samedi 18 janvier 2014
Ist century AD : the Ferocious Animals' crisis is irreversibly affecting Roma and Gaul !
by Jean-Jacques COURTEY, Doctor in Economic Geography, Ph.D
Around 2000 years ago, there was also the start of a Financial crisis in the Roman world which lasted till the end of the Ist century AD, and the erasing of the debts of local populations in Minor Asia.
And it affected deeply and durably History which took a rather surprising turn.
Amazingly, this crisis was felt first of all in what was the essence of the Roman Civilization : Circus games, and its summum of expression with sacrificial victims to Ferocious Animals coming from Africa (crocodiles of Egypt, or rhinoceros and leopards of Numidia), and Minor Asia (lions of Syria and Armenia, and tigers from Hyrcania around Zadracarta, the famous city of Alexander the Great and Thalestris' love).
Notwithstanting the Financial costs, rhinoceros of the ex-Carthago area and crocodiles of the Nile appeared quite difficult to handle. Above that, they had difficulties acclimatizing in Roma and Gaul.
The impact of this shock was so strong and long that it ended to affect totally Roman history and development, by modifying in depth certain aspects of everyday life.
In fact, the world has never been the same since !
"Panem et circenses" (bread and the circus' games) was the practical motto of the Roman Empire. As a matter of fact games were considered as a cardinal necessity to content the People (a bit like soccer nowadays). This distraction took then a tremendous importance in the Roman civilization as a bulwark and safeguard against any rebellion temptation.
Strangely, it was considered by certain people that the Ferocious Animals' crisis started from the ex-empire of Egypt, through an old malediction of Cleopatra.
Egypt had become effectively a Roman province since the death of Anthony (83 BC - 30 BC) and Queen Cleopatra (c. 69 - 30 BC). And in a last resort when killing herself with holly snakes, Cleopatra made a magic ritual against their common enemy Octavius (63BC - 14 AD), and his nascent "Roman Empire" with Principate : she used an extremely old ritual called "the malediction of the snakes", dating back to Pharaoh Aha (Ist dynasty, XXXIst century BC) !
Cleopatra VII had a Macedonian origin, as the last descendant of Pharaoh Ptolemeus I Sôter (c. 366 - 283 BC), founder of the Lagid dynasty and officially cousin of Alexander the Great (356 - 323 BC), but most likely his half-brother !
This idea of an Egyptian malediction of Queen Cleopatra expanded throughout the Roman Empire till Lutetia (Gaul), which symbol became the "Nave of Isis", as the Egyptian religion was highly popular in the Roman legions and garrisons. As a matter of fact, Gaul was becoming during this period the pearl of the Roman Empire. This can explain why the medium of power of Roma, the "Palladium" - a restored statue of Goddess Pallas Athena, coming originally from Troy -, was transported for safety overthere, to Lutetia, in 14 AD at the death of Octavius Augustus, by the famous and influential Patrician Quintus Curtius. As his ancestor before, the Roman hero Marcus Curtius, he wanted to save Roma. Above that, Curtius family had a firm establishment in Gaul for around three centuries already, from Gaul Transalpina.
Later, the final triumph of Christianity over Roman Paganism is certainly owing a lot to the Ferocious Animals' crisis of the Ist century AD. There was a strange synchronicity at work.
De facto, the Roman imports of rhinoceros or crocodiles quickly dropped down. And they were the ones not hesitating to kill, or eat for the second ones human beings offered to them as sacrificial victims.
As it appeared far less costly and easier to capture, transport, feed and accommodate lions particularly, a change occurred in Circus and Shows. About tigers and leopards, they were rather considered as unreliable, with their totally unpredictable and capricious behaviour, which made them so dangerous for their raptors, and finally their masters themselves.
However, more and more often, the lions or lionnesses - which in a way are just very big cats - were reluctant to attack and kill Christians.
The first explanation is coming from the power of prayer, which was able to move those very big cats' souls.
Another one is connected to the fact they didn't like much human flesh taste, which could cause them terrible toothaches, and digestive problems difficult to get rid of.
And a third one looks linked to what they thought about human beings, considered as a whole when they killed for pleasure and not for food, at their difference : as they didn't seem to have a soul, they could be rather stupid, vicious, and crual, especially towards their own brothers or sisters !
While the Roman Empire was entangled in its down-to-earth problems created by the crisis of Ferocious Animals, another civilization was developping quickly, silently, and cleverly, the Chinese one.
Two thousand years after the first crisis of Ferocious Animals, another one is raging. Quite recently, an African country (Namibia) delivered a permit to a Texan to hunt just one old, non breeding, black rhinoceros for the huge amount of $ 350,000.00, according to Time magazine.
Coming back to Lutetia where the Roman Palladium was transferred in the first century AD as mentioned above, this one has probably disappeared nowadays from the under-basement of Notre Dame de Paris, which was previously a temple dedicated to the major Egyptian Goddess Isis. You are not surprised then to realize Paris is losing showingly its radiance over the world.
In contradiction with the famous sentence of Blaise Pascal (1623 - 1662), about the nose of Cleopatra which could have changed the face of Earth if it was smaller, the magic of this famous Queen of Egypt is reoperating now : her nose was thus certainly nicely small, against all odds !
Even her enemy, Octavius Augustus felt so uneasy and worried about her ritual Reptilian Death, that he ordered "Psylles" (Egyptian snake charmers) to suck off the asps' venom from her body, officially for her to appear as his prisoner in his triumph. But it was in vain. The venom and her spell were irreversible, and she got the last word which was in that very case, AHA !