1. ‘Jesus was Caesar: on the Julian Origin of Christianity’ – book review   1 comment

Imageby Francesco Carotta [Aspekt publishers, 1999 in German, 2005 English translation, The Netherlands, 509 pp.]

Christianity grew out of the Roman Empire. To many modern ears, ancient Rome under the Caesars was a corrupt tyranny of brutal gladiators, slavery, ruthless imperialism, and decadent, anti-democratic emperors. We have been taught for thousands of years, in millions of churches and synagogues and mosques, that the few loyal followers of a humble Jewish miracle-worker named Jesus Christ were a tiny, oppressed sect of decent, loving people who had to overcome all the odds against them, and the foremost obstacle to this simple loving Religion was the cruel paganism and militarism of Rome. It was the Romans who murdered their Savior on the Cross after all; in an unbearably cruel Crucifixion Passion narrated directly from God the Father himself in the exquisite poetry of the 4 Gospels in the New Testament of the Holy Bible.

But what if the facts of history refute this hallowed Myth, and Roman culture was far from the villainous scourge we have been conditioned to believe? What if the real Savior, as proven not only by the facts of history, but also in the profound belief system inherent in in the foundation of those same Romans, was not a Jewish preacher in Palestine at all? The Founder of Christianity, as described in extensive detail in Francesco Carotta’s exquisite history ‘Jesus was Caesar’, was really Julius Caesar, cruelly murdered in the year 44 B.C.E. in Rome, and not Jerusalem.

What? When I came across this book on Amazon last year, randomly going through the many new studies – as well as many more illogical screeds on the subject – about the historicity, or not, of Jesus Christ, this one piqued my interest because I was raised a good Roman Catholic altar boy back in the days when the Mass was still celebrated in Latin, the language of Caesar. I had been to Rome and loved it. My devout Irish-French American family was blessed by the Pope in St. Peter’s Square, and we ogled for many hours with all the tourists at the inspiring Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo’s magnificent Pieta, and the surprisingly religious culture of ancient Rome preserved in Pompeii in southern Italy under the shadow of Mt. Vesuvius.

As Catholics we knew ours was a great and beautiful Church. So I was not shocked about the idea that Julius Caesar was the model for the Founder of Christianity. I knew him to be the Pontifex Maximus, which is still the title of the Pope, who really is a Caesarean Emperor. I knew he was a very religious man, as well as one of the greatest generals in history, building up the Republic into an Empire.

I also knew he had killed a lot of people in his many wars. I had no illusions about what it took to create such an amazing imperial force throughout the Mediterranean and much of Europe. And of course I knew how vicious the Senators were who slew him with 23 knife wounds on the actual floor of the Senate chamber on that awful day of the Ides of March, attempting to end his powerful usurpation of their so-called republican government.

I knew that the duality of Jesus, the peaceful prophet in the quiet groves of Galilee, was counterbalanced by the violent Christ who was so much like a Caesar conquering half the world with his armies, always in the name of a Pax Romana.

As a Catholic I also knew the corruption of my Church, and not long after my sojourns in my favorite City in the world, I stopped going to church, because I began studying its awful history of Inquisitions and Crusades in college. We had been lied to, about the Holocaust of Spanish priests in the ‘New World’, murdering millions of Natives. We had been lied to about the facts of Jesus’ life with so many contradictions in the Bible. And then we learned about the sickening rape of altar boys by priests! The theft of trillions by the Vatican Bank. No, I still have had no illusions about the Catholic Church.

And like many others of my rebellious 60s generation, I turned to the Pagan Myths and origins of God and Goddess, to the beauty of Osiris in Egypt and his counterparts Dionysos and Hades in Greece, and Bacchus and Venus in Rome. Yes, that was much more consistent to our idea of a peaceful cosmos.

And that in turn has also been a part of Carotta’s investigative report. It seems Julius Caesar, after his vicious murder, was equated with the butchered god Dionysos as well, on the Liberalia Fest of Dionysos, 2 days after the Ides of March, at his massive funeral in the Forum made famous in Shakespeare’s play ‘Julius Caesar’, in which Mark Antony, Caesar’s right hand man and “high priest”, gave his stirring eulogy to the outraged people of Rome. Caesar’s wax effigy was actually hoisted up on a Tropaeum-Cross for all the people to see, exactly like the Crucifixion of Christ, with Caesar’s bloody body on its bier at the foot of the Tropaeum. He cites numerous eyewitnesses and classical historians to this elaborate ritual, like Suetonius, Nicolaus of Damascus, in mind-numbing footnotes, to prove it at least to scholars.

Julius Caesar slaughtered brutally, and put up on a Cross? It was the most famous tragedy in all of ancient history, and well-known to everyone. From that, his religion was born. It was originally known as the ‘Imperial Cult’. It was promulgated far and wide by the highly organized Roman efficiency. How else can we explain the complete spread of Christianity over 3 continents so fast? He was described as DIVUS IULIUS, the Divine Julius, on countless statues and temples in thousands of Roman cities. It was accepted dogma, thanks to the millenia of deeply spiritual training and conditioning borrowed freely from Egypt and Greece, that the King, the Pharaoh, the Pontifex Maximus Pope Caesar, was a God. He still is.

Carotta and his colleagues, who include now priests and scholars from across Europe, have gone into great detail in the decades since these studies have been launched, analyzing the Gospel of Mark to show its similarities to the life and death of the Divine Caesar, comparing the authentic coins and stone inscriptions throughout the Mediterranean region to illustrate again and again, in hard archaeological evidence as well as in manuscripts, that Mark Antony especially spread the gospel of his great friend and general, whose famous Clementias decrees forgiving his enemies were just one, among many, traits of the great man’s misunderstood kindness and genius.

There are a great many questions still to be researched, of course, but at least they can, hopefully, be conducted by responsible and faithful linguists and philosophers like Mr. Carotta, and not by all the orthodox apologists who simply will not believe the facts of history before their eyes and scorn anything but the contradictions contained in their Bibles. For instance, why was the story transferred to Judea, instead of Rome? Has it simply been altered over the centuries by self-serving, self-appointed evangelists in Palestine, to make of this great truth their own national rationalization? Probably, the original story was set in Rome, accurately, and true, and then changed slowly in the Dark Ages to fit back into an Old Testament framework by officious editors.

For there is no factual evidence anyone named Jesus Christ ever lived somewhere in Galilee in the first 33 years of the Common Era of our Calendar (written by the way, by Julius Caesar). The Jesus gospels appeared only decades, if centuries later, and apparently only as homilies of some original and lost (or purposely destroyed?) texts, whose locale and authorship are really unknown.

I still may not go back to church because of this book, because the Vatican is still scornful of ideas like these, and is continuing along its merry way of excluding women from ordination, marriage of priests, and refusing prosecution of hundreds and hundreds of pedophile priest, bishops, and cardinals. It has become the corrupt stereotype people still hold about all that was wrong with the Roman Empire. But at least a few of us still have our faith in God (and Goddess), and that is more important than all the liturgies and missals and dogmae that have been pounded into our heads for 2,000 years of a mistaken Impostor to the Throne.

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Posted March 23, 2012 by dionoia in Uncategorized

One response to “1. ‘Jesus was Caesar: on the Julian Origin of Christianity’ – book review

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  1. Reblogged this on dionoia.

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