Graham Hancock's Magicians of the Gods

I've been doing some more reading in the book. See Greg's post:

On page 183 (of the new paperback edition) Hancock mentions one of the surviving fragments of the Temple of Edfu (Egypt) texts that declares that "the Sound Eye fell" as a result of the appearance of "the Great Leaping One" (i.e., the cometary dragon).

Hancock admits to being at a loss to interpret the significance of the "Sound Eye" and suggests that it might be some kind of "artificial illumination". However, in other Egyptian mythology, the Sound Eye was the good/strong eye of Atum, which formed after his first eye became weak/defective. In my own book, I demonstrate that these two eyes were the two suns of our early solar system, one of which became a brown dwarf and the other the main-sequence star we know today.

If the original failed star of our solar system is still part of the solar system, then it very well may be the cause of Precession and still playing the role of the "Devil" by spawning comets from the inner Oort Cloud.

According to they Myth of Apophis, the first eye of Atum had already fallen long ago. However, the Edfu statement that the second ("sound") eye of Atum also failed, at least for a time, is extremely significant. Robert Schoch concludes that the sun's output was reduced during the Younger Dryas. That is of course possible, yet it may have only seemed that way, because of a "nuclear winter" and ultimate return to Ice Age conditions brought on by the comet impacts.

The Earth was coming out of an Ice Age. The Younger Dryas event only postponed the inevitable. Still, it is strange that civilization took much longer to recover from whatever happened at the end of the Younger Dryas Period than it did from what caused the Younger Dryas Period to begin with! Hancock thinks that the same comet was responsible for both events, and speculates that it primarily struck the ice sheets of the Northern Hemisphere at the beginning of the Younger Dryas, but primarily impacted the oceans around 1,200 years later. Regardless, we do know that the ice sheets broke up/retreated quite rapidly, which led to something called "glacial rebound." This is the obvious phenomenon that would have caused islands (such as along the mid-Atlantic Ridge, the world's biggest mountain range) to "sink" into the Sea (rather than be inundated by a literal Flood).

At issue is whether the "Great Flood" event of the Bible reflects the beginning of the Younger Dryas, the end of the Younger Dryas, or actually is a composite of both. Hancock himself doesn't seem to even try to differentiate between myths/traditions that relate to one as opposed to the other. Perhaps it is no longer possible to do so, but I think it would have been worth an attempt by Hancock. (This is one area in which Hancock does exhibit complete restraint. He doesn't offer any opinion at all as to the whereabouts of Atlantis or the earlier "pay-lands.") For example, might the original "pay-lands" of the primordial gods have been one and the same as Mu and/or Lemuria (of SE Asia/the Pacific). During the Younger Dryas, were the successors/survivors of the gods then forced to abandon that cultural center and regroup in Atlantis? Was the Zep Tepi ("First Time" of the Gods) really associated with the Younger Dryas, as Hancock concludes, or more properly belonging to the period before the first cataclysm? Is the Biblical destruction of the "Tower of Babel" to be associated with the first attempt to build the Great Pyramid of Giza during the Younger Dryas? Was this epic piece of engineering nearing completion when it was "cast down" by another catastrophe? In other words, was the Great Pyramid construction initiated between two distinct but different flooding events?

A similar question involves Gobekli Tepe. Was it founded only after the Younger Dryas had ended, or is there evidence of construction during the Younger Dryas. Obviously excavation is still on-going, but it will be interesting to see what can be determined. In later times, the royal family was continually building great monuments only to destroy them. The Temple of Jerusalem is perhaps the most famous example. The deliberate burial of Gobekli Tepe appears to have been done in that same spirit. It's almost an admission that nothing is permanent on this Earth (or perhaps in the Heavens). One must always be prepared to start anew.
(The above is the most visited page on my entire web site!)

2017: Year of the Grail (Recap)

In the previous 12 blogs it was shown that the early Julio-Claudian Dynasty patterned itself quite closely after the early Hellenistic Period, and as follows:

Julius Caesar = neo-Alexander III (“The Great”)

Pompey = neo-Darius III

Crassus = neo-Seleucus/Lysimachus

Octavius/Augustus = neo-Antiochus

Caesarion = neo-Alexander IV

Tiberius = neo-Ptolemy Epigone

Marc Antony = neo-Ptolemy Soter

Herod = neo-Heracles/Ptolemy Ceraunus

Even more surprising, we shall find that the emulation of Alexander and his dynasty did not end there. The entire Julio-Claudian dynasty was conceived as a repetition of the Ptolemaic/Seleucid Period. And of particular interest to Grail study, this included a Roman rendition of leading Hellenistic savior figures.

For those who wish to “read ahead” in anticipation of the next blogs in this series, please go to these pages:

The Ptolemaic Joseph

The Ptolemaic Amarna Period

The Destruction of Ptolemaic Jerusalem by Titus (Flamininus)

Judas Maccabee, Savior of Saviors

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Marc Antony as Neo-Ceraunus

Ceraunus, the former Heracles (firstborn son of Barsine/Roxane), had not reappeared in Macedon to bring peace, freedom or renewed glory to the world-conquering Macedonians, but to incite rebellion and kill off its remaining out-and-proud patriots. The royal sting operation was concluded by summoning the most fearsome foreign invader of the day, and under the leadership of two famous generals, Bolgios/Belgius and Brennus/Brennius, who likely corresponded to the two sons of Alexander the Great, i.e., Alexander IV/Ptolemy II and Ptolemy Epigone/Onias. In response, we are told by Justin that Ceraunus taunted the invaders and gathered only a small force of primarily untrained soldiers to oppose them. Their main qualification was that they were quite specifically “the sons of those who had served under Alexander the Great, and had been victorious throughout the world.” In other words, the reward of the men who followed Alexander and were killed off mercilessly by him was to ensure that their progeny would be likewise sacrificed back home. In effect, the sons of Alexander the Great were taking revenge on the sons of those soldiers who had “failed” their father (for having refused to march with him to the ends of the earth).

The royal family did not care to feel indebted to anyone. (From the perspective of the royal family, if the Macedonians had achieved renown, it was because they had brought it about.) And the royal family had conceived of a many methods to rid themselves of people that insisted on having inalienable rights rather than revocable privileges. The disaster of Macedon’s ravaging by the Gauls was variously attributed to the youthfulness/immaturity, arrogance and especially the “madness” of Ceraunus. It was not blamed on the royal family as a whole. As artificial as it may seem, the fabled madness of the demi-god Hercules was a useful precedent for the Ptolemies. Their adaptation of the precedent in turn became useful to the Julio-Claudians that followed. The exploitation of precedent was a fundamental aspect of royal culture and a critical means of understanding that culture now.

The identification of Antony/Herod with both Ptolemy I Soter and Ptolemy Ceraunus is a bit surprising. Although playing multiple roles was often necessary, it was not strictly necessary in Antony’s time. In fact, it would be far more expected for the role of Ceraunus to have been given to the second prince of the younger generation, namely Ptolemy XIV/Marcus Agrippa, because Ceraunus/Hercules was the second prince of his day (born after Ochus/Antiochus and before Alexander IV). Yet, it is a prince of the older generation that becomes obsessed with the leading princess, Cleopatra, and to the point that he cannot be bear to be separated from her. He also has a name, Antony (“most praiseworthy”) that reflects a Judah typecasting, which was associated not only with praise, but also war and thunder (from an association with the fourth god of the pantheon, Horus/Adad). Also, unlike Octavius (Ptolemy XIII) and Marcus Agrippa (Ptolemy XIV), Antony was denied the status of pharaoh in Egypt and was perhaps the most dejected over his rule there being terminated.

As it turns out, Antony/Herod may have had only one royal daughter, and no actual royal sons. (One or both of Antony’s putative daughters may have been sired by Marcus Agrippa. His two “sons” are quite clearly alter egos of Caesarion and Tiberius.) Antony’s “punishment” for this “failure” was to receive the undesirable role of Ceraunus, and to also play that particular role in the volatile and vituperative Jerusalem of Israel. Yet, even as traditional Jewish standing was being restored, their next “downsizing” was already being planned. Antony was giving up his inimitable life in Egypt, not simply to adorn the fig tree of Israel, but to also hang people on it and then cut it down. The role of Ceraunus not only foreshadowed a gruesome death for Herod, but also declared royal intentions to make Jerusalem and Israel pay for Herod’s crimes. Herod, like his role model Ceraunus, was a fall guy or scapegoat, but his presumed guilt was going to be transferred to the Jewish nation. The painful nature of Herod’s death was likely greatly exaggerated. On the other hand, the suffering caused later on by Rome’s brutal crushing of the so-called Jewish Revolt was quite visceral.

Antony would have understood his double role (as the neo-Ptolemy Soter and neo-Hercules/Ceraunus) fairly early on. The name Herod is related to that of Hercules. Even more significantly, the reported killing of Orodes (Crassus, the neo-Seleucus) by Phraates IV (another likely alias of Antony/Herod) also pigeon-holed Antony as the Ceraunus of the new Roman Era. However, it seems that Antony was tapped to play the role of Ceraunus primarily because the royal family wanted to keep the Jews on a very short leash. In other words, bad blood had arisen between the royal family and the Jews during the Ptolemaic Period and the Jews were therefore to remain as if “under the sword of Damocles.”

The royal family was using much the same methods in Greece as they did elsewhere, including and especially among the Jews. The Jews functioned as the “business end” of the royal empire by facilitating military, economic and cultural enterprises. Although they were allowed certain privileges and exemptions, they were never allowed to grow too high and mighty. At the end of the day, they existed only at the pleasure and benefit of the royal house. When the Jews became a bigger problem than blessing to the royal family, they were brutally disenfranchised. A remnant was spared, but seemingly only so the royal family could continue tormenting them for the next 2,000 years!

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The Madness of King Herod

The so-called “madness” of Herod that led to the “deaths” of his Hasmonean wife and her two sons deliberately evoked one final colorful figure from the time of Alexander the Great - that of Alexander’s step-son named Hercules. Hercules was reportedly executed by Cassander along with Barsine/Roxane in 309 BC, but it has become increasingly obvious that no members of the royal family were literally put to death after the departure of Alexander from Babylon (the first time or the second). Hercules, resurfaces, like the rest of Alexander’s contemporaries, under a new name, that being Ptolemy Ceraunus/Keraunos son of Lagus (an anagram of Alex). This post-Conquest identity of Hercules as the explosive Ceraunus (“Thunderbolt”) can be solved by the process of elimination. Hercules is the last prince of his generation unaccounted for thus far. However, the notorious episode in which Ceraunus emulated the mythical “madness of Hercules” (and which was in turn emulated by Herod the Great) helps to confirm that association.

Prince Ceraunus (the former Hercules) had an understanding with Seleucus, or so we are told, that the rule of Egypt would go to him upon the death of Ptolemy I Soter. However, if Ptolemy II Philadelphius had been a true son of Ptolemy I Soter, then the succession in Egypt would not have been contested. It certainly would not have been left for Seleucus to decide. However, the ambition on the part of Ceraunus to rule Egypt was perhaps not as vain and misguided as it seems. Ptolemy I Soter (known previously as Hephaestion and Harpalus) did not have a true heir. The rule of Egypt was therefore an open issue, at least until shortly before the end of Soter’s rule. At that time, Ptolemy Philadelphius (the former Alexander IV) sired an heir of his own, the future Ptolemy III, which would have ended any rival claims. Regardless, it was considered advantageous for Ceraunus, who was still without a male heir himself, to pretend to be a murderously disgruntled prince.

When Seleucus reneged on his promise of awarding Egypt, Ceraunus first turned to Lysimachus of Thrace, and when Lysimachus was defeated by Seleucus, Ceraunus in turn murdered Seleucus. Of course, this was a highly contrived scenario (due to Lysimachus simply being an alter ego of Seleucus), and any aristocratic person would have recognized it as such. Likewise, it can be discerned that what happened next was every bit as contrived. Ceraunus persuaded the widowed queen of Lysimachus to come and rule Macedon along with him, and by using assurances that her sons would become his own sons and successors. After the nuptials, things quickly “got weird” and Ceraunus ended up killing the queen’s two youngest sons. The queen herself narrowly escaped death. She then went to Egypt, married Ptolemy II Philadelphius and accepted his sons as her own (which were hers all along). No princes were harmed much less killed in this charade, although two of them lost their local Thracian identities (whatever that was worth).

Despite his apparent vitality, Hercules cum Ceraunus was unable to produce a qualified royal heir. He was not alone among the princes of his generation in that respect, and this is precisely how Alexander the Great (a fifth prince) and his sons came to “take the kingdom” in the first place. Nevertheless, it was still the duty of the genetically unlucky princes to prepare the way for the ones who were more fortunate in royal fatherhood. (This was part of what Josephus referred to as “the way of princes.”) Consistent with this aspect of royal culture, Ceraunus assumed the role of agitator in Greece. Resistance to the royal will had to be put down, therefore potential rebels were flushed out into the open where they could be eliminated. It was often considered necessary for a member of the royal family to lead such a rebellion in order to better instigate and then control it.

The chronicler Marcus Junianus Justinus (“Justin”) described the situation just prior to the marriage of Ceraunus and Queen Arsinoe:

“… Ptolemy Ceraunus and Antigonus [Gonatas], quarrelling and going to war with one another in Greece, almost all the cities of that country, under the Spartans as leaders, encouraged as it were by the opportunity thus offered to entertain hopes of recovering their liberty, and sending to each other ambassadors by whom leagues might be formed to unite them, broke out into hostilities.” Justin 24:1

When this phase of the operations was completed, Ceraunus (the former Hercules) seized the throne of Macedon in a “military coup” and initiated another stock “collapse and renewal” scenario referred to by the ancients as, “Who was king, who was not king?” – and one that was later refined by the Julio-Claudians into what became known as the “Year of Four Emperors.” The calculated chaos of Ceraunus led inexorably to pacification of all Greece under the kingship of Antigonus Gonatas (a Greek alias of Ptolemy II Philadelphius), which had been the objective all along.

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Caesar Must Die Again and Again

The royal family’s (“God’s”) partnership (“Covenant”) with the Jews was renewed by the Roman Empire even as it had been in previous Eras, i.e., the Ptolemaic/Seleucid, Persian, Babylonian/Assyrian, and Egyptian). A prestigious new temple complex was to be built for the Jews in Jerusalem. However, as customary, their reconfirmation came only after a traumatic “attitude adjustment.” Jerusalem was sacked by Herod with considerable loss of life and property. Herod then assumed kingship over the Jews as a putative Edomite/Idumaean with dubious pedigree. Herod next dashed all hopes of a Hasmonean revival (and renewed independence) by forging ever stronger ties with Rome and by “purging” the old High Priest Hyrcanus along with the young Hasmonean protégé Jonathan. This was ultimately followed by the haunting “executions” of Hasmonean Queen Mariamne and her two sons Alexander and Aristobulus.

According to the writings of Josephus, Herod the Great had many wives and many sons. However, it can now be deduced that there were not nearly as many as it appears. The Hasmonean identity of Cleopatra/Scribonia was sacrificed early on, however the Great Queen of the Empire would not have truly surrendered a direct influence over the Empire’s second city. She continued to watch over things using another thinly veiled alias, that of “Cleopatra of Jerusalem.” The two daughters of Cleopatra VII, namely Julia the Elder/Antonia Major and Vipsania/Antonia Minor also assumed double identities in Herod’s Jerusalem. The former was known as Bernice and Glaphyra while the latter was called Mariamne II and Malthace.

The royal family was endogamous, which is to say that they were highly inbred, and remained that way by taking turns mating with one another. Their fertility rate was very low, so they repeated their round-robin mating process as often as necessary to perpetuate “the holy family.” Such an awkward practice required the use of multiple identities in order to make the royal breeding model more socially acceptable (at least partially disguised) to commoners. In Rome, polygamy was unlawful, however divorce was easy. On the contrary, in Jerusalem, divorce was more difficult than murder, but polygamy was tolerated! However, multiple identities helped compensate for any difficulties in managing their evolving relationships (based upon who was able to have healthy children, and especially sons, by whom).

The two great “Princes of the Realm” also assumed multiple identities in Jerusalem. It has already been deduced that Caesarion possessed the lion’s share of princely identities (see the prior posts/sections) in both Egypt and Rome. Similarly, it can be discerned that four of the five oldest “sons” of Herod corresponded to that same highly favored prince. Only the second son of Herod represents a different prince, that being Tiberius. Together, Tiberius and Caesarion are given the coveted status of Hasmonean heirs (under the local aliases of Alexander and Aristobulus, respectively), but this was done only so this honor could be viciously removed as a deliberate provocation to the Jews. Curiously, in Jerusalem it was not Caesarion but Tiberius that was assigned the illustrious name of Alexander (son of “Hasmonean” Mariamne). It was also only Tiberius that was capable of making an eloquent defense in the face of Herod’s trumped up accusations against the two of them. Although Caesarion (as the former High Priest Jonathan) looked the part of a well-bred prince, he seems to have had a significant impairment with regard to refined communications (more about this later).

The identities of the first four “sons” of Herod were all intended to be disposable. The fifth place in the royal birth order had been that of Alexander the Great in his own generation. It is not too surprising then that only the fifth Herodian prince was allowed to survive Herod himself. (Caesarion held the distinction of having been killed three times by Herod!) This fifth birth position further corresponded to Ptolemy Philadelphius in Egypt. He and Alexander Helios were said to have been “spared” as a favor to Cleopatra Selene (and she in fact received the “favor” of marrying this same multifarious prince in Numidia/Mauretania under his local alias of Juba II.)

1) Caesarion = Antipater son of Doris (a variant of Drusilla, former Arsinoe IV)
2) Tiberius = Alexander son of Mariamne (former Cleopatra VII)
3) Alexander Helios = Aristobulus son of Mariamne
4) Drusus (died in 9 BC) = Unnamed Prince (“Died Young in Rome”)
5) Philadelphius = Philip (Tetrarch in the Trans-Jordan) son of Cleopatra of Jerusalem (former Cleopatra VII).
6) Germanicus = Archelaus son of Malthace (Vipsania/Antonia Minor)
7) Drusus II = Herod Antipas son of Malthace (Vipsania/Antonia Minor)

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Caesar Must Be Born Again and Again

Among the “Successors” of Alexander the Great, it was specifically Ptolemy Soter who had captured and then ruled Jerusalem. He had done this not so much by personal military valor, but a combination of trickery, coercion and inducement. It nevertheless created a precedent for Antony to follow in his designated role as the Roman Ptolemy Soter. Antony in fact took Jerusalem in 37 BC (or thereabouts) using Roman troops and through direct material support to his regional alter ego Herod.

As in Ptolemy’s time, Jerusalem fell on a holy day (one involving a fast) - not necessarily also on the Sabbath as in Ptolemy’s day, but probably in a sabbatical year. As with Ptolemy, Herod made use of “pleadings, threats and the judicious use of force,” not so much to gain cooperation of the Jews of Jerusalem, but to ensure that the Roman army left him something and someone to be king over! Although the account of Josephus explicitly compares the capture of Jerusalem by Herod to a similarly bloody one exactly 27 years earlier (“to the day”) under Pompey, he also clearly adapts various details from Ptolemy’s much more restrained conquest, and depicts Herod as the one exercising that restraint.

Immediately after subjecting Jerusalem, Herod further humbled the Jews by appointing a new High Priest that was marginally qualified, if at all, due to his obscure pedigree and previous status as a foreign captive. Next, Herod baited the Jews by agreeing (ostensibly upon the urging of his “Hasmonean” wife Mariamne) to unceremoniously remove his unpopular choice in favor of the last remaining “Hasmonean” prince. The reversal of a Herod decision was immediately and hugely popular, but in this case Messianic fervor was whipped up so that it could just as abruptly be crushed. After the Jews had become enamored with the tall and handsome young prince, he was carelessly killed in a silly water sport. Strangely, the Herodian court was in as big a hurry to remove this youngest surviving “full-blooded” Hasmonean as they had been to install him in the first place. They were evidently even willing to lie about his age (pass him off as several years older) to make this happen. But, why?

Josephus mentions the age of High Priest Aristobulus (III)/Jonathan three times. He was said to have been 16 years old when his Hasmonean kin insisted that he be appointed High Priest in Jerusalem. At the age of 17 he presided as High Priest at an important Jewish festival and performed the duties flawlessly. However, the supposedly jealous Herod had him murdered just short of his 18th birthday. Josephus makes the curious remark that Jonathan was tall for his age, which is an illogical attribute for a nearly adult male of 17. Most males have reached their final height by then. Such a statement would have made far more sense for a male of age 12, which is about how old Caesarion would have been in 36 BC – the generally accepted year of Jonathan’s drowning at the hands of Herod’s Gallic goons.

The staged murder of Alexander IV (the eldest son of Alexander the Great) occurred when he was about 13 or 14 years old and is considered to have happened in the same year (209 BC) as the “birth” of Ptolemy II Philadelphius. Likewise, the birth of a new Philadelphius is generally placed in the same year (36 BC) as the death of the last Hasmonean High Priest. It seems that in order to fulfill the applicable Ptolemaic tradition, there was a need to eliminate one of the main identities of Caesarion, the eldest son of Julius Caesar, and at an early age. Due to the circumstances it was not quite yet convenient to jettison the name of Caesarion. However, the Hasmonean alias of Caesarion would have been every bit as prestigious, if not more so. And doing so at this particular time also served other purposes, as discussed above.

Note: The chronologies of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Centuries BC are not fully precise, but the intent of the de facto Roman royal family to reproduce Ptolemaic history is still clear (regardless of what years it actually happened).

Even as one manifestation of Caesarion was being removed from the world stage, another one was being created. When the Donations of Alexandria were being made (34 BC), Caesarion was almost exactly the same age as Alexander IV when his kingly career was transformed though identity “shape-shifting.” There had been a lengthy delay of around 13 to 14 years between the birth of Alexander IV and his “rebirth” as Ptolemy II Philadelphius, the son of Ptolemy Soter. Similarly, there was nearly 14 years delay between the birth of Caesarion around 47 BC and the announcement through the Donations of Alexandria of his “rebirth(s)” in 34 BC. This appears to have been quite intentional.

The almost exclusive promotion of Caesarion is surprising. Judging by his Hasmonean description, Caesarion was “tall, handsome and regal in bearing, even as the kings of old.” He was what everybody wanted in a future king and was being given every opportunity and advantage to make that hope his destiny. According to the Donations, Caesarion stood to inherit the choicest regions of the Near East under four separate identities. As Caesarion he was heir to Egypt. As Alexander Helios he was heir of Media and Parthia/Persia. As Drusus he was heir in Rome. And as Philadelphius he was heir in Syria and Cilicia, as well. However, he still only had the status of heir apparent. He was not yet the official successor. That required the establishment of a natural dynasty of his own. Yet, of the two princes, Tiberius was slightly less inbred with the leading princess, Cleopatra Selene/Julia the Younger, and therefore more likely to be fertile with her. He also had a gentle disposition, which is more consistent with what we know about the highly venerated Ptolemy II Philadelphius. Tiberius, like the second son of Alexander the Great, was much neglected, but would be a significant player in the royal drama to come.

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Octavius (Augustus) as the New Antiochus

As the oldest prince of his royal generation, Octavius, the future Caesar Augustus, would have naturally been typecast as the new Antiochus, who had been the oldest prince in the royal generation following that of Alexander the Great. Antiochus was adopted as the heir of King Seleucus, and eventually became successor to the most prestigious throne of the day despite not having a royal son of his own. (The Ptolemaic throne would not rival the Seleucid for some time.)

Prior to the “death” of Julius Caesar in 44 BC, Octavius (the former Ptolemy XIII) had already been paired with the senior princesses, namely Berenice IV (Roman: Fulvia, “Dumb Blondie”) and Cleopatra VII (Roman: Scribonia, “Lady of Letters/Scholarly”). Finally, the youngest princess, Arsinoe IV, was married to Octavius in 42 BC under the name Clodia Pulchra (“Lame Beauty”), but after two years they too proved to be an infertile couple and the union was dissolved in order to give Cleopatra another chance (and also to allow her eldest daughter to be recognized as heiress in Rome). After another two years, Cleopatra stepped aside and allowed Octavius to remarry Arsinoe under the name of Livia Drusilla. This was done, not just to honor the wifely preference of Octavius, but to legitimize the two eldest royal princes (Caesarion and Tiberius) as potential successors to Augustus in Rome (and as a safeguard in the event that Augustus would be unable to produce a royal son of his own).

If Arsinoe and Drusilla were one and the same, then Cleopatra VII obviously had not put her kid sister Arsinoe to death. In fact, they obviously were reenacting earlier Ptolemaic history in which the first queen named Arsinoe escaped from a temple of Artemis (where she too had taken refuge) by dressing in rags and allowing her own servant girl to be sacrificed in her place. Any aristocrat worth their salt would have known about this precedent and understood that Arsinoe was only forfeiting her Egyptian identity (even as everyone else was required to do at the time) and not her actual life. Moreover, multi-lingual aristocrats would have easily recognized that the Roman name Drusilla and Greek name Arsinoe were largely synonymous (both denote “strength”).

Note: In a witty poetic retort to Antony, Octavius made it quite clear that he wasn’t the least bit interested in any further couplings with Fulvia, i.e., the former Berenice IV, whose biological clock was striking midnight.

After failing to produce an heir by any of the eligible royal females (Berenice IV, Cleopatra VII or Arsinoe IV), Octavius was obliged to accept heirs produced for him. This was the royal way. Surprisingly, though Tiberius was the elder of these two princes, it was the younger who was first established as heir. Caesarion, who was "reborn" as Drusus, was actually older than Tiberius and of higher birth in a royal sense. The birth order had to be switched in Rome out of necessity, but it didn’t change their relative ranking as princes. The imposition upon Octavius of two male heirs was also done in repetition (“fulfillment”) of yet another Ptolemaic precedent. In the absence of a true son, Antiochus I had first accepted Prince Seleucus as his heir. Prince Seleucus was later suppressed (as Caesarion/Drusus would be) in favor of a second heir, Antiochus II. Similarly, Tiberius would ultimately replace Drusus as successor.

Note: In Heroes of the Hellenistic Age it was shown that Prince Seleucus was also known as Ptolemy Epigone (“The Heir”) and was a natural son of Alexander the Great.

Unbeknownst to the common Roman, Drusus and Julia would have been the ideal/desired dynastic match from the start. However, when Julia reached a marriageable age (of around 14 years old), Drusus was still (officially, not actually) five months her junior, and therefore not even close to marriageable age for a Roman male. Therefore, Caesarion had to marry Julia under a different assumed Roman name, that of Marcus Claudius Marcellus. As husband of Julia, Marcellus projected the imperious bearing of a king and was even considered heir apparent during the life-threatening illness of Augustus during that time. However, after about two years (25 BC – 23 BC), Marcellus and Julia were unable to have any children and the marriage was terminated with the claimed death of Marcellus from unspecified causes. Nevertheless, these two monarchs in the making, who were once even regaled as Cleopatra Selene and Alexander Helios, simply remarried (around 22 BC) under different names. Julia was also known as Antonia Major and Caesarion had assumed the identity of the domineering Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus (son of the Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus, i.e., Julius Caesar, who had scripted the Battle of Actium and set the royal house in order before his actual death).

Note: Other scenarios/identifications (associations between royal and Roman figures) are certainly possible, but the above are the most likely ones given the royal pecking order as it is currently understood.

Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus, as the surname implies, was both red-bearded and barbarous. He was a rude, crude dude and performed his acts with complete impunity. He regularly insulted Roman dignitaries. He thrilled and scandalized Rome with reckless chariot racing, by hosting animal shows and staging ultra-violent gladiatorial events. He also required both knights and married women to participate in a raw form of stage-acting called the pantomime. At this point in Roman history, Ahenobarbus had become a stock role. A prince assigned this name was expected to be a hot-tempered, rough and ready character that championed simple (rather than sumptuous) living, was basic (rather than eloquent) in speech, and catered to populist fervor for games and hedonistic entertainments. It appears to have been a role that the young Caesarion relished.

After Marcellus was removed as “son-in-law” of Caesar, the very jealous magnate Marcus Agrippa (former Ptolemy XIV, slightly younger brother of Ptolemy XIII/Octavius) promptly took his place as the new husband of Julia. Any sons of Marcus Agrippa by Julia would have been eligible for succession. However, the marriage also provided a covering for Julia to bear children to Octavius as well as other princes, such as the former Ptolemy Philadelphius. Julia was not the biological daughter of Augustus. She was the much vaunted (and still living) Cleopatra Selene, daughter of Cleopatra VII. She was also the best hope of Octavius (and every other prince) to establish their kingly legacy. Octavius (now the formidable Caesar Augustus) was possessive of Julia and able to justify it based on patriarchal Roman culture. Nevertheless, Julia was not beholden to him and motivated to produce royal children by as many qualified males as possible. The later Roman Emperor, Caligula, shockingly claimed that Augustus and Julia were not only sexual partners, but also the parents of his own mother Agrippina the Elder. Ironically, this may be the reason why Augustus was held in such regard in Christian tradition. He had not only sired the monster Caligula, but more importantly, was part of the bloodline of a Roman prince also known as Jesus.

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"The Healing of Antony and Cleopatra"

Due to increasingly low Nile floods and other factors, the royal family had been phasing out operations in Egypt for many decades. The naval Battle of Actium that pitted Rome against Egypt was used to bring closure to one of the greatest dynasties and empires of all time, the Ptolemaic. Antony was far more experienced at war than the much younger Octavius. The historian Plutarch informs us that Mark Antony could have easily triumphed over Octavius and saved the day for Egypt. However, it was a match that Antony was ordered to throw. The Battle of Actium took place about the time of Julius Caesar's actual death, and his presence at the battle is witnessed through the Roman alias of Domitius Ahenobarbus, who presumed to counsel Cleopatra to head for the safety of Egypt. He then deserted Antony's side for that of Octavius and was inexplicably sent graciously on his way by Antony along with his entire entourage.

Alexander was said to have saved the life of Ptolemy by healing him of a poisonous arrow wound, which must have typically led to a certain death in those days. Significantly though, he was raised as if from the dead to live a long and illustrious life. Caesar had a long kingly career in mind for Antony as well, just not in Egypt. Antony, like his role model Ptolemy, was dutifully following orders from on High, but like Jonah on his way to Nineveh, Antony was not at all happy about his calling. Relinquishing his gay and sumptuous lifestyle as king of Egypt was a symbolic type of death for him, not to mention forfeiture of his cherished plebian playboy image in Rome. During his inglorious retreat back to Egypt, Antony ignored Cleopatra and sat alone and silent in a state of denial for three days, and as if in the belly of a whale.

Upon arriving in Egypt, Antony further withdrew with only the consolation of two close companions. At last, he forsook them as well and entered a type of mock tomb along the shore he erected near the Pharos lighthouse. The historian Plutarch wrote that he did this in remembrance of the cynical Greek philosopher Timon, who was renowned as a “hater and enemy of mankind,” which of course was (until then) the exact opposite of Antony’s nature. Plutarch continues to recite a speech supposedly given by Timon as follows: “I have a little plot of ground, and in it grows a fig-tree, on which many citizens have been pleased to hang themselves, and now, having resolved to build in that place, I wish to announce it publicly, that any of you who may be desirous may go and hang yourselves before I cut it down.”

Plutarch spelled out Antony’s fate as best a royal biographer could. It was required of Antony to forsake the dissolute life he loved in order to become king of the Jews, a people known for asceticism and exclusivity, and widely stigmatized in the Greco-Roman world as haters of humanity. In his regional identity of Herod, Antony was obliged to both “go over (submit) to Caesar (Augustus)” with all the forces committed to him and to endure being despised by the Jews as one unworthy of kingship in Israel. Only his wife Mariamne, daughter of the High Priest Hyrcanus II, was allowed to claim a full-blooded Hasmonean pedigree.

Regarding Cleopatra, Plutarch coyly states that "what really took place is known to no one." But we can discern that Cleopatra had even less reason to kill herself than Antony. While Antony sulked, Cleopatra busied herself with salvaging what she could from the fire-sale of Egypt. Unlike Antony’s, her transformation eliminated every form of confinement. She had now eclipsed her older sister Berenice IV in refinement, and took her place as the next Great Queen of the larger Empire. Upon the actual passing of Julius Caesar, she was answerable to no man, not even to the new Caesar Augustus and his request to use her likeness in Triumph. The Egyptian Cleopatra was not going to Rome in chains, but would move freely throughout royal dominions, and more immediately to Canaan as its own native queen. As Plutarch subtly relates in his “Life of Antony,” the rule of Israel was not sour grapes for Cleopatra, but was presented sweetly to her as an endearing little basket of plump and beauteous figs.

Roxane, the wife of Alexander the Great and mother of his heir Alexander IV, was reportedly poisoned 13 years after Alexander. Her Greco-Persian alter ego Barsine was said to have been murdered 14 years after Alexander. However, as the Egyptian Queen Berenice, Roxane, lived a long, full life and even survived Ptolemy I Soter. Consistent with her role model, Cleopatra was reportedly poisoned (by snake bite) 14 years after the death of Caesar. However, under the Roman alias Scribonia, she moved freely even among the Romans, and lived to see her daughter Julia (a.k.a. Cleopatra Selene) torment Octavius to no end.

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Phony Antony and Foxy Cleopatra

We have seen that Mark Antony rose from relative obscurity to become Caesar’s most trusted friend and ally, even as Ptolemy became the right hand man of Alexander. Antony also played the distinctive role of Ptolemy during the staged murder and funeral of Julius Caesar. After the departure of Caesar, Antony confirmed his allotted typecasting by repeating the exploit of Ptolemy in seizing the land of Egypt. Like Ptolemy, Antony was not officially appointed to rule Egypt, but instead (and again after Ptolemy) only gave the impression that he had taken it. And in addition to Egypt, Antony also took Cleopatra as his consort and queen, even as Ptolemy had taken Roxane/Barsine as his consort and queen in Egypt after the “death” of Alexander.

Antony and Cleopatra were famously known for producing two sons and a daughter. Subsequently, the celebrity couple notified the world (through the press release known as “The Donations of Alexandria”) that the world itself would belong to these children. The eldest prince, Alexander Helios, was presented with Parthia, Armenia and Media (and all lands beyond). The younger son, Philadelphius, was deeded properties closer to Rome, i.e., Syria and Cilicia in Asia Minor. Libya and Cyrene, which had previously been bequeathed to Rome by former kings, was to become the exclusive possession of their daughter, Cleopatra Selene. Cleopatra’s son by the “late, great” Julius Caesar was confirmed as heir to the throne of Egypt.

The pronouncements of Antony and Cleopatra served two main purposes. First and foremost was the fulfillment Antony’s role as the Roman Ptolemy (I) Soter. In order to complete this typecasting it was necessary for Antony to adopt the sons of the “ascended” Caesar as Ptolemy had the sons of Alexander. The eldest son of Alexander had been conceived just prior to Alexander’s “death” in Babylon. As shown in Alexander the Great: Beyond the Divide, a second royal prince was born to Alexander afterwards, and this second son was arguably of superior pedigree than the first. His mother, Arsinoe, was the daughter of a Great King (Seleucus/Lysimachus), whereas Roxane/Barsine was not. Consistent with this, the second prince was called Ptolemy Epigone (“The Heir”) and his line emerged as dominant upon the death of the elder prince, Ptolemy II Philadelphius (the former Alexander IV). However, as genetic fate would have it, a male branch descending from Philadelphius later reclaimed the throne when the line of Epigone (through Antiochus III “the Great”) played out.

The eldest son of Antony and Cleopatra had received the illustrious name of Alexander Helios and was dressed up as the next King of Kings (to match his inheritance from Persia to the very ends of the Earth). To an aristocratic audience this could signal only one thing. The son of the still living Julius Caesar was being recognized as the eldest son and heir of Mark Antony, as well. There was nothing unusual about such an arrangement as it was a standard expression of primogeniture. In fact, just a few months later, Caesarion would be “reborn again” as the eldest son and heir of Octavius (Augustus) in Rome. This practice ensured that the succession was Caesarion’s to lose, and he could only lose it by failing to produce a qualified heir of his own.

Although the coveted name of Alexander (and the divine epithet of Helios to boot) was bestowed upon Caesarion, it was the younger prince that was called Philadelphius. This served to place the two princes more-or-less on equal footing with regard to royal precedent. The young Helios was betrothed to the “daughter of the king of Media,” which was a roundabout way of saying that Helios and Cleopatra’s daughter Selene were promised to each other. Helios (“The Sun”) and Selene (“The Moon”) were obviously intended to be an ideal dynastic match from the very start, which would not have been the case if they had literally been twins. Again, the eldest son Helios had priority with respect to royal mating, but not exclusivity. It would be Philadelphius that eventually produced an heir by Selene and not Caesarion/Helios.

The second purpose of the “Donations of Alexandria” was to simultaneously issue a boast and a provocation. It was not within Antony’s authority to designate his own sons as the new overlords of the Empire, but it was his duty to recognize Caesar’s sons as such. The “Donations of Alexandria” is a declaration that Caesar’s natural line was going to rule the world, and whether it was public knowledge or not. These great princes were born to dominate the world, both within Roman society and without. It was a statement of fact. Nevertheless, it could still be used as the provocation and justification necessary for Rome to act (under the leadership of the same royal family) and bring the Ptolemaic dynasty to its long-delayed conclusion.

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"Caesar Died in India"

Caesar, like Alexander (and the later Jesus), had spent much of his career “campaigning” away from his nominal capital. And, like Alexander, he increasingly tested the limits of public and courtly willingness to view him not only as king but also god incarnate. In pursuit of that status, Caesar acquired a ten year dictatorship in 48 BC, only to modestly resign from it after a token 11 days. Later that same year, he then fully accepted a one year dictatorship. After the “defeat” of Cato in North Africa in 46 BC, he was offered the original ten year dictatorship again, and this time he kept it. The following year, he gained the satisfaction of getting himself elected as sole Consul. Twelve years earlier he had been merely the de facto sole Consul. Upon his last return to Rome, Caesar electrified the city with a spectacular but highly controversial Triumph.

Caesar had now completed a reasonable imitation of the life of Alexander the Great. For an aristocratic audience, the stage was set for Caesar’s personal Osirification patterned after the death of Alexander the Great. There were two versions of the death of Osiris in myth. In one, the location of Osiris was betrayed so that he could be ambushed by a posse in an open field. In the other, the body of Osiris was essentially stolen at a banquet and then set adrift on the sea. Alexander the Great was not the first king to reenact the Osiris “Passion Play,” but his rendition was exceptional. The attempt on his life in India was not staged, but intended to literally kill him. Having survived that ordeal, he then voluntarily sacrificed his kingship in the West in order to resume his conquest of the East, and thereby more completely identify with the god Osiris.

In the run-up to his own ritualized murder, Caesar had two mockers executed on the Field of Mars. Alexander crucified two men, Ariamazes and Calisthines, as well, who had thrown shade on his accomplishments and claim to divinity. Also like Alexander, Caesar dismissed repeated warnings of his imminent death. Finally, Alexander, on the eve of his death, had attended a “Last Supper” event prepared on his behalf. In honor of that same tradition, Caesar was invited by Lepidus to a banquet at his home with other leading men “on the night he was betrayed.” The banquet feast was a stock element of the Osiris drama, and was of course also a central element in the Passion of the Christ in the Gospels. Unlike Alexander, Caesar (and the later Jesus) had waited patiently and faithfully for his turn to rule. Therefore, the “cup” of an actual lynching could be “taken from him.”

On the Ides of March, Caesar sent his body double to the Roman Senate while he remained out of harm’s way. The substitute of Caesar therefore had to be positively identified to his assailants by a prearranged signal. We are told that upon his arrival at the Senate, Caesar received a kiss from Senator Popilius, which would have marked him as the victim and also fulfilled the tradition of betrayal. Another Senator, Tillius Cimber, fell at Caesar’s feet (as Mary Magdalene would later “honor” Jesus) and then pulled at Caesar’s robe like an Isis before Osiris. Mark Antony was deliberately restrained by Trebonius from coming to Caesar’s defense on the Senate floor. This mimicked the Alexander scenario in which Ptolemy had been intentionally detained on the day of his Master’s assassination attempt in India.

Any double of Caesar would have understood that his life could be required of him at any time. However, he was perhaps unaware that it was going to be that particular day and occasion. The accounts indicate that he was genuinely surprised to be attacked on the hallowed floor of the Senate House, and why shouldn’t he be? Yet, after sustaining a number of vicious blows, he dutifully pulled his toga over his own head (probably with some help) and resigned himself to Caesar’s fate. His body was then allowed to lay where it fell and without risk of being exposed as a fake. Alexander’s own double had likewise been neglected while Alexander’s “Successors” (a.k.a. the “Guards of the Presence”) quarreled among themselves and even came to blows in the very presence of the body.

Like the disciples of Alexander at the Temple of Serapis, the famous Roman orator Cicero had pledged round-the-clock vigilance on Caesar’s behalf, but conspicuously failed to provide any real protection when it was needed. (Similarly, the followers of Jesus were unable to “watch and pray” through the night and were also powerless after Jesus was taken into custody and put to death.) Exposing and/or stealing of the body was a central element of the Osiris drama. It was the fate of an Osiris figure to be captured, and especially for his elite guard to be unexpectedly disabled or overcome.

The heavily guarded sarcophagus of Alexander (i.e., that of his murdered double) was eventually “set adrift” and meandered from town to town until it was at last commandeered by Ptolemy and brought to Egypt. In emulation, there was heated debate over the burial of Caesar’s double, and with the body moved here and there. Mark Antony, in the role of Ptolemy, ultimately made the final arrangements. Two angelic “beings” were said to also have appeared to preside over the transformation (through cremation, in this case) of the body. A short time later, Caesar’s spirit was said to have ascended with the arrival of a comet. The spirit then was said to have descended upon Octavius and as part of his own transformation from frail youth into Caesar Augustus. (In the Gospels, Jesus first ascends on the 40th day from the resurrection and then the spirit comes to empower upon his “successors,” the formerly timid disciples, at Pentecost, 50 days after the resurrection.)

Note: The two angels correspond to the two deities, Thoth and Isis, who supervised the “resurrection” of Osiris. Although Thoth and Isis were accomplices in the murder of Osiris they later tried to restore him (or at least preserve his remains).

As with his role model Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar bugged out with a number of ambitious civil and military projects still on the drawing board. However, Caesar was not merely leaving Rome in the hands of a 17 year old relation named Octavius, but his own biological son and with full support from the rest of the royal family and its global ruling apparatus. The takeover of Rome was not their first rodeo. Dutifully, Octavius saw to the deification of his father. The Roman people were duped into worshipping him as a living god after all!

Kingship was not broken by the “death” of Caesar. On the contrary, it was firmly reestablished in Rome. It was never in any serious jeopardy in the East. Whoever controlled the warriors of the Steppe controlled the whole world, and this fundamental of kingship did not change until the advent of gunpowder. The reputation of the Roman legions was manufactured. They were no match for the mobility, ferocity and lethality of the Eastern mounted archers. During Alexander’s dynasty, these so-called Scythian warriors were integrated into the Parthian and Indo-Bactrian kingdoms. In the Julio-Claudian dynasty that followed, the Indo-Bactrian kingdom was replaced with a new kingdom, the Kushan, whose power was based on a new and vigorous tribe of Scythians from the East called the Yuezhi. As the new and improved Roman Alexander, it had to be none other than Julius Caesar that laid the foundation of this new Indian dynasty. It can also be deduced that Julius Caesar fulfilled that role under the regional name of Azilises.

Note: Josephus singled out the Arabian prince Phasaelus as an alter ego of Julius Caesar, and by crediting him with the most heroic and sacrificial death possible. The names Phasaelus and Azilises are quite similar and reveal the interlocking Eastern identities and activities of Julius Caesar.

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