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"The Druids of the ancient Celtic world have a startling kinship with the brahmins of the Hindu religion,"
July 31, 2002 1:39 PM   Subscribe

"The Druids of the ancient Celtic world have a startling kinship with the brahmins of the Hindu religion," according to popular historian Peter Berresford Ellis. Another author examines the parallels between Celtic and Vedic culture in the article The Celtic Vedic Connection, and a particular diety is analyzed in The Horned God in India and Europe. This may not be very conservative scholarship, but I found it intriguing and fun to contemplate.
posted by homunculus (6 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
AFAIK, this whole thing has been bouncing around for AGES as the "Indoeuropean" linguistics meme. Not that it's uninteresting, it's just not groundbreaking.
posted by Eamon at 1:50 PM on July 31, 2002


Also see: The Golden Bough

It's amazing how many ties different religions through the ages have with each other. Especially the phenomenon of a ritualized killing of a divine leader.
posted by LionIndex at 1:58 PM on July 31, 2002


I'm a member of an Iron Age living history group (Brigantia), and these sort of ideas intrigue me. I've got a book printed in the 1860s where the similarity between what were believed to be Druidic ceremonial items and those of early Rabbi.
posted by jackspot at 2:38 PM on July 31, 2002


Looks like this second two sites hit their traffic limit just as I finished reading the first article. As Eamon mentioned, Celtic culture has been clearly identified as an Indo-European descendant, but it is interesting to see the links made more explicit.

In addition the Golden Bough, I would recommend that you check out How To Kill a Dragon by Calvert Watkins (who was mentioned in the first article). The book explores the development of epic poetry throughout the Indo-European families and touches on some extremely startling similarities. The book does focus very heavily on linguistics and has been very slow going for me, but is a very rewarding read.

Great links - thanks for posting them!
posted by rks404 at 2:44 PM on July 31, 2002


Thanks rks404, How to Kill a Dragon looks great, though also quite challenging. I used to love comparative mythology as a kid, it might be fun to get back into it at this level.
posted by homunculus at 7:39 PM on July 31, 2002


Yeah, this is very old hat, but nonetheless interesting. Skip Frazier's Golden Bough, unless you're interested in folklore (it's not terribly accurate)--but do take a look at Calvert Watkins' How to Kill a Dragon, J. P. Mallory's In Search of the Indo Europeans, if you're curious about the I.E. take, and, for a super overview of Indo European myths, Jaan Puhvel's Comparative Mythology. The "Horned God" article is less than what it might be--it does not, for instance, mention that we only know of Cernunnos because of a single partial inscription on the Paris altar--the figure is of a horned man, but the first letter of the inscription is missing. We assume that it's a C since it fits Gaulish, but that's the only reference we have. Moreover, much of the detail on the cauldron appears to be Scythian in style, and possibly, in content, though much of it is also Celtic.



But to assert that the figure on the cauldron "is" Cernnunos, or that the other image of a horned figure is Cernunnos, is to assert too much--indeed, there are several figures in Irish myth alone, never mind the other Celtic mythologies, that have horns.



Still, it's pretty neat that people even are interested.


posted by medievalist at 10:37 PM on July 31, 2002


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