Today's Random Assortment of Stuff
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.
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
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.
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."