WINE, WOMEN AND THE TRUTH
(A contradiction in terms one would think)
by Niven Sinclair, London, June 10, 2004
Earl William St Clair was certainly one of the great illuminati of his day as
can be seen from the care and attention which he built into every aspect of his
architectural masterpiece: Rosslyn Chapel.
There are carvings representing everything from fallen angels to a menagerie of
animals, from one hundred green men to a cornucopia of physic plants, from the
grotesque figures of the master mason to the weeping face of the apprentices
mother, from the danse macabre to the head of Robert the Bruce. Earl
William was writing a story in stone and, yet, there is only one quotation
inscribed in the whole building. It is on one of the lintels in the South
aisle. It reads:
Forte est vinu; fortior est Rex; fortiores sunt mulieres;
sup (super) om (omnia) vincit veritas
(the words in brackets have been added for clarification)
Paradoxically, the inscription is in Lombardic lettering which may give some
indication of the country from which some of the stonemasons came.
The translation is given as:
Wine is strong, the king is stronger, women are
but above all truth conquers.
Where did this saying originate? Why did Earl William choose to give it added
emphasis by singling it out as the sole quotation? What truth was he drawing
attention to? Had it anything to do with the secret which his grandson showed to
Mary of Guise who, on seeing it, promised to remain a true maistress to
him and to keep the secret all the days of her life?
These were strange words for the Queen Regent, as she was at the time, to use
to one of her subjects. Why was the boot suddenly on the other foot? What
secret did the Sinclairs hold (and may still hold) to have a Queen bend the
To find the answer we have to return to early Jewish writing which (there being
little new under the sun) may have been adapted from earlier pagan narratives.
However, the story is best summed up in Majorie L. Kimbrough’s Stories
Between the Testaments (pp.101-102)which is given overleaf:
The information, found only in
First Edras, begins in Chapter 3.
King Darius gives a banquet for all his kingdom and, after he has gone to bed,
young men of the bodyguard hold a contest to determine what one thing is the
strongest. The person giving the wisest answer is to be richly rewarded by the
Each contestant writes a statement, seals it and places it under the pillow of
who, along with three nobles of Persia, will judge which is the wisest statement.
The first answer is wine: the second is the king; and the third answer is Women
are the strongest but, above all things, truth is victor (312) When the king
he reads the statements and summons a company of judges and calls the three
men in to explain their answers. (3:13-17a).
The first young man explains that wine leads the mind astray, causes changes in
behaviour, neutralises intelligence, diminishes capacity, and causes loss of
The second man believes the king is stronger for he rules over others, sends
them to war or work, and takes what they win or earn. They watch over him when
he sleeps and obey him in all matters (4:1-12).
The third man, Zerubbabel, tells how women give birth to kings and to those who
plant the vineyards that produce the wine. Men cannot exist without women and
they are willing to give all they possess to be with a beautiful woman. They
will risk their lives for the love of a woman, leave their parents and hold to
the wives with whom they wish to spend the remainder of their days on earth
(4:13-25). Many men have lost their minds because of women and have become
slaves because of them. Many have perished or stumbled or sinned because of
He explains how women can take the crown from the heads of kings but, strong as
they are, they cannot compete with truth. (4:28-35). Truth is great and stronger
than all things. The whole earth calls upon truth and heaven blesses her. All
Gods work quake and tremble and with him there is nothing unrighteous.
Wine is unrighteous, the king is unrighteous, women are unrighteous and all such
things. There is no truth in them and their unrighteousness they will perish.
But truth endures and is strong forever and ever (4:35b-38).
When Zerubbabel had finished speaking, everyone said Great is truth and
strongest of all. Zerubbabel is declared the winner and is promised whatever he
asks of the king. Zerubbabel asks the king to honour his vow to build
Jerusalem, return the Holy vessels, and rebuild the temple. King Darius grants
him and all who would go to build Jerusalem a safe passage and assistance in
building. They will not have to pay tribute and offerings will be given to the
temple. He provides land and wages for those who guard the city and sends back
the Holy vessels. Zerubbabel leaves praising God and thanking the Lord for
providing him with the wisdom and they got to build the city, feasting and
rejoicing for seven days (4:42-63).
If we return to that other temple, Rosslyn Chapel, we find the figures of King
Darius (asleep) and two of the young bodyguards on an architrave which
runs at right angles to the lintel on which the quotation appears. What, one
wonders happened to the third bodyguard? Did too much wine cause him to fall?
And on an opposite corbel the figure of Melchizadek (?) holding a chalice. (the
grail ?) can be seen. What can he be doing there? Truly Rosslyn Chapel is a
puzzle in stone but, of one thing we can be certain, everything had a purpose -
every carving had a meaning and even the placing of those carvings was carefully
worked out so that Earl Williams message for posterity would finally be
understood by those initiates who had followed the path of learning and
self-denial until it brought them to the doors of Rosslyn Chapel.
The answer will be given to those with the courage to explore, the vision to see
and the humility to thank God for Mother Earth from which all bounty flows. The
Chapel proclaims that God and Nature is ONE ; that every green shoot is a word
of God; that, if there is any sacrilege, it is what Man has done and is doing to
Mother Earth. Every day there is less and less of the surface of the Earth
capable of sustaining life. Our oceans have become cesspits. Our minds have
become deserts. In our arrogance, we have set
ourselves above other living things and, in so doing, we have divorced ourselves
from reality and from the truth. Alas, the truth is a World which few people
have the courage to explore or even to voice in this age of political
correctness. McCarthyim is not dead.
If Earl William had stated his beliefs in the 15th Century he would
have been charged with heresy and hanged so he chiselled out that message in
stone. In his mind, God and Nature was ONE. He also believed that Mankind was
suffering from a medieval religious hangover of such magnitude that it was
heading for Armageddon.
And, as we look at the World today, we must ask ourselves: Was he wrong to
think that all religions had been hi-jacked by power hungry preachers
who, instead of preaching peace as their respective religions required, they
ranted against the infidels and engaged in Holy Wars under the euphemistic
titles of Crusades or Jihad. No wonder the Knights Templar and, ipso facto,
the St Clairs wished to establish a rapport with Islam a need which is just as
great today as it was in the 14th Century. There is nothing in the
Quoran which is contrary to Christian teaching except they draw a line at
accepting Jesus as being the son of God. So do many others who are not of the
All boundaries, whether national or religious, are man made. In the main, they
make little sense because, whether we are Caucasian, Mongoloid or Negroid, we
are all at one with each other in our primitive mortal needs. That and the law
of Nature which is eternal and unchanging, is the truth a truth which we must
embrace before homo sapiens (and that is another contradiction in terms) joins
the dodo into extinction an event, d.v. which
will bring about the recovery of Mother Earth from the depredations of Man.