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Old 08-14-2013, 02:03 PM   #11
Duvduv
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Why is the idea that Christianity emerged in the fourth century under the sponsorship of the new regime a "conspiracy"? Was the establishment of the United States with its official constitution in 1789 a "conspiracy"?

Was the very possible emergence of Islam under the Abbasid caliphate to unify the Arabs in the 9th century a "conspiracy"?

Does every cooperative activity to establish a system have to be a "conspiracy" with everything negative that it entails?

Was an alleged pre-4th century canonization of the NT a "conspiracy" from such a perspective?

It looks to me as if the term is abused and misused.
Heck, these days the idea of an "inside job" for 9/11 is called a "conspiracy," but the idea that 19 kids and their handlers got together an pulled off the whole shebang is NOT a conspiracy?
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Old 08-14-2013, 02:07 PM   #12
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Ummm. If it were the case that there ACTUALLY WERE no references to 'Christianity' before the fourth century it wouldn't require a conspiracy. But since there are - plenty - of them, one has to invoke a massive conspiracy in order to explain them away. The fact that Commodus - a bad Emperor - had a whore who was a Christian is one such example. In this case it requires a conspiracy conspiring to 'throw people' off the scent of their conspiracy by 'making up' a reference that doesn't look like a typical piece of Christian propaganda.

If you are going to make up references to Christians why not pretend that Commodus's noble father Marcus Aurelius was a Christian - or his wife - or someone who isn't a complete monster like Commodus or the whore-concubine-associate of the monster Emperor. There is no way to make this reference go away because it is everywhere, in many sources. It is perplexing to the point of ridiculing the conspiracy theorists.

It's like when people were claiming OJ was 'framed.' When there is evidence to support a position and the only way to make it go away implies 'the world' or a small group of people within the world 'planted' the evidence - it is by definition a conspiracy.
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Old 08-14-2013, 02:29 PM   #13
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Was the very possible emergence of Islam under the Abbasid caliphate to unify the Arabs in the 9th century a "conspiracy"?
What ? By 650, the Muslim Arabs conquered Persia and Egypt. The Abbasids overthrew the Umayyads in 749. Their caliphs, though nominally descended from the prophet's family, ruled an international empire relying on the local non-Arabic rulers, with their power base in Persia. The only place where the original model of Arabic expansion held was Maghreb and al Andalus which became an independent Umayyad caliphate in the 10th century.

Best,
Jiri
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Old 08-14-2013, 03:41 PM   #14
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I suppose it depends what one refers to by "conspiracy"? By definition, it refers to any collusions among parties to effect something illegal or nefarious. Did the American colonists conspire to declare independence from the king of England and establish self rule? Yes. Did they conspire to deceive people about their intention in order to gain and consolidate power? I doubt it.

When someone says that Constantine "conspired" with Eusebius and perhaps others to fabricate from pretty much whole cloth an entire religion, including all of its literature in a multitude of languages and styles, for the purpose of aggrandizing his power by using it to control the ignorant masses who yearn for salvation from their miserable lives if imperial oppression, they mean he conspired to nefariously pull the wool over the eyes of his subjects.

Sure it might be possible in theory, but the degree of collusion between parties that the theory would require (e.g., Eusebius could probably not have written all of the Christian literature alone) is staggering. We'd also have to assume that the common people were mere sheep waiting to be led to slaughter, and would eat up this literature without question. Even when the winner re-writes history, the winner cannot cover up every trace of the deception. Not every elite, especially among the pagans, would be so quick to jump into bed with "Con" Constantine and not leave a trace of their resistance in literature or archeological remains.

DCH

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Why is the idea that Christianity emerged in the fourth century under the sponsorship of the new regime a "conspiracy"? Was the establishment of the United States with its official constitution in 1789 a "conspiracy"?
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Old 08-14-2013, 05:30 PM   #15
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So Pete - is this all fabricated? It doesn't sound like typical Christian fabrication.
It's similar to the Pseudo-Isidorian material.


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http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/...s_Dio/73*.html

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Originally Posted by Dio Cassius
There was a certain Marcia, the mistress of Quadratus (one of the men slain at this time), and Eclectus, his cubicularius;3 the latter became the cubicularius of Commodus also, and the former, first the emperor's mistress and later the wife of Eclectus, 7 and she saw them also perish by violence. The tradition is that she greatly favoured the Christians and rendered them many kindnesses, inasmuch as she could do anything with Commodus.
This source is clearly headed Epitome of Book LXXIII. (12th century Eptomist?)

You could have cited the earlier Epitome of Book LXXII.
http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/...s_Dio/72*.html


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9 This is what Dio says about the matter,5 but he is apparently in error, whether intentionally or otherwise; and yet I am inclined to believe his error was chiefly intentional. It surely must be so, for he was not ignorant of the division of soldiers that bore the special name of the "Thundering" Legion, — indeed he mentions it in the list along with the others,6 — a title which was given it for no other reason (for no other is reported) than because of the incident that p31occurred in this very war. It was precisely this incident that saved the Romans on this occasion and brought destruction upon the barbarians, and not Arnuphis, the magician; for Marcus is not reported to have taken pleasure in the company of magicians or in witchcraft. Now the incident I have reference to is this: Marcus had a division of soldiers (the Romans call a division a legion) from Melitene; and these people are all worshippers of Christ. Now it is stated that in this battle, when Marcus found himself at a loss what to do in the circumstances and feared for his whole army, the prefect approached him and told him that those who are called Christians can accomplish anything whatever by their prayers and that in the army there chanced to be a whole division of this sect. Marcus on hearing this appealed to them to pray to their God; and when they had prayed, their God immediately gave ear and smote the enemy with a thunderbolt and comforted the Romans with a shower of rain. Marcus was greatly astonished at this and not only honoured the Christians by an official decree but also named the legion the "thundering" Legion. It is also reported that there is a letter of Marcus extant on the subject. But the Greeks, though they know that the division was called the "Thundering" Legion and themselves bear witness to the fact, nevertheless make no statement whatever about the reason for its name.
Is this really Dio's account of the "Thundering Legion"

A much later (12th century?) epitomist of Dio Cassius and not the original books of Dio is being presented here.


See Roger's Dio Cassius: the Manuscripts of "The Roman History"


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Cassius Dio (or Dion Cassius as he is known in Greek) wrote his Roman History in 80 books in Greek, sometime in the early 3rd century under Severus or Caracalla, both of whom he knew. Dio exerted no appreciable influence on his immediate successors in the field of Roman history. But among the Byzantines he became the standard authority on the subject, a circumstance to which we doubtless owe the preservation of such a large portion of his work. Most of the remainder is extant in the 'condensed book' format, or 'epitome' so favoured by the Byzantine.

"About one third of Dio's History has come down to us intact. The extant portions are:

(a) Books XXXIV-LX (in large part), contained in eleven Mss.;
(b) Book LXXVIII with part of LXXIX (or XXXIX with part of LXXX according to Boissevain's division), preserved in a single Ms. ;
(c) the Paris fragments describing events of the years 207-200 B.C., recovered from the binding of a Strabo Ms.
For our knowledge of the lost portions of Dio's work we have two kinds of sources:

(1) Excerpts contained in various Byzantine collections, together with brief quotations made by lexicographers and grammarians; and

(2) Epitomes by Zonaras and Xiphilinus, supplemented by occasional citations in other historical writers.






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Old 08-14-2013, 05:40 PM   #16
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Why can't it be Irenaeus writing in the 2nd century to please the Emperor Commodus? A non-apologetic source, Cassius Dio, said that Commodus had a christian mistress named Marcia ......

Please provide the Cassius Dio reference Kent.

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He doesn't need to. It's common knowledge. And it's not just one source. Herodian I think is another. Lampridius is another.


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Must every thread be derailed?
Derailing threads by asking for the sources?

How is this possible?

I guess you too used to think that it's It's common knowledge. that Cassius Dio mentions Christians.

But it seems to me that the Christian reference is introduced by his (much later) 12th century [Christian?] epitomist.








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Old 08-14-2013, 05:55 PM   #17
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What is there to possibly add to this display ignorance? It just this one reference. There are others. I don't see who could be stupid enough to argue that all the references are part of some plot to prove Christianity existed before Constantine. No one before Peter has ever offered up this bit of lunacy so how could there be a conspiracy to disprove something that no one has ever believed? You can't have a conspiracy against an opinion that never existed until people starting surfing in Australia.

And what's with medieval editors trying to pin Christianity on a whore? It's so incredible it's not even worth discussing. And what's with tenth century editors plotting to make Christianity associated with Marcia? A secret sect of pagans devoted to Eusebius's 'invention'? Monks living in medieval Europe continuing to plot against reality? I can only imagine the last scene in Planet of Apes:



Caption: Eusebius, Eusebius, we still work to further your dream. Christ never existed! Christ never existed!

Pete get a life. This is dumb, dumb, dumb.
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Old 08-14-2013, 05:56 PM   #18
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How is it "derailing" a thread, to inquire about sources of information?
But what's there to 'inquire' about? The information has been there for centuries and it is confirmed in many other sources. The most obvious being the Christian source the Philosophumena commonly identified as 'the Refutation of Heresies' and attributed to Hippolytus. The effort of mountainman is transparent - you can't have Christians before Eusebius if Eusebius et al invented Christianity. So it's a complete waste of time line of inquiry because it is motivated by an attempt to rescue an idiotic theory. That's it. Why else would someone make up that Commodus's whore was a Christian. Christians? Come on.


////

When you come up with a plausible theory that Christians wanted to associate a notorious harlot with their religion please come back to us.

An appeal to the Criterion of Embarrassment.

Your "It's common knowledge. ... [that Cassius Dio mentions Christians]" is in fact an urban myth since we do not have the original books of Cassius Dio for this segment of history and instead have substituted a 12th century epitomist who may have had an agenda similar to those who conducted the Pseudo-Isidorian forgery.






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Old 08-14-2013, 06:03 PM   #19
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we do not have the original books of Cassius Dio for this segment of history and instead have substituted a 12th century epitomist
This isn't even worth discussing. The same information appears in other sources (Hippolytus, Ref. 9.12) Get a life. Do something useful. This is a complete waste of time.

Incidentally, Hammer tentatively identifies the Marcia the nurse in the Acts of Judas Thomas to be our girl http://books.google.com/books?id=k20...mas%22&f=false
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Old 08-14-2013, 06:07 PM   #20
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One of the sources of information on Christians in Commodus' court might have been the physician Galen.
Galen was the physician of the philosophical emperor Marcus Aurelius who wrote "Meditations" and into which book a recognised later Christian interpolation has founds its way.


If you want to start a new thread "Does Cassius Dio mention Christians" please do so.




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