DIVVS·IVLIVS

Commentarii de religione Divi Iulii vel primordio Christianitatis

Tag: Crucifixion

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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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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Liberalia: Julius Caesar’s funeral and Resurrection

Caesar_Liberalia_Funus_SimulacrumTropaeum.jpg

The Resurrection of Julius Caesar
on the day of the Liberalia

On Friday, 17 March 44 BCE, the day of the Liberalia, the festival of Liber Pater (Bacchus/Dionysus), Julius Caesar received his state funeral and resurrected as god by the will of the people. A wax effigy of his slain body was presented, raised above the bier, at the exact spot where a cruciform tropaeum stood, and was then rotated for the attending crowd.

The image above shows a reconstruction of Caesar’s simulacrum on the cross from the available archaeological sources. In the context of the Liberalia this cross was not (as usually) only a Roman victory cross, but especially needs to be seen as a liturgical prop commonly found in the rituals of Dionysian festivals. The tropaeum is taken from one of the many Caesarian coins that display Caesar’s tropaea, while the effigy is from a denarius by Caesar’s moneyer Buca, a coin that represented the imagery used at Caesar’s funeral, including his effigy as the legendary shepherd/king Endymion.

Caesar’s real body was cremated by the people in an improvised manner during the same ceremony on the Forum Romanum. In the gospels, which are a diegetic transposition of the historical sources on Caesar’s Civil War, Caesar’s cremation was interpreted as Christ’s Crucifixion, and all of the hypotextual properties are still found in the Passion narrative, for example the Latin cremare (CREMO; “to cremate”), which was understood as the Greek term κρεμαω (κρεμάω; “to hang from”, “to suspend”; Christian: “to crucify”), a striking accordance that was also noted (vice versa) by Church Father Augustine in Quaest. Num. 4.33.5, where he insinuated Christ’s cremation and specifically explained the Resurrection as an apotheosis by fire:

Et cremabunt eam in conspectu eius. Puto quia concrematio ad signum pertinet resurrectionis. Natura est quippe ignis ut in superna moveatur, et in eum convertitur quod crematur. Nam et ipsum cremare de graeco in latinum ductum verbum est a suspensione. Quod vero additum est, in conspectu eius, id est in conspectu sacerdotis, hoc mihi insinuatum videtur, quia illis apparuit resurrectio Christi, qui futuri erant regale sacerdotium. Iam quod sequitur: Et pellis eius et carnes et sanguis eius cum stercore eius comburetur, id ipsum expositum est quomodo concremabitur: et significatum est quod non solum substantia mortalis corporis Christi, quae commemoratione pellis et carnium et sanguinis intimata est; verum etiam contumelia et abiectio plebis, quam nomine stercoris significatam puto, converteretur in gloriam, quam combustionis flamma significat.

For more information, especially on the scientific background and sources, see the following three articles and book excerpts:

  • Carotta F, Eickenberg A. 2009a. “Orpheos Bakkikos: the missing cross”. Kirchzarten/Berlin/Écija/Sevilla. Originally published in: Isidorianum 35.
  • Carotta F, Eickenberg A. 2009b. Liberalia tu accusas! Restituting the ancient date of Caesar’s funeral”. Kirchzarten/Berlin.
  • Carotta F. 2005. Jesus was Caesar. On the Julian Origin of Christianity. An Investigative Report. Soesterberg: Uitgeverij Aspekt. Chapter: “Crux”.
  • Below is a camera snapshot series of a sequence from the documentary feature film Death Masks, which originally aired on History HD in 2009. It shows a 3D reconstruction of Caesar’s wax effigy on the cross during his funeral, however with several omissions and errors, most notably the arms that are not extended, but bound to the body and to the vertical stem, as if Caesar were simply a common criminal being crucified.

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