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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

If I May Leave A Legacy; My Life and Rome's Progress

The past century has been a tumultous time for Romans, yet if we do not understand how we got in such a mess, we will have little opportunity to build upon the progress of recent years. I envision a succession of quality Emperors who rise to their position not by virtue of the birth of their father, though some of Us have been blessed in this regard, but rather by the wisdom of their leadership and ability to handle governance.

I, your Emperor Nerva Josephes, have lived a long and fruitful life, and I have learned from the masters of this past century and our foreparents before Us; may I share some wisdom with you? I wrote out the history of my people for posterity, for a clear and positive view on the Chosen from the days of Egypt and Ethiopia, unto Babylon and Persia, Israel and Palestine, Greece and Rome. My versions were challenged publicly two decades later by my brother, who had more orthodox leanings than myself and had a clear axe to grind. I love Jeshua Justus Junior as much as anyone, but my brother can be emotional and anybody who feels it knows it.

Though my mother was among the earliest and strongest of the faithful, her teachings are already being obscured and women are not fully being credited for their contributions to the emerging Christian canon. In the coming pages I will take you back to Our upbringing in Galilee, schooling in Rome, Athens and Alexandria, and best of all, Our family trips to Briton! Further along, I will shed some light upon the origins of some of my father's teachings, re-describe some of the events I wrote about in Antiquities in a more personal way, and discuss the fall of Jerusalem and how Our family saved many thousands of lives with peace treaties, even though we were unable to save JeruSalem Herself.

I will write about the madness of growing up in Nero's era (I still love the fool but it's sad that he was corrupted by power before being able to grow into the man he could have become...), being favoured by Vespatian (the good uncle...) and then persecuted by Domitian (the difficult uncle). It may not be polite in Roman social circles to discuss our failures openly but we know everyone does it privately, so let's air it out and make Rome and the Empire into a truly just society, worthy of our noblest efforts and a joy for all her citizens. you may feel this is utopian, but even four hundred years ago Ashoka proved in India and Kushan that a powerful country could have a non-aggressive stance and enjoy prosperity through productivity and trade. The medicinal gardens and watering stations along public roadways did much to endear Ashoka to his own people and to international travellers.

Finally, this business of halakah, The Way, The Life. Many are embracing the newer version of The Way that has merged with many other people's and faiths (Mandeans, Theraputae, Essenes) to become what are now called Christians. Even among the hardcore orthodox brethren, many are accepting the victory of The Way over the Temple worship and other formalities of Palestinian Judaism, as the emerging Rabbinical traditions have grown out of Pharisaic perception while obliterating both Pharisee and Sadducee residue; the Chosen of the Torah are also reborn, and the emerging Talmud is explicit proof of that. I always felt good about helping bury those scrolls, as things had grown bitter and even as a teenager I knew it was time to find God and good in the world we live in.

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