Monday, November 24, 2014

Rome and Jerusalem: Factions and Fanatics

Josephus wrote with blood and guts on his pen. Despite the propaganda element to Josephus you feel and sense the ancient realism and familiarity with disease, destruction, and death. It is an all too human drama of freedom, force, fanatics and tragic fate. Reading Josephus highlights the fact that religious fanaticism existed long before the Islamic extremists in the late 20th century or the Christian Crusaders and Inquisitors of the medieval period. It also reminds the reader that Imperial ambition has existed long before the present superpowers who seek greater security through greater power. Common elements of this Ancient and Modern Drama are: 1. Imperial intervention in the Middle East 2. Monotheistic Religious Zealots 3. Moderates stuck between imperialism and religious zealots 4. Terrorism 5. Factions and Fanatics/Force and Freedom 6. Rome’s inability or refusal to understand Monotheistic sensibilities along with the Fanaticism of certain elements within Monotheism.

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