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The Sator Square

1.The enigmatic Sator Square

 

It was November 12th, 1936. The archeologist Matteo della Corte was doing an inspection in the Gymnasium at the archaeological site of Pompeii [1]. This large building, dating back to the 1st century BC, today appears enclosed by a long fence wall and it is accessible through ten doors, originally by tuff. The imposingness of the Gymnasium is evident by its extraordinary portico with columns, that extends for 350 meters in three perimeter sides. Here, Matteo della Corte found out an inscription in the LXI column, that couldn’t have existed. On the smooth surface of the stone, consumed by time, he could see the letters:

 

S A T O R
A R E P O
T E N E T
O P E R A
R O T A S

 

 

It was the enigmatic inscription called Sator Square, one of the greatest and insurmountable mysteries of ancient archaeology.

The discovery was immediately considered as incredible: almost all the specimen of the magic square found until 1936 dated back to the medieval age. Scholars considered the particular inscription as a possible symbology linked to that historical period or as evidence of some monastic congregations. When the Sator was found in Pompeii, some magic squares of the 3rd century were already studying and their early dating was putting into doubt the medievalist thesis yet. Among these squares, there was a Sator square engraved on a parget in a house in Cirencester (the ancient Roman Corinium Donuborum) and other ones found out in the archaeological site of Dura-Europos, in Syria [2]. In any case, the finding of the Sator Square in Pompeii constituted a historiographical unicum, because since then nobody could have provided a valid interpretation of the finding.

 

 

 

The Sator Square
Sator Square, Gymnasium in Pompeii

 

A issue of identification

The Sator Square was found in the Gymnasium, however it is not the only one discovered in Pompeii. Matteo della Corte remembered having found another fragment in 1925, in the vestibule of the Publius Paquius Proculus’ house [3] [4]. The archaeologist was so fascinated by the incredible circumstance of the finding that he named the magic square the “Latercolo of Pompeii“.

The archaeological research contextualizes a finding on the basis of its discovery site. This practice is fundamental to identify the use, dating and meaning of the find. Thus, it is expected that a specific inscription would be located only in the areas to which it is linked to for a specific historical period. For instance, if an Egyptian papyrus is found inside a burial chamber, it will be easy to deduce its hieroglyphical content according to the context. Certainly the glyphs would regard the dead or the burial method used during the Ancient Egypt.

 

The timeless square

A straightforward interpretation of the Sator Square hasn’t ever been possible.The inscription, with its geometrical and philological characteristics, still appears inexplicably in archaeological areas spread all over Europe and the Middle East. Moreover, these sites belong to diversified historical periods: from the early Christian and Byzantine periods to the Medieval one, until the modern examples. The anciest finding, the square found in the Gymnasium in Pompeii, dates back to a period between the half of the 1st century and the 79 AD. Since that date, incontrovertible due to the eruption of the Vesuvius in 79 AD, the magic square has been finding with an unsuspected frequency.

The square appears in the external walls of the Christian religious buildings, in secular manuscripts, on the surface of cups and vases as well as in refined mosaics. As the numerous inscriptions found in Centre Italy until the English Cirencester, in the form of graphite engravings, prints or epigraphs, the Sator Square even appears in a rectangular or circular form.

 

The Sator Square

     The Sator Square in Campiglia Marittima (LI)

 

The big mystery

Since its unknown origin and the difficulty to be studied, the extraordinary mystery of the Sator Square has regarded also its intrinsic meaning. So far, nobody could understand what it is exactly. Some scholars suggest a numerologicalcabalistic solution, whilst others propose a literal and linguistic interpretation. These hypothesis will be elaborated on the following paragraphs, with an exaustible description of the writing characteristics of the finding. An analysis of the interpretation of the Sator Square will be provided by Indagini e Misteri team. Finally, a list of the areas where the Sator was found will be provided, with a description of the main characteristics of each finding.

 

 

2.Interpretations and theories about the Sator Square

 

The magic square is composed by 25 letters that forms five Latin words. The structure is a square arranging themselves into four spatial directions creating a palindrome shape. For this fascinating characteristic, the Sator Square is being studied in order to decipher its meaning.

 

S A T O R
A R E P O
T E N E T
O P E R A
R O T A S

 

 

Literal translation of the words

Abandoning the “enigmatic” nature of the subject, an attempt was early made to give a complete meaning translation.

The term SATOR is usually translated as the “creator” or the “sower“. Sometimes, this translation was related to the biblic sense of the term, confirming that before the pre-Christian age a Sator has never been found. Particularly, some biblical passages could be of reference: Matthew 8,3, Mark 4,2 and Luke 8,4. However, the first person who used the term “sator” in the meaning of “divinity” was Cicero in 44 BC [De natura deorum; Tusculanae disputationes].

 

– AREPO is not a known Latin term. Today, among the scholars it is spread the hypothesis that this term would refer to Arepos, the denomination used by Gallic populations for calling the Celtic carriage. Nonetheless, scholars who don’t agree this theory argue that Arepos was a war chariot. Moreover, it is not clear if the term was effectively introduced into the Latin language. Another possibility suggests that Arepo could be an acronym, for example: Aeternus Rex Excelsus Pater Omnipotens.

– TENET is translated as “hold”, from the verb to hold.

– OPERA would indicate “with care”

– ROTAS is translated as “wheels” and even celestial spheres.

 

Literary interpretations of the Sator Square

According to what above explained, various literary translations have been proposed. They are based on a different interpretation of the term “Arepo”. A list of some of the most important interpretations is provided, indicating the author when possible.

 

Semantic interpretation

Observations

Authors and bibliography

A – The sower, with the carriage, takes care of the wheels. The term AREPO would be an instrumental ablative, it is a particular type of Celtic chariot. Jérôme Carcopino (1881-1970), French historian
 

B – The Areopagus sower holds the wheels of the Opera.

 

AREPO is translated as “areopagus”, the sacred hill to the divinity Ares. Encyclopædia Britannica [5]
C – The sower Arepone keeps the wheels in function.  The word AREPO here is the name of a person Arepone. R.G. Collingwood, The Archaeology of Roman Britain, London, 1930
D – The sower of an arepo maintains the convent with his work AREPO would indicate a land plot, from the Latin term arepenne, which is an adaptation of a similar word of Gallic origin. ROTAS is translated here as “the convent”. Andrea Brugnoli e Francesco Cortellazzo, L’epigrafe del Sator a San Michele di Arcé.
E – The sower decides his daily work, the supreme areopagus decides his destiny The term AREPO is translated as “areopagus”, here in the sense of “court”. ROTAS as the “wheel of destiny”. Reading is bustrophedical (sator opera tenet arepo rotas).  
F – God is the Lord of creation
The reading follows the same trend, which would recall the movement of the plow: sator opera tenet – tenet opera sator. In this way, the term AREPO disappears. Ludwig Diehl
 

G – The Creator takes care of his works

Here a possible Early Christian matrix of the Sator is underlined, since the reiterated part Sator opera tenet is translated.  
 

H – The Arepo worker carefully leads his cart.

AREPO is considered as a name of a person Jacob, 1866 [5]
 

I – The Arepo sower leads the wheels with difficulty.

AREPO is considered as a name of a person A. Treichel, Zeitschrift Ethnologie XII, 1880

 

 

 

The opening words sator/rotas

With the progress of the discoveries, scholars noticed some changes in the words layout inside the palindrome structure. Since then, the findings of the Sator Square were catalogued into two distinct strands.

– The first strand includes all the Sator of the Roman period, for which it has been ascertained the presence of Early Christian communities around. An important characteristic is the findings start with the word ROTAS.

– The second strand concerns the Sator squares dating after the fall of the Roman Empire, whose majority belongs to the Medieval age. Almost all the magic squares found in this period, in fact, start with the word SATOR. Moreover, there is a clear correspondence between the presence of the Sator and some settlement of monastic orders, as the Knights Templars or the Cistercian monks. 

 

The hypothesis of the Early Christian origins

The hypothesis that the Sator Square could have Early Christian origins derives from some evidences regarding its presence during the first centuries, as well as from the proposed translations. Particularly, the term SATOR (sower) would call the evangelic parable of the sower. According to this theory, the square would assume a meaning linked to the worship of the first catechumens. Until the conversion of the Emperor Constantine Christians could not openly profess their own faith. For this reason, they had to profess their religion secretly. In particular, the adoration of the cross occurred through ingenious stratagems, like the Christograms

 

Effectively, inside the Sator Square there would be a dissimulated Greek cross: 

 

T
E
T E N E T
E
T

 

                                

The same T letter of TENET could be associated to the same cross, as currently happens in the Tau sign.  

 

The study of Felix Grosser

A further evidence of the Christian origin of the Sator comes from the study of F. Grosser. In 1926, he could anagram the magic square, obtaining the terms PATER NOSTER [6]. According to him, the remaining letters A, O would represent the Alpha and Omega of the Apocalypse [Ap 21, 6: “I am the Alpha and the Omega. The Beginning and the End”].

 

A
P
A
T
E
R
A PATER N OSTER O
O
S
T
E
R
O

                                                                       

Nevertheless, the anagram of 25 letters could originate different meaningful sentences; for this reason, the Grosser’s thesis cannot be considered as a reliable proof of the Christian origin of the Sator. 

 

Criticisms about the Grosser’s analysis 

Furthermore, the hypothesis of the Sator as crux dissimulata does not explain the spread of the square during the Middle Age. In the same historical period, in fact, it wasn’t necessary a stratagem to profess the Christian faith.  Europe was dominated by the temporal and spiritual power of the Roman Church. 

The finding of the Sator Square in Pompeii [Matteo della Corte, 1936] added more shadows about the anagrammatic solution proposed by Grosser. The square, in fact, dated back to a period before the writing of the Apocalypse book by Saint John. Any way, the symbology of the alpha and omega is even present in the earlier Isaiah prophet’s book (41,4; 44,6; 48,12). Although, the expressions are so different (“Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I, the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am He.” Is 41,4. “I am the first and I am the last” Is 44,6). 

 

Does the Sator Square has a meaning beyond the literal sense?

Concluding, it is still debated the Early Christian origin of the Sator Square, because no proof are available to support this thesis. Another topic of discussion is the intrinsic meaning of the Latercolo. Due to the spread of the magic square in the Medieval period, it is needed an interpretation going beyond its literal translation. For these reasons, different authors suggested various interpretations, from the numerological-kabbalistic analysis to those pertaining to the alchemical occultism.

In particular, an amphibological interpretation is suggested, containing more theories depending on the observer. Thus, the farmer reads that the sower, with the cart, carefully holds the wheels, but a man with a higher knowledge read the creator carefully keeps his works.

In the Middle Age, the magic palindrome may have an apotropaic function. For this reason, it would be in the parchment of Aurillac as a wish for a successful birth, or in Campiglia Marittima to avoid the lightning fall on the Pieve San Giovanni.

 

 

3. A possible semi-serious interpretation suggested by the authors [7]

 

Faith or reason? 

The problem of the truthfulness concerning the Holy Scriptures was relevant during the Medieval period and even after. The process against Galileo Galilei in 1616, guilty for spreading doctrines contrary to the biblical teaching, is an example of this issue. 

Heresy and excommunication, as well as the death, waited who dared to doubt any statement contained in the Bible. Demonstrating the incorrectness of the Holy Scriptures meant to question about the existence of God because He, as perfect, could never inspire something that was not true. 

In this context, the disclosure of the Sator Square is inserted, that provides an important interpretation to really understand what is the magic palindrome. 

 

An incovenient secret 

A strong correlation among the Sator Square and the presence of the Knights Templar has been demonstrated [8] near the Medieval sites where the palindrome has been found. It is evident that, in the historical period between the beginning of the 12th century and the first decade of the 14th century, the Order of the Temple in Jerusalem was the disseminator of the mysterious engraving. 

We could speculate that someone, inside the Order of the Templars or the Cistercian monks (keep in mind the high level of education of the aforementioned in a period of total illiteracy) could have discovered an incovenient truth inside the Holy Scriptures, probably a big inaccuracy that could have put into question what was written in a biblical passage. This inaccuracy shouldn’t have been spread. Hence, the idea of an indecipherable code addressed to not-initiate, hidden in unpredictable places, by which transmitting the secret knowledge: the Sator Square. 

 

The connection between the Sator Square and the Knights Templar

What is the uncertain Biblic passage and the connection between the Sator Square and the Knights Templar, and the text would be related to what the Knights guarded and from which they took their name?

 

Solomon made a bronze altar twenty cubits long, twenty cubits wide and ten cubits high. 2 He also made the Sea of cast metal. It was circular in shape,measuring ten cubits from rim to rim, five cubits in height, and thirty cubits in circumference. 3 Below the rim, figures of oxen encircled it, ten per cubit all the way around the Sea, cast in two rows as a part of the Sea.”

 

The biblical passage derives from the second Book of the Chronicles, chapter 4. In it some details about the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem are revealed. The sacred building was destroyed by the Roman general Titus (70-71) during the city siege; however, the remains of the building were being object of a pilgrimage and, during all the Crusades, the Knights Templar protected the area.

 

A calculation error 

In the biblical passage above mentioned there is something wrong! The Sea of cast metal that Solomon had to build couldn’t have exist, or rather not with those measures…

It is a trivial exercise to compare the measures through the calculation of the circumference of a circle:

 

C = 2πr    with the Greek Pi π and radius r;

 

It is possible to see that, inserting the numerical values provided by the Bible, the calculation of the Greek Pi is wrong. In fact: 

 

30 = 10π

 

From which:

 

π = 30/10= 3

 

The real value of π corresponds, in fact, to 3,14159… with infinite number after the comma, since the constant pertains to the numerical set R of the real numbers [9]. The approximated number of the Greek Pi is known before the birth of Christ. In the 3rd century BC, Archimedes calculated an approximation to several decimal numbers. 

 

A numerical view at the Sator Square 

The inaccuracy of the Book of the Chronicles today appears as a trivial calculation mistake. Nonetheless, we know that during the Medieval period could have put into doubt a sacred book. It could have been difficult to affirm the real value of the Greek Pi! We know from the mathematical history that in 1200 only Leonardo Fibonacci used correctly the value of the π, since he had learned it from the Arabs with the current numerical notation. 

Given this assumption, it is possible to decipher the real meaning of the Sator Square. We’re going to make it through an appropriate mathematical interpretation. 

Hence, let’s analyse the magic palindrome. It is composed by three concentric squares

 

S A T O R
A R E P O
T E N E T
O P E R A
R O T A S

 

This implies that, moving along any of the diagonals of the square, it is possible to identify the three letters, or symbols. This consideration is not trivial; in some of the Sator Squares found it is possible to observe the indications of square diagonals: drawn near the Pompeii one

 The Sator Square

 

or explicitly indicated (Stenay stone of Rennes le Chateau).

 The Sator Square

 

The decisive criterion 

The key to solve the meaning of the Sator Square is the mathematical criterion so defined: write in sequence the number of times the most frequent symbol appears for each of the concentric squares. For what concerning the symbols with the same cardinality (that appear the same number of times), the values are summed up. The criterion may appear complex, but actually it is simple: let’s see in practice.

The inner square contains one letter only (N) that appears once.

 

S A T O R
A R E P O
T E N1 E T
O P E R A
R O T A S

 

The next square contains four times E, the most numerous letter.

 

S A T O R
A R E4 P O
T E4 1 E4 T
O P E4 R A
R O T A S

 

Writing the numbers obtained in sequence, thus we will have: 14. We proceed to the outermost square.

 

S A4 T4 O4 R4
A4 R4 E4 P O4
T4 E4 N1 E4 T4
O4 P E4 R4 A4
R4 O4 T4 A4 S

 

 

It is evident that in the last square they appear: 

– Four times the letter O

– Twice R, but since the same letter is twice in the intermediate square, it has a frequency equal to four [10].

– Four times the letter A

– Four times the letter T

 Summing the cardinality of the numbers, the result is equal to sixteen. Therefore, we can combine the sequence 1416.

 

The value of the Greek Pi

Hence, putting the numbers of the squares in front of the obtained sequence, magically the value of 3,1416 appears. It is exactly the value of the π, calculated with the approximation to the four number after the comma. 

Someone may think about the uncounted letters: the S and P. These may indicate the wording    Signum π. 

The Greek Pi… is certainly The one who carefully holds the wheels!

 

 

4.Conclusions 

The hidden knowledge

Hence, the Sator Square could represent the way the religious secretly handed down the knowledge about the real Greek Pi value. The first who noticed the error of the biblical passage (2 Chronicles 4) would be the Christians of the first century AD, particularly those who had knowledge about the construction science. Since then, in fact, the Sator Square has been mainly engraved in buildings, especially those with round architectural elements. For instance, it’s the case of the magnificent Siena Cathedral. Furthermore, it couldn’t be a coincidence that the specimens of that period started with the word ROTAS (wheel).

Initially, the Sator Square was certainly used as a simple reminder, probably by architects and master builders, with the only need to hand down the value of π.

Is it possible that during the Middle Age some monastic orders, among them the Knights Templar, guardians of the Order of the Temple in Jerusalem, had knowledge of the real meaning of the magic square? The construction of many architectural works in the 12th-14th centuries was, in fact, entrusted to the master builders pertaining to the Templar and Cistercian Orders. It is possible there was the necessity to secretly hand down the real value of the Greek Pi, in order to avoid an excommunication or to be accused of heresy, because in contrast with what written in the Holy Scriptures. The Knights Templar began to engrave the magic palindrome in the buildings they were constructing. Hence, the Sator Square appears on bells, external walls, facades of churches, as well as on the making of circular specimens (Aosta, Sermoneta).

 

The Greek and the infinite numbers 

Another aspect to be mentioned is the nature of the π. It is a particular number because it is irrational. This aspect involves the presence of infinite numbers after the comma ((3,1415……..). This means an infinite quantity of information: whatever you are looking for in the Pi, you will find it. In the decimal numbers of this constant it is possible to find, with an appropriate coding, the genetic code of the man in a perfect sequence, the entire Divine Comedy and even the Bible. This particularity couldn’t have escape to the Knights Templar, passionate lovers of esoteric sciences. Additionally, the Greek Pi is composed by the number three, symbol of the Trinity, and of the infinity, the whole of the creation. 

If the thesis provided was correct, this would explain why the Sator Square was object of particular attention and veneration, and, in a certain way, why still it is. 

Instead, it is not possible to demonstrate if the magic laterculus contributed to the heresy accusations against the Knights Templar, which Order was dissolved in 1314. In addition, it is impossible to verify if the Sator Square was related to the idol called Baphomet, by which Jacques de Molay was burned at the stake [11]. 

We let readers with a biblical passage that accompanied us in the interpretation of the mystery, and that is the Greek Pi itself: 

Exodus 3,14: God replied to Moses: “I Am Who I Am”.  

 

 

5.Sites of discovery and census 

For completing the overview, a final list of the specimens, archaeological sites and the probable datings found is provided.

Therefore, it follows a census of the main specimens of the Sator Square discovered so far, with a description and dating. The order is in time base, from the ancient to the recent ones.

 

ITALY

Half of the 1st century- 79 AD.Pompeii (NA), Gymnasium

Pompeii (NA)

 

The Sator Square

 

Finding of Matteo della Corte. To the Sator words the following writings were added in the upper part

SAUTRAN VAL-S;
and in the lower one
INŌ;
SAUTRAN VALE;
In addition to the representation of a triangle. 
The specimen is today preserved, although no longer legible, at the Antiquarium in Pompeii.
 
Half of the 1st century- 79 AD.

Pompeii (NA), House of P. Paquius Proculus in the Abundace street

Pompeii (NA),

 

Finding of Matteo della Corte. The specimen presented only the central letters of the square, since the other ones were lost.

E N E T
R E P O
A T O R
Today the specimen is completely lost.
 
4th century

ROME, Basilica of Santa Maria MaggioreRoughly engraved on a wall in the basement. The magic square starts with the word “rotas”. It is flanked by the palindrome writings Roma summus amor e Roma olim milo amor.
8th century
Capestrano (AQ), Church of San Pietro ad Oratorium On a slab, upside down, placed on the facade; The Sator is, in fact, located to the left of the portal, at a visual height.
9th century

Modena

 

At the Cathedral Chapter Library, on a manuscript [Cod. I 4]. In a linear form, it follows a line on the prohibition of getting drunk and fornicating.

 

9th century

Montecassino

 

On a manuscript [Cod. 384 f. 154] of the Hermitage of Montecassino Library. The specimen shows the word ARPOS instead of AREPO.

 

11th century

Acquaviva Collecroce (CB), Church of S. Maria Ester. Above the arch of the bell tower, on a coat of arms and starting from “Rotas”
12th century

Aosta, Collegiate of Sant’Orso

 

 

Inside a mosaic with a mythological theme. More externally to the Sator Square the following writings appear:

 

† INTERIUS DOMINI DOMUS HEC HORNATA DECENTER

† QUERIT EOS QUI SEMPER EI PSALLANT REVERENTER

 

Licence of the image: see note [a].

 

12th century, 1177?

 

 Campiglia Marittima (LI), Parish Church of San Giovanni

 

 

Under an external cornice of the Parish Church of San Giovanni. The specimen is in a rectangular form.

 

12th century?

Vercelli, Chapter Library.

 

On a manuscript (Codice CXXI), preceded by psalms and prayers.

 

 

13th century

Siena, Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta

 

Quadrato del Sator a Siena

 

At visual height, on the left side of the Cathedral.

 

 

13th century

Bolzano, Mareccio Castle

 

In the tower near the windows in the third floor. 

 

13th century?

Deliceto (FG), Church of Santa Maria AnnunziataOn an external wall. 
 13th century


Arcè (VR), Church of San Michele  On the archivolt of the southern side portal.

13th century

Magliano de’ Marsi (AQ), Church of Santa Lucia

 

 

On a tile in the facade, between the legs of a mythological figure. 

 

13th century

 

Pescarolo e Uniti (CR), Church of San Giovanni Decollato  

 

 

On a mosaic, near the main altar. 

 


13th century

Monterubbiano (AP), Church of Sant’Agostino Anciently engraved on a bell, unfortunately today the specimen is lost. 
13th century

Paggese di Acquasanta Terme (AP), Church of San Lorenzo

 

On a fresco of the painter Stefano Di Pietro in the halls (fonde)  of the “Parliament” room.

 

13th century

Genova

 

In a document of the 1259, State Archive of Genova

 

14th century

Engraved on a side wall of the street to the Castello dei Rivola.

 

14th century

Todi (PG), Museum of the Lucrezie

 

On a plate.

 

14th century

 

Sermoneta (LT), Abbey of Valvisciolo

 

 

In the cloister of the Templar abbey. The Sator Square has a circular shape.

 

15th century

Canavaccio, district of Urbino (PU), Church of Sant’Andrea in Primicilio

 

On a bronze bell in the church tower. The bell, however, comes from the oldest Castle of Gaifa di Montefeltro.

 

15th century

Fabriano (AN), Church of Santa Maria in Plebis Flexiae

 

On the church bell.

 

16th century

Verona, Benciolini Palace

 

In the inner courtyard of the Benciolini Palace.

 

16th century

Issogne (AO), Castle

 

 17th century

 Campotosto (AQ), Church of Santa Maria Apparente

 

 

In the crypt of the church.

 

18th century

Ascoli Satriano (FG)

 

 

On the facade of the Church of  SS. Sacramento (18th century).

 

19th century

Collepardo (FR), Chartreuse of Trisulti

 

 

Fresco of Filippo Balbi in the corridor of the Ancient Pharmacy. 

 

 

 

 

FRANCE

Rennes-le-Château, Stenay stone

 

 

The Stenay stone, discovered by M. Rivart in 1873, reported the letters arranged on the diagonals of the Sator square, a directional indication and a cross.

The stone was lost during the Great War. A reproduction is now preserved at the Cercle Saint Dagobert II of Stenay.

 

Rennes-les-bains

Engraved on the back of the head of a menhir depicting Dagobert II. Now preserved in the municipal museum of Rennes-les-bains.
 

Fontgillarde

 

On a house.

 

Loches

 

Near the castle.

 

Lugdunum

 

In the archeological area of the ancient Roman colony.

 

Tarascon

On a wall of the castle.

 

Rochemure

 

In a chapel under the castles, Church of Saint Lawrence.

 

Aurillac (Alvernia)

 

On a manuscript, as a wish for a woman in labour.

 

Le -Puy- en-Velay

Near the Church of Santa Clara.

 

Jarnac –Champagne

 

On a building.

 

Narbonne

 

On a fresco.

 

Grenoble

 

The Sator Square

 

On a wooden door.

 

Opoul

 

In the ruins of the castle.

 

Valbonnais

 

On an architrave of the Maison de Justice.

 

Oppède (Vaucluse)

 

On a walled block.

 

Galamus

 

In a cave of the hermitage.

 

Château de Bonaguil

 

On a wall of the castle.

 

Flavigny-sur-Ozerain 

On a manuscript of the Library in the monastery of the same name, in the two forms:

 

R O T A S
A DR E P O
T E N A T
O P E R A
S A T O R

 

S A T O R
A DR E P O
T E N A T
O P E R A
R O T A S

 

 

 

 

ENGLAND

Cirencester

 

The Sator Square

 

Originally on the wall of a 3rd century house, near the Roman colony of Corinium Dobunnorum. Today the Sator is kept in the archaeological museum of Cirencester.

License of the image in note [b].

 

Great Gidding (Cambridgeshire)

 

On an octagonal wooden support in the church of Saint Michel.

 

Rivington

On a cemetery stone.

 

Manchester

 

The Sator Square

 

On a fragment of a II century amphora preserved in the Manchester archaeological museum.

 

 

GERMANY

Hamersleben
Halberstadt
Rosenheim
Oberraudorf

 

SPAIN

St. John in Compostella

 

Hungary

Altofen – Aquincum

 

ROMA TIBI SUB

TA

R O T A S
O P E R A
T E N E T
A R E P O
S A T O R

 

On a tile of a Roman villa of the II century.

 

 

Syria

Dura-Europos

 

Ρ Ο Τ Α Σ
Ο Π Ε Ρ Α
Τ Η Ν Η Τ
Α Ρ Η Π Ο
Σ Α Τ Ο Ρ

 

 

On the archeological site, where there are the remains of a Roman colony of the III century. Five specimens have been found, including one written in Greek.

 

 

Samuele Corrente Naso

(Translation by Daniela Campus)

 

NOTES

[1] Matteo Della Corte, Rendiconti Accademia Pontificia, 1936; Notizie degli scavi, 1939

[2] Yale University and the French Academy of Inscriptions and Letters, The excavations at Dura-Europos, Preliminary report V (1934), 159, no. 481 and  Preliminary report VI (1936), 486, no. 809; Annali della R. Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, ser. 2, vol. 3 (1934).

[3] Matteo Della Corte, Notizie degli scavi, 1929

[4] The house is located inside the Regio I, Insula VII, Domus I.

[5] Rino Cammilleri, Il Quadrato magico

[6] F. Grosser, Ein neuer Vorschlag zur Deutung der Sator-Formel, Archiv für Religionwissenschaft, XXIV 1926.

[7] The following text and the images are property of the website author, Samuele Corrente Naso. Any reproduction and use is forbidden without the author’s authorization. Copyright © 2013.

[8] Anna Giacomini, Enigma templare “Sator”, 1999

[9] Simply: it cannot be expressed in the form of a fraction.

[10] The choice to include the R frequency in the most external square, and not in the middle one, depends on the diagonals direction. In fact, the diagonals move from the external to the internal, a condition that would imply to carry out the way in that direction, that means from the most external square to the most internal one. However, for writing reason, we are carrying out in the opposite direction.

[11] He is the Gran Master of the Knights Templar.

[a] Image with license Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported from Wikipedia. Author: Laurom. Link immagine.

[b] Photo from: link image.  Author: Throwawayhack. License:  Creative Commons Attribuzione-Condividi allo stesso modo 3.0 Unported

 

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