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Having studied folklore at the University level , I am prompted to suggest
that rather than try to endlessly debate whether the written , chiseled ,
engraved or verbal
" sources " are ""correct "" , that we recognize that all of our heritages
rely on many sources of "" facts "" .
I have found in my own geneology research that the "" oral tradition "" has
been just as representative of the facts as the written records -- even the "
( Church and Government ) sources , including cemetery markers , have often
disagreed with one another !
I include this Quote from a source on celtic history for those inclined to
pursue the matter ::
"" The Celts did not use the art of writing to any great extent and then only
near the end of their independence. A form of writing called Ogham may have
been used by certain members of Celtic society, most likely the druids, to
record important information. In general, however, they chose to record their
past and traditions orally and communicated with other nations only by
word-of-mouth. Like many communities all over the world, the Celts paid great
attention to the development of an advanced oral technique as a vehicle for
the transmission of their thoughts.
Among illiterate peoples, the training of the memory is cultivated to a
degree unheard of among readers of books, and the proficiency of the Gauls in
respect is commented on by Caesar:
‘It is said that [the Druids] have to memorize a great number of verse - so
many, that some of them spend twenty years at their studies. The Druids
believe that their religion forbids them to commit their teachings to writing,
although for most other purposes, such as public and private accounts, the
Gauls use the Greek alphabet. But I imagine that this rule was originally
established for other reasons - because they did not ant their doctrine to
become public property, and in order to prevent their pupils from relying
on the written word and neglecting to train their memories; for it is usually
found that when people have the help of texts, they are less diligent in
learning by heart, and let their memories rust.'
To form an efficient means for the widespread transmission of thought, the
matter must be clothed in an easy to remember form, such as poetry or song,
otherwise it would quickly deteriorate and die out.
The whole intellectual life of the Gauls in pre-Roman times was carried on by
means of oral teaching, and closely associated with their trained eloquence
was their power of memorizing.
The education of the young and the intellectual life of all classes was
on by two classes of men known as druids and bards, who taught entirely by
means of poetry orally transmitted. Despite the absence of books their
teaching was a intensive and included such subjects as astronomy, nature,
religion, and philosophy.
In trying to understand the motivations, attitudes, philosophies, and laws of
the Celts, we are handicapped by the early prohibition of the Celts against
committing their knowledge to written record. So it was not until the Greeks
and Romans began to write their accounts of the Celts, sometimes culturally
misconceived and invariably biased, that the Celts emerged into recorded
history. So, we view the ancient Celts of continental Europe through Greek
and Roman eyes, since they have left no written record of themselves.
However, when the insular Celts of Britain and Ireland began to put their
knowledge into written form in the Christian era it was not too late to form a
perspective, bearing in mind the cultural changes from early times. """
Regards to all ,
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