Now tales Prince Rupert's peacock brings
Of walls and trumpets thousand fold"
Significantly, it is peacocks that bring messages to Prince Rupert. Peacocks
symbolize the orient in this song, and, specifically, the land of Persia
(modern day Iran). Persia was the Moslem kingdom overrun by the Mongols, in
1228, during the reign of Frederick II. This is the specific event Frederick
(Rupert) is referring to in the opening line, "Farewell the temple
Also, the court of Frederick II was known for its exotic animals, including
peacocks, a fact referred to by Kantorowicz and in an historical novel
published in 1962.
"In the beautiful, mosaic-colored octagon of the courtyard of Castel del Monte
the fountain spurted and sent streams of water into the dark of the laurels...
On the broad, carved balustrades of the balconies stalked the Emperor's rare
...In the corners of the yard some Saracens were in readiness to entertain the
circle with their wondrous tales."
- The Emperor the Sages and Death by Rachel Berdach (p. 51)
"Walls and trumpets" allude to the biblical story of Jericho. Walls
were falling in the Arab world, but not because of a religious or intellectual
movement. The Great Khan and his Mongol horde caused the upheaval in the east.
"Prophets chained for burning masks"
This is the upheaval in the west. Frederick, who prophesied about his own
messianic destiny, is pointing out that the Church is persecuting those who are
attempting to introduce new ideas into Europe. These new ideas were based upon
a very old idea, the doctrine of Emanations (also known as Averroism). For a description of Averroism, see
chapter three page seven
. The commentaries of Averroes were translated in the court of Frederick II who
openly espoused the doctrines of Averroism.
"When these heterodox doctrines reached the West through Spain and through the
court of Frederick
II, who, attracted by Aristotle's scientific writings, supported two of
the sons of Averroes, the
authorities were alarmed."
"Frederick II had fully adopted Averrhoism. In his "Sicilian Questions" he had
demanded light on the eternity of the
world, and on the nature of the soul, and supposed he had found it in the
replies of Ibn Sabin, an upholder of these
doctrines. But in his conflict with the papacy he was overthrown, and with him
these heresies were destroyed."
Prophets in the east had also been "chained for burning masks".
"Averroes, in his old age -- he died A. D. 1193 -- was expelled from Spain; the
religious party had triumphed over the philosophical. He was denounced as a
traitor to religion. An opposition to philosophy had been organized all over
Mussulman world. There was hardly a philosopher who was not punished. Some
were put to death."
Among the prophets chained for burning masks in 13th century Europe were the
Cathars or Albigensians.
"Supported by the leading nobility of the region, the Cathars' growing
influence enraged the Church and its
powerful pope, Innocent III, determined to flex its muscle after decades of
weakness. Innocent resolved to
eradicate what is now known as the Great Heresy. He recruited the forces of
France, eager to expand her
territory to the south, and they systematically exterminated the Cathars and
their supporters in a series of
crusades between 1209 and 1229. By the time the wars were over, the ancient
social fabric of the Languedoc
had been destroyed, the map of France redrawn, and a terrifying new force that
would torment Europe for
centuries — the Inquisition — unleashed across southern France."
"The Albigensian Crusade amounted to an
outright war, lasting 20 years from 1209 to 1229. The first purgings were
carried out in Albi, a land of
tolerance, to which the heresy and its subsequent repression sadly owe their
names But it was in
Béziers that the first great massacre of believers took place, in 1209."
"In 1209 AD, Pope Innocent III unleashed "orders of fire and sword" against a
group of heretics
throughout Europe, mostly remembered as Cathars. Of special note, at the great
city of Beziers,
France there was a terrible massacre of heretics."
"On the 21st of July 1209, an army of some thirty thousand knights and foot
soldiers from northern Europe descended like a
whirlwind on the Languedoc -
the mountainous northeastern foothills of the
Pyrenees in what is now
Southern France. In the ensuing war, the whole
territory was ravaged,
crops were destroyed, towns and cities were
razed, a whole population was
put to the sword. This extermination occurred on
so vast, so terrible a scale
that it may well constitute the first case of
"genocide" in modern European
history. In the town of Beziers alone, for
example, at least fifteen thousand
men, women, and children were slaughtered
wholesale - many of them in
the sanctuary of the church itself. When an
officer, Arnaud of Citeaux, inquired
of the Pope's
representative how he might distinguish heretics
from true believers, the
reply was, "Kill them all. God will recognize his
own." This quotation, though
widely reported, may be apocryphal. Nevertheless,
it typifies the fanatical
zeal and bloodlust with which the atrocities were
perpetrated. The same
papal representative, writing to Innocent III in
Rome, announced proudly
that "neither age nor sex nor status was spared."
The policy set by Rome at that time is still in force doctrinally. This is
known as "Nulla salus
extra ecclesium" ("Outside the Church there is no salvation.") It was "open
season" on those who
taught any doctrine other than that which the Pope allowed and this made such
people enemies of
the Catholic Church.
infamous phrase first uttered in Latin, "Neca eos omnes.
agnoset" or "Kill them all. God will know His own."
misunderstood reference to 2 Tim. 2:19 which in part
reads, "The Lord
knoweth them that are his" (KJV).
"After the death of Pope Innocent, Pope Gregory IX ordered the Dominicans to
the remaining Cathar sanctuaries. Over the next fifty years, the Inquisition
burned perhaps 5,000
heretics, sometimes exhuming the bodies and publicly burning the bones of those
lucky enough to
have escaped the funeral pyre the first time."