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Sunday, 14 August 2011

The Great Pyramid, and other British inventions

For more than 400 years, from the time of Henry VIII to the outbreak of the Second World War, Britain was -- in the eyes of many of its citizens -- the world's Top Nation (to use a memorable phrase from 1066 and All That). And there were those who were prepared to go even further, and demonstrate that Britain had in fact been a great nation since time immemorial. To make their task harder, they had to achieve this in a way that linked Britain to those cultures they respected (such as ancient Greece, ancient Egypt and the Hebrew civilization) while distancing it from those cultures they despised (such as the Roman Empire, Germany and France).

I've already mentioned (in Magic Words) Mary Caine's theory that the English county of Somerset derives its name from the venerable old civilization of Sumeria. I've also mentioned Sir William Jones's theory that Stonehenge was built as a temple to the Buddha (The Black Buddha of Stonehenge). Most people will be familiar with poet William Blake's identification of the Biblical Jerusalem with England's "green and pleasant land"... although perhaps not with his wackier writings on the subject: "The fields from Islington to Marylebone, to Primrose Hill and St John’s Wood, were builded over with pillars of gold, and there Jerusalem’s pillars stood."

Another poet, John Milton, wrote in Areopagitica (1644) that "... even the school of Pythagoras and the Persian wisdom took beginning from the old philosophy of this island". More than a century earlier, William Tyndale, who translated the Bible into English (and therefore knew a thing or two about comparative philology) claimed that for every word in the English language that derived from Latin, there were a thousand words derived from Hebrew. In 1885, the Reverend A.B. Grimaldi produced a genealogical table linking Zedekiah, the last king of Judah, via ninety-two generations of Irish and Scottish monarchs, to King James I of England.

But all these examples fade into insignificance compared to a modest little monograph I picked up in a second-hand bookshop a few years ago... The Great Pyramid: Its Construction, Symbolism and Chronology by Basil Stewart (my copy is the Revised Third Edition, dated May 1931). The author's basic thesis is that "the Great Pyramid was built under Divine inspiration with the purpose of transmitting a message to the present age and particularly to the British race." More specifically, he claims that the pyramid was constructed by the ancient Britons, and its coded message relates to the "Tribulation" being experienced by the British people at the time Stewart's book was written (see diagram).

It's worth getting one thing straight: only the Great Pyramid was built by the British. The other, lesser pyramids were all built by the Egyptians. Just why the ancient Britons chose to build their Great Pyramid in Egypt, and not in Great Britain, isn't explained. The author does, however, explain why generations of French Egyptologists miserably failed to unlock the secret of the pyramid -- they insisted on measuring its dimensions in metric units, rather than honest British inches.

If you're wondering why Stewart's chronology ends abruptly in August 1953... well, he reckoned that by then the Tribulation would be over, the end-times would be well and truly established, and people would no longer have any control over their individual destinies. Given that by 1953 most of the British Empire that existed when the book was written had been lost, maybe he was right!


Forteana said...

Andrew, given you're such a bibliophile and interested in esoteric subjects, I'm wondering if you ever spent any time in the Harry Price library?

Andrew said...

Sorry to disappoint, but the simple answer is no... to be honest I'd never even heard of it (although I have now because I've just Googled it!)