With the documentary feature film 'The Gospel of Caesar' Dutch public broadcast television VARA and producer/director Jan van Friesland present a new solution to the origin of Christianity. The documentary will be screened at film festivals in Leiden, Leeds and Luton in early November 2008.
'The Gospel of Caesar' documents the revolutionary research of the Italian linguist Francesco Carotta, who concluded after a decade-long investigation that the Gospel narrative of the New Testament completely originated from the ancient sources on the life of Julius Caesar.
'Everything in the story of Jesus can be found in the biography of Caesar. The Gospel appears to be the history of the Roman civil war, a mistelling of the life of Caesar-from the Rubicon to his assassination-mutated into the narrative of Jesus, from the Jordan to his crucifixion. Jesus is a true historical figure: He lived as Gaius Iulius Caesar and resurrected as Divus Iulius, who was later transformed into Jesus.' (Francesco Carotta)
Intrigued by the discovery that Caesar could be the historical Christ, the Spanish priest Pedro García González joins him on his journey all across Europe to search for traces of the deified Caesar in old Christian rituals and traditions, written sources, church art and archaeological finds. To verify the theory they use the Roman sources to reconstruct the pivotal funeral ceremony of Caesar, which could have been the historical incident behind the later story of the crucifixion of Christ. They resuscitate this ancient historical event with young people from the priest's parish and reveal the image of the first Savior on the Cross, who had been forgotten for almost 2000 years.
'The death and deification of Caesar is the essence and origin of Christianity, which happened on the Forum Romanum in Rome.' (Pedro García González)
For more than four years the documentary filmmaker Jan van Friesland accompanied the linguist and the priest on their collaborative search for the traces of the historical Christ.
Scholars, clerics and journalists have noted and praised Carotta's research and findings about the origin of Christianity.
'I received it as a shock. This is a shift of paradigm in the history of religion.'
- Fotis A. Kavoukopoulos, Ph.D., linguist (Athens)
'The author draws parallels between the religious founder Jesus and the Roman commander Julius Caesar, whose name was given to all succeeding emperors.'
- Erika Simon, Ph.D., archaeologist (Würzburg)
'Does the passion story have its origins in a misunderstood version of a Vita Caesaris on the last days of this dictator and high priest of Rome, who was also known for his clemency and who was celebrated as a benefactor of the people? That sounds like an absolute nonsense. However, Carotta substantiates this theory with numerous proofs.'
- Thomas von der Dunk, Ph.D., (Amsterdam) -
'It is highly notable-St Mark's gospel as corrupt retelling of the Roman civil war.'
- Sir Peter Stothard, classics editor, Times Literary Supplement (London)
'When Francesco Carotta asks if Julius Caesar and Jesus Christ are the same person, a question which is rhetorical to him, he participates in the development of normative future models which the elite of Church and state considers undesirable, but for the average citizen, who wants to explore his own future himself, this is experienced as inspirational.'
- W. J. de Ridder, Ph.D., Future Studies (Twente)
'Caesar is no longer the shadow of Christ, but Christ the shadow of Caesar.'
- Maria Wyke, Professor of Latin (London)
'As a working hypothesis it is very important, especially because it fills a gap, something that-from the point of view of the investigation-was never made heuristically.'
- Francisco Rodríguez Pascual, Ph.D., ethnologist (Salamanca)
'...a new opening to the research on the accounts of Jesus' life, an extremely important one...'
- Andreas Kinneging, Ph.D., philosopher (Leiden)
'... a perspective on the European heritage that will remain indelibly printed in your memory.'
- Willem Dijkhuis, Het Financieele Dagblad (Amsterdam)
'Even if one cannot or will not follow the author's conclusions, one learns much about Roman religiousness, which became the basis of the development of the Christian faith in the European cultural environment.'
- Rev. Stephan Ch. Kessler SJ, Dr. theol., (Frankfurt am Main, Vienna)
'I try to explain this theory to my students at school and give arguments for its plausibility, and they react with lots of enthusiasm.'
- Gerard Janssen, MA, classisist, (Leeuwarden)
...... hmmmmmmmmmmmmm (that's a Marge Simpson type hmmmmmmmm, not a 'things that make you go hmmmmmmmm' hmmmmmmm) ...