biblical identifications Damien F. Mackey Revised History Era King Hezekiah Judah post-graduate Tiglath-pileser John R. Salverda

All posts tagged biblical identifications Damien F. Mackey Revised History Era King Hezekiah Judah post-graduate Tiglath-pileser John R. Salverda

Ramses II and Tirhakah

Published January 20, 2019 by amaic
Image result for tirhakah


Damien F. Mackey

“[Snofru] is said to have led an expedition into Nubia to crush a ‘revolt’ …

and to have captured 7,000 prisoners”.



“The IREM of Upper Egypt rebel and are crushed by Ramses-II.  7,000 prisoners taken”.




Pharaoh Sneferu (Snefru, Snofru), whom the conventional Egyptologists have dated as far back as c. 2613 – 2589 BC, seems to me to be something of an anachronism for such early times. Certainly, there is a disturbing lack of archaeology for his famous Nubian campaign, as attested by Torgny Säve-Söderbergh (“From prehistory to Pharaonic times”, p. 22):…/attach_import_5f9b266d-d651-4d81-bff4-4e38018bc57e


These Egyptian enterprises seem to have taken place during a vacuum in Nubian history, and when King Snofru tells us that he “hacked up the land of Nubia, taking 7,000 prisoners and bringing away 200,000 cattle and sheep”, we are at a loss from an archaeological point of view, for no traces have been found of this population with its vast herds.


The fact that King Snofru mentions cattle as characteristic of the Nubian economy of his time indicates that his opponents were pastoralist nomads, probably living in the areas which are now desert which were more habitable at that time thanks to a more humid climate.


Many questions remain unanswered. This is often the case for similar periods when there are no archaeological finds to enlighten us about what really happened. ….


[End of quote]


Moreover, the numbers of captives Sneferu is said to have taken in his Nubian campaign seems to have been an excessive number for that particular period in time.

Grimal has written about it (A History of Ancient Egypt, pp. 67-68):


The Palermo Stone suggests that Snofru was a warlike king. He is said to have led an expedition into Nubia to crush a ‘revolt’ in the Dodekaschoenos region and to have captured 7,000 prisoners in the campaign. This is a huge number considering that the population of the Dodekaschoenos, effectively corresponding to Egyptian-dominated Nubia, was thought to be 50,000 only in the 1950’s. The account of this campaign also mentions the even higher number of 200,000 head of cattle, as well as 13,100 head of cattle which, according to the same source was obtained in a campaign against the Libyans, 11,000 of them are said to have been taken prisoner. ….

[End of quote]


There is much uncertainty as well about Sneferu’s actual length of reign: “Estimates of his reign vary, with for instance The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt suggesting a reign from around 2613 to 2589 BCE,[4] a reign of 24 years, while Rolf Krauss suggests a 30-year reign,[5] and Rainer Stadelmann a 48-year reign.[6]

And, as is apparent from the following Tour of Egypt article, there is debate as to his parentage; his dynasty; and his wife:


Snefru in Tour Egypt SNEFRU, 1ST KING OF EGYPT’S 4TH DYNASTY by Jimmy Dunn Snefru is credited as being the first pharaoh of Egypt’s 4th Dynasty.

…. Snefru was most likely the son of Huni, his predecessor, though there seems some controversy to this, considering the break in Dynasties. However, his mother may have been Meresankh I, who was probably a lessor wife or concubine and therefore not of royal blood. Hence, this may explain what prompted the ancient historian, Manetho (here, Snefru is known by his Greek name, Soris), to begin a new dynasty with Snefru. However, it should be noted that both the royal canon of Turin and the later Saqqara List both end the previous dynasty with Huni.

Snefru was almost certainly married to Hetepheres I, who would have been at least his half sister, probably by a more senior queen, in order to legitimize his rule. ….


[End of quote]


First new consideration


Sneferu may have been hopelessly misplaced in the arrangement of pharaohs and dynasties. And a possible identification for Sneferu much further down in Egyptian history might be as the similarly named, Snefer-Ra, that is, Piankhi, of the so-called 25th “Ethiopian” dynasty.


He, Piankhi, I have already enlarged by identifying him with the famous Tirhakah, having concluded: “Snefer-Ra Piankhi was Tirhakah”. See e.g. my series:


Piankhi same as Bible’s Tirhakah?

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

First Conclusion: Sneferu may be Snefer-Ra Piankhi/Tirhakah.



Second new consideration


Since the number of prisoners from Nubia attributed to Sneferu’s campaign – but whose plausibility is seriously questioned for such an early time – is exactly the same as the number attributed to Ramses II in Irem (Nubia), 7,000, then the possibility needs to be at least considered that Sneferu = Snefer-Ra (Piankhi-Tirhakah) was also Ramses II.

Piankhi in fact bore at least two names of Ramses II, Meryamun and Usermaatre.

Immense building, and fleet, programme


According to N. Grimal (A History of Ancient Egypt, p. 69):


“Not only is Snofru credited with the construction of ships, fortresses, palaces and temples but he is the only ruler to whom three pyramids are ascribed”.


In Part One:

I put forward the, albeit controversial, proposal that pharaoh Sneferu – about whom there appears to be a fair degree of biographical uncertainty – may have been wildly mis-placed historically, and that he might actually be the same as Snefer-Ra Piankhi (= Tirhakah).

His achievements as outlined above by Grimal were phenomenal, and perhaps more befitting a later Egyptian dynast than an Old Kingdom one. This same comment would apply to the incredible amount of captives and cattle that pharaoh Snefru is aid to have taken from Nubia and from Libya.


Furthermore, I, having noted that Ramses II had also, like Sneferu, captured 7,000 Nubians, had proceeded to advance the further possibility that the composite Sneferu was also pharaoh Ramses II ‘the Great’.

I have already identified Ramses II with Ramses III. See e.g. my article:


New Revision for Ramses II

Ramses II was a famous conqueror of the Nubians, just like Sneferu.



And, like Sneferu again, Ramses II conquered the Libyans



And so did Ramses III.



Moreover, the colossal number of cattle, 200,000, that Sneferu allegedly captured from the Nubians would befit a Ramses III, who “confirmed the temples in their property … half a million head of cattle, over 400,000 of which were the sole property of Amon”:


Tirhakah a conqueror on a Ramesside scale



“…. the inscription was branded by the noted Egyptologist E. A. Wallis Budge

as an “example of the worthlessness, historically, of such lists”.

…. Petrie concludes that “Taharqa was as much ruler of Qedesh and Naharina as George II. was king of France, though officially so-called.” …..


The Sabbath and Jubilee Cycle



Further to my suggestion in Part Two of this series:

that the composite Sneferu (= Snefer-Ra Piankhi/Tirhakah) may also have been pharaoh Ramses II, I find that the pharaoh’s (as Tirhakah) list of captured cities seems to be identical, in part, to those of Ramses II ‘the Great’.


This is invariably interpreted by scholars as Tirhakah seeking to emulate an earlier Ramses II.


We read in the article, The Sabbath and Jubilee Cycle, pp. 114-117:


… Egyptologists were amazed to find a long list of captured cities written on the base of a statue found at Karnak which belonged to a king named Tirhakah …. Each city represents the greater region under the control of this king. This record not only states that a king named Tirhakah controlled Ethiopia, Egypt, and northern Africa, but it claims that he had some sort of sovereignty over Tunip (Upper Syria, west of the Euphrates) … Qadesh (Lower Syria/ Palestine) … and the Shasu (region of Edom and the Trans-Jordan) … as far north as Arzawa (western Asia Minor) … Khatti (eastern Asia Minor) … and Naharin (western Mesopotamia) … and as far east as Assur (Assyria) …and Sinagar (Babylonia) ….


In a footnote (p. 114, n.61), we reads this comment:


MarietteBey (KETA, pp. 66f), followed by Petrie (AHOE, 3, p. 297), and others, thought this list from Tirhakah was copied from an identical one found on a colossus which they believed belonged to Ramesses the Great (cf. KETA, Plate 385f). This colossus was identified with Ramesses II because his name was found inscribed upon it.


The article continues:


…. the inscription was branded by the noted Egyptologist E. A. Wallis Budge as an “example of the worthlessness, historically, of such lists”. …. Petrie concludes that “Taharqa was as much ruler of Qedesh and Naharina as George II. was king of France, though officially so-called.” …..

Despite the fact that these inscriptions are presently shunned, the ancient records actually confirm them. Severus (1.50), for example, notes that this “Tarraca, king of Ethiopia, invaded the kingdom of the Assyrians, Strabo speaks of a great king named “Tearko the Ethiopian” …. Tearko being the Greek form of the name Tirhakah. …. Tearko, he states, had led one of the great expeditions of the ancient world which were not “matters of off-hand knowledge to everybody”. ….

[End of quotes]


But perhaps, now, some of these inscriptions will need to be re-interpreted.

We have already found, rather surprisingly, that 20th dynasty archaeology may have been contemporaneous with the 25th dynasty (Tirhakah’s).

Also, we may now be in a better position to understand why Horemheb is associated with Tirhakah on an inscription:


Velikovsky had pharaoh Tirhakah contemporaneous with Horemheb. Part One: A new historical location for Horemheb


And why Ramses II is depicted alongside Esarhaddon, a contemporary of Tirhakah:


Velikovsky had pharaoh Tirhakah contemporaneous with Horemheb. Part Two: A second challenging inscription


Dr. Velikovsky may well have got it right insofar as he had determined that Ramses II was a contemporary of Nebuchednezzar II, whom I have identified with Esarhaddon:


Esarhaddon a tolerable fit for King Nebuchednezzar

– though I personally would embrace a 25th dynasty identification for the 19th dynasty of Ramessides rather than Velikovsky’s choice of a 26th dynasty parallel.


And Dr. Courville  may not have been too far out, either, in dating the long reign of Ramses  II to the approximate era of king Hezekiah of Judah, as the biblical pharaoh ‘So’. Though Courville had the long reign of a now-aged Ramesses II concluding with the ‘So’ incident, whereas I think that the ‘So’ era would be far closer to the beginning of the reign of Ramses II.

Courville’s hopeful derivation of the name, ‘So’, from a Suten Bat name of Ramses II is far from convincing. I wrote of this in my university thesis:


A Revised History of the Era of King Hezekiah of Judah

and its Background




(Volume One, p. 266):


Now according to Courville’s system … Ramses II, whose reign would have terminated in 726/725 BC, must have been the biblical “King So of Egypt” with whom Hoshea of Israel conspired against the king of Assyria (2 Kings 17:4). Courville had plausibly (in his context) suggested that the reason why ‘So’ was unable to help Hoshea of Israel was because the Egyptian king was, as Ramses II, now right at the end of his very long reign, and hence aged and feeble. Courville had looked to find the name ‘So’ amongst the many names of Ramses II, and had opted for the rather obscure ‘So’ element in that pharaoh’s Suten Bat name, Ra-user-Maat-Sotep-en-Ra.727 (See also pp. 286-287). ….


Ramses III was not emulating Ramses II

Published January 17, 2019 by amaic
Image result for ramses III

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
Image result for tirhakah


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

Image result for caesar invades britain


“… 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
Image result for antoninus pius



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.


Echoes of Jezebel in Roman queens Tullia and Tanaquil

Published December 19, 2018 by amaic

Part One:

Queen Jezebel’s considerable influence



Damien F. Mackey


“Jezebel’s character isn’t particularly analyzed in the Bible, but her actions reflect a calloused and manipulative queen. She wielded her gender traits like a honed sabre, twisting the desires of weaker men to suit her own lusts”.

Old Testament Queen Jezebel’s vivid image as a scarlet woman has echoed down through the centuries, beginning with her New Testament ‘reincarnation’ in Revelation 2:20. See my series:


Two Jezebels are worse than one. Part One: Old and New Testament Jezebel


Two Jezebels are worse than one. Part Two: Who was Apocalypse’s “Jezebel”?

Two Jezebels Are Worse Than One. Part Three: “Jezebel” mirrors the scarlet “woman”



And she has influenced some famous literature, notably Shakespeare’s bloody Lady Macbeth. In an article, “A Comparison of Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth and Biblical Jezebel”: for instance, we read:



Social constructs possess an oxymoronic quality in that they can be easily shattered by a daring few. The thrill of acting beyond society’s standards triggers the growth of revolutionaries without consideration to the time period or subject matter. This desire for rebellion was undoubtedly forged during mankind’s downfall in the Garden of Eden. Shakespeare utilizes such desires in “Macbeth”, which possess a striking similarity to Biblical characters of old. Lady Macbeth is unequivocally tied to Jezebel, and their respective stories illustrate a combined warning to those who abuse God-given power.

Both women possess primarily masculine character traits in time periods where feminine standards called for meekness and subservience. Jezebel’s character isn’t particularly analyzed in the Bible, but her actions reflect a calloused and manipulative queen. She wielded her gender traits like a honed sabre, twisting the desires of weaker men to suit her own lusts. Jezebel led faithful rulers such as Ahab down tunnels of idolatry and lust; these successful corruptions fed her ego as well as her thirst for power. Lady Macbeth reiterates these values from the moment she surfaces in the play. Her very first lines are devoted to plotting the murder of King Duncan.

She berates Macbeth for faltering in his moral resolve. Lady Macbeth even goes so far as to insult Macbeth’s own integrity as a man. These evidences display a common core of manipulation that both woman have acquired, despite the wildly different setting and time period.

Lady Macbeth and Jezebel subscribe to harmful belief systems, which are forced upon their spouses. ….

[End of quote]


Furthermore, it would be interesting to know just how many queens of supposed AD history, especially queens Isabelle (or a variant of that name), have been described as “a second Jezebel”, or something similar. I have managed to compile a fair list of them. For example:


Queen Brunhild the ‘second Jezebel’

Isabella of Bavaria ‘like haughty Jezebel’

Isabella of France, ‘iron virago’, ‘Jezebel’

Isabella of Angouleme ‘more Jezebel than Isabel’


such comparisons leading to my article, querying:


Isabelle (is a belle) inevitably a Jezebel?



Part Two:

Supposed Roman queens considered Jezebel-like



“You start off with this Roman history by Livy with these two strong female figures

who encourage, or bully, their husbands to seize the throne and do so with appeals

to manhood and masculinity”.

Julian Robinson




One has to wonder which – if any – of the various queens down through the centuries who has been designated a Queen Jezebel type of character (see Part One of this series: was actually a true historical personage.


I would suspect that, based on the unreliable character of textbook Roman history – see e.g. my:


Horrible Histories. Retracting Romans

queens Tullia and Tanaquil definitely were not – {“Tullia, a ‘semi-legendary’ figure in Roman history”, see below}.


Some British East Anglia researchers think that Tullia and Tanaquil may have inspired Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth. This is fitting because we already found, in Part One, that Queen Jezebel was a likely inspiration for Lady Macbeth.

Here follows an account of the British researchers’ explanation:


…. Two ruthless Roman queens may have been the real inspiration for Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth, according to academics.

Experts at East Anglia University in Norfolk believe the great bard may have drawn on historical references to the queens Tanaquil and Tullia for his tragedy, which was first performed in 1611.

One of Shakespeare’s best known plays, Macbeth tells the story of a Scottish general whose ambitious wife urges him to commit murder to accede to the throne.


It was recently adapted for the big screen in a film starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard.

University lecturer Dr John-Mark Philo has suggested that the playwright may have borrowed ideas from Roman history as a character basis for the scheming Lady Macbeth, the Observer reports.


Shakespeare may have learned about Tanaquil and Tullia when examining texts by the writer William Painter.

Tanaquil was the wife of the fifth king of Rome and Tullia who, the Observer reports, was responsible for bringing a tyrant the … throne.




Tullia, a ‘semi-legendary’ figure in Roman history was the last queen of Rome from 535 BC to 509 BC and the younger daughter of Rome’s sixth king, Servius Tullius.

She married Lucius Tarquinius and, along with her husband, is said to have arranged the overthrow and murder of her father, securing the throne for her husband.

Legend has it that she encouraged her new husband to seize power – and he launched Servius Tullius into the street where he was murdered. After hailing her husband as king, she is said to have driven her carriage over her father’s mutilated remains.

Her actions made her an infamous figure in ancient Roman culture.


Tanaquil was the wife of Tarquinius Priscus, the fifth king of Rome. She had four children. One of her daughters became the wife to Servius Tullius.

Tanaquil is said to have encouraged her husband to relocate to Rome and used her prophetic abilities to install him as king.

Tarquin ruled from 616 to 579 BCE and later Tanaquil helped to install Servius Tullius as the next king.

According to Philo Painter was ‘obsessed with women who step outside what’s expected of them, what is seen as the natural bounds for women during the period’.

‘He’s obsessed with extraordinary women,’ Philo added. ‘It’s not coincidence that this is the first decade of the reign of Elizabeth I. He hones in on these two Roman queens, and I think that’s where Shakespeare gets his Lady Macbeth.’


Philo believes Shakespeare may have taken ‘significant chunks’ from Painter’s translation of text from the Roman history writer Livy.

The lecturer said: ‘These women have one foot in reality and another foot in embellishment and fiction.

‘You start off with this Roman history by Livy with these two strong female figures who encourage, or bully, their husbands to seize the throne and do so with appeals to manhood and masculinity.’

Livy reportedly documents how Tanaquil once told her husband to take action ‘if he is a man’ while Tullia is said to have criticised her partner by saying he had his brothers’ ‘effeminate heart’.

In Shakespeare’s play, Lady Macbeth also taunts her husband when she says: ‘Art thou afeard, To be the same in thine own act and valour, As thou art in desire?’ ….


[End of quote]


From this we learn that Queen Tullia allegedly drove “her carriage over her father’s mutilated remains”. But isn’t this precisely what happened to Queen Jezebel?

2 Kings 9:33: “… they threw [Jezebel] out the window, and her blood spattered against the wall and on the horses. And Jehu trampled her body under his horses’ hooves”.


Helena Zlotnick, on the other hand, interestingly attempts to make comparison of Tullia with the very unlike Jezebel, Queen Esther (in Biblica 82, 2001, 477-495):


From Jezebel to Esther:
Fashioning Images of Queenship in the Hebrew Bible




The Two Faces of Queenship


Casting an Esther as a Jezebel carried, potentially, dangerous connotations. The hostility of biblical narrators to queens who, like Jezebel, usurp the role of kings in a manner that highlights the limitations of kingly power and the breakdown of male authority within the home is undisguised. It finds an amplified echo in the annals of the early Roman monarchy (6th century BCE) which chart the career of two queens, Tanaquil and Tullia, who bear curious similarities to the biblical female monarchs. Because Roman authors are considerably more expansive than biblical narrators they provide valuable insights into the process that molded queenly images in antiquity.

In the hindsight of several centuries, the history of early Rome emerges in the pages of the historian Livy (57-14 BCE) as a family narrative dominated by the ambitions of its female members and punctuated by their sense of honor and shame9. Of these, Tullia, like Jezebel, is a daughter of a king (Servius Tullius). Her husband, Tarquinius (Superbus), is likewise a son of a monarch (Tarquinius Priscus) who, however, had designated another man, a non-relative, as his successor. To win the stakes in the complicated game of succession


the couple embarks on a career of crimes, including the murder of their first respective spouses and the killing of Tullia’s father, the reigning ruler. Although apparently a match made in heaven, Livy shows no hesitation in casting Tullia as the moving spirit behind the rocky ride to the throne of Rome.

Echoing what Jezebel might have said to Ahab, had the text been recorded and transmitted in full, Tullia addresses her husband as follows:

If you are the man I thought I was marrying, then show yourself to be a man and a king. If not … you have compounded a crime with cowardice. What is the matter with you? You are not from Corinth or from Tarquinii, like your father, nor is it necessary for you to make yourself a king in a foreign land. The gods of your family, your ancestors, the image of your father, the royal palace, its throne and the very name Tarquinius make and proclaim you king. Why else, if your spirit is too mean to (undertake) this, do you deceive the city? Why do you allow yourself to be looked upon as a prince? Depart to Taquinii or Corinth where you can sink once more into oblivion…10.

Focusing on the interaction between the family and the state as two social entities Livy shows how the privileging of the family interest at the expense of public duty generates chaos11. Tullia and Tarquinius base their claim to the kingship on kinship alone, thus reversing and subverting the principle of merit and of inclusion on which the Roman royal succession had been established from the start. Jezebel ‘vindicates’ the king who is also her husband, thereby undermining the foundations of the royal system of dispensing justice.

In Livy’s landscape of early Rome the palace is the focus and the symbol of the couple’s unbridled ambitions. From the seclusion of their domestic space Tullia and Tarquinius launch their criminal activities. When Tarquinius appears in the curia (= senate house) with an armed bodyguard, Tullia burst on the scene and hails him as king. Her action and gesture constitute a double transgression. Not only does she violate the physical boundaries of males’ space by intruding into male business in the forum, but she also crosses the frontiers of male authority by being the first to confer royalty on a man in public.

Responding to censure, not the least from her own husband, Tullia


defends herself by appealing to another queenly model. She regards herself as a faithful imitator, if not an improved version of Tanaquil, her mother-in-law who had been instrumental in helping her own husband (Tarquinius Priscus) to become a king at Rome, and who had ensured the smooth transfer of power to a successor she herself had chosen (Servius Tullius, Tullia’s father).

Livy’s presentation of Tanaquil is ambiguous. In his words, she is ‘a woman of the most exalted birth and not of a character lightly to endure a humbler rank in her new [Roman] environment than the one she had enjoyed by birth’12. To save the monarchy Tanaquil alters the deliberative process reserved for the senate and the people of Rome. When her husband falls victim to an assassination plot, she encourages Servius to take the reigns into his hands:

To you, Servius, if you are a man, belongs this kingdom, not to those who by the hands of others have committed a dastardly crime. Arouse yourself and follow the guidance of the gods … Now is the time … Rise up to the occasion. We, too, although foreigners, ruled over Rome. Consider who you are and not where you were born. If your judgement is numb in so sudden a crisis then follow my council 13.

The fact that Livy leaves the ultimate tribute to Tanaquil in Tullia’s hands reflects a deep-seated uneasiness with the assumption of male power by women, laudable as their intentions and ultimate results might have been. Although Tanaquil’s resourcefulness saves the dynasty that she had created she also violates male norms by claiming a higher authority than the traditional mos maiorum (custom) would have allowed any woman, queens included. By setting herself and her late husband as models for Tullius to be imitated, Tanaquil also paves the way to Tullia.

As the biblical narrative recreates Jewish queenship in the scroll of Esther, the leading female character undergoes the same kind of transformation that underlies the Tanaquil-to-Tullia process, but in reverse. To begin with, Esther is not only Jewish but a woman with impeccable royal (Jewish) blood in her veins. Jezebel is constantly branded a foreigner in a manner that reflects not only her ethnicity but also her proclivities14. In the redactional history of the Hebrew Bible


the Deuteronomist antipathy to foreigners, and particularly to foreign queens, has been associated with a deep-seated fear of idolatry through contamination15. The elevation of foreigners to Rome’s throne, by contrast, reflects Rome’s greatness and her openness to strangers, while Tullia’s urging of her husband to seize the throne on the ground of his ‘nativeness’ is clearly misplaced.

The scroll depicts the decree of Ahasuerus-Haman ordering the elimination of the Jews as a writ of national emergency. The clash between Ahab and Naboth appears, at first, as carrying little import beyond the king’s petty desire to expand to plant vegetables. Yet behind the issue of the vineyard versus royal garden lurks the larger question of the legitimate scope of monarchical actions vis-à-vis the king’s subjects16. In the Esther scroll the queen reacts to a patriarchal call to action and only exercises her potential royal power to save her people, as Tanaquil does to save Rome from revolution. Jezebel, like Tullia, acts on her own initiative, subverting male standards of royal behavior.

Just how perilously close to each other are, nevertheless, constructs of royal women like Tanaquil and Tullia on the one hand, and Jezebel and Esther on the other, can be further gauged from the attitude of all the texts to the public appearance of queens. Roman and Jewish authors are unanimous in banning women from the public eye. Jezebel and Esther never appear in public. Tanaquil makes a single public appearance when there is no one else who can save the dynasty. Even then she remains standing at a window in the palace, shielded by its walls. Tullia’s venturing into the forum invokes censure by her husband, and by the historian Livy. But Tanaquil’s position near a top window, although emphasizing Tullia’s boldness in venturing outdoors, also signifies the female usurpation of male authority at home. Ultimately, both women embark on a course of action that contradicts male expectations of female royalty. Nevertheless Tanaquil garners praise while Tullia is condemned.

Jezebel’s sole ‘public’ appearance is made as a spectator standing at the window of the palace that another king is about to possess. Observing the approach of Jehu, she stands at the window as a visual


reminder of the legitimacy of her royal position and of his usurpation. Her words reinforce the image that her presence conveys: ‘Is it peace, Zimri, murderer of his master?’ (2 Kgs 9,30). Her words, like Tanaquil’s to Tullius, are filtered through space and the conventions of official language as she faces the successor of her dynasty and her ultimate executioner17.

Esther is never seen or heard addressing directly any man besides her husband and cousin/father. In fact, no biblical narrator or redactor ventured to place either queen, Jezebel or Esther, outside the confines of the palace itself. Both women use messengers to gather information and agents to convey their commands and their threats. Yet, like Tanaquil and Tullia, the two biblical queens were destined for vastly disparate ‘after-life’. In collective memory Jezebel became a stereotype of shrewish and detestable queens18. Esther’s adventures are still celebrated. ….


“The Egyptian” of Acts 21:38 – an unlikely candidate for Jesus

Published December 16, 2018 by amaic

Image result for ancient egyptian warrior


Damien F. Mackey

Good luck to anyone who is able to convert the Jewish Jesus Christ of the New Testament, whose death occurred early during the procuratorship of Pontius Pilate, into a rebel insurgent leading a force of 4000 murderous sicarii (assassins) at Mount Olivet, or into the wilderness, at a point late in the procuratorship of Felix – and an “Egyptian” rebel at that!


Lena Einhorn has attempted to do just that in her, albeit most intriguing, book, A Shift in Time, and in her article, “Jesus and the Egyptian Prophet”:


I, having read through a substantial amount of the material that Lena referenced for me on the subject, wrote her this my summary of it all:


Dear Lena,

Many thanks for your interesting contributions which I have enjoyed reading ….


What I got out of it, though, is not what you would have wanted me to get out of it.
Your showing how well Procurator Felix fits the biblical Pontius Pilate was a revelation to me.

St. Paul says to Felix that the latter had been a judge of the nation “for many years” (Acts 24:27), which could not be true of just Felix at that time (about a handful of years only).
But it would be perfectly true were Felix to be merged with Pontius Pilate, making for some two decades of overall governorship.

And, regarding the startling likenesses between some aspects of Jesus and “the Egyptian” – though one would be very hard put indeed to make of Jesus, “love thy enemy”, “he who lives by the sword will die by the sword”, “my kingdom is not of this world”, “render to Caesar”, a murderous revolutionary.

What happens is that the influential life of Jesus Christ gets picked up and absorbed into pseudo-historical characters, such as the Buddha (his birth was miraculous, he walks on water, he has 12 inner apostles and 72 outer ones, etc.), Krishna, Prophet Mohammed, and, most notably, Apollonius of Tyana, whom many regard as being the actual model for the biblical Jesus. Unfortunately for Apollonius, his association with Nineveh (destroyed in 612 BC and whose location was totally unknown until the C19th AD), renders him an historical absurdity – same with Mohammed and his various associations with Nineveh.

Also Heraclius of Byzantium for the very same reason.

Josephus has obviously merged into the one scenario, two very disparate characters: Jesus Christ and the Egyptian.

Hence some incredibly striking parallels mixed with some impossible differences.

My best wishes,