Friday, July 25, 2008

Suetonius regarding Tiberius and his inquisitions ...

"He abolished foreign cults, especially the Egyptian and the Jewish rites, compelling all who were addicted to such superstitions to burn their religious vestments and all their paraphernalia. Those of the Jews who were of military age he assigned to provinces of less healthy climate, ostensibly to serve in the army; the others of that same race or of similar beliefs he banished from the city, on pain of slavery for life if they did not obey. He banished the astrologers as well, but pardoned such as begged for indulgence and promised to give up their art." The Twelve Caesars, Tiberius.36.

This is interesting because the conflation of religion and race that characterizes modern Judaism is already prevalent. The Egyptian rites probably refer to Serapis. As part of this exercise, he banishes the astrologers also. It seems to me that the astrologers were banished many times, but it is hard to remember where all of the references might be. I find it interesting that the inquisition of later times seems to follow these pre-Christian patterns.

3 comments:

Bunc said...

Those pesky Astrolgers, it doesnt matter how many times you ban them they just keep turning up.

They even have the cheek to run regular astrology columns in many of our newspapers and magazines.

They are a damned nuisance. We must be long overdue a good episode of Astrologer cleansing.

Looney said...

Yes, it does seem that the ancient Romans would clear out the astrologers at least once a century, whether it was needed or not. Does England still have astrology columns in the newspapers?

Bunc said...

Mostly the more down market tabloids, also most of the womens magazines have "your stars" columns.
I of course wouldn't get out of bed in the morning unless my stars were propitious. They seldom are.