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Old January 9th, 2017, 08:26 AM   #21

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Originally Posted by Kookaburra Jack View Post
It is more likely than not that Marcus Aurelius' only mention of Christians at Meditations, 11:3 is an interpolation or margin gloss. Consequently Marcus most likely doesn't mention, and demonstrates no knowledge of, the Christians at all.

The assertion that Marcus killed Christians seems to be an assertion of the church from a much later century. Moreover documents often tendered as evidence for the assertion are - more likely than not IMHO - pious forgeries of the church.

Why an interpolation? It's not like he lauds Christianity, quite the contrary actually if I remember correctly.
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Old January 9th, 2017, 07:40 PM   #22

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Does the Crusader's killing of Muslims tarnish their legacy?
Only a so-called Islamophobe would ask this question right?

Political correctness; political indoctrination passing for knowledge, protected groups, and progressive double-think doesn't start to fall until we start taking stands against it.
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Old January 9th, 2017, 08:15 PM   #23
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Really? The Inquisition could not target jews, only 'lapsed' conversos. They mostly converted or left. The rationale is complicated but goes back to mass persecutions of jews during the troubles of 1390-1415. Radical jewish preachers were trying to 'reconvert' conversos. Not saying it's right, but that is the rationale behind Ferdinand and Isobel's anti-jewish legislations. Nothing more than the Visigoths did, except that the Catholic monarchs had the control and power to do so, whereas the Visigoths lacked state control.

Marcus Aurelius seems to me to get a very good press. Yet it was during his reign that 'fires broke out' all over the Empire. Probably bad luck but even so.......
The Inquisition is a different topic, but all Jews and Muslims were forced to convert or leave Spain. Many officially converted, but secretly practiced their religions. That is what the Spanish Inquisition targeted. However, if we are talking about the 16th century or later, there were no open Jews or Muslims left in Spain.
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Old January 9th, 2017, 08:44 PM   #24

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Why an interpolation? It's not like he lauds Christianity, quite the contrary actually if I remember correctly.




Marcus Aurelius Antoninus' reference to "christian obstinacy" (circa 167 CE) is located at Meditations, 11:3. Here is George Long's English translation:
  • "What a soul that is which is ready, if at any moment it must be separated from the body, and ready either to be extinguished or dispersed or continue to exist; but so that this readiness comes from a man's own judgement, not from mere obstinacy, as with the Christians, but considerately and with dignity and in a way to persuade another, without tragic show."
Gregory Hays' 2003 translation of Meditations

Hays' endnote for 11.3 says:
  • "This ungrammatical phrase [like the Christians]
    is almost certainly a marginal comment by a later reader;
    there is no reason to think Marcus
    had the Christians in mind here."
Maxwell Staniforth's 1964 translation of Meditations

The translation is as follows:
  • Happy the soul which, at whatever moment the call comes for release from the body, is equally ready to face extinction, dispersion, or survival. Such preparedness, however, must be the outcome of its own decision; a decision not prompted by mere contumacy, as with the Christians, * but formed with deliberation and gravity and, if it is to be convincing to others, with an absence of heroics.
The corresponding footnote reads as follows:
  • * If these words are authentic and not a later insertion,
    they are the only reference which Marcus makes to the Christians.
    C.R. Haines, however, in the Loeb edition of the Meditations,
    points out that the clause is
    'outside the construction, and in fact ungrammatical.
    It is in the very form of a marginal note,
    and has every appearance of being a gloss
    foisted into the text.'
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Old January 10th, 2017, 12:09 AM   #25

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Originally Posted by betgo View Post
The Inquisition is a different topic, but all Jews and Muslims were forced to convert or leave Spain. Many officially converted, but secretly practiced their religions. That is what the Spanish Inquisition targeted. However, if we are talking about the 16th century or later, there were no open Jews or Muslims left in Spain.
I've just told you that.
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Old January 10th, 2017, 09:10 PM   #26
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The mention of Christians in Aurelius' text is clearly unfavorable; and in fact can't in any way be construed as favorable. So, it clearly is not a Christian interpolation.
Perhaps a non-Christian's remark, marginal; on whatever text used for copying?
Or-perhaps Aurelius' condemnatory comment.
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Old January 10th, 2017, 11:59 PM   #27

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If Christianity is thought to be a force for good and a mainstream way of life in the west nowadays that's fair enough.

But I don't see why Marcus Aurelius should have been especially charitable to something that didn't become 'Roman' until 200 years later.
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Old January 11th, 2017, 11:20 PM   #28
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Christians tend to mock pagans with their gods, and as we all can imagine, retaliation will follow. If the early Christians could tune down a little bit and at least show some basic respect for other people's religion, I don't reckon there will be persecution at all.


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Old January 12th, 2017, 01:12 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Copperknickers View Post
The Christians only have themselves to blame... for being Christians. The Old Testament is rather strict on performing pagan rituals:

"You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments."

Besides, being executed for their faith was martyrdom, it was an act of worship.
Does make sense about as much as Jonestown.
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Old January 12th, 2017, 07:41 PM   #30

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Originally Posted by MJuingong View Post
The mention of Christians in Aurelius' text is clearly unfavorable; and in fact can't in any way be construed as favorable. So, it clearly is not a Christian interpolation.
I am not as easily convinced by this logic. Biblical scholars used to trot out this "Criterion of Embarrassment" to prove clearly this claim or that, but the logic is faulty, and has been the subject of academic criticism since the 70's.

The earliest manuscript for Meditations appears to be Codex Vaticanus Graecus 1950, of the 14th century.

As far as I am concerned at the moment, it is more likely than not that some Christian monk interpolated Aurelius at a late date. Aurelius shows no other knowledge of the Christians. Such an unfavourable reference could conceivably have been designed in order to fabricate literary flags that would make the Christians far more visible than they otherwise would be in the pagan literature of the 2nd and 3rd centuries.
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