Montovolo Retreat 3 (versione in Italiano)
Montovolo’s Black Madonna and its Presumed Ancient
Temple of Isis
Black Madonnas with Child are among the most sacred icons of the Catholic
Church and they are found in Europian most venerated Sanctuaries and
Cathedrals.a Today, there are over 450 documented Black Madonna
sites in all the world (see: /www.udayton.edu/mary/). Also on a mountain named Montovolo, located
there is a Sanctuary dedicated to a Black Madonna with Child. Previously we
have reported that this site (Montovolo) was probably in origin an ancient
oracular centre (see Montovolo Retreat 1) and probably already present in
the Etruscan Age (VIII-I centuries BC). This statement was based on the
presence, on the Sanctuary’s lunetta (reported above), of two doves and two
plants which are the most used codes of the ancient oracular centres.
Subsequently we have found that the serpent legend of Montovolo is very similar
to an ancient ballad of Delphi, the most
famous oracle centre of the Mediterranean area. In addition the local religious
traditions of Montovolo are in accord with an Etruscan Sacred site dedicated to
goddess Pales ( see Montovolo Retreat 2).
"legend", reported in some books b,c relates that at one
time there was an ancient temple
of Isis at Montovolo.
This story probably arised or by the presence, at Montovolo, of a Black Madonna
or by the fact that this Black Madonna was a reproduction of an ancient statue
of Isis located in this site. It is very
difficult to determine the exact correlation but there is one.
fact, modern historiansa recognize that the statue of the Egyptian
Goddess Isis holding her child Horus in her arms was the first Madonna and
Child. Probably these statues were renamed Mary and Jesus when Europe was forcibly Christianized.
likely several Black Madonnas which are venerated in Europe
have this origin. It is reported that
the Bishop of Alexandria, had openely embraced the cause of Isis, the Egypthian
goddess, and had anthropomorphized her into Mary, the mother of God…"( H.P.Blavatsky,
cult of Isis spread from Alexandria to all the Mediterranean
countries, especially Greece
and Rome, after
the fourth century BC, and reached a peak in the third century BC. The cult
died out in Rome
after the institution of Christianity, and the last Egyptian temples to Isis were closed around 550 AD and trasformed in a
Christian temple. In the ancient Rome
about one hundried of temples of Isis were
adapted to Christian churchs.
- "The cult of Isis
was widespread in the Egypt
of the dynastic period. From Egypt it spread northwards to Phoenicia,
Syria and Palestine; to Asia Minor; to Cyprus, Rhodes, Crete, Samos and
other islands in the Aegean; to many parts of mainland Greece,Corinth,
Argos and Thessaly amongst them; to Malta and Sicily; and, finally, to
Rome. In the first century BC, Isis was
perhaps the most popular goddess in the Eternal City,
from which her cult spread to the furthest limits of the Roman
Empire, including Britain: her only rival was
Watterson, The Gods of Ancient Egypt )
the first century BC, Isis, Goddess of Egypt, was perhaps the most popular
Goddess in Rome
and probably its image was carried by Roman legions and was pictured as
Black because of its African origin even if in ancient Egypt she was
conventionally pictured as pale Yellow Virgin !
the centuries many images of the original ancient Blak Madonnas were destroyed
and sometime replaced by reproductions with pale or white skin color (or of
white marble!) perhaps to cancel the "pagan" origin.
authors affirm that the dark color of these Blak Madonnas is due to the many
candles and lamps that have burned night and day before the image !!!.
present statue*, wood polychrome pictured, of the Black Madonna of Montovolo
was done by an anonimous sculptor presumably in XV- XVI century in imitation of
an earlier Black Madonna the author had seen. In fact, it is reportede
that an "old and a new Madonna " were together present in Montovolo
Sanctuary for severals years in the in XVI century. The definition of Sanctuary
for this small church might be not appropiated but however justified if its
origin was a very ancient, important Temple.
most important religious festival of Montovolo occurs after the first week of
September and , in the past, it lasted for about two weeks. But it is reported
by Lattanzio (IV century A.D) that in the ancient Egypth the same period of
September was dedicated to Isis rites.
should be noted that remains of ancient sanctuaries of Isis
have been found in several ancient oracle centres such as Delos,
Dion, and Delphi (as reportedf by
Plutarco). Then the presumed temple
of Isis on the top of
Montovolo and consequently its Black Madonna are in accord with a previous
ancient Oracle Centre on the same site.
are these just other strange coincidences ?
after a recent "restoration" of the statue, its black skin color has
been attenuated but the original color can be appreciated looking photos reported
in some bookse or in old postcards.
Stefen Benko , The Virgin Goddess: Studies in the Pagan and Christian Roots
of Mariology, 1996
b) Arturo Palmieri Un probabile confine
dell’Esarcato di Ravenna nell’appennino Bolognese Montovolo-Vimignano, Bologna
c) Arturo Palmieri Montovolo nel Bolognese e
le sue leggende. Palermo 1895.
d) Arturo Palmieri La montagna bolognese del
Medio Evo, Bologna 1929.
e) Oriano Tassinari Clò, Terra e gente di
Vimignano, Bologna 1987.
Plutarco, Isis and Osiris.
Prof. Graziano Baccolini
Dipartimento di Chimica
Organica, Università di Bologna
Part of this page is
quoted in an article of Catholic New Times (CNT) of Toronto (Jan
4, 2004) http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0MKY/is_1_28/ai_n6244867
our researches about Montovolo:
Montovolo retreat 4 (Delphi's
"Castalian"Spring and Montovolo's "Cantalian" Spring:
Another Strange Coincidence or
Another Ancient Correlation ?) (Italian Version)
Montovolo retreat 5 (The Two Etruscan Necropolis of Marzabotto and their Sacred Ties
Montovolo retreat 6 2002 (Found an Unequivocal
Data Confirming Montovolo was the Sacred Mountain of the Northern Etruscan
Dodecapolis (Italian Version
Montovolo retreat 7 2002 (The Crypt of Montovolo is Actually an Intact Etruscan Temple! (Italian
retreat 8 , 2003
Montovolo : an Etruscan Geodetic Point? ( italian
retreat 9 2003 The Tomb of the Bulls and
its Religious Symbols: The Oval Stone and the Cross (Italian
Montovolo retreat 10 (2004) The Symbolic Meaning of
the Egg and of the Oval Stone in the Etruscan Religion (Italian version)
(The tomb of the Leopards, The Tomb of the Lionesses , The Tomb of the Shields) at Tarquinia
Montovolo retreat 11(2005) An afternoon dedicated to
the Art: A Meeting with Antonella Roncarolo, writer and journalist
Montovolo retreat 12 (2005) From Montovolo to the
Campidoglio: the Symbolic Meaning of Michelangelo's Oval Design.( Italian version )
Montovolo retreat 13 (2005) From Montovolo to Volterra:
found again all together the symbols of the Etruscan Oracular Centers (Italian version)
retreat 14 (29 october 2005) (italian version)
A Meeting with Dr Romano Romoli , to find the ancient origin of Words
and Symbols. ( photos) See
also Etymologies of Giovanni Semerano
Montovolo Retreat 15 (Maggio 2006 ) - From Australia to Montovolo:
to Know the Archaic Etruscan “Navel” and its
“Temple of the Lily” (English version)
Retreat 16 (March
2007) A Recent Study of Genetics supports Anatolian Origin of the
Etruscans (Italian Version)
Retreat 17 (June 2008 ) Da Montovolo
la vera origine dei Merovingi, del Giglio di Francia e quello di Firenze ( Italian
Montovolo the origin of Merovingians, of the Lily of France ( fleur de lis) and
that of Florence
.) (English version -)
See also a summary
of our researches about Montovolo as Sacred Etruscan
Mount or the index of Montovolo Retreats
My preferred web site about Etruscan Civilisation:
See also my
amazing scientific wisdom of the ancients: Plato and Proclus.
Home page of GBG