Empire, Oil, and Disaster - blog about my new book

A religious sect getting more and more attention of the world. Jews in the Middle East already have problems with them. Coincidentally, a terrible terract happens in the largest city of the empire. The same religious sect is blamed for it. The year is 64 AD. The sect is Christians. The place is Rome of the emperor Nero.
Beware of September Ides!

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Friday, September 30, 2005

Should there be some internal politics in early Christians communities at the time?

Not exactly. The Christianity was still just establishing itself. It seems that there was already some skirmish between the Christian Jewish community of Jerusalem and the followers of St.Paul, and it was probably the time when the sects started to form, not so much as a result of opposing views as the result of a still relatively small number of people dispersed over a huge territory, absence of a developed tradition and poor communications between local communities.

It’s just local communities seeking the answers, were not able to rely on an established tradition or a word from other communities, and they had to find the answers themselves. Not surprisingly, they were coming up with different answers, which later resulted in significant skirmishes, development of orthodoxal views and eventual labeling everybody else as heretics. But in 60-70s AD these differences were yet at the stage of accumulation, not open hostilities.

One relevant fact is that most of Christian are dated by the second century AD or later. See, for example, [1].

[1] Lost Christianities: The Battles For Scripture And The Faiths We Never Knew by Bart D. Ehrman - Oxford University Press, 2005, 224 p., ISBN 0-19-518249-9

Saturday, September 24, 2005

For reference: Subura (modern Suburra)

A very poor and criminal area of Rome, originally a marshland, between the hills on the East of Forum, which in turn was a marshland between Palatine and Capitoline hills.

Also a sort of the “red light district” of Rome with available women. Cloaca was crossing it from its sources on Quirinal, Viminal and Esquiline hills to Forum and Tiber river.

It is located to the East of Forum, Capitoline and Palatine hills, to the South of Quirinal and Viminal hills, to the West of Esquiline hill, and to the North of Caelian hill.

[1] Subura
[2] Wikipedia: Suburra

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Friday, September 16, 2005

For reference: Cloaca (Cloaca Maxima – The Great Sewer)

Cloaca seems to have originated from the open streams carrying water from Quirinal, Viminal and Esquiline hills and passing through the Forum area to Tiber. Considering the map of Rome, it clearly had to pass Subura (Suburra) on the way.

Coincidentally, the word is also used in a different meaning, although quite complementary to this one (see the third link).

[1] About.com: Cloaca Maxima
[2] Wikipedia: Cloaca Maxima
[3] Wikipedia: Cloaca

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Friday, September 09, 2005

For reference: Seven Hills of Rome

Palatine Hill (COLLIS PALATINUS)
Aventine Hill (COLLIS AVENTINUS)
Capitoline Hill (COLLIS CAPITOLINUS)
Quirinal Hill (COLLIS QUIRINALIS)
Viminal Hill (COLLIS VIMINALIS)
Esquiline Hill (COLLIS ESQUILINUS)
Caelian Hill (COLLIS CAELIUS)

[1] Wikipedia: Seven Hill of Rome

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