Greeley Daily Tribune from Greeley, Colorado on April 17, 1973 · Page 13
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Greeley Daily Tribune from Greeley, Colorado · Page 13

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Tuesday, April 17, 1973
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Page 13
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Tues., April 17,1K3 OREELEY (Colo.) TRlbUNE -13 The first challenge of Judea's new governor Editor'! Note:. Thlt ii the first iniUllment of five-purl Enter series about Pontius Pi- lite, the Roman empire's procurator of Judei and the judge at the trial In wliich Jesus was condemned. It is based on recorded history and the Bible, except for secondary mood and conversational incidentals. By GEORGE W. CORNELL AP Religion Writer The.steady pounding of the Mediterranean against the man-made seawall blended now with another massive, surging sound--the footfalls and shouts of angry thousands. Pontius Pilate stepped to an outer balcb- ny and clenched his lips. "Barbarians," he muttered. "These natives need a taste of Etruscan steel." A vast horde of them poured into Rome's provincial capital at Caesarea in Judea, tunneling through the gates, filling the brick streets, converging on the newly appointed procurator's palace. Pilate sent his chamberlain to fetch the garrison military commander. From the gathering, clamorous miltutide, he could hear fragments of their howling. "Abomination! ... Down with the images! ... No heathen idols for us!" Along the coastal road, out of the hills, they streamed, a raging, ragtag flood of them. ' Pilate knew the cause of their uproar, although he hadn't expected its size and fury. He deliberately had ordered the imperial emblems hoisted in Jerusalem, bearing the venerated f images of the Roman emperor ) Tiberius. It was time to make "\ clear to these unruly Jews their ' real sovereign and lord, i t As noted by Flavius Jot sephus, the pro-Roman histo- i rian of that period, Pilate had acted "to abolish Jewish laws" against graven images by brazenly flaunting them and in- troducing the effigies of the deified emperor into the; heart of Jewish life, their holy city of Jerusalem. This harsh step, undertaken stealthily by Pilate's troops under cover of darkness, marked the beginning of his 10-year rule over the occupied colony of Judea in 779 Ab Urbe Condita, "from the founding'of the city" of Rome, 26 A.D. of the modern calendar. ·.' It was just about that time that Jesus of Nazareth started his ministry among the poor of the land, the am-haaretz. "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand," he proclaimed. That kingdom was not, however, the new reign of Pontius Pilate. On the contrary, it was part of a deep-rooted, smouldering religious fire that licked at pagan Rome's domination from the start, including Pilate, finally convulsing the land and permeating the world. Pilate was the fifth of the Roman governors that had ruled in Judea since 6 A.D., when Archelaus, a son of Rome's vassal king, Herod the Great, was deposed in a maelstrom of Jewish insurrection and replaced by prefects of the emperor himself to crush the resistance. It had continued sporadically, however, ever since. Now the newly arrived Roman governor, picked by Tiberius to succeed Valerius Gratus, faced his first brush with native defiance. He was a tough military man, a product of Rome's conquering legions, an officer of the eauestrian rank, second only to the empire's ruling senatorial aristocracy. His cognomen, Pilatus, derived from the pilum, the six- foot Roman spear. In his new assignment, he was "procurator cum potes- tate" with full civil, military and criminal jurisdiction over this province of rebellious Jews. He apparently was recommended for the post by the e m p e r o r ' s p o w e r f u l , anti-Scmetic counselor, Se- janus.. While some modern accounts portray Pilate as concerned with justice, ancient history relates three specific occasions on which he massacred large numbers of people. The Bible mentions another of his mass slaughters and a group of crucifixions. He was finally recalled by the emperor for exessive curelty. Pilate had determined on a Judean policy of iron discipline, of stern measures to impress on these constantly insurgent subjects that Rome was their master, that awe must be shown the emperor, whether they liked it or not. After all, Tiberius himself had laid down the motto: "Let them hate me so long as they fear me." A tribune, commander of Pilate's headquarters cohort, was ushered into the governor's chambers, reporting what Pilate already surmised -- that a huge segment of Jerusalem's people had marched 400 furlongs (about 50 miles) to Caesarea to demand removal of the imperial standards set up in their capital city. "They contend the images of our sacred emperor is contrary to religion," the tribune went on contemptuously. "It doesn't make sense. All Jerusalem is said to be in turmoil." "A pack of crazed jackals," Pilate mused, turning his officer's "vitus" staff in his fingers. A military symbol of discipline, the short, smoothed vine staff often was used on the backs of subordinates. Pilate had kept it from his legion days. "We'll twist their tails," Opera's prime need is strong plot By MARY CAMPBELL AI' Ncwsfcaturcs Writer NEW YORK (AP) -- "A good libretto is almost~a good opera." An unusual'statement for a composer of opera music to make, but it is said by Argentine composer Alberto Ginas- tera, who adds: "The music is more important, but good music with bad libretto is nothing. For me opera is drama and music." Ginastera 's third opera, given its premiere by the Washington Opera Society during Kennedy Center's opening week, is being done for the first time in New York by the New York City Opera this season. Very dramatic, with lots of sex and violence, we recall that Ginastera said before it was completed that it would be. enormously bloody. Was he pleased with the staging? "A little more bloody would be better." Mrs'. Ginastera, translating her husband's Spanish into English when he requests her lo, is cellist Aurora Natola-Gi- nastera. The first lime "Beatrix Cenci" was done in New York she was soloist with (he Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Karl Boehm. "I lived in Geneva almost 20 years," she says. "It is peaceful to work there and I play a lot in Europe and in less than an hour I am anywhere. When I became a widow, I went back to Buenos Aires, my original home, and we met -- we had known each other years ago but not seen each other and in three days decided to get married. I say, 'Well, come and look at Geneva and if you like we stay and if not we move.'" In the nearly two years since Miss Natola and Ginastera, who was divorced, have been married, they have lived in Geneva. Ginastera wrote a cello concerto in 1968 and his wife is eager for him to write another one, for her. "My colleagues are going to be very thankful to me for making him work in that direction. The cello repertoire is small in good things." Will a cello concerto be his next composition? "No." Mrs. Ginastera merrily says, "I have to be on the line, he says." First come two premieres of his works which they will attend this spring, "Piano Concerto No. 2," commissioned by the Indianapolis Symphony for Hildc Somcr, and "Mllcna," a cantata based on Kafka's love letters to Milcnn, by Phyllis Curtln find the Denver Symphony. That was commissioned by the International Institute of Education. "I think this piano concerto is an important work. "I began my third string quartet with soprano voice. I think it is a good idea. It will have poems by three Spanish poets. It was commissioned for the Dallas Public Library, for next season. The Juilliard Quartet will play. Two movements are finished. "The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center has commissioned a work, also for next year. It will have poems by Pablo Neruda and be for baritone soloist and a very small chamber ensemble. "I don't like to work on more than one at once. I have many ideas, but when I begin to work I prefer all the concentration with this. "Another commission for next year is for the 75th anniversary of the Philadelphia Orchestra. It will be a symphonic work and I will write some work, maybe four movements, inspired by ancient American books." Will it be a symphony? "I believe there are certain musical forms that are very tied to certain traditions. The symphony is a form of the 19th century. That is why we see Debussy didn't write any symphonies, neither Ravel, neither Bartok, neither Strauss, who is my idol for opera. he added. While all the previous Roman governors had avoided offending Jewish sensibilities by keeping sculptures and other representations of Caesar out of Jerusalem, Pilate had decided to break the opposition. Using a clandestine stratagem, a kind that would mark his methods, he had the military standards bearing the emperor's likeness unfurled from the city's para- ·pets in the middle of the night to present the Jews with a fait accompli. As Home's chronicler of Jewish life, Josephus, describes the reaction, "This excited a very great tumult among the Jews when it was day ... A vast number of people came running into the country. These came zealously to Pilate to Caesarea, and besought him to carry those ensigns out of Jerusalem." Pilate directed the tribune to herd the rabble-rousers into the hippodrome, if it would hold them, and set up the portable judgment seat there. Shortly, a palace guard escorted Pilate to the Dais. He stood there until the throng grew quiet, and then spoke: "In the name of our sovereign lord Tiberius, emperor of the entire world, I have been empowered to rule this prov- ince of Judea-Samaria, to maintain its peace, oversee its tribunars, collect its revenues, patrol its territories and serve Caesar. We honor him openly and our military banners signify it. They will not be removed. You shall desist from this disturbance and return to your homes, or incur the wrath of Caesar." With that, he abruptly left the platform and strode back to his villa, followed by his adjutants -- and also by a rising, shocked murmuring of the crowd. He had assumed his firm stand would settle the matter. It didn't. The massed gathering stayed there, throughout the night and through the next day, seething with relentless indignation, like some herculean, growling beast. Pilate let them bleat and broil. They'd wear out in time, get hungry, bone-sore and disperse. But they didn't leave. They stretched out on the ground, a giant human carpet, twisting, protesting, heaving. Pilate's nerves ravelled and his wife, Claudia Procula, gave him dark, questioning stares. He was aware of these people's strange religious code forbidding any "graven image" or any likeness of anything for adoration. "You shall not bow down to them or serve them," their law commanded. The Jews worshipped some ineffable, unseen God that couldn't be portrayed, and as Pilate recognized, their belief rivaled the Roman state pantheon represented by the divine Caesar. "Savage fanatics," Pilate fumed. "Undisciplined, seditious ruck. We must teach them a lesson, once and permanently." "They are firm," Procula said. "You always praised firmness." He glared at her. They had married shortly before he was promoted to this troublous but important outpost. Judea stood at the crossroads of the three continents, Asia, Europe and Africa, a lynchpin of the empire, but it had churned with uprisings ever since Julius Caesar conquered it in 63 B.C. No other colony in all the empire gave Rome such difficulties in maintaining control as the little, religiously impassioned stretch of peninsula along the western end of the great sea. The Jews refused even minimal allegiance to the Roman gods. . The paramount duty of the procurators, as Pilate saw it, was to smother the resistance. He would not flinch from battering heads to do it. The initial siege against him went on for five days and five nights at his seacoast headquarters city of Caesarea, built in imposing Roman style, with its temple to the gods, its colossal statue of Augustus, its baths, drill fields, lurreted walls and semicircular harbor ringed by an artificially built wall of rock. . Pilate watched, and the crowd not only did not shrink; it grew, and so did his anger. On the sixth day, he instructed (he garrison's commander to post a heavy detachment of infantry cavalry and spearmen under the stadium galleries, and when Pilate appeared, to surround the protesting demonstrators, awaiting his signals to unsheath their weapons. Allowing time for the preparations, Pilate slrode lo the outdoor platform. The Iroops clattered into a menacing circle around the demonstrators. He spoke coldly: "The imperial emblems ; which you insult with your commotion shall not be removed, now or at any time. It would be an injury to Caesar. Your affrontery avails naught. : 1 command you, for the last time, disband, cease this disorder!" Their rebuff slammed back at him. "Down with them! Down with the profanations! No defilement of the holy city!" He stepped back and signaled to the tribune. With a clanking of metal, the troops unsheathed their weapons. "You will be cut to pieces if you do not submit at once and leave off this disturbance," Pilate warned. Madly, unitedly, as if with one singularly wild mind, they knelt down and bared their necks, inviting ; the drawn blades. "We would rather be slain than transgress our law and our God," one shouted. Others joined in the reckless defiance, tilting 'their bared necks. Pilate stiffened, the veins hardening around his eyes. "We would rather be slain. . ." They were like lambs in a slaughter pen, helpless, yet daring him. He hesitated. A gesture, and they would die. Yel he fearet^ having his first report to Tiberius tell of his massacre of an unarmed, unresisting crowd. It would make him look shakily impetuous. He didn't mind their dying, but he coveted his rising career. He drew in his breath and blared at them: "1 was merely testing your seriousness. The standards will be removed." A roar of jubilation went up as he slormed off the platform, frustrated, furious. Next time it would go differently, and deadlier. But he would have to work from the inside, not from a lofty distance. He still would Romanize these beggars. But he himself had learned a lesson about handling' them. Tomorrow: Plotting his Power CROSS PENS "Everything for the Office 1303 EigKlh Avenue Onorato TV Appliance SALES AND SERVICE MILLIKEN, COLORADO PHONE S88-I347 JIM · RAY · PAT AUTHORIZED DEALER RCA ZENITH PHILCO WESTINGHOUSE MAYTAG WHIRLPOOL SONY HOOVER CORNING KITCHEN AID Smokers may save on car Insurance with Farmers RAY PHILLIPS 1527V2 2nd Ave. 353-7200 TIM COLE 1642 8th Ave. 352-2307 Let's keep Colorado beautiful. totally Eighth at Eighth Member FDIC THE GREELEY NATIONAL BANK member CotamdQhc

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