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Dudley’s Bookstore writers group March 20, 2017, at Ahonu’s house

Source of random prompt – The Light of Egypt by Thomas H. Burgoyne, page 16, line 18

“The mundane bible of the Jews, like everything else esteemed sacred, finds its original and perfect expression in the great astral bible of the skies.”

Let’s get serious! Ha! I’m not in a serious mood; I’m in a grumpy mood. Why? I don’t know. Perhaps it is my month-long struggle with the “Seven Sages mosaic” excavated in Pompeii in 1899. It was buried in the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius at noon on August 24, 79 A.D. and is now on display in the Naples National Archaeological Museum only 22.5 kilometers northwest of its discovery site. It is about one meter by one meter square and in near original condition. There is some scholarly discussion of the mosaic but quite frankly the various analysis weren’t satisfying me. I used this picture August 20, 2013, in Philosophers Squared – 147 Delphic maxims and often wondered if there was something deeper about the picture’s content.

The 7 Sages of Greece

The 7 Sages of Greece mosaic found buried at Pompeii

My problem began with the sage sitting in the center of the picture pointing an arm-long stick at a large globe sitting in an open box on the ground. Apparently, these sages were discussing this globe and the latitude lines prominently displayed on its surface. One of the other sages is pointing with his toe and touching the globe at the same spot the stick is pointing at. That’s a bit strange, but then I noticed that two of the other sages are holding rolled scrolls and those appeared to be parallel to the pointing stick.

I started drawing lines over the picture using CorelDraw on my computer, and it was easy to do because it was easy to manipulate the lines and give them different colors, line widths, and labels. The two scrolls line up perfectly with the pointing stick. Yes, perfectly, to within one tenth of a degree. That couldn’t be an accident. But why would a skillful artist make those lines parallel?

What were those guys talking about? It seemed obvious that it was the globe representing the Earth, and the lines on the globe were probably meaningful and they were obviously interested in geography. Geo (earth) graphy (drawing). It was those Greek sages who invented the bane of high school students – geometry (the measurement of the Earth). That study can drive a teenager bonkers with straight lines, and circles, so then I started looking for straight lines, right angles and circles. Sure enough, they were there and plentiful too.

The circular bench where four of the sages are sitting peeked through in several places and those arcs were clear enough to locate a center of the circle. It obviously formed a perfect circle. In a separate operation, I drew lines from the corners of the picture to find the center of the whole picture. Strangely, when I drew this exact circle the same size as the bench circle it went through significant things like the eyes and nipples of the sages. Then I drew lines precisely through three of the sages’ eyes to the eye of the upper right corner gargoyle. Thus began a search for other strange alignments which were accurate to within a half a degree. I found so many my picture became messy and I became grumpy.

What in the world could all of these lines and circles mean? Well, I thought on that a bit, and clearly, it must mean something about the Earth, but what? Perhaps those lines were latitude lines and they were discussing things like the north pole star, the equator, and the Tropic of Cancer and the lines would point to these things. They could measure these things accurately with simple instruments constructed in a few minutes from strings and sticks. Also, there is a sundial at the top of the central column, and a line drops vertically from it through one sage’s eye.

Computers to the rescue once again. I pulled up Google Earth and started checking the latitudes of places that these sages would be interested in. Pompeii was where the mosaic was found and if my theory was correct its latitude would be there as one of those significant lines. And it was. But perhaps that Pompeii alignment was just a random artifact. It was necessary to check other places like Rome. Bingo! Right on. Then Athens, Alexandria and Beirut. Prominent lines and conspicuous intersections went right to those prominent locations and key cities in the Greco-Roman world. Still I was skeptical and verified my angles by flipping the lines horizontally to maintain the same angle, and applied the same search for alignments. I found them for those cities.

One line didn’t make sense because, at 24.45, it was too far south of the Mediterranean world these Pompeii sages would be familiar with. When I checked south on the Nile river there was a fabulous Egyptian temple Kom Ombo. It is as striking as the Taj Mahal in India. How would these guys know about that, two thousand years ago? Wikipedia stated that this incredible structure was not built by classic Egyptians but by the Ptolemaic Greeks 180–47 BC and perhaps so near in time to when the mosaic was made that the sages knew people who were involved in its construction. But what’s the significance? There is a deep vertical well in the temple yard ( lat/lon 24.4524, 32.928) where the sun shines only once a year.

Well at Kom Ombo, Egypt

Sunlight reflecting off the bottom of the well at Kom Ombo, Egypt.

It is near the Tropic of Cancer. With that information and a measure of the north-south distance from any of those cities indicated in the picture, one can calculate the circumference of the Earth. Eratosthenes (276 BC – 194 BC) did it accurately from the Library of Alexandria (lat/lon 31.2088, 29.9095).

The Seven Sages mosaic is the perfect expression of the great astral bible of the skies. It has been seen until now as a mundane object buried in biblical times at Pompeii. But it is about the Earth being a sphere flying through the heavens which is demonstrated by light at the bottom of a well in Egypt reflecting sunlight once a year back to observers at the top.  This mosaic proves that these Seven Greco-Roman sages of that era were wiser than the flat-earthers living today. This Seven Sages mosaic will now be recognized as a sacred object by scientifically inclined people.

“The mundane bible of the Jews, like everything else esteemed sacred, finds its original and perfect expression in the great astral bible of the skies.”

[The 10 AM writers prompt was satisfied in 50 minutes, but the pictures, dates, web links, latitude/longitude and spelling were added or corrected later in the day.]