~e; re: crucifixions
brian carroll <email@example.com>
Mon, 11 Apr 2005 00:01:22 -0500
thanks Hans for your comment (hope you are doing
well post-flood). you framed what has been a very
difficult enigma, and between the movie Spartacus
and distribution poles, there is finally suitable
context to delve into differentiation of points-
of-view of what a symbol may mean, or even many
meanings and their relation to one another. of
electric crosses in relation to formations of
energy patterns, it reminds me of a book by Guy
Murchie about how trees are energy forms which
result when seeking out photosynthesis. so too,
electrical poles may be an outgrowth of seeking
out an artificial nervous system (spinal network)
for connecting distributed sensors with brains.
i think 'time' can be problematic as an assumption
in considering electromagnetic cultural information,
as there are so many embedded contexts. previously
having done a 'crucifixion' scene, to demonstrate
the cultural symbolism (roman, other) inherent the
grid, it would only be considered as religious or
a private view. though like the Roman empire (and
crosses existed before that, and have always had
metaphysical symbolism associated with their form)
it was a huge expanse of different lands, peoples,
and these crosses were part of the ordering system.
the context created previously for this cross-as-
symbol (non-religious) was that like the classical
architectural orders (or any architectural orders,
say from Egypt and structural ordering systems),
there was a constant in the built environment, a
series of some rules by way of which things were
made and conceived and considered and remembered,
even today, it is something that probably is to
be found in Russian neoclassical architecture,
or .US federal architecture, this lineage of form,
detailing, etc. that this architectural ordering
of space, time, place has been given an implicit
meaning and connection to antiquity is the norm,
it is standard issue. the only difference between
this and the electrical infrastructure, comparing
crosses of roman times with today, is that one is
considered architecture (orders), by tradition,
and the other, electrical infrastructure, is not,
as it is considered engineering and without any
implicit cultural content/meaning in its form,
beyond 'science'. i've written a thesis that in
effect proves that the electrical infrastructure
is in fact architecture, today, and thus that the
electrical pole is the equivalent of the ancient
architectural orders, though in a less refined-
state, more as an origin (in wood, no less, as
with theories of how the orders themselves arose)
of a future solidified cultural infrastructure.
a fact in such a context would be able to then
be evaluated not by the traditional viewpoints,
upon which there is no basis for such comparison,
and trying to make a connection is seen as some
kind of private religious determinism or delusion.
point for point, definition by definition it can
be shown otherwise that today's infrastructure
does carry cultural information of what preceded
it, just as semaphores in Napoleonic France are
extended through microwaves and any number of
advances today, that there is some evolution of
ideas that take on varying forms through time.
the boat-mast to cross structure is one such
corollary that is pre-roman, yet with the use
of capital punishment on the wooden cross, on
stretches of road outside the cities, (where
the architectural orders, marching columns and
capitals and entablatures, i doubt, traveled to)
that when 6,000 of Spartacus' followers were all
crucified at once, on crosses, on roadways, in
what is a direct parallel to wooden distribution
poles today (with 'cobra' (snake) lights on them,
no less), that the symbolism here is neither to
be disregarded or lost as cultural aberration.
if one takes 'the crucifixion' one is still pre-
christian as a subject, pre-roman even, yet with
that subject of Christianity it is identifiable
with present-day (Christian) culture as retaining
meaning as a symbol: the parallel still exists,
though not in the form of electrical crosses.
though what does exist, by taking into account
the reality of crucifixion in the lineage of the
forms which previously symbolized it, directly,
and mirror the scenery today worldwide with the
crosses as a sublime experience to contemplate.
as a form of capital punishment, it remains as
it does as a religious symbol for some, and as
it may as an artifact of this heritage of what
could amount to a symbol of power and control,
of order, that may even work in some psyches,
if taking evolutionary behavioral adaptations
into account, what would those ancestors of
Roman times think if transported today and to
see a world of some 'hundreds of billions' of
wooden crosses lining the roads? everywhere.
as an ordering device it functions just as did
the earlier architectural orders, structurally
the electrical lines of power, telecom, cable
television, street lighting, and lightning-
protection establishment a 'parti' system to
replicate over and over to extend this system
as a structure, bridging traditional realities
with this new infrastructure, bridge-building
of spanning the speed-of-light and harnessed
electromagnetic energy all around the globe.
that is, a new space (cyberspace), a new time
(lightspeed), held up in a place established
by these poles, crosses, pylons, towers, etc.
the cultural entablature, the stories, news,
tales, sports, arts, are transmitted 'friezes'
of data transversing about suspended wiring.
every one of our e-mails and communications
is right now going through this system to
get from point to point, and if we were to
be walking outside this data is fleeting on
through these wires without notice, beyond
the ability to notice, beyond the wooden
poles themselves, as symbols of such a new
cultural order, manifesting a new form of
energy harnessed to do work; i.e. power.
the roman infrastructure was the greatest
of achievements of that time of empire, it
has been said, and it could probably also
be an accurate description of the united
state's contribution to architecture as
well, that its greatest is infrastructure
(electrical power, telecom, computing, etc.)
the question of how to see infrastructure
in cultural terms, in some more full way,
is tied to this issue of being able to
see a symbol of a cross as having meaning
beyond that of one religion, yet allowing
it as a vital detail, yet a secular aspect
creates a logical context in which views
of many perspectives can co-exist to see
the cultural richness of today's infra-
structure and even EM knowledge, as its
earlier connection to, say, Middle-eastern
and Asian contributions in science, mathe-
matics, philosophy, so that it is not just
an invention of a certain idea, but how
ideas have accumulated charge over time,
and cumulatively add up to the present-
day or may add up to more if it is taken
into account in the design of, say, e-
poles and em-buildings, em-designs, etc.
this vital connection to the past is what
is missing in infrastructure and cultural
knowledge of it, today. and it could be
why archaeology (industrial and other)
is capable of approaching this realm in
a way more suitable than superstructural
approaches of architecture as building.
instead it is more like an excavation of
ideas, revealing patterns and connections,
and not only inventing/designing new ones.
i think the quote that says that most do
not recognize that by the time Christianity
came around with Jesus being crucified that
it was a thoroughly common event of capital
punishment, that went on for hundreds of
years, hundreds of thousands having died
this way, and thus it is still in the realm
of purely the numbers, the scale of events,
that the power of the symbol may be related
even more powerfully, of public significance,
for being a commonplace reality that is one
of the foundations of 'the west' which has
since become a worldwide symbolic pattern.
it says something. what, i am not so sure.
though i do not think it is limited by the
most common interpretations of meaning as
starting at the Christian crucifixion of
a religious prophet/leader, but rather of
the total effect, including this symbol as
it exists today, in relation to issues of
cultural memory that may still be at work
in that the crosses have implicit meaning,
--which predates even that of christianity.
here are some interesting quotes/links...
Crucifixion in Antiquity
'This form of state terror was widespread across the Roman Empire
which included Europe, North Africa and Western Asia. It originated
several centuries before the Common Era and continued into the fourth
century AD when the practice was discontinued by Constantine, the
emperor of Rome. While its origins are obscured in antiquity, it is
clear that this form of capital punishment lasted for around 800 years
and tens if not hundreds of thousands of individuals were subject to
this cruel and humiliating death. Mass executions in which hundreds and
thousands died – such as the well known crucifixion of 6,000 followers
of Spartacus as part, of a victory celebration along the Appian Way in
71 BCE – appear in the literature.2'
'As a deterrent in the ancient world, many of its victims were
crucified where the criminal event took place as was the case with
thieves or along the cities busiest thoroughfares. The situation can
perhaps best be summed up by Quintilian who wrote that, "whenever we
crucify the guilty, the most, crowded roads are chosen, where most
people can see and be moved by this fear. For penalties relate not so
much to retribution as to their exemplary effect."18'
// my goodness, read previous paragraphs in the following url
// for an account of being bound up in a sack with an ape, dog,
// or viper, and thrown into the sea... Roman capital punishment...
Catholic Encyclopedia: Capital Punishment
'Crucifixion was a method of inflicting capital punishment by nailing
or tying malefactors to pieces of wood transversely placed the one upon
the other. The crosses used by the ancients were of several forms; one
shaped like the letter X has often been called crux Andreana (Andrew's
cross) because, according to tradition, St. Andrew suffered death upon
a.cross of that form; another was formed like the letter T, and a Roman
writer, Lucian, uses that fact in disparagement of the letter itself.
The third kind of cross, and that most commonly used, was made of two
pieces of wood crossed so as to make four right angles. It was on this
kind of a cross that Christ suffered, according to the unanimous
testimony of the Fathers. Crucifixion, under the Roman law, was usually
reserved for slaves and the worst kind of evildoers. The incidents of
crucifixion were that the criminal, after the pronouncement of
sentence, carried his cross to the place of execution, a custom
mentioned by Plutarch and other writers as well as in the Gospels.
Scourging was inflicted upon the persons executed as in the case of
other capital punishments among the Romans. Grotius and other writers
have called attention to the fact that the scourging of Christ was not
in accordance with the Roman usage, because it was inflicted before the
sentence of death was pronounced. The criminal was next stripped of his
clothes, and nailed or bound to the cross. The latter was the more
painful method, as the sufferer was left to die of hunger. Instances
are recorded of persons who survived nine days. The Romans usually left
the body on the cross after death.'
it is important to note that, like fire and burning at the stake
(as stated in the link above) electricity is similarly symbolically
used in the form of the electric chair for capital punishment today.
Crucifixion: General Information // 500 crucifixions per day
'Though closely associated with Rome, crucifixion originated with the
Phoenicians and Persians. It was practiced from the 6th century BC
until the 4th century AD. The Roman emperor Constantine I banned
crucifixion in 337.' [note: permanent placement of wooden poles]
'The social stigma and disgrace associated with crucifixion in the
ancient world can hardly be overstated. It was usually reserved for
slaves, criminals of the worst sort from the lowest levels of society,
military deserters, and especially traitors. In only rare cases were
Roman citizens, no matter what their crime, crucified...'
the electronetwork-list: electromagnetism and culture...