Setting the record straight on Druids & Celtic spirituality

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NJA
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I'm just reading a small book "Celt, Druid And Culdee" by Isabel Hill Elder and learning a lot!

I bought it for £4 but I find you can get half the text here.
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You will for example appreciate benchmarks and the words to "Land of My Fathers" more after.
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(Original post by NJA)
I'm just reading a small book "Celt, Druid And Culdee" by Isabel Hill Elder and learning a lot!

I bought it for £4 but I find you can get all the text here.

So what's the crux of it and what have you learnt?
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(Original post by Racoon)
So what's the crux of it and what have you learnt?
Some bullet points. Romans and Greeks attest that these Britons are highly educated in skilled trades and science (eg enamelling, glass and metal-work, fabrics and clothing) and cultured, people from across Europe were sent to their colleges. They needed good roads for trade and their prized chariots. The notion that the Romans brought civilisation to these "savages" is in a real sense upside-down. the Romans were like a Nazi war machine, many of their roads and villas have been found to have been build on top of pre-existing ones.

A flourishing society needs good laws (including food and medicine). The Druids were basically old testament priests. Stone circles were built as astronomical clocks to enable them to keep the feasts. These people readily accepted the gospel when the first generation of Christians (including Joseph of Arimathea) came, escaping the persecutions in Judea, Culdich / Culdee means refugee. When Augustine came he found that the Church was already here and they certainly didn't want to call the Pope their leader.

The booklet has many interesting quotes from historians Tertullian, Origin, Gildas etc. Gildas says King Caradoc of the Welsh Silures was taken captive to Rome was converted by Paul (also in prison there), Paul later writes to his children Linus, Claudia & son-in-law Prudens (2 Timothy).
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NJA
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Megaliths, stone circles.
As well as calendars, they serves as maps .. see the latter half of this lecture especially.

This shows
how the ancient mariners created (or used) the constellations as maps.
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Ancient British spirituality was a mix of old testament and paganism ...

“you have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images" (Amos 5:25)

Chiun was the moon goddess, called the queen of heaven and origin of the word "queen".
The famous British King Cunobeline (died c. 40AD) combines the worship of both Chiun and Bel.
Moloch is seen in place-names: Melksham (Wiltshire), Melchbourne (Beds.), Melcombe (Dorset)


"… Israel slideth back as a backsliding heifer…Ephraim is joined to idols…"

"the inhabitants of Samaria shall fear because of the calves of Bethaven" (Hosea 4:15-17, 10:5)

"…he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol (Heb., "Aven", a vanity)" (Isaiah 66:3)


There are 5 rivers Avon in Britain, of which three pass through Gloustershire, where Celtic worship of this god was centred. In the same English district is an old town named Avening. The 'ing' suffix means the place of, so Avening is the place of Aven.

Historian Samuel Lysons, in "Our British Ancestors" says:
"The worship at Beth-Aven, in Canaan, and that of Avening in Gloucestershire, and that of Aven, Heliopolis, or Baal bec, were all identical. The stone altars, the high place, the calves' bones discovered there, mark the similarity."

Gen. 46:20: “unto Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, which Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On”


Lysons states, "That Aven and On were the same, is shown by the Greek translation of Beth-aven as 'the house of On.' Heliopolis, Egypt was at different periods called Ain, Aven, and On… Possibly our word Evening, Dutch Avond, and German Abend, may represent Aven, as the declining sun."

British place-names showing early sun-worship include Ansley, Anston, Anslow, Ancoats, Ancaster, Ancroft, Anford, Anwick, Avening, Arran (here a circle of Druidic stones with a cromlech in the centre indicates sun worship), and many others. Yet more evidence that Britain was originally settled by "backsliding Israel".
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the bear
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(Original post by NJA)
Ancient British spirituality was a mix of old testament and paganism ...

“ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images" (Amos 5:25)

Chiun was the moon goddess, called the queen of heaven and origin of the word "queen".
The famous British King Cunobeline (died 40AD) combines the worship of both Chiun and Bel.
Moloch is seen in place-names: Melksham (Wiltshire), Melchbourne (Beds.), Melcombe (Dorset)

Aven was another of the deities of the Phoenicians, and temples to this god were called Beth-Aven ('house of Aven.')

"…come not ye unto Gilgal, neither go ye up to Bethaven, nor swear, the Lord liveth. For Israel slideth back as a backsliding heifer…Ephraim is joined to idols…"

"the inhabitants of Samaria shall fear because of the calves of Bethaven" (]Hosea 4:15-17, 10:5)

"…he that burneth incense, as if he blessed an idol (Heb., "Aven", a vanity)" (Isaiah 66:3)


There are 5 rivers Avon in Britain, of which three pass through Gloustershire, where Celtic worship of this god was centered. In the same English district is an old town named Avening. The 'ing' suffix means the place of, so Avening is the place of Aven.

Historian Samuel Lysons, in "Our British Ancestors" says:
"The worship at Beth-Aven, in Canaan, and that of Avening in Gloucestershire, and that of Aven, Heliopolis, or Baal bec, were all identical. The stone altars, the high place, the calves' bones discovered there, mark the similarity."

Gen. 46:20: “unto Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, which Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On”


Lysons states, "That Aven and On were the same, is shown by the Greek translation of Beth-aven as 'the house of On.' Heliopolis, Egypt was at different periods called Ain, Aven, and On… Possibly our word Evening, Dutch Avond, and German Abend, may represent Aven, as the declining sun."

British place-names showing early sun-worship include Ansley, Anston, Anslow, Ancoats, Ancaster, Ancroft, Anford, Anwick, Avening, Arran (here a circle of Druidic stones with a cromlech in the centre indicates sun worship), and many others. Yet more evidence that Britain was originally settled by "backsliding Israel".
Celtic culture is indeed fascinating. You may wish to read a recent book by Graham Robb:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Ancient-.../dp/0330531514

you may not necessarily agree with his thesis but you can learn a lot from his work.
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NJA
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(Original post by the bear)
...
http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Ancient-.../dp/0330531514

you may not necessarily agree with his thesis but you can learn a lot from his work.
The reviews are not good but I've decided to splash out a fiver on it.

Just gonna watch this clip.
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(Original post by NJA)
The reviews are not good but I've decided to splash out a fiver on it.

Just gonna watch this clip.
thanks for the clip... i have not seen it before. GR is in need of a shave...

the book is very well written; Mr Robb is one of my favorite authors ?
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Another clip with info showing the idea that Romans brought civilization to savages is back-to-front.
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Radio interview here.

Let me know if you hear about any public lectures or have his contact details.

Attached pic: Horses found on Celtic coins - showing separate tribes that were united for trade and defence, detailed in the book

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Robb also reports that a Druidess would often stand between tribes and broker peace.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwR2iTPvRbw
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Celtic Tribes of southern Britain, 1st C AD, note the Regnenses ("Regni" or "Regini"), 'The People of the Kingdom' in modern Sussex.

This marble inscription (below) was found near the Fishbourne Palace.

It translates:
"The College of Engineers, and ministers of religion attached to it, by permission of Tiberius Claudius Cogidunus, the king, legate of Augustus in Britain, have dedicated at their own expense, in honour of thedivine family this temple to Neptune and Minerva. The site was given by Pudens, Son of Pudentinus."

This Pudens has been identified as the second in command of the Roman forces in Britain, under Aulus Plautius. It was common for high ranking officers to be present at the dedication of public buildings, including, as in this case, a pagan temple.
King Cogidubnus has three names signifying he had been given Roman citizenship, he was "a client King".

King Caractacus ("Caradoc") was taken to Rome as a war prize and allowed to live there, had a daughter Gladys ("Princess") re-named Claudia in accordance with Roman custom, and a son Linus.

The Roman poet Martial wrote poetry for the wedding of Prudens and Claudiia in AD53. He speaks of Pudens suffering from the cold of "the Scythian (North) pole." - Pudens had served in Britain prior to his marriage.

The apostle Paul sends greetings from "Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia" (1 Timothy 4:21) while in Rome.
The next (last) 6 years of his life before his execution are unaccounted for in scripture, though Theodore, Bishop of Cyprus (AD425) says he came to Britain and Paul's mission was to "bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the childrenof Israel" (Acts 9:16) ... most of the children of Israel were scattered in Asia, Armenia & northern Asia minor (where Peter & others were sent, that's why "the Spirit suffered them (Paul & colleagues) not" to go to Bithnia, where Peter was ministering - Acts 16:7, 1 Peter 1:1), the silence in scripture would indicate he was away from the other apostles at this time. Other sources say that Aristolulus (mentioned by Paul in Romans 16:10) was made Bishop of Britain.

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Martial describes Pudens as the "sainted husband" of Claudia whom he writes of as having "sprung from the painted Britons." Elsewhere he asks, "Since Claudia wife of Rufus (Pudens) comes from the blue-set (i.e. blue-eyed) Britons, how is it that she has won the hearts of the Latin people." The residence of the couple at Rome, known as the Palatium Britannicum, seems to have been a regular meeting place for Christians.

Paul writes to Rome: "Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine" (Romans 16:13), indicating they were at least half-brothers, and both free Roman citizens. Clement of Rome, (probably the Clement of Philippians 4:3) says Paul "taught the whole world righteousness ... travelled even to the utmost bounds of the West." (Hist., book ii., ch. 40, written AD96).
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Someone has put together this Dynasty chart:
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The Welsh Triads tell us that Bran was the first of the Cymbry (The Cymry, the "Khumri" that the Assyrians took captive, so-called because they were "the House of Omri") who accepted Christianity; that he had been seven years at Rome as a hostage for his son Caradog (Caractacus), who had been taken prisoner by the Romans; and that on his return from Rome to his native country, Bran was accompanied by four missionaries named, Ilid, Cyndar, and his son, Mawan, men of Israel, and Arwystli Hen, a, man of Italy." Arwystli is Welsh for Austobulous. Cressy says that "St. Austobulous, a disciple of St. Paul at Rome (Romans 16:10), was sent as an apostle to the Britons, and was the first bishop of Britain"
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(Original post by NJA)
Some bullet points. Romans and Greeks attest that these Britons are highly educated in skilled trades and science (eg enamelling, glass and metal-work, fabrics and clothing) and cultured, people from across Europe were sent to their colleges. They needed good roads for trade and their prized chariots. The notion that the Romans brought civilisation to these "savages" is in a real sense upside-down. the Romans were like a Nazi war machine, many of their roads and villas have been found to have been build on top of pre-existing ones.

A flourishing society needs good laws (including food and medicine). The Druids were basically old testament priests. Stone circles were built as astronomical clocks to enable them to keep the feasts. These people readily accepted the gospel when the first generation of Christians (including Joseph of Arimathea) came, escaping the persecutions in Judea, Culdich / Culdee means refugee. When Augustine came he found that the Church was already here and they certainly didn't want to call the Pope their leader.

The booklet has many interesting quotes from historians Tertullian, Origin, Gildas etc. Gildas says King Caradoc of the Welsh Silures was taken captive to Rome was converted by Paul (also in prison there), Paul later writes to his children Linus, Claudia & son-in-law Prudens (2 Timothy).
the druids were the clergy class of the celtic britain tribes and as such were shamanistic in their practice - nothing like 'christian priests'. and the tribes of wales and ireland different significantly from the Catuvellauni, Trinovantes and iceni in the south of england, all of who became heavily influenced by the romans.

Celtic britian continued as a non-christian society long after the romans left - in fact found themsevles settling in comfortably alongside the danes vikings and even the original saxon invasions given the similarlities in their polyeithist faiths. From then the 'anglo' saxons remained a polyeithist peoples till at least the kingdoms of Mercia were de-throned / converted over 500 years later
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(Original post by Reformed)
the druids were the clergy class of the celtic britain tribes and as such were shamanistic in their practice
Please explain why you say that.

(Original post by Reformed)
nothing like 'christian priests'.
I gave evidence of how they continued old testament ideas and mixed in worship of Bel etc, just like Israel often did in the Old Testament. Many accepted Christianity but the idea "Christian priests" sounds catholic, which didn't come until later (with Augustine).

(Original post by Reformed)
and the tribes of wales and ireland different significantly from the Catuvellauni, Trinovantes and iceni in the south of england, all of who became heavily influenced by the romans.
Of course, the latter were overrun by them!

(Original post by Reformed)
Celtic britian continued as a non-christian society long after the romans left - in fact found themsevles settling in comfortably alongside the danes vikings and even the original saxon invasions given the similarlities in their polyeithist faiths. From then the 'anglo' saxons remained a polyeithist peoples till at least the kingdoms of Mercia were de-throned / converted over 500 years later
Naa, the Danes and Vikings invaded and visciously fought them, King Alfred of Wessex managed to stop them taking over the whole land.

I wouldn't say Celtic society became "Christian", just that there was a thriving Christian community within in, as well as larger groups of pagans/polytheists.
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(Original post by NJA)
Please explain why you say that.


I gave evidence of how they continued old testament ideas and mixed in worship of Bel etc, just like Israel often did in the Old Testament. Many accepted Christianity but the idea "Christian priests" sounds catholic, which didn't come until later (with Augustine).


Of course, the latter were overrun by them!


Naa, the Danes and Vikings invaded and visciously fought them, King Alfred of Wessex managed to stop them taking over the whole land.

I wouldn't say Celtic society became "Christian", just that there was a thriving Christian community within in, as well as larger groups of pagans/polytheists.
when the vikings made attempts to invade and colonise britain, england and scotland was largely already christian under the converted anglo saxon kings - the most violent and bloody battles were between these to groups
the celts adopted christianity in part - but the majortiy of the tribes remained faithful to their original traditions - it was not til the mercian and saxon kings later converted to chrisitianity did it then spread accross the land and effectively the original celtic faiths and traditions became lost
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