In both Chapter 7 and Chapter 8 of Daniel, we are presented with two Little Horns. As Historicists we believe that the Little Horn of chapter 7 is the Papacy, where the Little Horn of chapter 8 in its final form is Islam. They both demand conformity among those they subjugate. There is no freedom of thought or conscience allowed in their respective schemes. Conform or be condemned to the fires of hell or to death, or both, if they can arrange it.
All the other horns in prophecies represent empires, these little horns are presented almost as parasites to those empires. They are not their own kingdoms. Unlike the regular sized horns that clearly represent kingdoms with dynastic lines of rulers, these Little Horns set up no dynasties. They are apostate religious schemes, trampling God’s people and His truth.
There are those who stubbornly cling to an interpretation that these Little Horns are the same power i.e. the papacy. However The Scripture specifically states that the Little Horn of chapter seven arose from the Roman Beast, from among the Ten Nations of Western Europe, where the Little Horn of chapter eight arose from one of the horns of the Greek He-goat. One rules in the Western Latin Empire while the other rules the Eastern Greek Empire. These little horns constitute that last phase of Gentile powers addressed by these prophecies, they are the Papacy in the west and Islam in the east.
When looking at the history that these portend we see that these two little horns come up within one hundred years of each other. The Roman horn appeared with the edict of Justinian Justinian in 533 AD and this Greek horn arose as the teachings of Mohammed in 622 AD. They both subjugate all to their religion.
These two Little Horns or twin apostate powers who have exerted great power and influence over the people that are subject to them. They share some common characteristics. Though their powers were small to begin with, they gradually acquired their respective empires on the grounds of religion. The Papacy stands out as the Great Apostasy of the West and Islam as the great parallel Apostasy of the East. As Islam has trodden down literal Jerusalem, the Papacy has trodden down spiritual Jerusalem. They both proudly oppose Messiah, and fiercely persecute His people. They repress truth, and have enjoyed long and prosperous reigns.
Daniel records that these Little Horns have ten characteristics each. They are similar but not exactly the same.