Pliny, Trajan, Tacitus, Suetonius as church forgeries

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Pliny, Trajan, Tacitus, Suetonius as church forgeries

Post by Kookaburra Jack » Sun Nov 15, 2015 9:15 am

The hypothesis here is that the Christian related references in Pliny, Trajan, Tacitus & Suetonius are the interpolations and/or forgeries of the Middle Age church industry. There is a link below to separate pages for Pliny, Trajan, Tacitus & Suetonius, in which the detailed evidence is listed and indexed by its estimated chronology. Feel free to criticise the argument and/or the evaluation of the evidence behind the argument.

If there is sufficient interest perhaps the means, motive and opportunity might be evaluated.


Enjoy!



ABSTRACT: Tetrarchy of Church Forgeries

The term "tetrarchy" (from the Greek τετραρχία "leadership of four [people]") describes any form of government where power is divided among four individuals. The earliest and most prestigeous references to the the persecution of "Early Christians" by Roman Emperors are divided among the manuscripts attrubuted to these four individual authors. This tetrarchy of authors bind together strongly and support each other in their testimony of Christian persecution in the rule of the Roman Emperor Nero. Collectively this "leadership of four" sources represents a tetrarchy of government directly related to authenticity of historical events in Rome in the later 1st century of the common era. One of the core principles for determining reliability using the historical method is that "If a number of independent sources contain the same message, the credibility of the message is strongly increased". As a result the references to the Christians in this tetrarchy of Roman writers is generally accepted as authentic. With only a few exceptions, the consensus of opinion among modern historians is that the persecution of Christians under Nero is an actual historical event. This may be stated in another form: the hypothesis that Nero persecuted the Christians, is generally accepted as being true.

However in this article, the exceptions to this consensus are gathered, and the counter-arguments to authenticity are outlined in their basic form. Another of the core principles for determining reliability using the historical method is that "Any given source may be forged or corrupted. Strong indications of the originality of the source increase its reliability." Many of the academics who have argued against the authenticity of some or all of these references have done so on the basis that they suspect them of being forged, or corrupted in some manner. Many of the manuscripts containing these references were "suddenly and unexpectedly discovered" in the manuscript archives of the church, which will here not be treated as a "Divine Institute" but rather as a "Church Organisation" or "Church [Belief] Industry", and associated with political, financial and business agendas. The manuscripts of four individual Roman authors - Pliny, Trajan, Tacitus and Suetonius - have not certainly not been "miraculously and immaculately transmitted from antiquity. It needs to be stated quite clearly that history has demonstrated that the church organisation slash industries (and their CEO's) have perpetuated themselves (business as usual) from antiquity by means of .... atrocities, exiles, tortures, executions, inquisitions, book burning and prohibition of books, censorship, and (one of the most vital instruments of deceit) literary forgery. Accordingly it needs to be stressed that the organisation that was responsible for the "miraculous and immaculate transmission of the these manuscripts from antiquity was itself utterly corrupt, at least from the 4th century when it became a political instrument of the Roman Emperor Constantine. It will be argued that this literary evidence currently attributed to this tetrarchy of Roman authors was probably forged by the church organisation during the Middle Ages, and that, as a result, the hypothesis that Nero persecuted the Christians is probably false.



LINKS to DETAIL DATA

PLINY: ............. http://www.mountainman.com.au/essenes/a ... Trajan.htm
TRAJAN: .......... http://www.mountainman.com.au/essenes/a ... Trajan.htm
TACITUS: ........ http://www.mountainman.com.au/essenes/a ... acitus.htm
SUETONIUS: .... http://www.mountainman.com.au/essenes/a ... tonius.htm





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Who was Leucius Charinus? ... A "cobbler of fables" [Augustine]; "Leucius is the disciple of the devil" [Decretum Gelasianum]; and his books "should be utterly swept away and burned" [Pope Leo I]; they are the "source and mother of all heresy" [Photius][Website]

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Post by Politesse » Sun Nov 15, 2015 11:35 am

Only one of those people was ever a tetrarch, and two of them were never rulers at all. I suppose you're trying to stretch another metaphor far beyond its reach, but I don't buy it even as a metaphor; only a modern reader obsessed with early Christianity would consider the four to be linked at all, much less a tetrarchy equivalent to the gospels. You're talking about chance references in works about other subjects and preserved in different places for different reasons, not books written to serve as authoritative sources. No one was using them as anything of the sort until much more recent memory.
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Post by Roo St. Gallus » Sun Nov 15, 2015 2:54 pm

:p opcorn:
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Post by Kookaburra Jack » Sun Nov 15, 2015 3:42 pm

[quote=""Politesse""]Only one of those people was ever a tetrarch, and two of them were never rulers at all. I suppose you're trying to stretch another metaphor far beyond its reach, but I don't buy it even as a metaphor; only a modern reader obsessed with early Christianity would consider the four to be linked at all, much less a tetrarchy equivalent to the gospels. [/quote]


They are linked by the fact that they represent the four earliest pagan references to Christians. This is the metaphor of the "leadership of four". The problem is that I believe it is likely that they are interpolations and/or forgeries perpetrated by the middle age church organisation as it faced the Reformation. That is, the history of Christian origins is being compromised by the "leadership or government of four" [Latin forgeries].

You're talking about chance references in works about other subjects and preserved in different places for different reasons, not books written to serve as authoritative sources.
No I am talking about systematic corruption of these manuscripts by the church organisation. The motivation was Orwellian .... "Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past." They were losing control of the monopoly of the Church Industry. They [the church organisation] are to be perceived as an extremely powerful, extremely wealthy and utterly corrupt organisation. They were engaged in the "Belief Industry", and if they could fabricate historical evidence for their own pseudo-historical agenda, and get away with it, they did.
Who was Leucius Charinus? ... A "cobbler of fables" [Augustine]; "Leucius is the disciple of the devil" [Decretum Gelasianum]; and his books "should be utterly swept away and burned" [Pope Leo I]; they are the "source and mother of all heresy" [Photius][Website]

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Post by Politesse » Sun Nov 15, 2015 4:33 pm

[quote=""Kookaburra Jack""]They are linked by the fact that they represent the four earliest pagan references to Christians. This is the metaphor of the "leadership of four". The problem is that I believe it is likely that they are interpolations and/or forgeries perpetrated by the middle age church organisation as it faced the Reformation. That is, the history of Christian origins is being compromised by the "leadership or government of four" [Latin forgeries].
You're talking about chance references in works about other subjects and preserved in different places for different reasons, not books written to serve as authoritative sources.
No I am talking about systematic corruption of these manuscripts by the church organisation. The motivation was Orwellian .... "Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past." They were losing control of the monopoly of the Church Industry. They [the church organisation] are to be perceived as an extremely powerful, extremely wealthy and utterly corrupt organisation. They were engaged in the "Belief Industry", and if they could fabricate historical evidence for their own pseudo-historical agenda, and get away with it, they did.[/quote]
What leadership? Being arbitrarily linked to someone else more than a millenium after your deaths because they happen to refute your pet theory doesn't make them associated in any way, much less co-leaders of a conspiracy. They weren't even, as you say, "pagans"; in their day, that meant you were a farmer. I assume you mean non-Christians, but that isn't a distinction that meant much when they were alive.
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Post by Roo St. Gallus » Sun Nov 15, 2015 9:19 pm

Well, I personally think the fraud got a good start under Eusebius, and with the sponsorship of Constantine. That's only a few centuries after the events. I believe Eusebius 'set out the playing pieces' in the retrospective invented history of the church and consequent claims to apostolic truth. In service to the empire.

If I remember Jack, his conspiracy goes back further...or, maybe that's Koy.

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Post by Politesse » Sun Nov 15, 2015 10:30 pm

Oh yeah, no one would ever accuse Eusebius Pamphili of being overly truthful; he was a shameless press agent for the new liturgia. But this is accusing him of forging private letters written and kept a long distance away, and in a much more subtle way than his usual propaganda suggests his being capable of. He was much more of a Fronto than a Livy.
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Post by Kookaburra Jack » Tue Nov 17, 2015 4:42 am

[quote=""Politesse""]
What leadership? [/quote]


Leadership status in the area of the literary evidence (outside the church) in antiquity which underpins allocating truth value to the hypothesis that Christians were extant in the early second century.
Being arbitrarily linked to someone else more than a millenium after your deaths because they happen to refute your pet theory doesn't make them associated in any way, much less co-leaders of a conspiracy.
I am sorry that the play on words in the term "A Tetrarchy of Church Forgeries" has obscured the discussion, which is not about Constantine the Great. This discussion is about the authenticity of the Christian references in the four Roman authors Pliny, Trajan, Tacitus, Suetonius.

There is independent scholarship that explores these references as the result of interpolations or forgeries. This scholarship is summarized in the links provided in the OP.

They weren't even, as you say, "pagans"; in their day, that meant you were a farmer. I assume you mean non-Christians, but that isn't a distinction that meant much when they were alive.
The authenticity of the Christian references in the four Roman authors Pliny, Trajan, Tacitus, Suetonius has been questioned in the past.


Do you believe that these references are authentic transmissions from antiquity (and preserved through the Middle Ages by the church) of the pen of the four 2nd century Roman authors Pliny, Trajan, Tacitus, Suetonius?


I don't.
Who was Leucius Charinus? ... A "cobbler of fables" [Augustine]; "Leucius is the disciple of the devil" [Decretum Gelasianum]; and his books "should be utterly swept away and burned" [Pope Leo I]; they are the "source and mother of all heresy" [Photius][Website]

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Post by Kookaburra Jack » Tue Nov 17, 2015 4:56 am

[quote=""Roo St. Gallus""]Well, I personally think the fraud got a good start under Eusebius, and with the sponsorship of Constantine. [/quote]

The opening game was played by Constantine who was the first to use the NT+LXX Bible as a political instrument of state. While there is little doubt that Eusebius was the most thoroughly dishonest historian in antiquity, he had continuators in subsequent centuries who were just as corrupt. The church organization continued to indulge in utterly corrupt political activities through all the centuries that followed, through the middle ages. And this corruption include the operation of church forgery mills.

For example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudo-Is ... _Decretals

In the 9th century they were still forging letter exchanges between bishops who supposedly lived in the first three centuries of the common era.

The OP examines the possibility that the Christian references in these Roman authors were added by this utterly corrupt church BU$$INE$$ INDU$TRY.



That's only a few centuries after the events. I believe Eusebius 'set out the playing pieces' in the retrospective invented history of the church and consequent claims to apostolic truth. In service to the empire.

If I remember Jack, his conspiracy goes back further...or, maybe that's Koy.

:p opcorn:

In 2007 I submitted for peer-review a thesis that Constantine invented Christianity. That was 8 years ago.

Since then I have been looking at the far side of Christian literature and the non canonical texts, gnostic gospels and acts, and the texts of the NHL.

This OP is not about the Emperor Bullneck and his Bullshit.

The OP is about whether (the Christian references in) Pliny, Trajan, Tacitus, Suetonius are legit references or whether they have been fabricated well after Constantine and Eusebius went to the underworld, during the Middle Ages.


They need to be examined one by one.
Who was Leucius Charinus? ... A "cobbler of fables" [Augustine]; "Leucius is the disciple of the devil" [Decretum Gelasianum]; and his books "should be utterly swept away and burned" [Pope Leo I]; they are the "source and mother of all heresy" [Photius][Website]

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Post by Kookaburra Jack » Tue Nov 17, 2015 5:02 am

[quote=""Politesse""]Oh yeah, no one would ever accuse Eusebius Pamphili of being overly truthful; he was a shameless press agent for the new liturgia. But this is accusing him of forging private letters written and kept a long distance away, and in a much more subtle way than his usual propaganda suggests his being capable of. He was much more of a Fronto than a Livy.[/quote]


You have the claim slightly wrong. I am not claiming that Eusebius interpolated or forged the Christian references in the writings of these four Roman authors of the 2nd century. The claim is that this interpolation and/or forgery was undertaken by the [utterly corrupt] church organization of the Middle Ages. This is clearly indicated in the separate timelines associated with the examination of the history of the appearance of these references.

For example, for Tacitus ..... http://www.mountainman.com.au/essenes/a ... acitus.htm


Timeline

Ancient Sources____________________________________
115 - Tacitus, "Annals" 15:44
122 - Suetonius, "Lives", Nero, 16:
192 - Tertullian, "Apology" 5:
324 - Eusebius of Caesarea, "Historia Ecclesiastica" 2.25
325 - Lactantius, "On the Manner in which the Persecutors Died"", Chapter 2
4th - Seneca to Paul, Letter 12: "Dear Paul, How goeth the church industry? Your good buddy, Seneca"
403 - Sulpicius Severus, "Chronicle" 2.29.1-4a: "phrases and even sentences from many classical authors are interwoven here and there"
??? - Jerome, Orosius, Sidonius Apollinaris, and Cassiodorus.


Middle Age Sources____________________________________
1071 - Oldest manuscript (Annals 15:44) dated palaeographically: Second Medicean manuscript, Benedictine abbey, Monte Cassino, using the Beneventan script
1513 - John de Medici (Pope Leo X) increases the price of rewards to persons who procured new MS. copies of ancient Greek and Roman works
1514 - Angelo Arcomboldi, Pope Leo X's "Thesaurum Quaestor Pontificius" ("steward", "receiver", or "collector") discovers the manuscripts of Annals 1-6
1515 - Publication of Annals 1-6 by Beroaldus in Rome
1559 - Index Librorum Prohibitorum
16th - Last known exemplars authored using the Beneventan script


Modern Sources____________________________________
1878 - John Wilson Ross, "Tacitus and Bracciolini: The Annals Forged in the 15th Century" (Ross disputes the Annals in its entirety but accepts the History)
1885 - Polydore Hochart "Études au sujet de la persécution des Chrétiens sous Néron"
1890 - Polydore Hochart "De l'authenticité des Annales et des Histoires de Tacite" (Hochart questions both the Annals and the History)
1902 - Georg Andresen commented on the "Chrestians"
1910 - W.B. Smith's "The Silence of Josephus and Tacitus", largely duplicated in "Ecce Deus"
1912 - Arthur Drews, "The Witnesses to the Historicity of Jesus" summarising Hochart: middle age forgery
1913 - W.B. Smith's "Ecce Deus" (Smith questions only the genuineness of the passage in the Annals about "Christus" and "Christians")
1947 - Arnaldo Momigliano, "The First Political Commentary on Tacitus"
2014 - Richard Carrier "The Prospect of a Christian Interpolation in Tacitus, Annals 15.44"


Links - Further references
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Who was Leucius Charinus? ... A "cobbler of fables" [Augustine]; "Leucius is the disciple of the devil" [Decretum Gelasianum]; and his books "should be utterly swept away and burned" [Pope Leo I]; they are the "source and mother of all heresy" [Photius][Website]

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Post by Jobar » Tue Nov 17, 2015 4:03 pm

It so happens that I've been reading Ehrman's Misquoting Jesus. In it, Ehrman states that even most religious historians agree that there was no organized, official persecution of Christians during the first couple of centuries, although there were undoubtedly instances of disorganized mob violence against the new and strange religion.

As to all four of these ancient references being forgeries... well, we ought to take them one by one. Suetonius' is the shortest:
Iudaeos impulsore Chresto assidue tumultuantis Roma expulit

which can be translated as either
"He expelled from Rome the Jews constantly making disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus"
or
"Since the Jews constantly make disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he expelled them from Rome."

Many historians believe that this has nothing at all to do with Christ; some think that 'Chrestus' is a misspelling of 'Christos'. In either case I would think that if this was a Christian forgery meant to add historical testimony for the existence of JC, then it would not have been misspelled. What's your take on that, Jack?

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Post by Roo St. Gallus » Tue Nov 17, 2015 6:45 pm

Yes...I have read Ehrman's The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament wherein he deals in extended manner with the various corruptions of the scriptures to address the uses made of those scriptures by 'unauthorized' interpreters (the heretics). He shows where textual changes were made and offers up reasons, usually polemic, for their being changed.

The point is, if they would stoop to redacting, interpolating and editing the holy scripture itself, why would they shy from doing much the same with extant historical documents like the writings of reasonably well-known chroniclers of the times like Suetonius, Pliny Secundus, Tacitus, and Seneca? And, of course, Josephus? Not only was the latter most likely redacted and interpolated to add 'the Christ' in to his history, but if Steven Mason is correct, the works of Josephus may well have been used as a source for the ALuke in writing his gospel and, in particular, Acts. (Josephus and the New Testament, 2003, Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, Mass.)

I have no problem with your postulation of such frauds...it is just that I think they may well have started earlier, with well-meaning but under-informed copyists adding marginal notes which later became inducted into the text. Of course, by the early medieval age, the Church had an intellectual stranglehold upon all literacy and thus control over all the historical documents which underpinned and supported their theological assertions. So, yes, I'm comfortable with the idea that the Church continued its fraud. I suspect that troublesome texts, like sections of Tacitus, would just handily disappear so that at a later point in time, 'rediscovered' texts did not illuminate the lie created by the Church.

Also...I wouldn't get too excited about the 'spelling' thing, Jobar. Uniform spelling was not an arachaic propensity (particularly when translated through two languages) and I understand that the 'Chrestus' form was a possibility when the christ term was unknown to the Latin world. The thing is that it, 'Chrestus', was a widespread name given manumitted slaves in Rome...my understanding was it meant 'trusted', like a slave trustee.

I find the claim that there was an extended 'Christian' community in Rome within thirty years of the putative execution of their leader as a criminal to be difficult to accept. That a reviled religious community could attain such prominence in such a short time is not impossible, just improbable. And...why would it be 'the Chrestus' who was there in Rome, whipping up his followers? I thought that by then, if it were the Christ, he'd ascended.
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Post by Jobar » Tue Nov 17, 2015 10:27 pm

I wouldn't get too excited about the 'spelling' thing, Jobar. Uniform spelling was not an arachaic propensity (particularly when translated through two languages) and I understand that the 'Chrestus' form was a possibility when the christ term was unknown to the Latin world. The thing is that it, 'Chrestus', was a widespread name given manumitted slaves in Rome...my understanding was it meant 'trusted', like a slave trustee.
Quite so, we've discussed all that in past threads. However, if Jack's thesis that this was an intentional fraud by later Christian scribes is true, why would *they* misspell it? Surely, if they did it specifically as an attempt to lend their savior historical veracity, it would be more effective spelled with the 'i'?

And I agree that there were plenty of early Christians who wouldn't hesitate to commit this sort of fraud. However, does the extant evidence lead us to believe that it was in fact done, in all four of these cases? While I might be convinced otherwise, at present I think not.

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Post by Politesse » Tue Nov 17, 2015 11:16 pm

[quote=""Kookaburra Jack""]
Politesse;616182 wrote: What leadership?

Leadership status in the area of the literary evidence (outside the church) in antiquity which underpins allocating truth value to the hypothesis that Christians were extant in the early second century.[/QUOTE]These texts aren't "leaders" of anything, though... none of them were considered important by anyone until much later in history. If there was a conspiracy to "convince" everyone of something that everyone took for granted anyway by the Middle Ages, it sure took a while to work.
The authenticity of the Christian references in the four Roman authors Pliny, Trajan, Tacitus, Suetonius has been questioned in the past.
Of course it has. Literally everything in Roman history "has been questioned in the past", that's what historians do for a living.
Do you believe that these references are authentic transmissions from antiquity (and preserved through the Middle Ages by the church) of the pen of the four 2nd century Roman authors Pliny, Trajan, Tacitus, Suetonius?
Difficult to know. I doubt very much that they are all forgeries, though; that simply exceeds the bounds of plausibility. Four extremely different writers, at different times, invented just so we could have a couple of noticeably ambiguous references to Christianity in the 20th century? Why ambiguous, if this is propaganda? Why not a whole library of faked roman documents discussing Jesus' triumphal march on Rome as per Malory's Arthur?

Indeed, Malory is a good example of what a Middle Age attempt at "writing Roman" actually looks like.
You have the claim slightly wrong. I am not claiming that Eusebius interpolated or forged the Christian references in the writings of these four Roman authors of the 2nd century. The claim is that this interpolation and/or forgery was undertaken by the [utterly corrupt] church organization of the Middle Ages. This is clearly indicated in the separate timelines associated with the examination of the history of the appearance of these references.
Even less credible. At least Eusebius knew the imperial court well enough to conceivably forge something from an emperor's desk. I have no reason to believe that the Middle Ages ever produced a forger whose hand is not obvious in retrospect. However incredulously some may have been accepted in their own time, their misreadings and misunderstandings of Roman politics make actual works of pious forgery like that of the Pseudo-Dionysius stick out like a sore thumb in the retrospective light of history.

Possibly the weirdest thing about your claim is that you're positing a conspiracy hatched right in the temporal and spatial heart of Christendom to justify belief in something that everyone in that time believed already, and indeed wouldn't even think to question much less argue for. When Muslim apologists started challenging Christian histories from Cordoba, the academics of Europe weren't just angry, they were shocked.
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Post by Copernicus » Wed Nov 18, 2015 2:02 am

From what Ehrman others say of those times, scribal errors, forgeries, and interpolations were actually quite common. Quite a few manuscripts are obvious forgeries. The synoptic gospels all worked from some common source materials, but there was no audit trail to authenticate the sources. Authors back then did not usually put their own names on their works, give credits to scribes, editors, and reviewers, provide footnotes, or compile reference lists. Because some things were obviously forged to promote the interests of various groups, we cannot make the sweeping generalization that any particular record is a forgery. However, we can put the reliability of these sources in perspective. The centuries-long copying machine maintained by the RCC was biased, but it did manage to preserve some information accurately. Whether the source information for that long chain of copiers was accurate is another question.

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Post by Politesse » Wed Nov 18, 2015 5:54 am

You know, I actually like Bart Ehrman, but he presumes to speak for "scholars" an awful lot. He is just one voice, however competent.
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Post by Samnell » Wed Nov 18, 2015 6:28 am

[quote=""Copernicus""]From what Ehrman others say of those times, scribal errors, forgeries, and interpolations were actually quite common. [/quote]

I actually get clerical errors fairly often in nineteenth century works. Some of those are witness testimony about events that happened a year or more before the testimony, so you expect dates to jiggle around and details to wander even before you get into everyone having various partisan motivations. But even official documents can have some drift to them, purposeful or not.

Case in point: A guy named Franklin Coleman had long running on-again, off-again disputes with two of his neighbors about the boundaries of his claim. The short version of all that is that multiple means of settling who had what claim were in operation and the participants tended to select the one most advantageous to them. My take is that Coleman was probably a little bit more in the right than his neighbors, but not by a huge margin.

These disputes turned heated fairly often. Both sides made threats that they appeared to mean. At this point, it's not really a political thing. Coleman (proslavery) has a partner on his claim who opposes slavery. But things come to a head in late November, 1855. Coleman kills a guy named Charles Dow, one of those he had a dispute with. Dow was likely trying to kill him at the same time. It's unclear which of them was shopping harder for the fight before all of this, but neither looks innocent. Dow probably burned out the guy on his claim before he took it.

So Dow's dead. Coleman knows that Dow has friends who, like Dow, are antislavery. They include Jacob Branson, who is Coleman's neighbor on the other side. Branson was pushing eighty by this point, but apparently fairly up for a good fight. He was an officer in the semi-secret (These guys were terrible at keeping secrets...) Kansas Legion, a free state paramilitary group. Coleman's friends convince him that he can't just hang around. Branson will have a lynch mob out soon enough. He bails, soon joined by a couple of proslavery neighbors.

They book it for the territorial governor, Wilson Shannon. Meanwhile Branson is back home presiding over a public meeting about the Dow killing that establishes some kind of vigilante group that totally did not pinky swear have anything to do with burning down Coleman's house or those of his neighbors over the next few days. Coleman's friends took off after an aggressive questioning by this group.

Coleman and his buddies reach the seat of the territorial government at the Shawnee Manual Labor School. Governor Shannon isn't home, but they run across Sheriff Samuel Jones. Jones is a diehard proslavery man who earned his bones, as it were, by helping with the purloining of one of Kansas' infamous stolen elections. He and some bully boys burst into a cabin housing the polls and told the election officials they had five minutes to either cave and let all these people who came over from Missouri vote, resign, or join the Bullet in the Head Club. They took six minutes (He gave them an extension.) but resigned in the end. Jones' jurisdiction included the site of Dow's murder, so this is kind of his job to deal with.

Jones, Coleman, and his friends start back for the area that night and meet Coleman's free soil partner on the road. Mrs. Coleman set him down to warn them off coming back. There was a mob waiting, you know. Okie-dokie, back to Shawnee Mission. There, Shannon has returned home. They tell all and Shannon tells the group to go off to Lecompton and get a warrant for Branson's arrest, since he's the ringleader of the gang. He's not a judge; he can't just issue one himself.

Here's where it gets tricky. Jones got his warrant for Branson from Hugh Cameron, who has an awesome beard. Cameron, according to my research, was already some kind of county official. He seems to have fancied himself antislavery, but took a post with the territorial government and that made him a traitor to most of them. The free state sources I have all insist that some kind of quid pro quo took place where Shannon went Jones off with a blank commission so he could create a justice of the peace wherever convenient to get the warrant issued.

That's easy to say but hard to prove. Jones' account doesn't mention his making Cameron a judge before getting the warrant, but then Jones wouldn't say something like that. Taking office in frontier America still requires paperwork, so we could get an idea by looking at the date of Cameron's justice of the peace commission. I don't have the document itself, but I have a record of the commission being given in Shannon's executive minutes. It's dated November 24, 1855. Dow took a dirt nap on the 21st. Jones got his warrant on the evening of the 26th and served it on the night of the 26th-27th.

That fits, then. Cameron was commissioned days before getting that warrant out. Must be no bribery involved. Well maybe, but it looks fishy for a couple of reasons. It is after the murder, but the date is also before Shannon would have known about Dow's death. However, right next to the record of Cameron's commission -literally on the same page, consecutive lines- is record of commissions for Coleman and one of his two friends. They're all justices of the peace as of that date. That's an awful big coincidence, isn't it? These guys were all pretty ordinary nobodies before, except for Cameron. They appear to have been interested entirely in their personal claims, not taking offices.

I can't prove it, but it looks very much like Jones left Shannon's office with several blank commissions and handed them out when he deemed fit to those he deemed useful. Whether Jones backdated them, someone in Shannon's office did so, or it's a simple clerical error I can't say.

There are a lot of plain old errors in the documents. Coleman's one friend is either Josiah or Joshua and his surname is Hargis, Hargus, or Hargous. Most historians go with Josiah Hargis, presumably as it's what's on his affidavit and he'd likely have at least seen the paper before it was finished, but I've seen all three surnames fairly often. The Joshua thing appears unique to the commission records. There are much more mundane things like wrong page references and misspellings of names even within the same document too.

Anyway, it's downright strange if they all just happened to get those offices two days before they'd need them. It makes more sense given the evidence available for there to have been some kind of understanding involved than for there to have been non.

This all involves typeset documents produced on steam-driven printers in a pretty literate society. An actual copyist- and manuscript-driven system is going to inherently be far more error-prone.
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Post by Kookaburra Jack » Wed Nov 18, 2015 9:32 am

[quote=""Jobar""]It so happens that I've been reading Ehrman's Misquoting Jesus. In it, Ehrman states that even most religious historians agree that there was no organized, official persecution of Christians during the first couple of centuries, although there were undoubtedly instances of disorganized mob violence against the new and strange religion.

As to all four of these ancient references being forgeries... well, we ought to take them one by one. Suetonius' is the shortest:
Iudaeos impulsore Chresto assidue tumultuantis Roma expulit

which can be translated as either
"He expelled from Rome the Jews constantly making disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus"
or
"Since the Jews constantly make disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he expelled them from Rome."[/quote]

The timeline I have for (the two references in) Suetonius at the moment is:
http://www.mountainman.com.au/essenes/a ... tonius.htm



Timeline


Ancient Sources____________________________________
122 - Suetonius, "Lives of the Twelve Caesars", Nero, 16: ("Punishment was inflicted on the Christians")
122 - Suetonius, "Divus Claudius" 25: ("Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus")
192 - Tertullian, "Apology" 5:
324 - Eusebius of Caesarea, "Historia Ecclesiastica" 2.25
325 - Lactantius, "On the Manner in which the Persecutors Died"", Chapter 2
4th - Seneca to Paul, Letter 12: "Dear Paul, How goeth the church industry? Your good buddy, Seneca"
403 - Sulpicius Severus, "Chronicle" 2.29.1-4a: "phrases and even sentences from many classical authors are inwoven here and there"
417 - Paulus Orosius, "Historiae Adversus Paganos" 7.6.15-16


Middle Age Sources____________________________________
0820 - Earliest Suetonius manuscript (Paris, BnF lat 6115) from north-central Carolingian France
1590 - Inscription by the Senate and People of Paris attests to the sentence about Christians. (Boman, 2012)

Modern Sources____________________________________
2012 - "Chrestus or Christus"? ... B. Jobjorn Boman, Inpulsore Cherestro? Suetonius’ Divus Claudius 25.4 in Sources and Manuscripts, Liber Annuus 61
2015 - Robert A. Kaster, "The Transmission of Suetonius’s Caesars in the Middle Ages"


Many historians believe that this has nothing at all to do with Christ; some think that 'Chrestus' is a misspelling of 'Christos'. In either case I would think that if this was a Christian forgery meant to add historical testimony for the existence of JC, then it would not have been misspelled. What's your take on that, Jack?
Thanks for the question Jobar.

From the above, the Earliest Suetonius manuscript (Paris, BnF lat 6115) from north-central Carolingian France, which has two implications.

(1) In summary mode, the French language AFAIK is inclined to prefer "Chrestian" over "Christian". In detail mode there is a bit of evidence to take into account, as listed below:

The sources of "Chrestian" [χρηστιανος] and "Christian" [χριστιανος] in Antiquity
http://www.mountainman.com.au/essenes/c ... stians.htm


The sources of Chrestian and Christian in antiquity
http://www.mountainman.com.au/essenes/c ... ristos.htm



(2) This is the same time and place the Latin forgery mill known as "Pseudo-Isidore" operated out of Corbie Abbey, in north-central Carolingian France. As a result the legitimacy of the reference is not enhanced.


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Post by Kookaburra Jack » Wed Nov 18, 2015 12:52 pm

[quote=""Roo St. Gallus""]Yes...I have read Ehrman's The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament wherein he deals in extended manner with the various corruptions of the scriptures to address the uses made of those scriptures by 'unauthorized' interpreters (the heretics). He shows where textual changes were made and offers up reasons, usually polemic, for their being changed.

The point is, if they would stoop to redacting, interpolating and editing the holy scripture itself, why would they shy from doing much the same with extant historical documents like the writings of reasonably well-known chroniclers of the times like Suetonius, Pliny Secundus, Tacitus, and Seneca? And, of course, Josephus? Not only was the latter most likely redacted and interpolated to add 'the Christ' in to his history, but if Steven Mason is correct, the works of Josephus may well have been used as a source for the ALuke in writing his gospel and, in particular, Acts. (Josephus and the New Testament, 2003, Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, Mass.)[/quote]

This is a well expressed statement in support of the OP. Thanks Roo.

Another example of how the Christian regime of the 4th century corrupted the Greek and Roman literature of the day are the collections of the literary works of Seneca. These were preserved, but prefaced with the totally bogus letter exchange between Paul and Seneca. It was a forgery racket in the 4th century and the racket simply continued through the middle ages to the modern epoch.

I have no problem with your postulation of such frauds...it is just that I think they may well have started earlier, with well-meaning but under-informed copyists adding marginal notes which later became inducted into the text. Of course, by the early medieval age, the Church had an intellectual stranglehold upon all literacy and thus control over all the historical documents which underpinned and supported their theological assertions. So, yes, I'm comfortable with the idea that the Church continued its fraud. I suspect that troublesome texts, like sections of Tacitus, would just handily disappear so that at a later point in time, 'rediscovered' texts did not illuminate the lie created by the Church.

A study of the 9th century forgery mill known as Pseudo-Isidore is quite instructive on how the church forgers undertook their literary deceit. Some of the forged material is an expansion of quotes found in Eusebius and/or the church [industry] fathers. The extract may be from a letter. So the forgers fabricate the letter. Insidiously clever. But now exposed.


I find the claim that there was an extended 'Christian' community in Rome within thirty years of the putative execution of their leader as a criminal to be difficult to accept. That a reviled religious community could attain such prominence in such a short time is not impossible, just improbable. And...why would it be 'the Chrestus' who was there in Rome, whipping up his followers? I thought that by then, if it were the Christ, he'd ascended.
I think that the interpolated Christian references in these 4 Roman authors was not just a false flag for the figure of Jesus Christ of NT Story fame. Although that is what most analyses focus upon. This analysis is slightly different.

These references are also serving as false flags for the existence of the entire Christian community in the early second century. I don't think there was a Christian community in Rome while these authors lived and wrote.
Who was Leucius Charinus? ... A "cobbler of fables" [Augustine]; "Leucius is the disciple of the devil" [Decretum Gelasianum]; and his books "should be utterly swept away and burned" [Pope Leo I]; they are the "source and mother of all heresy" [Photius][Website]

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Post by Roo St. Gallus » Wed Nov 18, 2015 4:06 pm

[quote=""Politesse""]You know, I actually like Bart Ehrman, but he presumes to speak for "scholars" an awful lot. He is just one voice, however competent.[/quote]


Well, I, too, like much of Ehrman's work. I don't always agree with him, particularly about the historical Jesus, but I have learned a great deal about the scriptural projects from his writing and that, combined with exposures to Burton Mack, Earl Doherty, Robert M. Price, and G.A. Wells, has helped fashion my current opinion in that realm.
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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Wed Nov 18, 2015 5:11 pm

[quote=""Roo St. Gallus""]If I remember Jack, his conspiracy goes back further...or, maybe that's Koy.[/quote]

:D

I'm touched. As many have thought and some have said.

Yes, my theory is that Paul was a Roman operative and that GMark was Roman penned propaganda that emerged at a seminal point in Jewish uprisings (i.e., circa 70 CE), stemming from Paul's failed mission to subvert a "terrorist" movement of "Chrestians" from within, the primary evidence of which (or perhaps "foundational" evidence of which) being the completely unnecessary inclusion of the ludicrous trial sequence in GMark.

There is only one explanation for why the author had to include such a convoluted, contradictory and literarily unnecessary sequence; because a trial actually happened and Jesus actually existed and was the leader of an insurrectionist movement who was publicly tried, tortured and sentenced to death by crucifixion by Pilate in front of the "festival" crowd as a lesson to all Jews who would be Kings (i.e., warriors against Rome).

You know, the most likely, logical, historically accurate version of the story that makes perfect sense of every single element we know about.

But carry on Kookaburra! Always a good show!
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Post by Roo St. Gallus » Wed Nov 18, 2015 5:37 pm

Yes, Koy....we all know you are touched.

:D

But we still enjoy your rants, any way.
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Post by Kookaburra Jack » Thu Nov 19, 2015 7:54 am

[quote=""Jobar""] However, if Jack's thesis that this was an intentional fraud by later Christian scribes is true, why would *they* misspell it? [/quote]

We do not know why the scribes of Codex Sinaiticus wrote χρηστιανος: The disciples were first called Chrestians in Antioch, why the scribes of Codex Vaticanus wrote "Chreistians" and why the scribes of Alexandrinus finally wrote "Christians".

I did a sampling of the papyri, and most of it reads "Chrestian" prior to Codex Alexandrinus which is generally dated (completely by church dogma) to the mid 5th century. After this date, although there are exceptions, the "Christian" reading is generally attested.

So one recourse if that "Chrestian" is some archaic form of "Christian".

Surely, if they did it specifically as an attempt to lend their savior historical veracity, it would be more effective spelled with the 'i'?

I think it is reasonable to think that they thought they could get away with the archaic form since the references they fabricated were supposed to be coming from the early second century.


And I agree that there were plenty of early Christians who wouldn't hesitate to commit this sort of fraud.
I am lead to think that the fraud was perpetuated in the middle ages. The fraud and utterly corrupt political nature of the Nicene church was perpetuated by the RCC of the middle ages.

However, does the extant evidence lead us to believe that it was in fact done, in all four of these cases? While I might be convinced otherwise, at present I think not.

I have set out the basic list of extant evidence in each of the four cases. The earliest archetype of the Suetonius manuscript is provenance very close in space and time to the Pseudo-Isidore forgery mill.

The Tacitus reference has been assailed by academics for some time.

The Pliny manuscript was "suddenly found" in the archives just in time for an Aldus Printing Press run and, after the run, was "suddenly lost". So we effectively have no manuscript for Pliny.

Each of these cases needs to be separately assessed.
Who was Leucius Charinus? ... A "cobbler of fables" [Augustine]; "Leucius is the disciple of the devil" [Decretum Gelasianum]; and his books "should be utterly swept away and burned" [Pope Leo I]; they are the "source and mother of all heresy" [Photius][Website]

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Post by Kookaburra Jack » Thu Nov 19, 2015 8:36 am

[quote=""Politesse""]
Kookaburra Jack;616405 wrote:Do you believe that these references are authentic transmissions from antiquity (and preserved through the Middle Ages by the church) of the pen of the four 2nd century Roman authors Pliny, Trajan, Tacitus, Suetonius?
Difficult to know. I doubt very much that they are all forgeries, though; that simply exceeds the bounds of plausibility. Four extremely different writers, at different times, invented just so we could have a couple of noticeably ambiguous references to Christianity in the 20th century? [/quote]

I am not claiming these authors were invented, only that a small number of Christian references were interpolated or forged into their extant writings.


Possibly the weirdest thing about your claim is that you're positing a conspiracy hatched right in the temporal and spatial heart of Christendom to justify belief in something that everyone in that time believed already, and indeed wouldn't even think to question much less argue for.
Firstly everyone believed in the Jesus of Faith. However the monopoly church BU$INE$$ based on the Jesus of Faith was being threatened and undercut. The reformation had been brewing. Questions were being asked and the church no longer had the authority and power.

Secondly, during this precise period there was a revolution with the printing press, and the Tacitus and Pliny/Trajan references seem to have been first attested in manuscripts which were used for Aldus Printing runs.

Thirdly, I think it needs to be spelled out very clearly that the church organisation (and its BU$$INE$$ INDU$TRY) in the 14th-16th century was an utterly corrupt organisation. It was operating the Heresy Laws of the Church, staging the inquisitions, it was conducting executions and tortures, it had engaged in genocides, in book burning, in censorship and it had been engaged in the forgery of manuscripts.
Who was Leucius Charinus? ... A "cobbler of fables" [Augustine]; "Leucius is the disciple of the devil" [Decretum Gelasianum]; and his books "should be utterly swept away and burned" [Pope Leo I]; they are the "source and mother of all heresy" [Photius][Website]

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Post by Koyaanisqatsi » Thu Nov 19, 2015 2:52 pm

[quote=""Kookaburra Jack""]
Jobar;616505 wrote: However, if Jack's thesis that this was an intentional fraud by later Christian scribes is true, why would *they* misspell it?
We do not know why the scribes of Codex Sinaiticus wrote χρηστιανος: The disciples were first called Chrestians in Antioch, why the scribes of Codex Vaticanus wrote "Chreistians" and why the scribes of Alexandrinus finally wrote "Christians".

I did a sampling of the papyri, and most of it reads "Chrestian" prior to Codex Alexandrinus which is generally dated (completely by church dogma) to the mid 5th century. After this date, although there are exceptions, the "Christian" reading is generally attested.

So one recourse if that "Chrestian" is some archaic form of "Christian".[/quote]

OR, there were actually two groups. "Chrestians" being the original insurrectionist movement formed by the remaining remnants of an earlier more radicalized movement in Jerusalem that had been founded by a charismatic leader named Jesus who had been publicly tried, tortured and crucified by Pilate during the Passover festival as a lesson to all Jews under Roman occupation. These would be the ones that finally regroup about a decade or so later and start some minor troubles in Rome (and are summarily kicked out by the emperor no less) and then continue to grow (no doubt using a martyr-mythology recruitment narrative) and start getting bolder and bolder to the point where they are actually seen as legitimate scapegoats by Nero (or actually did cause the fire as Nero claimed). And around that time, because they are growing bolder and getting more organized, Rome sends in an undercover operative (Paul) to infiltrate the group where he starts trying to change it from within.

Which results in the second group, which we'll call "Christians," being the bastard outcropped cult that Paul formed primarily among the gentiles (because he was never trusted to speak to the Jews being recruited for the real purpose of the "Chrestian" movement; further insurrection against Rome that eventually came to a boiling point).

The "Chrestians" were all primarily killed in the Jewish revolts (or at least enough to effectively destroy it as any kind of organized, viable threat), while the "Christians" (being primarily gentiles) survived and Paul's cult (aka, "Pauline Christianity") takes center stage, either organically as an irrelevant remnant of an anti-Jewish propaganda attempt prior to and during the first revolt or deliberately as a result of how successful it seemed to be among the fringe Jews and gentiles in controlling them. Really doesn't matter which, the origins would be the same and probably known within the Roman leadership hierarchy at least for the first few generations. Hence we have confusion over what to do with some "Chrestians/Christians" in outer regions decades after the slaughter of the Jews, such as Pliny's letters to Trajan.

Just read this section of Pliny's letter (written some thirty to forty years after the first revolt) in light of "Christians" actually referring to a by then destroyed remnant of a Jewish insurrectionist movement (keeping in mind that, back then, "invoking the gods" would mean "swearing allegiance to Rome" and not necessarily have any religious connotations as back then of course there was no separation of Church and State):
It is my practice, my lord, to refer to you all matters concerning which I am in doubt. For who can better give guidance to my hesitation or inform my ignorance? I have never participated in trials of Christians. I therefore do not know what offenses it is the practice to punish or investigate, and to what extent. And I have been not a little hesitant as to whether there should be any distinction on account of age or no difference between the very young and the more mature; whether pardon is to be granted for repentance, or, if a man has once been a Christian, it does him no good to have ceased to be one; whether the name itself, even without offenses, or only the offenses associated with the name are to be punished.
What "offenses" could those possibly be? Believing that your grandfather killed your pro-Roman, peace-loving messiah eighty years ago?
Meanwhile, in the case of those who were denounced to me as Christians, I have observed the following procedure: I interrogated these as to whether they were Christians; those who confessed I interrogated a second and a third time, threatening them with punishment; those who persisted I ordered executed.
:eek: Again, for what? And why the need for torture or "interrogations"? Do you believe your grandfather killed your pro-Roman, peace-loving messiah eighty years ago? Yes. Ok, thanks. You can go.
For I had no doubt that, whatever the nature of their creed, stubbornness and inflexible obstinacy surely deserve to be punished. There were others possessed of the same folly; but because they were Roman citizens, I signed an order for them to be transferred to Rome.
So, the ones who were Jewish were executed. The ones who were Romans, they simply got transferred. Again, for believing a pro-Roman, preace-loving Jewish Rabbi was killed by Jews eighty years ago? That sure as shit doesn't add up.
Soon accusations spread, as usually happens, because of the proceedings going on, and several incidents occurred. An anonymous document was published containing the names of many persons. Those who denied that they were or had been Christians, when they invoked the gods in words dictated by me, offered prayer with incense and wine to your image, which I had ordered to be brought for this purpose together with statues of the gods, and moreover cursed Christ--none of which those who are really Christians, it is said, can be forced to do--these I thought should be discharged. Others named by the informer declared that they were Christians, but then denied it, asserting that they had been but had ceased to be, some three years before, others many years, some as much as twenty-five years. They all worshipped your image and the statues of the gods, and cursed Christ.

They asserted, however, that the sum and substance of their fault or error had been that they were accustomed to meet on a fixed day before dawn and sing responsively a hymn to Christ as to a god, and to bind themselves by oath, not to some crime, but not to commit fraud, theft, or adultery, not falsify their trust, nor to refuse to return a trust when called upon to do so. When this was over, it was their custom to depart and to assemble again to partake of food--but ordinary and innocent food. Even this, they affirmed, they had ceased to do after my edict by which, in accordance with your instructions, I had forbidden political associations. Accordingly, I judged it all the more necessary to find out what the truth was by torturing two female slaves who were called deaconesses. But I discovered nothing else but depraved, excessive superstition.
Pliny is clearly looking at these people as insurrectionists first and foremost, going so far as to torture two of their evidently prominent female members (deaconesses, no less) to make sure that no "political associations" (no insurrectionist crimes) are being committed. That's how sure he is that they must be insurrectionists. But where would he get that idea in the first place?

Again, the "official" story of Christianity is that, circa 30 CE, all the Jews in Judea were in Jerusalem for the Passover festival and they forced Pilate to crucify their own messiah. Pilate oh so reluctantly did as they wanted and killed their peace-loving, pro-Roman Rabbi and then his remaining handful of fishermen disciples fled.

The end.

So where does Pliny get the idea that not only are these people insurrectionists, but in order to be absolutely sure they're not insurrectionists, he's got to torture two of their women and execute the ones who won't confess?

Now read Trajan's response in the same light:
You observed proper procedure, my dear Pliny, in sifting the cases of those who had been denounced to you as Christians.
"Sifting" the cases? What sifting? Sifting means that there is something within the mix that doesn't belong--but has the appearance of belonging--and needs to be extricated. Like sifting the insurrectionist Muslims from the rest....?
For it is not possible to lay down any general rule to serve as a kind of fixed standard.
It's not? :confused: Why wouldn't that be possible? And again, what is Trajan referring to? "Christians" would be those who believed their Jewish fathers and grandfathers killed their own Jewish messiah--Jesus--some 80 years ago; the same Jesus that preached to love Romans; pay Roman taxes; obey Romans, if they strike you give them your other cheek to slap also; the same Jesus that their Prefect declared completely innocent of all charges, but the Jews demanded he be killed. Why in the world would Trajan (or any Roman official) give two shits about anyone who believed all of that about someone that died nearly a century prior?

But what did Pliny note? That there were "Christians" in his lot that denounced Jesus twenty five years ago, which would have meant about ten-fifteen years after the first Jewish revolt and Masada ended; after the wholesale slaughter of the Jews. But why/how would anyone "denounce" a belief that their grandfather killed his own messiah eighty years prior and what would that even mean? Who was forcing anyone to denounce their belief that a Jewish Rabbi preaching obedience to Rome was killed by the Jews eighty years ago and for what possible reason?

Denouncing someone fifteen or so years after a tremendous revolution failed means you've been hunted as a surviving member of that revolution and the person you're denouncing was either the leader or the figurehead of that revolution, at least in so far as your part in it. Exactly as it is today, where martyrs of Islam are heralded as figureheads and Osama Bin Laden is regarded as a "savior" to certain groups of radicalized extremists (aka, "insurrectionists").

There's more from Trajan proving my point:
They are not to be sought out; if they are denounced and proved guilty, they are to be punished, with this reservation, that whoever denies that he is a Christian and really proves it--that is, by worshiping our gods--even though he was under suspicion in the past, shall obtain pardon through repentance.
Again, "by worshipping our gods" is another way of saying "swearing allegiance to Rome," but let's go to that first part. "If they are denounced and proved guilty." Well, again, guilty of what? Believing that....? And "repentance" for what? What crimes were committed that they could be resolved through "repentance" (and to whom)? It makes absolutely no sense from the official storyline perspective.

If, however, Trajan is talking about the last remnants of a decades old battle where the Romans conclusively won and these are old men now are from a long-dead faction from the Jewish revolution of over a quarter century ago, then it all makes perfect sense. It would be like a letter from a Union Colonel stationed in the South writing to a Union General twenty five years after the Civil War talking about what to do with these drunk old Confederate soldiers that still get together every week and sing Dixie and talk about the "good old days" of slavery and secession. That would be considered treason, so it would make perfect sense for said Colonel to write to a superior officer about what to do with such treasonous bastards and likewise the wisdom from the top coming back to something like this:
But anonymously posted accusations ought to have no place in any prosecution. For this is both a dangerous kind of precedent and out of keeping with the spirit of our age.
Again, that "age" would mean post Jewish genocide with the Romans the clear and glorious victors. The great Temple had been destroyed forty or so years prior; any remaining insurrectionists had been killed at Masada shortly after that. And of course Trajan would have been writing this prior to the Levantine Jewish revolt in 115, so from Trajan's perspective, Pliny is employing anti-insurrectionist tactics against a group that had long ago been destroyed and/or castrated. As Pliny notes, most from his group had "denounced" their movement as hopeless in the decade just after it all went down and these people now are just hippies singing their long ago songs. So, yes, if you have actual evidence that any of these people are still active insurrectionists, of course, punish them, but for the most part, we don't care any more. It's over. We won. Fuck 'em.

Basically.

But I didn't mean to hijack your thread Jack. Carry on!
Last edited by Koyaanisqatsi on Thu Nov 19, 2015 3:35 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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