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Talisman : Sacred Cities, Secret Faith Hardcover – 27 May 2004
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About the Author
Graham Hancock is a journalist (has worked for The Sunday Times) and the author of a number of books including FINGERPRINTS OF THE GODS.
Robert Bauval is the author of THE ORION MYSTERY. He has co-written books with Graham Hancock.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Hancock and Bauval start us off in Paris and I was fascinated by the derivation of the name - Par Isis ie near Isis. The book is chock full of such gems.
Next the authors try and fail in my opinion, to prove that the Cathars of Medieval France can be directly linked back through various heretical ideas to the Gnostics and further. This is where the book first starts to annoy me. The authors spend too much of this book telling us of the atrocities of the Catholic Inquisitions. The link between the Cathars-Knights Templar-Bogomils-Paulists-Gnostics is tenuous at best; Saying that just because something has not been disproved is not proof of its existence. Just because you can't prove that God doesn't exist doesn't prove He does exist.
I have given the book a three as there is much for the reader with an interest in the History of freemasonry and how the cities of Washington, Paris and London are designed as hermetic Talismans.
The final chapter brings us bang up to date describing why Jerusalem is so sought after.
However I think the book fails its objective of revealing a master game going on behind the scenes. It does however shed light rather interestingly on many smaller games that have been played out.
First, it is a large book and quite heavy reading. Many different people, times, places, from 3000BC to present. It's a massive subject, and Bauval & Hancock have tried to tie together events right through, so its probably not surprising its so huge. I was pretty up on the subject already but still found it heavy going, and maybe because of the ease of Internet researching, it has a bit of a cut'n'paste feel about it.
I think there is a lot of info missed out, perhaps deliberately, to limit the subject.
Its also pretty much a summary of several other books such as those by Robert Lomas on the freemasons. Bauval does add some of his own new interpretations that seem accurate. The "Picatrix" text is also interesting.
So, all in all, I wasn't convinced of a direct link back to Gnostic Alexandria, but more a general survival of ideas of free thought through the dark ages of Christian suppression. I was however convinced that the secret societies were a direct result of repressive monarchs and religion, and that almost everyone of influence was connected to freemasonry in the 18-19th centuries.
On the subject of modern freemasonry, there is no doubt now about the direct influence on city plans, buildings, & policy, which continues today.
So, in summary, lots of good info if a bit selective, not Pseudo-History, but a difficult book to read
The first section of this very weighty work is devoted to forms of Christianity which competed with Catholicism from the first centuries AD to the middle ages. Hancock and Bauval make a convincing case that a continuum exists between Gnostic thought in early Christian Egypt and the Cathars of 12th / 13th Century Languedoc via sects in Armenia, Turkey and the Balkans.
And while other books about the Cathars have placed the Albigensian Crusade in a political context (French King stirs up trouble to extend France southwards), Hancock and Bauval present it as a clash of cultures, values and religion.
Talisman presents both a very detailed and a very accessible explanation of what the Cathars actually believed. For that reason alone I found the book worth buying. Had the authors stopped their narrative in the early 14th century then Talisman for me would have been a hands down winner.
Where it loses its way is in the second half of the book, where Hancock and Bauval try to explain how Hermetic thought carried on through the middle ages and rennaissance. The second half does however include some some fascinating nuggets of information, for example the obsession French revolutionary leaders had with ancient Egyptian religion and symbolism and how they wove it onto their 'Cult of the Supreme Being', which was to replace Christianity.
Unfortunately the final few chapters seem almost rushed as if the authors wanted to finish up and move onto other projects.Read more ›
review of Talisman by Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval, Penguin/Michael Joseph
Talisman, by Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval
Penguin/Michael Joseph, £20
Review by Colin Wilson
Three years ago I attended a conference in Cagliari, in Sardinia, where writers like Erich von Daniken and Alan Alford explained their latest researches into the origins of civilisation. But the most remarkable event of that weekend was a talk by Robert Bauval about the discoveries that were the basis of his work-in-progress, Talisman.
Bauval is a speaker of amazing vitality and enthusiasm, and even though he was the final speaker of a long day, and we were all thinking longingly about dinner and Sardinian wine, we forgot that as Bauval produced an amazing fireworks display of ideas. And when dusk began to fall in the courtyard the of the conference centre and the chairman suggested bringing the talk to a close, there was a groan from the audience. At which point, the conference organiser, Sylvano Salvatici, suggested that those who wanted to hear more should go to a hall upstairs, while those who wished to leave could do so. Virtually whole whole audience of three hundred or so trooped upstairs, where Bauval spent another ninety minutes completing his exposition.
Ever since then I have been waiting to read the book. And when it arrived a month ago, a vast tome of 562 pages, I settled down to it immediately.
It is certainly one of the most remarkable works published in the 21st century, and throws a totally new light on the history of the past 2,000 years.
What Bauval told us that day in Cagliari was this.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
this book opens up importent questions about the public perceptions of the pastPublished 12 months ago by bob
A must book for those who wonders about the missing years in religion and the truth of how the Catholic church began its dominance on the world.Published on 1 Dec. 2014 by stephen ballantyne
Bauval leads us to places virtually unknown and entices us with secrets once known only to the elite. This was a truly enlightening piece of literature.Published on 5 Sept. 2014 by Catherine coney
I only skimmed this book, thank God. Hancock's and Bauval's "Talisman" must be one of the most meaningless books ever written. Read morePublished on 3 Oct. 2012 by Ashtar Command
Talisman : Sacred Cities, Secret Faith only part way through but, very readable. covers a part of history not taught at any school i went to. Read morePublished on 7 July 2012 by marty lowther
There's a lot to argue about in this book according to what the reader knows or thinks he knows. The book is long and ponderous, but has some interesting passages, but at the end... Read morePublished on 4 Aug. 2011 by Mr. M. Kostyrka