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Arthur the God

A
rthur the God
is a gripping, investigative book that reveals the shocking truth to the age-old mystery: “Who is really buried in the alleged King Arthur’s Grave at Glastonbury?”


Through an in-depth exploration of new archaeological discoveries, primary historical sources, and recorded historical events in Britain and on the Continent, Karen Han and Hank Harrison uncover compelling evidence of sinister plots and political intrigue surrounding Arthur’s famous grave at Glastonbury and offer a truly viable solution to the age-old mystery. This is just one of many answers to mysteries surrounding Arthurian Legend that have baffled people for centuries that are provided in their enthralling work, Arthur the God.

 

The book is an exploration into the world of the medieval troubadours, who wrote the Arthurian romances, and the outstanding contributions of the scientific, architectural and monastic community. It analyzes all aspects of Arthur’s world, dispelling commonly held beliefs, and offers new insights into the development of the Grail legend.

 

The fascinating investigation even takes the reader back to the ancient Solstices at Neolithic barrows and Bronze and Iron Age structures and links them to Grail Mythology and relationship to the construction of the Grail Temple in stone, in the form of the great Gothic cathedrals of Britain and France. Arthur the God uncovers mysterious Grail secrets, hidden in code form within the Medieval Arthurian Romances. The trail leads to the Templars, Masons, astronomers, mathematicians and Alchemists, the charting of the stars in the heavens, and the discovery of the origins of the Universe and the Theory of Light.

 

Captivating and provocative, Arthur of God will delight readers with answers to the one of the most enigmatic figures in history and literature. 

An excerpt from Arthur the God by Hank Harrison and Karen Han.

[All rights reserved. No reproduction, copy or transmission of this work, or any part of this work, may be made without written permission from either Karen Han or Hank Harrison, in accordance with the Copyright Act 1956 (as amended). Any person who does any unauthorised act in relation to any works by either of the above-mentioned authors may be liable to civil claims for damages.]


The Rise and Fall of Avalon

On a dreary November morning in 1539, spectators watched a frail and emaciated monk; his tonsured head bleeding, being dragged through the streets of Glastonbury, his body tethered to a farm sled on the orders of Thomas Cromwell. Grim-faced soldiers whipped the sure-footed horses into action. A sleeting rain fell as the huge Shires hauled the cart up the steep slopes toward the top of Saint Michael’s Tor. At the top, near the tower, the dreadful procession halted at a newly built gibbet with three ropes hanging down, each with a noose tied to the end. The soldiers dragged the old man to the platform and allowed him to stand mute while a hooded executioner prepared the ropes. The thick oaken doors of Saint Michael’s chapel were shut under guard and locked... the sunrise light that often shone through these portals would not appear this day. In his final moments the old monk gazed lovingly across the green pastures. Tortured in London by Cromwell’s “specialists”, he gave them no satisfaction. They wanted to know where the famed golden treasures of Glastonbury were hidden. Frustrated, they transported the monk back to the southwest to be hanged without food or water. A ray of sunlight broke through the clouds in the distance. The monk’s dazed eyes fell upon the serpentine hedgerows defining the horizon as they followed the River Brue, past the apple orchards to the spires of the mysterious abbey at the foot of the hill. This vista revealed the legendary Vale of Avalon, the traditional location of King Arthur’s final days, the place where Arthur’s wounds caused the land to wilt, and where, many believe, the legendary king lay buried within the abbey grounds. Over the centuries dozens of legends merged.

According to plan, the monk gripped a vial of anointing oil that he was able to secret away in his robe and broke the glass pressing it into his skin, causing his hand to bleed through his robes. A few flakes of snow fell upon his lips as he spoke aloud: “I shall be whiter than snow.” At that moment, before he could speak the final words of the Testament of James, Chapter 5, Verses 14-15, the black-cloaked slayer pushed him off the platform with a wooden pitchfork. By God’s grace, he managed to grant himself extreme unction before his neck snapped. 

The monk’s lifeless body remained on the gibbet for three days. Finally, he and his monastic companions were cut down and removed to the village, ironically, descending through the ancient labyrinth on the side of the Tor. The villagers understood why these monks were treated in such a horrible The villagers understood why these monks were treated in such a horrible manner. They broke the royal edicts passed against all Roman Catholic churchmen in England. By refusing to reveal the whereabouts of the legendary treasures of the abbey, the gold and silver and especially the books laden with jewels supposedly buried and sealed up in walls, they pronounced their own

death sentence. The thugs from London carted away tons of loot, but now they were after the more esoteric items—the saintly artifacts that formed the breathing soul of the abbey, a surviving Celtic abbey that was not factually Roman Catholic, and at one time in the 12th century, answered more to the Bishop of Winchester than to the Bishop of Rome. Killing the old monk and his followers went to no purpose. Several village elders ran for safety, even as the bodies laid exposed in the high street. The towns-people were full of rumors, they related stories and legends, but not one man or woman knew the actual whereabouts of the true treasures of Glastonbury. Henry the VIII would not be rewarded for his crushing blow to the abbeys and, so he thought, to the Catholic Church. The king could not have known that by destroying this particular abbey he was not striking a blow against Rome. Instead, his henchmen destroyed one of the oldest antipapal institutions on earth.

To strike fear into all who would defend the remaining monks and their missing treasures, the bodies were butchered and dragged through the streets. Nevertheless, even that gruesome scene proved insufficient to extract the desired information. It is probable that the villagers simply did not know what happened to the treasures, and not yet entrusted with potentially damaging secrets, the novice monks also knew nothing. However, to make a final comment, the King’s collectors, struck off the heads of the hanged monk and his companions, fixed what was left of them to pikes and displayed them prominently on the abbey gate. One wonders why that particular monk received such vile treatment. 

Perhaps the reason lies in his identity. The old man was no simple monk; in fact, he was the Head Abbot of Glastonbury, the last in a long line of Abbots and, as such, a man privileged to the secrets of the Fisher King. The next day, at dawn, the remaining monks escaped and the king’s soldiers began stripping the abandoned abbey of all pawnable wealth. Walls were vandalized for their gilded plaques, but a few items were left behind, some buried, some simply undiscovered, things like books and charts of no immediate value to the exchequer. Ironically, we now realize, these books contained the true treasure. Centuries went by with constant vandalism and yet items still survived, plain books, wooden chairs, angelic carvings hanging in the rafters, tables, pews, strips of leather, curtains of no apparent value, a few plain windows.

In this way, the most famous abbey in England, and probably in Western Europe, stood abandoned for at least 200 years until Oliver Cromwell and his round heads, hating the gargoyles, did a further job with ox teams, but even then the abbey survived and its layout could still be seen and measured. After the death of Abbot Whiting, Glastonbury Abbey became a ghost, its soul hidden deep in time, its few remaining windows cracked and covered with soot, and yet curious travelers still came in droves, just as they do today.

The precious relics of the saints that adorned the gilded high altar, the vases, gold and silver chalices and the crosses encrusted with a dazzling array of jewels are lost to us. Gone are the frescoes of Lazarus and Mary Magdalene coated with gold leaf, along with woven tapestries depicting angels in flight, the Apostles and St. Michael, but the mysterious legends remain. King Arthur is supposedly still buried somewhere on the grounds. 

Now, in the 21st Century, Glastonbury remains bathed in a supernatural light. The still intact corner stones reveal how the architects and master masons worked, the arches and main facade, tell us how large it was. In addition, more knowledge lies deep in the ground. The outline of the high altar, now missing, is still measurable. Miraculously some tile fragments and window shards, now on view in museums, were excavated beginning in the early 1920s.

Apparently, the Tudor regime did not realize that Glastonbury, unlike the other Abbeys and churches, was a kind of Vatican in its own right, a center of worship for the old Celtic church which encased an esoteric plan to rebuild Jerusalem in England. The Tudors simply included Glastonbury with the other Roman Catholic institutions that they saw as enemies in the King’s political drama.

The old monk, who was executed on the Tor as he stood between Saint Bridget milking a celestial cow and the frieze of Saint Michael weighing souls, was Abbot Richard Whiting. Months earlier the Abbot made a dreadful prediction, perhaps because he saw that his precious relics were being boxed up and transported to London. Whiting, sensing impending doom, set forth a short prophesy, a prophecy so defiant, so profound that it stood as his own death warrant.

“…When a whiteing on ye torr is caught, then shall ye Abbey comme to nawght.”

“When I die the secrets of the Abbey will be lost.”

Henry VIII did loot the monasteries, but the stated purpose to rid England of papist dogma failed. Almost as soon as Henry died, Roman elements put Mary Tudor on the throne. From the Dark Ages onward, Glastonbury held dominion above politics, because people believed, be it true or simply apocryphal, that Jesus or his brother James (who looked a lot like Jesus) came to Glastonbury as a teenager, worked miracles there and made that few hundred acres the rarest spot in England. The destruction of Glastonbury shocked so many loyal subjects that even the powerful Tudors could not reverse the damage. Glastonbury was this abbey, above all others, that, over the centuries, allowed freedom of religion, and continued the old ways in spite of Roman repression. Ironically, by destroying Glastonbury Abbey, Henry VIII destroyed his own heritage.

Between 1539 and WW I the abbey stood isolated. No one considered the meaning of those oddly placed stones, marking what was once the location of the High Altar. We now realize this was the location of the marble tomb of the legendary King Arthur and his queen, a magnificent shrine standing in the exact center of the mosaic floor, a sepulcher illuminated, on Winter Solstice, by light beams penetrating through the stained glass windows. 

In spite of its pillaged state, Arthur’s shrine would once again become a place of extreme mystery.

.................

THE LOST BOOKS

Sometime in April 1539, less than a year before his execution, the old Abbot received an important visitor carrying royal charters. The lock inside the heavy oak door turned with a large iron key. Beckoning to his guest to follow him, Whiting stepped into a long Romanesque corridor, which led to a room rarely visited by outsiders. The finely dressed visitor, wearing the robes of a scholar from Oxford, stopped for an instant to admire the magnificently carved tympanum crowning the doorway, a doorway built more than five centuries before, and decorated by artisans imported from Monte Cassino in Italy and Cluny in France. As the men walked by in the flickering candlelight, they admired the two fluted supports rising to the roof, two of the columns that held up the medieval ceiling, survivors of the vandalism of 1184.

The abbot opened another smaller door and beckoned his visitor to enter. Down two or three steps, and the younger man was now in the midst of the most important collection of early medieval books and manuscripts ever assembled in England.

The visitor was John Leland, the King’s appointed scholar, a man highly sympathetic to the ancient books he could barely make out in the dim light. 

A few brother monks set more wall sconces to light, and one monk was ordered to stay to attend to the visitor’s requirements.

The abbot walked back to his offices, leaving Leland nearly alone. The most enigmatic books and sealed scrolls within the famous scriptorium at Glastonbury Abbey now lay before him, and the fulfillment of Leland’s life in antiquarian research was now coming to fruition. Rows upon rows of books lined the shelves, some more than ten centuries old. There were Arabic books translated into Latin, and probably a copy of the Koran translated by Peter the Venerable at Cluny. There were books by Pagan and early Christian writers. A well-worn copy of De consolatione philosophiae by Boethius popped up first. Then the librarian cast his eye on a rare three-volume set of the 1st century BC architect, Marcus Vitruvius, arranged as firmitas, utilitas and venustas, the three guiding principles of all architecture. These were solid, useful, beautiful books, books that may have been handled by Abbot Henri Blois himself.

Ovid was also represented. The Metamorphoses, a narrative first published shortly before the Crucifixion, described the history of the world in a mythological style. Troubadours swore by Ovid’s The Art of Love as a bringer of joy, and St. Dunstan’s handwriting was within its pages. Leland also saw St. Dunstan’s notebooks. Locked within a lead-lined box and unlisted in the Codex was a small book on the ancient art of metallurgy purportedly written by St. Dunstan himself. 

Leland took a seat and wondered where to start. The early Christian works of Tertullian stood in large verso editions, gilded and protected from any formof light, except for an occasional flicker from a votive candle in a nearby stone niche. One was Adversus Apelleiacos (“Against Apelles”), refuting the contention that a prominent angel, not God, created the world, much like the doctrine of the heretical Cathars, who were massacred in France in 1210. Another book by Tertullian caught Leland’s eye, De fato (“On fate”). No question, these ideas were embedded in the, so called, Albigensian (Dualist) heresy. Certain works by Tertullian went missing immediately after Leland’s visit and were never delivered to the designated archives. But what were they doing at Glastonbury, and where did they end up?

The attendant brought Leland a list of books not listed in the Codex, but he soon lapsed into a reverie about his journeys. Only a day earlier, Leland held the famous lead cross, once affixed to Arthur’s hollowed oak coffin. After noting the Latin inscription, he measured the cross, finding the width to be exactly the measurements of the Roman Foot, or 0. 91% of our own. The length of the cross was identical to the Egyptian foot or 1.776% of the modern standard. Were these measurements significant? Did they represent earth’s diameter and circumference?

Somerset held a vital fascination for Leland. As soon as he was granted his stipend, he was off like a shot to Glastonbury. Not only was Glastonbury the most important monastery in England at that time, it was also the most mysterious. It was the place where Jesus may have walked in the 1st century, and the home of King Arthur. It was the location of the Otherworldly realm of Avalon, and the repository of the Holy Grail, perceived as the most priceless relic in Christendom. The King knew the sacred treasure would be worth millions in today’s coinage. He needed the money to wage mercenary campaigns, but the manuscripts were still floating in a state of political limbo. They were valuable but not easily bartered or traded for cash. 

Leland was sent specifically to remove them. 

In 1530, Leland was appointed “sub-librarian” in one of the royal libraries. Three years later, he wrote poems celebrating the coronation of Anne Boleyn. Later that year, Leland received a royal commission defined as: “…a search after England’s Antiquities, and peruse the Libraries of all Cathedrals, Priories, Colleges, etc. as also all places wherein Records, Writings and secrets of Antiquity were reposed.” The specific requirement, to search for secrets of antiquity, is of utmost importance. Leland was not only charged with seeking out artifacts and geographical details, he was looking for the forbidden “secrets of antiquity.”

[This excerpt from our book has been edited].

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