See also:Antichrist, which was probably first coined in Christian eschatological literature, is in the Epistles of St
See also:John (I. ii . 18, 22, 1V . 3; II . 7), and it has since come into universal use . The conception, paraphrased in this word, of a mighty ruler who will appear at the end of
See also:time, and whose essence will be enmity to
See also:God (
See also:Dan. xi . 36; cf.' 2 Thess. ii . 4; a h.vruc tµEYOS), is older, and traceable to Jewish
See also:eschatology . Its origin is to be sought in the first place. in the prophecy of Daniel, written at the beginning of the Maccabean
See also:period . The
See also:historical figure who served as a
See also:model for the " Antichrist " was
See also:Antiochus IV . Epiphanes, the persecutor of the Jews, and he has impressed indelible traits upon the conception . Since then ever-recurring characteristics of this figure (cf. especially Dan xi .
40, &c.) are, that he would appear as a mighty ruler at the
See also:head of gigantic armies, that he would destroy three rulers (the three horns, Dan. vii . 8, 24), persecute the
See also:saints (vii . 25),
See also:rule for three and a
See also:half years (vii . 25, &c.), and subject the
See also:temple of God to a horrible devastation (/3 ? Xvypa riffs Ept7pco€ws) . When the end of the
See also:world foretold by Daniel did not take place, but the
See also:book of Daniel retained its validity as a sacred scripture which foretold future things, the
See also:personality of the
See also:tyrant who was God's enemy disengaged itself from that of Antiochus IV., and became merely a figure of prophecy, which was applied now to one and now to another historical phenomenon . Thus for the author of the Psalms of Solomon (c . 6o B.C.),
See also:Pompey, who destroyed the
See also:independent rule of the Maccabees and stormed Jerusalem, was the Adversary of God (cf. ii . 26, &c.); so too the tyrant whom the Ascension of Moses (c . A.D . 30) expects at the end of all things, possesses, besides the traits of Antiochus IV., those of Herod the
See also:Great . A further influence on the development of the eschatological
See also:imagination of the Jews was exercised by such a figure as that of the emperor Caligula (A.D .
37-41), who is known to have given the
See also:order, never carried out, to erect his statue in the temple of Jerusalem . In the little Jewish Apocalypse, the existence of which is assumed by many scholars, which in Mark xiii. and Matt.
See also:xxiv. is combined with the words of Christ to
See also:form the great eschatological discourse, the prophecy of the " abomination of desolation " (Mark xiii . 14 et seq.) may have the son of perdition " here described with the dominating figure originated in this
See also:episode of Jewish
See also:history . Later Jewish and of Jewish eschatology (cf. ii . 3 &c., 6 avOpwiros rrts'avopcas, Christian writers of Apocalypses saw in
See also:Nero the tyrant of the i.e . Beliar (?), o avrLKEipevos—the allusion that follows to end of time . The author of the
See also:Syriac Apocalypse of
See also:Baruch (or j Dan xi . 36) . But Antichrist here appears as a tempter, who his source), cap . 36-40, speaks in quite general terms of the last
See also:works by signs and wonders (ii . 9) and seeks to obtain divine ruler of the end of time . In 4
See also:Ezra v .
6 also is found the allusion: I honours; it is further signified that this "man of sin " will obtain
See also:credence, more especially among the Jews, because they have not accepted the truth . The conception, moreover, has become almost more superhuman than ever (cf. ii . 4, " showing himself that he is God ") . The destruction of the Adversary is
See also:drawn from Isaiah xi . 4, where it is said of the
See also:Messiah: " with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked." 5 The idea that Antichrist was to establish himself in the temple of Jerusalem (ii . 4) is very enigmatical, and has not yet been explained . The " abomination of desolation " has naturally had its influence upon it; possibly also the experience of the time of Caligula (see above) . Remarkable also is the allusion to a power which still retards the
See also:revelation of Antichrist (2 Thess. ii . 6 &c., rb Karixov; b Karixcov), an allusion which, in the tradition of the Fathers of the
See also:church, came to be universally, and probably correctly, referred to the
See also:empire . In this then consists the significant turn given by St Paul in the Second
See also:Epistle to the
See also:Thessalonians to the whole conception, namely, in the substitution for the tyrant of the latter time who should persecute the Jewish
See also:people, of a pseudo-Messianic figure, who, establishing himself in the temple of God, should find credence and a following precisely among the Jews . And while the originally Jewish idea led straight to the conception, set forth in Revelation, of the Roman empire or its ruler as Antichrist, here, on the contrary, it is probably the Roman empire that is the power which still retards the reign of Antichrist . With this, the expectation of such an event at last separates itself from any connexion with historical fact, and becomes purely ideal .
See also:process of transformation of the idea, which has become of importance for the history of the world, is revealed probably the
See also:genius of Paul, or at any
See also:rate, that of the
See also:Christianity which was breaking its ties with Judaism and establishing itself in the world of the Roman empire . This version of the figure of Antichrist, who may now really for the first time be described by this name, appears to have been at once widely accepted in Christendom . The idea that the Jews would believe in Antichrist, as punishment for not having believed in the true Christ,- seems to be expressed by the author of the
See also:gospel (v . 43) . The conception of Antichrist as a perverter of men, leads naturally to his connexion with false
See also:doctrine (r John ii . 18, 22; iv . 3; 2 John 7) . The Teaching of the Apostles (xvi . 4) describes his form in the same way as 2 Thessalonians (Kai oboe ¢atviiaerat b Koouo2rhavor WS V 65 Oeou Kai
See also:rota vrlµeia Kai mmpara) . In the
See also:late Christian Sibylline fragment (iii . 63 &c.) also, "
See also:Behar " appears above all as a worker of wonders, this figure having possibly been influenced by that of
See also:Simon Magus . Finally the author of the Apocalypse of St John also has made use of the new conception of Antichrist as a wonder-worker and seducer, and has set his figure beside that of the " first " Beast which was for him the actual embodiment of Antichrist (xiii. rr &c.) .
Since this second Beast could not appear along with the first as a power demandingworship and directly playing the
See also:part of Antichrist, he made out of him the false
See also:prophet (xvi . 13, xix . 20, xx . 10) who seduces the inhabitants of the
See also:earth to worship the first Beast, and probably interpreted this figure as applying to the Roman provincial priesthood.' But this version of the idea of Antichrist, hostile to the Jews and better expressing the relation of Christianity to the Roman empire, was prevented from obtaining an absolute ascendancy in Christian tradition by the rise of the belief in the ultimate return of Nero, and by the absorption of this outcome of
See also:pagan superstition into the Jewish-Christian apocalyptic conceptions . It is known that soon after the
See also:death of Nero rumours were current that he was not dead . This
See also:report soon took the.more concrete form that he had fled to the Parthians and would return thence to take vengeance on Rome . This expectation led to the appearance of several pretenders who posed as Nero: and as late as A.D . 100 many still held the belief that Nero yet lived.2 This idea of Nero's return was in the first instance taken up by the Jewish apocalyptic writers . While the Jewish author of the fourth Sibylline book (c . A.D . 80) still only refers simply to the
See also:heathen belief, the author of the (Jewish?)
See also:original of the 17th
See also:chapter of the Apocalypse of St John expects the return of Nero with the Parthians to take vengeance on Rome, because she had
See also:shed the
See also:blood of the Saints (destruction of Jerusalem!) . In the fifth Sibylline book, which, with the exception of verses 1-51, was mainly composed by a Jewish writer at the close of the first century, the return of Nero plays a great part .
Three times the author recurs to this theme, 137-154; 214-227; 361-385 . He
See also:sees in the coming again of Nero, whose figure he endows with ' See Bousset, Kommentar zur O(jenbarung Johannis, on these .passages . 2 Ibid. ch. xrii.: and
See also:Charles, Ascension of Isaiah, sq.supernatural and daemonic characteristics, a
See also:judgment of God, in whose
See also:hand the revivified Nero becomes a
See also:rod of chastisement . Later, the figure of Nero redivivus became, more especially in Christian thought, entirely confused with that of Antichrist . The less it became possible, as time went on to believe that Nero yet lived and would return as a living ruler, the greater was the tendency for his figure to develop into one wholly infernal and daemonic . The relation to the Parthians is also gradually lost sight of; and from being the adversary of Rome, Nero becomes the adversary of God and of Christ . This is the version of the expectation of Nero's second coming preserved in the form given to the prophecy, under
See also:Domitian, by the collaborator in the Apocalypse of John (xiii., xvii.) . Nero is here the beast that returns from the bottomless
See also:pit, "that was, and is. not, and yet is "; the head "as it were wounded to death" that lives again; the gruesome similitude of the Lamb that was slain, and his adversary in the final struggle . The number of the Beast, 666, points certainly to Nero (
See also:Iris -lop =666, or vs: 1ep =616h In the little apocalypse of the Ascensio Jesaiae (iii . 13b—iv; 18), which
See also:dates perhaps from the second, perhaps only from the first,
See also:decade of the third century, it is said that.Beliar, the
See also:king of this world, would descend from the
See also:firmament: in the human form of Nero . In the same way, in Sibyll..v . 28-34, Nero and Antichrist are absolutely identical (mostly obscure reminiscences, Sib. viii .
68 &c., 140 &c., 151 &c.) . Then the Nero-
See also:legend gradually fades away . But Victorious of . Pettau, who wrote during the persecution under
See also:Diocletian, still knows the relation of the Apocalypse to the, legend of Nero; and Cornmodian, whose Carmen Apologeticum was perhaps not written until the beginning of the 4th century, knows two Antichrist-figures, of which he -still identifies the first with Nero redivivus . In proportion as the figure of Nero again ceased to dominate the imagination of the faithful, the wholly unhistorical, unpolitical and
See also:anti-Jewish conception of Antichrist, which based itself more especially on 2 Thess. ii., gained the upper hand, having usually become associated with the description of. the universal conflagration of the world which had also originated in the Iranian eschatology . On the strength of exegetical combinations, and with the assistance of various traditions, it was
See also:developed even in its details, which it thenceforth maintained practically unchanged . In this form it is in great part
See also:present in the eschatological portions of the Adv . Haereses of
See also:Irenaeus, and in the de Antichristo and commentary on Daniel of Hippolytus . In times of
See also:political excitement, during the following centuries, men appealed again and again to the prophecy of Antichrist . Then the foreground scenery of the prophecies was shifted;
See also:special prophecies, having reference to contemporary events, are pushed to the front, but in the background remains
See also:standing, with scarcely a
See also:change, the prophecy of Antichrist that is bound up with no particular time . Thus at the beginning of the Testament um Domini, edited by Rahmani, there is an apocalypse, possibly of the time of Decius, though it has been worked over (
See also:Harnack, Chronol. der altchrist . Litt. ii .
514 &c.): In the third century, the period of
See also:Aurelianus and
See also:Gallienus, with its
See also:wild warfare of Romans and Persians, and of Roman pretenders one with another, seems especially to have aroused the spirit of prophecy . To this period belongs the Jewish apocalypse of Elijah (ed . Buttenwieser), of which the Antichrist is possibly Odaenathus of
See also:Palmyra, while Sibyl'. xiii., a Christian writing of this period, glorifies this very
See also:prince . It is possible that at this time also the Sibylline fragment (iii . -63 &c.) and the Christian recension of the two first Sibylline books were written.4 To this time possibly belongs also a recension of the Coptic apocalypse of Elijah, edited by Steindorff (Texte and Untersuchungen, N . F. ii . 3) . To the 4th century belongs, according to Kamper (Die deutsche Kaiseridee, 1886, p . 18) and Sackur (Texte .und Forschungen, 1898, p . 114 &c.), the first nucleus of the " Tiburtine" Sibyl, very celebrated in the
See also:middle ages, with its prophecy of the return of Harnack, Chronologie der altchristlichen Literatur, i . 573 . 4 See Rousse't, in Herzog-Hauck, Realencyklop. fur Theologie und Kirche (ed .
3), Xviii . 273 &c .Constans, and its dream, which later on exercised so much influence, that after ruling over the whole world he would go to Jerusalem and
See also:lay down his
See also:crown upon Golgotha . To the 4th century also perhaps belongs a series of apocalyptic pieces and homilies which have been handed down under the name of Ephraem . At the beginning of the
See also:Mahommedan period, then, we meet with the most influential and the most curious of these prophetic books, the Pseudo-
See also:Methodius,' which prophesied of the emperor who would awake from his sleep and conquer
See also:Islam . From the Pseudo-Methodists are derived innumerable
See also:Byzantine prophecies (cf. especially Vassiliev, Anecdote Graeco- Byzantina) which follow the fortunes of the Byzantine emperors and their governments . A prophecy in
See also:verse, adorned with pictures, which is ascribed to
See also:Leo VI. the Philosopher (
See also:Migne, Pair . Crocco, cvii. p . 1121 &c.), tells of the downfall of the
See also:house of the Comneni and sings of the emperor of the future who would one
See also:day awake from death and go forth from the cave iu which he had lain . Thus the prophecy of the sleeping emperor of the future is very closely connected with the Antichrist tradition . There is extant a Daniel prophecy which, in the time of the Latin empire, foretells the restoration of the Greek rule' In the East, too, Antichrist prophecies were extraordinarily flourishing during the period of the rise of Islam and of the
See also:Crusades . To these belong the apocalypses in Arabic, Ethiopian and perhaps also in Syrian, preserved in the so-called
See also:Liber Clementis discipuli S .
Petri (Petri apostoli apocalypsis per Clementem), the late Syrian apocalypse of Ezra (Bousset, Antichrist, 45 &c.), the Coptic (14th)vision of Daniel (in the appendix to Woide's edition of the Codex Alexandriuus;
See also:Oxford, 1799), the Ethiopian Wisdom of the Sibyl, which is closely related to the Tiburtine Sibyl (see
See also:Basset, Apocryphes ethiopiennes, x.); in the last mentioned of these
See also:sources long series of Islamic rulers are foretold before the final time of Antichrist . Jewish apocalypse also awakes to fresh developments in the Mahommedan period, and shows a close relationship with the Christian Antichrist literature . Oi e of the most interesting apocalypses is the Jewish History of Daniel, handed down in Persian ? This whole type of prophecy reached the West above all through the Pseudo-Methodius, which was soon translated into Latin . Especially influential, too, in this respect was the
See also:letter which the
See also:monk Adso in 954 wrote to
See also:Queen Gerberga, De ortu el tempore Antichristi . The old Tiburtine Sibylla. went through edition after editiop, in each case being altered so as to apply to the
See also:government of the monarch who happened to be ruling at the time . Then in the West the period arrived in which eschatology, and above all the expectation of the coming of Antichrist, exercised a great influence on the world's history . This period, as is well known, was inaugurated, at the end of the 12th century, by the apocalyptic writings of the
See also:Joachim of
See also:Floris . Soon the word Antichrist re-echoed from all sides in the embittered controversies of the West . The
See also:pope bestowed this title upon the emperor, the emperor upon the pope, the Guelphs on the Ghibellines and the Ghibellines on the Guelphs . In the contests between the
See also:powers and courts of the period, the prophecy of Antichrist played a political part . It gave motives to
See also:art, to lyrical, epic and dramatic
See also:poetry.' Among the visionary
See also:Franciscans, enthusiastic adherents of Joachim's prophecies, arose above all the conviction that the pope was Antichrist, or at least his precursor .
From the Franciscans, influenced by Abbot Joachim, the lines of connexion are clearly traceable with Mille of
See also:Kremsier (Libellus de Antichristo) and Matthias of Janow . For Wycliffe and his adherent John Purvey (probably the author of the Commentarius in Apocalypsin ante centum annos editus, edited in 1528 by
See also:Luther), as on the other hand for Hus, the conviction that the papacy is essentially Antichrist is absolute . Finally, if Luther advanced in his contest with the papacy with greater and greater energy, he did so because he was
See also:borne on by Latin text by Sackur, cf. op. cit . 1 &c.; Greek text by V .
See also:Istria. s See Bousset, Zeitschrift
See also:fit ?. Kirchengeschichte, xx. p . 289 &c . Published in Merx, Archiv zur Erforschung
See also:Allen Testament . See especially the Ludus de Antichristo, ed . W .
See also:Meyer . ages themselves .
ANTICLIMAX (i.e. the opposite to " climax ")
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