DIVVS·IVLIVS

Commentarii de religione Divi Iulii vel primordio Christianitatis

Proofreading Liberalia tu accusas!

We are currently processing the galley proof of our article Liberalia tu accusas! on the correct date of Julius Caesar’s funeral to be published soon in a renowned peer-reviewed journal for ancient history. The postprint version is being edited accordingly. We do not know yet, when we are allowed to republish the article as a PDF online, but it might be as soon as early 2012. We will keep you posted.

Arcete feles – das Deutschlandradio hat ‘nen Vogel!

CatBird

Jesus war Caesar. Darüber spricht man nicht. Es wird abgewunken, Augen rollen, es scheint förmlich zu riechen, nach allem möglichen, doch keiner weiß so recht wonach. Also lieber die Finger davonlassen und weitermachen wie gehabt. Umso erstaunlicher ist, dass DRadio Wissen, eine Abteilung des Kölner Senders Deutschlandradio, am 6. September 2011 ein Interview zu Francesco Carottas Buch War Jesus Caesar? führte, welches wir weiter unten zusätzlich als MP3 eingebettet haben. Hört, hört… ein Buch, das vor einem guten Jahrzehnt den Jesus-Flohmarkt in Deutschland ein kleines bisschen durcheinandergewirbelt hatte, ist wieder kurz auf der Tagesordnung. Und damit war’s das aber auch schon, denn auch wenn es vom Sender möglicherweise gut gemeint war, ist etwas brauchbares nicht herausgekommen, was nicht nur am Kurzformat des Interviewsegments von lediglich zehn Minuten liegt.

Wo bitte soll man bei solch rasendem Geistesstillstand ansetzen? Vielleicht müsste man zuallererst den Radiomachern die Frage stellen, warum sie das Interview mit Manuel Vogel führten, einem protestantischen Theologen an der Universität Jena und ehemaligen Pfarrer. Sind Protestanten besonders gewandt in römischer Geschichte, oder haben sie sich historisch nicht doch eher durch ihre Abkehr von Rom hervorgetan? Und überhaupt: Ist Francesco Carotta ein Theologe? Geht es in seinem Buch um theologische Fragen? Tatsächlich geht es hier um Geschichtswissenschaft, um Religionsgeschichte, um Altphilologie und Textkritik, um Numismatik, Epigraphik und Archäologie. Um christliche Theologie geht es nicht einmal im Ansatz. Somit ist ein Interview mit einem frommen Theologen nicht nur fehl am Platz, sondern auch gefährlich, denn Theologie vertritt immer eine Agenda, ist also nur bis zu einem gewissen Grad wissenschaftlich. Der Rest ist Dogma. Die Gefahr mangelnder Wissenschaftlichkeit kann man aber in dieser Diskussion nicht gebrauchen. Und so stolpern wir wieder einmal über Schema F: Der Theologe dreht den Spieß um und behauptet unter anderem, die Jesus-Caesar-Forschung sei pseudowissenschaftlich, was sie nachweislich nicht ist. Dazu später mehr. Angefangen wird aber am Anfang, und bereits die Präsentation des Themas vor Beginn des eigentlichen Interviews enthält einige Fehler.

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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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Astigi quod Iulienses. The mystery of Astigi and the palm of Munda

Écija revisited: Francesco Carotta has written a new article called Astigi quod Iulienses. El misterio de Astigi y la palmera de Munda. The article is available in Spanish here. From the abstract:

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Sitsim: Julius Caesar’s funeral on the iPhone

Sitsim_overview.jpg

Kudos to the developers of a really great iPhone app called Sitsim (short for “situated simulation”), which is being supervised by Gunnar Liestøl, professor at the University of Oslo (above, upper right). The app will deliver augmented reality on mobile devices at historically important sites all around the world. Embedded below is a demonstration video, which includes the funeral ceremony of Julius Caesar as part of the augmented reality on the Forum Romanum in Rome:

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The global debt crisis. Solutions courtesy of Jesus and Caesar

You want to save the world? Avert the imminent global financial collapse predicted for the very near future by experts and snake oil salesmen alike? First you need to take a look at the original Lord’s Prayer. It doesn’t say “forgive us our sins” or “forgive us our trespasses”—it says: “…and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Gospel of Matthew). It is possible that these “debts” were not exclusively meant as financial debts, because the later evangelist Luke did in fact write about “sins”. But within the theory that the historical person behind the Biblical figure Jesus was Julius Caesar, the mention of “debts” and “debtors” is only logical, and therefore to a large extent meant financially, because a partial debt amnesty was a core concept of Caesar’s sweeping economic reforms (leges Iuliae) to solve the devastating financial crisis that had struck the oligarchically ruled and exploited Roman “republic”. Historical Caesarian sources close to the Christianized concept that debts be remitted are for example App. BC 2.13.47 sq., Dio HR 38.7.4, and Suet. Jul. 20.3.2: publicanos remissionem petentis tertia mercedum parte relevavit ac, ne in locatione novorum vectigalium inmoderatius licerentur, propalam monuit. At any rate, the prayer for a remission of debts is perfectly explicable in light of the demand by the Roman populares of Caesar to remit all debts (cf. also Badian 1972, passim, i.a. 102). But Caesar’s macroeconomic revolution went much further.

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The Ascensions of Christ and Caesar

A picture is worth a thousand words, so today we will rather look at the iconography…

A famous depiction of Christ’s Ascension is the Christus Helios, a late third century Roman ceiling mosaic, which is said to show Jesus as the sun god Helios (Sol or Sol Invictus) riding to heaven in his chariot. Since the historical Jesus was Julius Caesar, we find the iconographical predecessor in the first century BCE, a relief depicting the apotheosis and ascension of Caesar as Divus Iulius (“God Julius”), riding to heaven in his chariot. The main characteristics are exactly the same: god, chariot, wheel, horses with raised forelegs, plants, and the general theme of ascension. Here are the images:

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Revista de Arqueología republishes “Orpheos Bakkikos”

CaesarSimulacrum_OrpheosBakkikos.jpg
Caesar’s funeral: wax effigy on tropaeum (left) | “Orpheos Bakkikos” artifact (right)

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”:

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