> From: John Hooker [SMTP:[log in to unmask]]
> That's not exactly what I said.
Excuse me, Mr. Hooker, but when Dan wrote:
>The thing that strikes me as most significant, is the fact that there's no
>mention of the equinoxes/ solstices in the mythology. There are lots of
>significant events said to have taken place on the cross-quarters (Samhain,
>Imbolg, Bealtaine or Lughnassadh) but I've not seen any early refs to the
>quarter days at *all*.
"The problem with using written sources in Celtic mythology rather than
iconography is that the society was very changed by the Romans. "
And I wasn't the only listmember to interpret this as suggesting that the
Romans influenced Irish mythology. After all, we have no written Gaulish
> After the suppression of the Druidic class, and the increase in market
> based economies, Celtic society changed.
Umm, didn't these happen at the same time, not sequentially?
> Communication within Celtic society continued as it did before, but a
> different class of individuals were the vehicle of that transmission. So
> the effect of the Romans on tales written several hundred years later was
> not direct. Rather, the content that would have been privy only to those
> of the Druidic class would not have survived anywhere, only the "popular"
> tales and the religious practices of the masses would have survived. Mind
> you, even this evolves and develops a rather Medieval flavor.
That's all speculation.
> One example I can cite is the discussion between Lucian an unnamed Celt,
> where even though being very late (2nd century A.D.), conveyed a belief
> structure that allowed for a type of symbolism that seems lacking in later
> stories. The Celt said "We Celts do not believe the power of speech to be
> Hermes, as do you Greeks, but Herakles, because he is much stronger than
> Hermes" To me, this indicates a more than just a tolerance of syncretism,
> and this adaptation of "foreign" deities shows up in the archaeological
> record in apparently local or tutelary indigenous deities being absorbed
> into the Celtic pantheon of the masses, while not affecting the core
> belief as understood by the Druidic class.
Sorry, this story about Lucian could just as easily be an attempt by
a native Gaul to convey to a dumb Roman what he was talking about. And I do
not buy using a story from the 2nd century Gaul to make conclusions about
Gaul 300 years earlier or Ireland at the same time.
> The iconography one finds on Celtic coins spans many areas that apparently
> worshipped deities with different names.
What has that got to do with Rome?