Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Saturday, October 18, 2014

18 October 96 A.D. Domitian is assassinated

18 October 96 A.D.  Domitian is assassinated. Domitian was said to be a “cruel monster.”  He killed family and friends. His full title was: Titus Flavius Caesar Domitianus Augustus.  The dates of his reign: October 24, 81 A.D.-September 18, 96 A.D. Domitian was the third and last emperor of the Flavian dynasty.  He was the 11th Roman Emperor.  He ruled during St. John’s times; inferably, Polycarp’s time, the infamous Bishop of Smyrna.


  1. Strengthened the economy by revaluing the Roman coinage.
  2. He expanded the border defenses of the Empire
  3. He initiated a massive building program to restore the damaged city of Rome.
  4. He fought significant wars were fought in Britain
  5. His general Agricola attempted to conquer Caledonia (Scotland).
  6. In Dacia, Domitian was unable to secure a decisive victory against king Decebalus.

Negative achievements:

  1. Domitian had totalitarian characteristics; he saw himself as the new Augustus, an enlightened Ruler destined to guide the Roman Empire into a new era of brilliance.
  2. Religious, military, and cultural propaganda fostered a cult of personality, and by nominating himself perpetual censor, he sought to control public and private morals.
  3. His decrees had the header, “Domitian, Lord and God.” According to Suetonius, he was the first Roman Emperor who had demanded to be addressed as Dominus et Deus (master and god).
  4. Tacitus, Pliny the Younger and Suetonius published histories stating that Domitian was a cruel and paranoid tyrant.[1]
  5. His reign came to an end in 96 when he was assassinated by court officials.
  6. The same day as the assassination, he was succeeded by his advisor Nerva.
  7. After his death, Domitian's memory was condemned to oblivion by the Roman Senate.

New Testament connections:

The “cult of emperor worship was strong in what was now Turkey…Formal recognition of the emperor’s divinity was a patriotic duty” (Ramsay, 8). 

John would be exiled to Patmos. “Antipas” from Pergamum would be martyred.  During this reign, John commends the Ephesians and Thyatirans for “patient endurance.”  2nd or 3rd generation Ephesians, however, had lost their “first love.” Sardis seemed “dead.” Laodicea was “lukewarm.”

To the famous church, from whence Polycarp would come and in which he was a bishop, John had this to say, Rev. 2.9-10: 

10 Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”


Accept, believe, confess, embrace, stay faithful and walk in the fear of the LORD.  This never changes, even when apostate, heretical and pagan Governors rule.

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