OK, Ard. Quite often biblical scholars do not just focus on 1st century CE, as the Hebrew Scriptures go back a bit further than that. Most scholars I correspond with study comparative religions of the entire Mediterranean region to compare/contrast with the study of the history of Judaism and Xtianity.
Mr Crossan is an old guy and was a Catholic monk for 12 yrs but left the order in 1969, so has been a [layman]scholar/theologian/historian, then since, 1957.
John Dominic Crossan is professor emeritus of biblical studies at DePaul University in Chicago. A native of Ireland, and ordained as a priest in the United States, he left the priesthood in 1969. Crossan is a founding member of the Jesus Seminar, a group of scholars who meet to determine the authenticity of Jesus' sayings in the Gospels. [note: they focus on other topics as well]Crossan wrote the books Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography, The Historical Jesus and Who Killed Jesus? Exposing the Roots of Anti-Semitism in the Gospel Story of The Death of Jesus.
[note: the interview lists other books by him]
Those are his credentials. I just heard the radio interview. I have not read his books or seen their notes. I have seen him numerous times on TV as well.
He mentions briefly the history of the use of crucifixion in other cultures besdies the Roman in the interview. Sorry if you think I was too gullible to believe him. I guess I was swept away by his Irish charm.
Doing a google...http://www.bible.ca/d-history-archeo...xion-cross.htm
|Britannica reports that the first historical record of Crucifixion was about 519 BC when "Darius I, king of Persia, crucified 3,000 political opponents in Babylon" (Encyclopaedia Britannica, crucifixion)
Some further detail is given in "The Eerdman's Bible Dictionary", Rev. Ed., 1975: CROSS ... Crucifixion is first attested among the Persians (cf. Herodotus, Hist. i.128.2; iii.132.2, 159.1), perhaps derived from the Assyrian impalement. It was later employed by the Greeks, especially Alexander the Great, and by the Carthaginians, from whom the Romans adapted the practice as a punishment for slaves and non-citizens, and occasionaly for citizens guilty of treason. Although in the Old Testament the corpses of blasphemers or idolaters punished by stoning might be hanged "on a tree" as further humiliation (Deut. 21:23), actual crucifixion was not introduced in Palestine until Hellenistic times. The Seleucid Antiochus IV Epiphanes crucified those Jews who would not accept hellenization (Josephus Ant. xii.240-41; cf 1 Macc. 1:44-50).
|Alexander the Great had 2,000 survivors from the siege of Tyre crucified on the shores of the Mediterranean.--source: Curtius Rufus, Hist. Alex. 4.4.17
There was one notable exception to this passage in which the victims were first killed via crucifixion rather that being hung on a tree after death. This was the case with the high priest, Alexander Janneus in which 800 Pharisees were crucified in Jerusalem in 267 BC before their wives and children. While on the cross, according to Josephus, the women and children were then slaughtered--Josephus, Antiquities 12.256.