Historians Admit To Inventing Ancient Greeks

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Historians Admit To Inventing Ancient Greeks

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1timspalding
Okt. 15, 2014, 1:29pm

Historians Admit To Inventing Ancient Greeks
http://www.theonion.com/articles/historians-admit-to-inventing-ancient-greeks,18...

I have to come clean. I was in on it too.

2varielle
Okt. 15, 2014, 1:38pm

I knew it.

3cpg
Okt. 15, 2014, 2:27pm

That's silly. The ancient Greeks were invented during the Renaissance:

https://www.librarything.com/work/600222

4rolandperkins
Okt. 15, 2014, 2:50pm

As a Hellenist, I didnʻt panic on seeing this thread, because I immediately saw "theonion" in the heading.
If I had missed that, I would have taken it seriously until they introduced the researcher with the delightful Vietnamese/Wasp name.
This kind of satire is very hard to pull off. It has to be presented with a completely "straight face" - - no smiles, no "winks, nods or nudges".
Iʻm assuming, varielle, that your "I knew it" is a wink. (2)

5varielle
Okt. 15, 2014, 3:01pm

Indeed. ;)

6binders
Okt. 16, 2014, 12:15am

"Have you ever seen the place? It's a dump. It's like an abandoned gravel pit infested with cats."
Are they referring to Corinth specifically here..?

7krolik
Bearbeitet: Okt. 20, 2014, 2:59am

>3 cpg:
A few years back on French TV there was a piece about this guy and among his defenders is Garry Kasparov.

It has stayed with me as a prime example of how credulous, sometimes, smart people can be.

Kasparov obviously has a superior set of synapses. But what a sucker!

8misskate
Nov. 4, 2014, 3:49pm

All this would be a big relief for the high school students here that have 5 years of Greek. Throw the whole school system out of wack! What would replace it? Underwater basket weaving??

9rolandperkins
Bearbeitet: Nov. 4, 2014, 4:52pm

". . . students here that have 5 years of Greek . . ." (8)
Well, that is a lot of Greek for general education. I have only 4 years (college-level, though)- - and I have a Masterʻs degree in Classics (Greco-Roman)!

The trick in learning is to be sure you do at least a little every day. * 14 hours of study at a sitting doesnʻt help as much as a total of 10 hours paced over 6 or 7 days.
Since high schools usually beat colleges in frequency of classes, thatʻs what makes
learning it at the h.s. level a real possibility.

*I owe this advice to Prof. Sterling Dow, Harvard (later Boston College) Classics Dept.

10thetombofamphipolis
Nov. 10, 2014, 5:16pm

http://www.thetombofamphipols.com Great site following the discoveries at the tomb in Amphipolis. Numerous photos.

11shikari
Dez. 7, 2014, 3:25am

Is it possible to suggest that not only the Greeks but everything outside the Americas is an invention of the historians? (I realize that this places me in an awkward position as an Englishman in England, but I'm prepared to overlook that.)

12guido47
Dez. 7, 2014, 4:49am

I accept that New England could have invented everything outside the Americas but really doubt that California or Texas could have.
Although Texas was probably a scale model for AUSTRALIA

13cemanuel
Dez. 7, 2014, 8:22am

I always wondered how the Platypus came into existence. It makes sense now - the illustrator didn't know what to do with the scales on an armadillo.

14setnahkt
Dez. 8, 2014, 9:34pm

I recall reading somewhere that the original taxidermied platypus specimens arriving in Europe were thought to be frauds put together from pieces of different animals. I note that all fossil platypus remains come from Australia, except for a Paleocene platypus from Patagonia. This has nothing to do with anything here but it's so alliterative I couldn't resist.

15RayChilensky-Author
Dez. 9, 2014, 5:42am

The headline was, for sure, an attention grabber. However, my attention faded quickly after reading that this great fabrication was perpetrated in the 70's. Even the most historically illiterate among us could tell you that the Hellenistic period has been a constant influence on society throughout the centuries.

I'll right this off as a prank.

16quicksiva
Dez. 13, 2014, 2:31pm

Napoleon’s advisor and Jefferson’s friend, the Count Constantine Francis Chassebeuf De Volney started the modern denigration of Greek history in 1793.

"Those piles of ruins which you see in that narrow valley watered by the Nile, are the remains of opulent cities, the pride of the ancient kingdom of Ethiopia. Behold the wrecks of her metropolis, of Thebes with her hundred palaces, the parent of cities and the monument of the caprice of destiny. There a people, now forgotten, discovered while others were yet barbarians, the elements of the arts and sciences. A race of men now rejected from society for their sable skin and frizzled hair, founded on the study of the laws of nature , those civil and religious systems which still govern the universe. Lower down those dusky points are the pyramids whose masses have astonished you. Beyond that, the coast, hemmed in between the sea and a narrow ridge of mountains was the habitation of the Phoenicians. These were the famous cities of Tyre, of Sidon, of Ascalon, of Gaza, and of Berytus. "

The Ruins: or Meditations on the Revolutions of Empires by C.F.Volney

Count Constantine Francis Chassebeuf De Volney - Thomas Jefferson and Joel Barlow , trans.1793

17quicksiva
Dez. 17, 2014, 7:20pm


“Do not suppose that the sufficiency of the Chaldaic magic derive from the Kabbalah of the Jews; ..., and no one could ever pretend ,with any degree of probability that the Egyptians borrowed any principle, good or bad, from the Hebrews. Whence we Greeks own Egypt, the grand monarchy of letters and nobility, to be the parent of our fables, metaphors and doctrines.” Bruno., Cited inYates, p.223.

Martin Bernal quotes an early edition of Sir Issac Newton's Principia Mathematica:

"It was the most ancient opinion of those who applied themselves to philosophy, that the fixed stars stood immovable in the highest parts of the world; that under them the planets revolved about the sun; and that the earth, as one of the planets, described an annual course about the Sun ... The Egyptians were the earliest observers of the ( heavens and from them, probably, this philosophy was spread abroad. For from them it was, and from the nations about them, that the Greeks, a people more addicted to the study of philology than of nature, derived their first as well as their soundest notions of philosophy; and in the Vestal ceremonies we can recognize the spirit of the Egyptians, who concealed mysteries that were above the capacity of the common herd under the veil of religious rites and hieroglyphic symbols."

Martin Bernal. Black Athena: the Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization. 1987.Rutgers University Press.

18Marissa_Doyle
Dez. 17, 2014, 8:39pm

>15 RayChilensky-Author: It's from The Onion, which is a humor/news satire site.

19quicksiva
Dez. 18, 2014, 6:31am

See: Stolen legacy : Greek philosophy is stolen Egyptian philosophy by George James.

At the time this book was written,” negroes” were still trying to get themselves a capital N, and “black” was a fighting word. This is one of two books that I made sure both of my children took with them to college. The other being The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter G. Woodson.

In the 1950's American South, James seemed to believe that once he showed white people the "truth" about history, they would be grateful. Maybe his book was satire.

Sure, Martin Bernal shows more impressive scholarship, but James died to pave the way.

20orsolina
Bearbeitet: Jan. 10, 2015, 10:15pm

If James is that writer who claimed that Aristotle "stole" his ideas from the Library of Alexandria, which was not yet even a gleam in Ptolemy's eye when the philosopher died--then maybe James should have been writing for The Onion!

As for Bernal, his field was Chinese political history. Maybe he was brilliant in his own field, but he was not qualified in Egyptology, classics, linguistics, or archaeology, yet he thought he could "correct" scholars who have devoted their entire lives to those subjects. Shame on him, and shame on Rutgers University Press for publishing his nonsense.

21quicksiva
Bearbeitet: Jan. 11, 2015, 6:24am

>20 orsolina:
======
What James did write was:
"Alexander invaded Egypt and captured the Royal Library at Alexandria and plundered it. Aristotle made a library of his own with plundered books, while his school occupied the building and used it as a research centre."

James, George G. M. (2014-08-29). Stolen Legacy (Kindle Locations 111-113). Wilder Publications, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

22quicksiva
Jan. 11, 2015, 6:47am

>20 orsolina:
======
"....after the death of Aristotle, his Athenian pupils, without the authority of the state, undertook to compile a history of philosophy, recognized at that time as the Sophia or Wisdom of the Egyptians , which had become current and traditional in the ancient world , which compilation, because it was produced by pupils who had belonged to Aristotle’s school, later history has erroneously called Greek philosophy , in spite of the fact that the Greeks were its greatest enemies and persecutors, and had persistently treated it as a foreign innovation. For this reason, the so-called Greek philosophy is stolen Egyptian philosophy , which first spread to Ionia, thence to Italy and thence to Athens. And it must be remembered that at this remote period of Greek history, i.e., Thales to Aristotle 640 B.C.– 322 B.C., the Ionians were not Greek citizens, but at first Egyptian subjects and later Persian subjects."

James, George G. M. (2014-08-29). Stolen Legacy (Kindle Locations 178-184). Wilder Publications, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

23orsolina
Jan. 11, 2015, 12:01pm

>21 quicksiva:: There was no "Royal Library" at Alexandria before the time of Alexander. Egypt had had several capitals, but the settlement Rakoti, in vicinity of Alexander's new foundation, was not one of them.

>22 quicksiva:: At its greatest extent during the New Kingdom, Egypt's sphere of influence (empire, if you like) did not extend to Ionia. So the Ionian Greeks a millennium later could never have been Egyptian subjects. The statement that Greeks were the greatest enemies of Greek philosophy makes no sense.

In general, one should be wary of titles that contain words and expressions such as "lost," "forgotten," "in search of," and "stolen."

24bluepiano
Jan. 15, 2015, 5:08pm

>23 orsolina:: A good point that hadn't occurred to me. (I presume you're referring to history books.) 'Revealed' as well, and 'secret/s'. Should go without saying that any title with '!' denotes a shunnable book. Oh yes, and any subtitle of a history book that contains 'investigates/investigation'. In fact any title with a noun that 'Atlantis' would be a ready replacement for is suspect.

25orsolina
Jan. 15, 2015, 11:54pm

>24 bluepiano: There are certainly many exceptions. I note that my library included The Search for Alexander, an excellent catalogue of a museum exhibition. I also have The Lost Histories of Alexander by Lionel Pearson, a scholarly work that focuses on histories that are genuinely lost. And Kent Weeks' The Lost Tomb concerns a tomb that had been known for a long time, but that had remained unexplored. Also, Professor Weeks is an archaeologist who has dedicated much of his life to the Theban necropolis. Even if the book is popular, it was written by the project director in charge of the tomb's clearance.

What's been bugging me lately (aside from the assertions we discussed above) is that since the tentative identification of Hatshepsut's mummy in 2007 we've had a constant stream of popular articles, television programs, blog posts, and at least one scholarly project throwing around those words "lost" and "forgotten" about an Egyptian ruler who built splendid monuments, fostered the arts, personally fought at least one campaign in Nubia, and influenced the pattern of religious life in Thebes for centuries. And who incidentally may have saved the throne for her family. Who was remembered with respect centuries later, when a High Priest of Amun and the last King of the 21st Dynasty both named daughters after her--not using her personal name but her name as King of Upper and Lower Egypt. Who appeared in the Aegyptiaca of Manetho under her own name in the right place and for the right length of time (there's at least one amateur hack who claims that Manetho had no idea who she was). Why are these authors referring to Hatshepsut as "the Lost Queen"? Any sixth grader who pays attention in world history knows who she is!

And back to Onion-worthy stuff, the crackpot Velikovsky claimed that Hatshepsut was really (ta-da!) the Queen of Sheba. Who lived about about 500 years later, but why should we concern ourselves with these pettifogging little details? Her secret identity has been revealed!

26rolandperkins
Bearbeitet: Jan. 16, 2015, 4:57pm

". . .Velikovsky claimed that Hatshepsut was really (Ta-da!) the Queen of Sheba. Who lived about 500 years later." (25)

The Queen of Sheba wasnʻt the only Biblical character that Velikovsky gave Egyptian connections to: He also claimed that the mercenary captain who freed Egypt from the (foreign, probably Semitic) Hyksos Dynasty was none other than Saul
whom the Old Testament knows as the first king of
Israel. The only historical
backing of this is the probability that both the Hyksos and the Jews
were originally engaged -- the Hyksos of course much earlier -- as mercenaries by the Egyptian
pharaohs. He places the time of the Mosaic Exodus at about the same time that the the Hyksos were coming IN to Egypt. But, in that chronology they would have clashed, Velikovsky solemnly admits. And he closes his paragraph on this by saying
"They really did meet!" And his next paragraph is sub-titled: "The Israelites meet the Hyksos." There was a clash, a skirmish, but, of course, he says, the Jewish scriptures did not record the Hyksos side by its real name, just as later, when the supposed "Saul" defeated the Hyksos, he was not given his real name
-- nor any name-- in the Egyptian records.

27setnahkt
Jan. 16, 2015, 1:02pm

Velikovsky also claimed that Necho II and Ramses II (Ramses II and His Time) were the same person, and that Akhenaten was Oedipus (Oedipus and Ahknaton).

28DinadansFriend
Jan. 23, 2015, 6:31pm

I've always viewed "Oedipus and Ahknaton", as one of Velikovski's more reputable works. It's literary criticism rather than history and the rules are different for credibility. As an influence on a Greek, the two cities with the same name but in different countries, and a parable about the bad idea of incest, could easily have come together in an interesting story. Do we know what the Egyptians called the city that the Greek travelers called "Thebes?" And how historical is Oedipus, king of Thebes?

29rolandperkins
Jan. 23, 2015, 6:53pm

". . .what the Egyptians called
...(Egyptian) Thebes?"? (28)

I rermember a long time ago seeing this
transliterated:
If I remember it right, it was: No (!)
The Greek spelling would be
nu>omega (n+ long o).
". . . how historical is Oedipus...?"
To my mind, Oedipus is legendary, (as opposed to "mythical") and "legendary", to me, means semi-historical -- i. e. a mytholoGIZED figure
who does have some historical background. A lot of my classicist colleagues would disagree with me on this. I would place him about one-to-two generations before the Trojan War, of which the end-date,
traditionally, was 1190 B. C.

30binders
Jan. 23, 2015, 8:23pm

In readings, I see Thebes referred to as 'waast', 'sceptre-city' or 'n(i)wt rst', 'city of the south'. I guess 'nwt' could become 'nw' to a foreigner or different dialect speaker.

31rolandperkins
Bearbeitet: Jan. 24, 2015, 8:44am

"Thebes referred to as "waast", . . . or "n(I)wt rst' . . ."

"n(I)wt" may be what I (dis?)remembered
as "No". Thebes, Egypt is referred to
as an impressive foreign site in the Iliad:
as "Thebai" (eta, not epsilon), specifying
that the Egyptian one is meant, so there
was already, in the age of Homer, recognition
that two cities had the "same" name.

32AndreasJ
Jan. 24, 2015, 3:44am

>30 binders:

Loss of final -t is regular in later Egyptian.

33binders
Jan. 24, 2015, 4:00am

yeah. and looks like it could have come via hebrew too. Jeremiah 46 has 'amun no' which Bates' Dictionary glosses as Thebes. Does biblical hebrew do that honorific transposition thing?

34orsolina
Jan. 27, 2015, 12:28am

It's possible that the Greeks heard the name of a neighborhood in Egyptian Thebes (ta-ipe or similar), and it sounded somewhat like their city of Thebes.
I don't see how any of Velikovsky's works could be described as reputable--even marginally so. And I don't see what literary criticism has to do with Egyptian history. To take a legendary character who features in Greek drama and associate him with an Egyptian historical figure is just weird, but then we've already seen what this nutjob did with the Queen of Sheba. Not to mention his blithe dismissal of the laws of physics.

35quicksiva
Jan. 27, 2015, 7:49am

Here is what Diodorus has said about Thebes in the first book of his world history:

“4 Subsequently, when Busiris became king and his descendants in turn, eight in name, the last of the line, who bore the same name as the first, founded, they say, the city which the Egyptians call Diospolis the Great, though the Greeks call it Thebes. Now the circuit of it he made one hundred and forty stades, and he adorned it in marvellous fashion with great buildings and remarkable temples and dedicatory monuments of every other kind;

5 in the same way he caused the houses of private citizens to be constructed in some cases four stories high, in others five, and in general made it the most prosperous city, not only of Egypt, but of the whole world.

6 And since, by reason of the city’s pre-eminent wealth and power, its fame has been spread abroad to every region, even the poet, we are told, has mentioned it when he says: ‘Nay, not for all the wealth Of Thebes in Egypt, where in ev’ry hall There lieth treasure vast; a hundred are Her gates, and warriors by each issue forth Two hundred, each of them with car and steeds’.

7 Some, however, tell us that it was not one hundred “gates” (pulai) which the city had, but rather many great propylaea in front of its temples, and that it was from these that the title “hundred-gated” was given it, that is, “having many gateways.” Yet twenty thousand chariots did in truth, we are told, pass out from it to war; for there were once scattered along the river from Memphis to the Thebes which is over against Libya one hundred post-stations, each one having accommodation for two hundred horses, whose foundations are pointed out even to this day."

Siculus, Diodorus (2014-06-22). Delphi Complete Works of Diodorus Siculus (Illustrated) (Delphi Ancient Classics Book 32) (Kindle Locations 1095-1100). Delphi Classics. Kindle Edition.

36bluepiano
Jan. 28, 2015, 6:07pm

There are posts here that I'll re-read and that will set me searching for more information. Amongst those though are posts disputing the origin of ancient Greeks, and I'm surprised that no one has however unwillingly admitted that their books were invented by Hollywood. There's a new movie, 'The Boy Next Door', in which a chap gives his teacher/lover a 1st edition Homer. (I came across this on metafilter, and best appalled comment there was 'Oh, the humanities!)'

37DinadansFriend
Jan. 28, 2015, 6:28pm

That's really wonderfully funny! I'm reminded of the problem the producers in the 1930's had when presented with the novel "Vanity Fair" and told to come up with a scenario. They said they "Couldn't see how anyone would think that Becky Sharpe was a villain"!

38binders
Jan. 28, 2015, 6:36pm

I remember overhearing someone say in a disappointed tone "So it's not the actual horse?" while gazing up at the wooden horse off the carpark at troy.

39quicksiva
Jan. 30, 2015, 6:46am

"The key phase in this creation of the Homer that Roman, Byzantine, late medieval, Renaissance and early modern Europe all thought of as the undeniable text was in the halls of the Ptolemaic library in Alexandria. Between the third and second centuries BC, a sequence of great Alexandrian editor-scholars, enormously funded by the wealth of the Ptolemies, the rulers of Egypt, created the monumental Homer that is visible in the Hawara grave, the Byzantine codex Venetus A and in the minds of Alexander Pope and John Keats.

That Alexandrian era is the narrow neck through which an earlier and rather different Homer passed. The famous library of Alexandria was not just a gathering of texts but far more energetic and dynamic than that, a massive multidisciplinary research institute, an engine for establishing Alexandria as the center of the civilized world. By royal edict from the Graeco-Egyptian dynasty of pharaohs, no ship could call at the port of Alexandria without being searched for the books it carried. Every one would be copied with unforgiving exactness and marked in the catalog as “from the ships.” Occasionally the librarians held on to the original and returned the copy.

The Alexandrian library was the repository for Greek culture, the place in which the plays of the Athenian tragedians and the works of Plato and Aristotle were preserved, but it was devised and run on a Near Eastern model. For thousands of years it had been the practice of great Near Eastern kings to establish libraries and archives on a scale that individual Greek city-states had never come anywhere near. Alexandria fused Babylon and Nineveh with Athens and Sparta.

With thirty to fifty state-funded scholars at work in the library, the head librarian also the royal tutor, and the agents of the Ptolemies scouring the Mediterranean for copies of all books— magic, music, metaphysics, zoology, geography, cosmology, Babylonian, Jewish, Greek and Egyptian thought —the Alexandrian library was a grand central knowledge machine. It was an exercise in cultural dominance, tyranny through control of the word. By the first century BC, it was thought that the library contained 700,000 papyrus rolls, 120,000 of them poetry and prose, all stored and labeled and cataloged in their own tailored linen or leather jackets."

Nicolson, Adam (2014-11-18). Why Homer Matters (pp. 45-46). Henry Holt and Co.. Kindle Edition.

40JerryMmm
Jan. 30, 2015, 8:27am

He makes a number of claims here. Having no experience with these histories past high school and the occasional documentary, I can't assess the quality.

Does he source his claims anywhere?

(iow, if this was a wikipedia piece, it'd be riddled with either footnotes or [citation needed] layout .

41quicksiva
Jan. 30, 2015, 11:33am

>40 JerryMmm:
Does he source his claims anywhere?

=========
This is an E-book.
43 pages of notes.
14 pages of bibliography.

42GingerECastro1980
Apr. 29, 2015, 5:57pm

I love The Onion. lol!

43cemanuel
Apr. 29, 2015, 7:13pm

I suppose since we're, sort of, delving into ancient history in this thread I should mention that I've been a reading a lot on ancient, pre-Nicene Christianity. According to them, everything the Greeks were came from Moses. Eusebius' Preparation for the Gospel has probably the most detailed discussion but Origen, Tertullian, Justin Martyr - they all talk about it.

44quicksiva
Apr. 13, 2016, 12:44pm

Here is what Godfrey Higgins actually wrote in Anacalypsis 200 years ago:

“Osiris and his Bull were black; all the Gods and Goddesses of Greece were black: at least this was the case with Jupiter, Bacchus, Hercules, Apollo, Ammon.

The Goddesses Venus, Isis, Hecati, Diana, Juno, Metis, Ceres, Cybile, are black. The Multi-mammia is black in the Campidoglio at Rome, and in Montfaucon, Antiquity explained.

On the colour of the Gods of the ancients, and of the identity of them all with the God Sol, and with the Cristna of India, nothing more need be said. The reader has already seen the striking marks of similarity in the history of Cristna and the stories related of Jesus in the Romish and heretical books. He probably will not think that their effect is destroyed, as Mr. Maurice flatters himself, by the word Cristna in the Indian language signifying black, and the God being of that colour, when he is informed, of what Mr. Maurice was probably ignorant, that in all the Romish countries of Europe, in France, Italy, Germany, &c., the God Christ, as well as his mother, are described in their old pictures and statues to be black. The infant God in the arms of his black mother, his eyes and drapery white, is himself perfectly black. ...

There is scarcely an old church in Italy were some remains of the worship of the BLACK VIRGIN and BLACK CHILD are not to be met with. Very often the black figures have given way to white ones, and in these cases the black ones, as being held sacred, were put into retired places in the churches, but were not destroyed, but are yet to be found there. ... They are generally esteemed by the rabble with the most profound veneration.

If the author had wished to invent a circumstance to corroborate the assertion, that the Romish Christ of Europe is the Cristna of India, how could he have desired anything more striking than the fact of the black Virgin and Child being so common in the Romish countries of Europe ? A black virgin and child among the white Germans, Swiss, French, and Italians ! ! !

The Romish Cristna is black in India, black in Europe, and black he must remain— like the ancient gods of Greece, as we have just seen. But, after all, what was he but the Jupiter, the second person of their Trimurti or Trinity, the Logos of Parmenides and Plato, an incarnation or emanation of the solar power ?”

Higgins, Godfrey (2014-05-19). Anacalypsis. Locations 1328-1337). Jazzybee Verlag. (Kindle Edition.

45shikari
Bearbeitet: Apr. 15, 2016, 12:52pm

Jumping back into the discussion for a bit, I've always had a lot of affection for Velikovsky and his theories. My interest in Hebrew and the ancient world must in part be due to my reading my father's copies of his works. Both his own work and the often far nuttier theories held by many of his followers and rivals in SIS, his Society of Interdisciplinary Studies, were underwritten by intense, if misguided, scholarship that introduced me to the archaeology of the non-Classical ancient world and its sources. For my father as for many others, Velikovsky allowed a harmonization of biblical and historical narratives that proved irresistible, as well, of course, as an insider narrative that suited the taste of many outsiders to academic ancient near eastern studies, a field that so many of us have a stake in through religious belief. I don't think there was any insincerity in his theorizing, and there was certainly none in my father's. At the same time, it did lead me to avoid pre-Ptolomeic Egyptology as a field since I had no wish for conflict with my father (Velikovsky's theories having ultimately failed to convince me as a teenager). Perhaps now my father's passed away I might revisit his books - and academic Egyptology.

46quicksiva
Mai 9, 2016, 5:41pm

Here's what Godfrey Higgins wrote about Greek History, 200 years ago:

" Most nations are vain of themselves; but the vainest of the vain were the Greeks. All their learning they received from strangers—chiefly from eastern strangers—whom they denominated barbarians; but to whom they were too proud to acknowledge themselves obliged. From an absolute ignorance of all language but their own, they blundered in every thing, of which some very ridiculous proofs will hereafter be given. Every man who endeavoured to enlighten them, as was the case with Socrates, Pythagoras, &c., became suspected by the priests, and consequently hated and persecuted by the devotees. This is what always happens in all ages. Priests are always endeavouring to keep the people in ignorance. They always travel about fifty years in the rear of mankind ; but they always boast of themselves as the most enlightened, and the rabble uniformly believe them. In the treatises of Lucian, Cicero, &c., it is perfectly ridiculous to observe how these philosophers proceeded to explain the nature of their gods. They, enlightened as they were, could find no way but to have recourse to an explanation of the idle genealogies, pedigrees, &c., instead of going to the origin of their language, and to etymology. They argued as if they supposed themselves the origin of every thing; that there had been no nations before them. Thus we find them deriving every word from their own language, the Greek, when in most instances they ought to have applied to their ancestors or predecessors, the barbarians, as they called them.

The word Druid may serve as an example of this kind. They derived it from the Greek word for Oak, when in fact the Druids were in existence, and called by that name, long before either the Greeks or their language existed. In the fine arts the Greeks were giants, but in science they were pigmies. What would they have known of science, if their Platos and Pythagorases had not travelled into the East ? They were elegant, refined, and highly polished ; and, in the fine arts, unrivalled. But in science and real learning, they were inferior to the Orientals, and were the greatest liars upon earth. They wilfully mistated every thing, or they foolishly confounded every thing."

Celtic Druids, Godfrey Higgins pp. 108-9.

47orsolina
Mai 14, 2016, 1:13pm

So who is Godfrey Higgins and why should we take him seriously? He's clearly got a chip on his shoulder about religion, reminiscent of those authors who write about the evil influence of the priests of Amun-Re in ancient Egypt.

48quicksiva
Mai 14, 2016, 2:25pm

Godfrey Higgins (January 30, 1772 in Owston, Yorkshire — August 9, 1833 in Cambridge) was an English magistrate and landowner, a prominent advocate for social reform, historian, and a keen antiquarian, being a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.

According to Ross Nichols, Higgins was also a "Chosen Chief" of the Order of Druids, founded by John Toland in 1717. Higgins was claimed a member of An Uileach Druidh Braithreaches (The Druid Order), an ancient Druid order that predates the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. While these claims are unsubstantiated, Higgins still demonstrates an extensive knowledge and familiarity with the traditions of Druid orders in his writings.

After retiring from magisterial duties Godfrey Higgins devoted much of his time to historical research, travelling abroad frequently, learning other languages (notably Hebrew) and studying in foreign libraries. He became a prolific writer, not only producing books on his researches and theories, but also on subjects of public and political interest; from 1814 onwards he wrote many letters to newspapers and people of eminence stating his opinion on matters of concern.

He is now best known for his writings on ancient myths, especially his books Celtic Druids:which has the subtitle; AN ATTEMPT TO SHOW, THAT THE DRUIDS WERE THE PRIESTS OF ORIENTAL COLONIES WHO EMIGRATED FROM INDIA; AND WERE THE INTRODUCERS OF THE FIRST OR CADMEAN SYSTEM OF LETTERS, AND THE BUILDERS OF STONEHENGE, OF CARNAC, AND OF OTHER CYCLOPEAN WORKS, IN ASIA AND EUROPE; and Anacalypsis,” wiki

49PhaedraB
Mai 14, 2016, 8:45pm

As the Celts were an Indo-European culture, Higgins wasn't totally off the mark, but he was of the crowd who muddled issues like Stonehenge for generations. His theory that the Druids built it was taught in school for 150 years. I'm sure lots of people still think it is fact.