Author Topic: General Discussion Thread  (Read 666387 times)

GunmanRex

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Re: General Discussion Thread
« Reply #17715 on: October 11, 2017, 08:30:09 PM »
I was always amused by how Brigid/Bride got incorporated into early Irish Christianity as Saint Bridget. Didn't change much at all from the old goddess. And churches dedicated to Saint Patrick are still often dedicated to both Patrick and Bridget, or have a Bridget window or a Bridget chapel.
I thought Saint Brigid was a real person. Wasn't it that she just shared the name and the church just attached festivals, like Imbolc, to the Saint. Where the Church just kinda grafted the traditions surrounding Brigid onto a local prominent nun. 



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« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 08:56:36 PM by GunmanRex »
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Róisín

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Re: General Discussion Thread
« Reply #17716 on: October 11, 2017, 10:53:15 PM »
She was a person. Or more accurately, several persons whose stories got conflated into one, then grafted onto the earlier goddess stuff.

 The West Irish story I heard as a kid was that when Patrick built his first church he chose to make a point by building it on the sacred site of Brigid, where each year at the end of winter she would be honoured with lights, fire, music, poetry and the like. The first year, the locals climbed the hill and burned down the church. Didn't kill anyone, their Lady wouldn't have liked that, but the church was right where they normally built their bonfire. Patrick rebuilt. Next year, same. And the year after. Eventually he made a treaty with the local folk that they wouldn't keep burning down his church, and he in return would leave a space in his church for Brigid. Which is why Patrick churches are supposed to either have a joint dedication, or a chapel or window named for 'Saint Bridget'.

JoB has a good point with 'let me ease you in with minor modifications'. That happened a lot.
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MR_PLINKETT

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Re: General Discussion Thread
« Reply #17717 on: October 11, 2017, 10:55:57 PM »
Redditors?

Christ almighty, not redditors

anything but redditors.
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Purple Wyrm

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Re: General Discussion Thread
« Reply #17718 on: October 12, 2017, 12:40:01 AM »
Christ almighty, not redditors

anything but redditors.

Hey! I resemble that remark!

(I am a redditor, but like to think I'm one of the house trained ones ;) )
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urbicande

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Re: General Discussion Thread
« Reply #17719 on: October 12, 2017, 09:29:34 AM »
She was a person. Or more accurately, several persons whose stories got conflated into one, then grafted onto the earlier goddess stuff.

 The West Irish story I heard as a kid was that when Patrick built his first church he chose to make a point by building it on the sacred site of Brigid, where each year at the end of winter she would be honoured with lights, fire, music, poetry and the like. The first year, the locals climbed the hill and burned down the church. Didn't kill anyone, their Lady wouldn't have liked that, but the church was right where they normally built their bonfire. Patrick rebuilt. Next year, same. And the year after. Eventually he made a treaty with the local folk that they wouldn't keep burning down his church, and he in return would leave a space in his church for Brigid. Which is why Patrick churches are supposed to either have a joint dedication, or a chapel or window named for 'Saint Bridget'.

"When I first came here, this was all swamp. Everyone said I was daft to build a castle on a swamp, but I built in all the same, just to show them. It sank into the swamp. So I built a second one. That sank into the swamp. So I built a third. That burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp. But the fourth one stayed up. And that's what you're going to get, Lad, the strongest castle in all of England. "
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Róisín

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Re: General Discussion Thread
« Reply #17720 on: October 12, 2017, 11:02:13 AM »
*Immoderate mirth*
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MR_PLINKETT

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Re: General Discussion Thread
« Reply #17721 on: October 12, 2017, 02:22:25 PM »
Hey! I resemble that remark!

(I am a redditor, but like to think I'm one of the house trained ones ;) )

I asked god to show me hot singles. He showed me r/atheism.
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thorny

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Re: General Discussion Thread
« Reply #17722 on: October 12, 2017, 02:55:45 PM »
Since people were discussing the Viking conversion to Christianity, I thought I'd throw in this article about signs that some of them were interested in other directions:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-41567391
Why did Vikings have 'Allah' embroidered into funeral clothes?

Quote
Researchers in Sweden have found Arabic characters woven into burial costumes from Viking boat graves. The discovery raises new questions about the influence of Islam in Scandinavia, writes journalist Tharik Hussain.

-- more in the article.

GunmanRex

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Re: General Discussion Thread
« Reply #17723 on: October 12, 2017, 06:04:20 PM »
Since people were discussing the Viking conversion to Christianity, I thought I'd throw in this article about signs that some of them were interested in other directions:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-41567391
Why did Vikings have 'Allah' embroidered into funeral clothes?

-- more in the article.
Interesting, though I don't wholly agree with some of the theories the writer makes.
One of them being this: "However, it is more likely these findings show that Viking age burial customs were influenced by Islamic ideas such as eternal life in paradise after death."
Is the writer saying that the vikings got the idea of Valhalla from Islam?

I do agree, however, that some of the burials may have been Muslims. I do not believe it was uncommon for foreigners to be welcomed by the Norse. In fact, one of the writings we have about viking funerary traditions was written by a Muslim man. Though some of the materials could be explained by the vikings either trading or raiding (vikings did raid and die in the Levant, at least) for the textiles.

I'm also now reminded of a CK2 achievement called "Viking Ummah" where you have to have a capital with a Norse culture and an Islamic religion.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 06:11:26 PM by GunmanRex »
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Róisín

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Re: General Discussion Thread
« Reply #17724 on: October 12, 2017, 06:10:12 PM »
I knew about the coins, jewels, cups etc found in graves, also that Byzantine fabrics had turned up in Nordic graves, and had presumed it was due to the ongoing contact with Constantinople (the Varangians and such). The old world had more trade and travel than you might think. Have you seen anything on the subject by Tim Dawson? I know he was writing about it at one point.

Edit: Rex, was that the Arabic doctor who was travelling in the north? And some of the artefacts may have been taken in payment by mercenaries, brought back from raids or acquired along with foreign brides, or given in payment by amber traders. The Baltic amber trade was quite important.

The Viking gods were not exclusive, and some soldiers in Constantinople practised both faiths.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 06:16:37 PM by Róisín »
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GunmanRex

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Re: General Discussion Thread
« Reply #17725 on: October 12, 2017, 07:08:27 PM »
Edit: Rex, was that the Arabic doctor who was travelling in the north? And some of the artefacts may have been taken in payment by mercenaries, brought back from raids or acquired along with foreign brides, or given in payment by amber traders. The Baltic amber trade was quite important.

The Viking gods were not exclusive, and some soldiers in Constantinople practised both faiths.
I think so. I can't remember exactly where I saw the writing, or who wrote it, but I do remember it. Arabic doctors were everywhere back then, seeing as how the Middle East was having its golden age of science during our dark ages.

I have no problem with the idea of the Norse practicing Islam either as their central religion or in a bit of syncretism. Gods, I hate using the word "pagan," but the pagan religions seem to have been apparently quite friendly towards other religions. Which might have sadly cost them. Either that or the Abrahamic religions are just very good at converting people, or were just very lucky.

I digress, the only problem I have with the article is that the quoted scientist, Larsson, seems to insinuate that the idea of a paradise after death was borrowed from Islam. It's possible, but I think that the idea of a paradise afterlife is a core idea of religion since... well, not the earliest (the Babylonians had a sad, depressing afterlife), but for a long time

I think I should stop making walls of text.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 10:15:54 PM by GunmanRex »
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Purple Wyrm

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Re: General Discussion Thread
« Reply #17726 on: October 12, 2017, 07:49:21 PM »
I asked god to show me hot singles. He showed me r/atheism.

You have my sympathies.
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Róisín

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Re: General Discussion Thread
« Reply #17727 on: October 12, 2017, 11:52:39 PM »
Plinkett, that's sad. May future attempts prosper better.

Rex, as you say, that was a period of history when Islamic doctors were everywhere, both because they were generally very good, and because having one was a major status symbol.

And speaking as a real-life pagan, I would agree that very few of our gods are at all exclusive. Part of the reason why the Abrahamic religions prevailed was that they were more prepared to do conquest and violence in the name of religion, and to co-opt the trappings of religion into their empire building. Plus the factor that many pagan rulers and clergy let Christian missionaries into their countries either not realising what they were doing there, or thinking there was no harm in it, because people would follow the inclinations of their souls. (Why am I reminded of modern politics?). I know that when the advent of Christians was discussed in the Welsh and Irish courts, the idea emerged that since these people had a triune god, how bad could they be? After all, many of the British pagans of the period had a triune goddess.....And of course, the conquerors get to write the history.

Also, 'pagan', in its original usage, just meant country people, those close to the land, as opposed to cityfolk, and acquired the religious connotations gradually, because most of those who were what we would call pagan, were country people. And yeah, many pre-Christian and pre-Islamic folk had a 'paradise afterlife' (or in the case of Celtic pagans, a 'paradise betweenlife', because sooner or later you had to go out and be born again). The word 'paradise' originally meant just an enclosed safe space, particularly an enclosed garden.
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Purple Wyrm

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Re: General Discussion Thread
« Reply #17728 on: October 13, 2017, 12:31:48 AM »
Also, 'pagan', in its original usage, just meant country people, those close to the land, as opposed to cityfolk

Yes, from the latin 'pagus' meaning 'village'. The Anglo-Saxon equivalent is 'heathen', meaning a person who lives on the heath.
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Re: General Discussion Thread
« Reply #17729 on: October 13, 2017, 12:55:51 AM »
I don't have much to add to the conversation, but I have to say, I've learned so much already about history, language, and religion just reading through it. This is why I love this forum! Such interesting people you all are! ^-^
 
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