Thelxinoe ~ Classics News for December 28, 2022

Hodie est a.d. V Ian. 2775 AUC ~ 6 Poseideion II in the second year of the 700th Olympiad

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Ancient Apocalypse on Netflix has been watched like 25 million times and archaeologists are up in arms. It’s worlds in collision! It’s an unsolved mystery! But really, what’s the big deal? Is crazy talk about a vanished civilization dangerous or ludicrous? Our contestants disagree amusingly on many issues. THAT’S WHY THEY SHOULD HAVE A NETFLIX SERIES! With a special guest appearance by Simon McCorkingdale, as Manimal!

In this Christmas-themed episode Jeff and Dave take a break from the Aeneid to look at Luke’s Gospel, chapter 2:1-5, and the puzzling census of Quirinius. Drawing from half a dozen scholarly articles on the subject, we try to puzzle out the four major objections to Luke’s reliability as a historian on the topic of the census: “1. Apart from the gospel, history knows nothing of a general Imperial census in the time of Augustus.2. There could have been no Roman census in Palestine during the time of Herod the Great, a rex socius.3. Such a census at such a time could not have been carried out by Quirinius, for he was not governor in Syria then, nor till 10 years later, when he did make a census which gave rise to a revolt under Judas of Galilee. 4. Under a Roman census it would not have been necessary for Joseph to go to Bethlehem, or for Mary to accompany him.” – Alexander Balmain Bruce, D.D. (from Epxositor’s Greek New Testament, W. Robertson Nicoll, 1897; p. 470)Can each of these objections be met? Was Publius Sulpicius Quirinius gov. of Syria twice, before the death of Herod the Great and again in 6-7 A.D. for the census mentioned in Acts 5? What about inscriptional evidence? Is Luke reliable as a historian?

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‘Sorting’ Out Your Day:

Today on the Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar:

If it thunders today, it portends a hatching of locusts.

… adapted from the text and translation of:

Jean MacIntosh Turfa, The Etruscan Brontoscopic Calendar, in Nancy Thomson de Grummond and Erika Simon (eds.), The Religion of the Etruscans. University of Texas Press, 2006. (Kindle edition)


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