Barbarian Gold - Expected publication, June 2017
"Barbarian Gold" by Val Wineyard is all about treasure, stolen from the Jews by the Romans and then from the Romans by the Visigoths. This treasure is believed to have been hidden in south of France but has never been discovered. Val traces its journey through historical research, meanwhile uncovering the fascinating unknown history of Septimanie - the region now known as Languedoc.
Here are the opening words of the book;
This story starts and ends with golden treasure
It was late August in Rome, in the year 410AD. The impressive buildings of pale stone glowed in the yellow evening light, but in the poorer quarters, with their tiny houses and guttered narrow streets, the stink was appalling. Epidemics were rampant. It was hot. Humidity was at saturation point.
The city had been under siege for three months from an army headed by the Visigothic king Alaric I. This army included many soldiers with good reasons to hate the Romans and their exploitative empire. Alaric had blocked every route in and out of the ciy and had control of the river and the port. He had offered every negotiation ploy in the world, but the Romans wouldn’t give in.
Everyone was tense, nervous, and sweating profusely.
Alaric and his men breached the Sallust gate and set fire to Rome. The inhabitants, ill and starving, fled to the other side of the city and made no attempt to halt the army’s progress.
Darkness fell and the atmosphere was like an oven. The intolerable heat was made worse by fires and swirling smoke. In the noise of the battle nobody heard the thunder claps. Unseen black clouds crashed into each other, lightning struck and rain poured down.
But the fires were too strong to be doused.
The next day the Visigoths raided the treasury, and took the treasure they’d demanded as ransom, mostly in gold coins. They also took the treasure of Jerusalem, that the Roman Titus had himself taken from the Temple of Jerusalem when he had quelled the Jewish Revolt in 70AD, violating the inner and most Holy Sanctum of the Temple for ever.
This was a sacred treasure; holy vessels and ornaments made of heavy solid gold, designed by Moses under the instructions of God, and to the Jews, incredibly symbolic of the one and only ancient religion, with its one and only God.
The candelabra from the Temple of Solomon, 30kg of solid gold.
To the Visigoths the treasure wasn’t sacred; casually, as though it was a house clearance, they simply loaded it onto carts and took it away, to be hoarded and guarded.
They wanted the gold for the power it gave, so no-one could ever deceive them again, or reduce them to starvation, or oblige them to sell their children into slavery.
This book is the story, among other things, of that immense treasure. It was the booty of the so-called barbarians; but it was sacred, holy gold. It’s fate is unknown; it has disappeared.
Tantalisingly, for more than 1,600 years, news of it has surfaced now and then, scraps of information in old documents from many countries. There have been theories and legends, often, as we shall prove, containing hidden truths challenging popular belief that the fate of this holy and barbarian gold rests a complete mystery.
Sometimes the veil is torn aside, and there’s a glimpse of glittering gold; then, as when a pebble drops into a pond, the ripples die away and everyone forgets what they saw.
Some things are better left forgotten. Governments take steps to make sure they are.
This book answers all the questions about this treasure, hidden in the Corbières, those foothills of the Pyrenees to the south-west of Narbonne, those mountain strongholds where stories were passed down from father to son and mother to daughter for thousands of years.
The last pages of the book are a unique guide to the region of Septimanie, the ancient home of the Visigoths, approximately today's region of Languedoc. It will list the towns and villages where the Visigoths lived, and what to look for when you visit.
The text is now edited and work on the lay-out is proceeding according to plan. The book will be at least 250 pages long - Val wishes it could be longer! - and will measure 16cm by 23 cm. It will be fully illustrated, with the pictures beside the text to which they refer, in Val's usual style.
Reviewed in advance!
Barbarian Gold explores the mystery of the treasure of Rennes-le-Château, it is original and ground-breaking. "Treasure" is a word that enraptures readers and treasure hunters will be able to follow the fate of this treasure throughout history. Val is passionate about the Visigoths, their brilliant contribution to the history of Languedoc, their civilisation and their egalitarian politics. The facile dismissal of them as "barbarians" is simply not true.
Why was the story of Alaric II re-written in 508? Could it be that the Franks were searching for treasure that wasn't theirs - and the Pope approved? Alaric II was only one of the Visigothic kings that moved into legend with their experiences that directly influenced the Grail legends. We owe to them the runes that are used in fortune-telling and the creation of the Cross of Occitan. Their religion, Christian in spirit, encouraged Catharism. Their bloodlines exist in the Royal families of France, Spain and Britain to this day.
Where is the treasure now, the treasure often called "the treasure of Alaric"? the hidden gold, the Barbarian Gold?
Jeanine Msellati, St. Nazaire d'Aude.