Last Roman Emperor
Last Roman Emperor or Last World Emperor is a figure of medieval European legend, which developed as an aspect of Christian eschatology. The legend predicts that in the end times, a last emperor would appear on earth to reestablish the Holy Roman Empire and assume his function as biblical katechon who stalls the coming of the Antichrist. The legend first appears in the 7th-century apocalyptic text known as the Apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius, and developed over the centuries, becoming particularly prominent in the 15th century. The notion of Great Catholic Monarch is related to it, as is the notion of the Angelic Pope.
The biblical foundations for the concept of the Great Monarch can be found in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. References in the Old Testament can be found in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel and Zechariah. It is also found in the New Testament. Catholic teaching refers to the 25th chapter of Matthew's Gospel in which Christ says that no one knows the hour or the day, except the Father in Heaven. The Church furthermore teaches that Christ indicated the approximation of these events in the New Testament, when he spoke of signs which would indicate that the end of days was near. Some of these signs include natural disasters, civil problems, and other catastrophes. Of the precise time, however, it will come like a thief in the night.
The legend is based on the Apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius. It was developed in the writings of Adso of Montier-en-Der, and was particularly current around the end of the fifteenth century. Christopher Columbus refers to it in his Book of Prophecies.
While in mysticism the phrase metaphorically refers to the end of ordinary reality and reunion with the Divine, in the Roman Catholic Church it is taught as an actual future event prophesied in sacred texts or prophecies or apocalyptic literature.
More broadly, it encompasses related concepts such as the Antichrist, the return of Jesus, the end times, end of days and the end of the world, the resurrection of the dead, the Last Judgment, the renewal of creation, heaven and hell, the establishment of the kingdom of God, and the consummation of all of God's purposes, the fulfillment of Messianic prophecy and the beginning of the Messianic Age.
The term eschatology is often used in a more popular and narrower sense when comparing various interpretations of the Book of Revelation and other prophetic parts of the Bible, such as the Book of Daniel and various sayings of Jesus in the Gospels, such as the Olivet discourse and the Judgment of the Nations, concerning the timing of what many Christians believe to be the imminent second coming of Christ.
In Roman Catholic dogmatic, mystical or folk traditions there are, in addition to doctrines and prophecies of the Bible, also traditional teachings, or writings of people granted gifts of prophecy or a special visitation by messengers from heaven, such as angels, saints, or Christ. The concept of the Great King features here prominently.
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