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10 things you thought you knew about the Romans . . . but didn't

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  • 10 things you thought you knew about the Romans . . . but didn't

    10 things you thought you knew about the Romans . . . but didn't
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  • #2
    Well this one is way off, the violin can only be traced back to the ninth century:

    5) NERO FIDDLED WHILE ROME BURNED
    Not if you mean that he sat around ineffectually twiddling his thumbs while the city went up in flames. Actually what Nero did was fiddle in another sense: he played the violin (or so it was said).

    Nero most likely would have been playing a harp or a lyre
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    • #3
      Roman soldiers didn't crucify Jesus.

      The truth is that Pilate had virtually no Roman soldiers under his control. There were three legions in Syria, but all he had was auxiliaries.
      Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
      Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


      "Never pet a burning dog."

      RECOMMENDED WEBSITES:
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      • #4
        Originally posted by Janos View Post
        Roman soldiers didn't crucify Jesus.

        The truth is that Pilate had virtually no Roman soldiers under his control. There were three legions in Syria, but all he had was auxiliaries.
        I'm not sure. There were certainly Gauls with Herod. Possibly some Italian troops too: Acts 10:1-6, and Cornelius would seem a Latin++ name. Pilate would have had some bodyguards and this would have been potentially significant disorder. I think Mel Gibson's movie captures the last day poetically- beat this.

        But crucifixion is particularly cruel- dating from the Punic Wars-- (the Carthaginians I believe invented it). It's terrible to say, but there was a technique to it. IMO only Romans would have had the historically induced cruelty to do it- look at their horrific casualties in the Punic Wars and the carnage they inflicted elsewhere in Gaul or Greece. It's not mentioned much in the annals of the day, but I'd guess one reason Hannibal rattled around Italy for so long was intelligence, and that would have meant torture. Some of the Roman self-sacrifice of these wars seems to endure in their stories- see Scaevola though it's earlier days, and that's perhaps revealing.

        So what goes around comes around. Cruelty. Carthage. Rome. The irony is that a state founded by runaway ex-slaves ended up built into the monolith it became using slavery to the nth degree. To the degree someone finally stood up and said 'enough, no more', perished terribly and founded a religion that still exists today (and has been used over and over even recently as an anti-slavery political movement).
        Tactics are based on Weapons... Strategy on Movement... and Movement on Supply.
        (J. F. C. Fuller 1878-1966)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by General Staff View Post
          I'm not sure. There were certainly Gauls with Herod. Possibly some Italian troops too: Acts 10:1-6, and Cornelius would seem a Latin++ name. Pilate would have had some bodyguards and this would have been potentially significant disorder. I think Mel Gibson's movie captures the last day poetically- beat this.
          No argument with any of that...hence the word virtually in my post. Certainly he would have had a small number, either in staff or administrative/governmental roles, guarding him, or perhaps supervising auxiliaries -- of which he had a decent number.

          Where did you find Gauls with Herod? I would guess they would be auxiliaries and am not aware of a Gaul unit in Herod's AO. I'd appreciate anything you have on them. Thanks!
          Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
          Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


          "Never pet a burning dog."

          RECOMMENDED WEBSITES:
          http://www.mormon.org
          http://www.sca.org
          http://www.scv.org/
          http://www.scouting.org/

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Janos View Post
            No argument with any of that...hence the word virtually in my post. Certainly he would have had a small number, either in staff or administrative/governmental roles, guarding him, or perhaps supervising auxiliaries -- of which he had a decent number.

            Where did you find Gauls with Herod? I would guess they would be auxiliaries and am not aware of a Gaul unit in Herod's AO. I'd appreciate anything you have on them. Thanks!
            I'm not exactly sure. It's one of those tidbits you pick up studying for a degree in history, but unfortunately hard to make a living off- and something I was made acutely aware of applying for work 20+ years ago. Possibly Josephus.

            Looking around try: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=000...3E2.0.CO%3B2-S

            If this doesn't work- and I'm aware there were at least two Herods so please don't insult me (I wish I could have been a professional historian or archaeologist but it wouldn't work)- PM me and I'll look into it further.
            Tactics are based on Weapons... Strategy on Movement... and Movement on Supply.
            (J. F. C. Fuller 1878-1966)

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            • #7
              Originally posted by General Staff View Post
              I'm not exactly sure. It's one of those tidbits you pick up studying for a degree in history, but unfortunately hard to make a living off- and something I was made acutely aware of applying for work 20+ years ago. Possibly Josephus.

              Looking around try: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=000...3E2.0.CO%3B2-S
              Thanks, that refers to 500 Gauls who had been bodyguards for Cleopatra -- certainly not legionaires.

              We may be playing a definitions game -- as I hoped I had made clear in the first post on this, but may not have, I exclude auxiliaries from the term "Roman soldiers",a term I reserve for Roman citizens serving in a legion.

              Perhaps to be clearer I should have said that Pilate would not have controlled legionary units, which belonged to the three legions in Syria during his tenure. As we have both discussed, there were almost certainly individual Roman soldiers in the area, as well as the auxilaries that would have provided Pilate his military power. My recollection is that during his tenure they were Syrians, so I'm not sure if the Gauls would have been exempt from his direct control (makes sense, if Augustus gave them to Herod, as your reference states).
              Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
              Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


              "Never pet a burning dog."

              RECOMMENDED WEBSITES:
              http://www.mormon.org
              http://www.sca.org
              http://www.scv.org/
              http://www.scouting.org/

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              • #8
                QUOTE - JULIUS CAESAR’S LAST WORDS WERE ‘ET TU BRUTE’
                Well, only in Shakespeare’s version of the assassination. Probably our best ancient source is Suetonius and he records the words as (in Greek) “kai su teknon” – or “you too my child”. What this means, in fact, isn’t so clear...
                -------------------------------------------------------


                How about "I thought you were my mate, you motherf*****"

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                • #9
                  7) GLADIATORS SAID ‘HAIL CAESAR, THOSE ABOUT TO DIE SALUTE THEE’ BEFORE EACH SHOW
                  -----------------------------------------------------

                  Nah, more likely they shouted to Caesar "F*** you Jack!"

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Janos View Post
                    Roman soldiers didn't crucify Jesus.

                    The truth is that Pilate had virtually no Roman soldiers under his control. There were three legions in Syria, but all he had was auxiliaries.
                    I'm curious as to your reference sources. Pilate was Governor of all Judea and would have rated a Governor's Guard at the very least. Also, the Jewish Passover was always a time of extreme stress and frustration for the Jewish People. Jerusalem was always absolutely overun with people at this time of year trying to celebrate the Passover, according to custom, all the more reason for more Roman Regulars to be present at this time, to keep down any possible rebellions against Roman Rule or law.
                    "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
                      I'm curious as to your reference sources. Pilate was Governor of all Judea and would have rated a Governor's Guard at the very least. Also, the Jewish Passover was always a time of extreme stress and frustration for the Jewish People. Jerusalem was always absolutely overun with people at this time of year trying to celebrate the Passover, according to custom, all the more reason for more Roman Regulars to be present at this time, to keep down any possible rebellions against Roman Rule or law.
                      At the time I believe a Client Kingdom with Herod in charge of security. So hide your toddlers and hope for Passover in the more traditional and literal sense.
                      Tactics are based on Weapons... Strategy on Movement... and Movement on Supply.
                      (J. F. C. Fuller 1878-1966)

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by General Staff View Post
                        At the time I believe a Client Kingdom with Herod in charge of security. So hide your toddlers and hope for Passover in the more traditional and literal sense.
                        That is true, but according to the Bible, Governour Pilate was never on friendly terms with King Herod and couldn't depend on his promise of security, until after Christ was crucified. After that, they became good friends.
                        "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
                          After that, they became good friends.
                          Hmmm. Be interested in source for friendship. Can't imagine a hard and clever Roman carousing with this twit. But maybe 'friends' of political convenience and I can see this.

                          Ex-docs and original sources Mel Gibson's 'The Passion of the Christ' hits the nail on the head. No disrespect intended and this movie will either make you a true cynic or believer, depending on your level of original faith if you're a Christian. If you're not it's a powerful story of how one man's (in)actions can change the world. An educational must for any child over 21.

                          I was stunned when I saw as it independently confirmed much of what I'd already concluded.
                          Tactics are based on Weapons... Strategy on Movement... and Movement on Supply.
                          (J. F. C. Fuller 1878-1966)

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