Stonehenge is located in the English county of Wiltshire, 13 km north of Salisbury. It is composed of 60 stones, put in circular way, called megaliths. The popular belief is that it is a primitive astronomic observatory because the stones are aligned with summer and winter solstice and vernal and autumnal equinox. The first studies were made by John Aubrey in 1640. He thought that the monument was made by the Druids (ancient celtic priests) and thanks to his drawings he discovered that Stonehenge could be an astronomic observatory. A more accurate survey was made by John Wood, 100 years later, he said that Stonehenge was meant for pagan rituals, this statement threw doubts because the Druids were considered biblical patriarchs. Towards the end of the nineteenth century John Lubbock was able to discover that the monument belonged to the Bronze Age thanks to archeological finds founded on the near hills. There were many disputes on Stonehenge’s date of birth; most archeologist think that it was built between the 2500 b.C. and the 2000 b.C.
A village dating back to 2600 b.C. made of about 25 houses, near to Stonehenge was discovered. It is believed that they belonged to who contributed to the creation of the monument. From the beginning of the nineteenth century, several stones started to fall and they were set again on foot by Victorians engineers, giving Stonehenge the current shape.
The legend says that the monument was built by Merlin the Wizard in one night only. He transported the stones on the fly from Ireland, but this is quite unlikely: Stonehenge was built in different periods and Merlin, if he existed, was born after 2000 years.
THE HOLY GRAIL
“The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown talks about the Holy Grail. The writer was inspired by the 1982 book “The Holy Grail” by Baigent Michael, Leigh Richard and Lincoln Henry, in this book, the authors show their personal theory that believe that the Grail was not a cup in which Jesus’ blood was contained but a symbol of his royal descent. These writers believe that he left a progeny had with his partner Mary Magdalene, a figure that the Church made a prostitute in order to belittle the female figure and to hide the truth; the Church also refused the Gospel of Philip, founded in Qumran in 1947; in this work we can read how much Jesus loved Magdalene and that the woman, when Jesus died, was already pregnant. The Holy Grail is not a cup containing blood but the symbol of Jesus’ descent. But where can we find it? In the Middle Ages there were some witnesses on the places where the Holy Grail could be found:
- The most ancient source says that the cup could be found in a reliquary of a chapel near Jerusalem.
- Another source (the German novel “Titurel the young”) of the end of the XIII century says that the cup could be found in Constantinople.
- Others believed that it could be found in the Valencia Cathedral even if this cup was brought in Rome by Saint Peter.
The modern hypotheses believe that the Holy Grail could be found:
- In Castel del Monte, Apulia
- In San Lorenzo fuori le Mura, in Rome
- Inside the Sagrada Família, in Spain
- In the Château de Montségur
- Vlöre, in Albania
- In the Bari Cathedral, where a picture of King Arthur can be found
- In the Rosslyn Chapel, in Scotland
Just to mention but a few.
THE DELPHIC SIBYL
In Delphi there was Pythia, a priestess who give responses about the future. In order to have responses, everyone went to the temple that was very popular at that time. She listened to their questions and after having drunk water, she lied down near a crack from which some hot vapors escaped. It was believed that it was Apollo’s breath. After having breathed carbon dioxide (even if the legend says that she was just possessed by the god) she was able to give responses to everyone.