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Old 08-01-2001, 11:31 AM   #11
Vorkosigan
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Quote:
Originally posted by Toto:
<STRONG>

The co-author, Jan Sammer, posts to crosstalk2, where Stecchini's association with pyramidiots has been used as evidence against him. Sammer also seems to have held Velikovsky in high regard.

Sammer has a website of interesting stuff.


Should we hold those bizarre beliefs against the authors? Are pyramidiots and Velikovsky fans any worse than theists, as far as scholarly credibility?

[ August 01, 2001: Message edited by: Toto ]</STRONG>
It would depend on his scholarly speciality. If Sammers is a linguist or Roman lit scholar, that's one thing. But if he has no specialized knowledge or training in this field.....

How did you find out about Velikovsky and Sammer? Is it on his site?

Michael
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Old 08-01-2001, 12:44 PM   #12
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Look at Sammer's site - Journey through worlds and ages.

I haven't researched it throughly - I just put Sammer + Stacchini in Google, with a few variations (Stacchini + pyramidiot).

It looks like Stacchini was a highly qualified classical scholar. Sammer was an assistant to Velikovsky, and seems involved in a lot a "ancient wisdom" sites.

I think that "The Gospel According to Seneca" should be evaluated on its own merits, preferably by someone who knows Latin and Greek. I find it fascinating that the passion conforms so closely to what would be expected in a Roman drama, and that some terms make more sense when translated into Latin than in Greek or Aramaic.
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Old 08-01-2001, 04:19 PM   #13
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Just a note - this is not the first attempt to link Seneca and Christianity:

Formation of the NT Canon by Carrier

Quote:
"In the credulous temper of that age, almost anything was believed," M 179; on witness credulity in antiquity, cf. my essay Kooks and Quacks of the Roman Empire. An embarrassing case is that of the prominent 4th century church father Jerome including Seneca (the Stoic philosopher and tutor of Nero) in his list of Christian Saints, on the incredibly dubious basis of a forged correspondence between Paul and Seneca (clearly written sometime before the mid-4th century), depicting Seneca as not only becoming a convert, but an appointed Christian preacher in the Imperial Court (M 183-4). Besides historical arguments against their authenticity, which would have been as obvious to a 4th century scholar as to a modern one, the letters are in such a poor style that it can be assured that neither Paul nor Seneca would have written them. If such a poor forgery could fool a great scholar like Jerome, there is little hope that any other church fathers who happened to be involved in selecting the canon were anywhere near infallible.
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Old 08-01-2001, 08:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Toto:
<STRONG>Just a note - this is not the first attempt to link Seneca and Christianity:

Formation of the NT Canon by Carrier

</STRONG>
It is without question that Seneca was a Christian saint because a Senecan tragedy is a failed divine comedy. To be able to write such a tragedy one must have been through a divine comedy to be able to see what went wrong and why it is that a potential divine comedy ends up in a nasty gory tragedy.

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Old 08-01-2001, 08:44 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by turtonm:
<STRONG>http://www.nazarenus.com/

This author, who seems to be an academic, and another scholar, have developed an argument that the Passion narrative is in reality based on a play about Jesus by the Roman playwright Seneca.

You have read it to get the full flavor of its seriousness. I have no idea whether he is right, and kind of doubt it. Although he seems to be within shouting distance of something interesting involving Greco-Roman drama and the Passion narrative.

For example:

After a discussion of the innovative use of fire in Roman theatre, he writes:

"The fire lit upon the altar in Seneca¡¯s tragedy of Jesus must have been an impressive sight, for it is mentioned by all four evangelists; it was one of those special effects of which Roman audiences were especially fond. In the context of the first two episodes of Act One, which took place inside, behind closed doors, it helped provide a visual focus for the audience while the questioning was taking place inside the House of the High Priest, and it helped to emphasize that it was still night."

Interesting, eh?

Michael

[ July 31, 2001: Message edited by: turtonm ]</STRONG>
Without reading your article I would like to comment that a Senecan Tragedy is a failed Divine Comedy. Since there is nothing divine about such a tragedy it is not called a divine tragedy (which would be a contradiction in terms) but a Senecan Tragedy.

A good comparison between these two are Coriolanus and MacBeth. Both deal with the metaphysics of renewal. Coriolanus takes place in Rome and is a Divine Comedy and MacBeth is a Senecan Tragedy that takes place in England.

A Divine Comedy in real life is when a person follows the footsteps of Jesus of Nazareth and actually experiences crucifixion and resurrection. The happy ending here is resurrection.

A Senecan Tragedy in real life is when a person follows the footsteps of Jesus of Nazareth and actually experience crucifixion but not resurrection. The tragedy here is that resurrection did not follow the crisis moment and so this person will wander in a wilderniss of confusion and die nonetheless with the unresolved paradox "sinfull yet saved."

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Old 08-02-2001, 05:58 AM   #16
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Actually, I think the author's claims suffer from overreaching. I think the reader in her own mind must separate the "Seneca" claim from the claim that the Passion Narrative (PN) was originally a play. Realization that it could have been a play, possibly in latin, and that there might be some interesting insights to be gained by regarding it as such, ought to be enough. There's no evidence that Seneca ever wrote such a play, so no speculation on that matter is warranted.

Michael

[ August 02, 2001: Message edited by: turtonm ]
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Old 08-02-2001, 08:54 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bede:
<STRONG>Michael,
The way you latch onto every theory no matter how unsupported never fails to amuse me[/URL]</STRONG>
You tell him Bede. Best just stick to one unsupported theory like you eh?
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Old 08-02-2001, 10:48 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by turtonm:
<STRONG>. . . I think the reader in her own mind must separate the "Seneca" claim from the claim that the Passion Narrative (PN) was originally a play. Realization that it could have been a play, possibly in Latin, and that there might be some interesting insights to be gained by regarding it as such, ought to be enough. There's no evidence that Seneca ever wrote such a play, so no speculation on that matter is warranted.

Michael
</STRONG>
If the authors' thesis were true, it would provide evidence of the actual existence of Jesus and his crucifixion by Pilate in some form, since they speculate that Seneca turned the recent historical event into his play, based on information from Paul, who was allegedly on trial in Rome at the time. (Bede should think about that.)

On the other hand, Seneca did write a play about a hero who was sacrificed and rose to heaven - the hero's name was Herakles (or Hercules), and there is rampant speculation that the Herakles myth was a forerunner of the Christ Myth.

The authors also tie Seneca's Stoic philosophy and interest in science into the Passion Narrative in an ingenious manner.
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