I really never intended to look at the New Testament period. It happened as a fluke when all of this Da Vinci Code stuff broke, and I decided to do that innocent little essay titled "Mary Magdalene, Harlot or Queen?". I had some familiarity with the New Testament of course, but very little understanding of the archaeology and extra-biblical history of that era.
Essentially what I've done is take the "siege engines" developed for "conquering" Old Testament history and turn them on the New Testament world. It's not pretty, but so far very effective in reducing the Herodian dynasty. Will this approach work on Parthia and Arabia? Not sure yet, but let's look for the simple solution first. If we don't get the quick win, then we'll look for something more complex.
I understand your inclination to seek astrological/astonomical symbolism and patterns in human culture. Helge has helped me appreciate just how sacred that was. I'm just not sure if it helps in sleuthing the kinds of relationships we're looking for between rulers of one region and another, and between members of a single dynasty. And ultimately we have to be prepared for the possibility that the information we need to make a convincing reconstruction just isn't there.
© Charles N. Pope, US Library of Congress. All rights reserved.