We’ve all heard elaborate tales of the deaths of two prominent Romans who died within a century of one another, both betrayed by trusted companions, both beloved by the masses, both claiming divine heritage, both with the initials “J.C.”. Better minds than mine have thought that the Jesus tale has some startling similarities to that of Julius Caesar. The final nail in the coffin* in my mind is something I heard just the other day. Cassius — you know, lean and hungry?– had the full name Gaius Cassius Longinus. The spearman who stabbed Jesus? Longinus. I mean, come on. The name isn’t in the Bible, either. Like Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, his name came to Christian legend post-scriptum. So there you have it.
* carefully avoiding crucifixion joke