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Biblical Character
    (circa 1 BC- )
    (Circa 1 BC)
    Appears in Matthew 2:1-13
    Zoroastrian astrologers, probably from Persia (modern-day Iran)
    Reportedly followed the Star of Bethlehem to visit the baby Jesus (circa 1 B.C.)
    Traditionally called ‘Three Wise Men’ or ‘Three Kings’
    Also known by the names Caspar, Melchior, Balthasar, Larvandad, Hormisdas and Gushnasaph
    Despite the traditional story, there probably were more than three of them, and they weren’t kings.
    Like Shirley MacLaine and Nancy Reagan, they believed in astrology.
    They brought gold, frankincense and myrrh as gifts for the baby Jesus, when diapers and formula would have been more practical.
    They did not tell the evil King Herod where to find the baby, causing him to massacre 14,000 male infants in the country.
    The Anglican Church pissed off traditionalists by suggesting they might have been women.
    Most historians believe their part of the story is pure fantasy.
    They brought gifts to the baby Jesus even though they were of a different religion (why can’t we all just get along?).
    They tried to protect the baby from the wicked King Herod.
    Mary and Joseph probably traded in the gold, frankincense and myrrh for more useful stuff.
    They inspired the popular Christmas carol ‘We Three Kings.’
    An opera for children, ‘Amahl and the Night Visitors,’ was written about them.
    In some Latino cultures, they are said to bring presents to children the night before Epiphany.
    They may have inspired the Santa Claus legend.

Credit: Wieland Kalligaro

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