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Author Topic: Chapter 18: Jesus Among the Julio-Claudians (... Until All Things Be Fulfilled)  (Read 1832 times)
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« on: August 11, 2017, 04:15:40 PM »

The following is an excerpt from:

"Jesus Among the Julio-Claudians"
copyright 2017 Charles N. Pope

The Julio-Claudian emulation of the Ptolemaic Period was nearly complete.  The only major roles left to play were those of the childless Ptolemy VII (John Hyrcanus) and his three “sons” – Ptolemy “D” (Aristobulus/Sulla), Ptolemy IX (Antigonus/Cinna) and Ptolemy X (Alexander Jannaeus/Marius).

Almost by definition, the role of John Hyrcanus had to be played by a prince who ruled as king in Jerusalem.  The long reign of Agrippa II (“Herodion”) served to fulfill that precedent quite nicely.  As Agrippa II was the final king before the fall of Jerusalem, there really are no other candidates.  Considering this, we would also expect Agrippa II to have performed at least a token stint as High Priest in order to emulate John Hyrcanus as both High Priest and King of Jerusalem.  The most likely alter ego of Agrippa II as High Priest would have been Ananias, son of Nebedaius, 47-55 A.D, appointed during the reign of Emperor Claudius (the former Agrippa I).  In this case, Agrippa II was already High Priest when his kingship in Israel began in 53 AD.

The role of the first Hasmonean prince named Aristobulus (a.k.a. Prince Ptolemy “D” of Egypt) was logically played by the last Herodian prince (with any recognized Hasmonean pedigree) by that same name, Aristobulus (“Jesus Justus”) son of Aristobulus of Chalcis.  It was determined in Heroes of the Hellenistic Age that the Roman identity of the first Aristobulus was that of Roman Dictator Sulla/Syla (Indo-Bactrian/Greek King Zoilos).  

Heroes of the Hellenistic Age, Chapter 14: The Death of Sulla and Rise of Pompey & Caesar
During the Jewish Revolt and Roman siege of Jerusalem, this Aristobulus (son of Aristobulus of Chalcis) assisted Vespasian in suppressing the region of Commagene along the Euphrates, which was justified as a “precautionary measure” against an “expected” Parthian invasion. At the same time a group identified as the “Alans” invaded Media and drove out its king Parcorus/Pacorus.  These interlopers also supposedly threatened the king of Armenia, who was still being called Tigranes (II).

The role of Antigonus (from the Ptolemaic/Hasmonean Era associates well with Josephus/Agrippa III. Antigonus (Roman: Cinna) had been the quintessential side-kick to his fellow princes, and particularly Aristobulus (Roman: Sulla). Antigonus/Cinna was best known in Rome as a leading facilitator of dynastic transition from that of Aristobulus/Sulla and his faction to that of Alexander Jannaeus/Marius. In the Ptolemaic Era, Cinna was not first in line for succession, but third (after Sulla/Aristobulus and Marius/Alexander Jannaeus). Similarly, Josephus was next in line after his older brother Aristobulus/Jesus Justus, and known (by his own detailed histories) for diplomacy and close relationships with contemporary mover and shakers.

The association between Emperor Nerva and Josephus/Agrippa III can be made using the following historical details:
1. As Emperor, Nerva emphasized water-works and granaries (the traditional preoccupation of a Joseph-figure).
2. Nerva was renowned for his literary talent, and idolized for it by Nero.
3. In addition to being honored by Nero, Nerva was also made Consul of Rome by both Vespasian and Domitian.
4. Nerva was admired for good looks despite having a large hooked nose.
5. Nerva was the last person interred in the Mausoleum of Augustus
6. The life of Nerva had been threatened and he was unjustly imprisoned. He was released only after the execution of those who conspired to kill the former king (Domitian), his predecessor. (Recall the story of Joseph who was joined in prisoned by a cupbearer and baker accused of poisoning Judah, the crown prince and co-regent.)
7. Nerva was, politically speaking, a Flavian. Josephus was a Flavian by formal adoption.
8. Nerva was hailed with the title, “Father of the Nation,” i.e., Great King. Despite supposedly having died childless, almost all of the emperors of the 2nd Century AD considered him to be their ancestor. (We must suspect that Nerva did have children, but under another name. Josephus had a number of children, including at least three sons.)
9. Nerva reformed the Jewish tax instituted by Vespasian and intensified by Domitian.
10. Nerva, like Cinna, emerged from obscurity to lead Rome in a time of unrest and transition.

With the role of Ptolemy IX (Cinna) being played by Josephus, all of the major Ptolemaic roles are now accounted for, however only with the emergence of a neo-Ptolemy X/Alexander Jannaeus (Marius) could the grand cycle be considered finished and the Julio-Claudian Dynasty with it. In Rome, Nerva in fact summoned Trajan as Cinna had once summoned the new “strong man” Marius. This not only suggests that Trajan was being announced as the new Marius but that Trajan was also the true (rather than adopted) son of Nerva, albeit disguised from the general populace. Trajan took his time returning to the city, which kept rich and poor alike in a prolonged state of terror. They were no doubt expecting severe retribution for the disrespect of Trajan’s (“adoptive”) father and along the lines of the brutality inflicted by Marius.

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The prequel "Heroes of the Hellenistic Age" is posted at the page below:
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