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Re: [Roman_History_Books] Re: Greek-speaking Romans

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  • Jay Latona
    Thanks to all who have contributed answers to this question about who would have spoken Greek at the time of Jesus in Judaea. There is no one answer. I guess
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 11, 2003
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      Thanks to all who have contributed answers to this question about who would have spoken Greek at the time of Jesus in Judaea. There is no one answer. I guess you could say that the Roman army was already a melting pot as a result of conquests all over the Mediterranean.


      "D. Scott VanHorn" <agens_in_rebus@...> wrote:
      Please forgive me if I am covering territory already
      crossed.
      One need look no further than the New Testament for
      evidence of the use of Greek; this was done, rather
      than the official language of Latin, because Greek, as
      the lingua franca of the Mediterranean could reach the
      largest number of people of many different classes.
      Here, the type of Greek was koine-simple, easy to
      understand. That does not mean, however, that everyone
      understood Greek. Remember, the placard over the cross
      was supposed to have been written in Latin, Greek, and
      Hebrew. In Acts of the Apostles there is the neat
      little story about how the Apostles get foreign
      language training to speak Parthian, etc. But, for the
      most part, almost everyone would have had some
      smattering of Greek.
      There is evidence that those of centurion rank also
      had a knowledge of Greek, since some appear to have
      had a taste for literature (not the usual, brutish
      picture). Although the restriction still stood that
      only Roman citizens could join the legions proper
      (non-Romans fulfilled auxiliary roles), by the
      mid-first century AD, more citizens had ancestors who
      had been freed only a couple of generations earlier.
      Many more who came to prominence, like the emperor
      Vespasian, came from the countryside; they also could
      use Greek when it became necessary. Thus, any
      conversation with the locals (like Josephus) would
      have been conducted in Greek.
      Sincerely,
      Scott VanHorn



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