The adventures of Jasper the time travelling cat (Volume 1. Episode 7)

Volume 1. Episode 7. Jasper goes to Italy. And sees another Meteor. Or maybe it was a sign from God…

Jasper, the Time Travelling cat, it would seem, has hit the jackpot. Ancient Egypt seemed to bore him. The Kennedy Assassination held no thrill. But meteors. Oh yes. He seems to like meteors. The fur bag has dumped himself down in a field in pastoral Italy in A.D. 312. Sounds nice eh? Yes, well it probably would be if he hadn?t landed in the midst of one of the most violent civil conflicts that the Roman Empire ever saw.

Frantically, we have been trying to get more information on the time period so that young Jasper can get the hell out of there as soon as is possible.

An interesting little piece appeared yesterday (what are the odds, eh?) on the BBC site pertaining to the claims by a team of Geologists that they have found an impact crater in central Italy. Nothing strange in that you might say. A previous piece on blather makes it clear just how common this is, even on a small island like Ireland. What makes this one of particular interest is that this is (allegedly) the impact site of the heavenly apparition which the future Emperor Constantine saw.

This, of course, is supposed to have converted him to Christianity, changed the empire and then, the world. The reality of Constantine?s conversion has been the subject of the most intense scholarly debate for centuries. Some scholars advocate that he was always a Christian: he was born in a Christian region and had a mother with a Christian name. Others, that his conversion was a gradual matter, as evidenced by the slow transition of iconography on Roman coins in his reign, which move from representations of the Sol Invictus cult to images of Christian symbolism.

Eusebius, the primary source on the matter, tells of Constantine (before the eve of a decisive battle for control of the Roman Empire) seeing a divine omen. He desribes it as follows:

“…while he was thus praying with fervent entreaty, a most marvellous sign appeared to him from heaven, the account of which it might have been hard to believe had it been related by any other person.

“…about noon, when the day was already beginning to decline, he saw with his own eyes the trophy of a cross of light in the heavens, above the Sun, and bearing the inscription ‘conquer by this’.

“At this sight he himself was struck with amazement, and his whole army also, which followed him on this expedition, and witnessed the miracle.”

So, could this impact crater, be that of Constantine?s heavenly guide? More from Jasper soon…

Damien DeBarra was born in the late 20th century and grew up in Dublin, Ireland. He now lives in London, England where he shares a house with four laptops, three bikes and a large collection of chairs.