Monday, 25 February 2008

. . . and a few more!

In case they are of interest to you, these are photos I took of the other ECMs at Llandewi Brefi. One of them - damned if I can recall which - has Ogham on the back edge on one side. Ogham is an ancient Irish form of writing, composing of strokes and obliques, often on the edge of a monument. See

The last bit from "Wild Wales" where George Borrow explains who Hu Gadarn actually was . . . well, according to George Borrow at any rate:
'Hu Gadarn in the Gwlad yr Haf or summer country, a certain region of the East, perhaps the Crimea, which seems to be a modification of Cumria, taught the Cumry the arts of civilized life, to build comfortable houses, to sow grain and reap, to tame the buffalo and the bison, and turn their mighty strength to profitable account, to construct boats with wicker and the skins of animals, to drain pools and morasses, to cut down forests, cultivate the vine and encourage bees, make wine and mead, frame lutes and fifes and play upon them, compose rhymes and verses, fuse minerals and form them into various instruments and weapons, and to move in masses against their enemies, and finally when the summer country became over-populated led an immense multitude of his countrymen across many lands to Britain, a country of forests, in which bears, wolves, and bisons wandered, and morasses and pools full of dreadful efync or crocodiles, a country inhabited only by a few savage Gauls, but which shortly after the arrival of Hu and his people became a smiling region, forests being thinned, bears and wolves hunted down, efync annihilated, bulls and bisons tamed, corn planted, and pleasant cottages erected. After his death he was worshipped as the God of agriculture and war by the Cumry and the Gauls. The Germans paid him divine honours under the name of Heus, from which name the province of Hesse, in which their was a mighty temple devoted to him, derived its appellation. The Scandinavians worshipped him under the name of Odin and Gautr, the latter word a modification of Cadarn or mighty. The wild Finns feared him as a wizard and honoured him as a musician under the name of Wainoemoinen, and it is very probable that he was the wondrous being whom the Greeks termed Odysses. Till a late period the word Hu amongst the Cumry was frequently used to express God - Gwir Hu, God knows, being a common saying. Many Welsh poets have called the Creator by the name of the creature, amongst others Iolo Goch in his ode to the ploughman:- "The mighty Hu, who lives for ever, Of mead and wine to men the giver, The emperor of land and sea, And of all things that living be Did hold a plough with his good hand, Soon as the deluge left the land, To show to men both strong and weak, The haughty-hearted and the meek, Of all the arts the heaven below The noblest is to guide the plough." So much for Hu Gadarn or Hu the Mighty, whose name puts one strangely in mind of the Al Kader Hu or the Almighty He of the Arabians.'

Hmmm - That paragraph began with the longest sentence I think I have ever typed . . . Borrow does go on to say he asked the sexton (having had him show him the ancient church cup dated 1574 and kissed it), whether he knew of anyone who had ever seen the great ox horns - those of Hu Gadarn's bull? He said that buried in the church was one very old man who just before he died said that he had seen one very old man who had seen just one little tip which had remained. The little old man first mentioned was Thomas Jones of Traws Llwyn who died in 1830 aged 92 . . . I wonder what this legend was really based upon . . . and also what the "Gauls" living in Britain did before Hu's arrival - sat and sucked their thumbs I think!

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