Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday is for Ad Fontes

Every Friday night I chill out with a curry, a bottle of read wine, and some primary source reading. Recently I've been reading through Plutarch's Roman Lives which has been quite enjoyable. Tonight was life of Pompeius Magnus who celebrated triumphs from three different continents and in one of them Aristobolus of Judea was lead in captive during his triumph.

"Banners paraded at the head of the procession showed the countries and peoples over which the triumph was being celebrated. They were as follows: Pontus, Armenia, Paphlagonia, Cappadocia, Media, Colchis, the Iberians, the Albanians, Syria, Cilicia, Mesopotamia, the inhabitants of Phoenican and Palestine, Judea, Arabia, and all the pirates who had been defeated on the land and at sea. In the course of these campaings he had captured at least 1, 000 strongholds, about 900 towns and cities, and 800 pirate ships, and had founded thirty-nine new colonies."

So, what did you accomplish by age forty?

1 comment:

Richard Fellows said...

I don't think Pompey's military victories can be described as achievements, at least in the possitive sense.

At the age of 25 he was given the cognomen "Magnus", probably because of his military conquests, and the name was confirmed by Sulla. This contrasts with the cases of name giving among the Christians in the NT. They were named for their benefactions and their protective roles in sustaining the church (Simon-Peter, Joseph-Barnabas, James-Oblias, Mary-Magdalene, Crispus-Sosthenes, Gaius-Titius-Justus-Stephanas, and probably others). These poeple were great. Pompey wasn't, I think.

John Chrysostom (who accepted that Sosthenes was Crispus renamed) would agree (see Homily on 1 Corinthains 10.8:

Richard Fellows