Queen Helen of Adiabene - not a Chrestian
Stele of Antiochus and Helios from Zeugma
This dynasty grew a royal cult first established by Antiochus I.
Earlier in Google+, I posted:
The archaeology of his mother's mausoleum and the richness of her gifts to the (Herodian-controlled) Temple and to Judea, place her, I suggest, as a compatriot of the Jerusalem 'Rich', those opposed to the Poor, the observant and mainly Messianic Jews led from Qumran. Her conversion to Judaism had been partial, along the same lines as promoted by the literary St Paul and Christian Church. Josephus mentions two missionaries to her, though names only Ananias; the New Testament names the man who converted Saul as Ananias; and according to the textual tradition, Saul was Helen's agent in supplying grain to Judea. These all suggest to me that Saul was an agent of Helen and together, they opposed the Messianic Jews at Qumran, and therefore supported the Herodian monarchy. Her palace complex in Jerusalem, recently excavated, seems to confirm this.The sources above are mainly dependent on Josephus and (other) Chrestians; the putative relationship between the Herodian and Chrestian Saul (later resurrected as Saint Paul) is not described by Helen, or anyone in her kingdom, but by those who wrote of Saul/Paul, i.e. Chrestians. The New Testament is black parody in the Chrestian war against messianic Judaism, the movement led by John the Baptiser and after his killing, James the Righteous Teacher (until his killing in 62); this literary source is not historical, but propaganda.
Helen was in Jerusalem when Izates died, so she didn't personally kill him, though she was well-placed to avoid suspicion whilst colluding with the Herodians.
South frieze. Detail: Priests, Agrippa, Asiatic princess and son (Iotape of Commagene and probably Antiochus III), Livia, Tiberius, Antonia, Drusus I. From G. Moretti Ara Pacis Augustae (1948)
Ara Pacis Augustae, Rome, Via della Ripetta.
A suggestion of the web is that Helen is actually:
Julia Iotapa, or simply Iotapa (before 17-around 52), daughter of King Antiochus III of Commagene, was Queen of Commagene, consort of her King brother Antiochus IV.I reject this suggestion because Izates was born ca.1 CE, too early for her, and we know all her children, none of whom come close to matching Izates. Julia Iotapa is Chrestian, raised as such by Antonia Minor. Helen of Adiabene is not Chrestian, as Eisenman demonstrates:
While Iotapa and Antiochus were growing up in Rome, they were a part of the remarkable court of Antonia Minor.
Julia Iotapa appeared to have died before Commagene was annexed by Roman Emperor Vespasian in 72.
- In the context of Izates’ life, too, the allusion to David’s “sufferings” and “being forgiven” are important, clearly part of the encouragement to “work Righteousness”. Since in Josephus’ story of both Queen Helen’s conversion, backed up in Rabbinic sources, and her son Izates, this theme plays an important role. I can think of no similar situation among Maccabeans or Herodians - the other possibilities - that can be readily cited.
- That Helen of Adiabene and her sons, Izates and Monobazus, were extremely interested in gifts or sacrifices in the Temple is documented in Talmudic materials as well. These dwell on the golden lampstead she and her sons were said to have contributed to the Temple. Helen, it should be observed, was also interested in the matter of “fornication”, as she was also said to have donated a plaque with “the suspected adultress” passages from Num 5:13-31 inscribed on it in gold for display in the Temple. It should not be overlooked, that following this in Num 6:1-21, as well, are the strictures relating to Naziritism and, from Rabbinic sources too, we hear that this was one of her consuming passions too. In fact, because of a vow she took regarding Izates’ safe-keeping in war ( additional materials having to do with her and her sons’ “sufferings” ), we hear she took three consecutive, seven-year Nazirite vows of abstinence.
- The Sociologogy of MMT and the Conversions of King Agbarus and Queen Helen of AdiabeneHelen's relationship with Judea existed during part of the reign of Herod Agrippa (11 BCE – 44 CE), who is treated in biblical texts as a traitor, because although raised by Antonia Minor, on his return to Judea, he dropped that façade to become a popular, pro-Judean hero. Her Nazirite position aligns her perfectly with James. This is why the Jesus of Nazareth myth.
In summary, there was a largely-undeclared war (from early in the first century) between the states ruled by colonial-Greek regimes of the eastern Roman Empire (from Asia Minor, south to Egypt and across North Africa), most of which in the early-first century had - through the work of Antonia Minor) - adopted Chrestianity, and messianic Judaism, led by the monastic community at Qumran and in the early-first century, Herod Agrippa. The three Jewish-Roman Wars are an expression of this conflict, which was mainly cultural (ideological and theological, since the invasion and occupation by Antiochus IV Epiphanes, ('manifestation of the god').
Further developments occurred in Judaea Province in the year 130, when Emperor Hadrian visited the Eastern Mediterranean and, according to Cassius Dio, made the decision to rebuild the city of Jerusalem as the Roman city of Aelia Capitolina, derived from his own name. The decision, together with Hadrian's other sanctions against the Jews, was allegedly one of the reasons for the eruption of the 132 Bar Kokhba revolt — an extremely violent uprising. The rebellion ended with the deaths of most of the Judaean population and a ban upon the Jewish faith across the Roman Empire, which was lifted in 137, upon Hadrian's death.The Chrestian side looked to Helios, always syncretised with local sun gods and trinities; it struggled with the emperors following Augustus to gain the military support needed to stay in power, until they placed Vespasian as emperor; part of the payment they made for Roman military support was to send troops to join Rome in attacking Judea. Only when they had won, signalled by the end of the Third Jewish-Roman War, were Chrestians in a position to start writing their textual tradition, as black propaganda, parodying both messianic Judaism and its leaders - which includes Helen and Izates. This is the first example of damnatio memoriae used by Chrestianity.
- Aftermath, Kitos War