Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Angels & Demons Week: Defending the Vatican

THREE more days!  THREE more days!  THREE more days!

That's right... on Friday, to coincide with the release of the movie, Roaring Forties Press is publishing Rome's Angels & Demons: an Insider's Guide -- a free ebook with inside information about the art and places in Dan Brown's book.  And you will be able to get your FREE copy right here!

But, I like you guys!  So, here's a taste of what you can expect on Friday...

When Langdon and Vittoria first encounter Olivetti and the Swiss Guard, they are frustrated and angry. Olivetti, a man who takes his job seriously, is rather inflexible. “Through the glass, Langdon could see Olivetti say something to the guard. The sentinel nodded. As Olivetti strode out of the room, the guard spun and faced them on the other side of the glass, arms crossed, a large sidearm visible on his hip” (Chapter 36). Olivetti comes from a tradition of protective service that makes many international leaders envious.

Each year on May 6 the guardians of the pope—the Swiss Guard—swear an oath of loyalty to the pontificate. The oath calls on each member of the guard—men of Swiss origin who have trained for their duties at a Swiss military school—to “faithfully, loyally and honorably serve the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI and his legitimate successors, and also dedicate myself to them with all my strength, sacrificing if necessary also my life to defend them… May God and our Holy Patrons assist me!” One by one, the young men grasp the standard of the Guard and raise their rights hands and pledge to “observe faithfully, loyally and honorably all that has now been read out to me! May God and his saints assist me!”

The men taking part in this sacred ritual join the thousands who have served the pontiff as his army and protectors since 1506. Members of the guard are both ceremonial servants and a well-trained security force, and Langdon is correct to admire and fear them.

But the question is: why do the Swiss Guard make this solemn oath on that particular day?  Find out on Friday!  Rome's Angels & Demons: an Insider's Guide is filled with just that kind of information about the historical figures, churches, artwork, and locations that figure prominently in Angels & Demons.  With maps, visitor information, photographs, and in-depth insights, it is a great guide to the city of Rome and the fascinating world Dan Brown has created. 
Check back here tomorrow for another glimpse into Rome's Angels & Demons!  Ciao!


Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

All the pomp and circumstance around the vatican is so fascinating--I kind of want to watch the documentary on it now.

jujube said...

I'm so excited to see the movie - having the images of the Vatican and Rome so fresh in my mind from the trip I took in March makes me even more excited! And I love the sneak peek you are giving us too :)

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