Thursday, December 17, 2009

Star of Bethlehem

Frederick Larson has given a stunning interpretation of the Star.


And from:

Coming Soon!

January 5, 2008
Christmas star debate gets its due on Epiphany
By Kim Lawton, Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly via Religion News Service
Christmas, despite what the calendar says, isn't over. And the star — "star of wonder, star of night, star with royal beauty bright" — that shone over Bethlehem won't go dim until it gets its proper due on Epiphany on Sunday (Jan. 6).
Read More

January 4, 2008
Christmas star gets its due on EpiphanyBy Kim LawtonReligion & Ethics NewsWeeklydistributed by Religion News Service
For centuries, the star has intrigued astronomers, historians, artists and theologians alike: was it a one-time miracle, a literary myth, or was it an actual astronomical occurrence?
Read More

December 24, 2007
Star of Bethlehem: Fact or Fiction?By Gailon Totheroh CBN News Science and Medical Reporter
Ever since the 1600s, people have used astronomy, history, and the Bible to try to identify the Star of Bethlehem.
So was the star something real, seen in the heavens as a sign of the coming Messiah? Or was it, as some say, merely made up by the early Church?
Read More

Religion and Ethics, December 21, 2007 episode no.1116
When the Magi arrived from the east, perhaps traveling from Persia or perhaps Babylon, they asked a question, and it's loaded. They say, "Where is the one who has been born King of the Jews?" Now something they'd seen in the sky suggested to them a connection with birth, kings, and the Jewish nation, and they saw the star when they arrived in Jerusalem. So it endures over time. So that's another clue, because most celestial objects endure over time, but not all do.
Read More

CBS 19 TV, December 20, 2007
Making the Miracle
Is the Star of Bethlehem real or myth?
The Star of Bethlehem is one of the most revered symbols of the christian faith.
But some have wondered... is it mere legend... or truly a miracle?
Read More Video

ABC 13 TV, December 20, 2007
Did the star of Bethlehem exist?
A bright star appeared in the night, lighting the way to where Jesus was born.
It's the story of the star of Bethlehem. It's been passed down for generations, but did the star really exist?
Read More

December 14, 2007
Bethlehem Star: Both Natural & Miraculous?
The star of Bethlehem: Natural occurrence or miraculous event? Rick Larson believes it's not an either/or answer.An attorney and legal professor, Larson has spent the last eight years devoted to showing how he believes astronomical events in the years 3 and 2 B.C. fulfill the Bible's description of the star the Magi followed to find the young Jesus. Having given numerous PowerPoint presentations on the subject at churches, Larson has helped put together a 63-minute DVD just in time for Christmas called "The Star of Bethlehem," detailing -- with the help of a computer program -- what he believes the wise men actually saw.
Read More

December 14, 2007
Bethlehem star: both natural & miraculous?By Michael Foust
"I have heard objections from clergy who say they don't like what I'm doing because it removes the miraculous," Larson told Baptist Press. "... The reason that is wrong is because if the star was part of the natural order, and our solar system and the universe is like a great clock -- mathematically precise and predictable -- then that means that the star was a clockwork star, and that of course means that God built the star into the structure of the solar system in the universe from the beginning of time.
Read More

December 10, 2007
Texas Professor Claims Evidence of Existence of Bethlehem Star
A law professor at A&M University in Texas claims to have evidence that the star of Bethlehem exists.
Rick Larson said he used scriptures, science and history to try to find out the truth about one of the most celebrated natural phenomena in the Christian history.
Read More

November 28, 2007
Starry, starry nightBy: Jeanne Graham
Is the star of Bethlehem -- described in the New Testament’s Gospel of Matthew as guiding the magi to Jesus in Bethlehem -- fact or myth? Frederick A. Larson, an intellectual property solo in College Station, says the existence of the star of Bethlehem is an astronomical fact, and he has created a video presentation to prove it.
Read More
CBS 11 TV, November 22, 2007
Texas Professor Claims Proof Of Star Of Bethlehem
The Star of Bethlehem has befuddled scholars throughout the ages. Now, a Texas law professor claims to have scientific proof that the Star was real, and not purely biblical myth. He has another major discovery as well, which resulted from his study of the Star.
Read More

November 26, 2007
The Star of BethlehemOffice for Film and Broadcasting
Was the star described in the Gospels as heralding the birth of Jesus a real phenomenon or merely an invention of the early church? In this intriguing documentary, evangelical lawyer turned student of astronomy Frederick A. Larson uses the evidence of Scripture and the mathematical calculations of modern software -- which allow for the precise reconstruction of the night sky on any date in history -- in an effort to answer that question.
Read More

October 18, 2007
Evidence Emerges for Star of Bethlehem's RealityBy: Michael Ireland
For centuries, historians, scientists and scholars have debated the existence of the Star of Bethlehem in the Biblical telling of Christ’s birth.
Now the existence of this celebrated, yet debated, Star has been proven by Texas lawyer and professor, Rick Larson, in the documentary, “The Star of Bethlehem,” available on DVD Oct. 23 at national online retailers and local Christian bookstores, distributed by Mpower Pictures and Genius Products.
Read More

The Star of Bethlehem
Dove Family ApprovedReviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter
This documentary is fascinating and meticulously researched. Frederick A. Larson, a lawyer, became interested in the history of the star of Bethlehem, and did extensive examining of the facts.
Read More

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Historical Jesus of Nazareth from "The Sacred Page"


Anders said...

Hello! I think that the website will be of interest to you and your readers. It contains research about Ribi Yehoshua (the Messiah) from Nazareth and what he taught.
Have a nice day!
Anders Branderud
September 28, 2009 6:43 AM

We read at this site:
The search for 'Historical [Jesus] is made impossible by the very nature of the search… and the biased assumptions of the searchers. They don't search for the historical Jew, but, rather, for some early evidence of the trueness of their own ("it's right because I believe it") Roman-Hellenist (= idolatrous), antinomian (i.e., misojudaic) Christian [Jesus].
Evidence which contradicts the Christian image, rather than contributing to constructing the true picture of the historical Jew, is contemptuously dismissed as wrong. The Ya•a•qov′ Ossuary is an excellent example of the most authoritative scientists in the world corroborating its authenticity in the face of Christian-sympathizing archeologists (including secular-misojudic Jews) fueling Christian traditions with disinformation that even the courts have thrown out as pseudo-scholar drivel.
This is proven in the very name of the search… for 'Historical [Jesus] —an intractable oxymoron!
Every legitimate historian and scholar knows full well that "[Jesus]" isn't even the Greek name (Iæsous.','#dfefff', 80)" ;="" onmouseout="hideddrivetip()">Ιησους), much less the original Hebrew name of the 1st-century Jew. [Jesus] a Hellenized, intrinsically idolatrous, post-135 C.E. name of a Roman-counterfeited image based on Paul the Apostate (a Hellenist Turkish-Jew).

In answer, we could quote the following article with reference to Pope Benedict XVI's great book, "Jesus of Nazareth":

Pope Benedict and the Historical Jesus

I can't believe it--the Pope is coming out with a book on the whole "historical Jesus" debate. I could hardly have asked for a bigger shot in the arm for my own personal research! For the past couple of years, this has been one of the primary areas of my own personal study. I'll have a lot more to say about it all as time goes on.

English readers can thank Teresa Benedetta for translating the portion of the preface which has already been released.

So what exactly is historical Jesus research? Why is it important that Pope Benedict is addressing this issue?

I've already addressed some of the issues involved in Jesus research in a series of posts called, Philosophical Issues and Methodology in Jesus Research. Given the news about the new "papal" work, I'll be starting a brand new series of posts next week, entitled: Jesus and the Restoration of the Davidic Kingdom. I want to wait to talk about it on my radio show on Friday before I start posting. This will be a long series and it will incorporate all of the work I've been doing for a while now.

I'm posting this series for two reasons. First, I want to help give lay Christians a good introduction to the issues at hand. So let me appeal to all you lay Catholic bloggers out there-- please help me get the word out about this series. For those interested in understanding what the Pope is up to, this is, in part, for you.

Second, I hope to get feedback from scholars, Ph.D. students, students of biblical studies, etc. I am currently in the middle of writing a dissertation on this topic. I'd be grateful for your thoughts and comments.

So, please feel free to spread the word among your colleagues and among the biblioblogs about what I'm launching into here.

As for this new papal book, let me make a few comments. First, let me quote from Teresa's translation of the preface...

During my youth - in the 1930s and 1940s, a whole series of exciting books on Jesus were published. I remember a few of the authors' names: Karl Adam, Romano Guardini, Franz Michel Willam, Giovanni Papini, Jean-Daniel Rops.
In all these books, the portrait of Jesus was drawn on the basis of the Gospels: how He lived on earth and how, although he was completely human, he brought God to man, God with whom, as the Son, he was One and the Same. And thus through the man Jesus, God became visible, and in this God one could see the image of the just
But starting with the 1950s, things changed. The tug of war between a 'historical Jesus' and "Jesus of the faith' became ever more wide - to the point of 'losing sight of each other'.
What the Pope is describing here is the rise of what is now often referred to as a the "New Quest." Here we have a great opportunity for a little introduction to historical Jesus research.
The contemporary critical approach to the problem of the so-called "historical Jesus" has its roots in the 17th and 18th centuries. As I explain in that series on Philosophical Methods in Jesus Research mentioned above, critical study of Jesus research emerged with the Enlightenment and the work of Herman Samuel Reimarus (1694-1768) and Gotthold Lessing (1729-81), who published Reimarus’ work posthumously. [1] During his lifetime Reimarus had struggled with reconciling the doctrines of Christian faith with reason.[2] Reimarus argued that Jesus was not intent on founding a new religion, rather, Jesus’ message was thoroughly Jewish. His message was a call return to Jewish piety and, later in his life, the proclamation of the coming of a political kingdom.[3] After his death, Jesus’ disciples made up the story that he had risen from the dead and appeared to them. “Christianity” is therefore detached from Jesus. His view is summed up neatly in the following citation:
“…Jesus in no way intended to abolish this Jewish religion and introduce a new one in its place. From this it follows incontrovertibly that the apostles taught and acted exactly the reverse of what their master had intended, taught, and commanded, since they released not only the heathen rom this law but also those who had converted from Judaism…. Soon, therefore, circumcision, sacrifice, purification, Sabbath, new moon, feast days, and the like were abolished completely and Judaism was laid in its grave.”[4]
Reimarus’ thus set forth two of the principle tasks that henceforth became hallmarks of scholarly treatments of Jesus: understanding Jesus’ preaching within the Judaism of his day and distinguishing the teaching of Jesus from that of the early Church.[5] Reimarus kept his reconstruction of Jesus a secret—even from his own wife.[6]
Lessing, who made Reimarus’ work public, followed him in affirming a fundamental gap between the historical figure of Jesus and the faith of Christianity. In his now famous pamphlet, On the Proof of the Spirit and of Power (1777), Lessing describes “the ugly, broad ditch” which separates history and faith, saying, “I cannot get across, however often and however earnestly I have tried to make the leap.”[7] This “ugly ditch” has remained one of the axiomatic elements of critical Jesus scholarship ever since, as scholars continually seek to distinguish between the “historical Jesus” and the “Christ of faith.”[8]
Reimarus' work was made popular by Albert Schweitzer, whose book The Quest for the Historical Jesus (1906) stands as one of the most influential books on Jesus in critical scholarship. An on-line version of this book is available here.
Beginning in the 1950's there was a renewed interest in the scholarly world in the historical Jesus. A flurry of books came out on the topic, sparked in large part by Ernst Kasemann. Kasemann was concerned about the growing popularity of Rudolph Bultmann's theology. Bultmann had seemingly made the historical dimension of the incarnation irrelevant by focusing on the the "kerygmatic Christ"--the Christ who is preached. Kasemann was concerned that this approach led to a kind of docetism--one of the early Christian heresies which denied Jesus' humanity. Kaseman challenged scholars to find the earthly Jesus in the kerygma. His challenge was picked up by a number of scholars (Fuchs, Bornkamm, Conzelmann, Fuller, Perrin and Robinson).
It was James A. T. Robinson who popularized the term “New Quest." Bultmann eventually responded in 1959. In many ways his response marked the beginning of the end of New Quest.
What Benedict says of the scholarship of this period is generally recognized by most scholars. As sited above, he writes, "The tug of war between a 'historical Jesus' and 'Jesus of the faith' became ever more wide - to the point of 'losing sight of each other'." The scholarship of the so-called "New Quest" largely ignored Jesus' Jewish roots--in fact, one almost detects a looming anti-semitism in some of the work of the period. Many contemporary scholars have sought to correct this problem--they are sometimes referred to as scholars of the "Third Quest"--but you'll have to read my upcoming series for more on that!
The Pope goes on to say:
But what significance could there be in faith in Jesus Christ, Jesus as the Son of the living God, if Jesus the man was so different from what the evangelists had portrayed and how the Church pdroclaims Him to be on the basis of the Gospels?
The progress of historical-critical research led to ever more subtle distinctions among the different layers of tradition. Behind those layers, the figure of Jesus, on which the faith rests, became ever more indistinct, took on ever less definite contours.
The Pope's comments here are dead on. So much contemporary Jesus research view the Gospels as unreliable--the product of much mythologizing. As a result, Jesus scholars often focus on recovering the so-called "authentic" words and deeds of Jesus. Implied in this is the assumption that much of the Gospels' portrait is, I suppose, "inauthentic".
Scholars resort to various criteria of authenticity, such as "embarassment". "Embarassment" refers to locating elements of the Gospels which seem to stand in tension with the beliefs of Christianity. For example, Jesus' baptism is recognized as a historical event since, scholars say, it would have been unlikely that early Christians would have invented a story about Jesus receiving baptism from another Jewish teacher--John the Baptist.
What happens though is this: in an effort to redefine who Jesus--to reconstruct a more plausible portrait of him--the portrait usually offered up by scholars ends up being less plausible. For example, Schweitzer seemed to believe that Jesus expected an imminent end of the world--an end of history. He thought his death would usher in the final confrontation between God and evil, but, he concluded, Jesus was wrong and died feeling forsaken by God. Here are Schweitzer's famous words:
The Baptist appears, and cries: "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." Soon after that comes Jesus, and in the knowledge that He is the coming Son of Man lays hold of the wheel of the world to set it moving on that last revolution which is to bring all ordinary history to a close. It refuses to turn, and He throws Himself upon it. Then it does turn; and crushes Him. Instead of bringing in the eschatological conditions, He has destroyed them. The wheel rolls onward, and the mangled body of the one immeasurably great Man, who was strong enough to think of Himself as the spiritual ruler of mankind and to bend history to His purpose, is hanging upon it still. That is His victory and His reign.
Yet, what scholars now generally agree upon is this--Jesus probably did not expect an imminent end of the world. Such a view is not plausible since it does not set Jesus properly within his Jewish context. Jesus' preaching of the kingdom of God had to do with Israel's hope for the restoration of Israel from exile, not the imminent end of the space-time universe. Schweitzer had misunderstood the image of the "kingdom of God."
The Pope goes on to say,
At the same time, the reconstructions of the Jesus who should be sought behind the traditions of the Evangelists and their sources, became ever more contradictory: from the revolutionary enemy of the Romans who opposed constituted authority and obviously failed, to the gentle moralist who allows everything, and inexplicably ends up by bringing on his own downfall.
Whoever reads in succession a certain number of these reconstructions will realize soon enough that they are rather depictions of the authors and their ideals more than the clarification or disclosure of an image that has become muddled. Meanwhile, however, diffidence has been growing towards these many images of Jesus, while His figure seems to be getting farther way from us.
Again, Benedict is right on. The portraits offered by Jesus scholars are often quite contradictory. S. F. Brandon believed Jesus was intent on overthrowing the Romans. He argued that Jesus was sympathetic to the zealot movement. The Gospel tradition sought to erase the memory of his revolutionary intentions--though, he argued, traces may still be found.
On the other end of the spectrum stand authors like J. D. Crossan. Crossan argues that Jesus was basically a Cynic philosopher, who advocated a "brokerless kingdom."
Critiques of both views have been offered by many. Suffice it to say, the two portraits couldn't be more different!
Benedict continues,
All these attempts have left behind in common the impression that we know very little for sure about Jesus and that it was only much later that the faith shaped His image in its divinity. This impression has penetrated profoundly into the collective consciousness of Christians.
Such a situation has dramatic implications for the faith because it makes uncertain its authentic point of reference itself; the intimate friendship with Jesus, on which everything depends, is threatened because we are left groping in the void.
Here there is a break in what was released. It seems as though he here presents his own methodology. He goes on to describe his approach, saying,
For my presentation of Jesus, it meant above all that I trust the Gospels. Of course, I take into account what the Council and modern exegesis say about literary genres, about the tendentiousness (intenzionalita) of statements made, in the communitarian context of the Gospel and what they say to us in a living context.
Even granting all that, as much as I possibly could, I have wished to try and present the Jesus of the Gospels as the true Jesus, as the 'historical Jesus' in the true sense of the expression.
I am convinced - and I hope that the reader will also realize this - that this figure is much more logical, and from the historical point of view, even more understandable than the reconstructions that we have had to confront in the last few decades.
The Pope, I believe, will ultimately be proved correct. The portrait of Jesus found in traditional mainline Christianity is the portrait that will make the most sense given the historical evidence. In fact, Craig Evans has already essentially made that case, showing that at just about every turn, the traditional portrait of who Jesus was makes more sense than the critical historical reconstructions offered by so many different scholars.
That's not to say that we have no need for historical research. On the contrary, the Pope explains...
I hope, however, that the reader understands this book was not written against modern exegesis, but with great recognition of much that it has given us and continues to give us.
It has made us discover a great quantity of sources and concepts through which the figure of Jesus can become present for us with a liveliness and depth that a few decades earlier we could not even have imagined.
All I have done is to go beyond mere historico-critical interpretation, by applying new methodological criteria which allow us a proper theological interpretation of the Bible and which naturally demand faith without at the same time renouncing historical seriousness.
The Pope ends with a final qualification. I love this...
Certainly, there should be no need to say explicitly that this book is absolutely not a magisterial action, but is only the expression of my personal research into the 'face of the Lord" (Ps 27,8). And so everyone is free to contradict me.
This is not a magisterial work--it represents Joseph Ratzinger's private opinion... but that doesn't mean, I suspect, that this is a work of minor importance.
I think what the Pope means is, "This is not a doctrinal condemnation of many critical reconstructions of Jesus which deny the reliability of the Gospel accounts--this a scholarly one. Contradict me if you can...(I doubt you'll be able to)."
I believe this is going to be a book of HUGE significance--I'm talking, Theology of the Body-type huge. Look out Jesus Seminar, look at Dan Brown... Benedict is coming after you... and he's got you in his sights.
The Pope is going to set the world on fire...

[1] Reimarus’ work was republished in seven fragments. The longest fragment, Von dem Zwecke Jesu und seiner Jünger, is found in Talbert, Charles H., ed, Reimarus: Fragments (trans., R. S. Fraser. Lives of Jesus Series. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1970).
[2] Harrisville and WalterSundberg, The Bible in Modern Culture, 60.
[3] Harrisville and WalterSundberg, The Bible in Modern Culture, 60.
[4] Talbert, Charles H. ed. Reimarus: Fragments (trans., R. S. Fraser. Lives of Jesus Series. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1970), 101.
[5] Harrisville and WalterSundberg, The Bible in Modern Culture, 62. For example, Reimarus identified the problem of the “delay” of the Lord within early Christian thought.
[6] Harrisville and WalterSundberg, The Bible in Modern Culture, 56. Reimarus, however, was confident that one day his views would be vindicated: “A time will come for a division between two groups: believers in revelation, and the despised advocates of reason. . . . This writing is and remains a true apology and defense against imposing a faith on us. Preserve it as a secret treasure. . . . until it pleases God to give rational religion a path toward open, healthy freedom, then draw you to responsibility for it.” Cited in Carl Moenckeberg, Hermann Samuel Reimarus und Johann Christian Edelmann (Hamburg: Gustav Eduard Notle, 1867), 123.
[7] Chadwick, H. Lessing’s Theological Writings (London: Black, 1956), 53, 55.
[8] Here I use these two terms broadly to describe the way scholars seek to “get behind” the Jesus of the Gospels or the Creed. It should be noted that these two terms have a long history and many scholars disagree as to the meaning assigned to them. For Martin Kähler (1835-1912), the man typically credited with coining the distinction, the “historical Jesus” simply meant the reconstructed Jesus of critical scholarship. A key figure in the history of this discussion is Rudolph Bultmann (1884-1976), who believed there was little need to establish the kerygmatic Christ on historical research into Jesus’ life. For a fuller discussion see John P. Meier, A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus (vol. 1 of The Roots of the Problem and Person; ABRL; New York: Doubleday, 1991)26-31.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Mythical 'Dark Ages' of AD Time



What a remarkable and preposterous claim? How could it possibly be justified?

Admittedly, Charlemagne has been likened to king Solomon, e.g. by H. Daniel-Rops (The Church in the Dark Ages, p. 395), who calls him “a witness of God, after the style of Solomon …”), and he has been spoken of in terms of the ancient kings of Israel; whilst Charlemagne's father, Pepin the Short, was hailed as “the new king David”. But no one considers that Charlemagne actually was a king of Israel, or that his father Pepin really was Solomon’s father David.

Admittedly Charlemagne sometimes appears as a larger-than-life king, almost too good to be true. His coronation on Christmas Day of 800 AD can seem just too neat and perfect to be believed. He was, according to Daniel-Rops (ibid., p. 390), “… the heaven-sent man, for whom Europe was waiting …”. And: (p. 401): “Who in the world fitted this role more than this glamorous personage, who set every man’s imagination afire and who seemed so much larger than life?”

Admittedly, Charlemagne is assigned to the period known as the Dark Ages (c. 600-900 AD); a period quite lacking in archaeology – and there is precious little evidence of the many buildings that this famous king is supposed to have had erected.

Admittedly, the anomalies and contradictions associated with virtually every aspect of the life of Charlemagne, from his birth to his death, are evident for all to consider.

But that cannot mean that Charlemagne himself is an invention, a fiction. Can it?

Well, in this article, Damien F. Mackey will argue that Charlemagne, as a king of the C9th AD, is indeed a fiction, and that he has been derived from the famous king Solomon of Israel (c. 950 BC). And, secondarily, that Charlemagne's father, king Pepin, was derived from king David; his mother, Bertha or Bertrada, from Bathsheba; Charlemagne's wife, “Desideria”, from “the “Queen of Sheba”; and Charlemagne’s colourful eastern friend and ally, Harun al-Raschid, was derived from Solomon’s ally, king Hiram of Tyre.

Although this article can be read on its own, it presupposes what the AMAIC has written in its previous article:

The Chronology of the Alpha and the Omega

So ideally, especially for those who are unfamiliar with our line of revision, one should also read this “Alpha and Omega” article, in order to get a proper perspective on the whole thing - though some of the anomalies pertaining to Charlemagne as pointed out in “Alpha and Omega” will be re-presented in this article.

Put simply, the argument is that the so-called ‘Dark Ages’ era of c. 600-900 AD has acted like a ‘Black Hole’ (that popular construct of conventional science), sucking within it genuine BC people and events. How this came about is yet to be determined. In this, as I have already touched on, one finds the explanation for the Prophet Mohammed, and also for King Charlemagne.[1]

Here we are interested solely in the latter.

Charlemagne’s Father, Pepin, “the new David”

D. Fraioli tells of Pepin at his peak (Joan of Arc and the Hundred Years War, p. 46): “An aura of prestige now surrounded the king, whom the pope called the “new king David” …”. Gregory of Tours had, as we shall read below, spoken similarly of king Clovis I, of the Merovingian dynasty. This traditional likening of Frankish kings to the ancient Davidic kings immediately raises the important point to be considered in this article concerning a sacred attitude held in regard to French kings, and this might go a long way towards accounting for the phenomenon of Charlemagne. Let us take a relevant section on this from Fraioli’s book (pp. 43-45):


France developed by far the most sacred mythology around its kingship of all the kingdoms in western Europe, although the earliest known coronations occurred in Visigothic Spain and Ireland. The sacred mythology of French kingship, which became known as “the religion of the monarchy”, first emerged during the Merovingian dynasty, in the context of a baptismal anointing rather than a sacred coronation, when Clovis, king of the Franks, converted to Christianity. ….

Fraioli will however, in a later section on Hincmar (d. 882), suggest that this whole notion of sacred kingship was a late tradition, both mythical and “fabricated”. Here is what she has to say about it there (pp. 47-48. Emphasis added)

Hincmar, archbishop of Reims from 845 to 882, was a learned theologian and nimble politician, whose fame in the development of sacred kingship rests on his introduction of the legend of the Holy Ampulla into the history of Clovis, four centuries after the fact. In an effort to prove the continuity of Frankish kingship and, it is commonly believed, to challenge the influence of the abbey of Saint Denis – then successfully fusing its own history with that of the monarchy – Hincmar authorized a new myth. He is often believed to have fabricated the story himself in an attempt to expand the importance of the see of Reims. In all likelihood, he did not invent it, although he had confessed to forging other documents. The myth made the astonishing assertion that the liquid used to consecrate Frankish kings was of divine origin. A dove, the Christian symbol of the Holy Spirit, had allegedly delivered the Ampulla, or vial, of sacred liquid in its beak, when the bustling crowd at Clovis’ baptism had prevented the bearer of the baptismal oil from a timely arrival at the ceremony. Through this myth the election of French kings was seen as the will of God. Furthermore, the continuity of their rule was guaranteed by an inexhaustible supply of anointing balm in the Holy Ampulla, which could anoint French kings to the end of time.

[End of quote]

Even this charming story may have its Old Testament origins in the miraculous preservation, in liquid form, of the sacred fire as recorded in 2 Maccabees 1:18-36, for the time of the biblical Nehemiah (whom we have found apparently making an anachronistic ‘return visit’ at the time of Mohammed, BC dragged into AD time – though Nehemiah was indeed a man of returns, as he, in his guise of Jeremiah {according to my reconstructions}, had actually appeared to Judas Maccabeus on the eve of a great battle, to offer Judas a golden sword of victory, 2 Maccabees 15:13-16). The reader is encouraged to read both of these inspiring Maccabean accounts.

The legend of Hincmar may perhaps have arisen out of a confused transmission of the original true historical account relating to the governor Nehemiah.

We continue now with Fraioli’s earlier section on The French Tradition, where she briefly considers Clovis I (pp. 44-45), and then proceeds on to Pepin (p. 46), emphasis added:

Clovis I (d. 511) and the Franks

…. At his baptism, King Clovis was anointed with a holy balm, or salve … in a ceremony blending kingship and religion. According to the contemporary chronicle of Gregory of Tours, the anointing of Clovis occurred by the grace of God, prompting Gregory to draw an analogy between Clovis and the sacred kingship of David in the Old Testament. ….

Pepin the Short (d. 768)

…. Pepin the Short … receives the credit for introducing the ritual of sacred anointing, or consecration, into the installation ceremony for French kings. …. As Patrick Simon has stated, Pepin’s innovation consisted of “legitimizing through a religious ceremony a power obtained by force ...”.

…. The union of king and clergy provided mutual benefit …. An aura of prestige now surrounded the king, whom the pope called the “new David” ….

[End of quotes]

Again, we recall the famous anointing with “the horn of oil” of David the shepherd, the youngest son of Jesse, by Samuel the high priest and prophet, after Samuel had rejected one by one David’s seven older brothers (1 Samuel 16:1-13). After the death of Saul (Samuel was also dead by now) David was anointed again, at Hebron, as king of all Israel (2 Samuel 5:3). Now Pepin, likewise, was twice crowned (ibid., p. 46. Emphasis added): “The second coronation, celebrated at Saint-Denis in 754, cleverly reconnected Pepin’s reign to the Merovingians through his wife, big-foot Bertha, a descendant of Clovis, which provided fictional continuity to French kingship”.

King David is sometimes found going so far it seems as to act out the priest’s rôle, as for example when he had triumphantly returned the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, and he subsequently offered “burnt offerings and the offering of well-being before the Lord” (2 Samuel 6:17).

Both David and Pepin were warrior-kings and men of great personal courage. Pepin is famous, in his youthful days, like David, for his courage against wild animals, including lions. Daniel-Rops (op. cit., p. 387) tells of it:

A well-known picture, which was already very popular in the Middle Ages, has impressed on our minds the features of this thickset, broad-shouldered little man who, for a wager, amused himself by separating a lion and a bull who were in the middle of a fight in the circus arena.

In the case of David, this courage is manifest, not “in the circus arena”, but in the field. More serious, and we might say less frivolous, was David’s situation, when the giant, Goliath, was challenging the armies of Israel. Then David said to Saul (1 Samuel 17:34-36):

‘Your servant used to keep sheep for his father; and whenever a lion or a bear came, and took a lamb from the flock, I went after it and struck it down, rescuing the lamb from its mouth; and if it turned against me, I would catch it by the jaw, strike it down and kill it. Your servant has killed both lions and bears; and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, since he has defied the armies of the living God’.

The truth, it seems, is far more inspiring than is the fiction!

Pepin was nicknamed “the Short”. Was David also short? He was probably not of very tall stature. When the prophet Samuel came to Jesse’s boys, to anoint the one amongst them whom God had chosen, Samuel had been most impressed by Eliab, who was apparently of a good height (1 Samuel 16:6-7). So, we could probably draw the inference that, when the Lord advised Samuel not to look on “the height of [the candidate’s] stature” in making his choice, that David, the youngest of the boys, who eventually was chosen, was not that very tall. But David was of fine appearance, nonetheless: “Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome” (v. 12).

Charlemagne, “after the style of Solomon”

His Beginnings

Like Solomon, the young son, Charlemagne (said to be 26 at the time), succeeded his father. But some hazy legend seems to surround Charlemagne’s mother and the king’s own early years. Thus Daniel-Rops (op. cit., p. 391):

What had he done, this boy who was promised to such a lofty destiny, between that day in 742 when Bertha, the daughter of the Count of Laon – the ‘Bertha of the big feet’ of the chansons de gestes – brought him into the world in some royal villa or other in Austrasia, and the premature hour of his succession? No one really knows, and Einhard of all people, who faithfully chronicled his reign, is strangely discreet about his hero’s early years.

Or, I ask, was ‘Bertha of the Big Feet’, or ‘Bertrada’, simply the famous Bathsheba, the mother of Solomon?

But it was not Solomon who was born out of wedlock, as it is thought of Charlemagne, but Bathsheba’s child who had died as a result of king David’s sin of adultery with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12:16-23). Solomon himself was the child of ‘consolation’ for the pair after the sad death of this un-named child (v. 24).

By the way, were the French 'Songs' (or Chansons), the Song of Roland (La Chanson de Roland) and the "Songs of heroic deeds [or lineages]" (Chansons de gestes), inspired by, or even in part based upon, the biblical Song of Songs or Canticles of Canticles (also known as the Song of Solomon?); a love poem that could well have inspired some of the famous French chivalric notions? Was the ‘wisdom of Oliver’ in the Song of Roland inspired by the Wisdom of Solomon? “Oliver urges caution; wisdom and restraint are part of what makes him a good knight” (

Did the “giants” in these Chansons perhaps arise from the encounter between David and the giant Goliath? Wikipedia says (article “Chanson de geste”):

Composed in Old French and apparently intended for oral performance by jongleurs, the chansons de geste narrate legendary incidents (sometimes based on real events) in the history of France during the eighth and ninth centuries, the age of Charles Martel, Charlemagne and Louis the Pious, with emphasis on their conflicts with the Moors and Saracens. To these historical legends, fantasy is gradually added; giants, magic, and monsters increasingly appear among the foes along with Muslims. ….

We recall here, from our previous article on the “Alpha and the Omega”, the points of uncertainty surrounding the birth of Charlemagne and the nationality of his mother:

Birthplace: More than a dozen places are claiming the honour to be the birthplace of Charles. The year of birth varies between 742 and 747 AD. Bertrada, the mother of Charles, was said to be a Bretonian princess, an Hungarian noble woman, or a member of the imperial family of Byzantium.

The competition for the throne between Charles and his brother, Carloman, is just like what we find in the biblical account of the challenge to the throne by Solomon’s brother, Adonijah (1 Kings 1:5-10). The mother may perhaps have been complicit in this (cf. 2:9). According to Daniel-Rops (op. cit., p. 395):

“At the time of [Charles’] accession this question [of Italy, Rome and the Lombards] had been considerably confused owing to the political mistakes of Queen Bertha, his mother”. Solomon, like Charlemagne, seems to have been twice elected king (accession and coronation), and in the first case, in both instances, the mother appears to have played an ambiguous part.

Again, when Adonijah’s bid for the throne had failed, he cunningly approached Bathsheba to ask Solomon to give him the beautiful Abishag for his wife (2:13-18). When Bathsheba did approach Solomon, the latter acted out the pretence of complying with his mother’s request (2:2):

King Solomon answered his mother, ‘And why do you ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Ask for him the kingdom as well! For he is my elder brother; ask not only for him but also for the priest Abiathar and for Joab the son of Zeruiah!’ [both of whom had supported Adonijah in his revolt against David and Solomon].

This situation is clearly recalled, I think, in the case of what Daniel-Rops (op. cit., ibid.) has referred to as “these manoeuvres when Queen Bertha had married her elder son … to Desiderius’s [King of Pavia’s] daughter, Desideria”. Though, in the biblical story, Adonijah apparently was not actually a son of Bathsheba’s (1 Kings 1:5), nor of course did he manage to fulfil his wish of marrying Abishag, despite his desire for her. “Desideria” is certainly a most appropriate appellation for the much-desired Abishag. And soon I shall be showing, from another parallel situation between Solomon and Charlemagne, that Desideria well equates with this Abishag.

Of course Solomon was being completely sarcastic in his reply to Adonijah’s request via Bathsheba. The wise king fully appreciated the implications of the scheming Adonijah’s attaining the hand of David’s favourite, Abishag. Thus he added, chillingly (vv. 23-25):

‘So may God do to me, and more also [a typical idiom of the time], for Adonijah has devised this scheme at the risk of his life! Now therefore as the Lord lives, who has established me and placed me on the throne of my father David, and who has made me a house as he promised, today Adonijah shall be put to death’. So King Solomon sent Benaiah son of Jehoiada; he struck him down, and he died.

Conveniently, likewise, Charlemagne’s brother died suddenly (Daniel-Rops, p. 391):

“But scarcely three years had elapsed when an unexpected death completely broke these shackles …. Charles claimed his brother’s heritage and thus rebuilt the unity of the paternal realm under his leadership”.

Solomon’s sarcasm in the face of Bathsheba’s request may even have its faint glimmer in the case of the chaffing compliance of the young Charles towards his own mother (ibid., pp. 394-395):

“Despite his twenty-five years Charles had appeared to defer to his energetic mother’s wishes. But he fretted under the restraint”.

His Natural Qualities

Like Solomon, Charlemagne was a most gifted individual, and the perfect king material (Daniel-Rops, p. 392):

Charles was … throughout his life – quick, far-sighted, and energetic. In these instinctive qualities lies the secret of his incomparably fruitful labour, and, to their service, a never-failing vigour lent an activity which was truly prodigious. ….And he had other complementary qualities, which decisively defined his grandeur: prudence, moderation, a realistic appreciation of the possible, a mistrust of unconsidered actions. It is the Emperor Augustus whom Charlemagne recalls, rather than Caesar or Alexander.

Or is it rather king Solomon “whom Charlemagne [most closely] recalls”?

As for “prudence” and his other cardinal virtues, as mentioned in the quote above, well, was not Solomon the first person to list these virtues (Wisdom of Solomon 8:7)?

His Appearance

What did Charlemagne look like? “Truth to tell, nothing very detailed can be put forward on this point” (Daniel-Rops, ibid.).

What is certain is that Charlemagne was not in fact the giant ‘with the flowing beard’ whom Chanson de Roland has immortalized; the mighty build is a poetic exaggeration, and the beard is an anachronism which owes its origin to the Byzantine-Arab fashion which, in the tenth century, considered that all distinguished Western Europeans should be excessively hairy.

But the beard was of course de rigueur in Solomon’s era.

For an idealized (and even mighty) physical description of king Solomon and his Shunammite bride, from which Chanson de Roland may perhaps have gained some epic inspiration, see Song of Songs 5:10-16.

His Intelligence and Discernment

“Was he intelligent?”, asks Daniel-Rops (op. cit., p. 393), who then answers thus:

Most certainly; and when we think of his profound knowledge of men, of his ease at grasping situations, of the immensity of the tasks which he conceived and of the undertakings which he managed, we realize that his intelligence was far above the average”. And: “He unquestionably had a supreme appreciation of the overriding need of the moment – the foundation of a new culture – and this is one of the aspects of his character in which his genius shines forth most brilliantly”.

Solomon was of course the wisest of the wise; his name being a byword for wisdom. We read, for instance, in the Book of Ecclesiastes of king Solomon (12:9-14):


Besides being wise, the Teacher [Qoheleth] also taught the people knowledge, weighing and studying and arranging many proverbs. The Teacher sought to find pleasing words, and he wrote words of truth plainly. The sayings of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings that are given by one shepherd. Of anything beyond these, my child, beware. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

The end of the matter: all has been heard. Fear God, and keep his commandments; for that is the whole duty of everyone. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.

Most of this could be applied to ‘Charlemagne’, we shall find, for we shall see unfurl the traditional multi-facetted concept of him as a pious, wise and culturally restructuring (even Renaissance-like) king.

There are many other examples, too, of Solomon’s extraordinary wisdom and discernment. Here are just a few:

1 Kings 4:29: “God gave Solomon very great wisdom, discernment, and breadth of understanding, as vast as the sand on the seashore”.

Wisdom 1:1: “Love righteousness, you rulers of the earth …”.

Ecclesiastes 9:1: “ … how the righteous and the wise … are in the hand of God”.

Moreover, Solomon was not shy about broadcasting his wisdom and the fact that he had exceeded all others in it. For example (Ecclesiastes 1:16): “I said to myself, ‘I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me; and my mind has great experience of wisdom and knowledge’.”

However Solomon, in his ‘Prayer for Wisdom’ (Book of Wisdom 7:15-17), had attributed his wisdom to God:

“May God grant me to speak with judgment, and to have thoughts worthy of what I have received; for He is the guide even of wisdom and the corrector of the wise. For both we and our words are in His hand, as are all understanding and skill in crafts. For it is He who gave me unerring knowledge of what exists …”.

Ecclesiastes 1:12: “I, the Teacher, when king over Israel in Jerusalem applied my mind to seek and search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven …”.

Ecclesiastes 7:25: “I turned my mind to know and to search out and to seek wisdom and the sum of things, and to know that wickedness is folly and that foolishness is madness”.

Solomon, too, exhorted other kings and officials to follow his way (Wisdom 6:1-9):

Listen therefore, O kings, and understand; learn, O judges of the ends of the earth. Give ear you that rule over multitudes, and boast of many nations. For your dominion was given you from the Lord, and your sovereignty from the Most High; he will search out your works and inquire into your plans. Because as servants of his kingdom you did not rule rightly, or keep the law, or walk according to the purpose of God, he will come upon you terribly and swiftly, because severe judgment falls on those in high places. For the lowliest may be pardoned in mercy, but the mighty will be mightily tested. For the Lord of all will not stand in awe of anyone, or show deference to greatness; because he himself made both small and great, and he takes thought for all alike. But a strict inquiry is in store for the mighty. To you then, O monarchs, my words are directed, so that you may learn wisdom and not transgress.

His Repudiated Wife

Charlemagne, according to Daniel-Rops (op. cit., p. 396): “… repudiated Desideria, his Lombard wife, and sent her back to Pavia post-haste. Solomon also divorced the Queen of Sheba, Hatshepsut, and sent her back to Egypt. This, as I have explained in my “House of David” article (, following Ed Metzler, is the full meaning of the Hebrew of 1 Kings 10:13, that now translates weakly as: “Then she returned to her own land, with her servants”. Thus:

Metzler has suggested that the biblical phrase "she [Sheba] turned" (to go back home) indicates 'divorce' (Latin divortium, from divertere, "to turn away") [2120]. What I suggest may have happened was that Solomon had kept Hatshepsut/Sheba there in Jerusalem along with Thutmose III for however long it took for the latter to be of an age to marry her, and that he then sent the couple back to Egypt to rule there. If I am correct, then Hatshepsut would therefore be the obscure Hatshepsut II so-called, who was to become the mother of Amenhotep II, eventual successor to the long-reigning Thutmose III.

I need to explain, for those who do not already know, that, according to AMAIC reconstructions of David, Solomon, the Queen of Sheba, and “Shishak”:

King David = “Pharaoh king of Egypt” (1 Kings 9:16) = Thutmose I;

King Solomon = Thutmose II, son of Thutmose I (Solomon is also Senenmut, the powerful and royal consort of Hatshepsut);

The Queen of Sheba = Hatshepsut (queen, then Pharaoh, of Egypt). She is also Abishag.

Pharaoh “Shishak” = Thutmose III.

The Europeans of the Middle Ages would have known of Solomon only from the Bible. They did not have the advantages that we have today of archaeology and other knowledges – and even today this era is still so little known, thanks largely to the confusing of it by the mainstream archaeologists and chronologists.

Solomon’s divorce of ‘the Queen of Sheba’ was all purely political, presumably so that Solomon’s son by the concubine Isis, Thutmose III (who became the mighty biblical pharaoh, Shishak, 2 Chronicles 12:2) could now marry her and become the ruler of Egypt. The Queen of Sheba (probably meaning ‘of Thebes’ in Egyptian) was the same as the beautiful Abishag, Solomon’s half-sister, in relation to whom Bathsheba was involved in an intrigue with Solomon’s brother for the throne - even though king David had made his wish absolutely clear in favour of Solomon. And, just as Solomon went counter to his mother Bathsheba, on behalf of David, so, says Daniel-Rops (op. cit., ibid.); “Bertha’s policy was abruptly abandoned, and Charlemagne was returning to that pursued by Pepin”.

Charlemagne’s triumph is recounted by Daniel-Rops as follows (ibid., p. 397):

At Easter 774, in a grandiose ceremony, the victorious Frank was to be received at St. Peter’s like a hero; the three doors of the basilica were opened in his honour. As he ascended the steps he kissed them piously, one by one, and prostrated himself upon the apostle’s ‘confession’, whilst the choir sang: ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’.

Cf. The Accession of King Solomon: 1 Kings 1:28-48.

And the proclamation here: ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’, is of course straight out of David’s Psalm 118:26.

The real scene, I suggest, was Jerusalem, not St. Peter’s Rome, and those who anointed the king there were the priest Zadok and the prophet Nathan (v. 45), and not Pope Hadrian I.

His Morality and His Piety

“As for his personal morals, they too remained typical of his epoch: this virile man, who married four times certainly followed Old rather than new Testament practices in his private life” (Daniel-Rops, ibid. Emphasis added). Solomon was of course a serial polygamist.

Charlemagne was most definitely a religious man, too (ibid., p. 394):

Charles was personally devout, rigorously observant in his prayers and his fasting (and the latter cut into his fine appetite), and he was indeed the man as portrayed by the chroniclers [or should it be ‘by the Bible’s First Book of Chronicles’?], the man who attended interminable religious services entirely of his own free will, his own strong voice mingling with those of the choir.

Certainly he, as Solomon, must have inherited some of David’s musicianship.

Charlemagne was a wise and religious ruler, and here is where Daniel-Rops does actually liken him to Solomon (ibid., 394-395. Emphasis added to last sentence):

To make his subjects live in perfect harmony, to establish the concordia pacis between men, above all to fight against all the evils which ravaged the world: famine, cruelty, and injustice – such was the ideal of this mighty and awe-inspiring monarch …. And the certainty which this man held at the bottom of his heart, of ‘taking the place of God on earth, of having, as his task, the exaltation of His Law [the Torah?]’ …. Charles is, on the historical plane, a witness of God, after the style of Solomon….

Cf. King Solomon’s Prayer of Dedication of the Temple: 1 Kings 8:22-61.

Solomon also acted like a priest on this important and triumphal occasion (vv. 62-64).

His Imperial Coronation

We read about the contradictory views associated with this event in the earlier article, “Alpha and Omega”. Thus (emphasis added):

It is unclear whether Charles requested the coronation, or whether he was crowned unexpectedly by the Pope. It is not clear whether there was a formal coronation or an acclamation. Einhard reports just the 'acceptance of the imperial title'. Andreas from Bergamo (9th century), Bonizo from Sutri (11th century), Gero from Reichersberg (12th century) and Nicolaus Cusanus (15th century) don't know nothing about an emperor Charles.

Similarly Daniel-Rops has written (op. cit., p. 402):

There only remains the … element which was responsible for the great event of Christmas 800: Charles’s own will. This is the point upon which we know the least. Was the imperial coronation the result of a well-matured plan on the part of the Frankish leader, a ladder which he had long ago resolved to climb? It is quite impossible to give an answer.

And Fraioli writes (p. 47):

So on Christmas day 800, in commemoration of the birth of Christ, a surprise coronation took place … Charlemagne, whom his biographer Einhard described as persuaded of his own God-given mission to unite western Christendom …. was looked upon as [just like Solomon, apparently] king and priest (rex et sacerdos).

Now it is Charlemagne who is the ‘new [king] David’. Thus Daniel-Rops (p. 400. Emphasis added):

Next the pontiff [Leo III] anointed the forehead of the ‘new David’ with sacred oil and, uniting the ceremonial imposed, since Diocletian’s time, by the protocol of the Roman emperors, with the ancient biblical rite, he prostrated himself before him and ‘adored him’.

No wonder the French kings came to consider themselves the rightful descendants of the Israelite royalty!

“The triple and ritual acclamation” to which Daniel-Rops refers in this part (ibid.) is also seemingly reminiscent of the triple procedure to which I have referred in my article, “The House of David”, in relation to the anointing of Solomon by David, and of Hatshepsut by pharaoh Thutmose I (= David). [See:]

Like king Solomon, Charlemagne reigned for at least four decades.

His Empire

Whilst Solomon’s empire lay entirely in the ancient region of ‘the Fertile Crescent’ (Egypt; Syro-Palestine; Mesopotamia), as reconstructed in our various articles on him, to Charlemagne are typically attributed European conquests; firstly, Italy, Rome and the Lombards. “The ease with which Charles could impose his rule on Italy in this way remains astonishing” (Daniel-Rops, op. cit., p. 397). And it also “remains”, I suggest, fictional. Then, he pushed back Islam and conquered the entire Germanic world, so that (ibid., p. 401): “His domain, which spread to the Elbe, to the middle Danube, to Brussels, and even as far as the outskirts of Rome, seemed now too large for the ordinary world ‘realm’ to fit it any longer”.

In Solomon’s case - and the extent of his rule is found to be far greater even than the Bible tells us - he would have been pushing back, not Germans and Islamic armies, but Philistines, Syro-Hittites, Elamites and Nubians.

His Ally, Harun al-Rashid

Finally, the whole scene does shift to the east, where it all truly belongs.

Daniel-Rops introduces this exotic phase in the life of Charlemagne as follows, once again making allusion to Solomon (and also now to the Queen of Sheba), p. 410:

Another aspect of Charlemagne’s ‘Christian policy’ struck his contemporaries very strongly; it is almost unbelievable, and brings into his career, which is almost devoid of poetic quality, a note of exotic charm similar to that which the visit of the Queen of Sheba casts upon the reign of Solomon; in other words, his relations with Haroun-al-Raschid, the Caliph of Bagdad.

It is more than “almost unbelievable”, I say: It is unbelievable!

In the “Alpha and Omega” article, we included this piece:

Relations: Charles exchanged diplomats with Harun al-Raschid, the Caliph of Baghdad, who sent him the white elephant Abul Abbas, which took part in all journeys and military actions of Charles between 802 and 810 AD. Arab sources do not mention these relations. Harun al-Raschid has become famous as protagonist in tales from One Thousand and One Night[s].

Harun, in our context, must be Solomon’s great Phoenician ally, Hiram, king of Tyre. Though Hiram’s power extended much further than Tyre; for he, as I have argued elsewhere, was also the mighty merchant-king Iarim-Lim of the Aleppo region, who was able militarily to threaten with extermination rulers as far away as Babylonia (the region of the imaginary Harun), if they failed to pay for his shipbuilding services. As Hiram, he had told Solomon that the Galilean towns that the latter had given him in payment for his services were Cabul (1 Kings 9:13), virtually ‘rubbish dumps’.

According to Daniel-Rops (ibid.), Harun “was an intelligent, well-educated, and relatively sympathetic man …”. (Just don’t cross him, as in the case of Iarim-Lim). He, as Hiram, was in actuality an ancient Middle Eastern potentate, so it is inadvisable to discuss him in the modern European terms of an ‘educated gentleman’.

Daniel-Rops continues with his fictionary Harun:

Probably no Eastern ruler ever equalled the glory of this great caliph: he lived in the palace of the ‘Golden Gate’, whose famous green dome dominated the Mesopotamian plain, amongst his priceless carpets and tapestries, in the midst of a gigantic court of servants, concubines and eunuchs, and he was worthy indeed to become the hero of the Arabian Nights. But he was also a skilful diplomat and a soldier.

The architecture, the lavish courts and the multitudes of servants, as well as the skill factor in ruling and conquering, all are perfectly true of Hiram, especially in his partnership with the magnificent Solomon. The two had fleets of ships visiting the most exotic regions, for gold, slaves, precious myrrh and rare spices, and other quite unique flora and fauna. I have suggested that Solomon and Hiram were actually turning Palestine at the time into a zoo and a botanical gardens; a lot of which atmosphere is reflected in the exotic Song of Songs. {It is such a pity that the archaeologists have been looking at the wrong strata levels for the cosmopolitan Late Bronze phase of king Solomon}. Much of what Daniel-Rops has to say about the exchanges of gifts between the two magnificent rulers is true, even including having elephants in the land; but the location was actually Palestine, not at Aix-la-Chapelle (ibid., p. 412):

The harmonious relations between the two sovereigns were marked by exchanges of gifts, which the Carolingian chroniclers enlarge upon charmingly and freely. Everyone at Aix-la-Chapelle was enraptured by the arrival of a chess set with the figures finely carved in ivory, of spices with unknown scents, of a clock which moved by means of a cunning hydraulic mechanism, and even of elephants and other strange animals!

There is no ambiguity in regard to the fact of Solomon’s wealth. In the case of Charlemagne, though, there is, as we thus noted in the “Alpha and Omega” article:

Economy: The findings of historians regarding Charles' economy show extreme contradictions: Some concede abundant wealth to Charles, while others have to complain economic decay. As Heinsohn has shown recently, coins attributed to Charles (or, likewise Charles the Bald-head) cannot be distinguished from the coins of Charles the Simple (898-929). According to Illig, Carolus Simplex has been a real Carolingian and the model for Charlemagne. The attribute "simplex" (stupid, but likewise single, not-duplicated) has been used for the first time following the turn of the millennium.

His Capital City and His Cultural Achievements

‘The Carolingian Renaissance’, as Daniel-Rops calls it (op. cit., p. 422), centred on Aix-la-Chapelle, which, we suggest, has taken the place of the great city of Jerusalem. But this Aix-la-Chapelle is considered to have been a rather unusual geographical choice anyway:

The vital centre of this Renaissance was Aix-la-Chapelle, the ancient ‘villa’ of Pepin the Short’s time, which was situated some distance off the great Roman roads. From 794 onwards Charlemagne made it into a Carolingian Versailles, judging from its intellectual atmosphere and the splendour of its appearance. The geographical position of this new capital has given rise to much discussion: why was this Rhineland area chosen, rather than some town in Gaul, or even Rome itself?

…. Aix was the centre of the intellectual Renaissance; and the centre of Aix, and especially the Palatine school, was a kind of general headquarters of the mind, which influenced the entire empire ….

Amongst this august group was Charlemagne himself, now “known as David”; this being about the only seemingly eastern factor in what comes across as a very European ‘club of gentlemen’ (ibid., p. 424):

The leaders of this pleiade of scholars and cultured men formed a sort of club, a small, self-contained group. Historians are accustomed to call this group the Palatine Academy. Each of its members bore a pseudonym borrowed from antiquity. Charlemagne himself, who was not a whit averse to residing over this learned assembly, was known as David, which overestimated the power of the cantor of the Psalms and overrated even more outrageously the poetic talents of the son of Pepin!

Charlemagne is also, like Solomon, famed for his supposed architectural achievements (Daniel-Rops, p. 425. Emphasis added):

…. Because the building, decoration, and beautifying of the House of God was one of the major preoccupations of the master, architecture and the plastic arts developed so much that Dawson has been able to write: ‘Charlemagne founded a Holy Roman architecture as well as a Holy Roman Empire’. In fact, it was not only Roman, but followed tendencies which we have already noticed in the Merovingian epoch, mingling Eastern and remote Asiatic influence with the revival of classical features.

But sadly - as somewhat also with king Solomon (but in his case due to centuries of destruction and looting, and also to the failure by archaeologists to identify Solomon’s era stratigraphically): “We no longer possess many examples of the architecture of this great reign”.

Reason: Because it was never actually erected by Charlemagne in the first place! It’s just not there! Thus we recall from the “Alpha and Omega” article:

Buildings: As we know from the ancient texts, between 476 and 855 AD more than 1695 large buildings were erected, including 312 cathedrals, 1254 convents and 129 royal palaces. The historian Harald Braunfels: "Of all these buildings [until 1991] only 215 were examined by archaeologists. Artefacts were found only at a fraction of these buildings. One may count with ten fingers the number of buildings that still exist as a whole or as a significant fraction."

Pfalzkapelle Aachen: The masterpiece of Carolingian architecture, the Chapel of St. Mary at Aachen (about 792-799) is unique. Its direct predecessor (Ravenna's San Vitale) had been erected some 200 years earlier. Buildings comparable to Aachen in style and technology were not erected until the advent of the Romanesque style in the 11th century. Consequently, Illig assumes the Pfalzkapelle to be a Romanesque building of the 11th century.

His Burial and Tomb

We also mentioned the anomalies associated with these in “Alpha and Omega”:

Charles' burial place is the Pfalzkapelle at Aachen (his explicit will to find his grave beneath his father at Saint-Denis had been ignored). This contradicted the general prohibition of burials within churches, proclaimed by councils held under Charles at Aachen (809) and Mainz (813).

Tomb: Charles' tomb had been camouflaged so well (in fear of the raiding Normans) that it could not be localized for two centuries. In the year 1000 the emperor Otto III discovers the tomb. He finds Charles sitting on his throne. Again the tomb became forgotten until it was found once more and reopened by Friedrich Barbarossa. Then again, the tomb disappeared and was never found again. For comparison: The tomb of Otto I in the dome of Magdeburg has always been honoured – despite of all destructions and rebuilds of this church.

His Cult and Biography

And from the same source:

Cult: Friedrich Barbarossa (1152-1190) is said to have coined the term Sacrum Romanum Imperium. Friedrich gave order to exhumate Charles, and to canonize him. Most known forgeries referring to Charles were produced during Friedrich's lifetime. The reliquary for Charles' arm (dated about 1170) displays the imperial attitude of Barbarossa in reference to Charlemagne.

Biography: Leopold von Ranke classifies the biography of Charles, written by his palatial clerk Einhard: "The small volume is full of historical errors [...]. Frequently, the years of reign are false [...]; about the split of the empire between the two brothers the opposite of what really happened is reported [...]; the names of the popes were confused, the spouses and children of Charles were not noted correctly; so many offences have been found that the authenticity of the book has been questioned quite often, although it is “beyond all doubt."

According to the above, in regard to the biography of Charlemagne, “... the names of the popes were confused”. If we are correct in assigning the king to the historical scrap heap, then it should follow that there will need to be a reconsideration of the proper sequence of the papacy.

Tradition: Charles' son in law Angilbert rhymes in 799 an epos, where he denotes Charles to be the "light of Europe", "Head of the world; summit of Europe; father of Europe; most graceful father; hero". But in 799 Charles was not yet crowned as the emperor. In an essay for the Spiegel magazine (“A dark lighthouse”, Johannes Fried has shown that the myth of Charles as the "father of Europe" came up very much later as a product of a romantic Napoleonism and even Hitlerism.

It seems that French kings too, such as Philip II and Louis IX, did much to enhance the reputation of the glorious ‘Charlemagne’. We take up Fraioli again on this (op. cit., pp. 49-50, 51, 52. Emphasis added):

Philip II Augustus (r. 1180-1223)

…. Entranced by the life and imperial image of Charlemagne, to whom he must have considered himself in many ways parallel, Philip consciously patterned himself on the model of the great Christian emperor. …. In the twelfth century, Charlemagne was primarily known through literary rather than historical works. Philip had certainly listened to the popular epic poems about national heroes – the most prominent being Charlemagne – called chansons de geste. ….

Louis IX (r. 1226-1270)

…. Hincmar’s legend of the Holy Ampulla was permanently incorporated into the coronation ritual. As a result, it was declared, with far-reaching consequences, that because French rulers were appointed with oil sent from heaven, the king of France “outshines all the kings of the earth”.

…. As others before him, Saint Louis maintained that the consecration of French kings was intimately connected to the original anointings of Old Testament kings.


A magnificent king of western Europe has been fabricated from the true biblical base of king Solomon of Israel: that is Charlemagne. He makes fascinating reading because he is larger-than-life and he is also too good to be true. But true he is not (at least in AD terms). How great then must have been king Solomon himself, who was not fictitious at all, and who has provided the extraordinary matrix for this glorious Christian king, Charlemagne!

[1] If Anatoly Fomenko is right, then even the emperors of the late Western Roman Empire (300-476 AD) are duplicates of a part of the ancient Israelite king lists, and English history from 640-830 has been adopted from Byzantine history of 378-553. See e.g. Wikipedia’s “New Chronology (Fomenko)”.