Oh boy, another book to put on the list!!!
You can read it for free online here as it was printed in 1900 and is out of copyright. You can download a pdf here.This is an extensively researched analysis of the relationships between astronomical cycles, religious mythology, and the political use of such by leaders, who were set up as gods in ancient times, with mythological alter-egos to fit. Del Mar's research found that these mythologies to be very ancient, adopted far and wide, and typically of a form that would be very recognizable to anybody familiar with Christianity.
These culminated with the great imperial cult of Augustus Caesar, upon which the title is based. As unearthed by Del Mar's research, the mythology and symbolism of the Augustan cult (which itself had been borrowed) had evidently been co-opted by Christianity, almost to a "T".
This is so scholarly and packed with information it can be tedious to take in from start to finish, and may be best read as a "bathroom read," in bits and pieces, especially the chronology of Aeras, in which fascinating facts and abound, peppered with dryly humorous observations about the absurdity of religious cult behavior.
Once enough people "connect the dots," the great importance and prescience of this work will be better known, as will the reason for its having been buried, as well as the need for the Christian disclaimer at the beginning, which may well have been inserted by Del Mar to save his skin.
Religious history buffs, prepare to have your mind blown.
The preface gives an overview of the work. Not sure how it fits the current state of research as I'm not up to speed. I included the "Christian disclaimer" because it was mentioned in the comment quoted by Don Genaro.I found this book whilst browsing around on Archive.org: The Worship of Augustus Caesar: Amazon.co.uk: Alexander Delmar: 9781162581101: Books
THE ABYSS OF MISERY AND DEPRAVITY FROM WHICH
CHRISTIANITY REDEEMED THE ROMAN EMPIRE
CAN NEVER BE FULLY UNDERSTOOD WITHOUT A
KNOWLEDGE OF THE IMPIOUS WORSHIP OF EM-
PERORS TO WHICH EUROPE ONCE BOWED ITS
CREDULOUS AND TERRIFIED HEAD.
WHEN THIS OMITTED CHAPTER IS RESTORED TO THE
HISTORY OF ROME, CHRISTIANITY WILL SPRING
INTO A NEW AND MORE VIGOROUS LIFE ; FOR
THEN ONLY WILL IT BE PERCEIVED HOW DEEP
AND INERADICABLY ITS ROOTS ARE PLANTED,
HOW LOFTY ARE ITS BRANCHES AND HOW DEATH-
LESS ARE ITS AIMS.
THE collection of data contained in this work was originally in-
tended as a guide to the author's studies of " Monetary Sys-
tems." It was therefore undertaken with the sole object of estab-
lishing with precision the dates of ancient history.
It soon appeared that many of the dates were astrological. They
were grafted upon the Ecliptical Cycle and the imaginary incarnations
of the Sun. Such is the case with both the Indian, Chaldean, Egyptian,
Greek and Hebrew dates of remote antiquity. Even the epochs used
by the astronomers, which were in India equal to B. C. 3102, in Baby-
lon B. C. 747 and in Greece B. C. 884, form no exception to this rule.
They are all astrological.
This discovery entirely changed the author's plans. Hitherto the
work had been designed merely as an accessory to other studies: it
now assumed an interest and importance of its own. The employ-
ment of the Ecliptical Cycle for computing the lapse of time fur-
nished a key to the history and progress of ancient astronomy, which
it was hoped might unlock at least one door to the remote past.
It proved to be capable of unlocking many. Meanwhile the author's
attention was drawn to researches of a more practical nature. He
brought the statistical method to bear upon a comparison of dates
from ancient sources, of which he now made a more extensive collec-
tion. The result was the disclosure that the Roman chronology had
been altered, first, to the extent of 78 years (sunk) by Augustus, and
afterwards to the extent of 15 years (restored) by the Latin Sacred
College. It was also perceived that Augustus had changed the Olym-
piads from five-year to four-year intervals, and had thus altered many
Greek and other dates to the extent of 108 years.
He next found that the number of civil months in the year, and
therefore also the number of days in the months and weeks, were al-
tered. The year had been anciently divided into ten months, each
of 36 days, and the months into weeks of nine days. Such was the
case, not only in Rome, but also in the other states of the ancient
world. In Rome, the alteration was made by the Decemvirs; in the
other states it had been made previously. Everywhere it had marked
a revolution in government and religion.
It was at this point that the author resolved to devote himself to
the serious task of tracing the alterations of the calendar and collect-
ing such materials as might enable others to reconstruct the shat-
tered edifice of ancient history. What he saw about him was nothing
but ruins, but beneath those ruins there were evidently building mate-
rials, many of which have since been brought to light
The subject that next engaged his attention was the Jovian cycle
and worship, which could not be confidently traced backward in the
Occident further than the 11th or 12th century before our aera, nor
in the Orient further backward than the 15th century. It followed
that the duodecimal and sexagessimal cycles and institutes which
had been drawn from the orbital period of this planet, were not nearly
so old as had been pretended. A like examination of the progress
of discovery concerning the moon's node and the precession of the
equinoxes yielded analogous results : both were known very anciently,
but not nearly so anciently as had been assumed.
Strengthened by these astronomical aids to research, the entire
series of chronological data were now recast, condensing them as
much as seemed consistent with exhibiting their significance and mu-
tual relations, and afterwards arranging the principal ones in clusters,
with the view to discover their origin and bearing.
The result was the conviction that the basis of all ancient dates is
to be found in the religions of the Orient; and that these religions lie
at the foundation of all the religions of the Occident. In a word, that
religion was never a special creation, but on the contrary, has been
the product of Evolution; an evolution which, beginning in India,
still goes on and will go on forever.
The worship of Augustus has been admitted by so many eminent crit-
ics that there can be no longer any doubt about the fact. Its religious
significance lies in the inferences that are to be drawn from it. With
these, the author has no present concern. His object has been not
to make theological deductions, but to recognize an Historical Truth,
whose admission must, in his belief, precede all attempts to compile
a satisfactory account of the Roman Empire, or of the Middle Ages.
It will be shown upon ample evidences that after the submission of
the Oriental provinces and consolidation of the empire, Augustus
Caesar set himself up for that Son of God whose advent, according
to Indian chronology, synchronised with the reappearance of the
Oriental Messiah; the date being A. U. 691 (B.C. 63) the alleged
year of Augustus' birth; that this claim and assumption appears in
the literature of his age, was engraved upon his monuments and
stamped upon his coins; that it was universally admitted and ac-
cepted throughout the Roman empire as valid and legitimate, both
according to Indian and Roman chronology, astrology, prophesy and
tradition; that his actual worship as such Son of God — DivusFilius —
was enjoined and enforced by the laws of the empire, accepted by
the priesthood and practised by the people ; and that both de jure and
de facto it constituted the fundamental article of the Roman imperial
and ecclesiastical Constitution.
Unless these evidences and conclusions are overthrown it will fol-
low that an entirely new view of the empire, its history, its laws and
its institutes, including the important one of feudalism, will demand
the consideration of historians and students. Hitherto the worship
of Augustus has been kept in the background of Roman antiquities.
It must now either be explained away, or accorded a more prominent
position in the history and constitution of that great empire from
whose womb has issued all the states of the modern world.