The Knights Templar were believed to have possessed a talking head that was known as Baphomet. A brazen head that was said to be made of brass or bronze in the shape of a man’s head and able to answer any question that their masters had asked it. It may have been one of the reasons for their downfall, when Philip IV of France had attacked the great Templar Order in 1307 accusing them of worshiping a demonic talking head.
This story could be the conceptual ancestor of modern robots, sexy cyborgs, and the newly built artificial intelligence in the form of worm powered LEGO’s. A subject I will discuss in my next article.
The first French Catholic Pope, Gerbert of Aurillac, AKA Pope Sylvester II (c. 945–1003 CE), I have found was the first person ever documented in history to be in possession of a mechanical talking head. Gerbert had gained this scientific knowledge when he had went to Moorish Spain as a pupil at Cordova for the purpose of learning astrology and other sciences from the Saracens. It was said that here he soon exceeded Ptolemy in learning.
William of Malmsbury had told the story of Pope Sylvester that he made the head which correlated with the constellations (As Above, So Below) and would speak when spoken to, but that these answers made by the mechanical head were only single words or simply “yes” or “no.” It told him he would be pope, and would die when he had sung mass at Jerusalem. Sure enough, the pope was killed by poisoning while performing mass in a church called Jerusalem (999-1003). He was even publicly accused by Cardinal Benno for being a sorcerer and an enchanter.
Pope Sylvester was also the first person who had made the call to arm Christendom in preparation for a holy war for the purpose of securing Holy Sepulchure from the Infidels. For this reason, and from the stories of his possession of the mechanical head, is why I believe the Knights Templar may have obtained the brazen talking head known as Baphomet or instructions to build one from Gerbert or his family.
There also have been many other people who were reported to have a mechanical talking head.
People such as Boethius, Faust, Arnaldus de Villa Nova, Enrique de Villena, Virgil, and even the Norse God Odin. Other people who were said to have the brazen mechanical head would have been Rob Grosseteste (1175-1353), and Saint Albertus Magnus (c. 1200–1282 CE) who had worked for thirty years on making not just a head, but a man of brass, that he has cast together the qualities of his materials under certain constellations, and that was said to grow like a real man.
The Italian Dominican friar and Catholic priest, Thomas Aquinas was the disciple of Albertus and was said to have destroyed the mechanical brass head of Albert Magnus. He even mocked the idea that a head or statue could be alive. It was said, “This man of brass, when he reached his maturity, was so loquacious, that Albert’s master, the great scholastic Thomas Aquinas, one day, tired of his babble, and declaring it was a devil, or devilish, with his staff knocked the head off; and, what was extraordinary, this brazen man, like any human being thus effectually silenced, “word never spake more.”(The works of Isaac Disraeli)
Other people with brazen heads were Marquis of Vilêna of Spain (1384-1434); Polander, a disciple of Escotillo an Italian; and last but certainly not least, Francis Bacon (22 January 1561 – 9 April 1626).
One of the stories told of Bacon and the mechanical head had said that it spoke thrice. If Bacon heard it speak, he would succeed, if not, he would fail. While Bacon slept Milis was set to watch, and the head spoke twice: “Time was,” it said, and half an hour later, “Time is.” Still Bacon slept, and another half-hour transpired, when the head reclaimed, “Time’s past,” fell to the ground and was broken to pieces. Dr. Friend had written in ” History of Physic,” that Bacon drew articulate sounds from the brazen head, by an artificial application of the principles of natural philosophy.
Around the same time Roger Bacon flourished, a similar brazen head was also believed to have been constructed at Oxford, by Dr. Robert Grostest, Grosse-tete, or Greathead.(The Thames and its tributaries; or, Rambles among the rivers By Charles Mackay)
I know these stories seem like myths and fantasies. However, all these famous men with multiple historic accounts and accusations that they were in possession of these mechanical brazen heads that were able to speak, is historic evidence these stories may have been real.
I actually believe that today scientists are now proving that these stories could have really happened. In my next article I will explain how modern science is bringing plastic objects such as LEGO’s to life, and prove that these ancient stories of mechanical talking heads may not be myths after all.