One interesting comment from Ehrman's blog (the only one that, on the surface, might seem like a legitimate criticism):http://ehrmanblog.org/acharya-s-richard-carrier-and-a-cocky-peter-or-a-cock-and-bull-story/#post-comments
(He also posts essentially more or less the same thing here:http://jameshannam.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=history&thread=934&page=5#11569
as well as here: http://jameshannam.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=history&thread=934&page=5#11569
so those are obviously debunked by the following as well.)
Jonathan Burke wrote:
Dear Bart; (if I may be so bold), thank you for this clarification. I spent some time going through Dorothy Murdock’s references. I noted at once that her research method involves random searches through Google Books; in fact she even embeds the links to the books in question, so you can see clearly the search terms she used, proving that she was punching words into Google Books and hitting the search button hoping to get lucky.
A number of these works are available on Google Books only in limited, or even snippet view, so it’s clear Murdock doesn’t own them, hasn’t read them, and is simply searching for key words in Google Books for any references related to the subject at hand. I would suggest this is not standard academic research procedure, even though Carrier appears to approve.
Well, either that or she does own the books or at the very least has read them (possibly from a library) and thus already knows what to look for when searching in Google Books, and is embedding the links to Google Books for convenience and to make the passages visible to her internet audience. No need to scan, crop, and upload the pages herself when they are already available on Google Books.
Jonathan's grasping at straws to try and make an unsupported criticism here. After all, Acharya also embeds links from Google Books to...
HER OWN BOOKS! That she has written HERSELF! Would this Burke fellow have us believe Acharya, quote, "doesn't own" and "hasn't read" those books too? Even though she wrote them herself? All just because she made use of the convenient service of Google Books, for the very reason Google has provided such a service?
And likewise her own books are also, quote, "available on Google Books only in limited, or even snippet view", so again, the significance of her sources being on a limited preview setting is none whatsoever.
Jonathan Burke wrote:
One reference Murdock did not cite is Panzanelli & Scholosser, ‘Ephemeral bodies: wax sculpture and the human figure’ (2008). This book refers explicitly to the ‘notorious “Vatican Bronze”‘ (p. 121), and the image shown is the very image cited by Murdock (p. 122), yet when we turn to the page on which the statue is described we find the image which Murdock claims is hidden in the ‘Vatican Treasury’ is in fact, ‘a phallic monument in the Gabinetto Segreto, Museo Archeologico Nazionale Napoli, supposedly recovered at Pompeii/Herculaneum’ (p. 122).
Not only is there no reference to Peter, but we finally find that the the image is not hidden in the ‘Vatican Treasury’, but is in the Gabinetto Segreto in Naples, the collection of sexual and erotic artifacts found in Pompeii.
This is even more interesting since Pompeii was only excavated in the late 18th century, so 17th century sources such as ‘Romanum Museum’ (1692), couldn’t possible be referring to the same artifact. So all those later works relying on the 17th sources as evidence for this artifact are wrong, and all those later works relying on 18th and 19th century sources claiming this is kept in the Vatican are also wrong.
A few problems here.
The National Archaeological Museum of Naples OWN WEBSITE
says that the Gabinetto Segreto (Secret Room) was established in 1821. http://museoarcheologiconazionale.campaniabeniculturali.it/glossario/ploneglossarydefinition.2008-06-09.8351409625/
That's 35 years AFTER
Richard Knight published the Discourse on the Worship of Priapus, as part of An Account of the Worship of Priapus, in 1786, which references the statue as being at the Vatican.
So it's quite impossible for the statue to have been at the Gabinetto Segreto 35 years before the Gabinetto even existed.
Also of interest here is a statement from Knight's The Progress of Civil Society, published in 1796, so still predating the Gabinetto by decades. This is from page xxi of the preface.
":and as for the plates, they having been mostly copied from other publications, executed at the expense, and published under the authority of the Popes, or the kings of Naples, the defense of them does not belong to me. The most objectionable of them, and the only one which contains any thing like profaneness, was copied from De la Chausse's Museum Romanum, of which three editions have been published at Rome within this century, and from which the plate in question has been again published in the great collection of Graevius and Gronovius. It represents the male human organs of generation erect upon the head of a cock, in lieu of a beak, which head grows out of a bust of a man: beneath it, on the base, is written SOTER KOSMOU - SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD. The original, from which it is taken, is an antique bronze, preserved in the Vatican palace, where it has been publicily exhibited for near a century, without corrupting any one's morals or religion, that I have heard of. It did, indeed, once disturb the conscience of a superannuated cardinal, who requested Benedict XIV to remove this profane SOTER from his sacred seat in the pontifical palace; but that excellent pope, and most worthy man, replied, with his usual pleasantry, that he had no authority over such a personage; being himself but his vicar."
So Knight stated explicitly that the artifact was under the jurisdiction of Naples, yet also said it had been on PUBLIC display at the Vatican for nearly a century, therefore, Mr. Burke was correct when he wrote "the image is
in the 'Vatican Treasury' ", because it IS
in the Gabinetto, while in Knight's day it WAS
in the Vatican Palace, and it was not HIDDEN, it was on PUBLIC display, so thus his claims were easily falsifiable at the time and thus charges of falsehood towards him are unwarranted.
He also cites Chausse's Museum Romanum (Volume One), published in 1690, more
than a century EARLIER
than 1796, and thus, if Knight is correct, then the statue was NOT
in the Vatican at the time of Chausse's publication, and it was no longer at the Vatican after 1821.
So a likely scenario is that it was was moved to and put on display at the Vatican sometime in the early 18th century and then was removed from the Vatican and relocated to the Gabinetto Segreto back home in Naples, under whose jurisdiction it had always belonged. It's not like Knight was hiding the fact that it was in Naples or was ignorant of that fact, so Mr. Burke pointing out that the artifact belongs to Naples is just moot. Knight acknowledged that fact, and yet he still said that it had been on public display at the Vatican for nearly a century by 1796.
And as noted earlier, he cited Chausse's Museum Romanum (Vol. 1) as one of his sources, which was published in 1690. Now, Mr. Burke claimed "so 17th century sources such as ‘Romanum Museum’ (1692), couldn’t possible be referring to the same artifact."
Oh really? Did Mr. Burke even bother to check Chausse's Museum Romanum?
(Here is Chausse's description in Latin and Google Translate's attempt at English)
Nope, that's clearly the same artifact, and remember, the above illustration was published in 1690.
And as an added bonus, in the same section of the book, just 10 pages after Chausse's plate of the cock statue, appears this little gem as well:
Look familiar? It should. It is clearly the exact same object also described and illustrated above by Panzanelli & Scholosser whom Mr. Burke cited. It likewise appears here in Chausse's book, and so just like the cock statue plate, also dates to 1690. So if Mr. Burke had wanted to argue for an entirely separate yet identical statue of the cock head (even with an identical inscription and everything), that, while not impossible, would itself be improbable enough, but add to that the probability of the other phallic artifact (a griffin[?]) depicted by Panzanelli & Scholosser in that exact same portion of their book is likewise a distinct yet identical object to that in Chausse's book makes such a probability next to impossible in my opinion. Occam's Razor indicates that both objects in Panzanelli & Scholosser's work are the same as those depicted in Chausse's work in 1690.
So unless Mr. Jonathan Burke or anyone else can present a convincing case for interpolation or forgery and the like for this part of Mr. Chausse's work, then here we have indisputable PROOF
that this bronze cock-headed solar statue of Priapus existed in 1690, 96 years BEFORE
Knight's Discourse on Priapus, 106 years BEFORE
his Progress of Civil Society, and 131 years BEFORE
the establishment of the Gabinetto Segreto.
That's plenty of time for it to have had a residency at the Vatican and yet still end up at the Naples Archeological Museum, where it allegedly is today.
So there is absolutely NO
contradiction between Knight and Panzanelli & Scholosser on this particular point.
So why then did Mr. Burke fail?
It appears that it is because he got hung up on where Panzanelli & Scholosser mentioned in passing the notion that this cock statue was discovered either in Pompeii or Herculaneum, both of which were excavated after Chausse wrote his book.
The problem for Mr. Burke is that he apparently overlooked one small but significant word right there in Panzanelli & Scholosser's description of those two phallic artifacts (even after Burke himself wrote it in quotation, lol)...
Obviously by their choice to employ that word, Panzanelli & Scholosser are communicating a degree of skepticism towards the claim that these two artifacts were discovered in Pompeii or Herculaneum. Or to borrow some of Burke's own wording, "note again the scholarly caution over the unsourced and unsubstantiated claim". Yet Mr. Jonathan Burke treated that claim as though established fact when the very source he has cited doesn't even display such confidence in said claim, but seems to communicate just the opposite- a healthy bit of skepticism. And it is good that they did so, because that leaves them an out. They never actually said that the cock statue was for certain found in Pompeii or Herculaneum, only that it supposedly was, and so now that I have demonstrated that it was indeed known before the excavation of those two sites, Panzanelli & Scholosser's book is still correct. Unlike Mr. Jonathan Burke, who is now shown to be flat out wrong. And to continue in his position without bringing forward any further (and stronger) evidence would be to deny the logical law of succinctness or parsimony.
Jonathan Burke wrote:
Naturally any sources claiming this has anything whatever to do with Peter, are also wrong; please note that despite all Murdock’s sources, she didn’t provide any which made such a connection.
She also says that she NEVER EVEN CLAIMED IT WAS PETER IN THE FIRST PLACE
. So combine that with everything else I have presented above, and the rest of Mr. Burke's post that follows here after is already rendered null & void and thus I will refrain from reposting it here. If you so chose you can follow the link and read the rest of his dubious post for yourselves.
Update: It appears he made a couple of attempts to respond to my irrefutable rebuttal to him, so if you wish, you can read my pwnage of that here (warning- it's looong & tedious): CLICK