The Meridian and the Hexagram: The Revelation of France's Foundation Plan
By William Glyn-Jones
This piece is written by William Glyn-Jones, and like his previous posts here on the Forum page, it is drawn from material in his book Amazement Arcadia, for which he is seeking publication.
It is not without a little embarrassment that I confess to the source of the initial curiosity that lead to the theory outlined here. When it was suggested to me that a novel called The Da Vinci Code might be my kind of thing, I turned my nose up in indignation and disgust. For a start, not being sold on the dogmas of Christianity and the historicity of that whole Jesus thing anyway, the concept of something that might "shake the very foundations of Christianity" produced in me little more than a yawn. What firm foundations were they, remind me? Besides, just a look at the book's cover blurb was enough to show me that it clearly wasn't my kind of read. The thing is a thriller, starting with a brutal murder, for goodness sake, a clear example of an author resorting to dark and base devices to get people hooked into something, like a fish hooked painfully on the end of a line, the barbed hook viciously gouging through its cheek.
So how come I ended up reading it? It's like this. I found myself in a Paris station about to board a train that would take me on a long, long journey down to the South of France. I didn't have any reading matter, and the selection of English language books on the shelf of the station's bookshop was not enormous. Even that hook through my check might be preferable to the boredom of twiddling my thumbs for several hours. Besides, I was in Paris. Wasn't the whole thing at least somehow rather appropriate? So, yes, I bought it, and began turning those pages.
And ok, I admit it: I couldn't put the flippin' thing down. And the following morning, with the thing finished at last, there I was lying on a bed (in a house in Provence) wondering... thinking... pondering....
I'll tell you what it was that had got a hold of my curiosity. The Last Supper business was already familiar to me from reading The Templar Revelation, and likewise the Jesus bloodline thing was not too interesting to me as I was already familiar with Holy Blood : Holy Grail. Something else captured my mind. In his fictional story Brown identifies two Grail locations, and in both cases he links them to a) a meridian or north-south line, and b) the symbolism of the male "sword" intersecting with the female "chalice", namely the two interlocking equilateral triangles of the hexagram, also called the Seal of Solomon and the Star of David. These two locations were of course Paris, France, and Roslin, Scotland. In both these cases these were themes that Brown borrowed from other writers. For example, Robert Bauval had previously suggested in The Secret Chamber that this combination of pyramid and inverted pyramid at the entrance to the Louvre, Paris might be a reference to the esoteric pattern known as the Seal of Solomon of the interlocking triangle and inverted triangle, that is to say the hexagram, and Lomas and Knight in the Hiram Key connected Roslin to the (Herodian) Temple of Jerusalem and the traditionally connected Seal of Solomon geometry. For Dan Brown the inverted pyramid is like a feminine chalice, the pyramidon on the floor below it being the corresponding male symbol of the blade.
In The Da Vinci Code the final clue relates this pattern to the location of the Grail:-
The Holy Grail 'neath ancient Roslin waits.
The blade and chalice guarding o'er her gates.
Adorned in masters' loving art, She lies.
She rests at last beneath the starry skies.
The reader is asked to consider that though this appears to be about the site of Roslin in Scotland, in fact it refers to the glass pyramid at the entrance to the Louvre. "Roslin" becomes reinterpreted by the novel's protagonist sleuth not as the place in Scotland but as the "Rose Line", i.e. the Paris Meridian; the "masters' art" becomes not the elaborate stonework of Roslin chapel but the works of the Old Masters in the Louvre gallery; the "starry skies" refer not to the stars on the ceiling of Roslin chapel but to the night sky seen through the glass of the Louvre Pyramid, and the "blade" and "chalice" become not some Seal of Solomon pattern supposedly formed by the floor plan of Roslin Chapel, but the Louvre Pyramid and La Pyramid Inversée. Such is the climax of the world's best-selling novel.
I do have a romantic side, and the way I deal with it sometimes is to agree to follow through on its curiosities, if time and situation allow, and then if, and only if, they lead somewhere interesting, so much the better, (and sometimes it comes up with the goods) but if not, I let the matter go. In this case, my romantic side was saying "What if...what if...what if there is more to this than meets the eye? There may not be, but I'm on holiday, with time to spare...I might as well just check it out, nothing to lose." Why does Brown introduce the meridians, but then have them play basically no other function other than as part of a treasure map? (One of the things he got correct in the novel is that the Paris Meridian passes directly through the Louvre site.) The hexagram is a geometric figure, and so is a meridian - it being a straight line - so are there not further questions to be asked about the connection between this pattern of the two triangles and the two meridian lines?