~e; re: crucifixions

From brian carroll <human@electronetwork.org>
Date 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...'

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