Templar origins Dawn of true Renaissance Origine du Temple, aube de la veritable Renaissance

When I was student a MSCD (now it is called Metropolitan University of Colorado at Denver) I took some French lit classes for easy A’s (and got them).  For a course on Medieval literature I wrote a piece about what I called true Renaissance linking Romance literature and cathedral building.  My professor really liked it and mentioned I should start looking into it and write something more elaborate.  Unfortunately at the time I was raising a kid alone and between work and school, the project never saw the light of day.  I lost the paper since.  I kept it on a diskette which got lost somewhere.  Little did I know that 20 years later I would remember it.  Little did I know that Romance literature and cathedral building weren’t the only reasons that made the 10th and 11th century the true beginning for the Renaissance.


If the creation of the Order changed significantly the future of France and Europe, many others events arrived almost simultaneously.  Was there a relation between them.  I believe so.


1) Creation of the Cistercian order.

Where the need of the new order?  Founded in 1098 by Robert of Molesme with Etienne (Stephen) Harding and Alberic of Citeaux, all three former Benedictine monks.  The reason of the schism are fairly clear, Benedictines weren’t following the strict rule of Benedict: pray and work (Ora et labora).  The labor part was left to serfs owned by the Abbey.  The original name of Citeaux (Reeds in old French) was Cistercium a village about 20 miles from Dijon.  The most important man in the order was Saint Bernard of Clairvaux.


2) Town Franchise.

Until the middle of XI century, town were under control of lords and or bishops.  Mans was the first French town allowed to elect their own leaders known as “Eschevins”.  But the trend spread and others would follow.


3) Expansion of Marial cult.legendes de la sainte vierge

Colin de Plancy in his “Legendes de la Sainte Vierge” (Legends about Virgin Mary) published in 1845 shows how troubadours in the XI century started spreading those legends.  Interestingly all Cistercian Churches were dedicated to Mary, just like the cathedrals would be a century later.


4) Renewal of Gnosticism

In all the religions of the known world the study of Gnosticism reappeared.  At first among Muslims then among Hebrew, the study of forbidden text was spreading.  Christians were not left out and many Benedictine monks went study in Spain in Muslim schools.  The most known was Gerbert D”Aurillac, also known as Sylvester II the millennium Pope.




Categories: History |

Growing up in Piennes Lorraine yesterday and today Grandir a Piennes hier et aujourd’hui.

yeah this is Paris not some third world country, or perhaps Paris is now a third world country.

While most things change with time, it seems that some don’t.  When I was a kid some nut job from the FLN  (Front de liberation national, National liberation front) tried to blow up the school I was attending.  56 years later, the same people are doing it again but now they are in greater number.  When growing up, the most important fight were organized by various labor unions to obtain better living conditions and or better wages.  In many of the lodgings given by the mine to their employees there wasn’t any toilets, only outhouses.   Running water was brought into those homes only in the late 40′s.  I didn’t really knew about those days since Dad bought the house in 1954 and we move in in 1955, while I was still a toddler.  Back then miners were working what was called “les trois huits” the three eight, three revolving shift of 8 hours: morning afternoon and night shift 6 days a week.   Only men working above ground where

Where people pumped the water to bring into their home... the picture was taken in 1943

Where people pumped the water to bring into their home… the picture was taken in 1943

Where people took the water into their home… the picture was taken in 1943

Where people brought water into their home… the picture was taken in 1943

working normal 8 to 5 type of hours.  But that was then.


Saturday and Sunday, some insane people brought chaos  fire and brimstone to the streets of Paris and in many other larger cities to protest the Gaza war, to protest against Israeli forces fighting hamas.

PARIS (AP) — Police clashed on Saturday with thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters who defied a ban on a Paris demonstration over the Israeli offensive in Gaza. More than 30 people were arrested and it wasn’t immediately clear if there were injuries.

more here

This Mail Online article didn’t mention the fact that 17 cops were severely injured and are in various hospitals of the city.


In Piennes in the 50′s there were only about 10 families who came from either Morocco, Algeria or Tunisia and every head of the family was working.  No such thing as welfare.  In the 60′s there were 100′s, now half the town is from the other side of the Mediterranean and maybe 20 or 25 men or women are employed but oddly enough those who aren’t working are driving Audi’s and Beemers.


Aggression and murder were very rare.  The worse exchange I ever had was to cuss someone out.  Now gangs attack anybody for no reasons whatsoever.  A 72 years old man from a town near was stabbed 47 times because he refuse to give a cigarette.  In town 3 years ago an 84 years old grand-mother was rapped and robbed.   Three rugby players were attacked with machetes and sabers.  One of them is having an operation which may alter his career for ever.


Millau (France) (AFP) – A dozen armed men attacked French rugby union internationals Aurelien Rougerie, Julien Pierre and Benjamin Kayers with machetes as they walked back to their hotel at night, their club said Sunday.

more here

I have difficult time recognizing this country. Did I ever knew it?

En Français…

Categories: About the author, Editorial, News |

Growing up in Piennes Lorraine, Grandir a Piennes, yogurt cake gateau au yahourt

In the beginning of the 60′s mom discovered “Tupperware”. Of course always wanting to be the first to have everything she bought bunch of them, using family food money to do so. I’ll get back to that in another post.

I don’t know if you have ever lived through or experienced one of those meeting? I have. A bunch of crazed women spending money they didn’t have to buy crap they didn’t need while trying to show a cool attitude! During those meetings recipes were exchanged. One of those recipe the entire family had to endure week-ends we didn’t have company coming, and thank goodness that was fairly rare.

Mom was a good cook and a good baker, but she needed an audience to get motivated. So when no one was coming that week-end she would make endless numbers of yogurt cake, just varying the flavors: Some where plain vanilla some were lemon others coffee or chocolate. Now I know why she would do those. I mean they are so easy even my ex-wife couldn’t mess them up. (Just kidding, the later was a good cook and an excellent baker, better than me and maybe she still is). It takes 5 minutes to make the batter. Heck it takes longer to warm the oven up than preparing the dough. Although this particular recipe didn’t bring any particularly good memories I made on just for the heck of it. So as mentioned above I started by warming to oven up to about 350 degrees. While it was getting hot in a bowl I poured:yogurt cake done
1 yogurt
1/2 yogur container of oil
2 yogurt container of sugar
3 yogurt container of flower
2 eggs and 1 teaspoon of baking powder (I added a teaspoon of baking soda by personal choice) and the flavoring of your choice. In my case couple of drops of vanilla extract.
Whip everything until smooth. Grease a baking pan. I personally sprinkle a little sugar on the oil, it makes real easy to remove the cake from the pan once baked. Pour the batter and bake it for about 30 minutes. Stick a toothpicks in it to check if bake all the way through.

Once chilled just give it to somebody you don’t particularly care about. My chicken chimichanga for lunch was so much better smothered in red chili sauce.  Bon appetit.chimichanga


En Français…

Categories: About the author |

Hugues de Payens Origin Origine.

I recently receive a message from a reader.  Since the said message is public I take the liberty of reproducing it here.  I will not mention the name of the author however.

Find your blog very interesting. Ran across it while searching for information on Thiebault de Payen (1001 – 1086), born in Normandy and died in Market Bosworth, Leicestershire, England, and the father of Tibaud de Payen,The Moor Gadrille. I’ve been mildly interested in the Templars for years and am delighted to read your information from sources, and languages, not available to me.
Please keep up your studying and share with those of us who don’t have your access or insights.

Of course I was flattered and intrigued. I made some research online and found out one of the Castle of Gisors owners was a certain Thibaud 1er Payen dit de Neaufles.  I already talked about Gisors in another post. It was the only Payen I could find that was linked to Normandy.


Statue of Rollon (Rolf) the first Duke of Normandy.

There was however a piece of information I neglected in the message.  The Thiebault of the message died in England.  This suggested me we had to deal with a Viking.  Toward the end of the 8th century, Vikings started raiding Western France, raids that culminated with the last siege of Paris in 885.  Later and in order protect French soil from the raiders French king Charles the bald paid a ransom to the Vikings, and gave them the land West of Paris along the river Seine: Normandy in a deal signed (?) at Saint Clair sur Epte in 911.   Everyone knows what  the descendant of Rolf (known as Rollo in French history) did:  He invaded England in 1066.  The war lasted approximately 3 years.  But there were no Moor in England so how did the son of Thiebault, Thibaud de Payen the Moor Gadrille ended being born in England.


At the beginning of the 11th century, Southern Italy, Sicily and Corsica were subject to constant Moorish invasion.  In fact Sicily was already in the hands of Moors since the 8th century.   Vikings who lived in Normandy quickly became Christian and if some of them did it by faith, it is most likely most of them did it for the same reasons Clovis did on Christmas day 496: Power.  The entire nation was ruled by the Christian church and it was better to have them on your side.  Vikings who didn’t get any titles nor properties quickly realize how much money could be made selling themselves as mercenaries, mainly in Italy of course, land of predilection for Moorish attacks.


When Pope Nicholas II realize land feuds were disturbing the coherence of Sicily, he asked Robert Guiscard (c. 1015 – 17 July 1085) to invade the island, offering him the title of Duke of Sicily.  Guiscard was a minor Norman knight who had acquired himself a name as mercenary.  He accepted and captured Messina in 1061, five years before the invasion of England.  Very little is known about the men who followed him.  Was a de Payen part of his suite?  Could be.   Furthermore in those day it was very common for a knight to take wife from one of the looser’s family.  Many examples can be found his the pages of history of Southern France and occupied Spain.  Did de Payen moved back with his Moorish wife to Normandy and followed William to England were his wife give birth to Thibaud the Moor Gadrille.

Unfortunately I do not have to means to go to Leicestershire England nor to Normandy.  Not to mention archives in France can only be seen by the power that be.

En Français…

Categories: History |

Growing up in Piennes Lorraine 14th of July, grandir a Piennes 14 juillet

Proud son of immigrant, profession teacherSo it’s the 14th of July, national French holiday.  The current occupant of Elysee Palace proudly saluted the army that kick French soldiers out of Algeria in 1962 (yeah Algerian army marched in Paris today) without a word for those fallen men and women who have lost their respective life protecting properties of corrupt colonists.  Soldiers like Henryk Wilrzak, born in Joudreville in 1922 from Polish immigrant parents Obituary who were close friends of the family.  Born in 1922 he was killed by the wounded terrorist he was the parentstrying to save.  But hey what do you expect, this is socialist France.  Henryk grew up here played in the same places I probably did, studied hard and became a teacher in the school that would be bombed 1959 by the same terrorists.  They were called FLN “national liberation front”  (not very imaginative).  He never asked to go to Algeria, but went when drafted.  Being kind of heart he tried to save a wounded Algerian man, but lost his life in the process.  His parents never recover from loosing their only child.  The dad hardly spoke ever after the terrible event and the mom never stopped speaking.  They each dealt with their pain in their own way.   My dad always made sure they were invited for family holidays: Christmas, New Year, Easter, Communion etc. . .


I never had Henryk as teacher, I was too young when he left and he was gone by the time I reached the age he would have taught me.  Back then people weren’t very rich and no one could really afford to buy a flag to place in his window or on mast in front of the house for the 14th July.  Money was going for food for the most part (or booze in certain families). But most families understood the meaning of that holiday.  My maternal grand-father who endured prison in the Soviet occupied Caucasus to find himself and his family in an occupied France was nationalist although he never bothered to take the French nationality.  During the war, he would listen to de Gaulle talking on the radio and had his daughters translating for him.  The radio was hidden in a hole in the wall hidden by a tapestry.  He would have died of a heart attack seeing the behavior of hollandus ineptum.


Every year with dad brother uncles and cousins we would go to the mine, where children received depending of age a lantern of a torch.  The lantern was just some paper wrapped around a coil spring with a card board bottom and a candle nailed inside.  The whole thing was carried by a stick and more often than not the candle would eventually fall burning the paper and leaving a kid in tears.  I was so proud the first year I was to carry a torch.  A marching band would lead the way to the center of town, about a mile and a half playing tunes like “En passant par la Lorraine avec mes sabots”.  At the market place every one would stop, the mayor would have a speech reminding anyone why the day was important the a firework would start.  Grown up would stay for a ball on wooden planks with a called in for the occasion band, people would dance, flirt make out and drink.

Couple of week ago, French flags were hanging from so many windows it was incredible.  But that was when France was still playing for the world cup of something or another.  Today, for the National holiday, I didn’t see on flag out except on official building.  A nation has lost it’s identity.  The worst thing is . . . obama is trying to do the same in the US.


Henry Wilrzak RIP

Categories: About the author |

Growing up in Piennes Lorraine, grandir a Piennes.

the class of 1969Before I can tell a little about growing up in Piennes I should talk about the demographic of the town.  There wasn’t very many French folks in town, few store owners, four or five families of farmers, the big bosses at the mine.  The rest of townsfolk was either Italian or Polish, with a few Germans, Yugoslavians (before the split), a Czech or two.  Couple families of Algerians were here to.  But Poles and Italians were the bulk, about forty five percent for each category.

Being the kid of a Polish G. I. set me apart..


a bar across the streetMost Americans see French as sophisticated well mannered and a little goofy Peter Seller  in the Pink Panther style.  And perhaps in Paris they were, I couldn’t have known since I never spend to much time in the capital.  And those who thought all French were like that obviously never made to Piennes.   Men were kind of brutish hard working mules, some were nice, others not.  Some were very intelligent but couldn’t show “cause they were foreigners and foreigners can’t be intelligent”.  There was lots of drinking among them.  Just on my street there were four bars.  They all closed now.  Everyone knew everything about his neighbors, like it or not.  Women like mom would  be the first to spread rumors always saying to anybody who would listen:  “It’s a secret, don’t tell anyone I’m just telling you but do you know what so-so did?”  Actually she always started by the phrase: “I’m not the one who spreads rumors but”.


Heck one day when I was 15, coming home on a Summer day, I found out I was on a date with a local girl before I even realize it was actually a date. Or maybe I was still blinded by size of her bazoungas (Raj from Big Bang Theory dixit) and didn’t know it was a date.  But Dad told me it was and that I should be careful ” ’cause her dad has fists this size”.   Piennes was (and still is) the most boring town ever and the only things that kid could do was some silly stupid pranks, or go to school to learn nothing, or get beat up by his mother.  The last part may have apply to a selected few only and I was one of them.  The worst part was, the more she would beat me the more crazy things I would do.


The story of Piennes goes back at least 1000 years.  I wasn’t there then, otherwise you would call me Duncan Macleod. my street At the time it was called Espiennes, the name of a trickle of water going through town and depended of another town couple miles away Eastward called Norroy le Sec.  No it was not called “le sec” because it didn’t rain there but simply because it’s on top of a hill and all the water ran down.


Do you believe in synchronicity?  I do now.  I was looking to write some stuff about my youth and about growing up in the sticks.  At the same time, I’m emptying the house in order to sell it and move back to the States.  And while clearing a closet full of magazine pages with recipes or ways to do things, I found a book bought by mom 1991.  There was a dedication by three of the four authors to her.  Wonder why she bought the book she has never read it.  It will be a great help to jog my memory.


Categories: About the author |

Hugues de Payens, the Orient forest, la Forêt d’Orient part 3

What is left of the Forest d’Orient

When Louis Charpentier (cited in preceding post) talked about the Forest d’Orient, he called it “gastines” wasteland.  Indeed the soil is made of clay, easily accepting water and very slow to release it.  What could have been of interest in that Forest besides being remote and unseen.  Imagine another Broceliade located few miles East of Troyes (in the 1st post I remind the reader Chretien de Troyes was living in Troyes), a magical forest were wolves were still howling and were carts or horses could easily fall pray to mud.  This was the place chosen by the first official Knight Templars to create their home.  Could Merlin have lived there rather than  in Brittany?  I will not go there as data are now under few feet of water.

I ordered a map of the region prior to the flood, in fact I found one on ebay.fr dating from 1891, and hopefully when I get

The Council of Troyes of Jan. 1129 occurred on this location although the construction of the cathedral visible here started about 100 years later.

it I will be able to locate some of those commanderies.  As I said in the preceding post it is illegal to scratch the ground in France.  You have more chances to avoid jail by murdering someone that walking around with a metal detector (no joke I’m serious).  Some locals in the Marne region got arrested because he found few gold coins while searching of mushrooms and dare to turn them in to the French police.  He was later released after a thorough search of his house where no other coins were found.  All this so Sarkozy could sell it if he becomes president again.

Anyhow what I would like to locate the commanderies and granges on the old map and try to locate them in the present to see if they are now under water. Charpentier in his book showed pictures of underground tunnels in the area, suggesting that it would have been possible to go from one place to the next without being seen.

Another important character in the story would be Rabbi Shlomo ben Itzhak Ha Tzarvafati. He was in frequent contact with Christian priest and was protected by Hugues de Champagne, already cited in the story. Why would a fervent Christian protect a Rabbi? A Jew? It is said that Rachi as he was called generally was most influential authority on Hebrew studies in the Middle Ages, more so than Maimonides himself.

Categories: Editorial, History |

Hugues de Payens, the Orient forest, la Forêt d’Orient part 2

This book by Gerard de Sede “Les Templiers sont parmi nous, ou l’Enigme de Gisors” (Templars are among us or the the Enigma of Gisors) was among the first ones I’ve read when I started to having an interest in the Templar story. At the time, (I was 12) I had to “borrow” it from a book store because it wasn’t available at the local library. I still remember the owner Mme Thierry who was perfectly aware of my indelicacies but knew I just wanted to read ad I would be bringing the books back couple days later.

Story goes, a certain Roger Lhomoy, a Normand farm hand started digging under the fortified castle of Gisord immediately after the war. De Sede never really explained the reasons for that obsession. Anyhow from 1946 to 1957, the old man dug a series of tunnel right outside of the Castle’s walls to arrive to numbers of undergrounds rooms. In one of the them he allegedly found about thirty coffin like trunks full of gold. The story quickly went to the ears of the power that be and everything was sealed and at least was what the powers would want most people to believe.


In 1958 at night a military convoy arrived at Gisors from unknown location, worked all night only to disappear at dawn.  The order apparently came from Andre Malraux, then secretary of State for culture.   Later some work has been done allegedly to reinforce the structure of the castle.  According to local law makers, Lhomoy’s digging had weakened the fortress’ wall.  The picture above shows Lhomoy in the hole he have dug, not even a meter (three feet) in diameter.  Now I’m not a structural engineer nor a mining engineer but history shows that to weaken fortified castle wall took more than tiny tunnels.  If it did there wouldn’t have been any sieges taking longer than a few weeks, time to dig few tiny tunnels under the walls of the city attacked.


Various authors wrote about the diggings done under the castle after the discovery of  Lhomoy’s work but it is very unlikely, as Gisors, like many protected site, was then very well protected by various army and police elements.  All digging requires a permit in France and all permits were denied.  Actually it is State law that digging on French properties is absolutely illegal and will get a prison sentence to the digger.  Besides, according to chronicler Roger de Hoveden (or Howden) close to Henry Plantagenet, Templars were in the Gisord castle as free men only for a very short time.  Indeed Robert de Pirou, Tostes de Saint Omer and Richard de Hastings remained in Gisord only from 1158 to the day Henry Plantagenet married his son to the daugther of Louis VII of France.  Castles of Gisord and of Neaufles Saint Martin were part of the French king Marguerite’s dowry.


Another Templar spend some time at the Gisord’s Castle who been French property since the reconquest of Normandy.  Indeed, Jacques de Molay the last Grand Master of the Templar order spend some time in Gisors on his way from Chinon to Paris.  Notes of it can be seen at Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris in MS BN fr 146 written by Rimee de Geoffroi de Paris in 1313.  Most likely no Templar in his right mind would hide his treasure in the property of the French king who would get them arrested the next day.


If Templars had time to leave some kind of treasure in the Castle of Gisors it would have been during the Plantagenet’s occupation.  So what did Lhomoy find in its underground that required the intervention of the French government and its army?  We know the Plantagenet were close to the Templars.  Did Henry Plantagenet let them hide something?  In 9 years 9 knights were able to discover something hidden in Jerusalem for over 1000 years, 3 knights could have had the time to hide something in 3 years.


Incidentally in the years following the discovery (or lack thereof according to orthodox sources) the Forest d’Orient was flooded thus destroying for sure all possible investigation in the Templar adventure.


Coincidence? I don’t believe in coincidences.

En Français…

Categories: Editorial, History |

Hugues de Payens, the Orient forest, la Forêt d’Orient

When you’re a paid historian, it is natural to relay the opinions of the one who pays you otherwise you will not keep your job very long. Same goes in pretty much any profession.  Just take a good look at your local news then compare them to unofficial ones. When Louis Charpentier wrote his book “Les Mysteres Templiers” (check previous post) not many “orthodox” historians read in book. My goodness who is this man who dare says we do not do our job? I’ve read the book more than once. It is well written and it shows a sincere desire from it’s author to find some truth in what is still today one of the most talked about historical mystery outside JFK’s murder or the 911 Tower destruction, the Templars. OK there are others like Atlantis and Roswell, the Giza  but for the moment I live in the area where the Templar story begun.

           Upon his return for Middle East, Hugues de Payens went to Troyes passing by Rome where he apparently talk to someone hush hush at the Vatican if not Honorius II himself, someone powerful enough to send a Legat to Troyes for the now famous Council. After the Council Hugues decided to travel and promote his newly formed Army for God. He left traces in England, Scottland and Germany where he apparently found many recruits and received land and other goods who brought a straight ticket to Heaven to the donor. You can find this in any half-way decent history book (even some not so decent). But something strange happened in what is now the Aube department from the Champagne region.


If Louis Charpentier may have had on occasion showed a vivid imagination, he always did his homework and traveled extensively before publishing any work.  It was the case with “Les Mysteres Templiers”.  When he went to the Orient Forest, before it was flooded by French government orders he discovered places with names that spokes for themselves:  Morgue des bois, Fee Mourgue’s waterhole, the river Gvan Wevre.  Names that could come straight out of King Athur’s tales.  But wait, Chrestien de Troyes was only 12 miles of the Western border of the Orient Forest when he wrote his tales.  Morgue, Mourgre could very well have been Morgane le Fay in another spelling or … another time.  He even found a Belen Gwic, place dedicated to Belenos.  Names that still spoke the Old Celtic language.


Now while Hughes de Payens was doing his PR and recruting moult (old French word meaning lots) new knights somebody in the Forest d’Orient got very busy.   The Order of the Hospital of Saint John already had a “commanderie” near the Forest d’Orient but she was not in the Forest itself.  And in a very few years, while Hugh had already returned to Jerusalem, the newly formed order built a triple belt of commanderies and granges (name for a fortified farm) surrounding the Forest.  And right after the story of Gisors [see Gerard the Sede "Les Templiers sont parmi nous" (Templars are among us)] most of the Forest was flooded.


A triple belt of commanderies and granges to protect what?  And why flooding it after 650 years?

En Français…

Categories: Editorial, History |

Hugues de Payens, the Templar beginning, les debuts Templiers part 3

While most orthodox historians assume the first nine knights lead by Hugues de Payens were garding roads and protecting pilgrims against the locals, there are no historical proof of such events. Fulcher of Chartres never mention it and he was very close to Baldwin II, being his chronicler. There have been many fights between the Frankish knights and Egyptians Fatimids, the Seljuk Turks and Baldwin found himself prisoner from 1123 to 1124, so Fulcher could have had time to write about the Templar if those had actually participated in any battles. Nothing has been said. Furthermore, nine knights even with pages Sargent at arms and others could hardly had any weight in guarding roads. In fact Frankish knights were so heavily armored, the were usually massacred when attacked in ambush by light cavalry. Another fact, it was second grand Master of the order Robert of Craon who created the Turcopoliere, an light cavalry group of mercenaries or volunteers of Arabic descent to oppose the Seljuks and Fatimides. Those soldiers were called “Turcopole” probably from the word “Turc” French for Turk.  So what did those knights do during the nine years?


In “Les Mysteres Templiers” a book published only in French in 1967, Louis Charpentier argued the first nine Knightsscan0001 went to Jerusalem to dig for the Ark of the Covenant.  In his book he mentions a carving on the Chartres Cathedral where the Ark is depicted carried on a chariot.  It is to completely forget the writings in the Bible.  Technically the Ark was supposed to be carried only by Levites who wore special robes and were also supposed to be 2000 cubits ahead of the rest of the tribe.  Furthermore, the Ark was to be covered by a special cloth called “parochet”.  Those particularities show that in fact unless Templars had a special guard surrounding the famous chariot in a given 1000 yard radius the weapon would have fried however was near by.  Now if the Middle East in 1128 wasn’t really full of people, it would have been different once in Europe.


Templars were there for another reason.  Could that reason be mathematical?  That point was also brought by Charpentier.  Once Jerusalem was occupied by Islamist, we can study a cultural awakening of otherwise nomadic tribes.  It could be seen in art, poetry, mathematics, philosophy, architecture and in Alchemy.  And oddly enough, once they lost Jerusalem, the cultural drive dwindled.  Only in Spain did the culture remained until all Moors were finally pushed back to the other side of the Mediterranean.


By opposition, as soon as the nine Knights return to France, soon after the Council of Troyes, new constructions appeared all over France first then England and Germany.  They were called Cathedrals and the new architectural style was called Gothic opposed to Romanesque style.  Why the name Gothic?  After all Goths were supposed to be barbarians, at least that what the Romans called them when Visigoth led by Alaric invaded and sacked Rome on August 24 410.


Originally the word “barbarian” really meant someone who does speak either Greek or Latin.  Gerard de Sede in his book on Goths has another explanation which in my humble opinion could be just as valid:  Visigoth venerated their God in the form of a bear, which in Gothic translates as “Bar”.  In any case, why calling the new art “Gothic”?  And where did the work force came to build over 120 building in less than 200 years in France alone?


Should we listen to Saint Bernard who said “God is height length and width”?

En Français…

Categories: News |