Subject:      Re: antiquity of oghams (was: about Micmac script
From: (Yuri Kuchinsky)
Date:         1997/07/13
Message-ID:   <5qb0gm$t84$>
Newsgroups:   sci.archaeology,alt.pagan,alt.mythology

Alex Kashko ([22] wrote:


:         Well I just finished reading it again after several years and
: find it a fascinating book but I am not sure what if anything is to be
: believed.

Well, Alex, I'm sure some things are definitely to be believed there. But
which ones? This is the big question.

Let's look at the two big historical/literary puzzles in the bardic poems
about the "battle of the trees" that provided the frame for the book, for
instance. Graves claimed to have solved them. It's a big claim. Suppose he
was wrong about his solution. So what? Even if he was wrong, the main
themes of the book, and his exploration of them will still remain very

As far as I know, the only _obvious_ factual inaccuracies that have been
pointed out by his critics so far have been rather few and trivial ones. I
believe Graves was actually quite proud of the research that he's done and
included in this book. He makes plenty of big interpretative claims, often
unsubstantiated, true. But this is not the same as obvious factual
errors... I don't think there are many of those.

: He seems to be takiong Frazer far too seriously

Sure does. But perhaps Frazer needs to be taken a lot more seriously than
he's taken at this time. Frazer is often misunderstood and swept under the
rug currently. He's unfashionable, true. But academic fashions come and
go. Important works remain.

: ( all the talk
: of ritual deathj and resurrection could aalso be a shamanic reference
: for example)

They don't have to contradict each other. We know that both phenomena are
well documented.

: and his etymology is more like lexilinking.

This is the most obvious weak spot that many critics zeroed in onto. We
should see all this as speculative and leave it at that.

:         The central premise, that the Druids and Bards loved riddles is
: plausible. I am more than a little skeptical about the idea that the
: triple Goddess was worshipped as universally as he seems to make out.

The triple goddess is problematic in some respects. But the idea that
various goddesses were very important during Bronze Age and previously
isn't really.



Yuri Kuchinsky   | "Where there is the Tree of Knowledge, there
     -=-         | is always Paradise: so say the most ancient
 in Toronto      | and the most modern serpents."  F. Nietzsche
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