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Old April 22nd, 2009, 04:52 PM   #1

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Merlin -Historical man or Historical myth ?


Was this famous wizard, councelor of tree kings including Arthur a real person or myth created later ?
I would be pleased to know your aknowledged opinions
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 05:12 PM   #2
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Re: Merlin -Historical man or Historical myth ?


Perhaps he was the last of the druids.
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 05:17 PM   #3

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Re: Merlin -Historical man or Historical myth ?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
Perhaps he was the last of the druids.
Some people refer themselves as druids, engaged in secret meetings and rituals, still on the very present day..
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Old April 22nd, 2009, 06:41 PM   #4

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Re: Merlin -Historical man or Historical myth ?


I interpret Merlin as a composite.. Geofrey of Monmouth was himself a Christian cleric, so the use of a composite character to show the unusualness of the ancient pagans is not unusual. I think the character might be more symbolic than modern readers understand today.

You see, there was a lot of wierdness going around in the time of Geofrey, and much of it was supposed to be tracable back to the ancient Roman Empire, and the cosmopolitain flavor that the empire enjoyed. Wierd encantations from many tribes and religions were held as secret knowledge, other groups engaged in planting certain types of trees in rows or other arrangements in relation to the home, or window of a certain person on days when the planets were alighned a certain way. There were ways to harness the planets and natural saps and juices from everything from dung to miasmas from swamps and fens, strange ways to remove warts or predict the sex of a child in the womb, burning manure mixed with a certain flower petal until it reached a certain color of the "mass" and then doing something strange with it...the precurser science of Alchemy...All sorts of wierdness came into being during the exchange of ideas under the cultural embrella of Rome.

People from the Medio-Persian influence (Magi or even Zooreastorians) might mingle in Britain at places such as Londinium or Tintagal with descendents of the Celtic druids, or Phonecians from North Africa, or Greeks, or Germans or Thracians, or Dacians, or who knows what other extraction. The Roman Empire brought together knowledge and secret societies from the far regions of the known world, and Merlin is a composite figure that was symbollic of that international association of scholars and knowledge that was lost when the Empire fell. Merlin was the last of his kind.

I think that the literate readers of Geofreys time had a clearer, almost awe-like understanding of what the Roman Empire was like, and lamented the fall of this great Empire by paying an homage to it in the form of Merlin. Merlin wasnt really possible after the fall of Rome, unless we look to the secret societies. No other way to share this kind of secret nonsense was possible.


And there were historical characters and legends from Britain to base Merlin on anyways, so I guess that the temptation to build a character of Merlin was just too great. I remember something about a madman who lived in the woods...? There were some legends of Merlin like characters to go on.

Or, maybe there was a secret even deeper than that? Maybe there was an ulterior motive that Geofrey of Monmouth and his co-conspirator DeTroyes shared...(Both under influence of Henry II)...Hee Hee Hee..I shall remove myself from this and let the conspiracy theorist take over, or not. I leave it to others to play with, I have had my say.

Good thread though. I like this sort of thing. It keeps us from taking ourselves too seriously!

Who are we compared to Arthur and Merlin? Who are we to say that they, or someone like them, never existed? Will perhaps someday some self appointed "experts" and scoffers say that we never existed?
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Old April 23rd, 2009, 03:09 AM   #5

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Re: Merlin -Historical man or Historical myth ?


Well fiction and story telling were as strong in the ancient world as nowadays. Who to say in 2000 years people will not be asking if Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader really existed or are they just fiction.
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Old April 23rd, 2009, 03:24 AM   #6

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Re: Merlin -Historical man or Historical myth ?


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Originally Posted by Toltec View Post
Well fiction and story telling were as strong in the ancient world as nowadays. Who to say in 2000 years people will not be asking if Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader really existed or are they just fiction.

I expect the BBC will still be showing repeats of the Star War films in 2000 years from now.
So maybe folks will be able to figure out.
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Old April 23rd, 2009, 08:14 PM   #7

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Re: Merlin -Historical man or Historical myth ?


I like Merlin in That Hideous Strength.
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Old April 24th, 2009, 08:23 AM   #8
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Re: Merlin -Historical man or Historical myth ?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kronos View Post
Some people refer themselves as druids, engaged in secret meetings and rituals, still on the very present day..
And if I were to call myself the son of Augustus I would have no more right to claim a comfy living in Italy than a modern revival of a long dead relgion to lay claim to the past.

The problem with the Druids and claiming an ancient link is the simple fact they didn't write anything down and the Romans did a damn good job of wiping them out. The modern form is simply guesswork.
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Old April 24th, 2009, 03:43 PM   #9

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Re: Merlin -Historical man or Historical myth ?


Hi Nullzone.. The fact that some people consider themselves as druids doesn't make them true descendents of them - perhaps more like some sort of a spiritual connection, or in other way - an identification or a longing for the past.
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Old April 24th, 2009, 04:03 PM   #10

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Re: Merlin -Historical man or Historical myth ?


I like your point of view Richard Stanbery. However we shall not forget that in fact "Merlin" was a tittle raher than a man's name. Among the druids there were the bards - apprentices serving a master (a druid), who would actually aspire to become druids themselves. As bard a man would be entitled to follow the path of knowledge and arts -he would act as a king counselour, as well as a joker to divert the nobility with songs and poems for instance. When a bard would become a druid, he would leave his former functions to become a servant of the Godess. Rituals were performed in forests, with a preference to oak trees ( the word "druid" meaning oak tree worshipper). Rituals and magic performances would be taken by these celtic priests, the same way the bards would be also engaged in such rituals. All societies had their men of knowledge, interceding between the common people and the siritual realm.

Merlin was so the tittle given to the higher priest, the highest counsellor of the king. The Merlin from the Arthurian legends seems to be connected to two main figures of that time - Taliesin and Kevin - both bards who graduated to become druids. Taliesin is most likely to have been the one we talk about (considered the most famous of all bards), Kevin was his apprentice, a crippled musician whose skills with the harp bestowed on him great fame among his people. Later Kevin he would also become a "Merlin".

So Merlin he truly existed, despite the overgrown legend created around his supranatural nature or powers.
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