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The Celtic Cross | The Witness I | Gog's Ring

The Celtic Cross
The Working Celtic Cross, © Crichton Miller. The "Working Celtic Cross" as developed in 1997 by Crichton Miller. Miller, an experienced seaman used to using such navigational tools as the quadrant and the sextant, saw in the design of the Celtic cross an ancient, simple yet powerful tool that could be used in a variety of ways for both navigation and architecture. Crichton believes that the Celtic cross was originally used by the ancients to build the pyramids and navigate the world's oceans, its design encapsulating God's design of the universe, a knowledge now lost in the haze of time and superstition. Image © Crichton Miller

Many tourists take for granted the enigmatic "Celtic" or "high" crosses that dot the landscapes of Ireland, Scotland and Wales, not knowing their true and very ancient origins. Believed to date from the seventh to ninth centuries AD in these ancient lands of the Celts, conventional wisdom has it that the oldest of the Celtic crosses are the remnants of pagan standing stones from which the stylized cross-and-circle motif of the typical high cross was carved during the early Christian era.

One story of the origin of the Celtic cross has St. Patrick altering the circular symbol of a pagan moon goddess by inscribing a cross over it, thus creating a syncretistic symbol that incorporates the concept of salvation (the cross) with eternity (the circle), denoting the infinite nature of God's love. Other variations on the theory of the origin of the Celtic cross has it that was derived from the ancient chi-ro symbol of the early Christians, or even the Egyptian ankh, both also adapted pagan symbols from earlier times.

In fact, the "wheeled cross" is a very ancient symbol that dates back thousands of years even before the advent of Christianity, appearing in the very first ideographic writing systems of ancient Egypt, China, America, Europe and the Near East, variously symbolizing power, fertility, luck, and order, and was also often used a sun symbol, particularly by the ancient Babylonians. As such, it was probably extant in ancient Ireland and other Celtic countries for many thousands of years before the advent of Christianity, and was simply adopted by the early Christians not only because it was so similar to the Christian cross, but also because of its ubiquitousness, as well as its architectural beauty.

Perhaps the most ancient use of the Celtic cross, however, was not as a symbol of religion, or of astronomy, but as a tool of navigation. Crichton Miller points out in his seminal work, The Golden Thread of Time, that the Celtic cross, with the addition of a plumbline, or a weight at the bottom of the circle on the cross, can be used to measure any angle, and was superior to other known measuring instruments including the astrolabe, the quadrant, and even the sextant. Moroever, as part of a larger, worldwide system of time and navigational tools that some believe may have existed in ancient times, including possibly the enigmatic stone balls found in various parts of the world that may have once been used by astronomer priests to indicate the positions of the planets relative to the sun for use in astronomical computations, the Celtic cross device may have been able to measure both latitude and longitude, an accomplishment not matched again until well into modern times. Could this have been the tool that the famous Irish monk, St. Brendan the Navigator used to discover America in ancient times?

And not only was the Celtic cross usable as a highly effective navigational tool, Crichton argues that it almost certainly was used as a highly effective architectural instrument as well, possibly even used to build the pyramids! Crichton argues very convincingly, based upon the discovery by British Engineer Waynman Dixon in 1872 of several enigmatic artifacts in the northern shaft of the so called "Queen's Chamber" in the Great Pyramid of Giza, that these relics were in fact the remnants of an ancient architectural tool very similar in size and shape to the Celtic cross!

Perhaps most interesting of all are the mysterious references in the Bible to God using a "measuring line" and a "plummet" as the standards by which He judges mankind. As it says in Isaiah 28:17,

And I will make justice the measuring line,
And righteousness the plummet;
Hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
And waters will overflow the hiding place.

The mystery of the Celtic cross may be very deep indeed, even fundamental to the process of history, of which it, too may be the standard. The measure of justice and the plumbline of righteousness appear particularly prominently in the context of the end times, especially in relation to the building of the third temple. The prominent references include Ezekiel 40, where Ezekiel is shown a future temple, possibly the third temple, by an angel who held a measuring rod and plumbline in his hand; Zechariah 4, where Zerubbabel the high priest appears holding a plumbline, which he would use build the second temple; and Revelation 11, when the third temple will be rebuilt, using a "measuring rod". All together, where mankind is judged by a combination of a "measure" and a "plumbline", along with the cross of Christ as the absolute standard, the theological evidence appears to prove Crichton's theory to be correct!

As such, Jesus' admonition to take the Gospel "to the uttermost parts of the Earth" (Acts 1:8) is now filled with new meaning. In order to fulfil their mandate to be witnesses of the Gospel to the uttermost parts of the Earth, the disciples would have had to literally visit the entire world, including even North America. And in order to do so, they would have had to have had a special navigational tool in order to do so. The Celtic cross is therefore the most likely tool that they would have had access to, as they would have had a very difficult time reaching their destination without such a tool. And of course they would also need a plumbline, and a small stone with which to weight it. Mysterious World bullet

Mysterious World bullet Walker Metalsmiths:
Celtic Cross History and Symbolism

Mysterious World bullet Walker Metalsmiths:
Is the Celtic Cross a Pagan Symbol?

Mysterious World bullet Megalithic Ireland: Irish High Crosses
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Mysterious World bullet Ask Yahoo: What Is the History of the Celtic Cross?
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The Cross and the Plumbline

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Stone Witness
This detail illustration of a mysterious stone found near an old Indian trail in the American Midwest appears, among other things, to have Hebrew lettering on it. This illustration shows what the author believes to be a combination of the Hebrew/Aramaic letters shin and kaph combined into a single glyph. The author further believes that this "signature" glyph may be the personal mark used by Simon Peter, indicating that his missionary journeys may have taken him as far as the American Midwest.

This is the first of a four-part series about a remarkable discovery in the American Middle West. This unusual find may lead to a reconsideration of the past and, perhaps, the present and future.

Many years ago, a curious object was found near an ancient Indian trail in the Midwest. This object was a small, rounded stone with several unusual markings. The stone was taken to a professional geologist who studied it with a microscope and tested its chemical composition. He found the stone to be calcite, the chief component of limestone, and concluded the stone and its markings were natural formations. The stone was also taken to a professional archaeologist. This individual could not determine whether it was a natural occurrence or a man-made object but did indicate it was unlike anything ever seen. Several other specialists in archaeology and geology were also contacted, but none could provide additional information. As a result, the stone remained a mystery for a number of years.

Then, in the first part of the twenty-first century, a private study of the stone was initiated. Several contexts were considered to see if any offered a basis for interpreting the stone. The one found to offer the most promise was the first century of the Christian Era. Studying the stone in this context produced a number of startling discoveries. For example, the shape of the stone was found to resemble the Sea of Galilee, the scene of much of Jesus' ministry. In addition, marks on the stone were found to resemble alphabetic, numeric and pictographic symbols that existed in the Middle East during the first century AD. One of these marks, which was found on the upper left front of the stone, looked like the Aramic letter kaph (). Aramaic was the language spoken in Palestine during the time of Christ, and kaph was the first letter kinnereth, an ancient name for the Sea of Galilee.

Immediately above the mark resembling kaph was another mark which looked like the Aramaic letter shiyn (). Shiyn was the first letter in Shiloh (Messiah), schachat (slain), shagah (sin), and sow (arise), and kaph was the first letter in kehah (healing) and kaphar (forgive) — all words associated with Jesus Christ.

Shiyn and kaph were also the first letters, respectively, in shimown and keph, which mean "Simon Peter". Moreover, kaph is the first letter in kaphar-nachuwm which means "Village of Nahum" (Capernaum), the place where Peter lived. In addition, the mark resembling kaph appears in a position on the stone that matches the location of Capernaum next to the Sea of Galilee.

Finally, shiyn and kaph were the first letters in key elements of the risen Christ's command to the apostles to be witnesses for Him from Jerusalem "...unto the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:8). For instance, shiyn was the first letter in shama (witness), shelam (deliver), shalam (good), and shemuwah (news); and kaph was the first letter in kanaph (uttermost part of the earth).

The stone brings to mind Jesus Christ, Peter, and Christ's command to witness to all the world, and the discovery of the stone in the Midwest may indicate Peter obeyed that command. Further evidence that Peter journeyed to America in the first century will be presented in Part Two.

The Search for the Twelve Apostles
Nelson's Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts
Atlas of the Bible
Elmhurst: Trails from Yesterday
The New Strong's Concise Dictionary of Bible Words
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Visit Northern Illinois Illinois Visiting Illinois

Gog's Ring
The master presents his new apprentice with a gift, a "magic ring" from New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft (left). Putin arose to power via dubious means, and is in the process of revitalizing the old Soviet-style methods of assassination and military aggression in an attempt to grab the "brass ring" of world domination. His stealing of the ring may be symbolic of his intent to conquer the world through theft and violence, and may indicate he is the "Gog" of the "Gog of the land of Magog" as described in Ezekiel 38-39.

On June 25, 2005, during a meeting with American business executives, Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin apparently stole a very special ring. It was a New England Patriots 2005 Super Bowl ring which the Patriots' owner, American paper magnate and venture capitalist Robert Kraft, had handed to Putin in order to show to him a prime example of American excellence. However Putin, apparently thinking it was a gift, pocketed the ring and walked off, much to the consternation of Kraft, who had no intention of giving away his precious ring. And though later Kraft claimed to have given it to Putin as a gift, those on the scene had gathered a different impression.

Vladimir Putin, the Deputy Prime Minister of Boris Yeltsin, came to power as an interim replacement for Yeltsin after his sudden resignation on December 31, 1999. Putin officially became President of the Russian Federation after winning the presidential elections on March 26, 2000, and from that point has proceeded to slowly but systematically restore the centralized power structure of Russia that had been one of the trademarks of the old Soviet Union. A favorite of the army and of the intelligence services, particularly the KGB, of which he had been a member earlier in his career, Putin's reforms have also included strengthening the secret services and the military, and the adoption of a more aggressive military posture.

Though Putin's reforms have been generally accepted as reasonable, even popular by both the Russian people and the West, his military incursion into Chechnya, in the northern Caucasus, has been described by many as barbaric, and has drawn criticism from many quarters. Since that time, many of Putin's most vocal critics have been the subject of assassination attempts, many of them successful.

The most prominent of these include the Russian journalist and author Anna Politkovskaya, who wrote for the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, and who was also the author of several books critical of both Putin and the Russian military, including A Dirty War: A Russian Reporter in Chechnya (2001), Putin's Russia: Life in a Failing Democracy (2004) and (posthumously), A Small Corner of Hell: Dispatches from Chechnya (2008). Another prominent assassination attempt was of the Ukrainian opposition presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko, whose platform was separation from Russia and from Communism. More recently, Russian ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned to death with the very rare poison Polonium-210, an element so radioactive and deadly that whole restaurants and hotels had to be shut down for decontamination due to the polonium trail left behind by the incident. Just before his untimely death Litvinenko, also a critic of Putin, had been investigating the death of his friend Anna Politkovskaya, and on his deathbed, Litvinenko also laid the blame for his death on Putin.

Interestingly, during the time of the writing of this article (March 1, 2008) Paul Joyal, another prominent Russian critic of Putin and the KGB was shot and critically wounded in the groin in his own driveway of his home in suburban Maryland. He had just returned from the International Spy Museum, where he had met with a friend, former KGB general Oleg Kalugin.

By themselves, these facts would appear to merely be an analysis of the dark side of Russian politics. However, as is so often the case, there is much more to this story.

Biblical scholars who study apocalyptic have been looking for a man who could fill the shoes of the infamous "Gog of the land of Magog" mentioned in Ezekiel 38-39. However, the exact identification of this powerful leader to this date has remained a mystery. Some scholars have speculated that the mysterious "Gog" may have been a reference to the Lydian king Gyges, infamous in his time for having usurped the throne of Lydia (a small but prosperous country in the west of what is now modern Turkey), though until now there has been no real linkage between this ancient king of Turkey and the future king of the land of Magog. The land of Magog however is easily identified, being known since ancient times to be the vast area including Russia, the Ukraine, Central Asia and particularly the region around the Caucasus Mountains. Georgia, which lies in the south of the Caucausus region (and whose name may also be related to Gog/Gyges), is considered to be the heartland of the Magogian peoples, and was also the birthplace of Joseph Stalin, one of the most powerful and fearsome leaders in Russian history.

There are several variations of the story of the rise to power of Gyges, but the most famous is the version put forth by Plato in his Dialogues called "The Ring of Gyges". In this version, Gyges was portrayed as a simple Lydian shepherd who, after an earthquake opened a chasm in the ground, found therein the hollow statue of a bronze horse. And within the bronze horse was an ancient corpse that wore nothing but a golden ring. Gyges took the ring and thought nothing more of it until later, while sitting with the other shepherds and twisting the ring around on his finger, he found that when the collet of the ring was turned to the inside of his hand, his friends could no longer see him. Realizing that the ring could make him invisible, he soon formulated a plan wherein he would use the ring to take over the rule of the kingdom — and his plan was successful. Misusing the power of the ring, he seduced the queen and killed the king, taking over the kingship of Lydia for himself.

Commentators on Plato believe that he included this story in his Dialogues to show that even a righteous man, confronted with the ability to transcend social restrictions, would inevitably use that power to do evil. Similarly, commentators on the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien have noted that the ring featured prominently in his magnum opus, The Lord of the Rings was almost certainly influenced by this tale of Gyges' magic ring which made the wearer invisible and (through that power) eventually corrupted them. And it is here where the circle of Gog's ring is completed.

In the popular Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, there appeared a small, gnomelike character named "Dobby". Many commentators noticed a striking resemblance between the character of Dobby and Russian President Vladimir Putin, including the aforementioned Novaya Gazeta, which was perhaps the first Russian media outlet to draw the comparison. Perhaps more to the point, Dobby also resembled Gollum from the Lord of the Rings films, almost seeming in retrospect to have been intended to be a transitional character between Gollum and Vladimir Putin to help create a psychological link between the two. Interestingly, both the Gollum and Dobby characters were vying for the same MTV award for "best virtual performance", as they both made their screen debut on the same year, 2002. Moreover, in The Lord of the Rings (and The Hobbit) Gollum, like Gyges, was also obsessed with the possession of a magic ring that made its wearer invisible, and gave him great power, but which inevitably corrupted them both.

In our series of articles on Giants, we discussed the origins and destinies of the peoples of Gomer and Magog, whom we identified with the biblical Gog and Magog, the term "Gog" merely being a variant of Gomer shortened for poetic reasons to rhyme with "Magog". We then discovered that the descendants of Gomer, or "Gog", were the Gomerians, or "Germans", and the descendants of Magog were, among others, the Russians. Based upon these facts, one would assume that "Gog", the ruler of the land of Magog (Russia) as described in Ezekiel 38-39 would in fact not be a Russian, but a German. In fact, Germans have been migrating to Russia at least since the 17th century, when King Vasili III imported some German craftsmen to provide necessary technical skills to the capitol region. This immigration increased sharply during the reign of Catherine II ("The Great"), who was herself of primarily of German ancestry. Interestingly, though Putin claims Russian ancestry, his family routinely spoke German in his home while he was growing up, and he himself is highly fluent in the German language as a result. He even sent his two daughters to the German School in Moscow, all together indicating that Putin may indeed be of at least partial German ancestry.

Finally, as we have seen, Vladimir Putin has made one of his main focuses the war in Chechnya, which lies on the border territory between Russia and the Middle East — specifically, Iran. If Putin is indeed the Gog mentioned in Ezekiel 38-39, then control of this region would be vital for an invasion of the Middle East, as prophesied by Ezekiel. However, Gog and his hordes from Russia, Central Asia and the arab nations will not succeed, but will be destroyed by fire from heaven.

All together, the evidence for Vladimir Putin being the infamous "Gog" of Ezekiel 38-39 is fairly strong. As the militant leader of Russia in a period closely resembling the period of the end times described in the Bible, as a man of probable German ancestry, and as a man predisposed to using questionable methods to sieze power, Putin fits the description of the biblical Gog well. But perhaps the binding tie in our analysis of Putin as Gog is the relationship between Putin, Gyges, Gollum, and the "magic ring" that in the darkness binds them. Further analysis in our latest series, The Lord of the Rings Cipher, will shed additional light on how Tolkien's ring cycle may hold the clues to what may be about to happen in our near future.Mysterious World bullet

Mysterious World bullet Wikipedia: Vladimir Putin
Mysterious World bullet A Ring Wrapped In Mystery
Mysterious World bullet Outside the Beltway: Putin Steals Patriots Owner Kraft�s Ring
Mysterious World bullet Associated Press: Russia's Putin Pockets Super Bowl Ring
Mysterious World bullet BBC News: Anna Politkovskaya: Putin's Russia
Mysterious World bullet Putin faces 'murderer' taunt as journalist is buried
Mysterious World bullet CNN: Doctors: Yushchenko was poisoned
Mysterious World bullet BBC News: Radiation found after spy's death
Mysterious World bullet The Spy Who Billed Me: The Spy Who Killed Me: Litvinenko Poisoning Theories
Mysterious World bullet New York Times: Critic of the KGB Is Shot and Wounded Outside His Home
Mysterious World bullet Intelligence Specialist's Shooting Stirs Speculation
Mysterious World bullet Dateline NBC: The Last Days of a Secret Agent
Mysterious World bullet Wikipedia: Ring of Gyges
Mysterious World bullet Plato and His Dialogues: The Ring of Gyges
Mysterious World bullet Wikipedia: Gyges of Lydia
Mysterious World bullet Gyges of Lydia
Mysterious World bullet Wikipedia: Arnolfini Portrait
Mysterious World bullet Lydia
Mysterious World bullet The History of Armenia
Mysterious World bullet CBBC: Potter lookalikes cause problems in politics
Mysterious World bullet RusNet: Putin, Dobby and the Axis of Weirdness
Mysterious World bullet Wikipedia: Book of Ezekiel
Mysterious World bullet Encyclopedia Britannica (1911): Gog
Mysterious World bullet Catholic Encyclopedia: Gog and Magog
Mysterious World bullet Magog
Mysterious World bullet The Preterist Archive: Ezekiel 38:2 Gog and Magog
Mysterious World bullet Wikipedia: History of Germans in Russia and the Soviet Union
Mysterious World bullet Wikipedia: Second Chechen War

The Celtic Cross | Stone Witness I | Gog's Ring

Editorial | Press Releases | Book Reviews | Fragments
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The Golden Thread of Time
Crichton Edward McGregor Miller
The Wheel Cross allows the navigation of the planet without a time piece, the discovery of Natures mathematics and the construction of ancient sacred buildings in line with astrology. The philosophy behind all the great religions rest within what the cross reveals. The ancient scientific and spiritual wisdom that has shaped our present and still influences our future can be your inheritance and your descendants. It is a forgotten system that reaches back beyond the current established religions, further than Ancient Egypt or Sumerian into an age where Mankind lived in harmony with Nature.
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Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of his Time
Dava Sobel
Anyone alive in the eighteeth century would have known that "the longitude problem" was the thorniest scientific dilemma of the day — and had been for centuries. Lacking the ability to measure their longitude, sailors throughout the great ages of exploration had been literally lost at sea as soon as they lost sight of land. Thousands of lives, and the increasing fortunes of nations, hung on a resolution. The scientific establishment of Europe — from Galileo to Sir Issac Newton--had mapped the heavens in both hemispheres in its certain pursuit of a celestial answer. In stark contrast, one man, John Harrison, dared to imagine a mechanical solution — a clock that would keep percise time at sea, something no clock had ever been able to do on land. Longitude is a dramatic human story of an epic scientific quest and Harrison's forty-year obsession with building his perfect timekeeper, known today as the chronometer. Full of heroism and chicanery, it is also a fascinating brief history of astronomy, navigation, and clockmaking, and opens a new window on our world.
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The Search for the Twelve Apostles
William Steuart McBirnie
Here's a moving and exciting adventure into the world of the Apostles. What really happened to the men who knew and worked with Jesus? How did they turn the world upside down? Where did they go and what did they do? By traveling to the places they once knew, by studying the Scriptures and biblical history, by listening to local tradition and engaging in original research, well-known television personality and best-selling author William Steuart McBirnie has uncovered the fascinating untold histories of Christ's Apostles and their activities. McBirnie begins where the Acts of the Apostles leaves off. He brings these astonishing men to vivid life as the human beings they were, with their dedication, humanity, zeal, and their triumphant faith. The Search for the Twelve Apostles is not a story of bones and relics, but a dramatic tale of the men who knew Jesus the best — and were transformed because if it!
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Putin's Russia: Life in a Failing Democracy
Anna Politkovskaya
At a time when many Westerners are ambivalent about Russian President Vladimir Putin, famed war correspondent Politkovskaya ( A Small Corner of Hell: Dispatches from Chechnya) argues that there is little to admire about the man or the country he has remade in his image. By recounting stories of the winners and losers in today's Russia, Politkovskaya portrays the country as a place where decency is punished, corruption rules and murder is simply a means of getting to and staying at the top. "Putin may be God and Czar in Chechnya, punishing and pardoning, but he is afraid of touching... Mafiosi," Politkovskaya writes. She's an attentive and compassionate storyteller, and the stories she tells are worth reading. The same cannot be said of her simplistic analysis. Politkovskaya's claims that Russia is more corrupt than ever before and that it's reverting to Stalinism, for example, may strike readers as provocative exaggerations. As someone frustrated with the Putin regime and furious about the war in Chechnya, which she argues is an omen of the state's future inhumane treatment of all its citizens, Politkovskaya is passionate and sometimes convincing. But she never adequately explains why, if life under Putin is so awful, 70% of Russian voters chose him for their president in 2004. (Review by Publisher's Weekly).
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A Small Corner of Hell: Dispatches from Chechnya
Anna Politkovskaya
The recent murder of Anna Politkovskaya is grim evidence of the danger faced by journalists passionately committed to writing the truth about wars and politics. A longtime critic of the Russian government, particularly with regard to its policies in Chechnya, Politkovskaya was a special correspondent for the liberal Moscow newspaper Novaya gazeta. Beginning in 1999, Politkovskaya authored numerous articles about the war in Chechnya, and she was the only journalist to have constant access to the region. Politkovskaya's second book on the Chechen War, A Small Corner of Hell, offers an insider's view of this ongoing conflict. In this book, Politkovskaya focuses her attention on those caught in the crossfire. She recounts the everyday horrors of living in the midst of war, examines how the Chechen war has damaged Russian society, and takes a hard look at the ways people on both sides profited from it. Now available in paperback, A Small Corner of Hell ensures that Politkovskaya's words will not be erased. "[A Small Corner of Hell] skips harrowingly from year to year and place to place. The arch-villains are the Russian death squads, venal and brutal, and the complacent, lying politicians and generals who profit from the illegal trade in booty, oil, and captives. Her heroes are not the Chechen resistance — a gangsterish and ill-fed lot — but the long-suffering civilian population, whose natural grit and solidarity has gradually dissolved under the relentless brutality of daily life." (Review by The Economist).
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Tolkien's Ring
David Day (Author), Alan Lee (Illustrator)
J.R.R. Tolkien had a great knowledge of, and love for, world mythology when he wrote his beloved trilogy of Middle Earth. In particular, the symbol of the Ring has a rich and fascinating heritage, and this beautifully illustrated literary detective work searches down Tolkien's sources and inspiration. To understand the roots of The Lord of the Rings, we must go far back, to a tradition of ring-quest tales that came into being before the pyramids of Egypt were built, or the walls of Babylon raised. The extraordinary journey passes through the most magical stories told: Norse myths, including the Volsunga Saga; the Arthurian legends; the Carolingian tales, linked to the Holy Roman Emperor, Charlemagne; Celtic and Saxon myths; German romances, such as the Nibelungenlied; and more. By drawing on these potent primary myths and legends, Tolkien was able himself to create a new mythology for the 20th century — and beyond.
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The Cross of Thoth
Crichton Edward McGregor Miller
Lost in the thread of time, an incredible discovery has emerged from the dust of ages... deep within the great pyramid is a secret that has remained hidden for over 4000 years. An ancient instrument designed to unlock mysteries that have baffled mankind for generations. The seal is broken. Within this film you will find knowledge of the greatest Magicians that ever walked our planet. Stunning... an invaluable service to humanity, and a tribute to the Celts and other ancient peoples.
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Longitude (2000)
Starring: Jonathan Coy, Christopher Hodsol
Directed by: Charles Sturridge
In the 18th century, the only way to navigate accurately at sea was to follow a coastline all the way, which would not get you from Europe to the West Indies or the Americas. Observing the sun or stars would give you the latitude, but not the longitude unless done in conjunction with a clock that would keep time accurately at sea, and no such clock existed. After one too many maritime disasters due to navigational errors, the British Parliament set up a substantial prize for a way to find the longitude at sea. The film's main story is that of craftsman John Harrison: he built a clock that would do the job, what we would now call a marine chronometer. But the Board of Longitude was biased against this approach and claiming the prize was no simple matter. Told in parallel is the 20th century story of Rupert Gould, for whom the restoration of Harrison's clocks to working order became first a hobby, then an obsession that threatened to wreck his life.
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The Lord of the Rings - The Motion Picture Trilogy (Platinum Series Special Extended Edition) (2004)
Starring: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen
Directed by: Peter Jackson
The extended editions of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings present the greatest trilogy in film history in the most ambitious sets in DVD history. In bringing J.R.R. Tolkien's nearly unfilmable work to the screen, Jackson benefited from extraordinary special effects, evocative New Zealand locales, and an exceptionally well-chosen cast, but most of all from his own adaptation with co-writers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, preserving Tolkien's vision and often his very words, but also making logical changes to accommodate the medium of film. While purists complained about these changes and about characters and scenes left out of the films, the almost two additional hours of material in the extended editions (about 11 hours total) help appease them by delving more deeply into Tolkien's music, the characters, and loose ends that enrich the story, such as an explanation of the Faramir-Denethor relationship, and the appearance of the Mouth of Sauron at the gates of Mordor. In addition, the extended editions offer more bridge material between the films, further confirming that the trilogy is really one long film presented in three pieces (which is why it's the greatest trilogy ever--there's no weak link). The scene of Galadriel's gifts to the Fellowship added to the first film proves significant over the course of the story, while the new Faramir scene at the end of the second film helps set up the third and the new Saruman scene at the beginning of the third film helps conclude the plot of the second. To top it all off, the extended editions offer four discs per film: two for the longer movie, plus four commentary tracks and stupendous DTS 6.1 ES sound; and two for the bonus material, which covers just about everything from script creation to special effects. The argument was that fans would need both versions because the bonus material is completely different, but the features on the theatrical releases are so vastly inferior that the only reason a fan would need them would be if they wanted to watch the shorter versions they saw in theaters (the last of which, The Return of the King, merely won 11 Oscars). The LOTR extended editions without exception have set the DVD standard by providing a richer film experience that pulls the three films together and further embraces Tolkien's world, a reference-quality home theater experience, and generous, intelligent, and engrossing bonus features.
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