PLEASE SLOW DOWN

please-slow-down

 

WORDS AND MUSIC BY KEN AND CHAYA FINTON ©1998

 

Please, slow down.

You’re movin’ too fast,

I want my lovin’ slow,

make it last and last.

Lately I’ve been thinkin’,

everything’s too fast,

but when it comes to my lovin’,

make it last and last.

Please slow down.

You’re movin’ too fast,

I want my lovin’ slow,

make it last and last.

I’m tired of the fast lane,

and my color TV,

workin’ nine to five

with nothin’ in between.

Please slow down.

You’re movin’ too fast!

I want my lovin’ slow,

make it last and last.

And when I’m lookin’  for affection

I need your full attention,

’cause when it comes to my lovin’,

Honey,  please slow down.

Please slow down.

You’re movin’ too fast!

I want my lovin’ slow,

make it last and last.

GIVING THANKS TO TURKEYS

 

http://www.grist.org/article/food-2010-11-22-giving-thanks/N10/#comments

Nature is a puzzling mother. She imbues her children with a strong instinct for survival, but to do so they must prey upon and consume others. We will always fail when we try to embed human morality to the ways of nature. Nature is not human, though humans are a small part of nature.  We are not likely to change the fact that big fish eat small fish. “Eat and be eaten” is nature’s decree.

I think that in the long-term we might understand this better from physics and the idea of fusion. Fusion in the Sun creates the light and warmth that bath the Earth. Fusion is perhaps more than a combination of elements that destroy themselves to create something larger than themselves. Fusion creates the energy needed to make to universe itself work. Fusion must be an evolutionary process of building from the old to create the new. Fusion likely works its way down to predator and victim. From the consumed elements of another, life is born and maintained, then recycled once again.

Seven years ago I responded to this video about being thankful for our Thanksgiving turkey in a manner not unlike the views held by ancient native peoples who blessed their kill and reverently consumed the flesh. The argument turned into vegan vs non-vegan views, but is worth reviewing.  I am KHF333 in the below comments.

COW TO HUMAN

DRAWING BY ABRAHAM LINCOLN, GORDON, OHIO

 

KHF333 25 NOV 2010 7:54AM

What no one said but the woman in the video is that the turkey in the video has a purpose. It was raised to be slaughtered and then eaten. That was the purpose of its life. Had that purpose not been there, that turkey would not have lived at all! So is it a blessing for the turkey to experience a life it never would have had? Actually, I think it is.

John Carbonaro 25 NOV 2010 9:03AM @KHF333

That is what slave owners used to say to rationalize their procreation and self-serving ends. “A slave’s life is better than no life at all… I prefer this quote from a commenter:
“You believe that because we are in some sense responsible for the existence of certain animals, we have the right to treat them as a resource to be exploited (in this case, for their flesh).” Vegans believe that since they would not exist if not for our actions, we are ethically obligated to allow them to continue existing since they prefer life over
death. I feel an overwhelming ethical obligation to those individuals that already
exist. I feel no ethical obligation to those who will never exist.

KHF333 25 NOV 2010 3:58PM

Yeah, John, but there is a BIG difference. The commercial turkey is not a born wild bird. It was bred for the food chain. Nor do they have the kind of rationality that humans do, so comparing them with slaves is not a valid comparison. Nature has devised the system of the big fish eating the little fish. I doubt seriously if human compassion can ever turn this around. The vegan will not even eat fish or cheese… out of some incongruous respect for a nature that does not respect them. Nature is out to kill us, you know. It is the way it is. Mammals drink milk when they are infants and eat whatever their generic nature tells them is food.

John Carbonaro 25 NOV 2010 8:04PM @KHF333


Intelligence is not a criteria for making a decision about whether a being lives or dies, or it would be fine to consume infants and people in comas. The slave comparison is valid since you were specifically making the argument that serving a purpose to a group that exploits them gives them the reason for being in the world. Animals have their own purpose and right to fulfill their own meaning, and it isn’t for you to decide their ‘worth’.

There is no ‘food chain’ for humans. We decide what we are going to eat. “chain’ suggests a closed loop system. We are capable of making ethical decisions. That gives us freedom that most animals do not have. If a capacity for having morality makes the human race special or ‘bigger’ we should be using it to defer harm from innocents. We haven’t done a very good job of proving that we are competent to be considered integral to the earth.

You are just using ‘Nature’ to hide/fit in your actions into a convenient rationalization. Nature does a lot of things that we as humans would never do to others.

By your original statement, perhaps kittens and rabbits get a chance to be in the world because they serve a purpose for some humans-crush entertainment.

We don’t need ‘commercial’ animals to continue to be in the world . It would be just fine when the demand for flesh goes, so do those animal’s production

KHF333 @John Carbonaro

Because grazing animals and animal husbandry take so much space and cause such environmental harm, it may be on the way out of fashion in some areas of the world. As the ultimate predator, humans make most of the decisions about what survives and what does not. There is as much life in a carrot and a potato as there is in a cow and a turkey. To blindly hold ourselves up as more righteous than others because we only kill vegetables seems to me to be the ultimate in self-deception.

John Carbonaro 26 NOV 2010 10:31AM @KHF333
If you think there is as much life in a carrot/potato as a cow or turkey, there is no rational conversation to be had here. 
Instead of putting on an animal mask and playing ‘ultimate predator’, grow up and be the ultimate person you are capable of. Humans need not be ‘self-righteous’ when it comes to our behaviors towards the nonhuman animals that we share this planet with. There is no cosmic caste system.

KHF333 @John Carbonaro


I have lived a lot more years that you, John. I guarantee that. However, I think vegetarians are fooling themselves about the quality of life in vegetables and grains. Who are you to decide that one thing is more sacred than another. I, like nature before me, do not believe in the sacred or the profane. They are human values only. And all humans will never have the same values.

LTD_Farm 26 NOV 2010 8:53PM

I wanted to post a response to everyone… we are all life, and we need life to live. Vegan or other. Pick a life force well lived, loved and nourished to sustain yourself, whether it is animal or vegetable. Reverence for life is ultimately the most important thing in all our choices and how we live, but it all comes down to eating, since we must…. to continue living. Hard to sum up a total response to each person, but that is what it is all about it. Life needs life to live. How about that? Choose the best lives you can, and be thankful.

Fake meat is tasty, but can you tell me the resources needed to produce those items are more sustainable for the world than a turkey roaming a pasture? Each turkey (all 23 of them) living their life here is SO much better off than any thanksgiving bird that was served over this supposedly grateful holiday. They aren’t scared out of their minds being hauled away on trucks to a factory slaughterhouse. They die peacefully where they are comfortable at home. Just as many of us would like to die. I think a lot of the fear of facing where meat comes from is based on a fear of our own mortality. So if you could choose a peaceful death at home, you would right? No one will live forever. Our society despises that concept, and markets MANY products to you to keep you thinking that way. Life and Death, it is all one big circle we live in.

What we’re doing at LTD Farm is NOT growing a million animals to try to feed the world, we’re raising a few, for a few, making a small dent in animal consumption overall. We’re doing this because it is a way to do it much better than the factory farm setting. We supply our own, and our appreciative, conscious consumers. We are compassionate, sustainable carnivores. Don’t eat meat all the time. Eat it with gratitude and reverence when you do. Appreciate life in all it’s contexts. Be thoughtful about all the life it takes to sustain your own.

John Carbonaro 27 NOV 2010 6:31AM @LTD_Farm

“pick a life force”?? “reverence for all life”?? “we need life to live”??

“fear of facing where our meat comes from”? “die peacefully at home”??

All platitudes to support a business that is not necessary at all. You don’t have to pick factory farm or small farm. Both profit/prosper on unneeded harm to lives.

PLANTS ARE NOT SENTIENT, so there is much less harm than ‘choosing’ factory over small. You grow less plants directly feeding humans than feeding plants to animals that become food for humans.

The mindset that says that it is OK to eat animals makes animal ‘farming’ possible-factory size or small. THAT is where ‘meat’ comes from. It still amounts to propagating the myth about eating animals and using them ‘nicely”.

You have to make money and you are commodifying ‘love-as-welfare” as much as you are commodifying the lives you needlessly take.

I acknowledge my mortality, that is why I respect a being’s right to live in this world and not have their lives cut short because someone thinks that their flesh is tasty or off on some self-serving, free moral passageway fantasy that we are all ‘one’, that conveniently clouds our ethical responsibility to do no unnecessary harm to others.

Your farm isn’t ‘Living The Dream’… you are exploiting the fantasy.

LTD_Farm 27 NOV 2010 10:19AM @John Carbonaro

Without going through the harvesting experience yourself here on the farm it is impossible to really understand what is going on here. Discussions about this topic are very important but ultimately don’t seem to lead anywhere unless we are all open to having our preconceived notions challenged. A theoretical understanding of this issue is good, but the actual process is an entirely different thing. It’s like the difference between planning to build a house and actually building it.

It is possible to give thanks to something that doesn’t respond back, and it is possible that the animals are giving their lives over. We have the relationships with the animals so we know them best. Again, to actually be a part of the process is to begin to understand it. If you want to abstain from eating meat that is fine, but that doesn’t stop the millions of people on this planet from eating meat. Every customer who chooses to eat one of our our happy and healthy animals as opposed to a terrified, abused, and malnourished factory-farmed animal is making a decision to be part of a beautiful food relationship with the plants and animals of our farm as opposed to participating in the horrors of factory farming. We offer an alternative to “mainstream meat”, thus allowing a small fraction of animals on this planet good lives and a respectful end.

John, you obviously have some deep feelings about this and that is a good thing! But we feel that the “exploiting the fantasy” comment is not respectful at all, so we will limit any further responses to you.

To care for and have empathy for all animals is our goal as well. The difference is that we choose to look at them in practical terms as well as idealistic. It used to be that animals were essential to our survival. As we work toward self-sufficiency on the farm, we can clearly see that animals play a large part in our farm organism, and especially here in these northern climates, animals provide essential food for us over the winter months. If we couldn’t ship tomatoes and lettuce, not to mention olive oil and capers, from California, how would we eat sustainably here in Wisconsin? I can tell you how because we already do, if you are interested.

We continue to give thanks to the animals on our farm, for their beautiful lives and for the nourishment they provide, and we know they understand in some way.

KHF333

As we can see from the discussions above, there is no one morality that can fit all. Humans live in all kinds of conditions and form their viewpoints from a vast array of experiences and individual realities. Many of us would prefer to design a universe and nature with a different set of rules, if it were possible. We cannot all be sustained by light and water alone, as can some botanical entities. We cannot all be carnivores nor vegans. The instinct for survival, the customs we inherit from our culture, and changing economic realities all play a great part in forming our philosophies of coping and our personal ethics for dealing with our individual survival. My personal preference is toward the attitudes exhibited in the farm depicted in the video. Others obviously have differing opinions. The one thing honest thing that I have learned is to beware of those who think they have a monopoly on truth and morality, as truth and morality changes with circumstance.

travtastic 30 NOV 2010 7:33PM @KHF333:

As we can see from the discussions above, people holding different opinions does not imply that they are both right. You are just wrong. No offense, I’m sure you’re a pleasant enough person, but you’re just wrong.

KHF333  1 DEC 2010 9:50AM @travtastic

No one ever said life and nature were fair. I am wrong because I am not a vegan? The vast majority of the people in the world are not vegans, They are also wrong? I understand and even sympathize with the vegan feelings of compassion, but the world is not going to make an about-face because of a few. If people change their eating habits is will be because of economic pressures, not moral pressures, because moral arguments are something a farce. What people would do if they knew they would never get caught would truly surprise you.

John Carbonaro 27 NOV 2010 6:16PM @KHF333

Precisely the same arguments that Hitler used. And by your standards, you cannot judge him.

KHF333

HITLER? Come now. Find those words in Hitler’s writings or speeches. You cannot. You lie for convenience to make your point. I can understand your wanting to be a vegan. It serves you well. Preaching the vegan gospel is not really your forte. You are not balanced enough for honest debate. Example: Personally, I have a very shortened bowel and cannot digest most vegetables. They run right through me undigested. It gives me little sustenance. I could not sustain my body that way. By the same token, many vegans are lacking in necessary nutrients. You have to be very careful when you do not eat meat, as humans have developed a system that relies on animal and fish nutrients.

So nothing is as simple as you seem to want to make it. You are not superior to others because of that you eat, nor is your morality of a higher caliber. You are, however, right that the farming of animals is not good for the earth on the massive scale that presently exists. But then, nature has not exterminated humans in mass yet. A 100,000 years ago humans almost went extinct. If we pull nature out of balance, it surely will happen again

John Carbonaro 27 NOV 2010 10:03PM @KHF333

KHF33 said these gems :

* “..as truth and morality changes with circumstance”.

* “…I, like nature before me, do not believe in the sacred or the profane.”

* “..Nature is out to kill us..”

Here KHF33, read this, see your words from your various posts repeated, and also see how often Hitler comes up, then… ponder.

http://www.scottmsullivan.com/courses/relativism.pdf

KHF333  NOV 2010 9:25AM @John Carbonaro


Actually, that is a good article. I read it. It said nothing about Hitler. It is about moral relativism and makes some good points. However, moral absolutism absolutely has to fail. It cannot be a correct position since it does not allow for change and learning. That only leaves is with relativism. Like existence and spacetime itself, there is an inherent contradiction when all things are relative. Yet, this is the way it is. We must learn to swim in that ocean and still have strong enough beliefs and values to hold a culture together.

Meet James McWilliams, meat-industry defender—and aggrieved vegan?

http://www.grist.org/article/food-2010-12-08-james-mcwilliams-meat-industry-defender-and-aggrieved-vegan#c636753

KHF333 8 DEC 2010 10:59AM

The problem with the vegan moralistic argument is that there is no universally standard moral code. People do what they must to survive, including cannibalism if necessary. If the world adopts a vegan diet it will be due to economic necessity and not moral choice. If all life is all sacred, then so are germs and bugs and vegetables and wildlife as well as farmed animals. One cannot even breathe in air without killing and consuming something. The idea that there are levels of killing that are acceptable because these life forms are not capable of reasoning or moral choice is quite laughable. Only humans make these choices, and humans can run up against some pretty hard times when the only thing they have to eat is their own kind.

eriqa 8 DEC 2010 12:29PM @KHF333,

While that’s true, I know few vegans who labor under the illusion that it is possible to cause *no* suffering. Rather, they seek to reduce the suffering they cause to the greatest extent possible. Of course, the degree to which we can avoid causing suffering depends on circumstances (what philosophers call “moral luck”). A starving person has fewer options than the average middle-class Westerner. As you mentioned, there are some circumstances in which cannibalism is morally defensible. That doesn’t mean we should feel free to indulge in it in normal times. Relative morality is not necessarily meaningless.

As for McWilliams, perhaps he is going on some sort of Marxist “let the state destroy itself” crusade? More people are likely to find factory farming repugnant than small farms, so let’s eliminate the small farms so that people turn away from meat altogether?

Nah, too clever by half.

Ian Logsdon 9 DEC 2010 9:31AM @KHF333

I don’t know any vegans who assume the world will magically go vegan, we as a community are focused on outreach, on changing culture, only through this can our goals be achieved. There are schisms within the community itself, just look at vegetarian vs vegan infighting, or vegans sparring over honey, it’s a complicated, multifaceted world we live in, and none of the vegan people I know are naive enough not to acknowledge that.

That doesn’t mean we don’t have a moral responsibility to cease doing things we feel are wrong. My morality isn’t based on anything handed down, it was objectively derived from rational awareness of life, suffering, and the consequences of my actions. I believe all morality can be deduced rationally, and any morals that are not based on rational self-awareness are just fragments of ancient superstition handed down by those who seek to control others. Thus, I reject all morality but that which is most basic, do no harm, take nothing that is not yours.

But hey, I’m a far leftists with a penchant for Ayn Rand, so you’re gonna get some weird philosophy out of me ;).

KHF333 8 DEC 2010 5:35PM @eriqa


“Moral luck.” That’s a good one. I cannot say I have heard that before, but it is exactly what I was talking about. I don’t think most people really like the factory farm process… even those who work them. The small farm is a little better. The hunter is even closer to the kill. I do respect vegetarians, but, unfortunately, I cannot digest too many vegetables. The vegan philosophy, however, seems totally out of sync with the natural way of things to me. I cannot imagine a diet without cheese and fish. Nor do I understand what the objection to milk products could possibly be when we mammals are born to drink milk.

Toodleloo 8 DEC 2010 9:39PM @KHF333

Mammals are born to drink milk—the milk provided by their mother. Is dog milk, pig milk, cat milk, or horse milk a natural part of our diet? Most of us would be a bit disgusted by that prospect and it would be difficult to convince them that drinking it was essential for their health. Not so with cow’s milk. Believe me, for many Asian people not raised to drink cow’s milk, the prospect is just as revolting. In short, drinking another species’ milk is more cultural than it is natural.

KHF333 8 DEC 2010 10:14PM @Toodleloo

Many would find adults drinking human milk disgusting as well. Goat milk is regularly used by humans as well as cow milk. Cultural? Probably, but you have to stretch a point to call it disgusting. And these products make other fine foods and are ingredients in many nutritional products. It might be bad for those with lactose intolerance, but it is quite a stretch to label these products ‘unethical’ or unfit to eat. It has been human nature to keep milk cows or goats for their milk for hundreds of thousands of years. Suddenly, vegans know better? I think not. I prefer cat milk myself.

Toodleloo 8 DEC 2010 11:38PM @KHF333

I don’t wish to enter a long debate with you about the ethics of veganism. You either get it or you don’t.

That being said, I could defend quite a few unsavory acts (like war, rape, oppression, and slavery) by claiming that they have been part of human heritage for hundreds of thousands of years. I could even claim that they have some beneficial utility to the species. However, I don’t let ancient history determine my personal ethics. That seems like it would be an abdication of personal responsibility—and quite frankly, an excuse.

I know that change is unsettling to many people—especially when it involves broadening our definition of who is worthy of “rights.” However, the reality is that many people are living perfectly happy, healthy lives, from birth to death, as vegans and vegetarians. In doing so, they are making the world a more peaceful place.

You’ve attempted to discount veganism because you feel threatened by it. You even seem to be implying that eating meat is a matter of your own survival—likening it to cannibalism in dire scenarios. Killing sentient, intelligent individuals because I like the taste of their flesh isn’t necessary for my survival, so I choose not to.

KHF333 9 DEC 2010 10:49AM @Toodleloo

Good reply. But I am certainly not threatened by vegan ideas, I just do not agree with them. I have never abdicated what I consider my personal responsibility. However, I think burying good human meat could someday be considered a great waste of human resources. I am not about to eat my brother, but I am sure he would taste great if I did. What I do not GET with vegans is the fish and milk and egg taboo. It seems like right-to life-fanatics arguing about being human at the moment of conception and gets in the way of REAL reform of animal husbandry, which we all agree really sucks. Even the term animal husbandry is a sexist idea left over from ownership of the female. Most people have a VERY LONG WAY to go philosophically before they can grapple with such issues.

YB 9 DEC 2010 12:02PM @KHF333


I agree with your assessment about “animal husbandry” and wonder what solutions you, as meat eater, envision. I’m not trying to bait you; I think ANY progress in this arena is a GOOD idea. My point below about people who eat lamb should switch to puppies was intended to provoke discussion about the cultural decisions concerning what gets eaten as well. Just a point of information, though—all vegetarians eschew the eating of all “meat” which includes fish. Think of it as anything with a face. Vegans avoid the eating of animal products, such as eggs, dairy, honey, etc.

KHF333 10 DEC 2010 7:28AM @YB

I am glad there are vegans. It leaves all the more for me. ; )

I think most people understand vegetarianism. The vegans, though, have turned their diet into a religion. The result is that, as a religion, the vegan message has become like any other traditional religion based on half-truths, legends, and unproven beliefs. Vegans are true believers and their beliefs are no more true than any other set of beliefs. Vegans seem to consider themselves more moral with a higher calling that the rest of the world, which alienates 99.9% of the population immediately. Their spokespersons sound a bit like Scientology recruiters. They have failed to convince because they come across as believing themselves to be superior. Most people do not like that.

To most people, not eating honey, fish and eggs and animal products simply because they believe it to be immoral is truly hilarious and somewhat pitiful. These vegan ideas tend to take man OUT of nature instead of making man a part of nature. It is a separative philosophy instead of an inclusive one.

Humans have destroyed so many predators that it is necessary for our institutions to regulate hunting in order to cull animals and prevent overpopulation. Humans have taken a place at the top of the food chain and thus bears a moral responsibility for the welfare of those life forms that he has displaced. In upsetting the balance of nature, it is our humanistic duty to restore that balance. Most people can agree to o this kind of thought and attitude. Most people can accept the native American model of thankfulness to the tree for its shade and its wood for building and heat. This then becomes thankfulness and additional regulative and more humane spiritual care for those species raised by us for food or whose byproducts are used for human purposes. I think that is as much cooperation as a vegan is going to get from the world any time soon.

Ian Logsdon 10 DEC 2010 7:51AM @KHF333

“These vegan ideas tend to take man OUT of nature instead of making man a part of nature. It is a separative philosophy instead of an inclusive one.”

This is flawed logic, either there is morality, or there is not. Everyone can choose their own morals, but if you’re arguing laws of nature then might makes right and there is no right and wrong. Animals don’t trade, most don’t help the weakest amongst themselves, they don’t ask for consent to sexual conduct, they don’t have the foresight to see when they are over-consuming their food sources. Should we so limit ourselves because these behaviors are common?

If, on the other hand, you believe in some form of morality, then you are operating on an inherently judgmental framework. If you believe human lives are worthy of protection and not animals, isn’t it you who thinks you are superior? In my view, I would not treat any creature differently than my own family, as you cannot make suffering relative. Does that mean I have no impact? Of course not, the world is a chaotic place, as a Christian would say, no man is free from sin, but that doesn’t make the moral framework invalid.

You are creating a strawman of veganism, particularly since most of the vegans I know object to the fact that buying milk and eggs contributes to the suffering and death of animals, because our food system now is cruel to even those creatures who aren’t being consumed for meat. In reality, there isn’t much of a difference between the life of a chicken raised for meat and a chicken who lays eggs in a factory farm. The cows who provide much of the milk in America are just as mistreated as the ones that go to the slaughter. The only way to stop these practices is to stop funding them, if you pay someone for a product that was created unethically, the unethical behavior is your behavior.

I was a vegetarian for a long time before I became a vegan, and the only reason I was able to maintain that behavior, was I was lying to myself about the conditions animals are kept in.

KHF333 10 DEC 2010 8:38AM @Ian Logsdon

I understand and somewhat sympathize with that you say above. But you are still spouting the religion of veganism. Your beliefs and lifestyle are only made possible because you live in a time of plenty and a country blessed with enough to eat. You assume ALL animals suffer and are mistreated, which is not really the case. Do you really think the wild bird has an easier and happier time than the well treated domestics? Granted, there are bad farmers, but proper regulations and better technology could solve that problem.

You say either there is morality or there is not. This is not so. There are gradual levels in anything in nature. If this were true, then my answer would be that there is no morality, as it is a but a frail human conception and humans are real newcomers in the universe. But there are layers and levels in anything natural. There is at least the rudiments of human morality in the porpoise that brings people to shore and the whale and the elephant.

Instead of not eating eggs and honey you could have chosen to be a humane beekeeper or raise your own chickens in a ‘moral’ manner.

But that is not what you are actually objecting to, is it. You believe that keeping any animal is enslavement, yet their natural life in the wild and untamed world is so much harder and brutal that your values make very little real sense.

Ian Logsdon 10 DEC 2010 9:02AM @KHF333

You’re actually wrong, I am in the process of founding a community garden and one of the first things I want to do is establish an apiary. I am completely in favor of beekeeping (I eat honey, there is much disagreement about this in the vegan community), and when I move out of an apartment, I plan to have a chicken coop. I may not be able to call myself a vegan after that (I guess? Maybe I still will), the issue is that regulation right now is controlled by agencies dominated by industry insiders who care more about protecting the status quo. That is why I took myself out of participating in the industry. Even the term free range has a legalistic definition that has a huge range of implementations. The lack of transparency is a huge problem. As well, chicken waste in my state has caused massive environmental problems in the Chesapeake Bay, so participating has other externalities I don’t agree with as well.

Veganism isn’t black and white, and I have a “religion” or at least a belief system that is related to, but external from my dietary habits. I certainly agree that animals exhibit remarkable traits that include compassion, but that doesn’t make the law of nature argument more valid, animals engage in behavior humans would not, we should judge ourselves based on human standards. Morality is by nature, a human created concept, but I don’t think everyone has to follow my moral system. I certainly don’t think its my business to tell you what to do.

KHF333 10 DEC 2010 9:57AM @Ian Logsdon

Actually, I agree with much of that, Ian.

I especially agree that our system has gone off the rails, but I think there are better ways to get it back on track than denying yourself the foods that nature fully intended for you to eat. This self-denial works for some, I am sure, like Gandhi’s tactics worked for India.

After the big egg recall, California is developing much more humane and sanitary egg production. I will believe these animals raised especially for human purposes and use would not have existed without human carnivores and could easily live better lives that their wild counterparts with humane regulation and control.

I have very much enjoyed talking to vegans about their ideas, but I have a MAJOR suggestion. What has been described here is a strong moral repulsion to the way animals are raised and treated, enough to change their diets to express their non-support of that system. What this really amounts to is something we have already been through as a society. Vegans are following, perhaps unknowingly, the hippie age “TUNE IN, TURN ON, DROP OUT” ideas.

Those techniques did not really work then and they will not work now.

That hippie generation actually did effect world change, but only after they dropped the anti-society game and began to change the world from the inside. That is what needs to be done now. On local, state and federal levels we have to regulate and change the corporate food production system. We have to demand humane treatment for animals and have inspectors with some teeth. We need better laws. We have to buy and produce food locally.

We can start very locally and get interest in humane conditions brewing in our cities and counties and states. Changing the diet ONLY is the equivalent of ‘dropping out’. One can never effect injustice by dropping out of the game. Go ahead, be a vegan if you really believe that is the way to go, but you will not effect change for those animals you seek to protect by ignoring them completely as you are doing now. The change will come as a result of getting rid of the inhumane conditions that feed the majority of the world, whether or not one eats meat or eggs.

Remember, not enough people will ever change their diet to effect real world change, so vegans, unless they are especially active politically, will not improve these condition because they will never have the numbers to do so. They are simply contributing to the problem by dropping out of the race.

 

 

 

HOLDING A MIRROR TO THE SUN

SKULL

HOLDING A MIRROR TO THE SUN

(In memory of William Kenneth Finton)

Is it the ghost of him I see

in the restless dreamscapes of a hollow night?

The ghost of him … or my own flawed impressions?

Twenty years ago my world quaked violently

when he passed so suddenly

from our lives, so quickly there was barely time for tears.

A sudden shock … a stunning loss …

and life moved on without him.

With childhood’s end, the world could never be the same.

Twenty years … so long ago I barely recognize

that younger, wandering self.

Yet, in those silent dreamscapes of the night

he comes to visit still.

A near sighted old neighbor said

he saw him walking through the tall grasses

of the abandoned yard years after we left

the old Ohio homestead.

“Bunk,” I said, not prone to thoughts of spirits,

yet encounters of a kind have occurred

in the darkness of many a restless night since.

I remember those long evenings in the family home,

the easy chair whose arms

held up a crude wood shelf,

flowing over with papers and notes,

my father seated behind this rude table

in his oily green work suit,

lost from the present in the remote past of other peoples lives.

The black and white TV that connected us

with the world blared endlessly,

while mother ironed the clothes

and I shook my head in wonder.

How bored I liked to be on those

hot and muggy summer days when Dad’s idea

of a good time was to walk through silent graveyards,

writing the names from time-worn stones on yellow legal pads.

Yet, caught up in his enthusiasm,

I learned to hold a mirror to the sun,

reflecting shadows upon those faded letters.

Quite often we were rewarded

with a touch of heartfelt sentiment

inscribed upon the crumbling stone.

Often Saturday would find us in

some distant library, digging through

piles of dry old books of facts that smelled of yesteryear,

but all was not studious and dull escape.

All was not the dark, outmoded past,

as I feared in the leafy green and anxious days of youth…

the family trips brought new, inviting places we ran to once a year,

croquet with friends in the evening breezes of the green Ohio grass.

Is it the ghost of him I see

in the restless dreamscapes of a hollow night?

The ghost of him … or my own flawed impressions?

His choice in music bubbles through my mind.

His choice in pastime rumbles

through my mature years like the distant drone of a passing freight.

Through the years I’ve come to know him

more than yesterday, when I was but his child.

And most of all, I learned to hold a mirror to the sun.

© 1993 Kenneth Harper Finton

North Korean Water Park Fun

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Munsu+Water+Park/@39.0395952,125.7788709,1223m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m15!1m7!3m6!1s0x8c0296261b92a7f9:0xf336ec2818049b1a!2sPuerto+Rico!3b1!8m2!3d18.220833!4d-66.590149!3m6!1s0x357e0288fd25a6d3:0x18b5aa84806e657d!8m2!3d39.0395947!4d125.7810652!9m1!1b1

FinderScreenSnapz089

There is a water park in North Korea that can be seen on Google Maps called Munsu Water Park. It has reviews … and here are a few.  Very strange. These reviews must be satire. The reviewers have western names.

Hugh Lawlor

1 review

★★★★★ 3 months ago

Lovely place. I love the red water. The sharks following you on the water slides were a cool touch, although (sorry to moan) I would like my leg back please. I don’t know why I had to share the shower with a Kim lookalike…..bizarre to say the least, especially the soaping up

Tom

★★★★★ 3 months ago

Took the kids after the mornings great-leader-worship and boy was it worth it!  We got to go on all the latest rides like “Totalitarian Tidal Wave”, “Kim’s Big Kahuna”, “Dictator Deluge”, “Fascism Falls”, “Socialism Splash”, “Nuclear Niagara”, “Gulag Geyser”, “Red Rapids”, and “Wild Waterboarding”.  The reason for 4 stars instead of 5 is due to a beating I received when I stepped out of line for “Gulag Geyser”.  A 2 month forfeit of my family’s rations would have been MORE than sufficient.  To add insult to injury the idiot with the brass knuckles hit my glasses so now I have to wait for the great leader to materialize a pair with his sacred hands.  ANNOYING!  THEN, meanwhile, as I’m in the detention room for like 45 min, my son was considered orphaned and was shipped to a military camp.  Communication guys!  Other than that it was an enjoyable , family-based, water park, for which I now gladly owe my life and 2 generations of my family to the great supreme leader.  Re-visit likelihood: 8/10

Gavin Russell

13 reviews

★★★★★ 3 months ago

Our dear leader invented water parks just after he killed off the last of the dinosaurs (which he also invented). I loved the “die western pigs” Rapids! I thought the dead bodies we used instead of rubber rings was a nice touch. Daily executions by shark (also an invention by our dear leader) were fun to watch. I’ll definitely be back here! Siam park doesn’t come close.

Aiden Szostek

6 reviews

★★★★★ 2 weeks ago

Glorious leader needed a water park to rival the capitalists, he commissioned me to make the water park, adjacent the the dog of Weiner stand, for 3 days of hard fun labor, I finished and got meal’s for 5 days!

jel toko

6 reviews

★★★★★ 2 months ago

I definitely had a great time and enjoyed the water and all the slides a lot. Quite a shame I broke my neck and all of my toes when I flew out of the yellow “Seoul Supreme” slide, but medical support offered a few very rare bandaids and I’m okay now. I can’t move my neck though, but that’s fine. Had a great time and that’s all that matters!

 

kyle wiggington

Local Guide ·56 reviews·22 photos

★★★★★ a week ago

Loved coming here had some pretty sexy ladies there me and my boy kim jong hooked them up for later.

 

Mason Moore

1 review

★★★★★ a month ago

Beautiful Scenery. The daily fertility check is done while you are being waterboarded, very theme appropriate. The  ambiance is really boosted by the use of Gray and Gray. It was a creative color scheme that made it stick out as we trudged up the street, carrying the great officer’s wagon. Although we didn’t get to do anything, the slides sure were fun to look at. There were pictures of our great leader to stare at while our masters went down the slides. My wife tried to sneak onto the lazy river and was given a lethal injection. Very gentle security, when I screamed as my wife was murdered, they grabbed me by only one arm on my way to the firing squad. My last wish before death is to give this place a five star rating. Overall 11/10 Kid friendly and 60% Casualty rate for us peasants is a definite plus. Would go again if I wasn’t about to die for our great nation. This is Pyongyang Travel Guru, signing o– GACK!

Ethan Hunt

Local Guide ·79 reviews

★★★★★ 3 weeks ago

Amazing water park!

Despite the water’s greenish-yellow tint, and Kim Jong Un cutting in line all the time, it is a wonderful experience for all the family!

You may get shot a couple times by the guards, and may experience eternal bleeding, it’s all worth it.

THE BIG BANG EXPOSED

by Kenneth Harper Finton, ©2017

big bang

It is sound that causes a bang. Sound needs something through which to travel to be heard. There is no sound in the vacuum of space. Sound also needs a sense of hearing. Since none of these things were present for the Big Bang, we have to conclude that the Big Bang had no sound at all. It was neither a bang nor was it big.

The reason it was not big is simple. The Big Bang would have been everywhere because that is all that existed. The singularity from which it came was supposedly an infinitely dense single-dimensional point. Being unstable, we are told, it exploded violently.

Despite the anthropic descriptions we hear about universal theories, the appearance of infinite energy instantly occurred, without a sense of time, without a sense of space. The place it occurred had to be everywhere as that was all there was. Before that, no universe existed.

Existence is a strange and heady subject. To exist means to have objective reality or being, an actual being; it means being present in a particular situation or place. The word ‘exist’ was not even coined until the 17th-century and was likely an abbreviation of existence.

But if no universe existed before the Big Bang, then what was there? What was in its place when there was no place? Nothing? But nothing cannot exist because it has no being. The ‘it’ we seek cannot be anything.

Whatever it was, it did not exist because without objects it had no objective reality. An observer and an object for the observer to perceive is essential to objective reality. No thing can be present in a particular space or time without an object and an interaction [observer].

With no time or space into which a reality could be actuated, space would need to be created instantaneously for energy to have a place to go when it was released. The Big Bang explanation posits the expansion of the universe from a singular point. Space came into being as radiating objects that found dimensions to inhabit. Time came into being as these objects expanded outward in all directions, becoming vibrating strings that created virtual fields and brought to the observer a sense of duration in time.

And what of this observer?

What is the qualia of the observer? Observers are generally thought of as being people, but they can also be a system built from awareness. An observer is person or a system that observes.

The quality essential for observation is awareness.

Awareness must actually precede observation as awareness needs to be present for an observation to be recorded. Awareness comes before time, comes before space, comes before the universe, and comes before existence. Awareness without objects is similar to that proposed singularity from whence the universe sprang. It is present before anything is actualized into being is present without time and space as an eternal and infinite zero-point dimension from which the dreamscape of reality is constructed. All things are made manifest within eternal awareness, the essential foundation of all things.

I posit that all things are awareness in its myriads of localized forms. All things are formed and made of the eternal and non-material awareness which has always been present in the eternal now.

The one-dimensional point is where awareness identifies itself and gives birth to space by releasing universal fields where simultaneous events can occur—abstract fields of possibility. Actuality can be built, piece by piece, as awareness actuates universal mental conceptions that become the scope of our reality.

Assuming the Big Bang occurred, that which was initially released by the Big Bang would be an unformed virtual energy. Radiated energy is measured by the frequency of its vibrational waveforms. Virtual energy has no vibrational components, the first step to physical actuality.

Dimensional realities occur when the infinite becomes finite. When a dimensional limitation is placed upon virtual energy, vibrational fields are created. Because this occurs in the first-dimension, beyond and before space and time, mathematical patterns are created which nature can later emulate. These patterns last and sometimes repeat through eternity. They are precursors to the sense of time.

When virtual radiation slows to a vibrational state, a sense of time and duration is created. Since this radiation is awareness—as all things are composed of awareness in one of its many forms—the observing system can identify the frequency of these vibrations as an entity of substance. Awareness becomes aware of its own being, awakens from its great sleep, dreams of its own experience, and posits its own being into conceptual existence. Only then can nature begin the evolutionary process of universe building.

Seen from an infinite point, there is no time nor space in the lower first and second-dimensions. Everything existent is a part of an eternal now. Awareness, formed of its own being, creates time and space in localized pockets of consciousness. These local entities become networks that communicate and stores the information gleaned from observations.

Virtual radiation transforms into increasingly complex forms of light energy—like photons and cosmic rays—which vibrate in diverse patterns and frequencies as new dimensions are added to the primordial soup. The information recorded is encoded to become physical actualities.

Before spin and mass comes to exist, bosons—which have little or no spin and mass—crystalizes into the elemental hydrogen and helium as they pass through a universal Higgs field created by the timeless second-dimension which adds the spin and mass and begins the processes that form the great clouds of dense gases which fills the primitive universe. New dimensional senses evolve and come into existence. All the while, this new universe remains connected to the eternal awareness from which it was formed. Each new sense creates a different dimensional reality and adds additional limitations upon this eternal awareness.

We know nothing of these natural processes at the time of our birth.  Our personal selves are a very tiny part of the unconscious process that awareness develops. Our growth as a person follows the hereditary patterns laid out in our DNA. We are not conscious of the awareness behind our appearance in the universe. This awareness precedes consciousness and is lost in the misty visions of our personal identities. Our lives are similar to coming into the world in the middle of a motion picture we have never seen, except that we write the plot though our own free choices with the help and the hindrances of all the other playwrights that come to influence us.

We expand and extend our universe through consciousness. It is not that distant galaxies and black holes have no a priori existence of their own. They have an existence outside ourselves. The moon is present whether we see it or not. Our consciousness is like a moving snapshot of a moment in the now, different for everyone and every thing.

LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE MILKWEED

 

milkweed pod

Nature obviously has its own thoughts and ideas. Most of our own brilliant inventions are derived from observing nature in action. A simple walking through the fall landscape can bring us face-to-face with the brilliance of nature’s thoughts if we take the time to notice them.

Milkweed is the only food of the caterpillar for Monarch butterflies. It is an important 7459399-a-monarch-butterfly-on-a-milkweed-plantsource of nectar for bees and wasps and butterflies alike. How they propagate is not only worthy of our attention, but could be an essential clue to understanding the mind of nature itself.

The little brown seeds are enmeshed in light filaments of silky white hairs called coma that blow away in the wind to disperse and propagate new generations of the milkweed family.

Such revolutionary method for propagation has to develop from an idea in the mind of nature. Somehow, a genetic blueprint for this form of reproduction is developed and slowly revised over time. Due to the complexity of the parts of the plants involved, it makes sense to think of this natural process as an idea that is carefully nurtured and carried out by some natural thought pattern that regulates and develops the botanical universe. The common dandelion has a similar method of asexual reproductions the flowers turn to spore The offspring that grow from this method are genetically identical to the parent plant.

This milkweed floss is hollow and coated with wax, making very good for insulation properties.During World War II, milkweed floss was collected as a substitute for kapok. The milk in the milkweed contains 1 to 2% latex, but has not been widely used as a source for rubber of paint because other sources are more prevalent. The fibers are used to clean u oil spills. (Milkweed touted as oil-spill super-sucker — with butterfly benefits”. cbc.ca. 2 December 2014.)

Milkweed in the Asciepias species is the only food for the caterpillar of the Monarch butterfly. Preserving and growing milkweed is essential for the continuation of this beautiful insect.

Milkweed-in-seed2

GRAVITY SUCKS

Gravity scksSome years back, I believed that people  grew old and died because they became ill and their bodies deteriorated. As I age myself, I wonder if that is so. Cou
ld it be that people pass on because the world about them changes so much that they no longer feel attached to it? Can a person evolve to the point where withdrawing from the world seems the best logical choice? Does this changing of the world about us affect our consciousness and then our health? Does life culminate in the desire to no longer desire? Is death the natural end because we lose the desire and will to persist? Or is the will to persist yanked from us despite our rage against the darkness of the unknown night.

What is true for one might not be true for another. The sheer variety of humanity and the vast complexity of nature creates a different world for each entity that lives within it.

Inequality is everywhere because inequality is essential for movement. Inequality is gravity. It is that weak force that binds things together, feet to the earth and planets to the stars, friends to friends.

Each individual life is a cosmos unto itself.

As a young man, I easily saw the truth in the unity of all being but saw also that the world is a game of one-upsmanship. People compete to produce winners and losers. The world around us is stratified, socially and economically.

Social inequality is a constant, but nature demands a balance for stability. The highs must not be too high and the lows must not be too low.  When things are too far out of balance, they explode and gravity is overcome.

Gravity is the result of inequality. When things are equal, there is no push nor pull.

Each side of the equation is different, but the equality creates the balance.

For most of us living on Earth, there is nothing as fine as the era in time in which we now live. How could this not be so, when this time is all we have? Are we not practical? We cannot live in another era.

Yet, eras change, and change brings new actors to the stage, new athletes to the field. Soon enough, we barely know the rules of the game because it has changed so much.

We spend our lives speaking our lines and doing our work. We seek what makes us feel good—through pleasures, work, pastimes, and relationships. It becomes the driving factor that motivates and moves us.

It is movement that produces the gravity that keeps us centered enough to survive. We—like our Earth, our Sun, and our Galaxy—must evolve and revolve as we orbit around something much bigger than us. Heinlein wrote: “Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” Love is one of the gravitational anchors that hold us in place.

Health does get worse with time and wear. Physical strength does deteriorate. Passion itself takes a tumble with age. We know this is so. Yet, our fast-changing world can become so unfamiliar that we can easily become those Strangers in a Strange Land that we heard or read about years ago.

Heinlein’s character said: “Thinking doesn’t pay. It just makes you discontented with what you see around you.”  Time passes and consciousness is overloaded with evaluations and judgments made by past choices. It becomes harder to distinguish the winner from the loser when you know each all too well. We can become confused or dismayed about the directions our society and nations are going.

“Thou art god, I am god. All that groks is god,” Heinlein wrote.

Grok may be the only English word that is derived from a fictional Martian language. “Grok” was introduced in Robert A. Heinlein’s 1961 science fiction novel Stranger in a Strange Land. It means to understand fully and intuitively with empathy of intuition. It is hard to grow old and not see the reality of these observations. “Random chance is not a sufficient explanation of the Universe—in fact, random chance is not sufficient to explain random chance; the pot cannot hold itself.”

Everything living has a blind instinct to survive built into its system.

“The only religious opinion I feel sure of is this: self-awareness is not just a bunch of amino acids bumping together.”

― Robert A. HeinleinStranger in a Strange Land

PURLOINED

 

Out of nowhere, that unknown place where thoughts breed and memories thicken, a song keeps running through my head.  It is not a new song, but a simple old melody with quaint lyrics. Nor is this tune one that would ingratiatingly ingrain itself on a normal brain.  Yet it did—and all because to the word ‘purloined’.

THE DARING YOUNG MAN ON THE FLYING TRAPEZE

CHORUS: He’d fly through the air with the greatest of ease, that daring young man on the flying Trapeze. His movements were graceful, all girls he could please, and my love he purloined away.”

‘Purloin’ is a word you do not here often in the modern world. It means to underhandedly steal away. Though the root of the word has nothing to do with ‘loin’ in the erotic sense, the lyrics in the chorus insinuate a sexual arousal.

Once I was happy but now I’m forlorn

Like an old coat that is tattered and town

Left on this wide world to fret and to mourn,

Betrayed by a maid in her teens

Ah, yes, the proverbial maid in her teens—when hormones run rampant, passions soar, and common sense often flies into the stratosphere.  The maiden’s  curves and appeal are often the most voluptuous when she is in estrus, giving off the primitive scent of ovulation.

The girl that I loved she was handsome

I tried all I knew her to please

But I could not please her one quarter so well

Like that man on the Flying Trapeze

CHORUS:

He’d fly through the air with the greatest of ease

A daring young man on the flying Trapeze

His movements were graceful, all girls he could please

And my love he purloined away.

According to The Tin Pan Alley Song Encyclopedia, the 1868 song “The Daring Young Man On The Flying Trapeze” is “arguably the most famous circus song in American popular music”.

JULES LEOTARDThe song has a known history. It was about the exploits—sexual and artistic—of Jules Léotard, who developed the trapeze into an art form in the 1860s. He invented and popularized the one-piece athletic wear now called for him. The suit clearly displayed his underlying physique, a look that charmed women and inspired the song about purloined love.  The song was first published in 1867, words written by the British lyricist and singer George Leybourne, music by Gaston Lyle. Thomas Hischak says the song was first heard in American Vaudeville in the 1870s, where it was popularized by Johnny Allen.

Léotard, of course, invented the leotard. This simple one-piece garment allowed for the unrestricted movement which was so vital in his death-defying act. Later,  it would become standard wear for ballet dancers.

Léotard was paid a hundred and eighty pounds a week for his act, the equivalent of five thousand today, but died at age twenty-eight from an infectious disease and not from a fall.

Purloined in a lovely description for stealthy stealing. The end result of “purloin,” is that the object is gone, stolen, lifted, pilfered, embezzled, or pilfered or swiped. “but the style or manner of the crime varies with the term. They terms all have shades of meanings. “Pilfering” or “filching” is a hidden crime. A “heist” is a major theft that often involves George Clooney or Frank Sinatra.

One famous use of the word “purloin” is found in Edgar Allan Poe’s short story written in 1845, “The Purloined Letter”. It was one of three works that were forerunners to the modern detective story.  The Origin and Etymology of the word seems to be from Middle English, to put away, misappropriate, derived from the Anglo-French purluigner.

 

OF CLAUDIA AND PUDENS

 

EDITORIAL NOTE:  I produced, published, wrote and edited a historical and genealogical journal called The Plantagenet Connection between 1993 and 2003. This is a selection from Volume One. The journal is still available online in PDF form at http://www.theplantagenetconnection.com

 

CLAUDIA AND PUDENS

 

 

I have been checking into what might be the first documented marriage of a British royal with a Roman. The basis for this information is found in the works of the Roman poet Marcus Valerius Martialis (called Martial), the father of the epigram, born in Bibilis, Spain between 38 and 42 A.D. His first book of Spectacles was published around 80 A.D. His books of epigrams were published toward the end of the first century as well. We may safely assume that the epigrams were published in the order in which they were written, as the same names crop up over and over again and the subjects get older as the books continue. Martial was an immensely popular poet in his day. He insulted, ridiculed, and satirized the leading figures in Roman society. Though many of these folk are now unknown to us, they live on in his bawdy and irreverent epigrams through the ages.

Epigram 7.97: Martial sends one of his books to a friend in Umbria, the “fellow countryman (municeps) of his Aulus Pudens.”

Epigram 11.53: The poet asks how Claudia Rufina, “sprung from the painted Britons,” could have such graces and thanks the gods she has borne children “to her sainted husband,” and that she is awaiting so many sons and daughters-in-law. May she long enjoy her one husband, and the privileges belonging to the parent of three children.10 [“Although Claudia Rufina was born of the painted Britons, she has a Latin heart. How beautiful her form! Italian women would take her for a Roman; those of Attica for their own. You gods who have blessed her in the children she has born her sainted husband, grant also her hopes for sons-in-law and daughters-in-law. May she enjoy but a single husband and enjoy, always, her three sons.” Martial’s Egirgams, 11. 53.]

The question I am trying to solve is who is this British Claudia and who is this Pudens? Is the Claudia mentioned in the two above verses the same person? Anything other than circumstantial evidence is almost impossible. Claudia, in order to be so well-versed in Latin and in order to have the name of the former Emperor, is likely the daughter of a British king, probably King Cogidubnus, who took the name of Claudius, and who, according to Tacitus (Agric. 14), was made governor of certain states in Britain during the reign of Claudius. This accounts for his taking the names of that emperor, viz. Tiberius Claudius, by referring to the Roman custom of allowing freedmen, clients, and foreigners to take the names of their respective patrons.

He is the same person named on the inscription found at Chichester in 1723, an inscribed slab which created great interest when it was found. It was mutilated, but the inscription was restored by Roger Gale (Phil. Trans., No. 379), and informed us that a guild of workmen and their priests “dedicated, under the authority of King Tiberius Claudius Cogidubnus, the Legate of Augustus in Britain, a temple to Neptune and Minerva, for the safety of the divine house (i. e., the imperial family), Pudens, son of Pudentius, giving the site.”

Pudens is also called Aulus Pudens and simply Aulus in the epigrams. The name of Aulus, which is here given to Pudens, may perhaps justify the suspicion that there was some kind of connection between Martial’s Pudens and Aulus Plautius, the conqueror of Britain, and it may have been his connection with this early friend of Cogidubnus that pointed him out as a suitable person to be sent to the court of a British prince. If Aulus Pudens were married to the daughter of Cogidubnus, there could not have been a more suitable appointment.

Few women were named Claudia in the first century. One had to have a right to the name. It was the emperor’s appellation and there were laws and traditions governing the use of the name. For the name to crop up as part of the Roman congregation in the early apostolic church is quite significant. For Claudia and Pudens to be mentioned by Martial as being married and Claudia being from Britain is quite significant. For Aulus Pudens to have the name of the conqueror of Britain, Aulus Plautius, is also significant. There is a likely connection here.

Claudia’s contact with Plautius and his Christian wife would be quite likely, as Plautius was not only a victorious general, but relation to the emperor. Claudius’ first wife was his cousin. Claudia the Briton, as a Christian convert, would have sought out and worked with the other Christians in Rome and thus would have known of Plautius’ wife conversion even if she arrived after Pomponia was tried and secluded. Being the daughter of a British king, she could have lived in the home of Plautius and thus known his wife even in her seclusion

The future emperor Vespasian was in Britain with Claudius and Plautius during the invasion in 43 A.D. His brother Sabinus had a son named Titus Flavius Clemens, who married the niece of the emperor Domitian. Clemens was later the most illustrious of the Christian martyrs, both by birth and station. It appears that Pudens and Claudia took Paul’s message to the highest levels of Roman society.


COMMENT:

Mr. Finton,

There is no need to resurrect a nineteenth-century chestnut like Guest when there are more recent studies which bring to bear a rigorous approach to Flavian prosopography. Both Brian Jones’ Domitian and the Senatorial Order (Philadelphia, 1979) and Pat Southern’s Domitian (Bloomington, 1997) examine in detail the claim that Titus Flavius Clemens and Domitilla were executed for Christian beliefs and conclude that there is no serious evidence for such a claim. The report of the execution of Tiberius Flavius Clem- ens is more consistent with his association with the circle around the Emperor Titus’ mistress Bernice and those who favored a more moderate policy toward Jews in the aftermath of the crushing of the Jewish revolt of 66-70 AD. Domitian repudiated Titus’ more conciliatory policy and vigorously persecuted Jews, especially Roman and Hellenistic converts. The deaths of Titus Flavius Clemens and his wife occur in this context, probably because of their connection to pro-Jewish sympathizers in Rome (the likelihood that they themselves were Jewish converts is rather less).

The only Christian connection present was the fact that a piece of property owned by Domitilla became a Christian cemetery approximately two hundred years after her death.

The study of Roman history, and particularly the history of Roman Britain, has advanced rather a lot since Guest’s death in 1880. As I have said before, the existence of a scholarly literature helps to avoid reinventing the proverbial wheel (and elevating discredited antiquarian scholarship above its proper place).

Greg Rose, University of Mississippi


COMMENT:

Greg,

I wouldn’t automatically discount the importance or the continued significance of the 19th-century research. I have recently been doing some Ptolemaic studies, where there has been an enormous amount of prosographical data and research published this century. Yet an important inscription in a highly visible place––the pylons of the Temple of Edfu––published in 1870 and at the centre of a major controversy ever since, was not re-examined till 1988. I myself have found a key issue related to my research which has not been addressed since 1899.

Chris Bennett


Editorial Reply:

I have examined these references and find little detail in their conclusions. They have simply dismissed the possibility that Clemens could have been a Christian.

As editor of The Plantagenet Connection, people send me this kind of material quite often. The belief that Clemens was a Christian martyr still prevails in the genealogical community which takes information found in old texts at face value. It is pleasant to finally be able to come to an understanding of these issues, one by one, and confidently refute or support the data by later research. Libraries hold far more older works than newer works and the public perceptions are often a hundred years off.

I am looking for one simple thing here:

Martial, a Roman contemporary poet, wrote verses to Pudens and referred to his wife Claudia as a painted Britain. Timothy 4:12 mentions both Pudens and Claudia as members of the early congregation of the church of Rome.

The only question for the moment is: “are these the same people?”

Guest’s suggestion (and my contribution) is that a British woman could not be named Claudia unless she was a client of the emperor and this identifies Claudia as the daughter of the British King Cogidnu- bus mentioned by Tacitus.

For us to believe that there were two people named Claudia, both married to a Pudens, both of British descent, and both friends of Martial certainly stretches the imagination. Thus, I believe that the Claudia and Pudens mentioned in Timothy were indeed the same people that Martial knew

Therefore, we seem to have documented evidence of the daughter of a British king marrying a Roman in the first century and becoming a Christian. Further, other epigrams addressed to Pudens place him in a northern territory (probably Britain) and identify him with Aulus Plautius (as he wears the name Aulus as well). Since Plautius’ wife was a Christian, we can assume that Claudia came to Rome and learned the Christian beliefs from her teachers. Further, the inscription of the temple to Cogidubnus says that Pudens gave the land, so we can safely assume that he originally obtained it in some manner.

Greg Rose wrote: “The deaths of Titus Flavius Clemens and his wife occur in this context, probably because of their connection to pro-Jewish sympathizers in Rome (the likelihood that they themselves were Jewish converts is rather less). The only Christian connection present was the fact that a piece of property owned by Domitil- la became a Christian cemetery approximately two hundred years after her death.”

This Christian cemetery was not only owned by Domitilla, it was named for her. Flavia Domitilla was the daughter of the Emperor Domitian’s sister and the wife of T. Flavius Clemens. That she owned and donated land for a Christian cemetery is a clue of their Christian leanings. It still exists and is called the cemetery of Domitilla to this day! “Already in the end of the first century, we can see in the gallery of the Flavians in the cemetery of Domitilla, Daniel in the den of lions.”  (1)

The Christians of this era, though distinct from the Jews, were regarded by the Romans (and possibly even themselves) as a Jewish sect. When the Romans spoke of banishing the Jews or persecuting Jew- ish converts, they were speaking of this sect of chrestiani. (2)

Besides the documentation of the British marriage to a Roman, we have evidence of Christian conversions within high levels of the Roman aristocracy in the first century. Another pagan witness named Thallus confirms the penetration of Christian ideas into high Roman circles as early as 40 AD.  (3)

When Claudius expelled the Jews, he was expelling the Christians. They were not yet differentiated from the Jews. The exact phrasing of Suetonius was: “He [Claudius] expelled from Rome the Jews who, led by Christ, were the cause of continual agitations.”


COMMENT:

Chris,

I was not rejecting all nineteenth-century scholarship (which is the reason I characterized the Guest work as a “chestnut” and referred explicitly to discredited nineteenth-century scholarship), but rather Guest’s work. Clearly, there is nineteenth- century scholarship which can and should be read

with profit by scholars today ––almost anything written by Kemble or Sievers comes immediately to mind as examples. However, in the field of Roman British studies, Guest has long been ren- dered unimportant by methodological and source advances––Guest did not have the treasure-trove of the RIB to mine for prosopographical evidence, nor could he benefit from modern, scientific ar- chaeology’s contributions.

Greg Rose


COMMENT:

Mr. Finton,

There are good reasons for rejecting Guest’s contentions out of hand, as examination of his own arguments suggest. There is no evidence whatsoever that Cogidnubus had a daughter. This is purely speculation by Guest. Note the use of “if”, “may”, “would” –– this is indicative of just how uncertain Guest’s speculations are.

Guest’s contention here is simply a confession of his ignorance. Prosopographical and epigraphical studies have enormously advanced our understanding of first-century onomastic practices. The name “Claudia” is seen in inscriptions of imperial freed women as well as woman granted citizenship during the reign of Claudius. The name is not rare at all in the first century as epigraphic evidence made available by archaeology in the twentieth century demonstrates. The suggestion that the shared nomen “Aulus” is significant ignores the fact that the cognomen “Pudens” (meaning literally shaming) is associated with servile origin. Aulus Pudens was almost certainly a freedman––possibly associated with Aulus Plautius, but by no means necessarily so. Martial’s Claudia is likely of freedman origin as well on the basis of epigraphic evidence.

There is no evidence that the wife of Aulus Plautius was a Christian. This is purely a speculation. BTW, have you left something out of the quotation from Guest? Is he seriously suggesting that the Emperor Claudius was a Christian convert? That would be absurd.


Editorial Reply:

This question has been studied and argued since 1650 when James Ussher—archbishop in Ireland and a prolific theologian, whose rare books are scattered still across the world––began to argue this connection. Yet, these epigrams were written over a lifetime and the poet Martial’s writing days must have begun around age 30 or so––with some of the bawdy content, perhaps even an earlier age. He was an immensely popular poet, the Don Rickles of his day, insulting and pointing out the foibles in the cream of Roman society with poems long before committing them to book form. Perhaps he started writing these around 50 to 60 A.D. The fact that they were not published in book form until around 80 to 100 A.D. is not significant. This observation has not been argued in this century.

So far as prosopographical evidence is concerned, I have checked the Prosopographia Imperii Romani, which covers first-century Rome. (4)  The work stops at the letter “O”. Seventy-three women named Claudia are listed, only one of them a foreigner from Britain.

The two most important epigrams are these: Epigram 4.13: Martial, in an epigram addressed to Rufus, celebrates the marriage of his Pudens’ to the “foreigner Claudia.”

Book IV, XIII:

CLAUDIA, Rufe, meo nubit Peregrina Pudenti: macte esto taedis, O Hyrnenaee, tuis. tam bene rara suo miscentur cinnama nardo, Massica Theseis tam bene vina favis;nee melius teneris iunguntur vitibus ulmi, nec plus lotos aquas, litora myrtus amat. candida perpetuo reside, Concordia, lecto, tamque pari semper sit Venus acqua iugo: diligat illa senem quondam, sed et ipsa marito tum quoque, cum fuerit, non videatur anus.

XIII: “Claudia Perigrina [foreigner], Rufus, weds my Pudens: O Hymenaeus, bless the torches! Such a union precious cinnamon makes with nard; such, Massic wine with honey from the land of Theseus. The elms do not join the vines in closer love, not the lotus its water, not the myrtle its banks. O Concord! be the perpetual guardian of that bed; and may Venus be generous in equal bounty. May the wife cherish her husband, even when he becomes gray, and she when she is old, appear still young.” Epigrams 4.13.]

Not anyone can wear the emperor’s name. Claudia was not the common name that it is today. One must assume she is a client of the emperor and wonder if she is a foreigner where she is from. 11:53 answers that question:

Book I, LIII:

Claudia caeruleis cum sit Rufina Britannis edita, quam Latiae pectora gentis habet! quale decus formae! Romanam credere matres Italides possunt, Atthides esse suam. Di bene quod sancto peperit fecunda marito, quod sperat generos quodque puella nurus. Sic placeat superis ut coniuge gaudeat uno et semper natis gaudeat illa tribus.

LIII: translation

“Although Claudia Rufina was born of the blue-eyed Britons, she has a Latin heart. How beautiful her form! Italian women would take her for a Roman; those of Attica for their own. You gods who have blessed her in the children she has born her sainted husband, grant also her hopesfor sons-in-law and daughters-in-law. May she enjoy but a single husband and enjoy, always, her three sons.”

In order for Claudia to be born of the painted Britons and be in Rome, well- versed in Latin and Greek and the graces of culture, she had to come from a very high  station, which explains her name. The British King Cogidubnus took the name Tiberius Claudius Cogidubnus and, according to tradition, his daughter would be named Claudia. In my view, this is why Claudia was in Rome and she WAS his daughter.

How did Pudens meet Martial? He is referred to early in the books at a much younger age as being in line for a promo- tion:

Book I, XXXI:

Hos tibi, Phoebe, vovet totos a vertice crines Encolpos, domini centurionis amor, grata Pudens meriti tulerit cum praemia pili. quam primum longas, Phoebe, recide comas, dum nulla teneri sordent lanugine voltus dumque decent fusae lactea colla iubae; utque tuis longum dominnsque puerque fruantur- muneribus, tonsum fac cite, sero virum.

XXXI

THESE, all the tresses from his head, Encolpus, the darling of his master the cen- turion, vows, Phoebus, to thee, when Pudens shall bring home the glad guerdon of his merit, a chief centurion’s rank. Sever, Phoebus, with all speed these long locks while his soft cheeks are darkened not with any down, and while tumbled curls grace iris milk-white neck; and, so that; both master and boy may long enjoy thy gifts, make him soon shorn, but a man late!

Encolpus vows to shave his locks when Pudens is promoted. In Book 5.48, this pact is fulfilled:“What does love compel? Encolpos has shorn his locks against his master’s will, yet not forbidden. Pudens allowed it and wept: [E. had dedicated his long hair to Phoebus if his master Pudens became first centurion (primi pali) and now proceeds to fulfill that vow] in such a wise did his sire yield the reins, sighing at Pantheon’s boldness [helios, the sun, allowed Pantheon to drive his chariot]; so fair was ravished Hylas [a beautiful youth drawn under the water by the enamored Nymphus], so fair discovered Achilles [who had been hidden by Thetis in wom-en’s clothes to prevent him from going to the  Trojan  War,  an  early  incident  of pacifism], when amid his mother’s tears and joy he laid aside his locks. Yet haste not thou, O beard [he is not yet a man]––trust  not  those  shortened  tresses––and spring slow in return for sacrifice so great!”

Epigram 4.29 is addressed to Pudens: “Dear Pudens, their very number hampers my poems, and volume after volume wearies and sates the reader. Rare things please one; so greater charm belongs to early apples, so winter roses win value; so her pride commends a mistress who pillages you, and a door, always open holds no fast lover. Oftener Persius wins credit in a single book than trivial Marsus [another epigrammatic poet who wrote an epic on the Amazons] in his whole Amaxonid. Do you think, too, whatever of my books you read again, think that it is the only one: so ’twill be to you of fuller worth.”

In Book 6.58, Pudens wears the first name of Aulus, the same as Aulus Plautius, conqueror or Britain who had the Christian wife. Pudens was stationed in a far northern post that seems to have been Britain, so the tie can be made to the Chichester tablet where Pudens’ name was impressed.

Book 6, LVIII:

CERNERE Parrhasios dum te iuvat, Aule, triones comminus et Getici sidera pigra poli, o quam pacne tibi Stygias ego raptus ad undas Elysiae vidi nubila fusca plagae! quamvis lassa tuos quaerebant lumina vultus atque erat in gelido plurimus ore Pudens. si mihi lanificae ducunt non pulla sorores stamina nec surdos vox habet ista deos, sospite me sospes Latias reveheris ad urbes et referes pili praemia clarus eques.

LVIII:

“WHILE it pleased you, Aulus, to survey anear the Northern Bears and the slow- wheeling stars of Getic heavens, oh, how nearly was I snatched away from you to the waves of Styx, and viewed the gloomy clouds of the Elysian plain! Weary as they were, my eyes searched for your face, and on my chill lips oft was Pudens’ name. If the wool-working Sisters draw not my threads of sable hue [i.e., grant me longer life], and this my prayer find not the gods deaf, I shall be safe, and you shall safe return to Latin cities and bring back a chief centurion’s honour, an illustrious knight withal.”

Epigram 7.11: “You compell me to correct my poems with my own hands and pen, Pudens. Oh, how overmuch you approve and love my work who wish to have my trifles in autograph.”

Epigram 7.97 is addressed to Aulus Pu- dens:

Book VII, XCVII:

Nosti si bene Caesium, libelle, montanae decus Umbriae Sabinum, Auli municipem mei Pudentis, illi tu dabis haec vel occupato. instent mille licet premantque curae, nostris carminibus tamen vacabit. nzm me diligit ille proximumque Turni nobilibus legit libellis. o quantum tibi norrlinis paratur! o quae gloria! quanl frequens amator; te convivia, te forum sonabit aedes compita porticus tabernae. uni mitteris, omnibus legeris.

XCVII: translation

“If you know well, little book, Caesius Sabinus, the pride of hilly Umbria, fel- low-townsman of my Aulus Pudens, you will give him these, though he be engaged. Though a thousand duties press on and distract him, yet he will be at leisure for my poems. For he loves me, and, next to Turnus’ famous satires, reads me. Oh, what a reputation is being stored up for you! Oh, what glory! How many an admirer! With you banquets, with you the forum will echo, houses, by-ways, colonnades, bookshops! You are being sent to one, by all will you be read.”

The other epigrams are these:

Epigram. 13.69: The poet never gets any cattae from Umbria; Pudens prefers sending them to his Lord.

Besides these epigrams, there are seven addressed by Martial to one Aulus, who is likely the same person as Aulus Pudens:

Epigram 5.28: Never Aulus, whatever your conduct be, can you make Mamercus speak well of you, even though you surpassed the whole world in piety, peacefulness, courtesy, probity, justice, flow of language, and facetiousness––no one can please him.

Epigram 6.78: The physician, Aulus, told Phryx, the noble toper, he would lose his eyesight if he drank. Eye, fare well (farewell), said Phryx; he drank and lost his sight.

Epigram 7.14: A coarse epigram on a woman––one of Martial’s acquaintances.

Epigram 11.38: Aulus! Do you wonder why a certain slave was sold for so large a sum? The man was deaf––that is, could not play the eaves-dropper on his master.

Epigram 12.51: Aulus, why do you wonder that “our Fabullinus” is so often deceived? A good man is always a tiro.

Martial also wrote nine epigrams ad- dressed to Fabullus. He seems to have been one of the Martial’s intimate friends, but was ill-regarded with no great respect or affection.

Greg Rose wrote: “There is no evidence whatsoever that Cogidnubus had a daugh- ter. This is purely speculation by Guest. Note the use of “if”, “may”, “would”––this is indicative of just how uncertain Guest’s speculations are.”

The only mention of Cogidnubus was in Tacitus, so there is no evidence of any children, yet kings had children with regularity. The evidence is in the existence of Claudia the painted Briton in Martial’s epigram. For those remote times it is as good as a birth certificate. If we are open about this, the answer is evident. Who else could it possibly be? What other British woman who spoke Latin and Greek like a native and had the manners of a queen could Claudia be? How else would this Briton wear the proud name of Claudia? How many of the women named Claudia in Rome were born of the “blue-eyed Britons” and spoke fluent Latin and Greek. Remember that Cogidnubus was made king right after the Roman invasion. Before that time, his daughter would not have known Latin and Greek, nor had Roman manners. Nor would have anyone else the island. It would take until 60-65 AD for such learning to occur. Reason tells me there was only one Briton named Claudia. Who else could she be other than Tiberius Claudius Cogidubnus’ daughter? Who can name one more candidate?

Greg Rose wrote: “Aulus Pudens was almost certainly a freedman––possibly as- sociated with Aulus Plautius, but by no means necessarily so. Martial’s Claudia is likely of freedman origin as well on the basis of epigraphic evidence.”

What epigraphic evidence? And I agree that Aulus Pudens was associated with Aulus Plautius, but I would eliminate the “not necessarily so.”

Greg Rose wrote: There is no evidence that the wife of Aulus Plautius was a Christian. This is purely a speculation. By the way, have you left something out of the quotation from Guest? Is he seriously suggesting that the Emperor Claudius was a Christian  convert? That  would  be absurd.”

No, he was not arguing that Claudius was a Christian convert, but Aulus Plautius had a cousin who was one of the wives of Claudius. Plautius and Claudius had a family relationship. Claudius’ first wife was Plautia Urguanilla, who bore him a daughter named Claudia Antonia, born 27 A.D., died 66 A.D., and a son named Drusus. Plautia was a cousin of Plautius. Young Drusus choked to death when he threw a pear in the air and tried to catch it with his mouth. Claudius later divorced Plautia for adultery and supposedly for murder as well, but no one knows whom she was supposed to have murdered. [Suetonius, Claudius.26.]

The conqueror of Britain, Plautius, had a Christian wife. Her name was Pomponia Graecina. She was charged with “some foreign superstition when Plautius returned to Rome. The trial was recorded by Tacitus and took place in 57 A.D. She was handed over to her husband for judicial decision. He found that she was “innocent,” but she remained in seclusion the rest of her life. [The Annals, Tacitus 13:32.]

What other “foreign superstition” would she be charged witch if not Christianity? We must be open about this. Only when we recognize the truth in the pieces does the puzzle fit together.

There are Christian inscriptions of a Pomponius Graecinus at the end of the second or the beginning of the third cen- tury and several of Pomponii Bassi. (5} Plautius, a consul whose cousin espoused the Emperor Claudius, had become suspect because she led a life which was too austere in the eyes of those in her circle and has been accused of ‘foreign superstition.’” (6)

Mr. Finton,

The problem is one of interpretation of the evidence and distinguishing between evidence and speculation.

You wrote: “Remember, not anyone can wear the emperor’s name. Claudia was not the common name that it is today. One must assume she is a patron of the emperor and wonder if she is a foreigner where she is from. 11:33 answers that question.”

This completely misrepresents the onomastic situation. Every imperial freedman freed during the reign of Claudius could take the Claudian nomen (and every freed woman the Claudian praenomen), as could their descendants, as well as any person granted citizenship during the reign of Claudius (which is the only way Cogidubnus could hold the Claudian nomen), and their descendants. The same is true for every freedman and freed woman of any member of the Gens Claudia and their descendants. For the rules of Roman name formation, look at Bruno Doer’s Der Ro- mische Namengebung: ein Historischer Versuch (Hildesheim, 1974). For the onomastic practices and social and political roles of imperial freedmen (and their numbers), see Gerard Boulert’s Esclaves et affranchis imperiaux sous Haut-Empire (Naples, 1970), P.R.C. Weaver’s Familia Cae- saris: a Social Study of the Emperor’s Freedmen and Slaves (Cambridge, 1972), and W. Eck’s and

J. Heinrichs’ Sklaven und Freiglassene in der Ge- sellschaft der Romischer Kaiserzeit (Darmstadt, 1993).

You wrote: “In order for Claudia to be born of the painted Britons and be in Rome, well-versed in Latin and Greek and the graces of culture, she had to come from a high station, which explains her name. The British King Cogidubnus took the name Tiberius Claudius Cogidubnus and, according to tradition, his daughter would be named Claudia. In my view, this is why Claudia was in Rome and she WAS his daughter.”

I defy you to show a single piece of evidence which suggests that Cogidubnus fathered any daughters, much less one who was spirited off to Rome. Why is it not equally possible for Claudia to have been an imperial slave from Britannia lat- er freed, or the daughter of a Claudian imperial freedman? High levels of literacy and cultural at- tainment are certainly not unknown among Julio- Claudian and Flavian imperial slaves and freedmen/women. Why does Claudia have to be the daughter of a British king? Just because you want it to be?

You wrote: “How did Pudens meet Martial? He is referred to early in the books at a much younger age as being in line for a promotion.”

A primus pilus––the first centurion of a legion––was of no more than Equestrian rank (if that, since promotion was from the ranks). This is attested by virtually all of the first century AD epigraphic evidence. This makes it unlikely that the Aulus Pudens of Martial was a close relative of Aulus Plautius (he would have been, then, Senatorial or Equestrian by birth and would have entered legionary service as a military tribune, not as a ranker). Pudens and its related forms is not quite so rare a name as you appear to think––there are at least six inscriptions with this cognomen prior to 114 AD and the wife of Lucius Apuleius was styled Aemilia (the feminine diminutive form of Pudens, entis). The supposed link between Aulus Pudens and Aulus Plautius is weakened by the fact that the senatorial Aulus family was of Picentine origin (there was an Aulus among the clientes of Pompey Strabo, the father of Pompey the Great), while Martial clearly indicates that Aulus Pudens was Umbrian (Epigram 7.97). This increases the probability that Aulus Pudens was the descendant of an Aulan client (probably a freedman) rather than a relative of Aulus Plautius.

You wrote: “In Book 6.58, Pudens wears the first name of Aulus, the same as Aulus Plautius, conqueror or Britain who had the Christian wife. Pudens was stationed in a far northern post that seems to have been Britain, so the tie can be made to the Chichester tablet where Pudens’ name was impressed.”

What is your evidence that the wife of Aulus Plautius was a Christian? What makes you think that Chichester (or more precisely the Romano- British town of Regni) was a legionary fortress or headquarters suitable for the presence of an inscription from a legionary primus pilus in the Flavian period? The archaeology of the site does not sustain such an identification. Only four legions were stationed in Britannia (II Augusta, IX Hispana, XIV Gemina Martia Victrix, and XX Valeria Victrix) from the Claudian invasion to the end of the Flavian period (Legio XIV was re- moved in 67 from Britannia and dispatched to Syria). Does epigraphic evidence of the fasti of any of these legions identify an Aulus Pudens as primus pilus? Your supposition that the Chichester inscription is related to the Aulus Pudens of Martial is mere idle, unsubstantiated speculation.

Finally, what is your evidence that the Pudens and Claudia of II Timothy 4:21 are the Aulus Pudens and Claudia Rufina of Martial’s Epigramma- ta? Don’t tell me who has speculated that the identification is sound. Don’t tell me “because the names are rare.” The epigraphic evidence and the prevalence of the Claudian nomen among imperial freedmen say that is an unfounded claim. This identification is more idle, unsubstantiated speculation––just the same as when Ussher opined it.

You have only indicated what you believe––not what evidence convinces you. The Epigrammata of Martial––no matter whether quoted in Latin or in English––are not evidence. Everyone concedes that the names Aulus Pudens and Claudia Rufina appear there. What is at question is whether they are the same people as in the Chichester epigraph and II Timothy 4:21, and whether Claudia Rufina is the daughter of a British king. And on those points you have cited no evidence whatsoever.

Greg Rose


Editorial Reply:

Greg Rose wrote: “Why, does Claudia have to be the daughter of a British king? Just because you want it to be?”

That is a good question that can also be reversed. If you do not want her to be so, you can argue from the other direction.

Greg Rose wrote: “I defy you to show a single piece of evidence which suggests that Cogidubnus fathered any daughters, much less one who was spirited off to Rome.”

The only reference I know of about Cogidubnus is the passage in Tacitus. That does not mention his children. If there are any more references I would like to know of them. If this is the only one, then there is no written evidence either way. That being so, we can assume he That being so, we can assume h had children. It was a common thing among kings in those days to have an heir. If one wife did not bear, another wife or mistress was taken. Other legends point toward Claudia and being a daughter of Caractacus.

Greg Rose wrote: “Why is it not equally possible for Claudia to have been an imperial slave from Britannia later freed, or the daughter of a Claudian imperial freedman? High levels of literacy and cultural attainment are certainly not unknown among Julio-Claudian and Flavian imperial slaves and freedmen/women.”

This is a good question, perhaps the root question. Since she probably married Pudens in Rome, how did she get to Rome. Where did she learn her manners? Is high literacy and cultural attainment in both Greek and Latin really that likely among freed women? Probably not. And a freed woman would not be born a Briton, as is documented.

Greg Rose wrote: “This makes it unlikely that the Aulus Pudens of Martial was a close relative of Aulus Plautius (he would have been, then, Senatorial or Equestrian by birth and would have entered legionary service as a military tribune, not as a ranker).”

No, I did not say Pudens was a relative of Plautius. He rose from the ranks. The reference was to the family relationship between Plautius and Claudius through Claudius’ first wife. How Pudens knew Plautius is the mystery.

Greg Rose wrote: “Pudens and its related forms is not quite so rare a name as you appear to think––there are at least sixwith this cognomen prior to 114 AD and the wife of Lucius Apuleiuswas styled Aemilia Pudentilla (the feminine diminutive form of Pudens, ___entis).”

I would like to see a reference to all six, as I have only found three. There were few named Pudens in Roman history. The three other known Pudens are: 1) Arrius Pudens, a consul in 165 AD. 2) Maevius Pudens, employed by Otho to corrupt the soldiers of Galba (Tacitus 1.24) 3) Q. Servilius Pudens, a counsul in 166 AD.7 With Lucius Apuleius as husband of Aemilia Pudentilla, we have the Pudens name associated with Lucius. That brings in another can of worms into the picture, as the legends show that Lucius the Great is the ancestor of Helen of the Cross. Perhaps the very name of Lucius came from an association with the descendants of Pudens and Claudia. Would it not be strange if this all did fit together and that the name of Lucius the Great did come from Roman relatives as the legends indicated?

Greg Rose wrote: “What is your evidence that the wife of Aulus Plautius was a Christian?”

The Tacitus description when she was on trial for “foreign superstition” with her husband as judge. There was no name for Christianity at that time. What else is a candidate for “foreign superstition” in such a high social office? Witchcraft? I think not. Nor is Judaism likely.
You wrote: “Your supposition that the Chichester inscription is related to the Aulus Pudens of Martial is mere idle, unsubstantiated speculation.”

This site was the palace of King Cogidubnus. The name Pudens was on the inscription. More recent excavations have found that it was a huge palace, truly fit for a king. It size and layout suggests how far the Roman authorities were prepared to go in rewarding loyal cooperation. This in turn hints to the high value they set upon their newly acquired province of Britannia. (8)

This site was the palace of Cogidnubus––his name is on the slab with Pudens at the right time–– and the inscription had been reinterpreted to show that he was called “the great king.” There is more than idle speculation involved here, considering the rest of the story.

Greg Rose wrote: “Finally, what is your evidence that the Pudens and Claudia of II Timothy 4:21 are the Aulus Pudens and Claudia Rufina of Martial’s Epigrammata?”

If one accepts that Plautius’ wife learned the teaching of Christ from someone like Timothy or Paul––the magnificently convincing founders of the early church in Rome––while Plautius was away on campaign like Tacitus suggests, then the puzzle begins to take form. Pudens was promoted and seems to have been in Britain from the epigrammatic evidence. Pud


ens’ name appears on an inscription with the name of Cogidnubus, so it makes great sense to identify these people with the Claudia with Pudens of Timothy. Pudenswould have obviously been converted by Claudia’s influence, and Claudia by the influence of Plautius’ wife or her children. They would have first-hand information that could be passed down to their grandchildren for generations––and thus the historical origin of the ancient legends.

Another interesting but unsubstantiated (as of now) bit of information was alluded  to by Guest. “The legendaries tell us that this royal missionary was himself converted by a certain Timotheus who visited Britain, and who, in one or two accounts, is described as St. Paul’s disciple. This is an obvious blunder, but there was another member of the early church who figures under the same name, and he, no doubt, was the Timotheus alluded to. The Timotheus in question is represented by certain legendaries as the brother of the sainted virgins Pudentiana and Praxedes, who, according to some, were the daughters, or, according to others, the granddaughters of Pudens. The reader need hardly be reminded that two of the oldest churches in Rome are dedicate to the saints Pudentiana and Praxedes.” I know nothing else of these legendaries.

Greg Rose wrote: “What is at question is whether they are the same people as in the Chichester epigraph and II Timothy 4:21, and whether Claudia Rufina is the daughter of a British king. And on those points you have cited no evidence whatsoever.”

Yes, that is the question. Is this true? Is there really no evidence? Is the slab, the names, the words of Tacitus and the descriptions by Martial all unrelated? I doubt it. I think they are connected. The problem is that if this is so, some other ideas about this time will also crumble. My world will not crumble regardless of the outcome of this matter. I view it as an unsolved mystery that can stand to be brought out of the closet and viewed in the breaking light of the 21st century. The resolution can go either way. The important thing is that it be resolved.


 COMMENT:

Ken,

Even if it turns out that there is no case for Claudia daughter of Cogidubnus, this is an interesting discussion. There is a strong, and totally  bogus, medieval tradition of a descent of British kings through a daughter of the emperor Claudius in Geoffrey of Monmouth. It would be interesting to know how this tradition arose. The type of argument being made here may be closely related to the way medieval genealogists made this deduction.

– Chris Bennett

 

Editorial Reply:

The bogus connection was through Arviragus’ marriage to Genuissa, daughter of Claudius. Arviragus was an historical person (mentioned in Juvenal) who rebelledagainst the Romans, but Caractacus stole the fire of history by being captured and taken off to Rome. Another legendary source has Caractacus converted to Christianity and having a daughter named Claudia Britannicus. If true, this would beanother British Claudia, but I am not certain about the source of this legend andfeel that the names and identities may have been confused. The origin of the legend ofClaudia Britannica is not with Geoffrey of Monmouth. At first, this confused me as I thought this Claudia might be the Claudiaof Martial.

Greg Rose wrote: “The Epigrammata of Martial––no matter whether quoted in Latin or in English––are not evidence.”

Brian Jones in The Emperor Domitian has this to say about Martial’s epigrams. “… everyone was terrified of the emperor [Domitian]. The evidence provided by the court poets Statius and Martial is consistent with this.”

Jones’ very first end note about Domitian converting his family home into a temple of the gens Flavia was attributed to Martial 9.20 as the source material. (9)  It is clear that Jones believes that Martial’s poetry can be used as evidence and that Martial was a court poet writing about the upper classes.

This issue of Pudens and Claudia has not been examined for a hundred years and the arguments have been forgotten. That is why it is necessary to reexamine them.

Similarly, until Brian Jones came out with his biography of Domitian in 1992, there had not been a book on this emperor for a hundred years. Jones says: “By the time of Domitian’s birth, the Flavians were less influential at court. Once Messallina had been replaced by Agrippina, the [Flavian] group centered on Antonia and became disunited; when Claudius sought advice about a suitable replacement for his third wife, some (e.g. Vitellius) favored Agrippina and others (e.g. Narcissus) favored Aelia Paetina. The victor showed little mercy to the vanquished –– the Plautia [gens] suffered the most, with Aulus Plautius’ wife Pomponia Graecina being charged with practicing a foreign religion (Ann.13.32) and two other Plautii forced to commit suicide (Nero 35.4) … for the Flavians, it meant that Vespasian was no longer welcome at court.” (10)  However, their fortunes recovered by 59 AD when Agrippina was murdered by Nero [her son]. The relationship between the Flavian and the Julii gens remained close. Domitian’s niece, Julia, about 11 years older than he, was born in the early 60’s, daughter of his brother Titus and his wife Arrecinna Tertulla who had close relatives named Julius.

Of Titus Flauvius Clemens, not much is known, in comparison to his brother Sabinus. Clemens married Flavia Domitilla, daughter of Domitian’s sister. They had seven children, two of whom were openly designated as Domitian’s successor. (Dom 15.1)

In 95 A.D. Clemens was appointed ordinary counsel with Domitian, no doubt to groom his sons for succession, but not long afterwards he was charged with atheism. According to Dio, he was executed and his wife banished. The fate of the children is unknown. Jones says: “Finally, the precise nature of Clemens’s ’atheism’ is disputed. Some have argued that they were both Christians or Christian sympathizers, others that they favored Judaism. In neither case is the evidence convincing.” [Ibid, p 48} Now, “atheism” is a strange charge for Romans to make. In those days when the mad emperors declared themselves gods, any sane person should have been an an atheist. It is similar to the strange charge made against Plautius’ wife of “foreign superstition.”


COMMENT:

Ken, I have a few reactions to the Edwin Guest paper you sent me.

1) Victorian sanctimony in full flood is really repulsive. Parts of this just made me cringe.

2) “Rufina” probably has nothing to do with gens affiliation––it means “red-head”––a very likely epithet for a Briton (cf William Rufus). At best its a convenient pun!

3) If the theory is correct, and Pudens was granting land to Cogidubnus during Aulus Plautius’ governorship then he was considerably older than Claudia. To be in a position of such power and trust during the 40s he must have been in at least his late 20s or early 30s at that time; i.e., 15-20 years older than her putatitive age. So you can factor that into reconstructing his career, to see if it fits with the likely age at which he becomes a centurion etc.

4) A “Claudia” in late Flavian Rome was, I think, much more likely to be born with the name than to have been granted it on receiving free status. Here a survey of PIR and whatever other first century prosopographies you can lay your hands on is essential––how many Claudians of any stripe can be traced after the death of Nero? If you can establish this point, then the plausibility of her being the daughter of a British king goes up considerably.

5) The internal evidence on Claudia alone might be sufficient to show that Martial’s epigrams were collected over a period of years before publication (from marriage to three sons in the blink of an eyelid!)––unless the sons were by a previous marriage of Pudens.

Anyway, keep me posted, this is an interesting investigation.

-Chris Bennett

 

Editorial Reply: To me, it looks as though the age is correct. Pudens could have held the land for quite a while before donating it for the temple, but if he were later a Christian, perhaps he would have done it earlier––before he was converted. It was a pagan temple. That aspect has confused scholars for a while. The fact of the donation presupposes a relationship with Cogidubnus that could have led to a marriage to his alleged daughter.

COMMENT:

Ken,

If the reconstruction on Martial is right, most of the epigrams were written during the period 70- 95––or can they be shown to have been composed under Nero? Pudens became a centurion during that time, lets say c70. But Aulus Plautius was governor of Britain 41-47. So, suppose Pudens was c25 in 45 (quite young), in order to make the grant––birth c20 AD. That means he became a centurion in his late 40’s to early 50’s. Possible, for a blighted career, but I think this is beginning to stretch plausibility a little far––a detailed review of the lower ranking officer corps in the first century Roman army is required. I don’t know of any, though I’m sure one exists.

-Chris Bennett

Editorial Reply:

Martial died no later than 101 AD. He was in Rome for 35 years. For another eight years he took a hiatus from Rome, so Book One of his Epigrams likely were written around 60-70 AD at the earliest. That leaves a problem with the Plautius connection. The first book of Martial’s epigrams has Pudens out of Rome awaiting his promotion to master centurion. Pudens, being the son of Pudentius, could have also received the land from his father,especially if his father was a Roman merchant who traded or held goods for land.

Also, Plautius’ alleged Christian wife, Pomponia, was tried around 47-50 A.D. and went into seclusion thereafter. It seems difficult to prove that she could have been Claudia’s Christian contact if she were truly in seclusion. That her family, especially her children, could have been allowed contact is likely. That would help to explain the legendary Christian strain in her descendants. I find it unlikely that her husband would let her personally attend meetings with Christians after the trial. His position was not that secure. That would leave out any direct contact with other converts for her, but she may have proxied through her family, especially her children. Also, if Claudia was a guest in their home because she was Cogidnubus’ daughter, she could have had personal contact with Pomponia. Pomponia’s teacher could have been either Timothy or Paul. Around 60-70 A.D., Paul back in Rome. Claudia could have met him at this time.

Claudia, as the daughter of Cogidnubus, would have been welcome in Aulus Plautius’ home and in the Roman courts. Martial was not only a court poet, but a frequenter of the royal baths, whose bathers were the subjects of his verses.

So far as Pudens is concerned, a birth date of Around 30 A.D. seems likely. That would make him around fifteen when Britain was being subjugated. He was awaiting promotion as a head centurion around 65 A.D. For Claudia to have been around 25 around 80 A.D., when she was noted as having three children, her birth date would have been circa 55 A.D. She would have been 15 when Pudens was awaiting his promotion and possibly his land grant. Cogidnubus, being described as “long faithful,” would still be around in70 A.D. I would like to think that a romance bloomed between the personable and handsome centurion and the British princess–– that Pudens received his promotion and his land grant, donated the land and carried the British lass away and back to Rome, but that is the imaginative storyteller in me speaking. If he returned with a Greek and Latin-speaking prize of a British princess, he would have achieved court status.

What we could have here are two divergent and separate Christian conversions, the one of Pomponia (carried on through her children and their children), and theone of Claudia the Britain, be she free woman or princess. However, Pomponia’s family (the children) would have been the right age to know Claudia and Pudens at the court. If the Christian strain  in the descendants of Pomponia is assumed, then secretive contacts with other Christians must be likely.

COMMENT:

Ken,

The following contain information on the in- scription: J.E. Bogaers “King Cogidubnus in Chichester: Another Reading of RIB 91” in Bri- tannia 10 (1979) pp.243-254 and plate IX, R.G. Collingwood and R.P. Wright The Roman In- scriptions of Britain, Vol I, Inscriptions on Stone, (Oxford 1965) pp. 25-6, RIB 91.

The original reading was as follows:

[N]eptuno et Minervae / templum / [pr]o sa- lute do[mos] divinae / [ex] auctoritat[e Ti(beri)] Claud(i) / [Co]gidubni r(egis) lega[ti] Aug(usti) in Brit(annia) / [colle]gium fabor(um) et qui in eo / [sun]t d(e) s(uo) d(ederunt) donante aream / … ]ente Pudentini fil(io)

“To Neptune and Minerva, for the welfare of the Divine House by the authority of Tiberius Claudius Cogidubnus, king, imperial legate in Britain, the guild of smiths and those therein gave this temple from their own resources, […]ens, son of Pudentius, presenting the site.”

The new reading is basically the same as the above except line 5 now is shown to read: [CO]GIDVBNI RE[G(is) M]AGNI BRIT

(anniae or annorum?) …

Which makes the inscription read:  “… by the authority   of   Tiberius   Claudius   Cogidubnus, great king in Britain, the guild of smiths …”

More relevant to your present project is the following from Bogaers’s article. When referring to a card from Chichester Museum that reads: “ST. PAUL AND BRITAIN: Notes on the DedIcation Stone of the Temple of Neptune and Minerva, at Chichester, which connects the Roman Senator Pudens, the British Princess Claudia, and St. Paul with the city of Chichester,” he says: “All this has clear reference to the ’hallucinations’ of those who have supposed a close connection of the [Pu?]dens of the Chichester inscription which [sic] the Pudens and Claudia mentioned by St. Paul at the end of his second letter from Rome to Timothy, bishop of Ephesus (4, 21), and with the British lady Claudia Rufina, Claudia peregrina and Pudens known from Martial, Epigr. xi, 53 and iv, 13. Against any such ideas Hubner was strongly and rightly opposed.” (pp. 251-2).

Bogaers gives the following references for the above: A. Hubner, Corpus Inscriptionum Latinar- um, vii, no. 11, p.19, with further references: (Berlin 1873) W. Stukely, Intinerarium Curio- summ (1776), 200; C. Roach Smith “Roman Chichester” in Journal of the British Archaeologi- cal Association, XLIII, 1887, p.17

-Thomas Green, Exeter College, Oxford

Editorial Reply:

I do not understand the passionate displays that critics have about this subject. Tom  referred  to  a  1873  criticism  as “hallucinations”  about  this  connection. That the museum note about the plaque refers to Pudens as a senator shows me that the writer has him confused with a later  Pudens,  perhaps  Arrius  Pudens,  a consul  in  165  AD.  Though  the  data  is sketchy, I believe there is much more to it. The basic evidence in Martial’s poems remains unaltered. That a Pudens did mar- ry a British Claudia is beyond debate. Prosopographia Imperii Romani data showed no other foreign Claudia and only 73 women with that name.

The term “sancto marito” to describe Pudens translates at the least to “sanctified husband” if not “sainted husband.” Therefore, Martial was aware of Pudens’ religi- ous life. Pudens and Claudia are found in the biblical reference with Linus, who also became one of the very first pontiffs of the Roman church (from 67-79 AD), imme- diately after St. Peter. The Roman church became the leader in the Christian com- munity shortly after 50 AD. Martial began to write his poems under the reign of Nero. He was born around 40 AD and was 24 when he went to Rome in 64 AD. Christianity had much room to flourish at this time, even though Peter and Paul were executed and imprisoned. It would only be with the backing of aristocratic and influential Romans that this could happen.

The stone inscription was broken and it is hard to make Pudens out of dens, but the portion that says “son of Pudentius” is intact. No other letters but PV make a match.

A stemma that I picked up from the pro- sopography data shows clearly the family connections between the Julians, the Fla- vians, the Claudians, the Agrippinas, the Platonis, and the Clemens.

Now the crux of this is Guest’s theory that T. Flavius Clemens was the Saint Clemens and the pontiff of the early Christian church. This seems to be on some solid ground. The book Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology [edited by William Smith, Pub. John Murray, London, 1880], has much information on this:

“Clemens, T. Flavius, was cousin to the emperor Domitian, and his colleague in the consulship, AD 95, and married Domitilla, also a relation of Domitian.

His father was Flavius Sabinus, the elder brother of the emperor Vespasian, [remember it was in Vespasian’s reign that Christians had it much easier. Vespasian built many temples to Jupiter and Minerva and poured money into the provinces] and his brother Flavius Sabinus who was put to death by Domitian (Suet. Domit 10). Domitian had destined the sons of Clemens to succeed him in the empire, and, changing their original names, had called one Vespatian and the other Domitian, but he subsequently put Clemens to death during the consulship of the latter. (Seut Dom. 15). Dio Cassius says (lxvii.14) that Clemens  was put to death on a charge of aetheism, for which, he adds, many others who went over to the Jewish opinions were executed. This must imply that he had become a Christian, and for that same reason, his wife was banished to Pandataria by Domitian. (Comp. Phillostr, Apoll. viii 15; Euseb, HE iii.14; Hieronym Ep.27.) To this Clemens in all probability is dedicated the church of St. Clement at Rome on the Caelian Hill, which is believed to have been built originally in the fifth century, although the site is now occupied by a more recent, though very ancient structure. In the year 1725 Cardinal Annibal Albani found under this church an inscription in honor of Flavius Clemens, martyr, which is described in a work called T. Flavii Clementis Viri Consularis et Martyris Tumulus illustatus, Urbino, 1727. Some connect him with the au- thor of the Epistle to the Corinthians, Clemens Romanus.

COMMENT:

Ken,

Bogaers cannot be taken as ’the last word’, particularly as it appears to be a very short piece that cannot surely have considered all the evidence in detail.

-Thomas Green, Exeter College, Oxford


COMMENT:

You may already know this but I just ran across the reference while looking at something else.

In the account of the crucifixion in the Gospel of Mark (KJV), the person who is “compelled” to carry the cross is one “Simon a Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus.” Now my impression is that Alexander and Rufus are mentioned because the original audience of the Gospel would have known who these people were. That makes it quite possible that they were connected with the Christian church, and thus the Rufus mentioned may well be the same as Claudia’s husband mentioned by the Apostle Paul. However, Simon’s status as one who can be forced to carry the cross of a condemned man argues against the high status of his sons in the Roman Court.

Sarah Love

Editorial Reply:

Sarah,

This cross-carrying legend leads us directly to the origins of the legends of Helen of the Cross and is thus important. I doubt seriously that this biblical Rufus is the same as Pudens (Rufus Pudens) as his name was Aulus Pudens.

There is question as to whether the biblical Rufus was the half brother of the apostle Paul. Rufus was an early Christian, mentioned in the Bible several times. “And when they had mocked him [Christ], they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him. And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross.” (St. Mark 15: 20-21).

Here we have Rufus’ father carrying the cross of Jesus. The author, Mark, obviously knew Rufus, but did not seem to know that Rufus was a half-brother of both Paul and Alexander. Pudens’ father was the Roman, Pudentius, as confirmed by the inscription on the British temple, a man of probable high standing in the governing circles, possibly a land owner and dealer in diverse Roman provinces. His mother, probably a Roman as well, remarried the Hebrew, Simon of Cyrene, when her Roman husband either died or divorced her.

Some have interpreted that Paul wrote about his half-brother and their mother in his Epistle to the Romans 16:13, “Salute Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine.” Others see just two women and not the same mother. Claudia’s husband Pudens knew Rufus, if Rufus is the same man to whom Martial addressed his epigram. Pudens would have known him from the congregation. The biblical Rufus is likely the same man referred to by Martial when he wrote: “Claudia Perigrina, Rufus, weds my Pudens.”

Claudia was likely called “Claudia Rufi-na” from the color of her hair, but she could also have lived with a member of the related Rufi Gens. If Rufus and Paul were half-brothers, having the same mother, but different fathers, this would go a long way in explaining the Helen of the Cross mysteries.

One of the families of the Pomponian gens was called the Rufi. If we assume that Pomponia belonged to this family, we can account for Martial’s addressing the first of the two epigrams to a Rufus. Also, it may be the source of the name of Rufina given to Claudia in the second epigram. Rufina was certainly a name borne by female members of the Pomponian gens, as we do find a Pomponia Rufina mentioned in Roman History (Dio. Cass. 77.16).

The letter which St. Paul sent from Rome to Timothy shortly before his death, in the year 68, contained greetings from “Eubulus, and Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia.” (2 Tim. 4. 21). In an epigram addressed to Rufus, Martial mentions the marriage of ‘the foreigner Claudia’ with ‘his Pudens’ (Epigram 4. 13), and in another (Epigram 11. 53) extols the graces of a Claudia Rufina, who though ‘sprung thanks the gods that she had borne children to her ‘sainted husband’ (sancto mari- to).

The Latin sancto translates “sacred” and later “sainted”. This shows me that Martial knew of the Christian leanings of these people. I believe that the Rufus he addressed in the epigram could quite well have been the biblical Rufus. Rufus is a Roman name and the biblical had great associations. Rufus, Eubulus,  Pudens, Linus and Claudia were undoubtedly very important people in the church for them to be mentioned by Paul. They were the real leaders of the early Roman church. Linus went on to become the first Pope, immediately after Peter.

“The name Linus appears as the immediate successor to Peter in all the ancient lists of the bishops of Rome. Irenaeous (11) identifies him with the Linus mentioned by Paul in 2 Timothy 4.21. According to the LiberPontificalis, Linus suffered martyrdom and was buried in the Vatican.” (12)

When Plautius finally left Britain in AD 47, he set up Cogidubnus to reign. Before this time all Britons were Celts, isolated in their island fortress, wearing blue paint to battle. For a woman born in Britain to have the time to learn Latin, Greek and Roman manners––as we have evidence that Claudia did––she would need to have been reared in constant contact with Roman teachers. There was not enough time for anyone else to achieve this learning but the daughter of the great king Cogidnubus. Whether she was taken as an infant to Rome, or was whisked away by Pudens is unclear, but I think it is clear that one way or another, the Pudens of the Bible is the same Pudens whose name is found on the Chichester inscription near the newly excavated palace of Cogidnubus.

 

END NOTES:

1 The History of the Primitive Church, Lebreton and Zeillor, Macmillan, 1942. Vol 1, p 528.

2 Ibid, Vol. I, p. 296.

3 Transmitted in a fragment of Julius Africanus, conserved by the Byzantine chronicler George Syncellus (Framgmenta historicum graecorum, ed. by Carl Muller, Vol. III, p. 529.

4 2nd editon, ed. E. Groag, A. Stein & L. Peterson, 3 Vols 1933-1987.

5  De Rossi, Roma sotterranea,  Vol. II. p 282,362.

6 The History of the Primitive Church,  Vol. 1, p 383.

7 Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, edited by William Smith, Pub. John Murray, London, 1880.

8 B. Cunliffe Excavations at Fishbourne 1961-69, (Research Report of the Society of Antiquaries 26, London 1971.

9 The Emperor Domitian, Brian Jones, Routledge, 1992, pp. 1 and 30.

10  Ibid., pp. 8-9.

11 Adv. Haer, iii, 3.3.

12 Encyclopedia Britannica, ‘LINUS’.

 

 

 

THE PINNACLED HIGHLIGHTS OF EACH LIVING DAY

 

Pinnacle+Peak+Ocotillo

 

OUR ANNIVERSARY (9/22/17)

 

Only a few in the history of love

stumble upon circumstances

that allows them to live happily ever after.

The prince and princess of fairy tales

lived happily ever after

while the masses were left to endure

hardship, disdain and marital discord.

So we are the fortunate ones, you and I.

Fortunate that we found one another,

fortunate that our paths not only crossed,

but in that we travel this road year after year.

Today, we celebrate an anniversary

that commemorates this epic journey

we have taken together.

Our ups and downs will never cease,

but that which binds us

is so much stronger

than the world outside us.

Let troubles hail down upon us.

Still, our bond will shelter us

from the tempest.

We have always had our share of

life’s problematic quandaries.

If, from time to time,

I fail to show the appreciation

that I feel in the depths of my inner being,

please continue to forgive me as before.

Know this: I love you like no other

and our days together continue to be

the pinnacled highlights of each living day.