Friday, March 29, 2013

Serpent's Blood - Chapter 2

by William A. White

From its inception, there has been a struggle within the Catholic Church between those who wish to uphold the words of Christ and those who wish to perpetuate the pagan mystery cults which Catholicism absorbed.  This struggle continued throughout the Middle Ages, with the Church dominated by an Empire often truer to the doctrines of Christ than the Church itself.  The abandonment of the link with the German empire—a process that spanned two hundred years from the collapse of the Carolingian empire to the time of the Gregorian reforms—led to a renewed Church militant that reintroduced pagan elements, derived from Dionysian ritual, that conflicted with a number of equally powerful occult European tendencies which would end in the Reformation and the collapse of the universal Church as a central ideal of the European people.

Carolingians to Capetians

The rise of Islam and the collapse of the old Byzantine power in the West caused the Church to seek a new protector, and it did so in the person of Charlemagne and his empire. Before the usurpation of the French throne from the Merovingians in 751 AD by Pepin the Short, the competing kingdoms of the Franks had little to offer the Papacy; there was no dominant power with which the Church could align to counterbalance the influence of the Byzantines in Italy.  But with Charlemagne's conquests in Saxony, Bavaria and Lombardy, among others, an opportunity for a counter-weight was created that Leo III, near-blinded and nearly tongueless from an encounter with Byzantine justice, seized upon, anointing Charlemagne Emperor in the West and uniting Germanic Christendom for the next 16 years.

While Charlemagne has been just, legislating against usury and the excesses of the Jews, his son, Louis I the Pious, was less so, inviting the Jews back to court and freely turning his fiscal policy over to a cartel of Hebrew coiners and tax factors. But it was not the Jews who were primarily responsible for the disintegration of the Carolingian Empire.  As they had learned at Rome, in Byzantium and in the Caliphate, a global order could be more profitable than global disorder—as long as the Jews ended sitting near the head of it.

Two causes destroyed the Carolingians.  The first was the continuation of the Merovingian notion of the kingship as property to be divided among the sons of the kings.  Louis' death prompted a four fold division of the Empire into the West, middle and East Franks and Italy.  This left open the question of who would hold the Imperial Crown, provoking war among the brothers, and their descendents, just as it had among the Merovingians. The difference, though, was that none of the successor states were strong enough to conquer the others, unlike as occurred under the descendents of Clovis. 

Lotharingia, modern Lorraine, along with the Low Countries and the Rhineland, was divided between the West Franks, France and the East Franks, Germany.  But, the kings of those nations, Charles II the Bald of France and Louis II the German of Germany, could not defeat each other, despite a war that continued late into the 9th century. The other cause of the failure of the Carolingians was the fracturing of their nations by foreign invasion.  In Germany, the Carolingian Dukes of Saxony, Bavaria, Swabia, Franconia, Thuringia, Carinthia, and the Lorraine were made marcher lords and left to defend their lands against the Slavs and Magyars, while Louis II and Charles II the Fat sought the throne in the West, became functionally independent, deposing the Carolingians for good in 911 AD. 

But, in France and German Friesland, it was the Vikings who ended Charlemagne’s line. The Vikings began attacking France as early as 812 AD, when Charlemagne still reigned, but their attacks intensified after his death.  Armed with a berserker rage that some speculated may have been augmented with the ergot fungus, an early form of LSD, the Vikings proceeded along the ample coastline of France and down its wide and deep rivers, killing and enslaving all in the name of Odin. France lost its southern territories—Aquitania, Toulouse and the Spanish March—with the division that followed Louis I’s death.  Shortly afterward, the Celtic people of Brittany under Nomeno, their Count, seized Nantes and Rennes, beginning an independent existence as what would become a duchy in the next century under Conan I.  As the Vikings raided what would become Normandy, Charles II incorporated the territory just south of Brittany and Normandy into the Duchy of Anjou, naming Robert the Strong its first Duke in 866 AD.  Baldwin I Strong-Arm, Charles’ brother-in-law, was named Count of Flanders in 876 AD.  The Viking Gerulf was named Count of West Frisia—later Holland—in 885 AD by Charles III the Fat of Germany, and was charged with protecting the Low Countries from his own people.  This pattern continued with the appointment of Rollo as Duke of Normandy in 911 AD by Charles III the Simple of France.  Essentially, these appointments made the coast of Northern France a Nordic march, and soon, the Nordic marcher lords would demand control of the French throne.

Just as the German duchies brought down Charles the Fat in Germany, the French duchies soon began a contest with Charles the Simple of France.  Despite having Charlemagne's blood in their veins, neither Charles had the vigor of their 6'4” blond warrior grandfather or great-grandfather.  Charles III was brought down by an uprising in 888 AD, and his descendents never fully regained control, the empire passing to Conrad I, Duke of Franconia in 905 AD.  Charles III had gained his throne by displacing Eudes, a son of Robert the Strong who had been “elected” to the kingship on the death of Louis II’s son Carloman in 889, and Charles was displaced in turn by the usurper Robert I, another son of Robert the Strong, and by King Rudolph, Robert I’s son-in-law, in a struggle that began in 923 and ended with Charles' death in 929.  Robert I’s other son, Hugh the Great, Count of Paris, allowed the kingship to return to the descendents of Charles III, and the Carolingians struggled on, largely impotent on the throne, until the deaths of Louis IV Outremer, Luther and Louis V Le Fauneant exhausted the legitimate line and allowed Hugh’s son, Hugh I Capet, to seize the throne in 996 AD.

[Yes, I know, it’s boring to modern day Americans who have the attention span of house flies. Believe it or not, all this stuff is pretty important, because it was during these Dark Ages, as they came to be called, that our race picked up a lot of our rambunctious habits that later brought the whole world to our feet. Think “Game of Thrones” without the dwarves and dragons and sword-babes in armored bikinis.—HAC]

The rise of the Robertians and the Capets has been supported by the other Nordic Dukes, particularly William I Longsword and Richard I of Normandy, precisely because of Capet's relative weakness.  Though the Robertians and last Carolingians had restored much of Southern France to the crown, Burgundy—including Provence and modern Franche-Comte—has been made an autonomous kingdom in 933 AD, and the kingdom of Aquitania, which had been destroyed by the Vikings, was restored as a Duchy independent as the others in 950. 

Further, Anjou had passed to a separate branch of the Robertians, and Blois, a county at the east end of Anjou, near Paris, had broken free in 940 and was rapidly encircling the Isle de France—Paris and its environs—making the land claims leading to the absorption of Champagne in the next century.  At the time he was made King, Hugh I governed only Paris, Orleans, Beauvais, Soissons and Compiégne. The weak king at the center of France left that country divided three ways, into the Norman north, with their allies at Flanders and Anjou;  into the royal domains;  and into the largely heretical south, comprising Toulouse, Provence, and the Aquitaine.

The Bad Popes

[Okay, this gets more interesting, because there’s a lot of sleaze of the kind Americans love.]  

While the Papacy had remained in the Byzantine sphere, its temporal power limited to Rome, its interests in the North and west of Europe had been primarily spiritual and had focused on the conversion of the Germanic people.  But, when the conquests of Islam weakened the Byzantines, the now free Papacy saw an opportunity in the conquests of Charlemagne to embrace—and, through anointment, control—a new protector.

Charlemagne lived as Holy Roman Emperor only 16 years, however, and his sons and grandsons were a disappointment to Rome.  Louis I held all of the Empire but Italy together—but also invited Jews, slavers and usurers to his court.  He lived until 849 AD, and the warfare that erupted between his sons left Rome undefended to fend for itself.  In 846 AD, the Arabs, who had seized Sicily, sacked the Holy City.  As France, Lorraine and Germany fought for dominance, Popes like Nicholas I and John VIII urged a united Christendom under Papal guidance.  John VIII was assassinated, though—poisoned and beaten to death with a hammer by a rebel faction of the Church—and his death marked the ascension of the faction that would be called the Marozians—the Bad Popes—a group of devil worshipping madmen and slutty women who would publicly revive the Bacchus rites which Catholicism had early subsumed.

After the murder of John VIII, the Dukes of Spoleto, Guido, from 881 to 894, then Lambert, from 892 to 898, declared themselves Emperor, challenging Charles the Fat and then his cousin, Arnulf of Bavaria, and promoting a series of candidates to the Papacy. When the wars with Islam made the Dukes of Spoleto too weak to protect their candidates, Germany’s Charles the Fat, busy with a war to usurp the throne of France after the death of Louis III, was helpless to intervene, as the occult faction which had slain John VIII aligned itself with the line of kings descended from Charlemagne’s son, Pippin of Italy, and then loosely, with the Capets of France, to raise their demonic candidates to the Papacy.

The last of the good popes was Formosus, the “good looking”, an elderly man who died in 896. His successor, Boniface VI, was the first Pope of the Marozian ascension, an immoral monk who had twice been defrocked for assorted unnatural acts before his elevation. His short reign was followed by that of the mad pope, Stephen VI(I), who, shortly after his elevation, exhumed the body of Formosus for the necromantic “Cadaver Synod,” in which he accused Formosus’ exhumed corpse of heresy, excommunicated it, mutilated it, and threw it in a rive, where it was saved and re-interred by monks.  [See, didn’t I promise you sleaze?] Shortly afterwards, the Latin Basilica at the Vatican collapsed—taken as a sign from God that incited an angry mob to depose Stephen. 

The faction of the “Good Popes” then tried to regain the Papacy—nominating Romanus, who was assassinated after four months, followed by Theodore II, who survived only 20 days—just long enough to revoke the decree of the Cadaver Synod. On Theodore's death in 897, two candidates were elected simultaneously to replace him.  Sergius III, a Cluniac monk from the “bad” faction, and John IX, a “good” Pope.  A brief civil conflict erupted between their supporters from Rome, and Sergius was driven out of the city to exile in the Court of the Duke of Tuscany.  John IX continued the policies of Theodore II, taking the extra step of declaring that trials could not be conducted of the dead, but he survived less than two years, and his faction survived less than five, through the subsequent reigns of Benedict IV, 900-903, and Leo V.

What became the Marozian faction allied with the nobility of Northern Italy, Southern France, and the remnants of the Byzantines.  Their power bases were in the old Etruscan lands of the Duke of Tuscany and in the former Byzantine capital of Ravenna, as well as within the Vatican, where the Papal treasurer, Theophylact, was able to use the chaos created to declare himself Duke (later “Senator”) of Rome.

Theophylact’s wife was Theodora, and his daughter was Marozia, from whence these Bad Popes take their name.  These three, their family, and their lovers, dominated Rome until the middle of the 11th century.  When Leo V was deposed after a month in office by Pope Christopher—a rebel Cardinal who kidnapped and imprisoned Leo—the Marozians acted.  Sergius II returned from Tuscany with an army and captured both competitors—and then strangled them, seizing the Holy Office.

Upon Theodore’s death in 897, two candidates were elected simultaneously to replace him.  These were Sergius III, a Cluniac monk from the “Bad” faction, and John IX, a “Good” Pope.  A brief civil conflict erupted in Rome, and Sergius was driven out of the city to the Court of the Duke of Tuscany.  John IX continued the politics of Theodore II, taking the extra step of declaring that trials could not be conducted of the dead, but he survived less than two years, and his faction survived less than give, through only the reigns of Benedict IV, 903-903, and Leo V.

The Marozians, the Bad Popes, were allied with the nobility of Northern Italy, Southern France, and the remnants of the Byzantine empire.  Their power bases were in the traditionally Jewish-dominated courts of Southern France, the old Etruscan lands that were now the Duchy of Tuscany, and the Byzantine regional capital of Ravenna, as well as within the Vatican, where the Papal treasurer, Theophylact, was able to use the chaos created to declare himself Duke (later, “Senator”) of Rome.

After the death of Louis III of Provence, whose family had been preferred as Emperor by the Good Popes, Sergius III raised Pippin of Italy's grandson Berengar I to the imperial throne, gaining control of the title, if not the territory of the Holy Roman Empire.  Making alliance with the Robertian (soon to be Capetian) faction in France, this “malignant, ferocious and unclean” Pope, an ally of Stephen the mad, cemented his alliance with Theophylact by seducing and beginning an affair with Marozia, then no more than fifteen years old, and fathering her bastard child.  On Sergius’ death, Theodora raised Anastasius III and then Lando, before handing the Papacy to Theodora's lover, John X, in 914.  John X was initially compliant with the wishes of the Marozians, crowning Berengar King of Italy in 915 and appointing their candidates to Archbishoprics in France and Italy. 

But something happened which turned John X against the Marozians.  He rebelled, naming Rudolf I of Burgundy King of Italy in 922—supporting him in a struggle to remove Berengar and then attempting to restore the Imperial Crown to the line of Provence by anointing Hugh of Provence Emperor in 926.  This culminated in an attempted uprising by John C and his brother, Peter, Count of Orte, in 928.  It failed, and Marozia—who had taken power from her mother Theodora by this time—had Peter executed in front of John X, and then had John smothered.

Marozia had been married to a man named Alberic, and he, her mother and her father all disappeared suddenly in 924.  Marozia seems to have murdered all of them.  Shortly afterwards, Marozia moved into the tomb of the Emperor Hadrian –now the Vatican castle of St Angelo—and re-opened its prison cells for business.  Declaring herself to be the Senator of Rome, she infiltrated the line of Provence, seducing, first, Guido of Tuscany in 926—who disappeared, likely into Marozia’s torture dungeon, before 932—and then his brother, the Emperor Hugo. Marozia then appointed John X’s successor, Leo VI, who disappeared after a few months, and his successor Stephen VII(I), whom she had assassinated three years later in favor of her bastard child with Sergius, who became John XI.

It was Marozia’s legitimate child with Alberic, Alberic II, who undid the bitch. As Marozia has done twelve years earlier, Alberic II rose up in 936 and murdered his mother.  Alberic had been acting as a page at some dark banquet when he spilled a cup of wine on Hugo.  Hugo struck him, and Alberic II fled the castle, shouting out to the people of the dark rites being practiced inside.  A mob formed and stormed the palace. Hugo himself escaped.  Alberic locked Marozia in a cell in Hadrian’s tomb, bricked it up, and flooded it with water. Hugo’s daughter, Alberic’s wife, also disappeared.  Alberic then declared himself Duke of Rome and took control of the Papacy.  his half brother, John XI, died of “natural” causes three years later, no older than his early 30s.  Alberic then made Popes Leo VII, Stephen VIII (IX), Marinus II (Martin III), and Agapitus II, before elevating his own bastard son, Octavian, to the Papacy as John XII.  After Alberic II’s death in 955, John XII would also take power as the Duke of Rome.

All of this had been able to occur because the two nations who had a truly legitimate claim to the Imperial throne, France and Germany, had spent the entire first half of the 10th century divided.  France had seen a struggle for the throne between the Carolingians and Robertians, while its territory had been carved into the independent duchies described above.  Germany had been at civil war from the rebellion against Charles the Fat in 888 until the reuniting of the Empire under Henry I the Fowler in the war of 919 to 925.  Even afterwards, Henry I, and, from 936, his son, Otto I the Great, were too busy battling the invasions of the Slavs and the Magyars to turn their attentions to Italy.

It wasn’t until Otto defeated the Magyars in 955, destroying their capital and seizing their treasury, that he was able to establish the peace necessary to plan for a war against Rome. The Liudolfings made it clear early on in their dynasty that they brooked no commerce with the Marozians, Henry I having refused an offer of anointment from Marozia herself, not deigning to be subject to a rule as corrupt as hers.  Otto I later laid the concept of the Reichskirche concept—a national German church—by refusing to allow the Marozians to appoint bishops over his territories, preferring instead his own candidates, to whom he granted large territories as part of his campaign to take power away from his vassals.

It was in 962 that Otto was given a casus belli that allowed him to clean out the “Satanic” Papacy and its allies in northern Italy. Fearing that Berengar was plotting to seize Rome, John XII begged Otto to intervene, and Otto agreed. First attacking Berengar, Otto seized the kingdom of Italy before proceeding south to Rome, where he deposed John XII and installed Leo VIII in John's stead.  This move began a century long struggle in which the Papacy would vacillate between Imperial and Marozians factions, until it all came to a head in 1045.

In removing John XII, Otto made a number of specific charges.  First, he claimed that John XII worshipped the devil—a practice John had learned from his father and his grandmother.  Secondly, Otto also claimed that John had revived the worship of Jupiter and Venus, really, a specification of the allegations of devil-worship. Third, Otto claimed that John had engaged in the ritual castration of cardinals who had resisted his rule. Fourth, John was said to have operated a brothel in his palace.

From these allegations, and the history of the period, a few conclusions can be drawn.  An occult current already present in the Church seems to have used the anarchy of the late Carolingian period in France and Germany to emerge and seize power.  Theophylact and even Theodora may have begun as simple power seekers, but Popes Stephen VI(I) and Sergius III were clearly initiates into the mysteries of this dark religion.  Marozia was clearly drawn into the movement at a young age through her affair with Sergius, and her mother was just as clearly drawn in as well.  The horror with which John X reacted to the Marozians indicated he learned—perhaps suddenly—the true nature of those who had elevated him and had reacted to it, perhaps too foolishly.  Leo VI and Stephen VII(I) met similar fates.  The Berengars, the Dukes of Tuscany, and the house of Provence all seem to have been corrupted by this spiritual poison, and there is no question that Alberic II practiced this dark philosophy and passed it down to John XII, who continued it within the Church and passed it on to future generations.

What was the nature of this occult current? The statement that Jupiter and Venus had been revived suggests that it was pagan—not  mere Solomonic or neo-Platonic “devil” worship.  The murder, the sex, and the links to France suggest that it was, specifically, the cult of Attis-Cybele, the faith of the Great Mother, whose absorption into Catholicism we have detailed above.  Only six hundred years had passed since men were last castrated in sacrifice at the rock of Cybele beneath St Peters’ no later than 960, John XII and Marozians seem to have returned the hill to its ancient purpose. 


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any one of those paragraphs would probably fill a book by itself! (heads to the library)

5:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good stuff, Bill, if you get a chance to see this. Marozia is certainly an interesting character. And it is important for us as a people to know who we are.

You (and Harold, too) might consider publishing on smashwords,
or a similar site. It's easier for me to convince myself to spend a few bucks that mostly go to the author, rather than a high price where most of it doesn't.

kennewick man

9:00 PM  

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