Rome, Titus, Zealots and Al Queda

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Rome, Titus, Zealots and Al Queda

Postby Augustus » 2004-06-23 04:55pm

The problems with present day Islamic-Fascists are similar to the problems that Imperial Rome was having with Jews during 66 CE.

For those that dont already know:
The Zealots (or "daggermen" in Latin), one of several radical spliter sects of Judasim conducted terror campaignes much the same way that Al Queda currently is. The moderate Jewish sects were incapable of controlling the radical groups and Roman military forces was eventually required. In much the same way that moderate Islamic clerics of today are incapable of containing/moderating groups like Al Queda.

The Roman solution was to have the son of Vespasian, Titus march the legions into Judea and destroy the temple, and kill a ton of people on his way out. Pretty effective considering that the Jewish faith was based around the temple - completely decentralized the Jewish religion and halted the revolt.

So would the ultimate solution to Islamic- Fasicist groups like Al Queda be a modern day Titus? Or is Islam already to decentralized in practice, for the "Roman" solution to work?

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Re: Rome, Titus, Zealots and Al Queda

Postby MKSheppard » 2004-06-23 05:04pm

Augustus wrote:Or is Islam already to decentralized in practice, for the "Roman" solution to work?


No, they all worship mecca. Turn it into a glowing glass heap with your
standard "claw of death" of interlocking one megaton warheads
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Postby StarshipTitanic » 2004-06-23 05:08pm

Except Islam isn't ruled by a single, non-Muslim country with the ability to control them.
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Postby MKSheppard » 2004-06-23 05:15pm

StarshipTitanic wrote:Except Islam isn't ruled by a single, non-Muslim country with the ability to control them.


Their religion centers around Mecca and that meteorite the same way
the Jews used with the Temple and Jerusalem........IOW, NUKE IT
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Postby Augustus » 2004-06-23 05:36pm

StarshipTitanic wrote:Except Islam isn't ruled by a single, non-Muslim country with the ability to control them.


Not quite: During the Jewish revolt (or just prior to it) Judea was a independant "Hellenistic" kingdom. Its king, Harrod swore allegance to Rome but Judea did not have a Roman Governor.

What I was trying to get at is that both Islam and Judaism have some similarites in that their religion is focused around a place. The temple in the case of Roman era Jews and Mecca in the case of Mulisms.

The differences are what is complelling. Jews during Titus' time had a very strict interpritation handed down by the temple presists. The destruction of the temple essentially liberated the religon from the strict interpritations, eliminated the key differences driving the radical sects and gave rise to the Rabbis as a moderate social/coumminuty leader.

Islam on the other hand already has decentralized leaders, the Imans. While the religon has no central authority, individual Imans can venture opinons on any subject and are not required to agree. Although they would argue this, pointing out that the Quran can only be interpreted by the faithful and Allah would lead them to the conclusion desired.

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Postby Augustus » 2004-06-23 06:00pm

MKSheppard wrote:
StarshipTitanic wrote:Except Islam isn't ruled by a single, non-Muslim country with the ability to control them.


Their religion centers around Mecca and that meteorite the same way
the Jews used with the Temple and Jerusalem........IOW, NUKE IT


Would a modern day Titus resort to a nuke? Or, would he perfeer the more personal touch.

One can only hardly imagine the effect of the 1st Armored parading the captured Alhajar Al-Aswad black stone down Pennsylvania Ave, as a spoil.

Getting back to the point:
Would a modern day Titus even be effective?

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Postby fgalkin » 2004-06-23 06:02pm

Augustus wrote:
StarshipTitanic wrote:Except Islam isn't ruled by a single, non-Muslim country with the ability to control them.


Not quite: During the Jewish revolt (or just prior to it) Judea was a independant "Hellenistic" kingdom. Its king, Harrod swore allegance to Rome but Judea did not have a Roman Governor.

Sure it did. His name was Gessius Florus and he was an overall bastard (at least according to Josephus). Judea was a Roman province ever since the death of Agrippa the First. StarshipTitanic is correct in saying that Islam is not ruled by a single non-Muslim country

What I was trying to get at is that both Islam and Judaism have some similarites in that their religion is focused around a place. The temple in the case of Roman era Jews and Mecca in the case of Mulisms.

The differences are what is complelling. Jews during Titus' time had a very strict interpritation handed down by the temple presists. The destruction of the temple essentially liberated the religon from the strict interpritations, eliminated the key differences driving the radical sects and gave rise to the Rabbis as a moderate social/coumminuty leader.

Islam on the other hand already has decentralized leaders, the Imans. While the religon has no central authority, individual Imans can venture opinons on any subject and are not required to agree. Although they would argue this, pointing out that the Quran can only be interpreted by the faithful and Allah would lead them to the conclusion desired.

That is correct. ALthough both the Jews and the Muslims were compelled to violence by radicla factions.

Btw, the sicarii (aka "daggermen") are not the same as the Zealots. The Sicarii were a terrorist organization prior to the revolt, whereas the Zealots were a faction that emerged during the war.

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Postby Admiral Valdemar » 2004-06-23 06:13pm

MKSheppard wrote:
StarshipTitanic wrote:Except Islam isn't ruled by a single, non-Muslim country with the ability to control them.


Their religion centers around Mecca and that meteorite the same way
the Jews used with the Temple and Jerusalem........IOW, NUKE IT


I don't know what kind of a reaction that would produce, but I bet it's got an industrial scale warning sign on in 20' tall letters.

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Postby MKSheppard » 2004-06-23 06:31pm

Admiral Valdemar wrote:I don't know what kind of a reaction that would produce, but I bet it's got an industrial scale warning sign on in 20' tall letters.


I think we could easily split up the Islamic world between us and Russia,
get rid of all those pesky 40,000 nuclear weapons we both made or so
by expending them in combat :twisted:
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Postby fgalkin » 2004-06-23 06:38pm

MKSheppard wrote:
Admiral Valdemar wrote:I don't know what kind of a reaction that would produce, but I bet it's got an industrial scale warning sign on in 20' tall letters.


I think we could easily split up the Islamic world between us and Russia,
get rid of all those pesky 40,000 nuclear weapons we both made or so
by expending them in combat :twisted:

We don't want them. They're more trouble than they're worth. One Chechnya is enough for us.

Have a very nice day.
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Postby Augustus » 2004-06-23 06:45pm

fgalkin wrote:
Augustus wrote:
StarshipTitanic wrote:Except Islam isn't ruled by a single, non-Muslim country with the ability to control them.


Not quite: During the Jewish revolt (or just prior to it) Judea was a independant "Hellenistic" kingdom. Its king, Harrod swore allegance to Rome but Judea did not have a Roman Governor.

Sure it did. His name was Gessius Florus and he was an overall bastard (at least according to Josephus). Judea was a Roman province ever since the death of Agrippa the First. StarshipTitanic is correct in saying that Islam is not ruled by a single non-Muslim country


You are correct, my bad for overlooking Florus. Judea during that period leading upto the revolt was Hellenistic and was proably more predesposed to Roman rule.

fgalkin wrote:Btw, the sicarii (aka "daggermen") are not the same as the Zealots. The Sicarii were a terrorist organization prior to the revolt, whereas the Zealots were a faction that emerged during the war.


I have always seen the Sicarii, and other radicals of that time lumped together under the umbrella term "Zealots". Pardon, if I took the translation of "Sicarii" literally as that of "Zealot".

I'm a Mechanical Engineer but find history extreemly entertaining. You seem to have a detailed understanding of this period. Do you have any sources to recommend?

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Postby fgalkin » 2004-06-23 06:51pm

I too find history entertaining, but I can harldy claim authority on the subject. My information comes from reading Josephus' "The Jewish War" a copy of which you can obtain from Amazon or from a good bookstore. Oh and "sicarii" comes from "sica", which is Latin for "dagger". They were the "daggermen" you were referring to.

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Postby RedImperator » 2004-06-23 07:57pm

The Temple was the physical center of Judaism, but the real beating heart of the religion were the temple priests who performed all the essential rituals laid out in the Torah. When the Romans razed the Temple, they also wiped out the priests and essentially destroyed Judaism as it had been known since the end of the Babylonian Exile. Mecca and the Kabbah don't serve the same function in Islam. The Kabbah is the physical center of the religion, but its function is entirely symbolic. Destroy it, and Muslims will just pray towards the radioactive crater.

Plus, of course, with the exception of those Jews of the first diaspora who'd established communities across the Hellenic world, the entire Jewish population was confined to an area smaller than modern New Jersey and was extremely limited compared to the entire Empire. Muslims make up 1/5 of the world's population and cover some large percentage of the land surface, and have a minority presense almost everywhere else. The ancient Jewish radicals were destroyed because their religion was upended, the population base from where they drew new recruits was devastated and scattered, and because the Romans killed most of them. Glassing Mecca, or sending the Army to capture the city and ship the Kabbah to the National Mall brick by brick for use as a pig's sty, or whatever, isn't going to change Islam--at least not the way you intend.

A better modern analogy to the ancient Jews would be the Mormons in America, who despite having communities all over the country, are pretty much centralized in the inter-mountain west, centered on Utah and Salt Lake City in particular. If you killed half the population of Utah, razed Salt Lake City to the ground, and carted off some Mormon relics to DC, you'd probably be able to damage that religion more than you could by doing the same to Islam. Of course, the Mormons are keenly aware of this and have been since the beginning, so it's tenent of their religion to stockpile food, water, and ammunition, just in case.
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Postby BlkbrryTheGreat » 2004-06-24 01:27pm

Of course, the Mormons are keenly aware of this and have been since the beginning, so it's tenent of their religion to stockpile food, water, and ammunition, just in case.


I find that hilarious. "God needs ammo!"
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Postby Bob the Gunslinger » 2004-06-24 04:29pm

So that's what God needs with a starship.
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Postby frigidmagi » 2004-06-24 05:34pm

I'm no expert, but wouldn't that just make it easier for the terrorist to get more troops and power. I see invading Saudi Arabia and burning Mecca only helping Osama convince other Muslims that the U.S and the it's allies are "out to get Islam."
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Postby dummnutzer » 2004-06-24 07:07pm

fgalkin wrote:Oh and "sicarii" comes from "sica", which is Latin for "dagger". They were the "daggermen" you were referring to.


Sica is a dagger with a curved blade and as such a dishonorable weapon in Rome. No decent Roman would use such a weapon, except for some use in gladiatorial games. But honorable Romans did not enter such games, anyway.

So calling a group "sicarii" is a grosss insult; this is sometimes ignored by modern history authors in portraying the jewish uprising.

And now back to the discussion about nuking Mecca ...

A possible solution is to finance and publish liberal muslim clerics while getting rid, e.g. by accidents, of radical ones. The same thing happened during the cold war with supporting anti-communist authors and political parties and we won this war ...

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Postby frigidmagi » 2004-06-24 07:44pm

True, but there be hell to pay if we were found out. Most don't take it lightly when you fuck with their regilious beliefs.
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Postby Augustus » 2004-06-25 02:14am

frigidmagi wrote:I'm no expert, but wouldn't that just make it easier for the terrorist to get more troops and power. I see invading Saudi Arabia and burning Mecca only helping Osama convince other Muslims that the U.S and the it's allies are "out to get Islam."


Thats the point in question.

Rome had a similar situation during the Jewish revolt. Their solution was to obliterate the Jewish religon (as it stood then), and they did not in the long run generate more terrorists/ zealots. In fact Rome's actions lead to a more stable situation in that part of the world.

So is it not possible that a modern day Titus taking similar actions in the present, while they would be horrible in the short term, ultimately would lead to a long term solution?

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Postby Sarevok » 2004-06-25 02:28am

Back in the 7th or 8th century Islam was centralised. However today Islam is spread across numerous countries that are very different culturaly and ethnicaly. It is no longer like the days of the Caliphate. There is no central control.

Regarding nuking mecca it is a bad idea. Firstly no one can destroy mecca since it is guarded by angles. Secondly nuking mecca achieves no good. Ordianary muslims pray pointing towards the mecca and they dont deserve to have this privilage taken from because of the actions of a few misguided zealots.
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Postby Sarevok » 2004-06-25 02:29am

So is it not possible that a modern day Titus taking similar actions in the present, while they would be horrible in the short term, ultimately would lead to a long term solution?
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Unlikely. If mecca could be destroyed and is destroyed muslims are forever going to hate the people who did it.
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Postby HemlockGrey » 2004-06-25 02:31am

Unless we're prepared to kill *all* Muslims, adopting a Romanesque solution to our problems probably is not the best idea.
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Postby Darth Wong » 2004-06-25 02:43am

evilcat4000 wrote:Back in the 7th or 8th century Islam was centralised. However today Islam is spread across numerous countries that are very different culturaly and ethnicaly. It is no longer like the days of the Caliphate. There is no central control.

True.
Regarding nuking mecca it is a bad idea. Firstly no one can destroy mecca since it is guarded by angles.

Can I assume you meant "angels"? Angles would not provide much defense against a nuclear weapon. Then again, neither would imaginary angels. Is this angel-based ballistic missile defense system a core belief of Islam? If so, would it shake their faith for it to fail in spectacular fashion?
Secondly nuking mecca achieves no good. Ordianary muslims pray pointing towards the mecca and they dont deserve to have this privilage taken from because of the actions of a few misguided zealots.

True; it is a terror tactic of destroying that which your enemy loves, even if you hurt innocents in the process.
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Postby Patrick Degan » 2004-06-25 03:17am

Augustus wrote:Rome had a similar situation during the Jewish revolt. Their solution was to obliterate the Jewish religon (as it stood then), and they did not in the long run generate more terrorists/ zealots. In fact Rome's actions lead to a more stable situation in that part of the world. So is it not possible that a modern day Titus taking similar actions in the present, while they would be horrible in the short term, ultimately would lead to a long term solution?


Judiasm was largely confined to Palestine. And since the fastest communication in the Roman world was by horseback, it would have made for a considerably more difficult problem for the Jews to organise any sort of resistance. Also, Rome didn't have to contend with a billion and a half Jews.
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Postby Patrick Degan » 2004-06-25 03:22am

Darth Wong wrote:
evilcat4000 wrote:Regarding nuking mecca it is a bad idea. Firstly no one can destroy mecca since it is guarded by angles.


Can I assume you meant "angels"? Angles would not provide much defense against a nuclear weapon. Then again, neither would imaginary angels. Is this angel-based ballistic missile defense system a core belief of Islam? If so, would it shake their faith for it to fail in spectacular fashion?


Well, you never know. After all, our own rightwingnuts certainly have their own Faith-Based™ missile defence system, and no fact of physics or number of failed tests have shaken their belief in it. 8)
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