Changed my avatar-And how did the Romans Execute You?

by fulltimestudent 1 Replies latest jw friends

  • fulltimestudent

    Been meaning to do that for a while - and just saw an article in BAR (see below) and thought - that's how I feel today (grin) I've had the flu for 2 weeks and feel really pissed off.

    Sunday before last, my friend visiting from China, calls up and says come to dinner tonite, meet me at Darling Harbour. So did that, and even though we could've walked to the restaurant he'd selected in about 15 minutes, he decides (he's rather wealthy) we should take a water taxi to Circular Quay (for those who know Sydney). I protested, as I knew it was expensive - $70 for a 10 minute ride.We're no sooner in the boat, than it starts to rain like hell, and before the boatmaster could get the curtains down, I was soaked on one side. Light clothing so was dry in one hour. Naturally, the high class restaurant was aircon, so by next day I knew I was going to have at least a cold.

    Hence my feeling for the avatar.

    OK! the article. Its not exactly new info, but its hard data on what appears to have been the style of execution of a young man by the Romans. Here's a part of the article from the Biblical Archeology Review:

    Roman Crucifixion Methods Reveal the History of Crucifixion
    Crucifixion in Antiquity
    Biblical Archaeology Society Staff 07/17/2011
    What do we know about the history of crucifixion? In the following article, “New Analysis of the Crucified Man,” Hershel Shanks looks at evidence of Roman crucifixion methods as analyzed from the remains found in Jerusalem of a young man crucified in the first century A.D. The remains included a heel bone pierced by a large nail, giving archaeologists, osteologists and anthropologists evidence of crucifixion in antiquity.

    Crucifixion in antiquity was a gruesome execution, not really understood until a skeletal discovery in the 1980s that gave new insight into the history of crucifixion. Photo: Courtesy Israel Exploration Journal, Vol. 35, No. 1 (1985)
    What do these bones tell us about the history of crucifixion? The excavator of the crucified man, Vassilios Tzaferis, followed the analysis of Nico Haas of Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem suggesting Roman crucifixion methods: a contorted position: arms nailed to the crossbeam; legs bent, twisted to one side, and held in place by a single nail that passed through a wooden plaque, through both left and right heel bones, and then into the upright of the cross.
    However, when Joseph Zias and Eliezer Sekeles reexamined the remains, looking for evidence of Roman crucifixion methods, they found no evidence that nails had penetrated the victim’s arms; moreover, the nail in the foot was not long enough to have penetrated the plaque, both feet, and the cross. And, indeed, what were previously thought to be fragments of two heel bones through which the nail passed were shown to be fragments of only one heel bone and a long bone. On the basis of this evidence, Zias and Sekeles suggest that the man’s legs straddled the cross and that his arms were tied to the crossbeam with ropes, signifying the method of crucifixion in antiquity.
    Literary sources giving insight into the history of crucifixion indicate that Roman crucifixion methods had the condemned person carry to the execution site only the crossbar. Wood was scarce and the vertical pole was kept stationary and used repeatedly. Below, in “New Analysis of the Crucified Man,” Hershel Shanks concludes that crucifixion in antiquity involved death by asphyxiation, not death by nail piercing.

    There's more, and it can be accessed at:

    You'll note that the author considers that the victim only had to carry the crossbar, and that therefore it was a cross-shaped instrument. So Freddy F was wrong on his insistence on a simple pole. The churches are likely wrong on what Jesus could have been carrying.

    And finally, who says that the Romans were always consistent in their method of execution? And did it really matter?

  • Village Idiot
    Village Idiot
    I haven't had time to read it all but this thread has some good information.

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