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RE: [ANE-2] Re: FW: Constantine and Ardashir (slightly OT)

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  • Trudy Kawami
    I can only address a few of these issues. Then there is Peter Frei s paper on the imperial authorization of the Pentateuch. James W. Watts was sufficiently
    Message 1 of 7 , Jun 4, 2013
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      I can only address a few of these issues.

      "Then there is Peter Frei's paper on the imperial authorization of the Pentateuch. James W. Watts was sufficiently motivated by the theory to edit a book including Frei's paper and other scholarly papers on the issue.

      Consider the process of establishing a religion and who initiates the process.

      Emperor Darius summoned Egyptian priests and warriors (suggesting he was compiling material on religious and civil matters) and their scribes and produced a single copy of Egypt's laws; with a version in Demotic and one in Aramaic.

      Emperor Ardashir summoned Zoroastrian priests and worked with them until they produced a single religious text which he used to re-establish Zoroastrianism. There is evidence of renewed fire altar construction in the Sassanid empire indicating a resurgence of aniconism.

      What I was asking for were contemporaneous evidence, that is inscriptions, etc. from the time at which the events were supposed to happen that established that they did happen. And even if two monarchs separated by nearly 800 years did ask for a compendium of local laws/practices, it does not follow that they established & codified a religion, as opposed to knowing that the current practice was & using it to their advantage. Please note that you used the word "suggesting". That is not objective evidence. Again what evidence is there of a "single religious text" for Zoroastrianism in the 3rd century CE? What is the name of the text and what is the date of our earliest copy? Where is it kept? The assumption that renewed fire altar construction can be equated with aniconism is also an assumption, not objective documentation.

      I really, really like Pierre Briant and love his book on the Achaemenids, but that book is NOT contemporaneous evidence. Everything you claim these two kings did, is what kings and other rulers since
      Sargon of Akkad have done - try to channel, control, manipulate, etc. the religious entities they have in the regions they control. And each one claims to go back to the "good old days," to renew temples their predecessors let fall into ruin, to renew the proper rituals, etc. You may believe their propaganda if you wish, but you cannot expect everyone else to believe it.


      Trudy S. Kawami



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • richfaussette
      ... I can only address a few of these issues. Everything you claim these two kings did, is what kings and other rulers since Sargon of Akkad have done - try to
      Message 2 of 7 , Jun 4, 2013
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        --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, Trudy Kawami <tkawami@...> wrote:
        >
        I can only address a few of these issues. Everything you claim these two kings did, is what kings and other rulers since Sargon of Akkad have done - try to channel, control, manipulate, etc. the religious entities they have in the regions they control. And each one claims to go back to the "good old days," to renew temples their predecessors let fall into ruin, to renew the proper rituals, etc. You may believe their propaganda if you wish, but you cannot expect everyone else to believe it.
        >
        >
        > Trudy S. Kawami



        I am not deeply concerned with what "everyone else" believes nor do I believe your simply mentioning Sargon of Akkad equates what he might have done with what Ardashir or Constantine or Darius did. Renewing temples and rituals is not what Ardashir, Darius and Constantine were engaged in. They were engaged in strengthening and unifying their respective empires through a deliberate centralization of religion; its personnel and its texts. I don't believe the process they were engaged in was a channeling of propaganda.

        The correspondence with Elephantine is objective. Why don't you mention it?

        You wrote:

        "The assumption that renewed fire altar construction can be equated with aniconism is also an assumption, not objective documentation."


        The Achaemenid emperors lapsed into idolatry. This is a fact. Zoroaster created his religion in opposition to idolaters. It is not an assumption that Zoroastrian fire altars contain no graven images. It is a fact. To note a resurgence of fire altar construction in the wake of Ardashir's purported reformation of Zoroastrianism makes perfect sense.

        You enjoy Briant but you do not share his conclusions.

        Briant wrote:
        "In 418, one Hanani (Nehemiah's brother?) came to Elephantine bearing a very important document that regulated the celebration of Passover by the Jews. It does seem that in this case the initiative came from the authorities in Jerusalem, who wanted to unify ritual throughout the diaspora."

        Page 586


        Does Briant come to that conclusion because he believes the propaganda? Note his term is unifying (e.g. centralizing) not rehabilitating or renewing as Sargon did by your reckoning.


        I believe that there is much more Persian influence in the Torah than is generally believed; more than I have presented here.

        You can read my paper on the subject.

        The Fundamental Structure and Systematic Theology of the Torah

        At this link:

        http://independent.academia.edu/RichardFaussette

        Click the download link. The other links are not formatted as well.


        Regards,
        Rich Faussette
        NYC
      • Trudy Kawami
        Dear Mr. Faussette, The Achaemenid emperors lapsed into idolatry. This is a fact. Zoroaster created his religion in opposition to idolaters. Alas, this may
        Message 3 of 7 , Jun 5, 2013
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          Dear Mr. Faussette,

          "The Achaemenid emperors lapsed into idolatry. This is a fact. Zoroaster created his religion in opposition to idolaters."

          Alas, this may be a fact in your mind, but there is no tangible, contemporaneous evidence of the dates of Zoroaster's life nor that he post-dated any Achaemenid ruler. If anything he may have pre-dated them substantially.

          To argue that the Achaemenid rulers "lapsed in idolatry" you would need to show definitively that there was an identifiable tradition of what - monotheism? Aniconic or anti-iconic worship? Achaemenid royal inscriptions mention a number of "gods' or divine beings. To argue that this represents a lapse, you have to come up with inscriptions that substantiate an earlier, different belief system. Without that documentation, this is just a pointless argument about beliefs, which is not the function of this list.

          Trudy S. Kawami

          From: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of richfaussette
          Sent: Tuesday, June 04, 2013 6:50 PM
          To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [ANE-2] Re: FW: Constantine and Ardashir (slightly OT)




          --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com<mailto:ANE-2%40yahoogroups.com>, Trudy Kawami <tkawami@...<mailto:tkawami@...>> wrote:
          >
          I can only address a few of these issues. Everything you claim these two kings did, is what kings and other rulers since Sargon of Akkad have done - try to channel, control, manipulate, etc. the religious entities they have in the regions they control. And each one claims to go back to the "good old days," to renew temples their predecessors let fall into ruin, to renew the proper rituals, etc. You may believe their propaganda if you wish, but you cannot expect everyone else to believe it.
          >
          >
          > Trudy S. Kawami

          I am not deeply concerned with what "everyone else" believes nor do I believe your simply mentioning Sargon of Akkad equates what he might have done with what Ardashir or Constantine or Darius did. Renewing temples and rituals is not what Ardashir, Darius and Constantine were engaged in. They were engaged in strengthening and unifying their respective empires through a deliberate centralization of religion; its personnel and its texts. I don't believe the process they were engaged in was a channeling of propaganda.

          The correspondence with Elephantine is objective. Why don't you mention it?

          You wrote:

          "The assumption that renewed fire altar construction can be equated with aniconism is also an assumption, not objective documentation."

          The Achaemenid emperors lapsed into idolatry. This is a fact. Zoroaster created his religion in opposition to idolaters. It is not an assumption that Zoroastrian fire altars contain no graven images. It is a fact. To note a resurgence of fire altar construction in the wake of Ardashir's purported reformation of Zoroastrianism makes perfect sense.

          You enjoy Briant but you do not share his conclusions.

          Briant wrote:
          "In 418, one Hanani (Nehemiah's brother?) came to Elephantine bearing a very important document that regulated the celebration of Passover by the Jews. It does seem that in this case the initiative came from the authorities in Jerusalem, who wanted to unify ritual throughout the diaspora."

          Page 586

          Does Briant come to that conclusion because he believes the propaganda? Note his term is unifying (e.g. centralizing) not rehabilitating or renewing as Sargon did by your reckoning.

          I believe that there is much more Persian influence in the Torah than is generally believed; more than I have presented here.

          You can read my paper on the subject.

          The Fundamental Structure and Systematic Theology of the Torah

          At this link:

          http://independent.academia.edu/RichardFaussette

          Click the download link. The other links are not formatted as well.

          Regards,
          Rich Faussette
          NYC



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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