Cassiopaea Forum Reading Workshops - Public

(CRW Am-EU) What temporary schedule is best for you?

  • Sunday 17:00-19:00 UTC (18:00-20:00 French time)

    Votes: 14 60.9%
  • Saturdays 17:00-19:00 UTC (18:00-20:00 French time)

    Votes: 9 39.1%

  • Total voters
    23

Il Matto

Jedi
And regarding the method and pace these workshops take, I will say you’re doing a great job @logos5x5. @T.C. was right on the money when he referenced not wanting to move along too quickly without gathering the gems as one moves along the pavement
I wholeheartedly agree with both points here - I very much look forward to the (always) fruitful discussion.
Thank you to all involved and see you next week.
 

Arwenn

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FOTCM Member
I've been putting the history of Chapters 3 & 4 into a timeline database on spreadsheet, to make it easier to understand what was going on concurrently around Judea at the time, with references to the relevant pages in FPTM. Here is the link to the Google sheet, and below is a screenshot. If y'all think it is useful, we can work on adding/updating it as we go. I hope this makes more sense than my handwritten notes :-D


Screenshot (50).png
 
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Ryan

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I've been putting the history of Chapters 3 & 4 into a timeline database on spreadsheet, to make it easier to understand what was going on concurrently around Judea at the time, with references to the relevant pages in FPTM. Here is the link to the Google sheet, and below is a screenshot. If y'all think it is useful, we can work on adding/updating it as we go.
Nice work, Arwenn!

One suggestion: I would probably duplicate each column except for the timeline (eg. two "Romes", two "Judeas" etc.) with a different background colour for the second set, and have the mainstream events in the first set and Laura's hypotheses in the second set, so that all the information she presents can be compared and contrasted more easily with the mainstream historical picture. Alternating the row colours (white/light grey) would also help the horizontal readability of a particular time reference. Here's an example:

1662641551490.png

Your timeline is more comprehensive than mine; I only included the "bigger picture" events and left out stuff like the royal intrigues, death of various bit players like Hezekiah etc.
I hope this makes more sense than my handwritten notes :-D
LOL!
 

Arwenn

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One suggestion:
I like the idea of alternating grey rows and maybe one or two adjacent columns for the Laura's theories/actual proposed timelines. Will continue working on it when I have some time.

Your timeline is more comprehensive than mine; I only included the "bigger picture" events and left out stuff like the royal intrigues, death of various bit players like Hezekiah etc.
That's where the good stuff is, keeping in mind all these little events/people makes it easier to understand how Laura unravels the fake history and arrives at her hypothesis. It's like reading a detective novel!
 
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Arwenn

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I saw a thread on Twitter talking about Sejanus (Tiberius' right-hand man), his intrigues and the fear it created in Rome at the time. Talk about history repeating itself, with informers (delatores) acquiring the wealth of the accused without much (if any) due process:

The Cultural Tutor,
@culturaltutor,

19 Tweets, 6 Sep 2022


State surveillance is way older than you think. Even Ancient Rome was a place where "the very roofs and walls were eyed with suspicion." So here is the chilling story of Titius Sabinus, a man who made comments in private that led to his trial and execution...

This comes to us from the great Roman historian Tacitus (56-126 AD). His Annals are a year-by-year account of events in the Roman Empire. What follows took place in 28 AD, during the reign of the Emperor Tiberius. Titius Sabinus was a Roman knight. These were once cavalry officers, but had really become political administrators by the time of the Empire. And he was openly supportive of the family of a man who had died a decade ago, called Germanicus...

Germanicus had been Tiberius' nephew. He was handsome, virtuous, and very popular because of his successes as a general. (That's where his nickname came from, Germanicus referring to his wars against the Germans). So Germanicus was a threat to Tiberius' power. Germanicus died in mysterious circumstances in 19 AD; Tacitus writes that many thought he had been poisoned. His shadow loomed large. People who spoke fondly of him were seen as suspicious. He became a symbol, in the eyes of paranoid Tiberius, for anti-establishment thought.

Even after Germanicus' death, when people distanced themselves from his family for their own safety, Sabinus remained a close friend of his wife and children. This marked him out as a potential enemy of the state... and a group of conspirators decided to bring him down. See, a man called Sejanus was in charge of the Praetorian Guard. These were technically just the emperor's bodyguards, but in reality they were a hugely influential part of the Roman government. Tiberius was emperor, but Sejanus held just as much power. And the conspirators knew it would earn Sejanus' favour if they found a way to bring down Sabinus. They might even get access to positions of power; at the very least they'd make some money.

One of the conspirators, called Latinius Latiaris, had a plan. He invited Sabinus to his home and pretended to complain about the emperor. Perhaps naively, Sabinus opened up. He explained his pity for the way Germanicus' family had been treated, criticised Sejanus' brutality, and even berated Tiberius. Latiaris had his trust. And so, Latiaris told the other conspirators what to do. They hid in a secret compartment in the roof of Latiaris' house, where they could hear what was happening below. Latiaris invited Sabinus round, they got talking, and Sabinus opened up again. The conspirators at once wrote to the emperor and Sejanus, informing them of the treasonous actions of Sabinus. He was duly arrested and charged with having "corrupted" other citizens and for plotting to kill the emperor. Sabinus was executed and his body thrown in the river.

This is what Tacitus wrote about the atmosphere in Rome at the time:
"Meetings, conversations, the ear of friend and stranger were alike shunned; even things mute and lifeless, the very roofs and walls, were eyed with suspicion."​

Chilling. This story might just seem like a particularly harrowing one-off, or at least the sordid actions of an ambitious and unscrupulous rabble. But no, this was just one of many such occasions when conversations in private led to official prosecution and execution...

There was a name for these people who made accusations against fellow citizens: the delatores. And the Roman legal system enabled them. Anybody who brought an accusation of treason was entitled to a quarter of the accused's wealth if the prosecution was successful. There were delatores from all walks of life: slaves, senators, lawyers, patricians... They got rich by exposing the so-called enemies of the state, and the bodies piled up. Almost any action could be construed as anti-imperial; it was a brutal, deeply political zero-sum game.

So Rome in the early decades of the 1st century AD was, according to Tacitus, verging on a paranoid police state in which citizens had become deeply suspicious of one another. And one in which even the slightest criticism of the emperor could lead to death. Even Sejanus fell victim to this system of state-enforced terror he had helped to create, despite being more powerful than the Emperor
.

See, Tiberius was a master of intrigue. And, after much political wrangling, Sejanus was arrested and executed without trial. This is, sadly, an all-too-familiar state of affairs. You can view it as a disappointing reminder of how frequently human societies have collapsed into corruption, tyranny, spying, and brutality. Or, perhaps, as an important historical lesson.

Laura discusses this other Sabinus on p 200-201 when searching for the name Silanus. Reading the above & FPTM gives one an idea of how well-loved Germanicus was, the fear in Rome at the time, the expulsion of Jews & the overall grief at Germanicus death in 19 AD. As Laura posits, maybe it was around these times that what was originally Jewish messianism morphed into Christianity. In the parts ahead I'm guessing we will see where/how Paul fits in with the above.


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On another side note, the Sicarii are mentioned in Wars during the siege at Masada in 73 AD with Eleazar (yet another son/grandson of Judas the G) in FPTM p170. These sons of Judas seem to be everywhere!! The striking resemblance to the word sicarios was intriguing, so I looked it up:

Wikipedia said:
The Sicarii were a splinter group of the Jewish Zealots who, in the decades preceding Jerusalem's destruction in 70 CE, strongly opposed the Roman occupation of Judea and attempted to expel them and their sympathizers from the area. The Sicarii carried sicae, or small daggers, concealed in their cloaks. At public gatherings, they pulled out these daggers to attack Romans and alleged Roman sympathizers alike, blending into the crowd after the deed to escape detection.

The Sicarii are regarded as one of the earliest known organized assassination units of cloak and daggers, predating the Islamic Hashishin and Japanese ninja by centuries. The derived Spanish term sicario is used in contemporary Latin America to describe a hitman.
 

Ryan

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Laura discusses this other Sabinus on p 200-201 when searching for the name Silanus. Reading the above & FPTM gives one an idea of how well-loved Germanicus was, the fear in Rome at the time, the expulsion of Jews & the overall grief at Germanicus death in 19 AD.
Really interesting! I obtained a copy of the 2004 A.J. Woodman translation of The Annals, and he has this to say about the delatores in the Introduction:
A.J. Woodman said:
Most emperors, once they acquired power, naturally wished to retain it as long as possible, and, just as tyrants have always found that fear is a useful instrument in this respect, so Tacitus uses all the considerable resources of his vocabulary to create the impression that life in the first century A.D. was lived against a background of terror.[11] A recurring theme is that of the delatores or “denouncers.” In a society which lacked an equivalent of the Crown Prosecution Service or district attorneys, it was left to individuals to bring charges against those suspected of crime; but, since a successful prosecution would lead to a handsome pecuniary reward for the prosecutor, there was every danger that among the unscrupulous a desire for financial advantage would take precedence over any thirst for justice. An example is provided by the consequences of the Lex Papia Poppaea, a law passed by Augustus in A.D. 9 to penalize childlessness.[12] Augustus’ concern had been to increase the birthrate, but according to Tacitus the law failed to have the effect which Augustus had desired: instead, denouncers of the childless made large profits from the frequency of their denunciations and produced an atmosphere of generalized terror which Tiberius took measures to assuage (3.25.1, 3.28.3–4). Often, however, the terror caused by the denouncers had a direct bearing on the emperor himself, since their charges concerned maiestas or “treason.”[13] Tacitus’ narrative sometimes seems reduced to an unending succession of treason trials (4.36.1 “in the arraignment of defendants the year was so constant …,” 6.29.1 “But at Rome the slaughter was constant …”); and victorious denouncers, in addition to their monetary rewards, stood also to rise in the emperor’s favor (see, e.g., 1.74.1–2).[14]
On another side note, the Sicarii are mentioned in Wars during the siege at Masada in 73 AD [..] The striking resemblance to the word sicarios was intriguing, so I looked it up:
Haha, you beat me to it! I noticed that as well, although I conflated them with the assassini, who may bear a resemblance to them, but seem to be a different creature altogether. One wonders if the Sicarii were perhaps the forerunners of the modern-day Mossad...
 

Arwenn

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
Hi everyone,

Below are the links for the recent Aus-Asia-Am group workshop for From Paul to Mark: PaleoChristianity

Here's the video of the last meeting

The audio

And the folder


We will be revisiting the Introduction, Chapters 1 & 2, to be presented by various members of the group to consolidate what we have read before moving on. Our next meeting will be Saturday 17 September.

See you all then!
 
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