Reveals the existence of a Templar colony in the New World and how the explorer Verrazano, also a member of a secret society, attempted to reestablish contact with it
• Explores Columbus’s connection to Henry Sinclair’s maps of the New World
• Examines the secret alliance of Catholic Sulpicians and French Huguenots to preserve the Templar legacy
• Reveals the hidden knowledge preserved in the Templar baptisteries found throughout Europe and in Newport, Rhode Island
In 1524 the Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazano was sent by the French king Francis I on an expedition ostensibly to find a shorter route to China. However, his true mission, Steven Sora suggests, was to contact a Templar colony that might have been established in Newport, Rhode Island, by Henry Sinclair at the end of the 14th century. In his expedition log Verrazano recorded that his only stay on this journey was at Newport Harbor, the site of a tower built to the exact measurements of a Templar baptistery, a sacred sanctuary representing baptism and eternal life.
This tower is a remnant of Sinclair’s voyage to America nearly a century before that of Columbus (who had access to Sinclair’s maps thanks to his wife, who was Sinclair’s great-granddaughter). While Verrazano’s mission succeeded in finding the tower, the colony itself eluded him. His backers then decided to resurrect the dream of Acadia--a place where they could aspire to higher knowledge without fear of Church or state--by creating a new Secret Society that included Huguenots and Catholic Sulpicians. This Company of the Holy Sacrament would lay the foundations for Montreal in an attempt to realize the ambitions of Sinclair and his Templar companions, as well as to stave off efforts by the Jesuits to transform Quebec into a fiefdom of the orthodox Church. Quebec’s motto, “Je me souviens” (I remember), is a reference to this secret history.
The man who would convince the king of France to search for Arcadia was Giovanni da Verrazano. He was born into a wealthy Italian family at Val di Greve near Florence in 1485. The Castle Verrazano is built on the foundation of a Roman structure that in turn was built on the foundation of an Etruscan structure, dating to possibly 500 B.C.
Florence from the eleventh century on was a center of commerce for banking and for the wool and silk industry. About one-third of the citizens were in the cloth industry. For all the turmoil caused by Medici maneuvering, Florence was clearly a beneficiary. It had paved roads extending out of the city to a well-traveled trade route into France. Within Italy it was a crossroads city in the North, between Venice and Genoa, and more importantly, between Venice and France. Culturally, the city became the center of the Italian Renaissance. Dante was a Florentine, as was Donatello and Fra Angelico. Petrarch and Boccaccio were sons of Florentines. A legion of artists was incubated under the patronage of Florence’s wealthy. Leonardo da Vinci, possibly the high point of Florentine achievement, is linked permanently to the city’s patron saint. Da Vinci’s one work of sculpture was of St. John the Baptist and his last painting was also St. John the Baptist.
Florence was also a religious crossroads. The Cathar movement had been shared throughout Northern Italy, although its suppression was nothing like the wholesale slaughter in the Languedoc. The new Gnostic-type religion traveled as contraband along with silk and wool on the road from Venice to Lyons. Northern Italy would see the religion of the Cathars stay underground to avoid controversy.
As crusaders looted the works preserved in the East, a text called the Corpus Hermeticum was brought to Florence in 1453. It was believed that it had been written by Hermes Trismegistus, or even by Thoth, the Egyptian god of science and writing. While in another city it might have been burned, Cosimo Medici ordered that other translations be halted until the text could be deciphered. It was nothing short of the secrets of Egyptian architecture and the geometry of the ancients.
Florence already had been captivated by such ancient knowledge.
In a fashion that would have Masonic overtones, the city had been laid out in four quarters. Each quarter had four wards and they were named for mystical symbols including keys, dragons, and unicorns. The center of the city was San Giovanni, St. John.
It would be understood by Florentines that the symbol of St. John and the symbol of the goddess Venus was the same, the Dove. Another of her symbols was the scallop shell that was shared with the ancient goddess Brigit (and shared again with St. James in Compostella). Botticelli would paint his famous Venus, using Simonetta Vespucci, the cousin of Americus, as his model. Venus rising from the sea in a scallop shell would proclaim the ancient still had a place in the modern world.
The secret side of Florentines, including the Verrazano family and others, was that whatever mystical leanings and beliefs were held within the city, they could be hidden in plain sight. The family crest of Verrazano was one such symbol. It began as the same six-pointed star that could be found in the windows of churches in Southern France. It evolved into an eight-pointed star after his journey to the New Arcadia.
The six-pointed star was not to become the Star of David until the seventeenth century. Long before that, it had a much different connotation. The triangle pointing up overlaid on a triangle pointing down represented what would become a Masonic creed: As Above, So Below. It is depicted on Masonic aprons as the square and the compass, the “A” without the bar, over the “V.” In Christian symbols it was the Ave Maria, the words Gabriel used to announce to the Blessed Virgin she was with the Child of God. The number six itself had been a masculine symbol for the sun just as the number five and the pentagram had been a female symbol for the moon.
Five in becoming six creates time and space. Our measurements used in dividing time have been based on six from the beginning of time. The ancient symbol for volume is the six-sided cube. Six was the event in which harmony exists as male and female principle come together. It was an understanding once present in Christianity, later repressed in Roman Christianity as the female was pushed out of the equation.
The city of Florence, the city of the Lily and the Dove, was an Arcadia in itself until the backlash of the church. The reincarnation of the vicious persecution of the Cathars that began in Lyons, Carcassone, and a handful of other cities arose again in the Inquisition that had made its presence felt in Florence. The heart of Cathar religion was the land where the possible family of Jesus, led by Mary Magdalene, hid from persecution. And here was the land where Templar alliances had shifted from the Pope to the religion, or anti-religion, of gnosis. After the destruction of the Languedoc region by the Church in the thirteenth century was over, it still held onto repressed beliefs. Ironically, Lyons became the adopted city of Giovanni as many Florentines fled the Inquisition.
Verrazano himself might have been one of many who left the city before the onslaught of the mad monk Savonarola. Such hammers of God believed the arts and sciences and liberties of Florence were a threat to the church in Rome. Botticelli himself renounced his art in fear of the Catholic punishment for heresy. After a brief period of burning art and banning music, Florence would react by burning Savonarola himself at the stake in the Piazza della Signoria. A stone slab still marks the spot.
Steven Sora has been researching historical enigmas since 1982 and is the author of The Triumph of the Sea Gods, The Lost Treasure of the Knights Templar and Secret Societies of America’s Elite. He lives in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
"The name Verrazano might be recognized as tied to a bridge. But Giovanni Da Verrazano is otherwise a footnote in the history of American discovery and exploration--basically insignificant in the mainstream teaching of history.
"Steven Sora is a writer and researcher dedicated to looking behind the traditional gloss towards a history that is either ignored or covered up or both. Of course history really isn't even taught now [in the high schools] and what is is usually a revisionist politically correct version.
"In his best book yet, Mr. Sora does fabulous detective work and delivers mountains of facts, dates, quotes, and more, all in his theory that the visit of Verrazano was not what it purported to be. Sora shows that the Italian explorer [sent by French King Francis I] was not looking for a 'shorter route to China' but travelled in 1524 to investigate a lost Templar Colony.
"Slowly Sora builds a case for his theory but also gives us a book that goes well beyond Verrazano. Actually most of the book covers those forgotten or ignored or downplayed facts of American and European history that have great bearing [and/or connection] on some of the most important events in time. The author explores a wide range of subjects and events such as the Templars and other secret groups, the Roman church and its myriad confusing and divided 'orders' [read sects], the interplay between Church and State, the Crusades, the wars with Islam, the persecution of 'heretics' [including simple Christians], the anti-Semitism and the war against the Jews, secret treasures, Bible legends, ancient mysteries, facts about Jesus and the Holy Family, secret societies, ancient maps, Columbus, and on and on.
"'The Lost Colony' reads like a thriller but is fact. It crosses ground with 'The DA VINCI CODE' but this is not fiction. Sora actually gives the reader a quick and mind- blowing lesson into the ignored and/or downplayed facts and events and connections of a history that is not that long ago. The author may well have put together the best starting point to explore our past, the early discoveries of America, the survival of the Knight's TEMPLARS, the stories of [often persecuted] men and women in and out of the Roman Church who wanted truth and justice, and the many ignored events of fairly recent history that echo facts from the ancient past.
"For the student of the TEMPLARS, of Mystery Orders, of a Christian movement somewhat Reformed [not Roman] before the Reformation, of the legends of the Holy Family, of the Grail, of Mary Magdalene, and of Jesus and His Apostles, this is a great starting point. THE DAVINCI CODE only captures a slice of history and speculates but Sora presents tons of material and food-for-thought for further research. While I may not always agree with Mr. Sora's interpretations, I think he has done some very solid work that bears examination and calls for more careful scholarship and fresh research.
"I have been a Bible student/researcher for almost 33 years and have covered alot of ground as concerns church history and various religious movements. 'Lost Colony' had fresh sources and info, along with tidbits of delight [word meanings and place names] as well as gems of data and useful information. Add to that clues that point to new vistas and material that deserves heavy historical, archaeological, and inter- disciplinary study. There's commentary on early maps and sea routes, ignored alliances, unlikely religious connections, ancient legends, historic and legendary voyages of discovery and escape, incredible coincidences, and...well I could go on and on. One example of how information is put together to reach a conclusion is his material on the Columbus-[Henry] Sinclair connection and how these two discoverers [Sinclair found Nova Scotia] and their families became tied together in marriage. An incredible fact that historians somehow overlook! This leads us to a huge can of worms [for the traditionalist] that points to an even more complex understanding of the real discovery of 'America' and how/why the great political and religious intrigue that underpinned the times.
"'LOST COLONY' is a great look into the great unknown and/or misunderstood history of the 'New World' and the 'Indies.' It is must reading for any and every person who would understand some of the great mysteries not just of the past 500 years but maybe of the past 2000. The work gives us a taste of a rich, complex, and mysterious heritage and history that needs to be understood in a time when history, reading, and study are belittled and unpopular and there's less chance that students and others will want to do the hard work of discovery. This book may help us to find the 'keys' that open the doors to a historical, documentable hidden history. It is must reading and I highly recommend it--a fascinating couldn't-put-it-down work."
– A. Canales, The Critical Review, June, 2005
"Further revelations about the Vikings, Templars, Sinclairs, old European families, secret societies and long-time mysteries make Sora's book an absorbing read."
– Nexus, May-June 2005
“Steven Sora has once again confirmed his position as one of only a handful having the ‘ability to see’ the signs along the path of the Knights Templar in America. This book is a fascinating blend of innovative theories based on historical fact that will appeal to any reader who quests for understanding of the Holy Bloodline.”
– William F. Mann, author of The Knights Templar in the New World
"Only rarely do you find a book which could change the way we look at our history: this is one of those books. . . . The Lost Colony of the Templars deserves a place of honor on your shelves."
– Kevin Filan, Mysteries Magazine, Vol. 3, #4, Issue #11
". . . this book, which covers an immense range of topics, is really about one thing: a basic change in the nature of human consciousness."