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Juan1234

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#1
Hi Everyone - What I'm about to post is completely from my imagination, so don't go trying to fact check it or argue with it. :) It's the kind of thing I wished I had found when I first began looking into the ancient practice of crucifixion years ago. Of course in reality, there's much about crucifixion that's unknowable. Even the idea that women were commonly crucified completely naked with the men, while probable, can't actually be proven, to my knowledge. Which is all rather disappointing. But if any of you can suspend disbelief enough to enjoy this, here's the kind of historic study I had once hoped to find. :)
 

Juan1234

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#2
Part 1: Ancient Practice of the Carthaginians

The practice of crucifixion is thought to have originated with the Carthaginians. The first documented crucifixion was that of Torag, king of a neighboring north African kingdom conquered c. 480 B.C. According to the anonymous “Annals of Carthage,” Torag had been a Carthaginian ally, but had turned against them. Probably for his treachery, more than for his resistance to Carthaginian rule, Torag’s entire family was executed:

“Torag he [Sulo, a Carthaginian general] crucified, then executed his family before the cross as the king looked on. His four sons he emasculated before hanging them. His wife and five daughters he impaled in the most shameful way. His brothers, uncles, and cousins he killed with the sword. All of this was Torag made to witness from his cross.”

Of course this episode from the Annals does not describe the crucifixion, but assumes the reader knows what it is, so it seems the practice predates Torag, assuming the entry was written close to the time.

We can learn the most about Carthaginian crucifixion from the Macedonian adventurer known to posterity as Nicholas the Scholar, who spent between 10 and 20 years at the Carthaginian court in the late 2nd century B.C., serving as court historian, sometimes soldier, and occasionally inventor. Nicholas owed his position to and kept his life at the pleasure of his Carthaginian hosts, so his accounts of Carthaginian exploits sometimes border on hagiography and cannot necessarily be relied upon in all cases. But when he speaks of the horrors of crucifixion, he leaves nothing unsaid. Indeed, Nicholas’ unflinching descriptions of the crucifixions he witnessed shed some light upon the general attitude of Carthaginians toward the practice; they apparently were not ashamed of their deeds.

Nicholas writes:

“Carthage has devised a most unmerciful attitude toward cowardice and failure among her warriors. Any soldier found to be a coward, or any general who fails the mission entrusted to him, is put to death. The method is terrible. In the presence of all his peers and subordinates, the unfortunate man is stripped of his robes and made to march in this naked condition up and down the ranks of the army. This being completed, he is flogged until his blood runs down his back. Following this, and still in the presence of the army, he is nailed to a cross, with great spikes through his arms and legs, so that his arms are outspread and he cannot move. This cross is then hoisted up so that the man is made to hang from it, and all the men watch him die.”

This is the most complete ancient description of crucifixion in any time or place. There are many other mentions of Carthaginian crucifixion, but most are mere mentions, and shed little light on the details of the practice.

The most enlightening are two further mentions by Nicholas. In the first, he lands on an unnamed island in the Mediterranean, which has recently been ravaged by pirates. “[The pirates] had not only taken everything of value and raped the women, but had crucified the whole village. Many of the people being still alive, we spent much of the day taking them down from the crosses. But the men complained of the work, as the villagers would die anyway.”

It is impossible to know how literally to take Nicholas’ claim that the pirates had crucified “the whole village,” but it is the first reference to a mass crucifixion, and the first to imply that both sexes were put to death in this way. (It seems unlikely that the phrase refers only to men. Nicholas has just finished referring to the women separately in the same sentence.) It also gives us some idea of how long victims of crucifixion might survive on their crosses. Depending on how scholars interpret Nicholas’ timeline in this section, he arrived on the island either two or three days after the pirates had left.

Later, Nicholas mentions that he was surprised upon entering Carthage after a campaign, to see two women hanging on crosses beside the road: “There hung two women among several men. I was surprised to see that these women should suffer so. For even being criminals, and deserving of their deaths, the Greeks would not expose a female in such an indecent way.”
 

Wragg

Chronicler of Crux
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#4
Part 1: Ancient Practice of the Carthaginians

The practice of crucifixion is thought to have originated with the Carthaginians. The first documented crucifixion was that of Torag, king of a neighboring north African kingdom conquered c. 480 B.C. According to the anonymous “Annals of Carthage,” Torag had been a Carthaginian ally, but had turned against them. Probably for his treachery, more than for his resistance to Carthaginian rule, Torag’s entire family was executed:

“Torag he [Sulo, a Carthaginian general] crucified, then executed his family before the cross as the king looked on. His four sons he emasculated before hanging them. His wife and five daughters he impaled in the most shameful way. His brothers, uncles, and cousins he killed with the sword. All of this was Torag made to witness from his cross.”

Of course this episode from the Annals does not describe the crucifixion, but assumes the reader knows what it is, so it seems the practice predates Torag, assuming the entry was written close to the time.

We can learn the most about Carthaginian crucifixion from the Macedonian adventurer known to posterity as Nicholas the Scholar, who spent between 10 and 20 years at the Carthaginian court in the late 2nd century B.C., serving as court historian, sometimes soldier, and occasionally inventor. Nicholas owed his position to and kept his life at the pleasure of his Carthaginian hosts, so his accounts of Carthaginian exploits sometimes border on hagiography and cannot necessarily be relied upon in all cases. But when he speaks of the horrors of crucifixion, he leaves nothing unsaid. Indeed, Nicholas’ unflinching descriptions of the crucifixions he witnessed shed some light upon the general attitude of Carthaginians toward the practice; they apparently were not ashamed of their deeds.

Nicholas writes:

“Carthage has devised a most unmerciful attitude toward cowardice and failure among her warriors. Any soldier found to be a coward, or any general who fails the mission entrusted to him, is put to death. The method is terrible. In the presence of all his peers and subordinates, the unfortunate man is stripped of his robes and made to march in this naked condition up and down the ranks of the army. This being completed, he is flogged until his blood runs down his back. Following this, and still in the presence of the army, he is nailed to a cross, with great spikes through his arms and legs, so that his arms are outspread and he cannot move. This cross is then hoisted up so that the man is made to hang from it, and all the men watch him die.”

This is the most complete ancient description of crucifixion in any time or place. There are many other mentions of Carthaginian crucifixion, but most are mere mentions, and shed little light on the details of the practice.

The most enlightening are two further mentions by Nicholas. In the first, he lands on an unnamed island in the Mediterranean, which has recently been ravaged by pirates. “[The pirates] had not only taken everything of value and raped the women, but had crucified the whole village. Many of the people being still alive, we spent much of the day taking them down from the crosses. But the men complained of the work, as the villagers would die anyway.”

It is impossible to know how literally to take Nicholas’ claim that the pirates had crucified “the whole village,” but it is the first reference to a mass crucifixion, and the first to imply that both sexes were put to death in this way. (It seems unlikely that the phrase refers only to men. Nicholas has just finished referring to the women separately in the same sentence.) It also gives us some idea of how long victims of crucifixion might survive on their crosses. Depending on how scholars interpret Nicholas’ timeline in this section, he arrived on the island either two or three days after the pirates had left.

Later, Nicholas mentions that he was surprised upon entering Carthage after a campaign, to see two women hanging on crosses beside the road: “There hung two women among several men. I was surprised to see that these women should suffer so. For even being criminals, and deserving of their deaths, the Greeks would not expose a female in such an indecent way.”
I should post it on Wikipedia, Juan! ;)

Make Pseudohistory into actual history! :D
 

Apostate

Administrator Emeritus
Staff member
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#6
Hi Everyone - What I'm about to post is completely from my imagination, so don't go trying to fact check it or argue with it. :) It's the kind of thing I wished I had found when I first began looking into the ancient practice of crucifixion years ago. Of course in reality, there's much about crucifixion that's unknowable. Even the idea that women were commonly crucified completely naked with the men, while probable, can't actually be proven, to my knowledge. Which is all rather disappointing. But if any of you can suspend disbelief enough to enjoy this, here's the kind of historic study I had once hoped to find. :)
Juan, I’ve read a lot and written a few faux historical accounts, and from this limited experience I can say you’ve got a feel for this. Pray, continue. ;)
 

phlebas

PRIMUS POENUS
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#7
Fascinating stuff.
However, I thought the work of Nicholas the Scholar was convincingly argued to be a later forgery by monks on Mount Athos, who had too much time on their hands and very over active imaginations.
The Carthaginian general Sulo came to a sticky end himself. The Annals tell of an unsuccessful expedition against Syracuse, after which Sulo returned to Carthage with his army in tatters. The disgraced general was stripped of his rank and crucified in public for his failure, his unfortunate wife and daughter by his side. Ye shall real as ye sow.
 
Last edited:

Juan1234

Magistrate
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#8
Fascinating stuff.
However, I thought the work of Nicholas the Scholar was convincingly argued to be a later forgery by monks on Mount Athos, who had too much time on their hands and very over active imaginations.
The Carthaginian general Sulo came to a sticky end himself. The Annals tell of an unsuccessful expedition against Syracuse, after which Sulo returned to Carthage with his army in tatters. The disgraced general was stripped of his rank and crucified in public for his failure, his unfortunate wife and daughter by his side. Ye shall real as ye sow.
I never bought the Athos forgery argument myself, but I guess it is worth mentioning as a possibility. As for Sulo's end, I'm sure you're aware that passage in the Annals only survives in Koine Greek, not the original Punic, leading me to believe it was a later addition and not reliable. (Some argue it is a translation of a lost portion of the original, but none of the surviving three originals mention it.) Also remember that Sulo's daughter was queen consort at the time and unlikely to go to the cross for her father's failure.
 

mp5stab

COMIX CARNIFIXA
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#9
The mention of Koine Greek makes this too convincing. How many people here have studied classics? Fr This is an oddly well-educated fetish, to say the least.

Flaur suggestion: Psuedomagistrate
 

Juan1234

Magistrate
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#10
The mention of Koine Greek makes this too convincing. How many people here have studied classics? Fr This is an oddly well-educated fetish, to say the least.

Flaur suggestion: Psuedomagistrate
I’ve wondered about that, actually. I would be really curious to see a pie chart of the MBTI personality types active on this forum. I suspect there are a disproportionate number of “intuitive” folks here, compared with the general population.
 

Apostate

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#11
Also remember that Sulo's daughter was queen consort at the time and unlikely to go to the cross for her father's failure.
Unlikely in actuality, but crucified queens are a popular theme in these parts. ;):very_hot:
 

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Apostate

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#12
I’ve wondered about that, actually. I would be really curious to see a pie chart of the MBTI personality types active on this forum. I suspect there are a disproportionate number of “intuitive” folks here, compared with the general population.
If nothing else, you’ve inspired me to refresh my knowledge of Myers-Briggs.
 

Apostate

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#15
I been told I was an ensj or ensp. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I’m sure that means something to someone
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/ENFP

ENFPs are initiators of change and keenly perceptive of possibilities. They energize and stimulate others through their contagious enthusiasm. They prefer the start-up phase of a project or relationship, and are tireless in the pursuit of new-found interests. ENFPs are able to anticipate the needs of others and to offer them needed help and appreciation. They bring zest, joy, liveliness, and fun to all aspects of their lives. They are at their best in fluid situations that allow them to express their creativity and use their charisma. They tend to idealize people, and can be disappointed when reality fails to fulfill their expectations. They are easily frustrated if a project requires a great deal of follow-up or attention to detail.
 
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#17
I’ve wondered about that, actually. I would be really curious to see a pie chart of the MBTI personality types active on this forum. I suspect there are a disproportionate number of “intuitive” folks here, compared with the general population.
Interesting Idea for a thread, like where did you get your avatar?
Which of the 16 MBTI Types are you?
 
Joined
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Location
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#18
Hi Everyone - What I'm about to post is completely from my imagination, so don't go trying to fact check it or argue with it. :) It's the kind of thing I wished I had found when I first began looking into the ancient practice of crucifixion years ago. Of course in reality, there's much about crucifixion that's unknowable. Even the idea that women were commonly crucified completely naked with the men, while probable, can't actually be proven, to my knowledge. Which is all rather disappointing. But if any of you can suspend disbelief enough to enjoy this, here's the kind of historic study I had once hoped to find. :)
Nobody is going to (or should) question what happens in a fantasy as envisioned by the author. They don't when I write. The debates are when someone makes a categorical unproven statement as if ti was a fact.

That's when the nails FLY!

That being said there are so many "personality" tests out there it has become a cottage industry. The last one I took classified you by communication styles and matched that with one of 4 bird type. I wound up being a Parrot, big shock there.

kisses

willwofall
 

Apostate

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#19
Nobody is going to (or should) question what happens in a fantasy as envisioned by the author. They don't when I write. The debates are when someone makes a categorical unproven statement as if ti was a fact.

That's when the nails FLY!

That being said there are so many "personality" tests out there it has become a cottage industry. The last one I took classified you by communication styles and matched that with one of 4 bird type. I wound up being a Parrot, big shock there.

kisses

willwofall
Which leaves one crucial question. Does Willow want a cracker?
 

phlebas

PRIMUS POENUS
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#20
I never bought the Athos forgery argument myself, but I guess it is worth mentioning as a possibility. As for Sulo's end, I'm sure you're aware that passage in the Annals only survives in Koine Greek, not the original Punic, leading me to believe it was a later addition and not reliable. (Some argue it is a translation of a lost portion of the original, but none of the surviving three originals mention it.) Also remember that Sulo's daughter was queen consort at the time and unlikely to go to the cross for her father's failure.
The lack of Sulo's account in Punic is problematic, certainly. The Annals is not the only reference to this unfortunate general, and we can only guess whether Juvenal is working from oral tradition, an unknown Punic history or that unreliable Greek when he has Hannibal proclaim:

‘We have accomplished nothing,’ he cries,’ till we have stormed
The gates of Rome, till our Carthaginian standard
Is set in the City’s heart. Should this not be so
Let me mount my cross, as did the fated Sulo’

Juvenal, Satire X
 
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