Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Holy Blood, Holy Grail
Holy Blood, Holy Grail is a New York Times bestseller and work of pseudohistory written by authors Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln, which was published in 1982 by Dell (ISBN 055212138). While it is a popular book, its conspiracy theories remain outside the fringes of academic inquiry on its subjects.
It details their own quest for the Holy Grail by investigating the concocted mysteries of the village of Rennes-le-Château dating from the 1950s in southern France and constructing a conspiratorial view of the history of the Western world.
After a decade of research and speculation, Baigent, Leigh, and Lincoln came to the following conclusions:
- There is a secret society known as Priory of Sion (PS) that has a long and illustrious history dating back to the First Crusade starting with the creation of the Knights Templar as its military and financial front. The PS is led by a Grand Master (GM) or Nautonnier.
- It had a large role in partaking in and promoting the "underground river of esotericism", the Alph, in Medieval Europe.
- It is devoted to returning the Merovingian dynasty, that ruled the Frankish kingdom from A.D. 447 to 751, to the thrones of Europe and Jerusalem.
- It protects these royal claimants because they are the literal descendants of Jesus and his alleged wife Mary Magdalene.
- The Roman Catholic Church tried to kill off all remnants of this dynasty and their guardians, the Cathars and the Templars, during the Inquisition, in order to maintain power through the apostolic succession of Peter instead of the hereditary succession of Mary Magdalene (the royal bloodline of David).
It is generally presumed they knew these claims to be at best unprovable, or false. These theories have not been accepted by any reputable historians. Medieval-history students have lost marks in essays and exams through accepting works such as Holy Blood, Holy Grail, or successors inspired by it, as sources.
Author Dan Brown, in his bestseller The Da Vinci Code, makes reference to this book, and uses several of the above claims as key plot elements; indeed, Baigent and Leigh have attempted to sue Dan Brown for plagiarism, on the grounds that his book makes extensive use of their research and that one of the characters is named Leigh, has a surname (Teabing) which is an anagram of Baigent, and has a physical description strongly resembling Henry Lincoln.
The Messianic Legacy is the 1987 sequel to Holy Blood, Holy Grail.
External links and references
- Official website of Holy Blood, Holy Grail co-author Richard Leigh. www.eGoetia.com
- Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln (1982). Holy Blood, Holy Grail. (ISBN 0385338597) This is the ISBN for the current hardcover edition (as of 2004). The 1982 Delacorte Press (hardcover imprint of Dell) edition had the ISBN 0440036623.
- Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln. The Messianic Legacy, 1987 (1989 reissue: ISBN 0440203198)
- Alex Burns. Holy Blood, Holy Grail A short but insightful review of the book.
- Ken Mondschein. Holy Blood, Holy Grail A review and debunking of the book
- Kristi and Mark Fisher. The Jesus Conspiracy
- Paul Smith. Priory of Sion: The Pierre Plantard Archives 1937-1993 An extensive debunking resource
- Wieland Willker. Codex Bezae and the Da Vinci Code: A textcritical look at the Rennes-le-Chateau hoax
- Laura Miller. The Da Vinci crock A review and debunking of the book
- The Telegraph, Da Vinci Code bestseller is plagiarism, authors claim An article on the dispute between the authors and Dan Brown.
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