Monthly Archives: December 2014

Everything hangs together, and the following is another instance.

Manos Hatzidakis

With some delay, my conscience protested that my discussion last week about Greek music did not mention Manos Hatzidakis (1925-1994), a.k.a. Hadjidakis. Listen to this great album Pame mia bolta sto fengari.

Album by Manos Hatzidakis (Source: YouTube)

Album by Manos Hatzidakis (Source: YouTube)

See this documentary on him, with a scene in which he handles a cardboard Moon sickle.

Hatzidakis: "Einai ena hartino fengari ..." (Source: Screenshot)

Hatzidakis: “Einai ena hartino fengari …” (Source: Screenshot)

When is the Moon sickle on the left and when is it on the right ?

Astronomer Peter Barthel of Groningen university did a small sociological study that showed that people tend to portray a Moon sickle on the left also for early times in the evening, e.g. when children are still up and sing Xmas songs. In reality the evening has a right sickle, while the left sickle appears around four o’clock in the morning. See this paper in arxiv or this other in the Guardian on Xmas cards or this Dutch Talkshow in 2011. Barthel is a proponent for more attention to science in the public sphere.

Barthel’s conference on the Star of Bethlehem, October 2014

On the occasion of Groningen university’s anniversary of 400 years, Professor Barthel of the Kapteyn institute teamed up with Geurt (George) van Kooten, professor of New Testament and Early Christianity, and they organised a conference on the Star of Bethlehem. Professor Heino Falcke took the liberty to write this early report, in anticipation of the book that will be published by Brill.

Michael Molnar‘s proposition of his 1999 book The Star of Bethlehem: The Legacy of the Magi gets much attention by Falcke. Let me copy his copy of Molnar’s coin and the superimposed trajectory of Jupiter, and let me quote Molnar from his website.

Ancient coin with path of Jupiter 6 BC (Source: Michael Molnar, website)

Ancient coin with path of Jupiter 6 BC (Source: Michael Molnar, website)

“Superposed on the photograph of the coin is what I found: Jupiter underwent two occultations (“eclipses”) by the Moon in Aries in 6 BC. Jupiter was the regal “star” that conferred kingships – a power that was amplified when Jupiter was in close conjunctions with the Moon. The second occultation on April 17 coincided precisely when Jupiter was “in the east,” a condition mentioned twice in the biblical account about the Star of Bethlehem. In August of that year Jupiter became stationary and then “went before” through Aries where it became stationary again on December 19, 6 BC. This is when the regal planet “stood over.” – a secondary royal portent also described in the Bible. In particular, there is confirmation from a Roman astrologer that the conditions of April 17, 6 BC were believed to herald the birth of a divine, immortal, and omnipotent person born under the sign of the Jews, which we now know was Aries the Ram. Furthermore, the coins of Antioch and ancient astrological documents show that there was indeed a Star of Bethlehem as reported in the biblical account of Matthew. ” (Michael Molnar)

PM. Molnar refers to Firmicus Maternus at the time of Constantine in particular, but that is too late for our purposes. Interestingly, there is mention of Nero’s horoscope and Halley’s comet in 66 AD, which might give some credibility of Flavius Josephus’s story that he provided Vespasian that the latter would be the new king to rule the entire world. But FJ refers to an ancient tale and not the recent heavenly signs. And this still is 70 AD and not 6 BC.

Addendum December 24: It took me a while to find the criticism but here it is: Aaron Adair attended the Groningen Conference too, and this is his Summary. He is highly critical of Molnar’s approach, e.g. the Antioch coin and Aries sign would have no proper connection to the Holy Land. This is Adair’s book on the SoB, this is a refutation of Molnar’s review of Adair’s book, and this is Adair’s major criticism on Molnar:

“But if instead one sees what the texts says and to what purpose it was written, it makes so much more sense that the author of Matthew was not writing history, his Star was purposefully miraculous, and was written to show that Jesus was God’s anointed one, the Morning Star, son of the Dawn (Isaiah 14:12).”  (Aaron Adair)

Jesus – Discussion of Jona Lendering’s new book “Israël verdeeld” (Israel divided)

Readers of this weblog know that I wrote a book The simple mathematics of Jesus (2012). The analysis shows that the Bible actually is an astrological book. Jesus wasn’t born in reality. There are stories overall, and the scene with the three magi may be taken from Alexander the Great or such. Jesus is the proverbial scape-goat born in Capricorn to be sacrificed on Easter (while Barabbas is the other goat that is set free into the wilderness, see this example in Yom Kippur).

Dutch historian Jona Lendering of the website now in 2014 published a book Israël verdeeld (in Dutch) claiming a historical Jesus. Apparently he did not study my analysis. Stagnation again.

My discussion on the book:  How a mainstream historical method creates its own Jesus.

We tend to hear ever more horror stories. Those are often scare mongering and false reporting. Some people don’t quite understand what this is, however. They haven’t developed the antenna yet. We should have classes in school and at boxes where they sell newspapers to train people to keep their cool.

As an example, let me consider the scary notion that Greek music is going down the drain too.

Γιάννης Μαρκόπουλος – Yannis Markopoulos

Yannis Markopoulos is likely the best composer of Greece, with Vassilis Tsitsanis a good second and Mikis Theodorakis perhaps a third – though the editors of wikipedia call him the first: which proves that wikipedia is unreliable.

While Dalaras gave this concert in tribute to Tsitsanis, it happens too often that you think that the Tsitsanis original has more power. The band is fine, that is not the problem, but it is eventually only because Dalaras puts all his energy into it that the concerts comes alive, say after minute 25.

While there is a decent Dalaras website, there is only a small Markopoulos facebook page. The maestro is 75 and may not have the impulse to join the web. This is a pity for all his potential fans. Check this video that is on his page – but sadly the only one. Perhaps we must hope: is under renewal.

Yannis Markopoulos (Source: video screenshot)

Yannis Markopoulos (Source: video screenshot)

Ελευθερία Αρβανιτάκη – Eleftheria Arvanitaki

Eleftheria (Freedom) is already for many years a sensation and worthy follower in the tradition of great singers like Nana Mouskouri, Maria Farantouri and Haris Alexiou. Eleftheria has done her best with her website but it doesn’t help her much.

Here is a concert in 1999, in which Eleftheria only has to sing for 10 minutes and can do this for a huge audience.

Eleftheria Arvanitaki in 1999 - 10 minutes with a huge audience (Source: screenshot)

Eleftheria Arvanitaki in 1999 – 10 minutes with a huge audience (Source: screenshot)

Compare this with a concert in 2011, only 12 years later, in which she has to perform under much worse conditions: she has to sing for 142 minutes (2:22 hours), has to dress up much more sexy and throw kisses into the audience, and only attracts a small audience in some cafe, who neglect her while they eat, drink, talk, sing and clap and whistle while she is performing.

Eleftheria Arvanitaki in 2011 (Source: screenshot)

Eleftheria Arvanitaki in 2011 (Source: screenshot)


These are some of the best artists. When you have a wine cellar and your best wines are gone then you know what this means for the rest. From this we conclude that Greek music is going down the drain too.

Scary, isn’t it ?