Tomb of Jesus Christ in Septimania
Claudia Procula

Paul Smith

6 April 2017
Revised 14 October 2017

At: 6:38 PM GMT

The conspiracy theorists believe there could be a “tomb of Jesus Christ” in Septimania and this is the favoured position of the Rennes-le-Château Tourist Industry today. Uncritical books with a tendency towards the fantastic by French author Christian Doumergue are accepted seriously.

Christian Doumergue wrote something similar to this in one of his books – but he was unable to provide the slightest shred of historical evidence.

The legend of Mary Magdalene fleeing to France after the Crucifixion was only first mentioned by Sigebert of Gembloux who lived during the late 11th and early 12th century. His account (Chronicon ab anno 381 ad 1113) was first published in Latin in 1513. The bit about Jesus Christ going with Mary Magdalene was a later addition.

Appeals are made to traditions associated with Claudia Procula, the wife of Pontius Pilate.

The name Procla [Procula] dates from two related apocryphal documents going back to the seventh century:

Paradosis Pilati (“The Handing Over of Pilate”)
Epistola Pilati ad Herodem (“Letter of Pilate to Herod”)

Her name Claudia only dates from 1619, in the Chronicon of Pseudo-Dexter (or Omnimoda Historia). The name Claudia Procula is a later addition.

The tradition of Claudia Procula living in Narbonne is relatively recent and dates from the story by Mathilde Lippens, “La Mort du Juste. Claudia Procula a Fulvia Hersilia” published in 1851.

The promotional trailer for the DVD by Kris Darquis, which of course does not provide any historical facts.

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