And of all illumination which human reason can give, none is comparable to the discovery of what we are, our nature, our obligations, what happiness we are capable of, and what are the means of attaining it. Adam Weishaupt
The Illumi-whaaaa, you ask? Ex-actly. Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) is in Rome to prevent the Vatican from being destroyed by an "antimatter" bomb and rescue four kidnapped Cardinals from the evil clutches of an ancient, underground society known as the Illuminati.
Who are the Illuminati? Is this secret society real? "Yes, it is," says Brown, on his Web site. The Order of the Illuminati was established on May 1, 1776 at the University of Ingolstadt in Germany. Its members were freethinkers, secularists, and intellectuals whose aim was "overthrowing the Roman Catholic and politically conservative Kingdom of Bavaria and replacing it with a liberal republic."
Is the illuminati logo used in the film historically real? Nope. It was created by real-life typographer-artist-philosopher John Langdon, a friend of Dan Brown's father and part of the inspiration for protagonist Robert Langdon.
Did Galileo and Bernini plot against the Vatican? It is a fact that Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher Galileo Galilei was persecuted by the 17th-century church for believing the world revolved around the sun.
How is a Pope elected? The process of electing a pope has changed throughout the centuries. Today, according to Catholic-Pages.com: The Cardinals must take an oath that they will maintain absolute secrecy about the voting and deliberations – or face automatic excommunication. Their actual nominating and voting takes place during a ceremony in the Sistine Chapel, after which the ballots are burned and notes are taken. If a new Pope has been elected, the papers are burned with chemicals to give off white smoke. Otherwise, they give off black smoke, so that the waiting crowds, and the world, know if there is a new Holy Father. Since 2005, bells have been added, to erase any question as to the color of the smoke.
Is it possible to cheat at a papal conclave? Conclave: Christianity, the secret meeting at which Roman Catholic cardinals elect a new pope In 1975 and in 1996, Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II changed the rules for conclaves to help protect the integrity of the voting, including specifics on how to fold the ballot, the threading of the ballot to make counting easier and procedures to "de-bug" the Sistine Chapel of hidden cameras or microphones.
Can antimatter blow up a city? Yes and no. Is what I have read so far…. Talk to your Science Teacher and send me a convincing answer in essay form--I will give you extra credit, or substitute a possible missing assignment!
Angels and Demonstour in Rome? You've read the book, you've seen the film, now walk in Robert Langdon's shoes in a $610, 8-hour Angels and Demons Tour of Rome and see all the famous sites of the film – and a few others thrown in for good measure. Those with less time may opt for either the 4- or 6-hour tour. Thanks for joining me and have great day! Ms. Hilliard