Sunday, August 23, 2015


PLATE # 10
[To view larger plate images - click on picture]

For our consideration in Plate #10:
1) The dragon in the TREE OF KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD & EVIL
2) The Pope consulting with the serpent while holding a book of 'knowledge', probably the 'Bull of Unigenitus' he issued giving himself authority to sell indulgences.
3) A bird in the air  - which could be a dove. Notice the 6 swirly lines coming down from the bird, this is indicating that we are looking for a pope with VI after his name: Clement VI.

The Pope, as head of the church from the 'unHoly Roman Empire', is depicted as consorting with the serpent, thereby suggesting the book he carries contains wisdom from such. The bird hovering in the air represents true knowledge from above, but the pope turns his back on this knowledge, preferring to hear and represent the serpent instead.

SEE COPYRIGHT NOTICE for images from Kremsm√ľnster
Pope Clement VI (1291 – December 6, 1352), born Pierre Roger, the fourth of the Avignon Popes, was pope from May 1342 - 1352. Clement VI died in December 1352, leaving the reputation of "a fine gentleman, a prince munificent to profusion, a patron of the arts and learning, but no saint" (Gregorovius; see also Gibbon, chap. 66).

"The king of France received generous finanical assistance from the papacy, much of it in the form of the proceeds of taxes on ecclesiastical revenues. The taxes were in general intented for the crusade; but the kings of France used them for their wars against the kings of England or against Flanders. Clement VI lent the king of France 620,000 florins, and it was hardly to be expected that this sum would be repaid. The Avignon popes intervened in these wars [the Hundred Years War and its prcursors], attempting to establish peace.
As a result of the titanic struggle between Philip IV and Boniface VIII,a royal control over the Church in France tightened. The removal of the lcuria to Avignon by Clement V [1308] placed the papacy physically closer to Paris and encouraged frequent exchanges. The future Philip V was at
Avignon in June 1316 when Louis X died; John XXII bombarded him with advice on foreign and domestic policy once he succeeded. Philip VI in 1335 and John II on more than one occasion also visited the curia. All the popes from Clement V to Urban V were either former royal servants or French clerics; several felt a close allegiance to the French king, proffering advice [like John XXII and Clement VI or material aid by providing royal candidtates to benefices, bulls, dispensatios and other privileges. They allowed the king to tax the French Church for crusading ventures as well as more secular eds. In the case of Clement VI there were also extensive financial loans gratefully received by Philip VI [Philip IV's uncle] for the war against Edward III [of England].
From Philip IV's reign onwards clerical tenth [decimes] were levied in France as royal or natioal rather than ecclesiastical taxes. Philip VI in 1344, again enjoyed biennial grants under Clement VI."
Source for above article: The New Cambridge Medieval History: Volume 6, C. 1300-C.1415 By Rosamond McKitterick, Timothy Reuter, David Abulafia, Michael Jones, C. T. Allmand Contributor Rosamond McKitterick, David Abulafia
Edition: illustrated Published by Cambridge University Press, 1995
ISBN 0521362903, 9780521362900 1142 pages
The dragon depicted above is different that the Wyvren in plate # 7. A dragon has 4 legs, a wyvern has only two legs.

On January 27, 1343 - Pope Clement VI issues the 'Bull Unigenitus' - which gave the pope authority for the selling of indulgences. Unigenitus (named for its Latin opening words Unigenitus dei filius, or "Only begotten son of God". Clement VI reigned during the plague called Black Death. This pandemic swept through Europe (as well as Asia and the Middle East) and is believed to have killed between one - two thirds of Europe's population. During the plague he sought the insight of astronomers for explanation. Jehan de Murs was among the team "of three who drew up a treatise explaining the plague of 1348 by the conjunction of Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars in 1341" (Tomasello, 15).


Popular opinion blamed the Jews for the plague, and many riots erupted throughout Europe. Clement VI issued two papal bulls in 1348, which condemned the violence and said those who blamed the plague on the Jews had been "seduced by that liar, the Devil." He urged clergy to take action to protect Jews, but the orders appeared to have little effect, and the destruction of whole Jewish communities continued until 1349. There were many in the church who considered the Jews an evil people, as did Martin Luther 200 years later in his depictions of the Jews. The dragon may well represent the Jews - with Clement VI conferring with the 'beast'.
The plagues that ravaged Europe were the result of the curse that the Templar's Grand Master, Jacques de Molay had uttered as he was being burned to death, which was the fault of the King and the Pope, so ultimately they are the guilty ones who caused the curse of the plague.

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