[XTalk] Re: Rising After 3 Days
>>Tacitus chose to take in account only the full days of sovereignty and notto include the partial two days. >>Accepted.
>>One point can be made: if "Mark" would have followed the same notion asTacitus did, then he would have
>>talked about one day of death or 'after one day' (the whole Sabbath day,the only complete day of Jesus'
>>death). Another point can also be entertained: if "five days" is moreaccurate than "four days" to describe the
>>duration of Piso's "reign", then "Mark" would have written about 'twodays' to adequatly reflect the 39 hours,
>>wouldn't he?My point here would be that Tacitus used both "six days" as well as "four
days" to refer to the same time period. Granted, in one instance, he is
quoting someone who may be trying to stretch the time as much as possible,
but Tacitus made no derogatory comment concerning his accuracy. If this was
common, or at least accepted at that time, then Mark could be justified in
referring to 39 hours as three days. Even if he did stretch the number to
its maximum allowable limit, and did this with a deliberate intention to
"prove" a theological point, he does not seem to have crossed the line from
"history" into "myth". At least not the line that existed when Tacitus
>>Five days before the 14th would be the 9th, not the 10th.Five days, counting that any portion of a day, gets credited as a day: 14,
>>Three days after the 14th would be the 17th, not the 16th.>
13, 12, 11, 10. Likewise with the three days after, would require counting
any portion of a day as a whole day: 14, 15, 16. Cicero could have been
trying to emphasize the shortness of the time - only seven days. Livy
provided more a bit more detail.
>>Maybe, but I am not convinced about this "ancient" math, from what youhave presented. I think the Romans,
>>as excellent administrators, were less ambivalent about keeping record ofdurations (in days or years) than
>>you suggest. Of course, that would not prevent them to make occasionalerrors in their writing.
>>BernardI agree that these two examples do not prove that the Romans were afflicted
by what a modern historian could generously classify as ambiguous dating. I
am not in a position to make an authoritative pronouncement on this topic,
but I think that they do indicate that it is possible that they ( first
century Romans) did not consider using the ambiguity associated with
counting portions of days to a certain advantage to be disingenuous. I
think that "good history records" and "good administration records" were
probably subjected to different standards at that time. The article I
quoted before also mentions Tacitus' biography of Agricola. One must read
all the way to the conclusion before there is any mention made of any dates.
The author of the article attributes this to fine literary custom (first
century standards). In the conclusion, only the birth and death dates are
specified. A modern would consider this to be horrible history, especially
if one were trying to write a paper on this man.
To prove that this practice was common would require more than just two
examples, but I think that they are sufficient to indicate that it is
Thanks for your comments,
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