Coliseum: Is the RCC a Force for Good Postmortem

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Ruben
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Re: Coliseum: Is the RCC a Force for Good Postmortem

Postby Ruben » 2009-12-15 08:04pm

Source?


Here you go.

There was some truth to the underlying charge. Cathar teaching was that procreation enslaved more angels in human bodies. It followed that procreation was bad. In Catholic thought one of the three explicit purposes of marriage was procreation (In Cannon Law people who could not procreate. Eunuchs for example were - and still are - disbarred from marrying).

Guillaume de Pélhisson, Chronicle, translated by Walter L Wakefield, Heresy, Crusade and Inquisition in Southern France 1100-1250, University of California, Berkeley, 1974, pp 213-14.


Show how the two situations are comparable?


Are you seriously asking this?

Here is


The Republican government which came to power in Spain in 1931 was strongly anti-clerical, secularising education, prohibiting religious education in the schools, and expelling the Jesuits from the country. On Pentecost 1932, Pope Pius XI protested against these measures and demanded restitution. He asked the Catholics of Spain to fight with all legal means against the injustices. June 3, 1933 he issued the encyclical Dilectissima Nobis, in which he described the expropriation of all Church buildings, episcopal residences, parish houses, seminaries and monasteries.

By law, they were now property of the Spanish State, to which the Church had to pay rent and taxes in order to continuously use these properties. "Thus the Catholic Church is compelled to pay taxes on what was violently taken from her"Religious vestments, liturgical instruments, statues, pictures, vases, gems and similar objects necessary for worship were expropriated as well.

# ^ Dilectissima Nobis, 9-10
# ^ Dilectissima Nobis, 12


The constitution provided for universal suffrage and generally accorded thorough civil liberties and representation, a major exception being Catholic rights.

Payne, Stanley G. (1973). "A History of Spain and Portugal (Print Edition)". University of Wisconsin Press (Library of Iberian resources online): 632. http://libro.uca.edu/payne2/payne25.htm. Retrieved 30 May 2007.


The government was unwilling to control the anti-Catholic sentiment and deadly mob attacks on churches and monasteries

Since the far left considered moderation of the anticlericalist aspects of the constitution as totally unacceptable, commentators have argued that "the Republic as a democratic constitutional regime was doomed from the outset".

Payne, Stanley G. (1973). "A History of Spain and Portugal (Print Edition)". University of Wisconsin Press (Library of Iberian resources online): 632. http://libro.uca.edu/payne2/payne25.htm. Retrieved 30 May 2007.


The Civil War in Spain started in 1936, during which thousands of churches were destroyed, thirteen bishops and some 7000 clergy and religious Spaniards were assassinated

Franzen 397


One source records that 283 nuns were killed, some of whom were badly tortured.

Jedin 617


There are accounts of Catholic faithful being forced to swallow rosary beads, thrown down mine shafts and priests being forced to dig their own graves before being buried alive.

Beevor, Antony The Battle for Spain (Penguin 2006).


Anti-clerical assaults during what has been termed Spain's Red Terror included sacking and burning monasteries and churches and killing 6,832 priests,[ including 13 bishops, 4184 diocesan priests, 2365 members of male religious orders, among them 259 Claretians, 226 Franciscans, 204 Piarists, 176 Brothers of Mary, 165 Christian Brothers, 155 Augustinians, 132 Dominicans, and 114 Jesuits.

de la Cueva 1998, p. 355


"all the convents in Spain was not worth the life of a single Republican".-Manuel Azana


I would say there are plenty of similarities.

A mob led by a bishop and monks.


Wait, so if the mob was not led by Theophilus, then which Bishop was it?

Because you say so.


There is no evidence they did. :roll:


Source that it was ordered by the empire? The only thing we have are christian sources saying that.


Okay, so explain to me why exactly Christian sources are unreliable, but pagan sources are reliable?

Anyway, even Edward Gibbons, an anti-Christian, admits it was.

"Rise and fall" Ch 28

They still did burn down the library. What is your evidence Theophilus died prior to the attack on the library?
I never said that Theophil was responsible for the attack on Hypatia, in fact, had you read my posts you would know that I named the priests who did it.


Well, since i am not the best at arguing this point, I will let James Hannam do the talking.

Theophilus was indeed the Patriarch of Alexandria at the time that the Serapeum was converted into a Christian church although he has never been made a saint. The date for the events recorded is usually given as 391AD when Theodosius was emperor and energetically converting all his subjects to Christianity. The contention made is that there was another library in the Serapeum temple that a Christian mob destroyed during their sacking of the temple. We need to establish if there really was a library there and also if Theophilus destroyed it.
The intervening years

About the library the sources are reasonably silent but this is not a surprise because we know already that we cannot be talking about the Royal Library itself. However, Alexandria remained a centre of scholarship and other libraries existed. The Emperor Claudius set up the eponymous named Claudian to be a centre for the study of history and Hadrian founded a library at the Caesarean temple during his visit. Less reliably, Plutarch informs us that Mark Anthony gave Cleopatra the entire contents - some 200,000 rolls - of the Pergamon library as a gift.

The 12th century Byzantine scholar, John Tzetzes, in his Prolegomena to Aristophanes preserves some details about the catalogue of the poet Callimachus (died after 250BC) who said there were nearly 500,000 scrolls in the Royal Library and another 42,000 odd in the outer or public library. Note that Callimachus is not known to have referred to the Serapeum Library although he is often assumed to be doing so. The fourth century Bishop Epiphanius of Cyprus (died 402AD) in his Weights and Measures (actually a biblical commentary.) says that there were over 50,000 volumes in the 'daughter' library that he places in the Serapeum. Our previous observations about numbers fully apply here even if it seems fair to say that there were many fewer scrolls in the daughter than in the Royal Library. Epiphanius also tells us that by his day the entire Bruchion quarter of Alexandria was laid waste, no doubt due to the actions of Aurelian or Diocletian. There is a detailed report of the acropolis of Alexandria in a Progymnasmata by Aphthonius of Ephesus (died after 400AD) which he presents as an example of how to give a description. He speaks of book repositories open to the public and we can assume this refers to the Serapeum. Unfortunately the date of the description is impossible to determine and nor can we tell if it is an eyewitness account. However, we do have enough evidence in total to assert that there was once a library at the Serapeum even if it is not the same as the 'outer library' attached to the Royal Library.

Despite the continuation of academic activity, Alexandria suffered much in the years up to 391AD. Augustus reduced it, Caracalla massacred many of its citizens over a perceived insult and Aurelian also sacked the city and the palace quarter in which the Museum was situated. Finally, the city was taken with great destruction by Diocletian at the start of the fourth century.
Ammianus Marcellinus - Roman History

In the Roman History, Ammianus waxes lyrical about the Serapeum but he then gets a bit confused and says that the libraries it held were those burnt by Caesar in the Alexandrine War. The point is perhaps vital though because he had visited Alexandria and yet says of the Serapeum "in it have been valuable libraries" in the perfect tense. This was before 391AD when Theophilus and his gang set to work and very strongly suggests there were no books present in the temple at the time of its destruction.
Rufinus Tyrannius - Ecclesiastical History

The earliest description of the sack of the Serapeum was almost certainly one by Sophronius, a Christian scholar, called On the Overthrow of Serapis and now lost. Rufinus (died 410AD) was an orthodox Latin Christian who spent many years of his life in Alexandria. He arrived in 372AD and whether or not he was actually present when the Serapeum was demolished, he was certainly there at around the same time. He rather freely translated Eusebius's History of the Church into Latin and then added his own books X and XI taking the narrative up to his own time. It is in book XI that we find the best source for the events at the Serapeum which he describes in detail. His account largely agrees with the one given above except that he makes no mention of any library or books at all. He seems to regret the passing of the Serapeum but puts the blame squarely on the local pagans for inciting the Christian mob. The only English translation of his work is still very much in copyright so until I have produced another myself the reader will just have to take my word for it.
Eunapius - Lives of the Philosophers

The pagan writer Eunapius of Antioch (died after 400AD) included an account of the sack of the Serapeum in his Life of Antonius who, before he died in 390AD, had prophesied that all the pagan temples in Alexandria would be destroyed (not a desperately surprising contingency at the time). Eunapius wants to show how right he was. As well as being a pagan, Eunapius is vehemently anti-Christian and spares no effort in making Theophilus and his followers look as foolish as possible. His narrative is laced with venom and sarcasm as he describes the sack of the temple as a battle without an enemy. If a great library had been destroyed then Eunapius, the pagan scholar, would surely have mentioned it. He does not.
Socrates Scholasticus, Hermias Sozomen and Theodoret

Socrates (died after 450AD) also wrote a History of the Church that continued on from that of Eusebius. His was more detailed and in Greek rather than Latin. It contains a chapter about the destruction of the Serapeum which acknowledges that the deed was ordered by the Emperor, that the building was demolished and that it was later converted to a church. Again, no mention is made of any books that might have been in the Serapeum or what could have happened to them. His passage about the cross-shaped hieroglyphics found in the temple gives us some idea of how Christianity turned various pagan symbols to its advantage.

The histories of Sozomen (died 443AD) and Theodoret (died after 457AD) cover a similar period. Despite being pleased to report in detail the Serapeum's destruction they also make mention no books at all although Theodoret says that the wooden idols of Serapis were burnt. Both of these histories are heavily dependent on Socrates but do include details from other sources.
Paulus Orosius - History against the Pagans

Orosius (died after 415AD) was a friend of Saint Augustine who wrote a History against the Pagans that was fully intended to paint all non-Christians in a bad light. So as a historian he is useless but when he says something that suggests that his fellow Christians were not whiter than white, that is to say, against the grain of his usual bias, we have to take it seriously. In his aside on the Great Library, he says something of significance which is both an eyewitness detail and suggests that his fellow Christians are in the wrong. He says "…there exist in temples book chests which we ourselves have seen and when these temples were plundered these, we are told, were emptied by our own men in our own time." His statement that there was no other major library in Alexandria at the time of Caesar's expedition is interesting and would seem to count against there being a Serapeum library at that time. However, Orosius is too late a source to carry much weight in this matter.

From Orosius we can deduce that Christians did empty some temples of books but we cannot go much further. We cannot say the books were destroyed as this is not stated nor can we say which temples he is talking about or who was responsible. However, we can be sure he was not talking about the Serapeum as all sources agree it was razed to the ground and the temples Orosius visited are not only still standing but even have their internal furninshings. The most likely explanation is that the books were removed to Christian libraries or sold.
The verdict on Theophilus

It is hard enough to establish beyond doubt that there was a library in the Serapeum at all but if there was, Ammianus makes clear that it was no longer there by the mid-fourth century. This is confirmed by the silence of all the sources, including one that would be keen to report Christian atrocities, for the destruction of the temple in 391AD. Note that this is not an 'argument from silence' because there is no reason at all to expect a mention of books in the Serapeum when it was demolished. An invalid 'argument from silence' is when we claim something that is not mentioned did not happen, even though other evidence suggests it did. There is no positive evidence for the existence of the library and instead near conclusive eye witness evidence against.


Of course, you had to dig up Canfora. He is not even the best of sources. Did you know that one of his books got not published in Germany because it was, in the words of Prof. Wehler, that his work was "so dumb, that in no place it can meet the standards of western histories". Source


Attacking the source not the argument, again... :roll:

We do have one source however saying that he walked through the walls, seeing the destroyed books. Eunapios.


Mentioned above.

1876. Dear God, we did not even know much about it back then. Look into a modern book.


:roll:

Yes, be smug. Of course, you actually show how that is on the same level....oh wait.


:roll:

Oh well, I guess I will.

Star trek has hero captain named Kirk, Star wars has a hero captain named Han Solo.

Star trek has ships capable of light speed, so does star wars.

Star trek has the evil Kliong Empire, Star wars has the imperial Empire.

Star trek has laser guns, as does star wars.

The ships in star trek are massive, and there are bridge scenes. This can also be found in star wars.

Star trek has an alien race called the Vulcans who are wise and logical, Star wars has the Jedi, who are also wise and logical.

Star trek has aliens, as does star wars.

Star trek has battles, as does star wars.

Vulcans have special mind melding powers, as do the Jedi.

Kirk is good with the ladies, as is Han Solo.

You see, if you are intent enough, you can make anything look like a copy of something else.

Apparently, it is not enough that ancient writers thought so too. I cited them all.


Appeal to authority.

Anyway, the Chrsitians you cited did not say what you said, they just remarked on similarities in certain rituals.

It proves the cult existed back then. Of course it cannot show that it and christianity was the same because apparently christianity did not exist back then. You know, that is why we call it B.C.


Yes it does, but it does not prove that they always had sacred meal rituals.

As part of Human culture and helping us understand it and history? You betcha it has value.


Understanding what peoples history was like is not practical value, it is sentimental value.

And had christians not probably destroyed most of it, we probably would not even need to depend on church archives.


It would have been destroyed by barbarians.

There is a difference between a devout christian fanatic who is told to "destroy this" and a king who commands armies, no? The one is commanded, the other one commands. And you still have to prove that the church was in any way responsible for Karl Martel winning the battle.


Firstly, it is Charles Martel. :roll: Lastly, the Church supported his actions, the church supported the mentality, and his faith was one of the things that guided him. I do not, however, assert that the church was "directly" responsible.

Only in your mind, certainly not in the mind of the pope or any other church official. This is the eighth time you have refused to provide proof on this. Do so now.


I think you need to do a little bit of research on the sedevacatist movement that asserts that the current Pope is excommunicated under the same parameter I have laid down.

Anyhow, I will give you more evidence of automatic excommunication.

Pope Paul IV, *Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio, 1559 Ex Cathedra: "We enact, determine, decree and define:
that if ever at any time it shall appear that the... Roman Pontiff [Pope] prior to his promotion or his elevation as Cardinal or Roman Pontiff, has deviated from the Catholic Faith or fallen into some heresy: the promotion or elevation, even if it shall have been uncontested and by the unanimous assent of all the Cardinals, shall be null, void and worthless."


^Before the 1983 Code of Canon Law, there were two degrees of excommunication: vitandus (shunned, literally "to be avoided", where the person had to be avoided by other Catholics), and toleratus (tolerated, which permitted Catholics to continue to have business and social relationships with the excommunicant). This distinction no longer applies today, and excommunicated Catholics are still under obligation to attend Mass, even though they are barred from receiving the Eucharist and from taking active part in the liturgy (reading, bringing the offerings, etc.)

"Excommunicants lose rights, such as the right to the sacraments, but they are still bound to the obligations of the law; their rights are restored when they are reconciled through the remission of the penalty." New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law, ed. by John P. Beal, James A. Coriden, Thomas J. Green, Paulist Press, 2000, p. 63 (commentary on canon 11).


According to the Catholic Church, excommunication, in the sense of a formal proceeding, is not a penalty, but rather a formal proclamation of a pre-existing condition in a more or less prominent member of the Catholic Church. When such a person commits acts that in themselves separate him from the communion of the faithful, particularly when by word, deed, or example he or she "spreads division and confusion among the Faithful", it is necessary for the Church to clarify the situation by means of a formal announcement, which informs the laity that this is not a person to follow, and notifies the clergy that the person, by their own willful acts, has separated from the Church and is no longer to receive the sacraments, with the exception of Reconciliation if they turn from their ways. The decree may also indicate the mode of Reconciliation required for re-entry into the Church, specifying whether the local bishop may administer the process or it is reserved to the Pope. Excommunication is never a merely "vindictive penalty" (designed solely to punish), but is always used as a "medicinal penalty" intended to pressure the person into changing their behaviour or statements, repent and return to full communion.


So, if a Pope can be excommunicated, and one can be excommunicated without any decree, a King can certainly be excommunicated. by the way, I never asserted the Church tried to end slavery in a abolishionist sense of the word, after all it was a well ingrained aspect of society.

Anyway, I will once again allow the great Mr. Willy Wonka to help emphasize the point.



Its scary how well that fits. :lol:

Source?


This is an interpretation of his words, it does not require a source

Do you deny that the presence of unquestionable truth combined with a harsh punishment up to and including the death penalty for offenders is something that represses science?


No, because most of these truths have nothing to do with science, and scientists would not be in violation of them.

The evidence you provided is BS. I know all about medieval persecution of scientists. The Magisterkämpfe at the University of Paris are welll known. The persecution of teachers who did not teach dogma was also well known. You are correct that there was a small window of freedom, however with the arrival of the domini canes this window was shut.


So, how come so many scholars of science disagree with you?

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Thanas
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Re: Coliseum: Is the RCC a Force for Good Postmortem

Postby Thanas » 2009-12-16 10:20am

Ruben wrote:
Source?


Here you go.

There was some truth to the underlying charge. Cathar teaching was that procreation enslaved more angels in human bodies. It followed that procreation was bad. In Catholic thought one of the three explicit purposes of marriage was procreation (In Cannon Law people who could not procreate. Eunuchs for example were - and still are - disbarred from marrying).

Guillaume de Pélhisson, Chronicle, translated by Walter L Wakefield, Heresy, Crusade and Inquisition in Southern France 1100-1250, University of California, Berkeley, 1974, pp 213-14.


Here we have Ruben caught in another bald-faced lie. For what he attempts to pass of as the words of Guillaume de Péhisson are in actuality the words of a website. He also neglects to mention that Pélhisson was an inquisitor who persecuted the cathars, which means he is extremely biased.

However, he is also a very stupid liar who cannot read the rest of the page, which quite clearly states:

There was some truth to the underlying charge. Cathar teaching was that procreation enslaved more angels in human bodies. It followed that procreation was bad. In Catholic thought one of the three explicit purposes of marriage was procreation (In Cannon Law people who could not procreate. Eunuchs for example were - and still are - disbarred from marrying). If procreation was undesirable for Cathars then marriage must be undesirable too. The reasoning held in some respects, but failed to accommodate nuances and qualifications.


Note how he missed quoting the rest of the page and only quoted the first words, without the immediate qualifications and dismissals? Let me quote for you what he snipped out:

The first is the Cathar concept of marriage, which was very different from our modern idea of marriage. For Cathars the word denoted not a ceremony joining a man and a woman, but a ceremony joining the entrapped human soul with its spiritual body in heaven. This was one of the functions of the Cathar ceremony called the Consolamentum, a ceremony preserved from the earliest days of Christianity, from which the various Orthodox Mysteries and Catholic Sacrament evolved over the centuries. This interpretation enabled Cathars to read and interpret the New Testament without discomfort, since references to marriage could be interpreted as referring to this "Spiritual Marriage."

The Second qualification is that in Cathar thought the horror of sex and reproduction applied principally to Parfaits (men) and Parfaites (women). Ordinary believers or credentes were not expected to remain chaste, though it would be desirable if they did so. There appears to have been no stigma associated with marriage between ordinary believers and it is known that many believers did marry and raise families. In this, the practice of the Cathars again represented a preservation of the earliest Christian practices, where Virginity was the ideal and marriage was an acceptable second best (As Paul put it: "It is better to marry than to burn"). Virginity could be combined with a form of spiritual marriage. In different ways both Cathars and Catholics retained the idea. Virginity and chastity for Cathars was associated with their spiritual interpretation of marriage. Virginity and chastity for Catholics was associated with a different form of spiritual marriage. Monks were thought to marry the Church on their induction. Nuns were thought to marry Christ (In some orders they are known as "Brides of Christ". They still don wedding dresses, wedding crowns and even wedding rings on their inception).

Another ancient practice preserved in different ways was that of becoming celibate after having been married. This was extremely common practice - indeed standard practice - in the Early Christian Church, just as it remained standard among Cathars. It was for example very common for noblewomen with Cathar sympathies to marry and raise families and then, with their husband's consent, to begin an ascetic life culminating in taking the Consolamentum and so joining the ranks of the Parfaites. This too had a parallel in the Catholic Church, where it was common for men to abandon their wives in order to become monks or priests (Folque of Toulouse is just one of innumerable examples from the thirteenth century). Similarly, Catholic noblemen often packed their unwanted wives off to nunneries. In both cases the Church regarded the original marriage as dissolved so that the person could remarry either the female Church or the male Christ, according to gender. Related to this practice is the apparent anomaly that although a Catholic priest may not marry, the Church has no ban on married men becoming priests, as many have done and still do today.

From all the evidence, no Cathar seems to have been undully exercised by the fact that believers married and raised families. How else could those awaiting reincarnation ever be freed from their cycle of imprisonment?

Even so, the simplistic interpretation by which Cathars should abhor marriage seems to have some practical implications. For example it seems to have provided a strand of argument for propagandists. According to them all Cathars rejected marriage and were therefore heretics. The propagandists appear to have fudged the distiction between believers and Parfaits, and presented the rejection of marriage as an horrific heresy in itself. The audience were unlikely to know that virginity was such an ideal in the earliest Church, and the propagandists could hardly admit that the real Cathar practice of chastity represented represented exactly the ideal of chastity that monks aspired to or the ideal of celibacy that priests aspired to.

Anyone who believed the propaganda could deduce that Cathars would not marry and that anyone who was married could not therefore be a Cathar. Although the reasoning is flawed on two different counts, it does seem to have been articulated as an argument by people accused of being Cathars by the Inquisition. Here is a revealing appeal by one Jean Teisseire accused of heresy:

"Listen to me! I am not a heretic, for I have a wife and I sleep with her. I have sons. I eat meat and I lie and swear, and I am a faithful Christian "

It did not save him. Further enquiries were made. Teisseire was burned alive and his wife condemned to perpetual imprisonment


Only the quotation is from Guillaume de Pélhisson. The rest is not.

But Ruben has repeatedly lied and distorted his sources, including the above.

Show how the two situations are comparable?


Are you seriously asking this?

Here is

*snip rest about the republican government*

I would say there are plenty of similarities.


Here we see Ruben once more trying to distort evidence. The exception of catholic rights in the constitution was the abolishment of church privileges and not allowing them any kind of special treatment anymore. The killing of Priests in the Republican war is quoted as being a direct reason of anti-church feelings. It however does not take into account that people were simply killed in the war because they were civilians, not just because they were church. There may have been killings, but simply quoting a figure without qualifying the causes of the dead is very much disingenious.


A mob led by a bishop and monks.


Wait, so if the mob was not led by Theophilus, then which Bishop was it?


Peter the Reader, assistant to Bishop Cyril, his right hand man. So cyril had a hand in it. Not directly leading it per se, but having his assistant doing the trick.

Yet even she fell a victim to the political jealousy which at that time prevailed. For as she had frequent interviews with Orestes, it was calumniously reported among the Christian populace, that it was she who prevented Orestes from being reconciled to the bishop. Some of them therefore, hurried away by a fierce and bigoted zeal, whose ringleader was a reader named Peter, waylaid her returning home, and dragging her from her carriage, they took her to the church called Caesareum, where they completely stripped her, and then murdered her by scraping her skin off with tiles and bits of shell. After tearing her body in pieces, they took her mangled limbs to a place called Cinaron, and there burnt them.


Defenders of civilizations indeed.

Source that it was ordered by the empire? The only thing we have are christian sources saying that.


Okay, so explain to me why exactly Christian sources are unreliable, but pagan sources are reliable?

Anyway, even Edward Gibbons, an anti-Christian, admits it was.

"Rise and fall" Ch 28


Direct quote, please. And it was what?

They still did burn down the library. What is your evidence Theophilus died prior to the attack on the library?
I never said that Theophil was responsible for the attack on Hypatia, in fact, had you read my posts you would know that I named the priests who did it.


Well, since i am not the best at arguing this point, I will let James Hannam do the talking.


A well known christian apologist, I note.

That said, let us deal with his words:

The 12th century Byzantine scholar, John Tzetzes, in his Prolegomena to Aristophanes preserves some details about the catalogue of the poet Callimachus (died after 250BC) who said there were nearly 500,000 scrolls in the Royal Library and another 42,000 odd in the outer or public library. Note that Callimachus is not known to have referred to the Serapeum Library although he is often assumed to be doing so. The fourth century Bishop Epiphanius of Cyprus (died 402AD) in his Weights and Measures (actually a biblical commentary.) says that there were over 50,000 volumes in the 'daughter' library that he places in the Serapeum. Our previous observations about numbers fully apply here even if it seems fair to say that there were many fewer scrolls in the daughter than in the Royal Library. Epiphanius also tells us that by his day the entire Bruchion quarter of Alexandria was laid waste, no doubt due to the actions of Aurelian or Diocletian. There is a detailed report of the acropolis of Alexandria in a Progymnasmata by Aphthonius of Ephesus (died after 400AD) which he presents as an example of how to give a description. He speaks of book repositories open to the public and we can assume this refers to the Serapeum. Unfortunately the date of the description is impossible to determine and nor can we tell if it is an eyewitness account. However, we do have enough evidence in total to assert that there was once a library at the Serapeum even if it is not the same as the 'outer library' attached to the Royal Library.


So far, alright, a possible interpretation even though it is not the consensus among historians.

In the Roman History, Ammianus waxes lyrical about the Serapeum but he then gets a bit confused and says that the libraries it held were those burnt by Caesar in the Alexandrine War. The point is perhaps vital though because he had visited Alexandria and yet says of the Serapeum "in it have been valuable libraries" in the perfect tense. This was before 391AD when Theophilus and his gang set to work and very strongly suggests there were no books present in the temple at the time of its destruction.


Wrong.

here is the account by Ammianus:

12. Besides this there are many lofty temples, and especially one to Serapis, which, although no words can adequately describe it, we may yet say, from its splendid halls supported by pillars, and its beautiful statues and other embellishments, is so superbly decorated, that next to the Capitol, of which the ever-venerable Rome boasts, the whole world has nothing worthier of admiration.
13. In it were libraries of inestimable value; and the concurrent testimony of ancient records affirm that 70,000 volumes, which had been collected by the anxious care of the Ptolemies, were burnt in the Alexandrian war when the city was sacked in the time of Caesar the Dictator.


Ammianus does not say that the Alexandrian Libray was burned, but that 70,000 volumes were destroyed. Yet we know that later there was a library at the Serapeum, which not even your source denies. As for the libraries still existing, Ammianus goes on:

17. And although, besides those I have mentioned, there were many other men of eminence in ancient times, yet even now there is much learning in the same city; for teachers of various sects flourish, and many kinds of secret knowledge are explained by geometrical science. Nor is music dead among them, nor harmony. And by a few, observations of the motion of the world and of the stars are still cultivated; while of learned arithmeticians the number is considerable; and besides them there are many skilled in divination.

18. Again, of medicine, the aid of which in our present extravagant and luxurious way of life is incessantly required, the study is carried on with daily increasing eagerness; so that while the employment be of itself creditable, it is sufficient as a recommendation for any medical man to be able to say that he was educated at Alexandria.
And this is enough to say on this subject.

19. But if any one in the earnestness of his intellect wishes to apply himself to the various branches of divine knowledge, or to the examination of metaphysics, he will find that the whole world owes this kind of learning to Egypt.

20. Here first, far earlier than in any other country, men arrived at the various cradles (if I may so say) of different religions. Here they still carefully preserve the elements of sacred rites as handed down in their secret volumes.



So to me it seems that Ammianus was quite certain of this still going on at Alexandria.

Rufinus
*snip*
His account largely agrees with the one given above except that he makes no mention of any library or books at all. He seems to regret the passing of the Serapeum but puts the blame squarely on the local pagans for inciting the Christian mob. The only English translation of his work is still very much in copyright so until I have produced another myself the reader will just have to take my word for it.


I'll not take his word for it. I demand that you quote him.

Eunapius - Lives of the Philosophers

The pagan writer Eunapius of Antioch (died after 400AD) included an account of the sack of the Serapeum in his Life of Antonius who, before he died in 390AD, had prophesied that all the pagan temples in Alexandria would be destroyed (not a desperately surprising contingency at the time). Eunapius wants to show how right he was. As well as being a pagan, Eunapius is vehemently anti-Christian and spares no effort in making Theophilus and his followers look as foolish as possible. His narrative is laced with venom and sarcasm as he describes the sack of the temple as a battle without an enemy. If a great library had been destroyed then Eunapius, the pagan scholar, would surely have mentioned it. He does not.


Actually, let us consider Eunapius really:

[...]or, on account of its temple of Serapis, Alexandria was a world in itself, a world consecrated by religion: at any rate those who resorted to it from all parts were a multitude equal in number to its own citizens, and these, after they had worshipped the god, used to hasten to Antoninus, some, who were in haste, by land, while others were content with boats that plied on the river, gliding in a leisurely [b]way to their studies. On being granted an interview with him, some would propound a logical problem, and were forthwith abundantly fed with the philosophy of Plato; but others, who raised questions as to things divine, encountered a statue. For he would utter not a word to any one of them, but fixing his eyes and gazing up at the sky he would lie there speechless and unrelenting, nor did anyone ever see him lightly enter into converse with any man on such themes as these.

Now, not long after, an unmistakable sign was given that there was in him some diviner element. For no sooner had he left the world of men than the cult of the temples in Alexandria and at the shrine of Serapis was scattered to the winds, and not only the ceremonies of the cult but the buildings as well, and everything happened as in the myths of the poets when the Giants gained the upper hand. The temples at Canobus also suffered the same fate in the reign of Theodosius, when Theophilus presided over the abominable ones like a sort of Eurymedon and Evagrius was prefect of the city, and Romanus in command of the legions in Egypt.56 For these men, girding themselves in their wrath against our sacred places as though against stones and stone-masons, made a raid on the temples, and though they could not allege even a rumour of war to justify them, they demolished the temple of Serapis and made war against the temple offerings, whereby they won a victory without meeting a foe or fighting a battle. In this fashion they fought so strenuously against the statues and votive offerings that they not only conquered but stole them as well, and their only military tactics were to ensure that the thief should escape detection. Only the floor of the temple of Serapis they did not take, simply because of the weight of the stones which were not easy to move from their place. Then these warlike and honourable men, after they, had thrown everything into confusion and disorder and had thrust out hands, unstained indeed by blood but not pure from greed, boasted that they had overcome the gods, and reckoned their sacrilege and impiety a thing to glory in.


Eunapius gives primarily a religious account. He does not talk too much about the library because according to him, the sacrilege is in destroying the temple (and all the buildings, meaning there might very well have been a library there, as evidenced by the mention of study above).

Paulus Orosius - History against the Pagans

Orosius (died after 415AD) was a friend of Saint Augustine who wrote a History against the Pagans that was fully intended to paint all non-Christians in a bad light. So as a historian he is useless but when he says something that suggests that his fellow Christians were not whiter than white, that is to say, against the grain of his usual bias, we have to take it seriously. In his aside on the Great Library, he says something of significance which is both an eyewitness detail and suggests that his fellow Christians are in the wrong. He says "…there exist in temples book chests which we ourselves have seen and when these temples were plundered these, we are told, were emptied by our own men in our own time." His statement that there was no other major library in Alexandria at the time of Caesar's expedition is interesting and would seem to count against there being a Serapeum library at that time. However, Orosius is too late a source to carry much weight in this matter.


note how your own source says that Orosius tried to exonerate christians and write against pagans?

Let us look at what Orosius tells us:

After having arranged his affairs in Thessaly, Caesar went to Alexandria. Upon seeing the head and ring of Pompey that were brought to him, he burst into tears. When he had betaken himself to the royal palace, he was cheated by the keepers, who, to prevent Caesar from getting the spoils, cunningly stripped their own temples in order that they might show that the royal treasures were gone and at the same time inflame the populace against Caesar. Moreover, Achillas, the royal commander, whose hands were stained with Pompey's blood, was also planning to kill Caesar. When he was ordered to dismiss his army consisting of twenty thousand armed troops, he not only scorned the order but even drew up his troops in battle array. During the combat orders were issued to set fire to the royal fleet, which by chance was drawn on shore. The flames spread to part of the city and there burned four hundred thousand books stored in a building which happened to be nearby. So perished that marvelous monument of the literary activity of our ancestors, who had gathered together so many great works of brilliant geniuses.
In regard to this, however true it may be that in some of the temples there remain up to the present time book chests, which we ourselves have seen, and that, as we are told, these were emptied by our own men in our own day when these temples were plundered—and this is a matter that admits no doubt—yet it seems fairer to suppose that other collections had later been formed to rival the ancient love of literature, and not that there had once been another library which had books separate from the four hundred thousand volumes mentioned, and for that reason had escaped destruction.


So what we have here - a christian writer admitting that temples were plundered, but of course these were not of great value. What is of significance here (admitting bias) is that temples housed books and were plundered. What Orosius is doing here is trying to admit to an unescapable fact (that christians destroyed libraries) but at the same time trying to discount their significance. As the later is christian apologia, we only need to focus on the first, which so succinctly proves my point.

However, we can be sure he was not talking about the Serapeum as all sources agree it was razed to the ground and the temples Orosius visited are not only still standing but even have their internal furninshings.


Actually, all he says is that he saw emptied book chests in numerous temples.

The most likely explanation is that the books were removed to Christian libraries or sold.

Actually, the most likely explanation is that the pagan books were destroyed by fire.

Note that this is not an 'argument from silence' because there is no reason at all to expect a mention of books in the Serapeum when it was demolished. An invalid 'argument from silence' is when we claim something that is not mentioned did not happen, even though other evidence suggests it did. There is no positive evidence for the existence of the library and instead near conclusive eye witness evidence against.


Wrong. Here is concrete evidence that the Serapeum housed a library:

In in 379 AD, John Chrysostomos refers to the library of the Serapeum in his speech to the Antiochians, stating that it contained the original version of the Old Testament (the Septuagint) that Ptolemy II Philadelphus had ordered it to be translated from Hebrew to Greek. Tertullian himself said that the library of the Serapeum held many books.

And finally, the crown piece of evidence:

...on the inner side of the colonnade, were built chambers, some of which served as book-stores/rooms and were open to those who devoted their life to the cause of learning. It was these studies that exalted the city to be the first in philosophy. Other wrooms were set up for the worship of the old golds


Apththonius, prog. 40. Apththonius, a pupil of Libanios, visited the Serapeum in person in the fourth century before Theophil destroyed the Serapeum.

We further have evidence of the rigid anti-book stance of the fanatics found in the christian church in the Apostolic Constitution:

Do you want history? There is the Book of Kings, and if you want eloquence? The Book of Prophets. Lyrics? The Psalms. Cosmology, law and ethics? The glorious law of God
.
- Apostolic Constitution, 1.6.

If you really want to know more, read "The Demise of the Daughter Library", in: What happened to the library at Alexandria, ed. Mostafa El-Abbadi, Omnia Mounir Fathallah. , Leiden/Boston 2008, pg. 89-93.


Of course, you had to dig up Canfora. He is not even the best of sources. Did you know that one of his books got not published in Germany because it was, in the words of Prof. Wehler, that his work was "so dumb, that in no place it can meet the standards of western histories". Source


Attacking the source not the argument, again... :roll:

If your source is a christian apologists who got told by german historians: "Your work does not meet any respectable standards", then yes, that source should be discounted.




Anyway, the Chrsitians you cited did not say what you said, they just remarked on similarities in certain rituals.

How so?

It proves the cult existed back then. Of course it cannot show that it and christianity was the same because apparently christianity did not exist back then. You know, that is why we call it B.C.


Yes it does, but it does not prove that they always had sacred meal rituals.

It is one of the tenets of Mithraism. You have no case.

As part of Human culture and helping us understand it and history? You betcha it has value.


Understanding what peoples history was like is not practical value, it is sentimental value.


So the church teachings never had any practical value?

And had christians not probably destroyed most of it, we probably would not even need to depend on church archives.


It would have been destroyed by barbarians.

Show me how Barbarians reached the biggest libraries.

There is a difference between a devout christian fanatic who is told to "destroy this" and a king who commands armies, no? The one is commanded, the other one commands. And you still have to prove that the church was in any way responsible for Karl Martel winning the battle.


Firstly, it is Charles Martel. :roll:

Karl Martel is the german pronounciation of Charles Martel, Mr. Ignoramus. it is as valid as Carolus is valid for Charlemagne.

Lastly, the Church supported his actions, the church supported the mentality, and his faith was one of the things that guided him. I do not, however, assert that the church was "directly" responsible.

Backpedal some more, you little liar.

Only in your mind, certainly not in the mind of the pope or any other church official. This is the eighth time you have refused to provide proof on this. Do so now.


I think you need to do a little bit of research on the sedevacatist movement that asserts that the current Pope is excommunicated under the same parameter I have laid down.


That movement is a fringe group that has no support among the church. You are an idiot if you try to think it has any bearing on medieval events.

So, if a Pope can be excommunicated, and one can be excommunicated without any decree, a King can certainly be excommunicated. by the way, I never asserted the Church tried to end slavery in a abolishionist sense of the word, after all it was a well ingrained aspect of society.

Backpedal some more, you little liar.

Source?


This is an interpretation of his words, it does not require a source


Actually, it is a twisting of his words, so yes, it does require a source.

Do you deny that the presence of unquestionable truth combined with a harsh punishment up to and including the death penalty for offenders is something that represses science?


No, because most of these truths have nothing to do with science, and scientists would not be in violation of them.


Galileo would beg to differ and many of the priests excommunicated or killed would beg to differ as well. Any absolute "truth" is a direct repression of science if questioning it is cause for being killed.

So, how come so many scholars of science disagree with you?


Show me one medieval scholar (note: an expert, not some obscure christian apologetic) who claims that there were no trials of heresy and other church attempts to bring the university of Paris into line.
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Re: Coliseum: Is the RCC a Force for Good Postmortem

Postby Thanas » 2009-12-16 11:00am

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Re: Coliseum: Is the RCC a Force for Good Postmortem

Postby Zixinus » 2009-12-16 11:44am

Well, so much for him anyway. Apparently Ruben was unaware about the forum's policies regarding lying.

I originally wrote this before I learned that he was about to be banned, so here it is anyway.

I think that a point that must be cleared here is what we call science: from what I get is that Ruben views only modern-like science as true, ie, secular study of the universe to discover its mechanisms that we can model.

Of course, anybody familiar with history or even occultism knows that this is not how it went. Disciplines were muddled very much, often being mixed, like astrology mixing with medicine and almost always mixing with both philosophy and religion (the two mixing extensively). Often, discoveries were made accidentally or with experimenting to get something else. Just think of the alchemist and their weird spiritualism (it is a misconception that they seeked the philosopher's stone out of greed; while the promise of eternal youth and gold was in there somewhere, they primarily viewed it as a symbol for absolute enlightenment), finding a series of chemicals instead that they didn't quite always knew what to do with because it didn't fit into their philosophical worldview.

But they documented it anyway and thus the knowledge of how to create these chemicals spread, even if only trough apothecaries and other alchemists. They still contributed to scientific development (although I am unsure of this specific example) because they contributed to an overall sum of knowledge about how materials react to each other that other scholars could analyse and understood.

Were alchemists scientists? Hell no. Would burning their books, their notes, their descriptions about their experiments be considered a suppression of science? Yes.

I must note that I find it highly amusing of how slanders one religion in order to defend the one that committed cultural genocide against the first.
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Re: Coliseum: Is the RCC a Force for Good Postmortem

Postby Imperial Overlord » 2009-12-16 12:31pm

IIRC, Charles Martel seized church land after the Battle of Tours in order to use it support his knights. That would seem to give us Charles's opinion of how useful the church was in that battle (i.e. not at all).
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Re: Coliseum: Is the RCC a Force for Good Postmortem

Postby Zixinus » 2009-12-16 04:13pm

Actually, I might as well want to ask two questions from Thanas that are related to the topic:

Q: While I don't doubt that the temples stores documents of value, how do we know that they stored documents that were not directly or even indirectly tied to the religion of that temple? How did the priests connect their scholarly activity with their religous activity? What perspective am I missing here?

Q: Originally, colleges and universities were founded to be taught theology and RCC dogma. What central cause allowed these institutions to drift away from this? The Enlightenment in general or was it something else, like a change of how these institution were funded?
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Re: Coliseum: Is the RCC a Force for Good Postmortem

Postby CarsonPalmer » 2009-12-16 08:29pm

Not to wade in as a defender of Ruben in any way shape or form, or to actually try to challenge Thanas's superior knowledge of history (seeing as I'm only an undergrad history student right now, but it was my understanding that the Miguel Azana's Republican government in Spain went farther than just this:

Here we see Ruben once more trying to distort evidence. The exception of catholic rights in the constitution was the abolishment of church privileges and not allowing them any kind of special treatment anymore.


From what I understood, the Spanish Second Republic did forcibly disband the Jesuits (and other religious orders), and it did forbid priests from teaching. There was also a wave of church burnings in Madrid right after the formation of the Second Republic that destroyed over 100 buildings. I don't have the book with me anymore, since it came through inter-library loan, but it was Stanley Payne's Fall of the Second Spanish Republic that I got my information from.

All this happened, though, several years before the Spanish Civil War.

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Re: Coliseum: Is the RCC a Force for Good Postmortem

Postby Thanas » 2009-12-17 08:48am

CarsonPalmer wrote:Not to wade in as a defender of Ruben in any way shape or form, or to actually try to challenge Thanas's superior knowledge of history (seeing as I'm only an undergrad history student right now, but it was my understanding that the Miguel Azana's Republican government in Spain went farther than just this:

Here we see Ruben once more trying to distort evidence. The exception of catholic rights in the constitution was the abolishment of church privileges and not allowing them any kind of special treatment anymore.


From what I understood, the Spanish Second Republic did forcibly disband the Jesuits (and other religious orders), and it did forbid priests from teaching. There was also a wave of church burnings in Madrid right after the formation of the Second Republic that destroyed over 100 buildings. I don't have the book with me anymore, since it came through inter-library loan, but it was Stanley Payne's Fall of the Second Spanish Republic that I got my information from.

All this happened, though, several years before the Spanish Civil War.


I'll take your word for it as you are not a pathological liar. However, in a legal manner, the expulsion of the Jesuits and the state taking control of education is the abolishment of church privileges. It happened in England and elsewhere as well, for example in the german Kulturkampf. that does not, in any way, compare it to empire-wide persecution of pagans - which is what Ruben here tries to do. He tries to equate the Spanish republicans with christian behaviour in earlier times, except that the chrisitan things were fare more invasive and even if it were on the same scale, it does not excuse the church from earlier times - it merely proved socialists too did destroy some churches (though IIRC the burnings in Madrid were not organized by the state, thus we have one more difference).

Finally, the difference in scale is really enormous - if you go to Spain, you still see churches everywhere. Try, however, to find an ancient temple that is not in ruins today.


Zixinus wrote:Actually, I might as well want to ask two questions from Thanas that are related to the topic:

Q: While I don't doubt that the temples stores documents of value, how do we know that they stored documents that were not directly or even indirectly tied to the religion of that temple? How did the priests connect their scholarly activity with their religous activity? What perspective am I missing here?


This is a bit difficult to answer, but I'll try. First of all, there was no division between being a priest and being a philosopher. Priests were member of the nobility, which were all very much educated. For example, all the Roman Emperors were also the High Priests (pontifex maximus) and members of the Roman state were also very, very much priests and philosophers. When Rome was christianized, many roman aristocrats were state officials as well as then christian priests. (this, among other things, makes the disitinction between state persecution and church persecution so difficult). What I am getting at is that according to the classical Ideal, the ideal man was everything - priest, statesman and philosopher. So we have an enormous personal overlap. A priest was also a philosopher, a philosopher was also a priest. You have to remember that in ancient religions, there were no absolute truths. Absolute truth is an invention of the monotheistic religions. What ancient people believed in were concepts, concepts they argued over and tried to convince the other of through the use of logic. The argument over a mathematical problem and the argument over a religious idea is essentially the same to the ancient philosophers, which is why so many of them (i.e.: Pythagoras) were not only philosophers, but also scientists. This is also the reason why people saw christianity as a step backwards, as not only did it clash with the concepts known, but (among other things) it was the religion of the poor, the uneducated.

The function of the temples therefore is not only one of religion, but also one of debate and one of science. You can read it in the description I posted above. Of course, this does not apply to the vast majority of temples, most of which were very small. However, every Temple also acted as a place of records. In fact, record-keeping was one of the most important jobs of temples. Furthermore, we know that many temples had extensive libraries and archives. Of course, none of the other temples (with the exception of the Vestal cult in rome) ever had such a massive impact as the Serapeum.

I hope that answers your question.

Q: Originally, colleges and universities were founded to be taught theology and RCC dogma. What central cause allowed these institutions to drift away from this? The Enlightenment in general or was it something else, like a change of how these institution were funded?


I'll try to answer that briefly. First of all, at the start the church did not get total control over the universities. This only changed with the domini canes and the inquisition. We have a wealth of scholarly material in the 12th and 13th century, which some dubbed as the medieval renaissance. However, through the use of the inquisition, the church managed to stamp that one out. Then of course came the renaissance, in which scholars were just way too massive to be controlled anymore and the power of the church was broken due to the rise of powerful empires like France, England, Spain or the Holy Roman Empire. The pope literally had no power to force a german duke to close his university - and it became quite common of wealthy men and nobles to fund universities. So in the end, combined with the Reformation, the church simply was not powerful enough. The Reformation was the death blow as it put a lot of places (especially the dutch, english and german universities) out of the reach of the Inquisition.
Last edited by Thanas on 2009-12-17 09:06am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Coliseum: Is the RCC a Force for Good Postmortem

Postby Zixinus » 2009-12-17 08:57am

Both answers satisfy my questions, thank you.
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