Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Temple of Isis Background

This week's story, "The Temple of Isis" is based on historical facts. The story begins with Hazel buying and old vase. The vase turns out to be a valuable antique with a ring stuck inside the neck of the vase. The ring is an even more valuable sealing ring that belonged to a Byzantine general Belisarius who was one of the most brilliant military leaders of all time. Belisarius served under Emperor Justinian I during the middle of the 6th century.

Isis was a major goddess in Egypt. The worship of Isis began as a cult about 2500 AD, which was typical of the worship of most of the gods of Egypt. She became sort of a mother goddess for anyone and everyone - children, women, sailors, and many more. Isis may have been the most popular of Egypt's gods. Temples to her have been uncovered all across North Africa and even as far away a Pompeii. Worshipers of Isis did steal Christian and Jewish relics, even taking articles from the temple in Jerusalem.

As seems to be their habit lately, Harbour Light's timing is just right. Justinian sent Belisarius to North Africa to destroy the Vandals who were led by General Gelimer. Belisarius defeated Gelimer at Carthage on Sept. 13, 533. Belisarius is said to have returned a large quantity of relics from the temple in Jerusalem to Constantinople. Later that year, Belisarius captured Gelimer and totally defeated the Vandals.