by Garry Bryant/Garaidh Ó Briain
In society today the connotation of fosterage is a very negative yet necessary element in the raising of children. It is strange to note that the closer to modern day life the more barbaric the treatment of children. In recent times there have been the discovery of pits at nursing homes packed full of the remains of babies and young children; stories of babies torn from mothers at the Magdalene laundries and given into slavery in exchange for a donation, and people within living memory who have no idea of their true identity because they were adopted or fostered outside of the law. [Ali Isaac, "Foster care in ancient Ireland was an established and beloved tradition," Irishcentral.com, 22 July 2015.]
Not so in ancient times. Fosterage was a form of child-rearing chosen and upheld for positive reasons by culture and practiced by all levels of society especially the wealthy and the noble. [Isaac.] Fosterage was the acceptance of the responsibilities of rearing and educating a child in accordance with certain regulations put down by the strict ancient Brehon Laws. The child was indeed the focus in this process, but the realm of fosterage expanded beyond that of childhood. It was a lifelong contract. Intimate bonds created through fosterage carried immediate and long term consequences, which were above and beyond the day-to-day concerns of parenting. Fosterage helped to mould the medieval child, and its enduring character long out-lived the medieval period. [Bronagh Ní Chonaill, "Fosterage; child-rearing in medieval Ireland," History of Ireland, Issue 1 (Spring 1997), Volume 5.]
Fosterage strengthened natural bonds of kinship between various branches of a clan. In a turbulent world, it also served as a means of negotiating political advantage and gaining allies, and in war, fosterlings could be held for ransom. [Isaac.]
The primary stimulus for polygamy was procreation, the expansion of the clan/tribe especially during the pre-Norman Ireland era, and partly the reason for consecutive marriages in post-Norman times. Infant mortality was high during the Dark Ages and medieval times. In early medieval Ireland, according to customary law, the maternal and paternal kin had a say in where the child was placed, thus the kin group as a whole took an active interest in the future of the child. The valued position of children—as heir, succour in life, support in old age—is why the death of a child was particularly tragic. [Ní Chonaill.]
The suitable age for the commencement of fosterage was age seven, but sometimes as young as age one. This was a transitional stage for the child, who was generally regarded as having reached the age of learning and reason. The church had a lasting influence in promoting this, with the child bearing the same honor-price (the measured worth of a person in the Brehon Law) as a cleric until the age of seven. There is much evidence, however, for fosterage commencing at a much earlier stage, through the practice of wet-nursing. In legal material of the eighth century, reference is made to nursing clothes (‘cradle clothes’) given with the child when proceeding into fosterage. There were two sets of clothing given to the nursing-mother, a black tunic and a black mantle, returned on the completion of fosterage. The common practice was the giving of the child to a wet-nurse in her own home, who was then nursing two babies simultaneously, if her own child survived. [Ní Chonaill.]
The basis for the type of fosterage and education a child received depended on the size of foster-fee (iarrath) paid. A legal maxim of the eighth century reads: "the fosterage of each son according to his foster-fee," implying that rank was all-important. The foster-fee was graded, from three cows for the son of a strong farmer (bóaire) to eighteen cows for the son of a king (cattle was the currency. Remember King Brian Boru, 'boru' means 'of the Tribute,' all the tribes of Ireland herded their cattle to Beal Boru). Fosterage of a daughter was a sét (a fixed unit of value) more expensive in each grade. The foster-fee is infrequently mentioned in the sources. In a thirteenth-century poem attributed to Giolla Brighde Mac Con Midhe (Teasta eochair ghlais Ghaoidheal), the poet informs us that the child brought with her cattle and clothing (fríoth le buar is brat naoidhe). The cattle would appear to be a fosterage-payment. [Ní Chonaill.] [Isaac.]
A peculiarity of fosterage was the extra sét it cost for a female child commentaries on legal tracts speculate as to why it cost more. Reasons ranged from uncleanliness to the fact that her handiwork was of lesser value than the chores performed by a boy. The most plausible reason given was that her attendants were more numerous. Why this should be so is a point of interest. One piece of advice in the early medieval period reads: "three darknesses into which women should not go: the darkness of mist, the darkness of night and the darkness of wood." Women in saga literature are reproached for wandering alone—a woman on her own was suspected of keeping a tryst. Accompaniment was a precaution against abduction, rape, or attempts to lure into sexual union. The protective role of foster-sisters was important. The position of the foster-sister is made abundantly clear by Aongus to Curcóg who's statement is found in a medieval saga, in a poem which he recites after Eithne, his foster-daughter, has been enticed away: "though you are a foster-sister/ Curcóg is not good for guarding." The hazards which could befall a female fosterling would also have placed the foster-father open to the charge of neglect. General misfortune which could befall foster-children of both sexes, and which foster-parents were warned against, included the safety of the child in the presence of animals, the danger of cliffs, precipices, and lakes, and injuries caused by spikes, spears, sticks and stones. [Ní Chonaill.] [Isaac.]
The high cost in fostering female's has an example in the legend of Princess Taug:
Tuag was the daughter of High King Conall Collamhrach, but he was killed after only five years of rule. The princess was fostered at Tara by the new High King Conaire, and had a great retinue of ladies and waiting women to serve her. She was so beautiful that no man was allowed near her, for she was destined to be married to a great King, perhaps to Conaire himself.
At the age of fifteen, Manannán the Sea-God decided he wanted Taug for himself. He sent his druid, Ferdia, to steal her away from Tara. Ferdia disguised himself as a woman, and sang a sleeping spell over her, and thus managed to escape with her. To the mouth of the River Bann he carried her, and set her down on the sand whilst he went to get a boat in which to take her to Manannán’s land. She was still sleeping. As the tide rose, a great wave washed over the Tonn and carried her out to sea, where she was sadly drowned.
No doubt Conaire had to repay his foster-fee to Tuag’s family. [Isaac.]
The clothes worn by children of the free class (both noble and commoner) while in fosterage were of specific colours.
The color of clothes and the trimmings (brooches and gold and silver ornamentation) were outward marks of distinction.
Types of food were also distinguished according to rank. Porridge was given to all children, but the different flavorings reflected status: salt for the sons of the commoners, butter for the noble grades, and honey for royal children. The ingredients of the porridge itself differed, with a water-based porridge for the commoners, porridge made with new milk for the aristocratic grade, the same for the children of kings, but with extra wheat in it. In a hierarchical society, gradations permeated all aspects of life. [Ní Chonaill.]
At the core of fosterage was education to prepare the child for his position later in life. A fine of two-thirds of the foster-fee was incurred if the quality of fostering was deficient in any manner, say, through the negligent provision of instruction in a given area. Differences are evident in the type of education provided. There was a strong pastoral flavor to the education of the free-man grade.
Daughters were taught how to use the quern, the kneading trough, the sieve, and the herding of lambs, kids, pigs and calves. Women were in charge of domestic matters, and therefore needed the skills of cookery, tending sheep (which would provide fleece for weaving), and tending animals.
Sons were taught kiln-drying, wood-cutting and also the herding of various animals—all practical skills for the future farmer. One might have expected to find the boys receiving instruction solely from the foster-father, but this was not the case in areas where the woman held sway. In the medieval Lives of Abbán, Maedoc and the later life of Patrick, the three boys were tending animals. An animal is lost through negligence on the child’s part, and the child fears that the foster-mother may discover the incident. Being of saintly stock, miraculously the animals return and the cause of potential anger on the foster-mother’s side is removed.
Fionn mac Cumhail is perhaps the greatest of Ireland's warriors died in 283 AD. He was fostered by two women. They took him to a secret place in the forests of the Slieve Bloom Mountains, to raise him away from the reaches of his father’s enemies. Bodhmall was his aunt and a druidess, and saw to his education, whilst the mysterious Liath Luachra trained him in hunting and the battle arts. [Ní Chonaill.]
In the Irish mythilogical account of Lugh, Lugh's father is Cian of the Tuatha Dé Danann, and his mother is Ethniu, daughter of Balor, king of the Fomorians. In Cath Maige Tuired their union is a dynastic marriage following an alliance between the Tuatha Dé and the Fomorians. [ Whitley Stokes (ed. & trans), "The Second Battle of Moytura," Revue Celtique, volume #12, 1891, p. 59.] In the book Lebor Gabála Érenn Cian gives the boy to Tailtiu, queen of the Fir Bolg, in fosterage. Lebor Gabála Érenn, p. 59.]
The Irish saint Columcille was fostered by Cruithnechan in Kilmacrenan, County Donegal in Ireland. His birth parallels with the story of Hannah and her son Samuel in the Bible's Old Testament: Hannah/Eithne (mother of Samuel/Columcille) prayed for a child, and when she had conceived, she dedicated her child's service to the LORD. Eithne visited her son every year and when he was banished from Ireland and founded a monastery on the Isle of Iona, she followed him and lived on a nearby island. [Cindy, "Raising Children: The Path to Peace in Early Ireland." http://irishfireside.com/2012/06/12/raising-children-the-path-to-peace-in-early-ireland-2/ , accessed 12 Jan 2016.]
The children of the higher grades, in addition to receiving instruction in agricultural matters, were taught more noble pursuits: board games resembling draughts and chess for foster-sons; sewing, cutting and embroidery for foster-daughters. Skill in handicraft was a mark of distinction in a woman. When Cú Chulainn wooed Emer, the six gifts she possessed according to the saga were: wisdom, voice, beauty, fair speech, chastity and needlework. If there were appropriate facilities, swimming was supposed to be taught. The sons of noble grades were taught horse riding, if the father supplied a horse. There were many practical reasons for learning how to ride, from a quick escape whilst on a foray, to travelling to residences on a circuit of hospitality. [Ní Chonaill.]
A number of items are mentioned in legal material as being in the noble child’s possession, including a hurley and a scabbard, reflecting a mixture of play and military training common for most boys. We should not be surprised to find boys playing games of skill and agility of a competitive nature. Games were also important trials of strength. In Brehon law reference is made to early play-things (essrechta maccru). These are explained as "goodly things which remove the dullness from little boys, that is, hurleys, balls, hoops." Cats and dogs are also mentioned as children’s pets. Older children participated in field games and wrestling. In a thirteenth-century bardic poem (Leacht carad ó chath Bhriain), lamenting the death of several members of his foster-family, the poet fondly remembers games from his childhood, which he played with his foster-brothers. They would play at an imitation of an inauguration or homage ceremony, where a child was placed on a height with those remaining marching around him three times. Piggy-back games were also played, "(I) [the poet] was always the rider, he was my horse." [Ní Chonaill.]
Infractions by foster children
If the fosterage undertaken was one of affection (i.e. where no fee was levied), the foster-father or foster-mother was not liable for crimes committed by the child. The age of the child, the nature of the crime, and the number of offences previously committed, were all taken into consideration when the punishment for a crime was decided. The age of the child in relation to crime is divided in three: to the age of seven, from seven to twelve, and from twelve to seventeen. Punishment took the form of chastisement, fasting, and/or the restitution of goods.
The most common crimes committed by children were assault and theft. In the late medieval Life of Brendan an episode from his youth relates an incident where he beat a girl who wished to play with him. He is severely reproached by his tutor. Similarly, in a thirteenth-century lament for the death of a child, by Giolla Brighde mac Con Midhe, we are told that the child, Gormlaith, "never struck another girl, she never earned the sighs for a daughter." Excessive violence while playing games involving physical contact was also punishable. The only specifics of a crime committed by a foster-child in legal material is the theft by a child under twelve years of age of a hoop or hurley (lubóg no comán), resulting in restitution in kind. [Ní Chonaill.]
The foster-father paid the fines for the crimes committed, until he ‘proclaimed’ his foster-son to his natural father by formally declaring his foster-son’s criminal tendencies, thereby legally shifting the responsibility for certain crimes to the natural father, if the foster-father was not at fault. If a child was habitually criminal and subsequently proclaimed, the means of discipline available to the foster-parents was obviously limited. According to Brehon law, if a child was blemished in any way while in fosterage the foster-father forfeited the fee. If there was a justifiable reason, two-thirds of the fee was forfeited. For noble grades there could not be ‘a blemish if struck, or the shedding of blood, or one that is a bandage wound’. The overall impression is that disciplining a child was extremely difficult, and the best path a foster-parent could take was to proclaim the child. This would have been a wise financial step, as the foster-parent was held responsible for paying all the fines incurred by an unproclaimed child. As it stood the foster-father was responsible for the first deliberate offence committed by the child, which could involve a serious crime such as bodily injury or homicide. On a more positive note, the foster-father received one-third of the díre (fine) of the foster-son if he was injured in any way. [Ní Chonaill.]
Diarmuid ua Duibhne, a warrior of the Fianna, committed anoffense against his leader, Fionn mac Cumhall, he was already a young man, and so his foster father, Óengus Óg, Denann God of Love, was not held responsible.
Eloping with Grainne on the night of her wedding to Fionn mac Cumhall, Diamuid deeply offended Fionn. Fionn chased the love-struck pair across the length and breadth of Ireland, even when Grainne grew heavy with child.
Diamuid's foster-father Óengus, not biological father, in and intervened with Fionn, thus calling off the hunt and arranging an uneasy truce. However, Fionn was to get his revenge many years later. [Isaac.]
There were ‘three types of fosterage completion: death, crime and choice’.
Negligence carried far-reaching consequences if the foster-father did not compensate the family of the child adequately and swiftly for their loss. The ‘vengeance for the foster-child of the family’ was permitted by law.
If the father refused to pay for his son’s crimes once proclaimed, the foster-father kept the unspent part of the foster-fee and returned the child. A fostering contract could be terminated by choice, for example, when a girl married or took the veil. In legal material seventeen is the age of fosterage completion for boys and fourteen for girls, if special circumstances had not forced an earlier termination. At seventeen the male foster-child was held totally responsible for his own crimes and had to pay full fine accordingly. [Ní Chonaill.]
Significance of foster-ties
In Irish mythology with regard to the God, Lugh, aka Samildanach, or ‘Master of all Arts,’ because his foster-mother Tailtiu had seen to it that her foster son was taught not just in the battle arts, but many other skills also, such as healing, playing the harp, composing poetry, working metals as a smith, to name but a few. and his foster mother, Tailtiu. She was the only mother he had ever known, and when she died, he was so overcome with grief, that he founded the annual Festival of Lughnasa in her honor at Tailten (Teltown in Co Meath, between Navan and Kells), where she had lived and was buried. [Isaac.]
Multiple fosterages were another feature. The great warrior Cú Chulainn, for example, was fostered "among the chariot-chiefs and champions, among the jesters and druids, among learned poets and learned men, among the nobles and landlords of Ulster…so that I have all their manners and gifts." The amount of wealth one possessed was not an over-riding factor. When a child returned from fosterage, all that was given with him (cattle, etc..) was also returned. If one could afford to place a child once in fosterage, then one could afford to foster the same child as many times as desired. What was decisive was the demand for the child. The dispute over who was to foster Cú Chulainn is evidence of such a demand. In a poem addressed to Domhnall Óg Ó Domhnaill, king of Tír Conaill (1258-82) by Giolla Brighde mac Con Midhe, the fact that Domhnaill was of rig damnae (kingly material) resulted in all the men by the sea scarcely one not a foster-father to the high-king of Conall—it is no falsehood. [Ní Chonaill.]
The possibility of multiple fosterages expanded the range of personal and political contacts.
It is our common conception that children were fostered with a subordinate family as expressed in the Scandinavian maxim, "he is a lesser man who fosters." In continental tradition fosterage was an upwardly oriented institution. Political motives were the most probable for fostering with a subordinate family, as it is unlikely that a child would have been sent, for no apparent reason, into fosterage with people who were not accustomed to the standard of living of the child. It was political motivation combined with the loyalty fosterage ties created, which maintained the popularity of this method of child-rearing. [Ní Chonaill.]
The foster-child by customary law had to provide aid and maintenance (goire) for his foster-parents in later life. Fosterage therefore was a life-long commitment. Fosterage ties often meant much more than maintenance. Priest and historian Giraldus Cambrensis noted the love of the Irish for their foster-brethren. The nature of the Irish political scene allowed the strength of foster-ties to play a prominent role in the military sphere. In 1309 Maelruanaidh Mac Diarmada, king of Magh Luirg, went into the Sil-Muiredhaigh to defend the sovereignty of his foster-son, Feidlimid Ó Conchobhair, who was subsequently made king of Connacht by Mac Diarmada. An illustration of fosterage directly benefiting the foster-family is portrayed in a poem of Maelsheachlainn na nUirsgél Ó hUiginn to Aed Mac Airt Magennis of the Uíbh Eathach. Owing to geographical location in the early fifteenth century Aed protected the gap to the north from invasion. Included in the territories were those of the Uí Néill, his maternal kin. In return for his fostering with them we are told "he let not their folk be raided." [Ní Chonaill.]
From friendly advice to financial gain, the range of short and long-term benefits resulting from fosterage played a large part in sustaining the power of the institution into the early modern period. Through participation in fosterage, one not only secured maintenance in later life and the possibility of creating friendly or non-belligerent relations between families, but the child also secured support for itself and its siblings in the future. The medieval world was violent; the annals confirm this. Recurrent references to killings ‘dia muintir fen’ (at the hands of his own people), and to incidents of blinding, drowning, and seizing and many other violent acts, illustrate the need for support in everyday life. Foster-links did not guarantee support or loyalty, but they were one, if not the most binding, of ties, which society had to offer. Fosterage, as it functioned in medieval Ireland, was advantageous for the child, the kin and society. [Ní Chonaill.]
by Garry Bryant/Garaidh Ó Briain
There's a lot of misinformation concerning the Christian church's beginning's among the British Isles. What is myth, what is fact, and what is speculation? This is difficult to determine for the records are few and far between.
"It is the misty and vague aura surrounding this age that accounts for much of its appeal… The absence of hard facts has allowed hagiographers, romanticists and propagandists for various causes to weave myths and spin legends." writes author Ian Bradley in his book
Celtic Christianity. [http://www.faithandworship.com/Celtic_Christianity.htm.]
Ynys Wydrin (Glassy Island, aka Avalon) in eastern Wales is where the first group of Christians settled in 37 AD, a place given to them by King Gweirydd (aka Arviragus) whom they baptized. The leader of this Christian group was Joseph of Arimathaea a disciple of Jesus Christ, who was accompanied by 40 followers. Joseph was no stranger to south-west Britain, for he imported into Palestine tin from several mines located in Cornwall. [Adrian Gilbert, Alan Wilson & Baram Blackett, The Holy Kingdom. (London: Bantam Press, 1998) P. 181.] After Joseph of Arimathaea was in south-west Britain, came the Apostle Simon Zealots: [Robert D. Mock, M.D., http://www.biblesearchers.com/hebrewchurch/primitive/primitive6.shtml.
Dorotheus, Bishop of Tyre (ca. 300 AD) – “Simon Zelotes traversed all Mauritania, and the regions of the Africans, preaching. He was at last crucified, slain, and buried in Britain.” (Dorotheus, Synod. de Apostol.; Synopsis ad Simon Zelot.)
Ever slowly conversion to Christianity followed as missionaries traveled throughout the isle over the centuries along with other missionaries sent here by Rome. Most consider the coming of Joseph of Arimathaea nothing but myth or tradition, but two giants in history by the names of Tertullion and Eusebius give credence to early Christianity in the British Isles: Tertullion, who died in 222 AD, wrote, "The extremities of Spain, the various parts of Gaul, the regions of Britain which have never been penetrated by Roman arms have received the religion of Christ." (Def, Fidei, p.179). And Eusebius wrote at the time of the Council of Arles (314 AD), "The Apostles passed beyond the ocean to the isles called the Britannic Isles." (De Demonstratione Evangellii, Lib. 111).
A constant problem that the Apostle Paul combated was the influx of pagan and Hebrew beliefs creeping into the simple doctrines of Jesus Christ (Paul's New Testament letters). Paul never won the battle, it only got worse after the original apostles were gone.
By the year 314 AD, there were three Celtic British Bishops representing Britain at a Church Synod in Arles, France, on 1 August. These representatives from Britain were Eborius of York, Restitutus of London and Adelphius, whose See may have been Lincoln, Colchester or Caerleon (Wales). [Victor S. Harper, "Was There a British Church Before Augustine Came?," Wake Up!, July/August 1991. Posted on Wisconsin Lutheran College website at http://www.fourthcentury.com/the-council-of-arles-ad-314/. Accessed 18 Jan 2016.] Such an early start for the Celtic Church helps explain some of its later uniqueness's. At that time, for example, the Council of Nicaea had not yet occurred (325 AD). This means that the 'Great Age of Church Uniformity' had not yet begun.
After the Council of Nicaea which obtained the goal of having the whole church to agree to one doctrinal position, it was only a small jump to require identical practices as well as beliefs. That is where the problems started for the Celtic Church.
The Druids were connected to nature; they understood the energy that emitted from all things. The Druidic curriculum included: natural philosophy, astronomy, arithmetic, botany, geometry, law, medicine, poetry, oratory and natural theology. The Druidical priesthood had three priestly orders: [Mock.]
To become a member of the Druids and a candidate to enter the initiation of the Order had to prove his ancestry for nine successive generations of free forefathers. All citizens living in the lands of the druids had to have a known genealogy at least nine generations. The pedigree was essential to establish blood lines and tribal bases, one’s ancestral station in life and to own and keep property. Any person without a pedigree was an outlaw, without a family, a tribe or a nation. These genealogical records were jealously guarded and recorded with precise exactness by the herald-bards of each clan. When a child reached the age of fifteen, he underwent a public ceremony with the clan and the family genealogy was publicly proclaimed. Any challengers to the genealogies were command to voice their dissent. [Mock.]
No slave could be a Druid, and if he became a slave, he forfeited his Druidic Order and the privileges within the Order. Herein lay the fundamental principles of the freedom that the early Celts coveted and fought to preserve. [Mock.]
This knowledge was infused into the beliefs and practices of the early Irish Christians and when Rome learned of this it was considered barbaric, heathen and pagan. The Celtic Christians did not believe or practice the same as those on the continent, and Rome wanted uniformity, and the Celts were not willing to give in to it.
Abbeys/monasteries, or more correctly colleges, were attached to the early churches, seats of learning were styled Cathair Culdich - the Chair of the Culdees. [http://www.ensignmessage.com/archives/celticmemory.html.]There were nine major monasteries in Ireland in the 9th century: Armagh, Clonmacnoise, Clones, Devenish, Sligo, Clondalken, in Tipperary, Scattery Island and Tallaght. [Edward D'Alton, "Culdees," The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 4. (New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908). 13 April 2015.]
As monastic's, abbots were not necessarily ordained (i.e. they were not necessarily priests or bishops). They were usually descended from one of the many Irish royal families, and the founding regulations of the abbey sometimes specified that the abbacy should if possible be kept within one family lineage. [Dáibhí Ó Cróinín, in Youngs, pp. 13–14 ; Dáibhí Ó Cróinín, Early Medieval Ireland: 400–1200. (London, 1995). Susan Youngs, ed., 'The Work of Angels', Masterpieces of Celtic Metalwork, 6th–9th centuries AD. (London: British Museum Press, 1989.) ISBN 0-7141-0554-6.] The abbot was the top tier of leadership, and out ranked the position of bishop which the Roman church found to be barbaric, and the property didn't belong to the church, but to the clan administered by the chief/king.
Of Patrick & Palladius
Although the British Celt, Patrick, was not as is popularly supposed, the first missionary to take Christian teaching into Ireland. He was undoubtedly the most successful missionary but, as already pointed out, we find Caranoc, mentioned by the Book of Ballymote, as the first recorded Christian in Ireland. According to Prosper of Aquitaine it was Pope Celestine I (AD 422-432) who sent a missionary called Palladius to be 'the first bishop to the Irish believing in Christ,' thereby implying that there were already Christian communities in Ireland at that date. Palladius was a Gaulish Celt who had been deacon at Germanus's monastery of Auxerre. According to some scholars, Palladius is supposed to have died in Britain about 431 AD, and been replaced by Patrick. Professor James Carney, however, maintains that Palladius worked in Ireland for many years with three other missionaries from Rome, Secondinus, Auxillus and Iserninus. Professor Thomas O'Rahilly argues that Palladius did not reach Ireland but died in Britain. [Laurence.]
Palladius' replacement was born at the northern town of Bannarem Taberniae (near present day Dumbartan, Scotland), to a Briton magistrate in the Roman government, a boy named Sucat in 421 AD. This young man was captured in an Irish raid, captured and served as a slave in the County Antrim area in north-east Ireland for fourteen years. Sucat escaped aboard a ship sailing to Brittany, France, where he entered the Roman churches clergy and in 432 AD (debated), was to replace Palladius as 'bishop to the Irish believing in Christ.' Patrick had great success and his life is recorded by himself in his Confessions. Of course there are many stories about the Patron Saint of Ireland, the problem with many of the stories about the holy man is how to tell which stories are myth and which are fact. St. Patrick made his headquarters in northern Ireland at Armagh and died in 459 AD. [Laurence.]
However, there are those who oppose this traditional story of St. Patrick.
In Rome at that time of the early 5th century, the title 'Patricius' was often conferred upon high officials of the empire to indicate rank. Various researchers state that before the arrival of Patrick was a missionary named Palladius who arrived in Leinster to minister to a small fledgling group of Christians. Palladius landed on the Emerald Isle just a year before Patrick, and that the lives of the two got merged to become St. Patrick. [Laurence.]
Of the various Christians that had been sent to Ireland, St. Patrick had the best success for he knew the people, he understood their culture for he had lived among them, and he knew that to convert a king his clan would follow, plus Patrick's manner was the opposite of strict Rome.
As St. Patrick set up the Christian communities in Ireland he left a copy of The Liber ex Lege Moisi, to help in the guidance of the new converts. Patrick's successors did the same in Ireland and Scotland.
Summary of contents:
1. The seventh day Sabbath.
2. Slavery and the relationship of master to servants
3. Various capital offences.
4. Compensation in money of “kind” for different crimes.
5. Animals’ offences against person and property.
6. Animals used as food, clean and unclean, and slaughtering.
7. Sex and marriage.
8. Feminine hygiene.
9. Tithes, first-fruits, vows, and offerings of all kinds.
10. Justice, bribery, witnesses, traduction, and usury.
11. Cities of refuge, asylum, and hospitality.
12. Wizards and necromancy and human sacrifices.
13. Inheritance, and the Sabbatical and Jubilees years, debts.
14. Sights of a true prophet.
15. Cursing and blessing.
St Patrick's Breastplate
Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger….
And at the poem’s climax
… I bind unto myself the name,
The strong name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The three in one, and One in Three,
Of whom all nature has creation;
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word,
Praise to the Lord of my salvation
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.
The Céli Dé or Culdees
Often the word for the Irish and Scottish Christian church, including its doctrines and teachings is called the Céli Dé (Latin, colidei), Cele-De, or Culdees, an Irish phrase meaning "companions of God." However it was the Culdees who were the laymen of the Christian community. The Céli Dé were the Christian heirs of the Druids. [fn. Ward Rutherford, Celtic Lore: the History of the Druids and their Timeless Traditions. (1993) P.114.]
They lived in a monastic community but did not take monastic vows. [Edward D'Alton, "Culdees," The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 4. (New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908). 13 April 2015.] The Culdees were analogous to secular canons of the Roman church (who would replace them; a prior and five vicars), they held an intermediate position between the monastic and parochial clergy. They were the officiating clergy of the churches and became the standing ministers. The maintenance of divine service, and in particular, the practice of choral worship, seems to have been their special function, and made them an important element. They also had care of the church building; they had separate lands and sometimes charge of parishes. When a chapter was formed (circa 1161) the prior usually filled the office of precentor, his brethren being vicars choral, and himself ranking in the chapter next to the chancellor. He was elected by his brother Culdees and confirmed by the primate, and had a voice in the election of the archbishop by virtue of his position in the chapter. [William Reeves, "The Ancient Churches of Armagh," Ulster Journal of Archaeology, vol.IV, no.4, p.213, July 1898.]
The Culdees were more happy to serve and give of themselves then to receive. The clergy also labored by their own hands for their support. Their chapels were simple structures and not ornate buildings. They didn't use incense or tapers in their ceremonies nor a consecrated chrism for baptism. The Culdees believe strongly that one received mercy from God through believing in Jesus Christ. [Thomas Thomson, Earliest times to the death of Robert Bruce, 1329. (London: Blackie & Son, 1896) Vol. 1, P. 142.]
In the celebration of the sacrament the Céli Dé did not believe in the real presence of God during the Eucharist, but that it was a solemn act of religious commemoration. Nor did they believe in penance or priestly absolution. [Thomson, v.1, p. 141.]
Like the later Presbyterian Faith and John Knox, the Culdees strongly believed in predestination, and in good works as the fruits of faith. [Article 1, "The Ter-Centenary of the Meeting of the First General Assembly," The Presbyterian Quarterly Review, July 1861, Volumes 10-11, p. 9. https://books.google.com/booksid=YOAWAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA11&lpg=PA11&dq=Robert+the+Bruce++and
Only one Culdee community existed in England and Wales: at York in northern England, and one at Bardsey, Wales, till about 1150. [Catholic Encyclopedia - Culdees:
In truth very little else is known about the Culdees. The Irish Annals mention the Céli Dé from 792 - 919 AD. After that the group is mentioned in the histories of Scotland well into the 14th century.
Irish Christian church vs. the church of Roman
1) Independent of the Pope. Irish Christians cited the authority of John, son of Zebedee and brother of James. Jesus handed over his mother to John's care (John 19: 26-27), a fact which appealed to the mother goddess orientated Celts, and tradition was that John was the unnamed disciple whom Jesus loved. This was the argument also put forward by the theologians of the Eastern Orthodox Church too. Rome's authority is claimed to come through the Apostle Peter, who was bishop of Rome.
2) One visible difference between the Celtic clergy and Roman clergy at this stage was that while the Romans adopted what they described as the tonsure of St Peter, shaving the head on the crown as symbolic of the crown of thorns, the Celts used what they called the tonsure of St John, shaving a line from ear to ear (a crescent). The Roman argument was that this was merely a Druidic practice which had been maintained, and it was thus regarded as 'barbaric' by Rome. [A. W. Haddan and W. Stubbs (ed.), Councils and Ecclesiastical Documents Relating to Great Britain and Ireland, 3 vols. (Oxford: 1869–78) Vol. I, pp. 112-3.]
3) The Celtic Sabbath ('day of repose') was celebrated on a Saturday, the last day of the week and Hebrew holy day. The Romans had now begun to observe Sunday, the first day of the week as their Sabbath, it being symbolic of the Resurrection. Michael Herren in his book Christ in Celtic Christianity, page 37, wrote:
"...the Culdees not only kept the Sabbath on Saturday but they kept it in accordance with the Mosaic law." About the Culdees in Scotland, William F. Skene says: "... they seem to have followed a custom of which we find traces in the early Monastic Church of Ireland, by which they held Saturday to be the 'Sabbath on which they rested from all their labours." [In Celtic Scotland. Vol. II, (Edinburgh : David Douglas, 1877) P. 349.]
4) 7th & 8th centuries, the services were conducted in Greek by the Celtic clergy, not Latin.
5) The Eucharist, bread and wine, was given by the celebrant who stood facing the altar, not behind it. The wine was given by a deacon. When the blessing was given, the Celtic priest raised the first, third and fourth fingers to represent the Trinity. The Roman priest held up thumb, first and second finger.
6) 'The blessing' in the Celtic Church was given before communion and the breaking of bread was at the end of the service. As in the Orthodox Church, the Celtic bishops celebrated the mass, so called by Rome from the Latin missa (dismissal) but called the 'offering' in the Celtic and Eastern Churches.
7) The Celtic Church emphasized active participation in the worship by the people; while the deacon led the congregation in prayers, the people would respond with psalms and hymns. The deacon fulfilled an important link between priest and people.
8) Celtic bishops were under the authority of abbots.
9) The clergy could, of course, marry but this was not unique because it was only in the eleventh century that Rome expressly forbade its clergy to marry. As the tonsure, this was to be a major issue. Of course, in the Eastern Church today, the clergy can still marry. Also the Celtic priesthood was hereditary like the Hebrews, where as Rome was by election.
10) In the Celtic world there were mixed monasteries in which the religieux of both sexes lived and worked. Confession was not obligatory but voluntary and could be made in public or in private. Absolution did not follow immediately, and sometimes a penance could last some years.
11) The most famous difference between the Celtic Church and Rome was the dating of Easter. The rules governing the Christian calendar were originally agreed at Nicaea in 325 AD, with the years reckoned from the year of the birth of Christ. Rome altered its computations during the time of Pope Leo I (440-461 AD) when the 'Alexandrian computation' was adopted in 444 AD. Amendments were added by Victorius of Aquitaine during the time of Pope Hilary (461-468 AD) and more were adopted following proposals by Dionysius Exiguus during the pontificate of Felix III (IV) in 527 AD. The last time Rome seriously altered the calendrical system, which now affects the entire Christian calendar, was in 1581 when Pope Gregory XIII ordained that ten days be dropped and the years ending in hundreds be leap years only if divisible by 400. The Gregorian Calendar was eventually adopted throughout the Christian world, by England in 1752, and by the Eastern Orthodox world this century.
12) Were opposed to auricular confession, the worship of saints, relics or images, purgatory, transubstantiation, tithes, prayers for the dead, and the seven sacraments. [http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/hcc4.i.ii.xiv.html , History of the Christian Church, V.4, Mediaeval Church, #19: the Culdees.] [The Presbyterian Quarterly Review, July 1861, Volumes 10-11, p. 10. https://books.google.com/books?id=YOAWAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA11&lpg=PA11&dq=Robert+the+Bruce++and
The monk life
Roman Christianity tended to be authoritarian, hierarchical, male dominated, rational and strongly legalistic. In contrast, the Celtic church celebrated grace and nature as good gifts from God and recognized the sacredness of all creation. It had a love of mysticism and poetry, and included women in its leadership. Celtic society was rural, hierarchical, family based and tribal in nature, with each tribe ruled by its own king. The Church took over this pattern, with the basic unit of organization being the monastery. [http://www.faithandworship.com/Celtic_Christianity.htm.]
Following the example of the Desert Fathers of the East, the early Christian leaders sought isolation in the wild and desolate places, away from what they saw as the encroachment of the world upon their faith. They wanted to centre their thoughts and their lives totally upon God, to be as close as was spiritually possible to the Creator.
In the Celtic Christian world, every 'center of learning' was monastic. The leadership was provided by abbots who were also bishops, and hardly any distinction existed between the cloister and the church.
If someone was the leader of a Celtic Village or tribal settlement, it was an indication that character, training, and performance had all come together in that individual. This means that a charismatic method was used to determine leadership. In much the same way as Celtic warriors chose their leaders, that is, on the basis of actual performance in battle, the villages chose their judges and priests by their practical demonstrations of wisdom and insight. This resulted in a repetition of our Lord’s own methods with His Disciples. . [Paul Cullity, Monasticism – The Heart of Celtic Christianity, unpublished manuscript, abt 1995, Cape Cod, USA.]
The Monastic Rule of St David in the west of Wales prescribed that monks had to pull the plough themselves without draught animals; to drink only water; to eat only bread with salt and herbs; and to spend the evenings in prayer, reading and writing. No personal possessions were allowed: to say "my book" was an offence. David taught his followers to refrain from eating meat or drinking alcohol.
Each monk lived in their own hut, or cell, more like hermits in a group than brothers in a family. This contributed to each monks need for solitude and privacy, but unlike hermits, gave the opportunity for close interaction at the Hours, and at meal times, some of which were held in common. [Cullity.]
The Early Celtic Christian leaders often chose twelve recruits, and took them along on their missions. Eventually, these each led their own missions, with twelve more disciples of their own. This can result in very individualized “theologies,” since each church leader was trained by only one other leader, each with incomplete information. [Cullity.]
St. Columcille when he left Derry to establish a community on the Isle of Iona in 562 AD, took with him twelve of his Kindred. [John Jamieson, An historical account of the ancient Culdees of Iona, ... . (Edinburgh: John Ballantyne & Co., 1811) Pp. 34-5.]
Exile for Christ
From Ireland, Wales, and the Isle of Iona, Celtic Christian monks traveled as missionaries converting the pagan world they encountered to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They traveled as far as Spain, France, Germany, Italy, and even Russia. They also set up centers of learning that would become universities. The majority of these traveling monks/missionaries were on their 'superior peregrinatio,' [Caitlin Corning, The Celtic and Roman Traditions: Conflict and Consensus in the Early Medieval Church. (New York: Macmillan, 2006) P. 18.]
A tradition of undertaking a voluntary ;peregrinatio pro Christo,' in which individuals permanently left their homes and put themselves entirely in God's hands. In the Irish tradition there were two types of such 'peregrinatio,' the 'lesser peregrinatio,' involving leaving one's home area but not the island, and the 'superior peregrinatio,' which meant leaving Ireland for good. This voluntary exile to spend one's life in a foreign land far from friends and family came to be termed the 'white martyrdom' or 'exile for Christ.' [Richard Woods, "The Spirituality of the Celtic Church," Spirituality Today, Fall 1985, Vol. 37 No. 3, pp. 243–255 Archived 3 November 2013, at the Wayback Machine.]
It would seem that these early British Christians saw themselves as independent of the Roman church - as Bishop Diaothus' reply to St. Augustine on the authority of Rome in Britain would seem to indicate; "Be it known and declared that we all, individually and collectively, are in all humility prepared to defer to the Church of God, and to the Bishop in Rome, and to every sincere and Godly Christian, so far as to love everyone according to his degree, in perfect charity, and to assist them all by word and indeed in becoming the children of God. But as for any other obedience, we know of none that he, whom you term the Pope, or Bishop of Bishops, can demand. The deference we have mentioned we are ready to pay to him as to every other Christian, but in all other respects our obedience is due to the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Cærleon, who is alone under God our ruler to keep us right in the way of salvation."
While the Church in Britain had enjoyed its independence and distinctive character, the continental church had grown more and more structured. When Rome instituted a mission to England, in 597 AD, it sent Augustine who brought a very different concept of the church to Canterbury. This church did not accept the possibility of the Celtic Church continuing to operate in its own sphere without coming under the authority and structure of the Roman organization.
Apostle to Scotland: St. Columcille
In the vicinity of Gartan in County Donegal about 521 AD, was born a son named Crimhthann (Ir. Fox) to Fedelmidh, a chieftain of the Clan O'Donnell (whose great-grandfather was King Niall of the Nine Hostages), and his wife Ethne, eleventh in descent from Catliaire Mor, King of Leinster, and, to complete his genealogical credentials, he was through his father's mother, a great grandson of Lorne Mac Erc, the co-founder of Albain Dalriada. [http://www.monasticireland.com/storiesofsaints/colmcille.htm.]
Being of a noble family the young man was tired of the local young girls flirting with him vying for his affection and hopefully choosing them to be his wife, young Crimhthann entered the Celtic Christian clergy at Moville by Strangford Lough, where he was ordained a deacon. He furthered his education under the Christian bard of Leinster named Genman, later to move to the famous monastery at Clonard, County Meath, where he became a pupil of St. Finnian and is numbered one of the 'Twelve Apostles' of Ireland by the name of 'Columcille' (Dove of the church), as well as the patron saint of bards. When an outbreak of the Yellow Plague caused the community of Clonard to disperse, Columba returned to Ulster, and the early part of his career, 545-62 AD, was devoted to good works and the foundation of churches and monastic societies throughout Ireland - at Derry he founded his first and favorite monastery 'Dubh Regles' (Black Abbey) [http://www.colmcille.org/doire.], also Kells, Swords, Durrow, Tory Island, Raphoe, Boyle, and Drumcliff. Other St. Finnian students were who founded their own monestaries are: Ciaran in Clonmacnoise, Canice in Aghaboe, Mobhi in Glasnevin, Molaisse in Devenish, Brendan in Clonfert, all were numbered among the 'Twelve Apostles.' Once the movement had taken off, it was imitated by others who had not been alumni of Clonard: Comgall in Bangor, Kevin in Glendalough, Jarlath in Tuam, Finbar in Cork. Religious establishments for women were far less numerous: Killeavy near Newry founded by Moninne, Killeady in Co. Limerick by Ita and St Brigid's double monastery for men and women at Kildare. [Laurence.]
Later tradition has also woven a story around Columcille 's coming to Iona, portraying him as a once proud and contentious man in defense of whose honor 3000 men of the north-west O'Neill/O'Donnell
Adomnán, the ninth abbot of Iona and biographer of St. Columcille, states that Columcille was wont to say of the Lord Jesus, "Christ the Son of God Is my Druid." [Vita Columbae or 'Life of the saint,' by Adomnán.]
"Were all the tributes of Scotia [Ireland] mine, From its midland to its borders,
I would give all for one little cell
In my beautiful Derry.
For its peace and for its purity, For the white angels that go
In crowds from one end to the other,
I love my beautiful Derry.
For its quietness and purity,
For heaven's angels that come and go
Under every leaf of the oaks,
I love my beautiful Derry.
"My Derry, my fair oak grove,
My dear little cell and dwelling,
O God, in the heavens above I Let him who profanes it be cursed. Beloved are Durrow and Derry, Beloved is Raphoe the pure, Beloved the fertile Drumhome, Beloved are Sords and Kells! But sweeter and fairer to me The salt sea where the seagulls cry
When I come to Derry from far,
It is sweeter and dearer to me -- Sweeter to me."
The Easter calendar dating conflict
In the three hundred years before this time, disputes had arisen over the correct date for Easter. Since this is based on a calculation of the lunar year compared to the Solar year, different calculations will obtain different dates. The method used by the Celtic Church was considered outmoded and unacceptable. It only came to a head, as these things often do, when it affected a royal family.
As it happened, King Oswy of Northumbria was converted to Christianity through the ministry of Aidan, therefore keeping the Celtic Traditions and calendar, but his wife, Queen Eanfled, became a Christian through the mission of Paulinus, connected with Augustine’s Roman mission. This left her celebrating the Christian feasts, particularly Easter, on the Roman schedule.
Bede 'the Venerable,' a cleric of Northumbria of the Roman church, tells us. “The Queen with her followers kept Easter as in Kent… When the King had ended the Lenten fast and was celebrating Easter, the Queen and her party continued in Lent, being only at Palm Sunday.”
This situation brought about a need for decisive action in a way that no previous attempts at conformity had done. When a synod was called at Whitby, in 663 AD, the conclusion was already established. No regional church could set their own traditions above or beside the Universal Traditions of the Church. From this moment, the fate of the Celtic Church was truly decided. All churches were required to come into conformity with the representatives of Rome at Canterbury, and all liturgies and calendars were to conform as well.
This was legislated in 663 AD, but as much as 500 years would pass before most traces of the Celtic Church were erased.
At its heart, the issue is one of hierarchy. If the Celtic Church could claim independent decisions on its holidays, and perhaps on some other minor issues like appearance of its monks or choice of Liturgy, then perhaps it would rebel against the Church on weightier matters as well. If, for example, the Roman Church levied a penalty of excommunication for some political allegiance, then a church not affiliated with Rome could ignore such a ban.
In many parts of Celtic Britain, the Monks and Abbots simply ignored these new orders from Rome, but eventually all Britain was brought into a measure of compliance one way or another. One of the ways chosen was both spiritually and politically expedient. All of the sites of Celtic Monasteries were eventually offered to other monastic groups, such as monks from Cluny, many Benedictine Houses, Cistercians, Augustinians, and others. This created the appearance of supporting the monastic work of these places, but served to displace the Celtic Traditions responsible for establishing the work.
Celtic computations remained those inherited from the early Council of Arles in 314 AD.
The Arles calendar dating system was based on the Hebrew lunar calendar which allowed Easter to fall, as did the Passover, in the month of Nisan. This was the seventh and spring month of the Hebrew calendar (March/April) in which the Passover fell at the full moon. Under this method, the first Easter had been on the fourteenth day of Nisan. Using this calculation, the Celts celebrated the festival on whatever Sunday fell between the fourteenth and twentieth days after the first full moon following the spring equinox. They would do this even if Easter then fell on the same day as the Passover.
Rome altered its computations during the time of Pope Leo I (440-461 AD) when the 'Alexandrian computation' was adopted in 444 AD.
Amendments were added by Victorius of Aquitaine during the time of Pope Hilary (461-468 AD) and more were adopted following proposals by Dionysius Exiguus during the pontificate of Felix III (IV) in 527 AD. [Laurence.] Rome's last change to the calendar was in 1581 when Pope Gregory XIII ordained that ten days be dropped and the years ending in hundreds be leap years only if divisible by 400. The Gregorian Calendar was eventually adopted throughout the Christian world, by England in 1752, and by the Eastern Orthodox world this century.
The Celts saw the early amendments taking them further from the original dates and rendering the commemorative ceremonies and anniversaries arbitrary and without meaning.
So the Christians celebrated the Hebrew Passover in memory of Christ's execution and called it, in the Latin calendar, Pasca from the Hebrew Pesach (Passover). To the Celts, it became a little nonsensical when, in 325 AD, the Council of Nicaea declared it unlawful to celebrate a Christian festival on the same day as a Hebrew one. After all, Jesus, a Hebrew, was known to have been executed during that particular Hebrew feast. The Christian Easter then became an arbitrary date for the commemoration and not one with any relevance to the actual anniversary. Seen from this point in time, it could well be argued that the Celtic dating of Easter was far more accurate than the later reformed calculations. [Laurence.]
Pope Adrian's Bull "LAUDABILITER"
"ADRIAN, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to his most dearly beloved son in Christ, the illustrious king of the English, greeting and apostolical blessing. Laudably and profitably doth your Majesty consider how you may best extend the glory of your name on earth and lay up for yourself an eternal reward in heaven, when, as becomes a Catholic prince, you labour to extend the borders of the Church, to teach the truths of the Christian faith to a rude and unlettered people (the Irish), and to root out the weeds of vice (the ancient Culdee faith) from the field of the Lord; and to accomplish your design more effectually you crave the advice and assistance of the Apostolic See (Papacy), and in so doing we are persuaded that the higher are your aims, and the more discreet your proceedings, the greater, under God, will be your success; because, whatever has its origin in ardent faith and in love of religion, always has a prosperous end and issue. Certainly it is beyond a doubt, as your Highness acknowledgeth, that Ireland and all the other islands, on which the Gospel of Christ hath dawned and which have received the knowledge of the Christian faith, belong of right to St Peter (pope) and the holy Roman Church. Wherefore we are the more desirous to sow in them the acceptable seed (Christian Irish people) of God's word, because we know that it will be strictly required of us hereafter. You have signified to us, our well-beloved son in Christ, that you propose to enter the island of Ireland in order to subdue the people and make them obedient to laws, and to root out from among them the weeds of sin (the ancient Culdee faith) and that you are willing to yield and pay yearly from every house the pension of one penny to St Peter, and to keep and preserve the rights of the churches in that land whole and inviolate.
"We, therefore, regarding your pious and laudable design with due favour, and graciously assenting to your petition, do hereby declare our will and pleasure, that, for the purpose of enlarging the borders of the Church, setting bounds to the progress of wickedness (Celtic Christianity), reforming evil manners (Celtic Christianity), planting virtue, and increasing the Christian religion, you do enter and take possession of that island, and execute therein whatsoever shall be for God's honour and the welfare of the same.
"And, further, we do also strictly charge and require that the people of that land (the Irish) shall accept you with all honour, and dutifully obey you, as their liege lord, saving only the rights of the churches (Roman Church), which we will have inviolably preserved; and reserving to St Peter (pope) and the holy Roman Church the yearly pension of one penny from each house. If, therefore, you bring your purpose to good effect, let it be your study to improve the habits of that people, and take such orders by yourself, or by others whom you shall think fitting, for their lives, manners and conversation, that the Church there may be adorned by them, the Christian faith be planted and increased, and all that concerns the honour of God and the salvation of souls be ordered by you in like manner; so that you may receive at God's hands the blessed reward of everlasting life, and may obtain on earth a glorious name in ages to come."
[Eleanor Hull, A History of Ireland. Volume I. Appendix I, Pope Adrian's Bull "LAUDABILITER," http://www.libraryireland.com/HullHistory/Appendix1a.php#2.] [The original text of this Bull will be found in Dimock's edition of The Works of Giraldus Cambrensis, vol. v, pp. 317-319 (1867).]
PRIVILEGE OF POPE ALEXANDER III TO HENRY II, CONFIRMING THE BULL OF ADRIAN, 1172 [Dimock's edition of The Works of Giraldus Cambrensis, vol. v, pp. 318-319; and Ussher's Sylloge, No. 47.]
"Alexander, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to our well-beloved son in Christ, the illustrious king of the English, health and apostolic benediction.
"Forasmuch as these grants of our predecessors which are known to have been made on reasonable grounds, are worthy to be confirmed by a permanent sanction; We, therefore, following in the footsteps of the late venerable Pope Adrian, and in expectation also of seeing the fruits of our own earnest wishes on this head, ratify and confirm the permission of the said Pope granted you in reference to the dominion of the kingdom of Ireland; (reserving to Blessed Peter and the holy Roman Church, as in England, so also in Ireland, the annual payment of one penny for every house;) to the end that the filthy practices (Celtic Christianity) of that land may be abolished, and the barbarous nation (Ireland) which is called by the Christian name, may through your clemency attain unto some decency of manners; and that when the Church of that country which has been hitherto in a disordered state (Celtic Christianity), shall have been reduced to better order, that people may by your means possess for the future the reality as well as the name of the Christian profession."
Pope Adrian's successor Alexander III wrote to the Bishops of Ireland calling on them to submit to King Henry: [Laurence.]
"Understanding that our dear son in Christ Henry, illustrious King of England stirred by divine inspiration and with his united forces has subjected to his dominion, that people a barbarous one, uncivilized and ignorant of the divine law (Roman canon law) - we command and enjoin upon you that you will diligently and manfully assist the above said King to maintain and preserve that land and to extirpate the filthiness of such great abominations. And if any of the. King"s Princes or persons of the land shall rashly attempt to go against his due oath and fealty pledged to that said King you shall lay ecclesiastical cerisure on such a one."
In a similar vein Pope Alexander addressed these words to the Princes of Ireland: [Laurence.]
"Whereas you have received our dear son in Christ, Henry, illustrious King of England as your king and Lord and have sworn fealty to him... we ward and admonish your noble order to strive to preserve the fealty which by solemn oath you have made."
The same Roman Pontiff in a letter congratulating Henry on his conquest of Ireland wrote: [Laurence.]
"We have been assured how you have wonderfully triumphed over the people of Ireland and over a Kingdom which the Roman Emperors, the conquerors of the world left untouched, and you have extended the power of your majesty over the same people, a race uncivilised and undisciplined. We understand that you, collecting your splendid naval and land forces have your mind upon subjugating that people ... so we exhort and beseech your majesty and enjoin upon you that you will even more intently and strenuously continue ... and earnestly enjoin upon your majesty that you will carefully seek to preserve the rights of the See of St Peter (the Papacy)."
This was indeed what King Henry did and one of his first acts was to call the Council of Cashel in 1172 at which the ancient Celtic Church of Ireland was brought into submission to the Roman or Latin church. [Laurence.]
An interesting background to this part of history was in the year 753AD, when Pope Stephen III produced a document called 'The Donation of Constantine' and used it to claim wide ranging powers. It purported to be a document from the Emperor, dated 315 AD, giving the then Bishop of Rome and his successors this incredible commission: [Laurence.]
"Inasmuch as our power is earthly, we have decreed that it shall venerate and honour the most holy Roman Church and that the sacred See of Blessed Peter shall be gloriously exalted even above our Empire and earthly throne... He shall rule over four principal Sees, Antioch, Alexandra, Constantinople and Jerusalem, as over all churches of God in all the world... Finally, lo, we convey to Sylvester, universal Pope, both our palace and likewise all provinces and palaces and districts of the city of Rome and Italy and the regions of the west."
In 1440 it was proved to be a forgery in a style of Latin not used until four centuries after the death of Constantine. But the damage was done. The Pope cited it as his power to give Ireland to the Norman English, seeking to bring Ireland under his jurisdiction. So a poor eighth century forgery could be said to begin the political problems which have since dogged Ireland. [Laurence.]
The Norman conquest of Ireland was not entirely successful as the development of a powerful state under a strong monarchy in England was very slow, so the help from England was not forthcoming as was hoped. Many of the Norman's became Gaelicized as did the Normans in Scotland. In Ireland the Normans became quite independent from their Anglicized cousins in England, such as the Fitzgerald Earls of Kildare, Desmonds, Butlers and Burkes etc. [Laurence.]
by Garry Bryant / Garaidh Ó Briain
[3/3, end of articles on the Lia Fáil Stone]
The following detailed history of the life of Teia Tephi has been edited from a longer length from a booklet by JAH Publications located at Gibraltar. Also edited out are comments about the burial mounds in the Boyne Valley and Tara of which I do not agree with based on recent findings & advances in science, or his statements concerning certain Irish national symbols origins by JAH Publications. [Garaidh Ó Briain.]
There is discrepancies in the stories of Teia & Scota & Queen Scota wife of Mileus, so beware.
The autobiography of queen Teia Tephi, that she wrote in her palace at Teltown, is called the Book of Tephi Queen of Tara and Gibraltar. It is absolutely full of ancient-historical and prophetical information, including prophecies about the near future. It is a book written in verse, like the famous Irish Metrical Dindsenchas. By cross-referencing her book with the Bible gives the "key" to understanding the hieroglyphics much easier and corroborates the story written on the stones with perfect accuracy. [Wall.]
The praises of Teia Tephi
(daughter of Lughaidh)
"The Beautiful One with a Royal Prosperous Smile."
"Tephi the most beautiful that traversed the Plain."
"Temor of Bregia, whence so called."
Relate to me O learned Sages,
When was the place called Temor?
Was it in the time of Parthalon of battles?
Or at the first arrival of Caesaire?
Tell me in which of these invasions
Did the place have the name of Tea-mor?
O Tuan, O generous Finchadh,
O Dubhan, Ye venerable Five
Whence was acquired the name of Te-mor?
Until the coming of the agreeable Teah
The wife of Heremon of noble aspect.
A Rampart was raised around her house
For Teah the daughter of Lughaidh (God's House)
She was buried outside in her mound
And from her it was named Tea-muir.
Cathair, Crofin not inapplicable.
Was its name among the Tuatha-de-Danaan
Until the coming of Tea - the Just
Wife of Heremon of the noble aspect?
A wall was raised around her house
For Tea the daughter of Lughaidh,
(And) she was interred in her wall outside,
So that from her is Tea-mor.
A habitation which was a Dun (Hebrew court) and a fortress
Which was the glory of murs without demolition,
On which the monument of Tea after her death,
So that it was an addition to her dowry.
The humble Heremon had
A woman in beautiful confinement
Who received from him everything she wished for.
He gave her whatever he promised,
Bregatea a meritorious abode
(Where lies) The grave, which is the great Mergech (Hebrew burial place)
The burial place which was not violated.
The daughter of Pharaoh of many champions
Tephi, the most beautiful that traversed the Plain.
She gave a name to her fair cahir,
The woman with the prosperous royal smile,
Mur-Tephi where the assembly met.
It is not a mystery to be said
A Mur (was raised) over Tephi I have heard.
Strength this, without contempt,
Which great proud Queen have formed
The length, breadth of the house of Tephi,
Sixty feet without weakness
As Prophets and Druids have seen.
(M.R. Munro Faure, translator)
Capt then says: "This was fulfilled when Scota, King Zedekiah's daughter (the tender twig [ ? ]), was taken to Egypt by Jeremiah and then to Spain where she married 'ane Greyk callit Gathelus, son of Cecrops of Athens, King of Argives' (The Chronicles of Scotland by Hector Boece). In due time a son was born and was named 'Eochaidh' (Heremon aka King)." [Rev. Bertrand L. Comparet, A.B., J.D.,(1901-1983), http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1003378/posts]
"There is a tradition that when Jeremiah brought Scota to Spain, he also brought the 'stone' upon which Jacob laid his head, at Bethel, when he had the vision of a ladder extending to heaven (Gen. 28: 12-19). This -was the 'stone' used as a Coronation Stone in Solomon's Temple," writes Capt.
Prior to this it had been transported to Ireland via Spain by Scota, the daughter of an Egyptian Pharaoh; both cautiously identified by Egyptologist Lorraine Evans in her book Kingdom of the Ark as Princess Meritaten and her father, Pharaoh Akhenaten.
Scota is supposed to have fled Egypt with her Greek husband Gathelos, or Gaidelon, and his followers sometime around 1335 B.C. following a rebellion in which Akhenaten was overthrown by Horemheb, the army commander.
The ‘Scots’, it is said, after a period in Spain followed by an interval in Ireland, eventually settled in Dalriada and took their name from this Princess Scota, to become the people known throughout history as the ‘Scotti’. [NOTICE - Here is a very confusing account! Which version is one to believe? Version of Tamar/Teia Tephi or the version of Scotia? Furthermore, has Scotia wife of Miles the Gael who's sons invaded Ireland, or the Scotia who is King Zedekiah's daughter? Personally I'm siding with the Teia Tephi version. Garaidh Ó Briain]
Teia Tephi was proclaimed queen, by the Gadite Israelites who had settled for refuge at the southern tip of Spain at Gibraltar. Here the Bethel Stone itself even cried out her name, acknowledging her as its queen. Teia found many of the inhabitants worshipping Melcarth/Neptune and condemned them for their idolatry. There was an idol of Neptune at a shrine to him and the idol held a golden trident in its right hand, which Elier the ruler of Gibraltar ordered to be taken from the idol and be given to Teia Tephi to go with the Olive-sprig she had brought with her from Jerusalem. During a struggle with the priests to remove the trident, the idol was smashed in two. [Geoffry Keating the famous Irish historian called them Gadelians and said that some Gadelians had come to live in Ireland. Curiously there is a Gibstown near to Teltown, Teia Tephi’s royal residence and an Irish town in Gibraltar showing the historical links between Ireland and Gibraltar.]
The travelers stayed there for five months. During this time. Three months after their arrival, the crew of the Tyrian ship that brought them to Gibraltar plotted to kill Jeremiah, Teia Tephi and the others, but their evil plot was discovered and foiled, and the crew left to return to the Middle East.
On their way back to Egypt the Tyrian ship sank and there were no survivors, which explains why nobody knew where The Ark went after it left Tanis or even that it had left Tanis. This was confirmed by Baruch who saw a vision of the ship sinking, immediately before his own death, passing away at the age of eighty and being buried at Caer Teia, Gibraltar.
During their stay in Gibraltar The Ark was kept in St. Michael’s Cave in the Rock of Gibraltar.
The Gadites,’ Milesian allies, helped Jeremiah’s party by capturing a Greek vessel, which then sailed with the aid of Simon, the son of Elier the ruler of Gibraltar, guiding them across the Bay of Algeciras and through the Straits to Breogan in Spain. Here he introduced them to Ith Cian, the Israelite ruler who, like the Egyptian pharaoh before him, adopted Teia Tephi as his daughter. Ith told them of his missing son called Lughaidh, who had sailed-off several years previously with his five ships and was presumed dead, but, unbeknown to them all, he was living in Ireland, where Teia Tephi and Jeremiah were heading. [NOTE: One version of the story has Scotia married to either the ruler of Gibraltar or Ith Cian. These versions just state that the younger sister married into the House of Spain. Garaidh Ó Briain.]
Leaving Breogan, sailing towards Ireland, they were caught in a violent storm which lasted seven days. The storm broke the oars and rudder of the boat, they could not control the direction of their journey. After being blown North for several days in the storm, they sighted land and the wind of the storm (or was it The Hand of God?) guided their boat right into the bay at Mara-Zion, near St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall. This gave time so that they would not land unannounced and unprotected in Ireland. At Mara-Zion they met Elatha the powerful Israelite ruler of Cornwall, who was a kinsman of Ith Cian of Breogan and an ally of Elier bar Ziza of the Gate (Gibraltar). Elatha welcomed them and had their boat repaired for them. He then sent a message to the high king (Ard-Ri) of Ireland to say that Teia Tephi the queen of Jerusalem was coming and requested a guarantee of safe-passage for the queen.
When Teia Tephi and Jeremiah informed Elatha of the fall of Jerusalem he wept bitterly, so the name given to that place in Cornwall was and still is Mara-Zion, which is Hebrew not Cornish or English and means "Bitter for Jerusalem." Elatha consulted greatly with Jeremiah and was consoled by the knowledge that all of the promises God made to His "friend" Abraham would be fulfilled.
The Irish kings on receiving Elatha’s message, sent back to him their reply, which was a message of welcome and many gifts of gold and silver to Teia Tephi to show her she would be safe and that they all sought her favor and some her hand in marriage. Eochaidh sent his family’s most treasured heirloom; a piece of jewelry which is called the "Sun of Helen" (of Troy); that his sires had won as a spoil of war at the Battle of Troy, where his Zarahite ancestors and the Danite Greek ancestors of the Irish people, including Ulysses, had built their famous Trojan horse, that had successfully fooled the Trojans and gained them access to their city. [This is probably myth, Garaidh Ó Briain.]
After receiving their positive answer and invitation, Elatha sent his son Bressail, who was Nuadh, the king of Ulster’s champion and fifty-three ships, with two thousand and five men, to escort Teia Tephi safely to Ireland. Jeremiah at that point was advised by God to take The Ark of The Covenant in a separate ship and hide. He was warned that there was going to be a rebellion and it was not yet safe to bring The Ark of The Covenant to Tara.
Teia Tephi arrived with the Bethel / Lia Fáil Stone and her two handmaidens, at Pen Edair (Binn Eadair - Howth), near Ath Cliath (Dublin), in Ireland on the 18th of June 583 B.C. She was greeted there by Eochaidh, the High king (Ard Ri - Heremon) and Ethan, the king’s harper and good friend, between whom she was carried ashore and both instantly fell in love with the queen. Teia Tephi knew only the identity of the harper (Ethan) and didn’t know that the other person carrying her was actually Eochaidh, the High-king, whom she was destined to marry. She stayed that night at the Fort of Crimthann, which was built on the top of Howth Hill.
Eochaidh, who was urgently called away to rescue his sister who had been kidnapped, had, as a child, been given a vision and told that he must not marry, even if he reached middle-age, because one day his queen would come from the East. When he received the message from Elatha, that the queen was coming from Jerusalem to live in Ireland, he realized that his wait was almost over and his boyhood prophetical-vision was about to become reality.
Teia Tephi was then escorted to Cathair Crofinn (The Hill of Tara), where she arrived on the 20th of June in 583 B.C. and was escorted to the house that had already been prepared for her (Rath Grainne - Fort of the Seed) there, over the door of which the Druids had written ‘Jerusalem,’ in Hebrew.
At Tara, there were a number of priests of pagan religion who had erected a phallic-pillarstone as part of their worship of the mythical gods of pagan fertility. Teia Tephi had brought with her The Torah or God’s Laws, which state that worshipping false gods and making graven images of these, or anything else, is strictly prohibited and carries the death penalty (The Second Commandment), so she ordered that the obscene stone phallus be removed immediately and the Bethel Stone / Lia Fáil (God’s Throne of Israel) be put in its place on the Forrad (Inauguration Mound).
The pagan priests didn’t listen to her at first and left the phallic stone in place. They then decided that they would choose who Teia Tephi was to marry by firing an arrow in the air and whoever’s seat the arrow landed closest to would be the chosen one, who would marry Teia Tephi. They tried firing arrows from a pagan bow with no success because of its wild inaccuracy. So it was then decided that The Bow of Strength (Samson’s Bow - Samson was one of their Danite ancestors) should be used instead. Samson’s Bow had three arrows with it, that were far more true. But first they had to find someone strong enough to string the bow, before they could use it. The broadest man on the island was Ethdan, who strained to bend the bow far enough to be able to fit the string, but eventually he succeeded and the string snapped into its groove. . [NOTE: This is probably myth, Garaidh Ó Briain.]
Ethdan moved swiftly to the center of the circle; laid down; placed his feet to the bow and fired the first arrow, which was gold-tipped, into the air and it came down with a ray of bright light hitting the Lia Fáil Stone (Bethel Stone - House of God), this indicated that Teia Tephi was to be first and foremost married to God and His Laws in The Torah, humbly serving her people as their queen. [NOTE: This is probably myth, Garaidh Ó Briain.]
God condemns the divining of issues by the use of arrows, but, in this very important instance, so that His well-laid plans would not be thwarted He interfered with the arrows and made them go where He wanted them to go. Meanwhile Teia was anxiously looking around for the strong but gentle man whom she had instantly felt safe with at Howth, but she couldn’t see him anywhere.
The second arrow they fired had a silver tip and it came down on the seat of Eochaidh the High-king of Ireland, indicating, from God, that Eochaidh was the man that Teia was pre-destined to marry.
Tephi did not know that Eochaidh was the one she was looking for or that this was his seat and nobody said whose seat this was because no-one was sitting on it, so they decided to fire the last of the three arrows with the Bow of Strength, which had a bent shaft and a tip of lead. As they fired the arrow, it spun off to the side twisting like a snake and hit the phallic pillar, knocking the gilded horns off it, proving to them that pagan worship was evil.
When the people saw what had happened they realized that Teia Tephi’s earlier words were true, and pagan worship was wrong and evil. So, the Druids repented and took her side against the pagan priests and they removed the phallic pillar from the Inauguration Mound (Forrad) and buried it near where Duma na nGiall (Teamur - Tephi’s wall - now known as The Mound of The Hostages) stands today.
Eochaidh the Ard Ri (High-king), whose seat the silver arrow had hit, arrived and introduced himself to Teia Tephi. Teia instantly recognized him as the one she had met and fallen in love with at Howth and knew that they were destined to marry, which filled her heart with love; peace and joy. They then gave their pledges of marriage over the Lia Fáil / Bethel Stone, and Teia Tephi stood upon the Lia Fáil and was acknowledged queen of all Ireland.
As Eochaidh was from the Zarah (of the ‘Red Hand’) branch and Teia Tephi was from the line of David of the Pharez branch of Judah, their marriage-union sealed the "breach" caused centuries earlier when Judah’s twin sons had been born. This marriage-union, that took place at "Rath na ri" (the Fort of the kings) at Tara, in Meath, is symbolized on the Ulster flag, where the ‘Red Hand’ of Zarah is mounted upon the ‘Star of David’ under the single Royal Crown, symbolizing the union of the two royal lines, that sprang from Judah. [NOTE: Interesting, but I don't accept this theory of the Ulster flag or Red Hand origin. Garaidh Ó Briain.]
The pagan phallic pillar stone that is now wrongfully and blasphemously called the Lia Fáil, was re-discovered and placed on The Inauguration Mound at Tara sometime between 1839 and 1845.
Teia Tephi then began instituting the Torah, or God’s Laws to Ireland.
Bressail Mac Elatha, the champion of king Nuadh of Ulster was one of the evil rulers who didn’t want to conform to The Laws of the Torah. He gathered the support of other selfish kings and rulers of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England, who thought the same way he did. Bres even tried to seek the support of Elatha, but Elatha (meaning Wisdom) was righteous and too wise to fight against God’s chosen, so he refused to join his son in the conspiracy against God.
In the mean-time Teia Tephi and Eochaidh travelled North to visit Nuadh, king of Ulster and were entertained by him at Navan Fort.
They journeyed from Navan Fort to Mullagh and there held council about the rebels.
Dala from Ath Cliath (Dublin) came close to the gate of Mullagh and insulted them. Ethan ran forward returning the insult and rammed a hard apple into Dala’s mouth, breaking his teeth and he staggered away in pain, then collapsed with the apple still stuck in his jaws. Tephi went after Dala with some sherry wine to tend his hurt and met with Lughaidh, the missing, presumed dead, son of Ith Cian of Spain who had previously recently adopted Teia Tephi as his daughter, during her stay with him in Spain. After establishing each-others’ identity, Lughaidh swore allegiance to his step-sister the queen (Tephi). Tephi told him of the concern Ith Cian held about his welfare and that Lughaidh must contact him to tell him he’s alright.
Lughaidh took Tephi south to visit his camp in Bregia and introduced her to his men. Lughaidh’s force split and some followed him to join Tephi whilst the others left to join the rebels. Therefore they later decided to go north again to see Nuadh and tell him of their new allies.
On their journey to visit Nuadh they met up with Ith Cian, who had received word from Bregia that his son, Lughaidh was alive and well, and living in Ireland. Upon hearing the news Ith came straight to Ireland to visit his long lost son. When they met up and were reunited, they told him that a rebellion led by Bressail was happening against Teia Tephi and the Torah, so Ith set off back to Spain to gather his army to return with it and defend Tephi.
On the way to Howth, from where he was to set sail back to Spain he was attacked by three men of Tyre - Tyrians (known in Irish legend as the sons of Turenn - Tyrians) whom he had previously driven out of Eber (Spain). They stoned him to death and buried him under a pile of stones in a place now called Cian aneus Mór (Ceanannus Mór - Kells) which means Great Cian from the South (the king of Spain). Spain was also known as the Sunlands of the South. Later Lughaidh found out what had become of his dad; tracked down and slew the three men who had killed him, then buried them under the same stones that they had killed and buried Ith Cian under.
Teia Tephi, Eochaidh and Lughaidh arrived at Navan Fort (in Co. Armagh) and Lughaidh played a joke on the guards where Nuadh, king of Ulster lived. Later they began to gather their alliance together to defend Teia Tephi and God’s Laws against Bressail and the rebels, who were plotting to destroy them all. They sent a message across the land to gather the righteous and God-fearing to join them, then Tephi returned to Mullagh, in, what was then, her province of Teffia, where she heard of the many Fomorian (pirate) ships bringing Bressail’s rebels to Ireland from Wales, to fight for Bressail. There were so many ships that they almost looked like a bridge. Teia Tephi then sent a message to Elatha of Cornwall to tell him of his son, Bres’ evil acts, so Elatha sent his ships to put a stop to the Fomorians and limit the income of rebels, many of whom left Ireland and returned back to their homes for fear of Elatha.
It was decided that the battle would be held at the Ford of Unna (meaning destruction - probably in or near Slane), and they assembled their forces to prepare the battleground, five days before the 31st of October 583 B.C., when the battle had been set to commence. On the 16th there was a Lunar Eclipse in the Constellation of Taurus; the astronomical Zodiac Constellation represented by the bull symbol; during which time the moon would have looked blood-red and would have been seen as an omen of death and defeat by the pagan worshipers, whose symbol is also a bull.
In the early stages of the battle Ethan, the king’s harper, who was love-sick and melancholy over Teia Tephi, ran forward unarmored, to take-out Bressail, first with a spear and then his sword, but his sword broke on Bressail’s breast-plate and Bres knocked Ethan to the ground, but then protected him by laying his shield over him. Bennan sneaked in and stabbed Ethan under Bres’ shield with his spear, so Teia Tephi, seeing this, sent Aci to seek justice for the death of Ethan. Other losses were of Nuadh, who was slain by his old enemy Balor, who himself was later killed by Lughaidh, and Ogma and Indech who rode against each other and simultaneously killed each other with their spears.
Because Teia Tephi’s army was fighting for God and His Laws, they defeated the rebels with ease, even though they were greatly outnumbered, as Ith Cian had been murdered and so had not returned with his army. Five thousand and sixty-three were killed on the side of Bressail, including forty-two kings and many captains of hundreds; after which Tephi took Eochaidh’s white horse and bravely rode out, alone, up to the enemy’s line, carrying her golden trident. She offered to accept the opposer's surrender. Bressail knowing that he was beaten, surrendered and swore allegiance to Teia Tephi. She then ordered him to help Lughaidh clear the seas of Fomorians (pirates).
From Tephi’s side the casualties were relatively few, only sixteen hundred and five in total, which was less than a third of the number of slain from the side of Bressail; the pagan worshipers. Teia became the legendary War-queen of Ireland, with her Olive sprig and Trident, because of her prowess and success on the battle-field; some even thinking she could have won single handedly through magic. Unfortunately, from this latter belief, she was later wrongfully deified as the mythical goddess Bo / Bovinda and once having entered the realms of myth and fantasy she became lost to history as the real-life flesh and blood queen that she really was.
To try to prevent this blasphemous deification, which had already begun whilst she was still alive, Teia Tephi told the Irish people to hold, near her palace at Teltown, close to Kells; every year; "Funeral Games" on the anniversary of her death (to prove that she was human and not a goddess). She died on the Calends (first) of August. These games had special rules based on The Torah, to commemorate and remember, both her and The Torah (God's Law), to make the people keep only God's Law as He commanded His people Israel (Deuteronomy 4:2; 17:14-20), in order to prevent her descendants; and others from making-up their own laws and the people thereby returning to poverty; division; strife and war.
After the Battle of Unna, in which the pagan worshipers were defeated, peace was finally brought to Ireland because The Torah was fully instituted as National Law. The people of rank who died in the battle of Unna were buried in the mound of Knowth and those of lower rank were buried in the many satellite graves and burial mounds around Knowth. and throughout the Boyne Valley. It was from these many burial mounds that the battle became known as the Second Battle of Moytura, or, more correctly, the Battle of the Second Moytura (Plain of Towers). [Doubt they were buried in the burial mounds in the Boyne Valley, many bone fragments found that had burned in the mounds in some type of ceremony have been found. Garaidh Ó Briain.]
At Tara, Teia Tephi’s judgment place, she was attacked with a poison blade by Cethlenn, the widow of Balor whom Lughaidh had killed in the battle. Eochaidh was swift to defend Teia Tephi from her attacker, but the poison blade fell from Cethlenn’s hand and wounded Eochaidh in the foot, from which wound he almost died. He never fully recovered from this wound and it made him forever limp as he walked, causing him to be wrongfully deified as the Daighda, the god in pain.
Jeremiah landed in Ireland with The Ark of The Covenant and it was placed, along with a number of other significant artifacts including David’s harp, which features as the Irish national emblem, in a specially constructed subterranean Grand Mergech (Mergech is not an Irish word but is a Hebrew word for a secret treasure store), according to the Irish Metrical Dindsenchas, beneath The Mound of The Hostages, at The Hill of Tara. The Mergech, which was also designed to be Teia Tephi’s tomb, was then sealed up, until the death of Teia Tephi on the Calends (first) of August of 534 B.C., after which her body was then also placed in the Mergech / tomb. It was re-sealed and has remained untouched since then. [NOTE: The harp used as the Irish national emblem is the harp attributed to King Brian Boru. Garaidh Ó Briain.]
In various Irish historical writings, the Tomb of Teia Tephi is said to be North-East of the Forrad; South of the Rath of the Synods and under a mound that measures 62 feet by 62 feet; as a circle of that diameter does. Summarising all of the writings, the only place that can possibly be is under The Mound of The Hostages, at the Hill of Tara.
In another legend has it, that Jeremiah landed at Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland and brought The Ark across country to Tara, in Royal Meath, from there.
Once The Ark was safely sealed in Teia Tephi’s future tomb, Jeremiah’s mission for God was complete and he died on the 21st of September in 581 B.C. He was buried in what is now called Cairn T at the Loughcrew Hills graveyard. Depicted in hieroglyphics on the second stone on the left as you enter Cairn T is the journey Jeremiah made from Jerusalem to Ireland. The hieroglyphics, or sacred tymboglyphics as Sir William Wilde called them, also show astronomical data from which the date of Jeremiah’s death, as well as the date of the Lunar Eclipse that occurred just before the Battle of Unna was fought, can be calculated.
The people never forgot Bressail’s selfishness; evil and arrogance, so when he died he was buried in a tomb that was made to face the setting sun, rather than the sunrise and his grave was named Dowth, which is derived from the ancient Gaelic word Dubad meaning darkness.
Teia Tephi had a palace built at Teltown. (near Kells), where she lived with Eochaidh and had four children named Aedh, Ainge, Aengus and Cermad.
Aedh, her firstborn son, became evil because Teia Tephi loved him (emotionally) more than she loved God or her people and didn’t discipline him correctly to the Torah. God took Aedh from Teia Tephi as a punishment to her and so that he would not grow up to become an evil king over the Irish people and destroy the kingdom she had built up. Aedh died whilst still a teenager and his body was placed in the eastern side of Teamur (Tephi’s Wailing Wall - now known as The Mound of The Hostages) at Tara, so she could weep over his grave while she wept over the fall of Jerusalem.
In 1955 the Irish archaeologist Sean P. O’Riordhain found Aedh’s skeleton, still wearing Egyptian beads that had been given to his mother Teia Tephi, by pharaoh Hophra, when he adopted Tephi as his own daughter during her stay in Egypt, before she came to Ireland to be its queen.
Tephi’s second born was a girl named Ainge who grew up to marry Nuadh’s grand-son, Ethdan, who was selfish and became the chief of the Miledh (Warriors; Milesians; [Milites - sons of Mil]) after Lughaidh passed away.
Her third child was a son she named Aengus, who was brought up by Eochaidh’s sister, Maistiv in Mullagh, Co. Cavan. Because Teia’s first born Aedh died in his teens, Aengus succeeded his parents to the Throne, but grew up to be arrogant and worshiped gold, rather than God. He had the grandest tomb in Ireland constructed for himself to become immortal in, when the Winter Solstice sunrise entered his tomb. Part of his wish was accomplished, by his being immortalized in human memory for his magnificent tomb at Newgrange, which is confirmed by the hieroglyphics "written in stone" on Stone C4 in the West Recess inside of Newgrange, where his name Aengus is written in Ogham Script.
Not much is known about Cermad, Teia Tephi’s youngest son.
The Lia Fáil Stone that Teia Tephi brought with her from Jerusalem stayed in Ireland, on the Forrad (Inauguration Mound), at Tara, for more than a thousand years and all of the Irish kings were crowned upon the Stone up to c. 500 A.D.
It was then loaned to Fergus, the brother of Muircheartach (Murdoch) king of Ireland, who had emigrated to Scotland and wanted to be crowned king of the Irish who had settled.
The Stone was not returned to Tara and stayed in Scotland, where it was called the Stone of Destiny (English for Lia Fáil) and all of the Scottish kings were crowned upon it, until 1296 A.D. when Edward the first of England "Longshanks" invaded Scotland; defeated the Scots and took the Stone, from Scone Abbey near Perth, to London where all of the English kings were subsequently crowned in Westminster Abbey upon the Stone of Destiny, up to, and including, George the Sixth.
In 1950 four Scottish Nationalists removed the Stone from Westminster Abbey; took it back to Scotland and a fake stone called the Stone of Scone was later placed at Arbroath and from there it was taken to London. It was this same fake stone that Queen Elizabeth II was crowned upon in 1953, so in actual fact, she has never really officially been crowned queen of the British people in the eyes of God.
All of the Irish; Scottish and English monarchs after 583 B.C., including Queen Elizabeth II, are descended from Eochaidh and Teia Tephi of the line of David from the tribe of Judah. The Stone was taken in 1950 from the House of Windsor from the line of David in fulfillment of God’s Prophecies in the Bible Book of Genesis chapter 49:10 - "The scepter shall not depart from Judah (the line of David), nor a law-giver from between his feet, until Shiloh (Christ) comes" (and then it will depart from Judah to the line of Joseph. That is its destiny, preordained by God and is why, since it was first removed from Bethel by the Israelites and carried through the wilderness on a pole for forty years with Moses, it has always been known as the Stone of Destiny). Ireland, is known as Inis Fail, meaning, the Island of Destiny.
Teia Tephi left many prophecies in her autobiography, most of which have been fulfilled in exact and minute detail. The most important one is yet to be fulfilled and it states that she will, one day very soon (according to Nostradamus), be recovered from her tomb at The Hill of Tara and the Torah contained in The Ark of The Covenant will once again be re-instituted, bringing peace and prosperity to all of Ireland (North and South), with the simultaneous inauguration of Christ, during the Second Coming, as King of the faithful of Israel upon the real Bethel / Lia Fáil / Stone of Destiny on the Inauguration Mound at the Hill of Tara, on the Island of Destiny.
Another point of amazing significance is that, at the beginning of chapter 31 of her Book, Teia Tephi prophesied that the last overturn of the Throne, to Christ, would happen on the 2,484th anniversary of her death, in 534 B.C., which coincides perfectly with 1950 when four brave Scottish Nationalists removed the Stone of Destiny from Westminster Abbey, for God, so that Elizabeth could not be crowned whilst Christ the King is on the Earth. All that remains now is for The Ark to be recovered and Christ to be Inaugurated at Tara on the Stone of Destiny.
Tephi's Book was restored; translated into English and originally published in 1897 and it has been edited by and has had explanatory notes added by me - JAH.
The Book of Tephi: "2:2 Nay, Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh - Israel: Gen. 48:16) shall long be blind, An ox (unicorn) that sleepeth at "midnight," and Judah couched (Gen. 49:9) as a hind. The lion hath fled from his lair. The ox (unicorn - Deut. 33:17) hath wandered astray Till the dawn of the East be red, and the night of the North be grey, In the "Night" shall no man know them, or the "Signs" that be left [them] to show Where the Shepherd keepeth the ox (unicorn), whilst the lion is couched full low. Not by the banks of Jordan, NOT on the Holy Hill [but in Engelland - see 11 (3)] Are Ephraim's feet, until his furrows be ploughed unto Yahweh's (God's) Will. Bethlehem's field is empty. The Shepherd (Messiah) follows astray. Hear ye my words, oh my sons, for "the isles (British)" shall await "The Day". Tephi, I was but weak, a little thing in men's eyes, A "tender twig of the Cedar," yet sheltered by Prophecies (Eze. 17:22). The Prophet of God revealed this. Is not His Word made plain? He came to "root and destroy." He went forth to "plant again" (Jer. 1:10)."
[JAH Publications, P. O. Box 561, The Way Home - PMB 205, Gibraltar, (Via London). http://jahtruth.net/index.htm]
Lia Fáil, otherwise the Stone of Destiny, brought to Ireland by Tuatha de Dannan. This is the "saxum fatale," i.,e., Stone of Fate, of which Hector Boethius speaks in his History of Scotland. This was an enchanted stone; for, whenever the men of Ireland were assembled at the Great Council of Tara, to elect a king over them, it used to give forth a loud cry beneath the person whose right it was to obtain the sovereign power. But it has emitted no cry since the time of Concobar; for when Christ was born, all the false idols of the world were struck dumb. Here follows a quotation from the poet Kinaeth, which proves that Ireland received the name Inis-Fail from this stone: -
"From this stone, now beneath my feet
Men have named our Isle of Fal;
And Eri, between both swelling seas,
Has thence been called the Plain of Fal."
Fergus mac Erca, cousin to Murkertach, brought the stone with him to Scotland in the sixth century, in order to render his inauguration as king of the latter country more appropriate.
O'Flaherty gives different version. Not until ninth century did the stone go to Scotland, when King Aedh Finliath, King of Ireland, sent it to his father-in-law Kenneth mac Alpin. Drs Petrie and O'Donovan state that the stone never went to Scotland, and under chair is impostor. [Geoffrey Keating, The History of Ireland. (New York: P.M. Haverty, 1857) P.81.
by Garry Bryant / Garaidh Ó Briain
This continuation of this series was postponed for Samhain, now that that season is over the series continues.
Iarbanel & Ollamh Fodhla: debate
Again it is stressed that Jeremiah "the Prophet" of Israel is not to be found in any of the Irish records or annals. There are two Irish names that could be referenced to the Prophet; Iarbanel "the Prophet," and Ollamh Fodhla. The problem with these two is that they lived a few centuries apart from each other. Iarbanel came to Ireland about 1500 B.C., and Ollamh Fodhla around 943 B.C., and Jeremiah about 583 B.C.. This discrepancy in the time period is a good red flag that caution must be taken, and I concur. However throughout history dates and names are confused and even combined and this MAY be the case in this circumstance. The ancient legends/histories/myths of Ireland were all written down by the Christian priests, who appear to have connected Ireland's ancient stories with the Bible.
As for Jeremiah one must do a little digging into the Irish records to learn of his proposed Irish name, Iarbanel "the Prophet." In many books and websites he is also known as Ollamh Fodhla, but this is not correct. Ollamh was a king who lived about 300 years before the coming of the Hebrew prophet. Ollamh ruled Ireland for forty years and is known as the 'lawgiver.' To assist in the confusion Cairn T at Loughcrew in the Boyne Valley was thought to be Ollamh's tomb around 1870 and many books have been written on the subject. To help clear up this confusion modern science and archaeology has determined that the tomb is about 3000 years older than the time of Ollamh Fodhla's reign which began in 943 B.C.. The name Ollamh has been suggested to be a title which in Gaelic means 'wisdom or wise sage.' An Ollamh (Olav) is the most learned of the bard/seannachie occupation, a branch of the Druids.
Some researchers are of the opinion that learned academics, historians, archaeologists, etc., would rather believe science then anything from religion. A twist to the Jeremiah v. Ollamh Fodhla is an attempt to sway the story into doubt. There are those who are of the opinion that the story of Jeremiah and Teia Tephi is entirely fictitious.
It is suggested by the author John E. Wall that not only was Jeremiah known in Irish history as Iarbanel, but as "Caei 'the Eloquent' of Judea (aka Iarbanel), son of Nemedh, . . ." [Geoffrey Keating, The History of Ireland from the Earliest Period to the English Invasion. (New York: 1866, p.138. Translated by John O'Mahony from Leabhar Gabhala.)] ; [Wall.]
So who is this Nemedh? It is said by Wall that he was a Hebrew chieftain who arrived in Ireland before the Fir-Bolgs, Tuath-de-Danaans, or Milesians. In Hebrew, the word Nemedh/Nemha, is from the same root 'Nemedian' (sanctified). [Yair Davidy, Lost Israelite Identity. (Jerusalem: Russell-Davis Pub., n.d., pp. 349-50.)] The Gaelic word is 'namh' (saint).
Perhaps that Iarbanel and Jeremiah are the same person; in Hebrew Jeremiah is spelled 'Yirmeyahu/Yirmeyah' (the Lord established). It has been suggested that the first few letters of Iarbanel, 'Iar' is the translation or corruption of the name Yirmeyahu. The rest of the word 'banel' is from the Hebrew 'ben' (son of), and the word 'el,' (God), translated into English 'Jeremiah, son of God.' [Wall.]
Some researchers are of the opinion that learned academics, historians, archaeologists, etc., would rather believe science then anything from religion. A twist to the Jeremiah v. Ollamh Fodhla is an attempt to sway the story into doubt. There are those who are of the opinion that the story of Jeremiah and Teia Tephi is entirely fictitious.
It is suggested by the author John E. Wall that not only was Jeremiah known in Irish history as Iarbanel, but as "Caei 'the Eloquent' of Judea (aka Iarbanel), son of Nemedh, . . ." [Geoffrey Keating, The History of Ireland from the Earliest Period to the English Invasion. (New York: 1866, p.138. Translated by John O'Mahony from Leabhar Gabhala.)] ; [Wall.]
So who is this Nemedh? It is said by Wall that he was a Hebrew chieftain who arrived in Ireland before the Fir-Bolgs, Tuath-de-Danaans, or Milesians. In Hebrew, the word Nemedh/Nemha, is from the same root 'Nemedian' (sanctified). [Yair Davidy, Lost Israelite Identity. (Jerusalem: Russell-Davis Pub., n.d., pp. 349-50.)] The Gaelic word is 'namh' (saint).
Perhaps that Iarbanel and Jeremiah are the same person; in Hebrew Jeremiah is spelled 'Yirmeyahu/Yirmeyah' (the Lord established). It has been suggested that the first few letters of Iarbanel, 'Iar' is the translation or corruption of the name Yirmeyahu. The rest of the word 'banel' is from the Hebrew 'ben' (son of), and the word 'el,' (God), translated into English 'Jeremiah, son of God.' [Wall.]
Cairn T at Loughcrew
The following picture is of an inscription found in a tomb located in Schiabhla-Cailliche, near Oldcastle, County Meath, Ireland, not far from Tara, and one of the many burial mounds to be found at Loughcrew in the Boyne Valley. Many believe that here is the final resting place of Jeremiah 'the Prophet' who was commissioned by God to tear down; uproot (from Jerusalem) and plant (in Ireland) the daughter (the Tender Twig - Teia Tephi), from the line of David (symbolized in Scripture as the High Cedar), of King Zedekiah, in c. 588 B.C.; the Throne of Israel - the Lia Fail / Bethel Stone and The Ark of The Covenant.
Thirty-some stones with strange markings upon them, lie in the sepulchral chamber within the huge cairn of stones which make up the tomb. A large carved stone outside the tomb is still pointed out as Jeremiah's judicial seat which has a mythological story that attends the naming of the seat as "The Hag's Chair." Confirmation lies on those thirty stones in the cairn, and if the suggested interpretation is correct.
One interpretation given of Cairn T at Loughcrew, is by George Dansie of Bristol, England, who says the stones show a Lunar Eclipse, in the constellation of Taurus and a conjunction of the planets Saturn and Jupiter in Virgo. The prow of a ship is shown in the center, with five lines indicating the number of passengers it carries. On the left, a part of the ship, perhaps the stern, is shown with only four passengers, one having been left behind, as indicated by the line falling away from the ship. The wavy line indicates the passage of the ship across the ocean, terminating at a central point on an island.
The stellar and planetary alignment of the inscription gives a date of 583 BC. This date allows just the right amount of time for our little band to go to Egypt, and return to Palestine briefly before making their way to Spain, then Ireland.
Strange as these hieroglyphics are, for a myth/legend/tradition/story of an old man arrives on an island with a small group of people around 583 B.C.. He brings the daughter of a king, a scribe named Simon Brug [Baruch] and some relics. The powerful Milesian High-King of Ireland allows the old man complete control. Instituting laws, schools and congresses, the old man forever changes the face of Island's history, and subsequently the history of the entire world.
Cairn T was excavated; the hieroglyphics were traced and drawings made of them. Since that time, with the opening of the tomb to the elements and the corrosive-effects of the pollution in the atmosphere increasing drastically over the last fifty years, some of the hieroglyphics have deteriorated a little, but they are still legible.
The hill on which Cairn T stands was then named the "Hill of the Nurturer;" according to Eugene Conwell who first discovered and investigated Cairn T in 1863 and recognized it as being the Tomb of Ollamh Fodhla (Discovery of the Tomb of Ollamh Fodhla, 1873). Over the centuries the hill's name has been corrupted from Caillech meaning "Nurturer," to Caillighe meaning "witch" or "hag" and widely promoted as such in an attempt to replace Jeremiah the "Patriarch" of Ireland and God's Law - The Torah - with men's laws and a witch/hag. [Wall.]
Ollamh Fodhla was the son of Fíachu Fínscothach, and reigned from 943–913 B.C., a span of forty years. He is said to have instituted the Feis Temrach or Assembly of Tara, an assembly much like a parliament, at which the nobles, scholars and military commanders of Ireland gathered on Samhain (31 October) every three years to pass and renew laws and approve annals and records. The Assembly was preceded and followed by three days of feasting. Ollamh Fodhla also built a structure at Tara called the Múr nOlloman or 'Scholar's Rampart.'
John Lynch in his work titled Cambrensis Eversus, which was dedicated to king Charles II, and translated by Matthew Kelly, states, “It demonstrates most completely the identification of Ollam Fodhla with the Hebrew Prophet, Jeremiah.” Personally I have doubt that this theory is correct.
Translating the glyphs
Second stone on the left, just inside the entrance to Cairn T, at Loughcrew, which is inscribed with hieroglyphics depicting Jeremiah's journey from Jerusalem, via Tanis in Egypt, to Spain, in a ship of Tyre, with four companions. Then, leaving one of his companions in Spain, he is shown taking another boat, a Greek ship with three companions, to Ireland, where they arrived in 583 B.C..
Ezekiel 17:4 - "He (Nebuchadnezzar) cropped off the top of his young twigs, and carried it into a land of traffick; he set it in a city of merchants (Babylon)."
17:22 - "Thus saith the Lord 'I AM;' I will also take of the highest branch of the high cedar, and will set [it]; I will crop off from the top of his young twigs a tender one (female - Teia Tephi), and will plant [it (her)] upon an high mountain and eminent (in the British Isles):
17:23 - "In the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it (at Tara): and it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly cedar: and under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing; in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell.
17:24 - "And all the trees of the field shall know that I the "I AM" have brought down the high tree (Pharez in Jerusalem), have exalted the low tree (Zarah in Ireland), have dried up the green tree (the 2 tribed House of Judah), and have made the dry tree (the 10 tribe House of Israel) to flourish: I the 'I AM' have spoken and have done [it]."
Ezekiel 21:26 - "Thus saith the Lord 'I AM'; Remove the diadem (sovereignty), and take off the crown: this [shall] not [be] the same: exalt [him that is] low (Line of Zarah), and abase [him that is] high (Line of Pharez)."
21:27 - "I will overturn, overturn, overturn, it: and it shall be no [more], [overturned] UNTIL he come whose Right it is; and I will give it him - Shiloh (Gen. 49 v 10) Christ]."
When God moves His People to safety He does it "on eagles' wings," hence the Eagle with the Tender Twig - Teia Tephi in its mouth, on this stone, in these very sacred tymboglyphics.
Exodus 19:4 - "Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and [how] I bare you 'on eagles' wings,' and brought you unto Myself."
Below the eagle, is depicted, in astronomical hieroglyphics, a conjunction of the planets Saturn (the protector of Israel, in this instance representing God); Jupiter (the kingly planet, in this instance, representing the line of David) and Mercury (the Messenger, representing, in this instance, God's Messenger Jeremiah) in the Constellation of Virgo (the Virgin, representing, in this instance, Teia Tephi).
A conjunction of this significance has happened only once in human history.
The planets were mirroring exactly what was happening on Earth, in Royal Meath in Ireland; that is, that God's Messenger Jeremiah; whom He had sent to protect Teia Tephi, the Virgin daughter of Zedekiah, from the line of king David, by bringing her to Ireland for safety; had completed His mission and was dying, peacefully and contented with a job well done.
Cairn T itself was even lined up with the Autumnal Equinox of the 21st of September so that there would be a reminder, every year, of the Prophet Jeremiah and his death. This cosmic reminder was intended to help the people to remember his faith; his teachings; his example and The Eternal Covenant in The Torah, that the Irish people themselves (Danites - the Tuatha de Danaan - the Tribe of Dan, the fifth tribe of Israel, fathered by Jacob/Israel's fifth of his twelve sons called Dan - Genesis 30:6) had made with The Ruler of the Cosmos, at Horeb in Sinai, with Moses. It is also aligned with Teltown, so Jeremiah would, symbolically, watch-over Teia Tephi's Palace.
Also depicted on this same stone, in astronomical hieroglyphics, is a Lunar Eclipse in the Constellation of Taurus, giving a date of Thursday 16th October 583 B.C., when the moon would have looked blood-red, fifteen days before the Battle of Unna, which was fought against Tephi, at Slane and would have been interpreted as an Omen of Death and defeat for the Baal-worshippers who opposed Tephi and The Torah and whose symbol is a bull. Taurus is the sign of the bull.
In the entrance to Cairn T there are three carved stones, two on the left; the first stone on the left showing who is buried in the left opening inside and the second on the left showing who is buried in the end opening (Jeremiah) and the stone on the right showing who is buried in the opening on the right-hand side. From the size and shape of Jeremiah's stone in the entrance-passage it would appear that Jeremiah's Stone was originally cut and shaped to fit and seal the inner end of the entrance-passage, blocking the opening leading to the burial chambers.
There are at least three sets of hieroglyphic symbols that link the end stone (C14) to the Jeremiah Journey-Stone. The first and most obvious being the ship with four passengers.
There are two other sets of hieroglyphics on the end stone (C14) and the Jeremiah Journey-Stone that also link the two stones, as well as the boat with four passengers symbols.
The second set of hieroglyphics that link the two stones is the Equinox-symbol on the end stone (C14), that links it with the astronomical-symbols giving the date of Jeremiah's death on the Journey-Stone - the Autumnal Equinox in 581 B.C.
The third set of hieroglyphics linking the two stones is the symbol representing one of the attributes of God - El Shaddai - meaning the "Breasted One", in Hebrew, with the Eagle carrying the "Tender Twig" in its beak (symbolizing God carrying the "Tender Twig", spoken of in Ezekiel 17: 22-23) to plant it/her (Teia Tephi) in the "Height of Israel" (in exile), at Tara, the Capital of Ancient Ireland. This link also gives us the first Hebrew language link with Cairn T. The breast symbol on stone C14, showing a rib-cage, has a right-arm, which, in this case, would symbolically represent Jeremiah, the Lord's faithful servant, acting as His right-arm.
The title Ollamh Fodhla is both Hebrew and Irish, meaning the Possessor or Revealer of hidden-knowledge, thus making a second Hebrew link with Cairn T. The third Hebrew link is the Hebrew Scriptures of Jeremiah (Ollamh Fodhla) and Ezekiel, who makes reference to the "Tender Twig", in chapter 17. These Hebrew links link Ireland with Israel, and the Irish people of the "lost" tribes of Dan (Tuatha de Danaan) and Judah/Zarah with their Israelite cousins in Jerusalem.
From the top of the cairn you can see that the graveyard is laid out roughly in the form of a giant Celtic Cross, with the main cairn, on which you are standing, being the circular centre of the Celtic Cross, and the four smaller cairns around it being the ends and the top and bottom of the cross. The cairn that is the farthest away represents the bottom of the Celtic Cross, having a raised ridge of earth joining it to the centre; symbolically representing the upright of the cross.
Outside of Cairn T there is a large stone, shaped a little like an armchair, which is reputed to have been Jeremiah's 'Judgement Seat,' but more recently was wrongfully named the 'Witch' or 'Hag's chair,' after a fairy-story about a witch flying over the hill, carrying stones in her apron and supposedly having dropped these huge stones, from the air, which fell and are supposed to have magically formed Cairn T.
The Ark of The Covenant with contents is also said to be buried in royal Meath. Another conflict to this idea is that the Coptic Church in Ethiopia says that they have The Ark. Perhaps no one has it and it is lost except to God.
In separate Irish legends Eochaidh is reported to have been buried in at least three different locations, including Cairn T and The Mound of The Hostages at Tara. Teia is entombed in The Mound of The Hostages. [Wall.]
Teia Tephi who became queen of Tara and Ireland and was wrongfully deified as Bovinda, lived and had her four children at Teltown, but reigned from Royal Tara and is buried in an undisturbed secret tomb / "mergech" at the Hill of Tara.
Teia Tephi's firstborn son, called Aedh, died whilst still a teenager and was buried in the eastern side of The Mound of The Hostages (2 Chronicles 25:24) at Tara. Her third child and second son Aengus (In Mac Oc - the Young son) became king after his parents' deaths and built Bru na Boan, the grandest tomb in Europe, for himself to be buried in. His tomb is today called Newgrange.
https://www.cai.org/bible-studies/tea-tephi-never-existed = Tea Taphi]
Hieroglyphic stone #2 located at end of Cairn T.
Zarah, Pharez & Danan
There are two versions to the story of the 'Red Hand' of Ulster: 1) When the Milesians were invading the Emerald Isle two men wagered that he who got to land first could claim it. As their ships drew close to the beach one of the chieftains cut off his right hand and flung it to the shore land, thus claiming the land for himself. 2) Zarah of the scarlet thread is mentioned in the book of Genesis in the Bible.* The sons of Zarah were kings, they came through Spain where they left from the city of Zaragossa (Zara's Fortress).
Around 1000 B.C., a large tribe of Phoenicians emigrated from Spain to Ireland and divided the island with the Hebrew tribe of Dan. The Phoenicians better known as Fenians settled the south and the Tuath-de-Danans retained the north of the country. The Fenians were a Semitic people, related to the Hebrews, and for centuries the Israelites and Phoenicians (aka Canaanites) mingled and intermarried. Yet they were worshipers of the idol of the Sun God.
28 - "And it came to pass, when she travailed, that [the one] put out [his] hand: and the midwife took and bound upon his hand a scarlet thread, saying, This came out first.
29 - "And it came to pass, as he drew back his hand, that, behold, his (twin) brother came out: and she said, How hast thou broken forth? Why has thou made [this] breach against thee? Therefore his name was called Pharez (Breach).
30 - "And afterward came out his (twin) brother, that had the scarlet thread upon his hand: and his name was called Zarah (Scarlet)."
Judah/Zarah (Scarlet) lost his birthright and went into exile, sojourning through Spain and ending up in Ireland where Eochaidh mac Duach / Dui from the line of Zarah was the Heremon (Ard-Ri - high king), when Teia Tephi left Egypt to go to Ireland, where shortly after her arrival she married Eochaidh at Tara in 583 B.C.
Remnant of the house of Judah shall escape and basically settle a new place and the people will multiply.
26 - ". . . exalt him that is low [line of Zarah - Eochaidh] and abase him that is high [line of Pharez - Zedekiah]." [It has been suggested that this relates to Zarah and Pharez.]
by Garry Bryant / Garaidh Ó Briain
Halloween, its Celtic roots - As millions of children and adults prepare to participate in the fun of Halloween on the night of 31 October, few will be aware of its ancient Celtic roots in the Irish Samhain (pronounced 'Sow' in Irish Munster dialect, or 'sow-in') festival. In Celtic Ireland about 2,000 years ago, Samhain was the division of the year between the lighter half (summer) and the darker half (winter). At Samhain the division between this world and the otherworld (world of the dead) was at its thinnest, allowing spirits to pass through including The Lord of the Dead.
Samhain occurs on 1 November and was one of the great fire festivals, it marked the start of the Celtic new year. A day was sundown to sundown, and the magic time was dusk and dawn. [http://www.sacredfire.net/festivals.html.]
The idea that Samhain is a juncture between the two halves of the year saw it acquiring the unique status of being suspended in time - it did not belong to the old year nor the new. It could be said that time stood still on this night and the implications of this were immense. During this night the natural order of life was thrown into chaos and the earthly world of the living became hopelessly entangled with the world of the dead. But the world of the dead was itself a complicated place, peopled not only by the spirits of the departed, but also with a host of gods, fairies and other creatures of uncertain nature. ["Tlachtga: Celtic Fire Festival," by John Gilroy, http://www.newgrange.com/samhain.htm.]
The days marking half way point between the solstices and equinoxes are known as "cross quarter days" and these days are when the most important festivals of the ancient Irish occur. Known as Samhain, Imbolc, Bealtaine and Lughnasadh, each festival marks the start of a season, winter, spring, summer and autumn. Knowledge of the seasons was important for survival in northern climes as late planting could be disastrous in a short growing season. Thus equinoxes were of lesser importance. (Samhain, Bealtaine and Lughnasadh are still the names in Irish of November, May and August, respectively.)
The lighting of the Winter Fire near Athboy at Tlachtga is still practiced today. Fire is the earthly counterpart of the sun and is a powerful and appropriate symbol to express mans helplessness in the face of the overwhelming sense of the decay of nature as the winter sets in.
Evil spirits would search the world of the living looking for souls to carry back with them to the otherworld. The best defense against the evil spirits was to pretend to be one and thus the evil ones would pass one over and continue searching for a victim (i.e. someone not in costume!). So began the modern Halloween tradition of dressing in scary costumes. A tradition dating back a couple millennia and brought by Irish emigrants firstly to Scotland and later to North America and now the four corners of the Earth. [http://www.newgrange.com/samhain.htm]
Bonfires and food played a large part in the festivities just like Bealtaine, Lughnasadh, and Imbolc, Samhain involved great feasting and food was prepared for the living and the dead. As the dead were in no position it eat it, it was ritually shared with the less well off. Children went from house to house asking for food and kindling for the bonfires. [http://www.hauntedbay.com/history/bonfire.shtml.]
The bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into a communal fire, household fires were extinguished and started again from the bonfire at Tlachtga. The following day, the traditional day of Samhain, 1 November, people would extinguish their hearth fires and gather together to light large fires on sacred hill tops in honor of and to make offerings to the Gods. [http://www.hauntedbay.com/history/bonfire.shtml.] (This is where the term 'bone fire' originates) The ritual symbolizes the death of the old year and the birth of the new. [Arcade Dictionary of Word Origins ; Webster's Dictionary.]
The boundaries between a man's land and his neighbors were a dangerous place to be on the eve of Samhain. Ghosts were to be found along these points and a style between adjacent land was a place of particular dread and best avoided. Bridges and crossroads were also likely places to encounter ghosts. Naturally enough, burial places were avoided on all nights but particularly on this night. Every sort of a ghost was to be seen here and the dead mingled freely with the living. Also the practice of divination - telling the future, was an important part of everyday life for the Celts and it is certain that this art formed a central part of the festivities occurred at Tlachtga at Samhain. Vestiges of this can be seen today at Halloween are familiar with the practice of going to the church at midnight on Halloween and standing in the porch. The courageous observer will see the spirits of those who will die in the coming year if he watches closely, but runs the risk of meeting himself. Similarity, girls watching in a mirror on this night will see the image of the man they will marry but also run the risk of seeing the devil writes John Gilroy.
Gilroy also states that those brave enough to go to a grave-yard at midnight and walk three times around the graves will be offered a glimpse of the future, but again run the risk of meeting the devil. This latter example is interesting as it preserves the three time sun-wise turn so important to the Celts in the ritual. The possibility of meeting the devil may represent the well known Christian attempt to associate the pagan god of the dead with the devil of Christian belief. This being the case, Donn, Lord of the Dead, left his island home on this night and travelled freely throughout the country. Whether he carried off souls is unclear, but it is likely that he did. The ritual offerings on the Winter Fires may have been an attempt to appease him until, such time in history, he was replaced on the arrival of Christianity by the devil.
The coming of Christianity
On 13 May 609AD, Pope Boniface IV designated the day for all Christian martyrs. Then the day was moved by Pope Gregory III to 1 November and called 'All Saints & Martyrs Day,' [http://www.history.com/topics/halloween/history-of-halloween.] or as Middle English has it, 'Alholowmesse.' The night before, 31 October was thus All-Hallows Eve, or Halloween. In 1000 A.D., the church made 2 November 'All Souls’ Day,' a day to honor the dead. There are references to both days earlier, but these seem to be the dates of official sanction. [http://www.history.com/topics/halloween/history-of-halloween.] Near the end of October the Romans celebrated 'Feralia,' a day to honor the passing of the dead, and the Hindu Diwali (Divali, Deepavali) Festival known as the 'Festival of Lights' occurs about the same time as Samhain. Diwali marks the Hindu New Year just as Samhain marks the Celtic New Year, and in Mexico is 'El Dia de los Muertos,' or 'The Day of the Dead.' Asia has a similar festival day called 'Obon' which is held in the spring. [http://www.newgrange.com/samhain.htm] The Irish emigrated to North America in great numbers during the 19th century especially around the time of famine during the 1840 - 50's.
Through time other traditions have blended into Halloween, for example the American harvest time tradition of carving pumpkins has travelled back across the Atlantic. Originally the Irish made Jack-o'-lanterns out of turnips or beets but nowadays pumpkins are much easier to carve.
Two hills in the Boyne Valley were associated with Samhain in Celtic Ireland, Tlachtga and Tara. Tlachtga was the location of the Great Fire Festival which begun on the eve of Samhain (Halloween). Tara was also associated with Samhain, however it was secondary to Tlachtga in this respect. [http://www.newgrange.com/samhain.htm]
The entrance passage to the 'Mound of the Hostages' on the Hill of Tara is aligned with the rising sun around Samhain. The Mound is 4,500 to 5,000 years old, suggesting that Samhain was celebrated long before Celtic culture arrived in Ireland about 2,500 years ago. [http://www.newgrange.com/samhain.htm.]
The old Julian calendar was reformed by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582* (hence the Gregorian calendar which we use today) and ten days were annulled so that 5 October 1582, became 15 October. [Gordon Moyer, "The Gregorian Calendar," Scientific American, (May 1982). Pp. 144–152.] [*Note: the Gregorian calender did not come into effect in Ireland until 1st January 1752 because protestant England resisted using a Catholic calendar!]
However, the old cross-quarter days kept their old dates, so Hallows, which was celebrated on the night of 31 October, is still celebrated on that date, despite the fact that the actual revised date would be on 11 November. The time or season of Hallows began on the actual cross-quarter or half-quarter day between Autumn Equinox and Winter Solstice, which was 8 November, while the night of 10 - 11 November was considered the beginning of Hallows proper, the night when the hallows, or spirits of the dead, returned to this world. This period when the veil is open between this world and the next continues until 16 November, referred to as 'Gate Closing' and which coincides with what is also known as 'Hecate Night,' and also when the Leonid meteor shower begins.
In America, Halloween was extremely limited in colonial New England because of the strict Protestant belief system there. The Puritans and Pilgrims did not believe in parties, dancing or celebrating holidays, so Halloween became more common in the colony of Maryland and those colonies in the south. As different European ethnic groups came to America as well as traditions of the Native Americans, Halloween traditions blended and a distinctly American version of Halloween began to emerge.
Parents were encouraged by newspapers and community leaders to take anything 'frightening' or “grotesque” out of Halloween celebrations. Because of these efforts, Halloween lost most of its superstitious and religious overtones by the beginning of the twentieth century. At the turn of the century, Halloween parties for both children and adults became the most common way to celebrate the day. Parties focused on games, foods of the season and festive costumes. [http://www.history.com/topics/halloween/history-of-halloween.]
Between 1920 and 1950, the centuries-old practice of trick-or-treating was also revived. Trick-or-treating was a relatively inexpensive way for an entire community to share the Halloween celebration. In theory, families could also prevent tricks being played on them by providing the neighborhood children with small treats. A new American tradition was born, and it has continued to grow. Today, Americans spend an estimated $6 billion annually on Halloween, making it the country’s second largest commercial holiday, and all candy sales for the year a quarter are sold for Halloween. [http://www.history.com/topics/halloween/history-of-halloween.]
Sadly though, there is a movement by various groups that see this celebration as 'the Day of the Devil.' These groups are wanting this day done away with for it is pagan celebration and tradition. Also there are those who use this day to injure society by doing twisted works on children's candy and treats, thus causing many communities to pass ordinances against the 'trick-or-treating' or to have trunk parties in parking lots where children in costume go car to car and trunk to trunk to fill their Halloween bags.
Some superstitious beliefs
Over the centuries Halloween superstitious beliefs have been passed down. Here are just a few of them:
* Burning a candle inside a jack-o-lantern on Halloween keeps evil spirits and demons away.
* If the candle suddenly goes out in a jack-o-lantern, it is believed a ghost has come to call.
* Always burn new candles on Halloween for best of luck and do not burn Halloween candles at any other time of the year. It brings bad luck or strange explainable things will happen to you.
* Gazing into a flame of a Halloween candle will enable you to peer into the future.
* Girls who carry a lamp to a spring of water on Halloween can see their future husband in the reflection.
* It is good luck to burn an orange colored candle on Halloween.
* If you hear footsteps behind you on Halloween night, do not turn around because it may be Death itself. If you look Death in the eye it will hasten your demise,.
* Christians believe that cats are linked with bad luck, especially black cats.
* Crossing paths with a black cat on Halloween is a sign of a witch nearby. Cats are witches' familiars which means witches can turn themselves into black cats.
* Hold your breath when you pass a cemetery so evil spirits cannot enter your body.
* When passing a cemetery, turn your pockets inside out to make sure you don't bring home ghosts in your pockets.
* If you see a ghost, walk around it nine times and it will disappear.
* Children born on Halloween are believed to have the gift of second sight and the power to ward off evil spirits.
* If you see a spider on Halloween night, it means the spirit of the dead one is watching you.
* Ringing bells on Halloween will chase away evil spirits.
* Walk around your house three times backwards and three times counterclockwise before sunset on Halloween to ward off evil spirits.
* Put your clothes on inside out and walk backwards on Halloween night to meet a witch. [http://suzettenaples.hubpages.com/hub/Samhain-the-Celtic-origin-of-Halloween]
Samhain time on the Emerald Isle
Castles are perfect places to go at Halloween, and many castles hold ghost hunts, and candle lit tours such as Huntington castle County Carlow, and Birr Castle County Offaly, are particularly good. Shankill Castle County Kilkenny, has a candlelit tour led by the castle residents. This is quite serious...and as far as I know...nobody under 18 is allowed on the tour. All over the isle are many a forest walk / hunt this time of year.
Other Samhain happenings:
A Samhain prayer
Today all the emphasis on the celebration of Halloween is on the eerie & negative aspects of the 'Night of the Dead.' To me it is really about the reuniting of family, past & present, remembering and giving honor to one's forefathers. This is a good thing! Really our ancestors never completely died, in each of us they live on in our DNA.
A number of years ago while surfing the internet, I came across a post on Halloween traditions. The poster shared a prayer that she and her family do at diner on 31 October. My heart was touched by this prayer where one remembers their forefathers. [http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/samhainprayers/qt/AncestorPrayer.htm]
For me, I dress in a kilt (yes I know the Irish didn't use it but the Leiné, however my maternal ancestry is Scottish, thus the fabric is one color for Ireland and in a kilt for Scotland; I support the Gaelic League initiative of over a hundred years ago of wearing a kilt to show Irish nationalism). I feel a special almost spiritual experience when I do so (guess it's an American thing), play Celtic music, place a lit candle in the window to welcome home the ancestors (I use an electric candle because of my very big dog who would knock it over), and an extra place setting at the table. When my children were young I don the kilt and play the bagpipes as we went door to door. I got treats too, so much my sporran couldn't hold it all. Then trauma to my throat put an end to my piping.
When it is time for the meal I stand and welcome my forefathers home and to the meal. Then I recite the following prayer:
This is the night when the gateway between
our world and the spirit world is thinnest.
Tonight is a night to call out those who came before.
Tonight I honor my ancestors.
Spirits of my fathers and mothers, I call to you,
and welcome you to join me for this night.
You watch over me always,
protecting and guiding me,
and tonight I thank you.
Your blood runs in my veins,
your spirit is in my heart,
your memories are in my soul.
With the gift of remembrance.
I remember all of you.
(I then recite my Irish genealogy which is my paternal line (but maternal lineage can be recited too). My Irish line isn't too long thank goodness: "Garry mac Ralph mac Earl mac William mac William Bryant mac John O'Bryan of Thomond, Ireland, a direct descendant of Ard-Rí Brian Boru.")
You are dead but never forgotten,
and you live on within me,
and within those who are yet to come.
Oíche Shamhna shona daoibh (Happy night of Samhain)
Why the genealogy? In a study done of university students almost twenty years ago mentioned in the PBS ANCESTORS series, it was found that over 80% of college students did not know the maiden name of their grandmother. Perhaps reciting the genealogy of the parents might lead to a teaching moment for the children and grandchildren.
by Garry Bryant / Gariadh Ó Briain
[Article 1 of 3]
So intricately intertwined are the stories of the Lia Fáil, Stone of Scone, Jeremiah "the Prophet," and Teia Tephi that to separate them would be having to retell sections of the story each time, but to do so would be over fifty pages; this article is concerning the history of the Lia Fáil
Stone and Jeremiah "the Prophet," but remember that this article is intertwined with the next two articles about Jeremiah and Hebrew princess Tea Tephi.
Great is the controversy concerning the three topics. Many academics and historians consider this story to be a total fabrication of someone's imagination that has derailed many folks from science and true history. On the other side of the debate are those who believe in the scriptures found in the Bible, the interpretation of the passages and the hieroglyphics. That the emphasis on science is a distraction from learning the truth.
Legends and myths have some degree of truth to them, some have more truth then others, but to what percentage is really unknown. Personally I feel there is some truth to these legends and as such I am convinced that there is something here, but . . . I do have reservations. The burial mounds in the Boyne Valley and New Grange have been proven to have been constructed before the Great Pyramids of Egypt. The science of DNA has shown that the Irish and northern Spain have a link; that the Irish are not related with the rest of Europe, this gives support to the ancient legends of having truth in them.
In the end it comes down to one must have faith, and faith is not having a perfect knowledge of things which are none-the-less true. (The most widely accepted translation of the Bible that has been used for this article is the King James Version.) Following is what I have discovered in my research and my advice to the reader is research this topic yourself, meditate on it, if need be pray about it - come to your own conclusion.
The Bethel / Lia Fáil Stone
In mythology, the Stone, and sacred stones in general, were said to provide sacred kingship and it is but a small step to link this “Seat” with the “Perilous Seat” of the Grail legends, as well as with the magical "sword in the stone" that only releases the sword when the righteous king takes hold of it (King Arthur legend). The most infamous of this type of stone is "The Bethel Stone," which has a long history as a witness to historic moments.
Genesis 28: 10-14, 16-21:
10: "And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran.
11: . . . and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.
12: And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.
13: And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham they father, and the God of Isaac; the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed:
14: And they seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. . . .
16: And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.
17: And he was afraid, and said, . . . this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.
18: And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it.
19: And he called the name of that place Bethel: . . .
20: And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, . . . then shall the LORD be my God:
21: And this stone which I have set for a pillar shall be God's house: . . ."
(Jacob's pillow was anointed with oil and set apart as God's House.)
Jacob was fleeing from his older brother Esau for having just received the 'birthright' from their father Isaac. When night fell Jacob gathered together some stones and used one as his pillow. During the night he had a dream of a ladder reaching to Heaven and angels descending and ascending on this ladder from Heaven to earth. Also he wrestled with God, who informed him that his descendants would be as numerous as the dust, and hence changed Jacob's name to Israel, and in time Israel was the father of twelve sons whose descendants would make up the nation of Israel. Jacob setup the stone which he had used as his pillow as a pillar to mark the spot, for surely it was sacred or holy ground, and anointed the stone with oil stating that the stone was the "House of God" on earth.
When famine so stripped the land eleven brothers and their families and servants fled to Egypt where to their surprise the missing brother Joseph was found. The stone seems to have traveled with them. Four hundred years later the Tribe of Israel left Egypt and spent forty years trying to become worthy to enter the Promised Land that God had covenanted with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
After Joshua had conquered the Promised Land and divided it among the 12 Tribes (Israel), he reminded them that they must ever be loyal to God and keep the Commandments, and he set up a stone as a monument of witness:
Joshua 28:26-27 -
26 - ". . . and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak,... 27 - . . . Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of the LORD which he spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, least ye deny your God."
What more fitting witness could there be, but the stone which was "God's House." [NOTE: speculation that this was the Bethel Stone. Garaidh Ó Briain.]
Later at the town of Shechem, Abimelech was crowned king at the "pillar" in 1150 B.C.
Judges 9:1 & 6
1 - "Then Abimelech the son of Jerubbabel went to Shechem . . ."
6 - "And all the men of Shechem gathered together and made Abimelech king beside the terebinth at the pillar that was in Shechem."
It appears that the pillar of stone that the anointed king would stand by continued down to even the period when the House of David was established into a lawful monarchy, it was the custom that the king be crowned standing by the "pillar" or monument:
2 Kings 11: 12 & 14:
12 - "And he brought forth the king's son and put the crown upon him, and gave him the testimony; and they made him king, and anointed him; and they clapped their hands and said, God save the king.
14 - . . . behold, the king stood by a pillar, as the manner was and the princes and the trumpeters by the king, and all the people of the land rejoiced . . ."
Jeremiah ben Hilkiah
Son of a priest named Hilkiah, Jeremiah was from the town of Anathoth in the land of Benjamin. Anathoth was a priestly town, and belonged to the line of Ithamar, who was the fourth son of Aaron (II Chronicles 24: 3 & 6), and Jeremiah resided at Libnah.
2 Kings 24:18 - "Zedekiah was twenty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah."
Jeremiah tends to get lumped in with Isaiah, Ezekiel, and others. He is often called "the complainer" because of his many complaints about Israel's people and life's conditions to God. He was the maternal grandfather of King Zedekiah, and he held a high level position in the kingdom of Judah as an advisor. Most importantly, Jeremiah was God's 'Trustee of the Bloodline' of the throne of David. [Anthony W. Ivins, "Israel in History and Genealogy," The Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine. Vol. XXIII; January 1932, pp. 1-7. (FHL-USA/CAN 978.2 H25v, v23.) NOTE: hereafter called Ivins.]
Scholars have been puzzled by God's commission given to Jeremiah. One can find where Jeremiah rooted out, pulled down, destroyed, and threw down kingdoms and history makes valid his prophecies about the destruction of kingdoms. What is the meaning to the scripture that Jeremiah is to "build and plant?" The scriptural account doesn't contain any building and planting, and there is some confusion about him being put "over the nations." It would appear that "over the nations" meant his prophesying against them, but this isn't the case, or so it appears.
Jeremiah 1:5 - "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations."
Jeremiah 1:10 - "See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant."
By reading history one can very quickly see the rooting out, and the pulling down of kingdoms and nations that the Hebrew prophet succeeded at; what of the building and planting?
The reigning king of the Kingdom of Judah was Zedekiah, who's reign was but eleven years. Zedekiah and the people of Judah had broken God's Covenant and didn't like the threats Jeremiah was delivering on God's behalf, so God sent king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon to lay siege to and destroy Jerusalem. Zedekiah did not like God's message and so decided to punish the messenger and put him in prison, but not before Jeremiah had time to follow God's instructions to save the sacred things of the Temple, which included the 'Ark of the Covenant,' the 'Tabernacle,' and probably 'The Bethel Stone.'
At the end of the eleven year reign of King Zedekiah (584 B.C.), God informs his Prophet that he will travel to an unknown place where he will be safe:
Jeremiah 15:11 & 14
11 - "The LORD said, Verily it shall be well with thy remnant; verily I will cause the enemy to entreat thee well in the time of evil and in the time of affliction.
14 - And I will make thee to pass with thine enemies into a land which thou knowest not: . ."
Before Jeremiah was born the great Hebrew prophet Isaiah prophesied:
Isaiah 41: 2-3
2 - "Who raised up the righteous man from the east, called him to his foot, gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings? . . .
3 - He pursued them, and passed safely; even by the way that he had not gone with his feet."
A "righteous man from the east" was put over nations and kings, and would not travel by foot (on land).
Jeremiah 41:10 - During this invasion ". . . Ishmael carried away captive all the residue of the people that were in Mizpah, even the king's daughters, and all the people that remained in Mizpah. . . ." So this verse establishes that Judah's king also had daughters. Was Jeremiah with the king's daughters at Mizpah? The answer is unknown.
The kingdom of Judah and it's king suffered all this because they had betrayed their Covenant with their God who sent Nebuchadnezzar to punish Zedekiah. Babylon's king honored Jeremiah and released him from prison and gave him free rein to do as he was commanded by his God. What God had told Jeremiah that he'd be treated kindly by the Babylonians was true. Baruch, Jeremiah's scribe, is also spared.
With the invasion of the Babylonians into Judea, God told his prophet to gather 'The Ark' and other sacred things and hide them from being captured.
2 Maccabees, 2:4-7 - “It was also contained in the same writing, that the prophet [Jeremiah], being warned of God, commanded the Tabernacle and the Ark to go with him, as he went forth into the mountain, where Moses climbed up, and saw the heritage of God. And when Jeremiah came thither, he found an hollow cave, wherein he laid the tabernacle, and the ark, and the altar of incense, and so stopped the door. And some of those that followed him came to mark the way, but they could not find it. Which, when Jeremiah perceived, he blamed them, saying, As for that place, it shall be unknown until the time that ‘God’ gather His people again together, and receive them unto mercy.”
Jeremiah, as the girls grandfather would certainly have assumed the position of guardian, obtained the release of his granddaughters captured at Mizpah. King Solomon who had built the Temple, where it is believed 'The Ark of The Covenant' was hidden along with Jacob's Pillow/Pillar, aka the Bethel / Lia Fail Stone. The Ark of The Covenant is the sacred box inside which The Torah and The Stone Tablets of The Ten Commandments were written, are kept, along with Aaron's rod that budded, and a bowl of manna.
What of the building and planting question mention earlier? This charge of God to Jeremiah had nothing to do with things physical, but spiritual. To ensure that the promise made to king David was kept, a planting and rebuilding of the Davidic line or House of Israel was the final call given to the Hebrew prophet. Jeremiah was God's 'Trustee of the Bloodline' of the throne of David. [Anthony W. Ivins, "Israel in History and Genealogy," The Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine. Vol. XXIII; January 1932, pp. 1-7. (FHL-USA/CAN 978.2 H25v, v23.) NOTE - Hereafter referred to as Ivins.]
The probable number in Jeremiah's traveling band was five: Jeremiah, Baruch, Teia/Tamar Tephi (translated her name means 'beautiful palm'), her sister and hand maiden (some versions have an Ethiopian named Ebed-Melech to make six), and forced by Jonothan into a caravan of escaping Jews to Egypt where they settled at Taphpanhes (Tanis) for safety (which is why; in the famous film, made by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, called "Raiders of The Lost Ark;" they say that Tanis is the last-known resting-place of The Ark and that is why they start to look for The Lost Ark, in Tanis). [John E.Wall, "Jeremiah in Ireland: Proof from the Bible and the Irish Annals." http//www.originofnations.org/books,%20papers/jeremiah_in_ireland.htm, accessed 29 Jan 2004. NOTE - hereafter referred to as Wall.]
At Tanis in Egypt appears an old man, a scribe, and young ladies of whom the old man said were his granddaughters, and a large box which the old man guarded jealously. [Ivins, p.6.]
In Egypt the pharaoh adopted Zedekiah's dau-ghters as his own daughters and gave them a palace at Tanis, still called today, "Quasr bint el Jehudi" (Palace of the daughters of Judah/Jew's daughters), where they stayed for some time, until Jeremiah was warned by God that Nebuchadnezzar was going to attack Egypt and that they must leave and proceed back to their homeland. [Ivins, p.7.]
After some time the Prophet was contacted again with a message to those who took refuge in Egypt:
24 - "Moreover Jeremiah said unto all the people, and to all the women, Hear the Word of the "I AM", all Judah that [are] in the land of Egypt:
25 - Thus saith the "I AM" Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, saying; Ye and your wives have both spoken with your mouths, and fulfilled with your hand, saying, We will surely perform our vows that we have vowed, to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her: ye will surely accomplish your vows, and surely perform your vows.
26 - Therefore hear ye the Word of the "I AM", all Judah that dwell in the land of Egypt; Behold, I have sworn by My great name, saith the "I AM", that My name shall no more be named in the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, The Lord "I AM" Liveth.
27 - Behold, I will watch over them for evil, and not for good: and all the men of Judah that [are] in the land of Egypt shall be consumed by the sword and by the famine, until there be an end of them.
28 - Yet a small number that escape the sword shall return out of the land of Egypt into the land of Judah,* and all the remnant of Judah, that are gone into the land of Egypt to sojourn there, shall know whose words shall stand, Mine, or theirs.
29 - And this [shall be] a sign unto you, saith the "I AM", that I will punish you in this place, that ye may know that My words shall surely stand against you for your evil [in worshipping the queen of heaven (verse 25 above)]:
30 - Thus saith the "I AM"; Behold, I will give Pharaohhophra king of Egypt into the hand of his enemies, and into the hand of them that seek his life; as I gave Zedekiah king of Judah into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, his enemy, and that sought his life."
Jeremiah 46:14 - "Declare ye in Egypt, and publish in Migdol, and publish in Noph and in Tahpanhes (Tanis): say ye, Stand fast, and prepare thee; for the sword shall devour round about thee."
In another version two of the granddaughters and a handmaid died at Tanis, "for they loved the fleshpots of Egypt more." [Wall.]
The Prophet of Judah and company returned to their homeland.
Although it would appear that the patriarchal lineage of Zedekiah came to an end and thus a line that ascended to King David had ended, yet God's promise to David that his seed would last forever and Isaiah's prophecy needed to be fulfilled.
Psalm 89:36 - "His (David's) seed shall endure forever, and his throne as the 'sun' before Me."
Isaiah again helps with a last bit of confirmation:
Isaiah 37:31 - "And the remnant that is escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward."
Only one country's history tells of an old man, and his scribe Baruch/Brug bringing a king's daughter from Egypt with a box he guarded jealously - Ireland.
To the Emerald Isle
The company boarded a ship from Tyre and sailed to Spain [some versions state specifically Gibraltar] of an old man, his secretary of the name Baruch, Tamar/Tea/Teia Tephi [aka "the tender twig"], and a younger sister [some versions name her as Scotia]. Here they would remain for a short period of time, Scotia married into the House of Spain. This traveling company was now reduced to four, and again set sail for the western most isle where they arrived with a large box that was guarded jealously. [Ivins, p.7.]
Although, due to the bards embellishing the story, accounts of Jeremiah's arrival and work in Ireland differ in some details, the basic elements of each tale are the same.
The Stone, known as the "Stone of Destiny" came from Spain,
High-King of Ireland at this time was Eochaidh II Ollothair mac Duach, and he solicited the hand of the young maiden in marriage. The old man agreed under one condition, the king would accept the religion the old man would teach. The king agreed, the ceremony performed, and the religion, which was nothing but the 'Mosaic Law' was established in Ireland. Today their bodies are believed to lay in the Mound of Hostages burial mound at Tara (Tara is Gaelic version of Tamar). [Ivins, 7.] [Wall.]
Arriving at the Emerald Isle, Ulster legends relate that Jeremiah's party landed at Carrickfergus in north-east Ireland, before travelling to the royal county of Meath, where the High-King resided. [Wall.] [another version gives their landing place as Howth outside of Dublin.] The year was 583 B.C..
At this time the island was ruled by ten kings, and one of the kings was appointed High-King, under who's banner the other kings and warriors fought when the island was threatened by outside forces. No threat, the kings warred with one another.
What is important to understand is that this union between Ireland and Israel, enabled the blood-line of King David of Israel, to continue throughout history. This bloodline flows through the royal House of Scotland, Wales, England, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands to this day.
The Lia Fáil Stone
From the time of 583 B.C to circa 500 A.D. the High-Kings of Ireland were anointed and crowned upon The Bethel Stone or Jacob's Pillar/Pillow. The name ‘The Stone of Destiny’ has come about from a poor English translation of the Gaelic words ‘Lia,’ a great stone, and‘Fáil,' meaning fatal; hence ‘fate’, and subsequently ‘destiny’ (pronounced Leeha Faul). However, the ‘Lia Fáil’ was originally known to the Irish as the ‘Lia Faileas and Faileas doesn’t mean fate at all, but rather spectral, or spiritual shadow. It appears that this confusion has come about from a perfectly simple word contraction made a very long time ago by an Irish scribe, and the error of mistaking ‘fáil’ for‘faileas’ has continued without question ever since. [http://www.thesonsofscotland.co.uk/thestoneofdestiny.htm]
A tradition is told that when the anointed king placed his hand/foot upon the stone and he was of the Mileasian Race, the stone would roar, or speak his name.
[NOTE: The Mileasians was a tribe from northern Spain that in mass invaded the isle known as "Inis Fáil," and defeated the ruling tribe known as the Tuath-de-Danans. A treaty was made between the two groups and the Mileasians would rule above ground, and the Danans [aka sidhe/fairies] would live underground.]
To confuse things there are several different ancient versions of how the Lia Fáil came to Ireland, but they all are similar. In the Sca-lacronica, compiled in 1355 A.D., mentions one Simon Brec, youngest son of the King of Spain, who brought the stone from Spain, where it was used for coronations. Brec “placed it in the most sovereign beautiful place in Ireland, called to this day the Royal Place (Tara), and Fergus, son of Ferchar, brought the royal stone before received, and placed it where is now the Abbey of Scone [Scotland].” In this account, there is no stop-over in Dunstaffnage, but the story does identify the Stone of Scone with the “Lia Fáil,” “the speaking stone,” which [stone] named the king who would be chosen. [Philip Coppens, http://www.philipcoppens.com/stone_destiny.html ; accessed 2 Jul 2015. Hereafter referred to as Coppens.]
A similar account can be found in the Scotichronicon, compiled in 1386 A.D., which repeats that Gaythelus married Scota and led those that survived the disaster to Spain. Simon Brec then went to Ireland, setting up the stone in Tara, before the Stone was removed to Scotland. [Coppens.]
But the story of the Stones removal has been examined by a Dr. Petrie, who shows that it is flatly contradicted by native Irish authorities; that it is nothing better than a fabrication; and that the Lia Fáil was never removed from Tara at all, only in Scottish records is this mentioned. [http://www.libraryireland.com/Wonders/Lia-Fail-1.php, from The Wonders of Ireland, by P.W. Joyce, 1911 ; accessed 1Jul 2015]
Around 500 A.D., three brothers of the Dál Riata tribe in north-east Ireland, removed themselves and followers across a twelve mile stretch of water to the islands to the east. These three brothers were Fergus, Lorn and Angus, sons of Chief Erc. Fergus, was the first King of the Scots in Alba, crowned by St. Columcille, and brought the Coronation Stone from Ireland to Argyle with the permission of the High-King, and was crowned in it (not a rectangular stone). He built a town in Argyle called Beregonium, in which he placed the Stone. The twelfth king, Evenus, built a town near Beregonium, called after his name Evonium, now called Dunstaffnage, to which the stone was removed. Dunstaf-fnage is near Oban, on the West coast of Scotland, and the same legend states that Fergus mac Erc built a church on the island of Iona, and commanded it to be the sepulcher of the future kings. It should no longer come as a surprise that some argue that the “real stone” never came to Scone, but instead remained “somewhere” in or near Dunstaffnage. [Coppens.]
Iona was indeed a sacred island, “in the West,” of pagan religious importance, for it became one of the key objectives of early Christianity to have as a power base. As funerals of kings and coronation ceremonies go hand in hand, the stone’s location in Dunstaffnage would make great sense, because of its proximity to Iona. [Coppens.]
A rectangular block of sandstone is considered by a great many people to be the very stone which Kenneth mac Alpin reportedly brought with him from Argyle to Scone (pronounced Skoon), in the ninth century. By 906 A.D., Scone was a royal city. Here like the Irish kings, the Scottish kings were crowned while seated upon the Stone. From this time on the Lia Fáil Stone would be called the "Stone of Scone." Yet, compare this coronation stone with the stone’s early descriptions, one get's quite a surprise.
According to an old chronicler, “no king was ever wont to reign in Scotland unless he had first, on receiving the royal name, sat upon this stone at Scone, which by the kings of old had been appointed to the capital of Alba.” [Coppens.]
Supposedly there is an old prophecy concerning the Stone of which the Scottish writer, Hector Boece, using the Rhythmical Chronicle as his source, recites in Latin:
"Ni fallat fatum, Scoti quoteunque locatum
Invenient lapidem regnare tenenter ibidem;"
The sense of which is conveyed well enough in the following translation:
"If fate tells truth, where'er this stone is found,
A prince of Scotic race shall there be crowned." [Joyce.]
Author P.W. Joyce mentions of one named Cambray in his Monuments Celtiques claims to have seen the stone when it bore the inscription: “Ni fallat fatum, Scoti quocumque locatum Invenient lapidiem, regnasse tenetur ibidem”: “If the Destiny proves true, then the Scots are known to have been Kings wherever men find this stone.” There is no such inscription on the official Stone today.
Irish author Geoffrey Keating in the 17th century in writing his work on the History of Ireland, writes about the Lia Fáil and its traditions using Boece as his source. Problem with this is that modern academics consider the works of Boece and John of Fordun as being fables of Scottish history. [Joyce.]
Joyce has written as to why the fable story about the Lia Fáil or Stone of Scone being fabricated and circulated. The story of the Stone being removed from Ireland to Scotland was to give validation to the Scot claim to the English Throne during the time period of great debate. The tale was adopted by Keating and other Irish writers to support the Stuart claim to the throne. To support Joyce's statement several accounts of the ruins of Tara are described having been written in the tenth and early eleventh centuries and state that the Lia Fáil was there at that time. Joyce goes' on to mention the distinguished poet and scholar Kineth O'Hartigan, who died in the year 975 A.D., visited Tara with the object of describing it. After mentioning in detail the several monuments, he states that he was actually standing on the Lia Fáil:
"The stone which is under my two feet, From it is called Inis Fail; Between two strands of strong tide,"
Another distinguished scholar by the name Cuan O'Lochan, Arch-Poet of Ireland, who died in 1024 A.D., left a poem in which he describes with great minuteness the positions of the various objects at Tara including the Lia Fáil Stone. And a prose account which follows the poem is even more circumstantial:
"Fal lies by the side of the Mound of Hostages to the north, i.e. the stone that roared under the feet of each king that took possession of the throne of Ireland." [Joyce.]
In his book The History of Ireland, Joyce states why he doesn't believe that the stone that is erected at Tara is not the true stone:
"Fifty years ago I had a talk with one of the men who helped in the removal [of the Lia Fáil Stone], and I have good reason to believe that the pillar-stone now on the Forradh was brought by the people in 1821, not (as Petrie states, writing many years after 1821) from the Mound of Hostages which lies about 50 yards off, but from the bottom of the trench surrounding the Forradh itself, where it had been lying prostrate for generations. . . . the present pillar-stone at Tara is 12 feet long by nearly 2 feet in diameter. It would be very unsuitable for standing on during the ceremonies of installation and coronation; and seeing that the stone weighs considerably more than a ton," not very portable for traveling.
Eyewitness description of the "Stone of Scone" was made by an Englishman, Walter de Hemingford (also known as de Guisborough), who attended the coronation of John Baliol in 1292 A.D. He depicted it as “Concavus quidem ad modum rotundae cathedrae confectus”, i.e. “hollowed and made in the form of a round chair.” The 14th century English Chronicles of Melsa also describe the Stone of Scone as being “hollowed out, and partly fashioned in the form of a round chair.” William of Rislanger, writing in the 13th century, records the coronation of John de Baliol as King of Scotland in the year 1292 "upon the stone upon which Jacob placed his head."
Robert of Gloucester (1240-1300) wrote that the first Irish immigrants brought the stone with them into Scotland, stating it was a “whyte marble ston.” So rather than sandstone, or black basalt, the stone is then said to be white marble. As Robert of Gloucester wrote at a time when an official stone was still in residence in Scone, his account of the nature of the stone carries much weight – and would indeed indicate that the official Stone is a fake. [Coppens.] Finally in 1314, a piece of the Stone was broken off and given by king Robert the Bruce to Cormac MacCarthy in token for the Irish backing of his army at the Battle of Bannockburn on 25 June 1314. MacCarthy took the bluish stone and incorporated it in the battlements of Blarney Castle located outside of Cork, Ireland.
Using a fake stone makes a lot of sense. Why didn't the Scots demand the return of the Stone to Scotland? The most valid answer is that they didn't care because it was a fake!
The Stone of Scone measures approximately 26 1/2 x 16 1/2 x 10 1/2 inches (670 x 420 x 265 mm). It is acknowledged by geologists as being of Scottish sandstone, and may have been quarried in the region of Scone near Perth. The stone weighed 990 kilos [about 430 pounds] and Edward I had iron rings fixed to each side for its journey South. [http://www.thesonsofscotland.co.uk/thestoneofdestiny.htm]
In Coppens' essay on the Stone he mentions author Pat Gerber's belief that a fake stone was given to King Edward I, with the real stone secreted somewhere nearby. It may explain why Edward I sent a raiding party of knights back to Scone on 17 August 1298 A.D.. The troops ripped the Abbey apart in a desperate search. But for what? The real Stone? Coppens states, "Whatever they were looking for, it is known that they returned empty-handed. Furthermore, Gerber and others point out that the Treaty of Northampton in 1328 included the offer of return of the Stone. But the Scots did not ask for the insertion of that clause. Edward III offered it again in 1329, even suggesting the Queen Mother could take it to Berwick. Offered a final time in 1363, again, the Scots did not seem to want their talisman back. Did they know the 'real one' was false?"
In the late 19th century, Seton Gordon stated that the Earl of Mansfield, whose family have owned the lands of Scone for more than 300 years, had told him of a tradition, which had been handed down through several generations. It stated that somewhere around the dates 1795-1820, a farm lad had been wandering with a friend on Dunsinnan Hill after a violent storm. The torrential rain had caused a landslide, and as a result of this, a fissure, which seemed to penetrate deep into the hillside, was visible.
“The two men procured some form of light and explored the fissure. They came at last to the broken wall of a subterranean chamber. In one corner of the chamber was a stair which was blocked with debris, and in the centre of the chamber they saw a slab of stone covered with markings and supported by four stone ‘legs’. As there was no other evidence of ‘treasure’ in the subterranean apartment the two men did not realise the importance of their ‘find’ and did not talk of what they had seen. Some years later one of the men first heard the local tradition, that on the approach of the King Edward I, the monks of Scone hurriedly removed the Stone of Destiny to a place of safe concealment and took from the Annety Burn a stone of similar size and shape, which the English King carried off in triumph. When he heard this legend, the man hurried back to Dunsinnan Hill, but whether his memory was at fault regarding the site of the landslide, or whether the passage of time, or a fresh slide of earth, had obliterated the cavity, the fact remains that he was unable to locate the opening in the hillside. It may be asked why the monks of Scone, after the English king had returned to England, did not bring back to the abbey the original Stone of Destiny, but the tradition accounts for this explaining that it was not considered safe at the time to allow the English to know that they had been tricked, and that when the days of possible retribution were past, the monks who had known the secret were dead. This tradition, it is held, explains why the Coronation Stone in Westminster Abbey resembles geologically the sandstone commonly found in the neighbourhood of Scone.” [Coppens.]
It does appear that the stone in Westminster Abbey/Edinburgh Castle is sandstone [not quartz, not white marble, not black basilisk, nor blue] and is thus perhaps local to Scone. And if so, it may be the official “Stone of Scone, ” but not the real one. For according to legend, the Stone of Scone did not come from Scotland, but from Ireland, and before that Spain, and before that Egypt, and before that… the Holy Land.
Scottish kings since the 9th century have been crowned at Scone, on Moot Hill, the Ancient Crowning Place, seated upon the Stone of Scone, and not Scotland’s modern capital of Edinburgh. The place has been known by many names: Moot Hill, Omnis Terra (every man’s land) and Boot Hill. Another name is the Hill of Credulity (or Hill of Belief), which dates from 710 A.D., when the Pictish King Nectan came to Scone to embrace the customs of the Church of Rome. And as mentioned, the name by which it is best known today, is the Moot Hill.
Even after the Stone’s removal by King Edward I in 1296 A.D., the Moot Hill continued to be the crowning place of the Scottish Kings. Probably the greatest historic event to take place at Scone was the coronation of Robert the Bruce, who declared himself King of Scots upon the Moot Hill on 25 March 1306 A.D.. That the “official” Stone of Destiny was already south of the Border, may have made the coronation all the more emotional. The last coronation held at Scone was that of King Charles II as King of Scots on 1 January 1651 A.D., some nine years before he was restored to the English throne. Since 1707 A.D., there has been a Union between Scotland and England. In Scone, the land was symbolized by the combined earth, carried in the boots of the vassals, making the Moot Hill into a primordial hill.
Edward O'Reilly, author of Irish Dictionary, stated, ". . . Edward I of England invaded that country, A.D. 1296, and carried off into his own country down to the present day it has remained in England; and ever since the reign of James I has continued to serve the purpose for which it was so long used in Ireland and Scotland; the kings of England from his time down to the present sovereign having been crowned on it.” [http://www.ensignmessage.com/archives/liaphail.html] Well sort of present day . . . or that is until 1950 A.D., when the Stone was stolen from Westminster, on Christmas morning 1950. Though often perceived as a student prank, one of the protagonists, Ian Hamilton, has always tried to make clear that he did it for political motivations. When the police believed the Stone would make his way back to Scotland, the border between Scotland and England was closed, for the first time in 400 years. But despite these efforts, the stone made it into Scotland, where it was “left to be found” shortly afterwards, upon which it was taken back to Westminster. The Scottish Nationalist students were never charged. Some believe that the real Stone was substituted with a copy in 1951 A.D..
asked Philip Copperns to some of those Knights who were involved, but he perceived the implication that no-one wanted to disclose the Stones present location.
Until recently, the Stone of Jacob (Israel) has sat under the Coronation Chair in Westminster Abbey, in silent testimony to the dual promises made by Almighty God to the descendants of Abraham. After 700 years at Westminster Abbey, the stone was returned to Scotland 14 Nov-ember 1996, and on St Andrew’s Day, 30 November 1996, the stone went on display in Edinburgh Castle, with the intention to shuttle the stone to Westminster Abbey for future coronations of the British monarch.
The British queen or king is, of course, even without the Stone, one of the few remaining heads of State that is also the Head of the Church [Church of England/Anglican/Epicopalion]. And thus, the Stone, whether real or merely symbolic, continues to play a key role in a tradition of sacred kingship, which in the 21st century has become extremely rare.
Such is the story of the Lia Fáil Stone, The Bethel Stone, or Jacob's Pillar/Pillow, the Stone of Scone. Research the topic for yourself, meditate on what is found, pray about - and come up with your own conclusion about "God's House in Stone."
The Sleeping Stone
by Patience Strong
I stopped to call a taxi in the heart of Babylon.
At the pavement’s edge I stood - the traffic writhing on
Leftward to the Whitehall turning like a lustrous snake
Or rightward to Westminster Bridge, the southbound road to take,
There to pass proud Boadicea set towards the tower
Where Big Ben in his solemn grandeur booms the passing hour
As if to warn the seething crowds that Time brooks no de!ay
As he sifts the minutes of the unforgiving day.
While I across the street looked out towards the Abbey wall -
Afloat behind a spray of limpid light that seemed to fall
Veiling the secret features of the Abbey’s ancient face
That houses Jacob’s Bethel stone in its appointed place...
Where Israel’s holy treasure lies for every eye to see:
Safe in our keeping. This, the very Stone of Destiny.
The taxi came. Again we plunged into the turgid stream -
And glancing back, the Abbey seemed remote as in a dream.
Sculptured in its frozen calm it stood apart, alone,
Sharing with God the hidden knowledge of the sleeping stone.
by Garry Bryant/Garaidh Ó Briain
Far into the mists of time is the origin of the world's largest breed of dog the Irish Wolfhound. The Irish word for this breed is 'Cú' (translated to mean hound, war hound, war dog, wolf dog, etc.).
In ancient Ireland only society's nobility and royalty were allowed to possess this large hound. However Ireland was divided into five provinces with a ruling king, and the entire island held 150 sub-kingdoms. So no short supply of this breed of dog. [http://www.irishwolfhoundsociety.co.uk/breedhistory.htm, hereafter referred to as IWS]
The ancient Irish laws known as the Brehon Laws which predate Christianity, and also found in Old Irish literature from 500 A.D. - 900 A.D, treat the subject too. Julius Caesar writes about his encounter with them during the Gallic Wars. In fact depending on one's station in life depended on how many hounds one was allowed to own. The 'Filid' (professional class of singers, composers of poetry, bards, musicians, and historians) were entitled to two such hounds.
Originally the big hound was used in the hunting of wolves, deer, boar and elk, but were also trained as a war dog with the job of knocking horse soldiers from their saddles to the ground or out of chariots. Wars were fought using wolf hounds, and even a few wars were fought over the possessing of such animals.
During the second century A.D., began the rise of an elite band was warriors called the 'Fianna,' who were allowed each to own two hounds. The chief of the Fianna is a warrior named Fionn mac Cumhall (Finn MacCool) who had himself a puppy mill operation of three hundred grown Wolf Hounds and two hundred puppies. The chief's favorite hound was named 'Bran,' when the hound was in battle it always killed more men or beasts then his master.
The works of Arrian (ca.87 B.C. - ca. 160 A.D., Greek historian & senator), give's a description of the Irish hound: "There is nothing more beautiful to see, whether their eyes, or their whole body, or their coat and colour". "The neck should be long, round, and flexible. Wide chests are better than narrow ones. The legs should be long, straight, and well-knit, the ribs strong, the back wide and firm without being fat, the belly well drawn up, the thighs hollow, the tail narrow, hairy, long and flexible with thicker hairs adorning the tip. The feet should be round and firm. These hounds may be of any colour."
In 1210 A.D. an Irish hound was sent as a gift to Llywelyn 'the Great,' Prince of Gwynedd, Wales, by Prince (later King) John of England. This hound was named Gelert, slain by Llewellyn under the misap-prehension that the hound had killed his baby son when, in fact, the hound had killed a wolf that had got into the baby's room. As the dying dog gave a final cry, a baby's cry answered it. The prince found his son unharmed, lying near the body of a dead wolf, which Gelert had killed in defense of the prince's heir. Filled with remorse and guilt, it is said that Prince Llywelyn never smiled again. He buried his beloved dog in the town that is now known as Beddgelert, which means "Gelert's Grave." Gelert's burial place is known as Beddgelert. [http://www.mickhudson.co.uk/gelert/gelert.html] [http://mom.me/pets/dogs/19422-cool-facts-about-irish-wolfhounds/item/irish-wolfhound5/]
It was common occurrence for the Wolf Hound to be given as gifts to visiting dignitaries, etc.. During the 16th, 17th, and early 18th centuries these gifts of hounds increased greatly. Some of the recipients were the Great Mogul, The Emperor Jehangier, the Shah of Persia, and Cardinal Richelieu. Large numbers were sent to Spain and King John of Poland is said to have contributed to their near extinction in Ireland by procuring as many as he could lay hands on. In 1652 a declaration was issued banning the exportation of hounds from Ireland on account of their scarcity. [IWS.]
The last wolf in Ireland is said to have been killed by a Mr. Watson in County Carlow in 1786 and, once their prey was gone, the Irish wolfhound went into decline with only a few families keeping them "more for ornament than for use" and complaints abounded that they were reduced in size, made coarse through being crossed with Great Danes, or so crossed that two were hardly seen alike. [IWS.]
In the mid 19th century a Major H.D. Richardson (a Scot living in Dublin) wrote a book (entitled The Dog: Its Origin, Natural History, and Varieties) in which he asserted that the Irish wolfdog and the Highland deerhound were one and the same breed, although much degenerated in the latter. Richardson wrote several articles on the wolfhound, exhorting gentlemen to save the breed before it was too late. Eventually he began breeding, basing much of his efforts on the Glengarry deerhounds which were noted for their size and heavy build. Glengarry appeared to have had the object of producing a strain of hounds, one brace of which (dog and bitch) should be sufficient to track, follow, and pull down a deer, and he bred the bitches almost as large as the dogs. [IWS.]
By the end of the 1939-45 war just about every hound was by Clonboy of Ouborough or his sons or out of his daughters and it was for this reason that the Amercian Irish Wolfhound Club gave the U.K. Club Rory of Kihone. Rory went to Sanctuary kennels and was extensively used, doing a great deal to help the breed out of the doldrums. Another American dog that came to this country at about the same time was Barney O'Shea of Riverlawn, but unfortunately he died quite soon after and only sired a few litters. [IWS.]
Most who encounter an Irish Wolfhound are intimidated by its size, in some cases the size of a small pony. On its hind legs the hound can stand as tall as 7 feet. Huge they are, and a heart to go with it for instead of being vicious, it is a sweet-tempered, generous, dignified, thoughtful, and patient animal that is loyal to its pack or family. Belonging to the sight hound breed it is not keen with scent tracking, nor is it one of the brightest of the caine breed, just above average. Sadly it does not have a long lifespan due to health problems of bone cancer and heart problems. Six to ten years is the average lifespan. The Wolfhound is not a working dog such as the German Sheppard or the Retriever breeds, and requires only moderate exercise, but can eat up to 25 pounds of quality dog food a week.
by Garry Bryant/Garaidh Ó Briain
When Roman finally met the Celts of Gaul and Britain, Rome had already disbanded the cart's use in war. The chariot used by the Irish was a quantum leap above Rome's version. In fact the Celtic word for modern 'car' is 'karros,' or in Old Irish as 'carr' which means chariot or cart. [Irish Medieval History.com, accessed 1 Aug 2015, hereafter referred to as IMH.] [P.W. Joyce, A Smaller Social History of Ancient Ireland. (Chapter xxiv #2, Chariots & Cars. 1906. http://www.libraryireland.com/SocialHistoryAncientIreland/Contents.php]
How does one know that the Irish used chariot's? Not only Ireland used the two wheeled cart, but Continental Europe as well for at least 1300 years. [eircom.net/~archaeology/chariot.html, hereafter referred as eircom.] One only needs to take a look at the Ahenny High Cross to see a chariot but not of the Roman style. They can also be found at Clonmacnoise, Tuam, and Monasterboice. The chariot was in use from about 500 B.C. down to 800 A.D. in Ireland. [eircom.] This chariot has a shaft that isn't low down between the horses, but high over the back allowing the horses hind quarters to go under the shaft meaning that the chariot could pivot about its own axis making it highly maneuverable. The Irish chariot was easier to drive too, for the charioteer had the reins for directing the horses and could rest his feet on the horses back or be able to steer the horse by pushing the hind quarters in the opposite direction to the turn, while simultaneously pulling on the reins. [IMH.] It was also very common for the driver to balance himself on the yoke or on this yoke between the two horses.
Chariot versions found in Continental Europe use more metal for functionality and decoration. Other then that the European and Irish chariots were the same style, and painted in flashy colors. They were associated with the noble families. Not only were chariots used for war, but for racing at the various feasts. In Ireland served as a death bier for the owner, and in Europe they were buried with the deceased. [eircom.]
The greatest warrior of Irish legend is none other than Cúchullainn whose escapades by chariot are renown in Irish literature. A good example can be found in the text of Tain Bo Cuailnge ("The Cattle-Raid of Cooley"):
"When the spasm had run through the high hero Cúchulainn he stepped into his sickle war-chariot that bristled with points of iron and narrow blades, with hooks and hard prongs, and heroic frontal spikes, with ripping instruments and tearing nails on its shafts and straps and loops and cords. The body of the chariot was spare and slight and erect, fitted for the feats of a champion, with space for the lordly warrior's eight weapons, speedy as the wind or as a swallow or a deer darting over the level plain. The chariot was settled down on two fast steeds, wild and wicked, neat-headed and narrow bodied, with slender quarters and roan breast, firm in hoof and harness—a notable sight in the trim chariot-shafts. One horse was lithe and swift-leaping, high-arched and powerful, long-bodied and with great hooves. The other flowing-maned and shining, slight and slender in hoof and heel. In that style, then, he drove out to find his enemies" (Tain Bo Cuailnge ("The Cattle-Raid of Cooley") p. 153.) [The Tain. (1969) translated by Thomas Kinsella.]
The crew of a war-chariot consisted of two; a driver and champion or noble warrior. There use in battle was as the mix of cavalry and infantry tactics. The best description of the use of war-chariots by the Celts is probably best described by Julius Caesar in 55 B.C. on his first journey into Britain:
"In chariot fighting the Britons begin by driving all over the field hurling javelins, and generally the terror inspired by the horses and the noise of the wheels are sufficient to throw their opponents' ranks into disorder. Then, after making their way between the squadrons of their own cavalry, they jump down from the chariot and engage on foot. In the meantime their charioteers retire a short distance from the battle and place the chariots in such a position that their masters, if hard pressed by numbers, have an easy means of retreat to their own lines. Thus they combine the mobility of cavalry with the staying power of infantry; and by daily training and practice they attain such proficiency that even on a steep incline they are able to control the horses at full gallop, and to check and turn them in a moment. They can run along the chariot pole, stand on the yoke, and get back into the chariot as quick as lightning" (Gallic War, IV.33). [Caesar: The Conquest of Gaul. (1982) translated by S. A. Handford (Penguin Classics)]
by Garry Bryant / Garaidh Ó Briain
Around Ireland one will find stone circles, dolmens, cairns, burial mounds, raths, and holy wells, and then there is the Sheela-na-gig stone carvings. The female carving that is an affront to prudish minds and Victorian senses.
by Garry Bryant / Garaidh Ó Briain
Around 370 A.D., King Corc built a stone fort on what had been known as the "Fairy Ridge" and established his capital there. The Irish name for the place is "Caiseal," meaning "stone fort." Some years later around 448 A.D., St. Patrick came to Cashel and baptized Munster's king Aengus MacMutfraich, grandson of King Corc. Tradition has it that Patrick accidentally pierced the king's foot with his staff during the ceremony. The King, thinking this was part of the ceremony, remained silent and stood like a granite pillar. King Aengus provided the financial assistance for many of the churches St. Patrick founded over the seven years he remained in Munster. [http://www.sacred-destinations.com/ireland/rock-of-cashel] [http://roundtowers.org/cashel/index.htm]
There is a legend on how the rock at Cashel came to be. 30 kilometers north of the town of Cashel is the Devil's Bit, a mountain range, where St. Patrick banished Satan from a cave which resulted in the rock landing at Cashel. The rock ridge is also called Carraig Phádraig "Rock of Patrick." [http://thedockyards.com/the-history-of-the-rock-of-cashel/]
The Rock of Cashel was originally the residence of the kings of Munster, and site of the royal inauguration of the king's of Munster upon a large stone. Excavations have revealed some evidence of burials and church buildings from the 9th or 10th century, but it was in the early 12th century that the Rock began to be developed into a major Christian center. [http://www.sacred-destinations.com/ireland/rock-of-cashel] It is consider one of the centers for Irish culture along with Armagh and Tara.
Brian Boru was crowned king of Munster at "The Rock" in 977 A.D.. In 1101 A.D., Muirchertach O Briain, king of Munster, gave the Rock of Cashel to the church, ostensibly to keep it from ever falling back into the hands of his opposition, the Eóghanachts (McCarthys). [http://roundtowers.org/cashel/index.htm]
The earliest and most lofty of the Cashel edifices is the round tower next to the cathedral's north transept. Built probably before 1110 A.D.. It originally faced the west end of the 12th-century cathedral. Rising 28 m (90 feet) high it is a well-preserved example with six floors, and built without mortar. The only entrance to the tower is one door that is twelve feet high. Many round towers were built in Ireland as a place of refuge from the Vikings. The entrance was reached by a ladder which could be pulled up in the event of attack. Only the roof has been rebuilt, in the 19th century. [http://www.sacred-destinations.com/ireland/rock-of-cashel]
At this time in Ireland there was only one archbishop and he was located in the north-east at Armagh. A decade later in 1111 A.D., a second seat of an archbishop.
The next building after the Round Tower is "Cormac's Chapel," a magnificent little Romanesque church that still survives today, was begun in 1127 A.D., and consecrated in 1134 A.D., probably for Benedictine monks. The chapel was commissioned by South Munster King Cormac III Mac Cárthaigh It is a very sophisticated structure, unlike most Irish Romanesque churches which are very simple in plan with limited decoration [http://www.sacred-destinations.com/ireland/rock-of-cashel]. The twin towers at either side of the nave and chancel which were decorated by carpenters sent by the Abbot of Regensburg in Germany, with who the kings of Munster were patrons. [http://www.britainirelandcastles.com/Ireland/County-Tipperary/Rock-of-Cashel.html]
The exterior of Cormac's Chapel is beautifully decorated with typical Romanesque details such as repeating blind arches and carved corbels. The south portal has two zigzag arches and a tympanum with a relief of an animal. The north portal has a gabled porch, indicating it was the main entrance before the cathedral was built up against the north side of the chapel. [http://www.sacred-destinations.com/ireland/rock-of-cashel]
The chapel's interior contains the oldest and most important Roman-esque wall paintings in Ireland. The oldest, dating from about 1134, consist mainly of masonry patterns and can be made out in places on the lower walls. The remaining paintings date from c.1160-70 and are visible on the upper walls and vault. These depict narrative scenes such as the Nativity, and their sophistication suggests the artists were from England or Normandy. The paintings were covered by whitewash at the Reformation (16th century) and remained hidden until the 1980s. [http://www.sacred-destinations.com/ireland/rock-of-cashel]
"Da Vinci's Last Supper was in a similar state and was restored after nearly 500 years of neglect. It's not fanciful to think the same could be done here in Cormac's Chapel, " says Philip Ryan, an artist who lives in Tipperary. [http://www.ireland.com/en-us/what-is-available/christian-heritage/destinations/republic-of-ireland/tipperary/articles/rock-of-cashel-masterpiece/]
At the west end of the chapel is a beautifully-carved sarcophagus that may be the tomb of King Cormac himself, or maybe his brother and predecessor, Tadhg (d.1124). Its decoration is in the Hiberno-Scandinavia Urnes style of the early 12th century, featuring interlaced beasts and serpents. The sarcophagus probably originally stood in the 12th-century cathedral, which no longer survives. The tomb was discovered in the north transept of the present cathedral in the 19th century. [http://www.sacred-destinations.com/ireland/rock-of-cashel]
The most attractive elements are the transepts (c.1270), with triple lancet windows. On the east side of the transepts are square chapels, two on each side, all with piscinae and three with tomb niches. The north transept contains late medieval tombs and grave slabs found at the site. [http://www.sacred-destinations.com/ireland/rock-of-cashel]
The long choir is elevated at the east end and contains grave slabs dating mostly from the 16th century. The south wall of the choir contains a piscina, sedilia, and wall tomb of the late 16th-century archbishop Miler McGrath, an Episcopalian Bishop appointed by Queen Elizabeth I, and he presided over Cashel Cathedral for fifty years . [http://www.sacred-destinations.com/ireland/rock-of-cashel] Limerick's bishop, Desmond O'Hurley wasn't as lucky. Appointed by Pope Gregory XIII, for a few years he went ministering the people in secret until exposed and hanged in 1583 for refusing to take the 'Oath of Supremacy to the Church of England.' [James Conroy, Irish Cultural Society of the Garden City Area.]
Throughout the structure, it is possible to discern the dates of the decorative elements based on the material used: the original 13th-century work is in sandstone, while later work is in limestone.
After the area was conquered by the Anglo-Normans a gothic cathedral and tower house were constructed. [http://irishwalledtownsnetwork.ie/page/cashel/cashel-info]
The Hall of Vicars Choral is the entry point to the ecclesiastical enclosure atop the Rock of Cashel. The Hall houses the museum where the original Cross of St. Patrick can be found. The cross is highly eroded, but the form of a bishop - generally recognized as St. Patrick - is depicted on the eastern face, while a slightly clearer depiction of the crucifixion is carved into the western face. The cross sits on a granite pedestal thought to have originally been the coronation stone of the kings of Munster. The interlace on this base is similar to that of the sarcophagus in Cormac's Chapel. [http://roundtowers.org/cashel/index.htm]
In 1647, a time during the Cromwellian wars, the garrison stationed at Cashel abandoned their post and fled for their safety rather than defend the town and its people. Folks of the surrounding area sought refuge at the Rock of Cashel. Upon arrival of Cromwellian troops, under command of Irishman Murrough O'Brien, 1st Earl of Inchiquin, who demanded the townspeople pay
£3,000. His demands were not met, the people assembled themselves into the church thinking and hoping they would be sparred, but Inchiquin ordered them barricade inside and stack turf around the church and lighted it. Nearly 1,000 town people died. Following the killing the site was plundered for its religious artifacts and even the carriage belonging to the Bishop was stolen. Those items deemed worthless such as statues were smashed or defaced and then the whole town was set alight. It wasn’t until 1749 that the Bishop of Cashel had the remains of the cathedral’s roof removed. When traveling around Ireland one will see many church ruins made so under Cromwell's orders. [http://irishwalledtownsnetwork.ie/page/cashel/cashel-info] [http://www.britainirelandcastles.com/Ireland/County-Tipperary/Rock-of-Cashel.html] [http://www.visitireland.com/aboutireland/olivercromwell.asp]
Near the base of the hill in the town of Cashel is a ruined Dominican friary, which was founded by the archbishop in 1243, renovated after a fire in 1480, and dissolved in 1540. The monastic buildings have not survived but the church walls are mostly intact. Dating from the mid-13th century, the church is notable for nine lancet windows on the south wall of the choir, which are thought to be the earliest examples of a design seen at other Dominican foundations in the area (namely Athenry, Sligo, Ardfert and Ferns). The windows in the east wall, south transept and west gable date from the mid-15th century. The transept, added c.1270, is one of the earliest examples of the "preaching transepts" that became a common feature in medieval Dominican churches. [http://www.sacred-destinations.com/ireland/rock-of-cashel]
My name is Garry Eugene Bryant, or in Irish, Garaidh Eóghan Ó Briain. My O'Bryan family emigrated from Ireland to Canada around 1830. They were devout Catholics and my 2nd great-grandfather, William, was informed by his parents that he was to become a priest like his two older bro-thers. He ran away changed his name by dropping the O' and adding a 't,' and ended up at Black Hawk, Col-orado about 1861. But this story was family tradition, no paper doc-ument to that gives the name change. To the rescue came Family Tree DNA and the O'Brien Surname Project which confirmed that I was not only of the Dál gCais Tribe with the R-L226 & FGC5659 snp marker's, but a distant cousin to Sir Conor M. E. O'Brien, Chief of the O'Brien Clan. So I'm not an English Bryant, but an Irish O'Brien! I have three children, all grown and married, and two grandchildren. I'm a retired photojournalist, am passionate about family history and heraldry.