Information of Crucifixions

1745 Words7 Pages
The best source of information about crucifixions comes from the four Gospels. But another valuable source of information about the practice of crucifixion is ancient Greek and Roman literature. The Greeks and Romans did not write about crucifixion a lot but, they wrote about it often enough to give important information about this method of execution.
The Romans didn’t invent crucifixion as a method of execution, though many believe they perfected it. The Persians were the first to use crucifixion. Ancient writings tell about King Darius having 3000 Babylonians crucified in about 519 B.C. Two centuries later, Alexander the Great also used crucifixion when he conquered different countries. Curtius Rufus said in History of Alexander that Alexander had 2000 citizens of the city of Tyre crucified after he conquered it. Execution by crucifixion became common under the rule of Alexander the Great (356-323 B.C.). The Romans conquered the Greeks and that is where they probably learned about crucifixion. Crucifixion was also used by many barbarian people, such as Indians, the Assyrians, the Scythians, and the Celts. It was also later used by the Germans and the Britains.
The Roman form of crucifixion was not used in the Old Testament by the Jewish people. In fact, it’s contrary to Jewish laws that require a person hung on a tree to be buried the same day. Romans, however, had no respect for such laws when it came to matters of the state. Jewish victims of crucifixion were hung for as long as anyone else. Shame was as much a part of the point as death. Jews saw crucifixion as one of the most horrible, cursed forms of death (Deuteronomy 21:23). The only exception I found reported was by the historian, Josephus when the Jewish high priest ...

... middle of paper ...

... Archaeological Review 11 (January-February 1985), 44-53.

Weber, Hans-Ruedi. The Cross: Tradition and Interpretation. Translated by Elke Jesset. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1979.

Edwards, William D., Gabel, Wesley J., and Hosmer, Floyd E. "On the Physical Death of Jesus Christ." The Journal of the American Medical Association 256 (March 21, 1986).

http://christianity.about.com/od/biblefactsandlists/tp/crucifixionforms.htm “Different Forms of Crucifixions; Four Basic Structures or Types of Crosses Were Used for Crucifixions”, Mary Fairchild http://www.orlutheran.com/html/crucify.html “Crucifixion in the Ancient World”; Dr. Richard P Bucher
Hengel, Martin. Crucifixion: In the Ancient World and the Folly of the Message of the Cross. Translated by John Bowden. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1977.
Open Document