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Druids

Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 6:10 am
by Simon21
At the launch of her book Sacred Britania - religion in Britain during the Roman empire author Miranda Aldhouse-Green asserted that there was still no archaeological evidence for the existence of Druids - no mass grave on Anglesey, no golden sickles

Re: Druids

Posted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 2:03 pm
by kbs2244
Weren't they always a fringe movement?
On the edge of the establishment.

It takes a lot of time and money to build with stone.
Finding a clearing in the forest to build a bonfire not so much.

Re: Druids

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:37 am
by Simon21
It is a good point, what would you expect to find. The prof particularly referred to the massacre on Anglesey by Suetonius Paulinus, but has evidence of roman massacres elsewhere ever been found?

Re: Druids

Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2018 10:37 pm
by Minimalist
no mass grave on Anglesey,

The Romans did not bury enemy dead.

In fact, they generally cremated their own.

Re: Druids

Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 6:11 am
by Simon21
Minimalist wrote:
no mass grave on Anglesey,

The Romans did not bury enemy dead.

In fact, they generally cremated their own.

Not sure what your evidence for this is but given the Roman s occupied Anglesey and built a fort there it is unlikely they did so amid the rotting remains of their opponents.

Re: Druids

Posted: Mon Nov 19, 2018 5:22 pm
by Minimalist
The Romans were noted for leaving the bodies of crucified criminals hanging on the crosses until they rotted off. They were not squeamish about that sort of thing.

Re: Druids

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 3:20 am
by Simon21
Minimalist wrote:The Romans were noted for leaving the bodies of crucified criminals hanging on the crosses until they rotted off. They were not squeamish about that sort of thing.
Well they were slightly squeamish, it was forbidden to bury anyone within a city's walls - a regulation that was enforced for centuries. And a few crucified criminals is a world away from cleaning up after a battle.

Re: Druids

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 6:57 pm
by circumspice
Notorious mass crucifixions followed the Third Servile War in 73–71 BC (the slave rebellion under Spartacus), other Roman civil wars in the 2nd and 1st centuries BC, and the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. Crassus crucified 6,000 of Spartacus' followers hunted down and captured after his defeat in battle.[80] Josephus tells a story of the Romans crucifying people along the walls of Jerusalem. He also says that the Roman soldiers would amuse themselves by crucifying criminals in different positions.

In Roman-style crucifixion, the condemned could take up to a few days to die, but death was sometimes hastened by human action. "The attending Roman guards could leave the site only after the victim had died, and were known to precipitate death by means of deliberate fracturing of the tibia and/or fibula, spear stab wounds into the heart, sharp blows to the front of the chest, or a smoking fire built at the foot of the cross to asphyxiate the victim."[54] The Romans sometimes broke the prisoner's legs to hasten death and usually forbade burial.[88] On the other hand, the person was often deliberately kept alive as long as possible to prolong their suffering and humiliation, so as to provide the maximum deterrent effect.[85] Corpses of the crucified were typically left on the crosses to decompose and be eaten by animals.[85][102]

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

5 minutes worth of research.

Re: Druids

Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2018 7:00 pm
by circumspice
The rotting corpses of 6,000 rebel slaves crucified by Crassus would have created a spectacularly gruesome display for its deterrent value...

Re: Druids

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 5:50 am
by Simon21
circumspice wrote:Notorious mass crucifixions followed the Third Servile War in 73–71 BC (the slave rebellion under Spartacus), other Roman civil wars in the 2nd and 1st centuries BC, and the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. Crassus crucified 6,000 of Spartacus' followers hunted down and captured after his defeat in battle.[80] Josephus tells a story of the Romans crucifying people along the walls of Jerusalem. He also says that the Roman soldiers would amuse themselves by crucifying criminals in different positions.

In Roman-style crucifixion, the condemned could take up to a few days to die, but death was sometimes hastened by human action. "The attending Roman guards could leave the site only after the victim had died, and were known to precipitate death by means of deliberate fracturing of the tibia and/or fibula, spear stab wounds into the heart, sharp blows to the front of the chest, or a smoking fire built at the foot of the cross to asphyxiate the victim."[54] The Romans sometimes broke the prisoner's legs to hasten death and usually forbade burial.[88] On the other hand, the person was often deliberately kept alive as long as possible to prolong their suffering and humiliation, so as to provide the maximum deterrent effect.[85] Corpses of the crucified were typically left on the crosses to decompose and be eaten by animals.[85][102]

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

5 minutes worth of research.
As the classical historian Mary Beard points out we must be very careful with ancient figures, some of which are likely to be exaggerations (she quotes a Ptolemaic revel in ALexandria which can't have been as described since it is not possible to create such large wineskins, she is also sceptical about the dimensions of the shows in the Colosseum) - I think it was once claimed that 20,000 captives were sacrificed at the Templo Mayor complex in Tenochtitlan on one a occasion, but a number of recent studies claim that this would almost be logistically impossible.

That is not to say such events did not take place of course.

Incidentally you do not have to do much research into Crucifixion methods, just attend an Easter Mass, Christ and his fellow crucifees(?) had their legs broken so they wouldn't be screaming during Shabbat.

Re: Druids

Posted: Wed Nov 21, 2018 10:59 pm
by Minimalist
< Mod hat on>

I cleaned up some of the duplicate and triplicate posts. I know we had some problems earlier in the day.


< Mod hat off >


While Kubrick made the episode famous in his historically horrendous version of Spartacus only one ancient source tells that story. Appian, living in the second century AD, recounts the tale but Plutarch fails to mention it. Livy writing in the first century BC and AD does not mention it although in fairness we have only summaries of the missing books of which the Third Servile War is one. It does seem like the kind of highlight that Livy would normally have noted but we simply do not know if he did or didn't tell the tale.

It is quite possible that Sallustius Crispus' History did tell the tale as we know he wrote of the Jugurthine War 112-106 BC and the Cataline Conspiracy 63 BC but anything between those two points seems to have been lost to history.

C'est la vie.

Re: Druids

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 3:33 am
by circumspice
According to the Bible, Jesus Christ supposedly died before the soldiers could break his legs. (I think that was to support the messianic prophecy that the messiah would die with no broken bones?)

Re: Druids

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 3:58 am
by Simon21
Minimalist wrote:< Mod hat on>

I cleaned up some of the duplicate and triplicate posts. I know we had some problems earlier in the day.


< Mod hat off >


While Kubrick made the episode famous in his historically horrendous version of Spartacus only one ancient source tells that story. Appian, living in the second century AD, recounts the tale but Plutarch fails to mention it. Livy writing in the first century BC and AD does not mention it although in fairness we have only summaries of the missing books of which the Third Servile War is one. It does seem like the kind of highlight that Livy would normally have noted but we simply do not know if he did or didn't tell the tale.

It is quite possible that Sallustius Crispus' History did tell the tale as we know he wrote of the Jugurthine War 112-106 BC and the Cataline Conspiracy 63 BC but anything between those two points seems to have been lost to history.

C'est la vie.
It is also an open question as to whether Crassus' soldiers (still largely citizens at this stage) would have agreed to act as common excutioners - much less the logistics of the time involved and the wood needed - and of course the loss of valuable revenue.

Of course there are open questions about Crucifixion itself - again it has been suggested that the rather elaborate high gibbets used in Kubrick's film and in christian iconography might have been over egging the cake and basically we are talking about people tied to rough wooden planks to die of exposure. In one case it is theorised that the victim was fastened to a tree stump.

Re: Druids

Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 2:27 pm
by Minimalist
Yes. The Via Appia, today.

Image


It seems that after they built the roads the Romans decided to give travelers some shade. If it happened at all I'm sure the path of least resistance would have been to hang them on the trees.

Of course, there are a few plot holes in the crucifixion tale which don't match up to history as we know it, too.

Re: Druids

Posted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:07 pm
by Diviacus
Simon21 wrote:At the launch of her book Sacred Britania - religion in Britain during the Roman empire author Miranda Aldhouse-Green asserted that there was still no archaeological evidence for the existence of Druids - no mass grave on Anglesey, no golden sickles
I think that there are only one or two graves that may have been those of druids, and no golden sickle in them :(
However, we know there were druids in Anglesey, but no evidence they were wiped out there.