This unique coin is from sometime between 742 and 814 A.D. and depicts Charles the Great, also known as Charlemagne, arrayed in his royal apparel. Matthew Brown describes it thus:
…wearing a crown, a pleated robe, and an apron that is decorated with a tree. The king also holds the sword, which in ancient times was regarded as a royal weapon. ((Matthew Brown, The Gate of Heaven, 127.))
Diane Wirth, a writer and lecturer on Mesoamerican iconography, describes the design on this apron as the “Tree of Life” ((Diane Wirth, “The King and the Tree of Life: Evidence of Pre-Columbian Contact,” 2003 BMAF Conference, <http://www.bmaf.org/page.php?cmd=view&id=57>.)). Brown corroborates when he says that the king himself, in the ancient Near East, was often seen as a “personification of that tree” ((Matthew Brown, Girded About with a Lambskin, FARMS, <http://farms.byu.edu/display.php?id=149&table=jbms>.)).
Brown continues that “Since the king of Israel was considered to be the personification of Adam…, we might ask whether his apron somehow imitated the fig leaf apron that was worn by Adam (see Genesis 3:7)” ((Matthew Brown, The Gate of Heaven, 150)). Furthermore, “ancient Hebrew legends . . . taught that the tree of knowledge of good and evil was a fig tree and it was from this tree’s leaves that Adam constructed his apron” ((Matthew Brown, Girded About with a Lambskin, FARMS, <http://farms.byu.edu/display.php?id=149&table=jbms>.)).
Another image of Emperor Charlemagne (see figure 297) likewise shows him wearing such plantlife iconography, whether trees or leaves, upon his breast ((Paul Lacroix, Manners, Custom and Dress During the Middle Ages and During the Renaissance Period, <http://www.gutenberg.org/files/10940/10940-h/10940-h.htm>.)).
You are uncanny. This is the 3rd time that I have read about a particular subject on my own, and then to find a post the next day on your site about it.
About 2 days ago, I read the FARMS article you quoted, “Girded About with a Lambskin”. I like the connection made in that paper between “wolves in sheep’s clothing” and apostate religion’s imitation of the true order of worship.
I once read about synchronicities in a book called The Holographic Universe. I found it a very interesting concept, as I too have been reading or thinking about a subjects and then have been surprised when suddenly they pop into my life. Once I even wrote quite a long paper that I entitled, “The Modern Worldview from Plato’s Cave,” which introduced some of these subjects. I think there is much more going on in our daily reality than we casually recognize, and the quantum physicists are leading the way. One particular modern theory about “wholeness” describes our universe as a “whole in every part” rather than the popular view of parts that make up the whole. This has a very familiar ring to Joseph’s (and the temple’s) teaching that all truth will be circumscribed into one great whole.
Another great post, Bryce. I am currently writing a paper on evidences for non-levitical priesthood in Ancient Israel, including the priestly activities of the Davidic kings, and this gives me some more good ideas. There really was so much going on in the religion of the ancient Israelites that is obscured in the biblical text that we have inherited. Good stuff!
John Pratt has an article in Meridian Magazine about synchronicities and the way in which our prayers are answered, John the Baptist seeing the Dove at Jesus’ baptism, etc.