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JarMan

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  1. I think different languages have different name endings. Gadianton needed a Nephite name, not a Latin one. Even going from Latin to English changes the last two syllables from LEE-na to the single syllable LINE. Well, I'll give a preview for those that don't want to watch the half hour video. The new type of robber that appear at the end of Helaman 11 and which we see in the first 6 chapters of 3 Nephi is modeled after a north African tribesman named Tacfarinas and his army as described by Tacitus in his Annales. They use guerrilla tactics and retreat into the mountains and deserts where they have strongholds the Romans can't dislodge them from. The Romans can beat them in a conventional battle if they can coax them into one. Tacfarinas and his armies try to lay siege to the Romans, but the Romans counter this by coming out of their cities to fight them. We see the same tactics with the Gadianton Robbers vs the Nephites. After years of skirmishes, Tacfarinas wages a full out seven-year war against the Romans between 17 AD-24 AD. This corresponds to the seven year conflict in 3 Nephi that also occurs (depending on how you look at the dates) somewhere very close to 17 AD-24 AD. During this war we see several similarities. Tacfarinas sends emissaries to Rome requesting land for peace and threatening endless war if refused. Tacfarinas believes he is fighting a war of liberation. Giddianhi sends a letter to Zarahemla right along these same lines. Chief Judge Lachoneus and Emperor Tiberius have similar indignant reactions to these attempts at diplomacy. Final victory comes when the Romans receive intelligence about Tacfarinas' location. They march at night and surround Tacfarinas so that when morning comes the Romans attack and decisively defeat their surprised adversaries. The Nephites also get information about the Gadianton Robber location and use a night march and morning surprise attack to defeat them. The European, republican, farmer Romans have to ally with the African Mauretanian kingdom in order to achieve victory. The white, republican, farmer Nephites have to ally with the dark-skinned Lamanite Kingdom in order to win. Tacfarinas' armies include Mauretanians and Roman defectors just as the Giddianhi's contain both Nephite and Lamanite dissenters. The Lamanites who assisted the Nephites were numbered among the Nephites and called Nephites. The Mauretanian King was rewarded by the senate and honorably referred to as ally and friend of the Roman people. These and other similarities are the subject of Part 2.
  2. Keep in mind that 1) the Book of Mormon is not a re-write, it is its own story. It borrows heavily but it is an independent story; and 2) The Book of Mormon events occur in a fraction of the words used to describe Catiline's Conspiracy. The issue here is subtle, I admit. But just because it's not in your face doesn't mean it's not important. In fact, this is typical of the Tacitean style. Tacitus was known for using very few words to describe things in his histories. It's a much different style than Sallust uses for his monographs. Here's an interesting brief observation that describes both the early modern and Roman style of composing history. You can't miss the similarities to the Book of Mormon.
  3. I don't think Catiline made specific promises of wealth, but even if he did, we have to keep in mind that the Roman story is much longer than the one in the Book of Mormon so there is necessarily more detail. One of the things that makes this idea a strong correspondence is the Roman proscriptions that Catiline promised his supporters to bring back. In Helaman 6:38 we see what looks like the proscriptions that occurred under Marius, Sulla and others where a large part of the general populace takes part in the murder and plunder. This is just not normal, even for some of the most brutal societies that we know of.
  4. The point is that the Gadianton Robbers are not "robbers" per se. They did do their share of looting, of course, but this is not their defining characteristic. If you read Churchill's 6 volume set recounting the second world war, you'll notice that he never refers to Hitler or the Nazis as robbers. They did do quite a bit of plundering of many precious treasures as they swept through Europe, of course, but since the murder, mayhem, and military might were so much more terrible he uses all kinds of negative terms related to those things. It would make no sense at all to describe the Third Reich as Hitler's Robbers. In the same way it makes no sense to describe the Book of Mormon Gadiantons as "robbers." The conspiracy leaders were partisans denied political power but looking to snatch it through assassinations and war. Then they become an army of hillsmen powerful enough to defeat the entire Nephite nation, who had to depend on the Lamanites for help. They destroy cities, capture slaves, and kill indiscriminately. Mormon even implicates them in the genocidal destruction of his own people. The word "robber" as a primary label is out of place in the Book of Mormon for such a group of people. And the two types of robbers (pre-Helaman 11 conspirators and post-Helaman 11 guerrillas) are distinctly different. It doesn't even make sense to call them the same thing. However, latro is a perfect word for both types. We know the word is perfect because it was specifically applied to the conspirator-type (Catiline) and to the guerrilla type (Tacfarinas). There is no single-word English equivalent. The word "robber" as a label or description of the Gadiantons is best explained as a translation of latro.
  5. What I'm arguing for is literary dependency. I'm not making the argument that the Book of Mormon is a re-write of the story, like a screenplay based on a book. The sort of similarities you seem to expect are the type we would expect in a re-write. This is a straw man approach to my argument. There are essentially two different options here. Either 1) the Book of Mormon author was aware of Roman history and worked some of it into his book, or 2) the similarities are all purely coincidental. Again I think you are arguing against a straw man. Paanchi was planning a coup. You added the word clandestine to his actions, not me. When he was put to death his followers planned a follow up clandestine assassination that was successful. The 1st Catilinarian Conspiracy is similar because there were also two left out of power when the new consuls were chosen. One of them, Sulla, fell in line like Pacumeni. One of Cicero's many surviving orations is his Pro Sulla in which he defends Sulla against charges that he was involved in both conspiracies. Sulla was acquitted. The other aggrieved person, Autronius, begged Cicero to defend him but Cicero refused believing Autronius was guilty of being involved in both conspiracies. Autronius was convicted and exiled. So the Pacumeni/Sulla connection is pretty simple. They both lost out on power but decided not to rebel. Paanchi's and Autronius' are similar characters but there trajectories are a little different. Paanchi was immediately tried and executed. But Mormon is an idealist and he's essentially telling us how he should have been dealt with here. Autronius, on the other hand, became involved in the second conspiracy and wasn't convicted until after it had played out. So with Paanchi dead, Mormon had to create the connection to the second conspiracy a different way. He has Paanchi's followers carry out the first assassination of the chief judge on the judgment seat (the very thing Autronius was allegedly planning). Unlike Autronius, though, Kishkumen is successful. This serves to dramatize the situation and heighten the danger. Mormon is giving us an independent morality tale based on the Roman version. He's free to add drama and tension as he sees fit for his rhetorical purposes. Remember, he's not re-writing the story. He's creating his own story with heavy borrowing. So in chapter two he brings back the secret group that had killed Pahoran. He couldn't bring back Paanchi, of course, because he was dead: a victim of Mormon's idealism. So the secret group of Paanchi (including Kishkumen) act as his stand-in for the second plot, where in the Roman version Autronius didn't need a stand in. He was still around. And then in these second plots, both of which occur two years after the first, we learn that this time Catiline/Gadianton is heading it up.
  6. It's a founding myth for somebody.
  7. It would have to be someone, not only that had an interest in the origins of the Native Americans, but someone with a vast knowledge of the bible. Maybe someone who had spent a lifetime studying it and had become renowned for his biblical writings and knowledge. Someone who had written plays about things such as Joseph in Egypt, Adam in the Garden, and Christ's suffering on earth. Somebody very knowledgeable about warfare, maybe someone who had written extensively on the subject. Maybe someone who was a historian who had written the history of his native homeland. Especially if that history included such things as a coup against the republican government by people looking to set up a king, great wars, religious strife and persecution. It would have to be a Protestant, an Arminian to be sure. Someone that hated Calvinism but was tolerant towards Judaism. Someone that opposed infant baptism. Someone committed to the ethical nature of Christianity over its stuffy rites. Someone who admired the pacifist Anabaptists, but wasn't Anabaptist or strictly pacifist himself. Someone that had lived through great wars, massive destruction, and senseless loss of human life on a massive scale. It would need to be someone familiar with the law, perhaps even having practiced it for some time. The person would need to be very familiar with the classical writers of the ancient greco-roman world in order to weave in so many elements from Sallust, Tacitus, and other writers. Someone who was deeply committed to Christianity and good government, who thought the two should go hand in hand. It would have to be someone who knew Hebrew and who was familiar with chiasmus and other poetic forms. Someone who was a family man, particularly with several sons. If only I could find someone who fit that profile I think we could identify our author.
  8. Interestingly, Tolkien created Middle Earth with the intention of writing a great founding myth for the British peoples. He drew on Beowulf and Celtic and Saxon legends among other sources. As a devout Christian he introduced Christian themes. What if the Book of Mormon was created for essentially the same purpose? Maybe it's a founding myth for the American Indians. But instead of drawing on Beowulf and other Northern European sources it draws on the Aeneid and other classical sources of the Mediterranean including the bible. And what if it was created by a brilliant and inspired person from early modern times? Would that make it nonsense or still a worthwhile book to study?
  9. Thanks, Ryan, for taking some time to look at this (Part 1, anyway). I've been studying this story for a couple of years, now, and there are some things that just won't be apparent from a cursory reading of the text or from a summary on Wikipedia. One thing to keep in mind is that the story of the Second Catilinarian Conspiracy was the most published Roman history during the early modern period. It inspired early modern art and several plays, most famously Ben Johnson's 1611 Catiline His Conspiracy. It's still alive and well today. Modern historians read this story differently than early modern readers who, pretty much, took the story at face value. The story was meant by Sallust to be a morality tale with a particular message: Immorality and luxuriousness in society leads to an environment in which wicked people are emboldened to take over government and inflict mass murder and confiscation of property on the people. But bold, decisive action in the form of extralegal killing is justifiable in order to save the republic. These are also the themes we see with Mormon's morality tale. So, thematically, the stories are almost identical. Now, of course there are some differences in these stories. Despite some similarities, the governmental and social systems are different between the Romans and Nephites. This leads to some easy substitutions such as selecting a new chief judge because of death vs an annual election (conflict trigger), chief judge vs consul (the object of the assassination attempt), and the judgment seat vs Capitol (the place). Where a substitute isn't needed we get numerous direct correspondences such as the motives, methods and oaths of the conspiracies. These direct hits can't simply be dismissed because they supposedly occur in every conspiracy. They don't. Or, when they do occur, they often aren't mentioned. There is precious little space devoted to the Book of Mormon story yet most details have some correspondence to the story of Catiline. Some of the least obvious correspondences are the most important. The fact that Kishkumen was killed extra-legally may not seem that important. But the corresponding event in the Roman story is extremely important. I've found dozens of papers discussing this issue covering several centuries. Here's an excerpt from a late 19th Century source: There was simply no direct substitute Mormon could have supplied for these events in the Book of Mormon since the Roman controversy is so complicated. It involves many aspects of Roman law, such as what powers a consul has under martial law, and the deliberation of an advisory body (the Senate) not present with the Nephites. In the Book of Mormon we get a simplified version of the moral/legal conundrum. Helaman's servant can choose to act immediately and kill Kishkumen or take a traditional, but risky, path to justice. He faces essentially the same moral (if not legal) dilemma that faced Cicero. And, like Cicero, he opted for immediate, decisive action that saved the republic. The word, robber (latro), here is also quite important. The point is that Catiline was not literally a latro. He didn't roam the countryside looking for towns to pillage or travelers to rob. He was a Senator of very high rank, having just been the governor of Africa. He was twice a candidate for consul. But he was also Cicero's political enemy and Cicero chose to demonize him by calling him a latro. Essentially he was being called a terrorist or a fascist or a Nazi in modern terms. He was being called the worst political invective possible. In the same way, Gadianton is not really a robber. He's a politician. He's labeled a robber, but this label doesn't entirely make sense. Latro is a word that doesn't have an English equivalent since it was a metaphorical term unique to the ancient Roman milieu. That's why it seems out of place in the Book of Mormon. On the contrary, Gadianton has a ways to go to live up to the reputation of Catiline. As I pointed out earlier, his story was the most published of the early modern world. Also, I address Helaman 11 in my paper. I point out that the first incarnation of robbers went extinct in this chapter and that they reform later on in the same chapter. But when they reform they are no longer the Catiline-type robbers. They are the Tacfarinas-type. The latro Tacfarinas is the subject of my second video. This incarnation of robbers is no longer looking to assassinate political leaders and gain control of the government. Instead, they are nomadic hills-men looking for booty or to reclaim their lands through guerrilla warfare. Eventually they pose a real existential threat and are defeated in a seven year war that lasts from 17 AD to 24 AD (or thereabouts). This is true for both the Roman version and the Book of Mormon version of events. I think you've misread the Book of Mormon story on some of these points. Paanchi was involved in the first coup attempt (Helaman 1:7). Like Autronius, in the First Catilinarian Conspiracy, he was brought to justice for this attempt (Helaman 1:8) (though it was about three years later for Autronius). Paanchi had many followers who then sent Kishkumen to murder Pahoran (Helaman 1:9). In the second chapter we see Kishkumen again with the same followers of Paanchi that sent him to murder Pahoran (Helaman 1:11, Helaman 2:3). So it's the same group of people in both coup attempts, only now in the second one we are introduced to Gadianton who has assumed leadership. He could have been involved in the first coup or subsequent assassination since it was the same group both times, but we can't know for sure. I don't think this holds up. Their stated purpose was "to murder, and to rob, and to gain power" (Helaman 2:8). This indicates rob means rob. Also, Helaman 6:21 is pretty clear that they stole and plundered people's wealth. In fact, this verse sounds just like the proscriptions in Rome where the normal citizens took part in the murder and plunder. Ultimately the similarities between the two names is in the eye of the beholder, but I don't think you've given this particular point a fair shake. For those that don't know, Catiline is the Anglicized version of the Latin Catilina, pronounced cat-i-LEEN-uh. Cat is remarkably similar to Gad. G is just the soft version of C and d is the soft version of t. They are almost the same syllable. There are similarities in each syllable, with both having stress on the third of four syllables. They roll off your tongue very similarly. The double-d in Gadianton is a red-herring and the fact that Giddianhi is also very similar to Catilina only strengthens my point because now we have two robbers that sound very much like Catilina. As strong as these similarities are, they are only Part 1 and I believe Part 2 offers an even stronger match. If you believe in the traditional explanation of the Book of Mormon try taking these similarities and turning them around. Pretend we found a lost codex with this story from somewhere in meso-America (or the Heartland, if that's your thing) dating to within just a few years of the story. This would easily overwhelm all other evidence for the Book of Mormon's historicity. NHM (the best evidence there is, imo) pales in comparison.
  10. I'm thinking of one of those online regional dialect tests that guesses where you're from based on which words you use for certain things. I remember taking one several times and changing my answers a little each time because there was more than one legitimate answer. The results told me I was from Seattle, Salt Lake City, or Los Angeles depending on how I answered. As it turns out I grew up in Western Washington, lived most of my adult life along the Wasatch Front, and my parents grew up in Southern California. Somebody analyzing a large enough sample of my writing might conclude there were actually 3 different writers rather than one writer with different influences. You've looked how English has varied over time, but it varies by region, too, right? What if someone grew up in Scotland in the late 1500s, was educated at Oxford in the early 1600s, and spent his adult life in different places throughout England and Europe interacting with both rural and urban English speaking peoples with different dialects? Then in 1650 he writes a book. Isn't it possible he would have an idiosyncratic style that might seem eclectic as if there were multiple authors? We can't expect a single author to look like an "average" author. What may look like limited elements from the late 1400s, strong elements from the mid-to-late 1500s, along with some elements from the 1600s may just be a single author's various geographical and temporal influences manifesting themselves.
  11. Whichever century it's from, it's not a hodge podge of Protestant doctrines. It's a known religious system Joseph was unlikely to have known.
  12. As you might know my working hypothesis is that the Book of Mormon was created without an underlying Nephite text by one or more early modern authors. A lot of your comparisons have looked very broadly at EmodE and you've come up with a range of dates that has seemed to put most emphasis on the late 1500s. Given that the Book of Mormon is probably written by a small handful of people, maybe as small as a single person, would we expect the text to correspond with the general pattern of a specific time? Or could a single person or small group have created an idiosyncratic text that doesn't neatly fit into the general pattern. For example, let's pretend the author (or English translator of, say, a Latin text) was a 70 year-old Scot who did the work in 1650. Wouldn't we expect his writing would differ from, say, a thirty year old Londoner at the same period? The issue I'm trying to think through is how different a single author's work might be from the "average" author that your work seems to describe given that it's based on a large number of texts over a significant time period. In hydrology we might construct a hydrograph for a river that shows an "average" year, but in reality, no single year is like the average year. Could authors be the same way?
  13. Parts 2 and 3 refer to the corresponding videos. I can email you the powerpoint from the videos that has all of the charts. PM me your email address.
  14. I've certainly never claimed this. I've never even heard the word "bricolage."
  15. Thanks for the critique. Let me expound upon some of your observations. 1) The tie here is the "band" of conspirators. Kishkumen is the only one we know by name, but a band consists of several people. When Gadianton becomes the leader in Helaman 2, we can't be sure if he was already part of the band two years earlier or if he joined in the intervening time. The thing is, the sources are mixed on whether Catiline was involved in the first conspiracy. Sallust suggests he was while Suetonius does not. So, a little like the Book of Mormon, there's some ambiguity on this point. 3a) Catiline planned to bring back proscriptions. Proscription was a process previously used by Marius and Sulla where political enemies' names were posted in public. Citizens were encouraged to kill or capture those on the list and the government would seize their property and reward the citizens out of the stolen loot. Catiline had taken part in the previous proscriptions. It's even alleged that he killed a man he hated, stole his property, and then got the man's name added to the proscription list after the fact. The general citizens taking part in this killing and plunder is just the type of thing the Book of Mormon describes. 3b) The key here is that these secret oaths consisted of drinking blood from a human body mixed with wine, according to Sallust. Later historians claim the secret oaths involved human sacrifice or cannibalism. This matches the sinister insinuation of these oaths we repeatedly get from Mormon. In the picture of the conspiracy from my first video you’ll notice the secret hand grasp. In the back is Catiline holding up his hand in what looks like a secret sign. This picture is from the mid 1600s and demonstrates how early modern people likely viewed this story. So this is another match with the Book of Mormon. 4) Yes, this is not uncommon. But this fact is specifically listed in both stories. 5) This is not an exact parallel, as you point out, but still close enough to be significant in my opinion. The point is that both Cicero and Helaman were astute leaders who used intelligence in order to thwart their own assassinations. Mormon likes to make points about effective leadership by having his leaders do effective things. 6) I am talking about stabbing Kishkumen. The point isn't whether the Nephites would think that was extralegal. The point is whether the author's intended audience might think this action was legally or morally justifiable. There has been much debate about Cicero's actions and whether they were legally and morally justified. By telling the story of the servant stabbing Kishkumen, the author is weighing in on this debate and saying, yes, Cicero was justified (or more generally, that a person in a similar position as Cicero is morally justified). 7) On its own this isn't that distinctive. But I think it's still important to mention as one more similarity. The sheer number of correlations, whether distinctive or not, really carry a lot of weight, particularly when they occur in the same context. It’s not like we’re talking about a completely different story where someone flees the city 8 ) I recognize there are major differences here. The intervening time period being the biggest. We don't even know if Gadianton was around for this final conflict in Helaman 11. However, the point is that the conspiracy was not just a kill-the-leader-and-take-his-place movement. It was big enough and gathered enough supporters that it could wage war on the legitimate government. (This is an important point in the Book of Mormon because Gadianton Robbers are meant to represent an existential danger to everyone, not just a conflict at the top.) In Catiline's case he had horde's of disaffected veterans from the Sullan wars chomping at the bit to go on the rampage again. So he could immediately wage war. Perhaps the Book of Mormon author felt an immediate confrontation was unreasonable since he hadn't created the backstory for it. The assassination attempt was the backstory and it took some time after that to build a movement and an army. At any rate, Sallust makes a point of telling us that every single member of the conspiracy was killed in the final battle. Mormon tells us the Gadianton robbers were made "extinct." This sounds to me like they were also killed down to the last man. So altogether I think the similarities here are an important part of the overall narrative because it helps Mormon construct his morality tale.
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