In his Sacred Geography of the Ancient Greeks, Jean Richer writes, “during more than two thousand years, the Phoenicians, the Hittites, the ancient Greeks, and then the Etruscans, the Carthaginians, and the R?mans, had patiently woven a fabric of correspondences between the sky, especIally the apparent course of the sun through the zodiac, the inhabited earth, and the cities built by humanity” (xxv).

He began his investigation with a theory about the alignments of ancient Greek temples: “The origin of this cult is indistinguishable from the awakening of human consciousness. Almost everywhere the most highly evolved and complex forms of worship must have been superimposed on the subsisting remnants of prehiStoric lunar/solar cults. The most important thing was the persistence of an astral religion in certain locations: this is well documented and proved. The sites of the most ancient temples of Greece had probably been selected by priests, the great initiates of a heliacal religion. The same beliefs and values that resulted in the erection of the megalithic alignments and groupings that still exist in many parts of Europe may have dictated the choice of the great temple sites” (xxii). From this, he discovered “the existence of the three great zodiacal wheels of the Aegean, centered on Delphi, Sardis, and Delos” (xxiii).

For instance: Even before the discovery of oriental seals in the Cadmean palace, the oriental origin of Thebes, founded by Cadmus (whose very name means “the Oriental”), perhaps towards 1400 B.C., was generally accepted. . . . the city was built around the “tomb of Amphion,” which must have been in reality a ziggurat. A city in the form of a lyre was erected to complete the monument. The city walls were connected to the tower and had seven doors that corresponded symbolically to the seven strings of the instrument and the seven planets” (xxxviii).

This discovery, he argues, throws new light on ancient mythology and religion, explains anomalies in the orientation of temples and other buildings, and demonstrates how the Greeks shared in a Mediterranean-wide obsession with conforming earth to the sky.

Articles by Peter J. Leithart

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