From Heathens to Christians - mastercopy

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  1. 1. 1 From Heathens to Christians Anita Lewicka OUTLINE: 1. Mingling of the beliefs the Celts - Druids - Samain Night - Caillagh ny Groamagh, Samhain (sidhe), the Isles of Happiness, Epona, etc - New Age Celticism the Anglo-Saxons - Odin, Thor, Mon, etc Christianity - Celtic / Irish monasticism - Columba, Patrick, Germanus - Gregory the Great, Augustine - Bede - Theodore of Tarsus 2. The Synod of Whitby (664) reasons Oswy, King of Northumbria outcome THE MYTHOLOGY OF THE BRITISH ISLES DEITY SIGNIFICANCE Andraste Belatucardos Beltaine Brigantia Britannia Caillagh ny Groamagh Epona Mamau, Matres Pigs Samhain Sulis Superiority Taranis the Blessed Isles the Isles of Happiness changing weather fertility guards of hearth the beginning of the new year the goddess of the underworld lack of harmony between the worlds the Thunderer the earthly paradise of the Celts the earthly paradise ruled by Morgan the goddess of water and shepherds the personification of the spirit of Pretani the notion denoting the goddess granting predominance May Day the god of war the goddess of victory
  2. 2. 2 The Celts - Religion and Mythology /in Nora Chadwick/ A grove there was, untouched by mens hands from ancient times, whose interlacing boughs enclosed a space of darkness and cold shade, and banished the sunlight from above. No rural pan dwelt there, nor Silvanius, ruler of the woods, no Nymphs; but gods were worshipped there with savage rites, the alters were heaped with hideous offerings, and every tree was sprinkled with human gore. On these boughs, if antiquity, reverential of the gods, deserves any credit, birds feared to perch; in those coverts wild beasts would not lie down; no wind ever bore down upon that wood, nor thunderbolt hurled from black clouds; the trees, even when they spread their leaves to no breeze, rustled among themselves. water also fell there in abundance from dark springs. The images of the gods, grim and rude, were uncouth blocks, formed of felled tree-trunks. Legend also told that often the subterranean hollows quaked and bellowed, that yew-trees fell down and rose again, that the glare of conflagration came from threes that were not on fire, and that serpents twined and glided round the stems. The people never resorted thither to worship at close quarters, but left the place to the gods. When the sun is in mid-heaven or dark night fills the sky, the priest himself dreads their approach and fears to surprise the lord of the grove. Druids & Celts Who were they? In Celtic society Druids were the priests, but that position went well beyond what we think of as priestly duties. They were the religious leaders, judges, educators, astronomers and doctors. How did you become a Druid? Druidic education involved 20 years rote memorization. It was noted by all of the ancient writers who visited Gaul (Poseidonius, Julius Caesar, Tacitus and Germanicus) noted how extensive was the Druids knowledge of mathematics, physics and astronomy. Was there a main druidiccenter? All evidence points to Anglesey, where the Romans massacred the druids and defiled the Druid's sacred grove. However, there was a pan-Gaul annual meeting of the Druids at Carnutes. Are the rumors true abouthuman sacrifice? Yes. Many historians also commented on this practice. This would include burning people alive as they were tied to wicker effigies. There are references to archaeological remains backing this point. The Romans also noted the ritual use of triple deaths, where the sacrifice was stoned, drowned and impaled. Sacrifice was performed as a trade for life in another form (i.e to save a person of greater importance). How did the Druids view the afterlife? They didn't see death the same way as those of from the Abrahamic traditions see it. They definitely believed in a soul, but it is reborn here on earth.
  3. 3. 3 Were there female Druids? Tacitus referred to black-robed women at Anglesey hurling curses at the oncoming Romans indicates that there were female religious officiants and there were other references of Druidesses. There are statuary showing women leading rites in robes and veils which cover the top and back of the head. So did the Druids build Stonehenge? No. Stonehenge, like all Neolithic and bronze age megaliths, pre-dates the ancient Druids by several thousand years. However modern Druids, who have attempted to reconstruct the religious practices without human sacrifice, now utilize the site for their rituals. Did the Druids wear particulargarb? There is evidence of gold necklaces with sun and lunar symbols. Some had their heads covered. Are there different types of Druids? Yes. There were Druids who were priests and judges. We know from Pliny that there were also Vates, or seers. Is there Good and Evil in the British cosmogony? In the British cosmogony, there are 3 concentric circles which represent "the totality of being". God and Cythrawl are the main focus of the cosmogony. God is the idea of energybecoming life and Cythrawl is destruction headed to nothingness. Mingling of Celticism and Christianity after: Nora Chadwick, The Celts I have a shieling in the wood, None knows it save my God: An ash-tree on the higher side, a hazel bush beyond, A huge old tree encompasses it... Swarms of bees and chafers, little musicians of the wood, A gentle chorus: Wild geese and ducks, shortly before summers end, The music of the dark torrent... The voice of the wind against the branchy wood Upon the deep-blue sky: Falls of the river, the note of the swan, Delicious music... In the eyes of Christ, the ever-young, I am no Worse off than thou art. I would give my glorious kingship With the share of my fathers heritage - To the hour of my death I would forfeit it To be in thy company, my Marban.
  4. 4. 4 The Ancient Britons The climate of the British Isles was good for tribes to settle down and for enemies to find new fertile lands. The whole country was covered with forests and swamps. The greater part of it was very 1.________________________ MIST and cold. There were no roads, no bridges, no streets, no houses that we know of now. A town was nothing but a collection of straw-covered huts, 2. ________________ HIDE in a thick wood, with a ditch all round. The people planted little or no corn. They made no coins, but used metal rings for money. They were clever in basket-work, as savage people often are; and they could make cloth. But in building fortresses they were much more clever. It was truly 3.____________________BELIEVABLE. They made boats of basket-work, covered with the skins of animals. They made swords of copper mixed with tin. They made light shields, short 4. _____________ POINT daggers, and spears. The ancient Britons were 5. _________________ DIVISION into as many as thirty or forty tribes each commanded by its own little king. They were 6._________________ CONSTANT fighting with one another. They were very fond of horses. They could manage them 7.__________________WONDER well. Indeed, the horses were well 8. _____________ TEACH in those days.. They understood and obeyed every word of command. The 9. ________________ BRIT were perfect warriors thanks to those 10. _______________ SPLENDOUR and trusty animals. The warriors had chariots which had one man to drive, and two or three others to fight - all standing up. The ancient people of the British Isles had a strange and 11. ___________ TERROR religion, called the Religion of the Druids. Most of its ceremonies were kept secret by the priests, the Druids, who pretended to be 12. _______________ MAGIC, and who carried wands and wore a Serpent's egg in a golden case. 13. __________________ CERTAIN the Druidical ceremonies included the sacrifice of human victims, the torture of some suspected 14. ________________ CRIME, and, on particular occasions, even the burning alive of a number of men and animals together. The Druid Priests 15._________________CELEBRATION their festivals around the Oak and the mistletoe - the same plant that we hang up in houses at Christmas Time now - when its white berries grew on the Oak. They met together in dark woods, which they called Sacred Groves; and there they instructed, in their 16. _______________ MYSTERY arts, young men who came to them as pupils, and who sometimes stayed with them as long as twenty years. These Druids also gathered in great temples open to the sky. Stonehenge, on Salisbury Plain, in Wiltshire, is the most 17. ______________ ORDINARY of these. Those ancient people of the British Isles were at some point invaded by the Romans. Some Roman emperors were very 18. ___________________ VIOLENCE. One Roman general attacked the Island of Anglesey, which was sacred, and he burnt the Druids in their own cages, by their own fires. But, even when he was in Britain, with his 19._______________VICTORY troops, the ancient people of the Isles, the Celts, had their revenge. Boadicea, the Queen of the Iceni, attacked the Romans in AD60 and, although finally defeated, she showed her 20 ________________ USUAL strength and ambition to fight the enemy. /540 words/ /adapted from:A Child's Historyof England, CharlesDickens /
  5. 5. 5 The Ecclesiastical History of the English People /AD 731/, BEDE BOOK I CHAPTER I OF THE SITUATION OF BRITAIN AND IRELAND,AND OF THEIR ANCIENT INHABITANTS BRITAIN, an island in the ocean, formerly called Albion, is situated between the north and west, facing, though at a considerable distance, the coasts of Germany, France, and Spain, which form the greatest part of Europe. It extends 800 miles in length towards the north, and is 200 miles in breadth, except where several promontories extend further in breadth, by which its compass is made to be 3675 miles. [] Britain excels for grain and trees, and is well adapted for feeding cattle and beasts of burden. It also produces vines in some places, and has plenty of land and waterfowls of several sorts; it is remarkable also for rivers abounding in fish, and plentiful springs. It has the greatest plenty of salmon and eels; seals are also frequently taken, and dolphins, as also whales; besides many sorts of shellfish, such as muscles, in which are often found excellent pearls of all colours, red, purple, violet, and green, but mostly white. [] It has both salt and hot springs, and from them flow rivers which furnish hot baths, proper for all ages and sexes, and arranged according. [] Britain has also many veins of metals, as copper, iron, lead, and silver; it has much and excellent jet, which is black and sparkling, glittering at the fire, and when heated, drives away serpents; being warmed with rubbing, it holds fast whatever is applied to it, like amber. The island was formerly embellished with twentyeight noble cities, besides innumerable castles, which were all strongly secured with walls, towers, gates, and locks. And, from its lying almost under the North Pole, the nights are light in summer, so that at midnight the beholders are often in doubt whether the evening twilight still continues, or that of the morning is coming on; for the sun, in the night, returns under the earth, through the northern regions at no great distance from them. For this reason the days are of a great length in summer, as, on the contrary, the nights are in winter, for the sun then withdraws into the southern parts, so that the nights are eighteen hours long. Thus the nights are extraordinarily short in summer, and the days in winter []. Whereas, in Armenia, Macedonia, Italy, and other countries of the same latitude, the longest dayor night extends but to fifteen hours, and the shortest to nine. This island at present, following the number of the books in which the Divine law was written, contains five nations, the English, Britons, Scots, Picts, and Latins, each in its own peculiar dialect cultivating the sublime study of Divine truth. CHAPTER XXVI ST. AUGUSTINE IN KENT FOLLOWED THE DOCTRINE AND MANNER OF LIVING OF THE PRIMITIVE CHURCH, AND SETTLEDHIS EPISCOPAL SEE IN THE ROYAL CITY. [A.D. 597.] As soon as they entered the dwellingplace assigned them they began to imitate the course of life practiced in the primitive church; applying themselves to frequent prayer, watching and fasting; preaching the word of life to as many as they could; despising all worldly things, as not belonging to them; receiving only their necessary food from those they taught; living themselves in all respects conformably to what they prescribed to others, and being always disposed to suffer any adversity, and even to die for that truth which they preached. In short, several believed and were baptized, admiring the simplicity of their innocent life, and the sweetness of their heavenly doctrine. There was on the east side of the city a church dedicated to the honour of St. Martin, built whilst the Romans were still in the island, wherein the queen, who, as has been said before, was a Christian, used to pray. In this they first began to meet, to sing, to pray, to say mass, to preach, and to baptize, till the king, being converted to the faith, allowed them to preach openly, andbuild or repair churches in allplaces. When he, among the rest, induced by the unspotted life of these holy men, and their delightful promises, which, by many miracles, they proved to be most certain, believed and was baptized, greater numbers began daily to flock together to hear the word, and, forsaking their heathen rites, to associate themselves, by believing, to the unity of the church of Christ. Their conversion the king so far encouraged, as that he compelled none to embrace Christianity, but only showed more affection to the believers, as to his fellowcitizens in the heavenly kingdom. for he had learned from his instructors and leaders to salvation, that the service of Christ ought to be voluntary, not by compulsion. Nor was it long before he gave his preachers a settled residence in his metropolis of Canterbury, with such possessions of different kinds as were necessary for their subsistence.
  6. 6. 6 Bede "Servant of Christ and Priest of the Monastery of Saints Peter and P which is at Wearmouth and Jarrow." These are the words which Bede used to describe h . Today, we probably know him best as the author of the Ecclesiastical H of the English People which he completed in AD 7. . This work is our primary source for understanding the beginnings of the E people and the coming of C.. . This is the first work of history in which the AD dating s.. is used. Bede was b. in AD 673 on the lands of the m. . Of his family background we know nothing, save that he was entrusted at the a. of 7 to the care of Benedict Bishop, the founder of the monastery, and then to Ceolfrith who in AD 681 was appointed A. of the new foundation at Jarrow. Bede spent the rest of his life in the m.. . He was ordained deacon at the age of 19 and p. at 30. He o.. the Rule of the monastery and was punctilious in his attendance in choir at the daily of...