Anyone following my blog is probably following Bad Archaeology, but in case not, you should check out this fascinating piece on the origin of the now traditional association between the Spear of Destiny and the Nazis.
It should be noted that Ashley Cowie, in episode three of his six-part Legend Quest series, “searches for the Holy Lance of Longinus (aka The Spear of Destiny) in Europe which is reputed to have been used at the Crucifixion of Jesus.” Ashley ultimately tracks the holy relic to no less a repository than Nevada’s ever-mysterious military installation, Area 51, but could not get in.
From the Wiki entry about that show, under the section titled “Fabrication of shots/locations,” reads the following: “In Season 1, Episode 3, during the search for The Holy Lance, the team claims to have gone to Area 51 before deciding they could not gain entry and ultimately abandoning the search. However, it has been pointed out that the unoccupied guard house that Ashley and Kinga are filmed in front of is not the entrance to Area 51 and that they, in fact, fabricated the shot from another location.”
I saw that – absolutely hilarious. I’ve come to the conclusion that these programmes are rather like Daily Mail articles – no-one involved actually believes what they’re producing – it’s just theatre for a particular audience.
Given the importance of the Grail in the art of early German nationalism (vide Wagner’s materpiece ‘Parsifal’) I wonder if there is somehow a connection between the ‘spear of destiny’ and Wotan’s spear Gungnir, an important McGuffin in ‘Der Ring des Niebelungen’?
There is a very amusing debunking of the cult of relics in ‘The English Roman Life’, by dodgy Elizabethan writer Anthony Munday.