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RE: [XTalk] Gibson's "Passion" Latin or Greek?

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  • David C. Hindley
    ... make up of the cohorts and the Legions in Syria Palestine up through the Jewish war -- that the soldiers in the Antonia would have been speaking Greek, as
    Message 1 of 27 , Feb 28 11:08 AM
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      Jeffrey B. Gibson says:

      >>I think it's safe to say -- after reading the discussion in Schurer on the
      make up of the
      cohorts and the Legions in Syria Palestine up through the Jewish war -- that
      the soldiers in the Antonia would have been speaking Greek, as theywere
      auxiliaries from Syria.<<

      Rostovtzeff says that very few recruits came from the cities themselves,
      with the bulk of the recruits coming from the rural areas that "belonged" to
      the Greek cities, and that these rurals tended to speak the local dialects.

      I'd think, like our hypothetical Jesus, that they would know enough Greek to
      conduct their business with the landlords or city officials from whom they
      or their relatives leased the land they had farmed, or sold or bought grain
      and handicrafts to and from, etc.

      The common Auxiliary soldier serving in Judaea would thus speak some dialect
      of Aramaic fluently, koine Greek conversationally or haltingly, and would
      not speak Latin much at all except for knowing a few vulgar military related
      technical terms.

      The non commissioned officers (centurions) would know enough to read
      military dispatches and maybe converse a bit with his higher level native
      Roman commanders, but surviving military dispatches from Gaul, etc, suggest
      that they wrote a vulgar phonetic dialect. Even among Roman citizens there
      were class differences, and many legions recruited among the local
      population. And that was in the west where Latin prevailed, although Greek
      was very commonly used there as the language of business, so recruits would
      probably know it a bit. Latin surely had to be much less commonly used in
      the east.

      Respectfully,

      Dave Hindley
      Cleveland, Ohio, USA
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