(Part 7b of the series: Crucifixion the Bodily Support)
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C. Justin Martyr on the Acuta Crux (Part 1)
C.1. The figure of the Stauros.
But in no instance, not even in any of those called sons of Jupiter, did they imitate the being staurow'ed [crucified, impaled]; for it was not understood by them, all the things said of it having been put symbolically. And this, as the prophet foretold, is the greatest symbol of His power and role; as is also proved by the things which fall under our observation. For consider all the things in the world, whether without this form they could be administered or have any community. For the sea is not traversed except that tropaion [cross] which is called a sail abide safe in the ship; and the earth is not ploughed without it: diggers and mechanics do not their work, except with tools which have this shape. And the human form differs from that of the irrational animals in nothing else than in its being erect and having the hands extended, and having on the face extending from the forehead what is called the nose, through which there is respiration for the living creature; and this shows no other form than that of the stauros [cross]. And so it was said by the prophet, The breath before our face is the Lord Christ. And the power of this form is shown by your own symbols on what are called vexilla [banners] and tropaia [trophies], with which all your state possessions are made, using these as the insignia of your power and government, even though you do so unwittingly. And with this form you consecrate the images of your emperors when they die, and you name them gods by inscriptions. Since, therefore, we have urged you both by reason and by an evident form, and to the utmost of our ability, we know that now we are blameless even though you disbelieve; for our part is done and finished.
Justin Martyr, I Apology 551, 2
|Roman Mosaic - Ship under sail with its 'tropaion' (mast under sail).|
|Trajan's Column with a cruciform tropaeum sculpted in it.|
The cape of the enemy armor looks like a sail.
1. Here, the stauros is compared to a ship's mast with its yardarm, which Justin Martyr here calls in his Greek a tropaion (Latin tropaeum) - a cruciform trophy. Artemidorus 3 has said before that being staurow'ed was fortuitous for those seafarers who go down to the sea in ships, since a sailing ship's mast with its yardarm was like a stauros, i.e., a utility pole. Since Hermes / Priapus was considered a god of seafarers, a wooden fascinus (a dildo used in this case to ward off evil, and not for sex) could have been mounted on the spar itself.
|Celtic plough - note the draft animal yoke and the spike.|
One is for pulling, the other for tearing up the earth.
2. He claims the ground cannot be ploughed without it. Well obviously a plough needs some kind of attachment for draft animals to pull the instrument along to disturb the ground. There is also something else needed to disturb the ground: a pointed pole or stake that can gouge out a furrow. Otherwise, the farmer's just wasting his time.
|Reproduction Roman plough without the yoke for the animals.|
|Note the spike on the same plough.|
But with this Roman plough one can clearly see that with a yoke or crossbar (iugum, furca, patibulum) added to the front end, the draft animals can very easily tear up the ground because of the horizontal point inserted below the surface. And THIS whole assembly is what Justin Martyr is calling a "tropaion," that is comparable to a stauros, which ploughs the ground!
|Roman blacksmiths - note the hammers.|
|Roman hammer found in Köln (Cologne), Germany.|
3. He then states that diggers and mechanics cannot do their work without tools fashioned in this the shape: a 'T' shape, like pickaxes and the above blacksmiths' tools.
|The Louvre, Paris: Depiction of Ganymede on an urn.|
3. Then he says the human form is of the like shape when a person stands upright with his arms extended straight out, similar to the Louvre's ancient urn painting of Ganymede above. He also says the nose looks like a stauros -- a cross (!). Usually it looks like a wedge, but when the lighting is right, one can discern an upside-down 'T' shape in its structure.
|Military parade showing the standards and vexilla.|
4. And here you can discern the CROSS shape of one kind of stauros as Justin Martyr claims in most of these Roman Military Standards and one of the vexilla, and the 'T' shape of another kind of stauros in the remainder.
|Artist's depiction of the wax image of Julius Caesar on a tropaeum.|
Pol du Closeau for Francesco Carotta, Jesus Was Caesar, ch. III "Crux", n. 157.
5. And finally, Justin Martyr, who is writing Antoninus Pius, says that with/on (Gk. epi [w/ dative], Lt. in [w/ ablative or accusative]) the form of the stauros the Romans themselves install and/or consecrate (Gk. anatithete, Lt. ponitis, consecratis) the images of their emperors at their funerals, and name them gods by inscriptions! Staring with, as Francesco Carotta has shown, following the lead of the late German theologian Ethelbert Stauffer, who demonstrated that the Passion liturgy was based on the ritual of Julius Caesar's funeral), that the Roman dictator, god and saviour, Gaius Julius Caesar was exhibited in imago on a cruciform tropaeum, while his own dead body was staurow'ed (fenced with poles, that is, wooden columns) in a bier constructed as a simulacrum of the Temple of Venus Genetrix.
And this last form of a cross is where the Christians got their crucifixion ideas and traditions from! As can be seen here:
|British Museum, Ivory relief of the Crucifiction.|
Francesco Carotta, Jesus Was Caesar, ch. III "Crux", n. 157.
Next, we'll look at Justin Martyr's I Apology 35, which depicts the Jews themselves staurow-ing (crucifying and / or impaling) Jesus and where Justin got this information from.
C.1.1. Greek and Latin Terminology.
1. anatithete (ἀνατίθετε, 2nd person plural indicative present active of ἀνατίθημι), "lay upon, put on, heap upon, make as an offering, set up as a votive gift, dedicate." Perseus Greek Word Study Tool.
2. consecratis (2nd pers. pl. indic. pres. act. of consecro), "dedicate, devote, offer as sacred, consecrate." Perseus Latin Word Study Tool.
3. epi (ἐπὶ), "on, upon;" when c. w/ dat. also: "in reference to, after,besides, with, in dependence on, according to," can indicate pregnant construction for example petontai ep' anthesin (πέτονται ἐπ᾽ ἄνθεσιν) "fly onto the flowers and settle there." Perseus Greek Word Study Tool.
4. fascinus, "charm, enchantment; hence, for membrum virile" (penis). Perseus Latin Word Study Tool.
5. furca, "fork, fork-shaped prop, pole or stake, a yoke." Perseus Latin Word Study Tool.
6. in, when c. w/ abl.: "in, within, on, upon, over," can indicate instrumental ablative for example in equo sedens "ride on horseback" and in hoc signo vinces "by this sign you will conquer;" when c. w/ acc.: "into, onto, to, toward, in," indicating pregnant constructions, for example: in custodiam habitus "thrown into prison and kept there." Perseus Latin Word Study Tool
7. iugum, "yoke, crossbeam." Perseus Latin Word Study Tool.
8. patibulum, "door bar, yoke, gibbet." Perseus Latin Word Study Tool.
9. ponitis (2nd pers. pl. indic. pres. act. of pono), "put, place, set, lay." Perseus Latin Word Study Tool.
10. stauros (σταυρός), "an upright pale, pole, crux, cross." Perseus Greek Word Study Tool.
11. staurow (σταυρόω), "fence with pales, pile drive, impale, crucify." Perseus Greek Word Study Tool, FdVR Post Σταυρόω.
12. tropaion (τρόπαιον) sg., tropaia (τρόπαια) pl. "trophy." Perseus Greek Word Study Tool.
13. vexilla "military ensigns, standards, banners, flags." Perseus Latin Word Study Tool.
C.1.2. Referenced Texts.
1. Justin Martyr, I Apology 55. (Documenta Catholica Omnia webpage, pp. 43 and 44 of PDF linked within)
Extant Greek Text:
'Αλλ' ουδαμού ουδ' επί τίνος των λεγομένων υιών του διός το σταυρωθηναι εμιμησαντο. Ου γαρ ενοείτο αυτοίς, συμβολικώς, ως προδεδηλωται, των εις τούτο ειρημένων πάντων λελεγμένων όπερ, ως προείπεν ο προφήτης,το μέγιστων συμβόλων της ισχύος και αρχής αυτού υπάρχει, ως και εκ των υπ' όψιν πιπτοντων δείκνυται. Κατανοήσατε γαρ πάντα τα εν τω κόσμω, ει άνευ του σχήματος τούτου διοικείται, η κοινωνίαν έχειν δύναται. Θάλασσα μεν γαρ ου τέμνεται, ην μη τούτο το τροπαίων, ο καλείται ιστίων, εν τη νχη σώον μείνη γη δε ουκ αρουται ενευ αυτού σκαπανείς δε την εργασίαν ου ποιούνται, ουδέ βαλαυσουργοί ομοίως, ει μη δια των το σχήμα τούτο σχοντων εργαλείων. Το δε ανθρωπείων σχήμα ουδενί άλλω των αλόγων ζώων διαφέρει, η τω ορθών τη είναι, και έκτασιν χειρών έχειν, και εν τω προσώπω από του μετωπίου τεταγμένων τον λεγόμενων μυξωθρα φέρειν, δι ου η τη αναπνοή εστί τω ζώω, και ουδέν άλλο δείκνυσιν η το σχήμα του σταυρού. Και δια του προφήτου δε ελέχθη ούτως "Πνεύμα προ προσώπου ημών, Χρήστος Κύριος." Και τα παρ' υμιν δε συμβολα την του σχηματος τουτου δυναμιν δηλοι 'λλωμεν και των τροπαιων δι' ων αι τε προσδοι υμων πανταχου γινονται' της αρχης και δυναμεως τα σημεια εν τουτοις δεικνυντες, ει και μη νοσυντες τουτο πραττετε. Kαι των παρ' υμίν αποθνησκόντων αυτοκρατόρων τας εικόνας επί τούτω τω σχημάτι ανατιθετε, και θεούς δια γραμμάτων επονουαζετε. Και δια λόγου συν και σχήματος του φαινομένου, όση δύναμης, προτρεψαμένοι υμάς ανεύθυνοι οίδαμεν λοιπόν όντες, καν υμείς απιστείτε το γαρ ημέτερον γέγονε και πεπεπενται.
Nota bene: αυτοκρατόρων τας εικόνας επί τούτω τω σχημάτι ανατιθετε (autokratôn tas eikónas epí toútw tw schêmáti anatithete) transliterates as: "of the autocrats the images you set up on* this form."
*alternatively "you consecrate with / upon." τούτω τω σχημάτι (toútw tw schêmáti) is dative of οὗτος ὁ σχῆμα (outos ó schêma). "this the schematic" Perseus Greek Word Study Tool Link 1, Link 2, Link 3.
Nusquam autem nec in ullo eorum, qui dieuntur, Jovis filiorum crucis supplicium imitati sunt. Neque enim illis in mentem venerat, eo quod non sine symbolis, ut demonstravimus, dicta fuerint, quaecunque dieta ea de re fuerant; quae quidem, ut supra dixit propheta, maximum est ejus potestatis et principatus signum, quemadmodum ex his etiam, quae sub aspectum cadunt, ostenditur. Intuemini enim animo quaecunque in mundo versantur, an sine hac figura administrari, et commercio inter se conjungi possint. Mare non scinditur, nisi tropaeum illud, quod dicitur velum, integrum in navi maneat. Terra vero absque eo non aratur; fossores opus non faciunt, nec manuarii pariter artifices nisi adhibitis hanc figuram praeferentibus instrumentis. Humana autem forma non alia re ab animantibus rationis expertibus differt, nisi quod erecta est, et extensionem manuum habet, et in vultu nasum a fronte prominentem gerit, qui et animali ad respirationem usui est, nec aliud quam crucis formam ostendit. Propheta quoque sic locutus est: 'Spiritus ante faciem nostram Christus Dominus'. Hujus etiam figurae vim declarant vexillorum apud vos et tropaeorum signa, quibuscum semper in publicum proceditis, ac in eis vestri imperii et potestatis insignia faciatis. Quin et morientium apud vos imperatorum imagines in hanc formam consecratis, eosque litteris inscriptis appellatis deos. Cum vos igitur et verbis et figurae omnibus conspicuae consideratione cohoriati pro viribus simus, nos deinceps extra culpam futuros novimus, etiamsi increduli maneatis. Quod enim in nobis situm erat, id perfectum et absolutum est.
Nota bene: imperatorum imagines in hanc formam consecratis transliterates as: "of the Emperors the images on (onto?) this figure you offer as sacred." The phrase in hanc formam is constructed in the in + accusative. Perseus Latin Word Study Tool Link 1, Link 2, Link 3.
Considerate omnia quae in mundo sunt, an sine signo hoc crucis gubernentur, aut possint praebere sui usum. Mare enim non scinditur, nisi tropaeum istud, quod malus appellatur, saluum in navi maneat. Terra non aratur sine eo. Fossores vero opusnon absoluunt, neque alii item operarii mechanici, nisi per instrumenta quae formam hanc referant. At humana figura non aliare belluis differt, quam quod, et recta sit, et manuum extensionem habeat et in facie a fronte protensum nasum per quem et respirato animalibus est, neq aliud demonstrat at quam signum hoc crucis. Sed et apud vos notae huius signi potentiam declarant: cum alia quaedam, tum tropaea, ob quae progressus et expeditiones ubique vobis fiunt imperii et potentiae signa in istis praeferentes, etsi ignorantes hoc factis. Et Imperatorum quiapud vos mortui sunt imagines in hac figura ponitis, et Deos per litteras appellatis.
3. Artemidorus, Oneirocritica 2.53.3:
Σταυροῦσθαι  πᾶσι μέν τοῖς ναυτιλλομένοις ἀγατόν καί γάρ ἐκ ξύλων καί ἥλων γέγονεν ὁ σταυρός ὡς καί τό πλοῖον, καί ή κατάρτιος αὐτοῦ ὁμοία ἐστί σταυρῷ
"Indeed for all those going to sea to be crucified  is auspicious, for even the cross [or pole] is made of timbers and nails like a boat, whose mast is similar to a cross [or pole]." Not a simple pole mind you, but a utility pole.