Jean Boucher

Le bouqet sacré ou voyage de la Terra Sainte, 1611

Born in the seventeenth century, Boucher was a French theologian who traveled to the Holy Land. In his Le bouquet sacré ou le voyage de la Terre Sainte he recalls for us the traditional story of the Turkish soldiers who, wishing to plunder the marble from the church to take it to the sultan in Babylon, were attacked by a serpent who killed forty of them.

Account of the episode with the Sultan of Babylon

“ln the middle of this small space, on the side there is a column of green jasper which supports the vault of the cave like three marble pillars propping up the rest of the Chapel. It is covered with beautiful tiles and precious slabs of white marble, rippling with veins that are half-black, half-grey.

Slabs so beautiful and so precious that one day the Sultan of Babylon was seized with the desire to take them down and have them brought to his country to decorate his palace; but at the moment at which he ordered the works to begin, lo and behold, out came a large black serpent filled with venom who killed on the spot forty Turks who were trying to remove these marble slabs, as Saliginiaque recounts for us.

Le bouquet sacré ou le voyage de la Terre Sainte, Rouen, 1752, pp. 379-380

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