Damien F. Mackey
In 2004 I wrote an article, “The Lost Cultural Foundations of Western Civilisation”, from which this site has developed (http://westerncivilisationamaic.blogspot.com.au/). Towards the end of this article I had included a section with the above title, “Jesus Christ and Julius Caesar”, showing what I believed to be Roman plagiarisation of the New Testament – Greco-Roman appropriation of Hebrew-Israelite (Jewish) culture in its various forms being the subject matter of this article and site.
Here is that brief and not yet fully developed article:
“The Romans, with the advent of the creation of their empire, wanted to give great antiquity to their patriarchs. The first major effort along this line was put forth by Virgil in his Aeneid. This Roman “bible”portrays the imperial city as having been founded and enhanced according to a divine plan: Rome’s mission was to bring peace and civilization to the world. Cyrus Gordon has compared Virgil’s accounts of the royal house of Rome with the New Testament account of the Messianic office as expressed in Jesus of Nazareth.Both Roman and New Testament writers drew upon the Old Testament. Virgil used the Old Testament account of Israel’s national experience as a literary model to recount Rome’s history. But he went much further. He drew upon the saying of the Hebrew prophets concerning the coming Messiah and applied them to Augustus, the first emperor, to make him “scion of a god”. The divinely sired ruler who descended from an ancient line was to rule the world in a golden age.Thus the new theology of Rome was set forth. It was heavily infused with theology appropriated and adapted from the Old Testament of the Jews”.
This explanation by Mcdowell may, in part, help to account for the distinct parallels now to be discussed between history’s most famous J.C’s – Jesus Christ and Julius Caesar – both referred to as the greatest man the earth has ever produced [Grant, M., Julius Caesar (Weidenfield and Nicholson, London, 1969), Foreword p. 15: “A hundred or even fifty years ago, Gaius Julius Caesar (J.C.) was variously described as the greatest man of action who ever lived, and even as ‘the entire and perfect man’.”]. Whilst in most aspects Jesus and Julius could not be any more different, there are nevertheless certain incredibly close likenesses, especially in regard to their violent deaths.
Both Jesus and Julius were born into poor circumstances; but their ancestry was one of blue blood: Davidic in the case of Jesus, Patrician in the case of Caesar. Their births were notable, a miraculous Virgin birth for Jesus, Julius’ birth giving rise to the term ‘Caesarian’.
“The tax collectors”, said Cicero, “have never been loyal, and are now very friendly with Caesar” [as cited ibid., p. 161]. Likewise, the Pharisees were critical of Jesus for eating with “tax collectors and sinners” (Matthew 9:11).
Both Jesus and Julius had spoken of an early death. Both had entered their capital city (Jerusalem, Rome) in triumph, on an ancient feast-day (Passover, Lupercalia), shortly before mid-March, and had been hailed as “king”. This had caused anger and had the plotters conspiring. But there was also an ambivalence about the kingship. Caesar, though a king in deed, had rejected the diadem thrice. And Pilate had tried to get to the bottom of Jesus’ kingship: ‘So you are a king, then?’ (John 18:37); eventually having written in three languages: “Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the Jews” (19:19).
The prime mover of Caesar’s fatal stabbing was the soldier, Gaius Cassius Longinus, the last name (Longinus) being the very name that tradition has associated with the Roman soldier who rent Christ’s side with a spear (19:34).
The zealot amongst the conspirators was the intense young Brutus, in whom Dante at least had obviously discerned a similarity with Judas, having located “Brutus and Cassius with Judas Iscariot in Hell” [as cited by Grant, op. cit., p. 257]. Even Christ’s words to Judas in Gethsemane, ‘So you would betray the Son of Man with a kiss?’ (Luke 22:48), resemble what is alleged to be Caesar’s anguished last cry: re-made by Shakespeare as ‘Et tu Brute?’.
There may even be a confused reminiscence of Barabbas: “Caesar …staged an elaborate legal charade against an old man called Rabirius [Barabbas?] … [who] had been allegedly implicated in … murder … not interested in having the old Rabrius actually executed” [ibid., p. 51]. (Cf. Matthew 27:15-23).
The ‘heretical’question must now be asked: Did Julius Caesar really exist? Or was his ‘life’merely a mixture of his nephew Augustus, who also bore the name Julius Caesar, and aspects of the life of Jesus Christ according to Virgil’s biblical borrowings? And perhaps other composites as well? “Portrait busts are not a safe guide to [Julius Caesar’s] appearance, since they may or may not date from his life-time” [ibid., p. 245].
Do we have anything for Jesus Christ for that matter? I believe that we do have a most precious artifact of his in the enigmatic ‘Shroud of Turin’ [See outstanding article “The Mystery of the Shroud” in National Geographic, June 1980, pp. 730f. Ian Wilson has disputed the 1988 carbon dating of the Shroud in The Blood and the Shroud (Weidenfield and Nicholson, London, 1998), and has traced the Shroud back historically to the early Christian centuries].
[End of article]
Now, a scholar named Francesco Carotta, not failing to notice the same sorts of stunning parallels between the two lives, has written a book which is the other way round to my article, that Julius Caesar was, in part, based on Jesus Christ. For Carotta, Jesus Christ was instead based on Julius Caesar. Whilst I believe that Carotta is wrong, I am intrigued that he, too, has attempted to fuse the two lives. Here is one review of Carotta’s fascinating book:
Taken from: http://www.prnewswire.co.uk/news-releases/jesus-was-caesar-new-book-by-philosopher-and-linguist-francesco-carotta-claims-that-the-real-identity-of-jesus-christ-has-been-discovered-154575075.html
‘Jesus was Caesar’: New book by Philosopher and Linguist Francesco Carotta Claims That the real identity of Jesus Christ has Been Discovered
SOESTERBERG, The Netherlands, February 8 /PRNewswire/ —
– Carotta: ‘Everything of the Story of Jesus can be Found in the Biography of Caesar.’
The Italian-German linguist and philosopher Francesco Carotta proves in his book Jesus was Caesar that the story of Jesus Christ has its origin in Roman sources. In more than fifteen years of investigation Carotta has found the traces which lead to the Julian origin of Christianity. He concludes that the story of Jesus is based on the narrative of the life of Julius Caesar.
Carotta: ”The Gospel proves to be the history of the Roman Civil war, a ‘mis-telling’ of the life of Caesar-from the Rubicon to his assassination-mutated into the narrative of Jesus, from the Jordan to his crucifixion. Jesus is a true historical figure, he lived as Gaius Julius Caesar, and ressurected as Divus Julius.”
The cult surrounding Jesus Christ, son of God and originator of Christianity appeared during the second century. Early historians, however, never mentioned Jesus and even until now there has been no actual proof of his existence. Julius Caesar, son of Venus and founder of the Roman Empire, was elevated to the status of Imperial God, Divus Julius, after his violent death. The cult that surrounded him dissolved as Christianity surfaced.
Carotta’s new evidence leads to such an overwhelming amount of similarities between the biography of Caesar and the story of Jesus that coincidence can be ruled out.
– Both Caesar and Jesus start their rising careers in neighboring states in the north: Gallia and Galilee.
– Both have to cross a fateful river: the Rubicon and the Jordan. Once across the rivers, they both come across a patron/rival: Pompeius and John the Baptist, and their first followers: Antonius and Curio on the one hand and Peter and Andrew on the other.
– Both are continually on the move, finally arriving at the capital, Rome and Jerusalem, where they at first triumph, yet subsequently undergo their passion.
– Both have good relationships with women and have a special relationship with one particular woman, Caesar with Cleopatra and Jesus with Magdalene.
– Both have encounters at night, Caesar with Nicomedes of Bithynia, Jesus with Nicodemus of Bethany.
– Both have an affinity to ordinary people-and both run afoul of the highest authorities: Caesar with the Senate, Jesus with the Sanhedrin.
– Both are contentious characters, but show praiseworthy clemency as well: the clementia Caesaris and Jesus’ Love-thy-enemy.
– Both have a traitor: Brutus and Judas. And an assassin who at first gets away: the other Brutus and Barabbas. And one who washes his hands of it: Lepidus and Pilate.
– Both are accused of making themselves kings: King of the Romans and King of the Jews. Both are dressed in red royal robes and wear a crown on their heads: a laurel wreath and a crown of thorns.
– Both get killed: Caesar is stabbed with daggers, Jesus is crucified, but with a stab wound in his side.
– Jesus as well as Caesar hang on a cross. For a reconstruction of the crucifixion of Caesar, see:
– Both die on the same respective dates of the year: Caesar on the Ides (15 th) of March, Jesus on the 15 th of Nisan.
– Both are deified posthumously: as Divus Iulius and as Jesus Christ.
– Caesar and Jesus also use the same words, e.g.: Caesar’s famous Latin ‘Veni, vidi, vici’-I came, I saw, I conquered-is in the Gospel transmitted into: ‘I came, washed and saw’, whereby Greek enipsa, ‘I washed’, replaces enikisa, ‘I conquered’.
Prominent European scholars and intellectuals are jubilant:
‘This report is of the same order of importance as the scientific discoveries of Darwin and Galileo. – Paul Cliteur, Ph. D., University of Leiden, The Netherlands –
‘Reading Francesco Carotta’s book has fascinated me, …leading the mind of the reader step by step to the solution of an obscure intrigue. This voyage was like a liberating and exhilarating breath of fresh air.’ -Fotis Kavoukopoulos Ph. D., an international expert in linguistics, Athens, Greece –
-‘New connections which have never been seen that way’.
-Erika Simon Ph.D. Germany
Francesco Carotta Jesus was Caesar. On the Julian Origin of Christianity ISBN 90 5911 396 9 Sales: UK: firstname.lastname@example.org USA: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org L 24,95, USD 44,95, Euro 32
SOURCE Aspekt Publishers
Good try, boys. But I think that our site provides copious evidence for the fact that the Greeks and the Romans tended to be the plagiarisers.