The role and importance of Celtic mythology

Ancient legends and poetic monuments of every country and every people of great interest and value, not only for children but for all mankind. An example is enough to mention the classic Greek myths. They have, so to say, a threefold impact on the historical destiny of the people who created them, and the country, the land which was their scene and the scene of action.

First, at a time when these stories were still fresh in the memory, a belief in their authenticity and pride in their fathers have the power to unite the scattered tribes of the Greeks into a single confederation. Second, they have inspired poets and sculptors to create works, not only unsurpassed, but not for a repetition of one of the cultures of all the centuries. Finally, in an era when "the glory of Greece" has dimmed and gone, and its inhabitants are under the pressure of more and more invaders almost lost the right to be called Hellenes, these myths have become part of modern literature and Greece surrounded by a halo of poetry, through which this small country looks to the rest of the world to a greater than many powers far beyond it, and in size, and resources.

It is a constant influence of classical mythology of the ancient Greeks, palpable in all civilized countries, most notably in the British Isles. Almost from the inception of English literature by the Greek legends of gods and heroes were an inexhaustible source of inspiration for the majority of the British poets. Olympian, blissful abode of the ancient Greek gods, taking the more familiar Latin names, have taken in English poetry is almost the same place as in the poetry of Greece itself. Beginning with Chaucer they all possess the inspiration of poets and readers of the British Isles. Magic charm of classical myths, like the Celtic Grail, generously nourishes everyone who has ever experienced it paz.

But in the end, and this source has run dry. Being on English soil phenomenon alien and exotic, Greek myths degraded, becoming commonplace banality. Under unskilful pen minor poet XVIII century characters myths become painted dolls. And when almost every stunted grove was "shirokoshumnoy Dubrava", as a counter-country girl — "nymph", the reader at every ball threatened encounter with Venus in powdered hoops and bufah, with Mars, carrying a musket on his shoulder, and Apollo, the most inspiring poet for another trivial attempts. But affectation finally killed — and thank God! — Figuratively poetic style that has become common place. Compromised poor and hackneyed vocabulary talentless hacks, classical mythology has quickly become a sphere, which dared to touch only truly great poets.

However, mythology was so necessary for literature, writers of romance, turning away from the legend, which was home to Southern Europe, began looking for a new creative impetus. They soon turned his gaze to the north. And now looking for inspiration not in the shadow of Mount Olympus, and in Asgard, blissful abode of the Nordic gods. Moreover, the prevailing opinion is that the ancestral home and the source of archaic poetry, which was the epitome of Scandinavian and ancient German mythology, were themselves the British Isles, and we, on the right of Anglo-Saxon blood flowing in our veins, it is a law of inheritance. Yes, it is, and we — really the heirs of this mythology, but — are not the only heirs. Just in our veins flows the blood most of the Celts, that is ancient Britons Matthew Arnold, apparently, was right in asserting in his book "Studies Celtic literature" that, along with the fact that our practical and professional qualities, most fully manifest in the creation of the British Empire, we must heritage of Anglo-Saxons from the Celts, we have inherited the gift of poetic perception of the world, has made English literature the most glamorous of all, appeared after the ancient Greek.

Thus, we can claim to some new — and quite brilliant — the spiritual domain. Celtic mythology barely knows the coarse brutality found in the legends of the Germans and Scandinavians. It is as charming and picturesque, like the Greek, and at the same time, quite unlike the mythology of the Greeks, which is a reflection of a mild Mediterranean climate, so far from our temperate zone. This is understandable. The gods are necessarily a product of the country in which they appeared. How strange it would look like naked Apollo, strolled among the icebergs, or Thor in an animal skin, seated under the shade of palm trees. A Celtic gods and heroes — these original inhabitants of the British landscape, and they do not seem to be strangers on the scene, where no vines or olive groves, but their rustling, home, oak trees and ferns, hazel and heather.

So, we have every right to enjoy the picturesque view of our own islands, especially wild and mountainous western regions, where long since settled the ancient inhabitants of the British Isles. Saxon invasion affected mainly only east of Britain, whereas in the West of England, Wales, Scotland, and especially in Ireland, covered with legends hills and valleys, and still keep the memory of the ancient gods of the ancient inhabitants of these territories. In South Wales and the West of England at every step there are mysterious and surprisingly romantic places that the British Celts abodes of gods or outposts of the other world. In Ireland, it is difficult to find a place that is not associated or another hook to the legendary exploits of the heroes of the Red Branch, or Finn and his warriors. Ancient deities have survived in popular memory, becoming fairies and preserving all its attributes, and often names. Wordsworth in one of the sonnets, created in 1801, complains that, while "in the immortal books" constantly mentioned Pelion and Ossa, Olympus and Parnassus, no English Mountain, "although they are in crowds along the edge of the sea", has not received "honors from the music of heaven," and in his time, so it certainly was. But nowadays, thanks to the efforts of the scientists who discovered the ancient Gaelic mythology, the story is very different. On the hill Lyudgeyt Hill in London, as well as many other less famous hills once towered temples in honor of their own British Zeus. And one of the mountains near Betts and Kud in Wales served as the British Olympus, where the palace of our ancient gods.

It is questionable that Wordsworth's contemporaries with enthusiasm would take mythology, which, being native to them by birth, would replace the myths of the ancient Greeks and Romans. The magic of the ancient classical culture, the fight against which Wordsworth became one of the first, yet retains all its charm. Oh, what a noise and outrage from fans of antiquity caused the mere mention of the mythology of the ancient Britons! Yet this mythology has long been implicitly influenced English ideas and ideals, and not least of all — because sometimes disguised as images, familiar to the general public. Top stories of the people, as it were rehabilitated — although under different masks — the old gods, with which the prelates have long fought the ringing of bells, the scriptures, and a candle.

Ancient gods lived in our legends, becoming drevnebritanskih kings, who ruled the country in a fabulous past, long before Julius Caesar. These are the King Lud, the legendary founder of London, King Lear, a legend who gained immortality from the pen of Shakespeare, the King of clay, and captured Rome, and many others, also played a role in the age-old plays and, in particular, in the mystery of action. Some of them returned to the people, becoming a long-dead saints, the early Christian church in Ireland and Britain. Their sacred titles, deeds and exploits often represent a kind of spiritual adventure retelling of "namesakes" of ancient pagan gods. And yet again the gods survived, becoming Yeshe powerful. Myths about Arthur and his circle of gods, in the hands of the Normans — writers chronicles back to the reader as a cycle of novels about the exploits of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. When these stories are spread throughout medieval Europe, their influence has been truly comprehensive, so that the poetic impulse that comes from them, met a great response in our literature, played a particularly prominent role in the work of such poets of the XIX century, as Tennyson and Swinburne.

The varied influence of Celtic mythology to English poetry and fiction followed in his book "Origins of English History" by Charles Elton. "Religious ideas tribal Britons — he writes — had a very significant impact on literature. Medieval romances and legends, in one way or another reflected the historical past, full of all sorts of" valiant hero "and other characters purely mythological plan. Primordial forces of earth and fire and the spirits that inhabit the rapids of rivers appear as kings in the pages of the Irish chronicles, or in the lives of the saints and hermits Wales. Knights of the Round Table, Sir Kay and Tristan, and the noble Sir Bedivere, renounced his powerful origin for the new attributes that they have gained by becoming heroes of novels. King Arthur in a quiet and peaceful valley … birth goddess. "There, under the shade of forests, on the banks of streams, rare ray of sunshine came through, and the nights were dark and gloomy because the sky was no sign of the moon, no stars. "That this was the edge of Oberon and Sir Gaon Bordeaux. Such is the dense Ardennes forest. In ancient mythology were known possession of King of Shadows, Gwyn ap Nudd country to which a Sir Gaon in the" Faerie Queene ":

And it was headed by Sir knighthood Gaon
When in Power Fey sped Oberon. "

Category: Mystery stories

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