Friday 1st August

Shows : 5
Hangovers : 1

I wake up to the words of Mark Divine
He’d done his first reviews all through the night
‘The Holy Grail of festiv’ling,’ he’d said
Was to review, & chuff’d he’d joined my team
Immersed himself in words & theatre
& living life for all thats good in life
& sent me these two stanzas, once composed

The Spiegel Tent

The house of mirrors returns.
To be the home of magic journeys.
Attracting the world artistic collaboration
To share the platform with all that the mirrors draw.
Pleasured by the chameleon changes.
Never questioned just rejoiced.
In The pleasure of stimulating craft.

A universe of genius.
Forever moving.
Through the heart of rich explosions.
Aural Delights That “Shift!”
The inhibitions of normality.
To explore the rhythm of fun and love.
In August and Early September.

Mark Calvert. August 1998.

Ive got the keys to Victor Pope’s mad flat
On Dixon Street, while he’s gone into town
To queue up for a busking slot this day
Two hours it takes to upload my reviews
& type up yesterdays poetry carved
From all these wondrous arts, Victor returns
He’s got a slot today at half-pats five!

Thursday 31st July

Shows : 3

My day begins with showers & the sun
These ways of Poesia’s best begun
As I await a catalyst or two
I taste a leaf-tip plasma-drip of dew
Taking a stroll down South Fort Street, & then
Bare left down Ferry Road, bare left again
Up Bonnington, as through me verse-force flew

Lets go, lets go, listening to Disco
Grooving to the music up Broughton Street
Past John Lewis, a better class of ass
Has bobbl’d into town, appears the rears
Of prancers from France, Dutch ballerinas
Young highland dancers, thin senorinas
& well-nourish’d babes from Kensington!

I meet a mate, sweet Dave McMenemy
He’d fallen for the Mumble twelve months past
A Fair Trade dealer, time upon his hands
He loves to ride his cycle into town
& there embrace the world with his wise words
When as we share a beer down the Pleasance
We meet a handsome chap from Bournemoth borne.

His name is Time, a twenty-two year old
Who’d overtiimed his way into a room –
East Claremont Court – & started to review
The shows he’ll see, some uiversity
Of all that rolls bohemian thro life,
“Welcome aboard!” I offer him the keys
To all this city’s culture, Mumbling free

The Pleasance empire spreads oer the Southside
As up to Bristo Square I surge thro sun
& take a seat in the Grecian Queen’s Dome
To see three student players do their thing
Jane Upton’s Swimming, to a sea-swell sound
We sail into a funny beach-shack world
Of pretty workers struggling thro life’s tides

I loved the chat, oploaded with aplomb
The street-slang of this ever-cocky land
Of nigger babies in a white girls pram
Of masturbation blistering the hand
Of tits & minges, sucking cocks & crabs
Of little lives bounden by teenage ties
For this is real life in a compact guise!

Time swung & I cruised up onto the Mile
The traffic stopped to serve the grand Tattoogor
& there met two new Mumblers, Jess & Derm,
They’re working on their own show this August
Spectrum – a moving play on Autism
On every second day, & inbetween
They’ve joined my team, & keen I am theyre here

We went into the HUB, the EIF’s
Magnificent castle that towers oer
Edina’s gorgeous stresst, & fields & hills
& there we met the Press Team, who met us
With cocktails quite delicious, passion fruit
Syrup swirling on the tongue, as talk
Refined, defined, our Mumbling yet to come

& what a bag of goodies gave they us
A whiskey bottle, pens & notebook too,
Fudge quite excuisite, tickets for two shows
A splendid Christmas stocking for the press,
& thanking them we went off once again
Into the evening air, to Fountainbridge
Where No Fit Circus, too, were welcoming…

… We press-types to the launch of their own show
The baroque swirl of acrobatic feats
They’ve monickered Bianco, vibrant feast
Of moving cages & a tight, slick band,
Conducive to a wonderful array
Of thoughts in motion to sensory gusts
Of theatre, spectacular unbound!

As soon as the booze ran out, I did one
Happy that I had two happy guys
To write the review, Jess was scribbling down
The highlights that Bianco had inspired,
The handsome, muscular tightrope walker
The spinning black girl arching like a worm
& that band, supreme as music’s muse enjoys!

Wednesday July 30th

Now, primed on Lear,
Milton, Gibbon, Wordsworth, he’d set himself
to re-imagining an epic grandeur

Amy Clampitt

The morning sun streams golden in my head
‘An extra hour…‘ I whisper in my head
For after that there’ll rare a respite be
From parties, shows, reviews & poetry
An extra hour… & with my slumber done,
I set off with replenish’d energy
In search of everlasting fame & fun

They saw it from a distance, as a speck,
Now Arthur’s Seat towers oer mind & soul
With staff IDs enribbon’d round the neck
They step within the never ceasing squall
That drives this festival, a young lad lost
Asks for the Pleasanace, late for his first shift
I show him paths, then dreaming on I drift

I headed into heap’d up Bristo Square
A pretty frauline avalanching hair
Stands handing out free tickets for a show
Some play about the life & times & lies
Of Howard Zinn, of course I can but go
So let the Games begin, the Gilded Balloon
Gives birth to golden meanings in this mind

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Los Angeles, far land of teeming dreams,
Where actors, singers, sportsmen, models, meet
With gangsters, dealers, gimpsters, pimps & molls
& from its ferment rises monstrous art
No quiet troupe of amateurs from Kent
But thought-provoking history of when
The Allies bomb’d wee Royanne, near Bordeaux

“Burning hospitals is a crime!” these times
See missiles stripping Gaza of its pride
As outside in the Square a protets blarees
“Killing children is genocide!” the cries,
Israeli-funded theatre the cause,
Which inbetween the louder narratives
Disturbs our auld Euripedean flow

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The point of this smart play is how can man
Terror destroy by using terror too
Of how militaristic men surge on
When wars are won & foes are sick of war
As through this, from outside, “Free Palestine!”
Seeps onnto stage, til with a final bow
My muse, this globe & robed Apollo stand!

There is a swiftness to this happy vibe
A press launch at the Caves, a comic feast
of Vixens from the stars with disco lights,
Magicians pulling jokes out of the air
& Blackpool comedy from Mick Ferry
& fifteen other acts, upon the stage
For just three minutes of their hour-long shows

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I meet a pal, Assembly’s garden grand
Four twenty-five a pint of Heineken
Or Fosters for three-eighty, three cute girls
Excited by the Mumble’s burgeoning
Give me their emails for reviews to come
Then tanked up on free booze downed at the Caves
I lurch towards my first official date!

So… Benny Boot, London comedian
Altho distinctly antipodean
Launches into his quirky diatribe
& smiling thro a slightly awkward vibe
Drags smiles out from a year of famine fun
With his slightly surreal observations
Delivered with a nervous afterthought

His best joke was a story on seagulls
Of how them stealing chips is ne’er rebuked
Those ballsy birds, amusing to a tee!
& as I scribbled down these antic lines
I senses he sensed I was reviewing him
& placed a pretend seashell to his ear
& called the sound crab-gossip, & I laughed!

An English lass trips off to Santander
She’s kinda cute, quite buxom, straw-blonde hair
& squeals, “The money’s different!” “It’s real!”
I quip, then trundle into George’s Square
Assembley One awaits me, & a show
Tis Vitamin, I only just oer there
Pick’d up the ticket yesterday, let’s go!

A comic clown arrives upon the stage
His brown eyes shine with continental smirk
That diamond sparkles us to warmly greet
This pleasant chap sweet Scotia has drawn here
Who bids a stranger perch upon his knee
& reads us all a story, as we hear
Into his fun-filled phantasies we delve

Expressive movements & accordians
This is an ancient craft, brindisi born,
Hypnotic stories spliced with hum’rous song
& iced with Catholic memories confess’d
He plays a worm, & with an, “It was me!”
Becomes a jogger cruising Normandy
Ah me! imagination needs fair foils!

Its time to drift down to the Three Sisters
& the Laughing Horse’s festival launch
The free fringe of the former fringe-like Fringe
The latter now a massive moneytrap
Far from the ethos of those fifties folk
Who ilked a good laugh, banter, & a smoke

Middle-fingering the Establishment
They found eight pubs round Reekie’s hamely streets
& forced their comic turns into the mix
With high-brows getting higher at the cheek
But roll on fifty years, these had become
Some chavvy lad from Leytonstone, who’d made
His name & fame & money thro his feet…

…when next to Balmoral this Beckingham
Palace of performance, rudely shuts
Its gates to those who shunn’d London agents
So Laughing Horse would find its own eight pubs
& said, ‘Pay what you like!” & so we did
& soon this new fringe on the old Fringe fringe
Goes swelling ever larger by the day!

I meet up with my old pal, Victor Pope,
Three years on from Infinite Delusions
He’s back to wow the world with his unique
Take on life embedded in his song
While on the stage his ain brother stands tall
Paul Vickers’ Mr Twonkey, what a laugh!
Their mum’s should burst with pride when she heads up!

Tuesday July 29th

As I was reflecting upon what I saw, I heard a Voice in the Crowd, bemoaning the Condition of Mankind, which is thus manag’d by the Breath of Opinion, deluded by Errour, fir’d by Self-Conceit, & given up to be train’d in all the Courses of Vanity, till Scorn or Poverty come upon us.
Richard Steele

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A guy was in my house the other day
Canadian & Indian, he had
Yearned to see the Old World since a boy
& now, arrived in Edinburgh, was he,
Yearning to drift as far as Sicily
& so, before he left, I made a gift,
A map with the three Aegadis encirqued.

This global world, at Scotia’s beckoning,
Arrives into these vast Edinads
Where fortunes & good reputations made,
For one long month of living, cultures blend
Into a cauldron soup Parnassian,
& I, sat at its heart, midst Pilrig Heights
Attending to its capturement through words.

The MUMBLE is my bairn, a second year
Of technical refinement prospers well,
Built on a reputation fairly won,
A site more slick, reviewers trebling,
All of us set this gargant to review -
Thousands of shows, but just a lucky few
Can be reflected by our canny pens.

This city stole my soul & there she stayed
A decade since I settled midst her streets
Ready am I her to graces to return
& all her welcome actors celebrate
To meet their wondrous energies with words
They’ve practiced, aye, nigh every day have thought
Of how the world will feel their opened hearts.

IMG_20140729_193427

I take a pleasant walk about the town
The first few posters reach the Royal Mile
A student girl sits talking on a phone,
Besides the Meadows where the Ladyboys
Start to erect their world, the student says,
“Six pounds fifty with tips, its not that bad,
With the hours I’ll work it’ll soon add up.”

For these past weeks I’ve been networking hard,
& pulled a host of shows from here & there,
The first of which must on the morrow bide,
Its ‘Vitamin,’ by Carlo Jacucci
As on my walk its ticket I collect
Assembly’s office shining bright & new,
First chance to whet my words upon the calf.

Assembly Press Rooms

Returning to my den by Pilrig’s graves
I pass long hours in salad-dappled work
Preparing press releases for those acts
Offered to us by PR companies
Plus shows I choose to temper the wide net
That is this well-paid publicist’s demense
& vast array of talent for my team!

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On the Criminalization of HIV

Since finishing my transcreation of Y Gododdin back in 2012, I have rarely plucked poetry from the aether. In that time I have composed only about twenty sonnets, most of which were written in India last winter. This was, to all extents & purposes, a fallow period, a resting of the bedsoil of my artistry.

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In the past week, however, I have been gushing words onto the page concerning that most interesting of topics – the criminal culpability of HIV transmission. My reasoning behind such a choice is perhaps my age – 38 – a time when a man should be all grown up & working at their intellectual peak. This, combined with the natural instinct that a poet is, above all, a teacher – I have opted for a poetic period of rather more serious subjects in order to highlight some of the newest elements of society.

I would like to herald my entry into a new poetic sphere by printing the complete text of my new poem, entitled;


On the Criminalization of HIV


Everybody loves a winner,
But when you lose its just you
And the partial view out the hospital window

Tory Dent

A new & deadly virus strikes the world
That has a place in all our minds this day
Whether a wild, wild storm whipping the sea
Or dark cloud on a felltop far away
HIV is crucially increasing
The state’s coercive power over life
For now to spread its terror made a crime

To be guilty of this lawbreak
One must first possess the virus
Then foresee potential harm may come
To those one cares to sleep with
Inducting lovers to the spectral glade
That soaks them in the social aspersion
Attached to this lonely Dantean clique

The epidemic broke in the eighties
A puzzling & frightening condition
Knowledgeless, we bluster in the dark
Anxious & hostile to the unknown
When possibilities of contamination
Spreading surface-to-surface
While prison wardens strange suits space-age don

The disease sleeps in bodily fluids
To pass around from host to host
Thro sex unprotected
Via a dirty syringe,
Or two young lads in cornfields
Slicing each others palms
Commingling them in a blood brother clench

Haemophiliacs, Homosexuals, Heroin-users, Haitians
Cast as core groups from whence AIDS should not spread
For fear of upsetting the Woman’s Institute
Four marginal & disadvantaged communities
Where all who wallow in this misery
Must sexual or social deviant be
Discriminated by a widely spreading prejudice

Abnormality modernity denies
All that we know or care to know of AIDS
Was shrouded in great silence, shore-to shore
The core of all this brutal suspicion
Must come from Afric’s auld, primeval mind
When sorcerers & witches scream revenge
& cast accursed illness on their foes

‘They use illicit drugs, y’know,’
‘They sleep with one another AFTER DARK!
In seedy alleys next to throbbing clubs,’
Those, those, those… GAYS!’
O how the word spits off the tongue
Of those who seem to have simply forgotten
It is not who is risky, but what!

But when the virus better understood
Routes of transmission painted in light
The message reached us all
Be safe in sex, be safe in life
Else slow, if not reverse, the human march
That brought us the beauty of Nureyev
Dancing his sceptered ballet in Paris

hiv-aids-symptoms

Human immunodeficiency virus
Attacks the body’s natural defences
Like a thief in the guise of a cleaner
Rifling through an octogenerians’s flat
A little bit here, a little bit there
Til one day the old woman’s grandson
Notices all of her life savings have gone

Polemic, politicized, problematic
We speak of HIV like some folk ghost
Haunting the fields about the whispering farms
This is the wyrdest of all our diseases
It’s delayed symptoms difficult to grasp
Our mighty & once cherished immune system
Unable, now, to handle such a war

One may live with the virus for years
Feel completely well, suffer no symptoms
Then late in the day arrives the unforgiving
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
When tailcoat turning, snow-white CD4 cells
Start to copy HIV in droves
Instead of combating those morbal swarms

Most elegant redresser of man’s sins
From thee, the threat of early death upsprings
& brings a sense of life’s uncertainty
As clinging to their own mortality
Go those who should be giggling upon swings
Beside irriguous meadows, instead
We fear the serpent sloppy lovers spread

When you sleep with one person
You sleep with everyone they’ve ever slept with
When after losing at Russian roulette
AIDS becomes the steady killer
Breaking down inbuilt immunity
Opening one’s corporeal chakras
To any bug that cares to come your way

Dying means you are dead already
The walking dead, the talking dead
When death becomes an experience
No random moment in a soldier’s war
But extracted & tortuous,
Interactive & cancerous,
Foul scourge of days & weeks & months & years

To live with HIV
Gives life a strange complexity
When our bodies social beatings
Made relevant to all
& then, to pass it on,
Thro passion’s reckless moment
Quite unwelcome in our land

When to give it to a stranger,
Or even worse, a loved one,
Is answerable quite bluntly
With a lengthy imprisonment,
But surely sex & sexiness
Could never be tamed by dictates
By old Westminster made

This is our proud, old land
Whose legislative assembly
Wants to control, controversially,
Our long-loved sexual activity
When taking risks deemed illegal
The sick plunged in criminality
If ever they give into their lust

Essentially, this sub-group demonized
By brainwashed minds deserves its fading fate
As if them destined to self-immolate
& if they dared their lust to share
& impregnate their burdens
They must be culpable, a weapon barb’d
With deathdom dripping from its vicious hooks

In the context of infection
Such pan-social perception
Personifies the demon
That draws a being’s essence out
Into its skeletal twilight
& serves it human justice
Within understandable social frameworks

Incapacitation, rehabilitation, retribution, deterrent
These are the mainlines of criminalization
But how can these four pillars e’er bypass
The sheer necessity of man’s first thrill
While those with HIV, & most who care
Despair at such a clinical perception
Raising the join’d voice critical in vain

Conducting our conduct, this grandee state
Aims to shape & regulate comportment
Broadly guiding thought across the boards
To rationalize the national livery
As worn by we, its web-like apparatus
& thinks that health-related social norms
Should be affected by the way we live

The consequences of knowing the consequence
The deliberate deceit of sero-positive status
Omission, non-disclosure of the truth
When that dreadful day of diagnosis
Is locked away inside the dungeon mind
As all it takes would be a little condom
To castigate this queen of STDs

Now ultimately the responsibility
Lies with the chief infectious
To ensure proper safeguards are in place
Secured throughout all acts of penetration
Even if partners shun the rubber sheath
Preferring the most purest passion,
Lust dripping, sweating, from panting pores

HIV-Criminalization-Banner

Then comes the narrow line twyx life & crime
When only if the virus has progressed
& only when the risk achieves fruition,
Can we label the moment illegal
Tis but a surreal lottery
That reckless lovers play
As in bosom heat they lay

You point a dagger at a persons heart
For this you can be prosecuted
The threat is all that matters
But if we lie abed with one diseased
& spend all night in blissful, soft embrace
To wake up with a picnic in the park
If you still clean, them free to chance again

A man in Glasgow caught the thing inside
Glenochil nick, with all its parasites
Injecting drugs, sharing the dirty spike
& when outside went creeping unprotected
Within Anne Craig, & as he did he lied
So Stephen Kelly’s ‘reckless injury’
A firm, prudential landmark of the land

Feston Konzani from Malawi
A chancer & a dancer
Took three women in his chamber
Joined three women to his danger
Tho one of them pleads leniency
Evidently becoming aware
Of some past consensuality

There was a woman once in Wales
Who loved her man so much she pursed her lips
Daring never to declare to him
She was a victim of a social sin
Who hoped & prayed, asking all the angels
He would not catch it, but upon foul ears
Fell these fair words on fallen angels cruel

When the smoking gun discovered
‘I simply want to get even,’
‘I want to show them just what they’ve done,’
A swirl of incorporeal feelings
Angry & shocked, betrayed & disbelieving
In a damaged future
Trust lies broken in the mind

Now the newly infected
Unburdened by governmental approval
Are free to seek revenge after an act
In which they shared complicit intimacy
& partnered irresponsibility
Aware of all the risk that this entails
Deflecting blame onto a soul once loved

But on what good could such a course attend
Spreading blame through a culture full of blaming
Shifting burdens from society at large
To he or she who carried first the virus
Away from the legally aggrieved
Who really should be just as full aware
Of such high risks in this evolving world

In these our modern times
It is assumed, even expected
That all our personal behaviour
Should be conducted in a shared attempt
To minimalize the threat to others
Group management of risky situations
Like driving sober with our sober peers

It takes two to tango
& two to trasnmit HIV
Such laws exacerbate social stigmas
Weakening the message that sexual health
Attributable to both partners
Breaking rocks of collective consciousness
On which solid society must stand

Friends, let us educate ourselves
The minds of peers imperfect
& draw up long-term strategies
Encountering, holistically,
All aspects of this HIV
That wrecks our fate relentlessly
As if struck by desert thirst

hiv-patients

Lets learn of hopeless suffering;
Eyeballs choked with soot
From the ashes of the souls
Of those too incredulous to despair
Beneath the blanching white-hot stare
Of an unreal, uncaring sun
Marble eyelids boning dry

Life yanked away like babes from junkie mums
They approach the omniscient threshold
Seeking rapprochement with Christian gods
Listening to the drip-drip of their miseries
Refocusing perceptions & agendas
Paralyzed by the sheer weight of inability
To play one’s fate-strings & a harpsichord

They must leave us soon
A past unsigned for, & a future sure,
As into the dark misery of tears
Of loved ones fading day-by-day abed
We stride helpless while rich men discuss health
& search for some deliverance
Distraught at all her senses’ dwindling

Through dismemberment of the future
The skeletal wasting of our once happy body
Brings visitors to tears, the milk turns sour
Shared memories too rotten to invoke
Tho them once full of beauty
& all reduced to childhood once again
Before the glory of our natural laws

The dowerness of daily routine
Made banal by the latter days of AIDS
Estranged from all we socialites call life
Just drugs & hugs, long bitterness & pain
Until, at point-of-death, that pain shall cease
Then nothing… for this host has realized
This last breath is their last, & exhaled, dies

For them, let us foster & enable
An environment of true compassion
Let those infected live openly
Breathing shared air without reproach
& assume that those who dwell with HIV
Will carry out the safest possible sex
If ever by the gods of lust them borne

King Arthur’s Father

Yarrow Stone

Yarrow Stone

A couple of years back, the national press covered a story of mine where I declared the location of King Arthur’s grave at Yarrow in the Scottish borders. It is there that the ‘Yarrow Stone’ marks the burial place of two princes, with an inscription reading;

This is an everlasting memorial.
In this place lie the most famous princes
Nudi and Dumnogeni
In this tomb lie the two sons of Liberalis.

At the time I wasn’t quite sure what the inscription really meant, but roll on a couple of years & Im proud to say Ive cracked it, & also confirmed that is indeed Arthur’s grave. This must have been at the battle of Camlann, of which the Annales Cambrae say;

537 AD - The battle of Camlann, in which Arthur and Medraut fell: and there was plague in Britain and Ireland.

This gives us the ‘two princes’ of the Yarrow stone. Dumnogeni means ‘Of the Dumnonians’, i.e the west country of Britain – Cornwall, Devon & Somerset – & relates to Arthur’s birth certificate, as given by Geoffrey of Monmouth, in which Artur is born at Tintagel on the north Cornish coast.

Gorlois, Duke of Cornwall, was there, with his wife Igerne, that in beauty did surpass all the other dames of the whole of Britain. And when the King espied her amidst the others, he did suddenly wax so fain of her love that, paying no heed unto none of the others, he turned all his attention only upon her… At last, committing the siege into charge of his familiars, he did entrust himself unto the arts and medicaments of Merlin, and was transformed into the semblance of Gorlois… They then went their way toward Tintagel, and at dusk hour arrived at the castle. The porter, weening that the Duke had arrived, swiftly unmade the doors, and the three were admitted. For what other than Gorlois could it be, seeing that in all things it seemed as if Gorlois himself were there? So the King lay that night with Igerne.

inscription[1]

Confirmation of this comes from the ARTOGNOU STONE, discovered at Tintagel in 1998. Scribbled upon it was a sample of sub-roman ‘graffiti’ reading;

PATERNI COLIAVI FICIT ARTOGNOU

The translation reads something like, ‘Peter Coliavi made this Artognou.’ The discovery sent historians & linguists scrambling to identify what the word artognou meant, with the ‘gnou’ element getting everybody all confused. A few possibilities were mentioned, but no-one got anywhere really – the connection to Arthur was deemed unproven & the whole thing slowly put to bed. The thing is, the slate is broken off at just the place where artognou ends, meaning the word could well have contained more letters. So I starts chucking some of our 26 noble glyphs at it, & found that by addding a single ‘s,’ we gain the word the ARTOGNOUS,’ or ‘Artogenous,’ a Latin word which translates as ‘of the gens/family – of Arto.’ The slate’s inscription would then be rendered as;

Paterni Coliavi made this, of the family of Arto

The 7th century Life of Saint Turian describes a certain, ‘Constantine, a king beyond the sea, the son of Peterni, of Cornwall.‘ According to big Geoff, King Constantine, succeeded Arthur to the high kingship of Britain, as in; ‘Even the renowned King Arthur himself was wounded deadly, and was borne thence unto the island of Avalon for the healing of his wounds, where he gave up the crown of Britain unto his kinsman Constantine.’ It’s clear, then, that Arthur was born in Dumnonia, & would be subsequently recognizes as DUMNOGENI.

This means that Arthur’s father was LIBERALIS, a name which doesnt immediately resonate with Uther. However, using a little chispology, we can see how Uther was a later semantic evolution, as in the following babel-chain;

Liberalis – Liber – Luthor – Uther

After dropping the ‘alis’ Latin enbding, an Irish text known as ‘The Expulsion of the Dessi,‘ tells us

Nine men of Liber, son of Art, from whom are the Luburige (Rawlinson B 502)

Another recension of the same text shows how we see the ‘b’ element chispologically changes to a ‘th;’

Nine men of Luthor, son of Art, from whom are the Luthraige (Laud 610)

We also see here a certain ‘Art’ placed in the same context as a Luthor/Liber, & may even be a mention of Arthur himself, erroneously placed as the father, rather than the son! From here, then, simply dropping the l gives us uthor/uther.

This leaves us only with the ‘Nudi’ element of the Yarrow Stone. That it is not the name of a prince, but an adjective, is supported by the Dumnogeni element & from the esteemed Latin expert, Judy Shoaf, as in;

I checked the inscription and your suggestion makes sense—the forms have endings in –i which fit the plural “princes” rather than implying names of single individuals in apposition with “princes.” It’s odd that the two words were read as names, but one would expect that a memorial would give the names of the persons involved; perhaps the names were on the other side, which I gather is damaged… Liberalis, on the other hand, looks like a name, in terms of both grammar and sense

Returning to Uther, in Welsh, a ‘d’ was pronounced something like the ‘th’ sound in bathe, which allows us to change Uther to Uder. From here, we just change the ‘u’ to a ‘y’ & we found ourselves with a certain Arthuian hero known as Yder. The same man then appears as Ederyn son of Nudd, in an ancient Welsh poem known as the Dream of Rhonabwy, as in;

“Iddawc” said Rhonabwy, “who are the jet-black troop yonder?”
“They are the men of Denmark, and Edeyrn the son of Nudd is their prince.”

Bingo! There we have the ‘Nud’ element of NUDI, as found on the Yarrow Stone! This allows to make the following unassailable observations about Arthur.

1 – He was born in Tintagel to Igraine & Uther
2 – His grandfather on his father’s side was called Nudd.
3 – He died in battle at Yarrow at the Scottish borders in 537 AD

We can now also allow the Artognou stone & the Yarrow stone into Arthuriana, marking as they do the sites of his borth & death. Generous reader, if anybody ever says Arthur didnt exist, or tried to move him through time under a different personage, just direct them to this blog & give them something to think about.

The Dream of Rhonabwy

The Dream of Rhonabwy

The Third Moors Murderer

I’ll do anything, go anywhere for him … As long as I know one day, I’ll be grateful. I hope he’s found before I am dead. All I want out of life is to find him and bury him. I just wish he is found before I go Winnie Johnson

Nob-heads

Nob-heads

This is a strange blog to write, but one I feel without a doubt needs writing. At this moment in time, the notoriously evil Ian Brady is locked up for life in Ashworth Hospital’s mental unit. Its almost 50 years since the madman & his partner-in-mayhem , Myra Hindley, killed 5 young folk from Manchester, burying 4 of them on Saddleworth Moor. Of the bodies, three were subsequently discovered, but one has never been found – that of Keith Bennett. His poor mum only died in 2012, & had been tormented by never having been given the chance to give her son a proper Christian burial. Many believe that Brady knows exactly where Keith’s body is on the moors, & conducted a sham search for it in the 80′s, proving he still held the upper hand in his sick & twisted mind.

Keith Bennett

Keith Bennett

Thing is – I believe that someone other than Brady & Hindley knows where Keith was buried. He would be an old man by now & may not be alive, but if he is I’m pretty sure he was the third Moors murderer. As attested by the circumstances behind Brady’s fifth murder, in which Hindley’s brother-in-law was inducted into their ‘cult of killing,’I believe Brady had teamed up with a certain Alfred Bailey in 1964. The evidence is sleight, but there is enough to suggest at least an opening of a new line of inquiry.

The key year is 1964. It was then, on the 16th June, that Keith Bennett, 12, was abducted & killed on Saddleworth Moor. Now then, in his book, The Autobiography of the Police Chief in the Moors Murder Case, the detective involved with the case, Peter Topping, describes conversations with Brady in which he mentioned killing several other people, being;

1 – A man at Manchester Piccadily Station
2 – A man in Glasgow
3 – A man in Manchester near Rembrandt public house
4 – A man near the River Ouse
5 – A man near Loch Lomond
6 – An 18 year old youth – someone he knew – buried on edge of A635.

The last one is the most interesting, as Brady admitted to Topping that someone other than Hindley was the driver, but refused to give his name as he did not want to implicate them. He added that his accomplice had done him a favour, murdering someone for him & disposing of the body in the river Ouse. The killing of the youth was a return favour. He said they approached Saddleworth from the Yorkshire side & he had shot the youth with a revolver. Brady says the murder took place in 1964 not long after the murder of Keith Bennet, in pretty much the same part of the moors.

Scouring the Moors

Scouring the Moors

Let us now assume that there was a third Moors Murderer active in 1964. The leading candidate for this personage would be Alfred Bailey, for the following two reasons;

1 – In Warrington, on the 19th October, 1964, he sexually assaulted & killed a 6-year old girl called Maureen Cunningham, in highly similar fashion to Brady’s.

2 – In 1964, Brady’s mother lived at 18 Westmoreland St – Brady had lived there before moving in with Myra – while Bailey lived at number 10. Both houses were owned by the same landlady.

Westmoreland Street

Westmoreland Street

In the 60s, life in the north still maintained that ‘we’re all in it together’ mentality, & everyone knew everybody else’s business on their own streets, living in each others houses & pockets. Brady & Bailey must have known each other, & we must ask ourselves one question – is it only a terrible coincidence that two child sex killers in late 1964 were separated by only three terraced houses – in the same period that one of these murderers (Brady) admitted to having an accomplice?

I believe its gonna take a trip to London to look at Bailey’s trial files to get closer to the truth, but a coincidence like that is just to near-knuckle to ignore – especially when Brady thinks he still has the upperhand…

Dating Badon

The time has come to put something to bed once & for all.

In recent decades the historicity of King Arthur has been put into question by an academic community eager to destroy one of the great stories of the British isles – the life & times of King Arthur. The most recent scholarship places him in the same bracket as UFOs & the continent of Atlantis, with Guy Halsall stating, ‘I wish that Arthur had existed but that I must admit there is no evidence – at any rate none admissible in any serious court of history.’ I see Guy’s statement as the last word on Arthur in the pre-chispological era. The ‘court of history’ mentioned by Guy is actually a rigid system of academic thinking which tends to attack historical sources rather than use them. The thing is, one of the two chief Arthurian sources these scholars have attacked has been denied validity on account of an erroneous piece of scholarship which has been perpetuated for generations.

Annales Cambrae

The chronicle of Welsh history known as the Annales Cambraie is a dead cool historical source spanning the years 447-954. It is full of brief entries which record the most memorable moments in the Dark-Age history of the Britons, with a few non-welsh bits chucked in for good measure. What concerns us are the following entries;

516 - The Battle of Badon, in which Arthur carried the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ for three days and three nights on his shoulders and the Britons were the victors.

537The battle of Camlann, in which Arthur and Medraut fell: and there was plague in Britain and Ireland.

547The great death [plague] in which Maelgwn, king of Gwynedd died. Thus they say ‘The long sleep of Maelgwn in the court of Rhos’. Then was the yellow plague.

Arthur is mentioned twice in two separate entries, both of which place him at a battlefield. The first is at Badon – the twelfth of Arthur’s battles as given by the Historia Brittonum – while the other is at Camlann, in which Arthur & Mordred met their blood-soaked ends. It is by looking at the works of the oldest historian of Britain that we gain credible support for the dates of the AC.

Badon

Badon

Gildas

We begin with a passage by the earliest British historian whose works are still extant, St Gildas. His seminal text, the De Excidio Britanniae (On the Ruin of Britain) mentions the ‘siege of Badon Hill’(obsessio montis Badonicus), as in;

From that time on now the citizens, now the enemy, were victorious … right up until the year of the siege of Badon Hill, almost the last, not the least, slaughter of the villains, and this the forty-fourth year begins (as I know) with one month already elapsed, which is also that of my birth.

saint gildas

saint gildas

In recent times, scholars have thought to ascertain Badon’s date by cross-referencing other clues in the De Excidio. A fertile bed for investigation is the admonishment by Gildas of five British kings, one of whom is a certain Maglocunus. Gildas writes;

And likewise, O thou dragon of the island, who hast deprived many tyrants, as well of their kingdoms as of their lives, and though the last-mentioned in my writing, the first in mischief, exceeding many in power, and also in malice, more liberal than others in giving, more licentiousin sinning, strong in arms, but stronger in working thine own soul’s destruction, Maglocune

Scholars then searched through the 6th century for a man who sounded like Maglocunus, & opted for the AC’s Maelwgyn, King of Gwynedd, who died in 547. The same scholars then declared that Badon must have been fought before 503 (547-44 = 503), & by association confined the AC to the academic dust heap. Luckily, they were all barking up the wrong tree completely, & I am happy to reveal that that AC is in fact a thoroughly viable text. Instead of dismissing unique & valuable pieces of historical evidence, I have always believed that we broad-minded moderns should respect everything we inherit, & proclaim, ‘This is what we have got, this is what has been left to us.’ Our sources have come from the minds of intelligent people, the intellectual elite of an age, & we must remember that each of these clue-givers represents the tip of an iceberg, for beneath the surface they would have conducted their own research on the matter from now lost & long-forgotten sources. A great amount of these ice-berg tips have reached modernity – but even so, they are but a scanty sample leaving great gaps in the Dark Age canvas like the spaces in a rather difficult suduko square. However, in the case of Badon we have enough Suduko numbers to confirm the AC’s date of 516.

So laying complete trust in our ancient sources let us begin to look for the Maglocunos described by Gildas 44 years after the 516 battle of Badon, which would be c.560. Happily, this date fits in with what we know about Gildas. His 9th century ‘Life,’ written by an anonymous the Monk of Rhuys, shows how he took up Holy Orders at the age of fifteen, which would have been c.531 AD, six years before Arthur’s death at Camlann;

From the fifteenth year of his age through the whole period of the present life which he lived in this world, up to the very last day on which he was called by the Lord, it was only three times in the week, as we have learnt from a trustworthy source, that he took a most scanty food for his body.

Gildas can be seen as an active contemporary with King Arthur, which fits in with Giraldus Cambrensis’ claim that he threw ‘a number of outstanding books‘ praising Arthur into the sea. The Rhuys life also describes how Ainmericus, the High King of Ireland (r.566-569), asked Gildas to restore church order, confirming the AC entries for Gildas;

565 The voyage of Gildas to Ireland
570 Gildas wisest of Britons died.

Cunomorus

As for the composition period of the De Exidio, The Rhuys life connects it to the existence of a Breton leader named Conomerus, as in; ‘Once more: the holy man, at the request of brother monks who had come to him from Britain, ten years after he had departed from the country, wrote a short epistolary book, in which he reproved five of the kings of that island who had been ensnared by various crimes and sins. Now there lived in these days, in the upper parts of that country, a certain tyrant whose name was Conomerus, a man allured by a perverse credulity and a diabolical crime.

The death of Conomorus soon follows in the text, which connects him to a Count Conomor of Poher, whom according to the French historian Gregory of Tours, died about 560, the very year that Gildas launched his literary diatribe against Maglocune. Chispologically, the two names match, for the name Conomorus is a simple inversion of Maglocune, both of which translate as ‘Majestic Hound.’ There is also a very significant factual match, for both Conomorus & Maglocune are said to have comitted what appears to be an identical crime. According to the ‘Life of St Samson of Dol,’ Conomorus killed his own wife & then murdered a certain King Jonas in order to marry Jonas’ widow – an exact sequence of events attributed to Maglocune by Gildas;

For contempt is thrown upon thy first marriage, though after thy violated vow as a monk it was illicit, yet was to be assumed as the marriage of thine own proper wife; another marriage is sought after, not with anybody’s widow, but with the beloved wife of a living man; and he not a stranger, but thy brother’s son. On this account, that stiff neck, already weighted with many burdens of sins (to wit, a double daring murder, the killing of the husband above named, and the wife that was for a time regarded by thee as thine), is bent down through the extreme excess of thy sacrilegious deed, from lowest crimes to still lower.

Cunomoros is clearly an excellent fit for Maglocunos, so let us restore the Annales Cambrae to their former reputation, which I am sure the chronicle’s original compilers would be rather happy about. Alerting an anti-arthurian scholar to my discovery, he replied, ‘looks like they were given similar back-stories at some point but this could be because writers were using a common stock of tales and pasting them all over the place.‘ That is one way to look at, I suppose, but it hardly makes a convincing counter-argument, does it.

Let us now look at Gildas’ description of Maglocunos as being the ‘dragon of the island, who hast deprived many tyrants, as well of their kingdoms as of their lives.’ Brittany is definitely not an island, & we must assume that Britain is intended. Luckily, another text places Cunomerus across the English Channel at Cornwall. The Breton monk Wromnoc, in his ‘Life of Paul Aurelian (884), describes a King Mark of Cornwall, otherwise known as ‘Quonomorius,’ who ruled over peoples speaking four different languages, which would be;

Gallo- The Latinized language of Brittany in the sixth century. Geoff called Cunomorus ‘Chinmarchocus,’ & had him ruling Treguier, near Lannion in Brittany. In the vicinity stands a hill-fort called Ruvarq, which translates as ‘Mark’s Hill.’

Brythonic – A Celtic language spoken by the native Britons of Cornwall. Excellent support comes from the discovery of a 6th century memorial stone at Fowey in Cornwall, near Castle Dore, said to be the fortress of King Mark. Castle Dore is said to be sited on the lands of Lancien by the Prose Tristan, a match to the medieval manor of Lantyan on which the stone was found. The stone is inscribed ‘Drustanus son of Conomori,’ a relationship confirmed by the Welsh Triads, which consider a ‘Drystan son of March’ as one of the ‘Three Peers of Arthur’s Court’.

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Old Norwegian – The Dream of Rhonabwy tells us that Prince Mark led a group of men from Llychlyn – i.e. Scandinavia – at the Battle of Badon, as in; ‘The men of Norway, led by March, son of Meirchyawn, Arthur’s first cousin.’ Our Geoff also places him among the Nordic lands (& Ireland), as in;

Malgo, one of the comeliest men in the whole of Britain, the driver-out of many tyrants, redoubted in arms, more bountiful than others and renowned for prowess beyond compare, yet hateful in the sight of God for his secret vices. He obtained the sovereignty of the whole island, and after many exceeding deadly battles did add unto his dominions the six neighbour islands of the Ocean, to wit, Ireland, Iceland, Gothland, the Orkneys, Norway and Denmark.

Geoff here names Maglo as, well, plain old Maglo, but a little earlier on, while rattling on about Maegwyn Gywnedd, he writes;

At that time… died David, that most holy Archbishop of Caerleon, in the city of Menevia, within his own abbey, which he loved above all the other monasteries of his diocese, for that it was founded by the blessed Patrick who had foretold his nativity. For whilst he was there sojourning for a while with his fellow-brethren he was smitten of a sudden lethargy and died there, being buried in the same church by command of Malgo, King of Venedotia.

You get the feeling from Geoff that the two Maglos were different men, & differentiates them by naming one as ‘King of Venedotia’ – North Wales – i.e. Maelgwynn Gwynedd.

PICTISH- The last of the four languages should be Pictish, for we can see the name Maglocunus in Mailchon, the father of the great Pictish King Bridei as given by the Pictish Chronicle. Elsewhere, the Annals of Tigernach record, ’558 -The flight of the Scots before Bruide son of Máelchú.’ ‘ With the Pictish regal succession being of a matrilineal nature, we can assume that Mark/Cunomorus/Maelchon/Maglocunos married a Pict. His powerful status in the north is reflected through his daughter, Domlech, who married Aedan, King of Dalriada. There are also Pictish symbol stones found at Trusty’s Hill in Dumfries & Galloway, whose could well be the Drustanus of the Fowey stone, for only a few miles away stands the Dark-Age hillfort called The Mote of Mark. He also appears in the northern genealogies as Cynfarch son of Meirchiawn;

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The conquest of these widely scattered regions neatly connects to Gildas’ descripton of Maglocune of him being the ‘dragon of the island,’ who dispossessed ‘tyrants’ of their kingdoms, & to Lifris, who wrote, ‘Maelgon the Great was king of the Britons, and governed all Britain.’ All evidence suggests that Maglocunus was never Maelgwyn Gwynned, but was instead the famous King Mark of Cornwall. Otherwise known as Cunomorus, he would have ruled a pan-ocean empire from Norway to Brittany, which fits perfectly with his being named alongside Prince Geraint as one of the three great seafarers of the Welsh Triads.

So anyway, I thought I’d contact Guy Halsall & explain to him how Arthur was there all along, it was just a case of ignoring the academic community, ripping up all the source criticism appertaining to Arthur, & just having a look at the evidence. He replied

Your ‘chispology’ is nonsense, it breaks all the rules of serious scholarly practice, so no one, other than you and whoever else has been smoking whatever you have been, will take it seriously. I doubt there is any chance of me, or anyone else who actually knows what they are talking about, being able to convince you as, from your writing, you are – clearly – insane but still, if it makes you happy keep on with your fiction-writing. Far be it from me to keep you from your fun, but if you are thinking of conning people out of their hard-earned cash on the basis of your pseudo-studies, that I do object to.

Sounds like panic to me…

Guy Halsall

Guy Halsall

Dismissing Guy’s anti-arthurian stance, & starting from scratch again, I hope this wee piece of rectifying scholarship helps any future Arthurian scholar. The geezer evidently existed – two of our oldest historical sources- Gildas & the AC – coalesce on a date of c.516 for Badon, at which battle the AC itself & other texts such as the Dream of Rhonabwy clearly place King Arthur. That’s not all, for the Annales Cambrae are one of the four solid pillars upon which Arthur’s existence rests. One of these is the Pictish Chronicle (see my last post), while the other two I shall save for a future blog.

Queen Guinevere’s Grave

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Its been quite a week. Only the other day I made the first inroads into the previously unfathomable mysteries of the Voynich manuscript, then yesterday I made the first chink in the academic armour of the Pictish symbols. These enigmatic images are found on memorial stones & bits of jewellry across northern Britain, & their true meaning has – until now – remained a mystery. Speculation has abounded, but with no Pictish literature to speak of, nothing has ever been able to be properly verified.

So… two days back I’M just about to finish off this book Im writing about King Arthur, when I suddenly came across some information which forced me to secure Victor Pope’s company (& his plus one free bus pass) & head off into Scotland in search of a Pictish stone. Our journey took us from Edinburgh, over the red-iron leviathan that is Queensferry bridge – an experience which now reminds me of crossing the Goan river estuaries. From there we trundled through Dumfermline & the western reaches of Fife, before arriving in the gorgeous, stately Tayside town of Perth. Changing busses, we now set off east in the direction of Dundee, along the lush stretch of undulating Green that is the Strathmore.

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After passing through Coupar Angus, the bus veered north-east for a while & took us to the excuisitely compact & cute townlet of Alyth, over which stand the earthy remains of a majestic Pictish hill-fort. Full of Arthuriana, the 16th century Scottish historian Hector Boece writes that following the disastrous battle of Camlann, in which Arthur met his doom, Guinevere was taken to Alyth, as in;

On the following day, the British camp was ransacked. In it were discovered Arthur’s consort Queen Guanora, and no few men and women of noble blood. Furthermore, ample spoils were collected and shared out among the victors in the traditional way. The Scots were allotted wagons decorated with precious British ornamentation, horses of noble appearance and speed, arms, and the captive nobles, while Queen Guanora, illustrious men and women, and the rest fell to the Picts. These were led to the Pictish district of Horestia, to Dunbar, which was then a very stoutly fortified stronghold (in our days, the name of the place endures, although nothing of the fort save some traces). There they were detained and spent the rest of their lives in wretched servitude.

The bus then trundled on another 3 miles, dropping me & Vic off at Meigle. We had an hour to spend there, the purpose of the visit to check out the collection of Pictish stones found in the village churchyard & gathered together inside a small, yet atmospheric musuem. Luckily, Vic’s plus one bus pas got us in half-price (£2.25 each) & we had a jolly good time checking out the marvellous carvings of a long-dead race. Outside the church there is also the famous ‘Vanora’s Mound,’ said to be the grave of Guinevere herself. The New Statistical Account of Scotland 1845, tells us; ‘Like other places of the same kind, it is the scene of innumerable legends, which agree in representing it as the residence or prison of the infamous Vanora or Guinevar, who appears in the local traditions under the more homely appellation of Queen Wander, and is generally described as a malignant giantess, ‘ while Boece adds, ‘The most ornate of these is that of Queen Guanora, as we are advised by its inscription. There is a superstition in that district that women who tread on that tomb henceforth remain as barren as was Guanora.’

Vanora's Mound

Vanora’s Mound

The connection between the mound & the grave comes from a massive symbol stone at whose centre stands a figure in a dress being torn apart by lions – local folklore suggests this is Guinevere being attacked for getting it on with Mordred. Other scholars think it might likely to be the biblical Daniel – who also got torn apart by lions & appears elsewhere in Pictish imagery.

Meigle_2

Anyway, thats our starting block – two separate traditions that place Guinevere in the area. The thing is, the reason I’d hauled ass up into this pretty corner of Scotland was that I had a different idea as to the location of Guinevere’s grave. So me & Vic jumps on a bus 3 miles down the bus to Newtyle, chomping on a bridie as we went, from where we began a six mile hike back to Coupar Angus through fields full of May flowers & buzzing insectry. Across the Strathmore the Grampians began their epic journey north to the Moray firth, with pockets of snow still skipping the tallest peaks in the distance.

keillor-stuart-1854

About two miles into the walk, we came across a tall Pictish stone known as the ‘Keillar Stone.’ It stands on an ancient burial mound, with a clear view across Strathmore to the hillfort at Alyth, & is a really special location indeed. Of it, in 1875, William Oliphant described it as an; ‘old and striking monument, making the spot on which it stands historical, though no syllable of the history has come down to us.

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It is, one writer says, “one of those remarkable sculptured monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Scotland, embellished, in this instance, with the rude outline of the boar.” In 1856, John Stuart reports of the ‘graveyard’ under the stone as in; ‘The tumulus on which it is placed is formed of earth and stones, and several cists containing bones have been found in it. Ancient sepulchral remains have also been dug up in various parts of the adjoining field.’

Apart from the wolf symbol – which some scholars think could actually be a bear – the stone sports the oblique double-disc/z-rod Pictish symbol & a rimmed mirror & comb combo which scholars have suggested represents a female. Now I would just like to project the following hypothesis;

1 – Guinevere & her fellow nobles taken in captivity to Alyth, where ‘they were detained and spent the rest of their lives in wretched servitude,’ were buried in this spot.

2 – The local tradition that Guinevere was buried in the area, under a mound, was accidentally shifted from the Keillor stone to the Vanora Mound at nearby Meigle.

By the way, if the wolf is a bear, we have the celtic-influenced Pictish word Arto – which means bear – an obvious semantic match to Arthur. This is all well & good, but the coolest bit about visiting the Keillor stone was a sudden & inspired insight I got upon looking at the Double-disc symbol. It suddenly connected in my mind two separate strands of thought – my recent studies into the late-Roman period & a look at the Pictish King list I made a couple of weeks ago. Let us now follow a wee ‘facto-ring,’ through which we shall eke out the true meaning of a Pictish symbol – I believe being the first on the planet to do so.

1 – This is the symbol, as found on stone 7 at Meigle

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2 – This is the symbol of the ‘Heruli Seniores,’ a late-Roman auxillary regiment. Some were even packed off to defend in Britain in the 4th century during the so-callled ‘Barbarian Conspiracy’ of the 360s.

220px-Heruli_seniores_shield_pattern.svg

3 – The word Heruli is a later evolution of the original ‘Erilaz,’ as found on runestones across Scandinavia.

4 – & now the clincher. Here’s a section of the Pictish King List & their rough reign-dates.

Nechtan Morbet son of Eriop (448-472)
Drest Gurthinmoch (472-502)
Galan Erilic (502-517)
Drest son of Gygurn (517-522)
Drest son of Hydrossig (522-530)
Garthnach son of Gygurn (530-537)
Cailtaine son of Gygurn (537-538)
Talorc son of Muircholaich (538-549)
Drest son of Munait (549-550)
Galam Cennelath (550-551)
Bridei son of Mailcon (551-581)

Galan Erlich’s epithet is a perfect match for the Nordic ‘Erilaz,’ & so we can safely say that the double-disc represents the Herulians. That there are two of them joined together can be reconciled with the origin stories of the Picts & Herulians, both of whom were said to have come from Scythia;

The nation of the Picts, putting to sea from Scythia, as is reported, in a few ships of war, and being driven by the winds beyond the bounds of Britain, came to Ireland and landed on its northern shores. There, finding the nation of the Scots, they begged to be allowed to settle among them … The Scots answered that the island could not contain them both; but “We can give you good counsel,” said they, “whereby you may know what to do; we know there is another island, not far from ours, to the eastward, which we often see at a distance, when the days are clear. If you will go thither, you can obtain settlements; or, if any should oppose you, we will help you. Bede

Now the aforesaid race, as the historian Ablabius tells us, dwelt near Lake Maeotis in swampy places which the Greeks call hele; hence they were named Heluri. They were a people swift of foot, and on that account were the more swollen with pride, for there was at that time no race that did not choose from them its light-armed troops for battle… But after a short space of time, as Orosius relates, the race of the Huns, fiercer than ferocity itself, flamed forth against the Goths. We learn from old traditions that their origin was as follows: Filimer, king of the Goths, son of Gadaric the Great, who was the fifth in succession to hold the rule of the Getae after their departure from the island of Scandza,–and who, as we have said, entered the land of Scythia with his tribe
Jordanes (Getica)

Essentially, then, in Galan Erilic the Picts & Heruli were united in himself, who chose to symbolise the reunion is symbol form, a piece of dark-age heraldry if you will. Another connection between the Picts & the Heruli comes with both people’s proliferation for nudity & dying their skin, as in;

Heruli

As for the Harii, not only are they superior in strength to the other peoples I have just mentioned, but they minister to their savage instincts by trickery and clever timing. They black their shields and dye their bodies, and choose pitch dark nights for their battles. The shadowy, awe-inspiring appearance of such a goulish army inspires mortal panic; for no enemy can endure a sight so strange and hellish. Defeat in battle starts always with the eyes Tacitus

Either to fight more expediently or to show their contempt for wounds of the enemy, they fought nude, covering only a part of the body modestly Paul the Deacon

16th century depiction of a Pict

16th century depiction of a Pict

Picts

Most of the regions of [northern] Britain are marshy, since they are flooded continually by the tides of the ocean; the barbarians are accustomed to swimming or wading through these waist-deep marsh pools; since they go about naked, they are unconcerned about muddying their bodies. Strangers to clothing, they wear ornaments of iron at their waists and throats; considering iron a symbol of wealth, they value this metal as other barbarians value gold. They tattoo their bodies with coloured designs and drawings of all kinds of animals; for this reason they do not wear clothes, which would conceal the decorations on their bodies. Extremely savage and warlike, they are armed only with a spear and a narrow shield, plus a sword that hangs suspended by a belt from their otherwise naked bodies. They do not use breastplates or helmets, considering them encumbrances in crossing the marshes
Herodian

Arthur & Mordred duelling at Camann

Arthur & Mordred duelling at Camann

To conclude this post, & to neatly bring us full circle to the Battle of Camlann again, here is that battle’s reference in the Annales Cambrae…

537 The battle of Camlann, in which Arthur and Medraut fell: and there was plague in Britain and Ireland.

Now, look again at the Pictish King List at the guy who died in 537. Here, Garthnach son of Gygurn, is a direct match to Arthur son of Queen Igraine – & knowing that the Picts, according to Bede, would choose, ‘a king from the female royal race rather than from the male: which custom, as is well known, has been observed among the Picts to this day,‘ we can now imagine Arthur was a king of the Picts between 530 & 537, inheriting the crown through his ma. This then explains why in the 12th century, Lambert of St Omer wrote;

Arthur, Dux Pictorum, ruling realms of the interior of Britain, resolute in his strength, a very fierce warrior, seeing that England was being assaultedfrom all sides, and that property was being stolen away, and many people taken hostage andredeemed, and expelled from their inherited lands, attacks the Saxons in a ferocious onslaught along with the kings of Britain,

That Arthur is the man signified by the double-disc/z-rod I’ll leave for a future blog…

Solving Voynich

These days I’m really on a roll with historical mysteries – the solutions to a wide variety of seemingly unsolvable problems are tending to just sorta drop into mi head. Anyway, last saturday afternoon I was canoodling in bed with this lovely lady I’ve recently met. Shes taken an interest in my work, by the way, & thought I should take a look at the VOYNICH manuscript.

f017v_crd

It was discovered in 1912, by Wilfrid Voynich, & has been described as the world’s most mysterious manuscript, mainly for the fact its written in a language & script no-one has ever been able to crack – even the best codebreakers of WW2 failed to break into it.

Carbon dating has given the ms an origin of the early 1400s, & is divided into the following sections;

1 – Drawings of plants, many of which are obscure
2- Astrological illustrations of the sun, moon & zodiac
3 – A biological section
4 – A pharmaceutical section
5 – A selection of recipes

So, my lady puts a youtube video on, where an english linguist, prof. Stephen Bax, has declared the translation of a handful of words form the text, as in;

So im watching it, & literally by the end of the film I had a good feeling about where the book had come from. Basically, my recent trip to India on the hunt for Jesus introduced me to the Siddhi system of medicine, which essentially a mix of all the contents of the Voynich manuscript, i.e. herbalism, astrology, biology & pharmacology! I also knew that the last Siddhar, THERAYAIR, was active in the early 1400s. This is what the Siddha website has to say about him


He is considered to be the master of all the fields like astrology, mysticism, alchemy, medicine and language. The degree of his scholarship is considered to be the supreme. The style of the language is considered as the best as any contemporary Tamil poets. He has mastered all the languages like Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, Thulu and Sanskrit. His Guru (Master) was Dharmasowmiyar. His work on medicine especially on classification of diseases with their managements and prognosis are highly praise worthy.

theraiyar
THERAIYAR

Surely ‘his work on medicine’ is a plausible candidate for the Voynich manuscript. Honestly, I’d worked it out before the film had finished, like, without doing any research at all. Now, I dont really have time to throw myself into it – I guess that’s for the Voynich-heads out there, but I hope my discovery will help the guys out in fathoming the secrets of the manuscript, in which there may be some long lost medicines that could benefit the human race!

Anyway, Ive spent an hour today on it, just to see if I was right, & everything Ive found so far seems to confirm my wee insight, as in;

1 – One of the plants, Helleborus Niger, is found in the Ghats of India, just where the Siddha have their HQ near Ambassamudrum. It wouldnt surprise me if most of the plants in the MS can be found in that district.

2 – Prof. Bax deciphered the name in the text for Helleborus – kaur – which is essentially the same as the one used in Kashmir.

3 – An examination of the script shows a number of orthographical similarities with the modern Tamil script (I couldn’t find an example of medieval tamil) – have a look yourself & see if u can spot the patterns – its good fun!

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script
TAMIL SCRIPT

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Tamil alpabets from different eras

Tamil alpabets from different eras

I believe the book itself arrived in Europe in the hands of a 15th century Italian alchemist named Bernard of Treviso. The coolest thing is, the guy essentially admits to meeting a man just like Therayair in what I think is Alleppey in Kerala, & winning a book in a contest. We found out this in a text Bernie wrote all by himself called the Allegory of the Fountain;

When I passed through Apulea, a city in India, I heard that a man resided there who was so very learned in every branch of Science, that he had not his equal in this world. He instituted as a Prize of disputation for all skilled in Art, a book… Therefore, desirous of honour, I did not doubt that my mind would assist me thereto and dispose me to the prescribed disputations, a very learned man adding spurs to my undertaking this province, and it also coming into my mind that the daring and bold were carried to sublime things, while the timid were thrown down and lived in perpetual dejection, I passed manfully into the field of contest and happily obtained the palm of disputation before the audience, and the book of premium was so honourably delivered to me by the faculty of Philosophy

Bernie

Bernie

My initial instincts are that the script is a kind of shorthand Tamil -or some archaic relation to that language – or perhaps the book is actually a copy of the original by a scribe trying to latinize the Tamil characters. But, there you go folks – that’s how you solve one of the world’s greatest mysteries in an hour & an half…

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