Historical Jesus

Abrahamic religion, you know, the one with the cross...

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Re: Historical Jesus

#42761  Postby proudfootz » May 24, 2019 3:23 pm

Svartalf wrote:MMmh, if Diocletian was the kind of guy who tried to put down Jews and Christians by requiring all Citizens to take part in the Imperial Cult, it seems unlikely he would have kept chretins in his court.


Well, if he had to purge his household of cretins, it seems like there were some there to purge.
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Re: Historical Jesus

#42762  Postby RealityRules » May 24, 2019 11:21 pm

proudfootz wrote:... apparently there were charges that the presence of Christians there interfered with divination - this triggered Diocletian to try and root out Christians by forcing everyone on the place to perform sacrifices to purge the influence ...

It would appear that Constantine stood a good chance to have had contact with Christians as a young man in Diolcletian's court.

This is part of folklore, but do we actually have any contemporaneous accounts of the time of this happening?

Accounts of persecutions could be mostly [or all] folklore to create an illusion there were Christians in sufficient numbers to create issues.

Same as with Paul's epistles to far-away communities - there's no evidence such communities existed (or that 'The Pillars' were pillars of communities of Chrestians ...)
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Re: Historical Jesus

#42763  Postby proudfootz » May 25, 2019 12:36 am

RealityRules wrote:
proudfootz wrote:... apparently there were charges that the presence of Christians there interfered with divination - this triggered Diocletian to try and root out Christians by forcing everyone on the place to perform sacrifices to purge the influence ...

It would appear that Constantine stood a good chance to have had contact with Christians as a young man in Diocletian's court.

This is part of folklore, but do we actually have any contemporaneous accounts of the time of this happening?

Accounts of persecutions could be mostly [or all] folklore to create an illusion there were Christians in sufficient numbers to create issues.

Same as with Paul's epistles to far-away communities - there's no evidence such communities existed (or that 'The Pillars' were pillars of communities of Chrestians ...)


I haven't looked into the sources for these stories, so it could well be based mistaken information.

Perhaps in my zeal to find a secular explanation for how Constantine might have come in contact with christianity I may have erred.
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Re: Historical Jesus

#42764  Postby RealityRules » May 25, 2019 3:32 am

proudfootz wrote:I haven't looked into the sources for these stories, so it could well be based [on] mistaken information.

Perhaps in my zeal to find a secular explanation for how Constantine might have come in contact with Christianity I may have erred.

I don't think you're mistaken or have erred, and wasn't having a go at you: I was querying the traditional, standard dogma, assertions, and assumptions around these ideas.
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Re: Historical Jesus

#42765  Postby Leucius Charinus » May 25, 2019 4:47 am

RE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labarum

    The labarum (Greek: λάβαρον) was a vexillum (military standard) that displayed the "Chi-Rho" symbol ☧, a christogram formed from the first two Greek letters of the word "Christ" (Greek: ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ, or Χριστός) — Chi (χ) and Rho (ρ).[1] It was first used by the Roman emperor Constantine the Great. Since the vexillum consisted of a flag suspended from the crossbar of a cross, it was ideally suited to symbolize the crucifixion of Christ.

    Image


RealityRules wrote:Price goes on

Originally the vision was supposed to be no more than the origin of the symbolic battle standard, the labarum. Eusebius initially treats the story of the vision this way, as do all other early discussions of the vision.

https://www.robertmprice.mindvendor.com ... l_conv.htm



The "Chi-Rho" symbol ☧ is also found on 2nd and 3rd century Greek inscriptions as an abbreviation
for the Greek word ἑκατόνταρχος ‎(hekatóntarkhos‎) meaning "Centurion" -

"By this sign conquer" !!

By the sign of the centurion Constantine conquered. It was standard practice (excuse the pun).

Constantine didn't need Christ in 312 CE he needed his centurions.

IMHO the Christian church grabbed the symbolism retrospectively.
"It is, I think, expedient to set forth to all mankind the reasons by which I was convinced that
the fabrication of the Christians is a fiction of men composed by wickedness. "

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Re: Historical Jesus

#42766  Postby RealityRules » May 25, 2019 7:30 am

Leucius Charinus wrote:
RE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labarum

    The labarum (Greek: λάβαρον) was a vexillum (military standard) that displayed the "Chi-Rho" symbol ☧, a christogram formed from the first two Greek letters of the word "Christ" (Greek: ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ, or Χριστός) — Chi (χ) and Rho (ρ). It was [supposedly] first used by the Roman emperor Constantine the Great ...

Yet, from the same Wikipedia page, -
'As for the labarum itself, there is little evidence for its use before 317 [AD].' [Smith, J.H., (1971) Constantine the Great, Hamilton, p. 104: "What little evidence exists suggests that in fact the labarum bearing the chi-rho symbol was not used before 317, when Crispus became Caesar..."



... Since the vexillum consisted of a flag suspended from the crossbar of a cross, it was ideally suited to symbolize the crucifixion of Christ.

Image

As L.C. notes, -
Leucius Charinus wrote:
The "Chi-Rho" symbol ☧ is also found on 2nd and 3rd century Greek inscriptions as an abbreviation for the Greek word ἑκατόνταρχος ‎(hekatóntarkhos‎) meaning "Centurion" -

"By this sign conquer" !

By the sign of the centurion Constantine conquered. It was standard practice ...

Constantine didn't need Christ in 312 CE: he needed his centurions.



eta: It's also worth noting the shaped crucifix hardly appeared early on, if at all


I agree with L.C., -
Leucius Charinus wrote:
IMHO the Christian church grabbed the symbolism retrospectively.
Last edited by RealityRules on May 25, 2019 7:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Historical Jesus

#42767  Postby proudfootz » May 25, 2019 7:38 am

RealityRules wrote:
proudfootz wrote:I haven't looked into the sources for these stories, so it could well be based [on] mistaken information.

Perhaps in my zeal to find a secular explanation for how Constantine might have come in contact with Christianity I may have erred.

I don't think you're mistaken or have erred, and wasn't having a go at you: I was querying the traditional, standard dogma, assertions, and assumptions around these ideas.


No problem - any hypothesis on offer should be questioned.

The stories of Docletian's christian problems begin with Lactanius, whose biography indicates he was mingling in Imperial circles at the time, so that gives me some confidence that he could plausibly know about such things (if they happened) from his own witness.
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Re: Historical Jesus

#42768  Postby Leucius Charinus » May 26, 2019 9:05 am

RealityRules wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:
RE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labarum

    The labarum (Greek: λάβαρον) was a vexillum (military standard) that displayed the "Chi-Rho" symbol ☧, a christogram formed from the first two Greek letters of the word "Christ" (Greek: ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ, or Χριστός) — Chi (χ) and Rho (ρ). It was [supposedly] first used by the Roman emperor Constantine the Great ...

Yet, from the same Wikipedia page, -
'As for the labarum itself, there is little evidence for its use before 317 [AD].' [Smith, J.H., (1971) Constantine the Great, Hamilton, p. 104: "What little evidence exists suggests that in fact the labarum bearing the chi-rho symbol was not used before 317, when Crispus became Caesar..."


The standards themselves were made of timber and cloth and were thus relatively perishable. Very few of these have been physically discovered. It therefore is no surpirise to me that we have no direct evidence for the chi rho symbol on a standard. Or indeed whether the chi rho on the standard was a method foridentifying the centurion's standard in battle.

The point remains however that there is epigraphic evidence that the chi rho was used as an abbreviation for "centurion". This suggests that the Greek speaking world may easily have identified the chi rho symbol and as abbreviation for a centurion. (See below)


RealityRules wrote:
... Since the vexillum consisted of a flag suspended from the crossbar of a cross, it was ideally suited to symbolize the crucifixion of Christ.

Image

As L.C. notes, -
Leucius Charinus wrote:
The "Chi-Rho" symbol ☧ is also found on 2nd and 3rd century Greek inscriptions as an abbreviation for the Greek word ἑκατόνταρχος ‎(hekatóntarkhos‎) meaning "Centurion" -

"By this sign conquer" !

By the sign of the centurion Constantine conquered. It was standard practice ...

Constantine didn't need Christ in 312 CE: he needed his centurions.



eta: It's also worth noting the shaped crucifix hardly appeared early on, if at all


I agree with L.C., -
Leucius Charinus wrote:
IMHO the Christian church grabbed the symbolism retrospectively.


Yes the cross appears with Constantine's mother in the 4th century, and the first evidence of a crucificx with a figure on it comes from the 6th or 7th century. This seems to indicate later church embellishments.

FWIW here is my source for the epigraphic evidence that chi rho was used as abbreviation for centurion ..

Image

The CHI-RHO seems to have been an abbreviation for - apart from "Christos" - the following:

ἑκατόνταρχος ‎(hekatóntarkhos‎) centurion (multiple occurrences)
χιλιάρχης ... Chiliarch ("commander of a thousand"; "thousandman")
χρεοφυλάκειον ..... (Chreophylax) Dura, Seleucid Financial Magistrate?
χρήσιμος ..... (Chrestos) useful, serviceable, good for use, good, apt. Strong's Greek: 5543
χρόνος .... • (chrónos)
χρυσός .... • (chrysós) gold (metal element, see above)


SOURCE: See Michael Avi-Yonah, Abbreviations in Greek Inscriptions, Quarterly of the Department of Antiquities in Palestine (Jerusalem: Government of Palestine, 1940) As reprinted in Abbreviations in Greek Inscriptions Al. N. Oikonomides, Professor of Classics Loyola University Chicargo. Illinois,ARES Publishing 1974., p.112,
also see a variation of the Chi-Rho in the Meggido inscription - “the Chapel of the Centurion”
"It is, I think, expedient to set forth to all mankind the reasons by which I was convinced that
the fabrication of the Christians is a fiction of men composed by wickedness. "

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Re: Historical Jesus

#42769  Postby Tracer Tong » May 26, 2019 7:32 pm

Leucius Charinus wrote:
The "Chi-Rho" symbol ☧ is also found on 2nd and 3rd century Greek inscriptions as an abbreviation
for the Greek word ἑκατόνταρχος ‎(hekatóntarkhos‎) meaning "Centurion"


Which ones?

Leucius Charinus wrote:"By this sign conquer" !!

By the sign of the centurion Constantine conquered. It was standard practice (excuse the pun).


What's your source for this claim?
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Re: Historical Jesus

#42770  Postby Leucius Charinus » May 26, 2019 9:13 pm

Tracer Tong wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:
The "Chi-Rho" symbol ☧ is also found on 2nd and 3rd century Greek inscriptions as an abbreviation
for the Greek word ἑκατόνταρχος ‎(hekatóntarkhos‎) meaning "Centurion"


Which ones?


(1) RA 1903 B, 437 (Revue archaeologique)

(2) W 2532 (177-80) (Waddington, W.H.)

(3) SARD 17 (Sardis Volume XII)

See above post.

Leucius Charinus wrote:"By this sign conquer" !!

By the sign of the centurion Constantine conquered. It was standard practice (excuse the pun).


What's your source for this claim?


Inference from the existence of these inscriptions. Very very few physical military standards are preserved from antiquity. There is thus no direct evidence from the vexillia. See above post. However there are coins ...

Considering these inscriptions existed, and considering the existence of Constantine's coins (below), would the general pagan populous have viewed or interpreted the chi rho (on these coins atop of a military standard) as a symbol for Constantine's new god Christ, or as a symbol for the centurion?

Constantine: Commemorative Coin 327 CE:
Civil War II commemorative coinage 327 CE CONSTANTINVS MAX AVG, laureate head right SPES PVBLIC, chi-rho atop standard
of 3 medallions impaling snake A to left, CONSA in ex. Constantinople RIC 19 r4

Image

Constantine: Bronze Coin 320 CE:
18mm 2.4gm CONSTAN-TINVS AVG; Helmeted, cuirassed VIRTVS-EXERCIT; [Valor of the army] Standard inscribed VOT/XX with captive seated on ground on either side, in left field Iota-Chi. in ex. AQP RIC VII Aquileia 58 On the reverse of this coin, in the left field, there is what many call a Chi-Rho. This should probably be called an Iota-Chi, rather than a Chi-Rho, since it looks very little like the Greek Rho and more like an Iota combined with a Chi. On some examples there is a bit of roundness to the top of the Iota, but not enough to call the symbol a proper Rho…at best the symbol might be called a stylized Chi-Rho.

Image
"It is, I think, expedient to set forth to all mankind the reasons by which I was convinced that
the fabrication of the Christians is a fiction of men composed by wickedness. "

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Re: Historical Jesus

#42771  Postby RealityRules » May 26, 2019 10:01 pm

Leucius Charinus wrote:
RealityRules wrote:eta: It's also worth noting the shaped crucifix hardly appeared early on, if at all

Yes the cross appears with Constantine's mother in the 4th century, and the first evidence of a crucifix with a figure on it comes from the 6th or 7th century. This seems to indicate later church embellishments.

the shaped crucifix first appeared with Constantine's mother in the 4th century??


I was thinking about this before seeing this post by "Leucius Charinus", -

Leucius Charinus [changed emphasis by me, RR] wrote:
The Chi-Rho seems to have been an abbreviation for ... the following:

  • ἑκατόνταρχος ‎(hekatóntarkhos‎) centurion (multiple occurrences)
  • χιλιάρχης ... Chiliarch ("commander of a thousand"; "thousandman")
    χρεοφυλάκειον ..... (Chreophylax) Dura, Seleucid Financial Magistrate?
    χρήσιμος ..... (Chrestos) useful, serviceable, good for use, good, apt. Strong's Greek: 5543
    χρόνος .... • (chrónos)
    χρυσός .... • (chrysós) gold ...

SOURCE: See Michael Avi-Yonah, Abbreviations in Greek Inscriptions, Quarterly of the Department of Antiquities in Palestine (Jerusalem: Government of Palestine, 1940) As reprinted in Abbreviations in Greek Inscriptions Al. N. Oikonomides, Professor of Classics Loyola University Chicargo. Illinois,ARES Publishing 1974., p.112,

also see a variation of the Chi-Rho in the Meggido inscription - “the Chapel of the Centurion”

.

ie. the Chi-Rho - a P-like symbol (glyph) over an 'X' - would suggest the P-like glyph being a hieroglyph for a person lording over others, eg. a commander

[nb. multiple minor edits made to this post, mainly for for layout & emphasis or clarity]
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Re: Historical Jesus

#42772  Postby RealityRules » May 26, 2019 10:18 pm

Interestingly, -

Rho - P - is the 17th letter of the Greek alphabet. In the system of Greek numerals it has a value of 100.

[and Chi (uppercase Χ, lowercase χ; Greek: χῖ) is the 22nd letter of the Greek alphabet & has a value of 600]
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Re: Historical Jesus

#42773  Postby Tracer Tong » May 26, 2019 11:13 pm

Leucius Charinus wrote:
Tracer Tong wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:
The "Chi-Rho" symbol ☧ is also found on 2nd and 3rd century Greek inscriptions as an abbreviation
for the Greek word ἑκατόνταρχος ‎(hekatóntarkhos‎) meaning "Centurion"


Which ones?


(1) RA 1903 B, 437 (Revue archaeologique)

(2) W 2532 (177-80) (Waddington, W.H.)

(3) SARD 17 (Sardis Volume XII)

See above post.


We'll start with this part of your reply. I did see your above post, but was hoping for more information.

Still, that notwithstanding, your third example seems to be a mistake, insofar as the abbreviation is not for 'centurion' at all, as your own photographs suggest. Do you agree with me so far?
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Re: Historical Jesus

#42774  Postby Svartalf » May 26, 2019 11:25 pm

Actually, it's not 'by this sign conquer". the actual Latin phrase was "In hoc signo vinces", which translate more accurately as 'Under that standard, You shall conquer".
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Re: Historical Jesus

#42775  Postby Leucius Charinus » May 27, 2019 3:06 am

Tracer Tong wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:
Tracer Tong wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:
The "Chi-Rho" symbol ☧ is also found on 2nd and 3rd century Greek inscriptions as an abbreviation
for the Greek word ἑκατόνταρχος ‎(hekatóntarkhos‎) meaning "Centurion"


Which ones?


(1) RA 1903 B, 437 (Revue archaeologique)

(2) W 2532 (177-80) (Waddington, W.H.)

(3) SARD 17 (Sardis Volume XII)

See above post.


We'll start with this part of your reply. I did see your above post, but was hoping for more information.

Still, that notwithstanding, your third example seems to be a mistake, insofar as the abbreviation is not for 'centurion' at all, as your own photographs suggest. Do you agree with me so far?


Yes that's true. The third example provided isn't 'centurion' but something else. Any ideas?
I have searched for images for all of these without success.

There is another recently discovered example at Megiddo of a chi rho which is not super-imposed.
For this reason one academic quipped that the Christian site at Megiddo might be called "The Chapel of the Centurion"

Image

SOURCE: http://home.planet.nl/~slofs018/Megiddo.htm
"It is, I think, expedient to set forth to all mankind the reasons by which I was convinced that
the fabrication of the Christians is a fiction of men composed by wickedness. "

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Re: Historical Jesus

#42776  Postby Leucius Charinus » May 27, 2019 3:31 am

RealityRules wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:
RealityRules wrote:eta: It's also worth noting the shaped crucifix hardly appeared early on, if at all

Yes the cross appears with Constantine's mother in the 4th century, and the first evidence of a crucifix with a figure on it comes from the 6th or 7th century. This seems to indicate later church embellishments.


the shaped crucifix first appeared with Constantine's mother in the 4th century??


I was referring to Helena's archaeological "discovery". She was the second Christian to make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helena_(empress)#The_%22True_Cross%22_and_the_Church_of_the_Holy_Sepulchre

It is true, as you point out, that the shaped crucifix hardly appeared early on, if at all.

All the archaeology for the existence of a Christian cult of the Cross is late, and after Helena's "dig".
"It is, I think, expedient to set forth to all mankind the reasons by which I was convinced that
the fabrication of the Christians is a fiction of men composed by wickedness. "

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Re: Historical Jesus

#42777  Postby RealityRules » May 27, 2019 7:37 am

Leucius Charinus wrote:
Tracer Tong wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:
The "Chi-Rho" symbol ☧ is also found on 2nd and 3rd century Greek inscriptions as an abbreviation
for the Greek word ἑκατόνταρχος ‎(hekatóntarkhos‎) meaning "Centurion"

Which ones?

(1) RA 1903 B, 437 (Revue archaeologique)

(2) W 2532 (177-80) (Waddington, W.H.)

(3) SARD 17 (Sardis Volume XII)

See above post.
Tracer Tong wrote:
... your third example seems to be a mistake, insofar as the abbreviation is not for 'centurion' at all, as your own photographs suggest. Do you agree with me so far?
Leucius Charinus wrote:
Yes that's true. The third example provided isn't 'centurion' but something else. Any ideas?

ἑκατόντάχους SARD 17 ??

Google Translate [Greek -> English] gives ἑκατόντάχους as 'hundreds' (though that is probably a bit 'basic' ...)

Conversely Google Translate, English -> Greek, gives 'hundreds' as εκατοντάδες
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Re: Historical Jesus

#42778  Postby Tracer Tong » May 27, 2019 7:40 am

Leucius Charinus wrote:
Tracer Tong wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote:
Tracer Tong wrote:

Which ones?


(1) RA 1903 B, 437 (Revue archaeologique)

(2) W 2532 (177-80) (Waddington, W.H.)

(3) SARD 17 (Sardis Volume XII)

See above post.


We'll start with this part of your reply. I did see your above post, but was hoping for more information.

Still, that notwithstanding, your third example seems to be a mistake, insofar as the abbreviation is not for 'centurion' at all, as your own photographs suggest. Do you agree with me so far?


Yes that's true. The third example provided isn't 'centurion' but something else. Any ideas?
I have searched for images for all of these without success.


I'm a bit confused by your last sentence: what images?

As for your question, your own source already answers it: ἑκατοντάχους. What's unclear?
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Re: Historical Jesus

#42779  Postby RealityRules » May 27, 2019 8:19 am

Re https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helena_(empress)#The_%22True_Cross%22_and_the_Church_of_the_Holy_Sepulchre

... The legend is recounted in Ambrose, On the Death of Theodosius, and at length in Rufinus' chapters appended to his translation into Latin of Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History, the main body of which does not mention the event ...

i.e. -

Finding the True Cross

Eusebius: no mention of the True Cross
Eusebius of Caesarea (died 339) - who, through his Life of Constantine, is the earliest and main historical source on the rediscovery of the Tomb of Jesus and the construction of the first church at the site - does not mention the finding of the True Cross ...

According to Socrates Scholasticus
Socrates Scholasticus (born c. 380), in his Ecclesiastical History [Chapter XVII], gives a full description of 'the discovery' ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/True_Cros ... True_Cross
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Re: Historical Jesus

#42780  Postby Leucius Charinus » May 27, 2019 10:59 am

RealityRules wrote:
Leucius Charinus wrote: The third example provided isn't 'centurion' but something else. Any ideas?


ἑκατόντάχους SARD 17 ??

Google Translate [Greek -> English] gives ἑκατόντάχους as 'hundreds' (though that is probably a bit 'basic' ...)

Conversely Google Translate, English -> Greek, gives 'hundreds' as εκατοντάδες


Many thanks RR.
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the fabrication of the Christians is a fiction of men composed by wickedness. "

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