Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Lion's Gate

A text only post, and about history, afield from fauna and flora, sort of...and grim, so dear readers, a caution to read on...

It rained a bit again this morning, and now it's sweltering...Maya has torn away more of the Back Porch Room...I left off from trying to catch up on sleep, and tried to clean it up...the Old House and Yard repairs are just beyond my reach...I haven't the funds, or much in the way of enthusiasm to mess with things...after two years, I've re-established my prop 13 residency...prop thirteen is a tax law passed years ago that limited how much property taxes would go up...this was to protect home owners from the big leaps in home prices that could have made big leaps in tax payments, tax payments beyond what many could manage...what my residency means now is that I can sell the Old House, keep my tax break,  and use the money to purchase another house pretty much any where I like, and have funds too to keep that new house in shape...this is a speculation, and a dilemma, as I'd just as soon stay here in the Old House...I've had my adventuring, but I dream about the Mountains...Maya is panting in the heat, and has acquired fleas...and I daydream about us romping in the Snow on the East Side...

The Lions' Gate

quote

Legend has it that Suleiman's predecessor Selim I dreamed of lions that were going to eat him because of his plans to level the city. He was spared only after promising to protect the city by building a wall around it.

... ... ...
In another version,[citation needed] Suleiman taxed Jerusalem's residents with heavy taxes which they could not afford to pay. That night Suleiman had a dream of two lions coming to devour him. When he woke up, he asked his dream solvers what his dream meant. A wise respected man came forward and asked Suleiman what was on his mind before drifting to sleep. Suleiman responded that he was thinking about how to punish all the men who didn't pay his taxes. The wise man responded that since Suleiman thought badly about the holy city, God was angry. To atone, Suleiman built the Lions' Gate to protect Jerusalem from invaders.

... ... ...

Israeli paratroops from the 55th Paratroop Brigade came through this gate during the Six-Day War of 1967 and unfurled the Israeli flag above the Temple Mount.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lions%27_Gate

unquote

After the Romans destroyed the Temple, the Tenth Legion destroyed the rest of Jerusalem looking for hidden treasures that the Jews were trying to hide from them.  The Tenth didn't leave a stone unturned.  Josephus describes the ruins, and too Titus, the Roman who made them. 

Here is link to wiki history of the Temple:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_in_Jerusalem

There was a failed attempt to re-build in 363 ce (explosions of fire came up from the ground frightening everyone), and the Temple mount lay in ruins until like the seventh century ce.  (ce is common era, and has replaced ad, in the year of our Lord, as an indication of dates in history, though they are same).  Then, the site was cleaned up, it had become a rubbish dump, and a new Temple built, but by another religion, or at least a different set of priests...

Here is link to wiki history of the Dome of the Rock
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dome_of_the_Rock

Islam, Judaism, Christianity, are alike as peas in a pod, and it is a common wonder why they don't get along, but it is that likeness that is the problem--they're all  fractious and will go at one another over all kinds of things...that scene of the Golden Calf a prime example...I forget what it is between the Shiites and Sunnis, or why Samaritans were relegated to the back of buses...

quote

The Samaritans believe that Mount Gerizim was the original Holy Place of Israel from the time that Joshua conquered Israel. The major issue between Rabbinical Jews and Samaritans has always been the location of the chosen place to worship God; Jerusalem according to the Jewish faith or Mount Gerizim according to the Samaritan faith.[5]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samaritans

unquote

When the Paratroopers came through the Lion's Gate, they displaced Islamic rule of Jerusalem, and hoisted the Israeli flag atop the Dome of the Rock (much as the Christian crusaders put a cross atop  centuries before!), but the Israeli General had them take it down, and the care of the Dome was left in Muslim hands...

And the displaced Muslims want Jerusalem back, it was, after all, their's to administer by right of armed conquest for like 1400 years.  They have been displaced much as the Jews were by the Romans.  And I suppose too the Christians, since they lost control of Jerusalem, have nurtured a desire to reclaim Jerusalem. 

The story of Mohammad goes that he wanted Muslims to turn towards Jerusalem when they did their daily prayers, and for them to be part of Judaism, but the Jews wouldn't have it, so now Muslims bow towards the Kaaba, a holy site commemorating Abraham, father to Jews and Muslims alike. 

It is more than I can digest! 

quote

Islam’s Stake:  Why Jerusalem Was Central To Muhammad
By Karen Armstrong  /  Monday, Apr. 16, 2001
 
Jerusalem was central to the spiritual identity of Muslims from the very beginning of their faith. When the Prophet Muhammad first began to preach in Mecca in about 612, according to the earliest biographies, which are our primary source of information about him, he had his converts prostrate themselves in prayer in the direction of Jerusalem. They were symbolically reaching out toward the Jewish and Christian God, whom they were committed to worshipping, and turning their back on the paganism of Arabia. Muhammad never believed that he was founding a new religion that canceled out the previous faiths. He was convinced that he was simply bringing the old religion of the One God to the Arabs, who had never been sent a prophet before.
 
 
unquote
 
The whole article good to read.
 
Jerusalem became even more special to Islam after Muhammad's Night Journey, and here searching I found a 'bookend' in the Koran...
 
quote
 
Prophet Muhammad alighted at the Ka’bah and made his way back to Umm Hani’s home. “O Umm Hani, I prayed with you the last evening prayer. Then I went to Jerusalem and prayed there; and now I pray with you in the morning here.”
 
 

 

 
The Amazing Night Journey and Ascension to Heaven
By Maria Zain
 
 
unquote
 
It is all much to read about and think upon, and has wonders...on his Journey Muhammad goes through seven levels of Heaven, a different Old Prophet at each level...and arrives finally at the roots of the Lote Tree, beyond which no one can go...
 
quote again
 
Prophet Muhammad was then led to Sidrat Al-Muntaha, a tree of Paradise, with a shade so far for the eye to see and with beauty beyond description. The tree is also known as the Lote tree or the Lote tree of the Uttermost End.
 
unquote
 
quote
 
GRAVES
You see, there are many people who believe things of which they can't get rid. Suddenly they are faced by some strange fact—such as that God, in the Holy of Holies, had a wife. My friend Raphael Patai has worked it all out in his Hebrew Goddess. It's more than they can stand. But you've got to admit it.
INTERVIEWER
That God had a wife? Did you really mean that?
GRAVES
Indeed he did. It's in the Talmud. Of course the Jews had always kept it rather quiet. At first he was One—but then came the division. You've got to find the focal point. God was a male deity and the focal point was obviously a woman. He couldn't do without one.

Robert Graves, The Art of Poety No. 11
Interviewed by Peter Buckman and William Fifield
 
 
Graves is always a smile...and somewhere in that interview he mentions seven levels...brb...oh!..found it...:)
 
quote
 
Sleep has seven levels, topmost of which is the poetic trance—in it you still have access to conscious thought while keeping in touch with dream . . . with the topmost fragments of dream . . . your own memory . . . pictorial imagery as children know it and as it was known to primitive man.
 
unquote
 
There is much in that interview, I happened on it the year it appeared. 
 
The web is cool...oh!...off to the Lion's Den for my dailies...:)
 
DavidDavid
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Fort Antonia

A text only post, and about history, afield from fauna and flora, sort of...and grim, so dear readers, a caution to read on...

quote

We all remember the proverb that a picture is worth a thousand words. This is so true. When we are able to view a site that we have been reading or hearing about, the historical and architectural information associated with the area becomes much more meaningful and the subject better understood. That is certainly the case with the Temple built by Herod the Great that existed in the time of Christ Jesus along with the adjacent fortress that dominated the landscape known as Fort Antonia.

The Temple Mount and Fort Antonia
By Ernest L. Martin, PH. D., April 1998
 
 
end quote
 
Near the passages in Josephus describing the Temple, I noticed another passage describing a Roman fortress overlooking the Temple called Antonia...
 
quote
 
A Roman legion was always based there, and armed men stood round the porticoes during the festivals to keep watch on the people and prevent any revolt. 245 For the temple guarded the city, and the Antonia tower the temple, and within the tower were the guardians of all three. 
 
Josephus
 
unquote
 
I wondered if the Roman Legion was the Tenth, and of course it was, and I found  Ernest L. Martin's web page.   It has a wonderful pen and ink illustration, the 'picture worth a thousand words' of the Temple and Fort, and his depiction of all that happened then and there a must read.  The view of the illustration is from the Mount of Olives, the best place to view Jerusalem even today.  And looking, I found that I could mouse over things, and over a small bridge in the foreground, this little caption appears:
 
"This is the bridge of the Red Heifer that leads to the Mount of Olives"
 
Had a feeling I hadn't heard the last of the Red Heifer!

quote

The Red Heifer bridge would have ended between Zechariah's tomb and the road to Jericho, straight across from the blocked up gate in the east wall of the Temple Mount.  The place of stoning for the Jews would have been near by the end of the bridge, so that when a person died they would be before God (represented by the Holy of Holies) and they would be responsible for their own sins.  It is said that the Centurion that stood guard across from Jesus at his crucifixion saw the torn veil of the Holy of Holies at the time, which means this is the same area the Roman's crucified Jewish prisoners. Jesus was one of three being hung on a cross that day, which further indicates this as a place regularly used by them.  The Roman's always crucified people on the main roads going into cities that they ruled over as a warning to travelers, and this was sort of a crossroads with one road leading to the city and another leading to the Red Heifer bridge which lead to the Temple. They may have chosen a place above the road where He could be mocked by the travelers.

Locating Solomon's Temple
The Red Heifer Bridge

http://templemountlocation.com/redHeiferBridge.html

The author of that site has it that the Temple was aligned so the rising sun on a certain day would shine through the Temple's doorways.   And relates the rituals associated.  The sun's rays would pass along the Bridge to the Temple, and the sacrifice of the Red Heifer took place on an alter on the Mount of Olives.  One web page thought the Red Heifer is a hark back to the Golden Calf that the Israelites fell to worshiping while Moses was on Mt. Sinai.  The gold used for the Calf would have been alloyed with other metals, and would have had a red sheen.  I might add here, that those worshipping the Golden Calf were put to death in horrific scene, and this whole Red Heifer sacrifice a hark back to their deaths, and sacrifice.

quote

25 Moses saw that the people were running wild and that Aaron had let them get out of control and so become a laughingstock to their enemies. 26 So he stood at the entrance to the camp and said, “Whoever is for the Lord, come to me.” And all the Levites rallied to him.
27 Then he said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.’” 28 The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people died. 29 Then Moses said, “You have been set apart to the Lord today, for you were against your own sons and brothers, and he has blessed you this day.”

Exodus

unquote

That, that is grim...


DavidDavid



Monday, July 20, 2015

Bookends

A text only post, and about history, afield from fauna and flora, sort of...and grim, so dear readers, a caution to read on...
It rained the last two days...a lot yesterday afternoon...so much so the Angle/Red Sox game was cancelled...first time that has happened in like twenty years....

I follow the progress of Dawn and New Horizons, the two space probes going to Ceres and Pluto...the Ice Mountains of Pluto, as high as the Rockies, sets to rest my wondering what water does in cold airless vacuum of space...it freezes as hard as granite...and not likely much ablates, or evaporates out into the vacuum...

Bookends

In doing the previous posts, I happened on a quote from Exodus in the Bible that lays out how to organize...a hierarchy of tens...tens, hundreds, thousands, etc., and at each level God has it there should be leaders...let me go get that...Exodus 18:21...and I found a King James Version Bible on the web, and read that passage, and some before, and some after...Moses was up on Sinai gathering up a lot of laws, more than just the well known Ten...and for days  there was thunder and lightning keeping the Israelites enthralled...the whole scene was borrowed in the Close Encounters of the Third Kind movie when the big alien space ship arrives and downloads through lights and sound information to our computers...a moving movie scene!...anyway, I got to reading about the Tabernacle...God gave directions for making the Ark to contain the Ten Commandments, and then gave directions for a elaborate tent, the Tabernacle, to house the Ark...and to keep the wayward Israelites attention God would appear, or make appear, a pillar of smoke by day, and a pillar of fire by night, over the Tabernacle...when the pillars moved, the Israelites gathered up the tent, hoisted the Ark on it's carrying poles, and followed...this all during those forty years in the Sinai wilderness after escaping Egypt...and what caught my eye was the instructions on how to make the Tabernacle curtain...

quote

 Moreover thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet: with cherubims of cunning work shalt thou make them.

Exodus 26

unquote

I got to wondering about this, and happened on mention that Josephus wrote a description of the curtain in the Second Temple (a bookend is Josephus description of the Temple to the Tabernacle and Ark being described in Exodus--just noticed this, as the subject I'm reaching for, "Bookends" is yet to come!)...so after some drilling down on the web, it was hard to find, I found Josephus' whole description...a marvel!...the Outer Curtain, and the whole Temple!

quote

 212 Before these doors there was a veil of the same size, a Babylonian curtain, embroidered with blue and fine linen, scarlet and purple and marvellous in texture. This mix of colours had mystic meaning, as an image of the whole universe. 213 Scarlet signified fire, fine flax the earth, blue the sky and purple the sea. In two cases the link was based on their colours, but for the fine flax and purple it was based on their origin, one coming from the earth and the other from the sea. 214 The curtain was embroidered with everything in the heavens except the zodiac.

Chapter 05. [184-247]
Glowing description of the Jerusalem Temple and its artistic treasures

end quote

Now, when Jesus died on the cross the Curtain, maybe the inner one, or this outer one, tore in half from top to bottom, while the earth shook and the sky darkened...now, this is a 'hark back' to God on Mount Sinai with the thunder and lightning...

quote
To have origin in or be reminiscent of a past event or condition; recall or evoke: songs that hark back to the soul music of the 1960s
unquote

(It's another post, but once a long time ago I wrote up my own list of over 100 things to consider when writing a poem, one of them was 'hark backs', another was 'bookends'...I was making my own vocabulary for things that likely can be found in old Greek rhetoric and poetry guides..)

Found this in same passages, maybe it will illustrate...

quote

Hanging from the fringes were were golden bells, mixed with pomegranates; the bells signified thunder and the pomegranates lightning

unquote

Josephus describing priest's garment...

The Bible is an elaborate language...I don't speak it, or any religions, for that matter, very well...but those who do, see things in all kinds of things, clothing, gestures, objects, a word here or there, etc....poetry is like this too...it's a language, a lore...and I don't speak it very well either!...anyway...I was reading a thread about the curtains tearing, and someone pointed out that Josephus, in describing the curtains, makes no mention of them ever tearing, which is where I learned Josephus had described them....the inner curtain was more like a hanging carpet...very thick...well...that's all a back and forth...but it is in the Gospel of Mark that the curtain tearing happens, and in one poster's post, I learn there is a word for what I've been calling 'bookends'...

quote

The Heavenly Veil Torn: Mark's Cosmic "Inclusio"
by David Ulansey 

In the past few years, several different scholars have argued that there was a connection in the mind of the author of the Gospel of Mark between the tearing of the heavens at the baptism of Jesus (Mk 1:10) and the tearing of the temple veil at the death of Jesus (Mk 15:38). [1] The purpose of the present article will be to call attention to a piece of evidence which none of these scholars mentions, but which provides dramatic confirmation of the hypothesis that the tearing of the heavens and the tearing of the temple veil were linked in Mark's imagination.

... ... ...

According to Motyer, the repetition by Mark of this cluster of motifs at both the baptism and the death of Jesus constitutes a symbolic inclusio which brackets the entire gospel, linking together the precise beginning and the precise end of the earthly career of Jesus.

http://www.mysterium.com/veil.html

unquote

Bookends are Inclusios, I learn...:)

quote

While this may not be evident to many of the Bible's modern lay readers, the Hebrew Bible is actually full of literary devices, some of which, having fallen out of favor over the years, are lost on most modern readers. Inclusio, of which many instances can be found in the Bible, is one of these, although many instances of its usage are not apparent to those reading translations of the Bible rather than the Hebrew source.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inclusio

unquote

self quote

Rolling past the Donut Shop Pond on return from PetsMart (begg'n' bits and 2 chew toys), I sighted Goslings and Mama and Papa Canada Geese on the Ballfield Grass...a bookend to yesteryear's sighting!...

"Looking On" post back in June...

unquote

DavidDavid



 



Sunday, July 19, 2015

Two Gun

A text only post, and about history, afield from fauna and flora, sort of...and grim, so dear readers, a caution to read on...

Two Gun Cohen is one of my favorites from the "Old China Cast"...I should make a list!...it was finding members from that cast in the "JFK Cast" that led to a flurry of posts to web forum threads, and a blog about the USS Panay, since gone from Yahoo...I was trying to figure things out...it was with dread and sadness that I would trundle up the Library steps at Palomar College to look through old magazines, newspapers, and every book I could get my hands on about Old China...I'd use the web too...routinely going to ebay and entering searches for USS Panay, Yangtze Patrol, Shanghai 1937...I still do that now and then, just to reminisce, along with Yosemite ebay searches!...looking for items on ebay is a good way to learn history...anyway...

Two Gun

quote

The head of the Chinese delegation was approached by a hero of the Chinese campaign against the Japanese during World War II, a man who had been a general and senior adviser to President Sun Yat-sen. The general persuaded the delegation to abstain. The Security Council voted approval and the Partition Resolution was sent to the General Assembly, where it passed. Modern Israel came into existence.

The Amazing Saga Of Two-Gun Cohen

end quote

I think that link will work...when I first returned to that page, search: Two Gun Cohen Israel Founding, I got the current story about Bernie Sanders...I've been following his story, but this first time I learn he is Jewish, and only son of Auschwitz survivor, a saga there to be told too, I'd say!

quote

Sanders, O’Malley, Shouted Down by African-American Protesters

When conference organizers were able to convince the protesters to allow O’Malley to speak, he said, “all of the lives lost to violence” should be addressed, and added, “Black lives matter, white lives matter” — and he was immediately booed, with one person yelling, “Don’t generalize this [expletive]!”

end quote

I like Sanders, he'll get my vote.

To continue with Two Gun...awhile back, I thought to look up the vote that established Israel, curious to see if just one person could have swung it...

quote

Addressing the Central Committee of the Histadrut (the Eretz Israel Workers Party) days after the UN vote to partition Palestine, Ben-Gurion expressed his apprehension stating:
"…the total population of the Jewish State at the time of its establishment will be about one million, including almost 40% non-Jews. Such a [population] composition does not provide a stable basis for a Jewish State. This [demographic] fact must be viewed in all its clarity and acuteness. With such a [population] composition, there cannot even be absolute certainty that control will remain in the hands of the Jewish majority... There can be no stable and strong Jewish state so long as it has a Jewish majority of only 60%".[89]
Ben-Gurion said "I know of no greater achievement by the Jewish people . . . in its long history since it became a people".[90]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Partition_Plan_for_Palestine#The_vote

unquote

One Vote
DavidDavid

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Glass Slab

A text only post, and about history, afield from fauna and flora, sort of...and grim, so dear readers, a caution to read on...

Well, yesterday's news is grim...the Tennessee assassin going about in self similar fashion to those I wrote about in yesterday's post...it would be unsettling to me if I wasn't already unsettled!...hmmph

I don't have tv, and I've seen all the shows available on the web that I wanted to see, so I miss my tv, my 'opiate for the masses', which makes me sober in a way, and sensitized to news...I play my video game, but my thoughts are else ware, and too, while walking my dog, which I haven't been able to do...Maya's learned to escape the harness, and once loose, I can't get her back...so, until the new 'escape proof' harness comes in the mail from amazon, Maya is confined to the porch, and backyard...which is ok...it's too hot for walks for me...

The Glass Slab

Reading along in the Archaeology book at the Laundry, I happened on the story of the Glass Slab...while a bulldozer was clearing some land in one of the old Israel Towns, it ran into a large rectangular immovable object that looked like stone...the bulldozer gave up, and the slab was covered up with dirt, until someone studied it, and realized it was glass, ancient glass, and as big as a barn door, and more than a foot thick...it was discovered that it was sitting in a kind of stone fish pond like tank used to melt glass...the tank at one time being covered over by a kiln like oven...just how the glass was made I think they are unsure of, but there have been more ancient glass manufacturing places like it found...and Corning Glass Company, with an interest in the making of glass, has a site about it:

quote

The Mystery Slab of Beth She'arim

Beth She'arim was a cemetery located in Galilee. It was one of the most sacred places in the ancient Jewish world. Just adjacent to its catacombs is a natural cave that had long ago been made into a large cistern for storing water. It apparently fell into disuse at the end of the 4th century and filled up partially with four or five feet of clay-like silt.

In 1956 it was decided to convert the cave into a small museum. A bulldozer was taken in to clear the rubble and level off the surface.

http://www.cmog.org/article/mystery-slab-beth-shearim

end quote

The slab is a curio, and the history of how glass making came into being too!, but what caught my fancy is the cemetery.  Buried there are the last of the Sanhedrin.  The Sanhedrin were the governing body of ancient Israel, and after the fall of Jerusalem, they moved to Beth Shearim, where they continued awhile until opposition by Rome to their existence became too much, and they disbanded.

There, that story would lie, but it was in the news yesterday too!...for goodness sake...there are those trying to revive ancient Israel, the establishment of the Nation of Israel just one step...there are other things that need returned...like red hefers for Temple rituals...one has been discovered on an American Farm, and is to find it's way to Israel...and another thing is the Sanhedrin...there have been some attempts to revive it...Napoleon tried, I learn...and some Israeli groups are trying currently, making a new Sanhedrin, though Israel doesn't recognize it as such...but, this new Sanhedrin has issued what looks to be like a Muslim fatwa against Pope Francis....Pope Francis, I gather, is arguing that Israel has no current right to the property, the land they took from the Palestinians-- a theft of sorts...well, that's a back and forth in the news all the time, but the Pope being from the long line of Popes, and this new Sanhedrin thinking it is the old one, well, they've had their differences!

quote

Pope Francis, Alison Weir and the Sanhedrin

An Israeli media outlet reported last week that The Jerusalem Sanhedrin –a Jewish religious ‘High Court composed of 71 sages’, has declared that it is putting Pope Francis on trial unless he retracts his statement that the Jews have no right to the land of Israel or to Jerusalem.

http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/2015/7/15/pope-francis-alison-weir-and-the-Sanhedrin

end quote

I liked the cow story...

Red Heifer Found in America

The Red Heifer is an extremely rare creature. According to Jewish tradition, during the two thousand years from the time this commandment was given until the destruction of the Second Temple in the first century AD, only nine red cows that met the biblical criteria were ever found.

http://www.israeltoday.co.il/NewsItem/tabid/178/nid/24701/


end quote

But the Pope/Sanhedrin story graced my thoughts while thinking about the Battle of the Fallen Trees (Timbers)...

quote

Battle of Fallen Timbers

After the American Revolution, however, the United States maintained that the Indian nations no longer owned the lands in the Ohio area, citing an article in the Treaty of Paris of 1783 in which Britain agreed to cede the lands owned by indigenous nations. Native Americans rejected the notion that the British or Americans could dispose of their tribal lands without their consent. They said they did not have a representative at the Treaty negotiations, did not sign the treaty, and did not recognize its giving away rights to their lands.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Fallen_Timbers

I'm gonna make some popcorn and watch 'Terminator Salvation'...

DavidDavid

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Tenth Legion

A text only post, and about history, afield from fauna and flora, sort of...and grim, so dear readers, a caution to read on...

In the dishevelment in the garage, where the dishevelment is thriving, I have stored five gallon buckets of tip coins from Last Chance, which I dip into for Laundry Mat change.  And scattered about, are my books awaiting shelving, and I spotted one while sitting, sifting for quarters, to take with to read at the laundry.  Book's title:  Archaeology, Israel Pocket Library...it's a selection of entries from the Encyclopaedia Judaica...isbn 0 7065 1334 7

Just awhile back, I found the news stories of the shooting in the church in Charleston so unsettling, that I revisited google groups alt assassination jfk, after leaving off for 12 years, and started a thread...I haven't done this in a long while, but there was a time when I frequented John McAdam's group, reading the posts, and posting...I came to interest in jfk ('jfk' being just about everything about his presidency, not just the assassination) from my study of the sinking of the USS Panay, December 12, 1937.  How all that happened is a long story to relate, too long to relate again!  But the church assassination has self similarities to jfk's, and while reading the book at the laundry, thoughts of my jfk posts and readings (the threads go on and on unchangeable like the seasons,,lns (lone nut camp) and cts (conspiracy theory camp) in constant conflict!) were in my head, and I came on the entry about Hebron.

In Hebron is the Tomb of the Patriarchs, the site a few years back of an assassination of Muslim worshippers, yet another self similar one to jfk, and very much like the Charleston assassination.   I thought to add a post about it to my jfk post, but it's too far afield, even for me!  And I thought to post about it to my blog, which is what I'm about right now as an introduction to this Tenth Legion post, which I'll get to...

In my blog Tree in the Door, I have some posts about the Tombs of Adam and Eve, and their story.  So when I came upon the Tomb of the Patriarchs in the book,  my attention perked up.  And I thought to find another story of made up legendary tombs, but no, the Tomb of the Patriarchs looks to be real!  The book was made in 1968 or so, and no modern references, so I web searched to read more about Hebron, and saddened to find that that is where the assassination happened.  I thought it happened on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.  I was misled by the news stories of the time that the assassination occurred in a Mosque, which it did, but the Mosque isn't the Temple Mount Dome one, but the Mosque inside the walls built by King Herod around the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, and thereby hangs a long long story!

Tell mounds, small hills of dust and dirt covered debris, are scattered all over Israel, the remains of ancient walled cities.  They're not very far apart, and often belonged to different peoples, and warfare was like  constant.  What I picture is walled cities surrounded by farms, and the farmers took refuge behind the city walls much as farmers did in castles in feudal Europe.  Don't know but feudalism may be our most natural state. 

So, one by one, I was reading about the Tells.  They're not very big...a city might be like just ten acres in size.  And moving on from Hebron, I come to the Golan and mention of Gerasa, where Jesus drove the devils out of a madman into a herd of swine.  This tale has always been a curio to me, as it seems a kind of folklore, but I thought to search it out, and found the Bible passage:

"And He (Jesus) asked him (the man), "What is thy name?" And he answered, saying, "My name is Legion: for we are many."[ 

I thought the passage was in Revelations, as that term, "Legion" seemed ominous and suited to that horrific book!

But moving on from Tell to Tell, I kept finding reference to the Roman Tenth Legion.  This was Julius Caesar's Legion, and it survived through changes, and became the Legion guarding Israel, the one that sacked Jerusalem.  "My name is Legion" has a ring to it, and I wondered if it referenced somehow the Roman Legions, and indeed, I find, Biblical interpreters have it that Jesus in cryptic fashion was showing his disciples another truth.  The demons were  cast out, into the swine, and then the swine ran down a hill into a sea and drowned.  Swine were  a forbidden food source, but not for the Romans, and they're even being about was because of  Rome, so the drowning of the swine associates with the 'Legion' and Rome: a prophecy that Rome would be defeated.  I think I have that right.  Extrapolations of cryptic Bible passages aren't my thing!

But Josephus' account of the Legions' (several took part) destruction of Jerusalem and The Temple, I found searching just what the Roman Legions were.  It's horrific.  And his lament how the farmlands around Jerusalem were devastated, the Romans needed wood for siege machines, very sad. 

And there's this bookend scene (I gather up 'bookends'), of Jesus on the Mount of Olives telling his disciples that not a stone of the Temple will remain atop one another; and the Tenth Legion camped on the Mount of Olives preparing for their attack.  The Mount overlooks the Temple.   And after they took Jerusalem, and torched the Temple, it's said the Legion tore the Temple apart trying to get the stored gold melted into the stones.

And Josephus relates that the High Priest of the Temple, keeper of the Keys of the City, tossed the keys into the fire, least the Romans have them.  And in our time, (1947?) British soldiers formed up, knocked on Jerusalem's rabbi's door, and turned over the City's Keys to him, as the British were picking up.  The rabbi noted the 'bookend'.

  The Tenth Legion

While fighting in Gaul, Caesar raised his own Legion, and with it returned to Rome and became emperor.  In Republican Rome, Legions were raised by the Senate, and were made of citizens with property, to counter some threat, or pursue some adventure.  To be a soldier in those times, one needed wealth for armor and such.   Caesar set a new precedent by raising his own, and indeed, becoming emperor was a new precedent!  Legions, following him, were raised by other emperors, and so it went, and the Legions themselves became standing, permanent.  Before, the Senate would disband them when the threat, or adventure, was finished.  The new Legions were made of paid soldiers who signed up for years of service, and their major task was to fortify the outlaying parts of the Empire.  The Tenth Legion looks to have been around for like four or five hundred years.  And many of the others were long lived too. 

While in Israel, they built, and stamped bricks with their emblem, so archaeologists come across them.

So, from my reading I came to this:  Legions were made by the Senate, and disbanded when not needed.  Then Legions were raised by Generals, and noted for their loyalty to their General, and Generals would disband them too when no longer needed.  Legions were given things, like land when they disbanded, which made them very popular when they became permanent, made of conscripts and volunteers seeking land in retirement after 6-25 years of service.  These Legions are the predecessors of modern armies.

I don't know how modern things will work out in the turmoil in the Middle East, but I'm thinking we are on the cusp of a time like when the Roman Senate raised Legions gave way to Roman General raised Legions with personality cult devotion of the soldiers to the Generals.  Again, I'm not good at extrapolations, but I've seen this notion.

And, last night, I went so far in my thinking, and reading, as to look up how George Washington got an army.  Congress raised the Continental Army and appointed him General.  And reading along, I was thinking, the Continental Army became our Army, but no, it was disbanded.  Congress didn't want a standing army about.  Common thought is, that they didn't want a repeat of the tyranny of the British standing army.  I kind of suspect too, each State was suspicious another would take over a standing Army and so dominate, and so they all decided to rely on State Militias, and in a crisis, Congress could raise another citizen Continental Army (which is what the right to bear arms is about--citizens with arms can be sent into battle quickly).

And much to my delight, as I had been looking to see if our Army, the Continental Army, at first was raised like a Roman Legion, and it was, but disbanded, so leaving no line of descent to today's Army, but to my delight, I found that after it was disbanded, an Army was needed, the Indians in Ohio were making trouble, and this new army, raised by Congress, was called The Legion of the United States.  The Founding Fathers knew their Roman History, and no doubt called it a Legion after the Roman Senate Legions.  Fort Wayne Ohio is named after the General appointed to it, and the Battle of the Fallen Trees the culmination of it's being, as it was disbanded, but reconstituted shortly afterwards, and became our standing Army. 

And the Battle of the Fallen Trees is a must tell...next time..:)

Oh...much has been made of Jesus and the madman story in Stephan King like horror stories-- legions of demons, not the least of which is the Burning Legion of World of Warcraft, which I do battle with routinely!

DavidDavid

    



Saturday, July 4, 2015

The Cool Web by Robert Graves

Children are dumb to say how hot the day is,
How hot the scent is of the summer rose,
How dreadful the black wastes of evening sky,
How dreadful the tall soldiers drilling by,
 
But we have speech, to chill the angry day,
And speech, to dull the roses's cruel scent,
We spell away the overhanging night,
We spell away the soldiers and the fright.
 
There's a cool web of language winds us in,
Retreat from too much joy or too much fear:
We grow sea-green at last and coldly die
In brininess and volubility.
 
But if we let our tongues lose self-possession,
Throwing off language and its watery clasp
Before our death, instead of when death comes,
Facing the wide glare of the children's day,
Facing the rose, the dark sky and the drums,
We shall go mad, no doubt, and die that way.


(notation: http://www.shmoop.com/the-cool-web-robert-graves/summary.html
)
and this too:
http://www.newcriterion.com/articles.cfm/The-poetry-of-Robert-Graves-5738