Dean Galloway heard it happen, and so he didnt need to see it.
Across the desk from him, Langdon and Katherine were dead silent, no doubt staring in mute astonishment at the stone cube, which had just transformed itself loudly before their very eyes.
Galloway couldnt help but smile. He had anticipated the result, and although he still had no idea how this development would ultimately help them solve the riddle of the pyramid, he was enjoying the rare chance to teach a Harvard symbologist something about symbols.
Professor, the dean said, few people realize that the Masons venerate the shape of the cube or ashlar, as we call itbecause it is a three-dimensional representation of another symbol . . . a
much older, two-dimensional symbol. Galloway didnt need to ask if the professor recognized the ancient symbol now lying before them on the desk. It was one of the most famous symbols in the world.
Robert Langdons thoughts churned as he stared at the transformed box on the desk in front of him. I had no idea . . .
Moments ago, he had reached into the stone box, grasped the Masonic ring, and gently turned it. As he rotated the ring through thirty-three degrees, the cube had suddenly changed before his eyes. The square panels that made up the sides of the box fell away from one another as their hidden hinges released. The box collapsed all at once, its side panels and lid falling outward, slapping loudly on the desk.
The cube becomes a cross, Langdon thought. Symbolic alchemy.
Katherine looked bewildered by the sight of the collapsed cube. The Masonic Pyramid relates to . . . Christianity?
For a moment, Langdon had wondered the same thing. After all, the Christian crucifix was a respected symbol within the Masons, and certainly there were plenty of Christian Masons. However, Masons were also Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and those who had no name for their God. The presence of an exclusively Christian symbol seemed restrictive. Then the true meaning of this symbol had dawned on him.
Its not a crucifix, Langdon said, standing up now. The cross with the circumpunct in the middle is a binary symboltwo symbols fused to create one.
What are you saying? Katherines eyes followed him as he paced the room.
The cross, Langdon said, was not a Christian symbol until the fourth century. Long before that, it was used by the Egyptians to represent the intersection of two dimensionsthe human
and the celestial. As above, so below. It was a visual representation of the juncture where man and God become one.
The circumpunct, Langdon said, we already know has many meaningsone of its most esoteric being the rose, the alchemical symbol for perfection. But, when you place a rose on the center of a cross, you create another symbol entirelythe Rose Cross.
Galloway reclined in his chair, smiling. My, my. Now youre cooking.
Katherine stood now, too. What am I missing?
The Rose Cross, Langdon explained, is a common symbol in Freemasonry. In fact, one of the degrees of the Scottish Rite is called Knights of the Rose Cross and honors the early Rosicrucians, who contributed to Masonic mystical philosophy. Peter may have mentioned the Rosicrucians to you. Dozens of great scientists were membersJohn Dee, Elias Ashmole, Robert Fludd
Absolutely, Katherine said. Ive read all of the Rosicrucian manifestos in my research.
Every scientist should, Langdon thought. The Order of the Rose Crossor more formally the Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucishad an enigmatic history that had greatly influenced science and closely paralleled the legend of the Ancient Mysteries . . . early sages possessing secret wisdom that was passed down through the ages and studied by only the brightest minds. Admittedly, historys list of famous Rosicrucians was a whos who of European Renaissance luminaries: Paracelsus, Bacon, Fludd, Descartes, Pascal, Spinoza, Newton, Leibniz.
According to Rosicrucian doctrine, the order was built on esoteric truths of the ancient past, truths which had to be concealed from the average man and which promised great insight into the spiritual realm. The brotherhoods symbol had blossomed over the years into a flowering rose on an ornate cross, but it had begun as a more modest dotted circle on an unadorned cross the simplest manifestation of the rose on the simplest manifestation of the cross.
Peter and I often discuss Rosicrucian philosophy, Galloway told Katherine.
As the dean began outlining the interrelationship between Masonry and Rosicrucianism, Langdon felt his attention drawn back to the same nagging thought hed had all night. Jeova Sanctus Unus. This phrase is linked to alchemy somehow. He still could not remember exactly what Peter had told him about the phrase, but for some reason, the mention of Rosicrucianism seemed to have rekindled the thought. Think, Robert!
The Rosicrucian founder, Galloway was saying, was allegedly a German mystic who went by the name Christian Rosenkreuza pseudonym obviously, perhaps even for Francis Bacon, who some historians believe founded the group himself, although there is no proof of
A pseudonym! Langdon declared suddenly, startling even himself. Thats it! Jeova Sanctus Unus! Its a pseudonym!
What are you talking about? Katherine demanded.
Langdons pulse had quickened now. All night, Ive been trying to remember what Peter told me about Jeova Sanctus Unus and its relationship to alchemy. Finally I remembered! Its not about alchemy so much as about an alchemist! A very famous alchemist!
Galloway chuckled. Its about time, Professor. I mentioned his name twice and also the word pseudonym.
Langdon stared at the old dean. You knew?
Well, I had my suspicions when you told me the engraving said Jeova Sanctus Unus and had been decrypted using Dürers alchemical magic square, but when you found the Rose Cross, I was certain. As you probably know, the personal papers of the scientist in question included a very heavily annotated copy of the Rosicrucian manifestos.
Who? Katherine asked.
One of the worlds greatest scientists! Langdon replied. He was an alchemist, a member of the Royal Society of London, a Rosicrucian, and he signed some of his most secretive science papers with a pseudonymJeova Sanctus Unus!
One True God? Katherine said. Modest guy.
Brilliant guy, actually, Galloway corrected. He signed his name that way because, like the ancient Adepts, he understood himself as divine. In addition, because the sixteen letters in Jeova Sanctus Unus could be rearranged to spell his name in Latin, making it a perfect pseudonym.
Katherine now looked puzzled. Jeova Sanctus Unus is an anagram of a famous alchemists name in Latin?
Langdon grabbed a piece of paper and pencil off the deans desk, writing as he talked. Latin interchanges the letters J for I and the letter V for U, which means Jeova Sanctus Unus can actually be perfectly rearranged to spell this mans name.
Langdon wrote down sixteen letters: Isaacus Neutonuus.
He handed the slip of paper to Katherine and said, I think youve heard of him.
Isaac Newton? Katherine demanded, looking at the paper. Thats what the engraving on the pyramid was trying to tell us!
For a moment, Langdon was back in Westminster Abbey, standing at Newtons pyramidical
tomb, where he had experienced a similar epiphany. And tonight, the great scientist surfaces again. It was no coincidence, of course . . . the pyramids, mysteries, science, hidden knowledge . . . it was all intertwined. Newtons name had always been a recurring guidepost for those seeking secret knowledge.
Isaac Newton, Galloway said, must have something to do with how to decipher the meaning of the pyramid. I cant imagine what it would be, but
Genius! Katherine exclaimed, her eyes going wide. Thats how we transform the pyramid!
You understand? Langdon said.
Yes! she said. I cant believe we didnt see it! It has been staring us right in the face. A simple alchemical process. I can transform this pyramid using basic science! Newtonian science!
Langdon strained to understand.
Dean Galloway, Katherine said. If you read the ring, it says
Stop! The old dean suddenly raised his finger in the air and motioned for silence. Gently, he cocked his head to the side, as if he were listening to something. After a moment, he stood up abruptly. My friends, this pyramid obviously has secrets left to reveal. I dont know what Ms. Solomon is getting at, but if she knows your next step, then I have played my role. Pack up your things and say no more to me. Leave me in darkness for the moment. I would prefer to have no information to share should our visitors try to force me.
Visitors? Katherine said, listening. I dont hear anyone.
You will, Galloway said, heading for the door. Hurry.
Across town, a cell tower was attempting to contact a phone that lay in pieces on Massachusetts Avenue. Finding no signal, it redirected the call to voice mail.
Robert! Warren Bellamys panicked voice shouted. Where are you?! Call me! Something terrible is happening!