Summary: Babylon's mysteries did not go away with Babylon, but have been passed on through the world empires. We now come to Rome, the "Babylon" of New Testament days.
9: PAGAN ROME
We have danced through nearly 4000 years of history in a startlingly short time. Most moderns agree that the things I have portrayed so far are a true picture of the events that took place, the philosophies that prevailed, the religion that dominated. No need to overwork something so obvious.
As the subject of Rome is now introduced, I trust we will be able to be as open and discerning with the facts. For Rome brings us eventually into our own day...
There was a Roman civilization from the 1600's B.C., not far from the time of Abraham. Old Babylon dominated its history from its inception until Babylon's demise. But before the seeming abandonment of the old city, an arrangement was made for its temporary replacement, a new Babylon that would, like its predecessor, suck in all the varied forms of deception propagated for nearly 3000 years by the great Liar himself, and claim them as her own. Thus the new backdrop for all civilization settles in on the seven hills by the Tiber. None other has risen since. And I believe she herself will rise again.
From the beginning of Rome, the races there are deeply and inextricably mixed. Even in its peopling, a preview of mixtures.
By the end of the seventh century B.C., Romans are maintaining contact with Assyrians, Greeks, and many others. And long before Romulus, on Capitoline Hill, Virgil's Aeneas speaks of the ruins of Saturnia and Janicules, settlements given over to the Chaldean worship. Later this form of worship is forbidden, but Etruscans, committed to it, settle and establish themselves and their gods, their college of pontiffs...
I follow Hislop (op. cit., 239 ff) in the following comments. He states that the Chaldean religionists are expelled by the Medo-Persians, and sail to Pergamum, a kingdom in Asia Minor (now Turkey). The religion they bring is quite acceptable to the residents of this land. Phrygians who live there have long worshipped Cybele, and the nearby Mysians are said to have been descended from none other than Nimrod. Livy and Herodotus state that the Etrurians (Etruscans) , Roman settlers, come from Lydia, yet another province of the Kingdom of Pergamum. Hislop documents these facts.
So whether Satan's Kingdom goes directly from Persia to Greece to Rome, or whether it makes a short stop in Asia Minor (Thus Jesus' comment to the church at Pergamos in Revelation 2:13 about "Satan's Throne" ), the end result is the same: the "Mysteries" are passed down to what will be the center of the world until the end times.
Roman mythology is thus fed from the beginning with a huge variety of possibilities. The most well-known of the early Roman myths, perhaps is that of the Nimrod-Orion-Apollo figure known as Romulus, who gives his name to the city. Like the one he descends from, he is a city founder, a warrior, a protector. Also like him, he is deified at his death. According to Rose (op. cit.) and many others, the story goes that Mars, his god father, comes to earth looking for his boy. His boy, Romulus, then disappears with him into the heavens.
Later, Virgil will conclude that Romulus (like Nimrod) stands at the head of the gods of the Roman state.
Kronos is also a major factor in Roman mythology. Hislop mentions that Kronos is King of the Cyclops, who were "masters of tower building." (pp 31-32) Kronos is also known as the "horned one." This acclaim he inherits from an Assyrian story, in which a god attacks a bull, sets the horn of the bull on his own head as a trophy, thus symbolizing how powerful he is. Here Kronos not only identifies with Nimrod et. al., but with those Scriptural creatures who are said to be horned, especially in the prophecies of Daniel.
The Romans adopt much of Greek thought, but also add old, half-savage practices which come down from peasant ancestors. As the peoples before them, they conclude that all objects have spirit (pantheism, animism) and that there is a power beyond the natural, called by them "numen." By performing the proper rites, men can have "numen," too. Enter works theology yet again!
A long list of gods which have specific powers (numens) is kept by the Romans, to refer to as needs arise. You will find such lists available to the modern "church", a list of saints for every occasion. Is our God not still a jealous God, who is disturbed when we seek help from anyone but Him?
Festivals abound in old Rome, as that for Vesta, goddess of the home fire. Her personal flame in Rome is tended by virgins, chosen when little girls, of patrician (noble) origins, to serve for thirty years, unmarried. Could this be what paves the way for the enforced virginity in the system today?