Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Impalements In Antiquity (4C)

WARNING!: This post may be upsetting to some.

Part 14C of the series: "The Romans NEVER CRUCIFIED the Way We Think They Did!" (Cont'd)

Previous in this series:

Part 14B Impalements in Antiquity (4B).
Part 14A Impalements in Antiquity (4A).
Part 13B Impalements in Antiquity (3B).
Part 13A Impalements in Antiquity (3A).
Part 12 Impalements in Antiquity (2).
Part 11 Impalements in Antiquity (1).
Part 10 Humiliations.
Part 9 Utility Poles and Masts.
Part 8 Crown of Thorns.
Part 7 Crucifixion and Priapus.
Part 6 From Wax Image to Exposed Body.
Part 5 The First Crucifix.
Part 4 The Tropaeum and the Furca.
Part 3 Crux - Modern English Use and Ancient Quotidian Meanings.
Part 2 Crux.
Part 1.

Previous Series - Crucifixion – The Bodily Support:

Part 4 Physics of Crucifixion.
Part 3 Manuscript Evidence.
Part 2 Archaeological Evidence. UPDATED 7-31-2012
Part 1.

Part 14C - Impalements in Antiquity (4C) - Media and Persia.

A. Recap.

Previously I discussed the Behistun Inscription and the chronicles of Herodotus. I noted that the behistun verbiage may have been unclear, that was Draius was saying "I lifted him up on the wood." He knew exactly what he meant, but thanks to long established Christian tradition that tells over and over again that Jesus Christ was nailed to the wooden Cross upon his arrival at Calvary Hill, and then raised up on it. But when I looked at Herodotus' writings, they showed that the Persians impaled people. Herodotus used conjugates of ἀνασκολοπίζω for the impalement of living people, and ἀνασταυρόω for that of persons who were already dead, with one exception: the execution of Sandoces.

B. Greek and Roman Writers.

B.1. Herodotus.

Additional Discussion.

I should close out Herodotus, not with more examples of impalements (I do not know of any more) but of a crucifixion or crucifixion-like suspension of a Persian satrap by the name Artayctes, in 479 BCE. Herodotus reports:
It was here that not long afterwards the Athenians, when Xanthippus son of Aphiron was their general, took Artayctes, a Persian and governor of Sestus, and crucified him alive; he had been in the habit of bringing in women right into the Temple of Protesilaus at Elaeus and doing impious deeds there.

Herodotus, Histories 7,33,1fin, A.D. Godley, tr. [1]
The phrase "crucified him alive" is ζῶντα πρὸς σανίδα διεπασσάλευσαν, "alive against a board he stretched [Artayctes] out by nailing his extremities to it". [2] It certainly fits the limited modern definition of crucifixion (attaching to a cross) here. In fact, the Greeks have a word for it: ἀποτυμπανισμός (apotympanismos). [3] But note here it is not a Persian satrap doing the crucifying. It is an Athenian general, Xanthippus.

Herodotus continues about Artayctes' execution:

But Xanthippus the general was unmoved by this promise*, for the people of Elaeus desired that Artayctes should be put to death in revenge for Protesilaus, and the general himself was so inclined. So they carried Artayctes away to the headland where Xerxes had bridged the straight (or, by another story, to the hill above the town of Madytus), and there nailed him to boards and hanged him. As for his son, they stoned him to death before his father's eyes.

Herodotus, Histories, 9,120,1, A.D. Godley tr. [4]

*100 talents reimbursement to the temple Artayctes had plundered and 200 talents for himself and his son as ransom - see line 3
The phrase "nailed him to boards and hanged him" is expressed in Greek as πρὸς σανίδας προσπασσαλεύσαντες ἀνεκρέμασαν [5], of which the preceding English translation is right on the money and describes the Greek apotympanismos perfectly.

 And Herodotus finishes up two chapters later:
This Artayctes who was crucified was the grandson of that Artembares who instructed the persians in a design which they took from him and laid before Cyrus, this was the purport:...
Herodotus, Histories, 9,122,1 A.D. Godley, tr. [6]
And the word for "crucified" is ἀνακρεμασθέντος, "having been hanged up on [boards]". [7] Nothing contradictory there.

So let the record show that what many so-called scholars cite as an example of crucifixion by the Persians is actually a crucifixion or crucifixion-like suspension done to a Persian by Greeks under their penalty of apotympanismos.

Herodotus' record also shows that the punishment doled out by the Persians was impalement, possibly with an additional hanging by the wrists from a transverse overhead beam, a suspension similar to crucifixion.

B.2. Thucydides.

Thucydides (460-395 BCE) reports on the death of one Inaros, a king of Libya, who instigated a revolt in the Achaemenid Persian vassal of Egypt in 455 BCE.
1. Thus the enterprise of the Hellenes came to a ruin after six years of war. Of all that large host a few travelling through Libya reached Cyrene in safety, but most of them perished. 2. And thus Egypt returned to the subjection of its king, except Amyrtaeus, the king in the marshes, whom they were unable to capture from the extent of the marsh; the marshmen being also the most warlike of the Egyptians. 3. Inaros, the Libyan king, the sole author of the Egyptian revolt, was betrayed, taken, and crucified impaled.

Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War 1,110,1-3, 1910 tr. [8]
The word for "was crucified impaled" is ἀνεσταυρώθη, 3rd person singular aorist indicative passive of  the verb ἀνασταυρόω, which means the same as ἀνασκολοπίζω in Classic and early Koine Greek. [9] And in the Benjamin Jowett translation (1881) the word ἀνεσταυρώθη is translated as "was impaled".

B.3. Plutarch.

This is a chronicle of Parsyatis, the Queen Mum, who had the officer Masabates, an eunuch of king Artaxerxes skinned alive and impaled because he had dishonoured the younger Cyrus' body by cutting off his head and right hand. She loved to play dice, and so she proposes a wager to the king. They roll a few rounds of dice in a game. Artaxerxes wins a bet of a thousand darics. On the second game the queen asks an eunuch selected by the winner out of each loser's five most trusted for the stake and the king agrees. The queen wins and picks Massabates. (Plutarch Artaxerxes 17,1-4) And here's the sad end of the poor eunuch:

And before the king suspected her design, she put the eunuch in the hands of the executioners, who were ordered to flay him alive, to set up his body slantwise on three stakes, and to nail up his skin to a fourth. This was done, and when the king was bitterly incensed at her, she said to him, with a mocking laugh: " ‘What a blessed simpleton thou art, to be incensed on account of a wretched old eunuch, when I, who have diced away a thousand darics, accept my loss without a word.’

Plutarch, Artaxerxes, 17,5, Bernadotte Perrin, ed. [10]
Now in this passage the Greek has καὶ τὸ μὲν σῶμα πλάγιον διὰ τριῶν σταυρῶν ἀναπῆξαι for the phrase "to set his body slantwise on three stakes". The Greek transliterates as "and indeed the body sideways through (over, across and onto) three stakes to be impaled". [11]

B.4. Discussion.

Now here we have here I believe is consistent verbiage that the Persians did not crucify, they impaled people. How they did it, of course, may be the reason why scholars think they did crucify as in the case of Sandoces (Herodotus Histories 7,194,1-2) who manages to survive the penalty somewhat - or completely -unharmed. In the next installment, Part 14D, I will show that in the example of Polycrates, the ancients probably did think he was impaled. And if not that, then they were projecting the Roman penalty with a cornu, not the limited modern sense of Crucifxion.


[1] Perseus Digital Library, Herodotus Histories 7,33. The Greek of the latter part of line 1 reads:
ἔνθα μετὰ ταῦτα, χρόνῳ ὕστερον οὐ πολλῷ, ἐπὶ Ξανθίππου τοῦ Ἀρίφρονος στρατηγοῦ Ἀθηναῖοι Ἀρταΰκτην ἄνδρα Πέρσην λαβόντες Σηστοῦ ὕπαρχον ζῶντα πρὸς σανίδα διεπασσάλευσαν, ὃς καὶ ἐς τοῦ Πρωτεσίλεω τὸ ἱρὸν ἐς Ἐλαιοῦντα ἀγινεόμενος γυναῖκας ἀθέμιστα ἔρδεσκε. 
[2] Perseus Word Study Tool, ζῶντα "living", πρὸς "against", σανίδα, "a board or a plank", and διεπασσάλευσαν "stretched out by nailing the extremities".

[3]  Perseus Word Study Tool, ἀποτυμπανισμός. Cf. with Martin Hengel, Crucifixion, John Bowden, tr., Philadelphia, Fortress Press (1977), p. 72, where Α.Δ. Κεραμόπουλος (A.D. Keramopoulos) is quoted as stating, "Thus it is clear (from the deciphering of a rediscovered passage from a lost anonymous history** that described Pausanius, the raped and humiliated assassin of Philip of Macedon, who killed him because he repeatedly denied him justice, as being subjected to ἀποτυμπανισμός) that ΑΠΕΤΥΠΑΝΙΣΑΝ means this punishment which Justin IX 7,10 describes as in cruce pendentis Pausaniae," even though in cruce pendentis may not mean "hanging on a cross" but "hanging on / by means of an impaling stake."

**POxy 1798 (fr. 1)

[4] Perseus Digital Library, Herodotus, Histories, 9,120. The Greek text of line 4 reads as follows:
ταῦτα ὑπισχόμενος τὸν στρατηγὸν Ξάνθιππον οὐκ ἔπειθε: οἱ γὰρ Ἐλαιούσιοι τῷ Πρωτεσίλεῳ τιμωρέοντες ἐδέοντό μιν καταχρησθῆναι, καὶ αὐτοῦ τοῦ στρατηγοῦ ταύτῃ νόος ἔφερε. ἀπαγαγόντες δὲ αὐτὸν ἐς τὴν Ξέρξης ἔζευξε τὸν πόρον, οἳ δὲ λέγουσι ἐπὶ τὸν κολωνὸν τὸν ὑπὲρ Μαδύτου πόλιος, πρὸς σανίδας προσπασσαλεύσαντες ἀνεκρέμασαν: τὸν δὲ παῖδα ἐν ὀφθαλμοῖσι τοῦ Ἀρταΰκτεω κατέλευσαν. 
[5] Perseus Word Study Tool, πρὸς "against", σανίδας "boards or planks", προσπασσαλεύσαντες "having nailed him fast to", and ἀνεκρέμασαν "hanged him up on [them]"

[6] Perseus Digital Library, Herodotus, Histories 9.122. The Greek text of line 1 reads as follows:

τούτου δὲ Ἀρταΰκτεω τοῦ ἀνακρεμασθέντος προπάτωρ Ἀρτεμβάρης ἐστὶ ὁ Πέρσῃσι ἐξηγησάμενος λόγον τὸν ἐκεῖνοι ὑπολαβόντες Κύρῳ προσήνεικαν λέγοντα τάδε.
[7] Perseus Word Study Tool, ἀνακρεμασθέντος. Verb-participle singular aorist passive masculine genitive of ἀνακρεμάννυμι, "to hang up on a thing".

[8] Perseus Digital Library, Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War 1,110. The Greek of lines 1 through 3 reads as follows:
1. οὕτω μὲν τὰ τῶν Ἑλλήνων πράγματα ἐφθάρη ἓξ ἔτη πολεμήσαντα: καὶ ὀλίγοι ἀπὸ πολλῶν πορευόμενοι διὰ τῆς Λιβύης ἐς Κυρήνην ἐσώθησαν, οἱ δὲ πλεῖστοι ἀπώλοντο. 2. Αἴγυπτος δὲ πάλιν ὑπὸ βασιλέα ἐγένετο πλὴν Ἀμυρταίου τοῦ ἐν τοῖς ἕλεσι βασιλέως: τοῦτον δὲ διὰ μέγεθός τε τοῦ ἕλους οὐκ ἐδύναντο ἑλεῖν, καὶ ἅμα μαχιμώτατοί εἰσι τῶν Αἰγυπτίων οἱ ἕλειοι. 3. Ἰνάρως δὲ ὁ Λιβύων βασιλεύς, ὃς τὰ πάντα ἔπραξε περὶ τῆς Αἰγύπτου, προδοσίᾳ ληφθεὶς ἀνεσταυρώθη.
[9] Perseus Word Study Tool, ἀνασταυρόω and ἀνασκολοπίζω. The LSJ and Middle Liddell lexica both say that in Herodotus and other Classic (and by extension early Koine Greek) writers the two words' meanings are identical. Be sure to click on the LSJ and Middle Liddell menu tabs at each link.

[10] Perseus Digital Library, Plutarch, Artaxerxes 17. The Greek for line 5 reads as follows:
καὶ πρὶν ἐν ὑποψίᾳ, γενέσθαι βασιλέα τοῦ πράγματος ἐγχειρίσασα τοῖς ἐπὶ τῶν τιμωριῶνπροσέταξεν ἐκδεῖραι ζῶντα, καὶ τὸ μὲν σῶμα πλάγιον διὰ τριῶν σταυρῶν ἀναπῆξαι, τὸ δὲ δέρμα χωρὶς διαπατταλεῦσαι. γενομένων δὲ τούτων καὶβασιλέως χαλεπῶς φέροντος καὶ παροξυνομένου πρὸς αὐτήν, εἰρωνευομένη μετὰγέλωτος, ‘ὡς ἡδύς,’ ἔφασκεν, ‘εἶ καὶ μακάριος, εἰ χαλεπαίνεις διὰ γέροντα πονηρὸν εὐνοῦχον, ἐγὼδὲ χιλίους ἐκκυβευθεῖσα δαρεικοὺς σιωπῶ καὶ στέργω.’ 
[11] Perseus Word Study Tool, διὰ "through", τριῶν "three", σταυρῶν "pales", and ἀναπῆξαι "to transfix upwards, fix on a spit, i.e., impale" Although one of the words included in the LSJ for ἀναπῆξαι / ἀναπήγνυμι  is "crucify" - that doesn't sound right because no example by the Romans is cited in the listed lexica and it certainly makes no sense here, how is one to crucify another across three crosses??? Even if it's not impossible, it sounds stupid. Unless one decides to sharpen the tops of the crosses to points and impale the person on them. Then the transverses act as brakes. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

An Update to an old Post.

I have made the following update to the Post, Crucifixion – The Bodily Support - Part 2 - Archaeological Evidence:

UPDATE JULY 31, 2012 - Added information and links for second gem shown. Also revised interpretation of Alexamenos Graffito (he is wearing a tunic) with an added link, made corrections and added new information to Lex Puteoli, revised interpretation of Pozzuoli graffito with an added link, added new information to Pompeiian Graffiti.

Impalements in Antiquity (4B)

WARNING!: This post may be upsetting to some.

Part 14B of the series: "The Romans NEVER CRUCIFIED the Way We Think They Did!" (Cont'd)

Previous in this series:

Part 14A Impalements in Antiquity (4A).
Part 13B Impalements in Antiquity (3B).
Part 13A Impalements in Antiquity (3A).
Part 12 Impalements in Antiquity (2).
Part 11 Impalements in Antiquity (1).
Part 10 Humiliations.
Part 9 Utility Poles and Masts.
Part 8 Crown of Thorns.
Part 7 Crucifixion and Priapus.
Part 6 From Wax Image to Exposed Body.
Part 5 The First Crucifix.
Part 4 The Tropaeum and the Furca.
Part 3 Crux - Modern English Use and Ancient Quotidian Meanings.
Part 2 Crux.
Part 1.

Previous Series - Crucifixion – The Bodily Support:

Part 4 Physics of Crucifixion.
Part 3 Manuscript Evidence.
Part 2 Archaeological Evidence.
Part 1.

Part 14B - Impalements in Antiquity (4B) - Media and Persia.

A. Recap.

In the previous part we have seen that the instances recorded on the Behishtun inscription show that the verbiage denoting the penal bodily suspension and execution of a convict was interpreted as "crucify" around the turn of the 19th / 20th Century and later on as impale in the mid 20th Century. Indeed, the Old Babylonian Text describing the act reads, "I raised him aloft on the wood." I suspect this would be indicative of impalement on the ground and then raising aloft. We can verify this by looking at the Greek, Roman and Jewish sources.

B. Greek and Roman Sources.

We will look at a few examples to show how the ancient Greek historians described the penal bodily suspension-executions of convicted criminals sentenced thereto. The historians concerned are Herodotus, Thucydides and Plutarch. Josephus, because he was also Jewish, will be examined when I deal with Jewish sources.

B.1. Herodotus.

First off the bat is Herodotus' report of the impalement of of the magi who persuaded the Median king Astyages to release the Persian leader, Cyrus, in 687 BCE:
1. Thus the Median army was shamefully scattered. As soon as Astyages heard, he sent a threatening message to Cyrus: "Nevertheless, Cyrus shall not rejoice"; 2. and with that he took the magi who interpreted dreams, and who had persuaded him to let Cyrus go free, and impaled them; them he armed the Medes who were left in the city, the very young and very old men.

Herodotus Histories 1,128,1-2, D.A. Godley, tr. [1]
Herodotus writes ἀνεσκολόπισε, a conjugate of ἀνασταυρόω, for "he impaled". [2] Here it is probable that the ones suspended were impaled and set up on their pales while still alive -- Herodotus usually uses ἀνασκολοπίζω for the impalement and suspension of living persons, while he likewise uses ἀνασταυρόω for bodily impalement and/or impalement of heads, hands, etc., of persons who have just been killed. [3]

The next incident Herodotus describes deals with the Samian monarch Polycrates, who was killed cruelly and unusually, and shamefully, and was then suspended on a pole by a Persian satrap in 522 BCE. Herodotus describes his unfortunate end as follows:
3. Having killed him in some way not fit to be told, Oroetes then crucified impaled him; as for those who had accompanied him, let the Samians go, telling them to thank them that they were free, those who were not Samians, or were servants of Polycrates' followers he kept for slaves. 4. And Polycrates hanging in the air fulfilled his daughter's vision in every detail, for he was washed by Zeus when it rained, and he was anointed by Helios as he exuded sweat from his body.

Herodotus Histories 3,125,3-4, A.D. Godley, tr.[4]
The word that was translated as crucified but should have been translated impaled is ἀνεσταύρωσε, a conjugate of ἀνασταυρόω, which, according to the LSJ and Middle Liddell lexica, is identical with ἀνασκολοπίζω in the Classical Greek. [2] It is then only in the Koine Greek later on that ἀνασταυρόω becomes to mean also "crucify" and probably only when the Romans came up with their unique brand of  crucifixion.

Indeed, how Polycrates' execution is described, with the phrase "Having killed him in some way not fit to be telled (ἀποκτείνας δέ μιν οὐκ ἀξίως ἀπηγήσιος)", leads one to conclude that he was impaled to death while still on the ground and then suspended his body by the pole that was inside.

Also note that when one is suspended on an impale, he hangs. Once the condemned stops sliding down the pole, he is suspended in mid-air on it. And so it is in Polycrates' case: he is "hanging in the air"  In the Greek it is  ἀνακρεμάμενος [5], "hanging up on [an impaling stake]". 

Next is the incident where a Greek physician by the name of Democedes saves the backsides of some Egyptian physicians and an Elean [6] seer. Herodotus reports:
1 So now because he had healed Darius at Susa, Democedes had a very good house and ate at the king's table; he had everything, except permission to return to the Greeks. 2. When the Egyptian physicians who until now had attended the king were about to be impaled for being less skillful than a Greek, Democedes interceded with the king for them and saved them; and he saved an Elean seer, too, who had been a retainer of Polycrates' and was forgotten among the slaves. Democedes was a man of considerable influence with the king.

Herodotus, Histories, 3.132,1-2, D.A. Godley, tr. [7]
The Greek verb for "about to be impaled" is ἀνασκολοπιεῖσθαι, a conjugate of ἀνασκολοπίζω. [2] 

Then we have his description of the execution of 3,000 in Babylon (date unknown) which was already noted on the Behistun Inscription. Herodotus writes:
Thus Babylon was taken a second time, and when Darius was the master of the babylonians, he destroyed their walls and tore away all their gates, neither of which Cyrus had done at the first taking of Babylon; moreover he impaled about three thousand men that were prominent among them; as for the rest, he gave them back their city to live in.

Herodotus Histories 3,159,1, A.D. Godley, tr.[8]
Here the Greek verb for "he impaled" is ἀνεσκολόπισε, a conjugate of ἀνασκολοπίζω. [2]

Then we have an execution where a certain Sastapes was caught committing adultery, and Xerxes orders him to be impaled. His own mother manages to get the king to waive the penalty on a certain condition (which he fails to meet):
1 Thus was the first knowledge of Libya gained. The next story is that of the Carthaginians: for as Sastapes son of Teaspes, an Achaemenid, he did not sail around Libya, although he was sent for that purpose; but he feared the length and loneliness of the voyage and so returned without accomplishing the task laid upon him by his mother. 2. For he had raped the virgin daughter of Zopyrus son of Megabyzus; and when on this charge he was to be impaled by the king Xerxes, Sastapes' mother, who was Darius' sister, interceded for his life, saying that she should impose a heavier punishment on him than Xerxes.

6 As to his not sailing completely around Libya, the reason (he said) was that the ship could move no further, but was stopped. But Xerxes did not believe that Sastapes spoke the truth, and as the task appointed was unfulfilled, he impaled him, punishing him the charge first brought against him.

Herodotus Histories 4.43.1-2,6, D.A. Godley, tr. [9]
For "he was to be impaled" and "he impaled him", herodotus uses the conjugates of ἀνασκολοπίζω, ἀνασκολοπιεῖσθαι and ἀνεσκολόπισε, respectively. [2]

Next, Herodotus describes the impalement of men and women of the city of Barca ca. 510 BCE by a Persian-aligned military leader, a woman of war by the name of Pheretine:
When they were delivered to her by the Persians, Pheretine took the most guilty of the Barcaeans and set them impaled around the top of the wall; the breasts of their women she cut off and planted around the wall in like manner.

Herodotus Histories 4,202,1, A.D. Godley, tr. [10]
Again, the Greek verb for "[she] set them impaled" is ἀνεσκολόπισε.

Next is the execution of Histaeus in 494 BCE by the Persian general Harpagus.
1. Now, if he had been taken prisoner and brought to king Darius, he would have suffered no harm (to my thinking) and the king would have forgiven his guilt; but as it was, when Histaeus was brought to Sardis, both because of what he had done, and for fear that he might escape and again win power at the court, Artaphrenus, governor of Sardis, and Harpagus, who had captured him, impaled his body on the spot and sent his head embalmed to king Darius at Susa. 2. When Darius learned of this, he blamed those who had done it because they had not brought Histaeus before him alive, and he commanded that the head should be washed and buried with due ceremony, as of a man who had done great good to Darius himself and to Persia.

Herodotus, Histories 6,30,1-2, D.A. Godley, tr. [11]
Here the Greek verb for "[they] impaled" is ἀνεσταύρωσαν, a conjugate of ἀνασταυρόω. [2] Here, the translation is consistent with the lexica, unlike in Histories 3,125.

After this we have the near-execution of Sandoces, a royal judge. This passage is usually quoted by scholars, usually those who subscribe to Christianity, to say that the Persians crucified, i.e., bound or nailed people to crosses. Not necessarily so!
1. Fifteen of those ships had put to sea a long time after all the rest, and it chanced that they sighted the Greek ships off Artemisium. Supposing these to be of their own fleet, the barbarians proceeded in the midst of their enemies. Their captain was the viceroy from Cyme in Aeolia, Sandoces son of Thamasius. This man, who was one of the royal judges, had once been taken and crucified by Darius because he had given unjust judgement for a bribe. 2. When Sandoces had been hung on the cross, Darius found a reconsideration that his good services to the royal House outweighed his offences. The king perceived he had acted with more haste than wisdom and set him free.

Herodotus, Histories, 7,194,1-2, D.A. Godley, tr. [12]
What Herodotus has for "had been crucified" is ἀνεσταύρωσε, (lit.: "he [Darius] impaled him), a conjugate of ἀνασταυρόω "impale". [2] Now usually Herodotus employs this verb to describe the impalement of dead people, yet he is describing the impalement of a living person -- who, miraculously, survives the ordeal! For as Sandoces was already hanged up on something (ἀνακρεμασθέντος) [5] Darius has a change of heart and the unfortunate person is let down. Now this could be a initial, temporary suspension by a lifting beam, or Sandoces could already have been parked on top of the stake, but had not yet sunk onto it and been smitten by it. The initial suspension by a lifting beam, of course, would be necessary if a condemned criminal were to be impaled an an already planted impaling stake of an insane height, which I will show you could have happened, in the case of the Persian second in command Haman in the Book of Esther, from the Tanakh. And as shown in the previous installment, the Persians were certainly capable of lifting men and materials to insane heights.

This jasper magical amulet from the 2nd or 3rd Century CE shows something similar in an illustration of The Crucifixion: [13]

The subject, identified as Iησοῦ Xριστέ (Jesus Christ of all people) is portrayed with his arms suspended from a transverse beam with his arms in a relaxed state, and his legs splayed painfully wide as though on an impale. The instrumant of execution shown is usually interpreted as a T cross with a sedile or cornu, but could just as easily be an impaling stake and a separate suspension beam. Nota bene, the transverse has no support poles shown on either side, but the upright is not shown planted in the earth, either.

Next we have the wartime execution of Leonidas at the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BCE, which Herodotus considered a defilement of Leonidas' body and an affront to his person and memory:
1. Having spoken in this way, Xerxes passed over the place where the dead lay and hearing that Leonidas had been king and general of the Lacedaemonians [Spartans], he gave orders to cut off his head and impale it. 2. It is plain to me by this piece of evidence among many others, that while Leonidas lived, king Xerxes was more incensed against him than all the others; otherwise he would never have dealt so outrageously with his body, for the Persians are beyond all men known in the habit of honouring valiant warriors. They, then, who received these orders did as I have said.

Herodotus, Histories 7,238,1-2, D.A. Godley, tr. [14]
Here we have in Greek for the phrase, "he gave orders to cut off his head and impale it" ἐκέλευσε ἀποταμόντας τὴν κεφαλὴν ἀνασταυρῶσαι. It transliterates into: "he gave orders having cut off the head, to impale". It is not clear here whether the head was to be impaled or the body. We have a clue in line 2. There, Herodotus reports that "otherwise he would have never dealt so outrageously with his body (οὐ γὰρ ἄν κοτε ἐς τὸν νεκρὸν ταῦτα παρενόμησε)" The Greek transliterates as "for if otherwise not at any time onto the body these would he have outrageously committed", which gives a hint the impalement may have been of the body. But if it was otherwise, we then have the first extant historic instance where ἀνασταυρόω refers to impaled heads.

We have another clue when later on when Lampon son of Pytheas, a leading military man of the Aeginaetans urges Pausanias son of Cleombrotus to impale a captured Persian military leader, one Mardonius, alive:
When Leonidas was killed at Thermopylae, Mardonius and Xerxes cut off his head and set it on a pole; make them a like return, and you will win praies from all Spartans and the rest of hellas besides. For if you impale Mardonius, you will be avenged for your father's brother Loenidas.

Herodotus, Histories, 9,78,3 [9]
Here the verb for the action that will get revenge for Leonidas, ἀνασκολοπίσας, is a conjugate of ἀνασκολοπίζω, "impale" [2]. And here the victim was to be impaled while still alive. [4] And does the Greek actually state that it was Leonidas' head that was impaled? The Greek, "Λεωνίδεω γὰρ ἀποθανόντος ἐν Θερμοπύλῃσι Μαρδόνιός τε καὶ Ξέρξης ἀποταμόντες τὴν κεφαλὴν ἀνεσταύρωσαν (When Leonidas was killed in Thermopylae both Mardonius and Xerxes having cut off the head, impaled)" It appears here that, based on the identical unclear language in the two passages whether the head or body of Leonidas was impaled, and the first passage stated that Leonidas' body suffered outrages plural, and that a live bodily Mardonius was considered a fitting action to get revenge for Leonidas, it appears that yes, Leonidas' body was impaled, and not (just) his severed head.

Conclusions on Herodotus.

In the above writings, it is noticed that the impalement of live persons was almost always denoted by conjugates of ἀνασκολοπίζω, whereas the post-execution impalements were expressed by conjugates of ἀνασταυρόω. The one exception is that of Sandoces, but that may be cleared up when I discuss the case of Haman in a future installment.

Next installment, Part 14C, I will discuss the writings of other Greeks and of Romans, and if there is room, look at an individual case reported by multiple writers.


[1] Perseus Digital Library, Herodotus Histories 1.128. The Greek text for lines 1 and 2 reads as follows:
1. διαλυθέντος δὲ τοῦ Μηδικοῦ. στρατεύματος αἰσχρῶς, ὡς ἐπύθετο τάχιστα ὁ Ἀστυάγης, ἔφη ἀπειλέων τῷ Κύρῳ ‘ἀλλ᾽ οὐδ᾽ ὣς Κῦρός γε χαιρήσει.’ [2]τοσαῦτα εἶπας πρῶτον μὲν τῶν Μάγων τοὺς ὀνειροπόλους, οἵ μιν ἀνέγνωσαν μετεῖναι τὸν Κῦρον, τούτους ἀνεσκολόπισε, μετὰ δὲ ὥπλισετοὺς ὑπολειφθέντας ἐν τῷ ἄστεϊ τῶν Μήδων, νέους τε καὶ πρεσβύτας ἄνδρας. 
[2] Perseus Word Study Tool, ἀνασταυρόω "affix to a cross, crucify," and ἀνασκολοπίζω "fix on a pole," according to the Perseus quick definition. But looking into the LSJ (Liddell, Scott and Jones) and Middle Liddell lexica (accessible via the menu tags) shows that in the Classical Greek ἀνασταυρόω was identical with ἀνασκολοπίζω, which is more completely defined as "fix on a pole or stake, impale". Indeed, ἀνασκολοπίζω still means "impale" in the modern Greek.

[3] Martin Hengel, Crucifixion, John Bowden, tr., Philadelhia, Fortress Press 1977, p. 24.

[4] Perseus Digital Library,Herodotus Histories 3,125. The Greek text of lines 3 and 4 reads as follows:
3. ἀποκτείνας δέ μιν οὐκ ἀξίως ἀπηγήσιος Ὀροίτης ἀνεσταύρωσε: τῶν δέ οἱ ἑπομένων ὅσοι μὲν ἦσαν Σάμιοι, ἀπῆκε, κελεύων σφέας ἑωυτῷ χάριν εἰδέναι ἐόντας ἐλευθέρους, ὅσοι δὲ ἦσαν ξεῖνοί τε καὶ δοῦλοι τῶν ἑπομένων, ἐν ἀνδραπόδων λόγῳ ποιεύμενος εἶχε. 4. Πολυκράτης δὲ ἀνακρεμάμενος ἐπετέλεε πᾶσαν τὴν ὄψιν τῆς θυγατρός: ἐλοῦτο μὲν γὰρ ὑπὸ τοῦ Διὸς ὅκως ὕοι, ἐχρίετο δὲ ὑπὸ τοῦ ἡλίου, ἀνιεὶς αὐτὸς ἐκ τοῦ σώματος ἰκμάδα. ’
[5] Perseus Word Study Tool, ἀνακρεμάμενος, verb-participle, singular, present, middle-passive, masculine nominative of ἀνακρεμάννυμι, "hang up on [a thing]". The middle-passive voice indicates an action done to the subject, but could also indicate a action the subject is doing by itself, or to itself. (Also himself / herself). The conjugate ἀνακρεμασθέντος is the verb-participle, singular, aorist, passive, masculine genitive.

[6] Elean: of Elis, a region and city of southwest ancient Greece, in northwestern Peloponnesus, west of Arcadia. 

[7] Perseus Digital Library, Herodotus Histories, 3,132. The Greek text of lines 1 and 2 reads as follows:
1. τότε δὴ ὁ Δημοκήδης ἐν τοῖσι Σούσοισι ἐξιησάμενος Δαρεῖον οἶκόν τε μέγιστον εἶχε καὶ ὁμοτράπεζος βασιλέι ἐγεγόνεε, πλήν τε ἑνὸς τοῦ ἐς Ἕλληνας ἀπιέναι πάντα τἆλλά οἱ παρῆν. [2]καὶ τοῦτο μὲν τοὺς Αἰγυπτίους ἰητρούς, οἳ βασιλέα πρότερον ἰῶντο, μέλλοντας ἀνασκολοπιεῖσθαι ὅτι ὑπὸ Ἕλληνος ἰητροῦ ἑσσώθησαν, τούτους βασιλέα παραιτησάμενος ἐρρύσατο: τοῦτο δὲ μάντιν Ἠλεῖον Πολυκράτεϊ ἐπισπόμενον καὶ ἀπημελημένον ἐν τοῖσι ἀνδραπόδοισι ἐρρύσατο. ἦν δὲ μέγιστον πρῆγμα Δημοκήδης παρὰ βασιλέι.
[8] Perseus Digital Library, Herodotus Histories 3,159. The Greek text of line 1 reads as follows:
1. Βαβυλὼν μέν νυν οὕτω τὸ δεύτερον αἱρέθη. Δαρεῖος δὲ ἐπείτε ἐκράτησε τῶν Βαβυλωνίων, τοῦτο μὲν σφέων τὸ τεῖχος περιεῖλε καὶ τὰς πύλας πάσας ἀπέσπασε: τὸ γὰρ πρότερον ἑλὼν Κῦρος τὴν Βαβυλῶνα ἐποίησε τούτων οὐδέτερον: τοῦτο δὲ ὁ Δαρεῖος τῶν ἀνδρῶν τοὺς κορυφαίους μάλιστα ἐς τρισχιλίους ἀνεσκολόπισε, τοῖσι δὲ λοιποῖσι Βαβυλωνίοισι ἀπέδωκε τὴν πόλιν οἰκέειν.
[9] Perseus Digital Library, Herodotus Histories 4.43. The Greek text of lines 1, 2 and 6 read as follows:
1. οὕτω μὲν αὕτη ἐγνώσθη τὸ πρῶτον, μετὰ δὲ Καρχηδόνιοι εἰσὶ οἱ λέγοντες: ἐπεὶ Σατάσπης γε ὁ Τεάσπιος ἀνὴρ Ἀχαιμενίδης οὐ περιέπλωσε Λιβύην, ἐπ᾽ αὐτὸ τοῦτο πεμφθείς, ἀλλὰ δείσας τό τε μῆκος τοῦ πλόου καὶ τὴν ἐρημίην ἀπῆλθε ὀπίσω, οὐδ᾽ ἐπετέλεσε τὸν ἐπέταξε οἱ ἡ μήτηρ ἄεθλον. 2. θυγατέρα γὰρ Ζωπύρου τοῦ Μεγαβύζου ἐβιήσατο παρθένον: ἔπειτα μέλλοντος αὐτοῦ διὰ ταύτην τὴν αἰτίην ἀνασκολοπιεῖσθαι ὑπὸ Ξέρξεω βασιλέος, ἡ μήτηρ τοῦ Σατάσπεος ἐοῦσα Δαρείου ἀδελφεὴ παραιτήσατο, φᾶσά οἱ αὐτὴ μέζω ζημίην ἐπιθήσειν ἤ περ ἐκεῖνον:

6. τοῦ δὲ μὴ περιπλῶσαι Λιβύην παντελέως αἴτιον τόδε ἔλεγε, τὸ πλοῖον τὸ πρόσω οὐ δυνατὸν ἔτι εἶναι προβαίνειν ἀλλ᾽ ἐνίσχεσθαι. Ξέρξης δὲ οὔ οἱ συγγινώσκων λέγειν ἀληθέα οὐκ ἐπιτελέσαντά τε τὸν προκείμενον ἄεθλον ἀνεσκολόπισε, τὴν ἀρχαίην δίκην ἐπιτιμῶν.
[10] Perseus Digital Library, Herodotus Histories 4,202. The Greek text of line 1 reads as follows:
1. τοὺς μέν νυν αἰτιωτάτους τῶν Βαρκαίων ἡ Φερετίμη, ἐπείτε οἱ ἐκ τῶν Περσέων παρεδόθησαν, ἀνεσκολόπισε κύκλῳ τοῦ τείχεος, τῶν δέ σφι γυναικῶν τοὺς μαζοὺς ἀποταμοῦσα περιέστιξε καὶ τούτοισι τὸ τεῖχος:
[11] Perseus Digital Library, Herodotus Histories 6,30. The Greek text reads as follows:
1. εἰ μέν νυν, ὡς ἐζωγρήθη, ἄχθη ἀγόμενος παρὰ βασιλέα Δαρεῖον, ὁ δὲ οὔτ᾽ ἂν ἔπαθε κακὸν οὐδὲν δοκέειν ἐμοί, ἀπῆκέ τ᾽ ἂν αὐτῷ τὴν αἰτίην: νῦν δέ μιν αὐτῶν τε τούτων εἵνεκα καὶ ἵνα μὴ διαφυγὼν αὖτις μέγας παρὰ βασιλέι γένηται, Ἀρταφρένης τε ὁ Σαρδίων ὕπαρχος καὶ ὁ λαβὼν Ἅρπαγος, ὡς ἀπίκετο ἀγόμενος ἐς Σάρδις, τὸ μὲν αὐτοῦ σῶμα αὐτοῦ ταύτῃ ἀνεσταύρωσαν, τὴν δὲ κεφαλὴν ταριχεύσαντες ἀνήνεικαν παρὰ βασιλέα Δαρεῖον ἐς Σοῦσα. 2. Δαρεῖος δὲ πυθόμενος ταῦτα καὶ ἐπαιτιησάμενος τοὺς ταῦτα ποιήσαντας ὅτι μιν οὐ ζώοντα ἀνήγαγον ἐς ὄψιν τὴν ἑωυτοῦ, τὴν κεφαλὴν τὴν Ἱστιαίου λούσαντάς τε καὶ περιστείλαντας εὖ ἐνετείλατο θάψαι ὡς ἀνδρὸς μεγάλως ἑωυτῷ τε καὶ Πέρσῃσι εὐεργέτεω.
[12] Perseus Digital Library, Herodotus Histories 7.194. The Greek text of lines 1 and 2 reads as follows:
1. πεντεκαίδεκα δὲ τῶν νεῶν τουτέων ἔτυχόν τε ὕσταται πολλὸν ἐξαναχθεῖσαι καί κως κατεῖδον τὰς ἐπ᾽ Ἀρτεμισίῳ τῶν Ἑλλήνων νέας. ἔδοξάν τε δὴ τὰς σφετέρας εἶναι οἱ βάρβαροι καὶ πλέοντες ἐσέπεσον ἐς τοὺς πολεμίους: τῶν ἐστρατήγεε ὁ ἀπὸ Κύμης τῆς Αἰολίδος ὕπαρχος Σανδώκης ὁ Θαμασίου τὸν δὴ πρότερον τούτων βασιλεὺς Δαρεῖος ἐπ᾽ αἰτίῃ τοιῇδε λαβὼν ἀνεσταύρωσε ἐόντα τῶν βασιληίων δικαστέων. ὁ Σανδώκης ἐπὶ χρήμασι ἄδικον δίκην ἐδίκασε. 2. ἀνακρεμασθέντος ὦν αὐτοῦ, λογιζόμενος ὁ Δαρεῖος εὗρέ οἱ πλέω ἀγαθὰ τῶν ἁμαρτημάτων πεποιημένα ἐς οἶκον τὸν βασιλήιον: εὑρὼν δὲ τοῦτο ὁ Δαρεῖος, καὶ γνοὺς ὡς ταχύτερα αὐτὸς ἢ σοφώτερα ἐργασμένος εἴη, ἔλυσε.
[13] Magical gem / intaglio, The British Museum.

[14] Perseus Digital Library, Herodotus Histories 7,238. The Greek text reads as follows:
1. ταῦτα εἴπας Ξέρξης διεξήιε διὰ τῶν νεκρῶν, καὶ Λεωνίδεω, ἀκηκοὼς ὅτι βασιλεύς τε ἦν καὶ στρατηγὸς Λακεδαιμονίων, ἐκέλευσε ἀποταμόντας τὴν κεφαλὴν ἀνασταυρῶσαι. 2. δῆλά μοι πολλοῖσι μὲν καὶ ἄλλοισι τεκμηρίοισι, ἐν δὲ καὶ τῷδε οὐκ ἥκιστα γέγονε, ὅτι βασιλεὺς Ξέρξης πάντων δὴ μάλιστα ἀνδρῶν ἐθυμώθη ζῶντι Λεωνίδῃ: οὐ γὰρ ἄν κοτε ἐς τὸν νεκρὸν ταῦτα παρενόμησε, ἐπεὶ τιμᾶν μάλιστα νομίζουσι τῶν ἐγὼ οἶδα ἀνθρώπων Πέρσαι ἄνδρας ἀγαθοὺς τὰ πολέμια. οἳ μὲν δὴ ταῦτα ἐποίευν, τοῖσι ἐπετέτακτο ποιέειν.
[15] Perseus Digital Library, Herodotus Histories 9,78. The Greek text of line 3 reads as follows:
Λεωνίδεω γὰρ ἀποθανόντος ἐν Θερμοπύλῃσι Μαρδόνιός τε καὶ Ξέρξης ἀποταμόντες τὴν κεφαλὴν ἀνεσταύρωσαν: τῷ σὺ τὴν ὁμοίην ἀποδιδοὺς ἔπαινον ἕξεις πρῶτα μὲν ὑπὸ πάντων Σπαρτιητέων, αὖτις δὲ καὶ πρὸς τῶν ἄλλων Ἑλλήνων: Μαρδόνιον γὰρ ἀνασκολοπίσας τετιμωρήσεαι ἐς πάτρων τὸν σὸν Λεωνίδην.’

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Impalements in Antiquity (4A)

WARNING!: This post
may be upsetting to some.

Part 14A of the series: "The Romans NEVER CRUCIFIED the Way We Think They Did!" (Cont'd)

Previous in this series:

Part 13A - Impalements in Antiquity (3A).
Part 12 - Impalements in Antiquity (2).
Part 11 - Impalements in Antiquity (1).
Part 10 - Humiliations.
Part 9 - Utility Poles and Masts.
Part 8 - Crown of Thorns.
Part 7 - Crucifixion and Priapus.
Part 6 - From Wax Image to Exposed Body.
Part 5 - The First Crucifix.
Part 4 - The Tropaeum and the Furca.
Part 3 - Crux - Modern English Use and Ancient Quotidian Meanings.
Part 2 - Crux.
Part 1.

Previous Series - Crucifixion – The Bodily Support:

Part 4 - Physics of Crucifixion.
Part 3 - Manuscript Evidence.
Part 2 - Archaeological Evidence.
Part 1.

Part 14 - Impalements in Antiquity (4A) - Media and Persia.

A. Introduction.

Well, before, we looked at Egypt, the Hittite civilisation, Assyria, Babylon, the Chaldeans and the Judeans and concluded in all likelihood that they impaled people, and it was very unlikely that they crucified people, either in the perverted, cruel and (for us) unusual Roman practice(s) or in the fanciful Christian interpretations thereof. And we shall see, it was the same with Media and Persia, too.

B. Behistun Inscription.

There are four passages on this inscription ascribed to Darius the Great (550 - 486 BCE). This inscription, located in Iran, features text and illustrations chiseled into the mountain fact high up, with the lowest elevation of the inscription already at an insane height!

Here is a British citizen standing at the base of the Behistun Inscription on Mt. Behistun, Kermanshah Province, Iran.  (Photo credit: Kendall K. Down; The Light Radio.co.uk) Note how high up the person standing and the photographer are up on the side of the mountain; the mountaintops opposite are almost at the horizon line and the trees in the valley below look like very low shrubbery for ants.

Why am I going off subject? Well I will tell you: sometimes when Persians impaled people, they used stakes of an insane height! So high, in fact, that they could have employed the use of a patibulum - lifting beam - to park the person on top of the stake already planted into the ground.

The textual inscriptions themselves were inscribed in three different languages: Old Persian, Elamite and Babylonian. The writing multiple cueniform languages, then, served a crucial role in deciphering previously lost and scripts that were found on uncovered objects and monuments.  

B.1. Fravartiš.

Column II, Section 32:
King Darius Says: "Thereupon that Phraortes [Old Persian: Fravartiš] fled thence with a few horsemen to a district in Media called Rhagae. Then I sent an army in pursuit. Phraortes was taken and brought in to me. I cut off his nose, his ears, and his tongue, and I put out one eye, and he was kept in fetters at my palace entrance, and all the people beheld him. Then did I crucify him in Ectabana; and the men who were his foremost followers, those at Ectabana within the fortress, I flayed and hung their hides, stuffed with straw." [1]
The original text reads in Column II, line 76, which includes "did I crucify": 
76 âra : avaina : pasâvašim : Hagmatânaiy : uzmayâpatiy : akunavam [2]
B.2. Ciçataxma.

Column II, Section 33: 
King Darius says: "A man named Tritantaechmes [Old Persian: Ciçataxma], a Sagarhan, revolted from me, saying to his people, 'I am king of Sagarha, of the family of Cyaxares.' Then I sent forth a Persian and a Median army. A Mede named Takhmaspâda, my servant, I made their leader, and i said unto him: 'Go, smite that host which is in revolt, and does not acknowledge me.' Thereupon Takhmaspâda went forth with the army, and he fought a battle with Tritantaechmes. Ahuramazda brought me help,; by the grace of Ahuramazda my army utterly defeated that rebel host, and they seized Tritantaechmes and brought him unto me. Afterwards I cut off both his nose and his ears, and put out one eye, and he was kept bound at my palace entrance, all the people saw him. Afterwards, I crucified him in Arbela." [3]
The original text reads in Column II, line 90, which includes "I crucified":
90 maiy : basta : adâriya : haruvashim : kâra : avaina : pasâvashim : Arbairâyâ [2]
B.3.  Vahyazdâta.

Column III, Section 43:
King Darius says: "Then did I crucify that Vahyazdâta and the men who were his chief followers in a city in Persia called Uvâdaicaya." [4]
The original text reads in Column III, lines 50, 51 and 52, which includes "did I crucify":

50 âyathiya : pasâva : adam : avarn : Vahyazdâtam : utâ : martiyâ :
51 tyaishaiy : fratamâ : anushiyâ : âhata : Uvâdaicaya : nâma : var
52 danam : Pârsaiy : avadashish : uzmayâpatiy : akunavam : thâ [5]

B.4. Arakha.

Column III, Section 50:
King Darius says, "Then did I send an army to [the town of] Babylon. A Persian named Intaphrenes, my servant, I appointed as their leader, and thus I spoke unto them, 'Go, smite that Babylonian host which does not acknowledge me.' Then Intaphrenes marched with the army unto Babylon. Ahuramazda brought me help; by the grace of Ahuramazda Intaphrenes overthrew the Babylonians and brought over the people unto me. On the twenty-second day of the month of Markâsanaš [27 November] they seized that Arakha who called himself Nebuchadnezzar, and the men who were his chief followers he crucified in Babylon." [6]
The original text reads in Column III, lines 90, 91 and 92, which includes "he crucified":

90 gaubatâ : utâ : martiyâ : tyaishaiy : fratamâ : anushiyâ : âhatâ : agarb
91 âya : niyashtâyam : hauv : Arxa : utâ : martiyâ : tyaishaiy : fratamâ : an
92 ushiyâ : âhatâ : Bâbirauv : uz(ma)yâpatiy : akariyatâ [5]

Now here we have information on what the Babylonian text stated. Wm. A. Oldfather (1908) said the Old Persian was slightly ambiguous, but he wrote the statement in the Old Babylonian read as, "I raised him aloft on the wood." [7]

B.5. Did the original really mean "crucified?"

Now in these examples did the Persians really crucify in the modern, limited English sense? Or did they mean something else? The original Old Persian verbs were translated in 1907 by King & Thompson as "crucified." [1] [3] [4] [6] Likewise, Herbert Tolman (1908) translated the expressions as "put on a cross." [8] But a more modern scholar, Roland Kent (1953), believed the expressions denoted impalement. [9]

Now who is correct? Well, we do have ancient sources!

Continues in Part 4B.

F. Footnotes.

[1] This is the translation of L.W. King & R.C. Thompson, The Sculptures and Inscriptions of Darius the Great on the Rock of Behistun in Persia, 1907 (London), where the verb denoting act of suspension, I believe pasâvašim, was translated as "did I crucify".

[2] Avesta Website, "Old Persian Texts", Darius at Behistun col. II.

[3] This is the translation of L.W. King and R.C. Thompson, The Sculptures and Inscriptions of Darius the Great on the Rock of Behistun in Persia, 1907 (London), where the verb denoting act of suspension, I believe pasâvašim, was translated as "I crucified".

[4] This is the translation of L.W. King and R.C. Thompson, The Sculptures and Inscriptions of Darius the Great on the Rock of Behistun in Persia, 1907 (London), where the verb denoting act of suspension, I believe pasâva, was translated as "did I crucify".

[5] Avesta Website, "Old Persian Texts", Darius at Behistun col. III.

[6] This is the translation of L.W. King and R.C. Thompson, The Sculptures and Inscriptions of Darius the Great on the Rock of Behistun in Persia, 1907 (London), where the verb denoting act of suspension was translated as "did I crucify".

[7] William A. Oldfather, "Supplicium de More Maiorum", Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association, Vol. 39 pp. 49-72, p. 61 (1908 Boston, Ginn and Company). In this selfsame article Prof. Oldfather noted that "In 1904, W. Foy (K. Z. xxxvii [1904]. 529^1) from a comparison of the Susian or Elamite text, decided that the expressions meant crucifixion."

[8] Herbert Cushing Tolman, The Behistun Inscription of King Darius, 1908 Nashville TN, Vanderbilt University Press.

[9] Roland G. Kent, Old Persian, 1953. Transliterations and translations of the inscriptions are available to be read at the Avesta website, "Old Persian Texts"Darius at Behistun col. II and Darius at Behistun col. III.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Impalements in Antiquity (3B)

WARNING!: This post
may be upsetting to some.

Part 13B of the series: "The Romans NEVER CRUCIFIED the Way We Think They Did!" (Cont'd)

Previous in this series:

Part 13A - Impalements in Antiquity (3A).
Part 12 - Impalements in Antiquity (2).
Part 11 - Impalements in Antiquity (1).
Part 10 - Humiliations.
Part 9 - Utility Poles and Masts.
Part 8 - Crown of Thorns.
Part 7 - Crucifixion and Priapus.
Part 6 - From Wax Image to Exposed Body.
Part 5 - The First Crucifix.
Part 4 - The Tropaeum and the Furca.
Part 3 - Crux - Modern English Use and Ancient Quotidian Meanings.
Part 2 - Crux.
Part 1.

Previous Series - Crucifixion – The Bodily Support:

Part 4 - Physics of Crucifixion.
Part 3 - Manuscript Evidence.
Part 2 - Archaeological Evidence.
Part 1.

Part 13B - Impalements in Antiquity (3B)

D. Male Israelite, Female Midianite.

In Numbers chapter 25, there is to be a terrible execution where the persons to be executed are to undergo some kind of "dislocation."

And the LORD said unto Moses, "Take all the heads of the people and and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel.

Numbers 25:4, KJV

וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יְהוָ֜ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֗ה קַ֚ח אֶת־כָּל־רָאשֵׁ֣י הָעָ֔ם וְהֹוקַ֥ע אֹותָ֛ם
לַיהוָ֖ה נֶ֣גֶד הַשָּׁ֑מֶשׁ וְיָשֹׁ֛ב חֲרֹ֥ון אַף־יְהוָ֖ה מִיִּשְׂרָאֵֽל׃

Numbers 25:4, Massoretic Text[47a]
Now the Hebrew for "hang them up" is וְהֹוקַ֥ע, (wə·hō·w·qa‘), perfect imperative of יָקַע (yaw-kah'): "be dislocated, alienated, unknown solemn form of execution, impale, expose, crucify, throw down" [48]

Gesenius's Lexicon explains the action for purpose of execution as follows: Hiphil הֹוקַ֥ע (hō·w·qa‘: "to hang upon a stake, to fix to a stake, a punishment by which the limbs were dislocated [Perhaps simply to hang, in which the neck is dislocated], Nu. 25:4; 2. Sa. 21:6, 9. Hophal, pass. 2 Sa. 21:13. [49]

Chapman has a more detailed discussion, wherein he cites several Hebrew lexicons and they have different ideas, such as "display with legs and arms broken, expose, stigmatize, put on display to public shame, condemn, arraign, hang, impale, crucify, etc. [50]

In the Septuagint, the word used for for the ordered execution is παραδειγμάτισον, "put on display for public shame." [51] Aquila's version has ἀνάπηξον, "transfix, impale." [52] Symmachus has κρεμάννυμι, "to hang (by any means.)" [9][53]

And Jerome's Latin Vulgate? He has suspende eos contra solem in patibulis, "suspend them against the sun on overhead crossbeams." he's actualizing the verse for his understanding: regular crucifixion in the limited English sense. It's not his fault, really. The only crucifixion he knew was inaccurate version of that of Jesus Christ: nailed on a tropaeum. [54]

And how does it end?

6 Behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought to his brothers a Midianite woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, while they were weeping at the door of the tent of meeting. 7 When Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from the midst of the congregation, and took a spear in his hand; 8 and he went after the man of Israel into the pavilion, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her body. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel.

Numbers 25:6-8
In other words, they were impaled with a spear. The Hebrew and English texts are the most delicate interpretations of this. The Septuagint says he was stabbed upwards into his body and she was stabbed in the womb, and the Latin Vulgate says the two of them were stabbed through their genitals, with Phineas working his way through.[55]

And according to the story the LORD appears to be satisfied with the spearing of a man and a women within his tent, even though a solemn, public execution was demanded. So the believer must suppose that either the LORD didn't demand he be put on display, or he was put on display and the description of his exposure never made it into the extant copies.

E. The King of Ai.

This is one of the legendary exploits of Joshua, to explain the piles of rubble around Israel and Judea that used to be teeming cities.

And the king of Ai he hanged on a tree until eventide: and as soon as the sun was down, Joshua commanded that they should take his carcase down from the tree, and cast at the entering of the gate of the city, and raise thereon a great heap of stones, that remaineth unto this day.

Joshua 8:29, KJV

וְאֶת־מֶ֧לֶךְ הָעַ֛י תָּלָ֥ה עַל־הָעֵ֖ץ עַד־עֵ֣ת הָעָ֑רֶב וּכְבֹ֣וא הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ֩ צִוָּ֨ה יְהֹושֻׁ֜עַ וַיֹּרִ֧ידוּ אֶת־נִבְלָתֹ֣ו מִן־הָעֵ֗ץ וַיַּשְׁלִ֤יכוּ אֹותָהּ֙ אֶל־פֶּ֙תַח֙ שַׁ֣עַר הָעִ֔יר וַיָּקִ֤ימוּ עָלָיו֙ גַּל־אֲבָנִ֣ים גָּדֹ֔ול עַ֖ד הַיֹּ֥ום הַזֶּֽה׃ פ

Joshua 8:29, Massoretic Text[55a]

"Hang upon the tree" in this case is תלה על־העץ (talah al-'etz), which, again, as we have seen, likely means impale upon a stake. [55b] Although the tradition came up with a fairly inventive idea! The Septuagint has ἐκρέμασεν ἐπὶ ξύλου διδύμου (he hanged him upon a double-tree or forked tree) in the sense that his corpse was draped over the crotch of a two-trunk tree. [56] The Latin Vulgate has regem quoque eius suspendit in patibulo which is suspend on a crossarm of a crux or in a fork-shaped gibbet.[57][58] The Vulgate goes on to say that at sunset, they deposerunt cadaver eius de cruce (they set down his corpse from the cross)[57][58] Jerome has clearly allowed Christian concepts of crucifixion seep in here, which has no support in the Jewish tradition.

The Targumin have, on the other hand, צלב על צליבא (tzlb 'al tzliba, which means, as we have seen above, impale on a stake or crucify on a crux. [45][46][59] Shown by Roman epigraphy that undisputably shows a real crucifixion as a male cross.

F. The Five Kings.

This tells of the legendary tale of Joshua's defeat of five Canaanite kings at once. Of course, as was typically the case in battle, the five kings were killed and hanged, or in keeping with the practices of the time, impaled.
26 And afterward Joshua smote them, and slew them, and hanged them on five trees: and they were hanging upon the trees until the evening. 27 And it came to pass at the time of the going down of the sun, that Joshua commanded, and they took them down off the trees, and cast them into the cave wherein they had been hid, and laid great stones in the cave's mouth, which remain until this very day.

Joshua 10:26-27, KJV

וַיַּכֵּ֨ם יְהֹושֻׁ֤עַ אַֽחֲרֵי־כֵן֙ וַיְמִיתֵ֔ם וַיִּתְלֵ֕ם עַ֖ל חֲמִשָּׁ֣ה עֵצִ֑ים וַיִּֽהְי֛וּ תְּלוּיִ֥ם עַל־הָעֵצִ֖ים עַד־הָעָֽרֶב׃
וַיְהִ֞י לְעֵ֣ת ׀ בֹּ֣וא הַשֶּׁ֗מֶשׁ צִוָּ֤ה יְהֹושֻׁ֙עַ֙ וַיֹּֽרִידוּם֙ מֵעַ֣ל הָעֵצִ֔ים וַיַּ֨שְׁלִכֻ֔ם אֶל־הַמְּעָרָ֖ה אֲשֶׁ֣ר נֶחְבְּאוּ־שָׁ֑ם וַיָּשִׂ֜מוּ אֲבָנִ֤ים גְּדֹלֹות֙ עַל־פִּ֣י הַמְּעָרָ֔ה עַד־עֶ֖צֶם הַיֹּ֥ום הַזֶּֽה׃ פ

Joshua 10:26-27, Massoretic Text[59a]

The verbiage here, again, for "hanged them on five trees" is וַיִּתְלֵ֕ם עַ֖ל חֲמִשָּׁ֣ה עֵצִ֑ים (vay-it-lem 'al ha-mish-shah 'et-zim), that is, impaled them on five stakes. [55b]

The Septuagint simply has ἐκρέμασεν αὐτοὺς ἐπὶ πέντε ξύλων (hanged/impaled them on five trees / stakes) [60] The Latin Vulgate has for the initial suspension eos atque suspendit super quinque stipites [61] which sound enough like impalement, because stipites does mean stakes. [62] But when sunset comes, they are no longer stakes, they are crosses or forked gibbets: Joshua gave the command ut deponeret eos de patibulis (so that they would set down them from the patibulums). [61] Again, there is a reading of the text influenced by Christian theological biases and/or early Byzantine execution practices of the 4th Century CE.

The Targumin have similar phasing for this passage as they do for Joshua 8:29. [59]

G. Philistines Hang Saul and Johnathan.

In I Samuel 31, the first king of the United Kingdom of Israel and Judah, King Saul, demanded to be thrust through with a sword, lest the Philistines violate and humiliate him while still a live. in the end, he commits hari-kari. And when the Philistines show up, they take his body and armor. They stripped his carcass of his armor and mounted it, possibly on a tropaeum, similar to the one from Trajan's Column, shown on the left (source: Wikipedia). His corpse, and that of his son Johnathan, they suspended on the town wall of Beth-Shan.

And they put his armour in the house of Ashtaroth: and they fastened his body to the wall of Bethshan.

I Samuel 31:10, KJV

וַיָּשִׂ֙מוּ֙ אֶת־כֵּלָ֔יו בֵּ֖ית עַשְׁתָּרֹ֑ות וְאֶת־גְּוִיָּתֹו֙ תָּקְע֔וּ בְּחֹומַ֖ת בֵּ֥ית שָֽׁן׃

I Samuel 31:10, Massoretic text

The Hebrew for "fastened" is תָּקְע֔וּ (ta-qe-'u), "fastened, thrust, driven, fixed." [63] This is confirmed as "thrust, driven" in the Septuagint τὸ σῶμα αὐτοῦ κατέπηξαν ἐν τῷ τείχει βαιθσαν (his body was planted firmly upon the wall of Beth-Shan) [64][65] The vulgate has suspenderunt, "they suspended," without specifying the method. [66]

when Josephus describes the situation, he uses ἀνασταυρόω, which he and others in his day typically used to describe Roman crucifixions.

On the next day when the Philistines came to strip their enemies that were slain, they got the bodies of Saul and of his sons, and stripped them, and cut off their heads. And they sent messages all about their country, to acquaint them that their enemies were fallen, and they dedicated their armour to the temple of Astarte, but hung their bodies on crosses at the wall of Beth-Shan (τὰ δὲ σώματα ἀνεσταύρωσαν πρὸς τὰ τείχη τῆς Βηθσὰνπόλεως), which is now called Scythopolis.

Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews [67]
Now one would think they crucified them, right? Not so fast! First, Josephus was certainly familiar with Hebrew text and could very well have been familiar with the Septuagint by the time of this writing (93 CE). And how he constructs his sentence, τὰ δὲ σώματα ἀνεσταύρωσαν πρὸς τὰ τείχη (they crucified the bodies onto the walls), contains the preposition of πρὸς (onto) with the accusative plural τὰ τείχη (the walls).[68] The preposition πρὸς when constructed with the accusative, implies motion to a place.[69] This means, of course, that Josephus was taught that Saul and Johnathan was crucified not by nailing or tying to a cross, but by being impaled, i.e., thrust onto stakes, with the stakes mounted into the wall. Had he meant nailing or tying to a cross, he would have used the dative case for the walls. [69]

And further information is provided when David recovers the bones of Saul and Johnathan:
And David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son from the men of Jabesh-Gilead which had stolen them from the street of Bethshan where the Philistines had hanged them, when the Philistines had slain Saul in Gilboa:

II Samuel 12:21, KJV

וַיֵּ֣לֶךְ דָּוִ֗ד וַיִּקַּ֞ח אֶת־עַצְמֹ֤ות שָׁאוּל֙ וְאֶת־עַצְמֹות֙ יְהֹונָתָ֣ן בְּנֹ֔ו מֵאֵ֕ת בַּעֲלֵ֖י יָבֵ֣ישׁ גִּלְעָ֑ד אֲשֶׁר֩ גָּנְב֨וּ אֹתָ֜ם מֵרְחֹ֣ב בֵּֽית־שַׁ֗ן אֲשֶׁ֨ר [תְּלוּם כ] (תְּלָא֥וּם ק) [שָׁם כ] [הַפְּלִשְׁתִּים כ] (שָׁ֙מָּה֙ ק) (פְּלִשְׁתִּ֔ים ק) בְּיֹ֨ום הַכֹּ֧ות פְּלִשְׁתִּ֛ים אֶת־שָׁא֖וּל בַּגִּלְבֹּֽעַ׃

II Samuel 12:21, Massoretic Text
The Massoretic Text in 2 Samuel 21:12 says they were 'hanged" (תְּלָא֥וּם - te-lum - or תְּלוּם - te-la-'um), respective derivatives of תָּלָא tla "to hang, bent,"[70] and תָּלָה tlh "hang, impale" [71] Of course both can apply to the Egyptian bodily impalement under the Pharoahs, as we have seen. The Septuagint states that the Philistines had "caused bodies of Saul and Johnathan were to stand in wide street of Bethshan" (τῆς πλατείας βαιθσαν ὅτι ἔστησαν αὐτοὺς ἐκεῖ οἱ ἀλλόφυλοι). [72][73] The Vulgate has, "the gate-yard of Bethshan in which the Philistines had suspended them" (platea Bethsan in qua suspenderant eos Philistim)

The language of the various sources in the case of the hanging of Saul and Johnathan, when taken together, strongly favors crucifixion by direct impalement. The Massoretic and the Septuagint indicate a thrusting, driving, planting and also a causing to "stand." Josephus indicates a form of crucifixion caused by the movement of the body against the wall, that is, onto stakes mounted in the wall. The Vulgate does not contradict this, noting it uses the more delicate suspendere.

H. The Seven Sons of Saul.

This was a mass execution that King David assented to upon demand by the inhabitants of Gibea. Like in Numbers 25:4, the Hebrew verb used here is יָקַע (yaqa "to be dislocated or alienated, exposed in the sun, put on display, impaled, crucified, hanged, etc," as we have seen above. The story is in II Samuel 21:6, 9-10, 13.
6 Let seven men of his sons be delivered unto us, and we will hang them up unto the LORD in Gibeah of Saul, whom the LORD did choose. And the king said, I will give them.

9 And he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the hill before the LORD: and they fell all seven together, and were put to death in the days of harvest, in the first days, in the beginning of barley harvest. 10 And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water dropped upon them out of heaven, and suffered neither the birds of the air to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night.

13 And he brought up from thence the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son; and they gathered the bones of them that were hanged.

II Samuel 21;6, 9, 10, 13, KJV
We must pick this apart verse by verse.

First, verse 6. The Massoretic text has וְהוֹקַֽעֲנוּם֙ (wə·hō·w·qa·‘ă·nūm) "we will hang / dislocate [them]." [74] The 1985 Tanakh has it as, "we will impale them." [75] The Septuagint reads, ἐξηλιάσωμεν αὐτοὺς "we may hang them in the sun." [76] The Latin Vulgate, crucifigamus eos "we will crucify / impale them." [76a] Further investigation yields from Aquila, ἀνάπηξον "about to transfix on a spit, impale." [77] Symmachus reads κρέμασον, "about to hang." [78] The T. Johnathan has צלב "hang, impale, crucify" [45][79] And the rabbinical writings Bivlah b.Sanh. 34b-35a the verb יָקַע "hang, dislocate" involves תליה "hanging." [79]

Second, verse 9. "They hanged them" has in the Massoretic, וַיֹּקִיעֻ֤ם (way·yō·qî·‘um) "and they hanged / dislocated [them]" [74]; the 1985 Tanakh has "They impaled [them]" [80]; the Septuagint, ἐξηλίασαν αὐτοὺς "they exposed them in the sun [81]; the Latin Vulgate, crucifixerunt illos "they crucified / impaled them [82]; Aquila has  ἀνάπηξον "about to transfix on a spit, impale" [77]; and the T. Johnathan has צלב "hang, impale, crucify." [45][79] 

The next key phrase in verse 9, "and they fell [all] seven together" is probably the key phrase which unlocks the meaning of יָקַע (yaqa) in this instance and in Numbers 25:4. The verb for fell in the Massoretic Text is וַיִּפְּל֥וּ (way·yip·pə·lū) "and fell." [83] The 1985 Tanakh reads, "all seven of them perished at the same time." [80] We have in the Septuagint for the verb fell, the Greek verb ἔπεσαν, which means "[they] let go, loosened, gave up, yielded, allowed, permitted, gave themselved up to [a violent death after being exposed]" [84] And the Latin Vulgate reads, ceciderunt, "[they] fell, descended, sank, sank down, went down, were driven down by their weight, settled, yielded to [the item of execution]." [85]

In verse 10 we read of an extremely long time of suspension wherein the bodies went to rot. The height of hanging was high enough to attract carrion birds, and low enough to attract carrion predator animals. And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah had to chase both of with a stick, or whatever she had at hand. How long was this? Six months from mid-April to mid-October. [86]

Finally, verse 13: "and they gathered the bones of them that were hanged." In the Massoretic Text, we read for "that were hanged" the Hebrew הַמּוּקָעִֽים׃ (ham·mū·qā·‘îm), "had been hanged [74]."  In the Septuagint, we have ἐξηλιασμένων, "having been hanged" [87] In the Latin Vulgate, adfixi fuerant, "had been affixed / impaled / crucified." [88]

From the above and the discussion of Numbers 25 in Subpart D further above, it is quite plain that the meaning of the Hebrew יָקַע (yaqa) was to impale on quite a stout impaling stake, so that the person to be executed was (1) impaled (obviously), (2) hanged, (3) dislocated (Cf. Gen. 32:25), (4) exposed to public shame, (5) exposed to the sun, (6) transfixed on a spit, (7) "crucified", (8) affixed as an addition to the instrument of his execution. Furthermore, the Hebrew נָפַל (naphal) meant in this case to fall, so that one (1) fell, (2) fell pierced, (3) let go, (4) loosen, (5) give one's self to a violent death, (6) yield to penetration, (7) be driven down by one's own body weight, (8) sink, (9) settle, (10) die. It "seals the deal" that  יָקַע (yaqa) as a form of execution, was a form of impalement and an utterly shameful and excruciatingly tortuous one at that.

I. Conclusions.

From the above discussion on the executionary or post-mortem suspension penalties (whether actual or mythical) recorded in Numbers 25, Joshua 8, Joshua 10, I Samuel 31 and II Samuel 21that the method used by the Jews was, in all likelihood, some kind of bodily impalement. After all, we found in the previous Parts 11, 12 & 13A of Impalements in Antiquity (1), (2) & (3A) that the practices of human penal bodily suspension in the Ancient Near East almost invariably was impalement. The Egyptians impaled and so did the Hittites, the Assyrians, the Babylonians and the Chaldeans, at both ends of the time period of self-rule of the Israelite and judean peoples in the ancient Levant, +/- 1200 BCE - 585 BCE.

Next, we shall see that the Persians did the exact same thing, despite Martin Hengel's conclusion they crucified, as in nailed to a cross, parrotted by every amateur New Testament Scholar who has used his work.

J. Footnotes.

[9] Perseus Word Study Tool, κρεμάννυμι. This verb was used by Diodorus Siculus to denote the impalement of Onomarchus in his Library of History 16.35.6 Cf. 16.94.4

[45] Jastrow, Dictionary, p. 1282, entry "צלב". See also the following entries "צלוב ,צלב" and "צלוב". Their meanings are all listed as "hang, impale."

Cf. Chapman, pp. 14-26, which not only discusses Jastrow's definition, but also cites Haim Cohn (The Trial and Death of Jesus, New York, Ktav, 1977), Joseph M. Baumgarten (Does TLH in the Temple Scroll Refer to Crucifxion?" JBL 91 (December 1972): 472-81; "Hanging and Treason in Qumran and Roman Law" Erlsr 16 (1982): 7*-16*.) and David J. Halperin's ("Crucifixion, the Nahum Pesher, and the Rabbinic Penalty of Strangulation" JJS 32 (1981): 32-46) discussion of these verbs and the nouns that derive from it. Basically he accepts Cohn's argument that the verb צלב in Hebrew and Halperin's argument that this verb in both Hebrew and Aramaic is indicative of crucifixion (definitely true for the Roman period especially when describing Roman executions) and rejects Cohn's argument that the same verb in Aramaic and Baumgarten's argument that the verb in both languages have nothing to do with crucifixion. Chapman cites the Semitic root tzlb* in Palestinian Christian Aramaic, the Mandaic and the Syriac to mean "crucify."

* 'tz' is substituted throughout for the proper 's' with a dot beneath it, which cannot be reproduced here.

Nevertheless, there is an extinct language and a language very much thriving at present that should give pause to limiting the meaning of the verb. Tzlb in the Punic language is very much uncertain but might mean "impale" (Zelig Harris, A Grammar of the Phoenician Language, AOS 8. New Haven, American Oriental Society, 1936) or "impale on a razor." (J. Hoftijzer and K. Jungeling, Dictionary of the Northwest Semitic Inscriptions, 2 vols. HdO I.21. Leiden, E.J. Brill, 1995.) And in Arabic the verb tzalb means to crucify, but M S M Saifullah, Elias Karim & ʿAbdullah David ("Crucifixion of 'Crucifiction' in Ancient Egypt?", Islamic Awareness.com, January 2009) argue that the Arabic root tzlb derives from bone, more specifically the backbone, that it also denotes hardness in both a true sense and a metaphoric sense, that a derivative refers to cooking bones to extract fats, that tzalb: "crucify" comes from the root tzlb; cite Edward Lane's argument that crucifixion was a well-known sort of death where the oily matter, and the ichor mixed with blood, flows from the person being put to death (Ref. Edward Lane, An Arabic-English Lexicon, 1968, Part - 4, Librairie Du Liban: Beirut, pp. 1711-1713), and conclude that tzlb, when applied to the execution of a person, should connote any method where the body becomes hardened or stiffened and where the blood or ichor of the sufferer flows. And Chapman (p. 32) himself cautions that one should not differentiate too rigidly between impalement, crucifixion and some other kind of suspension due to the broad variety of terms -- and possibly an immense variety of methods -- for human bodily suspension-execution.

[46] Jastrow, Dictionary, p. 1282, next two entries "צלוב" meaning: I. stake, gallows, including צלוב על הצלוב = nailed to the stake; and II. impaled, hanging, and from I., nailed. Cf. Chapman, pp. 14-26.

[47a] Biblios.org, Numbers 25:4, Massoretic Text.

[48] Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon, Unabridged, Electronic Database, entry "יָקַע", Biblios.com, Strong's H3363.

[49] Gesenius's Lexicon, entry H3363, "יָקַע", Blue Letter Bible.org, Strong's H3363.

[50] Chapman, pp. 27-30.

[51] Biblos.com, Septuagint, Numbers 25 The full Greek text reads:
4 καὶ εἶπεν κύριος τῷ μωυσῇ λαβὲ πάντας τοὺς ἀρχηγοὺς τοῦ λαοῦ καὶ παραδειγμάτισον αὐτοὺς κυρίῳ ἀπέναντι τοῦ ἡλίου καὶ ἀποστραφήσεται ὀργὴ θυμοῦ κυρίου ἀπὸ ισραηλ

"4 And said the LORD to Moses, 'Seize all the chiefs of the men and put them on display to open shame before the LORD opposite the sun and the natural impulse of anger of the LORD will turn back from Israel'." (My trans.)
Also Perseus Word Study Tool: παραδειγμάτισο is the 2nd person singular aorist indicative passive for παραδειγματίζω: "make an example of, make a show or spectacle of; show by example." This word is used by the writer of Hebrews, ch. 6:6, the famous fall-aways crucify the lord afresh verse.

[52] Chapman, p. 30. Also Perseus Word Study Tool: ἀνάπηξον is the 2nd person singular aorist indicative passive for ἀναπήγνυμι: "transfix, fix on a spit; impale, crucify (the last by Romans); project sharply (of headlands)."

[53] Chapman, p. 30.

[54] Perseus Digital library, Jerome, Latin Vulgate, Numbers 25:4 The Latin Reads:
ait ad Mosen tolle cunctos principes populi et suspende eos contra solem in patibulis ut avertatur furor meus ab Israhel

"He said to Moses, lift up all the princes of the people and suspend them against the sun on overhead crossbeams so that my fury may be averted from Israel."
[55] Septuagint and Latin Vulgate, Numbers 25:8
εἰσῆλθεν ὀπίσω τοῦ ἀνθρώπου τοῦ ισραηλίτου εἰς τὴν κάμινον καὶ ἀπεκέντησεν ἀμφοτέρους τόν τε ἄνθρωπον τὸν ισραηλίτην καὶ τὴν γυναῖκα διὰ τῆς μήτρας αὐτῆς

"Eleazar followed the Israelite man into the 'oven' and stabbed up into each of the two, the Israelite man and the woman through her womb."

ingressus est post virum israhelitem in lupanar et perfodit ambos simul virum scilicet et mulierem in locis genitalibus

"He followed the Israelite man into the 'she-wolf's den' and pierced [and dug] through both at the same time the man and the woman through their genitals."
It just gets weirder and weirder.

[55a] Biblios.org, Joshua 8:29, Massoretic Text.

[55b] Marcus Jastrow, Dictionary of Targumim and Midrashic Literature, 1926 New York, G. P. Putman's Sons, pp. 1670-1 entry "תלה". See also p. 1670, entry "תלא", meaning "hook, a hook to suspend meat, a hook for a fish." DISCLAIMER: It is entirely possible that "hooking" was not the method of post-mortem hanging authorized by the Jewish High Court during the Roman period of the Second Temple era, due to the Romans' propensity to hang people alive and their method of doing it. According to the Mishnah, Sanhedrin 6:4, the Rabbinical Council agreed that, or rather disagreed that, the method of hanging was to tie the dead person by binding his wrists, and hook the tied wrists over a beam that projected from a post that was set in the ground, or was "the manner that butchers do," i.e., tied by the wrists that were spread apart to a transverse beam that was attached to an upright leaned against a wall. (The Mishnah: A New Integrated Translation and Commentary, Sanhedrin 6:10, eMishnah.com.)  Cf. Paulus, Commentar, Th. 3 p. 680, quoted in Hermann Fulda, Der Kreuz und der Kreuzigung, p. 162, Quomodo fit suspendium? Trabs in terram depangitur, ex qua lignum exstet; dein revinctis manibus suspenditur (cruciarius).” In essence, like one crucified but with ropes. 

Gesenius's Lexicon, entry H8518 "תלה", Blue Letter Bible.org, Strong's H8518.

Jastrow, p. 1080, entry "על־"

Jastrow, p. 1101, entry "עץ"

[56] Biblios.org, Joshua 8:29, Septuagint.
καὶ τὸν βασιλέα τῆς γαι ἐκρέμασεν ἐπὶ ξύλου διδύμου καὶ ἦν ἐπὶ τοῦ ξύλου ἕως ἑσπέρας καὶ ἐπιδύνοντος τοῦ ἡλίου συνέταξεν ἰησοῦς καὶ καθείλοσαν αὐτοῦ τὸ σῶμα ἀπὸ τοῦ ξύλου καὶ ἔρριψαν αὐτὸν εἰς τὸν βόθρον καὶ ἐπέστησαν αὐτῷ σωρὸν λίθων ἕως τῆς ἡμέρας ταύτης
[57] Biblios.org, Joshua 8:29, Latin Vulgate
regem quoque eius suspendit in patibulo usque ad vesperum et solis occasum praecepitque et deposuerunt cadaver eius de cruce proieceruntque in ipso introitu civitatis congesto super eum magno acervo lapidum qui permanet usque in praesentem diem
[58] Perseus Word Study Tool, patibulum: Lewis & Short: a fork-shaped yoke, placed on the necks of criminals to which their hands were tied, also, a fork-shaped gibbet, a forked prop for vines. The phrase in patibulo indicates locational and instrumental ablative.

[59] Chapman, p. 153.

[59a] Biblios.org, Joshua 10:26 & Joshua 10;27, Massoretic Text.

[60] Biblios.org, Joshua 10:26-27, Septuagint.
26 καὶ ἀπέκτεινεν αὐτοὺς ἰησοῦς καὶ ἐκρέμασεν αὐτοὺς ἐπὶ πέντε ξύλων καὶ ἦσαν κρεμάμενοι ἐπὶ τῶν ξύλων ἕως ἑσπέρας 27 καὶ ἐγενήθη πρὸς ἡλίου δυσμὰς ἐνετείλατο ἰησοῦς καὶ καθεῖλον αὐτοὺς ἀπὸ τῶν ξύλων καὶ ἔρριψαν αὐτοὺς εἰς τὸ σπήλαιον εἰς ὃ κατεφύγοσαν ἐκεῖ καὶ ἐπεκύλισαν λίθους ἐπὶ τὸ σπήλαιον ἕως τῆς σήμερον ἡμέρας
[61] Biblios.org, Joshua 10:26-27, Latin Vulgate.
26 percussitque Iosue et interfecit eos atque suspendit super quinque stipites fueruntque suspensi usque ad vesperum 27 cumque occumberet sol praecepit sociis ut deponerent eos de patibulis qui depositos proiecerunt in speluncam in qua latuerant et posuerunt super os eius saxa ingentia quae permanent usque in praesens
[62] Perseus Word Study Tool, stipites.

[63] Biblios.org, Strong's H-8628, Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon, Unabridged, Electronic Database. 2006 Biblesoft, Inc. Entry "תָּקַע:" thrust, drive weapon - accusative into (ב) someone, peg into (ב), pitch a tent (acc.), i.e., drive its pegs, thrust, drive, beat (strands of hair together), thrust, drive locusts seaward, fasten bodies to a wall. Similarly in I Chron. 10:10 of Saul's head, fixed on something in the temple of Dagon.

[64] Biblios.org, I Samuel 31:10, Septuagint.
καὶ ἀνέθηκαν τὰ σκεύη αὐτοῦ εἰς τὸ ἀσταρτεῖον καὶ τὸ σῶμα αὐτοῦ κατέπηξαν ἐν τῷ τείχει βαιθσαν
[65] Perseus Word Study Tool, κατέπηξαν, 3rd person plural aortive indicative active of καταπήγνυμι "stick fast in the ground, plant firmly; fix, crystallize; stand fast or firm in; become congealed, freeze and κατεπάγω "bring something quickly upon or after another, to repeat quickly."

[66] Biblios.org, I Samuel 31:10, Latin Vulgate. "et posuerunt arma eius in templo Astharoth corpus vero eius suspenderunt in muro Bethsan." (And they set up his armour in the temple of Asherah, indeed they suspended his body upon the wall of beth-Shan.)

[67] Perseus Digital Library, Josephus Antiquities of the Jews 6.14.8. Greek text, English translation.

[68] Perseus Word Study Tool, τείχη, dual or plural, neuter, nominative, vocative and accusative of τεῖχος, "wall."

[69] Perseus Word Study Tool, πρός (Middle Liddell). constructed with genitive, implying implying motion from a place; with dative, abiding at a place; with accusative, motion to a place. Absolute as an adverb: besides, over and above. In composition, it expresses motion towards, addition besides, and connexion and engagement with anything.

[70] Biblios.org, Strong's H-8511 "תָּלָא"

[71] Biblios.org, Strong's H-8518 "תָּלָה"

[72] Biblios.org, II Samuel 21;12, Septuagint
καὶ ἐπορεύθη δαυιδ καὶ ἔλαβεν τὰ ὀστᾶ σαουλ καὶ τὰ ὀστᾶ ιωναθαν τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ παρὰ τῶν ἀνδρῶν υἱῶν ιαβις γαλααδ οἳ ἔκλεψαν αὐτοὺς ἐκ τῆς πλατείας βαιθσαν ὅτι ἔστησαν αὐτοὺς ἐκεῖ οἱ ἀλλόφυλοι ἐν ἡμέρᾳ ᾗ ἐπάταξαν οἱ ἀλλόφυλοι τὸν σαουλ ἐν γελβουε
[73] Perseus Word Study Tool, "ἔστησαν" 3rd person plural aortive indicative active of ἵστημι, "to make to stand, set up, raise."

[75] Tagged Tanakh.org, II Samuel 21:6, 1985 JPS

[76] Biblios.org, II Samuel 21:6, Septuagint; Perseus Word Study Tool, ἐξηλιάζω. The conjugate ἐξηλιάσωμεν is 1st person plural present subjunctive active.

[76a] Perseus Digital Library, II Samuel 21:6, Latin Vulgate; Whittaker's Words, crucifigamus.

[77] Chapman, pp. 154-7; Perseus Word Study Tool ἀναπήγνυμι. The conjugate ἀνάπηξον appears to be verb-participle singular future active neutral nominative / vocative / accusative.

[78] Chapman, pp. 154-7, Perseus Word Study Tool κρέμασονverb-participle singular future active neutral nominative / vocative / accusative of  κρεμάννυμι and κρεμάω.

[79] Chapman, pp. 154-7.

[80] Tagged Tanakh.org, II Samuel 21:9, 1985 JPS

[81]  Biblios.org, II Samuel 21:9, Septuagint; Perseus Word Study Tool, ἐξηλιάζω. The conjugate  ἐξηλίασαν is 3st person plural aorist indicative active.

[82]  Perseus Digital Library II Samuel 21:9, Latin Vulgate; Whittaker's Words, crucifixerunt.

[83] Biblios.org, Strong's H-5307, "נָפַל", "fall, lie", "esp. of a violent death," including "fall pierced."

[84] Biblios.org, II Samuel 21:9, SeptuagintPerseus Word Study Tool,  ἔπεσαν. This is the 3rd person plural aorist indicative active conjugate of the verb ἐφίημι, "let go, loosen, give up, yield, allow, permit, give ones self up to [something], even put the male to the female," i.e., yield to penetration. Herodotus' Histories 3.85 (Cf. 4.30) has it thusly: ἐπῆκε ὀχεῦσαι τὸν ἵππον = "yielded to ride / for riding the stallion." So yielding to penetration is the appropriate sense of the word when we recover the meaning of the story that the seven sons of Saul were hanged by being impaled. They would slide down the stakes together.

[85] Perseus Word Study Tool, ceciderunt. This is the 3rd person plural perfect indicative active conjugation of the verb cado, in an extended sense meaning "to be driven or carried by one's weight from a higher to a lower point, to fall down, be precipitated, sink down, go down, sink, fall," and in the more restricted sense as "to fall, to fall down, drop, fall to, be precipitated, etc.; to sink down, to sink, settle; to fall so as to be unable to rise, to fall dead, to fall, die; to be slain or offered, to be sacrificed, to fall, to yield to." And in this instance the meanings (1) "to be driven by one's weight from a higher to a lower point," (2) "to settle," (3) "to die" and (4) "to yield to" are all appropriate where the persons to be executed were impaled.

[87] Biblos.org,  II Samuel 21:13, Septuagint; Perseus Word Study Tool, ἐξηλιάζω. The conjugate ἐξηλιασμένων is the verb-participle plural aorist middle / passive masculine accusative.

[88] Perseus Word Study Tool, adfixi. It is the verb-participle plural perfect passive masculine nominative conjugation of affigo, "to affix as a brand or as an addition, crucify, impale." The combination with fuerant, "had been," is the 3rd person plural pluperfect indicative active conjugation.