“Salverte is of the opinion that before Franklin discovered his refined electricity, Numa had experimented with it most successfully, and that Tullus Hostilius was the first victim of the dangerous “heavenly guest” recorded in history. Titus Livy and Pliny narrate that this prince, having found in the Books of Numa, instructions on the secret sacrifices offered to Jupiter Elicius, made a mistake, and in consequence of it, “he was struck by lightning and consumed in his own palace.”
Salverte remarks that Pliny, in the exposition of Numa’s scientific secrets, “makes use of expressions which seem to indicate two distinct processes”; the one obtained thunder (impetrare), the other forced it to lightning (cogere). “Guided by Numa’s book”, says Lucius, quoted by Pliny, “Tullus undertook to invoke the aid of Jupiter. But having performed the rite imperfectly, he perished, struck by thunder.”
Tracing back the knowledge of thunder and lightning possessed by the Etruscan priests, we find that Tarchon, the founder of the theurgism of the former, desiring to preserve his house from lightning, surrounded it by a hedge of the white bryony, a climbing plant which has the property of averting thunderbolts. Tarchon the theurgist was much anterior to the siege of Troy.
The pointed metallic lightning-rod, for which we are seemingly indebted to Franklin, is a probably a rediscovery after all. There are many medals which seem to strongly indicate that the principle was anciently known. The temple of Juno had its roof covered with a quantity of pointed blades of swords.”
H. P. Blavatsky