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Author Topic: Chapter 09: Jesus Among the Julio-Claudians (Caesar Must Be Born Again & Again)  (Read 1603 times)
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« on: August 11, 2017, 04:26:11 PM »

The following is an excerpt from:

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

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.

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 Philadelphius. Likewise, the birth of a new Philadelphius (II) 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, the youthful and stately High Priest Jonathan (Aristobulus) would have been every bit as prestigious, if not more so.

Even as one manifestation of Caesarion was being removed from the world stage (by Herod), another one was being created (by Marc Antony). 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 (Josephus) 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 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. His first inheritance was that of Egypt. As Alexander Helios he was also 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.

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The prequel "Heroes of the Hellenistic Age" is posted at the page below:
« Last Edit: October 01, 2017, 11:46:02 PM by Chuck-Star » Logged
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