Saturday, January 8, 2011

On Nimrod and Christmas Trees - part I

“WHERE did we get CHRISTMAS? … From the Bible or from paganism?”
-Herbert Armstrong, “The Plain Truth About Christmas”, 1970, p. 5

A great question! But it's a false dilemma. 
It suggests there are only two possibilities - Biblical or pagan. I suggest there is another possibility. 

In my last post, The Plain Truth About December 25th, we saw that there is compelling evidence to believe that Christians did not co-opt the date of Christmas from the pagans but rather the early Christians calculated the day. 
(I also recommend you read our article "Jeremiah 10 and Christmas Trees".)
After that post, I started noticing people asking where the idea of Nimrod and Christmas trees came from. I decided it was worth a look. So that's what this post is going to be about. The answers were surprising to me. I’m definitely going to have to make this a two-parter.
Today, we are going to see that Nimrod is supposedly connected to Christmas trees by way of two other gods named Cybele and Attis. We're also going to see that this is bunk. But first we have to fish through a barrel of various gods to try and find what is actually being claimed.

MUSICAL GODS

To get answers I first needed to get specific details about the claims. Those had to come from Herbert Armstrong and Alexander Hislop. I started by opening Herbert Armstrong’s booklet “The Plain Truth About Christmas.”
Beginning on page 10 we are treated to a tale about Nimrod.
After Nimrod’s untimely death, his so-called mother-wife, Semiramis, propagated the evil doctrine of the survival of Nimrod as a spirit being. She claimed a full-grown evergreen tree sprang overnight from a dead tree stump, which symbolized the springing forth unto new life of the dead Nimrod. On each anniversary of his birth, she claimed, Nimrod would visit the evergreen tree and leave gifts upon it. December 25th was the birth of Nimrod. This is the real origin of the Christmas tree.
-Herbert Armstrong, “The Plain Truth About Christmas”, 1970, p. 10
Well, it turns out there is nothing to substantiate this. It is completely made up.

HWA took this without reference from Alexander Hislop's "The Two Babylons" page 98
Hislop produces an illustration of an old coin with a snake wrapped around a tree stump (see "figure 27" on p. 98 of Hislop's book), and then Hislop proceeds to manufacture a story from the illustration.  


Ralph Woodrow, in his book "The Babylon Connection" (we've written about this several times in the past, see our article "The Babylon Connection"), reveals to us that Hislop regularly took illustrations and manufactured entire myths from them.

Was it Osiris?

Hislop seems to be referencing the myth of Osiris, since he mentions a god being chopped into pieces. But the details of the myth of Osiris do not match what Hislop has written here. (I will go over Osiris and Horus in part II.)

Was it Adonis?

Hislop could also have Adonis in mind, since he referenced Adonis on page 97. 
Ovid, in "Metamorphoses" book ten, does say Adonis was born when his mother was transformed into a Myrrh tree as punishment for her sins, but that doesn't match what Hislop has written.
Ovid also says Adonis was gored by a boar and turned into windflowers
and neither an evergreen nor a tree stump are mentioned in his death at all, so that doesn't match what Hislop has written either.

These details are no details at all. So now what?

Back to Herbert Armstrong's booklet on Christmas...

On page 11, HWA mentions that Semiramis and Nimrod are known by other names. Listed among them are Cybele and Deoius (he takes this without reference from Hislop's "The Two Babylons" page 20.) Ah! That gives us something to go on.

Was it Deoius?

Do a Google search on Deoius. Why does this name only come matched with “the worship of Semiramis” and only as referenced by Alexander Hislop? This is made up, too.
Shocking as these facts are, they are the plain facts of history and the Bible!
-Herbert Armstrong, “The Plain Truth About Christmas”, 1970, p. 13
But Cybele, she’s legit... and there's a pine tree involved!

CYBELE

There was once an ancient goddess from Asia Minor whose name is most likely Kybele (Cybele is her Greek name). Philippe Borgeaud has much to say about Cybele in his book “Mother of the Gods

Borgeaud believes the origins of the goddess are rather ancient, but the oldest remaining evidence we have comes from a rock carving in Phrygia from around the early 6th century BC with the inscription “Mater Kubeleia” (Cybelian Mother). 
Notice that this is some 1,500 years after Nimrod and nearly a thousand miles away. Liken that to finding graffiti spray-painted on a wall in Serbia and attributing it to Emperor Justinian's mother.

I should note that Borgeaud starts his book by denying the theory that all mother goddesses are interrelated (there may be many ancient mother goddesses from many ancient cultures, but that doesn’t mean they are all versions of the same goddess). Borgeaud also denies that Cybele is Mary the mother of Jesus. This is in line with what the current majority view among Biblical historians.

As we make our way down through history, across Greece and into Rome, into the second century AD, Cybele was then paired with a male god named Attis. This is where the plot starts to thicken.

ATTIS

There are many divergent stories about Attis, and compelling evidence that the Attis myth adopted various features of Christianity, but it’s the evergreen tree specifically that brings Attis to our attention.

Arnobius of Sicca, in his book “Against Pagans book V chapter 7, tells one of the various tales where Attis castrates himself beneath an evergreen tree, bleeds to death, and violets spring up from his blood and grow up into the nearby tree.

Why does this interest us? Two reasons:

First, because of Hislop’s claims about Nimrod and the evergreen tree. 
We can see that things are not as Hislop would lead us to believe. An evergreen is involved, but these rituals are uniquely about Cybele and Attis, uniquely Rome; not Nimrod, not Babylon – and not Catholic.
We can safely dismiss the supposed connection between Nimrod and Cybele/Attis. Therefore we can also dismiss the supposed connection between Nimrod and all evergreen trees. Especially this one.


Second, because of HWA’s claims about Cybele/Attis and the Christmas tree. 
Even if we do dismiss the connection between Nimrod and Cybele/Attis, we should still ask, are there any similarities between Cybele's tree and the Christmas tree?
You might want to buckle up for this.


SIMILARITY TO CHRISTMAS TREE?

In ancient Rome there were festivals called “Hilaria.” There were many of these throughout the year, but we are interested in one particular Hilaria that honored Cybele. Again, Against Pagans book V gives a description of this particular festival:
What mean the fleeces of wool with which you bind and surround the trunk of the tree? Is it not to recall the wools with which Ia covered the dying youth, and thought that she could procure some warmth for his limbs fast stiffening with cold? What mean the branches of the tree girt round and decked with wreaths of violets? Do they not mark this, how the Mother adorned with early flowers the pine which indicates and bears witness to the sad mishap?” (Chapter 16.)
That pine which is regularly born into the sanctuary of the Great Mother, is it not in imitation of that tree beneath which Attis mutilated and unmanned himself, which also, they relate, the goddess consecrated to relieve her grief?” (Chapter 17.)
Roger Pearse has more in his articles “Attis – A Useful Dissertation” and “Festival of Cybele Today?

So the cult of Cybele took an evergreen and decorated it with garlands of violet flowers specifically. The trunk was wrapped in wool. Are any of these things done to a Christmas tree? No. 

People may stick on the point that garlands were used, but the garlands were violets specifically. Just like with the wool, the violets had a specific meaning and that is why they were used. This was not just decorating a tree; there were no bulbs, no ornaments, no lights, no tree skirt, no tinsel, no star on top.

Just so that you're aware, garlands in themselves aren’t uniquely pagan.
There were garlands of precious metals decorated with bulbs shaped like pomegranates on the Temple in Jerusalem (II. CHR. 3: 16).
Chains
: Strong’s H8333 “
shar-sher-aw' a chain; (architecturally) probably a garland: - chain.
The NKJV even uses the word “wreaths.”

A FUNERAL?

But there’s more!
What was done with the evergreen tree after this?


It was put on a cart and taken by procession to the temple of Cybele on Palatine Hill in Rome. This from Roger Pearse’s article “Carmen Adversus Paganos”:
We have seen lions bearing yokes wrought in silver, [10] when joined together they pulled creaking wooden wagons, and we have seen that man holding silver reins in both his hands. We have seen eminent senators following the chariot of Cybele which the hired band dragged at the Megalensian festival, carrying through the city a lopped-off tree trunk, and suddenly proclaiming that castrated Attis is the Sun.
[10] The lions of Cybele; see M. Vermaseren, Cybele and Attis, London 1977, pp. 96ff.
Do we do this with Christmas trees? No. 
Does anyone place it on a cart and walk it through town? No.
People may stick on the point that the tree was set up for display. Well, there is no evidence that it was "set up" for display. It probably just stayed on the cart. That is as superficial a similarity as I can think of.

But there’s more still!
What was done with the tree once it reached the temple?

First they would mourn for it, and then they would hold a funeral for it.
You see, the cart was a funerary procession, not a joyous parade. There are a good number of people who report that they would even bury it.
That's right! They would hold a funeral for it, and then bury it.
 

Some people claim the funeral was only symbolic. Does it matter?
The last thing most people would think to do with their Christmas tree is to give it a funeral. Checking the facts about the story seems to be important, wouldn't you agree? I can't believe how we were told half-truths!

IN THE SPRING?

But there’s even more still! 
Everyone knows that Christmas is on December 25th. Do you know when the Hilaria took place?

On March 22nd, in a festival called Arbor Intrat (the Tree Enters), the tree was cut down and taken in procession to the temple of Cybele. 
The next day was a day of mourning. 
The next day, Sanguis (the Day of Blood), is when they held the funeral. 
The day after that, March 25th, was the official Hilaria for Cybele where there was much rejoicing (you might say, it was hilarious.)

I try not to quote WikiPedia unless I'm making a point that the information is so available anyone can find it, but read the WikiPedia article on Hilaria.

SUMMARY

A funeral in March for a tree under which a man castrated himself and bled until violets sprung up is supposedly the same as a Christmas tree? These are "the plain facts of history and the Bible"??  I couldn't disagree more. 
This was sold to us as truth - God's truth. God have mercy on the people who are so malicious against the truth and their fellow Christian!

HWA and Hislop have willfully distorted the facts. The only similarity here is that the trees are pine.

Evergreen trees were used in their pagan rituals, this is true, but this was a spring funeral ritual, not a winter birth celebration. If anything, we would expect to see "Easter trees" at Eastertide. But there are none. 

And don’t forget that God also used evergreen trees - as palms are an evergreen - in His worship (NEH. 8: 14-17). Garlands with fruit-shaped bulbs were on His very temple (II. CHR. 3: 16). 

If HWA’s point was to make Attis’ evergreen into one and the same as a Christmas tree, then why are we seeing these outrageous differences, distortions, and omissions?
Oh, how I wish I had the means and desire to check these details long ago.

In the next post, I will look into another story from Hislop with another pair of gods from Egypt.


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It is important that you understand; Everything on this blog is based on the current understanding of each author. Never take anyone's word for it, always prove it for yourself, it is your responsibility. You cannot ride someone else's coattail into the Kingdom. ; ) Acts 17:11
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24 comments:

Bill said...

I'm reminded of the practice in some Catholic countries where they make representations of saints, place them on carts, and parade them through their village, not unlike how Pasadena would have the Rose Parade in the dead of winter, which the students at Ambassador participated in.

xHWA said...

Indeed.

Have you heard of the UCG "Winter Festival" which is held around Christmas time?
Quite interesting that they would do such a thing.

Luc said...

Great research x.

Elijah said...

As for Christmas yule log. The Greeks give Noah the date Dec 25 as his Christmas star
because their Noah's Flood is placed in 2958bc when the date Kayak 25 is Dec 25.
They get this from merging two different Christmas, the concept that Noah was the first Christ
to heaven because the seance speaking to Xisuthros (Christis) for 40 days (2021bc Dec 25 to Feb 2)
and the concept that Peleg Mesanipada (death 2030bc May 6) went to heaven
so upon creating the Egyptian calendar on 2030bc July 17 (Persian Pamenot 1)
the date in leap year 2029bc is Kayak 25 was on the Leo Saturnalia of May 5.
Reu Aanipada (the world's first human king) would not commit suicide to be with his father Peleg Mesanipada in heaven, yet Haran Alumdug received word in his city Harran to come back to Ur
to his grandfather Nahor Meskalumdug and they would go.
The tomb consists of the two of them, and 63 wives and 4 guards all poisoned.
These 69 proves they were joining Peleg as a chosen 70.
Lot's mother (pregnant or nursing) stayed home in Harran 500 miles away.
This occurred 2 years before Haran's brother Abram was born.
That Kayak 25 was made Christmas in Egypt after one year of founding the
city of Memphis with the 365-day calendar by Hyksos who had come from
Ur and from Hittite Ararat having been led to Canaan form Ararat by Shem Melchizedek
who set up Salem at Mount Moriah.
Noah did not die until 8 years later. The visit of Gilgamesh is dated to Noah being 930
like Adam in 2040bc because it specifically lists Damuzi (Mars or Tamuz) making its
retrograde U-turn in Scorpio when Venus rises from her 8-day death. This does not occur
again until the days of king Amizaduga (1646-1625bc) when the poem is rewritten with a dead Noah that Gilgamesh cannot actually visit. As for Nimrod's Christmas, the memorial of Noah's death (Dec 25) is Persian Mesor 14 in 2021bc
and by 1770bc it leaps 62 days to (Egyptian date ) Paopi 16. This Dec 25 memorial
becomes Kayak 25 in 1498bc, but the calendar was flipped 180 days at exodus
so that Payni becomes the 10th month and thus the Dec 25 in 788bc when Greeks
create Dec 25.
But the seasonal 251-year Venus known as Shem-Ramis (Shem-honored as 502 years
2370-1868bc, not Nimrod's death at 500 as 2270-1770bc) is Dec 23 not Dec 25 because it has the same Gregorian date Dec 8 as Noah's death. Thus Nimrod's Shem-Ramis Venus is 2 days before Noah's Christmas death memorial.
Further, this matching Venus between Nimrod's death and Noah's death is after
Nimrod died because as Noah died at 949 before Egyptian new year 350 (July 14), so too
Nimrod died at 499 before the Egyptian new year 600 (May 13, remember 62 leap days).
Of which Tamuz is July 10 the same day as The Phoenix (Venus firebird), and is not to be confused
with the Shem dove-bird, nor is Venus 500 years, but 502. So because Nimrod died before May 13
then his Christmas Venus of 1770bc is after his death by at least 10 months.
It is after the Tamuz by 5 months. And after Hamurabi's new Thoth Marduk (Nov 9, which started the 3744-year
armageddon countdown in this year 2256am) by a month.
So why do all the little whore churches, the daughters of the bigger whores accept all these lies
about the original Chroistmas just so they can slam their mother whore
when in fact they beleive in the same trinity god or the immortal soul for everyone to get to heaven?
Quit calling unclean the things God has cleansed (with truth).
There are exact dates to prove every version of Christmas and it is not Nimrod,
though he is thrown into every affiliation of it due to the idea of going to heaven.
If you wish to see my credentials then go Amazon.com
to the books, paperback
THE BOOK OF CALENDARS
and note the corrections i made in 1984 and posted for that book.

Elijah said...

Noah died in 2021bc on Dec 25, the morning that Venus rose
180 days after inferior solar conjunction. He died in the Egyptian year 349
which becomes 350 in 2020bc on July 14, thus he was not actually 950 yet.
However, the 360-day calendar has a new year of 954 on Sep 9 of 2021bc
because the calendar gains 5 years since the astral impact of the Flood
(that impact was 2370bc Nov 20 Greg.Oct 31 which started Noah packing
for 7 days. Being year 954 when he died, they give him the 950 years.
The Pharaoh was created year 350 (July 14), and then Narmer (Nimrod)
unified the kings of the 42 cities (nomes) for the new year 955 (2020bc Sep 4).
It is not 955 years from an Egyptian Flood (3090-3089bc) to the 11th dynasty
(2134bc). The 11th dynasty began in 1986bc with the Capricorn Saturnalia
(29.5 year Saturn) and ruled 43 years until Abram came at 75.

Elijah said...

My mistake (the Dec 25 resurrection of Noah having last fallen asleep on Dec 24 is Persian Mesor 15 and 40th day to Thoth 24 the Zoroaster Christmas eve of Feb 2 in 2020bc). Thus 251-year Gregorian Semiramis to the year Nimrod died at 500 is 1770bc Dec 23 on Paopi 15, and Noah's Christmas Memorial is 2 days later on Paopi 17 (not 16 as this posted error of mine) so this 8-17-600 (2256am) becomes after exodus 2-17-600 in 2256am and results in the false long chronology.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Virgil the poet talk of decorating trees for bacchus?

xHWA said...

Virgil said that they hung images of Bacchus on trees, yes. And that is all that he said.
The tradition apparently was one where people would tie ropes to trees and swing from them. However, to prevent from getting hurt, they started tying images of Bacchus to the tree so he could hang there.

This Bacchus tradition does not seem to flow out of the Egyptian traditions.

I see no direct correlation between that and the Christmas tree either. What's more, if this is the true origin, then it cannot be any of the other things people claim.

I require a lot more than mere what barely even seems to be surface similarity. That a tree was involved is insufficient for me. There has to be an actual line of evidence leading from one place (Bacchus, Rome, 100 BC) to another place (Christmas, Germany, 1500's AD).

I mean no offense when I say this but it appears to me to be a very desperate reach to say "didn't a poet say these people do this thing?" and, disregarding the details of what actually went on, from that alone insinuate an entire history of a tradition. Far and away too much is missing.

Anonymous said...

What about Tammuz? Wasn't he born on December 25th and a tree was included? I have come across article claiming this.

xHWA said...

Tammuz and Adonis are pretty much the exact same thing.

Anonymous said...

I understand your points but I am still curious. I checked some sources and some of them said that men would castrate their "balls" to the tree of Attis and this is where our tree "balls" came from. People say it doesn't matter when the Hilaria was, it's the "concept" they are concerned about. Is this valid reasoning and are these information credible? Michael Rood says that Ra castrated himself and people would kneel before the tree, the phallic symbol. Please do correct me if I'm wrong. TY for your time again. GB.

Elijah said...

Very dangerous to say, same thing and not the same thing. Is it proper to call a broom handle as phallic and then ban your women from flying off on broom handles? Ban the broom? Should we ban the sun from crossing the horizon or crossing overhead? Do you measure the noon sun at sunrise? Can the whole world watch the sunrise at noon. Or is that like saying happy hour somewhere in the world and the time is 420. This is why semantics (confusion in language) is linked to deliberately rebelling. Even good intent is witch-hunting the planted wheat that Jesus said leave it alone, dont kill the children, let them grow. We look at nipping in the bud as preventing rapid corruption, yet anyone will eventually become evil anyways if they dont have a true heart to avoid it. Jesus included the example of his own death as the good people seeking to find fault and kill others for God. So is Tamuz also Adonis? yes they are both Mars. And yet Tamuz means the Tau of Damuzi (crossing of Damuzi in absent death behind the sun), and Mars means The Son, and Adonis means The Lord. American Ra or British Re is (sun) Ray born on day 40 of the Flood when the water canopy was gone. Ray is the days when the sun makes shadows that draw precision lines. If the sun is a blur in stratus clouds then it is not Ray today. To hear people talk about the balls of the sun and his penis is like factory talk where they love talking about the nuts and bolts and maybe one of the women is looking for a long one. It is rebellious trash people and the evangelical accusation against the Catholic Church merely joins the filth though opposing it. They create filth that was not there. The 12th dynasty of Egypt (1943-1730bc) did not have this filth. It is a post 12th dynasty behavior that eventually raised Moses who did learn from school what the Egyptians failed to and yet all got their diplomas. January should be named after Moses not Jannes because Jannes is a lying thief the way Edison stole it all from Tesla and has his name all over too. For a certainty the Christmas 2021bc Dec 25 is the Greek date of Noah's death in year 349 after the Flood 2370bc, and by making Noah's birth in 2970bc the reconstructed Flood, they claimed that it was Nimrod who died in year 949 that same date in 2021bc Dec 25 at age 500. In this way they ptake Nimrod's birth 100 years after the Flood andthey make it 100 years after Noah's death. So they steal the claim that Noah went to heaven, and they say its the lie that Nimrod went to heaven. BOTH are wrong, like evangelists who accuse Catholics of penis worship in doctrine, while they bash moral society and still slip up in fornications like any elder or any minister. It's the same boat, all guilty. If this asteroid takes orbit early Saturday your days are numbered awaiting the blood of Lamb. Jesus is the groom, and the bride dies the same way he did. God offered his son, now the son offers his wife.

xHWA said...

Hi GB!

I understand that outside of Rome the priests of Cybele (called Galli) were eunuchs. That much is apparently true. But I have not read anything that I would consider authoritative or trustworthy that claims the priests would nail their testicles to a tree of Attis. That claim seems to be made up.

In fact, this very practice of castration was outlawed in Rome. If castration was limited to the priesthood outside of Rome, and ordinary Romans were forbidden to emasculate themselves, then I find it highly improbable that the practice was so common among the general public that it made its way to us on the Christmas tree.

So, as far as I can tell you, that claim has every sign of being false.

As for the claim of that practice being where Christmas tree ornaments originally came from, that is demonstrably false. The history of ornaments is known.

The ornaments had nothing to testicles. They had everything to do with fruit. Fruit and treats were hung by the Germans on the early Christmas trees. Apples specifically were used because they represented the fruit on the two trees in the Garden of Eden.
Real fruit became craft-work fruit, and that became decorated objects of all sorts.
There exists no small amount of historical documentation to show this out. What doesn't exist at all, however, is any evidence to display any link between testicles and ornaments. Ra, Attis, or otherwise.

Keep in mind "Balls" is an English word. No one calls the ornaments "balls" but the English and no one calls testicles "balls" but the English. The ornaments and the tree are not English.

It seems to me that what the people you read did is they saw a link between testicles and ornaments in the modern English word "balls", then they transferred that backwards in time 2,000 years to a completely different language and culture. I have a major issue with that.

I had never even thought to ask what profanity the Latins used for testicles, but a quick search leads me to believe they didn't relate testicles with "balls". So apparently the link really is only in the modern English.

I have read a few things about Ra castrating himself. But Ra was a crazy jumble of a lot of things that changed over time. I would go so far as to say there wasn't just one Ra, but many.
So we must ask, which Ra? When? Where? Was it really that popular? And, of course, can we demonstrate any link between Ra (or Attis) and the Germanic Christmas tree?

I dare say we cannot.

Hope that helps GB! May God continue to bless you as you search.

Elijah said...

Maybe it was the golden rod and hickory nuts of Yule Gibbons

Anonymous said...

Thanks and I don't intend to be disrespectful. Didn't Xenofon talk about this? Herodotus describes how Xerxes, during his long campaign against the Greeks in 480 B.C., stopped on the royal route and saw a plane tree, the sacred tree of the Iranian plateau, which was so majestic and beautiful that he decorated it with golden ornaments? Ornaments? Thanks again, please do respond.

xHWA said...

Oh, I have not seen anything disrespectful about your comments! It is always a healthy thing to investigate a matter. Nothing disrespectful about that.

I have not read Herodotus regarding Xerxes. Or at least I haven't read it in so long I really can't recall the details. I will have to look it up again before I can comment too much.

But my initial comment would be that if Xerxes did invent the Christmas tree, then it wasn't Nimrod nor any of the other sources cited previously. This claim would have the effect of disproving all other claims.

Also, we would then have to set out finding some evidence that links this act by Xerxes on the Iranian plateau to the Germans of the 15th century.

In the mean time, I'm off to dig up Herodotus!

Elijah said...

Look this is getting ludicrous. God decoates trees with fruit and flowers and nuts, and you want to know who did it first. How is it you think some king commanded it be done before anyone did it. Is this not like saying no one married until a king created a license. Is it not like saying who was the first man to kiss his mother? I cannot imagine decorating a tree just for fun did not exist before some command or holiday or king? Was there a first broom, did it have a handle, and who was the first witch whore to ride one? LUDICROUS and wasteful vanity when other corruptions are far worse and you worry who started it instead of the fact it once did not exist, and someone should purge it.

xHWA said...

Elijah,

Granted this can really get to a certain extreme. I agree. But people have worries. They want to know for a fact that if they do such and such a thing, is it in honor of some pagan god or is it in honor of Christ. I think it's a valid thing to wonder.
At least, to a point.

I have answered the question for myself a couple years ago, when the lengths to which people had to go got so far-fetched it was definitely absurd.
But if it helps someone to silence those little voices in their mind that nag at them, I'm willing to take a few minutes out of my day to look up some obscure, arcane fact.

xHWA said...

History of Herodotus, Book 7, verse 31:

"31. Where it quits Phrygia and enters Lydia the road separates; the way on the left leads into Caria, while that on the right conducts to Sardis. If you follow this route, you must cross the Maeander, and then pass by the city Callatebus, where the men live who make honey out of wheat and the fruit of the tamarisk. Xerxes, who chose this way, found here a plane-tree so beautiful, that he presented it with golden ornaments, and put it under the care of one of his Immortals. The day after, he entered the Lydian capital."

So, yes Herodotus does show that Xerxes passed a "Plane Tree", which is a Sycamore, and he supposedly did decorate it.

Now, what this had to do with a Christmas tree has yet to be determined.

The tree was a deciduous tree, not an evergreen. It was not cut down. It was not brought into a home. The time of year was not winter. The act was not religious. Nor was it ever repeated again.

I suspect that Xerxes has a special love for Plane Trees since a wealthy man named Pythius had once given Xerxes father, Darius, a golden Plane Tree. This same Pythius also funded Xerxes war.
Nothing says this outright. It's just my speculation. Could be very wrong.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you but there are some people I know, who will try to escape this fact (if Xerxes was the origin then it can't be Nimrod) by saying,"Well, Nimrod is the real tree decorating origin but Xerxes and Bacchus are the copiers of Nimrod just following his tree tradition." Does this make any sense at all what they are saying? Thanks again.

xHWA said...

Oh, I couldn't agree with you more that there are people who will try to escape everything I've written with all sorts and forms of excuses! I have personally experienced it so very many times. Both here and on other venues. That is both unfortunate and unavoidable.

At that point, I would stand on evidence. I would respond with, "You may disagree, but at least I have evidence and documented sources for my claims. Where are yours? IF Nimrod is the real origin, then prove it!"

Because the fact is, they cannot prove it. They can assert and claim and excuse, but they cannot prove.

Their only source for any Nimrod claim (if they even have a source) is eventually going to trace back to Alexander Hislop, who has been proven wrong over and over and over again.
Some people have cited websites, and those trace back to Hislop. Some people have cited publications, and those trace back to Hislop. Some people have cited YouTube videos, and those trace back to Hislop. No matter what they claim about Nimrod, if they bother to cite a source at all, their "evidence" always leads back to Alexander Hislop.

And notice the centuries-wide gaps in their "evidence". Xerxes (around 500 BC) got it from Nimrod (around 2000 BC BC), and that's how the Germans got it (1500's AD).
Thousands of years of gaps there.
None of it explained. None of it documented. And all of it packaged along with other material that has been proven false taken from sources that have been proven false to reach a conclusion that is supposedly true???

Anonymous said...

Many also make this a salvation issue. "Your eternal destiny depends on this," they assert. Moreover they go on to make something evil out of every Christmas tradition like the Santa hat is supposedly "Mithra's Phrygian cap" and the star "on top of the tree is a pentagram" and "Mithra was born on December 25th" and "priests attached their "balls to trees" and all that stuff. Please excuse my speaking of Christmas a little too much although Christmas is gone. Thanks again.

xHWA said...

I agree, Anonymous. They do that very thing. And without any documented proof. In fact, contrary to documented proof.

If it were true, then why do they need to lie about it and use bad sources and falsified claims?

Please, do not feel bad for discussing Christmas here. I don't mind. Just glad we could be of some help to you.

linda said...

Who was the man who had people put up a Christmas tree in honor of himself or if they didn't he would have their first born killed