Sunday, November 21, 2004

more quotes

...since I don't have references, I can't guarrantee their authenticity...

I am no fan of JFK, but I found this quote 'bang on' with regards to current US foreign policy,
"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." (John F. Kennedy)

"When you dehumanize the "other", you dehumanize yourself. For, you can only be human, you can only be free ... together." (Archbishop Desmond Tutu)

"All that is required for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity." (Albert Einstein)

earliest surviving image of an Israelite

Obelisk of Shalmaneser III

Neo-Assyrian, 858-824 BCE
From Nimrud (ancient Kalhu), northern Iraq

The obelisk describes military achievements of this Assyrian king

The second register from the top includes the earliest surviving picture of an Israelite: the Biblical Jehu, king of Israel, brought or sent his tribute in around 841 BCE. Ahab, son of Omri, king of Israel, had lost his life in battle a few years previously, fighting against the king of Damascus at Ramoth-Gilead (I Kings xxii. 29-36). His second son (Joram) was succeeded by Jehu, a usurper, who broke the alliances with Phoenicia and Judah, and submitted to Assyria. The caption above the scene, written in Assyrian cuneiform, can be translated:

"The tribute of Jehu, son of Omri: I received from him silver, gold, a golden bowl, a golden vase with pointed bottom, golden tumblers, golden buckets, tin, a staff for a king [and] spears."

The archaeologist Henry Layard discovered this black limestone obelisk in 1846 during his excavations of the site of Kalhu, the ancient Assyrian capital. It was erected as a public monument in 825 BCE at a time of civil war. The relief sculptures glorify the achievements of King Shalmaneser III (reigned 858-824 BC) and his chief minister. It lists their military campaigns of thirty-one years and the tribute they exacted from their neighbours: including camels, monkeys, an elephant and a rhinoceros. Assyrian kings often collected exotic animals and plants as an expression of their power.

There are five scenes of tribute, each of which occupies four panels round the face of the obelisk and is identified by a line of cuneiform script above the panel. From top to bottom they are:
  • Sua of Gilzanu (in north-west Iran)
  • Jehu of Bit Omri (ancient northern Israel)
  • An unnamed ruler of Musri (probably Egypt)
  • Marduk-apil-usur of Suhi (middle Euphrates, Syria and Iraq
  • Qalparunda of Patin (Antakya region of Turkey)

Height: 197.85 cm Width: 45.08 cm
Excavated by A.H. Layard
ANE 118885 , Room 6, Assyrian sculpture

The Tomb of the biblical king Cyrus at Pasargadae

the tomb of king Cyrus

"O man, whoever you are and wherever you come from, for I know that you will come--I am Cyrus, son of Cambyses, who founded the Empire of the Persians and was king of the East. Do not grudge me this spot of earth which covers my body."
- Cyrus

This tomb of the great Persian ruler, Cyrus, was discovered in 1951 at the ruins of Pasargadae (south-central Iran). Over 2500 years old, the tomb is in decent condition, made of white limestone and stands a total of 36 feet high. The tomb itself is 18 feet high resting on a 6 level base, also 18 feet high. It was built like a Ziggurat with Ionian and Lydian features. There is a small entrance and double doors leading to a room with no windows which once contained the "golden sarcophagus" of Cyrus, it is now an empty shell. Five huge stones make up its roof, which was slanted (gabled) to shed heavy rains. These Nordic gables were the architectural style of lands far to the north. The inscription was seen and recorded by Plutarch in AD 90.

Cyrus II, the Great was the founder and ruler of the vast Persian Empire from 539 B.C. until his death in 530 B.C. Once Cyrus had defeated the Median king, Astyages and took Ecbatana he expanded his kingdom defeating Croesus, king of Lydia in 546 BC, and then conquered Babylon in 539 BC, and the Persian Empire was formed. He was a generous ruler allowing various captives to return to their homelands, as recorded on the Cyrus Cylinder. Xenophon, Nabonidus and many others gave Cyrus praise for his generous leadership.

The Decree of Cyrus - Judea had remained a Persian province for the next two hundred years until the time that the Bible records "the decree of Cyrus" giving permission to the Hebrew captives to go back to Jerusalem to rebuild their Temple. Much is mentioned about Cyrus in the Old Testament.

Isa 41:25; 44:28; 45:1-13; Ezra 1:1-11; 4:3-5; 2 Chron 36:22-23; Dan 1:21; 10:1.

archaeological evidence of Pontius Pilate

Pontius Pilate inscription
Caesarea, Israel, Pontius Pilate, (26-37 AD)
Limestone, inscribed 82.0 cm H, 65.0 cm W
Building Dedication 4 Lines of Writing (Latin)
Date of Discovery: 1961
Israel Museum (Jerusalem) AE 1963 no. 104

"In June 1961 Italian archaeologists led by Dr. Frova were excavating an ancient Roman amphitheatre near Caesarea-on-the-Sea (Maritima) and uncovered this interesting limestone block. On the face is a monumental inscription which is part of a larger dedication to Tiberius Caesar which clearly says that it was from 'Pontius Pilate, Prefect of Judea.'"

It reads as follows:

  • first line: TIBERIEUM
  • second line: (PON) TIUS
  • third line: (PRAEF) ECTUS IUDA (EAE)

"This is the only known occurrence of the name Pontius Pilate in any ancient inscription. Visitors to Caesarea's theater today see a replica, the original is in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. It is interesting as well that there have been a few bronze coins found that were struck form 29-32 AD by Pontius Pilate."

Historical information regarding Pontius Pilate is found in the New Testament, two Jewish writers: Josephus and Philo of Alexandria, as well as Tacitus. Flavius Josephus discusses in detail the career of Pilate. Tacitus, when speaking of the cruel punishments inflicted by Nero upon the Christians, tells us that Christ, from whom the name "Christian" was derived, was put to death when Tiberius was emperor by the procurator Pontius Pilate (Annals xv.44).