Monday, August 13, 2012

Impalements in Antiquity (4E)

WARNING!: This post may be upsetting to some.

Part 14E of the series: "The Romans NEVER CRUCIFIED the Way We Think They Did!" (Cont'd) UPDATED 11-12-2012

Previous in this series:

Part 14D Impalements in Antiquity (4D).
Part 14C Impalements in Antiquity (4C).
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
Part 1.

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

A. Recap.
As I guided you through the previous four installments we looked at the Persian Source itself (an immense writing of an insane height called the Behistun Inscription) where the basic meaning of the Persian and Old Babylonian was "I raised him / them aloft on the wood". Now this verb was initially translated as "I crucified him/them" but later on was interpreted to mean "impaled". Then we looked at Greek and Greek-language Roman sources, starting with Herodotus (484 - 425 BCE) and ending with Plutarch (45 - 120 CE) with one source per incident and we find that the the writers most likely meant impalement when they spoke of culprits, prisoners of war and innocent victims being anastaurow-ed or anapêgnumi-ed. And finally in the last part, which was a case study of the death of Polycrates at the hand of the Persian satrap Oroetes / Orontes under Darius the Great, we found that the manner of death was likely impalement, although the writers from the First Century on could have been projecting Roman crucifixion (nailing to and impaling on a thrie-beamed, monohorned Priapean gallows, or crux), just as modern scholars, particularly those of the Christian mindset project the Christian idea of Roman crucifixion on a two-beam cross, or tropaeum. Now I will show you the various Jewish sources indicate that what the Persians did was not crucifixion at all, but impalement.

B. Jewish Sources.

I think the best method to show this is to go by incident, and contrast the various sources with one another to get an idea what the ancient authors were saying.

B.1. Edict of Cyrus and Darius.

This incident relates to the reconstruction of the House of god, burnt down in 585 BCE by the Chaldean (neo-Babylonian) Empire under King Nebuchadnezzar. Now in Ezra 6, King Darius the great (521 BCE) is orders his scribes to look for a previous order made by Cyrus the Great (538 BCE). A scroll is found, and is brought back to Darius. According to Ezra 6, it read as follows:

3 In the first year of King Cyrus, the king issued a decree concerning the temple of God in Jerusalem:

Let the temple be rebuilt as a place to present sacrifices, and let its foundations be laid. It is to be ninety feet high and ninety feet wide, 4 with three courses of large stones and one of timbers. The costs are to be paid by the royal treasury. 5 Also, the gold and silver articles of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took from the temple in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon, are to be returned to their places in the temple in Jerusalem; they are to be deposited in the house of God.

6 Now then, Tattenai, governor of Trans-Euphrates, and Shethar-Bozenai and you, their fellow officials of that province, stay away from there. 7 Do not interfere with the work on this temple of God. Let the governor of the Jews and the Jewish elders rebuild this house of God on its site.

8 Moreover, I hereby decree what you are to do for these elders of the Jews in the construction of this house of God:

The expenses of these men are to be fully paid out of the royal treasury, from the revenues of Trans-Euphrates, so that the work will not stop. 9 Whatever is needed—young bulls, rams, male lambs for burnt offerings to the God of heaven, and wheat, salt, wine and oil, as requested by the priests in Jerusalem—must be given them daily without fail, 10 so that they may offer sacrifices pleasing to the God of heaven and pray for the well-being of the king and his sons.

11 Furthermore, I decree that if anyone changes this edict, a beam is to be pulled from his house and he is to be lifted up and impaled on it. And for this crime his house is to be made a pile of rubble. 12 May God, who has caused his Name to dwell there, overthrow any king or people who lifts a hand to change this decree or to destroy this temple in Jerusalem.

I Darius have decreed it. Let it be carried out with diligence.
Ezra 6:3-11 NIV [1]
Now if you look at different versions of Ezra 6:11 in the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament, you will find that there are many different interpretations for the Hebrew / Aramaic word that is translated above as "impaled". The various interpretations of the Christian Old Testament is a veritable confusion, they do not agree if it is the person to be lifted up or the beam that is dragged out his house, or they skip the raising part completely. And the verb that is translated as "impaled" in the NIV is interpreted alternately as "hanged", "fastened",  "tied to it and flogged", "fixed to it", "nailed to it", and "smitten on it". [2] The different interpretations of the Hebrew Bible, on the other hand, are not necessarily contradictory, but could very well be complimentary. The 1917 JPS Tanakh has "let him be lifted up and fastened thereon" and the 1985 JPS Tanakh has "he shall be impaled on it". [3][4] Now the two Jewish interpretations and most of the Christian interpretations, except "tied to it and flogged on it" can be interpreted as complimentary. Even "nailed to it" can be seen as complimentary to "impaled on it" if one thinks of the impaling stake as one enormous tree-nail. Ouch!

Now the original Hebrew for all this different verbiage is וזקיף יתמחא עלהי (ū·zə·qîp̄ yiṯ·mə·ḥê ‘ă·lō·w·hî) "and, lifted up, he be hanged / smitten upon it / on account of it". [5][6] This looks fairly much that this is referring to impalement. And although David W. Chapman in Ancient Jewish and Christian Perspectives did not look at the word יתמחא (yiṯ·mə·ḥê) "let him be hanged / smitten" he did analyse the word וזקיף (ū·zə·qîp̄ and determines that it is related to Roman crucifixion (the word is used in Syriac for "crucified") and is also related to the ancient Assyrian words zaqapu and zaqipu, which includs the impaling of a person in their more basic meanings of erecting, planting, or lifting up any person or thing. [7][8]. Two points of interest: cognates of וזקיף (ū·zə·qîp̄) is noted in the Babylonian Talmud b. B. Mes. 59b ("if there is a case of hanging in a family record") that there is a double entendre with crucifixion and the suspension, i.e., spearing, of a fish on spits. Also in the Targum I Chron. 10:10, the item hanged is Saul's impaled head: זקפו על זיקפא (zeqaphu al ze-iqapha) "and impaled on the pale". [7][9][10]

The Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate of Ezra 6:11 gives us more information in case one is still not yet clear on the subject of Persian penal bodily suspension. The Septuagint has the following Greek: καὶ ὠρθωμένος παγήσεται ἐπ' αὐτοῦ "and having been set upright he shall be impaled on of it". [11][12][13] Followed by the Latin Vulgate: et erigatur et configatur in eo "and he shall be raised up and subjoined on / fastened together with / pierced through by it" (the infamous combination locative-instrumental ablative again!) [14] 

This edict is cited in Josephus' Antiquities twice. First when Cyrus initially issues the proclaims it in 538 BCE:
But my will is, that those who disobey these injunctions, and make them void, shall be hung on a cross, and their substance brought into the king's treasury.

Josephus Antiquities, 11,1,3 = 11,117 fin. [15]
And the second time in 521 BCE when Darius had the edict searched, and reissues the proclamation when the edict is read to him:
And that for such as transgressed any of the orders thus sold to them, he [Cyrus] commanded that they should be caught, and hung on a cross, and their substance confiscated to the king's use.

Josephus Antiquities, 11,4,6 = 11,103 [16]
But for the Greek translated as "he shall / should be hung on a cross" we have ἀνασταυρωθῆναι (anastaurôthênai), "[him] to have been impaled" [17], for, as we have already seen in the LSJ and Middle Liddell lexica, the verb ἀνασταυρόω (anastauroô) back in the era this edict was promulgated did not mean "crucify" at all!; it strictly meant "impale". Of course it did later on come to mean "crucify" in the Roman fashion also, and this fact of the added meaning does open up the can of worms that Josephus may have been projecting Roman crucifixion practices back into Persian times, which predated even Herodotus! Even so, the way the Romans did it, still basically conformed to the intent of the original Aramaic of Ezra of elevation, hanging, fixing, striking / nailing, impaling, and smiting [18]. The erroneous Christian concept of Roman crucifixion by simply nailing to a tropaeum? Fat chance.

B.2. Haman's Pale of an Insane Height.

B.2.1. The Setting and Set-up.

The setting of the story is in the reign of Ahasuerus (either Xerxes I of Persia 486-465 BCE or Artaxerxes 405/4-359/8 BCE). The reigns are roughly contemporary to the life of Herodotus (484-425 BCE). There is an incident with his first wife and he sends her away for no good reason, then looks for a new wife, finally wedding the protagonist, Esther, in the twelfth month of the seventh year of his reign (Josephus Antiquities 11,6,3 = 11,203). About year or so after two of the king's eunuchs engaged in a conspiracy to assasinate him. Josephus writes:
207 Sometime after this [two eunuchs], Bigthan and Teresh, plotted against the king and Barnabazus, the servant of one of the eunuchs, being by birth a Jew, was acquainted with their conspiracy, and discovered it to the queen's uncle, and Mordechai, by means of Esther, made the conspirators known to the king. 208 This troubled the king: but he discovered the truth, and hanged the eunuchs upon a cross, while at the time he gave no reward to Mordechai, who had been the occasion of his preservation.
Josephus Antiquities 11,6,4 = 11,207-8a [19]
What William Whiston translated as "and hanged the Eunuchs upon a cross" is καὶ τοὺς μὲν εὐνούχους ἀνεσταύρωσεν: properly, "and impaled the eunuchs". [20] Now we know that Josephus lived in the Roman Imperial era, and could very well have, like Philo, projected Roman crucifixion back to earlier times, but we ought not assume that -- Josephus could very well mean impaled. After all, before he was captured by the Romans he was a prominent citizen in Judea and was even procurator of Galilee and late in life made a spirited defence of Judaism called Against Apion. So undoubtedly he was familiar with the whole Tanakh and perhaps some of the Qumran Scrolls as well, obviously including Esther in its original late Hebrew.

So, then, we can easily see what the Tanakh has to say, both in Hebrew and in Greek, and how it was translated into the Latin Vulgate.
The matter was investigated and found to be so, and the two were impaled on stakes. This was recorded in the book of Annals in the presence of the king.

The Tanakh, Esther 2:23 [21]
What is translated here as "impaled on stakes" and in Christian versions variously as "hanged on a gallows", hanged on a tree", "hung on a pole", "hanged on a gibbet", etc., is in the Hebrew, ויתלו על עץ (wa·yit·tā·lū 'al 'etz) "hanged upon a pole". [22][23] According to David W Chapman, the method of hanging that was most likely impalement, noting that it was a longstanding penalty in the Ancient Near East. [24] The Septuagint is similar to the Hebrew text, it has καὶ ἐκρέμασεν αὐτούς "and he hanged them". [25][26] The Latin Vulgate, on the other hand, uses verbiage consistent with crucifixion or hanging in a Roman fork-shaped gibbet but could be indicative of using a lifting beam to impale on a stake of an insane height: et adpensus uterque eorum in patibulo "and hanged up each of the two of them on/by a patibulum". [27][28]

B.2.2 Haman Launches a Pogrom and Hatches a Plot.

The backstory: Ahasuerus promotes Haman to the position of chief minister. All the king's courtiers were ordered to kneel and bow down to pay respect to Haman and his office. Mordechai, Esther's uncle, would not kneel and bow down. For some reason, this fills Haman with rage. Finding out he was Jewish and that Jews did not bow down to any personage except Yahweh, Haman manages to prejudice the king against the Jews and authorise a pogrom -- a shoah or holocaust -- against them.

A few days later haman meets Mordechai again in the palace courtyard and Mordechai still did not stir himself or rise in his presence. Again, Haman is furious and goes home. And here is what happens next:

Then his wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, "Let a stake be put up, fifty cubits high, and in the morning ask the king to have Mordechai impaled on it. Then you can go gaily to the king to the feast." The proposal pleased haman, and he had the stake put up.

The Tanakh, Esther 5:14 [29][30]
The Hebrew for "let a stake be put up" is יעשו עץ (ya·‘ă·śū 'etz) "let a stake be made" [31] and "to have Mordechai impaled on it" is ויתלו את מרדכי עליו (wə·yiṯ·lū ’êṯ mā·rə·do·ḵay ‘ā·lāw) "to have Mordechai hanged on top of it." [32] The last phrase, "he had the stake set up" have in the Hebrew ויעש העץ (way·ya·‘aś hā·‘êtz) the exact same basic words, just different conjugates. [31] This language for "to have Mordechai hanged on top of it" is similar to the language in Deuteronomy 21;22-23:  תָּלָה עַל עץ (talah 'al- 'etz) "impale on a stake".

In the Septuagint [33] we have for the phrase "let a stake be put up", κοπήτω σοι ξύλον "one should fell for you a tree" [34], for "to have Mordechai impaled on it" κρεμασθήτω μαρδοχαῖος ἐπὶ τοῦ ξύλου "Mordechai shuld be hanged upon the tree/stake" [35] and "he had the stake set up" ἡτοιμάσθη τὸ ξύλον "the tree should have been prepared". [36] Basically, the sense of the Sepyuaging is that a tree is to be felled, i.e., chopped down, and prepared for Mordechai to be hanged on it. The phrase κρεμασθήτω ἐπὶ τοῦ ξύλου is essentially a literal translation of תָּלָה עַל עץ (talah 'al- 'etz).

In the Latin Vulgate "let a stake be put up" is iube parari excelsam trabem, "order to be prepared a raised stake" [37]; "to have Mordechai impaled on it" is ut adpendatur super eam Mardocheus, "so that may be suspended on top of it Mordechai" [38]; and "he had the stake set up" is iussit excelsam parari crucem, "he ordered to be prepared a raised crux" (cross or impale stake) [39].

In Josephus, we have essentially the same verbiage, although he does utitlize  ἀνασταυρόω (anastauroô), "impale, crucify (by the Romans)". [17] He reports:
246 "...yet," said he [Haman], "am I not pleased to see Mordechai, the Jew, in the court." Hereupon his wife Zeresh advised him to give orders that a gallows should be made sixty cubits high, and that in the morning he should ask the king that Mordechai might be hanged thereon. So he commended her advice, and gave order to his servants to prepare the gallows, and to place it in the court, for the punishment of Mordechai thereon, 247 which was accordingly prepared.

Josephus, Antiquities 11,6,10 = 11,246-7 [40]
Now the word used for "gallows" is ξύλον (xulon), which, as we have seen, corresponds to the Latin trabem and crucem, and the Hebrew עֵץ ('etz), i.e., it is a tree or an impaling stake, considering the date of the incident. In the same passage Josephus uses a conjugate of κόπτω (koptô), κοπῆναι (kopênai), "to cut down, strike, knock, smite, hammer, (in the case of trees) cut down." So here is the clear case of orders for a 60-cubit (30-meter or 90-foot) [41] tall tree (note in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles the height is only 50 cubits - 25 meters = 75 feet) to be chopped down for the execution of Mordechai. Then in the morning Haman is to ask the king to have Mordechai impaled: ἀνασταυρωσαι (anastaurôsai), "to impale" [17]. May I remind you again that that is the meaning of the verb back in the days when Herodotus wrote! It also corrsesponds to the Latin Vulgate ut adpendatur super eam "so that he may be suspended on top of it" and the Septuagint κρεμασθήτω ἐπὶ τοῦ ξύλου "hang upon the stake". Josephus' Greek for "to prepare the gallows, and to place it in the court" has ξύλον ἑτοιμασαμένους στῆσαι τοῦτο "having prepared the stake, to cause this thing to stand" (i.e., plant it). The Targum Sheni (Tg. Esther II 5:14) employs  צלב (tzaluv) "hang, impale" [62] as the intended mode of execution, because Haman's wife is reported that Jewish figures in Biblical "history" have managed to escape all other modes of execution. [23a]

So when Chapman expressed his informed opinion that the sort of "crucifixion" that Haman intends to inflict upon Mordechai was to be an impalement [24], and in my opinion the Hebrew Tanakh, Septuagint, Latin Vulgate and Josephus' Antiquities adequately convey the sense that the method of penal bodily suspension was impalement.

B.2.3. Haman Goes in to See the King.

Now in Esther chapter 6 the scene opens with the King's courtiers discussing the King about what is to be done with Mordechai to honour him, for they just recovered the record where Mordechai had exposed the plot by two of the King's eunuchs had conspired to asassinate him. And at that moment... "Haman had entered the outer court about having Mordechai impaled on the stake he had prepared for him." (The Tanakh, Esther 6:4b)[42] The phrase, "impaled on the stake" is, in the Hebrew, לתלות את־מרדכי על־העץ (liṯ·lō·wṯ ’êṯ mā·rə·do·ḵay ‘al- hā·‘êṣ): "about hanging that one Mordechai upon the 'etz (impaling stake)", in the Septuagint: κρεμάσαι τὸν μαρδοχαῖον ἐπὶ τῷ ξύλῳ (kremasai ton Mardochaion epi tô  xulô)"to hang up the Mordechai upon the stake"; and in the Latin Vulgate iuberet mardocheum adfigi patibulo "he might order Mordechai to be affixed to/by a patibulum." Now the Hebrew and the Septuagint are essentially in agreement, but the Latin Vulgate, written by Jerome in 390 CE, is an outlier! For he has Haman preparing either a fork-shaped gibbet, or a two-beam cross or TROPAEUM (the Roman standard crux, or Priapus stake, had fallen into gross disuse by this time), neither of which the Persians as far as we know were familiar with. The word patibulo, is both dative and ablative for patibulum. of course, in Roman times, the patibulum was the transverse beam of the thrie-beamed, monohorned crux or Priapus stake. Since the persians probably never heard of the last -- it looks very much like a Roman invention -- we can interpret the obviously erroneous Vulgate to mean transverse beam, or lifting beam, in the ablative: i.e., iuberet mardocheum adfigi patibulo can be reinterpreted as "he might order Mordechai affixed [on top of an impaling stake] with a patibulum. Besides, to impale someone on a pre-erected stake 25 meters or 75 feet tall, a lifting beam most assuredly would be required.

And an impalement using a patibulum would look exactly like this but with additional end-support poles in real life:

And just like Sandoces, the condemned prior to being impaled would be lifted just like this:

Source: PHDiva

This is the depiction of the preliminary lifting stage of a Carthaginian "crucifixion". It was found in an Esquiline tomb and dated to about 250 BCE or so. Note that in the fresco painting of the man tied tightly to the overhead beam, there is not any main upright of any cross behind him. Clearly, the man depicted is on his way up, to be suspended from the patibulum spanning two posts and to be... impaled.

B.2.4. The Stake is Observed by Others.

"While they were still speaking with him, the king’s eunuchs arrived and hurriedly brought Haman to the banquet which Esther had prepared." (The Tanakh, Esther 6:14 [42])

Josephus adds to this, which is not written but is implied in the text of the Tanakh and the Christian Old Testament.
260 Now while these men were thus talking to one another, Esther's eunuchs hastened haman to come to supper. 261 But one [of] the eunuchs named Sabuchadas, saw the gallows that was fixed in Haman's house, and inquired of the servants for what purpose they had prepared it. So he knew it was for the queen's uncle [Mordechai] because Haman was about to petition the King that he might be punished, but at present he held his peace.

Josephus Antiquities 11,6,11 = 11,260-1 [43]
What William Whiston translates as "gallows' Josephus writes down as σταυρόν (stauron), accusative for σταυρός (stauros), "upright pale, cross". And the σταυρός is "fixed" at Haman's house - the Greek verb is πεπηγότα (pepêgota), "planted or fixed firmly in the earth, built or constructed".

B.2.5. The King Finds Out and Guess What Happens to Haman!

In Esther 7, Haman arrives at the banquet that is thrown for Esther, and Esther complains about the planned shoah against her own people, the Jews. The King Ahasuerus asks Esther just who is the engineer of this conspiracy (as if he didn't approve of it before!) and Esther replies that it was none other than the King's prime minister, Haman! At which point the King storms out in anger and confusion. In the King's absence, Haman throws himself onto Esther's couch, begging for his life. Of course, King Ahasuerus comes back in and sees Haman there. “DOES HE MEAN,” he shouts, “TO RAVISH THE QUEEN IN MY OWN PALACE?” And no sooner than the words escape his lips than Haman was seized and his head covered. And then:
9Then Harbonah, one of the eunuchs in attendance on the king, said, “What is more, a stake is standing at Haman’s house, fifty cubits high, which Haman made for Mordecai—the man whose words saved the king.” “Impale him on it!” the king ordered. 10So they impaled Haman on the stake which he had put up for Mordecai, and the king’s fury abated.

The Tanakh, Esther 7:9-10 [44]
The extant Hebrew [45] has for "a stake", העץ (hā·‘êṣ), "tree, stake, gallows, etc."; for "Impale him on it!", תלהו עליו (tə·lu·hū ‘ā·lāw), "hang [him] over / on / upon [it]"; and for "So they impaled Haman on the stake",  ויתלו את המן על העץ (way·yiṯ·lū ’êṯ hā·mān ‘al- hā·‘êṣ), "they hanged that one, Haman, upon the 'etz (stake)" And since it was a pre-erected stake with an insane height of at least 25 meters = 75 feet, they must have used a patibulum to lift him up!

The Septuagint of these verses [46] has for "a stake", ξυλον (xulon), "tree, stake, gallows, etc."; for "Impale him on it", σταυρωθήτω ἐπ' αὐτοῦ (staurôthêtô ep' autou), "he shall be 'paled' upon it" [47]; and for "So they impaled Haman on the stake", καὶ ἐκρεμάσθη αμαν ἐπὶ τοῦ ξύλου (kai ekremasthê Aman epi tou xulou), "and they hanged Haman upon the stake".

In the Vulgate [48] we read for "a stake", lignum, "wood, tree, timber, staff"; for "Impale him on it", adpendite eum in eo "hang / suspend / weigh him on it"; and for "So they impaled Haman on the stake", suspensus est itaque Aman in patibulo "And so Haman was suspended on a gibbet / by an overhead lifting beam", mindful of what could have been Jerome's intent of locational ablative "on a gibbet" and a possible alternative instrumental ablative "by an overhead lifting beam". Of course, each ablative case here works hand-in-hand with the other so we also have "by a gibbet" and "on an overhead lifting beam". The gibbet, of course, hints at a crucifixion or a hanging in a fork-shaped gibbet whereas my suggested alternative is the possible solution for impaling someone on a pre-erected stake of an insane height of 25 meters = 75 feet.

And Josephus says something similar to Jerome:
266 Sabuchadas the eunuch came in and accused Haman, and said, "He found a gallows at his house, prepared for Mordechai; for that the servant told him so much on his inquiry, when he was sent to call him to supper." He said further, that the gallows was fifty cubits high: 267 which, when the king heard, he determined that Haman should be punished after no other manner that which had been devised had been devised against Mordechai; so he gave order immediately that he should hang upon those gallows, and be put to death after that manner.

Josephus Antiquities 11,6,11 = 11,266-7 [49]
Now in this instance what William Whiston interpreted as "gallows" was recorded by Josephus as σταυρός (accusative σταυρόν in line 266 and genitive σταύρου in line 267), "upright pale, pole, cross". Now the Greek for Whiston's "he should hang upon those gallows, and be put to death after that manner" is rendered in the extant Greek as καὶ κελεύει παραχρῆμα αὐτὸν ἐξ ἐκείνου τοῦ σταυροῦ κρεμασθέντα ἀποθανεῖν (kai keleuei parachrêma ek ekeinou tou staurou kremasthenta apothanein), which appears to transliterate as "and straightaway orders from that of the pole [Haman] having been hanged to have died." This could be interpreted as "and straightaway orders him [Haman] hanged on that there pole to die", or "and straightaway orders him [Haman] hanged in consequence of the pole to die" [50] So we see here that Josephus may be reading whatever the Romans did into an event about 500 years into his past, or he could be interpreting it as a hanging from the pole, like from a gallows. But it also appears that impaling the criminal on a stake while hanging him from a lifting beam seems a possibility in Josephus' interpretation of the passage that he would have read out of the Tanakh while in the Temple and in Synagogue or during his private studies.

Lucian of Antioch (d. 312 CE, a Martyr for the Church) had produced a critical reclension of the Septuagint, Text "A" which contains additional verses in Esther chapter 7. 7:14 reads, καθότι ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἐκεκρικει ἀνασκολοπισαι αὐτόν (kathoti ekeinê tê êmera ekekrikei anaskolopisai auton) "Just like in that day he [Haman] had decided to impale him". [51]

B.2.6 Aftermath.

In Esther 8:7 this King Ahasuerus reports to Esther and Mordechai that "I have given Haman's property to Esther and he has been impaled for scheming against the Jews". [52] The Hebrew Bible, Septuagint and Latin Vulgate have, respectively, תלו על העץ (tā·lū 'al- hā·‘êṣ) "have hanged upon an 'etz (tree, stake)" [53], ἐκρέμασα ἐπὶ ξύλου "I have hanged upon a tree / stake" [54], and iussi adfigi cruci "I ordered affixed to a crux (nailed to a cross / impaled upon a stake)". [55]

And Haman's plot is completely foiled, for King Ahasuerus issues an edict permitting the Jews to defend themselves and forbidding any attempt to prevent them from defending themselves. The outcome according to the book of Esther is predictable. In Esther 9:8-12 it is reported to the King that 500 people were killed in inter-ethnic violence, including the ten sons of Haman. The King asks esther what she wants done with the corpses. To which she replied,
13 "If it please Your majesty,... let the Jews in Shushan be permitted to act tomorrow as they did today, and let Haman's ten sons be impaled on the stake." 14 The King ordered that this should be done, and the decree was proclaimed in Shushan. Haman's ten sons were impaled.

The Tanakh, Esther 9:13, 14 [56]
For "be impaled on the stake" and "were impaled" we have in the Hebrew, יתלו על העץ (yiṯ·lū 'al- hā·‘êṣ) "be hanged upon a tree / stake" and תלו (tā·lū) "were hanged" [57], in the Septuagint, κρεμάσαι (kremasai) "to hang up" [58], in the Vulgate, in patibulis suspendatur "may be suspended on / by a fork-shaped gibbet / cross / lifting beam" and suspensi sunt "were suspended" [59]. Again, it is only the Latin Vulgate where crucifixion imagery was expressly implied, even though an alternative interpretation is possible, according to the above images.

The Targumin of Esther (dated 500 to 1000 CE)shed some additional light on this. The Targum Rishon (Tg. Esther I 9:13) has יזדקפוז על קיסא (izdekfose 'al- qisa) "let them be impaled / lifted up on the tree / rough edge" [60] where יזדקפוז (izdeqafon)(?) is a conjugate the verb זְקַף (zeqaph) [6][10] and קיסא (qisa) is a "tree, rough edge". If you recall from above, זְקַף (zeqaph) is related to the ancient Assyrian words zaqapu and zaqipu, which includs the impaling of a person in their more basic meanings of erecting, planting, or lifting up any person or thing. Words adjacent to קיסא (qisa) in Jastrow's Dictionary strongly suggests the existence of a rough edge is implied in the "tree" [61]. Targum Sheni (Tg. Esther II 9:13) [60] has יתליו על צליבא (yi-tal-iuv 'al tzaliba) "let them hang upon the stake" [62].

The Additions to the book of Esther E18 (16:18) has this included: "For he was the worker of these things, is hanged at the Gates of Susa with all his family: God, who ruleth all things, speedily rendering vengeance to him according to his desserts." Here, a conjugate of  ἀνασταυρόω (anastauroô) is used: ἐσταυρῶσθαι (estaurôsthai) (perfect indicative middle / passive) "is impaled".

B.2.7 Recap.

There is a recap at the end of chapter 9:
But when she {Esther} came before the King, he commanded, "With the promulgation of this decree, let the evil plot, which he [Haman] devised against the Jews, recoil upon his own head!" So they impaled him and his sons on the stake.

The Tanakh, Esther 9:25 [56]
For the sentence, "So they impaled Haman and his sons on the stake, we have in the Hebrew: ותלו אתו ואת בניו על העץ׃ (wə·ṯā·lū ’ō·ṯōw wə·’êṯ bā·nāw ‘al- hā·‘êṣ) "they hanged that one and the sons upon the stake" [63]. The Septuagint has, καὶ ἐκρεμάσθη αὐτὸς καὶ τὰ τέκνα αὐτοῦ (kai ekremasthê autos kai ta tekna autou) "and he was hanged, and also his offspring" [64]. And the Latin Vulgate, et ipsum et filios eius adfixerunt cruci "and he himself and his sons were affixed to a crux" (nailed to a cross or impaled on a stake) [65].

B.2.8 Rabbinical Writings.

A caution concerning Josephus and Jerome: the two could have been projecting Roman executionary practices back into Persian times, although whether Josephus actualized of the more ancient Persisn practice as Roman crucifixion practices is, in my opinion, unknown and chancy, because there are places where one cannot avoid faithfully reconstructing his sentences in translation without comnig off with a sense that he was speaking of impalement and not crucifixion (See Parts 13A and 13B). With Jerome on the other hand, it's almost a sure thing. However, there are later Rabbinical writings that do assume Roman crucifixion methods. For example, in Esther Rab. x.5, we find Haman moaning to Mordechai,
"Stand and dress. last night I was working to prepare for him [sic!] the cross [צליבא], but the Holy One was preparing for him the crown. I was preparing for you ropes and nails [חבלים ומסמרים], but the Holy One was preparing for you the clothing of kings. I, when [I was just about to be] asking the King to crucify you on the cross [למיצליב יתד על צליבא = nail-'impale' on a 'stake' = nail-crucify on a cross], he rarther said to me to give you a ride on the horse. Stand and dress." [66][67] 
As hanging by the neck with rope from a gallows replaced other forms of penal bodily suspension (and perhaps before), the Rabbis reinterpreted this to mean the nails were used to build the gallows and of course, Mordechai was intended to hang by the noose until dead. [66] This is similar to later Rabbinis interpretations of the Lament: "And young lads staggered over the wood", Rabbi Joshua b. Levi said. "They found three hundred strung up in one hanging". How they were allegedly strung up, Rabbi b. Levi doesn't say. [68]

B.2.9. Conclusions.

In the above exposition and explication of the Hebrew literature concerning Persian penal bodily suspension practices, I have endeavoured to show you that the type they practiced was probably a sort of impalement: sometimes a pre-impaling and a lifting up, other times a lifting up by a carrying beam. The latter would c=ertainly be required to lift someone to park him on top of an impaling stake of an insane height. The Romans, of course, would have called the beam a patibulum, and the stake, a crux. Because the person so suspended was killed by means of torture. Yet prior to Chapman and his conclusions in favor of impalement [69], most scholars assumed that the Persians crucified people, giving the false impression, despite disclaimers to the contrary, that they nailed people onto crosses, or tropaeums. The Persians never nailed people to tropaeums or any other kinds of crosses as far as we can tell; Gunnar Samuelsson has totally debunked this!

C. Footnotes.

[1], Ezra 6 New International Version
[2], Ezra 6:11, parallel versions and commentary.
[3], The Tanakh, Ezra 6, JPS 1917 Edition
[4] Tagged, The Tanakh, Ezra 6, JPS 1985 Edition
[5], Ezra 6:11 Hebrew
[6], Strong's H-2211 זְקַף (zeqaph), "raise, lift up, set up, to hang, i.e., impale, (Aramaic) corresponding to zaqaph"; Strong's H-4223 מְחָא (mecha) "strike, smite, nail, impale, hang, arrest, ward off, stay, (Aramaic) corresponding to macha"; Strong's H-5922 עַל (al) "upon, over, above, about, around, against, on account of, (Aramaic) corresponding to al".
[7] David W. Chapman, Ancient Jewish and Christian Perceptions of Crucifixion, Grand Rapids, Mich., baker Academic, Baker Publishing Group (2008), pp. 26-27, 170-172. Note especially footnotes 106, 107 and 109.
[8] Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament, quoted in, Ezra 6:11, parallel versions and commentary.
[9] This double entendre is reflected in the parallel between criminals baking in the sun, impaled on stakes, and fish roasted over a fire, skewered on spits, noted by Hesychius of Alexandria (5th C. CE) and translated by Julius Lipsius (1547-1606). Here is Hesychius' explication:
ἀνασκινδυλεὐωθαι: ἀνασκολοπισθῆναι.*

σκόλοψιν, ὧς ὄπτησιν τό γάρ παλαιόν τἀς κακοργο̂ντας ἀνεσκολόπιζον, όξυνοντες ξύλον διά ῥάκεως καί τό νώτε, καθάπερ τάς ὀπτωμένες ἰχθῦς ἐπί ὀβελίσκων.**

Hesychius of Alexandria, Etymology 100,51
(also  Google Book Preview, Lexicon, Vol. III, p.312, entriy 1071 and 1072)

* To be split apart on an impale: to have been impaled.

** Thus on stakes one would bake [in the sun] for in the ancient time they would impale into malefactors, a stake through the middle and the back, just as those fish [that are] roasted on spits.

This is my translation using Perseus Greek Word Study Tool, the Perseus Digital Library LSJ Lexicon and the Institute of Biblical Greek Verb Chart.
This is Julius Lipsius' Latin Translation:
Sudfixionem dixeris, quasi Assationem. Nam antiquitus maleficas sudi infigebant, acuto ligno penetrantes spinam et dorsum, sicuti assos in verubus pisces.

Julius Lipsius, de Cruce, L.I,, p.11.

And here is my translation of Lipsius' text using Perseus Latin Word Study Tool:

"You may have said, a piercing underneath, like a planting-in. For in the ancient fashion they thrust criminals onto a stake, with a sharpened timber having penetrated the spine and the back just like fishes roasted on spits.
Note Julius Lipsius (de Cruce, L.I,, p.12) also translated the Greek ἀνασκινδυλεὐωθαι as cruce diffindetur "he will be split apart with a crux (impaling stake)" Cf. LSJ diffindo, "cleave asunder"
[10] Marcus Jastrow, Dictionary of Targumin, Talmud and Midrashic Literature, New York, G. P. Putnam's Sons (1926), pp. 409-410, entry זְקַף, Cf. I Chr. 10:10 "and hung up / fastened his head in the Temple of Dagon" (The 1985 JPS Tanakh has it, "and impaled his head in the temple of Dagon".
[11], Ezra 6, Septuagint. The whole of the Greek verse 11 is as follows:
καὶ ἀπ' ἐμοῦ ἐτέθη γνώμη ὅτι πᾶς ἄνθρωπος ὃς ἀλλάξει τὸ ῥῆμα τοῦτο καθαιρεθήσεται ξύλον ἐκ τῆς οἰκίας αὐτοῦ καὶ ὠρθωμένος παγήσεται ἐπ' αὐτοῦ καὶ ὁ οἶκος αὐτοῦ τὸ κατ' ἐμὲ ποιηθήσεται
[12] Perseus Greek Word Study Tool, ὠρθωμένος (ôrthômenos), singular perfect stem middle-passive masculine nominative verb-participle of ὀρθόω (orthoô), "set straight or upright, set up, raise up". Cf. Institute of Biblical Greek Verb Chart.
[13] Perseus Greek Word Study Tool, παγήσεται (pagêsetai), 3rd person singular future indicative passive verb conjugate of πήγνυμι (pêgnumi), "make fast, stick or fix in, pitch [tents], stick or fix on, impale, fasten together, make solid, stiff, hard, fix or establish irrevocably".
[14], Ezra 6:11 Latin Vulgate. The whole Latin text is as follows:
a me ergo positum est decretum ut omnis homo qui hanc mutaverit iussionem tollatur lignum de domo ipsius et erigatur et configatur in eo domus autem eius publicetur
[14] Perseus Latin Word Study Tool, et erigatur et configatur in eo:
  • et, conjunction, "and"
  • erigatur, 3rd person singular present subjunctive passive verb conjugate of erigo, "raise up, lift up, erect, elevate"
  • configatur, 3rd person singular present subjunctive passive verb conjugate of configo, "lit.: join (by pressing), fasten together, pierce through, transfix; trop.: rendered powerless or inactive"
  • in, preposition (c. abl), in, on (with ablative nouns or pronouns an instrumental ablative is sometimes constructed, i.e., in "in, on" becomes "by, with, under the power of, etc., example in hoc signo vinces "with this sign you will connquer")
  • eo, pronoun singular masculine or neuter ablative, "he, it, the one mentioned".
[15] Perseus Digital Library, Josephus, Antiquities 11.1.3. The Greek text of the end of line 17 is as follows:
τοὺς δὲ παρακούσαντας τούτων καὶ ἀκυρώσαντας ἀνασταυρωθῆναι βούλομαι καὶ τὰς οὐσίας αὐτῶν εἶναι βασιλικάς.
[16] Perseus Digital Library, Josephus, Antiquities 11.4.6. The Greek text of the first sentence of line 103 is as follows:
τοὺς δὲ παραβάντας τι τῶν ἐπεσταλμένων συλληφθέντας ἐκέλευσεν ἀνασταυρωθῆναικαὶ τὴν οὐσίαν αὐτῶν εἰς τὴν βασιλικὴν καταταγῆναι κτῆσιν
[17] Perseus Greek Word Study Tool, ἀνασταυρωθῆναι (anastaurôthênai), aorist infinitive passive conjugation of the verb ἀνασταυρόω (anastauroô), "impale". Only in the times of Roman expansion can people be confident that the verb came to mean "crucify", and even then it didn't mean "crucify" in the sense of "nail to a tropaeum".
[18] Chapman, p. 171.
[19] Perseus Digital Library, Josephus Antiquities 11,6,4 = 11,207-8a. The Greek text reads as follows:
[207] Χρόνῳ δ᾽ ὕστερον ἐπιβουλευσάντων τῷ βασιλεῖ Βαγαθώου καὶ Θεοδοσίτου Βαρνάβαζος τῶν εὐνούχων οἰκέτης τοῦ ἑτέρου τὸγένος ὢν Ἰουδαῖος συνεὶς τὴν ἐπιβουλὴν τῷ θείῳ κατεμήνυσε τῆς γυναικὸς τοῦ βασιλέως, Μαρδοχαῖος δὲ διὰ τῆς Ἐσθήρας φανεροὺς ἐποίησε τῷ βασιλεῖ τοὺς ἐπιβουλεύοντας. [208]ταραχθεὶς δὲ ὁ βασιλεὺς τἀληθὲς ἐξεῦρεν καὶ τοὺς μὲν εὐνούχους ἀνεσταύρωσεν, τῷ δὲ Μαρδοχαίῳτότε μὲν οὐδὲν παρέσχεν ὡς αἰτίῳ τῆς σωτηρίας γεγονότι,
[20] Perseus Greek Word Study Tool, ἀνεσταύρωσεν (anestaurôsen), 3rd person singular aorist indicative active of ἀνασταυρόω (anastauroô), "impale", and in Roman times, "crucify".
[21] Tagged, The Tanakh, Esther 2, 1985 JPS Edition.
[22], Esther 2:23, Hebrew Bible. The following is the full Hebrew text:
ויבקש הדבר וימצא ויתלו שניהם על עץ ויכתב בספר דברי הימים לפני המלך׃
[23], Strong's H-8518 תָּלָה (talah), "hang, suspend"; Strong's H-5921 עַל ('al-), "upon, above, over, etc."; and Strong's H-6086 עֵץ ('etz), "tree, stake, gallows" (cf. Jastrow, Dictionary, p. 1101, עֵץ "tree, pole, wood").
[23a] Chapman, p. 167.
[24] Chapman, p. 163. Chapman also states that the language of the text (whole book of Esther) is flexible enough to permit hanging by the neck, crucifixion, and impalement.
[25], Esther 2, Septuagint. The Greek text reads as follows:
ὁ δὲ βασιλεὺς ἤτασεν τοὺς δύο εὐνούχους καὶ ἐκρέμασεν αὐτούς καὶ προσέταξεν ὁ βασιλεὺς καταχωρίσαι εἰς μνημόσυνον ἐν τῇ βασιλικῇ βιβλιοθήκῃ ὑπὲρ τῆς εὐνοίας μαρδοχαίου ἐν ἐγκωμίῳ

[26] Perseus Greek Word Study Tool, ἐκρέμασεν (ekremasen); .3rd person singular aorist indicative active of the verb κρεμάννυμι (kremannumi), "to hang, hang up" (by any means including crucifixion and impalement).
[27] Perseus Digital Library, Esther 2:23, Latin Vulgate. The Latin reads as follows:
quaesitum est et inventum et adpensus uterque eorum in patibulo mandatumque historiis et annalibus traditum coram rege
[28] Perseus Latin Word Study Tool, adpensus, verb participle singular perfect passive masculine nominative of appendo, "hang [something] upon [something], suspend on, weigh"; uterque, adjective singular masculine nominative w/ encyclic "and one or the other" (although here it implies both); eorum pronoun plural masculine genitive "of them"; in, preposition c. w/ ablative "in, on"; patibulo, noun singular neuter ablative, "fork shaped gibbet, overhead beam, crossarm" (Note: in + ablative is locational or instrumental ablative, sometimes both).
[29] Tagged, The Tanakh, Esther 5.
[30], Esther 5:14, Hebrew Bible. The Herbrew is as follows:
ותאמר לו זרש אשתו וכל אהביו יעשו עץ גבה חמשים אמה ובבקר אמר למלך ויתלו את מרדכי עליו ובא עם המלך אל המשתה שמח וייטב הדבר לפני המן ויעש העץ׃
[31], Strong's H-6213, עָשָׂה ('ashah) "make, do"; and Strong's H-6086 עֵץ ('etz), "tree, stake, gallows".
[32], Strong's H-8518, תָּלָה (talah) "hang"; Strong's H-853 אֶֽת־ ('et) mark of the accusative; Strong's H-4782 מָרְדֳּכַי (Mordekay) "Mordechai"; Strong's H-5921 עַל ('al) "upon, above, over".
[33], Esther 5, Septuagint. The Greek of verse 14 is as follows:
καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτὸν ζωσαρα ἡ γυνὴ αὐτοῦ καὶ οἱ φίλοι κοπήτω σοι ξύλον πηχῶν πεντήκοντα ὄρθρου δὲ εἰπὸν τῷ βασιλεῖ καὶ κρεμασθήτω μαρδοχαῖος ἐπὶ τοῦ ξύλου σὺ δὲ εἴσελθε εἰς τὴν δοχὴν σὺν τῷ βασιλεῖ καὶ εὐφραίνου καὶ ἤρεσεν τὸ ῥῆμα τῷ αμαν καὶ ἡτοιμάσθη τὸ ξύλον
[34] Perseus Greek Word Study Tool, κοπήτω (kopê) 3rd person present imperative active of the verb  κοπή (kopê), "strike, smite, knock down, cut off, chop off, cut down, fell (tres), lay waste, cut small, chop up, pound"; σοι (soi) pronoun 2nd person singular dative, "for you"; ξύλον (xulon) noun singular neuter nominative, "a tree, stake, gallows, etc."
[35] Perseus Greek Word Study Tool, καὶ (kai) conjunction, "and indeed"; κρεμασθήτω 3rd person singular aorist imperative passive of the verb κρεμάννυμι (kremannumi), "hang, hang up"; μαρδοχαῖος (mardochaios) "Mordechai"; ἐπὶ (epi) preposition c. gen "upon"; τοῦ (tou) article singular masculine genetive "the"; ξύλου (culou) noun singular neuter genitive (tree, wood, impale stake, gallows)
[36] Perseus Greek Word Study Tool, ἡτοιμάσθη (ptoimasê) 3rd person singular aorist indicative passive, "should be made ready, prepared" τὸ (to) article singular neuter accusative "the"; ξύλον (culon) noun singular neuter accusative "tree, stake, gallows, etc."
[37] Perseus Latin Word Study Tool, iube, 2nd person singular present indicative active of jubeo, "impose, order, bid, tell, command, wish, desire, entreat, bid, drecree, ratify, approve, designate, appoint, assign, prescribe"; parari, present infinitive passive of the verb paro, "to make ready, prepare, furnish, provide, arrange, order, contrive, design"; excelsam, verb participle singular perfect passive feminine accusative of excello, "be eminent, be superior, surpass, excel, raise, elevate, be high, be lofty"; trabem, noun singular feminine accusative, "beam, timber, tree, anything made of beams or timbers (like a spar or a stake)"
[38]  Perseus Latin Word Study Tool  utconjunction, "so that, that, so as, etc."; adpendatur3rd person singular present subjunctive passive of the verb appendo, "to weigh out, hang something upon something, suspend upon, weigh something to one (or vice versa), to weigh"; super, preposition, "above, over, on top, thereupon, upon, on, etc."; eam, pron sg fem acc, "he, she, it, the one mentioned"; Mardocheus, proper noun singular masculine nominative, "Mordechai".
[39] Perseus Latin Word Study Tool  iussit3rd person singular perfect indicative active of jubeo, "order"; excelsam, "raised, elevated"; parari, "to be provided"; crucem,  noun singular masculine or feminine, accusative of crux, "gallows, frame, tree on which criminals were impaled or hanged (impaling stake here)".
[40] Perseus Digital Library, Josephus Antiquities 11,6,10. The Greek text of line 246 into line 247 reads as follows:
246 ἔλεγέν τε μὴ ἀρέσκεσθαι Μαρδοχαῖον ὁρῶντα ἐν τῇ αὐλῇ τὸν Ἰουδαῖον. τῆς δὲ γυναικὸς αὐτοῦ Γαζάσης εἰπούσης κελεῦσαι ξύλον κοπῆναι πηχῶν ἑξήκοντα καὶ πρωὶ παρὰ τοῦ βασιλέως αἰτησάμενονἀνασταυρῶσαι τὸν Μαρδοχαῖον, ἐπαινέσας τὴν γνώμην προσέταξεντοῖς οἰκέταις ξύλον ἑτοιμασαμένους στῆσαι τοῦτο ἐν τῇ αὐλῇ πρὸς τιμωρίαν Μαρδοχαίῳ. 247 καὶ τοῦτο μὲν ἦν ἕτοιμον
[41] Perseus Greek Word Study Tool, ἑξήκοντα (exekonta), "sixty" and πηχῶν (pêchôn) "cubits".
[42] Tagged, The Tanakh, Esther 6.
[43] Perseus Digital Library, Josephus Antiquities 11.6.11. The Greek text of lines 260 and 261 is as follows:
260 Ταῦτα δὲ τούτων ἔτι πρὸς ἀλλήλους ὁμιλούντων ἧκον οἱ τῆς Ἐσθήρας εὐνοῦχοι τὸν Ἀμάνην ἐπὶ τὸ δεῖπνον ἐπισπεύδοντες. 261 Σαβουχάδας δὲ τῶν εὐνούχων εἷς ἰδὼν τὸν σταυρὸν ἐν τῇ Ἀμάν ουοἰκίᾳ πεπηγότα, ὃν ἐπὶ Μαρδοχαῖον παρεσκευάκεισαν, καὶ πυθόμενοςπαρά τινος τῶν οἰκετῶν, ἐπὶ τίνα τοῦτον ἦσαν ἑτοιμασάμενοι, γνούς, ὡς ἐπὶ τὸν τῆς βασιλίσσης θεῖον, τὸν γὰρ Ἀμάνην μέλλειν αὐτὸν αἰτεῖσθαι παρὰ τοῦ βασιλέως πρὸς τιμωρίαν, τότε μὲν ἡσυχίανἦγεν.
[43a] Perseus Greek Word Study Tool, πεπηγότα (pepêgota), verb participle singular perfect masculine accusative of πήγνυμι (pêgnumi), "planted firmly, fixed in the earth; constructed, built".
[44] Tagged, The Tanakh, Esther 7.
[45], Esther 7:9 and 7:10, Hebrew.  The Hebrew text is as follows:
ויאמר חרבונה אחד מן הסריסים לפני המלך גם הנה העץ אשר עשה המן למרדכי אשר דבר טוב על המלך עמד בבית המן גבה חמשים אמה ויאמר המלך תלהו עליו׃
ויתלו את המן על העץ אשר הכין למרדכי וחמת המלך שככה׃
[46], Septuagint, Esther 7. The Greek of verses 6 and 7 are as follows:
9 εἶπεν δὲ βουγαθαν εἷς τῶν εὐνούχων πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα ἰδοὺ καὶ ξύλον ἡτοίμασεν αμαν μαρδοχαίῳ τῷ λαλήσαντι περὶ τοῦ βασιλέως καὶ ὤρθωται ἐν τοῖς αμαν ξύλον πηχῶν πεντήκοντα εἶπεν δὲ ὁ βασιλεύς σταυρωθήτω ἐπ' αὐτοῦ 10 καὶ ἐκρεμάσθη αμαν ἐπὶ τοῦ ξύλου ὃ ἡτοίμασεν μαρδοχαίῳ καὶ τότε ὁ βασιλεὺς ἐκόπασεν τοῦ θυμοῦ
[47] Perseus Word Study Tool, σταυρωθήτω (staurôthêtô) 3rd person singular aorist imperative passive of the verb σταυρόω (stauroô), "fence with pales". Estimated to be written in the late 2nd to early 1st century CE, the Septuagint edition of Esther and the additions thereto, fall between the previous and next extant utilisation of the verb σταυρόω (stauroô).

  • The previous: Polybius (200-118 BCE) Histories 1.86.4-6 (Greek) (English): μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα προσαγαγόντες πρὸς τὰ τείχη τοὺς περὶ τὸν Σπένδιον αἰχμαλώτους ἐσταύρωσαν ἐπιφανῶς. "When this was done they [Carthaginian troops under Hannibal] brought the captives taken from the army of Spendius and crucified [paled] them in the sight of the enemy." The event took place 238 BCE, I doubt the Carthaginians nailed Spendius to a cross. The more likely type of 'crucifixion' was a 'plie-driving', i.e., impaling. As far as I know, the extant text prior Polybius we have the verb in is Thucydides (460-395 BCE) The Peloponnesian War 7.25 (English)(Greek) where the Syracusians and Athenians were having it out at Meagra (or Plemmyrium) Harbor where in line 7, the Syracusans drove piles, the verb conjugate is ἐσταύρωσαν (estaurôsan): δ᾽ αὖθις οἱ Συρακόσιοι ἐσταύρωσαν "although the Syracusians drove in others" meaning other pilings - σταυροῦν  (stauroun). (Yes, i know the accusative plural doesn't appear there, but I showed it here anyway.)  
  • The next: Diodorus Siculus (70-20 BCE) Library of History, 16.61.2 (Greek)(English) Ὀνόμαρχος διαδεξάμενος τὴν τῶν ἀπονοηθέντων στρατηγίαν μετὰ τῶνσυμπαραταξαμένων ἐν Θετταλίᾳ Φωκέων καὶ μισθοφόρων κατακοπεὶς ἐσταυρώθη. "Onomarchus, after taking over the command of his people, now become desperate, was cut to pieces in a battle in Thessaly, along with the Phocians and mercenaries of his command, and crucified [paled]." Event is 352 BCE, earlier than that of Spendius being supposedly 'nailed to a cross'. Further, it is impossible to nail a dismembered body to a cross. The obvious post-dismemberment suspension of a body would be impaling. For indeed, in Library 24.1 (English)(Greek) we have a scene where Romans blocked the channels to Lilybaeum Harbor (241 BCE), the verb conjugate utilised for "blocked" is ἐσταύρωσαν (estaurôsan): καί ξύλοις μεγίστοις καί ἀγκύραις τὰ βάθη ἐσταύρωσαν "they blocked the channels with huge timbers and anchors".
[48], Latin Vulgate, Esther 7. The Latin of verses 9 and 10 read as follows:
9 dixitque Arbona unus de eunuchis qui stabant in ministerio regis en lignum quod paraverat Mardocheo qui locutus est pro rege stat in domo Aman habens altitudinis quinquaginta cubitos cui dixit rex adpendite eum in eo 10 suspensus est itaque Aman in patibulo quod paraverat Mardocheo et regis ira quievit
[49] Perseus Digital Library, Josephus Antiquities 11,6,11. The Greek text of the bulk of line 266 and line 167 is as follows:
266 καὶ Σαβουζάνης ὁ εὐνοῦχος παρελθὼν κατηγόρει τοῦ Ἀμάνου, ὡς εὕροι σταυρὸν ἐπὶ τῆς οἰκίαςαὐτοῦ παρεσκευασμένον ἐπὶ Μαρδοχαῖον τοῦτο γὰρ αὐτῷ πυνθανομένῳτὸν οἰκέτην εἰπεῖν, ὅτε καλέσων αὐτὸν ἐπὶ τὸ δεῖπνον ἔλθοι πρὸς αὐτόν. εἶναι δὲ τὸν σταυρὸν ἔλεγεν ἑξήκοντα πήχεων τὸ ὕψος. 267 ὁ δὲ βασιλεὺς ἀκούσας οὐκ ἄλλῃ τιμωρίᾳ περιβάλλειν ἔκρινεν τὸν Ἀμάνην ἢ τῇ κατὰ Μαρδοχαίου νενοημένῃ, καὶ κελεύει παραχρῆμα αὐτὸν ἐξ ἐκείνου τοῦ σταυροῦ κρεμασθέντα ἀποθανεῖν.
[50] Perseus Greek Word Study Tool: καὶ (kai), conjunction, "and"; κελεύει (keleuei), verb 3rd person singular present indicative active, "orders"; παραχρῆμα (parachrêma), adverb, "straightaway"; αὐτὸν (auton), adj singular masculine accusative, "him"; ἐξ (eks), preposition, "from = on*"; ἐκείνου (ekeinou), adjective singular masculine genitive, "the one there, that one**"; τοῦ (tou), article singular masculine genetive, "the"; σταυροῦ (staurou), article singular masculine genetive, "pole, pale, cross" κρεμασθέντα (kremasthenta), participle singular aorist passive masculine accusative of the verb κρεμάννυμι, "hanged";
ἀποθανεῖν (apothanein), verb aortive infinitive passive, "to be killed".
* The LSJ, Middle Liddell and Autenrieth lexica note that with verbs of rest implying previous motion, ἐξ is to be interpreted as in, or on, of, upon, over, or from. With hanging, the interpretation appears to be "on," like hanging a lyre on a peg.
** Whiston interprets the phrase ἐξ ἐκείνου (ek ekeinou) as the adverbial "after that manner", except according to the LSJ and Middle Liddell lexica, the feminine dative form  ἐκείνῃ (ekeinê) is used to denote "in that manner". The phrase ἐξ ἐκείνου (ek ekeinou) can also be interpreted as "from that time" or "in consequence" as in Xenophon, Agesilaus 1,17, except it is immediately followed by τοῦ σταυροῦ in Josephus and Xenophon does not have an indirect object following the phrase. Which is why I believe ἐξ ἐκείνου τοῦ σταυροῦ (eks ekeinou tou staurou) should could be translated as "on that pale there." Also valid is "in consequence of the pole" that Haman planted. 
[51] Chapman, p. 165. Chapman cites this as an example of crucifixion imagery. Yet anyone familiar with the writings of Seneca Minor knows that the Romans ~ or at least Barbarians round about ~ also crucified by simple direct impalement (Dialogus 6 (de Consolatione), 20, 3).
[52] Tagged, The Tanakh, Esther 8.
[53], Esther 8:7, Hebrew. The full text of verse 7 is as follows:
ויאמר המלך אחשורש לאסתר המלכה ולמרדכי היהודי הנה בית המן נתתי לאסתר ואתו תלו על העץ על אשר שלח ידו ביהודיים׃
[54], Septuagint, Esther 8. The Greek text of verse 7 reads:
καὶ εἶπεν ὁ βασιλεὺς πρὸς εσθηρ εἰ πάντα τὰ ὑπάρχοντα αμαν ἔδωκα καὶ ἐχαρισάμην σοι καὶ αὐτὸν ἐκρέμασα ἐπὶ ξύλου ὅτι τὰς χεῖρας ἐπήνεγκε τοῖς ιουδαίοις τί ἔτι ἐπιζητεῖς
[55], Latin Vulgate, Esther 8. The Latin of verse 7 reads as follows:
responditque rex Asuerus Hester reginae et Mardocheo Iudaeo domum Aman concessi Hester et ipsum iussi adfigi cruci qui ausus est manum in Iudaeos mittere
[56] Tagged, The Tanakh, Esther 9.
[57], Esther 9:13 and 9:14, Hebrew. The lines are as follows:
ותאמר אסתר אם על המלך טוב ינתן גם מחר ליהודים אשר בשושן לעשות כדת היום ואת עשרת בני המן יתלו על העץ׃ויאמר המלך להעשות כן ותנתן דת בשושן ואת עשרת בני המן תלו׃
[58], Septuagint, Esther 9. The Greek of verses 13 and 14 read:
13 καὶ εἶπεν εσθηρ τῷ βασιλεῖ δοθήτω τοῖς ιουδαίοις χρῆσθαι ὡσαύτως τὴν αὔριον ὥστε τοὺς δέκα υἱοὺς κρεμάσαι αμαν 14 καὶ ἐπέτρεψεν οὕτως γενέσθαι καὶ ἐξέθηκε τοῖς ιουδαίοις τῆς πόλεως τὰ σώματα τῶν υἱῶν αμαν κρεμάσαι
[59], Latin Vulgate, Esther 9. The Latin of verses 13 and 14 read as follows:
13 cui illa respondit si regi placet detur potestas Iudaeis ut sicut hodie fecerunt in Susis sic et cras faciant et decem filii Aman in patibulis suspendantur 14 praecepitque rex ut ita fieret statimque in Susis pependit edictum et decem Aman filii suspensi sunt 
[60] Chapman, p. 167
[61] Jastrow, p. 1364, entry קיסא (qisa) "rough edge; twig, chip, wood; tree; gallows".
[62] Jastrow, p. 1282, entries  צלב (tzaluv) "to hang, impale", from which is derived the noun צליבא (tzaliba). The same noun צליבא is used to denote Haman's infamous stake in Tg. Esther II 7:10.
[63], Esther 9:25, Hebrew. The Hebrew reads as follows:
ובבאה לפני המלך אמר עם הספר ישוב מחשבתו הרעה אשר חשב על היהודים על ראשו ותלו אתו ואת בניו על העץ׃
[64], Septuagint, Esther 9. The Greek of verse 25 is as follows:
καὶ ὡς εἰσῆλθεν πρὸς τὸν βασιλέα λέγων κρεμάσαι τὸν μαρδοχαῖον ὅσα δὲ ἐπεχείρησεν ἐπάξαι ἐπὶ τοὺς ιουδαίους κακά ἐπ' αὐτὸν ἐγένοντο καὶ ἐκρεμάσθη αὐτὸς καὶ τὰ τέκνα αὐτοῦ

Which translates, "And as he went in to the King, asking to hang up Mordechai, but how great (a thing) he put his hand to bring upon the Jews the wickedness became reversed upon him and he was hanged, and also his offspring."
[65], Latin Vulgate, Esther 9. The Latin of verse 25 is as follows:
et postea ingressa est Hester ad regem obsecrans ut conatus eius litteris regis irriti fierent et malum quod contra Iudaeos cogitaverat reverteretur in caput eius denique et ipsum et filios eius adfixerunt cruci 
[66] Chapman, p. 169
[67] Jastrow, p. 603, entry יתד (yi-ted)
[68] Chapman, p. 161
[69] Chapman, p. 163

Next: I will have something for Mr. Stephen E. Jones who writes "Jesus is Jehovah!" and who thinks Pontius Pilate had Jesus nailed on a tropaeum, known to us as a two-beam cross.

Gods and Goddesses willing, especially Lady Luck, the Goddess of Random chance.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Impalements in Antiquity (4D)

WARNING!: This post may be upsetting to some.

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

Previous in this series:

Part 14C Impalements in Antiquity (4C).
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
Part 1.

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

A. Recap.

In Part 14A I discussed the inscriptions on the Behistun inscription and concluded that when the writings mentioned an impalement, the actual verbiage meant "I raised [so-and-so] up on the wood". Some scholars interpreted that as crucified, in the limited modern sense, others interpreted that as impale, in the cruel and unusual sense that Vlad Tepes is infamous for. When we checked the ancient Greek and Roman writers Herodotus (484 - 425 BCE), Thucydides (460 - 395 BCE) and Plutarch (40 - 120 CE), we find that they are basically in agreement that the Medes and the Persians impaled people, either simply and directly, or by lifting someone up on a beam and parking them on the top point of the pale, or probably both. Now we will confirm whether this is true or not by tracking extant sources on the execution of Polycrates of Samos and see if they mention crucifixion, or impalement. So without further ado, let us examine the case of Polycrates.

B. Greek and Roman Writers.

B.5. Polycrates of Samos.

B.5.1. Herodotus. (484 - 425 BCE)

Our first source, which we already quoted in Part 14B, Herodotus describes the manner of Polycrates' Death. My conclusion was, he perished while he was being impaled upon the ground, and after that he was lifted up with the pale inside him, and the pale planted in the ground.

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.[1]
Now I have already told you that the LSJ and Middle Liddell lexica tells us that in the Classic Greek that the Greek ἀνασταυρόω and ἀνασκολοπίζω were identical in meaning: "fix on a pole, impale". [2]

Now let's look at how other Greek and Roman writers viewed it.

B.5.2. Cicero. (106 - 43 BCE)

The second one we shall look at is Cicero, since he is the next one to write about Polycrates' fate. Cicero's passage is a bit longwinded, so I'll boldface the pertinent subpassage. Here we go:
O Earth, believe me, the scale will weigh down the land and the seas. It is a universal rule that any whole takes its name from its most prominent and preponderant part. We say that a man is a cheerful fellow; but if he is once in rather low spirits, has he therefore lost his title to cheerfulness forever? Well the rule was not applied to Marcus Crassius, who according to Lucullus laughed but but once in his life; that one exception did not prevent his being called agelastos, as Lucullus has it. Polycrates of Samos was called 'the fortunate'. Not a single untoward circumstance had befallen him, except that he had overthrown his favourite ring at sea. Did that single annoyance make him unfortunate?. and did he become fortunate again when the very same ring was found in a fish's belly? But Polycrates, if he was foolish, (which he certainly was, since he was a tyrant) was never happy; if wise, he was not miserable even when he was crucified (in crucem actus est) by Oretes, the satrap of Darius. 'But,' you say, 'many evils befell him! Who denies it? but those evils were eclipsed by the magnitude of his virtue.

Cicero, de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum 5.92 (a.k.a. 5.30.92), H. Rackham, tr. [3]
Now the phrase translated by H. Rackham as crucified is in crucem actus est. It does not necessarily mean strictly crucified! The Latin trasliterates as "he was driven to / onto a cross / stake". [4] Since we have already seen that in the Classic Greek ἀνασταυρόω meant "impale", Cicero, more than likely in my opinion, is stating here that Polycretes was "driven onto a stake", i.e., impaled.

B.5.3. Valerius Maximus. (fl. 14 - 37 CE)

Next is Velerius Maximus, who wrote in the early to mid of the First Century CE. Here is what he has to say:. (Bear with me, this is my translation, I couldn't find an English translation online. Again, it is long.)
The conspicuous good fortune with the highest abundance of good things constantly inspired envy of the king of Samos, Polycrates, and not without cause: namely all his struggles were relieved by a peaceful journey, his hopes attained to a certain reward for a much longed-for circumstance in life, his vows were publicly proclaimed and likewise fulfilled, and it was ordained that to wish and to be able [were] on an equal footing. While others were assessing his expression one time, he changes it, from the roughness of shaking speech to extremely brief sadness, then while seeing that excessively pleasing (to him) ring of industry, not all men would disagree without knowing, he cast into the depths of the sea. Yet which he recovered forthwith from a catched fish, who had swallowed it. But that, of which Providence always satisfied with prosperity held a curse. Orontes [sic] the prefect of Darius the king fixed him on a cross / impaled him on a stake (cruci adfixit) on the highest of the Mycalenian range, from which his rotting arms and legs wet with the wasting away of his blood and that on his left side, to which Neptune had restored the ring from the hand of the fisherman, with the better situation [of] slavery he had oppressed exhausted Samos for some time, freed and with glad eyes they beheld the sight.

Valerius Maximus, Factorum et Dictorum Memorabilium 6,9, ext. 5 [5][6]
Now in Vaerius Maximus the type of tortuous execution is not as clear. The Latin phrase, cruci adfixit, "affixed to a cross or a stake" [7] is just as clear as mud. Now the Latin for "his rotting arms and legs wet with the wasting away of his blood" reads: e qua putres eius artus et tabido cruore manantia membra, which transliterates as: "out of - which - rotting - of him - arms - and - with wasting away - with blood - being wet lower limbs". Based on the structure of Latin, the conjunction et appears to separate two separate phrases so that it could translate as, instead: "from which his rotting arms and [his] legs being wet with the wasting away with blood". Which connotes an impalement here. But if not an impalement, Vaerius Maximum would then be projecting the full-blown Roman crucifixion, the cornu included, which sometimes transpierced the abdominal wall (Lucan, Pharsalia 6.543-553, Latin text). Otherwise, how would the blood get all over his legs?

B.5.4. Philo. (20-50 CE)

The next writer we have is Philo and he wrote of how the soul of Polycrates was impaled before his body was.
'For in the case of Polycrates, when for his dreadful deeds of injustice and impiety he met with a requital in the worse misery of his subsequent life----to which you must add how he was punished by the great king, and was impaled, in fulfilment of an oracle,----"I know," said he, "that not long ago I seemed to see myself being anointed by the sun and washed by Zeus."20 For these enigmatical utterances expressed in figurative language, though originally obscure, received the most manifest confirmation through the facts which followed.

'And not only at the end, but throughout his whole life from the beginning, he had been unconscious that his soul was impaled before his body was: for he was worried by perpetual fear and trembling at the multitude of those who were plotting against him, and well knew that he had not one friend, but only enemies implacable because of their misery.

20 Herodotus, Histories, 3,125,3-4

Philo, De Providentia, frg. 2.24f, E.H. Gifford, tr. [8]
Now here Philo uses an unusual verb for the first instance of "was impaled" in line 24: προσηλοῦτο, possibly a conjugate of both προσελαύνω "drive" and προσηλόω "nail, fix, rivet" with the latter much more likely. [9] The second instance of "was impaled" he uses, κρεμάμενος, derived from κρεμάννυμι and κρεμάω, "hang (by any means)". [10] So Philo depicts Polycrates as nailed and hanging. Now Philo has used the verb ἀνασκολοπίζω "impale, thorn up" elsewhere, as I have shown before here. In that Part 13A I have noted that Philo was projecting Roman crucifixion onto the impalements by the Egyptians. Now if he was projecting back to the very ancient Egypt of the Pharoahs, he's probably projecting the same kind of crucifixion back to Polycrates' death as well.

Can we actually know if Philo understands Roman crucifixion as a form of impalement, or "up-thorning"? Indeed we can! Here is what he has to say about the type of torture device the cross (crux, not tropaeum) was like back in his day:
After they were scourged, and tortured, and after every outrage they in their bodies could possibly endure, where the crux was their final and reserved / seated punishment.

Philo, Flaccus 72 [11]
Now the last phrase, "where the crux is their final and reserved / seated punishment", ή τελευταία καί έφεδρος τιμωρία σταυρός ην, uses for the adjective "reserved / seated", έφεδρος. [12] In the Modern Greek, it is a noun and means "reserve". But note that the word έφεδρος was used in the Koine Greek not just as an adjective but also as a noun and meant not just as "reserved" in the sense of an athlete sitting by to await his turn, but also as in sitting or seated upon, as a seat or a bench, and as the horse-tail plant. Now the horse-tail plant was called έφεδρον (accusative) "one being seated" in Pliny's Natural History. Therefore a crucified person could be an 'έφεδρον' also. And since that is the case shown in pictorial epigraphy, the cross would be equipped with its acuta crux, essentially a σκολοψ "thorn", for a seating device, so in essence the Greek phrase έφεδρος τιμωρία has a double meaning here: reserved penalty or seated penalty (i.e., equipped with a "seat").

And so we have evidence here that Philo understood Roman style crucifixion as with a cornu, where one was suspended, nailed, and "seated", that is, mini-impaled, and projected it back onto Polycrates' impalement. Yet the translator of the text into English, E.H. Gifford, was, I believe, quite right in translating the verbs Philo used as "was impaled".[9][10]

B.5.5. Dio Chrystostom. (40 - 120 CE)

This writer also has written about Polycrates and his death:
As a further illustration take Polycrates: They say that so long as he was ruler of Samos alone he enjoyed the greatest felicity of any man in the whole world; but that when he wished to meddle somewhat in the affairs of the people of the opposite mainland and sailed across for the purpose of getting money from Orestes, he met with no easy death, but was impaled by that barbarian prince and thus perished.

These instances, in order that they be warning examples to you, I have taken not only from exceedingly ancient, but also from subsequent times, and as related both in poetry and in narrative prose.

Dio Chrystostom, Discourses 17,15, Loeb Classical Library [13]
Now here the verb for "was impaled" is ἀνασκολοπισθέντα, recognizably a conjugate of ἀνασκολοπίζω, "fix on a pole, impale." [2] So here we see that dio Chrystostom likely saw Polycrates' death as a simple direct impalement.

B.5.6. Fronto. (100-170 CE)

The next writer we have is Fronto, who lived 100-170 CE. He uses recognisably crucifixion verbiage for what Oroetes did to Polycrates. Unfortunately, his anecdote is now fragmentary. But scholars were able to rebuild the English translation:
But the daughter of Polycrates had previously had a remarkable dream. She had seemed to see her father, raised aloft in an open and conspicuous place, being washed and annointed by the hands of Jupiter and the Sun. The diviners read the dream as fortelling a rich and happy future. But it turned out entirely otherwise. For Polycrates, beguiled by Oroetes the persian, was captured and crucified [or impaled]. And so his dream was fulfilled in his torture. For he was laved by Jove's hands when it rained, and anointed by the hands of the Sun, where the dew of agony came out upon his skin. Such prosperous beginnings as his have not seldom a disasterous ending. There should be no exultation over excessive and prolonged prosperity, no fainting away when a reverse has been sustained. You may soon hope for a victory, for Rome in her history experienced reversals of fortune.

M. Cornelius Fronto, "Epistulae de bello Parthico" 6 [14]
The Latin for "was crucified [or impaled]" is in crucem sublatus est, "was lifted up onto the crux", crux meaning a cross (a male one, of course) or stake. [15] Here Fronto could be projecting the Roman method back onto the Persian practice, but then again, like the other Greek and Latin writers, he probably was not unfamiliar with Barbarian practices, which both the Greeks and the Romans tended to play up whilst downplaying their own obscene and atrocious death penalty. [16]

And of course, as I have told you all before, there is a magical amulet that portrays Jesus Christ either crucified on a T-cross equipped with a cornu, or suspended by a horizontal beam and impaled on a stake.

This one.

Source: British Museum.

B.5.7. Lucian of Samosata. (120-180 CE)

Okay, this will be the last one. After Lucian, there are no more ancient historical writers that I know of who take up the history of Polycrates' sudden and most unfortunate death. Here is what Lucian has to say:
13fin Charon. What fun! Why, at this moment no one would presume to meet their eyes; from such a height do they look down on the rest of mankind. Who would believe that before long one of them will be a captive, and the other have his head in a bottle of blood?-- 14 But who is that in the purple robe, Hermes?--the one with the diadem? His cook has just been cleaning a fish, and is now handing him a ring,--'in yonder sea-girt isle'; '’tis, sure, some king.'

Hermes. Ha, ha! A parody, this time.-- That is Polycrates, tyrant of Samos. He is extremely well pleased with his lot: yet that slave who now stands at his side will betray him to the satrap Oroetes, and he will be crucified [impaled]. It will not take long to overturn his prosperity, poor man! This, too, I had from Clotho.

Lucian of Samosata, Charon 13fin, 14 [17]
Now what Lucian uses here for "he will be crucified" (and I added "impaled" in brackets) is the word ἀνασκολοπισθήσεται "he will be impaled", a conugate of ἀνασκολοπίζω, "impale". [2][18] Yet Lucian is perfectly familiar with the Roman method of crucifixion as demonstrated in In the Court of the Vowels (where he indicates tyrants built T-shaped contraptions called σταυροί - pl. of σταυρός - and impaled men upon them) and Prometheus on Caucasus (in the latter he uses an immense variety of verbs) and elsewhere. Even in The Death of Peregrine, in both passages where he mentions the crucifixion of the founder of the Christian cult (Jesus Christ, whose name Lucian did not know otherwise he would have mentioned it). [19][20] In those places, when he employs the verb ἀνασκολοπίζω, the translators translated it as "crucified" despite the fact that in the Classic and early Koine Greek and the Modern, and probably also the Byzantine, the verb means "impale." So what was going on in the mid and late Koine Greek era until Constantine abolished the practice? Obviously, the Romans developed their standard, or typical, crucifixion method so it included all the elements that the Greeks described with their various verbs that originally described different penal suspensions, including impalement or mini-impalement on something pointed and vertical. Yet the image of the magical amulet above indicates that Lucian may not have known whether the same founder was actually crucified or differently impaled while suspended from an overhead beam.

So it is entirely possible that Lucian knew that Polycrates was not crucified by the Persian Oroetes, but rather, impaled.

B.6. Conclusion.

After looking at the nine known Greek and Roman authors, an apparent divergence appears: the earlier the earlier authors, Herodotus, Thucydides, Cicero, probably Valerius Maximus, and Dio Chrystostom, use language that strongly indicates that the Persians suspended and executed Polycrates by impalement. Philo, Fronto and Lucian may have known that the Persians impaled Polycrates, but they use terminology that indicates that they were familiar with the typical Roman method of execution by crucifixion. Yet, one has to remember that the Romans themselves sometimes impaled people on simple pointed states, too, especially if they were rushed for time (Seneca, De Consolatione 20,3; De Ira 1,2,2; and Epistles 14,5) So we can conclude that the earlier authors were familiar, or retained in their memory, knowledge that the persions suspended by impalement. The later ones, particularly in the Common Era, we are not sure if they still had the knowledge, or if they were projecting the typical Roman crucifixion back to an earlier time. Even so, one author, Plutarch, was certainly knowledgeable about the penal bodily suspension of one Massabates.

Next will be the Jewish sources.


[1] 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. ’
[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] Perseus Digital Library Cicero, de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum 5.92. H. Rackham's translation at this Google Books Preview, p. 497. The Latin reads as follows:
terram, mihi crede, ea lanx et maria deprimet. semper enim ex eo, quod maximas partes continet latissimeque funditur, tota res appellatur. dicimus aliquem hilare vivere; ergo, si semel tristior effectus est, hilara vita amissa est? at1 hoc in eo M. Crasso, quem semel ait in vita  risisse  Lucilius, non contigit, ut ea re minus ἀγέλαστος, ut ait idem, vocaretur. Polycratem Samium felicem appellabant. nihil acciderat ei, quod nollet, nisi quod anulum, quo delectabatur, in mari abiecerat. ergo infelix una molestia, felix rursus, cum is ipse anulus in praecordiis piscis inventus est? ille vero, si insipiens—quod certe, quoniam tyrannus—, numquam beatus; si sapiens, ne tum quidem miser, cum ab Oroete, praetore Darei, in crucem actus est. At multis malis affectus. Quis negat? sed ea mala virtutis magnitudine obruebantur.
[4] Whittaker's Words, in crucem actus est. Also Perseus Latin Word Study Tool, in "to, into", crucem "cross, stake", actus "driven", and est "is".
in - preposition, const. with the accusative, means: to, toward; into, onto, up to, down to, over to (with final entry or contact implied).

crucem - singular noun, accusative (direct object) case for crux, means: cross, stake. I have already shown in Part 3 that outside of execution devices, executions and torture, a literal crux was typically long and cylindrical, and that even Priapus' schlong was considered one which rude writers said impaled (buggered) common garden and farm-field thieves.

actus - verb-participle singular perfect passive masculine nominative of ago, means: drive, put in motion, lead, conduct, impel press onwards; move, impel, push forwards, advance, carry to/toward, drive.

est - verb 3rd person singular present indicative active, means "is". When constructed with the verb participle actus, the phrase actus est is a verb-phrase 3rd person singular perfect indicative passive meaning: was driven (etc).
[5] The Latin Library, Valerius Maximus, Factorum et Dictorum Memorabilium 6,9, ext. 5. The Latin text reads as follows:
6.9.ext.5 Ad inuidiam usque Polycratis Samiorum tyranni abundantissimis bonis conspicuus uitae fulgor excessit, nec sine causa: omnes enim conatus eius placido excipiebantur itinere, spes certum cupitae rei fructum adprehendebant, uota nuncupabantur simul et soluebantur, uelle ac posse in aequo positum erat. semel dumtaxat uultum mutauit, perquam breui tristitiae salebra succussum, tunc cum admodum gratum sibi anulum de industria in profundum, ne omnis incommodi expers esset, abiecit. quem tamen continuo recuperauit capto pisce, qui eum deuorauerat. sed hunc, cuius felicitas semper plenis uelis prosperum cursum tenuit, Orontes Darii regis praefectus in excelsissimo Mycalensis montis uertice cruci adfixit, e qua putres eius artus et tabido cruore manantia membra atque illam laeuam, cui Neptunus anulum piscatoris manu restituerat, situ marcidam Samos, amara seruitute aliquamdiu pressa, liberis ac laetis oculis aspexit.
[6] My translation can be compared with this one: Valerius Maximus, Memorable Deeds and Sayings, One Thousand Tales from Ancient Rome, John Henry Walker, tr. Indianapolis, Hackett Publishing Co., Inc., (2004), 6.9.ext.5 (pp. 233-4)
Polycrates the tyrant of Samos was renowned for his excessive wealth and the brilliance of his lifestyle inspired envy but not without reason. Polycrates was able to achieve all his goals in an effortless manner.; if he hoped for something, he had exactly what his heart desired, as soon as he made a prayer for something, he had to thank the gods for fulfilling it. for Polycrates, wanting something and being able to get it were identical. His expression changed only once, when he was jolted by a small bump of sorrow. This when he deliberately threw hi favourite ring into the sea so that he wuold not be completely inexperienced in misfortune. But he goy it back at once because someone had caught a fish that had swallowed the ring. His happiness kept on its straight course of prosperity with all its sails spread out to the wind.

But Orontes, the governor of king Darius, crucified darius on the highest peak of Mt. Mycale, and there the people of Samos could see his rotting limbs, his body covered with festering blood, and his decaying left hand, which had worn the ring that Neptune sent back to him through the fisherman. The people of Samos had been oppressed by the tyranny of Polycrates for a long time and they gazed at the sight with free and happy eyes.
[7] Whittaker's Words, cruci adfixit. Also Perseus Latin Word Study Tool, cruci "on a cross or stake", adfixit "affix as a brand [or addition]"
cruci - noun singular dative (indirect object) case of crux, meaning "a cross or stake"

adfixit - verb 3rd person singular perfect indicative active of adfigo, meaning: (Lewis and Short) "fix or fasten to or upon, affix, annex, attach to, imprint or impress on, join to, situate close to (with ad or dative)"; (Whittaker's Words) fasten, fix, pin or attach to (with dative), annex, impress, pierce [on], chain [to], confine [in]"
[8] Philo, De Providentia, frg. 2.24f ; quoted in Eusebius, Praeparatio evangelica, VIII, 14, 386 – 399. (Christian Classics Ethereal Library) The Greek text (at Documenta Catholica Omnia) is as follows:
24. Ἐπεὶ Πολυκράτει γε, ἐφ’ οἷς δεινοῖς ἠδίκησε καὶ ἠσέβησε, χορηγὸς ἀπήντησε, χείρων μὲν ἡ τοῦ βίου βαρυδαιμονία· πρόσθες δ’ ὡς ὑπὸ μεγάλου βασιλέως ἐκολάζετο, καὶ προσηλοῦτο, χρησμὸν ἐκπιπλάς. Οἶδα, ἔφη, κἀμαυτὸν οὐ πρὸ πολλοῦ θεωρῆσαι δόξαντα ὑπὸ μὲν ἡλίου ἀλείφεσθαι, λούεσθαι δ’ ὑπὸ Διός. αἱ γὰρ διὰ συμβόλων αἰνιγματώδεις αὗται φάσεις, ἀδηλούμεναι τὸ πάλαι, τὴν διὰ τῶν ἔργων ἀριδηλοτάτην ἐλάμβανον πίστιν.

25. οὐκ ἐπὶ τελευτῇ δὲ μόνον, ἀλλὰ παρὰ πάντα τὸν ἐξ ἀρχῆς βίον, ἐλελήθει πρὸ τοῦ σώματος τὴν ψυχὴν κρεμάμενος. αἰεὶ γὰρ φοβούμενος καὶ τρέμων τὸ πλῆθος τῶν ἐπιτιθεμένων ἐπτόητο, σαφῶς ἐξεπιστάμενος ὅτι εὔνους μὲν ἦν οὐδείς, ἐχθροὶ δὲ πάντες δυσπραξίᾳ ἀμείλικτοι.
[9] Perseus Word Study Tool, προσηλόω. The word Philo uses, προσηλοῦτο, is the3rd person singular imperfect indicative middle-passive conjugate. Verb conjugations can be found at the Institute of Biblical Greek website, here.

The detailed LSJ and Middle Liddel listings for προσελαύνω "drive" indicates that the sort of driving meant is driving or chasing animals, driving a chariot, riding towards or up to somewhere, riding the cavalry, marching up, arriving.

The respective detailed listings for προσηλόω "nail, rivet, fix" is strongly dominated by various permutations of nailing: crucifying, fastening with nails, the metaphorical fixing of the soul, nailing up, boarding up. Although in the Latin, clavus "nail" could have been an euphemism for the phallus, such as clavus cupidinis "Cupid's rudder / nail, spike of love" (Plautus Asinaria 1,3,4; Sacred Texts Internet Archive, Alphabetical list of additional terms used by Latin Writers, Keith Preston, Studies in the Diction of the Sermo Amatorius in Roman Comedy, Menasha, Wisc., George Banta Publishing Company 1956, p.48).  For the Roman crux, the word clavus could have referred to the cornu of the structure as well as each of the metallic nails -- a kind of tree-nail, so to speak. After all, the Ethiopian Coptic Christians were found to have had a tradition of the five nails of the cross that are named with the words of the Sator Square (Duncan Fishwick, "An Early Christian Cryptogram?" CCHA, Report, 26 (1956), 29-41). Posted here, scroll about 1/6th of the way down). Ditto a kinsword to ἧλος, "a nail, wart, callus, stud", which would be the Greek κέντρον "any sharp point". It, of course, was another euphemism for the phallus.(Keith Preston, p. 47). It was also used in in a reference to criminals being crucified, where the end result of crucifixion was considered the fate of the impaled. (Pseudo-Manetho, Apotelesmatica 4,198, quoted in Martin Hengel, John Bowden, tr., Crucifixion, Philadelphia, Fortress press (1977), p.9) Doubtless, the word κέντρον (in plural dative case κέντροισι) referred to the cornu.

[10] Perseus Word Study Tool, κρεμάμενος, "hanging". This word is the verb-participle singular present middle-passive masculine nominative conjugate of both κρεμάννυμι and κρεμάω, both of which mean "hang". Any method of hanging is appropriate, including crucifixion and impalement (for which last we have at the very least Herodotus Histories 3,124-5 and 7,194,1-2; and Didorus Siculus Library of History, 16,35,6, cf. 16,61,2).

[11] Philo, In Flaccum 72. The Greek Text reads as follows:
έμαστιγουντο, έτροχίζοντο, καί μετά πάσας τάς αίκίας, όσας έδύνατο χωρησαι τά σώματα αύτοις, ή τελευταία καί έφεδρος τιμωρία σταυρός ην.
[12] Perseus Word Study Tool, έφεδρος "sitting". Adjective singular masculine nominative. The Middle Liddell has the following information:
I. sitting or seated upon, c. gen. έφεδρου, e.g. on horseback; II sitting by or at, 2 posted in support or reserve, 3 lying by or sitting by, 4 successor.
The Slater has this:
the third menber in a competition who waits to fight the winner among two others.
The LSJ has the same but in more detail:
A sitting or seated upon, c. gen.; 2 firm seat or bench, acc. έφεδρον; 3 horse-tail plant, acc. έφεδρον (Pliny Elder NH 26,83,133 says the equistaeum is called ίππουρις "horsetail", έφεδρον "one being seated" and άναβασις "mounting on horseback" by the Greeks ); II sitting at, by, near; 2 posted in support or reserve, 3 lying by and watching, waiting on, upon, or for, 4 who sits by to fight the conquerer [i.e., victor in a fight], μόνος ών έφεδρος, one being seated against two with no-one to take his place if beaten, 5 one who waits to take another's place, a successor.
[13] Lacus-Curtius, Dio Chrystostom, Discourses 17.15; Perseus Digital Library, Dio Chrystostom, Orationes, 67.15. The Greek text reads as follows:
καὶ μὴν Πολυκράτην φασίν, ἕως μὲν Σάμου μόνης ἦρχεν, εὐδαιμονέστατον ἁπάντων γενέσθαι: βουλόμενον δέ τι καὶ τῶν πέραν πολυπραγμονεῖν, διαπλεύσαντα πρὸς Ὀροίτην, ὡς χρήματα λάβοι, μηδὲ ῥᾳδίου γε θανάτου τυχεῖν, ἀλλὰ ἀνασκολοπισθέντα ὑπὸ τοῦ βαρβάρου διαφθαρῆναι. ταῦτα μέν, ἵν' ᾖ παραδείγματα ὑμῖν, ἔκ τε τῶν σφόδρα παλαιῶνκαὶ τῶν μετὰ ταῦτα καὶ τῶν ἐν ποιήμασι καὶ τῶν ἄλλως ίστορουμένων παρήνεγκα
[14], C.R. Haines, "Epistulae de bello parthico" 6, The Correspondence of M. Cornelius Fronto, Cambridge, Mass., Loeb Classical Library (1920, 1988) pp. 26-7;, George Hinge, ed., M. Cornelius Fronto, Epistulae de bello Parthico 7. The fragmented and reconstructed Latin text at each respective site reads as follows (non-italics are reconstructions by the respective editors):
[Haines:] Sed somnium filiae Polycrati jam ante insigne obtigerat: Patrem suum videre sibi visa erat aperto atque edito loco sublimem ungui et lavi Iovis et Solis manibus. Harioli autem laetam et pinguem fortunam portendi eo somnio interpretati. Sed omne contra evenit. Nam deceptus ab Oroete Perse Polycrates captusque in crucem sublatus est. Ita ei crucianti somnium expeditum. Manibus enim Iovis quom Plueret lavabatur, unguebatur Solis, dum ipse e corpore humorem emitteret. Huiuscemodi exorsus felices habent exitum interdum infaustum. Non est exultandum nimia et diutina prosperitate, nec si quid malae pugnae acciderit defetiscendum. Sed victoriam brevi spera, namque semper in rebus gestis Romanis crebrae fortunarum commutationes exstiterunt.

[Hinge:] Sed somnium filiae Polycrati jam ante insigne obtigerat: Patrem suum videre sibi visa erat aperto atque edito loco sublimem ungui et lavi Jovis et Solis manibus. Harioli autem laetam et pinguem fortunam portendier somnio interpretati. Sed omne contra evenit. Nam deceptus ab Oroete Perse Polycrates captusque in crucem sublatus est. Ita ei crucianti somnium expeditum a . . . . . . . . . . . . et . . . . . . . . . . . autur . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . s . . . . . bos . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . hujus fabulae exorsus habent . . . . . . net interdum . . . . . . somin . . us . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . nimia et diutina prosperitate nec, si quid malae pugnae acciderit, defetiscendum, sed victoriam brevi spera, namque semper in rebus gestis Romanis crebrae fortunarum commutationes exstiterunt.
[15] Whittaker's Words, in crucem sublatus est. Also Perseus Latin Word Study Tool, in "to, into", crucem "cross, stake", sublatus "driven", and est "is". Three of these words, we have provided detailed definitions in note [4]. So all we need is sublatus.
sublatus - verb-participle singular perfect masculine nominative of suffero, "hold up, bear, support, sustain", and sustollo, "lift, lift up, take up, raise, raise up, elevate, exalt, weigh anchor, etc." To which, regarding impalement of Roman crucifixion, we can boil it all down to "push up or hoist up". sublatus + est would yield the verb 3rd person singular perfect indicative passive, "was pushed up or hoisted up".
[16] Hengel, p. 23.

[17] Luciani Samosatensis, Opera. Lipsiae, Sumtibus et typis Caroli Tauchnitii (1829), Vol. I, "Ἑρμῆς καὶ Χάρων / Contemplantes", pp 261-284, p. 275.  The Greek text is as follows:
13fin. ΧΑΡ ῏Ω πολλοῦ γέλωτος ἀλλά νῦν τίς ἄν αὐτούς προςβλέψειεν οὕτως ὑπερφρονοῦντας τῶν ἄλλων ἤ τίς ἄν πιστεύσειεν ὡς μετ’ ὀλίγον οὗτος αἰχμάλωτος ἔσται, οὗτος δέ τήν κεφαλήν ἕξει ἐν ἀσκῷ αἵματος; 14. Έκεῖνος δέ τίς ἐστιν ὦ Ἑρμῆ, ὁ τήν πορφυρᾶν ἐφεστρίδα ἐμπεπορπημένος ὁ τό διάδημα ᾧ τόν δακτύλιον ὁ μάγειρος ἀναδίδωσι, τόν ἰχθῦν ἀνατεμών “Νήσῳ ἐν ἀμφιρύτῃ. βασιλεύς δέ τίς εὔχεται εἶναι.”

ΕΡΜ Εὖγε παρῳδεῖς ὦ Χάρων. ἀλλά Πολνχράτην ὁρᾷς τόν Σαμίων τύραννον πανευδαίμονα οἰόμενον εἶναι. ἀτάρ καί οὗτος αὐτός ὑπό τοῦ παρεστῶτος οἰκέτου Μαιανδρίου προδοθείς ᾿Οροίστῃ τῷ σατράπῃ ἀνασκολοπισθήσεται, ἄθλιος ἐκπεσών τῆς εὐδαιμονίας ἐν ἀκαρεῖ τοῦ χρόνου. καί ταῦτα γάρ τῆς Κλωθοῦς ἐπήκουσα.
[18] Perseus Word Study Tool, ἀνασκολοπισθήσεται, "he will be impaled". 3rd person singular future indicative passive of the verb ἀνασκολοπίζω, "impale".

[19] The extant Greek texts of the three works can be found at the Perseus Digital Library, here and here and here.

[20], Secular References to Jesus: Lucian. Website creator and Christian apologist J.P. Holding finds it notable, and so did fellow apologist Craig A. Evans whom he references, that Lucian used "an unusual word to describe crucifixion ('to impale') as evidence of derivation from a non-Christian source."