Holy Grail

Una productora alemana graba en València del 24 al 26 de octubre un documental sobre el Santo Grial

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El director de documentales Alexander Landsberger vendrá a Valencia los días 24, 25 y 26 de octubre para rodar un documental sobre el Santo Grial que se prevé emitir en la televisión pública alemana.

El documental incluirá en el relato la nueva aportación realizada por la doctora en Historia del Arte por la Universitat de València (UV) Ana Mafé que en su tesis doctoral concluye “por primera vez” que el Cáliz de Valencia es una copa “de factura hebrea” y que, por sus características, coincide con el relato del evangelio y con la época en la que se data la Última Cena de Jesucristo.

La idea de grabar el documental se gestó en marzo, tras conocer el resultado de la investigación, con el objetivo de dar a conocer a nivel internacional las nueva informaciones que ratifican el Santo Cáliz de Valencia como el origen del constructo medieval del conocido Santo Grial, según ha informado en un comunicado la productora Story House Productions GmbH encargada del proyecto.

La película del Santo Grial, que es parte de una serie documental de los mitos más grandes del mundo llamada “Mitos de la humanidad”, producida por la productora en nombre de la emisora de televisión pública alemana ZDFinfo, es un documental de 45 minutos que cuenta la historia de una de las reliquias más sagradas de la humanidad.

El equipo, que también filmará en San Juan de la Peña y Jacetania los días 22 y 23 de octubre con la presencia del historiador Michael Hesemann, seguirán el Camino del Santo Grial y explicarán el porqué de su inspiración para el poema medieval Parzifal de Wolfram von Eschenbach.

La serie se prevé transmitir en ZDFinfo en el verano de 2020 y la compañía distribuirá una versión internacional del programa en todo el mundo.

in Valencianoticias, por

Dr. Timothy Wallace-Murphy has passed

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It is with profound sadness that we wish to announce that Dr Tim Wallace-Murphy, 89, has passed away at his home in the South West of France, having been in a ‘slow hurry’ with his battle with COPD. Dying as he put it ‘was not all it cracked up to be’. He was surrounded by loved ones.

A father, an inspiration and a friend to many, his death will be felt not just in Espéraza but around the world. He was born on 13 January 1930 in Galway to Timothy and Mae Murphy, later describing himself as a Franco-Irish Yiddisher boy with both feet firmly stuck in mid-air. After attending the University College Dublin from 1953 – 1958, he obtained a degree in Medicine and later one in Psychology. He then travelled across Europe and Africa for ten years before returning to England and beginning work as a clinical psychologist.

Through his work, Tim met author Trevor Ravenscroft with whom he co-authored his first book Mark of the Beast in 1988. Following this tome, Tim then devoted his life to the writing and research of the Knights Templar, Rex-Deus and pathways of spirituality.

Tim was a dedicated supporter of the restoration and preservation of Rosslyn Chapel, near Edinburgh, Scotland, undertaking excavations and field work with a team of like-minded people, whom would become lifelong friends. From this experience, he produced the book Rosslyn: Guardian of the Secrets of the Holy Grail. It is from this book that Dan Brown used as source material for his own work The Da Vinci Code. Tim found himself subsequently featuring in TV documentaries and began to settle in the South West of France or to Tim, ‘paradise’.

Tim has had a proud career in community work and politics, having served as the Governor of South Devon Technical College, a TUC secretary, town councillor and a volunteer for the Leukaemia Research Fund. Tim dedicated his life in service to others and helping those who were also brought up spiritually confused on to a spiritual pathway.

A service for friends and loved ones will be held to remember Tim at a later date; however as in life and death, funds are limited. If you wish to help with the arrangements financially, please use the following link: https://www.gofundme.com/funeral-for-tim-wallacemurphy

Tim left many memories and many will be fondly remembered, such as his remarkable singing ability and razor sharp intellect. When asked shortly before his passing how he was feeling, he commented that “I will feel much better when this bloody thing is all over.” As we grieve, Tim’s humour lasted out to the last.

[From Tim’s Facebook]

Retiro de Outono 2018 – Tempo de Estudo e Festa

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Nos passados dias 23 e 24 de Novembro o Priorado de Portugal reuniu em Arraiolos os seus Comendadores, Cavaleiros e Damas e levou a cabo o Retiro de Outono de 2018 dedicado à formação inicial dos graus de Cavalaria.

A festa começou na realidade no dia 22 com um jantar organizado pelos Noviços da Comenda de Lisboa – Chagas, numa Sessão Solene de Encerramento de Instrução de Noviços, que decorreu em Lisboa e serviu de oportunidade para falar em ambiente de festa de todos os assuntos que não cabem numa reunião litúrgica normal. Como era de esperar, o convívio prolongou-se na noite, mesmo sem a presença do Comendador, Fr+ Luis Fonseca, retido em casa por uma febre inoportuna.

Tratou-se de uma digna preparação para o Retiro que se aproximava no dia seguinte em Arraiolos.

Foto: “As melhoras Comendador Fonseca!”

Sob os auspícios da Comenda de Arraiolos, o dia 23 iniciou-se com o jantar de convívio, a que se seguiu um debate sobre o Parsival na versão de Chretien de Troyes e o contexto histórico da elaboração deste romance seminal, relacionando-o nomeadamente com a Ordem de Cister e a Ordem do Templo, sem deixar de olhar à simultaneidade do surgimento da nação Portucalense. O debate foi longo e frutuoso. Com o trabalho ao redor dos capítulos iniciais do Persival, os segredos da Cavalaria forma-se revelando e a capa que cobre o conto como um véu foi dando lugar à visão clara das coisas.

No dia seguinte o grupo cresceu mais um pouco com a chegada do Grão Prior e de mais Comendadores, Damas e Cavaleiros e passou-se a um ambiente de sala de aula. Com recurso a apresentações visuais, mas igualmente ao imprescindível quadro para desenhar esquematicamente os assuntos que se iam desenrolando, o Prior de Portugal, Fr+ Luis de Matos e o Comendador de Lisboa, Fr+ Luis Fonseca – já mais recuperado dos últimos dias de febre – abordaram todos os fundamentos iniciáticos da Cavalaria Espiritual, integrando-os na história da tradicional Ordem do Templo, enquadrando-os com elementos da História de Portugal e das suas tradições e lendas, sempre com o Parsival e a Demanda do Santo Graal como pano de fundo.

Entre outros assuntos, esclareceu-se o fundamento teológico da Cavalaria, como mediadora entre os princípios iniciais expressos nas qualidades do Paraíso Perdido e o mundo real onde encontramos a injustiça e a falta de compaixão como regra; o fundamento simbólico da Cavalaria, com os diversos elementos de base geométrica, matemática e metafísica que compõem a ciência cavaleiresca e as regras com que esta procura decifrar o Universo, a posição do Homem e a sua relação com os outros seres e o Criador; terminando com o fundamento iniciático, de cariz mais interior e íntimo, mas verdadeiranente redentor e reintegrador.

Pela tarde do dia 24 juntaram-se os Noviços e Escudeiros que viriam a ser recebidos ou elevados na Ordem durante a celebração do Capítulo após o Banquete. Fizeram-se as apresentações, alguns Irmãos tomaram a palavra para contextualizar cada um dos graus da Ordem, bem como o quadro organizacional da OSMTHU nacional e internacional.

Pelas 20h o grupo foi recebido na Pousada do Convento de Nossa Senhora da Assunção de Arraiolos para um magnífico Banquete, em que se juntaram Cavaleiros, Damas, Escudeiros e Noviços e suas famílias, bem como alguns convidados. Honrou-nos com a sua presença o Grão Prior de Portugal da OSMTH, Fr+ António Andrade e sua esposa.

Foto: Mesa dos Grão Priores, Oficiais e Comendadores

Seguiu-se o Capítulo conjunto, presidido pelo Comendador de Lisboa – Chagas, Fr+ Luis Fonseca, a que se associaram os Comendadores de Sintra, Fr+ Paulo Valente, de Lagos, Fr+ Victor Varela Martins e de Arraiolos, Fr+ Rui Herdadinha, durante o qual se procedeu à recepção de uma Irmã Noviça, bem como à elevação de quatro Irmãos Escudeiros.

Ficam os parabéns e agradecimentos às Comendas que trabalharam em conjunto para a realização deste evento, particularmente aos esforços do Comendador Fr+ Rui Herdadinha que foi um excelente anfitrião.

What exactly is the Holy Grail – and why has its meaning eluded us for centuries?

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Type “Holy Grail” into Google and … well, you probably don’t need me to finish that sentence. The sheer multiplicity of what any search engine throws up demonstrates that there is no clear consensus as to what the Grail is or was. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of people out there claiming to know its history, true meaning and even where to find it.

Modern authors, perhaps most (in)famously Dan Brown, offer new interpretations and, even when these are clearly and explicitly rooted in little more than imaginative fiction, they get picked up and bandied about as if a new scientific and irrefutable truth has been discovered. The Grail, though, will perhaps always eschew definition. But why?

The first known mention of a Grail (“un graal”) is made in a narrative spun by a 12th century writer of French romance, Chrétien de Troyes, who might reasonably be referred to as the Dan Brown of his day – though some scholars would argue that the quality of Chrétien’s writing far exceeds anything Brown has so far produced.

Chrétien’s Grail is mystical indeed – it is a dish, big and wide enough to take a salmon, that seems capable to delivering food and sustenance. To obtain the Grail requires asking a particular question at the Grail Castle. Unfortunately, the exact question (“Whom does the Grail serve?”) is only revealed after the Grail quester, the hapless Perceval, has missed the opportunity to ask it. It seems he is not quite ready, not quite mature enough, for the Grail.

But if this dish is the “first” Grail, then why do we now have so many possible Grails? Indeed, it is, at turns, depicted as the chalice of the Last Supper or of the Crucifixion or both, or as a stone containing the elixir of life, or even as the bloodline of Christ. And this list is hardly exhaustive. The reason most likely has to do with the fact that Chrétien appears to have died before completing his story, leaving the crucial questions as to what the Grail is and means tantalisingly unanswered. And it did not take long for others to try to answer them for him.

Robert de Boron, a poet writing within 20 or so years of Chrétien (circa 1190-1200), seems to have been the first to have associated the Grail with the cup of the Last Supper. In Robert’s prehistory of the object, Joseph of Arimathea took the Grail to the Crucifixion and used it to catch Christ’s blood. In the years that followed (1200-1230), anonymous writers of prose romances fixated upon the Last Supper’s Holy Chalice and made the Grail the subject of a quest by various knights of King Arthur’s court. In Germany, by contrast, the knight and poet Wolfram von Eschenbach reimagined the Grail as “Lapsit exillis” – an item more commonly referred to these days as the “Philosopher’s Stone”.

None of these is anything like Chrétien’s Grail, of course, so we can fairly ask: did medieval audiences have any more of a clue about the nature of the Holy Grail than we do today?

Publishing the Grail

My recent book delves into the medieval publishing history of the French romances that contain references to the Grail legend, asking questions about the narratives’ compilation into manuscript books. Sometimes, a given text will be bound alongside other types of texts, some of which seemingly have nothing to do with the Grail whatsoever. So, what sorts of texts do we find accompanying Grail narratives in medieval books? Can this tell us anything about what medieval audiences knew or understood of the Grail?

The picture is varied, but a broad chronological trend is possible to spot. Some of the few earliest manuscript books we still have see Grail narratives compiled alone, but a pattern quickly appears for including them into collected volumes. In these cases, Grail narratives can be found alongside historical, religious or other narrative (or fictional) texts. A picture emerges, therefore, of a Grail just as lacking in clear definition as that of today.

Perhaps the Grail served as a useful tool that could be deployed in all manner of contexts to help communicate the required message, whatever that message may have been. We still see this today, of course, such as when we use the phrase “The Holy Grail of…” to describe the practically unobtainable, but highly desirable prize in just about any area you can think of. There is even a guitar effect-pedal named “holy grail”.

Once the prose romances of the 13th century started to appear, though, the Grail took on a proper life of its own. Like a modern soap opera, these romances comprised vast reams of narrative threads, riddled with independent episodes and inconsistencies. They occupied entire books, often enormous and lavishly illustrated, and today these offer evidence that literature about the Grail evaded straightforward understanding and needed to be set apart – physically and figuratively. In other words, Grail literature had a distinctive quality – it was, as we might call it today, a genre in its own right.

In the absence of clear definition, it is human nature to impose meaning. This is what happens with the Grail today and, according to the evidence of medieval book compilation, it is almost certainly what happened in the Middle Ages, too. Just as modern guitarists use their “holy grail” to experiment with all kinds of sounds, so medieval writers and publishers of romance used the Grail as an adaptable and creative instrument for conveying a particular message to their audience, the nature of which could be very different from one book to the next.

Whether the audience always understood that message, of course, is another matter entirely.

in theconversation.com by Leah Tether

 

‘Knightfall’ – Tom Cullen Interview on Playing a Templar Knight on a Quest for the Holy Grail

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Tom Cullen Knightfall Interview:

Did you have to do any extra training or had you already known how to use the sword?

Tom Cullen: “In drama school in the UK we do a lot of fight training, and so I’d done a lot of sword training prior. And,I found that I had the propensity for killing people, ironically. (Laughing) So, I’d actually done extra exams and had some practice while studying in drama school but that was about eight years ago. I hadn’t swung a sword in about eight years, so it was all very new in many respects.

The stunt team that we had was led by an amazing Frenchman, Cédric Proust. He is a top stuntman and fight choreographer. He really put us through it and we had a great swordsman called Roman. The entire team wanted us to be at a very, very high level. Every day on set they would drill us and I did about three months of physical training beforehand to get myself and my body ready for the fighting portion of my character and the series.

We also did a two and a half week boot camp where we would walk in the morning and do some circuit training and then do fighting in the afternoon. Later, we’d go horse riding and do some more sword training and then we would go to the gym. When it came to the actual filming, because there were a lot of fight scenes I was filming 14 hours a day doing scene work and then I’d have to do my fight training either on my lunch breaks or on the weekends. Any kind of second in the day that I did have I would fill it by going up to the stables and ride.

Working on Knightfall was a full-on experience because the team wanted it to look authentic and real, and when you watch the fights they are absolutely incredible. I’m so proud of all of the actors who’ve participated in the battles because we’ve really done a great job. The stunt guys have really trained us well and they’re epic battles and muddy and gruesome. And they feel very real, which I think is something I’m very proud of.

There is an incredible battle sequence in the final episode which is the biggest thing I’ve ever been involved in. We had like 400 guys on a battlefield fighting for about two weeks. It’s epic and amazing. And the real geek, nerd in me – because I am one – just can’t believe that I’m in it. I’m extremely proud of it.”

How much research did you do?

Tom Cullen: “Whenever I have done a historical piece, I think it’s imperative that you have to bathe yourself in as much literature to understand the world as much as possible, so that when you get onto the set, the world is just vibrating inside you. I wanted to know as much about the Crusades and about the politics at the time. Not just the politics in Europe or in the Middle East, but also Mongolian politics because they had a huge influence.

You just need to immerse yourself in the world and know everything that these men would have known, understand every single permutation and the political permutation that is affected where they are at this point and what drives these men and women to do the things that they do. I think that’s something that you have to do, otherwise it’s just lazy and in a way unforgivable because at that point that’s where you make mistakes.

You take history for granted and history should never be taken for granted because it’s essential for us furthering ourselves as a society and as a culture, because the one thing that history teaches us is that it’s cyclical. And so, yes, I read a lot and we had a fantastic historian on set. His name is Dan Jones. He’s just released an amazing book that you must read called The Templars which is on the New York Times Bestseller’s List. It’s brilliant. He was there on hand at all times feeding into us and making sure that what we were portraying was as accurate as possible. Anything that would come up in the script that we didn’t know, we would use him as a source of knowledge and he would say, ‘Go and read this, go and read that,’ or just tell us because he’s a real fountain of knowledge.

And that wasn’t just the access that put me in the world of the Knights Templar. […] The costume design, the art direction, the production design, makeup, etc. it was all so dense and real that you feel like you’re right in it as soon as you turn up on set. It’s just all there for you, you know, and you can really immerse yourself into the world.

The days we spent on set were amazing. We filmed on the biggest sets in Europe at Barrandov Studios. They built Medieval Paris. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. In the show, I have to do this shot where I’m riding down this nearly 200-meter long street that they built. And there are 350 extras and each extra has a job, each extra has a name. And it’s live, real world and you just forget that the cameras are there because it’s so extraordinary.

Our costume designer, Diana Cilliers, was amazing. I remember the first time we did our screen test, which is where you put on the costume in front of camera and you kind of like pose and walk around so they can see what it looks like on camera with the makeup and the hair and all of that kind of stuff. I remember putting the costume on, the chainmail and everything, and it weighed 50 pounds which was like an insane amount of weight. I struggled to walk down the corridor to get to the studio to do the screen test.

I was like, ‘Guys, why is the costume so heavy? How are we supposed to move and fight in this?’ And the answer was that Diana tried out lighter material such as plastics and other materials but they just didn’t look authentic. And so they put us in the most authentic costume that they could and we just had to deal with it. We got bigger and we got stronger, and so very quickly we were able to run and jump, get on horses in the 50-pound costumes and do everything that we needed to do to play our parts. But, you know, you can see the difference in the way that the costumes move and the way that your body moves in them. It’s just authentic and I think it makes for a very real experience when watching the show.”

Can you talk about Landry’s relationship with Godfrey, played by Sam Hazeldine?

Tom Cullen: “So the relationship that Landry has with Godfrey runs throughout the entire first season. And so in episode one, Godfrey is Landry’s surrogate father. Landry was an orphan and Godfrey essentially took him in and saved him from this orphanage. And so because of the promise Godfrey saw in him, Landry became a Templar at the age of 11 which is very, very, very rare.

One of the Templar rules is that you must become a Templar of your own volition because it’s such a monastic lifestyle where you do things like eat your food out of the same bowl as another man. There’s no vanity, there’s no possessions. It’s completely monastic. And so it’s very rare for a young boy to join the Templars like Landry did.

So, Godfrey becomes Landry’s father and as the season goes on, in episode one there is a truth revealed to Landry about Godfrey that he didn’t know. And Landry, like a classic hero that we all know, as the protagonist, he hunts and searches for the truth at all costs. He is like a boar who gets physically beaten, emotionally beaten and he just gets back up by himself and charges towards the truth.

Godfrey is pivotal in that circle of truth that Landry is striving towards and it isn’t a very easy journey for Landry to go on throughout the first season. But, it’s a very satisfying journey for the viewers. Every time the scripts would come in there would be a new revelation and it would be a new shock and a new turn and it was very cool to read and really fun to play. I hope that the audience enjoys it as much as we enjoyed making it.”

Is any particular theme or aspect to Knightfall you think will really resonate with the viewers?

Tom Cullen: “Yes, sure. I think what I’m very proud of in the show is that you can kind of look at the show objectively from the outside having not seen it and say, ‘Oh, this is about guys swinging swords and that’s what the show is about,’ but the show is so much more than that. The show is about politics. We have a lot of stuff that takes place in the French Court at the time, dissecting and breaking down the politics and the machinations of political interplay, which I just love that kind of stuff.

It has a fantastic central spine through the show; an amazing love story which I’m surprised at how strong and moving that story was as we were filming it. It kind of grew into this thing that we had no idea it would become. The show talks about revenge and betrayal, brotherhood, loyalty, faith, humanity and mortality. I think that it raises really big questions about who we are whilst at the same time being really kind of fun and entertaining. So, that takes you on a really wild journey.

And, so I truly believe the show has something for everybody. I think that it is by no means a gendered show. I think that women would love it as much as men will love it and that is something I’m really proud of, too. It has fantastic, strong female characters. They are actually probably stronger than all of the male characters and they’re just as complex and rich as the male counterparts, and it’s very moving. I’ve watched the last episode three or four times now and I’ve shed many tears every single time. It’s a great rollercoaster.”

What do you like about the medieval time period?

Tom Cullen: “I’ve always been obsessed with the Medieval time period because I think it’s a time that we can look back on and learn from. And, actually, 800 years isn’t that long ago and that this is the time really when the world that we live in today was created and formulated. We’re still feeling the repercussions of the actions and choices the people made in the medieval period today.

It’s also a period that is grimy and dirty and dangerous. The line between life and death is so thin, it’s really interesting to learn about. And I think that’s a fantastic place to make a drama in. It’s a very rich world since life and death was so next to each other, and it’s world rich in terms of human wants and needs. Nowadays our lives are reasonably comfortable for certain people, especially in America. We typically don’t have that kind of life and death threat every single day where we are going to drop down with scurvy or have to go into battle.

So, our choices aren’t as drastic. But if you have a lifespan of 35 years, every choice you make is loaded. And so I think that the world of the Medieval period is one of very high octane and people making life and death choices every single move. And that, for me, is an exhilarating period of time to make a drama in.”

How do the scenes in Knightfall resonate in your own life? How do you draw on your own life to play the part of Landry?

Tom Cullen: “That’s such a good question. On the paper, it isn’t necessarily very easy to draw on myself, and I think that I like to work as an actor from the places of truth instead of drawing on myself as an empathetic being. Well, I’ve had some experiences personally that I put it into Landry but not many. I worked in an empathetic way, anyway where I try and put myself into the character’s body and some kind of lose myself as much as possible. And so my thoughts and my character’s thoughts were somewhat separate as opposed to my own.

I don’t really like to draw on my own experiences. I feel that’s confusing and muddied and I don’t think it’s very healthy. So, it wouldn’t have been very healthy for me to continue working in that way and it’s not why I’m an actor. But the themes that were very resonant with me in the show, that resonated with me as a reader and as a viewer and as an actor, are ones of brotherhood and loyalty, love and lust, and denying one’s own happiness, complexity in relationships with a father and feelings of abandonment. All of that stuff really resonated with me.”

Do you believe that because Landry became a Templar at such a young age that’s why he was able to rebel against that part of his vow and enter into a romantic relationship?

Tom Cullen: “I think that when we first meet Landry at the top of episode 1 he is 20, and he is brash and young. He is a maverick, incredibly cocky, and is kind of emboldened by the fact that he has God on his side and he thinks that he’s invincible, which I think a lot of 20 year-olds think, regardless of whether they have God on their side or not. I know I certainly felt like that.

But what we see at the top of episode one is his entire life flipped upside down when they lose Acre, the last Templar stronghold in the Holy Land and they lose the Holy Grail. And so we flash forward 15 years and when you’ve been brought up as a as a warrior, and that’s all you know, everything you know, it’s a tough reality to deal with. He’s like a caged animal, unable to fulfill what he thinks is his only purpose and duty which is to fight.

And so when we meet him, he is this very, very complex, pulled apart guy in episode one. He is battling with his humanity and he is secular yet he is also still mentally devout. He is very loyal to his brothers, his family, yet he is lying to them. He is having an affair with a woman yet he is a monk. He is the bravest, most fearless warrior, yet he’s starting to feel a sense of his own mortality. I think that’s why he kind of falls in love with this woman. It’s not that he’s doubting God or that he’s doubting the Templars or religion, but that he’s doubting himself. He is in a conflict, in a battle with himself, which are the stories that I love to watch where your hero is so full of contradiction and battle and personal complications. And throughout the first season, we see him work through that and battle through that and try and find out who he really is. It’s an awesome journey for me to play and to take viewers on.”

Did you discuss what would happen moving forward with the series, where it might go in seasons two, three or four? Were you given an idea of Landry’s entire arc beyond the first season? And if so, to what degree does that influence your approach to the character? How much are you able to build into the character as the series goes on?

Tom Cullen: “We love the show and we really hope that we can continue making it for as long as possible because we’re a real family and we’re very, very proud of it and we love making it. There’s also still a lot of the Templar history that has yet to be told. We have an idea of where the show will go and where it will take us. But what actually happens is that while you’re making a show, it becomes this dialogue that happens between the writers, the actors, directors, the costume designers, the art director, the production designer, makeup artists, etc. where you’re constantly kind of feeding into this pot which is the show. It evolves and changes and moves in ways that you would never expect it to.

It’s like a living organism but that surprises you. And so though we have an idea of where this is going, actually the truth is that we don’t in many respects. We have the structure of history and what actually happened which we have to stay with but in terms of the characters, and their fuels and wants and needs and how they navigate their way through that history is something that we’re constantly being surprised by with the characters. And that’s a really exciting place to work with.

And especially as an actor, I don’t want to know where the character is going because in life I have no idea what I’m doing tomorrow or how it’s going to pan out. I can only be in the present and I can only make choices in the present, and so that’s what you want your characters to do. And so the writers actually withheld scripts from us and didn’t tell us what was happening later in this first season so that we could be surprised in the moments whilst we were making the episode, which is a really fantastic and authentic way to work. And then once we get the script, we kind of talk about them and collaborate on them.

Dominic Minghella is an incredible showrunner. He is a force of nature and an amazing man and a brilliant writer, and he really values the actors’ input. He is always very good at fielding ideas and whether he takes them or not is up to him, but it feels like a very collaborative process where everybody is feeding into it and we all have ownership over the show and that’s really exciting.”

in showbizjunkies.com by REBECCA MURRAY

KNIGHTFALL: “YOU’D KNOW WHAT TO DO” REVIEW

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History’s Knightfall delivers a fascinating story centered around the Knights Templar and their quest to find the Holy Grail in the early 14th century. Like the network’s flagship series Vikings, Knightfall proves why History needs to develop more original dramas.

Knightfall goes big and bold right from the beginning with a large-scale battle set in the city of Acre. For a TV budget, the assault on the stronghold looks great, but it’s the use of intricately placed cameras that make the sequence shine.

Typically, an actor that wears a helmet, like Thor, finds a reason to take it off, in order to better show the actor’s face. Studios don’t want to pay someone millions of dollars to hide beneath a helmet. Instead of taking the helmets off, Knightfall puts the cameras inside the helmets. It’s a brilliant choice because it creates a feeling of claustrophobia that adds to the intensity of the fights.

The combat is well choreographed and believable. It’s not as flashy as Vikings, but with warriors wearing armor that heavy, it must be difficult to move. The only complaint is the ineffective use of slow motion throughout the episode. It doesn’t ruin any of the skirmishes, but it is distracting. It feels like the show is trying to be overly stylized when it doesn’t need to be.

The characters that inhabit the story are remarkably realized. Landry (Tom Cullen) is one of the lead knights in the order. Cullen (Downton Abbey) brings all the good looks, charm, and toughness needed to carry a historical epic like Knightfall. Early on, Landry’s close relationship with the King is revealed to be a sore spot between Landry and the rest of his brothers. This conflict should make for a compelling story down the road — especially if you know a little bit of the history concerning the Templar order.

Knightfall takes place around the time of the Templars’ downfall, which according to some historical accounts, has to do with the troubled financial relationship between King Philip IV of France and the Templars. This version of the King, skillfully portrayed by Ed Stoppard (The Crown), doesn’t seem like the type of guy who would betray his friends. These are merely first-impressions, but I’m excited to see how it all plays out. History is a network that’s not afraid to toy with expectations, even in a historical setting (e.g. Vikings). Remember, this is a television show after all.

Some of the supporting characters based on their names alone add to the mystery surrounding the Grail legend. Parsifal (Bobby Schofield) is one such character. Schofield (Black Sea) effectively plays the wide-eyed farm boy who’s in over his head. What’s fascinating here is the historical significance of his name. In the legends about King Arthur, Parsifal (Percival) is one of Arthur’s most trusted knights and he’s also part of the Grail legend. It looks like the writers are using various legends and historical accounts to shape their story. This mixture of fantasy and history makes Knightfall all the more delightful.

It’s nice to have a series that gives the Templar’s a story from their point of view. Properties like Assassin’s Creed haven’t painted them in a good light and while there are reasons for that — having a different perspective on the ancient order is enjoyable to watch. Landry and his brothers are seen as protectors of the people, as opposed to cold-blooded killers.

THE VERDICT

Knightfall creates an engaging story centered around the Knights Templar and their search for the Holy Grail. With gorgeous costumes and wonderfully designed sets, Knightfall does a great job of bringing 14th century Paris to life. Backed by a strong performance from Tom Cullen, Knightfall should have enough staying power to see it through until the finale.

in ign.com by DAVID GRIFFIN


Note: This review is reprint from IGN. The OSMTHU has no official review of Knightfall. However, we should point out that Knightfall is a ficcional series with the Templars as a background. It’s not History. You should enjoy it as you enjoy any other great fictional story.

WANT TO ‘GET SWOLE’? TRY THE TEMPLAR KNIGHT WORKOUT, SUGGESTS KNIGHTFALL STAR TOM CULLEN

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If you’re looking to get fit, Tom Cullen, star of History’s Knightfall, has a suggestion for you: wear chain mail.

The actor stars as Landry, leader of the Knights Templar, in the newest scripted drama from the network home of Vikings — which meant wearing 50 pounds of armor nearly daily for the better part of a year.

“I didn’t want to weigh the costume early on, because otherwise it would just become a thing in my head. I have weighed it since and it has become a thing in my head,” Cullen, who played Lord Gillingham in Downton Abbey, told Rotten Tomatoes. “The costume weighed 50 pounds, which is a lot to be carrying for 14, 15 hours a day when you’re fighting and riding horses. My body changed shape. I went from fit and kind of slender to muscular and big, just from the fact that I was carrying this amount of weight, this heavy costume.

“I couldn’t even get on a horse when I first started,” he confessed. “I had to have a stepladder because I didn’t have the power in my legs to get over the horse. But by the end of the shoot, I was leaping and running and jumping on horses. It was intense.”

So if you want to “get swole,” try the Chain Mail Workout!

“It’s where you wear 50 pounds of chain mail for seven months, every day, 15 hours a day,” Cullen said. “That’s all you have to do. And you’ll end up [muscular]. I’ve had to go to my wardrobe and buy all new trousers because my ass is so big. Honestly, if you want an ass like Kim Kardashian, become a knight.”

Knightfall takes place in the 1300s and follows the Knights Templar as they hunt to recover the Holy Grail in the final days of their reign, ahead of their eventual downfall. The series was shot in Eastern Europe on a Prague backlot — “they built medieval Paris, they built a temple, a palace, streets, a market, a moat, castle walls, a church, shops, alleyways, a pub — it was extraordinary,” Cullen said. The show tackles the later days of the Knights Templar’s reign of power.

“They were such a fascinating, clandestine sect,” Cullen said. “That the myriad of lies and layers that they bathed themselves in — it’s very difficult to unpack all of that. It was fascinating to learn about them. It was a real educational process for me.”

While, like most people, Cullen had a working knowledge of the group, he learned a lot while simply researching for his role.

“One of the things that really stuck with me was that they invented to first bank,” he said. “They created the banking system, and they created the first checks. They became the wealthiest fighting force in the world. And they answered to no country, no king, no queen. They only answered to God and to the Pope. No borders. You could cash your money in France, and you could take it out in Jerusalem. They were kind of untouchable. Fascinating guys. The thing that really surprised me was the level of their power. You learn about how they were in the battlefield. They were extraordinary. They would never leave. Even if they were losing, they would never turn their back and run. They would basically only surrender when the last man had been killed. That level of bravery and intelligence is an extraordinary combination, I think.”

Cullen’s character, Landry, was taken in by the Knights Templar as a 10-year-old orphan.

“All he’s known is war, fighting, and God. When we first see him in episode 1, he’s a very brash young maverick knight who ultimately loses the Holy Grail and loses Acre, the last stronghold in the Holy Land, which is the one thing that he understands himself through. The series is set 15 years after that event, and we find him questioning everything about himself. He’s questioning his faith and his own identity. He’s a very contradictory, very complex character. He is lying to his brothers. He’s having an affair with a woman. But he is immensely loyal. He is maybe the most fearless, brave knight. Yet he is starting to discover his own humanity and his mortality. He is a very pious man and is still a very faithful man, yet he is starting to discover who he is outside of his brotherhood.”

Yes, that’s right — there’s still plenty of sex on this show about religious monks, and Landry’s dedication to the Knights Templar only wavers when his chastity vow is involved.

“He’s very faithful to her,” Cullen said. “He’s a one-woman kind of guy.”

Except he’s supposed to be a no-woman kind of guy.

Added Cullen, “He’s a very complex guy, which is the kind of guy I’m interested in watching.”

The season will include major developments about Landry’s love — in the first episode, even — but his relationship will take a back seat to his main quest: to recover the Holy Grail.

“Landry goes on a pathological hunt to try and find the Grail, because I think that he entwines a lot of his own identity into that piece of pottery,” Cullen said. “I think that he hopes to find it not only to garner enough power to go back to the Holy Land, which is what he thinks that he should be doing, but also to return himself back to who he was — search for his identity before he became this very complex guy. What’s great is that on the way, we see his life fall apart, and as he discovers more about himself, he discovers more about the people around him and the lies that are entwined around his whole life and his whole existence.”

in rottentomatoes.com by Jean Bentley

Excavations expose long-lost palace at mythical birthplace of King Arthur

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A DARK Age palace has been discovered, strengthening the likelihood that the legend of King Arthur may be based on a grain of truth.

A DARK Age palace has been uncovered on Cornwall’s windswept coast, strengthening the likelihood that the legend of King Arthur may be based on a grain of truth.

Myth has it that King Arthur will return at the hour of Britain’s greatest need. It could certainly do with some help right now.

Whether or not a new archaeological dig at his supposed birthplace of Tintagel Castle will prompt such a second coming is another matter.

But it may already be adding to the evidence that the myth surrounding the warrior king who, with the knights of his roundtable, struggled to hold back a “Dark Age” from enveloping Britain.

The Dark Age has long since proven to have been not so dark. But the scant records from the time have made pinning down one historical character that best fits the outline of the tale near impossible.

Now, archaeologists have returned to Arthur’s traditional birthplace of Tintagel for the first time since the 1990s. They’ve just completed their first dig in a new five-year excavation.

Last month they sank four trenches into previously unexcavated areas of the ancient island settlement.

What they found may be the remains of a 1500-year-old palace.

BIRTHPLACE OF A LEGEND

Like many prominent British landmarks, Tintagel has long been associated with Arthurian legend.

Like all the others, the evidence has been largely limited to hearsay.

The ruined castle that dominates the Tintagel landscape is believed to be from the Medieval 13th century. This would make it some 700 years younger than the Arthurian tales.

But it’s long been thought that the castle may have itself been built upon the ruins of an older structure.

But it was the discovery of a stone engraved with a name linked to Arthur’s in 1998 that reinvigorated interest in the windswept ruins on Cornwall’s coast.

Archaeologists believe it to have been a foundation/dedication stone dating from the 6th century. It is engraved with the name Artognou.

It’s these ruins that may have been linked to the Arthur of legend.

The tales tell of the seduction — some say by magical means — of the beautiful wife of a local lord by the then King of Britain. The illicit act conceived Arthur.

Mythology goes on to say the young boy was raised as a squire — a knight’s assistant — until fate took its hand and placed the rightful king on his throne.

The first written record of the mystic king comes from a monk named Gildas in the sixth century.

But it was a time where books were scarce and the most common form of transmitting history — and telling tales — was through memorised songs and poetry.

It took two several more centuries before a more detailed account of King Arthur and his actions would be recorded by Geoffrey of Monmouth in 1138AD.

Unwinding his tangle of myth, legend and history has been a challenge for authors and historians ever since.

At the time of Monmouth’s writing, historians believe Tintagel would likely have been little more than a windswept pile of rubble.

So the notion of it being a powerful palace would have had to have been handed down verbally through the generations.

Just like the tale of Arthur himself.

SCRATCHING THE SURFACE

The archaeologists were guided in their efforts by geophysical surveys of the rocky outcrop’s terraces earlier this year.

Among the ultrasound and radar echoes were outlines of what could be up to a dozen buried buildings, one-metre thick walls and winding paths.

The strategically positioned trenches, two on an upper east terrace and two to the south, have all provided a glimpse of the stonework foundations of long-lost buildings.

From the scattering of potsherds and glass, this places the site smack between 400 and 600AD — precisely the time Arthur is supposed to have led his war band against the invading hordes.

None of this proves Arthur existed.

But the new finds add substance to the idea that the site could have produced cultured but strong warriors as well as influential political figures.

It would have been a beacon of lost civilisation in a world of economic chaos and roving, marauding tribes.

Much of the 150 fragments of glass and pottery recovered had been imported from the far reaches of the then collapsing Roman Empire — indicating a place of both great wealth and trade importance.

One piece was the lip of a Turkish-Phocaean red-slip plate or bowl. It was a particularly fine and highly prized ceramic that would likely have held pride of place on the table of nobility.

Original excavation work in the 1930s led archaeologists to believe the cliffside landmark may have once been an Early Christian monastery.

Later work has steadily strengthened the idea that it may have been an important Dark Age fortress, held by the king of Dumnonia who filled the void in Cornwall left when the Romans abandoned Britain in 410AD.

in news.com.au

The Struggle Of King Arthur And Mordred

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The story of England’s heroic King Arthur and his arch enemy Mordred has been a popular tale since the medieval era. It has been told and retold and been the subject of paintings and films as well as a succession of books. There are many differences between the narratives. For instance, sometimes Mordred is depicted as Arthur’s illegitimate son from his half-sister, or he might be portrayed as the son of the King of the Orkneys. He is also sometimes described as a member of King Arthur’s court who rebelled against him. However, the conflict between these two warriors and Mordred’s death in battle with Arthur are subjects of general agreement.

From the British Isles the legend of Arthur was carried to the European Continent and later to other English speaking countries around the world. The popularity of the first name Arthur in so many countries can also be traced to the fame of this legendary hero monarch. Today it is going to be hard to find someone educated in one of these lands who has not heard of King Arthur and is also able to name a few other of the characters and places featured. Although parts of the story are so well-known, its history and significance are not so widely appreciated.

The Origins of the Legend

Historians continue to speculate if King Arthur, Mordred and the other scenes and players in the legend have any historical basis. For the most part the story is associated with fifth or sixth century Wales. If a prototype for Arthur did exist he might have been a Celtic chieftain rallying his forces to fight off the Saxon invaders. References have been found to figures that might have been the model for King Arthur in some of the scare writings that survive from the Saxon period in British history, but none of the associations made are conclusive. Two Medieval writers share the responsibility for publicising the tale and incorporating in it many of the elements familiar to us today.

In 1138 Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote a history of the Kings of Britain. Many allege that he drew more on his imagination than on any older records that had come to his notice. Others claim that some of what he wrote corresponds with information in earlier documents that have now come to light. Whatever the authenticity of his facts, Geoffrey introduced his readers to a King Arthur, Queen Guinevere, Merlin the Wizard and of course, King Arthur’s arch enemy Mordred. In this version of the tale King Arthur goes to fight against the Roman Empire in Gaul (France of today). The evil Mordred takes advantage of the opportunity to usurp Arthur’s throne and take Queen Guinevere as his wife. The news reached King Arthur on campaign. He returns to his kingdom and fights a fierce battle with Mordred at a place called Camlann, Mordred is killed but Arthur is mortally wounded.

In the late medieval period Thomas Malory published a revised and comprehensive version of the Arthur stories, entitled “The Death of Arthur” (Le Morte d’Arthur). The publication of this work coincided with the introduction of the printing press. Malory’s work became one of the first books printed in England and standardised many aspects of the Arthur legend, for example, the idea of Arthur and his knights sitting at the Round Table dates from this publication. The bitter enmity between Arthur and Mordred continues to form a key part of the story but in a key change from Geoffrey of Monmouth’s narrative Queen Guinevere remain loyal to King Arthur.

Why have these tales survived the years?

The fact that the reader of this article is likely to be familiar with tales of Arthur and Mordred is a testimony to their enduring power. Yet they are more than simple stories. The Arthur tales have contributed culturally to the shaping of Britain’s identity. Over all these years they continue to serve a useful purpose. People are attracted by the idea that there was once an age when chivalrous knights rode about the British countryside fighting treacherous enemies like Mordred, or even supernatural dragons and other monsters. During World War Two, tales of Arthur’s bravery against the country’s enemies provided a rallying point for resistance to German aggression. Today the interest is probably largely of an escapist nature. Regardless of whether or not there is a basis in history, it seems that tales of Arthur and Mordred still serve a purpose in our hi-tech age.

By: Jane Richardson in newhistorian.com

Hitler’s Hunt for the Holy Grail and the Ghent Altarpiece

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Why did Hitler crave the missing panel in the famous Ghent Altarpiece? Maybe because the Nazi’s paranormal research group thought the masterpiece contained a map to the Holy Grail.

On the night of 10 April 1934, one of the twelve oak panels that comprise Jan van Eyck’s famous painting, Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, was stolen from Saint Bavo Cathedral, in Ghent, Belgium. Often referred to as “The Ghent Altarpiece,” this monumental oil painting is arguably the single most influential painting ever made. It is also the most-frequently stolen, having been burgled, in its entirety or in parts, at least six times—quite a feat, considering that it is the size of a barn door (14 x 11.5 feet) and weighs about two tons. It was the most-desired artwork by the Nazis, including Hitler and his second-in-command, Hermann Göring.

The two Nazi leaders actually raced one another to be the first to steal the altarpiece. The Nazi art theft unit, the ERR, captured it first for Hitler, from its hiding place at Chateau de Pau, in the south of France, where the Belgian government had sent it for safe-keeping. But an emissary from Göring appropriated it for the Luftwaffe head’s massive stolen art collection, which included some seven-thousand masterpieces, displayed at his country estate outside Berlin. Hitler got wind of this, and intercepted the altarpiece, sending it first to Castle Neuschwanstein in Bavaria, where it was restored, and then for storage in a salt mine in the Austrian Alps near Altaussee, where the twelve-thousand most famous stolen artworks from Nazi-occupied Europe were kept in secret, destined to feature in Hitler’s planned “super museum,” which would be the size of a city, and display every important artwork in the world. From the Altaussee salt mine, the Ghent Altarpiece and its fellow captives were ultimately rescued, thanks to the combined efforts of Austrian miners and a pair of Monuments Men, Robert Posey and Lincoln Kirstein, who only learned of the Altaussee hoard thanks to a fortuitous toothache that led them to a former SS officer, an art historian who was in hiding as the war drew to a close. The upcoming George Clooney film, The Monuments Men, dramatizes some of these stories, though taking a great many liberties in the process.

The iconography of The Ghent Altarpiece has long fascinated scholars. The painting was immediately the most famous in Europe, when it was completed in 1432. It was the first major oil painting. Oil had been used to bind pigments to paintings since the Middle Ages, but Jan van Eyck was the first to demonstrate the true potential of oils, which permit far greater subtlety and detail than largely-opaque egg-based tempera paint, which was preferred before The Ghent Altarpiece popularized oils. The altarpiece contains over 100 figures, and is an elaborate pantheon of Catholic mysticism—at its center stands a heavenly field, brimming with uniquely-depicted figures around a sacrificial lamb, representative of Christ (the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb from which the work draws it title). The lamb stands upon an altar and bleeds into a chalice—the Holy Grail.

Hitler so craved the Ghent Altarpiece because it was one of the most famous artworks in history, and it was by a Germanic artist, in the realistic, Northern Renaissance style that Hitler preferred.  It had also been forcibly repatriated to Belgium after the First World War, before which certain panels of the altarpiece had been displayed in Berlin. The Treaty of Versailles mentioned only four works of cultural heritage, foremost among them The Ghent Altarpiece. Hitler wanted to correct the humiliation inflicted on the German people by the Treaty of Versailles, and recapturing the altarpiece would go some way toward that goal.

But there may also have been a more fantastic reason why Hitler wanted this painting above all others. Rumor had it that he was convinced that the painting contained a coded map to lost Catholic treasures, the so-called Arma Christi, or instruments of Christ’s Passion, including the Crown of Thorns, the Holy Grail, and the Spear of Destiny. Hitler believed that the possession of the Arma Christiwould grant their owner supernatural powers. As the tide of the war turned ever more against the Nazis, Hitler cranked up his efforts to seek some supernatural way to bring victory to the Third Reich.

Cue the soundtrack to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Nazis tried to create super-soldiers, using steroids, in a twisted interpretation of Nietzsche’sübermensch, and they sought to reanimate the dead—coffins of famous Germanic warriors were found hidden in a mine, with plans to bring them back to life at the war’s end.
The idea that the Nazis had teams of researchers hunting for supernatural treasures, religious relics, and entrances to a magical land of telepathic faeries and giants might sound like a bad History Channel documentary, or out-takes from an Indiana Jones movie. But despite the considerable popular interest in all things Nazi-related, and all things supernatural, relatively few people are aware of a very real organization that was the inspiration for the Indiana Jones plots: the Nazi Ahnenerbe, or the Ancestral Heritage Research and Teaching Organization.

The Ahnenerbe (which literally means “Inheritance of the Forefathers”) was a paranormal research group, established by order of SS head Heinrich Himmler on 1 July 1935. It was expanded during the Second World War on direct orders from the Fuhrer. Hitler and other top Nazi leaders’ (Himmler foremost among them) interest in the occult is well and widely documented. The Nazi Party actually began as an occult fraternity, before it morphed into a political party. Himmler’s SS, ostensibly Hitler’s bodyguard but in practice the leading special forces of the Nazi Army, was wholly designed based on occult beliefs. Wewelsburg, the castle headquarters of the SS, was the site of initiation rituals for twelve SS “knights” that was modeled on Arthurian legend. The magical powers of runes were invoked, and the Ahnenerbe logo features rune-style lettering. Psychics and astrologers were employed to attack the enemy and plan tactics based on the alignment of the stars. Nazis tried to create super-soldiers, using steroids, in a twisted interpretation of Nietzsche’s übermensch, and they sought to reanimate the dead—coffins of famous Germanic warriors were found hidden in a mine, with plans to bring them back to life at the war’s end.

The Ahnenerbe sent expeditions all over the world. To Tibet, to search for traces of the original, uncorrupted Aryan race, and for a creature called the Yeti, what we would call the Abominable Snowman. To Ethiopia, in search of the Ark of the Covenant. To the Languedoc, to find the Holy Grail. To steal the Spear of Destiny, which Longinus used to pierce Christ’s side as Christ hung on the cross, and which disappeared from a locked vault in Nurnberg. To Iceland, to find the entrance to a magical land of telepathic giants and faeries called Thule, which Hitler and most of the Nazi brass believed was the place of origin of the Aryans, and was very real. If they could find this entrance, believed to be accessible via a secret code hidden in a Medieval Icelandic saga called The Eddas, then the Nazis might accelerate their Aryan breeding program, and recover the supernatural powers of flight, telepathy and telekinesis that they believed their ancestors in Thule possessed, and which was lost due to inter-breeding with “lesser” races.

As crazy as all this may sound, it was fervently believed by many in the Nazi Party—so much so that huge sums of money were invested into research, along with hundreds of workers and scientists. This pseudo-scientific institute both sought supernatural advantages for the Nazi war effort, but also had a propagandistic agenda, to seek “scientific” evidence to support Nazi beliefs, like Aryan racial superiority.

With all this in mind, it is entirely plausible that Hitler believed that the Ghent Altarpiece contained a coded map to supernatural treasure. After all, the Ahnenerbe was hard at work looking for a secret entrance to the magical land of Thule in the Icelandic saga, The Eddas. Whether such a map is in The Ghent Altarpiece is another matter, one that scholars dismiss out of hand, though it is tempting to interpret the complex, enigmatic iconography and disguised symbolism of van Eyck’s masterpiece in terms more exotic than those in the average art history textbook. But there is also another component to the story that fuels this theory, and it is linked to the 1934 theft of that single panel.

There has never been a convincing explanation for the motivation for the theft of the Righteous Judges panel, referred to as such because it depicts a group of Biblical wise men (while also hiding several portraits, including one of van Eyck). While the man who masterminded the theft of the Judges panel, Arsene Goedertier, is known, he could not have acted alone, and his motivation is uncertain. The panel was ostensibly stolen in order to ransom it back to the bishopric of Saint Bavo—but Goedertier had more money in his bank account than was asked for in the ransom demand. For lack of a clear motive, various theories have arisen, one of which is linked to a Nazi art detective, Heinrich Köhn, who was sent to Ghent to find the stolen Judges panel several years before the Nazis seized the other eleven panels of the altarpiece.

Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels, along with Himmler, conceived of the idea to find the lost Judges panel and give it as a gift to Hitler at the tenth anniversary of his assumption of power in Germany, in 1943. Köhn investigated throughout the city of Ghent, even taking apart portions of the cathedral (for one theory held that the panel had been hidden on-site, never having left Saint Bavo). He found nothing, and was sent to fight in the Eastern Front for his failure. Why would the Nazis wish to locate a single stolen panel? They surely had designs on seizing the entire altarpiece, and did not wish it to be incomplete when they did so. Some have suggested that the coded treasure map leading to the Arma Christiwas missing a key component that was hidden in the Judges panel. In order for the map to bear fruit, that panel was needed. It was stolen in 1934, therefore, to keep it out of Nazi hands, should the nascent Adolf Hitler follow through with his plan to recapture The Ghent Altarpiece and make it the focal point of his super-museum.

While there are plenty of non-supernatural, non-Da Vinci Code-y rationales for Hitler to desire The Ghent Altarpiece above all other objects, it is entirely plausible that Hitler might have believed in the coded treasure map theory. It seems far-fetched to us today, until we consider the other crazy theories that were truly believed by Hitler and his cronies. If The Eddas might contain a code to gain entrance to the magical land of Thule, where Aryan ancestors lived as flying telepathic faeries and giants then, according to Nazi logic, then the world’s most important painting might indeed contain a treasure map leading to the Holy Grail.

in thedailybeast.com

Novo Curso Arcana Templi

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Inscrições: ihshi@mail.com

O Instituto Gualdim Pais, em colaboração com o IHS-HI e com a Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolimitani Universalis (OSMTHU) vai promover mais uma edição do Curso de Instrução do Templo e da Cavalaria Espiritual, a ter lugar no dia 12 de Julho de 2015 em Sintra.

Excepcionalmente o Curso terá a duração de 8h (uma manhã e uma tarde), estando abertas as inscrições para cada uma das datas.

O Curso é composto pela Instrução Preliminar que é dada a todos os que ingressam na Ordem do Templo (OSMTHU), a qual aborda múltiplos temas relacionados com a histórica Ordem do Templo, bem como com a Cavalaria Espiritual como Via Iniciática, explorando a sua expressão Cristã reconhecida nos Templários, assim como na Ordem de Cristo, entre outras, bem como a sua história e sobrevivências até aos dias de hoje em múltiplos ramos.

O Curso faz ainda uma introdução ao que é a Instrução de Cavalaria, explanando os seus valores teológicos e iniciáticos, recorrendo a textos canónicos e documentos das diversas épocas.

Está sujeito a inscrição e todos os que o completarem são reconhecidos pela Ordem como aptos a propor-se para instrução mais adiantada e filiação na Festa de São Miguel, em Setembro de 2015.

Desde 2009 que não é possível filiar-se a este ramo da Ordem sem completar o Curso de Instrução preliminar, o qual é dado em ambiente restrito.

Após o Curso, a Ordem irá fechar de novo as suas portas até oportunidade futura que se venha a justificar.

Sobre o Ramo OSMTHU da Ordem do Templo

A Ordem Soberana e Militar do Templo de Jerusalém Universal é descendente da Ordem retomada por Fabré Palaprat em 1804, o qual trabalhou sob as Ordens de Napoleão, com o Chanceler da Ordem (e do Império), Cambaceres. Parlaprat foi igualmente Patriarca da Igreja Joanita, após ter sido ordenado Bispo na sucessão apostólica pelo Bispo Machaud. Ao longo do século XIX e século XX a Ordem teve uma história conturbada, essencialmente centrada em França e na Suiça. Após a morte de Parlaprat em 1838 a Ordem é dirigida por um Conselho de Regência. Em 1934 é eleito Regente Emile Vandenberg. Nessa época a Europa viva tempos difíceis e com o início da Segunda Guerra, os arquivos da Ordem foram colocados sob a guarda de um diplomata destacado na Bélgica. Quando a guerra acabou o Regente Vandenberg viu-se envolvido num acidente fatal e a continuidade da regência da Ordem foi assumida sem eleição pelo diplomata que havia guardado os arquivos anos antes. Os diversos Priorados tiveram reacções distintas a esta atitude não protocolar e, desde essa época vários se declararam autónomos da nova regência auto-proclamada. De 1945 em diante nasceu um ramo da OSMTH que não reconheceu durante décadas nenhuma autoridade a não ser as autoridades nacionais devidamente eleitas e cuja proveniência de Cavalaria pudesse ser verificada. Já na década de 80 constituiu-se uma Federação Internacional com o objectivo de preparar a eleição livre e universal de um Grão Mestre internacional. Este facto deu-se em 1999, tendo o espanhol Fernando de Toro-Garland sido eleito em sufrágio verificado por auditores externos à Ordem e proclamado em Santiago de Compostela. Pelo seu carácter internacional, o Conselho Magistral, órgão executivo internacional, decidiu acrescentar “Universalis” à designação da Ordem de modo a distinguir melhor dos outros ramos. Seguiu-se o Grão Mestre Antonio Paris, de Itália, para o período 2004-2009, que entretanto se retirou por motivos de saúde. Desde essa data o Conselho Magistral, liderado por Portugal, tem feito a gestão operacional e de instrução da Ordem sempre dentro de portas, de modo discreto e recatado que os tempos recomendam.

A OSMTHU não reclama ser descendente directa dos Templários históricos. Contudo reclama ter uma transmissão de Cavalaria Espiritual autêntica, aliada a uma expressão reservada da Ordenação Apostólica sob a autoridade espiritual de um Patriarca. Estes factos, em conjunto, bem como a sua história e tradição, colocam-na como uma real Ordem de Cavalaria Iniciática que se inspira nos valores e na história singular da Ordem do Templo para instruir e guiar os seus membros nos dias de hoje.

A Ordem procura não ter uma acção visível que possa ser confundida com expressões apócrifas dos Templários históricos, tão correntes nos dias de hoje. Tão pouco procura protagonizar uma restauração da Ordem original ou reclamar da Igreja de Roma qualquer tipo de perdão ou restauração anacrónica. Deste modo refugia a sua acção num pomo interior e só episodicamente aparece em público. Mudando-se os tempos poderão mudar-se os métodos.

Mais informações em Templar Globe: templars.wordpress.com

ou

templarsosmthu.wordpress.com

O Curso

O Curso terá lugar no dia 12 de Julho. Inicia-se pelas 10h e termina pelas 19h, com uma pausa de 1h30 para almoço livre. Será ministrado nas instalações do Instituto IHS em Sintra e, além da matéria própria do tema, terá uma sessão de perguntas e respostas e esclarecimento de dúvidas.

As inscrições são RIGOROSAMENTE LIMITADAS.

PREÇO

25 € para inscrições individuais

40 € para casais

Os membros da Ordem, sócios do Instituto Hermético, alunos do Curso “Templários e Templarismos” da Universidade Lusófona, bem como todos os que já fizeram o Curso em datas anteriores e desejam repeti-lo, terão uma redução no preço. Assim, o custo nestes casos será de 10 € para inscrições individuais e 15 € para casais.

Casos Especiais

Tendo em conta a situação económica actual, o Instituto e a OSMTHU decidiram disponibilizar uma inscrição a preço especial para Estudantes, desempregados e maiores de 65 anos. Se é o seu caso, refira esse facto no seu contacto.

Inscrições

As inscrições podem ser feitas para o email ihshi@mail.com, dando o nome, um email de contacto e a categoria de sócio ou não-sócio, inscrição individual ou casal. As inscrições serão tratadas por ordem de chegada.

Não esquecer: ihshi@mail.com

Finding [Thule and] the Holy Grail in Iceland

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No this isn´t the title of a rather outlandish novel by Dan Brown, this is the goal of a Italian mathematician and explorer Giancarlo Gianazza. He believes that he has found hidden clues in the Divine Comedy by Dante which has led him to Kjölur in the Icelandic highlands where heand his team think they are close to discover something called the “Holy Grail” on a lonely hill, called of all things “Nipple hill,” right in the middle of nowhere. This is apparently the culmination of a 13 yearlong project, which has both involved research in the field in the Icelandic highlands and mathematical analysis of Dante´s text. You find this a bit unbelievable and outlandish? Well, we must admit we are sceptical as well!

In any case, documenting the project are Italian independent filmmakers Sofia E. Rovati and Alex Sykulak who have a project on Kickstarter called Finding Thule so they can film the final excavation and complete their documentary with a planned release date of September 2016. They have already spent a year and a half on the project and judging from their trailer on Kickstarter they have some really cool material already. When this is written they are more than halfway to reach their goal of collecting 24 thousand pounds. We found all of this intriguing and they agreed to be interviewed.

How did it come about that you started to follow Mr. Gianazza project and documenting it?

I’ve heard about Giancarlo for the first time a very long time ago through my father. His story has always exercised a very powerful fascination on me. However, it was only last year when I finally took the step that I had long dreamed of. I joined the expedition with the idea of sharing this story and making it more accessible to the people.

Mr. Gianazza’s research is extremely complicated and it has been carried out over a 10-year period. My film focuses on the scientific aspect of the research, documenting step by step the last stages of this journey to Iceland. But it also leaves space for us to get to know the men behind this quest, discovering the inner journey that each of them had to go through. I believe that every story is a journey, and the purpose of a journey is to find out something more about your inner self. This is how the idea of making a film about Mr. Gianazza and his team really came about.

Forgive us for being a bit sceptical, do you think he is actually on to something in his quest?

I think it’s good to be sceptic, it makes you look at things in a much more critical way. This is how my filming started too. It is only along the way, when this journey turned into something else, something more personal and real that I started to believe in this man and his quest. What is fascinating about his research is that Gianazza doesn’t know what exactly he is looking for. He can only draw assumptions based on the historical circumstances in which Dante writes his masterpiece, hence the connection with the Templars. By following clues that he finds in the Divine Comedy, translating poetry into geographical coordinates, Gianazza got hold of a map to the unknown. The destination will only be revealed once he finally gets there.

In answer to your question, I believe Giancarlo is definitely on to something, perhaps something that is invisible to most of people who have lost the ability to dream.

You mention on your Kickstarter page that you came to Iceland in 2014. Was that your first trip here?

Yes, hopefully the first of a long series.

What challenges did you face when filming in the Icelandic highlands?

The weather was definitely the biggest challenge. Iceland it’s windy and cold and this can be very impious when it comes to filming.

Is it something that you particularly like or dislike about Iceland?

It’s like being on another dimension, the landscape reminds me of a primordial land untouched by man and inhabited by dinosaurs.

Driving up to the Kjölur highlands was one of the best experiences I have ever had. Up there everything is quiet and peaceful, you can almost hear yourself thinking. It’s very therapeutic.

What advice would you give to people that are traveling to Iceland for the first time?

Go there, buy a map, rent a car and explore.

Editors Note

There have been Facebook comments about off-road driving. We at Stuck in Iceland hate unlicensed and illegal off road driving which often can leave permanent marks or damage to fragile nature for decades or longer.  Sofia Rovati responds to the comments:

It’s good that you mention [off road driving] as I believe this should be applied everywhere and not just in Iceland. We should take example from your country as is the main reason why the nature of your land is still so beautiful in comparison to many other places with the same potential.

Because we are following a government approved expedition we have the permit of traveling of road with them. Like indians and without leaving more than one same trace

I’ll promise not to ruin but to preserve!

Eis o jardim de Klingsor e o Castelo do Santo Graal

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Em pleno dia de Pentecostes acompanhámos o autor e ensaísta Luis de Matos, editor chefe do Templar Globe, numa visita guiada ao Palácio da Pena em Sintra. Terminada a visita pudemos trocar algumas impressões e fazer a entrevista que reproduzimos de seguida.

Templar Globe (TG) – Luis, dia de Pentecostes e visita à Pena. Coincidência?

Luis de Matos (LM) – Diz-me tu.

TG – Falou-se muito das Lendas do Santo Graal. Será por isso?

LM – Não. E sim. Há uma relação entre a Demanda do Santo Graal e o Pentecostes. De facto, a versão da Vulgata inicia-se com a celebração do Pentecostes no reino de Artur, data em que tradicionalmente se lançava tavolado e se armavam cavaleiros. Nesse dias esperavam-se sempre milagres e maravilhas. E o romance começa precisamente com alguns acontecimento que maravilham todos e com a armação de Galaaz, filho de Lancelot. Mas não é por isso que escolhemos a Pena.

TG – Outros motivos?

LM – Sim. Como sabes os meus deveres profissionais afastam-me muitas vezes de Portugal. Sou director de uma empresa na área da Digital Media e Tecnologias da Informação e, embora viva há mais de 30 anos na zona de Sintra, estou mais ou menos entre 1/3 e 2/3 dos dias do ano longe de casa. Poder regressar aos lugares que formaram uma ideia que tenho do mundo – e Sintra é um deles – é um privilégio. Por isso fui desenvolvendo alguns hábitos que tento manter religiosamente. Entre eles está fazer uma espécie de Peregrinação a lugares especiais do nosso país, mais longe de Lisboa, lá pela pausa de Julho. Não sei porquê, mas um mês antes das grandes feiras de videojogos como o Gamescom onde tenho de ir, há sempre ali uma ou duas semanas mais livres. Mantenho o hábito de aproveitar para conhecer melhor Portugal há uns anos. Quase sempre há amigos que acabam por ser arrastados e fazemos uma autêntica comitiva. Outras vezes aproveito para visitar amigos que estão longe e só comunicamos pelo Facebook. Já fiz passeios em estudo nessa época do ano a Braga, Lamego, São João de Tarouca, Carrazeda de Ansiães e uma boa parte das Beiras e Trás-os-Montes…

TG – Tu és de lá de cima.

LM – Sim, fiz a escola primária em Mirandela. Conheço bem Bragança, Chaves, Miranda, Mogadouro, Macedo de Cavaleiros… Enfim, estar em Trás-os-Montes é estar em casa. Mas como o meu pai era da zona de Moimenta da Beira, a região de Lamego, Tabuaço, Douro e mesmo Viseu são lugares também enraizados na memória que gosto de revisitar. Durante algum tempo andei por ali todos os anos à procura das memórias das famílias que fundaram a nacionalidade. O Vale do Sousa é muito especial, com uma herança românica única. A cidade do Porto também tem muito que se lhe diga.

TG – És tripeiro…

LM – Sou. Não do ponto de vista futebolístico. Não tenho clube. Mas sou do Bonfim, ali sobre Campanhã onde tinha nascido o Mestre Agostinho [da Silva].

TG – Mas essas visitas são em Julho. Ainda estamos em Maio…

LM – Estou a desviar-me! Outro hábito que tenho é comemorar as Luas Cheias de Carneiro – que coincide com a Páscoa, de Touro e de Gémeos. Não é uma questão astrológica, mas sim tradicional. São três momentos muito particulares no ciclo anual. A última coincide muitas vezes com o Pentecostes. Como tenho responsabilidades em algumas organizações de matriz religiosa, a Páscoa é quase sempre comemorada seguindo a liturgia Cristã. E por ser Chanceler Internacional de uma Ordem de inspiração Templária, o Pentecostes é sempre marcado por algum tipo de actividade. Ora, este ano, devido a uma questão de calendário pessoal, que se definiu muito tarde para Maio e tendo-se dado a feliz coincidência de ter terminado o Curso Livre na Universidade Lusófona sobre Templários e Templarismo há poucas semanas e os meus alunos me terem desafiado para lhes guiar uma visita a Tomar, decidi juntar o útil ao muito agradável e, com eles, com o apoio do Instituto Hermético na divulgação e da OSMTHU, fazer um curto ciclo de visitas como costumo fazer em Maio/Junho.

TG – Então esta não é a primeira.

LM – Não. Começámos em Tomar em Abril, apenas para alunos do Curso. Depois aproveitei então o bom tempo e os Domingos, porque estou sempre em Lisboa ao Domingo e marquei uma visita ao Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, esta ao Palácio da Pena e no próximo Domingo à Quinta da Regaleira, com o Luis Fonseca.

TG – E vai haver mais?

LM – De momento penso que não. Não podemos abusar da paciência das pessoas! Penso em associar-me à festa de São João, que também costumamos fazer em Santa Eufêmea, em Sintra em Junho e talvez mais próximo da tal pausa de Julho (se houver este ano!), logo se vê o que programo. Mas não há mais planos de momento.

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TG – Qual é a relação destas visitas com a Ordem dos Templários a que pertences.

LM – Como sabes o Templar Globe é o órgão de divulgação principal da Ordem Internacional. Fui eu que o fundei e é um lugar de troca e publicação de informação credível sobre os Templários – antigos e modernos. Ultrapassámos há muito o milhão e meio de visitas. Por isso faz parte integrante do modo de comunicar da Ordem. Em geral, tudo o que eu faço pessoalmente relacionado com o tema Templários tem a cobertura do Templar Globe que o divulga através dos grupos do Facebook e internacionalmente. As Comendadorias de Sintra e de Lisboa são importantes bases de apoio ao estudo e actividades da Ordem. Deste modo, o que eu faço, divulgo ou publico sobre os Templários é coerente com o que a Ordem faz. Não confessional nem prosélito, no sentido em que não uso publicações e visitas para cooptar ninguém para a Ordem. Pelo contrário. Há sempre pessoas que me perguntam sobre como entrar na Ordem e eu recomendo-lhes sempre que visitem o site oficial e escrevam um mail para lá. O tema não é a Ordem em que eu estou e onde me sinto bem e onde gosto de trabalhar, mas sim os Templários como Ordem histórica e ideário já muito preenchido de mitos e lendas. Não é uma questão de aumentar fileiras. Bem pelo contrário! O que faço – isso sim – é usar os eventos, publicações e visitas para procurar entusiasmar os que as procuram, a estudar por si mesmos, pensar por si mesmos e concluir por si mesmos. E isso é instrução vital para quem esteja numa Ordem Templária, moderna ou antiga. Mas é também fundamental para quem não esteja em Ordem nenhuma! Ou seja, as actividades públicas que faço são coerentes com o que defendo sobre o mundo iniciático e, nesse sentido, são apropriadas para membros das Ordens a que pertenço, das Ordens a que não pertenço e dos que não querem ser membros de Ordem ou Religião alguma. Há momentos para tudo na vida. Seria matar o propósito das visitas fechá-las a um ramo da grande família fraternal ou usá-las para cooptar gente. Sei que os membros da Ordem Templária aproveitam as visitas para aprender. Mas não se esgota aí. O Curso Livre da Lusófona é outra coisa bem diferente.

TG – Não está afiliado à Ordem?

LM – Absolutamente não. Enquanto na Ordem a aproximação ao tema Templário é na perspectiva da Cavalaria Espiritual como um modelo de comportamento e estudo pessoal, com os seus temas, paradoxos, meditações, objectivos, desafios e imperativos de compromisso interior e com o próximo, o Curso na Universidade é académico. Explora a história da Cavalaria, na qual os Templários se inserem, todo o contexto religioso e depois a história dos diversos movimentos que se foram inspirando nos Templários desde o século XIV ao século XX.

TG – Qual é a diferença?

LM – No primeiro caso estuda-se a doutrina com o objectivo de adoptar as ideias e integrá-las num modelo de comportamento pessoal como via de relação com o divino. No segundo estudam-se as ideias, a suas evolução, de onde surgem e que impacto tiveram na história, na arte, na religião. No primeiro caso vivem-se os Mitos. No segundo conhecem-se os Mitos, as suas origens, o seu arquétipo e o modo como Mito é usado para impulsionar vontades e acontecimentos, sem necessidade de os viver ou acreditar no seu “nada que é tudo”.

TG – E os alunos do Curso da Universidade Lusófona não têm expectativas diferentes de cada visita?

LM – O tema é o tema. Cada um percepciona-o como entende. Creio que as expectativas não são goradas, porque nas visitas estão todo o tipo de pessoas. Os meus livros têm leitores de todo o género. Não sou um autor para apenas um grupo como muitos dos meus colegas autores. Alguns só são lidos nos círculos Maçónicos. Outros só são lidos nos círculos de Nova Era. Outros só são lidos entre duas paragens em bombas de gasolina. Outros só são lidos por académicos. Outros por leitores que não se filiam em nada. Eu tenho uma base de leitores que abarca todos estes grupos e grupo nenhum. O mesmo se pode dizer dos que vão às minhas visitas ou conferências. Procura não ter uma linguagem “confessional” e proselitista. Não estou a recrutar. Não estou mesmo. Deixem-me em paz. Já tenho muito que fazer. Por isso, ao não ter uma “agenda”, ao não querer promover mais do que o livre pensamento e despertar nos outros a mesma paixão sobres os temas ou lugares que eu mesmo tenho, sem ataduras ou molduras doutrinais, tomo os assuntos de modo que cada um que me ouça ou leia possa tirar o que melhor lhe parecer para a sua busca livre. É seguir as palavras que ouvi ao Mestre Agostinho: “o que importa é gostar do que se faz e ser-se contagioso no entusiasmo”. Por isso, creio que os meus alunos não poderão dizer que lhes tentei impingir doutrinas ou códigos e por isso não creio que as expectativas que tivessem possam ter sido goradas. Espero, isso sim, que os tenha motivado e lerem-me e a deitarem fora os meus livros, trocando-os por coisas ainda melhores.

TG – Mas ao seleccionar um tema como a Demanda do Santo Graal para a Pena já é dar um mote doutrinal.

LM – De modo algum. Foi Strauss que disse “Eis o jardim de Klingsor e o Castelo do Santo Graal” quando esteve em Sintra. Isso acontece porque reconheceu o cenário no qual as óperas de Wagner se desenrolam. Curiosamente Parzival de Wagner é de 1882 e o Palácio da Pena de 1840. Quem inspirou o quê? Quem é percursor do quê? Neste caso o que é evidente é que o mesmo tipo de imaginário que inspirou Wagner tinha já inspirado D. Fernando II.  O facto de ambos terem tido contacto com círculos iniciáticos muito próximos pode ajudar a explicar a coincidência. Mas a associação da Demanda à Pena não é uma questão doutrinal. É uma questão de facto.

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TG – Então onde é que o Luis traça a linha limite.

LM – Traço a linha limite na interpretação desses factos. Ao fazer uma visita destas procuro dar aos meus companheiros de tarde uma boa história. Como se nos juntássemos à volta de uma fogueira e partilhássemos aventuras. Nas visitas tento não falar só eu. Também quero ouvir e aprender. Estão ali muitos pares de olhos que conseguem ver o que eu não vejo e sabem o que eu não sei. O que já aprendi nestas visitas! Ui! Eu o que posso dar é o referencial que não se encontra logo disponível. Interesso-me por estes assuntos, sempre os mesmos, há tanto tempo que algumas coisas foram ficando consolidadas. Lá diz o ditado “O Diabo sabe tanto, mais por ser velho do que por ser Diabo”. Ao manter sempre a mesma linha, acabo por ir construindo uma mundividência só minha, concreta e definida, consistente. É essa experiência que devo partilhar, poupando tempo a quem me acompanha, para que disponham logo de dados relevantes para que façam a sua mundividência eles mesmos. Saber, por exemplo, que D. Fernando II era maçon ajuda a entender algumas coisas. Mas saber que ele se filiava numa Maçonaria alemã de raiz ligada à antiga Estrita Observância Templária reformada, ajuda a perceber o seu interesse pelo pintor Nicolas Poussin e as particularidades que se encontram nos pratos de Cifka. A interpretação desses elementos já são outros “quinhentos”, por assim dizer. É aí que eu traço a linha. Se me fizerem perguntas sobre a interpretação, não deixarei de responder, sublinhando que é a minha interpretação. Mas o que encorajo é a que cada um procure saber mais. Toca a “googlar” Cifka, Estrita Observância e Nicolas Poussin. Não me perguntem o que quer dizer. Descubram! O mais difícil está feito.

TG – Foi assim no Mosteiro dos Jerónimos?

LM – Claro. Um livro incontornável é “A História Secreta de Portugal” do António Telmo, onde se faz um primeiro exercício de interpretação de muitos dos elementos iconográficos. Mas eu não vou aos Jerónimos explicar António Telmo. Ele é auto-explicativo. Compra-se o livro, lê-se, até se pode fazer a visita com o livro na mão e temos lá o que pensava António Telmo. O que importa é dizer que não foi só António Telmo que pensou os Jerónimos. Importa chamar a atenção para o trabalho sobre o simbolismo do Manuelino do Paulo Pereira, para o célebre programa que a RTP passou da autoria do Manuel J. Gandra e do António Carlos de Carvalho nos idos dos anos 80, para algumas linhas escritas e particularmente os painéis do Rossio do Mestre Lima de Freitas e, já noutro plano, para todo um acervo mais recente de autores como Eduardo Amarante, Paulo Loução, entre muitos outros. Assim sim. Assim já temos uma base para “navegar” os claustros. Há informação de qualidade, há especulação, há teses distintas. É isso que serve o visitante. Serve-lhe saber onde há-de ir procurar para fazer a sua própria visita e a sua construção simbólica sobre os Jerónimos.

TG – Então não se ficou a saber o que o Luis pensa?

LM – O que o Luis pensa é muito útil ao Luis. Mas é pouco útil a quem quer compreender – no sentido bíblico de circunscrever e apreender – por si. Não quero que venham ver-me fazer sapatos, que eu não sou sapateiro. Quero que, ao explicar os sapatos, alguns saiam das visitas a querer ir experimentar fazer um par! Uma vez ou outra, lá vou dando a minha orientação temática, porque o tema está lá e fala-se pouco dele. Por exemplo, um tema fascinante nos Jerónimos é o dos túmulos vazios. Até D. Sebastião lá está! Eu tenho opinião e conto algumas histórias. Mas o essencial é apontar por onde procurar mais informação e pontos de vista inusitados ou inabituais. Acho que é disso que as pessoas mais gostam. Uma história bem contada é um apontador.

TG – E no Palácio da Pena, que temas costumam passar despercebidos?

LM – Muitos. Mesmo muitos. Tal como com os Jerónimos há uma visão mais ou menos consagrada da Pena que ignora muitos detalhes. E é no detalhe que está o tesouro. Sim, Parque e Palácio estão relacionados com a Demanda do Graal. Mas que Demanda? Há várias versões, várias linhas tradicionais. Qual delas? Que elementos estão ali expressos? E que outras correntes são determinantes para a Pena tal como a conhecemos hoje? Passa-se ao lado de quase tudo. Um tema fulcral, por exemplo, é o de saber se havia ali um Convento ou um Mosteiro. Não é tudo a mesma coisa… Outro tema é conhecer a Ordem Hieronimita, o que poderá surpreender os mais desatentos. Outro ainda, sobre o qual nos debruçámos nesta última visita, é o dos vitrais. Os da Capela são de tal modo importantes que foram feitos logo em 1840, ano do início das obras. Fazem, portanto, parte dos planos iniciais e aquilo que neles se expressa será fundamental – no sentido mesmo de fundação. Mas mesmo a colecção de esparsos reunida no Salão Nobre não é aleatória e apresenta bastas razões para uma reflexão cuidada. É mais um apontador pouco referenciado.

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TG – O que podemos esperar para a Quinta da Regaleira.

LM – Tudo.

TG – Tudo?

LM – Apontadores. O 515 pode ser logo tratado. Basta 1 minuto e está. A questão Maçónica já foi muito bem ponderada pelo José Anes. Mais um par de minutos e fica o apontador. Quase todos os que vão ou já leram, ou podem vir a ler em breve o livro. Outro apontador é o do Manuel Gandra que publicou informação relevante sobre a colecção camoniana de Carvalho Monteiro, agora em Washington. Isso toma mais uns minutos. Noutro plano, naquele espaço não se pode ignorar o trabalho do Victor Adrião, que já estuda a Quinta desde há muitos, muitos anos. Trabalho extenso, documentado e detalhado. Mais um par de minutos. Como é costume não direi nada sobre o autor, mesmo sabendo que não é recíproco! Em menos de 20 minutos os apontadores mais conhecidos estarão dados. Perfeito. Será então hora de por isso tudo numa pastinha, fechar e ver em casa. Porque chegou a hora de, isso sim, fazer o que se deve fazer naquele jardim: passear. Deixar-se levar. Deixar-se encantar. Viver a tarde. Olhar o detalhe, deixar a evocação surgir à superfície do consciente. É um jardim iniciático. Comece-se a iniciação.

Fotos: Sunana Ferreira (c) 2015

Texto: TG (c) 2015

Aula Livre – Visita ao Palácio da Pena em Sintra

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pena2015 O Palácio da Pena ergue-se sobre uma rocha escarpada, que é o segundo ponto mais alto da Serra de Sintra. Localiza-se na zona oriental do Parque da Pena, que é necessário percorrer para se chegar à íngreme rampa que o Barão de Eschwege construiu para se aceder à edificação acastelada. O Palácio propriamente dito é constituído por duas alas: o antigo convento manuelino da Ordem de São Jerónimo e a ala edificada no século XIX por D. Fernando II. Estas alas estão rodeadas por uma terceira estrutura arquitetónica, em que se fantasia um imaginário castelo de caminhos de ronda com merlões e ameias, torres de vigia, um túnel de acesso e até uma ponte levadiça.

Em 1838 o rei D. Fernando II adquiriu o antigo convento de monges Jerónimos de Nossa Senhora da Pena, que tinha sido erguido no topo da Serra de Sintra em 1511 pelo rei D. Manuel I e se encontrava devoluto desde 1834 com a extinção das ordens religiosas. O convento compunha-se do claustro e dependências, da capela, sacristia e torre sineira, que constituem hoje o núcleo norte do Palácio da Pena, ou Palácio Velho.

É um dos mais importantes legados do Portugal simbólico. A propósito do antigo Mosteiro da Pena, do Rei Artista D. Fernando II e da recriação arquitectónica e paisagística da mítica Ilha Secreta dos heróis e da Floresta que cerca o Castelo Inacessível do Santo Graal, iremos conhecer melhor mitos e lendas que enquadram o programa simbólico e o lançam, com força e vigor, em direcção ao futuro. Ao Portugal que falta cumprir, nas palavras de Fernando Pessoa.

A visita terá lugar no dia 24 de Maio, iniciando-se pelas 14h30 e terminando 19.00h, sendo guiada por Luis de Matos (ver: universatil.wordpress.com).

As inscrições são limitadas e devem estar concluídas até dois dias antes da visita por imposições logísticas do próprio Palácio.

A visita tem um custo de 10€ por pessoa + entrada no monumento* (ver preços de admissão ao monumento em: parquesdesintra.pt)

Inscrições prévias: ihshi@mail.com

* para alunos do Curso Livre Templários e Templarismo da Universidade Lusófona, bem como membros da OSMTHU a visita é gratuita e apenas devem pagar a entrada no monumento, contudo DEVEM INSCREVER-SE de modo a garantir a participação.

Police Hunting For The Holy Grail Find A Salad Bowl

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Holy-Grail

During a dawn raid, 12 burly officers accused pub workers of hiding the supposed cup Jesus Christ drank from at the last supper

Police hunting for the stolen Holy Grail were left red-faced when all they found was a wooden salad bowl.

The team of 12 officers accused pub workers of hiding the missing ancient relic, thought by many to be the cup Jesus Christ drank from at the Last Supper.

Police and a dog handler locked all the staff inside while they searched every inch of the 15th century pub on their quest.

But after an hour the only thing they found that looked like the missing medieval cup was a wooden bowl used to serve salad to customers.

Shocked landlady Di Franklyn said: “I was amazed to see so many police – they said they had been given information that this Holy Grail had been shown off by someone here.

“But if somebody had stolen something as priceless as the Holy Grail I don’t think it would be on show in my pub.

“But the police were taking the information very seriously because there were so many of them including a police dog handler.”

Legend has it that the cup has healing powers and was named after the vessel that Jesus drank out of during the Last Supper.

Staff at the Crown pub in Lea, Herefordshire, were not allowed to leave the premises during the search and a policeman stood guard during the early morning raid.

Bemused Di, 54, said: “I have been shown a picture of the missing cup – if it had been here we would have thrown it on the fire because it is not whole any more.

“The only thing here that looks like it is an old salad bowl.”

The cup is said to have been brought to Britain by Joseph of Arimathea, the founder of a religious settlement in Glastonbury during the mediaeval period.

The grail then came into the possession of a group of Somerset monks who later fled with the cup to Strata Florida Abbey, near Tregaron in in Ceredigion.

For centuries the historic cup was kept at Nanteos Mansion in the village of at Rhydfelin near Aberystwyth.

But it was stolen while being cared for by Fiona Mirylees, from Weston-under-Penyard, Herefordshire, whose family once owned the mansion in Wales.

Police said the cup went missing after it had been loaned to a seriously-ill woman because of its healing powers.

When the fragile dark wooden cup was stolen, sometime between Monday July 7 and Monday July 14 – the remaining pieces were not taken.

West Mercia Police officers said the raid was carried out after they “received intelligence” that the stolen cup had been seen in the pub.

A spokesman said: “We were told it was still there and so executed a search warrant to try and find it.”

in DailyMirror