Re: Parthia, Gaul and Mauritania?

Dear Charles,

It has been mentioned by you that;

"It is still somewhat shocking that Herod would deliberately be granted this kind of power and be allowed to rule over lands as widely distributed as Mauritania, Parthia, Israel, and probably also even parts of France (Gaul), Germany, and Britain."

Yes, it is "shocking" and an idea that should be dismissed.

It seems that current scholarship could never adhere to such a thing. Such as this dictionary entry;

"Mauritania (mr'ĭ-tā'nē-ə, -tān'yə, mr'-)

A country of northwest Africa bordering on the Atlantic Ocean. Southern Mauritania was part of the ancient empire of Ghana, and the northern part was settled by Berbers c. 1000. The area later formed part of the Mali Empire (flourished 14th century) and was visited by European traders after the 15th century. French influence over the region lasted from the early 1800s until independence was achieved in 1960. Nouakchott is the capital and the largest city. Population: 3,080,000."

Note that the only mention of European influence was; "after the 15th century." It therefor seems that if there was no European presence in the area before the 1600's, that either the rule attributed to Herod (from what sources are these?) is wrong, or the Ruler we refer to as Herod is misplaced in history, IE he would be a ruler in the 1600's of the Current Era (CE) Or we might consider that the territory we now call Mauritania has moved its position on the maps, etc.

And, of course the last point is the most likely answer. It seems to me that I have seen maps trying to make sense of the ancient world, that place Mauritania as either located entirely within the Pillars of Herakles, or directly across from it, or even within the Spanish Iberian peninsula. Since the use of the term Iberia can denote more than just one place, is there a chance that the Mauritania you mention could be located at the other famous Iberia? It would surely place it much nearer to Herod's center! Have you found any evidence that might show Mauritania in another location?

The same thinking applies to Gaul. Could it be that the sources have been mistakely translated and actually refer to Galatia or Galicia? At least the one in modern Turkey? These changes certainly make it more convenient to his power base since this would place these territories near to Parthia!

Herod, no matter whom you can link him with, just could not have the fleet necessary to exert any control over these far flung places without Roman / Greek help without even mentioning Germany and England! Both of which stretch believability to it's utmost.

If, indeed if any sources can really consider that his rule extended to the places mentioned, and they really can be considered as unbelievable. If that is true then what other facts about Herod can be considered as believable?

The only other way to consider Herod's rule, might be more likened to a bureaucratic position occupied by someone in Rome itself?



Responses To This Message

Mauritania (a.k.a. Numibia)