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Which Legion crucified Jesus Christ?

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In the Ancient Warfare Magazine Vol.1 Edition 1, they have an article by Graham Sumner on "Pontius Pilate`s Bodyguard, The Roman Army in Judea AD 6 - 66

 

As Judaea was considered a minor Province it was ruled by Romans of equestrian, rather than senatorial, rank and garrisoned by auxiliary as opposed to legionary troops. The correct title of the new governors of Judaea was praefectus, as confimed by an inscription discovered in Caesarea. The prefects of Judaea inherited their troops from their Herodian predecessors. In all probability some of Herods sodiers were simply incorporated into the Roman army... It is beleved the garrison of Judaea was initially one cavalry unit, the Ala I Sebastenorum and at least five cohorts of infantry, one of them possibly Cohors I Sebastenorum. The evidence for units from other regions comes from a surprising source, the New Testament. In the Acts of the Apostles, Acts 10, St. Peter "about the year AD 40 converted Cornelius a centurion from the "Italian cohort". Some scholars have doubted whether a prefect could have under his command a unit of Roman citizens from Italy. However, it is knownw that Cohors ICivium Romanorum Ingenuorum, was amongst the troops commanded by a prefect in the province of Raetia, so it may be that the New Testament does infact record a citiizen unit in Judaea. also mentioned in the bible is Cohors Augusta the unit that took Paul to Rome for trial before the Emperor....

 

in any case a fascinating article, just like so many others in Ancient Warfare Magazine....

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Great, Viggen. That may well have answered my question. Thanks

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This is from an old post regarding the Passion of the Christ movie and the language of the Romans stationed in and around Judaea of the time, but it may have some relevance here. I'm not sure how well my assertion holds water - as much can change regarding archaeological research since I posted it about 7 years ago. Anyway, here was the post:

 

Legionaries active during the time period of the film were still mostly recruited from Italy, but it was changing rapidly. Therefore, it is very likely that most active citizen legionaries still would have spoken Latin.

 

Specifically in Judaea there were 3 known cohorts of Auxilia.

There were two cohorts of auxiliaries in Jerusalem and a third cohort guarded the capital Caesarea. Two cohorts of infantry and one squadron of cavalry served throughout the province.

 

The Cavalry cohort was Ala I Sebastenorum that consisted of Samaritans and probably spoke a local dialect and perhaps Greek. We also know of the existence of a Cohors I Sebastenorum, which was also a Samaritan unit with similar language possibilities.

 

Other known units that functioned in Judaea are the Cohors Prima Italica Civium Romanorum, the Cohors Secunda Italica Civium Romanorum and the Italian Cohors Prima Augusta. These are obviously Italian units and it's still likely that Latin would've been the primary language.

 

Of regular legionary units, Judaea at the time was considered under the command of the Legate in Syria.

The known Legions operating in the region at the time of Christ were:

III Gallica - Recruits from Cisalpine and Transalpine Gaul and likely Latin speakers.

VI Ferrata - Recruits from Cisalpine and Transalpine Gaul and likely Latin speakers.

X Fretensis - Recruits from Italy and Latin speakers.

XII Fulminata - Also orignally Gallic or Italian recruits and likely speakers of Latin.

 

However all Legions were supplemented at times by recruits of various regions. It is possible that any of these main contingents would've have been supplemented by local citizens in the east. So yes, there were probably some Greek speakers, but the main body of troops would've have been from a Latin origin and the tradition of language, it would seem to me, would've required new recruits to speak the most common tongue of the main body. However, in Judaea, communicating with the locals would've been easier in Greek (as a commonly known tongue among all the various parties), but there is no reason to believe that the Legions would care what was easy for the locals. An argument can be made for either side, I suppose.

 

Inscription evidence, letters and so forth are mainly in Latin. But only so much survives, and inscriptions and letters don't necessarily indicate what the spoken language was.

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The prefects of Judaea inherited their troops from their Herodian predecessors. In all probability some of Herods sodiers were simply incorporated into the Roman army...

 

Thank You Viggen! I was absolutely sure I had heard that somewhere. Glad I'm not going soft in the head

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Thanks, Primus.

 

As a non-Roman expert, I thought that, seeing as Pontius Pilate- whom we can assume was a tough army veteran- was in charge at the time of Christ (33ad), there had to be Roman Legions and not just auxilliaries, which in any case would defy the meaning of the word?

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Jesus refused to acknowledge the divinity of the Emperor.

 

Sure, but what got him into real trouble was the claim, which he didn't deny, that he was "the king of the jews."

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Thanks, guys, but as I said, in retrospect, I wonder why the Romans didn't bother to record the slaying of such a notable Christian

 

 

There was probably some brief recording of this, and possibly a brief report sent to Syria or even Rome, but nothing has survived. Sure, jesus seemed like a minor troublemaker at the time. Still, it was not like a routine crucifixion of some murderer. Jesus was making speeches and allegedly called himself king of the jews, hinting at a possible revolt. Ergo, a report from Pilatvs may have said: "We just executed someone calling himself rex judanorum, but there were no major problems in Jerusalem this passover. I'll be returning to Caesarea shortly."

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Which Legion crucified Jesus Christ?

Pontius Pilate was the Prefect (Administrator) of the Roman province Judaea

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judaea_(Roman_province)

 

The Roman Legions headquartered in Caesarea Maritima the capital of the Roman province Judaea

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesarea_Maritima

 

There was a Roman fortress in Jerusalem, Castellum (Fort) Antonia with four towers in the northwestern corner of the Temple Mount that housed the Roman Temple guards and a Roman garrison. Jesus Christ was brought inside the fort's walls, to the courtyard of the Comander Pontius Pilate's house (Praetorium) where He was ill-treated by the Roman soldiers.

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Just a few observations (although this forum seems to be 7 years old by now).

Rome was not concerned with Jesus... but they were concerned about the Jewish people, who were notoriously hard to control. Jesus wasn't crucified because Rome feared Him (they hardly knew who He was), and Pilate really didn't want to crucify Him. However, the threat the Jewish leaders made was that if Pilate didn't crucify Jesus they'd make trouble for him with Rome (apparently a very potent threat).

As for Rome's presence in Israel, it appears (from my research) that there was a garrison in Caesarea Maritima 70 miles NW of Jerusalem on the Mediterranean. This major port had been constructed by Herod the Great and then taken over the Romans sometime before Jesus began His preaching ministry. This city had a hippodrome, a theater, and other accommodations that would make Pilate (who resided there) and his men comfortable. It seems there were 4 cohorts stationed there (a legion was composed of 10 cohorts) and Pilate would sortie out to Jerusalem whenever there was a major festival there - primarily because these were the times when agitators would make the most trouble, and his troops would be most needed.

It was on Passover (one of those major festivals) when Pilate and his soldiers were in town. Had Jesus been arrested and condemned to die at any other time than during such a festival, odds are he would have been crucified at Caesarea rather than Jerusalem.

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The Romans had no problem with religion. As pagans, they saw no differentiation between their beliefs and those of the Essenes and Jesus's own cult. However, Jesus was a rabble rouser, and in Judaea of that time such a person was liable to bring themselves to the attention of the authorities for security issues, which is exactly what happened.

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8 hours ago, pattrick123 said:

The Romans had no problem with religion. As pagans, they saw no differentiation between their beliefs and those of the Essenes and Jesus's own cult.

The matters of strict monotheism, circumcision and insistence on no pork in the dining room pretty much forced the Romans to distinguish the Jews, Jesus and his followers included, from run-of-the-mill devotees of Isis, Cybele, or the Rider God. The Empire had a serious beef with Druidism, and the effort to destroy it was successful.

8 hours ago, pattrick123 said:

However, Jesus was a rabble rouser, and in Judaea of that time such a person was liable to bring themselves to the attention of the authorities for security issues, which is exactly what happened.

Yes, Jesus arrested and executed as an anti-Roman seditionist seems most likely, at least to me. 

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This is a great thread!  First of all, pure shameless plug - I spent a year researching and writing THE REDEMPTION OF PONTIUS PILATE, a novel about Pilate's career, the trial of Jesus, and its aftermath both locally and in Pilate's life.

Also, I should note that Justin Martyr, in his FIRST APOLOGY written to the Emperor Antoninus Pius, after recounting the history of the crucifixion, commented "that these things did happen, you can ascertain for yourself by consulting the Acts of Pontius Pilate."

At one time there was a report filed to Rome about the events of that tumultuous Passover weekend.  A shame it's lost to history! (I did write a novel about that, too, actually!!! ;-)  )

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1 hour ago, indianasmith said:

Also, I should note that Justin Martyr, in his FIRST APOLOGY written to the Emperor Antoninus Pius, after recounting the history of the crucifixion, commented "that these things did happen, you can ascertain for yourself by consulting the Acts of Pontius Pilate."

At one time there was a report filed to Rome about the events of that tumultuous Passover weekend.  A shame it's lost to history! (I did write a novel about that, too, actually!!! ;-)  )

Seems quite unlikely, Minns and Parvis comment in the 2009 edition of Apologies (the note to IA 35.9

Quote

And that these things happened you can learn from the Acts Recorded Under Pontius Pilate.

that

Quote

The Greek text might also mean 'the deeds done under Pontius Pilate', but we haνe supposed that Justin's use, οn both occasions, of the Latin word for 'Acts' indicates that he has in mind a document. Scheidweiler says that the reference to the census-lists made under Quirinius (IA 34.2) 'which certainly did not exist . . . prompts the suspicion that Justin's reference to the acta of Pilate rests solely οn the fact that he assumed such documents must have existed' (New Testament Apocrypha Ι, 501). Hill considers that Justin is here referring to the memoirs of the apostles, including Johannine material ('Was John's Gospel Among Justin's Apostolic Memoirs?', in Justin Martyr and His Worlds, 91).

 

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Given Pilate's tenuous standing in Judea - there had been two near riots occasioned by his insensitivity towards local customs and traditions - it does make sense that he would want his version of events to reach Rome first.  Essentially, your quote boils down to "one scholar postulates that Justin only assumed such a report existed."  In the end, it's a quotation of an assumption presuming an assumption!
But, unless the original report surfaces at some point - highly unlikely after 2000 years! - we can never know for sure.

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On 4/30/2018 at 10:23 PM, indianasmith said:

Given Pilate's tenuous standing in Judea - there had been two near riots occasioned by his insensitivity towards local customs and traditions - it does make sense that he would want his version of events to reach Rome first.

A crucifixion of three provincial troublemakers seems to me the very model of a Roman non-event.

On 4/30/2018 at 10:23 PM, indianasmith said:

 Essentially, your quote boils down to "one scholar postulates that Justin only assumed such a report existed."  In the end, it's a quotation of an assumption presuming an assumption!

It's four scholars, and it's better than nothing. 

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