All posts for the month January, 2019

Ramses III was not emulating Ramses II

Published January 17, 2019 by amaic
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New Revision for Ramses II

Part Two: Ramses III was not emulating Ramses II


Why did Ramses III try to emulate Ramses II?

He did not. Ramses II and III were the same.



The question (a reasonable one in a conventional context) is asked at:


Why did Ramesses III try to emulate Ramesses II?



The most immediate efforts that Ramesses III made to emulate his predecessor and try to follow suit of Ramesses II’s reign was the use of his name, which would have been a significant factor in attempting to align the two pharaohs in the minds of contemporary 4 Egyptians. The desire to emulate the reign of Ramesses II did not come from an attempt to continue the family line of dynastic ideals, however, as Ramesses III was no more than perhaps a distant relative of Ramesses II, and he ascended the throne in a new dynasty.

Regardless, by using Ramesses’ name there was a clear and immediate link to be made between the pharaohs. At the mention of his name, the people would be reminded of the previous prosperity of Egypt not much longer than only a generation previously, and the new pharaoh would be associated with the hopeful revival of this, distanced from the failures of the pharaohs who reigned between them. Similarly, his name as recorded on monuments would bear similarity to the previous king, so that in posterity he may be remembered alongside him in a similar respect. Ramesses III’s royal titulary demonstrates his desire to emulate previous pharaohs and associate himself with their success, not only with Ramesses II but also with dynastic founders.


His Horus name was a copy of those of the dynastic founders Ahmose (eighteenth dynasty) and Ramesses I (nineteenth dynasty), emphasising that he recognised the importance of being associated with the achievements of previous pharaohs and did not aim to emulate only one. This connection to the founders of previous dynasties introduces the idea that Ramesses III considered himself the true founder of the twentieth dynasty. However, more important to the image that Ramesses III was creating for himself was the connection of himself to Ramesses the Great. The other components to his name were based on those of Ramesses II, boldly making an immediate connection between himself and the previous pharaoh to make it clear that his own reign would attempt to be similar to that of Ramesses II (Kitchen 1983, 137; Kitchen 2012, 3–4). ….




Two kings “Tirhakah”?

Published January 17, 2019 by amaic
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Damien F. Mackey


“In 701, when Sennacherib had ravaged the whole land and had Jerusalem

under blockade (ch. 1:4-9), if words mean anything (“Why be beaten any more, [why] continue rebellion?” v. 5), [Isaiah] counseled surrender; and ch. 22:1-14 …

suggests that nothing in the course of these events had caused him to alter his evaluation of the national character and policy. It is not easy to believe that in this very same year he also counseled defiance and promised deliverance”.

 Bright, A History of Israel




In Ch. IX of The Sabbath and Jubilee Cycle, “The Identity of Tirhakah”, we read of this bifurcation of pharaoh Tirhakah:


The Tirhakah of Scriptures was not Khu-Re´ Nefertem Tirhakah of Dynasty XXV of Egypt. It is true that both were Ethiopians, and that the Ethiopians controlled Egypt during the latter half of the eighth and early part of the seventh centuries B.C.E. But here the similarity ends. Historians have simply ignored the fact that Kush was ruled by a confederation of kings and that two of these kings from the same general period both carried the name Tirhakah. A close examination and analysis of the relevant ancient records reveals the existence of two Kushite kings name Tirhakah – Khu-Re´ Nefertem Tirhakah and Tsawi Tirhakah Warada Nagash – one a pharaoh of Egypt and the other a king of Kush. Evidence will also show that Tsawi Tirhakah is better known under the name Snefer-Ra Piankhi. ….


The author of this piece is of the opinion that Sennacherib king of Assyria, a contemporary of “Tirhakah king of Ethiopia” (Isaiah 37:9), had waged only the one campaign against Israel – a view that is completely at variance with the findings of my university thesis:

A Revised History of the Era of King Hezekiah of Judah

and its Background


According to this thesis, king Sennacherib’s highly successful campaign against Judah, his Third Campaign, cannot possibly be equated with the disastrous campaign when 185,000 Assyrians marched to their demise in Israel.

Here is part of what I then wrote (Volume Two, pp. 1-2):


Distinguishing Sennacherib’s Two Major Invasions



We are now well equipped it would seem to answer with conviction an age-long question as formulated by Bright:1156 “The account of Sennacherib’s actions against Hezekiah in 2 Kings 18:13 to 19:37 (//Isa., ch.36f.) presents a difficult problem. Does it contain the record of one campaign or two?” The answer is, according to the revised history that was developed in VOLUME ONE, two campaigns. These are:


  • Sennacherib’s Third Campaign (conventionally dated to 701 BC, but re-dated by me to 712 BC); and
  • his campaign about a decade later, during the co-reign of Esarhaddon, after the destruction of


These were not of course Sennacherib’s only western campaigns, for he (as Sargon II) had conquered Samaria in 722 BC, and had likely reconquered it in 720 BC. Sennacherib moreover claimed to have been taking tribute from king Hezekiah of Judah even before his Third Campaign (refer back to p. 145 of Chapter 6).

It remains to separate invasions (i) and (ii) as given in KCI [Kings, Chronicles, Isaiah]; a task that proponents of the ‘two invasions’ theory, myself included, have found far from easy to do. Bright, himself a champion of this latter theory, has referred to the “infinite variations in detail” amongst scholars trying to settle the issue.1157 He has rightly observed, as have others as well,1158 that there is a good match between Sennacherib’s Third Campaign account and the early part of 2 Kings. Beyond this, Bright has noticed a polarity in KCI – suggesting the telescoping of what were two separate campaign accounts – with Hezekiah on the one hand being castigated by Isaiah for resisting the Assyrians, by turning to Egypt for help, and on the other being told that the Assyrians would be defeated:1159


… Isaiah’s utterances with regard to the Assyrian crisis are, it seems to me, far better understood under the assumption that there were two invasions by Sennacherib. The sayings attributed to him in II Kings 18:17 to 19:37 (//Isa., chs. 36f.) all express the calm assurance that Jerusalem would be saved, and the Assyrians frustrated, by Yahweh’s power; there is no hint of rebuke to Hezekiah reminding him of his reckless policy which had brought the nation to this pass.

… Yet his known utterances in 701 [sic] and the years immediately preceding (e.g., chs. 28:7-13, 14-22; 30:1-7, 8-17; 31:1-3) show that he consistently denounced the rebellion, and the Egyptian alliance that supported it, as a folly and a sin, and predicted for it unmitigated disaster.


1156 A History of Israel, p. 296.

1157 Ibid, p. 300. B. Childs thinks that “a definite impasse has been reached” amongst scholars, with: “No consensus [having] developed regarding the historical problems of the [701 BC] invasion …”. Isaiah and

the Assyrian Crisis, p. 12.

1158 Ibid, p. 297. Cf. J. Pritchard, ANET, pp. 287f; Childs, ibid, p. 72 (he claims a “striking agreement …”).

1159 Ibid, p. 306. Emphasis added.


In 701, when Sennacherib had ravaged the whole land and had Jerusalem under blockade (ch. 1:4-9), if words mean anything (“Why be beaten any more, [why] continue rebellion?” v. 5), he counseled surrender; and ch. 22:1-14 … suggests that nothing in the course of these events had caused him to alter his evaluation of the national character and policy. It is not easy to believe that in this very same year he also counseled defiance and promised deliverance.


One can easily agree with Bright when he goes on to say that “different sets of circumstances must be presumed”,1160 and that “telescoping” has been employed.1161 For the ancient Jews, apparently, there was a strong link in the overall scheme of things between Assyria’s first and second efforts to conquer Jerusalem, though well separated in time. The KCI narratives read as if virtually seamless. In attempting to separate the two campaigns, we shall need to draw upon a variety of sources in order to determine where the actual break occurs. But, thanks to our findings in VOLUME ONE, we no longer have the problem facing proponents of the ‘two campaigns’ theory of having to establish the fact of a second Assyrian invasion into Palestine.


[End of quotes]


“The Identity of Tirhakah” article above arrives at a conclusion that I, too, had reached in my university thesis, based on Petrie, that Tirhakah was the same as the 25th Dynasty’s Piankhi (thesis, Volume One, p. 384).

For more on this identification, see my series:


Piankhi same as Bible’s Tirhakah?

Piankhi same as Bible’s Tirhakah? Part Two: 25th (Ethiopian) Dynasty not clear cut

Given this connection, which, if correct, would mean a significant expansion of the current length of reign attributed to Tirhakah (c. 690–664 BC, conventional dating), then it is surprising that the author of “The Identity of Tirhakah” would need to Procrusteanise poor Tirhakah.



Jesus Christ was the Model for some legends surrounding Julius Caesar. Part Four: Julius Caesar did not invade Britain

Published January 16, 2019 by amaic

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“… there is a very good chance that Caesar’s ‘Commentaries’ did not survive, and that ‘Bellum Gallicum’ (BG), the title it is known as today, was the work of other writers. Historians are wrong to treat it as gospel and to suppose this was the true voice of Caesar”.

Ben Hamilton

King Alfred the Great may have been the culprit, according to Ben Hamilton:


Caesar conquering Britain a 9th century invention by Alfred the Great


Saxon king fabricated 54 BC invasion to replace Viking-friendly heir and protect England from the Danes

August 16th, 2017 6:41 pm| by Ben Hamilton

The Saxon king Alfred, a late ninth century ruler who unified several kingdoms of England and thwarted the Danish Vikings from taking over at every turn, is commonly referred to as ‘the Great’ by historians.

But maybe ‘the Magnificent’ club of Suleiman, Lorenzo de’ Medici and co should make room for one more, contends Rebecca Huston, a former National Geographic Channel producer and American screenwriter who after ten years of original research and analysis believes the king single-handedly saved the country from being permanently absorbed into Scandinavia.

Never mind a one-nation Brexit, this was a one-man Brepel!


Caesar the non-conqueror
This wasn’t through force. Alfred simply demonstrated that the pen is mightier than the sword. Over a thousand years before the exploits of Bletchley Park saw off one army of foreign invaders, he delved into old manuscripts to stop another.

By doctoring a Latin version of one of the ancient world’s most famous writings, and altering several Old English manuscripts, he was able to convince his council of nobles that his son Edward was the rightful heir to his throne, not his nephew Æthelwold, a Saxon susceptible to alliances with the Danes.

And the astonishing upshot of this discovery is that Julius Caesar neither invaded nor conquered Britain in 54 BC.


Alfred the great storyteller
Along with the collected letters of Cicero, the memoirs written by Caesar while he was conquering France and other areas of central Europe in the fifth decade of the first century BC is believed by many to be one of the few manuscripts to have survived the period.

But there is a very good chance that Caesar’s ‘Commentaries’ did not survive, and that ‘Bellum Gallicum’ (BG), the title it is known as today, was the work of other writers. Historians are wrong to treat it as gospel and to suppose this was the true voice of Caesar. But many do, and therefore they duly accept that he invaded Britain.

Ancient writings only survived because they were painstakingly recopied by hand, and also translated, mostly by monks at monasteries when it was judged the current version was becoming a little worse for wear. This made them vulnerable to change.

As an avid translator of Latin texts into Old English with all his kingdom’s manuscripts at his disposal, Alfred was ideally placed to meddle, and Huston claims she has found compelling evidence among 6,000 pages of ancient and medieval texts that Alfred fabricated Caesar’s two ‘invasions’ of Britain in 55 and 54 BC and added them to what would become BG. In reality, she says, the first ‘invasion’ did not take place, and the second was a passing visit.

Many academics concur the king of Wessex, Kent, Essex, Sussex and the western part of Mercia also translated and revised five old English works – including translations of ‘Ecclesiastical History’, an eighth century work by the Venerable Bede, and ‘History Against the Pagans’, a fifth century work by Orosius.

Significantly the old English versions of the pair’s works include details about Caesar’s invasions, but the Latin versions do not.

Bede, for example, relied on the sixth century monk Gildas for all of his early British history, but Gildas never mentioned Caesar or his invasions, suggesting the inclusion is not Bede’s work.

Tellingly, the earliest-known copy of BG dates back to the last quarter of the ninth century, coinciding with the latter years of Alfred’s life.


Traces of the Englishman
“Alfred was the anonymous author of ‘Bellum Gallicum’ because highly-specific details about Alfred’s own life appear in the text that could not have been written by Caesar nor be known prior to Alfred’s lifetime,” Huston told CPH POST.

Huston points out that many scholars, including Germany’s Heinrich Meusel and Alfredus Klotz, have shared doubts over the authenticity of the passages – with Klotz suggesting that a “pseudo-Caesar” added false details, and Meusel questioning why Caesar wrote like an Englishman.

Historians have for centuries been stumbling over the truth, but have either not noticed or ignored the evidence – in some cases, suggests Huston, because Alfred was believed to be the spiritual founder of Oxford University and it would have been highly controversial!

For example, the early 20th century work ‘The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes’ acknowledges Alfred’s idiosyncratic style of drawing on his experience in describing the military exploits of others, while 19th century scholar Charles Plummer contends that the pious Alfred could not resist adding Christian elements, claiming that ‘History against the Pagans’ shows a “remarkable divergence from historical fact”.

Additionally, as a champion of indirect discourse (when he wasn’t saying “Veni, Vidi, Vici”!), Caesar would have never lapsed into the first person, as is often the case in BG – such a writing style was abhorrent to him and he even included his dislike in a book on classical Latin grammar.


Spun like Keyser Söze
Huston’s groundbreaking analysis of BG has yielded 120 examples of Alfred’s idiosyncratic writing style (including word choice, verbose style and peculiar errors) along with 40 references to his own life and times.

For example, BG records that Caesar arrived in 54 BC on clinker-built ships – a vessel never used by the Romans and not by anyone until the third century – which were familiar to Alfred as they featured heavily in his own West Saxon fleet.

In addition, the description of the Britons in BG closely matches that of the Danes in the ninth century, while Caesar’s experience fighting them is similar to Alfred’s against the Vikings. The ancient Brits, according to BG, wore animal skins and did not eat grain – a claim contradicted by modern archaeologists.

Throughout BG, Celtic and Old English terms frequently appear, geography is referenced that is six centuries premature and anachronistic errors are made regarding Roman weapons not yet invented nor used.

For example, the Latin term ‘equites’ is used to mean knights, but in Caesar’s day it meant money-lenders, while the four kings of Kent who surrendered to Caesar were family members of Alfred’s, and one of the surrendering British tribes, the Ancalites, is named after a sixth century shield used by Alfred’s ancestors.

“Similar to the mastermind character Keyser Söze in ‘The Usual Suspects’, Alfred adroitly spun the tale of Caesar’s British ‘invasions’ by fictionalising objects likely found in his immediate environment,” contended Huston.


A lack of evidence
No archaeological evidence has ever been found in southern England to confirm the Romans under Caesar fought the Britons as claimed in BG, with modern historian Richard Warner (in ‘British Archaeology’, 1995) asserting that the only reason people believe Caesar invaded Britain is because of his memoirs.

Not one ancient writer prior to Alfred mentions the invasion – not even Suetonius, who as the first official Roman biographer of Caesar and head of the Imperial Archives in Rome, had access to Caesar’s personal papers, daily military diaries and reports to the Roman Senate.

In 36 of Cicero’s letters from 54 BC, of which some were written directly to Caesar, not one mentions an invasion or fighting or transport problems despite many references to Britain. Cicero had good reason to be interested, as his brother took part in Caesar’s visit.

There is no mention of Caesar conquering Britain in the work of three prominent first century AD writers: the Roman historian Tacitus, the Greek essayist Plutarch, and the Roman poet Lucan, who observed that “Caesar came looking for the British and then terrified, turned tail.”

There is no evidence of the Roman camp which would have stood for three months and housed 25,000 soldiers, the battlesites – others have yielded countless finds – or the voyage over.

According to BG, 800 ships were launched from Port Itius in France in 54 BC – a location that would struggle to see off more than a hundred, according to a French admiral serving in the Napoleonic Wars.

A five-year mission launched in 2000, which was co-sponsored by the British Museum, tried to find the remains of 52 ships that supposedly sunk when Caesar ‘invaded’ Britain (12 in 55 and 40 in 54 BC), searching predominantly seven miles northeast of the cliffs of Dover – the area identified by BG.

BG also details the loss of 120 Roman anchors, of which each one weighed 680 kg and measured 2.8 metres across. The mission used SONAR technology that can identify a teapot at a depth of 500 metres, but nothing was found.

Ancient shipwrecks and anchors will deteriorate faster in warmer waters, but while dozens have been found in the Mediterranean, not one has been discovered in British waters.


Mission accomplished
Before his accession Alfred had promised his predecessor, his brother Æthelred I, that the dying king’s sons would take precedence over his own offspring and one of them, Æthelwold, was accordingly the senior heir.

Under Saxon law the kingship was not Alfred’s gift to bestow. But he did his best to make his son Edward the most logical heir, leaving him the bulk of his lands and even having the bones of his predecessor moved from Steyning, an estate left to Æthelwold, to Winchester, his capital.

Alfred’s citation from BG helped to strengthen his claim to the same rights and responsibilities as Caesar, the ‘conqueror’ of the five territories he ruled over, because of an additional lie that no records support: that he had been consecrated in Rome by Pope Leo IV during a pilgrimage he made aged four in 853.

Accordingly, he claimed he had inherited the ancient right of a conqueror to name his successor, thus superseding his agreement with his brother. Furthermore, by claiming the ancient nobles of Britain accepted Caesar’s choice of ruler of the exact same kingdom Alfred presided over, he could argue Roman authority superseded that of the Saxons, and that the ancient right was inseparable from the land.

“The anonymously-forged ‘memoirs’ were good enough to fool Alfred’s Latin-illiterate council of nobles,” contended Huston.

Edward duly succeeded Alfred in 899, prompting Æthelwold to launch a rebellion backed by Scandinavian allies, which he died fighting in three years later. Edward’s grandson Edgar the Peaceful went on to unify the kingdoms of England in 957, although this was shortlived.

While the Danes did eventually conquer the whole of England in 1013, their 29-year rule was not long enough to permanently absorb the country into a Nordic empire. Had Alfred not intervened, they could have ruled England for 143 years, or even longer.



Antinous the Pious and Antoninus Pius

Published January 14, 2019 by amaic
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Damien F. Mackey



…. it does not seem at all possible to accommodate conventional history’s long-reigning emperor, Antoninus Pius (c. 138-161 BC), who is thought to have succeeded Hadrian.



The successor of Antiochus ‘Epiphanes’ (so-called IV) was, according to I Maccabees 6, the king’s son Antiochus, named ‘Eupator’ (vv. 16-17): “King Antiochus died there in the year 149. When Lysias learned that the king had died, he made the young Antiochus king in place of his father. He had brought up Antiochus from childhood and now gave him the name Eupator”. We know this young and very short-reigned (c. 161-163 BC, conventional dating) ruler as Antiochus V.


Now, in my greatly revised scheme of things, the terrible Antiochus IV ‘Epiphanes’ was the same person as the emperor Hadrian, who has come down to us, via what I would consider to be pseudo-history, as a Roman emperor, not a Seleucid Greek.

For the possibility of Antiochus IV ‘Epiphanes’ being Hadrian, see my series:


Antiochus ‘Epiphanes’ and Emperor Hadrian. Part One: “… a mirror image”


Antiochus ‘Epiphanes’ and Emperor Hadrian. Part Two: “Hadrian … a second Antiochus”

That being the case, and with Antiochus IV ‘Epiphanes’ succeeded by a son of his (‘Eupator’) who reigned for only about two years, then it does not seem at all possible to accommodate conventional history’s long-reigning emperor, Antoninus Pius (c. 138-161 BC), who is thought to have succeeded Hadrian.


Moreover, the designation Antoninus Pius is too close for my comfort to Antinous the Pious, the supposed teenaged boyfriend of the emperor Hadrian, but who I have argued was simply a later made-up religious cult figure, albeit greatly honoured, based heavily upon Jesus Christ:

And, just as we had learned in this article (“A portentous star?”), that the city that Hadrian had allegedly built in honour of Antinous in Egypt has, by now, unfortunately, “vanished”, so, too, do we find that the reasonably abundant architecture said to have been constructed by Antoninus Pius has largely “disappeared”.

For thus we read in Steven L. Tuck’s A History of Roman Art, p. 253:


Compared to the amount of work under Trajan and Hadrian, very few large-scale buildings were constructed in Rome under the Antonines. Antoninus Pius lived quietly out of Rome at a villa while Marcus Aurelius spent most of his twenty years of rule fighting massive wars along Rome’s frontiers. Those buildings we know of were mostly tombs, temples, altars, columns, arches, and other such forms designed to commemorate the lives and achievements of emperors. The vast majority of these have disappeared or survive only in ruins leaving behind only their decorative sculpture to give a sense of their original forms and political statements.