Vyvyan Ogma Wyverne schrieb:
> > No, that's Chris and the vast majority of all scholars opinion against
> > your speculation. Opinion should be seen as an educated and reasonable
> > judgment based on perceivable evidence, which is what the opinion of
> > Chris and scholars in Celtic languages is. Your speculation, however, is
> > based on ignorance rather than on knowledge of the evidence, which
> > disqualifies your statements from being a viable opinion.
> This is polemic, not scholarship, but I'll give you fair answers.
No, this is not polemic, this is a scholarly opinion based on what you
have shown us as yet. Every time someone, be it me or someone else,
quotes evidence, your response clearly shows that you have never heard
of that evidence before, and that you immediatly summarily dismiss it as
it does not fit into your theoretical framework. This shows that you do
not know and actually are not much interested in explaining existing
evidence, but rather are attempting to save a preconceived idea from
being disrupted by actual evidence. What you argue in is thin air, which
results in your theory constantly colliding with evidence as it turns
up, which makes it a non-viable opinion in a scholarly discourse. It's
quality, and this is a scholarly assessment, is comparable to claiming
the world is flat or that the Celts actually were green-skinned Martians
that spoke a Viennese dialect more than a millenium before Viennese is
first attested at all. You are free to nonetheless stay with it, but it
is not a opinion that can be seen as a serious, scholarly attempt to
explain the existing evidence.
This doesn't indicate that you may not be right and that not scholarly
opinion, regardless of it's specific content, may be wrong - this, of
course, is possible. But it does indicate that it is not testable based
on the existing evidence, and thus is not scholarly, as scholarly
opinion is defined by being testable against the existing evidence.
That's all I say. Given the evidence as it is, your theory is extremely
> It's a question of whether a word from another language, upon being
> until they were included in the Macquarie Australian Dictionary. Similarly,
> I don't think you can speak of a correct spelling of Boudicca/Boadicea until
> you have it in a dictionary, and then, only by virtue of its appearing
> there, which it does at the arbitrary judgement of the lexicographer.
I never spoke of a correct spelling of Boudica. What I do speak of,
however, is that a spelling Boudicca or Boadicea can not be the result
of any possible original word, but that it can only be the result of
several different terms, based on the options of pronouncation that were
available to the British of the 1st century AD, and that these
possibilities should be attested in several independent cases as a
regular pattern, as, else, Boudica can equally vaild be derived from my
Viennese explanation, or from the term Berdache (as we have it in the
anthropological literature), or from south Bantu dialect. To differ
between these possibile derivations, we need to put her name in an
explanatory framework that considers the spatiotemporal context in which
the term was first recorded, and this requires us to base this on the
availbable evidence, which, for instance, tells us, that in all
likelihood, no language that can be 1:1 equated with modern Irish was
spoken in Britain in 60-70AD. I have already quoted numerous sources on
this, and in fact, there is an innumerable amount of evidence that tells
us that this is extremely unlikely, about as unlikely as that modern
Viennese was spoken then and there. We do, however, have evidence that
tells us that it is very likely that another language was spoken then
and there, a language that can be explained and even translated, and
that is able to explain the name of Boudicca/Boadicea as transliterated
by Roman authors, who, in turn, followed regular, self-similar patterns
of transliteration that can independently be documented from classical
sources. As such, while the definition of a "correct" spelling is a
mostly arbitary decision, the sum of potential transliterations and the
number of terms they have possibly come from are limited to a certain
group of terms, which are arrived at by applying regular, attested
possible mutations due to transliteration possibilities. Within this
group of potential pronouncations, the term Bardacha is not included,
and as such could only be explained as a single-case individual
deviation from else commonly attested transliteration patterns. Now,
such deviations, of course, always are possible. However, if an
explanation is based on the postulation of such a deviation, as is
yours, while there is another theory, which can explain the same term by
regular transliteration patterns that are attested in numerous other
contemporary terms, the second possibility is a vastly preferrable
option, as it succeeds in explaining a whole group of terms and thus is
testable (which the individual case - explanation is not, as you either
have to believe in it or not, as it is nowhere else attested).
> Now you are being the Fals Knight on the Road.
> That there is no correct spelling of Boudicca/Boadicea, or that Mattingly
> might be naive, doesn't equate to that the Earth is flat.
This is not what you have claimed. You have claimed that your opinion is
explaining the evidence a lot better or at least equal to that of
Mattingly, which is like claiming that the earth is flat is an equally
valid explanation for the shape of earth as is the explanation of it as
a geoid. And thus, my equation is quite fitting: Of course, no one can
prove that the earth is not flat, but the huge majority of all available
evidence points towards the opinion that the earth is not flat but a
geoid. Equally, all available evidence points towards the opinion of
Mattingly and not towards your opinion.
> > Now, of course, you are free to stick to that opinion, but all
> > available evidence
> You give no references.
Well, I have given numerous referneces in the past mails, while you, as
yet, have given not a single one. Anyway, I refer you for this to P.Y.
Lambert, La Langue Gauloise, Holder's Altceltischer Sprachschatz,
Birkhan's Kelten, Cunliffe's the Celtic World, Rankin's The Celts in the
view of the Classical Word and Koch&Carey's The Celtic Heroic Age, as a
starter, pointing you towards the evidence that I refer to here as "all
available". Quote me equivalent literature refering to evidence for your
> > clearly points to the fact
> It is an opinion.
As I have already pointed out, everything is opinion, but not every
opinion is equally qualified. As such, constantly repeating that "this
is an opinion" does not increase the value of your opinion, as, as you
yourself have already agreed to in another mail, not every opinion is
equally valid. As such, this above opinion is referring to the
near-factuality (in that it is commonly perceived as a viable statement
by the vast majority of active, and most likely also passive
listmembers) of my statement:
> > that such an opinion is blatant nonsense
> This is a value judgement, and therefore opinion.
See above. It is referring to a viable explanation with near-factual
status. Thus, it is a qualified opinion, one that can be backed up by
evidence and thus can be considered inter-subjective.
> > one drops off its edge when she/he reaches the horizon. As such,
> > if you uphold the idea that the earth is flat IN SPITE of the available
> > evidence, you of course are welcome to do so, but nonetheless, it is not
> > a viable scholarly opinion, but just a crackpot idea.
> Yes, but that the name represented as Boudicca here and Boadicea there had
> no correct spelling until someone judged between the two and published this
> judgement as fact doesn't equate to cosmological madness.
Which, however, is not the limit of the explanatory scope you ascribe to
your theory. I do not argue with you that there is nothing as a
"correct" spelling of the name of Boudica, in fact, I have already
written this quite explictly in the mail you are responding with this
answer. It is the larger explanatory scope of your theory I am equating
with the belief in a flat earth, as this larger explanatory scope of
your theory is not fitting with the available evidence, for sources for
this again, see the avbove mentioned literature.
> Deconstructing mental illness is a bit ambitious, and probably vital to
> Celtic Studies. Nevertheless, Thinking that 'correctness' in spellings is a
> matter of opinion, except insofar as prescribed by a dictionary as a matter
> of convention, is a far cry from believing oneself to be Napolean.
I repeat, it is not your questioning of the belief in a "correct"
spelling that I am critizising. It is the theory that you build out of
thin air that I am critizising. Of course, it is a good trick to attempt
to make people believe that I critizise the valid points which you make
about the absence of a correct spelling, but this is not what I do, I
critizise your wild speculation about the name of Boudica, which you
base completely on misapplications of such deconstruction-techniques, by
implying that, if something has no ONE correct spelling, EVERY spelling
is equally possible, which, of course, is complete nonsense. There are
preferred spellings, and these follow a consistent pattern, and thus
neither are clearly determined, nor completey arbitrary.
> > Similarly, your statements about the Celts are not valid scholarly
> > opinions, as they go against all available evidence, which you need to
> > twist in horrible and non-regular fashion (i.e. you have to twist each
> > piece of information in the evidence differently, and not interpret
> > several larger portions of it in similar ways, following a regular,
> > self-similar pattern) to come to the results you arrive at.
> No. Facts aren't things. To twist them is a metaphor. I don't work
> according to your metaphor.
Your mails clearly show that you do. You are not applying self-similar
patterns with a certain degree, but not unlimited freedom of choice, but
you are implying that something which is not precisely defined is
necessarily completely arbitary. Thus, you twist the evidence to fot
your preconceived idea, instead of exploring the possible degrees of
freedom and interpreting within the limits of these possibilities.
> You have to check out all its possible references and in
> nothing is twisted, and many more possibilities are viewed,
> followed up, and compared.
Oh, now I get it: you are argueing for a freeform phenomenological
hermenteutic! Well, this is exactly what I call a "anything goes"
approach: my wedding ring and the sun both are round, and as such, they
are the same. Karl Raimund Popper and Raimund Karl share the same names,
and thus are the same. Berdache is a term describing a trans-gender role
and Boudica is a trans-gender leader thus Boudica is a Berdache. Boudica
and Bards sound remotely familiar, thus the two things can be equated.
Boudica can be explained as a Viennese dialect sentence and thus is
derived from Viennese dialect. Anything goes, as I said, no
possibilities to determine whether one opinion is more likely than
another, hard contemporary social constructivism: there is no past, the
past is what we make of it. Very postmodernist, I agree! In my opinion,
and in this case I have to agree that this is just an opinion, as this
is a purely philosophical argument without any possibility of deciding
which opinion is more viable, this is a completely un-scholarly
> > As such, your opinion, as interesting as it may sound to some, is
> > nothing but an individual,
> No one, not even a specimen of the many supporters of a single opinion, is
> more than an individual.
Of course not, but a viable inter-subjective opinion is a systemic
opinion and thus not dependent on any given single individual holding
it. And, while an individual opinion can be upheld even though it
radically conflicts with reality even if subjected to rigorous testing
and failing (which is what we call a delusion, most commonly),
inter-subjective opinion cannot be upheld when radically conflicting
with reality. This means that individual opinion becomes non-viable at
the death of the mortal individual holding it, while inter-subjective
opinion becomes non-viable if conflicting with reality when tested
> > non-intersubjective opinion
> I'm not sure what that means.
This means limited to you, not bound into a systemic, inter-subjective
opinion that is viable as an autopoietic system. A non-intersubjective
opinion is not able to transmit the informations it contains beyong the
single individual holding it, and thus becomes extinct at his/her death.
Every personal opinion not tied into a larger system of self-reproducing
opinion is non-intersubjective.
> > that has no validity as a
> > scholarly opinion (which needs to be intersubjective to fulfill the
> > criterium of being a valid opinion).
> If you mean others should think so too, exposure on on email list can't
> establish whether it is or isn't.
No, I mean that it should be tied to a common frame of reference. This
can be acchieved by referring it to primary and secondary sources that
allow to cross-relate them with other opinions (be those opinions
similar and in agreement to the one held by an individual, or be they in
opposition to it). This can, for instance, be done by using a commonly
accepted terminology (like P- and Q-Celtic intead of self-defined, only
self-referential terminology like C-Celtic), but also by finding other
ends that can be tied in with a commonly understood frame of reference.
> > Therefore, Chris' and your opinion are not on the same level of
> > intersubjective quality: while Chris' is, even though many scholars
> > might disagree on minor aspects of his opinion, within the range of
> > general, intersubjectively acceptable and thus scholarly opinions, while
> > yours is nothing of that, but a delusion.
> Are you saying that 'fifty thousand Frenchmen can't be wrong?'
No, I am not. I am saying that speaking in a language that is not
understood by anyone but you is not likely to help you be understood by
As repeatedly said, right or wrong can only be determined in
relationship to a common frame of reference (as right or wrong, if used
as absolute terms, can only be applied if there is something like
absolute truth, which is something which I don't think to be accessible
to limited minds, whether it exists or not). As such, all I can say as a
scholar is that your theory does not refer to the common frame of
scholarly reference, which is, in general, the available evidence, and
thus is, under the conditions of scholarly research, irrelevant and thus
has to be considered, if you insist on the idea that it is a scholarly
_opinion_ and not a (religious or otherwise arrived at) _belief_, to be
a delusion (which means insisted upon even though documentably wrong as
related to the scholarly frame of reference). This does not indicate
that that your _belief_ might not be much closer to an _absolute truth_
about what we are talking (which is something of which I, as a scholar,
can't speak, as truth is outside of the scope of scholarly discourse),
it only says that it is not within what can be considered _scholarly_
In other words, 50.000 Frenchmen can be wrong with everything, but
50.000 Frenchmen are not wrong in calling you deluded if you claim you
speak French as they do, when as far as they can tell you don't speak
the language that they speak, but speak English. Now, there is a
possibility that, if there is an _absolute truth_, this absolute truth
is that English is French, and the French who speak a different language
which they, in error, call French, then, are all wrong as they don't
speak French but you do, but they nonetheless are right in saying that
you are deluded in claiming you speak the same language as they do, as
you don't understand them and they don't understand you.
> Scholarly intersubjectively acceptable opinion to the effect that
> the sun was at the centre of the universe was orthodoxy, with torture
> and cruel deaths as punishment for heresy at one time.
> Intersubjectivity can only ever be among scholars in agreement, so
> as a criterion for deciding the validity of an opinion, it is based
> on a tautology and is therefore of dubious value to scholarship.
Not at all. Intersubjectivity is based on a common frame of reference,
with is a necessary prerequisite for understanding each other. Only if
scholarship would be looking for truth, then this would be problematic,
but scholarship, as I have already explained, is not looking for truth,
but for explanations of the world as we are able to perceive it and talk
about it. And, as you might know had you dealt with the history of the
conflict about the heliocentric world-view, you would have realised that
it was not the question of whether the earth or the sun was at the
centre of the universe, but rather if truth could be found without the
word of god. The actual conflict between Galileo and the papal
authorities was whether mathematical proof of _the truth_ was possible,
not if the sun was at the centre of the universe. But by only looking at
popular representations of the conflict, where it is much easier to
transport that they differed about what was the centre of the universe,
this minor but nonetheless extremely important snippet of information
has gone unnoticed by you. It has not, btw, in most of the academic
literature on the conflict about the heliocentric world-view.
Even more, the historical context in which academic word is progressing
nowadays has considerably changed since the times of a Galileo and the
conflict about the heliocentric world-view. Thus, understanding
orthodoxy and its repression of heterodoxy is a much more complex issue
than to simply do it away by argueing that scholarly opinion as
intersubjective opinion is necessarily repressive and orthodox. In fact,
academic heterodoxy is much more widespread than you would have us
believe by quoting a non-scholarly conflict (as it was a
scholarly/theological conflict) from 500 years ago. In fact, to give an
example, I do totally disagree with Simon James an almost anything, but
nontheless, we both are working within the same intersubjectice
framework. There are several more scholars with which I utterly
disagree, but nonetheless, they are working within the same
intersubjective framework - which is that we all derive our theories
from the existing evidence, even though they are completely opposed
theories. Your theories, on the other hand, are outside of this
intersubjective framework, as you summarily dismiss _all evidence_ as
useless in analysing the past, but on the contrary argue that an alleged
'common sense', which documently is at least not 'common' as I do not
share it, nor does, seemingly, anyone else on this list, nor do all
Celtic scholars that I, personally or by their writings, know of (which
is sufficent to demonstrate that your alleged 'common sense' it is not
at all common), should be used to make statements about the past, which
is as such nothing but an attempt to make people believe your
authoritative (i.e. non-referenced) statements, seemingly because you
have some miraculous way of accessing _the truth_ about the past that
all others do not have.
In other words, while it is absolutely possible to completely and
fundamentally disagree within the same intersubjective framework,
requiring to accept the opposing possibilities as viable alternative
interpretations to my own, this is not possible within your
authoritative approach, which one can believe or not, but which cannot
be tested against an intersubjective framework, as your approach
summarily dismisses any framework against which anything could be
tested. As such, accepting or disagreeing with your theory is not a
matter of reasoning, but a matter of belief, if one accets your
framework. I can believe you that there was an unattested dialect of
Irish spoken in 1st century AD Britain, but I can't look for myself if
there was. Accepting your paradigma means accepting your interpretation,
which amounts to accepting a dogma, as your whole paradigm is based on
single-instance explanations, not on systemic relations. Thus, you are
creating a new orthodoxy (orthodoxy is derived from dogma) with no
possibility for heterodoxy within your framework, as heterodox opinions
would amount to leaving your paradigma, and thus would be heresy.
Thus, while the intersubjective paradigm of scholarly discourse allows
for heterodoxy, yours doesn't and thus is an authoritative paradigm.
> > As such, while there of course is nothing
> > like "one correct" spelling of any spoken term, the transscribed forms
> > are self-similar in appearance, and this self-similarity follows regular
> > patterns.
> I'm not understanding you.
This is evident, but this line should be suffivent to show that you a)
see the fact that I do not dispute the fact that there was nothing like
"one correct" spelling and that you b) haven't understood the
implications of Chaos theory. The central message of Chaos theory is
that it tells us about the development of self-similarity, as seen e.g.
in the famous Mandelbrot fractals. It is the concept of strange
attractors that tells us how self-similarity develops in dynamic
equilibrium in complex interactive open systems sensitive to intitial
conditions within phase space distributions.
In more simple terms, relating to our specific problem of
transliteration of terms, it tells us that a certain cluster of
spellings can only be derived from a certain, different cluster of
divergent pronouncations, as transliteration follows a Latin
"transliteration attractor" that results in similar clusters being
transliterated in non-identical but self-similar, non-arbitrary ways. In
other words, all foreign language-terms transliterated with an ending of
-icca or -icea in Latin should go back to similarly pronounced terms in
the languages transscribed.
> We have one spelling from the Roman Tacitus, and those who copied
> him. We know when that spelling dates from.
Both date from the 14th century AD, which is when the Tacitus texts were
discovered in Monte Cassino after having been thought of as lost for at
least 10 centuries. We only have copied spellings, not the one of
Tacitus himself. As such, the two spellings known might both be copying
> We can scarcely imagine that the few texts that survive from the
> period of the Roman occupation and the following centuries are the
> only ones written,
You can scarcely imagine that. Many people can. This mainly depends on
the amount of literacy we want to ascribe to pre-Roman populations in
Britain, Roman Britain and post-Roman Britain.
> and in the multitudes of destroyed or unpreserved material, we can't
> know how many spellings arose in Britain itself, or when they dated
But we can't argue with something we don't know. The argument that "we
don't know how may different spellings existed" cannot be reversed to
justify that every spelling is possible! What you are implying here is
that we should ignore the available evidence, as we don't know how much
evidence has been lost, and go on to argue that the lost evidence may
have included something which goes along with your theory, and continue
to argue that, therefore, your explanation is more likely than those
that are based on the existing evidence. In other words, you are asking
us to buy into an ex silentio argument that is not able to explain the
existing evidence, because the existing evidence _might_ potentially be
wrong, without showing that the existing evidence is _actually_ wrong!
> Anyway, is the earliest spelling always
> given as the correct spelling? All you can say is that two different
> spellings are known and make no judgement between them.
No, what the current theories about the name Boudica say is that her
name most probably meant "victorious", because this fits with regular
patterns of change observable in Latin transcriptions of native British
names, because the application of observable changes that lead from
ancient British to modern Welsh would lead to a term meaning
victiorious, and that also the observable patterns of regular change
show that it's Irish cognate should be the term buadach, also attested
as a name in Irish, meaning "victoriuos". As such, the current theory
explains the existing evidence, is able to show derived terms of this
name in the language most likely being a direct descendant of the
language in which the original term was used, and is able to show a
cognate term in an indirectly related language where there even is an
attested case of this term used as a name element.
Your theory, in contrast, requires us to assume that the name is the
result of an individual complete misunderstanding of an unattested
phrase in a language that was most likely not spoken then, requires a
preassumption that the ancient British did not tell their names in
public and requires us to discard the existing evidence as being
ultimately meaningless. In fact, you have to construct, out of thin air,
every single element in your theory: the Roman who wrote that term down
did not have the slightest understanding of the language they spoke and
heard the term on a single occasion, had no reason and no possibility to
further inquire about that and thus never found out that it was not in
fact her name, but a term referring to her people, and in general had no
idea about customs and practices of the ancient British; they themselves
spoke a language identical to modern Irish in the meaning of the terms,
but pronounced in a different way to allow the Roman to transliterate
the term at all, and this pronouncation was not recorded in any other
instance by anywhom, anywhere, in any way, as it already had vanished at
the next contact between Romans and British. As such, your theory
operates in thin air, outside any attested evidence, with pure
speculation, implying that because one cannot directly disprove your
theory, it is more likely than a theory that can be backed up by massive
amounts of evidence. This hardly can be thought of as scholarly.
For more see part II
Mag.phil. Raimund KARL
Österreich: <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Lektor für kulturwissenschaftliche Keltologie
Univ.Wien, Inst.f.Alte Geschichte, A-1010 Wien, Dr. Karl Lueger Ring 1
United Kingdom: <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Research fellow (European Archaeology)
Canolfan Uwchefrydiau Cymreig a Cheltaidd, Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru,
Aberystwyth, Ceredigion SY23 3HH; ffôn: (+44 781) 6464861
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