Subject:      Re: antiquity of oghams (was: about Micmac script
From: (Yuri Kuchinsky)
Date:         1997/07/01
Message-ID:   <5pb8kt$ddp$>
Newsgroups:   sci.archaeology,sci.lang,alt.pagan,alt.mythology

Douglas Weller ([22] wrote:
: On 30 Jun 1997 13:57:03 GMT, in sci.archaeology, Yuri Kuchinsky wrote:


: >Check Caesar's THE GALLIC WAR. Robert Graves, who wrote a lot about
: >oghams, writes this (without a further ref.) on p. 115 of the WHITE
: >
: >"Julius Caesar records in his GALLIC WAR that the Druids of Gaul used
: >'Greek letters' for their public records and private correspondnce but did
: >not consign their sacred doctrine to writing 'lest it should become
: >vulgarized and lest, also, the memory of scholars should become
: >impaired.'"
: Although White Goddess should never be used as a reference source, this
: is as far as I recall correct, and evidence that the Druids did not use
: Ogham at this time.

No, just that they were literate.

As far as the antiquity of oghams, has anyone heard about Celtic coins
minted in Europe around 2c. bce? These coins feature oghams. I can post
more info about these coins. This is all we need to prove that oghmas were
much more ancient than is commonly believed.


: >Perhaps others can suggest a useful bibliography, and also let us know
: >what may be the current consensus, if any, among the concerned scholars
: >about the likely age of earliest oghams?
: >
: 'Twould be useful.

There's plenty of materials available on the WWW. Some of it quite well
researched. One only needs to do a search on "ogham" in YAHOO, at, or any other search engine.

It seems like plenty of controversy exists in the area of early history of
oghams. There are many competing theories. It is an extremely obscure
area, and even your average academic historian often doesn't know the
first thing about oghams, not to speak about the general public. Those
who're interested should get on the WWW and they will find many basic
introductory websites.

We have to ask some basic questions, such as, What is the exact connection
of this alphabet with tree-names? Was it used by all Keltic druids from
early times, or just in Ireland and Britain in later times? What about the
secrecy associated with oghams? What was the connection with the runes?

Re: oghams and trees. I think the connection here is solid and goes back
into early history of druid religion. (To explain: every ogham letter is
also a tree-name in Gaelic, and this connection persists also in the
modern Gaelic.)

I think oghams were invented very early, and originated in continental
Europe. But taboos existed about their use.

I can post a bibliography later. I've seen a couple of very long ones on
the Web.

All the best,


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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