Tonight’s Read: The Vatican Heresy—Bernini and the Building of the Hermetic Temple of the Sun! (Introduction+Contents+Blurbs)

“Ninety percent, perhaps even more, of history is not documented. And as for the little that is documented or recorded, much of it may not be history at all but the warped perception, dissimulation, cover-ups, and bias of those documenting or recording it. The task of the true historian is to detect the history that is not told, much like a cosmologist detects the structure of the universe that is not seen. To read between the lines or see between the empty spaces, that is the exciting challenge . . .”

The Authors

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Introduction

Hiding the Truth in Plain Sight

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.”

—Theodore Roosevelt

This book was a very ambitious project, and I readily admit that researching and writing it was not only a thrilling experience but also a very daunting one, as well. The complexity of the topic and the sheer volume of research material made it feel like I was recklessly challenging a bookish Goliath with only a reed twig in my hand to bring him down! Yet the temptation to quest and sleuth a historical mystery of this scale was too tantalizing to pass over. There was, certainly, the initial apprehension that all authors have when taking on such a task. A long, dark tunnel must be crossed solo, and then at the other end await the inevitable lashes by experts whose feathers you are bound to have ruffled. But such qualms are then quickly dismissed by a weird—almost perverse—gladiatorial thrill of marching into the arena to do battle again with that old foe: academic consensus.

A decade ago I wrote with Graham Hancock Talisman: Sacred Cities, Secret Faith. In this book we explored the Hermetic tradition and tracked its journey out of Egypt and its influence on the design of major capital cities of the Western world. Academics, needless to say, ignored it. And the only academic who didn’t ignore it ended up repaying us by blatantly plagiarizing a discovery we made regarding the layout of ancient Alexandria. I bring this up because there was also a tiny—although immensely important—“city” that Graham and I barely touched in our book: the Vatican City in Rome. With hindsight I can say that we had thus overlooked the most important piece of that huge historical puzzle we had set about to solve. After much deliberation I finally decided to reopen the case for the Vatican City in late 2011. It was at this point that I invited the Italian author Chiara Hohenzollern and also Dr. Sandro Zicari to join me.

Let me quickly get to the point: it is often stated by historians of art and architecture that the Piazza St. Peter’s at the Vatican was designed to represent “the open arms of Mother Church.” This, in fact, is indeed claimed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini himself, the architect responsible for the design. We believe it to be a truth, but not the whole truth. Truth often comes in many layers. Revealing only one layer yet dissimulating another will make this partial truth seem to be something very different indeed. This is why today a person on the stand in a court of law will be sworn in to tell not only the truth, but rather the whole truth. We believe that there is another, far more important layer in which rests the whole truth behind Bernini’s grandiose design. This whole truth he, nonetheless, took to his grave, for it was such an unspeakable truth, such a taboo, such a forbidden fruit in his time that the mere mention of it might have brought down the whole edifice of Mother Church—that is to say, the Vatican itself. Yet the amazing daringness of Bernini’s ploy was to hide the truth in plain sight for all to see. Indeed, so well did he do this that everyone who looked—and there have been millions since—did not see it all. And when finally some did see it, so out rageous, so fantastic was its implication that they simply preferred to dismiss it as mere coincidence. Bernini clearly intended it to be a sort of intellectual time bomb meant to be detonated not in his time but when the time was right, when its revelation would not bring down the Vatican, but do, instead, the opposite. To fully appreciate the magnitude of this revelation, and to make our case worthy of the most serious consideration, we had to undertake a chase across nearly two millennia of history, from Greco-Roman Alexandria to Renaissance Rome, sometimes moving at breakneck speed, making Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons seem like a Sunday stroll in the park. It was a thrilling undertaking and, most of all, an amazing eye-opener. No matter what one may think of it, one thing is certain: Christianity and Western culture will never seem the same again.

But enough said. The die is cast. You have the evidence in your hands. No need to tarry.

We are ready to present our case . . .


Table of Contents

Title Page
Dedication
Epigraph
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Chapter 1: The True Religion of the World

  • REBIRTH
  • THE CITY OF MEMORY
  • THE MAKING OF A GOD
  • MAGIC IS NOT “RELIGION”
  • A PLACE TO FLOURISH
  • WHAT HAVE THE ROMANS DONE FOR US?
  • AN APOSTLE IN ALEXANDRIA
  • EXCURSION ONE, TO ROME, 45 CE
  • “BY THIS SIGN YOU SHALL CONQUER”
  • ROMAN CATHOLIC CHRISTIANITY
  • THOTH BECOMES HERMES TRISMEGISTUS, AND HIS SACRED BOOKS
  • BECOME THE HERMETICA
  • THE LAMENT

Chapter 2: The Hermetic Movement, Part I

  • NATURAL AND TALISMANIC MAGIC
  • THE OBELISKS OF ROME
  • SYNCHRONISTIC ENCOUNTER
  • RENAISSANCE
  • A BRILLIANT ACADEMIC OF THE CHARMING-UGLY VARIETY

Chapter 3: The Hermetic Movement, Part II

  • COSMIC AMBIENCE
  • EPIPHANY
  • TALISMANIC MAGIC
  • A TALISMANIC IMAGE OF THE UNIVERSE
  • MESSIANIC HERMETIC MISSIONS
  • HERMES TRISMEGISTUS IS SLIPPED INTO THE VATICAN
  • THE DIGNITY OF MAN
  • THE CEILING OF THE BORGIA APARTMENTS
  • THE HERMETIC MISSION OF GIORDANO BRUNO
  • EXCURSION TWO, TO ROME, 1542
  • THE HERMETIC MISSION
  • EXCURSION THREE, TO ROME, FIRST CENTURY BCE
  • VIRGO CELESTE
  • EXCURSION FOUR, TO LONDON, 1581
  • EXCURSION FIVE, TO ROME, 1582 CE
  • THE TROUBLE WITH MARY
  • THE “PEDANTS” OF OXFORD
  • EXCURSION SIX, TO ROME AGAIN, 1586
  • INTO THE HANDS OF THE PAPAL INQUISITION

Chapter 4: The City of the Sun

  • PASSING THE TORCH
  • THE FIRST CELEBRITY OF EUROPE
  • THE CALABRIAN REVOLT
  • THE SOLARIANS AND THE CITY OF THE SUN
  • STRANGE VISITORS
  • ECLIPSING THE POPE

Chapter 5: Urbi et Orbi: To the City and to the World

  • TEAMING UP
  • IL CAVALIERE BERNINI
  • THE ART OF DISSIMULATION
  • THE COMING TOGETHER
  • THE LAST PROTAGONISTS, 1633
  • ROME: FAST-FORWARD TO 1656
  • FAILING INFALLIBILITY
  • OBELISKS
  • ISIS REBORN
  • TEXT (SOUTH FACE)
  • TEXT (WEST FACE)
  • THE CONFESSOR OF THE CONCLAVE
  • EXCURSION SEVEN, PIAZZA ST. PETER’S, 1608
  • TWO DEGREES TO THE NORTH
  • BECOMING FLESH
  • THE MADERNO FOUNTAIN
  • FLASH FORWARD TO MAY 1655
  • THE NEW MICHELANGELO AND THE MODEL OF THE UNIVERSE
  • THE PLAN
  • THE OPEN ARMS OF MOTHER CHURCH
  • THE WOMB OF THE CELESTIAL VIRGIN OF THE WORLD
  • FINAL EXCURSION, TO ROME, 1675
  • ROLE-PLAYING THE HERMETICA?

Postscript: The Jesuit Pope

  • BREAKING NEWS: FIVE TO EIGHT

Appendix 1: Campanella, the Rosicrucians, and the Miraculous Birth of the Sun King

  • THE INFANTA AND THE KING OF FRANCE
  • A HERMETIC MAGUS IN THE COURT OF THE FUTURE SUN KING

Appendix 2: The Ellipse of St. Peter’s Square by Sandro Zicari, Ph.D.

  • WHEN IS AN OVAL AN ELLIPSE?
  • HOW TO DRAW AN ELLIPSE: THE TRAMMEL OF ARCHIMEDES
  • THE ELLIPSE AND ASTRONOMY
  • ST. PETER’S SQUARE

Footnotes
Endnotes
Bibliography
About the Authors
About Inner Traditions • Bear & Company
Books of Related Interest
Copyright & Permissions
Index


Blurbs

“With his usual care and attention to detail, Robert Bauval spins out the thread that joins the solar religion of pharaonic Egypt to the utopian hopes of the fading Renaissance. His theory climaxes with the dramatic and dangerous project of a pope (Urban VIII), a polymath (Kircher), an architect (Bernini), and an exiled queen (Christina). Their dream was of a united Christendom orbiting around Rome; their method, the marriage of Hermetic philosophy with the new astronomy, through symbolic architecture. Like Bauval’s other books about times and places when science and magic were one, The Vatican Heresy arouses curiosity, disbelief, nostalgia, and finally hope.”

Joscelyn Godwin, Ph.D., author of The Pagan Dream of the Rennaissance & Athanasius Kiercher’s Theatre of the World 

“In this enchanting book, Robert Bauval and Chiara Hohenzollern reveal an astonishing fact hiding in plain sight. Surely thousands of visitors to the Vatican’s Saint Peter’s Square over the past three centuries have been puzzled by the gigantic ancient Egyptian obelisk featured in its center. Through meticulous research, The Vatican Heresy illuminates the profoundly evolutionary adventurers who employed deep symbolic insights and astute political maneuvering to construct a talismanic Hermetic City of the Sun in the heart of the citadel of Christendom. Read The Vatican Heresy. . . . I couldn’t put it down.”

Thomas Brophy, Ph.D., Co-author of Black Genesis: He Prehistoric Origins of Ancient Egypt & Imhotep the Africa : Architect of the Cosmos; author of The Mechanism Demands a Mysticism: An Exploration of  Spirit, Matter, and Physics; The Origin Map; & The Christmas Code: A New Astronomy of Christmas and How It Came from Ancient Egypt

“It looks like Robert Bauval (now with Chiara Hohenzollern) has done it again, revealing that not just the pyramids but the Vatican itself is a celebration of sacred architecture. A fascinating theory and very timely.”

Adrian G. Gilbert, Co-author of The Orion Mystery; author of Secrets of the Stone of Destiny 

“Robert Bauval is a brilliant investigator of the hidden corners of history, and he has surpassed himself with The Vatican Heresy. It is a true time bomb of a book revealing stunning intrigues that have shaped the modern world and that call into question our most fundamental perceptions of the role of the Church of Rome.”

Graham Hancock, author of War God; Fingerprints of the Gods; Magicians of the Gods 

 

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