This article revisits Mark 5,1–20 from the perspective of trauma theory, in light of historical contexts of Gerasa’s collective trauma and the cultural contexts of ancient perceptions of demons and their exorcism. The interplay between individual and collective levels of the story sheds light on symbolic overtones of an unresolved trauma about Roman military presence in the country of the Gerasenes. The story represents this trauma through literary indirection, including not only the enigmatic relation between “Legion” and the drowning swine, but also the paradoxical contrasts between individual and collective requests to Jesus. Mark 5,1–20 evokes meanings not only as pre-Markan tradition, but also as Markan redaction which intersect in crucial ways with the prelude to Jerusalem’s destruction (68–70 C.E.).
2 Vgl. etwa D. Kennedy, The Identity of RomanGerasa: An Archaeological
Approach, MedArch 11, 1998, 3969; zu Gadara T. M. Weber, Gadara
Umm Qēs I. Gadara Decapolitana. Untersuchungen zur Topographie, Ge-
schichte, Architektur und Bildenden Kunst einer Polis Hellenis im Ost-
jordanland (Wiesbaden 2002), insb. 2556. Allgemein auch D. Kennedy,
Gerasa and the Decapolis. A Virtual Islans in Northwest Jordan (Lon-
don 2007) oder speziell zu Fragen der politischen Organisation S. Moors,
De Decapolis. Steden en Dorpen in de
prominence throughout the first millennium, transforming Dark
Age artificial lighting in northern Europe. But in the Mediterranean region,
old-fashioned olive oil–burning clay lamps remained a fixture throughout the
whole period. This almond-shaped lamp was made in Jerash (RomanGerasa,
today in Jordan) in the eighth century. It is small, only 11 centimeter (4.3 inches)
long and 6.7 centimeter (2.5 inches) wide, so would fit snugly in the palm of your
hand. Though the handle projects higher, the fuel reservoir is a mere 3.5 centime-
ter (1.5 inches) high. The lamp
p h y 289
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but the parallel with Lyciarch, Asiarch, Cretarch, and so on suggests it was
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