I would like to know the forums ideas on something. The "Horse of God" referred to in the parchment ( I don't wan't this to start into a debate about the parchments authenticity ), should have some meaning, either allegorical or material.
Do people think that it refers to a specific area of the locality, as shown in photos by fmh999 ?
Is it something to do with the horses painted by Eugène Delacroix in St Sulpice, as I have seen some authors propose ?
Could it relate to the prophecy of Zacharias ( The Bible, Zach 14:20 ), who said " that which is on the bridle of the horse shall be holy to the Lord ", the reason I mention this is because Helena had one of the Nails of the Crucifixion made into a bridle for Constantine's horse ?
Or is it something totally different ( more confectionery ) or even just a red herring ?
What are your thoughts people ?
Happy New Year
That's a tough one, Nic, considering that the letters in that particular parchment fragment are an anagram of Marie de Negre's tombstone. It stands to reason that one would be the coded message and the other the cipher to unlock it - but which is which? If we regard the parchment as the cipher then naturally it would reveal the tombstone; but flip those around and the parchment becomes another coded message that we are at pains to decipher. I suppose one could posit that the cheval de dieu
refers to a location; but the same would have been true of Marie's tombstone (when it still stood). But which is more portable and which is stationary? If someone had one in hand and used it to locate the other, which makes more sense? To me, I'd say the parchment is the "map" and the tombstone is the "X" that marks the spot. Could it be the other way 'round? Of course, but to me it seems less likely.
What interests me more so is the notion that Saunière brought this parchment to Émile Hoffet to be deciphered. Hoffet was, of course, a noted paleographer; but that isn't the same thing as a cryptographer. He was also a correspondent for L'Univers
, an ultra-Catholic, ultra-légitimiste
(monarchist) newspaper, as well as Regnabit: Revue Universelle du Sacré-Cœur
, which I'm sure we're all familiar with from delving into the Hiéron du Val d'Or. I can't see Hoffet having been able to "crack" the code, it's far too complex. It seems more apparent to me that Hoffet knew the keywords to the cipher and was able to unlock the jumbled letters and put them into readable phrases, which Saunière then took from there. How Saunière could have then figured out on his own to re-arrange the letters to fit a tombstone inscription also seems a bit far-fetched, but not if there was a previously established method of application for this particular cipher that Hoffet was already familiar with.
That probably doesn't help with your inquiry, I know, but please don't take my head off for being off-topic.