"Some scholars believed that the first two outbreak are documented in the Bible, in the old testament in the 1st book of Samuel (I Sam 5:6) and in the Books of the 2nd Kings, 2nd Chronicles, Isaiah and in the writings of Herodotus, a Greek historian. One of this, in the Book of Samuel, dated approximately 1320 B.C., the Philistine army attacks the Hebrew and seizes the Ark of the Covenant. They take it to the city of Ashdod then to Gath and Ekron. Each city is stricken with illness which is only cured through the return of the Ark of the Covenant to the Hebrews and the gift of five golden emerods and five golden mice. The second biblical record of plague is when Jerusalem was seized by the army of the Assyrians. It was stated that one morning the Hebrews awoke and found out all the soldiers are dead and according to Herodotus, “multitudes of field mice”. The presence of field mice among the dead could indicate an outbreak of plague.
Saint Roch the patron of Plagues
Born at Montpellier towards 1295; died 1327. His father was governor of that city. At his birth St. Roch is said to have been found miraculously marked on the breast with a red cross. Deprived of his parents when about twenty years old, he distributed his fortune among the poor, handed over to his uncle the government of Montpellier, and in the disguise of a mendicant pilgrim, set out for Italy, but stopped at Aquapendente, which was stricken by the plague, and devoted himself to the plague-stricken, curing them with the sign of the cross. He next visited Cesena and other neighbouring cities and then Rome. Everywhere the terrible scourge disappeared before his miraculous power. He visited Mantua, Modena, Parma, and other cities with the same results. At Piacenza, he himself was stricken with the plague. He withdrew to a hut in the neighbouring forest, where his wants were supplied by a gentleman named Gothard, who by a miracle learned the place of his retreat. After his recovery Roch returned to France. Arriving at Montpellier and refusing to disclose his identity, he was taken for a spy in the disguise of a pilgrim, and cast into prison by order of the governor, — his own uncle, some writers say, — where five years later he died. The miraculous cross on his breast as well as a document found in his possession now served for his identification. He was accordingly given a public funeral, and numerous miracles attested his sanctity.
"Église Saint-Roch. When walking inside, there is the Tetragrammaton behind the main altar. It is surrounded by stained glass which seems to have the Star of David in each one. When walking further behind, there are two Menorahs, and between them there is the ark of the covenant (with Catholic symbols engraved in it). "
"At the end of the 16th century the chapel was dedicated to Saint-Roch, the saint protector from the plague, as the overcrowded district was a permanent source of infection.
But those days are over...
"Templar chapter meetings were convened in Montpellier (1293), Paris (1295/6) and Arles (1296). "
"On his return incognito to Montpellier he was arrested as a spy (by orders of his own uncle) and thrown into prison, where he languished five years and died on 16 August 1327, without revealing his name, to avoid worldly glory."
"On the death of his parents in his twentieth year he distributed all his worldly goods among the poor like Francis of Assisi— though his father on his deathbed had ordained him governor of Montpellier"
"This tiny town is situated northwest of Montpellier and about 750 meters higher. That means that despite being a beautiful day in Montpellier, there were slight flurries up there (something I and most other people did not take into account when dressing for the outing). Though now there are only 27 citizens who reside in the city year round, during the Moyen Âge, there were probably close to 600.
In a small town such as this, there were many communal facilities. For example, in the photo below, the steps (to the left of the blue bins) lead up to a community water reservoir and the building on the right was a community oven. Citizens would pay a small tax to the lord and then have access to these facilities. There is also a communal mill, but we’ll see that later.
Like most medieval cities, the highest point is the church. The steps leading up to the church are on the other side of this hill (that don’t really look like steps, but rather the same jagged rock face), were the only path the villagers could use. Later, the Templar Knights built a fortress with a path that was much easier to climb, however, this path was reserved for them.
Below and to the right is the Templar fortress. During the XII century, the Templars used this city as a resting point on their way to the Holy Land. They were also successful in raising sheep for wool, meat, and milk. Despite its size, there were probably no more than five knights inside the fortress at a time.
Are we there yet?
How's your pile of sand doing?