DIVVS·IVLIVS

Commentarii de religione Divi Iulii vel primordio Christianitatis

Tag: Christianity

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 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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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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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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De Codicillo · Incipit

If time allows, this weblog will deal primarily with all issues directly or indirectly related to the deification of Julius Caesar—with special emphasis on the origin of Christianity from the cult of Divus Iulius and of the Gospel as a diegetic transposition of ancient Roman sources.

Wenn es die Zeit erlaubt, werden in diesem Weblog in erster Linie Themen behandelt, die direkt oder indirekt mit der Divinisierung Julius Caesars in Zusammenhang stehen – unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des Ursprungs des Christentums aus dem Kult des Divus Iulius und des Evangeliums als einer diegetischen Transposition antiker römischer Quellen.

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