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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Crucifixion   Thu 17 Apr 2014, 10:00

With Easter approaching, I thought we might take a look at the practice of crucifixion. Crucifixion was not uniquely Roman, having been used by the Babylonians and Assyrians, indeed the Romans may have picked it up from the Carthaginians during the Punic Wars. 
In 241 BC, the Carthaginian admiral, Hanno, after defeat at the Battle of the Aegates Islands, was crucified by his own side. Fourteen years earlier, Marcus Atilius Regulus, after being captured on Sicily, was released on parole, returned to Carthage knowing he would be crucified, which he was.

The Romans used crucifixion on non citizen enemies of the state ( incidentally, the two "thieves" executed along side Yeshu ben Yosef, must have been convicted of a more serious crime than theft) a well known example being the crucifixion of 6,000 Spartacists along the Appian Way by Marcus Licinius Crassus in 71BC.

In 1968, excavations at Giv'at ha-Mitvar in Israel found the remains of a crucified victim, of the thousands executed by crucifixion Jehohanan is the only one to have been found;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jehohanan
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PostSubject: Re: Crucifixion   Thu 17 Apr 2014, 11:10

After his capture and subsequent ransom by pirates, J. Caesar raised a fleet and returned to clean out the hideout, he captured and then crucified the pirates. As a sign of leniency he first had their throats cut. All as he had promised to do during his captivity, the pirates apparently thought it a huge joke. Lesson, never make fun of a Roman Patrician.  Smile
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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: Crucifixion   Thu 17 Apr 2014, 12:44

That's a good one, ID.

This is an Eastern Mediterranean depiction of crucifixion, 2nd/3rd century AD?, carved on jasper, currently in the British Museum.

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Gilgamesh of Uruk
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PostSubject: Re: Crucifixion   Thu 17 Apr 2014, 21:37

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Triceratops
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PostSubject: Re: Crucifixion   Fri 18 Apr 2014, 13:07

@Gilgamesh of Uruk wrote:
Couldn't resist :-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHPOzQzk9Qo#aid=P-OVBp8IJHQ

 I knew someone would post it.



...........................................................................................................

There were rumours that a Canadian soldier was crucified on a barn door in 1915, though it has never been proved;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Crucified_Soldier
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Gilgamesh of Uruk
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PostSubject: Re: Crucifixion   Fri 18 Apr 2014, 18:02

Crucifixion (hands and ears) was reputedly the punishment handed out by FFL legionnaires to any of their comrades found stealing (from them, naturally. Everyone else seems to have been fair game)
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PostSubject: Re: Crucifixion   Wed 23 Apr 2014, 14:21

@Gilgamesh of Uruk wrote:
Crucifixion (hands and ears) was reputedly the punishment handed out by FFL legionnaires to any of their comrades found stealing (from them, naturally. Everyone else seems to have been fair game)



Field Punishment Number One as used by the British Army,

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PostSubject: Re: Crucifixion   Thu 24 Apr 2014, 09:47

We missed the programme called Field Punishment Number One that was on here a couple of nights ago.  It was about one of NZ's most famous conscientous objectors, Archie Baxter, who in turn was the father of one of our most famous poets and radicals, James K Baxter.  I read Archie's  autobiography years ago.  Being tied to a post was a horrific experience for him but he refused to give in.  Teara, the NZ online encyclopedia says, "Baxter and three others suffered Field Punishment No 1 (called colloquially 'the Crucifixion'): they were tied to a post in the open with their hands bound tightly behind their backs and their knees and feet bound for up to four hours a day in all weathers. With two others, Lawrence Kirwin and Mark Briggs, Baxter survived this humiliation only to be sent into the trenches. He was beaten, sent to a part of the front that was being heavily shelled, denied food, and finally, on 1 April 1918, taken to hospital in Boulogne, where he was diagnosed as having mental weakness and confusional insanity in his determination not to fight. Three weeks later a British medical board confirmed the diagnosis of insanity, although it suggested that this may have been exaggerated so that he could not be court-martialled by the New Zealand army. None the less, it was the end of Baxter's war. He was taken to a British hospital for mentally disturbed soldiers, and sent home in August 1918, one of only two of the original 14 objectors (the other was Briggs) to hold out to the end."  http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/biographies/3b19/baxter-archibald-mccoll-learmond

They were a family of strong convictions and morals. Archie's wife Millicent came from an early educational family in NZ and her mother was the first woman student at what later became Canterbury University. James K Baxter set up a commune and later became a Roman Catholic and his parents did afterwards too.  I remember my husband getting into trouble when he was a young teacher and taught James K Baxter's poetry. The principal was a bit conservative.  This poem was voted one of NZers' top 5 poems in 2008 (I think "If" was the winner, though, and Daffodils was there too, which might tend to suggest our taste tends to the sentimental.)

High Country Weather
- James K. Baxter

Alone we are born
and die alone;
Yet see the red-gold cirrus
over snow-mountain shine.

Upon the upland road
Ride easy, stranger:
Surrender to the sky
Your heart of anger.
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Gilgamesh of Uruk
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PostSubject: Re: Crucifixion   Thu 24 Apr 2014, 16:40

That rather reminds me of e e cummings
"i sing of Olaf glad and big
whose warmest heart recoiled at war:
a conscientious object-or

his wellbelovéd colonel(trig
westpointer most succinctly bred)
took erring Olaf soon in hand;
but--though an host of overjoyed
noncoms(first knocking on the head
him)do through icy waters roll
that helplessness which others stroke
with brushes recently employed
anent this muddy toiletbowl,
while kindred intellects evoke
allegiance per blunt instruments--
Olaf(being to all intents
a corpse and wanting any rag
upon what God unto him gave)
responds,without getting annoyed
"I will not kiss your f**k flag"

straightway the silver bird looked grave
(departing hurriedly to shave)

but--though all kinds of officers
(a yearning nation's blueeyed pride)
their passive prey did kick and curse
until for wear their clarion
voices and boots were much the worse,
and egged the firstclassprivates on
his rectum wickedly to tease
by means of skilfully applied
bayonets roasted hot with heat--
Olaf(upon what were once knees)
does almost ceaselessly repeat
"there is some shit I will not eat"

our president,being of which
assertions duly notified
threw the yellowsonofabitch
into a dungeon,where he died

Christ(of His mercy infinite)
i pray to see;and Olaf,too

preponderatingly because
unless statistics lie he was
more brave than me:more blond than you.
"

edit - got the text several times.
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: Crucifixion   Thu 24 Apr 2014, 18:23

@Caro wrote:
We missed the programme called Field Punishment Number One that was on here a couple of nights ago.  It was about one of NZ's most famous conscientous objectors, Archie Baxter, who in turn was the father of one of our most famous poets and radicals, James K Baxter.  I read Archie's  autobiography years ago.  Being tied to a post was a horrific experience for him but he refused to give in.  Teara, the NZ online encyclopedia says, "Baxter and three others suffered Field Punishment No 1 (called colloquially 'the Crucifixion'): they were tied to a post in the open with their hands bound tightly behind their backs and their knees and feet bound for up to four hours a day in all weathers. With two others, Lawrence Kirwin and Mark Briggs, Baxter survived this humiliation only to be sent into the trenches. He was beaten, sent to a part of the front that was being heavily shelled, denied food, and finally, on 1 April 1918, taken to hospital in Boulogne, where he was diagnosed as having mental weakness and confusional insanity in his determination not to fight. Three weeks later a British medical board confirmed the diagnosis of insanity, although it suggested that this may have been exaggerated so that he could not be court-martialled by the New Zealand army. None the less, it was the end of Baxter's war. He was taken to a British hospital for mentally disturbed soldiers, and sent home in August 1918, one of only two of the original 14 objectors (the other was Briggs) to hold out to the end."  http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/biographies/3b19/baxter-archibald-mccoll-learmond

That's an awful story Caro.  I don't know what's wrong but I've become stranded in the "quote" field yet again.  I'm not sure of the full story (and my Mum died in 1989 so I can't ask her) but I remember she told me that my maternal grandfather was tied to one of the big guns (while it was in action) during the First World War - that was a type of field punishment but I don't know the number it was allocated.  I think my grandfather had been a bit "lippy" to an officer. Apparently some either Australian or New Zealand soldiers came along and made them cut my grandfather down.  Sorry if I posted this on the "Mons" thread.  My grandfather never had very good health after the war.  He actually died a couple of days before I was born.  He had been gassed during the war though of course that happened to many soldiers at that time (including the poet Wilfrid Owen I believe).
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PostSubject: Re: Crucifixion   Fri 25 Apr 2014, 09:34

LiR, Field Punishment number 1 did often consist of the victim being tied to a gun wheel, though this is the first time I've heard of it being done while the gun was in action.
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PostSubject: Re: Crucifixion   Fri 25 Apr 2014, 11:24

I suspect it would have been Australian soldiers.  Because they were volunteers and not conscripted there was a feeling that the soldiers should not be subjected to court martials and harsh punishments for desertions etc.  Apparently the NZ authorities took the view that soldiers had signed a contract to last until the end of the war and therefore were committed to that.  (We keep hearing that people expected the first world war to be 'over by Christmas'.  Of 1914.)
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LadyinRetirement
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PostSubject: Re: Crucifixion   Fri 25 Apr 2014, 11:44

@Triceratops wrote:
LiR, Field Punishment number 1 did often consist of the victim being tied to a gun wheel, though this is the first time I've heard of it being done while the gun was in action.
Well, I can't be absolutely sure, Caro.  I was going by what my Mum said and I did get the impression the gun was in action but I can't swear that it was so and the people I could have asked are all dead now.  Even if the gun was silent, the punishment could be pretty scary if there was a battle going on around - or even if not, that picture in your original post shows that it must have been a very uncomfortable position.  Talk about man's inhumanity to man - or humankind's inhumanity to humankind.  Good for the Australian soldiers.  I sometimes tend to forget that Australians have done other things beside send us Olivia Newton-John and the Bee-Gees (all of whom were born in the UK) and Skippy the Bush Kangaroo.  I must have a look at the Anzac Day thread.  It wasn't about war-time but in my youth I read a fairly gritty Australian novel "Down by the Dockside" by Criena Rohan, about the Australian underclass, which we tend to overlook in the UK (Australia having being vaunted as the land of opportunity for a long time - which in some ways it is {says she never having been there}).  Then there was the Australian writer Kylie Tenant (apparently so called because she could not pronounce "Kathleen" when she was a nipper).  One obituary of hers that I read at the time said that she was researching information talking to some prostitutes, when the police swooped and she ended up in jail, so people from the paper she worked for had to vouch for her to free her - but mustn't get off topic.
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PostSubject: Re: Crucifixion   Fri 25 Apr 2014, 17:18

Other than the French "75", I think the recoil of all the guns which had wheels large enough to make that punishment feasible that were used in WWI would make that a fatal punishment - the soldier's neck would be broken the first time the gun fired and ran back in recoil.
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PostSubject: Re: Crucifixion   Sat 26 Apr 2014, 10:51

@Gilgamesh of Uruk wrote:
Other than the French "75", I think the recoil of all the guns which had wheels large enough to make that punishment feasible that were used in WWI would make that a fatal punishment - the soldier's neck would be broken the first time the gun fired and ran back in recoil.

I will bow to your greater knowledge, Gilgamesh.  Of course my Mum was retelling something she had been told as a child, so I don't think she was telling a lie, just the truth as she perceived it.  She was an honest woman.  Mum was Celtic (half-Irish and half-Welsh, brought up in Wales) and while I wouldn't accuse my Mum of deliberately embroidering a story I did have a College friend who was born in East London of Irish descent and she could "tell a fine Irish tale".  Such tales were never downright "porkies" but she certainly did exaggerate.  Don't want to get off topic so will finish now.
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PostSubject: Re: Crucifixion   Mon 28 Apr 2014, 11:54

Further to Trike's reference to Jehohanan in his OP and based on certain revisions of the archaeological evidence the case presented, it has more or less been established since 1985 that the method of crucifixion used on the individual, and therefore likely used also in the case of people crucified around the alleged execution of Jesus, was with the legs straddled on each side of the main upright and fixed there with nails.



The fact that the arms were tied rather than nailed makes sense not only in keeping with the evidence Jehohanan's corpse yielded to examination, but also with what is known regarding the economics of crucifixion in a land bereft of trees, the requirement to re-use components without damaging them too much and indeed how such executions are traditionally depicted outside the christian tradition.

I wonder if any modern christian depiction in the last 30 years has been altered to reflect this reality however? I would suggest most probably not, and this in itself is a good indication of the relationship between the religious mindset and reality.
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Gilgamesh of Uruk
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PostSubject: Re: Crucifixion   Mon 28 Apr 2014, 12:17

I doubt it - because of Thomas' reported comments and Jesus' reply. See John 20:25-28. Wounds in the HANDS are specified, so it would be hard to reconcile that with a "tied arms" representation.
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PostSubject: Re: Crucifixion   Mon 28 Apr 2014, 12:35

@nordmann wrote:
I wonder if any modern christian depiction in the last 30 years has been altered to reflect this reality however?

On screen depictions have tended to show the use of both ropes and nails for the upper limbs:

The Passion of the Christ (2004) - 10 years ago - (ropes and nails)
The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) - 26 years ago - (ropes and nails)
Jesus of Nazareth (1977) - 37 years ago - (ropes and nails)

As Gil has said this would seem to correspond with Christian scripture.
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PostSubject: Re: Crucifixion   Mon 28 Apr 2014, 12:37

I can understand how the hands are problematic. Drop the nail holes and you lose a chunk of gospel.

But the feet surely could be represented more accurately without offending the faithful?
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PostSubject: Re: Crucifixion   Mon 28 Apr 2014, 12:50

Hands would be a bit problematic for the Turin Shroud too.
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PostSubject: Re: Crucifixion   Mon 28 Apr 2014, 12:57

@nordmann wrote:
But the feet surely could be represented more accurately without offending the faithful?

While Franco Zeffirelli's Jesus of Nazareth and Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ both show the use of nails for the feet, Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ, however, has no nails used for the lower limbs at all but only ropes. That would seem to be almost the complete reverse of what happened to Jehohanan.
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PostSubject: Re: Crucifixion   Mon 28 Apr 2014, 13:03

Did Gibson go for the straddle position then? That's the bit I was really wondering about as it makes so much more sense than the traditionally depicted "one nail economy drive" foot piercing.

The Life of Brian is getting more and more realistic as the archaeology continues ...
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PostSubject: Re: Crucifixion   Mon 28 Apr 2014, 13:23

Forgot about The Life of Brian (1979) - (ropes only upper limbs, lower limbs self-supporting on wooden plinth). Although let's remember that Terry Jones insisted that the film did not depict Jesus ben Joseph. But, yes, quite accurate regarding crucifixion practice in 1st century Palestine nonetheless.
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PostSubject: Re: Crucifixion   Mon 28 Apr 2014, 16:37

Which raises the question - where did the nailed hands in the biblical accounts come from? Had crucifixion practice changed by the time the accounts were codified, or had it ceased to be employed as a method of execution? How else could the references be accounted for?
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PostSubject: Re: Crucifixion   Tue 29 Apr 2014, 09:33

I'm sure I read somewhere that it was the wrists rather than the palms of the hands that the nails were driven through.
Traditionally, Peter was executed by being crucified upside down while Andrew was executed on an X -shaped cross.

Josephus has the Romans crucifying 500 Jews per day at the time of the Siege of Jerusalem in AD 70. It certainly seems to have been a well used form of punishment.
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PostSubject: Re: Crucifixion   Tue 29 Apr 2014, 10:09

@Triceratops wrote:

Josephus has the Romans crucifying 500 Jews per day at the time of the Siege of Jerusalem in AD 70. It certainly seems to have been a well used form of punishment.

It was also possible to survive crucifixion. Josephus persuaded Titus to bring down three of his (Josephus') friends who were being crucified. Two of them died, but the third recovered.
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PostSubject: Re: Crucifixion   Wed 07 May 2014, 12:29

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