Then 
again follows the resuscitation of the prophets. 

Ephr. Gr., III. 142 : 

But before these things be — the Lord sendeth 
Elias (?) the Thesbite — and Enoch [the ?] compassionate, 
That they may proclaim — -reverence to the race of men, 
And openly announce — unto all the knowledge of God, 
That they believe not nor obey — the false one through fear 
Crying out (?) and saying — A deceiver, O men, is he ; 
Let no one believe in him.^ 

Then a few lines farther on : 

But few are those — who shall then obey 

And believe in the words — of these two prophets.^ 

Then immediately follows an account of the flight 
of the faithful, without any mention being made of 
the death of the two prophets ; whereas the parallel 
passage in pseudo-Hippolytus (xxix. Ill, 4) concludes 
with the statement : ^' And on that account he shall 
slay them [not you], and with the sword shall smite 
them." ' 


Pseudo- Johannine Apocalypse, 8 : " And then I shall 
send Enoch and Elias to convict him, and they shall 
show him to be a liar and a deceiver, and he shall slay 
them on the altar." ^ With this is to be compared 
Philip the Solitary, 816 B. 

The fragment of the Syriac Apocalypse of Peter 
begins : '' The accursed Antichrist. And they shall 
rebuke and denounce him as a liar, and he shall know 
(?) them by their bodies, and the son of perdition 
shall speak and say to them, I am the expected 
Messiah. But they shall convict him of falsehood, 
and say to him. Thou, a liar art thou, and thou art 
not the Messiah ; then shall he be enraged against 
them and kill them, and their bodies shall lie four 
days in the streets of Jerusalem ; and after that I will 
command by means of My power, and Enoch and 
Elias shall again be alive, and rise up with their 

Ethiopic Apocalypse of Peter : " Thereafter shall 
Enoch and Elias come down ; they shall preach and 
put to shame that oppressive foe of righteousness, the 
son of lies. Therefore soon shall they be beheaded, 
and Michael and Gabriel shall resuscitate them." 

Pseudo-Methodius, 99 : '' And without delay he 
shall send his ministers, both Enoch and Elias, and 
Joannes [John], son of thunder, who before all the 
peoples shall convict him of fraud and prove him a 
liar to all men, and that he hath come for the destruc- 
tion and deception of the many. But he being sorely 
convicted and being by all despised in his wrath and 
fury shall make away with those saints."^ 


Ezra, Syr. Apocalypse, 14 : ^^ And then shall the lytng 
Messiah appear and display his destructive power and 
the onslaught of his wickedness. And he shall drag 
Enoch and Elias to the altar, and shed their blood on 
the ground with great suffering." 

Bede's Sibyl : '^ There shall go forth the two most 
glorious men Enoch and Elias to announce the advent 
of the Lord, and them shall the Antichrist slay, and 
after three days shall they be resuscitated." ^^ 

Adso, 1296 C : '' Then shall be sent into the world 
the two great prophets Elias and Enoch, who shall 
forearm the faithful with godly weapons against the 
attack of the Antichrist, and they shall encourage and 
get them ready for the war. . . . But after they have 
accomplished their preaching, the Antichrist shall rise 
up and slay them, and after three days they shall be 
raised up by the Lord." ^^ 

The same tradition, quite independent of Revela- 
tion xi., occurs also in John of Damascus ; Ambro- 
siaster on 1 Corinthians iv. 9; Bede, de Ratione Tern- 
poruMy 69 ; and Elucidarium. The distinctive character 
of this independent tradition lies in the fact that 
Enoch and Elias do not appear till after the beginning 
of the Antichrist's sway. 

The idea that Elias and Enoch are the two witnesses 
of the last days is so widespread that it would be 
superfluous to adduce any more evidence. It may, 
however, be mentioned that the idea is already known 
to Irenagus (V. 5, l)5as well as to Hippolytus, xliii. 21, 
8, and Tertullian, de Anima (and elsewhere) : " Enoch 
and Elias were translated, nor were they found dead^ 


but their death deferred, though they are reserved to 
die, that they may extinguish the Antichrist in their 
blood." ^2 

It will suffice to notice the few deviations in the 
tradition. The original Jewish expectation, as is still 
to be seen in the Gospels, was for the return of Elias 
alone (Malachi iv. 1) ; and this seems to have held 
its ground in the Sibylline literature (cf Sibyl II. 187). 
Justin knows only that Elias is to precede the second 
coming of the Lord.* The influence of this tradition is 
also seen in Lactantius, VII. 17., who knows of but 
one witness, which is all the more remarkable since, in 
other respects, he adheres more closely to Revelation 
than any of the other authorities hitherto adduced. 
Commodian, as we have above seen, hesitates between 
one and two witnesses ; while the later Jewish 
apocalyptic literature speaks of one only, that is, 
Elias, except where this prophet is thrust aside by 
the Messiah ben Joseph — compare, for instance, the 
History of Daniel. It is noteworthy that in the Old 
High German poem Muspilli there is also mention 
only of a conflict between Elias and the Antichrist. 
Of course the patristic writers often speak of the 
return of Elias alone, but not in their full descriptions 
of the last days, f 

In the Gospel account of the Transfiguration the 
two witnesses are already introduced, but here iden- 
tified with Elias and Moses, just as the writer of 
Revelation xi. may also probably have assumed 
Elias to be one and Moses the other of his two 
* Dialogus cum Tryph., 49. t Cf. Malvenda, II. 151. 


witnesses. Nevertheless, so far as I am aware, this 
interpretation is expressly found amongst the early 
authorities only in Hilarius on Matthew xx. 10, 
although it is somewhat frequently stated that Moses 
(like Elias) had not yet seen death.* The same 
exposition occurs in the Commentary of Victorinus, 
although, strange to say, Victorinus himself elsewhere 
identifies the two witnesses with Elias and Jeremiah. 

The notion that, besides Elias and Enoch, a third 
witness is also to come in the person of S. John the 
Baptist occurs, not only in the quoted passage from 
Methodius, but also in the Commentaries of Andreas 
and Aretha (on Revelation xi. 3), and in several 
other authorities.! Then it was adopted by Abbot 
Joachim in his Exposition of Revelation, and passed 
to many other writings composed under his influence. 

If we now compare with Revelation xi. our inde- 
pendent tradition, and bear in mind its amazing 
persistence, as set forth in the foregoing pages, we 
shall discover the following points of difference. 

1. In Revelation the two witnesses are probably 
assumed to be Elias and Moses, whereas in our 
tradition they are invariably called Elias and Enoch. 

2. Elias and Enoch appear after the Antichrist 
towards the end of his rule, while in Revelation the 
beast comes up from the bottomless pit after the 
prophets have completed their testimony. 3. The 

* Malvenda, II. 155. 

t Ambrosius on Psalm xlv. 10 ; Theophylactus and Euthy- 
mius on Revelation xxi. 20 ; pseudo-Hippolytus, xxi. 104, 13 ; 
Simeon Metaphrastes, Vita Johannis, YII, 2. 


plague of absolute drought, which in Revelation is 
brought about by the two witnesses, is in the tradition 
regarded as a punishment of God for the apostasy 
to the Antichrist. 4. The prophets appear to take 
up the conflict against the Antichrist, to instruct the 
faithful on his true character, and exhort them to rise 
against him ; whereas in John the witnesses stand 
in no relation to the Antichrist. In John also the 
witnesses rise again after three days, and are carried 
up to heaven. This last trait has found its way only 
into a few of the above-quoted authorities^ and also 
into Bede's Sibyl, the Syriac Apocalypse of Peter, 
and Adso. The variant that the witnesses are to be 
resuscitated by Michael and Gabriel is found in Ephr. 
Syr., in the Ethiopic Apocalypse of Peter, and pseudo- 
Ephrem (?) ; but not Ephr. Gr., pseudo-Hippolytus, the 
pseudo-Johannine Apocalypse, 8, Philip the Solitary, 
Ezra's Syriac Apocalypse, pseudo-Methodius, Eluci- 
darium (or Muspillilf). As in all the sources the 
death of the witnesses is immediately followed by 
the last judgment, this incident has also no place 
in our tradition. 

There can now be no doubt on which side lies the 
original account. It was above pointed out that in 
Revelation xi. everything remains obscure and dis- 
jointed ; we cannot make out who are the two 
witnesses, why they threaten the plagues, in what 
kind of relation they stand to the beast, or why the 
beast kills them. But all these puzzles are cleared 
up when we survey the subject in connection with the 
Antichrist legend. The same legend also supplies an 



answer to the difficult question, whence the peoples 
and nations come, and why they rejoice over the death 
of the witnesses. Nor should this solution any longer 
appear too hazardous. 

We now clearly see how the writer of Revelation 
set to work in his treatment of chap. xi. The account 
of the Antichrist, already located in the district of 
Jerusalem, is by him transferred to the time when 
this city is being threatened by the Roman legions, 
in whom he may have recognised the '' kindreds and 
tongues and nations." We are unable, however, to 
understand why he deviates in certain details ; possibly 
he was himself no longer acquainted with the tradition 
in its original form. But it is clear that he is person- 
ally responsible for the incident about the resurrection 
of the witnesses after the third day ; and from the 
incident itself it is evident that the writer of Revela- 
tion, chap, xi., was a Christian, and in fact a Jewish 

Still, with all this, one point remains unexplained — 
the origin of the idea of the two witnesses. There can 
scarcely be a doubt that it cannot have emanated from 
a Jewish source. Here the return of Elias is expected, 
while the expectation of the two witnesses would seem 
to have never been more generally diffused, as is 
shown by the later Jewish tradition. Hippolytus, who 
bases all the details respecting the expectation of the 
return of Elias on the Old Testament, has not a single 
word on the other witness. Gunkel promises a solution 
of the riddle, and it is to be hoped he may succeed. 
Meanwhile what has here been brought together 


suffices in my opinion to explain the composition of 
Revelation xi.* 

Possibly in its further development the tradition 
went on to relate that through the preaching of the 
two witnesses many of the faithful were again con- 
verted to God, and had therefore to suffer persecution. 

Irengeus is already able to tell us that during the 
sway of the Antichrist a great persecution is to take 
place (V. 29, 1). He appeals in support of the state- 
ment to the words of the Lord in Matthew xxiv. 31, 
which words henceforth constantly recur in the de- 
scriptions of these last things. f In his exposition 
(Y. 25, 3) of the parable in Luke xviii. 1 et seq.^ he 
identifies the unjust judge with the Antichrist and the 
widow seeking vengeance with the earthly Jerusalem : 
^' The ' afterward ' [ver. 4] also means the time of his 
oppression, in which time the saints shall be put to 
flight." ^^ After him Hippolytus (chaps. Ivi. et seq.) 
follows much in the same direction, and gives even 
fuller details, as in chap. Iviii. 30, 6 : '^ And he, being 
puffed up by them [the Jews], beginneth to send out 
missives against the saints, that all refusing to adore 
and worship him as God are everywhere to be de- 
stroyed."^* Ephrem, Cyril, and others tell us how the 

* I may incidentally call attention to the two witnesses 
Neriosang and Srosh, who in the Bahman Yast precede the 
Messiah. In the apocalyptic compilation Onus Ecdesice I find 
(chap. Ixi.) the enigmatic remark, " Sibylla nuncupat eos duo 
Stellas" — that is, "The Sibyl calls them [the witnesses] two 

t Cf. Malvenda, II. 145. 


Antichrist, who first appeared in the character of a 
deceiver, throws aside his mask, and assumes the part 
of a hard and cruel oppressor. 

Characteristic is the account of the flight of the 
faithful in Ephr. Gr., 142 C : 

Many therefore of the saints — as many as are then found, 
So soon as they shall hear — of the coming of the man of 

. . . Shall most speedily flee — to the deserts 
And lie hid in the [deserts and mountains] — and in caves 

through fear, 
And strew earth and ashes [dust] — on their heads, 
Destitute and weeping — both night and day, 
With great humility — 

And this shall to them be granted — by God the Holy One, 
And grace shall lead them — unto the appointed places. ^^ 

Ephr. Syr., 10 : ^^ But the elect shall flee from the 
face of him to the tops of the mountains and hills ; 
some shall fly to the burial-places and hide themselves 
amid the dead." ^^ 

Pseudo-Johannine Apocalypse, 7, Cod. B: "But the 
just shall be hid away, and shall flee to the moun- 
tains and caves." ^'' 

These details may again be followed far beyond the 
Ephremite legendary writings. 

Thus Hippolytus (Ixi. 32, 21) applies to the Church 
the words of Kevelation xii. 6 : ^' And the woman 
fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place pre- 
pared of God." 

Lactantius, VII. 17, 639, 21 : " When these things 


shall come to pass, then the jnst and followers of truth 
shall sever themselves from the wicked, and shall fly 
to the solitudes." ^^ 

Commodian, 937 et seq, : 

Meanwhile at last he displeaseth the Jews themselves, 
Who murmur together, for that they have been beguiled 

by fraud ; 
They likewise cry unto heaven with weeping voice. 
That the true God may come to their aid from above. ^^ 

Apocalypse of Zephaniah, 126: ^^ They shall take 
their gold and flee to the rivers, and say, Take us over 
to the wilderness." With this compare what follows 
about the protection of the faithful in the desert, and 
about the renewal of the struggle with the Antichrist, 
and further the parallel passage in the Jewish 
Apocalypse of Daniel. 

Andreas (li. 51) on Revelation xii. 6 : "And it is 
probable that the visible desert [shall] save those 
through the machinations of the apostate and false 
Christ taking refuge in the mountains and caves and 
fissures of the ground." ^^ 

Armenian Apocalypse of Daniel, 239, 26 : " But 
those alone who dwell on the mountains, in caves, 
in the clefts and hollows of the ground, shall be able 
to escape until the second coming of Him who was 
born of the Holy Virgin." 

Here may again be quoted the above restored text 
of the Ascensio Jesaice^ IV. 13, where special mention 
is made of the Antichrist's rule : " And he shall hold 
sway three years and seven months and days twenty 


and seven." Then farther on : " And many of the 
faithful and of the saints [shall there be], who on 
seeing Wm they expected [not] shall be fugitives 
from desert to desert, awaiting the advent of him 
[God?]." The parallel to the tradition, such as we 
find it elsewhere in the Ascensio, is a fresh confirma- 
tion of the correctness of our critical emendation. 
The same incident of the flight drawn from such 
essentially Jewish sources as those at the disposal of 
Lactantius, Commodian, and the Ascensio occurs in 
all the later Jewish apocalypses mentioned farther 

The material so far collected is exceptionally in- 
teresting, and gives rise to a series of observations. 
To begin with, it is now clear that, as already 
conjectured by us, Matthew xxv. 15 et seq, is really 
a fragment of some apocalypse of the Antichrist. The 
" abomination of desolation ... in the holy place " 
is the Antichrist; while the flight to the mountains 
foretold to follow thereafter is the flight from the 
Antichrist. It has long been recognised that it was 
straining the text somewhat violently to apply the 
abomination of desolation to the Eoman army before 
the walls of Jerusalem. Nor are matters much 
improved by the present favourite application of the 
expression to Caligula (see above, p. 22). On the 
other hand, everything becomes easy and natural by 
recourse to the Antichrist legend. Even the " catch- 
word" borrowed by Matthew xxiv. 21 from Daniel 
reappears here in the description of the last tribulation 
under the sway of the Antichrist. 


Specially important is, moreover, tlie above-quoted 
passage from Commodian. It clearly shows that 
those flying to the desert were originally the faithful 
Jews, who had discovered the Antichrist's treason. 
In equally clear language Lactantius (VII. 17) still 
describes the persecution of the Jews : " Then shall 
he attempt to raze the Temple of God and persecute 
the just people ; he also shall entangle the just men 
with the books of the prophets, and so consume them." -^ 

Now this incident, which emanates from a Jewish 
source, is inextricably interwoven with the eschato- 
logical tradition with which we are here concerned. 
It gives us the explanation of the widespread belief 
in the conversion of the Jews precisely in the last 
days of the Antichrist. Christianity adopted the 
tradition in a form in which Jews and believers had 
acquired equal importance. 

Victorinus remarks on Kevelation xii. 6 : '' That 
Catholic Church in which in the last days a hundred 
and forty-four thousand of the people of Elias shall 
believe. So also saith the Lord in the Gospel, Then 
let them which be in Judeea flee into the mountains." ^^ 
The whole context with the incidental remark can 
have no meaning except on the assumption that 
amongst the converted and fugitives of the last days 
Victorinus had the Jews mainly in view.* 

* With Malvenda, II. 200, 1 may refer further to Hilarius on 
Matthew x. 14, etc. ; Austin, de Civitate Dei., XX. 29 ; Gregory 
on Ezekiel, Homily xii. 7 ; Chrysostom on Matthew, Homily 
Iviii. 1 ; Theodoretus on Daniel xii. 1 and on Malachi iv. 1 ; 
S. John of Damascus ; Adso, 


But most significant is it that we can now under- 
stand how Paul (Eom. ix. 26) came to speak of a 
conversion of Israel in the last days. This was no 
self-invented hope with which to console himself, but 
was adopted from the body of the early Jewish tradition. 
And thus is cleared up the obscure passage in 
Romans xi. 12 : " Now if the fall of them be the 
riches of the world, and the diminishing of them 
the riches of the Gentiles ; how much more their 
fulness ? " This is precisely the great benefit that 
converted Israel is to confer on the Christian Church 
of Gentile origin, that Israel will take the lead in 
the opposition to and struggle with the Antichrist. 

Revelation vii. 1 et seq. also is naturally to be 
understood in the same sense. The stereotyped 
number 144,000 appears to have formed part of the 
original legend. When we are told that 12,000 from 
each of the twelve tribes, with the exception of Dan 
for the reason above set forth, are to be saved, or to 
be '^ sealed," it might doubtless be inferred from this 
very enumeration of the twelve tribes no longer 
surviving that the incident itself could not really be 
of Jewish origin. But it already occurs in Reve- 
lation and in a passage which appears to be obviously 
borrowed. And it should be remembered that at a 
very early date the expectation of the return of the 
twelve tribes was already grafted on to the Antichrist 
legend (see above, p. 102). So Victorinus expressly 
interprets the passage : ^' Therefore he also indicates 
the very number of the Jews to be converted, and 
of the Gentiles ' a great multitude ' (Rev. vii. 9)." 


Compare Andreas also on the same passage. Thus 
at last the 144^000 sealed of God are presented as a 
natural contrast to those sealed of Antichrist, of whom 
we are often expressly told that they cannot receive 
the seal (mark) of God (Christ), because they have 
accepted that of the Antichrist (see above, pp. 201-2). 
From the literary point of view it is also interesting 
to note that in the Greek Ephrem is met a character- 
istic account of the distress and of the general flight 
and disorder of the Antichrist period. Thus II. 223 : 

But all those dwelling — in the east of the earth 
[Shall] fly to the west — through their great fear, 
And again those dwelling — under the setting sun 
Unto its rising — shall fly in trembling. ^3 


The Shortening of the Days — The Last Stress— The 
Deliverance — The Doom of the Antichrist. 

WE read in Matthew xxiv. 22 : " And except 
those days should be shortened, there should 
no flesh be saved : but for the elect's sake those days 
shall be shortened." A fuller tradition on this subject 
occurs in the most diverse ramifications of our legend. 
Lactantius (VII. 17, 636, 17) already tells us that 
'Hhen shall the year be shortened and the month 
lessened and the day contracted."^ 

So the Apocalypse of Zephaniah, 128 : " Then 
shall the shameless one . . . say, Woe unto me, for 
my time hath passed away. I said. My time shall not 
pass away, and, lo ! my years have become as the 
months, my days have fleeted away, like the dust 
that is wafted away." 

The pseudo-Johannine Apocalypse, 8 : " Three years 
shall be those times, and the three years shall I make 
as three months, and the three months as three weeks, 
and the three weeks as three days, and the three 

* For Notes ^ to ^' of this chapter, see Appendix, p. 291. 



days as three hours, and the three hours as three 
seconds." ^ 

Here again we see the fragmentary character of the 
New Testament tradition. By the " shortening of the 
days," however, must be understood a definite period 
of time, which, in fact, is indicated in the parallel 
tradition as the three and a half years of the Anti- 
christ's sway. 

Against those fleeing to the wilderness the Antichrist 
sends his army. But the faithful in the wilderness are 
now delivered in a wonderful way, and the power of the 
Antichrist broken. Thus Lactantius^ VII. 17, 640, 2 : 
'' On hearing this the impious one, fired by rage, 
shall come with a mighty ];iost, and drawing up all 
his forces shall encompass the mountain on which the 
just tarry to capture them. But they, seeing them- 
selves hemmed in and enclosed on all sides, shall cry 
unto God with a loud voice, and implore the heavenly 
aid ; and God shall hearken unto them and send a 
great king from heaven, who shall rescue and deliver 
[them], and disperse all the impious with fire and 
sword." ^ 

This tradition is also known to Victorinus (on 
Revelation xii. 15 et seq.): ''The water that the 
Serpent casts out of his mouth means that by his order 
the army pursueth her [that is, the faithful fleeing to 
the wilderness] ; and the earth that opened her mouth 
and swallowed up the flood [means] the vengeance 
openly taken on those present." ^ 

In Zephaniah's Apocalypse the Antichrist calls out : 


" Now fly [hasten (?)] to the desert, seize them, . . . 
kill them, the saints bring hither." Very characteristic 
are the words that follow : '^ Then shall he take his 
fiery wings and fly after the saints, and again contend 
with them." According to Zephaniah the deliverance 
is brought about by angels, who take the believers on 
their wings and bear them to the " holy land." 

It is noteworthy that the same tradition is preserved 
by pseudo-Hippolytus, who seems here for the first 
time to take an independent position ; at least I have 
failed to find the incident in any of the Ephremite 
writings : '' Then to the mountains and caverns and 
clefts of the earth shall he send the legions of devils to 
spy out those hidden from his eyes, and bring them to 
the worship of him, and those obeying to seal with his 
seal, and inflict punishment on those refusing to yield."''' 

Similarly Adso, 1297 A : " Then pursuing the rest of 
the faithful he shall smite (?) with the sword or make 
them apostates, and those who shall believe in him 
shall receive his mark on their forehead." ^ 

Lastly, Beatus, 541 : " Inaccessible places are there, 
whither the saints shall flee and there lie hid, and 
Christ shall find them alive in the flesh." ^ 

Consequently the believers fleeing to the desert are 
there to find their deliverance, for hither is God to 
send them the Messiah. Here a clear light is shed 
on Matthew xxiv. 26 : ^' Wherefore if they shall say 
unto you, Behold, he is in the desert ; go not forth." * 

* Allusion may here be made to the historical appearance of 
false Messiahs in the wilderness (Acts xxi. 31 ; Josephus, Arch,^ 
XX, viii. 6 ; Bellum Judaicum, YII. xi. 1), 


Possibly also we have here the solution of the 
puzzling words that follow: "Behold, he is in the 
secret chambers ; believe it not." For in Isaiah 
xxvi. 20 we read : " Come, my people, enter thou into 
thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee : hide 
thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indig- 
nation [the wrath of the Lord] be overpast." In some 
of our sources these very words are referred to the 
flight of the faithful to the wilderness. Thus the 
Ethiopic Apocalypse of Peter : " And they shall flee 
to the mountains, the hollows and the fissures of the 
ground and hide themselves, as saith the prophet Isaiah, 
Uome, my people, into thine house and hide thee a 
little while, until the anger of the Lord be overpast." 
To me it seems not impossible that this interpretation 
of Isaiah may be very old. If so, we shall have a 
parallelism between the two expressions " behold he 
is in the desert" and "behold he is in the secret 

It must now be evident that the second half also 
of Revelation, chap, xii., comes in contact with our 
legend. As the text stands at present (compare 
especially ver. 17), the flight of the woman is no doubt 
referred to some distinct contemporary event. But, so 
far at least as the New Testament period is concerned, 
by the woman pursued by the Serpent was originally 
understood the Church — in other words, the congre- 
gation of Jewish believers in the last days. 

Such is the exposition of nearly all patristic writers,* 
beginning with Hippolytus and Methodius ; only for 
* See Malvenda, 147. 


them the woman is of course the Christian Church. 
In his interpretation Victorinus also may in some 
of his details have hit off what the author of the 
passage may have wished to express by his eschato- 
logical imagery. 

It is another question (and this affects the special 
difficulty presented by the exposition of Revelation, 
chap, xii.) whether, and how far, the several fantastic 
details are borrowed from the context of an earlier 
myth. Hitherto Gunkel himself has failed to adduce 
any convincing parallels or satisfactory explanations. 
It is no doubt probable enough that the apocalyptic 
writer borrowed his '' local colouring " from the 
Dragon myth and from the body of legendary matter 
associated with it. But until the point is proved the 
possibility remains that the writer who expanded 
chap. xii. of Revelation described the eschatological 
conception of the Antichrist's persecution of the faith- 
ful in colours harmonising with that first part of the 
chapter which is really borrowed from the Dragon 
myth. But even so much I am willing to leave as an 
assumption, while gladly welcoming further light. 

But a still more difiicult passage of Revelation has 
here to be considered. Quite enigmatic is the judg- 
ment described in xiv. 14-20. Who is the person that 
carries out this judgment ? Apparently the Messiah, 
one that like the Son of man is seated on a cloud. 
But then in ver. 15 there is a question of "another 
angel " ; and in any case he does not execute the judg- 
ment alone, but by him stands almost in a superior 
position this other angel, who likewise sits in judgment. 


And, moreover, on whom is judgment held? The 
reference is only (ver. 20) to much bloodshed " with- 
out the city." 

Perhaps we may here receive further help from 
Lactantius, who (VII. 19, 645, 11) describes the 
overthrow of the host sent by Antichrist to persecute 
the faithful : " And the power of the angels shall 
deliver into the hands of the just that multitude 
which had encompassed the mountain, and blood shall 
ÜOW like a torrent^ and the impious one alone shall 
escape after the destruction of all his forces."^ With 
this is to be compared Victorinus on the same passage : 
'' And blood shall come out ' even unto the horse 
bridles' [means that] vengeance shall be poured out 
on the princes of the people — that is, the rulers, 
whether the devil or his angels ; in the last conflict 
the vengeance of bloodshed shall be poured out." ^ In 
pseudo-Hippolytus we are told that the faithful in the 
wilderness are pursued by demons ; and Commodian 
writes (983) somewhat obscurely that, as the rebels 
against God rush forward with their hosts, they are 
strewn on the ground by the angels in battle.^^ And 
the Apocalypse of Zephaniah (128) adds after the 
above-quoted passage : ^^ The angels shall hearken to 
it, and come down and fight a battle of many swords 
with him." 

It is highly probable that in Revelation xiv. 14-20 
we had originally a description of the battle, which was 
to be fought by the angels against the hosts of the 
Antichrist, by whom the faithful are pursued in the 
wilderness. This battle takes place without the walls 



of the city, that is, Jerusalem, headquarters of the 

If this be the correct interpretation, then the person 
seated on the cloud like the Son of man is to be 
regarded only as an angel. And thus one also under- 
stands why at the beginning of chap. xiv. the Lamb 
appears with the 144,000. These are the steadfast 
believers who have fled to the wilderness, and who 
now appear with the Lamb, God having sent the 
Messiah to them in the wilderness (see Lactantius 
above). The statement that they dwell on the 
mountain derives from the same tradition, only the 
writer seems to have added that this is Mount Zion. 

The destruction of the Antichrist by the Saviour is 
already announced by Paul, who describes his over- 
throw after Isaiah xi. 4. The Lord slays him by the 
breath of His mouth, and shall destroy him utterly 
when he appears on His return. 

This idea that Christ Himself is to vanquish the 
Antichrist continued to be widely diffused,* although 
in many descriptions the scene almost entirely dis- 
appears in the background. It is given in detail by 
Lactantius (see below) ; by pseudo-Ephrem, 10 ; and 
many others. f But it is specially remarkable that the 

* Cf . Ephr. Gr., 143 B ; pseudo-Hippolytus, xxxvii. ; Phil. 
Solitarius, 818 C ; pseudo-Johannine Apocalypse, xvi. et seq. ; 
D. A. Gr., 116, and Arm., 240. 

t Pradentius, CatJiemerinon, 6, " Qui de fureiite monstro pul- 
chrum refert trophseum " (" Who gains a glorious triumph over 
the raging monster ") ; Cyril, xv. 10 ; Jerome, ad Algasiam^ 11 ; 
P. A. Syr. ; John of Damascus ; Adso ; Haymo ; Elucidarium ; 


Messiah, Son of David, kills Armillus by the breath 
of His month in snch Jewish sources as the Midrash, 
the Mysteries of Eabbi Yokhai, and the History of 
Daniel, although in this last it is not quite clear 
whether it is Armillus or the Messiah ben Joseph that 
gets killed. Hence, even on this point, Paul's refer- 
ence to Isaiah does not seem to be made independently, 
but to have been handed down to him through the 
general Jewish tradition. 

In later times the idea that the Antichrist is over- 
thrown by the Messiah Himself prevailed to the 
exclusion of all others. It probably gave rise to an 
important transformation which the Christian eschato- 
logy underwent in mediseval times. In Jerome (on 
Daniel xii. 11 e^ seq,) the notion is already established 
that between the destruction of the Antichrist and the 
last judgment an interval occurs answering to the 
forty-five days of Daniel xii. 11, 12 — that is, the differ- 
ence between 1290 and 1335.* To me it seems highly 
probable that the legend had much to do with this 
application, and that in the Middle Ages people again 
ventured, against the decision of the Church, to revive 
millennium theories. Under the influence of Joachim 
of Fiore hopes began to spread, especially amongst the 
circles subject to the teachings of the Franciscan friars, 

and already in Jewish sources, such as the Testament urn XII. 
Patr. (Dan v.), the Midrash va-Yosha, the Mysteries of Eabbi 
Yokhai, and the Jewish History of Daniel. The reference to 
Isaiah xi. 4 also recurs in pseudo-Ephrem, Cyril, Jerome, John 
of Damascus, Adso, and Haymo. 
* Malveuda, II. 243, 



that a golden age was again to come on earth — an 
age identified with the sway of the Holy Ghost, the 
reformation of the Church, and the predominance of 
monastic institutions. 

Then we hear in this connection of a second coming 
of Christ, in contradistinction to His third and final 
advent at the last judgment.* To be sure this second 
coming is for the most part treated only in a spiritual- 
istic sense ; nevertheless Christ now overthrows the 
Antichrist (a conception interpreted in the most 
diverse ways) — the advent is preceded by Elias and 
Enoch, two religious orders ! — and the conversion 
of the Jews is now accomplished. In all this the 
influence of the Antichrist legend is clearly seen. But 
we should need a separate work to follow up all the 
points of contact, which can here be indicated only 
in a general way. 

But traces are also perceptible of an earlier form 
of the saga, in which the Messiah can scarcely have 
held a clearly defined place. 

Thus in Ascensio (on Isaiah iv. 14) we read, not 
of the Messiah, who is here called the Beloved, 
but of God, that ^Hhe Lord shall come with His 
angels and the powers of the saints from the 
seventh heaven, with the glory of the seventh 
heaven, and deliver Berial into Gehenna and his 
powers also." ^^ 

So also in Sibyl III. 73 it is said of God that 

* Thus Joachim and his numerous followers, Ubertinus dc 
Casalis, the German prophetesses, and apocalyptic writers down 
to the author of the Onus Ecclesice, 


" He shall Beliar consume and all the overbearing 
men who shall have pnt faith in him." ^^ 

Pseudo-Methodius less clearly: "And then shall 
appear the sign of the Son of man with much glory, 
and He shall come on the clouds of the earth, and the 
Lord shall take him off with the breath of His mouth/' ^^ 
where the Latin has, " God shall kill him." ^* 

Here the whole account of the Antichrist's end 
produces a disjointed and abrupt impression. With 
it may be compared the notion given farther on from 
Bernardus Senensis, inspired by the mention in 
Methodius of Michael the Archangel. But the state- 
ment is not to be rejected off-hand, because it also 
occurs in Adso, who is closely connected with pseudo- 
Methodius. Possibly we no longer possess the con- 
cluding part of Methodius in its original form. 

But with these references is connected a series of 
others, in which has been preserved a distinctly earlier 
tradition. According to this tradition it is the arch- 
angel Michael who overcomes the Antichrist, and in 
these earlier sources the Messiah takes no part in the 
incident, while God, not Christ, appears as the Judge 
of the world. 

Before giving these references, I may be allowed 
another general observation. 

It would be in every respect extremely interesting 
to make a connected survey of the speculations in- 
dulged in by the later Jewish writers on the subject of 
Michael the Archangel. We should find, I imagine, 
that here, if anywhere, Jewish speculation has been 
the prototype for the development of Christological 


teachings. In the later Jewish world of thought the 
archangel Michael takes an amazingly high position 
precisely as the angel of the people. Even in 
Daniel xii. 1 et seq, Michael is already represented 
as the great hero of the last days, when he is to 
champion the cause of his nation. But the most 
important point is that here his figure already quite 
thrusts that of the Messiah aside, and even acquires 
Messianic significance. We should expect that in 
this, as in all other respects, Daniel's influence must 
have been much felt in eschatological speculations. 
Hence in my opinion the dominant place taken by 
Michael in Revelation xii. is the strongest argument 
for the Jewish origin of that document. It is he, and 
not the Child who is yet to be born and who is des- 
tined to rule the Gentiles with a brazen sceptre, that 
overthrows the Dragon when storming the heavens. 

Michael's position becomes still more commanding, 
if it can be assumed that in Revelation xii. was 
originally described the last and decisive assault of 
the Dragon on heaven, the revolt of the old Serpent 
and his final overthrow. In that case Michael would 
stand out, in the Jewish transformation of this figure, 
as the vanquisher of the Dragon in the great struggle 
of the last days. 

Now traces of this view still occur in various 
sources. Thus Ephr. Syr., 12 : " Then Gabriel and 
Michael, captains of the army, starting up shall come 
down and stir up the saints. But the evil one [Anti- 
christ] with his satellites shall be stricken with shame ; 
and forthwith the angels shall advance and seize the 


accursed one ; whereat the Lord shall cry out from 
the heaven and overthrow the accursed one with all 
his forces, and forthwith the angels shall thrust him 
into Gehenna." ^^ Here by " the Lord " is to be under- 
stood God, for Christ is afterwards called the " Son." 
The conquest of the Antichrist and the destruction 
of the world take place without His co-operation. 

So also in Codex E. of the pseudo-Johannine Apoca- 
lypse another trace is seen of this conception : '' When 
he hath been captured by Michael the Archangel, 
and deprived of his godhead — for I have sent out 
from the bosom of my father and have humbled the 
polluted one's head, and his eye has been quelled." ^^ 

Ezra's Apoc, xiii. : " And there shall God send 
against them [Gog and Magog] Michael, the fearful 
angel, and he shall destroy them without pity." Chap. 
XV. : '' And angels shall be sent, who thrust the son 
of perdition into the Gehenna of fire, and there [then] 
is the end." 

Bede, de Ratione Temporum^ 69 : ^'That son of per- 
dition being smitten either by the Lord Himself or by 
Michael the Archangel." ^' 

Bede's Sibyl : ^' And the Antichrist shall be slain 
through the virtue of the Lord by Michael the 
Archangel, as some teach." ^^ 

Adso, 1297 B : '' The doctors also teach, as saith 
Pope Gregory, that Michael the Archangel shall de- 
stroy him on Mount Olivet in his pavilion and seat, in 
that place whence the Lord ascended into heaven." ^^ 

Noteworthy also is the passage from Bernardus 
Senensis on the Universal Judgment, XL, quoted 


by Malvenda, IL 235 : " Anticlirist by command of 
Christ shall be thunderstruck through the ministry 
of Michael the Archangel, who shall also kill him 
according to Methodius." ^^ 

So also in the Jewish History of Daniel we read : 
" Thereupon shall they, Michael and Gabriel, slay 
him who hath given himself out as the Messiah, and 
[then] shall God appear from heaven."'^ 

An echo of this tradition is also presented by 
Ephr. Gr., 143E: 

And the tyrant is led — bound by the angels 
With all his demons— before the altar. ^i 

So also Victorinus on Revelation xv. 1 : " These 
seven bad angels [those having the seven last plagues] 
he sends to smite the Antichrist." ^^ 

A parallel pointing to a still earlier period is 
probably presented by the Assumption of Moses, X., 
where we read : " And then shall His [God's] kingdom 
appear in [unto] all His creatures, . . . and then 
Zabulus [the devil] shall come to an end. . . . Then 
shall be filled the hands of the messenger, who is 
appointed on high, who forthwith shall avenge them 
[Israel] on their enemies." ^^ There can scarcely be a 
doubt that here the reference is to the angel Michael. 
And when we read further, " For the heavenly 
being shall rise up from the seat of his kingdom," ^^ 
we again find God and Michael standing side by side 
in battle, though not with the Antichrist, but against 

* Theodoretus also shov/s himself familiar with the whole 
tradition in his comment on Daniel xii. 1 (Malvenda, II. 181). 


the devil. Of course Michael could not originally 
have been placed in antagonism to Antichrist, i.e. the 
false Messiah, but, as here, to the devil, i.e. Belial or 
the Dragon (Revelation xii. 7).* 

Noteworthy is the assumption, apparently derived 
from Zechariah, that Antichrist is to meet his end on 
Mount Olivet. It would seem, however, that the idea 
cannot be with any certainty traced back beyond 
Jerome, on Daniel xi. 44 et seq. : '' Then shall come 
the Antichrist to the summit of that mount, . . . that 
is, the top of Mount Olivet, . . . and they assert that 
there shall Antichrist perish where the Lord ascended to 
heaven." ^^ In the Jewish History of Daniel also the 
Messiah ben David appears on the Mount of Olives. 

An earlier parallel is found in the Apocalypse of 
Baruch, xl. : " The last captain, who shall survive 
after the multitude of his congregations has been 
destroyed, shall be bound, and they shall take him 
up to Mount Sion, and my Messiah shall convict him 
of all his wickedness, and thereafter shall slay him " ^^ 
(see also 4 Ezra xiii. 34). 

A specially archaic variant occurs in Lactantius, 
VIL 19, 645, 16 : " Antichrist shall battle with the 
truth, and when overcome shall escape, and shall 
often renew the war and often be overthrown, until 
in the fourth conflict . . . being vanquished and 
captured he shall at last pay the penalty of his 
crimes " ^^ (cf. Commodian, 937 et seq.). 

* On Michael, the Dragon- slayer, and his analogy to Horus, 
vanquisher of Typhon, and to Apollo, the python-killer, see 
Dietrich, AbraxeSy 122 et seq. 


The Sign of the Son of Man— The Time of His Advent 
— The Destruction of the World by Fire— The 
Four Winds— The Sounding of the Trump— The 
Last Judgment. 

IN Matthew xxiv. 30 it is foretold that " then shall 
appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven." 
What is this sign of the Son of man ? Expositors 
scarcely ask the question, and yet the point must be 
raised. In the patristic writings the most diverse 
fancies are expressed on the subject. Probably the 
sign of the Son of man is to be conceived as some 
manifestation in the heavens, perhaps a flaming sword 
that is to flash before the face of the Messiah 
descending from heaven. Thus is the tradition 
presented in Lactantius, VII. 19, 645, 8 : " Suddenly 
a sword shall fall from heaven, that the just may 
know that the leader of the holy army is about to 
descend," ^ 

But besides this we find the most varied interpre- 
tations. Thus Commodian, 903 : '' Then also shall be 
seen a fiery chariot and a brand streaming through 
the stars to forewarn the peoples of the fire."^ 

* For Notes Ho ^ of this chapter, see Appendix, p. 294. 



Ephr. Syr.5 chap. xii. : " Then shall the Lord come 
down, . . . and between heaven and earth shall His 
chariot stand still." ^ 

Sibyl IV. 172: "A mighty sign with sword and 
trump at the rising of the sun."'^ 

So also Sibyl V. 158: "There shall from heaven 
come a great star down to the dread salt sea, and 
shall burn up the deep ocean." ^ 

And Sibyl XIV. 158 : "And then surely a great 
sign shall God from heaven display unto speaking- 
mortals with the revolving years, a portent (?) of the 
evil war impending." ^ 

The Book of Clement, 81, 21: "Then shall be 
signs in the sky ; a bow shall be seen, and a horn 
and a brand." '' 

Bede's Sibyl speaks in more general terms : " The 
sign of the doom ; the earth shall be moist with sweat ; 
from heaven the king shall come to reign for ever." ^ 

The Jewish History of Daniel : " And the banner 
of the Messiah shall be seen." 

On the other hand, the sign of the Son of man is 
already at a very early period referred to the Cross 
that is again to appear.* In the pseudo-Methodius 
(and Usinger's Sibyl) the last Roman emperor lays 
his crown on the Cross, which is then borne crown 
and all heavenwards. " It [the Cross] shall appear 
at the advent before His face unto the conviction of 
the unbelieving Jews." ^ 

* Thus pseudo-Ephrem, 10 ; Cyril, xv. 22 ; pseudo-Chry- 
sostom ; pseudo-Hippolytus, xxxvi. 115, 4 ; D. A. Gr. Cod. 
(see Klostermann, 120, Anmerkung) ; Elucidarmm. 


Less distinct are the statements of Greek Ephrem. 
In de Äntichristo the mention of the Cross occurs 
only in the Latin version. But, on the other hand, 
a fuller account is found in the description of the 
Advent, which is extant in five different traditions. 
Here I give the Recension I.,* where, as I believe, 
the incident is written in tetrasyllables, although the 
text cannot everywhere be restored : '^ When (?) we 
behold the sign of the Son of man appearing in the 
sky, as said the Lord when (?) He was voluntarily 
nailed to the cross for us ; then all those gazing 
upwards [shall behold the dread and holy sceptre ?] 
appear of the great king. [Then] each of us shall 
recognise [and] remember the word of the Lord 
foretelling that the sign of the Son of man should 
appear in the sky and that [thereafter the king shall 
appear ?]."^^ 

With these passages we are plunged into the 
absolutely fathomless depths of the traditions re- 
garding the Cross. I feel nevertheless compelled to 
deal briefly with the subject. 

The belief in the reappearance of the Cross at the 
last judgment has, as is well known, played a great 
part, especially amongst the Eastern Churches. With 
this belief are also assuredly associated the manifold 
legends of apparitions of the Cross, of which that 
mentioned in the Constantine saga is the best known. 
Others are referred to by Zezschwitz, 56 et seq. 

But if the Cross was expected to come from heaven, 
then it must also be supposed to have first gone 
* See above, p. 40, after III. 145 and II. 193. 


thither. And thus, in this connection, is intruded 
upon us the narrative in the Petrine Gospel, which 
afterwards became famous, and according to which- 
the Cross was borne to heaven with Christ at the 

Later this cycle of thought became involved with 
another, according to which S. Helena, mother of the 
emperor Constantine, was stated to have discovered 
the true Cross. In the times when the kingdom of 
God was supposed to have begun on earth with the 
conversion of the empire to Christianity, the Cross 
was naturally no longer expected from heaven, but 
was venerated on earth as a holy relic. Thus origi- 
nated the above-mentioned legend, as we see it in 
Methodius (and Usinger's Sibyl). The last Byzantine 
emperor at his abdication lays his crown on the Cross, 
which is then borne on high with the crown in order 
thence to return in the last days. Thus is confirmed 
the view above advanced against Zezschwitz (p. 47) 
that this relation of Methodius regarding the de- 
position of the crown is of later date and more 
complicated than that occurring in Adso and Bede's 

But quite a special version of the legend survives 
in the pseudo-Johannine Apocalypse, chap. xvi. 
'' And then shall appear the sign of the Son of 
man from heaven with power and great glory ; and 
then the worker of unrighteousness himself shall 

* The same idea occurs in Sibyl VI. 26-28, and in Chrysostom, 
de Cruce et Latrone, Horn. ii. 4 (Zezschwitz, p. 56, and Anmer- 
kung 83, etc.). 


behold [it] with his ministers, and he shall gnash his 
teeth vehemently, and all the foul fiends be put to 
flight." 1^ 

Here the Cross, the sign of the Son of man, seems 
to completely usurp the place of the Son of man 
Himself. That this is no delusion is shown by a 
glance at the corresponding material symbolism of 
early Christendom, for a reference to which I have 
to thank Dr. Achelis. Here is seen in numerous 
representations the development of the process by 
which the Cross, symbol of Christ, takes the place 
of the Crucified. And in the mosaic of S. Clement's 
in Kome depicting the scene of the Transfiguration 
we have the picture that corresponds to the account 
in the pseudo-Johannine Apocalypse. Nothing is 
here shown except a cross appearing in the sky (with 
a medallion of Christ crucified). 

Still more eloquent is a passage in the Elucidarium 
(1166), where Christ is made to appear '^to the elect 
in that form which appeared on the mountain, but 
to the reprobate in that which was suspended on the 
Cross." ^^ But it is to be a luminous cross '^ brighter 
than the sun." Compare Meyer's tentative translation 
of Völuspd, 46 : " The Saviour shineth on that Rood 
of old renown." 

A still more involved picture is lastly presented by 
the Lower Sahidic recension of the Apocalypse of 
Zephaniah, 124, which with its parallels has already 
been discussed (p. 90). 

In Michelangelo's Last Judgment also we see the 
Cross borne by the angels by the side of the Judge, 


where again is made evident the astounding persist- 
ence of such eschatological representations. 

A definite time for the advent of Christ and the 
overthrow of the Antichrist is already presented by 
Lactantius, YII. 19,644, 8: ^^Then shall be opened 
the mid-heaven in a stormy and dark night, so that in 
the whole world may appear the light of God descend- 
ing like a coruscation as the Sibyl hath expressed in 
these words : 

When He cometh 

There shall be a murky fire at black midnight. 

This is the night that it is our privilege to celebrate 
for the coming of our King and God ; and for this 
night there is a twofold reason, to wit, that He both 
regained life when He suffered, and thereafter is to 
regain the kingdom of the whole world." ^^ 

Although this expectation appears to be distinctly 
Christian, the source drawn on by Lactantius is in all 
probability a Jewish sibyl. Hence it is that Lactan- 
tius continues to declare with such strong emphasis 
that " He is the Liberator and Judge and King and 
God whom we call Christ."^* 

On the other hand, it may probably have been a 
Jewish expectation that, in the night when once the 
people of Israel were liberated frona the land of Egypt, 
in the same night would come to pass the great 
deliverance from Antichrist. In the Elucidarium^ 
III. 12, we further read : ''At midnight in the hour 
when the angel made Egypt desolate, and when the 


Lord despoiled hell, in the same hour He shall deliver 
His elect from this world." ^^ In the Jewish Book of 
Zorobabel we are likewise told that Menakhem, son 
of Ammiel, shall suddenly appear on Mount Nisan. 

A trace of this old expectation of Christ's return on 
Easter eve (Holy Saturday) still survives in a popular 
custom. In the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in 
Jerusalem the Easter fire still annually appears, not 
indeed at the hour of midnight, but for practical 
reasons * at noon, as my colleague Dr. Achelis in- 
forms me. 

God or Christ, surrounded by the angelic hosts, 
comes to sit in judgment, and before Him rushes a 
fierce, fiery storm which burns up the world. 

Ephr. Syr., chap. ii. : " Then shall the Lord come 
down from on high in the dread glory of His angels, 
. . . the sea shall roar and be dried up, . . . the 
heavens and the earth shall be dissolved, and darkness 
and smoke shall prevail. Against the earth shall the 
Lord send fire, which lasting forty days shall cleanse 
it from wickedness and the stains of sin." ^^ 

Ephrem III. 145 (text restored from the five recen- 
sions, but substantially that of III. 145) : 

How may we then endure — my beloved brethren, 
When we shall see the fiery — river coming out 
In fury like the wild — seething ocean, 
And the hills and the valleys — consuming, and all 
The world and the works — therein ; then, beloved, 

'^ To stop the unseemly scenes formerly witnessed at these 
midnight celebrations. 


With that fire (?) — the rivers shall fail, 

The springs shall vanish — the sea dry up, 

The air be agitated — the stars (?) shall fall out, 

From the sky the sun — shall be consumed, the moon 

Pass away, the heavens — rolled up like a scroll.^'^ 

Ephr. Gr., III. 143 B: 

In the end like the lightning — flashing from heaven 
Shall come God, our King — and deathless Bridegroom, 
In the clouds with glory — unimaginable (?), 
And before His glory shall run — the serried hosts 
Of angels and archangels — (all breathing fiery flames ?) 
And a river full of fire — with frightful crash i^)P 

Psendo-Ephrem, 10: '^And the Lord coming forth 
shall appear with great power and much majesty ; 
with all the powers of the heavens, and the universal 
choir of saints." ^^ 

Psendo-Johannine Apocalypse, 14 : '' Then shall I 
send My angels before the face of all the earth, and 
they shall consume the earth cubits eight thousand 
and five hundred, and they shall consume the lofty 
mountains, and all the rocks shall be fused, . . . and 
all plants and all cattle shall be burnt," etc.^^ 

Pseudo-Johannine Apocalypse, 18 : " [Then] shall 
fall the stars from heaven, . . . the moon shall be hid 
and no light be in it, . . . the light of the sun shall be 
suppressed (?), . . . half of the sea shall fail, . . . Hades 
shall be disclosed." ^^ 

Cyril, XV. 10 : '' [He shall come] attended by myriads 
of angels " ; xv. 21 : "A river of fire rushing on, 
searching [the hearts] of men (?)."^^ 


Pseudo-Chrysostom : '' A river of fire filled with a 
restless worm." ^^ 

This tradition goes far back. Thus Sibyl III. 71 : 

But when the threats of the great God shall draw 

And the fiery power shall come with overflow (?) on 

the earth, 

Then surely the universal elements 
Of the world shall be dissolved, when God dwelling in 

the firmament 
Shall roll up the heaven, [which] like a scroll shall be 

put away (?), 
And all the many-shaped vault of heaven shall fall on 

the vast earth, 
And on the deep shall flow a ceaseless torrent of glow- 
ing fire. 
And shall consume the earth, consume the sea. 
And the pole of heaven, the nights, the days, and e'en 

the creation. 
And fuse all in one and set apart unto purification — 
And no longer [shall bide] the buoyant spheres of the 

Neither night nor dawn, nor the many days of sorrow, 
Neither spring nor winter, nor yet summer nor the 

harvest-tide. 2^ 

Sibyl II. 197 : 

[The fire] from heaven shall flow and all consume, 
The earth, the great ocean and pale green sea. 
Lakes and rivers, both springs and pitiless Hades, 
And the vault of heaven ; but the heavenly lights 
Shall run together in one all-desolate form, 



Then shall all elements of the Cosmos fail, 

Air, earth, sea, light, the pole, days and nights. ^^ 

Greek Apocalypse of Peter (Macarius, IV. 7) : '' And 
all the power of heaven shall melt away, and all the 
stars shall fall as the leaves falleth off from the vine, 
and as a falling fig from the fig tree." ^^ 

Lactantius, VII. 19, 645, 10 : " And He shall come 
down to mid-earth with His attendant angels, and an 
unquenchable flame shall go before Him." ^'^ 

Commodian, 1005 : 

At the given sign the plague shall fall from all the ether, 
With a crash of thunder the raging fire shall descend. ^^ 

Ascensio Jesaice^ IV. 1 et seq, : " God shall come 
with His angels and with the powers of His saints " ; 
IV. 18 : '' Then in wrath shall the voice of the 
Beloved rebuke this heaven and this dry [land], and 
the mountains and the hills, the cities and the desert, 
. . . and from it shall the Beloved cause fire to rise, 
and [it] shall consume all the wicked." ^^ 

Apocalypse of Zephaniah, 129 : " On that day it 
shall come to pass that the Lord shall hear it, and in 
great wrath the heaven and the earth shall be com- 
manded, and they shall cast forth fire, and the flame 
shall encompass of the earth seventy and two ells, and 
tlie sinners devour and the devils like stubble." 

Greek Apocalypse of Daniel, 109 : ^' But after fulfil- 
ment of the three times and one half God shall rain 



down fire on the earth, and the earth shall be con- 
sumed thirty cubits ; then shall the earth cry unto 
God, I am a virgin, Lord, before Thy face." ^^ 

Ezra (Tischendorf, xxix.) : " Then shall I burn the 
heaven eighty cubits and the earth eight hundred 
cubits." ^^ 

Armenian Apocalypse of Daniel, 240, 13 : ^' Then 
shall the sun be darkened and the moon changed to 
blood. The stars shall fall down like leaves, and heaven 
shall be rolled up like a scroll, . . . and all things 
shall be scorched and parched by the wind. Fiery 
angels shall come down from heaven, and fire shall 
flare up throughout the whole world." 

Syriac Apocalypse of Peter : '^ And fire shall eat 
into the earth from above, and the ocean and the great 
sea round the globe shall become dry. The light of 
sun and moon shall grow dark, the stars be scattered 
and fall down, and the heaven rolled up like a sheet of 

Ethiopic Apocalypse of Peter : '^ And the sun shall 
suff'er eclipse and the moon become blood, and the 
stars fall from heaven through the greatness of God's 
wrath over mankind and the Messiah." 

Bede's Sibyl : 

Fire shall burn up earth and sea and heaven, . . . 

The springs shall fail (?), and the everlasting flame con- 
sume ; . . . 

[He] shall cast down the hills, and raise up valleys from the 
depths, . . . 

From the heavens shall fall both fire and a sulphur 
stream ! 2- 


Elucidarium : " With all the hierarchies of the 
angels shall He come, ... all the elements shall be 
stirred by the mingled storm of fire and frost raging 
on all sides." ^^ 

Muspilli : '' When the blood of Elias — drippeth on 
the ground — then shall the mountains burn — no tree 
stand on all the earth — The waters shall grow dry — 
the meres be sucked up — slowly glows the heaven 
aflame — The moon falls and burns up the mid-earth — 
no stone stands firm — then cometh the day of ven- 
geance on the land — cometh with fire men to search 
—Then can none of kin each other help — before the 
world's doom — when the broad rain shall all consume 
— and fire and air sweep all away." ^* 

A strong position is held in our tradition by the 
brief account of the last days in Isaiah xxxiv. 4 : 
'^ And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and 
the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll : and all 
their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off" from 
the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree." The 
passage is found imbedded in a connected tradition of 
the Antichrist in Sibyl III. 82 et seq., and in the 
earlier Petrine Apocalypse, and also occurs in later 
sources, where, however, it is referred to the fore- 
warnings of the end of the world,* and is similarly 
treated in Revelation vi. 12 et seq. It need, I 
suppose, scarcely here be assumed that Revelation vi. 
formed itself the concluding part of a shorter eschato- 
logical document. But at all events it may be rightly 
inferred that, in his description of the earthquake, the 
* Cf. Ephr. Gr., D. A. Arm., P. A. Syr., P. A. ^tli. 


apocalyptic writer borrowed from the current tradition 
imagery which belonged originally to a description ot 
the end of the world. The fact that we meet with the 
same description in Matthew xxiv. 29 et seq. merely 
affords another proof that in this chapter the writer 
has made use of the Antichrist legend. 

Characteristic is the final conflagration which is 
found constantly associated with the same tradition. 
No doubt the idea that a fiery tempest is to be 
let loose by God emanates from Daniel vii. 10. 
Nevertheless the distinctly expressed view that the 
world is to perish by fire seems to have been originally 
drawn from our tradition both by Jewish and Christian 
writers. But I will not venture to decide whether 
the idea itself derives from the Stoic school, or was 
developed under Oriental influences in late Jewish 
times. Such a question cannot be settled off-hand, 
without first exploring the ground inch by inch. It is 
significant that, although the idea already prevailed, 
the Book of Revelation does not speak of a destruction 
of the world by fire. In fact this belief, which was 
afterwards universally accepted, is mentioned in the 
New Testament once only — that is, in the Second 
Epistle of Peter iii. 6, 7 : ^^ Whereby the world that 
then was, being overflowed with water, perished : but 
the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the 
same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against 
the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men." 

Even here we again see how little the whole body 
of the New Testament writings, compared with our 
single tradition, has contributed to determine the 


eschatological views of Christendom. The account of 
the last conflagration has been handed down from age 
to age with wonderful persistency, so that it stands 
out clearly in all its fulness in the Sibylline literature 
as well as in the Old High German Muspilli lay. 

It is indeed surprising how we are everywhere told 
with the fullest details that the last fire is to consume 
the ocean, the rivers, and the springs ; while the words 
" and there was no more sea " are the only echo of all 
these details found in Revelation (xxi. 1). May it be 
assumed that in the mention of these particulars a 
lingering reminiscence survives of the belief that the 
old Serpent who revolts in the last days was originally 
the marine monster, who contends with the God of 
creation ? 

In one of our earliest sources, the Syriac Ephrem, 
we still read how " God shall rebuke the sea and it 
shall dry up." And we are further told that at the 
end of time the sea shall utter a frightful roar.* 

When again the description of the end is compared 
with the sketch in Revelation, it becomes extremely 
surprising that in the whole tradition not a trace is 
anywhere to be found of the idea of a millennium. 
From this it may be inferred that the common source 
of the Jewish and Christian tradition of our saga 
goes back to a time when, in the Jewish eschatology, 
there was not yet developed this further detail of 
the system, as it occurs about the close of the first 
century in 4 Ezra, Baruch, and Revelation. There 
was a time in the Christian Church also when the 
* Cf. Ephr. Gr., 4 Ezra, Book of Clement, 


milleDTiium view was dominantj thanks to the inflnence 
of Revelation. Justin, Irenseus, Lactantins, Tertul- 
ian, Victorinas, were all believers in a millennium. 
But then it is difficult to understand how, despite 
Revelation and the patristic tradition, the millennium 
theory came at last to be rejected as a Jewish super- 
stition. The difficulty, however, may in a measure be 
cleared up by remembering that Christendom had at 
its disposal an early eschatological tradition which 
knew nothing of a golden age to last for a thousand 

The essentially Jewish character of these views, and 
consequently also of the parts of Revelation dealing 
with them, is seen in the consideration that in the 
Jewish sources of the Antichrist legend the idea of the 
interregnum suddenly reappears (compare especially 
the History of Daniel), while the usual description of 
the end of the world is thrust aside. 

A special trait in the description of the end is the 
letting loose of the winds for the purifying of the 
world. This last echo of a myth, which has already all 
l)ut disappeared from Daniel (vii. 1, etc.), occurs in the 
pseudo-Johannine Apocalypse, 15 (Gunkel, 323 et seq,) : 
" Then shall I throw open the four parts of the east, 
and there shall issue forth four great winds, and they 
shall thoroughly winnow the face of all the earth, . . . 
and the Lord shall scatter sin like chaff from the earth, 
and the earth shall be made white as snow, . . . and 
she shall cry unto Me, saying, I am [as] a maid 
before Thee."^-^ 


Syriac Apocalypse of Peter : '' Thereupon shall I 
order the four winds, and they shall be let loose one 
in the direction of the other." 

Armenian Apocalypse of Daniel : " From heaven 
storms shall hither come." 

Pseudo-Hippolytns, viii. 97, 1 : " Fierce gales of 
wind shall agitate the earth and the sea without 
measure." ^^ 

The same idea is also prevalent in the Sibylline 
literature, as in Sibyl VIII. 203 : 

And the sun shall appear darkling by night, 
And the stars quit the sky, and with great fury a hurricane 
Shall lay waste the earth, and [then] shall be the resur- 
rection of the dead.^^ 

This wide diffusion of the tradition leaves no doubt 
that the enigmatic fragment of Revelation vii. 1 
et seq. was taken from this very source by the 
apocalyptic writer, who draws from the same authority 
his previous description of the incidents that follow 
the opening of the sixth seal (vi. 12-17). 

In 1 Thessalonians iv. 16 Paul is able to tell us 
that " the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven 
with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with 
the trump of God." He shows his dependence on 
the same apocalyptic tradition as in 2 Thessalonians, 
and by the expression " the word of the Lord " in 
ver. 15 Paul does not mean any particular utterance of 
the Lord, but rather has in mind this old and vener- 
ated tradition. The great day of judgment is ushered 


in with '' the voice of the archangel," which is to be 
taken as a perfect equivalent to '' the trump of God." 
This sounding of the trump by Michael the Archangel, 
which proclaims the divine judgment, is a constant 
feature of our tradition, a faint echo of which lingers 
in Matthew xxiv. 31. 

Lactantius (VII. 16, 637, 1) expressly quotes a 
sibyl as saying that '' a trumpet blast shall send forth 
from heaven a sound of much wailing." ^^ 

Bede's Sibyl : " But from on high a trump sends 
down a moaning sound." ^^ This literal parallelism 
shows how old is the tradition in this document. 

Commodian, 901: " Meanwhile the trump suddenly 
gives out a fearful blast from heaven, and lo ! it rings 
harsh through the firmament, everywhere with rever- 
berating note." ^^ 

Ethiopic Apocalypse of Peter : '' And thrice shall 
the horn be sounded by Michael the Archangel. . . . 
At the third blast of the horn shall the dead instantly 
rise up." 

Pseudo-Chrysostom : " And before His face Michael 
the Archangel sounds the trump, and awakens those 
slumbering from Adam unto the consummation of all 

Pseudo-Johannine Apocalypse, 9 : " And Michael 
and Gabriel shall come out from heaven and sound 
the trump." *^ 

That there should also be frequent mention of 
several angelic trumpeters was naturally to be 
expected from Matthew xxiv. 31. But the sounding 
of the trumpet by Michael the Archangel, as already 


known to Panl, is peculiar to our tradition, and has 
been preserved with it. 

It is no longer possible to state in quite clear 
language how the Antichrist legend concluded. But 
in any case we should apparently reject the descrip- 
tion of the last judgment which is given under 
the influence of Matthew xxv. 41-46 in greatest 
detail by Greek Ephrem ; in Hippolytus, Ixiv. ; in 
the parallel part of pseudo-Hippolytus (39 et seq.); 
and elsewhere.* Here we have probably an inter- 
polation, which was evidently based on Matthew, 
and which is perhaps not earlier than Ephrem. At 
the same time it is not altogether impossible that in 
Matthew xxv. itself we have some older eschatological 

But with the account drawn from Matthew another 
is connected, which is even more widespread and per- 
sistent. Here we read how in a vast hall of justice 
all the generations of men from Adam are gathered 
before God — the various nations, Jews as well as 
Gentiles, the diverse ranks and classes of the peoples. 
Such is the form taken by the legend in Greek Ephrem, 
in pseudo-Hippolytus, and in the pseudo-Johannine 
Apocalypse, where it is seen in its most genuine 
aspect. Lactantius also (VII. 20 and 24) appeals to 
Sibylline authority, where a similar scene seems to 
occur. Compare the line : " They shall all of them 

* Cf . Cyril, xv. 24 ; P. A. JEth. and Syr. ; Eterianus, xxv. 
217 D ; and the Elucidarium ; traces also occur in D. A. Gr. and 
J. A. 25, 


come unto the altar of God the King." *^ With all 
this should also be compared the great judgment 
scene in the opening of the Talmudic document Abodah 
Sarah translated by Ewald (4 et seq.). Widely 
diffused is the introduction to this scene, where we 
are told how all generations since Adam appear 
before God. 

Thus in the Jobannine Apocalypse, 10 : "Those, 
Lord, who have died since Adam unto this day, and 
the dwellers in Hades from all time, . . . whence shall 
they rise again ? " ^* 

Ephr. Syr., 12 : " Thereupon the angels going forth 
shall gather the sons of Adam." ^'^ 

Syriac pseudo-Apocalypse : " And all the children of 
Adam shall appear before Me, trembling with fear." 

Pseudo-Chrysostom : " Awakening those who had 
fallen asleep from Adam unto the end of time." '^^ 

Another trait constantly recurring in this tradition 
is the description drawn from Daniel xii. 3, re- 
specting the appearance of the righteous and of the 
unrighteous on the last day. Thus pseudo-Johannine 
Apocalypse, 23 : " For the just shall shine as asters 
and as the sun, and the sinners stood wrapped in 
gloom." ^'^ 

Pseudo-Hippolytus, xxxix. 116, 21 : " Then the just 
shall shine as the sun, but the sinners shall appear 
abashed and sullen." ^^ 

Syriac Apocalypse of Peter : " Hail to him whose 
works are good, for his face shall beam and he shall 
rejoice and be glad. But woe to him whose works are 
evil, for he shall be sad and his face black." 


Hildegard, Scivias, III. 12 : ^^ The good shining in 
brightness, and the bad appearing in blackness." -^ 

Lactantius, YII. 26 : '' And God shall change men 
to the likeness of angels, and they shall be white as 
snow." ^^ 

Perhaps we have here an eschatological tradition 
connected with Matthew xiii. 43, for Daniel xii. 3 is 
not quite parallel. 

That in the pitiless doom of God the mutual suppli- 
cations of the next akin shall avail naught is already 
insisted upon in 4 Ezra vii. 41 et seq. Compare also 
Commodian, 1035 et seq,, and the allied passage in 
the Syriac Apocalypse of Peter. 

In conclusion, without attempting to deal with the 
influence of the Antichrist legend on the Germanic 
peoples in the medieeval times, I may here refer to 
an interesting fragment of the old (Continental) Saxon 
Genesis, to which my attention has been directed 
by Herr Lueken. The passage (vers. 136-150) has 
reference to Enoch's translation and return to eartli, 
concluding with the fate of the Antichrist : 

^' Him [Enoch] heaven's ruler took up and placed 
him where he must ever dwell in bliss until He [God] 
send him again into the world, heaven's high warden 
to the children of men, unto the teaching of the 
peoples. Then cometh also the evil one, the Anti- 
christ, [and] destroyeth all nations, when he with the 
sword shall be the murderer of Enoch with sharp 
cutting. By the strength of his [the Antichrist's] 
hands wanders the soul [of Enoch] the ghost on the 


good way, and God's angel cometh and on Mm the 
malefactor wreaks vengeance. Of Ms life shall 
the Antichrist be bereft, the foe felled, [and] the 
people led to God's Mngdom, the throng of men a 
long while. And thereafter ariseth the new earth, 
the sound land." 



BUT after this the liberation of all the lands of 
Christendom from the Aryan hosts shall be wrought 
by the Romans. And then the earth shall repose in goodly 
paths for long epochs, and shall become like a garden full 
of all things. But the lawless shall be repulsed, and shall 
fall under the yoke of slavery to the Romans. And men 
will lament the past, and the goods which then failed them. 
After that shall be manifested the son of perdition, the 

Whilst then 1 1^ am still in the flesh I declare unto you 

* Translated by Mr. F. C. Conybeare, from a Life of S. Nerses 
published in 1853 at San Lazaro, Venice, as Vol. VI. of the Sopherk 
series, from four MSS. of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The 
Life of S. Nerses was compiled soon after the Frankish conquest 
of Jerusalem, mostly from materials as old as the fifth century. 
Mr. Conybeare remarks that "these predictions about the Anti- 
christ are put into the mouth of the dying saint. For the Temple 
at Jerusalem the compiler substitutes the Christian Church, and 
introduces some other Christian touches. But on the whole he 
presents us with a fairly primitive and complete form of the legend 
so confirming what Bousset says as to the stability of the myth in 
its main outlines, no matter how fluctuating the events which men 
sought to explain by means of it '' (^Academy, October 19th, 1895). 

f The Armenian equivalent for Antichrist {nerJiTi) can be nothing 
else but a transliteration of v^ptav. 

X Le. Nerses Parthevi, a patriarch of the Armenians in the fourth 



[him], whofee advent is by the inspiration of Satan. But 
he ruleth not over Turks or Persians or Gentiles, but over 
the votaries of the all-victorious cross. For he is very son 
of perdition of those who fell from their glory. But yonder 
abomination shall be for the refutation of the Jews, since 
they it is who give ear to the deceiver. But do ye instruct 
your children, and your children their children ; and let 
them write it down and keep the record until the approach 
of the abomination, in order that they may be ready against 
the snare and may not be swallowed up in his snare. . . . 

The sign then of the manifestation of the Antichrist is 
this. When the earth shall be filled with tumult, after 
the good time, and the sovereignty be taken away from the 
Romans ; as was made known to Daniel concerning the 
four beasts : the he-lion, that is the Kingdom of the Medes ; 
and the bear, which is that of the Babylonians; and the 
leopard, which is that of the Persians ; and the fourth, 
which was manifested terrible and wondrous, which devoured 
and brake in pieces the earth, which is the Kingdom of the 
Eomans. For as at the coming of Christ the rule of Israel 
was destroyed, so likewise the manifesting of the abomination 
will destroy the rule of the Pomans. But three kingdoms 
were annihilated, and the fourth stood firm, which is the 
Kingdom of the Pomans, which is destroyed by the Anti- 

To begin with, cruelty shall flourish, and love be dried 
up, and droughts occur and earthquakes and plagues. 
Brother shall betray brother unto death and father son. 
This was declared by the Lord, as ye know. And the earth 
shall be overshadowed. For that which they will sow, they 
shall not reap; and that which they shall have planted, 
they shall not eat ; and many presages shall there be of 
the manifestation of the Antichrist. Think ye not how- 
ever that he is Satan, or a devil from among his hosts. 
No, but a man lost in mind and soul of the tribe of Dan, 


and he is born in Chorazin, a village of the people of 
Israel ; and his name is Hromelay, and his mother's name 
Nerlimine.* And her name is Hrasim. And he is born 
of virgins and goeth unto Byzantium and is great in name 
according to the greatness of the Greeks. 

Then the kingdom of the Greeks is divided into ten 
sceptres ; and Antichrist himself shall be one of the kings ; 
and he shall slay the three kings, and bring the rest into 
subjection unto himself, and himself be lord over all. He 
shall reign for three times and a half of times; and he 
destroyeth the earth in his wrath, and he beareth in himself 
the entire livery of Satan, and his coming is at the inspira- 
tion of Satan. And he will work signs and wonders daring 
a thousand and two hundred and sixty days. But blessed 
is he who shall endure and arrive at the days of our Lord 
Jesus Christ and be saved. Then if there be grinding two 
in one mill, the one shall be taken and the other left. And 
there shall shoot forth the leaf of the fig tree, which is the 
Antichrist. The branches shooting up are his ministers. 
The mill is this life, and the taking is the discrimination 
of good from evil. 

The Son of Perdition therefore shall sit in the church of 
God, and shall begin to blaspheme God. And he demands 
that worship should be paid him as if to God j and showeth 
himself off as God, and boasteth in pride over all so-called 
gods. But he will permit himself alone to be reverenced in 
place of God, filling the earth with evils and with foulness. 

Then sendeth God the two prophets, Enoch and Elias, 
for the salvation of men ; and they warn the faithful and 

* So the most complete twelfth -ceutury MS. ; but two other uncial 
sources have the one Melitene and the other Nelitene — of. Sibyll., 
III. 63 (cited by Bousset) : e/c de Zeßaarrjvuv ij^ei BeXiap ixeroiriadev, 
I render the Armenian as it stands ; but we should evidently read : 
'' But his mother is of Melitene, and her name is Hrasim." Romelay 
= Romulus. 


turn again the hearts of the fathers unto their children, 
even as the Lord also declared, saying, Elias cometh and 
shall prepare my way. As then in the first coming John 
was the forerunner of Christ, so also in the second coming 
Elias is reserved to be forerunner along with Enoch. They 
shall therefore both come and say : Believe ye not in the 
abomination which is in the holy place ; for he is the great 
dragon and crafty serpent. With his guile he tricks you 
and with his false miracles. Go ye not nigh unto him, but 
flee unto the mountains ; and be patient yet a little while. 
He is a false Christ, and by means of false prophets would 
fain deceive the worshippers of the cross. He is the in- 
spiration of many a madness. But pray ye day and night, 
since the time of trouble is short, but the bliss unending. 

Christ of a verity is not on earth, but in heaven in 
unspeakable glory; and he shall consign him yonder to 
outer darkness and pitiless tortures. Nor doth Christ come 
before Pilate for judgment, but himself judgeth the earth. 

This and the like thereto do Enoch and Elias preach 
unto men. Then the earth waxeth foul and fetid with the 
stench of the dead; and it is contaminated on all sides, 
and all the faces of men are sick with the stress of famine 
and of thirst for water. Gold and silver and all sorts of 
raiment are thrown down,* but no one desireth them in 
the peril which is imminent in the evilness of the time. 
Then do men remember their outrageous deeds, the mul- 
titude namely, that accepted on their brows the foul sign 
of madness, " Give us aid in our straits, for we perish all 
together." But he will not succour them, but only tricks 
them with vain hope. Even then Enoch and Elias are 
taken by his hand, and that abomination tortureth them 
with terrible blows and blasphemeth God with many words. 
But when the holy prophets yield not to his chicanery and 

* Le. in would-be payment for meat and drink. 


false signs, he will slay Enoch and Elias before the eyes of 
many. And there is rejoicing among the false prophets, 
when they behold the death of the true prophets. 

Then doth the great dragon himself, the son of perdition, 
cry aloud in the hearing of all, and say : Behold ye my 
mighty power. Since for many a year they had been 
immortal, and no others can be rescued from my hands.* 
And no one hath been able to overcome my might. And 
yet more doth his wickedness flame up in the land, whom 
the Lord Jesus shall utterly destroy with the breath of his 
mouth. And he multiplies his blasphemies against the 
most high in the hearing of many. But even while he 
continueth to speak in such wise, on a sudden in the 
twinkling of an eye there cometh a shock of terrible 
thunder ; and at the selfsame moment the ministers of the 
foul Antichrist are consumed and melt away. 

Then doth appear in brilliancy the royal sign unto the 
strengthening of those that took refuge in him unto the 
glory of the just ones, for that they bound themselves in 
his love. The parts of the all-victorious cross flash with 
light, and the hosts of holy church, and \or also] take their 
full growth along with the Lord's cross ; and full of light 
they are [yet] eclipsed by its light, f Let the nations 
mourn, for he cometh to judge them that were not sealed 
therewith, them that knew it not, the sign of the Lord. 

Then there cometh from heaven in unspeakable glory the 
king of glory. The heavens are shrivelled up and are con- 
sumed like wax before the fire. Bivers running free and 
full of gloom pour down from on high, purifying the earth 
from all lawlessness and foul deeds. There are heard the 
voices of the army of light. There stir the hosts of heaven, 
and the great trumpet sounds among the tombs. Arise ye 

* This sentence is obscure. 

t The punctuation of the Armenian text seems to be wrong. 
? Remove comma after '• church." 



dead, to meet the bridegroom ! For he is here, he is come 
in his father's glory. Arise, just ones and sinners, and 
receive your reward ! 

Then with grief inconsolable shall mourn the creation 
that is not ready [or creatures that are not]. And in haste 
they don their bodies that are indestructible. Then the 
sinners appear in sombre and shadow-like bodies, for they 
are tinged with the works of their wickedness. Foremost 
walk in person the elect in resplendent bodies; they are 
lifted up from earth in clouds of light to meet Christ, and 
the heavenly ones wonder at them and say : What have 
they done upon earth, for they come in a crowd unto the 
Lord full of joy ? The Lord will make answer and say to 
them : These are my good soldiers, who denied themselves, 
and renounced the earth and crucified themselves along 
with their passions and desires for their love of me. Now 
therefore I will give them joy unending. And when the 
angels shall hear this, they will say : Ye are blessed by the 
Lord ; rejoice ye therefore in your gladness. 

Then the king of glory shall sit down on his throne ; and 
angels with awe minister unto him. And first of all Satan 
is bound without inquisition, and is dispatched into the 
abyss of Tartarus. And with cruel torments are bound his 
hosts on the left hand, for they taught men evil works. 
They do not deserve to be brought to judgment, since they 
have no defence to make before his tribunal. And without 
delay they are removed out of his sight. But the just shall 
stand on his right hand in hope of the good reward. The 
sinners also stand there in great shame, each for retribution 
for his deeds. The assize is met and the books are opened ; 
they are bound together in sheaves like the tares and are 
cast into the unquenchable fire. But unto some also are 
shut the doors of the blissful wedding, so that they cannot 
see and look upon the heavenly bridegroom ; and because 
they have not lit the torches of pity, he saith unto them : 


I know you not, get ye out of my sight. But before this 
the king bestoweth the heavenly crown upon the worthy, 
saying unto them : Come ye blessed ones of my Father, and 
inherit the kingdom made ready for you from the beginning 
of the world. 

The heavens are made new, the earth is made new ; it is 
green and puts forth leaves in gladness. And the kingdom 
is thirtyfold, as also the garden sixtyfold, and the heavens 
hundredfold. And there shall not be on earth any toil or 
sweat ; no crafty serpent nor beguiling woman ; but there 
shall be trees that fade not with their fruit, and all pain 
and sorrow shall be removed, and there shall be only joy 
and delight. And to some he will give a kingdom upon 
earth ; but for the martyrs there gleam scarlet crowns and 
robes and glory. With them are the virgins, who polluted 
not themselves on this earth ; along with the virgin Mary 
shall they receive the adornment of the crown of glory, 
transfigured. Like the sun among the stars, even so shall 
excel the glory of the virgins amidst the wedded ones. 

And do ye, my children, take note of all this, that ye 
may be saved from the meshes of the pursuer. . . . 





^ To Sc ov;( a/xa Travres tVaorti/, ov yap iravTisw iravra, 
2 Forte quoniam apud Jiidseos erant quidam sive per 
scripturas profitentes de temporibus consummationis se 
scire sive de secretis, ideo haec scribit docens discipulos suos 
ut nemini credant talia profitenti. 

^ De quo pauca tarnen suggero quae legi secreta. 


^ Et in his omnibus bella Persarum sunt — in illis diebus 
veniunt [venient ?] ad regnum Romanum duo f ratres et uno 
quidem animo prsesunt (?), sed quoniam unus prsecedit alium, 
fiet inter eos scidium. 

2 Aoyos els rrjv TTapovcriav tov Kvpiov koL irepX crwreXetas tov 
Kocrpiov /cat cts rrjv Trapovcriav tov ^ Kvtl^iö-tov, 

^ Hept T?5s (JWTcActaS tov KOOrfJLOV KOL Trepl tov ^AvTL)(pLO-TOV, 

^ Tov ay iov ^Y^c^palfx Xoyos ets tov ^AvTi\piaTov, 

^ Adyos TTcpl TOV (TTavpov, 

^ Adyo5 €ts TYjV SevTepav TrapovaLav tov Xptcrrov. 

^ 'EpwT^crcis Ktti dwoKpLaeLS* 

^ n.€pl TOV a-yjfxeLov tov cTTavpov, 



^ Aoyog €19 Tov Tifxtov kol ^ojottolov crravpov kol cts rrjv 
Scvripav irapovcriav koX Trepl ayd7rrj<; kol iXer)/JiO(Tvvr]S. 

^^ CIS T7]v Sevripav Trapovcriav tov k. rj* 1, Xp. 

^^ 'EpcoTTycret? kol aTroK/otcras. 

^^ Uepl rrjf; KOivrj'; avao-Tacr^cjJS kol />t€rai/otas kol ayaTrrjs* 

^^ UepL dTToray^? cpcarTjcretg. 

^^ Ilept /jLeravota^ kol fcptcrews kol cts rrjv ScvTepav Trapovcriav. 

^^ MaKaptcr/xot erepoL. 

^^ UepL rrj^ (rwreXcta? tov Kocfxov kol Trcpt tov ' AvTL)(pLcrTov 
K(u €t5 Tr]V Sevripav Trapovcrtav tov KVpCov rjfXihv 'I-qo'ov Xptcrroi). 

^^ Et9 TTyv ScLTcpav irapova-iav tov KvpLOV rjfxwv ^I. Xp. koi 
Trepl 4X€r)fxocrvvr]s- 


^ De illo tunc debet rex procedere de Bizantio Romanorum 
et Grsecorum babens scriptum in fronte, ut vindicet regnuni 
Christianorum, qui subiciet filios Hismabel et vincet eos et 
eruet regnum Cbristianorum de jugo pessimo Sarracenorum. 
Tn illis diebus nemo poterit sub coelo regnum superare Cbris- 
tianorum. Postea gens Sarracenorum ascendet per 7 tempora 
et facient vmiversa mala in toto orbe terrarum perimentque 
pene omnes Cbristianos. Post bsec surget regnum Roma- 
norum et percutiet eos. et erit post bsec pax et regnum 
Cbristianorum usque ad tempus Anticbristi. 

2 Sib. Beda. ^ Adso. 

Et tunc exsurget rex Tempore prsedicti regis, 

nomine et animo constans. cuius nomen erit C, rex Ro- 
ll! e idem constans erit rex manorum totius imperii. . . . 
Romanorum et Greecorum. 

^ Et ipse rex scripturam Hie semper babebit prai 

babebit ante oculos dicen- oculis scripturam ita dicen- 
tem : tern : 

Rex Romanorum omne sibi vindicet [vindicat] regnum 


terranim [Christianorum]. Omnes ergo insulas et civitateß 
[paganorum] devastabit et universa idolorum templa destruet 
et omnes paganos ad baptismum convocabit, et per omnia 
templa crux Christi [Jesu] erigetur. 

^ [Et postea rex] veniet [in] Jerusalem et ibi deposito 
[capitis] diademate [et omni habitu regali] relinquet Deo 
patri et filio eins Chr. J. regnum Christianorum [regnum 
Christianorum Deo patri relinquet et filio eins J. Chr.]. 
Adso adds the words, et erit sepulcrum eius gloriosum. 

^ Kai /x€t' avTOV ßacnXevcreL €Tepo<; ef avrov errj iß . Kai 
oSto9 TTpoiSojv Tov Bdvarov avrov Tropevßyj €ts ra lepocroXvfxa, 
tVa TrapaSiDorrj rrjv ßacriK^iav avrov rw ©ew (Klostermann, 
Analecta, 116, 81). 

^ Kat 6 fxeyaq^cXLTTTTO^ fjL€rayXü)(rcr(x)v SeKaoKro) /cat crvva)(^ 
drjaovraL iv rrj 'l^TrraXoKJxo Kai (jvyKporrjCOvcTL ttoXc/xot/. 

' Tore ßov<i ßorjcrei Kai UrjpoXocfios Op-qvqcr^i. On 'Sr)po\6(f}o^j 
see Gutschmid, 153. 

^ Tore alcf^vtSiov Irravaa-rrjor^rai ßaa-cXev^ 'EAAt^vwi/ r^roi 
P(s)fJLaL(jt)v, KaOairep avOpojTros oltto vttvov ttliov oTvov. 

^ Et jam regnum E-omanorum tollitur de medio et 
Christianorum imperium traditur Deo et Patri et tunc 
venit consummatio, cum coeperit consummari Romanorum 
regnum et expleti fuerint omnes principatus et potestates. 
The introduction of this passage from 1 Corinthians, 
chap. XV., occurs also in the pseudo-Methodius (cf. Zezsch- 
witz, 56). 

10 Ephrem, III. 190. 10 Pseudo-Ephrem, I. 

Porro sicut Nilus — eres- In illis diebus multi con- 

cendo inundat regionem, surgent contra regnum 
accingent se regiones contra Romanum . . . erunt en im 
imperium Romanum, et bella- commotiones gentium, 
bunt gentes cum gentibus et 
regnum cum regno et ex una 
regione in alteram transi- 
bunt Eomani veluti in fuga. 


^^ Etvai 8c Tov Fwy koL MayoSy Tii/cs fxkv ^kvOlkol Wvq 
vofjLLt,ov(TiV virepßopeia, airep KaXovfJL€v ovwikol Trdcrrjs hriyuov 
ßaa-iXeLas iroXvavOpijJTroTepa kol TroXcfxiKiaTepa, 

12 Extoirent vocem sancti, et ascendet clamor eorum in 
coelum, exietque e deserto populus Hagarae Sarse ancillse 
filius, qui accepit foedus Abrahse mariti Sarse et Hagar, et 
movebit se, ut in nomine deserti veniat tamquam legatus 
fi lii perditionis. 

1^ Et surget in huius gentis loco regnum Romanorum, 
quod subjiciet terram usque ad fines eius, et nemo erit qui 
resistet ei. Postquam autem multiplicata fuerit iniquitas 
in terra . . . tunc exsurget justitia divina et funditus delebit 
populum, et ex perditione egressus veniet super terram vir 

1* Eriget se contra fideles tribus modis i. e. terrore, 
muneribus et miraculis ; dabit credentibus in se auri atque 
argenti copias ; quos autem muneribus corrumpere non 
poterit, terrore superabit; quos autem terrore non poterit 
vincere, signis et miraculis seducere tentabit. 

1^ Minis blanditiis et omnibus modis seducet. 

1^ Antichristus quoque multa deceptis munera largietur 
et terram suo exercitui dividet, quosque terrore non quie- 
verit, subjugabit avaritia. The Spanish priest Beatus 
follows Jerome in his Commentary (Florence, p. 442). 


1 37 r Ot Sk viol TYJ<; aTTCüXetas crTr]pi$avT€s Swcrovcrt to. 
TT/odcrcoTra avrwv iirl rrjv Svctlv tov '^Xlov, 

28. OvaL croL *E7rTaA.o<^e ck t-^s T0tai;T7^s ^PyV^y orav ki^kXwÖtJ? 
vTTo crrpaTOTreSov ttoXXov . . . koL Kpar-qcru [to be read instead 
of TraTTycret] to ^JiupaKiov liri ere iXeeivrj. 

^ Kat iv TO) fXY] €LvaL avSpa p(p>;cn/Aov ßaö-iXevo'f.L yvvy] fxtapa 
iv TTJ cTrraAdc^u) kol fjnavrj tol ayta tov ®€0v OvcnaaTqpLa kol 
cTTaOcLcra cr /iccro) t^s €7rTaXo<f}ov ßorjcreL cfxuvrj /xcydXr) Xiyovcra* 


Tt9 0€O9 irXrjv ifjiov kol tl^ Swarat avTio-TTJvai rrjv ifjirjv ßacrt- 
Xeiav ; kol €v6v'; er etcrOrja- erat rj €7rTaA,o<jf)os kol KaTaTrovria-OrjceTat 

^ Kat t6t€ 8^ TTtts Koa-fxoq viral TraXdfJLrjo-i yvvaiKos — ecraerat 

äp-)(6fJi€V0<S KOL 7r€i66fl€VOS TTepl 7raVT09. CVÖ' OTTOT av KOCTflOV 

TTtti/Tos X^pyj ßa(rtXev(rrj — kol piiprj -^vcrov re kol apyvpov et? 
aXa Slav — ^(aXKOi/ t rjSe o-LSrjpov icfu^fxeptoiv dvopaJTrcav — €S 
TTOVTOv pi^rj, t6t€ Stj (Trov)(€ia rrpoiravTa — yrjpcvuu Kocrfxov 
OTTOT av 0609 aWipt vatW — ovpavov elXi^rj, 

■* H TcXevrata opacris tov fX€yaXov 7rpo<f>i^Tov Aavc^X, 
7]TL^ 8ia TOV iv aytois Trarpos -^fxthv MeöoScov HaTapwv i(j}av€' 
pwOrj rjiMv {Cod. Pseudepigr, Vet. Test., I. 1140). 

^ De egressu iilii Dan maledicti, qui est Antichristus et 
de descensu Eliae et Enoch, quodque hos ille interfecturiis 
est et prodigia magna ac miracula multa editurus. 


1 Exsurget iterum in istius clade Neronis 

Rex ab orient e[m] cum quattuor gentibus inde 
Invitatque sibi quam multas gentes ad urbem, 
Qui ferant auxilium, licet sit fortissimus ipse, 
Implebitque mare navibus cum milia multa ; 
Et si quis occurrerit illi, mactabitur ense ; 
Captivatque prius Tyrum et Sidona subactas. 
^ To Se opfJLTjfjia avTov TrploTOv kaTac kirt livpov Kat ^rjpvTov. 
^ Ipsum denique Neronem ab Antichristo esse peri- 

^ ^ißXiov KX-^/x-cvTos 7rpix)T0v to KaXovjm€vov Siaöi^ kt) tov 
Kvpiov rjfJiCiv Irjaov l^ptcrTov» 

^ '^yepOrjo'eTai Sk /cat iv ttj Svcret ßaatXevf; äXX6(j>vXo<;, ap\(jiv 
p.ri^avrj'i ttoXXtj^ aOco^ dv6po)7roKT6vo<; ttXolvo^ . , . fXLcroiv tov<; 
TTLCTTov^, 8tcüKT>79. Thou (82, 40) : ndre iXcvcreTaL 6 vlo^ ttj^ 
aTTwAetas 6 avTCTraXos Kai vx^/ovfx^vo^ kol €7ratpd/x€vo<?, etc. 


^ 'EyepÖT^o-CTai Sc /cat €i/ rrj hv(T€L ßacriX^v^ d\Xo<^uXos . . . 

fJiiCrCjV TOVS TTLO-TOVS, St<x)KT7]S' KVpi€V(J€L Sc Kol i6vO)V ßapßdpUiV 

KOL iK^vvel at/x-ara ttoXAcx . . . ecTTat Se iv Trdorrj ttoAci kol iv 
iravTi TOTTO) äpTrayrj Kai eTn^pofir] Xrjcrrwv kol iK)(ycr€LS alfxaTUiv. 

"^ Et sonus et vox et maris ^ Ezra v. 7. Mare Sodomi- 

bullitio. ticum . . . dabit vocem noctu. 

Et in terra eriint mon- v. 8. Et bestiae agrestes 

strua . . . draconum generatio transmigrabunt regionem 
de homines similiter et ser- suam, et mulieres menstrn- 
pentium. atse parient monstra. 

Et mox nubserit femina, vi. 21. Et anniculi in- 

pariet filios dicentes sermones f antes loquentnr vocibus suis, 
perfectos. et prsegnantes immaturos 

parient infantes trium et 
quattuor mensium. 


^ AvTCLp cTTCt 'I^wfjLrj KOL AlyvTTTOv ßacnXevcreL, 

^ 'AAAa Töi. fxkv ScKOLTTj y€V€fj /xdXa rravTa TcXctraf vvv S' 

^ 'AXA' OTTOT av ScKOLTT] y€V€rj So/xov "AtSog etcrw. 
^ ^El^ö' OTTOT av KOCTfXOV TTaVTO^ XVPV ßoLO-i\€V(rrj. 
^ ®Yj\vTep7]^ /xcreTreiTa fxcya Kpdro^' rj KaKa TroXkd 

av^Y)cr€L ©€09 avTOs, ot av ßaa-iXrjLSa TLfJiyjv 

(TT€\l/afxii/rj rervxy- 
^ 'HSe yvvaiKO'S dSovXdyrov iirl KVfxa Treo'ovcrrjs» 
'^ Sunt autem Judsei trans Persida flumine clausi, 

Quos usque in finem voluit Deus ibi morari. 
^ Alexander Gog et Magog seternaliter conclusit. Un- 
decim tribus Hebrseorum montibus seternaliter circumcinxit. 
More on this point may be seen in Malvenda, II. 571. 



1 Et amici omnes semet ipsos expugnabimt. 

^ Et erit in illo tempore, debellabunt amici amicos ut 

3 Et erit incomposito vestigio, quam nunc vides regnare 
regionem et videbunt earn desertam. Si autem tibi dederit 
altisöimus vivere et videbis [quae] post tertiam turbatam 
(Hilgenfeld). The Greek runs, Tt)!/ /xcra t?)i/ TpiTr}v 

^ Est et alia major necessitas nobis orandi pro impera- 
toribus etiam pro omni statu imperii rebusque Eomanis, 
qui vim maximam universo orbi imminentem ipsamque 
clausulam sseculi acerbitates horrendas comminantem JRo- 
mani imperii commeatu scimus retardari^ itaque nolumus 
experiri et dum precamur differri Romanse diuturnitati 
favemus. And ad Scapidam, 2 : Christianus nulHus est 
hostis, nedum imperatoris, quem . . . salvum veHt cum 
tote E/Omano imperio, quousque sseculum stabit. Tamdiu 
enim stabit. Cf. also his exposition of 2 Thessalonians ii., 
Resurr. Carnis., 24, and Jerome on the same passage in his 
epistle to Algasia and in his Commentary on Jeremiah, 25, 
26; the exegesis of Chrysostom in the Ambrosiaster ; 
Pelagius (in Jerome) ; Sedulius ; Primasius ; Theophylactus ; 

^ Sihyllce tamen aperte interituram esse Romam loquun- 
tur. . . . Hystaspes quoque, qui fuit Medorum rex anti- 
quissimus . . . sublatuiri ex orbe imperium nomenque 
Romanum multo ante prsefatus est. 16 (635, 1) : Quomodo 
autem id futurum sit ostendam. In primis multiplicabitur 
regnum et summa rerum potestas per plurimos dissipata et 
concisa minuetur . . . donee reges decem pariter existant, 
. . . hi . . . disperdent omnia et comminuent et vorabunt. 
YII. 25 (664, 18) : Etiam res ipsa declarat lapsum ruinamque 


rerum brevi fore, nisi quod incolumi urbe Roma nihil istius 
videtur esse metuendum. At vero cum caput illud or bis 
Occident et pu/xry esse coeperit, quod Sibyllse fore aiunt, 
quis dubitet venisse jam finem . . . ? Ilia est civitas, qute 
adhuc sustentat omnia, precandusque nobis et adorandus est 
deus cseli, si tamen statuta 'eins et placita difFerri possunt, 
ne citius quam putamus Tyi*annus ille abominandus veniat. 
For the above allusion to the Sibyls, see Sibyl III. 364 ; 
VIII. 165. 

^ Et cum coeperit regnum Komanorum giadio coii- 
summari adest adventus mali ... in expletione enim Roman i 
regni necesse est saeculum consummari. . . . 5 : Et jam 
regnum Romanorum tollitur de medio et Christianormn 
Imperium traditur Deo et patri, et tunc veniet consummatio 
cum coeperit consummari Romanorum regnum. 

^ "Av6p(07rov fidyov . . . ap7roiZ,ovra fxkv eavrto ttjs Pco/Aatwv 
jSacrtA.€tas rrjv i^ovcrtav . . . ep-^erac 8e 6 TrpoecpyfJiivos ^Avrt- 
)(pi(TTo<; ovTO<s, orav TrXypioOioo-LV ol Kaipol tyjs *Pü)/xato)i/ ßacnkcias- 

^ Jam illud Imperium ad eos pertinere, qui Latini 
dicuntur, spiritus . . . declaravit et docuit per Hippolytum 
in eo libro, quo Johannis Theologi apocalypsin interpre- 
tatur. Here may also be compared the other passages 
quoted above from Adso, the Sibyls in Bede and pseudo- 

^ Quidam putant hoc de imperio dictum fuisse Romano. 


^ 'El/ irepiTOfJifj 6 croiTrjp rj\6ev eh tov koct/jlov, kol avros 
o/xotcDs cXcvcrerat. 

2 Hunc ergo suscitatum Deus mittet regem dignum 
dignis et Christum qualem meruerunt Judsei. Et quoniam 
aliud nomen allaturus est, aliam etiam vitam instituturus, 
ut sic eum tamquam Christum excipianb Judsei, ait [enim] 


Daniel (xi. 37) : desideria mulierum non cognoscei, cum 
prius f uerit impurissimus et nullum Deum patrum cognoscet. 
Non enim seducere populum poterit eircumcisionis nisi legis 

^ Nostri autem et melius interpretantur et rectius, quod 
in fine mundi hsec sit facturus Antichrist us, qui consurgere 
habet de modica gente i. e. de populo Judaeorum. 

^ Alter rex orietur ex Syria. 

^ Exsurget iter um . . . rex ab orientem. Here ab 
(" from ") is surely to be retained and not replaced with the 
latest editor by ad (" to "), for the king as a matter of fact 
is to come from the East (cf. 905 et seq, of Commodian). 
The ungrammatical ah orientem may be due to the 
ignorance of the scribe at a time when the accusative was 
everywhere tending to absorb all the other oblique cases. 

^ Nobis Nero f actus Antichristus, ille Judseis. 

*^ Kat dvareXct vfuv Ik tyJs cfivXrjs 'louSa kol Acut- to crioTT^pLOV 
Kvpiov KoX avTos TTOi-qo-ei Trpos rov BcXt'ap TroXe/xoi/. 

^ Kal BcXtap Ö' -^^et kol cr^/Aara TroXXa TTOirjO'U av6p(07roLS. 

^ 'Efc Se '^eßao-TYjViov rj^€i BeXtap ixeroTrio'Oev. 

^^ Descendet Beliar angelus magnus rex huius mundi 
... in specie hominis. 

11 Ille . , . veniet . . . quasi apostata et iniquus et 
homicida ; quasi latro. 

12 Tunc apparebit ille nequissimus et abominabilis draco, 
ille quem appellavit Moyses in Deuteronomio dicens : Dan 
catulus leonis accubans et exiliens ex Basan. Accubat enim, 
ut rapiat et perdat et mactet. Catulus leonis vero non 
sicut leo de tribu Dan sed propter iram rugiens ut devoret. 

1^ 'EttciS^ yap o KXiTrrr]^ kol oXd(rTO)p kol d7rr)vr]<s 

7r/ocüT09 /xeXXct epx'^crOat iv TOi<s lSlols Kacpols 

ßovXofx^vo^ KXexj/ai kol Ovcrat Koi aTroXeorat. 

1^ ToT€ <^av^(T€Tat 6 dpvr}T7]<; kol i^optcr/Jiivo'; iv rrj crKOTta 6 


1^ Kai KpaTYjcrei o Tpto-KarapoTaros Sat/xwi/, 


^^ Et regnabit quem non sperant qui inhabitant super 

^"^ Qui de improviso advenerit regnum sibi vindicans. 

^^ Et multi fideles et sancti, quum viderunt eum quem 
ipsi + non sperabant, [suspensum Jesum Dominum Christum, 
postquam ego Jesaias vidi eum qui suspensus est et accendit, 
et credentes quoque in eum, ex iis pauci in illis diebus 
reliqui erunt servi eins] fugient[es] ex eremo in eremum 
prsestolantes eins (domini) adventum. 

^® Ne eum [Antichristum] putemus . . . diabolum esse 
vel daemonem sed unum de hominibus in quo totus Satanas 
habitaturus sit corporaliter. 

^^ Tts Se oStos icFTiv ; apa 6 craravas ; ovSa/jtws* dAA' av- 
öpiDWos TLS Tracrav avTOv 8e;(o/xei/os rrjv kvipyuav» 

^^ 'Et/ cr^?}/jtaTt av6p(i)7rov icjidvr) 6 craiTrjp Kai avTos iv f^XV' 
jjLaTi avOpMTTOv iXevcreTai. 

^^ Tevrjß-qTOJ Aai/ 6<^t9. . . . bcjas ovv tls aXX rj 6 o-tt ap)(rj^ 
TrXdvos 6 €]/ rrj yevicrct elprjfxivos 6 TrXavi^cras rrjv l^vav /cat 
7rT€pVLora<s rov ^ASdfX ; 

^^ 'EtTCiS'^ 6 (TdiTrjp TOV KOCTfXOV ßovX6fJL€VOS TO yCI/OS T(x)V 

dv6p(i)7ro)v crwcrat, e/c rrj^ d)(pdvTov kol irapOh/ov Maptas iT€)(6Yj 
Koi iv o'X'^f^GLTL crapKos rov l)(ßpov KaTeirdrirjorev iv iSia SvvdfX€L 
Trj<s avTov öeoTTjTos, rbv avTOv Tpoirov kol 6 SidßoXos ck 
jjiiapas ywacKos i^eXevcreTat cttI ttJ's yrjsy TiKTerai h\ iv 
TrXdvrj €K TrapOei/ov, 6 yap ®€o^ rjfx^v orapKtKios rifitv iweSrjfMrjcre 
. . . 6 8e SidßoXos €6 KOL crdpKa dvaXdßoi dXXa Tavra iv SoKrjcreL. 
So also Philippus Solitarius in Dioptra, III. 10, p. 815 D : 
Itaque nascetur ex muliere libidinosa opinione quidem 
incarnatus sed non etiam re ipsa. 

^^ AiSa)(6o)fJi€V S) cfiLXoL, OTTOto) T(p a')(rip.aTi 

eXcvo-erat cttI y^s 6 dvaicr\vvTO^ ocja^. 

cTTCtS^Trep 6 (TOiTrjp tov aojcrai ßovXofJLevo^; 

TO yivos t(x)V dv6p<j)7r(DV ck irapOivov irexOrj 

Kai (TX^fiari dvOpdiirov i-n-dTTjare tov k^Opov 

iv äyCa Svi/a/xci Trjs avTOV öeoTrjTOS. 


137 E: 

Maöo)!/ Tovro 6 i)(6pb<;, ort TrdXiv tp^eTai 

ef ovpavov (6) KvpLO<s Iv So^rj öeoTrjro^, 

IkoyicraTO ovto)S ävaXaßelv t6 crxyf^CL 

T7]<5 avTOv Trapovcrtaq Kai OLTrarrjcrai Trai^ras. 

A few lines farther on : 

TiKTerai Se aKptßiüs e/c yvvatKos fXLapa<; 

TO Ikclvov bpyavov, ovk avro^ Se crapKOVTai. 

^^ Ephr. Gr. is recalled by Cyril, xv. 14 : 'O craTavm opydvu) 
K€)(pY]Tai iK€Lvo) a^TOTrpocTojTTwg ^i avTov ivepyojv, 

^^ Mt/xetrat yap 6 rcov dvöpcü7ro)v aXacrroip rov ®€ov kol 
crctrrrjpos rjixoyv rrjv ivavOpwirrjo'Lv, kol wcnrep avrbs avOpoi-rruav 
cjivcnv avaXaßo)V rrjv rifxeripav CTrpay/xarevcraro crcoTT^ptW, ovto)^ 
€K€Lvos ävöpojTTov cKXc^a/xcT/o? TTOLCTav avTOv hi^aaOai Swdfjieuov 
TYjv ivipyetav . . . avOp(x)7rov<; Trctpao-erat. 

2^ Sicut e contrario angelus sanctus in Tobise libro speciem 
et similitudinem . . . Azarise suscepit. 

28 Lactantius, YII. 17 (I. 638, 14): Malo spiritu genitus. 

^^ Sulpicius Severus, Dial., II. 14: Malo spiritu conceptus. 
Cf. also Andreas, who assumes in the Antichrist an 
ayyeXiKYj ovcria, an "angelic substance" (50, 13), with 
which cf. 51, 45 : 6 iv tco ^ Avrcxp^crTio ivepycov SidßoXo^ 
(" the devil operating in the Antichrist "). Cf. further 
the following passages : 

Pseudo-Ephrem, 6 : Ex semine viri et ex immunda vel 
turpissima virgine malo spiritu vel nequissimo mixto 

Adso, 1292 B: Nascetur autem ex patris et matris copu- 
latione, sicut et alii homines, non ut quidam fabulantur de 
sola virgine. . . . In ipso vero . . . germinationis su^e 
primordio diabolus simul intrabit in uterum matris suae. 

Jacob Edess. Ephr. Syr., I. 192 D : Coluber Antichristus 
Danitica matre nascetur patre Latino, qui clam nee amore 



legitime quasi luhricus anguis ad ejus feminse concubitum 

Elucidariiim : De meretrice generis Dan nascetur. In 
matris utero diabolo replebitur. 

Birgitta Kevel., VI. 67 : Antichristus nascetur de male- 
dicta femina et de maledicto homine, de quorum seminibus 
diabolus formabit corpus suum. 

^^ Kat Trepl tov S/oa/covros rov dvatSecrraroT; kol Setvov tov 
jLtcXAovTos Tapa<j(T€iv Tracrav rrjv virovpavov, 
^^ 'Eycpö'^crcrat 6 o^ts 6 KOLfjLWjjLiVos. 

^^ Actvov TO 6r)pLov 8pdK(j)i/ /teya? avöpdTrois a/caray wvktto?. 
^^ Draconi natura doloso et callido . . . eum comparat. 
^^ Meyas dywi/ aSeXcfyol iv rots KaupoiS Ikclvols 

kiri TracTLV avOpwTroLS fiaXLcrra Se (rots) Trtcrrots, 

or av iTTiTeXovvrai (rrjfxcia kol ripara 

vir avTov rov SpoLKovTOS iv TroXX'ß l^ovcria 

or av TrdXiv kavrov Sclkvvo-lv wcnrep 0€ov 

iv ^avrdcr/jtaort c^o^epots depet LTTTajJievos 

Koi Trdvras tovs Sat/xovas iv a-yrjfJLaTi dyyiXiav 

LTTTafxevovs iv <j>6ßio cfXTrpocrdev rov Tvpdwov^ 

ßoa yap iv tcr^ut dXXd<jcr(j)v Kal rag /xo/o<^a5 

iK<^oßrjö'ai dpLerpo}^ diravTa^ tov*^ dvOpiJiirov^. 

^^ Tovs yap Sat/Jiova^ avTOv aTroSet^ct ws dyyiXov<i (fioyreivovq 
Kal (TTpdTLas dcrw/AartüV Trapctord^et, wv ovk eariv dpi6ixo<;^ kol 
efXTrpoaoev TrdvTUiV dvaSciKvvct avTOv cts rov ovpavov dvaXafx- 
ßavofxcvov fxerd oraXirLyyosv Kal rj)((hv Kal Kpavyrj<; icr;(upa? 
€vct>rjfJLOvvTO)V avTov dSiTjyYjTOis v/xvoL<;y Kal iKXdjjLTrtüv uicnrcp <;6ws 
6 rrjs (TKOTias KXrjpovo/Jiog, Kai 7roT€ fieu cts ovpavov^ dvnrrafJLCvo^, 
7roT€ Se iirl r^s y>}s Karep^^o/xcvos iv So^rj fxcydXrj, ttotI Bk kol ws 
dyyiXov<s tovs Sat/xoi/a? eTrtrdcrcrcui/ rov Trotctv ra OeXy/xara avrov 
fxcrd TToXXov cjioßov Kal rpofxov, 

3Ö Dioptra, III. 10, 816 C : In sublime volans ut angelus 
[imo ut dsemon] et terrores ac prodigia ad deceptionem 

37 Nam cum omnem voluntatem seductoris diaboli com- 


pleverit, ita quod justo judicio Dei amplius tantam 
potestatem iniquitatis et crudelitatis suae habere omnino 
non permittetur, omnem cohortem suam congregabit et sibi 
credentibus dicet, quia ad coelos ire velit — et ecce velut 
ictus tonitrui repente veniens caput ipsum tanta fortitudine 
percutit, quod et de monte illo dejicitur et quod spiritum 
suum in mortem emit tit. 

^^ ''Hpfaro ai^i/tSicüs ^op<f>a^ ivaXdcrcreiV wcrre ycvccroat avrov 
i$aL(l>vr)<; TratStW koL fxer oXiyov yipovra aXKore 8c koX veavLO-Kov 
. . . KOL ißoLK-^evev vrrovpyov e)(^iüv rov StdßoXov. Cf. also 
chap. xxii. : cts tovtov Se rov St/xwi/a Svo ovcrtaL ctcrt]/ äv9p(x)7rov 
Koi SiaßoXov (" in this Simon are two beings, [those] of man 
and the devil ''). 

2^ Quin et figurarum et colorum conversionibus omnino 
instar Protei alius ex alio . in sublime volans ut angelus 
[imo ut daemon] et terrores ac prodigia ad deceptionem 

^^ Kat iraihiov ytVerac koL ycpwi/, koX ixrjSels avr<3 TTtcrrcvct, 
ort icrriv 6 vtos fiov 6 dyaTn^rds. 

^^ M.vp€o Koi av Kd/oti/öc rov iv croi Xvypov oXcOpov, 
r)VLKa yap crrpcTTTatcri fXLTOi<s Moipat rptdSeX^ot 
KXwcrdix€vai cj^evyovTa SoXco iaOfJiOio Trap* 6fxcf>7]V 
a^ovcTLV /JL€Ti(jt)pov^ eoos ^crtSwcnv aTrayrcs. 
^^ Uvpcjiopos ocTcre SpaKwv ottot av iirl K-vfiaonv ^XOy 
yacTTipi TrXrjöo^ €)((ji)v kol OXtxprj creto to. rc/cva 
kcraofxeuov Xljjlov re Kai ifJicf>vXov ttoX^julolo, 
eyyi»s /xev KoarfjLOLO riXos koL ecrxarov rjjxap. 
^^ K(ü/xa^€6 C?) ßovXycTi Tov iyKpycfyirjo-L Xo;^€tats* 
'AcrtSos €K yatT/s cttI TpcotKoi/ dpfji hnßdvTa 
OvfJiov €)(OVT aW(j)vos' or av 8' iaöfJiov BtaKoif/Yj 
TrairraLViov ctti rravra^ Iwv TreXayos 8ta/xcti/^a9, 
Kal TOTC drjpa fxeyav ix^reXevcr er at at/xa KcXaLvov. 
^ IIci/TTyKOi/Ta 8' o Tt9 KepatYjv Xd^^, Koipavoq co-rat 
8c IV OS o<^ts 4^V(T(x)v TToXejjLov ßapvv . . . 

Kal TfJi7j^€L TO SUvfJLOV OpOS Xv6p(D T€ TToXd^El, 


aXX' ccrrac Kat atoro? 6 Xotytos. ctr' avaKafxxp^i 
Icrd^iDV ODcw avTov, Ikiy^ei 8' oi; /;ttv coi/ra, 

^^ 'O 'Avrt^^ptcTTOs 6 ef< rcoi/ cr/coreti/cuv koX ßvOiov Tq^ yrjq 
-)(0)pLwv €^ta)F, €1/ ots 6 ScdßoXo^ KaraSeSiKaaTai. 

^^ ... Et postquam conöiimmatum est, descendet Berial 
angdus niagnus rex huius muDdi, cui domiiiatur ex quo 
exstat, et descendet e firmamento suo [in specie hominis 
regis im* quit at is matricidse . hie est rex huins mundi] . . . 
hie angelus Berial [in specie istius regni] veniet, et venient 
cum eo omnes potestates huius mundi et andient eum in 
omnibus quae voluerit. 

^^ UvevjjiaTa tov BeXt'ap. 

^^ Kat atiTO? TTOirjo-ei Trpo? rbv BeXtap TroXcfjiOv kol T'^v 
iKSiKrjcTiV TOV viKov<; S(x)(r€i Trepacnv vfxüyv. 

^^ Et ascendimus in firmamentum, ego et ille, et ibi vidi 
Sammaelera eiusque potestates, et erat magna pugna in eo 
et sermones ^atanici, et alius cum alio rixabatur ... et 
dixi[t] angelo : quse est hsec rixa? Et dixit mihi : ita est, 
ex quo hie mundüs existit, usque nunc, et hsec pugna donec 
veniet is, quem tu visurus es, eumque delebit. 

^^ To ^Xho^i TOV 7rpo(ru)7rov avTov oxret dypov, 6 6<^öaX/xo<? 
avTOV 6 Sextos wg äcTTYjp to irpwl di/areXXcjv kol 6 €T€po^ acrd- 
XevTos, TO (TTOjUia avTOv 7rrj)(v^ fxia, ot 68ci/7e9 avTov cnriOafXiaiOLj 
OL SaKTvXoi avTOv 0J9 Spiiravaj t6 t^i^o? tÜv ttoSo)]/ avTOv cnriOa- 
fJLcov Bvo Kol €ts TO /xcTCüTTOv avTOV Tj ypacßyj 'Avrt^^ptcTTOs. 


'AvopdovTat 8e €v6v<i iKetvov ßaoriXeia^ 

KOL Trara^ct iv 6vp<2 rpctg ^acriXets fieyaXovs. 

2 Et ibunt illi tres Csesares resistere contra ; 
Quos ille mactatos volucribus donat in escam. 
^ Et idola quidem seponens ad suadendum quod ipse sit 
Dens, se autem extoUens unum idolum. 


^ *'Ap ^€ vil/ovcrdai rfj KapSca Kai CTratjoecröat Karo, tov ©eoi) 
Trdcrrj's rrjq oiKOVfJievrjs Kparoyv. 

^ 'Icra^cov 0ew aiurov, i\iy^€i 8' ov /xtv eoi/ra. 

^ Qui ingressus in eo [templo] sedebit ut Deus et jubet 
se adorari ab omnibus gentibus. 

^ Kat TrapaSeiKvuet avTov o)? ©eoi/ koL om/jcret rbv roirov avTov 

eis TOV TOTTOV TOV KpavLov, 

^ Et dicet ego sum Deus 0. M. et ante me non fuit 
quisquam. IV. 11 : Et statuet simulacrum suum ante 
faciem suam in omnibus urbibus. 

^ Faciet etiam, ut imago aurea Antichristo in templo 
Hierosol3^mis ponatur, et intret angelus refuga et inde voces 
et sortes reddat. 

^" AvecTTTjcrev o cronTrjp Kau eöet^ci/ rrjv aytav crap/ca ws vaov 
KOL avTos dvao'Trjcrei iv ^IcpoaoXvfJLocs tov XlOlvov vaov. So also 
Pseudo-Hippolytus, chap. xx. 104, 3, with which compare 
the parallel in Ephr. Gr. ; S. Martin of Tours : Ab illo 
urbem et templum esse reparandum ('* that by him the 
city and temple are to be restored ") ; Ephr. Syr., 8 : 
^dificabit et constituet Sion et Deum se faciet ('' He shall 
build up Zion and make himself God ") ; and pseudo- 
Ephrem, chap. vii. : Jubet sibi reasdificari templum Dei, quod 
est in Hierusalem ('' He command the temple of God that 
is in Jerusalem to be rebuilt for himself "). 

^^ ''06ev Kal 0)9 TTpOTiJJLiüV TOV TOTTOV Kol TOV VaOU 


^^ "Iva avTovs [sc. ^lovSatovs] fJiut^ovcDS aTraTT^o-Yj ircpiö-irov- 
hacTTOV TTOtetrat tov vaov viroxj/iav StSovs, oti avTOS iaTiv 6 l/c 
yivovs Aa/5tS. See also pseudo-Johannine Apoc, 7, Cod. E : 
"OOcv Kal (I)? TTpoTifJiov {I) SeiKwcTLv avTov TOV TOTTOV Kal TOV vaov 


^^ Kat fieyaXvv€L tovs ^lovSatovs Kal tov Karecr/cajit/xei/ov vaov 


^^ 'Ev Tw vaiD KaOeSecaOai . . . vtt^ avTOv dvopdovaOat TTpoo-- 

8oK(i)JXeV(ü Tols 0€OlJid)(OLS ^lovöaiOLS. 


1^ Templiim etiam destructum, quod Salomon Deo 
paravit, sedificabit et in statum suum restaurabit. 

1^ Et resedificabunt templum, quod est destitutum a 
Romanis, sedebitque ibi. 

^*^ Antichristus antiquam Jerusalem resedificabit, in qua 
se ut Deum coli j übe bit. 

1^ Tunc eruere templum Dei conabitur et just um populum 

^^ %vvrjyay€ tol SiacTKopTncrfxeva Trpoßara 6 crijiiTrjp, kol avTos 
ofioLios cTTtcrwa^et rbv StecrKO/oTrto'/x-evov Xaov. 

^^ AiUTOS yap TrpoorKaXeorerat Trdvra rbv Xaov Trpbs iavTov €k 
Trdcrrjs X^P^^ '^V^ StacrTropas tSt07rotou/x€VOs ws reKva tSta iway- 
yeXo/x€vo9 d7roKaTa(TTi^o'€LV rrjv ^(wpav kol dvacrTi^<TCLv avrCjv tyjv 

21 Ad quem f ugit vidua oblita Dei i. e. terrena Hierusalem 
ad ulciscendum de inimico. The same application is made 
by Hippolytus, Ivi. 28, 27. Cf. also Irenseus Y., 30, 3 : Ad 
ostentationem quandam continet ultionis et vindictam in- 
ferentis, quod ille simulat se male tractatos vindicare. 

22 Hunc ergo suscitatum Deus mittet regem dignum 
d ignis et Christum, qualem meruerunt Judsei. 

23 Inde tamen pergit victor in terra Judaea, 
. . . Multa signa facit ut illi credere possint, 
Ad seducendos eos quoniam est missus iniquus. 
. . . Nobis Nero f actus Antichristus, ille Judseis. 

24 Gloriabuntur autem in eo Judaei et accingent se, ut 
veniant ad eum. Ille vero blasphemabit dicens : ego sum 
pater et filius, etc. 

2^ Ti/X(i)v jxcT vTrepßoXrjf; to ycvos Tiov 'louSatwi/. 

a"LiTOi yap Trpoo'SoKioo'L rrjv ckclvov cXcvo"«/. 

TrX^Lova Sc 6 Srj/Jio^ 6 tjiovevTrj^s [rwv] 'louSatW 

Ti/xcü(n Koi ^atpovrai Trj avrov ßacriX^ia, 

2^ Kai Sia p,ei/ tt}^ tov ^picTTOv irpoo'qyopta^ 'lovSator? Tovs 
TOi/ HXet/Xjuto^oi/ TTpocrSoKiovTas aTraraii/Ta. 


^^ Tunc gratulabuntur [ei] Judsei, quod eis reddiderit 
usum prioris testamenti. 

^^ Kai a-vva^örjdovTai ayvmcTTOi Koi aypafJLfJLdTiCTOL XiyovT€S 
TTpos äWii]\ovs' fJirj apa evpiCTKOfJLev avTOv hiKaiov ; ecrTtv iTTccTTr]' 

pL^O)V (?) 6 8^/XOS TU)V (f>OV€VT(x)V 'loi^StttW. 

^^ Kai TTpa^et öav/xacrra koL rrapaho^a irpayfiara kol /xeya- 
Xvvei Tois 'lovSatov^i, 

^^ Nostri autem et melius interpret an tur et rectius, quod 
in fine mundi hsec sit facturus Antichristus, qui consurgere 
habet de " modica gente," i. e. de populo Judaeorum. Cf . 
also Yictorinus, 1247 D : Synagoga sunt Satanse quoniam ab 
Antichristo colliguntur (" The synagogues are Satan's since 
they are gathered together by him "). 

21 Tunc ad eum concurrent [omnes Judsei] et existimantes 
se recipere Christum recipient diabolum. Cf. Haymo on 
2 Thessalonians ii. : " Then shall all the Jews flock to 
him " ; Ehccidarmm : Tunc Judsei ex toto orbe venientes 
summo voto suscipient {'' Him the Jews coming from the 
whole world shall receive with loud applause "). Even in 
the Arabic tradition the Antichrist is king of the Jews 
(see above). 

^^ tjv TrepLTOfxr) o crixJTrjp yAuev cts tov Kocrfiov^ /cat avTos 
6/xota)s iXevoreTai. 

33 ^' Desideria mulierum non cognoscet, cum prius fuerit 
impurissimus et nullum Deum patrum cognoscet," non enim 
seducere populum poterit circumcisionis nisi legis vindicator. 

3^ Tum complebitur illud eloquium Danielis prophetae : 
et deum patrum suorum nescibit neque desideria mulierum 

35 Nova consilia in pectore suo volutabit ut . . . denique 
immutato nomine atque imperii sede translata confusio ac 
perturbatio humani generis persequetur, 

3^ Et circumcidet se et filium Dei omnipotentis se esse 
mentietur; and elsewhere, 1296 A: Hierusalem veniens 
circumcidet se dicens Judaeis : ego sum Christus vobis 


repromissus, qui ad salutem vestram veni, ut vos qui dispersi 
estis congregem et defendam. 

^^ Et cum venerit Hierosolymam, circumcidet se dicens 
Judseis : ego sum Christus vobis promissus. 

^^ Denique et sanctos non ad idola colenda revocaturus 
est, sed ad circumcisionem colendam, et si quos potuerit 
seducere, ita demum faciet, ut Christus ab eis appelletur. 
Cf. also S. Martin of Tours, 444 : Antichristus enim cum 
venerit legem priscam et circumcisionem annuntiabit ; and 
445 : ipse enim Antichristus, cum impurissimus sit, castitatem 
et sobrietatem prsedicaturus est ; quia neque potator vini 
erit neque ullum genus mulierum ad eum accessum — 

^^ Ncpcoi/ cTttcv : ovKovv Kcd 2t/x(ji)i/ 7r€pi€.Tixrj9'q ; II crpo? cTttci/* 
ovSl yap aXX(i)S rjSvvaro aTrarrjcrai ij/v)(as, et /jlt] 'IovSolov eTvac 
eavTov v7r€KpLveT0 kol tov tov 0€o9 vofxov SiSd^ai eTreSeiKVVTo. 

^^ 'Ev (Tx^fxaTL 8e rovTOv rj^u 6 Trafx/xiapos 

(A)s KXiirTTjs ij/evSevXaßrjS, aTrarrjcrai cri;/>t7ra^ra, 

raTretvos koL ycrvxos, pacTiov cf>rj(TiV olSikojv, 

ä7roa-Tp€<po)v el'SwXa, irponixiiiv evcrißeiaVj 

dyaöos cjaXoTTToy^^os, evetS^g VTrepßoXrj, 

iravv cvKaracrraros, IXapbs Trpbs aTrai/ra?. 

^^ Sed nefandus ille corruptor potius animarum quam 
corporum, dumque adulescens subdolus draco sub specie 
justitiöß videtur versari, antequam sumat imperium. 

'^^ Kat ap-^erai to Kplvai fxera TrpaorrjTO^ Koi iX€r]iJLocnjvr]s 
TToXXrjs Kai crvy)((Dpr]O'€0)s dfiapTO^Xwv Kai cos ^rycrt (Tvy)(Oipu 

^^ Ta Trpcora /xev ijnuKuav wcrai/et Xoy los rts koX aweTOS 
(Tiiifjipoo-vvrjV re /cat (fnXavöpoyniav viroKpLveTat. 

^^ Kat iv TTpooifJbiOis TTJs ßaaiX^Las avrov vTroKpcveTat dya- 
OoorvvTjv. Cf. the Ethiopic Apocalypse of Peter : " In all his 
doings he studies courtesy." 

^^ Et propter hoc non annumeratur tri bus hsec in Apoca- 
lypsi cum his qua? salvantur. The same remark is made by 


Andreas, Aretha, Bede, and others quoted by Malvenda, I. 

^^ Nostri autem secundum superiorem sensu m interpre- 
tantur omnia de Antichristo, qui nasciturus est de populo 
Judseorum et de Babylone venturus. So also Andreas and 
Aretha'on Revelation, chap. ix. 14; Bede on Bevelation xvii.; 
Haymo on 2 Thessalonians ii. ; Strabo ; Adso ; Elucidarium ; 
Rupertus Tuitiensis on Revelation xiii. ; Anseimus Laudu- 
nensis on Daniel xi. 37. 

^"^ EtKos Se Kai Tov ^AvTiXpiO-TOV €K T(JüV avaToXcKwv /xcpwi/ 
rJ}? UepcTiKTJs yr}^, ev6a rj <pvXrj tov Aar, €/< pt^Tys 'E/5patW 

^^ Alter rex oi'ietur ex Syria. 

^^ De Persida homo immortalem esse se dicit. 

^^ OStos yevvoLTat iv Xcopa^iJ, Stört Sterpti/^cy iv avTols o 
Kuptog, Kat BryöcratSa (?), Stdrt iv avrrj averpdcfir}. So also 
in Qacestiones ad Antiochum (Migne, XXYIII.) 109 : ^Ekttjs 
TaXiXaias, oOev 6 Xptcrros k^rjXöeVy i^ipx^Toa (" From Galilee 
whence Christ came, he [also] cometh "). 

^^ Kat dvareXel vplv Ik tyj^ cfivXrjs 'Ioi;8a /cat tov Aevl to 
onan^piov Kvptov kol ai'ros TrotTyo-et Trpos tov BeXtap ttoXc/xot/. 

^^ 'Ai/eyi/(ov yap iv ßtßXio 'Evw;^ tov Stfcatou, ort 6 äp^wv 
v/xcov co-rtv 6 Sarava?, Kat ort Trarra ra TrvevfxaTa tyjs Tropvetas 
Koi V7r€pr]cl>avLa<5 ro) Acm VTraKOvaovTac, tov 7rapeSpev€tv toIs 
utots Aem, TOV Trotetv arrows i^afiapTavetv ivcowiov Kvptov. 


^ Kat orr>}o'£t op^oiv vif/os, dTrjcru 8e ödXaacrav, 
'HcXtov TTvpoevTa fxiyav XafXTrpdv re o'eXTyi/?;!/. 
^ Et eius verbo orietur sol noctu, et luna quoque ut 
sexta hora appareat, eificiat. 

^ Et relucescet subito sol noctu et luna interdiu. 
^ Jubebit ignem descendere a coelo et solem a suis 
cursibus stare. 

282 , APPENDIX. 

^ Tunc incipiet ostendere signa mendacia in coelo et in 
terra, in mari et in arida, advocabit pluviam et illa 

^ Mcrao-T/oei/^ct tov rjXiov eis crKorog Kai rrjv creX-qvi^v cts 

^ Iloii^(T€i Trjv rjfJiipav (TKotos koI ttjv vvKTa rj/mipav, tov 7]Xiov 
/xeracrrpei/^et birov ßovXerai^ koX aira^airXihs iravra ra arocx^la 
rrjs yr]<; kol t^s OaXd(T(Tr]^ iv 8wa/x€6 rrjs (pavTacrcas avTOv 
iv(i)7nov T(x)v 6eo}povvT(i)v dvaSetfci virrjKoa. 

^ Kai veKvas (TTiqcrei kol crYjfJiaTa iroXXa Troirjo-et 
dvöpcoTTOts* aXXa ov^t reXecrc^opa ecrcreT iv avTM, 
dXXa TrXdva, kol Srj fxipoiras ttoXXov^ t€ irXavqcreL. 

^ Merd 8e rourcov airdvTiüv (rrjpi^ia CTTtreXecrct . . . d/\A' ovk 
dXyjOrj, dXX' iv TrXdvrj, ottcüs TrXavrjdrj tov^; o/jlolovs auraJ dcrc^ets. 
24 : XeTrpov? Kadapit,(i)v, TrapaXvrovs eyetpcoi/, SacfJiovas aTreXavvmv 

. . . V€KpOV<? ävLCTTWV. 

lö Tncrepabit leprosos et purificabuntur, csecos et videbunt 
lumen, vocabit surdos et andient, mutos et loquentur. 

^^ TvcjiXoi avaßX^if/ovGLVj -^oyXol TrepnraTi^crovo'L, Sat/^toi^es 
laOriaovrai . . . Kai iv rot? avrov xj/evSocrrjfxctoi^s kol (jbai/racrtojSecrt 
ripacriv. . . . 

^^ Ai' ov [sc. roi) StttjßdXou] Kai veKpov<s lyupeiv Kai (T7jfJL€ia 
iTTLTeXeiv to69 TreTTT^pco/xei/ots rd T179 Stai/otas OfxpLara (f>avYja€Tat. 

13 Faciet enim tarn stupenda miracula, ut jubeat ignem 
de coelo descendere ... et mortuos resurgere. The de- 
ceptive nature of the Antichrist's wonders is also dwelt 
upon by Irenöeus, Y. 28, 2 ; Cyril, xv. 10 ; Jerome, ad 
Algasiarn, 11 ; Chrysostom on 2 Thessalonians ii. ; John of 
Damascus ; Bede's Sibyl. 

1* Faciet nempe omnia signa, quae fecit Dominus noster 
in mundo, defunctos autem non suscitabit, quia non habet 
potestatem in spiritus. 

1^ Aver diu zeichen, diu er tut, 

I ' Diu ne sint niemen gut ; 

Er ne kuchet niht den toten. 


^^ AiyovcTi Tti/es, on ov Swarat 6 ^ KvTi^pKjTOf; veKpov av- 
6p(üTT0V dvacTTrjcrai, cttci wavra tol Xolttcl (rrjfjieia Trotet. 

^^ 'O yap Trarrjp tov xj/evSov^ tol tov xj/evSovs epya 4>^VTacrto(T- 
KOTTUj ha Ta^TrXrjdrj vopiicrrj öecDpetv veKpbv iycLpofx^vov tov fxrj 

1^ Mortuos scilicet in conspectu hominum resuscitari . . . 
[sed et mendacia erunt et a veritate aliena], 

1^ Suscitabit mortuos non vere, sed diabolus . . . corpus 
alicuius intrabit ... et in illo loquetur, ut quasi vivum 

2^ Si tu es Deus, voca defunctos et resurgent . scriptum 
est enim in libris prophetarum et etiam ab apostolis, 
quod Christus quando apparebit, mortuos a sepulcturis 

^^ M.eyaXvv(x)V ( TrXrjövviov ra cj^oßrjrpay 

{j/evBos Kai ovK a\r)6€.Lav ravra ivSeLKvvfJLCvos. 

TOiovTco Se TpoTTo) /xcötcTTa 6 Tvpavvos 

ra opr]y </)ai/ra^€t [Se*?] i//^gi>8ws Kai ovk aXrjöaa 

Twv TrXrjßojy Trapecrrwrcov XaC)v ttoXXCjv Kai hrjp.o)v 

Kai €vcl)Y}fjLo-uvT(i)v avTOV Slol ras c^ai/rao-tas. 

Of. Philippus Solit., 816 C : Terrores ac prodigia ad 
deceptionem effingens, ut inconsideratis mentibus montes 
transferre videator (" Portents and prodigies simulating 
unto deception, so that to thoughtless minds he may seem 
to remove mountains "). 

^^ mdXiv avTo<; 6 SpaKijjv vcfiaTrXowvet ras ^ctpas 

Kal avvdyet to ttXtjOos epTreTiov Kal TrcTeuviov' 

6/>Lot(os 8' i7rißaiV€L iirdvo) ttJs dßvdcrov 

Kal {ü<nT€.p iirl ^rjpa TrcpiiraTU Itt avTjj. 

(pavTdt^et TOL crvp^iravTa, 
^^ *'0p7j Kal ßovvov^ p.€TaKLvr]0'€L Kal Stav^-uaet Trj<; p.ep,iao'p.evr}<; 

X€Lp6<S aVTOV' 8€VT€ TTpo? p,€ TTCIVTC? Kol StO, cj^aVTO.G'p.aTa Kal 

TrXdvr}^ (!) (TVvdyovTai iv rw tSto) totto). 

2^ Ego per aerem volavi, igni commixtus unum corpus 
efiectus sum, statuas moveri feci, animavi exanima, lapides 


panes feci, ae monte in montein volavi, transmeavi manibus 
angelorum sustentatus, ad terras descencli. 

^^ 'AvSptai/ras ttolu TrepLiraTeiv koI cTrt Trvp KvXtOjU,ei/os ov 
Katcrat, ivtore Se kol Trcrarat, Koi Ik XiOoiv apTovs Trotet, o</)ts 
ytVcrat, ets atya /X€Ta/xop^oi;Tat, 8t7rpoo"Cü7ros ytverat. 33 : ttoi- 
ovi/ra Oavfxdcna Trpos KaTOLTrXrj^iV kol aTroLTrjv, ov (Trj(X€La tart/ca 

2^ Magica enim arte homines eludet et phantasia, ut 
Simon Magus fecisse credendus est, qui quod non faciebat, 
facere videbatur. 

^'^ Per magicam artem et phantasiam deludet homines, 
sicut et Simon Magus illusit ilUini, qui putans occidere eum 
arietem occidit pro eo. This legend is fully related in the 
Martyrium Petri et Pauli (Lipsius and Bonnet, 118 e^ seq), 
chap, xxxi., as elsewhere. 

'ATrecrretAei/ 6 Kvpios awocrToXovs ets iravTa ra Wvt) kol 
avTos o/xotcDS Trefjuf/ei i/^euSaTrocrrdXovs. From Hippolytus the 
pseudo-Hippolytus borrows the relation in xxii. 106, 12. 

^^ Deinde per Universum mundum nuntios mittet et 
prsedicatores suos. 

^^ Aa/3a)i/ yap 6 avai^rjs Tore Tr)V i^ovacav 

SaLjJiovas aTToaTehXei els iravra ra Trepara, 

wcrre Krjpv^ac Tracrti/, on ßao-iXevs /xcyas 

icfidvrj fiera So^rjs. Sevre kol dedaao-Oe. 

^^ Eulgura ministri eius erunt et signum dabunt adventus 
eius, dtemones constituent eius copias et principes daemonio- 
rum erunt eius discipuli ; mittet duces agminum suorum in 
regiones procul dissitas et dabunt virtutes ac sanitatem. 

2^ Dsemones utique se prsedicatum et commendatum per 
orbem terrarum mittet, surrexit, dicent, magnus rex Hiero- 
solymis . . . omnes ad eum accedite. 

^^ Et maligni spiiitus erunt duces eius et socii semper et 
comites indivisi. 

2^ Et non est mirandum si dsemoniis et apostaticis 
spiritibus ministrantibus ei per eos faciat signa, in quibus 
seducat habitantes super terram. 


^^ Spiritus tres immundi discipulos designant Antichristi, 
qui eum per Universum orbem prsedicaturi sunt, qui quamvis 
homines sint futuri, spiritus immundi et spirit us dsemoniorum 
vocantur, quia daemones in ipsis habitabunt et per ora 
eorum loquentur. 


^ 'Apicrai Sc aTracrt T€)(yd^€TaL SoXto)?, 

07rü)5 äv ayaTT-qOfi iv ra^u vtto Xatüi/, 

8ü)pa Se ov Xi^ipeTaL, fier 6pyrj<; ov XaXT^crct, 

KaTTjcfirj^ ov SctKi/vrat, uWa tXapos act. 

iv aTracrt Se tovtol'S cr)(i^ixacnv evra^tas 

cfaTrara tov kogt/jlov, ecos ov ySacrtXevcrct. 

orai/ yap öeacrovrat Xaot ttoXXoI kol By]fJioL 

TY}\LKavTa<; apcras kolXXtj re Kat 8uva/xet9, 

TravTCs cTTt TO avTO fXLo, yv(j}/Ji7j yLvovTat, 

Kai iv X^P^ fJicytcTTrj ßacnXevovcnv avTOv 

A.eyo]/r€9 Trpos akXr}Xov<;' firj apa cvptcr/cerat 

tyjXlkovto<s avOp(j)7ro9 ayaöo§ /cat St/<at09. 

2 Erit enim omnibus subdole placidus, munera non 
suscipiens, personam non prseponens, amabilis omnibus, 
quietus universis, xenia non appetens, affabilis apparens in 
proximos, ita ut beatificent eum homines dicentes : Justus 
homo hie est.. Chap. vii. : Tunc confluent ad eum in civi- 
tatem Hierusalem undique omnes. 

^ OStos ovv C7rt(rvi/afas Trpos iavTov tov Trai/roTc aTTccÖrj Xabv 

^ Qui sicut perdix colliget sibi filios confusionis ... et 
vocat quos non genuit. Cf. Caspari, 215, Anmerkung 7. 

^ Acyct Se /cat €T€po^ Trpocju^Trjs' $vvd^€t Tracrav ovvafxiv 
avTov dcji tjXlov dvaroXCjv oi)(pLS rjXiov Svo-fxcov ovs kckXiJkol 
Koi ov^ ov k^kXt^kol TTopfvOrjorovTai fxer avrov. XevKavet rrjv 
6dXao-crav oltto tcov tcrTtW twt/ ttXolwv /cat /xeXai/et to TreSiov diro 


ULa^aipa TrecretTat. In chap. liv. 27, 30 et seq. Hippolytus 


refers the same passage wrongly to the Antichrist's gather- 
ing of the Stacnropd (scattered tribes) of Israel. 
^ Exsurget iterum in istius clade Neronis 
Rex ab orientem cum quattuor gentibus inde, 
Invitatque sibi quam multas gentes ad urbem, 
Qu8e ferunt auxilium, licet sit fortissimus ipse : 
Implebitque mare navibus cum milia multa, 
Et si quis occurrerit illi mactabitur ense. 
"^ Et vidi post haec, et ecce congregabatur multitude 
hominum, quorum non erat numerus, de quatuor ventis 
coeli, ut debellarent hominem, qui ascenderat de mari. 

^ 01 aira^ TrpoKaTCiXYjfJLfxivoi toI<s il/evSecn rov ^ AvTL^picrTov 
repacTL kol to Oeocrrvyes avTov ovopia di/c^aXctTrrws iv rats 
Ktt/oStats cyypai/^avTcs €/c t€ ^lovSaL(x)V eK re iOvwv. 

^ ©aXacrcra rapaö-creraL, [/cat ?] rj yrj ^-qpaiverat, 

ovpavoi ov ßpixovcTL, ra c^vra piapawovrai, 

^" lore ot ovpavoL ovKen ppe)(ovcnVf i] yq 
ovK€TL KapiTocfiopei^ 
at TrrjyoX iKKeiirovcnVy 
[ot] TTorajxoi ^-qpaivovrai, 
ßoTOLvrj Ov[K€Tt] <^T;cTat, 
X^O'fJ o^'c[€Tt] avariWet, 
[ra] SivBpa (xtto [pt^cov] xj/vxovrat 


Ot l)(6v€.<; 7r>}s 6aXd(T(T7}<i 

Kai TO. KYjTr) iv avrrj 

TeXevTOJortv, kol oiutcos 

[</)?7(rti/] 8vo'ix)Siav Xipiivrjv 

dvairi}X7r€L [17] OdXacrcra 

KOL rj)(ov (poßepbv ilycTTe iKXcLTreiv kol a.Trodvrjo'KCLV 

[tOVs] dvOpWTTOVS OLTTO [jOv] cj>6ßoV. 

^^ Tore OprjV€L Scti/oj? opLov iracra \j/v)(rj kol crTevd^ciy 

or' av Travrcs OedcrovTat OXiif/Lv aTrapapivOrjTov 

TTju irepu^ovcrav avTOV<s vvKTiup re Kat /xeö' rjpLipav 

Koi ovSap^ov €vpL<TKOVT€^ ifJLTrXrjo'OYJvaL rcoi/ ßpuypLdToiv, 


^2 Suspendet ccelum rorem siium, pluvia enim super 
terram non erit . . . siccabunt enim universa ilumina 
magna et fontes . . . torrentes aridabunt venas suas 
propter intolerabilem sestum ... et tabescent filii in sinu 
matrum suarum et conjuges super genua virorum suorum 
non habentibus escas ad comedendum . erit enim illis 
diebus penuria panis et aquse. 

^^ ®€(üp(x)V 6 öeos rrjv aScKLav avTOV ojrocrTiXkei ayyeXov €$ 
ovpavov rov ^avptrjX Äcycoi/* (XTreAöaTC craXTrtcraTC [dcpos as?] 
KpaTTiG-ovcnv Tov V€t6v' Kol 7] y?} ^rjpav6'^cr€TaL, kol al ßordvat 
{j/vyrjcrovTai, kol TrotTycrct tov ovpavov ^aXKOvv, tVa Spocrov fxr] 
Su)0-Y] iirl TTjv yrjv, kol Kpvij/y ras V€cf>i\as eh ra tyKara rijs y^s 
Kol KaTa(TT€i\Y} Kcptts Twv oivifJLOJv, Lva fJLT] avcfxos crvcTTfi irrl 
TTpofraiTTOv 7raorr]<s rrjs yyjs» 

1^ Increpabit mare et desiccabitur, piscesque morientur 
in medio ejus. 

^^ Mare Sodomiticum pisces rejiciet et dabit vocem noctu, 
quam non noverant multi, omnes autem audient vocem eins. 

1^ Aer enim vitiabitur et corruptus ac pestilens fiet modo 
importunis imbribus, modo inutili siccitate . . . nee terra 
homini dabit fructum . . . fontes quoque cum fluminibus 
arescent . . . propter hsec deficient et in terra quadrupedes 
et in aere volucres et in mari pisces. 

1"^ Proprio autem extenditur verbum usque ad Antichrist! 
tempora, quoniam magna fames est futura quaque omnes 

1^ Tunc pseudoprophetae tunc fames ... et invenies . . . 
tunc ariditatem terrse . . . denique Justus in deserto, iniquus 
in regno est. 

^^ Kai TOL vSara aTro^pv^ovcri^ /cat v^tos eiri yrj<s ov SoOi^crcTaL. 

2^ Kai TTOLV TO KTrjfxa avTov aTroAdrat äirb ttoXAcüv, /cat airopia 
KapTTwv ccrrat fJieydXrj, koX )(eLfJLiJi)v cTTtraö^JcrcTat Kparcpos. 

TOV /cX77/>taT09 iK(f>V€L ^(tXtOVS ßoTpVa^, KOL 6 ßoTpVS iK(f>VCL 

rjfXLaTafxvov oTvov, 


^^ Et nemo potest venundare vel emere de friimento 
caducitatis, nisi ql^i serpentinum signum in fronte aut in 
manu habuerint. 

^^ Quicunque crediderint atque accesserint ei, signa- 
buntur ab eo tamquam pecudes. 

^^ Et qui in eum crediderint signum characteris eius in 
fronte suscipient. 

^^ Kat ypa<fi£L avTOJV ras x^^P^5 ras Sc^tas, 'Iva Kadit^ovrai 

fX^T aVTOV €tS TO TTVp TO al(x)ViOV. 


^ Qu um autem in suum propositum fi lius perdition is 
attraxerit totum mundum, mittentur Henoch et Elias, ut 
iniquum coarguant qusestione plena mansuetudinis. 
2 Si tu es Deus — ostende nobis, quod a te petimus. 
^ Irascetur eo momento iniquus contra sanctos et arrepto 
gladio scelestissimus abscindet colla justorum. 

^ Tunc — aspiciens Deus humanum genus periclitantes et 
afflatu draconis horribilis fluctuantes mittit eis consolatoriam 
prsedicationem per famulos suos prophetas Enoch at Eliam. 
— cumque justi apparuerint, illi confundunt quidem ad- 
versarium serpentem cum eius calliditate et revocant advo- 
cates üdeles ad Deum, ut ab eius seductione . . . 
^ Uplv rj 8c ravTa yevecröat dTrocrreAXct 6 Kvpio^ 
*HXtav (?) Tov ®ecrßLTr]v kol tov Efw^^ ws €va7rXay)(yo<;. 

OTTCüS avTol yvcüptcrcücrti/ evcreßeiav ykv^i ßpOTaiv, 

KOi KYjpv^ai Trapprjaia aTracri OcoyvoicrLav, 

fxrj Tno-T^va-ac Kol Treidap^^lv cßoßov h/€K€V tw ij/evSeL, 
Kpatovres (?) ^at Acyovrcg* ttXolvos ecrTLv w avöptxuroiy 
jjLrjSels avT(2 7rtO"T€i)o"ctej/. 
^' HXrjv oXtyoL etcrt t6t€ ol cp^oi/res vTraKOvcrai 

Koi TTi(TT€vuv TOts piqixacnv dfxcfyoTepwv Tojv TrpoffyrjTwv, 

"^ Kat 8ta TOVTO avTOv<; [not v/xas] (XTroKTCi/a Kat iv /jo/x^at'a 
Traraf €t avrovs. 


^ Kai t6t€. OLTTOcrTcXu) ^l^v(i>x Koi 'HAtW 7r/3os eXey^ov avrov 
Koi oLTToSei^ovaLV avTov (//"cvor^v /cat irXdvov kol ävcXei avTov'^ 
CTTt TO 6v(na(TTrjpL0v. 

^ Kat oLTroorTeXu iv crvvTOjjirj tov^ avTOv Ocpairovras tov T€ 
'Ev<jü;)( kol tov *HXtW kol tov vlbv t^<5 ßpovTrjs 'Io)oiwr]v, otVtvc? 
iviDTTLOv 7rdvT0)v TÜiv iövlhv IXiy^ovaiv avTov ttjv TrXdvrjv /cat 
Sct^ovcrti/ avTov xj/evcTTriv Ittl iravTo^ dv6p(i}Trov, kol otl St' 
aTTcoXetav /cat TrXdvrjv tiov ttoXXCjv k^eXrjXvöev, 6 8* c/cetvos vtt 
avTOJV Sctvcü? €Xcy;(o/x,€i/os /cat wo irdvToyv TTCpccjipovovfJLevos iv 
öv/xw /cat o/oy^ dvcAct tovs ay lovs eKCtVous. 

^^ Egredientur duo clarissimi viri Enoch et Elias ad 
annuntiandum adventum Domini, et Antichrist iis occidet 
eos, et post dies tres a Domino resuscitabuntur. 

^1 Tunc mittentur in mundum duo magni prophetse Elias 
et Henoch, qui contra impetum Antichristi fideles divinis 
armis prsemunient et instruent eos et confortabunt et 
prseparabunt ad bellum. . . . Postquam vero impleverint 
praedicationem suam, insurget Antichristus in eos et inter- 
ficiet, ipsi vero occisi post tres dies a Domino suscitabuntur. 

12 Translatus est Henoch et Elias, nee mors eorum 
reperta est, dilata scilicet, ceterum morituri reservantur, ut 
Antichristum sanguine suo extinguant. So also pseudo- 
Cyprianus, de MontibuSy Sina et Sion, 5 ; Evang. ISTicodemi, 
25 ; Arabic History of Joseph, chap, xxxii. ; Apocalypse 
of Paul (Tischendorf, p. 50, 68); and other passages in 
Malvenda, 142, 151, 158. This interpretation prevails in all 
Commentaries not influenced by the spiritualising exegesis 
of Ticonius. 

1^ Deinde et tempus tyrannidis eius significat, in quo 
tempore fugabuntur sancti. 

1^ **0s «^uo-twöcts VTT avTwv [sc. 'louSatW] ap^^Tai ßißXovs 
Kara tu)V dytwv cKTrc/XTretv tov irdvTas TravTa^oi; dvaipe7a6ai rovs 
ixrj 6iXovTas avTov o-eßdtetv kol irpoaKvveiv w? Oeov. A perse- 
cution is also spoken of by Victorinus, on Revelation xii. 6 : 
Jerome, on Daniel xi. 32 ; Book of Clement, 80, 15 ; 



Prosper, Dim, Tem}^.^ 10 ; Methodius, Adso (Malvenda, II. 

149), and most expositors of Revelation xii. (Malvenda, II. 

147). See also Ephr. Gr., III. 138 D; pseudo-Hippolytus, 

XXV. 108; Cyril, xv. 15; Phil. Solitarius, 816 B. 
^^ IloXXot /jtcv ovv T(x)v dytcoy, oo"ot t6t€ evpio'KOVTaLy 
a/xa evOvs aKOViUücn tyjv eXevcrtv rov jjnapov, 

, . . KOI {jyevyovai /xera ttjs fJLeyio-Trjs iv Iprqfxois 

KoX Kpvßovrai iv [cp-^/xot? koL (nrrjXaLOLS /xera <f>6ßov 

Kai\ 6pe(TL 
Koi 7rd(T(TOVcrL y^v /cat iirl rrjv Ke<j>a\rjV avTiov 


fxera KkavOpiOv Seo/xevoL vvKTOjp re kol fJL€&* rjfjiipav 

iv TToWrj Taireivoya-u, 

Koi Swpctrat avrot? tovto Trapa 6cov tov ayiov, 
Koi oSrjyei avTOvs r) X^P^^ els tottovs tovs uipicrpiivovs. 
With this compare pseudo-Hippolytus, chap, xxxii. 112, 26. 
^^ Fugient autem electi a facie ejus ad vertices montium 
et collium, fugient aliqui in sepulchra et occultabunt se 
inter mortuos. 

01 Se SiKaLOi Kpvßrjcrovrai koI <j[>vyü)(nv iv opeo't Koi 

^^ Cum hsec facta erunt, tum justi et sectatores veritatie^ 
segregabunt se a malis et fugient in solitudines. 
^^ Displicet interea jam sero Judseis et ipsis, 

Susurrantque simul, quoniam sunt fraude decepti, 
Exclamant pariter ad caelum voce deflentes, 
Ut deus illis subveniat verus ab alto. 
^^ EtKOS Se KCLL TYJV olcrOrjTrjv eprj/xov oroj^eiv tovs iv opeat 
Kat cnr7]Xaioi<i kol rats oTrats t^9 y^s 8ta Trjv tov aTroo-TOLTOv koi 
xj/evSoxpiOTTOv iTTLßovXrjv «^evyovras. 

21 Tunc eruere templum Dei conabitur et justum popu- 
lum persequetur. Idem justos homines obvolvet libris 
prophetarum atque ita cremabit. 

22 Ecclesiam illam catholicam, ex qua in novissimo tern- 


pore credituri sunt centum quadraginta quattuor milia 
hominum Elise, sed et ceterum populum inveniri in adventu 
Domini hie dicit. Sic et Dominus in evangelio ait : tunc 
qui in Judaea sunt, etc. 

^^ "ATravTcs Se ot ovt€^ Ittl yrj^ draroXtoi/ 

CTTt SvcTfJias cj>evyov(TiV Ik tt]^ ttoAX-^S SctXto,?, 

Kol TrdXiv 8e ol ovres €7rt Svcr/xwi/ rjXiOv 

cTTt Tr]V avaroXrjV (fyevyovcn juctol rpofJiov. 

Quite a similar account occurs in pseudo-Ephrem, chap. iv. ; 
pseudo-Hippolytus, xxxiii. 113, 8; Dan. Apoc. Arm., 239, 
24; pseudo-Methodius, xcix. ; Adso, 1293 C; Philippus 
Solitarius, 817 A, and the Arabic tradition in Tabari (see 
above, p. 116). 


^ Tunc annus breviabitur, et mensis minuetur, et dies in 
angustum coarctabitur. 

^ Tpta €77] eaovrat ol Kaipol e/ceti/ot, kcll Troiyjo'Ut) ra rpia err] 
a)S rpets pJrjva^ kcll tovs rpets fxrjva'S 0)<s Tpets eßSo/xaSas kol ras 
Tpels ißSojjidSas ws rpels rjfjiepas kol ras rpetg rjfxepas a>5 Tpeis 
iopa<s Kol ra? r/aets wpa? ws T/oets crTiyfJids. This trait is given 
in quite a similar way in the Greek Apocalypse of Daniel, 
106; in Apocalypse of Ezra, 13 and 14; in Bede's Sibyl; 
Adso, 1294 C ; the Jewish History of Daniel; and more 
summarily in pseudo-Hippolytus, cxiv. 13, and the Ethiopia 
Apocalypse of Peter. The Elucidcmuifn also seems to be 
acquainted with the incident, but rejects it. 

3 Quo audito inpius inflammatus ira veniet cum exercitu 
magno et admotis omnibus copiis circumdabit montem, in 
quo justi morabuntur, ut eos comprehendat . illi vero ubi 
se clauses undique atque obsessos viderint, exclamabunt ad 
Deum voce magna et auxilium coeleste implorabunt, et 


exaudiet eos Dens et mittet regem magnum de coelo, qui eos 
eripiat ac liberet omnesque inpios ferro ignique disperdat. 

^ Aquam quam emisit de ore suo serpens : jussu suo 
exercitum earn sequi significat, aperuisse terram os suum et 
devorare aquas : vindictam de prsesentibus manifestam. 

^ Tore aTTOo-reXer Iv opfert kol cnr-qXaioi^ kol rats oTrats 
T^S yrjs Tü)v Sat/xdvcüv ras <f>d\ayya<s Trpos to ipevvrjaai tov<; 
OLTTOKpvßivTas €/c Twv 6(j>6a\jxü)v avTov KOL TTpoo-ayayelv avTOv<; 
eis TrpocTKvvqcnv avTov kol toi>9 fjiev Tretöofxivovs aiurw cr(f>payi(rei 
Tjj cr(f>payi^i avrov. rov? 8e fmrj ßovXofxivov^ auTw vTraKovaat 
Ti/xwpta? . . . avaX(i)<T€i, 

^ Post ceteros fideles persequens reddet gladio aut 
apostatas faciet, et qui in eum crediderint, signum char- 
acteris eius in fronte suscipient. 

^ Loca sunt ibi inaccessibilia ; ibi sancti confugient et 
ibi latitabunt, quos Christus in carne vivos invenerit. 

^ Et virtus angelorum tradet in manus justorum mul- 
titudinem illam, quse montem circumsederint et ßuet san- 
guis m,ore torrentis ; deletisque omnibus copiis impius solus 

^ Et exiet sanguis usque ad frenos equorum : exiet ultio 
usque ad principes populorum i. e. rectores sive diabolum 
sive angelos eius, novissimo certamine exiet ultio sanguinis 

■^^ Quum properant autem exercitu Dei rebelles, 
Sternunturque solo ab angelis proelio facto. 

^1 Yeniet dominus cum angelis suis et cum potestatibus 
sanctorum e septimo coelo cum gloria septimi coeli et trabet 
Berialem in Gehennam et potestates quoque eius. 

^^ Kai BeXtap <f>Xi^€i kol vTrcpc^taXov? avOpoJirov^ 
Travra?, oaot Tovno ttkttiv ivcTroirjcravTO. 

^^ Kai TOT€ <j>avrj(T€Tai ro a-qfx^iov rov vlov tov av6p<i)7rov 
fji€Ta So^rjs TToXXrj^s Koi ^ferat cttc twv vecjicXiov ti}s y^s, /cat 
aveXel avTov 6 Kvpto? tw TrvevfiaTL tov o'T6fJLaTO<: avrov, 

^* Interficiet eum Dens. 


1^ Tunc exsilientes Gabriel et Michael duces exercitus 
descendent et suscitabunt sanctos ; pudore autem afficietur 
malus [Antichristus] cum suis satellitibus ; angeli porro 
accedentes apprehendent maledictum ; simul clamabit Do- 
minus de coelo et subvertet maledictum cum omnibus suis 
copiis, et illico angeli detrudent eum in geennam. 

^^ "Ot€ al)(fMaX(j)T€v9r) vtto tov ap^ayyiXov Mt^a-^X koL rjpev 
€f avTOV TTjV OeoTTjTa (/cat dureo'TdXrjv iyoy iK rcov KoXinov tov 
irarpo^s fiov /cat (rweorctXa Tr]v K€<j>aXr]v avTOv tov yutc/xta/xerov, 
/cat ia-ßiö-Or] 6 o<^öaX/>tos avTov). Of. also chap, ix., where 
Michael and Gabriel bring about the resurrection of the 
dead; and also P. A. ^th. Here Michael and Gabriel 
awaken Elias and Enoch. 

^'^ Percusso autem illo perditionis filio sive ab ipso Domino 
sive Michaele archangelo. 

^^ Et occidetur virtute Domini Antichristus a Michaele 
archangelo ut quidam decent. 

^^ Tradunt quoque doctores, ut ait Gregorius Papa, quod 
Michael archangelus perimet ilium in monte Olive ti in 
papilione et solio suo, in loco illo de quo Dominus ascendit 
ad coelos. This according to Adso and Haymo on 2 Thes- 
salonians ii. 

2^ Antichristus de mandato Christi fulminabitur per 
ministerium archangeli Michael, qui etiam interficiet eum 
secundum Methodium. 

^^ Kat aycrat 6 Tvpavvo^ ScSc/x-eVos vtt ayyiXuiv 

crvv aTracrt rots Sat/utoo'tT/ ivwinov tov ßi^/xaTos* 

^2 Hos angelos males Septem ad percutiendum Anti- 
christum mittit. 

23 Et tunc parebit regnum illius [sc. dei] in omni creatura 
illius ... et tunc Zabulus [diabolus] finem habebit. . . . 
Tunc implebuntur manus nuntii, qui est in summo con- 
stitutus, qui protinus vindicabit illos [sc. Israel] ab inimicis 

2* Exsurget enim Ccelestis a sede regni sui. 


2^ Tunc veniet Antichristus usque ad summitatem montis 
eius ... id est verticem montis Oliveti ... et asserunt 
ibi Antichristum esse periturum, unde Dominus aseendit ad 
coelos. Beatus (542), Adso, and the Elucidarium make the 
same statement, but on the authority of Jerome; so also 
Theodoretus in his Commentary on the same passage in 

^^ Dux ultimus qui tune reliquus erit vivus, cum vasta- 
buntur multitudo congregationum eius, et vincietur, et 
adducent eum super montem Sion, et Messias meus arguet 
eum de omnibus impietatibus eius. — et postea interficiet eum. 

'^^ Antichristus . . . contra verum dimicabit et victus 
efi'ugiet et bellum ssepe renovabit et ssepe vincetur, donee 
quarto prcelio . . . debellatus et captus tandem scelerum 
suorum luat poenas. 


^ Cadet repente gladius e coelo, ut sciant justi ducem 
sanctse militise descensurum. 

2 Yidebitur et tunc ignea quadriga per astra 
Et facula currens, nuntiet ut gentibus ignem. 
^ Tunc descendet Dominus ... et consistet currus eius 
inter coelum et terram. 

** . . . (T^/xa fxiyiCTTOv 

pofKJyairj doXinyyi 6 äfJL rjeXiia aviovTL, 
^ "H^cfc 8' ovpav66ev 
acTTTjp /xeyas eis a\a Scivrjv koI <f>\i$€i 

TTOVTOV T€ ßadvV. . . • 

^ Kat Tore Sr] jxiya arj/xa 0€os /x,€/307r€crcrt ßporoicriv 
ovpavoOev Seilet TrepireWojxivots ivLavTOi^ 
<f>d\Kr]v i(r(TOfjL€VOLo ripas TroXifioLO KaKoto, 
^ Tore €0-Tat iv tw ovpav<^ a-rjjxeia* to^ov of^d-qo-^rai koX 
K€pa^ Kat Xa/XTras, 


^ Judicii Signum^ telkis sudore madescet, 
E ccelo rex adveniet per ssecla f uturus. 

^ Aiurog /xcAXct ipatvecrOai Iv rrj Trapovcrca €fjL7rpocr6€v avTov 
€ts eXcy^^oi/ Twv a7rL(TT(ji)v ^lovSaccav, 

^^ ''Orav (?) t8ü)/)t€v TO arnxuov tov vlov rov av6pi07rov iv 

TCO ovpaviß cfyavkvf Kotöcos etTrev 6 Kr-ptos, iv <S 

TTpoa-rjXijjör) iKovcrtaiS inrep rj/xiov. Tore 7rai/T€9 
0€(opovvT€<s iv T(x) vx^fu (jydv€v TO (jioßepbv 

Kai aytov (?) (TKrJTTTpov tov fieydXov ßao-iXiojs* 

i7nyLV(jjaK€L e/cacrros Kat'(?) jxvrj/xoveveL tov \6yov tou 

Kvpiov Trpo- etprJKOTOs» c^avTycrcTat to a-rjfictov 

TOV vlov TOV dv6p(i}7rov iv rw ovpavio Kai iv irXrjpo* (!) 

cjiopLa yi-vovTai 7rai/T€S, otl ottlo-o} avTov /xeAAci 
ava(f>aiv€(T- 6ai 6 ßao-iXcv^, 

^^ Kat TOT€ (^avT^crcrat to arjfjiuov tov vlov tov dvOpioTrov 
CLTTO TOV ovpavov yLtcTot 8i;i/a/x€(os Kat So^rjs ttoXX'^?. /<at tot€ 
Oe(ji}pi^(r€L avTos o tiJs aStKt'as ipyaTrj^ fx^Ta twv V7rrjp€Tix)V avTOV 
Kat ßpv^et fxeydXa, Kai wdvTa to, d/caöa/ora TTvev/xaTa eis (fivyrjv 

^2 Electis in ea forma quse in monte apparuit, reprobis 
vero in ea quse in cruce pependit. Cf. pseudo-Hippolytus, 
xxxix. 117, 23; and Meyer, Völuspd, p. 190. 

^^ Tunc aperietur coelum medium intempesta et tene- 
brosa nocte, ut in orbe toto lumen descendentis dei tamquam 
f ulgur appareat ; quod Sibylla his versibus locuta est : 


TTvp €(jTai xJ/oXoev TL fJiicrr) ivl vvktI pi^Xaivrj, 

Hsec est nox, quse a nobis propter adventum regis ac dei 
nostri pervigilio celebratur : cuius noctis duplex est ratio, 
quod in ea et vitam tum recepit, cum passus est, et postea 
regnum orbis terrae recepturus est. 

^* Hie est enim liberator et judex et ultor et rex et Deus, 
quem nos Christum vocamus. 


'' Media nocte, qua liora angelus ^gyptum devastavit^ 
et Dominus infernum spoliavit, ea hora electos suos de hoc 
mundo liberabit. 

^^ Tunc descendet Dominus ex alto in formidanda 
angelorum gloria . . . increpabit mare et desiccabitur . . . 
solventur coeli et terrse, et fieiit tenebrse ac caligo. Mittet 
Dominus in terram ignem, qui eam per quadraginta dies 
obtinens purificabit ab iniquitate et a sordibus peccatorum. 
For the notion that the earth is to be cleansed by fire^ 
cf. the false Johannine Apocalypse, 16; D. A. Gr., III.; 
Muspilli, for which see below. 

^ ' IIcos v7rev€yK(i)fX€V rore dSeXcfiOL fjuov ayairr]Toij 

or iS(i)IUb€V TOV TTVpLVOV TTOTafXOV €^€p)(pfl€VOV 

fXETOL 6vfL0v a)(r[7r€p] aypLav OdXacrcrav KaT€(r6iovTa 
Kai ra oprj kol ras vaTras /cat KaraKatovra Traarav 

OLKOvfxevrjv kol tol iv olvtyj ^pyoL, rorc ayaTrrjTol 

C/< TOV TTVpbs (?) iKELVOV OL TTOTafJLol iKk^ixf/ OVCTLV , 

at TT-qyaX d(j>avL^ovTat, rj odXaacra ^TjpaLVcraL, 

o drjp o-vyK\ovL^€TaL, (?) ra ddTpa iKirecrovo'LV, 

€K TOV ovpavov 6 rjXio^ o-ßeG-OrjcreTai, rj acXrjvr) 

irapip^erai, o ovpavbs, eXtcro'CTat ws ySt^Xtoi/. 

^^ "Hfct XoiTTOV 0)5 dorr/oaTrry do-TpaTTTOVcra c^ ovpavov 

©COS rjfjiwv ßaa'iXcvs kol vufxcfyLOS aöavaros 

iv V€(f>iXaLS /Acra 80^179 dv€tK:ao-TOV (?) 

7rpoTpe)(ovT(ji)v cvwTrtoi/ SoErjs avTov t(ov TaypLOLTdiv 

dyyeXu)v /cat dp;!(ayy€A.cüi/ 6vT€S TrdvTCS <f>X6yes Trvpos. 

KOL TTora/Aos irXrip-qs 7rvpb<s iv ffioßcpco pvtp/jpiaTL, 

^^ Et prodiens apparebit Dominus cum virtute magna et 
majestate multa — nee non et omnibus virtutibus coelorum 
cum universe choro sanctorum. 

^^ Tore aTTOO'TcAüJ tovs dyyiXovs p^ov iirl TrpocrwTrov irao'r]^ 
ttJs yJJs KoX KaTaKavo-ova-i ttjv yrjv 7rYJ)(a^ 6KTaKtor)(iXias ttcvtu- 
Koo'ias, Kat KaTaKarjcrovTai to. opr] tol yutcyaXa, Kat at Trerpat 
7rdo"at -^(ovevOi^orovTaL . . . /cat KaTaKarjcrovTai ttolv SevSpov /cat 
Trav KTrjvos k. t. a. 


^^ Il€cro{)vTat Ol darcpcs tov ovpavov . . . Kpvßrjcrerat rj creXy'jvrj 
Kai ovK ecrrat iv avry <^(09 . . . KaraarraXyjoreTai rov rjXiov to 
cfiios . . . \v6rj(rovTaL ol ovpavol . . , €/cXcti//^€i to ScfMoipov Trj<; 
6a\do-(rr)<; . . . oLTroa-KeTracrOrjo-eTat o'^AlSyjs. 

^^ ['EXcwcrat] vtto fJLvptdSojv ayyeAcoi/ Sopv(f>opovfJi€vo<5. X\\ 
21 : TTorafxov rrvpos eXKOVTOs SoKifJbacrTiKov rcoi/ dvöpcüTrcov. 
^^ üoTa/ios TTvpos ye/xcor re (rKU)X.rjKos dKoi/JirjTOV. 
^^ 'AXX' oTTOT av (xeyaXoLO &eov TrcXdaaxjiv OLTreiXai 
Koi Svvafjiis cjiXoyoecrcra 8i' oiS/xaros is ycuav rj^ei. 
80 : TOT€ S"^ o-TOt^eta TTpoTravra 

^^rjpevcrei Koo'fxoVj ottot är ®eos aWipi i/atW 
ovpavov elXi^Yj, KaO direp ßißXiov etXctrat. 
Kttt Trecrcrai TroXvjxopcfyos oXos ttoÄos ei/ ;(öoi/t Str; 
Kttt TTcXdyci p€ü(r€L Sc irvpos jmaXcpov KaTapdKTr]^ 
OLKd/xaros, cjyX^^eL 8e yatav, (pXe^ec Se ödXao-o-ai/ 

Kttt TToXoi/ OVpdvLOV VVKT ^/XttTtt fCttt KTiCTLV aVTTJV, 

€ts €1/ ^ü>v€vo'€t Kttt €ts Kaöapov StaXi^^i, 
KovK eri <j>(jt)crTrip(i)v acfyacpwfxaTa Kay)(aX6(ji)VTa, 
ov vv^ OVK rjibs OVK y]pLaTa iroXXa jji€pL/jivr]<s 
OVK tap ov )(€LfJi<i)V ovT ttp 6ipos ov /^€T07^copox^ 
^^ 'Pcvorci aTT ovpavoO^v Kai iravra tottov Sa7ravYjo-ei 
yalav r^K€av6v rc /xcyai/ yXavKrjv t€ OdXaaaav, 
XifjLvas Kai TTorafJLOv^, irrjyas Kai dp^eiXv^ov '^AlStjv 
Kai TToXov ovpaviov . drap ovpaviOi <l>(i)o-TYJp€s 
eis €V crvppr)^ov(Ti Kai ct9 /xopcjSr/i/ TraveprjfjLov. 
206 : Kai t6t€ x^p^vcr^i Koo-fxov a-roi^eta TrpojnavTa 
drjp yata OdXao'O'a cjidos ttoXos y^fiara vvKres' 
212 : dXX d/xa TravTa 
€19 €v ^wvcvo-ct Kai eis KaOapov StaXi^et, 
Cf. also Sibyl lY. 172 ei5 seq. ; Y. 155 et seq. 

^^ Kat raKTyo'erat Traaa hvvapas ovpavov koX irdvTa rd darpa. 
Treo-ctrai, ü)5 0T;XAa €^ dfiTriXoVy Kai ws TTtWct <^i;AA,a dTro o-v/c^s. 
Cf. Hippolytus, Ixiv. 34, 7 : "Os iird^et rrjv iKTrvpuio-cv (^^ Who 
shall bring about the conflagration "). iKTrvpoioris is doubtless 
a term of Stoic origin (Dietrich, JVekyia, 199). 


'^'^ Et descendet comitantibus angelis in medium terrae, et 
antecedet eum flamma inextinguibilis. 

2S Cuius signo dato pestis ruet sethere toto, 

Cum strepitu tonitrui descendet impetus ignis. 

2^ Veniet Deus cum angelis suis et cum potestatibus 
sanctorum e septimo coelo. IV. 18, tunc vox Dilecti incre- 
pabit in ira hoc coelum et hanc aridam [terram] et montes 
et colles et urbes et desertum ... et Dilectus surgere 
f aciet ignem ex ipso et consumet omnes impios. Cf. Sibyl 
III. 73, and the description of the end of the world in 
Assumptio Ilosis, 10. 

^^ Mera Se rrjv (TVjxirXripoidiv twi/ r/otcov kol q^jucn) ^povwi/ 
ßpiieL 6 0€os irvp ctti tyjv yyjv Kal Kar aKarjCT erat rj yy 7rri)(^€LS 
rpiOLKovTa . Tore ßoi^cret rj yrj irpos rov ©cov irapOevo^ el/XL, 

KVpL€, iviOTTiOV (TOV, 

^^ Tore TOV ovpavov Kavcroi 7rrj-^a<; oySo'qKovTa Kal rrjv yrjv 
Trrj^ag OKTaKOortas. 

^2 Exuret terras ignis pontumque polumque ... 

Tradentur fontes, seternaque flamma cremabit . . . 

Dejiciet colles, valles extollet ab imo . . . 

Eecidet e coelis ignisque et sulphuris amnis. 
^^ Cum ordinibus omnibus angelorum ad judicium veniet 
. . . omnia elementa turbabuntur tempestate ignis et frigoris 
mixtim undique furente. 

3^ so daz Eliases pluot in erda kitriufit, 

so inprinnant die perga, poum ni kistentit, 

enihc in erdu, aha artruknent, 

muor varsuuilhit sih, suilizot lougiu der himil, 

mano vallit prinnit mittilagart, 

sten ni kistentit. verit denne stuatago in lant, 

verit mit diu vuiru viriho unison, 

dar ni mac denne mak andremo helfan vora demo 

denne daz preita uuasal allaz varprennit, 

enti vuir enti luft iz allaz arf urpit. 


^^ Tore air OCT K^iracroy tol ricrcrapa fJiiprj rrjs avaroX?}?, Kai 
i^iXOoyaiV riaaapes avepiOL /xcyaXoi /cat eKXiKpirj er overt irav to 
TTpoG-diTTOv Trj^ y>}s . . . Koi cKkiKpufjo-ei KvpLO<; Trjv apLapTtav oltto 
TTJs yyjs, Kol X^vKav6rj(T€TaL rj yrj cü(nr€p yidiv . . . kcu ßorjcru 
TT/oos /x€ Xiyovcra' wapOevo^ elpl iviOTriov crov Kvpios» 

^^ KaraiytScs ävipuov r^v yrjv koL tyjv OoXacrcrav d/xeVpws 
€KTapa(T(Tov(rai, Cf. also E. A., 8 : ^'And then shall the four 
winds of the heaven be stirred up " ; and pseudo-Chrysostom : 
AXXayrjcrovTai roivvv ol ovpavol koI rj yrj Kevrf ycvqa-^Tai 
("Therefore shall the heavens be changed and the earth 
made void "). 

^' HeXtos fcev ap^avpa ßXiirijyv vvKnop ava(paLV€L, 

XcLij/eL 8' acrrpa ttoXov ttoXXtJ Se re XatXaTrt ruf^wv 
yaiai/ iprjfKxxreLy veKpwv 8e avdcrrao'L^ co'rat. 
^^ '^dXiriy^ ovpavoOev <p(j)VY]v iroXvOprjvov d<f>r]cr€L, 
^^ Sed tuba per sonitum tristem demittit ab alto. 
^^ Interea fremitum dat tuba de ccelo repente. 
Ecce canit coelo rauca sed ubique resultans. 
^^ Kat €/X7rpo<jÖ€V avTov aaXTTL^iov Wi^arjX 6 dp)(ayy€Xos koI 

i^VTTVi^WV TOVS K€K0ipbrjp.iv0VS OLTTO 'ASoL/X €0)? T^S <TVVT€XeLa<S TOV 


^^ Kat i^iXöoio-Lv €^a> rov ovpavov /cat a-aXTrtcrova-t Mt;(ar/A 
/cat FaßpL-^X. Cf. also the Othoth of the Messiah, where 
Michael sounds the trump and awakens the dead ; the 
History of Daniel, where Elias is the trumpeter; Völuspd 
(47), where Heimdall blows the horn before the great 

^^ ''H^ovcrt 8' €7rt ßrjpia @€ov ßacnXrjos aTravrcs. Cf. also 
Commodian, 1026 et seq., and 4 Ezra vi. 32. 

^^ Kvptc ot aTToöavovTCS aTro rov 'ASa/A P^^XPf '''^'^ a-i]pL€pov 
Kol ol KaroLKovvres iv tw "AtSr) diro tov atwi/os . . . iroTaTTol 
dvaa-nqdovrai ; 

^5 Exeuntes illico angeli congregabunt filios Adam. 

^^ Kat i^vTTVL^oiv Tovs K(.Koipfqp,ivov<i diro 'A8a/A cws ttJ? 
(TVVTfXua^ rov atwi/os. 


^^ Ol yap StKatoi Xd/ji\l/ov(nv ws cIxoaTrjpe^; Kai ws o ^Xt09, ot 
Se dfj.apT(DXol ecTTiocrav ^o<;^(jü8ets. 

^^ ToT€ ot SiKaiOL ^KXapApovcriv ws o ^Xtos, ol 8c afiaprtaXol 
KaTr)<fi€LS KoX (rKvOpwTroi di/a8ei;(ö>7crovrat. 

^^ Boni in claritate fulgentes et mali in nigredine 

^^ Et transformabit Dens homines in similitudinem an- 
gelorum et erunt candidi sicut nix. 


Abaddon, meaning of the term, 
152, 153 

Abassides, apocalyptic refer- 
ences to, 73 

Adso, his Sibylline document, 
47 ; relations to pseudo- Me- 
thodius, 54 ; its source, 62 

Advent of Christ, 226; cometh 
in the night, 237 

Agog. See " Gog and Magog " 

Alexander legend, its relation to 
Antichrist, 63 

Alexandre, on Sibyl III., 95 

Ambrosiaster, Commentaries, 92, 

Ambrosius, Commentaries, 92 

Andreas, his Apocalyptic Com- 
mentaries, 58 note, 92 

*' Another prophet" quoted by 
Hippolytus, 28, 193 

Antichrist, referred to in Rev. xi., 
21; is the "son of perdition" 
of 2 Thess. ii., 22 ; his appear- 
ance in Jerusalem, 24; is of 
the tribe of Dan, 26; is the 
second beast with the two 
horns, 26; his first exploits, 
28; his temptations, 64; his 
double form, 84; is the Nero 
redivivus of Victorinus, 84 ; is 
the emperor Decius in the 
Vislo Jesai(By 85 ; is the Dragon 
of Babylonia, 99 ; is Armillus, 

105 ; is the Dajjat of Tabari, 
116, 117; forewarnings of his 
Advent, 121 et seq.-, Jewish 
origin of, 133 ; his name, 136 ; 
his relations to the devil, 
138-145 ; to the Babylonian 
Dragon, 144, 145, 146 ; to Simon 
Magus, 147-149 ; described as 
a human monster, 156, 157 ; 
his first victories, 158-160; is 
seated in the Temple, 160-162 ; 
rebuilds the Temple, 162, 163 ; 
is the false Messiah ; 166-169 ; 
his kingdom, 167; claims to 
be the Son of God, 168-170; 
comes from the tribe of Dan, 
171-174; his signs and wonders, 
175-181; rises from the dead, 
181; his ministers, 188-190; 
simulates virtue to deceive, 
191 ; ruler of the world, 192, 
193; his mark, 201, 202; per- 
secutes the faithful, 211-214; 
his hosts overthrown by the 
angels, 223 ; is destroved by 
Christ, 224, 225 ; and also by 
Michael and Gabriel, 227-231 ; 
seated on Olivet and Sion, 231 
Antichrist legend, its signifi- 
cance, 5 ; its persistence, 7 ; its 
relation to the Dragon myth, 
13 ; Slavonic text, 44 ; its 
varied aspects in later times, 
131, 143; general survey, 182- 




Apocalypse of Daniel, Greek, QQ ; 
its source, 68 

Apocalypse of Elias, 90, 91, 108, 

Apocalypse of Ezra, 156 

Apocalypses Apocryplice, 42, 156 

Apocalypses of Peter, 72 

Arabic Apocalypse of Peter, 72, 

Aretha, his Commentary, 92 

Armenian Antichrist saga, 253 

Armenian Vision of Daniel, 66 ; 
its source, 68 

Armillus, identified as Eomulus, 
53, 103, 186 

Arne, the Dragon, 73 

Arnobius, on Simon Magus, 148 

Aacensio Jesaice^ 87, 101 ; refer- 
ence to Belial, 153; to Sammael, 

Assemani, his edition of the 
Ephremite writings, 36 

Austin, S., City of God, refer- 
ence to Kev. xi., 127 


Babylon of the seven hills, 68 

Babylonian myths and Kev., 
8, 13. See also "Dragon 

Baethgen, his edition of Syriac 
Apocalypse of Ezra, 59, 75 

Bahman Yast Apocalypse, 115; 
its two witnesses, 211 note 

Baruch, Book of, 100, 147 

Beasts of Eev., their relations to 
the Antichrist saga, 183-185 

Beatus, on the deliverance of the 
faithful, 220 

Bede, his Sibyl, 45; relations 
to pseudo-Methodius, 54 ; its 
source, 62; relations to the 
other Sibyls, 100 

Belial (Beliar), the Antichrist, 
96, 136 ; comes from the 
Sebastenoi, 96; described in 
Sibyl II., 97; numerous re- 
ferences to, 136, 187 

Belial legend, history of, 153- 

Bellarmine, eschatological re- 
ferences, 132 

Bet-ha-Midrash, its Apocalypse 
of Elias, 91 

Bonwetsch, his translation of the 
Slavonic Apocalypse, 69 

Bratke, on the Arabo-Ethiopic 
Pe trine Apocalypse, 3 ; on the 
Book of Clement, 72 


Caligula, not referred to in 
2 Thess. ii., 22 ; his relations 
to the Antichrist seated in the 
Temple, 164, 214 

Caspari, his pseudo-Ephrem, 33 
on Ephrem and pseudo-Me- 
thodius, 58 

Chosroes, apocalyptic references 
to, 76, 77 

Christ, destroys the Antichrist. 

Christians, persecutions of, 80 

Chrysostom, on the Advent, 43 ; 
Commentaries, 92; on Anti- 
christ as the devil, 139 

Clement, Book of, 72; First 
Book of, 83 

Cleopatra, referred to by the 
Sibyls, 99 

Commodian, his Carmen A polo- 
geticum, 31, 79, 80 ; its date, 
81 ; its reference to the ten 
tribes, 102 

Constans, Sibylline allusions to. 
46, 49, 62, 63 

Coptic Apocalpyse of Zephaniah, 
87, 88 ; relation to Lactantiuis, 

Corrodi, History of the Milleii- 
7iium, 3 

Cross, the, apocalyptic references 
to, 233-236 

Cyprian, on Antichrist, 65 note 

Cyril of Jerusalem, his fifteentti 
catechetical lecture, 43 ; on 
the last days, 125 



Dajjat, the Antichrist in Taba- 
ri's Chronicle, 116, 117 

Damascus, destroyed in the last 
days, 73, 76 

Dan, tribe of. Antichrist comes 
from, 26, 171, 172; Testament 
of, 101, 173 

Daniel vii. and xi., connected 
with Kev. xvii., 28 

Daniel, Armenian Apocalypse of, 

Daniel, Greek Apocalypse of, 51, 
63, 66 

Daniel, Persian History of, 109, 
110, 111 

Decius, Roman emperor, the 
Antichrist, 85 

Demons, ministers of Antichrist, 

Devil, the, relations to Anti- 
christ, 138-146 

Diemer, Deutsche GedicMe, 178 

Dietrich, on Jewish and Christian 
eschatology, 16, 117 note 

Dragon myth, Babylonian, traced 
back to primitive man. Pro- 
logue, passim ; source of the 
Antichrist legend, 13 ; its in- 
fluence on Rev., 13-14 ; its re- 
lations to Antichrist, 144, 145, 
150, 164, 165, 183-185, 223 

Drought and famine in the last 
days, 195-200 

Ebert, on Commodian, 79 
Edda, E.H. Meyer, on its mj^tho- 

logy, 16. See also " Völuspä " 
Eisenmenger, on the Othoth ha- 

Mashiakh and the Book of 

Zorobabel, 106 
Elias, one of the two witnesses, 

27, 58 ; Apocalypse of, 90, 108 ; 

his return in the last days, 

Enoch, one of the two witnesses, 

27, 58 ; reappears in the last 

days, 203-208, 

Ephrem, S., his apocalyptic writ- 
ings tabulated, 37-39; his me- 
trical system, 37 ; relations 
to Rev., 40; his hymns and 
discourses, 56 ; his Syriac Dis- 
course, 59 ; its date, 61 ; refer- 
ence to Antichrist as Batan, 
141 ; and as the Dragon, 146 
Epiphanius, reputed author of 
the Vitcs Pro2)lietaTuin, 71 note 
Eschatological literature, Gunkel 
on its persistence, 7 ; is inde- 
pendent of New Testament, 
129 ; its varied aspects, 131 
Esoteric oral tradition, 7, 31 
Ethiopic Apocalypse of Peter, 72 
Eucherius, Commentaries, 92 
Euthymius, Commentaries, 92 
Ezra, Syriac Apocalypse of, 59, 

Ezra, 4, reference to Heraclius 
and Chosroes, 77 : relation to 
Book of Clement, 86 ; its es- 
chatological predictions, 101, 


Fabricius, Last Vision of Daniel, 

Faithful, the, persecuted by 
Antichrist, 211 ; fly to the 
desert, 212, 213 ; their delivery, 
219, 220 

False Messiah, the Antichrist, 
166, 169, 182, 206 

Famine and drought in the last 
days, 195-200^ 

Fathers of the Church, their 
teaching on Antichrist and 
Rome, 27 ; references to Anti- 
christ as the devil, 139-142 

Firmicus Maternus, on the devil 
and Antichrist, 140 

Flight of the faithful, 212, 213 ; 
of the woman in Rev. xii., 221 

Fore warnings of the last daySy 
121 et seq. 

Friedlieb, on the Sibyls, 98 



Gabriel, S., resuscitates the two 
witnesses, 205 ; slays the Anti- 
christ, 223, 224 

Genesis xlix., reference to Dan, 

Godfrey of Viterbo, his Pantheon, 
45, 63 ; on Gog and Magog, 103 

Gog and Magog, referred to by 
Adso and Bede, 48 ; by pseudo- 
Methodius, 50, 54 ; by Jerome, 
55 ; identified as the Huns, 57, 
92 ; relations to the Antichrist, 

Graetz, on the Mysteries of Simon 
ben Yokhai, 105, 106 

Gunkel, his Scliöpfung und Chaos, 
5 ; his laws of interpretation, 6 ; 
on Rev. and Babylonian myths, 
8 ; on Eev. and historic events, 
10; on Rev. and the Dragon 
myth, 13 ; his traditional 
method of exegesis, 14; his 
theory of the Antichrist legend, 
143, 144 

Gutschmid, on Adso and Bede, 
49 ; on pseudo-Methodius, 50 


Haymo, on 2 Thess., 139 note 

Heraclius saga, 55, 77 

Hildegard, S., Predictions, 93; 
on the death of Antichrist, 149 

Hippolytus, his work on the 
Antichrist, 25 ; identifies Anti- 
christ, not with Rome, but 
with the two-horned beast, 26 ; 
quotes ''another prophet" on 
the Antichrist, 28 ; on esoteric 
teaching, 31 ; on the Little 
Daniel, 71 ; on the devil and 
Antichrist, 140 

Honorius of Autun, Elucidarium, 
93 ; its relation to the Völuspä, 

Hugo Eterianus, de Begressu, 
etc, 93 

Huns, identified as Gog and 
Magog, 55, 59, 60 

Irenaeus, Adv. Hcereses, 92; on 
the last days, 123, 124 

Isaiah xxvi. 20 explained, 221 

Isldm, apocalyptic references to, 

Isolin, on Rev. and the Syriac 
Apocalypse of Ezra, 3 

Israel, ten tribes of, 102 ; re- 
ference to, in the Sibyls and in 
Commodian, 102, 103 ; relation 
to the Gog and Magog myth, 

Jacob of Edessa, on the last davs, 

Jellinek, on Jewish apocalyptic 

writings, 106 
Jeremiah one of the two wit- 
nesses, 208 
Jerome, ad Oceanum, 55 ; on 

Dan. xi., 64 ; ad Algasiam, 92 ; 

on the devil and Antichrist, 

Jerusalem, referred to in Rev. xi., 

Jewish apocalyptic literature, 96 
Jews, converted in the last days, 

Joachim, Abbot, on the third 

witness, 208 • 
John of Damascus, "E/c^ec-ts, 93, 

139 note 
John the Baptist, a third witness, 

John the Theologian, his conten- 
tion with Antichrist, 70 
Judas Iscariot, reference to, by 

Papias, 157 
Judgment, the last, 249 
Justin, on Zech. xii., 103 

Kalemkiar, his Armenian Vision 
of Daniel, 66 



Klostermann, his edition of the 
Greek Apocalypse of Daniel, 66 

Kozak, on the Slavonic Apoc- 
rypha, 69 

Lactantius, Institut. Divined, 79, 

81 ; relation to the Sibyls, 81, 

Lagarde, his edition of pseudo- 

Hippolytus, 41 ; his Reliquiae 

Juris, 83 
Lamy, his edition of Ephrem's 

hymns and discourses, 56 
Lightfoot, on the Little Daniel, 

Little Daniel, Apocalypse of, 71 
Ludus de Antichrisfo, 47, 64 
Luke xxi. 21 connected by Vic- 

torinus with Bev. xii., 29 


Malvenda, dc Anticlio'isto, 55, 91 ; 

eschatological references, 132 
Mark xiii., on the Second Coming, 

Mark of the Antichrist, 201, 202 
Martin of Tours, his oral teach- 
ing on the Antichrist, 31 
Matthew xxiv., on the Second 

Coming, 22, 218 
Mekhithar, his list of Apochry- 

pha, 66 
Messiah, the, delivers the saints, 

220 ; overthrows Antichrist, 

Messiah ben David, 107, 108 
Messiah ben Joseph, leader of 

the ten tribes, 104 
Messiahs, Jewish and Christian, 

103, 104; their origin, 104; 

their history, 107 
Meyer, E. H., on the mythology 

of the Edda, 16. See also 

" Völuspä " 
Meyer, Edward, on Gunkel's 

SchöjjfuQig und Chaos, 12 
Meyer, W., on Ephrem's homilies, 

37 ; his edition of the Ludus 
de Antichrist 0, 47 

Michael, S., resuscitates the 
two witnesses, 205 ; slays the 
Antichrist, 227 

Midrash va-Yosha, on the two 
Messiahs, 106 ; on Antichrist 
as a monster, 156, 157 

Migne, Patrol. Grceca: the 
Dioptra, 43; Chrvsostom on 
the Advent, 43 ; Bede's Sibyl, 
45 ; Ludus, 47 ; Qucestiones 
ad' A7itioch., 93 ; Elucidarium. 
93 ; Eterianus, 93 

Mikweh Israel, on the ten tribes, 

Millennium precedes the Anti- 
christ, 195 ; apocalyptic refer- 
ences to, 245, 246 

Ministers of Antichrist, 188-190 

Monumenta Patrum Orthodoxo- 
grapha, 50 

Moses, one of the two witnesses, 

JIuspilli, its relation to the 
Antichrist legend, 115 

Mysteries of Rabbi Yokhai, 225 


Neriosang and Srosh, the two 
witnesses in the Bahman 
Yast, 211 note 

Nero, referred to in Rev. xi., 20 ; 
in Commodian, 80; in the 
Sibyls, 97, 185 

Nero redivivus, 79, 80, 128-130, 

Nerses, S., Armenian Antichrist 
saga, 253 

Nicephorus, his Stichometry, ^Q 

Nicoll, Bib. Bod. Cod. JISS. 
Orient. Catalog., 73 

Number 66Q, Gunkel's explana- 
tion of , 8, 11 


Ommiades, apocalyptic refer- 
ences to, 72-74 




Origen, his ^^'arning against false 
prophets, 31 

Palladius, his Slavonic Anti- 
christ legend, 4i 

Papias, on Judas Iscariot, 157 

Paulinus of Nola, apocalyptic 
poem, 90 

Pelagius, Commentaries, 92 

Persecution of the faithful, 

Peter, S., Arabic, Ethiopic, and 
Syriac Apocalj^pses of, 72, 74 ; 
relations to pseudo-Methodius, 

Philip the Arab, apocalyptic 
references to, 80 

Philip the Solitary, his Dioptra, 
43; reference to Antichrist, 
150, 151 

Pirke of Elieser, 105 note 

Primasius, on the resurrection of 
Antichrist, 181 

Prosper Aquitan., de Promiss, et 
PrcedictionWus^ 92, 142 

Prudentius, on the triumph of 
Christ over the Antichrist, 
224 note 

Pseudo-Ephrem, Latin homily, 
33 ; its relation to the Eph- 
remite writings, 35 ; its date, 
35 ; reference to Gog and 
Magog and the Huns, 56 ; on 
the last days, 125 

Pseud o-Hippolytus on the last 
things, 41 ; relation to Hip- 
polytus and Ephrem, 41 ; 
on the devil and Antichrist, 

Pseudo-Johannine Apocalypse, 

Pseudo-Methodius, Greek and 
Latin texts, 50; probable 
date, 51, 52; general contents, 
53 ; relations to Adso and 
Bede, 54 ; to Ephrem, 58 


Resurrection of Antichrist, 181 

Revelation, its relation to Baby- 
lonian myths, 8 ; qualifications 
needed for its interpretation, 
9, 17 ; chap, xi., problems pre- 
sented by, 19-21 ; chap. xiii. 
explained by Victorinus, 30 ; 
its reference to Rome and the 
last things, 126, 127, 183-188 ; 
written by a Jewish Christian, 
210 ; chap, vii., its reference 
to the 144,000 saved, 216; 
chap. xii. 15 explained, 219 ; 
its relation to the Antichrist 
saga, 221, 222 ; chap. xiv. 14-20, 
explanation of, 222, 223 

Ribeira. eschatological writings, 

Roman empire, fall of, before 
the last days, 123 et seq., 184 

Romans xi. 12, explanation of, 

Rome, referred to in Rev. xx., 184 

Romulus, identified as Armillus, 
53, 186 


Sammael (Samael), relations to 

Belial, 154, 155 
Satan, relations to Antichrist, 

Sebastenoi. See " Belial " 
Second Coming. See " Advent " 
Shortening of the days, 218-220 
Sibylline apocatyptic literature, 
44, 70, 81, 82, 95 ; relations to 
Commodian and Lactantius, 
82 ; relations to the Antichrist 
andNeronic sagas, 84 ; eschato- 
logical predictions, 97-99, 124; 
references to the Dragon, 151 
Sign, the, of the Son of man, 

232, 233 
Signs of the Messiah, 106, 157 
Simon ben Yokhai, his Mysteries, 
105, 106, 108 



Simon Magus legend, its rela- 
tions to Antichrist, 147-150, 
180, 181 

Slavonic Apocrypha, 44, 69 

Spitta, on Eev. xi., 19 

Stern, on the Apocalypse of 
Zephaniah, 87, 88 

Sulpicins Severus, 31, 83 

Sylburg, his edition of Andreas, 
58 note 

Syriac Apocalypse of Peter, 72, 

Tabari, his reference to the 
Antichrist saga, 116 

Tertullian, on the last days, 124 

Testaments of the Twelve Patri- 
archs, 101 

Theodoretus, Commentaries on 
Daniel, 92; Hceret. Fabulce, 

Theophylactus, Commentaries, 92 

Thess. (2) ii., its esoteric charac- 
ter, 21 ; refers to Rome, 27, 
127, 128 

Ticonius, his spiritualistic inter- 
pretations, 91 

Tischendorf, his AjwcalyjJses 
Apocryphoß, 42; his Greek 
Apocalypse of Daniel, 66 

Tribes, the ten. See " Israel " 

Trumpet, the last, 247, 248 


Usinger, his Forsclmngen^ 45, 46 
Uziel, the Messiah ben Joseph, 

Valens and Valentinian, referred 
to in pseudo-Ephrem, 34 

Victorinus, his Commentary on 
Rev. xii., 29 ; upholds the 
Neronic interpretation, 29 ; 
connects it with the false 

prophet of Rev. xiii., 29; on 

the Neronic saga, 84 
Visio Jesaice, 84, 85 
Vision of Daniel, Armenian, 66 
Völuspä of the Edda, E. H. Meyer's 

comments on, 16, 93, 112; its 

relations to the Antichrist 

saga, 113 
Vossius, G., his edition of 

Ephrem, 36 


Winds, the four, 246, 247 

Witnesses, the two, are Elias 
and Enoch, 27, 203 ; Elias and 
Moses, 207; Elias and Jere- 
miah, 208; resuscitated by 
Michael and Gabriel, 205 ; John 
the Baptist a third witness, 

Woman, the, of Rev. xii., ex- 
planation of, 221, 222 

Wonders of the Antichrist, 175- 

World, destroyed by fire, 238- 

Wright, Catalogue of St/riac 
3ISS., 71 


Zahn, on the Greek and Ar- 
menian Apocalypses of Daniel, 

Zechariah xii., its Messianic in- 
terpretation, 103 

Zephaniah, Apocalypse of, 87 ; 
its date, 88 ; relations to other 
apocrypha, 90 

Zezschwitz, on Adso and Bede, 
47; on pseudo-Methodius, 50, 
51, 54; on Godfrey of Viterbo, 

Zorobabel, Book of, 106, 107 ; its 
relation to Rev., 108; reference 
to Antichrist as a monster, 157 

Zotenberg, his translation of the 
Persian History of Daniel, 109 




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