Friday, January 29, 2010

And a New Mystery Figure Has Commented on the Inscription I Discovered on the Throne of St. Mark in Venice ...

I received this in the email just now. Maybe I should start a game of twenty questions at this site.

Thank you for sending me the link [to the photos of the Throne of St. Mark]. The Aramaic inscription looks extremely old. Perhaps I'll do some work on it (unless you or someone else has already done that?).

Some of the letter forms, especially the Gamal and the Shin look Herodian in character and others, like the Aleph are similar to Estrangela (Syrian). At first I wondered if the first word on the far right is a Greek loan, 'Hagios' as found in the Trisagion, but it is difficult to read from the images provided.

Thinking some more about the picture carved above the seat, it may not be a Christian object at all. For example, if it is a Jewish object, e.g. a chair taken from a synagogue, the letter forms in the inscription would be easier to explain, (if so, the language of the inscription could be either Hebrew or Aramaic). Venice is a treasure-house full of antiquities looted by the Venetians from many parts of the Middle East, so it would be wise to consider various possible origins and contexts for this chair.

Venice is a place we love to visit. Perhaps if we go there again, I will ask to study and photograph this inscription. Probably I will not be allowed, but I will ask.

I should say that EVERY professor I have ever sent photos of the throne has been fascinated by it. I have said it ten thousand times by now. If it had remained buried in the Church of St Mark and rediscovered by archaeologists it would have been the most important find in the history of Christian archaeology. As it is, no one wants to look at it because it was 'plundered.'

But isn't archaeology just an organized plundering of relics. Just look at the controversies that the Egyptian Antiquities Authority is getting into with France, Germany and other countries. I guess it all depends on how successful my career gets. Maybe they should put me on their payroll ...

In any event, here is my usual rundown of the mysteries and ciphers I identify associated with the throne:

It has already been well established in the literature (Dorigo 1989 being only the most recent) that the top piece was added much later to the rest of the throne. There is a clear break between the two parts of the existing object. There is the throne itself cut out of one solid piece of alabaster in the first century CE and then a separate 'crown' or corona which represents either a whole distinct piece or one which was cut off and re-sculpted some time later.

The Samaritan letters alef shin lamed which spells out eshel or the tamarisk in Hebrew (Aramaic). Notice the damage in the stone surface itself at the top of the third letter - the lamed. There is now an unmistakable 'chip' which has cut off the top of the letter. The word appears in 'reverse order' (it would be natural to read Hebrew right to left and not left to right as here). However as we shall demonstrate the message of the throne reveals itself as one giant cipher.

The tamarisk tree where a cryptic code is present. Count the number of fruit on each branch. There are 8, 7, 6, 5 and 9 counting right to left. The equivalent Hebrew letters are Chet Zayin Vav He and Tet. This spells out 'the ninth vision' in Aramaic and refers to the ninth vision of the book of Zechariah where Jesus the high priest sits beside the royal messiah of Israel on the divine throne. Notice also the ram in the foreground and the four rivers of Paradise seeming to run down an incline so as to represent a mountain or hilltop.

The full inscription as 'mirror writing' in Hebrew reading right to left is 'the Sitting of Mark Evangelist of Alexandria.' The implication being that St. Mark sat on this throne at a particular time while in Alexandria.

The bull image on the left side of the throne. Notice the absence of any palm trees in the corners.

The man image on the right side of the throne. Notice the palm trees buried under the 'ground' in the corners of the plate. The 'ground' is represented by the diamond patters as is clear in the next image.

The back of the throne. Notice the lion image has the two palm trees fulls erect in the corners of the panel. They are 'above the ground' using the diamond pattern as a reference. The Hebrew word for palm tree (tamar) has the equivalent numerological value for the word for Sun (shemesh) i.e. 640.

The top back of the throne. Notice the eagle image is pushing the solar disk upwards to signify the rising of daybreak. There is a book with a cross in one claw representing the gospel. The Hebrew NShR (eagle) is a cipher for MRQ (Mark).

Email with comments or questions.

Stephan Huller's Observations by Stephan Huller
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