The memory of Lord Indra

At my other weblog, I have a long post on Irish DNA which I think will be interesting to readers of this weblog. The reason is that the big aspects aren’t really about Irish DNA, but the fact that ancient DNA is shedding new light on the mythology of the Irish people, which unlike other Northern Europeans was preserved rather than forgotten during Christianization (the indigenous and gradual nature of Irish Christianization probably explains this).

The authors found a high-status individual buried in a Neolithic mound who was the product of first-order incest (brother-sister or parent-child). This strongly suggests a very stratified society. But this is the incredibly interesting part:

The Brú na Bóinne passage tombs appear in Medieval mythology that relates their construction to magical manipulations of the solar cycle by a tribe of gods, which has led to unresolved speculation about the durability of oral traditions across millennia…Although such longevity seems unlikely, our results strongly resonate with mythology that was first recorded in the eleventh century AD, in which a builder-king restarts the daily solar cycle by copulating with his sister…Fertae Chuile, a Middle Irish placename for the Dowth passage tomb (which neighbors Newgrange), is based on this lore and can be translated as ‘Hill of Sin’ or ‘Hill of Incest’…

It seems clear here that the Irish had clear memories of the native Neolithic people and their practices, over 3,000 years after these people had been replaced by intrusive “Bell Beakers” who likely spoke Indo-European languages (perhaps, but not necessarily, Celtic). This is not surprising in light of other instances of long-term preservation.

But, it does suggest that the early Indian mythological cycles have embedded within them a fair amount of information, though it will no doubt be mixed in with narrative elaboration and fabulation.

18 thoughts on “The memory of Lord Indra”

  1. Any correlation between ydna and social rank of the Irish neolithic? On phone atm so I am hesitating to read it now.

      1. There are non-Dinaric looking Serbs as well. Djokovic looks more Pontid than Dinarid for instance.

        1. Djokovic is I2, he is Dinaric. A few dozens of NBA Serbian players are mostly Dinarics. Serbs are the amalgamation of I2 and R1a. For e.g. Nikola Tesla is R1a. Actually, they are the oldest ‘versions’ of I2 and R1a and looks Dinaric (187cm), it means that younger versions are Serbian derivations, including those in S.Asia. There are also so-called the Pannonian type, shorter, shorter limbs, sometimes chubby because of plenty of food (Dinara mountain region is very rugged, rocky terrain). What is the Pontid (type), do you know what is the Pont?

        2. I found on Wiki the description about Pontids. It is a bit confusing; they mix people from very different backgrounds (e.g. Serbs, Greeks, Albanians) who are very different in all aspects. My question was related to the name itself because it is important in the neighbouring thread. What does it mean Pont? Greeks gave this name to the Black Sea. Because they were continentals, they did not have own name for the ‘sea’. The Pont means the ‘road’, i.e. (Black) Sea can be used as a road for traveling. Without their own name, they borrowed the name for ‘sea’ from indigenous Serbs. This name is still in the modern Greek language.

          1. I was talking about the phenotypes. Djokovic looks more like north Pontid than like Dinarid.

          2. Thanks, I haven’t studied much this before. What is here confusing?

            The link says: “The name derives from the Dinaric Alps in former Yugoslavia, where the type is commonly found among Serbs, Croats, Montenegrins, Bosniaks, and their relatives. Also typical for the Eastern Alps (esp. Tyrol), Carpathians, South Germany, Austria, Albania, West Ukraine. Extends to France, Western Greece, Bulgarian mountains, Italy, and other regions of Europe.”

            But, actually, they are all Serbs on different geographical locations. The origin is the Dinaric region in Herzegovina. People from this rugged, inhospitable, rocky region without agriculture were emigrating for thousands of years and this process still continues. The region is an inexhaustible source of Dinaric human genes spreading around the world.

  2. There is a lot of this stuff in Hindu mythology. The problem is Hindutva take it way too seriously, and reactionary secularists are too dismissive of any connection between myth and history.

  3. Super fascinating… crazy that the orally passed down story was from the prior genetically distinct culture they replaced!
    Makes me wonder how much of the puranas may be repackaged IVC mythology.

    I’ve always felt that the deity Krishna is a pre-aryan pre-vedic deity that got sanskritized. Especially the parts of his biography that relate to his childhood. There are so many similar stories in Kerala about godlike children (i.e. Ayappa, etc) I wonder if they are related sometimes and if that was a common theme among the pre-aryan society of India.

    I suspect same for Shiva – i mean he literally wears a tiger skin and is often represented as a hunter. And from what I can tell there are no other cognates in say zoroastrian literature or european literature. Dionysius comes closest but even he is regarded as coming from a foreign land in the places he was worshipped (ie greece, rome where he was bacchus) .

    In fact, my theory is that you can tell what parts of hinduism are pre-aryan simply by finding other indo-iranian or indo-european cognates and subtracting them out.

    1. The answer is Simple The Elemental Gods seems to be Aryan/Indo-European and Gods like Shiva, Krishna , Kali etc seems to be more regional.
      Local Matas/Devi and Devtas are found all over India with some origin stories and Beautiful Idols. One is “Chintpurni” Mata that i Know.
      The answer lies in Decoding the Indus Script. IS it a Dravidian language ancestor mixed with Tribal Languages or a Indo-aryan language.
      My Dad the Asurs(Hidimb) depicted in The Mahabarata could be Hunter Gatherer or Tribal people.

  4. This is the old Serbian mythology. I wrote couple times about this. Good observation about pre-aryan (i.e. pre 2000 BC) mythology. For thousands of years before that it was Serbian mythology which was later brought to SA. Dionysius was the first Aryan leader – the meaning is literally God (i.e. Div) from Nis(a). He is the Nimrod, mighty hunter, first before the God, from the Bible. On the way back from SA he took Huriti (future Greeks) and future Jews from Mesopotamia and led them to Egypt. Bacchus is the Roman version of this deity. This is actually his Serbian name Bak (=bull). He founded Babylon (=’the gate of Ilya’ – the supreme Serbian deity) and Bagdad got the name from him (Bak-dat=Bak-given), etc, etc.

    Irish and SA mythologies are the west and east wings of Serbian mythology originated in Vinca. Irish and Serbs had identical names until the 13.c.AC when Edward Longshanks prohibited Irish language, names and sports. Someone mentioned black slavery. I wrote before here about white slavery, a less known fact about the period when Irish were English slaves.

    Can anyone offer any other suggestion about the links between Irish (Celtic) and Hindu mythology? It was written several times about this, but none tried to explain where these links and similarities came from. I recently asked the question about similarities between Druids (i.e drew-ids) and some Hindu mythologies.

  5. At no point in our history were the Irish enslaved by the English, Milan. That trope originated about a dozen years ago among white supremacists, mainly in north America, and is a profound distortion of history. It’s got nothing to do with the facts of our history, and EVERYTHING to do with ‘race’ relations in present day USA. It’s meant to belittle Afro-American slavery in English north America/the USA by claiming others were in the same situation. Strange they picked on the Irish, not Anglos. Or maybe not! Look up Liam Hogan’s work, freely available, online which has demolished it utterly.

    The notion that there was a continuous tradition of this for four thousand years seemed unlikely to me. Signs as by, Doctor Elizabeth Boyle tweeted that the 12th century story which the geneticists think confirms it, is not derived from any Irish tradition but classical texts. It’s just historical fiction. The paper had a laudable mix of geneticists and archaeologists, but seemingly no Irish medievalists, who would have dissuaded them from even suggesting this. But now it’s out there, and despite ONLY this individual showing evidence of incest, it will now become a widely believed ‘fact’ that this was a common Irish practice. Despite no evidence of it among his wider kin-group.

    Previous papers by them have also displayed other such clunkers concerning language and ethnicity. This is a great shame as the genetic conclusions are remarkable; the authors need much better interaction with experts in such disciplines.

    Lastly, Irish mythology is not Celtic – the best term to use is Gaelic and/or Irish. Though many still see them as one and the same, they are not and should never be treated as such. We don’t have any real Celtic mythology at all due to the Roman conquest of Gaul. Gaelic-Irish mythology as we now know it was created in very different circumstances during the 4th-7th centuries, heavily influenced by biblical and classical texts with native traditions mixed in. Nor are there any real connections between it, Hindu, or Serbian, except by coincidence and the same general human-story tropes. It’s best to understand them in the context of their own environments rather than ludicrous associations based on personal fancy.

  6. Also, I think you are on about the 1366 Statutes of Kilkenny, which were in the reign of Edward III not Edward I ‘Longshanks’. Which were not for the Gaelic-Irish but the Anglo-Irish, and written in French not English. Because they were even then highly Gaelicised. The Statutes didn’t work.

    Our ancestors here in Ireland most certainly did NOT have identical names to Serbs before or after the 13th century! Either Gaeil or Gaill. English monarchs could make as many prohibitions as they wanted; none could be applied in Gaelic lordships and were hugely ineffective in English ones. Thus we still have all three today – language, names, sports. GAA, anyone???

    1. I haven’t seen your comment before. Pretty busy right now, will reply with more details, but just briefly now. I already wrote here about ‘Afro-American style’ slavery imposed on Irish by English. I will repeat some of arguments I presented one year or so ago. Also, I will also present the research of Prof. Joshua Whatmough, a noted linguist and author, and chairman of the department of linguistics at Harvard University, who collected old Celtic names where we can see that they are identical with Serbian. Some of them are very archaic but many of them are still used as modern names among Serbs. Some of these names are used by Irish/Scots today, e.g. Damien, Tara, Dana, Bruce, etc. I will also write about some aspects of common mythology. Btw. Do you know the meaning of the name ‘Bruce’ or the origin of the name ‘Thames’? Where dozens and dozens of toponyms in British Isles (I read before that some English call them ‘bizarre’) which are identical with those in Serbia, came from? I2 is Serbian (Dinaric) genetics and all downstream derivates are in fact Serbian outfits. You can use some other name if you wish (Celtic, Gothic, Gallic, would be also ok) but it is the convention to use the name (for tribes, for eg.) of the language they spoke. Unless you have strong reasons that you don’t like to be associated with Serbs what is also ok, by me. In any case, you probably need to explain where Celts originated and where they came from. Have they met Serbs somewhere in history? Stay cool!

  7. Adrian, I hope you are progressing well in your research of old Celtic names and using a reference I provided.

    Regarding ‘Irish slavery’ which you assert that did not exist and citing Liam Hogan who ‘debunked this myth’ by playing with terminology. Instead of ‘slaves’ he used the term ‘indentured servants’ and concluded that Irish slavery did not exist. Well, let’s do not play terminology games and have a look few facts about Irish ‘indentured servants’. I am still busy and will use Google translator, but I believe it will be understandable:

    “From 1641 to 1652, more than 500,000 Irish were killed by the English and another 300,000 were sold into slavery. The Irish population has fallen from around 1,500,000 to 600,000 in one decade.

    Families fell apart because the British did not allow Irish fathers to take their wives and children with them across the Atlantic. This has led to a helpless population, homeless women and children. The British solution was to sell them at auctions.

    During the 1650s, over 100,000 Irish children aged 10 to 14 were taken from their parents and sold as slaves to the West Indies, Virginia and New England. In the same decade, 52,000 Irish (mostly women and children) were sold to Barbados and Virginia.

    Another 30,000 Irish men and women were transported and sold to the best bidder. In 1656, Cromwell ordered 2,000 Irish children to be taken to Jamaica and sold as slaves to English settlers.

    Even today, many people avoid calling Irish slaves what they really are: slaves. They will tentatively call them “indentured servants” to describe what happened to the Irish. However, in most cases from the 17th and 18th centuries, Irish slaves were nothing more than human cattle.

    As an example, the African slave trade had only just begun in that same period. It is well noted that African slaves were much more expensive than Irish, up to ten times, and were often treated far better than their Irish counterparts. African slaves were worth in the market during the late 1600, £ 50 sterling and Irish slaves worth no more than £ 5 sterling. If Irish slaves were beaten to death on the plantations, it was never a crime. The death of an Irish slave was only a financial loss, but far cheaper than killing more expensive African slaves.

    Over time, the English devised a better way to use Irish women to increase their market earnings: Settlers began to cross Irish women and girls (even under 12) with African men and thus produce slaves with a lighter complexion. These new “mulatto” slaves were more expensive than Irish “cattle” and also allowed English settlers to save money than to buy new African slaves.

    This practice of interbreeding Irish women with African men lasted for several decades, and was so widespread that in 1681, a regulation was passed prohibiting the practice of mating Irish slaves and African slaves for the purpose of making slaves for sale. In short, it was stopped only because it hindered the earnings of large slave-owning transport companies that brought slaves from Africa.

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