Wow, OK I am seeing a whole lot of history being tossed into a salad...I mean Alexander was about 300 years before Octavian, and I thought Octavian became Augustus something like 25 years before "Jesus' birth." ("In January of 27 BC, the Senate gave Octavian the new titles of Augustus and Princeps.," - Augustus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ) I haven't read a lot of Joseph Campbell, but I am familiar a bit with his "hero in the myth" concept. So this idea of "great reversal" towards monotheism is foreign to me. Would you expand on this?
-----> yes the 'mare nostrum' and hinterlands must have been quite a salad which as you agree later in your post antecedents stretch back to influence. the date 9AD was the battle of Teutoburg and cessation of expansion. Romans were brought in to explain the common 'son of god' concept.
---> 'Paul to Galatians speaks of God as sending His son 'in the fullness of time'. History can connect this text with fact of a worldwide movement of religious change that began at time of Alexander the great d.323BC reaching high water mark about time Jesus was born' [P.Hughes,'popular history of the Catholic Church'] see also A. Harnack 'mission and expansion of Christianity,Judaism its diffusion and limits' , F.F.Bruce 'the spreading flame' [concerning importance of 'servant' to christianity].
---> l meant to also add that the Romans had a sacrificial king Rex Nemorensis, who was always a slave, who had to slay the previous consecrated priest.
Sacred king - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
---> The term the great reversal may have come from the many pages of this site Virtual Religion Index but looking up joseph here Joseph Campbell - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia brought me here Axial Age - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediawhich explains it well though it is the 6th century BC seen as the beginning of a different mode of understanding, the time of Pythagoras,Buddha,Zarathustra and Judaic prophets with emphasis on the individual will and the world/body as delusion/prison and quest for release. The mystery cults all had initiation into a rebirth, why l mentioned pre-millenium fever in 1st post.
"On January 1, 42 BC, the Senate recognised Caesar as a divinity of the Roman state, Divus Iulius. Octavian was able to further his cause by emphasizing the fact that he was Divi filius, "Son of God"." - Augustus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia . I understand this in principle, John Dominic Crossan brought this to light in a recent lecture I was privileged to attend, as to how the term "Son of G-d" held a specific meaning referencing the Roman authority, and how *if* that term were indeed applied to Jesus during his lifetime it would certainly be cause for considerable disquiet on the part of the Roman governing authority. It would effectively be a challenge to the government, a call for revolution. Which would only expedite the execution of Jesus on political grounds.
Ah, yes! The Septuigint. My apologies, I forgot about it for the moment. Someone else brought the element of Stoicism into the conversation elsewhere when we got to the point of Pagan-Jewish mishmash. I invite you to take a look and contribute: http://www.interfaith.org/forum/rome-in-transition-8875.html
--------> l wrote elsewhere how stoicism mysteriously disappeared with marcus aurelius 180AD, signifying the end of greek rational philosophy.The stoics had the concepts of passion [anquish or sufferring passively] and apatheia [apathy in the ancient sense of objective/clear judgement]. They
took their own life as an act of control of their own destiny. The early Christians took on many stoical virtues; why l mentioned Tarsus as its source.
I realize any historical study cannot seriously limit itself without risking losing the gist of what is actually happening, which is why a study that focuses on a point in time as I attempted with the Rome in transition thread must of necessity begin some hundreds of years before and even continue a few hundred years after in order to come to any real semblence of what was actually taking place (rather than taking the establishment propaganda on faith).
That "accomodation" between Greek and Jewish thought is no mystery, as you pointed to the Septuigint as evidence. But Pagan accomodation into Judaism goes back even further...the Babylonian Talmud. In some degree I think this may have been a survival response as the Jewish ruling authority evaporated over time from Israel.
----> I was ignorant of Jewish history till l studied it, they were always between the north/south powers [ptolemies/seleucids], and fought amongst themselves incessantly brother to brother, father to son even late as sacrifice. The Hasmonean Alexander [therefore Greek allegiance] had 800 rebels [pharisees] crucified after the battle of Shechem [Samaria]. No wonder apocalyptic ideas came to the fore.The half jewish 'ruler' Herod killed 3 of his sons and the other 3 divided up the kingdom after his death 4BC. There were many revolts once it became a province in 6AD, corruption increasing nationalism and resurrection hopes started in 2 Macabees 7:14,23
l read somewhere [dont ask for a ref please!] that it was common for one Jewish sect to believe that all Jews from another sect were religiously dead.
I know a little of the Dead Sea Scrolls, its been awhile but I am familiar with the War scroll. I realize the Essenes were very strident ascetics, but I still don't see the connection with suffering. Are you suggesting that deliberate separation is somehow suffering? Because I don't get that read at all from that text.
----> why l mentioned the Essenes whose duality undoubtedly is Zarathustrian [info on this from the virtual index somewhere and also henry Chadwick 'the early Church' pg 14]; in a way yes, they withdrew from the temple as a form of protest obviously and lived a very frugal life, only some were zealots who carried arms involved in the jewish war of 66-70Ad.
more info on the 'suffering servant' here Book of Isaiah - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia . My post was purely a gathering together of concepts and beliefs prevalent at the time.