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Tacitus on Hebrews under reign of Isis

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posted on Mar, 21 2009 @ 05:47 AM
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According to Tacitus: “Some say they [the Hebrews] were a people that were very numerous in Egypt, under the reign of Isis; and that the Egyptians got free from that burden, by sending them into the adjacent countries...”

Are any of you aware of discussions or publications on this statement by Tacitus?




posted on Mar, 21 2009 @ 06:16 AM
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I'm not aware of any direct discussion on this particular statement - although, obviously, I'm not saying that there isn't any.

However, I will add that I think this illustrate perhaps the foundation of much of the antagonism towards the Jews. Jews, historically, have always done pretty well for themselves and have been seen as a genuine threat to many a Throne, government or state because of it. Much of the accusations levelled at Jews now mirror the kind of accusations levelled at them in the middle-ages - they own and control too much (apparently) whether it's banking or the media.

It seems as if this has always been the case. Driven from country to country and to an extent having to start again and again, in the face of adversity and suspicion, they generate wealth and power until it happens again - people feel threatened and they're pushed out and made to be 'someone else's problem'. Often they're scapegoated and driven out when a society desperately needs a scapegoat and someone to blame. It's always easier to blame the outsider who, almost miraculously, has done well for themselves. And of course a society always appears to be doing better immediately following a post-Jew period as suddenly there's less people and a lot more confiscated wealth and business.

Also, the more a people get moved on, the more a fallacious 'no smoke without fire mentality' appears: well, there's got to something as to why they keep getting driven out and blamed for things. The answer, like it is to so many other things, is 'money and power' and people's greed for it.

It's bizarre, fascinating and horrific in equal measure.



posted on Mar, 21 2009 @ 02:02 PM
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The Egyptians also considered Set (Typhon) to be the patron god of the Israelites.


(Plutarch, De Is. et Os. XXXI)

6. Those, however, who say that Typhon’s flight from the fight on an ass lasted seven days, and that after reaching a place of safety he begat sons—Hierosolymus and Judæus—are instantly convicted of dragging Judaïc matters into the myth.


In other words, the Jews were Satanists (in their opinion)! And this may go to further show how cultures always demonize the Other--but enough of that.

[edit on 21-3-2009 by Eleleth]



posted on Mar, 21 2009 @ 07:40 PM
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Tacitus is writing about 50 AD, and is reporting information he was given. There was no "Isis" who ruled Egypt, although Cleopatra did style herself as Isis later in her reign. But she died almost 80 years before he started writing his history. After Cleopatra (38 BC), Egypt became a Roman province. For 350 years before that, it was a state ruled by Greeks (Cleopatra was Greek.)

The Jews had a very large colony in the capitol of Egypt, Alexandria and lived there relatively trouble-free under the rulership of the Greeks. Before then, there is almost no evidence they were ever there.

There's no Jewish graveyards (edited to add "outside the area of Alexandria"), no Jewish graffiti (outside the area of Alexandria), no areas of worship (outside the area of Alexandria), no Jewish names (no, "Tutmoses" is not a Jewish name.... ), and beyond a few "snake spells" written in hieroglyphics in the Hebrew language, there is simply no evidence they were ever there as anything other than another group of merchants and traders... living free (though the occasional one may have ended up as a slave. Most households couldn't afford slaves, and the pharaoh didn't keep a large army of them... no need to, since he had the devoted peasants who would work for free.)

Likewise, in the Jewish records the evidence for their being in Egypt is pretty obviously third or fourth hand. When they were held as slaves in Babylon/Sumeria, there are all sorts of tales and lamentations and whole books about the experience. Beyond the story of Moses, there is no other evidence... and that was composed long after the presumed patriarch's death. Unlike the Babylonian captivity (which records the rulers) there is no record of the Pharaoh's name.

Now, about the time Tacitus was writing, Nero was the emperor of Rome and there was a lot of dissatisfaction (trouble) with the Jewish communities and with the newly formed Christian sects. Whereas the Romans were pretty open about being friendly to other religions, the Jews and Christians were pretty die-hard about other people's gods being unholy abominations. So when things got tough, the ones who felt like victims started looking for someone to beat up on. Since they couldn't attack the emperor directly, the Uppity Religous Groups were next in line and a safe target, since the Emperor attacked them, too.

...in a nutshell.

[edit on 21-3-2009 by Byrd]



posted on Mar, 22 2009 @ 02:52 AM
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Dear Byrd, I am familiar with many of the theories about the origins of Egyptian mythology, but this statement by Tacitus made me wonder whether the names of the Egyptian 'gods' could not in fact be of Hebrew origin. I have found some surprising possibilities, compiled with the aid of Strong's Hebrew Lexicon (phonetic Hebrew):

The gods and pyramids of Egypt

* Ra: raah (#7200, to see, look): Ra, the Watcher

* Osiris: Asar (#6236, ten) iysh (#376, men): (He of) the Ten Men (tribes of Atlantis?)

* Isis: Iysh (#376, men/husband) siys (#7797, joy): The joy of her husband

* Khufu: chaphah (#2644, pronounced khaw-faw, to protect, covered): ‘protection’

* Khafre: kaph (#3709, power) reiy (#1158, looking glass): ‘the power of the looking glass (the Eye of Ra?)’

* Menkuare: min (#4480, from / out of) kaah (#3512, to despond, cause grief) reiy (#1158, looking glass): ‘From where the eye (of Ra) caused grief’

It was an interesting experiment, the results of which may be purely coincidental.

Concerning your statement about the identity of the Pharaoh of the Exodus, it is true that no undisputed identification has been made, but many papers and books have been written on the topic. For instance, Graham Phillips has argued that the Pharaoh in question was Amenhotep III, and that Moses was none other than Crown Prince Tuthmosis (indeed an Egyptian name). I am not sure whether a discussion on the Exodus would fall within the scope of this forum (Lost Civilizations), but I have to point out that many theories do exist and you may be challenged on your statement.



posted on Mar, 22 2009 @ 10:36 AM
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Originally posted by Riaan
Dear Byrd, I am familiar with many of the theories about the origins of Egyptian mythology, but this statement by Tacitus made me wonder whether the names of the Egyptian 'gods' could not in fact be of Hebrew origin.


No, given that the Egyptian civilization is some 2,500 years older than the first appearance of the Hebrews.



I have found some surprising possibilities, compiled with the aid of Strong's Hebrew Lexicon (phonetic Hebrew):


You will always find words that sound like other words in languages not related to them... because the human mouth can only produce a limited number of sounds.



* Osiris: Asar (#6236, ten) iysh (#376, men): (He of) the Ten Men (tribes of Atlantis?)


"Osiris" is the Greek (around 300 BC) pronunciation of the Egyptian god's name. "Wsir" or "Usir" is a bit closer to the actual spelling.


* Isis: Iysh (#376, men/husband) siys (#7797, joy): The joy of her husband

Again, that's the Greek renaming of the goddess, Aset.


* Khufu: chaphah (#2644, pronounced khaw-faw, to protect, covered): ‘protection’

His full (correct) name is "Khnum-Khufu"


* Khafre: kaph (#3709, power) reiy (#1158, looking glass): ‘the power of the looking glass (the Eye of Ra?)’


It's actually Khaf-ra. Khafre is Anglicized/Greek-ified.


* Menkuare: min (#4480, from / out of) kaah (#3512, to despond, cause grief) reiy (#1158, looking glass): ‘From where the eye (of Ra) caused grief’


It means "the ultimate great force of the god Re." (the Ka is one of the five parts of the soul -- and "force" is kind of a weak translation.)


It was an interesting experiment, the results of which may be purely coincidental.

You might like to read up on some of the pharaohs and their titles and names and consorts if you are at all interested in ancient Egypt.


Concerning your statement about the identity of the Pharaoh of the Exodus, it is true that no undisputed identification has been made, but many papers and books have been written on the topic. For instance, Graham Phillips has argued that the Pharaoh in question was Amenhotep III, and that Moses was none other than Crown Prince Tuthmosis (indeed an Egyptian name).


Phillips hasn't really studied Egyptian history, then, and is borrowing from Sigmund Freud's book, written long before a lot of the hieroglyphics were translated.

Thutmoses' full title was "Crown Prince, Overseer of the Priests of Upper and Lower Egypt, High Priest of Ptah in Memphis and Sm-priest (of Ptah)." He's hardly a follower of Yahweh, his parentage is known... and he loved his cat. Amenhotep had a long and peaceful reign and his only military action was in Nubia : en.wikipedia.org...

The Tempest Stele, sometimes associated with the Biblical plagues and sometimes with the eruption of Thera, does not describe events during his reign: en.wikipedia.org...

In any case, you were asking about Tacitus, who knew none of this material.



posted on Mar, 22 2009 @ 02:31 PM
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Thanks for the detailed reply. Regarding Phillips' identification of Moses as Tuthmosis, he actually based his identification not on the name Thuth-mosis, but rather on the circumstances surrounding his disappearance. Many scholars (what exactly is a 'scholar'?) have identified the biblical plagues of Egypt as the after-effects of an eruption of Thera. As far as I am aware the only recorded occurrence of a devastating plague in Egypt happened to be during the Amarna era, during the reign of Amenhotep III, father of Tuthmosis.

Josephus quoted several historians of his time who all claimed that the Jews were affected by the plague as much as the Egyptians, and that an oracle advised 'Amenophis' to expell all those affected into the desert (to die). This led to a slave revolt, in which Moses (Osarsiph) united the slaves and expelled Egyptians against Amenhotep.

Phillips therefore seems to be correct in terms of the setting of the Exodus. Further proof of the identification of the Pharaoh as Amenhotep III may be found in the meaning of the name of the princess who supposedly adopted Moses, Thermuthis. The name Thermuthis is formed by the Greek words ther (meaning wild animal, from Strong's Concordance #2339 thera, meaning hunting) and muthos (a tale or fable, Strong's #3454). Thermuthos then appears to mean 'the wild animal fable' and her nickname must have been something like Princess Wild Animal Story.

She may have earned this nickname as Tiye, the young wife of Amenhotep III, the latter who had become 'famous' for his magnificent wild bull hunt. From the text it is clear that in a fit of rage he slaughtered domesticated cattle that had drifted onto his property, but his innocent wife seems to have proudly reported to all and sundry that her husband had killed 96 wild bulls on a hunting trip, earning her that nickname. There are some other scraps of evidence as well, which I cannot all repeat here.

Do you have any specific views on the "plagues of Egypt"?



posted on Mar, 22 2009 @ 05:14 PM
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Testing... Hmm, this doesn't seem to be sized right...

Here's the link to this animated .gif I made so as to counteract the cover-story being propagated here by Byrd, master of the known.

Anyway, as Ralph Ellis points out, Josephus called womankind "Issa" which is easily seen as "Isis" and since most "experts" on ATS or elsewhere will not discuss the surpressed female-aspect of historical dynasties, we are totally lost as to what may have been meant by "The Rule of Isis"... If we listen to the Byrds, I mean.


We can probably say that both of these men were contemporaries, right?



en.wikipedia.org...

Josephus (AD 37 – c. 100),[2] also known as Yosef Ben Matityahu (Joseph, son of Matthias) and, after he became a Roman citizen, as Titus Flavius Josephus,[3] was a first-century Jewish historian and apologist of priestly and royal ancestry who survived and recorded the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. His works give an important insight into first-century Judaism.

en.wikipedia.org...

Publius (or Gaius) Cornelius Tacitus (ca. 56 – ca. 117) was a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. The surviving portions of his two major works—the Annals and the Histories—examine the reigns of the Roman Emperors Tiberius, Claudius, Nero and those that reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors. These two works span the history of the Roman Empire from the death of Augustus in AD 14 to (presumably) the death of emperor Domitian in AD 96. There are enormous lacunae in the surviving texts, including one four books long in the Annals.




Each page is animated at 30 seconds so take your time reading. Here's the link to the actual file on my brand-new ATS media portal. This was the only way I could quickly counter the failures-of-moderation happening here, so forgive the resolution and/or the filesize. I had to actually photograph each page since I wasn't willing to break the spine and thereby get the book into my scanner.

I just cannot stand to have some Super-Obfuscators having the authoritative say here. I've spoken about this elsewhere on ATS. There is a lot to discuss and some people just want to wrap it all up in an un-unwrappable package. So many lies, so little bandwidth ya know?



posted on Mar, 22 2009 @ 10:37 PM
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Originally posted by Riaan
Thanks for the detailed reply. Regarding Phillips' identification of Moses as Tuthmosis, he actually based his identification not on the name Thuth-mosis, but rather on the circumstances surrounding his disappearance.


...which are unknown, by the way.

Josephus is rewriting what he's read, AND he is rewriting it from a certain bias -- he is writing a history of the Jewish people. Furthermore, he is a Jew himself, and he wants his history to confirm the Old Testament and elaborate on it. So he puts in things he says comes from Manetho but we don't know if Manetho actually said some of the things.




Many scholars (what exactly is a 'scholar'?) have identified the biblical plagues of Egypt as the after-effects of an eruption of Thera.

That should be "some Biblical scholars." And that's the "Storm Stele" I was talking about, which is the wrong era.

And a scholar is someone who is very well read on the subject matter -- read all the hard books and in the case of a scholar of ancient history, should be able to read the language.



As far as I am aware the only recorded occurrence of a devastating plague in Egypt happened to be during the Amarna era, during the reign of Amenhotep III, father of Tuthmosis.


Plagues were common, particularly in years when the flood was low. In addition to the bubonic plague, they had many other common tropical diseases that would strike as plagues... according to analysis of mummies.


Further proof of the identification of the Pharaoh as Amenhotep III may be found in the meaning of the name of the princess who supposedly adopted Moses, Thermuthis. . . Thermuthos then appears to mean 'the wild animal fable' and her nickname must have been something like Princess Wild Animal Story.


Uh... there is no evidence that she was known by that name. That's a really bad guess by your source, by the way.


She may have earned this nickname as Tiye, the young wife of Amenhotep III, the latter who had become 'famous' for his magnificent wild bull hunt.


Aha. I found the source you're quoting from, and it's... ah... not very good. The "text" is in fact a series of six commemorative scarabs, and does not give any information about his wife being called "princess wild animal story"... which is a name that is not possible in Egyptian.

Basically, the Egyptian side doesn't really support what Josephus was writing. Nor do incidental documents like letters from the kings and so forth.

The names are just implausible. Egyptian is related to the Arabic languages... but it is not related to the Hebrew or Greek languages. The root words aren't the same (I'm trying to learn Arabic, and I know a smattering of Greek and a number of languages... but it is SO different that it is very difficult to learn. There are no root words or homonyms you can "grab" for help.) So the names alone tell me he's getting the info third or fourth hand and that his source wasn't Egyptian.


Do you have any specific views on the "plagues of Egypt"?


No Egyptian source mentions them, there is scant evidence of Jews in Egypt before 500 BC, there is no mass depository of spells and charms against invasions of flies and frogs and locusts (although there are a lot of spells against snakes). The hemorrhoids particularly don't sound very plausible.



posted on Mar, 24 2009 @ 09:51 AM
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Mmmkay. I've had some time to look at more original sources. I wish you had linked to the web pages you were quoting (I found them).

Josephus was writing a history of the Jews -- a history, that like the midrashes, would support the Torah/Old Testament. He was not terribly interested in material that did not support his history.

Let me just quote from the Jewish Encyclopedia section on Isis because it goes over all the content from that era rather neatly:


Isis: Egyptian deity, at whose instigation, it was alleged, the Jews were forced to leave Egypt. Cheremon, the enemy of the Jews, asserted that the goddess Isis had appeared to the Egyptian king Amenophis, and had censured him because her sanctuary had been destroyed; whereupon the priest Phritibantes told the king that the terrible vision would not recur if he would purge Egypt of the "foul people." Then the departure of the Jews from Egypt took place (Josephus, "Contra Ap." i. 32). Tacitus has a different version, according to which the Jews were natives of Egypt, and had emigrated during the reign of Isis ("Hist." v. 2-5).
www.jewishencyclopedia.com...


Two sources, two different tales.

Let's take note of something. Josephus is using Greek texts and Greek sources -- not original Egyptian material. Manetho did write a history of Egypt, and left a list of kings:
www.phouka.com...

"Amenophis" is a hellenized form of a pharaoh's name and does designate one of the Amenhoteps. However, the names of their wives and children probably weren't recorded by Manethos (if, indeed, he knew them some 1200 years after they lived.) The names of the priests are Greek also, not Egyptian.

Thermuthis is an interesting puzzle. One source says it is the Egyptian name of the asp crown worn by the rulers of Egypt: www.experiencefestival.com...

A slightly more informed source identifies the name as that of a motherly snake goddess (Renenutet) who protects farms and harvests and (importantly) children -- and who gets renamed by the Greeks after the Ptolemies show up:
www.egyptianmyths.net...

Josephus' identification may reflect local knowledge and local legends. The midrashes identify the woman who adopted Moses as "Bithiah" en.wikipedia.org... -- and this is the name she is known by in Jewish lore. As far as I can tell, Josephus is the only source for the name "Thermuthis."

As an interesting note on the Jews and Isis, there was a plague (apparently bubonic plague, according to Dioscurides Phacas) and a famine during the reign of Cleopatra. She sent grain from the royal graineries to feed her people -- but excluded the Jews from that handout, earning their hatred: www.allempires.com... A number of them left, which would sort of jive with Tacitus' account. Given that he was writing a history of the emperors and not the Jews, it wouldn't surprise me if his source was a mangled tale of the Jews in Alexandria. Some of his histories suffer from this "I heard from someone who heard from a person that..." syndrome -- but he's generally honest about his sources.

Tiye is interesting, although she's a poor candidate for "Moses' mother." Bithiah, in the Bible (and midrashes) was expelled from the Pharaoh's household and went with the Jews on the Exodus. Tiye stayed married, is a public figure even after the death of her husband, is not banished, did not convert to another religion and did not go with a son to another land and die there: en.wikipedia.org...

So she wasn't the one.

(BTW, if a ruler or royal person had renounced the Egyptian gods and priests and went off to another land, their name would have been erased from monuments and their statues destroyed (as happened with Ahkenaten.) To the ancient Egyptians, erasing a person's name meant they would be erased in the afterlife.)



posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 01:14 PM
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Thanks for the feedback, Byrd, and apologies for the late response. Some points I would like to make:

1. According to Josephus, the pharaoh of the Exodus is named as Amenhotep by both Manetho and Cheremon, while Lysimachus refers to him as Bocchoris. Other sources (in Latin) name the Pharaoh of the Exodus as Busiris. The Latin word bos means ox or bull, and Iris was the female messenger of the gods. The name Bosiris can then be translated as '(the god who sent) Iris with the message about oxen ', having essentially the same meaning as Thermuthis. The Latin word boo means to low or bellow like an ox, and the Latin word chorus simply means choir. Boochorus, which later became Bocchoris, therefore meant 'the bellowing choir', suggesting that all that could be heard by witnesses during the slaughter was the bellowing of the panic stricken cattle.

To me all these names point to the same pharaoh, Amenhotep III. It is not stated why exactly Thermuthis is associated with Renenet, but this must be speculation as well.

2. The name Bithiah (Strong’s Concordance #1332, daughter of Jah) is assumed to be a concatenation of the words bath (#1323, daughter) and yah (#3050). The word bathah (#1326) means desolation, rendering Bathah-ya, or “God of Desolation (waste). Amenhotep III erected hundreds of statues to honour Sekhmet, the God of Destruction. Tiye did not go with the Jews, but neither did Bithiah, according to the Koran (here she is called Asiyah):

"because she believed in Moses, her husband cruelly tormented her, fastening her hands and feet to four stakes, and laying a large millstone on her breast, her face, at the same time, being exposed to the scorching beams of the sun. .. at length God received her soul. … but no more than four of the other sex had attained perfection: Asia the wife of Pharaoh…”

My theory is that this queen was Nefertiti, whose mummy has not yet been found. Legend always embellishes the hero, so the fact that she had disappeared may have been distorted to have her leaving with the Hebrews. The name Nefertiti means “the beautiful one has come”, matching the description of Asiyah.

3. A plague may very well have occurred during the reign of Cleopatra, but there are no other aspects of the biblical plagues of Egypt that can be found during her reign. Several authors have shown that those plagues could only have been caused by an eruption of Thera, and that the darkness, fiery rain, poisoned rivers and the deadly plague can all be attributed to the fallout of a volcanic eruption, not to mention the ‘pillar of cloud’ by day and the ‘pillar of fire’ by night. Cleopatra was also not known by the name Amenhotep.

Best, Riaan



posted on Apr, 5 2009 @ 07:33 PM
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Mmmkay. I've had some time to look at more original sources. I wish you had linked to the web pages you were quoting (I found them).

I don't know what you are talking about, I provided links to anything available on the web and I even scanned a book for you. Can't you even say thanks?



Josephus was writing a history of the Jews -- a history, that like the midrashes, would support the Torah/Old Testament. He was not terribly interested in material that did not support his history.

Let me just quote from the Jewish Encyclopedia section on Isis because it goes over all the content from that era rather neatly:

Here is where you are so obviously wrong: This is not "all the content" from this era. Why do you continue your air of superior knowledge while closing the subject to all other discussion? You draw massively assumptive connections based on very little evidence across 2000 years and are very good at _sounding_ smart, but as you probably know, there are other stories lying in that same era, stories and authors beyond Tacitus and Josephus.

As I pointed out by my unappreciated efforts to include the work of Ralph Ellis, Nefertiti is the best candidate considering that pretty much all of the bible stems from Akhenaten, who is Moses and who wrote his mother into the biblical story as Miriam (Tiye's first son was murdered hence the bible story).

The bible is a jewish book assembled via documentarians and scribes and is made to support the damnation (Freudian 'killing') of Akhenaten and his wife, aka, 'Adam and Eve'who were naked in their garden 'paradise' of Amarna.

You flippantly say that Amenhotep III was no worshipper of Yahweh, but are you really so simpleminded as to be unable to see beyond that? Seriously, all your posts are like you read them out of a book on "How to post authoritatively"... You link to an article on wikipedia, you quote the most surface information and then quash any new thinking. I've seen this pattern from you over years of observation here at ATS.




Isis: Egyptian deity, at whose instigation, it was alleged, the Jews were forced to leave Egypt. Cheremon, the enemy of the Jews, asserted that the goddess Isis had appeared to the Egyptian king Amenophis, and had censured him because her sanctuary had been destroyed; whereupon the priest Phritibantes told the king that the terrible vision would not recur if he would purge Egypt of the "foul people." Then the departure of the Jews from Egypt took place (Josephus, "Contra Ap." i. 32).

Tacitus has a different version, according to which the Jews were natives of Egypt, and had emigrated during the reign of Isis ("Hist." v. 2-5).
www.jewishencyclopedia.com...

Two sources, two different tales.


What I am saying is that Ralph Ellis' work is superior to most anything compiled on this subject so far, and it is a pleasure to introduce his material to this thread. He makes a powerful argument that Nefertiti and Akhenaten were actually the historically-hidden Adam and Eve and so Tacitus may have been referring to Amarna and would surely have known that Isis was a goddess and not a person, and so obviously we'd have to look to the time when Isis' name might have been applied to a ruler.

The real point is that the Amarna heresey is both pivotal and also damned from history. The fact that the events in Amarna (which produced Moses or 'Osarseph') had to be erased from history is the biggest signpost for where to dig.

[edit on 5-4-2009 by smallpeeps]



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