Barbarian Gold - Published 7th July 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 was hidden in south of France, at Toulouse and then at Rennes-le-Château, 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 candelabra from the Temple of Solomon, 30kg of solid gold.
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 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.
We know the treasure passed through Carcassonne and the Rhedae as Rennes-le-Château was known then. Then it mysteriously disappeared - or was that just the media hype of the Dark Ages?
Included in the book is a unique guide to the region of Septimanie, the ancient home of the Visigoths, approximately today's region of Languedoc. It lists the towns and villages where the Visigoths lived, and what to look for when you visit. Old stones? or hidden treasure?
The book has 248 pages and measures 16cm by 23 cm. It is fully illustrated, with the pictures beside the text to which they refer, in Val's usual style.
Here's some pages to inspire you . . .
And it even has its own web-site! Click here to see it.
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It's the book I've been waiting for!
Lucie, l'Antre Temps restaurant, Rennes-le-Château
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.