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Found 2 results

  1. Some writers have proposed that Seneca, in his essay "On Anger"/"De Ira", alluded to Jesus when he spoke of a foreign crucified leader. It is perhaps relevant that Seneca dedicated "On Anger" to his older brother Gallio, who in the Book of Acts rejected a Jewish petition to punish Paul for contradicting the Torah. Since it was written after January 41 AD, Seneca could have reasonably known about Jesus when he composed De Ira. Volume I of De Ira in Latin is here: https://www.thelatinlibrary.com/sen/sen.ira1.shtml Volume II of De Ira in Latin is here: https://www.thelatinlibrary.com/sen/sen.ira2.shtmlIn his first chapter, Seneca introduces general philosophical criticisms of anger, also noting how angry people act like they are crazy. Then in chapter 2 in De Ira, in order to further criticize anger, give examples, and show the reader how it is harmful and cruel, Seneca lists manifestations of anger and then six cases of leaders who were the unfortunate victims of anger: The underlined phrase says in Latin, "alium in cruce membra diffindere". Seneca here is suggesting his own sympathy for the victims and finds that they were treated unjustly. He lists the crucified one last, which suggests that this victim was the latest in the list. By listing the crucified victim last, he also suggests that this one was dealt with most severely, since in the preceding sentences, Seneca builds up his list of manifestations of anger, going from "slaughterings" up to describing whole territories destroyed and turned into desert by anger. (Question 1) Would you have access to Léon Herrmann's book Chrestos, read French, or consider it helpful in understanding the passage? The reason that I ask is that I have found few scholars trying to interpret this passage. Livio Stechini draws several conclusions about the figures in the passage based on Hermann's book, writing: (Question 2) Could one of those killed really have been Pompey, as Stechini theorized above? The Wikipedia article says that Pompey was stabbed by three assassins, the first Achillas was head of the army, Lucius Septimius had been an officer, and the third was Savius (I don't know if he was a slave). Septimius "thrust a sword into Pompey and then Achillas and Savius stabbed him with daggers." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pompey#Civil_war_and_assassination) The Tektonics webpage comments on Stechini's theory: It would make sense that Seneca did not name the leaders killed if they (like Jesus) were out of favour with or killed by Rome, since Seneca reasonably might not have wanted to openly appear to be supporting them. It also makes sense that the 6th person listed would be a foreigner, since he suffered crucifixion. (Question 3) Did Ptolemy of Mauretania have his throat was cut by a slave? Ben Smith of the Text Excavation project wrote: I am skeptical about the proposals for these candidates. Ptolemy of Mauretania was killed in 40 AD, but I couldn't find confirmation that his throat was cut by a slave. I am also very skeptical that the 6th figure listed above could have been Gavius or the crucified general Hannibal. Gavius was a Roman citizen, but I didn't find him described as a leader or "chief". Wenhua Shi writes about Gavius and Hannibal in his book Paul's Message of the Cross as Body Language: Furthermore, the Hannibal mentioned above was a general crucified in 238 BC or 257 BC, long before Pompey or Ptolemy of Mauretania, whom Seneca likely listed before the crucified, 6th "chief". While Hannibal's killing in the form of crucifixion was severe, it would have been foreseeable (unlike a particularly unlucky surprise fate) in that he was a general waging a war during a time when captives were sometimes crucified, as when Alexander of Macedonia crucified many people in Tyre after his conquest. There is a pattern of people in Seneca's list being killed in some treacherous circumstance, like stabbing someone in his bed or killing someone else when the rules of hospitality demanded their protection. General Hannibal's killing by his own men would fit that pattern, but the peaceful Jesus' betrayal by Judas and his accusation by the Sanhedrin and crucifixion for being a rebel "king of the Jews" despite seeking a heavenly kingdom instead of an earthly one would fit that mold too. (Question 4) Was the Carthaginian general Hannibal crucified in 238 BC after defeat in Sardinia or 257 BC after defeat in Tunis? Wikipedia has this entry for Hannibal: The Livius encyclopedia has this entry for Hannibal: (Question 5) Is it correct to say that Regulus was killed by crucifixion? Regulus was a Roman consul killed by the Carthaginians in 250 BC: Elsewhere Seneca does write about Regulus' crucifixion: Certainly Seneca reveres Regulus, and by including him in a book "On Providence" shows that Regulus was "ill-fated". Plus, he was killed in treacherous circumstances, since he was acting as a diplomat from Rome to Carthage. So he looks like a good candidate. However, Regulus was not a nation's "chief", nor did he die after Pompey or Ptolemy of Mauritania. One thing that makes me question whether Regulus was killed by crucifixion is how Seneca writes in an Epistle about Regulus being in a chest: Note Tetullian's passage about Regulus in On Martyrs and compare it with Seneca's description of the crucified chief in Latin ("alium in cruce membra diffindere"):
  2. Divus Filius

    Crucifixion in Rome

    Hello everyone. I've read Gunnar Samuelsson's book Crucifixion in Antiquity and trying to get my brain around John Granger Cook's Crucifixion in the Mediterranean World. Samuelsson's work from 2010 was very well presented and he paints a sceptical picture whether crucifixion by the dictionary definition ever happened. Cook's tome from 2014 is very annoying to me: he presents in his introduction how he believes the Romans really crucified, then keeps referring to two-beam crosses, or to horizontal and vertical beams -- as though he still believes Romans nailed people to the dictionary definition of crosses: two-beamed lap-jointed constructions we are all so familiar with (because they're at the front end of each church). He also thinks crucifixion goes back to Persia. Any thoughts on the matter?