Jupiter, Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, and the Return of the Mongols
Wednesday March 17, 2004: The reader who has been following this little series of articles will notice that I have, at this point, slightly reorganized the material of the previous chapter and the present one. Thanks to all of you who wrote requesting more details on Iman Wilkens' book and those who sent in additional clues which I am including here as well as maps scanned from the book.
Regarding Iman Wilkens book, Where Troy Once Stood, this book was recommended to me by a Welsh reader. I tried for some time to obtain a copy and, failing to do so, the reader kindly lent me one. I looked at the book, read the blurbs on it, and said to myself: "Yeah, right! What a bunch of hooey this is going to be!" However, since we had just recently moved house and our furniture and books had not arrived yet, I was pretty much left with no other book in the house but this one. With a lifelong habit of reading daily, you could almost say that I was "forced" to read it in spite of an a priori attitude of extreme skepticism.
I was prepared with my pen and notebook for the long list of criticisms I was going to write, but somehow, once I had started reading, the notebook never managed to fill up. Yes, there were things I thought could have been explained better if the author had been aware of the history of cataclysms and global climate changes on the planet during the periods he was concerned with, but for the most part, his approach and his logic were quite compelling, even if the evidence he collected was only circumstantial. Ancient history is a very difficult subject, but when so much evidence can be assembled to make a case, and a theory can be formed and tested successfully, then perhaps it is time to release "hardened categories" and long held beliefs in explanations that do not work.
As I have written elsewhere, historians of ancient times face two constant problems: the scarcity of evidence, and how to fit the evidence that IS known into the larger context of other evidence, not to mention the context of the time to which it belongs.
Fortunately, ancient history is not "static" in the sense that we can say we know all there is to know now simply because the subject is about the "past." For example, the understanding of ancient history of our own fathers and grandfathers was, of necessity, more limited than our own due to the fact that much material has been discovered and has come to light in the past two or three generations through archaeology and other historical sciences.
Jews, Christians and Moslems have a certain notion of the past that is conveyed to them in hagiography, Bible stories, and the Koran, as well as in chronologies and historical accounts. We tend to accept all of these as "truth" - as chronological histories along with what else we know about history - and we often reject out-of-hand the idea that these may all be legends and myths that are meta-historical - special ways of speaking about events in a manner that rises above history. They may also be mythicized history that must be carefully examined in a special way in order to extract the historical probabilities.
The chronologies, the way that we arrange dates and the antecedents that we assume for events, should be of some considerable concern to everyone. If we can come to some reasonable idea of the REAL events, the "facts," the data that make up our view of the world in which we live and our own place within it, then perhaps such facts about our history can explain why our theologies and values tell us, not what we believe, but WHY we believe what we do, and whether or not we ought really to discard those beliefs as "historical."
One could say, of course, that all history is a lie. Whenever we recount events or stories about people and times that are not immediately present to us, we are simply creating a PROBABLE picture of the past or a "distant happening." For most people, the horror and suffering of the Iraqi people, at the present moment in "time," has no spatial meaning because it is "over there." It is quite easy for false images of such events to be created and maintained as "history" by those who are not directly experiencing the events, particularly if they are not told the truth about them by those who DO know. And so it has been throughout history.
An additional problem is that history not only is generally distorted by the victors, it is then later "mythicized." There is a story found in the History of Herodotus, which is an exact copy of an older tale of Indian origin except for the fact that in the original, it was an animal fable, and in Herodotus' version, all the characters had become human. In every other detail, the stories are identical. Joscelyn Godwin quotes R. E. Meagher, professor of humanities and translator of Greek classics saying: "Clearly, if characters change species, they may change their names and practically anything else about themselves."
Going further still, historian of religion, Mircea Eliade, clarifies for us the process of the "mythicization" of historical personages. Eliade describes how a Romanian folklorist recorded a ballad describing the death of a young man bewitched by a jealous mountain fairy on the eve of his marriage. The young man, under the influence of the fairy was driven off a cliff. The ballad of lament, sung by the fiancée, was filled with "mythological allusions, a liturgical test of rustic beauty."
The folklorist, having been told that the song concerned a tragedy of "long ago," discovered that the fiancée was still alive and went to interview her. To his surprise, he learned that the young man's death had occurred less than 40 years before. He had slipped and fallen off a cliff; in reality, there was no mountain fairy involved.
Eliade notes that "despite the presence of the principal witness, a few years had sufficed to strip the event of all historical authenticity, to transform it into a legendary tale." Even though the tragedy had happened to one of their contemporaries, the death of a young man soon to be married "had an occult meaning that could only be revealed by its identification with the category of myth."
To the masses, hungry to create some meaning in their lives, the myth seemed truer, more pure, than the prosaic event, because "it made the real story yield a deeper and richer meaning, revealing a tragic destiny." We could even suggest that George Bush is viewed in this way by many Americans who prefer to believe that he is a heroic president landing on aircraft carriers with verve and flair and a glint of steel in his eyes, protecting them from evil terrorists when in fact, he is a cheap liar, a psychopath, and undoubtedly complicit in cooking up the attack on the World Trade Center.
In the same way, a Yugoslavian epic poem celebrating a heroic figure of the fourteenth century, Marko Kraljevic, abolishes completely his historic identity, and his life story is "reconstructed in accordance with the norms of myth." His mother is a Vila, a fairy, and so is his wife. He fights a three-headed dragon and kills it, fights with his brother and kills him, all in conformity with classical mythic themes.
The historic character of the persons celebrated in epic poetry is not in question, Eliade notes. "But their historicity does not long resist the corrosive action of mythicization." A historic event, despite its importance, doesn't remain in the popular consciousness or memory intact.
The memory of the collectivity is anhistorical. Murko Chadwick, and other investigators of sociological phenomena have brought out the role of the creative personality, of the "artist," in the invention and development of epic poetry. They suggest that there are "artists" behind this activity, that there are people actively working to modify the memory of historical events. Such artists are either naturally or by training, psychological manipulation adepts. They fully understand that the masses think in "archetypal models." The mass mind cannot accept what is prosaic and individual and preserves only what is exemplary. This reduction of events to categories and of individuals to archetypes, carried out by the consciousness of the masses of peoples functions in conformity with archaic ontology. We might say that - with the help of the artist/poet or psychological manipulator - popular memory is encouraged to give to the historical event a meaning that imitates an archetype and reproduces archetypal gestures.
At this point, as Eliade suggests, we must ask ourselves if the importance of archetypes for the consciousness of human beings, and the inability of popular memory to retain anything but archetypes, does not reveal to us something more than a resistance to history exhibited by traditional spirituality?
What could this "something more" be?
I would like to suggest that it is best explained by the saying: "the victors write the history." This works because the lie is more acceptable to the masses since it generally produces what they would LIKE to believe rather than what is actually true. We have certainly seen a few hints that this is exactly what George Bush and company are doing, and based on this "rewriting of the event" in real time wherein Bush is scripted as the star of the show and the recipient of a "directive from God," he has been able to further plans for world-domination utilizing a religion that clearly is no different from other cults with the exception that George Bush and cronies are the beneficiary.
Sounds a lot like what Stalin did in Russia, and what the CIA has been doing all over the planet since WW II and certainly what monotheism has been doing for the past two thousand years.
The fact is, manipulation of the mass consciousness is "standard operating procedure" for those in power. The priests of Judaism did it, Constantine did it, Mohammed did it, and the truth is, nothing has changed since those days except that the methods and abilities to manipulate the minds of the masses with "signs and wonders" has become high tech and global in concert with global communication.
Getting back to Where Troy Once Stood, Iman Wilkens did his homework in a very creative and open minded way. Among the things he examined in the Iliad and Odyssey were the sailing directions. Having a friend in the shipping industry who is a specialist in guidance systems, I asked him a number of questions about this process and he confirmed that Wilkens approach and conclusions were correct. He also concentrated on the geography and spatial locations of Homer's world. Iman Wilkens tells us:
Iman Wilkens cites the now very long list of reasons why Turkey is excluded as the site of Troy. (I'm not going to deal with those issues here; the reader may wish to pursue that line of research on their own.) Additionally, he points out the many reasons that support the location of the Troad in a country with a temperate climate, open to the Atlantic, and with tides. As Wilkens noted, considering the internal evidence of Homer's works, it is only logical to look for the Troad in Europe, in a country formerly inhabited by the Celts, with an Atlantic climate, separated from the Continent by the sea, and having on its east coast a broad plain with a large bay capable of sheltering a big fleet of ships.
In England, there is, as it happens, an area corresponding perfectly to ALL of the descriptions in Homer - the East Anglian plain between the city of Cambridge and the Wash. Wilkens brings up a compelling argument:
Have a look at this list of river names, keeping in mind the several thousand years that have passed and that these changes are quite in line with phonetic changes according to the rules of etymology:
As Wilkens notes, it is impossible to find these rivers in Turkey. All that can be found are four rivers that were later given Homeric names without regard to the geographical descriptions in the Iliad.
The evidence that the Trojan plain is the East Anglian plain is also backed up by Homer's descriptions of the land: fertile soil, rich land, water meadows, flowering meadows, fine orchards, fields of corn, and many other details that perfectly describe England, but have absolutely no relationship to Turkey, either in modern or ancient times, as the archaeology demonstrates.
There still exists very substantial remains of two enormous earth ramparts, running parallel with one another, to the northeast of Cambridge, one twelve kilometers long and the other fifteen.
The ditches dug in front of the dykes are on the side facing inland, not towards the sea, which means that they were built by invaders, not defenders exactly as described by Homer. These are known today as Fleam Dyke and Devil's Dyke.
As Wilkens notes, it is obvious that the invader who built these enormous defenses was planning on a long siege. Also, a very large army would have been needed to move the huge volume of earth that went into creating these dykes which are 20 meters high and 30 meters wide at the base. Therefore, it seems that the estimated number of combatants in the Achaean army - between 65,000 and 100,000 - might not be an exaggeration.
The two dykes are about 10 km apart, leaving room for the deployment of two large armies if the defenders were to breach the first rampart. A line drawn perpendicularly through the two dykes, extending inland, cuts through the highest hill in the Cambridge area now known as the Wandlebury Ring, part of a plateau called the Gog Magog Hills. Wilkens produces still another confirmation:
According to the tale, after ten years of war and countless deaths, Troy was essentially wiped off the face of the earth. Obviously, everybody didn't die but the silting of the Wash made it impossible to rebuild on the same site at that time, assuming that the survivors had the heart to do so. A new city was built on the Thames at Ilford, or the Ford of Ilium east of the present City of London. The Romans called this city Londinium Troia Nova, or "New Troy." It was also known as Trinobantum, and the Celts called it Caer Troia, or "Town of Troy."
Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote that New Troy was founded by Brutus in 1100 BC. That would certainly put the "real Trojan War" quite a bit earlier than most "experts" consider to be the appropriate temporal placement of this war. The Hon. R.C. Neville found glass objects from the eastern Mediterranean which were dated as being from the fifteenth century BC about 5 km from Wandlebury Ring. Objects of a similar date and origin have also been found in other parts of England, showing that there was trade between the Atlantic and Mediterranean peoples.
There are two figures of the giants Gog and Magog that strike the hours on a clock at Dunstan-in-the West, Fleet Street, but few people in London seem to know why they are there. Adrian Gilbert writes in The New Jerusalem:
In the above quote, we have a clue that the giants, Gog and Magog, were known to the people of England long before they had access to a Bible, so certainly the Gog Magog hills were not named after the war described by Ezekiel. Rather, Ezekiel must have known about the terrible conflict fought on the Gog Magog plateau.
The question that is often asked is: could there have been cities of as many as 100,000 inhabitants in England during the Bronze Age? The population definitely fluctuated over time, but archaeologists estimate a population of at least 3 million at the close of the Bronze Age. According to some experts, England was a populous country with well developed agriculture at that time. We read in the Iliad about orchards, vines and fields of corn.
If it is so that Troy was in England, then the first documented King of England was Priam - in the Bronze Age. It also explains why prehistoric spiral labyrinths engraved on rocks or laid out on the ground with stones are still called "Troy Towns" or "walls of Troy" in England, "Caerdroia" in Wales and "Trojaborgs" in Scandinavia.
There is more than a symbolic relationship between the spiral maze or labyrinths and the city of Troy. According to K. Kerenyi, the root of the word truare means "a circular movement around a stable centre." Based on the archaeological evidence, the symbolism of the circular labyrinth is far older than Homer's time, reaching back into the Stone Age.
Having discovered that there is good reason to believe the Troy was situated in England, we next must consider now the identification and locations of the Achaeans. As Wilkens has noted:
So, if the Egypt that we know was not Egypt at that time, where was it? Also, where was the land of the Achaeans?
Considering the fact that the archaeological evidence of the many levels of the "Troy" that Schliemann discovered simply do not support all the details of the story of the Trojan war, I agree with Wilkens that it seems that there was a general shift of Homeric place-names from western Europe to the Mediterranean after the end of the Bronze Age.
The sea upon which the Troad lay was called the Hellespont. This means the "Sea of Helle." According to legend, Helle was a girl who fell from the back of a winged ram and drowned in the sea which was then named after her. She was the daughter of Athamas, King of Orchomenus and the sister of Phrixus.
The name Hel, or Helle is also written as El or Elle by those linguistic groups that do not pronounce the "H." It is a word of very ancient Indo-European origin. Not only was El the name of the principal god of the pantheon of Ugarith, the ancient Syrian town on the Mediterranean, but "el" also means "god" in the Semitic languages.
The atlas of Europe contains so many place-names beginning with Hel, Helle, El and Elle that it is well worth having a look: (I apologize that the scan of the map is so difficult to read due to the contrast, but the idea can be gotten by having a look and then further examination of an atlas will provide additional evidence.)
Apart from the waters off the western tip of France, still called Chenal de la Helle, the name Hellespont or Helle Sea has disappeared from western Europe. But, there are good reasons to think that it must have been the name of the sea on the shores of which so many places named "Helle" remain. Also, there still remain an estuary in the Rhine delta called Hellegat, or "Gate to Helle," while the origin of the name of the French resort of Houlgate on the Channel coast is undoubtedly Hellegat. The name of the port of Hull on the northeast coast of England comes from the word "hell" according to the Oxford dictionary of English Etymology. Additionally, the name of Broceliande, the vast forest of Paimpont in Brittany, known from the cycle of the Knights of the Round Table is "Bro-Hellean" in Armorican Breton, meaning "Land near Hell."
Phrygia is the second frontier of the Troad mentioned by Homer and he describes it as an "upland." We can look for the etymology of the word Phrygia in both the name of the Norse goddess Freya, and the name Phrixos, the brother of Helle. The name of the kingdom of their father was Orchomenus and there is, in fact, a place in west Scotland called Orchy, and on the north of Scotland there are the Orkney Islands, the archaic spelling of which is Orcheny. In the Orkneys, there is a town named Aith, the same as the name of Agamemnon's horse. Following the principles of etymology, we even find the name of King Athamos preserved: Atham > Ethem > Eden> Edin > Edinburgh.
Many recent archaeological finds give evidence of big farms in Scotland dating as far back as 4000 BC, witness to an advanced culture that subsequently spread to the south of Great Britain.
Lesbos would then be the Isle of Wight. The name of the main river on the Isle of Wight is Medina, cognate with the Greek Methymna. The narrow strait separating the Isle from the mainland is called the Solent, related to the Greek noun solen which means channel or strait. Maps of the island show a promontory known as Egypt point.
According to Homer, Egypt is only a few days voyage from Troy. And so, if Troy was in England, Egypt must not be far away. Somewhere in western Europe there must be a region that subsequently gave its Bronze Age name to the land of the Pharaohs down south in Africa much later.
At the time of Homer, the land of the Pharaohs was not called Egypt, but Misr, Al-Khem or Kemi and often Meroë. This latter name applied to Upper Egypt and what is now called Ethiopia. The biblical name for Egypt was Mitsrayim which is still modern Hebrew for Egypt. Since its independence, the official Arabic name for Egypt has returned to Masr.
It was Herodotus, the first Greek to visit the pyramids who first called the Land of the Pharaohs by a name taken from Homer, Egypt. Alexander the Great made this the official name of the country in 332 BC. In other words, the Greeks did exactly what all colonialists do: they gave familiar names to places in their colonies and imposed their language on the peoples by virtue of making it the language of administration.
What is evident is that Homer's description of Egypt does not at all match the features of the Land of the Pharaohs. This was noted by the Greek Philosopher Eratosthenes who lived in Alexandria. (284-192 BC)
Homer uses Egypt to designate a "river fed by the water of the sky" and sometimes the surrounding country with its "fine fields." But he never, ever, mentions the pyramids which were, supposedly, already thousands of years old at the time of the Trojan War. Additionally, the pyramids are not mentioned by Aeschylus in his drama The Suppliants, the subject of which is the Druidic tradition from the north. He tells us how the suppliants, a group of fifty young women who wish to escape forced marriages, flee Egypt "across the salty waves to reach the land of Argos." Later in the play, he writes how the young Io, pursued by a gadfly, returns from Argos to Egypt and "arrived in the holy land of Zeus, rich in fruits of all sorts, in the meadows fed by the melting snow and assailed by the fury of Typhon, on the banks of the Nile whose waters are always pure."
Doesn't sound much like Egypt, does it?
As those of you who have studied geography realize, Argos has never been part of, or near to, Egypt as we now know it. Furthermore, Egypt - as we now know it - was the land of Ra, the Sun God and, in ancient Egypt, Zeus was completely unknown. Finally, meadows watered by melting snow never, in any way, could describe the land we now know as Egypt.
So, since the Egypt described by both Homer and Aeschylus do not fit the Egypt we now know, and we don't think they would have forgotten to mention the chief feature of Egypt - the pyramids - we must conclude that they were not talking about the Egypt we know as Egypt today.
Zeus was certainly known to France to the extent that one day of the week, Jeudi, or Thursday, comes from his name. It is the right distance from Troy, but, as Wilkens points out, we don't find much etymologically speaking, to support the idea that Egypt was France. However, there are a few clues.
As it happens, there is a town and branch of the Nile in present day Egypt that the Greeks called Bolbitiron and Bobitinon. Correspondingly, there is a town called Bolbec near the mouth of the Seine. Then, there is a river in France called the Epte. This river flows from the north to join the Seine near Vernoin, half-way between Paris and Rouen.
There are many etymological artifacts of the name of the Nile in France where many villages contain -nil- (French for Nile) in their names. There is Mesnil, near Le Havre which, in twelfth-century church Latin was called "mas-nilii" or "house in the Nile country.. Then there is Miromesnil, Ormesnil, Frichemesnil, Longmesnil, Vilmesnil, and so on. Menilmontant, or "house on the upper Nile" is a district in Paris, and there is a suburb called Blanc-Mesnil. The god of the Nile had a daughter called Europe whose name is preserved in the river Eure, a southern confluent of the Seine.
At the time of the Pharoahs, in what we now know as Egypt, the Nile was called Ar or Aur. During the periods when it flooded, it was called Hape the Great.
Homer mentions a town in Egypt, Thebes, which cannot be the same town we know in Egypt which was, during the time of the Pharaohs known as Wase or Wo-se. It was only eight centuries after Homer that the Greeks gave it the new name of Thebes.
Utilizing the principles of etymology, Wilkens suggests that Homer's Thebes is now called Dieppe.
You are visitor number
You are visitor number .