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Below: highlights on Rome, Italy

To visit Rome’s most famous and mysterious places, some prefab information comes handy, especially when they’re the subject of a thriller. For users of TripAdvisor I wrote a few words you won’t find in the printed tourist guides. Read on, traveller!

For TripAdvisor: ‘A holy structure on pagan grounds.’

The Basilica of Saint Clements is one of the oldest churches in Rome. In the last century there have been several excavations which all together go back at least two thousand years.
Under the current structure houses, chapels and temples has been found, dating from far before Christianity, including a temple dedicated to the god Mithras. His image can be seen at the lowest level. Mithras was the opponent of Mitra which is a Persian word and means the same as Nimrod or Dagon. In the Bible that is Baal, or more precisely: Satan.
Mitraism as a religion derives from the worshiping of Mitra before 1400 BC. By sacrificing Ahriman, the bull, Mithras” opponent which represents evil he lost all his power. The story goes three animals appeared out of the dead body of the bull: a snake, a dog, drinking the blood of the bull which Mithras could not prevent. According to the myth, new life was created on earth from the body of the bull, the start of the human race.” In a book titled ‘The Devil’s Society’ the basilica is mentioned being the start of a quest for the remains of a female pope, Pope Joan.

For TripAdvisor: ‘Point of departure of Papal processions as one of the Papal Basilicas, starting 313 BC.’

Very close to the formal entrance of the basilica you will find a plaque, saying the basilica is the mother church of all churches on Earth. Note the laurel wreath, symbolizing victory. The origin of the habit why laurel is used is still subject of discussion. However, one explanation could be because laurel leaves never decline and stay fresh always.

The first pope ever ‘inhabited’ the basilica was Pope Sylvester I in 313 BC. His throne (cathedra, Latin for ‘seat’) can be seen by paying a visit to the apse. Noteworthy is the presence of the Cosmateque style of marble decorations, named after the Cosmati family.

From the year 313 until late in the medieval ages, the basilica was the starting point for Papal processions towards the St. Peter’s Basilica which became the Papal Palace. Among the popes, riding horse back was a female pope. Using the name of Giovanni or Johannes she became better known under the name of Joan. As the papal throne was reserved only for males, she managed to disguise herself to be male.

Since she was discovered to be female during one of her processions while giving birth, Joan was stoned and sentenced to be banned to a place outside Rome. The consequence of her discovery was a total ban on her presence and became denied by the Vatican.

Some books had been written about her, among are ‘Pope Joan’ which became filmed, as well as ‘The Devil’s Society’. In the latter, the basilica plays a role when in the dungeons beneath it, the dead body of a cardinal has been found, poisoned by his opponents, the Jesuits.

For TripAdvisor: ‘The meaning of the cone shapes on the Cortile della Pigna.’

Walking through the Museo Pio Clementino you find a courtyard, called the “Cortile della Pigna”. Beyond is the main entrance of its library and the entrance to the Secret Archives of the Vatican. The entire courtyard is the roof of the Archives, which, as of safety reasons can withstand a nuclear attack.
The pine cone in the middle represents the pagan symbol of fertility, associated with the pagan and ancient Israeli god Baal, and the cult of the goddess Cybele. It is said to symbolize the pineal gland inside our brains. The shape of the papal tiara is based on it. According to an old Christian tradition, the pinecone symbolizes the testicles of those men offering themselves to be priests in the cults dedicated to Cybele, a female goddess. Cybele was worshiped as the goddess of fertility, the mother of Alma Mater. Significant is that Pope Celestine wanted to abolish the papal tiara, but he was prevented by his successor, Pope Boniface XIII, the man who wrote the Unam Sanctam which means ‘A holy catholic and apostolic church.’ In this Papal Bull he claimed mankind to be property of church and state.

For TripAdvisor: ‘Location for the start of Chapter One of the suspense novel ‘The Devil’s Society’

On the steps to the main entrance, William R. Sandwell, protagonist in the suspense novel ‘The Devil’s Society’ receives an important message and leads him to the quest for the descendants of a female pope.

 

 

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