The WEB often focuses on the passage of the Ages as a theme of history, believing it to be one of the chief determinates of social, environmental and political events. A scrutiny of the passage of both the Vernal and Autumnal positions in time crafts much that has been recorded in the annals of human affairs.
We currently stand at the transition between two Ages, from Pisces into Aquarius. Although there can be dramatic events that signal the shift from one epoch to the next, the overall transition is usually a gradual one. We can possibly best understand this as one season shifts to the next. The storms of winter may yet baptise the dawns of spring.
If we look back into history, we can find evidence of this transition during the last great shift, from the Age of Aries into Pisces. Whereas Aries represents the child of war, Pisces represents the common people, the poor, the thief and the prostitute. It is the sea of humanity. As the Vernal Equinox penetrated deeper into this constellation, the Roman hierarchy asked the Christian priests where they concealed their riches. The priests took them before the multitudes then turning toward a spiritual salvation in the life after this one and said, “Here lie our riches.”
But this transition began look before the Messiah made his appearance on the scene. We see the roots of this conflict beginning as the Vernal Equinox aligned with Alpha Piscium late in the 5th century BC as the first star of the constellation was triggered by the Vernal Equinox. Nobility and the ‘blue-bloods’, the Arian hierarchy of the ancient world, thought themselves special, saw the rising power of the plebs (the Roman common people) and didn’t like it.
From Livy’s History of Rome, chapter IV: 1
“The year was a troubled one both at home and abroad. In the beginning of the year C. Canuleius, a tribune of the plebs, introduced a law with regard to the intermarriage of patricians and plebeians. The patricians considered that their blood would be contaminated by it and the special rights of the houses thrown into confusion. Then the tribunes began to throw out hints about one consul being elected from the plebs, and matters advanced so far that nine tribunes brought in a measure empowering the people to elect consuls from the plebeians or the patricians as they chose. The patricians believed that, if this were carried, the supreme power would not only be degraded by being shared with the lowest of the people, but would entirely pass away from the chief men in the State into the hands of the plebs.”
As it turns out, they were right.
War intervenes, and is used as a smoke screen to divert political attention from these growing developments, but resurfaces later as the political focus shifts to the conflict with Veii.
From Livy, IV; 49-50
“This generosity on the part of the generals was the first step towards the reconciliation of the plebs and the senate. This was followed by a boon which the senate, at a most opportune moment, conferred on the plebeians. Before the question was mooted either by the plebs or their tribunes, the senate decreed that the soldiery should receive pay from the public treasury. Previously, each man had served at his own expense.
“Nothing, it is recorded, was ever welcomed by the plebs with such delight; they crowded round the Senate-house, grasped the hands of the senators as they came out, acknowledged that they were rightly called “Fathers,” and declared that after what they had done no one would ever spare his person or his blood, as long as any strength remained, for so generous a country. They saw with pleasure that their private property at all events would rest undisturbed at such times as they were impressed and actively employed in the public service, and the fact of the boon being spontaneously offered, without any demand on the part of their tribunes, increased their happiness and gratitude immensely.”
Livy records that the plebeians later better understand the flip side to this coin, that added benefits led to added responsibilities as the Roman army chooses to besiege Veii right through the winter. Previously, troops had been allowed to return home through the winter, to visit their families, tend to their farms or whatever else was needed.
Notice that at this point, the common people are defined as those that still have some property, just not much when compared to the patricians. This will change with Gaius Marius.
Two centuries later, we see another wave of this sentiment growing as Plutarch records this advance in the notion of turning to the common people for a source of strength and power.
From Wiki, the Marian reforms-
“Up until the last decade of the 2nd century BC, the eligibility requirements to become a Roman soldier in the service of the Republic were very strict.
“He had to be a member of the fifth census class or higher.
“He had to own property worth 3,500 sesterces in value.
“He had to supply his own armaments.”
Summarized from Plutarch-
“When war threatened, the consuls of the day would be charged with the duty of recruiting an army from the eligible citizenry of the Republic. As a rule, one of the consuls would lead this mainly volunteer army into battle. As can be imagined, not all elected consuls were adept at leading an army. For example, in the year 113 BC the consul Gnaeus Papirius Carbo was defeated at the Battle of Noreia by invading tribes of the Cimbri and the Teutons. This disaster was followed by a protracted war in Africa against King Jugurtha of Numidia. The consul Quintus Caecilius Metellus was sent to defeat Jugurtha. Metellus never lost any armies and did win some battles but after two years had not achieved total victory. Gaius Marius, one of his legates, requested Metellus release him from his duties so he could return to Rome and run for consul at the end of 108 BC. But when Marius became junior consul in 107 BC and was appointed the task of concluding the war with Jugurtha, he had no army. The army Metellus had commanded in Africa was assigned to the senior consul Lucius Cassius Longinus to expel the Cimbri who were once again encroaching on the Roman province of Gaul across the Alps. Marius had no troops with which to conduct the war in Africa as the eligible citizenry from whom he could recruit an army was severely depleted due to previous military disasters and the expansion of the latifundia at the expense of small landowners. To overcome this problem he introduced a number of reforms.
“The foremost of the Marian reforms was the inclusion of the Roman landless masses, the capite censi, men who had no property to be assessed in the census. Instead they were “counted by the head”. These men were now among the ranks of those who could be recruited even though they owned no significant property. Because these poor citizens could not afford to purchase their own weapons and armour, Marius arranged for the state to supply them with arms. He thus offered the disenfranchised masses permanent employment for pay as professional soldiers, and the opportunity to gain spoils on campaign. With little hope of gaining status in other ways, the masses flocked to join Marius in his new army. These professional soldiers were recruited for an enlistment term of 16 years, later to rise to 20 years full service and 5 years as evocati under the reforms of Augustus.
“The second important reform implemented by Marius was the formation of a standing army. Marius was able to standardize training and equipment throughout the Roman legions. Drilling and training took place all year round, even in times of peace, not just when war threatened.”
These are reports from the 5th and 2nd centuries BC. Jesus is thought to have lived in the 1st century AD, while the administrative arm of Christianity didn’t take over until Constantine in the 4th century AD.
The transition from one Age to the next is a slow, gradual process. We can see its unfolding, its blossoming if you will, over the course of almost a thousand years.
And yet folks fixate on the Winter Solstice of 2012.