Announcement

Collapse

Theology 201 Guidelines

This is the forum to discuss the spectrum of views within Christianity on God's foreknowledge and election such as Calvinism, Arminianism, Molinism, Open Theism, Process Theism, Restrictivism, and Inclusivism, Christian Universalism and what these all are about anyway. Who is saved and when is/was their salvation certain? How does God exercise His sovereignty and how powerful is He? Is God timeless and immutable? Does a triune God help better understand God's love for mankind?

While this area is for the discussion of these doctrines within historic Christianity, all theists interested in discussing these areas within the presuppositions of and respect for the Christian framework are welcome to participate here. This is not the area for debate between nontheists and theists, additionally, there may be some topics that within the Moderator's discretion fall so outside the bounds of mainstream evangelical doctrine that may be more appropriately placed within Comparative Religions 101 Nontheists seeking only theistic participation only in a manner that does not seek to undermine the faith of others are also welcome - but we ask that Moderator approval be obtained beforehand.

Atheists are welcome to discuss and debate these issues in the Apologetics 301 or General Theistics 101 forum without such restrictions. Theists who wish to discuss these issues outside the parameters of orthodox Christian doctrine are invited to Unorthodox Theology 201.

Remember, our forum rules apply here as well. If you haven't read them now would be a good time.

Forum Rules: Here
See more
See less

Roman Sumptuary Laws

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Roman Sumptuary Laws

    Does anyone here have a knowledge of the Roman Sumptuary Laws, especially concerning the restrictions of the color purple and its limitation to the emperor's robes, and, why this restriction was not applied to the High Priest/s of Israel? References would be appreciated...

  • #2
    Overview

    Basically, it's the purple toga, not the color, that mattered.

    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


    "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

    My Personal Blog

    My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

    Comment


    • #3
      i'm glad this topic came up. The information will be helpful for me on the Romans epistle

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
        Overview

        Basically, it's the purple toga, not the color, that mattered.
        Imu, that isn't true! The Sumptuary Laws were intended to curb expenditure and the color purple was the most expensive dye in the empire. There were even restrictions on wearing a simple white toga. Imu, the Sumptuary Laws dictated the colors one was allowed to wear (even down to a thin stripe) and were meant to determine ones status in society...

        We have an interesting issue with A.Matthew who states that Jesus was cloaked with a scarlet robe (Mt 27:28). Such might have been readily obtainable from a centurian (this fits the social criteria). However, both A.John & A.Mark have it that the color of the robe was purple (Jn 19:2,5; Mk 15;17). A.John being our only eye witness to the events would seem to be the most reliable witness. So, the question arises: Where did the soldiers get the purple robe?

        Comment


        • #5
          Um, what? Assuming you're right, the only expenditure it would curb would be the State's - why would the Emperor care if ordinary people bankrupted themselves on cloth? Sumptuary laws are largely concerned with status and identification, not expenditure (seriously, if the Emperor is the only one who can wear purple how does the entire purple dye industry stay in business? Those danged snails aren't that easy to come by!). I suppose it might well curb some state expenditure but the overly broad laws you're suggesting would cripple the industry around the most expensive dye - something not desirable for an empire that likes tax money in its coffers.

          "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


          "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

          My Personal Blog

          My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
            Um, what? Assuming you're right, the only expenditure it would curb would be the State's
            Not true!!! The laws were intended to control the extremes of the "rich" classes. In economic terms, merely a matter of controlling inflation. Somewhere along the line they took on a social profile....

            Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
            ...why would the Emperor care if ordinary people bankrupted themselves on cloth?
            You need to examine the social structures of the Roman empire. There was no such thing as 'ordinary people", there were slaves, freeman and the elite. For a slave to wear a purple garment would be an insult to the upper classes (especially) the emperor. Both the slave and his master would have been put to death (for the only way a slave could acquire such a garment is if his master provided it!) Pretty well much the same with freemen.

            Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
            Sumptuary laws are largely concerned with status and identification, not expenditure (seriously, if the Emperor is the only one who can wear purple how does the entire purple dye industry stay in business?
            Obviously you haven't heard of the Parthian and Armenian empires, both of whom were at regular war with Rome, and both a lot closer to the source of the dye than Rome.

            There wasn't a total restriction of the dye. For instance: depending on rank, one could wear on their robe a purple stripe (the width depending on rank) but, imu, one could not wear a toga or tunic completely colored in purple...

            Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
            Those danged snails aren't that easy to come by!). I suppose it might well curb some state expenditure but the overly broad laws you're suggesting would cripple the industry around the most expensive dye - something not desirable for an empire that likes tax money in its coffers.
            Rome would have had no concern whether the industry was crippled or not, after all it was an industry settled in an insignificant corner of the empire. In anycase, restriction of trade and use would have kept the price high, making the small industry sustainable, if not highly profitable. Diamond merchants today restrict supply to keep the price high. It is simply a matter of simple economics and market manipulation...

            Whilst Wikipedia might not be the most reliable source, it makes an observation that so far I find substantiated by other sources...

            "Tyrian purple was expensive: the 4th-century-BC historian Theopompus reported, "Purple for dyes fetched its weight in silver at Colophon" in Asia Minor.[3] The expense meant that purple-dyed textiles became status symbols, and early sumptuary laws restricted their uses. The production of Tyrian purple was tightly controlled in Byzantium and was subsidized by the imperial court, which restricted its use for the colouring of imperial silks,[4] so that a child born to a reigning emperor was porphyrogenitos, "born in the purple"..."
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyrian_purple
            Last edited by apostoli; 07-26-2014, 10:38 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Sigh, you're not making any sense.

              Keeping rich people from buying expensive things doesn't accomplish anything useful.

              'Ordinary people' isn't meant to mean any particular group - other than the ones stupid enough to go into bankruptcy over dyestuff. Here it refers to whoever they were supposedly trying to keep from buying the stuff.

              Have heard of them - this helps the Roman economy how, exactly? That other nations have an industry really doesn't save the industry within a given nation/empire.

              Yeah, 'status symbols' - exactly like I said.

              Lose the attitude - you are making unwarranted assumptions. If you need clarification, fine, but if you just intend to insult me, I'll go play elsewhere and you can wait for someone else who knows what 'sumptuary laws' are to show up.

              "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


              "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

              My Personal Blog

              My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
                Sigh, you're not making any sense.

                Keeping rich people from buying expensive things doesn't accomplish anything useful.

                'Ordinary people' isn't meant to mean any particular group - other than you looked intothe ones stupid enough to go into bankruptcy over dyestuff. Here it refers to whoever they were supposedly trying to keep from buying the stuff.

                Have heard of them - this helps the Roman economy how, exactly? That other nations have an industry really doesn't save the industry within a given nation/empire.

                Yeah, 'status symbols' - exactly like I said.
                Over the weekend I've been reading "Roman Dress and the Fabrics of Roman Culture edited by Jonathan Edmondson, Alison Keith". You suggested "Keeping rich people from buying expensive things doesn't accomplish anything useful'. The history books tell us the Roman authorities thought differently. They were very big on class distinction and viewed unauthorised extravagance as a sign of moral decay. Of interest: In 16CE Tiberius passed a law that prohibited Roman citizen males from wearing silk clothing. Cato the Elder in 184BCE penalised those families whose females possessed excessively luxurious clothing. He taxed them punatively and reduced their land rights thus reducing their social status. Of interest: every five years the censors did an audit and dress was high on their agenda and the overly extravagant were penalised...

                Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
                Lose the attitude - you are making unwarranted assumptions. If you need clarification, fine, but if you just intend to insult me, I'll go play elsewhere and you can wait for someone else who knows what 'sumptuary laws' are to show up.
                I suggest you lose your attitude. I have no intention of insulting you, I simply state the facts provided in the history books. I've made no assumptions (that appears to be your domain). I simply relate what the history books I've encountered state...

                Please go away and "play elsewhere" (apparently you don't take factual history and theology seriously, others do).

                So far you have not contributed to the research I was endeavouring to conduct...if you have something substantive to say, provide the historical evidence rather than sprouting your opinion of what should have been...
                Last edited by apostoli; 07-28-2014, 12:22 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by apostoli View Post
                  Over the weekend I've been reading "Roman Dress and the Fabrics of Roman Culture edited by Jonathan Edmondson, Alison Keith". You suggested "Keeping rich people from buying expensive things doesn't accomplish anything useful'. The history books tell us the Roman authorities thought differently. They were very big on class distinction and viewed unauthorised extravagance as a sign of moral decay. Of interest: In 16CE Tiberius passed a law that prohibited Roman citizen males from wearing silk clothing. Cato the Elder in 184BCE penalised those families whose females possessed excessively luxurious clothing. He taxed them punatively and reduced their land rights thus reducing their social status. Of interest: every five years the censors did an audit and dress was high on their agenda and the overly extravagant were penalised...

                  I suggest you lose your attitude. I have no intention of insulting you, I simply state the facts provided in the history books. I've made no assumptions (that appears to be your domain). I simply relate what the history books I've encountered state...

                  Please go away and "play elsewhere" (apparently you don't take factual history and theology seriously, others do).

                  So far you have not contributed to the research I was endeavouring to conduct...if you have something substantive to say, provide the historical evidence rather than sprouting your opinion of what should have been...

                  Great, you restate exactly what I said in the first place and act like it's news. Do you even know what you said your initial thesis was?

                  You weren't conducting research - you were preaching irrationally. Sumptuary laws are about class and status - exactly what I said to begin with. You claimed they were about economics - something both of your sources refute. The snide bits about me needing to read are even funnier given the fact that your own sources refute you.

                  Thanks for making an otherwise interesting topic a total wash out. Unsubscribing now.

                  "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot


                  "Forgiveness is the way of love." Gary Chapman

                  My Personal Blog

                  My Novella blog (Current Novella Begins on 7/25/14)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by apostoli View Post
                    Imu, that isn't true! The Sumptuary Laws were intended to curb expenditure and the color purple was the most expensive dye in the empire. There were even restrictions on wearing a simple white toga. Imu, the Sumptuary Laws dictated the colors one was allowed to wear (even down to a thin stripe) and were meant to determine ones status in society...

                    We have an interesting issue with A.Matthew who states that Jesus was cloaked with a scarlet robe (Mt 27:28). Such might have been readily obtainable from a centurian (this fits the social criteria). However, both A.John & A.Mark have it that the color of the robe was purple (Jn 19:2,5; Mk 15;17). A.John being our only eye witness to the events would seem to be the most reliable witness. So, the question arises: Where did the soldiers get the purple robe?
                    The ancients (especially the Romans) used the term purple when speaking of various shades of red (McGarvey, 1875, p. 361; Barnes, 1997). It was assumed that this garment was a worn out and discarded purple garment of Pilate's that was worn to the appearance of scarlet.

                    Source: http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/view.cgi?bk=39&ch=27

                    See the notes at Isaiah 1:18. The ancients gave the name “purple” to any color that had a mixture of “red” in it, and consequently these different colors might be sometimes called by the same name. The “robe” used here was the same kind worn by Roman generals and other distinguished officers of the Roman army, and also by the Roman governors. It was made so as to be placed on the shoulders, and was bound around the body so as to leave the right arm at liberty. As we cannot suppose that Pilate would array him in a new and splendid robe, we must suppose that this was one which had been worn and cast off as useless, and was now used to array the Son of God as an object of ridicule and scorn.

                    © Copyright Original Source

                    That's what
                    - She

                    Without a clear-cut definition of sin, morality becomes a mere argument over the best way to train animals
                    - Manya the Holy Szin (The Quintara Marathon)

                    I may not be as old as dirt, but me and dirt are starting to have an awful lot in common
                    Stephen R. Donaldson

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Teallaura View Post
                      Great, you restate exactly what I said in the first place and act like it's news. Do you even know what you said your initial thesis was?

                      You weren't conducting research - you were preaching irrationally. Sumptuary laws are about class and status - exactly what I said to begin with. You claimed they were about economics - something both of your sources refute. The snide bits about me needing to read are even funnier given the fact that your own sources refute you.

                      Thanks for making an otherwise interesting topic a total wash out. Unsubscribing now.
                      If you weren't so self-possessed you would know that economics is about the control of class and status. If you were attentive to the remarks I made drawn from the academics you would have noticed the role taxation played in Sumptuary laws. If you had done any homework you would have noted that the Sumptuary laws (from Latin sumptuariae leges) are laws that attempt to regulate permitted consumption (ie: such comes under the banner of economics).

                      Now I'd love to know where I was preaching!!!

                      Thanks for making an otherwise interesting topic a total wash out...it is a huge pity you are unable to contribute intelligently...

                      You offered to go away and "play elsewhere". As you have nothing to contribute to the discussion please do...
                      Last edited by apostoli; 07-29-2014, 04:50 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
                        The ancients (especially the Romans) used the term purple when speaking of various shades of red (McGarvey, 1875, p. 361; Barnes, 1997). It was assumed that this garment was a worn out and discarded purple garment of Pilate's that was worn to the appearance of scarlet.

                        Source: http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/view.cgi?bk=39&ch=27

                        See the notes at Isaiah 1:18. The ancients gave the name “purple” to any color that had a mixture of “red” in it, and consequently these different colors might be sometimes called by the same name. The “robe” used here was the same kind worn by Roman generals and other distinguished officers of the Roman army, and also by the Roman governors. It was made so as to be placed on the shoulders, and was bound around the body so as to leave the right arm at liberty. As we cannot suppose that Pilate would array him in a new and splendid robe, we must suppose that this was one which had been worn and cast off as useless, and was now used to array the Son of God as an object of ridicule and scorn.

                        © Copyright Original Source

                        Thankyou for the reference. That helps reconcile the disparity between Mark+John (purple) and Matthew (scarlet) - (Luke simply calls the robe arrayed upon Jesus by Herod and his men as being "a gorgeous robe") .

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by apostoli View Post
                          Thankyou for the reference. That helps reconcile the disparity between Mark+John (purple) and Matthew (scarlet) - (Luke simply calls the robe arrayed upon Jesus by Herod and his men as being "a gorgeous robe") .
                          ps to BtC: I find it curious that Luke does not mention the crown of thorns. I find it even more curious that Matthew, Mark & John do not reveal that the humiliation of Christ was conducted by Herod et al as revealed by Luke...

                          Any thoughts?
                          Last edited by apostoli; 07-30-2014, 02:50 AM.

                          Comment

                          Related Threads

                          Collapse

                          Topics Statistics Last Post
                          Started by Kenneth Roberson, 11-08-2020, 09:37 AM
                          19 responses
                          149 views
                          0 likes
                          Last Post Kenneth Roberson  
                          Started by footwasher, 11-03-2020, 01:24 AM
                          19 responses
                          94 views
                          0 likes
                          Last Post footwasher  
                          Working...
                          X