The ancient smith was an ambiguous character, as his art could be used for wreaking terrible violence as well as protecting and serving his people. His very importance also made him vulnerable to pressure from the warriors and leaders of his own society, as well as to attack from enemies.
"There are legends about 'royal smiths' who started their careers as humble craftsmen but became, thanks to their special abilities, the founders of dynasties. The most famous example is the great Mongol conqueror Ghengis Khan, who was said to have originally been a smith, or at least descended from a family of smiths. There may have been a kernel of historical truth in some of these stories in that initially small guild-like clans may have managed to keep both the secrets of their trade and the combined monopolies of weapons' manufacture and military organization in their own hands."
Similarly, Rowan has pointed out in the pages of 'White Dragon' that the legend of King Arthur pulling the sword from the stone may be a memory of the early days of metal smelting. The stone appears to represent a metallic ore, and "by discovering the sword within the stone and being able to wield it, Arthur undergoes a fundamental transformation from being an ordinary man into being a leader of immense power and charisma for his people."(27) She also tells me that in certain versions of this story the sword is described as being pulled from an anvil instead of a stone, thus lending credence to a metallurgical interpretation.
Rudyard Kipling, in his interlinked collection of stories Puck of Pook's Hill, set many of the stories near the Smithy, and told of the arrival of the smith god in the first.
Donald Mackenzie, who wrote the introduction for the Oxford World's Classics edition of Puck of Pook's Hill in 1987, has described this book as an example of archaeological imagination that, in fragments, delivers a look at the history of England, climaxing with the signing of Magna Carta. .. Puck calmly concludes the series of stories: "Weland gave the Sword, The Sword gave the Treasure, and the Treasure gave the Law. It's as natural as an oak growing."
Cain is thought to be cognate to the mid-1st millennium BC South Arabian word qyn, meaning "metalsmith".
When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth." (Genesis 4:10–12)
The mark of Cain is God's promise to Cain for divine protection from premature death with the stated purpose to prevent anyone from killing him. It is not known what the mark is, but it is assumed that the mark is visible. Some have speculated that the mark is a Hebrew letter placed on either the face or the arm
hvered wrote:It's an interesting question about Genesis, it hadn't occurred to me to consider Cain and Abel as a 'Megalithic' conflict. Abel was a shepherd, Cain a farmer and associated with everything 'evil' including metalwork.
hvered wrote:Regardless of the folkloric stuff about smiths' supposed powers, being forced to work in a smithy or a mine would surely be seen as a terrible if useful occupation, then as now.
God, also known as Yahweh, had a wife named Asherah, according to a British theologian.
God had a wife, Asherah, whom the Book of Kings suggests was worshipped alongside Yahweh in his temple in Israel, according to an Oxford scholar. In 1967, Raphael Patai was the first historian to mention that the ancient Israelites worshiped both Yahweh and Asherah.
In 1967, Raphael Patai was the first historian to mention that the ancient Israelites worshiped both Yahweh and Asherah. The theory has gained new prominence due to the research of Francesca Stavrakopoulou, who began her work at Oxford and is now a senior lecturer in the department of Theology and Religion at the University of Exeter. Stavrakopoulou bases her theory on ancient texts, amulets and figurines unearthed primarily in the ancient Canaanite coastal city called Ugarit, now modern-day Syria. All of these artifacts reveal that Asherah was a powerful fertility goddess.
Asherah's connection to Yahweh, according to Stavrakopoulou, is spelled out in both the Bible and an 8th century B.C. inscription on pottery found in the Sinai desert at a site called Kuntillet Ajrud. "The inscription is a petition for a blessing," she shares. "Crucially, the inscription asks for a blessing from 'Yahweh and his Asherah.' Here was evidence that presented Yahweh and Asherah as a divine pair. And now a handful of similar inscriptions have since been found, all of which help to strengthen the case that the God of the Bible once had a wife."
Also significant, Stavrakopoulou believes, "is the Bible's admission that the goddess Asherah was worshiped in Yahweh's Temple in Jerusalem. In the Book of Kings, we're told that a statue of Asherah was housed in the temple and that female temple personnel wove ritual textiles for her."
According to 1 Kings 11:4 Solomon's "wives turned his heart after other gods", their own national deities, to whom Solomon built temples, thus incurring divine anger and retribution in the form of the division of the kingdom after Solomon's death (1 Kings 11:9–13). 1 Kings 11 describes Solomon's descent into idolatry, particularly his turning after Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Sidonians
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