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Hey Mike, Sorry for the late comment on this episode, i've been working my way from the beginning. Close to catching up. I thought you'd be interested in an additional angle on the "Rain" miracle. Albus Butler in his "Lives of the Saints, Vol 1" makes mention of a saint by the name of St. Apollinaris the apologist, who apparently wrote several letters to Marcus Aurelius during his time as emperor apologising for the Christian religion (I suspect by apologise, he means, explain about). One in particular mentioned the Rain miracle itself. Apparently, according the Apollonius, the twelfth legion, called the Melitine, from a town of that name in Armenia, was chiefly composed of Christians. These, as the legions were perishing of thirst, fell to their knees in prayer and prayed for their salvation, and that of their emperor despite his persecution of the Christians. Apparently the sight of a legion falling on their knees surprised their enemies, "who had more reason to be astonished at the event; for all on a sudden the sky was darkened with clouds, and a thick rain showered down." Obviously there were a million explanations for this event, from chance, to the gods, to "magic", but Albus (or Apollinaris, it isn't clear who makes the claim) notes that Marcus must have at least considered the possibility, as he immediately gave the legion the name of "the Thundering Legion". Apparently the apology was written to the emperor in an attempt to ease the persecution of Christians (who, I assume, still suffered under Trajan's paradoxical accusation laws) by reminding the Emperor what he had gained from the Christians in his own time of need. Makes an interesting side-story to the battle in any case, and no doubt would have been another prod in the growth of the cult during this period.
Toggle Commented Jul 29, 2010 on 93- The Marcomannic Wars at The History of Rome is now following The Typepad Team
Jul 28, 2010