[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Sacrificing to standards

Date: Sun, 9 Mar 1997 06:58:28 +0100
From: Ian Hutchesson <mc2499@mclink.it>

Having talked to a few Roman scholars here in Rome, I receive the notion
that Roman legions sacrificing to their standards is not an idea accepted in
the realm of Roman history. I'm led to believe that the convenient idea
relating to the pesher Habakkuk is based on a series of coin interpretations
that could simply be wrong. However, I have not read the original article,
though everyone seems to take the notion as gospel. Even if the coin
interpretations are wrong, this wouldn't necessarily negate the ironic
situation that either the Habakkuk pesher writer or his informant was also
misinterpreting the information received.

There are a few things that make me want to know exactly where the original
interpretation comes from. After the Marian reform of the Roman army
structure, the use of the cavallery was reduced to minor importance. The
roman equites were done away with and the infantery became the solid core of
Roman military strategy, although the provincial cavallery was still used,
though nothing that would reflect the pHab "Kittim who trample the earth
with their horses and beasts". The "beasts" reference is particularly
interesting, making one think of elephants, which was clearly not part of
Roman strategy, though Hannibal did spend time in the Seleucid court,
linking such strategy to the Seleucids as seen in the death of Eleazar
Maccabaeus BJ I.I.5.

Any help on a source of the sacrificing to standards would be appreciated,
as would be any input on military tactics implied in pHab.


Ian Hutchesson