Baphomet (Βαφὴ Μὴτεως, baptism of Metis, or of fire, the Gnostic baptism), is the name given to certain symbolic figures, half male and half female, carved in stone, etc., which are said by some to have belonged to the insignia of the Knight Templars. Specimens of them are to be found in the collections of antiquities of Weimar and Vienna. These figures have generally two heads or faces, one of which is bearded; they are surrounded by serpents, and bear various inscriptions and representations of the sun, moon, truncated crosses (otherwise called Egyptian key of life and death), etc. Some have considered them as images of the devil, others as representing Mete (Wisdom), the Gnostic divinity, and others, seeing in them busts of Mohammed, considered them as proofs of the apostasy of the Templars. It seems more probable, however, that they were merely some alchemico- theosophical symbols. See Joseph von Hammer, Fundgruben d. Orients (6 vols.); Von Nell, Baphometische Actenstiicke, etc. (Vienna, 1819); Same, Essay on a Cosmological Interpretation of the Pheenician Worship of the Cabiri, etc.

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