Revised 29 July 2015


Priory of Sion: The ‘Et In Arcadia Ego’ Tombstone


Paul Smith



The existence of this “tombstone” was first introduced in July 1962 on a Frances-Inter radio programme by Noël Corbu, with only the REDDIS REGIS CELLIS ARCIS components referred to – without the words ET IN ARCADIA EGO or the drawing of the spider (or octopus) mentioned. Noël Corbu claimed it belonged to the grave of Marie de Negri d'Ables, Countess of Hautpoul-Blanchefort, and that Ernest Cros (1857-1946) had worked on it.

It was later revised by Philippe de Chérisey who added the extra components ET IN ARCADIA EGO and the picture of the spider (or octopus), claiming it was originally copied by Eugène Stüblein (1832-1899) – who in reality was a meteorologist who had no interest in engraved tombstones of the Languedoc. In Louis Vazart, Dagobert II et le mystère de la cité royale de Stenay (1983), Philippe de Chérisey claimed that Stublein was the great-grandfather of Philippe Toscan du Plantier (Un de ses arrière petit-fils, professeur de philosophie à Paris, est Philippe Toscan du Plantier).

The 1977 Priory of Sion document Le Cercle d’Ulysse by ‘Jean Delaude’ introduced the myth that the tombstone of Marie de Négi d’Ables was "mentioned in an 18th century work by abbé Delmas, had on its north face a vertical stone which bore this motto: "ET IN ARCADIA EGO", and in 1789 it was transported [from Les Pontils] to the cemetery at Rennes-le-Château". ‘Jean Delaude’ continued: "In the Bishop’s archives there exists a document in the priest’s [Antoine Bigou’s] handwriting, bearing on the transfer of this stone by Guillaume Tiffou from Serres to Rennes-le-Château in November 1789. The engraving represented in his book by Gérard de Sède via Chésa, has been tampered with. From 1789 to 1895, this stone was found on the grave of the Marquise of Blanchefort, in the cemetery of Rennes-le-Château, near the bell tower. This is the one which was defaced by the parish priest, Saunière in January 1895".

There are eight examples altogether to consider.



1) The drawing of the ‘Et In Arcadia Ego’ tombstone commonly attributed to Eugène Stüblein first appeared in the Priory Document ascribed to ‘Madeleine Blancassall’, Les Descendants Mérovingiens ou l’énigme du Razès wisigoth (1965).

It contained the caption: La Deuxième Dalle De La Dame De Negri D’Hautpoul-Blanchefort à Rennes-le-Château, Releveé au voyage du 23 Août 1905 à Rennes-le-Château (Aude).

There was no reference at all to Eugène Stüblein.


2) From Antoine L’Ermite, Un Trésor Mérovingien à Rennes-le-Château (1966). It contained the caption: GRAVURE: EXTRAITE de "PIERRES GRAVEES DU LANGUEDOC" de Eugène STÜBLEIN à inprimerie de Limoux – 1884 – Bibliothéque de Mr l’Abbé Joseph COURTAULY à VILLARZEL-DU-RAZES (Aude) – cette pierre était la deuxième dalle de la Dame de NEGRI d’HAUTPOUL de BLANCHEFORT, se trouvait à RENNES-LE-CHATEAU (Aude) et relevée le 25 Aout 1893, de nos jours elle recouvre l’ossuaire du cimetière de RENNES, (voir gravure originale page 189 du volume cité)

JANVIER 1961 – PUBLICATION DE L’ALPHA – chez VIE à ANVERS

 

3) From Pierres Gravées du Languedoc ascribed to ‘Eugène Stüblein’ & ‘Abbé Joseph Courtaly’ (1966). It included the caption: Dalle de grèc, couchée, au cimetière de Rennes-le-Château – Aude – Tombe des Dames Hautpoul de Blanchefort.

 

The fake signature of Eugène Stüblein found on the drawings attributed to him in Pierres Gravées du Languedoc:

The authentic signature of Eugène Stüblein found in his book, Description d'un voyage aux ètablissements thermaux de l'arrondissement de Limoux (1877):

The information concerning the two signatures was provided in "Pierre Jarnac", Les Archives de Rennes-le-Château (1987-1988).

 

4) Gérard de Sède, L’Or de Rennes, ou La Vie insolite de Bérenger Saunière, curé de Rennes-le-Château (1967), containing the caption: Releveé d'Eugène Stüblein, communiqué par M. R. Chésa.


5) Philippe de Cherisey, Circuit (1971), adding the ‘P-S Prae-Cum’ from the ‘Et In Arcadia Ego’ tombstone to the base of the tombstone of Marie de Négri d’Ables.


6) From the journal, Pégase Number 2 (June 1973), in an article entitled Le Diable existe, je l'ai recontré! by Jean-Luc Chaumeil (Archives de M.V. [Michel Vallet]).


7) From Jean-Pierre Monteils, Nouveaux trésors à Rennes le Chateau ou Le retour d'Ulysse (1974)

 

8) The Priory of Sion document ascribed to ‘Jean Delaude’, Le Cercle d’Ulysse (1977) reproduced the ‘Et In Arcadia Ego’ tombstone




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