Scotch-Irish-L ArchivesArchiver > Scotch-Irish > 2000-11 > 0973831364
Subject: More Border History
Date: Thu, 9 Nov 2000 20:42:44 -0800
Hi folks, I picked up another Border book when I was over. It
was on sale everywhere. It is Alistair Moffat "Arthur and the
Lost Kingdoms" by Phoenix. You can get it or the hard copy at
Moffat lives in Kelso and has written a history of Kelso from
earliest times. In this book he describes his own search for the
hidden history of the borders. Back before the Anglo Saxons.
What he finds is are P-Celtic kingdoms (speaking tongues like
Welsh) whose roots survive today in local placenames. I am
only partially through the book. He delves into the origins of
these names. For instance the many T river names seem to come,
he says, from the Indo European root tavas -- to surge. In
AD800 Tacitus calls the river Tay Tanaus or Taus. The T rivers are
the big rivers of the land. Then there are Jed Water, Kale Water,
the Ettrick, and Gala Water. These are babbling rivers. Kale and
Gala he derives from Kel "to shout". Jed and Ettrick come come
iekti or jekti -- "to talk" or "to babble". Then there are the
two Allan Waters and two Ale Waters. These rivers appear over and
over in the Border Ballads.
He covers a lot of border myths and Beltane celebrations, lasting
into the 1700's. How many know that Thomas the Rhymer of
Ersildoune was an actual person? He appears in a charter in 1260.
He recounts the Goddoddin -- a poem written in 600 AD that recounts
the battle in which the Celts lost to the Anglo Saxons: the
battle of Catterick. It contains the earliest reference to Arthur.
I've not finished the book. I've only started, but I love it,
though who knows if it is true. It has color plates of Kelso
antiquities. And if we can claim Arthur for our own, well, I for
one am all for it!
This book will appeal to Celtophiles and devotes of the Authorian
mysteries, as well as to anyone who might wonder what it was their
ancestors might have been doing in 600 AD.
He also says that there was a DNA study done of prehistoric bog
victims. Apparently both the Shetlanders and the borderfolk are
descended from these prehistoric Old People (as Moffat calls them),
who preceded the Celts. He claims that is because the Vikings and
the Anglo Saxons were small groups of male invaders. They had to
intermarry with the local women and their DNA was swamped by the
Interesting book, though of course controversial.
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