Obviously, you're unfamiliar with the early history of the Celtic Church. Nowhere in Western Christendom was such an effort made to preserve native ("pre-Christian") traditions.
Did it never occur to you that the Irish were simply more tolerant of previous beliefs? Not one death is associated with the conversion of Ireland.
The same thing is said of the conversion of bretons in France. I have two ideas for this: one, that during the period when arianism was taught, there may have been many other variants , some missionaries deciding to adopt an extremely syncretist attitude (a heresy for the Vatican, but tolerated apparently in the first steps when converting pagans in SOME places).
It may be that some monks, due to Ireland being an isle and perhaps not an immediate priority for "hard" conversion -due to the apparent lack of hostility of the natives towards the missionaries- , accepted to make a few diplomatic moves to show they weren't hostile neither towards the population, thus writing down some oral traditions in their way. The priority for the Vatican was rather England , France etc. but that's only one way to see it.
Two : I always wondered WHY the book of invasions sounded so boringly biblical and why the Ulster cycle legends seemed so authentic (I only said SEEMED) .
What happened to all the druids in Ireland? did they just vanish into thin air? Convert to christianism in a heartbeat?
I highly doubt so, but still it's possible that seeing their pagan culture threatened, a little group of druids may effectively pretended to adopt the faith just to write down and preserve the oral tradition (although writing down beliefs is still thought nowadays to have been some kind of taboo for all celts, oral transmission of myths being imperative). Sure it's speculation, but why can't we speculate and propose ideas? It wouldn't be the first time we hear about such stratagems in history anyways.
In one word, what happened to the druids in Ireland?
Something else that is extremely odd: it is common to cite the celtic church's "tolerance" today, but why then are ALL accounts concerning the missionary Phadraigh relating events about "evil druids and magicians" "people believing in idolatrous demons" "Phadraigh publicly adressing to druids to show them their 'wrongs' "
You say Phadraigh permitted the bards to sing: tradition, there's no proof he did.
On the contrary, he assimilated pagan gods with demons
I wonder how the natives really reacted to this.
Sometimes people just accept to forget the first murderous acts and cover it up , you know the Stockholm syndrom.
All this legend built around "St Patrick" is very very odd and an prime example of contradiction.
It isn't everyday you'll see someone coming along mocking your gods and pretending to make some "miracles" such as cutting down a sacred tree (an EASY SHOT) to prove the pagans "wrong" , still these strange stories seem to make us believe the natives just stood there in prostration and disbelief, embracing immediately the new faith after having seen such ridiculous gimmicks... I'm not buying that.
Reality is often far from these legends, but it's difficult to get ahold of how things really happened, since the irish whether protestant or catholic are generally strongly christian and aren't really interested to know , christianism being thought of as national identity.
The franks converted the population by force: we know this only because of the issue with the Saxons and some difficulties in France, this is due to chroniclers who oddly wrote down these events, not knowing it would show the dark face of forced conversion centuries later. Unfortunately very few franchmen are aware of this and honestly think that France was converted slowly and peacefully.
You were talking about "buried" and "erased" pre-Christian myths. Obviously, the myth of CuChulainn survived.
I don't see what this has to do. the myth of the Minotaur and Minos survived in Crete and Zeus and the olympians in Greece for example, still the rigorous orthodox church did everything to try to bury it up, and did not succeed I must say, fortunately!!
Some things will survive for ever .
I doubt one of your beloved "Greco-Roman" scholars would find much to agree with, either.
Beloved greco roman scholars?? Are you judging by the two or three authors I cited many posts ago?
You do this each time I insist on a particular point, you pretend I completely erased the other influences in my system of thought!
Suffices to re-read my old posts without omitting to quote the whole paragraph and you'll see I mentioned historical events and tradition concerning the gaels which have been completely deformed and restructured in a christian correct way, thus introducing new anachronisms and biblical patriarch models as well. I'm far from being the only one who thinks like this, Deuce.
Plus, when I cited the monks playing perhaps "greek classical authors" when compiling stories in a way we're not really sure if they left them untouched (much like classical authors ), it was merely an example. Classical authors aren't the only ones to do this, around the world we have tradition rewritten with heavy modifications and modernizd, adapted to new systems of thought.
It has nothing to do with a "mediterranean" point of view.
Well you have your opinion and I have mine, I think we both exposed our point.
Edited by krommtaar, 27 October 2010 - 03:18 PM.