10 January 2007

Today's Random Assortment of Stuff

Who's ever heard of a bent forward assist? It's wider than it is long. How do you bend it?

Oh, well, five minutes at the Small Arms shop and it's replaced.

The Alcock I'm getting into (Arthur's Britain) is apparently a bit dated (1971) and no longer reflects the "latest" thinking on post-Roman Britain.

Piffle.

The sources are so scanty that pretty much anything you want can fit into them. I don't buy the modern trend of emphasising that Britons, other Celts, and Germans were more or less interchangable and identical in culture. Especially since the justification seem a little thin.

I want to believe in Arthur.

So I do.

The burning urge to cast aspersions on everything you can't absolutely prove is, I think, taken a bit far by some people. I mean, I understand saying, "there is no evidence which supports this." But if there is no evidence which argues against it, then there is no harm in saying, "we just don't know, can't prove anything, believe whatever makes you happy." I do not see the need to argue that if there isn't evidence for something that it simply could not have happened. Identify it as unproven and legendary and move on.

Today's nifty Website Quote, from
http://panther.bsc.edu/~arthur/battles.html
****
THE EIGHTH WAS NEAR GURNION CASTLE, WHERE ARTHUR BORE THE IMAGE OF THE HOLY VIRGIN, MOTHER OF GOD, UPON HIS SHOULDERS, AND THROUGH THE POWER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, AND THE HOLY MARY, PUT THE SAXONS TO FLIGHT, AND PURSUED THEM THE WHOLE DAY WITH GREAT SLAUGHTER --Nennius

Gurnion Castle is another battle site that remains anonymous, though many think it was a Roman fort, perhaps one near Stow in Selkirkshire, or Garionenum in Norfolk.

The interesting part of Nennius's description is in the "image of the Holy Virgin" passage. Some claim that the region was not completely Christianized during Arthur's time and that he would not have worn such an image. This is probably not anachronistic, though, since there was a church at Glastonbury that had been dedicated to Mary for some time.

Another curiosity is that Arthur carries the image on his shoulder instead of on the more likely place, his shield. This is probably due to a simple transcription error. Scuid in old Welsh means shoulder, while scuit in Latin means shield. The Welsh term was probably given to Nennius and he wrote it as shoulder when it should have been shield. This note is also similar to the one in the Annals of Wales regarding the Battle of Badon.
****

So, another oddball Arthurian question cleared up to my entire satisfaction. Icon on the shield strange, but not unknown. In the East, we probably wouldn't do such a thing due to an different type of reverence for the Holy Icons. But we do know of icons incorporated into headgear, and even helmets, so a shield isn't such a large leap.

Hehe.

Today's non-website quote comes from a conversation with a Marine. Said Marine was kvetching about the mud.

I say, "But isn't mud the natural environment of the Marine? Where water meets the land and they mix and all that?"

Marine: "You can't be serious."

5 Comments:

Anonymous nerdasaaurus said...

I am in San Antonio this week and next. I would like to bring some encouragement to Jen [if she is interested in that kind of thing]. Certainly she can help me find some good restaurants! My number is two one oh three one five 4 oh seven 8.

Been praying for you, Bro.

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're an inexperienced NCO, and you're surprised that one of the joes managed to bend a forward assist? I once heard a Marine officer claim that if he gave his grunts an anvil and a rubber mallet, they'd manage to destroy the anvil.

5:45 PM  
Anonymous Noah D said...

Wasn't there one about an NCO leaving two bowling balls with his squad, and when he returned to pick them up an hour later, one was split in half and the other was gone.

'It was like that when we got here, Sarge!'

5:23 PM  
Blogger sophia said...

Yeah, and maybe this is unrelated...but, I refuse to believe that the Celts were not 100% fierce warriors. This historian was saying that maybe they weren't as warrior-like as we think of them because everything we know about them comes from the writings of the Romans and Greeks. He says that since they would have been fighting each other, that's how they would have been portrayed. I don't like thinking of the Celts as nice,gentlmen. I don't know why. I love the Spartans and the Celts BECAUSE they are the epitome of toughness to me, and I call them to mind when I am being whiny and wimpy.

11:45 PM  
Blogger Hiraethin said...

Have you read Graham and Keatman's 'King Arthur: The True Story'? From 1992, I think... history and archaeology, not myth and legend, but still veeery interesting.

Especially for those of us to whom Arthur, along with like-minded fellows such as Roland, serve as useful role models and ideals that we strive to emulate.

2:08 AM  

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