Brother AACOOLDRE : Strabo writings on the Lukewarm city of Laodicea

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  1. AACOOLDRE

    AACOOLDRE Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    STRABO’s writings on the lukewarm city of Laodicea: How Aristotle comes in to settle the disputes.

    By Andre Austin

    Strabo was a Stoic historian (64BC-25AD) who traveled all over the place writing his Geography. I’m interested in his description of the city of Laodicea because I’m writing a book on them as they relate to Rev chapter three. Here are excerpts of his report on that city:

    “16.-Laodiceia, though formerly small, grew large in our time and in that our fathers, even though it had been damaged by siege in the time of Mithridates Eupator (King of Pontus 120-63BC), however, it was the fertility of its territory and the prosperity of certain of its citizens that made it great: at first Hieron, who left to the people an inheritance of more than two thousand talents and adorned the city with many dedicated offerings, and later Zeno the rhetorician and his son Polemon, the latter of whom, because of his bravery and honesty, was though worthy even of a kingdom, at first by (Mark) Anthony and later by Augustus. The country round Laodiceia produces sheep that are excellent, not only for the softness of their wool, in which they surpass even the Milesian wool, but also for its raven-black colour, so that the laodiceians derive splendid revenue from it…”.

    Here we see how/why Rev 3 say Laodiceia needs to wear white clothes. No details if the Zeno above was a stoic. He shares the same name of Zeno of Citium who founded the Stoics in the 3rd century BC. Lets continue with Strabo:

    “19-The lake between Laodiceia and Apameia, although like a sea, emits an effluvium (offensive smell) that is filthy and of subterranean origin”.

    Laodiceia had no water in the city and had to have Hot & cold water piped in from two other cities. Strabo continues:

    “20-Between Laodiceia and Carura is a temple of Men Carus (Zeus/Amen), as it is called, which is held in remarkable veneration. In my own time a great Herophileian school of medicine has been established by Zeuxis, and afterward carried on by Alexander Philalethes”.

    Archaeologist have found laodiceia minted coins with Zeuxis and Alexander with the image of Asclepius (Imhotep) the Egyptian God of medicine. The Greek and Romans linked Asclepius with Serapis (Osiris/Apis) and was known famously for curing the blind. This is the context of Rev chapter 3 calling the Laodicia blind and in need of salve that they also grew rich off of. The Hippocratic oath began by saying “I swear by Apollo (Horus) the physician and Asclepius (Imhotep), and health, and All-heal, and all the Gods”. It’s interesting that the Stoics worshiped Socrates who drank warm water and linked it with the Temple of Asclepius where the sick bathed in (Conversations of Socrates Book 3:13 By Xenophon. Epictetus told his followers not to drink water cold but warm. All of this warm water and healing will come into play latter in this essay.

    Another important clue about Laodicea comes from Everett C. Blacke in his Biblical Sites in Turkey where he states in describing Central Turkey:

    “There were two main military roads that went through Cappadocia and crossed at Soandus during the Roman period. One linked Ancyra and Tarsus through the Cilician Gates and present day Nigde. The other linked Iconium and Caesare Mazaca. This road also continued to Pessinus and Laodicea. But in spite of the main roads, people living here have always felt cut off. The security of the area, the fantastic eroded valleys, and the relative fertility made it a natural refuge from government and religious persecutions and encouraged an emphasis on other-worldly contemplation” (p.57). The key word for Philosophy was contemplation. I don’t know if they were infected with Stoicism but they did a Stoic “Cicero lived in Laodicea in the early months of 50BC administering justice” (p.121).

    Sometimes its good to read several versions of the Bible because you can pick up on clues that the other omits. I have a King James Version along with the New International Version. In Rev chapter 3 it talks about the Laodicea church being neither Hot or Cold but Lukewarm. In the book of Colossians 4:12-16 it implies that Epaphras a resident of Colossae has Zeal/passion for Laodicea in conjunction with bringing up Luke the physician/healer as if Laodicea lacks it. I was correct in my assumption because when I read the KJV in Rev 3:19 it tells the Laodiceans to “be zealous” which is synonymous with Passion. The Catholic Philosopher St. Augustine stated the Stoics were being called Wretched and pitiful (miserable/unhappy) because they lacked passion. Those very two words are mentioned in Rev 3:17 and it referred to a metaphor of negative Hot & Cold passions. So this left me with the obscure term of Lukewarm which I figured out was a double pun for Look and for healing. In Egypt when a person wanted to be healed they would say they want to “See God”. So the two puns on Luke go hand and hand. I already proved by inferences and deductions that Lukewarm was the positive and opposite of Wretched and Pitiful (unhappiness), so any more input data would be icing on the cake. Now enter Aristotle.

    Aristotle is the bandit and rascal that went in with the gang leader Alexander the so-called Great and ripped out Egypt of all of its books. Galen (130-201AD) was a physician for centuries was considered an authority on medical matters. Galen stated that the Stoics were influenced by Aristotle and Hippocrates and others like Plato and Socrates. I’m a lucky man because skimming through his books and digging in the index helped me have another eureka moment. It was like being a lawyer in court arguing about the originally intent of the Constitution and discovery a lost personal letter of the original framers to back me up. The equivalent of Lukewarm can be found in some of the writings of Aristotle when he said in Topics Book VI:

    “One commonplace rule, then, in regard to obscurity is, see if the meaning intended by the definition involves an ambiguity with any other, e.g. becoming is a passage into being, or Health is balance of hot and cold elements.” The Stoics corrected Aristotle in thinking the balance had to mix with the H & C. For the Stoics Virtue is sufficient for Happiness” and that you can be “sick yet happy”. Virtue was the balance of self not to bend towards the negative side of Hot & Cold. “it is a tenet of theirs that between virtue and vice there is nothing intermediate…the Stoics say a stick is straight or crooked”, because an excess of heat or cold leads to destruction just like the Egyptians taught. Recall the NT said they were neither H or C. The Stoics received their 4 steps of Virtue from Plato who in turn received it from the Egyptian Ten according to George G.M. James. 1. Wisdom, courage, justice (balance) and Temperance.

    With Lukewarm being health and balance it would have been the equivalent of the Nile (original called Hapi a word that happy comes from) being balanced between 14 cubits and 8 cubits in avoiding famine or destruction from a deficiency or an excess.

    The Nile (Hapi) was the Egyptian Holy water a priests would use to symbolically purify an individual who already done it with the heart of his/her deeds. Those who are pure in heart get to see God Matthew 5:8 and those that done evil have not seen him.


    Notes:

    Would encourage you to read Dr. Ben’s African Origins of the major Western Religions p.165) for his comparisons of the teachings of Amenemope (1405-1370BC) with Solomon’s Proverbs chapter 22:24. I don’t know what Bible version he uses when he quotes “Associate not with a passionate man, nor go with a wrathful man”. In the NIV it’s a Hot-tempered man and one easily angered and the KJV its Angry and furious. Amenemope says “Associate not with a passionate man, nor approach him for conversation”. In other Egyptian Lit it called not having a Hot-heart or in the negative Confession you say: I have not lost my temper or made my speech burn with anger. And of course the NT have their equivalents. In Egypt on Judgement day your heart was put on a scale and it had to balance towards truth not below it or above it so there was no mixture. Recall Lukewarm is a deed and it has to be good or bad

    Maybe I can get a Nobel prize for my new discoveries from those characters in Norway. Then I can run around in the ring like Ali with my mouth all wide and open. L & W= + should now be the logical consensus of the day.

    A good read of Joe Atwill book Shakespeare’s secret Messiah will demonstrate that the main character of Revelations isn’t God but Emperor Domitian trying to trick people into thinking he’s lord and god. Revelations was written during the reign of Domitian and at that time stoics and those who associated with them incurred his waft.

    We must remember that the Cynics and Stoics viewed Alexander as the tyrant, enslaved to his pride-and even his lust and corrupted by good fortune. “He was casted as a paragon of wickedness by some Christian writers, who largely developed the Stoic objections to his character” (Alexander the Great by Richard Stoneman p.97). Aristotle was his partner in crime so this may account for the Stoics going out of their way to explain their differences from him?

    I would invite you to read the Stoic Arrian book The Campaign of Alexander for a confirmation of Alexander’s sadistic behavior. For example: when he received an injury he slaughter 10,000 people and dragged their leader the eunuch Batis alive by attaching him on a chariot. On another occasion it was 7,000 which Plutarch calls his greatest stain on him. Alexander was a homosexual (Bi-sexual) with a eunuch named Bagoas. Strange as it may seem Josephus writes of a Bogas, from a different time period, who is also a eunuch in Ant XVII 2, 41-45. When I was in high school they presented this Greek as if he was a great humanitarian.
     
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