It's been over 12 years now since Greg posted my essay, "Mary Magdalene: Harlot or Queen".
I haven't exactly been idle in these last 12 years. "I ain't been slackin'" (to quote from Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome). But, it still wasn't possible to follow up on that original essay with something completely definitive until just recently.
Initially, I was looking only at the Herodian royal family as "possessors of the Grail". However, after Joe Atwill published Caesar's Messiah, it became obvious to me (if not also to Joe) that the Herodian and Julio-Claudian families were essentially one and the same. In other words, a single royal family was assuming both Roman and Herodian identities and was ruling over both regions. Jesus had not been a product of the disgruntled underclass, but the privileged upper class that now called Rome and Jerusalem home. After making some preliminary associations between the Gospel figures and Julio-Roman/Herodian royals, I left it behind in order to study other historical periods, first the Persian, then the conquest of Alexander the Great and finally the Ptolemaic Period that followed Alexander.
Unexpectedly, it was through the study of royal history leading up to the time of Jesus that it became possible to complete the picture of Jesus and his royal associates. As it turns out, the legions of Rome had not conquered the royal East, but the Eastern royal family had in fact "conquered" Roman society itself and transformed it from a Republic on the fringe of the royal world into the latest in a long succession of Imperial capitals. The Julio-Claudian family was a direct, biological continuation of the Hellenistic royal family (which included Seleucid, Ptolemaic and Hasmonean "branches") that had ruled the ancient world from the time of Alexander the Great. The heirs to that throne were proud of their royal heritage and clearly represented themselves as a renewal of Alexander's dynasty, however no longer as nominal Greeks but as nominal Romans this time. They began recycling the same stock roles and relationships used in the preceding Hellenistic Age, but in a new and different cultural context.
Next blog in the series:
The prequel "Heroes of the Hellenistic Age" is posted at the page below: http://www.domainofman.com/boards/index....