Sources for Simon bar Kokhba.

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Stuart
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Re: Sources for Simon bar Kokhba.

Post by Stuart » Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:40 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:26 am
Stuart wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:15 am
Hadrian could not possibly have placed his own statue in front of any temple, or in any temple complex. It would have been a faux pax similar to a pope sanctifying himself, and ordering he be revered among the great saints and a statue erected in Cathedral in his own honor.
But is that not exactly what Caligula had proposed to do nearly a century earlier, according to Philo and Josephus? Philo, citing a fellow countryman: "Our temple is destroyed! Gaius has ordered a colossal statue of himself to be erected in the holy of holies, having his own name inscribed upon it with the title of Jupiter!"
Ben, you need to understand the story of Antoninus Pius and how he became known as Pius. You have missed that.
MrMacSon wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:30 pm
Stuart wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:15 am
BTW, you notice that Hadrian himself is not referred to as deified yet on the coin, but rather Trajan and Nerva his predecessors are. Such deification was confirmed on Emperors postmortem by the Senate, and even an Emperors lacked the power to bestow such an honor. Hadrian could not possibly have placed his own statue in front of any temple, or in any temple complex. It would have been a faux pax similar to a pope sanctifying himself, and ordering he be revered among the great saints and a statue erected in Cathedral in his own honor.
I have seen commentary that someone around this time was deified ante-mortem, and I think it was either Trajan or Hadrian (and I think it was Hadrian). I think it was done by the Senate, not by the emperor themselves.
Same thing, it was not granted in Hadrian's case until many years perhaps a decade after Hadrian's death. Antoninus Pius was given the title Pius specifically (well one of the four reasons) Filial piety for his adoptive father (he founded sodales Hadrianales) for his efforts to get a very reluctant Senate to give the Deity honors to Hadrian - Hadrian was hated , as he had executed some Senators (when he came to power). Antoninus erected statues and tributes throughout the empire in his honor. There is epigraphical evidence whatsoever for any statues erected of Hadrian prior to his death.

As for the economic reasons, all one has to do is look at the Bar Kokhba coin distribution, which is restricted to hills of Judea south of the old Jerusalem. Why? Simple every road, every improvement was north of this country. They benefited nothing from the taxes they had to bear. The Samaritans on the other hand were both under foot of Romans building and allied with them. The revolt itself was centered around the seizing of estates and their taxation by Simon (per his letters). The coins show that as the revolt was slowly fading the leadership switched to a more religious tone to try and rally.

This is not to say Jews did not have nationalist religious identity, just that was not the cause for the revolt. And the revolt is not unique among Roman provinces. Areas that benefited least but paid taxes were most likely to revolt. It was only later that Christians and Jews, for their own purposes (I think Christians first) applied a religious overtone to the revolt. But it was certainly not different than revolts in Germany and Britain or the Balkans. And those also had religious overtones - but offensive "pagan" tones to Christian and Jewish ears.
“’That was excellently observed’, say I, when I read a passage in an author, where his opinion agrees with mine. When we differ, there I pronounce him to be mistaken.” - Jonathan Swift

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Sources for Simon bar Kokhba.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:47 pm

Stuart wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:40 pm
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:26 am
Stuart wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:15 am
Hadrian could not possibly have placed his own statue in front of any temple, or in any temple complex. It would have been a faux pax similar to a pope sanctifying himself, and ordering he be revered among the great saints and a statue erected in Cathedral in his own honor.
But is that not exactly what Caligula had proposed to do nearly a century earlier, according to Philo and Josephus? Philo, citing a fellow countryman: "Our temple is destroyed! Gaius has ordered a colossal statue of himself to be erected in the holy of holies, having his own name inscribed upon it with the title of Jupiter!"
Ben, you need to understand the story of Antoninus Pius and how he became known as Pius. You have missed that.
No, I am just making sure I understand you. You seem to be saying that Caligula demanded divine honors during his lifetime, while Hadrian's apotheosis came post mortem, as per custom, and that only after much work by Pius on his behalf. Therefore Caligula can be expected to splash his image all over foreign temples while Hadrian would have to be more restrained. Is that correct?
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Stuart
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Re: Sources for Simon bar Kokhba.

Post by Stuart » Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:36 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:47 pm
Stuart wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:40 pm
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:26 am
Stuart wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:15 am
Hadrian could not possibly have placed his own statue in front of any temple, or in any temple complex. It would have been a faux pax similar to a pope sanctifying himself, and ordering he be revered among the great saints and a statue erected in Cathedral in his own honor.
But is that not exactly what Caligula had proposed to do nearly a century earlier, according to Philo and Josephus? Philo, citing a fellow countryman: "Our temple is destroyed! Gaius has ordered a colossal statue of himself to be erected in the holy of holies, having his own name inscribed upon it with the title of Jupiter!"
Ben, you need to understand the story of Antoninus Pius and how he became known as Pius. You have missed that.
No, I am just making sure I understand you. You seem to be saying that Caligula demanded divine honors during his lifetime, while Hadrian's apotheosis came post mortem, as per custom, and that only after much work by Pius on his behalf. Therefore Caligula can be expected to splash his image all over foreign temples while Hadrian would have to be more restrained. Is that correct?
I said nothing about Caligula. Find one word I said about him. (Straw man argument here).

There is no such evidence about Hadrian.
“’That was excellently observed’, say I, when I read a passage in an author, where his opinion agrees with mine. When we differ, there I pronounce him to be mistaken.” - Jonathan Swift

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Sources for Simon bar Kokhba.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:49 pm

Stuart wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:36 pm
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:47 pm
Stuart wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:40 pm
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:26 am
Stuart wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:15 am
Hadrian could not possibly have placed his own statue in front of any temple, or in any temple complex. It would have been a faux pax similar to a pope sanctifying himself, and ordering he be revered among the great saints and a statue erected in Cathedral in his own honor.
But is that not exactly what Caligula had proposed to do nearly a century earlier, according to Philo and Josephus? Philo, citing a fellow countryman: "Our temple is destroyed! Gaius has ordered a colossal statue of himself to be erected in the holy of holies, having his own name inscribed upon it with the title of Jupiter!"
Ben, you need to understand the story of Antoninus Pius and how he became known as Pius. You have missed that.
No, I am just making sure I understand you. You seem to be saying that Caligula demanded divine honors during his lifetime, while Hadrian's apotheosis came post mortem, as per custom, and that only after much work by Pius on his behalf. Therefore Caligula can be expected to splash his image all over foreign temples while Hadrian would have to be more restrained. Is that correct?
I said nothing about Caligula. Find one word I said about him. (Straw man argument here).
No, but you must surely have an opinion about him, since he tried to do what is often alleged of Hadrian.

I think you are mistaking my intent here. I am trying to agree with you. I too find no solid evidence that Hadrian erected his own statue on the Temple Mount. But I am wanting to make sure I understand your argument about Hadrian's divine honors, so that I can use that argument when the time comes.
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MrMacSon
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Re: Sources for Simon bar Kokhba.

Post by MrMacSon » Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:04 pm

Its hard to know if Hadrian ever erected a statue on the Temple Mount.

In the context of discussion the Little Apocalypse or the Mount Olivet Prophecy, and Herman Detering dating Mark 13 in relation to Bar Kohkba (though Detering hadn't dated all of Mark that late), Neil Godfrey has previously noted -
" ..[Mark] 13:14 does not mention a temple, but only a place where something ought not to be. Hadrian’s ordering of the setting up the statue of Zeus along with his own image was the beginning, not the culmination, of the most terrible calamaties."

http://vridar.org/2007/02/10/little-apo ... ba-revolt/

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MrMacSon
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Re: Sources for Simon bar Kokhba.

Post by MrMacSon » Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:09 pm

I have previously written on this forum, without a reference, but probably in relation to either the notion of the 'Little Apocalypse' or the abomination or both -

There are various stories about Hadrian's actions before or at the start of the Bar Kochba revolt: some accounts say he was going to be magnanimous and rebuild the Jewish Temple, and announced that, but then got talked out of it. Under this account, it was Hadrian reneging on his promise that caused the Bar Kochba uprising.

It's said that after Bar Kochba rallied the people, and they massacred the famous 12th legion of the Roman army, Jerusalem was liberated for three years and Rabbi Akiva proclaimed Bar Kochba as the Messiah who was to deliver the Jewish people.

The Jews apparently set up an independent government. Coins were struck that commemorated the "First Year of the Deliverance of Israel." One coin showed the facade of the Temple, which suggests that Bar Kochba managed to partially rebuild the Temple.

The later historical work, Chronicon Paschale, describes Hadrian as the one who destroyed the Temple of the Jews. Some, therefore, assume that the Chronicon is not referring to completion of the destruction of what remained of the original Temple, but to Hadrian destroying a Temple that had been partially rebuilt by Bar Kochba. The Roman historian Dio Cassius said that Hadrian built his Temple to replace the one of the God of Israel, as if there had been a Temple to the God of Israel in Hadrian's time.

It's seems likely that Hadrian's final sacking of Jerusalem and Judea, and building his temple, was more the "abomination of desolation" than Titus's actions in 70 AD/CE.

The desolating sacrilege is best understood as a parallel to the erection of a statue of Zeus in the book of Daniel.

This makes it hard to imagine that the Synoptic Apocalypse Is referring to the initial destruction of the Temple: it seems to best fit either
  • the Caligula Crisis (a proposal by Caligula to put a statue of himself or of Jupiter into the temple in AD 37–41: the reign of Gaius Caligula (37–41 AD) witnessed the first open break between the Jews and the Julio-Claudian empire); or
  • the aftermath of the Bar Kochba Revolt: Hadrian erecting a statue of himself, Jupiter, and a Roman Temple where the Jewish temple once stood.
Many parts of the "Little Apocalypse" are less likely to have happened as early as to be reference to the Caligula Crisis (Messiah claimants, earthquakes, famine, significance of winter, etc.) - it more parallels things about and around the time of Bar Kochba.

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Re: Sources for Simon bar Kokhba.

Post by Stuart » Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:32 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:49 pm
Stuart wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:36 pm
I said nothing about Caligula. Find one word I said about him. (Straw man argument here).
No, but you must surely have an opinion about him, since he tried to do what is often alleged of Hadrian.

I think you are mistaking my intent here. I am trying to agree with you. I too find no solid evidence that Hadrian erected his own statue on the Temple Mount. But I am wanting to make sure I understand your argument about Hadrian's divine honors, so that I can use that argument when the time comes.
I would not be so sure about Emperor Gaius. What we know he actually did was knock down a wall between his Palace and the Temple of Pollux and Castor in Rome, in order to hold bigger parties. That was considered an abomination.

All the supposed fixation on Jerusalem or Judea and some fictional city (I wonder about Philo's account here) with some clay statue, seem out of place. Why the Jews? Why not the Gauls or some other tribe? We do know the Egyptians had a cult deifying him (numismatic evidence). And we know he had his sister, "Diva" Drusilla, deified after her death (let's not go into the rather sensational Robert Graves update and revision of Dio's gossipy slander). But that is pretty standard stuff for Emperors to ask the Senate to deify close relatives. Even the seashell event may be explained by misunderstanding of the term, as musculi was also solders slang for the engineers’ huts. When Gaius heard of possible rebellion back home, he decided to head back instead of attacking Britain, ordering the troops to stop building ships and pick up the 'musculi' (the working tents), as they were breaking camp. So much for the War on Poseiden. (Great story to have the troops collect seashells).

He was considered mad for holding Senators wives and children hostage in his palace -a common tactic of rulers in the East, but unacceptable in Rome, as this is what you did with foreign enemies. And there is no question he was almost constantly in a near state of War with the Senate.

All the later gossip about his claims to divinity need to be considered against the backdrop of Tiberius refusing to be called a God (and criticized by the Senate for that stance), during his lifetime -- both Julius Caesar and Octavius (Augustus) were deified after death. It should be noted that Claudius blocked the Senate from declaring Caligula damnatio memoriae. Domitian had no such luck, although the effect was minimal (way too many coins in circulation for example), as neither Nerva nor Trajan cared much to rehabilitate the last Emperor of a different family, but apparently didn't carry out the order (unlike Caracalla who did almost completely blot out Geta).

Put me down as a skeptic about Caligula and statues and self deification.
“’That was excellently observed’, say I, when I read a passage in an author, where his opinion agrees with mine. When we differ, there I pronounce him to be mistaken.” - Jonathan Swift

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Sources for Simon bar Kokhba.

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:49 am

Stuart wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:32 pm
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:49 pm
Stuart wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:36 pm
I said nothing about Caligula. Find one word I said about him. (Straw man argument here).
No, but you must surely have an opinion about him, since he tried to do what is often alleged of Hadrian.

I think you are mistaking my intent here. I am trying to agree with you. I too find no solid evidence that Hadrian erected his own statue on the Temple Mount. But I am wanting to make sure I understand your argument about Hadrian's divine honors, so that I can use that argument when the time comes.
I would not be so sure about Emperor Gaius. What we know he actually did was knock down a wall between his Palace and the Temple of Pollux and Castor in Rome, in order to hold bigger parties. That was considered an abomination.
Well, both Suetonius and Cassius Dio report that he took divine honors upon himself, and Dio claims that his fusion of the Temple of Pollux and Castor with his palace was ordered so that "he might have the Dioscuri for gatekeepers" while he styled himself Jupiter Latiaris and appointed priests for his worship. Suetonius affirms that he "often took his place between the divine brethren, and exhibited himself there to be worshiped by those who presented themselves." Both of them also state that Caligula tried to have a famous Olympian Zeus statue transported to Rome and remodeled to resemble himself; failing that (due to technical difficulties, it would seem), he simply had a statue of himself made afresh.
All the supposed fixation on Jerusalem or Judea and some fictional city (I wonder about Philo's account here) with some clay statue, seem out of place. Why the Jews? Why not the Gauls or some other tribe? We do know the Egyptians had a cult deifying him (numismatic evidence).
It was not just Jerusalem, according to Cassius Dio, who says that he appropriated the construction of a temple to Apollo in Miletus as the center of a new campus to be set apart for his worship there.

As for Jeruselam itself, both Josephus in Antiquities 18.8.1 and Philo in various parts of Against Flaccus and Embassy to Gaius explain that fiasco as a reaction, prompted by anti-Jewish sentiment in Alexandria, to the Jews' refusal to countenance any inkling of the imperial cult in their capital. Philo further reports that Jewish synagogues in Alexandria were forced to receive statues of the emperor, as well. Oh, and Philo also talks about an incident at Jamnia, where citizens erected an altar to Caligula, only to have it torn down by the Jewish population; so payback would be a motive.
All the later gossip about his claims to divinity need to be considered against the backdrop of Tiberius refusing to be called a God (and criticized by the Senate for that stance), during his lifetime....
The same Roman writers who report on Caligula's assumption of divine honors also report on Tiberius' refusal of them. Why the difference?
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Stuart
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Re: Sources for Simon bar Kokhba.

Post by Stuart » Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:58 pm

True on same witnesses. Except Tiberius would fit pattern of all emperors. That makes the statement more a non-statement, meant more to highlight the difference with Caligula. Did he actually push the Imperial cult o make worship of himself as a deity? That would be far out of place.

I am still skeptical of Caligula actually focusing on Jews. The Flavian writers definitely vilified him, Dio, Philo, and Josephus. There might be some truth in some of it. But it might also have been myth common to late first century Jewish writers.

Like many Christian myths I think Jewish myths focus on their groups self importance in history. Were there pagan writers who said the same, it would have more weight than Josephus and Philo.
“’That was excellently observed’, say I, when I read a passage in an author, where his opinion agrees with mine. When we differ, there I pronounce him to be mistaken.” - Jonathan Swift

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Re: Sources for Simon bar Kokhba.

Post by Stuart » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:56 am

deleted ... accidental post
Last edited by Stuart on Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
“’That was excellently observed’, say I, when I read a passage in an author, where his opinion agrees with mine. When we differ, there I pronounce him to be mistaken.” - Jonathan Swift

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