"I have held up a light in the obscurity of Philosophy, which will be seen centuries after I am dead. It will be seen amidst the erection of Tombs, Theatres, Foundations, Temples, Orders and Fraternities for nobility and obedience — the establishment of good laws as an example to the World. For I am not raising a Capitol or Pyramid to the Pride of men, but laying a foundation in the human understanding for a holy Temple after he model of the World. For my memory I leave it to Men's charitable speeches, to foreign Nations and the next Ages, and to my own Country after some Time has elapsed." -- Francis Bacon, Advancement of Learning (1605), Bk II.

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Join me to explore the hidden tenets of arranged alignments of architecture and art. Structures as diverse as the Great Pyramid, Baalbek, The Tower of the Winds, Hagia Sopia, Basilica San Vitale, The Dome of the Rock, St. Peter's Square, Gisors, The Newport Tower, Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest, and the Georgia Guidestones all may have a common origin.

Three reproductions of the Tower of the Winds in England help to display how this age old value is viewed through time. Along the way many legends and myths associated with the Holy Grail and other relics are examined.

Treasure myths such as the Oak Island Legend and The Beale Treasure Legend may have a common origin and hidden meaning. The tale of The Bruton Parish Church Vault (a.k.a. "Bacon's Vault) may also be a copy of an already existent mystery at Stirling Castle.


The Rochefoucauld Grail, Frederick II, Castel del Monte and the Holy Grail.

The Rochefoucauld Grail, Frederick II, Castel del Monte and the Holy Grail.
January, 5, 2020. Cort Lindahl.

The de La Rochefoucauld family is a storied French family that seemed to have always stood up for the individual rights of people over a wide span of history. Reasons for this may include divisions within their family that adhered to different Christian beliefs that led to the schism between Protestants or Huguenots and Catholic interests allied with the Royalty of France. As in many families these disagreements led to different part of the family supporting either side of the argument. Many of these disagreements had apocryphal overtones that did not fit the vision of the Roman Church during this era. These disagreements also compelled the Church to study these subjects and in some cases offer an alternate version of events that could be more easily controlled by them.

Family members like Louis Alexandre Rochefoucauld duc d’Anville had a close association with Presidents Jefferson and Adams and he was also associated with Benjamin Franklin and the Marquis de Lafayette. Louis Alexandre had printed the Declaration of Independence and portions of some American state Constitutions in French for the first time. At this point in history during the American Revolution and prior to the French Revolution it was not unusual that a faction of influential French nobility also had some issues with the way the monarchy was running the country. They may have felt that a Republic would have benefitted their wealth and position in world trade better than adhering to the apparent whims of Louis XV for instance. Louis Alexandre was the son of the duc d’ Anville famous for the ill fated d’Anville Expedition to French Acadia or Nova Scotia.

It is unfortunate that Louis was executed in the early days of the French Revolution due to his noble status. This then resulted in Mr. Short Jefferson’s secretary at the time having an affair with Louis Alexandre’s wife. All of this illustrates the close and idealistic ties some of the nobility had with the concept of the Republic that the United States would become. Eventually after many trials and tribulations France would also become a Republic free of the bonds imposed by a monarchy and the church. It is possible that over time a family such as the Rochefoucaulds may have also developed some businesses and interests in the young United States.

In previous studies, I have discussed the possible role of Rochefoucauld family members in the saga of Oak Island. An earlier duc d’Anville, Louis Alexandre’s father Jean Baptiste had lost his life on the ill fated d’Anville expedition. The d’Anville Expedition was also immortalized in the poem “The Ballad of the French” fleet by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow whom this author has also pointed to as having some educated insights to phenomenon such as the works of Dante and other aspects of strange American history. The expedition failed in the end and resulted in the death of the duc d’Anville.

The expedition had been designed to liberate Acadia or Nova Scotia from the British and then to proceed to sack Boston which represented a major trading partner with a then British aligned Nova Scotia at that time. Speculation by this author includes the possibility that d’Anville was bringing funds to aid them in their quest to liberate Nova Scotia or Acadia and form a free Republic in league with their exiled allies the Stewart Kings of England, Ireland, and Scotland. The expedition occurred just after the time of the failed Jacobite Rebellion in Scotland representing Bonnie Prince Charlie’s last attempt to regain his family’s lost crowns. These funds may have once been hidden at Oak Island regardless of the truth of the Money Pit theory.

Indeed the Rochefoucauld and Stewart families were also linked with each other over the centuries as well as with other storied families such as the de La Tour’s and others. In this way it may be a hidden coincidence that Charles de La Tour was actually distantly related to William Alexander the first Baron of Nova Scotia. It is also clear the de La Tour family had some very important family relations via the Stewart Dukes of Albany to James I and his descendants Charles I and II as well as James II, III, and Bonnie Prince Charlie. All these royals had in turn descended from Mary Queen of Scots who was more French than Scottish in many ways. A detailed examination of the life of Mary Queen of Scots suggests that she too had some alternate beliefs with regard to Mary Magdalene that went hand in hand with what the other French families may have also believed.

Given these kinds of friendships and family alliances it is no surprise that this class of people also had an affinity for classic works of art and literature that they may have interpreted personally. Their family had also included Francois IV duc de La Rochefoucauld Prince de Marcillac the author of “Maxims” in 1668. “Maxims” was sort of moral guidebook for different situations in life that some compare to specific works of Sir Francis Bacon. At this time Rochefoucauld was close friends with none other than Madame Lafayette a direct forebear of the Marquis de Lafayette famous in the American Revolution. It was also Francois IV who had been noted as owning the famous “Hunt of the Unicorn” Tapestries at the end of his life. As we know the Unicorn tapestries would eventually be purchased by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and are now on display at the Cloisters Art Museum in upper Manhattan.

Copies of these tapestries are now on display at Stirling Castle in Scotland which also served as the seat of the Scottish Stewart family of Scottish Kings for centuries. It is known that other original tapestries depicting the Hunt of the Unicorn were once present there in antiquity. The ownership of such a work of art may indicate some alternate views about Christianity on the part of their owners. Many aspects of the theme of the tapestries may be applied to an alternate version of the life of Christ including the fact that he in some way survived the Crucifixion and went on to live the rest of his life in seclusion. With this in mind it is interesting that both Scottish Monarchs and the Rochefoucauld family valued tapestries that displayed such an esoteric view of the life of Christ.

Of course, some versions of this life of Christ also have him coming to France with his wife Mary Magdalene and establishing what may be considered a Holy bloodline. These ideas whether true or false have captured the imagination of the mystery loving public via stories such as those present at Rennes le Chateau in France and Shugborough Hall in England. Part of the reason for these lost treasure stories may be to in part attract the curious and initiate them into a part of history that was recorded but then obscured or forgotten about. Via the d’Anville Expedition mentioned above it may also be that this mythology was then applied to the cultural phenomenon that is Oak Island. The theme of Arcadia is present through many different eras of history that also involve the Rochefoucauld family and their close relatives the de La Roche family. Given this and much more we may speculate that these families or parts of them may have held beliefs that included a Holy Bloodline and the possibility that they held this heritage as part of their family legacy.

Many people relate the concept of a Holy Bloodline to the concept of what we may consider the Holy Grail. In short the Grail is a chalice that represents the womb of Mary Magdalene that had propagated the blood of Christ. In other mythology or folklore the Holy Grail is a chalice, basin, or cup that Joseph of Arimathea collected some of the blood of Christ in. This in many versions of the story is said to be a stone cup or basin. As time and history progressed an entire genre of literature and art including the works of Poussin and others had studied this theme with each artist or writer putting his own thoughts and ideas into a story that involved the search for the lost Holy Grail. Over time this quest even became a sort of initiation for many of the characters portrayed in literature including those developed in works of literature like “Amadis de Gaula” and Philip Sidney’s “Arcadia.” These works of art were often presented in a way that left the viewer or reader having to figure out the metaphorical secrets presented in the work. As such it was likely easier for one who had been initiated or had been told of these secret prior to understand the cloistered meaning of such pieces of art. These initiatory secrets may have been taught to people from specific families who were also in turn associated with these secrets.

The theme of Arcadia seems to also have been applied hand in hand with the search for this enigmatic object or concept. All of the literature produced with regard to the Holy Grail may even leave the reader questioning what the Grail really is. Is the grail a concept like the Blood of Christ or is it a physical object that may help to prove the validity of this concept? It is clear that when a mystery such as this is propagated over time it can take on many alternate meanings and even political overtones in an age when people would question the party line of the Roman Church in dictating such beliefs to the public at large. Over time the Church seems to have chosen to adapt some of these concepts by putting their own historical spin on these myths and legends thus further confusing things as may have been their intention in so doing.

It may be that in the creation of a storied organization like the Pontifical Academy of Arcadia that a response from the church had been attempted. Yet earlier in history we see several examples of this concept having been portrayed in art or hidden in literary works by authors such as Chretian de Troyes and Wolfram Von Eschenbach. Both of these authors wrote works that presented the public with both Arthurian Legends in association with storied Knighthoods and the Holy Grail itself.

These works were produced at a point in history where only the wealthy and elite classes of the people knew how to read or interpret these things. This class of people had the resources to educate themselves beyond the tenets set forth by the Church alone and part of this trend included alternate versions of the standard story of Christianity. This literary genre loosely termed “The Grail Romances” would have a large impact over time on the public’s view of subjects like the Holy Blood or Holy Grail. Eventually places like Rennes le Chateau would come to define this concept for many people. Many of the Grail Romances also included attributes specific to the country in which the story was taking place that in turn applied a significance to the region in question. This is an early form of Nationalism. Many of these works of literature and art may have also been paid for by the same patrons that then had the skills to understand the hidden meanings of such art.

It is no surprise then that a family like de La Rochefoucauld would become associated with what is today termed “The Rochefoucauld Grail.” The Rochefoucauld Grail is a literary work or illuminated manuscript that contains the earliest known Lancelot character as associated with the legends of King Arthur and the Holy Grail. This early version of the Holy Grail manuscript as associated with King Arthur was said to have been funded by Guy VII Baron de La Rochefoucauld possibly in the years 1315 to 1325. It may be that the Rochefoucauld family had possession of these volumes until at least the early eighteenth century when they were purchased by English antiquarians. Note here that there is also a French version of the King Arthur story that takes place in Avallon, France. This may then again point to Francois Rochefoucald IV who owned the Unicorn Tapestries as also once having owned the Rochefoucauld Grail manuscript.

Does this mean that the Rochfoucauld family possessed an physical item that may be termed the Holy Grail? Short answer would be no but they may have possessed some knowledge or value of the concept as it applies to the Blood of Christ or Mary Magdalene. This concept could also be extended to the lineage of the Brother of Jesus James. Given that there are stories about the stone cup of Christ associated that may be located at the Cathedral in Valencia, Spain as first noted at Saintes Maries de La Mer in France. Saintes Maries de La Mer is also home to the legend of the Three Mary’s coming ashore in a rudderless boat greeted by Sara the Egyptian Girl. These stories go hand in hand with the accepted Roman Church versions of Mary Magdalene and her relics located at St. Maximim de La St. Baum not far from Marsailles France. This legend also has Mary living like a Christian hermit in a cave and of course not bearing the children of Christ or anyone else. A later extensive genealogy of the Rochefoucauld family owned by Anne de La Tour the wife of the Duke of Albany in the earl sixteenth century also points to their descent from an Egyptian Princess known as Belle Moree.

Here we have another amazing association between this storied family in relation to their ownership of the “Hunt of the Unicorn” tapestries which also display similar themes in relation to Christ and the Holy Grail. It is notable that this version or edition of the Arthurian myth was owned by this family who in previous works I have associated with the Holy Grail whether it be a physical object or cup as well as the possibility of the Blood of Christ theories. In many ways, it does not matter if these things are empirically true as these concepts have become part of the psyche of free thinking Christians in Europe for centuries. Many of the people who hold these beliefs may also have a value of the mythology of Melusine the half mermaid female that may in turn be related to Merovingian mythology or lore. Melusine is associated with emerging from the sea in the same way the mythology of Mary Magdalene, Europa, and the Quinotaur are associated.  

This is also amazing in league with the later history of the family in association with the American historical figures of Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. Later members of the family including a later Francois Rochefoucauld would have personal correspondence and associations with these men who had in turn created the United States of America. This further displays the alternate thinking of the storied Rochefoucauld family or at least factions thereof. If the Rochefoucauld family had any insights or relics that may apply to this concept would this then extend to any possible interests or associations they had with the United States? For instance, there are many theories of something important having been brought to America during and after the colonial period leading to the creation of the United States. Here again we may be presented with the concepts of the lost manuscript or other relics that may prove a certain point of view in relation to alternate thinkers who promoted a view somewhat outside the box of the Roman Churches version of events.

Stories such as those present at Oak Island Nova Scotia and in Virginia seem to hint at such things. Stories of hidden vaults and Money Pits abound in both places. Many times, the theme of Arcadia can be discerned in the legends surrounding these places. It is almost as if they are using the same vague initiatory techniques what were applied in the original Grail Romances present in volumes just like the Rochefoucauld Grail.

The entire Arthurian Legend itself also has what may be considered Arcadian overtones. The time of Arthur is often portrayed as an idyllic period of history in which he was a benign ruler whose domain was comprised of a peaceful agrarian society in which the Knights of the Round table both protected and enjoyed many adventures in association with. This matches the description and value of the culture of the real Arcadia in Greece during the periods of history when Greek mythology was being first developed.

Still further we may also include the Arthurian theme in the astronomical constellations in the sky just as we can with the theme of Arcadia. Of course, the word Arcadia is based on the mythological Greek character of Arcas. In myth Arcas is cast into the sky as the bear Ursa Minor whose tail includes the Pole Star or North Star sometimes referred to as the Stella Maris or Star of Mary. Arcas’ mother was also cast into the sky by Zeus as Ursa Major with she and her son comprising the two circumpolar bears who are shepherded by the Shepherd of Arcadia the constellation Bootes also sometimes referred to as “The Ploughman.” Interestingly Bootes contains the star Arcturus which may be associated with the Arthurian Legend which also includes the Holy Grail. It may be via this value of Arcadia or Arcas that the Pole Star is important in relation to its use in navigation, cartography, astronomy, and astrology. This may be why navigational references abound in any story involving the Holy Grail or Arcadian theme in the opinion of this author.

This somewhat hidden aspect of a value of Arcadia may have then been applied to specific octagonal structures that were meant to form a Prime Meridian that is squared using the pole star representative of the polar axes of the earth. In Greek this is termed an Axis Mundi which may also translate to an early version of an astronomical observatory. Such a place may have had added importance in an age when astrology and astronomy were nearly the same discipline. This concept may have also taken on mystical or alchemical overtones in the eras of history in which people were not generally taught to read.

In fact the use of the axis mundi as a map projection may have given rise to the original and incorrect theory of the flat earth. Given our theory here this concept would have been somewhat of a revelation to the wealthy classes of people who began to read and appreciate pieces of literature written by de Troyes, Von Eschenbach, and as we will see Infante Enrique “The Senator” of Castile. This newfound literacy would also apply to the works of the Greeks and Romans and later even the Egyptians.

The Legends of King Arthur may also have another interesting connection to a specific individual who some scholars present as being representative of the character Merlin in the Arthurian saga. Though Michael Scot (1175-1232) lived after the time of Chretian de Troyes or other early portrayals of Merlin the magician it is clear that he was a real character that matched some of the legendary aspects of the character as told. Michael Scot did live during the era in which stories like “Amadis de Gaula” and the Arthurian grail romances were being developed and embellished by a variety of authors and artists. Michael Scot is even believed by some to be a forebear of the great eighteenth and early nineteenth century writer and antiquarian of Scotland Sir Walter Scott. Michael Scot is even said to have been entombed at Melrose Abbey which is the location that is part of the story of Sir Walter Scott’s “The Monastery” and “The Abbot.”

Michael Scot is considered one of the people that established the long tradition or concept of the Scotus Magi or Scottish magi. The term “magi” may refer to a man of relative talent in the practical matters of astronomy, alchemy, and other sciences of the medieval period such as they were. At this time, his talents likely included an understanding of both astronomy and astrology for example. Michael Scot may also serve to have inspired later people like Dr. John Dee of England and Giordino Bruno who coincidentally was a friend of Philip Sidney’s. Bruno even dedicated one of his works entitled “Spaccio de La Bestia Trionfante and Degli Eoici Furori”
 to Sidney (Space of the Triumphant Beast and their Furors). Many other researchers attribute Cabalistic overtones to the work.

As a major point of interest Michael Scot also had a close association with a Holy Roman Emperor who was not only part of a family associated with the real history of the Grail Romances but was also an intellectual equal of Scots. Frederick II Holy Roman Emperor of the House of Hoenstaufen of what is today Germany was also once the Latin King of Jerusalem, Naples, and Sicily. Frederick was known to have employed Michael Scot as magi much in the same way Charlemagne his forebear had been said to have employed “Scotus Magi” or Scottish scholars as part of his colleges and personal advisers. In fact we may see how Charlemagne himself may possibly be the root of all the Grail romances due to his affinity for early Christianity and admiration of the Roman and Byzantine cultures. Many of the myths and legends of Charlemagne also indicate this could be true.

Charlemagne may have even created Aachen Cathedral as an architectural inspiration associated with his alternate beliefs. There are many unverifiable legends and myths of how Charlemagne had hidden the location of his tomb which was said to have included valuable manuscripts such as the Coronation Gospels and other relics related to early European and Christian history along with his remains. These legends go on to state that subsequent Holy Roman Emperors like Barbarossa and Frederick II had been prompted to solve these mysteries and had then been the beneficiaries of said hidden knowledge. These so called “man in the mountain” myths also seemed to have influenced some core values of Rosicrucian thought in that Christian Rosencrantz the founder of that philosophy was said to be interred in a seven sided chamber in an unknown mountain surrounded by a library that would reveal many secrets associated with Christianity and earlier similar faiths. The entire life narrative of Frederick II indicates the possible truth of this theory.

Frederick II clearly had an affinity for Charlemagne and even funded a golden sarcophagus that surrounded the stone tomb he had been found in. Subsequently the tomb of Frederick II himself in many ways resembles that of Charlemagne. The similarities do not stop there in association with Michael Scot. Michael Scot was also an intellectual who could have easily encoded or inferred the truths hidden in these legends leading to some practical conclusions.

One legend or myth states that Frederick and Scot used a specific tower to make astronomical associations. As a test Frederick had the tower extended by several feet to see if Scot would notice. This myth or legend states that Scot attempted to use the tower again and confronted Frederick with the fact that the tower had been altered. Scot had also once penned a volume entitled “Sphereae” which touched on the geometry needed to calculate the exact size and shape of the earth about four hundred years earlier than the famous astronomer Cassini had actually accomplished this feat. If so then this would have also aided Scot in accurately plotting the position and relationships of not only heavenly bodies but also points on the earth. That is he may have had access to a technique that allowed him to draw more accurate maps at that time in history. This would have also comprised a great secret of great value compared to those that did not possess this information or understanding.

Frederick was said to have been a highly intelligent person who followed the tradition of the House of Hoenstaufen’s value of Roman and Byzantine culture in much the same way Charlemagne had. Charlemagne had even included spoilia or elements of architecture taken from Ravenna, Italy and other Roman and Byzantines sites for use in the construction of Aachen Cathedral. Some stories even say some of the grey Aswan granite columns from the ruins of Baalbek in Lebanon had been brought for use in Aachen.

In many ways Charlemagne’s construction of Aachen Cathedral may have been a copy of the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Charlemagne was not too far removed from the early seventh century date of construction of the Dome of the Rock which does indeed show many tenets of Byzantine construction. It is this author’s theory that the Dome of the Rock was indeed clandestinely dictated by Byzantine Emperor Justinian II as the Caliphate of Jerusalem was paying him tribute as an excharate at that time. If true Charlemagne would have also know that the architectural layout of Ravenna had been the true inspiration for the layout of architecture later seen on the Temple mount in the form of the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque (originally known of as the Church of St. Mary Justinian I).

This theory also states that due to Charlemagne’s affinity for Byzantine and Roman culture that he too was aware of this truth as well as the tenets of alternative Christian views held by Romans and Byzantines after the time of Christ. This may lead us to suspect that Charlemagne’s hidden library did include what may be considered today copies of the apocryphal gospels such as the Gospel of Mary Magdalene for instance. In fact this entire tradition may have been begun by Constantine who also seemed to have an affinity for octagonal structures like the Daphne palace in Constantinople and the Domus Aurea of Antioch (A copy of the Domus Aurea of Nero in Rome). There is likely no one in history who had more access to the said apochryphal gospels and other esoteric information than Constantine.

This in turn may have lead the House of Hoenstaufen to also value the culture of the Byzantine’s and Roman’s in the tradition of Charlemagne as is noted. Coincidentally the suffix “Staufen” also means “chalice” as in one of the descriptions of the Holy Grail. Some sources state the family took this name in part due to the presence of many chalice shaped hills or mountains in the region they came from originally. Some people point to Frederick and Charlemagne’s value and emulation of Byzantine culture translating to the fact that they had also knew of and had solved mysteries left by Constantine that had revealed these things. Since no one really knows where Constantine’s remains are today it may be that they had been sequestered as part of an intentional esoteric learning tool that had been solved by Charlemagne and his Scotus Magi.

As a result of all this it may be that Frederick II had built his own Grail Castle in veneration of Charlemange and Constantine in the form of what is today referred to as Castel del Monte in the Apulia region of Italy that Frederick once ruled as part of the Kingdom of Naples. Castel del Monte is a perfect octagonal structure with each corner of the octagon featuring a smaller octagonal tower. The interior courtyard of the structure shows a perfectly displayed octagonal portion of the sky that would lend itself to astronomical observations unique to the structure. The center of the octagonal courtyard also is said to have included an octagonal basin that in legend contained “Christs Blood.” As in the stated tradition of such structures it may have also represented a both spiritual and physical center of Fredericks domain on earth. Any other points of interest to Frederick in the known world may have referenced this specific point on earth presenting the possibility that other subsequent specific events and additional structures may have been “pointed to” or planned on the globe in reference to Castel del Monte. Of course, among its other attributes Castel del Monte may have served as a Prime Meridian that helped to define time and space in the emperor’s domain.

One of the biggest connections between Frederick II and the Grail Romances may be represented by Castel de Monte. The famous work entitled “Amadis de Gaula” was said to have been penned there by Enrique “The Senator” of Castile. Enrique had come from a powerful family that included the then Queen of England Eleanor of Castile. Enrique also shared several ancestors in common with Frederick II as well as the Paleologos family of the Latin Kingdoms in Greece where the original Arcadia is located.

Amadis de Gaula does include stories within its pages that refer to a strange stone in which the hero’s name magically appears as in some of the versions of the Arthurian legend and later Von Eschenbach’s “Parzival.” In addition this strange stone is only accessed on what is referred to as “The Firm Island” within a four chambered vault containing riches and volumes of rare information as in the legends of Charlemagne and Rosicrucian thought. The vault is only accessed by running a gauntlet of the three pillars with magical powers that repel the seeker. Only the pure of heart can finish the gauntlet to access the inner chamber where his name and his grail maiden’s name appear on an inscribed stone. Many aspects of the description of the Firm Island in “Amadis de Gaula” seem to suggest the imagery of Oak Island, Nova Scotia. Or is it the other way around?

Given this story in league with the fact it was written by a member of Frederick’s family possibly just past the time of Frederick’s death is amazing. Enrique was at first allied with Frederick’s nemesis Charles I of Anjou who was actually a distant cousin of Frederick’s. Charles gained most of Frederick’s titles after his passing including the title of Latin King of Jerusalem at this mid thirteenth century date. At one point Enrique was not satisfied with only being made Senator of Rome revolted against Charles of Anjou and was captured and subsequently imprisoned at Castel del Monte with some of Frederick’s descendants that were also deemed a threat by Charles I. So it is both ironic and amazing that Enrique of Castile had penned “Amadis de Gaula” at what may be considered a grail castle built in the tradition of Charlemagne, the Dome of the Rock and Constantine that includes some of the same elements and suggestion of the Holy Grail popular at that era of history. (See other article here for a more in depth discussion of “Amadis de Gaula”). Is it possible that Enrique was exposing some of the family lore or mythology that he held in common with Frederick II?

Also amazing is that “Amadis de Gaula” is one of the stated inspirations for the literary work by Philip Sidney entitled “Arcadia” that includes a story stunning similar to that of the original Money Pit folklore of Oak Island Nova Scotia. Sidney is known to have owned a copy of “Amadis de Gaula” and he had undoubtedly been exposed to the works of literature that also documented the exploits of King Arthur and his Knights in league with the story of the Holy Grail. Sidney is a prime example of the continuing literacy of nobles in the post renaissance era in which he lived.

All of this is interesting in the way that Frederick II conducted his life. Even though he was Holy Roman Emperor his value of different points of view and religion put him at odds with the Catholic Church who excommunicated him more than once. For example, he even wore garb similar to the Byzantines and was known to have a “harem.” Even the famous Knights Templar were at odds with Frederick in that at one point he had negotiated a peaceful takeover of Jerusalem with the Muslim’s who were then in control. This was Frederick’s version of “taking the cross” in a promise he had made to the Vatican as penance for having been excommunicated at one point.

The Templars may have been upset that this deal did not include Christian control of the Temple Mount which is also sacred to Muslims. One rumor or myth also includes the fact that he was supposed to have rescued the Cathars at Montsegur though this never materialized. Frederick was known to have had disputes with the Cathars at points of his life as well. Given his disputes with the Vatican and Knights Templar Frederick worked closely with his own Knighthoods and army in league with the Teutonic Knights that were from his original home of Germany and the Baltic rim. Frederick had very little to do with the Knights Templar during his life though he did not openly oppose them. In some ways Frederick’s issues with the Knights Templar seem to presage the same disagreements held with the order by French King Philip le Bel who was in large part responsible for the destruction and dissolution of the Knights Templar.

Interestingly the octagonal form of Castel del Monte “points to” Oak Island Nova Scotia on the globe. There are some influential later descendants of Frederick’s family that may have arranged this including Prince Rupert of the Rhine. Prince Rupert’s mother Elizabeth of Bavaria or sometimes known of as Elizabeth of Bohemia was the daughter of James I of England whose life in many ways resembles that of her grandmother Mary Queen of Scots. All along the line of this story is the Stewart family and their associated French families like the Rochefoucauld and de la Tour families present also in Acadian or Nova Scotia history. More on that next time. For now thanks for reading here and considering the overtones of the “Rochefoucauld Grail!!” 

Illustration from the Rochefoucauld Grail

Castel del Monte of Frederick II

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