DIVVS·IVLIVS

Commentarii de religione Divi Iulii vel primordio Christianitatis

Category: Jesus was Caesar

Antonio Piñero on Jesus was Caesar (22 October 2014)

CarottaPineroEscorialGoC

Piñero and Carotta at the Escorial conference

Fulvius de Boer may be known to our readers: he wrote this awesome piece against the detractor Anton van Hooff a couple of years ago (English translation). Now Fulvius just recently came across this blog post by a semi-supporter, Antonio Piñero, a Complutense professor of Greek philology who specializes in early Christian literature (archive; English translation by Google). Fulvius told us that he tried to post a comment there, but his reply hasn’t been published yet. Maybe because it was written in English? Are they translating it? (On that note: is there a benevolent reader who wants to translate it into Spanish for us?) At any rate, we already like Fulvius’ comments in English, so while we wait, we will reproduce his original reply here:

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Blog Watch: No Umpire for the Empire

Aptennis

Our redivivus is really a zealot, it seems. He can’t stop posting; see his newest blunder here (archived). We’re not getting tired of wanna-be savants (see our previous articles here and here), but it’s obvious to us that the man is a lost cause. So here are just a couple of quick final points.

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Blog Watch: Antoninus Impius

Our redivivus has answered again (archived), and it doesn’t get any better. But first let’s make one thing clear: our previous article on A.P.’s blunder was not written to “discredit his blog”, as he alleges, but only to debunk his feeble arguments, and the style was chosen to counter A.P.’s use of derogatory language, with which he had occasionally spiced his original article. But at least A.P. seems to have noticed that some of our comments were tongue-in-cheek: “That’s rich! Divine Julius calling Antoninus Pius senile!” At least that he noticed, but it doesn’t let him off the hook.

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Blog Watch: A Talking Dead

Barbarbarbar

The Roman emperor Antoninus Pius died in 161 CE. Although he was deified as Divus Antoninus, he has apparently chosen to leave the septentriones and repossess his bones. He now walks among the living again and maintains a blog, where he has just recently posted a short review of Francesco Carotta’s book Jesus was Caesar: “Jesus Christ and Julius Caesar: same initials, same man?” (archived). It is commendable that this Antoninus redivivus mentions another ancient man and god, Divus Iulius, and Carotta’s theory on what eventually became of that god, but upon closer examination we can notice lots of errors, patterns of bias, and it is particularly annoying that the sources are not always quoted correctly. So how about a couple of rebuttals and corrections? That shouldn’t be too hard, so we’ll get right down to business, even if we are aware that it is near impossible to convince biased people. Here are some examples. (To avoid confusion we will refer to this Antoninus simply as A.P. hereafter.)

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The arsonist Apostles in the Gospel of Peter

In the Gospel of Peter there is a peculiar remark by the apocryphal evangelist who uses the Apostle Peter as his proxy (GPet 7:26):

ἐγὼ δὲ μετὰ τῶν ἑταίρων μου ἐλυπούμην, καὶ τετρωμένοι κατὰ διάνοιαν ἐκρυβόμεθα· ἐζητούμεθα γὰρ ὑπ᾿ αὐτῶν ὡς κακοῦργοι καὶ ὡς τὸν ναὸν θέλοντες ἐμπρῆσαι.

But I with the companions was sorrowful; and having been wounded in spirit, we were in hiding, for we were sought after by them as wrongdoers and as wishing to set fire to the sanctuary.

In the canonical gospels there is no mention of the fact or of the belief that after the death of Jesus his followers wished to “set fire” to the “temple”, the “sanctuary” or “dwelling” of the god. But within the new theory of the Gospel as a Julio-Caesarian hypertext we can easily establish that we are yet again dealing with a diegetic transposition from the sources about Julius Caesar’s death and resurrection as god in March 44 BCE. Two possibilities arise:

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Liberalia and Easter: The breads of the Holy Week

There is a long tradition of bakery products for Easter all over continental Europe—and even beyond, as the popularity of the hot cross bun in the UK and former British colonies like the US and Australia shows. In the more traditional regions, especially those in the Mediterranean area, it is often a form of plain flatbread or wafers that are a prominent part of the tradition. In Spain a whole wafer industry has developed for the Semana Santa, and in rural areas with stronger and older traditions these wafers and especially more traditional flatbreads are sold or handed out to the people attending the ceremonies of the Holy Week, especially on Good Friday and on Easter Sunday. (Please note that these products are all distinct from the liturgical communion wafers.) In Greece there is for example a long tradition of women baking the so-called koulouria using outdoor ovens (see image below).

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The death of Christ on Holy Wednesday

Bercianos de Aliste is a small and remote Spanish village near the Portugese border. Due to its century-long isolation the town’s parish has retained a very ancient and unadorned tradition of the Semana Santa, the Spanish Holy Week leading up to Easter. At first sight they seem to be following the standard rituals of the Holy Week: During the night before Holy Thursday a monumento is built for the host. From Wednesday to Good Friday women mourn for the enshrined body and watch over their Lord and Savior. Then the host is shared during the Holy Thursday liturgy. The Good Friday rituals begin in the morning, when the priest symbolizes the deceased Christ by lying on the floor.

BercianosDeAliste_SemanaSanta_1.jpg

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Video: Francesco Carotta on the Gospel as a diegetic transposition

The video of an interview held with Francesco Carotta in German, which is embedded below, is apparently an outtake from the documentary feature film The Gospel of Caesar. Here is a paraphrased English transcript of Carotta’s statements on his theory that the Gospel is a diegetic transposition of the Roman sources on Julius Caesar’s Civil War:

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