Navigations and directions

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Re: Navigations and directions

Postby Boreades » 9:57 pm

The line from Rath Cruahcan to Dun Ailinne is also a Winter Solstice alignment.

The Book Of Invasions says that this earliest division of Ireland was done by a people called the Fir Bolg, after they had travelled through Greece and Spain.

Another triplet of interest is the one that goes north-south through Uisneach.

It connects Grianan of Aileach with St. Declan’s near Ardmore on the south coast.

Image
Last edited by Boreades on 10:40 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Navigations and directions

Postby Boreades » 9:58 pm

By another strange coincidence, the Great Circle route from the most south-west tip of Spain, through the ancient Tower of Hercules arrives in Ireland at St. Declan’s.

Image

We are told:

The tower is known to have existed by the 2nd century, built or perhaps rebuilt under Trajan, possibly on foundations following a design that was Phoenician in origin.
...
The position of the lighthouse is not understood since it strongly favours an approach from the northwest. It does not provide a guide to safe harbour to vessels approaching either up the West coast of the Iberian peninsula, nor along the Rias of the north coast. This would imply that the lighthouse was built to satisfy the needs of regular traffic coming in from the Atlantic, perhaps taking a Westerly route from the Cap Gris Nez area to avoid the Bay of Biscay or direct from Ireland or South West England.


My emphasis.
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Re: Navigations and directions

Postby Boreades » 10:12 pm

TME folks will recognise the closeness of Cape Finisterre to The Tower of Hercules.
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Re: Navigations and directions

Postby Boreades » 10:21 pm

At this point, I'm losing my own direction. Irish History has much that helps us delve into the pre-Roman world. But where am I going to find the equivalents for pre-Roman Britain?
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Re: Navigations and directions

Postby hvered » 5:15 pm

Graham Robb has a map of the "Chad" Meridian (on p. 97)! It's to illustrate latitudinal variations in daytime length and not, fortunately for us, navigational references apart from the clearly labelled 'Pillars of Hercules' (Tarifa), which is presumably why this particular meridian features since the Herculean Way is the book's starting point.
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Re: Navigations and directions

Postby spiral » 12:38 pm

This is not simply about navigation and direction, the ancients crafted and planned the countryside on a monumental scale, the way that we nowadays plan the development and skyline of cities.
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Re: Navigations and directions

Postby Boreades » 12:52 am

Modern-day navigators routinely use tide tables and an almanac with both a solar and a lunar calendar (for moon phase dates) and sun rise and set times.

Ancient navigators didn't have any of that, did they?

Ah well, actually they might have. The Druids had a very well developed Calendar. Memorising its workings would surely have been a basic part of their 20 year training.

According to part of Saltair Na Rann:

For each day, five items of knowledge are required of everyone, with no appearance of boasting, who would be leader. The day of the solar month, the age of the moon, the state of the sea tide, without error, the day of the week, the calendar of the feasts of the deities.

With all that memorised, navigation is seemples!
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Re: Navigations and directions

Postby Boreades » 11:06 pm

It bears repeating and reflecting on:

For each day, five items of knowledge are required of everyone, with no appearance of boasting, who would be leader. The day of the solar month, the age of the moon, the state of the sea tide, without error, the day of the week, the calendar of the feasts of the deities.

To learn all this is a phenomenal feat of memory, worthy of huge respect. (I have enough trouble remembering my own children's names). But - just consider - if this is just learning about past events, it is a respectable ability, but it is not a powerful ability. To be a worthy leader, you have to be able to anticipate the coming events. How can you do that for so many days and years into the future? There has to be a underlying model, and that has to be a mathematical model.

I can glibly say that Easter is on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox. What a clever boy. I've learnt the baseline rule. Trouble is, I've no idea how to apply it or predict it. For that, you need a model of the astronomical cycles. To have that from observation, and then internalise it into memory as an oral tradition is a phenomenally powerful achievement.

It also seems to me that the Druid leadership was therefore a meritocracy, where the leader was the one who retained and recalled the most & best knowledge. If you can demonstrate that, no boasting is required.
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Re: Navigations and directions

Postby Boreades » 11:33 pm

I wondered why special emphasis was placed in the tides.

the state of the sea tide, without error

Surely "without error" applied to all of the "five items"? Or was there something extra-special about learning the tides?

Then I recalled all the posts we've had here about the strange choices of location for Celtic Saints, very often on isolated islands where "hermits" had been before. As mentioned in other posts, the Celtic Christians peacefully assimilated Druidic knowledge and ways of working, and continued that for centuries.

All the other requisite knowledge would be consistent over the whole country, but the tides are not consistent. High tide on Anglesey is on a different cycle to high tide on St.Michael's Mount. For this part of the "five items", local knowledge is essential. Local observation posts, or Druid's Circles, or chapels, would have to be established. Most likely these would also been places for Beaconage.
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Re: Navigations and directions

Postby macausland » 12:32 pm

'So the kind of qualitative questions that bother us are:
- how wide can a line be?
- what kind of places are cause and what kind are effect?
- why are so many old-places in the West and why are there a lot less in the East? '

I've come across a site dealing with standing stones with ogham texts on them in Cornwall and Devon. Perhaps you already know it.

The various maps show a clear movement from northwest to south east. I'm not sure if this adds anything to your argument (to be quite honest I'm a bit confused about all the diagrams and what they mean) but here it is anyway.

It seems that there was a definite move of certain people from Ireland into areas of the west country as well as Wales of course.

http://babelstone.blogspot.co.uk/2009/1 ... devon.html

For some reason the Irish ogham was also translated into Latin on the same stones.
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