From: Michael Hardy
To: Lynda Bustilloz
Date: Jan 23 1996 9:14:00 pm
Subject: census
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-=> Quoting Lynda Bustilloz to Michael Hardy <=-

MH> In fact, the Romans *did* require people to travel to their
MH> birthplace in order to register for a census.  A census edict from
MH> Egypt, from 104 a.d., shows that they did just that. It begins: "Gaius
MH> Vibius Maximus, prefect of Egypt, says: The house-to-house census
MH> having started, it is essential that all persons who for any reason
MH> whatsoever are absent from their homes be summoned to return to their
MH> own hearths, in order that they perform the customary business of
MH> registration." ("A History of Rome Through the Fifth Century, ed.
MH> A.H.M. Jones, c. 1970, Harper and Row.)

LB> That doesn't sound like anything other than "Don't hang out in the
LB> market today, we don't want to knock on your door and have you not be
LB> there"  It doesn't indicate anything about travelling away from your
LB> current residence.

It wasn't like a TV announcement, you know. By sayng "The census having
started," and knowing that the census would take some time -- weeks or
months -- to complete, it obviously means something more long-term than
"be at your house this afternoon."

And you didn't address what may be the more important point -- if the
story of Joseph and Mary having to travel to Bethlehem is so
farfetched, then how did the gospel story get taken seriously among
people who would have known that?

... Pull the other one.

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