Editor’s Note from Robert R. Barney… The following is not written by me. It is the study of some of the traditions of both the Catholic and Protestant churches by the Reverend Alexander Hislop, in his book “The Two Babylon’s” from the 19th century. For those who are truly interested in the pagan origins of many of the things our churches do, this book is exceptional! The following is about the Pope’s Mitre (Hat).
The Sovereign Pontiff The Two Babylons Alexander Hislop
The Sovereign PontiffThe gift of the ministry is one of the greatest gifts which Christ has bestowed upon the world. It is in reference to this that the Psalmist, predicting the ascension of Christ, thus loftily speaks of its blessed results: “Thou hast ascended up on high: Thou hast led captivity captive; Thou hast received gifts for men, even for the rebellious, that the Lord God might dwell among them” (Eph 4:8-11). The Church of Rome, at its first planting, had the divinely bestowed gift of a Scriptural ministry and government; and then “its faith was spoken of throughout the whole world”; its works of righteousness were both rich and abundant. But, in an evil hour, the Babylonian element was admitted into its ministry, and thenceforth, that which had been intended as a blessing, was converted into a curse. Since then, instead of sanctifying men, it has only been the means of demoralising them, and making them “twofold more the children of hell” than they would have been had they been left simply to themselves.
Very early, indeed, did the bishop of Rome show a proud and ambitious spirit; but, for the first three centuries, their claim for superior honour was founded simply on the dignity of their see, as being that of the imperial city, the capital of the Roman world.
When, however, the seat of empire was removed to the East, and Constantinople threatened to eclipse Rome, some new ground for maintaining the dignity of the Bishop of Rome must be sought.
That new ground was found, when, about 378, the Pope fell heir to the keys that were the symbols of two well-known Pagan divinities at Rome. Janus bore a key, and Cybele bore a key; and these are the two keys that the Pope emblazons on his arms as the ensigns of his spiritual authority.The priest, therefore, that in the name of Hermes explained the Mysteries, must have been decked not only with the keys of Peter, but with the keys of “Peter-Roma.” Here, then, the famous “Book of Stone” begins to appear in a new light, and not only so, but to shed new light on one of the darkest and most puzzling passages of Papal history.
I have said that the Pope became the representative of Janus, who, it is evident, was none other than the Babylonian Messiah. If the reader only considers the blasphemous assumptions of the Papacy, he will see how exactly it has copied from its original. In the countries where the Babylonian system was most thoroughly developed, we find the Sovereign Pontiff of the Babylonian god invested with the very attributes now ascribed to the Pope. Is the Pope called “God upon earth,” the “Vice-God,” and “Vicar of Jesus Christ”? The King in Egypt, who was Sovereign Pontiff, * was, says Wilkinson, regarded with the highest reverence as “THE REPRESENTATIVE OF THE DIVINITY ON EARTH.”
* Wilkinson shows that the king had the right of enacting laws, and of managing all the affairs of religion and the State, which proves him to have been Sovereign Pontiff.
Is the Pope “Infallible,”and does the Church of Rome, in consequence, boast that it has always been “unchanged and unchangeable”? The same was the case with the Chaldean Pontiff, and the system over which he presided. The Sovereign Pontiff, says the writer just quoted, was believed to be “INCAPABLE OF ERROR,” * and, in consequence, there was “the greatest respect for the sanctity of old edicts”; and hence, no doubt, also the origin of the custom that “the laws of the Medes and Persians could not be altered.” Does the Pope receive the adorations of the Cardinals? The king of Babylon, as Sovereign Pontiff, was adored in like manner. **
* WILKINSON’S Egyptians. “The Infallibility” was a natural result of the popular belief in regard to the relation in which the Sovereign stood to the gods: for, says Diodorus Siculus, speaking of Egypt, the king was believed to be “a partaker of the divine nature.”
** From the statement of LAYARD (Nineveh and its Remains and Nineveh and Babylon), it appears that as the king of Egypt was the “Head of the religion and the state,” so was the king of Assyria, which included Babylon. Then we have evidence that he was worshipped. The sacred images are represented as adoring him, which could not have been the case if his own subjects did not pay their homage in that way. Then the adoration claimed by Alexander the Great evidently came from this source. It was directly in imitation of the adoration paid to the Persian kings that he required such homage. From Xenophon we have evidence that this Persian custom came from Babylon. It was when Cyrus had entered Babylon that the Persians, for the first time, testified their homage to him by adoration; for, “before this,” says Xenophon (Cyropoed), “none of the Persians had given adoration to Cyrus.”
Are kings and ambassadors required to kiss the Pope’s slipper? This,too, is copied from the same pattern; for, says Professor Gaussen, quoting Strabo and Herodotus, “the kings of Chaldea wore on their feet slippers which thekings they conquered used to kiss.” In kind, is the Pope addressed by the title of “Your Holiness”? So also was the Pagan Pontiff of Rome. The title seems to have been common to all Pontiffs. Symmachus, the last Pagan representative of the Roman Emperor, as Sovereign Pontiff, addressing one of his colleagues or fellow-pontiffs, on a step of promotion he was about to obtain, says, “I hear that YOUR HOLINESS (sanctitatem tuam) is to be called out by the sacred letters.”
So much for Peter’s chair and Peter’s keys. Now Janus, whose key the Pope usurped with that of his wife or mother Cybele, was also Dagon. Janus, the two-headed god, “who had lived in two worlds,” was the Babylonian divinity as an incarnation of Noah.
Dagon, the fish-god, represented that deity as a manifestation of the same patriarch who had lived so long in the waters of the deluge. As the Pope bears the key of Janus, so he wears the mitre of Dagon. The excavations of Nineveh have put this beyond all possibility of doubt. The Papal mitre is entirely different from the mitre of Aaron and the Jewish high priests. That mitre was a turban. The two-horned mitre, which the Pope wears, when he sits on the high altar at Rome and receives the adoration of the Cardinals, is the very mitre worn by Dagon, the fish-god of the Philistines and Babylonians. There were two ways in which Dagon was anciently represented. The one was when he was depicted as half-man half-fish; the upper part being entirely human, the under part ending in the tail of a fish. The other was, when, to use the words of Layard, “the head of the fish formed a mitre above that of the man, while its scaly, fan-like tail fell as a cloak behind, leaving the human limbs and feet exposed.” Of Dagon in this form Layard gives a representation in his last work; and no one who examines his mitre, and compares it with the Pope’s as given in Elliot’s Horoe, can doubt for a moment that from that, and no other source, has the pontifical mitre been derived. The gaping jaws of the fish surmounting the head of the man at Nineveh are the unmistakable counterpart of the horns of the Pope’s mitre at Rome.
Thus was it in the East, at least five hundred years before the Christian era. The same seems to have been the case also in Egypt; for Wilkinson, speaking of a fish of the species of Siluris, says “that one of the Genii of the Egyptian Pantheon appears under a human form, with the head of this fish.” In the West, at a later period, we have evidence that the Pagans had detached the fish-head mitre from the body of the fish, and used that mitre alone to adorn the head of the great Mediatorial god; for on several Maltese Pagan coins that god, with the well-known attributes of Osiris, is represented with nothing of the fish save the mitre on his head; (Fig 49) very nearly in the same form as the mitre of the Pope, or of a Papal bishop at this day.
Even in China, the same practice of wearing the fish-head mitre had evidently once prevailed; for the very counterpart of the Papal mitre, as worn by the Chinese Emperor, has subsisted to modern times. “Is it known,” asks a well-read author of the present day, in a private communication to me, “that the Emperor of China, in all ages, even to the present year, as high priest of the nation, once a year prays for and blesses the whole nation, having his priestly robes on and his mitre on his head, the same, the very same, as that worn by the Roman Pontiff for near 1200 years? Such is the fact.” In proof of this statement the accompanying figure of the Imperial mitre (Fig 50) is produced which is the very facsimile of the Popish Episcopal Mitre, in the front view.
The reader must bear in mind, that even in Japan, still farther distant from Babel than China itself, one of the divinities is represented with the same symbol of might as prevailed in Assyria–even the bull’s horns, and is called “The ox-headed Prince of Heaven.” If the symbol of Nimrod, as Kronos, “The Horned one,” is thus found in Japan, it cannot be surprising that the symbol of Dagon should be found in China.
But there is another symbol of the Pope’s power which must not be overlooked, and that is the pontifical crosier. Whence came the crosier? The answer to this, in the first place, is, that the Pope stole it from the Roman augur. The classical reader may remember, that when the Roman augurs consulted the heavens, or took prognostics from the aspect of the sky, there was a certain instrument with which it was indispensable that they should be equipped. That instrument with which they described the portion of the heavens on which their observations were to be made, was curved at the one end, and was called “lituus.” Now, so manifestly was the “lituus,” or crooked rod of the Roman augurs, identical with the pontifical crosier, that Roman Catholic writers themselves, writing in the Dark Ages, at a time when disguise was thought unnecessary, did not hesitate to use the term “lituus” as a synonym for the crosier. Thus a Papal writer describes a certain Pope or Papal bishop as “mitra lituoque decorus,” adorned with the mitre and the augur’s rod, meaning thereby that he was “adorned with the mitre and the crosier.” But this lituus, or divining-rod, of the Roman augurs, was, as is well known, borrowed from the Etruscans, who, again, had derived it, along with their religion, from the Assyrians.
As the Roman augur was distinguished by his crooked rod, so the Chaldean soothsayers and priests, in the performance of their magic rites, were generally equipped with a crook or crosier. This magic crook can be traced up directly to the first king of Babylon, that is, Nimrod, who, as stated by Berosus, was the first that bore the title of a Shepherd-king.
In Hebrew, or the Chaldee of the days of Abraham, “Nimrod the Shepherd,” is just Nimrod “He-Roe”; and from this title of the “mighty hunter before the Lord,” have no doubt been derived, both the name of Hero itself, and all that Hero-worship which has since overspread the world. Certain it is that Nimrod’s deified successors have generally been represented with the crook or crosier. This was the case in Babylon and Nineveh, as the extant monuments show. The accompanying figure (Fig 51) from Babylon shows the crosier in its ruder guise.
In Layard, it may be seen in a more ornate form, and nearly resembling the papal crosier as borne at this day. * This was the case in Egypt, after the Babylonian power was established there, as the statues of Osiris with his crosier bear witness, ** Osiris himself being frequently represented as a crosier with an eye above it.