The question is: Is Jesus Divus Julius? Is Jesus the historical figure of Divus Julius, the god to which Julius Caesar was elevated? The iconography of Caesar do not fit our idea of him. In our minds Caesar is a field marshall and a dictator. However, authentic images portray the idea of the clementia Caesaris, a clement Caesar.
Jesus’ life is congruent to the life of Caesar. Both Julius Caesar and Jesus began their careers in northern countries: Caesar in Gaul, Jesus in Galilee. Both cross a fatal river: the Rubicon and the Jordan. Both then enter cities; Corfinium and Cafarnaum. Caesar finds Corfinium occupied by a man of Pompey and besieges him, while Jesus finds a man possessed by an impure spirit.
There is similarity in structure as well as in place names. People in the stories of Caesar and of Jesus are structurally the same people, even by name and location. Caesar’s most famous quotations are found in the gospels in structurally significant places.
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. The cult surrounding Jesus Christ, son of God and originator of Christianity, appeared during the second century. Early historians, however, never mentioned Jesus. Even now, there is no actual proof of his existence.
On the one hand, an actual historical figure is missing his cult; on the other, a cult is missing its actual historical figure. ‘Jesus Was Caesar’ examines these intriguing mirror images. Is Jesus Christ really the historical manifestation of Divus Julius? Are the Gospels built on the life of Caesar, just as the first Christian churches were built on the foundations of antique temples? Are the Gospels 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? Corruptions in the copying of texts, misinterpretations in translations, and the transformation of iconography from Roman to Christian are traced to their origins.