Throughout my periodic searching for information to find my link to the year 1642, I have found quite a few random facts which are linked to the year. These facts bring in people from various countries around the world, and, inevitably, some of these people’s lives would have crossed over with each other.
I have found links to the royal families of the world, including the creation of the title “Princess Royal”. I have found links to important inventions that have led to us to be able to live our lives as we know them today, such as the forerunner to the microprocessor with Frenchman Blaise Pascal’s creation of the counting machine. I have also found links to epic tales of the ancient gods, with the discovery of the Cōdex Rēgius (Royal Book) in Iceland, in 1642.
Nothing of what I have found so far has linked me directly to the year 1642 or anywhere near that time period (although coincidentally Blaise Pascal’s father was named Etienne which also happened to be the name that I was given when learning the French language in school), but I will continue searching until I find this missing link. I am connected to the year. I feel it within me. I see signs regularly pointing me to the year. This sounds very strange, but that is all I can say to explain it. I am drawn to the year, and need to find out why.
Today, I’ve found a strange link that involves an ancient curse, a French traveller and a king, a diamond, and another epic tale featuring ancient gods.
Jean-Baptiste Tavernier was born in 1605. He was a French traveller and pioneered trade with India. He was also a diamond merchant. In 1642, Jean-Baptiste came into possession of a large blue diamond. Some stories say he bought the diamond, and others say that he stole it. How he came by the diamond isn’t really important right now, but where the diamond originated from, could be.
Stories say that the diamond was taken from the head of a statue of Sita. Sita was the wife of Rama, the seventh Avatar of Vishnu, in the Hindu tradition, and she was one of the main characters in an ancient Sanskrit epic called the Ramayana. Ramayana itself can be translated into Rama’s Journey. Ramayana was written by Valmiki, who is regarded as India’s first poet. I haven’t read any of this epic as yet, but I will add it alongside the Poetic Edda as one of my must reads; just to look for any differences or similarities if nothing else! Sita, by the way, was discovered in a ploughed field and was regarded as the daughter of Bhumi Devi, the Earth Goddess (one of the two wives of Vishnu).
So, Jean-Baptiste came across this large diamond by hook or by crook. In 1668 he returned to France, and sold the diamond, along with many others, to King Louis XIV (or the Sun King as he was known). King Louis XIII was on the thrown in 1642, but died in 1643 when Louis XIV was five years old. Subsequently, Louis XIV had the diamond cut down to increase its brilliance.
Unfortunately, the diamond came with a curse: Bad luck and death not only for the owner of the diamond but for all who touched it. And, according to legend, Jean-Baptiste died at the claws and teeth of wild dogs whilst travelling in Moscow, Russia, in 1689. The diamond has been passed on through French royalty for many years, reaching King Louis XVI, and his wife Marie Antoinette, several years later. And, once again according to legend, these two were beheaded during the French Revolution as a result of the blue diamond’s curse.
The blue diamond eventually found its way into the hands of King George IV of England, but upon the king’s death it was sold to pay debts. Around the late 1930s the diamond was owned by Henry Philip Hope, and since then it has been known as the Hope Diamond. It was eventually donated to the Smithsonian Institution.
And there we have it. I’m no further along with my quest than when I first started, but I have found something else that has been passed on throughout the years that has its beginnings in 1642. Figuratively speaking, that is. I do, however, seem to be heading in the opposite direction, and the events I am finding of late are bringing me back to the modern day… but I suppose whenever we are dealing with anything to do with time, eventually we will always end up in the present…