I am an independent academic from America. I am conducting research in the field of Neolithic iconography. In other words, I interpret ancient art.
I am working on deciphering the iconography of Cornwall, England & Wales, Ireland, the Isle of Man and Scotland. My work requires that I consult with experts in the field on St. Patrick’s life and mission in establishing the Christian church.
My work is focusing on the prospects that early Brittonic iconography was a form of written language, not art. I am forming the opinion that the ‘myth’ of St. Patrick driving all the snakes from Ireland is a characterization of true events.
I am working multiple hypotheses in my research, though I can conclude already the ‘myth’ of St. Patrick is no myth at all rather a conflict which arose over the forms of iconography in use in St. Patrick’s day.
In the era when both the Christian narrative and the extant Brittonic narrative formed a marriage of traditions and values and Christianity was adopted as a moral authority the iconography of the age clashed with the Christian narrative of Satan. As we all know the Christian narrative describes Satan as a dragon, a demon, a serpent.
It appears to me that the use of eels as a ”familiar” symbolizing ranks of pre-Caesarean leadership clashed with Christian characterizations of evil, causing concern amongst Christianity’s early leaders. Many throughout Cornwall, England & Wales, Ireland, the Isle of Man and Scotland were against abandoning their aboriginal form of writing, though the majority agreed the new phonetic language was more powerful.
While conducting field work in the United Kingdom in 2011 I confirmed that Brittonic Iconography is in fact a form of language and am planning an expedition to Ireland to complete my research next year. Although I am only two thirds complete in my field work I am confident I have identified St. Patrick’s Miracle was based in fact though obscured by legend.
It appears St. Patrick’s Miracle was in keeping brothers from coming to blows in the debate over whether to retain the aboriginal iconographic language of the British Isles or adopt a written language based on phonetics, which was not possible without adopting the Roman alphabet. St. Patrick was able to convince the Nobility of Ireland that the iconographic language which was replete with animal familiars, with dragons and serpents employed to signify ranks of Nobility, would prove to be a liability in the European community which was adapting Christianity and the Roman alphabet.
One can well imagine the reluctance of the kindreds of Cornwall, England & Wales, Ireland, the Isle of Man and Scotland to adopt the iconography of the Tyrant that had invaded and occupied parts of their dominion for nearly 400 years. Attempts were made to develop a phonetic language endemic to the British Isles, of which Ogam is one. We can all agree there was no use fighting the roman alphabet, for intertia had established the roman alphabet as the conventional form of writing throughout Europe and the early Christian leaders were advocating inclusion in the New Covenant rather than isolation in a written language which would bias others in Christendom against the Brythons.
My belief that the ‘myth’ of St. Patrick refers to a real event is based on a few factors: first the prevalence of the tradition itself reinforces the notion a real event involving St. Patrick occurred.
Secondly, the tradition will have originated within St. Patrick’s lifetime and, deferring to the reverence paid to the clergy of the early Christian Church, I doubt very much if the events were fabrications.
Thirdly, Ireland has no snakes because the geography of Ireland was either under an ice sheet until around 20,000 BC or so cold that cold blooded reptiles can not have survived the extreme conditions. The same is true of England & Wales and Scotland, though the English Channel is an intermittent body of water which, in geophysical scales of time, is periodically inundated or dry.
Between 20,000 BC and 12,500 BC the English Channel did not exist and England and Scotland were contiguous to the European continent. In 12,500 BC, when the world’s oceans were as much as 36 meters lower, was nearly connected to Scotland by an isthmus which formed between Scotland and the Irish coast a little ways north of Belfast. In that age the Isthmus of Ireland, as I will be calling it, was not complete, rather it featured a narrow straights much like the Straights of Menai which separates the Isle of Angelsey and Wales today.
In other words snakes can have crossed from Europe to England and Scotland, though not to Ireland. In conclusion, there never were any real snakes for St. Patrick to drive out of Ireland. St. Patrick converted the Irish to Christianity and convinced the Nobility and Bards of Ireland to abandon iconography which would clash was certain to prejudice other Christians against the Brythons.
In a narrative which is foundational, St. Patrick drove the eels from Ireland. Legend merely recalls he drove the serpents from Ireland.
I am to publish my findings in a book, likely to be published before 2020, and am in need of experts in the life and mission of St. Patrick to be as comprehensive as possible.
I expect your organization will know of the foremost scholars of the early church in Ireland, of the life of St. Patrick, and where possible, in ancient Irish Lore. Please refer me to any of your colleagues who you think may help.
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