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The Three Extracted Horns of Daniel 7 - A Defensible Position?

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The Three Extracted Horns of Daniel 7 - A Defensible Position?

Version 1, completed March 5, 2009

PDF Version


Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

Part 6:

Part 7: Additional Information and my starting research notes


Reader introduction


For those of you who accidentally come across this web page, it is designed to deal with questions of particular interest to Seventh-day Adventists and possibly some other groups with similar beliefs about the three horns which were removed from the head of the dreadful looking fourth beast described in the Bible in the book of Daniel, chapter 7. If you are not a Seventh-day Adventist, you are welcome to read this page. And who knows, you may learn some interesting things because there is a lot of history covered in this page. Just so you know, the letters "SDA" is an acronym for "Seventh-day Adventist" and I use the abbreviation of "SDAs" for the plural form of "Seventh-day Adventist". They may also be referred to in this document as "Adventists".

Here is the core of the issue for those of you not familiar with it. To understand this fully, you need to read the book of Daniel, chapter 7, in the Bible. Daniel 7 says that on the head of the dreadful looking fourth beast, which many interpreters believe both the body and head together represented pagan Rome, there were ten horns that represented kingdoms which would rise to power out of the remains of pagan Rome in 476 AD. Shortly after, another power, represented by a horn that I refer to as the "talking horn", would rise to prominence. It was explained to Daniel that the talking horn power would be responsible for the removal of three of the other ten horns, leaving only seven of them on the head of the beast. Most SDA interpreters believe that the ten horns on the head of the dreadful looking fourth beast represent ten literal nations that came out of the Western Roman Empire and the talking horn power is the Catholic Church. SDAs have traditionally believed that the three extracted horns represented the kingdoms of the Vandals, the Ostrogoths, and the Heruli. Some substitute the Visigoths for the Heruli. This viewpoint, or something similar, has been held by others besides SDAs.

Adventists typically say that the talking horn primarily is the Catholic Church. The Catholics will sometimes admit, based on the actual known facts of history, that their church instigated the destruction of the Vandal's and Ostrogoth's kingdoms. However, they always deny that they caused the destruction of the Heruli. Consequently, they say Adventists are lying about them when they say that the Catholic Church was responsible for the destruction of the Heruli. The prophecy said that the talking horn would remove three horns, so by admitting to removing only two of them and denying the third, they can claim that they are not the talking horn.

In spite of the potential motive for the Catholics to deny the third horn, there may be truth to their claim that they did not remove the kingdoms of the Heruli or the Visigoths. What if they are telling us the truth when they deny the accusation? To be sure, it needs to be investigated. Even if they did not remove the kingdoms of the Heruls or the Visigoths, that does not prevent them from being the talking horn because there remains the possibility that they might have instigated the removal of another kingdom. They can be correctly identified as the talking horn based on other descriptive characteristics presented about them in Daniel 7, but to make it complete and true, it must be proven that they actually did incite the removal of three kingdoms, not two, or else the prophecy fails. They know this and we know it, so there is a lot at stake here. Should their claim about the Heruls and Visigoths prove true, then we must investigate the possibility that they removed another kingdom because it is the only alternative remaining.

This matter was brought to my attention because in about mid November of 2008, I received several e-mails from a friend by the name of Robert.  In these e-mails, I was asked about the accusations by some Catholic web sites that the Adventists are lying about certain actions the Catholic Church may have taken in relation to what is supposed to be the destruction of the Heruli tribe in 493 when the Ostrogoths destroyed the kingdom of Odoacer in Italy.  The Adventists have accused the Catholic Church of having incited the destruction of the Heruls, an action which Catholics deny. His e-mails appear below.

Based on his own research, Robert had previously concluded that the accusation Adventists make about the Catholic Church regarding the Heruli is probably incorrect.  He found that certain individuals, well known among Adventists, have been challenged on web forums over this very issue by Catholics and worse, the Catholic members of those forums were able to triumphantly prove their case! That means they proved their case beyond a shadow of a doubt. The Catholic Church is NOT responsible for the destruction of the Heruli tribe.

Now, that's shocking enough, but that revelation was not anywhere near as catastrophic to me as subsequently discovering that once one opens the door to look at solving this little problem one discovers this oversight/mistake goes deep and brings into question the whole SDA interpretation of the 10 horns and casts them into the light as being fallacious, or at the very least, completely arbitrary. And once one understands the complications involved here, one can understand why some people might wonder if the SDA understanding of the prophesies looks shaky. If you know my writing on this web site, you realize that I do not believe God left room in His Prophesies for "shaky" or arbitrary or guesswork! There simply must be a firm solution and a debate winning answer.

God did hide some things in the prophecies, but not so that they would remain hidden forever. No! He leaves the keys in the Bible and in the events of history so that we can find them when the time is right for them to be revealed. By following those things he reveals, we see his footprints going before us, leading us to unlock the prophecies and ultimately leading the way to him, to an understanding of his divine purpose, and finally to stronger trust in him. Therefore, it is imperative that there be a definite answer, because without it, how can we discern his footprints and find our way to him? Is not finding him and learning to trust him the whole idea for which the prophecies were given?

But the question in my mind became, would the solution support our present SDA understanding, would it modify it only a little, or, though only a remote possibility, could it do damage beyond the ten horns? A lot is at stake here, but I had to know the answer. God leads if we are willing to follow him and it is our trust to follow His Path through the Scriptures. So, I began to investigate, looking to pick up the trail God left for us. 

As of the writing of this page (January of 2009) I have the standard SDA interpretation of the three fallen horns on my web site home page (http://www.666man.net) concerning this issue and certainly never thought that it was incorrect until Robert posed his question. My beginning research confirms the Catholics are right in saying that Adventists are wrong about the Heruls, and further, I discovered that Adventists trying to solve this problem by using the Visigoths as a substitute for the Heruls are also wrong. But, I have found a good answer to this problem which I will share with you in this document.

This is a long study, but a very interesting and revealing study. If you like to solve puzzles, if you love mystery or if you love searching for and discovering real truth, then this is the place for you! So, let's roll up our sleeves, dive in, and see where it takes us!

Just so you know, this document is the product of about 4 months of my research time into this issue. I have included the detail one needs to have a complete picture and argue their points well. I will address not only the identity of the third extracted horn of Daniel 7, but also delve into some unanswered questions many Adventists have found confusing and unanswered. I will, for example, address the single head of the dreadful looking forth beast of Daniel 7, something that confuses some people because it is known that Rome was actually split into two kingdoms in 395.  Further, we will look deeply into the inconsistencies of the leopard beast of Daniel 7, examining why it is split into four heads when the actual history shows a more confusing situation.  And we will examine the inconsistency between the depiction of the Roman beast as compared to the leopard beast. It seems this whole areas is filled with discrepancies! How are Adventist to navigate these sharp rocks in the water that completely destroys so many other ships of interpretation? So, we shall look for the guiding light together and apply it!

Note that I have used numerous embedded references to outside sources. I did this instead of footnotes, which are nice for a summary of research sources. The reason I did this is because embedded links allows you to go directly to the source right from where you are reading it, so I have done that in this document for your convenience.  I have used Wikipedia as the main source because it is easy to call up their web pages and read the information contained on it.  Wikipedia is not always the best source, but they usually do give a list of references at the end of each page (which often are good sources) to which the reader can go to verify things or get more information.  I hope that this helps the readers.  I have also included the full Internet web address beside each link rather than just embedded underlined links in case you wish to print this out and give it to someone.  The idea behind doing this is that a person receiving a paper copy may go to a computer when they have an opportunity and look up any address listed rather than wondering what the embedded link is but cannot know because the Internet address does not show up on a paper copy.  This makes the document a little more difficult to read, but I think will be helpful to those with a printed copy. In the future, when I have a little time, I will change the document to have embedded links, but put the actual address listing in a footnote so as to make the document a little easier to read.

The ultimate goal I have as a writer is to show you a proposed solution to the identity of the third horn (the first and second horns being the Vandals and Ostrogoths) that should stand up reasonably well to scrutiny. There are several other areas that are explored in order to help you fully understand the proposed solution, but I believe that you will enjoy the journey there. And if you complete the journey, it should help you better understand other aspects of the prophetic beasts of Daniel and Revelation.

Note that this document was originally written as an e-mail to my friend in response to his question.

Let us now dive in and see where God's word leads us. You will be surprised!

Robert's Questions

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I have spent some time doing research in relation to the web page address Robert sent (shown below) about so-called Adventist lies concerning the Catholic Church and the three extracted horns on the head of the dreadful looking beast of Daniel 7.  I must say that I have learned some things from my research that have surprised me and may upset some SDAs if I tell them what I have found.  There is nothing earthshaking, but what I have found does not match that which SDAs have often been taught.  But, I think you will see that what I have found fits in with the Bible and history, is reasonable, and most of all, is defensible from a historical and Biblical standpoint.  This also means that I will have to change some of the material on the http://www.666man.net web site, but the material I have gathered together will improve it, so I am happy that I have done this research.  I intend to use much of the material in this document for the revision to the web site when I get a chance to work on it.

Here is the text of Robert's first e-mail regarding the three horns:

I was researching about the three horns uprooted and I have discovered
that the Heruli history of being destroyed by the papacy is
questionable. The history support is stronger for the Visigoths. The
Vandals is clear as is the Ostrogoths. The Heruli disappeared in 493
or were absorbed. If you could shed any light of this or direct me
to the history or books I would be grateful. When I noticed a few
weeks ago the [church] Elder didn't mention the Heruli for one of the
three horns. I visited a site today and it was not supporting the
Heruli as one of the uprooted horns.



Here is the text of the next e-mail regarding this issue:

The site has an incorrect  understanding on several
points but the Heruli history and biblical reference to the 3-horns
may not be one of them.
And, here is the last question:

I do have the question on the Heruli
Tribe being one of three horns plucked out. The
history seems to point to 493 to there expiring. This
is 15 years before Clovis gave land and credence to any
papacy influence in Europe. My research has revealed that
most of Western Europe if not all was Arian in belief.

The Heruli tribe being exterminated by the papacy is
unfounded or inconclusive. The third horn looks to
be the Visigoths. The other two I have able evidence
in Lot and GIBBONS TO BE THE Vandals and Ostrogoths.

I bring this up because this is being attacked
by the Historians that may well be correct on their
research about the Heruli. IS the 3 horns really Three
in number? The 10 is not a literal 10 so is the 3
really three in number. They point to there being more
than three destroyed as well?


The Difficulties Further Defined

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Robert's questions are very logical.  Traditionally, most Seventh-day Adventists, and possibly some other groups, have thought that the three horns removed by the talking horn (reader: this is my pet name for the horn that came up later than the ten horns, had the eyes and mouth of a man, and talked in the vision of Daniel 7)  from the head of the fourth dreadful looking beast of Daniel 7 were the Vandals, the Ostrogoths, and the Heruls.  It is not terribly difficult to determine from readily available historical sources that the Catholic Church, which Adventists believe is the primary power that the talking horn represents, did in fact cause the removal of the Vandals and the Ostrogoths.  There is a direct connection of events starting with intervention by a Catholic official that ultimately led to the war against the Vandals and later to the Ostrogoths.  That resolves the question of the identity of the first two horns.  However, the difficulty comes in determining the identity of the third horn because there appears to be no direct connection between the Papacy and the removal of another horn. 

In my research, I have found that there is a direct, though not obvious, connection to a third horn that should settle the question for SDAs.  It appears that everyone, including the Catholics, have failed to see this connection, probably because of the mind set of both groups.  At least some of the information for this conclusion has long been available.  I myself did not see this until recently and could not have were in not for my own previous study into Daniel, and especially Revelation 17.

Among SDAs, historically the third horn has been identified as the Heruls, but more recently some have suggested the Visigoths.  And, there are some web sites I have seen (not all SDA) where other groups have been proposed.  In fact, I can recall seeing one web site (I do not think it was an SDA site but cannot be sure) argued that because the talking horn does not arise until 538, all three horns have to have been removed after that date.  Consequently, that web site proposed some other powers that the three extracted horns represent.  There might seem to be a bit of logic to this idea, but there are reasons to discount it, which I'll not go into here.

So, how does one determine the true identity of the third horn?  Identifying the third horn requires some careful analysis of what the Bible actually says.  It further requires some rethinking of long accepted ideas, not all of which I think have been correctly understood.  However, I believe that the task is possible. 

Before I proceed, there are a couple of comments I think need said so that others reading this do not misunderstand my intentions or the ultimate effects of my research on the basic beliefs of SDAs.

Some might think that I am trying to move the basic pillars of Adventist beliefs. If you do have that idea, please understand that it is not true.  I do believe that Biblical beliefs should be firmly established using the best available evidence, first from the Bible, and then from archeology or history where applicable.  We should not have shoddy arguments to support our positions for such will weaken our effect on the thinking of others.  I do know that there are certain basic beliefs which are rock solid and should never be moved.  Among those, for a few examples, are the teachings of the seventh day Sabbath, the state of the dead (they are asleep just as the Bible teaches and remain that way until Jesus calls them to life again), the teachings about the sanctuary, the 1260 days and the 2300 days prophecies, and others that are firmly established beyond question. 

However, there are a few points about Bible prophecy that are not as solid as they might appear.  I do believe that the question about the identity of the third horn is one of those and something for which we must continue to search for the truth until we are sure we have it.  The mere fact that some have more recently suggested that the third horn is the Visigoths should signal that not all is well with the identity of that horn.  There is room for more study before a firm conclusion can be reached on this issue.  Also, there is more to be learned in regard to Daniel 11:40-45.  I am sure most realize there is no firm understanding of those verses as yet.  Therefore, I hope that the reader will realize that I am not out to destroy the basic teachings. My purpose on this web page is to make sure that the ideas we have about the three extracted horns is based on very solid historical and Biblical evidence, thus giving it a firm foundation.

There are some problems with our position of the Heruls or Visigoths as the third horn of Daniel 7 which creates credibility problems with Catholics.  Our position is not defensible, something that needs to change.  I believe that the approach I outline in this document will create a reasonably defensible position that is a better solution than is currently available to Adventists.

Here are some of the problems with the current interpretation:

  • There is no direct, provable connection between the Catholic Church and the destruction of the Heruls or Visigoths.  Some have suggested that the Catholics may have hidden the evidence, but that is a poor argument even if it were true.  God prophesied this, so you can be sure that somewhere the evidence is available to prove our case, evidence that God will have preserved to point to the truth.  However, if we are not looking in the right place, we will never find it.
  • Most try to determine the identity of the ten horns, but there are problems with the Adventist approach to this because most Adventists (and perhaps others) insist that the number ten is literal in Daniel 7.  Usually, the largest or most important tribes are selected for the ten horns. But, where in the Bible does it say to select the largest or most important tribes?  Might the truth be missed because of this approach?
  • Most see the number ten as literal in Daniel 7, but Daniel gives a definition that shows it can be symbolic.  This definition should not be ignored and yet it has been ignored. Why?
  • The Bible does not define horns as tribes.  To get around this, people typically reason that tribes are nations, so therefore qualify.  While that may seem reasonable, it distracts people and causes people to ignore the definitions the Bible gives, which actually work better. Should people ignore the definitions the Bible gives and in their place substitute something from their own reasoning? Something to think about?
  • Inconsistencies are present in the current interpretation.  Here are several such examples:
    • Four Barbarian tribes moved into Britain, which were the Angles, the Jutes, the Saxons, and the Frisians, the largest groups being the Angles and the Saxons.  They formed a number of small kingdoms that were present in 476 which eventually coalesced into a smaller number of kingdoms.  Yet we always list those for Britain as "Anglo-Saxons" as this helps bring the total number of literal horns to ten, something that seems to smack of fudging the numbers for our convenience.  Is it right to ignore the other two tribes?  Is it right to ignore the indigenous tribes that lived there before the barbarians moved in?  Is it right to combine two of them into one when the evidence is that in 476 (the year in which to determine the horns), these tribes formed separate kingdoms in Britain, divided by tribe?  Where is the Bible justification for doing these things?  Do people take too many liberties with the "context" upon which to interpret the text because they ignore the definitions the Bible provides and create associations that the Bible does not address? 
    • There was an Eastern Heruls kingdom outside of the Roman Empire from which the Heruls came.  Other groups of Heruls were part of another kingdom in Italy.  That makes two kings but one tribe.  Why do we say that the Heruls were destroyed by the Catholic Church when in reality, only a small part of the tribe was destroyed by the war against them in Italy (most of whom were NOT killed in that war, a war NOT instigated by the Catholic Church) and someone other than the Catholic Church destroyed the Eastern Herul's kingdom? In other words, the Heruls were not destroyed by the instigation of the Catholic Church.
    • The Suessiones were an indigenous tribe in what is now northern France when Rome fell.  They almost never appear on lists of the ten horns. Why leave them out?
    • The Burgundians had a territory that was probably 30% smaller (an eyeball estimate from a map of their territories) than the Suessiones territory.  Why are the Burgundians usually listed among the ten horns and the Suessiones ignored?  Is it because the Suessiones were absorbed by the Franks in 587?  That is a problem because the Burgundians were also absorbed by the Franks not many years later in 534.  So, why ignore the Suessiones?  Today, the descendants of the Burgundians live in Western Switzerland and eastern France across from Switzerland.  They are not one people. The descendants of the Suessisones all live in France.
    • And finally, does the Bible say to use only the Barbarian tribes for the ten horns and to ignore others?  Where is the justification for that in the Bible? 

There are more problems that probably could be listed, but this should give you some idea of the difficulties.  The first item listed above, of course, is the one that by far creates the greatest difficulties with Catholic apologists. 

Before you proceed farther, I would like to recommend that you read the web page found at this web address: http://newprotestants.com/HORNS4.HTM.  On that web page the author wrote about the ten horns in a very well written document that is dispassionate and generally quite accurate historically, though there are a few very minor discrepancies present in his document.  I believe that you will find the information he presents to be worth your time to read, or I would not suggest you read it.  You won’t agree with everything he says (and neither do I), but his historical facts are generally accurate and the problems he demonstrates with the current SDA identification of the ten horns is generally right on. Unfortunately, he does not list any solutions to the problems he lists, so in that respect is not helpful.

I don't agree with his personal explanation of the ten horns he presents at the end, but he certainly is free to express his opinion, even if I think it mistaken. Just so you know his background, in a personal e-mail to the author (dated March 14, 2009), he identified himself as an Adventist at the present time. Before the authory wrote him, just based on some of his other writings about Adventist beliefs, I suspected he was likely not in the SDA Church or only very loosely connected with it. He indicated in his e-mail to the author that he is thinking of leaving the SDA Church but is uncertain about that as yet. In spite of this, I do believe that his web page about the ten horns of Daniel 7 is worth reading. With this particular page, he did a good job of analyzing the problems. Fixing the problems he lists will not damage the church, but instead will enhance it and give it greater credibility with Catholics.

There is another useful web page that has a list of the various Teutonic Kings at: http://my.raex.com/~obsidian/Teutons.html .  The key to the symbols and colors he uses for the various positions and titles are found on the web page at: http://my.raex.com/~obsidian/regindex.html .

To begin, let us go over a few definitions from the Bible.


What Are Beasts, Heads and Horns Defined to Be In the Bible? 

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Daniel 7:17 says the following:

Dan 7:17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.

Clearly, it says the four beasts are four kings.  So, logically, if four beasts are four kings, then one beast is one king.  If a beast is a king, then the four heads on the leopard beast of Daniel 7 must represent four kings, something that can be shown true by comparing Daniel 8:21-22 with Daniel 7:6 and Daniel 7:24.  Here is the text of those verses so you don't have to find a Bible.  You can compare those verses here:

Dan 7:6 After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon its back four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.

Dan 7:24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.

Dan 8:21 And the male goat is the king of Greece: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.

Dan 8:22 As for that horn being broken, and the four that stood up in its place, four kingdoms shall stand up out of that nation, but not with its power.

The four horns of Daniel 8:21-22 are defined as kingdoms, but are also four kings.  This must be so because the great horn on the goat is defined first as a king.  Therefore, if one horn is a king (note that definition is given first), then the four horns must be four kings.  That this is true is verified by Daniel 7:24, for it says that the ten horns are ten kings.  The four horns of the goat must also be the equivalent of the four heads of the leopard of Daniel 7, so we can conclude that the four heads of the leopard are also four kings.  Thus, we have the definitions that beasts are kings, heads are kings, and horns are kings. 

Definition: beasts are kings, heads are kings, and horns are kings.

Of course, from study of history and comparison to the prophetic beasts of Daniel 7 and 8, it should be clear that for a beast with sevenal heads on the body and several horns on the heads, the body represents the kingdom from the time it is founded until it is divided. Once divided, the heads then represent the kingdom in a divided state. When, or if, it is divided again, then the horns represent the kingdom. If there is only one head, then the body and head represent the founding of the kingdom and its life. If there are several horns on the one head, then there is a division of some type that comes about later. The author called this concept the Miller Principle (http://www.666man.net/rule.html#MillerPrinciple), which was named in honor of William Miller (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Miller_(preacher) ). Do note that the Miller Principle as I wrote it is based on how the beasts should be interpreted (as explained by the angel to Daniel), but has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with William Miller's rules of interpretation - those are completely separate.

From the history of Alexander's kingdom, represented by the four headed leopard beast of Daniel 7, we can conclude that the four heads primarily represented the four generals who divided Alexander's kingdom and became the four kings of the four main divisions of Alexander's empire.  It is especially important to note that the four generals were leaders from within the territory previously controlled and owned by Alexander the Great.  In other words, these four generals came only from Alexander's kingdom.  The territory they ruled also came from Alexander's kingdom that he had previously owned and controlled until his death and did not include territory beyond that. 

This is important because it illustrates the fact that you cannot put heads on a beast with kingdoms on it that it did NOT previously own.  The heads must come from territory that the previous kingdom owned. An application of this would be that you cannot include among the ten horns tribes whose territory was outside that of the Western Roman Empire in 476, something that has been done and is clearly incorrect based on this principle laid down in Daniel 7.

Definition: The territory of heads comes only from the territory owned and controlled by the previous rulers represented by the body and cannot include outside territory. A similar principle applies to the horns.

Note that the heads on a beast belong to the beast they are attached to. It owns the heads. That may seem to be stating the obvious, but you would be surprised how many fail to understand this important point.

Definition: heads on a beast belong to the beast thay are attached to.

It is also important to note that when Daniel 7:17 says that four beasts are four kings, from which we logically conclude that one beast is one king, then obviously because a beast is symbolic, therefore, the kings must be symbolic.  In this case, a symbolic king symbolizes a line of literal kings who rule the empire that a given beast (or heads or horns) represents.  To understand that, just remember that each of the empires of Daniel 7 had more than one king who sat on the throne, so the term "king" must symbolize the line of literal kings who sat upon the throne. 

Definition: Kings in Daniel 7 and 8 represents lines of literal kings.

Each symbolic line of kings is given a name, the name of its founder.  For example, the line of kings who ruled Babylon were called "Nebuchadnezzar", which obviously is named for the king that God labeled as the founder.  Daniel 2:38 says this:

Dan 2:38 And wherever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven has he given into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all. You are this head of gold.

We understand that the head of gold represented Babylon as its kingdom, the same as we understand for the lion of Daniel 7.  Thus, just as the head of gold was named Nebuchadnezzar, the lion also could be named Nebuchadnezzar.  And, because Nebuchadnezzar was the king of Babylon, this tells us that the head of gold is a king.  This gives you the first definition of each successive metal of the image, that is, each of the metals are kings, which matches the first definition given in Daniel 7:17. And because the gold was said to be Nebuchadnezzar, logically one could also say that each of the other metals had a name attached to it, though God did not bother with doing so.

Definition: gold head = Nebuchadnezzar = king

Using history and Daniel 8:21-22, you can see that the line Alexander the Great started was named for him.  This is true because Daniel 8:21 says this:
Dan 8:21 And the male goat is the king of Greece: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.
Just think about it for a moment and ask yourself this question: The empire of Alexander the Great is considered to have been founded by him.  So, when the angel told Daniel that the great horn between the eyes of the goat is the first king, is it not obvious that he was indirectly naming the goat?  There is only one possible answer as to the identity of this horn, so it should be obvious that he in fact did name it without actually saying the name. 

Some think Alexander was the only one of his line, but that is not true.  History shows there were several who followed him on the throne, but eventually it fell apart and the kingdom was divided.  Nevertheless, it is clear that God named the line after Alexander.  God could have explicitly done the same for the other two kingdoms (Medo-Persia and Rome), but chose not to because these examples are sufficient for his purposes.  The empire of the Medes and Persians probably would have been named Cyrus the Great, who is considered to have been the founder of the Persian Empire, while the Roman Empire likely would have been named for the Roman leader who defeated Mark Anthony and Cleopatra in 30 BC. Specifically, that was Octavian Augustus.  The action of Octavian Augustus destroyed the last of the Greek kingdoms to come out of Alexander the Great's empire.  Although the Roman empire itself started long before, the Greek kingdoms fell one at a time until the last one fell in 30 BC, so that is likely the date that God would have counted for the "start" of the next empire.  This would match the symbolism of the metals in Daniel 2 which apparently were very distinct from one another and had distinct breaks in transitioning from one to the next metal. 30 BC is also the date for the end of the Roman Republic. 

What is interesting is that the Roman Senate of the time of Octavian Augustus in 2 BC gave him the title "father of his country" (the Latin title was: Pater Patriae).  It is a title that they did not bestow upon just anyone then, so this suggests the high regard they had for him (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pater_patriae).  In his time, the title meant something special, but later they started to give it out a little too often, so probably came to mean less as time progressed.

The reason God named each line of kings is so that we may use this information in the book of Revelation.  This is important in Revelation 17 when it talks about the seven heads which are seven kings.  This tells us that each line of these kings has a name, the name of its founder.  That information is important when it comes to deciphering the identity of the eighth king and it even helps us identify him before he actually becomes the eighth king.  The same information also relates to the number 666 and how the numbers are counted and added.  But, of course, for those who have read the home page of our web site at http://www.666man.net, they will already know all this.


In the Past, What Have Others Identified the Ten Horns to Be?

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Let us now discuss what the identity of the ten horns is according to others who have studied this issue in the past. 

Daniel said that initially there were ten horns on the dreadful looking fourth beast that he wrote about in Daniel 7.  Obviously, he must have taken time to count the horns or he would not have reported this to us.  But, we have to ask this: Is the number ten a literal number or is it symbolic?  Most people will insist, without giving it careful consideration, that the number is literal.  That is probably a natural reaction because, after all, Daniel took time to count them and reported that there were exactly ten horns on the beast, no more and no less.  In addition, the angel in Daniel 7:24 told Daniel that there were ten horns whom he identified as ten kings.

Most people who believe this number is literal will insist that the rule is that things in Daniel are literal unless it cannot be otherwise.  This is often a good rule to go by but is not necessarily always properly understood or applied.  Just the opposite rule seems to apply in Revelation for Jesus indicates at the very beginning of Revelation that it is a book of symbols.

Now, one may say that there is no reason to consider the number ten to be symbolic.  But, perhaps there is reason if you are willing to give some consideration to the idea.  Please allow me to explain.  Consider that the beast upon which the ten horns were sitting on is itself symbolic.  The horns must also be symbolic because they certainly are a part of the beast.  That should be obvious, should it not?  Clearly, each of those horns is representative of a king, each of which represents a line of literal kings just as beasts are symbolic of lines of kings.  So, does this suggest that the number of horns, ten, is symbolic as well?  Logically, this is a fair question because everything else about the beasts is symbolic.  Even the waters the beasts come out of and the earth they stand upon after rising out of the waters are symbolic.  So, why not the numbers also?  Why should ten be literal when everything else about the beasts is symbolic?  Is there a verse that says ten must be literal?  Why should the number of horns be any less symbolic than every other aspect of the beasts? 

Does these questions put a different light on things?  It does not mean that the number of horns for certain is symbolic, but it does raise an interesting question, does it not?  Now, be honest!

Most people have probably never given it much thought and just assumed that both the number of heads on the leopard beast and the number of horns on the dreadful looking beast were literal.  In fact, most, but not all, of the empire of Alexander the Great was divided four ways among the four generals that were his successors, so to many, this makes a reasonable case that the number four is literal. most people, including the author would not argue with this as the evidence does support it. In the case of the beast representing Rome, it is a fact that more than ten tribes moved into the Western Roman Empire before 476.  Also, there were some indigenous tribes existing in Roman territory before 476, at least one of which formed a separate nation by 476.  Certainly many more than ten nations were formed in the Western Roman Empire by 476.  

Those who know this are faced with the question of the meaning of the number ten.  Nearly everyone decides that the number is literal and refers to the ten most important or largest tribes, or maybe the most influential tribes.  They make this assumption based on a need to explain this issue and is not based on anything that the Bible tells us to do about this number.  They may say that this is justified because of "context" perhaps, or maybe they will use some other argument to explain their arbitrary choices.  But no matter how they explain it, their selection of the identity of the ten horns is arbitrary.  The Bible does not say that we are to use the most important, largest, or most influential tribes for the ten horns, nor does it say that ten is literal. 

People will probably argue about this, but usually they do not let the Bible settle the matter.  They usually do not investigate to see if the number ten has any symbolic meaning that is defined in Daniel.  But, by failing to do that, they may be missing out on something very important. Of course, if there is no definition by which to define ten as a symbolic number, then it must be literal unless there is something about the symbolism that compels us to conclude that it is symbolic. Since there is nothing about the symbolism itself that compels the conclusion that it is symbolic, then for it to be symbolic, there must be a definition that defines it that way.

Let us consider the results of the assumptions of those who insist that ten is literal.  As mentioned before, on the basis of their assumptions (these generally are: ten is literal, select the ten largest or most influential of the tribes, use only Barbarian tribes, and maybe a few other unwritten assumptions not supported by the Bible), they lump the Angles and Saxons together as one (done both to arrive at ten and to have one single group for Britain), ignore some groups, include others arbitrarily, count those tribes which they think still exist today (where does the Bible say it is longevity that counts as the criteria by which to select and count them?) They do these things rather than counting all those existing in 476. After lots of assumptions are factored in, they finally arrive at the right list of what seems to them to be the ten horns.  And usually they are dead sure they are right!  But, are they really right?  How do we really know they are right or wrong?  Where is the criteria in the Bible that says the tribes must still exist today?  And, why do they not see that their selections are only as good as their assumptions that underlie it, which in fact have no Biblical statements by which to justify them? After all, if they want the Bible to define things for them, it seems to me that they should do a little deeper digging!

And finally, they ignore the fact that the only tribe that founded a nation that actually still exists today as a direct descendant of the original founders were the Franks.  That is a genuine fact of history.  People try to claim that seven of the ten original tribes are still nations today.  But, the actual facts are that while the descendants all of the original ten tribes are still around today, only one is a nation whose leaders can claim to be the descendants of its original leaders (this does not mean genetic descendants, but rather that they have had their own government ever since the nation was founded with their own leaders with only temporary breaks when others invaded, none of which lasted), which were the Franks that founded today's France, Germany, and part of several other nations.  All other tribes were eventually divided among various nations as history progressed and the original nations that they founded were absorbed into others or destroyed.  Those other nations no longer exist today.

Let us now look at what the ten horns have been defined to be by others in the past. As an example of the typically selected list of ten horns, here is one list I extracted from a (somewhat) randomly chosen Seventh-day Adventist (very likely) web site (found at http://www.danielbibleprophecy.org/daniel7.html):

"The ten divisions of Rome

Ostrogoths - Exterminated.
Vandals - Exterminated.
Franks - France.
Suevi - Portugal.
Alemanni - Germany.
Anglo-Saxons - England.
Heruli - Exterminated.
Lombards - Italy.
Burgundians - Switzerland.
Visigoths - Spain."


These should give you a good idea of what is usually done by Adventists.  Notice how each of the original tribes is equated to a modern nation, something that has often been done by others also. The list is reasonable as it stands and is similar to the list of major nations that historians will often show you.

These lists become more interesting when you investigate this issue further and find that there are several different lists out there.  Such a discovery creates a real problem because one must ask these questions: "Which of them is right?" and "How do I know for sure?"   What do you do about this?

Here are a couple of other lists, taken from a web page (http://www.lastdays.ca/misc/tenhorns.htm) that is not SDA, but has a list similar to that of the Adventists:

"One of the most satisfying expositions I have read thus far is that of E. B. Elliott, in his commentary, Horae Apocalypticae. E. B. Elliott observes that there were 10 kingdoms present in the period 486-490:

  1. Anglo-Saxons
  2. Franks
  3. Allemans
  4. Burgundians
  5. Visigoths
  6. Suevi
  7. Vandals
  8. Heruli
  9. Bavarians
  10. Ostrogoths

But he also argues, convincingly, that the primary period intended by both Daniel 7 and Revelation 13, is about 532-33 AD... So at that time, he lists the following 10 kingdoms:

  1. Anglo-Saxons
  2. Franks of Central
  3. Alleman-Franks of Eastern
  4. Burgundic-Franks of South-Eastern France
  5. Visigoths
  6. Suevi
  7. Vandals
  8. Ostrogoths in Italy
  9. Bavarians
  10. Lombards"

You might note that in this list, the author mentions the Alamanni tribe and identifies them with the Franks.  But, also note that in the previous list from the SDA web site, the Alamanni are associated with Germany. Since Germany was divided up from France in the 9th century, this is probably acceptable to most people, though perhaps not precise.  

You might find it interesting that Uriah Smith (he was an Adventist writer who lived in the last half of the 19th century and wrote a book about Daniel and Revelation) apparently thought that the ten kingdoms were the following tribes:

(Source: Uriah Smith , The Prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation (Signs of the Times Pub. Ass., Oshawa, Ontario, Canada Revision copyrighted 1945) p. 58, cited on http://newprotestants.com/HORNS4.HTM)


Note that he includes the Huns instead of the Alamanni.  This is interesting because the Huns were not even within the borders of what was once the Western Roman Empire in 476 due to the fact that they completely left the empire before 476.  Note also that some lists include the Lombards.  Again, this is rather peculiar because they too were not within the borders of what once was the Western Roman Empire in 476.  One has to wonder about their criteria for selecting tribes.  Most people list tribes which were within the borders of the Western Roman Empire in 476, so why include those tribes which were outside of the empire?  How is it that tribes existing outside the Western Roman Empire were seen as its successors?  That is a bit puzzling, to say the least.

As you can see, the answer to the question of which ten is a real problem not easily resolved.  For the authors on the web sites listed above, there is no apparent firm Biblical standard by which to decide which powers the horns represent.  Does that give us (or anyone else using such an interpretation method) credibility problems?  I suspect it does, at least, with some people who are willing to carefully check the facts. 

The reason this happens, of course, is that most everyone insists that the number ten is literal. But the fact that this happens should give a person pause to think about this. Perhaps the underlying assumption is incorrect? One should at least give that more than passing thought.

But, does the Bible have a standard by which the ten horns can be properly selected?  If so, why are there different lists?  Is the Bible standard a hidden principle?  Perhaps we have not dug deep enough to find it?

If so, what might that principle be and how do we find it?


Biblical Principles To Solve the Problems

The Sequence of the Four Beasts of Daniel 7

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Perhaps the principle is almost as obvious as the nose on your face.  It is rather difficult, is it not, to focus our eyes on our own nose without a mirror by which to see it?  Typically, we do not even have awareness of it because it is so close.

In Daniel 7, there are four beasts that come up in succession.  The angel explains in Daniel 7:17 that the four beasts are four kings.  From this you can say that if four beasts are four kings, then logically one beast is one king.  Further, he explains that these are kingdoms which rise to view in sequence, for he says regarding the fourth beast that it is a fourth kingdom that shall come upon the earth.  Here is exactly what he said to Daniel:

Dan 7:23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.

Thus, the beasts are in sequence or you would not be told that the fourth beast is the fourth kingdom upon the earth. 

Given that we know about the dream in Daniel 2, in which different metals or a mix of iron and clay made up the image's parts and for which each of them represented one of four earthly kingdoms that would occur in sequence (that sequence being represented by the different materials used to construct the different parts of the image which one would encounter as one moved from the head downward towards the feet of the image), we can clearly see that the dreams in Daniel 2 and 7 show corresponding kings and kingdoms.  Thus, the head of gold of the image in Daniel 2 corresponds to the lion of Daniel 7, the first kingdom.  And, of course, the remaining kingdoms also correspond to one another between the image of Daniel 2 and the beasts of Daniel 7.  

But, now I ask this question to get at the principle:  Why were these particular kingdoms selected for the vision?  Some would say that these were "World Kingdoms", as if they encompassed and owned the whole world, implying that nobody need ask the question about why these particular kingdoms were selected.  According to them, it should be obvious.  They were so big, there is no competition.  Nothing else can possibly fit.  But maybe that attitude is not true to the facts?  Maybe the facts of history are different than what we believe about it?  Maybe we need to understand WHY God chose to show us these particular kingdoms?

There are reasons why these particular kingdoms were selected and reasons for the order in which they were selected.  There are reasons why others were omitted.  Let me mention a few aspects of this so we better understand what God was trying to show us.

While it is true that Alexander's kingdom was one of the largest empires ever created in the ancient world, thus perhaps making it a "world kingdom" or maybe a "universal empire", that is not the case of the Babylonian empire, though it was a very rich kingdom in its time.  Rome was larger than Alexander's Empire, but certainly was not the largest empire ever created (for a list of the size of different empires of different eras of world history, see http://my.raex.com/~obsidian/earthrul.html).  There was plenty of world left for Rome to conquer, but they never did go beyond certain boundaries, both because they realized that they had reached the natural limits of their ability to govern and on one of their border areas in the Middle East, they were limited by the power of the Parthian Empire to the east, which they never did overcome.   

According to the book by Thomas J. Craughwell (How the Barbarian Invasions Shaped the Modern World, Fair Winds Press, Beverly, Massachusetts, USA, copyright 2008, page 14), at the height of the Roman Empire it covered about 2.2 million square miles (5.7 million square kilometers) and had probably about 120 million people.  That is a large empire and a very large number of people by ancient standards.  Such a large empire would require a very well educated work force and a very sophisticated government apparatus to goven it all.

As I will explain later in detail, both Babylon and Medo-Persia had their point of origins at the same time out of the Assyrian Empire.  But, this raises a rather interesting question.  Why is the lion, labeled Nebuchadnezzar through the head of gold in Daniel 2 and representing Babylon, shown to come up out of the water BEFORE the bear, representing Cyrus the Great (considered the founder of the Persian Empire) and Medo-Persia, when the facts of history demonstrate a simultaneous rise to power for both powers?  The answer to this question helps us get at the principle we need to understand.

The most obvious reason these particular kingdoms were shown is that they were the ones which most affected God's people.  There were other large empires that coexisted with the four empires Daniel was shown.  For example, at the time of the Babylonian Empire, the Medes apparently had a larger empire than the Babylonians, and the Median Empire got bigger as time went on.  But, what is interesting is that in Daniel's vision recorded in Daniel 7, the beast representing the Medes and Persians (the bear) did not come up out of the water until AFTER the beast which represented Babylon had come up.  If empire size and strength was the determining factor in whether it was shown as a beast to Daniel (after all, many talk about how these were "world kingdoms" as if size and strength was the reason they were shown to Daniel), then perhaps God should have shown the Medo-Persian beast first and perhaps altogether skipped the beast representing Babylon.  But, God did not do that for a good reason.  The Babylonian Empire was shown first because they were the first of the two empires to affect God's people. 

Now, do not misunderstand me on this, the four kingdoms were very powerful and rich kingdoms and were world class empires in many ways, for sure.  But, history does show us that we need to dig a bit deeper to understand just why these kingdoms were shown.  It is more than just size and strength that got them on the stage that God set up to display all of them for us.

Lets look at the Roman Empire and compare it to several of the other large kingdoms and empires of its time.  During the time of the Romans, there was the Parthian Empire to their east in what is today Iraq and Iran, which became quite large at one point.  To see more information about the Parthian Empire (238 BC to AD 226, also known as the Arsacid Empire), see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parthian_empire.  Note the map at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Parthia_001ad.jpg.  It was quite a large empire at its greatest extent and, though not as large as the Roman Empire, it was not a small empire by any measure.  It was a major power in its day. Even the Romans had to learn that the hard way in some of their battles against the Parthian army.
Around AD 1 there was the Han Dynasty in China, which was very large (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Han_Dynasty and map at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Han_map.jpg).  At about the same time, there was the Xiongnu Khanate (or empire) in what is probably today Northern China or maybe Southern Siberia which was also very large (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xiongnu_Empire and map at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hsiung-nu-Empire.png).  Thus, the Roman Empire, while large and certainly important, was not the only large empire in existence during its own time (see map at http://www.worldhistorymaps.info/images/East-Hem_001ad.jpg and zoom in on these empires for comparison). 
Obviously, these other empires that were in existence at the same time as Rome and in some ways comparable to Rome, were not represented in the dreams of Daniel 2 and 7.  If size and strength were the reasons for showing an empire, then why did God show the four particular empires instead of others that coexisted?  Well, the answer to that question has to do with the effect these countries would have upon God's people.  There can be no other logical explanation that makes much sense of the information available.  Consider the Han Dynasty of China.  How likely would it have been for it to have any significant impact upon God's people who were thousands of miles (or kilometers) away from it?  Do you say, very unlikely?  If so, you would be right.  Apparently that is the basis for the decisions God made to show some empires and not others that coexisted with those shown.  Babylon, in contrast with the Han Dynasty in China, definitely had a direct effect upon God's people, an effect that was to last in many respects throughout the remainder of Jewish history in Palestine.  Rome also had a very direct effect upon God's people and upon Jesus himself.
From this it should be clear that the reason the lion, representing Babylon, was shown was because it directly affected God's people.  The reason it was shown first before the bear was because it was the first of the four empires to directly affect God's people.  The bear came up second because it was the second empire to directly affect God's people.  Other kingdoms coexisting with these empires were not shown because they had little, if any, effect upon God's people.  The same idea would apply to the beasts representing the empires of Alexander the Great and the Romans.  This apparently is the basis for some empires being shown while others were omitted.

The principle to be extracted is this:  kingdoms were shown to Daniel IF they would have an effect upon God's people.  This same principle also should apply to the heads and horns shown on the beasts, meaning that heads or horns representing the divisions of an empire were shown only if they would have an effect upon God's people.  

The beasts were shown in the order in which they would affect God's people, which is why the lion was shown before the bear even though both kingdoms rose to power at the same time - 612 BC when the agreement between the Babylonians and the Medes to destroy Assyria was made effective, the point in time which is counted by God as their point of origin. 

The basic principle behind the principle extracted above is that God's central concern in the dreams shown to Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel and the visions shown to John was the welfare of his people.  That is the overriding issue in all of the information revealed to both Daniel and John and something we should keep in mind as we study Daniel and Revelation.  Political and religious empires are not the primary concern in spite of their prominent presentation in the prophecies, but rather whether they would affect God's people and to what degree God's people would be affected by them.  This is why the Papacy is presented as the talking horn and is why the last three trumpets are brought into view in Revelation 9 and 11 to symbolize the Muslims.  This is why the four empires of Daniel 7 were shown and further explained in the remainder of Daniel.  This central concern was God's primary reason for everything he revealed to us in Daniel and Revelation. The Bible shows us that this is God's central concern in this verse (and many others):

Amo 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, unless he reveals his secret unto his servants the prophets.

Very simple, is it not?

The Decree Transition Principle

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There is one other very important principle that applies which I will explain here.  It is called the Decree Transition Principle (http://www.666man.net/rule.html#Decree_Transition_Principle). 


To understand this principle, consider a little history.  Remember the leopard beast of Daniel 7?  Recall that the body of the leopard with the four wings upon it specifically represented the king line of Alexander the Great (the leopard as a whole could rightly be named Alexander just as the lion could correctly be named Nebuchadnezzar).  Alexander conquered the Persian Empire and then went to Babylon to set up his capital there, but he died only a couple of months later so never really got to "enjoy" the results of his conquest. 

After Alexander died, his unborn son (unborn at the time of Alexander's death but obviously that soon changed) and his half-brother (a mentally ill man) were placed on the throne and regents administered the kingdom on their behalf.  Eventually, both the son and the half-brother were murdered and the regents then ruled without the relatives of Alexander's on the throne.  During this time, the five remaining generals of Alexander were appointed as governors of the various provinces.  Over time, they decided that things were not working out at the capital (which was still Babylon), so they went their separate ways, taking their respective provinces with them.  Later (in 306 BC) one of these generals, Antigonus I, declared himself king of the province he governed.  The others quickly followed his lead on this and named themselves kings of their respective provinces. The kingdom had largely fallen apart before then but was not gone yet. This was another step in the final partition of it.

The five generals/kings were:

Antigonus I
- also had a son by the name of Demetrios who Antigonus I named co-king of his empire in 306 BC

Long before Antigonus I declared himself and his sons as co-kings of his empire, he wanted to reunite the entire empire, so began to take steps to put his plans into place.  The other four generals were dead set against this and was the major basis of the four wars they fought, which you can read about at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diadochi.  Note that the word diadochi is from a Greek word meaning "successor".

One very important concept to bear in mind when reading history is that most wars are caused by ideas. Somebody in a position of influence gets and idea and refuses to let it go no matter what it costs him or others.

Finally, towards the end of the fourth war between them, the four generals decided they had to permanently end the problem with Antigonus I and his son Demetrios, so chose to combine resources and go against him in one final effort to stop him.  While preparing for the final battle, the four generals soon realized that even with all their forces combined, Antigonus I still had a slight military advantage over them.  So, they considered various methods to overcome this disadvantage and finally settled on a strategy which they believed would likely succeed. 

A short time prior to this fourth battle of the Diadochi, Seleucus, according to some reports, had exchanged land in India, land that Alexander had captured previously, for 500 war elephants.  The exchange reportedly was made with a ruler in India by the name of Chandragupta.  They made the swap, and when the battle of Ipsus occurred, many of the elephants were brought into the battle and proved pivotal to winning it ("Ipsus, Battle of." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica 2009 Ultimate Reference Suite.  Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2009 and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ipsus and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ipsus,_Battle_of). 

In the battle of Ipsus, Antigonus I, who was over 80 years of age and yet fought in the battle, was killed.  His son, Demetrios, escaped.   After the battle was over, negotiations among the four generals divided up the empire.  For some reason, they allowed Demetrios to have a small amount of territory to rule. He was not present for the negotiations, of course, since he was on the run from them and therefore could not be present to sign the agreement that was reached and he had nothing to do with the negotiations over the division of the empire. Apparently Demetrios ended up with only the cities of Tyre and Sidon, the Phoenician coastal area, some islands on the Mediterranean Sea, and some of the cities of Greece.  His kingdom was greatly reduced after the battle in comparison to the land area he and his father had ruled previously.  But because of his claim upon some of the Islands in the Mediterranean, he was soon able to reassert himself through naval superiority.  However, he never regained anywhere near the large territory that he and his father once possessed.  In time, the fact that he was not killed in the battle of Ipsus came back to haunt the other four generals and their successors.

In the case of the leopard beast, the number of heads was probably literal and was only four in number.  The reason is very simple.  The Jewish people had spread over much of the Mediterranean Greek world by the time of the battle of Ipsus and eastward into Babylon, so all four kingdoms that came out of the battle of Ipsus had an impact upon them (for more information, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_diaspora).  This was particularly true of the kingdoms of the Ptolomies and the Seleucids because they battled back and fourth over the land of the Jews.  However, because of the spread of the Jewish people into the four kingdoms, there are four heads on the beast rather than just two to represent the two that battled over the Jewish land.   Also, there are four heads because there were four generals/kings who signed the agreement dividing the land. These were the kings of those territories.

The ruler in India, Chandragupta, had a kingdom and territory which had no impact whatsoever upon the people of God. Therefore, there is no reason to believe that he was represented as a head upon the leopard beast. Moreover, he was not a party to the agreement that was signed after the battle of Ipsus, so could not have been represented as a head on the beast for that. In addition, the land he acquired through the swap of elephants for territory was added to his already existing kingdom so did not become an independent kingdom of its own. In the prophecy given to Daniel recorded in chapter 8, he was told that four kingdoms would stand up out of the original one empire of Alexander's. the land that Chandragupta acquired was not a kingdom that would stand up on its own, but rather became ppart of another kingdom. Thus, it could not fulfill the prophecy because it was not an independent kingdom that could stand up on its own. It became part of another kingdom that never was part of Alexander's kingdom in the first place.

There were several very small kingdoms that came out of the territory Alexander the Great had ruled which the four generals did not or were unable to claim for themselves.  These kingdoms were not represented as heads on the leopard, probably for the reason that they had no impact on the people of God and their rulers were also not present for the signing of the agreement.  It is not their size per se that determined whether they were represented as heads, but whether or not they would have a direct impact upon God's people and whether they were party to the agreement that divided the kingdom.  The same criteria that determined whether a horn or head on a beast was shown to Daniel was based on the same principle that determined whether a beast representing a particular kingdom was shown to Daniel: whether they would affect God's people and were the successors of the previous empire and from territory of the previous empire where it would affect God's people.  The only added difference is that these territories also had to be represented by someone who could sign the agreement after the battle of Ipsus was over. It seems that if they had no one to sign for them, then they were not represented as heads on the beast.

This does not mean that these kingdoms that affected God's people would always necessarily rule the Jewish land (the beasts had to but that does not seem to hold for the heads or horns), but instead that God's people would be affected by them.  Jews had been dispersed around the Mediterranean because of the Assyrians and Babylonians prior to Alexander's kingdom for several different reasons.  Business activity probably caused them to move around quite a bit as time progressed. 

Prior to the battle of Ipsus, there were actually six kings and five kingdoms among which the territory of Alexander's had been divided.  Logically, the question should arise: why was there not one additional head shown on the leopard beast for the six kings?  Logically, there should have been four heads for the four generals that later divided the empire and one extra head for Antigonus I and his son, Demetrios, both of whom were co-kings of the Antigonid Empire and therefore could have been counted as one head.  Daniel 7:17 does say that the beasts are kings, does it not?  And kings are representative of king lines.  There were five king lines among the six kings, so God could have shown five heads on the leopard beast.  Just so you are clear that the father-son team of the Antigonid kings should be represented by only one head, consider the example we have in the city of Babylon with the father-son co-kings of Nabonidus and Belshazzar.  If God had intended that such a situation be represented by two heads on a beast, then the lion would have had two heads on it, but because it was not shown that way, it indicates that God intended that we count a father-son co-king team as one king line. 

The fact that there were only four heads instead of five heads on the leopard beast is rather puzzling when you consider that the territory that the Antigonids held included the Jewish homeland, so they definitely had a strong impact upon God's people until the battle of Ipsus.  Thus, having possession of the land of Israel is not necessarily the criteria for inclusion as a head or horn (though it was the criteria for the four beasts), but rather it is how much impact a kingdom has upon God's people at the point in time when God marks the events in progress.  In this case, God marked the events in progress at the time of the agreement made after the battle of Ipsus rather than during the time of the Antigonid kings.  It is for this reason that only four heads rather than five heads were shown upon the leopard beast. 

It seems that the only way to logically understand this is to realize that God notes or marks conditions at a certain point in time for determining how he presents the prophetic beasts and their heads and horns.  He has a criteria by which he decides when to show conditions as they are represented on the beasts.  The point in time which God marks or takes note of is almost always based on the conditions present at a point in time when decrees are issued.  These decrees can be written or verbally given declarations, laws, decisions, changes to a Constitution, or even agreements among rulers.  Knowing who is directly affected by those decrees or agreements is an important element in what is shown.  In the visions or dreams he gave to Daniel and John, he represented conditions present at those marked points in time for heads or horns that exist then and those which immediately follow for any given beast (assuming it has multiple heads or multiple horns on it). 

By now I am sure you are probably thoroughly confused by what I have just said, so let me try to explain this in another way.  To understand what this means, consider that the leopard had four heads, not five.  The four heads represent conditions that prevailed immediately after (one minute will do just fine) the end of negotiations and signing of the agreement between the four generals/kings over how to divide the land they obtained through the battle of Ipsus.  The four heads do NOT represent conditions before the battle of Ipsus because, prior to the negotiations between them, specifically until the battle was over, there should have been five heads on the leopard for the six kings.  Once the battle was over, there were only four generals remaining as kings of territory that would have a significant effect upon God's people and who were part of the agreement.  Antigonus I was dead and his son, Demetrios, was on the run and in hiding because he knew the four generals were out to kill him.  He was not represented at the discussions to divide up his empire.  Because his father was dead and he was no longer in control of territory that would have an impact upon God's people, this left four to negotiate the division of the empire.  The agreement is important because this made it a legal agreement so that anyone not signing would not be recognized as a legitimate successor to Alexander and would not be recognized as a legitimate ruler. Consequently, we see four heads on the leopard beast.  This tells us that the agreement among the four generals to divide the kingdom four ways is the point in time at which God marked or noted the conditions of Alexander's Empire.  God did not show five heads so did not determine the number of heads at the point in time where there were 6 kings, but waited until there was an agreement in place to officially divide the empire among the four generals/kings.  At the point of the agreement, God marked this point in time by showing four heads on the leopard beast  Does this make sense to you? 

If you were to stand beside the leopard beast of Daniel 7 and walked past it moving from the tail towards the nose, you would first pass the tail, then the body, and would then you would walk past the four heads.  The tail has no symbolic significance so can be ignored.  Obviously, the change from the body of the leopard to the four heads represents the change that took place in Alexander's kingdom in which the kingdom was divided among the four generals through an agreement.  In other words, when there is a change from the body to the heads on the leopard beast, representing the change from Alexander's line of kings which sat on the throne (with regents to rule for them) to the four generals as successors, there was a decree or agreement that marks that change. 

But that is not the end of the matter.  Things soon changed which show that the heads began immediately, were simultaneous, and that conditions which prevailed at the point of the agreement were soon changed, something that shows that God was not marking things far down the road, say, one hundred years later.  Before explaining this, let us back up in time a few years in the history of Alexander's Empire and learn of another way to validate the criteria by which God uses to choose to mark events.

There was a decree in 311 BC, but only five generals then (Antigonus I had not yet declared himself and his son as kings). Why did God not show 5 heads on the leopard beast to mark the agreement of 311 BC?  Why bother waiting until 301 BC? This certainly is a fair question.  Due to the fact that Antigonus wanted to reconstitute the empire and the others were opposed to this, they fought four major wars, mostly over this question.  Because of the severe damage that several of these wars had caused, they got tired of war for a while and consequently, there was a peace agreement signed between the five generals in 311 BC.  The empire was divided up among them at that time, but it did not settle the ultimate question, which was whether or not the empire would be permanently divided as the four generals wanted or put back together again as Antigonus I wanted.  It turns out that Antigonus I did not give up his plan.  He just delayed it for a while.  It is very likely that the peace agreement gave him time to rebuild.  And it probably put the rest of them more at ease with him, so likely making them more vulnerable to him when he went back to war against them later.

The lesson from this is that the battle of Ipsus accomplished one very important task: it forever settled the question about whether the empire would be put together again.  After the battle, it was very clear to all that this would never happen  (Angus Konstam, Historical Atlas of Ancient Greece, Checkmark Books (http://www.factsonfile.com), New York, New York, Copyright 2003 by Thalamus Publishing, page 178).  The agreement formalized the permanent division of the empire (unlike the agreement of 311 BC, which was not permanent even though they thought it was at the time it was signed), which is why God chose the agreement of 301 BC rather than the agreement of 311 BC to mark.  The battle in 301 BC forever settled the question of the destiny of the empire.  The four heads reflect the presence of the four main kings of the empire who would affect God's people which came out of it as a direct result of this question being answered. 

From this we can definitely say that the four heads of the leopard beast are literal.  They represent the four generals/kings who divided the empire four main ways.  The fact that there were four heads instead of five heads tells us that the marking point was at the time when the agreement was signed in 301 BC.  It also tells us that neither Antigonus I nor his son were represented by heads of the leopard beast.  If God had represented the kingdom of Antigonus I at or after the battle of Ipsus, it would almost certainly have been represented as a new beast. One more evidence that the four heads are literal is the fact that there is no definition in Daniel that defines the number four as symbolic.

Now, as said before, the battle of Ipsus settled the question about the empire's destiny, but it did not prevent changes from taking place.  Further, Demetrios was determined to implement his father's plan, though he never got very far with it because he had not the power to implement it.  The empire was permanently dead and not about to be resurrected.

After the four generals divided the empire, the divisions were in a frequent state of war trying to make adjustments to the permanent status of the divisionns of the former Empire.  This was not a question of whether the empire would be recreated (except for Demetrios), but rather there were disputes among several of the generals about the territory that they received during the negotiations.  They were not entirely happy with it.  For example, Seleucus did not like the fact that Ptolemy got territory reaching into Southern Syria because he preferred to have more space between himself and Ptolemy.  Meanwhile, Cassander, who had Macedonia and Greece itself, died in 298 BC (possibly 297 BC), leaving it to his two sons, both of whom apparently argued with each other and proved weaklings.  In 294 BC, one of them (Alexander) appealed to Demetrios for help, who invaded, killed Alexander, and took Greece and Macedonia for himself.  Thus, the kingdom of Macedonia and Greece passed into the hands of Demetrios.  Demetrios was unable to take over either the league cities of Greece or the European territory controlled by Lysimmachus, which was Thrace (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thrace).  His kingdom did eventually become stable and remained until the Romans took it In 168 BC.  But, before Demetrios died, due to more unrest in which Seleucus and the king of Pyrrhus invaded and drove Demetrios out, Demetrios was captured by Seleucus and died in prison, apparently of an overdose of alcohol (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diadochi#The_struggle_over_Macedon.2C_298-285_BC and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antigonid_dynasty).  The son of Demetrios, Antigonus II Gonatus, continued the fight to recover Macedonia and eventually, in 276 BC, succeeded (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antigonid_dynasty).  After this, a relatively more peaceful time finally reigned over the region until the Romans came.

The capture of Macedonia and Greece by Demetrios changed things.  This effectively removed one of the heads from the leopard beast because the line of Cassander, who was one of the generals that defeated Antigonus and was counted by God as one of the four generals to represent as heads on the leopard beast, was gone.  So, if God had chosen to represent things at any point in time starting after Demetrios took Macedonia and Greece, there would have been only three heads on the leopard instead of four.  The four headed condition of the leopard beast lasted for only seven years and no more (301 BC to 294 BC)!  This shows that God was very specific in choosing this particular point in time because it is a narrow window of time.

But there is more!  Things changed again.  Here is what Wikipedia says about the next event:

"Soon Lysimachus made the fatal mistake of having his son Agathocles (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agathocles_%28son_of_Lysimachus%29) murdered at the say-so of his second wife, Arsinoe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arsinoe_II_of_Egypt) (282 BC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/282_BC)). Agathocles's widow, Lysandra (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysandra), fled to Seleucus, who now made war upon Lysimachus. Seleucus, after appointing his son Antiochus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antiochus_I_Soter) ruler of his Asian territories, defeated and killed Lysimachus at the battle of Corupedium (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Corupedium) in Lydia in 281 BC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/281_BC), but Seleucus did not live to enjoy his triumph for long - he was almost immediately murdered by Ptolemy Ceraunus, for reasons that remain unclear."

After these events of 281 BC, there were really only two heads left because there were only two of the lines of kings of the original four remaining.  Thus, if God had wanted to show the leopard beast to represent the successors of Alexander the Great after 281 BC, he would have shown only two heads on it. 

The implications of this are obvious.  The only way to logically explain that God showed four heads instead of 5 or 3 or 2 or 1 is that the agreement among the generals in 301 BC was the marking point, which was chosen because the battle just before it had forever settled the question of the destiny of the empire and there was an agreement or decree signed then.  The agreement formalized the permanent recognition of that reality.  It is the only thing that makes any real sense of the events and the way they were represented.  The marking point is the point in time at which God determines and counts the kings.  He did NOT count them earlier nor did he count them later.  And neither should we.  We should not worry about what happened later or whether the kingdoms survived for a long time.  That was not the point of the four heads or the prophecy, especially given that several were gone within 20 years.  The point was that there were four heads on the leopard because that is when the agreement took place which permanently answered the question of the destiny of the empire.  In other words, the agreement that answers the overriding question is the point at which God marks things for us.  What came earlier or later was largely irrelevant to the prophecy except for prophetic events which are specified for the heads.  For two of the heads, there are prophecies later in Daniel that do cover their activities in detail (they are the Kings of the North (Seleucids) and South (Ptolemies)) in Daniel 11. 

Therefore, when God marks things at the point of a decree, it will answer an important question regarding some aspect of the future of a kingdom.

This principle is found in other places in Daniel and Revelation.  If you examine the fourth dreadful looking beast of Daniel 7, there is a decree marking the change from the one body and one head of that beast to the ten horns.  The same is found true of the beasts of Revelation 12, 13, and 17.  Whenever there is a change

  • from the body to several heads (for example, the leopard beast of Daniel 7), or
  • from one head to several horns (for example, the fourth dreadful looking beast of Daniel 7), or
  • from several heads to several horns (for example, the sea beast of Revelation 13),

there is always a decree from a king or ruler (this can be merely a verbal decree, law, or declaration as well as a written one), an agreement, or a change in the fundamental law underlying a government (which constitutes an agreement of how a society will govern itself - a constitution usually) or a power.  Such decrees, agreements, or even constitutions will settle certain questions that came before and will also set conditions for the immediate future. 

There is another Biblical example of God using a decree to recognize the start of a definite prophetic time period.  In Daniel 9, God said that "from the time that a decree goes out to rebuild and restore Jerusalem...." (paraphrase mine), then a time period of 2300 prophetic days would begin.  Thus, a decree is the marking point from which it started and is measured. 

After the battle of Ipsus during the negotiations of the four generals/kings, Cassander was happy about the outcome of the battle.  He was happy with the territory that he already possessed, Greece, so did not ask for additional territory.  But he asked that his brother, Pleistarchos, receive the southern coastal provinces of what is today Turkey (then commonly called Anatolia).  Lysimmachus, from his own territory, gave this territory to Pleistarchos, which he took and apparently formed it into a small but insignificant kingdom.  This is believed to have been done to put some separation between Lysimmachus and Seleucus, who tended to fight each other, but it did not work because within 20 years, they were fighting again and Lysimmachus was defeated, killed, and his kingdom annexed into the kingdom of Seleucus'. 

The small kingdoms (Cilicia and Lycia) given to Pleistarchos were soon swallowed by Demetrios, so they did not last long.  Ptolemy, in Egypt, obtained additional territory that extended northward through Palestine and on into Southern Syria.  Seleucus received some additional territory in northern Syria, while Lysimmachus received what is today Western Turkey, Macedonia and Thrace.  Demetrios was allowed to keep only the cities of Tyre and Sidon in what is today Lebanon, some islands in the Mediterranean Sea, and several Greek cities, while the rest of the kingdom he and his father had previously ruled was taken from him and divided among three of the generals (Lysimmachus, Ptolemy, and Seleucus, with Cassander not taking any territory from the territory of Antigonus).  For more information, see the book Alexander The Great Failure, by John D. Grainger, Continuum Books (http://www.continuumbooks.com), New York, New York, USA, copyright 2007, pages 133-134 (this book emphasizes the generals who were the successors of Alexander's kingdom).  

To see a map BEFORE the final division of Alexander's empire in 301 BC, see http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/archive/1/15
.  Very informative map!  Note the relatively large size of Antigonus I's kingdom.

To see a map immediately AFTER the division of the empire in 301 BC, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Diadochi.png

Historians have prepared maps that show the kingdoms of the four successors of Alexander. Most such maps show the kingdoms of Cassander, Lysimachus, Seleucus and Ptolemy, but one some of their maps, it shows the kingdom of Demetrios as one of the four successors in place of Cassander. This is incorrect because the prophecy said that four kingdoms would stand up out of Alexander's empire. When did that happen? In 301 BC after the battle of Ipsus. Hence, though some historians may think that Demecrios is one of the four successors, it is apparent that God did not do that. The prophecy was fulfilled the moment the agreement was signed by the four generals and the kingdom was officially divided four main ways. Once it has been fulfilled, there is no need to look for a future fulfillment because at that very moment, God's word has been shown true.

One more important point is that the territory covered by the four heads were the four kingdoms into which they divided the empire of Alexander.  But, more importantly, only the territory that Alexander had previously ruled could be included in the agreement.  This has important implications for other beasts that came up later which had multiple heads or horns.  It means that those heads or horns can only come from that which is owned by the predecessor of the heads or horns. It also means that for beasts with multiple heads/horns, you cannot put heads or horns on it that represent kingdoms that did not originate from the kingdom represented by the body of the beast.  It is impossible for it to be otherwise.  It also means that any kingdoms put on it as heads or horns must have been owned by the kingdom represented by the body of the beast.  Let us make up an example to facilitate your understanding of this:  Suppose it is said that one of the four heads of the leopard beast was China, another was India, another was Japan, and the fourth was Russia.  Is that at all possible?  No.  The reason is that Alexander the Great did not own any of those kingdoms.  Do you see the point?  The body of the leopard beast represented the kingdom owned by Alexander the Great.  The four heads can come ONLY from territory that he previously owned.  Therefore, China, India, Japan, and Russia cannot be represented by the four heads of the leopard in this hypothetical situation. Just think of it this way, if you wish. The heads are owned by the body so cannot come from elsewhere.

In the case of the fourth dreadful looking beast of Daniel 7, which represented the Roman Empire, there was a decree in which the child emperor gave up his throne (he had to resign somehow and whether it was done in writing or verbally, it still constituted a decree as it was his last official act as emperor of Rome).  In so doing, he officially gave the throne to another ruler (Odoacer - several articles about him are available at http://www.answers.com/topic/odoacer and at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odoacer), who in the same year (476) wrote a letter (which, because of the nature of it, is the equivalent of a decree) to the Eastern Roman Emperor in Constantinople (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantinople).  In the letter, Odoacer gave up any claim to the Western Roman Empire and offered it to the Eastern Roman Emperor, Zeno (ruled AD 474 to AD 491).  However, the Eastern Roman Emperor could not effectively rule the Western Roman Empire and he did not really want to anyway.  There was little revenue from the remainder of the Western Roman Empire, so it did not pay for Constantinople to administrate it.  Had they tried to rule the Western Roman Empire, it probably would have bankrupted them in the process.  They would have had to have gone into the territory of the Western Roman Empire and fight a number of battles to assert their authority, something that they clearly did not want to do.  Besides, they almost certainly did not have the money for such a massive operation.  Only a few years before they had lost a lot of money, a large navy, and many men in a joint battle with the Western Roman Empire against the Vandals in North Africa in 468 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vandals and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Africa).  They were really not in a position to undertake something as large as trying to assert their authority over the Western Roman Empire successor kingdoms.  Therefore, they did nothing to contest the developing situation.  Consequently, new nations sprouted up out of the Western Roman Empire territory because they knew that neither Roman Empire could rule over them.  They were free and they knew it.

Thus, through two decrees, the nations of the Western Roman Empire were made safe from any further interference from Rome or Constantinople.  These decrees answered the question of whether the new kingdoms would remain independent or would be brought back into the fold of the Western Roman Empire.  They knew that there was no further need to worry about that.  Therefore, it is at the point of the second of these two decrees (476) that God marks their existence.  The ten horns then appeared on the head of the dreadful looking beast of Daniel 7. 

There is another evidence that the ten horns appeared in 476.  Consider the talking horn.  It appeared AFTER the ten horns appeared.  Now, we know from history that this event happened in 538.  Therefore, the ten horns had to have appeared BEFORE the talking horn, logically at the fall of Rome.  Therefore, the point at which they appear MUST BE the time of the two decrees.

The direct parties to the decrees of 476 were the child emperor, Odoacer, and Zeno.  The indirect parties affected by these decrees were the leaders of the nations of the Western Roman Empire which had come into existence prior to the decrees, all of which directly benefitted from the decrees and which effectively permanently legalized their existence (some were probably legal before then because of treaties with Rome).  The territory covered by the agreement was only the Western Roman Empire, both as it was and as it had once been.  The decrees of 476 did not do anything with the territory owned by the Eastern Roman Empire and could not because Odoacer did not have jurisdiction over the Eastern Roman Empire territory.  The nations that had been springing up are seen as the legitimate successors of the Western Roman Empire.  Anything outside of the Western Roman Empire is out of the range of the decrees and not part of the legitimate successors of the Western Roman Empire.

Again, just as in the case of the leopard beast, why did God choose the decrees of 476 to mark the change from the head of the dreadful looking beast and the ten horns?  The decrees answered the question for everyone then living of whether Rome would find some way to reassert its authority over the territories that it had lost or forever let them go their own way.  Some might argue that it had no money to reassert its authority so could not do so, and perhaps that was true.  But Rome had often been very resourceful and many times had managed to accomplish things that seemed impossible.  They had built up their empire through alliances with others, so who is to say that some resourceful leader might have found a way to do it again?  It would not have been easy, but probably not impossible.  Because history did not go that direction due to the advent of Odoacer and the subsequent decrees, we will never know.  

Clearly, just as was the case with the leopard beast in which God chose to use a decree to mark the change from the body to the four heads, likewise for Rome, the decrees of 476 were the point at which God chose to represent the change from the body and head of the fourth dreadful looking beast to the ten horns.  The decrees formally set the conditions that would immediately and permanently exist.  There was no turning back from that point forward.  Western Rome was a has been empire at that moment.  The decrees of 476 also means that to count the ten horns, we should count the kingdoms of 476, not the ones existing 1500 years later.  In fact, only one of the original tribes has a nation that has survived until modern times, and that is the Franks.  All others are constituted from rearrangements of boundaries so that the original tribal regions no longer match with national boundaries that exist today.  What this means is that of the ten literal horns that many count, only one still exists.  All others have fallen.  This is true even though the proponents of the literal ten horns theory claim that seven of the ten still exist today.  That is not actually true.  What is true is that the descendants of the tribes still exist, but of the original nations the tribes formed in 476, only one still exists today.  That certainly argues against claiming, for example, that Germany comes from the Alamanni tribe.  Germany in fact is constituted from several different tribes and cannot be said to be the descendants of one tribe.  It was politically, in fact, created from a division of the kingdom of the Franks in the middle of the 9th century, so really should be seen as a kingdom of the Franks.

One more important detail.  If the four generals represented by the four heads of the leopard beast of Daniel 7 had been brothers or close relatives so that they would have been considered to be of the same line AND they could be considered rightful heirs of the throne, then even if they divided the empire four ways, there would have still been only one head on the leopard.  There would not have been four heads on it.  That may be hard to understand, but more about this will be explained later in relation to the beast that represented Rome.  As it was, because they were unrelated to one another, there were four heads rather than one head. 


A Few More Details of What Happened to the Four Kingdoms That Were the Divisions of Alexander's Empire

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When Alexander was dying in June of 323 BC, he was asked who was to receive the kingdom.  His answer was something to the effect that "It goes to the strongest".  That simple statement set off wars that raged off and on for nearly the next 50 years over the territory of his empire.

After the four generals divided the empire, the divisions were in a frequent state of war trying to settle the permanent status of the former Empire.  All of their battles were over these two questions:

  • Until the agreement in 301 BC, the question was: Would the empire would be reconstituted?
  • After the agreement in 301 BC, several of the generals were unhappy with the territory they received or that another one acquired.  Could they fix that?

As mentioned before, Cassander, who had Macedonia and Greece itself, died in 298 BC (possibly 297 BC), leaving it to his two sons, both of whom apparently argued with each other and proved weaklings.  One of them (Alexander) appealed to Demetrios for help, who invaded, killed Alexander, and took Greece and Macedonia for himself.  Thus, the kingdom of Macedonia and Greece passed into the hands of Demetrios.  He was unable to take over either the league cities of Greece or the territory controlled by Lysimmachus, Thrace.  Though Demetrios died a few years later, his descendants were able to establish a stable kingdom.

Meanwhile, in Egypt, Ptolemy designated his younger son (Ptolemy Philadelphus - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ptolemy_II_Philadelphus) as the heir.  The eldest, Ptolemy Ceraunus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ptolemy_Ceraunus), was very unhappy about being passed over for this appointment and he fled to Seleucus.  Ptolemy I (the eldest) died in his sleep in 282 BC, the only one of the four generals to do so, and Ptolemy II Philadelphus succeeded him.  This established the kingdom of Ptolemy in Egypt as a long-lived kingdom that remained until 30 BC. 

In 281 BC, Seleucus attacked Lysimmachus and killed him and defeated his army at the battle of Corupedium (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Corupedium) in Lydia in 281 BC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/281_BC).  At this point the kingdom owned by Lysimmachus ended because the territory in Turkey then passed to Seleucus.  When Seleucus went to Thrace in 281 BC to claim the territory that he had gained from his battle against Lysimmachus, he was murdered by the oldest son of Ptolemy I of Egypt, Ptolemy Ceraunus.  That threw the entire set of territories that he owned into chaos.  His son took over and had difficulty controlling the territory.  The borders of the Seleucid Empire were finally well defined during the reign of Antiochus III (223 BC -187 BC), but not before.  In time, the territory in Turkey eventually fell into much smaller kingdoms which had great difficulty succeeding.  They failed for the same reasons the city-states of the Greeks had failed.  They were eventually absorbed by Rome (Angus Konstam, Historical Atlas of Ancient Greece, Checkmark Books (http://www.factsonfile.com), New York, New York, Copyright 2003 by Thalamus Publishing, pages 178-179).  The Seleucid Empire eventually became stable and between it and the Ptolemy kingdom in Egypt, both had great effects upon God's people.  Thus, of the original four territories of the four generals, by 281 only three territories were ruled by two of the descendants of the four generals in 280 BC, two territories of which had been joined together into one.

As mentioned before, Seleucid's Empire eventually began a decline and the territory it held in Turkey broke up into very small kingdoms.  These were:

There may have been a few other smaller kingdoms.

Further east, in the northern parts of the Seleucid Empire, Armenia and Atropatene formed independent kingdoms by 188 BC.  By 90 BC, Edessa had also formed out of the northern end of the Seleucid Empire.

The final end of the empire is stated by Wikipedia as follows:

"This division [Antigonids owned Macedonia and part of Greece, Seleucids owned Turkey, Syria, Northern Palestine, Babylonia, today's Iran and Afghanistan, and the Ptolemies owned Egypt and part of Palestine] was to last for a century, before the Antigonid Kingdom (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antigonid_dynasty) finally fell to Rome (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_republic), and the Seleucids (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seleucid_Empire) were harried from Persia by the Parthians (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parthia) and forced by the Romans (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Rome) to relinquish control in Asia Minor (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asia_Minor). A rump Seleucid kingdom limped on in Syria (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syria) until finally put to rest by Pompey (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pompey) in 64 BC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/64_BC). The Ptolemies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ptolemaic_dynasty) lasted longer in Alexandria (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandria): Egypt finally fell to Rome in 30 BC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/30_BC)"  (quoted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diadochi).

For more information, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diadochi#The_struggle_over_Macedon.2C_298-285_BC and http://www.livius.org/di-dn/diadochi/diadochi.htm.  Also see the map at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Diadochi.png.  Additional information is also available at the following Internet addresses:


Is the Number Ten Literal Or Symbolic?

The Evidence

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Because there were more than ten kingdoms that formed out of the territory that once was the Western Roman Empire by 476, anyone who understands this should at least question the idea that the number ten is literal.  But, of course, this should be settled only by the Bible.  The question is whether the Bible defines the number ten to be literal or symbolic.  While there are those that contend the number ten is literal because they believe that everything in prophecy is literal unless it cannot be otherwise, that does not mean they are right about this.  The Bible normally has its own definitions for symbolic things, something that most never think to check into when it comes to the number ten in Daniel.  This may be a bit of a surprise to many, but there is a symbolic definition for the number ten in the book of Daniel.  Here is the evidence:

Dan 1:17 As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.

Dan 1:18 Now at the end of the days that the king had said he should bring them in, then the prince of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar.

Dan 1:19 And the king spoke with them; and among them all was found none like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: therefore stood they before the king.

Dan 1:20 And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm.

Now, think about this carefully for a minute.  The king of Babylon found Daniel and his three friends to be ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers in all his realm.  Now, honestly, do you think that they were literally ten times smarter than all the others?  Given that the average IQ is considered to be 100, do you honestly think these guys had an IQ of 1,000?  By comparison, Isaac Newton was a very smart man.  Some have estimated that his IQ was probably somewhere between 250 and 300.  He was one of the smartest men to have ever lived, though it is true that Solomon was likely smarter and people who lived before the flood of Noah were likely smarter yet.  But it is doubtful that even these exceptions had an IQ that much exceeded that of Isaac Newton.  So, how could these fellows in Babylon have had an IQ of 1,000?

And if they were not smarter, then how would they have been ten time better than all their peers?

You should be able to see the point.  The number ten is a figure of speech, a symbolic number meaning something to the effect that these guys in Babylon were just a whole lot smarter and better at what they were trained to do than those around them. And clearly, since this number is defined this way in Daniel, it should apply to the prophetic beasts within that book and the book of Revelation.  Therefore, the number ten is symbolic instead of literal.

But, notwithstanding this evidence, there are those who will contend that the number ten is literal because the usual rule is that everything is literal unless it cannot be otherwise.  Therefore, according to such people, the number ten must be literal!!!  Well, one could argue that in other ways as well.  For example, one could say that because the number ten is literal, then the beast is literal (if these people choose to ignore the definition given in Daniel 1:20, then we can argue that the definition the angel gives in Daniel 7:17 can be ignored also).  One could say that the waters the beasts of Daniel 7 come up out of are literal water and not symbolic (who is able to prove conclusively that the definition in Revelation 17 for water applies in Daniel?)  One could say that the winds are literal and not symbolic.  One could argue that the earth the beasts stand upon is literal.  One could take this to whatever extreme one wants to and make almost everything literal. 

The point is this: there are always those who can say that most everything is literal and alter the meaning by so doing.  There are always going to be those who will disagree about whether things are literal or symbolic in the vision of Daniel.  What is reasonable is this: the angel told Daniel that the beasts are symbolic.  If the beasts are symbolic, then it is reasonable to say that everything about the vision is symbolic unless it cannot be otherwise.  Of course, the count of the number of horns on the beast is itself literal, but that does not mean the literal count is not symbolic of something else just as the water can be literal and yet can be symbolic of something else.  This turns the usual rule on its head, but it is sensible if you think about it carefully.  Consider that if the beasts are symbolic, then why not the waters they come out of?  And why not the earth they stand upon?  And why not the winds?  But, the judgment scene in the middle of the vision should be seen as literal because it could hardly be otherwise.

However, the idea that the usual rule should be turned on its head is actually based on the definitions given in the Bible.  The fact is that the angel does tell us that the beasts and horns are symbolic in Daniel 7.  Those are the only things that he actually directly tells us in the vision itself that they are symbolic.  All other symbolic elements are defined elsewhere.  There is the statement in Revelation 17 that clarifies that the waters are symbolic.  There are things in Revelation 12 and 13 as well as Daniel 7 and 8 which clarify that the earth is symbolic.  We have evidence in Revelation 7 that the winds are symbolic.  And finally, we have the definition from Daniel 1 that the number ten is symbolic, which we can apply in Daniel 7 and also in Revelation 12, 13, and 17.  We have these definitions, so should stick with them and not just pick and choose where we want to apply them. 

There is no definition in Daniel or Revelation that the numbers seven or three are symbolic, so can consider them symbolic only in relation to the arithmetic connected with the number ten in Daniel 7.  Otherwise, they are literal.

There is a second line of evidence that suggests the number ten is symbolic rather than literal. Here it the evidence:

In Revelation 17:12, the ten horns are said to be ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom. It is true that most think that the ten horns are ten nations of Europe or maybe ten divisinos of the world or something on that order. They perceive them to be political powers. However, that is very unlikely to be true. Consider that they come from a religious power becaues the beast and its heads are clearly Papal, something that the blasphemy on the beast clarifies for us. Yet, these are clearly a separate power from the Papacy, so have to be a power that comes from the Papacy and yet later separated from it. The only powers that can qualify for that are the Protestant religions. Therefore, the ten kings are the leaders of Protestant Religions who at the time the angel spoke from (during the time of Pope Paul VI), had not yet received a kingdom, meaning they had not yet received power over the people of God in which they could prosecute them for heresy just as the Catholic Church did in the past. But, there are thousands of Protestant Religions, so which of them do we pick? Do we pick the ten largest, the ten oldest, or perhaps be a bit biased and pick the ten we most favor? How do you decide? Or, should we be making assumptions like that when we do have evidence that the number is symbolic? Therefore, would it not make much more sense to say that these ten kings actually represent ALL of the Protestant Churches that will eventually join with end-time Babylon? If so, then the number ten is symbolic as that is about the only thing that makes good sense of the information about the ten horns in Revelation 17.

This is something to consider because it is consistent with the idea that the number ten is symbolic in Daniel 7.

Another definiton of the number ten as a symbolic number is found in Revelation 2, which says this:

Rev 2:10 Fear none of those things which you will suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that you may be tried; and you shall have tribulation ten days: be faithful unto death, and I will give you a crown of life.

This was written to the church in Smyrna. In history, there is no known instance where significant persecution occurred over a literal ten days. Therefore, there is good reason to believe that this is a reference to a period of about ten years of persecution that may have started under the Eastern Roman Emperor Diocletian. That being the case, the number here is symbolic, where a day stands for a year.

Diocletian is known for beginning a period of persecution of Christians in the Eastern Roman Empire beginning in the year 303 and continuing past his retirement in 305 until the year 313 when Constantine ! wrote the Edict of Milan in which all were given freedom to practice their religion. You can read the details of this at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diocletianic_Persecution.  Several thousands of Christians were martyred in the east during this time.  In the west, very little persecution was carried out by Maximiam and Constantius I Chlorus (Nigel Rodgers, The Rise and Fall of Ancient Rome, Anness Publishing Ltd. at http://www.annesspublishing.com and Hermes House Publishing at http://www.hermeshouse.com, copyright 2004, 2007, page 73).  More information found at: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/persec1.html, http://www.bible-researcher.com/persecution.html and http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20071111223223AA97yyr.

The point of this, of course, is that each of the churches in Revelation 2 and 3 represents a successive time period of the then future church history and the Smyrna church encompassed the time when Diocletian was the Eastern Roman Emperor. The ten days of persecution that is mentioned in the prophecy in Revelation 2:10 is symbolic of the ten literal years of persecution that Diocletian and his successors carried out against Christians from 303 to 313.

This is a sensible interpretation, especially given that there is no record in history of persecution in Smyrna lasting only ten literal days, but there is one of ten literal years of persecution. Clearly, If ten is symbolic here in Revelation, it can also be so in Daniel.

It is true that the number ten is used in a literal way in Daniel 1:12, 14, 15. But that does not eliminate the fact that there is also a definition of ten as a symbolic number in the same chapter. Because the Roman beast is symbolic and everything around it is symbolic, it makes sense to use the symbolic definiton of ten rather than making it literal.

How Do We Apply the Number Ten as a Symbol to Identify the Ten Horns?

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Applying the symbolic meaning of the number ten to the horns on the head of the dreadful looking fourth beast of Daniel 7 tells us that the number ten represents there were quite a few kings, certainly more than ten, that came out of the Western Roman Empire in 476.  By considering the number ten as symbolic of all the kings that came out of the Western Roman Empire in 476, we no longer have to be arbitrary in making selections of who is and is not a horn.  The only additional criteria that we have to meet once we understand this is to determine which kingdoms had some effect upon God's people, whether for a long time or for a very short time.  Because nearly all of the kingdoms in 476 were Christian kingdoms, so therefore would have an impact on God's people, all of the Christian kingdoms coming out of the Western Roman Empire in 476 should be part of the symbolic ten horns.

Upon hearing this, there are those who will try to argue against this idea.  They are used to the idea that ten is literal and will fight against any suggestion that it can be otherwise.

One argument such people will use is that seven of the ten nations that people usually list as the successors of Rome are still around today.  They do this by listing the various tribes and the nations they supposedly became.  This, of course, implies that the ten usually listed were the major nations and the only ones that God was talking about because he could see the future and see what would become of them.  They will argue that all the others were smaller and followed the lead of the larger groups so cannot possibly count. 

It is true that some of the nations disappeared very soon after 476 and that God could see what would become of the ten listed nations.  And it is also true that the smaller groups often followed the lead of the larger groups, but that does not mean they should not be counted.  Those who see things this way are determining the kings based on the idea that the number ten must be literal and based on the nations that continue to exist today or, at least, far into the future beyond 476, rather than what existed in 476 when the two decrees doing away with the Roman Empire were written.  In essence, these people argue that continuity of existence from 476 until today is the criteria by which to determine the identity of the ten kings rather than their effect upon God's people and their existence within the borders of the Western Roman Empire in AD 476.  In so doing, they are ignoring the evidence given in the Bible which contradicts their ideas. 

The evidence which contradicts their ideas is found in the four heads upon the leopard beast.  This evidence shows us whether or not a nation being around centuries later (for example, in the year 2009) is the criteria for determining the identity of the ten horns because the criteria that applies to the leopard beast must also apply to the ten horns.  Recall that God could have shown five heads or three heads or even two heads on the leopard beast in Daniel 7, but in fact showed only four heads.  The situation where there were only four heads existed for about 7 years, obviously a very short time.  After 294 BC there were only three kings which means there were only three heads after that point in time, a condition which lasted for only another 13 years.  After that, there were only two heads, a condition which lasted from 281 BC to 64 BC.  The point of this is that God marked the four heads at the point of the agreement, not before then and not after.  It was a very narrow window of time that he marked.  This indicates that one cannot count the kings long after the marking date, but must count them at the time of the decree related to the time at which the count is done by God.

Because God showed four heads on the leopard beast, this indicates that he marked the point in time with the decree or agreement among the four generals/kings and counted for heads only those kings that existed then, not later.  Therefore, we should not worry about what happens to the kingdoms represented by the ten horns 1500 years or so later because that clearly is not the criteria.  Instead, the criteria is which kingdoms existed at the time of the decree, which of these kingdoms affected God's people, and which of the territory of these kingdoms were previously owned by the preceding empire.  These are apparently the only significant criteria that we can know of from what God has shown us in Daniel 7.  Longevity of a kingdom, importance, or size and strength are not specified as criteria per se, so have no place in our evaluation of the kingdoms to count.

God is a king, and as such, he issues decrees from time to time also.  He shows us in Daniel 9 that he counts or marks things based on decrees.  Perhaps it is important that we pay attention to this rather than substituting our own criteria, such as whether a group is larger or more influential than the others?

The lesson from this is that you determine who is and is not a king to be counted ONLY at the point when the decree or agreement divides the kingdom (dissolves it or whatever significant event it creates), not years before and not years after.  Therefore, in the case of the Western Roman Empire, you account for the kings in the year 476, not in the year 400, not in the year 1000, not in the year 2009, and especially not based on whether they survive to 2009.  It is clear from the Bible that there is no other way to do this.  But, if you insist on doing it according to man's criteria (how it has traditionally been done), you are not following the Bible's defined way of doing it.  Sorry about that, but there seems no way around this.  I know that I find the traditional way attractive, but know that I must do it the way the Bible shows us this is to be done. 

The ten horns must represent kings that were the successors of the Western Roman Empire (their territory had previously been owned at some point by the Western Roman Empire) which affected God's people in some way.  All that remains to be done is find all who were kings in 476 and had territory within the borders of the Western Roman Empire before it fell apart.  Because nearly all of the kingdoms that came out of the Western Roman Empire were Christian in 476, that means nearly all of their kings should be counted among the ten horns because nearly all of them would have an effect upon God's people.  This can be easily determined by looking at a map of the kingdoms that existed in 476.  We could get more detailed if we want by looking for sub level kings that existed within those kingdoms.  It would be valid to count them also because, as explained later, the ram in Daniel 8 shows that God also counts sub kings as horns.

What Is the Relationship between the Eastern Roman Empire and the Ten Horns?

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Before we count the kings, there are a few more things to do.  There are several important questions about the Eastern Roman Empire that need to be addressed.  These are:

  1. Should the Eastern Roman Empire be included as part of the territory from which the ten horns would arise?
  2. Should the Eastern Roman Empire be considered as a successor of the Roman Empire, or in other words, because Rome split into two parts in 395, was it and the Western Roman Empire among the ten horns?
  3. If the two halves of the Roman Empire were not successors of the Roman Empire and therefore not among the ten horns, then there should have been two heads on the dreadful looking fourth beast.  Why was only one head shown?

These are important questions to ask because in the vision given to Daniel as recorded in Daniel 7, the ten horns grow out of the head of the fourth dreadful looking beast, which in turn are followed by the talking horn growing up out of it.  We know that the Roman Empire split into an east and west half.  We also know that there was only one head on the fourth dreadful looking beast, so logically, we can ask the three questions posed above. 

Let us consider the second question first.

We have to consider that because there was only one head on the beast, then both the Eastern Roman Empire and the Western Roman Empire might have been among the ten horns on the head of the beast and would be considered a successor just like the other horns came out of the Western Roman Empire.  Maybe they just got an earlier start?  How can we know whether or not the two halves of the empire should be considered successor kingdoms to the original Roman Empire, the empire that existed before 395 when Rome split into two parts?

To begin to answer these questions, something that may be of some interest in relation to the history of Rome are the titles the Roman rulers used.  See these web addresses for more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_emperors, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Imperial_Victory_Titles, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperator (imperator, from which the English word emperor is derived)

The Roman Empire was divided several different times, but ultimately in 395 it was divided into the Eastern and Western Roman Empires, which was the final division of the Roman Empire.  This division of the Roman Empire answers the second question posed above.  Think about it carefully and the logic of what I am about to explain should make sense.  We have good reason to believe that the ten horns arose in 476 when the Western Roman Empire died.  Now, the split in the empire had already occurred in 395.  Therefore, if the Eastern Roman Empire was to be considered to be a successor of the Roman Empire, then the Western Roman Empire also would have to be considered a successor of the Roman Empire.  However, this would not make much sense of things because then other kingdoms that were successors of the Western Roman Empire would be among the ten horns right alongside the two halves of the empire on the head of the dreadful looking fourth beast.  However, if this is true, then there are several problems with it. 

First, the fact that the talking horn came up after the ten horns indicates that when there is a separation of time between the rise of two groups of horns, there will be a separation in the rise of the power they each represent.  In other words, to indicate that the ten horns arose in 476, they were on the head of the dreadful looking fourth beast first and then the talking horn rose out of the head of the beast in view of Daniel to indicate that it rose in 538, a time difference of 62 years.  The angel explained this in Daniel 7:24.  Daniel did NOT see two horns on the head of the beast and then see 8 more appear a short time later, and then have that followed by the rise of the talking horn.  You would think that if the two halves of the Western Roman Empire were successors of the original Roman Empire, then this would have been shown to Daniel in the vision.  But the fact that it was not shown indicates that the two halves are to be considered as one. 

Second, if the two halves of the empire were to be considered successors of the original empire, then they would coexist with their own successors, which would seem to violate the ideas presented by the four heads of the leopard beast in which the four heads represented the four lines of unrelated kings who took over for the line of Alexander the Great.  In other words, Alexander's line was followed by its successors and did NOT coexist with one another.  This argues that the head of the dreadful looking beast of Daniel 7 must represent both halves of the empire, even after they split in 395, and the horns must represent the successors so that they and the two halves of the Roman Empire do not coexist together with one another, whereas the successors do coexist with one another.

Therefore, in answer to the second question, Eastern and Western Rome cannot be considered to be successors of the original Roman Empire and therefore must not be among the ten horns on the head of the dreadful looking fourth beast.

Rome changed its government some seven different times during its life, and God ignored all these internally generated changes.  We do not see new beasts arising to replace the previous beasts, all of which would, of course, represent Rome.  We do not have heads rising up to replace the previous heads.  As a consequence, the only change in king lines that takes place with real significance was when Odoacer removed the last Western Roman Emperor in 476, dissolved the remains of the Western Roman Empire, and then created a new government of Italy alone.  Thus, this would most likely be the event represented by the change from the head of the dreadful looking fourth beast to the ten horns.  Nothing else really fits.  Therefore, the change point from the body and head to the ten horns almost certainly does not represent the split of the empire in 395, but rather its demise and change of power to its successors in 476.

This shows us that the body and the head of the dreadful looking fourth beast must represent the entire time of the Roman Empire, from its beginning to the end of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and beypond to the end of the Eastern Roman Empire in 1453.  Therefore, the head of that beast must represent the last stages of the history of the Western Roman Empire, followed by its successors and it represents the last stages of the Eastern Roman Empire at a much later date when the Muslims took the Eastern Roman Empire apart.  The successor kingdoms of the Eastern Roman Empire were not Christian and would have had very few of God's Christian people among them, so would not have been represented by the ten horns.  Remember that with the leopard that represented Alexander the Great and his successors, the territories that had little or no effect on God's people were not represented as heads on the leopard.  As a result, it is highly doubtful that the ten horns on the dreadful looking fourth beast represented any of the successor kingdoms of the Eastern Roman Empire. 

The successor kingdoms of the Eastern Roman Empire can be considered to have come out of it at a single point in time with a decree just as they did in the Western Roman Empire, but by then nearly all of them were populated by Muslims who had long before converted away from the Christian religion, though not quite all of them converted.  The decree for that would have occurred when the Muslim rulers finally conquered Constantinople in 1453 and declared themselves rulers over it and the territories that they had previously conquered. 

There is one final reason to understand that the ten horns must come only from the Western Roman Empire. The Bible says in Daniel 7:24 that the ten horns would rise out of the kingdom of the dreadful looking fourth beast, clearly meaning after its demise, and then the talking horn would follow it. If you carefully study the behavioral characteristics of the talking horn, there is only one power in history that matches the description given, which is that of the Catholic Church.

Now, for a moment, assume that the ten horns came out of the Eastern Roman Empire. Then the talking horn had to have followed its demise. Yet that would make no sense because the Catholic Church was at about the height of its power when the Eastern Roman Empire finally fell in 1453 when the city of Constantinople was captured by the Muslims. To say that the talking horn arose following that event would make no sense at all. Therefore, the only logical conclusion is that the talking horn must have arisen following the fall of the Western Roman Empire rather than the fall of the Eastern Roman Empire because only in that way can its history logically follow through and develop its power and rise to greater power yet in the centuries following. Logically, the ten horns must have arisen before the the rise of the talking horn, so also had to have arisen following the demise of the Western Roman Empire. The logical conclusion is that the ten horns can come only from the remains of the Western Roman Empire. The real events of history just do not fit any other scenario.

From this we can conclude that the head represented the Western and Eastern Roman mpires and these were not among the ten horns as successor kingdoms of the united Roman Empire that split in 395.  We can also conclude that the ten horns could not come from the Eastern Roman Empire.  And finally, the ten horns can only represent kingdoms that came out of the Western Roman Empire in 476.

However, there is a new question that rises to the forefront at this time.  Because it should be obvious that the head of the dreadful looking beast must include both halves of the Roman Empire (this must be so because the talking horn was given power by the Eastern Roman Empire, which could NOT have happened unless both parts of the empire were represented by the one head of the dreadful looking fourth beast), then why is it shown as one head rather than as two heads? It split in 395 just as did the kingdom of Alexander the Great, so two heads should be shown. Why is there only one head on it instead of two heads?

A little Roman history will help explain the answer to this question and will help facilitate a better understanding of how God represented the four powers through the symbolism of the beasts.

The first major division of the empire occurred in 286.  At that time the Emperor Diocletian (a former Roman soldier) decided to divide the responsibility for the empire.  First, he divided it into an east and west half, with himself taking the east and his fellow soldier, Maximiam, taking the west.  Later, in 293, he (Diocletian) adopted Galerius as his junior emperor and heir to his position when he either died or retired.  He could train in his own replacement with this approach.   Maximium adopted Constantius I Chlorus in the same year (293).  This created a system where there were four rulers (a tetrarchy): two senior emperors (called Augusti) and two junior emperors (usually called Caesars and in more modern times sometimes called junior Augusti or junior emperors), with the idea that the junior emperors would eventually be promoted to senior emperors when the senior emperors either retired or died (Nigel Rodgers, page 73).  After Diocletian retired in 305, there were several Augusti who followed him by being promoted from Caesars and there were several Caesars in turn who followed their predecessors into office. 

Constantius I Chlorus had a son (the son apparently was born in February of 272) who later became emperor and was known as Constantine I.  Constantine's I army troops in York, Britain, declared him emperor in 306 and eventually he was assigned as one of the junior Emperors.  Through battles, Constantine I was able to eventually reunite the east and west halves of the Roman Empire into one empire in 324, which ended the rule of the tetrarchs and made him sole emperor of the entire reunited empire.  He was the last emperor to rule all of the Roman Empire for an extended period of time (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Roman_Emperors and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantine_I).

Sometime between 325 and 330, after he had become the sole emperor, Constantine moved the capital of the Roman Empire to the city of Constantinople, which was strategically located near the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea.  This gave him easy access to both seas and to the Danube River, which flows into the Black Sea and was also the boundary of European Rome. 

A map of the Eastern Roman Empire can be seen at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:3Byzantium476lightblue.PNG.  Eastern Rome was constituted from everything running east of a line running north and south roughly from the Adriatic Sea seashore of the Roman Province of Macedonia and eastward from that boundary line.

Upon the death of Constantine I (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantine_I) in AD 337, the Roman Empire was divided three ways among his sons per the written will of Constantine I (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantius_II).  Yet, in spite of having the empire divided three ways in 337, note that we do not see three heads on the dreadful looking fourth beast. 

The divisions among the three surviving sons of Constantine I were:

  • Constantine II - Got Western Rome (Britain, Hispania, Gaul)
  • Constans - Got Illyria, specifically Pannonia [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pannonia] and included Italy and North Africa
  • Constantius II - Got Eastern Rome, but later got the entire empire after the deaths of Constantine II and Constans which recreated the empire as a whole again 

What happened to bring them back together was that when Constantine I died in 337, the army mutinied under the direction of one of Constantine's I sons, Constantius II (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantius_II), and killed much of Constantine's I family.  Constantine's I three surviving sons, Constans (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constans), Constantine II (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantine_II_(emperor) ) and Constantius II  divided the empire into three parts as he (Constantine I) wished, but then they began feuding over the empire.  Constantine II, as the eldest son, was initially guardian of Constans, the youngest son. Constantine II was killed in one of the battles between himself and Constans in the year 340, after which Constans became the sole ruler of the Western Roman Empire.  Constans was murdered in 350 by Magnentius (a usurper of the emperor's throne).  After that, when Magnentius tried to take over the Western Roman Empire, Constantius II refused to accept him as the ruler of the Western Roman Empire and defeated him in battle in 351, and he died in 353.  After the battle in 351 against Magnentius, Constantius II became the sole ruler of the Roman Empire.  So, the three way division of the empire ended and it became just one reunited empire again in 351.

Constantius II was considered vain and stupid by his contemporaries and he forced his Arian beliefs upon the empire.  He needed a co-emperor, however, so chose his cousin, Gallus.  But Gallus turned out to have problems similar to Caligula, so he was killed.  Do note that Constantius II did not divide the empire when he brought in a co-emperor.  Next Constantius II chose his sole surviving relative, Julius, who was Gallus' half brother.  Julius was the son of Constantine's I half brother, Julius Constantius.  Julius Constantius died when the army mutinied in 337.  There were feuds between Julius and Constantius II, but the latter died in 361, after which Julius took over the empire.  He got rid of many corrupt officials and generally improved the government and its effect on the people, but his time in power lasted only 18 months because he died in a battle (Nigel Rodgers, page 234).  It appears he certainly left Rome in better shape than what he received at the beginning of his time as emperor.

In 364, Valentinian I was elected by the army to be emperor.  He then chose Valens, his own brother, as co-Augustus and assigned himself to rule the Western Roman Empire and Valens to rule the Eastern Roman Empire.  The empire was divided again at this point.  Several more emperors for both east and west followed, including Gratian (for the west).  Eventually, Theodosius I was appointed as Augustus for the east by Gratian upon the death of Valens.  Theodosius I became the sole senior Augustus after the death of Valentinian II (who was Augustus for the west).  Upon the death of Valentinian II in 392, events were set in motion to again reunite the Roman Empire, which did happen, but these events eventually led to the permanent division of the Roman Empire in 395. 

Years later in 379, long after Constantine's death and the empire had been divided again, Theodosius I was appointed as Augustus for the east by Gratian (who was Augustus for the west) upon the death of Valens (who was Augustus for the east until his death in 379).  In 392 Valentinian II (Augustus for the west) died and then Theodosius I became the sole emperor of a united empire.  Very soon after, a usurper by the name of Eugenius (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenius) took the throne of the Western Roman Empire for himself against the wishes of Theodosius I.  Here is the description of the events that soon transpired as described by Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenius):

"When he was elected emperor, Eugenius sent ambassadors to Theodosius's court, asking for recognition of his election. Theodosius received them, but started to gather troops to defeat Eugenius. Theodosius also promoted his eight-year-old son Honorius (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honorius_(emperor) ) to the rank of Augustus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augustus_(honorific) ) of the West in January 393.

Theodosius then moved from Constantinople with his army, and met Eugenius and Arbogast in the Battle of the Frigidus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Frigidus, on the modern Italy-Slovenia border) on 6 September 394. The bloody battle lasted two days, and was marked by unusual astronomical and meteorological events, but in the end Theodosius won. Arbogast immediately committed suicide after the defeat, while Eugenius was held for execution as a criminal, his head afterward being displayed in Theodosius' camp."

This is the description of the results of this battle from the same web page:

"The reign of Eugenius marked the end of an era and the beginning of a new one. A year later Theodosius died, dividing his empire between his two sons. This had happened many times before in the previous two centuries, but this time it was to be final - the Roman Empire never reunited, and the Western half soon fell.

Eugenius also represented the last opportunity for the Pagans and the senatorial class to oppose the Christianization of the Empire. The Battle of the Frigidus was part of a trend towards using increasing percentages of barbarian troops, especially in the west, where it led to the weakening of the empire itself."

This battle in 394 against Eugenius forcibly reasserted Theodosius' I right as sole emperor.  Unfortunately for Theodosius I, he died about a year later in 395 while still in Italy. The empire was then split between his two sons, whom he had previously elevated to junior Augusti (Honorius for the west and Arcadius for the east as co-rulers with their father).  Once their father died, they elevated themselves to senior Augusti in each of their respective halves of the empire, which amounts to a decree (verbal or written, either is just as good as the other) concerning the destiny of each ruler and their respective portions of the empire.  They could easily have elevated just one of them over the entire empire, but it is obvious that they instead agreed to split the empire between them.  Through his two sons, the king line of Theodosius I ruled both halves of the empire from then on.  Their elevation to senior Augusti effectively split the empire permanently and was accompanied by a decree of their positions which answered the question about the final destiny of the two halves of the empire. 

Given that the empire was permanently split in 395 and there was effectively a decree for this and it answered the question about the destiny of the two halves of the empire, logically two heads should have been shown on the dreadful looking fourth beast for this event.  In fact, two heads (or even three heads) could have showed up for previous splits of the empire or new beasts, but that did not happen.  God ignored all previous times the empire split.  But this time was the final event, and that certainly should not have been ignored.  Yet it was.  The only reason that makes any sense of this is that the two brothers who took the throne were apparently considered by God to be of the same line, that of Theodosius I, for which reason God looked upon it as if it was one king line and consequently, one kingdom.

It is evident from history that the line of Theodosius was not a direct descendant of Constantine, yet he and Constantine were very indirectly related through marriage.  However, there was no actual genetic linkage between Constantine and Theodosius.  The line of Theodosius I started when the Roman army elected Valentinian I to replace the Roman Emperor Jovian, who died early in 364.  This was an internally generated change (a type of change of rulers which God ignored when he symbolized Rome), so this change would not require another beast to rise to represent it just as God ignored the changes in the line of Alexander until the four generals divided the empire (remember that Alexander's relatives on the throne were murdered and the regents ruled the empire from then on).  Also, note that when Valentinian I was elected emperor early in 364, he became emperor of the entire Roman Empire, not just the Eastern or Western Roman Empire.  A month or so later, he split the empire with his brother, Valens, but until that happened, he was the emperor of the entire Roman Empire. 

Below is a graphic which shows the relationship between Constantine I, Valentinian I and Theodosius I.  Note that it is not a direct father to son relationship, but very indirectly through marriage these people were related to one another and are therefore considered to be of the same family line.  Note, however, that there was no actual genetic linkage between Valentinian I and Arcadius and Honorius.  The relationship was purely through marriage, without which there would have been no connection.

Family tree of Constantine, Valentinian and Theodosius

The logical conclusion is that unlike Alexander's Empire in which there was a break of the line of rulers followed by new rulers who were unrelated to Alexander and unrelated to each other and who took over and divided up the empire, in the case of Rome, there were breaks in the line of rulers that God ignored because they were internally generated changes that resulted in new lines of rulers that God apparently decided to consider as one line.  When the empire split in 395, God considered that the same line ruled both halves because it was brothers who were the rulers from then on.  As a result, there was no "split" into two heads of the fourth dreadful looking beast.  There was only one head which reflects the reality that God considered the kings of both the Western Roman Empire and the Eastern Roman Empire to be the same line. 

The fact that there is only one head tells you that the Eastern Roman Empire was NOT a successor of Western Rome and could not be because God clearly saw it as one and the same empire even when divided.  If he had seen in otherwise, he would have shown two heads on the dreadful looking beast of Daniel 7.

Is it possible that some of the ten horns came from the Eastern Roman Empire?  The answer to that is no, they cannot.  The reason is very simple.  The date for determining the ten horns was in 476 (it cannot come after 538, which is when the talking horn obtained the power of a king - see Daniel 5:19-20).  Western Rome had many successor states then, while Eastern Rome had no successor states at that time.  Therefore, the ten horns can come ONLY from the Western Roman Empire.

The decrees of 476 concerned only the territory of the Western Roman Empire and did not involve the Eastern Roman Empire at all.  In fact, the decrees of the child emperor and Odoacer could not involve the Eastern Roman Empire territory because neither the child emperor (who was the last emperor of Rome) nor Odoacer (who deposed the last emperor of Rome in 476 and took over Italy) had jurisdiction over the Eastern Roman Empire.  Since the decrees could not involve Eastern Roman Empire territory, that rules out that the successor kingdoms could ever come from the Eastern Roman Empire territory, even if it had been in a condition where successor states existed for it at that time, which, of course, was not the case.

The fact that there is one head on the beast indicates that neither tribes nor nations nor kingdoms are counted by God.  Instead, it is a clear indication that king lines are what is to be counted rather than kingdoms, nations, or even tribes which are made equal to nations or kingdoms.  If it had been kingdoms or nations that was counted, then for sure there would have been two heads on the dreadful looking fourth beast of Daniel 7 because obviously when Rome split, it split into two different kingdoms or nations.  Tribes cannot fit because Rome was not a single tribe but was a mix of many different tribes.  Therefore, the definition that heads are kings fits very well.  Kings, of course, are lines of kings.  Since these were brothers which split the Roman Empire, they evidently were seen by God as one line. 

Some have suggested that there were four or five kingdoms that came from the Eastern Roman Empire that were part of the ten horns, but clearly that cannot be true (see, for an example of this, http://focusonjerusalem.com/theidentityofthe7.html). 

In summary, the Eastern Roman Empire was not part of the ten horns and the ten horns were not made up from divisions of the territory of the Eastern Roman Empire, but rather came from the territory of the Western Roman Empire alone.  The fact that there was only one head on the dreadful looking beast shows that the Eastern Roman Empire was not a successor kingdom of the Roman Empire.  Moreover, the reason there was only one head on the dreadful looking fourth beast instead of two to reflect the division of the Roman Empire is that two brothers took over the throne from their father, who was the ruler of all of the Roman Empire.  They split the empire permanently between them.


The Two Legs Argument - Is It Valid?

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Some have argued that the image of Daniel 2 tells us that Rome split into two parts, an act of history they believe is represented by the two legs of the image.  Usually they also believe that the ten toes of the image are the same as the ten horns and that five toes come from the western division of the empire, and five toes from the eastern division of the empire.  Of course, this means that of the ten horns, five come from the western division of the empire and five from the eastern division of the empire.  Unfortunately, though this idea seems attractive, there are several reasons why this is not correct.  Permit me, if I may, to explain this. 

First, there is the explanation given in the section above which shows that God considered the Eastern and Western Roman Empires to be of the same king line.  This, combined with the fact that the Eastern Roman Empire was not divided when the decree occurred in 476, totally disallows any successor states to come from the Eastern Roman Empire.  Therefore, all successors must come only from the Western Roman Empire.

Second, the split leg argument is based on faulty reasoning because there is a matter of the location of the split on the image, which should be reflected in the political realities of the kingdoms represented by the different parts of the image.  The reason there is a problem is that the split occurs where it normally would on human anatomy - in the hip.  The metal representing Alexander the Great, the bronze (remember that the head of gold represented Nebuchadnezzar, so why cannot the bronze represent Alexander the Great?), constituted both the belly and the thighs.  Obviously, between the belly and thighs are the hips.  The legs, representing Rome, occur from the knee and downward to the feet, probably ending about the ankle. 

Now, if the two legs are to represent the split of Rome into an eastern and western parts, then why are the thighs represented as bronze?  Why are they not made of iron?  They should have been made of iron if this idea is true.  Remember that because the body parts of the image from top to bottom are made of different metals which represent different successive kingdoms, then IF the split is significant, there is a problem because this split occurred within the kingdom of Alexander's, before Rome rose as an empire.  Did the kingdom of Alexander's split only two ways?  Of course not!  And even if it had happened, how on earth would a split within the kingdom of Alexander the Great create a split within the Roman Empire before it even began?  Do we know of such a split from the history of Rome?  The answer is no, we know of no such split that occurred before or even as Rome began. 

Alexander's kingdom split four ways in 301 BC as predicted by the symbolism of the four heads of the leopard beast, not two ways.  Rome started out its "life" as one kingdom and then centuries later, in AD 395, it permanently split into two parts.  There was no connection between the two-way split of Rome that occurred in 395 and the four-way split in Alexander's kingdom that occurred in 301 BC.  Therefore, the legs are not representative of the split of Rome, but are presented that way because that is normal human anatomy and the dream would not make sense to the viewers if it was done any other way. 

So far as Daniel explained things, there are two things that are actually significant.  First, there are the materials (metal or metal mixed with clay) from which the different body parts are made.  Second, there is the position from top to bottom for the different materials that is significant.  We have no indications that anything else is significant.  Thus, the arms, the split of the body at the hips, the thighs, the legs, the feet, and the toes are not significant but are presented as part of normal human anatomy so the image would be recognizable to the viewer.  As one person commented to me, how about the two eyes?  Do they represent Nabonidus and Belshazzar?  That was meant to be a joke, of course.  But in the same manner I might add, how about the two ears sticking out of the side of the image's head?  The point is that a person can be guilty of making more significance of the different parts of the image than was intended by God.  We know this to be the case because people do things like this sometimes and yet there is no Biblical support for it.  There are no statements in the Bible informing us that these things have any significance whatsoever.

The Bible says that the division of the kingdom of Rome is represented ONLY by the mixture of the iron and the clay present only in the feet and toes.  Here is the evidence for this:

Dan 2:41 And as you saw the feet and toes, part of potter's clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it the strength of the iron, just as you saw the iron mixed with miry clay.

Dan 2:42 And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.

While it is true that the iron represents the strong kingdoms and the clay represents the weak kingdoms, the mixture of the two together is what creates the understanding that the kingdom would be divided, just as Daniel explained it.  You could not have strong and weak kingdoms together as successors of Rome without first dividing the strong kingdom, Rome.  The presence of two feet and ten toes is, according to Daniel, not the primary criteria for determining that the kingdom would be divided, but rather the mix of iron and clay which shows a mix of weak and strong kingdoms that is the primary indicator of this division.

If one were to argue that the ten toes are the same as the ten horns of the dreadful looking beast of Daniel 7 and say that those ten horns represent the divisions of the Western Roman Empire, the argument is invalid because Daniel did not indicate that divisions of the body of this type were significant.  If one insists anyway, then the feet are significant, the legs are significant, the thighs are significant, and then you have the problem of explaining the split having occurred in the kingdom of Alexander the Great.  Such a logical connection would have to be explained to be consistent.  Of course, one could just arbitrarily declare it so, but then one loses credibility altogether with others by doing that.  Better to be logical and consistent, right?  Remember, Daniel said that only the relative position of a body part from top to bottom and the materials they were made of were significant. 

And, if one insists on this theory in spite of evidence contrary to it, then one cannot say that the ten toes are representative of only ten kingdoms because they were each made of a mix of clay and iron, indicating that there were at least 20 such kingdoms, and probably more.  That certainly goes against the theory that the number ten is literal.

Another reason has to do with the decree dating and the facts of history.  As mentioned before, when the decrees of 476 were written, the Eastern Roman Empire consisted of a single empire, not several.  If one insists on arguing that it must be included, then there is a problem because it was not in a divided state at that time.  It is true that it divided later based on events of history, but those divisions are irrelevant because they didn't exist when the decrees were written.  Thus, though this idea that five of the kingdoms of the ten come from the Eastern Roman Empire may appear attractive, it is not correct.  History does not support the idea of the Eastern Roman Empire as the source of five of the kingdoms because they simply did not exist in 476 when the decrees were written.

Another reason is that because the position upon the body of the image relates to its position on the time line of history, then you have a problem because the ten toes would be the last thing that occurs just before the coming of Jesus.  We know that we are living in the very last days of earth's history, so in today's world we are symbolically in the ten toes time period.  Just as the position upon the body of the image relates to its position on the time line of history, this is also true of the feet and toes.  The change from the iron of the legs which probably occurred at about the ankles of the image would represent the change from the Western Roman Empire to the ten horns with the decrees of 476.  Thus, to go forward in time towards the Second Coming of Jesus, one would need to move from the ankles forward towards the toes. Remember that the feet also were mixed with iron and clay to indicate the mix of strong and weak kingdoms.  Obviously the ten kingdoms cannot be represented by the ten toes because they (the ten toes) occur long after 476.  The time of 476 would be represented by the location on the image, probably about the ankles, where the iron changes to the mix of iron and clay, not in the toes.

And finally, there is adequate fulfillment of the prophecy about the ten kingdoms in the Western Roman Empire.  Then why is there a need to go to the Eastern Roman Empire to fulfill it?  That seems redundant and unnecessary.

If the two legs theory were correct, then not only would the split have to occur only where the iron was present on the image (the legs, which would look strange or else the iron would have to have extended up to the hips), but it would also have to actually explain to us that the two legs represented the division of the kingdom, something that was not done.  For those wishing to believe in this, the Bible is totally silent on this.  Instead, it indicates that the division is shown by the mix of materials, the iron and clay, which contradicts the theory that the two legs indicates this.  It seems to me that we should stick to the symbols as they are explained rather than trying to create one that is not there.

Consider this if you are still not convinced:  If the anatomical parts themselves are significant independently of the materials they are made of and their relative locations from top to bottom, then why are not the arms on the image significant in some way?  How about the hands?  They each should have five fingers on them.  Do those arms and hands represent some sort of a two way split of the Persian Empire with the fingers of the hands representing a further split into ten kingdoms?  If one insists that the split in the legs represents the split of Rome into two parts, then the arms, hands, and fingers must also have some significance to the Persian Empire.  How do you explain that when there is no known split of the Persian Empire?  One has to wonder about that!  You cannot say that the split in the legs represents a split within Rome and then turn around and ignore the obvious symbolism of the arms and hands and not deal with it.  Maybe it is better to be consistent and not do this?

Ultimately, this tells us that we cannot use the two legs to argue that the ten toes represent the ten horns, with part coming from the Western Roman Empire and part from the Eastern Roman Empire.  That simply does not work with the symbolism.  On the surface of it, it is an attractive theory, but it is not correct.

A Clarifying Hypothesis

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Here is an important question: Were the ten horns only from the territory that the Western Roman Empire actually controlled in 476, or were they from all the territory that had once been the Western Roman Empire? 

To help clarify the answer to this question, let us for a moment hypothesize that the ten horns must come only from territory that Rome actually controlled when the decrees were written in 476.  That territory then consisted of:

  • Italy,
  • the northwest portion of Illyrium (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illyrium),
  • a portion of Northwestern France,
  • a portion of what is today Austria, 
  • and a portion of North Africa across from Spain (but not the territory that the Vandals had taken which was farther east along the coast around Carthage)

Clearly, if only the territory that the Western Roman Empire actually controlled in 476 is to be considered when counting the ten kings, then it reduces it to a situation where the ten horns represent only a few kings, something that does not make much sense.  This is true because there were only a few kings who took over over the actual territory that the Western Roman Empire controlled after the decree was written.  It especially does not make sense given that it says you lose three kings, then have seven remaining.  We should conclude from this that all the territory of the Western Roman Empire must be included because if we try to do otherwise, it creates major problems with the symbols.  So far as is known, there were not likely any sub kings that could be counted to make ten kings within the Western Roman Empire in 476.

This little exercise, of course, disproves the hypothesis made above.  Therefore, the entire territory that the Western Roman Empire controlled prior to and including that which it controlled in 476 must be included for determining from where the ten horns arise.

For your interest, a map of Rome at its greatest extent under Emperor Trajan in AD 117 can be seen at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Romia_Imperio.png.  There is one minor mistake in the map in that the territory just east of Dacia which they took over during that time period is not shown on the map.  But that is a relatively small area on the northwest side of the Black Sea.

What Qualifies a People Group to Be a Horn?

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Introduction to the Problems

There seems to be some confusion over the definition of a horn. Some think that a tribe is to be counted as a horn. Some believe that nations are to be counted as horns while others say kingdoms. There probably are other definitions out there. But whatever definition is used, it is always best to use the definitions given in the Bible because the visions of Daniel and John were created by God and the vision can be properly understood only if God's definitions are used to interpret it. If a person does not use the definitions that God gives, it is very likely that a person will be led down the wrong path. 

Seventh-day Adventists have traditionally defined horns to be the barbarian tribes that invaded the Roman Empire and eventually became parts of the nations of modern-day Europe. To justify their idea, their reasoning has been that a tribe is a nation or kingdom so therefore fit the definition of a horn. But there are problems with this approach.  The problems are:

  • There is no definition in the Bible that a tribe is a horn.  
  • There were instances where a group is considered by Seventh-day Advents to be a tribe, but in fact there were members of several tribes in the same group, so which tribal group did the group as a whole really belong to?  This is not as easily answered as it may seem, especially where there is no majority tribal group present.
  • While the definition might be true of some tribes, one cannot say that this definition fits for all.
  • Definitions given in the Bible have a priority ranking that is evident, something which they totally ignore, most likely because they are not aware of this fact. It is not obvious, yet with careful study it can be discerned. In other words, there is a first level definition which they should first attempt to use to define the horns. Only if the first level definition fails should they move on to the second level. They totally ignore this. More on this later.

SDAs have traditionally said that the Catholics destroyed the Heruls, which again focuses on the idea of a tribe being a horn.  If you ask them about this, they will usually say that the Catholic Church arranged for the destruction of the Heruls tribe during the invasion of Italy by the Ostrogoths in the year 493. The Heruls were members of the army in the kingdom run by Odoacer, king of Italy from 476, when Rome fell, until 493 when the Ostrogoths came and killed him and took over his kingdom. 

The are several problems with this idea. The kingdom of Odoacer's was not just a Heruli kingdom.  The Scirians also helped create the kingdom ruled by Odoacer, so were also participants with the Heruls.  Moreover, there were Rugians who also participated in forming his government (article subsection: The late Roman Empire and the Ostrogoths, main article: "Italy." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica 2009 Ultimate Reference Suite.  Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2009 and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rugi)  And finally, there was a historian by the name of Jordanes, who wrote in the middle of the 6th century. Jordanes reported that the leader of the people who deposed the child emperor in 476, Odoacer, was "the king of the Torcilingi, having with him the Sciri, the Heruli and auxiliaries from several other peoples...." (Cited in Emperors of Rome the Story of Imperial Rome From Julius Caesar to the Last Emperor, David Potter, Quercus, London, UK, copyright 2007, page 241).  While we do not have verification from other sources that Odoacer was the king of the Torcilingi, it does show that very likely there were Torcilingis (who might have been Thuringians) among them who helped create Odoacer's kingdom and were members of his army.  Just how many groups were members of Odoacer's army is actually unknown, but based on Jordanes statement, it appears that there were probably at least five different groups present in his army. Therefore, the Heruli were probably a minority of the entire group.

So, we should ask this question: was it a Herulian kingdom?  Was it a Scirian kingdom?  Or, because some Rugians were with Odoacer, was it a Rugian kingdom?  Or, was it a Torcilingian (possibly Thuringian) kingdom?  Or, was it a kingdom of one of the other unnamed groups? Or, was it really all of them?  Or could it be said to be none of them since it was a combination of them all, so should actually be seen as a blended power unlike each one individually and with no tribal name attached to it, which really is a much more accurate characterization? 

Based on the definition given by SDAs, does this constitute one horn or several?  This question is a serious one because Adventists have typically thought that a tribe is a kingdom and the Heruls in Odoacer's kingdom had Heruls in it so they constituted a kingdom and therefore a horn.  But, to be consistent, the exact same reasoning must be applied to the other groups, so do you count each of the constituent groups as a kingdom and therefore a horn? After all, if SDAs would have it that the Heruls were a horn by virtue of being in Odoacer's army, then the same must be true of the other groups as well. One must be consistent. If the others are also horns, then how many horns were actually taken down when Odoacer's kingdom fell? 

How do you answer these questions?  There are probably two ways you can approach this. First, if you equate members of tribal groups to horns, which Seventh-day Adventists have done in the case of the Heruls in Odoacer's army, then to be honest and consistent, you must admit that there must be several horns in the kingdom of Odoacer because there were Heruls, Rugians, Torcilingis, Scirians and others in his army. This is the only right way to do it because if the Heruls in the kingdom of Odoacer are a horn, and they clearly were just a small part of his army, then so also must each of the other tribal groups in his army be a horn. Thus, you end up with perhaps 5 horns. However, doing this creates problems. 

The problem this creates is that all of these horns would have been taken down when Odoacer's kingdom was destroyed. It would not have been only the Heruls which would have been taken down. This creates a problem with Daniel 7 because if this is true, then about 5 horns were actually removed from the kingdom of Odoacer's by the Ostrogoth's invasion. If you consider the horn count to be literal and only three horns were removed from the head of the dreadful looking fourth beast of Daniel 7, then obviously, there is a mismatch between the actual number of horns removed from Odoacer's kingdom (5) and the number predicted in the Bible (3). What to do about this?

You can get around this problem with a second approach, which is to define horns to be the army group of Odoacer's without a specific tribal identity attached to it. In other words, because it is a composite group of several different tribal groups, consider it to be a unique group distinct from any one tribe and count the group as a whole to be one horn without a tribal name attached to it. By doing this, you do not create math problems with Daniel 7 because then you are counting one horn only which was removed by the Ostrogothic invasion. But, doing this eliminates the Heruls as the target group, which Seventh-day Adventists do not want to do because they think that the tribes are horns and they therefore must identify a specific tribal group. Because they believe that the number ten is literal and that the Heruls were one of the literal ten tribes, they will not accept the definition suggested here in most cases. This definition is actually much more true to the Bible's definition than the definition that they use, but they would still refuse to use it.

Note that SDAs typically do not count the other tribal groups present in Odoacer's army as horns. They ignore them. The likely reason is that they will say that these other tribes were not within the boundaries of the Western Roman Empire in 476, but that is not true. Here are the reasons their excuse is not true:

  • The Heruls present within Odoacer's army were the only known group of Heruls within the boundaries of the Western Roman Empire in 476. The main body of their tribe was actually outside the boundaries of the Western Roman Empire in 476, so if these members of the Heruls could be counted as a tribe by virtue of being within Odoacer's army in 476, then also the same must be true of the other tribal groups who were in Odoacer's army in 476 regardless of whether or not the main body of their respective tribes were within the boundaries of the Western Roman Empire in 476.
  • Just so you know the facts, the main bodies of the Scirian and Rugian tribes were within the boundarias of the Western Roman Empire in 476, which means the excuse not to count these as horns is invalid. The Torcilingian tribe may have been the Thuringian tribe, which was outside the boundaries of the Western Roman Empire in 476. The other groups, of course, remain unknown as Jordanes did not name them, so they may or may not have been within the boundaries of the Wistern Roman Empire in 476. However, as pointed out, that would not have mattered because the same standard that SDAs apply to the Heruls must be applied to the other tribes who were members of Odoacer's army. If the Heruls were a horn, then so also must the others be horns, or else you must count them all as one composite group, separate and distinct as a group from any one tribe, so constitute one horn only without a specific tribal identity.

These things may seem like splitting hairs, but it is factually true.

There are additional problems with the way SDAs have defined horns. It would seem that the kingdom of Odoacer creates a real problem because the Bible defines a horn to be a king as its first and foremost definition and never defines it as a tribe.  Adventists tend to think that horns and tribes are synonymous, and while that may be true sometimes, that is not necessarily always true.  For example, the Alamanni were a tribe that was eventually divided among four nations.  Do we count them as one horn or four?  Or, should the Alamanni be counted at all since they were conquered?  They may be a tribe but because they were eventually divided among four nations, a condition that remains today, so they can probably be said to have four kings.  In the case of the Alamanni, a tribe contains not just one king, but four. 

Most lists by Adventists do include the Alamanni - as Germany - as if there was only one king, which is incorrect.  Also, since Germany actually is constituted from several groups, is this the right thing to do?  Why should the descendants of the Alamanni in Germany be given greater status than those Alamanni descendants in say, France, or other groups within Germany who are just as much German as the Alamanni, such as the Bavarians or the Saxons? Ah, but they will say that these other tribes were not one of the original ten literal tribes, so do not count. But this does not solve the inconsistency that is obviously present with the Alamanni being divided among four different nations. And it shows that insisting that the ten horns are literal only creates other inconsistencies. Besides that, it ignores the political history of Germany, which shows that the Alamanni were only one of several groups that were brought together by a conquering force and placed into one kingdom. The Alamanni had little choice about the creation of Germany and did not do much to actually create it. It was created for them by their kings who in turn were imposed on them through conquest. Typically, if we are to name the founders of a nations, you pick the group of people most responsible for a nation's founding. So, in this case, naming the Alamanni is NOT naming the founders. More on that later.

As you can see, there are real problems with equating a tribe with a kingdom approach.  In the case of the kingdom of Odoacer, the tribe cannot be equated with a kingdom because there were members of more than one tribal group as part of one army and the army was not the nation itself. The civilian population was the nation.  What should be done about that?

Consider that people speak of the destruction of the Vandals as if they were one group.  Actually, they consisted of two different groups (something that Seventh-day Adventists usually do not know), but these had one king over them.  The two different groups were the Alans and the Vandals.  Their kings called themselves the kings of the Vandals and Alans (Peter Heather, The Goths, copyrights 1996 and 1998, Blackwell Publishing (http://www.blackwellpublishing.com), Malden, MA, USA, Page 176). Justinian had the Vandal tribe destroyed and the Alans that were with them were also destroyed.  However, there were members of the Alan tribe elsewhere, so they as a people were not eradicated.  Most Vandals did survive the war against them, so one cannot say that they were eradicated by this war. Of course, the Vandal/Alan kingdom was destroyed by the action of Justinian and their king was permanently removed from power. As a people, they never were able to recreate their kingdom.

The Alans in about 370 were living outside the boundaries of the Western Roman Empire and were attacked by the Huns.  As a result, they were divided into several groups.  Some went westward into Roman territory.  Some of those who went westward joined the Sueves and Vandals in their invasion of Roman Gaul.  At about the same time as these attacks were going on, another group of Alans (led by a man named Goar) crossed the Rhine, joined the Romans and settled in Gaul.  In time, the Alans in Gaul were eventually absorbed by the Franks and they ceased to have an independent existence, though they did not lose their tribal identity.  Some of them eventually ended up in Britanny on the northwest coast of France and were later spoken of in relation to events even into the Middle Ages. So, while they as a people may not have had an independent existence, they still had their identity for centuries after their absorption into the Frankish kingdom.  Some other Alans went into Spain and formed a kingdom with the Vandals.  In about 408 or so, one of the Alan kings, Attaces, was killed in a battle against the Visigoths when the Visigoths were attempting to extend their territory southwest from France into Spain.  Many of the Alans later joined with the Vandals and crossed into North Africa. 

Note that this creates an interesting situation because there were several different groups of Alans.  Some of these groups had their own king, while others voluntarily were parts of several groups that "shared" a king with them.  Still others were conquered and forced to accept a king they really did not want.  But what it all boils down to is that you have one tribe but several different kings.  If some power had come along and actually wiped out the entire tribe, they would have had to have removed several kings from several different locations to do so.  Of course, that did not happen because it is very difficult to accomplish something like that. If a horn is a tribe, this creates an interesting and difficult situation. What do you do with such a group? SDAs will say that the Alans were not listed among the ten tribes, so they do not need to worry about that. But why is it that they are not listed?  Clearly, they were a relatively smaller group compared to the Vandals, but they were in Roman Gaul in 476 and as a whole, they were probably just as large as any of the other large tribal groups.  Thus, they were there and there is little reason they could not have been a horn on the beast.  Why they have they not been considered a horn on the beast is puzzling.  This is something to think about. Somehow, there is something inconsistent with not counting them among the ten horns. And this points to the inconsistency of insisting that the number ten is literal only. It leaves out good candidates for the horns.

Most of the Alans living with the Vandals in Spain left and went into North Africa with the Vandals when they crossed in 429.  The Vandals left Spain because of the invasion of the Visigoths, which wiped out one of their two main divisions.  With only one division of their tribe left, their king was very concerned about their very survival, so when the offer was made that they could have North Africa in exchange for their help (as explained below), they left, apparently believing that they had a better chance of survival there than they did on the Iberian Peninsula.  According to Wikipedia, here is how the Vandal invasion and takeover of North Africa came about and proceeded:

"In 429, political maneuvering in Rome was to change the landscape forever. Rome was ruled by the boy emperor Valentinian III (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentinian_III, who rose to power at the age of 8), and his mother Galla Placidia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galla_Placidia). However, the Roman General Flavius Aëtius (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flavius_Aëtius), in vying for power, convinced Galla Placidia that her General Boniface (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonifacius) was plotting to kill her and her son to claim the throne for himself. As proof, he implored her to write him a letter asking him to come to Rome so that she would see that Boniface would refuse. At the same time Aëtius sent Boniface a letter stating that he should disregard letters from Rome asking him to return for they were plotting to kill him. When Boniface saw the letter from Rome, and believed there was a plot to kill him, he enlisted the help of the Vandal King Geiseric. He promised the Vandals land in North Africa in exchange for their help. However, when it was known that the whole thing was a plot on the part of Aëtius, and Boniface was once again in Rome's favour, it was too late to turn back the Vandal invasion. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invasion) "

"Geiseric crossed the Strait of Gibraltar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strait_of_Gibraltar) with the entire tribe of 80,000 and moved east, pillaging and looting as they drove more and more refugees toward the walled city of Hippo Regius (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippo_Regius). Geiseric realized that they wouldn't be able to take the city in a direct assault, so began a months long siege on the walls of Hippo Regius. Inside Saint Augustine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Augustine_of_Hippo) and his priests prayed for relief from the invaders, knowing full well that the fall of the city would spell conversion or death for many Roman Christians. On 28 August 430, three months into the siege, St. Augustine died, perhaps from hunger (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starvation) or stress, as the wheat fields outside the city lay dormant and unharvested. After 14 months, hunger and the inevitable diseases (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infectious_disease) were ravaging both the city inhabitants and the Vandals outside the city walls.

"Peace was made between the Romans and the Vandals by means of a grant in 435 of territory in Northern Africa. In 439, the Vandals took and plundered Carthage (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carthage) without a fight, entering the city while most of the inhabitants were attending the races at the hippodrome. Geiseric temporarily made it his capital, and styled himself the King of the Vandals and Alans (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alans), to denote the inclusion of the Alans of northern Africa into his alliance. Conquering Sicily (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sicily), Sardinia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sardinia), Corsica (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corsica) and the Balearic Islands (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balearic_Islands), he built his kingdom into a powerful state, moving the capital to Saldae (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saldae)." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vandals)

Moving further along in time, consider the Rugians who were destroyed when the Ostrogothic kingdom in Italy was destroyed in about 554 - 556.  Why do we not say that the Papacy caused their destruction?  That action, instigated by the Papacy, caused nearly the entire tribe to disappear afterwards, which is more than was accomplished by destroying some of the Heruls in the kingdom of Odoacer.  Of course, it is actually unknown what happened to them.  They are not believed to have been eradicated.  More likely they simply blended into the surrounding population and disappeared that way or maybe they moved away and dispersed.  Just the same, they did disappear altogether.  Why is nothing said about them?  There were other tribal groups in with the Ostrogoths.  Do we count them as separate horns also or do we count all of them as one horn?  How do we answer these questions? 

Maybe what is needed is a consistent method to determine who is a horn and who is not, but how do we develop such a method?


Biblically Based Criteria To Solve the Problems

To resolve these inconsistencies and difficulties, it is necessary to develop a Biblically based method of deciding who is a horn and who is not a horn. Some of that has already been done, but to continue that process, here we will detail the priority order of definitions given in the Bible. The first step done earliler was to establish that to be counted as a potential horn, a people group must have been within the boundaries of the Western Roman Empire in 476 when the decrees concerning the breakup of the Roman Empire were written.

As you can see from some of the examples already presented, it is quite difficult to accurately define who is a horn unless you have consistent criteria by which to do so, criteria which do not create confusion.  Fortunately, the Bible does give us information that tells us how to define who is a horn and who is not. 

According to Daniel 7:17, a beast is a king.  Here is what it says:

Dan 7:17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.

As stated before, beasts, heads, and horns all represent kings, which are also symbolic.  When Daniel 7:17 says that the four beasts are four kings, then it should tell you that one beast is one king.  But, each of these "kings" is actually representing a line of literal kings who occupied the same throne that their founder occupied.  To understand this, consider that Nebuchadnezzar could be considered the founder of his empire.  But, he was not the last king of Babylon to sit upon his throne.  There were others after him which constituted a line of kings that sat upon the same throne in Babylon until the Medes and Persians came, captured Babylon and ended the line of kings that had ruled Babylon.  In the case of Alexander the Great, he founded an empire and was the "king" that was the leopard beast.  Thus, the leopard beast is named for him as its founder but it is also true that he founded a specific line of kings named for him that were to rule his kingdom from his throne before the four successor generals/kings took over the kingdom.  Thus, his name is applied both to his own specific line of kings and to the leopard beast itself.

As stated before, beasts, heads, and horns all represent kings.  A beast can also represent a kingdom or nation, and because heads, horns and beasts all represent the same things, therefore heads and horns can also represent kingdoms or nations.  Here is how the Bible defines these things and in the order it defines them:

  • First: A king.
  • Second, a kingdom.
  • Third, a nation.

Here are the verses which show that they are always defined in this order in Daniel 2, 7 and 8.  Let us begin with Daniel 2:

Dan 2:38 And wherever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven has he given into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all. You are this head of gold.

Dan 2:39 And after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to you, and another third kingdom of bronze, which shall bear rule over all the earth.

Note that in verse 38, Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar that he was the head of gold.  This specifically identified the gold head with a specific person, which not only named it for him, but it also specified that the head of gold was a king, for that is exactly what Nebuchadnezzar was - a king.  Thus, there are several important points that this addresses:

  • It specifically identifies the gold head as a king.
  • It gave a name to the king that the gold head represented, which in this case was Nebuchadnezzar.
  • Because the gold head represented the entire time line of the Babylonian kingdom from Nebuchadnezzar until the fall of Babylon to the Medes and Persians, the fact that the gold head was a king means that it cannot refer only to Nebuchadnezzar, but must refer to the entire time line occupied by all the kings of Babylon from Nebuchadnezzar until the fall of the Babylonian Empire. In other words, by saying that the gold head was a king and naming it, God was telling us that the term king refers to a line of kings.
  • God named the line of kings for the person he considered to be the founder of the Babylonian Empire, Nebuchadnezzar. Thus, whenever we are told that a beast, head, or horn represents a king, we know that it has the name of its founder attached to it because that is the way God did things in Daniel 2.

God could have given us several more examples with the image, but did not. However, he drove the point home years later through the vision recorded in Daniel 8. In that vision, the angel explained to Daniel that the great horn between the eyes of the goat was the first king of Greece, which clearly refers to Alexander the Great. The angel all but named the first king of the empire that Alexander built. Clearly this would mean that the leopard beast of Daniel 7 was also named Alexander. Of course, the personal line of Alexander fell when Alexander's four successors divided the kingdom and was replaced by four unrelated lines of kings. Below is an illustration to make this easier to understand.

Alexander & Successor Lines

In verse 39, it specifically says that "after you shall arise another kingdom...."  This specifically stated that "after you", very likely meaning after the current king line of Nebuchadnezzar (it could not have likely referred to Nebuchadnezzar personally because the Babylonian kingdom did not fall to the Medes and Persians for some 20 years or so after his death, after several of his descendants had sat on his throne), it defined the next metal (the silver chest and arms) as a kingdom.

It is true that in verse 37, Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar that God had given him a kingdom. Verse 37 does nothing more than tell Nebuchadnezzar that he is a king only because God gave him a kingdom to rule.  In other words, without God's power by which he got his kingdom, he would not have it at all.  Verse 37 is not the definition of the gold head, something that came in verse 38. The definition continued because in verse 39 it said that "after you", meaning specifically the gold head because it had already been defined to be Nebuchadnezzar, a king.  Then it states what the next metal would be. Instead ,f stating the name of the next king line founder, which would have been Cyrus the Great, it said it was a kingdom. Now, in doing this, it is saying that the metal, silver, was now a kingdom. So, in doing this, first it says that a metal (gold) is a king, then says that a metal (silver) is a kingdom. So, it is giving us a succession of definitions for the metal such as the gold or the silver.

Since the metals of the image are the same as their corresponding beasts, the definitions must match. In Daniel 2, it specifically defines each metal as being first a king, and then a kingdom.  Then, in Daniel 7, it says:

Dan 7:17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. (the first definition)

Dan 7:23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. (the second definition)

Note that in this dream/vision, Daniel is again told first that the beasts are kings.  Then, in verse 23, it specifies that they (horns, but horns and beasts are equivalent) are kingdoms.  Note the same order as occurs in Daniel 2:38-39.  First they are defined as kings, then kingdoms.

Then in Daniel 8, it says:

Dan 8:20 The ram which you saw having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. (the first definition)

Dan 8:21 And the male goat is the king of Greece: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. (the first definition repeated)

Dan 8:22 As for that horn being broken, and the four that stood up in its place, four kingdoms shall stand up out of that nation, but not with its power. (definitions 2 and 3)

Here again, Daniel is told in verse 20 that the ram's horn's were kings (remember that beasts, heads, and horns always represent the same things).  In verse 21, it says that the goat is a king, and says that the great horn is also a king and specifies exactly who it is without actually naming him, thereby doing the same thing as was done in Daniel 2:38-39.  So, that repeats the first definitions found in Daniel 2 and 7.  Then, in verse 22, it specifies that the horns are kingdoms.  Finally, the last definition in verse 22 is that the great horn is a nation.  Again, the definitions are in the same exact order as those found in Daniel 2: first kings, then kingdoms, and finally nations.

Because the order is always the same in all three chapters, then a beast, head, horn (or metal in the case of the image of Daniel 2) is always defined first and foremost as a king.  This should always be the definition considered first for purposes of interpreting the beasts, heads, or horns or for deciding who is a beast, head, or horn. The fact that these definitions always occur in the same order in all three of these chapters indicates that this order is significant.  This order of things was done for a very specific purpose and should not be ignored.  God has an important message in that for us.

Therefore, it would seem that for a group of people to qualify as a horn, they must have a king or a leader of some type of their own choosing (not a foreign leader imposed over them) and likely with a defined territory, though perhaps a defined territory is not an absolute must.  But most importantly, the kings are to be counted first rather than tribes.  Logically, because a king or leader of some type is required, then some form of and degree of self-governance is required, though it does not necessitate that the control of a given king over his people or territory must be independent of control by others at a higher level.  There is nothing in the Bible that says they cannot be subordinate kings, and, in fact, it recognizes sub level kings . 


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The most important point is this: Count the kings! Each and every one of the top level kings over any of the people groups must be counted so long as other criteria are met (the people group was within the borders of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and they affect God's people in some way, or in other words, they were Christian kingdoms). Count the top level kings if there are several kings per tribe (such as the Alani Tribe which was divided up into several groups, each of which had a separate king) or several tribes per king (such as the combination of the Vandals and the Alans in North Africa with one king over both groups). Count the kings, not the tribes. The tribe is not the criteria. Sub level kings may also need to be counted.

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In the Bible we have several examples of kings who were at different levels.  There were kings at a higher level and also kings who were under the authority of those at a higher level.  We would probably call the lower level kings "sub kings".  In Daniel 2:37, Nebuchadnezzar is said to be a king of kings, implying that he was the top level king and there were other kings under his authority.  In Daniel 8, we have the example of the ram.  Daniel 8:20 explains that the two horns of the ram are the kings of Media and Persia.  The first horn would rise first and would initially be dominant over the second horn.  Daniel said that the second horn came up last and rose higher than the first horn, thereby indicating that the second horn would rise to power later than the first horn and would eventually become dominant over the first horn.

If you study the history of the Medes and Persians, you will learn that the Medes were in fact the larger of the two powers early in their history.  The Medes developed a substantial empire that they built up over time.  Eventually the Medes were the rulers of the Persians, but as time went by, the leader of the Persians, whose name was Cyrus the Great, went to war against the Medes, who were led by their king, Astyages.  In the last battle, the army of the Medes defected to the side of Cyrus the Great, so they gave the battle over to him.  Thereafter, Cyrus the Great allowed the Median king to live and apparently allowed him to continue as a sub level king until he died, after which Cyrus the Great became the king of both the Medes and the Persians but ruled as the king of the Persians.  Astyages apparently was not replaced upon his death, so that line did eventually end.  The point of all this, however, is that the Bible shows two horns upon the ram and says they represent the kings of Media and Persia and that one was a higher level king than the other.  Thus, from history and the Bible in Daniel 8, we know that God recognized both a top level king and a sub level king as horns on the ram. 

As a consequence of this, when counting kings, we should count both top level kings and, if needed, we should also count sub level kings.  This also means that when identifying the kings which are represented by the ten horns on the head of the dreadful beast, we must count not only the top level kings, but we must consider that sub level kings may be among them and should be counted as well if needed.  The possibility of that cannot be dismissed.  Sub level kings are more difficult to identify because we may have to dig into the details of history to find them.  The top level kings are generally easy to count because in most cases we need only to count the kingdoms to count the top level kings.  

The point of all this is that instead of counting the tribes, we should count the top level kings and sometimes sub level kings.  The kings are qualified to be counted as horns.  The tribes are not qualified.  You cannot count tribes and correctly understand the horns nor count them correctly.  Counting tribes is guaranteed to lead you down the wrong road, something that we have already seen with people trying to identify the ten leading or largest or most influential tribes.


Where Do the Two Horns Representing
Media and Persia Originate?

Return to Index

This section may seem to be a bit of a diversion from the main topic, but it will help you in your understanding of the entire issue if you take the time to go through it. After this section, we will return to the question of Biblical standards by which to judge who gets to be a horn, how you know whether a horn has been removed, and even count the kings.

There is the question of where the powers of Media and Persia rose from because these are represented by horns on the head of the ram of Daniel 8, the body and head of which must represent a power that God considered to be the power from which the kings of Media and Persia arose.  That is only logical because we know that the body of the leopard beast represented the kingdom run by Alexander the Great and his immediate successors, and the four heads were the four kings who divided his empire and ran it after Alexander's immediate successors.  In this case, one can say that the four heads arose from out of Alexander's kingdom. Likewise the same type of reasoning must be true in the case of the two horns on the ram. There is a kingdom from which they arose. The question is this: what is the name of that power?

When this beast is under discussion, most people mention the two horns but never ask the question concerning the identity of the beast upon whose head they sit.  But if you give it a little thought, to ask this question is sensible because it is no different than the ten horns on the head of the dreadful looking beast in Daniel 7, the body and head of which represented Rome.  We always want to know what the body and head of the dreadful looking beast represented (well, most of us want to know and we do know that Daniel certainly was puzzled by it and desperately wanted to know much more about it), so why not ask the same question about the ram?  Who did it represent?  Another question might be, why does nobody talk about this?

Of course, some people think that to ask this question is an act that is virtually sacrilegious because they do not understand the principles of interpretation.  They will insist that the body and horns of the ram are one power and one time period.  They fail to grasp the fact that their assumption is only that - an assumption - and not based in any known example presented in the Bible.  It is unfortunate that they think this way because they fail to fully understand what the Bible is trying to teach them as a result of their attitude.  There is evidence that this pattern is followed with both the leopard beast and the dreadful looking fourth beast of Daniel 7, so why should the same pattern not be followed in Daniel 8 in the case of the Ram? It is evident that the same pattern is used for the goat (with slight modification), so why should the ram be an exception without cause?

The body and head of the ram itself is not explained anywhere in the Bible, but research into history and use of a principle of interpretation named the Miller Principle (http://www.666man.net/rule.html#MillerPrinciple, which was named in honor of William Miller (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Miller_(preacher)) but has nothing whatsoever to do with his rules of interpretation) strongly points towards Assyria (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assyria) as the power from which the Median and Persian kings are successor kingdoms.  This may be a bit of a surprise to some people, but please permit an explanation.

Before explaining the reasoning behind this, please note that Assyria was a power based in the region around the Tigris River (east of the Euphrates River) north of Babylon and south of Nineveh.  It tended to be in competition with Babylon for power in the region (introduction to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo-Assyrian_Empire).  Assyria is named for the city of Ashur (or Assur) that was within the Assyrian kingdom and its first capital.  For some basic history of this power, see these Internet web pages: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_the_Neo-Assyrian_Empirehttp://looklex.com/e.o/assyria.htm, http://www.allempires.com/empires/assyria/assyria1.htm and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assyria.

In history you can learn that the Assyrians gained control of a rather large empire.  The greatest extent of this empire was reached in 671 BC under Esarhaddon when he succeeded in bringing Egypt under his control.  The maximum extent of the empire was maintained for a few years under his successor, Ashurbanipal (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashurbanipal, see the map of the Assyrian Empire at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Map_of_Assyria.png), but Assyrian control over Egypt did not remain long.  The situation in Egypt was such that over the years previous to its conquest by the Assyrians, it had weakened considerably and was subsequently divided into 11 different kingdoms. Consequently, it was quite fractured when Assyria took it over.  Once Assyria gained control of it, the country was apparently administered as a divided kingdom rather than reuniting it and administering it as one.  It is known that the Assyrians appointed 20 local Egyptian princes to govern the country on their behalf. 

In time, one of these local rulers, by the name of Necho I, died in 664 BC and was succeeded by his son, a man by the name of Psamtik I (also called Psammeticus or Psammetichus or Psametik, see article at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psammetichus_I).  Of course, at first he was able to hold office only because of the approval of his Assyrian overlords, but as time went on, he gained more power and was able to reunite Egypt and eventually drive out the Assyrians.  He was able to complete this process by 655 BC, though some sources suggest the Assyrians may have continued to assert their authority until 651 BC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_the_Neo-Assyrian_Empire, an idea based on what is considered an unreliable source), but abandoned that effort in 651 BC because of attacks by the Elamites (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elam).  In fact, in 655 BC, Psamtik I actually pursued the Assyrians all the way into Palestine, probably to drive home the point that he wanted them well away from his border (http://looklex.com/e.o/psametik_1.htm).  If the date of this is correct, then the Assyrians were not able to assert their authority over Egypt after 655 BC.  Once the Assyrians were driven out, Egypt was no longer part of the Assyrian empire. 

Beginning in 635 BC, the Assyrian empire began to collapse.  Over the years there were several moves by the Medes and the Babylonians to destroy the Assyrian empire and eventually, in 605 BC, through an alliance apparently put together by or before 612 BC, the process was completed.  You can read the short details of this at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neo-Assyrian_Empire#Assyria_falls.2C_627.E2.80.93605_BC.  Note that the main work of destroying the Assyrian Empire occurred in 612 BC when Nineveh (interesting information about Nineveh at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineveh) was destroyed by the alliance of the Medes and Babylonians, along with some Scythians (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scythian), Urartians (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urartu#Later_Period) and Susianians (Susiana is another word for Elam, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susiana).  There seems to be some discrepancy in the information presented on Wikipedia about the date for the battle of Megiddo, but it would appear that the best date is 605 BC because, when this battle took place, the battle the Egyptians were en route to was the battle of Carchemish, which apparently occurred in 605 BC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Megiddo_(609_BC). 

Some sources suggest that Media formed its own independent kingdom in the early 8th century BC (possibly about 715 BC) and continued to 550 BC.  However, it appears that it was not independent for the entire time period for there is evidence of required payments to the Assyrians, something that would not have happened unless they became subject to them.  It appears that the Assyrians allowed the Median king to continue ruling as long as the required payments were made (http://looklex.com/e.o/media.htm), a situation in which a sub level king was allowed to rule under the higher level king. 

There is another reason to believe that the Medians were subjected to the Assyrians at least part of the time.  The kingdom of Media was situated in the northwestern part of what is today Iran.  The Assyrian Empire extended eastward as far as Western Iran, which means it would have had control of the Median Empire.  Note that the map shown on Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Map_of_Assyria.png shows the capital of Media, Ecbatana, well within the territory of the Assyrian Empire, which would represent conditions about 671 BC.  Thus, the Median Empire would have been "owned" by the Assyrians and they were not independent, a condition that apparently remained in place until 625 BC when the Median King, Cyaxares, apparently managed to drive the Assyrians out and reunited the Median Empire (http://looklex.com/e.o/media.htm).  You can see another map of the Assyrian empire at this web address: http://www.third-millennium-library.com/readinghall/UniversalHistory/THE_OLD_WORLD/ASSYRIA

Regarding the alliance that effectively destroyed Nineveh in 612 BC, such an alliance requires an agreement between the participating governments in order to coordinate their activities and enables them to peacefully divide the spoils of war after it is all over.  Such an agreement could also probably be called a decree, if you will, and such an agreement meets the condition for the Decree Transition Principle (http://www.666man.net/rule.html#Decree_Transition_Principle ).  This principle says that whenever there is a change from the body of a beast to several of its heads or horns (or from one head to several horns or several heads to several horns), there will always be a decree or agreement or change of government of some type to make it legal and which God marks so that everything is noted and dated from that point in time.  It will also answer a pending question that the participants have as to the destiny of the kingdom.  The agreement is the point at which God recognizes the change that has been made.  And in fact that is exactly what happened in the case of the rise of the Median and Persian horns on the ram.  There was an agreement between the Medes and Babylonians (and apparently included the Scythians, Urartians and Susianians) from which the rise of the Median and Persian horns could be marked, according to how God saw it.  The agreement and battle that followed in 612 answered the question of the destiny of the Assyrian Empire. 

This is comparable to how God handled the four headed leopard of Daniel 7.  The alliance agreement between Babylon and the Medes was made by their kings, Nabopolassar and Cyaxares respectively, for the purpose of coordinating their war against the Assyrian Empire and then dividing it after the war was won.  This also settled the question of what would happen to the Assyrian Empire, whether it would reassert itself or forever be divided.  It appears that the date of this agreement would have been just before they attacked Nineveh in 612 BC, though the agreement date itself is not available.  Yet this had to have been done or else there would not have been any coordinated activity against the Assyrian Empire.  It would have been virtually impossible.

The fact that the Babylonian kingdom came out of division of the Assyrian Empire after the events of 612 BC is the most prominent reason the lion of Daniel 7 had wings upon its back.  The wings certainly signified several different things, including speed of conquest.  As it happens, there was not a whole lot of conquest for Nabopolassar and his son Nebuchadnezzar to conquer after the battles against the Assyrians because at least a third, if not half, of the Assyrian Empire was simply handed over to them by the agreement they had with the Medes after they managed to destroy Nineveh.  The Babylonian Empire just "suddenly" came into existence.  The conquest they had to do after the fall of the Assyrian Empire was over relatively quickly.  And, Nebuchadnezzar was not in the habit of losing battles, which certainly helped him.

The apparent reason for which there were no horns shown on the ram of Daniel 8 for the Scythians or Urartians is that they were never to affect the people of God.  In addition, nearly all the Assyrian Empire was divided between the Medes and Babylon which effectively placed the Scythians and Urartians completely out of touch with the Jewish nation.  It appears that the Scythians, Urartians and Susianians got little in the way of territory for their efforts, but did gain in other respects.  The Urartians were safer after the war because they had been threatened by the Assyrians many times, so that probably accomplished their main objective.  The Susianians of Elam were given their own territory back to them, but the empire of Elam which had existed before the Assyians conquered them in 645 BC never rose again (http://looklex.com/e.o/elam.htm).  See map of the Elamite Empire at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Elam_Map.jpg and associated article at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elam).  You can see that the territory of Elam is apparently not included in the territory of the Persian Empire on the map at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medes, but this map is as things were in about 600 BC.  However, Elamite independence did not last very long.  According to the article on Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elam, the Persians began their rule in Susa in 539 BC, which means that the Elamite kingdom was within the boundaries of the Persian Empire prior to that time.  In spite of such setbacks for them, it seems the Elamite culture survived for a long time and was even mentioned by writers as late as AD 1300.

Once the Assyrian Empire was destroyed, the Medes are believed to have taken their part of the Assyrian Empire, which consisted of the territory that extended from its western border (they were in what is today Iran) into what is today Southeastern Turkey, Syria, and Northern Iraq, and eventually expanded eastward beyond Iran into what once was called Bactria, which is part of today's Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan.  Babylon took the plain of Susa down to the Persian Gulf.  Its territory formed an arc that was south of the territory taken by the Medes.  Starting at the Persian Gulf, it went northwest and then curved around to the southwest and south along the Mediterranean coast into Palestine towards Egypt.  Babylon had to use its military power to assert its claim over the region of Palestine.  

Some recent research by one author suggests that Babylon took the region of the Assyrian Empire from the heartland of Assyria westward into Turkey and south (see article at http://www.achemenet.com/ressources/souspresse/annonces/Rollinger-Iran.pdf and also see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urartu), with the kingdom of Media taking everything east of that.  In this scenario, the Medes had no territory west of the heartland of Assyria, but this is questionable.  One other source, http://looklex.com/e.o/media.htm, states that the Assyrian Empire was divided into several Median kingdoms with Median rulers, a statement that may be true.  How accurate that information is remains to be seen.  Another source, http://members.tripod.com/historel/orient/06mesop.htm, without citing references (and is not written with the best English, probably because the writer may not be a native speaker of English), says that "the country was divided in two parts: the plain of Susa went to the Babylonians, whilst the Medes got the mountainous region of Anshan."  It would have been better had this person cited references because the information cannot be verified.  But it does suggest that things may not have been divided in the way it has been thought in the past. 

However, contrary to this new idea, it is known that in 585 BC the Medes (possibly under Cyaxares as he died in 585 BC) attacked the kingdom of Lydia (in what is today Western Turkey).  The Babylonians and Cilicians (these people apparently lived on the southern coast of today's Turkey) intervened and a peace treaty was negotiated setting the Halys River (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halys_River) as the boundary between Media and Lydia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lydia).  If Babylon was the actual holder of the territory from the Assyrian heartland westward, then this battle could not have occurred because the Median kingdom border would have been far to the east of Lydia.  So, it appears that there is some information missing from our picture of history of that area and time period.  We possibly don't know all the details even yet.  Is it possible that Babylon actually did take the heartland of Assyria and west of that into Turkey, and later the Medes took it from them?  We do not know and apparently have no evidence that this happened, but it might have occurred without leaving some record of it behind.  However, it is known that the Medes and Persians later conquered the Babylonian Empire, so it is not impossible that they started out by first taking the Assyrian heartland all the way to the border with Lydia and then got into a battle with Lydia at a later time.  We just do not have information that this happened, but it seems reasonable that it did.  Until the facts are known, all we can do is speculate.

Now, this means that as a basic fact of history, there were two major powers that came up as successor kingdoms to the Assyrian Empire at the time of the agreement to divide the Assyrian Empire, which were the Medes and the Babylonians.  Therefore, it would appear that the ram in Daniel 8 should show two horns, one being the Babylonians, the other being the Medes.  However, the explanation is not what one would expect.  Instead, the angel explained to Daniel that the two horns represent the kings of Media and Persia.  Babylon is not mentioned.  Why is there no Babylonian horn?  Probably the best explanation for this is that the vision of Daniel 8 concerned history soon to take place, which was to be after the time of Babylon.  The basic details of Babylon had already been revealed through the visions recorded in Daniel 2 and 7, so was not needed in the vision of Daniel 8.  When this vision occurred, Babylon still existed as an empire, but was very soon to be a "has been" empire.  For this reason God did not show a Babylonian horn on the ram in the vision recorded in Daniel 8. 

The reason the body of the ram was shown is to give us the detail of the point of origin for the rise to power of the Medes and Persians.  The body of the ram does, of course, refer to the Assyrian Empire, something which is not represented by any other beast in Daniel. 

Another problem concerns Egypt, which became independent of Assyria by 655 BC.  There was no Egyptian horn on the Ram and it had not previously been shown as a metal on the image of Daniel 2 nor had it been shown as a beast in Daniel 7.  One could say that in the case of Rome, all of the territory of the Western Roman Empire that it ruled at one time or another was considered part of the empire from which the ten horns arose, so why should not Egypt be included as part of the territory from which successor kingdoms of the Assyrian Empire arose?  This is a logical question because Egypt certainly did affect God's people.  This appears to be one of those things where God made a choice about what he wanted to show for reasons that he has not fully revealed.  However, what can be said is that God had already revealed to Daniel that Babylon was the power that would affect the people of God.  At that time, most of the people of God lived either in the land of Judah or else in Babylon, not in Egypt.  If you recall from references above, the Assyrian Empire was largely destroyed in 612 BC and the remains of it was finished by 605 BC. 

In 605 BC, the army of Babylon came to Jerusalem and took the city, deporting many people to the city of Babylon, including four young Hebrew men whom we read about in the book of Daniel.  Once the agreement between the Babylonians and the Medes was created and Assyria was largely destroyed in 612 BC, then per the agreement, ownership of Palestine legally went to Babylon, not Egypt.  The Assyrians had owned and ruled it before (see map of Assyrian gains at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Deportation_of_Jews_by_Assyrians.svg).  Thus, the empire that God had already said would affect his people was Babylon rather than Egypt.  It would appear that because of the very limited geographic localization of the people of God in that time period, God did not wish to confuse the picture by introducing the Egyptians as another power that would directly affect his people, though its effects would be relatively minor compared to the effect the Babylonians would have in that time period.  It is true that the king of Egypt came up through Israel while on his way to the battle of Carchemish (605 BC, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carchemish and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Megiddo_(609_BC) ) and the king of the Jews came out to do battle against him and was killed.  But because the legal title to the land was with the Babylonians according to the agreement of 612 BC, the Egyptians were apparently not given status of a horn on the Assyrian beast (the ram of Daniel 8).  God may have had other reasons not revealed to us.  We have historical evidence that in later times, the Egyptians did have a strong influence on the people of God because many of them went to live in Egypt (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_diaspora).

A final problem is the fact that one of the two horns on the ram represented Persia.  It seems this should only happen if Persia somehow was a part of the empire of the Medes that came under their control and therefore became a part of that which the Assyrians controlled or had controlled. This had to have happened before the agreement of 612 BC between the Medes and the Babylonians because the Assyrian Empire was effectively destroyed in that year, with cleanup afterwards until 605 BC.  Given that the Medes kicked the Assyrians out of the heartland of the Median Empire by 625 BC, that may rule out the Persians being directly under the control of the Assyrians when the agreement dividing the empire was created in 612 BC.  It appears that the exact time when the Medes gained control over the Persians is not precisely known.  What is known is limited.  Herodotus (born about 484 BC and died about 430 BC -420 BC), who wrote the first serious history of the ancient world, wrote that the Median king Phraortes (reigned 675 BC – 653 BC) brought the Persians under his control.  If true, then the Persians would have been under the control of the Assyrians because the Assyrians had control of the Median Empire during this time.  This may be an accurate report as there apparently are some contemporary sources among the Assyrians suggesting this to be true.  If true, then the Assyrian Empire extended farther into Iran than is commonly shown on the maps of its empire.

It is also possible that the Median kingdom, which would have included the Persians, came about later under Cyaxares, a Median king who ruled from 625 BC to 585 BC.  If Cyaxares brought Persia under his control, it very likely would have happened when he united the Median kingdom in 625 BC or very soon thereafter.  In this case, it would have made the Persians subject to a power that had been under the control of the Assyrians, which would have made it, in a sense, one of the successor kingdoms of the Assyrians because the agreement dividing the Assyrian empire was not executed until the year 612 BC.  Because the agreement included the territory of the Medes, then with the Persians under their control, the Persians would have automatically been included.  Therefore, the Persians had to have been brought under the control of the Medes before the agreement of 612 BC in order for Persia to have been considered a part of the territory to be divided, a condition necessary for it to show up as a horn on the Assyrian beast (the ram) of Daniel 8.  While we do not know exactly when they were joined to the Medes, based on the historical information available to us, we should be able to say with reasonable confidence that the Persians were part of the Median Empire by the time of the agreement in 612 BC.  For more information, see the article subsection The kingdom of the Medes in the article "Iran, ancient." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica 2009 Ultimate Reference Suite.  Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2009.

It is interesting that the article about the Median Empire on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Median_Empire) has this to say about Media and Babylon: "Although Herodotus considered Cyrus as grandson of Astyages, his account apparently was based on folk traditions and cannot be reconciled with historical data. Babylonian sources such as Dream Text of Nabonidus do not speak of him as the grandson of Astyages and his vassal. They refer to him only as the king of Anshan/Anzan (i.e., of Persia, the present-day Fārs), while Astyages (Ištumegu) is named the king of Umman-manda." (Their reference source for this information is: http://www.iranica.com/newsite/index.isc?Article=http://www.iranica.com
).  However, to some extent, this is contradicted by contemporary Assyrian sources and other contemporary Babylonian sources.  Perhaps there is more for us to learn about this, but given that the Bible shows the Persian horn growing out of the beast that must be Assyria, it is clear that the Assyrian and other Babylonian sources are right about this much: Persia was part of the Median Empire.  The Dream Text of Nabonidus may simply not have reported everything known at the time about the Medes and Persians, so the information given there is incomplete.  The information that was incomplete may have included whether Astyages was the maternal grandfather of Cyrus the Great.

In the book The Persians (Gene R. Garthwaite, Blackwell Publishing, http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/history, Malden, Massachusetts, USA, copyright 2005 and 2007, page 28), the author claims that no actual sources say that the Persians were subject to the Medes when Cyrus the Great conquered the Medes in about 550 BC.  However, on the same page, he observes that Babylonian sources of the time reported that when this happened, the Persians were Vassals of the Medes.  Why does he disbelieve them?  That is uncertain and a bit puzzling. 

In conclusion, the body of the ram represented the Assyrian Empire from which the kingdoms of the Medes and Babylonians emerged.  It appears to be the only logical solution to explain how the two horns of Media and Persia sat on the head of a beast, a beast which clearly is their "ancestor". 

Because the Persians became more dominant later in the Median Empire, the second horn on the ram comes up later and rises higher than the first horn to show that it came to power later and eventually became the more dominant of the two.  Events would seem to then require that its appearance would have been by 612, with its growth and rising higher than the other horn to come after the agreement of 612. The first horn does not fall off once the second horn starts to come up (unlike the great horn on the goat of Daniel 8, which broke off to indicate that the previous line had died), but remains on the ram to show that the two horns remain together for at least a while. Thus, there were two levels of kings within the Persian Empire for a time.  Both were recognized by God and one was subordinate to the other.  Therefore, sub level kings can be horns on beasts.

There seems to be a central point in all the beasts, such as the leopard and dreadful looking beasts of Daniel 7 which is that the beasts, and any heads or horns they have are shown only if they will directly or significantly effect God's people.  And, they will be shown in the order in which they will have their effect upon God's people.  Thus, God's central concern in all the visions of Daniel and Revelation is the welfare of his people.

Do note that once the Medes regained their independence (625 BC), they began to extend their empire.  It is believed that they took territory eastward all the way into what was once Bactria, today part of Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan.  Eventually the Persians took on the Medes and defeated them but allowed their king, Astyages (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astyages), to continue to rule his people under the control of the Persians, though one source suggests he was held captive in the court of Cyrus until he died.  Whether that is true is uncertain but it seems unlikely based on other information.  Once he died, he evidently was not replaced, but instead, Cyrus the Great (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyrus_the_Great) accepted the Median crown, but ruled as king of Persia.  From then on, it was the Persian Empire.  Eventually the Persians took on the Babylonian empire and conquered it in 539 BC.  Thereafter, Babylon ceased to exist as an empire and was just another province in the Persian Empire.

In summary, where several heads or horns exist on a beast, we can assume that the heads are probably independent of one another (and the horns are probably independent of one another also), but we have to keep in mind that there may be an exception to that.  It is possible for one head or horn to be subordinate to the other.  What this boils down to is that we should count the kings that will affect the people of God and be sure that we consider and possibly count sublevel kings as well as the top level kings.

How Do You Remove a Beast, Head, or Horn, and How Do You Know It Has Fallen?
The Horn Removal Rules

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Let us now turn to discovering Bible based principles of understanding the fall of beasts, heads or horns. How do you know a horn has fallen based upon real world events? We will try to answer that question in this section.

This section is a little more difficult than the others, so a little patience and careful study of the reasoning behind this may be helpful.  The hard part has been done for you by breaking things down into relatively simple rules that should be understandable and, hopefully, complete.  If you take the time to work through this, you will gain a better understanding of the ten horns of Daniel 7 and other beasts with their heads and horns found in both Daniel and Revelation. 

There are a few things that I have learned in my study which are included here that may come as a bit of a surprise to you.  To fully understand them, you may have to rethink some of your own ideas, something that I certainly had to do because I found that the evidence from history and the Bible required it.  But, if you are in doubt, check these new things against history and the Bible to verify things.

Some may argue that we don't need to study the fall of beasts, heads or horns because they think that, with the exceptions of the three horns of Daniel 7 on the fourth dreadful looking beast and the heads of the scarlet beast of Revelation 17, neither beasts nor heads nor horns fall.  But such an assertion is not true.  In Daniel 7, we learn that three of the horns fell before the talking horn, so at least these three horns fell. And if these three horns can fall, then others may have fallen as well even if it does not say that they fell. By studying the fall of the three horns and learning how and why they fell and why it is said that they fell, one can understand whether or not other horns have fallen. 

More than horns fall in the Bible for it is clear that heads fall also.  In Revelation 17:11, John was told that "five (of the heads) have fallen, one is, and one more is yet to come" (paraphrase mine).  It then talks about an 8th that would come after the seven.  Obviously, the "one is" head and the one yet to come must also fall.  The original Greek for the word "fallen" in Revelation 17 means that it has literally or figuratively fallen in the same sense as something that falls towards the earth.  Therefore, heads fall in Revelation just like the horns do in Daniel.  If we study the fall of the heads and horns in Daniel, it should help us better understand the fall of the heads in Revelation 17. 

And last but not least, the beasts can "fall" because the same process that eliminates a head or horn can also eliminate a beast.  We have the example where beasts were replaced by others in Daniel 7, a process that cannot happen unless the previous beast has "fallen".

We need to determine how a head or horn falls and how to know when it has happened, something that sometimes is not as easy as it may  seem.  For an example of a situation in which it is easy to know this, it is not difficult to understand that the horn representing the Vandals/Alans fell because Justinian's troops destroyed the Vandal/Alan kingdom.  Their king was gone and they never had another king of their own again. They were not even allowed to remain in North Africa because Justinian made it illegal for them to live there. Not many would dare to question that their kingdom fell.  But what do you do when a kingdom has a civil war and a new king line emerges from it (and remember, count the king lines, not the tribes)?  Did the old horn (or beast or head) fall?  Is the new king line a new horn?  Is it a new beast altogether?  What do you do with such cases?  It is not as easy as it might seem.

Something specific has to happen to a power so that in the Bible, its corresponding symbolic beast, head or horn falls.  Perhaps this could mean a revolution, an invasion, or perhaps other ways in which this can happen.  How can we know what causes the beast, head or horn to fall? And what about religious beasts, heads, or horns? What happens to them so that they fall? To gain a better understanding of this, let us outline the known ways in which this happened in Daniel and see what we can learn from these examples.  These are:

  • Invasion and conquest: When a foreign power invaded a kingdom and conquered it, this was represented in Daniel 7 by a new beast that came up out of the waters. In the process of rising to power, the new power conquered the previous kingdom, thereby causing the previous beast to "fall".  Daniel may not have been shown the previous beast falling flat on its face, but it would be completely valid to say that it fell because its power and dominion was taken from it by the succeeding power and a foreign king began to rule it. Remember that beasts are first defined as kings, so this means the previous line of kings of the conquered kingdom normally comes to an abrupt halt.  A new beast is a new government, a fact which helps us in Revelation 13 where the earth beast comes up out of the earth. The earth beast of Revelation 13 is not the result of an invasion but rather is the result of a revolution against the previously established government, which was the British government of the time.
  • Division of a kingdom: Whenever a kingdom was divided among several unrelated successors and there was a decree, agreement, or change of government which answered an important question about the destiny of the empire, then Daniel was shown that there would be multiple heads or horns on a beast to show that God considered these to be part of the same original kingdom and were considered by God to be loosely of the same line as the founder of the kingdom.  For example, the kingdom of Alexander the Great was divided among his four genetically unrelated generals in 301 BC through the agreement they arrived at and (presumably) signed in 301 BC.  Here the king line of Alexander the Great continues through the successors until all of them are gone, though his personal line was gone at the point where the successors divided his kingdom per the agreement. When the heads rise to power at the point of the agreement, one might say that the body falls then. Any of the heads that are later conquered by an invader also falls at the point of conquest by the invader.
  • King line substitution by internally generated changes within a kingdom: Whenever there was a change of kings (government) that was caused by the people from within the kingdom (perhaps a civil war) and is not a division of the kingdom as was done with Alexander's kingdom, then God usually ignores it if there is only a political power change involved.  We know that this is true because he does not show anything on the beasts or their heads and horns or in their explanation that shows any recognition of such changes within kingdoms represented as beasts in Daniel 7 or 8.  This is something that one would think should have required a new beast to rise for each of the empires in Daniel 7 where changes within the kingdom occurred.  Yet God did not do that, thereby indicating that he normally ignores such changes.  Rome is a perfect example of such a situation.  In Rome, the king line continued through the throne in spite of three civil wars and changes in government (Rome tried out seven different forms of government).  God did not explain these changes and he did not show a new beast to rise up to represent each change of government in Rome.  nothing about the fourth dreadful looking beast of Daniel 7 betrays recognition of these events in Roman history. Thus, he usually ignores the changes that occur within the government of a civil power so long as it comes about without an invasion from an external power. 
  • Religious power rise or fall: God notes certain cases where religious powers rise, fall, or are involved in a change of government where it is significant to the people of God. In such cases, usually the previous government falls, but not always. The one known exception from Bible prophecy is the talking horn on the dreadful looking fourth beast of Daniel 7. The Eastern Roman Empire continued to exist even after it gave power to the talking horn, thereby causing it to rise to power. The Eastern Roman Empire did not fall upon its action of giving power to the talking horn. On the other hand, when the earth beast of Revelation 13 changed from the body to the heads (this happened in the 1787-1789 time frame), the previous form of government ceased to exist and was replaced by a new form, one in which the powers of the government were separated from the powers of the churches. Someday, when the Image beast replaces the earth beast's two horns, the previous separation of powers of the earth beast will cease to exist, so a new form of government will be created in which the powers of the church and the state will be intermingled. This requires the fall of the previous form of government. In the case of the beast of Revelation 13, it fell when a decree in 1798 took away its power over the people of God. That decree ended the symbolic 1260 days or 42 months of power it was allotted. Therefore, a decree is required for a religious power to rise or fall when it involves the government and the people of God.

If you examine the outlined items above, it should become clear that when a line of political kings is brought to an abrupt end by either a foreign invader or death of the last ruler who is not replaced by his people, then the beast, head or horn can be said to fall.  In such a situation, when the last king with the founder's name attached to him is removed from power or dies, then the beast, head, or horn can be said to have fallen. Under all other conditions for political kings, the beast, head, or horns are usually said not to fall. Religious powers that rise or fall usually require the previous beast, head, or horn to fall, but not always.

When the last king of Babylon died who would have Nebuchadnezzar's name attached to him at death (attached to him because he is considered to be of Nebuchadnezzar's line and he ruled Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom and sat on his throne), that would be the fall of the kingdom and the fall of the beast that represented the king.  Another beast, the bear, replaced the lion.

The Rules

Using these principles and specific examples of the powers represented in the Bible through the beasts, we can summarize the following general rules that tell us whether or not a beast, head or horn falls:

  1. If a line of kings is changed and the change comes from within the kingdom through action by its own citizens or government, then the previous head or horn does NOT normally fall. God usually seems to ignore such changes and does not show them by the symbolism associated with the beasts.
  2. If a king is removed from his position of authority by an invader and is replaced by the invader himself or through a king he appoints to rule for him, then the previous beast, head or horn falls.  It will be replaced by something else.  Alternately, if an outside power orders a change through a decree that results in a line of kings ceasing (there will be no more kings with the founder's name attached to them that will die), then the beast, head or horn falls
  3. When a change in a religious power occurs by a decree within a kingdom that affects the government and impacts the people of God, then God will usually note it by showing a change from the body of a beast to heads or horns. In such a situation, then the previously existing beast, head, or horn usually, but not always, falls (the Eastern Roman Empire is an exception to this).
  4. If an invader kills the king but does not replace him so as to impose his own rule on the people, then if the people are able to choose a new leader, the previous head or horn does NOT fall.  Also, if the last of a line of kings dies a natural death (it is not forced on the people by an invader) and the people do not replace him for any reason, then logically it seems the head or horn falls.

Discussion of the Horn Removal Rules

In the case of the first rule, this occurs whenever the people within a political kingdom on their own change the line of kings that has been ruling their kingdom or nation.  This may occur as a result of a civil war so that the government is forcibly changed from within.  It may also occur where people within a government are merely tired of the line of rulers they have, find a more suitable ruler and place him on the throne in place of the previous line of kings.  This may or may not occur relatively peaceably but does not necessarily mean a revolution with open warfare has occurred.

The reason the head or horn does not fall in this type of situation is that the change is not imposed by an invader. We have the example in Daniel 7 of beasts that replaced the previous beast, symbols which demonstrate for us that an invader causes the previous power to fall. THe same type of logic would apply to heads or horns. In the situation in which the people within the kingdom cause the change in the king line, God normally does not note it by showing some type of change to a different beast representing them. The reason is that he shows us changes to a different beast only when an invader causes the change. Since the people within a kingdom are not an outside invader, they do not warrant another beast because of the change they effect within their own kingdom.

There are several examples in the Bible and history where such changes were done and God did not indicate a change in the symbolic prophecy about them, though he could have done so.  This indicates that in such cases, God usually intends that we ignore such changes and consider that any beast, head, or horn representing such powers have not normally fallen.  All instances of this are for civil government powers.  There are two known readily apparent instances from Daniel 7 where God seems to have ignored these type of changes, which are:

  • In Daniel 5, Daniel called Nebuchadnezzar the father of Belshazzar.  Historians say that available evidence seems to contradict this (just remember that does not mean the historians are correct).  Generally, the Bible is accurate, but it is also true that some terms of the culture of Bible times was different than our usage today.  The term "father" did not always mean a literal biological father of the immediate previous generation, but sometimes referred to someone perhaps several generations removed from the person in question and maybe only distantly related.  It is known from history that the actual biological father of Belshazzar was Nabonidus, who was also the king of Babylon with Belshazzar (Belshazzar was second in command, which is why Daniel was offered the third highest position in the kingdom if he could read and interpret the writing on the wall as recorded in Daniel 5).  In any event, historians say that they believe the final two rulers of Babylon probably were not blood relatives of Nebuchadnezzar and were placed on the throne by the citizens of Babylon because they did not like the way Nebuchadnezzar's descendants were ruling the country.  In this situation, there was no civil war, but the line of kings that had been there was replaced by the people.  Yet, the rulers put on the throne were apparently considered by God to be of the line of Nebuchadnezzar in the sense that they occupied the same throne, they ruled the same people, they ruled the same territory, and they ruled the same kingdom. In Daniel 7, God did not show the lion falling and have it followed by a replacement beast (or place two heads on the lion to show the father-son king team) to represent this change in the line of kings like he did when kings were forcibly changed by an invasion.  Instead, he ignored this.  
  • We have another specific example of this in the fourth dreadful looking beast of Daniel 7.  There were three civil wars in the history of the Roman Empire.  In addition, Rome changed its form of government some seven times.  To represent the changes due to their civil wars, God could have had the dreadful looking beast fall and then be replaced by another beast three times in a row.  Or, perhaps he could have done it another way.  But nothing was done or said at all about it, which shows that God ignored their internal disputes in designing the prophetic symbols.   Of course, when Rome split in 395, this also was not noted because the two new kingdoms were ruled by the same family and there was no outside invasion that forced a change in kings.  Thus, there can be a change of the line of kings, a change that comes about through an action by its citizens, but this will not result in the fall of a head or horn nor does it result in new heads or horns coming up.  God seems to consider new king lines such as these to be related to the founder's name because they are from the same kingdom and occupy the same throne and rule the same people, territory and kingdom. 

Let us consider the second rule.  The reason this rule is true is that the beasts of Daniel 7 show that when one invading power overcomes another, the new beast clearly has done away with the previously existing line of kings, so the previously existing beast, head, or horn must fall.  Remember that beasts are kings, so when the king is eliminated or falls, the corresponding beast must also fall. Logically, for a beast to fall must mean that the beast loses its dominion and its king line.  This is demonstrated for us in Daniel 8 by the goat killing the ram.  

In the case of a horn on a beast, an invasion of the kingdom the horn represents will cause the old horn to fall off if the invader is successful in his invasion attempt.  While it might be tempting for us to think that a new horn grows out of the head to replace the one that fell (a new horn for the invader?), we must resist the natural inclination and follow the logic God has shown to us.  When a horn falls off due to an invasion, the new power that overcomes the power represented by the horn in question almost certainly becomes an empire.  If the invading power is a different beast, the results of the combination of the two kingdoms would be an even more powerful beast.  If the invader is a horn on the same beast, then logically in most instances the defeated horn falls off and the victorious horn becomes a more powerful horn.  How do we know the difference between the invasion by a beast or a horn?  A horn is a power that results from the division of a kingdom at a specific point in time that God marks with a decree and the kingdom will have an impact on God's people.  Thus, if God has said it is a horn through the symbolism he employs, then it is indeed a horn.  If it is not a horn, then logically it should probably be a beast in most instances.  The same logic would apply to heads.

In the case of the third rule, there were instances in which changes took place that caused religious powers to rise or fall (or will in the future). Usually these changes will result in the previous power falling, but not always. In the case of the talking horn on the head of the dreadful looking fourth beast of Daniel 7, the Western Roman Empire had already fallen before it received the power to prosecute the people of God for heresy, so it does not even need to be considered. However, the Eastern Roman Empire was still around and it is the power that gave the legal power to the Roman Church to prosecute people for heresy. The Eastern Roman Empire did not fall until about 8 centuries later. In the case of the earth beast of Revelation 13, one of the two horns on it is a religious power, The two horns on the head of the earth beast rose to power when there was a separation of the religious and political power of the previously existing beast, which in turn had to fall in order for the two horns to rise to power. Therefore, in this case, the beast fell. Both of these horns will later fall when the image beast replaces them, something that is yet future as of the writng of this paragraph.

So, the rise or fall of religious powers usually requires the previous power to fall, but not always. There are exceptions known from the Bible.

Let us now consider the fourth rule, first part.  Naturally, if a king is removed and he cannot be replaced, then the kingdom he ruled may be gone, though that is not a given in all cases.  For example, the Rugian kingdom was destroyed by Odoacer and his brother in 487 - 488, and though their king and his queen were taken away alive and the Rugian people abandoned their homeland, they did replace their leader with another.  Because the people were able to replace their king with a new ruler, the fact that their king and queen were physically removed did not remove their horn from the head of the dreadful looking fourth beast of Daniel 7. 

In the case of the fourth rule, second part, where the leader dies and is simply not replaced, there are no specific Bible examples of this happening, but it is the logical outcome that when a king line simply comes to an end and the people do not replace him and a leader is not imposed by an outside power, then the king line ends and the kingdom has also ended.  At that point, were there a beast, head, or horn representing such a power, logically it would fall at that time.  This can happen when a cultural group is dying out.  It would appear that in this case, there is no need for an invader to end the line so that their head or horn falls.  However, we probably will never know this for sure because God did not show us an example that we can clearly point to.

Application of the Horn Removal Rules

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Let us now look at application of the rules given above to different kingdoms through some examples from actual history.

The Franks are believed to have been a horn on the dreadful looking beast of Daniel 7.  Beginning with Clovis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clovis), they invaded a number of kingdoms around them and, over a period of time, took them over, thereby expanding their kingdom into a rather large empire, part of which eventually became modern-day France.  Because the Franks had a king, were Christian so would have an impact upon God's people, and in 476 they were within the borders of territory that once had been the Western Roman Empire, they qualified to be defined as a horn. Whenever they invaded another power that was also represented as a horn on the head of the dreadful looking fourth beast and took it over, the result was a combined power that would be represented by just one horn which would be considered a Frankish horn irrespective of the identity of the invaded horn. This is true because the Frankish kingdom was the victor. This is comparable to how the bear kingdom of Daniel 7 was victorious over the lion kingdom and the lion kingdom became a bear kingdom after the conquest was complete.  The lion kingdom did not remain as a lion kingdom once it was conquered. Only the bear kingdom remained. Whatever power the Franks invaded, such as, for exemple, the Burgundians, the horn that represented the invaded power fell off the head of the dreadful looking beast upon its defeat by the Franks.  In the case of the Burgundians, their horn fell off when they were defeated. Surprise! Most people do not know the Burgendian horn fell. Many think all the horns are still on the head of the dreadful looking fourth beast except for the three removed by the talking horn. But that is not true.

For a second specific example involving the ten horns, consider the kingdoms that were on the British Island just before the year 1066.  In the year 1066, William the Conqueror from the Normandy region of France invaded Britain, which was the last successful hostile invasion of their island.  The Normans (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normans) were successful in their invasion.  Any horns that were representative of previously existing kingdoms on the British island fell during the invasion and therefore, it is impossible for those horns to still be around today, whether Anglo-Saxon horns or horns by any other name.

The Normans were not one of the ten horns on the head of the dreadful looking beast in 476 because they were descendents of the Vikings, who were living well outside the Western Roman Empire in 476. The invasion of Britain was led by William the Conquerer, who was actually the duke of the Normans. The early Norman kings were dukes of Normandy as well as kings of England, so were technically vassals of the French government, but in fact were essentially rulers of an independent English-Norman kingdom that was for all practical purposes independent of France. Later kings of England began to identify themselves as British instead and the vassalage was obviously laid aside.

It is clear that England was invaded by an outside power, so this is a situation in which the previously existing horns in Britain were taken down during the invasion. In other words, they all fell. However, there is the question of whether this created a new beast or resulted in a stronger, bigger Frankish horn. The reason for this question is that the leader of the invaders, William the Conqueror, was also Duke William of Normandy, so was a member of the French government ruling class. Thus, it would seem that by invading England, it could have merely created a larger, more powerful French horn. However, a careful review of history shows that the king of France was not involved in the invasion and apparently was opposed to it, but because of his age (he was a minor) and the power of Duke William, he could do nothing to stop it. Because the top leaders of the French government were not involved, this means the French horn (remember, horns are kings so the king had to be involved) was not involved in the invasion and did not give his voluntary approval or support. Therefore, the Normans invaded England on their own. As a result, the invasion of England created a new beast rather than a more powerful and bigger French horn on the head of the dreadful looking fourth beast of Daniel 7. England and Normandy essentially became an independent country, but in the year 1204, Normandy was reunited with France and England drifted away and became a country independent of Normandy. See Norman History by the European Commission (http://www.norman-world.com/angleterre/histoires/index_histoires.htm)

Many people believe that the number ten is literal, so will say that the ten horns of Daniel 7 were literal.  Based on Daniel 7, they will say that three of those horns were taken down, leaving seven horns.  They then usually list ten tribal groups that they believe are ten horns.  To help give this list more credibility, they will often state that seven of the the original ten tribes are still around.  The idea behind this appeal is that if the people groups are still around, then they MUST be the ten horns God was talking about in Daniel 7.  It sounds logical though it sounds a bit like circular reasoning (you know, idea A supports idea B and idea B supports idea A).  But does the fact that the seven tribes usually listed are still around have anything to do with the identification of the horns as they imply?  Is their survival an indicator that they were members of the ten horns?  Or is that based on a misunderstanding of what the Bible actually says?

I do understand why they do this.  They are trying to understand it just as all the rest of us are trying to do, but I believe that they have misunderstood it.  Please permit me to explain.

Do understand that this is predicated upon the idea that if members of a tribe can still be identified today, then their tribe is one of the original ten horns.  That seems logical.  After all, we can identify members of the Alamanni tribe today in four countries of Europe.  Thus, this would suggest that they are one of the original ten horns.  Along with this, they say imply that because three of the tribes seem to be missing today (or, at least, cannot be identified), therefore they also were among the ten original horns AND have been correctly identified. 

It is true that seven of the original ten proposed tribes still have descendants around today.  And of the three horns that are usually proposed to have been extracted from the head of the dreadful looking fourth beast, we cannot identify any of their members today. 

There is a hidden fallacy in this reasoning that is usually not perceived.

What is not usually said as that of the three that are typically listed as having been destroyed, their descendants are very likely around today also, though we cannot identify them.  None of the groups typically listed as the three horns were eradicated, though in the case of the Vandals/Alans, it came closer to doing that than it did with the others.  But the fact remains that only the three kingdoms were destroyed, while many of the people remained.  Some of the Vandals/Alans escaped to Visigothic Spain and lived there after the war, while others were sent off as soldiers against the Persians in the war against they waged against the Eastern Roman Empire.  Likely many of them did survive that and went on to live elsewhere after the war was over.  As a tribe, perhaps their identity was gone, but the wars against them did not eradicate them as a people.  For various reasons, they seemed to disappear.  But think about it for a minute.  If you were a member of a group that the authorities are looking for, would you want to be found?  How would you hide yourself if you cannot defeat them?  You would find a way, would you not?  Likely, you would, if you could, hide yourself among the people around you who the authorities were NOT looking for by making yourself as much like those around you as possible.

Thus, though we cannot identify anyone of Europe today who form a distinct group of Vandals or Alans, that does not mean their descendants are not there.  In fact, in France, some of the descendants of the other members of the Alans were there long after the war against their relatives in North Africa.  Yet today, we cannot identify any of their descendants.  That does not mean they are not there.  The people of the tribes all survived.  Likely the same is true of the Ostrogoths.  They hid themselves somehow and some place after the war against them went badly for them.  So, they cannot be found today, but that does not mean their descendants are not there.  This is not commonly known.

Now, remember that I said a few paragraphs back that this is predicated upon the idea that if members of a tribe can still be identified today, then it is one of the original ten horns?  Well, the converse of that logical statement is this: if the members of a tribe cannot be identified today, then it was NOT one of the original ten horns?  How does that strike you?  But, it has to be true if the original premise is true.

Do you see one of the problems with their reasoning?  If the ability to identify members of a tribe today makes them a member of the original ten horns group (you could call it the ten horns club), then logically the converse must also be true, meaning that if you cannot identify their descendants, then their tribe cannot have been one of the original ten horns.  You cannot have the original proposition without the converse also being true.  It is impossible for it to be otherwise. 

Here is why this is significant: the fact is that we can identify today neither members of the Vandals/Alans of North Africa nor any of the descendants of the Ostrogoths.  If their logic is true, then that means these (the Vandals/Alans and the Ostrogoths) could not be a member of the ten horns club!  We are wrong!  The Vandals/Alans and the Ostrogoths are not members of the ten horn club!

Now, do you honestly believe that these two groups are not members of the ten horns club?  I do not.  Therefore, there has to be something wrong with the reasoning in the first place.  This shows that using the idea of survival of members of a tribe to argue that a tribe must be part of the ten horns club is invalid. 

There are other reasons to consider such reasoning invalid.  For example, members of the Suessiones tribe can probably be identified today.  We know where that area of France is today and you can be quite sure that most of the people living in that area are descendants of the Suessiones.  Therefore, the logical conclusion should be that the Suessiones should be included as one of the original ten horns.  Yet, they are almost never included. Does that not show there is a problem with this type of reasoning? I think it does.

Let us go a little deeper into this issue.  Remember that the Bible says that beasts, heads, and horns are first and foremost kings.  It never said that beasts, heads, or horns are tribes.  They are not the same things and neither wishing it to be so nor frequent repetition makes it so.  Now, consider that God marked and noted the horns at the point of the decree in 476.  This means that the ten horns existed in 476.  Now, this is a very important question: are seven of those same ten horns still around or did some or all of them fall between 476 and today? 

If you think you know the answer, see what the Bible says about this.

I have already mentioned what happened on the island of Britain.  Their horn was removed when the Normans invaded Britain in the year 1066.  The descendants of the original Angles and Saxons are still around on Britain but because their horn was removed, it matters not that they are still there.  They could be there and be identifiable, and it will not make any difference because their horn was gone long ago.  And if they could no longer be identified, it still would not make any difference because their horn was removed long ago.  Why is it that their horn was removed a long time ago?  It is because the king lines of their kingdoms were removed from power at the latest during the Norman invasion in 1066.  The Bible says that beasts, heads and horns are first and foremost kings, meaning lines of kings.  Therefore, if you remove the lines of kings that were over the kingdoms of the Angles and Saxons, by definition you have removed the beasts, heads or horns.  Indeed, in the Norman invasions, the lines of kings of the Angles and Saxons were completely removed.  The same was true of any Jute and Frisian horns that were there in England in 1066. Do you see the point? 

Do remember that the rules given above say that when an outside power conquers a people, their beast, head or horn is removed.  That did happen to the Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Frisians of Britain in 1066. 

Now, let us consider the Burgundians.  They were conquered by the Franks and they lost their king, a change that was forced on them by an invader.  They were absorbed into the Merovingian Frankish kingdom in 534 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burgundians) and were unable to replace their king because they were a conquered people.  While they, as a people, did survive, they were absorbed into the Franks and became one with them.  The important point here is that their horn fell when they were conquered by the Franks because they were conquered by an outside power and they lost their king.  And, once the horn fell, it was no longer around.  Thus, one of the proposed seven remaining literal horns did fall, that is, the horn that represented the Burgundians, and therefore is no longer with us.  The fall of this horn had nothing to do with the fall of the three horns removed by the talking horn because the Burgundians were not one of the three horns it removed. This simple fact alone proves that not all of the seven horns are still with us today, though their descendants are there.  

Consider the Alamanni, another of the seven remaining proposed horns.  They formed a kingdom that existed within the Western Roman Empire in AD 476, so they would be one of the horns on the head of the dreadful looking beast of Daniel 7.  People typically say that they are the Germans today, which is only part of the truth.  Actually, they were only a small part of Germany.

You can see the location of the Alamanni kingdom on the map below, just to the north or northwest of Italy: Note that though most of their people were divided among four nations, there are some of them living in the very northern end of Italy

Map #1 - Kingdoms of Western Roman Empire in AD 475
Parallel Kingdoms Theory

Here is another map (Map #1 and Map #2 are copied from the Wikipedia Commons area and licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License with permission to copy, modify and/or distribute them, so I am permitted to use them as needed) to show the distribution of speakers with Alamannic dialects in today's world, most of whom would be the descendants of the Alamanni:

Map #2 - Distribution of Alamannic Dialects
Kingdoms in 476 in Western Roman Empire

This is how Wikipedia describes the distribution of the Alamannic people and language today:

"Alemannia lost its distinct jurisdictional identity when Charles Martel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Martel) absorbed it into the Frankish empire, early in the 8th century. Today, Alemannic is a linguistic term, referring to Alemannic German (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alemannic_German), encompassing the dialects of the southern two thirds of Baden-Württemberg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baden-Württemberg, a German State), in western Bavaria (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bavaria, a German State), in Vorarlberg (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vorarlberg, an Austrian State), Swiss German (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_German ) in Switzerland and the Alsatian language (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alsatian_language) of the Alsace (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alsace, in France)." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alamanni)

According to Map #1 above, it is obvious that at one time the Alamanni tribe had their own homeland and kingdom.  This means they had their own government with a king or leader of some type ruling over their government.  Unfortunately for them, that did not last.  When the Franks took it over (Clovis did this in 496), the Alamanni lost their king and never could replace him with another of their own.  The line of literal kings they previously had was gone.  The king of the Franks became their king and he imposed his own government upon them from his capital.  Thus, if there was a horn on the dreadful looking beast of Daniel 7 that represented the Alamanni, that horn fell off when this event took place in 496.  It cannot remain on the head of the dreadful looking beast today.  Much of the Alamanni district became part of Germany at the treaty of Verdun in 843, but the kingdom that became Germany was not of the same king line as the Alamanni, but rather was of the line of the Franks.  Thus, the Alamanni king line was not restored in the long term when part of the Alamanni people became Germany. 

If you look at map #2 above, it should be obvious just how little territory of Germany the descendants of the Alamanni occupy. For comparison purposes, compare map #2 with the map of Europe at this address: http://geology.com/world/europe-satellite-image.shtml. Also compare to the map of Switzerland (http://geology.com/world/switzerland-satellite-image.shtml) and its immediate neighboring countries (which is about the same area shown on map #2 above), the map of Germany (http://geology.com/world/germany-satellite-image.shtml), the map of France (http://geology.com/world/france-satellite-image.shtml), and the map of Austria (http://geology.com/world/austria-satellite-image.shtml). If you take time to compare these maps, it is not difficult to realize that most of Germany is not Alamannic. In fact, just based on an eyeball estimate, it appears that the Alamannic area of Germany is probably not more than about 15% of Germany. So, why do people argue that Germany is Alamannic?

There have been many rearrangements of the maps of Europe ever since 476.  There have been many governments that have fallen and are no longer around.  That means many, if not all, of the original "kings" present in AD 476 have fallen and cannot be said to still be around, perhaps with the exception of the Franks.

Now, let us consider the Franks because they appear to be an exception and there are special conditions attached to their situation which can be very instructive.  The Franks began to conquer others around them, starting soon after 476.  One of the first that they took down were the Suessiones (Clovis, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clovis_I, who ruled the Franks from 481 to 511, did this in 487), their neighbor to the west and southwest.  When the Suessiones were conquered, the line of kings they had was removed and the Franks imposed their own government and king over them.  In time, the Franks built up their kingdom by adding additional conquests to their kingdom.  Eventually, it became very large and encompassed what is today both France and Germany. 

Most kings of kingdoms other than the Frankish kings hand their kingdom to their eldest son upon their death, but the Frankish kings did not do this.  The Frankish kings had a tradition that upon their death, the kingdom they ruled would be divided roughly equally among their sons.  As the sons of the Frankish kings died in the years following a division, the parts remaining were given to the surviving sons until it was reunited again.  It appears that this tradition began with Clovis I and was repeated by his descendants.  In the case of the Merovingian line of kings, of which Clovis I was a member, it created many problems that eventually undid their position as kings of the empire and the throne was eventually taken over by the Carolingian Frankish rulers (would this practice promote murder among brothers of the royal family?)

In the middle of the 9th century, the Frankish kingdom was split into three divisions between three brothers who were the legitimate heirs of  Louis the Pius, the son of Charlemagne.  There was a war between the three of them that began in 840 and went on for about three years over the division.  Apparently they were not happy with the way it was divided.  Finally, the war was settled by the Treaty of Verdun (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Verdun) in 843.  By the treaty of Verdun, the kingdom was still divided into three kingdoms, which were the Eastern Frankish Realm, the Middle Frankish Realm, and the Western Frankish Realm, but apparently they were satisfied with the way the boundaries were drawn in the treaty so the wars stopped, at least, for the time being.  The Western Frankish Realm became modern day France and the Eastern Frankish Realm became modern day Germany.  The Middle Frankish Realm was not a viable kingdom and it was eventually divided between France and Germany, an outcome that has caused wars all the way into the 20th century. 

So far as is possible to determine, it appears that the kingdom begun by the Franks is still there, probably the only one that still survives intact of the original ten usually listed.  While the specific line of kings ruling the Franks has long ago been replaced by others lines, the replacements came from within their kingdom at the volition of their own people, so likely the kingdom and horn remain in spite of the changes, just as it did with the beast representing the Romans.  Any invasions that changed their government have sooner or later resulted in its restoration, so that the king line has continued through the centuries.  Therefore, as near as can be determined to date, their horn has not fallen.  Should more facts reveal that this is not the case, then my opinion on that may have to be revised.

Because of the split in the middle of the ninth century, some might think that France and Germany are successor kingdoms to the original Frankish kingdom in a manner similar to the four heads of the leopard being successor kingdoms of Alexander's Empire.  They are not analogous, however, because in the case of the leopard beast, the previous king line came to an end (that of Alexander the Great) and was replaced by four new lines which were completely unrelated to one another and completely unrelated to Alexander the Great. After the split of Germany and France, both king lines of the two brothers were part of the same original king line, the Frankish line.  So, is Germany a new beast?  A new horn?  Or is it merely a continuation of the same horn, the one representing the Franks?  How do we answer these questions? 

To some observers, it might appear that Germany should be counted as a new beast at the point of the split between it and France.  Let's look at what the Bible does with a situation like this before making a decision about it.  When I was studying this situation, I was not sure that there was a Biblical example by which to judge this, but have since realized that Rome provides an answer to how this should be handled and it provides insight into other aspects of Bible prophecy that have not generally been understood.  In addition, it provides an additional answer to the argument that the Alamanni became Germany. 

You may recall from history that the Roman Empire was split into the Eastern and Western Roman Empires in 395.  Further, recall that there were ten horns on the head of the dreadful looking beast and that the talking horn came up AFTER the ten horns were said to rise to power (Daniel 7:24), which we know came about in 538.  Now, in relation to the case of France and Germany and how Rome instructs us about that situation, what is very obvious and important is that the dreadful looking beast did NOT have two heads on it to represent the split between the eastern and western empires in a manner analogous to the four heads of the leopard beast. If you take time to reflect on the fact that there was a split between the eastern and western parts of the Roman Empire, then it should seem logical that the beast should have been shown with two heads on it just as Alexander's leopard had four heads on it.  Yet, there is only one head on the Roman beast.  Why is this? 

Well, the reason is very simple.  Just as in the case of the split of Rome in 395 for which only one head was shown, in the case of the division of France, three brothers took the thrones of the three divisions of the kingdoms that came out of the treaty of Verdun.  Therefore, just as God clearly looked upon the brothers who split Rome in 395 as one king line, God looked upon the French kings who split the kingdom three ways as one king line because they were related as brothers and came from the same father.

As a result, Germany and France should be looked upon in Bible prophecy that deals with the ten horns as if they are part of the same horn, the Frankish horn, just as was done in the case of the split between Eastern and Western Rome (it had one head rather than two heads).  In other words, just as the Bible made no distinction between Eastern and Western Rome in the representation of it as the dreadful looking beast, which God could have done by placing two heads on it, so likewise it makes sense to see France and Germany in the same way: as one Frankish horn that continued onward into the future beyond the treaty of Verdun in 843.  Germany was created at the moment of the signing of the agreement but is part of the Frankish horn.  There was no new horn for Germany that grew out of the head of the dreadful looking beast.  There was no new beast for Germany, thought there could easily have been one. The horn representing the Franks did not break off as did Alexander's horn on the goat, and was therefore not replaced by two horns coming up in its place. No, instead, the same horn continued onward into the future as if nothing had happened.

Therefore, both Germany and France should be counted as one horn, the Frankish horn.  There was no horn on the dreadful looking beast that represented Germany as a king in 476 because Germany did not exist then, but the closest thing to it would be the horn that represented the Franks, not the Alamanni.  That is another reason why the Alamanni cannot be said to be the horn representing Germany.  Germany came from the Franks because beasts (and heads or horns) are kings and they are what is counted, not the tribes.  When Germany was created by the treaty of Verdun in 843, Frankish kings ruled it, not Alamanni kings. It was a Frankish kingdom from its inception. The presence of the Alamanni in Germany is irrelevant when it comes to claims that they became Germany or that this is proof that they are one of the original ten literal proposed horns.  It is the lines of kings that are relevant and in truth, nothing else counts.  The one head of the dreadful looking fourth beast is proof of that fact both for Rome and for France and Germany.

Now, what we have established through these examples is that horns can fall and do so one at a time. They don't all remain in place until the end of their allotted time and then suddenly all fall down. Instead, it is a gradual process in which they fall one at a time until all have fallen.

That heads can fall is something that we should know from Revelation 17.  However, what many do not realize (or, at least, do not ever take time to stop and think about) is that the heads of the leopard beast in Daniel 7 also fell one at a time and did not necessarily wait around for Rome to take them down, but instead several of them were taken down by other powers.  Such an outcome is neither explained nor shown in Daniel, but that does not make this assertion false.  Let us review some of the evidence that heads on the leopard beast did fall even though such an action was neither shown nor explained to Daniel.  And let us look at the pattern established by their fall.

What we now know from history is that the four remaining successor generals of Alexander divided the empire in 301 BC after the battle of Ipsus and the four heads of the leopard beast represented the four generals (who had already declared themselves as kings) who were part of the agreement signed in 301 BC.  Here, as a review in five steps, are the events in order detailing how and when the heads of the leopard beast fell:

  1. In 298 BC (or possibly in 297), Cassander died.  His two sons took the throne and apparently spent most of their time arguing with each other.  In 294 BC, one of the sons of Cassander invited the son of Antigonus I, Demetrios, to come into the kingdom and help him deal with his brother.  However, Demetrios used this invitation as an excuse to invade Macedonia and Greece.  He killed Alexander, probably killed his brother or, at least, removed him from power, and took over the throne of Macedonia and Greece.  A very relevant fact related to properly understanding the prophetic material regarding this historical event is that the father of Demetrios, Antigonus I, was NOT one of the four heads on the leopard beast (because he was not a party to the agreement signed in 301 BC) and therefore, neither was his son.  Consequently, the invasion of Macedonia and Greece by Demetrios should be looked upon as an invasion and conquest by an outside power, just like the Medes and Persians invaded Babylonia and conquered it which caused the bear kingdom to replace the lion kingdom, or in other words, this caused the lion to "fall".  This is true regardless of the fact that the small kingdom that Demetrios ruled after the invasion of Greece and Macedonia was a Hellenistic kingdom similar to the others and it had been marked by God as a kingdom that would have an effect upon the people of God (which they did).  Upon the invasion by Demetrios, one of the heads of the leopard, the one which represented the line of Cassander, fell because the king of the people was removed from power and the outside invader became their new king.  From that point in time, there were only three heads or kings remaining upon the leopard  Because the invasion by Demetrios should be looked upon as an invasion by an outside power, the new king line on the throne should probably be seen as the start of a new beast - NOT one of the four beasts of Daniel 7, but instead is a completely different beast than any of them.  There are other beasts in addition to the beasts of Daniel 7, which we know to be true because they are mentioned in Daniel 8:4.  Virtually nobody ever talks about them, but they are there even if they are not noticed.  It is possible for one to look upon the remains of the kingdom that Demetrios ruled after the battle of Ipsus in 301 BC as a new beast and the invasion of Macedonia and Greece merely made it more powerful.  But, either way, he was not one of the heads on the leopard beast so had to be a separate beast.  Ultimately, it means a head fell on the leopard beast, the head that had represented Cassander.  His line was gone.
  2. In 281 BC, Seleucus led his army against Lysimmachus and killed him and defeated his army.  Seleucus took over Lysimmachus' kingdom and imposed his rule upon the people.  Because this was an invasion upon the kingdom of Lysimmachus by an outside power, it means the head which had represented Lysimmachus fell when he died and his army was defeated.  The invader was also, in some sense, an inside power (because as near as can be determined, God counts all heads of the leopard beast as being of the line of Alexander even though they were ruled by separate, unrelated rulers).  The people within Lysimmachus' kingdom had no choice about having a new king and yet, because both kings were heads on the beast named Alexander, this is rather like the situation within Rome where there were civil wars but God took no notice of them in the prophetic beasts, neither in the symbolism nor in the explanation of it.  This event seems to be a combination situation of being both an invasion by an outside power and one of internal changes of leadership.  One head falls (Lysimmachus) but the other head (Seleucus) does not change except to become more powerful.  Therefore, the battle created neither a new head nor a new beast.  After the battle, there were only two heads/kings that had not fallen of the original four on the leopard beast .  Ultimately, it means another head fell on the leopard beast at that time. 
  3. In 168 BC, the Romans defeated the kingdom run by the descendants of Demetrios (the son of Antigonus I), which is the date most historians use for the start of the Roman Empire.  But since that line of kings was not one of the four original kings/heads of the leopard beast, it does not count towards a head that falls on the leopard beast.  The beast that represented the Antigonus line fell (whatever type of beast it might have been, we are not told), but none of the heads of the leopard beast fell at this time.  The leopard head of Cassander had already fallen when Demetrios stole the throne from the sons of Cassander.  Thus, two heads remain up on the leopard beast after this event and no head fell, but Rome was definitely on the move. 
  4. Then in 64 BC, the Romans attacked and defeated the kingdom of the Seleucids, and joined what remained of that empire into the Roman Empire.  This was an invasion by a foreign power which afterwards imposed their own rule upon the Seleucid kingdom.  At the time, the head representing Seleucus fell, leaving only one head still unfallen on the leopard beast. 
  5. Finally, in 30 BC, the last of the Hellenistic kingdoms fell when the Ptolemy kingdom in Egypt fell to the Romans.  Again, this was an invasion by a foreign power which afterwards imposed their own rule upon the Ptolemy kingdom.  At that time, the last of the four heads on the leopard beast fell. 

The following should be clear from this:

  • The four heads all began at the exact same marking point in time, which is at the signing of the agreement among the four kings/generals in 301 BC just after the battle of Ipsus.
  • The four heads existed as a group for only the years 301 BC to 294 BC, a span of only 7 years.  This clearly means God marked the point in time for the heads at the decree, not before and not after.
  • The four heads of the leopard beast fell one at a time as time passed and other kingdoms took them over until all had fallen.

Note that the dimensions of the timelines in the graphic shown below are not to scale.

Alexander & Successor Lines

It is interesting that the Bible does not say that the four heads would fall, but It Is completely logical that they should fall because Rome was to eventually replace all of them.  For this reason, it was not necessary for God to mention this or show it because he knew it was a given that the heads fall one at at time.  God knew that we should be able to discern this for ourselves.  Eventually they had to fall, at the latest, when Rome came and took over.

That the four heads of the leopard beast all began their "life" at the same point in time and then fell one at a time is important because it has implications for the seven heads of the scarlet beast in Revelation 17.  In Revelation 17:11, we are told that "five have fallen, one is, and one more is to come who will remain only a short while" (paraphrase mine).  There are only two models to explain this verse.  These two models are what I call the Sequential Ancient Kingdoms Theory and the Parallel Kingdoms Theory.

In the Sequential Ancient Kingdoms Theory, people believe that the seven heads rise to power and fall from power one at a time in a series.  None of the kingdoms coexist with one another. They usually believe that the kings are political kings because that is what kings usually are in Daniel 7, though they forget about the talking horn, which clearly is a religious-political combination, particularly a religious power.  This model is based on the fact that Revelation 17:11 tells us that the seventh head comes after the sixth head, which clearly shows a sequence between the sixth and seventh heads.  They take this to imply that there is a sequence of kingdoms for all seven heads even though it does NOT say that (if it did, it should say that the first five heads come in sequence, but it does not do that at all).  It would appear to outside observers that for believers in this model, it seems the angel just forgot to tell John that all are in sequence, which should make one wonder why he would forget such an important detail.  In this model, the marking point between the body of the beast and the heads where there is a decree and an important question answered about the destiny of the future of that power such as is found on the leopard beast and the dreadful looking fourth beast is totally ignored.  Most of them do not even realize that it should be there.  To them, the marking point does not exist because the heads/kings are in sequence and there is no decree which starts all of them together at the same point in time, after which they coexist together with the heads falling one at a time as happened with the leopard beast of Daniel 7.  It is odd that they seem to ignore this given the examples in Daniel 7 and 8. 

In this model, the following are often proposed for the seven heads in sequence:

  1. Egypt
  2. Assyria
  3. Babylon
  4. Medo-Persia
  5. Greece
  6. Pagan Rome
  7. Papal Rome
  8. Eighth King

Some substitute other powers for items 7 and 8, such as communism or maybe the United States of America.

One author has the following list in his book:

  1. Babylon
  2. Medo-Persia
  3. Greece
  4. Pagan Rome
  5. Papal Rome
  6. Republicanism or democracy (the eartht beast with 2 horns, Revelation 13:11)
  7. the great confederacy of evil (the scarlet beast, Revelation 17:3)

This list is found in the book Unveiling Daniel and Revelation, Roy Allan Anderson, Pacific Press Publishing, Nampa, Idaho, USA, http://www.pacifpress.com, copyright 2006, page 347.

Below is a graphic that illustrates the sequential nature of the Sequential Ancient Kingdoms Theory base on the most common list:

Distribution of Alamannic Dialects

Note that there is no example of beasts in Daniel which have a sequence of heads.  All the heads on the leopard beast in Daniel begin together and run in parallel at the same time.  Also, there is no provable example of a beast with heads in sequence elsewhere in Revelation. And the same is true of the ten horns of Daniel 7. The ten horns were political kingdoms that all officially began at the same (476 when the decree concerning the destiny of the Western Roman Empire was issued), coexisted and then fell one at a time.

Besides the fact that there is no model elsewhere in the Bible that shows a sequence of heads and all examples show that heads run in parallel at the same time after starting out at the exact same moment, there is another very big problem with this model.  The Bible says that God owns all the kingdoms.  Here is Biblical evidence of that fact:

Dan 2:37 You, O king, are a king of kings: for the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.

Dan 2:38 And wherever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven has he given into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all. You are this head of gold.

Dan 4:17 This sentence is by the decree of the watchers, and the decision by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever he will, and sets up over it the lowliest of men.

Dan 4:25 That they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make you eat grass like oxen, and they shall wet you with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over you, till you know that the most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever he will.

Dan 4:31 While the word was in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken; The kingdom has departed from you.

Dan 4:32 And they shall drive you from men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make you to eat grass like oxen, and seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever he will.

Dan 4:33 The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hair had grown like eagles' feathers, and his nails like birds' claws.

Dan 5:18 O king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar your father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honor:

Dan 5:19 And for the majesty that he gave him, all people, nations, and languages, trembled and feared before him: whom he would he slew; and whom he would he kept alive; and whom he would he set up; and whom he would he put down.

The book of Daniel makes it abundantly clear in several different places that God gives the kingdoms to whomever he will.  God cannot give a kingdom that he does not own, so the point is that God owns all the kingdoms of this world.  The devil was a liar when he told Jesus that if he would fall down and worship him (Satan), he (Satan) would give him all the kingdoms of the world.  The devil did not own the kingdoms of the world.  They were not his to give.

But this is important because it tells you that the Sequential Ancient Kingdoms Theory is wrong.  Here is why.  In most cases, people will identify the body of the scarlet beast of Revelation 17 to be the devil.  Some say other things.  But, in all cases they are wrong because only God owns the kingdoms.  Heads on a beast have to be created from the previously existing empire.  In other words, the power represented by the body of the beast must first own the kingdoms that later become the heads.  Since the body of the scarlet beast is usually identified as the devil, the heads cannot possibly be a series of ancient political kingdoms because the devil does not own any of them.  And if they identify the body to be Papal, that much is right but the heads cannot be a series of ancient political kingdoms either because the Papacy does not own them either.  And the Papacy did not exist previous to some of the kingdoms usually listed, so at least the political kingdoms usually listed cannot possibly be right.  Ultimately, the heads have blasphemy on them which clearly identifies them as Papal rather than political kingdoms.  Unfortunately, people usually fail to understand the blasphemy or its significance.  It is usually ignored.

There is a second model for explaining Revelation 17:11, one based on the pattern in Daniel, which shows us that heads all start out TOGETHER at the point marked by a decree or agreement (the only exception in Revelation 17:11 being the one that comes after the "one is" has fallen) and then FALL one at a time (perhaps this could be called the Parallel Kingdoms Theory).  In this theory, the seven heads are Papal lines of kings rather than political kings/kingdoms because there is blasphemy on both the body and heads of the scarlet beast (blasphemy here is defined as claiming to be God and claiming to forgive sins against God's laws - political kingdoms have never claimed both of these powers but the Papacy has claimed both of them).  Of course, the marking point between the body and heads represents the decree that occurred on February 15, 1798, when France, through a decree, deposed the Papal government and thereby reversed the decree that gave the Papacy power over the People of God. At this point in 1798, six of the seven heads start out together. 

There seems to be a second type of marking point that does not involve a change from the body to the heads, so it is not a legal type of decree. It occurs during the "one is", but this one appears not to involve a decree or agreement among nations, but rather perhaps an agreement among the leaders of the Catholic Church - Vatican II appears to be the event in question that was completed during the reign of Pope Paul VI.  Six of the seven heads began "life" together in 1798 and from then onward, the heads began to fall one at a time until all 6 had fallen, and then the seventh came and fell.   This is virtually identical to the Biblical pattern we have for the four heads of the leopard starting life together in 301 BC and then falling one at a time until all had fallen.

In the Parallel Kingdoms Theory, the following are the proposed heads for the scarlet beast and their fall years:

  1. Pope Gregory king line - head fell in 1846
  2. Pope Leo king line - head fell in 1903
  3. Pope Benedict king line- head fell in 1922 - current Benedict will not die with that name on his record because he will change his name to the 8th king, so the line of Benedict is effectively gone, meaning the head has already fallen
  4. Pope Pius king line - head fell in 1958
  5. Pope John king line- head fell in 1963
  6. Pope Paul king line - head fell in 1978 - the "one is" of Revelation 17:10, five lines had fallen before him and one more came after he fell
  7. Pope John Paul king line - head fell in Aprial of 2005
  8. Eighth King - Is Pope Benedict XVI now, but will change his name to a new name

Below is a graphic to illustrate the Parallel Kingdoms Theory.  Note that the timelines are not to scale.

Alexander & Successor Lines

Revelation 17 says that the woman has the name Babylon on her forehead and later it says that she is a city which rules over the kings of the earth, which is an obvious reference to Babylon. Of course, in Revelation 18, it makes very clear that the woman is Babylon. Revelation 17 also says that the seven kings fall.  Because heads are kings, this is an obvious reference to the idea that the seven heads also fall. What does it mean for the heads to fall?

In order to properly understand the fall of Babylon, it is important to study the fall of literal Babylon. We know that when literal Babylon fell, Belshazzar was removed from power, and in his case, was killed. Belshazzar's father, Nabonidus, was apparently allowed to live, but he was not actively ruling Babylon when it fell because he had left his son in charge while he went off for years to do other things involving worship of the gods. As a result, it was Belshazzar who was ruling it on a day-by-day basis and therefore was its last effective ruler.  This gives us the information that when the king line of Babylon fell, the last member of its king line died. It should be very clear to anyone reading the history of Babylon that there would be no more kings in the line of Nebuchadnezzar once the king line fell because the kingdom of Babylon became a part of the Medo-Persian Empire. From there on, any kings that died had to be of the Medo-Persian king lines. No more kings of Nebuchadnezzar's line would die thereafter. Therefore, for a head to fall means that no more kings will die with the founder's name of that head attached to them

In the case of Benedict, some say that his head has not yet fallen because we now have another Benedict, so argue that we are wrong to say that he has fallen already.  But, lets reason this out using the Bible and history. Lets look at Revelation 17:10, which says this:

And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he comes, he must continue a short time.

During the reign of the Pope Paul line (terminated in 1978 with the death of Pope Paul VI, who reigned from 1963 to 1978), five heads had already fallen before he came along, the sixth was (that is, Pope Paul VI), and one more was to come (the John Paul line).  Of course, the one more yet to come, the seventh king, has already come and is now gone.  What comes after the seventh king is the eighth king, for which it says this about him:

Rev 17:11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goes into perdition.

If you examine the Parallel Kingdoms illustration above, you should see that the line of Benedict has already fallen. If the heads are lines of popes, then for the pattern to be true, the Benedict line has to have already fallen.  And yet, we have a pope with the name line of Benedict. How do we explain this without falsifying the prophecy and without invalidating our method of interpretating Revelation 17?

The Bible says in Revelation 17:11 that the eighth would come out of or from the seven (translated as the eighth would be "of the seven" in the KJV) and it does not speak of another one after him.  Thus, just about the only way this can happen is if Benedict XVI changes his name before he dies.  By so doing, he will fulfill the prophecy of coming out of the seven (meaning the seven names of the kings that have preceded him) AND avoid violating it by dying with the name of Benedict attached to him, which would put the fall of Benedict yet in the future.

To better understand this, consider as an example for hypothetical purposes another line of popes, the line of Pope John, a line which has fallen and one for which we know will not return. How did his line fall? When the last Pope John died in 1958 (it was John XXIII), it was at the point of his death that his line could be said to have fallen and not before then. We can summarize that event with these two points:

  • The fall does not occur UNTIL the last pope of a line dies. It is his death that constitutes the fall.
  • Logically, if a Papal line has truly fallen, then no more popes will die with the name of the founder of that line (for example, John) attached to them at death.

Now, many would naturally think that this rules out any more popes arising with the name of the founder of a line (such as John) attached to them, but that is incorrect. This situation is very deceptive, so one has to be very careful here. Even the author was fooled by this for a long time. note that it was at the death of the last member of a line that the fall is determined. What this actually means is that while it does rule out any future popes dying with the name of the founder of a line (such as John) attached to them, it does NOT rule out any more popes arising and living with the name of the founder of a line of Papal kings attached to them, but only so long as they don't die with it attached to them. There is a subtle difference here. Because of the way the Bible defines the fall of a king line in Babylon, a new pope can indeed take on the name of the founder of a fallen line so long as he does not die with that name attached to him. That may sound contradictory, but it is not. It is Biblical. The reason that this is true is that the 8th king is said to be "of the seven" (Revelation 17:11, KJV), meaning he comes from one of the seven previous names before he becomes the 8th king, which will be a new name never used before. So, he must first choose one of the seven names when he first becomes pope (which could have been John) and then change it to the 8th before he dies. In that sense, the name John could have truly fallen and yet returned for a time. So long as a pope does this, he does not violate the prophecy and he does not "resurrect" a fallen line. This is because the fall is counted only at death and the name he falls under is determined then also.

It is the death of the last of a line of popes that constitutes the fall. Any pope that comes along with the same name later but does not die with that name attached to him does not change the fact that the fall has already occurred because the previous pope with the same name has already died with that name attached to him and nobody else will die with that name attached to them after that time. Thus, the fall, once it has occurred, cannot be reversed even by a pope with the same name rising up later. Such a pope rising in the future will change the name before his death. He must, or else he will invalidate the prophecy.

If you insist that Benedict has not yet fallen because his name has returned, consider that the fall of the Benedict line can only occur just as it did with any other Papal line, that is, when he dies with the name of Benedict attached to him. This must be in the same manner as the fall of the line of Nebuchadnezzar occurred in literal Babylon through the death of Belshazzar, the last of that line of kings. Only then could he be said to have fallen. But, based on the prophecy, Benedict XVI is going to change his name and will not die with the name of Benedict attached to him. Therefore, if you insist anyway that the line of Benedict has not yet fallen, the logical conclusion is that the line of Benedict will never fall because he is not going to die with the name of Benedict attached to him. Remember that the Bible defines the fall to occur at the death of the last of a line of kings, so only at his death will he be said to have fallen and the fall occurs under the name he has then, not before then. If the fall did not previously occur with Benedict XV in 1922 and Benedict XVI does change his name, then the fall of the Benedict line will never occur because Benedict XVI will fall under a different name. The name change does not constitue the fall of the Benedict line. How then do you propose to terminate the line in a manner that is Biblical according to the model of how it happened in Babylon? There is no way to do it. The only logical conclusion is that the line of Benedict has fallen.

Now, of course, the reality of it is that the current pope did choose one of the seven names when he first arrived. He chose the name of Benedict rather than John, but the principles are the same. Though Benedict has fallen, Benedict XVI can have that name so long as he changes it to a different name before he dies. He could change it any time up to the point of death and it would fulfill the prophecy exactly. It also does not invalidate our method of interpretation of the kings/heads.

To better understand the parallel nature of the fall of the four heads of the leopard beast of Daniel 7 and seven heads of the scarlet beast of Revelation 17, consider that God easily could have said concerning the four headed leopard that "two have fallen, one is, and one more is yet to fall" (please note he did NOT actually say this, but could have), meaning that God could have marked a point in time when two of the heads had already fallen, one was (which would fall), and one more would yet fall after the current one.  Had he done this, the parallel nature of the two beasts would have been even more obvious. 

Now, suppose God had done this with the four heads of the leopard beast.  It would appear to the readers that the last two were in sequence, right?  After all, "one is, and one more is yet to fall" is the way he could have said it, which would obviously indicate a sequence.  And yet the sequence of the four heads of the leopard beast applies only to the fall of the heads, not their arrival.

What people are failing to understand with the nearly identical sentence in Revelation 17 is that it is the FALL of them that is in sequence, not their arrival, with the exception of the seventh one.  Nothing in Revelation 17:10 indicates the arrival of the first six heads, but it clearly does indicate their fall.  God could have said Revelation 17:10 this way if he really wanted to emphasize a sequence after the first five heads:

And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is who came after the five and will fall, and the other is not yet come; and when he comes, he must continue a short time and then fall.

Note that I added words in pink to illustrate what God COULD have said to illustrate that he truly intended to indicate a true sequence of powers that occur one at a time after the first five heads.  I am sure you remember that God DID NOT actually say the verse this way.  And please do not accuse me of adding words to the verse in Revelation.  I wrote this verse in this way for illustration purposes only and we both know that God DID NOT say things this way. 

This type of wording would at least have indicated that after the five were fallen, then there is a sixth power that would rise, fall, and then be followed by the seventh, who would rise, exist a short time, and then fall.  By doing things this way, a true sequence of rise and falls of the last two heads after the five would have been more clearly indicated.  If God intended to indicate a rise and fall of the 6th and 7th heads, why did he not have the angel word things this way when he was speaking to John? It certainly would have clarified things. There would be no question of what he meant. Or is there a good reason why he did not? Perhaps he wanted to keep people from discovering the real meaning of this verse until it was time for it to be revealed?

Now, suppose that God had intended to indicate a sequence of ALL the heads for both their rise and falls. Here is how he could have said the verse in order to do that:

And there are seven kings: five are fallen, each of which came and fell one after another one at a time, and one is now who came after the five and will fall, and the other is not yet come; and when he comes, he must continue a short time and then fall.

There would be no possibility of a mistake with this type of wording.  Why did he not do this if that is what he actually intended?  Given the pattern in Daniel, the omission of this type of wording to clarify things is very puzzling if this is what God actually intended.  The way the verse is actually worded shows only that there is a sequence between the 6th and 7th heads. There is no evidence in the verse that there is a sequence of rising and falling for the first 6 heads. The verse itself speaks only of the fall of the first six heads, which precisely follows the same pattern shown for the leopard beast of Daniel 7. Therefore, In actuality, God intended us to understand the heads in Revelation 17 in the same way as they were done in Daniel 7 with the leopard beast's heads. In other words, the heads all start out together (except for the seventh head) and then fall one at a time until all are gone.

The reason God stated Revelation 17:11 the way he did is because he needed a way to indicate that the seventh king does not arrive at the point of the decree like the other six, but comes later.  It is an exception that he was trying to notify us about and the main reason he stated things in this rather peculiar way.  He was not trying to imply that all the heads are in sequence, but rather that only the last two are in sequence.  Those who say otherwise are not listening to God very well and are filling in details that are not stated with their own ideas.  They usually say that the context requires it.  But, that is not so and having to do so indicates that something is probably wrong with the underlying hypothesis.  There is a way to do it that does not require filling in details that do not exist.  Simply follow the pattern in Daniel 7 for the four headed leopard.

Now, compare the graphic showing the fall of the four heads of the leopard to the seven heads of the scarlet beast using the Parallel Kingdoms Theory:

Parallel Kingdoms Theory

Sequential Ancient Kingdoms Theory

Note how very similar they are to one another.  The heads of the four headed leopard started together in 301 BC and fell one at a time until all were gone.  Six of the seven heads of the scarlet beast of Revelation 17 started together in 1798 and fell one at a time until all six had fallen and then the seventh came and fell.  The 8th king will follow the seven, but first he started out with one of the previous seven names (he chose Benedict) and will have this name for a while.  Someday soon he will change it to a new name never used before.  We do not know what the new name will be, of course, and we do not know when he will change the name.  We know three things:

  • He will change his name to a new name (this will make him the 8th king) and will become the beast (he will obtain legal power to prosecute people for heresy) at the same time (Revelation 17:11). It appears that he will change his name because he will have become the beast.
  • The new name and the beast come together and cannot come separately from one another.  Where one is, the other is.  Where one is not, the other is not.  One is, in essence, the same as the other.
  • He will die when Jesus comes again (2 Thessalonians 2:4,8; Revelation 17:11, Revelation 19:20)

The point of all this is that there is Biblical precedence for the idea that any or all of the heads or horns can fall, not just the three mentioned in Daniel 7.  It is an idea that, though not explicitly stated or shown, does indeed happen because history clearly shows it happened.  Thus, this idea is not at all foreign to the Bible, but is an integral part of the prophecies of Daniel 7.  The reason that the three horns are explicitly explained to fall is to help us identify the talking horn.  Otherwise, it probably would never have been mentioned just as it is not mentioned that the other horns were to fall also. Note that it was never mentioned that the heads on the leopard beast would also fall.

Now, in the history of what once was the Western Roman Empire, many king lines were present in 476.  What remains today are the successors of the horns (perhaps some new beasts?), created by rearrangements and recombinations of the original kings/kingdoms or even replacements by new kingdoms altogether.  This is likely true of all the original kings that the ten horns symbolized, possibly excepting the Franks.  The kings that still exist today which replaced the original kings (thus causing those horns to fall) would be the kings spoken of by Daniel when he said:

Dan 2:44 "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom...." 

Daniel said that the kingdoms of the iron mixed with the clay would not hold together.  No other kingdom will arise that will replace Rome.  One of the symbolic ten original horns probably still stands and the talking horn still stands, so the fourth dreadful looking beast is not gone.   No other replacement will be able to hold it together as Rome did.  No other such kingdom is slowly swallowing the kingdoms to build a mighty empire as Rome did long ago.  The dreadful beast will someday soon be symbolically "burned", which is the same as the burning of the woman of Revelation 17 and 18.  Only then will it be finally gone.

Here is a list of the ten horns that most Seventh-day Adventists usually list and what happened to them:

Alamanni - Their kingdom destroyed by the Franks (in particular, by Clovis when he conquered them and removed their king from power) in 496 and eventually mostly divided among four nations (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alamanni). A small portion of them ended up in a fifth nation, Italy.

Anglo-Saxons - Their kingdoms destroyed in the Norman invasion of 1066. Most of their kingdoms probably had been destroyed much earlier by battles among themselves, but the events of 1066 finished off all of their kingdoms once and for all time - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1066, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Hastings, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_I_of_England, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-saxon)

Burgundians - Their kingdom destroyed by the Franks in 534 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burgundians).  They regained their independence in the late 800s, but lost it again and never have regained it since then.  They fought against France during the Hundred Years War (http://everything2.com/title/Burgundian, http://everything2.com/title/Hundred%2520Years%2520War).  The Burgundian descendants today are divided between France and Western Switzerland.

Franks - Remain today as France

Heruls - Their kingdom was destroyed by the Lombards in 508 (http://www.northvegr.org/lore/langobard/005.php).  A small number of other Heruls living in Odoacer's kingdom were killed by the Ostrogoths but most of them survived and joined the Ostrogothic army (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odoacer).

Lombards - Their kingdom was conquered by the Franks in 774 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lombards).

Ostrogoths - Their kingdom was destroyed by the Eastern Roman Empire, usually dated as 535 - 556 or so (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ostrogoths).  Their last king died in 554-556 time frame.  The last of their cities was destroyed in 561.  As a people, they disappeared with the end of their kingdom and it is not known what actually happened to them.  It seems likely that they assimilated into the surrounding groups so as to hide themselves from any further attacks from the troops of Justinian.

Suevis - Their kingdom was destroyed by the Visigoths in 585 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sueves).

Vandals - Their kingdom was destroyed by the Eastern Roman Empire in 533-535 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vandals).

Visigoths - Their kingdom was destroyed by the Moors in 711 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visigoths).

Many people seem to think that eradication of a people group is necessary to constitute removal of a horn, but that does not follow the Bible.  In order for that assumption to be true, a horn must be defined in the Bible to represent people so that removal of the horn would represent removal or eradication of the people.  The problem is that there is no definition in either Daniel or Revelation where a horn is defined to represent people.  Horns never specifically represent people as such, but represent only a king, a kingdom, or a nation. The elimination of the king should always be first and foremost to consider when trying to understand the removal of a beast, head, or horn.

Some people may be shocked by the very idea that all but one of the ten political horns on the dreadful looking beast have fallen.  They may even make accusations of "heresy"!  However, should you question this idea, think about this: in Daniel 7:11, it says this:

I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spoke: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.

The burning of the beast in this verse is the same as the burning of the woman, Babylon, in Revelation 18.  But stop and think about this question for a moment: if seven horns remain on that beast until the moment the beast is burned, then would the burning of the beast (including the seven remaining horns and the talking horn also) represent the destruction of those European kingdoms right along with the destruction of the talking horn?  Something to think about?  Are the nations of Europe (and the rest of the world) destroyed before Jesus comes again or when he comes again (for the answer, take a look at Daniel 2:44-45)?  Does it not make more sense that the horns fall off before this occurs so that their successors survive beyond the destruction of the talking horn?  If so, when do the horns fall off?

In conclusion, what is fundamentally required to remove a horn is to remove a country's king in such a way that it never has a king of its own again.  In the case of Babylon, specifically what was required is that the last member of the king line died, a fact which helps us in understanding the fall of the seven king lines or seven heads in Revelation 17.

What Does the Bible Really Say About the Removal of the Three Horns?

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In Daniel 7, the following is said about the removal of the three horns on the head of the dreadful looking beast:

Dan 7:8 I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.

Dan 7:20 And of the ten horns that were on its head, and of the other which came up, and before which three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spoke very great things, whose look was greater than its fellows.

Dan 7:24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.

To summarize, these verses say the following about the three horns:

  • they were plucked up (probably meaning to pull up) by the roots before the talking horn (it would seem the word "before" here means "in the presence of")
  • they fell before (in the presence of) the talking horn (here they fall, just as the heads do in Revelation 17)
  • they were subdued by the talking horn

Upon examination of these three statements, It is clear that the three horns are one and the same in all three verses.  That being the case, then to say that they were plucked up by the roots is to say that they fell and also that they were subdued by the talking horn.  For a horn to grow out of the head of the dreadful looking fourth beast in the first place, it is reasonable to say that there must be a people group who have a king or leader that arose out of what once was the territory of the Western Roman Empire.  Therefore, to say that three of them were plucked up by the roots or fell is to say that their kings or leaders must have been removed.  The lines of individual kings who are the rulers of each kingdom that is removed is gone from then onward and they are not replaced by their people.  No more kings of their founder's line will ever return to the throne. To also say that they are subdued by the talking horn seems to suggest that that this happens because of force which in some is way imposed on them by the talking horn, and is not merely something that just by happenstance occurs in the presence of the talking horn.  These are not random events of history.  It is a deliberate action on the part of the talking horn that in some way causes the three horns to be subdued, plucked up, or to fall. 

Were Daniel 7:24 not included, we would know only that three horns would fall or be removed, but would not know who caused their fall.  Daniel 7:24 clarifies for us that it is somehow caused by the talking horn and that clearly implies force of some sort.  Kings do not normally willingly permanently vacate their throne merely upon the request of another, so force is a logical requirement.  It does not tell us precisely how it causes them to fall, only that it will be responsible for their fall.  While force obviously is necessary, it is not stated that the talking horn itself applies force to accomplish this objective.  It leaves open the possibility that it acts through another power.

According to the Merriam-Webster's 2000 Computer Edition Dictionary, the word pluck means this:

Transitive senses:

1 : to pull or pick off or out
2 a : to remove something (as hairs) from, by, or as if by plucking, example: *pluck one's eyebrows*  b : ROB, FLEECE
3 : to move, remove, or separate forcibly or abruptly, example: *plucked the child from the middle of the street*
4 a : to pick, pull, or grasp at  b : to play by sounding the strings with the fingers or a pick
intransitive senses   : to make a sharp pull or twitch

It seems reasonable that in Daniel 7:8, to say that the three horns were plucked up by the roots is to say that they are literally removed (likely definition 2a above).  It would not seem reasonable to say that they were pulled or picked off or picked out because verse 20 also says that they fell.  Merely moving them or separating them forcibly or abruptly seems not to be the meaning, though to "remove" them as in definition 3 might fit.  However, definition 2a probably seems the best fit.  Therefore, the three horns are apparently removed, meaning that their kings or leaders are removed.  Some other power rules the people afterwards, if the people survive, and the line of kings they had over them previously is gone.

According to the Merriam-Websters 2000 Computer Edition Dictionary, the word subdue means the following:

1 : to conquer and bring into subjection : VANQUISH
2 : to bring under control especially by an exertion of the will : CURB *subdued my foolish fears*
3 : to bring under cultivation

Clearly, definition 3 cannot fit any of the statements concerning the three horns in Daniel 7.  Definition 2 might fit.  However, it seems that in order to best fit with the statements about the three horns being plucked up by the roots and falling in the presence of the talking horn, definition 1 is probably the best overall fit.  Therefore, the people groups of the three horns are conquered and brought into subjection, or vanquished, and brought under control by another power.  If they still have a king, he is not the same line of kings they had before nor is he merely a substitute king from the people they rule.  Instead, he is imposed on them by the conqueror.  Most likely it is the king of the conquerors who will rule them after that point in time, though it is not impossible for him to appoint a sub king to rule for him in his absence, one who would be under his control.

Using the dictionary definitions, one can say that the three horns represent three kings or leaders who are conquered by an invader or outside power, subdued and removed from power, and not a replacement leader chosen by the people from among their own people. 

Let Us Count Kings!

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Now that we know what a horn is defined to actually be (first, consider it as a  king and see if it fits, and if it does, count it), we can count the kings that the ten horns represent.  But before beginning that process, there are several things that should be reviewed to be sure we understand how to precede.  These are:

  • First, we know that the number ten is defined in Daniel 1:20 to be symbolic.  Consequently, we should count all the kings and not try to determine who the literal ten kings were.
  • Second, we know from the example of the ram in Daniel 8 that God recognizes both top level and subordinate level kings or rulers as horns on beasts.  Thus, besides counting the top level kings, we should count the subordinate level kings where needed and where we have that information available. 
  • Third, while counting kings, we should count kings whose kingdoms impacted God's people and omit those kingdoms which had no impact. 
  • Fourth, we should count only those kings who were ruling kingdoms present in 476.
  • Fifth, we should count only those kings whose kingdoms were within the boundaries of the Western Roman Empire.
  • Sixth, while counting kings, If we find a kingdom where several brothers are ruling several different kingdoms, count only one king line between them all.  Otherwise, one top level king line per kingdom is the usual way to count them.

How does this actually work out when you look at a map of the Western Roman Empire as it was in 476?  Well, in the case of the kings of the successor kingdoms of the Roman Empire, nearly all of them were Christian, so nearly all of them would have had at least some of God's people within their borders.  Therefore, all Christian kingdoms would have had an impact on God's people.  Consequently, we should count all Christian kingdoms which were within the borders of the Western Roman Empire, whether wholly within or even just partially within the borders.  One can count the top level kings in most cases by counting the kingdoms (but not always because as the one head of the fourth dreadful looking beast shows, it is the lines of kings that should actually be counted and these are not always synonymous with kingdoms).  If needed or where possible, count the sub kings by looking into the facts of history.  And finally, count all, even if there are more than ten because ten is symbolic of the total of them. 

I have taken the liberty of copying the map found on Wikipedia's commons map area which shows the Roman Empire as it was in 476.  These maps are licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License version 1.2 with permission to copy, modify and/or distribute them, so I can use them as needed.  I have modified the map to show the approximate main boundary of Western Rome from the time it was divided in 395.  In addition, I have taken another map of Britain to show the kingdoms formed there during that time and on this map I have inserted the approximate main northern boundary of Rome, which was mostly a stone wall called Hadrian's Wall (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadrian%27s_Wall). They built another wall farther to the north of the boundary shown on the map which is usually referred to as Antonine's wall (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonine_Wall), but so far as I can determine, they used that mainly as a secondary line of defense against the people living to the north of that line to prevent their incursions south.

Here is the map of the kingdoms of the Western Roman Empire (plus some others) which I am inserting into this document for your convenience (it may be too wide, but hopefully is not):

Eastern and Western Roman Empires in 476

That there are quite a few kingdoms should be very obvious, especially in Britain.

Below is the same map with the Rhine and Danube Rivers location marked with the boundary of the Eastern Roman Empire marked out as well.  Note that the pink line is the (very) approximate location of the Rhine River, the yellow line is the outline of the Eastern Roman Empire and the yellow line with the black lines over it is the boundary of the Eastern Roman Empire at the Danube River, while the red line is the Danube.  Note that the Danube continues all the way into the Black Sea but is covered over on the map by the black dashes over the yellow line.  I could not see the rivers very well on this map, so the locations may not be very accurate for them, but should give the general idea. 

Just to the south of the Lombard and Thuringian kingdoms is the kingdom of the Scirians and Rugians (there may have been two kingdoms but the map shows them as one).  The labels of the Scirian and Rugian kingdom is covered over by the red line, which is the approximate location of the Danube.  Remember that the Rugians were invaded by the Odoacer in 487 and his brother in 488.  As a result, the Rugians went to the Ostrogoths and became their allies.  Because they maintained their independence while living with the Ostrogoths, their horn was separate from that of the Ostrogoths.  The map shows that the Rugian-Scirian kingdom territory was on both sides of the Danube River, so if this map is accurate, the Rugians did count as one of the groups that was at least partially within the boundaries of the Western Roman Empire when it fell in 476.  That seems to contradict one source I read which said that they were only north of the Danube, but chances are this map is accurate for the time period.  When the Romans vacated the land on the opposite shore of the Danube, which they did before 476 (it is known that the Rhine River, for example, froze over in the winter of 407, and this allowed another large invasion of tribes into Roman territory which caused considerable deterioration of control of the Roman border - see Potter, page 226), it is almost inconceivable that the Rugians would not have taken the land for their own as it would have been open to them.  The Danube River apparently runs through a very wide valley that is between mountain ranges in that area, so there would have been plenty of room for them to expand.

Kingdoms of Western Roman Empire in 476

Now, to count the kings.

Just on the mainland of Europe, I count the following kingdoms within the boundary of the Western Roman Empire in 476: Visigoths, Suevi, Vasconia, Brittany, Soissons (Suessiones, the original name of the indigenous tribe in northern France east of Brittany), Burgundy, Franks, Alamanni, Western Roman Empire, and Ostrogoths.  That makes ten of them.  Rome also had owned Britain and there were a number of kingdoms there (see map and count below).  Rome also owned part of North Africa, which had the following kingdoms to be counted there: Mauri Moors, Roman-Moor kingdom, Capea or Capsa (I cannot read it), Vandals, and the kingdom between the Capsa and the Roman-Moor kingdom whose name I cannot read on the map.  So, that makes five more kingdoms, all of which were Christian in 476.  Without Britain, this totals at least 15 kingdoms.  Some of the smaller ones are not shown on this map, so there were more of them.  Brittany, for example, is shown on this map as one kingdom, but the map below shows it to be four kingdoms in actuality.  The problem with Britanny is that I cannot find a date for their conversion to Christianity, so I have to assume they were not Christian in 476 until I find proof otherwise. And last of all, the Franks were actually three groups with separate kings over each of them until Clovis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clovis_I) united them together as one group (he ruled the Franks from 481 to 511).  For more information about the Frankish kings, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_of_the_Franks).  This makes a total of about 18 kingdoms in 476 (before Clovis united the Franks into one group), perhaps?  And there probably are more.  But this makes quite a few more than ten as is!

The fact that the Franks were actually three different groups in 476 is something that people who believe in the ten literal horns idea never mention.  They were really not the Franks as such in 476, which means that they really need to decide which group among the three of them was "it".

Here is the map of the successor kingdoms of Roman Britain:

Kingdoms of Britain in 476

I cannot read the names of all the kingdoms south of the red line, but I include the kingdoms spanning the red line and south of that in Britain.  I count about 28 kingdoms (hopefully I did not double count some of them!)  So add that to 18 and you get about 46 kingdoms. 

In this exercise, apparently all you need to do to count the king lines is count kingdoms.  That includes in the total the kings lines that are obvious.  There were likely more sublevel kings that clearly are not shown.  As it is, 46 is certainly a lot more than ten!  There would be more if we could see all the sublevel kings. With considerably more than ten kings, at the moment we do not need to count the sub kings, but we will use a few of them later in this document.

Now, the point is this.  The horns are kings that formed within the Western Roman Empire prior to or when it fell in 476.  Though it is true that some of them were subordinate to some of the others, there is no reason not to count all of them.  Ten is defined as symbolic and we have the clear example of the subordinate king of the ram in Daniel 8 being counted as a horn.  Thus, I see many more than ten kingdoms. 

Removal Methods for the Three Horns

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Let us now discuss theoretical possibilities for how the three horns were removed.  There probably are only three possibilities, which are:

  1. The Papacy had no role whatsoever and horn removal was done solely at the volition of another power.
  2. The Papacy actually gathered together an army and removed the horns.
  3. The Papacy gathered no army but is considered by God to be responsible for removing a horn because it either instigated or in some way inspired the removal of the three horns through the action of another power.
The No Role Hypothesis

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The author of the Adventist Lies web page claims that the Papacy had no role whatsoever in any of the disappearances of horns (which seems a bit unusual because in other instances, Catholics will admit that they did indeed play a role in causing the removal of the Vandal/Alan and the Ostrogothic kingdoms), but given the facts of history in which the Papacy is known to have had a large amount of involvement in causing wars, it is highly incredible that they would not have some hidden role in these events somewhere.  The author of the Adventist Lies web site claims that it is impossible that a distant ruler of the church could have anything to do with these actions.  Yet, history shows that popes caused wars very distant from Rome and sometimes actively participated in such wars (consider the title of the book Pope Julius II, the Warrior Pope, Christine Shaw, Blackwell Publishing, copyright 1997 - note that I underlined part of the title to emphasize the important words).  It is known, for example, that the popes sought help from the West when it was having problems with the Lombards, so this eventually led to the Franks intervening and going to war against the Lombards, resulting in the destruction of the Lombard's kingdom ( sub section: Pippin III, main article: "France." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica 2009 Ultimate Reference Suite.  Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2009). 

Thus, it is very difficult to dismiss the possibility that the popes had some direct involvement in spite of the Adventist Lies web page claim to the contrary.  But, conversely, it is impossible to prove that the pope was personally involved in the events that transpired to cause the three horns to be removed.  Nevertheless, events do show that the Catholic Church was involved, something that can be proved.

As a result, it is safe to reject the no role hypothesis.  Besides that, the Bible prophecy in Daniel 7 shows that a power whose description can only fit the Papacy was responsible for removal of three horns. This also is a basis for rejecting the no role hypothesis.

Papal Army Hypothesis

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There is no evidence of which I am aware that the Papacy itself gathered an army and went against any of the kingdoms of the Barbarians in the 6th century and removed them in a way that fits the prophecy.  While there were instances in history in which the Papacy was able to gather armies together to accomplish certain tasks (such as the crusades), there just is no support for that in the case of the 6 tribes mentioned by the Adventist Lies site (the Ostrogoths, Heruls, Vandals, Huns, Visigoths, and Alamannis) of which I am aware.

The Adventist Lies author cites several instances where other powers destroyed a tribe rather than a Papal army having done the job.  It appears that the facts support his idea to some extent, but he uses this to say that there was absolutely no Papal involvement.  The facts of history show that he is incorrect in his assertions about this.  Thus, the Papal army hypothesis can safely be rejected.

Papal Instigation Hypothesis

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If the third possibility is true, then, as the Papacy has often done, it acted in a manner that caused others to do its bidding, whether by persuasion, or by some type of threat that it could appear able to make good on, or simply making the case to some power that it would gain in some way by doing something that the Papacy wanted done, though perhaps with their motive hidden.  The last possibility is sort of a "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" type of favor done for each other which is referred to as the quit pro quo method.  If they did approach it from the quid pro quo method, they may not even have had to say much of anything because the gain for both sides may have been obvious to the people involved in the circumstances at the time, though it may not appear so much that way to us from our perspective in the future relative to them.  Another way this could be done is for the Papacy to somehow convince the rulers of another power to attack the enemy of the Papacy on the basis that doing so was God's will, something that Catholic rulers certainly would seriously consider in making their decisions.  And finally, given that any Catholic official could incite a war by such a method, and if he did so, it would (and should) be credited to the Papacy one way or another because such officials act under the authority of their church.

History shows heavy involvement of the Papacy in the affairs of other nations going back to the time of Constantine.  For just one example, consider that under the orders of Pope Stephen II (elected and consecrated 26 March (or 3 April), 752;  and died 26 April, 757), King Pepin of France attacked the Lombards in Italy and defeated them.  The land he obtained was given to the Papacy and became the Papal States.  Papal involvement in the affairs of state of Europe caused many wars over the centuries, so it is unlikely that they had no role in the three horns being uprooted.  In reality, history supports only this, the third option.  As a result, our question is whether there is openly available evidence that the Papacy somehow instigated the removal of three (or more) kings, directly through its own action, by threat, by the persuasive power of "mutual back scratching", or perhaps it was the persuasive power of it was the "will of God".   

Let us next turn to the historical evidence concerning the Heruls.  First, how is it they were in Italy?

How Did Odoacer Become the Ruler of Italy?

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Let us go over the history of how Odoacer came to power in Italy, which also involved the Heruls.

In the last few years of the Roman Empire, the Roman Army was largely made up of Germanic tribesmen who were trained by Rome as professional soldiers.  This probably included many Heruls, Scirians, Rugians, Thuringians, Burgundians and those from other groups.  Certainly it also included some Romans. 

Using the account given in the Encyclopedia Britannica as the main source, here is the story in my own words of how Odoacer became king of Italy:

Odoacer (Odovacer or Odovaker are alternate spellings) came to Rome in 470 and joined the Roman army like many others of his time.  Over time he apparently rose in rank rather quickly.  One source (Potter, page 245) says he was a general in the Roman army, though whether that is true is a bit uncertain.  

As it happens, in 470 Rome was experiencing major money problems and really did not have enough to pay their soldiers as much as they had in the past.  In order to induce the new recruits to sign up, Orestes (he was the father of the young Roman Emperor who was deposed by Odoacer in 476), apparently promised them land of their own in Italy for their service to Rome.  However, this was a promise that he could not keep because it was not in his power to actually grant it.  Naturally, he did not tell them that fact up front, but lied to them to get them to work for Rome.  Meanwhile, those serving in the Roman Army thought that they were going to get their land when they finished their term of service.  But, when it was time to get it, Orestes finally told them that his promise to give them land could not be kept.  So, Odoacer became angry about this and decided to lead his fellow Roman Army troops in a rebellion against Rome.  He captured Orestes and killed him (the emperor in 476 was a youth of 16 years of age).  Five days later he captured the child emperor, deposed and exiled him to his family in Italy, after which little was heard from him again.  The child emperor went before the Roman Senate and announced his resignation before leaving.  This was his last official act as emperor of the Roman Empire.

Odoacer became the king of Italy and very soon thereafter he wrote the Eastern Roman Emperor and declared that he wanted to rule only Italy and that the Eastern Roman Emperor could have the remaining parts of the Western Roman Empire.  He made it plain to the Eastern Roman Emperor that he was not wanting to be the Western Roman Emperor.  At that point, the Western Roman Empire was effectively dead because there was insufficient revenue from the remains of the Western Roman Empire with which to run it.  With such a burden attached to running it, the Eastern Roman Empire did not want it either.  So, it died a quiet, natural death.

According to the account given at Wikipedia, there are some differences in the details.  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odoacer.  Here is their account quoted directly from their article:

"In 470, Odoacer was appointed leader of a band of foederati [essentially allies of Rome, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foederati for more information about this], In 475, Orestes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flavius_Orestes) was appointed Magister militum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magister_militum) and patrician (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrician) by the Western Roman Emperor Julius Nepos (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julius_Nepos); he was therefore made head of the Germanic foederati of Italy (the Scirian - Herulic foederati). Orestes promised them a third of the Italic peninsula if they led the revolt against Emperor Nepos. The foederati were 30,000 strong (plus families), and they had lived on the Italic peninsula for several years at this point; however, they had only received scraps of land in relatively unfertile areas around the Apennine mountains (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apennine_mountains). The foederati accepted the offer and led the revolt as planned; on August 28 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/August_28), 475 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/475 )they defeated Nepos, who fled to Dalmatia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalmatia). With the emperor far away, Orestes elevated his son Romulus to the rank of Augustus, so that the last Western Roman Emperor is known as Romulus Augustus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romulus_Augustus).

"After the revolt, Orestes, as magister militum, organized his own army. Behind the safety of his army, Orestes rescinded his pledge to the foederati; as a result, the foederati revolted and defeated Orestes. Odoacer was the leader of the revolt against Orestes, who was captured and executed. After the revolt, the Germanic foederati, the Scirians and the Heruli (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heruli), as well as a large segment of the Italic Roman army, proclaimed Odoacer rex Italiae ("king of Italy").In 476, Odoacer advanced to Ravenna (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ravenna), capturing the city and the young emperor. Romulus was compelled to abdicate on September 4 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_4), 476 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/476). In the same year Odoacer renounced the meaningless title of Emperor, which was a wise move that avoided a conflict with Constantinople (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constantinople). He sent the imperial insignia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insignia) to the Eastern Emperor Zeno (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeno_(emperor)) and declared himself Patrician of the Western half, which by this time was no more than the Italian peninsula, Dalmatia and an exclave (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exclave) in northern Gaul. The rightful Western Roman Emperor, Julius Nepos, ruled powerless in Dalmatia, where he would live until his assassination in 480. During this four-year interval Odoacer recognized Nepos as Western emperor and even made coins in his name."

As you should be able to see, there are some significant differences.

Odoacer ruled until 493.  Some of the Heruls remained with Odoacer in his court as guards for him and most likely they and their families lived in and around the capital in Ravenna (the capital was no longer in Rome).  It is known that the remaining members of the various tribal groups, which included Scirians, Rugians and Heruls, apparently all settled down to a comfortable life in Italy as members of Odoacer's army.  Odoacer was the sole ruler in Italy during this time.  The various tribal groups did not have their own separate administrations and governments with separate rulers over them.  Instead, there was only one administration and government: that of Odoacer.  And that was not a problem because Odoacer's government was readily accepted as the natural order of things by the Romans.  They supported his government. 

Why Do Some Say the Catholic Church Destroyed the Heruls?

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Those who believe that the Catholic Church is the talking horn on the head of the dreadful looking fourth beast of Daniel 7 must explain the identity of the ten horns and be able to justify the selection of powers they identify as the three extracted horns.  If they do not provide reasonable evidence that their selection is accurate, then they open themselves up the charge that their choice of the identity of the talking horn is arbitrary and incorrect.  So, they have to come up with a list of ten horns with three of them being removed by the power they say is the talking horn in order to prove that they have correctly identified the talking horn. 

Of course, people usually think that the number ten is literal, so they begin by making up a list of those tribes that they believe are the largest and most important.  When they study into history, they should discover that two of those tribes were destroyed as a direct result of intervention of the Catholic Church.  Once they have arrived at that information, then they go looking for the third tribe, at which point things get complicated.  In order to explain the third tribe (after removing two from the list of ten tribes), they have only 8 left from which to choose.  Of course, next they discover that none of the remaining candidates have any connections to any direct action of the Catholic Church which caused their removal.  This creates a real problem for them.   

In order to resolve this problem, they may decide that they have to look to the motives that the Catholic Church may have had to destroy a tribe.  This often leads them to discover that most of the tribes converted to the Arian form of Christianity before they became Catholic and this leads to speculation that the Catholic Church had motives to want the Arians destroyed so that they could achieve ultimate power over all Christians. 

As they study history in an attempt to identify the third horn, they eventually learn of the Arian kingdom of Odoacer in Italy.  As they learn more about the history of the kingdom of Odoacer, they may discover that he might have been the king of the Heruls.  After farther study into the history of the Heruls in Odoacer's kingdom, they may decide that the Catholic Church may have had a motive to have them destroyed, so they latch onto the Heruls as the third horn because they will sooner or later learn that the Ostrogoths destroyed the kingdom of Odoacer and believe, with some minor evidence, that the Catholic Church inspired this event, but not by any direct action on the part of the Catholic Church.  From that they think that the Ostrogoths destroyed the Heruls and by extension of responsibility, the Catholic Church was the responsible party.  They then think they have solved the problem.  They have identified the third horn.  

It is this type of somewhat "fuzzy" reasoning that leads some to think that the Catholics destroyed the Heruls.  Ultimately, the root reason for choosing the Heruls has everything to do with their assumption that ten is literal.  Because they see it that way, it limits their choice of tribes that the Catholics may have destroyed.  And that virtually forces them to ultimately choose the Heruls as the tribe that they believe were destroyed by the Catholic Church. 

What are the Catholics saying about this?

One example of their statements is that pasted in below from the Adventist Lies web site.  The author denies that the Papacy had anything at all to do with the disappearance of the Heruls.  He asserts that the Lombards destroyed the Heruls.  Here is the denial by the Adventist Lies web site author:

"The next point is that Dan 7:24 says that it is the 11th horn that uproots or puts down the three kings. However, in all three cases at hand, the papacy had NOTHING to do with their uprootment !!! The person who defeated the Ostrogoths and the Vandals was Belisarius, a general in the army of Justinian, emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire. Justinian was a Christian, but his political actions were clearly not influenced by the bishop of a foreign city, Rome. It is yet another SDA untruthful distortion of the facts to say this.

"But that is all irrelevant. Let's turn to the Heruli, and see what influence the papacy had in their uprootment. All my sources say they were uprooted by the Lombards in 493 AD. Which is very interesting, because the Lombards were NOT Catholic - they were Arians, enemies of the Catholic Church and of the papacy, and CERTAINLY NOT influenced in their political decisions by their enemy the pope. So, completely contrary to Daniel 7:24, the Heruli were NOT put down by the papacy at all, but by the Lombards. Either the SDA interpretation of Daniel 7:24 is incorrect, or, if the SDAs are right, the actual prophecy given by God to Daniel was faulty. "

Is this denial true, and if so, what should the response be to this?  In answer to this question, the facts of history he states are true.  The Lombards did destroy the Heruls and General Belisarius did destroy the Vandals and Ostrogoths.  His denial that the Catholic Church had any involvement in the destruction of the Heruls is true because the Heruls were destroyed by the Lombards. 

His opinion about whether the pope personally influenced the events is just that - his personal opinion - and may or may not be true.  We do not know for a fact that the pope had personal involvement in the events that transpired, though it seems possible that he did.  The Adventist Lies writer's opinion about Belisarius' motive is just that also, opinion, because we do not know for certain what his motives were.  We do have recorded statements which indicates that Justinian did undertake the attacks against the Vandals in order to "protect the Christians", meaning the Catholic Christians.  But that was certainly not his sole motive.  Other factors entered into his decision to go to war against the Vandals and eventually the Ostrogoths.

Because the historical facts are generally true as he stated them, it should be clear that we need to find another group to fill in the third horn.  The only way to do that is to change how we look at the horns and how we identify the third horn.  This requires some adjustment in our thinking.

The Heruls Were Destroyed by the Lombards - So, What Are the Historical Facts About Their Destruction?

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One big problem with the argument of the Adventist Lies web site is that it does not tell the whole story concerning the destruction of the Heruls.  The whole story is this.  The Heruls were subjugated first by the Ostrogoths and later by the Huns.  After the defeat of the Huns in 454, they were freed of the Huns and were able to form their own kingdom sometime between 454 and 475 AD (I do not have the exact date).  Their kingdom was just outside the boundary of the Western Roman Empire to the east of Roman territory in the Middle Danube region (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heruls).  The river is important because the Danube River was usually the boundary of the Roman Empire.  The kingdom created by the Heruls is sometimes referred to as the Eastern Heruli Kingdom.  A very significant point is that the Eastern Herul's kingdom cannot be counted as one of the ten horns because it formed outside of the Western Roman Empire's historic boundaries.  Of course, this raises the question of why some commentators believe that the Lombards were also among the ten horns because, in 476, their kingdom was outside the boundaries of the Western Roman Empire just like the kingdom of the Heruli?  So, why include them? In truth, neither tribe should be included.

Here are several statements by historical sources concerning the Eastern Herul's Kingdom formation and power:

“After the power of the Huns was broken, about A.D. 480, a large body of Heruli established a considerable empire on the Danube, or rather about the upper course of the Theiss, as the banks of the Danube were in the hands of the Rugii, Longobardi, and Gepidae.  The second of the tribes, however, soon became subject to the Heruli.  The great power of the Heruli in those parts is attested by the fact that Theodoric, the Ostrogoth, solicited their alliance against the Franks, declaring their king his son in arms (Cassiod. Var. iii. 3, iv.2).  But about A.D. 512 the Longobardi, impatient to bear the rule of the Heruli an longer rose in arms against them, and almost destroyed them. “ (Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography, William Smith, pg. 1062)

“Driven from the banks of the Palus Maeotis, by the Huns, they (the Heruli) retreated towards the Danube, and locating on the right bank of that river, between Vienna and Buda, they formed a powerful kingdom in A.D. 476.” (The History of Civilization, Amos Dean, pg. 29)

“Again, we hear of Heruli in central Europe from the time of Attila onwards, while at the end of the fifth century they had a powerful kingdom, apparently in the basin of the Elbe.” (Origin of the English Nation, Hector Munro Chadwick, pg. 139)

“The Heruli also had a powerful kingdom, probably in the basin of the Elbe, while the whole coast from the mouth of the Weser to the west Scheldt was in the hands of the Frisians….Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths, endeavoured to form a confedarcy with the Thuringi, Heruli and Warni against Clovis in order to protect the Visigoths in the early years of the 6th century, but very shortly afterwards the king of the Heruli was slain by the Langobardi and their existence as an independent power came to an end.” (The Encyclopaedia Britannica, Hugh Chisholm, pg. 831)

Now let us look at how the Lombards came into contact with the Heruls.  Beginning probably in 489 and running to 526 AD (though one source said it was fairly complete by 493), the Lombards began migrating south from their original home area in what is now Northern Germany (again, outside the Western Roman Empire and after 476).  The Lombards migrated into an area just to the north and west of the Eastern Herul's kingdom and north of the Danube River in what today is Austria.  This territory had just shortly before been the territory of the kingdom of the Rugians and Scirians, an area which historians refer to as Rugiland.  When the Lombards arrived, Rugiland was open territory because it had been abandoned not long before by the Rugians and Scirians subsequent to the attacks of Odoacer and his brother in 487-488.  The Lombards took over Rugiland and made it their own home.  However, beginning in 540, the Lombards chose to move again, this time into the Roman province of Pannonia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pannonia) where Justinian gave them imperial subsidies on the condition that they battle the Gepids (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gepids) for him, which they apparently did.

At some point they also destroyed the Eastern Herul's kingdom, probably in about 508 (cited at http://newprotestants.com/HORNS4.HTM, and article: "Heruli." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica 2009 Ultimate Reference Suite.  Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2009, and http://www.northvegr.org/lore/langobard/005.php).  This action removed the king of the Eastern Heruls and probably destroyed many of their people.  Thus, it is a fact that the Lombards destroyed the Eastern Herul's kingdom and there is no way around this because of the facts of history.  Clearly the Catholic Church had nothing to do with the destruction of the Eastern Herul's kingdom.  In fact, apparently the Heruls brought it upon themselves by deliberately inciting war with the Lombards.

Because the Eastern Heruli kingdom existed outside of Western Rome, it was NOT one of the ten horns on the head of the dreadful looking beast of Daniel 7.  Thus, it had nothing to do with any of the ten horns.  In this respect, it is irrelevant to the prophecy of Daniel 7.  Unfortunately, this fact of history is not taught to those who believe that the Heruli were destroyed by the Catholic Church.  Yet, they need to know the full facts of history to effectively deal with this issue.  Knowing only selected parts of it will leave them at a disadvantage and with a false impression about the facts of history.

Even this is not the entire story.  There is more to tell.

The rest of the story, the part that most people are more familiar with, is that there were some Heruls who were part of Odoacer's kingdom.  The kingdom of Odoacer certainly was not the Herul's kingdom because they were only one of several groups in his army (there were probably between 4 and 6 different groups within the army of Odoacer).  They were not part of the civilian population that Odoacer governed, so one cannot say that it was in any way a Heruli kingdom.  Think about that for a moment, if you will.  In the time of the Roman Empire, there were Scirians in the Roman army, but would anyone say that the Roman Empire was a Scirian Empire because there were some Scirians in their army?  I think not!  Therefore, why should we say that the kingdom of Odoacer was a Heruli kingdom just because there were some Heruls in Odoacer's army?  It makes no sense to do that, does it?  Rather instead, we would say that the Roman Empire was Roman because the citizens of their land, their civilian population, were Romans, not Scirians.

Here are several statements by historians concerning the group that Odoacer commanded, both as a military commander and as their king:

"The military force that he (Orestes) commanded largely comprised a heterogeneous assemblage of barbarians from Hunnic territory, Heruls and Scirians, among whom was the officer Odovacar, the son of his old friend and companian in adventure Edecon....The soldiers chose Odovacar as their king.  That in itself was an anomaly because they were no unitary tribe, only a mixture of mercenaries.   Odovacar's title, rex Herulorum, had little or nothing to do with his own origins." (Barbarians and Romans, Justine Randers-Pehrson pg.196)

"He (Odovacer) had received from Constantinople only a reserved recognition;  and as a German king he had no people.  For the Germans to whom he owed his elevation were a mixed company of adventurers, fragments of many folks;  there was no close or intimate bond among them, no national feeling." (Invasion of Europe by Barbarians, J.B.Bury, pg. 173)

In light of these statements, how can the claim be made that Odoacer's kingdom was the Herul's kingdom?

Odoacer's kingdom began in 476 AD in Italy and ran to 493, at which point in time it was destroyed by the Ostrogoths.  The Heruls helped put Odoacer in power in 476 and SOME of them were killed by the Ostrogoths at the same time as Odoacer, but MOST of them were allowed to join the Ostrogothic army.  Thus, most of the Heruls in Odoacer's kingdom actually survived the Ostrogothic war and were not destroyed by anyone, especially not by the Catholic Church in spite of the opinions of some.  Also, SOME of the Scirians, the Rugians, and other groups who had supported Odoacer were killed right along with the Heruls.  These other members of Odoacer's army who were not killed also joined the Ostrogothic army after the war by the Ostrogoths against Odoacer was over. 

The obvious question is this: since the Heruls in Odoacer's kingdom were not much more than a small part of their entire tribe, then why refer to their destruction as if the entire tribe was destroyed?  Obviously, this does not make much sense.  Consequently, even if the Catholic Church had caused the destruction of the Heruls in Odacer's kingdom (for which there is no proof), it did not destroy their tribe. These facts pull the rug out from under those supporting the Heruls as the third horn that was destroyed or removed by the influence of the Catholic Church.

When it comes to the successors of Rome, Seventh-day Adventists believe that the horns are tribes.  Clearly, anyone supporting this idea and the interpretation that has resulted from it will lose credibility as soon as the facts of history are brought to light.  And their reasoning is contradictory because they usually say that a tribe is a horn, but in this case, the tribe was not destroyed by the Ostrogoths at all, so why say that the Catholic Church removed their horn when most of the Heruls survived, thereby indicating that the tribe was not destroyed?  If you use the actualy Bible definition for a horn, that it is a king, then the horn that represented Odoacer's kingdom would not have represented the Heruls, but rather would have represented Odoacer because he was their king.  Therefore, their reasoning makes no sense.  And because there was no horn on the head of the dreadful looking fourth beast of Daniel 7 for the Eastern Heruli kingdom, one cannot say that the Catholic Church really had anything at all to do with removing a horn that really was not there in the first place.

After the Eastern Herul's kingdom east of the Danube River was destroyed (remember that it was destroyed in 508), there was little heard from the Heruls in history.  Some are known to have joined with the Eastern Roman Army and even founded a small kingdom on the Balkan Peninsula a few years later, but that too disappeared within a generation.  Some apparently went to Scandinavia.  You can read more about what happened to them at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heruls

Here are statements of several historians regarding the fate of some the Heruls:

“Another new phenomenon in the sixth century is the arrival in Constantinople of individual barbarians, or of groups of barbarians, asking of their own accord to be baptized. A certain Gretes, king of the Germanic Heruls, came to the capital with his retinue and twelve kinsmen and asked to become a Christian. They were all welcomed by Justinian and were baptized.”
(Romans and Barbarians, E.A. Thompson, pg. 242)

“At about the same time (537AD), as the same Procopius records, the Heruls, who had already crossed the river Danube while Anastasius was steering the Roman realm, after receiving generous treatment from Justinian, who granted them large sums of money, became Christians en masse and changed to a milder lifestyle.”
(The Ecclesiastical History of Evagrius Scholasticus, Michael Whitby, pg. 220)

It is apparent from these facts of history that the Lombards destroyed the Eastern Herul's kingdom.  They were not destroyed by the Ostrogoths through being used as pawns of the Catholic Church.  Had the Lombards not done this, we would probably read of acts of the Heruls for centuries afterwards and maybe even today we would continue to hear of them.  This would be true regardless of whether the Ostrogoths destroyed the Heruls in Italy or not, which, of course, they did not.

More About Why Some People Think The Heruls Were One of the Removed Horns

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There are some reasons from history that have caused people to think that the Heruls were one of the horns removed from the head of the dreadful looking beast of Daniel 7.  To partially explain how this type of thinking may have developed, here is a quote from Wikipedia concerning Odoacer which may shed some light on this:

"There is a good chance that Odoacer was the son of the Scirii chieftain, Edeko, a vassal of the Huns under Attila. His name itself is Germanic, (Odo=Otto) and Odoacer's mother may have been Germanic herself, but her name and nationality are left unmentioned throughout history. That Odoacer was a Scirian is taken from John of Antioch, that he was a Rugian is from Jordanes, though Jordanes also affirms him as king of the Turcilingi (Torcilingorum rex). The Consularia Italica [apparently a book known for its accurate chronological data of the fourth and fifth centuries] calls him king of the Heruli, while Theophanes appears to be guessing when he calls him a Goth." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odoacer)

The point of this is that the book Consularia Italica called Odoacer the king of the Heruli.  Some individuals have apparently thought that because the Heruls of Italy (along with other groups) had a king and they think that the Catholic church wanted them out of power, therefore they conclude that they took steps to have them removed from power.  Of course, to make this work, they have to believe that the Italian kingdom of Odoacer was a Herul's kingdom, thereby claiming that the tribe was the kingdom because they define horns to be tribes.  Obviously, none of that is true.  It was not a Herul's kingdom by any stretch of the imagination and neither was it a tribe.  They are wrong on both counts. They pick out the Heruli tribe for this because they were one of the major tribes, so conclude that they had to have been one of the ten literal tribes.

While it is very doubtful that Odoacer was the king of the Heruli, or, at least, he was not the king of the Eastern Heruli Kingdom, this statement may have been believed by others reading this information later.  The statement by John of Antioch that Odoacer was Scirian is believed by historians to be much more likely true, possibly because he (John of Antioch) was a contemporary of Odoacer, thus giving him some advantage over other authors such as Jordanes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jordanes) who wrote in the middle of the sixth century and was therefore separated from Odoacer by 60 or so years of time (very approximate).  However, the problem with this is that it appears that some of the writers of the Consularia Italica (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Consularia_Italica&action=edit&redlink=1) apparently were contemporaries of Odoacer also, so one has to wonder how they could have made this mistake.  It might be resolved by considering him not as the king of the Heruli but rather as a leader of a group of them, which included Scirians.  It is known that the Romans asked him to lead such a group in Italy.  He did not function as their king for the Romans would not have permitted that within Italy, which rules that idea out. But, people in that time might have thought he acted like one, so wrote it that way. 

Another way this can be resolved is to consider that he might have been called the king of the Heruls only after he began ruling Italy in 476.  You could say that since there were some Heruls in his army, he was the king of the Heruls, but that really marks him as a king with little power.  Would it not have been better to have written of him as the king of Italy?  Of course, it would then make sense to point out that he was also king of the Scirians, Rugians, and others as well. 

It seems that because his army was actually a composite group, would it not have been better to have said he was the king of the Heruli, the Rugians, Scirians and other groups within his army? This would be consistent with how the Vandal kings said that they were the kings of the Vandals and the Alans, or in other words, they were kings of both groups.  If it is true that he was the king of the Heruls and Scirians and others, then he really should be considered the king of a composite group, rather than the king of a specific group because none of them were necessarily dominant over the others so far as is known. 

For sure, however, is the fact that the Heruls in Italy were not the Heruli tribe because most of the Heruli tribe was outside of the Roman Empire in the Eastern Heruls Kingdom.  And that creates problems with the idea that a horn was removed by the Catholic Church as long as Seventh-day Adventists define a tribe to be a horn.  In the case of Odoacer's Italian kingdom, there was no tribe there, so how can one say that the Catholic Church removed a horn when these people had their kingdom destroyed? It seems there is a contradiction with this.  Based on their typical definition, perhaps the kingdom of Odoacer should not even be considered a horn because it was not really a specific tribe.

The idea that the king of the Heruls was Odoacer may have been further promoted by some who, over the centuries, wrote various histories in which the Heruls were mentioned in connection with Odoacer.  For example, Niccolo Machiavelli  (1469-1527) wrote a book called the Florentine History (you can read it at http://www.scribd.com/doc/9655730/Machiavelli-2), translated into English in 1595, which mentions that Odoacer was the king of the "Eruli" (Heruli, see page 25 of his book).  It seems logical that the idea was probably taken from the statement made in the Consularia Italica, though we do not know that for a fact.  This, of course, along with other things written about them by ancient and more modern writers probably became the basis for claiming that the destruction of the kingdom of Odoacer resulted in the destruction of the Heruls.  It might seem logical, for, after all, people could reason that if Odoacer was the king of the Heruli and his kingdom was destroyed, then that destroyed the Heruls.  What they do not realize is that most of the Heruls were in fact not within the borders of the Western Roman Empire, but were instead living in the Eastern Heruli kingdom on the eastern side of the Danube River, far from Italy and were perfectly safe in 493.  And, their king was living with them as well in their Eastern Heruls kingdom.  So, why consider Odoacer as the king of the Heruls?

Uriah Smith, author of the book Daniel and the Revelation, wrote the following, which shows that he probably bought into the theory that Odoacer was the king of the Heruli:

The position is here confidently taken that the three powers, or horns, plucked up by the roots were the Heruli, the Vandals, and the Ostrogoths; and this position rests upon reliable historical data. Odoacer, the leader of the Heruli, was the first of the barbarians who reigned over the Romans. (Uriah Smith , The Prophecies of Daniel and the Revelation  (Signs of the Times Pub. Ass., Oshawa, Ontario, Canada  Revision copyrighted 1945)  p. 123)

While this does not prove he saw Odoacer as a king, the way he words the statement above does strongly suggest that is exactly what he was thinking.  However, his choice of the word "leader" was better than a king, for it is true that Odoacer was the leader of a Roman army group which included Heruls, Scirians, Rugians and others, and probably was not a king over them before becoming the king of Italy.

Here is another historical reference that may have helped people come to the conclusion that Odoacer was the leader or king of the heruls:

Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,  6 Volumes  (Peter Fenelen Collier and Son,  New York, originally published in 1776), note on p. 479 which reads:

      A famine, which afflicted Italy at the time of the irruption of Odoacer, king of the Heruli, is eloquently  described in prose and verse, by a French poet (Les Mois, ii. 174).  I am ignorant from whence he derives  his information; but I am well assured that he relates some facts incompatible with the truth of history.  (Edward Gibbon   Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire  6 Volumes  (Peter Fenelen Collier and Son, New  York  originally published in 1776) note on p. 479, cited at http://newprotestants.com/HORNS4.HTM, footnote 46)

Anyone who has read Uriah Smith's book about Daniel and Revelation should know that he relies quite a bit upon the work of Edward Gibbon.  So, this may have helped support Smith in taking the position that the Heruls were one of the horns removed by the Papacy.

Unfortunately, the idea that Odoacer was the king of the Heruls does not seem to fit other facts now known.  As stated before, there was a Heruls kingdom to the east of the Danube River (the Eastern Heruls kingdom), but Odoacer was not its king.  The Herul's kingdom was destroyed by the Lombards, around 508, some 15 years after Odoacer's died in 493.  Historians have good reason to believe that Odoacer joined the Roman army, which eventually put him in a position to cause an insurrection against Rome and take over its government in 476.  If he really was the king of the Heruls, why would he have joined the Roman army at all?  That seems like a major demotion in social status, does it not?  Why would he do that?

It seems the information available would point to him being called the king of the Heruls and others only after he became king of Italy.  So, it seems that is the way in which the writers of the Consularia Italica were viewing things, though we do not know that for certain.  Even then, it is a bit of a stretch because he really was the king of a mixed army of Heruls, Scirians, Rugians, possibly Thuringians, Turcilingis, and others, and was not the king of a nation of these groups as such because these people were part of his army in Italy.  The citizens of Italy were Romans.  Were most Romans Heruls?  I think not.

While writing their books, Smith and other authors naturally attempted to identify the third horn to help their readers. Because there were no other major tribal groups for which the Catholic Church could be found to have intervened at all to cause their destruction and the evidence appeared to most favor that they might have played a part in the destruction of the Heruls, it must have seemed logical to Smith and others that the Heruls were the third horn. Consequently, they identified the Heruls as the third horn, of course, with the Vandals and Ostrogoths being the first two horns.

As time has progressed, many people have read the books written by Uriah Smith and others who promoted the idea that Odoacer was the king or leader of the Heruls and that the Catholic Church was the responsible power for the destruction of the kingdom of Odoacer and the Heruls right along with it. Likely these people assumed that the Heruls in his kingdom were all of them. They did not know that there was another Heruli kingdom outside the Western Roman Empire where the vast majority of Heruls lived. Consequently, as more people read this information, they came to the consensus that Odoacer's kingdom was a Heruls kingdom and the destruction of the kingdom was the destruction of the Heruls. They read Smith's ideas that the Catholic Church had motives to instigate the destruction of the kingdom of Odacer. And finally, they read Smith's conclusions that the Catholic Church must have been behind the Ostrogothic effort to remove the kingdom of Odoacer. This caused them to conclude that the Catholic Church was the talking horn, the conclusion that Smith and other authors wanted them to reach. While there are a lot of actual facts mixed into the information given to the readers of these books, there were misconceptions presented and conclusions reached that went beyond supportable facts. Readers did not in most cases realize this, unfortunately. And the readers also did not realize that because they were limiting themselves to ten literal horns, they did not see that the real answer was elsewhere.

While the author does not have all the details of this history, it is not hard to see how the line of thinking probably developed. But, the next question is this: what evidence did Smith and others present which showed that the Catholic Church had motive to want the kingdom of Odoacer removed from Italy?

Did the Catholic Church Have Possible Motives To Instigate the Removal Of the Heruls?

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Odoacer's rule evidently did not please everyone.  He was an Arian Christian and granted religious freedom to everyone, including the Catholics.  This was something that had never been tried before and certainly ran counter to that which the Catholics were used to.  He rarely intervened in the affairs of the Catholic Church (source: "Odoacer." Encyclopædia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite.  Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008), but, when he did intervene in their affairs, he apparently did not please the Papacy. 

The fact that Odoacer was an Arian Christian was an affront to the Papacy and an impediment to achieving the goals it had, which was to have more power and certainly not to have someone looking over their shoulder in Rome.  Some limits on Papal power were evidently enforced by both Odoacer and the Ostrogoths who followed him.  These limits are believed by some to have bothered the Papists in Rome so much that there are those in more modern times who have claimed that the imposed limits motivated Papal Rome to have the Heruls destroyed in Italy to get them out of the way so they could obtain more power.  Here are some statements taken from the book Daniel and the Revelation by Uriah Smith which shows this for both Odoacer's government and the Ostrogoths (both were Arian):

Odoacer, the leader of the Heruli, was the first of the
barbarians who reigned over the Romans. He took the throne
of Italy, according to Gibbon [Decline and Fall of the
Roman Empire, Vol. III, pp. 510,515], in 476. Of his
religious belief Gibbon [p.516] says: "Like the rest of the
barbarians, he had been instructed in the Arian heresy; but
he revered the monastic and episcopal characters, and the
silence of the Catholics attests the toleration which they
enjoyed." p. 146, Para. 1, [DR].

Ranke, in his History of the Popes [London, edition of
1871], Vol. I, p.9, says: "But she [the church] fell, as
was inevitable, into many embarrassments, and found herself
in an entirely altered condition. A pagan people took
possession of Britain; Arian kings seized the greater part
of the remaining West; while the Lombards, long attached to
Arianism, and as neighbors most dangerous and hostile,
established a powerful sovereignty before the very gates of
Rome. The Roman bishops, meanwhile, beset on all sides,
exerted themselves with all the prudence and pertinacity
which have remained their peculiar attributes, to regain
the mastery, at least in the patriarchal diocese." p. 147,
Para. 1, [DR].

These extracts give us a general view of the state of
affairs at this time, and show us that though the hands of
the Roman pontiffs might not be visibly manifest in the
movements upon the political board, they constituted the
power working assiduously behind the scenes to secure their
own purposes. The relation which these Arian kings
sustained to the pope, from which we can see the necessity
of their being overthrown to make way for papal supremacy,
is shown in the following testimony from Mosheim, given in
his History of the Church, cent. 6, part 2, chap. 2, sec.
2:-- p. 147, Para. 3, [DR].

"On the other hand, it is certain, from a variety of the
most authentic records, that both the emperors and the
nations in general were far from being disposed to bear
with patience the yoke of servitude which the popes were
imposing upon the Christian church. The Gothic princes set
bounds to the power of these arrogant prelates in Italy,
permitted none to be raised to the pontificate without
their approbation, and reserved to themselves the right of
judging of the legality of every new election." p. 147,
Para. 4, [DR].

The feelings of the papal party toward Theodoric may be
accurately estimated, according to a quotation already
given, by the vengeance which they took on his memory, when
they tore from his massive tomb in Ravenna the porphyry
vase in which his Arian subjects had enshrined his ashes.
But these feelings are put into language by Baronius, who
inveighs "against Theodoric as a cruel barbarian, as a
barbarous tyrant, as an impious Arian." But "having
exaggerated with all his eloquence, and bewailed the
deplorable condition of the Roman Church reduced by that
heretic to a state of slavery, he comforts himself in the
end, and dries up his tears, with the pious thought that
the author of such a calamity died soon after, and was
eternally damned!" -- Bower, Vol. I, p. 328; Compare
Baronius' Annals, A.D. 526, p. 116. p. 149, Para. 2, [DR].

While the Catholics were thus feeling the restraining
power of an Arian king in Italy, they were suffering a
violent persecution from the Arian Vandals in Africa.
[Gibbon, chap. 37, sec. 2.] Elliott, in his Horae
Apocalypticae, Vol. III, p. 152, note 3, says: "The Vandal
kings were not only Arians, but persecutors of the
Catholics: in Sardinia and Corsica, under the Roman
Episcopate, we may presume, as well as in Africa." p. 150,
Para. 1, [DR].

The testimony of D'Aubigne [Reformation, book 1, chap. 1]
also throws light upon the undercurrents which gave shape
to outward movements in these eventful times. He says:
"Princes whom these stormy times often shook upon their
thrones, offered their protection if Rome would in its turn
support them. They conceded to her the spiritual authority,
provided she would make a return in secular power. They
were lavish of the souls of men, in the hope that she would
aid them against their enemies. The power of the hierarchy,
which was ascending, and the imperial power, which was
declining, leaned thus one upon the other, and by this
alliance accelerated their twofold destiny. Rome could not
lose by it. An edict of Theodosius II and of Valerian III
proclaimed the Roman bishop 'rector of the whole church.'
Justinian published a similar decree." p. 150, Para. 3,

But no decree of this nature could be carried into effect
until the Arian horns which stood in its way were
overthrown. The Vandals fell before the victorious arms of
Belisarius in 534; and the Goths received a crushing blow
in connection with their unsuccessful siege of Rome in 538.
[Gibbon, chap. 41.] p. 151, Para. 1, [DR].

The problem with the idea that the Catholic Church had the Heruls removed is that there is no proof to show that they actually took action to instigate the removal of the Heruls.  This idea is based on motives implied from historical facts.  However, motives implied from historical facts does not necessarily translate to actual action on the part of those living in the historical setting of the events.  There are no statements or direct acts of the Catholic Church or any of its officials found in any recognized and openly available historical sources which show that the Catholic Church in any way incited a war against the kingdom of Odoacer.  Thus, there is no way to show that they had more than the motive to want them gone, something that clearly is not the same as actually doing something about those motives.  

Because the proof is lacking, we can certainly ask these questions:  How many years must go by before people finally realize that the evidence of interference by the Catholic Church is almost certainly not going to be found in the places they have been looking?  When do they finally reexamine their underlying premises to see if they match the conditions laid down by the Bible for determining the identity of the horns?  And last, when do they finally admit that they have made a mistake and need to find a better answer?  After more than 100 years, is that enough?  Is it not time to find a real answer?

Do consider that God said in Daniel 7 that the talking horn would be the cause for three horns to be removed, so it stands to reason that he would make sure sufficient evidence remained for us to find.  It is clear that God knows the future, so would know that people in our day would need that proof.  It is incredible to think that if the Catholic Church is the cause of the removal of the three horns, then God would leave us without a way to prove it.  Do you agree?  Unfortunately, for those who insist that the Catholic Church caused the removal of the Heruls, such proof is nonexistent.  That should tell them something, such as, perhaps they are wrong?

A recent source (and it may have been wrong) credited Albert Einstein with saying something to the effect that one definition of insanity is to continue to repeat doing something that does not work while expecting a different result each time (I do not know if Einstein actually said this as I have not found confirmation, but there is an element of truth to it).  There are those who insist that the ten horns are literal and the Heruls are the third horn (and some substitute the Visigoths in place of the Heruls).  But the results are the same each time a search of historical records is made.  Maybe it is time to reconsider our approach to this question?

Remember that there were Heruls, Rugians, Scirians, possibly Turcilingians, and others in Odoacer's kingdom, so if the Catholic Church caused the Heruls to be destroyed, they also caused the destruction of the Rugians, Scirians, and probably others who were members of Odoacer's army.  It was not just the Heruls who were destroyed, though those who propose the Heruls as the answer to the question of the identity of the third horn seem to conveniently not know this or forget it, or maybe they just ignore it.  But this is a fact that cannot be ignored.  If the Heruls were there and that defines them as the third horn, then why cannot the Scirians also be a horn because they were just as much a part of Odoacer's army as the Heruls?  How about the Thuringians?  One should not be inconsistent with this, so if the Heruls were a horn, so also were each of the other groups.  Then, how many horns were there in Odoacer's kingdoms?  Certainly more than three if they are to be consistent with their definition of a horn. 

Of course, they only admit that there are three horns removed.  What do they want to do with the extra horns?  Ignore them?  But how can they when those horns were removed as well?  I think they are being very inconsistent with this. Perhaps it is due to ignorance, but they have not got their facts right.  And, unfortunately, unless they admit that the number ten is symbolic, there is no way they can say that the number three is symbolic. If they are willing to admit that ten is symbolic, then through the arithmetic involved in Daniel 7, you can start out with a symbolic ten and end up with a symbolic seven, which would justify saying that the number three is very likely also symbolic.  Unfortunately, most of them are NOT willing to do this.  So, they are stuck.  And it really leaves them basing their ideas on premises that stretch history beyond supportable facts.

Odoacer and his followers were mostly Arians in their religious beliefs.  Most Arians did not persecute Catholics and sometimes did things that favored the Catholics.  Though Arians were somewhat conflicted with Catholics because of their difference in beliefs about the nature of Jesus (the Arians did not believe he had a divine nature because to them he was 100% human and 0% divine), that did not automatically translate them into enemies of Catholics, though the author of the Adventist Lies web page would have you think so.  Thus, they cannot be conveniently pigeonholed into one category only.  It is known, for example, that one of the kings of the Visigoths in what is today Spain, Alaric II (started ruling in 484), reduced the persecution of Catholics in his kingdom (there was some persecution previous to him) and permitted a Catholic Church council to take place in his kingdom, not exactly the actions of an enemy of Catholicism (source: "Alaric II." Encyclopædia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite.  Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008).  This shows that they cannot be conveniently swept into the category of "enemy" just because they were Arians.  The same was true of other Arian groups as well. 

Like the Arian king Odoacer, the Arian Ostrogoths of Italy believed in religious freedom and granted that to everyone.  Yet it is also true that Theodoric of Ostrogothic Italy certainly did take some anti-Catholic steps, so was not always so friendly towards them, particularly towards the end of his life.  Yet, in general, he never removed their right of religious freedom.  None of this pleased the Catholic Church officials, of course, but until the Arians were removed from power over them, there was not much they could do about it. 

In conclusion, the Catholic Church probably had motive to want the Arians out of the way, but having motive is not the same as actually doing something to cause their removal.  in the case of the kingdom of Odoacer, there is no evidence at all that they did anything to cause his removal from power.  In the case of removal of the Ostrogoths, however, that is a different story which will be covered later.

Removing Odoacer From Power - How Was It Done and What Motivated It?

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Here is a short summary of the history of the war against Odoacer that removed him from power.

The Ostrogoths had been wandering around looking for a homeland for some years and causing a lot of trouble as they wandered about.  As time went on, they became vassals of the Eastern Roman Emperor, Zeno.  Trouble developed several times between the Eastern Roman Emperor, Zeno, and Theodoric the Great, the king of the Ostrogoths.  In 486, Theodoric rebelled against Zeno and caused quite a bit of damage to Thrace (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thrace).  By 488, apparently in order to apply more pressure upon Zeno to solve their problems, the Ostrogoths moved to the area near Constantinople and set up camp (Heather, page 236).  They harassed the suburbs of Constantinople and managed to cut a major aqueduct.  At this point the Eastern Roman Emperor, Zeno, was very unhappy because of all the problems the Ostrogoths were causing the city.  So, to rid himself of the threat, he urged (some say "ordered", but given that the Ostrogoths were threatening Constantinople, that seems unlikely) Theodoric the Great to go to Italy with his troops, attack and take the kingdom put together by the coalition of the Heruls, Scirians, Rugians and some other groups in Odoacer's army.

Some have suggested that there was greater wealth to be had by taking Italy rather than sacking Constantinople and that it was this which motivated Theodoric to head off to Italy, an assertion which may be at least partially true.  Greed may indeed have been a motive.  In addition, the Rugians who had allied themselves with the Ostrogoths were very likely desiring revenge for the invasions of their homeland by Odoacer and his brother, so one can speculate that revenge was probably a strong motive.  In addition, the Ostrogoths,, if successful, would have a homeland of their own. For them, this was likely the strongest motive.

Zeno likely had motives that went far beyond the presence of the Ostrogoths in his own back yard.  Odoacer was quite successful in his endeavors and consequently Zeno was likely beginning to perceive him as a threat.  Here are the things concerning Odoacer that caused this perception:

  • He enjoyed a high level of support from the Roman Senate and the citizens of Italy, which grew with time as his successes continued to mount (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odoacer#King_of_Italy).
  • In 477, he completed the conquest of the entire island of Sicily, thus driving the Vandals out of Sicily (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odoacer#King_of_Italy).  This likely increased their food supply and income, which you can be sure pleased the Roman Senate and people.
  • He invaded and conquered all of Dalmatia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalmatia) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odoacer#King_of_Italy), which brought him closer to the Eastern Roman Empire territory.
  • He made treaties with the Visigoths and Franks and participated with them in wars against the Burgundians, Alamannians, and Saxons (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odoacer#King_of_Italy). This gave Odoacer a coalition to call upon for military endeavors, which could be a threat to Constantinople.
  • Upon invitation from Illus, master of soldiers for the Eastern Roman Empire, who was trying to depose Zeno, he attacked the Eastern Roman Empire's western provinces in 484.  Zeno then asked the Rugians to attack Odoacer, which they did, but he (Odoacer) responded by invading the Rugian homeland in 487 and there defeated them (article: "Odoacer." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica 2009 Ultimate Reference Suite.  Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2009).

All of this probably convinced Zeno that Odoacer was a direct threat to him.  It is possible that this information may have helped convince Theodoric that Odoacer could be a threat to him as well, so perhaps it was relatively easy to convince him to invade Italy.  Note that the threats Zeno perceived in Odoacer would have occurred whether Odoacer was Arian or whether he was Catholic.  The same events would have resulted in the same perceived threats.  Religious orientation very likely had nothing to do with it. Instead, the perceived threat was the controlling factor.

Apparently, Zeno promised Theodoric that if he took Italy, he and his people could have the entire Italian Peninsula.  That promise solved a lot of problems between Zeno and Theodoric.  Theodoric took him at his word and left for Italy.

The Ostrogoths began their war against Odoacer's kingdom in August of 488, and by 490, he had completed the conquest of Italy and Sicily except for the capital, Ravenna, which he could not penetrate.  Odoacer was sitting safely inside Ravenna and able to venture out at night to carry out small raids against Theodoric, while Theodoric tried to get into Ravenna for three years, but failed.  Ravenna could be resupplied by ships coming into its harbor, so could continue with little privation for many years.  Theodoric was finally able to secure a navy in 493 to blockade the harbor, which put a lot more pressure on Odoacer.  Meanwhile, a stalemate persisted between them.

Both of them finally realized that neither was getting anywhere with a stalemate, so negotiations were opened between Theodoric and Odoacer and they came to terms that they would jointly rule Italy.  However, Theodoric had sinister plans up his sleeve, for he had no plans to carry out the agreement in good faith.  Very soon after, he invited Odoacer to a banquet to celebrate their agreement.  Two guards or assistants of Theodoric's suddenly grabbed Odoacer's hands and Theodoric very quickly cut him down with a sword so that he died (he literally sliced Odoacer in half from his neck to his side - he must have had a very strong and extremely sharp sword to do this and cut through everything very quickly).  Theodoric's troops then went and killed some (but not all) of the followers of Odoacer.  Thus, some of the Scirians, Rugians and Heruls who were followers of Odoacer in Italy were killed by Theodoric's troops or the Rugian troops allied with Theodoric.  Obviously, the kingdom that the Heruls, Rugians, and Scirians had helped create for Odoacer came to an immediate end.  Those supporters of Odoacer not killed were allowed to join the Ostrogothic army and remain in the country (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odoacer).

There is little question that both Zeno and the Catholic Church benefitted from the removal of the Herul's kingdom in Italy, but that still does not necessarily make them guilty of causing the war against the Heruls.  They may have caused it, but we have no proof of it.  At present, nearly all available evidence points towards other causes.

However, having said this, there is evidence that the Catholic Church did in fact incite the war against the Vandals and the Ostrogoths.  The evidence for that will be covered later.

Are the Visigoths A Viable Alternative to the Heruls?

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Some have recognized the problems with asserting that the Heruls were the third horn, so have proposed what they believe is a viable alternate solution: the Visigoths were the third horn.  However, the same fundamental problem that exists with the Heruls also exists with the Visigoths, so it does not really solve the problem.  There is no available evidence that the Catholic Church government did anything to directly cause the removal of the Visigothic king. The available evidence is far from supporting the idea that the Catholic Church had anything to do with their kingdom's destruction.

In history you can learn that the legitimate Visigothic king had died, but because of a dispute over succession of the rightful heir, there was a civil war going on.  A usurper (Roderick) seized the throne and this caused the other side (the dispossessed sons of the rightful king who had deceased) to appeal to the Moors (Muslims from North Africa) for help.  They helped all right - they helped themselves to the whole kingdom.  Instead of acting on behalf of the rightful heirs to the throne as they had been asked to do, they simply marched in and took it all for themselves, beginning in May of 711 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visigoths and "Ṭāriq ibn Ziyād." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica 2009 Ultimate Reference Suite.  Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2009).  They were not stupid.  They saw weakness in the Visigothic kingdom when it existed and they took advantage of it to profit themselves and expand their power, influence and domain.

It is believed that several factors may have helped the Moors to success.  First, there is the thought that they may have had some help from the indigenous population in the Visigothic kingdom by those who favored the rightful heirs of the throne.  Whether that is true is apparently controversial among historians.  Second, the Moors had apparently raided before and the invasion may have been at first perceived to be just another one of their raids.  The people in coastal Spain of that time probably had little reason to suspect that they would have to face centuries of Muslim rule.

For some people who wish to help strengthen the idea that the Catholic Church was the cause of the destruction of the Visigothic kingdom, they may claim that the Visigoths were Sabbath keepers, meaning that they kept the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath as taught in the Bible and commanded for all mankind by God rather than the first day of the week as the Catholic Church teaches and practices.  Because the Catholic Church opposes keeping the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath and has been known to prosecute people for doing so, this appeals to those who believe in the seventh day Sabbath as a justification for believing that the Catholic Church caused the destruction of the Visigothic kingdom. 

Unfortunately, I have been unable to find any evidence that the Visigoths were Sabbath keepers.  That does not mean they were not Sabbath keepers, only that the evidence seems not to be available.  The validity of this argument is suspect because they had converted to Catholicism long before the invasion of the Moors, so there is little reason to think that they would have been Catholic and remained as Sabbath keepers.  Much more likely most of them were Sunday keepers, though it is possible that there were a few Sabbath keepers among them.  It is a fact that the Catholic Church did take steps to eliminate other Sabbath keeping groups such as some of the Waldensians (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waldenses), many of whom were Sabbath keepers (they also tried to eliminate Waldensian groups that were not Sabbath keepers - history seems to record that not all of them were Sabbath keepers).  However, again, there is the problem that there is no evidence that any official of the Catholic Church intervened (in this case it would have been intervention with the king of the Moors) to cause the invasion of the Moors into Spain.  Perhaps it did happen, but there just is no available evidence of it.  Also, I am not aware of any intervention by Catholic officials with any other kings with the intent of causing a war against the Visigoths.  Do we convict based on suspicion or do we convict based on solid proof of guilt?

Verbal communication from my nephew indicates that some other individuals say that some of the early documents did not call the Visigoths Arians.  This may be true, especially if it turns out that the Visigoths at that time were Sabbath keepers.  More research may need to be done on that issue to ascertain the truth of it.  But the issue of lack of proof of intervention is, in my thinking, insurmountable by Sabbath keeping evidence or anything else until the proof of direct intervention is found.  To date, no such proof has been found.  It appears that all the supporters of this idea have are suspicions.  Sometimes suspicions are valid, but they should be proven before accusations are made public.

Wealth was apparently the driving force for the Moorish invasion of Spain as reported in the book The Great Arab Conquests (Hugh Kennedy, Da Capo Press a member of the Perseus Books Group, Philadelphia, PA, USA, copyright 2007, pages 313-314).  It is known that there were disputes between the two Muslim generals in charge of the invasion over the wealth they found.  Contemporary sources reported that they made considerable efforts to acquire booty.  Also, the Muslim generals in charge of the invasion needed more warfare so that they could increase the wealth of the men under their command.  These men were Berbers from North Africa who were relatively recent converts to the Muslim faith and in order to be sure of their continuance in the faith, he needed to give them more wealth because he believed that would secure their allegiance to Allah - and probably thought it would also increase their allegiance to himself.  Thus, he had every reason to look across the Mediterranean to Spain (Kennedy, page 309).  While religion may have been a factor for them, it was certainly a much lesser concern than acquisition of wealth. 

It is quite doubtful that the Catholic Church had anything to do with this, especially given that it was the sons of the rightful heir that requested the assistance of the Moors in an attempt to get their throne back from the usurper.  They evidently believed that they had no reason to expect the results that came after their request.

It has been argued by some people that Catholic forces came down from the north to trap the Visigothic forces between them and the Moors. But a careful reading of the history of the war seems to show that there was little, if any, action from forces from the north of any significance against the Visigoths during the Moor's invasion.  Most of the action seems to have come from battles between the Visigothic defenders and the Moorish invaders.  Some resistance by others was mounted, but it was directed against the Moors rather than the Visigothic forces.

It is true that after a time went by, the Moors began raiding north of the Pyrenees into various regions of France, which certainly was a prelude to their obviously planned invasion, but eventually the Austrasians put up a very disciplined fighting force at the battle of Poitiers in 732, which decisively defeated the Moors (Kennedy, pages 321-323).  Some Muslims dispute this defeat, but the fact is that they made only one or two more significant attempts to invade France.  If they were not decisively defeated at that battle, why did they give up?  In their invasion of North Africa, the Arab forces had easily been victorious, but the indigenous population supported them and even joined them, which made their task much easier.  That did not happen in France and it was foreign territory to them.  Consequently, it should be obvious that they finally realized that the situation was very different and they would not be successful.  Thus, the battle at Poitiers in 732 did stop their advance further into Europe.

In any event, history does not seem to support the idea of Catholic forces intervening to force the Visigoths to face them and the Moors simultaneously so that they had a 2-front war going on against them.  It is true that in later times, forces from the north did come into Spain to reconquer Spain, but the majority of that action was much later (mostly done centuries later), did not involve the Visigothic forces at all (the Moors destroyed the Visigothic kingdom, so there was no Visigothic king to remove when the Christian forces finally did come in significant numbers), and was directed primarily against the Moors in order to drive them out.  It took the Catholic Christian forces nearly 8 centuries to drive them out of Spain.  If in fact some of the descendants of the Visigoths were faced with battles against them by Catholic Christian forces, this was not a situation where this would count as removal of the horn because that had already been done by the Moors.  There was no Visigothic king for the Christian forces to remove by the time they arrived in significant numbers.

In the final analysis, the wars against the kingdom of Odoacer and the Visigoths does not in any way fulfill the prophecy that the talking horn would be responsible for the removal of the three horns.  This means that somewhere in the war against the Vandals and Ostrogoths, there was a third horn.  Somehow the third horn has to be a king that is associated with either the Vandals or the Ostrogoths.  There really is no other possibility.


The Wars Against the Vandals and Ostrogoths and the Catholic Church's Role In Causing Them

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In 468 the Eastern Roman Emperor Leo I combined his military forces with those of the Western Roman Emperor, Anthemius (ruled April 467 - July, 472, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthemius), and attacked the Vandals in North Africa with more than a thousand ships and 100,000 men.  The venture was outwitted by the Vandal king, Gaiseric (ruled 428 - 477, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaiseric), and the Roman fleet was destroyed, virtually bankrupting the Roman treasury for a long time (article: "Leo I." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica 2009 Ultimate Reference Suite.  Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2009.)  The next Eastern Roman Emperor, Zeno (ruled 474 - 491, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeno_(emperor) ), made a lasting peace with the Vandals.  The war against the Vandals probably helped speed up the extinction of the Western Roman Empire in 476 by further depleting their monetary resources.  Had the outcome of the war against the Vandals been the opposite, the Western Roman Empire may have lasted longer because of the tax revenue they would have acquired from the agricultural production around Carthage.

Years later, the Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian (ruled 527 - 565) apparently decided that he wanted to recreate the Western Roman Empire (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justinian for information about his interest in doing this).  To do that, he needed to first recapture North Africa to get the Vandals out of the way so that they could not interfere with his plans.  Also, in order to have a good tax base from which to finance the recreation of the Western Roman Empire, he needed the rich agricultural production the Vandals owned, so this was likely another very strong incentive to go after them first.  In addition, once the wars of conquest were finished, the taxes from the agricultural production of North Africa could help financially maintain the Western Roman Empire.  One final reason he had for wanting to do this was that the previous Vandal king, Hilderic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hilderic), had been imprisoned and then killed, and the new Vandal king (Gelimer, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gelimer) was persecuting the Catholics.  All of these were very likely motives to go after the Vandals.

Assuming that his planned war against the Vandals went forward and, assuming victory, he planned to retake the nations that once composed the remaining portions of the Western Roman Empire that were in Europe and reconstitute the empire. 

Of course, like any good political leader, Justinian first consulted his military leaders.  They were opposed to this plan, probably because they knew of the failure to win against the Vandals years before under Leo I and probably greatly feared a repeat of that disaster.  But apparently they did not wish to oppose Justinian to his face, so they prevailed upon an individual whom Justinian highly respected, a person by the name of John, to go and talk to the Emperor to hopefully dissuade him from proceeding with his plan.  John secured an audience with Justinian and, upon meeting with him, strongly advised him against such a campaign.  Because of his great respect for John's intellect, Justinian though it over and changed his mind about proceeding with the war.  He determined that he was not going to do it.  And, except for what the Catholic Church did next, things would have remained that way.

Very soon after this, an event transpired that completely changed the course of history.  This involves a member of the Catholic Church hierarchy (government) who directly intervened with Justinian and caused several subsequent wars.  Here, in the words of Procopius, is what happened:

"Thus spoke John; and the Emperor Justinian, hearkening to his words, checked his eager desire for the war. But one of the priests whom they call bishops, who had come from the East, said that he wished to have a word with the emperor. And when he met Justinian, he said that God had visited him in a dream, and bidden him go to the emperor and rebuke him, because, after undertaking the task of protecting the Christians in Libya from tyrants, he had for no good reason become afraid. "And yet," He had said, "I will Myself join with him in waging war and make him lord of Libya." When the emperor heard this, he was no longer able to restrain his purpose, and he began to collect the army and the ships, and to make ready supplies of weapons and of food, and he announced to Belisarius that he should be in readiness, because he was very soon to act as general in Libya. "

Just so you know, Procopius was appointed as a secretary to General Belisarius in 527 AD (http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog/L290.html, with more information on Procopius found at: http://www.history.com/encyclopedia.do?articleId=219870).  He wrote a history of the wars of Justinian and a couple of other books.  You can read the writings of Procopius at http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/History_of_the_Wars.

What Procopius' statement shows is that a Catholic official (though he was only a bishop, he was an official of the Catholic Church), a member of the pope's government of the time and therefore part of the Papacy, directly intervened with Justinian so as to cause the emperor to change his mind and go ahead with his plans for a war against the Vandals.  And, as part of the master plan, eventually this also led to the war against the Ostrogoths and their allies in the Ostrogothic Italian kingdom.  Without this intervention, the war against both the Vandals and the Ostrogoths almost certainly would never have happened. 

Why was North Africa so important to Justinian?  A few facts and some history may help put this in perspective.  The Vandals took North Africa away from Rome between 429 and 442 (article: "Italy.", subsection: Fifth Century Political Trends, Encyclopædia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite.  Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008) roughly 95 years before Justinian's war against them (the Vandals reached Carthage about 439 AD and finished their conquest of North Africa by 442).  The loss of North Africa was a major blow to Rome because it was their largest breadbasket and a major source of revenue, so it really hurt them to lose it.

These are some estimates of the need of Rome for grain:

  • One million citizens to feed
  • In the year 455, Rome had 120,000 people in the city who received free rations of food daily because they were poor, clergy, retired soldiers, and some others. 
  • Constantinople expected Rome to forward enough for them to feed 80,000 people with free rations. 

These are the estimated source output of grain:

  • North Africa - 10,000,000 bushels of grain yearly
  • Egypt - 5,000,000 bushels of grain yearly
  • Sicily - 5,000,000 bushels of grain yearly.  These figures come from Thomas J. Craughwell, How the Barbarian Invasions Shaped the Modern World, Fair Winds Press, Beverly, Massachusetts, USA, copyright 2008, pages 88, 89.  From these facts you should be able to understand why the Vandals wanted to control Sicily and why Odoacer drove them out of Sicily.  This gave them leverage over Rome.  Most of the grain grown in North Africa came from the rich agricultural producing region around Carthage.

It should be obvious just from the food needs of Rome that the loss of North Africa had really hurt them, though they probably found other sources to replace it.  However, the lost tax revenue on the agricultural production would have been a major loss to them.  And because supplies would have been tighter, the price to the Roman government for replacement grain would likely have been higher.

It makes good sense that Justinian would attack the Vandals first because, by doing so he could hope to accomplish the following:

  • Remove a major power that would oppose any move he might make to restore the Western Roman Empire
  • Restore the bread basked for Rome
  • Restore the tax revenue
  • The Vandals were active persecutors of Catholics, so he would protect the Catholics from farther persecution, which was a strong motivator for him
  • Gain favor with the Mediterranean coastal residents of Europe because he stopped the Vandal raids against their cities

These benefits show that he had a lot to gain by doing this and, at the same time, the Catholic Church had much to gain.  It was a winning choice for both parties.

For Papal Rome, the following probably were their benefits:

  • Eliminate the heretics (Arians) in North Africa
  • Remove a source of opposition to their quest for power
  • Eliminate persecution of Catholics in North Africa

Procopius said that they were going to attack the Vandals for the purpose of Protecting the Christian, so this was probably one of the major benefits that both Rome and Constantinople got from this.  Obviously, the emperor Justinian was well aware of this or Procopius would not have heard and recorded this statement.  The purpose, of course, was to stop the persecution of Catholics by the Arian Vandals.  That is not a bad motive because persecution is wrong.  Period.  Regardless of who is doing it or who is being targeted, it is wrong. 

As Procopius made abundantly clear in his writings, the war against the Vandals was being done at the instigation of the Catholic Church.  That action began to fulfill the prophecy that three horns would be removed by the talking horn.

The Catholic Church official's visit to Justinian was extremely significant because he had changed his mind about the entire plan and was not going to go ahead with even the first step.  However, the visit of the Catholic Church official reversed that.  It really did change the course of history.  However, did the pope himself arrange for the visit of the bishop to Justinian?  Well, we really don't know.  Perhaps the king of the Catholic Church, the pope, personally knew nothing of this beforehand, but like every government or any type of organization, the leader is responsible for the actions of those under him.  And given that they were not at all pleased with the situation in Rome with the Arians being over them, one cannot help but wonder if they had planned this all along should the opportunity arise, but we really don't know if that is true or not.  What is true, however, is that a member of the government of the Catholic Church did intervene in the affairs of state and that caused the wars that followed.  The Bible predicted that this would happen, and it did.

During the years 533-534, Belisarius went to North Africa, attacked the Vandals and Alans, and soon the Vandals and Alans  were no longer a kingdom.  In the last raid on their camp, the Vandal men apparently abandoned the camp and ran off into the desert, where they probably died.  Presumably, the remaining women and children were hauled off by Belisarius' army.  The Vandals were never heard from again in any significant way in history.  Not all of the Vandals or Alans died because some of them made it to Visigothic Spain and settled there, so some of their descendants likely are around today in Europe.  Unfortunately, we cannot identify them.  You can read about the war against the Vandal/Alan kingdom at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vandalic_War.

Once the Vandals/Alans were no longer a threat, obviously, the most important place for Justinian to next gain control was Italy.  By attacking and hopefully defeating the Ostrogoths, he hoped to gain a third of the old Western Roman Empire with one war.  By bringing both the Ostrogothic kingdom and their holdings elsewhere in with the gains in North Africa, Justinian would likely have been half way (perhaps a little more than half way) towards his goal of recreating the Western Roman Empire. 

Some have accused Justinian of favoring the Catholics.  Perhaps that is true.  He was Catholic and both the Vandals and Ostrogoths were Arians.  And we know that the reason given to Procopius for attacking the Vandals was to protect the Christians.  But was he doing that just to favor the Catholics, or was he simply concerned with stopping persecution, regardless of religious orientation?  We don't really know.  Besides, he had other very strong motives, so we really don't know exactly how much to assign the motives.  All of them were probably important to him or he would not have engaged in this war, one which went on much longer than planned.  People rarely act based on a single motive, so it is probably impossible to know the answer to this question.  People tend to be very complex creatures and reducing his motives to just one is extremely likely to misrepresent the truth and oversimplify everything.

Now, how did Justinian favor the Catholics?  We don't know all of what he might have done, but we do know that he wrote a decree favoring the pope into his laws in 533.  These laws favoring the pope could not be enforced at the time they were written because Justinian did not have actual jurisdiction over Rome and would never be enforceable unless Justinian's troops could gain uncontested control of Rome.  Though we don't know for a fact that he had Belisarius broadcast this information about his law concerning the pope among the population of Rome after his troops entered the city, he might have done so.  That would have given the native Romans some incentive to favor him over the Ostrogoths, which history records that they obviously did.  In addition, Justinian was Catholic, which the Ostrogoths were not, so this would work in his favor.  It is very likely that the Roman citizens were well aware of this fact.  And finally, Justinian had done Rome and all of Italy a huge favor by destroying the Vandals.  This had to be a huge relief to the population for they were subjected to attacks by the Vandals from time to time.  That was no longer to be the case because of Justinian.  One can guess that it was known among the population that Justinian had gone against the Vandals to protect the Christians, specifically meaning the Catholics, so one can guess that this would have had a big impact on the Catholic Population.  Surely this had the effect of motivating the people to work hard to help prevent the Ostrogoths from coming back. From history, we know that they helped defeat the siege of the Ostrogoths that began very soon after Justinian's troops entered Rome in December of 536.  Little did they realize that they were actually setting up the beginning of the 1260 days of prophetic time by helping give Justinian uncontested control of Rome so that his jurisdiction over it was secured.  That, of course, happened in March of 538, at which point the 1260 days of prophetic time began. 

You can be sure that all Roman citizens were most thankful to Justinian for his action against the Vandals and would have done almost anything to show their appreciation.

Justinian was likely aware of the fact that most of the Arian Christian tribes were not inimical to the Catholics, though he knew that the Vandals were, but they were out of the way by 534.  A couple of the Arian Christian tribes were mostly indifferent, but stood in the way of the Catholic Church's goals.  Before the battle against the Vandals, some of them could probably be categorized as follows:

  • Actively opposed Catholicism: Vandals.  According to the 2008 Ultimate Reference Suite of the Encyclopedia Britannica article titled Ancient Rome, subsection Barbarian Kingdoms, they were the only barbarian group that actively persecuted Catholics, which is a reason why Justinian sent his troops to do away with the Vandals to protect the Christians, meaning to protect the Catholic Christians from the persecution of the Vandals.
  • Indifferent but stood in the way of the power of the Catholic Church because they limited its power: Ostrogoths, Rugians (who stood with the Ostrogoths against Justinian's troops), Scirians and others within Ostrogothic Italy.  Earlier, Odoacer's kingdom stood in the way of the power of the Catholic Church.
  • Indifferent and did not generally stand in the way of the power of the Catholic Church: Alamanni, Huns, Visigoths.  The Visigoths usually tried to keep the peace with the Catholics, but Clovis, probably for reasons of greed rather than religion, attacked and defeated them.  Clovis was likely not a Catholic when this battle took place in 507.  Possibly the Lombards were also in this group.  And there were probably others that could be included.

As a result of the wars against the Vandals, Justinian gained control of North Africa.  As a result of the war against the Ostrogoths and others with them, Justinian gained control of Italy and the northern end of the Balkan Peninsula just east of the Adriatic Sea.  A few other small areas were also added to his kingdom by the war against the Ostrogoths.  None of this would have happened had the Catholic official not showed up and talked with Justinian so as to change the course of history.  Thus, the Catholic Church did intervene in such a way as to remove these kings.

The Three Horns
The Vandals and Alans

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Let us review the evidence concerning the Vandals and Alans to complete our understanding.  In the last part of this section we will deal with the identity of the third horn.

What is not commonly known is that the tribe commonly referred to as the Vandals of North Africa were actually two different groups, the Vandal tribe and the some members of another tribe called the Alans (most of the Alans tribe was not in North Africa).  It is clear that even though there was one full tribe (Vandals) and parts of another tribe (Alans), they count as one horn rather than as two because both of these groups had only one king over them.  The Alans moved with the Vandals into North Africa, but there is no evidence that the Alans had their own separate administration and government, unlike some other tribes in other circumstances.   Perhaps there were not enough of them to justify having their own separate leader, administration and government.  Hence, the Alans cannot be classified as having a separate king of their own, not even one that was at a lower level like what happened with the Medes and Persians.  Should evidence of such a situation come to light in the future, then this may need to be reassessed, but until then, we have to believe that their king was the king of the both the Vandals and the Alanis, just what their kings claimed to be.  It boils down to two groups operating under one king.

This does present an interesting contradiction that is not obvious at first.  Seventh-day Adventists have generally taught that there were some Heruls in the army of Odoacer, who was also said to be their king.  According to this teaching, when the Ostrogoths destroyed the kingdom, it destroyed the Heruli tribe, thereby taking down the third extracted horn.  Yet, when it comes to the Vandals and Alans, not a word is said about the Alans.  Why not say that the Alans were the third tribe destroyed instead of the Heruls?  It is a bit puzzling.  If a few Heruls in Odoacer's army could be counted as a tribe by them, then why not count the Alans who were with the Vandals as a tribe also?  This is very inconsistent.  In fact, the Alans were generally in the civilian population among the Vandals, unlike the Heruls of Odoacer's kingdom because the Heruls were members of Odoacer's army, not his civilian population.  Therefore, the Alans were actually a part of the kingdom, and not primarily members of their military, though one can be sure that they did participate in that also.

Of course, the treatment given by Seventh-day Adventists to the Heruls does not fit the definition given in the Bible, which is that the horns are not defined as tribes, but rather are defined first as lines of kings.  Their approach to the Vandals/Alans is generally more consistent with the definition given in the Bible (because they do see the Vandals/Alans as one group under one leader) than is the case with their treatment of the Heruls, where they become very inconsistent.

The problem with the usual Seventh-day Adventist idea is that if you applied the same standard to the Vandals/Alans as is done to the Heruls, then you have four horns in total to deal with.  Well, of course, that would never do, so they have to find a way out of that one because there are supposed to be only three literal horns!  Better to be more consistent with the Vandals/Alans, right?  So, they are.  That way they have only three horns to deal with.

The kingdom of the Vandals and Alans in North Africa was eliminated in the campaign by Belisarius in 533-534.  Though many of their people were killed, at least some did survive.  Because there is direct evidence that interference by the Catholic Church official with Justinian which caused this war, they are responsible for this war against the Vandals and Alans.  In this, we have openly available evidence that supports their interference.  Catholics apparently sometimes admit that this is true, so may not be a problem with them, though one can be sure there are exceptions to this.  If you have not read about the Vandalic war by Procopius, here is the web address where you can read more details: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vandalic_War.

The king of the Alans was a shared king because he was also the king of the Vandals.  The Bible makes it clear that the definition of a horn is first and foremost a king, and therefore to remove a horn is to remove a king.  For the Vandals and Alans, there was only one king to remove, not two.  The action by Belisarius caused only one horn of the prophecy to fall.  That means we have to look elsewhere to find more kings who fell according to the prophecy. 

Of course, if you are determined to insist that tribes are horns, then there are two horns gone for there were two tribal groups in North Africa that were taken down by the Catholic Church.  You will, of course, have to ignore that one of those groups was only part of a tribe, but hey, the same thing is done with the Heruls, right?  So, why worry about it? After all, if you have two here, then you have the Vandals, Alans, and the Ostrogoths as your three tribes. The trouble with this is that there was one more tribe buried in Ostrogothic Italy, so that makes at least four literal horns. Now, do you really want to continue to insist that tribes are horns?

If we go with the definitions that the Bible gives, which is that horns are kings first and foremost, then we have one horn down and two more to go. Lets go learn about the other horns.

The Ostrogoths - and Others

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Let us now look at the Ostrogoths and see what we can do there.  We do not need to consider the battle of the Ostrogoths against the kingdom of Odoacer because that has already been considered and the Heruls of Odoacer's kingdom are not supported by historical evidence to be one of the three extracted horns.  Instead, we need to look towards events when the Ostrogoths were removed.  Perhaps we can find more than one king there.  It is the only option left, something that people are reluctant to admit.

Note that the Adventist Lies site does have the correct dates for the fall of the Vandals and the Ostrogoths.  And the author is right about the fact that the Ostrogoths were not destroyed in 538.  That, unfortunately, has been taught to a number of Seventh-day Adventists over the years, but it is a mistake because that is not the way history happened.  My guess is that somewhere back in the mists of time, somebody in a position to influence a lot of other Seventh-day Adventists, was badly misinformed about the facts of history and told others this misinformation, which then propagated from there.  It may have happened another way, but however it happened, it is very doubtful that this was an intentional lie, but much more likely a result of improper understanding of the facts of history.  As I see it, the Adventist Lies site implies that it is a lie.  That is true in the sense that the claim by Seventh-day Adventists is not a fact of history, but there is no reason to believe that it is a deliberate lie.  It is far more probable that they are just misinformed of the facts.  There are Catholics who are just as poorly informed about Seventh-day Adventist beliefs, but I don't think Seventh-day Adventists should accuse them of lying unless it is learned that Catholics with an accurate knowledge of Seventh-day Adventist beliefs are making inaccurate statements about Seventh-day Adventists.  Do you agree that this is reasonable?

Justinian waited for the right opportunity to send general Belisarius against Italy, an opportunity which arose in 535.  The right opportunity came with struggles within Ostrogothic Italy over the succession to the throne, which was a signal to outside powers that the kingdom of the Ostrogoths was weakened at that point.  Belisarius entered Italy in 535 and on December 9, 536, he entered Rome.  Historians report that as the troops of Justinian were entering the south gate of Rome, the Ostrogoths were leaving out the north gate because they did not have enough troops to defend the city against Justinian's troops.  General Belisarius knew that they would be back, so immediately began preparations for a siege.  Shortly after, as expected, the Ostrogoths returned with a large army to besiege Rome, but eventually gave up and left in March of 538.  Malaria, help from the residents of Rome in its defense, and other factors caused them to give it up.  At that point, Justinian's jurisdiction over Rome was uncontested (from the perspective of people living then, it would have been seen that way) and the decree concerning the pope which Justinian had written in 533 could then be implemented.  This event started the clock ticking on the 1260 prophetic days. 

In 540, the Ostrogothic king, Wittigis, was captured, but the Ostrogoths replaced him with another, more effective king and the war continued.  Eventually, in 554-556, after a very devastating war, the last king of the Ostrogothic kingdom was killed.  It took until 561 for the last of their cities to fall, though the war was mostly over by 556.  The Ostrogoths never replaced their last king and dissolved as a people group.  It is not known precisely what happened to them, but likely they disappeared by assimilation into other local groups, perhaps in an effort to hide themselves from the army of Justinian. 

Obviously, the fall of the Ostrogoths did not occur in 538 as some Seventh-day Adventists believe, but rather they fell when their last king was killed in 554-556 and not replaced by them.  A few of the Ostrogoths seem to have remained elsewhere outside of Italy, according to some historical sources, but nothing of much significance is really heard from them thereafter.  The important thing is that according to the criteria for determining who qualifies as a horn, their kingdom formed within the territory that was once part of the Western Roman Empire prior to 476), they affected the people of God and they had a king.  Thus, they qualify as a power that can be represented as a horn on the fourth dreadful looking beast of Daniel 7.  And their king was finally removed by an invading force and never was replaced by the Ostrogoths.  Therefore, their horn fell.

Justinian was able to expand his empire just a little more and that was as far as it went.  Bubonic plague moved through the empire beginning in 542 and probably killed more than twenty five million people before it was finished (Willliam Rosen, Justinian's Flea, Penguin Books, New York, New York, USA, Copyright 2007, back cover), an event that crippled the Eastern Roman Empire for several centuries and altered history.  Justinian's empire eventually fell apart and he never was able to recreate the complete Western Roman Empire as he wished.  There is a map showing the gains of Justinian at this web address (scroll down and you will see the map): http://historyhuntersinternational.org/index.php?page=244.  As you can see, he regained control of all of Italy, the North African coastal areas near to but not all the way to the Atlantic Ocean, southern coastal Spain and the region just across from Spain at the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea, the Mediterranean Sea islands, and the Illyria region (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illyria) connecting the parts of the Balkan Peninsula which Odoacer previously owned with Italy.  Because of the gains in the Balkan Peninsula, one contiguous territory which Justinian ruled was created which stretched all the way from the eastern extremes of the Eastern Roman Empire westward through Italy.

General Belisarius (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belisarius) worked very well on behalf of Justinian in Italy, but was recalled in order that he might direct another war that had begun with Persia (the Sassanid Empire).  General Narses (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narses) was sent to replace Belisarius in Italy.  Rome changed hands three times, but eventually was back in the hands of the Eastern Roman Empire, where it remained.  General Belisarius returned to Italy in 544, but was recalled in 548 (due to insufficient support from Constantinople and the reverses he experienced).  General Narses completed the war against the Ostrogoths, a war that was effectively won in 554-556, but it took him several more years to finish off the remaining Ostrogothic strongholds.  The last of their cities fell in 561 (http://newprotestants.com/HORNS4.HTM).  Thus, it was a far longer and far more expensive war than Justinian had ever anticipated and did a great deal of damage to Italy.  It lasted from 535 to 561, a period of 26 years.

So, two horns down and one more to go. 

Where is the third horn???

The Third Horn - Who is it?

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We have seen evidence that there is no third horn associated with the Vandals unless one wants to believe that tribes are horns.  However, given that the Bible defines horns first and foremost as king lines, and does not define them as tribes, that approach is discounted here.  Since the third horn cannot be one of the other major tribes, and there are no other wars where there is a direct provable connection between the Catholic Church causing a war that removed a horn representing a power that existed in 476, the third horn has to have something to do with the Ostrogoths.  But, as most people might say, "I don't see a third horn, so where is it?"

An important fact which has been overlooked by nearly everyone is that If we look closely at the Ostrogoths, there is reasonable evidence of several different levels of kings within their borders, a situation similar to that of the Medes and Persians of Daniel 8.  The Ostrogothic kingdom was constituted from a voluntary association of several different people groups, with the Ostrogoths as the leading group (Heather, page 236).  This included the Scirians (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scirii), Rugians (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rugi), and several other groups.  Very significantly, the Rugians within the Italian Ostrogothic kingdom were known to have maintained their own separate administration and government with a leader of their own over them - effectively a king, though we don't know if he called himself that.  This ruler, of course, may have been voluntarily subject to the will of the top king, who, at the beginning of the Ostrogothic kingdom of Italy was Theodoric, but given that the Rugians maintained their independence within Ostrogothic Italy, one has to realize that the degree of control that Theodoric could exert was extremely limited.  More likely, his only control was really just a measure of how much he could influence them rather than control them.

Peter Heather contends that a similar situation probably occurred with the other groups within the Ostrogothic kingdom.  An important observation he makes is that leaders of each area were chosen by those whom they would rule and this selection could only be confirmed by Theodoric.  In other words, it boiled down to the simple fact that they selected their own leaders and Theodoric only had veto power regarding their selection.  Otherwise, their selection of a leader was independent of him (Heather, page 237).  If this is true, then it is likely that most everything those kings did was also not subject to control by Theodoric.  These rulers even negotiated treaties with other foreign powers (Heather, page 237), something not normally done by officials who are merely local rulers subject to the will of a king.  This implies that they had more power than merely being local rulers with only low level duties.  There were differences in policies between the different rulers.  Apparently, Theodoric was not willing to change such a situation, yet made it work.  What is interesting is that Heather (page 236) refers to these rulers within Italy as "kings", most of whom probably were sub level Ostrogothic kings.  It appears they operated much as kings, so, they were certainly qualified to be horns in every sense of the definition in the Bible, similar to what we have seen in Daniel 8 in the case of the ram's two horns.

It appears that Theodoric was a very smart politician because he managed to keep his kingdom from falling apart while at the same time allowing the leaders under his control to have a considerable degree of autonomy.  He seems to have managed both goals effectively.  That is not an easy task!

The Rugians associated with the Ostrogoths in Italy were earlier allied with Attila the Hun until his death in 453.  After the death of Attila, the Rugians rebelled and then moved into the Danube River valley in what is today Austria and created a homeland for themselves in what is often referred to as Rugiland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rugi).  However, this proved not to be a safe haven for them because Zeno asked the Rugians to attack Odoacer's kingdom, which they did, and Odoacer responded by invading Rugiland in 487, winning against them and carrying away their king and his queen.  Rugiland was invaded again by Odoacer's brother in 488.  Oddly enough, Odoacer did not add their kingdom to his own after his invasion, though why he failed to do so apparently is not known.  After this disaster, the Rugians moved away from Rugiland and at first apparently allied themselves with the Eastern Herul's kingdom, but later most of them apparently left that kingdom and allied themselves with the Ostrogoths.  Note that while the Rugians did become allies of the Ostrogoths, they were neither conquered nor assimilated by the Ostrogoths, but rather they maintained their own identity, culture, government and ruler.  Thus, though they had no homeland anymore until they helped take over Italy, they were still an independent kingdom for all practical purposes.

There is one aspect of this that should be mentioned.  The invasion of Odoacer and his brother in 487-488 destroyed the Rugian kingdom, but the Rugians did not disappear as a people group afterwards.  Though they initially apparently joined with the Eastern Herul's kingdom and later went with the Ostrogoths, they did NOT assimilate into either group.  They maintained a separate identity.   Thus, they did not disappear even though they allied themselves with the Ostrogoths.  This is important because some may argue that the action of Odoacer and his brother against them removed their king in 487-488, which would seem to qualify them for having been a removed horn at that point.  However, the Rugians, by the way they lived as a separate people among the Ostrogoths, having their own separate ruler, their own separate government, administration, and their own separate cultural group, certainly did in fact replace their previous king with their own ruler.  Thus, their horn was not removed by Odoacer, though he certainly tried and came very close to success.

When the Ostrogoths under Theodoric went against Odoacer in 488, he began a war that continued for five years, at the end of which Odoacer's kingdom was taken from him and he was killed in 493.  The Rugians joined in the fight against Odoacer, probably because they wanted revenge for his attacks against their homeland.  After Odoacer was defeated, the Rugians formed their own government in Italy alongside that of the Ostrogoths.  In essence, the Rugians formed their own division of government within Italy, had their own leader, and refused to even intermarry with the Ostrogoths (sources: "Rugi." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica 2009 Ultimate Reference Suite.  Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2009, and Heather, Pages 236-242).  Thus, it is clear that they were not absorbed by the Ostrogoths.  Their self government was known to exist even in 541 (Procopius, Wars, 7.2.1ff, cited by Heather, page 237).  In fact, the Encyclopedia Britannica in the 2009 edition goes so far as to say that the Rugians "maintained their independence even within the Ostrogothic state".  Thus, the Rugians essentially form a separate horn of their own because they had a separate ruler of their own over them.  The Vandals formed one horn, the Ostrogoths formed a second, and the Rugians formed yet a third horn. 

Now, why is it important to understand that the Rugians formed a government of their own under the Ostrogoths and that there were several levels of kings within the Ostrogothic kingdom of Italy?  The answer to this question is very simple.  It is important because this means that just like the two horns upon the ram in Daniel 8 represented two levels of kings within the same kingdom, there were two levels of kings in the Ostrogothic kingdom.  If it was true that God counted both levels of kings as horns on the ram in Daniel 8, then there is no reason why the two levels of kings within the Ostrogothic kingdom cannot be considered as horns also.  Thus, the Rugians can legitimately be counted among the ten horns of Daniel 7 if one understands that the number ten is symbolic.  Even if it is not symbolic, one could still count them.  They may not have been as big or as important as some of the others, but if they fulfill prophecy, then they must be counted one way or another.

In the case of the ram of Daniel 8, some have presented the argument that the lower horn on the ram was allowed to continue only because the last king of that line, whose name was Astyages, was, according to traditional stories about Cyrus the Great,  the maternal grandfather and originally the overlord of Cyrus the Great.  However, people forget several things about this.  First, the horn representing the Medes was initially higher than the horn representing the Persians, which means that both horns coexisted together and the Median horn dominant over the Persian horn.  Later the situation reversed itself and the Persians were dominant over the Medes.  But, a dominant-subordinate king relationship existed that went both ways because of the twists and turns of history.  Therefore, this dominant-subordinate king relationship cannot be discounted regardless of whether or not Astyages was the maternal grandfather of Cyrus the Great.  It really matters not.  Second, whether Astyages was in fact the grandfather of Cyrus the Great is debatable because this seems to be based on legend surrounding Cyrus, similar to what is done with many great rulers.  Cyrus' own testimony is that he was of a line of kings of Persia.  Astyages was the king of the Medes, not the Persians, so this makes one wonder about the idea that Astyages was his grandfather.  Yet, Cyrus may have been referring only to his paternal line of ancestors who were Persian kings.  Therefore, his statements cannot settle the question for it still leaves open the possibility that his maternal grandfather was Astyages, the Median king.  But it really is irrelevant because two horns were shown on the ram in Daniel 8.  This indicates that God recognized the situation regardless of these "facts".

The idea of higher and lower level kings within the same kingdom has practical real-world facts to back it up that this was a recognized practice of other ancient kingdoms.  Cyrus' own Persian kingdom was a vassal kingdom to the Medes until Cyrus beat him in battle.  Thus, there was a top level king and a sub level king until the situation was reversed.  The Romans did this with the Visigoths for a short time.  The Visigoths, with permission from the Romans, moved across the Danube River in 376 AD into Roman territory, a move they apparently made because of the constant attacks of the Huns.  The Visigothic kings continued to rule their people while at the same time their kings were subject to the Roman Emperor's wishes, at least, to some extent.  Alaric I was their most famous king.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visigoths).  However, this did not last long.  The Visigoths soon became independent by their own choice and that definitely was not to the pleasure of Rome!  But, at least for a time, their king was a sub-level king under the emperor.  The Bible does not show that in its portrayal of them as one of the ten horns, but history does not deny this fact.  Also, Clovis was helped to one of his victories by sub kings (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clovis_I).  He certainly qualified as one of the ten horns.

Likewise, it appears that the Ostrogothic kingdom did something nearly identical.  They had a top level king (Theodoric) and subordinate level leaders who ruled over each of their respective people groups, apparently with considerable autonomy.  This was not an imposed empire upon the different people groups within the kingdom, but rather was a voluntary association of the various groups working together for a common cause.  In this way, each of the people groups could maintain their unique identity while all benefitted from their association together.  In this sense, perhaps it was more of a federation than a kingdom. 

What this all boils down to is that there were other groups within Ostrogothic Italy comparable to the Rugians in having their own ruler over them and their own separate government.  This was true of the Ostrogoths as well as other tribal groups allied with them and living in Italy.  These would have constituted horns, could they be represented by their own horn.  But, there are only three horns available for extraction, so it seems that to represent all of them, the three horns probably are symbolic of more than three literal kings.  And all of their kings would have been removed when Justinian's troops invaded Italy and destroyed the Ostrogothic kingdom.

It is important to note that all the sub level kings within Ostrogothic Italy were removed by the same war in which Theodoric was removed, a removal clearly instigated by the Catholic Church official who spoke with Justinian.  History records that not only did all the Ostrogothic rulers disappear in the war, but also the Rugians and their rulers disappeared.  Specifically what happened to the Rugians, no one knows, though assimilation is very likely as there is no evidence of annihilation of their group.  But, it seems clear that their king was removed one way or another by the war against them, which is really all that matters.  That is sufficient by the Bible definition to constitute removal of a horn from the head of the dreadful looking beast of Daniel 7.

Thus, the three extracted horns in Daniel 7 probably would be composed of the following groups:

  • The first horn was that of the Vandals and Alans
  • The second horn was the Ostrogothic king, Theodoric, as a king/horn because he was the top level king over his kingdom
  • The third horn was probably the Rugians and any other independent tribal kings (such as possibly the Thuringians) within Ostrogothic Italy and any other relatively independent sub level Ostrogothic kings

We can say that in Daniel 7, the number 10 is symbolic, something also true of the number 7.  The number 3 may or may not have been symbolic. However, it really would not matter if the number three is literal or symbolic because the number ten is symbolic of a number relatively larger than ten, so if one subtracts a literal or symbolic three from it, the number remaining, which is seven, almost certainly must be symbolic in nature.  Hence, it is perhaps not terribly important whether the number three is literal or symbolic.  Do note, however, that the numbers seven and three have no specific separate definition of being symbolic, unlike the number ten, so they are symbolic only because of the arithmetic involved, arithmetic which clearly defines them that way for this situation only.  Thus, it seems that one cannot say that seven or three is symbolic elsewhere in say, for example, Revelation 17.

The important thing, however, is that we do know the identity of three of the kings that were removed.  And, we can prove a direct connection between interference by a Catholic Church official with Justinian that resulted in the removal of the leaders of the Vandals, Ostrogoths (top level and Ostrogothic sub level kings), and the ruler of the Rugians.  This answers the objections of the Catholics that they did take out the Vandals and Ostrogoths, but did not do the Heruls, so implying that their church is not the power that is spoken of in Daniel 7 which removed the three horns.  This shows that they indeed did remove at least three kings.  There is no way around that fact of history.  That being true, then they are the talking horn.

Some would argue that the leaders of the Rugians within the Ostrogothic kingdom of Italy were not kings so cannot count.  I cannot prove that they claimed to be kings, but I also cannot find any proof that any group other than the Vandals, the Ostrogoths, and other groups within the Ostrogothic kingdom were affected by Papal interference such that their kings or leaders were removed and not replaced.  How long do we look into history before we finally admit that we cannot find such evidence elsewhere?  All I can find for other groups are suspicions, which may be right, but there is no proof.  It seems to me that we should go where the proof lies rather than elsewhere.  But having said that, it is clear that the Rugians maintained their independence and their own ruler, which is sufficient to say that their leader was essentially a king.  Thus, whether they called themselves kings is irrelevant.  They were de facto kings because they did most or all of the things that king do, even if they were sub kings.  And that, along with the fact that their kingdom was partially inside the Roman territory in 476 and they affected God's people and they had a ruler that was essentially a king, qualifies them to be a horn on the head of the dreadful looking fourth beast of Daniel 7. And that remained true even after they allied themselves with the Ostrogoths.

The Bible does not say that a ruler must claim to be a king to be counted as a king in the Bible.  We have more Biblical support for this than may appear to be the case at first glance.  Just because some rulers were not necessarily called kings does not prevent them from being kings in a Biblical sense of things.  For example, the rulers of Rome were represented as a beast in Daniel 7 and the angel said that beasts are kings.  However, the rulers of Rome were called by various names, including emperors.  They did not necessarily call themselves kings.  Yet, in the Bible, they are kings.  Thus, this argument does not have much credibility.

Some might argue that because the Rugians were a more minor tribe compared to the Ostrogoths, they tended to follow the leadership of the Ostrogoths, so cannot be counted as a horn.  The idea behind this argument, of course, is to disparage the idea that the Rugians could ever be represented by a horn.  In other words, since some smaller groups seemed to take some of their orders from another larger, more dominant power, this put them under the authority of another group, which made their king irrelevant and therefore they were only under the authority of the larger group's king.  This also is done to support the idea that the ten horns of Daniel 7 are a literal count of ten major tribes, never mind that the Bible makes no distinction based on their size, shows that ten is symbolic, and defines horns to first be kings, not tribes.  They might contend that if the Ostrogoths said to the Rugians, "jump", the Rugians asked "how high do you want us to jump?" and would then do as required.  But, the Bible does not say that being in this condition prevents them from being a horn.  

Consider that the Rugians were likely no more subservient to the Ostrogoths than the Medians were to the Persians when the two horns on the ram in Daniel 8 coexisted, and in fact, would have been less subservient because the Persians conquered the Medes in a battle, whereas the Rugians were not conquered by the Ostrogoths.  The Rugians voluntarily associated themselves with the Ostrogoths for mutual benefit but were not subjugated by the Ostrogoths.  Therefore, the Rugians had every right and reason to be even more independent than the Medes.  Evidence backs up the idea that they were very independent.  That being the case, there really is no basis for saying that it is acceptable for the Medes to be a horn, and a subservient horn at that, but not the Rugians.  Probably the only significant difference is one of population size of the the Medians versus the Rugians because the Rugians probably had a smaller population than the Medes.  But size is not indicated as one of the criteria, so this is an invalid argument.  If there is a difference such that the Medes can be called a horn and the Rugians cannot, then it is up to those who would argue this to show proof, from the Bible and history, why the Rugians cannot be called a horn just like the subservient horn on the ram of Daniel 8.  To date, I have seen no significant evidence that would back up such a claim.

Do keep in mind that the Rugians and other tribes who were with the Ostrogoths were Arian in their faith.  This certainly would not have pleased the Papacy.  One certainly can wonder if this fact may have factored into the appearance of the Bishop in the presence of Justinian.  We will likely not know the answer to that question in this world.  

In the final analysis, the prophecy was fulfilled accurately.  The three horns removed by the intervention of the Catholic Church official were, at a minimum, the Vandals, Ostrogoths, and the Rugians.  I have no reason to believe that the third horn is either the Heruls or the Visigoths.  In addition, there may have been more than three literal horns, so the number three could be symbolic.  These would have been additional groups allied with the Ostrogoths in Italy or lower level Ostrogothic kings within Ostrogothic Italy.  But even if the number three is literal so that the third horn can only be the Rugians, I believe that the evidence is very reasonable in support of this position.  Others may refuse to believe it, but that is their right to disagree.  They have not presented any compelling evidence that supports their conclusion.  Their conclusion is based on a presumption of guilt without proof that they actually did anything which caused direct interference with either the Heruls or the Visigoths in the manner similar to what they did with the Vandals/Alans, the Ostrogoths and the Rugians.  Until they do present proof of guilt, I believe that I have a stronger position than they because I can show a direct connection between the action of the Catholic bishop and the results that followed, something that to date they have been unable to do for their theory.  Those are the real facts as they stand at present in February of 2009.




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Clovis was one of the Frankish kings who united the Roman territory of Gaul (largely modern day France) under one leader (http://historyhuntersinternational.org/index.php?topic=2705.0).  The Franks were originally three tribal groups, which were referred to by their contemporaries as the Ripuarians, Chatti, and the Salians.  This means that we should not count them as one group, but rather as three in 476 because they each had their own ruler and they were politically independent of one another even though they shared a common language and customs (http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/107997/Chatti#218403.hook).  Later, under Clovis, they are believed to have merged into one group.  This means they remained as three groups when the Western Roman Empire fell apart in 476, the date for determining and counting the kings in that empire.  Therefore, they were three kings, not one.

Clovis, a member of the Salian Franks, formed the Merovingian dynasty (named after one of their chiefs, Merovech or Merowen).  Under his leadership, somehow the other two tribes joined the Salian Franks.  In this instance, this would be a situation in which three horns merge to become one horn under one leader, though there may have been several sub kings after that for a while.  Because the horn representing Clovis' kingdom would have been the dominant horn, it is the horn for his group that probably survives until today.  Later the descendants of the Ripuarians, the Carolingians, took over the kingdom and expanded it into a very large kingdom which split by the Treaty of Verdun in 843 into what eventually became modern day France and Germany, and small parts of Italy and a few other countries (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Verdun and http://www.answers.com/topic/treaty-of-verdun and http://historyhuntersinternational.org/index.php?topic=2705.0, see map of the division at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Carolingian_Empire_map_1895.jpg).  The split was between the three sons of Louis I (they fought a three year civil war before the treaty was signed) and as a practical matter, dissolved Charlemagne's empire.  At the same time, it continued the Frankish idea that the Frankish kingdoms should be split among the heirs to the throne, an idea begun under Clovis.  This event is of major significance because the Franks were the only horn to survive into present day Europe.  Further, because of the large empire eventually created by the Franks, it greatly affected the impact the Catholic Church had on much of Europe for centuries to come.  In many respects, the empire started by Clovis had a great deal to do with placing the Catholic Church in a dominant position for the 1260 days of prophetic time.  This cannot be understated.

Catholics were in the majority in Clovis' kingdom prior to his conversion to Catholicism, probably in 508.  It is believed that he was first converted to the Arian form of Christianity and later to Catholicism (article: "France.", subsection: The conversion of Clovis, Encyclopædia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite.  Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008).  This certainly strengthened the hand of the Catholic Church for it put the official stamp of the government of that region and time on the Catholic faith.  Thus, when Justinian's decree of 533 became enforceable in Rome in 538, the Franks were ready to accept its authority because they already accepted the authority of the pope.  Justinian was unable to take significantly more territory of the old Roman Empire beyond the Vandal/Alan and Ostrogothic/Rugian territory that he directly captured, so Clovis' activities 30 years before did not help him politically.  But it did make it possible for the authority behind the decree that Justinian wrote to be accepted by the the Frankish kings - and others.  Between the actions of Clovis and Justinian, not only was the order of things set up for Medieval Europe, but also the church-state relations for the next 1260 years was brought into being and fixed in place.  Both of their actions greatly favored the Papacy in Rome.

According to Peter Heather, author of The Goths (pages 212-214), when Clovis attacked the Visigothic kingdom in 507, Catholic and Arian soldiers of the Visigothic kingdom fought together to stop the advance of Clovis' army, but were unsuccessful.  Yet, even after the success of Clovis, these people continued to fight together against Clovis' army wherever possible.  There was no separation based on religion as some have supposed in the Visigothic Kingdom during Clovis' invasion.  Heather comments that sources relatively contemporary with the campaign of Clovis report that his invasion had more to do with money than anything else and that it was mounted jointly with the Burgundians.  The Burgundians apparently were Arian Christians but probably not Catholic at that time as they are known to have converted to Catholicism by 524 (the death date of their king, Sigismund), so religion would not likely have been a factor with them in their joint war against the Visigoths.  Also, he notes that the baptism of Clovis is reported to have been as early an 496 but likely was as late as 508 (others believe the more likely date being 508).  That would possibly place his conversion to Christianity after the campaigns against the Visigoths in 507.  He also notes that Clovis tried to convince the Visigothic population to side with him, but the Visigothic king at the time, Alaric, responded to this with a (as Heather labels it) "charm campaign" of his own in which he reiterated the rights that the people had under him, which included all religious groups.  Whether he needed to do that is unknown, but he evidently was not going to take any chances.  It seems to have worked.  The Catholics fought for him just as hard as anyone else and continued to fiercely resist Clovis' forces even after the death of Alaric.  Heather points out that the Catholic bishops of the time were teaching that though the king was not of their religion, he was ordained of God and therefore was to be obeyed.  Heather comments that they did not seem to complain much about their Arian kings and the Arian kings were generally cooperative with the Catholic Church.  This seems to argue against the idea that the Catholics were determined to get the Arians out of the way as Uriah Smith and others have argued, at least, with regards to the Visigoths.

Clovis' war damaged the Visigothic kingdom by the fact that it was thrown into disarray through the death of its king in battle.  However, because of the intervention of the Ostrogoths from Italy, it survived.  Heather points out that Theodoric the Great (the Ostrogothic king - there was another king by the same name among the Visigoths at a different time) gained control of all the Visigothic kingdom through his intervention against Clovis.  Further, and this was a surprise to me because I did not realize that Theodoric put together such a large empire, he states that Theodoric managed to put together at least a third of the old Roman Empire before he died in 526.  This may have been another reason why Justinian went after his kingdom.  Justinian perceived Ostrogothic Italy as a direct threat to his own power and this gave him all the more reason for that perception.  In addition, because Justinian wanted to put back together the old Western Roman Empire, then what better way to get that done quickly than to take over a third of the old empire in one stroke?  After all, if he could defeat the Ostrogoths in Italy, then he could much more easily claim the rest of the Ostrogothic holdings, or so he thought.  It did not work out that way, but he certainly gave it a valiant attempt.  It took him 26 years to find out whether he could do it or not (535 to 561).

Theodoric ruled Italy, Southern Gaul, Visigothic Spain, large portions of the Balkans, and brought under control the Burgundians and exercised considerable control over the Vandals.  Heather alludes to others over which Theodoric ruled or had influence, but which he did not name.  Theodoric was obviously very successful.  He came very close to declaring himself the emperor of the empire reborn, but stopped short of it, possibly because the Eastern Roman Empire was the heavyweight of its day and perhaps he did not yet want to risk taking them on until he was certain he could defeat them.  He never got that chance before he died in 526.  Because he was such an able commander of his army and was so successful in battle, it appears that the Eastern Roman Empire was very reluctant to take him on, but after his death, that reluctance disappeared.  After Theodoric died, there were arguments over the throne among those who succeeded him, which displayed weakness in the kingdom to outsiders.  This is likely the reason the Eastern Roman Empire became much more willing to take on the Ostrogothic kingdom following the death of Theodoric.

Then, because of the action of Justinian and those of Clovis, the 1260 days was set up and the Catholic Church became the dominant religious power of the time for Europe. That was not to be reversed until Napoleon came along.

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The Encyclopedia Britannica has an interesting statement about the Germanic Peoples and their conversion to Christianity.  It says this:

"Evidence suggests that before the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476, none of the great Germanic peoples was converted to Christianity while still living outside the Roman frontier, but that all the Germanic peoples who moved into the Roman provinces before that date were converted to Christianity within a generation. The Vandals seem to have been converted when in Spain in 409–429, the Burgundians when in eastern Gaul in 412–436, and the Ostrogoths when in the province of Pannonia about 456–472. In all these cases the Germans embraced the Arian form of Christianity; none of the major Germanic peoples became officially Catholic until the conversion of the Franks under Clovis (496) and of the Burgundians under Sigismund (king of the Burgundians from 516 to 524). The reason for their adoption of Arianism rather than Catholicism is very obscure. The last Germanic people on the European continent to be converted to Christianity were the Old Saxons (second half of the 8th century), while the Scandinavian peoples were converted in the 10th century. England had been converted in the 7th century. " (Article: "Germanic peoples." Encyclopædia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite.  Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008, subtitle: Conversion to Christianity.)

To see a map of the migration of some of the Germanic people groups, see the map at this address (the map is annotated in German): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Karte_v%C3%B6lkerwanderung.jpg

To see a map of the territories that were occupied by the various Germanic groups in 475 AD, see the map at this address: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:NE_475ad.jpg (also shown above in this document).

Here is another map of the tribes and their approximate territories (date apparently not marked on the map): http://www.ourcivilisation.com/smartboard/shop/tacitusc/germany/map.htm.

Note that the area north of the Roman border was referred to by the Romans as Germania and was originally largely occupied by Celts, though some Scandinavian tribes later entered the area.  I would suggest that you read the first part of the web page http://www.kisabeth.com/primer_of_our_ancient.htm as it gives an interesting introduction to the Germanic tribes.  Read up to the list of tribes making up the region of Germania and stop just after that list.  Anything you read after the Germanic tribe list concerns the writer's personal family history, so probably is not of interest to anyone but his family.  What surprised me is the list of tribes - there are, if I counted correctly, 89 of them listed.  I know that not all of those tribes went into Roman territory as part of the Barbarian peoples that invaded Roman territory, but we already know that more than ten did so. 

Here is another list of known Germanic people groups: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Germanic_peoples.  Quite a long list!

Do keep in mind that the Germanic people groups were generally illiterate.  Consequently, without the ability to write a record that could have been preserved, we have no way to know of them, where they lived or how they lived except through the writings of others who were literate and happened, for whatever reason, to encounter them and record information about them.  For the Germanic people groups in Roman times, Tacitus' book Germania (written about 98 AD) is probably the best source we have of them.  Archeology does not necessarily furnish us with much information because the Germanic tribes in many cases lived very much like one another and left few permanent remains.  Most of them apparently did not even know how to make pottery, meaning that those types of items are not there to help us reconstruct something of their lives.  As a result, it is often not possible on the basis of remains of their camps to distinguish one group from another. 

One more thing of interest in relation to the Germanic groups is that Celtic groups lived in Southern Germany before the Romans began their expansion into central Europe.  The Germanic groups lived at the same time in northern Germany.  It seems that about the time the Romans began expanding their borders towards the Rhine and Danube Rivers, the Germanic groups began moving south into Southern Germany.  It appears that the Celtic groups were merely absorbed into the Germanic groups rather than being displaced or destroyed (article: "Germany.", subsection: "Ancient History" Encyclopædia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite.  Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008.)  For more information about the Celts, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celts.

I got to thinking about the fact that the Bible in Daniel 2:43 says that the kingdom (meaning Rome) would be divided into smaller kingdoms, but that some divisions would be strong and some weak.  But, most significantly, they would NOT hold together.  This is very significant because many of the nations of what used to be the Western Roman Empire are descendants primarily of the Germanic tribes, along with indigenous and Celtic tribal groups.  Nearly all of them spoke various dialects of the early German language which indicates that all of these groups are likely related to one another, or in other words, probably descend from just a few individuals who at some point or another migrated to the area from which all of them originated.  Thus, in a sense, they are essentially cousins.  And yet, in spite of that simple fact, they will not hold together.  I find this aspect of them most interesting because that prophecy has proved true in so many ways.

Additional Information

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A great deal of historical information about the various Germanic tribes and others that influenced the breakup of the Roman Empire can be found at this web address: http://www.friesian.com/germania.htm.  Note that this web site also says that the Franks are the only one whose kingdom remains today.  This site has some very good maps and many king lists.  I recommend that you take a look at it.

Other good information sites:

Below is a list of the Barbarians (and some other groups) along with some additional information about each group in notes which I put together as I was doing this research.  The notes below served as my basic research notes while studying into this topic. A few indigenous native groups in Roman territory are included.

Tribes Whose kings Were Removed By Papal Influence

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Alanis - Also called the Alans.  They were not a Germanic people group.  Many went with the Vandals into North Africa and these converted to Arianism but never converted to Catholicism.  The other Alani settlement groups may have converted to Catholicism or other forms of Christianity such as Russian Orthodox as is the case in North Ossetia (see map of settlement areas of the Alans in the article subsection titled "The Alans in Gaul" at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alani).  They did not have their own separate government, administration, and leader as the Rugians had with the Ostrogoths.  Consequently, they did not have a sub level king. 

Ostrogoths - Converted to Arianism before entering the Roman Empire but never converted to Catholicism.  The last of them were destroyed in about 554-556, by troops from Justinian under the command of general Narses.  Justinian was inspired to proceed with the war by a visit from a Catholic bishop who told him that God wanted him to go ahead with his plan, which included destroying first the Vandals to regain North Africa (a former Western Roman Empire territory) and later the Ostrogoths.  Justinian's plan never really went much beyond the destruction of the Vandals and the Ostrogoths, though Eastern Roman Empire troops did later occupy Southeastern Coastal Spain and territory across the strait from Spain.  Without the visit of the bishop to Justinian, the course of history would have been very different for Europe because neither of these wars against the Vandals and Ostrogoths would have likely occurred.  One can honestly say that the Papacy definitely had a hand in causing these two wars, resulting in the destruction of the Vandals, the Ostrogoths, and other independent groups within Ostrogothic Italy.  There were several groups of Ostrogoths within Ostrogothic Italy that maintained their independence and had their own government and administration with a leader who ruled under Theodoric, so these should each be considered a horn that was removed in the vision of Daniel 7.

Rugians Within Ostrogothic Italy - These were an East Germanic group that can be traced back to Norway.  They converted to Arianism by 482 ("Rugi." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica 2009 Ultimate Reference Suite.  Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2009), but apparently never converted to Catholicism.  The Rugians, apparently in combination with the Scirians, once had a kingdom of their own, which today is sometimes referred to by historians as Rugiland, in what is now Austria.  Rugiland was cleared out by the invasion of Odoacer in 487 and by his brother in 488.  Odoacer carried off the king of Rugiland, Feletheus, along with his wife, Gisa, to exile in Ravenna.  Apparently, a year later, the son of the then captive king Feletheus tried to revive his father's kingdom, but the brother of Odoacer captured him and put an end to the Rugian kingdom.  Odoacer, oddly enough, after all this effort, did not incorporate Rugiland into his own territory, though it was just next door.  The Rugians remaining alive in Rugiland after Odoacer and his brother destroyed their kingdom left Rugiland and joined first with the Eastern Heruls (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rugi) and shortly after they joined with the Ostrogoths.  Thereafter, Rugiland was left unoccupied and by 493 the Lombards had taken up residence in it (http://www.answers.com/topic/odoacer and http://www.nndb.com/people/033/000102724/).  The Rugians in Ostrogothic Italy had their own government, administration, and leader, so formed a separate unit in that country.  Their leader can be considered to be a "king" for purposes of determining whether or not they qualify as a horn in Daniel 7.

It is interesting that the Rugians in Ostrogothic Italy even refused to intermarry with the Ostrogoths (sources: "Rugi." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica 2009 Ultimate Reference Suite.  Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2009, and Heather, Pages 236-242).  According to Peter Heather, the evidence favors that other groups within Theodoric's kingdom likewise had their independence and likewise set up their own administrations and government.  Emperor Justinian wrote to each of them separately on the eve of the Gothic war (Heather, Page 236), which he should not have done if they were not rulers that were essentially kings.  If they were not the equivalent of kings, then he should only have written to Theodoric as the king of the kingdom. 

Other Rugians were part of the group of Roman soldiers that rebelled against Rome under the leadership of Odoacer in 476 and brought about the final downfall of the Roman Empire.  The Roman soldier group that did this also included many Heruls, Scirians, Thuringians, and Turcilingi or Torcilingi (the Turcilingi may have been a separate group, though some think their name may have occurred by a scribal mistake, so it is possible that they really were just the Thuringians with a corrupted name). The Rugians who joined forces with Theodoric after Odoacer's invasion of Rugiland soon thereafter helped the Ostrogoths conquer Odoacer and his army.  Thus, it is very likely that some of the Rugians were fighting other Rugians in the battles between the two sides.  

Scirians within Ostrogothic Italy - It appears that, like the Rugians, the Scirians within Ostrogothic Italy also set up their own independent government and administration with their own a ruler (Heather, pages 236-242).  The Scirians were one such group that is known to have been a part of Ostrogothic Italy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scirii).  So, they should rightfully be considered a horn and should be counted among the horns removed in the vision of Daniel 7.  This group of Scirians disappeared along with the Ostrogoths, Rugians and others after the Eastern Roman Empire finished with them in 556.

Thuringians within Ostrogothic Italy - The Thuringians were another group that may have been a part of Ostrogothic Italy (based on reference to the historian Jordanes, cited by Potter, page 241).  Consequently, they should rightfully be considered a horn and should then be counted among the horns removed in the vision of Daniel 7. Like other groups, it appears that they had a sublevel king of their own (Heather, pages 236-242), but like the others, he would have been removed when they were destroyed with the Ostrogoths.

Turcilingi (also called the Torcilingi) within Ostrogothic Italy - If they existed as a separate people, they may be included as another group within Ostrogothic Italy.  It appears that many authorities do not list them, probably because of some doubts about their existence as a separate people group from the Thuringians.  If they did exist as another separate people, it is likely that like the other groups within Ostrogothic Italy, they had their own government and administration and leader who would qualify as a horn in Daniel 7.  They too would have disappeared when the Ostrogoths were essentially disbanded in 556.

Vandals - Converted to Arianism before entering the Roman Empire but never converted to Catholicism.  The Vandals first went to Spain, but after one of their two tribal groups was destroyed, they went to North Africa and took it over between 429 and 442 (article: "Italy.", subsection: Fifth Century Political Trends, Encyclopædia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite.  Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008).  The Alanis went with them to North Africa.  The Vandal takeover of Northern Italy was a major blow to the Western Roman Empire because this area was the bread basket for Rome and therefore was not only a loss of food, but a major loss of revenue as well.  The primary concern of the Vandals was their survival after one of their two tribal groups was destroyed.  Their king kept this as his overriding concern, which is a major reason why they went to North Africa.  Also, in 429 they were promised land in North Africa by the Roman general Flavius Aetius, who had been subjected to a false statement that he was the object of a plot to kill him.  By the time general Aetius discovered that it had all been a ruse, the movement of the Vandals into North Africa was already underway.  To keep the peace, Rome granted them land in North Africa, but eventually they made their way into Carthage and set it up as their capital.

The Vandal kings were Arians.  Some of them were strongly opposed to anyone who was not Arian, but others were more tolerant.  The most tolerant of them was a king by the name of Hilderic, who was removed from the throne in 530 by his cousin Gelimer (who became king).  Hilderic was imprisoned in 530 and in 533, he was murdered, which is one of the reasons Belisarius had for planning an invasion of the Vandal's territory, that is, until it was stopped by John.  Of course, the Catholic bishop interfered and the war plans went on and were carried out in 533-534. 

The Vandals were defeated in several major battles with the Byzantine army and Gelimer surrendered in 534.  Before the invasion, Belisarius was told that the vandal fleet was busy fighting an uprising in Sardinia, so he knew that moment was a golden opportunity to strike before the Vandal navy could stop him.  Once the war was won, the Vandals were banned from North Africa.  Their men were sent to Persia as soldiers, fled to other kingdoms, enslaved, or died.  Gelimer was given several large estates to live on in Galatia and was no longer a problem. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vandals for more information about them.

There may be other groups whose kings were removed, some of which may have been during the war against the Ostrogoths, so would count among the symbolic three horns of the fourth dreadful looking beast of Daniel 7.  Others have been removed, but were not removed at the instigation of the Papacy, so would not count as being part of the three horns.  And, of course, there were some which were removed, but were not within the Roman territory in 476, so would not count as part of the ten horns.  Such are essentially irrelevant to the prophecy but perhaps are important for other historical reasons.

Tribes Whose Kings Were Not Removed By Papal Influence

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Alamanni - Pagan for a long time but apparently converted to Catholicism by around 700 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alemanni).  According to the writer of the Adventist Lies web site, the Alemanni were destroyed (uprooted as he puts it in 495).  Yet, that does not square with the facts of history.  It is a fact that they formed their own kingdom, but it was eventually taken over by the Franks.  However, they, as a people, were not destroyed.  Their territory was eventually divided into four kingdoms.  The four kingdoms are: (France (Alsace), Germany (Swabia and parts of Bavaria), Switzerland and Austria.  See this map for their territory: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Alemanni_expansion.png.  Also see this map for their kingdom as it was in 475: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:NE_475ad.jpg.  Thus, it can hardly be argued that they were destroyed in 495.  They may have had a major disruption of their life and their kingdom may have come to an end, but as a people, they remained.  However, it can be said that the horn that represented them was uprooted because their king was removed and they were no longer politically independent.  Because they were not removed at the order of the Catholic Church, they cannot be one of the three horns that were extracted from the head of the dreadful looking beast of Daniel 7.

Angles - One of three tribes reported by the  Benedictine monk, Bede, to have migrated to England (Angles, Saxons, and Jutes).  Were pagans who invaded England around 450 with the Saxons, Jutes and Frisians and were converted to Catholicism in about 600 by a Catholic missionary by the name of Augustine (http://www.thenagain.info/webchron/westeurope/AugustineCant.html).  Augustine was sent to England by Pope Gregory the Great.  Britain previously had been Catholic Christian under the Romans and remained that way without drifting back into paganism (Thomas J. Craughwell, How the Barbarian Invasions Shaped the Modern World, Fair Winds Press, Beverly, Massachusetts, USA, copyright 2008, page 109).  The indigenous people were driven into the west side of Britain by the Barbarians.  In the areas where the barbarians invaded, the barbarians that moved into the area remained pagan until Augustine was sent by Pope Gregory the Great as a missionary.  Wikipedia says this concerning other tribes that also migrated to England: "They spoke closely related Germanic dialects and may have traced a common heritage to the Ingvaeones as described by the Roman historian Tacitus. Place names seem to show that smaller numbers of some other Germanic tribes came over: Frisians at Fresham, Freston, and Friston; Flemings at Flempton and Flimby; Swabians at Swaffham; perhaps Franks at Frankton and Frankley." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-saxon)

Bastarnae - Are a little known group, but were a more important people group in ancient times than has generally been recognized in modern times.  They appear to have been involved with the invasions of the Balkans region in the 3rd century AD at the time of the reigns of Decius (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decius), Gallienus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallienus) and Claudius II (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claudius_II).  They were involved in at least one military operation with the Scirii in 230 AD.  They eventually seem to have combined with the Goths and thereafter apparently disappeared.  So, their descendants would have become Christians at the same time as the Goths because they were a part of the Goths.  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bastarnae)

Bavarians - This group of people seemed to form from an influx of a number of other groups that became an ethnic group through ethnogenesis, that is, social and political pressures forces creation of an ethnic identity of a group of people.  Historical records seem to indicate that some Christianity existed among the Bavarians from late Roman times, quite likely Catholicism.  However, it was not until the early 8th century that Christianity really began to take hold among the Bavarians. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Bavaria)

Belgi (Belgae) - These people were apparently of Germanic origins but moved into Gaul after crossing the Rhine River and took up the language and customs of the indigenous residents of Gaul.  Some of these people also went into Britain in Caesar's time.  It appears that the Belgi became Christians (Catholic) by 325 AD (Barnes, Ian, Ph.D., Mapping History The Classical World, Cartographic Press, London, Copyright 2007, page 84-85).

Bretons - Information on these people can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bretons.  Today they are predominantly Roman Catholic.  Their conversion date to Catholicism seems unavailable.  They originated in Britain and migrated to coastal Western France in the 4th to 6th centuries. 

Burgundians - Converted to Catholicism by the time of the death of Sigismund in 524 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burgundians, "Germanic peoples." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica 2009 Ultimate Reference Suite.  Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2009), for more quick information, see http://www.thenagain.info/webchron/westeurope/Burgundians.html.  They apparently converted to the Arian form of Christianity before they moved across the Rhine River in 406 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burgundians#Tribal_origins) and settled into the Rhine River valley, but sometime after about 500, they converted to Catholicism.  There were two kingdoms of the Burgundians, but the second one was overrun by the Franks in 534 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burgundians).  Burgundy was held separate under Frankish control until 613, after which it remained as a province of the Frankish Empire (http://www.bartleby.com/67/405.html).  The people were largely absorbed into the culture and people of the Franks.  Today, the descendants of the Burgundians live in western Switzerland and the neighboring region of France.  More information found at http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/BURGUNDY%20KINGS.htm.

Buri - A Germanic tribe that usually ran with the Marcomanni.  According to the writer Ptolomy, the Buri were a part of the Lugi people (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lugi).  Shortly after the death of Emperor Marcus Aurelius, the majority of them seem to disappear from history, probably because they joined others in migration (they were destitute at that time) or may have joined other tribes.  A portion of the group is known to have joined the Marcomanni and the Quadi in migrating to the Roman province of Gallaecia (part of today's Portugal and Northwest Spain) where they eventually founded the kingdom of Gallaecia.  See map of their settlement in Gallaecia in 409 at this address: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Reino_de_Galicia_Suevos.png (note it is annotated in Spanish). 

Caritnis - I cannot find any information about these people, except that they were a Germanic group in Ptolomy's time who lived in the West Bavaria region (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caritni).  Searches on the Internet found several possible references in foreign language books, which I cannot read.  So, no further information is possible at this time.

Celts (of Ireland) - Converted by St. Patrick around 450 (source: http://www.thenagain.info/webchron/WestEurope/StPatrick.html).

Cheruscians - A Germanic tribal group that lived in the Rhine River valley and plains and forests of what is today northwestern Germany during the first century BC and first century AD.  They later were assimilated into the Saxons, so disappeared as a group.  For more information, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheruscii.

Franks - Were all converted directly to Catholicism without going through a period of being Arian. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germanic_people).  For information about the Frankish kings, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_of_the_Franks).  For more information about Clovis, who united the Frankish tribes into one and ruled from 481 to 511, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clovis_I

Chattis - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chatti.  An ancient Germanic tribe.  Earlier in their history, they are believed to have existed independently of the Franks but eventually joined them.  The three tribes had a common language and customs but were politically independent of one another.  These people lived in the area today known as Hesse, and thus traditionally the Hessians are believed to be their descendants.  These people were converted to Catholicism early in the 8th century when the missionary Winfrid (St. Boniface) felled a sacred oak tree in an effort to force conversion.

Ripuarians - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ripuarian_Franks.  During the Roman era, these people lived in the middle Rhine River region.  They are believed to have become part of the Franks eventually.  They converted to Christianity around the time of Clovis.

Salians - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salian_Franks.  The Salians at first were associated with the sea, but eventually the Saxons drove them south into Roman territory.  They settled into Gaul and over time, a kingdom developed that today is referred to as the Frankish kingdom.  Though Clovis apparently accepted Arian Christianity at first and soon thereafter accepted Catholic Christianity, the people of his kingdom generally did not accept Arian Christianity and instead accepted Catholicism from the start.  Some parts of their tribe formed the foundations of the Netherlands society.

Frisians - The Frisians were a group of people who lived on the coastal areas of what is today the Netherlands and Germary.  They were fiercely pagan until the early 800s, at which time they became Catholic.  Some of them joined in the Anglo-Saxon migrations to Britain around 450 but the rest of them remained in their home area or may have migrated into Roman areas.  Thus, they were one of the barbarian tribes that invaded the Roman territories, but the tribe as a whole apparently did not pick up and leave its home as did some of the other barbarian tribes.  For more information see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frisians.  Those Frisians that went to Britain in the invasions of the mid to late fifth century would have converted sooner because of the work of the Catholic missionary Augustine in about 600.  Wikipedia says this concerning other tribes that also migrated to England: "They spoke closely related Germanic dialects and may have traced a common heritage to the Ingvaeones as described by the Roman historian Tacitus. Place names seem to show that smaller numbers of some other Germanic tribes came over: Frisians at Fresham, Freston, and Friston; Flemings at Flempton and Flimby; Swabians at Swaffham; perhaps Franks at Frankton and Frankley." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-saxon)

Gauls - The Gauls lived in an area that was referred to in ancient times as Gaul, which was roughly made up from the area today consisting of Italy, France, Belgium, Western Switzerland, and the Netherlands, and Germany west of the Rhine River.  They were apparently members of the Celtic tribes that resided in the area.  Rome conquered Gaul starting in 58 BC with Julius Caesar and the residents there were eventually absorbed into the Roman culture and language.  Prior to Rome, the people in Gaul were apparently largely of Celtic origins.  Later they were assailed by the Franks and were eventually merged with them as well.  Most of Gaul was Christianized by 325 AD (Barnes, Ian, Ph.D., Mapping History The Classical World, Cartographic Press, London, Copyright 2007, page 84-85).  For more information, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaul.  For a list of Gaulish tribes, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_peoples_of_Gaul.

Gepids - The Gepids helped in one of the battles of the barbarians against the Huns (455 AD, article: "Hun." Encyclopædia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite.  Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008.), but never settled in Roman territory in significant numbers so far as is known.  After 454 they obtained a place to live in the Carpathian Mountains on the east side of the Danube River in the Balkans (beyond the Roman boundary, but were driven out by the Ostrogoths.  It appears that they moved into the area that is today known as the city of Belgrade.  They remained there until the Lombards, the Eastern Roman Empire, and finally the Avars destroyed their kingdom and they essentially disappeared from history.  It appears that the remnants of them moved either to Italy or were assimilated into the culture of their conquerors.  They never did settle into the territory of the Western Roman Empire itself except for those who went into Italy after the Roman Empire was gone, so would not be counted among the ten horns.  For more information, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gepids.

Gutones - This name seems to be another name for the Goths or the Visigoths.  They were mentioned by Pliny, but others since then seem to think they are one and the same as the Goths or the Visigoths.  Therefore, I can find no further information about them.  Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gutones#Pliny.

Harudes - Also known as the Charudes.  These people, according to Pliny, lived in what is often called Jutland (on the European peninsula jutting out between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea).  They later moved into what is today known as Norway.  My guess is that they probably became the forerunners of the Norse.  I can find no further information about them.  For source, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harudes.

Hermunduri - According to this source, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermunduri, these were a group of people who occupied the region of Thuringia, Saxony, and Northern Bavaria from the first to the third centuries AD.  There is the suggestion that the Thuringii may have been the descendants of the Hermunduri.  Whether the Hermunduri as a tribe ever became Christians is something I am unable to determine, but it is unlikely.  The Germanic tribes did not use money until they learned how to do so from the Romans and they certainly did not have a written language.  They were illiterate.  It was not until after the Arian missionary Ulfilas created a written form of Gothic in 350 that a means was made available to them to have a translation of the Bible (Source:  "Germany." Encyclopædia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite.  Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008), so it is doubtful that the Hermunduri would likely have encountered Christian teachers who could teach them the gospel.

Heruls - The Heruls were a Germanic people group.  They converted to Arianism but as a group, apparently never converted to Catholicism. 

The Heruls in Italy, all of whom were part of the army of Odoacer, were destroyed by the Ostrogoths in 493 at the end of the Ostrogothic invasion of Italy that lasted from 488 to 493 AD, an invasion requested by the Eastern Roman Emperor Zeno in 488.  The king of Italy, Odoacer, had deposed the last true Roman Emperor in 476 AD and the Western Roman Empire broke apart then.  The Heruls had formed a kingdom (the Eastern Heruls Kingdom) elsewhere when the Western Roman Empire fell apart, so as a people they did not die out when Odoacer's kingdom was destroyed by the Ostrogoth's invasion. 

Some Heruls were involved with Justinian's final efforts to throw the Ostrogoths out of Italy in the 550s (article: "Byzantine Empire.", subsection: The Last Years of Justinian I, Encyclopædia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite.  Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008.)  The Heruls may have wanted revenge for the destruction of the Heruls in Italy by the Ostrogoths in 493, though we don't know that to be the case. 

One source says that the Heruli kingdom in the Middle Danube region was destroyed in the early part of the 6th century by the Lombards who had a kingdom just to the north of the Heruls kingdom (Article: "Heruli." Encyclopædia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite.  Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008 and map: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:NE_475ad.jpg), though another source I cannot trace right now said they died out in about 550, again due to the Lombards.  It would appear that because of the destruction of the Heruli in Italy in 493 and the destruction of the Eastern Heruls kingdom by the Lombards in the early part of the 6th century, they were largely finished as a people.  They were not heard from again in history much at all after that. 

The Catholic Church MAY have been responsible for their destruction in Italy (but this is based only on reasons to suspect they may have caused it, without any evidence that they actually did anything to cause it), but had no responsibility for the destruction of the Eastern Heruls kingdom in the Middle Danube region.  In this, the Adventist Lies web site writer was partially correct.  Therefore, to assert, as Adventists do, that the Roman Catholic Church was entirely responsible for the destruction of the Heruls is incorrect. 

Be sure to look at the map (475 AD) at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:NE_475ad.jpg to see where the Eastern Heruls kingdom was at (it is just to the north of the Gepid and Ostrogoth kingdoms, both of which are just east of Italy, which is labeled the Western Roman Empire).  

More information about the Heruls is found at: http://www.fact-archive.com/encyclopedia/Heruli.

Huns - These were a non Germanic tribal group originating from east of the Volga River and north of the Caspian Sea, which lies just east of the Black Sea.  They first moved west in about 370 AD and attacked the Alanis, who lived between the Volga and Don Rivers, driving them to the west.  The Huns then moved further west and attacked the Ostrogoths (Eastern Goths) who lived between the Don and Dniester Rivers, driving them to the west also.  In about 376 they next attacked the Visigoths (Western Goths) who were living in what is now roughly the area of modern day Romania, which brought them to the Roman border.  From there on they moved into Roman territory and moved about as they wished.  Their leader, Attila, experienced only one known defeat, which was in 451 when a coalition of Roman and Visigothic armies finally caused them to lose a battle.  The Huns finally left Roman territory in 455 after Attila died and his sons began fighting among themselves, which caused the formation of a large coalition of Gepids, Heruli, Ostrogoths, and others to defeat them in a battle.  They were driven out of Europe back to the homeland from which they came.  After that, the Eastern Roman Empire closed its borders to them and would not allow them to cross again, effectively barring them from returning to Europe.  Until they were driven out, they were the terror of Europe.  There is no evidence that they were ever Christianized and as a group, they seem to have largely disbanded and eventually disappeared from history after they were driven out of Europe.  Because they left the Western Roman Empire before 476, they should not be considered to be one of the ten horns.  Source: "Hun." Encyclopædia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite.  Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008. 

Jutes - One of three tribes reported by the  Benedictine monk, Bede, to have migrated to England (Angles, Saxons, and Jutes).  This Germanic tribe was one of the most powerful tribes of its time.  They originated from Jutland (see map at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Jutland_Peninsula_map.PNG) and later moved into Britain.  The time of their conversion to Christianity is probably when the barbarian areas of Britain were reconverted to Christianity in the early 600s through the work of the Catholic missionary by the name of Augustine (http://www.thenagain.info/webchron/westeurope/AugustineCant.html).  Augustine was sent to England by Pope Gregory the Great.  For more information, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jutes.  Wikipedia says this concerning other tribes that also migrated to England: "They spoke closely related Germanic dialects and may have traced a common heritage to the Ingvaeones as described by the Roman historian Tacitus. Place names seem to show that smaller numbers of some other Germanic tribes came over: Frisians at Fresham, Freston, and Friston; Flemings at Flempton and Flimby; Swabians at Swaffham; perhaps Franks at Frankton and Frankley." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-saxon)

Langobardis - An alternate name for the Lombards.

Lombards (Langobards or Longobards) - These were a Germanic group that initially lived in Northern Europe well outside the territory of the Western Roman Empire in the lower Elbe River area (relatively near the coast), then migrated in 489 to the Danube River Valley area to Rugiland and settled there.  In the 540s, at the request of the Romans, they crossed the Danube River and went to Pannonia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pannonia, map at http://www.geocities.com/alexprobus/Pictures/PannoniaNR.jpg), where they received Roman subsidies and battled the Gepids at the request of the Eastern Roman Empire ruler, Justinian.  Later, in 568, they invaded and took over Byzantine Italy, a kingdom that remained in power until 774 when they were conquered by the Franks.  See the map of their migrations at this Internet address: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Kll.jpg.  The Lombard aristocracy converted initially to Catholicism but later to Arianism when they became allies of the Ostrogoths.  After they invaded Italy, there was intense pressure from Italians to convert to Catholicism, which the aristocracy apparently did comply with eventually, but the common people continue to practice paganism.  Paganism and Catholicism remained among the Lombards until near the end of the seventh century, at which time Catholicism seemed to take a firm hold among all of them.  For more information, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lombards and http://www.northvegr.org/lore/langobard/005.php.

Lugii - An Indo-European group living mostly in what today is South and Middle Poland from about 400 BC to 300 AD.  They were associated with Germanic tribes in the area and were part of the federation that the Marcomanni ran.  Several other tribes, such as the Buri, were apparently a part of the Lugii people group.  It is unknown what happened to them and it is unknown whether they became Christianized, though it seems likely that they were Christianized eventually and were assimilated into other groups, and so disappeared.  For more information, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lugi.

Marcomannis - See map at this address for their settlement in Gallaecia in 409: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Reino_de_Galicia_Suevos.png (note that this map is annotated in Spanish).  

Moors - The Moors were not a distinct people, but rather a descriptive term used by Medieval people to refer to Berbers, Iberian Muslims, and Arabs.  They apparently originated in North Africa.  The term Moors predated the rise of Islam.  Islamic Moors invaded the Visigothic kingdom in 711 AD upon invitation to intervene in a dispute over the throne.  The Moors ruled for several decades and attempted to extend their kingdom northeast onto mainland Europe, but were stopped in 732 at the battle against Charles Martel.  The kingdom of the Moors eventually fell into internal disputes in the 750s, after which it was taken over by the Caliphate of Cordoba, also known as the Umayyad Dynasty, which ruled from the city of Cordoba from about 756 to 1031.  Between 1002 and 1031, the dynasty experienced a series of civil wars and eventually broke up into a set of smaller fiefdoms.  Meanwhile, the Christians in Europe began the reconquista to take back Spain from the Islamics, a process which began in 722 (see map of main efforts at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pt-Reconquista2.jpg, annotated in Spanish, and animated English version at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Spanish_reconquista.gif).  This was a centuries long process which eventually succeeded in expelling the Islamics from the Central Iberian Peninsula by around 1300.  The Moors continued to rule Southern Spain (Granada) until 1492, at which time they were militarily defeated and driven from the Iberian Peninsula.  Any remaining Islamics and Jews were forced to either leave or be forcibly converted to Christianity (Catholicism).  For more detailed information, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moors and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caliph_of_Cordoba.

Naristis (Varistis or Varisci) - This Germanic tribe lived along the Danube River in what has been known as Bohemia, so were beyond the boundary of Rome.  They seemed to have no mention prior to Tacitus' writing about them.  They are not mentioned again in historical sources until the Marcomannic Wars in 167 AD during the time of Marcus Aurelius, at which time they crossed the Danube River and attacked the Roman Empire, a battle which the Naristis eventually lost.  The king of the Naristis was killed and it is probable that they, along with others, were transported into Italy where they simply were assimilated into surrounding groups and they disappeared after that.  It is known that they did not continue to live where they had been before, so something happened to them after the Marcomannic Wars were over.  It is known that other groups from the Marcomannic Wars were transported to Italy, so this is the probable destination of the Varistis as well.  If they were transported to Italy and settled there, the would have likely become Christians at about the same time as their neighbors, depending on where they were in Italy.  But, we have no further information about them, so cannot know what became of them.

Nemetes - Were a Germanic tribe that was led into the area of the Rhine River and lived there in the second quarter of the first century.  They were considered allies of Rome.  It is unknown if or when they became Christians so far as I am able to determine.  For more information, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nemetes and see map at http://www.ourcivilisation.com/smartboard/shop/tacitusc/germany/map.htm.

Quadis - The Quadis were a Germanic group of people who typically migrated alongside the more numerous Marcomanni.  They typically lived near the Roman border along the Danube River, with their territory apparently reaching westward into what is today southern Austria (see first century AD people distribution map at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Germanen_50_n._Chr.png, note it is annotated in German).  The Quadis disappeared from their home range after the fourth century AD and apparently the majority of them are believed to have been part of the people groups that became the Bavarians.  That being the case, it seems they did not Christianize until about the 8th century AD (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quadi).  However, a group of the Quadis, along with Marcomannis, some of the Suebis (Suevis), and Buris migrated into the Roman province of Gallaecia in 409 and founded the Gallaecian kingdom (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buri_(Germanic_tribe) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quadi), so not all of the Quadis became Bavarians.  It is known that by 325, the entire Iberian Peninsula was Christianized (Mapping History Classical World, 2007, Cartographic Press, Dr. Ian Barnes, page 84, map title: The spread of Christianity).  See the map at this address for their settlement in Gallaecia in 409: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Reino_de_Galicia_Suevos.png (note that this map is annotated in Spanish).  The Moors left the new Suevi kingdom citizens alone and did not take their area because it was not worth it to go into mountains full of fighters who had no wine or oil to take from them because they were Christians.

Sarmatians - People who lived in a large area north and east of the Black Sea area and were probably originally the Scythians or came from them.  Some 300,000 of them were settled in Roman areas as a result of a war involving the Romans and Sarmatian slaves.  When or if they became Christian seems unknown though it seems likely they did become Christians at some point.  They were not considered Germanic in origin.  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarmatians).  The were later overrun by the Goths but later joined the Goths in their attacks and invasions of the west.  Those who joined the Goths probably became indistinguishable from them eventually and they likely converted first to Arian Christianity.  Later, their descendants would either become the Visigoths, who apparently converted eventually to Catholicism, or else they became Ostrogoths and never converted to Catholicism.  They seem to have disappeared entirely from history by the 6th century (Article: "Sarmatian." Encyclopædia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite.  Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008.)  Map of Sarmatia in about 116 AD: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Imperium_Romanum_Germania.png.

Saxons - One of three tribes reported by the  Benedictine monk, Bede, to have migrated to England (Angles, Saxons, and Jutes).  Were pagans who invaded England around 450 with the Angles and were converted to Catholicism in about 600 by a Catholic missionary by the name of Augustine (http://www.thenagain.info/webchron/westeurope/AugustineCant.html) who was sent to England by Pope Gregory the Great.  Britain had been Catholic Christian under the Romans and remained that way without drifting back into paganism (Thomas J. Craughwell, How the Barbarian Invasions Shaped the Modern World, Fair Winds Press, Beverly, Massachusetts, USA, copyright 2008, page 109).  Though the indigenous people of Britain were driven into the west side of Britain by the Barbarians, it seems they remained Catholic.  The invaders took over the areas vacated by the indigenous people and those areas became pagan.  Pope Gregory the Great wanted to reverse that situation, so sent Augustine as a missionary to them in the hope of converting them to Christianity.  The Old Saxons (this appears to refer to those along the European coastal areas of Europe) apparently converted in the very early 8th century under conquest by Charlemagne.  The Saxons originated along the Baltic Coastal areas and began invasions westward when Rome began to decline.  Wikipedia says this concerning other tribes that also migrated to England: "They spoke closely related Germanic dialects and may have traced a common heritage to the Ingvaeones as described by the Roman historian Tacitus. Place names seem to show that smaller numbers of some other Germanic tribes came over: Frisians at Fresham, Freston, and Friston; Flemings at Flempton and Flimby; Swabia's at Swaffham; perhaps Franks at Frankton and Frankley." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-saxon)  

Scirii - These East Germanic people known in historical records from the 2nd to the 5th centuries, who went with the Bastarnae, particularly when they moved south and attacked a port city on the Black Sea around 200 AD.  After this war was finished and a peace treaty was created with the Romans, they remained near the Black Sea, living east of the Bastarnae.  Later they may have joined with the Goths, particularly after the Huns came through.  Given that many of them joined with the Goths, then when the Goths became Christians, the descendants of the Scirii would have very likely also become Christians.  Some joined up to become members of Roman allies who supplied troops to the Romans in exchange for certain benefits and may have converted to Christianity, but when is unknown.  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scirii)

Seduciis - These people were mentioned in Caesar's War Commentaries on page 27 (which you can read at: http://books.google.com/books?id=RFBkyHEooQ0C&pg=PA27&lpg=PA27&dq=
).   Little more seems known about them.

Semnones - A Germanic tribe that was found by the Roman writer Tacitus to be living between the Elbe and Oder River.  They eventually migrated southward and later became part of the Alamanni people.

Suessiones - These were a Gaulish tribe that took over the northern part of France when Rome fell in 476 and formed their own kingdom.  Thus, they were an indigenous group that lived in that area rather than being a Germanic group that invaded Rome and formed a kingdom.  Clovis conquered the area in 486 and made the city of Soissons his capital, the name of which derives from the Suessiones.  Because they were there before 476 and formed a kingdom that remained until Clovis conquered it in 486, this group should appear among the lists of ten horns, but I have almost never seen them mentioned.  They ruled a fairly large area, larger than that of the Burgundians in what is now France.  Article: "Soissons." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica 2009 Ultimate Reference Suite, Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2009 and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suessiones

Suevi - Also Called the Suebi.  Most apparently converted to Arianism in about 466 and to Catholicism in the 560s (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suevi).  Most of them disappeared from history (except for a few in Spain and Portugal and some place called Swabi) after they and the Alamanni drove the Romans out.  Later they settled in areas of Alsace, Bavaria, and Switzerland.  It appears they may have assimilated into the population around them and ceased to be a distinct people.  I wonder if perhaps their name is the source of the name "Swiss"? (See map at this address for their locations in the first century AD: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Germanen_50_n._Chr.png).  See map at this address for their settlement in Gallaecia in 409: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Reino_de_Galicia_Suevos.png (note that this map is annotated in Spanish).  The Moors left the new Suevi kingdom citizens alone and did not take their area because it was not worth it to go into mountains full of fighters who had no wine or oil to take from them because they were Christians.

Thuringians (outside of Ostrogothic Italy) - These people lived in a region of Germany that still has their name attached to it.  They were exposed to Christianity in the 5th century but were not really converted to Catholicism until the mid 8th century.  (Article: "Thuringia." Encyclopædia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite.  Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008.)

Treveris - were a tribe of Gauls who lived in the lower valley of the Moselle in what is now Luxembourg, Southern Belgium, and Western Germany.  They were known to the Romans in the time of Julius Caesar.  They were quite successful in cooperating with the Romans.  The Traveri were largely polytheists but by the third and fourth century, they had largely converted to Christianity, apparently the Catholic form of it.

Turcilingi - These may have been a separate people group as they were referred to in some ancient writings.  However, there is a suggestion by some authorities that this name may have been a corruption (by scribal accident or otherwise) of the Thuringian's name, but that is not known for certain.  Most authorities do not list them, possibly because of their doubts about there separate existence from that of the Thuringians or maybe it is due to a lack of information about them.  For more information, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turcilingi.

Vangiones - A Germanic tribe which eventually settled in northern France, so are listed among the Gaulish tribes.  They were eventually overrun by the Alemanni and merged with them, so disappeared as a distinct group.  This means they would have likely converted to Catholicism with the Alamanni in about 700. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vangiones)

Varisti (Varisci) - Germanic tribe appeared first as the Naristi (or Narisci) in the writings of Tacitus.  They apparently lived across the border from the Romans in what later became the region of Saxony, Germany.  They seem to have been involved in a war against the Romans in about 167 AD (the Marcomannic war), which the Romans won.  It appears that the Varisti disappeared after that.  It is not known what happened to them, but it is known that often the Romans would take troublesome groups such as theirs and transport them to Italy where they could keep an eye on them.  If that is what happened to them, then they probably eventually merged with the local population and lost their unique identity.  Likely they had never become Christian, given their early disappearance date, and if they later became Christians after their apparent disappearance, we have no way to know whether they converted to Christianity and to what form of it they may have converted to.  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varisti)

Venedis - These were Celtic people living in what is now modern day Britanny (west coast of France) in Roman times of Julius Caesar.  They submitted to Rome for a while but later rebelled and were sold.  Somehow, as a tribe, they survived and were mentioned in later Roman writings.  What precisely happened to them after they were sold, I am unable to ascertain. Whether they ever became Christians, also is something that I am unable to ascertain, but if they survived, it would seem they probably became part of another group and eventually were converted to Christianity.  (Article: "Veneti." Encyclopædia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite.  Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008.)

Visigoths - Converted to Catholicism in 587 (http://www.thenagain.info/webchron/Christianity/GermanMissions.html).  They were first converted to Arianism before they entered the Roman empire (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germanic_people).  They eventually settled and lived in what is now modern day Spain (409 or 412, depending on the source).  Their culture and language disappeared after the invasion of the Moors from Africa, though one possible group of them was possibly discovered in the Crimea, an identification that remains uncertain even today.  The Moorish invasion of Spain was instigated as a result of the last king of the Visigoths seizing the throne after a civil war and his opponents (the rightful heirs) appealed to the Moors for help.  The Visigoths were defeated by the Moors in a war that began in 711 that effectively ended their kingdom.  Their kingdom lasted for about 300 years until the Moors took it over (http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Visigoths). 

Vispis (or Visp) - A group of people who lived is Southwestern Germany but no more information seems available about them.  (http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=ca&u=http://ca.wikipedia.org/wiki/
).  It would appear that they may not have been barbarians but may have been around for Christianity to have affected them.