Victorinus: In Apocalypsin (13.1-4)

[13.1] And I saw rising from the sea a beast like a leopard signifies the kingdom of that time, the kingdom of Antichrist, and the variety of nations and peoples mixed together. His feet like the feet of a bear, of a strong and very impure beast; and his feet speaks of his leaders. and his mouth like the mouth of a lion, that is, armed with teeth for blood. For, the mouth is his command, and his tongue, that which will come out for nothing else except for the shedding of blood.

[13.2] The seven heads are seven mountains, upon which the woman sits, that is, the city of Rome. And there were seven kings: five have fallen, one is, and another has not yet come; and when he comes, his time will be short. And the beast which you saw is of the seven, and is the eighth. Accordingly, it is useful to understand the time in which the Apocalypse was written, because Domitian was Caesar then. And before him was Titus his brother and Vespasian their father, Otho, Vitellius, and Galba. These were five who have fallen; one is, he says, under whom he says the Apocalypse was written, namely Domitian. Another has not yet come: speaks of Nerva, who when he comes, his time will be short: for he did not complete two years. And the beast which you saw, he says, is of the seven: because before these kings Nero reigned. And is the eighth, he says only that when this one comes, count the eighth place. And because in his (reign) will be the end, he adds: He goes to destruction. For ten kings received royal power: when he moves from the East, they will be sent from the city of Rome with their armies. He speaks of these ten horns and ten diadems. And Daniel shows: Three of the former were uprooted, that is, three of the former leaders of Antichrist are destroyed. The other seven give him glory and honor and a throne and power, of whom he says, they will hate the whore, namely, it speaks of the city, and they will burn her flesh with fire.

[13.3] And one of the heads was slain to death, and his death-stroke was healed: speaks of Nero. For it is certain that when he was followed by the cavalry sent by the Senate, he cut through his own throat. This one raised, therefore, God is to send as a worthy king to those worthy, to the Jews and to the persecutors of Christ, a Christ of such a kind the persecutors and Jews have deserved. And because he will be bearing another name, and also beginning another life, so thus the same will be taken for Christ. For Daniel says: He will not be acquainted with the desire of women, in this he will be very impure, and with no god of their fathers will he be familiar. For he will not be able to seduce the people of the circumcision unless he becomes a defender of the Law. Finally he will compel the saints to no other thing except to receiving circumcision, if he will be able to seduce them. Thus, he will make the faith of the people to him, so that by them he will be called Christ. For he has risen up from hell, as we also spoke of above in the words of Isaiah: Water, he says, nourishes him, and the abyss enlarges him. He who must change his name and not change his name when he comes, the Holy Spirit says: His number is 666 (DCLXVI); this number is to be completed by Greek letters.

[13.4] Another great beast from the earth: the false prophet, who made signs and portents and lies before him in the sight of men; of whom he says having horns like a lamb, that is, a kind like that of the Just Man (?), speaking like a dragon: the devil full of malice. For this will happen in the sight of men, so that the dead will be seen to rise, but in the sight of men. And fire will descend from heaven, but in the sight of men, for in the sight of men, the magicians also do this through the fugitive angels, and this one will also make it so that a golden image of Antichrist might be placed in the temple of Jerusalem, and a fugitive angel might enter there; and then he will give forth voices and oracles. And he will make it that slave and free receive a mark on their foreheads or on the right hand, the number of his name, who may not buy or sell, except he who will have the mark. And of this overturning of men, the contemptible thing to God, and desecration, Daniel has spoken: And he will erect, he says, his temple among the mountains of the sea, and the two seas, that is, Jerusalem; and then he will erect the golden image like king Nebuchadnezzar made. The Lord recalls this for all the churches of the end times; he says: When you see the contemptible thing of overturning, which was spoken of by the Prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place where it is not allowed, let him who reads unserstand. Contemptible thing is said, when God is provoked that idols are worshipped; for overturning, that unsteady men have been overturned by false signs and portents, and seduced away from salvation.

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