Before we begin today, Harry Hubbard of Alexander Helios contacted me to dispute reports that he used to be an ancient astronaut theorist. Hubbard says that such reports, published by Richard D. Flavin, are incorrect and that Flavin is attempting to libel him. Hubbard said worse, but I have removed references to UFOs from my discussion of him in my review of America Unearthed S02E05 in keeping with his assertion that this material is wrong. Here is the non-libelous portion of Hubbard’s message that I am able to print:
I admit, the episode was less than cheesy, but you have to know, Scott nor myself had anything to do with the final edit. This often pisses Scott off as they frequently stage finds, false truths and such. However, let me be clear to you and anyone who bothers to read your blog... For the past 20 years, we have maintained that Burrows Cave is indeed the lost Ptolemaic Dynasty including Alexander the Great and Cleopatra....and so many idiots wonder what the connection is there, but they are history buffs. During this time, no one, the world over has proven us wrong! You and others can say what you wish, print what you desire, but you can't prove us wrong. Bummer ain't it?
What kind of contract does Committee Films have Scott Wolter locked into? Also “prove us wrong” isn’t really an argument. I have said in jest “unicorns are real.” Prove me wrong.
That said, Hubbard has offered to answer questions about the show and his cave, so if you have questions you would like to see him answer, let me know in the comments below.
Now on to today’s news.
Many of you have probably seen the “new” information about the location of the Ark of the Covenant making the media rounds today. The information comes from a Hebrew text called the Massekhet Kelim that articles have been a bit cagey about revealing is a medieval text, not a genuinely ancient record from the time of the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem. The text describes the concealing of the Temple treasures as Nebuchadnezzar conquers the city, and as such is not entirely dissimilar to other accounts, like the apocryphal stories of Jeremiah concealing the Ark on Mt. Nebo (2 Maccabees 2:4–7).
The Massekhet Kelim states that the Ark is the possession of angels and the other treasures in a tower in Baghdad, which really ought to have shown up on Ancient Aliens. We all “know” that angels are aliens and that the Ark is an alien communication device. But ancient astronaut theorists aren’t too keen on primary sources.
Contrary to media reports, the text is not “new” in any sense other than the publication of a complete English translation. The Hebrew text has been in print since 1648, and a French translation has been available for the last half century or so. The book’s contents have been discussed continuously since 1648, and its most interesting feature is the fact that it claims that the Temple vessels were listed on a copper (or bronze) tablet, which echoes the famous Copper Scroll found at Qumran, which also listed the Temple vessels on a metal sheet. Most scholars believe that the Massekhet Kelim author independently struck upon the idea of recording important information on metal.
No one translated the text into English before now because, apparently, scholars didn’t see much value in a medieval legend. A similar fate befell the late Antique Orphic Argonautica, which also lacked an English translation until the twenty-first century because nineteenth and twentieth century scholars didn’t see any value in it. In fact, Arthur Platt called “dreary” and others said much worse—“worthless” was a common-enough Victorian descriptor. A Greek gentlemen produced an eccentric and somewhat uneven translation in 2005 to support a fringe theory that the Argonauts sailed to America; my own translation is much closer to the source text.
It actually surprised me how many texts have never been translated for whatever reason. I thought you might be interested in seeing another of these untranslated gems. Today’s translation again covers some of the Holy Bloodline conspiracy material and is the oldest text to suggest that Mary Magdalene lived in France after the Crucifixion. A partial translation of one sentence from the passage below was published in the 1950s, but so far as I know the entire paragraph has not been fully translated.
The text comes from Sigebert of Gembloux in the Chronicon sive Chronographia, a year-by-year chronology written around 1111 or 1112. This is a section of the entry for the year 745:
A persecution having arisen after the stoning of Stephen protomartyr, Maximinus, one of the seventy disciples of Christ, crossing to Gaul, took Mary Magdalene with him. And he came to the city of Aix, over which he presided, and where he died and was buried. Verily, the city of Aix was despoiled by the Saracens, so the body of Mary herself was transferred by Gerard, count of Burgundy, to the monastery of Vézelay, which had been constructed by him. And yet some people write that this woman rests in Ephesus, having no covering over her.
The final line refers to Gregory of Tours in his In gloria martyrum 1.30, where he writes an unexplained line that “In this city [Ephesus] Mary Magdalene rests, having no covering over her” (my trans.). You’ll notice that Sigebert favored conservation of text, closely paraphrasing Gregory at the end and possibly at the beginning also Cosmas, describing the flight of Matthew after the stoning of Stephen. Both were sixth-century authors.
A few decades later, Modestus of Constantinople explained in the early 600s that Mary Magdalene had moved in with St. John in Ephesus and died there a martyr (Photius, Biblioteca 275). In case anyone would like to follow the evidence to its logical conclusion, Modestus also wrote that Mary Magdalene died a virgin. Sorry, Holy Bloodline believers: You’ll have to explain why the “ancient texts” tell a different story.
Byzantine writers maintained that the body of Mary Magdalene had been buried in Ephesus. In 886, her alleged bones were transferred by Emperor Leo VI to Constantinople and venerated there. This remains the tradition of the Eastern Orthodox Church, which of course fringe writers dismiss because it is weird and eastern.
Western Christians began to identify Mary Magdalene with southern France in the High Middle Ages. We know it cannot have been earlier since Gregory, who otherwise is credulous of saintly myths and the glories of Gaul, agrees with the Byzantines on Mary’s location, something that he could not have done had there been a royally-approved, popular tradition of Mary Magdalene in southern France.
As the tale grew, at first the story was only that the body of Mary Magdalene had been transferred to Aix, just as the Byzantines claimed to have moved the body to Constantinople. This was entirely in keeping with the cult of the saints and the competition among medieval cities to host spectacular relics for the veneration (and cash contribution) of pilgrims. Three different centers all claimed relics of Mary, and as they competed to attract pilgrims (and money!) they told increasingly elaborate stories about Mary. Now she was alive when she came to France, doing penance in the wilderness around Aix. When Sigebert wrote, he was essentially adjudicating between the competing claims of Aix and Vézelay by explaining how the older tale about Mary at Aix could be true while still promoting Vézelay’s claim on pilgrims’ time and money. To do so, he also needed to impugn the famous work of Gregory of Tours.
This new version, after a bit more growth and change, became the received Roman Catholic tradition, enshrined in the famous Golden Legend on the lives of the saints.
In short, there is no evidence of Mary Magdalene in France before the High Middle Ages, and there is an even older tradition of her in Ephesus that directly contradicts the Holy Bloodline Conspiracy claims.
Fantasy History Watcher
1/8/2014 06:17:25 am
"Mary Magdalene died a virgin"
Fantasy History Watcher
1/8/2014 06:32:05 am
Translation of "Massekhet Kelim" (Treatise of the Vessels)
1/8/2014 08:13:12 am
"What kind of contract does Committee Films have Scott Wolter locked into? "
1/8/2014 03:57:42 pm
My brother and I have more or less agreed that this season so far seems to be attempting to ameliorate the damage done to Wolter's reputation as a geologist last season. The second half of that season, in particular, made him out to be so incompetent as a geologist that it HAS to have had an impact on that front.
1/8/2014 08:34:25 am
I have a couple of questions for Mr. Flavin:
1/8/2014 08:50:12 am
Flavin's a completely different guy. Its Hubbard who's "taking questions".
1/8/2014 09:37:40 am
Sorry, I read too fast.
1/8/2014 09:07:17 am
Questions for Mr. Hubbard:
1/8/2014 03:10:09 pm
I don't believe you, LynnBrant !
1/8/2014 03:11:58 pm
BTW, sorry to disagree openly about anything in this wonderful club might post. But I happen to be privy to more of the facts than LynnBrant and I now know she has a chip on her shoulder that might be coloring her presentation of what she perceives as the facts, right LynnBrant?
1/8/2014 06:45:35 pm
Steve - On Mr. Wolter's company website it states under the section called Archaeopetography the following:
Steve, You think you know so much about me, you would think you could at least get my gender correct. :) In fact, it was soon after some of the artifakes were proven to be that. Scott said something like - when you claim a group of artifacts are authentic and they come from a cave you won't show anyone and some of them are clearly fakes, it casts a pretty serious shadow on the whole thing. Laugh laugh. Of course, then he didn't know he would become desperate for "sites" and need to bring Burrow's Cave back into the "possible." There is no archaeology or geology about this, just economics.
1/9/2014 05:16:36 am
Scott Wolter himself has gone on record as to his official opinion about Burrows Cave in his new book "From Akhenaten to the Founding Fathers". There is a chapter dedicated to the fraud he uncovered regarding the Burrows Cave artifacts. When he asked Burrows for more artifacts to study Burrows presented what appeared to be recently carved stones which coincidentally seemed to reference the Kensington Runestone. If I read the chapter correctly this was too much for Wolter, and he has washed his hands of Burrows Cave at least for now.
1/10/2014 02:49:54 am
Steve! I came here a few days ago as I saw it ina link about Wolters show! Colavitto nad his cronies only agree with whatever they think is right and they do not use facts or proven info. I actually wonder if its not the same person under different names! Do not be fooled by them and their statement, as when they are backed in corner they just blatantly lie.
1/10/2014 02:53:48 am
That comment would be cute, "Woman Wisdom," if I didn't know that at least three different user names posting comments all came from your IP address.
1/8/2014 09:54:55 am
1/8/2014 10:03:51 am
Also, if this video, entitled "Aliens From the Lost Tomb of Alexander the Great?" is not about ancient aliens, what is it about?
1/8/2014 12:43:13 pm
Rlewis, that video of Harry Hubbard is completely Ancient Aliens! with Hubbard quoting pre-Zacharia Sichin and pre-Erich von Daniken books supporting ancient alien visitation! But it gets better.... talk about looney tunes! Here is a page I found, Debatable Issues of Harry Hubbard, with some hilarious content. These are topics he debate anybody, anywhere, but for money! No number of scientists or scholars can escape the brilliance... face palm.
1/8/2014 12:46:41 pm
It really pisses me off that virtually EVERYONE in "fringe" studies simply revises his position on issues at will and then demands that we all pretend like his previous positions stopped existing. Hubbard simply exploited the fact that I can't possibly know everything he's ever said over several decades. Thank goodness for YouTube.
Funny as all get out!
1/8/2014 01:09:26 pm
My favorite quote from Harry Hubbard on black holes (posted by Face Palm): "This theory was concocted in the minds of Science Fiction enthusiasts and found a grip in society at large. Black Holes exist only in the imagination of Stephen Hawkins;"
1/8/2014 01:13:27 pm
Nice post, Face Palm.
This can't be real, seriously?
1/8/2014 01:34:03 pm
From Hubbard debate page:
1/8/2014 03:03:24 pm
What an incredible list! It is simply baffling. A couple of points.
1/8/2014 04:21:12 pm
1) Animal Years
1/9/2014 02:11:32 am
The debate topics are a good laugh.
1/10/2014 02:54:34 am
Jaso Colovita must be the shock jock of alternative history! The bater ins hysterical with the posters here /although incorrect!
1/8/2014 03:40:54 pm
1/9/2014 12:24:12 am
Natural selection is a theory. Evolution is a fact and has been proven in the lab with fruit flies for many years. Indeed, how much money?
1/8/2014 02:51:51 pm
On Tuesday,I contacted K.Yoshida,former assistant to Sakuji Yoshimura (Director of the Institute of Egyptology at Waseda University,the world foremost authority on Egyptology).I deliberately avoided a discussion over "the technicality of an Egyptian journey of 50,000 people to Illinois or the Grand Canyon",but I showed him the pictures of "Egyptian artifacts" presented by Harry Hubbard on the America unearthed show.You have to remember that Japanese are by nature extremely polite ,but to quote Yoshida: "Jodan desu ka?,this is ridiculous,the stones are fakes,please look at the carvings...so unsophisticated.....the person who made these stones,was not an ancient Egyptian...".
1/8/2014 03:04:24 pm
Jason,I have a question for Mr Harry Hubbard.
1/8/2014 04:33:24 pm
Can you please ask Mr. Hubbard if he is available for children parties?
Fantasy History Watcher
1/8/2014 10:36:15 pm
It's impossible to reason with the irrational
1/9/2014 02:15:59 am
Like, and one vote up.
1/9/2014 02:03:21 pm
"Black Holes exist only in the imagination of Stephen Hawkins."
1/10/2014 09:01:54 am
I remember reading a historical fiction novel by Taylor Caldwell
1/10/2014 09:10:19 am
The event occurs in Cassius Dio at 51.16.5, but it is widely believed that the story is apocryphal. Taken it face value, the text only says that Octavian touched the body, and a piece of the nose fell off.
1/10/2014 09:23:24 am
Everything about Julius Caesar and his EGO suggests he
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I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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