Posts Tagged With: Oracle

Cover to Dusty Cover (Dusted Off)

The secret ancient library behind the walls of the world’s oldest monastery.//

The fortress-like Saint Catherine’s Monastery at Mt. Sinai houses the world’s oldest continually operating library. -SacredSites.com

Bloggers note: I’ve been visiting a lot of libraries lately but none as old as this old, old, old library. This a re-post of a piece I wrote a while back. Enjoy.

Ever heard of the Sacred and Imperial Monastery of the God-Trodden Mount of Sinai? No? It’s also known as Saint Catherine’s Monastery. Nothing?

If you haven’t heard of it, that’s because this ancient monastery at the foot of Mt. Sinai is so remote that until modern times only the most devout of seekers could get there via ten-day camel ride.

The monastery was built in the mid-6th century AD at what is considered to be the spot where Moses saw the burning bush. Known to have been occupied by Christians since at least as far back as the 4th century AD, the site, in fact, claims to host the original living bush that Moses witnessed.

Monk studying at Saint Catherine’s Monastery library – among the world’s most exclusive libraries. -beautiful-libraries.com

Just as amazing is that Saint Catherine’s also claims the worlds oldest continually operating library, stuffed with 5,000 early books, 3,500 manuscripts and 2,000 scrolls – a collection rivaled only by the Vatican. This is also one of the most exclusive libraries in the world. Only the monks of the monastery and select clergy and scholars are allowed in.

I am so fascinated with libraries – especially old ones – that I made a monolithic, centuries-old library the central battleground of my thriller The League of Delphi. And the fact that this library is surrounded by a virtual fortress makes it ten times more fascinating and meaningful to the story.

After a millenium and a half of cloistered existence Saint Catherine’s is now bringing the collection to the world through the tools of the digital age but the library itself remains inaccessible to most outsiders.

Now, here’s the cheese on this Brain Burger.

3 books you might find in the world’s oldest library:

  1. Twilight: The Dawn of History
  2. The Genghis Khan Cookbook: Feeding a Band of Marauding Barbarians on a Budget
  3. Fifty Shades of Black: A Monk’s Wardrobe Confessions

SPREAD THE CONSPIRACY – GET “THE DELPHI DECEPTION: BOOK II OF THE DELPHI TRILOGY” NOW!

Paperback amazon Delphi Deception

Delphi 2 kindle

Ingram Delphi Deception

What librarians are saying about The Delphi Trilogy:

“The League of Delphi by Chris Everheart is super suspenseful and unputdownable in the best sense of the word. A great readalike for kids who have plowed through Percy Jackson and The Hunger Games. We have multiple copies of the book and they have not been on the shelf since we bought them. Teen patrons have loved The League of Delphi.” – Hannahlily Smith, Teen Coordinator, Johnson City Public Library, Johnson City, TN.

“Fast-paced and well written, this thrilling mystery sucks readers in and leaves them anxiously waiting for the next installment of the trilogy. This is exactly the type of book teens enjoy and it will draw in even the most reluctant readers.” – Kiersten Doucette, Teen Services Librarian, Naperville Public Library, Naperville, IL

Readers rave about The Delphi Trilogy:

“Read. This. Book! Each chapter leaves you on the edge of your seat, and it all leads up to one of the most exciting endings I’ve read in a long time.”

“It has it all: romance, intrigue and suspense… and very well written characters.”

“From the very first page to the very last page I felt like I was on this wild ride.”

“Even the most reluctant of reluctant readers will have a hard time putting these books down.”

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Categories: Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, Ancient Secrets, archaeology, Hidden Archealogy, My Books, The Ancient World, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Goats to Gods: The Delphi Legacy

How a goatherder’s pasture became the center of the world for over 1,000 years.

(Re-post in celebration of my latest author interview at B.L. Kosiner’s Book Blog – Enjoy!)

Model of the temple mount at Delphi, Temple of Apollo top. -Lonely Planet

A crack in a mountainside 100 miles from Athens influenced the ancient Mediterranean world for an entire age. The holy city of Delphi was home to sacred temples, wealthy treasuries, renowned theaters, and active sporting arenas that marked it as the most important cultural, religious and financial hub in the Western world.

The mother of Delphi’s influence was a fissure in the rock breathing a mind-altering vapor, discovered by a goatherder around 1400 BCE. As the ancient mind went, this was obviously a portal into the divine dimension. The spot was considered the navel of the world and a sacred site grew up around it, eventually inspiring a huge Temple of Apollo to awe its visitors.

Priestess of Delphi -John Collier, 1891

Ensconced on a tripod seat over the fissure in the temple’s hallowed chamber, the entranced oracle – called the Pythia – became the conduit for the god Apollo, who would deliver for seekers vague personal messages to be interpreted by the attendant priests. The prophecies covered every human interest from romance to finance to empires.

The oracles were famously, even cruelly, cryptic. In the most infamous military blunder of all time Lydian king Croesus consulted the Oracle before invading Persia and was assured that a great empire would be destroyed if he did. Imagine his surprise when he lost the war he started and it was his empire that was destroyed!

Aegeus Consults the Pythia -ancienthistory.about.com

Among the many seers and oracles of the ancient world, none wielded the power and respect of Delphi. For more than a millennium kings, aristocrats, commoners and colonists paid dearly for a precognitive utterance from the Pythia that would give them some warning, guidance or blessing for their next endeavor.

Delphi’s influence eventually waned and it was shut down by Christian Rome in the 4th Century CE. But the mark of Delphi on our civilization is an undeniable hint at our magical, mythical and humble past.

Now, here’s the cheese on this Brain Burger

3 oracles from Delphi we wish we hadn’t followed:

  1. “Gerard Butler and the cast of 300 shall go into battle shirtless.”
  2. “The great vessel Titanic is indestructible – you shall turn off the radio and sail it anywhere.”
  3. “You shall have a new queen and she shall be named ‘Snooki!'”
Chris Everheart is author of the YA thriller
THE LEAGUE OF DELPHI

Available Now
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The Prediction Predilection

You’re thinking about 2013. You can’t help it!

A couple of Druids planned the Stonehenge monument on a bar napkin at a New Years Eve party.

A couple of Druids planned the Stonehenge monument on a bar napkin at a New Years Eve party.

If staying “up-to-date” on next year is driving you crazy, you can stop. The really hard predicting work has already been done. That’s what Stonehenge was built for.

In our times, we don’t need huge monuments to the future. We know that when the old barn-picture calendar is replaced by a new puppy-picture calendar, it’s time to celebrate, declare what we will and won’t do (for the next 46 days or so), and insist to each other what will (definitely, most likely, possibly, maybe) happen next year.

Why the obsession with the near future? Because: a) we can’t stand not knowing; b) we can stand dreaming about it; and c) it’s easier to change tomorrow.

Before there was even the concept of a “2013”, a cave man sat on a hill one day thinking, “I wonder what’ll happen in the days after the sun rises between the peaks of those two mountains over there. In fact, that’ll a great time to quit smoking if I’m going to live my expected 42 years.”

If I wanted to get all Zen on you, I’d suggest that the “tomorrow” we hold in our minds says more about our now than about our future. And if you wanted to get all hedonistic on me, you’d forget I said that so it wouldn’t ruin your New Years Eve partying!

Happy New Year!

Now, here’s the cheese on this Brain Burger.

3 other reasons we’re obsessed with 2013 predictions:

  1. Our overworked worked modern psyches need to believe next year will be easier
  2. Our undernourished cave dweller psyches need to believe there will be food to eat
  3. Our discerning consumer psyches want to know if we should build an in-ground pool or learn how to build a survivalist log cabin with mud instead of logs
Chris Everheart is author of the thriller
THE LEAGUE OF DELPHI

Available Now
Read my author interview at Chompasaurus!
Categories: Ancient Egypt, History, The Ancient World, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Evidence of Martian Pyramids on Earth?

Thanks to satellite technology and Google Earth enthusiasts, we no longer have to go to Mars to find new pyramids.

If you guessed Cydonia, Mars you guessed wrong. This image of a pyramid is from a satellite orbiting 400 miles above Egypt, Earth. -DiscoveryNews

Seems like a minor theme of the Brain Burgers Blog is, “They keep finding new old stuff!” Now, they’re finding new WAYS to find new old stuff. Discovery News is reporting the identification of two previously unknown Egyptian pyramid complexes from satellites orbiting 400 miles above the Earth.

The “face” on Mars’s Cydonia Region was first spotted in 1976 in images from the Viking Orbiter. Other surface features in the same region resemble pyramids. -NASA

The sites, 90 miles apart in the desert along the Nile river, were found by Angela Micol, a satellite archaeology researcher using Google Earth. The images are eerily reminiscent of the notorious satellite pictures of the surface of Mars.

And these aren’t the only possible archaeological sites on Earth discovered via satellite. Turns out there are THOUSANDS out there. The high-tech imaging of satellites has been used for years to identify anomalies on the earth’s surface. Often they turn out to be ancient trade routes, human settlements, or dried-up rivers that hosted prehistoric villages on their banks. It is said that across the Middle East, so many mounds indicating ancient human habitation have been located that we’ll never have time to explore and excavate them all.

Satellite images of a pyramid complex in Egypt. Note the alignment of three of the four features at top reflecting the known “Orion” pattern at Giza. -GoogleEarthAnomalies.com

What makes the latest Egypt discoveries so significant among so many minor ones is summed up in a remark by another satellite archaeology researcher Sarah Parcak at the University of Alabama at Birmingham: “To excavate a pyramid is the dream of every archaeologist,” she said.

And those archaeologists will be happy that they won’t have to suit up for a six-month flight to Mars to find that pyramid.

Now, here’s the cheese on this Brain Burger.

3 other unexpected things found on Earth from satellites:

  1. The Great Sandbox Face of Scooby-Doo (Lakeville Elementary School, Great Neck, NY)
  2. Massive exposed vein of gold near your house
  3. The Great Mall of China

Chris Everheart is author of the thriller

THE LEAGUE OF DELPHI

Available Now
Categories: Ancient Egypt, archaeology, History, The Ancient World, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Dewey Digital System

5 ancient books you can view and read online – in today’s Burger Bite.

The ancient Isaiah Scroll from the Dead Sea collection -facscimile-editions.com

  1. Discovered in a desert cave in the 1940s, the Dead Sea Scrolls are the oldest surviving biblical and extra-biblical texts. The digitization project, a partnership between Google and the Israel Antiquities Authority started in 2010 and is expected to continue until 2016.
  2. In April 2012, the British Library in London acquired for US$14 million a hand-scribed Gospel of St. John entombed with British cleric St. Cuthbert in the 9th century and immediately imaged the book in digital format for worldwide public study.
  3. The Bhagavad Gita, the 700-verse section of the sacred epic poem the Mahabharata, dates as far back as the 4th century BCE. Considered one of the axial Hindu scriptures, it is a guide to effective spiritual living and was Mahatma Ghandi’s favorite book.
  4. Homer’s epic tale of Odysseus’s journey home to his beloved Penelope from the battle of Troy is believed to have been first composed around the 8th century BCE and considered a foundational work of Western literature. The oldest known manuscript of The Odyssey dates from the 10th-11th century CE.
  5. For over 3,500 years, the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead has magically guided souls to the heavens, intrigued scholars, and fascinated viewers. The earliest known translation dates from 1805, leaving millennia of onlookers in the dark about its contents.

The hieroglyphic Egyptian Book of the Dead depicts the ceremony where the deceased’s heart
is weighed to judge purity.

Chris Everheart is author of the thriller

THE LEAGUE OF DELPHI

History’s darkest secrets hid in plain sight.
Available Now
Categories: Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Hidden Archealogy, History, My Books, The Ancient World, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The League of Delphi Launches

A lone teen, a suspicious death, an ancient conspiracy.

By my posts on the Brain Burgers Blog, I’m sure you can tell how much I love history, archaeology, kids, books, and libraries. Want to see it all come together in one dark, hair-raising place?

My thriller The League of Delphi launched this week on Kindle! (Available in paperback in two weeks.)

History’s darkest secrets
hide in plain sight.

In The League of Delphi 17-year-old Zach secretly returns to his wealthy hometown to discover that the deaths of his parents and a childhood friend are tied to a secret government that runs the town with mysterious links to Ancient Greece and the Oracle at Delphi.

I’m so happy about a review I got from a reader who read the book in ONE DAY!

5 stars. “Can’t put it down! This is such a great book. I found myself not being able to put my Kindle down because I needed to read what was going to happen next. I definitely was not disappointed & have been telling everyone I know to get a copy!”

The League of Delphi is a labor of love and fascination, the first in a thriller series that I expect to keep you up all night reading, dying to know what will happen next.

Kindle readers can pop over and download it today. If you’re a paperback reader, get ready for the release in two weeks.

Categories: Ancient Greece, Ancient Secrets, Hidden Archealogy, History, My Books, The Ancient World, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Books: The New Old-fangled Thing

Digitization of Europe’s oldest book sparks medieval future shock.

St. Cuthbert’s Gospel – 7th century CE -British Library

When we released my new thriller “The League of Delphi” on Kindle Monday, I remembered a fascinating book-related NPR news story from this spring that got me contemplating the “evolution” of the book in the digital world.

In April, the British Library in London acquired a pocket-sized book with a hand-tooled, red leather cover and clean, creamy inside pages in like-new condition. The book – a hand-scribed Gospel of St. John entombed with British cleric St. Cuthbert – cost £9 million (US$14 million) and is over 1,300 years old.

St Cuthbert’s Gospel inner page -Daily Mail UK

Books are fragile artifacts. Few survive centuries of weathering and relocation intact. Unlike the collection preserved in the world’s oldest continually operating library at Saint Catherine’s Monastery in Egypt, where arid conditions aid naturally in the preservation of books and scrolls, Europe’s climate is rather hostile to books and manuscripts. This is what makes the so-called St. Cuthbert’s Gospel so special – it is the oldest intact book known to have been produced in Europe.

Another notoriously hostile element to books: fire. One reason that St. Cuthbert’s Gospel survived was that the monks at his shrine on the isle of Lindesfarne removed the coffin from its original tomb in the 9th century and fled the marauding Viking invaders known to pillage and burn everything in their path.

Marauding Vikings pillaged and burned many of England’s landmarks in Medieval times. -Cracked.com

The coffin traveled northern England until it finally settled at Durham Cathedral, where it was opened in 1104 and the book was discovered “at the head of our blessed father Cuthbert lying in his tomb.”

On loan from the Jesuits of England since 1979, the main motives for finally raising the money to purchase the gospel were preserving it and sharing it with the world. The Library wasted no time digitizing the book and posting it to their online archives where anyone with an Internet connection can see it.

YA thriller The League of Delphi by Chris Everheart “A lone teen, a suspicious death, an ancient conspiracy.” Now on Kindle

Will St. Cuthbert’s Gospel crack Amazon Kindle’s top 100 downloads? Probably not. But in a world where some insiders are anticipating that 80% of books may be digital by the year 2020, the idea of digitizing a 1,300 year old book to share it with the world is … um … ahead of its time?

Now, here’s the cheese on this Brain Burger.

3 unconfirmed details about Europe’s oldest book:

  1. A phone number found scribbled on one of the pages is only 3 digits long.
  2. It’s written in an archaic language that no one seems to know anymore called English.
  3. Early reviews were terrible, but sales picked up after the movie came out.

Chris Everheart is author of the thriller

THE LEAGUE OF DELPHI

Available Now
Categories: Ancient Secrets, archaeology, Hidden Archealogy, History, My Books, The Ancient World, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Cover to Dusty Cover

The secret ancient library behind the walls of the world’s oldest monastery.//

The fortress-like Saint Catherine’s Monastery at Mt. Sinai houses the world’s oldest continually operating library. -SacredSites.com

Ever heard of the Sacred and Imperial Monastery of the God-Trodden Mount of Sinai? No? It’s also known as Saint Catherine’s Monastery. Nothing?

If you haven’t heard of it, that’s because this ancient monastery at the foot of Mt. Sinai is so remote that until modern times only the most devout of seekers could get there via ten-day camel ride.

The monastery was built in the mid-6th century AD at what is considered to be the spot where Moses saw the burning bush. Known to have been occupied by Christians since at least as far back as the 4th century AD, the site, in fact, claims to host the original living bush that Moses witnessed.

Monk studying at Saint Catherine’s Monastery library – among the world’s most exclusive libraries. -beautiful-libraries.com

Just as amazing is that Saint Catherine’s also claims the worlds oldest continually operating library, stuffed with 5,000 early books, 3,500 manuscripts and 2,000 scrolls – a collection rivaled only by the Vatican. This is also one of the most exclusive libraries in the world. Only the monks of the monastery and select clergy and scholars are allowed in.

I am so fascinated with libraries – especially old ones – that I made a monolithic, centuries-old library the central battleground of my thriller The League of Delphi. And the fact that this library is surrounded by a virtual fortress makes it ten times more fascinating and meaningful to the story.

After a millenium and a half of cloistered existence Saint Catherine’s is now bringing the collection to the world through the tools of the digital age but the library itself remains inaccessible to most outsiders.

Now, here’s the cheese on this Brain Burger.

3 books you might find in the world’s oldest library:

  1. Twilight: The Dawn of History
  2. The Genghis Khan Cookbook: Feeding a Band of Marauding Barbarians on a Budget
  3. Fifty Shades of Black: A Monk’s Wardrobe Confessions
Chris Everheart is author of the thriller
THE LEAGUE OF DELPHI

Available Now
Categories: Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, Ancient Secrets, archaeology, Hidden Archealogy, My Books, The Ancient World, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Overly Unachievable

The crushing pressure on kids to be the best – at everything

The author posing as an overachiever – University of Minnesota 1992.

Before “travel leagues” and “advanced placement,” kids played sports at the neighborhood park and competed in class for a teacher’s attention and at home for a parental pat on the head. But along with every other aspect of our lives today, childhood is accelerating.

Because it has become one of the scariest parts of being a kid today I made overachievement a key part of teens’ lives in my thriller The League of Delphi. Writing about a secret society that runs a town and pressures teens into dangerous overachievement is a creative way of dealing with this dark and destructive issue facing our kids in real life.

The Overachievers by Alexandra Robbins

In her revealing and sometimes shocking book The Overachievers: The Secret Lives of Driven Kids, Alexandra Robbins (a recovering overachiever herself) exposed the new world of social, academic, parental and extracurricular pressure overwhelming children’s lives. She found that the kids at her former high school were often dismayed, disheartened and depressed over their self-image in the face of constantly rising expectations. (BTW: Robbins also delved into another central theme of The League of Delphi – secret societies – in Secrets of the Tomb: Skull and Bones, the Ivy League, and the Hidden Paths of Power)

The trend of helicopter parents jockeying to get their kids into the best preschools, terrified by the prospect of an ordinary, underachieving childhood, is not an urban myth. Even more disturbing, stories of parents like Wanda Holloway, the Texas mom willing to kill to get her daughter into a key cheerleading spot, have become a reality.

Today, kids feel more obligation than ever to be smart, popular, attractive, athletic – all of the above. Blame the media, fashion, video games, or simply the times we live in, but something in our culture is causing kids to push themselves to extremes formerly known only in the adult world.

In the near future kids may realize that only their own judgment matters when deciding how to spend the hours of their days and the days of their lives. Will they live in a society that punishes them for their individualism or will they remake the culture into one that supports the search for their true, self-determined inner calling?

Now, here’s the cheese on this Brain Burger.

3 things overheard at a gathering of overachievers:

  1. “I thought San Andreas was my fault!”
  2. “That Einstein dude was such a slacker.”
  3. “I can’t cut back to only 7 hours of studying a day!”
Chris Everheart is author of the thriller
THE LEAGUE OF DELPHI

Available Now
Categories: Ancient Greece, Ancient Secrets, My Books, The Ancient World, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Fault-y Prophet

5 facts behind the mythical, mystical power of the Oracle at Delphi stack up for today’s Burger Bite.

Postcard showing (clockwise) the Treasury of the Athenians, the Theatre and the Tholos. -unescards.blogspot.com

  1. After a century of debate, scientists in the 1980s confirmed ancient accounts of two converging fault lines in the hydrocarbon-rich limestone beneath Delphi capable of releasing ethylene gas that could explain the trance-like states of the Pythia (the Delphic oracle).
  2. While ethylene gas, first used as a surgical anesthetic in the 1920s, is capable of inducing unconsciousness, altered states, or incoherent speech, the side effects can be horrific – including crippling seizures and death.
  3. Due to the hazards of their duty, the Pythias observed painstaking rituals of fasting and preparation prior to delivering oracles only on the seventh day of the nine warm months of the year.
  4. The often-long journey to Delphi, the ritualized preparation for inquiry, and the sparse ceremonial schedule held the supplicants at the Oracle for extended periods, giving the Delphic priests ample time to gather intelligence that could be used in the interpretation of their prophecies.
  5. Because Delphi was the most important cultural, religious and financial hub in the ancient Mediterranean, it’s been suggested that the “interpretation” of the nonsensical oracles was simply an astute analysis of history, current events, and human interest by the well-informed attending priests.

Chris Everheart is author of the YA thriller

THE LEAGUE OF DELPHI

Available Now
Categories: Ancient Greece, Ancient Secrets, archaeology, Hidden Archealogy, My Books, The Ancient World, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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