476 AD – The end of the Western Roman Empire
Encyclopedia Britannica, Odoacer was “…first barbarian king of Italy. The date on which he assumed power, 476, is traditionally considered the end of the Western Roman Empire.” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2009)
Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia, Odoacer was a “Gothic chieftain who received his military training in the Roman army and became the first Germanic ruler of Italy. When Romulus Augustulus became emperor of the Western Roman Empire in AD 475, Odoacer led an uprising of the German troops in the Roman army and deposed the new emperor in 476. This event is usually said to have marked the end of the Roman Empire in the west…” (Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia, 2009)
Ten horns represent the Ten Kingdoms into which the Roman Empire was divided when it fell apart.
Edward Gibbon (1737 – 1794), the English historian, says the ten kingdoms were: “The Alemanni, the Franks, the Burgundians, the Vandals, the Suevi, the Visigoths, the Saxons, the Ostrogoths, the Lombards and the Heruli”. (see, M. H. Brown, The Sure Word of Prophecy, pp. 54, 55).
George Stanley Faber (1773 – 1854), an Anglican theologian and prolific author, “The history of the little horn …is the Papacy—Yet it cannot be the temporal kingdom of the Papacy; but must be that spiritual kingdom of the Bishop of Rome…grew at length into a catholic spiritual empire, …—It was to arise during the period that the Roman empire was divided into ten kingdoms… but after the saints had been given by the secular power into its hand, it was to become an universal ecclesiastical tyrant…” (Faber, 1806, p. xxviii)
Richard Bennett, a former Roman Catholic Priest, and, the President and founder of Berean Beacon Ministries, “The barbarian invasions of the Western Roman Empire helped immeasurably to build the whole structure of papal Rome. The ten barbarian kingdoms that were a serious threat were the Alamanni, Franks, Visigoths, Burgundians, Suevi, Anglo-Saxons, Lombards, Heruli, Vandals, and the Ostrogoths1.
Albert Barnes, “Even the Romanists themselves admit that the Roman Empire was, by means of the incursions of the northern nations, dismembered into ten kingdoms (Calmet on Revelation 13:1; and he refers likewise to Berangaud, Bossuet, and DuPin. See Newton, p. 209); and Machiavelli (History of Florence) with no design of furnishing an illustration of this prophecy, and probably with no recollection of it, has mentioned these names: 1. The Ostrogoths in Moesia; 2. The Visigoths in Pannonia; 3. The Sueves and Alans in Gascoign and Spain; 4. The Vandals in Africa; 5. The Franks in France; 6. The Burgundians in Burgundy; 7. The Heruli and Turingi in Italy; 8. The Saxons and Angles in Britain; 9. The Huns in Hungary; 10. The Lombards at first upon the Danube, afterwards in Italy. (Albert Barnes, Notes on the Book of Daniel, p. 322)
The Roman Historian Macchiavelli, cites 10 tribes among whom the Roman Empire was divided after the fall of Romulus Augustulus, the last Roman Emperor: the Lombards, the Franks, the Burgundians, the Ostrogoths, the Visigoths, the Vandals, the Heruli, the Suevi, the Huns, and the Saxons: ten in all. (H. Grattan Guinness, The Divine Program of the Worlds History, p. 318)
Thomas Newton, “Antichrist, then (as the Fathers delight to call him), or the little horn, is to be sought among the ten kingdoms of the Western Roman Empire”. (Thomas Newton, Dissertations on the Prophecies, pp. 239, 240)
Paul Randall, Reform Baptist pastor, “The little horn of Daniel 7, verse 8, which was arising among these 10 horns, or kingdoms, developed into a dominating spiritual and political kingdom among the 10 nations of Europe after the fall of the Pagan Roman Empire, and it eventually became the Papal System..2”
Pope Pius IX, Apostolic Letter Cum Catholica Ecclesia, “It is, therefore, by a particular decree of Divine Providence that, at the fall of the Roman Empire and its partition into separate kingdoms, the Roman Pontiff, whom Christ made the head and center of his entire Church, acquired civil power”. (Pope Pius IX, Apostolic Letter Cum Catholica Ecclesia, March 26, 1860).
The Heruli, the Vandals, and the Ostrogoths were the three tribes uprooted
Lars Brownworth, an author and former United States history and political science teacher at The Stony Brook School, and the author of Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantone Empire That Rescued Western Civilization (New York: Random House, 2009), “I would agree that the Vandals, Heruli, and Otrogoths all disappeared (or were ‘uprooted’), although I would argue that the Roman empire didn’t break into 10 kingdoms, just the Western half did. The eastern half continued as one political unit till 1453 (or at least 1204). You could of course also argue that all ten nations have since disappeared…In any case the Heruli, Vandals, and Ostrogoths were the first three tribes to disappear after the fall of the western empire and its division into Germanic kingdoms3.
Robert Browning (1914 – 1997), a Scottish Byzantinist and university professor in his recent book Justinian and Theodora, describes in depth the overthrow of the Heruli with the conquest of Odoacer’s kingdom in Italy in 479 A.D. (Robert Browning, Justinian and Theodora (New York: Thames & Hudson, 1987), pp. 24-25. Browning then writes of what happened in 534, in the struggle between Justinian’s general Belisarius and the Vandals: “After a swift reconnaissance, Belisarius attacked the Vandal camp. Gelimer did not attempt to defend it, but fled westward into Numidia. The rest of his army followed their king’s example, abandoning their families and all their possessions. The Vandal force no longer existed. Indeed, the Vandals as a people vanished from the face of the earth“ (Robert Browning, Justinian and Theodora (New York: Thames & Hudson, 1987), p. 98. Browning later describes the re-taking of Rome from the Ostrogoths in the spring of 538 (p. 111), and states that shortly thereafter, “the Ostrogothic kingdom had ceased to exist” (p. 114).
Katharine Scherman, historian and American author of non-fiction describes the aftermath of this re-conquest, and its implications for both the papacy and the Ostrogoths, “The Church, with the shadow of the ancient authority behind it, was the only symbol left of imperial Rome, and its bishop, the Pope, was the city’s only recourse for leadership and protection. . . .”.The Roman Empire in Europe would be replaced by the spiritual empire, which came to be temporal as well, whose reigning seigneur was the bishop of Rome. “As for the Ostrogoths, with the defeat and dethronement of their leader and the destruction of their army, they passed out of Italian history; in fact, out of history altogether” (Katharine Scherman, The Birth of France: Warriors, Bishops, and Long-haired Kings, (New York: Random House, 1987), pp. 164-165).
Rev. E. B. Elliott, M.A., says: “I might cite three that were eradicated from before the Pope out of the list first given; viz., the Heruli under Odoacer, the Vandals, and the Ostrogoths. (“Horoe Apocalypticoe,” Vol. III, p. 168, Note 1. London: 1862)
Rev. Bertrand L. Conway, “Historically it was the Heruli (493 AD), Vandals (534 AD) and Ostrogoths (538 AD) who severly weakened the old, divided (476 AD) Roman Empire. But the bishop of Rome did not formerly reach his worldly high position until 538 AD when he subdued the Ostrogoths.” (Rev. Bertrand L. Conway, The Question Box Answers)
Lars Brownworth, an author and former United States history and political science teacher at The Stony Brook School, in his book, Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantone Empire That Rescued Western Civilization (New York: Random House, 2009), p. 89 states that Vandals that they, “virtually disappeared from history” after their defeat by Belisarius in North Africa in 534 and came to an abrupt and completely unexpected end.
Bishop Thomas Newton, speaking of the power that destroyed the three horns, says: “And the pope hath in a manner pointed himself out for the person by wearing the triple crown. (Dissertations on the Prophecies,” p. 220. London). (In former days crowns of conquered kings were placed on the head of the conqueror),
Dr. George Dawe, Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology, Union Presbyterian Seminary identifies these uprooted horns as the kingdoms of the Heruli, the Vandals and the Ostrogoths, between the years 493-553. (Outlines of Prophecy, p15)
- W. Previté-Orton: Another historical work described the demise of the Vandals in the words, they “disappeared as a mist” (C. W. Previté-Orton, Shorter Cambridge Medieval History, 4th edition, University Press 1953, Volume 1, p. 189).
Encyclopedia Britannica, vol. 5 – The kingdom of the Heruli in Italy disappeared from history during the sixth century A.D. The most recent edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, describes the aftermath of their defeat by the third-century Roman Emperor, Claudius II: “From then until the mid-6th century, when they vanished from history, their fortunes varied.”(Encyclopedia Britannica, vol. 5 (Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica Inc, 2002), p. 893.)
Thomas Hodgkin, British historian, in his history, Italy and Her Invaders, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1899, Volume 4, page 250, declared that Catholic soldiers “dug the grave of the Gothic monarchy.”
Encyclopedia Americana, vol. 3, the Ostrogoths were the last of the three to be destroyed. “In 535 Belisairus recovered Sicily, and in 536 all Italy south of Rome fell to him. He entered Rome in December 536, withstanding the enemy’s siege until it was raised in March 538.” “Belisarius,”. (Encyclopedia Americana, vol. 3 (Danbury, CT: Grolier Inc, 2006), p. 502.)
George Finlay, the Scottish historian, “There are few instances in history of a nation disappearing so rapidly and so completely as the Vandals of Africa.” (History of Greece, George Finlay, Vol. I, p. 232.)
Nelson’s Encyclopedia, “In 533 the Byzantine general, Belisarius, landed in Africa. The Vandals were several times defeated, and Carthage was entered on Sept. 15, 533; …As a nation, the Vandals soon ceased to exist.”–Nelson’s Encyclopedia, Vol. XII, art. “Vandals.”
John Clark Ridpath (1840-1900), historian, an American educator, and editor, speaking of the final defeat of the Goths in , He says that there was “inflicted on the barbarians a defeat so decisive as to refix the status of Italy. The greater part of the Gothic army perished either by the sword or in attempting to cross the river…As for the Goths, they either retired to their native seats beyond the mountains or were absorbed by the Italians.” (Ridpath’s History of the World, Vol. IV, pp. 408-417)
Gunner (1851), referring to the year A.D. 538, writes, “in that year the Ostrogoths were overthrown by Belesarius, the Greek general under Justinian, for the express purpose of establishing the Papal church, and of carrying into effect the ‘Justinian Code of Laws,’ which invested the Pope with supreme authority, and constituted him head of the Eastern churches, with power to punish and pardon at will, whomsoever he might choose.” (p. 108)
Christian Assemblies International, a Pentecostal evangelical Christian church, “Three horns plucked up before the little horn appeared: we believe those three horns to be successor kingdoms to the fallen Roman Empire, namely the Vandals, Herulii and Ostrogoths3.”
The little horn did uproot three of the ten kingdoms
Niccolo Machiavelli, (Historian) relates how the popes were behind the removal of the Arian tribes. “Nearly all the wars which the northern barbarians carried on in Italy, it may be here remarked, were occasioned by the pontiffs; and the hordes, with which the country was inundated, were generally called in by them. The same mode of proceeding still continued, and kept Italy weak and unsettled. (History of Florence, p. 13. Washington and London: Universal Classics Library, 1901.)
John Clark Ridpath (1840-1900), an American educator, historian, and editor, “The first kingdom established by the barbarians in Italy was that of the Heruli.” Ridpath, the historian gives the date of the overthrow of the Heruli as 493 A .D . They were overthrown by the Goths under Theodoric by what he called a divine commission from Zeno, the emperor of Eastern Rome. The fact that the Heruli and Ostrogoths were both Arian in belief did not restrain the scheming pontiff from using the one to destroy the other when the outcome resulted in his advancement in power. (See History of the World, by Ridpath, Vol. 4, chap. 74, and Gibbon’s Roman Empire, chapters 39 and 40.)
John Henry Cardinal Newman, D. D., says: “Odoacer was sinking before Theodoric, and the Pope was changing one Arian master for another. (An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine, Part II, p. 320. London: 1878).
Edward Gibbon, “They were also Arians, so the Bishop of Rome [the Pope] implored Justinian to uproot the Ostrogoths. Justinian, in turn, implored the Franks to help him in his holy enterprise: When Justinian first meditated the conquest of Italy, he sent ambassadors to the kings of the Franks, and adjured them, by the common ties of alliance and religion, to join in the holy enterprise against the Arians. (Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, volume 4 [chapter 41, paragraph 32] (New York: Harper & Brothers), p. 175.)
Note: Most historians agree that the decimation of the Ostrogoths in Italy marked the beginning of the Middle Ages. Notice the comment by George Finlay: With the conquest of Rome by Belisarius, the history of the ancient city may be considered as terminating; and with his defense against Witiges [A. D. 538], commences the history of the Middle Ages. (George Finlay, Greece Under the Romans, p. 295)
The Little horn of Daniel 7 is papacy
John Gill, Baptist preacher, “The fourth and last beast is the Roman empire, said to have ten horns; now among these rises up a little horn, different from them, and which plucks up three of them;…Now this horn cannot be Antiochus Epiphanes, as Grotius, Junius, and others have thought; for not a single person or king is meant by a horn, but a kingdom or state, and a succession of rulers and governors in it; as by the other ten horns are meant ten kingdoms (ver. 24). And besides, this little horn is a part of the fourth, and not of the third beast, to whom Antiochus belonged; and was to rise, not in the third, but in the fourth monarchy, not in the Grecian, but in the Roman empire; ..and as there is no other that has appeared in the Roman empire but antichrist, or the Pope of Rome, to whom the characters agree as to him”
Isaac Newton, “But it [the Papacy] was a kingdom of a different kind from the other ten kingdoms [referred to in Daniel 7:7, 8]. . . . And such a seer, prophet, and king is the Church of Rome [referring to the little horn of Daniel 7]. (Sir Isaac Newton, Observations on the Prophecies, p. 75)
Ian Paisley, (born in 1926) a politician and former church minister from Northern Ireland, “It is clearly evident then, that the little horn of Daniel chapter seven is not one individual but is a kingdom with its dynasty of kings. This dynasty is not only foretold by Daniel under the symbolism of a little horn, but further expounded on by our Lord Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul and the Apostle John in the New Testament Scriptures. It is the purpose of this book to demonstrate that the preaching of the Great Cloud of Witnesses of all Ages in the Church is true and that the little horn is none other than the Dynasty of Rome’s Popes and that therefore THE POPE IS THE ANTICHRIST.“ (source: http://www.ianpaisley.org/antichrist.asp)
Christiancourier, a journal dedicated to the study of religious doctrine, and associated with the churches of Christ. “In conclusion, we believe that, taking all factors into consideration, there is no entity in history that so fits the description of the little horn of Daniel 7 as that of the papal dynasty of the Roman Catholic Church. (Source: https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/184-the-little-horn-of-daniels-sea-beast)
Richard Bennett, a former Roman Catholic Priest, and, the President and founder of Berean Beacon Ministries, “In Daniel chapter seven, the little horn, symbolizing the papacy, persecuted the saints and spoke against God “the most High” but would come to its end at the termination of 1260 years. That occurred in 1798 with the arrest of Pope Pius VI in the wounding of its head, 1260 years after Justinian’s edict of 538 AD. (Source: http://www.the-highway.com/papalfondness_Bennett.html)
Others: Luther, Melanchthon, Wycliffe, Huss, Jerome, Calvin, Knox, Wesley, Newton, Rylie, Cranmer, Spurgeon, Adam Clarke, Albert Barnes, Alexander Campbell and countless others.
See: Historical sources for the Ten divisions of Rome