A good resource for Roman public waste managment...

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Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Jun 17 2010 4:02 PM

Can anyone recommend a good logos resource that has a lot of the ins and outs of everyday life 2000 years ago?

My son and I were just talking about how it was in Jesus' time, we were looking at some stereoscopic images of streets and things and we got to talking about  how they lived...and the subject of the public sewage, bathroom situation came up...

Well a quick good search turned up some incredibly interesting stuff about the infrastructure of the cities back then...the customs about how to handle sewage, fresh water...etc....

So I did a few searches and turned up surprisingly little in my library...

 

Does anyone know of the top dog for learning the intimate details of life in bible times?

Robert Pavich

For help go to the Wiki: http://wiki.logos.com/Table_of_Contents__

Posts 418
davidphillips | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 17 2010 4:15 PM

Bob,

Some classics are by Edersheim:

The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

Sketches of Jewish Social Life in the Days of Christ

The Temple: It's Ministry and Services as They Were at the Time of Jesus Christ

To be fair, I haven't used these much, so I can't totally vouch for them, but they are "classics" (I've also never heard anything bad said about them).

On the newer side, I'd also recommend a good encyclopedia, such as ISBE. The IVP dictionaries are also very helpful for cultural information as well (Jesus and the Gospels, New Testament Background, etc.).

Posts 1675
Paul Golder | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 17 2010 4:18 PM

Exploring the New Testament World has a section on housing and urban life.

 

"As any translator will attest, a literal translation is no translation at all."

Posts 4508
Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 17 2010 4:40 PM

David,

thanks for the reminder...I had forgotten about them...:(

 

Paul...ya gotta love the cloud....

7:35 read your recommendation

7:37 downloaded the resource

7:39 in a collection and already searched it

 

Nice!

Robert Pavich

For help go to the Wiki: http://wiki.logos.com/Table_of_Contents__

Posts 1875
Alan Macgregor | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 17 2010 5:12 PM

I've got a good Logos resource which came as a Logos Cd at the back of a book:

It's available from Logos: http://www.logos.com/products/details/2455

Product Details:

Through a judicious use of the social sciences, Hanson and Oakman's enormously helpful volume explains in a readable way the primary social institutions and structures of ancient Palestine, with a view to how they are reflected in and shaped the early Jesus movement.

After an overview of social analysis and of the ancient Mediterranean worldview, the core of the book systematically presents major domains and institutions of family, politics, and economy, always with reference to specific biblical and other ancient texts. In a concluding chapter, the authors explore Palestine's religious institutions, especially Herod's Tmeple systems and Jesus' relation to it.

Excellent book!

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Posts 1675
Paul Golder | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 17 2010 6:53 PM

Robert Pavich:

Paul...ya gotta love the cloud....

7:35 read your recommendation

7:37 downloaded the resource

7:39 in a collection and already searched it

 

Nice!

Very cool.

P.S. I sent you a p-mail via youtube, thought I had your address, but couldn't find it anywhere.

 

"As any translator will attest, a literal translation is no translation at all."

Posts 376
Dan Sheppard | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 17 2010 7:28 PM

Robert Pavich:
Can anyone recommend a good logos resource that has a lot of the ins and outs of everyday life 2000 years ago?

 

Perhaps the best I would recommend, may already be part of your collection.

Check to see if you have the following:

The Works of Josephus http://www.logos.com/ebooks/details/JOSEPHUS

Philo http://www.logos.com/ebooks/details/philo

and Eusebius http://www.logos.com/ebooks/details/JESUSCONTXT

 

There are a lot of other things to see, if you key in to the Logos search using the three names indicated above.  Tacitus is another one, which provides history.

 

 

Posts 4508
Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 18 2010 3:34 AM

Thanks everyone..I appreciate the suggestions...

 

Robert Pavich

For help go to the Wiki: http://wiki.logos.com/Table_of_Contents__

Posts 308
James W Bennett | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 18 2010 3:41 AM

There are also several articles in Biblical Archaeologist and Biblical Archaeological Review (both journals are available in Logos format). I recall reading one on public latrines a few years back. Also one of the Dead Sea Scrolls references the ritual requirements for placement of the field to be used for human waste, but that is from the Qumran community rather than the Romans.

If you would like I'll get you some article references for BA and BAR.

---

James W Bennett

http://syriac.tara-lu.com/

Posts 4508
Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 18 2010 3:56 AM

James,

thanks but I don't think I can afford BAR right now....much appreciated though.

Robert Pavich

For help go to the Wiki: http://wiki.logos.com/Table_of_Contents__

Posts 5337
Kevin Becker | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 18 2010 4:48 AM

I came across some interesting details about sewage when doing a word study on σκυβαλον. I tracked down every usage cataloged in Liddell Scott I could using the Loeb collection at a library (Logos versions would have sped up the process immensely!). I copied a brief portion from it below... one can infer from the information below that Jerusalem did indeed have a sewer system at least at 70 CE (and probably at the time of Christ). The Strabo reference shows that not all cities had one though.

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE HE

1.      Strabo (I BCE/ I CE) Geographus 14.I.37 – “filth”[1]

2.      Josephus (I CE) Jewish War 5.571- "some were reduced to such straits that they searched the sewers[2] for old cow dung[3] and ate the offal therefrom”[4]



[1] Strabo is describing Smyrna, whose engineers did not install drainage under their paved streets, sewage covers the

roads, especially during rains it washes onto them.

[2] αμαρας- trench, conduit, channel

[3] ονθον - dung of animals

[4] Josephus is describing the siege o f Jerusalem

Posts 1875
Alan Macgregor | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 18 2010 5:16 AM

Kevin

While some cities undoubtedly had underground sewerage systems, by no means all of them did. A fair number had central surface channels for sewerage. In fact in streets which had a fair amount of animal traffic, it would have been a positive advantage.

Most cities would appear to have had a mix of open and underground sewers (cloaca) which is what the archaeological evidence would tend to suggest.

My guess is that Jerusalem, particularly in the old city of David, probably had open sewerage channels, hence Josephus' remarks.

It's a fascinating area for investigation.

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Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 18 2010 6:34 AM

Alan Macgregor:

Kevin

While some cities undoubtedly had underground sewerage systems, by no means all of them did. A fair number had central surface channels for sewerage. In fact in streets which had a fair amount of animal traffic, it would have been a positive advantage.

Most cities would appear to have had a mix of open and underground sewers (cloaca) which is what the archaeological evidence would tend to suggest.

My guess is that Jerusalem, particularly in the old city of David, probably had open sewerage channels, hence Josephus' remarks.

It's a fascinating area for investigation.

It was not only the case in ancient times that a large amount of sewage was simply dumped in the streets.  This also occurred in somewhat more modern times when it was even the custom to take the contents of the chamber pot and throw it out the (upper story) window.  If anyone is still old enough to remember the (quaint ?) custom that the man escorting a female companion walked on the the outside, it is instructive to know that the reason was to protect her from such defilement.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 286
Dr. Charles A. Wootten | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 18 2010 7:04 AM

Robert Pavich:
Can anyone recommend a good logos resource that has a lot of the ins and outs of everyday life 2000 years ago?

I did a search for "sewage" getting 174 results in 153 articles in 84 resources in the Portfolio edition. Selectively ignoring the dictionary definitions and preaching examples and allusions, here's what mostly remains:

Harper's Bible Dictionary has a delightful article about "Life in Rome" - http://www.logos.com/ebooks/details/hbd

Everyday Access: Your Bible Concordance - http://www.logos.com/ebooks/details/NCVEVRYDYACC (There's only one entry for 2Kings 10:27.)

Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Manners and Customs - http://www.logos.com/ebooks/details/NNIBMC

Eerdmans Bible Dictionary - http://www.logos.com/products/details/2422

Concise Oxford English Dictionary gives a short history of the word "toilet" - http://www.logos.com/products/details/2224

The Archaeological Encyclopedia of the Holy Land - http://www.logos.com/ebooks/details/aehl

What Does the Bible Say About http://www.logos.com/ebooks/details/WDTBSA has a short article on sanitation.

Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary - (with most packages)

Courson's Application Commentary (OT Vol 1) only mentions "Outside the Eastern Gate of Jerusalem, there is a small valley. In Bible days, the Brook Kidron flowed through this valley. The word Kidron means “dark.” The reason it’s called “Dark” is because the Brook Kidron was where much of the waste and sewage of Jerusalem was poured. The temple wastes also poured into the Kidron—which meant that, at the time of Passover when upwards of 1,000 lambs were sacrificed, the brook would take on a red color." Courson, J. (2005). Jon Courson's application commentary : Volume one : Genesis-Job (938). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson. - http://www.logos.com/products/details/6455

IVP's The New Bible Dictionary - http://www.logos.com/products/details/1516

Exploring the New Testament World - http://www.logos.com/ebooks/details/EXPNTWRLD

The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary - http://www.logos.com/products/details/1678

and there are several commentaries throughout that mention "sewage" as well as the ISBE and others mentioned earlier in this thread. I imagine that if I were to do a serious study of the topic I'd use words relating to sewage as well as other items about daily life.

Enjoy!

{charley}

 

 

 

 

running Logos Bible Software 6.0a: Collector's Edition on HP e9220y (AMD Phenom II X4 2.60GHz 8.00GB 64-bit Win 7 Pro SP1) & iPad (mini) apps.

Posts 1145
William | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jun 18 2010 10:41 AM

George Somsel:
If anyone is still old enough to remember the (quaint ?) custom that the man escorting a female companion walked on the the outside, it is instructive to know that the reason was to protect her from such defilement.

When I was walking with my ex-wife (widowed) in Colonial Williamsburg, VA, this is exactly what I did.  I knew of the custom and made sure something like that would never happen to my wife.  Luckily Smile, nothing ever happened.  Colonial Williamsburg is true to form of that time, looks like well kept original housing, and just a generally good feel to the place.   

Posts 4508
Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jun 19 2010 6:27 AM

Charles,

thanks for the good info...I hadn't thought to just search for "sewage"...I'll try that also.

Robert Pavich

For help go to the Wiki: http://wiki.logos.com/Table_of_Contents__

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