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Harry T. NorrisWell-written, fact-filled, and fascinating. . . . Has in it the making of a classic.
—(Harry T. Norris, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)
Posted November 23, 2000
In a superb and scholarly work Yuri Stoyanov charts the descent and evolution of Dualism (the idea of cosmic conflict between good and evil) from the revelations of Zoroaster and the Orphics, via the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Mithraic mysteries and the great Gnostic teachers, to it's revival in medieval Europe. It reveals a mass of political and religious undercurrents that lie beneath the surface of official history, touching on the Knights Templars, the Rosicrucians and the early Freemasons. This is by far the best book available in English on the movement that became known, in its last major European incarnation, as 'Catharism'.
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Posted March 6, 2009
This book is written in the old Communist style of writing: very stiff, very formal, and very dull.
There is too much information jampacked into every sentence. The density of this book makes it extra heavy, like a black hole in space.
Sentences run for an entire paragraph, paragraphs run a page long or longer. This book needs to be re-edited and abridged.
Avoid it if you can.
Posted December 5, 2000
This book offers an astonishing amount of information on very little known religions and heretical secret movements from ancient Egypt to Siberia. Wide-ranging and very well documented, it is also very well-written and readable. To the lay reader most of the information synthesised in this fascinating book will appear not only new but intriguing and even sensational. A must for the fans of historical mysteries and secret sects narratives.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 18, 2000
The history of secret societies and sects will not be the same after the publication of this book. The amount of new and frequently astonishing information concerning ancient and medieval underground societies is so great and so well-documented that one will need to read the book again and again to select the section of history he wants to explore and understand. The book fortifies with some dramatic new evidence the all-pervading importance of stellar myths and correlations in ancient Egypt, Babylonia and Iran, as emphasized in some recent books, and then traces these and related esoteric trends in late antiquity and the Middle Ages. Stoyanov's final discussion of Cathar secret doctrines and myths, including the teaching of a marriage between Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene ('described as a 'great secret')and their sources is a tour de force and one has the feeling that he does not reveal all the material at his disposal, hinting that it is reserved for a book yet to come for which I will wait with some impatience.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.