Historicity of Acts

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neilgodfrey
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Re: Historicity of Acts

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Re: Historicity of Acts

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andrewcriddle
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Re: Historicity of Acts

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DCHindley wrote: Wed Feb 07, 2024 4:53 pm The online resources I have looked at on the history of Roman citizenship do appear to be vague on the periods. Some talk as if the same rules always applied (about full Roman citizens and the lesser level of rights afforded Freedmen and their descendants), but others imply that the situation changed in 2nd century CE, and it was then that the lesser levels were invented, seeing they now had a surfeit of newly entitled citizens. Mind you that these folks may already have been citizens of "free" city-states, or Greek colonies from pre-Roman days, but there would be a lot of folks new to the subject.

While technically "tax free" as a Roman citizen, weren't these new citizens expected to maintain liturgies (these were things like maintaining a park or a bath or a shrine to a Roman emperor) at the citizen's expense of course?

I am not sure where I heard this, but supposedly the move was intended to get free civil services from persons formerly free of such obligations.

That may have been a shock for some of them, but citizenship in the polis or colony had its obligations too, so most of them were used to that and just took it in stride, cleaning the streets or lighting/extinguishing street lamps, etc., as they were directed.
For the claims about the history of Roman citizenship and other issues upon which I am relying see Roman Society and Law in the NT by AN Sherwin-White.

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neilgodfrey
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Re: Historicity of Acts

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DCHindley
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Re: Historicity of Acts

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Thank you, Andrew & Neil,

I may have to look for copies. There is a link to both books at Archive.org, same seller, and they have one copy each. Price is not too bad, but will probably be gone by end of day, snapped up by a quick acting fellow member.

DCH
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DCHindley
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Re: Historicity of Acts

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DCHindley wrote: Fri Feb 09, 2024 6:08 am Thank you, Andrew & Neil,

I may have to look for copies. There is a link to both books at Archive.org, same seller, and they have one copy each. Price is not too bad, but will probably be gone by end of day, snapped up by a quick acting fellow member.

DCH
Neil directed me to copies of both books, which I had a good ol' time looking over.

Am pretty sure I must have read The Roman Citizenship as I was mimicking S-W's way of talking (perhaps not as convincingly) in my earlier comments of what I thought I remembered. What is starting to come back was that just before I had my HDD crash with a bad backup drive, I was about to take a closer look at Roman citizenship, but knew I'd have to learn more about the social wars, allies, latins, and other grades of associates.

Republican and Imperial grants of citizenship to foreigners was not usual but common enough with client tetrarchs and kings. Tribes in the west were actually competing hard with one another to be friends of the Romans, even if they had to smack their Roman pride in the rear once and a while to warn them: "Don't take us for granted."

All of the Herodian princes were probably Roman citizens by birth (except Antipater, and his sons including Herod, who were appointed). So were the Hasmoneans (Hyrcanus at same time as Antipater and his brothers), including Aristobulus II (I'm thinkin' the enemies of Marc Antony had granted him Roman citizenship before entrusting him with a couple Legions in the Civil War to kick Herod's ass with), and maybe his sons Alexander & Antigonus. Before he was given that army (before being poisoned before he could do anything) Aristobulus II and his son Alexander had escaped their confinement in Rome to return to the Judean homeland a couple times, raising huge armies and fought Hyrcanus until defeated by Roman legioons, and again sent back to house arrest in Rome. The Romans, despite their fondness for Antipater & Herod especially, gave these two Hasmoneans a lot of slack. It was not until Antigonus went afield and got Parthian support that they treated him as a non-Roman. It was also possible to de-citizenize folks by the emperors who appointed them.

DCH
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neilgodfrey
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Re: Historicity of Acts

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DCHindley
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Re: Historicity of Acts

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neilgodfrey wrote: Tue Feb 13, 2024 9:31 pm Sorry for being a bit slow on the uptake here, but it is not clear to me what the relevance of the prevalence or otherwise of Roman citizenship in the second century (vis a vis its first century extent) is to the question of the historicity of any part of Acts. Is there a "for dummies" explanation to help me out here?
It's related to the Paul as Herodian thread(s). Eisenman has not implausibly suggested that the epistles show a close relationship between Paul and households associated with a Herodian prince. Of course he could have been one of many retainers, just close enough to garner bragging rights. "Best damn patron ever!" he exclaims to his trade associates (at whatever trade that was). He never claims to be a Roman citizen or who his patron(s) was/(were), but Acts does assert that Paul had Roman citizenship "by birth."

I had suggested that the Herodian household he was beholden to was that of Antipas. As everyone knows (hahahahaha) Antipas was deposed about 39 CE and exiled to Gaul and beyond. 30+ good years, not a blemish (except for that war with Aretas IV over divorcing his daughter). So, I suggested that Paul was a son of a Judean convert, probably a slave in the Herodian household. I suggested that with the dad's manumission, he had also voluntarily adopted his master's faith. I am sure he was sincere and made a whole hearted conversion, including circumcision. This technically made his son Paul a Judean by birth.

It would also make him a Roman citizen, albeit a kind of second class citizenship with strings to the former master, now his patron, it was citizenship nonetheless.

So the discussion turned to the kind of citizenship Herod possessed (granted by acclamation by Roman rulers, not by right of birth) and what kinds of Roman citizen rights passed to his own children or direct descendants.

Hence all my interest in Roman citizenship in all of its varieties. I'll eventually create a table of some kind.

This thread was not mine, and I believe was concentrating on whether anything in Acts could be taken as "real" history rather than pious fiction. The subject of Act's claim that Paul held birthright Roman citizenship did come up.

BTW: Thanks for connecting me to copies of those two S-W books you recommended.

DCH
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neilgodfrey
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Re: Historicity of Acts

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Thanks for the explanation.
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