Lara is off for a new adventure in Russia. Mafia wants to find the Spear of Destiny-a legendary artifact that a German ship had found, thinking it would make the army invincible. However, the ship sunk into the ocean, because the powers of the artifact exceeded the limits of the human mind. Lara found the Spear of Destiny, but she was clever enough to leave it somewhere where no power-thirsty jackals would find it. Date of finding: Somewhere after the guest for the Scion, 1996.
Scroll below to learn the real history of this legendary artifact.
The Spear of Destiny, also known as the Spear of Longinus and the Heilige Lance Holy Lance is one of the most important Christian relics of the Passion of Jesus Christ. As first described in John 19:31-37, the Spear was used by a Roman soldier (Gaius Cassius, later called Longinus) to pierce the side of Christ as he hung on the cross. The Spear, bathed in the blood of the Lamb and playing a significant role in the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, is believed to have acquired tremendous mystical power. The first sign of that power was the purported healing of Gaius Cassius's failing eyesight by blood from the wound. The centurion later become an early convert to Christianity.
The Spear subsequently passed through a multitude of hands, coming into the possession of many of Europe's most important political and military leaders, including Constantine I, Alaric (the Visigoth king who sacked Rome in the year 410), Frankish general Charles Martel, Charlemagne, Frederick of Barbarossa, and Frederick II. A leader who possessed the Spear was said to be invincible; Charlemagne and Frederick of Barbarossa were undefeated in battle until they let the Spear fall from their hands. A legend arose that whoever claimed the Spear holds the destiny of the world in his hands for good or evil.
As a young man Adolf Hitler was fascinated by the Spear of Destiny, which he first saw displayed in the Hofsburg museum in Vienna, Austria in 1909. Hitler was familiar with the legend of the Holy Lance. His interest in the relic was further amplified by its role in the 1882 opera Parsifal by Hitler's favorite composer, Richard Wagner which concerned a group of ninth-century knights and their quest for the Holy Grail. Hitler's fascination with the Spear was pivotal in sparking his interest in the occult, which gave birth to his ideas on the origins and purpose of the Germanic race and contributed to his belief in his own destiny as a world conqueror.
On October 12, 1938, not long after the German annexation of Austria, Hitler ordered the S.S. to seize the Spear and other artifacts from Vienna. They were taken by train to Nuremberg, where they were stored in St. Katherine's Church. The Spear remained in St. Katherine's until 1944, when it was moved to a specially constructed vault beneath the church, built in secret and at great expense, intended to protect it and the other stolen relics from Allied bombs. Nuremberg was captured by Allied troops in April of the following year. The vault was subsequently discovered by American Army officers. The Spear was confiscated by American forces on the afternoon of April 30, 1945, less than two hours before Hitler's suicide in his underground bunker in Berlin. Like the Spear's previous owners, Hitler perished after the relic was taken from him.
Like most holy relics, the history of the Spear of Destiny is complex and difficult to authenticate. The earliest reports of the Spear were circa 570 A.D., when it was said to have been on display in the basilica of Mount Sion in Jerusalem alongside the Crown of Thorns. The point of the spear's blade was apparently broken off following the Persian conquest of Jerusalem in 615 A.D. The point, set into an icon, found its way to the church of Saint Sophia in Constantinople and later to France, where it remained in the Sainte Chapelle until the 18th century. It was briefly moved to the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris during the French Revolution, but it subsequently disappeared. Meanwhile, the rest of the spearhead was transferred from Jerusalem to Constantinople sometime in the eighth century. It was taken by the Turks in the 14th century and sent by Sultan Bajazet as a gift to Pope Innocent VIII in 1492. Innocent ordered the relic placed in Saint Peter's in Rome, where it remains today, although the Catholic Church makes no great claim as to its authenticity.
There are several other competing relics in different locations. One such Holy Lance was allegedly unearthed by Crusader Peter Bartholomew in Antioch in 1098. That Lance is now at Etschmiadzin in Armenia; scholars believe that it is not actually a Roman lance but the head of a standard, although it may have an interesting history of its own, separate from the legend of the Lance. Another claimant has rested in Krakow for about eight hundred years.
Hitler's lance was the fourth Spear, called the Lance of St. Maurice and the Holy Lance of Hapsburg, which is part of the Reichkleinodien (Imperial Regalia) of the house of Hapsburg. This spearhead is bound with gold, copper, and silver threads to a nail purported to be one of the nails of the Crucifixion. The earliest verifiable account of this Spear was its use in a coronation ceremony in 1273. It rested in Nuremberg during the Middle Ages, but by the early 20th century it was placed on display at the Treasure House of the Hofsburg museum in Vienna, where Hitler saw it in 1909. This Spear has no greater claim to authenticity than any of the others, although Hitler who conducted his own less-than-rigorous investigation into its history was firmly convinced that it was the genuine article, leading to its confiscation by the S.S. in 1938. In 1946 the Spear and the rest of the Imperial Regalia were returned to Austria. Today they are once again on public display at the Hofsburg museum.
It should be noted that all the various purported Holy Lances are only spearheads, not complete weapons. The spear used by Longinus was most likely a Roman hasta (long spear), an iron head mounted on a hardwood shaft roughly 12 feet long. The shaft of the Spear either was not preserved or was lost to the ravages of time.
[by Aaron Severson]
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