The bestselling authors of The Secret of the Sphinx relate the extraordinary account of a longstanding conspiracy at the heart of Western civilization, the visual evidence of which surrounds us all.
A talisman is an object with “meaning.” It is a potent symbol or icon that can fire the imagination and emotions of men and women anywhere, any time. It can be a small amulet, a ring, a flag, a statue, a monument, and even a whole city. Think of a wedding ring. Think of the Statue of Liberty or the collapsing Twin Towers of New York, or the toppling statue of Saddam Hussein. Think of the Wailing Wall. Think of Jerusalem. . .
Talisman is a roller-coaster intellectual journey through the back streets and rat runs of history to uncover the traces in architecture and monuments of a secret religion that has shaped the world. The story takes us from Heliopolis to Luxor, Alexandria, Toulouse, Florence, Rome, Paris, London, Washington DC, New York, and finally to the global pandemonium following September 11, 2001. It is a tale filled with romance and intrigue, heroism and faith, peopled by ancient Egyptian astronomer-priests, Christian Gnostics, Hermetic sages, learned Jews, Arab savants, Occitan counts, Cathar “perfects,” Knights Templar, Renaissance magi, Rosicrucian “invisibles,” Bavarian Illuminati, and Freemasons.
Pivotal historical events and processes, not least the Renaissance, the birth of scientific rationalism, and the French and American Revolutions, are radically re-evaluated in the light of new investigative evidence presented for the first time in Talisman. Even the belief that the United States has a “global mission,” so obvious today, may ultimately prove to be less the result of a short-term reaction to terrorism than the inevitable working out of a covert plan originally set in motion almost 2000 years ago.
With its eye-catching amazing revelations, extensive documentation, and all-encompassing theories, Talisman will ensure that its readers will never look at the world in the same way.
From the Hardcover edition.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Note on the Authorship
1 -- Behind the Veils
PART I: The Secret Faith
2 -- Lost World
3 -- Where Good and Evil Meet
4 -- Chain of the Great Heresy
5 -- Knowledge of the True Nature of Things
6 -- The Rivals
7 -- The Sword and the Fire
PART II: The Sacred Cities
8 -- The Other Secret Religion
9 -- Two Phoenixes
10 -- City of the God King
11 -- The Prophet of Hermes
12 -- Envisioning the Hermetic City
13 -- The Invisible Brotherhood
14 -- Emergence of the Invisibles
15 -- Cabal
16 -- From Secret Society to Society with Secrets
17 -- The New City of Isis
18 -- Paris Unveiled
19 -- The Cornerstone
Appendix: The Day that Shook the World
About Graham Hancock
Graham Hancock is the author and co-author of a number of bestselling investigations of historical mysteries, including The Sign and the Seal, The Message of the Sphinx, Heaven’s Mirror, The Mars Mystery, and Underworld. His books have been translated into twenty languages and have sold more than four million copies around the world.
About Robert Bauval
Robert Bauval is the celebrated author of The Orion Mystery and co-author (with Graham Hancock) of The Secret of the Sphinx, The Mars Mystery, and Keeper of Genesis. His contributions to the fields of Egyptology and archaeology have been widely acclaimed.
Praise for Graham Hancock:
“A reading experience of pure gold.... History buffs, Bible scholars, anyone who likes a great intellectual detective yarn will plunge into The Sign and the Seal and not come up for air until the end.”
—The Globe and Mail
“Even if you are a confirmed skeptic, Hancock should give you pause for thought.”
—Rocky Mountain News (Denver)
“An entertaining writer and an interesting cultural journalist.”