History Podcasts

Libyan Figure Statue

Libyan Figure Statue

There are hundreds of Confederate monuments across the US — here's when they were built

After violence at a white supremacist rally led to the death of three people in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12, a growing number of cities and civilians have started tearing down Confederate monuments across the United States.

Several government officials , including California Representative and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, have called to remove markers that celebrate controversial Civil War era figures from public spaces.

The Confederate States of America, which formed in 1861, argued that states should have the right to maintain slavery, while the Union fought to eradicate it. Conflicts between the two groups led to the American Civil War, which lasted from 1861 to 1865.

In the 150 years following the war, hundreds of Confederate monuments were been built in almost every state, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The nonprofit legal advocacy organization published a 2016 report that details the timeline of when states installed Confederate iconography (which it defines as statues, monuments, schools, parks, streets, and highways named after Confederate generals) the districts that celebrate Confederate-related holidays the public buildings that feature Confederate flags and the cities that issue commemorative license plates.

As you can see in the timeline below, the number of Confederate memorial installations peaked around 1910 — 50 years after the end of the Civil War and at the height of Jim Crow, an era defined by segregation and disenfranchisement laws against black Americans. Confederate installations spiked again in the 1950s and 1960s, during the Civil Rights Movement.

Michelangelo, Studies for the Libyan Sibyl (recto) Studies for the Libyan Sibyl and a small Sketch for a Seated Figure (verso)

Michelangelo Buonarroti, Studies for the Libyan Sibyl (recto) Studies for the Libyan Sibyl and a small Sketch for a Seated Figure (verso), ca. 1510–11, chalk, 11 3/8 x 8 7/16″ / 28.9 x 21.4 cm (The Metropolitan Museum of Art). Video from The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

This is the most magnificent drawing by Michelangelo in the United States. A male studio assistant posed for the anatomical study, which was preparatory for the Libyan Sibyl, one of the female seers frescoed on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel (Vatican Palace) in 1508-12. In the fresco, the figure is clothed except for her powerful shoulders and arms, and has an elaborately braided coiffure. Michelangelo used the present sheet to explore the elements that were crucial in the elegant resolution of the figure’s pose, especially the counterpoint twist of shoulders and hips and the manner of weight-bearing on her toe. Recent research shows that this sheet of studies was owned by the Buonarroti family soon after Michelangelo’s death. The “no. 21” inscribed on the verso of the sheet (at lower center) fits precisely into a numerical sequence found on many other drawings by the artist that have this early Buonarroti family provenance.

Libya’s threatened ancient history, and why you need to know about it

Libya has been in the news in recent months as fears increase over the safety of its extraordinary heritage. The country&rsquos treasures &ndash like those of Syria and Iraq &ndash are little known in Europe, but their loss would be a major blow to our shared cultural history. We asked Susan Walker, President of the Society for Libyan Studies, to introduce the most significant sites.

Libya&rsquos modern name echoes the ancient Greek term for north-west Africa. It is the fourth largest country in Africa, bordering Egypt, Sudan, Chad, Niger, Algeria, Tunisia and the Mediterranean Sea.

Lepcis Maga in 2010. Photo: Maggie Gray

This vast land, populated today by only six million people, hosts a complex and distinguished history. Afro-Asiatic Berber tribesmen have lived in Libya since remote prehistory. Three coastal cities &ndash Lepcis, Oea (Tripoli) and Sabratha &ndash were established by Phoenician traders from the Levant, who had developed a major regional centre at nearby Carthage in Tunisia by the 5th century BC. Phoenician (Punic) heritage remains a feature of Libya&rsquos cultural heritage. Sabratha, with impressively restored Punic and Roman buildings, lies to the west of the modern capital Tripoli. Tripoli&rsquos name reflects the Greek term for three cities this name was also given to the Latin-speaking Roman province of Tripolitania.

Libya produced a Roman emperor, Septimius Severus (r. AD 193&ndash211), who achieved power in a dazzlingly orchestrated military coup, only to succumb 18 years later to the damp climate of York. Severus adorned his home city of Lepcis &ndash now called Magna (&lsquothe Great&rsquo) &ndash with a grandiose set of public buildings decorated with Greek marbles. Extensively excavated and restored in the 20th century, Lepcis Magna (also known as Leptis Magna) is the most impressive urban complex to survive from the Roman empire.

View of the Sanctuary of Apollo at Cyrene Photo: Professor Susan Kane, University of Oberlin

Eastern Libya was colonised by the Greeks in the 7th century BC on the advice of the oracle of Apollo at Delphi. The Gebel Akhdar (Green Mountain) and adjacent coast supported five cities, with a capital at Cyrene, named after a lion-slaying nymph. Reflecting its origins, Cyrene is Delphi transposed to Africa, set in rugged terraced hills 600m above the sea. Its inhabitants used an archaic, Doric dialect of Greek, and retained into late antiquity a passion for their remote past. Despite a glittering career at Constantinople and Alexandria, the Cyrenaican Bishop Synesius (AD 373&ndashc.414) wrote with affectionate longing for his homeland, awaiting burial amongst his ancestors in their Doric tombs. Beneath the modern city of Benghazi lie the ancient cities of Euesperides and Berenice. To the south lies Ajdabya, a Roman town endowed by the Fatimid caliphate with an important mosque and palace in the 10th century.

Networks of trade linked ancient coastal Libya to the oases of the Sahara, which supported vibrant communities. At Germa in the Fezzan, the Berber Garamantes built pyramid tombs. Gadhames in western Libya preserves even today the traditional way of life of the Berber tribes who, despite much instability and resettlement, form the core of the modern population.

Faceless statue of Persephone rising from the underworld. This figure once adorned a tomb at Cyrene (c. 350-150 BC) SLS/Cassels archive 2014.0029.

Dr Susan Walker is President of the Society for Libyan Studies, Honorary Curator (formerly Sackler Keeper) of Antiquities at the Ashmolean Museum and Emerita Fellow of Wolfson College, University of Oxford. She is currently co-directing a project Libyan Antiquities at Risk, developing a reference website of funerary sculpture from Libya, much at risk of trafficking on the illegal antiquities market.

The Unknown Origins of the Mysterious Nomoli Figures

Locals in Sierra Leone, Africa were searching for diamonds when they came across a set of extraordinary stone figures depicting several human races, and in some cases, semi-human beings. These figures are extremely old, with some estimates dating them as far back as 17,000 BC. However, some aspects of the figures – namely the high melting temperatures that would have had to have been used to create them, and the presence of steel manipulated into perfectly spherical balls – suggest they were constructed by a civilization that would be considered highly advanced for its time if they were indeed constructed around 17,000 BC. Overall, the finding sets forth intriguing questions as to how and when the Nomoli statues were created, and what purpose they may have served to those who created them.

Nomoli Figures (Wikimedia Commons)

The statutes form part of multiple ancient legends in Sierra Leone. The ancient inhabitants believed that angels had once lived in the Heavens. One day, as a punishment for causing bad behavior, God turned the angels into humans and sent them to Earth. The Nomoli figures serve as representations of those figures, and as a reminder of how they were banished from the Heavens and sent to Earth to live as humans. Another legend dictates that the statues represent the former kings and chiefs of the Sierra Leone region, and that the local Temne people would perform ceremonies during which they would treat the figures as if they were the ancient leaders. The Temne were eventually displaced from the area when it was invaded by the Mende, and the traditions involving the Nomoli figures lost. While various legends may provide some insight into the origins and purposes of the figures, no single legend has been definitively identified as the source of the statues. Today, some natives in Sierra Leone view the statues as figures of good luck, intended as guardians. They place the statues in gardens and fields in hopes of having a bountiful harvest. In some cases, in times of bad harvest, the Nomoli statues are whipped ritualistically as punishment.

There is much variation in the physical properties and appearance of the many Nomoli statues. They are carved from different materials, including soapstone, ivory, and granite. Some of the pieces are small, with the larger ones reaching heights of 11 inches. They vary in color, from white to yellow, brown, or green. The figures are predominantly human, with their features reflecting multiple human races. However, some of the figures are of a semi-human form – hybrids of both human and animal.

Human and animal looking Nomoli statues, British Museum ( Wikimedia Commons )

In some cases, the statues depict a human body with a lizard head, and vice versa. Other animals represented include elephants, leopards, and monkeys. The figures are often disproportioned, with the heads being large compared to the body size. One statue depicts a human figure riding on the back of the elephant, with the human appearing to be much larger in size than the elephant. Is this a representation of ancient African legends of giants, or is it merely a symbolic depiction of a man riding an elephant with no importance having been placed on the relative size of the two? One of the more common depictions of the Nomoli statues is the image of a large frightening-looking adult figure accompanied by a child.

Left: Nomoli figure with lizard head and human body. Right: Human figure riding an elephant, in disproportionate size. ( Image source )

The physical construction of the Nomoli statues is a bit mysterious, as the methods required to create such figures don’t match up with the era in which the figures originated. When one of the statues was cut open, a small, perfectly spherical metal ball was found within, which would have required sophisticated shaping technology as well as the ability to create extremely high melting temperatures. Some say that the Nomoli statues prove that there once was an ancient civilization that was far more advanced and sophisticated than it should have been.

Researchers have concluded that the metal spheres were made of both chromium and steel. This is an odd discovery, as the earliest known production of steel occurred around 2000 BC. If the dating of the statues back to 17,000 BC is accurate, how is it possible that the creators of the Nomoli statues were using and manipulating steel up to 15,000 years prior?

Left: Statue with opening containing metal ball. Right: X-ray of statue before it was opened up, showing metal ball inside ( Image Source )

The Nomoli figures seem to elicit far more questions than answers about the ancient civilizations that created them. Researchers and scholars have not been able to conclusively establish exactly why or how the figures were created, or what their purpose was. Having been dated as far back as 17,000 BC, they represent an extremely ancient civilization, and other clues as to their existence, lifestyle, and practices have been difficult to come by. Nevertheless, not everyone agrees on the dating and other estimates have put the figures at 500 BC.

While the figures are varied in shape and type, they have a uniform appearance that indicates a common purpose. That purpose remains unknown, however. Curator Frederick Lamp, has asserted that the figures were a part of Temne culture and tradition, but that upon invasion by the Mende, the tradition was lost as the villages were displaced to other locations. With so many questions and uncertainties, it is unknown if we will ever have definitive answers as to the dating, origins, and purpose of the Nomoli figures. For now, they remain a magnificent representation of the ancient civilizations that preceded those that now live in Sierra Leone.

Featured image: A close-up of a Nomoli figure taken in the British Museum. Credit: John Atherton / flickr

New Old Libya

For decades Libyans lived under a dictator who twisted their past. Now they must imagine their future.

The bronze likeness of Muammar Qaddafi’s nemesis was lying on his back in a wooden crate shrouded in the darkness of a museum warehouse. His name was Septimius Severus. Like Qaddafi, he was from what is now Libya, and for 18 years bridging the second and third centuries A.D. he ruled the Roman Empire. His birthplace, Leptis Magna—a commercial city 80 miles east of what the Phoenicians once called Oea, or present-day Tripoli—became, in every meaningful way, a second Rome. More than 1,700 years after the emperor’s death, Libya’s Italian colonizers honored him by erecting a statue of the imposing, bearded leader with a torch aloft in his right hand. They installed the statue in Tripoli’s main square (now Martyrs’ Square) in 1933—where it remained for a half century, until another Libyan ruler took umbrage.

“The statue became the mouthpiece of the opposition, because he was the only thing Qaddafi couldn’t punish,” says Hafed Walda, a native Libyan and professor of archaeology at King’s College London. “Every day people would ask, ‘What did Septimius Severus say today?’ He became a figure of annoyance to the regime. So Qaddafi banished him to a rubbish heap. The people of Leptis Magna rescued him and brought him back home.” And that is where I found him, reposing in a wooden box amid gardening tools and discarded window frames, awaiting whatever destination the new Libya might have in store for him.

Qaddafi correctly viewed the statue as a threat. For Septimius Severus stood as a wistful reminder of what Libya had once been: a Mediterranean region of immense cultural and economic wealth, anything but isolated from the world beyond the sea. Spreading over 1,100 miles of coastline, bracketed by highlands that recede into semiarid wadis and finally into the copper vacuum of the desert, Libya had long been a corridor for commerce and art and irrepressible social aspiration. The tri-city region of Tripolitania—Leptis Magna, Sabratah, and Oea—had once provided wheat and olives to the Romans.

Yet Qaddafi squandered the country’s advantages: its location just south of Italy and Greece, which made it one of Africa’s gateways to Europe its manageable population (fewer than seven million inhabiting a landmass six times the size of Italy) its vast oil reserves. He quashed innovation and free expression. To schoolchildren, who memorized Qaddafi’s tangled philosophy as inscribed in his Green Book, the story of their country consisted of two chapters: the dark days under the West’s imperialist bootheel, and then the glory days of the Brother Leader.

Today the dictator and his warped vision for Libya are dead, and the nation is undergoing the spasmlike throes of reinvention. As Walda says, “The journey of discovery has just begun. In many ways this moment is more dangerous than wartime.” Temporary prisons are overstuffed with thousands of Qaddafi loyalists awaiting their fate as laws and court procedures are reformed. Militias control whole swaths of the country. Guns are less visible than they were during the war, but that only means the hundreds of thousands who possess them have learned to keep them out of sight. Highways in rural areas remain thoroughly unpoliced (not counting the checkpoints manned by former rebels, or thuwwar). Immigrants pour into Libya from its western and southern borders. Key Qaddafi associates, as well as his wife and some of his children, remain at large. Several new ministers are already on the take.

Last September’s terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi left the unmistakable impression of a country teetering on a knife-edge. Yet despite its struggles, Libya is hardly on the brink of anarchy. The democratically elected General National Congress is commissioning a new constitution. Tripoli is for the most part calm. In its nerve center of Martyrs’ Square—a jungle land of gunfire during the revolution—a couple of motorcyclists zigzag loudly around newly installed children’s rides. The city center is alive with purpose. On the south end of the square, vendors sell many of the new publications that have sprung up since the uprising began. To the east, dozens of Libyans congregate on the patio of a jazzy café beneath an Ottoman-era clock tower, chattering over lattes and croissants. Banners and graffiti depicting the red-black-and-green Libyan flag, banned by Qaddafi for 42 years because of its association with the deposed King Idris, now adorn every building in sight. Billboards and posters bear the images of Libya’s many fallen rebels, with inscriptions like: “We died for a free Libya—please keep it free!” “Collect all the weapons!” On the street passersby exclaim in English, “Welcome to new Libya!”

Beneath the roiling uncertainties is a nation possessed by an almost adolescent eagerness to rejoin the free world. Salaheddin Sury, a professor at the Centre for National Archives and Historical Studies in his 80s, told me, “When we got our independence in 1951, it was something we got almost for free. This time the young people paid for it in blood. I didn’t bother with the national anthem back then. Now for the first time,” he declared with a proud grin, “I’ve memorized it by heart.”

Yet on the desert slog to rediscovery, flag-waving offers only the mirage of a shortcut. As Sury acknowledged, Libya’s rebuilding “starts at zero.” The terrorist attack last September casts a dark shadow over Libya’s attempts to increase stability and rebuild its government. Whether the 30,000 Libyans who protested against militias ten days later constitute a better predictor of Libya’s future, it is too early to say. In ways both obvious and insidious, Libya remains half-blinded by its former dictator’s heavy hand. Now, like the statue in the wooden box, it awaits its future in an unforgiving light.

When the revolution came to the commercial hub of Misratah in February of 2011, Omar Albera went to his family and declared, “I’m going to take off my uniform and fight Qaddafi.”

“You are one of Qaddafi’s policemen,” his wife exclaimed. “The others will be suspicious of you. And what if the revolution fails? What then?”

His younger son also voiced fears. Only the police colonel’s eldest son praised his decision—subsequently fighting by his father’s side and dying in battle at the age of 23. The young rebels the police colonel helped command were newcomers to warfare. Having no weapons at their disposal early on, they threw stones and Molotov cocktails. Once the rebels had begun to amass the firearms of dead soldiers, the police colonel taught some how to shoot. A few were criminals he’d once locked up. They were tougher than the others he was glad to have them in his ranks, and they in turn came to view him as a fellow rebel.

After Misratah at last beat back a ferocious three-month siege by Qaddafi’s troops—a small-scale Battle of Leningrad that would prove decisive in the revolution, though at a terrible cost to Libya’s third largest city—Albera again put on the police uniform he had worn through 34 years of the Qaddafi regime. He is now Misratah’s chief of police. His goal is to introduce the people of his city to a different concept of police work—namely, that a man who wears his uniform is not a thief or a thug but a protector, that boys should one day aspire to wear such a uniform, to regard it as an emblem of dignity rather than of criminality. The new chief is no sunny idealist. He is 58, with the pensive equanimity of a much older man. He suffers no illusion that credibility can be won overnight when historically as many as three-quarters of Libya’s policemen have been corrupt.

Further compounding the chief’s challenge is that he is not, in the final analysis, the head law enforcement authority in Misratah. “The thuwwar are the real power in the city,” he admits. The police department’s equipment was destroyed during the war the young men he helped train to fight in the revolution are now the ones with the weapons. “Even though they were brave, they were not trained to be leaders,” he says. “Many are honest. Some are impressionable. This makes for a very delicate situation.”

The delicate situation has vast implications. The Davids who felled Goliath with slingshots now run the kingdom and are not about to give it back to some new giant. Nor do they intend to hand over all of the giant’s weaponry. Nor, for that matter, are they eager to forgive and forget. Qaddafi’s supporters remain in their midst. Some are neighbors. In Misratah’s case that neighbor is Tawurgha, a working-class town 25 miles away, from which government forces launched a ferocious assault on Misratah.

Central to Qaddafi’s vision for Libya was a bellicose populism designed to undermine the urban centers that threatened his power base. Toward that end, he lavished the Tawurghans—almost exclusively dark-skinned Africans of sub-Saharan descent—with jobs and housing in return for their unswerving loyalty. This divide-and-conquer strategy pitted towns and ethnic and tribal groups against each other all over Libya. The revolution turned those divisions into battle lines. Overnight, towns like Riqdalin and Al Jumayl became bases for loyalist attacks on their bigger neighbor Zuwarah. The city of Az Zintan was suddenly besieged by the neighboring tribal Mashashiya town of Al Awaniya. A Qaddafi-backed Tuareg militia suppressed a rebel uprising in Ghadames. And Tawurgha volunteers joined Qaddafi’s soldiers, marched on Misratah, killed their neighbors, and in some cases raped their neighbors’ women.

The reports of assaults on women have left the Misratans blind with rage. Wild exaggerations (was it 50 rapes? 400? 1,080? 8,600?) are countered in turn by Tawurgha sympathizers (no rapes at all occurred, hostility toward Tawurghans is racially motivated). One fact is inarguable: Tawurgha is now a ghost town. The Misratans evacuated the town by force and razed most of its buildings. Nearly all 30,000 Tawurghans now live in displacement camps, mainly in Benghazi and Tripoli. When I visited the bullet-riddled carcass that was once Tawurgha, its streets were empty except for artillery shells, a few ragged garments, and a half-starved cat. The roads to the town were heavily guarded by Misratan militia. No one may return to Tawurgha.

The Misratans stubbornly refuse to make peace. As one prominent local merchant, Mabrouk Misurati, told me in a loud and trembling voice, “You cannot accept those who have raped and killed our sisters living among us again! This is not easy! Reconciliation is what we are asking the new government to do—to take those who committed those crimes to justice. Then we’ll talk about letting them come back.”

This appetite for vengeance worries Misratah’s new police chief. “We can’t put all of the people of Tawurgha on the same playing field,” Albera says. “We can’t do mass punishments the way Qaddafi did. We must act according to the law. This is what we’re trying to achieve in a new Libya.”

For now, achievements come in increments. The chief has succeeded in forming a security council of the more levelheaded militia members and persuading them to inventory their weapons. “We need to get everything back under control,” he says. Too many shootings are taking place—some by accident, like two horsemen killed by celebratory gunfire at a wedding, and some the result of macho vendettas. Too many cars on the streets lack license plates. Too many criminals freed in the chaos of the revolution remain on the streets. Then again, the chief says, they fought valiantly beside him. So what should he do with them?

And too many young people are taking drugs. This, at least, he can understand. “Keeping in mind what they’ve recently been through, many of them need psychological treatment,” the chief says. “Maybe we all do, to be honest. My 17-year-old son—he watched his older brother fall to the ground right next to him.”

But how does a nation go about cleansing its soul? Today in Misratah schoolchildren who once were made to recite The Green Book are expected to completely forget its author, the man who killed their fathers and sisters. “All of the Qaddafi period has been erased from the textbooks,” a local teacher told me. “We do not mention his name. He has been buried.”

The ghosts of Libya’s greatness past remain plainly visible by the grace of a dry climate, a paucity of urban sprawl, tribal beliefs against tampering with the ruins of the dead, and an abundance of sand as an optimal preservative. On the western coast stands Leptis Magna, among the world’s most spectacular Roman archaeological sites, its triumphal arch and sprawling forum and colonnaded streets evoking a pinnacle of urban dynamism. Its splendor becomes even more evident when imagining the marble later stripped by the French for use at Versailles and when viewing the monumental imperial sculptures—of Claudius, Germanicus, Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius—that once graced the city and now reside in Tripoli’s museum.

Farther west lies the former seaside mercantile center of Sabratah, dominated by a majestic sandstone theater erected at the close of the second century A.D. Directly behind the Corinthian pillars looming over the theater’s elevated stage shimmers the curtain of the sea. Seeing Sabratah as an exquisite representation of Roman might, Mussolini ordered that the theater, which had lain in ruins since the earthquake of A.D. 365, be restored. Il Duce attended its reopening in 1937, when Oedipus Rex was performed and, it is said, the locals were ordered by Italian soldiers to applaud with such vigor that their hands bled.

To the east resides Libya’s most enduring archaeological rival to the Roman sites: the ancient Greek stronghold of Cyrene, a crucial breadbasket where the ruins of an amphitheater and a brawny 2,500-year-old Temple of Zeus suggest an era of fecundity and wealth. Following centuries of foreign rule, Bedouin tribes invaded Libya in the seventh century. With them came Islam, a spiritual culture that persisted through each and every subsequent external force: the Ottomans, the Italian occupiers, the British and American military, the foreign oil companies, and a monarchy supported by the West. After the military overthrow of King Idris in 1969, Qaddafi immediately set to work rewriting Libya’s history. He spurned North Africa’s indigenous Berber, or Amazigh, people and held up Arabs as the true Libyans. In doing so he thrust himself, the son of an Arab Bedouin nomad, into the center of Libyan identity.

The ancient Greek and Roman sites of Libya meant nothing to him. He equated the ruins with the Italian occupiers. Although the archaeology at Leptis Magna and Sabratah and Cyrene went largely untended, Tripoli’s museum featured whole exhibits devoted to the Brother Leader, including his Jeep and Volkswagen Beetle.

Famous for sleeping in a tent even on state visits to Paris and other European capitals, Qaddafi espoused an outmoded version of the Bedouin ethic, says Mohammed Jerary, the director of Libya’s national archives. “Being a Bedouin, his goal was to emphasize Bedouin values over settled values, the tent conquering the palace. He wanted us to forget about organized cities and highly sophisticated things—even culture and the economy. But the Bedouin themselves didn’t remain primitive. They learned that it wasn’t proper to invade someplace every time their camels ran out of food. They learned to believe in systems and government. Qaddafi insisted on accentuating only the bad values of Bedouin life.”

His rule was one of orchestrated chaos. “There was no routine—things could change in a minute, destabilizing everything,” Walda told me. “Suddenly you cannot own a second house. You cannot travel overseas. You cannot play for a sports team. You cannot study a foreign language.” Many of the country’s most prominent thinkers were carted off to the dreaded Abu Salim prison, where some 1,200 were massacred by their jailers in 1996. Muslim clerics found themselves imprisoned for the offense of seeming more loyal to Islam than to their leader. Qaddafi loyalists belonging to the revolutionary committees kept watch in classrooms and workplaces. Government payrolls swelled with hundreds of thousands of workers who were paid subsistence wages to do nothing. Flunkies reaped lavish lifestyles, while the regime’s mildest critics were, as some Libyans would lyrically put it, “taken behind the sun.”

Even Libya’s geography was not spared. “He pushed back the sea from Tripoli, filling the floor with sand and planting palm trees there—to show that Libya had turned her face away from the Mediterranean,” says Mustafa Turjman, an archaeological specialist at the Department of Antiquities since 1979. “He was the god of ugliness!”

In a single practical gesture to the outside world, Qaddafi in 2004 completed a new lifeline: an undersea pipeline to deliver natural gas to Sicily. All other connections the god of ugliness severed.

Shortly after the first gunshot-wound cases were carted into the emergency room of Benghazi’s Al Jala Hospital on the afternoon of February 17, 2011, the surgeon began shouting out directions. Then she stopped herself. Her ex-husband had always told her, “Maryam, the woman shouldn’t be the decision-maker. Let the man speak his opinion first.” Was he right?

But civilians were being gunned down in the streets of Benghazi by the government’s soldiers. Qaddafi’s men had ordered the hospital director not to treat the rebels. When the director defied their edict, government thugs began roaming the hospital, taking down the names of doctors who were continuing their work. But 31-year-old Maryam Eshtiwy did not take off her white coat and go home—not until the third day, and then only to breast-feed her six-month-old daughter, who was staying with her grandparents. After that the surgeon returned to the hundreds of wounded young men stretched across every available inch of the hospital.

In a single day the social order dictating that Libyan women should defer to men had undergone a jolting tectonic shift. Or had it? Libya has long been a moderate Islamic nation. Qaddafi had encouraged women’s participation in education and the workplace. It remains to be seen, however, whether a country seeking to reconnect with its European neighbors across the Mediterranean will further embrace women’s rights—or lose out on the talents of half its population.

It may well be that years of battling ingrained Arab traditions helped steel Eshtiwy for those gory first days of the Libyan revolution. “Let’s be honest. I’m working in a man’s medium,” she says. Her parents wished for her the stress-free life of a pharmacist or ophthalmologist. The head of surgery—a man, of course—was hard on her. She could not help but notice that during the rounds the males were never criticized, but whenever she presented a case to him, he argued every single point, as if pushing her to leave. Eshtiwy made it clear that she had no intention of doing so.

She had made it equally clear to her ex-husband, a chemist, before their wedding: “I’m a surgeon, and I’m working in the hospital, and I’m driving my own car.” He professed to be fine with that. Theirs was a semi-arranged marriage: an introduction by his sister, followed by two months of courtship, engagement, and then a traditional three-day wedding attended by 700, culminating in vows in front of an all-female audience while every man except the groom killed time somewhere outside the wedding hall.

Overnight his attitude toward her profession seemed to change. “Forgive me for saying this, but men don’t like their wives to be better than them,” Eshtiwy says. He telephoned her one morning to say he was divorcing her. Under Libya’s Islamic law, the woman has no recourse—not even a woman three months pregnant, as she was at the time. When war broke out nearly a year later, some of her family and friends urged her, “Go back to him—maybe he’s learned his lesson. If you are killed in the hospital, your daughter will have no mother.”

The injured rebels, for their part, did not recoil at the surgeon’s gender. Some seemed to prefer her bedside manner, her emotional accessibility. And today at Al Jala Hospital many husbands express relief that she, rather than a man, will be examining their wives. Eshtiwy feels relatively secure in her place. She points to other Benghazi women—professors, lawyers, judges, engineers, politicians—and says, “The Libyan women are very strong, very clever. We’re managing by ourselves without any external help.”

If only she could say the same about the country as a whole. “I’m worried about everything,” she confesses. She prefers to see Libya as one fully unified country, but others in her city, mindful of the east’s disproportionately minor political influence under Qaddafi despite providing most of the nation’s oil revenues, have demanded that the new Libya yield far more autonomy to the regions south and east of Tripoli. The airwaves and streets are alight with edgy rhetoric—“a war now, a war of words,” Eshtiwy says, and she does not know whom or what to believe. Her dismay over the death of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens in her city was matched only by her outrage at accusations that the Ansar al-Sharia brigade guarding her hospital was responsible. “They are peaceful and respectful people,” she maintains. “They are just rumors from outsiders who are trying to destroy the relationship that we’ve just restored with the U.S.”

Eshtiwy remains a devout Muslim who embraces arranged marriages and who has never traveled outside Benghazi. Yet her straitjacketed but steady world has been thrown into tumult. “The picture,” she says, “is distorted to me.”

She believes there is cause for hope. The experience in the hospital during the revolution—everyone working as a team, round the clock, treating rebels and Qaddafi loyalists alike without discrimination, while fellow citizens brought the staff food and blankets—has told her something about Libyans. “During the time of Qaddafi we thought that we were bad people, that no one could love us,” she says. “We see now the beauty of our country.”

But Eshtiwy also senses a gnawing post-traumatic stress pervading the city. It grips her as well. There are videos of her hospital heroics. She cannot watch them. “No way.” She can’t even watch the news. “It’s depressing, you see,” she says. “Sometimes I feel like, why did all these people die? Did we have to be paid with their precious blood for all this chaos?”

The worst is this: There is still more blood. Too much of it. Before the revolution Al Jala Hospital saw maybe three or four gunshot-wound cases every year. With firearms widespread throughout the new Libya, she treats three or four such cases every day.

“Now we are so expert at dealing with these,” the surgeon says, sighing.

When I consider the future of Libya, a flailing man-child of a nation, my mind returns to a 61-year-old man I met in one of Benghazi’s old souks. His name was Mustafa Gargoum, and he made a small living by selling vintage photographs of the city. Since 1996 he had occupied a street corner just a few hundred yards from the Mediterranean coast, where he used to fish as a child. The photo collector’s makeshift exhibit was the first of its kind in Benghazi and possibly in all of Libya. Small crowds would gather to ponder the images from a banished yesteryear: mules clattering down alleys bearing jugs of olive oil the luminous Ottoman-era Hadada Square, currently overtaken by jewelry vendors the Italianate parliament building, destroyed at Qaddafi’s orders and now a parking lot. Old men crouched in front of Gargoum’s photographs and stared for a very long time. Their eyes said what their mouths could not. Some of the photos included forbidden visuals, such as the old Libyan flag, which is the new Libyan flag.

Gargoum’s streetside gallery also included posters on which he would write deliberately provocative passages such as: “Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.” “Free minds of America and Europe, you have always disappointed us.” “The Libyan people are more important.” Unsurprisingly, these dissident musings earned Gargoum ongoing harassment. Every September, coinciding with the anniversary of the Brother Leader’s ascension to power, Ministry of Interior officials would escort Gargoum to a police station and make him stay overnight. “We know what you’re trying to do,” they would tell him, though they always let him go. He continued to display his images and his messages. But the photographs he had collected of Qaddafi’s sworn enemies he kept hidden in his home office, where he wrote on the walls sentiments that he did not dare display on the streets of Benghazi—bitter laments like, “The ceiling of the regime is too low for me to stand!”

When the first peaceful protests began in mid-February, Gargoum closed his gallery and joined the demonstrations, but soon retreated to his house. Eight months later, on the day that Qaddafi was killed, he returned to the souk with his photographs—not just the usual images, but also those of artists and intellectuals and soldiers who had once defied the dictator and been executed as a result. Included in this more expansive exhibit was a painting he had made in 1996, the first year that he had offered up his photographs and sly slogans to the jittery public of Benghazi. The painting consisted of a single monumental figure engulfed by darkness—his back turned, his hand holding a torch aloft. Though Gargoum had intended it to be a self-portrait, he had unconsciously reproduced the exiled statue of Septimius Severus.

On this new day of freedom Gargoum placed the painting on an easel and took out his paintbrush. With careful strokes he added a crowd of wispy figures to the background. He then nodded with satisfaction at the finished product, a portrait of an unfinished nation, its people standing together the evening after the revolution—momentarily blinded by torchlight, waiting for a new vision to pierce the darkness.

Historians emphasize when Civil War monuments were actually built, and what their purpose was.

Many historians focus on the fact that many Civil War monuments in the US were built a generation after the war had ended, in the early 1900s, as Jim Crow segregation began to take hold in the South. Their construction continued through the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

"When people refer to these monuments as Civil War monuments, I think we need to be very clear about when these monuments were erected. They were erected a generation later when many of the civil rights laws and civil rights progress that was made in the post-Civil War era was beginning to be reversed," Judith Giesberg, a history professor at Villanova University, said.

"It parallels also the movement to legally disenfranchise black men, turn back the clock on the 15th Amendment, an increase in racial violence, the rise of Jim Crow and legal segregation," Karen Cox said. "It's also a celebration of the return of white control and white supremacy."

Libyan Figure Statue - History

The Dream Of A Great Statue
"You, O king, were looking and then, there was a single great statue that statue, which was large and of extraordinary splendor, was standing in front of you, and its appearance was awesome.
Statue. "The head of that statue was made of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay.
Stone. "You continued looking until a stone was cut out without hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and crushed them. "Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed all at the same time and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. (Daniel 2: 31-35)

  • The Pagan View Of Time . The dream was given to Nebuchadnezzar and God used symbols that were familiar to him. The Pagan view of time was a cyclic event that was characterized by a succession of metals from gold to iron. As the ages passed, morality, wisdom and life span decreased until God comes in the dark ages to remove the iron kingdom and starts a new golden age.
    Nebuchadnezzar must have been happy to learn that he was the king of the golden age.
  • The Stone . However, God had one change in this view of time. The golden age does not start again in an endless cycle of good and evil. A whole new era is started with an indestructible mountain of rock as the foundation.
  • The Curse On The Earth . The fate of the image shows the ravages of the curse on the earth.
    The heaven which is over your head shall be bronze, and the earth which is under you, iron. The LORD will make the rain of your land powder and dust from heaven it shall come down on you until you are destroyed. (Deuteronomy 28: 23-24)
    • Devalued (Gold to Iron). The curse diminishes us in value, but magnifies our brutality.
      » Metals . As time progressed from head to toe, the metals became less valuable but stronger. Each successive kingdom would become more brutal and would be an even greater enemy of God.
    • Divided (Legs). The curse divides us.
    • Shattered (Feet). The curse shatters us and brings us down to the dust.
    • Death (Clay). The curse returns us to the earth as dust and clay.
    • Conquered (Stone). The curse allows us to be conquered. The Rock is the final conqueror.
    • Upper Attachment (Conquering Phase). The total powers that would conquer the previous kingdom.
    • Body Part. The bones along the spinal column indicate the succession of leaders in the empire.
    • Lower Attachment (Defeat). The total broken pieces that exist when it is conquered.

    The Bible Interpretation
    Head Of Gold - Babylon (609-539 BC)
    "This was the dream now we will tell its interpretation before the king. "You, O king, are the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, the strength and the glory and wherever the sons of men dwell, or the beasts of the field, or the birds of the sky, He has given them into your hand and has caused you to rule over them all. You are the head of gold. (Daniel 2: 36-38)
    Babylon, under the leadership of king Nebuchadnezzar captured Israel and first took the upper class into slavery. It was during this first phase that the prophet Daniel was captured. Twelve years later, the rest of Israel were taken to Babylon after they rebelled against foreign occupation. Their king was removed and their sanctuary destroyed.
    One Head and One Neck . The head represents the single strong nation who would rule and it would not be broken up when it was defeated.
    » Neck (Seven Cervical Vertebra). Seven kings from the eleventh dynasty placed it or kept it in power before it fell to Persia (609-539). (Nebopolassar, Nebuchadnezzar, Evil-Merodach, Neriglissar, Labashi Marduk, Nabonidus and Belshazzar)

    Chest And Arms Of Silver - Medo-Persia (539-331 BC)
    "After you there will arise another kingdom inferior to you, then another third kingdom of bronze, which will rule over all the earth. (Daniel 2: 39)
    The Medes and Persians next conquered Babylon and Cyrus allowed the Jews to go home. He made arrangements to have the temple rebuilt. But the nation was still ruled by foreigners.
    Two Arms and One Chest . The two arms are the two empires of the Medes and Persians who succeeded the neck of Babylon. Cyrus II, the Great and Darius the Mede are the two arms at the beginning. They progress to the chest which represents the fact that the Persian empire took sole control because they were more powerful than the Medes.
    » Heart. The heart in the chest is Cyrus whom God called by name to show great kindness to Israel.
    » Twelve Ribs and Thoracic Vertebra. These are the twelve Persian rulers after Persia took full control and before it fell to Greece (Cambyses II to Darius III).

    » The Fall of The Greek Gods . In Daniel 8 the Greek empire was pictured as one with Satanic activity. So it must have been more responsible for corrupting Israel. It was also seen as being influential in the Roman empire. Since God portrayed the nations as a statue of idolatry in this vision, let us look at how God destroyed these famous monuments to the Greek gods in the same way He destroyed the statue of Dagon (1 Samuel 5: 1-7). This symbolic fall of the Pagan gods seemed to pave the way for the domination of the Christian Gods of the iron kingdom.
    » Temple of Artemis at Ephesus. Burnt down in 356 BC by a mad man, the night Alexander the Great was born. It was restored in 323 BC, the year Alexander died and was destroyed by the Goths in 262 AD.
    » Colossus of Rhodes. A 33m (110 ft) statue to the sun god Helios was destroyed in 226 BC by an earthquake. It was broken at the knees and the head and body fell into the sea.
    » Statue of Zeus at Olympia. Temple built in 450 BC and the statue in 440 BC. It was destroyed by a fire in AD 462 around the time Rome fell to the Barbarians.

    Legs Of Iron - Rome (168 BC - 476 AD)
    "Then there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron just as iron crushes and shatters all things, so, like iron that breaks in pieces, it will crush and break all these in pieces. (Daniel 2: 40)
    Note: The first three kingdoms existed in Daniel's day, but Rome did not. So Daniel did not identify it directly by name. Rome was known as the "Iron Monarchy". The Latin word "Rome" means strength, and iron is the strongest of the metals.
    Two Legs . Prophetically, Rome was always a nation of two divisions. When Jerusalem was captured, Rome was ruled by the dominant two triumvirate. The two legs of iron represent the northern and southern divisions of Rome as it conquered each Greek division. Politically, Israel was ruled by the Caesars and the Herodians appointed by Rome. Geographically, it later became the Western and Eastern (Byzantine) empire as it declined. The western leg ruled the Christians and the eastern leg ruled the Jews. Religiously, it had two phases, these are Pagan Rome and Papal Rome. Even in its legend, Rome was founded by twin brothers, Romulus and Remus in 753 BC.
    There is also a fuzzy transition from the two divisions of Greece to the one nation of Rome because this empire would be seen prophetically as partly Greek. Rome adopted the Greek culture and gods.
    » Loins. Seed of life. The Christ came to be circumcised at the beginning of the Roman rule over Israel.
    » Thigh. A hand under the right thigh is used to make a vow. God kept His vows by sending Christ, His right hand.
    » Knees. The empire submits to Christianity in 312 AD and transitions from a Pagan to a Papal kingdom.
    » Legs. The Papacy ruled the western empire after 538 AD. Islam ruled the eastern empire after 610 AD.
    » Bones. The absence of spinal bones indicates a period of a new type of leadership, never seen before.

    • The Religious Leg of Rome . It eventually succeeded in western Rome.
      • Upper Leg (Femur). The Catholic church was the only church.
      • Knee. In 1054, a schism broke out over the issue of authority. The bishop of Rome wanted the primacy.
      • Lower Leg (Tibia and Fibula). It divided the church into the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic faiths.
      • Heel. The vulnerability in the west was the intolerable system of righteousness by works.
      • Foot. The Roman Catholic church splintered after the Protestant Reformation.
        » Five Toes. Only a few politically dominant churches exist among the hundreds of denominations (Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Lutheran and Baptist/Evangelical).
        » Five Toes. Britain, France, Spain, Italy and Germany are the five strongest nations.
      • Upper Leg (Femur). There was one weakened empire.
      • Knee. The Barbarian attacks brought the empire to its knees.
      • Lower Leg (Tibia and Fibula). It broke up into the eastern (Byzantine) and western divisions. The western empire was largely controlled by the church. The eastern empire was the original Roman empire with Christianity as its official religion.
      • Heel. Islam was the vulnerability in the east. It attacked the heel. The empire was ready to reject paganism. So they rejected the idolatry and merged heroes of Judaism and Christianity with the Zoroastrian beliefs to create a new religion. After 600 AD, the religious forces of Islam controlled the eastern empire.
        » Islam. It is interesting to note that after the battle of Karbala in 680, Islam also split into the Sunni and Shi'a on the basis of authority and succession. They will also be shattered at the end when they stumble over the Rock named Christ or He crushes them.
      • Foot. The empires splintered into separate nations.
        » Five Toes. Turkey, Egypt, Babylon, Syria and Greece were the five strongest nations until 1948.

      Feet Of Iron And Clay - Europe (476 to the end)
      "In that you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter's clay and partly of iron, it will be a divided kingdom but it will have in it the toughness of iron, just as you saw the iron mixed with common clay. "As the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of pottery, so some of the kingdom will be strong and part of it will be brittle. (Daniel 2: 41-42)
      » Ten Toes. The ten toes are the ten European nations that formed the ten divisions of the Western Roman Empire (476AD to the end of time). The Middle East is the divided nations of the rest of the foot. The Roman empire was divided in the eastern (Byzantine) empire and the western empire. The divided kingdom includes all the nations of Eastern and Western Roman empire. The western empire was plagued by the Barbarians and a Roman army had to help to secure the throne of the Pope by removing three of the most violent tribes. The emperor moved to a new capital in Constantinople and left the western empire and the old capital city of Rome to the church. So in the beginning, at a critical phase of its fall there were ten divisions.
      The Final Ten . In the end, the divided kingdom will again have ten distinct sections which are divided internally.
      » Iron. The brutal fractured pieces of iron are the remnants of the monarchies.
      » Common Clay. These are the Barbarian hordes that overran Rome.

      Strong And Weak Kingdoms
      Many nations of Europe eventually built their own empires. Like the Romans, they built it through slavery. Here is a map of the colonial empires.
      » Strong. Britain, Spain, France and Portugal were some of the strongest political and economic empires in the West during the Colonial era. While the Ottoman Turks ruled the east. Germany became a strong military nation under Adolph Hitler.
      » Strong and Small. Italy became a strong religious power because of the presence of the Vatican. Switzerland remained a small nation, but is now a financial giant. Many smaller, less powerful European nations broke away from these major countries.
      » Weak. The North African countries and Egypt became weaker nations and never rose to empire status again.


      The Breakup Of The Roman Empire
      Tribe Location
      Ten Toes
      Western Rome Europe
      1Franks France
      4Suevi Portugal
      5Anglo-Saxons England
      6Burgundians Switzerland
      7Visigoths Spain
      8Heruli Extinct (493)
      9VandalsExtinct (534)
      10OstrogothsExtinct (538)
      Divided Foot
      Byzantine Empire Middle East
      The Lombards occupied Italy after the Heruli and Ostrogoths.

      In the past, many different attempts have been made to unite Europe by (marriage, war, religion and economics).

      In view of current attempts to unite Europe, it seems to suggest that these efforts will eventually fail.

      • Early Protestant. The earliest keepers of the faith under persecution were the French. The Waldenses, Albigenses and the Huguenots spread their faith under threat of annihilation by the church and state.
      • Rise Of The Papacy. The church was given the western Roman empire in 538. Under Clovis, the French kept it in power. He converted to Catholicism in 508 BC and proceeded to conquer the Goths.
      • Fall Of The Papacy. It was Napoleon in the French Revolution that caused their fall in 1798.
      • Atheism. Simultaneously, the French Revolution unleashed the "beast from the abyss", when it introduced atheism and secularism.
      • Rise Of The United States. It helped the United States during their fight for independence to defeat England who was their perpetual enemy. It also helped to double the size of the country through the Louisiana Purchase. 530 million acres of land between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains was sold for 60 million francs ($15 million) on 30 April 1803.
      • European Union. It stopped the union of Europe by opposing Hitler and by being the first to reject the constitution in 2005.
      • European Union Revised (The Second Great Lisbon Earthquake). In 2007, the French prime minister, Nicolas Sarkozy helped to wrangle a treaty that bypasses the popular vote and placed the vote in national parliaments where it is virtually guaranteed success. As a consequence of this new treaty a new 2.5 year position of President of the European Union will replace the current unwieldy six month leadership by the ruler of one of the member countries.
        The Lisbon Treaty was accepted on 19 October 2007 and it will be voted in on December 13 in Lisbon. Then the parliaments of the 27 member nations will vote on it during 2008. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, a closet Catholic, is considered to be the de facto first president who will take office on 1 January 2009. So, between 1 January 2009 and 20 January 2009 when the new United States president takes office, the prophecies of Revelation 17 can be fulfilled by two men who have the same goals. Any union of Europe will not succeed and the final attempt at union will be destroyed because of the disastrous repercussions of submission to the United States and the Catholic church.
      • Establishing The Beast. At the end of 2008, France will hold the last six month turn as leader of the Union under the old treaties and it will work towards getting the votes of the 27 member countries ratified. So it will be the last to bring the beast to power that will begin to rule in January 2009. An unexpected global financial crisis at the end of 2008 stopped any ambitious events.
      • Mediterranean Union. Sarkozy also proposed a Mediterranean Union, that would form a link between Europe and Africa. It joins Southern Europe, North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean. This basically includes the rest of the Old Roman Empire. Seven EU countries (France, Italy, Portugal Spain, Cyprus, Greece and Malta) would be members of both groups. Opposed to the membership of Turkey or any Muslim dominated country in the EU, Sarkozy said in his acceptance speech after his election May 6, 2007:

      1. First Coming (The Stone From Mount Zion) . The Stone comes from a mountain. It is cut from that mountain. This mountain is the kingdom of heaven. From it a new kingdom is established in Christ.
        The Chief Stone In Zion. Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. (Isaiah 28: 16)
        Christ takes possession of that kingdom as we will see in Daniel 7. Something happens in heaven before the stone strikes the earth and after the kingdom was divided in 476 AD.
        » Without Hands. An event that is not by human activity.
        Not Of Human Origin. But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building (Hebrew 9: 11)
        » The Ten Commandments. The law of God is the only "stone built without hands".
        » Cutting The Stone. Christ is the stone, the character of God. The cutting out of the stone is not just the incarnation of Christ which occurred about 4 BC. It must be another event which occurs after the division of the toes or "in the days of those kings" (476 AD) when Christ was crowned King and given a kingdom.
        • Incarnation (4 BC) . He came to earth as a human born supernaturally of the Seed of God.
        • Anointed (27 AD) . He was anointed as both Priest and King at His baptism.
        • Crucifixion (Crowned King) (31 AD) . He was inaugurated as High Priest after the crucifixion. Only after that time did He formally have the right to be King. We know that He became king immediately after because of the prophecy of the seven seals and since the king distributed the gifts at Pentecost.
        • Given A Kingdom (31 AD) . He was given the earth after the judgment of heavenly powers expelled Satan.
        • Setting Up A Kingdom (1844) . Later we will learn that Christ begins the judgment of earth and takes legal possession of His kingdom before the Second Coming. During the time of the divided kingdom He seals and selects His people from among the living and the dead.
        • Takes Physical Possession Of The Kingdom (Second Coming) . Jesus takes possession of His people and begins direct rule. It is only at the Third Coming that He takes possession of the land.
        We can look at the life of David to see the same set of events. The kingdom belonged to the tribe of Judah, yet it was in possession of the tribe of Benjamin. He was anointed king as a youth but it was several years before he took possession of the kingdom and began to rule.
      2. Second Coming . The Stone destroys the image after it is cut out of the mountain.
        After the Second Coming, God destroys the kingdoms of the earth.
        The Stone That Crushes To Powder. Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes? And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder. (Matthew 21: 42,44)
      3. Third Coming . The Stone establishes another mountain.
        It is only after the thousand years, after the third coming, that the New Jerusalem comes to earth and God sets up His throne on the earth.

      Judgment By Heaven
      In Favor Of The Saints
      Angels And The Wicked
      Judged By The Saints
      Judgment Of The Wicked By God
      18447 Last Plagues Second Coming Millennium Third Coming
      Old Earth Earth Partially Destroyed Hell New Heavens And Earth
      Stone Cut Out Of A Mountain Stone Strikes The EarthStone Becomes Another Mountain
      The mountain represents God's sanctuary and truth. Zion is called the "mountain of the Lord's house."
      In the last days the mountain of the house of the Lord will be established as the chief of the mountains, and will be raised above the hills, and all the nations will stream to it. (Isaiah 2: 1-5)

      Summary: Nebuchadnezzar attacked the sanctuary in Jerusalem and destroyed it. God shows this pagan king that there is a sanctuary far removed from this earth in heaven that he cannot destroy. The Rock who is Christ will come from that sanctuary and destroy all the kingdoms of the earth.
      The prophecy indicates that the kingdom will be established after the nations are divided in 476, but the Rock will destroy the earth after the kings lose their crowns. This will happen sometime after World War 1 in the days of modern Europe when the crowned heads lose their power (1918). In the place of the kings of the earth, God will establish a Sanctuary kingdom that will never be destroyed again.

      Christ is the Rock that will appear at the end of the world to rescue the saints, smash all worldly powers and begin a government of righteousness on the earth. Coming from Mt. Sinai with the Commandments, Moses threw the two tables of stone and broke it in pieces, then ground their golden idol into powder and made them drink it. This is a picture of what the stone will do. They worshipped idols and were ground to dust for disobeying the royal law of God.
      Jesus is the Rock and the chief corner stone according to Acts 4: 11 and Ephesians 2: 20.
      and they all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them and that rock was Christ. (1 Corinthians 10: 4)

      The Great World Empires .
      People often ask why certain great empires were not included in prophecy. It is important to note that the prophecy was concerned with the empires that conquered or ruled over Israel (His chosen people). This fact becomes important in understanding that the prophecies were not concerned with the size or strength or wealth of an empire. It was concerned with the status of God's people and who was in charge of the covenant, because that is where the spiritual battles would occur. Therefore, the prophecy does not mention other great empires because they did not rule over Israel.
      For this same reason, after the Jews rejected Christ and the covenant was made with the Gentiles, only the divided Roman empire that controlled the Christians were the focus, not the eastern Islamic empires that controlled Israel.

      » The Prophetic Game . It is like a game of tag or football where team Satan chases the runner who has the ball (the covenant). Prophecy is simply the announcer who broadcasts the plays and the scores and the schedule. There may be other great players in the audience but they have not formed a team that is willing to play the game.

      » The Birth Of Empires. Also, in a study of history, it appears that many of the great civilizations that people thought would have appeared in prophecy emerged after the great empires of this prophecy and during the reign of Rome when the prophecy says that the kingdoms will be divided. The few civilizations that began to emerge during the Greek period, were local, unorganized and tribal. China was mostly organized after 221 BC. The Aztecs (100-650 AD) and the native American Hopewell culture emerged after Christ (100-400AD) and the Olmecs before (1200-400BC). The Vikings and most of Europe and Russia were Barbarians. The height of the Mayan civilization was 250-900AD and they first met Christians in 1519. None of these controlled the Jews or the Christians and most emerged after Christ.
      The Ottomans (1300-1922) ruled the Jews after they lost preeminence to the Christians as the people of the covenant.

      AbrahamIsaiah JeremiahDaniel and Ezekiel John
      Israel (12 Tribes) Jews (2 Tribes) Jews Byzantine Islamic Ottoman Britain
      Egypt Assyria Babylon PersiaGreece Rome Christians Rome Papacy Europe USA
      Yin Olmec Zhou Dynasty Tsin Dynasty Hopewell, Aztec Mayan VikingsRussia

      » The Prophets Of The Captivity . Abraham prophesied about captivity in Egypt and Isaiah about the Assyrian captivity. Jeremiah prophesied about Babylon. Daniel and Ezekiel prophesied about Babylon until the end of time. John prophesied about the period after Christ until Babylon the Great.

      Repetition And Enlargement
      This is the first in a series of apocalyptic prophecies that show the succession of empires remaining on the earth.
      It also demonstrates how the earth will be destroyed by the curse.

      A Legal Stoning
      Greece And Rome. And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron.
      Crushed To Powder By The Rock. The Lord shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed. (Deuteronomy 28: 23-24)
      The curse even links Greece and Rome together as a future prophecy will do (Daniel 4 and 7).

      The Stoning Of The Earth
      Text Event Meaning
      Numbers 15: 32-36 Death penalty for sin Stoning to death
      Deuteronomy 28: 24
      Exodus 32: 19-20
      The curse for idolatry and rebellion Grinding the idol to powder by raining large chunks of powder
      Daniel 2: 24 A Rock strikes the kingdoms of the world Jesus is the Rock who conquers the kingdoms of the world
      Revelation 6: 16 Mountains and Rocks fall on the wicked The wicked try to hide under the rocks at the Second Coming
      Revelation 16: 21 Seventh Plague Hail stones falls on the wicked at the Second Coming

      • Champion (Verse 37). A champion volunteered to defeat the enemies of Israel by the power of God.
      • Giant (Verse 4-7). Both champions defeated a giant dressed in metal.
      • Lion And Bear Defeated (Verse 34-36). The champion defeated the lion and bear (Babylon and Persia),
      • Bronze And Iron Metal (Verse 6-7). He faces a giant dressed in brass armor and iron spear (Greece and Rome). Greece and Rome are linked together again.
      • 40 Days (Verse 16). The giant torments the righteous between 40 and 42 periods of time.
      • Killer Rock (Verse 40, 49-50). The first champion kills the giant with a rock in his forehead. The last champion kills the giant with the mark in his forehead with the rock on his feet.
      • Sword And Iron Spear (Verse 51). A sword struck the giant (Revelation 19: 15).
      • Carcass Eaten By Birds And Beasts (Verse 46). The birds feast on the carcass of the wicked (Revelation 19: 17-18).
      • 600, 60 and 6 (Verse 4, 7). This "number of man" appears in the measurement of another giant statue (Daniel 3: 1) and the great beast of Revelation 13: 18. These numbers are associated with Goliath's height and armor - man's strength. David chose to ignore a man-made armor (verse 38-39) and relied on the name of the Lord (verse 45-46). The end-time righteous have the name of God sealed in their forehead (Revelation 14: 1).
      • The King From The East (verse 12). David was from Bethlehem, east of the battle positions on the dry river bed called the valley of Elah (verse 2-3). The kings from the east are those who represent the victorious forces of God crossing a dry river in a crucial battle.
        Cyrus, the Persian king from the east, dried up the Euphrates to defeat Babylon in the Battle of Opis (539 BC).
        YHWH and Jesus, the Kings from the east, dry up the Euphrates to defeat Babylon the Great in the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16: 12).
      • Two Mountains (Verse 3). Both armies stand on a mountain with the battle in the valley. In the end all the wicked stand in the valley as they are stoned with fire from Mount Zion (Revelation 20: 9).
        At the ratification of the covenant the tribes stood on two mountains as they said the blessings from mount Gerizim in the south and curses from mount Ebal in the north (Deuteronomy 11: 29).

      Babylon And Babylon The Great

      Sky or Heaven Vomit
      BabylonHeadBabylon the Great
      7 rulers7 Neck Vertebra7 Heads
      2 nations 2 Arms2 Beasts
      12 kings12 Ribs12 Tribes
      10 ? 10 Fingers10 Horns
      GreeceBellyChurch persecuted by the ten horns in the belly of the beast
      10 nations5 lumbar, 5 sacral vertebra
      Little HornPenis
      Fused CoccyxUnited Church
      LegsTen horns become trampled dirt
      10 toes
      Earth Of ClayDung
      Why is the last power on earth called Babylon the Great?
      But he shall acknowledge the firstborn, the son of the unloved, by giving him a double portion of all that he has, for he is the beginning of his strength to him belongs the right of the firstborn. (Deuteronomy 21: 17)
      Babylon returns again as a strong Babylon the great. As the first born of the evil empires he gets double the inheritance, so he gets to rule twice. The firstborn is also the beginning of his father's strength, coming out of his loins. So the emergence of Babylon coming out of the loins of Greece is the connection to the Greco-Roman empire. However, his seed will be spilled on the earth, becoming useless, because his seed will become dung on the earth. The leader of Babylon will never sire a nation. His seed and name will be cut off.

      • Babylon ("Mouth"). Babylon chewed up and swallowed Israel.
      • Persia ("Chest, Ribs"). The people passed through the Persian empire. Later you will learn the amazing way of how the 12 tribes are represented by the 12 ribs (7 true ribs, 3 false ribes and 2 floating ribs).
      • Greece ("Belly"). They ended up in the bowels of Greece.
      • Rome ("Loins"). A companion prophecy says that Rome will have some elements of the Greek empire in it. The Greeks contributed their religion, language and culture to the Romans.
        Let us look at the anus and the loins to find these elements.
        » Penis ("The Little Horn Or The Antichrist"). Have you ever wondered why God used circumcision as a sign of the covenant? The loins are the seat and beginning of power or strength. Rome gives birth to the Antichrist who is also known as the one little horn (penis). God uses circumcision of the penis to represent His role in fulfilling the covenant. Christ was the Seed of Life, cloaked in human form, Who would be cut off and buried for sin, but having the ability to rise again and give life.
        Here we have the Antichrist, the little horn, usurping this role of Christ. But while Christ was circumcised, the uncircumcised little horn will be castrated. While Christ can rise from the dead and bear fruit, the Antichrist is impotent. God has a sense of humor. Christ is virile. The Antichrist is impotent with a little penis and a big mouth full of boasting about his prowess.
        The Little Penis With The Big Mouth. While I was contemplating the horns, behold, another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were pulled out by the roots before it and behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth uttering great boasts. (Daniel 7: 8 and Revelation 13: 5-6)
        » Christ, The Horn. So Christ is the horn of God who came out of the Roman Empire to be circumcised ("cut off").
        » A Minor Problem. How can we have the little horn coming out of Rome when it is coming out of the Greek period (the belly and the thighs). Some sources choose only the parts below the knee to represent Rome, while others include the upper legs as part of Rome because the word for "thighs" means sides or buttocks. Therefore, the penis would be dangling at the end of the Greek empire down into the Roman empire. If the "belly and thighs" are supposed to be the "belly and the hips" up to the point where the legs begin then that seems to be the answer. Also, when the Maccabeans unlawfully merged the priesthood with the royalty they separated the house of Judah.
        » The Corrupted Seed. Christ was God who came to be born in the form of man. At the same time, the Greco-Roman religion which had a practice of making gods out of dead emperors began to make gods out of living men. This corrupted seed that is partly Greek and Roman is represented by the loins.
        » Coccyx. The five fused bones of the coccyx represent the last five phases of the united church.
        » Dung. Waste passes through the anus and Rome is viewed as a source of dung in the end.
        Have you ever wondered why Moses ground the golden calf to powder and made Israel drink it (Exodus 32: 19-20)? According to the curse, the idols will be smashed to powder (Deuteronomy 28: 24).
        If the wicked drink this powder then their god will be excreted out of them like dung! This is God laughing at the wicked. How can you cut down a tree, build a house, cook and make a fire to warm by it then make a god to worship? In this image God is saying how can you worship your own dung?
      • Europe ("Intestines"). During the reign of these kings the wicked will go down to the earth as dirt.
      • Babylon the Great ("Spits Out Israel"). The powers at the end of the world are a mixed symbol of Rome and Babylon. The entire statue is now gold as Babylon claims all empires and holds two classes of people.
        » The Fate of the Wicked ("Dung"). They will go out through the anus as dung. This happens during the reign of the remnants of the Roman empire which somehow becomes like Babylon in the end.
        Speak, Thus says the Lord, the corpses of men will be like dung on the open field, and like the sheaf after the reaper, but no one will gather them. (Jeremiah 9: 22) (Also Jeremiah 25: 33)
        » The Fate Of The Righteous ("Regurgitated Seed"). So Babylon chews up and swallows the church again at the end. They will be ejected from the bowels, out of the mouth of the evil empire. Revelation also says that Babylon spits out three unclean spirits like frogs. Like Pharaoh, these go after the righteous during their final exodus.

      On their way back from the bowels and the loins of Rome and its little horn, the righteous come back through the previous powers. This is why another prophecy says that their dominion will be taken away but they will have an extension of life granted to them (Daniel 7: 12). When we come up into the mouth of Babylon, they will grind us under their teeth by persecution and God will force the king to spit us out.
      Vomit. . I will punish Bel in Babylon, And I will make what he has swallowed come out of his mouth. And the nations will no longer stream to him. Even the wall of Babylon has fallen down! (Jeremiah 51: 44)

      The Etymology of Pallas

      To understand why so many characters in Greek mythology shared the name Pallas, it is important to look at what the name itself meant.

      As is the case in many other cultures, names in the ancient Greek world often had a specific meaning. This was especially true in mythology, where names could be used to describe a character’s personality, heritage, or function.

      Mythological names with meaning could describe a character to the reader, or listener in the case of poetry, without having to give a long list of their attributes. The name itself gave clues about the person or god it belonged to.

      The name also had two separate meanings, furthering the possibilities for its usage even more.

      The most often cited etymology of Pallas is that it came from the Greek word pallo. Meaning “one who brandishes a spear,” this word could apply to almost any fighter in Greece since spears were the primary weapon of most Greek fighters.

      No matter which army a man fought for, it could be assumed he carried a spear. Thus, Pallas was the name used for many warriors, soldiers, and combatants in Greek legend.

      Pallas could also, however, come from the word pallakis. This word referred to a young woman, a descriptor that could again apply to many characters.

      Given the two broad meanings, the name Pallas was common for both men and women in Greek mythology. It was very likely used as a common name among the Greek population as well, both for its root meanings and in honor of certain great figures.

      The Daughter of Triton

      The most widely remembered individual named Pallas was a nymph.

      Pallas was most often described as the daughter of the sea god Triton, and thus a granddaughter of Poseidon and Amphitrite. A few other legends, however, described her as a daughter of other river or sea gods.

      She was said to have lived in the Libyan Lake Tritonis, which was named after her father. Later scholars believe the figure may have originally been native to Libya and later adapted to fit the genealogy of the Greek gods.

      When Athena was born from the head of her father, Zeus, she was fostered by her cousin Triton. During her youth, she and Pallas became inseparable friends and playmates.

      One thing the two young goddesses shared was a love of martial arts. Unlike many of the other female deities, particularly the usually shy and submissive nymphs, Pallas and Athena trained together in the use of spears and shields.

      According to some legends, the two were practicing with spears when Pallas was stabbed by the goddess of war.

      Athena, having accidentally killed her dearest friend, mourned the loss forever.

      Another legend claimed that the two were arguing and, rather than having a friendly practice match, had begun to fight. Zeus flashed his aegis to distract the nymph, allowing Athena to win the fight.

      Athena had not intended to land a killing blow, however, and was stricken with grief and guilt over the death of her friend. Greek law and custom gave little distinction between intentional murder and an accidental killing, so even if the death had been a mistake the goddess still carried the blame.

      Pallas Athena

      Athena vowed that her friend would never be forgotten.

      First, she fashioned an enormous wooden statue in the likeness of Pallas. It was erected in her temple on the Trojan Acropolis, where it was said to have stood until at least the end of the Trojan War.

      Being crafted by the goddess of wisdom herself, the Palladium, as the statue was known, was said to have special properties. As long as the Palladium stood, Athena ensured the protection of the city.

      Although Athena took the side of the Greeks in the Trojan War, the Palladium ensured that she would not condone the complete destruction of Troy. She still offered protection to those who worshipped in her temple within Troy’s walls.

      The cursed seer Cassandra sought refuge in the temple of Athena as the city fell. It was said that she was clinging to the wooden statue when Ajax the Lesser tore her away and pushed her to the other captives.

      While Ajax had been a member of the army she had supported, Athena was still infuriated by this violation of her temple and the statue of Pallas there. The goddess sent a storm against her former favorites as they left Troy, destroying much of the Greek fleet and scattering the surviving ships.

      According to many mythographers, the protective statue was stolen by Odysseus and Diomedes to ensure Troy’s fall. Centuries later, the Roman temple of Vesta claimed to still possess the original statue.

      More than just erecting the statue, however, Athena wished for her friend’s name to be remembered beyond her temple. She took the name Pallas as her own.

      The goddess of war and wisdom was thus frequently referred to as Pallas Athena. Etymologically it may have referred to her prowess as a warrior, but in the Greek imagination the goddess had placed her friend’s name before her own to ensure the nymph was never forgotten.

      In the Homeric hymns, for example, she is called by this name while being invoked as a warrior goddess and protector of the people:

      Of Pallas Athena, guardian of the city, I begin to sing. Dread is she, and with Ares she loves the deeds of war, the sack of cities and the shouting and the battle. It is she who saves the people as they go to war and come back. Hail, goddess, and give us good fortune and happiness!

      -Homeric Hymn 11 to Athena (trans. Evelyn-White)

      Other Characters with the Name

      Pallas may be most associated with Athena and her fallen companion, but the name was widely used for both male and female characters in Greek mythology.

      "Forward" at her first home on the grounds of the Wisconsin State Capitol at its east entrance where she was installed in 1895. After this building burned in 1904, the statue was moved to the north entrance of the square in front of the new State Capitol in 1916. View the original source document: WHI 23092

      In 1895 sculptress Jean Pond Miner received an unusual honor for a woman of her day: her seven-foot tall allegorical statue "Forward" was given a prominent position at the Wisconsin State Capitol. Miner completed her statue in 1893 at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, fulfilling a commission to create art representative of her native state. "Forward" is an allegory of devotion and progress, qualities Miner felt Wisconsin embodied.

      Miner was born in Menasha, Wisconsin in 1865 and grew up in Madison. She graduated from Downer College in Fox Lake and continued her studies at the Art Institute of Chicago. Though she had planned to become a portrait painter, her classes with famous sculptor Lorado Taft convinced her to change her emphasis. In 1893, both Taft and the Janesville Ladies Afternoon Club recommended her for an artist-in-residence position at the Columbian Exposition.

      Miner created "Forward" after the fire in her studio went out one night and the cold temperature completely destroyed another statue she was just about to cast. Later, though she had originally planned to cast "Forward" in copper, her funds ran out and the statue remained in its bronze form.

      A souvenir pamphlet from the Exposition described the statue as follows: "'Forward', which stands at the south end of the main lobby [of the Wisconsin building], is the work of Miss Jean Miner, of Madison, Wis., and represents a female figure standing upon the prow of a boat, the figure-head of which is 'Old Abe.' The boat is surging through the water, and the figure, poised gracefully but firmly upon the prow, stretches forth the right hand, while the left clasps the American flag to its bosom."

      In 1895 the statue was placed at the east entrance of the State Capitol. In 1916, the State rededicated "Forward" and moved it to the North Hamilton Street Entrance where it remained until 1995. Unfortunately, the delicate bronze had suffered in its 100 years of outdoor exposure. Despite major conservation treatment in 1990, the prognosis for preservation of the statue out-of-doors was not favorable.

      Wisconsin women, who had raised the funds for the creation of "Forward" in 1893, provided the means for the figure's long-term preservation as well. Led by Wisconsin's first lady Sue Ann Thompson and Camille Haney, women from across the state funded the creation of a bronze replica of "Forward" (now displayed at the west entrance to Capitol Square at the end of State Street) and the conservation and relocation of the original work to an indoor location at the Wisconsin Historical Society's Headquarters building, where it was installed in 1998.

      Jean Pond Miner married Alonzo J. Coburn in Madison in 1896. She continued to create sculpture and worked in a studio at her son's Wilmette, Illinois residence until about a week before her death at the age of 101 in 1967.

      [Sources: Peck, George W., Jr. "Ousconsin: The Badger State's Columbian Souvenir" (Milwaukee, 1893) Wilterding, Florence. "Famous Wisconsin Women, Volume 6, from the Women's Auxilary" (Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1976).]

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