By sea here, we may understand some very great confluence of people, and nations. (Re 17:15) Learned Meade in his comment upon (Re 8) faith, that Alaricus, with an huge host of Goths, and other barbarians, Alans, Huns, etc., invaded the Roman empire, both east and west, etc. By the beast here, we may understand the beast of the eighth head, Re 17:11 -See KNOLLYS on “Rev 17:11″ the popedom of Rome papal, with his ten crowned horns; horns, which Mr. Meade faith, are, first, the Britans; Secondly, the Saxons; Thirdly, the Franks; Fourthly, the Burgundians; Fifthly, the Wisigothes; Sixthly, the Swedes; Seventhly, the Vandals; Eighthly, the Alemans; Ninthly, the Ostrogoths; Tenthly, the Grecians. These were ten Roman provinces, who received power as kings one hour with the beast. (Re 17:12) See the exposition thereof. See KNOLLYS on “Rev 17:12″ The seven heads had the crowns, (Re 12:3)
And upon his heads the name of blasphemy that is, they were all seven idolaters, see (Re 7:10) who worshipped idols of stone, wood, etc., historians differ about the exact year of the beasts rising, but most probable it was between 410 and 428 which will appear before 1688 be fully ended.
John Gill and Robert Flemming disagree with Knollys and argue for the year 606 a.d.
Gill notes: “if to this we add 1,260 the expiration of his reigns will fall in the year 1866, so that he may have upwards of a hundred and twenty years yet to continue; but of this we cannot be certain; however, the conjecture is not improbable.”
I believe Gill’s arguments make more sense. Napoleon gave the death blow to political Rome but Rome took some time to fade in political power. The Pope lost secular authority in 1866.
Wikipedia: “After defeating the papal army on 18 September 1860 at the Battle of Castelfidardo, and on 30 September at Ancona, Victor Emmanuel took all the Papal territories except Latium with Rome. In 1866 he granted Pius IX the Law of Guarantees (13 May 1871) which gave the Pope the use of the Vatican but denied him sovereignty over this territory, nevertheless granting him the right to send and receive ambassadors and a budget of 3.25 million liras annually. Pius IX officially rejected this offer (encyclical Ubi nos, 15 May 1871), retaining his claim to all the conquered territory.” Interesting. Gill seems to have used the book of Revelation to actually predict the last battle Papal Rome would have resulting in it’s loss of political power. http://feileadhmor.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/1260-days/