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White horses in mythology...Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse..the defeat of French troops during the Franco-Prussian War as a divine punishment ...Sacré-Cœur, Paris... first Horseman is infectious pandemic disease .

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posted by Hughes Songe alias bernawy hugues kossi huo on Monday 9th of May 2022 08:48:34 AM

Then I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, "Come." I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.As the Antichrist While for nearly nineteen centuries Christians had thought that the first horseman was a positive figure representing either Christ or the Gospel, a completely different interpretation of this character emerged in 1866[ when C.F. Wimpel defended the first hypothesis that he was the Antichrist (and more precisely according to him Napoleon Bonaparte). It was taken over from the next generation in the United States by R. F. Franklin in 1898 and W. C. Stevens in 1928 and was then very successful in evangelical circles until today, for example with Pastor Billy Graham, for whom it was the Antichrist or false prophets in general. — Revelation 6:1–2 New American Standard Bible White horses have a special significance in the mythologies of cultures around the world. They are often associated with the sun chariot,[1] with warrior-heroes, with fertility (in both mare and stallion manifestations), or with an end-of-time saviour, but other interpretations exist as well. Both truly white horses and the more common grey horses, with completely white hair coats, were identified as "white" by various religious and cultural traditions. Contents 1Portrayal in myth 2Mythologies and traditions 2.1European 2.1.1Celtic 2.1.2Greek 2.1.3Norse 2.1.4Slavic 2.1.5Hungarian 2.2Iranian 2.3Hindu 2.4Buddhist 2.5Abrahamic 2.5.1Jewish 2.5.2Christian 2.5.3Islamic 2.6Far East 2.6.1Korean 2.6.2Philippines 2.6.3Vietnamese 2.7Native American 3Literature and art 4See also 5References 6External links Portrayal in myth The Hindu world saviour Kalki with his white Horse. Punjab Hills, Guler, c. 1765. From earliest times, white horses have been mythologised as possessing exceptional properties, transcending the normal world by having wings (e.g. Pegasus from Greek mythology), or having horns (the unicorn). As part of its legendary dimension, the white horse in myth may be depicted with seven heads (Uchaishravas) or eight feet (Sleipnir), sometimes in groups or singly. There are also white horses which are divinatory, who prophesy or warn of danger. As a rare or distinguished symbol, a white horse typically bears the hero- or god-figure in ceremonial roles or in triumph over negative forces. Herodotus reported that white horses were held as sacred animals in the Achaemenid court of Xerxes the Great (ruled 486–465 BC),[2] while in other traditions the reverse happens when it was sacrificed to the gods. In more than one tradition, the white horse carries patron saints or the world saviour in the end times (as in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), is associated with the sun or sun chariot (Ossetia) or bursts into existence in a fantastic way, emerging from the sea or a lightning bolt. Though some mythologies are stories from earliest beliefs, other tales, though visionary or metaphorical, are found in liturgical sources as part of preserved, on-going traditions (see, for example, "Iranian tradition" below). Mythologies and traditions European Celtic In Celtic mythology, Rhiannon, a mythic figure in the Mabinogion collection of legends, rides a "pale-white" horse.[3] Because of this, she has been linked to the Romano-Celtic fertility horse goddess Epona and other instances of the veneration of horses in early Indo-European culture.[4] In Irish Myth Donn "god of the dead" portrayed as a phantom horseman riding a white horse, is considered an aspect of The Dagda "the great God" also known as "the horseman" and is the origin of the Irish "Loch nEachach" for Loch Neagh. In Irish myth horses are said to be symbols of sovereignty and the sovereignty goddess Macha is associated with them. One of Cúchulainn's chariot-horses was called Liath Macha or "Macha's Grey"[citation needed] Bellerophon riding Pegasus The La Tène style hill figure in England, the Uffington White Horse dates back to the Bronze Age and is similar to some Celtic coin horse designs. In Scottish folklore, the kelpie or each uisge, a deadly supernatural water demon in the shape of a horse, is sometimes described as white, though other stories say it is black. Greek In Greek mythology, the white winged horse Pegasus was the son of Poseidon and the gorgon Medusa. Poseidon was also the creator of horses, creating them out of the breaking waves when challenged to make a beautiful land animal. A secondary pair of twins fathered by Zeus, Amphion and Zethus, the legendary founders of Thebes, are called "Dioskouroi, riders of white horses" (λευκόπωλος) by Euripedes in his play The Phoenician Women (the same epithet is used in Heracles and in the lost play Antiope).[5][6][7] Norse The Tjängvide image stone is thought to show Odin entering Valhalla riding on Sleipnir. In Norse mythology, Odin's eight-legged horse Sleipnir, "the best horse among gods and men", is described as grey.[8] Sleipnir is also the ancestor of another grey horse, Grani, who is owned by the hero Sigurd.[9] Slavic In Slavic mythology, the war and fertility deity Svantovit owned an oracular white horse; the historian Saxo Grammaticus, in descriptions similar to those of Tacitus centuries before, says the priests divined the future by leading the white stallion between a series of fences and watching which leg, right or left, stepped first in each row.[10] Hungarian One of the titles of God in Hungarian mythology was Hadúr, who, according to an unconfirmed source, wears pure copper and is a metalsmith. The Hungarian name for God was, and remains "Isten" and they followed Steppe Tengriism.[citation needed] The ancient Magyars sacrificed white stallions to him before a battle.[11] Additionally, there is a story (mentioned for example in Gesta Hungarorum) that the Magyars paid a white horse to Moravian chieftain Svatopluk I (in other forms of the story, it is instead the Bulgarian chieftain Salan) for a part of the land that later became the Kingdom of Hungary.[citation needed] Actual historical background of the story is dubious because Svatopluk I was already dead when the first Hungarian tribes arrived. On the other hand, even Herodotus mentions in his Histories an Eastern custom, where sending a white horse as payment in exchange for land means casus belli. This custom roots in the ancient Eastern belief that stolen land would lose its fertility.[citation needed] Iranian In Zoroastrianism, one of the three representations of Tishtrya, the hypostasis of the star Sirius, is that of a white stallion (the other two are as a young man, and as a bull). The divinity takes this form during the last 10 days of every month of the Zoroastrian calendar, and also in a cosmogonical battle for control of rain. In this latter tale (Yasht 8.21–29), which appears in the Avesta's hymns dedicated to Tishtrya, the divinity is opposed by Apaosha, the demon of drought, which appears as a black stallion.[12] White horses are also said to draw divine chariots, such as that of Aredvi Sura Anahita, who is the Avesta's divinity of the waters. Representing various forms of water, her four horses are named "wind", "rain", "clouds" and "sleet" (Yasht 5.120). Hindu White horses appear many times in Hindu mythology and stand for the sun.[13] The Vedic horse sacrifice or Ashvamedha was a fertility and kingship ritual involving the sacrifice of a sacred grey or white stallion.[14] Similar rituals may have taken place among Roman, Celtic and Norse people, but the descriptions are not so complete. Uchchaihshravas In the Puranas, one of the precious objects that emerged while the devas and demons were churning the milky ocean was Uchaishravas, a snow-white horse with seven heads.[14] Turaga was another divine white horse that emerged out of the ocean and taken by the sun god Surya.[15][16] Uchaishravas was at times ridden by Indra, lord of the devas. Indra is depicted as having a liking for white horses in several legends – he often steals the sacrificial horse to the consternation of all involved, such as in the story of Sagara,[17] or the story of King Prithu.[18] The chariot of the solar deity Surya is drawn by seven horses, alternately described as all white, or as the colours of the rainbow. Hayagriva the Avatar of Vishnu is worshipped as the God of knowledge and wisdom, with a human body and a horse's head, brilliant white in colour, with white garments and seated on a white lotus. Kalki, the tenth incarnation of Vishnu and final world saviour, is predicted to appear riding a white horse, or in the form of a white horse.[14] Buddhist Kanthaka was a white horse that was a royal servant and favourite horse of Prince Siddhartha, who later became Gautama Buddha. Siddhartha used Kanthaka in all major events described in Buddhist texts prior to his renunciation of the world. Following the departure of Siddhartha, it was said that Kanthaka died of a broken heart.[19] Abrahamic Jewish The Book of Zechariah twice mentions coloured horses; in the first passage there are three colours (red, dappled, and white), and in the second there are four teams of horses (red, black, white, and finally dappled) pulling chariots. The second set of horses are referred to as "the four spirits of heaven, going out from standing in the presence of the Lord of the whole world." They are described as patrolling the earth and keeping it peaceful. Christian A 15th-century icon of St. George from Novgorod. In the New Testament, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse include one seated on a white horse[20] and one on a pale horse – the "white" horse carried the rider Conquest (traditionally, Pestilence) while the "pale" horse carried the rider Death.[21] However, the Greek word chloros, translated as pale, is often interpreted as sickly green or ashen grey rather than white. Later in the Book of Revelation, Christ rides a white horse out of heaven at the head of the armies of heaven to judge and make war upon the earth.[22] Two Christian saints are associated with white steeds: Saint James, as patron saint of Spain, rides a white horse in his martial aspect.[23][24][25] Saint George, the patron saint of horsemen[26] among other things, also rides a white horse.[27] In Ossetia, the deity Uastyrdzhi, who embodied both the warrior and sun motifs often associated with white horses, became identified with the figure of St. George after the region adopted Christianity.[28] Gesta Francorum contains a description of the First Crusade, where soldiers fighting at Antioch claimed to have been heartened by a vision of St. George and white horses during the battle: There came out from the mountains, also, countless armies with white horses, whose standards were all white. And so, when our leaders saw this army, they ... recognised the aid of Christ, whose leaders were St. George, Mercurius, and Demetrius.[29] Islamic Islamic culture tells of a white creature named Al-Buraq who brought Muhammad to Jerusalem during the Night Journey. Al-Buraq was also said to transport Abraham (Ibrâhîm) when he visited his wife Hagar (Hājar) and son Ishmael (Ismâ'îl). According to tradition, Abraham lived with one wife (Sarah) in Syria, but Al-Buraq would transport him in the morning to Makkah to see his family there, and then take him back to his Syrian wife in the evening. Al-Burāq (Arabic: البُراق‎ al-Burāq "lightning") isn't mentioned in the Quran but in some hadith ("tradition") literature.[30] Twelver Shī'a Islamic traditions envisage that the Mahdi will appear riding a white horse.[31] Far East Korean A huge white horse appears in Korean mythology in the story of the kingdom of Silla. When the people gathered to pray for a king, the horse emerged from a bolt of lightning, bowing to a shining egg. After the horse flew back to heaven, the egg opened and the boy Park Hyeokgeose emerged. When he grew up, he united six warring states. Philippines The city of Pangantucan has as its symbol a white stallion who saved an ancient tribe from massacre by uprooting a bamboo and thus warning them of the enemy's approach. Vietnamese The city of Hanoi honours a white horse as its patron saint with a temple dedicated to this revered spirit, the White Horse or Bach Ma Temple ( "bach" means white and "ma" is horse). The 11th-century king, Lý Công Uẩn (also known as King Lý Thái Tổ) had a vision of a white horse representing a river spirit which showed him where to build his citadel.[32] Native American In Blackfoot mythology, the snow deity Aisoyimstan is a white-coloured man in white clothing who rides a white horse. Literature and art The statue of the "fine lady upon a white horse" at Banbury Cross. The mythological symbolism of white horses has been picked up as a trope in literature, film, and other storytelling. For example, the heroic prince or white knight of fairy tales often rides a white horse. Unicorns are (generally white) horse-like creatures with a single horn. And the English nursery rhyme "Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross" refers to a lady on a white horse who may be associated with the Celtic goddess Rhiannon.[33] A "white palfrey" appears in the fairy tale "Virgilius the Sorcerer" by Andrew Lang. It appears in The Violet Fairy Book and attributes more than usual magical powers to the ancient Roman poet Virgil (see also Virgil#Mysticism and hidden meanings). The British author G. K. Chesterton wrote an epic poem titled Ballad of the White Horse. In Book I, "The Vision of the King," he writes of earliest England, invoking the white horse hill figure and the gods: Before the gods that made the gods Had seen their sunrise pass, The White Horse of the White Horse Vale Was cut out of the grass.[34] The white horse is a recurring motif in Ibsen's play Rosmersholm, making use of the common Norse folklore that its appearance was a portent of death. The basis for the superstition may have been that the horse was a form of Church Grim, buried alive at the original consecration of the church building (the doomed protagonist in the play was a pastor), or that it was a materialisation of the fylgje, an individual's or family's guardian spirit.[35] The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (often referred to as the Four Horsemen) are figures in Christian mythology, appearing in the New Testament's final book, Revelation, an apocalypse written by John of Patmos, as well as in the Old Testament's prophetic Book of Zechariah, and in the Book of Ezekiel, where they are named as punishments from God. Revelation 6 tells of a book/scroll in God's right hand that is sealed with seven seals. The Lamb of God/Lion of Judah opens the first four of the seven seals, which summons four beings that ride out on white, red, black, and pale horses. To Zechariah, they are described as "the ones whom the Lord has sent to patrol the earth" causing it to rest quietly. Ezekiel lists them as "sword, famine, wild beasts, and plague." In John's revelation, the first horseman is on a white horse, carrying a bow, and given a crown, riding forward as a figure of Conquest,[1] perhaps invoking Pestilence, Christ, or the Antichrist. The second carries a sword and rides a red horse and is the creator of War.[2] The third is a food merchant riding upon a black horse, symbolizing Famine. He carries The Scales. [3] The fourth and final horse is pale green, and upon it rides Death accompanied by Hades.[4] "They were given authority over a quarter of the earth, to kill with sword, famine, and plague, and by means of the beasts of the earth."[5] The Christian apocalyptic vision is that the Four Horsemen are to set a divine end time upon the world as harbingers of the Last Judgment.[1][6] Contents 1White Horse 1.1As Christ, the Gospel, or the Holy Spirit 1.2As the Antichrist 1.3As Roman Empire prosperity 1.4As war 1.5As infectious disease 2Red Horse 2.1As empire division 3Black Horse 3.1As imperial oppression 4Pale Horse 4.1Destroying an empire 5Interpretations 5.1Christological interpretation 5.2Prophetic interpretation 5.3Historicist interpretation 5.4Preterist interpretation 5.5LDS interpretation 5.6Other interpretations 6Other Biblical references 6.1Zechariah 6.2Ezekiel 7See also 8References 9External links White Horse See also: White horse (mythology) For other uses of the term "White Rider", see White rider. The first Horseman, Conquest on the White Horse as depicted in the Bamberg Apocalypse (1000–1020). The first "living creature" (with halo) is seen in the upper right. Then I saw when the Lamb broke one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, "Come." I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. — Revelation 6:1–2 New American Standard Bible [7] Based on the above passage, a common translation into English is the rider of the White Horse (sometimes referred to as the White Rider). He is thought to carry a bow (Greek τόξο, toxo) and wear a victor's crown (Greek stephanos). As Christ, the Gospel, or the Holy Spirit Albrecht Dürer, Knight, Death and the Devil, 1513 Irenaeus, an influential Christian theologian of the 2nd century, was among the first to interpret this Horseman as Christ himself, his white horse representing the successful spread of the gospel.[3] Various scholars have since supported this notion,[8] citing the later appearance, in Revelation 19, of Christ mounted on a white horse, appearing as The Word of God. Furthermore, earlier in the New Testament, the Book of Mark indicates that the advance of the gospel may indeed precede and foretell the apocalypse.[3][9] The color white also tends to represent righteousness in the Bible, and Christ is in other instances portrayed as a conqueror.[3][9] Besides Christ, the Horseman could represent the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was understood to have come upon the Apostles at Pentecost after Jesus' departure from Earth. The appearance of the Lion in Revelation 5 shows the triumphant arrival of Jesus in Heaven, and the first Horseman could represent the sending of the Holy Spirit by Jesus and the advance of the gospel of Jesus Christ.[10] As the Antichrist While for nearly nineteen centuries Christians had thought that the first horseman was a positive figure representing either Christ or the Gospel, a completely different interpretation of this character emerged in 1866[11] when C.F. Wimpel defended the first hypothesis that he was the Antichrist (and more precisely according to him Napoleon Bonaparte).[12] It was taken over from the next generation in the United States by R. F. Franklin in 1898[13] and W. C. Stevens in 1928[14] and was then very successful in evangelical circles until today, for example with Pastor Billy Graham, for whom it was the Antichrist or false prophets in general.[15] As Roman Empire prosperity Four horsemen, by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, 1860 According to Edward Bishop Elliott's interpretation, that the Four Horsemen represent a prophecy of the subsequent history of the Roman Empire, the white color of this horse signifies triumph, prosperity and health in the political Roman body. For the next 80 or 90 years succeeding the banishment of the prophet John to Patmos covering the successive reigns of the emperors Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian and the two Antonines (Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius), a golden age of prosperity, union, civil liberty and good government unstained with civil blood unfolded. The agents of this prosperity personified by the rider of the white horse are these five emperors wearing crowns that reigned with absolute authority and power under the guidance of virtue and wisdom, the armies being restrained by their firm and gentle hands.[16] This interpretation points out that the bow was preeminently a weapon of the inhabitants of the island of Crete and not of the Roman Empire in general. The Cretans were renowned for their archery skills. The significance of the rider of the white horse holding a bow indicates the place of origin of the line of emperors ruling during this time. This group of emperors can be classed together under one and the same head and family whose origins were from Crete.[17] According to this interpretation, this period in Roman history, remarkable, both at its commencement and at its close, illustrated the glory of the empire where its limits were extended, though not without occasional wars, which were always uniformly triumphant and successful on the frontiers. The triumphs of the Emperor Trajan, a Roman Alexander, added to the empire Dacia, Armenia, Mesopotamia and other provinces during the course of the first 20 years of the period, which deepened the impression on the minds of the barbarians of the invincibility of the Roman Empire. Roman war progressed triumphantly into the invader's own territory, and the Parthian war was successfully ended by the total overthrow of those people. Roman conquest is demonstrated even in the most mighty of these wars, the Marcomannic succession of victories under the second Antonine unleashed on the German barbarians, driven into their forests and reduced to Roman submission.[18] As war In some commentaries to Bibles, the white Horseman is said to symbolize (ordinary) War, which may possibly be exercised on righteous grounds in decent manner, hence the white color, but still is devastating. The red Horseman (see below) then rather more specifically symbolizes civil war.[19] As infectious disease Under another interpretation, the first Horseman is called Pestilence, and is associated with infectious disease and plague. It appears at least as early as 1906, when it is mentioned in the Jewish Encyclopedia.[20] This particular interpretation is common in popular culture references to the Four Horsemen.[21] The origin of this interpretation is unclear. Some translations of the Bible mention "plague" (e.g. the New International Version[citation needed]) or "pestilence" (e.g. the Revised Standard Version[citation needed]) in connection with the riders in the passage following the introduction of the fourth rider; cf. "They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine, plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth." in the NASB.[22] However, it is a matter of debate as to whether this passage refers to the fourth rider only, or to the four riders as a whole.[1] Vicente Blasco Ibáñez, in his 1916 novel The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (filmed in 1921 and in 1962), provides an early example of this interpretation, writing "The horseman on the white horse was clad in a showy and barbarous attire. ... While his horse continued galloping, he was bending his bow in order to spread pestilence abroad. At his back swung the brass quiver filled with poisoned arrows, containing the germs of all diseases."[23] Red Horse The second Horseman, War on the Red Horse as depicted in a thirteenth-century Apocalypse manuscript. When He broke the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, "Come." And another, a red horse, went out; and to him who sat on it, it was granted to take peace from Earth, and that men would slay one another; and a great sword was given to him. — Revelation 6:3–4NASB[24] The rider of the second horse is often taken to represent War[2] (he is often pictured holding a sword upwards as though ready for battle[25]) or mass slaughter.[1][6][26] His horse's color is red (πυρρός, pyrrhos from πῦρ, fire); and in some translations, the color is specifically a "fiery" red. The color red, as well as the rider's possession of a great sword (μάχαιρα, machaira), suggests blood that is to be spilled.[3] The sword held upward by the second Horseman may represent war or a declaration of war, as seen in heraldry. In military symbolism, swords held upward, especially crossed swords held upward, signify war and entering into battle.[27] (See for example the historical and modern images, as well as the coat of arms, of Joan of Arc.) The second Horseman may represent civil war as opposed to the war of conquest that the first Horseman is sometimes said to bring.[3][28] Other commentators have suggested that it might also represent the persecution of Christians.[9][29][full citation needed] As empire division Death on the Pale Horse, Benjamin West, 1817 According to Edward Bishop Elliott's interpretation of the Four Horsemen as symbolic prophecy of the history of the Roman Empire, the second seal is opened and the Roman nation that experienced joy, prosperity and triumph is made subject to the red horse which depicts war and bloodshed—civil war. Peace left the Roman Earth resulting in the killing of one another as insurrection crept into and permeated the Empire beginning shortly into the reign of the Emperor Commodus.[30] Elliott points out that Commodus, who had nothing to wish and everything to enjoy, that beloved son of Marcus Aurelius who ascended the throne with neither competitor to remove nor enemies to punish, became the slave of his attendants who gradually corrupted his mind. His cruelty degenerated into habit and became the ruling passion of his soul.[31] Elliott further recites that, after the death of Commodus, a most turbulent period lasting 92 years unfolded during which time 32 emperors and 27 pretenders to the Empire hurled each other from the throne by incessant civil warfare. The sword was a natural, universal badge among the Romans, of the military profession. The apocalyptic figure indicated by the great sword indicated an undue authority and unnatural use of it. Military men in power, whose vocation was war and weapon the sword, rose by it and also fell. The unrestrained military, no longer subject to the Senate, transformed the Empire into a system of pure military despotism.[32] Black Horse The third Horseman, Famine on the Black Horse as depicted in the Angers Apocalypse Tapestry (1372–82) When He broke the third seal, I heard the third living creature saying, "Come." I looked, and behold, a black horse; and he who sat on it had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard something like a voice in the center of the four living creatures saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; but do not damage the oil and the wine." — Revelation 6:5–6 NASB[33] The third Horseman rides a black horse and is popularly understood to be Famine as the Horseman carries a pair of balances or weighing scales (Greek ζυγὸν, zygon), indicating the way that bread would have been weighed during a famine.[3][28] Other authors interpret the third Horseman as the "Lord as a Law-Giver" holding Scales of Justice.[34] In the passage, it is read that the indicated price of grain is about ten times normal (thus the famine interpretation popularity), with an entire day's wages (a denarius) buying enough wheat for only one person (one choenix, about 1.1 litres), or enough of the less nutritious barley for three, so that workers would struggle to feed their families.[3] Of the Four Horsemen, the black horse and its rider are the only ones whose appearance is accompanied by a vocalization. John hears a voice, unidentified but coming from among the four living creatures, that speaks of the prices of wheat and barley, also saying "and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine". This suggests that the black horse's famine is to drive up the price of grain but leave oil and wine supplies unaffected (though out of reach of the ordinary worker). One explanation for this is that grain crops would have been more naturally susceptible to famine years or locust plagues than olive trees and grapevines, which root more deeply.[3][28] The statement might also suggest a continuing abundance of luxuries for the wealthy while staples, such as bread, are scarce, though not totally depleted;[28] such selective scarcity may result from injustice and the deliberate production of luxury crops for the wealthy over grain, as would have happened during the time Revelation was written.[2][8] Alternatively, the preservation of oil and wine could symbolize the preservation of the Christian faithful, who use oil and wine in their sacraments.[35] As imperial oppression This section's tone or style may not reflect the encyclopedic tone used on Wikipedia. See Wikipedia's guide to writing better articles for suggestions. (July 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) According to Edward Bishop Elliott's interpretation, through this third seal, the black horse is unleashed—aggravated distress and mourning. The balance in the rider's hand is not associated with a man's weighing out bits of bread in scanty measure for his family's eating but in association with the buying and selling of corn and other grains. The balance during the time of the apostle John's exile in Patmos was commonly a symbol of justice since it was used to weigh out the grains for a set price. The balance of justice held in the hand of the rider of the black horse signified the aggravation of the other previous evil, the bloodstained red of the Roman aspect into the darker blackness of distress.[36]The black horse rider is instructed not to harm the oil and the wine which signifies that this scarcity should not fall upon the superfluities, such as oil and wine, which men can live without, but upon the necessities of life—bread.[37] In history, the Roman Empire suffered as a result of excessive taxation of its citizens. During the reign of Emperor Caracalla, whose sentiments were very different from the Antonines being inattentive, or rather averse, to the welfare of the people, he found himself under the necessity of gratifying the greed and excessive lifestyle which he had excited in the Army. During his reign, he crushed every part of the empire under the weight of his iron scepter. Old as well as new taxes were at the same time levied in the provinces. In the course of this history, the land tax, the taxes for services and the heavy contributions of corn, wine, oil and meat were exacted from the provinces for the use of the court, army and capital. "This noxious weed not totally eradicated again sprang up with the most luxurious growth and going forward darkened the Roman world with its deadly shade".[38] In reality, the rise to power of the Emperor Maximin, whose cruelty was derived from a different source being raised as a barbarian from the district of Thrace, expanded the distress on the empire beyond the confines of the illustrious senators or bold adventurers who in the court or army exposed themselves to the whims of fortune. This tyrant, "stimulated by the insatiable desires of the soldiers, attacked the public property at length". Every city of the empire was destined to purchase corn for the multitudes as well as supply expenses for the games. By the Emperor's authority, the whole mass of wealth was confiscated for use by the Imperial treasury—temples "stripped of their most valuable offerings of gold, silver [and statues] which were melted down and coined into money."[39] Pale Horse The fourth Horseman, Death on the Pale Horse. Engraving by Gustave Doré (1865). When the Lamb broke the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, "Come." I looked, and behold, a pale horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth. — Revelation 6:7–8 (New American Standard Bible)[40] The fourth and final Horseman is named Death. Known as Θάνατος (Thanatos),[41] of all the riders, he is the only one to whom the text itself explicitly gives a name. Unlike the other three, he is not described carrying a weapon or other object, instead he is followed by Hades (the resting place of the dead). However, illustrations commonly depict him carrying a scythe (like the Grim Reaper), sword,[42] or other implement. The color of Death's horse is written as khlōros (χλωρός) in the original Koine Greek,[43] which can mean either green/greenish-yellow or pale/pallid.[44] The color is often translated as "pale", though "ashen", "pale green", and "yellowish green"[28] are other possible interpretations (the Greek word is the root of "chlorophyll" and "chlorine"). Based on uses of the word in ancient Greek medical literature, several scholars suggest that the color reflects the sickly pallor of a corpse.[3][45] In some modern artistic depictions, the horse is distinctly green.[46][47][48] The verse beginning "they were given power over a fourth of the earth" is generally taken as referring to Death and Hades,[28][49] although some commentators see it as applying to all four horsemen.[1] Destroying an empire See also: Crisis of the Third Century Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (by Arnaldo dell'Ira, neo-roman project of mosaic, 1939–1940. This fourth, pale horse, was the personification of Death with Hades following him jaws open receiving the victims slain by Death. Its commission was to kill upon the Roman Earth with all of the four judgements of God—with sword, famine, pestilence and wild beasts. The deadly pale and livid appearance displays a hue symptomatic of approaching empire dissolution. According to Edward Bishop Elliott, an era in Roman history commencing within about 15 years after the death of Severus Alexander (in 235 AD[50]) strongly marks every point of this terrible emblem.[51] Edward Gibbon speaks of a period from the celebration of the great secular games by the Emperor Philip to the death of Gallienus (in 268 AD[52]) as the 20 years of shame and misfortune, of confusion and calamity, as a time when the ruined empire approached the last and fatal moment of its dissolution. Every instant of time in every province of the Roman world was afflicted by military tyrants and barbarous invaders—the sword from within and without.[53][54] According to Elliott, famine, the inevitable consequence of carnage and oppression, which demolished the produce of the present as well as the hope of future harvests, produced the environment for an epidemic of diseases, the effects of scanty and unwholesome food. That furious plague (the Plague of Cyprian), which raged from the year 250 to the year 265, continued without interruption in every province, city and almost every family in the empire. During a portion of this time, 5000 people died daily in Rome; and many towns that escaped the attacks of barbarians were entirely depopulated.[55] For a time in the late 260s, the strength of Aurelian crushed the enemies of Rome, yet after his assassination certain of them revived.[56] While the Goths had been destroyed for almost a century and the Empire reunited, the Sassanid Persians were uncowed in the East and during the following year hosts of central Asian Alani spread themselves over Pontus, Cappadocia, Cilicia and Galatia, etching their course by the flames of cities and villages they pillaged.[57] As for the wild beasts of the earth, according to Elliott, it is a well-known law of nature that they quickly occupy the scenes of waste and depopulation—where the reign of man fails and the reign of beasts begins. After the reign of Gallienus and 20 or 30 years had passed, the multiplication of the animals had risen to such an extent in parts of the empire that they made it a crying evil.[58] One notable point of apparent difference between the prophecy and history might seem to be expressly limited to the fourth part of the Roman Earth, but in the history of the period the devastations of the pale horse extended over all. The fourth seal prophecy seems to mark the malignant climax of the evils of the two preceding seals to which no such limitation is attached. Turning to that remarkable reading in Jerome's Latin Vulgate which reads "over the four parts of the earth,"[59][60] it requires that the Roman empire should have some kind of quadripartition. Dividing from the central or Italian fourth, three great divisions of the Empire separated into the West, East and Illyricum under Posthumus, Aureolus and Zenobia respectively—divisions that were later legitimized by Diocletian.[61] Diocletian ended this long period of anarchy, but the succession of civil wars and invasions caused much suffering, disorder and crime which brought the empire into a state of moral lethargy from which it never recovered.[62] After the plague had abated, the empire suffered from general distress, and its condition was very much like that which followed after the Black Death of the Middle Ages. Talent and art had become extinct in proportion to the desolation of the world.[63] Interpretations Part of a series on Eschatology Buddhist Christian Hindu Islamic Jewish Taoist Zoroastrian Inter-religious vte The Horsemen of the Apocalypse, in a woodcut by Albrecht Dürer (ca. 1497–98), ride forth as a group, with an angel heralding them, to bring Death, Famine, War, and Conquest unto man.[64] Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Saint-Sever Beatus, 11th century. Christological interpretation Before the Reformation and the woodcut by Albrecht Dürer, the usual and more influential commentaries of the Book of Revelation thought there was only one horseman riding successively these four horses, who was the Christ himself. So did some medieval illuminations, and after that some modern commentators: Oecumenius, a Greek exegete writing in the sixth-century, Berengaudus a French Benedictine monk of Ferrières Abbey at the same period, Luis del Alcázar a Spanish Jesuit in 1612, Benito Arias Montano, a Spanish Orientalist, in 1622, Jacques de Bordes, a French capuchin in 1639, Emanuel Swedenborg a Swedish theologian in 1766[65] Prophetic interpretation Some Christians interpret the Horsemen as a prophecy of a future Tribulation,[8] during which many on Earth will die as a result of multiple catastrophes. The Four Horsemen are the first in a series of "Seal" judgements. This is when God will judge the Earth, and is giving the World a chance to repent before they die, and His new beautiful earth is created for all the people who are faithful to Him and accept him as their Savior.[citation needed] John Walvoord, a premillennialist, believes the Seals will be opened during the Great Tribulation and coincides with the arrival of the Antichrist as the first horseman, a global war as the second horseman, an economic collapse as the third horseman, and the general die off of 1/4 of the World's population as the fourth horseman, which is followed by a global dictatorship under the Antichrist and the rest of the plagues.[66] Historicist interpretation According to E.B. Elliott, the first seal, as revealed to John by the angel, was to signify what was to happen soon after John seeing the visions in Patmos and that the second, third and fourth seals in like manner were to have commencing dates each in chronological sequence following the preceding seal. Its general subject is the decline and fall, after a previous prosperous era, of the Empire of Heathen Rome. The first four seals of Revelation, represented by four horses and horsemen, are fixed to events, or changes, within the Roman Earth.[67] Preterist interpretation Some modern scholars interpret Revelation from a preterist point of view, arguing that its prophecy and imagery apply only to the events of the first century of Christian history.[28] In this school of thought, Conquest, the white horse's rider, is sometimes identified as a symbol of Parthian forces: Conquest carries a bow, and the Parthian Empire was at that time known for its mounted warriors and their skill with bow and arrow.[3][28] Parthians were also particularly associated with white horses.[3] Some scholars specifically point to Vologases I, a Parthian shah who clashed with the Roman Empire and won one significant battle in 62 AD.[3][28] Revelation's historical context may also influence the depiction of the black horse and its rider, Famine. In 92 AD, the Roman emperor Domitian attempted to curb excessive growth of grapevines and encourage grain cultivation instead, but there was major popular backlash against this effort, and it was abandoned. Famine's mission to make wheat and barley scarce but "hurt not the oil and the wine" could be an allusion to this episode.[28][45] The red horse and its rider, who take peace from the earth, might represent the prevalence of civil strife at the time Revelation was written; internecine conflict ran rampant in the Roman Empire during and just prior to the 1st century AD.[3][28] LDS interpretation Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe their first prophet, Joseph Smith, revealed that the book described by John "contains the revealed will, mysteries, and the works of God; the hidden things of his economy concerning this earth during the seven thousand years of its continuance, or its temporal existence" and that the seals describe these things for the seven thousand years of the Earth's temporal existence, each seal representing 1,000 years.[68] About the first seal and the white horse, LDS Apostle Bruce R. McConkie taught, "The most transcendent happenings involved Enoch and his ministry. And it is interesting to note that what John saw was not the establishment of Zion and its removal to heavenly spheres, but the unparalleled wars in which Enoch, as a general over the armies of the saints, 'went forth conquering and to conquer' Revelation 6:2; see also Moses 7:13–18"[69] The second seal and the red horse represent the period from approximately 3,000 B.C. to 2,000 B.C. including the wickedness and violence leading to the Great Flood.[70] The third seal and black horse describe the period of ancient Joseph, son of Israel, who was sold into Egypt, and the famines that swept that period (see Genesis 41–42; Abraham 1:29–30; 2:1, 17, 21). The fourth seal and the pale horse are interpreted to represent the thousand years leading up to the birth of Jesus Christ, both the physical death brought about by great warring empires and the spiritual death through apostasy among the Lord's chosen people.[70] Other interpretations Artwork which shows the Horsemen as a group, such as the famous woodcut by Albrecht Dürer, suggests an interpretation where all four horsemen represent different aspects of the same tribulation.[71] American Protestant Evangelical interpreters regularly see ways in which the horsemen, and Revelation in general, speak to contemporary events. Some who believe Revelation applies to modern times can interpret the horses based on various ways their colors are used.[72] Red, for example, often represents Communism, the white horse and rider with a crown representing Catholicism, Black has been used as a symbol of Capitalism, while Green represents the rise of Islam. Pastor Irvin Baxter Jr. of Endtime Ministries espouses such a belief.[73] Some equate the Four Horsemen with the angels of the four winds.[74] (See Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel, angels often associated with four cardinal directions). Some speculate that when the imagery of the Six Seals is compared to other eschatological descriptions throughout the Bible, the themes of the horsemen draw remarkable similarity to the events of the Olivet Discourse. The signs of the approaching end of the world are likened to birth pains, indicating that they would occur more frequently and with greater intensity the nearer the event of Christ's return. With this perspective the horsemen represent the rise of false religions, false prophets and false messiahs; the increase of wars and rumours of wars; the escalation of natural disasters and famines; and the growth of persecution, martyrdom, betrayal and loss of faith. According to Anatoly Fomenko, the Book of Revelation is largely astrological in nature. The 'Four Horsemen' represent the planets Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.[75] Other Biblical references Zechariah The Book of Zechariah twice mentions colored horses; in the first passage there are three colors (red, speckled/brown, and white),[76] and in the second there are four teams of horses (red, black, white, and finally dappled/"grisled and bay") pulling chariots.[77] The second set of horses are referred to as "the four spirits of heaven, going out from standing in the presence of the Lord of the whole world."[77] They are described as patrolling the earth, and keeping it peaceful. It may be assumed by some Christian interpretation that when the tribulation begins, the peace is taken away, so their job is to terrify the places in which they patrol.[3] Ezekiel The four living creatures of Revelation 4:6-8 are written very similarly to the four living creatures in Ezekiel 1:5–12. In Revelation each of the living creatures summons a horseman, where in Ezekiel the living creatures follow wherever the spirit leads, without turning. In Ezekiel 14:21, the Lord enumerates His "four disastrous acts of judgment" (ESV), sword, famine, wild beasts, and pestilence, against the idolatrous elders of Israel. A symbolic interpretation of the Four Horsemen links the riders to these judgments, or the similar judgments in 6:11–12. The inspiration for Sacré-Cœur's construction originated on 4 September 1870, the day of the proclamation of the Third Republic, with a speech by Bishop Fournier. He considered the defeat of French troops during the Franco-Prussian War as a divine punishment following "a century of moral decline" since the French Revolution. In the decades following the Revolution, a division in French society arose, between devout Catholics and legitimist royalists on one side, opposed to democrats, secularists, socialists and radicals on the other.[citation needed] In 1870, a French military garrison, which had been protecting the Vatican in Rome, was withdrawn and sent to the front of the Franco-Prussian War by Napoleon III.[4] This was followed by the secular uprising of the Paris Commune of 1870–1871, and the subsequent 1871 defeat of France in the Franco-Prussian War. Though today the basilica is asserted[when?] to be dedicated in honor of the 58,000 who lost their lives during the war, the decree of the Assemblée nationale 24 July 1873, responding to a request by the archbishop of Paris and voting its construction, specifies that it is to "expiate the crimes of the Commune."[5] Montmartre was the site of the Commune's first insurrection, and the Communards executed Georges Darboy, Archbishop of Paris, who became a martyr for the resurgent Catholic Church. His successor Guibert, climbing the Butte Montmartre in October 1872, was reported to have had a vision as clouds dispersed over the panorama: "It is here, it is here where the martyrs are,[6] it is here that the Sacred Heart must reign so that it can beckon all to come."[7] King Saint Louis Saint Joan of Arc Following the resignation of the government of Adolphe Thiers, 24 May 1873, François Pie, bishop of Poitiers, expressed the national yearning for spiritual renewal— "the hour of the Church has come".[8] This would be expressed through the "Government of Moral Order" of the Third Republic, which linked Catholic institutions with secular ones, in "a project of religious and national renewal, the main features of which were the restoration of monarchy and the defense of Rome within a cultural framework of official piety,"[9] of which Sacré-Cœur was the chief lasting, triumphalist[10] monument. The 24 July decree voting its construction as a "matter of public utility"[11] followed close on Thiers' resignation. The project was expressed by the Church as a National Vow (Vœu national) and financial support came from parishes throughout France. The dedicatory inscription records the basilica as the accomplishment of a vow by Alexandre Legentil and Hubert Rohault de Fleury, ratified by Joseph-Hippolyte Guibert, Archbishop of Paris. The project took many years to complete.,_Paris

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