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Obras de Douglas Monroe


Conhecimento Comum

Data de nascimento
Local de nascimento
Niagara Falls, New York, USA
New Forest Centre



This book claims to contain the Book of Fferyllt, a lost book of Druidism. It claims to contain spells for raising the shade of Merlyn. It claims druids met in the trees. It claims druids came from Atlantis. It claims they worshiped a god named Pharon. It claims that pumpkin is a sacred plant of druidism. It claims that druids were celibate vegetarians. It claims that women are the weaker sex, and very deadly (well, we may be deadly). It claims that mistletoe is something safe to ingest. It claims to have spells which will open portals to Fairyland. It claims that the druids used echinacea. It claims all this and more. Of course, these claims are all false:

* The Book of Fferyllt: lit. "Book of Vergil"--as in Virgil who wrote the Aneid. The name of this so-called books originates in the Hanes Taliesin, from the Guest translation of the Mabinogion, where Cerridwen is using a spell from said book. Virgil was thought to be a magician in medieval folklore, but there is certainly no book. Another fake book of Monroe's is "The Gwarchan of Maeldrew": there is no such thing. There is a "Gwarchan of Maelderew", either by the bard Aneurin or Taliesin, which is an elegy of a fallen warrior--not a spellbook.

* The fake spells:
o "Anal Nathrock, Uthvass Bethud, Dochiel Dienve": the so-called "charm of making". This is a bit of doggerel Irish, chanted by Merlin in John Boorman's film Excalibur (1983). Michael Everson has a good breakdown of the "charm"--it is certainly not Welsh, much less "Druidic."

o "Cum saxum saxorum...": The dragon invocation? Yeah, it's from the 1981 film Dragonslayer, spoken by Galen to bring down an avalanche and trap the dragon in its lair. Not only is this yet another piece of stolen movie dialogue, but it isn't even something which, conceivably, could summon a dragon.

o "A elfyntodd dwyr sinddyn duw..." Here, it seems Monroe is trying to create a Welsh spell. Unfortunately, it's entirely nonsense:

A elfyntodd dwyr sinddyn duw
cerrig yr fferllurig nwyn;
os syriaeth ech saffaer tu
fewr echlyn mor, necrombor llun.

One attempt at translating this has resulted in some comical jibberish: "O elements of water which lead? the god of rocks that chainmail/some sort of mail hunger if knighthood your sapphire the great side of the axis as dark as the moon."

o "Bedd Ann ap lleian ymnewais fynydd..." I don't believe you can raise the dead, of course, or even a ghost. At any rate, the so-called spell is actually an englyn about the grave of Myrddin. You don't raise the dead with poetry. (Well, maybe MacBeth, but that's another story.)

* Druids never met in the trees. They met in nemetons, which are sacred groves, but they sure as hell didn't climb the damn trees.

* There is not, never was, and never shall be an Atlantis--not the way it's meant here, as home of the ancestors of the druids. Perhaps the isle of Thera, or similar Mediterranean candidates, experienced an earthquake some 3000 years ago; however, it is not the New Age continent that Monroe writes of here.

* There is no god Pharon. The name Ffaron shows up in the Mabingion as a tragic figure who died of a broken heart, but he isn't a god.

* Druids certainly weren't celibate, not in history or literature--for example, the druid Cathbad is said to have fathered King Conchobhor mac Nessa of Ulster. Moreover, as the druids were a caste, this social class was presumably passed on through family lines. Ultimately, there's no record that the Druids--or any European pre-Christian priests (and even Christian until the High Middle Ages) were celibate.

* There is no evidence that druids were vegetarians.

* Women were, while not relatively equal, certainly had more rights in Celtic society than in their neighbors, and were allotted a certain amount of freedom and education. Much of Monroe's book is full of misogynistic material--such as the outdated idea that sexual activity steals a man's power--all of which has nothing to do with what is known about druidism.

* Many of the plants Monroe suggests are edible are most definitely not. Also, druids wouldn't have known about pumpkins or echinacea, as they are North American plants, yet Monroe has them listed as druidic.

* There is no Fairyland. At least not one you can visit in bodily form. Astral travel, well, that's up to your set of beliefs.

And so on. In other words, if you want a comparatively accurate depiction of Celtic religion, read Ann Ross' Pagan Britain, or some original Celtic myths and Roman records.
… (mais)
10 vote
tlachtga | outras 2 resenhas | Aug 29, 2009 |
As a youth, I loved this book. Each chapter is part of an on-going story about the education of Arthur, with assignments inserted between them, allowing the reader to journey along with the student. These aren't just static activities and I enjoyed the chance to make the objects described.

However, as an adult I see that a lot of the sources Monroe lists are questionable at best. His main book of reference was actually authored by himself! It is a fun book, but should not be taken for more than fiction as far as the history and culture of Druids.… (mais)
3 vote
Phoenix333 | outras 2 resenhas | Feb 12, 2009 |

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