I received some correspondence recently from an anonymous writer who was discussing the length of Nibiru’s orbit with respect to the Babylonian Sar (1). In his/her email, Caesar’s comet came up – an event which is said to have taken place in 44 BCE, shortly after the assassination of the Roman dictator, Julius Caesar. The appearance of this star, thought to be a very bright, daytime comet (indeed, possibly the brightest comet in all recorded history), was recorded by the Romans and the Chinese – although there are actually very few descriptions of such a remarkable comet at the time it took place, which has led some scholars to doubt that this was really an historical event (2). it is said to have appeared for about 7 days, and may have had a magnitude as high as -4, similar to Venus at its brightest. This comet, if such it was, is not a short-period comet, and may have either disintegrated during its perihelion passage, or returned back to the outer solar system (at which point it may be about 800 AU away by now.
“Modern studies of records of Roman and Chinese stargazers place this great comet in the constellations Gemini and Auriga in May, where it reached a brilliant magnitude -3 as it passed the Sun. The comet then moved northward and faded to magnitude +5 by early July. It suddenly brightened again, perhaps as material was ejected from the nucleus and set aglow by the Sun. By mid-July, during Caesar’s games, the comet shone at magnitude -4 to -5 in Cassiopeia, as bright as the planet Venus and possibly visible in the daylight, making it one of the brightest comets in recorded history.” (3)
The discussion or this object as a flaming star is of some interest. The star/comet became a symbol for the deification of Julius by his successor, Augustus. A temple was built featuring a huge statue of Julius Caesar whose forehead was emblazoned with a flaming star. Here’s what the Roman poet Ovid had to say about it, some time later during the reign of Augustus:
“To make that soul a star that burns forever
Above the Forum and the gates of Rome” (4)
“Then Jupiter, the Father, spoke…“Take up Caesar’s spirit from his murdered corpse, and change it into a star, so that the deified Julius may always look down from his high temple on our Capitol and forum.” He had barely finished, when gentle Venus stood in the midst of the Senate, seen by no one, and took up the newly freed spirit of her Caesar from his body, and preventing it from vanishing into the air, carried it towards the glorious stars. As she carried it, she felt it glow and take fire, and loosed it from her breast: it climbed higher than the moon, and drawing behind it a fiery tail, shone as a star.” (5)
The deification of Julius through the incorporation of this flaming 8-rayed star was featured on a famous coin, also minted during Augustus’ reign, c.19 BCE (5). I’ve had a long-time interest in whether there was a sighting of an anomalous star during the Graeco-Roman era. This stems from Zecharia Sitchin’s initial assertion that his proposed Planet X body Nibiru appeared in the skies in 3760 BCE, and had a 3600 year orbit (the Babylonian sar spoken of above). Such a situation would place the next historical return of this planet around 160 BCE, during the period of history when there was a much-anticipated return of a messiah.
I’ve speculated in the past that such an occurrence may have been connected to the alleged ‘red Sirius’ anomaly, of the same era (6). In other words, the anomalous appearance of a red Sirius in the Graeco-Roman period, which has been described by Ptolemy and Seneca. Unconvincing explanations for this anomaly (Sirius is self-evidently white) have been put forward in several occasions (7,8).
The various descriptions of a red Sirius took place over a long period of time. I wonder whether the descriptions of this ‘burning’, ‘fiery’ Caesar’s Star of 44 BCE might fall into a similar category? On the face of it, the simplest explanation for the appearance of this bright star is that its was a transient, long-period comet which disintegrated during perihelion. But, just possibly, it was a misidentified phenomenon which related to something else entirely.
20th March 2016
1) Anonymous correspondence received 13th March 2016
2) “Caesar’s Comet” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesar%27s_Comet
3) Brian Ventrudo “Caesar’s Comet” 9th March 2013 http://oneminuteastronomer.com/7954/caesar-comet/
4) Ovid “Metamorphoses” XV, 840
5) “Caesar’s Comet (The Julian Star)” http://archaicwonder.tumblr.com/post/92340659171/caesars-comet-the-julian-star-caesars-comet
6) Andy Lloyd “The Messianic Star Identified” 21st August 2000 http://www.darkstar1.co.uk/ds8.htm
7) D.C.B. Whittet “A Physical Interpretation of the ‘red Sirius’ Anomaly” Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 310, 335-359 (1999)
8) R. Ceregioli “Solving the Puzzle of ‘Red’ Sirius” J. Hist. Astron., 27, 93