History 3850 Readings
Revelations of the Pseudo-Methodius.
This work was originally attributed to Methodius of Patara, a martyr bishop who died in the early fourth century, C.E. It was actually composed around 660-680 C. E. The real author is unknown, but the original was written in Syriac in the wake of the Islamic conquests and represented a Byzantine apocalyptic tradition that continued to exercise an important influence on Western Christian thought. It also has obvious links to the Sybilline Tradition.
THE ALEXANDER LEGEND
Hear now then in true fashion how these four empires were joined, the Ethiopian with the Macedonian and the Greek with the Roman. They are the four winds that move the great sea (Dan. 7:2). Philip the Macedonian was the father of Alexander and took to wife Chuseth, the daughter of King Phol of Ethiopia. From her was born Alexander, who was made ruler of the Greeks. He founded Alexandria the Great and reigned nineteen years. He went to the East and killed Darius, king of the Medes. He was the ruler of many regions and cities and he destroyed the earth. He even went as far as the sea which is called the region of the sun24 where he beheld unclean races of horrible appearance. . . . He gave orders and gathered them all together with their women and children and all their villages. Leading them away from the East, he restrained them with threats until they entered the northern lands where there is no way in or out from East to West to visit them. Alexander prayed to God without interruption and He heard his prayer.25 The Lord God gave a command to the two mountains which are called the "Breasts of the North,"26 and they came together to within twelve cubits. Alexander built bronze gates and covered them with unmixed bitumen,27 so that if anyone wished to force them open by steel or to melt them with fire, he would be able to do neither, but immediately every fire would be extinguished. .
Who are the nations and the kings that Alexander concealed in the North? Gog and Magog, Anog and Ageg, Achenaz, Dephar, and the Potinei, the Libii, Eunii, Pharizei, Declemi, Zarmatae, Theblei, Zamartiani, Chaconii, Amarzarthae, Agrimardii, the Anuphagii (who are called Cynocephali),28 the Tharbei, Alanes, Phisolonici, Arcnei, and the Asalturii. These twenty-two kings live enclosed within the gates that Alexander made.29
Translated from the edition of E. Sackur, Sibyllinische Texte und Forschungen, pp. 72—75.
THE MOSLEM CRISIS
In the final seventh millennium the Persian empire will be wiped out. In this seventh millennium the seed of Ishmael will begin to go forth from the desert of Ethribus. When they have gone forth, they will all assemble at the great Gabaoth and there will be completed the saying of Ezekiel the prophet: "Son of man," he said, "call the beasts of the field and the birds of the air and exhort them saying, ‘Gather yourselves together and come since I will give you a great sacrifice, to eat the flesh of strong men and drink the blood of the mighty* " (Ezek. 39:17).. . . And so the Lord God will give them (i.e., the sons of Ishmael) the power to conquer the land of the Christians, not because he loves them, but because of the sin and iniquity committed by the Christians. Such sins have not nor shall be committed for all generations. Men will get themselves up as false women wearing prostitutes* clothes. Standing in the streets and squares of the cities openly before all they will be adorned like women; they will exchange natural sex for that which is against nature. As the blessed and holy Apostle says, "men have acted like women" (Rom. 1:26—7))" A father, his son, his brothers, and all the relatives will be seen to unite with one woman.
For this reason they will be given over by God into the hands of the barbarians from whom they will sink into all uncleanness and stink of pollution. Their women will be contaminated by filthy barbarians and the sons of Ishmael will cast lots for their sons and daughters. The land of the Persians is handed over to corruption and destruction, its inhabitants led away to captivity and death. They also attack Armenia and those who dwell there fall into captivity by the sword. . . . The land of Syria will be empty and reduced; those dwelling in her will perish by the sword. . . . Egypt and the East and Syria will be under the yoke and hemmed in by great tribulations. They will be constrained without mercy; weight of gold and silver beyond their strength will be eagerly desired of them. The inhabitants of Egypt and Syria will be in trouble and affliction, seven times the greater for those in captivity. The Land of Promise will be filled with men from the four winds under heaven.
Translated from E. Sackur, Sibyllinische Texte, pp. 80—83.
THE LAST WORLD EMPEROR
. . . . Then suddenly tribulation and distress will arise against them. The king of the Greeks, i.e., the Romans, will come out against them in great anger, roused as from a drunken stupor like one whom men had thought dead and worthless (Ps. 77:65).32 He will go forth against them from the Ethiopian sea and will send the sword and desolation into Ethribus their homeland, capturing their women and children living in the Land of Promise. The sons of the king will come down with the sword and cut them off from the earth. Fear and trembling will rush upon them and their wives and their children from all sides. They will mourn their offspring, weeping over them and all the villages in the lands of their fathers. By the sword they will be given over into the hands of the king of the Romans—to captivity, death, and decay.
The king of the Romans will impose his yoke upon them seven times as much as their yoke weighed upon the earth. Great distress will seize them; tribulation will bring them hunger and thirst. They, their wives, and their children will be slaves and serve those who used to serve them, and their slavery will be a hundred times more bitter and hard. The earth which they destituted will then be at peace; each man will return to his own land and to the inheritance of his fathers—Armenia, Cilicia, Isauria, Africa, Greece, Sicily. Every man who was left captive will return to the things that were his and his fathers*, and men will multiply upon the once desolated earth like locusts. Egypt will be desolated, Arabia burned with fire, the land of Ausania burned, and the sea provinces pacified. The whole indignation and fury of the king of the Romans will blaze forth against those who deny the Lord Jesus Christ. Then the earth will sit in peace and there will be great peace and tranquility upon the earth such as has never been nor ever will be any more, since it is the final peace at the End of time.
Then the "Gates of the North" will be opened and the strength of those nations which Alexander shut up there will go forth. The whole earth will be terrified at the sight of them; men will be afraid and flee in terror to hide themselves in mountains and caves and graves.35 They will die of fright and very many will be wasted with fear. There will be no one to bury the bodies. The tribes which will go forth from the North will eat the flesh of men and will drink the blood of beasts like water. They will eat unclean serpents, scorpions, and every kind of filthy and abominable beast and reptile which crawls the earth. They will consume the dead bodies of beasts of burden and even women*s abortions. They will slay the young and take them away from their mothers and eat them. They will corrupt the earth and contaminate it. No one will be able to stand against them.
After a week of years, when they have already captured the city of Joppa, the Lord will send one of the princes of his host and strike them down in a moment. After this the king of the Romans will go down and live in Jerusalem for seven and half-seven times, i.e., years. When the ten and a half years are completed the Son of Perdition will appear.
14. He will be born in Chorazaim, nourished in Bethsaida, and reign in Capharnaum. Chorazaim will rejoice because he was born in her, and Capharnaum because he will have reigned in her. For this reason in the third Gospel the Lord gave the following statement: "Woe to you Chorazaim, woe to you Bethsaida, and to you Capharnaum—if you have risen up to heaven, you will descend even to hell" (Luke 10:13,15). When the Son of Perdition has arisen, the king of the Romans will ascend Golgotha upon which the wood of the Holy Cross is fixed, in the place where the Lord underwent death for us. The king will take the crown from his head and place it on the cross and stretching out his hands to heaven will hand over the kingdom of the Christians to God the Father. The cross and the crown of the king will be taken up together to heaven. This is because the Cross on which our Lord Jesus Christ hung for the common salvation of all will begin to appear before him at his coming to convict the lack of faith of the unbelievers. The prophecy of David which says, "In the last days Ethiopia will stretch out her hand to God" (Ps. 67:32) will be fulfilled in that these last men who stretch out their hands to God are from the seed of the sons of Chuseth, the daughter of Phol, king of Ethiopia. When the Cross has been lifted up on high to heaven, the king of the Romans will directly give up his spirit. Then every principality and power will be destroyed that the Son of Perdition may be manifest. . .
Translated from E. Sackur, Sibyllinische Texte, pp. 89—94.