Dolmen, Greek Temple and Gothic Cathedrals

                                                                              Symbol of the Cosmos ?

                          The  famous temple tower of Babylon was named Etemenanki "

                                            "House, being the foundation of Heaven upon Earth "


                         Working-Hypothesis: In its origin supposed to be based on an old cosmos idea                                                                                          handed down  in the Pyramid Texts and Edda

Germany, Bronze Age          Dolmen, Sylt  Atreus Mykene
DengHoog 2600-2200 BC 1400 BC

Pyramid Djoser Doric Temple Pantheon Rom Gothic Cathedral
with fluted columns 2700 with fluted columns 500 b. 120 1200

In Near East  there was a religious conception, which interconnects
Temples and Creation. In Egypt the pyramid symbolized  the  prime-
val  hill, (Urhuegel)  which emerged at the beginning out of an Urmeer,
the >Winding  Waterway<. The oldest god Shu  separates   sky and
earth and life could begin..

Comparably  Mesopotamia,  where  temples  already  point  by  the
naming to a certain cosmic background.

       The famous temple tower to Babylon is called Etemenanki "              
 house, being the foundation of sky and earth "

The  floor of  the  temple  represents  the earth, the cover embodies
the   sky.
  Therefore  conceivable  that   there had  been a common European-Near East conception of the cosmos.

       H ypothesis  If so then a link could have been exist between

1) Deng Hoog as a stone house under a primeval hill / Urhuegel,
The Egyptian graves in or under the pyramids as Urhuegel
The Greek temples with columns supporting the firmament
The Roman Pantheon with floral capitals.
The columns with floral capitals in Gothic cathedrals supporting 
the sky.

Problem:  the philosophical  background  in  its  origin  a northern
natural  religion
? Even in Babylon ?
(admit,  may sound  rather strange, but who built the dolmen in Palestine and
the pyramids in Egypt? Rather strange too:-)


     The architecture of a
          Doric Temple

  1                                     doric                    ionic                                    Krepis    (Primeval hill)         

                                        1.) Columns support a gabled roof, (the sky) ,
 forming in front a triangle, a
  2.) Temples are erected on a plattform, the Krepis-Stylobate
 Hieroglyph, primeval hill ( Throne-chair  of Osiris, Isis)

     Gabled roof and


West  front  of  the  Jupiter Temple  in Olympia.The crowning of  the
 temple is  the  pediment,  *the gable*, a  recessed  area with in the
angle formed by  the cornices  at  the roof; usually ´ filled´ with more
or  less  divine  sculptures. In  the  pediment  Apollon  unnoticed  by    
fighting Kentauren

If  the gabled roof symbolizes  the sky then the pediment is the area
Gods lived in close to the sky, down on earth the humans.
sIf so then
in a Greek  tempeI 

                                                                The Gable Roof was a high ranking status symbol

1) The  Doric Spartan sacrificed a golden shield,  which was attach-
ed in Olympia in the roofridge of  the Zeus  temple  after a victorious
battle 456 BCE.
2.) Critias(108e-12ç) described the temples of the  Atlanter: "On the
exterior the temple was covered  with  silver, except  the  gable, that
wass gilded."

3)  Still  to  Roman  times  a  religious  relation  existed  to the gable.
A controversy   between  Cicero  and  Caesar. The  reason, Caesar 
had  built  his house  with  a  gable . (Kaehler)4) After   the  murder  of
Caesar   the  senate  discussed,  whether  he  may  be  buried  in  a
grave   emphasized by a ' divine 'gable.  (Neuburger  1919 cit  ?

5) In   the  North the  Franconian  Lex   Salica ( AD  520 )  may  give    a
further reference
"If any one destroys a house by force and if it  had
 supporting   post ( Stuetzbalken),  who  this
dare and it is proven
ows 45 shilling ."(Killing a maid : 15 shilling)

                                                                                Krepis  Stylobate

Greek temples are situated on a hill or on a three stepped platform
(krepis) No problem on a hill, but why to built a temple on a carefully
made three-step platform ? (Found no religious meanings.)
So far seems to be more a matter of art-history .
                                          An assumption:
The three-step krepis being a symbol of a primeval hill ?

                to day                                  Djoser  ~2600 b.                   Zikkurat of Urnammu 2200 b.
Pyramids are symbols of the primeval hiil

      a                         b             c                                              d 

Evangeliar.A homage to Emperor Otto III ( 983-1002 ) Conceivable a
take over
of prechristian symbols. Could be a presentation of the

The divine Jerusalem
Three step stylobat with three columns.The central column a little
bit higher

Double spirals, on a primeval hill with world tree in the middle.
On the garment circles with a point, the Egyptean hyroglyph for
> sun<

In construction of a cosmos a" primeval hill" would be technically the
logical´ place for  columns supporting the sky.


Sun -Spiral

Around 1000 Christian churches developed in a still pagan northern
Europe. The time of the Saxonia wars and the Vikings.The Irminsul
(World Tree) of the Saxonia was destroyed 722 by Karl the Great.

Step by step the northern pagans became more or less voluntarily
Christians. Finally probably convinced by the " persuasive" power
of sword and cross ; but isolated old pagan symbols survived,
among others the SPIRAL
 symbol of the annual sun course

The crypt of St.Servati in Quedlinburg. (Mid Germany). Columns with
capitals in front, in the rear fluted columns with double spirals.

In 936 King
Heinrich I was burried in St. Servati. He is the only
German king crowned
not being anointed.

Problem: Highest pagan symbols in a crypt of a German King but so
far no mythical relation between Christianity
 fluted columns

with floral capitals
 and double spirals

Zeitz 1000 Irsih Cross
Castlelermot 1000

Capital in the crypta of the Zeitzer Cathedral 1000.
At the same time ´double spirals´on an Iriish Cross

                                                                           Lothar   Cross (Aachen 817 - 855 )    

Lothar Cross.Gold sheet on wood core.50 cm.Cathedral, Aachen, The
cross is covered with jewels and spirals. The spirals ' grow out from
the  jewels. That may give sense, because in the early Gothic of the
abbott Suger jewels are symbols of concentrated sunlight .

Noteworthy the squared timber of the cross with broadend ends. Four
columns supporting the heaven ? In the centre of the cosmos the earth.
In the centre of earth Lothar wearing a knotted head band decorated
 with leaves.  (Spolie of roman Emperor Augustus )

     Christ on the cover of the Evangeliar of the Gauzelin of Toul. Late
               10th century surrounded by ´running´spirals  (Labyrinth)

Cup covered with yewels and double spirals. A main pice of the
treasure of the abbott and royal chancellor Suger .The choir new
building of the monastic church of Saint Denis is considered as buil-
ding initial of the gothic .(1140)

Christian Cross and Spirals symbolysing a short time
 of European religious tolerance



Symbols of the cosmos within the frame of an old
 ´Megalithic´ sun religion?

            Three  elements  common  in Greek Temples and Gothic 

            1)     The portal pediment supported by a                 row of  columns
2)  Greece and Gothic columns with a ´floral´ capital
 3 ) In Greece and Gothic double spirals / labyrinths


The cemetery chapel of the Benediktiner Abbey Fulda (Midgermany)
Abbott Eigil let build >> the Ecclesia rotunda<< around 800. The
crypt consists of
a circular central area, ( earth disk? )
An ´ionic´ column  supports the ´ripped´ vault.
the biograph of Eigil interpreted the ionic column as

Christ, who supports the

The architectonic forerunner of Gothic Cathedrals in the Ile de France
300 years later ? (s. P.S. german)

Besides simple columns, figures (Apostoles) became incorporated
into the columns thus supporting  like the columns the vault of the
church. An attempt to replace or to share in the old heathen mea-
ning of columns supporting the sky ?

Rudolf of Fulda around 850 reports on the admiration of the world
column by the Saxonia. " By not small size, put up, they admire a
wooden trunk in the open air, in the people language it was called
*Irminsul*, meaning' universe column ', which supports as it were
everything ".




Elisabeth  Church, Marburg   Mid-Germany.  West portal  Over the
door a  divine triangle (Tympanon/ Pediment ) supported by a row
of columns with floral´ capitals. Within the pediment Maria with the 
child, ´comparable´ to  Apollon  in  the  divine  gable of the Jupiterr


       Floral capital

                                   1                                     2                                         3                                            4                          

1)  Monastery Lorsch, Midgermany, c.800
 2) Hagia Sophia, Konstantinopel  6.century with
      signum of emperor Justinianus I.     
3) Sainte-Denis,Paris, 1140 . 
4) Crypta Servati  1000 (s. above)

  Trees supporting the divine heaven  ?
                         (Yggdrasil ?)



If a temple  really  symbolizes  the  cosmos, then  necessarily  light
within a  tempel should  be a prevailing factor.
Problem:  The  interior of  a  Christian  basilica  is a  relatively dark
room. Strong walls with normal windows. If a symbol of the cosmos,
then a more shady cosmos.

           Pantheon Rom  A temple for all roman gods 27.bc
            For a  naive viewer
the cosmos is not a  black box

Thereby  within  the  frame of a sun  religion  it gives

little sense to  built a  sun  temple  with
more or less
closed  walls.

The  Doric  temple  may   follow  in architecture  this consideration.
Sky and earth are separated by open rows of columns thus sunlight has free entrance.
In  line: the  columns  of Ionic   temples  carry  double
 sun- spirals.
Comparable  in  construction   the  Gothic  cathedrals. The walls are
arranged open  by  ´windows´ Thus SUN could illuminate the inside
of the cathedral .  Cosmos  and  the  cathedral   appeared  through-
flooded by the sun

          1  2 3  

1-2)  Paris,  Sainte-Chapelle, 1240. The vault covered  with  stars and   supported  by  columns  with  floral capitals.  A  framework  of columns
and ribs, supporting  the webs of the vaults.

The ribs carring no thrust (Bombing 1945, ribs fall  down not the vault
I.e.  ribs could  be symbols  of branches of the World Tree sup
the sky.

3)  In Egypt ´vaulted´ ceiling covered with stars. (1600 BC)  

                                                                                                                                             Saint-Denis, 1231-1282           Rosette, Westminster Abbey,1250           Muenster                                                                                                       divine´ light  illuminates the Gothic ´cosmos´.

Thus  in Gothic times the sun  becomes increasingly part of Christian theology.  Nature  returns  Franz of Assisi  considered all  nature as
the mirror of God
  and as so many steps to God.

                                            Back to´megalithic´ roots


.Cathedrals with labyrinths

Problem: Unclear up  to  day  the origin of Labyrinths in Gothic cathe-  
( Ravenna,  Lucca, Chatres, St.Quentin, Amien)

The symbols  are  placed in  the  entrance area and  take with 
a dia-
meter  from 10  to 13  meters  the  entire  width   of  the  central  nave.
                                    Hardly can´t be overlooked(
      ( Why is the central part named NAVE ? In German Kirchen -SCHIFF)

                                       St. Quentin ~1200.                                  Chatres 1260                                                Ravenna
                                                                                                          Labyrinth 1485                                                 Labyrinth 1495   


Amien  On floor a labyrinth and double spirals

         To day´s  meaning of Labyrinths in Gothic cathedrals
"At  Easter  Sunday  the    Christians  celebrated   the   revival  of Christ  and  
his victory over the world of sin  with  a * labyrinth dance*.  How  it ordered the rule, a  priest  hand over a ball to  the dean, who  began  to sing" the praise of the paschal lamb" while  walking solemnly along  the ways in the labyrinth. In his hands  the  ball  as  a tribute  to the  sun.The congregation  formed  a circle  around  the holy  lines for a round dance. "------------"People that  the pilgrimage  to Jerusalem  could not  afford ( almost all ), could - by praying while pacing up and down - achieve  an indulgemnce. http

An old pagan sun symbol  - clerically difficult to damp - being controlled
by taken over in
liturgy  ?



      San Benedetto Italy          Ancient Cornwall Maze at Rocky Vally

Capital of a  column in the  medieval  cloister of the monastery of San 
 Benedetto in Conversano,  Italy.
The  double spiral of   the sun  and a
 labyrinth in the capital of a column .
The same symbolic information ?


Sun- Spiral -Meander-Labyrinth

                 From SPIRAL to  MEANDER and  LABYRINTH
in GothicCathedrals

                                    two Meander                                three Meander                

  By fan-like pulling a meander around a meant centre a   labyrinth
  develops. If it is
true that a meander is a rectangular  spiral,  then  
                a laby
rinth could  symbolize  the course of  the sun


                   Sun-symbols                                   Sumer, Ur ~2600,  Double Spirals (gold)


     Thera 1600 bc     Nordic Vollgriffschwerter 1500  BC             Greek ceramic 750  BC                  Jesus clik   
         drawing                        Full handle swords


Egypt (Negade ~3200 b. )      Newgrange (Door stone) , ~3200b. (?)

Likely  in  the  beginning sun  was  worshipped  directly. Dropping  the  
knees and praying the rising sun.

Then, people  actively supported the  daily  path of the sun .Especially  
the dangerous boat trip through the underworld. (Egypt).


Lateron the annual run time became numerically analysed .The run of
sun and moon  became  predictable,
(Stonehenge ( 56 Aubrey holes), Lunar solar year. Nebra sky disk.

To keep double spirals in line  - symbolizing  immortality -  Labyrinths

A highly complicated sacred symbol that a normal  thinking layman can´t  understand. "Priesterly Help" is  needed  and  probably  offered.


 Renaissance 1400-1600

The time of the Gothic cathedrals  was relatively shortbetween1130 - 1280, but years later the ancient  "labyrinth idea"  arose again in  the North- far away from Rom - during the Renaissance from 1400-1600

A cultural revival  of  ancient  ideals in  literature,  philosophy,  science
and architecture.  In  its  origin,  the  Renaissance  developed  in   Italy,
in growing urban communities of self-assured merchants .


                                     City Hall Gent (Belgium) "peace room" Labyrinth ,1533.
The name goes back to1546 when the peace treaty between .

the Catholics of Flanders was signed.

In  England  and  in Protestant  Scandinavia  labyrinths rose in  formal
gardens  consisting of  intricate paths separated by high  hedges and
grass labyrinths.
 Named Troja-Burgen (castle) .Origin of name: On an Etruscan pottery (~800 bc)
         next to the image  of the  Labyrinth  the  name Troy  

Alignments , Hedges and Grass-Labyrinths
           England  1660                           Labyrinth-Dance around a Maypole (1976 Denmark)                 England ~ 1650

Time changed Natur returned

About  1000  in  the  Centre  of  France,  the area  of  the  fertile  Ile de
local hierarchically structured  power centers  developed  and
a strong economic boom followed. The  economic basis for a change.

Competition between the landlords started and thus Gothic Cathedrals
emerged   almost   >simultaneously< "  (1130-1280)
 five of them with 
cretian´ labyrinths )
Two ´oversized´ steeple in front.  (mythologic unclear)

The Cathedral  was  not only a place to say  one´s prayers, it was also
- at this times - the only  place of  the entire  community of citizens and
guilds to hold  their meetings.

For salesmen it was also favourable to demonstrate to be a >>man of
the church << because of the customs  privileges within and to reduce
or even avoid  duty . All reasons for a  salesman  feeling  and showing
being part the building.
     In the Chatres Cathedral each guild of the  town wanted its  own window. A                                                  competition between the guilds.


The  education  monopoly  of  the ´closed´  convent  schools  got com-
petition  by relatively  open  schools  connected with  Cathedrals in the

The convent schools limited  their educational responsibilities- inward
looking  - to  the circle of convention  and  saw no reason to talk about
outside,  to  impart  knowledge  to  others. The  monks had the task to
looking for god.

Though  teaching  should  be  in the first place a task of the bishop,but
the landlord is too much >>grandseigneur<<. He sits in the courtyards
of the king. People see him weaponed  as leader in fights.
A Prince- Bishop  Later on in Germany the Fürst-Bischof." Sword in hand shouting
God with us".All in all necessarily religion had to be more or less a matter of policy

Most of time the  "absentee  landlord " leaves his intellectual functions
to the clerics. One of  them got  the  order  to ´manage´ the   school. A
movement in which education becames  transfered from the * closed*
monastery to the *open*  Cathedrals.   Drop  by  drop  slipping  out  of 
clerical control

 In  the schools of the  Cathedrals Aristoteles, Euklid, Ovid  were  read.
instrument of rational  thinking was trained and spreading out fast.
Even  the  Bible 
became  less  disputed  but  more  discussed.  What
is plausible, what not ?

Abaelard, a famous teacher: "by doubts  we arrive at the thing, and by
the  thing  we  recognize the  truth";or "my students require human and
philosophical reasons; they
need rather reasonable explanations than
statements,  they  say it is uselessly to
speak if one has no insight into
the  saying, and  no  one could  believe, what he had   understood  not

             Bernard of Clairvaux in a polemic against Abaelard
" In power of God our faith is rooted not in our pipe-dreams of reasons "

                                                                              Investiture Contest  

Century´ of Gothic Cathedrals                       ( 1130 - 1280  )
It is the time of the Investiture Contest ( 1075 - 1122 )

Problem: Who appoints the bishops ?
The Pope or an upper Franconian nobility ?

                            A revival of  ancient natural science.  Nature returned.

With the way of thinking  also the vital consciousness changed. A little
bit  " Goodbye   metaphysics".

Franz of Assisi spoke with birds and flowers. In the scholasticism may
be laughed  again,  despite the  old  theological  problem  that  Christ
never laughed in the Bible.
           The  French
King  Ludwig  (1224 -1270,  canonized 1297),
            allowed  himself to laugh
every day, except on

Troubadours   Lyric poets  of  southern  France,  northern  Spain,  and
northern Italy, writing  in  the  langue d'oc of  Provence;  they flourished
from the late 11th to the late 13th century.
 (gothic times)

Their social  influence  was unprecedented  in  the history of medieval
poetry   They  had  great  freedom of speech, occasionally intervening
even in  the political arena, but their great achievement  was to create
around the court an aura of cultivation amenity that nothing had hitherto

Troubadour  poetry  formed one of the  most  brilliant schools that ever
flourished, and  it  was  to  influence  all  later  European  lyrical  poetry.



                                                                  Germnany                           Sweden 

In Gothic times young  people erected  the Maypole,  probably origina-
in  pre  Christian  agricultural  rituals. A  tall  pole  garlanded   with greenery or flowers. In  its  origin supposed  to  be survivals of ancient midsummer-dances around a living tree as part  of spring  rites  to en-
sure  fertility.

            Maypole in Bavaria /Germany ( What about the wreath ?)

The  threat of  the  Christian original sin and  the purgatorial sufferings
The  authority of  the  Roman   church  came into distress. In its  
self concept
ion  Rom had to demand obedience of all christians.

In consequence :Christianity in its origin a redemptive  religion had  to
The horns of the milk goddess Hathor got the devil.The Pantheon
Rom  was dedicated in AD 609  as  the Church of  the Santa  Maria 
Rotunda, or as Martyres, which it remains today.

At  winter solstice Christ was borne  and  the  pagan sunfires became
named  * Johannesfeuer*. In  the  Sixtus  chapel  the ancient  ferryman

helped the devil to transport the souls not to a divine horizont but down
into hell.

                      Message to the deeply impressed visitors
The ancient ferryman and  the devil working in the same corporation. 

Obviously   Christian   missionaries   had   problems with     post-pagan
and Normans.Thus sunlight had to be theologically incorporated .

                                   The problem got a 'name'

                                      GOD / Jesus is the light
                                   already around 800 in the Fulda      
                                 Christ supporting the cosmos
          Sunlight (Jesus)   being a specific  part of a Gothic Christianity 
                      The spiral lost  the power play with the Roman  clerics..


                                                    ´ nothing news´ :-)

Augustine (Bishop ~340) What is currently called the Christian religion, already existed in the Old and not missing at the beginning of mankind until Christ appeared
as a human, where the true religion, which already existed, receives the name of the Christian . (transl.:-)

Augustine. Retractationes I, 12, § 3



       Is the Gothic - from the perspective of symbolism - a  Franconian-
          Norman ´anti-clerical ´ variant of  Roman  Catholic Christianity?
                            a forerunner of later Protestantism ? (Luther ~1515)

The Gothic Cathedral  a  - ´short dated 1130-1280-  symbol  of  power
and believe of a more or less christianized Norman-Franconian upper class


        Problem                                                  An unsolved   Biblical-Gothic Problem

God, the master builder calculated the earth
Bible moralisee wohl aus Reims.13.Jh.(Wien Oestr.Nat.Bibl.Cod 2554)

Jeremias 31 / 37 Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be and the
of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all  the
seed of
 Israel for all  that  they have  done, saith the LORD.

A divine warning noticing the world primarily from a scientific point of vew
                    (Pythagoras," the whole sky is a harmony and a number" )

A warning to reduce or even to replace power of faith by mathematics  ?
                    (After experience teaches that faith may move even 'mountains')
                  Bernard of Clairvaux in a polemic against Abaelard
" In power of God our faith is rooted not in our pipe-dreams of reasons Pernoud (my trans.)
                                               Abaelard - Gothic  Christianity - Clairvaux ?



                        from                   Dolmen         
                                                     The   World Axle, Tree of Life, Iminsul, Yggdrasil 
The  gable roof/ceilings covered with stars
  The  fluted proto - Doric column in Egypt

      The ´later´ Doric column in Greece and North Germany

        The double spirals, wide spread in Europe and Near East

      The horizon, torques, diadem and crown

     The devine´ pediment and columns with floral capitals

The  ´windows´, Rosetts in



  "The   Hall  of  the  Double  Axes,"  from   the  frequent  occurrence of this symbol  therein.  Not  only does  the  sacred axe occur as a more or  less  crude engraving  on  the stone blocks  composing certain pillars in  the  palace, but  little models of  it  were found associated with  an altar, and, in  the  Dictaean cave, some  miles  distant, several  bronze  specimens of  the  axe  were  discovered  in  circumstances  which   show  that  they  were  votive offerings. Sometimes the sacred symbol was set up on a socketed pedestal "

              (three stepped Krepis ?)        (Symbol of the primeval hill  ?

                           Fig. 9. Double Axe and Stepped Steatite Socket from Dictaean  Cave                 From Archæologia, by kind permission of the Society of Antiquaries,and Sir                                                          Arthur Evans)  

            my Problem :  nave (naval) in GGGerman:  Kirchen-Schiff  (Schiff =ship)

                                                            Oseberg Norway  800
 (with spiral)  

Nave.–noun the principal longitudinal area of a church, extending from the main
entrance or narthex to the chancel, usually flanked by aisles of less height and
breadth:generally used only by the congregation.

Binding, G.    Was ist Gotik ? 2000
Duby,G.     Die Zeit der Kathedralen. Kunst und Geselschaft 980-1420, 1980
Goff, Jacques .   Das Lachen im Mittelalter, 2004
Katalog zur Ausstellung,   Euorpas Mitte um 1000 *. 2000
Kaehler, H.,   Der griechische Tempel 1964
Kidson,P.. Romanik und Gotik 1967
Pernoud, R.  Heloise und Abaelard 2002
1-greek-gothic 15.09.04.update
           Next    Ring


Beijing Forbidden Town Peking                                   Poseidon Temple Greek 5. century b.

   1.) Tempel on a three-step plattform. (Krepis ?)

   2.)  a gabled roof

   3.)  supported by  columns



                       Delphi, three stepped Krepis (  primeval hill )

The round basis is associated  with > circular< Stonehenge in conjunction 

                        A circle as a symbol of the Holy horizon?
 Pyr.  1705  The reed-floats of the sky are set down for Re,  that he may
        cross theron to the horizon, to the place where the gods were born.