- Jul 2019
- New Jersey
That you consider Livy's first 10 books to be a more credible historical source than the Books of Kings and Chronicles is astonishing, to say the least. Those two books are broadly accepted to have been based off a legitimate historical tradition and earlier written sources. When you take out the miracle stories of Elijah and Elisha you are left with a conventional regnal history written with an eye towards religious moralizing. There are probably more portents, miracles, and dramatizations in Livy's first decade than in the entirety of those two books - never mind the Assyrian, Aramean, and Moabite inscriptions (as well as extensive archaeological digs in Israel) which corroborate the Books' historical framework (regnal names and order, regnal years, military campaigns, etc).Aside from the fact that, as many have pointed out, Solomon is generally thought to be a real person, the analogy doesn't work at all. Solomon was supposedly born around 1000 BC. The people writing about him had no continuous history or historical records as the Romans did, many years separate the event from the written tellings. In the case of Solomon the "record" left of him is a work of religious propaganda, not a credible historical source. The Jews were not a people who enjoyed more or less continued peace and continuity in the same place for the duration of the legend, they were dispersed and scattered multiple times, and that makes for the beginnings of most historical fictions. The Romans had credible historians and historical records; not by modern standards obviously, but compared to the bible they might as well be texts on quantum physics. The building in question was a continuous and living component of the forum, the heart of Roman society. Every day people going by would have known the name of the building, because they passed it every day in the same way people pass the White House. Buildings like that usually have a plaque on them, commemorating the patron/builder, and there were real historical records, letters, speeches, etc, that were doubtless recorded about it. It would be too implausible that this kind of retrospective history could have been conjured up in real time, with acceptance from all the different active and opposing factions and members of the community.