The nerve of war- money. See my post above to Ron- the Saga. Yeah, I was being a little cute, but there's alot there. Parthia was a superpower with extensive trade relations both among and outside of its nation states. It had vast agricultural, mining, and spice trades. What was there in palestine besides the temple? They were barely self sufficient.
If I were a roman proconsul and was considering leasing Palestine from the empire, how exactly would I make those payments without additional conquests? Did any other Roman general or Proconsul prior to Vespasian stop there and not press forward to the Euphrates? (other than say, that idiot, Cestius who got bushwacked). No, cause east was where the money was.
They all learned that lesson the hard way. You mess with the Bull, you get the Horns. So by the time the Flavians came around-with extensive jewish contacts among the intelligensia I might add-I'm guessing there was something in place.
Not until Hadrian did roman legions threaten the Euphrates and what did he do? When Hadrian arrived at the Euphrates, he characteristically solved the problem through a negotiated settlement with the Parthian king (probably Chosroes). Romans only negotiated with whom they feared, owed, or were fed by.
I don't have it all figured out. But the second temple seems to be almost as overblown as the gospel accounts of Jesus. That's what I was getting at when we talked about masonic and templar connections. What if the secret treasure of the first temple wasn't the seventy two names of god, but the trade routes of solomon (Maybe that's where the tribes went?) and a system of international payments based upon the temple model. So the second temple was a cargo cult, an empty shell. Kinda explains why the Parthians, after the conquest of 37bc, gave it up after 3 years without even demanding tribute (which of course the romans wouldn't pay anyway). Maybe some really well meaning religous people got duped in the process. I know the other 10 tribes weren't stupid. Their (lack of) actions suggest that we missed something along the way.
My ideas are still evolving.
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