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  1. 1 point
    There is so much to say about this, not least the lack of evidence for Jesus. But regarding the spear - why a spear? Surely it would have been a pilum? The transposition, as always, is medieval. During the Second Siege of Antioch in 1098, the desperate crusaders were told by a priest named Peter Bartholomew that the 'Holy Lance' would be found. They found such a weapon, and were inspired to continue. Lance? A spear was said to be among relics held in Constantinople. It doesn't take a leap of imagination to see that this is another example of medieval hypocrisy regarding Christianity. However, one should be wary of accepting the gospels as history. They were after religious stories written by people other than the saints normally attributed. The four gospels we have as canon today first become forwarded around 160 (not the Council of Nicaea in 325 as normally stated) but please realise that there may have been as many as fifty of them, all diverse, and thus unreliable as accounts. Incidentially the description you made of Jesus receiving a thrust into the heart isn't something I've heard before and would appear to be a hyped up version of the tale, since a bored legionary asked to confirm a crucified victim had died isn't likely to be so symbolically accurate. he would want a reaction, not a drama.
  2. 1 point
    Okay, I'm single, yes? So what? A great many older men are for one reason or another. I can already hear the population of Swindon England saying "Yes but....". Yes but nothing. It's circumstance, not a statement of sexuality, fashion, manhood, or any other concept these overgrown children struggle with. In particular the youngsters of my home town have been testing my patience with the most ignorant questions and attitudes imaginable. That's the reality of modern sub-culture, kids growing up divorced from adult perspective and trying to impose their petty little world upon the rest of us. Or me, which is worse. I recall a song by Charles Aznavour. Not my kind of music you understand, but with my parents, certain radio stations were inescapable. The song was 'She'. I still suffer the trauma of repeated exposure to it in my younger days. So can I relate my younger experiences with the cultural mores I have to contend with? Am I really better than them? She may be the face I can't forgetA trace of pleasure or regretMay be my treasure or the priceI have to pay One night not that long ago I had some guy outside my home trying to give me a lecture about life and love. Unbelievable. These people never talk to my face, just stand outside and entertain me with their peculiar visions of the world when really they ought to mind their own business. I wonder if the problem is that these people don't have a life to get on with so insist on trying to influence mine. Anyway, the winner of this verse was when that guy told me I should forget her and move on. Did he really think he was going to make things better for me? Turn me around? Oh good god. Actually I know exactly which lady he was referring to but the laughable thing is neither that lady or myself have any intention of resuming communication after we stopped talking to each other decades ago. I did bump into her recently, the first time in fifteen years, and we didn't even say hello. I am sorry things worked out the way they did - life is like that. She may be the song that summer singsMay be the chill that autumn bringsMay be a hundred different thingsWithin the measure of a day Ahh yes. Fear of the unknown. Am I man enough to approach, flirt, ask, or complete those adult motives? The absurd thing is how many people seem to think I suffer this problem, or that I'm a virgin because they haven't seen me dating. Of course being young I was more opportunistic and experimental. I'm not going to make assertions or admissions about this part of my private life (although for the sake of saying it, no you're wrong, I'm not gay nor have I ever indulged in any such behaviour). Perhaps my perspective was different from the beginning. My upbringing wasn't entirely conventional, my mother being a pious and misguided Christian, my father unable to be the role model; he demanded to be. Let's just say I have had my fair share of liaisons with ladies that I ought to have considered more carefully. Wisdom comes with age, more or less as vigour weakens. She may be the beauty or the beastMay be the famine or the feastMay turn each day into a heavenOr a hell There's a lady of my acquaintance. Never good friends you understand, nor did I really pay her much attention. I'm not blind to her charms, nor am I blind to the fact she knows she can charm the blokes. It's just that I always thought a relationship with her would be a problem, out of past experience if nothing else, plus I didn't feel the need to explore such possibilities. Then for some reason, just before the lockdown, her behaviour changed. She started making loud comments or suggestions to her friends, and it wasn't long before I realised she was referencing me. For some inexplicable reason she got it into her head that I fancied her. No, I didn't. She's too full of herself, too fixated on lifestyle, and smokes too much. Since the lockdown, she's actually gotten a tad abusive on the quiet. Uh huh... Didn't get the reaction you wanted? There's the truth of it. She's used to getting attention from blokes. A bit too used to it. I don't think she she has any idea how to cope with rejection at any mature level, and still insists on her concept of romance which to me appears to have been taught by the pages of teen magazines. So, if by some bizarre circumstance she's actually reading a blog on a history website, my message is this. I'm not interested. Get over it. She may be the mirror of my dreamsThe smile reflected in a streamShe may not be what she may seemInside her shell The lady of this verse to this day doesn't know I saw through her to a part of her inner self she wanted hidden. We take so much for granted when we involve ourselves with another person, and where the relationship is based on romance, the risks are so much worse. I have seen written works that say one should not be inhibited by speculations and instead enjoy the moment. In a perfect world perhaps. However the human psyche hides a potent dark side. We all have it, to a greater or lesser degree, just that most of us have psychological brakes that prevent the excesses that cause those tragedies of life and death. But that one night, alone with her, I knew what was on her mind, betrayed by expression and body language. That relationship was never the same. We parted as friends - not as lovers.She who always seems so happy in a crowdWhose eyes can be so private and so proudNo one's allowed to see them when they cryShe may be the love that cannot hope to lastMay come to me from shadows of the pastThat I'll remember 'til the day I die I smile as I remember that special relationship in my past. There's no doubt a good many of my critics will name some woman or other, but no, you're wrong. It was someone else. I know who she was, and she will know it's her I'm referring to. She wasn't the problem. My life was in a difficult place and at the time, I did not want to be an albatross around her neck. Do I regret the decision to let her go? Of course. I'm just as human as anyone else. But as much as I might think of what could have been, I also know it could have been so much worse. I hope she has a happy life. There you have it. A somewhat whimsical dip into my private life - the real one, not the fantasies bandied around by inhabitants of Swindon. You want proof? I don't answer to you. You want facts? You can't handle them. If you don't get what's written here, or feel a need to shout me down, don't waste your time. You can't change the past. Or me.
  3. 1 point
    I nearly said no. But I can think of one. Romulus Augustulus, who was told to go, and clearly Odoacer wasn't expecting him to complain too loudly.
  4. 1 point
    Despite the frequent turnover and turmoil in leadership, the Empire did survive. I think this relative stability can attributed to Intact institutions (extended family, a patronage system, religious organizations, etc) and a well-entrenched bureaucracy. In Italy there have been 36 (and counting) Prime Ministers since 1946. Despite these frequent changes of government, daily Italian life is barely affected by these transitions. Similar to Ancient Rome, people merely meet the challenges of life, supported by their local family, relationships, religious affiliations, etc. This might explain why distant communities would continue living a Roman lifestyle long after the Empire and the city of Rome “fell.”
  5. 1 point
    I get a little baffled at why people think the Republic was 'falling'. There had been instances of individuals seeking to rule over it for a long time before in one manner or another, so a transition to one-person rule might well be regarded as inevitable - but the essential truth is that the Republic was a more hazy concept than we generally assume anyway. Okay, with a nod to high minded principles, the Romans threw off monarchial tyranny and set up a form of Republic but don't let that word fool you. It was not a modern democracy at all. Rome was administered by elected magistrates who were given bundles of power according to the title they held temporarily from an elite group. In other words, tyranny was not eradicated in favour of proletarian empowerment but instead managed among selected individuals. The entire raison d'etre, the civic duty of the elite taking care of the general public, was for some a guiding principle but for many something to pay lip service to in favour of self interest, so really the emergence of warlords and eventual takeover by one of them isn't that suprising after a period of inflated wealth from conquest. Antony and Cleopatra were intent on dividing the Romano-Egyptian world between them and their children. They had already attended public ceremonies dressed as gods. Clearly Marc Antony was buying into monarchy in a big way, something that Octavian was able to use against him as propaganda. Yet the important fact remains that even after the dust had settled the institutions of the Republic remained. The Romans continued to call their empire 'The Republic' pretty much toward the end, even though we have Marcus Aurelius describing himself as an absolute ruler and Diocletian declaring himself as one. Those who repeat the mantra of Augustus becoming Rome's first emperor fail to grasp that he reformed the Republic, not swept it away as a dictator. Yes, he reformed it in a way that gave him at least 50% of the political support, but one can rationalise that not just as a convenient 'ruse to power', but instead a very necessary policy of survival in a political bear pit.
  6. 1 point
    I also tend to clear the cache on my PC regularly so if I'm not seen 'online' it's simply because I haven't signed in again. Doesn't mean I'm not here!