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Author Topic: The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles: Their Nature and Legacy  (Read 7017 times)

Gilbride

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Quote from: yewberry;120247
What Hutton always seems to say is "we don't know".  Because we can't know.  We simply don't have enough information about the Celts from culturally unbiased sources.  I'm confused at why you don't see a cultural bias.  I'm not suggested that the Medieval church were deliberately bigoted, but they couldn't have been able to avoid their own somewhat myopic world view.


It's not that I don't see a bias, just that I couldn't follow what you were saying. Then I realized I hadn't been very clear myself, so I added another post. I agree that we can't know, that's a big part of why I'm not personally a Reconstructionist. (Too frustrating.)

It's just that Hutton says something cautious (like, we don't really know if there's a connection between Brighid and Brigantia) and some folks seem to interpret it as a proven fact (look, Brighid has nothing to do with Brigantia! It's in Hutton!).

Then, on top of that, he takes his skepticism really far sometimes, like the recent article in which he argued against Mabon/Modron being seen as a late survival of Maponos/Matrona or Rhiannon being derived from Rigantona. I think if you asked a hundred Celtic Studies professors, ninety of them would say they thought Mabon and Modron were probably derived from Maponos and Matrona, and Rhiannon probably comes from Rigantona. Yet some pagans are sure to take Hutton's opinion on this as gospel.

It's not that I don't respect his work, I just think we should keep a sense of perspective. We used to be too naive about our sources as a community, but becoming hyper-skeptical now would be an over-correction. Hutton should be taken in context with all the other scholarship out there.

Materialist

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Quote from: Juni;120186
I don't have specific evidence of a cult- I said it would surprise me to see a place named after a deity without there being a cult. As to the name, see John T Koch's Celtic Encyclopedia; I don't have a page reference offhand, but under the Lugus entry. Also Jackson's Language and History in Early Britain.

As De la Bédoyère is a Roman British historian, I'm not surprised that he would focus on  Roman findings; from what I'm seeing online, his focus was archaeology. Koch is a Celtic linguist with a PhD in the subject from Harvard and a chair at the University of Wales; I am personally more inclined to put weight in his work in the etymology of a place-name, but to each their own.

Alright, I went out and checked some things. Google search revealed "Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia, ed. By John T. Koch." Is this what you meant by his "Celtic Encyclopedia"? Anyway, googlebooks had a preview of p.1203, which contains the "Lugus" entry, written by Dr. Koch. This is what he had to say about Carlisle: "Note also Romano-British Lugu-valium 'Carlisle,' Welsh Caer-Liwelydd." Which is not helpful.

I read "History and Language in Early Britain" a few years ago and don't remember any of the etymologies off hand. A wikipedia article cites p.39 as its source for the origins of Carlisle's name. Hopefully the writer is right so I won't have to read through the whole book again to find that word.

What would be interesting to know is why a book published in 1953 says the name refers to a god, and a book from 1998 says it refers to a man. I wonder what changed. Is it based on the reconstruction of the suffix? Does *-on or *-os make the case?

I'm not sure what you mean in saying that Mr. Bedoyere focuses on "Roman findings." He covers every aspect of culture, including the century before the Roman invasion, for the context. Linguists can't tell us what religions were practiced in Britain, it's the archaeologists who have to dig up the altars and temples. If there was a pre-Roman shrine at Carlisle I would think someone would have mentioned it by now. So far, it's all post-Roman stuff.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2013, 11:01:55 pm by Materialist »

Materialist

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Quote from: Gilbride;120253

Then, on top of that, he takes his skepticism really far sometimes, like the recent article in which he argued against Mabon/Modron being seen as a late survival of Maponos/Matrona or Rhiannon being derived from Rigantona.


What's the title of this article? Sounds like an interesting read.

Gilbride

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Quote from: Materialist;120285
What's the title of this article? Sounds like an interesting read.


Sorry, I can't recall, but I think someone posted it on here several months ago.

RandallS

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Quote from: Gilbride;120253
It's just that Hutton says something cautious (like, we don't really know if there's a connection between Brighid and Brigantia) and some folks seem to interpret it as a proven fact (look, Brighid has nothing to do with Brigantia! It's in Hutton!).

This is a problem in many fields: people interpret lack of evidence one way or the other as somehow supporting their preferred way.
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Materialist

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Quote from: Materialist;120282

I read "History and Language in Early Britain" a few years ago and don't remember any of the etymologies off hand. A wikipedia article cites p.39 as its source for the origins of Carlisle's name. Hopefully the writer is right so I won't have to read through the whole book again to find that word.


Well, I checked the bibliography for my "Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names" and Mr. Jackson's book is used as the source. The wikipedia article on Luguvalium cites p.39 of H.L.E.B. as saying the place is named after a man named Luguvalos.  Which concurs with my dictionary, which is further evidence that the fort was not named after a god, as you claimed. So I expect when I reread that page for myself, it will say the same thing.

Is it Dr. Koch's opinion that the fort was named after a pre-Roman cult center?

Juni

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Quote from: Materialist;120375


 
I'm just going to cede the point, as it were, if that's alright with you, as I am finding myself lacking in the spoons for appropriate follow-up right now. (I didn't want to leave the discussion hanging, and you thinking I'm ignoring a valid query.) I'll come back to it when I can?
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Gilbride

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Quote from: Materialist;120375
The wikipedia article on Luguvalium cites p.39 of H.L.E.B. as saying the place is named after a man named Luguvalos.


Luguvalos means "strong in Lugos," so doesn't that imply at least one worshiper of that particular god?

Materialist

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Quote from: Juni;120383
I'm just going to cede the point, as it were, if that's alright with you, as I am finding myself lacking in the spoons for appropriate follow-up right now. (I didn't want to leave the discussion hanging, and you thinking I'm ignoring a valid query.) I'll come back to it when I can?


Okey-dokey with me. If you can find anything about  Lugus in Britain that would be cool.

Materialist

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Quote from: Gilbride;120395
Luguvalos means "strong in Lugos," so doesn't that imply at least one worshiper of that particular god?


Hm, this automatically reminds me of Eastern Orthodox saints named Dionysios, among other pagan god names. Had no bearing on their religious affiliation. It is a possibility that Luguvalos was a devotee, or he kept the name his parents gave him, and worshiped someone else. What would help is knowing what lugu- means-as I understand it's still debatable, to know if it always has the same meaning when used in names.

In any case, though it would be nice to add another god to the list, my research into Senobitis is based on actual religious remains, not extrapolations from someone's name.

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Quote from: Materialist;120440
Hm, this automatically reminds me of Eastern Orthodox saints named Dionysios, among other pagan god names. Had no bearing on their religious affiliation.

 
Does mean that back in their culture's history, those gods were known, though.
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