Through the times of Pliney , it was interesting that there are only three key figures associated with Christianity. Two have suspect dates associated with their time on earth. They are Polycarp AD 69– 155-160’s Aged between 80 and 90 something ? and had a miracle recorded at death event, Ignatius of Antioch ad c. 35 or 50 – 98 to 117 Aged between 48 and 82 years of age, notable and savage death event and Clement of Rome ( Interestingly Roman emperor Domitian had a cousen named Titus_Flavius_Clemens who was of the same era). Clement was either the 2nd or fourth Pope. I suggest second and that he was the Flavian relative.
Interstingly a person called Irenaeus AD 130 – AD 202 at 72 years of age is our key source that bridges these period and the early Gospels. He seems to become active in this story around 177AD. His works seem to reflect the early works that Saulus produced in terms of communicating with the “Christian” Churches. Could this new surge in Christian writing be when we see the Book of Revelation emerge and has it got anything at all to do with an attempt to grasp an even tighter reign by Rome on their Christian Story. Coincidentally Irenaeus is active after Valentius, a Gnostic Would be Roman Pope was rejected from Rome after a near successful papal campaign that began after the Bar Kokhba revolt AD 136 and end circa AD 160. Also in 166 AD and 189 AD both Papal seats ( Rome AND Alexandria) were simultaneously vacated. This may suggest that their was another power behind the thrones of Christianity.
Pliney the Elder AD 23 – August 25, AD 79 aged 56 Years whilst allegedly trying to save friends affected by Vesuvius . He died the day after the eruption.
Pliney the Younger Circa AD 61 – c. AD 113 aged 52 Years at death.
Lucius Verginius Rufus (AD 15-97) aged 82 years at death following a fall that broke his hip. He became consul in 63 under the emperor Nero at age 38.
Marcus Cocceius Nerva Caesar Augustus; Now as a skilled diplomat and strategist, I suggest he is the lead architect for the creation of Roman Christianities New Testament, the Works of Josephus and the Jesus Miracles. 8 November, 30 AD – 27 January, 98 AD at age 68 years. Achieved two extremely prestigious awards. One under Nero and one under the Flavians. First enters prominence at age 35 in 65 AD. As an advisor to Emperor Nero, he successfully helped detect and expose the Pisonian conspiracy of 65.
Key Roman Emperors, in order of reign, through this time are Nero and the end of the Julio-Claudian Dynasty, The Year of the Four Emperors that last being Vespasian the Beginning of the Flavian Dynasty ( Vespasian , Titus and Domitian Flavius 24 October 51 – 18 September 96 aged 45, Emperor at age 30 in 81 AD ) , Nerva, Trajan.
Notably Domitian does not chose to show his father in his title Titus Flavius Caesar Domitianus Augustus as does his brother Titus Flavius Caesar Vespasianus Augustus . A family relationship problem perhaps.
Scolarships view of credability of reporting by Pliney et al challenged.
Domitian’s reign came to an end in 96 when he was assassinated by court officials. The same day he was succeeded by his advisor Nerva. After his death, Domitian’s memory was condemned to oblivion by the Roman Senate, while senatorial authors such as Tacitus, Pliny the Younger and Suetonius published histories propagating the view of Domitian as a cruel and paranoid tyrant. Modern history has rejected these views, instead characterising Domitian as a ruthless but efficient autocrat whose cultural, economic and political program provided the foundation of the peaceful 2nd century.
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domitian
A quote from Pliney the younger about Pliney the Elder
For my part I deem those blessed to whom, by favour of the gods, it has been granted either to do what is worth writing of, or to write what is worth reading; above measure blessed those on whom both gifts have been conferred. In the latter number will be my uncle, by virtue of his own and of your compositions.
Pliney the Elder’s postumous writings classed as absurd. Interesting.
Pliny’s continuation of Bassus’s History was one of the authorities followed by Suetonius and Plutarch. Tacitus also cites Pliny as a source. He is mentioned concerning the loyalty of Burrus, commander of the Praetorian Guard, whom Nero removed for disloyalty.Tacitus portrays parts of Pliny’s view of the Pisonian conspiracy to kill Nero and make Piso emperor as “absurd” and mentions that he could not decide whether Pliny’s account or that of Messalla was more accurate concerning some of the details of the Year of the Four Emperors. Evidently Pliny’s extension of Bassus extended at least from the reign of Nero to that of Vespasian. Pliny seems to have known it was going to be controversial, as he deliberately reserved it for publication after his death:
It has been long completed and its accuracy confirmed; but I have determined to commit the charge of it to my heirs, lest I should have been suspected, during my lifetime, of having been unduly influenced by ambition. By this means I confer an obligation on those who occupy the same ground with myself; and also on posterity, who, I am aware, will contend with me, as I have done with my predecessors.
Why the Book of revelations is interesting given the Vesuvius event 79AD , The Seven Churches of Christianity that Saulus/Paul addresses in his 7 genuine letters without NT miracles that were penned Circa 51 AD and the Blood up to the Nostrils event recorded in the Jerusalem Talmud 136 AD about the 3rd Judio-Roman WOE named the Bar Kokhba revolt.
More later …
Connecting a few more dots and one very unexpected puzzle.