Rev 6.6 and edict of Domitian

From: Juan Stam B (
Date: Sat Sep 28 1996 - 07:48:56 EDT


I'm enjoying immensely all the coversation on B-GREEK and refreshing very
profitably many important issues of NT exegesis. Although living and
teaching here in Costa Rica for 42 years has been exciting, it does leave
one a bit isolated from the broader flow of academic discussion, so
B-GREEK has been a valuable refresher for me.

I'm working on an exegetical commentary of REV (in Spanish) and need some
help, if possible, on an alleged historical allusion in Rev 6.6d: "do not
damage (MH ADIKHSEiS; Spanish usually translates "do not destroy") the oil
and the wine". Many commentators have seen here an echo of an edict by
Domitian in the year 92, which according to my Spanish sources read
something like "do not plant more vineyards in Italy, and destroy half or
more" of the vineyards in the provinces each year. (RH Charles translates
it somewhat differently but does not give the original Greek).

The basic source is Suetonius DOMITIAN 7.2.15 (and an oblique reference in
14.2; also mentioned in Euseb CHRON 92 AD; Philostratus VA 6.42 & VS
1.21..520; Statius SILV 4.3.11s; 4.2.34ss).

Can anyone shed light on whether the author could be referring to this
edict (for the wine; he would have added oil, from his own knowledge of
imperial economy).

Could anyone do me the immense favo of finding the Greek text for
Suetonius DOM 7.2.15? I would especially like to know what verb is used
for "destroy" ("damage") for the vineyards in provinces. Many thanks, and
thanks to all the contributors of B-GREEK.

Juan (John) Stam
Universidad Nacional, Costa Rica

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