Kurds and "The Way"

Toronto correspondent "Yuya Joe" emailed to ask if a genealogical link could be made between Jesus and Muhammad. Certainly they shared a common royal heritage, but there is a previously undiscerned geographical connection as well (that is easier to establish).

The founders of ALL the major Middle Eastern monotheistic religions had ties to Lower Armenia (the region south of Mt. Ararat), and more specifically to Edessa and the even older city of Harran, which was nearby.

Harran had been a "city of refuge" for the moon god Sin. As such, Harran came to represent not only a place of exile but of spiritual reflection and reformation, both on a personal and collective level. This involved rejecting harmful, ignorant/primitive ("sinful", if you will) practices and the adoption of a higher wisdom (more modern/efficacious for the times).

Note: In contrast to the moon god Sin, the designated city of refuge for aspiring sun gods was Babylon ala the exile of Marduk-Re. Marduk-Re (the Roman god Mars son of Jupiter) was the god of war and of kings. Moon religions were more suitable for their obedient subjects.

In legend, the peak of Mt. Ararat itself became a refuge for "wise Noah" and his family after the raging Flood subsided. It was also a place where new laws governing man's behavior were dictated.

Abraham later came to Armenia, and specifically to Harran, after fleeing from a "land of idolatry" ("Ur of the Chaldeans") with his father Terah. He then traveled to Egypt where he was associated with the god of wisdom and the moon, Thoth/Djehuty.

Note: Tira was an Armenian god associated with wisdom and writing, i.e., a local alias of Sin/Thoth. Tira was also found in Indo-European/Hurrian/Mitanni royal names, and a likely source for the Biblical name Terah.

The city of refuge symbolized the distress of being pursued by a vengeful greater power. This was literally true in a temporary military sense for Abraham and Terah, but was figuratively applied to the more abstract and enduring notion of submission to an almighty cosmic lord. (Sadly, our great religions are known more for slavish adherence to tradition and to leaders rather than the advancement of knowledge, but that was by grand design.)

Some centuries after Abraham, the prophet Zoraster/Zarathustra also spread faith from Armenia that was centered on Ahura Mazda, a Persian form of the Sumerian god Sin and Egyptian god Thoth. It became the core religion of the Persian Empire of Darius and Cyrus. In the 3rd Century AD, the prince/prophet Ardashir rose from Armenia to found the Sassanian (neo-Persian) dynasty and restore Zoroastrianism to its former purity.

Both Jesus and Paul lived (and ruled under the name Tigranes I & II) among the Armenians of Edessa, where their followers were first called Christians.

And finally, Armenia was the family homeland of Heraclius, who also went down to North Africa and Arabia as a ruler and prophet (and where he became known as Muhammad). Almost six hundred years later, in the 12th Century AD, Yusef/Salah ad-Din (Saladin) came out of Armenia to re-unite the Islamic world and "reform" Islam.

The capture Edessa was a top priority (along with Jerusalem) of the 1st Crusade under Baldwin, who became king of both Edessa and Jerusalem.

Note: The Crusading knights were encouraged to take inspiration from “their ancestors the Maccabees”, which was literally true and not merely an identification with former “liberators” of the Holy Lands.

Edessa called “City of the Prophets”

Edessa, “City of Controversy”

Armenia/Edessa was a military gateway to Persia/Parthia. It gained the reputation of being a Roman "Waterloo". The Romans in 53 B.C. suffered one of their most humiliating defeats when Agbarus king of Edessa lured the General and Triumvir Cressus and his army directly into the fire of Parthian archers. The Romans in 66 A.D. under Cestius allowed themselves to be ambushed by another king of Edessa, Monobazus, in order to bait the Jews into a larger conflict, one in which they could not win but only be destroyed. (This was a Roman strategy to invert the expectation of a Roman catastrophe and forever nullify the earlier precedent.)

The young Octavius/Augustus was nicknamed Thurius or "The Thurian", which aludes to his identity as a prince among the Armenians, former land of the Hurrians (and of the city of Harran).

Julius Ceasar usurps kingship in Armenia.

Marc Antony led his legions through Armenia into Media.

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