> Date: Mon, 21 Apr 1997 22:02:23 PST
> From: James J Cain <[log in to unmask]>
> Maybe your reading of the "Navagatio" left you with a bunch of landmarks
> that were open to interpretation, but the fact is that Severin took them
> in order and lined them up heading west, then followed them.
Thanks, I know what Severin did. The problem is, that the landmarks
are NOT clearly identifyable. Severin didn't take the landmarks
discribed in the Navigatio and put them together, but he took
landmarks on the way to America and "identified" them as possibly
fitting to descriptions given in the Navigatio.
> If you are
> correct that they are open to interpretation, then, having identified
> them, he should have been able to have shuffled them and the new
> descriptions should have fit as well.
In fact, I am pretty sure that this is equally well possible, if you
only wanted to. As I said, I have read the Navigatio, and the
landmarks described are pretty common.
> The truth is, they would not have.
The main problem is that Severin's theory is discounted by most
scholars exactly because they would. Of course, you would have to
take other landmarks, and you wouldn't end up in America.
> Your attitude is the same one that was applied to Homer's descriptions in
> the "Odyssey" until Schleimann "interpreted" them and found Troy.
Oh, thank you for the standard Schliemann quote to me. You know, I
can't hear it any more. The point is that any description you take in
ancient texts can fit a number of places. And actually, the scholars
of Schliemann's time didn't dispute that Homer might have described an
actual city. They only told Schliemann (at least most of them), that
in the Illias (and that's what he based his location on) said Troy
was located at the sea, which didn't at all fit to the Tell
Hissarlik, which is thirty miles from the next shore. Read the
Illias. What is the point in this? Schliemann took one description (a
hill with 5 springs) and this led him to Hissarlik.
And actually, Schliemann's theory would still not be believed, had
there not been the large Tell that could be excavated, that brought
finds that made it reasonable to assume that this Tell actually was
the Troy described in the Illias. Btw, the most fitting element of
the description which we know of today is the harbour of Troy, of
which Schliemann knew nothing, which, had it been found today
would most probably have led the archaeologists to identify Tell
Hissarlik with Troy anyways.
The point is: one should not take a description of landmarks in
ancient text at face value. There is more evidence needed than one
interpretation to make something likely.
> there were the remains of "settlements" that the Vikings found when they
> arrived at Greenland, probably left by the Culdees who had fled Ireland
> when the Vikings began their incursions. The Culdees were a sect who,
> had Ireland had a desert, would have been desert hermits. Not having a
> desert they took to the sea. Where they went from Greenland is a
> mystery...maybe West...maybe back to Ireland...and maybe they died out,
> but I don't recall that the Vikings found any human remains, just
> shelters and such.
Of course it is possible that someone made the voyage, I don't
dispute this, I even believe it to be likely. But this isn't based on
fact, and Severin's voyage, as I said, did not show that it was
likely, only that it was possible.
> Ray, when it comes to standing stones and ogham inscriptions and the like
> here, I'm like Thomas...show me the wounds that I might place my hands in
> them. Where the "Navagatio" is concerned, it does describe a voyage or
> voyages across the Atlantic, one along the route followed by Columbus. Did
> Brendan actually do it?
In fact, what is described here is a voyage to the otherworld, and
this completely in the tradition of older Celtic tales, like the
Imram Brain. There is a whole group of such Imrama, all of which are
characterised by the same elements and similar landmarks like the
ones described in the Navigatio Sancti Brendani. I severly doubt that
those landmarks described in the NavigatioSB have more to do with a real
voyage to America than any other description in others of those
RAY (Raimund Karl,University of Vienna,Dep.of Prehistory)
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