I generally keep at open mind about the 'business of Rennes-le-Chateau'. This includes all the paraphernalia that was added by Pierre Plantard and Philippe de Cherisey. For me, it seems evident that both of these people, whether independently or together, found some files and documents of information perhaps relating to Sauniere [or his peripheral story] and they desperately sought more answers to the enigma.
One of the main 'motifs' that litter their work is the idea of a tomb of a Great or Grand Roman. Both Plantard and Cherisey offer suggestions as to who the 'great Roman' was. Plantard called the Roman tomb the Tomb of Pompey [see HERE] and locates it in the vicinity of Fangallots at Rennes-les-Bains. He also links it mysteriously to the 14th Station of the Cross inside the church at Rennes-le-Chateau. Plantard actually says that the tomb was 'known as' the tomb of Pompey, implying that it may or may not be the tomb of Pompey at all.
Cherisey for his part, in his book CIRCUIT, describes the tomb as "the fortress of the king [that is] in the territory of 16 to 18 hectares indicated by the cadastre [map] under the appellation 'rokko negro'. The centre of Rennes and the pierre du pain are this fortress - which is found in the sign of Pisces (poisson/fish) - the treasure that is there is multiple in nature, such as precious stones by the Visigoths of the fifth century, gold and manuscripts by the Arabs who deposited [them in?] the tomb of Grand Roman between 711 and 715. I will add that the personality of the great Roman is not absolutely certain, the general thought was that it was Pompey - but there is also... gerard de nerval, which would lean rather to the Emperor Nerva".
The language that Cherisey uses denotes the Cromlech of Abbe Boudet. Researchers know that Boudet refers to an important tomb in the centre of his Cromlech, an 'imaginary' circle of megalithic stones left by previous occupants of the earlier celtic civilisation. Boudet was priest of the parish of Rennes-les-Bains - and earlier in the centuries - another former priest of the parish was the Abbe Delmas. Abbé Delmas had spoken of a huge pagan temple, 15 metres high, situated just south of Rennes-les- Bains. And in the local folklore of Rennes-les-Bains Delmas is associated with an area indicated by the so called Delmas Cross. According to tradition, the cross indicates where once there stood the tomb of the "Roman" which had also been referred to by Abbé Delmas in an essay he had written.
Boudet had written - "et les Romains avaient bâti un temple dans la vallée de la Sals.....Alors, à l'arête du cap dé l'Hommé sur le haut d'un ménir, [i]en face du temple païen[/i], converti en église chrétienne détruite plus tard par l'incendie, fut sculptée une belle tête du Sauveur regardant la vallée, et dominant tous ces monuments celtiques qui avaient perdu leurs enseignements..."
So i think it is fairly certain that there is a folk memory and certain knowledge that in the vicinity of Rennes-les-Bains there is an important burial. But who is it and why is it so important in the minds of these clerics? Who is the Great Roman?
While generally researching this idea i found some ancient Roman epigrams which, in the context of a great Roman, i found very interesting. They are the Epigrams in the Latin Anthology attributed to Seneca (14-23). In them Seneca refers to the tomb of Pompey and others in some kind of poetic sense. But i am not altogether sure if any of this is 'true'.
Several of the verses are interesting as indicated below:
15 (R.406) - Rituals of those who invoke the souls of Magnus
Used to know in advance the fate in the bowels of men,
the officiating impious and unclean worship
placed on the flames palpitating entrails torn from chest
a man of free birth; he split the earth with a magic incantation,
he dared to call Pompey from the Elysian fields.
What a shame! Pompey to the viewer of this ritual!
Fool! Why are you looking among the infernal shadows
for Pompey? This great soul may be buried under the earth!
18 (R.409) - In his homeland
Cordoba, loosen your hair and wear a shocked face
by paying now with tears of the offering due to my ashes.
Weep now distant Cordoba, your poet,
Cordova, who has never been more distressed than today.
Because you did not [do] more - was the day when, as the forces of earth were upset, the destruction caused by the war has befallen you, when, overwhelmed by the twin calamities, your situation was desperate to either side and that Pompey and Caesar were enemies for you. You do not feel more when unfortunately one night brought you three times a hundred corpses a night that was for you last; not while the brigand Lusitano shake your walls and sank thy gates twirling his lance. I, who once was your most illustrious citizen - me your glory I found nailed on a rock! Untie your hair, Cordoba, but congratulate yourself because you bathe nature the ultimate ocean and later you suffer these misfortunes.
19 (R.410) - Guarding the Tomb
Whoever you are - I say also your name? pain gets all the stress! -
crowds that now are our enemy ash and, not content with the great and sudden catastrophe that befell on us, unchecked cruel to the head of a dead traits: believe me, nature has provided some strength to the tombs, Shadow defends his burial. Jealous! believe the gods that you say now themselves believe that my Manes you repeat it in turn: it is a sacred thing that the poor; do not touch my remains: thy sacrilegious hands deviate from my grave!
20 (R.411) - Athens
Whoever you are, stranger who visits the Cécropienne Athens
it's just if you show a trace of its former glory.
"Is this," will you ask, "where one sought out the gods after abandoning the sky? And after they had divided the kingdoms, is found here that the urn? ". You will say the same thing at the sight of the citadel of Agamemnon: "This city lies victorious, ravaged more than it has conquered! ". There they are, those once admired ancient right to: you see them, these modest tombs of great cities.
22 (R.413) - Private burial illustrious men
Far away on the opposite shore of Libya,
it's just if they have received a burial, the very illustrious names
Magnus and Cato, more than great that Magnus.
Alas! You watch, O Rome, like the ashes of the rest so far from you!
23-23a (R.414-414a) - From Terentius Varro Atacinus and Answer
Licinus lies in a marble tomb, but Cato has none
Pompey and small: we believe that there are gods? *
Boulders crashing Licinus but Cato was raised by his fame
Pompey and his greatness, we believe there are gods!
A translator has elucidated this Latin verse with these comments:
This composition, one of our most amazing collection, denounced the claims of a necromancer, "the officiant an unclean unholy cult" (impius infandae religionis apex - a term that would have certainly appreciated the American writer HP Lovecraft) invoking the soul of Pompey by a human sacrifice and magic spells. But, according to sénéquienne eschatology as for example expressed in the Consolation to Marcia , the poet argues that this attempt is futile, for the soul of a man as Pompey certainly is not underground.
The term apex (corrected on the lesson of the apes Vossianus) is a kind of hat or cap ritual, and is here for those who are in firewall, so the officiating priest or a religion (note here the use in elegiac poetry of the wordreligio normally excluded in this form; Lucretius wrote relligio) or a cult.
In verse 6 (where we also note the traiectio ut), the term pro pudor used to express indignation and, writes Prato (1964), p. 137, is "molto in uso nell'età imperial."
The last line, in addition to the destiny of the soul in Seneca that we mentioned above, is attributable to the couplet that opens the book IX of Lucan Bellum ciuil: Was not in Pharia manes iacuere fauilla, / nec Cinis exiguus Tantam compescuit umbram, "No, the manes [Pompey] could not rest in the dust of Pharos, and fine ash could contain such a large shadow." The poem as a whole is still reminiscent of the episode of the Civil War where Lucan described by Sextus Pompey consulting with the witch Erichto.
In the wake of carm. 2 and 3 in which the poet laments his exile by speaking of his place of banishment, he now comes in Cordoba, his homeland, in a plaintive tone. Cordoba is in mourning because his poet, his fame, is in exile, and it has never been more painful than this event.
In verse 2, the munera are the rituals and duties arising from the ashes of the deceased, the poet who gives name here uates. This term is more solemn than poeta and comes from religious language; we can sense the approach of Horace (Carm., III 1, 3) that qualifies as a poet of Musarum sacerdos, "priest of the Muses."
Three historical events are mentioned in this piece, three woes that struck the city of Cordoba, three misfortunes that the poet considers less than his exile ... The first (about 5-8) refers to an episode of the Civil War, when Caesar [in] Spain wins 46/45 av. AD to fight against Sextus Pompey. After the battle of Munda, Cordoba (which served as the bastion republican troops) was stormed, follows a massacre and the city must pay a heavy war indemnity. Second, and unless it is not a second event, but a simple development of the first, the poet may have to (to 9-10) the earthquake which rocked the city in 76 BC. AD As for the episode of "brigand Lusitanian" (verse 11-12), this is a reference to the revolt against Rome Viriatus from 147 BC. AD until his assassination eight years later.
Note 12 to the association to lancea torta, which is found in the carm. 21, also at about 12 and occupying the same position. The coincidence is fortuitous, it is nonetheless remarkable.
Adluit the end is not very convincing on geographically - Cordova is still very far from the coast ... - but Prato (. 1964, p 146) sees this as a "espressione generica, vague, ordine senza preoccupazioni of geografico ".Other publishers, believing that we can not definitely say that Cordova is "bathed in the ultimate Ocean", thought the lesson of having to correct in surmising Vossianus addidit or abstulit.
In the same last line, note that even dolens is a praesens pro futuro (the meaning is that of dolebis), as we had already met with the carm. 9, 6 (not dubitas non dubitabis).
This poem is reminiscent of the carm. 14 and "più che a sepolcrale componimento (...), come intendeva the autore dell 'Listing Summary, sembra the invettiva esasperato contro di un esiliato a malignant denigratore" as rightly Prato noted (1964, p. 146). If nothing in the text to suggest that the poet, who speaks of himself not as a dying (this was the case in the carm. 14) but as death, is an exile is certainly a man who considers himself finished. However, one of his enemies, that nothing can be identified, should not allow the plight of the poet to trample his ashes - which nostrum cinerem nunc inimice, premis (note the vocative in the penultimate position in the verse, as often in our collection). Dead as he says, the poet recalls that does not mean devoid of resources and that no one should lay a hand on a deceased.
The arrest at around 1 Quisquis're reminded of the Quisquis scrutare carm 6, 1.; we still find the same formula at the beginning of the next epigram (Quisquis cecropias) and later in carm. 45, 1 (Quisquis adhuc).
The opponent of the poet is designated as Liuor to 7, that is to say, envious, or rather the same as envy or jealousy personified. In the carm. 25, 4-5, the enemy will be called successively inuidiose and liuide.
In verse 9, sacra is a correction of several publishers, including Riese and Shackleton Bailey, Lesson atra (meaning 'sad' or 'sinister') of Vossianus followed among others by Prato and Canali & Galasso. We adopt the correction sacra, here in the sense of 'sacred' without excluding the dimension of 'taboo' also conveyed by this term; it seems to us that the movement of the couplet, including the use of sacrilegae and abstinueresupport this view and that the poet intends to give his warning additional value through the discovery of a dimension religious.
The same to 9, the sense of mea fata can be rendered as "my remains"; there is a similar use of the term in Propertius (I 17, 11): an poteris siccis mea fata reposcere ocelli, "could you call my remains keeping dry eyes? "
This epigram, as the carm. 55, recalls the sad fate of big cities (or large nations) whose former glory survives only in a state of ruin that contrast so harshly with fame that they had once acquired. The poet here is for abroad - the apostrophe hospes, equivalent to the Greek xeine is usual to refer a visitor - visiting the "Cécropienne Athens" (for this epithet, see what we have said about the carm. 14, 8) first, then Mycenae, called a "citadel of Agamemnon."
One can easily understand the general meaning of the second couplet remembering theophilestatês Athens is the city to which the gods are a special love (Aeschylus, Eumenides 869). The division and sharing referred to in 4 is also mentioned by Plato in the Critias (109b): Theoi boy hapasan Gen buddy kata topous dielanchanon all, "one day the gods divided the whole earth by regions." But the difficulty of this couplet lies in the penultimate word of verse 4: catch leaking urna is the correction of Herter, we follow here with Prato because it seems to offer the most satisfactory way: the urn is of course then that which the gods have used to divide them by lot to different parts of the world. But this lesson Vossianus una "che i Finora tormentato filologi" (Prato, 1964, p 150.) Indeed: it is not clear what it means to be a poet, and there is little that Herrmann to link to una reigned in defiance of syntax. Among the many corrections proposed by publishers and philologists, note only umbra within the meaning of otium dulce (Russo), cura (Riese) and ora (Baehrens): these conjectures are all viable alternatives, but not worth our notice urna.
The citadel of Agamemnon's Mycenae, the victorious city of around 6; the defeated city is of course the city of Troy. Agamemnon is among the Greek leaders, who was appointed to head the expedition which was to lead to his downfall Ilion.
In verse 8, Parua is a correction Tollius, generally used by publishers (Riese, Prato, Shackleton Bailey, etc.) Lesson magna Vossianus. This, indeed, is not impossible, it is possible to understand that Athens and Mycenae are no longer little more than the imposing remains of the great achievements of the past. However the set of the poem (especially the UIX verse 2) motion to adopt prompt correction Parua.
With this epigram, the poet returns to both groups spent above Cato and Pompey's house (carm 7, 8 and 9.) (Carm 10, 11, 12 and 13.) the theme developed here incorporates the considerations on the smallness of the tomb of the great men, a theme that we had already met in carm. 11, 34 and 13, 2 and that we will find further in the carm. 45 and 46.
The expression litore diuerso will still be used in the carm 62, 1. Diuerso terrarum litore. The adjective diuersus has no sense of 'different' but rather 'opposite' as the thing is obvious here.
In verse 3, we adopt the correct hoc Magno Scaliger (who however preferred hoc humano), also adopted by Riese, Prato and Canali & Galasso. The door Vossianus hoc homine, which poses indeed no problem but operates under the pun on the name of Pompey Magnus, "the Great".
Carmina 23 and 23a
The two epigrams are the first one couplet Mr. Terentius Varro Atacinus and the second an answer in the same form proposed by Seneca. The Vossianus has only couplet Marmoreo etc. and places following epigram 22 without giving it a title. However, another manuscript now lost but known from the first publisher of Petronius, the Bellovacensis (date unknown), had the same room by preceding registration (probably written after the fact) Terentii Varroni Atacini to designate the accused. The same Bellovacensis proposed, as a result of this couplet, a response of the same bill that publishers attributed to Seneca. This "answer" since this is the title given to it Baehrens, not in the Vossianus, but was incorporated into the corpus of epigrams of Seneca due to the presence within said body of the piece 23 to which it is linked by Bellovacenis (which had the samecarm. 1).
In this particular tradition adds a major challenge: nullo Cato, Pompey paruo is the lesson of Vossianus; but Bellovacensis said exactly the opposite: paruo Cato, Pompeius nullo. But we have seen in the carm 10-13, there was talk of a tomb of Pompey; further, according to the interpretation we adopt (c. our review), the carm. 46 will go in the same direction as the group consisting of carm. 61-63.
But a difficulty arises with the carm. 40, which speaks of a tomb of Cato, otherwise unknown, if not the lesson of Bellovacensis for carm. 23. The thing is further complicated if we take into account a foreign component to our collection and provided by a fifteenth century manuscript (cited by Prato , p 155.), In which we read: Marmoreo tumulo snag IACET Nero sed Cato paruo, / Pompeius nullo: Credimus esse deos.
So we have a package that speaks of a tomb of Pompey, historically proven. Facing him, the carm. 40 signals a tomb of Cato, whose existence is confirmed also by a doublet of carm. 23 denying the existence of a tomb of Pompey on one side, and the another by an epitaph same indefinite time and invoice provided by a late manuscript. These considerations allow philologists eliminate lesson Bellovacensis for carm. 23 preferring that of Vossianus and considered with great suspicion the historical value of the testimony provided by carm. 40 on the possible existence of a tomb of Cato.
With regard to the text of our carm. 23 and 23a response, we see the figure of Licinus appear. It is very likely that either referred by the Licinus freed by Julius Caesar in Gaul whose exactions Lyon made the proverbial name, so for example in Juvenal (1, 108-109), one character exclaims: Ego possideo more / Pallante and Licinis, "I have more than Pallas and Licinus." In his Letters to Lucilius (XX 119, 9 and 120, 19), Seneca cites Licinus twice as wealthy sample character by associating his name with that of the triumvir Crassus.
The first word of carm. 23a, saxa responds admirably to marmoreo tumulo since saxum means a rock, a piece of stone or marble in particular. The marble tomb where Licinus becomes a marble-based speaker that crushed his body.
The meaning of the final Credimus esse deos is: couplet attributed to Varro, noting the injustice of the posthumous fate of unbelievers (Licinus) and great men (Cato, Pompey) wondered if the gods really exist, them that allow such a thing to happen. The answer asserts the existence of the gods by restoring the truth about the fate of the same great men, a fate not linked to the size of their graves but their virtue.
These translations are taken from this SITE.
We must bear in mind that Epigrams are "brief, interesting, memorable, and sometimes surprising or satirical statement[s]. Derived from the Greek: ἐπίγραμμα epigramma "inscription" from ἐπιγράφειν epigraphein "to write on, to inscribe", this literary device has been employed for over two millennia.
Interesting nevertheless - regarding a tomb of the Grand Roman!
Welcome to the blog of Rhedesium
My name is Sandy Hamblett, inspired and passionate researcher of the mysteries at Rennes-les-Bains.