Are you an atheist who likes suspense novels? Then I have a treat for you! After fifteen years of research Edwin Herbert brings us a fascinating suspense thriller about Hypatia and the documents she hid that reveal the true origins of Christianity. Post written by Edwin Herbert.
Hypatia of Alexandria was an early 5th century teacher of philosophy, mathematics, and astronomy. As head of the Neoplatonist school, she loved to speak publicly on many topics considered heretical by the clergy. As time went on her freethinking oratories drew crowds from far and wide, which sorely vexed Archbishop Cyril. He considered her a witch whose Satanic wiles enchanted all of Alexandria.
Having witnessed the destruction of the Serapeum and the burning of its library annex by the Christians in 391 of the Common Era, Hypatia knew the Great Library of Alexandria might eventually suffer the same fate at their hands. Certainly this renowned philosopher had access to any manuscripts she wished to see, which would have included many documents concerning the mythical, mystical foundations of Christianity.
I believe it is not only plausible, but likely, that during the following 24 years of her life she had taken measures to ensure the survival of books she deemed important, and that she would have sought to expose Christianity for what it truly was—a mystery cult based on Greek myths and Jewish Scripture.
In my novel, Mythos Christos, while Hypatia is conducting a nighttime astronomy lecture to a group of children and their parents on the rooftop of the Hall of Muses, a Christian woman named Esther confronts her, claiming that interpretation of the heavens should be left to the clergy.
What follows is an excerpt from the book:
The philosopher turned and pointed to a particular section of the eastern sky and said, “Does everyone see the constellation I’m indicating? That’s the constellation Virgo. The bright star there is Spica, a Latin name referring to the spike of cereal grain the virgin holds.”
She turned back to the students. “I wonder, Esther, if you recall the date of the Assumption of the Virgin?”
“Of course,” said Esther, “The Virgin Mary was taken up into heaven on August 15. At least, that’s when we celebrate it.”
“So we might be reasonably certain the event happened around that time of year. Now if you would be so kind as to remind us of the date of Mary’s birth?”
Again Esther was only too willing to oblige. Her eyes glistened as she spoke. “Mary was born of the chaste and sinless Anna. Her nativity is commemorated on September 8th.”
“August 15 and September 8,” Hypatia repeated. “There’s something familiar about those dates. Oh yes, I remember. August 15 is when the sun moves into the zodiacal ‘house’ of Virgo. The constellation Virgo becomes invisible in the sun’s glare, as though it were assumed into the heavens. And around September 8, Virgo can finally start to be seen again, almost as though she were born on that date. In fact, the reappearance of Virgo alerted the farmers that it was time for the harvest, which is why ancient images of Virgo often show her holding a sheaf of wheat. It seems to me quite a coincidence that Mary’s dates of birth and assumption fall at those precise times.”
Esther blanched as she stewed over this revelation.
“I won’t trouble Esther for the date of the Annunciation of Our Lady,” continued Hypatia. “For I already know, according to Church tradition, the angel of the Lord brought news of the Virgin’s immaculate pregnancy on March 25, exactly nine months before December 25, when she is supposed to have given birth to the Christian Savior. Coincidentally, it was a birth date shared by Horus, Mithras, and several other solar deities.”
There was a collective intake of breath, but Hypatia was on a roll and saw no reason to stop there.
“In the early morning of December 25th, Virgo rises in the east, for the mother must be present when the infant ‘Sun of Righteousness’ is born. To quote Psalm 84:11, ‘For the Lord God is a sun and a shield.’ Does it really surprise anyone that Jesus Christ eventually adopted all the earmarks of a sun god? It is self-evident. It explains enigmatic biblical verses like John 3:30, where John the Baptist says, ‘He must increase, but I must decrease.’ Jesus, born on Dec. 25, represents the strengthening sun from winter solstice to summer solstice. John the Baptist, born on June 24, is the weakening sun from summer solstice to winter solstice.”
Little did Hypatia know, however, that Esther—a most ardent soprano at St. Mark’s cathedral—was on a reconnaissance mission, gathering damning evidence against the philosopher for Archbishop Cyril.
Hypatia vows to save as much of the ancient knowledge as she can, especially certain telling documents concerning the origins of Christianity. But rather than merely hiding the heretical scrolls and codices in desert caves and hoping for the best, Hypatia contrives a far more ingenious plan. She sets up an elaborate sequence of burials, each of which is governed by actual ancient linguistic and geometrical riddles, which must be solved to gain access. Only a truth seeker steeped in Platonic mysticism would be capable of finding and unlocking the buried secrets. But her plan goes horribly awry when she is killed by a band of zealots in the service of the archbishop, and the final repository languishes for sixteen centuries.
Fast forward to Oxford, England / June, 2006 ─ American Rhodes scholar Lex Thomasson is sent by his professor to Alexandria to aid a mysterious Vatican group known only as “The Commission.” They require a specialist in ancient languages to solve a sequence of Greek Mystery puzzles in what soon becomes evident is Hypatia’s ancient treasure hunt. The Oxford paleographer demonstrates his unique talents by unlocking the secrets along the trail. It does not take long, however, for him to become suspicious of the Commission’s true motives, and the trail becomes a trial fraught with danger.
The scene alternates between the two time periods. In both, assassins lurk and fanatics abound. And all along, religious Faith and historical Truth struggle for supremacy.
I have researched the topic of mythicism for over fifteen years, yet to my knowledge, the information brought forth in Mythos Christos has never been expressed in the form of a suspense thriller.
Mythos Christos is available as an e-book at www.amazon.com. Hardcover coming soon!