THE LITTLE HORN -- A CLOSER LOOK
The "little horn" soon grew more stout, more powerful than any of the other "horns" around it, and it was quite different and "diverse" from its neighbors...
In Europe there arose only one power that fits this description. After Babylon, after Persia, after Greece, and after the pagan roman empire, there came the ruling power that was different from all others: The Roman Catholic Church.
...big claim, eh? Let's start confirming this. Under the Roman Empire the Popes had no temporal powers, but when the roman empire had disintegrated into barbarous kingdoms, the Roman Catholic Church grew to dominate europe in both affairs and affairs. For how long? For over a thousand years. ...uh, 1,260 years to be exact; keep that number on the back burner.
The next thing Daniel saw happen in his vision was this: the stout "little horn" plucked up 3 of the first ten horns by the roots...
This means that for this prophecy to be true, the Papacy must have up-rooted 3 of the 10 nations that had sprung from the ruins of the Roman Empire! Now we can confirm this rather accurate passage.
Did the Papacy do this? ...yes!
Among the principal obstructions to the rise of Papal Rome to political power were the Heruli, the Vandals, and the Ostrogoths. All 3 were supporters of Arianism, which was the most formidable rival of Catholicism. [Arius was a 4th century priest, believed Christ was a created being, therefore there was no trinity.]
The Heruli were defeated in 493 A.D., the first of the 3 "horns" to be destroyed. [Check out a map of Europe circa 490 A.D. for an illustration.] The Emperor Justinian, who ruled the eastern half of the roman empire in Constantinople, saw that the Vandals were vanquished in 534 A.D., and then Justinian's General Belisarius began his 20-year campaign against the Ostrogoths in Italy, but their withdrawl from Rome in 538 A.D. marked the real end of the Ostrogothic power in Europe.
...thus they were "plucked up," the 3 horns that stood in the little horn's way.