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Thread: Pontius Pilate-Not completely bad?

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    Pontius Pilate-Not completely bad?



    It seems to be the consensus after some finds of coins, etc., that the street leading from the Pool of to the Temple Mount was built by Pontius Pilate.

    He's execrated in Jewish contemporary writings, but I think in some things it might have been a case of someone who had no understanding of the culture of the people whom he was ruling.

    I think that explains the notorious episode when he almost started the rebellion early by taking Temple funds to help with the expense of building an aqueduct.

    He may have thought that since it would benefit them they should help to defray the costs.

    Not a smart move in the long run.

    See:
    https://www.livescience.com/pontius-...lem-found.html



    "Archaeologists have identified a grand street in Jerusalem that was built by Pontius Pilate, the Roman prefect of Judea who is famous for overseeing the trial and crucifixion of Jesus. The nearly 2,000-foot-long (600 meters) street would have connected the Siloam Pool — a place where pilgrims could stop to bathe and get fresh water — to the Temple Mount, the most holy place in Judaism. The street was likely used by ancient pilgrims on their way to worship at the Mount, the researchers said.
    Archaeological evidence for Pontius Pilate is limited and the discovery sheds a bit of light on what the prefect was like, researchers wrote in a paper recently published in the journal "Tel Aviv: Journal of the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University." The fact that Pilate built a street that would have helped people reach the Temple Mount suggests that he may not have been as self-serving and religiously insensitive as ancient writers claim, the researchers said. "

    "Scholars have long known of the existence of the street, with archaeologists excavating in the area as early as the 19th century. What archaeologists didn't know until now was when precisely the street was constructed.

    To find out, archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority and Tel Aviv University dug down beneath the street, reaching areas that had been sealed off by the street's mortar. They found dozens of coins, with the most recent dating back to A.D. 30/31, a time when historical records show that Pontius Pilate was prefect of Judea. The absence of coins from later times indicates that most or all of the construction was done when he was prefect, the researchers wrote."

    ""The importance of this street is evident from its dimensions as well as from the quality of its construction, which undoubtedly required an expansive workforce that included skilled laborers and craftsmen," the researchers wrote in their paper, noting that the street is at least 26 feet (8 meters) wide and would have required 10,000 tons of quarried limestone rock to construct.

    "It is no longer possible to view this first period of direct Roman governance in Judea as one exclusively characterized by self-interest and corruption," the team wrote.
    The street may have been built to help ease tensions between Pilate and the Jews as well as to promote Pilate's abilities as a prefect, lead study author Nahshon Szanton, an archaeologist with the Israel Antiquities Authority, said in a statement."

    I can't help it; it's just too apropos. :)



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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    It seems to be the consensus after some finds of coins, etc., that the street leading from the Pool of to the Temple Mount was built by Pontius Pilate.

    He's execrated in Jewish contemporary writings, but I think in some things it might have been a case of someone who had no understanding of the culture of the people whom he was ruling.

    I think that explains the notorious episode when he almost started the rebellion early by taking Temple funds to help with the expense of building an aqueduct.

    He may have thought that since it would benefit them they should help to defray the costs.

    Not a smart move in the long run.
    Wasn't that the purpose of the Roman Empire?
    Export Rome to all corners of the Empire, not by moving Rome citizens to these areas, but turning the local elite into Romans?
    Little respect for the local cultures indeed (except for classic Greece whose culture was allready present in Southern Italy prior to the Roman conquests).

    And, on the other hand weren't the Jews masters in storytelling?
    The Exodus never existed, but it justified the conquest of the 'promised land'.
    And there appear to be serious doubts about the 'martyrs' who would have commited suicide after the Masada siege, a legend created to support Jewish 'nationalism' under the Roman occupation.
    And even in a classic movie like Ben Hur it is clear the Romans are villified as brutal oppressors of the Jews. I guess it's true to some extend, but the picture is very one-sided.

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    2 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    Wasn't that the purpose of the Roman Empire?
    Export Rome to all corners of the Empire, not by moving Rome citizens to these areas, but turning the local elite into Romans?
    Little respect for the local cultures indeed (except for classic Greece whose culture was allready present in Southern Italy prior to the Roman conquests).

    And, on the other hand weren't the Jews masters in storytelling?
    The Exodus never existed, but it justified the conquest of the 'promised land'.
    And there appear to be serious doubts about the 'martyrs' who would have commited suicide after the Masada siege, a legend created to support Jewish 'nationalism' under the Roman occupation.
    And even in a classic movie like Ben Hur it is clear the Romans are villified as brutal oppressors of the Jews. I guess it's true to some extend, but the picture is very one-sided.
    Indeed, Romanization was partly accomplished through the co-opting of local elites, but there was much more to it than that. After all, who would dislike having clean water, sanitation, the baths, good transportation on good roads, good education systems, wine, and public order, to give a nod to Monty Python? :) There was more order in the Roman Balkans and less internecine warfare than in the Balkans of thirty years ago.

    Romanization was particularly attractive if you consider that the taxes or tribute the majority of the people had always paid to their local elites was still going to those elites, who just passed a lot of it on to the Romans. That's all that was asked of the people, really. The adoption of Roman names, Roman ways, was something the people of most areas adopted willingly and voluntarily, especially because you weren't forced to give up your language or religion. Those just slowly died out.

    Compare all of this to the way the Nazis tried to create an empire, or innumerable other conquerors whom I'm sure I don't need to name. The only real corollary I can think of is Hellenization.

    As to your comment about the Romans not admiring the cultures of others except for the Hellenic culture of southern Italy, I highly doubt that was because Hellenic culture was already "there" so to speak. They admired Hellenic culture because there was a hell of a lot to admire. Who wouldn't? You can't seriously compare it to the other cultures they encountered. I'm not much of a relativist. Some cultures are just more "evolved" than others.

    All of this brings up the Jews, and why Romanization didn't work with them, not when it was Hellenization (think of the Maccabees), and not when it was Romanization, and why it ultimately led to rebellions, said rebellions not turning out at all well for the Jews, of course. If the Herodians had been considered "real" Jews, if Herod the Great wasn't a paranoid, murderous lunatic, and had been able to broker a real understanding, things might have been very different.

    The real sticking point was religion. The Romans, a remarkably tolerant group, didn't give a damn what local gods people worshiped, so long as they gave due deference to the ultimate authority of Rome. In Roman terms that meant sacrificing to the Roman state deified, or ROMA. That was not at all a problem for the other people of the Empire, who had a whole pantheon of gods, but it was a HUGE problem for people who believed not in gods, but in GOD.

    Imagine the uproar when they wanted the Jews to put up a statue to Rome in the Temple or to use Temple, sacred funds to build roads. Well, you don't have to imagine it. We know how they reacted. In hindsight, the Romans bungled their handling of the Jews, but then they hadn't attended sensitivity courses. Given the standards of their day, and not only their day, they were being remarkably accomodating in their treatment of the conquered peoples. Well, once they were actually conquered, of course. My own Ligures held out so long that a lot of them wound up dead or enslaved or relocated.

    Btw, I wouldn't be so sure the Exodus never happened, although not precisely as related, of course. Most Biblical archaeologists would tell you that more and more of the Old Testament is being validated. The stories were embellished, of course. Every people embellishes their past. It's not by any means a "Jewish" thing. Plus, the stories weren't written as "history" in the modern sense; they were written to show the agency of God in history. Fwiw, nor would I say there weren't a lot of suicides at Masada. That has happened among a lot of dead enders in other times, other places, and among other peoples. To continue the Jewish thread, however, the same thing happened in the Warsaw Ghetto. Some people escaped, some continued to fight, even if it was only with stones until blown up or burned alive, and some committed suicide. That was particularly true of the non-fighters, the everyday people just cowering in fear. If I've learned anything in life, it's that regardless of ethnicity, nationality, religion, whatever, in most things people are people, and react in certain ways.

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    What have the Romans ever done for us,.........apart from copy the ( and learn from ) Greeks..

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    Another one who is practically analphabet.

    And where did the Greeks get some of their ideas, including writing? Every advanced culture copies from and builds upon the work of other civilizations.

    Pick up some books on the comparison between ancient Greece and Rome, please, and don't parade your ignorance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Another one who is practically analphabet.

    And where did the Greeks get some of their ideas, including writing? Every advanced culture copies from and builds upon the work of other civilizations.

    Pick up some books on the comparison between ancient Greece and Rome, please, and don't parade your ignorance.
    what does analphabet mean...( I honestly did not know..LOL ).

    I like your avatar Angela, its a shame the Ancient Romans could not create such works of art as 'well' as the Greeks, and had to import Greek, artists to reach the higher standards they ( Romans ) required but could not reach, or as often was the case, stole or removed items they admired, but could not produce themselves.

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    You're right about that one thing; in art the Romans did not surpass the Greeks. Their particular gifts were in other spheres of endeavor. I think the Etruscans are another story, although there may have been Greek artists working in Etruria as well as Greek teachers in the visual arts.

    The Etruscan Mars of Todi...


    Their own unique style is seen particularly in works in metal and ivory and terra cotta:









    The Romans had absorbed the Etruscans by the Imperial Era, and the descendants of them both, the Italians of Toscana at least equalled, if not surpassed them. :)



    True Tuscans: Michelangelo Buonarroti, Benvenuto Cellini, Donatello

    Donatello:


    Donatello's "Mary Magdalen", as "modern" as something done yesterday.


    Cellini:





    Giambologna




    Michelangelo:







    That's the problem with the sculpture of Renaissance Italy, and in particular Tuscany: it took sculpture almost as far as it could go.

    I do hope you noted the development through history. Genes do tell. :)

    Stick around, your vocabulary might improve. :)

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    Genes do tell..LOL, you are quite right.

    I'm very proud that it was my 'Genes' that assisted and helped to end the roman progressive tyranny, and enslavment, allowing the free development periods that came after, and resulted in many such great artists etc throughout Europe to thrive, a few of which you highlight.

    My vocabulary will always improve as a result of my visits here I believe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paul333 View Post
    Genes do tell..LOL, you are quite right.

    I'm very proud that it was my 'Genes' that assisted and helped to end the roman progressive tyranny, and enslavment, allowing the free development periods that came after, and resulted in many such great artists etc throughout Europe to thrive, a few of which you highlight.

    My vocabulary will always improve as a result of my visits here I believe.

    Rome was a "progressive" tyranny? That's a complete anachronism. "Progressive" American politics have absolutely nothing to do with Rome.

    You are completely confused, don't have a clue what you're talking about. Instead of posting on topics of which you understand nothing, take a course on ancient history and political philosophy for starters. Figure out what "progressive" in American politics even means.

    Good grief; some people aren't worth arguing with...

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    @Paul333 fyi The Renaissance (Rebirth) began in the 14th century in Florence, Italy.

    also the Entire West, still live in a Greco-Roman rooted Society, from words you used in your post, the Laws you may have broken, to the incompetent politicians you voted for, ... even your name: Paul = a Roman family name Paulus (in Latin: small / humble), google it

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Rome was a "progressive" tyranny? That's a complete anachronism. "Progressive" American politics have absolutely nothing to do with Rome.

    You are completely confused, don't have a clue what you're talking about. Instead of posting on topics of which you understand nothing, take a course on ancient history and political philosophy for starters. Figure out what "progressive" in American politics even means.

    Good grief; some people aren't worth arguing with...

    Next you will be stating Adam & Eve were Roman.

    I do read ancient history, but not with a singular focus, I am English, and live in England, not America,

    In my understanding my description of progressive tyranny, is correct in an English context,when describing aspects of the 'roman empire'.

    It was a progression of brutality, mass murder, enslavement, and destruction, that completely destroyed the natural progressive development of many other, ancient peoples.

    I suggest you accept that there are other views of Ancient History,

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    Quote Originally Posted by Salento View Post
    @Paul333 fyi The Renaissance (Rebirth) began in the 14th century in Florence, Italy.

    also the Entire West, still live in a Greco-Roman rooted Society, from words you used in your post, the Laws you may have broken, to the incompetent politicians you voted for, ... even your name: Paul = a Roman family name Paulus (in Latin: small / humble), google it
    I completely agree with you, and it is through the actions of Pontius Pilate that I use this name today.

    My posts were in response to the, 'What Have the Romans ever done for us'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paul333 View Post
    I completely agree with you, and it is through the actions of Pontius Pilate that I use this name today.

    My posts were in response to the, 'What Have the Romans ever done for us'.
    but you said ...

    anyway:
    Debate, PM Boris Johnson vs Mary Beard.
    Rome vs Greece

    I posted this video before, you might like it.


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    I'd say the main difference between Greeks and Romans is that the Romans were pragmatic.
    The Greeks were simply to proud to be pragmatic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    I'd say the main difference between Greeks and Romans is that the Romans were pragmatic.
    The Greeks were simply to proud to be pragmatic.
    Sorry, that bears no relationship to what history shows.

    Unless, of course, you don't think Alexander's Empire was "Greek". Hellenism was the most pragmatic of movements. Alexander almost forced his men to marry women in Asia Minor in order to spread Greek ideas in the most efficient manner. When the Greeks caved and let the Jews do whatever they wanted in terms of religion that wasn't pragmatic?

    It was the Romans who deprived them of their homeland and practically extinguished them as a people, not the Greeks.


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seleucid_Empire#Culture
    Last edited by Angela; 25-10-19 at 21:57.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Sorry, that bears no relationship to what history shows.
    Unless, of course, you don't think Alexander's Empire was "Greek". Hellenism was the most pragmatic of movements. Alexander almost forced his men to marry women in Asia Minor in order to spread Greek ideas in the most efficient manner. When the Greeks caved and let the Jews do whatever they wanted in terms of religion that wasn't pragmatic?
    It was the Romans who deprived them of their homeland and practically extinguished them as a people, not the Greeks.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seleucid_Empire#Culture
    Alexander the Great and his father were exceptional men.
    They stopped the Greeks from fighting each other.
    They were considered barbaric, not Greeks by the Greeks themselves.
    They certainly influenced and changed the Greeks in many aspects of their behaviour.
    You said it right, Alexander forced his men into mixed marriages, there was a lot of Greek opposition to this.

    And what happened to the Jews? I don't know the details. Afaik, they were deported by the Assyrians, but it were the Persians who allowed them to return.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Salento View Post
    but you said ...

    anyway:
    Debate, PM Boris Johnson vs Mary Beard.
    Rome vs Greece

    I posted this video before, you might like it.

    Thanks Salento, I have seen it.

    I agreed with your earlier post, as you are correct it was mostly the renaissance, (rebirth of Interest ) a thousand years after the break from the end of the roman period, that is the legacy we live with today, it was not a continuity from it, at least not in England.

    Regarding the video, two very large personalities, with strong differing views on the current ancient history topics.

    I often watched Mary Beard, and her series on ancient roman history, and although she is at times very crude, she is not affraid to say how it is.

    On a topical note, UK PM Boris Johnson, is also very well educated,( Eton ) both he, and Mary beard ( Cambridge ) are very knowledgeable regarding Classical, and European History, but hopefully Boris Johnson as our PM is currentlly trying to finally get us out of Europe, and out of the modern 'treaty of Rome', and asp I hope.
    Last edited by paul333; 26-10-19 at 01:53.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    Alexander the Great and his father were exceptional men.
    They stopped the Greeks from fighting each other.
    They were considered barbaric, not Greeks by the Greeks themselves.
    They certainly influenced and changed the Greeks in many aspects of their behaviour.
    You said it right, Alexander forced his men into mixed marriages, there was a lot of Greek opposition to this.
    And what happened to the Jews? I don't know the details. Afaik, they were deported by the Assyrians, but it were the Persians who allowed them to return.
    There’s a whole history of the Jews in Palestine after their return from the Babylonian captivity. It is in that later time that they came under Greek rule, along with everybody else in the Near East. The Greeks established “Greek cities” in which Greek migrants actually settled, the most mighty of which was probably Antioch, and secondarily perhaps Damascus? However, like their successors the Romans, they more effectively changed the area through the culture which they exported to it.

    The Decapolis...
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decapolis


    It worked well in most of the Near East, Anatolia, for example, with the adoption of Greek architecture, the games, Greek names and practices, etc. It worked except with a lot of the Jews.

    Well, that's perhaps overstating it. Greek thought did influence Judaism to some degree.
    See: Philo of Alexandria
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philo

    However, a lot of the Jews were never going to go to the baths and participate in the games, and they didn't want Temple funds used for building projects, and they most certainly didn't want Greek statues around, and particularly not in their holy places, or Jews sacrificing to them.

    Eventually there was a revolt, led by the Maccabees, which was successful.. The feast of Hanukkah commemorates it. That ushered in the Hasmonean Dynasty.

    The Maccabean Revolt...
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maccabean_Revolt

    I would take exception to quite a bit of that article, but at least it gives a general idea.

    However, the family which the Romans ultimately brought in to rule the area as a client state, the Herodians, were not "kosher" Jews, if I can be flip for a moment, because they were Idumeans, and, as I said elsewhere, Herod the Great was mad. Ultimately it ended badly because they didn't have the standing to broker an understanding.

    The result was not one rebellion, but two of them, ending in mass enslavement for the Jews, exile of many more, the destruction of their sacred Temple, and the loss of nation status for Jews for two thousand years. The Arch of Titus (son of the Emperor Vespasian)in Rome commemorates it all.

    The Herodians(not the religious sect)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herod_the_Great


    Jewish revolts against Rome...
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish%E2%80%93Roman_wars

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    thks Angela, it's a long story

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    For a sympathetic literary portrait of Pilate, see the novella by Roger Caillois ---->

    https://www.amazon.com/Pontius-Pilat...s=books&sr=1-2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    It was the Romans who deprived them of their homeland and practically extinguished them as a people
    Is this actually true? The dispersion of Jewish merchant communities across the Mediterranean pre-dates the destruction of the Temple by several centuries. And as for the Jews who farmed the land, were these not the partial ancestors of today's Palestinians (minus the Arab admixture)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dominique_nuit View Post
    Is this actually true? The dispersion of Jewish merchant communities across the Mediterranean pre-dates the destruction of the Temple by several centuries. And as for the Jews who farmed the land, were these not the partial ancestors of today's Palestinians (minus the Arab admixture)?
    Sorry, that was sloppy writing because I was trying to pack too much information into too short a post.

    No, all the Jews weren't killed or enslaved, and the Levant wasn't empty of them. After all, there were enough of them left in the Levant after the First Jewish War to participate in the Kitos War, and to stage the second "Jewish War" or the Bar Kochba revolt, and they even had a bit of a resurgence in the 600s, but they had no temple, weren't even allowed to enter Jerusalem, and they were much, much reduced in numbers. The whole focus of Jewish life moved away from the Levant.

    Whether the Jews that remained in the Levant eventually became Christians, with some of them then becoming Muslims, it's a complicated, controversial subject, but I lean strongly toward the idea that rather than convert they just left. Under Muslim rule, my recollection is that there was only a relatively small number left in the Galilee, mostly scholars.

    As for the diaspora Jews, there was the Kitos War, so there was a major "culling" of those Jews as well. Some of the figures for the dead are undoubtedly exaggerated, but there was massive slaughter on both sides. Some areas were virtually de-populated. Alexandria, which was such a center of Jewish life, was deeply affected.


    What I was trying to say is that not only were they much, much reduced in numbers, but they also were no longer a unified people with a homeland of their own. It was a huge and terrible price to pay for all the internal conflict, which often times was actually a civil war, for letting the Zealots eventually take control of Jewish destiny instead of the more moderate Sadducees. That's my opinion, of course.

    It's also my own opinion that it was the Jews who gave the Romans the most trouble in terms of the conquered peoples. Once Britain and France were pacified, and Spain as well, there was Romanization and order. Not so in Israel. Yahweh called them a "stiff-necked" people. I think that's right, but, as I said, they paid a huge price.
    Last edited by Angela; 28-10-19 at 00:27.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Sorry, that was sloppy writing because I was trying to pack too much information into too short a post.

    No, all the Jews weren't killed or enslaved, and the Levant wasn't empty of them. After all, there were enough of them left in the Levant after the First Jewish War to participate in the Kitos War, and to stage the second "Jewish War" or the Bar Kochba revolt, and they even had a bit of a resurgence in the 600s, but they had no temple, weren't even allowed to enter Jerusalem, and they were much, much reduced in numbers. The whole focus of Jewish life moved away from the Levant.

    Whether the Jews that remained in the Levant eventually became Christians, with some of them then becoming Muslims, it's a complicated, controversial subject, but I lean strongly toward the idea that rather than convert they just left. Under Muslim rule, my recollection is that there was only a relatively small number left in the Galilee, mostly scholars.

    As for the diaspora Jews, there was the Kitos War, so there was a major "culling" of those Jews as well. Some of the figures for the dead are undoubtedly exaggerated, but there was massive slaughter on both sides. Some areas were virtually de-populated. Alexandria, which was such a center of Jewish life, was also affected.


    What I was trying to say is that not only were they much, much reduced in numbers, but they also were no longer a unified people with a homeland of their own. It was a huge and terrible price to pay for all the internal conflict, which often times was actually a civil war, for the eventual control by the Zealots of Jewish destiny, instead of the more moderate Sadducees. That's my opinion, of course.

    It's my own opinion that it was the Jews who gave the Romans the most trouble in terms of the conquered peoples. Once Britain and France were pacified, and Spain as well, there was Romanization and order. No so in Israel. Yahweh called them a "stiff-necked" people. I think that's right, but, as I said, they paid a huge price.

    Regarding your last paragraph, I think you need to read some other views of Ancient Roman History, and especially regarding Britain.

    Britain was never pacified by Rome, and this is confirmed by inscriptions and writers such as in the Augustan History 3rd C, "the Britons could not be kept under roman control " and from Fonto writing about the reign of Hadrian earlier, " Large numbers of Roman Soldiers were killed by the British"

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    Quote Originally Posted by paul333 View Post
    Regarding your last paragraph, I think you need to read some other views of Ancient Roman History, and especially regarding Britain.

    Britain was never pacified by Rome, and this is confirmed by inscriptions and writers such as in the Augustan History 3rd C, "the Britons could not be kept under roman control " and from Fonto writing about the reign of Hadrian earlier, " Large numbers of Roman Soldiers were killed by the British"
    Honestly, your friends at anthrogenica are letting you down.

    Even Wiki gets it right.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Britain

    After the initial period there was nothing of much moment: nothing, absolutely nothing on the scale of the Jewish revolts. They could have brought down the empire, or at leasat the eastern and southern part of the Empire, and hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people were enslaved or died. There's barely a mention of Britannia in Roman chronicles after the initial period, as there is barely a mention of the Ligures after initial hard fighting.

    Sorry if that offends your nationalistic feelings, but it's a fact.

    Don't presume to school me in Roman history, or ancient history in general. You'll lose.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    I refer to your statement about Rome pacifying Britain, and stand by my view. Rome never could or did pacify Britain. Fact.

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