Rose Line

Rose Line

Rose Line is a name given to the Paris Meridian in the Priory of Sion mythology and popularized by Dan Brown in his novel "The Da Vinci Code". Although the same name Rose Line is used for the Paris Meridian in both contexts, it also involves different definitions.

Priory of Sion

A 1967 Priory of Sion document "Au Pays de la Reine Blanche" [The document is attributed to "Nicholas Beaucéan", which according to the French researcher Franck Marie ("Rennes-le-Château: Etude critique", SRES, 1978, p. 202.) is a pseudonym for Pierre Plantard, and was produced by Pantard's colleague, Philippe de Cherisey; John Saul, Janice Glaholm, "Rennes-le-Château, A Bibliography" (Mercurious Press, 1985, p. 3).] [Richard Andrews, Paul Schellenberger, "The Tomb of God: The Body of Jesus and the Solution to a 2,000-Year-Old Mystery", Time Warner Paperbacks, 1997, p. 258.] states that "Rennes-les-Bains is located precisely on the Zero Meridian, which connects Saint-Sulpice in Paris" adding that "the parish of Rennes-les-Bains guards the heart of Roseline", being a reference to Saint Roseline de Villeneuve. "Au Pays de la Reine Blanche" also referred to "the line of the Zero Meridian, that is to say the red line, in English: 'Rose-line'". [Pierre Jarnac, "Les Mystères de Rennes le Château: Mélanges Sulfureux", CERT, 1994, p. 11-15.] Later in 1978, Pierre Plantard also referred to the "red line of the meridian, the 'Rose-Line'...since Roseline, the Abbess of the 'Celle aux Arcs', celebrates her feast day on 17 January... and her legend is well worth a read". [In Plantard's preface to Henri Boudet,"La Vraie Langue Celtique et le Cromleck de Rennes-les-Bains", Éditions Pierre Belfond, 1978.]

Dan Brown

The term "Rose Line" has been popularized by Dan Brown in his novel "The Da Vinci Code" as an alternate name for "the world's first prime meridian",Dan Brown, 'The Da Vinci Code", p. 106] identified as the Paris Meridian. [Philip Coppens, "The Stone Puzzle of Rosslyn Chapel", Adventures Unlimited Press, 2004, p. 11. ISBN 1931882088] Brown's novel also conflates this meridian with a gnomon in the Parisian church of Saint-Sulpice marked in the floor with a brass line,Richard Benishai, " [ Saint Sulpice and the "Rose-Line"] ".] as did the 1967 Priory Document "Le Serpent Rouge - Notes sur Saint-Germain-des-Près et Saint-Sulpice de Paris" attributed to Pierre Feugère, Louis Saint-Maxent and Gaston de Koker, [Pierre Jarnac, "Les Mystères de Rennes le Château: Mélanges Sulfureux", CERT, 1994, p. 3-10.] which called the Rose Line the "Red Serpent". The Paris Meridian actually passes about 100 meters east of the gnomon, [Tim O'Neill, " [ History versus The Da Vinci Code] deadlink|date=September 2008".] which according to author Sharan Newman and a sign in the church was "never called a Rose-Line". [Sharan Newman, "The Real History Behind The Da Vinci Code", Berkley Publishing Group, 2005, p. 268.] A St Sulpice booklet dating from 2000, in the page about the history of the gnomon describes the brass line as "a meridian", it does not use the term "Roseline" or "Rose Line". [Paul Roumanet, "Saint-Sulpice", Paroisse Saint-Sulpice, 2000 (English translation by Laurence Terrien), p. 23-26.]

Brown identified the Paris Meridian with the alleged bloodline of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene as well as Rosslyn Chapel, the central part of his novel. Quoting from "The Da Vinci Code:"

"Rosslyn Chapel's entrance was more modest than Langdon expected. The small wooden door had two iron hinges and a simple oak sign, Roslin. This ancient spelling, Langdon explained to Sophie, derived from the Rose Line meridian on which the chapel sat; or, as Grail academics preferred to believe, from the 'Line of the Rose' — the ancestral lineage of Mary Magdalene..." [Dan Brown, "The Da Vinci Code", p. 567.]

Quoting Mark Oxbrow and Ian Robertson from their book "Rosslyn and the Grail":

"Dan Brown simply invented the 'Rose Line' linking Rosslyn and Glastonbury. The name 'Roslin' definitely does not derive from any 'hallowed Rose Line'. It has nothing to do with a 'Rose Bloodline' or a 'Rose Line meridian'. There are many medieval spellings of 'Rosslyn'. 'Roslin' is certainly not the 'original spelling': it is now the most common spelling for the village." [Mark Oxbrow, Ian Robertson, "Rosslyn and the Grail", Mainstream Publishing Company, Edinburgh, 2005, p. 182.]

While Brown presents the Rose Line as "the world's first prime meridian",Dan Brown, "Da Vinci Code", p. 106.] the idea of establishing a Prime Meridian dates back to antiquity, [Ptolemy's "Almagest" use the meridian through Alexandria as prime. Maimonides, "Hilchot Kiddush Hachodesh" 11:17, calls this point אמצע היישוב, "the middle of the habitation", i.e. the habitable hemisphere. Evidently this was a convention accepted by Arab geographers of his day.] with suggested meridians running through Rhodes or the Canary Islands. When Greenwich was adopted as the universal zero longitude in 1884 [Bill Putnam, John Edwin Wood, "The Treasure of Rennes-le-Château, A Mystery Solved", p. 146 (Sutton Publishing, 2005; revised paperback edition, ISBN 0 7509 4216 9.] (not 1888 as the novel says), it had at least nine rivals besides Paris (Berlin, Cadiz, Copenhagen, Lisbon, Rio, Rome, Saint Petersburg, Stockholm, and Tokyo).

At the climax of the novel, the protagonist follows the line of Arago medallions to the Louvre museum, where (according to the book) the Paris Meridian passes beneath the so-called Inverted Pyramid in an underground mall in front of the museum. Following the tradition of esoteric interpretations of this meridian, the novel hints that this is the final resting place of the Holy Grail. The fact that the meridian passes near the Inverted Pyramid is also noted in the book "Le guide du Paris maçonnique" by Raphäel Aurillac, who likewise ascribes some deeper, esoteric significance to this.

In the Louvre area, the meridian line marked by the Arago medallions actually runs through the museum and the great courtyard at a spot considerably to the east of the Inverted Pyramid. The medallions in the museum are behind ticketed access points, while the Inverted Pyramid is located in a public mall next to the museum.

Other landmarks said to lie on the line are Arques and Conques, [Alan James, " [ The Enduring Enigma of Rennes-le-Chateau] ".] the Lady of the Roses cathedral in Rodez, St. Vincent's in Carcassonne, and the Church of St. Stephen's in Bourges, and Rennes-les-Bains.


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