As I have stated elsewhere, I am well aware that the burden of proof in this situation, the supposition that the Confessions document is genuine, must fall to me alone. When arguing fantastical claims, the evidence necessary to support and validate those claims must by necessity be substantial, must be strong in degrees proportional to the extremities of the claim. This juncture in the narrative thus serves as both proving ground and as a breaking point. To wit: one can reasonably expect there to exist corroborating evidence for the specific event described, Christopher’s captivity and subsequent escape from same in Rome. If as I attest the manuscript describes genuine, historical occurrences, there would exist independent sources to support it. Most of all, this particular occasion, a werewolf running amok in the Imperial city, would certainly have merited mention in the parallel chronicles of the day. If it really happened, one should, one must expect to find mention of it somewhere outside the Confessions manuscript itself. Evidence would have to exist to corroborate the event, else the lack of evidence, in this particular case, would strongly suggest “evidence of absence;” in other words, a lack of independent support carries an implicit charge of forgery pertaining to the document.
As it so happens, though, such supportive evidence does exist, though granted it was not easy to find. I will treat further on this in a moment. First I should like to tackle another, related question in regards to the evidence; specifically, why isn’t there more of it?
We can assume, and it is a safe assumption, that Christopher’s captivity in Rome was big news. His fighting in the arena would have drawn far more attention from the citizenry of Rome than any highly touted boxing match of the present day, for example, would attract publicity, even allowing for the hindrance to the Romans of a lack of electronic media (television, radio, the Internet) or even newsprint. No Super Bowl of our present age could produce the level of public excitement that watching the werewolf battle in the arena would of a certainty have generated, and did generate, in the populace of Rome.
Far more, though, than the novelty of having a Cynocephalus contesting with gladiators and lions in the Coliseum would have produced excitement, Christopher’s escape would have set off a citywide panic. Christopher does not tell us how long he remained at large in the city, nor does he tell us the specifics of how he managed his escape. (I suspect this period of his life held nothing save unpleasant memories for him, and thus he wanted to dispense with it in as succinct a manner as possible; nor are the particulars relevant to the story overall.) Yet we may assume with some guarantee of safety that his quitting of the city was not an immediate occurrence. More than this, it is probable that the populace of Rome knew when he had gone. He would fain have made a public announcement of the fact (As when our modern orators found themselves forced to announce to his throngs of adoring fans that “Elvis has left the building!” when the King of Rock n’ Roll had departed some performance venue, lest those fans remain on vigil all night!). Without doubt the people of Rome would have lived in fear, cautious of every shadow and alleyway, for an indefinite period of time following Christopher’s escape, and at those periods of the full moon, the possibility that he could still remain at large in the city must have aroused genuine fear if not outright panic.
Why, then, do the chroniclers of the day not make more of a “fuss” over the matter? Why do they, to a large degree, fail to mention it at all?
I believe I have an answer for that; the correct answer, in fact. I believe we are dealing here with a good, old-fashioned case of censorship of the media by the government. (Yes, such things happened in ancient times just as they do today.)
We must remember that the debacle of the werewolf refusing to slay the captives, compounded by its subsequent escape, would have proven a matter of great embarrassment for the sitting Emperor, a ruler whose hold on authority was already tenuous. Emperor Decius was desperate, we know, to strengthen the Empire and his place as its leader. Anything that might undermine this goal, as the situation with the werewolf would have done, would have been suppressed by Empirical decree. In modern parlance, Decius would have reverted to damage control, hoping to sweep the entire matter under the proverbial rug. Christopher in his narrative tells us how the Emperor tried to save public face by accrediting the “miraculous” refusal of the Cynocephalus to attack the unarmed prisoners in the arena to an act of divine intervention by his deity of choice, Jupiter or Das Pater, the official state-sanctioned god of the Empire. Might we not also expect an order to have been issued to the scribes and chroniclers of the day not to document the debacle, not even to mention it?
That is why there aren’t more pieces of independent evidence in existence to support this particular section of the Confessions.