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About that time there arose a great disturbance about the Way. A silversmith named Demetrius, who made silver shrines of Artemis, brought in no little business for the craftsmen. He called them together, along with the workmen in related trades, and said: "Men, you know we receive a good income from this business. And you see and hear how this fellow Paul has convinced and led astray large numbers of people here in Ephesus and in practically the whole province of Asia. He says that man-made gods are no gods at all. There is danger not only that our trade will lose its good name, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis will be discredited, and the goddess herself, who is worshiped throughout the province of Asia and the world, will be robbed of her divine majesty."

When they heard this, they were furious and began shouting: "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!" Soon the whole city was in an uproar. The people seized Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul's traveling companions from Macedonia, and rushed as one man into the theater. Paul wanted to appear before the crowd, but the disciples would not let him. Even some of the officials of the province, friends of Paul, sent him a message begging him not to venture into the theater.

The assembly was in confusion: Some were shouting one thing, some another. Most of the people did not even know why they were there. The Jews pushed Alexander to the front, and some of the crowd shouted instructions to him. He motioned for silence in order to make a defense before the people. But when they realized he was a Jew, they all shouted in unison for about two hours: "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!"

The city clerk quieted the crowd and said: "Men of Ephesus, doesn't all the world know that the city of Ephesus is the guardian of the temple of the great Artemis and of her image, which fell from heaven? Therefore, since these facts are undeniable, you ought to be quiet and not do anything rash. You have brought these men here, though they have neither robbed temples nor blasphemed our goddess. If, then, Demetrius and his fellow craftsmen have a grievance against anybody, the courts are open and there are proconsuls. They can press charges. If there is anything further you want to bring up, it must be settled in a legal assembly. As it is, we are in danger of being charged with rioting because of today's events. In that case we would not be able to account for this commotion, since there is no reason for it." After he had said this, he dismissed the assembly.


- Acts 19:23-41

The Ancient Greeks could be made to understand when to calm down and protest respectfully and properly. I hope we Americans can figure that one out too.

Date: 2009-09-23 05:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scribe-of-stars.livejournal.com
Yeah, we're going to need to calm down and quit throwing inflammatory propaganda in every direction.

Too bad that neither the government nor the corporations have anything to gain from that course of action.

Date: 2009-09-23 02:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tozetre.livejournal.com
IF YOU CALM DOWN, THE TERRORISTS WIN.

Actually, that's kind of an ironic statement...

Date: 2009-09-23 11:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tozetre.livejournal.com
On the one hand, learning history has taught me that the Greeks and Romans and early Americans and British and French and Germans... were all excitable rioters just as much as we are today.

On the other hand my feeling that we as a society have declined recently is reinforced somewhat by the fact that 50% of Canada, as it turns out, is functionally illiterate. I don't know if America suffers similarly, but I do know that illiterates do not have the skills to attain or form good government.

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