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Because I wanted to know more about it, I made a voyage to Tyre in Phoenicia, because I had been told that in that place there was a holy temple of Heracles. The sanctuary was richly furnished, there were many votive offerings, and I noticed two pillars: one of pure gold and one of an emerald stone of such size as to shine by night.
I interviewed the priests of the god, and asked them how long ago their temple had been built, and I discovered that they were at variance with the Greeks, because they said that the temple had been built when Tyre had been founded, and that this happened 2,300 years ago.
Another unique luminescent property of fluorite is its thermoluminescence. Thermoluminescence is the ability to glow when heated. Not all fluorites do this, in fact it is quite a rare phenomenon. A variety of fluorite known as "chlorophane" can demonstrate this property very well and will even thermoluminesce while the specimen is held in a person's hand activated by the person's own body heat (of course in a dark room, as it is not bright enough to be seen in daylight). The thermoluminescence is green to blue-green and can be produced on the coils of a heater or electric stove top. Once seen, the glow will fade away and can no longer by seen in the same specimen again. It is a one shot deal. Chlorophane (which means to show green) is found in very limited quantities at Amelia Court House, Virginia; Franklin, New Jersey and the Bluebird Mine, Arizona, USA; Gilgit, Pakistan; Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec, Canada and at Nerchinsk in the Ural Mountains, Russia.
originally posted by: Nyiah
a reply to: Harte
That's a good point. I wonder how probable it would have been back then for someone to stumble on a luminescent paint of some kind? Wasn't "Egyptian Blue" luminescent to an extent? I recall having read that traces of luminescence have been found long after paint had worn off objects.
originally posted by: Harte
Consider that "emerald" is a color as well as a gemstone.
Perhaps Herodotus was referring to it in this way, and not as a humongous gemstone.
Note he says that the size was such "... as to shine by night," not that the thing glowed.
καὶ εἶδον πλουσίως κατεσκευασμένον ἄλλοισί τε πολλοῖσι ἀναθήμασι, καὶ ἐν αὐτῷ ἦσαν στῆλαι δύο, ἣ μὲν χρυσοῦ ἀπέφθου, ἣ δὲ σμαράγδου λίθου λάμποντος τὰς νύκτας μέγαθος. ἐς λόγους δὲ ἐλθὼν τοῖσι ἱρεῦσι τοῦ θεοῦ εἰρόμην ὁκόσος χρόνος εἴη ἐξ οὗ σφι τὸ ἱρὸν ἵδρυται.
originally posted by: Harte
I don't see how you get an emerald from "green stone," but whatever...
44. I moreover, desiring to know something certain of these matters so far as might be, made a voyage also to Tyre of Phenicia, hearing that in that place there was a holy temple of Heracles; and I saw that it was richly furnished with many votive offerings besides, and especially there were in it two pillars, the one of pure gold and the other of an emerald stone of such size as to shine by night: and having come to speech with the priests of the god, I asked them how long time it was since their temple had been set up: and these also I found to be at variance with the Hellenes, for they said that at the same time when Tyre was founded, the temple of the god also had been set up, and that it was a period of two thousand three hundred years since their people began to dwell at Tyre. I saw also at Tyre another temple of Heracles, with the surname Thasian; and I came to Thasos also and there I found a temple of Heracles set up by the Phenicians, who had sailed out to seek for Europa and had colonised Thasos; and these things happened full five generations of men before Heracles the son of Amphitryon was born in Hellas. So then my inquiries show clearly that Heracles is an ancient god, and those of the Hellenes seem to me to act most rightly who have two temples of Heracles set up, and who sacrifice to the one as an immortal god and with the title Olympian, and make offerings of the dead to the other as a hero.
44.  καὶ θέλων δὲ τούτων πέρι σαφές τι εἰδέναι ἐξ ὧν οἷόν τε ἦν, ἔπλευσα καὶ ἐς Τύρον τῆς Φοινίκης, πυνθανόμενος αὐτόθι εἶναι ἱρὸν Ἡρακλέος ἅγιον.  καὶ εἶδον πλουσίως κατεσκευασμένον ἄλλοισί τε πολλοῖσι ἀναθήμασι, καὶ ἐν αὐτῷ ἦσαν στῆλαι δύο, ἣ μὲν χρυσοῦ ἀπέφθου, ἣ δὲ σμαράγδου λίθου λάμποντος τὰς νύκτας μέγαθος. ἐς λόγους δὲ ἐλθὼν τοῖσι ἱρεῦσι τοῦ θεοῦ εἰρόμην ὁκόσος χρόνος εἴη ἐξ οὗ σφι τὸ ἱρὸν ἵδρυται.  εὗρον δὲ οὐδὲ τούτους τοῖσι Ἕλλησι συμφερομένους· ἔφασαν γὰρ ἅμα Τύρῳ οἰκιζομένῃ καὶ τὸ ἱρὸν τοῦ θεοῦ ἱδρυθῆναι, εἶναι δὲ ἔτεα ἀπ᾽ οὗ Τύρον οἰκέουσι τριηκόσια καὶ δισχίλια. εἶδον δὲ ἐν τῇ Τύρῳ καὶ ἄλλο ἱρὸν Ἡρακλέος ἐπωνυμίην ἔχοντος Θασίου εἶναι·  ἀπικόμην δὲ καὶ ἐς Θάσον, ἐν τῇ εὗρον ἱρὸν Ἡρακλέος ὑπὸ Φοινίκων ἱδρυμένον, οἳ κατ᾽ Εὐρώπης ζήτησιν ἐκπλώσαντες Θάσον ἔκτισαν· καὶ ταῦτα καὶ πέντε γενεῇσι ἀνδρῶν πρότερα ἐστὶ ἢ τὸν Ἀμφιτρύωνος Ἡρακλέα ἐν τῇ Ἑλλάδι γενέσθαι.  τὰ μέν νυν ἱστορημένα δηλοῖ σαφέως παλαιὸν θεὸν Ἡρακλέα ἐόντα, καὶ δοκέουσι δέ μοι οὗτοι ὀρθότατα Ἑλλήνων ποιέειν, οἳ διξὰ Ἡράκλεια ἱδρυσάμενοι ἔκτηνται, καὶ τῷ μὲν ὡς ἀθανάτῳ Ὀλυμπίῳ δὲ ἐπωνυμίην θύουσι, τῷ δὲ ἑτέρῳ ὡς ἥρωι ἐναγίζουσι.
originally posted by: bigfatfurrytexan
The other possibility is that there is some esoteric meanings implied by the gold and green pillars.
The hardest thing in the world for me to imagine is an emerald stone large enough to make a pillar from. I would sooner believe that they had an electric light to be honest.
originally posted by: Megiddodiddo
originally posted by: bigfatfurrytexan
a reply to: MerkabaMeditation
Those crystals and emeralds....grow in completely different environments, from completely different means. Knowing how an emerald is formed, one molecule at a time, the probability of there being an actual emerald pillar is improbable enough to be impossible. Unless some sort of alchemy created the stone (or some other artificial means). Far more probable is that the emerald and the gold pillars are symbolic in meaning, referencing esoteric knowledge. Each of those items has meaning apart from being physical objects.
Think about it: an emerald that illuminates the dark. That is as esoteric as it gets.
The twin pillars appear to represent a portal or gateway to or from enlightenment. In Solomon's Temple the pillars gave way to the Holy of Holies. The Straight of Gibraltar was thought of as a gateway to the New World and Atlantis which could shed light on the significance the pillars might have had to the Phoenicians who were a sea faring people. I think it's safe to say that the twin pillars represent a physical and spiritual transition to a new age or receiving of divine knowledge.
Radium is a chemical element with symbol Ra and atomic number 88. It is the sixth element in group 2 of the periodic table, also known as the alkaline earth metals. The color of pure radium is almost pure white, but it readily oxidizes on exposure to air, becoming black in color. All isotopes of radium are highly radioactive, with the most stable isotope being radium-226, which has a half-life of 1600 years and decays into radon gas. When radium decays, ionizing radiation is a product, which can excite fluorescent chemicals and cause radioluminescence.
Zosimos of Panopolis asserted that alchemy dated back to Pharaonic Egypt where it was the domain of the priestly class, though there is little to no evidence for his assertion. Alchemical writers used Classical figures from Greek, Roman, and Egyptian mythology to illuminate their works and allegorize alchemical transmutation. These included the pantheon of gods related to the Classical planets, Isis, Osiris, Jason, and many others.
The central figure in the mythology of alchemy is Hermes Trismegistus (or Thrice-Great Hermes). His name is derived from the god Thoth and his Greek counterpart Hermes. Hermes and his caduceus or serpent-staff, were among alchemy's principal symbols. According to Clement of Alexandria, he wrote what were called the "forty-two books of Hermes", covering all fields of knowledge. The Hermetica of Thrice-Great Hermes is generally understood to form the basis for Western alchemical philosophy and practice, called the hermetic philosophy by its early practitioners. These writings were collected in the first centuries of the common era..