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The surprisingly modern origins of myths

The new TV series Britannia, that has won plaudits as heralding a new generation of British folk-horror, is obviously not meant to be strictly historic. Instead director Jez Butterworth provides us a graphic re-imagining of Britain on the eve of the Roman conquest. Despite its violence and insanity, this is a society bound together by ritual below the head Druid (played Mackenzie Crook). But where does this notion of pre-conquest British beliefs come from?

Contemporary resources of this period are extremely thin on the ground and were mostly written by Britain’s Roman conquerors. No classical text gives a systematic account of Druidical ritual or perception. In reality, little was written at length for centuries before William Camden, John Aubrey and John Toland took up the topic in the 1500s and 1600s. But it took later antiquarians, such as William Stukeley writing in 1740, and William Borlase in 1754 and Richard Polwhele in 1797, to completely develop their thinking.

Popular notions of pre-Roman Britain now derive from the intricate Druidical theories: the bearded Druid, possessor of arcane knowledge, the stone circles, the ritualistic use of dew, mistletoe and oak leaves in dark, wooded groves, and the ultimate terror of human sacrifice and the bacchanalia which followed.

Ancient disputes

The antiquarians were a disputatious lot and their disagreements can seem baffling, however underpinning them were basic questions regarding the very first settlement of the British Isles and its spiritual history. In specific, the antiquarians inquired if historical Britons were monotheistic, practising a “natural” religion anticipating Christian “revelation”, or even polytheistic idolaters who worshipped many false gods.

The answer for this question determined how the antiquarians understood the monumental stone structures made by this past culture. Were Stonehenge, Avebury or the antiquarian wealth of Devon and Cornwall not just relics of idolatry and irreligion but also signs of the supposed grip the Celts formerly had over the territory? Conversely, when the stone circles and other relics were signs of the struggle by an ancient people to make sense of the sole authentic God before Roman Catholicism tainted their faith (recall these antiquarians were Protestant thinkers), then a God-fearing Englishman might claim them as part of his heritage.

Stukeley thought Britain’s initial settlers were eastern Mediterranean seafarers — the so-called Phoenicians — and they brought Abrahamic religion with them. In research of Stonehenge (1740) and Avebury (1743), he argued that the early peoples descended from these first settlers lost sight of these beliefs but kept a core grasp of the basic “unity of the Divine Being”. This has been represented in rock circles, therefore “expressive of the nature of the deity with no beginning or end”.

By this reading, Druidical veneration of celestial bodies, the Earth along with the four components wasn’t polytheism but the worship of the very extraordinary manifestations of this single deity. Moreover, that this worship was conducted in the vernacular and relied upon the evolution of a teaching caste intended to inform the people meant that Druidical faith was the forerunner of Protestantism.
Borlase, surveying Cornwall’s antiquities, rejected much of this. He scoffed at Stukeley’s Phoenician concepts, stating it was foolish that Britain’s primary folks were foreign traders, and he argued that Druidism was a British invention that crossed the channel to Gaul. By drawing ancient, Biblical and modern sources, Borlase developed an elaborate accounts of the Druids as an idolatrous priesthood who exploited the ignorance of the followers by producing a sinister atmosphere of mystery.
According into Borlase, Druidical ritual was bloody, decadent, immoral stuffed with lots of sex and booze, and only persuasive in atmospheric all-natural settings. Druidical power rested fear and Borlase indicated that Catholic priests, with their use of incense, devotion to the Latin mass and superstitious belief in transubstantiation, used exactly the very same methods as the Druids to preserve power over their followers.

Going over old ground

Poems for example William Mason’s Caractatus (1759) helped popularise the concept that the Druids directed British resistance to the invading Romans — but from the 1790s sophisticated metropolitan observers treated this stuff with scorn. Despite this, Druidical theories preserved considerably influence, particularly in south-east England.

Most significant were the “many Druidical vestiges” centred in the village of Drewsteignton, whose title he thought has been derived from “Druids, upon the Teign”. The cromlech, called Spinsters’ Rock, in local Shilstone Farm encouraged much speculation, as did the exact result attained by the “fantastic scenery” of the steep-sided Teign valley.

Spinsters’ Rock, Dartmoor.

Matthew Kelly, Author supplied

Polwhele’s influence has been felt in Samuel Rowe’s A Perambulation of Dartmoor (1848), the first large topographical description of the moor. Many Victorians first encountered Dartmoor during Rowe’s writings however the conversation of those texts in my history of modern Dartmoor reveals a new generation of preservationists and amateur archaeologists didn’t take Druidical theories quite seriously.

For the overdue Victorian members of these Devonshire Association along with the Dartmoor Preservation Association, scepticism has been a indication of sophistication. If a previous generation had discovered Druidical traces in most Dartmoor’s natural and human features, these people were more likely to view signs of agriculture and domesticity. Grimspound, once a Druidical temple, was believed to be a cattle pound.

Despite Protestant expects during the Reformation that superstitious beliefs linked with landscape features could be banished, the concept that the landscape retains religious mysteries we know but can’t explain, or the stone circles of antiquity excite these feelings, remains common enough. Indeed, Protestantism came to terms with those feelings as well as the Romantics saw the beauties of the British landscape as the supreme manifestation of God’s handiwork.

But Butterworth is working according to an older tradition. Rather like his antiquarian predecessors, he’s made a mostly imagined universe from a scattered classical references along with a whole lot of accumulated legend and myth. Whether Britannia will re-enchant the British landscape for a new generation of television audiences is not possible to state, but my hunch is that those lonely stones around the moors, like the Grey Wethers or Scorhill on Dartmoor, are likely to entice a fresh cohort of visitors.

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Ancient

Atlantis: Secrets of Ancient Civilization

According to old legends that have come down to us from the ancient world,
Atlantis was the greatest civilization founded by the gods themselves. For a long time its lands were ruled by divine descendants – the sons of Poseidon, until they ignited the passions of man and did not swallow their vices and weaknesses.

Platonic world of Atlantis

The most famous description of the lost island is found in Plato’s dialogues. In his narrative, the ancient philosopher describes the world of Atlantis as a prosperous state of surprisingly high ethics and justice. Kings and rulers of the wonderful kingdom were set by ten brothers descended from a mortal woman and the lord of the seas.

According to Plato, Poseidon built a great powerful island in the middle of the sea, called the Atlantic. He separated the island from the outside world with rings of water and a firmament. And in the middle of it, he exuded two streams – with warm and cool water. The source nourished the lands of the entire state, making its soils rich and fertile. Peace, abundance and prosperity reigned in these places.

Kings of Atlantis

The majestic city was divided between the brothers into ten parts, where Atlant, the eldest, became the king over the kings. The sons of Poseidon passed their power from generation to generation to their sons. And they lived according to the laws of friendship and reasonable patience, carved on a metal pilar in the very heart of Atlantis, withing the walls of the temple of the god of the seas – Poseidon.

None of the rulers then thought of breaking the divine instruction, since each of them saw and understood the power of the benefactor. Then, they honored only the supremacy of the spirit, and treated material wealth almost as an unfortunate burden.

Christina Balith. Atlantis

The fall

Times passed, and Atlantis reached such power that no existing civilization could surpass. The power of the sons of Poseidon went beyond their islands and reached the lands of Egypt and modern Italy. But once, as Plato writes, humanity prevailed among the rulers of Atlantis. The sons of Poseidon lost their divine nature and they became slaves of their greed, for which the gods decided to bring down upon them the punishment of heaven.

The death of the Atlantean civilization

Interestingly, Plato’s narrative of Atlantis ends at the moment when Zeus the Thunderer, angered by the fall of the morals of the Atlanteans, decides to send punishment on them. The dialogue of Plato with Critias about the lost civilization is mysteriously interrupted, becoming a lost or incomplete philosophical discussion, for an unknown reason. For the fate that befell to the lost city, Plato mentions further in the fragment “Timaeus”:

“Atlantis disappeared, plunging into the abyss. After that, the sea in those places has become non-navigable up to this day and inaccessible due to the shallowing caused by the huge amount of silt that the settled island left behind. ”

Ancient sources tell of the rapid destruction of a once prosperous island. Literally in one day, the world of Atlantis went under the depths of the ocean, taking thousands of lives with it, leaving more questions than answers for future civilizations.

N. Roerich. The death of Atlantis

According to ancient philosophers, Atlantis disappeared from the face of the earth more than 10,000 years ago. However, scientists are still debating about the sunken continent. Where was it when it disappeared and did Atlantis even existed?

Someone considers the works of Plato as utopia and fiction far from reality. But there are also those who do not get tired in their searches and actively explore the topic of the lost Atlantian civilization. Today, the search for Atlantis is concentrated off the coast of Greece, as well as in the bowels of the Atlantic Ocean. It is true that so far no reliable evidence has been found confirming the veracity of this story.

That Atlas and the Emerald Tablets of Hermes

Although there are allegations that the history of Atlantis is known only from the works of ancient Greek philosophy, there is another source, though no less mysterious than the rest. We are talking about the emerald Tablets of Hermes, found according to one version by Alexander the Great in the Egyptian temples of Giza.

Little is known about the origin of these mysterious artifacts. But today, the texts of the tablets in translation can be found in the public domain under the name “Emerald Tablets of Thoth Atlant.” The author claims that he is the Atlantic priest who managed to escape during the death of Atlantis. According to him, after his homeland went under water, he went to the lands of Egypt, where he was engaged in education, passing on secret knowledge to the world.

In the emerald tablets, That Atlant also describes the cause of the death of the island of Atlantis, revealing that it went under dark waters because of pride that broke out in the minds of it’s “ascended” children.

“They were proud of their knowledge, proud of their position among the people. They plunged deeply into the forbidden, opened the gates that led down.”

Atlas himself was chosen as the highest being, whom he calls the Inhabitant, to carry further the wisdom of the ages. Having left the dying Atlantis with several of his associates on the ship of the Master, he went to the abode of the children of Khem. Later, these places will be called the Kingdom of Egypt, but during the time of Atlantis, as the priest writes, these were wild lands and wild tribes lived on them.

Hermes is the god of wisdom and writing.

According to the mystery described by Thoth, it was he who built the pyramids of Giza, which later became the temple and center of consecration for many millennia. In general, it was to the Egyptian teachers that the philosophers of the ancient world went for the mystical knowledge that came to our days through the ideas of Plato, the sacred science of the numbers of Pythagoras, the spiritual teachings of Jesus, Kabbalah and many other esoteric systems.

Finally

Atlantis has sunk into oblivion, perished under gigantic waves, but its legacy still wanders the world and finds publicity through the lips of the Great Teachers and enlighteners of mankind. Whether the scientific community will one day find a valid confirmation of the existence and death of this great civilization is not known. But today, for many spiritual seekers, this story is an indisputable fact, the proof of which the zealous mystic is able to see in sources not direct, but indirect. Atlantis is alive for him, and he feels this in the rapid heartbeat, which is revealed in contact with secret knowledge, saved and revealed to the world by the great priest and consecrator of Egypt – The Atlantean, Hermes the trismegistus.

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Has the Mythical Record Hall been found?

The Record Hall is said to hold the key to understanding our civilization and the true history of humanity.

Mythology tells us that this is a library buried somewhere in Egypt, and many believe that it may be beneath the enigmatic Sphinx of Giza, looking up and proud of the Pyramids of Giza Plateau. A discovery of a huge underground library, made in 2008, could forever change the history and origins of ancient Egyptian civilization.

The Hall of Records is said to have preserved the knowledge of ancient Egyptians, documented in ancient papyrus scrolls, and is believed to tell the story of the lost continent of Atlantis, as well as its location. The Egyptian Record Hall is just as important as the Greater Alexandria Library, which stored Greek knowledge.

Although conventional researchers have firmly stated that there is no evidence to suggest that the Record Hall is true, scholars like Robert Schoch and Thomas Dobek, as well as others, believe it can be found under the Sphinx.

In the book The Sphinx’s Knowledge Graham Hancock and Robert Boval argue that the Egyptian government, along with American archaeologists, have blocked any exploration under the Sphinx, preventing anyone from learning about the Sphinx.

While those who believe that the Hall of Records exists and was built by ancient Egyptian civilization, there are others who think that the Hall existed but was not built by the ancient Egyptians but rather by a much older one a civilization that preceded ancient Egyptian.

But was the Record Hall not under the Sphinx? Isn’t there really a huge underground library somewhere in Egypt?

Hidden by conventional archaeologists and researchers, there is a huge underground library discovered recently in Egypt. It can easily be considered one of the greatest discoveries of ancient Egypt, but few are aware of its existence. It is a discovery that may be considered one of the most significant finds of the century, but for some unknown reasons, most conventional scientists, along with Egyptian researchers, try very hard to keep everyone away from it.

The Lost Record Hall finally found?

Could this be the long-lost Hall of Records? Interestingly, the existence of an “underground library” is mentioned by Herodotus and Strabo, who had the pleasure of visiting and describing the legendary maze before disappearing from history.

Among the first to mention her existence was Herodotus:

This is what I actually saw – a creation indescribable. For if one brings together the buildings of the Greeks and shows their workmanship, they will seem insignificant, both in effort and in cost, in front of this maze … Even the pyramids are indescribable, and each is equal to many of the creations of the Greeks. But the maze is superior even to the pyramids. – Herodotus, Stories, Book II, 148.

According to Herodotus, in the 4th century BC: “The labyrinth was just above Moiris Lake and almost opposite what is called the City of Crocodiles” (“Stories”, Book II, 148).

Based on descriptions from ancient texts, such as those of Herodotus and others who visited the magical labyrinth in the distant past, a German Jesuit scholar named Athanasius Kircher creates the first picturesque reproduction of the enigmatic labyrinth, just as Herodotus described it: It has twelve covered courtyards, with gates facing each other, six on the north and six on the south, joining one another, and the same wall enclosing them all outside; and there are two kinds of chambers in it, one under the earth, and the other above these, three thousand in number, of every one thousand and five hundred. We saw the above set of cameras …

The incredible underground library could easily have been the hall of record mentioned. Discovered in 2008 by a group of Belgian and Egyptian archaeologists, the underground temple is composed of over 3,000 rooms filled with incredible hieroglyphics and drawings, the enigmatic underground complex is less than 100 kilometers from Cairo in Havara, not far from Amenemhat Pyramid. III.

This incredible discovery is kept secret by society in mysterious circumstances. The results of the expedition were briefly published in 2008 in the NRIAG scientific journal and the results of the study were published in a public lecture at the University of Ghent. Belgian media were present. However, the find was hastily suppressed as the Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (Egypt) terminated all further communications on the discovery due to sanctions on national security.

In 2010, De Cordier launched a website, the Egyptian Maze, to make the discovery accessible worldwide. Although researchers confirm the existence of the underground complex, large excavations must be made in the future to investigate the incredible find. It is believed that the treasures of the Underground Labyrinth could contain the answers to innumerable historical mysteries and ancient Egyptian civilization.

Is this the long-lost Hall of Records? In addition, is it of the utmost importance that the government refuses future exploration and excavation?

Interestingly, the discovery of the mysterious underground library seemed to perfectly match the stories of the mythical Hall of Records.

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Ancient

Archaeologists have discovered ancient Amazon graves in Russia

Archaeologists from the Institute of Archeology at the Russian Academy of Sciences have found a place where four women of different ages were buried. Scientists suggest that the burials were Amazons because they had weapons.

The grave of the Amazons was found in the tomb of the Virgin V, near  Ostrogozhsk, Voronezh region. The oldest woman of the deceased, wearing a large ceremonial hat on her head.

Ancient Greek myths about the Amazons are told around the world. This is a nation made up of women who met men from other nations just to conceive children. They killed or sent the boys to their fathers, and the girls were brought up in their traditions.

The Amazons handled their weapons very well. They even burned or cut one of their breasts to make it easier for them to shoot from a bow.

Where the Amazons lived was a contentious issue. Ancient authors point to different places, and some write about the territory of modern Turkey. However, Herodotus believes that the Amazons lived in the area of ​​Meotida, the Sea of ​​Azov and along the Thais (Don) River.

Other ancient authors write that the land of the Amazons were located in Scythia, North Coast, as saying that they were warring with the Scythians and invaded their lands.

The Amazons are mentioned in various ancient documents, including the Russian “Tales of Provisional Years.” There is still debate between historians and archaeologists as to whether the Amazons actually existed. For example, there is a version that wives of Sarmatians who used weapons no worse than men are called Amazons.

A new find by Russian archaeologists contributes to these disputes, proving that the Amazonian homeland is not Turkey but the Don lands.

Photo: Institute of Archeology, Russian Academy of Sciences

The grave of the Virgin V tomb contained the skeletons of a girl of about 12–13 years and women of 20–29 years, 25–35 years, and 45–50 years. The funeral is dated to the second half of the 4th century BC.

Photo: Institute of Archeology, Russian Academy of Sciences

The tomb was reinforced with oak boards, which, however, did not save them from partial looting. In the investigated part of the mound 30 iron arrows were found as well as an iron hook in the form of a bird, elements of horse harness, ceramic pieces, iron knives, a mirror, two spears, bones of different animals.

The most valuable find was a perfectly preserved head accessory made of gold. Such “hats” are called calafes and were previously found only in the richest “royal” Scythian mounds.

Photo: Institute of Archeology, Russian Academy of Sciences
Photo: Institute of Archeology, Russian Academy of Sciences
Photo: Institute of Archeology, Russian Academy of Sciences

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