A New History for a New Century
"The Greatest Discovery in the History of Archaeology"
By Horatio Rybnikar
On July 19, 1994, entered as legal documentation in Cocoa Beach, Florida was a signed affidavit attesting the claim that Burrows Cave, in Southern IL, was indeed actually the Lost Tomb of Alexander the Great. The document also relates that he is interred there with the Ptolemy Dynasty including Queen Cleopatra VII. Since that date, it has been left to task to disprove such a theory. Immediately following the initial decipherments, the search for any and all information that could support or deny the possibilities of the most outrageous claim ever to be made in History, was initiated. The problem, however, was that the more stones which were deciphered, supported a story within itself so perfectly consistent, there could be no chance of doubt or fraud. Henceforth, the decipherments began teaching us where to look. The most extensive search for Alexander's Tomb through books began with a passion. It was anticipated that this alledged discovery should be easy enough to disprove. The search turned into a fight, and the fight turned into a war. After the battle smoke was cleared, the facts emerged from obscurity.
After consulting the ancient and modern writers of noteworthy authority and accuracy, the field was narrowed down quite considerably when focusing on the last appearances and records regarding the Tomb itself.
Robin Lane Fox a contemporary historian is currently recognized as the world's leading authority on Alexander the Great without question. His book, Alexander the Great, 1973, Dial Press is the hallmark dedicated to the study of Alexander. Page 478, Lane states concerning the tomb......"It will never be seen again. Despite fitful rumors, modern Alexandria has not revealed the site of its founder's remains; probably his corpse was last visited by Caracalla and was destroyed in the city riots of the early third century A.D."
Unfortunately, this is all Lane reports. He was far more descriptive concerning Alexander's life and campaigns than his death and burial. Lane accurately reports in his first paragraph under NOTES on page 499 concerning specific quotes and the obscurity of contemporary writers during Alexander's time..."I cannot stress too strongly that all these quotations and opinions are only known at second or third hand, as rephrased by other classical writers often 400 years later..........No word or phrase can be assumed to have been retained from the original...". Lane admits the possibilities of error on behalf of begotten and quoted classical authors of yesteryear.
Ancient History has its contemporary Icon published in 1929 by Felix Jacoby called Frangmente der Griechischen Historiker, which is a digestive outlay of quotes taken second hand to form fragments of the most ancient authors, with the hope that accuracy is not lost. Jacoby had no maore than the Harvard Classical Library to copy from, and at that, he very poorly reconstructed his details and commentary. Basically, it is a compilation and index of commonly known subjects, persons, records pertaining to the ancient authors. The primary historians of ancient times devoting accepted accurate details of Alexander are: Plutarch, Quintus Curtius, Arrian, Diodorus Sicullus and Strabo, all living in the 1st cent. B.C. to the 2nd cent. A.D. The primary ancient writers detailing the Tomb, Coffin, events during and after the conquest of Octavian (30B.C.) are: Strabo and Dio Cassius. Strabo, from the reign of Octavian (c. 10 B.C.) and Dio Cassius writing from c. 200 A.D. to 215 A.D. We need not look to modern opinions for anything about truth.
Strabo lived from 64 B.C. to 25 A.D., during the entire reign of Augustus. It is assumed, given the details described by Strabo, and the events which he does and does not document, that he wrote his history and geography about 8 - 7 B.C. Strabo is considered by most scholars to be quite accurate, however, Strabo presents testimony of some very strange and perplexing accounts from time to time. It seems when Strabo cannot be well understood, we must allow ourselves a certain degree of "judgment call" on behalf of the historical fact or theory of concern.
A case in point is his contemporary account in first person, present tense, of Alexander's tomb and coffin. He is writing in the prime of Augustus (c. 7 B.C.) and states in book 17, section 1 subject 8 of Volume VIII; Harvard Loeb Classical Library, page 37:
".....and the body of Alexander was carried off by Ptolemy and given sepulcher in Alexandria, where it still now lies-not, however, in the same sarcophagus as before, for the present one is made of glass, whereas the one wherein Ptolemy laid it was made of gold. The latter was plundered by the Ptolemy nicknamed "Cocces" and "Pareisactos," who came over from Syria but was immediately expelled, so that his plunder proved unprofitable to him."
There are a couple of problems concerning this short but very important passage. First, looking at Ptolemy "Cocces," in Greek; Kokkhx, (Kokkes), means 'scarlet'. When an attempt is made to accurately identify this Ptolemy, the search will conclude with the fact that no other ancient reference is made to a Ptolemy using this particular name, neither is there another reference to a "Pareisactos", (Pareisaktox) as well. This creates a dilemma as simple would it be, if these names were identifiable, to determine exactly who and what happened to the vast amount of gold used to build Alexander's coffin (est. 6 tons), also, when the coffin was actually taken and melted or not. Could Strabo be describing a Seleucid from Syria, perhaps with Ptolemaic blood?
Concerning the word scholars have defined as glass: Strabo, here uses the word ualinox, (ualinos), which when more correctly translated in Classical Greek terms means 'glass-like' or 'chrystaline'. The actual Classical Greek grammatical word for 'glass' is ualox (ualos); where 'ualinos' refers to 'glassy' or 'to appear glasslike'. Could Strabo have used a metaphor for Alabaster? Does it make sense that if it were taken, the person who did it would be 'immediately expelled' because whoever possessed the coffin and contents of the tomb, would certainly have had enough gold and money to buy an army at will with funds leftover. Possession of the King's corpse would also provide prevailing power.
The footnotes at the bottom of the same page paint the picture not a bit more clear:
"'Pareisactos' means one-who-has-been-brought-in, ....modern scholars believe this to mean 'illegitimate' instead." Thus, concerning the word immediately, "....this must mean Ptolemy XI meaning just after he plundered the tomb. Ptolemy XI mounted the throne in 80 B.C. but wasn't expelled until 58 B.C." Who would consider a reign of 22 years to be short or an immediate period coming to an end? An alternative way of thinking then is that "....the coffin was not actually glass as Strabo writes, but that what he meant was Alabaster...", According to the same footnote.
Dr. Cyclone Covey, the lunatic Professor Emeritus, Wake Forrest University, in an endless dissertation claiming epicycles upon epicycles of everyone's work but his own, pathetically states concerning this story by Strabo: "...He did not name the king, but the only one that fits is Ptolemy Physkon whom the mob ousted from Alexandria before he could organize an army." This is how quoting Jacoby can get you in trouble, Dr. Covey, has obviously never read Strabo.
Many things are wrong with Dr. Covey's statement. First, Strabo does indeed mention the name, though it is not clearly understood, he does nevertheless record it. Second, at the time Physcon (Euergetes II) and his brother were back and forth ruling Egypt, Antiochus was knocking on the east gate of Alexandria with a powerful army. The Egyptian army could hardly beat its way out of a paper bag. The entire Syrian/Palestine area was completely occupied by Antiochus at the time of Physcon, and to consider that Physcon dwelled even outside the east gate of Alexandria, much less venture up to Syria, is absolutely unpredicated.
Safe it is to say, that as far as Strabo is concerned, we only know that the gold coffin was not in the Mausoleum around 7 B.C. Also, there was no Ptolemy that fits the descriptions of Strabo wholly. Any scholar who penetrates the barrier of guess, is left with his assumption and opinion at best.
To get to our next ancient writer of primary concern, we must leap forward about 200 years to the time of another Greek Historian named Dio Cassius or Cassius Dio, however you prefer. Dio lived from 155 A.D. to 235 A.D. and was closely connected to the royal house of Septimius Severus which also included close ties with his sons. Septimius Severus' son Antoninus (Caracallus) became his successor to the Emporership of Rome according to Dio. Dio traveled with Septimius as well as Caracalla, accompanying him on journeys also. Dio was an insider, so we can assume that his first person, present tense accounts concerning Severus and Caracalla are somewhat accurate, however vague they might be.
Dio Cassius, Roman History, Volume IX, Loeb Classical Library, Book 76, page 225; Dio is writing c. 200 A.D. and states concerning Septimius Severus trip down the Nile River:
"He inquired into everything, including things that were very carefully hidden; for he was the kind of person to leave nothing, either human or divine, uninvestigated. Accordingly, he took away from practically all the sanctuaries all the books that he could find containing any secret lore, and he locked up the tomb of Alexander; this was in order that no one in the future should either view Alexander's body or read what was written in the above-mentioned books. So much, then, for what Severus was doing."
Again, quoting ibid.Book 78, page 293: Dio is relating the plunders of Caracalla in Alexandria about 212 A.D.:
"He was so enthusiastic about Alexander that he used certain weapons and cups which he believed had once been Alexander's, and he also set up many likenesses of him both in the camps and in Rome itself."
In the first passage, the Greek word for 'locked' used by Dio is sunekleisen, (sunekleisen), meaning to lock, bolt or latch like a gate, door or enclosure; taken from the root word kleiqxou, where we get the modern word for clevis. There is no indication where the tomb was locked up at or that it was or was not removed from Alexandria. The fact that Dio states all the most important and highly prized manuscripts were locked up with the tomb might lead one to wonder if removal was eminent. Besides the tomb of Alexander, the Ptolemies nor the articles buried with them are further related, including the Famous Trojan Shield and Alexander's mighty Sword. There is no record that Septimius Severus removed large quantities of plunder.
The second passage concerns Caracalla, son of Septimius Severus. Caracalla was a brutal man pioneering new heights of insanity, injustice and vain lunacy. He did however possess a single virtue, he dearly admired and praised Alexander as his greatest hero. He attempted to emulate Alexander's military and phalanx tactics with his own army. He later destroyed Alexandria in 215 A.D. and strangely enough, there is no record of his ever acquiring an extreme amount of wealth from Alexandria, however, the point in question is 212 A.D.; when he was supposedly flashing the cups and weapons. If Caracalla, being the most powerful man in Alexandria (212-15 A.D.), desired to take for his own pleasure the articles of Alexander's tomb, why wouldn't he have taken the Most Sacred, Famous Ancient Shield and Sword known in the world? Why then would Caracalla settle for a cup (no record of whether it was gold) rather than a crown, helmet, breastplate or jewels and gold? This causes one to question did Caracalla really have access to the tomb after he razed Alexandria? Or, did Septimius Severus ever inform his sons of where the tomb and its contents were sealed? Could his sons have been with the Emperor when he supposedly locked up the tomb. The most difficult thing to accept (with slight contempt) is how could Caracalla have possibly tamed his arrogance enough to not dress himself and publicly display the breastplate, sword, shield and helmet of Alexander, that is, had it been there. This particular attire belonged to his cherished hero of many years.
These are the last clues and information recorded by the ancient writers concerning the Tomb of Alexander or any of its content. The last reported actual visit and viewing of the corpse was Octavian in 30 B.C. also related by Dio in Book 51. Chapter 17 of book 51 explains that Cleopatra had placed all the country's wealth within the palace, making it easier for the conquering Romans to divvy out the spoils. There was obviously a tremendous amount of treasure spoiled because Octavian was able to pay off his soldiers and staff. There is no mention at this time or after of what was or could have been in the mausoleum, including: The Famous Trojan Shield, the Sword, the cadavers themselves, the volumous archives of the library, gold, jewels, etc.
It is safe to assume that the gold coffin was missing at the time of Octavian's visit. It is also safe to assume that Octavian did not inspect the bodies of the other Ptolemies. Since Dio is writing 200+ years after the fact, he must be quoting from a previous source to the greatest extent. Even the famous account of Alexander's nose breaking off after being touched by Octavian is closed by Dio himself with "...and so the story goes." As vague as Dio is with this history, it is still of major significance not to be neglected. Dio was the last writer to document these events whose work has survived the rape and plunder of knowledge over the past 1800 years.
Suetonius (c. 70 A.D. to c. 150 A.D.) was another ancient Roman author whose work for the most part is lost with the exception of his history titled, The Twelve Caesars. In his essay concerning the account of Octavian's visit to the tomb: (note 4 sources)
Source #1. London, the Folio Society MCMLXIV translated by Robert Graves, page 61.
"About this time he had the sarcophagus containing Alexander the Great's mummy removed from the Mausoleum at Alexandria and, after a long look at its features, showed his veneration by crowning the head with a golden diadem and strewing flowers on the trunk. When asked, 'Would you now like to visit the Mausoleum of the Ptolemies?' he replied: 'I came to see a King, not a row of corpses.'
Source #2. Suetonius quoted from Robin Lane Fox, Alexander the Great, page 13.
When Alexander's sarcophagus was brought from its shrine, Augustus gazed at the body, then laid a crown of gold on its glass case and scattered some flowers to pay his respects. When they asked if he would like to see Ptolemy too, 'I wished to see a king,' he replied, 'I did not wish to see corpses.'
Source #3 Suetonius: Penguin Classics, page 63.
About this time he had the sarcophagus containing Alexander the Great's Mummy removed from its shrine and, after a long look at its features, showed his veneration by crowning the head with a golden diadem and strewing flowers on the trunk. When asked, 'Would you now like to visit the Mausoleum of the Ptolemies?' he replied: 'I came to see a King, not a row of corpses.'
Source #4 Harvard University Press, Loeb Classical Library, Suetonius; Volume I, page 149.
About this time he had the sarcophagus and body of Alexander the Great brought forth from its shrine, and after gazing on it, showed his respect by placing upon it a golden crown and strewing it with flowers; and being then asked whether he wished to see the tomb of the Ptolemies as well, he replied, "My wish was to see a king, not corpses."
Take your pick. There is quite obviously discrepancies over the simple rendering of whatever it was that Suetonius said and the way in which he stated it. As far as one of the most publicized events of all ancient history, these are supposed to be the same. How then are we able to derive conclusions with 100% accuracy on a single person's best, dramatized account?
We believe, after 2000 years, the Famous Trojan Shield and Alexander's Sword were clearly pictured by sheer accident on the rear cover of Volume 4 of the Ancient American; already knowing what we expected to find in this tomb, we were the first people to recognize it for what it was; this could never have been an artist's conception or misconception. After a careful review of 1000's of tablets and 100's of literal decipherments, the story could not be a mirage of imagination. After seeing the simplistic, elementary level descriptions of features and maps of an alleged ancient crypt were it to be found anywhere in the world, the story would still be the same.
Next, there is the "Alexander Sarcophagus" found in Sidon along with several other ornamental death enclosures, which is currently on display at the Istanbul Museum in Turkey. The "Alexander Sarcophagus" was found with an entire collection of coffins in Sidon and is believed by some scholars to have been a present from Ptolemy I to the Satrap of Phoenicia sitting at Sidon. Several other elaborate sarcophagi were found together at the same time. It has been difficult to accurately assess exactly when these sarcophagi were found as the evidence conflicts itself. I have even seen different pictures of the same alleged "Alexander Sarcophagus" which look nothing alike. Also, I have not been able to determine exactly what it is made of as that information conflicts too. It is called the "Alexander Sarcophagus" because it has what appears to be (by some scholars) Macedonian warriors trampling Persians, supposedly. After carefully examining photos of the piece, I do not believe a Macedonian warrior would be on the battlefield with no armor to protect himself, especially if he were a Companion in Alexander's army (who were superbly outfitted). It remains obvious though, that this is not the sarcophagus of Alexander the Great. There is no script on the structure that says "Alexander the Great lies here", (in English) either.
So where's the Lost Egyptian Tomb after all this? Where are the Ptolemies, Cleopatra, the lost archives? Forget Alexander for a while and explain the disappearance of the others. It would only make sense to keep the crypt together and undamaged.
The two primary collisions that arise between my historiography and the establishment are:
1) That Alexander's gold coffin had been melted down;(by who or when we do not know) just prior to Octavian's visit, or if the gold had been there and removed between 30 B.C. and 8 B.C.
2) That Plutarch relates Augustus provided a tomb for Mark Antony and Cleopatra, interring them together. Behold the only 2 arguments.
The gold coffin description is easy to eliminate, just remove it from the equation altogether. The only evidence of such is Burrows statement and his word is not really worth intellectual consumption. The second record rests solely on 2 things, that Cleopatra was buried with her forefathers to which, she is depicted on stones sold by Burrows in a previously undeciphered language. Notwithstanding, should we even believe for a moment that the account of the crypt and corridor layout are to be in the slightest bit accurate; what are the chances of an ignorant layman dreaming up something so close to extractions of obscure history? One must examine the abecedarian descriptions.
IS THERE ANY EVIDENCE supporting the possibility that Alexander's remains could have been brought here? Let us now go to Sicily, back to the first century B.C. and catch up with a Greek historian named Diodorus Siculus who lived from 80 B.C. to 20 B.C. Diodorus lived in and wrote from Sicily and is considered by top scholars the world over as THE master of ancient Mediterranean History. In Book 5, chap. 19 & 20, in Volume III of the Loeb Classical Library, he relates beginning on page 145:
"But now that we have discussed what relates to the islands which lie within the Pillars of Hercules, we shall give an account of those which are in the ocean. For there lies out in the deep off Libya and island of considerable size, and situated as it is in the ocean it is distant from Libya a voyage of a number of days to the west. Its land is fruitful, much of it being mountainous and not a little being a level plain of surpassing beauty.
"Through it flow navigable rivers which are used for irrigation, and the island contains many parks planted with trees of every variety and gardens banqueting houses have been constructed in a setting of flowers, and in them the inhabitants pass their time during the summer season, since the land supplies in abundance everything which contributes to enjoyment and luxury. The mountainous part of the island is covered with dense thickets of great extent and with fruit trees of every variety, and inviting men to life among the mountains, it has cozy glens and springs in great number. In a word, this island is well supplied with springs of sweet water which not only makes the use of it enjoyable for those who pass their life there but also contribute to the health and vigor of their bodies. There is also excellent hunting of every manner of beast and wild animal, and the inhabitants, being well supplied with this game at their feasts, lack of nothing which pertains to luxury and extravagance; for in fact the sea which washes the shore of the island contains a multitude of fish, since the character of the ocean is such that it abounds through out its extent with fish of every variety. And, speaking generally, the climate of this island is so altogether mild that it produces in abundance the fruits of the trees and the other seasonal fruits for the larger part of the year, so that it would appear that the island, because of its exceptional felicity, were a dwelling place of a race of gods and not of men. 20. In ancient times this island remained undiscovered because of its distance from the entire inhabited world, but it was discovered at a later period for the following reason. The Phoenicians, who from ancient times on made voyages continually for purposes of trade, planted many colonies throughout Libya and not a few as well in the western parts of Europe. And since their ventures turned out according to their expectations, they amassed great wealth and essayed to voyage beyond the Pillars of Hercules into the sea which men call the ocean..............The Phoenicians, then, while exploring the coast outside the Pillars for the reasons we have stated and while sailing along the shore of Libya, were driven by strong winds a great distance out into the ocean. And after being storm tossed for many days they were carried ashore on the island we mentioned above, and when they had observed its felicity and nature they caused it to be known to all men. Consequently the Tyrrhenians, at the time when they were masters of the sea, purposed to dispatch a colony to it; but the Carthaginians prevented their doing so, partly out of concern lest many inhabitants of Carthage should remove there because of the excellence of the island, and partly in order to have ready in it a place in which to seek refuge against and incalculable turn of fortune, in case some total disaster should overtake Carthage. For it was their thought that, since they were masters of the sea, they would thus be able to move, households and all, to an island which was unknown to their conquerors."
Can you believe, after writing this over 2000 years ago, I would be the first contemporary to exploit it as obviously meaning the North American Continent. The historians have guessed every island in the Atlantic but never North America. There simply are not enough navigable rivers in Cuba or the Canaries to mention it as significant; I don't get Bermuda out of it either. There are actually several ancient authors that give separate accounts, from different countries and time frames that record the same relative stories of a very large body of land to the west of Libya, (an ancient term meaning Africa) many days sail.
An excellent and quite reliable ancient contemporary historian is Gaius Plinius commonly known as Pliny the Elder (23 A.D. to 79 A.D.). Pliny was an admirer of King Juba II and refers to his work more often than any other writer. Safe it is to say that King Juba II of Mauretainia up to the present time has only lived to the modern world as being quoted by Pliny.
As a matter of fact, there are very few books by Pliny (out of an enormous amount of quality work available even today) that do not feature some topic where King Juba is referenced. Juba was Pliny's HERO.
In Book VI, chap.. 36, on page 487 of Volume II, Pliny Natural History, Loeb Classical Lib., Harvard Press; concerning the lands west of Africa:
".........and the whole of the geography of this neighborhood is so uncertain that Statius Sebosus has given the voyage along the coast from the Gorgons' Islands past Mount Atlas to the Isles of the Ladies of the West as forty days' sail and from those islands to the Horn of the West as one day's sail. Not is there less uncertainty with regard to the report of the islands of Mauretania: it is only known for certain that a few were discovered by Juba off the coast of the Autololes, in which he had established a dyeing industry that used Gaetulian purple."
Pliny also relates many instances like this one taken from ibid. chap.. 37:
"............About the Isles of Bliss Juba has ascertained the following facts:...........", and then Pliny takes off with 3 pages of Juba's explorations throughout the Atlantic Ocean. It becomes quite clear to anyone who might chance to read Pliny, not knowing who Juba was, most assuredly would understand that Juba was a master of the Atlantic of the same parallel time period as Christ. He had spent years sailing, recording and mapping his discoveries. Why then do so many people find it odd that he would have had his fingerprints all over an ancient Tomb in North America; that contained his mother-in-law, brought here by his brother-in-law with his assistance.
After over 2 years of making the claim that the Mystery Tomb known (ambiguously) as Burrows Cave, is actually the Lost Tomb of Alexander the Great, no one, the world over, has yielded any evidence yet to slightly suggest otherwise.
If we are wrong, then prove it. There is only one person who can prove us wrong, and he chronically refuses to do it, and what do I think that means? It seems he would see the easiest way to be rid of my persistent pestilence. Moreover, nothing would thrill me greater, for I would delight in being forced to write the Ancient American Magazine apologizing to all of its educated readers for inexcusable gross rendering of hideous err. My plea cries for my own retraction, and until then, what do we do but prepare for, "A New History, for a New Century".
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