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Old 08-18-2009, 02:40 AM   #1
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Spear of Destiny

Hello everyone,
I am an archaeologist working in Germany and the most recent site I have been working on turns out to have an interesting history involving the spear of destiny. I was shocked when doing research for the dig to come across medieval documents mentioning the relic. But before I can go into any further detail, I was hoping that some of you esoteric buffs on these sort of relics had some useful knowledge, tales, references, etc. I leave out the details of the excavation because these details tend to effect which stories or resources people offer. I am really curious if the popular legends align with the historical documents. I suppose for clarity, the Spear I am referring to is the one currently in Vienna. Thanks for your help!
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:50 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaeologist
Hello everyone,
I am an archaeologist working in Germany and the most recent site I have been working on turns out to have an interesting history involving the spear of destiny. I was shocked when doing research for the dig to come across medieval documents mentioning the relic. But before I can go into any further detail, I was hoping that some of you esoteric buffs on these sort of relics had some useful knowledge, tales, references, etc. I leave out the details of the excavation because these details tend to effect which stories or resources people offer. I am really curious if the popular legends align with the historical documents. I suppose for clarity, the Spear I am referring to is the one currently in Vienna. Thanks for your help!

I am currently reading The Spear of Destiny by Ravencroft from 1973.
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Old 08-20-2009, 12:51 AM   #3
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I don't have an info to give. Sorry. I just wanted to say that is really cool!!!

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Old 08-20-2009, 02:26 AM   #4
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Oooooh, Ravencroft tells an interesting story. However he made it up. I read the same book and after the introduction I needed to start questioning the reliability of the author. Especially the psychedelic drug using to obtain facts with Dr. Stein in the introduction. After some quick, albeit not the most thorough but definitely enough, it turns out: Ravenscroft never met Dr. Stein, which means everything after the introduction that he claims Dr. Stein told him using his unorthodox methods is made up! Secondly, even if he had met Dr. Stein long enough to have these sessions, psychodelic mediums telling stories, etc?! Reminds me of Sophia from the Fate of Atlantis game! Thirdly, Ravenscroft wanted to publish the book as Fiction, however, it was not good enough for simple fiction, but if it were Non-Fiction...
Just a quick, simple fact is that Ravenscroft admits to never having met Stein.

I will say something for Ravenscroft's writing though: it had some interesting Germanic details that I came across while researching.

There are more depictions of St. Mauritius (St. Maurice in english) in this cathedral than any other I have ever seen, and with him almost always is the Spear. Those statues without the Spear are only because they are older, but the hand extended to hold a spear and the hand is designed to hold one. The hand is specifically designed to hold a spear and not a sword.

The mention of Otto the Great having the spear... Well, that has come up a bit on my excavation. Pretty cool too. Where I am excavating is Magdeburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany at the first Gothic cathedral in Germany, burial place of Otto the Great, former home of the Holy Lance (and the bones of St. Mauritius), and recently discovered resting place of Queen Edita (Otto's British Queen the team discovered in late 2008). We are working on the crypt foundations of the original 10th century church (before it was expanded to become a Cathedral) and found, what we believe, is Edita original sarcophagus, before she was re-interred and re-interred again (the bones we found) around 1510.

This has got to be one of the coolest first real jobs to have in archaeology (not counting research projects for BAs and MA). Unfortunately in the scholarly field, you can't wear a bullwhip to the dig site, let alone in a Cathedral. So I keep it in my rucksack!
Still looking for some mythology, but I am swamped with bones and journals. My desk & office looks like Indy's from Last Crusade... speaking of which, I need to get to work!
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Old 08-20-2009, 10:12 AM   #5
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I swear you were going to say:

Quote:
Hello everyone,
I am an archaeologist working in Germany and I just found the Spear of Destiny. All your base are belong to us.

Or something along those lines.

That aside, that's freakin awesome.
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Old 01-18-2010, 11:20 PM   #6
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I just mentioned this in another thread. Ironic!

I'm a bit late to this conversation, but to my knowledge the real spear (if it did exist) was in found in Antioch and later came into the possession of crusade knights who later brought it back to France where it was lost. I think this is the one that is now in Vienna, but who knows? There is another spear purported to be the true relic which was in Constantinople, and then was stolen by the Turks in the 15th century and is now in the Vatican.

The interesting thing about these is that the Vatican spear is just the tip, while the Vienna spear is complete except for the tip.
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Old 01-19-2010, 02:53 AM   #7
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I love reading about biblical relics. Im not a religious person, but I find things like the spear of destiny, the crown of thorns, the shroud of Turin, the true cross, the holy grail etc. very fascinating.

The problem is that for all of the known items being held in churches and the Vatican the known history of them usually only dates back to the crusades and its highly unlikely any of them would be the real thing. The history of the Vienna lance for example only goes back to the time of Otto I, 1000 years after the crucifixion. But that doesnt make them less fascinating, each of them have amazing histories just unto themselves.
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:40 AM   #8
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Cool, thought everyone forgot about this thread! Here are some original sources, translated of course, that should clear some details up and add some fun facts.

From Thietmar, Chronicon 4.66:
Ekkehard, called 'the Red', was overseer of the aforementioned church and, being a grammarian by profession, head of the school. One day, he wanted to examine the great golden altar, which is encrusted with gems and amber, to see if anything was missing from it. Suddenly, it fell over on him. Following this incident, which left him crippled, he surrendered the wealth that he had long been gathering to the provost, Walthard, to be distributed generously. After a few days, on 4 September, he released his faithful spirit. I do not wish to accuse him of anything, but I know this for certain; if anyone offends St. Maurice he should be aware of the imminent danger. On a particularly dark night, at the instigation of the Devil, a certain young man wanted to plunder his treasury. Already at the entrance, however, he was seized by fear and wanted to desist, as he himself subsequently recalled, but he heard a voice urging him to proceed with his audacious deed. The wretch had barely seized a crown when he was captured and placed upon the wheel, after having his bones broken.
*This 10th century account is recalling how St. Maurice protected his great golden altar/shrine against thieves.

Also from Thietmar, Chronicon 2.17 (sorry, this should come before the above):
The emperor (referring to Otto I) had precious marble, gold, and gems brought to Magdeburg. And he ordered that relics of saints should be enclosed in all of the columns. He had the body of Count Christian, as well as those of others among his familiars, interred next to the same church in which, while he still lived, he wished to have a burial place prepared for himself. In the year 961 of the Incarnation and in the twenty-fifth year of his reign, in the presence of all of the nobility, on the vigil of Christmas, the body of St. Maurice was conveyed to him at Regensburg along with the bodies of some of the saint's companions and portions of other saints. Having been sent to Magdeburg, these relics were received with great honour by a gathering of the entire populace of the city and of their fellow countrymen. They are still venerated there, to the salvation of the homeland.
*This source is also 10th century. Those marble columns are still present too! If only I could convince my chief to use GPR on the columns we could see if any "relics of saints" are still "enclosed in all of the columns"!
What is also important to take from this is that Maurice's body & relics are brought to Magdeburg during this time to be honored in the church dedicated to him.
Snap forward to Otto the III in the year 1000. An earlier post mentions the spear history only going back this far (and Otto the I), but as you can see, this is not the case.

From Gallus Anonymous, Chronicon 6 (an anonymous Monk) exert:
After observing Boleslav's (soon to be crowned King of Poland) glory and wealth, the Roman Emperor (Otto III) declared, in admiration: "By the crown of my empire, that which I see far exceeds what rumour had reported". Then, with the advice of his great men, he added: "It is not worthy for such a great man to be named duke or count like one of our leading men, but rather to be encircled with the diadem and elevated to the royal throne". Then, taking the imperial diadem (crown) from his head, he placed it on Boleslav's head in a bond of friendship and, as a symbol of triumph, gave him a nail from the cross of the Lord, along with the lance of St. Maurice. In return, Boleslav gave him the arm of St. Adalbert.
*According to this 11th century account the spear and a nail from the cross have been exchanged. Was it the real spear or a replica? I am not sure, but this account does provide the source for the Holy Nail said to have been added later.

Following a partial destruction of the original 10th century church in Magdeburg in 1207, the Magdeburg Cathedral began construction. Eventually it was not just a cathedral dedicated to St. Maurice, but also St. Catherine. However, there are virtually no statues of St. Catherine and a lot (sorry I do not have a number at the moment) of St. Maurice and his Spear/Lance, including an original 12th century one made to hold a decorative, likely gold, spear. I believe I mentioned this before too, there is also a bronze plate dedicated to Otto the Great (I) with a picture of the Spear now in Vienna (the one given away by Otto the III). All of this is evidence to a long history of the people (or at least the clergy) not forgetting what was once, or still might be, kept in the Magdeburg Cathedral.
But if I go after the spear, St. Maurice might strike me dead, so best to let it rest for now!
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:44 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandiegojones
... the real spear (if it did exist) was in found in Antioch and later came into the possession of crusade knights who later brought it back to France where it was lost. I think this is the one that is now in Vienna, but who knows?
Hope this clears things up (see above); sorry it is a bit long, but original sources are the best to quote!
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:33 AM   #10
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Wasn't that Spear actually captured by the Nazis and presented to Hitler?
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Old 01-21-2010, 12:14 PM   #11
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In all the many serious books I've read on Hitler's life there is no mention of him ever having any interest in the occult beyond astrology. There is never any mention of him claiming the spear in 1938 after the Anschluss.

If anyone in the Nazi party was interested in the occult or religious relics, it was Himmler, with his Wewelsburg castle and his belief that he was the reincarnation of Heinrich I.

It's difficult trying to weed out the truth because so many books follow Trevor Ravenscroft's invented tale, and the internet is full of Hitler's obsession with the occult. It's like trying to find the source of Doenitz' claim that he'd built a fortress for Hitler in the Antarctic - it's apocryphal, and he never said it.

Nevertheless, it is still a fascinating subject to explore, in the hope of finding a glimmer of truth.
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Old 01-21-2010, 08:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Smith

If anyone in the Nazi party was interested in the occult or religious relics, it was Himmler, with his Wewelsburg castle and his belief that he was the reincarnation of Heinrich I.
This is a 100% accurate statement. Hitler was into prophecy (like Nostradamus) but it was Himmler who sought relics and had Nazi's scour the globe for artifacts.
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Old 01-23-2010, 03:26 PM   #13
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William H. Honan's 1997 book
Treasure Hunt: A New York Times Reporter Tracks the Quedlinburg Hoard
describes the modern-day hunt for a medieval bible, the "Samuhel Gospel",
stolen from a church in Quedlinburg, Germany by an American army officer in 1945.

The church was used by Himmler for Nazi ceremonies where Himmler would
appear as King Heinrich.

The story is something like "The Maltese Falcon" meets "The Last Picture Show",
as the officer took the bible back to his home in a small Texas town.

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Old 01-25-2010, 02:31 AM   #14
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Ravencroft really upsets me, as does all pseudo- science or reports.
But Himmler's interest into the occult is well documented. It is so well documented that it is strange by comparison that some people think Hitler had an interest in the occult with so little evidence! Why would we have so much evidence of Himmler's interest and so little of Hitler's? Most logical answer is because Hitler had little interest.

However, the fact that Himmler was allowed to carry on with his obsession/interest in the occult, pseudoarchaeology and pseudohistory is fascinating. Otto Rahn, Himmler's Grail archaeologist, was one of the serious archaeologists of the time who was brought in to the SS, although details of Himmler's archaeologists are scarce at best. I recommend Crusade Against the Grail, by Otto Rahn written in 1933 and Master Plan: Himmler's Scholars and the Holocaust by archaeology journalist Heather Pringle.

I believe that Himmler was allowed to carry on creating a false history of Aryans by Hitler as all part of propaganda and justification for eugenics and nationalism rather than Hitler having an actual belief in the history. If the Nazis could physically prove that they had once ruled the land (which they tried with all sorts of false finds, e.g. Runes), then they could justify in some way that they were claiming their ancestral land. And the whole eugenics part, well, most people know this part: pure blood, subspecies, etc. A tactic that worked at removing a scapegoat (the Jewish population), as well as political rivals (i.e. left wing, specifically communists). What was important was not what the Nazi party believed, but what the masses believed.

This is just a small portion of a more complex situation (e.g. Germany's depression, Stabbed in the Back during WWI, loss of land & disarmament after WWI, need for blame, etc) that led to the rise of the Third Reich and its actions. I am just more familiar with the use of archaeology for nationalistic purposes and speak from this aspect, rather than other political or economic causes.

Back to the Spear... I don't think it (Vienna spear) was presented to Hitler or it was his goal of obtaining it. However, outside Magdeburg Cathedral (where I am excavating), there used to stand an enormous SS/SA Memorial for those who gave their lives to the Reich. If Himmler or Hitler was a real scholar of the Spear (again, the Vienna Spear), surely they would have given the Cathedral built to house the former treasures a little more consideration. I would imagine the Cathedral as a center for a grand ceremony of returning the Spear back to the German homeland/rightful owners, etc.

My knowledge of the Spear during war times is fuzzy and incomplete at best, so I will pose the question: what was going on with the spear during that time?
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Old 01-25-2010, 03:13 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaeologist
Ravencroft really upsets me, as does all pseudo- science or reports.
But Himmler's interest into the occult is well documented. It is so well documented that it is strange by comparison that some people think Hitler had an interest in the occult with so little evidence! Why would we have so much evidence of Himmler's interest and so little of Hitler's? Most logical answer is because Hitler had little interest.

I totally agree with you. Writers such as Ravenscroft and Nazi-UFO mythologist Ernst Zundel aka Christof Friedrich aka Mattern Friedrich just muddy history for their own ends, and with the case of Zundel it was to create himself a stage from which to assault the world with his revisionism.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaeologist
However, the fact that Himmler was allowed to carry on with his obsession/interest in the occult, pseudoarchaeology and pseudohistory is fascinating. Otto Rahn, Himmler's Grail archaeologist, was one of the serious archaeologists of the time who was brought in to the SS, although details of Himmler's archaeologists are scarce at best. I recommend Crusade Against the Grail, by Otto Rahn written in 1933 and Master Plan: Himmler's Scholars and the Holocaust by archaeology journalist Heather Pringle.

I believe that Himmler was allowed to carry on creating a false history of Aryans by Hitler as all part of propaganda and justification for eugenics and nationalism rather than Hitler having an actual belief in the history. If the Nazis could physically prove that they had once ruled the land (which they tried with all sorts of false finds, e.g. Runes), then they could justify in some way that they were claiming their ancestral land. And the whole eugenics part, well, most people know this part: pure blood, subspecies, etc. A tactic that worked at removing a scapegoat (the Jewish population), as well as political rivals (i.e. left wing, specifically communists). What was important was not what the Nazi party believed, but what the masses believed.

From all that I've read Hitler was really very pragmatic, and not even a natural 'hater of Jews'. He had great respect for their Jewish family doctor, and when that doctor could not to save Hitler's mother from dying, Hitler did not change his opinion. 'Hating Jews' merely became politically practical for Hitler's ambition, as was his fostering of Aryan mythology, which Himmler took to extremes. Hitler always presided over a divided state, never completely in control, yet preseved by the deep divisions that he himself allowed to fester within his political departments.

Yet, Ravenscroft and others have created this myth, which was follwed by the story of Raiders of the Lost Ark, supplanting the character of Himmler onto Hitler.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaeologist
Back to the Spear... I don't think it (Vienna spear) was presented to Hitler or it was his goal of obtaining it. However, outside Magdeburg Cathedral (where I am excavating), there used to stand an enormous SS/SA Memorial for those who gave their lives to the Reich. If Himmler or Hitler was a real scholar of the Spear (again, the Vienna Spear), surely they would have given the Cathedral built to house the former treasures a little more consideration. I would imagine the Cathedral as a center for a grand ceremony of returning the Spear back to the German homeland/rightful owners, etc.

This is a good cue to quote Indy about getting out of the library and into the field. Ravenscroft and his fellow fantasists create powerful myths which grow out of control and infect all manner of media, and you have to dig right back down to the bare bones to start assessing fact from fiction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaeologist
My knowledge of the Spear during war times is fuzzy and incomplete at best, so I will pose the question: what was going on with the spear during that time?

That is a good question. I'd like to be directed to factual accounts of these sort of mysteries, without the bias of pseudo-historians.


Last edited by Montana Smith : 01-25-2010 at 03:25 AM.
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:43 PM   #16
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Here are some quotes from Hitler ca. 1923 regarding politics, propaganda, and "race". I think his Mein Kampf is ignored too much regarding his policies and points of view. It leaves no doubt, at least to most people, of Hitler's view on the Jewish population and it would take some serious evidence to stand up against his own words (during the death of his mother he is only concerned with his second rejection from architect school, so much so that he mentions no doctor or even being around, let alone a doctor; he does mention her death, but that is all).

Chapter VI: War Propaganda
“…I have taken a tremendous interest in propagandist activity. I saw that the Socialist-Marxist organizations mastered and applied this instrument with astounding skill. And I soon realized that the correct use of propaganda is a true art…”
“For what we failed to do (propaganda), the enemy did, with amazing skill and really brilliant calculation. I, myself, learned enormously from this enemy war propaganda.”
“The function of propaganda is, for example, not to weigh and ponder the rights of different people, but exclusively to emphasize the one right which it has set out to argue for. Its task is not to make an objective study of the truth, in so far as it favors the enemy, and then set it before the masses with academic fairness; its task is to serve our own right, always and unflinchingly.”
“The purpose of propaganda is not to provide interesting distraction for blase young gentlemen, but to convince, and what I mean is to convince the masses. But the masses are slowmoving, and they always require a certain time before they are ready even to notice a thing, and only after the simplest ideas are repeated thousands of times will the masses finally remember them.”

Chapter XI: Nation & Race
“Any crossing of two beings not at exactly the same level produces a medium between the level of the two parents. This means: the offspring will probably stand higher than the racially lower parent, but not as high as the higher one. Consequently, it will later succumb in the struggle against the higher level. Such mating is contrary to the will of Nature for a higher breeding of all life. The precondition for this does not lie in associating superior and inferior, but in the total victory of the former. The stronger must dominate and not blend with the weaker, thus sacrificing his own greatness. Only the born weakling can view this as cruel, but he after all is only a weak and limited man; for if this law did not prevail, any conceivable higher development of organic living beings would be unthinkable.”

“The consequence of this racial purity, universally valid in Nature, is not only the sharp outward delimitation of the various races, but their uniform character in themselves. The fox is always a fox, the goose a goose, the tiger a tiger, etc., and the difference can lie at most in the varying measure of force, strength, intelligence, dexterity, endurance, etc., of the individual specimens. But you will never find a fox who in his inner attitude might, for example, show humanitarian tendencies toward geese, as similarly there is no cat with a friendly inclination toward mice.”

“Historical experience offers countless proofs of this. It shows with terrifying clarity that in every mingling of Aryan blood with that of lower peoples the result was the end of the cultured people.”

“The mightiest counterpart to the Aryan is represented by the Jew. In hardly any people in the world is the instinct of self-preservation developed more strongly than in the so-called 'chosen.'”

“In heedlessly ignoring -the question of the preservation of the racial foundations of our nation, the old Reich disregarded the sole right which gives life in this world. Peoples which bastardize themselves, or let themselves be bastardized, sin against the will of eternal Providence, and when their ruin is encompassed by a stronger enemy it is not an injustice done to them, but only the restoration of justice. If a people no longer wants to respect the Nature-given qualities of its being which root in its blood, it has no further right to complain over the loss of its earthly existence.
Everything on this earth is capable of improvement. Every defeat can become the father of a subsequent victory, every lost war the cause of a later resurgence, every hardship the fertilization of human energy, and from every oppression the forces for a new spiritual rebirth can comes as long as the blood is preserved pure.
The lost purity of the blood alone destroys inner happiness forever, plunges man into the abyss for all time, and the consequences can never more be eliminated from body and spirit.”

No occult. Some made up Aryan history. But mostly about eugenics, which was popular at the time, even in the USA. Frederick Osborn, the secretary of the American Eugenics Society during the 1930s, hailed "recent developments in Germany" as "perhaps the most important experiment which has ever been tried." These experiments Osborn is referring to are the sterilization laws that were passed Jan. 1934. Taking into account Mein Kampf was well in circulation at the time, US doctors and US magazines were publishing this research... hard to believe nowadays that nothing was done sooner. But that is another subject of much debate. Still, no one mentions Eugenics in America during that time. That is clear cut censored history for the masses.

I will try to stick with facts about the Spear next time I post! I apologize for the digression! Thanks for keeping this post going
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:36 AM   #17
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Hitler's mother, Klara, died in 1907. Hitler was really politicized by the devastating effects of the Versailles Treaty, and was asked to speak to his fellow soldiers to politicize them in turn. It was from then that he began to turn his views into an ideology, and when the Nazi Party began to turn Jew-Hating into a propaganda machine.

I've read several accounts of the death of Hitler's mother, but here is an internet version that covers it succinctly:

http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar...ler/mother.htm

As you state, there's no occult in Mein Kampf. He was just more interested in the earthly practical means of rebuilding Germany's greatness - and that would only be achieved by getting the people behind the Party, no matter what lies and fears it took to get them there. Unlike Himmler who was later playing high priest to a dark order.

Also, as you say it is hard to believe that nothing was done sooner to stop the Nazi Party - Churchill tried to warn the British Government, but was branded a war-monger, and Hitler appeared in Homes and Gardens magazaine as the genial, animal loving world statesman. Hitler's ambitions could so easily have been crushed at any point before the war - Ruhr, Czechoslovakia, Austria, and during the war at least by the French in 1940.

Germany's weakness in the 1930s (their success the results of a madman who had no fear of consequences) gives ammunition to the invented stories of Hitler's search for objects of occult power such as the Spear: by rights Hitler would need the Spear of Destiny or the Ark of the Covenant to empower his forces. Yet, in the end all he needed was spineless opposition, which made the task so much harder later.

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Old 01-28-2010, 11:58 PM   #18
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Archaeologist --
I spent two years researching the Spear and I have written a manuscript about it. I would love to discuss your finding with you. If you are interested, please contact me via e-mail at robweiner8@gmail.com
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Old 01-29-2010, 03:44 AM   #19
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Crazy Coincidence...
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/eu...itler.remains/
Although the remains are questionable as to who they belonged to since they were multiple people being cremated, although the mandible fragment seems to match Hitler's dental reports, the fact that the remains of Hitler et al were buried in Magdeburg is a crazy coincidence to me!

I am sure someone could come up with a plot twist type of story along the lines of spear bringing Hitler back to life or something ridiculously sinister like that.

There has been speculation before, but this is further confirmation from the former Soviets. As to the DNA testing done earlier in 2009, I believe in the results, but it does not mean it was not Eva or part of J. Goebbels's family. Naturally, as I scientist I believe in re-testing. It would be more standard/reliable for 3 DNA test to be conducted in 3 different labs as "blind" studies, meaning without knowledge of the context. This test, not mentioned in the article I linked, is considered biased, because they knew they were working on Hitler's supposed remains. But I digress.

Former home of the Spear and secret KGB burial of Hitler's remains (among others mentioned) all buried in the same place. Like I said, could make for a cool story.
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Old 12-31-2010, 12:52 AM   #20
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Well in Jerry Smith and George Piccard's "Secrets Of The Holy Lance" the spear was taken to the secret Nazi base in antarctica after the war, then smuggled back to Europe where it came into the possession of Kurt Waldheim, Secretary General of the U N . However it is now in the protecftive custody of a group known as "The Knights Of tThe Holy Lance".
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