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 Post subject: Ancient Italy: The true Book of Mormon location
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 4:16 pm 
Dark Lord of the Sith
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Since the Lord has not revealed the location of where the Book of Mormon narrative took place, we can look at parallels with other cultures to deduce what real-world place is a likely place for the civilizations described in the scripture to determine where it most likely took place.

According to the Joseph Smith History canonized in The Pearl of Great Price, the angel Moroni told him that the golden plates were "an account of the former inhabitants of this continent." Many readers assume that "this continent" means North America. However, a careful reading of D&C 133 indicates that all the land mass in the world is really one continent from the Lord's point of view:

23 He shall command the great deep, and it shall be driven back into the north countries, and the islands shall become one land;
24 And the land of Jerusalem and the land of Zion shall be turned back into their own place, and the earth shall be like as it was in the days before it was divided.


D&C 133. Therefore, it is clear that "this continent" means "the earth," and we should not assume that "this continent" means only North America, as other readers have incorrectly concluded. Because the entire earth is "this continent," the Book of Mormon taking place in Europe is really not a problem if we understand how the Lord reckons things.

Key features of Book of Mormon geography are that there is a western sea and an eastern sea and the land is longer from north to south than from east to west.

Boo-yah!

Image

Also important in Book of Mormon geography is the river Sidon, the only river mentioned by name, which stretched north and south. Although some believe that the Sidon ran northward, the text of the Book of Mormon does not actually say that, and it is more likely that the river Sidon ran to the southwest and emptied into the sea west. Like this:

Image

Volcanic activity also appears to play a role in Book of Mormon geography (3 Nephi 8:5-18). Vesuvius and Mount Etna, anyone?

What about some of the features of the civilizations themselves? I don't have time right now to explain how the Jaredites were the Etruscans, so let's just look at some highlights of Jaredite and Nephite civilization and their parallels in ancient Italy.

Buildings and structures made of cement? Check. (Note that concrete is cement with additional ingredients.)

Barley and other grains? Check.

Silk? Yes sir.

Complex roads/highways? You bet.

Metal swords? You better believe it.

Breastplates, helmets, and other armor for soldiers? You tell me:

Image

Horses? Yes.

Elephants, goats, cattle, swine, flocks? Indeed.

Chariots? Come on, you've seen Ben Hur.

Image

Metallurgy? Of course.

Gold, silver, pearls, costly apparel? Yes, sir.

An urbanized, agrarian society? That's exactly what the ancient Romans were.

Writing? Check it out:

Image

A lunar and solar calendar? Another bull's eye!

Fortifications in times of war? They had that, too:

Image

One puzzler, at first glance, might be: how did the golden plates end up buried in upstate New York when the Book of Mormon happened in Italy? The Book of Mormon describes three times when the Lord inspired people to make a journey by sea: the Jaredites, the Lehite party, and the Mulekites. There is no reason not to suppose that the Lord could not have also inspired Moroni to journey across the sea (and probably instruct him how to build a vessel, as with Nephi and the brother of Jared).

Incidentally, placing the Book of Mormon in ancient Italy also resolves that old chestnut critics like to point out that there are Greek names in the Book of Mormon, like Lachoneus, Timothy, and Alpha and Omega. It is well known that the Romans were heavily influenced by Greece, and that Greek was widely spoken in the Roman Empire. Thus, this so-called mistake of Greek names is dead and buried. There are also many aspects of Rome's interaction with Egypt, which interestingly parallels the Egyptian fetish we seem to find repeatedly in the Book of Mormon.

The above is just a brief introduction, but it should at least give the critics pause that maybe their issue with the Book of Mormon is that they're looking in the wrong place.


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 Post subject: Re: Ancient Italy: The true Book of Mormon location
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 4:22 pm 
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I would say that your location for the Book of Mormon has too many bulls-eyes to be ignored. LOL

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 Post subject: Re: Ancient Italy: The true Book of Mormon location
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 4:36 pm 
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We know Italy is a land of tough folk. The Man with No Name (Clint Eastwood played him in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly - - - the three Nephites maybe?) was filmed there. Tough land for Tough Guys like Nephi.

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 Post subject: Re: Ancient Italy: The true Book of Mormon location
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 4:44 pm 
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Yep, that the ticket, get rid of all those expensive stand alone Mormon Chapels and replace them with income generating Olive Garden Restaurants.


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 Post subject: Re: Ancient Italy: The true Book of Mormon location
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 5:09 pm 
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Another compelling parallel is the parable of the olive tree found in chapter 5 of the book of Jacob.

This parable assumes that the hearer is familiar with vineyards and olive culture. And that is exactly what we find in ancient Italy. Vineyards were prolific in ancient Italy. Olives were also a staple of the ancient Italian diet. Living in the Italian penninsula, the Nephites to whom Jacob was preaching would understand this imagery very well.

It is intriguing that the ancient Italians saw the olive as symbolic of peace and prosperity, as this tradition fits very well with Jacob quoting the prophet Zenos' allegory of olive culture as evocative of the gospel of Jesus Christ.


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 Post subject: Re: Ancient Italy: The true Book of Mormon location
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 5:25 pm 
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Critics have also made much of the lack of Hebrew DNA among Native Americans as proof that the Book of Mormon is fictitious. However, this claim is only relevant for certain assumptions about the Book of Mormon. Unfortunately for the critics, far from contradicting the Book of Mormon narrative, DNA evidence strongly corroborates an ancient Italian setting for the Book of Mormon.

The following is from a June 2010 article on Nature News:

Jews worldwide share genetic ties

But analysis also reveals close links to Palestinians and Italians.


Different communities of Jews around the world share more than just religious or cultural practices — they also have strong genetic commonalities, according to the largest genetic analysis of Jewish people to date.

But the study also found strong genetic ties to non-Jewish groups, with the closest genetic neighbours on the European side being Italians, and on the Middle Eastern side the Druze, Bedouin and Palestinians.

Researchers in New York and Tel Aviv conducted a genome-wide analysis on 237 individuals from seven well-established Jewish communities around the world, hailing from Iran, Iraq, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Syria and eastern Europe. The team then compared these genetic profiles to those of non-Jews in the same geographic regions based on data from the Human Genome Diversity Project, a database of genomic information for individuals from populations worldwide. Each group of Jews is genetically distinct, but similarities between the groups weave them together with what the researchers describe as "genetic thread".

"There has been this back and forth discussion over the course of a century or more — are these a people? Is this in the genome?" says Harry Ostrer, a geneticist at New York University, the study's lead author. The new findings, he says, show that there "does seem to be a genetic basis to Jewishness".

Several studies in the past decade have looked at the genetics of Jewish populations, using smaller numbers of individuals, or focusing on markers in mitochondrial DNA — which is passed down maternally — or on the Y chromosome, inherited paternally. The genetic ties identified in the present study, published in the June issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics 1, are consistent with the results of previous work, says Sarah Tishkoff, a human geneticist at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, "but this is, I would say, the first study to put everything together into a big picture by looking at a large number of sites in the nuclear genome".


Close neighbours

The researchers analysed single-letter differences in the genome called single nucleotide polymorphisms, longer segments of DNA shared between different Jewish groups, as well as deleted or duplicated stretches of DNA called copy-number variants. Although the groups had strong genetic commonalities, the results also showed a varying degree of genetic mixing with nearby non-Jewish populations. The most genetically distinct Jewish communities, compared both to other Jewish groups and to nearby non-Jews, were those from Iran and Iraq.

The study provides a genetic basis for confirming or debunking theories of Jewish origin and history, says Ostrer. For example, one theory proposes that Ashkenazi Jews (of eastern European origin) are largely descended from Khazars in eastern Europe who converted to Judaism, but the genetic closeness between Ashkenazi Jews and other non-European Jews does not support this idea.

The study also highlights how genetics can reflect history, Ostrer says, including evidence of the dispersal of Jewish populations throughout the Middle East and Europe. "We really see the events of the Jewish diaspora in the genomes of Jewish people."

Using a computer simulation, the researchers estimate that the genetic split between Middle Eastern and European Jews occurred about 100–150 generations ago, or 2,500 years ago — when Jewish communities are thought to have become established in Persia and Babylon. They also trace a high level of genetic mixing between Ashkenazi Jews and nearby non-Jews to more recent times, corresponding to a period between the beginning of the fifteen century and the start of the nineteenth century when the Jewish population in Europe swelled from about 50,000 to 5 million.

Timing question

But constructing a timeline on the basis of genetic analysis is tricky, say others. "There are too many assumptions you have to make," says David Goldstein, a geneticist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. "I don't think we have the resolution right now in the genetics to time the events."

Another tantalizing question that the study doesn't address, he says, is the historical explanation for the shared genetics between the Jewish groups. Although the data point to a common ancestral origin in the Middle East, further details — such as when and how much different populations intermixed — are impossible to glean. "That level of resolution is just not there," he says.

Ostrer says that the researchers are extending their analysis to more Jewish populations. They also hope to apply the findings to medical research by focusing on some of the longer shared genetic markers that have been identified. The group is now studying the genetic susceptibility to breast and prostate cancers among Ashkenazi Jews, he says, and other groups are using genetic mapping techniques to study conditions such as Crohn's disease and Parkinson's disease.


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 Post subject: Re: Ancient Italy: The true Book of Mormon location
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 5:54 pm 
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Arnold Friberg, who was commissioned by the Church to paint scenes from the Book of Mormon, seems to have clearly understood the compelling parallels between the Book of Mormon and ancient Italy.

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Note how Mormon and Moroni are shown with red cloaks, which were an important part of a Roman soldier's equipment:

This item of clothing kept the legionary warm in colder climates and helped keep the rain off during inclement weather. Its red color was also probably intended to identify him as a Roman in the dust and confusion of battle and inspire fear into the hearts of his enemies. The sight of a massive red juggurnaut headed relentlessly in their direction must have clamped a cold claw of fear around the heart of many defenders of rebellious cities and sapped their will to fight.

Image

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And pay careful attention to the architecture of the building on which Christ is descending in this scene from 3 Nephi:

Image


Last edited by Darth J on Sun Jul 25, 2010 6:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ancient Italy: The true Book of Mormon location
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 5:56 pm 
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That was quick work.

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 Post subject: Re: Ancient Italy: The true Book of Mormon location
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 6:08 pm 
Dark Lord of the Sith
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Some of you may have heard of one Daniel C. Peterson, who works at the Maxwell Institute. He wrote a fascinating article about how Nephi's discussion of the tree of life finds a parallel with the ancient Hebrew goddess Asherah, which is very similar to the LDS concept of Heavenly Mother. Dr. Peterson's fascinating article can be found here:

Nephi and His Asherah

What is even more interesting is the parallel we find between Asherah in the Book of Mormon and the ancient Roman worship of the goddess Diana, who was often called the Queen of Heaven.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diana_%28mythology%29

And, just as Asherah is associated with the tree of life in Nephi's vision, Diana was also associated with the woodlands. Dr. Peterson's article points out that Nephi associated the tree with the virgin birth (of Jesus) because of Asherah. Diana, incidentally, was also the goddess associated with child birth by the ancient Romans.

Could Joseph Smith have guessed this? It is doubtful. In this parallel between the Book of Mormon and the goddess Diana, we set yet again another bull's eye of an ancient Italian setting for the Nephites.


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 Post subject: Re: Ancient Italy: The true Book of Mormon location
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 6:31 pm 
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All this, plus the fact that, despite decades of searching, so-called 'scientists' have absolutely no proof the Book of Mormon WASN'T set in Italy.

Booyah number two!

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 Post subject: Re: Ancient Italy: The true Book of Mormon location
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 6:32 pm 
Dark Lord of the Sith
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EDIT: Disregard the China theory. I am quite convinced now that the Italy setting is correct.


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 Post subject: Re: Ancient Italy: The true Book of Mormon location
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 10:06 pm 
Challenging the Italy setting for the Book of Mormon would be a Malay setting:

A MALAY SITE FOR BOOK OF Mormon EVENTS (PDF) (Sunstone, March 2004)


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 Post subject: Re: Ancient Italy: The true Book of Mormon location
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 10:31 pm 
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Critics have frequently talked about honeybees being mentioned in the book of Ether, citing a lack of pre-Columbian honeybees in the Americas. The Italian geography model, which has more compelling parallels than the Mesoamerican model, also resolves the honeybee issue.

Honey was known among the Etruscans, who correspond to the Jaredites.

A food derived from gathering and cultivation, honey has accompanied, often behind the scenes, the history of Italian nourishment from the remote past to our days. Used by the Etruscans as a votive offering, honey was mentioned for the first time by the Romans in detailed descriptions of its culinary usage, which was that of a sauce for savory dishes.

There is also an Italian subspecies of honeybee, which further corroborates the Book of Mormon narrative perfectly. The Western Honeybee

is very slightly larger than its cousin the eastern honeybee. As it moved from the Middle East and into Europe it developed into several distinct races, Italian, Caucasian, Black etc. Modern man transported these bees to the USA, Australia and New Zealand where they were not indigenous.

Image

Notice that the Italian bee, pictured above, is described as being transported from the Middle East---exactly what we would expect from a Book of Mormon perspective.


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 Post subject: Re: Ancient Italy: The true Book of Mormon location
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 11:13 pm 
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I would also like to add that an Italian setting for the Book of Mormon would address the alleged anachronism of the French word "adieu" being in Jac. 7:27. Italy, as we all know, is in very close proximity to France. In Oklahoma, where I grew up, one would say France was just a whoop and a holler away. It is perfectly conceivable some French gentiles could have migrated to Italy on some of those big, wide roads, and influencing the people living in Italy. Yet another anti Mormon chestnut successfully roasted on the open fire of truth. AMEN.

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 Post subject: Re: Ancient Italy: The true Book of Mormon location
PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:06 am 
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Hey Darth...

I think you are inspired.

If the Book of Mormon took place in Italy, well that would explain why in the Book of Mormon the following are not found:

Panthers, corn, beans, squash, jade, wild turkeys, macaws, rabbits, armadillos, chilies, papaya, guava, breadnut, avocado, shell horns, cocoa, maize, skull deformation, feather headdresses, cocoa beans used as money, chewing the leaves of the sapodilla tree, resin from copal trees used in religious ceremonies, blowpipes, clay pellets used for hunting, cotton, earthen banks, irrigation canals, Mayan calendars, obsidian, slightly crossed eyes by hanging beads over children’s heads, filed teeth or inlaid with jade or pyrite. Young men painting themselves black until marriage, (no this is not being cursed with dark skin), scarring, jaguar helmets, copper bells, shells, flutes, limestone structures, tapirs, the unique Mayan number system to twenty, etc., etc., etc.,and.... the ballgame.

LOL!

But Darth... where is the Hill Cumorah? Not the one in New York, but the one where the plates were hidden, and from where the angel removed them?

I'm thinking of a few other things... money system? Complex polity? Huge wars? Millions dead? Temple like Solomon's? Domesticated farm animals?

~td~

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 Post subject: Re: Ancient Italy: The true Book of Mormon location
PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 6:59 am 
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No, TD. triplepost. It is a marvelous work and a wonder. No wonder you were so impatient for it to register. Don't forget the llamas.

Somewhere I read a piece of European history that as armies were gathered for a major battle, bubonic plague struck so quickly that the battle between people never took place. I'll have to do a bit of research on that.

I think this is what I was thinking of:

Quote:
According to Thucydides, at first enthusiasm for the war was high. Large numbers of young men on both sides who had no experience of war saw it as an adventure and a potential source of profit. But even the first year of the war brought losses and hardship to the Athenians, much of it caused by the radical strategy advocated by the Athenians' current political leader, Pericles, to rely mainly on Athenian naval supremacy: bring all the people in Attica into the city and abandon the outlying countryside to destruction by the Spartans, relying upon the navy to supply the city with food and other necessities that would be carried through the fortified corridor from the port of the Pireus into the city itself (the Long Walls).

In the winter following the first year of the war, morale had fallen considerably in Athens. It was at the year's public funeral (held annually for men who had fallen in battle in the course of the year) that Pericles pronounced the famous funeral oration that is so often quoted as summing up the greatness of Periclean Athens (Thuc.2.34-46). Pericles' speech was an encomium on Athenian democracy and it provided the high point of Thucydides' account of the war. It is immediately and dramatically followed in his account by the description of the plague which struck the city in the following summer, as the Spartans again invaded Attica. Crowded together in the city as the result of Pericles' strategy, the Athenians fell victim to the virulent sickness that was spreading throughout the eastern Mediterranean. People died in large numbers, and no preventive measures or remedies were of any avail. It has been estimated that a quarter, and perhaps even a third, of the population was lost. The plague returned twice more, in 429 and 427/6, and Pericles himself died during this time, probably as a result of the disease.


http://www.indiana.edu/~ancmed/plague.htm

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 Post subject: Re: Ancient Italy: The true Book of Mormon location
PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 2:02 pm 
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There has been much speculation about "cureloms and cumoms" in the Book of Mormon.

And they also had horses, and asses, and there were elephants and cureloms and cumoms; all of which were useful unto man, and more especially the elephants and cureloms and cumoms.


Ether 9:19

Apologists trying to make the Book of Mormon fit a Mesoamerican model must try to make cureloms and cumoms fit their theory, as they do with specified animals like "horses" and "elephants" (i.e., that a horse is a tapir or some other animal in that region). The Italian model for the Book of Mormon does not suffer from this problem, and also offers additional compelling parallels to an ancient Italian setting.

The Latin word "carrus" means "vehicle." Just say it out loud, and the similarity between "carrus" and "curelom" is clear. Thus, in describing animals useful to man, we find a word for vehicle, suggesting a beast of burden or an animal that pulled a vehicle of some kind---and carts, wagons, and chariots were all present in ancient Italy.

The Latin word "commodus" means "proper, fit...useful." Notice the similarity between "commodus" and "cumom." We find a word similar to the Latin for "useful" exactly where it should be: in a passage describing useful animals!

A careful reading of the Book of Mormon suggests that the words "curelom" and "cumom" were not describing what the animals were, but what they did. Since the Lord corrupted languages at the Tower of Babel, and the Jaredites had their language remain (per the prayers of the brother of Jared), it is not by any means a stretch to infer that Jaredite words were modified by their Latin-speaking neighbors and descendants.

As for the "om" ending on "curelom" and "cumom," this also corresponds to the Latin suffix "-um," which is the nominative form of Latin second declension neuter nouns. In Latin, nouns are either masculine, feminine, or neuter. The fact that "-um" is singular neuter is consistent with "curelom" and "cumom" being descriptive terms, not actual animal names. The actual name of an animal would be masculine; such as, for example, equus (horse) or asinus (ass), which both have a masculine ending. "Horse" and "ass" are both specifically translated in the Book of Mormon, whereas "curelom" and "cumom" are not, further suggesting that the latter two are neuter descriptive terms, rather than actual animal names. Notice also that the words are rendered "cureloms and cumoms," further indicating that we are dealing with a singular neuter nominative word (as the ending "s" indicates plural in English writing).

"Vehicle" and "useful" fit the narrative of the Book of Ether perfectly, at the exact point where animals that are useful to man are being described. It is difficult to imagine Joseph Smith coming up with this coincidence on his own. Thus, we seem to have another bull's eye for the Book of Mormon's relationship with the land in which its people dwelt: the ancient Italian penninsula.


Last edited by Darth J on Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ancient Italy: The true Book of Mormon location
PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:43 pm 
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Dangit!!! Excellent!! You just outshone the best of them!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Ancient Italy: The true Book of Mormon location
PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2010 5:01 pm 
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Zelph was short for Zelphinius Antonius Lucius Maximus.

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 Post subject: Re: Ancient Italy: The true Book of Mormon location
PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 2:00 pm 
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In the Celestial Forum, our friend Rumpole asks what the "anti-" explanation is for chiasmus in the Book of Mormon.

Unfortunately for these "anti's", chiasmus is very strong proof of the ancient Italian model of the Book of Mormon. Chiasmus was a common literary device in ancient Greek and Roman writing, as has been explained by John Welch at the Maxwell Institute.

Here are some examples of chiasmus from Cicero:

flebat uterque non de suo supplicio, sed pater de filii morte, de patris filius. "each wept, not for his own punishment, but the father for the death of the son, the son for the death of his father."

vehementius odio libidinis tuae quam legationis metur moverentur.
"they were more powerfully influenced by loathing for your licentiousness than by the awe in which they held the office of legate."


Some well-meaning defenders of the Book of Mormon have noted chiastic phrases in certain parts of the Book of Mormon, but have not attempted to link this chiasmus to a physical and historical location. The Ancient Italian Model (AIM) resolves that issue.

Could Joseph Smith have merely made a lucky guess that the very people living where the Book of Mormon took place were known for the popularity of chiasmus as a literary device in their culture? No, he could not. Unfortunately for the critics, we must conclude that chiasmus is yet another bull's eye for the Ancient Italian Model.


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 Post subject: Re: Ancient Italy: The true Book of Mormon location
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:19 am 
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Darth J-

Why on earth have you not submitted this material to EJJS? I am constantly on the look out for solid work on the Book of Mormon. Your work needs to be published. Your Etruscan/Jaredite connection is especially strong, IMO. And, hello, the Etruscans used gold plates for writing! Bravo, Darth. Would you mind editing and submitting your work for publication in EJJS? You have a bright career in this field ahead of you.

All best,

Reverend Severus M. Kishkumen


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