The following is an excerpt (#6 of 20) from:
"Jesus Among the Julio-Claudians"
copyright 2017 Charles N. Pope
"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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