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Britain and Britains forces

 
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CrookshankOffline
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PostPosted: 24-01-2012 22:35    Post subject: Britain and Britains forces Reply with quote

Not long ago I found out one of thethe ancient names for the British Isles was Merlin. Mer and lin - meaning Sea fortress. Isn't that interesting? It subsequently occurred to me that Merlin was not the wizard people make him out to be but was in fact the magic of the LAND. Like anthropomorphising this land and its magic.

Also Arthur - I've read that it could mean literally "The Bear" and that got me thinking that it could mean the British Forces - after all it is King Arthur who wields the sword Excalibur. He is in Scotland and England and Wales - and nobody really knows if he actually existed. So what if we anthropomorphisized him as well.

We Brits made our forces - of both Magic and the Army into people so we could communicate with them on our level - so that we could directly communicate with what are essentially things that arent' real at all but what our ancestors percieved as forces.

Thoughts?
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oldroverOffline
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PostPosted: 24-01-2012 22:53    Post subject: Reply with quote

The name is the latinised version of the original Myrddin, and while Mer is fairly close to the Latin Maris for sea fort is Castrum. In any case the route of the name comes from the Ancient British language which survives in a changed form as modern Welsh, so if the original users had wanted to say sea fort it'd have been something closer to cefnfor amddiffynfa. So it doesn't really work.

I've got to say though that I find the general point very compelling.
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CrookshankOffline
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PostPosted: 24-01-2012 23:43    Post subject: Reply with quote

To quote from this website http://babynamewizard.com/namipedia/boy/merlin

Origin of the name Merlin:
English cognate of the Welsh Myrrdin, a name derived from the Primative Celtic elements mer, mori (sea) and dunom (hill, fortress), therefore meaning "sea hill" or "sea fortress." The name was most famously borne in Arthurian legend by the magician helper and guide of King Arthur.

BTW I am from Lincoln - its name is derived from a similar source Lin- dunom - land and hill of course the Coln bit is is a Roman word - Colonia - added later. just a little side note there.
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Timble2Offline
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PostPosted: 25-01-2012 00:19    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the other hand, since the original stories of Merlin came from the North, in the bits that used to speak the language that evolved into modern Welsh.

http://www.celtnet.org.uk/gods_m/myrddin_wyllt.html

(BTW: the whole article is worth reading)

Quote:

....Part of the problem comes with the nature of 'Myrddin' comes from the origin of the name itself. It seems quite clear that the original form was Llallawg, from which the Latinized forms of Laleocen and Lailoken were derived. It was only when the tales became re-localized in the lands of the Cymry, as happens with a number of other heroes of the Old North, that Llallawg becomes known as Myrddin.

The majority of academic opinion considers this to have occured under the influence of a false etymology concerning the place-name Caerfyrddin which came to be considered as meaning 'The Fortress of Myrddin' indicating the presence of an historical figure known as Myrddin who was grafted onto the Lailoken mythos. In reality, the Myrddin of Caerfyrddin is derived from the Brythonic Moridunum (Sea Fortress), a name which is attested from Roman sources.

Thus it has seemed that the name of Myrddin is derived from a false etymology and has no independent existence in Old Cymric and Brythonic mythos. ...Myrddin has been reduced to little more than an historical spectre whose name is derived solely from a false etymology concerning the name of the town of Caerfyrddin. This has rested on the problem that no convincing etymology for Myrddin has been derived apart from that of the truncated form of Moridunum. However, as I indicate in the next paragraph this may not necessarily be the case.

One of the main reasons that Myrddin has been dismissed as a genuine sixth century character is that no etymology for the name Myrddin/Mirdyn has been found, safe for the false derivation from Moridunon. However, based on the reconstructed proto-Celtic lexicon the name can be derived from the components *merV- (insane) or *mero- (crazy) and *godonyo- (human, person [which gives the Cymric dyn (man)]). Thus Myrddin literally means 'crazy man' and could be considered an epithet, thus Myrddin Llallawg may originally have been Llallawg Fyrddin or 'Llallawg the Madman' which fits-in well with the tale of Lailoken. The association of the Old Cymric word Mirdin with the false etymology derived from Caerfyrddin led to the Llallawg component of the name being dropped by Geoffrey of Monmouth so that the madman of Celyddon became known as Myrddin. The situation may therefore be far more complex that originally thought and the epithet of 'Myrddin' may actually represnet a true description applied to the northern Llallawg/Llallogan.



BTW: The Wiki page on the name Arthur is actually quite well researched.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur#Etymology
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CrookshankOffline
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PostPosted: 25-01-2012 09:55    Post subject: Reply with quote

Suppose we turned Merlin into a magician - not because of a local madman somewhere but because this land is magical? That it is ancient and mystifying. There are standing stones and things we can only begin to wonder about and we haven't even scratched the surface yet. Imagine Merlin/Britain being this ancient and mystical island which could not be conquered by force, but perhaps by becoming a part of it - or it conquers you.. thus the King - King Arthur representative of Britains armed forces - seems to be a bit Christian. I feel it is still the same today that when you come to Britain you become British - it doesn't change because the people are different.

And suppose Arthur/forces, gets its power from Merlin/Britain. and that would tie in with an allegorical story of the sword in the stone. Merlin put the sword there after all.
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Timble2Offline
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PostPosted: 25-01-2012 15:57    Post subject: Reply with quote

Merlin didn't put the sword in there originally...the sword in the stone and anvil just appears.
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Jerry_BOffline
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PostPosted: 25-01-2012 20:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crookshank wrote:
Suppose we turned Merlin into a magician - not because of a local madman somewhere but because this land is magical? That it is ancient and mystifying. There are standing stones and things we can only begin to wonder about and we haven't even scratched the surface yet.


But then again we don't really know what standing stones were actually used for, nor what the outlook was of the people who placed them in the landscape. There's been lots of guesses, but guesses is all they are. To add the 'magical' trappings to them is nothing more than a modern take (or wish fulfillment) on the whole thing.

Quote:
Imagine Merlin/Britain being this ancient and mystical island which could not be conquered by force, but perhaps by becoming a part of it - or it conquers you.. thus the King - King Arthur representative of Britains armed forces - seems to be a bit Christian. I feel it is still the same today that when you come to Britain you become British - it doesn't change because the people are different.

And suppose Arthur/forces, gets its power from Merlin/Britain. and that would tie in with an allegorical story of the sword in the stone. Merlin put the sword there after all.


Britain doesn't have a good track record of keeping other people out. Even the 'Britains' or 'Celts' aren't originally from the landmass we now call Britain. And even once they set up shop here, they still were unable to stop various other groups coming here and taking over, and force was involved.

The point about all of this, and what is 'Britain' is that it's just arbitrary labels people attach in various ways to a chunk of land sticking out of some water. It has no actual meaning at all outside of the human imagination - and that in itself makes it something that anyone can shape to suit their own outlook. As such, it's a contrivance.
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oldroverOffline
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PostPosted: 25-01-2012 21:05    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like I was talking nonsense then, I stand corrected. Thanks Crookshank and Timble for putting me on to that.
I live very near to Carmarthen I was always told it meant Merlin's city.

As with all this early Welsh myth I start of excited and interested but after a while it gets on top of me, I just can't follow it. That maybe because I once read a translation of the Mabinogion, and some part of my brain died.
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SpookdaddyOffline
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PostPosted: 25-01-2012 21:25    Post subject: Reply with quote

oldrover wrote:
...That maybe because I once read a translation of the Mabinogion, and some part of my brain died.


Laughing

I know what you mean. I've got a copy of the Mabinogion which is beautifully illustrated by Alan Lee. After a couple of failed runs at it in the past I now just look at the pictures.
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