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The Life and Times of Leonardo Da Vinci
Sunday June 21, 2020 5:00pm EST
by Robin Maxwell

Clandestine meetings of Lorenzo de Medici's Platonic Academy of Florence are the setting for several pivotal scenes in Robin Maxwell’s novel Signora da Vinci. The membership boasted the best and brightest minds of the day. It was here in the palazzos and villas of the Medici—as much as in the artists' studios—that the culture-shattering Italian Renaissance was truly born. While all the members of the Platonic Academy were outwardly devout Catholics, the beliefs of this secretive "Company of Night" had pagan roots, and were considered dangerous and heretical. Those convicted of heresy might be imprisoned, tortured, or even burned at the stake.

In his lifetime, Leonardo da Vinci also came face to face with possible execution. While everyone seems to have extremely strong opinions about the man, no one—biographer or historian—has conclusive evidence about whether Leonardo was straight, gay, bi-sexual or asexual. When Leonardo was 19, he and three other Florentine youths were arrested by the church's vice squad (the Officers of Night) on a charge of sodomy. In those days, sodomites could be burned at the stake. But the infamous trial that ensued proved nothing, and charges were later dropped. The scandal seemed to traumatize this exquisitely sensitive young man. Once an outgoing, fancily clad man-about-town, he became quite reclusive and solitary. Set against the backdrop of Renaissance Italy, bestselling author Robin Maxwell highlights the cultural and religious landscape of one of the world’s greatest artists and inventors, through the eyes of his mother.

Robin Maxwell Robin Maxwell is a historian, screenwriter, podcaster, internationally acclaimed and Los Angeles Times bestselling author of nine novels. Her debut — The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn — is now in its 25th printing. Two historical fiction titles from her Elizabethan Quartet, The Wild Irish and The Queen’s Bastard, are currently in development for a limited cable series “Rebel Queen." Signora Da Vinci and O, Juliet tell the story of the Italian Renaissance from the point of view of two of its most fabulous women. Jane: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan has just been optioned for another limited series for cable television. Robin has long been known as ‘one of the Queens of Historical Fiction.’ With the publication of her new Early Erthe series, she has evolved into ‘one of the Queens of Pre-historical Fiction.” She currently lives with her husband, yogi Max Thomas, at their private retreat and wildlife sanctuary, High Desert Eden, in Southern California.

Set against the backdrop of Renaissance Italy, in Signora Da Vinci, she looks at Leonardo’s life, from the eyes of his mother, Caterina.

| Visit Robin at her website, www.robinmaxwell.com or on Facebook @AuthorRobinMaxwell

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The Great Leviathan, Marquess of Sligo: The Irish Champion of the Slaves
Monday May 25, 2020 4:00pm EST
by Anne Chambers

The story of a man who became known as Champion of the Slaves.

From Ireland, England, France, Austria, Greece, Turkey, and Italy to America and the West Indies, overflowing with historic events, from the French Revolution to the Great Irish Famine,  Howe Peter Browne, 2nd Marquess of Sligo, spy, sailor, and jailbird, lived life to the absolute limits.

At 21, Howe Peter Browne inherited five titles in the peerage, an estate in the West of Ireland and valuable plantations in Jamaica. Educated at Eton and Cambridge, his early years conformed to the popular image of a ‘regency buck’ in the notorious circle of the Prince Regent, including the company of such profligates as Thomas de Quincey, Lord Byron, John Cam Hobhouse, and Scrope Davies.

In 1816 he married Catherine de Burgh and settled on his estates in West Ireland. He alleviated the desperate circumstances of his tenants and established a cotton and corduroy factory in Westport. As famine engulfed the west of Ireland in 1831, at his own expense, he imported cargos of grain and potatoes, built a hospital and dispensary to care for the sick, and raised money in London for relief and additional public works.

On his appointment as Governor General of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands in 1834, Sligo took on the brutal system of slavery. His objective to establish “a social system absolved forever from the reproach of Slavery,” set him on a bitter collision course with the local planters. He was the first plantation owner to initiate a wage system for black workers and after emancipation, to divide his lands into numerous farms to lease to the former slaves. The planters commenced a campaign of vilification against him in the Jamaican and British press.

Lord Sligo earned an honored place in the history of Jamaica, where he is acknowledged as ‘Champion of the Slaves’ and where the town of Sligoville, the first free slave village in the world, still bears his name.

Anne Chambers

Anne Chambers is author of ten biographies, including the best-selling Grace O’Malley – The Biography of Ireland’s Pirate Queen 1530-1603, a historical novel and a collection of short stories. Her latest biography, The Great Leviathan: The Life of Howe Peter Browne, 2nd Marquess of Sligo, 1788-1845 was published in 2018. Her books have been translated into many languages and have been the subject of TV and Radio documentaries for Discovery, The Learning Channel, Travel Channel, ABC Australia, BBC, BBC World Service, RTE, and Lyric FM. In 2018 she was awarded the Wild Atlantic Way Words Festival Hall of Fame Award in recognition of her contribution to Ireland’s literary tradition.

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Creators, Conquerors, and Citizens of Greece
Sunday April 19, 2020 2:00pm EST
by Robin Waterfield
Creators, Conquerors, and Citizens of Greece

Ancient Greek history presents us with many puzzles, but one stands out above all.

Wherever they lived, on the Greek mainland or southern Italy and Sicily, or the coastlines of what is now Turkey, they spoke the same language (albeit in different dialects), worshipped more or less the same gods, dressed similarly, ate and drank similarly, fought their battles similarly, and had similar political institutions. In short, they recognized one another as kin.

Why, then, is their history so often the history of one state fighting another? How could they treat their kin as enemies to be slaughtered and sold into slavery? Why did it take so long for their cultural unity to be translated into a degree of political unity? The long march of Greek history, from its origins c. 750 BC to the takeover of the last of the Hellenistic Greek kingdoms by the Romans in 30 BC, reveals some of the answers.

Author Robin Waterfield gives a magisterial and comprehensive re-telling of Greek history from Archaic, Classic, and Hellenistic periods.

Robin WaterfieldRobin Waterfield is an independent scholar and translator, living on a small olive farm in southern Greece. He took the Classics Prizes in 1972 and 1973 at Manchester University.  He accepted a one-year post in the Classics department at Newcastle University, followed by three one-year posts at St Andrews University, in the Department of Greek. He was an invited lecturer at Williams College, Massachusetts, in January and February 2000, and Writer in Residence at the University of Sussex in the academic year 2001-2; and between 2002 and 2005 he taught academic writing skills at several universities and colleges in London and south-east England. He is co-editor, with Richard Alston, of the Oxford University Press series ‘Ancient Warfare and Civilization’. In addition to more than 25 translations of works of Greek literature, he is the author of numerous books, including Dividing the Spoils and Taken at the Flood and Creators, Conquerors, and Citizens: A History of Ancient Greece.

| Read more at: robinwaterfield.com

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First Do No Harm - Did Hippocrates Break His Own Oath?
Sunday March 29, 2020 2:30pm EST
by Anya Leonard

The Hippocratic Oath is one of the most widely known ancient medical documents. Revered and revolutionary, it laid out a code of ethics for physicians – one that is used today, albeit modified. It’s supposed author and namesake enjoys even greater respect. Hippocrates is the beloved venerated doctor whose contributions to the medical field and his pioneering approach to his craft has earned him the accolade of the ‘father of medicine.’ Indeed, he is credited with the beginnings of western medicine.

Primum non nocere – first do no harm – is closely associated with this ancient Greek doctor… but did he really do no harm?

Founder and Director of Classical Wisdom, Anya Leonard, delves into the truth of the man, his work and his legacy, and asks is Hippocrates really worth the hype? And whom his work really hurt...

Anya Leonard

Anya Leonard is the founder of Classical Wisdom and Project Director. She has a MA. in Sociology from University of Edinburgh and studied at St. John’s College in Annapolis with a double major in Philosophy and the History of Math of Science. She lives and writes from all over the world.

ClassicalWisdom.com

 

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The Messiest Divorce in History - The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn
Sunday February 23, 2020 5:00pm EST
by Robin Maxwell
Ancient Origins Webinars

Schooled in sexuality, politics, and religion by two of France’s wisest and most progressive royal women, Anne turns the tables on the famous Henry VIII, leading him in a six-year dance of destiny.

Set in the mid-16th century, Anne Boleyn spent her childhood at the court of Duchess Margaret of Burgundy (Margaret of York), and in her adolescence and middle teenage years she was part of the lascivious inner circle of King Francois I’s French court at Amboise Chateau. It is here that Anne receives her political and sexual education, forced by her grasping father to spy for him, and watching as her beautiful sister, Mary Boleyn, is prostituted to become mistress to King Francois, later passed around to all his courtiers as a toy.

While the early years of Anne’s life had been spent in the French court, at the age of 17 she is recalled home to England at the direction of King Henry VIII — a married man — who has already decided the beautiful teenager will become his mistress. But Anne has other ideas. Schooled in sexuality, politics, and religion by two of France’s wisest and most progressive royal women, Anne turns the tables on Henry, leading him in a six-year dance of destiny, in which she becomes the most powerful person (male or female) at the Tudor court, managing against all odds to keep her virginity, be crowned Queen of England, becomes mother of the greatest Queen of England, Elizabeth I and through the introduction of seminal Lutheran texts, shows Henry the way towards the Protestant Reformation. But in doing so she collects the most virulent of enemies, all of whom seethe with jealousy and begin to plot her downfall. Eventually, Anne is tried and executed for treason, adultery, and witchcraft — the “goggle-eyed whore” reviled by everyone, not only at court, but in all of England.                   

Robin Maxwell's international best-selling, award-winning, debut novel The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn — now in its 25th printing (Simon and Schuster, 1998) and translated into 16  languages — is the only historical novel ever written to feature the relationship between Anne and her only child with Henry VIII,  Elizabeth.

Robin MaxwellRobin Maxwell is a historian, screenwriter, podcaster, internationally acclaimed and Los Angeles Times bestselling author of nine novels. Her debut - The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn - is now in its 25th printing. Maxwell’s historical fiction titles include The Queen’s Bastard, Signora Da Vinci, and Jane: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan.  "All the Queens’ Men," based on Robin’s Elizabethan Quartet, is currently in development for a limited cable series. She’s been called ‘one of the Queens of Historical Fiction.’ With the publication of her new Atlantos series, she has evolved into ‘one of the Queens of Pre-historical Fiction." The fourth book in her “Elizabethan Quartet” - The Wild Irish: A Novel of Elizabeth I and the Pirate O’Malley - features, in Maxwell's opinion, the greatest female hero of all time - Grace O’Malley. Maxwell has partnered with Australian producer Monica O’Brien, Ambience Entertainment, and Kew Media for a TV series based on The Wild Irish, soon heading into production. Robin currently lives with her husband, yogi Max Thomas, at their private retreat and wildlife sanctuary High Desert Eden, California.

 

| Visit Robin at her website, www.robinmaxwell.com or on Facebook @AuthorRobinMaxwell

 

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Earth Mysteries of Cornwall’s Fogous
Sunday January 12, 2020 5:00pm EST
by Dr. Gary White
Earth Mysteries of Cornwall’s Fogous

Steeped in mystery, the fogous in Cornwall, England cast their captivating presence over all who enter the depths of their earth.

Dating from the Iron Age or Romano-British era, fogous are subterranean dry-stone constructions. The name may be related to the Cornish words fow or gogow, both meaning cave, but they are called vugs, vows, foggos, giant holts, or fuggy holes in local dialects.

Theories as to their use vary from refuges during raids, food storages, religious, or a more spiritual function. It is unlikely that they would have been effective for food storage since Cornwall is a damp climate, and dead-end caves would have been a death trap for anyone hiding from raiders. At these sites, evidence of an Iron-Age community is often found nearby. Were these places of ancient ritual?

Built with stone walls and a corbelled roof and covered with soil that had been excavated during the construction, fogous have dead-end side passages and appear to have astronomical alignments. Some claim they correspond to souterrains or earth-houses in northern Europe, and particularly in Scotland. The difference between a fogou and a souterrain may only be in the name, but that doesn´t mean that they were all used for the same purpose!

There are around 15 extant fogous in Cornwall of which Halliggye Fogou on the Trelowarren estate is generally accepted to be the largest. Other well-preserved fogous are Carn Euny, Boleigh Fogou, and Trewardreva.

Author Dr. Gary White visited Pendeen Vau, located on the Cornish coast of England, near the village of Pendeen. It is situated at Pendeen (Manor) farm, once the home of the renowned historian William Borlase. Pendeen Fogou is a rock-lined, Y-shaped construction that currently looks like a grass-topped mound with a rock retaining wall at its base, overlooking the sea. Local folklore has it that Pendeen Fogou is the home of a spectral “Lady in White” with a rose in her mouth. She appears at Christmas time and is a harbinger of death for anyone who sees her. This legend might be a memory of ancient priestesses who celebrated rituals at the fogou, perhaps during the winter solstice. Gary shares his mystical experience at Pendeen, imagining what a young initiate during a rite of passage ritual may have experienced.

Gary White

Gary White, Ph.D., is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Iowa State University, where he was a professor of music theory and a successful composer. He is author of a number of college-level music theory textbooks. After his (early) retirement in 1994, he established Pilgrims Process Publishers, which has published over 30 books by different authors on a variety of subjects, including sacred sites, pilgrimage, fiction, and a series of seven books under the general title of “Powerful Places in . . .” The series, which is co-authored with his wife, Elyn Aviva, includes: Powerful Places in Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Cornwall, Catalonia, Brittany, and the Caminos de Santiago. For more information, go to www.powerfulplaces.com.

Discover Powerful Places in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

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The Missing Gods
Saturday December 7, 2019 4:00pm EST
by Freddy Silva
Ancient Origins Interviews

Could the global accounts of an ancient forgotten race of tall, long-headed people be true?

Humanity’s recent development was the subject of an investigation commissioned by NASA, which pointed to a disturbing trend in evolved civilizations ‘suddenly’ appearing completely developed, to technology and agriculture ‘suddenly’ appearing around 8000 BC, and to science, mathematics, and astronomy ‘suddenly’ manifesting in hotspots like Mesopotamia, Egypt, Yucatan, Peru, Japan, and China.  What all these cultures share in common is the assertion that they inherited a civilization lost to a catastrophe caused by a fragmented meteorite, and an accompanying global flood that closed the Younger Dryas circa 9700 BC.

Freddy Silva takes us on a global tour to Easter Island to meet the Urukehu, described as tall, fair-skinned, red-haired with green eyes, sometimes blonde with blue eyes, and beards; the older moai, with their Caucasian features, extended chins, and hint of goatee, are stylized images of these flood gods; to Tiwanaku, Puma Punku, and a third unrecognized site in the Andes to meet the ‘People of the Serpent’, described as very tall, fair-skinned, red-haired, and featuring elongated skulls and their DNA linked to the region of the Black Sea and what used to be Mesopotamia. We travel to Egypt to meet the Aku Shemsu Hor — Shining Ones, Followers of Horus, described as between eight-and-a-half to 10 feet tall; they too were longheads. The Aku Shemsu Hor might have had a presence on Malta. Tidal waves once dumped 7,000 people, animals, and utensils into the Hypogeum of Hal Saflieni, including hundreds of elongated skull people.

Could the Maltese longheads be the same group of tall flood gods who escaped a sinking land in the Atlantic and fled eastwards? From Gobekli Tepe we see the astronomical tower of Harran, where human activity was present by 8000 BC. Harranu, as it was known, means ‘Enclosure of Anu’, another group of antediluvian gods. The last wisdom keeper of Tongareva, one of the Cook Islands, tells of  a group of gods who  arrived from Mesopotamia circa 3000 BC: red-haired, fair-skinned sages whom they called Tuanake and this brotherhood had been present in the Pacific 6,000 years earlier, specifically on Easter Island, where a platform commemorates them: Ahu Hananakou. So concludes the circle. Who were these people? Where did they come from? And what did they want with us?

Freddy Silva is a best-selling author, and leading researcher of ancient civilizations, restricted history, sacred sites, and their interaction with consciousness. He is also a leading expert on crop circles.

He has published six books in six languages: The Missing Lands: Uncovering Earth’s Pre-flood Civilization; The Divine Blueprint: Temples, Power Places, and the Global Plan to Shape The Human Soul; The Lost Art of Resurrection: Initiation, Secret Chambers and the Quest for the Otherworld; First Templar Nation: How the Knights Templar Created Europe’s First Nation-state and a Refuge for the Grail; Secrets In The Fields: The Science and Mysticism of Crop Circles and Chartres Cathedral: The Missing or Heretic Guide

Described by one CEO as "perhaps the best metaphysical speaker in the world right now,” for two decades he has been an international keynote speaker, with notable appearances at the International Science and Consciousness Conference, the International Society For The Study Of Subtle Energies & Energy Medicine, and the Association for Research and Enlightenment, in addition to appearances on Gaia TV, History Channel, BBC, and radio shows such as Coast To Coast.

He is also a documentary filmmaker, art photographer, and leads private tours to sacred sites in England, France, Egypt, Portugal, Yucatan, Malta, Peru/Bolivia, and Scotland.

Check out his book The Missing Lands: Uncovering Earth’s Pre-flood Civilization. Available direct from the author at www.invisibletemple.com

 

 

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Omitlan: Resurrecting the City of the Dead
Sunday November 10, 2019 3:45pm EST
by Marco Vigato
Omitlán: Resurrecting the City of the Dead

Discovering a city of the dead, and uncovering a forgotten civilization…

In 1891, the American geologist and antiquarian William Niven set off on a journey of discovery and exploration through the Mexican state of Guerrero. What he found would change the course of his life forever. He did not just find the ruins of a lost city, but a whole lost civilization that may turn out to be the oldest in Mesoamerica; a civilization that thrived in the unexplored highlands of Guerrero long before the time of the Aztecs, the Maya, and the Olmecs.

Over the course of three expeditions, Niven explored one huge city of the dead, whose ruins extended for several miles in all directions. "Broken walls, ruined buildings, huge in size beyond comprehension...marked the slopes as far as the eye could see", he would later write in one of his diaries. He called this city Omitlán. From the ruins he recovered idols, small statues and other curious objects that quickly made their way to the antiquarian markets of Mexico City and New York and are among the finest ever found in Mesoamerica.

Today, Niven's discoveries lay all but forgotten, but Marco Vigato takes us on a virtual tour to revive this ancient lost city of the dead. Our own discoveries in the area suggest that a civilization perhaps related to that of the Olmecs flourished in the area as early as the first or second millennium BC, leaving behind vast megalithic structures of a scale and sophistication never before seen in ancient Mexico. The center of this civilization, called Tamoanchan by the Aztecs, may lie close to the mysterious ruins of Omitlán first documented by Niven in 1891 and then again forgotten for over a century.

Marco VigatoMarco M Vigato, a native of Italy, lives in Mexico City and has travelled extensively across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, South-East Asia, North and South America. He is also a passionate photographer, dedicated to documenting the evidence of ancient advanced civilizations and sacred sites around the world. Much of his recent research has focused on the megalithic remains of ancient Mexico and Mesoamerica, leading him to the discovery of several little-known sites in the central Mexican highlands showing evidence of advanced engineering and architecture. He is currently working on a more comprehensive study of the origins and development of megalithic civilizations around the world, which will focus on cultural and historical aspects, as well as on the relationship of ancient megalithic sites with sacred geometry, astronomy, and geodesy. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a B.A. and M.Sc. in Finance from Bocconi University. | To see more, visit Uncharted Ruins

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The Pre-Socratics - In Search of the Universe
Sunday October 13, 2019 4:00pm EST
by Anya Leonard
Ancient Origins Interviews

The ideas the pre-Socratics brought to the ancient world were revolutionary, profound and wildly diverse...And they had a huge impact. Indeed, while many modern readers are unaware of these ancient thinkers’ ‘complicated’ names, they are, no doubt, familiar with at least some of their more popular axioms. Consider the oft-quoted notions that...

Man is the Measure of All Things

One cannot step twice into the same river

Everything is in Everything

Motion is Impossible

Nothing Changes, All is Eternal

From the micro to the macro, the pre-Socratics imagined a natural world beyond their own time. Even such modern concepts as “Cultural Relativism” owe their roots to this under-appreciated class of thinkers. In essence, the pre-Socratics were Philosopher Scientists, trying to fully understand our planet, our nature, and our universe. 

Join Anya Leonard, founder of Classical Wisdom, as she discusses the characters, the ideas, and the lasting legacy of the Pre-Socratics.

Anya LeonardAnya Leonard is the founder of Classical Wisdom and Project Director. She has a MA. in Sociology from University of Edinburgh and studied at St. John’s College in Annapolis with a double major in Philosophy and the History of Math of Science. She lives and writes from all over the world.

ClassicalWisdom.com

 


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Mystic Megaliths of Malta
Sunday September 29, 2019 4:30pm EST
by Dr. Elyn Aviva
Ancient Origins Interviews

Powerful, mysterious temples, both above and below ground, are scattered across the two main islands of this Malta.

Author Elyn Aviva wrote Powerful Places in Malta — a Broader Perspective to explore the numerous theories, hypotheses, conflicts, and controversies that swirl around these ancient sites, providing insight into the disparate explanations and contradictory assertions, ranging from archaeological discoveries to historical reconstructions to channeled information.

Was Malta really first settled 8,000 years ago by farmers from Sicily?

Did these farmers suddenly start to build unique, massive limestone temples—without precedent and unlike anything found elsewhere in the world—around 6000 years ago?

Why did they build so many? Surveys indicate some 66 megalithic temples existed on the relatively small islands of Malta and Gozo.

What is the relationship between the Maltese temples and the sun, moon, and stars?

Based on “obese” statues and the interior layout of the temples, some people believe Malta was the site of a Mother Goddess cult. But are the large-bottomed, kilted statues (often headless) always female, and are the temples proof of a Goddess cult?

Some archaeologists state that Hal Saflieni Hypogeum, an underground construction that resembles an above-ground temple, was a huge cemetery into which some 7,000 (decomposing) bodies were deposited. But was it?

Numerous limestone plateaus are covered with networks of enigmatic cart-ruts that run parallel, overlap, do “U-turns,” and even go down the sides of cliffs and under the water. How old are they and what were they used for?

Elyn Aviva

Dr. Elyn Aviva is a writer, transformational traveler, and fiber artist. She is fascinated by journeys of quest and self-discovery, both interior and exterior. Her academic credentials include a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology (topic: the modern-day pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela) and a Master’s of Divinity. She has taught comparative religion courses, trained as a labyrinth facilitator, and is an Active Dreaming leader. Her fascination with earth energies led her to study dowsing, sacred geometry, and geomancy. For many years, Elyn has delved deeply into Kabbalah and the Western Mystery traditions, which have had a significant influence on her work.

Elyn’s most recent novel is The Question – A Magical Fable, a mystical tale about a sage, a seer, and a seeker. She has written a number of books and novels on pilgrimage, quest, and earth mysteries, as well as co-authoring (with her husband) the series Powerful Places Guidebooks. These guidebooks help people experience the transformative energies at sacred sites.

Born and raised in the American Midwest, Elyn has lived for the last 10 years in Spain. You can learn more about her at www.powerfulplaces.com; www.pilgrimsprocess.com; and www.fiberalchemy.com

She can be found on Facebook at Elyn Aviva Writes and Fiberalchemy.


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