Guercino’s painting, “The Flaying of Marsyas by Apollo” (1618-1622) is contemporary with his other painting “The Shepherds of Arcadia”. This painting is showing us the same pair of shepherds, but this time they are viewing a skull. Guercino is telling us that the place where Marsyas was flayed is also where this skull is buried.
Recall that Tenier’s painting “The Temptation of St. Anthony” (1647) is also showing us a skull and the Holy Grail as well.
So there are two skulls, one is buried inside the cave of Marsyas, the other one is buried inside the Nymph’s cave of the Madara Rider, where also the Holy Grail is buried. Now remember, these were true on or before 1647, when these paintings were finished.
Many years have passed since then, and the Shugborough monument (1756) is telling us another story. The monument is showing us two sarcophagi, a smaller sarcophagus on top of a larger one.
This is telling us that the skeletons of the two mysterious persons were reburied together in one single place.
The inscription “ET IN ARCADIA EGO” written in the larger sarcophagus tells us that this burial place is nearArcadia, the birthplace of Pan or Marsyas. Thus I believe that the skeleton of the person buried inside the Nymph’s cave, together with the Holy Grail, were reburied inside the cave of Marsyas.
But who are these two mysterious persons whose remains are buried inside the cave of Marsyas, together with the Holy Grail?
The coded message of one of Berenger Sauniere’s parchments gives us the identity of one of them.
A DAGOBERT II ROI ET A SION EST CE TRESOR ET IL EST LA MORT
To Dagobert II, King, and to Sion is this treasure and he is there dead.
The great treasures of Jerusalem which the Knights Templar were believed to have discovered when they took control of the Temple Mount, are also buried inside this cave! This is the reason why this cave is called “Sion”.
Now who is the other person buried in Sion? I believe he is none other than the legendary founder of the Rosicrucian Order himself, Christian Rosenkreutz (1378-1484).
What is the significance of the Latin inscription “ET IN ARCADIA EGO” which translates as "Even in Arcadia I exist", or "Iam also in Arcadia"? (Note the present tense of the two translations).
This inscription written in the sarcophagus of a dead person, is simply telling us that the person buried inside, is also alive and residing in Arcadia! (This was true at the time the “ET IN ARCADIA EGO” paintings were commissioned). In other words, the buried person has reincarnated!
Whether reincarnation is true or not, the point is, the Rosicrucians believe in this doctrine, and they truly believe that their legendary leader has reincarnated in the early 17th century. The series of “ET IN ARCADIA EGO” paintings (the first one being by Guercino in 1618) are their testament to this belief.
What happened in the early 17th century that may substantiate this wild claim?
It was the reemergence of Rosicrucianism which before then was never heard of since it was created in the 1400's.
Between 1607 and 1616, two anonymous Rosicrucian manifestos were published, first in Germany and later throughout Europe. These were Fama Fraternitatis RC (The Fame of the Brotherhood of RC) and Confessio Fraternitatis (The Confession of the Brotherhood of RC).
Furthermore, the fact that they buried the remains of Dagobert II and Christian Rosenkreutz together in one place, with one sarcophagus placed on top of the other, tells us that the Rosicrucians believe that Rosenkreutz was the reincarnation of Dagobert II as well.
So who could have been the reincarnation of Christian Rosenkreutz in the early 17th century, according to the Rosicrucians?
He is none other than the Count of St. Germain who claimed to have been more than 300 years old when he first emerged in the London scene in the early 18th century. The age of 300 years old may have meant the accumulated life time in his three incarnations as Dagobert II, Christian Rosenkreutz, and Count St. Germain.