Wednesday, March 22, 2017

More evidence the Cross is ROMAN ... and not the execution pole either!

The other day, about a week ago, I had two short, back-and-forth conversations Carmine Vincent Michael Aquilino concerning شادي عبد الرحمن's photos (click here and here) on Facebook, The Roman World (now Roman Power and Glory). The coin in question has a date palm on the one side and a cross on the other.  Now what business did this non-Christian government have in minting coins with crosses on them?

Coin Facts:

The one side:

Six-branched palm tree with clusters of dates, L | IΔ / K | AI across fields

The other side:

A cross with two spears intersecting at the centre.

Other info:

17mm x 18mm, 3.36g
Hendin 1348; Meshorer 341

The coin is from the Judaean Province, with Antoninus Felix as Procurator (52-59), Reign of Claudius, Nero and Brittanicus, AE Prutah, Year 14 (55 AD), Jerusalem Mint.

So what does the cross represent? Simple. Two oblong crossed shields over two crossed spears. So I sez, So the cross represents Victory. To which he replied, It was more of a threat to the Jews of Judaea.

Which in a way proved me right: the cross image was a message to the Judaean Jews that if they tried any conclusions with Rome, the Romans would be victorious in the end. And we all know how well that turned out.

So to the Romans, the Cross (tropaeum) was a sign of victory and Empire.

Now the $64,000 question is, how did the Christians come up with the Jerusalem Cross having equilateral arms like this image? It could be that there was a tetrapylon, a monument at the intersection of Aelia Capitolina's (Jerusalem's) two major north-south and east-west arteries, the Cardo Maximus and the Decumanus.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Origin and Evolution of Roman "Crucifixion" - Part 2.

Latin Phrases for Roman “Crucifixion.”

Part 1 is here.

I/Ibis in Crucem! including maxumam (the most) and malam (wicked) as modifiers for crucem (acc. of crux: stake or pole, with or without transom—with a transom the pole resembles a T or a cross, or most closely a utility pole or a mast).  I/Ibis (ire) means "go!"  The preposition `in’ with an accusative (direct object) means into, onto, up to, down to, to, over to, towards—a pregnant construction with a sense of entry implied.  A pregnant sense can also be implied (in carcerem habere = throw into prison [and keep (him) there])

With acc. `crucem’ and `in’: agere (lead, drive, push forwards, force), figere (fix, fasten), eo/ire (go), suffigere (fix or fasten underneath), tollere (lift up, hoist), ferre (bring, bear, carry), suffere (bear, carry underneath).  The word `in’ with an accusative has the same meaning as in I in crucem!

With abl. `cruce’ and `in’: figere (fix or fasten in or on), affigere (fix or fasten on, usually as a brand), defigere (fix or fasten down onto, plant), offigere (fasten to or over against). The word `in’ with instrumental ablative means in, on, at—a locational sense, but often also includes the instrumental sense, too (ex.: in hoc signo vinces [with this sign you will conquer]).

With dat. `cruci’: figere, affigere, defigere, offigere (?), dare.

Wm. A Oldfather writes:
The regular expressions are agere, figere, affigere, defigere, offigere, suffigere, tollere, less frequently dare, ferre (and maybe) suffere. Rarely of the criminal, ascendere, excurrere, salire. Only use of suspendere are: Ovid Ibis 298; Polybius 8.23.3 [translation]; Seneca Epistulae 7.4; Constantine Digest; Seneca De Consolatione ad Marciam 20.3; Tertullian Adv. Jud. 10; Lactant. Inst. iv.26.34; Hillary De Trin. X.13, Supplicium Servile: Cicero In Verrem 2, V, 12, 169; 170; Suetonius Galba 9; Tacitus Histories 4.11; Tacitus Histories 2.72; Val. Max II.7.12; Vulcac. vita Avid. Cass. 4.6; Capitolinus vita Opil. Macrin. 2.2; Lactant Inst. IV.26, 29; Arnob. Adv. Nat. 1.36.
Andrew Breen writes: “in crucem tollere, in crucem agere, in crucem ferre, crucem ascendere, crucem salire, in crucem insultare, crucem statuere, etc.”

Whittaker’s Words’ definitions for ascendere, salire, insultare, statuere:
ascendere: climb; go/climb up; mount, scale; mount up, embark; rise, ascend, move upward; 
salio [salire]: leap, jump, move suddenly/spasmodically (part of body under stress), twitch, spurt, discharge, be ejected under force (water/fluid); mount/cover (by stud). 
insulto [insultare]: leap/jump/spring (in/on); dance/trample (on); enter with a leap; insult; behave insultingly, mock/scoff/jeer (at); assault/attack. 
statuere: set up, establish, set, place, build; decide, think.
Other phrases include: cruce / in cruce diffindere (to cleave asunder on a stake or divide with a pole with a transom), sedere cruce / in cruce, (to sit on / sit by means of a stake or “piercing cross”), equitare in crucem (to “ride” a stake or a pole with a transom), in cruce pendere (to hang on / hang by means of a pole with a transom or stake).


-          [1] Andrew Edwasd Breen, A Harmonized Exposition of the Four Gospels. Rochester, NY: John P Smith Printing Co., 1980 (Vol 4, pp. 508, 509, 512). [Google Books search “in campo martio crucem”, accessed 5 March 2017]

[2] Wm. A Oldfather, “Livy i.26,” Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association 39 (1908), (pp. 49-72, [p. 60 n. 1])

[3] Lewis and Short, A Latin Dictionary. Founded on Andrews' edition of Freund's Latin dictionary. Revised, enlarged, and in great part rewritten by Charlton T. Lewis, Ph.D. and. Charles Short, LL.D. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1879. accessed 4 March, 2017

[4] William Whittaker, William Whittaker’s Words. South Bend, IN: University of Notre Dame (1993-2007). accessed 4 March, 2017