Full version of Joseph Atwill's Documentary
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
11-02-2015, 03:54 AM (This post was last modified: 11-02-2015 03:57 AM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Full version of Joseph Atwill's Documentary
(11-02-2015 12:31 AM)Minimalist Wrote:  Thanks for watching this video. The guy's got a great accent, hasn't he!Big Grin

Yes. I wish I had a Foster's.

Re "He had far bigger problems than the jews" Well.....maybe....maybe not.... The fact remains that the Jews were still a problem. Permit me a little cut-and-paste that discuss this....

Let's take a time machine back to December of 69 AD when Vespasian, gets to Rome and takes over from the various generals who defeated Vitellius for him. The country is bankrupt. There are military campaigns going on in Britain and Judaea. There was a serious fire when Vespasian's army fought Vitellius' in Rome. Vespasian's brother had been killed by Vitellius. A serious revolt was underway in Batavia and there was the aftermath of Vindex' revolt in Gaul. A number of battles had caused serious casualties to the Roman military which had to be re-built and gotten back to their positions facing the various military threats on the Rhine, Danube and Syrian borders.

Now, of all of this, the most easily solved problem was Jerusalem. In a brilliant series of movements, Vespasian had cut every route out of the city before heading off to Egypt and giving command over to Titus. When he was seated on the throne, Titus advanced on Jerusalem in February and took it in August. Even allowing for typical Josephan exaggeration ( he says over a million were killed ) it seems likely that the jews got the living shit kicked out of them. Looking at it from Vespasian's point of view, the jewish problem was pretty well solved: They were dead, enslaved, or on the run. Check off the box and move on.


"Would Titus have been interested in such an endeavor? The military suppression of Jewish insurgents had already taken three years out of his life. He had a mistress, Bernice, who was Jewish. Titus had brought back 97,000 Jewish prisoners from Palestine to Rome. It is obvious that the control of Jewish behavior would have been an important topic commonly discussed in the Flavian household, one very relevant to Titus personally, and one crucial to the stability of the government.

Again, I just don't see it. The triumph celebrated the end of the campaign. If the Jews were still thought of as a threat Titus would have still been killing them. Julius Civilis in Batavia was a threat. The financial instability of the empire was a threat. The fact that Vespasian, not a member of the senatorial class, had to win over the aristocracy, was an issue although they were pretty cowed by the fates of Galba and Vitellius. My problem with Atwill is that he has an idea and for that idea to make any sense the jews have to be a threat...so he declares them one. But when the Kitos war broke out in 115 the lesson was still pretty well etched on the Judaean mind. They pretty much sat that one out.
There is another point, though. Not all Jews were "Messianic." The split between Hellenized jews and the zealots was pretty clear. The towns of Sepphoris and Tiberias in Galilee politely invited Josephus and his army to go fuck themselves and invited in a Roman garrison. So there was no monolithic jewish mindset in 66. It is important to remember that it was the rapacious behavior of Gessius Florus who provoked the revolt, and once they were in it they were stuck with it. But how many jews really believed they weren't going to end up on the business end of a glaudius? They had to know that they had bitten off more than they could chew.



There is no doubt that the Flavians were antagonistic towards Messianic Jews, even after the war. Vespasian imposed a special tax on all Jews in the Empire, in much the same way the rest of Europe imposed economic restrictions on Germany after World War 1....

Finances dominated Vespasian's thinking. He taxed the public urinals, too. Did that mean he wanted to find a way to subvert piss?

It seems there were three tools the Roman government used to try to control the Jews; military might, economic suppression, and propaganda."

The jews were hardly unique in that formula.

Don't forget that Palestine was en route to Egypt, and Rome was very dependent on Egyptian grain.

Transport by sea was cheaper, faster and safer. Egypt had to be protected from the Parthians. The jews were no threat.

I read somewhere that the army that Vespasian took into Palestine consisted of 120,000 footsoldiers and it was the biggest Army the Romans had ever assembled. I'm not sure if this is historically true or not.

Yeah, Atwill pulled that shit in an earlier video. Here he glossed over it but essentially said the same thing. It's bullshit. Vespasian had the Vth, and Xth legions with him at Ptolemais and Titus brought the XVth from Alexandria. The XIIth was back in Syria re-grouping after Cestius Gallus' fuck up at Jerusalem. A Roman legion had a paper strength of 6,000 but were rarely at full strength. Figure 15-16,000 heavy infantry and an equivalent number of auxilliary archers, slingers, skirmishers and cavalry. Add in a few contingents of allied troops and you probably get to 40,000.

Something like 10% of the citizens of the Empire were Jewish, so Rome simply could not afford to suffer a military defeat at Jewish hands.

Again, not all Jews were a problem. Many had been co-opted into the Greco-Roman lifestyle.

Don't forget there had been previous battles involving thousands of Roman troops in Palestine in four BC and six CE.

The legions intervened in 4 BC under Quinctillius Varus but not in 6 AD. If there were local riots they were suppressed by what amounted to local garrison forces.

Hundreds of Roman troops had been slaughtered in Jerusalem in 66 CE. In the decades before that Palestine had been almost out of control.

Josephus aside, the fact remains that the XII Legion was back in the fight when Titus moved on Jerusalem. They couldn't have been chewed up that badly.

To me it is fairly obvious that Jewish peasants and the Jewish religion itself was a major thorn in the side of the Roman government.

It's a bizarre scenario but the Romans continually tried to find a Herod to run the country for them. After the great revolt, Herod Agrippa II resumed his duties as king until his death near 100 AD. So there is something to be said for that idea but when the Romans got pissed enough they simply slaughtered them in great numbers. By the time of the second and third revolts the Flavians were long gone from power so Atwill's great idea was something of a flop.


It seems distinctly possible that Paul's prattle was the pre first Jewish War government propaganda, and the gospels, well at least the Gospel of Mark, was the post war effort.

I think "Paul" is as much a literary creation as "Jesus." No one fucking heard of him until Marcion trotted him out c 140 AD. [/b]

Thank you for sharing all this. You clearly have a good understanding of the history, so I'm learning from what you have written. I agree with most of what you said, so I won't add anything to what I agree with.

Some of your points are open to debate so I will bring them up and look at them from a slightly different angle.

Re "Looking at it from Vespasian's point of view, the jewish problem was pretty well solved:"

Well, yes, sort of. Vespasian had no immediate worries about militaristic Jews, but there was still a lot of ambitious Jews around the empire lurking in the background. For example Atwill mentions that shortly after the war, Jews in Egypt revolted. I hadn't heard that before, and perhaps you could shed some light on whether that's true or not?

My impression is that there were still a lot of Jews causing trouble for the government. The following is from wikipedia...

"The Kitos War (115–117) also known as mered ha'galuyot or mered ha'tfutzot (Rebellion of the exile) is the name given to the second of the Jewish–Roman wars. The Kitos War consisted of major revolts by diasporic Jews in Cyrene (Cyrenaica), Cyprus, Mesopotamia and Aegyptus, which spiraled out of control, resulting in a widespread slaughter of Roman citizens and others (200,000 in Cyrene, 240,000 in Cyprus according to Cassius Dio by the Jewish rebels. The rebellions were finally crushed by Roman legionary forces, chiefly by the Roman general Lusius Quietus, whose nomen later gave the conflict its title, as "Kitos" is a later corruption of Quietus."

We know that Domition, Brother of Titus, and son of Vespasian, sought out "sons of David" in Palestine, as he was wary of another revolt. Permit me a cut-and-paste...

"During the first Jewish war of 66 - 70 CE, some of the Nazarenes are said to have fled across the Jordan River to Pella. Yet many of them probably tried to defend Jerusalem and therefore perished. The survivors must have been bitterly disappointed by the defeat. The remaining rebels moved back to Jerusalem in 72 CE. They never regained their pre war status and influence.

Prior to 80 – 90 CE, the Nazarenes were still worshipping in synagogues alongside Pharisees. Yet many of their fellow Jews now viewed them as trouble causers, probably because of their nationalistic ambitions. The Pharisaic Jews referred to them as “minim” (Hebrew for heretic.) A heretic is someone who still remains within the faith, but believes in elements not acceptable to the orthodoxy, so mainstream Jews never considered the Nazarenes as Christians. A deep schism between the Nazarenes and other Jews formed, and by 90 CE, Nazarenes were excluded from some synagogues. It is likely that some Jews opted out of Nazarenism, and others were intimidated by it, because opposing Rome was dangerous.

In his “Ecclesiastical History,” Eusebius of Caesaria, the father of early Christian history, wrote of the grandchildren of Jesus’ brother Jude, who were living in Galilee during the reign of the Roman Emperor Domitian, (81–96 CE, Vespasian’s son and Titus’ younger brother.) ( book 3, chapter 20. Eusebius says Jesus’ relatives became dynastic leaders of various “Christian” (a misnomer) churches, and continued to be so up until the time of the Emperor Trajan (98–117 CE.)

Kamal Salibi, at the time an Emeritus Professor at the American University of Beirut, Department of History and Archaeology, wrote that after Symeon’s death, twelve others followed in turn whose names are preserved down to 135 CE (the time of the Second Jewish Revolt.)

So there were fifteen leaders of the Nazarene sect after Jesus, all of who were circumcised Jews and relations of Jesus. The word “Desposyni” was reserved uniquely for Jesus’ blood relatives and literally meant “belonging to the Lord.” They governed the Nazarenes. Each carried one of the names traditional in Jesus’ family: Zachary, Joseph, John, James, Joses, Symeon, Matthias, and others, although no later Desposynos was ever called Yeshua.

Sextus Julius Africanus’ reference to the “Desposyni” is also preserved by Eusebius:
“For the relatives of our Lord according to the flesh, whether with the desire of boasting or simply wishing to state the fact, in either case truly, have handed down the following account...Herod, inasmuch as the lineage of the Israelites contributed nothing to his advantage, and since he was goaded with the consciousness of his own ignoble extraction, burned all the genealogical records, thinking that he might appear of noble origin if no one else were able, from the public registers, to trace back his lineage to the patriarchs or proselytes and to those mingled with them, who were called Georae. A few of the careful, however, having obtained private records of their own, either by remembering the names or by getting them in some other way from the registers, pride themselves on preserving the memory of their noble extraction. Among these are those already mentioned, called Desposyni, on account of their connection with the family of the Saviour. Coming from Nazara and Cochaba, villages of Judea, into other parts of the world, they drew the aforesaid genealogy from memory and from the book of daily records as faithfully as possible. Whether then the case stand thus or not no one could find a clearer explanation, according to my own opinion and that of every candid person. And let this suffice us, for, although we can urge no testimony in its support, we have nothing better or truer to offer. In any case the Gospel states the truth.” (Eusebius, Historica Ecclesiae, 1:7:11.)

Eusebius also preserved an extract from a work by Hegesippus, (c.110–c.180) who wrote five books of Commentaries on the Acts of the Church. The extract refers to the period from the reign of Domitian (81–96 CE) to that of Trajan, (98–117 CE) and includes the statement that two Desposyni brought before Domitian later became leaders of the churches:
“There still survived of the kindred of the Lord the grandsons of Judas, who according to the flesh was called his brother. These were informed against, as belonging to the family of David, and Evocatus brought them before Domitian Caesar: for that emperor dreaded the advent of Christ, as Herod had done.

So he asked them whether they were of the family of David; and they confessed they were. Next he asked them what property they had, or how much money they possessed. They both replied that they had only 9000 denaria between them, each of them owning half that sum; but even this they said they did not possess in cash, but as the estimated value of some land, consisting of thirty-nine plethra only, out of which they had to pay the dues, and that they supported themselves by their own labor. And then they began to hold out their hands, exhibiting, as proof of their manual labor, the roughness of their skin, and the corns raised on their hands by constant work.

Being then asked concerning Christ and His kingdom, what was its nature, and when and where it was to appear, they returned answer that it was not of this world, nor of the earth, but belonging to the sphere of heaven and angels, and would make its appearance at the end of time, when He shall come in glory, and judge living and dead, and render to every one according to the course of his life.

Thereupon Domitian passed no condemnation upon them, but treated them with contempt, as too mean for notice, and let them go free. At the same time he issued a command, and put a stop to the persecution against the Church.

When they were released they became leaders of the churches, as was natural in the case of those who were at once martyrs and of the kindred of the Lord. And, after the establishment of peace to the Church, their lives were prolonged to the reign of Trojan.” (Eusebius, Historica Ecclesiae, 3:20.)

Eusebius also wrote that the Nazarenes did not fight in the second war (132-6 CE) against the Romans, as they considered Simon bar Kochba, the Jewish commander, to be a false messiah."

There was a seriously large second Jewish war in 132 CE. I sometimes think of this as World War II. The Germans, just like the Jews, had been defeated in "World War I," but that didn't stop them starting World War II, and there is a rough analogy with the Jews in Palestine all those years ago. I think it was only after the second Jewish war that Jewish nationalism was decisively and definitively destroyed (at great expense to the Roman Government and army).
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Mark Fulton's post
11-02-2015, 11:06 AM
RE: Full version of Joseph Atwill's Documentary
(11-02-2015 01:32 AM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  
(11-02-2015 12:47 AM)Minimalist Wrote:  Constantine was a murdering thug...of course they made him a fucking saint...but part of the problem with all the stories about him is that they were written down by xtian members of his entourage. One of them was a guy named Lactantius.

He recorded this tale:

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


Did it happen or did some lying xtian just write the story?

Consider the later tale of Pope Leo going out to meet Attila to get him to not attack Rome. Nice story. But it is set in the 450's and Rome had been thoroughly sacked by the Goths in 410. It had not been the capital of the Western Empire since 280 AD anyway and it is unlikely that it would have been a rich enough target to attract the Huns.

But what a great story for the church to pump out and we all know those xtian shits were fantastic liars!

My sense is that Constantine was a politician. He took support from whoever he could get it from. If Maxentius' troops were following Sol Invictus then Constantine would have gladly accepted the support of xtians or anyone else who could help him.

Just so we're clear, I never said he was a "believer" only that he embraced it. It was a means to an end...no different from any other "church leaders"

I have also said in another thread long before this, that the earliest Christian types weren't actually believers at all. That happened after a few generations. Christianity like all religions before it and after, are ways to control people.

Politicians take support from wherever they can get it and if they win they reward their supporters. Again, we have nothing in Constantine's own hand telling us what he believed. We get that from xtian writers and of course we can believe everything they say without question, right?

The cult of Sol Invictus was particularly strong in the Roman Army. Constantine was a military man for his whole adult life. Would he embrace xtians if they were political supporters? Of course. Did he believe their bullshit? Who knows. As you say, that wasn't even a requirement when xtianity began to spread.

Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Minimalist's post
11-02-2015, 11:45 AM
RE: Full version of Joseph Atwill's Documentary
Quote:For example Atwill mentions that shortly after the war, Jews in Egypt revolted. I hadn't heard that before, and perhaps you could shed some light on whether that's true or not?

There was a riot in Alexandria which was suppressed by Ti. Julius Alexander but Josephus also recounts a massacre in Damascus of Jews by the locals. In both cases the Jews were not the aggressors, they were the victims of Greco-Roman mobs. In the Damascus case, Josephus notes that the attack was retaliation for the Jews' attack on the XIIth Legion which obviously the Jews in Damascus had nothing to do with.

Mark, I still recall vividly the incident which led me to begin questioning the whole xtian bullshit story. In my college Roman History class I read in the text book (which, 40+ years later I still have) about the Alexandrian riots under Caligula, 25 years earlier. It notes: "In Alexandria there was a large Jewish colony, hated by the Alexandrians for claiming citizenship in the city and enjoying exceptional privileges. " I asked my prof if this comment was supported and he, never one to miss a research opportunity, wrote out a reference to a book in the library which confirmed those privileges given to the Jews early on, by Julius Caesar, in exchange for support in the Civil War. So all of a sudden I was struck by the lie. Far from being a viciously repressed minority the Jews actually had it pretty good under the Augustus/Tiberius regimes, so much so that it engendered enmity with the Greco-Roman populations of the East. The truth of the matter was that if there was any point in their history when the jews did not need a deliverer it was during the Early Principate.... so what was fucking jesus whining about? I've spent the last 40 years maintaining an intense interest in Roman history and have come to the conclusion that xtianity is a pile of shit. The situation which they need for their death cult did not exist at the time they set the story for their godboy.

This ethnic hatred apparently festered until the Great Revolt and there was no distinction made between Messianic and Non-Messianic Jews by the mobs. "A jew is a jew is a jew" seems to have been the motto followed by "Let's get 'em, boys." Atwill seems to portray this Alexandrian flare-up as a "revolt" because it is in his interest to do so. His credibility has already taken a number of hits. But it seems more likely that the jews in Alexandria were attacked by a Greco-Roman mob and tried to defend themselves. Is that a "revolt?"

Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Minimalist's post
11-02-2015, 12:01 PM
RE: Full version of Joseph Atwill's Documentary
The Kitos War broke out at the same time that Trajan invaded Mesopotamia and did in fact add it to the Roman Empire. (Hadrian later decided that it was indefensible and withdrew to the earlier line). Anyway, there is some speculation that the Parthians instigated the jews to revolt as a distraction in Trajan's rear. We have Cassius Dio's history written over a century later and the numbers of casualties he indicates happened seem typical of ancient inflation in such matters.

Put that against a backdrop of the continuing animosity between jews and non-jews in the Empire.

As far as Eusebius goes....

His reliability is well known.

http://www.ctlibrary.com/ch/2001/issue72/1.8.html

Quote:But we shall introduce into this history in general only those events which may be useful first to ourselves and afterwards to posterity" (Church History 8.2.3).

He has a lot in common with Atwill!

Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Minimalist's post
11-02-2015, 06:14 PM
RE: Full version of Joseph Atwill's Documentary
(11-02-2015 12:01 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  The Kitos War broke out at the same time that Trajan invaded Mesopotamia and did in fact add it to the Roman Empire. (Hadrian later decided that it was indefensible and withdrew to the earlier line). Anyway, there is some speculation that the Parthians instigated the jews to revolt as a distraction in Trajan's rear. We have Cassius Dio's history written over a century later and the numbers of casualties he indicates happened seem typical of ancient inflation in such matters.

Put that against a backdrop of the continuing animosity between jews and non-jews in the Empire.

As far as Eusebius goes....

His reliability is well known.

http://www.ctlibrary.com/ch/2001/issue72/1.8.html

Quote:But we shall introduce into this history in general only those events which may be useful first to ourselves and afterwards to posterity" (Church History 8.2.3).

He has a lot in common with Atwill!

"He has a lot in common with Atwill!"

Haha!
Atwill may get a few facts wrong, but he's not as big a liar as Eusebius!
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Mark Fulton's post
11-02-2015, 07:11 PM
RE: Full version of Joseph Atwill's Documentary
(11-02-2015 12:01 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  The Kitos War broke out at the same time that Trajan invaded Mesopotamia and did in fact add it to the Roman Empire. (Hadrian later decided that it was indefensible and withdrew to the earlier line). Anyway, there is some speculation that the Parthians instigated the jews to revolt as a distraction in Trajan's rear. We have Cassius Dio's history written over a century later and the numbers of casualties he indicates happened seem typical of ancient inflation in such matters.

Put that against a backdrop of the continuing animosity between jews and non-jews in the Empire.

As far as Eusebius goes....

His reliability is well known.

http://www.ctlibrary.com/ch/2001/issue72/1.8.html

Quote:But we shall introduce into this history in general only those events which may be useful first to ourselves and afterwards to posterity" (Church History 8.2.3).

He has a lot in common with Atwill!

Thanks for all your great posts.
I will throw in my 2c worth later today (I am at work now)
I hear it that you disagree with many of Atwill's ideas, but do you think the Roman government created the gospels?
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
11-02-2015, 07:21 PM (This post was last modified: 11-02-2015 09:54 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Full version of Joseph Atwill's Documentary
In my book I have assumed that throughout the first century there was a sort of cold war going on between peasant Jews with their Jewish religion and the Roman world.

I have concluded that Christianity was largely a product of the Roman government's propaganda Machine trying to suppress these peasant Jews.

Permit me to cut-and-paste a little of my writing about the political climate in Judea and particularly Gallilee. I'm interested in anyone's comments about this...

The Political Climate in Palestine
“The Jews discovered a fierce impatience of the dominion of Rome, which repeatedly broke out in the most furious massacres and insurrections…and we are tempted to applaud the severe retaliation which was exercised by the arms of the legions against a race of fanatics, whose dire and credulous superstition seemed to render them the implacable enemies not only of the Roman government, but of human kind. The enthusiasm of the Jews was supported by the opinion, that it was unlawful for them to pay taxes to an idolatrous master; and by the flattering promise which they derived from their ancient oracles, that a conquering Messiah would soon arise, destined to break their fetters, and to invest the favorites of heaven with the empire of the earth.”
(Edward Gibbon)

In 37 BCE Herod “the Great” laid siege to Jerusalem, the capital of the Jewish nation, with an army of Roman soldiers, and recaptured it from the Jewish people (the Romans had been in control from 63 BCE to 40 BCE.) It took him three months, and Herod began his long reign as king of Judea. The Romans had a policy of appointing locals as leaders by choosing them from the aristocratic families of the countries they conquered, as this helped police the people. So Israel was very much a part of the Empire, and had been for almost 90 years, by the time Yeshua started preaching. Israel was an important province, particularly as it was en route to Egypt, as Rome was heavily reliant on Egyptian grain.

Herod wanted the people to respect him as king of the Jews, but he lacked credibility, because he was not a pure Jew, as his father was an Idumean, from an area to the south of Judea, and what is more, he was a Roman puppet. Herod was paranoid about threats to his rule, and thought anyone of the royal Jewish bloodline was a danger. Herod had the last of the genuine Jewish kings, Antigonus, executed. He married a royal Jewish princess to prop up his claim to the crown, but, fretting about a challenge to his position, had her, her brother and his own two sons by the marriage executed. The Roman emperor Augustus had good reason to state:
“I had sooner be Herod’s swine than his son” (Cecil Roth, A Short History of the Jewish People, 92.)

Herod tried to increase his prestige by undertaking massive building projects. He remodeled the temple in Jerusalem, employing ten thousand workers, and spared no expense. It was twice as large as today’s St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, and was truly magnificent to behold, boasting Corinthian columns, white marble, and plates of gold. It was the nucleus of the nation, and became famous throughout the empire, and all Jerusalem lived in its shadow. Herod also constructed the city port of Caesaria, overlooking the Mediterranean. It had an artificial harbor and an amphitheater that held an audience of twenty thousand.

All Herod’s architectural projects were Hellenistic in design, which upset many Jews. The people were also put out when Herod placed a golden eagle, the emblem of Roman rule, over the great gate of the temple. Many common Jews despised Herod. A real king needed to be a true Jew and a descendant of David, not someone smitten with Greek culture who had been installed by Romans.

Herod was dictatorial and not particularly perturbed about the plight of poor Jewish peasants. It was only by controlling the country as a police state that he averted open rebellion.

Herod Archelaus, one of Herod the Great’s surviving sons, took over as ruler of Galilee, a northern province of Palestine, when his father died in 4 BCE. He was such an inept ruler Caesar replaced him after ten years and his brother, Herod Antipas, became the ruler of the region. This was the man who had John the Baptist beheaded, and who allegedly interrogated Jesus before the crucifixion. Like his father, Herod Antipas was very ambitious. He too married a princess from a royal Jewish bloodline, and continued his father’s grandiose building projects, rebuilding the city of Sepphoris, which was to become the capital of Galilee, eight kilometers from the present day Nazareth. Constructed during Yeshua’s childhood, it is possible Yeshua and his father and brothers worked there as laborers.

The Herods had to get money for these projects, and money was also needed to support the Roman bureaucracy and army. The money came from taxes paid by the already struggling peasants, and was accrued by the infamous tax collectors. There were export and import taxes, taxes levied on crops - one tenth of the grain crop and one fifth of that from wine, fruit, and oil. There were taxes payable on the transfer of property, emergency taxes, and others. So anything from twenty to forty percent of the peasants’ produce went into paying tax. A Roman official called a “censor” was responsible for reaping in the revenue, but he often sold the right to collect it to the highest bidders, men who demanded more money than was due and kept the difference for themselves. The censors commonly took bribes from the rich, so the poor people ended up paying most of the tax, arousing deep resentment.

The Romans had changed the economic status quo in Palestine. Many of the poorer people had lost land when it was incorporated into large estates of the upper classes. It was obvious to the farmers and fishermen of Galilee that the richer people, many of whom lived in the largest cities, were exploiting them.

The proud Palestinian people were infuriated that Romans appointed the high priest, their chief religious figure. It meant the powerful elite families reinforced Roman rule. A modern analogy would be the Catholic world today having a Pope and his cardinals appointed by an Islamic government, or Cubans choosing an American president.
Galilean peasants started skirmishes in 4 BCE, possibly the year Yeshua was born. Josephus relates that Judas, son of Ezekias, gathered together a band of bandits who broke into the royal armory at Sepphoris, and stole weapons and money. Further south at Jericho, 30 kilometers from Jerusalem, another Jew named Simon led a pack that torched the royal palace. A shepherd named Athronges raised a rabble that roamed the countryside for a few months. Soon most of Galilee was in revolt. The Roman army responded with brutal force by marching into Galilee, burning towns and villages, and crucifying anyone resisting Roman rule. Three thousand Jews were massacred. There must have been much terror and many innocent people murdered. There is no mention of this violence in the Gospels, yet Mary, Joseph and their families must have been involved, either as participants or observers.

Mary was a young girl vulnerable to rampaging troops. It is possible that Yeshua’s biological father was a Roman soldier.

Ten years later, in 6 CE, the Roman governor of Syria, Quirinius, undertook a census to work out who should be paying taxes to Rome. This sparked another revolt led by a Galilean, also named Judas, who many imagined was the messiah. Josephus told the story:

“There was one Judas, a Galilean, of a city whose name was Gamala, who, taking with him Zadok, a Pharisee, became zealous to draw them to a revolt. Both said that this taxation was no better than an introduction to slavery, and exhorted the nation to assert their liberty; as if they could procure them happiness and security for what they possessed, and an assured enjoyment of a still greater good, which was that of the honor and glory they would thereby acquire for magnanimity. They also said that God would not otherwise be assisting to them, than upon their joining with one another in such councils as might be successful, and for their own advantage; and this especially, if they would set about great exploits, and not grow weary in executing the same. So men received what they said with pleasure, and this bold attempt proceeded to a great height.” (Flavius Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 18.4-6.)

The Romans gathered three legions and four regiments of cavalry, and the movement was quickly and brutally suppressed. Judas’ army was routed and the Romans set fire to Sepphoris. This time two thousand Jews were slaughtered. A young Yeshua may have witnessed the battle from a distance. Yeshua might have seen the surviving members of Judas’s army crucified on crosses, and a long line of Jewish widows and their children marched off to slavery in Rome. Many Jews were convinced their God would come to their aid in battles, and he may have been dismayed and disappointed that this did not happen.

There is no mention of this encounter in the Gospels either, as they were written in an era when Jewish nationalism was suppressed. Readers did not need to know about the violence and bad feeling of the times.

Despite this decisive defeat, the rebels did not discard their dreams, but went underground. The descendants of Judas and others continued to oppose Roman rule for generations afterwards. Josephus named them “Sicarii,” because their favorite weapon was the Roman dagger, or sica.

Most Palestinian Jews, and particularly the poor peasants of Galilee, must have felt degraded and oppressed by Romans, who had impoverished them, and killed or sold into slavery many of their relatives and friends. The poorer Jews had it hard from many directions; suffering under the burdens of landlessness, poverty, taxation and sometimes violent oppression. Some Galileans resented their fellow Jews who had partially assimilated into the Greco-Roman culture. There is a high probability that Yeshua was one of these disgruntled rustics.

From the Roman perspective, Palestine was an important province by virtue of its position. It was in “the middle of the crescent” of the Middle East, and shared its coastal water with Italy. It was the gateway to the East, a major stop on every trade route from as far away as China, India, Russia and the West. Galilee was considered a parochial backwater, a festering wound that had failed to become peaceful. Palestine would not have appealed as a port of call for the out-posted Roman trooper. It was a hot, dusty desert filled with indignant natives."
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Mark Fulton's post
11-02-2015, 07:30 PM
RE: Full version of Joseph Atwill's Documentary
(11-02-2015 11:45 AM)Minimalist Wrote:  
Quote:For example Atwill mentions that shortly after the war, Jews in Egypt revolted. I hadn't heard that before, and perhaps you could shed some light on whether that's true or not?

There was a riot in Alexandria which was suppressed by Ti. Julius Alexander but Josephus also recounts a massacre in Damascus of Jews by the locals. In both cases the Jews were not the aggressors, they were the victims of Greco-Roman mobs. In the Damascus case, Josephus notes that the attack was retaliation for the Jews' attack on the XIIth Legion which obviously the Jews in Damascus had nothing to do with.

Mark, I still recall vividly the incident which led me to begin questioning the whole xtian bullshit story. In my college Roman History class I read in the text book (which, 40+ years later I still have) about the Alexandrian riots under Caligula, 25 years earlier. It notes: "In Alexandria there was a large Jewish colony, hated by the Alexandrians for claiming citizenship in the city and enjoying exceptional privileges. " I asked my prof if this comment was supported and he, never one to miss a research opportunity, wrote out a reference to a book in the library which confirmed those privileges given to the Jews early on, by Julius Caesar, in exchange for support in the Civil War. So all of a sudden I was struck by the lie. Far from being a viciously repressed minority the Jews actually had it pretty good under the Augustus/Tiberius regimes, so much so that it engendered enmity with the Greco-Roman populations of the East. The truth of the matter was that if there was any point in their history when the jews did not need a deliverer it was during the Early Principate.... so what was fucking jesus whining about? I've spent the last 40 years maintaining an intense interest in Roman history and have come to the conclusion that xtianity is a pile of shit. The situation which they need for their death cult did not exist at the time they set the story for their godboy.

This ethnic hatred apparently festered until the Great Revolt and there was no distinction made between Messianic and Non-Messianic Jews by the mobs. "A jew is a jew is a jew" seems to have been the motto followed by "Let's get 'em, boys." Atwill seems to portray this Alexandrian flare-up as a "revolt" because it is in his interest to do so. His credibility has already taken a number of hits. But it seems more likely that the jews in Alexandria were attacked by a Greco-Roman mob and tried to defend themselves. Is that a "revolt?"

Re..."so what was fucking jesus whining about?"

Well.....it could have been this....

Apart from Luke’s brief mention of Jesus as a twelve-year-old, (Luke 2:41–47) the Gospels failed to mention any notable facts about Jesus’ life until he was aged about thirty, a remarkable omission. Writing a comprehensive biography obviously was not the authors’ priority, and they probably were not as familiar with Jesus’ story as they would have liked their readers to think they were. It is also possible that they knew some more facts about Yeshua, yet chose not to document them.

Joseph, who might have been either Jesus’ father or stepfather, may have died early as he disappeared from the Gospels without an explanation. Mary may have married again, but if she had not, Yeshua, the eldest sibling, would have become the leader of the household.

Yeshua’s family was said to be poor, so Yeshua would probably have had to toil to take care of them—perhaps as a farmer, or possibly as a laborer constructing the cities of Sepphoris or Tiberias. In about 19 CE, when Yeshua was a young man, the city of Tiberias on the banks of the Sea of Galilee was under construction, thirty kilometers from today’s Nazareth. He must have walked through its streets. Today it is Northern Israel’s most popular holiday resort. That construction work might have kept Yeshua busy six days a week. The seventh day was the Sabbath, on which no Jew would do any work.

The young Yeshua breathed Galilean air that was thick with anti-Roman feeling. He would have heard stories about Jewish men killed by Roman soldiers, and how their families were abducted, and maybe even seen the fighting first hand. Every day Yeshua would have had to face the ugly reality of being poor, and he would have blamed the pagans with their brutal army for the way things were. This was not the glorious kingdom God had promised Israel in Scripture.

Many larger cities in Galilee housed Gentiles, and Yeshua would have resented their presence, yet would have had little to do with them.

The Jewish expectation for a political leader (a Messiah or “savior”) had been introduced in parts of Isaiah, which was probably written during or just after the Babylonian captivity. It refers to the restoration of the nation of Israel. In Yeshua’s day there was a widespread hope among Jews that a Messiah would lead the people in a revolt to establish the “kingdom of God,” in which Jews would be in charge and the world’s wealth would be distributed evenly, not condensed in Roman hands and aristocratic families.

Josephus, writing in the late first century, explains why many Jews had these patriotic dreams:
“That which chiefly excited them to war was an ambiguous prophecy, which was also found in the sacred books, that at that time someone, within their country should arise, that should obtain the empire of the whole world. For this they had spoken of one of their nation; and many wise men were deceived with the interpretation” (Josephus, Wars of the Jews.)

Two secular Roman historians say something similar:
“There had spread all over the Orient an old and established belief, that it was fated for men coming from Judea to rule the world.” (Seutonius, Life of Vespasian, 4.5.)
“The majority [of the Jews] were convinced that the ancient scriptures of their priests alluded to the present as the very time when the Orient would triumph and from Judea would go forth men destined to rule the world.” (Tacitus, Histories 5.13.)

Throughout the first century revolutionary groups of zealots, led by hopeful Jewish Messianic leaders, promised apocalyptic deliverance, but achieved nothing lasting. The Qumran community, who compiled the Dead Sea Scrolls, was one such group. They had a pathological hatred for the Romans (whom they called the “Kittim.”) They also despised the Sadducees, who they regarded as Rome’s lackeys. After years of Roman domination, the Qumran community dreamed of a bloody revenge. A part of the Scrolls describes a fantasy of a battle in which the Kittim were crushed:
“This shall be a time of salvation for people of God, and age of dominion for all the members of His company, and of everlasting destruction for the company of Satan… The dominion of the Kittim shall come to an end and iniquity shall be vanquished, leaving no remnant for the sons of darkness, there shall be no escape. The sons of righteousness shall shine over all the ends of earth; they shall go on shining until all the seasons of darkness are consumed and, at the season appointed by God, His exalted greatness shall shine eternally to the peace, blessing, glory, and long life of all the sons of light”

The leader of the army who led them in this fantasized battle is unequivocally called the “Messiah.” Whoever wrote this was obviously fanatical and, as things turned out, rather deluded, as neither God nor a successful Messiah ever made an appearance.
The poorer classes must have dreamed about a Messiah who might make their lives so much better. It is not hard to imagine that any charismatic Jew brave enough to claim he was the Messiah could soon collect a gang of Galilean paupers to back him up, particularly if he was said to be David’s descendant. A young Yeshua must have wondered who this Messiah was going to be.

As most Essenes were celibate, Yeshua may not have had a family of his own. Nor would Yeshua have been bothered with accumulating wealth. He was a man with an altogether different agenda.

Most young men are irked by any imposition on their freedom. If they are poor and have little hope for a positive future, their frustration escalates. In most cultures, identity and self-respect are aligned with religious and ethnic affiliation. Bad feelings against foreigners boil over if these features of identity are compromised. Picture young Arabs in the Gaza strip for the modern equivalent.

Yeshua was young, poor, oppressed, and almost certainly a religious idealist.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
11-02-2015, 07:39 PM
RE: Full version of Joseph Atwill's Documentary
No.

I think they certainly took advantage of the opportunity when it came to them. What government would not love a doctrine which says "pay your taxes, shut your fucking mouths, do what your told...and you'll get your reward in "heaven.""

Xtianity went through a long period of development into the massive pile of shit we know today. I highly recommend Bart Ehrman's Lost Christianities for a discussion of the gnostics. In fact, if you'd like an electronic version of it, PM an email address to me and I'll send it to you.

For the record, I think the various gnostic groups existed independently flying under the radar for a long time. The term "soter" means savior in Greek and was used as a title by Ptolemy I and members of his dynasty and by some Seleucid kings, as well. So there is ample room for this crap to grow among the generally illiterate commons.

What the proto-orthodox ( to steal Ehrman's term) later called "heresies" were probably the ancestors of xtianity.

Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Minimalist's post
11-02-2015, 09:30 PM
RE: Full version of Joseph Atwill's Documentary
(11-02-2015 07:39 PM)Minimalist Wrote:  No.

I think they certainly took advantage of the opportunity when it came to them. What government would not love a doctrine which says "pay your taxes, shut your fucking mouths, do what your told...and you'll get your reward in "heaven.""

Xtianity went through a long period of development into the massive pile of shit we know today. I highly recommend Bart Ehrman's Lost Christianities for a discussion of the gnostics. In fact, if you'd like an electronic version of it, PM an email address to me and I'll send it to you.

For the record, I think the various gnostic groups existed independently flying under the radar for a long time. The term "soter" means savior in Greek and was used as a title by Ptolemy I and members of his dynasty and by some Seleucid kings, as well. So there is ample room for this crap to grow among the generally illiterate commons.

What the proto-orthodox ( to steal Ehrman's term) later called "heresies" were probably the ancestors of xtianity.

Ok. Well...I disagree. I strongly suspect the government created Christianity. For me, the idea is by far the most plausible explanation. That's not to say I don't respect your opinion.

What does everyone else think?
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: