Tag Archives: Druids

30 Cubed – The Scribe

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Night was falling and the chill of dusk stole through the window. Amelius rose to draw the heavy woven curtain across the opening and to stoke up the fire in the hearth. Perhaps he should pause in his work and take the small meal offered by the priests in this ancient temple. They held dinner for no one and morning was many hours away. Checking his fire once again, he secured his work and left his room for the great dining hall.

The temple was one among the thousands that would be lost to history. It had been home to many gods and those that served them. Meals were simple and made up of fruits, vegetables, bread and wine, all grown on temple grounds. The food was well prepared and, Amelius thought, rather appetizing. No silence was imposed, however conversations tended to be muted and conducted with close neighbors.

“I see you’ve chosen to join us this evening, Friend Amelius. How goes your work?”

“Well, quite well, Aius. I should be able to leave your hospitality by weeks end.”

“Have you found all you expected to among our scrolls?”

“There are some gaps, but your librarian has been quite helpful. It has given me much of what I needed to verify the integrity of my work. Your help has been critical to my mission.”

“Then you will be returning to your homeland quite soon? Or do you have further stops on this journey of yours?”

“No, Aius, I believe I have completed my search.” Amelius began to gather his plate and utensils, “I believe I am now prepared to record what I must for future generations. We no longer have those among us that can memorize the old knowledge. We are forced to make a written record.”

Aius sighed. “True, it seems the case in many things. I wish you luck Amelius, and whatever blessing you may take from this place.”

A week later Amelius returned to his homeland of Bohemia where a settlement of Celts remained. Upon completion of his manuscript, with all of its meticulously drawn illustrations, he consigned the work to the care of those who had commissioned him.

Many centuries came and went. As the manuscript aged, others carefully copied its fading contents. The manuscript was held in great regard even though knowledge of its contents had become almost as faded as the words. Known to be ancient and perhaps even holy, those with means to preserve it did so while trying to decipher its meanings.

What ancient secrets of astronomy, medicine, law, and spirit, might grace the page of a Druid Book of Knowledge? Its author accomplished his task well, for nothing has caused quite so much bafflement nor intrigue as the beautiful, ancient Voynich Manuscript.

 

NOTE: My rendition is, of course, a fiction. However the manuscript is quite real. Professor Stephen Bax of the University of Bedford recently announced that he is making progress in translating the document. The theory I present is not without some grounds. The Celts did not have a written language that we are aware of, and yet they had a stable and evidently wealthy empire that spanned from modern day Ireland to the shores of the Black Sea. Evidence of their influence is found in Northern African and far into Northern Europe. The Celtic Druids were the professional class of their peoples. They were the doctors, lawyers, astronomers; engineers and priests. Perhaps the manuscript is a Druid’s last hope of preserving centuries of knowledge for future use. Perhaps one day I’ll write the whole story.

History and background of the Voynich Manuscript

The work of Professor Stephan Bax

The Manuscript in full color.

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Book Review – The Celtic Elite

Book Review – A Brief History of the Druids by Peter Berresford Ellis.
Available for less than $5.00.

While browsing my memory and my bookshelf for something to open the page on CE, I bumped into this little book about Celtic history and the Druids.  It too has a special story.  I found it one afternoon when I retreated to the bookstore for solace because, after maybe 4 or 5 different shoe stores, I couldn’t find something for my feet.  Thus, I looked for something for my head and, there it was, on the bargain shelf.

Mr. Ellis is described by some as a “popular historian”, which sounds somehow not quite, well, right with the world.  As it happens it simply means that it is not a technical article written under the authority of peer-reviewed research.  I find this interesting since Mr. Ellis, among other academic accomplishments, holds a degree from the University of East London in Celtic studies.  A review of his biography indicates a lifelong devotion to all things Celtic.  The book under discussion includes eleven pages of bibliography.  So, whether or not we wish to classify his prolific writing as popular history or academic history the fellow has enough background to grant some authority to his writings.  To set the tone I would like to quote from the Introduction:

“The French anthropologist, Claude Levi-Strauss, once said: ‘There are no final truths.  The scientific mind does not so much provide the right answers as to ask the right questions.’ In no field is it more necessary to ask the right questions than when attempting to discover the Druids.”

This is so very true.  Because we know so little of the Druids, and especially from the Druids themselves, they have become history’s fantasy dump taking on whatever roll someone wishes to assign to them.  Ellis’ book probes the record left through tradition, anti-Druid writings and cultural evidence to weave an interesting outlook on a segment of Celtic society that was peopled with not just priests, but the doctors, lawyers, statesmen and scientists of the Celtic age.  Seeking clues in traditions as old as Europe itself, Ellis builds the case for an elite within a culture that stretched from ancient Ireland to the farther reaches of Turkey and Iberia. It is a very interesting read.

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