Revista de Arqueología republishes “Orpheos Bakkikos”
The Spanish journal for ancient archaeology Revista de Arqueología has reprinted an abridged version of the article “Orfeo Báquico – La Cruz Desaparecida”, originally published in 2009 in the theological journal Isidorianum 18 (35): 179–217. Here’s the abstract taken from the English version “Orpheos Bakkikos — The Missing Cross”:
The tiny Orpheos Bakkikos stone, engraved with the representation of a crucifixion, has been lost since World War II. At the beginning of the last century the stone was still regarded as an original, but during the 1920s doubts arose concerning its authenticity due to its classification as early Christian. The dispute continues to this day. In this study we examine previous arguments for and against the artefact’s authenticity and conclude that the aporia can be solved not by regarding the stone unilaterally as either Orphic or Christian, but by placing it back into its original historical context. The supporting argumentation leads from the Roman imperial cult via the Athenian Iobakchoi of the second century A.D. as well as the Roman poets and Cultores Liberi of the Augustan era back to the funeral of Julius Caesar, where his wax effigy, which closely resembled the ‘crucified figure’ in the Orpheos Bakkikos engraving, was affixed to a cruciform tropaeum and shown to the people. On these grounds we establish hypotheses that explain both the application of the Orpheos Bakkikos stone as a crucifixum signum on the apex of the flamen Divi Iulii, which has been preserved on the Papal and Patriarchal headdresses, as well as the origin of the articulated crucifixes, which were handed down from Antiquity and are used during the Holy Week to this day.
See the database references for Revista de Arqueología here, and for the article here. If you want to read the original unabridged article including footnotes and bibliography, the three language versions are available as PDFs at the following links:
Pardon me, but I’m kind of skeptical of the image on the left being that of Julius Caesar on a trapaeum. First, the figure is not standing heroically,
[ed.: A heroic presentation would usually be expected, but not in this case: Fulvia had the funerary supervision (together with Antony), and she reiterated the funeral of Publius Clodius Pulcher, aimed at arousing the audience and creating feelings of pity. The sources are crystal clear that Caesar’s wax figure with all the wounds (incl. the blood-soaked toga) was an image of suffering. The tropaeum is usually a symbol of victory, but in this case it was a prop from the Dionysian rituals, because the funeral proceeded on the Liberalia, 17 March, festival of Liber Pater/Bacchus/Dionysus.]
he is hanging. Second, he appears to have long hair which would imply Jesus Christ or some other mystery diety.
[ed.: The funeral was on the Liberalia, ergo it included Dionysian rituals. Conjuring up Jesus in this context is paralogical, because the funeral was in 44 BCE. Concerning the long hair: First of all, it must be stated that the long hair is not a given fact, because the Buca denarius, from which the image of the figure was extracted, has not enough detail. But secondly, it is not impossible. Caesar suffered from his loss of hair, so it is feasible that the wax figure’s hair was restored for reasons of deference. Furthermore, Caesar’s wax figure was depicted in the guise of shepherd/king Endymion, which would enforce the hair argument. (There are some early depictions of Endymion with longer hair.)]
Third, he appears to be sitting on an attached seat, exhausted.
[ed.: Please refer to the Buca denarius in the article. It displays the iconography of the funeral with Caesar’s effigy as Endymion. The Endymion/Caesar figure was part of the Dionysian rites (cf. the article “Liberalia Tu Accusas!”), and was hoisted from the ferculum onto the tropaeum. It is not necessary to theorize about a sedile (cf. article), because (a) the wax figure was arranged this way on the ferculum (cf. the coin by Buca), with fixed body and articulated arm joints to recline on its elbow, and (b) it was an effigy, not a real person. An effigy does not need a sedile. At any rate, movable legs that could spread out were not necessary.]
I think Julius Caeasr would have been presented on his Tropaeum more heroically,
[ed.: Irrelevant, because we know for a fact that he was not (v.s.). Not in this context anyway, and not in light of his theopolitics as Son of God (i.e. son of Venus) and (here) as the lover of Selene, i.e. divinity, resurrection, love and forgiveness (cf. his famous senate speech, where he speaks about forgiveness, about the need to become “new citizens” and “love each other”, with Caesar as the divine father looking after his children).]
like Jesus was on his Cross prior to 1200 CE.
[ed.: We explained this in detail in the “Orpheos Bakkikos” article. You should read it thoroughly. The “bent legs”, which insinuate the late-iconographical Christus patiens were known long before the year 1200 CE. So the Orpheos Bakkikos is not an anachronistic iconographical artefact (or even a forgery), because (a) this posture of Christ was known from the beginning (cf. jasper from Gaza), and (b) is perfectly explicable in the context of Caesar’s wax effigy. DIV·IVL]
“Please refer to the Buca denarius in the article. It displays the iconography of the funeral with Caesar’s effigy as Endymion. The Endymion/Caesar figure was part of the Dionysian rites (cf. the article “Liberalia Tu Accusas!”), and was hoisted from the ferculum onto the tropaeum. It is not necessary to theorize about a sedile (cf. article), because (a) the wax figure was arranged this way on the ferculum (cf. the coin by Buca), with fixed body and articulated arm joints to recline on its elbow, and (b) it was an effigy, not a real person. An effigy does not need a sedile. At any rate, movable legs that could spread out were not necessary.”
Sorry for the long delay.
I only said, “he appears to be sitting….” I have read the whole article and it makes an excellent case for the amulet to be an authentic object. Yes, the “body” shown on the tropaeum probably is an effigy, i.e., a mannekin. They do not need sediles. But the photo above clearly shows an horizontal element right at the location where a living person would be sat upon a crux. And according to Seneca (Ep. 101:10, 11, 12) the part sat on was a pointed crux! But enough about cruces, I will go back to the tropaeum at hand. I remember reading in Appian’s account, that during Caesar’s funeral a mechane’ bearing Caesar’s image on it was exalted and turned round and round so everybody can see what the assasins did. A handle, partway up the upright of the tropaeum, could have made the task of exalting it easier. [ed.: Yes, Carotta & Eickenberg have theorized about the mechanism, and whether it’s depicted in any of the ancient artifacts. But there are definitely depictions of tropaea being erected, and they seem to be doing it by hand. —DIV·IVL]
That horizontal projection is in the Orpheos Bakkikos, sorry, I should have made it clrear.
The grisly Assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BCE is clearly the most dramatic, well-documented historical event that compares to the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ – equally clearly undocumented and unknown for centuries afterward. Not only the assassination, but Caesar’s profound funeral on the Liberalia 2 days after the horrible Ides of March, is the strongest proof of the connection between the two God-kings that accounts for the powerful development and religious organization in the Roman Empire, of all times and places, that led to Christianity, and its continuing strength and dominance for 2,000 years. Caesar was Pontifex Maximus, which is still the title of the Roman Catholic Pope.
Reblogged this on dionoia and commented:
Was just invited by author Francesco Carotta [‘Jesus was Caesar’] to join the profound discussions on DIVUS IULIUS, which I highly recommend for people interested in the facts of the myths originating in Caesar’s Rome that account for the truth of the fictional character Jesus Christ. [ed.: first discussion point… Jesus Christ is not a “fictional character”. He’s a diegetically transposed historical figure, Julius Caesar. 🙂 —DIV·IVL]