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.

TOTAL ECLIPSE

©2017 Kenneth Harper Finton

 

TOTAL ECLIPSE

August 21, 2017, near Casper, Wyoming.

 

We had parked the night before

in a turnabout at the junction

of two lonely Wyoming highways.

By morning, a hamlet of onlookers had been formed.

Behind me, two elderly astronomers spoke

of virtual particles falling into black holes

as the brilliant noonday sun began to look like

Pacman on the prowl through the dark glass.

The proper exclamation at totality

became the subject of discussion.

“Ooooooooh” and “Wow” and “Holy Shit”

were all deemed appropriate reactions.

Slowly, like waiting on water to boil,

the shadow of the moon became the aggressor

as Sol lost its appetite and became

that which was consumed.

The summer air cooled and the colors

of the forced dusk flooded the senses.

There was the sensation of a passing cloud,

a waning of the light, a ghostly chill in the air,

as the smallest sliver of the Sun

was eaten away by the black shadow.

A shocking sky became manifest

in an instant, as the sun became a distant star

All of the agreed upon exclamations and more

rose from the crowd about me.

Everyone was in awe of the power

of that last intense speck of light before totality.

The vision was transformed in an instant into a black hole

with radiant beams of a five-pointed star

with a circular black center illumined

by the huge, vibrating rays of the corona.

Sunrise could be seen in all directions

as Sol slowly re-emerged in a Bronco blue and orange sky

with a circular black center illumined

by the huge, vibrating rays of the corona.

The world was never so lovely,

the Sun was never so welcome,

Venus hung above the horizon,

lost in the love of the blue shadows.

As the onlookers left, they joined the vast parade

of vehicles jamming the little-traveled roads.

We slowly passed where a motorcycle

ran off the road at a high speed.

A body bag was being lifted into a waiting ambulance

as notes were made into reports.

Of course, we wondered about the victim.

Who was this whose life’s fate was linked

to such a celestial drama?

The bag was full, indications of a large male corpse.

Did he have a heart attack?

Did he lose consciousness

At a vital moment?

We could do nothing.

We could say nothing.

I have learned nothing.

Total eclipses come in many ways.

 

PartialSunEclipse9

 

MELANIA, YOU LOVE HIM, RIGHT?

Melania, you love him, right? Some advice from Garrison Keillor

First Lady Melania Trump listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with administration officials on the opioid addiction crisis at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., on Tuesday. Nicholas Kamm, AFP/Getty Images

 

 

My wife has gone East for a couple weeks and now there is nobody to say, “You’re not wearing that tie with that shirt, are you?” Nobody to point discreetly at her left nostril and hand me a tissue. Nobody to remind me of the name of that woman with the glasses (Liz) whom I ought to know — I told my wife, “Her and me went to school together” so that she’d have the satisfaction of saying “She and I.” “No,” I said, “I don’t think you went to our school.”

It’s a comedy routine when she’s around and now it’s a lonely monk in his cell, quill pen in hand, making illuminated letters and living in darkness.

At this very moment, if you want to know the truth, the big crisis in my life is the fact that my iPhone has accidentally upgraded itself and I don’t know how to downgrade it except by hurling it into the river. My wife would know how to fix this.

Some genius at Apple designed it and now I need a password to make each call or text and the texting screen is odd. Instead of a simple “Send,” there is a row of icons. I press one and colored balloons float up in the background, I try another and the phone offers me a choice of cartoons to accompany the text — a ferocious gorilla in a cage, Snow White, a galloping horse — which must be big fun for 5-year-olds but I’m 75 and I don’t need balloons to accompany my texts, and meanwhile the thing keeps asking for my Apple ID verification, which I do not have. This hellish idiocy descended on me suddenly; evidently I clicked on a “Yes” I shouldn’t have clicked on. My wife would know how to do a reset. I’d like to reset the phone with a ball-peen hammer.

Man was not made to live alone. My friend Frank came to visit who has been divorced for a couple years and I sat and took issue with him on about half of what he had to say which required me to lean farther to the right than I care to lean but I did it for his own good and he was grateful for the opposition. He’s been alone for a long time, living on love and sympathy, and he needed the boost to self-esteem that comes from someone telling you you’re full of prune juice.

This is the American way. Those whom we love, we needle. Better honest skepticism than false piety.

One person can’t do it all. I pretty much handle foreign policy issues in our home because I am not inhibited by ignorance, whereas my wife handles science, technology and the arts. She reads science articles in the paper and explains them to me. She tends the plants in the yard and knows their names. She is well-versed on social convention and has sound opinions about music, books and design. The marriage operates on a delicate system of checks and balances. I say, “Let’s put a ping-pong table in the living room” and she says, “After I’m gone,” and so we don’t.

Everyone needs a truth-teller in his or her life and truth-tellers are becoming rare. It’s the Age of Sensitivity when we’re made to feel that we should be validating each other and not telling someone that his fly is open. Which brings me to the point of this column (“And about time,” I can hear her say).

Melania — do you mind if I call you Melania? — I assume that you love this guy. I don’t, even though Scripture tells me to. A bully and a braggart who is also a liar and somewhat clueless might be lovable if he were a cabdriver, but not a president. But you do, so fine. You owe it to him to tell him, “Darling, you’re making an ass of yourself. For the sake of your family, stop.” Would you let the man run around in a headdress of flamingo feathers singing the song about each and every highway and byway and not in a shy way with his trousers around his ankles? No, you wouldn’t. But that’s what’s happening now.

You married a New York Democrat and now you’re married to Aaron Slick from Punkin Crick. Make him stop. If you can’t tell him face to face, try Twitter. A short punchy message will get his attention. Something like, “You are dumb enough to be twins. Shut up and be beautiful.”


 

Garrison Keillor is an author, entertainer and former host of “A Prairie Home Companion.”

SOMEBODY DOWN THERE DON’T WANT YOU

Ted_Brown_ClaremontJalopy

©2014 Ken Finton

Clay said: You’ve heard about the type of guy who’s always gettin’ in trouble, just one fix after another without any in betweens––like the driftin’ cowboys on TV westerns, sort of tall and quiet, but trouble follers after ‘em like a friendly pup. Anyway, my life ain’t been quite the same since I  met up with him.

His name was Penrod Applehand. What God in the heavens ever saddled him with a name like that, no man knows.

It’s not that the trouble doesn’t really come to him from his own makin’,  mind you. It’s sort of like he drags trouble around behind him and every time he slows down it wheels up and cracks him on the back.

Tell you how I met him, now that I’m a-thinkin’ of it. I remember it was a dark night late last fall when the wind was a-whistlin’ through the trees like a teakettle a-boilin’ on the stove. The temperature had skidded down to nearly freezin’. The frost would have been on the pumpkin fer sure, but it was too late for pumpkins. All the pumpkins we had ‘round had been hollered out fer Halloween and was all dried up and rottin’ away on the manure piles. We live out on the edge of town near the railroad track, so we can keep chickens and an old milk cow without the town council or the health department complainin’ too bad. We got a few neighbors, but it ‘s just a stone’s throw from our place to the open country.

Anyways, I was a-sittin’ home that Fall evenin’, real tired and all snuggled up in my clothes with my feet on the stove when I heard this knockin’ come at the door. Right away I knew it was somebody there at the door because of this knockin’, you see.

I got up and walked out to the hall in my stockin’ feet, peekin’ through the darkness to see who I could see. Well, some danged fool had dropped as thumb tack and I stepped on the fool thing. 

The pain started up my foot and crawled over my knee. ‘Fore I knew it,  it come up into my lungs and come a-whizzen out in a whoppin’ scream that made Sis’s hair to curl. She ought to have thanked me for curlin’ her hair—God knows, it needed it—but she didn’t speak to me for three days after that, so I don’t know if she was happy about it or not.

Well, I went over to the door and there was this guy ‘bout my age, but a mite taller and a mite thinner than me. I told him to come in a second while I pulled the thumb tack out of my foot. He said ‘okay’ and stepped inside. I flicked on the light and sat down on the floor to tryin’ to pull that darned tack out. 

Sis came into the hall, her hair all curled and her face chalk white. This guy, he took off his hat. It was  one of those hats they use to climb mountains with–a big turned down brim and a big red feather that helps you to keep your balance when you’re a-roostin’ up there on them rocks. Sis smiled at this feller, but didn’t even look at me, so I said, “Christ, that hurts,” and she said, “Shut your mouth.” It made me feel better that somebody knew I was a-hurtin’. 

The guy said he had a flat tire and didn’t have a jack in his car. Now, I’m always ready to help a guy in trouble, so I offered to pull my car over, give him a little bit of light to work by and let him borrow my jack. He said he’d be very much obliged, so I started off to get my car while he and Sis walked out to the road.

His car was pulled off to the side of the road on a grade, almost tipped over. One tire was flat, but the others looked all right. Sis said she thought he could drive it ’cause it was only flat on one side. 

He laughed and thought she’d made a joke, only Sis wasn’t jokin’. She’s stupider than me sometimes. 

I pulled my car ‘round in front of his’n and pulled the throttle out a little so the battery’d stay up with the lights on, then I fished the jack out of my trunk. Lord, the wind got bitter all of a sudden.

We started jackin’ up the car, but the dirt was pretty soft and the jack kept a-slippin’ and a-goin’ crooked. Finally, though we got the car up and pulled the tire off. It had a nail stickin’ between the treads. That started as to thinkin’ ‘bout that thumb tack I ran in my foot and my foot got pretty sore just thinkin’ about it. “Christ, that hurts,” I said.  Sis said, “Shut your mouth.” She don’t say much other than that.

Right then the engine in my car started to pop and whinny a little, then it gasped one big breath and died. I tried to start it up again, but the starter just whined away and the motor wouldn’t take hold.  I looked at the gas gauge and figured out my trouble. I cranked down the window and hollered out: “Hey, you guys, I’m out of gas.” They started to laugh and I got a little hot under the collar. It wasn’t  that funny.

Just then I heard a crash like a sack of potatoes fallin’ off the kitchen table and onto the floor. I hopped out of the car and looked around. The jack had slipped off this other guy’s car and the car had come down. The handle of the jack was stickin’ up through the fender just as pretty as could be. It was my turn to laugh.

This other guy was a-laughin’ too. “It won’t hurt this car any,”  he said, but how do I get it back up?”

“Call a tow truck,” I said.

“I couldn’t  pay for it.”

We sat there a-laughin’ and tryin’ to figure out what to do until we got good and cold and had to go back into the house to warm up a mite. Later on we hammered the jack out from under the car and  got the car back up so as we could put the spare on.

He told me his name then, Penrod Applehand. I had a hard time keepin’ a straight face. He said he was new in town and worked in a factory over there across the railroad tracks.

Well, we got both cars a-runnin’ again and started up a real fast friendship. Sometimes I think there is a little bit of courtin’ goin’ on ‘tween Sis and Penrod, but I can’t tell for sure.  Still, I can’t get used to that name of his’n.  I’d shorten it to Pen, but it just wouldn’t sound right.

I saw quite a bit of Penrod after that. He was by our house off and on all winter long, but we really didn’t get out ‘til after the snow melted away and the sun started shinin’ warm again. Then, one day last Spring, Penrod had to take a trip over to Harding to see about a new job. Harding’s about a hundred and fifty miles, so he wanted me and Sis to ride along.

It was a real nice day for a ride, the sun a-shinin’ and makin’  everything golden.  An old man was  thumbin’ his way along the road and Penrod thought he’d do a once-in-a-lifetime good turn and pick him up. The old man sat in the back seat and for miles and miles he didn’t say much of anything. He was just a-lookin’ out on the countryside and smilin’ all inside his self. After we’d gone about a hundred miles, Penrod turned around and said, “Where do you want off,  Mister?”

The old man squinted his eyes and put his hand up to his ear and said, “Thank you, this will be fine.”

Well, there wasn’t nothin’ in sight, not a house or a barn or nothin’, just a lot of woods and fields and telephone poles. Penrod pulled his car over to the side, dropped the old man off, and we started up again.

Before long, we noticed that there was this car behind us. Penrod slowed down a little (I guess we was doin’ about seventy-five) and let the car catch up with us. It was one of those highway patrol guys, damn the luck. He flagged us over to the side and here was that old man sittin’ there in the front seat right up beside him. 

“You picked this man up,” the cop said, pointin’ back at the old man in the car.

“Yes, sir,” Penrod said. “We carried him all the way from Jasper.”

“Don’t you know kidnapping is a serious offense?”

“I didn’t kidnap nobody,” Penrod said.

“That’s tellin’ him, Penrod,” Sis said. “You tell him off good.”

I nudged Sis in the ribs so that she’d keep quiet.

“Get out of the car,” the cop said.

“Yes, sir,”  Penrod said. He started climbin’ out over Sis and me. The cop looked a little startled. 

“I said get out, not climb over on your girl friend’s lap.”

“I am gettin’ out,” Penrod said. “This door over on my side’s  stuck. It won’t open, see?”

“Well, get out some way before I get me a can opener.”

Penrod and the cop went over and sat in the cruiser a while. Pretty soon, he came back and said that the old man had walked away from a state hospital and the cop thought we were in on it.

Well, it took a mite of talkin’ to get out of that one, but finally, we got the cop to believe that we only picked him up because he was thumbin’ his way.

“It’s against the law to pick up hitch-hikers,” he said. “I’m gonna have to write you out a ticket for that. You’ll have to follow me out to the Justice of Peace to get it paid for. And while I’m at it, I’ll just give you another ticket for speeding.”

“I wasn’t speeding,” Penrod said. “This old car can’t go too fast. Listen here.” He started up the engine. He must of forgot about that broken muffler, ‘cause it sure sounded bad.

“Uh-huh… driving with a broken muffler, too.”

“It must of just broke while we was a-sittin’ here,” Penrod said.

“The way you was weavin’ all over the road, I’ll give you a ticket for reckless drivin’ too,” the cop said.

“But I wasn’t drivin’ reckless. My wheels are a little out of line, that’s all.”

“Maybe I ought to give this car a safety check.”

“Oh, no, sir,” Penrod said.

“It would never pass it,” Sis said. I nudged her in the ribs.

 “Follow me,”  the cop said.

Well, we followed him all right, almost twenty miles along those crusty dirt roads back to a log shanty stuck alone out in the woods. There was a little sign a-hangin’ in front of the cabin sayin’ Justice of  Peace.

Inside the shanty, there was this man, sort of crumpled up and fat at the same time. He had the worst case of shakes that I ever saw in a body. He could hardly raise his bottle up to his lips without sloppin’ some on his vest.

“Hank, I’ve got some more business for you,” the cop sald.

The judge didn’t waste no time. “Court is now in session,” he said, between sips.

“Speeding is one offense. Ninety miles an hour in a fifty mile an hour zone…”

“My car won’t even go ninety,” Penrod said.

“I can find somethin’ else wrong with that car if’n you don’t shut up.”

“… yes, it will, too,” Penrod said.

“Also,” the cop said, “he picked up a hitch-hiker, drove reckless and he’s  got a noisy muffler. What do you figure we ought to get off this one, Hank?”

“Well, John, I don’t know,” the Judge said, thumbin’ his way through a little black book. It looked like a Bible, but it was pretty wore, so I knew it wasn’t a Bible. It was prob’ly one of those law books. 

“I’d say that it ought to be worth fifty dollars.”

“I reckon so,” the cop said. “And then some.” 

“Seventy-five,” the judge said. “Seventy-five plus costs.”

“But I ain’t got seventy-five dollars,” Penrod wailed.

“You got somethin’ we could take in trade?”

Penrod looked at Sis. I did too. 

“Oh, no,” she said. “You ain’t tradin’ me.”

“How much you got, kid?” the Judge asked.

“Fifteen bucks.”

“Wait a minute, let me figure,” the Judge said, pickin’ up a piece of paper. Fifteen from seventy-five leaves sixty dollars. Sure you ain’t got any more?”

“Not a red cent.” 

“Sixty dollars and the costs are hereby suspended.” the Judge said. “It’ll cost you fifteen dollars.”

Penrod opened his mouth fixin’ to argue some more, but I nudged him in the ribs and said, “That’ll be just dandy, Judge.” 

That ended the trip to Harding. We didn’t have enough money to get the rest of the way. On the way back some old man was thumbin’ his way along the road, smilin’ all inside himself.

We went right on by.

Yes, sir, I believe ol’ Penrod finally learned his lesson about pickin’ up hitch hikers, but he’ll never learn about cars. Sometimes I believe, honest-to-God, that he has pistons in his stomach and fuel pumps as kidneys.

We got this neighbor that lives near the railroad tracks who buys a new car every year. He came home one day last week with one of those sleek, new, shiny red cars that caught everybody’s eye, especially Penrod’s.

“Do you think you could get Mr. Powell to let me drive his car?” Penrod asked.

“Well, I don’t know,” I said. “He don’t generally…”

“Listen. Tell him I’m a mechanic from Harvey’s Garage and we have to take the car out for a thousand mile test. That way we’ll be able to git it.” 

“That might work,” I said.

“That ain’t all,” Penrod said. “I know where there’s a car just like that, only it’s been smashed up a little. The whole front end’s all caved in, but it still runs. What we’ll do is this…”

The next day I went over to Mr. Powell’s place. He was out in his yard pickin’ dandelion greens. “Hello, Mr, Powell,” I said. “How are the greens this year?”

“Fine, Clay, just fine. A little ruffage for the stomach. Makes a body feel as frisky as a colt.”

“You’ve got to boil ‘em in two sets of water,” I said. “Pour the first pot off and boil ‘em again and then they’re pretty sweet.”

“Did you see my new car, Clay?”

“Yes, sir. By the way, I was down at the garage today and one of the guys was a-tellin’ me that they’re gonna send a man out to take it for a thousand mile test.”

“A thousand mile test?”

“Yes, sir. It’s somethin’ new that they just came up with. They always take a car out for a thousand mile test. That way they can tell if everything’s right—if the horn needs fixin’ or the fuel pump’s bad.”

“That sounds like good business,” Mr. Powell said. ‘That company is on the ball and that’s what I like to see. People on the ball. They make the world go ‘round.”

Right about this time, Penrod came a-struttin’ down the road wearin’ his usual faded jeans and grease-stained shirt. He came up into the yard lookin’ so innocent and serious that I couldn’t help but laugh a little.

“Mr. Powell,” he said. “I’m from Harvey’s Garage. It’s about time for the thousand mile checkup.”

“Yes, Clay here has been tellin’ me about it. Good business, I say. Very good business. You’ll find the key in the ignition switch.”

“Want to come along, Clay?” Penrod asked.

“You bet,” I said. I wasn’t about to miss this one.

Penrod revved up the engine and pulled out of the driveway. “It worked,” he laughed. “Just like a charm.”

“Don’t you think Mr. Powell will get the cops on you?”

“Nah, leave it up to me.”

We drove out Highway 26 to Ball’s wrecking yard. One of the guys from the yard crew was a-workin’ on a transmission out in front of the building. 

“You got the car ready?” Penrod asked.

“Sure thang,” this fellow said. He smiled and his teeth stood out against his greasy face and his gums showed somethin’ horrible. He opened a rusty gate and we follered him out behind the building where a new car just like Mr. Powell’s was a-sittin’. A guy couldn’t hardly tell the difference between Mr. Powell’s car and the one that had been wrecked.

“You’ll have to bring it back before the boss gets back from lunch,” the guy with the greasy face said. “The boss’ll really be burnin’ if he finds out what’s cookin’.”

Penrod got into the wrecked car and motioned me inside.

“Thanks, Toothy,” he said. I’ll be back ‘fore long. If your boss does get back, just tell him I’m thinkin’ of buyin’ this car and fixin’ it up, so you let me take it out to see how it drove.”

The front shocks was broke and so was one of the springs. The whole front sagged way down and the hood was crumpled clean up to the windshield.

We drove slow back to Mr. Powell’s. He was still out huntin’ for dandelion greens when we got there. His head was bowed down and he was cuttin’ away with his putty knife.

Penrod turned in the drive and the wheel rubbed on the fender. The bumper grated on the gravel. Mr. Powell looked up, his mouth fell open and he dropped his putty knife. We pulled to a stop and he just set there on his haunches with his mouth hangin’ wide open, big enough for a coon dog to hop into.

Penrod got out of the car. “I had a little trouble, Mr. Powell.”

Mr. Powell’s whole face just sorta sagged. I couldn’t help myself. I  started to laugh and had to cover up my face with my hands. Penrod, well, he didn’t even crack a smile. I don’t know how he did it.

“Your car’s in fine mechanical order,” he said. “Or–it was, anyway. You need a little body work, but I know where you can get somebody to do it right cheap. It’ll prob’ly only cost around seven hundred dollars or so.”

Penrod turned around to me. “Ready, Clay?”

I hopped out of the car and walked over to him, keepin’ my grin under my hands and pretendin’ I was a-wipin’ my nose.

“We’ll  see you when it’s time for your two thousand mile checkup,” Penrod said.

Mr. Powell didn’t say a word. He just stared at the car with his mouth open and kept pinchin’ himself every now and then.

Since my house was right next door, we went over to my place and ‘fore long I heard Mr. Powell slam the door and go into his house. We could hear him just as plain as could be. “Martha, pour me a glass of lemonade. I have a murder to commit.”

It all seems a mite funny now, but at the time it was somethin’ else. Penrod and I went back to the wrecking yard and picked up Mr. Powell’s car. We drove it back to Mr. Powell’s. There he was a-sittin’ out on his steps with his shotgun laid across his knees, just a-starin’ at the wrecked car.

Penrod pulled into the drive and drove the car out onto Mr. Powell’s lawn. “Oh-oh, you shouldn’t  have done that,” I said. “Mr. Powell’s awful proud of his lawn.”

Mr. Powell came up beside the car carryin’ his shotgun and Penrod just sat there behind the steerin’ wheel with that weird grin of his plastered all over his face. 

“You didn’t wreck my car after all?”

“No, sir. It was just a joke.”

“You pulled up on my grass.” 

“I’m sorry, Sir,  Penrod said. “I’ll back it out on the street.”

He put it in reverse and spun the tires, takin’ a big hunk of Mr. Powell’s lawn with him. Penrod got out of the car. “I hope there ain’t no hard… Eeeps!”

Mr. Powell fired the shotgun straight into the air and bellowed like a bull. He charged straight at Penrod, swingin’ that gun of his’n like a club. I shut my eyes and started a-prayin’. When I looked up, they were runnin’ down the street, Penrod runnin’ for dear life and Mr. Powell right behind him still swingin’ that shotgun. For an older guy, Mr. Powell could sure run. I watched until they ran out of sight and then went home and sat down to keep my knees from a-shakin.

Well, Penrod got out of that one without much harm, but cars are gonna be the death of him yet. Just last Sunday he dropped by while Sis was finishin’ up the dinner dishes. 

“Let’s take my car out for a drive,” he said. “I just spent every last dime that I ever had puttin’ new pistons, mains and piston rings in. Let’s see how the ol’ babe runs now. 

“That car of yours won’t get us nowhere,” Sis said. “It’s dangerous to even be in it.”

It didn’t take much persuadin’ to get Sis in the car. She took the same seat she usually does, right next to Penrod–leavin’ me by the window. We were all set, waitin’ fer Penrod to get in. 

“Everybody out,” he said.

“What for? Let’s go.” 

“You gotta let me in. That door on the driver’s side won’t open. Remember? It’s stuck.”

We got out and Penrod scooted over behind the wheel. The engine started hard, but we finally got it goin’ and pulled out onto the road. Trouble was that we didn’t get any farther than the railroad tracks. Penrod went to slow down and it stalled the engine right on the tracks. He pushed on the starter and the engine growled. “Darn new rings and bearings make the motor tight,” he said. “I don’t think I can I get it started.” 

“Well, this is a beautiful place to stall out,” Sis said., “right on the railroad track. What would happen if a train…”

Well, we didn’t have to wait long to find out. Right then, the two o’clock express hooted and came into sight about a quarter of a mile down the track.

“Get out,” Penrod said. “Get back real far and I’ll try to get this thing started.”

Sis and I  hopped out. Sis got back and I started, pushin’ on the car while Penrod kept a-pushin’ on the starter. It wouldn’t budge. The train was really a-movin’. I could hear the wheels hummin’ on the rails.

“Put it in gear,” I yelled, “and let out on the clutch. Maybe it’ll move by the battery alone.”

Penrod put it in gear, but the battery was too low by now. It stopped completely. The train was a-gettin’ too close for me to stay any longer. I ran back a little toward Sis. Penrod was still in the car pushin’ away at the starter. Before long, I  couldn’t hear the hum of the starter over the roar of the train. 

“Jump, Penrod!  Jump!” Sis yelled.

I ran up toward the car so I could holler better. “Penrod, you fool. Get out of there.” 

The train was only about two hundred feet away. Penrod gave up and jumped out of the car. Before he got as far as me, the train hit and the car sailed up in the air, the front part landin’ on one side of the tracks and the back part bein’ throwed a hundred feet down on our side of the tracks.

Penrod came up beside me all out of breath. “There went my car,” he said.

Sis came runnin’ up behind us. The train was a-slowin’ down and stoppin’. “Penrod,” Sis said, “are you all right?” 

“Fit as a fiddle,” he said.

“It’s a good thing that door opened when you needed it,”  she said.

Penrod had forgot about the door bein’ stuck. So had I.

“My God,” he said. “That was a close one.”

“Sure enough,” Sis said.

 “Somebody up there must love me,”  Penrod said.

That didn’t sound right to me. “I think somebody down there don’t want you,” I said.

“Oh, shut your mouth,” Sis said.

She don’t say much other than that.

 

 

 

FATHER TIME AND ME

0a3c24f939593641194c46a7a7511aac--star-david-time-travel

 

by Kenneth HarperFinton

Born squawking with a curious furrow in my brow, I had no choice in the matter of my birth. Later, I was to learn I had been born into a large country and into an even larger universe that I am still learning to comprehend.

When I was eight I had an abdominal operation and was placed under either. I still remember the vision I had under the influence of the drug. I was running from Father Time who chased me with thunderbolts shooting from his fingertips as he yelled, “Stop, stop! You are ahead of time. Stop!”

It was a powerful vision that is vivid to this day.

How strange this world is to the young:  I was born to be myself and not someone else. This is odd enough but it was even odder to come to conception here in this time instead of somewhere else in another time. Everything was such a mystery. I truly wanted to solve the mystery. I felt this could well be my calling.

It did not take long to discover this fact: everyone is stuck in themselves, the same as I am. Everyone has their own little universe where they are the king or the queen.

Sometimes while I was in a playful mood, I asked myself, “If you could be somebody else, who would that be?”

When I ran through the history of people I have met or known, I could not choose to be any of them. There was no one I might want to be more  than myself, male or female. It’s inconceivable I could be someone other than myself unless I was play-acting the part. Since I have to be me, I might as well make the most of the situation, I decided.

I took a while to understand why I arrived to be a player in this era. I surmised that it had to do with time and consciousness, something science cannot yet explain. It is so easy to miss this vital connection: the now is ever present, just as awareness is always present.

Is this a mere coincidence? Is the now not a measure of time?

The now is not measurable at all, but a micro fraction of an instant where the past changes into the future. The only thing solely contained in the now is our awareness. Consciousness remembers the past and imagines the future, but always does so in the now.

I came to this realization at a young age and caused myself great confusion. Did this mean the world is a mental construction?

For a while, I considered the possibility that the universe is actually a vision which comes alive in the intellect. This was a problematic idea. The mind itself is a mystery. How could the mind be only a product of flesh and blood, neural connections, when nature obviously had a mind which did not need a nervous system?

We are the centers of our worlds, yet nature has carried out its miracles for billions of years without the help of human consciousness through an unconscious process of evolutionary experiments. This has likely been the case since time began.

The colors we see are wavelengths of light. The mind learns to recognize these as different colors. About me, the people I knew had their own personal mindsets. They were different and separate from my own thoughts, though they used much of the same information I used to make their own world view. The primary difference between us is the type and quantity of the information we process both in the mind and the body.

Throughout our lives, the now remains stationary. It is not time that moves, but consciousness. Awareness is always being transformed through experiences, interactions, and observations. If time were to move, what would be the speed of time? If time flowed, what would be the volume of the flow?

No fixed universal clock can measure the flow or speed of time. Time is relative to dimensions, not to a fixed standard. With no way to measure the speed of time, no method can be devised to measure the speed of the now. The now has no speed at all, nor can it move.  The rational thing to conclude is that time does not flow and the now does not move. Instead, consciousness changes.

This was a huge revelation.

-Kenneth Harper Finton

June 8, 2017

THE OSPREY

 

IMG_3705

Osprey nest at Barr Lake Nature Preserve, Brighton, Colorado (6/4/2017)

 

This platform has been constructed for the pair to nest and reproduce in the safety of a world famous wildlife habitat at Barr Lake, Colorado. This year (2017), two chicks are in the nest.

Osprey nests are built of sticks and lined with bark, sod, grasses, vines, algae, or flotsam and jetsam. The male usually fetches most of the nesting material—sometimes breaking dead sticks off nearby trees as he flies past—and the female arranges it. Nests on artificial platforms, especially in a pair’s first season, are relatively small—less than 2.5 feet in diameter and 3–6 inches deep. After generations of adding to the nest year after year, Ospreys can end up with nests 10–13 feet deep and 3–6 feet in diameter—easily big enough for a human to sit in.

IMG_3709

Ospreys are superb fishers and eat little else. Fish make up 99 percent of their diet. These birds are nearly always near ponds, rivers, lakes, and coastal waterways around the entire world, except for Antarctica.

The osprey is one of the most widespread birds of prey and can be found on every continent except Antarctica. Because of its raptor look and eagle-like appearance, they are also called sea eagles, river hawks, fish hawks, sea hawks.

osprey

Cool Facts from ALL ABOUT BIRDS

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Osprey/lifehistory

  • An Osprey may log more than 160,000 migration miles during its 15-to-20-year lifetime. Scientists track Ospreys by strapping lightweight satellite transmitters to the birds’ backs. The devices pinpoint an Osprey’s location to within a few hundred yards and last for 2-3 years. During 13 days in 2008, one Osprey flew 2,700 miles—from Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, to French Guiana, South America.
  • Ospreys are unusual among hawks in possessing a reversible outer toe that allows them to grasp with two toes in front and two behind. Barbed pads on the soles of the birds’ feet help them grip slippery fish. When flying with prey, an Osprey lines up its catch head first for less wind resistance.
  • Ospreys are excellent anglers. Over several studies, Ospreys caught fish on at least 1 in every 4 dives, with success rates sometimes as high as 70 percent. The average time they spent hunting before making a catch was about 12 minutes—something to think about next time you throw your line in the water.
  • The Osprey readily builds its nest on manmade structures, such as telephone poles, channel markers, duck blinds, and nest platforms designed especially for it. Such platforms have become an important tool in reestablishing Ospreys in areas where they had disappeared. In some areas nests are placed almost exclusively on artificial structures.
  • Osprey eggs do not hatch all at once. Rather, the first chick emerges up to five days before the last one. The older hatchling dominates its younger siblings, and can monopolize the food brought by the parents. If food is abundant, chicks share meals in relative harmony; in times of scarcity, younger ones may starve to death.
  • The name “Osprey” made its first appearance around 1460, via the Medieval Latin phrase for “bird of prey” (avis prede). Some wordsmiths trace the name even further back, to the Latin for “bone-breaker”—ossifragus.
  • The oldest known Osprey was at least 25 years, 2 months old, and lived in Virginia. It was banded in 1973, and found in 1998.

CATAGORIES OF BIRD STATUS FOR CONSERVATION

bird status

Extinct (EX) – No known individuals remaining

Extinct in the wild (EW) – Known only to survive in captivity, or as a naturalized population outside its historic range

Critically endangered (CR) – Extremely high risk of extinction in the wild

Endangered (EN) – High risk of extinction in the wild

Vulnerable (VU) – High risk of endangerment in the wild

Near threatened (NT) – Likely to become endangered in the near future

Least concern (LC) – Lowest risk; does not qualify for a higher risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category.

Data deficient (DD) – Not enough data to make an assessment of its risk of extinction

Not evaluated (NE) – Has not yet been evaluated against the criteria.


SHAKESPEARE ON THE OSPREY

Shakespeare in Act 4 Scene 5 of Coriolanus:

“I think he’ll be to Rome
As is the osprey to the fish, who takes it
By sovereignty of nature.”

THE ROLE OF THE NON-DIMENSIONAL IN THE UNIVERSE


Exploration on the Dimensional Universe & Non-dimensional Realm

ABSTRACT

Assuming that negative dimensions are as real as positive dimensions, the non-dimensional would serve as the realm in which the positive dimensions are balanced by the negative dimensions. Both are parts of the whole universe and not two separate universes. They are commingled and entangled, while the non-dimensional knows no boundary and is infinite.

Keywords: Universe, positive dimension, negative dimension, non-dimensional, God.

EINSTEIN What-we-have-called

“A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty…We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.” – Albert Einstein

The Concept of a Universal God

When contemplating infinity and the universe, there is no way to escape the concept of God. That which existed before anything and after anything, even though it be nothing at all, is still another concept of God. Nothing is not a thing. Traditionally, for most advanced religious dogmas, God is not a thing as well. An empty void has no existence without a universe in which to place it. Even a spirit in a world outside of time and space would need a materialized world for any material form of reality to exist. God and the world not only co-exist, but they ARE one another. How?

Both atheists and theists are correct. God does not exist because God is not a thing in space and time. Existence occurs within space and time. The theist is correct in so far that the dimensionless place that precedes the universe—what they call God—must be infinite and the finite exists within it.

But what is the infinite? Who can possibly comprehend that which is not there—not within the plane of existence that begins with a two-dimensional universe? The one-dimensional point, being a singularity, is also infinite, being everywhere at once. Modern physicists envision a singular point of infinitely dense particles with indescribable temperatures as the beginning of the universe. It was a place where all particles at once congregated in an unfathomable density before exploding in the Big Bang. What caused these particles to come together is unknown. What packed them so closely is unknown. The singularity, they say, was a micro-momentary event that was unstable and had to expand explosively with the Big Bang.

Where did the Big Bang happen? It happened everywhere because it was and is the entire universe. Having no medium over which to travel, the newly-birthed universe had to carve space, time, and motion as it expanded, moving at incredible speeds. It is said that the result of this constant expansion—that still exists to this day—will reach likely reach a point of no return where all movement will cease to exist universally. Whether the bang really occurred in this manner is beyond the scope of this inquiry. I am addressing the unthinkable realm of the non-dimensional.

As the positive numbers in the visible world continue endlessly, the negative numbers continue endlessly as well. The sum of all these numbers negative and positive, adds up to zero. That it the total mathematical value of the universe—zero. It has no numerical value, as it is not a thing and needs no value. [Example: the sum of 1+2+3+4 subtracted from the sum of -1-2-3-4 equals zero.] It has no value because it comes from its source in zero dimension. All the universe must add up to zero as well. In order for that to occur physically—to add up to zero—negative values must be paired with positive values.

I think it is logical to suspect that beyond our visible dimensions there is a corresponding system of non-dimensions. Negative dimensions balance the visible dimensions. [Negative dimensions do not suggest a darker value, but a negative mathematical solution to the balancing of the universe.] Everything in the living universe and most primary atomic particles have both positive and negative aspects. Dimensions are measurements from observation points. We can perform both negative and positive measurements. Non-dimensional attributes of existence could also include that which has not yet existed or that which has already existed but has been torn away or removed from dimensional time and space.

The Non-Dimensional Aspect

250px-mobius_strip   A  negative dimension could be like the other side of a Möbius Strip. If, for example, the physical universe is formed like a Möbius Strip—and the current thinking of physicists accept that the universe is actually a two-dimensional plane—then a thin membrane of a spacial boundary with a simple twist could produce a situation where  the observation point on one side of the boundary would be duplicated as an observation point on the other side of the boundary, yet neither point would be aware of the other because of the forward movement of time. In a Möbius Strip, the inside and outside are merged and co-mingled. Viewpoints from the outside see only the exterior, while those on the inside see only the interior.

Assuming that negative dimensions are as real as positive dimensions, the non-dimensional would serve as the realm in which the positive dimensions are balanced by the negative dimensions. Both are parts of the whole universe and not two separate universes—they are commingled and entangled, while the non-dimensional knows no boundary and is infinite. We can assume that there is only one infinity or assume that there are as many localized infinities as there are positive and negative numbers. Infinity takes up no space nor has duration. An infinite number of local infinities could fit in the one infinity as their numeric value is zero.

Infinity and Information Storage

When change occurs in the dimensional universe, that change is recorded physically by changes in the physical matter of the universe. The non-dimensional is both opposed and complementary to the physical universe. It is the realm of mathematics and ideas. Data from the physical world may be simultaneously coded and stored as data in the non-dimensional realm.

Matter behaves like both a particle and a wave. Matter is the temporal recording media of physical experience. In our physical dimension, events are coded chemically and stored to form our mental experience. The non-dimensional process of thought and electrical stimulus constantly creates our consciousness in the present moment. This is one example as to how the non-dimensional entangles with the dimensional. It has done so throughout the process of evolution. Non-dimensional data is present in instincts and the workings of the unconscious mind.  This activity is unfurled into finite chemical and electrical activities that evolve further and, in turn, record their changes back into the non-dimensional.

It seems likely that in the non-dimensional realm, records of events are coded into wave frequencies that hold mathematical descriptions of their counterparts in the dimensional universe. The equations and formulas in the non-dimensional realm come to being in the physical world and guide the unfolding of the physical universe. Our physical changes may be coded in mathematical forms and also simultaneously recorded in the non-dimensional realm from which the physical universe is projected since the Big Bang. The dimensional universe created a boundary that limited the infinity to localized viewpoints.

Awareness and Essence

The other essential aspect of the non-dimensional is mental awareness. Even if this awareness had nothing of which to be aware for what we consider an era in time, it is still primal awareness. Awareness is a mental state. It is not only the in the physical world, but the non-dimensional world as well. Awareness must of necessity precede observation and interaction or no events would occur at all. Something needs to be aware of any interaction, and that awareness happens by necessity in the non-dimensional realm. It was there before any interactions took place in order to record and perceive them.

Our perception of the dimensional universe is limited and our lives have beginnings and endings. The question is: Are we preserved in the infinite non-dimensional realm?

Three-dimensional objects can be mapped out on a piece of two-dimensional paper and the paper can be folded to create that object in three dimensions. This is the case with origami techniques known for generations. The diagram of the object on the two-dimensional plane is folded again and again until it becomes a three-dimensional object. Nature constantly uses origami techniques to unfold—from the unfolding of a bird’s wings, an insect’s metamorphosis, and even the DNA of genetic codes. Because the final product is inherent in the coded structures—similar to the entire image being in every part of a hologram, the spider knows the geometry of its web, the cell knows the sequence of division. The universe itself is in the process of unfolding.

That which is physical and temporal in the dimensional universe is mathematical and infinite in the non-dimensional. I suspect that information is never lost, but—like matter and energy—changes forms and states. There would be no loss of important information if a duplicate eternal copy of all mathematical realities is encoded beyond time and space in a non-dimensional plane. It would be as though the universe has a backup copy.

We can surmise that awareness—through unconsciousness, consciousness, and thought turned into action—creates the world and all the experience held within that world. Awareness is within us—as well as outside us—because it is the foundation of being and the source of all things present, past and future.

We can describe the world as not only a work-in-progress, but a record of historical events and experiences where unconscious thoughts were made manifest and tangible by actions, recorded by the bricks and mortar of matter, and re-interpreted by the mind to formulate experience from contiguous and entangled events.

Primal awareness could be called God, but the danger in doing so is mixing up the mythology with the reality. This God is not the God-king or God-the-Father who in his divinity imposes his will and plans upon the world. This God is not a noun, but a verb. God is not a thing, but the process of creating and experiencing a completely free and random universe of conceptions and experiences of unlimited potentiality.

If it is correct to say that the world is awareness, then it is correct to say that awareness is the world. If it is correct to say that awareness is God, then it is correct to say that God is awareness. If it is correct to say that the world is God, then it is correct to say that God is the world. If it is correct to say that we are the world, then it is correct to say that the world is us. If it is correct to say God is in us, then it is correct to say that we are in God.

There is only ‘One-thing’ where there is only one dimension. This ‘One-thing’ is an infinite point—a singularity. It is everywhere at once because that is all that there is.

Beyond that point is zero dimension.

“I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts; the rest are details.” – Albert Einstein

Einstein also said: “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”

ANNE BOLEYN’S LETTER TO HENRY VIII

TRIBES

Anne Boleyn Letters

This is the letter that Anne Boleyn wrote to Henry VIII from the Tower of London, after her arrest. It is said to have been found in Thomas Cromwell’s belongings which probably means that it never made it into the hands of the King:-

Anne Boleyn in the Tower” Sir, your Grace’s displeasure, and my Imprisonment are Things so strange unto me, as what to Write, or what to Excuse, I am altogether ignorant; whereas you sent unto me (willing me to confess a Truth, and so obtain your Favour) by such a one, whom you know to be my ancient and professed Enemy; I no sooner received the Message by him, than I rightly conceived your Meaning; and if, as you say, confessing Truth indeed may procure my safety, I shall with all Willingness and Duty perform your Command.

But let not your Grace ever imagine that your poor Wife will ever be brought to acknowledge a Fault, where not so much as Thought thereof proceeded. And to speak a truth, never Prince had Wife more Loyal in all Duty, and in all true Affection, than you have found in Anne Boleyn, with which Name and Place could willingly have contented my self, as if God, and your Grace’s Pleasure had been so pleased. Neither did I at any time so far force my self in my Exaltation, or received Queenship, but that I always looked for such an Alteration as now I find; for the ground of my preferment being on no surer Foundation than your Grace’s Fancy, the least Alteration, I knew, was fit and sufficient to draw that Fancy to some other subject.

You have chosen me, from a low Estate, to be your Queen and Companion, far beyond my Desert or Desire. If then you found me worthy of such Honour, Good your Grace, let not any light Fancy, or bad Counsel of mine Enemies, withdraw your Princely Favour from me; neither let that Stain, that unworthy Stain of a Disloyal Heart towards your good Grace, ever cast so foul a Blot on your most Dutiful Wife, and the Infant Princess your Daughter:

Try me, good King, but let me have a Lawful Trial, and let not my sworn Enemies sit as my Accusers and Judges; yes, let me receive an open Trial, for my Truth shall fear no open shame; then shall you see, either mine Innocency cleared, your Suspicion and Conscience satisfied, the Ignominy and Slander of the World stopped, or my Guilt openly declared. So that whatsoever God or you may determine of me, your Grace may be freed from an open Censure; and mine Offence being so lawfully proved, your Grace is at liberty, both before God and Man, not only to execute worthy Punishment on me as an unlawful Wife, but to follow your Affection already settled on that party, for whose sake I am now as I am, whose Name I could some good while since have pointed unto: Your Grace being not ignorant of my Suspicion therein.

But if you have already determined of me, and that not only my Death, but an Infamous Slander must bring you the enjoying of your desired Happiness; then I desire of God, that he will pardon your great Sin therein, and likewise mine Enemies, the Instruments thereof; that he will not call you to a strict Account for your unprincely and cruel usage of me, at his General Judgement-Seat, where both you and my self must shortly appear, and in whose Judgement, I doubt not, (whatsover the World may think of me) mine Innocence shall be openly known, and sufficiently cleared.

My last and only Request shall be, That my self may only bear the Burthen of your Grace’s Displeasure, and that it may not touch the Innocent Souls of those poor Gentlemen, who (as I understand) are likewise in strait Imprisonment for my sake. If ever I have found favour in your Sight; if ever the Name of Anne Boleyn hath been pleasing to your Ears, then let me obtain this Request; and I will so leave to trouble your Grace any further, with mine earnest Prayers to the Trinity to have your Grace in his good keeping, and to direct you in all your Actions.

Your most Loyal and ever Faithful Wife, Anne Boleyn
From my doleful Prison the Tower, this 6th of May.

 


 

John West is one of my ancestors. John’s brother, Lord Thomas West, 3rd Lord De La Warr [Delaware], was the first Colonial Governor of Virginia from 1610 to 1611. John and brother Thomas were grandsons of William West, 1st Baron Delaware. Their grandmother, Catherine Carey, was a niece of Queen Ann Boleyn and first cousin to Queen Elizabeth.

On this May 2, 1536, Anne Boleyn, the second wife of England’s King Henry VIII, was arrested for high treason, adultery, and incest. She was intelligent and outspoken, and had educated opinions about politics and religious reform and came to the court of Henry VIII when she was 20 years old, to serve as lady-in-waiting to Queen Catherine of Aragon. She soon caught the eye of the king. For seven years he wooed her, and for seven years she put him off. He managed to get his first marriage annulled by breaking with the pope and declaring himself head of the Church of England and then Anne Boleyn consented to marry him.

Their early months of marriage were happy ones, and their first child, Elizabeth, was born in 1533. Anne had several miscarriages after that, and she never gave Henry the son he so desperately wanted, so he accused her of every capital offense he could think of: numerous affairs, incest with her brother, plotting his murder, and witchcraft. She was convicted and sentenced to death. The only mercy he showed her was in ordering that she be beheaded by a sword, rather than a common axe.

 

John West

********************************

Lord Thomas West m 19 Nov 1571 Ann Knollys

b 9 Jul 1557 Wherewell, Hampshire, England d 1601/02

[See addendum Lord Thomas West, Chapter 15, page 99]

Ann Knollys

********************************

Sir Francis Knollys Catherine Carey

b 1514

d 1601 d 1569

[See addendum Sir Francis Knollys, Chapter 16, page 101]

Catherine Carey

*********************************

Sir William Carey 1 m 4 Feb 1520 Mary Boleyn

Mary was sister to Anne Boleyn and cousin to Queen Elizabeth. Before her marriage to Sir William Carey, Mary was briefly mistress to King Henry VIII. After William Carey’s death, his sister-in-law, Anne Boleyn was appointed administrator of his estate by Henry VIII. She was given charge of his children as well, despite the fact that Mary was still alive and a grandfather and an uncle still lived who were quite capable of the task.2

Mary Boleyn Henry VIII

1 The descendants of Mary Boleyn, the sister of Queen Anne Boleyn, are now regarded as most likely the descendants of Henry VIII, not of William Cary, Mary’s husband. It was considered very bad form for a man to have sexual relations with his wife while he was being cuckolded by the King, so Catherine was likely the daughter of Henry VIII.

2   Encyclopedia Britannica

Mary Boleyn

**********************************

Sir Thomas Boleyn Elizabeth Howard

Thomas Boleyn, through his mother, Margaret Butler, had some claim to the Butler titles, one English and one Irish, but because of the Civil War between the Lancasters and the Yorks, these were the subject of dispute.

Mary’s sister Anne Boleyn was not a beautiful woman, but her charms led her to Henry. Her intention was to be Queen of England, but Henry’s marriage to Catherine stood in the way. Henry finally divorced his first wife and married Anne in January of 1533. The exact date is not known. Anne was a weak, petty woman with little in the way of stable character. In September of 1533 she gave birth to Elizabeth, later to become queen.

Anne fell into disfavor and was accused of having many court lovers. Her reputed lovers were executed one by one, and Anne was finally confined to the tower. On her way to the chopping block she protested her innocence. The case against her has never been proved. She regarded the prospect of her own death with levity, laughing heartily as she put her hands about her own neck and praised the skills of the executioner. The day after Anne was beheaded, Henry married Jane Seymour.

 

 

 

THE MOTHS HAVE ALREADY BEEN HERE

THE Moth-Infestation-2010-A

THE MOTHS HAVE ALREADY BEEN HERE
©2017 Ken Finton

It is January 1962. Outside, winter’s icy breath heaves while little fingers of cold air find their way through the loose clapboards of the two-roomed hut. Inside, a man, a girl, and a young boy sit around a pot-bellied stove soaking up the warmth.

They hear a car door slam, then a pounding on the door, rhythmical like a carpenter’s hammer.
A large, graying man with three days growth of beard and hair growing far beyond his ears gets up to answer the door. “No,” the girl says. “It’s him again. Please, Daddy, don’t go to the door!”
A well-groomed man with a white shirt and dark tie steps inside the hut bringing the chill of winter with him. He leans against the wall, a soiled paper sack in his hands.
“Good morning, Mr. Taylor,” he says, his rat-like eyes darting around the room from comer to corner.
The girl stands up. Her face becomes taught, like a coil of rope suddenly spilled to tension. The man glances the room, his eyes roaming the squalid corners, smelling the slithering stale air. The window’s one solitary shaft of light is flashing on him, soon to be dimmed by the flow of darkness.
“I have a few more things,” the man starts to say.
“I hate you,” the girl screams. She runs into the other room and is swallowed by the darkness.
The man’s face drops. His falsified smile falls to the floor and he does not bother to pick it up. His hands tighten around the soiled paper sack as his eyes follow her running. It takes a while for him to regain presence of mind, but when it comes he is angry. “If this Is a token of your appreciation, Mr. Taylor…”
“She’s got her own feelings,” Holden Taylor says. “I can’t do anything about it.”
The man lays the sack beside the gap in the front door and steps outside.
Shivers of cold run through Holden Taylor’s back. His voice cracks with emotion. With anger? With humiliation? With gratitude? “Thank you, Mr. Adams.”
Adams shakes his well-groomed head and walks out into the fresh coldness of the outside air.
The girl is lying on the bed, her clothes soiled upon her youthful body. She looks unkempt but pretty––older than her sixteen years. Holden Taylor sits down beside his daughter and puts a gentle, work-knotted hand upon her bony shoulder. The smell of the damp mattress fumes in his nostrils. “Rose,” he says softly, “it won’t be like this much longer.”
“Won’t it,” she says, so softly that it shrieks.
“No, we’ll make out,” he says. “Just you wait and see. We just got to get back on our feet, that’s all.”
“They’re just rags,” she says, her eyes wide, the whiteness bulging. “They’re just filthy old rags that the Salvation Army wouldn’t even take.”
“Now, Rose,” her father says, “don’t take it that way, honey. Try and be grateful. It’s hard sometimes, but we’ve got to be grateful.”
“Grateful,” she mocks, lying down on the bed. Holden Taylor shuffles away. Rose closes her eyes. With sight blocked out, her father’s motions sound like the creaky, unsteady movements of a weak-kneed old man.
With her eyes shut, the light filtered through in violet shades. She tries to imagine how her father looked last July just before the layoff at the plant, but her father’s image was blotted away by the image of the drab factory brick with the barred windows, the large trucks backed against the loading platform, the sounds of clanking metals whipping through the windows. In her mind, she sees an image of the foreman stepping up behind her father, his white shirt blazing with the insolent brightness of authority. Around them, machines are grinding out the same song, the same refrain sung day after day without letup––tiresome, nerve-wracking, steel shattering machines that never stop. “Taylor,” the foreman says, his words swooping visibly from his mouth, “we won’t be needing you after Monday. I thought you ought to know.” The foreman smiles in Rose’s imagination, his teeth cutting in her head like tiger fangs.
Stamped upon the image of the foreman came an image of her mother and the house on Windsor Street, a fleeting glimpse at that December night just before Christmas…
“My God, it’s cold,” Holden Taylor said to his wife, flicking off the kitchen light. “Fifteen below.”
“And it is supposed to drop ten more degrees before morning,” his wife said.
The Taylor’s two-story frame house stood against the icy blasts––a shield of protection, their haven.
“Let’s go to bed, Honey,” Taylor said. “Hey, Rose,” he called up the steps, “is it warm enough up there?”
“It’s pretty cold, Daddy.”
“I’ll bring the heater up,” Taylor said. “Let Jimmy sleep with you. We’ll close the door to his room and shut off the heat.”
Holden Taylor plugged the heater in at the foot of Rose’s bed and little Jimmy climbed in beside her. Outside the mercury edged downward, like a snake worming deeper in its nest. They fell asleep to the rhythmic whirr of the heater fan. The coal furnace roared against the bitter cold.
And then it was warm. Rose dreamed that she was sitting on a stove when suddenly the stove began to warm up over the entire surface like a sheet of heated metal. For a while. it was pleasingly warm. Then the metal became hot and turned red. Rose could smell the burning and awakened screaming for the family against a wall of smoke. Awake, she threw back the covers and pulled Jimmy out of the bed. She stumbled toward the window, screaming for the family, but she could not hear her own voice over the roar of the burning wood. Her lungs began to burn and she tugged frantically at Jimmy’s arm, pulling hard toward the window. Her head began to swim and she was dreaming again, lying on a beach with the hotness of the sun pouring down upon her and Tommy’s loving fingers playing on her back. She was laughing and dizzy and all the world was a beach of sand and the ring of laughter. She could feel herself being dragged toward the water and said, “No, Tommy, not now,” but she was thrown into the icy water. It was fresh and cold and breathtaking. It felt good to be away from the sun, tucked away in the icy chill of cooling waters.

She awoke is a hospital. Her back felt very sore and hot. Her father stood in front of her. She could see his face and hear his words, but they sounded as though they had come from the stars, low and faint, from far away, like the voice of God might be.
“It’s all right now, Rose,” her father was saying.
“My back, Daddy. It hurts.”
“You’ll be all right,” he said. “Rest now and everything will be fine.”
“Everything will be Rosy,” she said. He smiled and whispered back, “Yes, Rose. Everything will be Rosy.”
Her memories of the earlier days in the hospital were sketchy as a badly exposed roll of film. Some parts were dim and unclear while others flamed forth with caustic brilliance. Her father stood by her bed with a glistening stream running from each eye.
“How badly is my back burned, Daddy?” she asked, “Will it leave scars?”
Tears were trickling down his cheek and running around his lip. She imagined that they tasted of salt.
“It’s nothing, Daddy,” she said. “What’s a few scars anyway? We’re lucky that we have only a few scars, aren’t we Daddy?”
“Oh, my God, Rose,” he said.
“Daddy,” she whispered. “Where is Mother?” She had known before she asked, though she was very calm as if she were talking about the weather.
Holden Taylor shook his graying head.
“And what about Jimmy and Richie?”
“Jimmy’s fine,” her father said.
“And Richie?”
Holden Taylor shook his head.
“Please, Daddy, I’d like to be alone,” she said. She held back the choking tightness that tore at her throat until he had stepped outside the ward.

* * *

Dismissal day finally came. It was a cold, gray sky day without color.
“We’re going home now,” Holden Taylor announced. He helped her into the battered 1947 Kaiser that looked as though it had fought the Korean war single-handed. Taylor had swapped his freezer for the Kaiser last November after the finance company took the other car.
“It’s not much,” her father continued, “but some of the folks around town got together and fixed us up with a place to stay until we get on our feet again.”
Holden Taylor closed the door and turned the key. “I just hope this thing starts,” he said.
The thick oil churned against the pan. The starter hummed a bit, then died out completely.
They walked back into the hospital from the parking lot. The phone booth in the hallway was open and Rose could hear every word.
“Hello, this is Holden Taylor. I’m out at the hospital, you know, and my car just won’t turn over. How much is a service charge? … Oh, it is?… Well, I just can’t spare that much cash right now… I wonder if I could charge it until… Oh, I see… No, I know you can’t… yes… All right then… Thanks anyway.”
They walked back out to the lot. Holden Taylor lifted the hood and took the breather from the carburetor. A man with a plaid cap pulled his car up behind them and gave them a shove. The engine sputtered twice, then started, and they were on their way.
“How long will it take to fix our house, Daddy, Rose asked as they rolled down the narrow streets towards the outskirts of the town.
Holden Taylor let his breath run out and pulled it back slowly. “I didn’t pay on the insurance, honey,” he said.
“Oh, Daddy, Rose cried, “why didn’t you tell me?”
“No use worrying you about things like that,” he said. “You’lI have enough anyhow with your mother gone.”
Rose sat in silence until they pulled up in front of a two-room hut that looked worse than anything had a right to look.
Her father pulled on her arm, but she screamed and stamped her feet on the torn rubber of the floorboard. “I won’t,” she said. “It’s a filthy hole. I won’t go in. I won’t!”
“But, Rose, Jimmy’s in there. It’s all we have right now.”
“Oh, Daddy, I just can’t.”
“Goddamn it, Rose, get out of the car,” her father said, softly.
One week later, a man came to the hut. Rose heard the pounding on the door, opened it half a crack and peeked through with one eye, keeping her face concealed in the dimness. The man stood outside, his hair shining like a film of oil spread to kill mosquito larvae. He forced the door open and stepped inside. Holden Taylor jumped up from his chair.
“It’s quite all right, Mr.Taylor, allow me to introduce myself. I’m Richard Adams. Quite a number of the good folks in our community have heard about your… misfortunes… and they’ve gotten together a few things that you’ll he able to use. I know you need clothing, food, pots and pans, and we’ve provided you with shelter. You need all sorts of everyday things, and I’ve taken the liberty of bringing some things out to you.”
“You’ve got something for us?”
“Of course,” Adams said. It’s the least I can do. After all, what are good neighbors but the one’s that help those in need.” Rose shied away to a corner and turned her face so that she would not be recognized.
“Would you help me bring these things in, Mr. Taylor?” Adams said. The way he pronounced Mr. Taylor turned Rose’s stomach.
The snow had drifted across the path that led to the driveway, seeping into Holden Taylor’s shoes, sticking to his pants leg, filling his cuffs. Adam’s new Chevrolet station wagon was loaded with sacks of clothes, cans, shoes and pans.
The door stood open and the hut cooled off with the gusts of cold air. Rose covered her shoulders with a blanket and put a tender hand on Jimmy’s head as the men piled the boxes in the center of the room.
“That’s it for now, Mr. Taylor,” Adams said, rubbing his hands together, wringing out imaginary germs. Lice? “I’ll bring some more in a day or so.”

He came regularly for the next two weeks bringing more of the–discarded sweaters, dresses too big, shoes with holes in the bottom and scuffed toes, old suits with cigarette burns and lapels six-feet wide, jars of homemade preserves with mold on top, month old eggs that smelled like the fumes from a chemical plant, cans of food without labels. This poured in regularly.

Yesterday, Rose met Tommy at Chive’s Drug Store. They sat back in a corner away from the others. It was very cold and the walk uptown had chilled her, even to the one filling in a molar on an otherwise perfect set of teeth. She saw Tommy gazing at her clothes when her eyes were turned, but he looked at the straw in his coke when she turned her eyes his way.
“What’s the matter?” she asked. “Is something wrong with me?”
“No, of course not,” he said. “What makes you think that?”
“You’re staring at my clothes.”
“I’m not either.”
“You don’t like my coat? Do you want to me to take it off? Do you want to my dress? Maybe that will look a little better to you. Or maybe it’s my back you want to see? That’s it, you want to see my scars.”
“Oh, stop it,” he said, “What’s the matter with you anyway?”
“It’s all changed, hasn’t it, Tommy.
“No,” he said, slowly, as though he weren’t sure himself.
“You don’t want anything to do with me.”
“Not if you keep on acting like some spoiled brat,” Tommy said in a burst of pent up anger. There are worse things than what you’ve been through, you know.”
“I know,” she said.
“What’s eating you, Rose?”
“I don’t want to talk about it. Not here.”
“Want to take a drive?”
“Yes, I’d like that,” she said.
He climbed out of the booth and walked out. She followed him obediently. She thought that all eyes trailed after her and I-knew-it-all-the-time smiles were hidden behind the dozens of youthful pouts.

It was their spot, their palace of memories, a pull-off to the side of a graveled road. She had seen it only in the night. It felt different in the glare of day, but everything looks different in the light. Tommy used to take her there frequently before the fire, back in the days when they had a date every Saturday night and Tommy wasn’t ashamed of being seen with her. She felt as though her respect had been burned away in the fire.
“Tommy, why isn’t it the same? Why does it have to to be different,” she wanted to say. Some things are communicated without words, with furtive glances sideways. “Keep the motor running,” she said as he reached toward the ignition switch. “It’s cold out here.”
They sat in silence.
“Remember the first time we came out here?” she asked.
“Sure,” he said. “It was the beginning.”
“And this is the ending,” she said. “Some little play without a plot. It all begins and ends in the same place.”
“Tell me about it, Rose,” he said. “Do I have to beg you?”
“There’s nothing to tell,” she said.
“There’s everything to tell. What is it? The way you have to live now? No money? What?”
“It makes a difference, Tommy.”
“The hell it does,” he said. I love you, Rose. I wish I could take you away, but we’re too young.”
“Let’s go back,” she said.
“Not until you tell me what’s eating you up inside.”
“Nothing but ashes,” she said. “Just ashes, that’s all. Everything is ashes.”
He said nothing.
“Do you know about ashes, Tommy? Ashes aren’t even remains. They’re just an alkaline powder that blows away with time. When you have ashes, you have nothing. I know an old woman who had her husband cremated and keeps his ashes in an old vase sitting on her piano. She thinks she has his remains, but she’s wrong. She has nothing but ashes and ashes are like space… nothing.”
Still, he said nothing.
“Look at my clothes,” she said. “They’re ashes. Things that are ready for the incinerator. Shoes with holes, maternity dresses, just like they expect I’ll be wearing one real soon. All we poor girls do, you know. The food they give us? Rotten eggs. What do they do with their trash? They give it to us, that’s what. I’m surprised that I don’t find cigarette butts and trash from somebody’s waste basket. The poor old Taylor family. ‘Hey, Mabel, let’s give them those cans of jelly that’s down in the cellar. The kids won’t touch them. All they have to do is scrape the mold off the top and it’s perfectly fine underneath.’”
She began to cry and he slipped his arm around her. She buried her face in the looseness of his open coat.
“And that’s not the worst of it, Tommy,” she sobbed. “Daddy has been taking all that stuff with smiles and a thank-you just as though they gave us a million dollars! I think he’s beginning to like it.”
She sobbed against his shoulder. His armpits smelled like deodorant.
Now the winds are howling like some ghost searching for his soul at midnight. The light cuts though into the hut where some semblance of order has been restored. Rose is mending a sweater and Jimmy is stoking the pot-bellied stove. Holden Taylor sits reading the newspaper.
The rap comes again to the door, the carpenter’s hammer, Mr. Adams of the smiling regiment and the putrified hair.
“Daddy,” Rose whispers, “don’t.”
Holden Taylor shuffles to the door, his weight creaking the floorboards, stirring up the smell of must and rot.
“Hello, Mr. Taylor,” Adams says. “I trust that everyone is in tip-top shape. You’ll never guess what I’ve got for you today. He turns and yells to someone outside. “Bring it in, boys.”
The door stands open, the wind freshening their senses with cold. Two men appear carrying a large chunk of yellowed enamel, a refrigerator.
“That’s it, boys,” Adams says. “Take it easy now. Sit it right there. That’s it, boys. That’s fine.”
He shuts the door. Holden Taylor runs his hand over the cold white metal. He feels the nicks in the enamel, then the chips where brown and gray primer shows through. Hc opens the door and looks inside. The box is stained from a hundred leftovers, he notices, but it will clean, he thinks.
“How’s that, Mr. Taylor,” Adams says. “You’ll really he able to use this, I know. It makes a man feel rather small when he thinks about how the community opens up its heart to the needy ones.”
Holden Taylor squats down on his knees and runs his hand under the refrigerator until he finds the cord. He tries to plug it in, but the prongs are bent the wrong way. He straightens them out and slips them easily into the socket, waiting for the purr of the motor.
Nothing happens.
He opens the door. The light is not on. He smells something burning in the motor. “Mr. Adams,” he says, “this refrigerator does not work.”
“Oh,” Adams says, “I hadn’t noticed.” The smile is still on his face––a chalky, plastered smile.
Rose speaks, her voice carrying above the wail of the wind. “If you really want to help us, Mr. Adams, help my father get a job.”
“I didn’t know you wanted to work, Mr. Taylor,” Adams says.
Holden Taylor stands with his head drooping, not answering.
“And you, young lady,” Adams says, turning to Rose. “You have no sense of respect. After all the things I’ve done…”
“Oh, yes, Mr. Adams,” Rose says. “All the things you’ve done. Take a look at me, Mr. Adams. I look like some lost refuge with all the clothes you’ve so generously provided.”
She walks over to the make-shift kitchen. “This pan,” she says, “has a hole in the bottom. It’s most useful. Of course, I must remember that you and the community have generously provided us with food.”
She picks up a jar of molded jelly from the food box and throws it at Adams’ feet. The glass breaks and splatters jelly on his shoe. “Molded jelly. Great for the digestive system. And now you bring us a refrigerator that doesn’t work. What are we supposed to do with it, Mr. Adams? Store our clothes in it? Keep the moths away? Oh, no, Mr. Adams, that wouldn’t help. The moths have already been here.”
She is speaking calmly, her voice a mere whisper that echoes far and deep.
Adams’ face is red, his eyes white with anger. “You piggish little hussie,” he says. “You ingrate…”
“Mr. Adams, says Holden Taylor, his voice unexpectedly piercing to the marrow of the bones. “That’s enough. There will be no more talk like that in my house. I think it’s better if you would leave now.”
Adams leaves with a wave of cold air. Holden Taylor steps over to his daughter puts his arm around her shoulder. “Now what good did that do us, honey?”
“I couldn’t stand it anymore, Daddy,” she sobs. “I just couldn’t stand it.”
“It’s all right,” Holden Taylor says.
“Oh, Daddy, I hate it all, Rose says, crying into his shoulder.
“I know you do, honey,” Holden Taylor says, rocking her back and forth. “All of us do.”


(originally written in 1963, revised 2017)
March 2, 1963
Ken H. Finton