The Publius Enigma

By Nicholas Palffy

Exposing the Problem

Pink Floyd's album The Division Bell is said to contain a secret message. This complex message, with "a central purpose and a designed solution", can be decyphered. The solution points to a treasure of some kind that should be "unearthed". A person calling himself Publius appeared in 1994 to help people solve the enigma by providing "clues". This quest is called The Publius Enigma.

AS SOME OF YOU HAVE SUSPECTED, "The Division Bell" is not like its predecessors. Although all great music is subject
to multiple interpretations, in this case there is a central
and a designed solution. For the ingenious person
(or group of persons) who recognizes this - and where this
information points to - a unique prize has been secreted.

…carefully take note of those subtle, connecting relationships between seemingly disassociated clues.

…Lyrics, artwork and music will take you there.

…But, the challenge is accompanied by a particularly complex solution.

…while each DB component requires its own individual
degree of interpretation, carefully take note
of those subtle, connecting relationships between
seemingly disassociated clues. I emphasize
this as an essential step in the right direction.

…All of you must open your minds and communicate with each other, as this is the only way the answers can be revealed.


What is an Enigma? Isn't it a mind puzzler! Something like a Riddle ! or a Charade! What very famous riddle do you know?

Yes, that's it: The RIDDLE of the SPHINX! But what's the Riddle of the Sphinx?

No! Forget about the 3 ages of Man, they are just refering to the ancient greek tripartition of the year in three seasons. Here I'm talking about the Riddle of the Sphinx ITSELF. What's a SPHINX ?

Let's consider it as a CONCEPT. The SPHINX has the body of a LION - Head and torso of a WOMAN - Wings of an EAGLE - and it stands still on a COLUMN. It asks a QUESTION to travellers (planetos in greek..., which translate in Planets in English!) and strangle them if they stay mute. Oedipous, being a representation of the rising sun, kills his father (old sun) at a JUNCTION (by the Cut...?) and then solves the riddle of the sphinx (at the autumn equinox, astrological LIBRA or SCALES).

The four parts of the sphinx can be understood as 4 Directions, 4 Seasons, 4 Major Points, 4 Gates, 4 Doors... They are COSMOLOGICAL indicators forming a CROSS! They are the equivalent of the fixed signs –or fixed cross – in the ZODIAC: a CROSS formed by 2 pairs of signs. LEO-AQUARIUS axis, SCORPIO-TAURUS axis.

Oedipous the traveller is a Hitchhiker to the Galaxy...


Publius Enigma is a REFLECTION of the Riddle of the Sphinx. But it is a reflecting MIRROR. This means that PUBLIUS is somehow the alter ego of the Sphinx, it's image in a mirror, it's polar opposite.

Look at the LIGHT - DARK oppositions in the lyrics... The concepts of DIVISION, OPPOSITION, POLARITY and REVERSAL are represented everywhere, in the images and in the lyrics.


Publius Enigma is equivalent to the DARK Side of the ENIGMA, while the Riddle of the Sphinx is the LIGHT Side. They are both Poles Apart!



In the yearly cycle of the sun, these two poles correspond to the Solstices. The WINTER SOLSTICE is the DARKEST period of the year. The SUMMER SOLSTICE is the LIGHTEST period of the year.

These are the MAIN DIVISIONS that cut the YEAR in TWO OPPOSING or FACING HALVES. In fact, the year is divided in FOUR QUARTERS when you include the SPRING and AUTUMN EQUINOXES!

The FACE represents this DIVISION of the year in two. This idea is reflected by the CD over and back page. Remember the less kown second riddle, speaking of the two sisters, Nux and Hemera, that were creating each other. Day is born from Night, and Night born from Day. The same happens during the Yearly "Hour", at the Solstices and Equinoxes.

the division bell uk cover



Communication: Exemplifying the Wave/Particle interaction of Quantum physics.

The missing element (thinking of ABSENCE...)

The missing ELEMENTS of this CD booklet are precisely the SUN and the MOON. They are nowhere to be seen, EXCEPT metaphorically! The Sun is illustrated by the disposition in RAYS of "What do you want from me" . The Moon is figurated by the blue MONKEYS, the blue MOON KEYS of "Keep Talking"...

sun monkey


Let's invert the MASCULINE and the FEMININE in "WtIO". It becomes clear the subjet is the Moon.


Look at him now
He's paler somehow
But he's coming round
He's starting to choke
It's been so long since he spoke
Well he can have the words right from my mouth

Look at HER now
SHE's paler somehow
But SHE's coming round
SHE's starting to choke
It's been so long since SHE spoke
Well SHE can have the words right from my mouth