Roman-Era Frescoes Discovered in the Galilee

Aug. 17 2016

In the town of Sepphoris, thought to be the place where the Mishnah was redacted, archaeologists have unearthed a series of elaborate 2nd-century-CE frescoes unlike anything else found from this time and place. Robin Ngo writes:

Just four miles north of Nazareth, Sepphoris was a thriving urban center during the . . . 1st century CE. With the conclusion of the first Jewish Revolt against Rome in 70 CE, the ancient Jewish historian Josephus reports that the residents of Sepphoris welcomed the Roman garrison [rather than risk destruction by resisting].

Following the revolt, in the late 1st through 3rd centuries, the city experienced a building boom with the construction of . . . public buildings, a marketplace, a theater, an aqueduct system, and public bathhouses. . . .

The fragments [of the newly discovered frescoes] display a variety of bright colors and designs, including geometric and floral patterns. Of special interest are fragments depicting both human and animal figures: a lion, a bird, a tiger, a horned animal—maybe a bull—and a man holding a club. . . .

Who commissioned the building of this monumental structure decorated with colorful frescoes? Was the person Jewish? Roman?

Archaeologists are still seeking answers.

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Read more at Bible History Daily

More about: Ancient Israel, Archaeology, Art, Galilee, History & Ideas, Mishnah

 

Don’t Let Iran Go Nuclear

Sept. 29 2022

In an interview on Sunday, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stated that the Biden administration remains committed to nuclear negotiations with the Islamic Republic, even as it pursues its brutal crackdown on the protests that have swept the country. Robert Satloff argues not only that it is foolish to pursue the renewal of the 2015 nuclear deal, but also that the White House’s current approach is failing on its own terms:

[The] nuclear threat is much worse today than it was when President Biden took office. Oddly, Washington hasn’t really done much about it. On the diplomatic front, the administration has sweetened its offer to entice Iran into a new nuclear deal. While it quite rightly held firm on Iran’s demand to remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from an official list of “foreign terrorist organizations,” Washington has given ground on many other items.

On the nuclear side of the agreement, the United States has purportedly agreed to allow Iran to keep, in storage, thousands of advanced centrifuges it has made contrary to the terms of the original deal. . . . And on economic matters, the new deal purportedly gives Iran immediate access to a certain amount of blocked assets, before it even exports most of its massive stockpile of enriched uranium for safekeeping in a third country. . . . Even with these added incentives, Iran is still holding out on an agreement. Indeed, according to the most recent reports, Tehran has actually hardened its position.

Regardless of the exact reason why, the menacing reality is that Iran’s nuclear program is galloping ahead—and the United States is doing very little about it. . . . The result has been a stunning passivity in U.S. policy toward the Iran nuclear issue.

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Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Iran nuclear deal, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy