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Old 06-06-2001, 02:24 PM   #101
Richard Carrier
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Ish:
As the Romans Did: A Sourcebook in Roman History by Jo Ann Shelton (1997) mentions specifically that censuses occured every 5 years and in many cases required citizens to return to their place of origin.</font>
Didn't you read anything I wrote? I agree with the latter point (and say so in my essay: I even present the evidence for it), and the former point is an over-simplification for laymen. In the 1st century, the constitutional practice of the 5-yearly census was entirely disrupted, and was never in fact returned to standard for any appreciable length of time. We know this for a fact since Augustus inscribed in bronze a record of all the censuses he was able to manage under his rule (far fewer than the constitution required). But these were only of Roman citizens, not of provincials. Provincial censuses were conducted by local governors in whatever way worked for their province, and were independent of the main census of Roman citizens (as again we know from inscriptions and papyri).

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">She also provides ancient sources to bolster her work. The idea of an ongoing census is not mythological as Carrier seems to imply.</font>
I have no idea what this has to do with anything I've discussed here or elsewhere. What was a myth, as I said, is the claim that there was a worldwide census every 14 years (or even one in Syria every 14 years).

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Also, Carrier does not seem to understand the implications of Rome's conquering of Jerusalem in 63 B.C. Herod was a puppet king. He may have done great things under the guise of autonomy, but Rome's thumb was directly on him. Ancient sources talk of his shift in allegience from Mark Antony back to Octavian when he sensed Mark Antony losing. Herod knew who his masters were...</font>


I'm afraid I know the Roman government, and the reign of Herod, extremely well--I completed a post-masters thesis on the subject. The fact of the matter is that Rome specifically didn't annex kingdoms because they didn't want to govern them, just control them. And client kings were not subject to a census: only annexed provinces were. If the Romans were going to meddle that much in the administration, they would annex the territory as a province. See my entire discussion about this in the relevant essay. You should also know that Herod was actually an extremely good friend of Augustus and his right-hand man Agrippa, and Augustus showered him with honors right up almost to his death. Herod was in fact the most privileged king in the entire umbrella of Rome, and Augustus continually gave him more and more territory throughout his life. To offend him by forcing a census on him is inconceivable, and inexplicable. Why would they? They had never done that to anyone else, even the kings who were worst treated under their thumb. Indeed, it was an action that almost started a civil war when the Romans finally did force a census on Judaea, and had they tried such earlier it could not fail to have been recorded. As it is, we have an entire account of Herod's reign in great detail from Josephus, and he never once mentions such a census.

I ask you to actually read my entire essay before deciding this issue.



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Old 06-06-2001, 02:44 PM   #102
Richard Carrier
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Metacrock:

Ramsay wrote over 70 years ago and has been thoroughly refuted since then by Syme and Bagnall, among others. Why do people dig up antiquated obsolete scholaship and then go parading it around as if theyíve discovered something? Try reading something on the Roman census written in the past thirty years, please.

Ramsay in fact based his conclusions on Egyptian papyri, and assumed Egypt was being subject to a worldwide census, because of a few accidental correlations outside the province. Scholars have since disproven that assumption thoroughly. I cite numerous examples of the evidence in my essay, as well as a few relevant works on the matter. Ramsayís evidence in fact has no bearing whatever on Syria or Judaea. Egyptís cycle was odd due to a special poll tax. Again, read what I write.

As to this weird claim that the Romans had different kinds of censuses: there was only one kind. It was always for taxes (specifically, capitation, corvee and conscription taxes). Although counting citizens had the double role of establishing political rights, this was always done at the same time, not in a separate census. The Romans had no other reason to count people, and didnít count them for any other reason. The only valid distinction to make is between the census of citizens and the provincial censuses. Otherwise, it is you who is confused here, not me.

Finally, Armenia was never Roman until Trajan annexed it, in the 2nd century A.D., so you clearly are badly confused about whatever evidence you think Ramsay cited. And ďAsia MinorĒ is far too vague: considering that there were numerous Roman provinces there, I would not be surprised if one of them held a census in 3 B.C. That again would have nothing to do with Syria. The evidence against any uniformity across the empire is thorough, and I cite several examples. You, on the other hand, give no citations at all. I would ask that from now on you actually quote and cite Ramsay rather than making vague and confused claims about what you think he said. Also, please quote and cite Josephus where he is supposed to say ďCesar ordered Herod to conduct the census in his provenceĒ (surely you canít mean Julius Caesar: he died before Herod was king; Augustus Caesar?).

In the end, there is only one amateur here, and its not me. I may be wrong, but it isnít because I havenít studied this material with great effort and in great detail, with years of experience behind me. If you arenít going to do any real research and actually base arguments on cited facts, why should I or anyone pay attention to you?

In fact, I think you had better stop putting your foot in your mouth and pay attention to what modern scholarly consensus is about the Roman census: read the entry for "census" in the Oxford Classical Dictionary (and dog forbid not an ever-apologetic Bible dictionary).




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Old 06-06-2001, 06:39 PM   #103
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Ish:
Luke! That darned "biased" theist attempting to bend the facts to suit his silly theology...

Prove to me that Luke was not describing things in a factual and historical way. I have not seen Luke proven wrong yet, only presumed wrong.


What kind of evidence would convince you, Ish? If you presuppose, as part of Christian dogma, that Luke wrote an accurate historical record, then you will NEVER accept evidence that counters your presuppositions, no matter how obvious and overwhelming it may be. That is why you have "faith."

Ish: If instead, the presumption is that ancient literature is wrong until proven right, then we have a sad history indeed.

We should presume that ALL ancient litrature was written by human beings and, as such, susceptible to error and exaggeration, sometimes grossly so.

Ish: Should we presume everyone in history to have been liars?

We should presume only that those who made absurd claims (e.g., dead people coming back to life and virgins giving birth) were superstitious and ignorant, not necessarily "liars." I know, I know, you BELIEVE everything you read in ancient literature. I don't.

rodahi

 
Old 06-06-2001, 11:49 PM   #104
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Meta, this really is too much. Maybe you should count to a hundred, then THINK. The post of which I speak has nothing to do with fish and it's not on the "Dhorty" thread. It's on this thread, the Census thread.

Go to page one. Hit Control-F; search for "JubalH." Read. Respond.
 
 

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