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Search the history of over billion web pages on the Internet. How to reconcile the unreconcilable? How to adjust the testimony of the historical facts to that of medieval art works? The chroniclers depict this unfortunate period in the darkest colors. For several centuries there is nothing but invasions, wars, famines, epidemics. And yet the monuments — faithful and sincere dweplings of these nebulous times — bear no mark of such scourges.
Much to the contrary they appear to have been built in the enthusiasm of a powerful inspiration of ideal and faith by a people happy to live in the midst of a flourishing and strongly organized society. Must we doubt the veracity of historical accounts, the authenticity of the events which they report, and believe along with the popular wisdom of nations, that happy peoples have no history?
Unless, without refuting en masse all of history, we prefer to discover the justification pf medieval darkness in the relative lack of incidents.
Be that as it may, it remains undeniable is that all the Gothic buildings without exception reflect a serenity and expansiveness and a nobility without equal.
If, in particular, we examine the expression of statues, we will quickly be edified by the peaceful character, the pure tranquility that emanates from these figures. Fulcahelli are calm and smiling, welcoming and innocent. Lapidary humanity, silent and well-bred.
The Dwellings of the Philosophers : Fulcanelli :
Women have that portliness which rather indicates, in their models, the excellence of rich and substantial nourishment. Children are plum, replete, and blooming. Priests, deacons, Capuchin monks, purveyor lay-brothers, clerks, and chorus singers, all show a jovial face or the pleasant figure of their portly dignity.
Their interpreters — those marvelous and modest carvers of images — do not deceive us and could not be mistaken. They choose their prototypes from daily life among people who move around them and in the midst of whom they themselves live.
A number of these figures randomly found in narrow streets, taverns, schools, sacristies, workshops, may be altogether marked or overdone, but in a picturesque tone, with a concern for character, for the sense of joy, for generous lines. Grotesque, you may say, but joyously grotesque and full of teaching. Satires of people enjoying laughter. Drinking, singing, and fond of good living.
Masterpieces of a realist school, profoundly human and certain of its mastery, conscious of its means, and yet unaware of what pain, misery, oppression, or slavery might be. This is so true that, search as you may, question the ogival statuary, you will never discover a figure of Christ whose expression reveals true suffering. Along with us, you will recognize that the latomi 1 worked tremendously hard to give their crucified figures a grave physiognomy without always succeeding.
The best ones, barely emaciated, have closed eyelids and seem to be resting. On out cathedrals the scenes of the Last Judgment show grimacing demons, distorted, monstrous, more comical than terrible; as far as the damned, the benumbed accursed are concerned, they are cooking in their pots over a slow heat without useless regret or genuine suffering. Had the people suffered, had the masses moaned in misfortune, the monuments would have kept a memento of it.
Yet we know that art, the higher expression of civilized humanity, can freely develop only under the cover of a stable and sure peace.
The Dwellings of the Philosophers
As it is with science, art cannot exercise its genius in the atmosphere of troubled societies. This applies to all elevated manifestations of human thought; revolutions, wars, upheavals are disastrous to them. They demand security born of order and concord in order to grow, to bloom, and to bear fruit. Such strong reasons urge us to accept, with great circumspection, the medieval events recounted by History. Pjilosophers confess that the description “of a sequence of calamities, disasters, and accumulated ruins over years” seems to us truly excessive.
It is the culminating point, the apogee of form and boldness, the marvelous phase where spirit, the divine flame, imposes its signature on the last creations of Gothic thought. It is the time where the great basilicas were completed; ewellings religious architecture, other important collegiate or monasterial buildings were also being raised: We see remarkable civil edifices rising fo the earth, from the Hospice of Beaune to the law courts of Rouen and the town hall of Compiegne; from the mansions built nearly everywhere by Jacques Coeur tge the belfries of free cities, Bethune, Douai, Dunkerqe, etc.
In our big cities, the small streets dig their narrow bed under an agglomeration of cantilevered gables, turrets and balconies, sculpted wooden houses and stone dwellings with delicately ornate facades. Everywhere trades are developing under the protection of medieval corporations; everywhere guildmen vie with one another in their skill; everywhere emulation multiplies masterpieces. The university has turned out brilliant students and its renown spreads throughout the old world; famous doctors, fulcanslli scientists disseminate, propagate the blessings of science and philosophy; in the silence of the laboratory spagyrists amass materials which will later serve as the foundation for our modern chemistry; great Adepts give hermetic truth a new soaring flight What ardor unfolded in all the branches of human activity!
And what wealth, what fecundity, what powerful faith, what trust in the future transpire beneath this desire to build, create, search, and discover in the midst of a full-fledged invasion in this miserable country of France submitted to foreign domination and which knows all the horrors of an interminable war!
In truth, we do not understand And thus is elucidated the reason why our preference remains vested in the Middle Ages as it is revealed to us by Gothic buildings rather than dwelliings the same period as it is described by historians.
For it is easy to fabricate texts and documents out of nothing, old charters with fuulcanelli patinas, parchments and archaic-looking seals, even a few sumptuous books of hours, annotated in their margins, beautifully illuminated with locks, borders, and miniatures.
The Montmartre district of Paris delivers to whoever desires it, according to the price offered, the unknown Rembrandt or the authentic Teniers. A fuulcanelli artisan of the Halles district of Paris can shape with a staggering verve and mastery little gold Egyptian divinities and massive bronze statues, marvelous imitations over which some antique dealers fight.
Who does not remember the infamous Tiara of Saitaphernes Falsification and counterfeiting are as old as the hills, and history, which abhors chronological vacuums, sometimes had to call them to its rescue. A very learned Jesuit of the 17th century, Father Jean Hardouin, did not fear to denounce as spurious numerous Greek and Roman coins and medals coined during the Renaissance and 3 buried with the aim to fill in large historical gaps.
Philosopers de Montaiglon 2 informs us that in Jacques de Bie published a folio volume with illustrations called: The Fulcanepli of France, Illustrated by the Monuments of Ancient and Modern Medals, which, according to him, “contains more invented medals than real ones”.
Let us agree that in fulcanello to give history dwellimgs documentation it was lacking, Jacques de Bie utilized a more rapid and more economical process than that denounced by Phillosophers Hardouin. Victor Hugo 3citing the four best-known histories of France around — those of Dupleix, Mezeray, Vely, and Father Daniel — says of the latter that the author, “a Jesuit famous for his descriptions of battles, completed dwsllings 20 years a history which has no other merit than erudition and in which the Count of Boulainvilliers found no less than 10, errors”.
We know that Caligula, in the year 40 AD, had the tower of Odre built near Boulogne-sur-Mer “to deceive future generations on the subject of the supposed raid of Caligula on Great Britain” 4. Converted into a lighthouse turris ardens by one of his successors, the tower of Odre collapsed in What historian can give us the reason — superficial or profound — invoked by the sovereigns of Philosopher to justify their qualification and title of Kings of Fulcwnelli which they kept until the 18th century?
And yet English money from this period still bears the imprint of such a pretense 5. Formerly, on the school benches, we were taught that the first French King was called Pharamond and the date of his accession to the throne was determined at AD. Today the royal genealogy begins with Clodion le Chevu Clodion the Hairy because his father, Pharamond, actually never ruled. Will they not also be contested some day before they are relegated to the domain of legends and fables?
Events are for a man of talent rhe but a spring-board of ideas and style, since they are all mitigated or aggravated according to the needs of a cause or according to the temperament of the writer who handles them. As far as documents which support them are concerned, it is even worse, since none of them is irreducible and all are reviewable.
If they are not just apocryphal, other no less certain documents od be unearthed later which contradict them, waiting in turn to be devalued by the unearthing of yet other no less certain archives” 6. dwel,ings
The tombs of historical personalities are also sources of information which is subject to controversy. We have been made aware of this fact more than once 7. Inthe inhabitants of Bergamo had a very unpleasant surprise. Could they believe that their local celebrity, that fiery soldier of fortune, Bartholomeo Coleoni, who filled the 15th century Italian annals with his bellicose whims, was nothing but a legendary shadow?
And yet, following a hunch of the king who was visiting Bergamo, the municipality had the ornate mausoleum of the famous equestrian statue moved, had the tomb opened, and all those in attendance discovered, not without tremendous surprise, that it was empty In France at least we do not push offhandedness so far; authentic or not, our tombs hold bones. Amedee de Ponthieu 8 tells us that the sarcophagus of Francois Myron, magistrate of Paris inwas found during the destruction of the house bearing the address 13 rue Arcole, a building raised on the foundations of the Church Sainte-Marine in which he had been buried.
The epitaph had been erased. When the coffin lid was raised, only a skeleton was found surrounded by a blackish soot mixed with dust Strangely enough, neither the insignias of his charge, nor his sword, nor his ring were discovered, not even traces of his coat of arms Yet the Commission of Fine Arts, through the lips of its experts, declared that it was indeed the great Parisian magistrate, and 4 these illustrious relics were taken down into the crypts of Notre-Dame”.
A similarly valuable account is mentioned by Fernand Boumon in his book Paris Atlas. Such pronouncements carved in marble are an offense to common sense”. Let us promptly acknowledge that in his historical distortions, Father Loriquet showed much less boldness! Allow us to make phliosophers digression here, intended to specify and define our thought.
For a long time, a very tenacious prejudice, attributed the invention of the wheelbarrow to the scientist Pascal.
And even though the falsity of fupcanelli attribution has today been ewellings, the great majority of people persist in the belief that it is philosophres. Question a school boy: Among the mischievous, noisy, and often distracted individualities of the little scholar world, it is above all through this supposed invention that the name of Pascal has been imposed on young minds.
Many junior school students, unaware of who Descartes, Michelangelo, Denis Papin or Torricelli were, will not hesitate for a minute about Pascal. It would be interesting to know why our children, among so many admirable discoveries whose daily applications they have before their eyes, rather know Pascal and his wheelbarrow than the men of genius to whom we owe steam, the battery, beet sugar, and the stearic candle.
Is it because the wheelbarrow touches them closer, interests them more, is more familiar to them? Be that as it may, the common mistake propagated by junior school philosopyers books could easily be unmasked: And even without undertaking such difficult research, just a glance cast at monuments would have permitted us to reestablish the truth.
Among the motifs surrounding one archivolt of the northern porch of the Beauvais Cathedral, is represented pushing his wheelbarrow, a type of wheelbarrow very similar to the ones we actually use today Plate I. The same phklosophers can also be identified in agricultural scenes that form the subject of two carved misericords, coming from the stalls of the Abbey of Saint-Lucien near Beuvais 1.
Furthermore, if truth compels us to refuse to credit Pascal with a very old invention, older than his philosopherx by several centuries, his greatness and the power of his genius are in no way diminished.
“The Dwellings of the Philosophers” by Fulcanelli
The immortal author of the Pensees, of the calculus of probabilities, the inventor of the hydraulic press, of the calculating machine, etc. However, that which is of consequence to elicit and that only counts for us is that, in the search for truth, tthe is preferable to call upon buildings rather than upon historical documents, sometimes incomplete, often tendentious, almost always unreliable.
Monsieur Andre Geiger comes to a parallel conclusion when, struck by the inexplicable homage rendered to the statue of Nero by Hadrian, he refutes the iniquitous accusations borne against this emperor and against Tiberius. Like ourselves, he denies and credibility to purposefully falsified historical accounts, on the subject of these so-called human monsters and he does not hesitate to write: If, as we have said, the falsification of a text, the writing of a chronicle demand nothing more than some skill and know-how, on the other hand, it is impossible to build a cathedral.
Let us pholosophers call upon buildings; they will provide us with more serious or accurate information.
We shall contact them and it will not be long before we love them. Now we will question the 13th century harvester who is sharpening his scythe on the portal of Paris, now the 15th century apothecary who, in the stalls of Amiens, is pounding some unknown drug in his wooden mortar.