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caesar novus

How Britannicus really murdered?

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I'm trying to test the veracity of prof. Rufus Fears, a frequent and enjoyable lecturer on Roman history in the Teaching Company series http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/professors/professor_detail.aspx?pid=165 . He gave an implausible sounding method of how Nero had his rival Britannicus murdered (the natural son of Claudius.. how different and better the empire might have become under B.) that is at odds with what some googling brings up, such as from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Britannicus .

 

The conventional sources say B. was poisoned, although maybe actually died by an unrelated epileptic fit. He had survived poison before, but this time his food taster was subverted by serving too hot wine (safe), which was sent back for cooling water containing the poison. Some say Nero raped young B. beforehand to avoid the superstition against murder of virgins. Anyway I wonder if we know the type of poison and whether it would stand up to heat.

 

But I wonder most where Fears got the theory that the poison came from a split apple. The knife contained poison on one side, so the safe side of the apple passed muster with the food taster. This sounds made up, because it seems hard to avoid slimeing both sides of the apple. Even if the two halves don't clap together immediately following the knife, some poison would be pushed back on the trailing edge of knife and slime the other side unless you angled it carefully. It would be an interesting experiment to put molasses on one side of a knife, and play food taster by trying the supposedly safe side.

Edited by caesar novus

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I don't recall this lecture but I will say Rufus Fears is really an enjoyable prof to listen to in the Teaching Company series.

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Plausible Conspiracies should be avoided for fear of blame and retribution, and just deserves similarly returned.

 

You should ask yourself instead, who would gain from admitting to such a scheme? If you did it, and got away with it, would you talk publicly after?

Edited by Onasander

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I don't recall this lecture but I will say Rufus Fears is really an enjoyable prof to listen to in the Teaching Company series.

.

Oh, too bad it looks like he died last fall. I guess I'm listening to his "Books That Have Made History: Books That Can Change Your Life" and the order got scrambled so I don't know what book I was on among the jam packed digressions upon Rome and Greece.

 

Additionally, maybe in the St Mark Gospel he riffed about how Christianity was so much shaped by the Greek/Roman culture... more than just St. Paul making it a bit more Rome friendly, but the whole trinity crises was because Aristotle taught there must be hierarchy rather than joint rule. Graven images had to be allowed due to the Roman and Greek heritage of art. Stuff I never heard before, so wondered if his appealing ideas are accepted or eccentric.

 

What a relief to load his lectures on my mp3 player for long walks... I just endured 24 lectures on that kook Richard Wagner, and then bailed out of a series that demonized St. Paul. How can I learn about St. Paul from a lecturer that hates him him as practically a Franco type reactionary vs Christ as revolutionary Che Guevara role model...

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Didn't both the Romans and the Christians show a tendency to both hierarchy and joint rule? Hard to call either ideal the obvious ideology in either group.

 

Giorgio Agamben's work The Kingdom and the Glory: For a Theological Genealogy of Economy and Government. Homo Sacer II, 2 (2007)

 

Its a decent source book to get started on if you lack a background, unfortunately he is at cross aim in the book, advocating Foucault while ironically attacking a couple of fascist era theologians..... both Foucault and the Fascist are too similar ideologically, both being Nietzscheans..... so there is a lot of tangential drama opposite the larger push of the work.

 

He focuses on the evolution of the concept of the trinity from a economic device to a theological. The work hss the weaknesses any geneological method when used alone has..... you end up fighting your own shadow, trying to find reason against the root of unconscious prejudice..... but none the less an admirable attempt. Much like Gilius on this site, his use of scattered primary sources are admirable and not falsified, just how he puts it together. If you go in knowing his prejudice, you can learn alot.

 

His opinion is a 'official opinion' with legal standing in at least italy, given how civil law is set up. If someone figures out a way to challenge oath taking, or claims to religious rights, or customs, he can write a legal opinion, as a professor, and the court there actually will follow through with it as if it is legit, because under their law, it is. Hence, why guys like me too must exist.

Edited by Onasander

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I don't recall this lecture but I will say Rufus Fears is really an enjoyable prof to listen to in the Teaching Company series.

.

Oh, too bad it looks like he died last fall. I guess I'm listening to his "Books That Have Made History: Books That Can Change Your Life" and the order got scrambled so I don't know what book I was on among the jam packed digressions upon Rome and Greece.

 

Additionally, maybe in the St Mark Gospel he riffed about how Christianity was so much shaped by the Greek/Roman culture... more than just St. Paul making it a bit more Rome friendly, but the whole trinity crises was because Aristotle taught there must be hierarchy rather than joint rule. Graven images had to be allowed due to the Roman and Greek heritage of art. Stuff I never heard before, so wondered if his appealing ideas are accepted or eccentric.

 

What a relief to load his lectures on my mp3 player for long walks... I just endured 24 lectures on that kook Richard Wagner, and then bailed out of a series that demonized St. Paul. How can I learn about St. Paul from a lecturer that hates him him as practically a Franco type reactionary vs Christ as revolutionary Che Guevara role model...

 

Too bad about his death. Quite a lecturer. I have a few of the Teaching Company lectures & they really help with driving. I'm listening to Kenneth Harl & his Peloponnesian War lectures. I'm reading Thucydides as well--the Landmark translation, one by Oxford and one by Steve Lattimore. An interesting way to read it, each translator's strengths and weaknesses really stand out against each other.

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.

Additionally, maybe in the St Mark Gospel he riffed about how Christianity was so much shaped by the Greek/Roman culture... more than just St. Paul making it a bit more Rome friendly, but the whole trinity crises was because Aristotle taught there must be hierarchy rather than joint rule. Graven images had to be allowed due to the Roman and Greek heritage of art. Stuff I never heard before, so wondered if his appealing ideas are accepted or eccentric.




Interesting point. I had never thought of the Trinity being a result of the much earlier Greek concept of the tripartite division for explanation of natural phenomena and philosphical concepts.

This Aristotelian tripartite division of the soul influenced Western thinking for thousands of years. I had written previously that this tripartite division probably later influenced the Greco-Roman physician Galen's notion of the human body systems:

Galen proposed three body systems:
1.Brain
and nerves for sensation and thought
2.Heart
and arteries for life energy
3.Liver
and veins for nutrition and growth

These three body systems needed to be in balance with four humours.


guy also known as gaius Edited by guy

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Giorgio Agamben's work The Kingdom and the Glory: For a Theological Genealogy of Economy and Government. Homo Sacer II, 2 (2007)

 

His opinion is a 'official opinion' with legal standing in at least italy, given how civil law is set up. If someone figures out a way to challenge oath taking, or claims to religious rights, or customs, he can write a legal opinion, as a professor, and the court there actually will follow through with it as if it is legit, because under their law, it is. Hence, why guys like me too must exist.

 

I never read anything by him, but usually philosophers are mediocre historians (including Foucault). And they aren't often considered (explicitly) by historians.

 

 

 

Galen proposed three body systems:

1.Brain

and nerves for sensation and thought

2.Heart

and arteries for life energy

3.Liver

and veins for nutrition and growth

 

It comes from Plato's Timaeus.

 

 

Additionally, maybe in the St Mark Gospel he riffed about how Christianity was so much shaped by the Greek/Roman culture... more than just St. Paul making it a bit more Rome friendly, but the whole trinity crises was because Aristotle taught there must be hierarchy rather than joint rule. Graven images had to be allowed due to the Roman and Greek heritage of art. Stuff I never heard before, so wondered if his appealing ideas are accepted or eccentric.

 

I'm not sure what are you meaning. Christology originated from issues which were proper to Greek philosophy, that's known.

But what do you mean when you say that the trinity crises was because of Aristotle's teachings? I mean, given that you put Aristotle as the crises, what is the starting point of the trinity matter?

Edited by Number Six

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That would be great Number Six, if it was true. Damn near every history historically of value began in explaining their method and objective.

 

Historians ignorant of this are either pop historians, or massed produced rabble who's works are genre specific in methodology, such as the billion works published on the Nazis, and endlessly refer to one another, rarely introducing a new fact.

 

I can care less for the herd. I want the elite. Primary sources or the best thinkers. Not some history major who writes without insight to himself or the world around them.

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The kind of philosophers that usually are (or should be) ignored by historians are the philosophers who write historical or semi-historical works. Obviously I don't mean that philosophers are or should be ignored on other matters, for example on method. I mean, one thing is basing one's historical work on Foucault's Archeology of Knowledge, which any historian may indeed benefit from, another thing is basing one's historical work on Foucault's History of Insanity which, while having some good ideas, is sloppy and inaccurate on the level of scientific historiography.

The result of historians going too much after historical ideas of philosophers is apparent in the bullshit produced by hegelian historians up to few decades ago.

That's why I say that the historical ideas of any given philosopher may not be necessarily of concern for historians and history.

Edited by Number Six

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Galen proposed three body systems:1.Brain

and nerves for sensation and thought

2.Heart

and arteries for life energy

3.Liver

and veins for nutrition and growth

It comes from Plato's Timaeus.

 

 

 

 

Onasander: Thank you for the clarification. Unfortunately for the doltish me, much of philosophy is sheer jibberish.

 

My point was, however, that Plato created this artificial tripartite construct to attempt to describe simply some very complicated concepts. I'm not sure where the concept of the tripartite soul originated, whether it was Plato's Republic or Timeus or elsewhere. I am certain, however, that my simple mind will never grasp these concepts.

 

It seems to me, however, that Galen forced this tripartite construct on his attempt to describe the complicated workings of the human body. This erroneous construct then became unchallenged dogma, impeding the pursuit of medical knowledge for more than a millenium.

 

https://www.ideals.illinois.edu/bitstream/handle/2142/11636/illinoisclassica11976TRACY.pdf

 

 

 

guy also known as gaius

Edited by guy

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