תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

VOT

Such a gold breastplate from Mykenae is referred to in Schuchardt's Schliemann, fig. 256.

Fig. 4 is Hesiodic or Boeotian work, or prior to the Trojan war.

Hesiod was a Boeotian, and in this Poem he also describes the shield as enriched with amber, niekt pov, showing traffic with the Baltic, uses the word Kvávos (enamel), and also applies it to the serpents on the shield, used to produce an apparent motion of life from the iridescent glittering, as enamel.

A most elaborately-decorated torque, Fig. 5, was found at Wendover, Berks., on the raised pre-Roman road known as “The Devil's Highway”, between the last two great camps along the Ridgway line, and in the direction of the Ic-nield Way.

Figs. 6 and 7 (p. 254) represent a brooch from Mykenae and part of a Saxon brooch, as though

Fig. 5.-Gold Torque. the Greek designs in the British

Wendover, Berks. Islands had even descended to the Saxons, whose colouring in enamel was also equally rich.

The communication between Britain and Gaul was great. Caesar describes the Gaulish youths being sent here for education. The Druids elevated these foreign artists in metal to their own rank. No wonder the Druids furnished no records. Their political and commercial relations, quite as much as their worship, required secrecy.

That the Iceni were closely connected with the Aurdovicae is evident from the Icenic outbreak and massacre of Romanised tribes, as the result of Suetonius attacking the sacred seat of the Druids and gold-workers -Anglesea. The pre-Roman Icenic gold coinage is thus easily accounted for, both the metal and artificers being locally British. It agrees so closely with the early British gold coins found at the western end of the Icnield way (Karn Bré in Cornwall), and published by Mr. Borlase as very early pre-Roman British gold coins, that the Icenic traffic there, also for gold, seems clear.

1 When electrum is in connection with ivory, gypsum, and such delicate articles, it is considered to be amber, not metal. Homer mentions a necklace with gold and amber beads.

Further on, in the track of the part of Watling Street leading by its tributaries to the Humber, the Tyne, and

[graphic][graphic][merged small][merged small]

even to the Forth, three of the great commercial ports of pre-Roman Britain, and which unite Conway with the North and South British eastern ports, making this route to Ireland the chief in importance, similar relics from Westmoreland and Yorkshire, Brough Castle, Kirby Thorne, etc., furnished richly-enamelled brooches of Greek design, with diamonds of blue enamel intersected with triangles of red, the bronze being gilt, thus giving the “rainbow colours” mentioned by Homer. Some of the jewellery was plated with silver, some with gold; thus, with the enamel, giving evidence of arts which must have been introduced and not spontaneously indigenous in Britain. Such plating by silver and gold is mentioned by Homer in the Iliad and Odyssey. With the Renaissance, enamelling on silver was brought to great excellence in Italy, of which I have magnificent works. Examples of these Welsh enamels are in the British Museum, and those of Giggleswick, Leeds, Chester, etc. ; and also in the private hands of proprietors and discoverers in the respective localities, and in the Glastonbury Museum.

At Settle, in Yorkshire, a cave named the Victoria Cave, from its discovery in the year and on the day of the coronation of Her Majesty, was discovered by Mr. J. Jackson. The cave had been used as a refuge at two periods, as shown by an intervening coating of stalagmite; the more recent one at a time, as proved by certain coins, as late as say 500 A.D. But the earlier refugees had taken with them articles of beauty in high art and luxury (including rich enamels and those of a coarser kind), which may have been treasured by them as antiques, and are by no means to be assigned to the dates of the coins from which nature had separated them by a covering of lime-crystal, or stalagmite. The lower part of the lowest stratum indicated a Neolithic period.

The name Welsh in itself means foreigners, properly " Walsh”. This shows that the whole was an incursive body. But the people of North Wales were evidently further distinguished by their occupation.

No explanation has been given of the name under which North Wales was anciently known from its inhabitants, called Ordovicae, or Ordevices, a people like those now recognised as colonists, introducing Greek and Asiatic trees and customs into Western Europe'; in each case living in proud seclusion in mountainous districts. Mr. Camden suggests that it was known to the Greeks, and mis-spelled, but the word he substitutes, Genouthia", does not help the inquiry. It has been shown that the country was highly aurii See my Paper on "Dendrophoria", Transactions, Royal Society of Literature, 1897, and Sir George Birdwood's Report to the Indian Government, on the “Introduction of Trees into Western Europe”.

[ocr errors]

1

ferous, and the occupants gold-workers and enamellers in the Greek style. A very slight divergence from the classical seems to meet the case.

The Latin aurum and the late Greek word avpov, gold, are indicative; the aup (aur), would soon be corrupted into “or”; as in French, “01”; Spanish "aûreoand “oro"; Italian “oro". These, and the Welsh “aur", and the Irish “Oʻr", are clearly abbreviations of aurum. Awpew (doreo), to give, follows. The p (r) in certain dialects, as the Aeolic, often had as an initial B (B), which, as an initial, would in some cases supersede it. B and v are mutative, as in Bara, or Fara (the letter F giving the sound v in Welsh), Vara-bread, the Bay of Biscay, or Viscaya; also in Greek, in Romaic, Ger. silber, Eng. silver, etc.; if so doreo or dorea would become dovea or dovia, and Aurdoria (Aurdobia) or Aurdovia, would mean the gold-giving land of the Aurdovicae, or Ordovicae.

Sarn Helen, a way of the Aurdovicae, is evidently so ancient that it would be more reasonable to attribute it to the Greeks (Hellenes) than to the Mother of Constantine. It has distinctly Etruscan features, and is, I think, certainly Graeco-Etruscan.

Geographically, the gold of Ireland, Wales, and other parts of Britain are the same, and the gold rush to Sutherlandshire is fresh in the memory of many.

There are, then, close around Conway, evidences of Italian colonists, as the Graeco-Italian Senones, and not far off the Graeco-Italian Vennones, who also certainly traded for gold between the Rhaetian Alps and Britain. The Verones also (clearly from their name people of Northern Italy), who settled in Spain for its metal traffic, would have traded here. The finds of magnificent gold

1 It must be borne in mind that the above variations arise from oral and colloquial corruptions of an enforced lingua franca as strongly indicated by the late use of “aupor" (evidently a GraecoItalian word) in lieu of “Zouoou" in Greek.-See my Paper on “GraecoItalian Synonymes in Britain”, Royal Society of Literature; also Prof. Donaldson's '“ Varronianus”, and Čanon Taylor and Lord Balcarres on “Etruscan Inscriptions”.

2 See my Paper at Manchester, 1894, and at the British Association at Leeds in 1990.

work and enamelled jewellery of the Greek type, historically shown to have been made in Britain; the evidences that the people of North Wales were a proud, peculiar, warlike, immigrant people; adaptive, artistic, seclusive, drawn here in all probability by the gold of the district and of Ireland.

So much for the articles found. But who shall tell of the countless objects discovered and not estimated before their historic value was understood ? Who of the innumerable objects of gold devoted to the melting-pot ? which has probably been the destination of the magnificent “gold and jewelled” (enamelled) coronet found on the Welsh side of the Herefordshire Beacon some years ago. Who of the pretty enamels treated as toys, ornaments, and trinkets by people who looked on them as nothing better than things of pastime or decorations for their children? Who of the acquisitions silently secreted to avoid the claim of Treasure Trove? Who of the many objects still buried by accident or intent, which time may yet reveal to us??

Now that it is established that these exquisite enamels were made in Britain, a most mysterious difficulty is solved : one that has exercised the minds of antiquaries and historians for ages, and one that, from the reliability of its author, Pliny, could not be set aside. The "ovum anguinum", or " serpent's egg" made by serpents collected together and "hissing", is, although various in form, always formed of glass in elegant designs and colours ; in short, the glass and the colours of which the enamels were made, several of which latter represent the serpent and dragon ; the ovum anguinum also simulating coloured serpents in designs upon it. The Graeco-Etruscan and Ligurian people worshipped the serpent in particular, and their priests would be called serpents.

The art would certainly have been a secret if not sacred art, and

| Borlase relates the fact that brass (bronze) Roman coins, found in Cornwall, were given to children for toys, as being of no value. They would now be treasured.

2 “Only five finds out of 50,000 (of a special metal work) having reached any public or private museum.”—Prof. Dr. George Stephens, Northern Mythology. 1897

18

« הקודםהמשך »