There are literally hundreds of endnotes for the Revelation 6 chapters. Rather than try to fit them all here, they are organized according to the same chapter divisions as the text.
This archive displays the most recently added endnotes first. Click the first post, Revelation 6 Endnotes, to access each endnote in its order encountered in the text.
Of note is that most secular or modern sources discount the Roman Christian persecutions, such as Gibbon, who was an unbeliever; Wikipedia; and The Myth of Persecution: How Early Christians Invented a Story of Martrydom by Candida Moss. (The Fifth Seal, 303-313, pp. 34-35.)
“The deaths of a few eminent martyrs have been recorded with care; and from the time that Christianity was invested with the supreme power, the governors of the church have been no less diligently employed in displaying the cruelty, than in imitating the conduct, of their Pagan adversaries. To separate (if it be possible) a few authentic as well as interesting facts from an undigested mass of fiction and error, and to relate, in a clear and rational manner, the causes, the extent, the duration, and the most important circumstances of the persecutions to which the first Christians were exposed, is the design of the present chapter.”
Edward Gibbon, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. 2, Ch. XVI, “Conduct Towards the Christians from Nero to Constantine,” Pt. 1.
“Gibbon’s apparent antagonism to Christian doctrine spilled over into the Jewish faith, leading to charges of anti-Semitism. For example, he wrote: ‘From the reign of Nero to that of Antoninus Pius, the Jews discovered a fierce impatience of the dominion of Rome, which repeatedly broke out in the most furious massacres and insurrections. Humanity is shocked at the recital of the horrid cruelties which they committed in the cities of Egypt, of Cyprus, and of Cyrene, where they dwelt in treacherous friendship with the unsuspecting natives; and we are tempted to applaud the severe retaliation which was exercised by the arms of legions against a race of fanatics, whose dire and credulous superstition seemed to render them the implacable enemies not only of the Roman government, but also of humankind.’ Gibbon is considered to be a son of the Enlightenment and this is reflected in his famous verdict on the history of the Middle Ages: ‘I have described the triumph of barbarism and religion.’”
“Edward Gibbon,” Wikipedia.
The Wikipedia article “Persecution of Christians,” contained the quoted statement without citation on June 17, 2006, when I first accessed it. I have a record of the quote on that date at “Christian Martyrs of the Roman Empire.” However, it has since been changed to read,
“The New Catholic Encyclopedia states that ‘Ancient, medieval and early modern hagiographers were inclined to exaggerate the number of martyrs. Since the title of martyr is the highest title to which a Christian can aspire, this tendency is natural’. Estimates of Christians killed for religious reasons before the year 313 vary greatly, depending on the scholar quoted, from a low of 10,000 to a high of almost 100,000.”
(Verified April 30, 2015).
When I searched for this statement at The Catholic Encyclopedia to verify it myself, I could not find it. If a reader finds the reference, please send me a note.
See Leroy Huizenga’s critical academic review of Moss’ book published at First Things.
The Catholic Encyclopedia agrees with them as to the severity of the persecutions. (The Fifth Seal, 303-313, pg. 34.)
“But the last persecution was even more severe than any of the previous attempts to extirpate Christianity. In Nicomedia ‘a great multitude’ were put to death with their bishop, Anthimus; of these some perished by the sword, some by fire, while others were drowned. In Egypt ‘thousands of men, women and children, despising the present life, . . . endured various deaths’ (Eusebius, Church History VII. 4 sqq.), and the same happened in many other places throughout the East. … But besides those who actually shed their blood in the first three centuries account must be taken of the numerous confessors of the Faith who, in prison, in exile, or in penal servitude suffered a daily martyrdom more difficult to endure than death itself. Thus, while anything like a numerical estimate of the number of martyrs is impossible, yet the meagre evidence on the subject that exists clearly enough establishes the fact that countless men, women and even children, in that glorious, though terrible, first age of Christianity, cheerfully sacrificed their goods, their liberties, or their lives, rather than renounce the faith they prized above all.”
Maurice Hassett, “Martyr,” The Catholic Encyclopdedia.
For the full history of the Christian martyrs of the Roman Empire, see Eusebius and Foxe’s Book of Martyrs (The Fifth Seal, 303-313, pg. 34).
Eusebius weaves the accounts of the martyrs throughout his History, which covers the rise and progress of the church from its beginning to AD 324. Foxe tells the history of the Roman persecutions and Christian martyrs in Book I of Book of Martyrs. The editions I have used to prepare this volume, are: Eusebius’ The History of the Church, translated and annotated by Arthur Cushman McGiffert, found in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. I-VII edited by Philip Schaff, and published by Wm. B. Eerdman’s Publishing Co. in 1890; and Book of Martyrs by John Foxe, edited by Charles A. Goodrich, and published by Edwin Hunt in 1832, as noted in the Bibliography.
Diocletian’s persecution was the tenth decreed persecution under the emperors of Rome (303-313 AD). (The Fifth Seal, 303-313 AD, pg. 33).
“In 303 Diocletian issued in rapid succession three edicts, each more severe than its predecessor. Maximian [his co-regent] issued the fourth, the worst of all, April 30, 304. Christian churches were to be destroyed; all copies of the Bible were to be burned; all Christians were to be deprived of public office and civil rights; and at last all, without exception, were to sacrifice to the gods upon pain of death.”
Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Vol. 2, p. 68.
The fourth [persecution of the Christians] was under righteous Marcus Aurelius (177 AD), who persecuted the Christians because he believed the tales their enemies spread about them … (The Fifth Seal, 303-313 AD, pg. 33).
“… we find it difficult to understand why, in the second century of our era, a great emperor who was also a great philosopher should have deliberately persecuted Christianity. The difficulty arises from our overlooking the entirely different aspect under which religion presented itself to a Roman mind. It was a matter which lay, not between the soul and God, but between the individual and the State. Conscience had no place in it. Worship was an ancestral usage which the State sanctioned and enforced. … The neglect of it, and still more the disavowal of it, was a crime. An emperor might pity the offender for his obstinancy, but he must necessarily either compel him to obey or punish him for disobedience.”
Edwin Hatch, The Influence of Greek Ideas and Usages Upon the Christian Church, pp. 21-22.