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Re: [ANE-2] Crucifixion

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  • Antonio Lombatti
    Ed, thanks for your observations. Since there s no agreement, I ll write that victims were nailed (not crucified) and then tortured. J. Fitzmyer and E. Puech
    Message 1 of 20 , May 13, 2007

      thanks for your observations. Since there's no agreement, I'll write
      that victims were nailed (not crucified) and then tortured. J.
      Fitzmyer and E. Puech thought that even the OT and qumranic TLH
      referred to crucifixion even if the texts do not clearly say that
      victims were nailed to a wooden beam (Deut. 21:22-23, 4QpNah and
      11QTemple - J.M. Baumgarten,_Does TLH in the Temple Scroll Refer to
      Crucifixion?_. in "Journal of Biblical Literature" 91 [1972], pp.
      472-481 and E. Puech, _Notes sur 11Q et 4Q524. A propos de la
      crucifixion dans le Rouleau et dans le Judaisme_. in "Revue de
      Qumran" 69 [1997], pp. 109-124).

      The verb "talah" appears 30 times in the OT and it seems to have a
      variety of possible translations (at least in Italian): raise,
      suspend an oject, hang from a scaffold, find oneself suspended with
      the mind (F. Parente,_Talah 'al 'es: una norma di diritto penale
      biblico_. in "Studi classici e orientali" 27 [1977], pp. 79-137). I
      would include all death punishments by "hanging alive" as crucifixion
      (even the Aramaic SLB, see J. Levy,_Woerterbuch ueber die Talmudim
      und Midraschchim_. Harz: Berlin, 1924, 4. Band, p. 189 "SLB=kreuzigen").

      So, considering that the images I've posted before could or could not
      refer to crucifixion in the sense how today the verb is understood,
      the first representations of crucifixions that we have today are two
      Italian graffiti, one found near Rome (AD 250) and the other one in
      Pozzuoli (AD 100), and an Egyptian amulet (AD 200):

      Pozzuoli graffito

      Alexamenos worshipping his God (Jesus)

      Egyptian amulet

      Moreover, the Pozzuoli graffito is our earliest iconographic source
      about crucifixion (I mean, nailed or tied to a wooden beam). On a T-
      shaped cross ("crux commissa" or "crux humilis") is a victim depicted
      from behind. There is no evidence of a "suppedeaneum". The victim is
      not naked but was clothed with an animal skin (?) (also Tacitus wrote
      of condemned men dressed in animal skins; _Annales_, 15,44; 2,13,1:
      "Ferarum tergist contecti", "contectus umeros ferina pelle").
      Perhaps, this was done to attract te animals freed in the circus and
      thus end up torn pieces as described in the mime of the _Laureolus_
      (see Martial's _Spect._ 7 on Latin crucifixion shows).

      As for the Pozzuoli crucifixion graffito, there are two different
      interpretations. A. Maiuri says it depicts Jesus (_La Campania al
      tempo dell'approdo di S. Paolo_. in "Studi Romani", 6 [1961], p.
      135), while M. Guarducci is of the opinion that it represents a slave
      woman, as the figure has long hair and wearing a tunic (not an animal
      skin). Moreover, she identified an inscription over the victim's
      head: ALCIMILLA (_Iscrizioni greche e latine in una Taberna di
      Pozzuoli_. _Acta of the Fifth Epigraphic Congress_. IPS: Roma, 1967,
      pp. 219-223).

      Antonio Lombatti

      Il giorno 13/mag/07, alle ore 01:53, leeedgartyler@... ha scritto:

      > ---- Antonio Lombatti <antonio.lombatti@...> wrote:
      > > Nick,
      > >
      > > thanks for your opinion. Both images are listed as crucifixions
      > by P.
      > > Vitale, _Crocifissione_. Phaidon: Roma, 2005, who quotes J.J.
      > > Collins,_Archaeology of the Crucifixion_. in "Catholical Biblical
      > > Quarterly", 1 (1939), p. 160. As I said I am not an art historian;
      > > however, in the second drawing, one can clearly see nails through
      > the
      > > victim's wrists. Probably, there were nailed in order to flay them
      > > better.
      > >
      > > Antonio Lombatti
      > >
      > Hello, Antonio,
      > That's quite likely true, as victims of extraordinarily painful
      > executions were often nailed in place first, but I would not
      > classify such things as crucifixions. We're reliably informed by
      > ancient sources that victims of burnings were often nailed to
      > stakes, and pirates captured by the Imperial Japanese navies were
      > nailed to the decks of their ships before being whipped to death.
      > Obviously, these executions were not by crucifixion. As Nick notes,
      > the executions depicted appear to be by flaying.
      > The salient feature of crucifixion is the nailing of the victim to
      > a cross, after which gravity does its insidious work to kill him.
      > (I've seen it said that they were sometimes tied to the cross, but
      > have yet to find an ancient source to support this.) Executions by
      > flaying, beating, or burning are another matter, even if nails were
      > involved.
      > best,
      > Ed Tyler

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