[See “Black Madonnas of Europe: Diffusion of the African Isis,” by Danita Redd, in African Presence in Early Europe, Editor, Ivan Van Sertima (1986)
“By the latter half of the third century A.D., Isis had ascended over the Greek and Roman goddesses as she had over other African goddesses. In African and Europe, Isis rose from obscurity to supreme rule over other goddesses. On both continents, the transfiguration of Isis may have been aided by similarities in racial and cultural aspects. Anthropologists have noted that many of the Greek and Roman goddesses were portrayed as black, such as the goddesses Cybele and her daughter Demeter Melaina (often confused with the Eleusian Demeter) as well as Diana, Rhea, Artemis and Ceres. (Footnote: Leonard Moss and Stephen C. Cappannari, “The Black Madonna: An Example of Culture Borrowing,” Scientific Monthly, vol. 73 (1953), p. 322)
“As the cult of Isis spread into and throughout Europe, her associated emblems, majrestic depictions, attributes and titles, first identified in Africa, became well known. Though she maintained her African qualities and gained new qualities from the Greeks and Romans, her protrayals eventually took on the racial features common to the white inhabitants of her new domain. … Greeks and Romans of the ancient world usually associated the veil with feminine virginity, particularly in the virgin cults associated with the Roman goddess Vesta. ‘In some statues and basso-relievos (bas-reliefs) when Isis appears alone, she is entirely veiled from head to foot … as a symbol of a mother’s chastity.’ (Footnote: T. W. Doane, Bible Myths (Truth Seeker Co.: New York), 1882, p. 328) … She was known as the “Great Mother,” The “Tender Mother,” “personification of feminity,” “Immaculate Virgin,” to whom women prayer for forgiveness of sexual sins, “Our Lady,” the “Queen of Heaven,” “Star of the Sea,” and “Mother of God” were other titles associated with her. The cult of Isis coexisted with nascent Christianity, Judaism and assorted Roman religions.
“Initially Christianity did not appeal to the European masses. This was partially due to the fact that nascent Christian doctrine lacked three main elements of mass appeal–elements that we take so much for granted now–resurrection, promise of a better after-life, salvation of the soul. All of these can be found in African religions, particularly in the cult of Isis. The strongest rivalry to nascent Christianity in Europe came from the Isis cult which provided the elements respectively listed: the resurrection myths associated with Osiris and Horus, the role of Isis as protectoress of those in the abode of the dead, and the Isis incantations meant to save souls of the deceased. … The early Christians viewed Eve as the biblical character responsible for the downfall of man and his expulsion from the garden. The Virgin Mary was not a prominent image in nascent Christian art and it took quite a while for her image to proliferate through European Christiandom. The turning point for Christianity in Europe developed after the 313 A.D. declaration of the religious tolerance Edict of Milan by Constantine I. Christianity had gained official recognition in Europe. Emperor Constantine converted to the Christian faith and aided in the passage of laws favorable to Christianity.
“During the 4th century A.D., there was great dissention in the European Christian Churches concerning the doctrinal status of the Virgin Mary. In 428 A.D. Nestorius, patriarch of Constantinople, put forth the claim that the Virgin Mary was mother to the divine Jesus Christ, differing from the strongest Church faction which insisted that the Virgin Mary was the Mother of God (as seen through the idea that Jesus was God reborn in earthly form). In 430 A.D. Cyril, patriarch of Alexandria, called a synod which included the major Christian leaders of Europe. The 431 A.D. official declaration of the Virgin Mary as the Mother of God was the result of this synod, the Council of Ephesus. Cyril’s faction of the Christian Church formed the European Orthodox Churches (which eventually separated into the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church. The absent Nestorius was ousted from the Constantinope Patriarchy and his writings were burned as a result of the Council of Ephesus.
“Nascent Christianity now contained the elements for mass appeal. The Virgin Mary was elevated to a status equal to the status of Isis. European Christians appealed to God through the image of the Virgin Mary, who was recognized as a divine intervener. Many early Christians believed in the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary. Though it did not become official Church doctrine until the eighteenth century A.D., the concept grew in popularity. The attributes and titles which catapulted the Virgin Mary into the realm of goddesshood were borrowed from the African Isis. … Titles of the Virgin which includes “The Madonna,” “Queen of Heaven,” “Mother of God,” “The Great Mother” and “Our Lady” (are the same titles attributed to the African Isis long before the existence of Christianity.”
“Statues of the goddess Isis with the child Horus in her arms were common in Egypt, and were exported to all neighboring and to many remote countries, where they are now found with new names attached to them–Christian in Europe, Buddhist in Turkestan, Taoist in China and Japan. Figures of the Virgin Isis do duty as representations of Mary, of Hariti, of Juan-Yin, of Kwannon and of other Virgin Mothers of Gods.” [Footnote: Jocelyn Rhys, Shaken Creeds: The Virgin Birth Doctrine (Watts and Co.; London), 1922]
n U.S. New & World Report, Collector’s Edition, “Da Vinci Code: The Unauthorized
Guide to the Bestselling Novel,” there also appeared the following: Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy, “The Pagan Mysteries Behind Early Christianity”: [From The Jesus Mysteries by Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy (1999):
“We had shared an obsession with world mysticism all our lives which recently had led us to explore spirituality in the ancient world. Popular understanding inevitably lags a long way behind the cutting edge of scholarly research and, like most people, we initially had an inaccurate and outdated view of Paganism. We had been taught to imagine a primitive superstitution, which indulged in idol worship and bloody sacrifice, and dry philosophers wearing togas stumbling blindly ‘toward what we today call science. We were familiar with various Greek myths which showed the partisan and capricious nature of the Olympian gods and goddesses. All in all, Paganism seemed primitive and fundamentally alien. After many years of study, however, our understanding has been transformed. Pagan spirituality was actually the sophisticated product of a highly developed culture. The state religions, such as the Greek worship of the Olympian gods, were little more than outer pomp and ceremony.
“The real spirituality of the people expressed itself through the vibrant and mystical ‘Mystery religions.’At first underground and heretical movements, these mysteries spread and flourished throughout the ancient Mediterranean, inspiring the greatest minds of the Pagan world, who regarded them as the very source of civilization.
The significance of the Osiris-Dionysus myth:
“At the heart of the Mysteries were myths concerning a dying and resurrecting godman, who was known by many different names. In Egypt he was Osiris, in Greece Dionysus, in Asia Minor, Attis, in Syria Adonis, in Italy Bacchus, in Persia Mithras. Fundamentally all these godmen are the same mythical being. We will use the combined named Osiris-Dionysus to denote his universal and composite nature. The various myths of the different godmen of the Mysteries share what the great mythologist Joseph Campbell called ‘the same anatomy.’ The more we studied the various versions of the myth of Osiris-Dionysus, the more it became obvious that the story of Jesus had all the characteristics of this perennial tale.
“Osiris-Dionysus is God made flesh, the savior and ‘Son of God.’ His father is God and his mother is a mortal virgin. He is born in a cave or humble cowshed on December 25 before three shepherds. He offers his followers the chance to be born again through the rites of baptism. He miraculously turns water into wine at a marriage ceremony. He rides triumphantly into town on a donkey while people wave palm leaves to honor him. He dies at Eastertime as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. After his death he descends into hell, then on the third day he rises from the dead and ascends to heaven in glory. His followers await his return as the judge during the Last Days. His death and resurrection are celebrated by a ritual meal of bread and wine, which symbolize his body and blood. These are just some of the motifs shared between the tales of Osiris-Dionysus and the biography of Jesus.
“Why are these remarkable similarities not common knowledge? Because, as we were to discover later, the early Roman Church did everything in its power to prevent us perceiving them. It systematically destroyed Pagan sacred literature in a brutal program of eradicating the Mysteries, a task it performed so completely that today Paganism is regarded as a ‘dead’ religion. … “
”Christianity’s Untidy Start: The Da Vinci Code is Shining a New Light on What Really Happened Long Ago” by Dan Burstein:
“One form of Christianity … emerged as victorious from the conflicts of the second and third centuries A.D.. This one form of Christianity decided what was the ‘correct’ Christian perspective; it decided who culd exercise authority over Christian belief and practice; and it determined what forms of Christianity would be marginalized, set aside, destroyed. It also decided which books to set aside as ‘heretical,’ teaching false ideas. … “
– Bart D. Ehrman, Professor of Religious Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill”
“In the beginning, there was not one Christianity, but many. … If we think about debate, conflict, and heresy in Christian thought, our history and humanities classes tend to emphasize the comparatively recent experienc of the Reformation. Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code wants to acquaint the reader with the lesser known, even ‘hiddne’ side of the story, the unanswered questions about the early history of Christianity. … “
And then comes the year 2009 – September, 2009:
And: VIDEO: – YouTube –
“Origins of Religions” – After clicking on Part 1 and Part 2 or the entire video presentation –
How much of what the Narrator says is “Truth” or “Fancy” … until he mentions things like:
“Inscriptions or bas-relief drawings and writings on the walls at Luxor in Africa”
or “similarities between Horus and Jesus”
Read the above – and Check it out


About Harold L Carter

Bachelor of Science, Columbia University Masters degree, Ohio State University Undergraduate National Officer, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Eastern Asst Vice President, when a student at Columbia University Profile Photograph: Mom & Me, when I was a graduate student
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