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 Post subject: The "Crista"
PostPosted: 20 Feb 2010 3:00 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: The "Crista"
PostPosted: 20 Feb 2010 3:06 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: The "Crista"
PostPosted: 20 Feb 2010 4:41 pm 
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Is there a reference for the first photo?

It looks a little like a reliquary. And would be interesting to know where this is etc.


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 Post subject: Re: The "Crista"
PostPosted: 20 Feb 2010 6:29 pm 
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I don't have a problem with large photos but some people do
I think we can see clearer close up

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 Post subject: Re: The "Crista"
PostPosted: 21 Feb 2010 5:48 am 
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I'm fed up with this nonsense

Where does the Cromlech of Rennes les Bains fit into all this?

Why did the Order of the Solar Temple try to buy the villa Bethania?

Image

Tell me what Alpha and Omega means underneath Jesus and John the Baptist? Tell me why the staff held by John has an angle of 23.5 degrees - The tilt angle of the earth?

Jesus - Feast day 25th December - End of Winter Solstice

John the Baptist - Feast day 24th June = End of Summer Solstice.

The word solstice derives from Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still). The Sun dies for three days and then is resurrected.

“In the Aude, the peasants rather believe in the malignant spirit, the fairies and the underground geniuses than with the Virgin and the Angels”

Gaston Jourdanne: Contribution to the Folklore of the Aude, 1900

Sauniere was born into this tradition.

Image
Jesus - Sun Deity
Magdalene - Moon diety

Image

Quote:
Une dernière opération consista à disposer l’oméga et l’alpha de façon symétrique, à droite et à gauche de la croix que l’on figura, dans la plus pure tradition constantinienne, par un PAX. (Α PAX ω) ou (Α PX ω), et non, comme l’aurait voulu la logique : (Α PAX Ω).


It is NOT PAX - The P is Rho not P. The vertical line is the Rhose line. Rho is the radius of the curvature of the earth at the meridian.

The alpha and Omega is the start and end of the Celtic growing year.

Image
Beltane - Lughnasagh

Quote:
"My dear Roseline, who died on 6 August 1967, the feast of the Transfiguration, while leaving the zero meridian by car." (p. 108)."

Philippe de Cherisey.


The feast of the Transfiguration is Lughnasagh.

Quote:
France
On May 1st, (Beltane) 1561, King Charles IX of France received a lily of the valley as a lucky charm. He decided to offer a lily of the valley each year to the ladies of the court. At the beginning of the 20th century, it became custom on the 1st of May, to give a sprig of lily of the valley, a symbol of springtime. The government permits individuals and workers' organisations to sell them free of taxation. It is also traditional for the lady receiving the spray of lily of valley to give a kiss in return. Now, people may present loved ones with bunches of lily of the valley or dog rose flowers


Yes I know it may not suit the chosen lifestyle of some of you, but it's the truth. I'm sorry about that.

Jesus is nought but another Sun deity, one of hundreds

Next

And Next

There is no trinklet found by Sauniere that everyone knows about but nobody can found out what it is. Sauniere made money from donations from the emerging alternative esoteric groups of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. There is no Jesus bloodline beyond the wishfull thinking of certain Royals who were told from their birth that they had a divine right to rule.

It's extremely likely that Jesus never existed and Sauniere knew this.

"My dear children if only you knew" - Marie Denarnaud

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 Post subject: Re: The "Crista"
PostPosted: 21 Feb 2010 9:23 am 
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 Post subject: Re: The "Crista"
PostPosted: 21 Feb 2010 9:34 am 
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 Post subject: Re: The "Crista"
PostPosted: 21 Feb 2010 9:45 am 
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 Post subject: Re: The "Crista"
PostPosted: 21 Feb 2010 12:22 pm 
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Roger wrote:
I would request that the 1st photo be removed, please.

:x I missed it.


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 Post subject: Re: The "Crista"
PostPosted: 21 Feb 2010 12:43 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: The "Crista"
PostPosted: 21 Feb 2010 1:18 pm 
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Sheila wrote:
Image


How f.i. about another decapitated saint not so far from RLC than Paris?
St. Aphrodisius, first bishop of Beziers, was decapitated by a group of pagans. The head was kicked into a well, but the water gushed out and the decapitated Aphrodisius picked up his own head, and carried it through the city. Townspeople spilled snails on the road and Aphrodisius stepped on them without breaking one. Aphrodisius left his head at the cave that he had previously occupied.
>>>
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aphrodisius

In his church there you find Skull and Crossbones:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/annieinbeziers/2808099569/

More on his church:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/annieinbeziers/sets/72157603980799150/
>>>
... and there is this strange A+S symbol:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/annieinbeziers/2758806181/in/set-72157603980799150/


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 Post subject: Re: The "Crista"
PostPosted: 21 Feb 2010 1:37 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: The "Crista"
PostPosted: 21 Feb 2010 1:46 pm 
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Sheila wrote:
Heads roll, right, left & centre.....decapitation and water makes a good "Holy" drink.


especially in France :D

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cephalophore

P.s check your e mail :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: The "Crista"
PostPosted: 21 Feb 2010 2:38 pm 
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What a really fabulous set of photos at St Aphrodisius,
Many thanks for that Eginolf (and to Annie).

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 Post subject: Re: The "Crista"
PostPosted: 21 Feb 2010 5:05 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: The "Crista"
PostPosted: 21 Feb 2010 9:00 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: The "Crista"
PostPosted: 21 Feb 2010 9:04 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: The "Crista"
PostPosted: 21 Feb 2010 9:53 pm 
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alpha and omega....

http://www.constantinethegreatcoins.com/ROMAE/


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 Post subject: Re: The "Crista"
PostPosted: 22 Feb 2010 4:46 am 
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Sheila wrote:
I'm not disagreeing with you on your last point, about Jesus, or more specifically the Christ, being a solar deity.
He was a sacrificial King...a willing sacrifice at a certain time of year to fulflil a specific function....

Have a look at this interactive map, click & zoom into the Lendit plain just north of Paris & see who the tribe is btw.

http://www.interbibly.fr:80/virtuelles/ ... oom24.html


Sheila the name Tectosages just means Wise builders their correct name was the Volcae Tectosages. Tectosages is not the name of the tribe it's what they were famous in doing.

However the name Tectosages is similar to a Welsh word from Old Irish (Celtic) - techtaigidir. Which means Land Grabber.

THe Volcae Tectosages were the First Galatians or as Plantard put it - Alpha Galates.

It's not only that Jesus is a sun deity it's that Sauniere knew about it from the local tradition he was born into.

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 Post subject: Re: The "Crista"
PostPosted: 22 Feb 2010 4:52 am 
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Sheila wrote:
I thought you would be interested Roscoe because the evolution of the "object" known as the Crista has more to do with the Gaulish gods Cernunnos & Secullus/Belennus.....and absolutely zero to do with Christianity.


Well yes I figured that. There's very little in Christianity and Judaism (and Islam) that hasn't been stolen and reworked.

Sheila wrote:
It is only known as the "crista" by the way because of certain properties it bestows on the user. Read your Virgil.


What properties does it bestow on the user? Telling the time? Navigation? Do you know?

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 Post subject: Re: The "Crista"
PostPosted: 22 Feb 2010 4:59 am 
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Sheila wrote:
Image Image


As to the alpha & the omega....my theory is they have more to do with ritual embalming & mummification than anything else, these are the "plummet" & "isis knot" talismans that accompanied the body on it's journey.
If you add this to what the "Crista" object was actually used for....and who used it....we might get somewhere.


Quote:
7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.


Revelation 1:7-8 (KJV)


Quote:
11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;

13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.

14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;

15And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.


Revelation 1:11-16


Quote:
6And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

7He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

8But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

9And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.

10And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

11Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;


Revelation 22:6-11


Image

It's the Sun.

So tell me where the CROMLECH OF RENNES-LES-BAINS fits into all this? What does the true Celtic language have to do with embalming?

Why did the Order of the Solar Temple try to buy the villa Bethania?

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 Post subject: Re: The "Crista"
PostPosted: 22 Feb 2010 5:39 am 
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tingra wrote:


Didn't Constantine see a cross in the sky?

One

Two

Three

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 Post subject: Re: The "Crista"
PostPosted: 22 Feb 2010 6:11 am 
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Sheila wrote:
The history of the Golden Cross of Toledo.


Where it was first kept; the events which caused it to be adopted by Constantine the Great and the circumstances which placed it in the hands of the Goths and then the Merovingians. Its place in the Cult of the Dead amongst the Celts, and Constantinian Arianism.


During the time of the Celts: the place where this cross was first kept.

"[...] In her work, '" Montjoie & Saint Denis, The center of Gaul - the origins of Paris and Saint-Denis "(Paris, 1989), Anne Lombard-Jourdan [...] has specifically identified the Lendit plain which lies to the north of Paris, the site of the Abbey of St. Denis, as the locus (location) of a Gallic Druidic shrine of great importantance, which was later Romanised as a temple of Apollo and which was considered as the omphalos of the world...the Delphi of Gaul [...] "

"[...] The Lendit plain (now located at the site of the Saint-Denis plain) had a burial mound, the" Montjoie ", and the "Perron", a stone used for sacrifices. This was the place where the boundaries between the territories of the four great Gallic neighbouring nations converged: Bellovaci and Suessiones to the north, Carnutes and Senones to the south. [...] The Parisii were the custodians of this sacred shrine which held a common interest to all the Gallic tribes [...] "

"[...] A deified ancestor, associated with a "solar" figure, was buried under the mound of Montjoie [...]. This was a sacrificial victim whose properties of both good and evil gave rise to a separation of the Parisii territory into two halves, one half called "clear" in the south and the other called "dark" in the North. [...] "





Cult of the Dead at theLendit plain and the ritual murder of St. Denis.


"[...] St. Denis arrived in Paris around the year 250 AD and founded the first church in the île de la Cité.. Because of his resistance to pagan beliefs and his refusal to sacrife to the Gallic gods , he, along with his two companions were martyred on the Lendit and was buried at Montjoie [...]. "

The ritual murder of St. Denis must have led to the integration of local Christianism into the burial rites, which, since time immemorial, were celebrated on the field of the Lendit plain. The remains of the Saint were buried in the same location where the mythological hero of the Parisii tribe who was at the same time both a "guilty scapegoat and deified champion" was once sacrificed. Here, there was indeed an important pagan necropolis, a vast area composed of a multitude of densly piled graves, tombs and burial mounds, entangled over the centuries. It was only in the High Middle Ages, that there came a true "ownership" of this "realm of death" when it was appropriated by the "bishops and the abbots".



The first mention of the Gold Cross of Toledo and its assimilation into the "Tau / Pax" "The Invincible Sun" by Constantine the Great and the Arians:


"[...] Anne Lombard-Jourdan thinks the Fleur de Lys of the twelfth century was derived from a solar symbol revered by the people of Gaul at the Lendit Apollonian temple.....a symbol shaped like a Greek cross with his upper arm divided into two descending curved lines (geminae cristae). This symbol, evoking the rising sun (crista, from crescere "to grow, to get bigger" refers to an upward movement of the newly born sun), and appeared on the crown offered to Constantine the Great in 310 AD during his visit to a shrine in Gaul dedicated to Apollo, the place that Anne Lombard-Jourdan identifies as the Lendit. This symbol is also identified as the "heavenly or celestial sign" ( the PAX or Assyrian-Chaldean TAU), that according to Lactantius appeared to Constantine the Great in 312, which he then ordered to he be inscribed on the shields of his soldiers before the battle of Milvian Bridge. [...] "



"A vast literature [...] presupposes that the propaganda of Constantine.... including those found in the Panegyrici Latini and on the coins of the era, reflects the religious beliefs of the emperor at the same time. [...]
The author of the Panegyric of 310 wrote that Constantine was said to have made sumptuous offerings at a magnificent temple of Apollo in Gaul, and that in this temple Constantine saw the god himself, accompanied by a Victory (the goddess of Victory), and he saw in this vision that it was to Constantine himself that world domination had been promised (Pan. Lat. 6 [7] .21).
For years, researchers have interpreted this to mean that Constantine had professed a kind of Apollonian faith, or that he had actually identified himself with Apollo [...] "

Constantine seems to have possessed from that moment on, a cross of gold with an unusual appearance ...the two descending curving arms (Geminae Cristae). Its design was similar to the shape of two "P's" joined back to back with one another and associated with a bar embedded in the lower part. The general shape of the object appears to have been close to a "B" lying on his back. This is the "cross" that Childebert discovered centuries later in Toledo, which had originally been stored in the sacred vacuum of the Lendit plain before the remains of Saint Denis were removed from the tumulus Montjoie in the fifth century by St. Geneviève.



The Sack of Rome by the Visigoths in 410 AD.


The Gold Cross of Constantine was part of the treasures torn from the city of Rome by the Visigoths. They deposited the precious relic in Toledo, their Spanish capital.
Spanish arian theologians identified the Cross of Toledo, that's to say the "Crista", with the staff of Moses, to which the Prophet had fixed a brazen serpent. By extension, the form of the Golden Cross of Toledo is closer to that of a caduceus, the crests of fire were claimed and attributed to the brazen serpent of Moses, and to the person of Moses himself by the new owners of the "Crista".
So that,even after Childebert claimed and took away the Cross of Gold from Spain, Wamba, king of Visigothic Hispania who reigned from 672 to 681, still persisted in claiming the crests of fire, that is to say the symbol of Constantine. At his coronation, Wamba asked Julianus the bishop of Toledo, to legitimise the Holy Unction that he was about to receive from his hands by giving it the effect of these famous plumes or crests: "[...] Soon, from the summit of his head, where the sacred oil had been poured, a kind of vapor, resembling smoke, rose like a column from the top of his head and from his head a crest began[...] "



Childebert's raids into Spain regain the Golden Cross of Toledo. Germain the Bishop of Paris became its custodian.


In 543 the Merovingian king Childebert 1st made several incursions into Spain, penetrating deep into Visigoth territory. He went back to Paris taking with him two related relics, the Gold Cross of Toledo and the tunic of St. Vincent. Germain the bishop of Paris, becomes the custodian and in 550 decides that Childebert himself should finance the building of the church that will house these relics and that it should be built on the foundations of an ancient temple of Isis.... so there arose the basilica of Saint-Vincent and Sainte-Croix ....the future Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés....which changed its name shortly afterwards, when Queen Radegund and the poet Fortunatus moved the Golden Cross south to Poitiers, and hid it in the monastery of St. Croix, probably in anticipation of any disruption in Paris by marauding hordes.
.




The Merovingians take on the succession of Constantine and claim the Arian inheritance of the emperor: The Cross / Tau of Toledo.


"[...] At the time of the Merovingian era, this symbol, known as the Crista was displayed on the coins, and it survived at the abbey of Saint-Denis, because the Abbots Suger and Rigord mention it cautiously in the twelfth century as a type of ornament. The Merovingian kings were designated and known by the term cristati / crinati by the Byzantines, perhaps in reference to both their hairstyle in a crest (crista) and to their possession of the crista symbol. The Carolingians and early Capetians are represented alongside this symbol in their images of majesty, but in the twelfth century the need, apparently masterminded mainly by Abbot Suger to finalise the christianisation of this ancient solar symbol ( actually already christianised since the early days of early Christians) had clearly caused its assimilation into the Fleur de Lys, more resonant in the semantic plan and similar in terms of form, a graphic evolution [which was] accompanied by textual allegories relating to the flower. [...] "






The Gold Cross of Toledo is moved to Paris. It is kept in the abbey of Saint-Denis, not far from the Lendit plain, its place of origin.


"[...] The abbey of Saint-Denis preserved and exhibited in its church, an incomparable ornament called by the priests: " Crista ". In the early twelfth century, a "Crista" was placed on the main altar of the abbey church of Saint-Denis on the eve of the anniversary of King Dagobert. Later on, Suger was to put this "Crista" above the altar of the new basilica that he had built. This shows the importance that he attached to this symbol. At the end of the twelfth century, Rigord, monk of Saint-Denis, speaks of the "Crista" adorned with gems of an inestimable value, and then.....we loose its trail. [...] "




The ritual murder of St. Denis, the Golden Cross of Toledo and the Lendit plain, becomes the foundation of royal legitimacy, the perogative of the heirs of Constantine and Arianism.


"[...] A cornucopia of hagiographic stories saw the light of day from the ninth century onwards. The most famous was probably the one that was edited by Hilduin, abbot of Saint-Denis...... The Parisian saint (St. Denis) was identified with Dionysius the Areopagite who had been converted by St Paul and commissioned by Pope Clement 1st to come and preach in Paris. In this story it is reported that he was tried and beheaded along with his two companions on the Mons Martyrium (Montmartre). But Denis got to his feet, picked up his severed head, took it in his hands and then walking two miles, he stopped where he wished to be buried, that is to say the place which is now occupied by the abbey of St. Denis. This is of course, a fiction designed to accommodate the story. The author has tried to make an obscure bishop of Paris into a theologian whose fame was the size of the known world at the time. His aim was also to make people forget the old pagan sacred vacuum of the Lendit plain, by locating the place of martyrdom as being that of Montmartre. [...]
This story became very well known and it helped secure the reputation of the abbey as the sole custodian of evidence underpinning the legitimacy of royal power. Because from then on, after the royal coronation which took place at Reims, and before taking possession of his capital, the new king had to go and stay at the Abbey of Saint-Denis. [...] "

"[...] Christianity had first captured the sacredness of this area by assigning the tumulus of Montjoie, centrally located on the Lendit plain, as the site of martyrdom and the place of the tomb of St. Denis; later on the ideologues, for the most part made up of monks from Saint - Denis, built upon the reputation of the site as the foundation of royal legitimacy. [...] "





Faced with persistent criticism about the pagan origins of the "Crista", the theologians of the Gallican Catholic Church tried to assimilate the cross of gold into an inverted omega.


"We soon see, that in order to keep the religious symbolism, the top of the cross has become an inverted omega. [...] Subsequently, the coins minted in Paris present a serif in the place where the junction point of the cross meets. Then the engravers isolate the inverted omega to give it an independent reality. The first Merovingian coins of this type were probably struck by the goldsmith Eloi (Eligius monetarius) between 629 and 640-41, under Clotaire II, Dagobert 1st and Clovis II. It seems that it is to this man that we should attribute the idea of equating the crests with an upside down Omega. "

On the other hand, if the omega existed before, a capital A...alpha, has since been placed below it. There is apparently something contrary to logic here. But the lower case omega is not a Biblical reference its only purpose is that by its form (when turned upside down), it approximates that of the cross.

The upturned omega would finally become separated, the cross evolving into the now familiar Latin form.

A final step consisted in giving the alpha and omega a symmetrical form, to the right and left of the cross in the purest tradition of Constantine, as we now see it , by a PAX. (Α PAX ω) or (Α PX ω), and not, as would be logical.... (A PAX Ω).


The Parisii were from Yorkshire.

This is in Yorkshire
Image
See how the church like to stamp all over previous cultures. It's called ethnic cleansing.

Constantine (The lifelong Pagan) saw a cross in the sky.

Speaking of Eligius

Quote:
"Before all else, I denounce and contest, that you shall observe no sacrilegious pagan customs. For no cause or infirmity should you consult magicians, diviners, sorcerers or incantators, or presume to question them because any man who commits such evil will immediately lose the sacrament of baptism. Do not observe auguries or violent sneezing or pay attention to any little birds singing along the road. If you are distracted on the road or at any other work, make the sign of the cross and say your Sunday prayers with faith and devotion and nothing inimical can hurt you. No Christian should be concerned about which day he leaves home or which day he returns because God has made all days. No influence attaches to the first work of the day or the [phase of the] moon; nothing is ominous or ridiculous about the Calends of January. [Do not] make [figures of?] vetulas, little deer or iotticos or set tables at night or exchange New Years' gifts or supply superfluous drinks. No Christian believes impurity or sits in incantation, because the work is diabolic. No Christian on the feast of Saint John or the solemnity of any other saint performs solestitia [solstice rites?] or dancing or leaping or diabolical chants. No Christian should presume to invoke the name of a demon, not Neptune or Orcus or Diana or Minerva or Geniscus or believe in these inept beings in any way. No one should observe Jove's day in idleness without holy festivities not in May or any other time, not days of larvae or mice or any day but Sunday. No Christian should make or render any devotion to the gods of the trivium, where three roads meet, to the fanes or the rocks, or springs or groves or corners."

The Life of St. Eligius, 588-660
St Eligius, spiritual advisor to the Merovingian kings


If you want the Christian authority's acceptance of all this then look no further than here:

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St Peters Square
Complete with Sundial from Heliopolis (Sun City). With the Twelve looking on.

Repeated by Sauniere in his garden

It's all about control of the populace.

The wheels came off when the Church failed to recognise the Pythagorian Heliocentric model. They still don't

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CROMLECK DE RENNES is here.
It's the SUN


Last edited by roscoe on 22 Feb 2010 8:07 am, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The "Crista"
PostPosted: 22 Feb 2010 6:55 am 
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IbJ took lots of his material from Anne Lombard-Jordan's book on St. Denis that was published in 1989.
Well ... some guys in Oxford don't appreciate her work:
http://fh.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/pdf_extract/6/3/356
>>>
"... a cumulation of hypotheses. Hypotheses that suddenly become certainties, even if they have not been proved."

:?


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 Post subject: Re: The "Crista"
PostPosted: 22 Feb 2010 9:07 am 
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Quote:
IbJ took lots of his material from Anne Lombard-Jordan's book on St. Denis that was published in 1989.
Well ... some guys in Oxford don't appreciate her work:
http://fh.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/pdf_extract/6/3/356
>>>
"... a cumulation of hypotheses. Hypotheses that suddenly become certainties, even if they have not been proved."


I haven't read Anne Lombard-Jordan's books because they're in French. The only problem has been the legends relating to the fair of lendit are localised and require a knowledge of French.
But with diligent work and a "can do" attitue. :lol:
I ignore Anne Lombard-Jordan's work because I don't have the resources to get it translated properly.
It is my belief that you can still come to the same conclusions with the handicaps I seem to have.

Although I can say what the? is someone(the person at the university of oxford press) who can have it translated reviewing a work they don't seem to understand or couldn't be bothered checking their facts.
That's life I guess. :roll:

Anyway it's the long way around I go but I just thought I'd include this because it shows the crossover feature by using the Triptych of the two religions and IMO the subtle? suppression of where/where what period this took place.
I would also like to reitterate the link between de Cherisey's ancestors and Chretian which sustains the link of the goliards and the work of de Cheriseys Grand parchment.(see first link)


http://books.google.com.au/books?id=1hF ... ne&f=false

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Quote:
Stavelot Triptych


Stavelot Triptych, Mosan, Belgium, c. 1156-1158. 48 x 66 cm with wings open, Pierpont Morgan Library, New YorkThe Stavelot Triptych is a medieval reliquary and portable altar intended to protect, honor and display pieces of the True Cross. Created by Mosan artists—"Mosan" signifies the valley of the Meuse River— around 1156 at Stavelot Abbey in present-day Belgium. The work is a masterpiece of Romanesque goldsmith's work and is today in the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York.

[edit] Description
The Stavelot Triptych is a three-part winged shrine; with the wings open its dimensions are: height: 19 in. (484 mm.) and width: 26 in. (660 mm.). In such a triptych, the outer wings protect (when swung shut) the middle section, which contains two smaller triptychs, each containing pieces of the True Cross. The black velvet background is modern, originally it was a golden field inlaid with semi-precious stones (see for example the Cross of Lothair). The two inner triptychs are cloisonné enamel, a technique typical of Byzantine work; the six larger medallions (three on each outer wing) are in the champlevé technique which had by then largely replaced cloisonné in the West, and in which "Mosan" metalworkers were the leading artists in Europe.

The outer triptych is of Mosan origin, built to house the two inner triptychs of Byzantine origin, which predate the outer triptych by some decades. It is unknown who the artist(s) were who made it, although other works have been suggested as coming from the same workshop. We do not know with certainty who ordered it, or who paid for it. The Benedictine monastery of Stavelot ruled the Principality of Stavelot-Malmedy, a small statelet in the Holy Roman Empire, and in this period commissioned a number of magnificent pieces of religious metalwork, as well as apparently running a scriptorium which produced some significant illuminated manuscripts, most notably the Stavelot Bible of 1093-97. We know that Prince-Abbot Wibald (1098-1158), was sent on a diplomatic mission to Constantinople by the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa in 1154. It is theorized Wibald received the two smaller triptychs as diplomatic gifts from the Byzantine Emperor Manuel I Comnenus, and after his return commissioned Mosan artists to create the larger outer triptych. The Triptych was certainly in the Abbey when it was suppressed in 1792, after the French Revolution.

Of the inner triptychs, both mostly in gold and enamel, the lower larger one has two slivers of wood of the True Cross forming a cross. Around this on the central panel are enamel standing figures of Constantine on the left and Helena (Constantine's mother who originally found the True Cross) on the right, below busts of archangels. An X shaped fixture, with pearls at each of the four ends, holds the cross together. The insides of the wings contain four military saints: George and Procopius on the left, Theodore and Demetrius on the right. The outsides of the wings have figures of the Four Evangelists.

The upper smaller triptych held relics of the True Cross, Holy Sepulchre, and the robe of the Virgin Mary. The central panel has a Crucifixion with the Virgin Mary and Saint John the Evangelist standing beside the cross. The insides of the wings have geometric decoration, while the outsides have an Annunciation to Mary.

The outer wings of the main triptych contain enamel medallions with narrative scenes from the legends of the True Cross, stories well known in the Middle Ages. Over the top of the two top medallions is inscribed:

Behold the Cross of the Lord, flee you hostile powers
The Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Root of David has conquered
The three medallions on the left wing tell the story of Constantine's conversion to Christianity. Starting with the bottom medallion on the left wing, it pictures the highy medieval version of the legend of Constantine having a dream the night before the Battle of Milvian Bridge, where he dreams an angel appears, points to the Cross, and tells him he will conquer under that sign. The middle medallion shows Constantine's victory at the Milvian bridge, with a cross standard. The upper medallion shows Constantine being baptized just before his death, by Pope Sylvester I, below an approving Hand of God.

The three medallions on the right wing tell the story of Saint Helena's discovery of the True Cross. Starting with the bottom medallion on the right wing, Helena questions Jewish leaders (wearing Jewish hats) about the location of the Cross. In the middle medallion, Helena watches as servants dig up the Cross on Mount Calvary, below a pointing Hand of God; the two thieves crosses have already been excavated. In the upper medallion, Helena is testing the three crosses on a sick man to find the one True Cross that has the healing powers.

As well as the masterful goldsmith's work and beauty of the Stavelot Triptych, it remains instructive as a demonstration of the diverging Eastern and Western Christian artistic traditions in the Romanesque period. Not only are the enamel techniques different between the outer triptych and the smaller inner triptychs, but the way images and ideas are expressed are very different. Eastern Byzantine artists use static, hierarchal figures frozen in place, silently adoring Christ and the cross. In contrast, the Western artists use narrative story telling with animated figures acting out dramatic visions, battles and miracles.

[edit] Bibliography
Ryskamp, Charles (1980). The Stavelot Triptych. Mosan Art and the Legend of the True Cross. New York: The Pierpont Morgan Library.
Stokstad, Marilyn (2004). Medieval art. ISBN 0-8133-3681-3
"Corsair" database catalogue entry, Pierpont Morgan Library
Stavelot Triptych. Zoomable image from The Morgan Library & Museum.

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Last edited by rain on 22 Feb 2010 9:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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