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Carthage: Fact and Myth

Carthage: Fact and Myth



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Every empire has a cultural rival that both terrifies and fascinates the populace. During Rome's tenure as a Mediterranean superpower, the city had more than a few epic rivalries with its neighbors. Only one was so terrible, so frightening to the Roman people that upon its final defeat the Romans sowed the land with salt so no one could live in the city again.

Carthage is a city only relatively recently excavated, and often misunderstood. The Roman slant in historical writings either give Carthaginians legendary superpowers as opponents, or relate their barbaric and foreign ways as justification for conquest. Early archaeologists looked on the city and culture from a decidedly Christian point of view. A graveyard of infant bones became proof that the Carthaginians sacrificed babies. Statues to Ba’al and other deities brought over from Phoenicia painted them as, again, barbarians. For centuries, Carthage existed in literature as a mythical city in moden Tunisia inspiring both awe and horror but not many facts.

Carthage Fact and Myth is a beautiful effort to provide a real peek into ancient Carthage from a whole-world perspective. Edited by Roald Docter, Ridha Boussoffara, and Pieter ter Keurs, this collection of essays spans every subject of ancient Carthaginian life. Their origins and expansion throughout the Mediterranean, their religion, their daily life, their ways of war, their legends, even their advances in ship building are all covered by the historians contributing to the book.

This is decidedly written as a coffee table book, intended to kindle an interest in the UNESCO World Heritage Site and give the reader enough of both history and legend to find out more. The writing itself is varied in style due to multiple contributors, but every chapter is both easy to read and engaging. The topics vary depending on the authors' areas of expertise and are introductory, so a scholar looking for in-depth detail will only find a jumping-off point for further research.

Well written as it is, truly it’s the photography and artwork that make this a fantastic book. Pictures of archaeological sites and Carthaginian artifacts from museums all over the world, and artwork depicting various interpretations of both history and mythology do more to bring ancient Carthage alive than any text. Included is a thorough index of resources for further reading and museums to view Carthaginian art. Carthage Fact and Myth was a fascinating read and a gorgeous glimpse into Rome’s ancient adversary.


Our Rich History

At Carthage, we’ve seen 173 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters go out and go forth. We’ve changed our name — and even our location — since we were founded in 1847. But the core of a Carthage education has stayed the same: Our liberal arts foundation provides students with a strong academic, moral, and intellectual compass, so they become perceptive, resourceful, and grounded individuals.

Carthage College was founded by Lutheran pioneers in education, and chartered by the Illinois General Assembly on Jan. 22, 1847. Back then, the College was located in Hillsboro, Ill., and was known as The Literary and Theological Institute of the Lutheran Church in the Far West. The name was soon shortened to Hillsboro College.

With a two-person faculty and 79 students, Hillsboro promised 𠇊 course of study designed to be thorough and practical, and to embrace all the branches of learning, usually pursued in the best academies and colleges.”

Hillsboro prospered in its first two years, thanks to support from Lutheran congregations. In 1852, the College relocated to the larger town of Springfield, Ill., and assumed the new name of Illinois State University.

In 1870, the College moved again, this time to the rural, west-central city of Carthage, Ill., where the College acquired its current name. By 1916, the College gained accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and received the association’s highest rating of 𠇊” — one of only four colleges in Illinois to gain this honor. By 1927, enrollment in the College had reached nearly 300 students.

The Great Depression and World War II lowered enrollment to 131 students in 1943. Ten years later, the Board of Trustees agreed to consider relocating Carthage once again. By 1962, Carthage had established its lakeshore campus in Kenosha, Wis., and the College launched an era of exciting growth.


History of Carthage - Foundation - Foundation Myths

According to tradition, the city was founded by Queen Dido (or Elissa or Elissar) who fled Tyre following the murder of her husband in an attempt by her younger brother, the King of Tyre, to bolster his own power. A number of foundation myths have survived through Greek and Roman literature, see Byrsa for one example.

Other articles related to " foundation myths, foundation myth, myths ":

Famous quotes containing the words myths and/or foundation :

&ldquo We “need” cancer because, by the very fact of its incurability, it makes all other diseases, however virulent, not cancer. &rdquo
&mdashGilbert Adair, British author, critic. “Under the Sign of Cancer,” Myths and Memories (1986)

&ldquo Whenever any form of government shall become destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, & to institute new government, laying it’s foundation on such principles & organising it’s powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety & happiness. &rdquo
&mdashThomas Jefferson (1743�)


History of Carthage - Foundation - Foundation Myths - Queen Elissar

Queen Elissar (also known as "Elissa", and by the Arabic name اليسار also اليسا and عليسا) who in later accounts became Queen Dido, was a princess of Tyre who founded the city of Carthage. At its peak her metropolis came to be called the "shining city", ruling 300 other cities around the western Mediterranean and leading the Phoenician Punic world.

Elissar was the Princess of Tyre, married to the High Priest of the city, who was wealthy and enjoyed widespread respect and power among the citizens. Details of her life are sketchy and confusing, but the following can be deduced from various sources. According to Justin, Princess Elissar was the daughter of King Matten of Tyre (also known as Muttoial or Belus II). When he died, the throne was jointly bequeathed to her and her brother, Pygmalion. She married her uncle Acherbas (also known as Sychaeus) High Priest of Melqart, a man with both authority and wealth comparable to the king. Pygmalion was a tyrant, lover of both gold and intrigue, and desired the authority and fortune enjoyed by Acherbas. Pygmalion assassinated Acherbas in the temple and managed to keep the misdeed concealed from his sister for a long time, deceiving her with lies about her husband's death. At the same time, the people of Tyre called for a single sovereign, causing dissent within the royal family.

After learning the truth, Elissar fled Tyre with her husband's gold, and managed to trick the Tyrian ships sent in pursuit to join her fleet. When her ship was overtaken by the Tyrian ships, she threatened to throw the gold overboard and let the would-be captors face the wrath of her brother for failing their mission. They opted to join her, and the augmented fleet sailed on towards the West. Elissa eventually sailed to Africa after a brief stop at Cyprus, where she rescued 80 virgins from a temple. She requested land to establish a new city from the king of the Libyan tribe living near Byrsa after reaching Africa. Told that she could have as much land that can be covered by an oxhide, she cut the hide into thin strips and managed to surround the hill of Byrsa. The initial city of Carthage was founded on the spot. When the Libyan king later sought to marry her, which would have caused the city to become part of the king's domain, she chose instead to kill herself.

Famous quotes containing the word queen :

&ldquo Oh Sleep! it is a gentle thing,
Beloved from pole to pole!
To Mary Queen the praise be given!
She sent the gentle sleep from Heaven,
That slid into my soul. &rdquo
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Carthage: Fact and Myth - History

In Greek mythology, Dido was the founder and queen of Carthage, a city on the northern coast of Africa. She was the daughter of Belus (or Mutto), a king of Tyre in Phoenicia *, and the sister of Pygmalion. Dido is best known for her love affair with the Trojan hero Aeneas *.

King Belus had wanted his son and daughter to share royal power equally after his death, but Pygmalion seized the throne and murdered Dido's husband. Dido and her followers fled from Tyre, landing on the shores of North Africa. There a local ruler named Iarbas agreed to sell Dido as much land as the hide of a bull could cover. Dido cut a bull's hide into thin strips and used it to outline a large area of land. On that site, Dido built Carthage and became its queen.

Carthage became a prosperous city. Iarbas pursued Dido, hoping to marry her, but Dido refused. After her husband's death, she had sworn never to marry again. Iarbas would not take no for an answer and even threatened Carthage with war unless Dido agreed to be his wife. Seeing no other alternative, Dido killed herself by throwing herself into the flames of a funeral pyre. In another version of the story, she mounted the pyre and stabbed herself, surrounded by her people.

The Roman poet Virgil used part of the story of Dido in his epic the Aeneid . In Virgil's account, the Trojan leader Aeneas was shipwrecked on the shore near Carthage at the time when Dido was building the new city. After welcoming Aeneas and his men, the queen fell deeply in love with him. In time, the two lived together as wife and husband, and Aeneas began to act as though he were king of Carthage. Then Jupiter * sent a messenger to tell Aeneas that he could not remain in Carthage. Rather, his destiny was to found a new city for the Trojans in Italy.

pyre pile of wood on which a dead body is burned in a funeral ceremony

epic long poem about legendary or historical heroes, written in a grand style

destiny future or fate of an individual or thing

Dido was devastated when she heard that Aeneas planned to leave. She had believed that the two of them would eventually marry. Aeneas insisted that he had no choice but to obey the gods, and shortly afterward, he and his men set sail for Italy. When Dido saw the ships sail out to sea, she ordered a funeral pyre to be built. She climbed onto to it, cursed Aeneas, and using a sword he had given her, stabbed herself to death. In 1689, the English composer Henry Purcell wrote an opera, Dido and Aeneas, that was based on the story and characters from Greek mythology.


The Fake-Jew “Holocaust” Is A Hoax

A little research will prove it to you. Never believe anyone or any “official source” unless you can verify it for yourself. The earth is flat, too. Look it up.

The following three main titles will provide all the evidence you need.
1. “The Creature from Jekyll Island,” by G. Edward Griffin
2. “The Myth of German Villainy,” by Benton L. Bradberry
3. “The Six Million: Fact Or Fiction?” by Peter Winter

Hellstorm
Holocaust handbooks
Holocaust deprogramming course

Fred Leuchter

Fred Leuchter Report

Gas chamber expert Fred Leuchter – YouTube

The [Fred] Leuchter Report – FULL – YouTube

Fred A. Leuchter Report on Gas Chambers – YouTube

Fred Leuchter excerpt about his investigation of alleged gassings in Auschwitz
https://youtu.be/0Ejp3jdU1zk

“What is important about this report are the results that were published. Categorically, none of the facilities examined at Auschwitz, Birkenau, all of them, could have supported, or in fact did ever support, multiple executions utilizing hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide, or any other allegedly or factually lethal gas.” “[Even assuming these facilities were capable of serving as execution chambers,] using very generous execution rates, it would have required 68 years to execute the alleged number of six million persons.”

The Myth of German Villainy
– Full audio part 1

– Full audio part 2 (forthcoming on youtube)

Ernst Zundel – Interviewed by an Israeli journalist (1996)
https://youtu.be/A5sbegfCz7o

David Irving – The Faking of Adolf Hitler for History
https://youtu.be/bwp7tVZuXKM

Bishop Richard Williamson

“Not a single jew died in a German gas chamber.”
https://youtu.be/bkzL_8KcbNc

Holocaust Hoax – Science Repudiates Mass Cremation Stories https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EikKFuMEK1g

Leon Degrelle – The Epic Story of the Waffen SS
https://youtu.be/_nKEKhgGsAI

General Patton: We Fought The Wrong Enemy – The Greatest Story Never Told Segment by Dennis Wise YTC
https://youtu.be/l3ulb-YBvnA

Ernst Zundel
“The Hitler We Loved and Why”
Richard Verrall’s “Did Six Million Really Die? The Truth At Last”,

The Holocaust Industry- Norman Finkelstein with Michael Coren
TheArmenianNation
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRIsuvT0EkA

Become a Holocaust “Denier” in 14 Minutes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6AmyRTBdXI&t=1s

Holocaust Lies Debunked Once and for All https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1slx74zKQMc

The Holocaust Was A Hoax

READ THIS! before you leave comments calling me a Nazi or saying i’m full of crap watch the video. Theres solid proof in it that …

The ultimate Holocaust Gas Chamber Challenge https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vi1AtKtPrXM

A investigation by International Revisionist Video Productions (Copyright 2004) Into the accepted historical account of the …

Hard Facts of The Holocaust HOAX https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bZ8eFHkj0E

Holocaust Survivors who Tell the Truth https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVmIaBW-HjI

And the list of material goes on and on and on and on. Simply look up “holocaust hoax” on google or youtube, and read the books that appear for reference. There are many.
Why the lie and why the wholesale destruction of some of the most decent, prosperous, and productive people in all of history? Because Germany had captured decisive dominance of industrial production by 1906 and again even more by 1932, so that Rome and her British banker boys could NEVER have caught up to her, let alone have competed. This is why Rome and her international cohorts of jesuits, masons, and ashkenazi banker “jews” colluded in 1906 and again in 1933 to destroy Germany at war, because they simply had no other way to maintain their dominance. Where they jews wage economic war by boycott, their patsies the world political leaders will soon follow.

Had Rome’s “allies” not engaged the entire world’s fiat economy-driven countries to destroy Germany, the world would be living free from fiat-banker corruption and under the pleasing umbrella of independent hard currency and free trade. Until, that is, until the group of evil bankers arose AGAIN and brainwashed the sheeple of the world to their corrupted form of economic and political dominance of fiat currency.


7 well-known myths in American history

1. The colonists first declared independence on July 4th, 1776

The Continental Congress actually voted for independence on July 2nd, not July 4th.

Since this is the date on the Declaration of Independence that we have today, we assume this was the day that the declaration was made. In reality, the Continental Congress voted for independence and drafted the first document on July 2nd. When a revised copy was adopted on the 4th, it was re-dated, and that was the date that stuck in history.

It’s likely that the Founding Fathers would be surprised that we celebrate Independence Day on the 4th of July. After all, independence was declared on the 2nd, the final document was not signed until August, and the U.S. wasn’t formally recognized as a separate country until the colonies and the British signed the Treaty of Paris on September 3, 1783.

In fact, our second president, John Adams, even wrote that “the Second of July, 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America.”

2. Pocahontas fell in love with John Smith and saved the settlers

We all know the story of Pocahontas according to Disney, but that version is pretty far from the truth. First of all, the name “Pocahontas” is actually a nickname that means something close to “spoiled child.” Her real name was Matoaka, but it is true that she was the daughter of the chief Powhatan.

Second, we can categorically deny any romantic relationship between Pocahontas and John Smith. She actually married John Rolfe and returned with him to England. Even this marriage may or may not have been based on love. Pocahontas was kidnapped and held captive in the Jamestown colony for about a year during a war between the native tribes and the Jamestown colonists, and she agreed to her marriage to Rolfe as a condition of her release.

Even the part of the story she is most famous for is dubious. According to Smith, he was saved by Pocahontas from being stoned by her father, but historians disagree on the veracity of this claim.

Some find his claims of this event doubtful because he only started reporting the story about 17 years after it would have happened. Others believe that claims of this being a lie were simply an attempt to undermine his authority. Some even suggest that the whole scenario of a feigned execution and the subsequent saving by a member of the tribe was a traditional way of welcoming an outsider into the tribe.

The fact is that we may never know if Pocahontas saved Smith from stoning, but if she did, it’s unlikely that the reason was her love for him.

3. Betsy Ross designed and sewed the first American flag

Betsy Ross probably wasn't the only person responsible for creating the US flag.

While Betsy Ross likely contributed to the 13-star design of the first American flag, there is no historical evidence to suggest that Ross was solely responsible for creating the flag. More likely, the design was a collaborative effort led by Francis Hopkinson, who designed many of the seals and symbols for the early United States.

In fact, Ross never claimed to be the designer of the flag during her lifetime. She is only noted as claiming that she was the person who selected a five-pointed star over a six-pointed one because they were easier to sew.

The enhanced story of Ross’s contributions to the creation of our first flag most likely come from her family. Her grandson William Canby told the story of how George Washington himself came into Ross’s store one day and was impressed by how easily she could make a five-pointed star, commissioning Ross to create the entire flag on the spot. This makes a pretty good story, so it stuck, true or not.

4. Orson Welles caused mass panic in 1938 by adapting H.G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds during a live broadcast, because people thought it was really happening

It’s true that this was widely reported in newspapers across the country, but in reality, the “mass panic” was just a handful of confused people who tried to call into either CBS or their local stations to learn more. Although there were few commercial breaks during the program, The Mercury Theatre on the Air, there were four announcements made during the broadcast stating that it was a work of fiction.

Plus, the broadcast was at a very unpopular time for that station, and there were other, more popular shows on at the time, namely NBC’s The Chase and Sanborn Hour. This would be like trying to cause a mass panic by reporting something on TV at 2 pm on a Tuesday when another major channel is showing a new Game of Thrones special episode (without the help of the internet to spread it along). Few people were listening, and those who were listening were largely not fooled.

So why did panic get reported? Well, as it turns out, this is a clear case of media sensationalism—and it was on purpose. Back then, newspapers and radio were stiff competitors, so many journalists relished an opportunity to make radio seem foolish or even dangerous. (Really not so different now actually.)

5. Paul Revere bravely rode alone across the colonies from Boston to warn of the coming troops, yelling “The British are coming!”

Paul Revere probably didn't yell "The British are coming" and he wasn't alone.

If Paul Revere had really yelled “The British are coming!” in the streets, he wouldn’t have been very effective at getting the word out. First of all, the trip was conducted as quietly as possible, in order to avoid being detained by British patrols. Even when he was conveying his news, Revere most likely said the less catchy phrase, “The regulars are coming out!” Since many people at the time still considered themselves British, it would have been a pretty confusing message otherwise.

Paul Revere wasn’t alone either. Riders were sent on routes in all directions out of Boston. On Revere’s path alone, two other riders were sent with him. In fact, of the three, Revere’s ride was perhaps the least illustrious. Revere was quickly detained by a British patrol, which took his horse, forcing him to cut short his ride and return to Lexington on foot. The others carried on without him. Without the patriotic poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, it’s possible we wouldn’t remember his name today.

6. The troops at the Alamo were fighting to make Texas (and keep America) free

The 250 Texans that died at the Alamo were not fighting for freedom, as much as they were fighting for slavery. You see, Texas was then technically still a part of Mexico that had just been overrun by American settlers. The Mexican government mostly didn’t mind the encroachment, but simply regulated Texas as a part of the whole country.

When Mexico banned slavery in 1829, though, the Texans with Southern-style plantations run by slaves started seriously planning ways to get the freedom to keep slaves.

In an attempt to placate the angry (Mexican) state of Texas, the Mexican government made an exception to the slavery ban in the mostly American-settled region. When General Santa Anna revoked this special exemption in 1835, the Texans revolted.

After winning a few small victories against the Mexican army, the overconfident Texans divided their army and left just a few hundred men in San Antonio. Santa Anna surprised the town in February 1836 and rather than capturing survivors, killed them all at the Alamo.

When Santa Anna was captured during a later surprise attack motivated by the battle at the Alamo, he was forced to trade his freedom for the freedom of Texas. Texas formed its own republic, and immediately reinstated slavery as a legal practice.

7. The Puritans came to the New World seeking religious freedom

The Puritans were likely seeking a place with less religious freedom.

A more realistic version of history would be that the Puritans came to the New World to escape other people’s religious freedom.

The originally English Puritans did leave England in 1593 for Protestant Holland in hopes of escaping persecution for their separatist religious beliefs.

Once they got to Holland, though, they were horrified to discover that the Dutch tolerated all sorts of “crazy” religions. Judaism, Catholicism, and even agnosticism and atheism were allowed to be freely practiced alongside the more common Protestantism by the tolerant Dutch.

Worried that this religious freedom would decay the morals of their children, the Puritans then left for the New World in 1620. Two more groups followed, allowing the Puritans to create a Puritan colony in Massachusetts.

The new Massachusetts colony was as intolerant as the Dutch had been tolerant, forcibly banishing anyone for not conforming to Puritan values. Eventually, though, the Puritan church’s power broke down. Children born in the New World slowly abandoned the Puritan religion for the less strict versions of Protestantism brought by later groups of immigrants.

By 1691, King Charles II put the final nail in the coffin of the fully Puritan state by enhancing protection for religious dissenters in the British colonies.


Myth, History, and Pagan Origins

I originally wrote this article in 1999 and it was published in mildly mutilated form that year in The Pomegranate, a journal of Neopagan scholarship. Its attempt to discuss the role of mythic thinking in Neopagan history did not go over well, to put things mildly, but it seems even more relevant now than it did then. — JMG

Over the last few decades, the debate about the origins of modern Paganism has swelled steadily in volume, if not always in clarity. All through this debate, several odd features have maintained a persistent presence. Perhaps the oddest is the way that the question of Pagan origins has almost always been framed in terms of history, as though its meanings and the implications of the question are liinited to matters of bare historical fact.

That focus seems sensible enough at first glance, since the modern Pagan revival does have a history, one that deserves serious study. Still, it’s increasingly clear that to treat the subject of Pagan origins as a purely historical question is to evade the dominant issues of the debate. In my one previous contribution to the debate, my co-author and I focused purely on the historical dimension. The nature of the response made it clear that, whatever our intentions, the article was read by many people in terms of mythic issues (Greer and Cooper 1998).

Those issues come up, in one way or another, whenever the roots of modern Paganism are discussed within the Pagan community. They are not matters of evidence and inference, sources and developments they have to do instead with questions of validity, of meaning and of ultimate concerns. They are not questions of history, in other words, but of myth.

The real subject of the whole debate, in fact, is the origin myth of modern Paganism. From this standpoint, the thicket of claims and counterclaims that surround these questions can only be effectively untangled by approaching Pagan historical narratives at least partly from their mythic side—by understanding them as myths, with all that this implies.

Dealing with any dimension of myth nowadays, though, is a difficult matter. People raised in the industrial societies of the present era typically view myths through a set of unspoken and highly problematic assumptions. These assumptions are the ambivalent gifts of a culture that has very little understanding of myth in general, and even less of its own mythic underpinnings.

History and Myth

Some of the most important of these assumptions are coded into the very words we use to discuss the subject. To most people in modern Western societies, the word “myth” means, simply, a story that isn’t true. The phrase “myth of racial superiority,” for example, is used to mean that the claims made by racists of various stripes are factually inaccurate, as of course they are. The word “history,” in turn, is treated as an antonym of “myth,” and thus a synonym for “truth” — or at least of “fact.” Myths are stories about events that didn’t happen, in other words, while history is what did happen. Thus any attempt nowadays to speak of Pagan origin stories as myths tends to run up against the immediate response, “But this isn’t myth – it’s history. It’s true!”

This sort of Pagan-in-the-street definition is to some extent a caricature, but it reflects a real and pervasive attitude toward the realm of myth. That attitude comes out of the ideas and definitions of truth that came into fashion in the West around the time of the Scientific Revolution – ideas that restrict the concept of truth to the sort of thing that can be known by the senses and written up in newspaper articles. (The literature on the modern West’s blindness to the mythic is extensive, but not always useful. One of the best analyses is that of Roszak 1972.)

In an earlier time, different definitions held sway. “Myths,” as one classical philosopher put it, “are things that never happened, but always are.” This draws a distinction useful for understanding myth, but even so it can mislead. Myths can be made out of events that happened, of events that never happened, or a mixture of both. I propose that it’s not the source that defines something as myth, but the function not whether the thing happened, but whether it is – whether it goes beyond the merely factual into the realm of meaning and ultimate concern, of the deep patterns of interpretation through which people comprehend their experience of the world.

Myths, according to this understanding, are the stories groups of people use to teach themselves about who they are and what the world is like. They are the narratives that define a given vision of reality. The myths of a culture or a subculture have tremendous power to shape the universe of human experience – one reason why such stories (“metanarratives,” in current terminology) have come to be treated with a good deal of suspicion in postmodernist circles – and that power is greatest when the myths are accepted blindly, unthinkingly.

History as Myth

It was reflections of this sort, in part, that motivated the rejection of myth by the founders and banner-bearers of the Scientific Revolution. They sought to purge society of myth, to replace myth with historical and scientific fact (see Roszak 1973, 101-61). That was the plan, at least it’s clearly not the way things turned out. Human beings are incurably mythic creatures. Take away myths from a group of people, and they will quickly construct new ones demand that they believe facts rather than myths, and they’ll construct their new myths using facts as the raw material

This is exactly what happened to modern industrial societies. The mythical narratives of these cultures are called “history,” “scientific theory,” or just “the way things are” – anything but “myth.” Thus, for example, most people raised in American culture think of Progress as a simple historical fact, and never notice that in this idea they are actually touching on the ruling myth of the modern world.

Myth, supposedly the antithesis of science, affects the sciences just as much as any other part of our culture. Thomas Kuhn, in his magisterial The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, has demonstrated that the great shifts from one scientific paradigm to another are motivated less by changes to data than by the realization that the new paradigm tells a better story than the old one did. More telling still, the anthropologist Misia Landau has shown that scientific theories of human evolution are lightly rewritten hero myths of the classic type, with Homo sapiens in the starring role, and every one of the ineidents common to hero myths around the world present and accounted for (Landau 1984: 262-68).

History is even more vulnerable to this sort of disguised mythology. The common notion that history is simply “what happened” is naive, to use no harsher word “what happened” in any single day in any small town, recorded in detail, would fill volumes. The historian must select – must decide what is important and what is not – and makes the selection, consciously or not, on the basis of the story he or she is trying to tell.

Some postmodernist theorists have claimed, on the basis of such considerations, that history is simply another mode of fiction. Such claims have been widely criticized as overstated, and this criticism seems reasonable. Historians are indeed in the business of storytelling, but the stories they tell are bound by a set of very specific rules, foremost among them the rule that every event in their stories should be a verifiable fact. More deeply, though, history in the proper sense of the word has specific goals, as well as specific materials and rules its purpose is to show the texture and flow of past events, in all their complexity and ambiguity, through a selection of illuminating facts. This purpose can overlap to some degree with the goals of myth (or of fiction), but overlap is not the same thing as identity.

In the modern fusion of history and myth, therefore, something is arguably lost on both sides. History and myth are both types of stories — but they are different types of stories. They have different goals and expectations and, usually, different raw materials as well. A story that tries to be both rarely succeeds well at either.

This is the kernel of truth behind the otherwise very questionable claim, made by certain modern pundits, that our society suffers from a shortage of myths. On the contrary, we have plenty of myths we just call them “science,” “history,” and so on, and think that their validity depends on the accuracy of the facts that make up their raw material. We no longer examine them as myths we no longer judge them on their strength and meaning on the mythic level. More important, we no longer ask ourselves what these stories are teaching us, what kind of world they are leading us to build.

Such questions remain highly relevant in the present situation, because not all myths are constructive, or positive, or useful. Consider the myth of racial superiority mentioned above. This is a myth in both senses of the word, the deeper one as well as that of the person-in-the-street. It’s a story that some people use to teach themselves about who they are and what their world is like. In the hands of a powerful storyteller such as Adolf Hitler, it’s capable of shaping the behavior and destiny of entire nations. The results of such shaping can be traced without much difficulty in the history of the century now ending, and there are very few people who would argue that those results have been positive.

It’s clear, therefore, that myths have implications and consequences. They shape consciousness, and therefore they shape behavior. The myths one believes in determine the world one creates, for good or ill. By examining the implications of a myth, it may be possible to guess at the sort of world that myth is likely to create.

The Myth of Pagan Origins

There are many different accounts of the origins of modern Paganism, backed up with historical claims of varying degrees of plausibility, and so far – as mentioned earlier – disputes about the claims have hidden the fact that what lies behind them is a single, powerful, and very distinctive myth. Setting aside all the arguments about historical evidence for a moment, and looking at the myth itself as a myth, the whole debate takes on a very different character.

To help get past the historical dimension, I will outline the myth as though it were a folktale from some distant culture. Told in such a way, it might go something like this:

Once upon a time, long ago, people lived in peace and harmony with eaeh other and the world, following the teachings of their ancient Pagan faiths. Then a terrible and tragic event happened. (The nature of this event differs from version to version – the introduction of Christianity, the arrival of patriarchal Indo-European invaders from the East, or any of several other variants.) This shattered the peace and happiness of that ancient time, bringing in its place savage persecution, oppression, and every kind of suffering.

Still, despite all this, a small remnant hidden away in deep woods and isolated places kept alive the ancient traditions in secret. The Burning Times are a testimony both to the savagery visited upon this small remnant, and the steadfastness with which they persevered despite all opposition.

Finally, in the fullness of time, the ancient traditions were revealed again, and people began to turn away from the oppressive system around them – a few at first, but then steadily more and more. The defenders of Christianity (or patriarchy, or whatever the villains of this tale happen to be called in any given version) have responded with renewed persecution, but their strength is weakening daily. Sooner or later, the whole process will conclude with a renewal of the golden age, and people will once again live according to the ancient traditions, in peace and harmony with each other and the world.

This “folktale” version of the origin myth of modern Paganism is derived from many sources draw n from the current Pagan subculture. (See especially the extraordinarily revealing “Life, Death, and the Goddess: The Gnosis Interview with Starhawk and Carol Christ,” Gnosis 48 (1998), 28-34, in which Christ argues for the historical reality of a scheme basically identical to the one given here.) There are, of course, some Pagan origin accounts that do not follow the story given here, but it should be noted that claims of lineal connection between modern Paganism and its ancient equivalents are not a necessary part of the story. There are many full-blown versions of this myth that explicity renounce such claims without impairing the myth as such.

Other Versions of the Myth

In trying to make sense of this myth and its implications, Pagan seholars have one great advantage: it’s not a new myth, or one unique to modern Paganism. It’s actually quite old, and it’s found in many versions throughout the history of Western cultures. The names of the characters change from version to version, but the story remains essentially the same. For the sake of comparison, here is another version, which is familiar to most people nowadays:

Once upon a time, long ago, people lived in peace and harmony with each other and the world, in the state of primitive communism. Then a terrible and tragic event happened: the invention of private property. This shattered the peace and happiness of that ancient time, bringing in its place savage persecution, feudalism, and every kind of suffering.

Still, despite all this, a small remnant hidden away in the deeps of the proletariat kept alive the ideals of a classless society. The outbreaks of class warfare throughout the feudal period are a testimony both to the savagery visited upon this small remnant, and the steadfastness with which they persevered despite all opposition.

Finally, in the fullness of time, the precepts of dialectical materialism and proletarian solidarity were revealed, and people began to turn away from the oppressive system around them – a few at first, but then steadily more and more. The defenders of capitalism have responded with renewed persecution, but their strength is weakening daily. Sooner or later, the whole process will conclude with a renewal of the golden age, and people will live in the glorious dictatorship of the proletariat, in peace and harmony with each other and the world.

Again, the story is the same only the names have been changed. Still, the historical mythology of Communism—like the historical mythology of modern Paganism – is a recent revision of a rnuch older and more widespread myth. The most common form of that myth in Western culture is also one of the very earliest, and it’s familiar enough that it shouldn’t be necessary to repeat more than the beginning:

Once upon a time, long ago. the first two people in the world – Adam and Eve – lived in peace and harmony with each other and the world, in the Garden of Eden. Then a terrible and tragic event happened…

The implications of all this are not likely to sit well with many people in today’s Pagan community. From the original paradise through the Fall, the righteous remnant in their isolated purity, the age of persecution, the redeeming revelation, the rising struggle between good and evil, all the way up to the New Jerusalem and the restoration of the original paradise – the core myth of modern Paganism is structurally identical, point for point, with that of traditional Christianity.

What the Myth Implies

This in itself says nothing about what the myth implies, or what kind of world it creates for those that accept it. For that, mere labeling is inadequate. What is needed is a clear look at what the myth actually says and how it structures experience. Here, we can only make a beginning at that task. A full exploration of this myth – thc Christian myth of Fall and Redemption – could easily fill entire books. Still, there are at least a few points that can be seen clearly right away.

First of all, the myth we’ve described is a myth of moral dualism. There are two sides, and only two one is right, and the other is wrong. There is no middle ground, no moral ambiguity, only good and evil in stark contrast.

Secondly, the myth is agonistic — that is to say, it’s a myth of war. The opposition between the two sides in the myth isn’t complementary, like the Yin and Yang of Taoist philosophy, or the Oak King and Holly King of some Wiccan traditions there is no balance being struck, no greater harmony created, only a struggle to the death. Peace and harmony are restored only when one side no longer exists.

Finally, the myth is based on a cosmology of linear time. It has a beginning and an end, and travels from one to the other once and once only.

It probably needs to be stressed that all three of these characteristics are very much part of the modern Pagan version of the myth, not just the Christian and Marxist ones. It may be useful, for the sake of contrast, to imagine a Pagan version of the myth that eliminated these features – that presented the relation between Paganism and Christianity (or patriarchy, or whatever) as a creative balance between equally positive forces that saw, let’s say, the two of them as incomplete without each other, or forming some kind of greater whole in their union or that traced out the historical struggle between them and then said, “And then, in another two thousand years or so, another monotheistic, patriarchal religion will rise up and start the cycle again-and isn’t that wonderful!” Such versions of the narrative may be in circulation somewhere in the modern Pagan community, but they seem few and far between, at least at present.

Myth and Ideology

These points are central to the issues raised to this essay, beeause the three characteristics discussed above are among the central features that many modern Pagans use to distinguish their own spirituality from Christianity and other revealed religions. Many Pagan writers and teachers have claimed that Pagan spirituality rejeets moral dualism, ideologies of conflict, and linear time in favor of a cosmologieal polarity between opposites, in which each side is equally necessary and equally good, relating harmoniously in the endless dance of the cycles of nature and the turning of the heavens. The problem is that the historical claims and origin myths propounded by most of these same writers and teachers tell exactly the opposite story.

Such conflicts between ideology and mythology are not precisely rare nowadays close equivalents may be found all over the cultural spectrum. One highly relevant example from outside the Pagan community can he found in the writings of the Reverend Matthew Fox.

In his voluminous writings. Fox has some very harsh things to say about dualism. In fact, his argument – as presented at length in The Coming of the Cosmic Christ and other books – is that there are two and only two kinds o f religion, dualist and nondualist, which are utterly opposed to one another. Dualism is absolutely evil, while nondualism is absolutely good. At one point he spends the better part of two pages running through a long list of polar opposites, defining one (“nondualist”) pole as good and the other (“dualist”) as bad (see especially pp. 134-35, where the opposing powers of Fox’s Manichean cosmos are set out in a convenient list). All in all, it’s one of the better examples of hardcore moral dualism you’ll find this side of Gnostic scripture.

Fox, in fact, is probably the most dualistic thinker on the modern theological scene. His ideology rejects dualism, but his mythology is yet another version – an ecological, feminist, politically liberal version — of the myth we’ve been discussing, and it’s as deeply rooted in moral dualism as any of the others. His ideology and his myth are in conflict, and it’s the mythology that wins out.

Myth and the Future

Fox’s antidualist dualism is all the more important because you can find the same thing in most of the central texts of the modern Pagan revival. Pick up books by Starhawk, Riane Eisler or any of several dozen others, and you’ll find ringing critiques of dualist thinking phrased in highly dualistic terms. Myths have implications and consequences. They shape consciousness, and therefore they shape behavior. More to the point, they are at the height of their power when they go unrecognized and unexamined.

Much of what this implies depends on what today’s Pagans want their spirituality to be, and how they want it to develop over time. The histories of Christianity, Marxism and several other related traditions provide numerous examples of the ways in which the myth of Fall and Redemption tends to shape behavior and define the world. It may not be unreasonable to suggest that modern Paganism, by embracing the same myth, may be headed down the same road.

If this is the road the Pagan movement wants to take, well and good. Current initiatives in some parts of that community to establish a full-time paid Pagan clergy, and to redefine Pagan spirituality in terms of belief in some generally accepted set of doctrines, suggest that this process may already be well under way.

On the other hand, if that isn’t what the members of that movement have in mind, there is plainly a great deal of work to be done. Some of that work, it might be suggested, is a matter of confronting some of the thoughtways of Western culture: a matter of learning how to take myth seriously on its own terms, of facing the implications of myths and letting go of those myths that lead in directions we do not wish to take. Much of it, finally, has to do with learning the difference between myth and history, and realizing that the history of a tradition may have no particular bearing on its validity and relevance, or about the nature and powers of the mythic and spiritual forces in its deep places.

Bibliography

Fox, Matthew, The Coming of the Cosmic Christ (San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1988).

Greer, John Michael, and Gordon Cooper, “The Red Lodge: Woodcraft and the Origins of Wicca,” Gnosis 48 (1998), 50-58.

Kuhn, Thomas, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970).

Landau. Misia, Narratives of Human Evolution (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1991).

Roszak, Theodore, Where the Wasteland Ends (New York: Anchor, 1972).


Calypso and Odysseus

Calypso and Odysseus
The short mythical story of Calypso and Odysseus is one of the famous legends that feature in the mythology of ancient civilizations. Discover the myths about the ancient gods, goddesses, demigods and heroes and the terrifying monsters and creatures they encountered on their perilous journeys and quests. The amazing story of Calypso and Odysseus really is easy reading for kids and children who are learning about the history, myths and legends of the ancients. Additional facts and information about the mythology and legends of individual gods and goddesses of these ancient civilizations can be accessed via the following links:

Calypso and Odysseus
The mythical story of Calypso and Odysseus
by Jeanie Lang

The Myth of Calypso and Odysseus
Calypso of the braided tresses was a goddess feared by all men. It was to her island that the piece of wreckage to which Odysseus clung drifted on the ninth dark night after his ship was wrecked.

At night the island looked black and gloomy, but at morning light, when Odysseus felt life and strength coming back to him, he saw that it was a beautiful place.

In the sunlight, the grey, cruel sea was violet blue, and violets blue as the sea grew thickly in the green meadows. From the sea shore he walked inland until he came to a great cave, and in the cave sat Calypso, the beautiful goddess with the braided hair.

On the hearth a great fire burned, and the fragrance of the burning cedar and sandal- wood could be smelt afar off in the island. Calypso, wearing a shining robe and a golden girdle, was weaving with a shuttle of gold and singing as she wove. Round about the cave alders and poplars and sweet-smelling cypresses grew, and in them roosted owls and falcons and chattering sea-crows, and the long-winged, white-plumaged sea-birds. A vine with rich clusters of grapes climbed up the cave, and four fountains of clear water played beside it.

Odysseus knew that Calypso was a goddess that all men feared, but he soon found that he had nothing to fear from her, save that she should keep him in her island for evermore. She tended him gently and lovingly until his weariness and weakness were gone and he was as strong as ever.

But although he lived by the meadows where the violets and wild parsley grew, and had lovely Calypso to give him all that he wished, Odysseus had a sad and heavy heart.

'Stay with me, and thou shalt never grow old and never die,' said Calypso.

But a great homesickness was breaking the heart of Odysseus. He would rather have had one more glimpse of his rocky little kingdom across the sea, and then have died, than have lived for ever and for ever young in the beautiful, flowery island.

Day after day he would go down to the shore and stare with longing eyes across the water. But eight years came and went, and he seemed no nearer escape.

Yet, although he did not know it, the days of the wanderings of Odysseus were soon to end.

It was Poseidon, the god of the sea, who had sent all his troubles to Odysseus, because he had blinded his son, the wicked cannibal giant.

It was the grey-eyed Athene, a goddess who had always been the friend of Odysseus, who helped to bring him home. When she saw him daily sitting by the sea, gazing across the water with great tears rolling down his face, her heart was filled with pity. She knew, too, what troubles his wife and son were having in Ithaca while Odysseus was far away, and at length she went to the gods and begged them to help her to send Odysseus safely back to his kingdom.

Poseidon had gone to a far-distant land, and when the gods knew through what bitter sorrows Odysseus had passed, and how his heart ached to look once again even on the blue smoke curling up above the woods in Ithaca, they took pity on him.

They called Hermes of the golden wand, their fleet-footed messenger. On his feet Hermes bound his golden sandals that never grew old, and that bore him safely and swiftly over wet sea and dry land. In his hand he took his golden wand, with which he could lull people to sleep. Like a sea-bird that chases the fish through the depths of the sea, and dips its white plumage in the rolling breakers, so sped Hermes over the waves.

When he had reached the island of Calypso, he walked through the meadows of violets to the cave. But Odysseus was not there. Down by the rocky shore he sat, looking wistfully over the wide sea, while the tears rolled down his face and dripped on the sand. Calypso was in the cave, weaving with her golden shuttle, and singing a sweet song. Food and wine she gave to Hermes, and when he had eaten and drunk he gave her the message of the gods.

When she heard that the gods commanded her to let Odysseus go safely home, Calypso was very sad.

'Hard and jealous are ye gods,' she said. It was I who saved Odysseus as he clung to the piece of wreckage that drifted in the sea, and guided him safely to my island. Ever since have I been kind to him and have loved him, and now you are taking him away from me. But how can I send him? I have no ships nor men to take him back to Ithaca.'

If thou dost not send him, thou wilt anger all the gods,' said Hermes, 'and greatly will they punish thee.'

Then Hermes sped away across the violet meadows and the violet-blue sea, and Calypso went down to where Odysseus sat on the shore.

'Sorrow no more, poor man,' she said, 'for now, with all my heart, will I send thee home. Arise, and cut long beams. With thine axe make a wide raft and lay cross planks above for a deck. In it I shall place food and water, and give thee clothing, and send a fair wind, so that thou mayest come safely to thine own country. For such is the will of the gods, who are stronger than I am both to will and to do.'

'But surely thou plannest mischief,' Odysseus said. 'Thou bidst me cross the mighty sea in a little raft. I would not go aboard a raft, unless thou shouldst give me thy promise not to plan secretly my ruin.'

Calypso smiled, and gently laid her hand on his shoulder.

'I give my promise,' she said. 'I am planning for thee as I should plan for myself were I in a like case. My heart is not of iron, Odysseus, but pitiful as thine.'

Then she gave him a great, double-edged axe of bronze, with a strong handle of olive-wood, and a polished adze, and led the way to the border of the island, where grew tall trees, alders and poplars and pines. When she had shown him where the tall trees grew, she went home.

Odysseus went gladly and quickly to work. With his axe of bronze he soon had felled twenty great trees and had trimmed and neatly planed them. That done, Calypso brought him other tools, and bolts, and a web of cloth to make sails, and skilfully and well he made his raft. In four days his work was done, and he drew the vessel down with rollers to the sea.

On the fifth day, when Calypso had given him new warm clothes, and had put plenty of corn and wine and water, and many dainties that she knew Odysseus liked, in the raft, she said farewell. She sent a gentle breeze to blow, and Odysseus rejoiced as the wind filled his sails and carried him away from the island. Calypso had told him what stars he must use as his guides, and all her advice he followed, and so in eighteen days he saw land appear.

It was the land of the Phaeacians, who were famous sailors, and it looked like a shield lying in the misty sea.

But just when safety and home seemed very near Odysseus, his enemy, Poseidon the sea- god, returned from his wanderings in far-off lands.

When he saw Odysseus peacefully sailing towards the land of the Phaeacians, he knew that while he had been away the gods must have changed their minds, and were sending Odysseus safely home.

'Ha!' said the angry god, 'Odysseus thinks all his sorrows are over. Even yet I think I can drive him far enough in the path of suffering.'

With that he gathered the clouds into great stormy masses, and roused up the waters of the deep. Soon the thick black mist hid both land and sea. He let loose all the fierce storms and wild winds, and made the dark night rush down. The winds fought and clashed together and made the sea swell up into furious billows that rolled onward, mountain high, towards the shore.

Then the heart of Odysseus failed him. 'Wretched man that I am,' said he, 'would that I had met my death fighting in Troyland, and been buried like a brave soldier there.'

As he spoke, a mighty wave smote the raft and rushed over it. The helm was torn from his hand, the mast was broken in two, the sail and yard-arm were hurled far away, and Odysseus was swept into the sea.

For long the weight and force of the huge wave kept him under, and his clothes were so heavily clogged with water that they made him sink. But at last he came up, and spat from his mouth the bitter salt water that streamed down his face and head. Even then he did not forget his raft, but made a spring after it in the waves, clutched hold of it, and clambered in again.

Hither and thither the great waves carried it. Like a scrap of thistledown chased before the winds, even so was the raft of Odysseus driven. The south wind would toss it to the north, and again the east wind would cast it to the west to chase.

So pitiful was the sight of brave Odysseus thus tortured by the vengeful god of the sea, that a fair sea-nymph felt sorrow for him.

Rising like a white-winged sea-gull from the waves, she climbed on to the raft and spake to Odysseus.

Picture of Calypso and Odysseus

'The sea-god shall not slay thee,' she said. Do as I tell thee, and thou shalt not die. Cast off these heavy, water-logged clothes, leave the raft to drift, and swim with all thy strength to the land. Take now my veil and wind it round thee. With it on thou shalt be safe, and when thou dost grasp the mainland with thy hands, turn thy head away and let the veil fly back to the sea.'

With that she gave him her veil and dived like a bird into the water, and the dark waves closed over her.

But Odysseus believed not in her kindness.

'The gods have made a new plot for my ruin,' he thought. 'I will not obey this sea-nymph. This shall I do, as long as the timbers of my raft hold together, here will I stay. But if the storm shall drive the raft in pieces, then shall I swim, for there is nought else to do.'

Then the god of the sea stirred up against him a wave more terrible than any that had gone before, and with it smote the raft. Like chaff scattered by a great wind, so were the planks and beams of the raft scattered hither and thither. But Odysseus laid hold on a plank and bestrode it, as he might have ridden a horse. He stript off his wet clothes and wound around him the sea-nymph's veil. Then he dropt from the plank, and swam with all his might.

The god of the sea saw him and scornfully wagged his head.

'Go wandering over the sea, then,' he said, 'until thou findest help.'

Then he lashed his sea-horses, with their flowing white manes, and drove away to his own home far below the sea.

But Athene also saw Odysseus and bade all the winds be still but the swift North Wind. 'Blow hard, North Wind,' she said, 'and break the way before Odysseus till thou hast carried him on to the land of the Phaeacians.'

For two days and two nights Odysseus was borne onward on the swell of the sea.

When the third day dawned the breeze fell and there was a breathless calm, and he saw the land very near. With his heart near bursting with joy he swam on until he could see the trees on the shore.

Just then a great sound smote his ear, and he knew it was the thunder of the sea against a reef. Soon he saw that on that coast there were no harbours, nor any shelter for ships, but only jutting headlands and reefs, and great, rugged crags against which the sea broke thundering and crashing, and surging back in angry foam.

Then thought Odysseus: 'At last I have had a sight of the land, but there is no way to escape from the grey waters. If I try to land, the waves will dash my life out on those jagged rocks. If I swim further round the coast and try to find some inlet, then the storm-winds may catch me again and bear me onward far from the land, or the sea-god may send a monster from the shore water to devour me.'

But as he was thinking, a great wave bore him to where the breakers thundered on the reef. All his bones would have been broken, and his life dashed from his body, if Athene had not put a thought into his heart. As he was swept in with the rush of the wave, he clutched hold of the rock and clung there till the wave had gone by. But the fierce back-wash rushed on him, and the furious surge tore off his clinging fingers and cast him into the sea. With bleeding hands he sank under the great waves, and might have perished there, had not Athene once again whispered to him. He rose and swam outside the line of breakers, always looking for some inlet, until at length he came to where a fair river joined the sea.

Then Odysseus called aloud to the river and begged it to have pity on him, and to let him at last get safely to the land.

And the river was kind, and made the water smooth, and bore him up in its shining stream until he had reached the shore.

All bruised and swollen was his body, great streams of salt water gushed from his nostrils, but he lay on dry land at last, his breath and speech gone, wellnigh swooning. When he came to himself, he took the sea-nymph's veil and let it fall into the river. Swiftly it swept down the stream, and the nymph rose from the sea, caught it in her hands, and bore it away. Then Odysseus, kneeling down amongst the reeds by the river, kissed the earth for very gladness and thankfulness of heart.

'The river breeze blows shrewd and chill in the morning,' he thought, 'and the frosty night down here by the river might kill me.'

So he climbed up the hillside to a shady wood, and crept under the shelter of two olive-trees that grew so close together that no keen wind, nor sun, nor rain could pierce them.

There he made himself a bed of dry leaves, and lay down and heaped over himself the warm and fragrant covering.

Then Athene sent sleep to close his eyes, and at last warmth and comfort and happy dreams made him forget all the terrible things through which he had passed.

The Myth of Calypso and Odysseus
The story of Calypso and Odysseus is featured in the book entitled 'The Odyssey' by Jeanie Lang published in London in 1920 by T.C. And E.C.Jack.

Calypso and Odysseus - A Myth with a Moral
Many of the ancient Myth Stories, like the legend of Calypso and Odysseus, incorporate tales with morals that provided the old story-tellers with short examples of exciting tales for kids and children of how to act and behave and reflected important life lessons. The characters of the heroes in this type of fable demonstrated the virtues of courage, love, loyalty, strength, perseverance, leadership and self reliance. Whereas the villains demonstrated all of the vices and were killed or punished by the gods. The old, famous myth story and fable, like Calypso and Odysseus, were designed to entertain, thrill and inspire their young listeners.

The Myth of Calypso and Odysseus - the Magical World of Myth & Legend
The story of Calypso and Odysseus is one of the fantastic stories featured in ancient mythology and legends. Such stories serve as a doorway to enter the world of the Ancient Greeks and Romans. The names of so many of the heroes and characters are known today through movies and games but the actual story about such characters are unknown. Reading a myth story such as Calypso and Odysseus is the easy way to learn about the stories of the classics.


Carthage, Tunisia

CARTHAGE, ancient city in North Africa near the modern Tunis founded in the 9 th century B.C.E. by Phoenicians. There is no evidence of Jews in Carthage during the Punic period (before 146 B.C.E.) on the other hand, a number of modern scholars maintain that the expansion of the Phoenicians from Tyre and Sidon owed something of its impetus to the collaboration of Hebrews from the Palestinian hinterland. Substantial Jewish settlement is known only from the time of the Roman Empire. Its existence is shown from inscriptions (mainly on tombstones) and from literary sources, especially those of the Church Fathers. The majority of Jewish inscriptions from Carthage (discovered in a cemetery excavated near the city) show that the language of its Jews was Latin, although a few inscriptions are in Hebrew. The *menorah is common, and some of the tombs are decorated with wall paintings. The city is also mentioned in the Talmud. Of particular interest is the paradoxical statement: "From Tyre to Carthage the nations know Israel and their Father who is in heaven, but from Tyre westward and from Carthage eastward the nations know neither" (Men. 110a). "Africans" (Carthaginians) are also described as disputing with Israelites the title to the ownership of Ereẓ Israel. The Septuagint translates "Tarshish" by Karhadon (= Carthage). The Jews of Carthage and its surroundings were most probably originally emigrants whose number grew, particularly after the disasters in Ereẓ Israel (in 70 and 132𠄵) and in Egypt (in 115�). Some scholars maintain that in the Mediterranean area there was intensive proselytizing activity among the Phoenician populace, who felt particularly close to Judaism and who attached themselves to Judaism after their political decline. By this means the Phoenicians preserved their Semitic identity and were not assimilated by the Roman-Hellenistic culture which they hated. This view, though interesting, is highly problematical. Nevertheless, the possibility of successful Jewish proselytizing there cannot be dismissed. With the spread of Christianity the status of the Jews began progressively to deteriorate. The hatred of the Christians stemmed partly from the influence exercised by the Jewish religion in Carthage and the surrounding area, where there were many Judaizing sects and proselytes. Tertullian and Augustine give a few details about the Jews in Carthage, whose situation particularly deteriorated in the days of Justinian when the regulations issued against heretics affected them also. As a result synagogues were seized and converted into churches and many Jews fled. It is possible that in that period, under the influence of the exiled Jews, a number of North African pagan tribes became converted. The Moslem conquest ended the importance of Carthage and the center of Jewish life in the area passed to *Kairouan.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Monceaux, in: REJ, 44 (1902), 1� N. Slouschz, Hebraeo-Phéniciens et Judéo-Berbères (1908) idem, La civilisation hປraïque et phénicienne à Carthage (1911) Juster, Juifs, 1 (1914), 208, n. 8 G. Rosen, Juden und Phoenizier (1929 2 ) Mieses, in: REJ, 92 (1932), 113� 93 (1932), 53�, 135� 94 (1933), 73� Baron, Social 2 , 1 (1952), 176, 374 Y. Levi, Olamot Nifgashim (1960), 60� M. Simon, Recherches d'histoire judéo-chrétienne (1962), 30�.

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.


Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar

  • Deodorizer: Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial properties and claims to eliminate bad smells. Try it out by mixing apple cider vinegar with water to make a deodorizing spray.
  • Foot Soak and Deodorant: You can mix it with water and Epsom salts to make a foot soak that may help get rid of unwanted foot odor by killing off odor-causing bacteria. Wiping your underarms with diluted apple cider vinegar can kill bacteria and can be used as a deodorant.
  • Facial Toner: Apple cider vinegar is claimed to help remedy skin conditions and reduce the signs of aging when used as a skin tonic. Recipe: One part apple cider vinegar to two parts water. Apply to the skin using a cotton pad. If you have sensitive skin, you may want to make a more diluted solution.
  • Fruit Fly Trap: Pour some apple cider vinegar into a cup and add a few drops of dish soap to sink the flies.
  • Boil Better Eggs: Adding vinegar to the water you use to boil eggs can help you produce consistently good eggs.
  • Wash Fruits and Vegetables: Apple cider vinegar removes more of the chemical residues or pesticides, and it helps kill any dangerous bacteria on the food.
  • Weed Killer: Spray undiluted vinegar on unwanted weeds in your garden.
  • Get Rid of Fleas: Spray a mixture of one part water and one part apple cider vinegar onto your pet to create an environment that fleas won’t want to hang around in.

Andi Hoover, WVU Extension Agent – Greenbrier County

Adapted from a lesson created for West Virginia Community Educational Outreach Service, a service organization supported by WVU Extension Service.


Watch the video: Carthage. Fact and Myth (August 2022).