I really don't think I can do much better than Helge's comments recently. You are lucky (or deserving) to have his commentary here and I think his recent note:
is especially topical to our "discussions."
I'll present this Maimonides link without introduction:
yeah, there's a ton of commentary about Jewish/Platonic concordance, but what makes Maimonides so special is the period in which he wrote.
Separately, HH points out a key issue that comes up in epigraphic societies all the time: namely that it appears that there were far more alphabets than there were spoken languages in that period. A great example is Champollion's discovery of the relationship between demotic script and coptic, and the subsequent decryption of hieroglyphics. The aleph beth/ alpha beta complete with numerical assignments is indeed an amazing transposition.
You pointed out Darius/Alexander correspondence. It is truly amazing how much Plato wrote about him, and the level of detail that he possesed. (Laws III, Phaedrus), as well as Herodotus (book III through VII). Remember, neither lived to see Alexander. It's like they were related or something! Alexander was known as as Dhul-Qarnayn in Arabic and Dul-Qarnayim in Hebrew/Aramaic meaning Two-Horned. If I showed you the scripts though, and you didn't know either alphabet, it would take a long time to figure that one out.
Interestingly enough, Maimonides' "guide for the perplexed" had as it's main purpose to differentiate between Judaic Platonism, and Aristotelianism!
Hmm, a dialectic, played out on a human stage, populated by players who assume mythical identities- where have I heard about that before?
Sorry, but I couldn't resist that one.
So that's why I'm trying to lead you away from assigning purely Roman identities to the gospel authors. Maybe it's right-but it seems to imply that the Romans thought of Judah as the "the Jews"- when they merely may have been the last jews who gave a shit about the temple. Perhaps the platonic tradition demonstrated to the diaspora the distinction between the temple within, versus the physical. Oh yeah, thats what Jesus was saying wasn't it? Unfortunately, by then, the Temple was so corrupt that only the people within its sphere of influence were the ones who didn't get the memo and they paid dearly.
When I was a kid I had a teacher, and we were joking around one day and I asked him what the meaning of life was (after a few rounds of back and forth- I was sort of saying "so you think your so smart..) He told me Bear Shit. It really stuck in my mind because he was a Jesuit, and I was far too young for him to be cursing in front of not to mention him using such language. What a genius! It took me twenty years that he was playing on Bereshite. And he was right.
© Charles N. Pope, US Library of Congress. All rights reserved.