Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Jesus Christ was the Model for some legends surrounding Julius Caesar. Part Four: Julius Caesar did not invade Britain



“… there is a very good chance that Caesar’s ‘Commentaries’ did not survive, and that ‘Bellum Gallicum’ (BG), the title it is known as today, was the work of other writers. Historians are wrong to treat it as gospel and to suppose this was the true voice of Caesar”.

Ben Hamilton

King Alfred the Great may have been the culprit, according to Ben Hamilton:


Caesar conquering Britain a 9th century invention by Alfred the Great

Saxon king fabricated 54 BC invasion to replace Viking-friendly heir and protect England from the Danes

August 16th, 2017 6:41 pm| by Ben Hamilton

The Saxon king Alfred, a late ninth century ruler who unified several kingdoms of England and thwarted the Danish Vikings from taking over at every turn, is commonly referred to as ‘the Great’ by historians.

But maybe ‘the Magnificent’ club of Suleiman, Lorenzo de’ Medici and co should make room for one more, contends Rebecca Huston, a former National Geographic Channel producer and American screenwriter who after ten years of original research and analysis believes the king single-handedly saved the country from being permanently absorbed into Scandinavia.

Never mind a one-nation Brexit, this was a one-man Brepel!


Caesar the non-conqueror
This wasn’t through force. Alfred simply demonstrated that the pen is mightier than the sword. Over a thousand years before the exploits of Bletchley Park saw off one army of foreign invaders, he delved into old manuscripts to stop another.

By doctoring a Latin version of one of the ancient world’s most famous writings, and altering several Old English manuscripts, he was able to convince his council of nobles that his son Edward was the rightful heir to his throne, not his nephew Æthelwold, a Saxon susceptible to alliances with the Danes.

And the astonishing upshot of this discovery is that Julius Caesar neither invaded nor conquered Britain in 54 BC.


Alfred the great storyteller
Along with the collected letters of Cicero, the memoirs written by Caesar while he was conquering France and other areas of central Europe in the fifth decade of the first century BC is believed by many to be one of the few manuscripts to have survived the period.

But there is a very good chance that Caesar’s ‘Commentaries’ did not survive, and that ‘Bellum Gallicum’ (BG), the title it is known as today, was the work of other writers. Historians are wrong to treat it as gospel and to suppose this was the true voice of Caesar. But many do, and therefore they duly accept that he invaded Britain.

Ancient writings only survived because they were painstakingly recopied by hand, and also translated, mostly by monks at monasteries when it was judged the current version was becoming a little worse for wear. This made them vulnerable to change.

As an avid translator of Latin texts into Old English with all his kingdom’s manuscripts at his disposal, Alfred was ideally placed to meddle, and Huston claims she has found compelling evidence among 6,000 pages of ancient and medieval texts that Alfred fabricated Caesar’s two ‘invasions’ of Britain in 55 and 54 BC and added them to what would become BG. In reality, she says, the first ‘invasion’ did not take place, and the second was a passing visit.

Many academics concur the king of Wessex, Kent, Essex, Sussex and the western part of Mercia also translated and revised five old English works – including translations of ‘Ecclesiastical History’, an eighth century work by the Venerable Bede, and ‘History Against the Pagans’, a fifth century work by Orosius.

Significantly the old English versions of the pair’s works include details about Caesar’s invasions, but the Latin versions do not.

Bede, for example, relied on the sixth century monk Gildas for all of his early British history, but Gildas never mentioned Caesar or his invasions, suggesting the inclusion is not Bede’s work.

Tellingly, the earliest-known copy of BG dates back to the last quarter of the ninth century, coinciding with the latter years of Alfred’s life.


Traces of the Englishman
“Alfred was the anonymous author of ‘Bellum Gallicum’ because highly-specific details about Alfred’s own life appear in the text that could not have been written by Caesar nor be known prior to Alfred’s lifetime,” Huston told CPH POST.

Huston points out that many scholars, including Germany’s Heinrich Meusel and Alfredus Klotz, have shared doubts over the authenticity of the passages – with Klotz suggesting that a “pseudo-Caesar” added false details, and Meusel questioning why Caesar wrote like an Englishman.

Historians have for centuries been stumbling over the truth, but have either not noticed or ignored the evidence – in some cases, suggests Huston, because Alfred was believed to be the spiritual founder of Oxford University and it would have been highly controversial!

For example, the early 20th century work ‘The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes’ acknowledges Alfred’s idiosyncratic style of drawing on his experience in describing the military exploits of others, while 19th century scholar Charles Plummer contends that the pious Alfred could not resist adding Christian elements, claiming that ‘History against the Pagans’ shows a “remarkable divergence from historical fact”.

Additionally, as a champion of indirect discourse (when he wasn’t saying “Veni, Vidi, Vici”!), Caesar would have never lapsed into the first person, as is often the case in BG – such a writing style was abhorrent to him and he even included his dislike in a book on classical Latin grammar.


Spun like Keyser Söze
Huston’s groundbreaking analysis of BG has yielded 120 examples of Alfred’s idiosyncratic writing style (including word choice, verbose style and peculiar errors) along with 40 references to his own life and times.

For example, BG records that Caesar arrived in 54 BC on clinker-built ships – a vessel never used by the Romans and not by anyone until the third century – which were familiar to Alfred as they featured heavily in his own West Saxon fleet.

In addition, the description of the Britons in BG closely matches that of the Danes in the ninth century, while Caesar’s experience fighting them is similar to Alfred’s against the Vikings. The ancient Brits, according to BG, wore animal skins and did not eat grain – a claim contradicted by modern archaeologists.

Throughout BG, Celtic and Old English terms frequently appear, geography is referenced that is six centuries premature and anachronistic errors are made regarding Roman weapons not yet invented nor used.

For example, the Latin term ‘equites’ is used to mean knights, but in Caesar’s day it meant money-lenders, while the four kings of Kent who surrendered to Caesar were family members of Alfred’s, and one of the surrendering British tribes, the Ancalites, is named after a sixth century shield used by Alfred’s ancestors.

“Similar to the mastermind character Keyser Söze in ‘The Usual Suspects’, Alfred adroitly spun the tale of Caesar’s British ‘invasions’ by fictionalising objects likely found in his immediate environment,” contended Huston.


A lack of evidence
No archaeological evidence has ever been found in southern England to confirm the Romans under Caesar fought the Britons as claimed in BG, with modern historian Richard Warner (in ‘British Archaeology’, 1995) asserting that the only reason people believe Caesar invaded Britain is because of his memoirs.

Not one ancient writer prior to Alfred mentions the invasion – not even Suetonius, who as the first official Roman biographer of Caesar and head of the Imperial Archives in Rome, had access to Caesar’s personal papers, daily military diaries and reports to the Roman Senate.

In 36 of Cicero’s letters from 54 BC, of which some were written directly to Caesar, not one mentions an invasion or fighting or transport problems despite many references to Britain. Cicero had good reason to be interested, as his brother took part in Caesar’s visit.

There is no mention of Caesar conquering Britain in the work of three prominent first century AD writers: the Roman historian Tacitus, the Greek essayist Plutarch, and the Roman poet Lucan, who observed that “Caesar came looking for the British and then terrified, turned tail.”

There is no evidence of the Roman camp which would have stood for three months and housed 25,000 soldiers, the battlesites – others have yielded countless finds – or the voyage over.

According to BG, 800 ships were launched from Port Itius in France in 54 BC – a location that would struggle to see off more than a hundred, according to a French admiral serving in the Napoleonic Wars.

A five-year mission launched in 2000, which was co-sponsored by the British Museum, tried to find the remains of 52 ships that supposedly sunk when Caesar ‘invaded’ Britain (12 in 55 and 40 in 54 BC), searching predominantly seven miles northeast of the cliffs of Dover – the area identified by BG.

BG also details the loss of 120 Roman anchors, of which each one weighed 680 kg and measured 2.8 metres across. The mission used SONAR technology that can identify a teapot at a depth of 500 metres, but nothing was found.

Ancient shipwrecks and anchors will deteriorate faster in warmer waters, but while dozens have been found in the Mediterranean, not one has been discovered in British waters.


Mission accomplished
Before his accession Alfred had promised his predecessor, his brother Æthelred I, that the dying king’s sons would take precedence over his own offspring and one of them, Æthelwold, was accordingly the senior heir.

Under Saxon law the kingship was not Alfred’s gift to bestow. But he did his best to make his son Edward the most logical heir, leaving him the bulk of his lands and even having the bones of his predecessor moved from Steyning, an estate left to Æthelwold, to Winchester, his capital.

Alfred’s citation from BG helped to strengthen his claim to the same rights and responsibilities as Caesar, the ‘conqueror’ of the five territories he ruled over, because of an additional lie that no records support: that he had been consecrated in Rome by Pope Leo IV during a pilgrimage he made aged four in 853.

Accordingly, he claimed he had inherited the ancient right of a conqueror to name his successor, thus superseding his agreement with his brother. Furthermore, by claiming the ancient nobles of Britain accepted Caesar’s choice of ruler of the exact same kingdom Alfred presided over, he could argue Roman authority superseded that of the Saxons, and that the ancient right was inseparable from the land.

“The anonymously-forged ‘memoirs’ were good enough to fool Alfred’s Latin-illiterate council of nobles,” contended Huston.

Edward duly succeeded Alfred in 899, prompting Æthelwold to launch a rebellion backed by Scandinavian allies, which he died fighting in three years later. Edward’s grandson Edgar the Peaceful went on to unify the kingdoms of England in 957, although this was shortlived.

While the Danes did eventually conquer the whole of England in 1013, their 29-year rule was not long enough to permanently absorb the country into a Nordic empire. Had Alfred not intervened, they could have ruled England for 143 years, or even longer.



Monday, January 14, 2019

Antinous the Pious and Antoninus Pius

Image result for antoninus pius

Damien F. Mackey
…. it does not seem at all possible to accommodate conventional history’s long-reigning emperor, Antoninus Pius (c. 138-161 BC), who is thought to have succeeded Hadrian.
The successor of Antiochus ‘Epiphanes’ (so-called IV) was, according to I Maccabees 6, the king’s son Antiochus, named ‘Eupator’ (vv. 16-17): “King Antiochus died there in the year 149. When Lysias learned that the king had died, he made the young Antiochus king in place of his father. He had brought up Antiochus from childhood and now gave him the name Eupator”. We know this young and very short-reigned (c. 161-163 BC, conventional dating) ruler as Antiochus V.
Now, in my greatly revised scheme of things, the terrible Antiochus IV ‘Epiphanes’ was the same person as the emperor Hadrian, who has come down to us, via what I would consider to be pseudo-history, as a Roman emperor, not a Seleucid Greek.
For the possibility of Antiochus IV ‘Epiphanes’ being Hadrian, see my series:
Antiochus 'Epiphanes' and Emperor Hadrian. Part One: "… a mirror image"
That being the case, and with Antiochus IV ‘Epiphanes’ succeeded by a son of his (‘Eupator’) who reigned for only about two years, then it does not seem at all possible to accommodate conventional history’s long-reigning emperor, Antoninus Pius (c. 138-161 BC), who is thought to have succeeded Hadrian.
Moreover, the designation Antoninus Pius is too close for my comfort to Antinous the Pious, the supposed teenaged boyfriend of the emperor Hadrian, but who I have argued was simply a later made-up religious cult figure, albeit greatly honoured, based heavily upon Jesus Christ: https://www.academia.edu/38145128/Merging_Maccabean_and_Herodian_Ages._Part_Three_The_King_iv_b_A_portentous_star?email_work_card=thumbnail-desktop
And, just as we had learned in this article (“A portentous star?”), that the city that Hadrian had allegedly built in honour of Antinous in Egypt has, by now, unfortunately, “vanished”, so, too, do we find that the reasonably abundant architecture said to have been constructed by Antoninus Pius has largely “disappeared”.
For thus we read in Steven L. Tuck’s A History of Roman Art, p. 253:
Compared to the amount of work under Trajan and Hadrian, very few large-scale buildings were constructed in Rome under the Antonines. Antoninus Pius lived quietly out of Rome at a villa while Marcus Aurelius spent most of his twenty years of rule fighting massive wars along Rome’s frontiers. Those buildings we know of were mostly tombs, temples, altars, columns, arches, and other such forms designed to commemorate the lives and achievements of emperors. The vast majority of these have disappeared or survive only in ruins leaving behind only their decorative sculpture to give a sense of their original forms and political statements.
Image result for antoninus pius

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Greco-Roman version of Magi Star

Image result for star of antinous


Merging Maccabean

and Herodian ages.


Part Three: The “King”
(iv, b) A portentous star

Damien F. Mackey

“The birth of the Star of Antinous also may be connected to
the star of Jesus that the wise men saw in the sky”.

Given my identification of Antiochus ‘IV’ Epiphanes with king Herod in this series, and also, elsewhere, my identification of Herod with the emperor Hadrian, see e.g.:
Herod and Hadrian
then it may not be entirely surprising to find that the emperor Hadrian’s reign would coincide with the appearance of a portentous star, just as had the reign of that infant-murdering (Antiochus IV =) Herod, who was informed by sages (Magi) of such a star (Matthew 2:1-2). In an article, “The Star of Antinous”, we read: http://www.antinopolis.org/star.html
"Hadrian declared that He had seen a star which he took to be that of Antinous, and gladly lent an ear to the fictitious tales woven by his associates to the effect that the star had really come into being from the spirit of Antinous and had then appeared for the first time."
-Cassius Dio, Epitome of Book 69
According to the Gospel (Matthew) account, though, it was the Magi who had seen and interpreted the Star, not the king’s “associates”.  
It is not even so surprising to find that Antinous has come down in time as a Jesus figure, miracle working, dying for a greater good, divinised (Man-God), etc.
For instance we read at: https://theautarkist.wordpress.com/2016/10/28/antinous-the-man-god-who-rivaled-jesus-in-the-2nd-century-ce/
Antinous: the Man-God Who Rivaled Jesus in the 2nd Century CE
Posted on October 28, 2016 by hiramcrespo
1,886 years ago, in Oct 28 of the year 130 of Common Era [sic], a young man from Bithynia (in today’s northwestern Turkey) drowned in the Nile while touring all the provinces of the Roman Empire under the wing of his lover, the then most powerful man on Earth: Emperor Hadrian.
If Antinous had not been the emperor’s lover, if he had not been as beautiful as Adonis, and if he had not died by drowning in the Nile on the day of Osiris’ passion and death, his death would have been uneventful and quickly forgotten. But the priests of Egypt believed that anyone who drowned in the Nile was a demi-god, and his death during Osiris’ festival prompted the immediate syncretism of the new Man-God with Osiris. Also, Hadrian was so moved with grief that he “cried like a woman”, and a few days later established on the banks of the Nile where his young lover had died, the city of Antinoopolis as a cult center for the new Man-God.
Within a few years, thanks to Hadrian’s very active promotion of the cult, the face of Antinous became the best preserved–and probably the most beautiful–face from antiquity that we can still behold via sculpture. The Antinous Mondragone is still considered one of the most beautiful and highly-appraised sculptures on Earth. The remains of one ancient, Roman Antinous bust recently sold for 23 million dollars, and coins and other paraphernalia to this gay icon remain in circulation now that Antinous has been re-sacralized and has a small following of modern polytheists.
Many Christians (and others) have questioned the sincerity of ancient faith in Antinoos, but the fact is that his cult was in actuality serious competition for early Christianity, and that it survived for centuries long after the death of Hadrian in the year 138 [sic]. If the faith had been feigned out of fear of the emperor, the cult would not have enjoyed such a long-standing history after Hadrian was gone.
Some of the ancient Christians who criticized Antinous’ cult for its “debauchery” (code for the homosexual nature of Hadrian and Antinous’ relationship), admitted the supposed miracles of the god and had to resort to peculiar kinds of apologetics, a fact which demonstrates a vitality and credibility that other Pagan cults apparently lacked. Origen even admitted that Antinous was a real spirit (though not a god) who could perform miracles, and that his followers merely had not had the “luck” to know Jesus. Trevor Thompson, in the conclusion of his Antinoos, The New God, said:
The cult of the new god Antinoos swept across the Mediterranean basin in less than a decade and continued to exist into the fourth century. For Origen, Antinoos was a real “daimon” with actual power. Belief in Antinoos or Jesus depended in most cases on the circumstances of one’s birth and the training received. Very few have the opportunity to examine religious claims. Most believe what they have been told.
The pagan philosopher Celsus also criticised it for what he perceived as the debauched nature of its Egyptian devotees, arguing that it led people into immoral behaviour, in this way comparing it to the cult of Christianity, which demonstrates that both the Jesus and the Antinous cults were perceived in a similar light.
antin-steleOne of my initial assertions in this article was that Antinous represented a real and legitimate threat and competition to early Christianity. I realize that this may be unthinkable to some people today, but one piece of archaeology remains to be considered here. This relief from the Man-God’s holy city demonstrates the extent to which the highly-syncretistic cult in Antinoopolis wove both Dionysian elements (the grapes on his left hand, and keep in mind that Dionysus was believed to have been resurrected like Osiris and Jesus) as well as Christian elements (the cross on his right hand) into itself. Here, we see the youthful Antinous (identifiable by his typical hairstyle) holding both symbols. It seems like, for some time, the versatile Antinous was also being interpreted as a Christ figure. In fact, all the resurrected Men-God were considered Savior figures who secured afterlife benefits for their followers who were initiated into their mysteries. ….
[End of quote]
But Antinous is not the only supposedly historical figure who is considered to be a Jesus type.
Another is the Buddha, who - though largely based upon Moses - see e.g. my multi-part series beginning with:
Buddha just a re-working of Moses. Part One: The singular greatness of Moses
has some incredible likenesses also to Jesus Christ, even to the extent, perhaps, of:
Magi incident absorbed into Buddhism?
Another striking example of a supposed Jesus type is:
Jesus Christ appropriated by Greece as Apollonius of Tyana
A comment: It is interesting how so many of these supposed ‘Greek’ appropriations of Hebrews (Jews) are supposed to have hailed from the approximate region of Ionia (Anatolia): namely, Thales, Heraclitus, Apollonius, Antinous, etc.
Just as: https://kenboa.org/science/return-bethlehem-star/
Scientists have long debated the identity of the mysterious star that led the Magi to Bethlehem. …. Many have attempted to explain the appearance of the star as a natural phenomenon. Perhaps the Magi saw a meteor shower, or an especially bright star or planet, such as Saturn or Venus. The most popular view identifies the star as a planetary conjunction: a close meeting or passing of two celestial bodies that had special meaning to astrologers of that day. Others say it might have been a comet or a supernova, or perhaps a combination of two or more of these phenomena” [,]
so it is with the star of Antinous (Antinopolis.org site above):
The controversy continues whether it was a Super Nova, or a Comet that heralded the deification of Antinous as a heroic god of the celestial sphere. Did a Supernova occur, the birth of a star, at the high water mark of the Nile inundation, or did a comet appear suddenly in the early morning hours of the winter sky.
It is our belief that the miraculous star of Antinous was a Super Nova, and not a comet. Chinese astrologers recorded a comet to have occurred in the region of the constellation Aquila in the year 131-134 AD, however ancient astrologers would have known the difference between a stationary Super Nova and a moving comet, and as the comet would have been seen in what would have been the last hour of the early morning February sky, it seems unlikely that this would have been taken as a sign of anything as extraordinary and significant as the Star of Antinous is represented to have been understood. ….
My own thinking is that Antinous was no more a real historical character than was the Buddha, than was Apollonius of Tyana. The fact that Antinous could be depicted with a cross in his hand would suggest that his cult had emerged some time after the death of Jesus, whereas Hadrian was – according to my historical reconstructions – an historical character reigning during the infancy of Jesus.
Antinous is simply a made-up Greco-Roman, and highly regarded, cult figure, for whom the historical template was, to a profound degree, the life and actions of Jesus Christ.
And, sadly, wouldn’t you know it? The supposed city Antinoopolis has “since vanished”:
When the Byzantine Empire was overrun by the Moslems, Antinoopolis was abandoned, and vanished from history. No one knows why Antinoopolis was eventually abandoned, but most likely it was because for civilized (albeit Christian) Greeks, Antinoopolis was no longer defensible. It is known that the Caliph brought the heavy bronze doors of the Temple of Antinous to his new city of Cairo, but the doors have since vanished”.