Rome in transition

Discussion in 'Graeco-Roman' started by juantoo3, Mar 28, 2008.

  1. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Rome in transition​
    BBC - History - Third Century Crisis of the Roman Empire

    BBC - History - The Official Truth: Propaganda in the Roman Empire
     
  2. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    BBC - History - Christianity and the Roman Empire
     
  3. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    BBC - History - Lost and Hidden Christianity

    BBC - History - Lost and Hidden Christianity
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2008
  4. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

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    Herein lies the real bitch of the whole thing. There is no pristine, original point Christianity. You can't isolate the original artifact. It grows out of a soup of syncretic activities and sometime later is standardized and codified, labeled, organized, and institutionalized. It's mythology is polymorphic, and it's theology is equally multi-adaptive. It's philosophy and ethics are divinely Greek, but the storyline is Jewish. It became the perfect ideological meme for the conquests and crusades to follow, and it still works like that today.

    Chris
     
  5. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Yet, with all of the confidence redactors have concerning the dissection of the various texts and subtexts, I wonder.

    Seems to me if "they" can discern the "Q" document, "J" document, etc., out of what we hold now, then the only thing stopping "them" is the lack of effort in discerning what the radical Judaism is from all of the superfluous fluff added on top.

    The philosophy and theology do tend towards the Greek, but I see an awful lot of stock and standard Roman superstition and ritual and a lot of *rubber meets the road* Jewish pragmatism.
     
  6. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Religion in ancient Rome - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    I can’t help but wonder, the similarity of Christianity with the Pagan initiatory religions. Coincidence? I am inclined to think not.

    Res divina - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Again we have St. Augustine playing Pagan themes into and off of Christian themes. I suspect this is deliberate in an effort to reach a broader audience with a majority appeal. I hadn’t before this research realized the impact St. Augustine seems to have had on the metamorphasis of the Christian church soon after Constantine. Apparently he was pretty instrumental in developing a PR program that sold Christianity to a Pagan audience, by playing to common themes and mutually understood concepts, rituals and superstitions.

    At least, that is how this seems to be unfolding to me… ;)
     
  7. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    The Roman Empire: in the First Century. The Roman Empire. Relgion | PBS

    The Roman Empire: in the First Century. The Roman Empire. Worship | PBS
     
  8. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

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    The problem is that with both Christan and Jewish origins the line between history and mythology is intentionally blurred. We don't know who the first Jews or Christians were. Whoever they need to be to make one's pet ideology work out is where one inevitably draws the lines. There is an abundance Greek gematria and other devices of non Jewish metaphysical orientation in the Gospels. Paul employs classic Greek discursive techniques in his writings. This might suggest a larger Hellenistic, or Pagan if you want, influence on the foundational mythology of Christianity than Judeo-centric purists would like to admit, or, equally troubling perhaps, it may suggest a much more cosmopolitan, decidedly un-pristine Judaism of the day.

    Chris
     
  9. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    I know what you're saying Chris, and I don't disagree. There are a couple of things I would add though.

    I think it is fair to say Christianity is largely the product of Pauline "spin." Not saying good or bad, simply stating factual truth. What became Christianity did so through the lens of Paul's eye. Regardless of any traditions that might state otherwise, any other competing branches of Christianity were pruned away by the Roman politicos under Constantine and later. And that faction that was founded by James and Peter in downtown Jerusalem was destroyed in or around 70 AD along with the Temple.

    So, who then is Paul? Paul was indeed cosmopolitan; a product of his times, culture and region. Outside of Judea, Greek influence permeated everything. Inside Judea, one could reasonably expect some amount of Greek influence as well. How much might be debated, but it is difficult to deny it being there. Further, since Judea was under Roman occupation for about a hundred years as I recall prior to the destruction of Jerusalem, there would seem to be even further support of Hellenistic and Pagan influences subtle and not in the region. Paul was a cultural chameleon; he was able to bounce back and forth between these cultural constraints with some degree of ease. He could relate to the Jews and the Romans and the Greeks equally well. So it is really no surprise to me that at least in the Pauline epistles we do see some divergent cultural ideas mixed together.

    I could step a bit further back as well. You stated, “(I)t may suggest a much more cosmopolitan, decidedly un-pristine Judaism of the day.” I think any scholar of Jewish history would have to agree. The Jews of Palestine circa first century AD were not a direct line descent from King David, etc. There was a little “hitch in the git along” on the way when Babylon under Nebuchadnezzer had conquered Judah. It is a part of Jewish history and tradition, but a part that is seldom told in the west and with little emphasis or understanding. Especially as to how it relates to the birth of Christianity. This would lead into the time of Ezra and Nehemiah and the first rebuilding of the Temple.

    Then there’s the whole Maccabean revolution thing against the Syrian Greeks of Antiochus Epiphanes (Antiochus IV), which took place in Palestine and Jerusalem some hundred years or so prior to the Roman occupation and annexation. So I would think “pristine” Judaism to be a problematic term. In fairness though, I can think of no “pristine” culture that hasn’t been influenced by others in some way. So I am wondering if the idea of a pristine culture is, ummm…unrealistic to begin with. Certainly there will always be those who will long for a patriotic ideal, but that ideal is more than likely an illusion of tradition; not any genuine and truthful reality. So for a student of history the idea of a pristine culture (Jewish, Christian or otherwise) is a bit of a red herring.

    Of course, this leads me to wonder if I should post some historical tidbits relating to issues such as this too, in addition to the Roman historical info. The trouble with history is that one cannot take a slice out and say “see, there it is!” It doesn’t work quite like that. Every event, every situation, builds from something preceeding and leads into something else, which eventually ties everything all back together in the end. We want to point a finger to a specific point in time and space and say “see, that’s the problem!” But it doesn’t really work like that.

    Just take a look at the Israel-Palestine problem going on today. Most people don’t have a clue what the deal is all about, and most are so burnt out on it they don’t even care anymore. But the situation is far too complex to point to one moment in time and say, “See, they started it!” Both sides bear some responsibility, in my opinion. But that is off the subject.

    Christianity is not the perfect little petrie dish test tube baby some traditions would have us believe. It is one baby with a very mixed pedigree that wants to claim royal heritage. That want is sincere and overwhelming, but the lineage is just not there…
     
  10. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    1 Maccabees - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    2 Maccabees - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    3 Maccabees - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    4 Maccabees - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Maccabees - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Jewish history - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Just a VERY BRIEF rundown of some of the things I was talking of in my previous post. The Maccabee articles are well worth looking at, and I HIGHLY recommend the story of the 7 brothers found in the 4th book of Maccabees. The most inspiring story of any I have read dealing with martyrdom, surpassing even Joan of Arc.
     
  11. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Philo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    It would seem Philo may have had a bit of influence in introducing Greek Pagan thought into Jewish / Christian thinking too.

    Septuagint - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  12. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    So yes Chris, there is a huge conflation of Roman and Greek Paganistic thought in combination with Jewish tradition that gets blended together and (half?) baked into a shepherd's pie that is then served up somewhat forcefully over the centuries as Christianity. Kinda like Mom telling you "Eat it! You will like it because I said so!" If you hear that often enough you begin to believe you actually like it, whether or not you really do, and whether or not it is actually good for you. :D

    At some point though it is probably fair to consider the outside impact of Divine forces in all of this. But at least up to this point it is pretty evident to me that things are not as simple as we are being told they are. Traditions and superstitions...serve the purpose of teaching the lesson and pointing the way, but "truth" they truly are not.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2008
  13. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    It occurred to me earlier that what is decidedly missing in Christianity is Jewish *ritual*.

    Perhaps that's an easy way to look at this:

    Jewish storyline + Pagan ritual and superstition = Christianity
     
  14. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Omens and Superstitions

    IMPERIUM - Roman Society

    Superstition - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I see some irony in this last quote, but I will let it pass for the moment without further comment…
     
  15. Bandit

    Bandit New Member

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    :D Even the stuff the jews did around the tabernacle & wandering around was just passing time away if God had no pleasure in it- or something like that.

    Except for I did not see it as Paul/Paulines' who did it because if you look at Pauls writings through what would be more like the eyes of Jesus then I see a different picture. Paul rejected the statues, the planet worship & all that type of thinking but was not for or against esteeming days & seasons.

    as I quick note, it was great to locate the tamperings & it was very easy to do because they had no second witness. Then when someone pointed to the second witness there was massive amounts of evidence that the second witness never existed which shows why the first witness never made any sense when compared in the test of frequency. Nice.


    It was the romans who took on all the pagan stuff then called themselves rcc. I mean gods who turn into men? statues all over the place & kissing them? the holy days are not so holy after all and they loved crucifixions as that was the most brutal way to kill someone... It is recorded *history* LOL! that Zeus & Hercules were godmen long before jesus ever was...and now we shall take over the world and will kill & create fear on all who do not believe this new jewish godman.
    Has there not been at least 16 'gods' that have been crucified & all of them B.C.?

    and when you eat this bread it will turn into body flesh & blood of god and if you do not eat it then you burn in hell. That explains why the children spit it out & I would as well. When you repeat chants or something like creeds hundreds of times from age 5 to 12, you WILL believe it, just because they say so!
    Just glad I did not come up with any moms trying to force the shep pie down my throat.

    ...and after all, the GOOD NEWS always comes with fear and threats or it aint good news:D

    Now I shall go & vomit the shepards pie for six months as it has made me very ill & poisoned just to look at it.

    You are on track with all of this, Juan:)...and the other thread on superstition is going to help people, especially for those who may feel fear if they should talk about it.
     
  16. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

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    I think that the story line is all wrong. There are lots of little hints in the Gospels of some sort of zealot movement providing the main cast of characters in the story. Layered on that is a kind of proto-Gnostic ideology that comes out clearly in the beatitudes.

    Chris
     
  17. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Hey, Bandit! So cool of you to drop by!
    Yes, Paul said a number of things that get ignored or misquoted. Sometimes what he did write can become confusing to understand because of it.

    Look at the whole "clean meats" argument that made Peter bristle. Paul was taking the whole show into a new direction. And comments about food that had been offered to idols as being acceptable because the idols were non-entities, but that if it caused a brother or sister to stumble to refrain from such foods.

    The religious landscape way back when Rome was founded was kinda complex, yet there was a lot of similarity in the surrounding area between competing cults. Roman gods followed essentially the same format that the Greek gods followed, as did the Egyptian gods and some number of others, each pantheon showing a remarkably similar structure with a sun god, god of the hunt, god of death, etc... Monotheism was pretty much the realm of the Jews, Zoroastrianism and arguably Hinduism (if one looks at the various Hindu gods as representations different aspects of the one god). Taoism I believe was more like a natural alchemical science than a religion in the sense we usually think. In that it probably shared some similarities with Celtic and Druidic "crafts" we usually think of as witchcraft and spell casting.

    Something like that, at least according to the Theosophists. I haven't ever tried to tally them all up or put them into a context.

    I am sorry if I am the cause, Bandit. It is not my intention to undermine any other person's faith. At the same time I have to be true to myself.

    I guess it depends what "truth" means to a person. If a person is content with allegory and myth, then that is sufficient to be their truth.

    For me, "truth" is supposed to be true; with supporting evidence from internal *and* external sources, repeatedly verifiable, and in accord with all associated and related truths. Maybe a monkey faced Adam isn't glamorous, maybe Eden is only allegory; there are still enough unanswerable questions to keep the whole thing interesting. But I know, tried and true and tested repeatedly (even if only a subjective and personal truth) that certain Biblical elements are beyond reproach. In that much I know that G-d IS. When it comes to the rest I've got some serious questions.

    It's great to see you around again, Bandit. Stick around a while this time... ;)
     
  18. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Hey Chris!

    I'm still a bit fuzzy on the gnostics, were they the ones that had issues over the nature of matter?

    I think the idea of the characters coming from a zealot movement sounds remarklably like what Baigent (sp?) and pals put forth in "Holy Blood, Holy Grail." I don't know that I'm ready to make that leap yet, even though I know it is not too far from where I find myself standing. Yes, something caught the attention and ire of the Roman government, and brought about the execution of a remarkable teacher. Yet I suppose this is where the Divine Providence factor seems to weigh in, because if it were all a bunch of hogwash, surely nothing worthy of note in history would have come of it. I can't see the whole "Jesus movement" as just a grass-roots fad without an expiration date.

    Of course, it is a bit complicated. Certainly there are those who would like to trumpet the Divine Hand card as their own, longevity as evidence of endorsement so to speak, even when some rather un-Divine things have been carried out by the same group. Its just a tad difficult to justify Divine endorsement with matters such as schisms over idols, duelling headmeisters duking it out excommunicating each other, and a cadaver synod to top it all off. How justifiable is it to believe G-d has a hand in the worldly affairs of humans? Is the same G-d that gave us all of the glories of the Christian faith also responsible for the horrors of the Holocaust, the Inquisition and the Crusades?
     
  19. China Cat Sunflower

    China Cat Sunflower Nimrod

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    I dunno Juan. The whole Templar bloodline thing strikes me as medieval gilt. It's another encrustation of derived mythology. Not that there aren't granules of interesting truth here and there. But if the purpose of inquiry is to remove the patina it doesn't help to add more, in my ever so humble opinion.

    The Gospels exhibit a set of influences in the process of creating the liturgical Christ. First is the zealotry. But somehow the zealots are preaching pacifism. Now that's a weird mix. With that is a sort of Pythagorean mystery school kind of gematria that shows up in the parables. And layered upon that is a very Greek avatar concept. With Paul we get obvious tie-ins with Stoicism and Cynicism. And all of that is primitive. So it's obvious that it was never so simple as Paul and Peter: A gentile movement and a central Jerusalem church.

    Chris
     
  20. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Granted, and I agree. Isn't the whole Templar thing a bit of Masonic mythos? Any way one cares to look at it, the Templars are yet another bunch to provoke the ire of the Vatican in their own time. How's that for biting the hand that feeds? One day you are championing the cause of the Pope, and the next day you are on his $hit list...

    I see some of what you are getting at, enough to be intrigued. Would you be so kind as to elaborate a bit?
     

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