CHAPTER THREE:

IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING



- chapter index -
pg. 1 - Epitaph | pg. 2 - The Iron Gates of Fate
pg. 3 - The Fate of All Mankind | pg. 4 - Moonchild
pg. 5 - The Court of the Crimson King | pg. 6 - The Purple Piper
pg. 7 - Averroes | pg. 8 - The Keeper of the City Keys
pg. 9 - The Pilgrim's Door | pg. 10 - The Return of the Fire Witch
pg. 11 - The Gardener Plants An Evergreen | pg. 12 - The Prism Ship
pg. 13 - The Grinding Wheel | pg. 14 - On Soft Gray Mornings
pg. 15 - Divining Signs | pg. 16 - The Yellow Jester
pg. 17 - Remember the Future | pg. 18 - The Return of the King
pg. 19 - The I Ching | pg. 20 - Octants

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Three Lullabies


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"The purple piper plays his tune,"

...it would be better to translate rubedo as "work in the purple"rather than "work in the red."The purple results from the union of light and darkness, a union which marks the victory of light. Purple is the royal color. It is also, according to Suhrawardi, the color of the wings of the archangel who presides over the fate of humanity, whenever a wise man discovers the sacredness of all things; the archangel has soiled one of his wings with shadow; the "Silent One," by his presence alone, brings together the white wing with the black wing and unites them in the purple."

- Notes on Alchemy:
The Cosmological Yoga of Medieval Christianity


St. Thomas Aquinas

"He was born in the purple, almost literally on the hem of the imperial purple; for his own cousin was the Holy Roman Emperor (Frederick II).
A bond of blood bound him to the great Emperors of the Rhine and Danube who claimed to wear the crown of Charlemagne; Red Barbarossa, who sleeps under the rushing river, was his great uncle, and Frederick II, the Wonder of the World, his second cousin."

- St. Thomas Aquinas By: G. K. Chesterton (1933)

"His family was connected by marriage with the Hohenstaufens; they had Swabian blood in their veins, and so the great schoolman was of the race of Frederick II. Monasticism seized on Thomas in his early youth; be became an inmate of Monte Casino;"

- Longfellow Notes: Paradiso

"During the years of the sharpest struggle between Emperor and Pope Thomas was studying at the Benedictine Abbey of Monte Cassino which at that time also served as an imperial castle, situated on the border between Hohenstaufen and papal territory.

In the first months of the year 1239, when Frederick II was excommunicated, Monte Cassino came directly into the zone of battle. The garrison of the castle, half of which had to be supported by the abbey, was more than doubled. The fortifications were expanded by order of the Emperor himself, who had first entered his Sicilian kingdom twenty years previously at this very spot. In this same year, the monks had to leave their monastery. Among their company was the fifteen-year-old Thomas Aquinas."

- The Silence of Saint Thomas
by Joseph Pieper


"At sixteen years of age he caught the more fiery and vigorous enthusiasm of the Dominicans. By them he was sent --no unwilling proselyte and pupil--to France. He was seized by his worldly brothers, and sent back to Naples; he was imprisoned in one of the family castles, but resisted even the fond entreaties of his mother and his sisters. He persisted in his pious disobedience, his holy hardness of heart; he was released after two years' imprisonment--it might seem strange--at the command of the Emperor Frederick II. The godless Emperor, as he was called, gave Thomas to the Church. Aquinas took the irrevocable vow of a Friar Preacher." (Milman, History of Latin Christianity , VIII. 265)

- Longfellow Notes: Paradiso

"St. Thomas turned away from his royal destiny and chose to be a Mendicant Friar, a Beggar, in the Dominican order. Chesterton argues that it would be accurate to describe St. Thomas as an

'...International Man in an International Age.' There was an International War being fought in the sense that '...two internationalities were at war: the Catholic Church and the Holy Roman Empire...between the Popes and the German Emperors."

- A Report on St. Thomas Aquinas the Dumb Ox by G.K. Chesterton / by R. Jeffrey Grace

"The purple piper plays his tune,"

"St.Thomas is the author of some of the most splendid hymns of the Roman Breviary and Missal. He was entrusted by the pope with the task of composing the office for the new festival of Corpus Christi."

- The Medieval Bases of Western Thought



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"The choir softly sing;
Three lullabies in an ancient tongue,
For the court of the crimson king.
"

Three Lullabies - Three Impostors

"It was rumored that Frederick had written a book titled De Tribus Impostoribus (" About the Three Impostors "). The impostors, so the story went, he considered to be Moses, Jesus and Mohammed, the founders of the religions of the Western world. The rumor was false, but it seems to have captured the essence of his views. It was said he did not believe in God."

- The Situation In Europe by Erik Hildinger


Despite their differences, Aquinas and Frederick were doing much the same thing.

"The exodus from Monte Cassino led the boy to Naples -- to the beginning of his particular destiny; it took him permanently out of seclusion and thrust him into the heated center of all the intellectual battles of that time. The University of Naples, founded in the year of Thomas's birth, was the first "pure state university," -- not a "school for seminarians but a school for imperial officials."

Frederick II had designed it to work against the Church. Here, according to custom, Thomas studied the "liberal arts." What is most important is that, under the tutelage of the Irishman, Peter of Hibernia, he became acquainted with the writings of Aristotle, which were at that time extremely suspect in the Church. "Aristotelian!" was an abusive epithet in the mouths of the orthodox, comparable to nihilist, freethinker, man of the "Enlightenment."

It was in Naples, too, that the flame of that urban "youth movement," which was filling the ranks of the first generation of the mendicant orders, was first kindled in the heart of the young nobleman.

These two words, "Aristotle" and "mendicants," indicate the two most important disputes which in the first half of the thirteenth century rocked Christendom with a passionate violence we can scarcely understand. Both Aristotle and the mendicant orders stood in the midst of a storm of approvals and rejections."

- The Silence of Saint Thomas
by Joseph Pieper





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In the Court of the Crimson King ~ Averroes



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