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The concept of Roosters and Owls


Guest norman

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Hello,

does anyone know the origin of the notion of Roosters and Owls?

I'll admit I haven't done any heavier research, but the only thing I can find is this website (article written in 1996):

On Owls, Roosters, and Apocalyptic Time: A Historical Method for Reading a Refractory Documentation

Inspiration for this pair comes from the passage in Sanhedrin 97a in which Rabbi Simlah contrasts roosters who eagerly anticipate the dawn with bats who flee at its approach. Since his opposition was inherently invidious (a contrast between himself as a rooster and his interpolator, a Min [probably a Christian] who was not smart enough to realize he should fear the dawn), and since I want to target not so much someone who fears the dawn as who fears a premature excitement about the dawn (which includes many rabbis and bishops) I prefer to speak of the owl, with the connotations of wisdom (prudence?) that it carries.

Apparently this fellow changed bats into owls. Doesn't this mean that he's the source of the idea, then?

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Hi Norman,

It certainly seems so. Richard Landes was the director of the Center for Millennial Studies and one of the foremost experts on the subject of Millennialism which is essentially the belief amongst some Christians that Christ will rule for a thousand years prior to the establishment of a new order. It goes without saying that in tackling a subject like the Millennium that the writers would turn to the literature written by one of the most prominent minds on the subject.

He's definitely the chap who is credited with creating the Owls/Roosters concept so I guess we can look no further than him for inspiration.

Eth

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Hi, ethsnafu,

Thank you for your answer.

The Owls/Roosters idea does have this mythological atmosphere to it, I actually thought It'd be much older.

/Norman

Hi Norman,

It certainly seems so. Richard Landes was the director of the Center for Millennial Studies and one of the foremost experts on the subject of Millennialism which is essentially the belief amongst some Christians that Christ will rule for a thousand years prior to the establishment of a new order. It goes without saying that in tackling a subject like the Millennium that the writers would turn to the literature written by one of the most prominent minds on the subject.

He's definitely the chap who is credited with creating the Owls/Roosters concept so I guess we can look no further than him for inspiration.

Eth

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Hi Norman,

As you can see from your quote the idea was much older it was the use of 'Owls' instead of 'Bats' that has a much more modern usage. The whole article is well worth a read isn't it? I'm sure any fan of Millennium will enjoy the link you shared with us if they haven't seen it already.

Eth

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Hi Norman,

As you can see from your quote the idea was much older it was the use of 'Owls' instead of 'Bats' that has a much more modern usage. The whole article is well worth a read isn't it? I'm sure any fan of Millennium will enjoy the link you shared with us if they haven't seen it already.

Eth

Hi ethsnafu,

It's a good read, indeed.

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