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Vespatian and Vipsanius

CW,

I haven't had a chance to look over your Archelaus-Jesus connection. I do now accept that there were a great many royal princes that tried to assume the typecasting of Joshua/Jesus. Titus was just the latest. Right now I'm looking into the identity of Vespatian and his brother within the extended Roman/Herodian family. The name Vespatian is only a thinly disguised adaptation of Vispanius (Agrippa).

I'm pretty sure that they were actually the descendants of Vispanius, namely, Drusus and Nero the sons of Queen Agrippina (the Elder). They fell out of favor and were presumed to have been killed. However, the descriptions of their deaths are extremely suspicious. So was the attempt by their brother Caligula to honor their memory. It appears he was more interested in ensuring that they would not become threats to his rule.

Nero and Drusus were disgraced late in the reign of Tiberius. Instead of literally dying, they were forced to abandon their royal identities for plebian ones. It seems that most of the leading Romans established plebian identities for themselves. It made them less of a target. Drusus was later able to recover and to claim the throne, not as an outsider, but an insider. As Bruce mentioned in his recent post, Vespatian was behaving as a royal person. And he in fact would have been a royal person. A non-royal person would simply not have been allowed to succeed to the throne. Rome had been taken over by a royal dynasty.

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