HISTORY  OF THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE: Subterfúgio: Polêmicas Agostinianas e Maometanas

Edward Gibbon

 

Vol. III

CHAPTER 33

A Conquista da África pelos Vândalos

 

Consta que Maomé praticava o incesto com sua filha Fátima.

 

“the terrible Genseric [Gizericus]; a name, which, in the destruction of the Roman empire, has deserved an equal rank with the names of Alaric and Attila. The king of the Vandals [território espanhol] is described to have been of a middle stature, with a lameness in one leg, which he had contracted by an accidental fall from his horse. His slow and cautious speech seldom declared the deep purposes of his soul”

 

Abraão teria nascido em 2015 a.C. Quem segue seu calendário está em 4032 d.A.

 

“and the fair complexions of the blue-eyed warriors of Germany [vândalos] formed a very singular contrast with the swarthy [trigueiro] or olive hue which is derived from the neighborhood of the torrid zone [mouros].” Aqui devemos acrescentar os importantes parênteses: no caso específico dos “genseritas”, eram guerreiros cristianizados; no entanto, sua “cruzada pessoal” africana não era religiosa, e podia contar com aliados pagãos ou heresiarcas; e ajudou a ruir o Grande Império do Resíduo Católico.

 

“the calendar of martyrs received on both sides a considerable augmentation.” Belo eufemismo.

 

No fim da vida Santo Agostinho se tornou piedoso e deixou de combater belicamente cismáticos como os masdeístas ou maniqueus. O “santo” se demonstrava bastante ativo em termos de correspondência política (principalmente na tentativa de dissuadir qualquer confronto letal entre cristãos).

 

“Careless of the distinctions of age, or sex, or rank, they employed every species of indignity and torture, to force from the captives a discovery of their hidden wealth. The stern policy of Genseric justified his frequent examples of military execution: he was not always the master of his own passions, or of those of his followers; and the calamities of war were aggravated by the licentiousness of the Moors, and the fanaticism of the Donatists [ordem de padres excomungados].”

 

A África, próspero continente que alimentava a megalópole da Antiguidade Roma com trigo a perder de vista, começou a parecer o cenário desolado que é hoje muito também devido a lendas e exagerações cristãs, que depreciavam o trabalho dos Vândalos na conquista da região e até lhes atribuíam a deliberada falta de assepsia e “empilhamento arbitrário de cadáveres” que gerava pestes negras em cada cidade dominada…

 

“The youth of Augustin had been stained by the vices and errors which he so ingenuously [artfully!] confesses; but from the moment of his conversion to that of his death, the manners of the bishop of Hippo were pure and austere: and the most conspicuous of his virtues was an ardent zeal against heretics of every denomination; the Manichaeans, the Donatists, and the Pelagians [“não somos afetados pelo Pecado Original; o livre-arbítrio de cada qual permite chegar de forma autônoma ao Bem Supremo…”], against whom he waged a perpetual controversy. When the city [Hippo], some months after his death, was burnt by the Vandals, the library was [un]fortunately saved, which contained his voluminous writings; 232 separate books or treatises on theological subjects,[*] besides a complete exposition of the psalter and the gospel, and a copious magazine of epistles and homilies. According to the judgment of the most impartial critics, the superficial learning of Augustin was confined to the Latin language; and his style, though sometimes animated by the eloquence of passion, is usually clouded by false and affected rhetoric. But he possessed a strong, capacious, argumentative mind; he boldly sounded the dark abyss of grace, predestination, free will, and original sin; and the rigid system of Christianity which he framed or restored, has been entertained, with public applause, and secret reluctance, by the Latin church.”

 

[*] “Such, at least, is the account of Victor Vitensis (de Persecut. Vandal. 50. 1. 100. 3); though Gennadius seems to doubt whether any person had read, or even collected, all the works of St. Augustin (see Hieronym. Opera, tom. I p. 319, in Catalog. Scriptor. Eccles.). They have been repeatedly printed; and Dupin (Bibliotheque Eccles. tom. III p. 158-257) has given a large and satisfactory abstract of them as they stand in the last edition of the Benedictines. My personal acquaintance with the bishop of Hippo does not extend beyond the Confessions, and the City of God [ao fim e ao cabo as duas obras que realmente importam].

 

Cada vez mais vejo que o verbete do Wikipédia estava repleto de razão: a influência de Gibbon se faz sentir principalmente a partir de suas fantásticas notas de rodapé, cheias de “spoilers” sobre a vida particular das personalidades que cunharam o mundo!

 

“In his early youth (Confess. i. 14) St. Augustin disliked and neglected the study of Greek; and he frankly owns that he read the Platonists in a Latin version, (Confes. vii. 9) Some modern critics have thought that his ignorance of Greek disqualified him from expounding the Scriptures; and Cicero or Quintilian would have required the knowledge of that language in a professor of rhetoric.”

 

The church of Rome has canonized Augustin, and reprobated Calvin. Yet as the real difference between them is invisible even to a theological microscope, the Molinists are oppressed by the authority of the saint, and the Jansenists are disgraced by their resemblance to the heretic. In the mean while, the Protestant Arminians stand aloof, and deride the mutual perplexity of the disputants (see a curious Review of the Controversy, by Le Clerc, Bibliotheque Universelle, tom. XIV pp. 144-398.) Perhaps a reasoner still more independent may smile in his turn, when he peruses an Arminian Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans.”

 

Bonifácio e Aécio, os dois maiores generais de então (e os últimos grandes de Roma), decidiram num duelo o destino da África: ganhou Bonifácio, mas o estrago feito pelo sublevado e amigo dos bárbaros, Aécio, era já irreparável. Cartago, a “capital” africana, cairia em 8 anos. Uma verdadeira Babilônia no coração do continente negro, aliás: “The streets of Carthage were polluted by effeminate wretches, who publicly assumed the countenance, the dress, and the character of women. If a monk appeared in the city, the holy man was pursued with impious scorn and ridicule”

 

Pére Jobert – Science des Medailles

 

Prosper – Chronicle, A.D. 442. (Sobre as crueldades de Genseric.)

 

* * *

 

OS SETE DORMINHOCOS

 

“Among the insipid legends of ecclesiastical history, I am tempted to distinguish the memorable fable of the Seven Sleepers; whose imaginary date corresponds with the reign of the younger Theodosius, and the conquest of Africa by the Vandals. When the emperor Decius persecuted the Christians, seven noble youths of Ephesus concealed themselves in a spacious cavern in the side of an adjacent mountain; where they were doomed to perish by the tyrant, who gave orders that the entrance should be firmly secured by a pile of huge stones. They immediately fell into a deep slumber, which was miraculously prolonged without injuring the powers of life, during a period of 187 years. At the end of that time, the slaves of Adolius, to whom the inheritance of the mountain had descended, removed the stones to supply materials for some rustic edifice: the light of the sun darted into the cavern, and the Seven Sleepers were permitted to awake. After a slumber, as they thought of a few hours, they were pressed by the calls of hunger; and resolved that Jamblichus, one of their number, should secretly return to the city to purchase bread for the use of his companions. The youth (if we may still employ that appellation) could no longer recognize the once familiar aspect of his native country; and his surprise was increased by the appearance of a large cross, triumphantly erected over the principal gate of Ephesus. His singular dress, and obsolete language, confounded the baker, to whom he offered an ancient medal of Decius as the current coin of the empire; and Jamblichus, on the suspicion of a secret treasure, was dragged before the judge. Their mutual inquiries produced the amazing discovery, that two centuries were almost elapsed since Jamblichus and his friends had escaped from the rage of a Pagan tyrant. The bishop of Ephesus, the clergy, the magistrates, the people, and, as it is said, the emperor Theodosius himself, hastened to visit the cavern of the Seven Sleepers; who bestowed their benediction, related their story, and at the same instant peaceably expired.

 

The origin of this marvellous fable cannot be ascribed to the pious fraud and credulity of the modern Greeks, since the authentic tradition may be traced within half a century of the supposed miracle. James of Sarug, a Syrian bishop, who was born only two years after the death of the younger Theodosius, has devoted one of his 230 homilies to the praise of the young men of Ephesus. Their legend, before the end of the 6th century, was translated from the Syriac into the Latin language, by the care of Gregory of Tours. The hostile communions of the East preserve their memory with equal reverence; and their names are honorably inscribed in the Roman, the Abyssinian, and the Russian calendar. Nor has their reputation been confined to the Christian world. This popular tale, which Mahomet might learn when he drove his camels to the fairs of Syria, is introduced as a divine revelation, into the Koran. The story of the Seven Sleepers has been adopted and adorned by the nations, from Bengal to Africa, who profess the Mahometan religion; and some vestiges of a similar tradition have been discovered in the remote extremities of Scandinavia. This easy and universal belief, so expressive of the sense of mankind, may be ascribed to the genuine merit of the fable itself. We imperceptibly advance from youth to age, without observing the gradual, but incessant, change of human affairs; and even in our larger experience of history, the imagination is accustomed, by a perpetual series of causes and effects, to unite the most distant revolutions. But if the interval between two memorable aeras could be instantly annihilated; if it were possible, after a momentary slumber of 200 years, to display the new world to the eyes of a spectator, who still retained a lively and recent impression of the old, his surprise and his reflections would furnish the pleasing subject of a philosophical romance.

 

The scene could not be more advantageously placed, than in the two centuries which elapsed between the reigns of Decius and of Theodosius the Younger. During this period, the seat of government had been transported from Rome to a new city on the banks of the Thracian Bosphorus; and the abuse of military spirit had been suppressed by an artificial system of tame and ceremonious servitude. The throne of the persecuting Decius was filled by a succession of Christian and orthodox princes, who had extirpated the fabulous gods of antiquity: and the public devotion of the age was impatient to exalt the saints and martyrs of the Catholic church, on the altars of Diana and Hercules. The union of the Roman empire was dissolved; its genius was humbled in the dust; and armies of unknown Barbarians, issuing from the frozen regions of the North, had established their victorious reign over the fairest provinces of Europe and Africa.” Outras evocações: Schopenhauer, Platão, Vanilla Sky, um coma dentre tantos possíveis, o sonho de criogenia enfermiço de Walt Disney (Baudrillard)…

 

“Two Syriac writers, as they are quoted by Assemanni (Bibliot. Oriental. tom. I pp. 336, 338), place the resurrection of the Seven Sleepers in the year 736 (A.D. 425) or 748 (A.D. 437), of the aera of the Seleucides. Their Greek acts, which Photius had read, assign the date of the 38th year of the reign of Theodosius, which may coincide either with A.D. 439, or 446. The period which had elapsed since the persecution of Decius is easily ascertained; and nothing less than the ignorance of Mahomet, or the legendaries [hagiólogos], could suppose an interval of 300 or 400 years.”

 

…welcome to the seat of madness

                         the sea of madman

                                   & mermaids!