HINDUISM AND SANATAN DHARMA

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How Peganism was destroyed by Christians

A city , modern city during Rome era, Alexandria, where all cultures were living together including Peganism until last Roman emperor made Christianity as state religion and here comes destruction of other cultures.

alexandriabookburning

Pagans, Christians and Jews had coexisted in polytheistic peace in early Ptolemaic Alexandria, until, as often in history, religion raised its ugly head in the fourth century after Emperor Constantine in Rome decided to make Christianity the official one-and-only religion of the empire. After centuries of religious pluralism in Alexandria, “Christians” rose up against the pagan worshipers of Mithras and the Roman deity, Jupiter and the Egyptian deities of Osiris and Apis, killing, spreading mayhem and destroying their places of worship.

The pagans responded in kind until they were subdued. Then the Christians turned on the Jews, attacking private homes and shops in a kind of Kristallnacht and demanding their expulsion from the city.

Religion had again carried out its mandate: Christianity’s victory over all other religions of the great city marked the downfall and then the death of Alexandrian intellectual life and tradition and contributed to the destruction of the great school of learning that was the Alexandrian Library, the Museum. It was victory of ignorant religion and fanaticism over progressive mankind, already 1700 years ago.

Founded in 331 BC by Alexander the Great, Alexandria was first ruled by Ptolemy, the son of a general of Alexander the Macedonian. As such, Alexandria became one of the world’s largest cities. The Ptolemaic dynasty lasted until the death of Cleopatra VII and the Roman conquest of Egypt in the year 30. Even though historians have largely neglected that era (a period longer than the existence of the United States of America), Alexandria in that time became the capital of Egypt, its major port, and then the major center of the widespread Hellenistic civilization lasting for one thousand years, until the Muslim conquest of Egypt in AD 641. Hellenistic Alexandria was best known in those times for the Lighthouse of Alexandria (Pharos) one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. After Constantinople, Byzantine Alexandria was the world’s finest and strongest city. It was also the home of the largest urban Jewish population in the world.

the great Alexandrian Library which according to some malevolent chroniclers was destroyed by Arab conquerors when Alexandria fell to Islamic armies from Arabia in the year 641. However, according to Philip K. Hitti in his History of the Arabs (perhaps the most authoritative of traditional Western historiography on the Arab peoples), “the story that by the Caliph’s order Amr for six months fed the numerous bath furnaces of the city with the volumes of the Alexandrian Library is one of those tales that make good fiction but bad history.” Hitti reports that in reality the great Ptolemaic Library was burnt as early as 48 BC by the Roman imperialist, Julius Caesar. The Daughter Library in the Serapeon was destroyed about AD 389 by edict of a mad neo-Christian fanatic, Emperor Theodosius. Therefore, at the time of the Arab conquest no library of importance existed in Alexandria.

Ancient sources describe the Alexandrian Library as comprising a collection of scrolls stored in a hall known as bibliotheca on shelves made to hold papyrus scrolls. Allegedly a sign hung over the shelves reading “the place of the cure of the soul”. The Museum also had a dining room, meeting rooms, lecture halls and gardens, something like the typical American university campus. Per historians connection between Ancient India and Alexandria, and books and mathematical knowledge etc came from India to Alexandria.

A number of Rome writers—Cicero, Livio, Seneca, Plutarch et al—confirmed that the Library and 700,000 books were burned during Julius Caesar’s conquest of Alexandria in year 48.

Yet the hostility to “pagan wisdom” of official warlike Christianity spreading through the Roman world (and not only) was so intense that  newly converted Emperor Theodosius ordered the destruction of Alexandria’s book treasures in 391.

Other ancient libraries suffered the same fate in that era of empires rising and falling during the transition from Paganism to Christianity. By the end of fourth century, Rome’s reported twenty-eight public libraries and many private collections no longer played a cultural role and people simply stopped reading. As the Roman Empire crumbled, culture vanished. The people had to be entertained, recited and sung to, while libraries disappeared. Christianity’s purge of the “dangerous” legacy of pagan or pre-Christian culture resulted in the destruction of education and learning as well as of its symbol: books. (Books offering pagan culture, after all!) After the disintegration of the Empire, the barbarians arrived and the books or rather parchments-papyrus scrolls that had survived perished in the chaos of wars and flames.

However, a few pockets of culture resisted. The nearly hidden and only with difficulty accessible monasteries founded in that epoch from Europe to the Middle East treasured the scrolls of pagan works; monks developed the art of copying by hand and conserving those major intellectual works some of which would then re-emerge after the dark period lasting almost until the Renaissance.

Book Burning in History-

The earliest recorded book-burning is attributed to Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s order in 213 BC that all books of philosophy and history from anywhere other than Qin province in China be burned (and a large number of intellectuals buried alive). Then, the Ancient Greeks and Romans burned Jewish and Christian scriptures, and thirteenth-seventeenth century popes ordered the burning of the Talmud. The same happened to John Wycliffe’s works in the fifteenth and William Tyndale’s English translation of the New Testament in the sixteenth centuries.

The Maya, on the other hand, manufactured paper from the inner bark of certain kinds of trees, mainly the amate and ficus. Stone bark-beaters, oblong, flat grooved tools about hand-size were used to pound out the bark which was then bleached with lime, cut into strips and folded like a Japanese screen. A variety of paints were employed to illustrate these “books”, which were painted on both sides and bound between elaborately decorated boards.

Nearly all of the Maya books did not survive the Spanish conquest because the Maya writing was deemed to have been inspired by the Devil, and the church and government officials went to extreme lengths to destroy these examples of “paganism”. No telling how many hundreds or thousands of volumes were burned in the name of Christianity, but three books have survived. All are presently reposing in European museums having been sent to patrons and friends of Spanish conquistadors in the sixteenth century. Given the determination of Bishop Diego de Landa, the second bishop of Yucatan in the mid-sixteenth century, it is a wonder that anything Maya survived. Landa was something of a double-edged sword. As a scholar he was very interested in all aspects of Maya culture and went so far as to interview informants and record a great deal of data concerning the day-to-day life of the Yucatec Maya while systematically destroying the very culture he recorded. In a passage that accompanies Landa’s description of Maya writing, he ironically discusses his role in the destruction of the Maya libraries: “We found a large number of books in these characters, and as they contained nothing in which there were not to be seen superstition and lies of the devil, we burned them all, which they regretted to an amazing degree, and which caused them much affliction.”

 

A passage in the New Testament’s Book of Acts (Acts 19: 19-20) suggests Christian converts in Ephesus burned books of “curious arts”: “Many of them also which used curious acts brought their books together and burned them before all men….” The Spanish Inquisition burned five thousand Arabic manuscripts in Granada in 1499, and Spanish conquistadors burned all the sacred texts of the Maya in 1562. Luther’s translation of the Bible was burned in Catholic parts of Germany in the 1640s, and in the 1730s the Archbishop of Salzburg ordered the burning of every Protestant book and Bible that could be found. During the McCarthy era of the 1950s several American libraries burned the works of supposedly pro-Communist authors. Two twentieth century novels feature book-burnings by future authoritarian societies: Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, in which book-burning becomes institutionalized in an anti-intellectual US much like today’s America, and George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, where unapproved books are burned in a “memory hole”. Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem burned copies of the New Testament in 1984; Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses was ceremonially burned in 1988; BBC reported on a bonfire of Henry Potter books in the state of New Mexico, USA, burnt by people accusing the fictional boy wizard of being the devil. In Italy in 2008, conservative Christian Democrat city councillors burned on the main square of the town of Ceccano near Rome a copy of Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code which they labeled “blasphemous” because it depicts Jesus and Mary Magdalene having a daughter which the Church has spent two thousand years trying to cover up.

LAW BANNING ALL RELIGIONS OTHER THAN CHRISTIANITY

“It is Our will that all the peoples who are ruled by the administration of Our Clemency shall practice that religion which the divine Peter the Apostle transmitted to the Romans. According to the apostolic teaching and the doctrine of the Gospel, let us believe in the one deity of the father, Son and Holy Spirit, in equal majesty and in a holy Trinity. … The rest, whom We adjudge demented and insane, shall sustain the infamy of heretical dogmas, their meeting places shall not receive the name of churches, and they shall be smitten first by divine vengeance and secondly by the retribution of Our own initiative.” — Codex Theodosianus, XVI.1.2.

Source: Encyclopaedia Romana, “The End of Paganism” see also Henry Bettenson, ed., Documents of the Christian Church (London: Oxford University Press, 1943, p. 31.

THE DESTRUCTION OF TEMPLES

It is decreed that in all places and all cities the [pagan] temples should be closed at once, and after a general warning, the opportunity of sinning be taken from the wicked. We decree also that we shall cease from making sacrifices. And if anyone has committed such a crime, let him be stricken with the avenging sword. And we decree that the property of the one executed shall be claimed by the city, and that rulers of the provinces be punished in the same way, if they neglect to punish such crimes.“– Codex Theodosianus, XVI.10.4.

Source: Codex Theodosianus, in Oliver J. Thatcher, ed., The Library of Original Sources, Vol. IV: The Early Medieval World (Milwaukee, WI: University Research Extension Co., 1907), pp. 69-71.

“[Christian monks}… hasten to attack the temples with sticks and stones and bars of iron, and in some cases, disdaining these, with hands and feet. Then utter desolation follows, with the stripping of roofs, demolition of walls, the tearing down of statues and the overthrow of altars, and the priests must either keep quiet or die. After demolishing one, they scurry to another, and to a third, and trophy is piled on trophy, in contravention of the law. Such outrages occur even in the cities, but they are most common in the countryside …” — Letter of Libanius to Emperor Theodosius I, 386 C.E.

Source: Libanius: Selected Works, Tr. A.F. Norman (Loeb Classical Works, 1977)

Let all temples in the countryside be demolished without disturbance or upheaval.  With their overthrow and removal, all material basis for superstition will be destroyed.” — Codex Theodosianus, XVI.10.16

Source: Brian Croke & Jill Harries (eds.), Religious Conflict in Fourth-Century Rome: A Documentary Study (Sydney: Macarthur Press, 1982).


THE BURNING OF NON-CHRISTIAN BOOKS

“All writings whatever which Porphyry or anyone else has written against the Christian religion, in the possession of whomsoever they shall be found, shall be committed to the fire.” — Emperor Theodosius I.

Source: Lardner, Works, vol. vii., pp. 206, 396.


MANDATORY WORSHIP: ESTABLISHMENT OF “THE LORD’S DAY”

“On the Lord’s day, which is the first day of the week, on Christmas, and on the days of Epiphany, Easter, and Pentecost, inasmuch as then the [white] garments [of Christians] symbolizing the light of heavenly cleansing bear witness to the new light of holy baptism, at the time also of the suffering of the apostles, the example for all Christians, the pleasures of the theaters and games are to be kept from the people in all cities, and all the thoughts of Christians and believers are to be occupied with the worship of God.  And if any are kept from that worship through the madness of Jewish impiety or the error and insanity of foolish paganism, let them know that there is one time for prayer and another for pleasure. And lest anyone should think he is compelled by the honor due to our person, as if by the greater necessity of his imperial office, or that unless he attempted to hold the games in contempt of the religious prohibition, he might offend our serenity in showing less than the usual devotion toward us; let no one doubt that our clemency is revered in the highest degree by humankind when the worship of the whole world is paid to the might and goodness of God. Theodosius Augustus and Caesar Valentinian.” — Codex Theodosianus, XV. 5.1

Source: The Medieval Sourcebook

History of Pi-

Pi was discovered by Indian mathematician but it was copied by Muslim and Europeans. Pi is mentioned even in Vedas.

Since the Indus Valley script is not deciphered, it will be incorrect to claim that Π was known in the subcontinent in 3000 BC. But they did know the value of Pi by the time Rigveda was written. The Vedangas and Sulabasutras also mention the value of Π. The oldest of them, the Baudhayayana Sulabasutra claims that the perimeter of a pit is 3 times its diameter- therefore approximating the value of Π at 3. Many other texts, including the Mahabharata (Bhishmaparva, XII: 44) and many Puranas approximate Π at the value of 3.

Later, many other Sulabasutras mention the value of Π to be 18 * (3 – 2 √2) = 3.088. The Manava Sulabasutra approximates the value of Π to be 28/5= 3.125. The ancient Jaina school of mathematics preferred the approximation Π = √10. This value of Π has been used not only by Jainas, but also by the greats like Varahamihira, Brahmagupta and Sridhara.

With Aryabhatta (476 AD), a new era of mathematics dawned in India. Aryabhatta approximated Π = 62832/20000 = 3.1416. This was astonishingly correct to 4 decimal places (better than 22/7, which is correct only to 2 places). The Indian values of Π (√10, 62832/20000) were later included in Chinese and Arabs literature.

Many years later, another great mathematician of the Aryabhatta School of mathematics, named Madhava (1340 AD). Madhava gave the value of Π to be 2827,4333,8823,3 / 9*1011. This approximation yields correct value of Π to 11 decimal places. This value of Π is still in use in modern mathematics. Madhava also knew the Madhava series of Π/4, which was rediscovered in Europe by Leibniz in 1673.

http://ambergriscaye.com/museum/digit13.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_book-burning_incidents

http://religionvirus.blogspot.com/2008/12/one-catholic-priest-destroyed-entire.html

Ancient Indian astronomy and mathematics

http://www.countercurrents.org/stewart090316.htm

http://www.religioustolerance.org/rel_pers2.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_pagans_in_the_late_Roman_Empire

http://www.worldfuturefund.org/wffmaster/Reading/Censorship/Christian%20Intolerance.htm

 

2 comments on “How Peganism was destroyed by Christians

  1. Reblogged this on GLOBAL HINDUISM.

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  2. Pingback: How Peganism was destroyed by Christians – Voice of world

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