The Anson Family, Herculaneum and Shugborough
by Shannon Dorey

Figure 1. Anson Family Home ©Robert Hill

The Anson history indicates they were involved in the secret societies relating to the Masons. The first Anson family purchased Shugborough in 1624. In 1693 William Anson demolished the existing building and began laying the foundations for a new house. He died in 1720 and Thomas Anson inherited the property. In 1730 Thomas Anson became Fellow of the Royal Society. His proposers were William Jones (mathematician) and the Rev Zachary Pearce (vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields). In 1732 Thomas Anson and Lord Sandwich founded the Dilettanti Society to promote the study of Ancient Greek Art and Buildings. The Dilettanti Society was an exclusive Dining-Club that had been formed to advance the cultured tastes of Gentlemen who had been on the Grand Tour to Italy. 62 The fact Thomas Anson was associated with the Royal Society reaffirms that the Ansons were heavily invovled with the Masonic Society.

It is interesting that Thomas Anson founded the Dilettanti Society. I believe the Ansons may have also been involved or were privy to information about the excavations that went on in Herculaneum and may have found something of historic and scientific significance there that reaffirmed their beliefs. The marble from the Shugborough monument may have even come from Herculaneum.

Herculaneum was an ancient city of Italy, situated about two-thirds of a mile from the Portici station of the railway from Naples to Pompeii. It was preserved, along with Pompeii, in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius beginning on August 24, A.D. 79 that destroyed the towns, burying them in ash that had hardened into volcanic tufa.63 In contrast to Pompeii, Herculaneum was a smaller town with a wealthier population at the time of its destruction.64 The temple of Jerusalem had been sacked by Titus in 70 AD. Is it possible that some of the religious artifacts had ended up in Herculaneum and had been buried there by the ash?

Between 1709 and 1716 a workman sinking a well in a monastery in Resina struck the seats in Herculaneum's theatre and brought up samples of rare marble.65 The site didn't really become popular until 1719, when Prince Elbeuf of the house of Lorraine, in command of the armies of Charles VI, was seeking crushed marble to make plaster for his new villa near Portici. While digging he learned from the peasants that there were pits from which they not only quarried excellent marble, but had extracted many statues over the years.66 He ordered the area to be deepened and exploratory tunnels to be dug. Part of a statue of Hercules and three female statues were found, as well as the inscription 'Appius Pulcher' who was a governor of Sicily and friend of the Roman statesman Cicero. The prince plundered most of what he found to decorate his house, but sent the group of female statues to Prince Eugene of Savoy in Vienna.67

Between 1738-45 Charles, 18-year-old king of Naples and Sicily, ordered that excavations be resumed. He employed a Spanish military engineer, Joaquin de Alcubierre, and his court engineers to have shafts and tunnels dug into the city. Few records were kept and bronze letters were apparently removed without transcribing the inscriptions. The Theatre of Hercules was also identified. Many finds were removed to the palace in Naples. For some reason the king had decided that the treasures would remain secret and it was forbidden for anyone to sketch or write about them.68 Why were the treasures to be kept secret, what did they prove or represent? In 1739, an account of the excavations, written by Charles De Brosses, was sent to the French Academy and news of the finds began to disseminate throughout Europe.69 In 1740 Thomas Anson visited Alexandria, Rosetta, Cairo and Aleppo, amongst other places.70

Thomas' brother George Anson had become a post captain in the navy in 1724 and in 1744 George Anson returned from his circumnavigation of the Globe in the Centurion. Could he have stopped somewhere near Herculaneum on his return? During the War of the Austrian Succession, which went on between 1740-48, he had commanded HMS Centurian on a mission to harass and capture Spanish ships en-route from Acapulco to the Philippines. Anson returned to England after having captured the Señora de Cavadonga, a galleon containing an immense amount of treasure worth around £500,000. His new wealth bought him status and privileges and he rose to become Admiral of the Fleet.71 In 1745 Transformations began at Shugborough.72 Could the marble for the Shepherd's Monument have come from Herculaneum?

It was believed that by 1745 all the treasures had been found at Herculaneum. The discovery had excited scholars of all nations; and many of them hurried to Naples to see the marvellous statues and wall paintings. But everything was kept private, as the government wished to reserve to itself the right of illustrating the monuments.


Figure 2. Mercury and Rosmerta 1st or 2nd Century AD

Between 1748-9 royal permission was granted to excavate at Herculaneum again at Civitas. The temple of Fortuna Augusta was found at that time but little else.73The goddess Fortuna Augusta is a significant pagan goddess. The prow, rudder and globe are all symbols relating to the Roman goddess Fortuna. In pagan cultures she was identified with the goddess Rosmerta who was often seen paired with Hermes/Mercury. A stone plaque of Mercury and Rosmerta from first or second century AD from Glanum, near Saint Rémy de Provence, France, Figure 2, shows Rosmerta holding a cornucopia, symbol of abundance and Fortuna's emblems of rudder and globe. Hermes is carrying the caduceus, a symbol I associate with DNA.74 Hermes also holds a turtle in this image, which is a sun symbol in the Dogon religion. A goat is beside him, which was a symbol of the Jackal in the Dogon religion. My research indicates Fortuna was the Roman equivalent of Isis. The fact she was associated with a rudder and prow identified her with the sea. As was mentioned in my article on the Shugborough Coat of Arms when referring to the angels in the church at Rennes-le-Château, the alleged Grand Masters of the Prieuré de Sion were known as "Nautonniers" an old French term meaning 'navigator' or 'helmsman'.75 This would have associated her with this group.

Between 1748-9, the Spanish military engineer, Joaquin de Alcubierre, had been joined at the Herculaneum excavation by Swiss architect and the father of modern archaeology, Karl Weber, who was much more conscientious in his methods. In 1762- German art historian Johann Joachim Winkelmann wrote an open letter to scholars all over Europe attacking the mismanaged excavation and disgraceful cataloguing and preservation that held sway at Herculaneum and Civitas, despite Weber's efforts.76 This letter was so important to the Anson estate that it was kept by the Anson family when everything except family photos had been sold in 1842 to cover gambling debts.77 Why would this letter have been so important to the estate? The fact it was kept suggests that it had a significant connection.

In 1765 the temple of Isis was also discovered. The impact of the Herculaneum excavation in the latter part of the 18th century was unprecedented in Europe. It had an enormous influence on culture, fashion, decorative art, fine art and literature. In 1775, 20 years after he visited Herculaneum and Pompeii, Robert Adam (1728-92), architect of the king's works, came up with a design for an Etruscan room at 20 Portman Square, London. It was never built but there was an Etruscan dressing-room at Osterley outside London that was influenced by the ruins of Pompeii. James Stuart (1713-88), who visited Pompeii in 1754, created and built a purely Pompeian 'Painted Room' in London's Spencer House in 1759. The work of Charles Cameron (1745-1812) at St Petersburg for Catherine the Great was also full of a Pompeian influence.78

Thomas Anson served as a Member of Parliament for Lichfield beginning in 1747. When his brother George died in 1762, Thomas inherited all his brother's enormous fortune.79 The depth of the Anson interest in pagan and Masonic mythology was evident by the poem that was read in parliament when George died. The poem related to the Shepherd's Monument and had a reference to "reason's finger pointing at the tomb".80 At that time in history, "reason" was identified with science and hermeticism. The late 1700s was the period of the age of reason. In the poem there was a reference to the lover's breast and the marble associated with the monument.

This relates to the Dogon religion where a love affair between two of the eight ancestors ruined the Nummo's genetic engineering experiment thereby causing humans to lose their immortality. The quote is reiterating the fact that no matter how passionate lust and love can be, it can never negate the fact that mortality and death are a part of the human condition.

In the poem, the Elysian plains are also mentioned and are identified as being in Arcadia. The ancient Arcadians claimed descent from Arkas, the patron deity of the land, whose name also meant 'bear'. Arkas was the son of Kallisto, a nymph connected with the Greek Goddess Artemis.81b According to Greek mythology, Kallisto mated with Zeus and gave birth to twins, Arkas and Pan.81c These twins are significant to the Dogon religion and are discussed in The Nummo. The name Arcadia derives from 'Arkades', which means 'People of the Bear'. The ancestors of the Merovingians were supposed to be connected with Arcadia's royal house.81d

In an anonymous poem dated 1767 relating to Shugborough, a reference was made to "righteous men" being wrapped in "Elysium".82 Elysium was associated with Eleusis in Greece, and the Eleusian mysteries associated with the Greek goddess Demeter. Demeter's relationship to Dogon mythology was talked about in The Master of Speech.

In the Dogon religion, during the regeneration process, humans were wrapped around with cord like ropes. According to the Dogon, "the body was surrounded from top to bottom by a flexible iron helix, called amma su or 'cord of God'". Pictures of this aspect of the regeneration process also appear in the Book of Kells. This is especially evident on folio 188 Recto, The Opening of St. Luke's Gospel, where individuals are also wrapped up with cord like rope. Some are hanging from what appears to be a tree. They are also being regurgitated from the mouth of a serpent. In the Dogon religion Lébé was regurgitated from the mouth of the serpent and fish-tailed Master (Mistress) of Speech. This symbolized the regeneration of Lébé using the Master of Speech's DNA.83

Dogon diagrams relating to the regeneration process, where humans were killed and brought back to life again, also revealed a cup like object. The drawing itself resembled a chalice. In another story relating to the regeneration process, the Master (Mistress) of Speech, who was the pagan Christ figure, was sacrificed so that his/her DNA could regenerate all plants, animals and humans. In the story the hermaphroditic Master (Mistress) of Speech was tied to what was known as the Kilena tree. In later world mythology, the Kilena tree also came to be identified with the Tree of Life. The tree's roots spread out in three directions and its two branches supported the Master (Mistress) of Speech's pectoral fins. The Kilena tree was supposed to perish with him/her because it stood for all plant life, which as was mentioned above, was supposed to be regenerated along with humans and animals. The three roots of the Kilena tree symbolized the three "words" or three genetic experiments the Nummo had completed. This symbolism is also seen in Norse mythology where the roots of the World Ash Tree represented the three "wyrds".84

According to Carol Thompson, the World Ash Tree of Norse mythology consisted of three huge roots and was considered to be the pillar of the universe. Each root went into one of three wells. Thompson reported that in the World Ash Tree, the first root was in Vanaheimr and went into the Well of Urd or Well of Wryd, where the three Norns lived in their cave perpetually deciding the fate of human beings. The Well of Wyrd was said to contain all the cosmic knowledge from the beginning of all time.85

During the regeneration process in the Dogon religion, the Master (Mistress) of Speech was struck on the forehead with something similar to lightning and the shock passed into the nape of his/her neck, spine and kidneys. During the process, a plant known as the "yayaga" grew on the Kilena tree in a similar way to the way "mistletoe grows on a tree". The description of this process by the Dogon is important because of mistletoe's relationship to regeneration in Greek, Druid and Norse mythology.86

According to David Beaulieu in his history of the mistletoe, the pseudonym for the mistletoe shrub was the "golden bough". In Virgil's Aeneid, the "golden bough" was found on a special tree in the grove sacred to Diana, at Nemi. It was a tree containing a mistletoe plant. The prophetess Sibyl instructed Aeneas to pluck this magic bough before attempting his descent into the underworld. Beaulieu further reported that in the folklore of Europe, it was thought that mistletoe plants were brought to earth when lightning struck a tree in a blaze of gold.87

This association with lightning further relates to Elysian. In Greek mythology, Elysian was a place of supreme delight and paradise. It was associated with the name Elysiuum, the land of the blessed dead, which was an obscure and mysterious name that evolved from a designation of a place or person struck by lightning.88 The Elysian Fields were supposed to lay on the western margin of the Earth, by the encircling stream of Oceanus, which was a vast ocean that encompassed the Earth. It was there the mortal relatives of the king of the gods were transported, without tasting death, to enjoy an immortality of bliss. The Elysian Fields were associated with the Isle of the Blessed.89

This is likely the source of the Irish and Welsh Celtic myths relating to "Bran the Blessed", the "Cauldron of Regeneration" and the islands of the Otherworld. The goddesses associated with these myths were also shape shifters90 in the same way the Nummo were described as being shape shifters by the Dogon.

The Elysian Fields may also be connected with Simon Baruch, and the Hebrew word "Barûkh," which meant "blessed" and talked about in my earlier article on Shugborugh as being a possible synonym for Nicholas Flamel.

In Greek mythology, the Elysian Fields also meant the "plains of arrival" perhaps indicating the location of the eight ancestors first descent to Earth. It was also associated with the doctrine of the transmigration of souls, and how lives were several times repeated on both sides of the Earth.91 This is important because the Nummo were supposed to have been immortal and associated with reincarnation.

The name "Eleusis" was what Margaret, Countess of Lichfield was likely referring to when she mentioned "Alicia", which she said meant "joy and happiness". The Countess believed the letters on the Shugborough Shepherd's Monument meant, "Out of your own sweet vale Alicia vanish vanity twixt Deity and Man, thou Shepherdess the way". The settlement of Eleusis was founded in Athens in ca. 2000 B.C. on the slopes of one of the hills.92 Like Rome, Athens was also built on seven hills. It is located on the Attica plain on the Greek mainland.93 The name "Athens" was also named after the goddess "Athena", who is related to this mythology and whose name starts with "A". A sculpture of a celtic pagan goddess found in the Romano-Gaulish town of Alèsia in Burgundy may also be related to "Alicia" and "Eleusis". The goddess, found in the town of Alèsia, located on Mont Auxois near Dijon, carried a cornucopia, which was the symbol of abundance. She was also associated with spinning, which was a characteristic of Athena. In the Dogon religion, the Master (Mistress) of Speech was identified with weaving. The goddess from Alèsia was also seen with a steering oar, the prow of a boat and a globe connecting her to the pagan goddess Fortuna.94 The temple of Fortuna Augusta was found at Herculaneum and discussed earlier. I associated Fortuna to the alleged Grand Masters of the Prieuré de Sion who were known as "Nautonniers" an old French term meaning "navigator" or "helmsman". Other Gallo-Roman temples found in the town of Alèsia, included shrines to the goddess of horses, Epona and to the Mother Goddess. The horse goddess Epona relates to the Nummo and "horse of God" talked about in one of the ciphers at Rennes Le Chateau. The town of Alèsia also held a Merovingian basilica, then a medieval convent and shrine, which became famous for its mystery plays.95 The mystery plays were identified with the Eleusian mysteries and Demeter.

The Countess' interpretation of the letters on the monument also accurately reflects the pagan mythology, where the goddess was spiritually superior. In the Dogon religion, the Master (Mistress) of Speech was considered to be the perfect combination of Nummo and human and perceived as a mediator between humans and Nummo. The "sweet vale" referenced by the Countess in the phrase "Out of your own sweet vale Alicia vanish vanity twixt Deity and Man, thou Shepherdess the way", was probably a reference to the Vale of Tempe mentioned in the Anonymous Shugborough Poem dated 1767.96

The Vale of Tempe, which the Greeks were accustomed to associate with rural delights, was a chasm cloven in the rocks, the fable tells us, by the trident of Poseidon. It is a narrow valley in N. Thessaly, through which the river Peneus (Salambria) reaches the sea located between Mount Olympus and Mount Ossa. The Vale of Tempe was sacred to Apollo, and laurel was gathered there to make the wreaths for the victors of the Pythian games.97 Wreaths also appeared on the Shugborough monument and in Masonic symbols. Wreaths were a popular symbol of Demeter who was known as "Demeter of the beautiful wreath".98

The Shugborough poem also referenced the River Ilissus, which was mentioned in Plato's Phaedras as the place where the wind god Boreas was said to have carried off Orithyia. As was mentioned earlier, forbidden love is an important theme of the pagan religion. Boreas, who once appeared on the Tower of Winds found on the Shugborough grounds, was portrayed in ancient drawings with serpent-feet. He was a major winged figure in Greek mythology with two faces, one looking forward and one looking backwards.99 Refer to The Nummo for more information on Boreas. Besides suggesting his dual nature, the faces suggest a sense of the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and end. In the Shugborough poem, the River Ilissus was compared to the Trent River, and the Vale of Tempe to the grounds of Shugborough.

Most of the monuments on the grounds of Shugborough are also related to Athens, and some of them are mentioned in the poem. For instance, the Arch of Hadrian was erected in Athens in honor of the Roman emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century A.D. Likewise a Doric temple of Athena was built in 566 B.C., on the Acropolis. The famous builder and astronomer, Andronicus Cyrrhestes, designed the original Tower of Winds for Athens. It was created to be an elaborate water clock on the inside and a sundial on the outside, with a weather vane on the top. The nickname "Tower of the Winds" was derived from the personifications of the 8 winds carved on the 8 sides of the building.100 I asociated the winds with the eight ancestors of Dogon mythology. On top of the tower, Andronicus put the River God Triton who was half human and half fish and who had been responsible for educating the goddess Athena.101 Triton's protoypes were men who decked themselves with the tails of fishes or dolphins. An ancient vase-painting from Italy shows a trio of such dancers.102

The Lysikrates Monument, also known as the "Lantern of Demosthenes", which appears on the Shugborough grounds also appears in Athens. Demosthenes, who lived from 384 BC - 322 BC, was generally considered the greatest of the Attic orators. Demosthenes prosecuted his fellow envoys for failing to create a peace treaty with Philip II of Macedon. During the trial, Demosthenes was accused of sexual and gender impropriety. The prosecutor "Aiskhines attributed Demosthenes' nickname, Batalos ("arse"), to his 'unmanliness and kinaidia' and frequently commented on his 'unmanly and womanish temper', even criticising his clothing: 'If anyone took those dainty little coats and soft shirts off you ... and took them round for the jurors to handle, I think they'd be quite unable to say, if they hadn't been told in advance, whether they had hold of a man's clothing or a woman's.'"103 These references are important because they identify the androgynous nature of Demosthenes. The fact he was an orator could also be a symbolic reference to, "the Master Of Speech", in the Dogon religion. His father had also been a famous sword maker suggesting an association to metals and the Smithy. In the Dogon religion the alien Nummo's spaceship was identified with a Smithy. It was in the Smithy where humans were created and regenerated. More about the Smithy can be found in Chapter 2 of The Nummo. Dual fish tailed figures also appear on the monument.

In Dogon mythology, a symbol replicating the horned helmet represented the severed head of the Master (Mistress)of Speech. It signified a fish with its barbs or whiskers. The Nummo were identified with the catfish, which is why the gorgon and serpent figures seen on many artefacts have whiskers. The "Green Man" with whiskers found in the Rosslyn Chapel is also related to the green Nummo. In later history, the Nummo became associated with cats. This association explains why cats are usually seen with witches in later myths.104 According to Kemp, "Shugborough means the place of the witch". There is also the "Cat's Monument" that appears on the grounds at Shugborough. The interesting thing about the monument is that dual rams are also shown on it. The ram was another symbol of the Nummo in the Dogon religion.

Another cipher associated with Rennes-le-Château that ties the theme to the Merovingians relates to the artist David Teniers. The cipher suggested his work was also a key to solving the mystery relating to the Merovingians.105 The artwork of David Teniers the Younger, who lived in Antwerp from 1610-1690, indicates knowledge of the Nummo and their association with the Merovingians. In his famous painting of Archduke Leopold-Willem in his Art Gallery in Brussels 1650-1651, not only do dogs run across the bottom of the painting; which is a Masonic symbol, but the picture that is most focused on in the gallery is the one done by Raphael of St. Margaret and the Serpent. A green blanket highlights the picture in Teniers' painting.106

According to the myth associated with St. Margaret, she was swallowed by a dragon serpent but escaped safely when the cross she was carrying irritated the serpent's innards and she was regurgitated. St Margaret was sometimes known as St Marina (Marine), associating her with water. She was often depicted with many pearls in her coronet denoting her association with the sea.107 These connections are important as they relate to the Dogon religion. The Dogon Lébé, who was born of two mothers and likely associated with the Merovingian ancestor Meroveé, was first swallowed and then regurgitated by the female serpent goddess, the Master (Mistress) of Speech. This symbolized the androgynous Lébé's regeneration using the Master of Speech's DNA. Lébé's rebirth was to provide hope for humanity.108

Religious serpent/dragon slayer stories appear to be later warped versions of the earlier pagan mythology. Apollo and Python are earlier Greek versions of the story. St. Martha, sister of Mary of Bethany, may also be associated with the earlier pagan mythology. She subdued the dreaded water-dragoness known as the Tarasque, in some legends using nothing more than a jar of holy water,109 and in other legends singing it to sleep. The French town where this occurred changed its name to Tarascon.120 The musical octave, which is associated with the eight Nummo ancestors, is a metaphor for the "third word" and final experiment in the Dogon religion. It was associated with the vibrations that create life and regeneration. It was through the regeneration process that humans were turned into single sexed beings losing their Nummo or serpent characteristics and with it immortality. It was supposed to be a temporary condition with humans eventually being able to evolve back into immortal and androgynous beings. This could indicate that these myths originated from the Dogon religion.121

Both the Nummo and the Master (Mistress) of Speech were identified as hermaphroditic figures but associated with the sacred feminine. In later mythologies they were identified as being "twins". It is possible that St. Martha and Mary of Bethany became the later Christian versions of the earlier pagan myth of the "twins". In the early Christain church Jesus was also thought to have been a twin.

St. Martha and Mary's brother Lazarus, who is resurrected by Christ, may in fact represent the androgynous Lébé who was regenerated by the Master (Mistress) of Speech, the pagan Christ figure. Because the Nummo were self-fertilizing, they were also identified with virgin goddesses.

Joan of Arc, (Jeanne d'Arc), known as the "humble shepherdess" and the "virgin from Lorraine", was also connected to this mythology.122 At that time in history, her leadership traits would have identified her with the masculine androgynous characteristics of the Nummo.

St. George is likewise related to this mythology. The story of St. George slewing the dragon identifies St. George with the Jackal and Smith figures of the Dogon religion. The Rose-Croix was the cross of St. George connecting the myth with the Rosicrucians. The Rose-Croix was likewise related to the Romance of the Rose by Jean de Meung and was in Dante's paradiso.

Frances Yates also identified Leonardo Da Vinci as a Rosicrucian.123 Leonardo Da Vinci wrote from left to right as well as from right to left, which my research indicates was a characteristic of the writing style of the alien Nummo who I speculated communicated using sonar.124 Reading the letters in reverse was also the key for the decipherment of the Shugborough Shepherd's Monument, which was represented by Poussin's painting and talked about in my first article.

These references relate to the pagan mythology. For more information on these associations refer to The Master of Speech and The Nummo.
If you would like to contact the author, email sd@themasterofspeech.com. Follow this link to Shugborough Coat of Arms.


62http://priory-of-sion.com/psp/id16.html
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63http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/HEG_HIG/HERCULANEUM.html
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73http://www.channel4.com/history/microsites/P/
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75Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln p.133.
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81Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln p. 191.
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81bMichael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln p.250.
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81dMichael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln p.249.
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84Shannon Dorey The Nummo, The Cord of God p.64-68
85http://www.earth-dancing.com/yggdrasil.htm.
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86Shannon Dorey, The Nummo, The Regeneration Process
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87http://landscaping.about.com/cs/winterlandscaping1/
a/mistletoe_3.htm Mistletoe plants in literature:
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88en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elysium (Burkert 1985 p. 198)
89en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elysium Odyssey Book IV: 563
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92http://www.culture.gr/2/21/211/21103a/
e211ca04.html Eleusis
93http://www.emporis.com/en/wm/ci/?id=100623 Athens
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95http://www.athenapub.com/alesia2.htm Alèsia:
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Athena Publications, Inc.
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98The God of the Greeks, Carl Kerényi p.210.
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100http://www.stoa.org/athens/sites/romagora.html
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102Carl Kerényi p.166.
103http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demosthenesé
104Shannon Dorey, The Nummo, The Smith's Hammer pp. 14-24
105Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln p.26.
106http://courses.washington.edu/englhtml/engl569/berger/
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107http://www.lowerhalstow.org.uk/church/aboutstmarg.asp
108Shannon Dorey, The Master of Speech p.154.
109http://members.tripod.com/~gfriebe/tarasque.htm
120http://www.blackdrago.com/famous_french.htm#tarasque
121Shannon Dorey, The Master of Speech p. 161.
122Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln p.140.
123Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln p.126
124Shannon Dorey, The Master of Speech pp. 13-14