The Age of Thebes – After his death in Eastern Persia, Marduk’s body was returned to the Luxor Temple in Thebes under the stewardship of the Divine Adoratrice of Amun, Nitocris I, who was responsible for preserving his corpse in the temple until her death in 585 BC. By this time much of the flesh had dried and shriveled. In 576 BC Nebuchadnezzar II, grandson of Marduk, declared himself the first Supreme Master with the support of many descendants. However, the leaders in Southern Egypt refused to submit and thus Nebuchadnezzar II invaded, entering Thebes for the first time in 564 BC to claim his grandfather’s remains. In 563 BC the first obeisance was held at the tomb, and all key Patricians and Houses in the region were present, confirming Nebuchadnezzar II position as Bakhat Nasar or ‘Winner of the Fate’. Nebuchadnezzar II then brought Marduk’s body back to Babylon, his capital, to the magnificent new mausoleum of Esagila that he had completed for his ancestor and God.
After Nebuchadnezzar II’s death, and before another obeisance could be arranged, his son and successor Amel-Marduk was murdered. In the absence of a clear line of succession conflict was inevitable, and it was not until the battle of Opis, which saw Cyrus the Great defeat Amel Marduk’s usurper, that a new Supreme Master was ultimately decided in 537 BC with the second obeisance.
Upon Cyrus’ death in 530 BC, after the splitting of the realm between his two sons, the third Supreme Master was ultimately named as Darius I, their murderer, and now Cyrus’ son-in-law, by way of marriage to his daughter, Atossa. He was also himself a direct descendant of Marduk in the House of Achaemenes. He remained Supreme Master until his death in 480 BC. The role passed smoothly to his eldest son Xerxes I, and after his murder in 486 BC, his son, although the Delian League was formed by a number of lesser Patricians who refused to recognize him. After his death in 424 BC, his son, Xerxes II, was almost immediately murdered by the son of Sogdianus, who was then, in turn, murdered by another illegitimate son, Darius, who was king until 405 BC. While Darius was never recognized by the Patricians, his children were by virtue of his marriage to the granddaughter of Darius I and Atossa – two strong Marduk lines. Thus, it became that Artexerxes II was recognized as the sixth Supreme Master, despite briefly losing Thebes to Amyrtaeus, ‘Marduk’s giver’, another descendant. With his death in 358 BC his fourth son came to power as Artexerxes III, after the death in battle, suicide, and murder of his three older brothers. He remained the seventh Supreme Master until his death in 338 BC, at which point open warfare once again broke out with the Delian League and its leader, Phillip II of Macedon. Artexerxes III and most of his sons were poisoned in 338 BC by the Grand Vizier Bagoas, who then placed a puppet king, Darius III, on the throne.
Phillip II’s young son, Alexander the Great, of the House of Molossus through his mother Olympias, began his invasion of Persia and defeated three large armies that Darius III assembled. Victory was chiefly due to the treacherous inactivity of key units in Darius’ armies under generals who had already defected. In 332 BC Alexander was declared the Eighth Supreme Master by the Oracle at the Siwa Oasis, King of Kings, Shahanshah, at a grand ceremony in Luxor confirmed with the ritual killing of Bagoas, the pretender, before Egyptian, Persian and other satraps. Later he would wear Marduk’s horns at important public events, the first and last time they were seen in public. A temple to Alexander was added in the Luxor complex after his formal deification. Shortly thereafter, Alexander spiraled into an alcoholic decline and was eventually poisoned in 323 BC at the Palace of Nebuchadnezzar, by his descendants. They were outraged at the decision by Alexander to wear their ancestor’s horns in public. They saw Alexander as a direct descendant of Hercules, a lowly half breed, son of Zeus and Alcmene, rather than Marduk who was seen as a purebred God, son of Baal and Tiamat. The Persians were unaware that Marduk was, in fact, the secret love child of Baal and the quarterling Europa.
Alexander was buried in honey in a gold sarcophagus. His generals brought Marduk’s Asullḫi back with his corpse, intending to abscond to Macedon with this ultimate symbol of power. However, the casket was stolen on its journey back to Macedon. Alexander’s sarcophagus went to the Siwa Oasis with Ptolemy, who afterwards initiated the Cult of Serapis to replace the unpopular ceremonies created by Alexander. While he succeeded in building a long-lasting empire for his descendants, without Marduk’s relics, his legitimacy was only reclaimed by his descendant Cleopatra 250 years later, during the elaborate obeisance she arranged with Mark Anthony, for her son, fathered by Julius Caesar, Caesarion.
The Age of Carthage and Rome – A small group of Patricians, led by the Barcid family and with Ptolemy’s help, successfully secured the corpse of Marduk, and fled west across Libya into Carthage. They avoided the pursuit by Alexander’s other generals and the corpse remained hidden for almost a century, with many families believing it had been taken east to India. It was not until Hamilcar Barca felt strong enough to call an obeisance in 238 BC that the House of Barcid declared its hand. Many Patricians came simply out of curiosity, but confirmed the horn was authentic and thus, Hamilcar was named the ninth Supreme Master. Carthage’s empire stretched west from Libya, through modern Tunisia and Morocco, to Spain. Many Patricians settled in Spain, running the lucrative Hispanic mines. With the threat of invasion from the Numidians, the Supreme Master, the head of the Barca family, also moved to New Carthage in Spain, taking the tomb, or Asullḫi, with him.
Publius Scipio was a Roman Patrician, of the House of Cornelia. Corneus, meaning ‘Of the Horn’, they were believed to be one of the founders of Rome. Publius Scipio was killed by Hasdrubal Barca. His son volunteered to avenge his death and led a successful surprise attack on New Carthage in 209 BC. His treatment of the bride of Prince Allucius, and their exchange of gifts, became legendary. Allucius, the Keeper of the Tomb, aligned himself with Scipio against the Barcas, and gave him the secret location of Marduk’s Asullḫi in the city. Scipio re-interred the tomb in Rome at the newly built Temple to Jupiter, the Latin name for Marduk. The Cornelius family, as Supreme Masters, dominated Roman politics for the next 150 years with family members holding a third of all consulships in the Roman Senate.
But a rift in the Cornelius family saw Lucius Cornelius Sulla in a civil war with Lucius Cornelius Cinna. A young high priest of the Jupiter temple that housed Marduk’s casket, Julius Caesar, of the House of Julia, married Cinna’s daughter Cornelia. However, with Sulla’s victory, Julius Caesar was disinherited and lost his position at the temple, seeking refuge in the army. His many victories brought him wealth, power, and enemies. His fourteen-year relationship with Cleopatra, a direct descendant of the House of Archemeniads and Ptolemy, not only bore a son, but saw the Roman Empire switch to the Egyptian Calendar, based on the sun rather than the moon. Julius Caesar became Supreme Master until his murder, but his great nephew Augustus reclaimed the title, and cemented his ties by bringing the first two obelisks from the gateway of the Lexus Temple in Thebes back to Rome.
The Patricians eventually took control of the early Christian church, at the time of Emperor Constantine. All their rituals and dates were injected into the Christian calendar and service. Followers of the gospels, later known as Gnostics, were hunted down and killed. With the threat of Rome’s sacking in 340 AD the decision was made to move the tomb to Byzantium. There it remained until a surprise attack by the Ottomans saw it fall into the hands of Muslim forces, as the city was surrounded and captured in 1453. This was perceived as a cataclysmic disaster for the Patricians and the Houses of Western Europe.