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Author Topic: Chapter 03: Jesus Among the Julio-Claudians (He Didn't Mean to Be Crassus)  (Read 1561 times)
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« on: August 11, 2017, 04:34:28 PM »

The following is an excerpt from:

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

He Didn’t Mean to be Crassus

In the year before the Battle of Alesia (and the year after the “death” of Caesar’s daughter Julia), the eldest member of the triumvirate, Crassus, took a dive. It was part of Caesar’s transition to power, not merely in Rome, but as the next head of the royal family and next “incarnation” of Alexander. Crassus took no ordinary dive, but one specifically choreographed after Alexander’s greatest contemporary rival (and putative “Successor”) Seleucus. As part of his own kingly draw-down, Seleucus had first eliminated his primary Western identity, Lysimachus of Thrace. Seleucus was subsequently “killed” by his nominal son Ceraunus. In remembrance of Seleucus, the Western identity of Crassus had to first be killed off by one of his own Eastern identities, Orodes II. Later, Orodes would be “murdered” by one of his “sons,” Phraates IV, who (as we shall see) was fulfilling his own personal typecasting as the new Ceraunus. The leading Romans were exhibiting and reenacting a very privileged understanding of the royal history of Alexander and his “Successors.”

The Roman name Crassus is actually an anagram of Seleucus/Seleukos. Crassus, like the earlier Seleucus, had once been a leading prospect for succession to the Great Throne. Unlike Seleucus, Crassus did appear to have fathered two royal sons, including Marc Antony. If his rival Marius had not done the same, then Crassus in all liklihood Marc Antony would have been groomed as the next Alexander the Great rather than Pompey and then Julius Caesar. However, this is not how the succession played out and it ultimately meant that Crassus and then Marc Antony had to debase themselves in order to glorify their royal superiors.  Success in battle generally reflected success in royal fatherhood. Ignominious failure in battle (even if spectacularly staged) was often the consequence of failing in royal fatherhood (or being trumped in that regard by one’s royal rivals). Crassus was said to have been pinned down by the seemingly inexhaustible arrows of the Parthian archers, captured and then forced to swallow his own precious molten metal. Another role model of Crassus, Lysimachus, was said to have been deserted by everyone in his final battle, except for his dog! Ouch.

By way of comparison and contrast, Julius Caesar was trapped in an even more impossible defensive position at the Battle of Alesia, yet he “miraculously” came away victorious. Caesar only had to create the appearance of being in the utmost peril. However, this still required the cooperation and confidence of his fellow royal males as accomplices. Alexander had not actually been wounded by the defenders of the city he besieged, but by “friendly fire” ordered by his royal peers. It had been a genuine assassination attempt. In emulation, Caesar arranged to be attacked/ambushed from the side or behind his siege position at Alesia. We must once again discern that the Roman magnates not only knew the public history of Alexander but also the private, i.e., exclusively royal, history of Alexander, and because they were themselves the royal descendants and successors of Alexander.

The contrived nature of the Battle of Alesia can even be deduced from the names given to the Gaulic chieftains themselves. The leader of the “Gaulic rebellion” was called Vercingetorix, which is commonly translated as “King of Warriors” or “Most Courageous King.” However, it also encodes both the name of the Roman magnate Cinna and an important Eastern identity of Cinna, that being the Parthian prince/king Gotarze.[c] The two other Gaulic leaders aligned with Vercingetorix were called Vercassivellaunus and Sedullos. Vercassivellaunus incorporates the name of Cass/Cassi, i.e., Roman Cassius. To a multi-lingual aristocratic audience it would have screamed, “Behold the true Cassius Longinus.” The identity of Sedullos is just as obvious. Sedullo is Orodes backwards.
The uncle of Vercingetorix, who was also actively involved in the war, is called Gobanitio, which is an even more obvious form of Gabinus, the general used by Pompey to “fix” things in the East, particularly in Israel and Egypt. The participation of Gobanitio (Gabinus) in this publicity stunt implies that Pompey also approved of it, even if he didn’t directly participate in it.[d] Cinna, on the other hand, had formerly acted as a foil in Sulla and Pompey’s military adventures. He was now doing the same for Caesar. The chosen pseudonyms of royal family members were scarcely disguised to the aristocracy. The royal family wanted everyone (that mattered) to know how all-encompassing their empire was and how clever they were in administering it.

Vercassivellaunus [e] was unable to save Vercingetorix, even as Cassius was unable to save Crassus the previous year. Crassus reportedly rejected the counsel of Cassius. Similarly, Vercingetorix failed to make effective use of the help brought by Vercassivellaunus. Schematically, these engagements are very similar, but they had very different purposes. In one event, the greed of Crassus (as a “dynastic loser”) is turned into an object lesson, i.e., that “crime doesn’t pay.” (However, the royal family operated entirely above the law. The money Crassus stole from the poor was not returned to them, nor was Crassus actually punished..) In the second event, the brilliance of Caesar (as a “dynastic winner”) is established and celebrated. All that remained for Caesar to do was return to Rome in glory even as Alexander had returned to his beloved Babylon. And like Alexander, Caesar was not in any hurry to get there.

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