Skip to comments.Tale Of (King) Arthur Points To Comet Catastrophe
Posted on 04/21/2006 4:39:40 PM PDT by blam
TALE OF ARTHUR POINTS TO COMET CATASTROPHE
From The Times, 9 September 2000
BY NICK NUTTALL
Arthur: myth links him to fire from the sky
THE story of the death of King Arthur and its references to a wasteland may have been inspired by the apocalyptic effects of a giant comet bombarding the Earth in AD540, leading to the Dark Ages, a British scientist said yesterday.
The impacts filled the atmosphere with dust and debris; a long winter began. Crops failed, and there was famine, Dr Mike Baillie of Queen's University, Belfast, told the British Association for the Advancement of Science. There was now overwhelming evidence from studies of tree rings of a catastrophic climate change at that time, he said.
Dr Baillie, who is based at the university's school of archaeology and palaeoecology, said studies of Irish oaks showed that the climate suddenly became inhospitable around AD540. Other researchers had discovered the same narrow rings on trees in places such as Germany, Scandinavia, Siberia, North America and China. "For all these trees to show the same rings at the same time means it must have been a profoundly unpleasant event, a catastrophic environmental downturn, in AD540, which is in or at the beginning of the Dark Ages."
The tightly bound rings are consistent with fierce frosts that would have devastated agriculture and made a malnourished population more vulnerable to the plague of 542, which killed millions. Plague-carrying rats and pests would have been looking for sustenance, thus hastening the spread of the disease.
Dr Baillie said that there were several theories as to the explanation. One was that a vast volcano had erupted and pumped huge amounts of dust into the atmosphere. Yet such a volcano "would have been out of all proportion to ones we see in recent times", he said, adding that the geological records bore no trace of it.
The other theory, he said,was that huge fragments from a giant comet had hit the Earth, causing violent explosions and a dramatic cooling of the planet. "My view is that we had a cometary bombardment - not a full-blown comet, or we would not be here, but parts of a comet."
Dr Baillie said the hypothesis was supported by studies by astronomers and astrophysicists including Mark Bailey, of the Armagh Observatory, Victor Clube, of Oxford University, and Bill Napier, formerly of the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh. They had calculated that there was a strong likelihood that the Earth suffered a cometary bombardment between 400 and 600, based on records of high meteor shower activity. They had linked it with the break-up of the comet Biela.
It was hoped that scientists in Greenland would analyse ice cores for signs of cometary dust. They were soon to carry out chemical analysis for tree rings for similar clues.
Dr Baillie urged historians to examine the records for writings that may record the events. "You can read about the Justinian plague in conventional history books but you cannot read about the cometary bombardment. The trees single out an episode which can be best described as catastrophic, and it isn't there in written history."
There was, however, some support buried in mythological writings and other works. Roger of Wendover had referred in 540 or 541 to a "comet in Gaul so vast that the whole sky seemed on fire. In the same year there dropped real blood from the clouds . . . and a dreadful mortality ensued".
Dr Baillie also cited the death of King Arthur, which is dated to 537, 539 and 542 in various works, as establishing possible links with fire from the sky and destruction. Dr Baillie said that Arthur was linked in old Irish with CuChulainn, the sky god, who in turn was linked with the Celtic bright sky god Lugh variously described as "bright as the setting sun, comes up in the west, and of the mighty blows".
"The Arthurian stories with their Celtic antecedents of bright sky gods and 'wasteland' come with traditional dates for Arthur's death."
Dr Baillie said that the myths hinted strongly at a bombardment as the causes of an environmental downturn.
Copyright 2000, The Times Newspapers Ltd.
bump for later read.
The hit song of 540 was "The knights around the table go round and round."
It's hard to talk about King Arthur because it's hard to seperate the legend from the fact. Apparently, there was a King Arthur in real life.
Last I heard, Arthur was fictional. Perhaps he went up to ride the comet's tail.
Now, over that, the close approach of a comet would pretty well explain why the death rate in France was much higher than in Italy, Spain or Brittain.
Hmmmm. Or else the French couldn't find enough white flags fast enough.
Things change. People move in. German tribes wander about. All sorts of stuff.
Arthur.....the original Applewhite?
Blam, is there any actual written record to back up what the tree rings seem to indicate?
We dine well here in Camelot
We eat ham and jam and Spam a lot
We're Knights of the Round Table
Our shows are formidable
But many times we're given rhymes
That are quite unsingable
We're opera-mad in Camelot
We sing from the diaphragm a lo-o-o-o-t
In war we're tough and able
Between our quests, we sequin vests
And impersonate Clark Gable
It's a busy life in Camelot I have to push the pram a lot
i have seen 2 or 3 references to bizarre weather, including the one quoted in the article. Obviously the problem is that there isn't much of anything written from western europe surviving in this time frame, AFAIK. If the contemporary reference quoted in the article is authentic or believed to be authentic, it is certainly a rather chilling description. Not without reason are comets considered an evil omen in ancient culture - the description of a sword or star huge in the sky is something that would have been passed down for millenium in some convoluted form, I would think.
I wonder if the hypothetical comet would have been like the siberian comet 100 yrs ago or an ocean impact (tidal waves, none recorded?). The lack of any crater from such a recent event is notable.
The article leaves open the issue of the greenland cores being drilled and examined for this, but surely some greenland cores dating this far back have already been drilled.
If anyone did, I would suspect it would be the Chinese.
I don't understand the question. Ask it another way.
"Dr Baillie said that there were several theories as to the explanation. One was that a vast volcano had erupted and pumped huge amounts of dust into the atmosphere. Yet such a volcano "would have been out of all proportion to ones we see in recent times", he said, adding that the geological records bore no trace of it."
The book Krakatoa by Simon Winchestor does suggest that this event was an eruption of the same volcano. I don't remember all the details but he was pretty convincing. I really recommend the book btw.
Nice double entendré...
Some say the whole thing with Merlin was about the comet.
Thanks for the explaination. European history is not my turf. I'm an American History nut; that is, from the Civil War through Western expansion. Never could get into the European stuff except for WWII.
I meant is there a written record of a sixth century impact by a comet to go with the records of crop failures, etc? Since it seems as if a comet impact would be pretty dramatic.
Thanks for the link in post 20.
I forgot, lol. See the link in post #24. Thanks Mike.
Comet, volcano ... something disruptive clearly occurred.
Thanks, my question is pretty well answered now. Those are fascinating links. More things to worry about! I'm gonna go get some more ammo, I guess ;-)
LOL. I have loads left over from Y2K.
1908 Tunguska. Apart from seismic stations registering the shockwave, the only observations were from local inhabitants. Similar event in isolated region in 6th century, would there be any records?
I agree. It may well not have been directly witnessed, or if it was, there wouldn't have been words to describe it.
OK, it looks like I'm becoming a believer.
Is this thread prompted by the comet shards coming by earth in a month or so? Supposedly it will all miss, but some by less. Somebody on the overnight radio said something like three chunks could hit earth, although the rest of the 17 pieces are strung out and would have to miss because of orbital geometry.
at that point in time i think in northern modern france you would have had a romano-gallic culture (speaking latin) being heavily repopulated by german tribes. While provincial romance did survive as the language, there is some speculation that the unusual vowel and consonant structure of french in north-western france (including paris) is related to moderately heavy germanic immigration in the late roman period and its impact on the spoken dialects of the language. It is unquestionable that french in that part of the country diverges in pronunciation patterns from romanish languages in portugal, spain, italy, romanish west switzerland, and southern france in some notable ways.
Last I heard, Arthur was fictional""
Alot of people believe he was real.
I tend to sway toward real. Too much reference in stories, etc, to not have been. Too many actual historical places referenced...
Well theyre teaching in public school british lit classes he was real, so it MUST be true. /sarc
Londoners reported being able to read newspapers at midnight for a couple days.
"Try this blam oldie but goodie."
It would seem that both volcanos and boloids can cause major earth distress. This is one reason why IMHO we really should make a conscientious effort not to overpopulate the earth. When bad sh** happens people mega-die. I have been studying this whole world disaster issue for a while, read Winchester's book Krakatoa (a good read, although I disagree with his 535 conclusion), and "Impact Earth: Asteroids, Comets and Meteoroids: the Growing Threat", by Austen Atkinson, and a number of others.
Regarding Krakatoa, Winchester quotes a prolific but somewhat questionable source who describes a great volcanic event in AD 416, which Winchester thinks was probably Krakatoa. Is there any correlation with this event and the movement of the West Goths in 417 and 419, and the Vandals in 420 who crossed the Pyrennes and moved across Spain to cross into North Africa in 427? With reference to 535, Winchester, without any historic record of a huge volcanic event conjectures that there was one because of the severe breakdown in civic society and lack of court records. This, of course, could just as easily have been cause by a major boloid event as recorded worldwide by tree rings, and not by evidence of the right kind of ash in Greenland ice cores.
Regarding the year 1628 BC, this correlates well with the destruction of Thera/Santorini. An event that I am trying to find more about is the 1500 BC, plus or minus 50 years major eruption of Mt. Etna. A huge bowl called the Valle de Bove was scouped out of the side of the mountain by this event. I wish I could narrow down the date.
The Tungusku boloid of 1908 is well known, but hardly anyone knows that in May 1931, a major boloid exploded over Brazil's Amazon forest, with the strength of 4-8 Hiroshima-sized atomic bombs, destroying 1,300 sq. K of forest. Only the presence of an educated Catholic priest kept the forest tribe whose world was decimated from committing suicide to appease the angry sky gods.
Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus, who was mentioned in another comment, was one of Rome's leading historians and essayists. About 534-536 he wrote "...who will not be disturbed, and deeply curious...if something mysterious and unusual seems to be coming on us from the stars? He continues, "How strange it is, I ask you, to see the principal star (the sun), and not its usual brightness; to gaze on the moon...shorn of its natural splendour? All of us are still observing...a blue-coloured sun...we marvel at bodies that cast no midday shadow...and this has not happened in the momentary loss of an eclipse, but has been going on equally through almost the entire year...whence can we hope for mild weather, when the months that once ripened the crops have been deadly sick under the northern blasts? For what will give fertility, if the soil does not grow warm in summer?" This paragraph and the one above it are both from "Impact Earth."
In 1783, Iceland experience a great effusion of Lava from the Laki Fissure. The resulting ash and fluorine gas destroyed 90% of the livestock and starved one fifth of the population. In europe a blue fog was experience for months and crops failed. Banjamin Franklin, who was our ambassador in Europe, commented on this at the time and attributed the problems in Europe to the Iceland event. In 1815 the great explosion of Tambora caused the "year with no summer" which was well recorded in several New England states, causing widespread crop failure.
So it would appear that both volano and boloid can really mess up ones day. Since both are quite unpredictable, it pays to be prepared.
bump for later read
No. I've been telling everyone I'm stocking up for the hurricane season, war with Iran and Bird Flu. I'm ready for the May 25th impact too though.
I have always placed the death of Arthur closer to 500, myself. Counts what authority you listen to.
Beyond that, this sort of conflates the death of Arthur with Merlin's confrontation with Vortigern near the end of his reign, and also the fall of Uther, and several other tales that involve comets...very common in Celtic mythology. Buy a copy of the Mabinogeon and Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain and see how many stories use comets as signs.
I have been ready since 1956 when they made us do the duck and cover in grammar school. Ready as I'm going to be, that is.
It's Bush's fault. FEMA was inept and could have avoided the Dark Ages according to Howard Dean.
Margam Abbey Chronicle
The Discovery of King Arthur's Grave at Glastonbury
This entry from a chronicle of Margam Abbey is one of the accounts that have come down to us, detailing the discovery of King Arthur's body at Glastonbury Abbey. The date of composition is uncertain, but it is believed by some scholars to have been written within a decade or two of the original discovery in 1190. A much later date is likely, however, as we will see.
Margam is the only report that mentions the discovery of Mordred's tomb and is, on that account, suspect. The chronicle also mentions transferring the body of Arthur "with suitable honour and much pomp" to a marble tomb in the abbey church. The only reliable record of anything remotely like that happening is the account of the visit of Edward I to Glastonbury in 1278, when he transferred, with much pomp, the bones of Arthur and Guinevere to a marble tomb in the abbey church.
According to C.A. Ralegh Radford (the archaeologist whose excavations at Glastonbury have shown that the monks did, in fact, dig up a grave at about the right time), the relics of Arthur and Guinevere that had been exhumed, "lay in a treasure in the east range of the abbey" until the time when they were reinterred by Edward, some 88 years later. The Margam account could not contain the information that it does and still be written a decade or two after the discovery of the grave.
At Glastonbury the bones of the most famous Arthur, once King of Greater Britain, were found, hidden in a certain very ancient coffin. Two pyramids had been erected about them, in which certain letters were carved, but they could not be read because they were cut in a barbarous style and worn away. The bones were found on this occasion.
While they were digging a certain plot between the pyramids, in order to bury a certain monk who had begged and prayed the convent to be buried here, they found a certain coffin in which they saw a woman's bones with the hair still intact. When this was removed, they found another coffin below the first, containing a man's bones. This also being removed, they found a third below the first two, on which a lead cross was placed, on which was inscribed, "Here lies the famous king Arthur, buried in the isle of Avalon." For that place was once surrounded by marshes, and is called the isle of Avalon, that is "the isle of apples." For aval means, in British, an apple.
On opening the aforesaid coffin, they found the bones of the said prince, sturdy enough and large, which the monks transferred with suitable honour and much pomp into a marble tomb in their church. The first tomb was said to be that of Guinevere, wife of the same Arthur; the second, that of Mordred, his nephew; the third, that of the aforesaid prince.
Are you sure that's from Tunguska, and not the solar storm of 1859?
I'm kind of leaning towards a volcanic eruption, particularly when an alleged scientist proclaims "would have been out
of all proportion to ones we see in recent times".
This is now, that was then. Maybe Tambora erupted spectacularly a number of times in human history, before
the early 19th Century blast.
I'm recalling a written account, not certain of source but I'll look for it, regarding what had to be a near-miss by an asteroid. It was described as being "awesome in its blackness" and the noise was cause for great fear, as if the very "firmament" was being ripped away. This was in archaic English, but it could have been from the years immediately preceding the Black Death, in the 12th century.
"The first reports of a strange glow in the sky came from across Europe. Shortly after midnight on 1 July 1908, Londoners were intrigued to see a pink phosphorescent night sky over the capital. People who had retired awoke confused as the strange pink glow shone into their bedrooms. The same ruddy luminescence was reported over Belgium. The skies over Germany were curiously said to be bright green, while the heavens over Scotland were of an incredible intense whiteness which tricked the wildlife into believing it was dawn. Birdsong started and cocks crowed - at two o'clock in the morning. The skies over Moscow were so bright, photographs were taken of the streets without using a magnesium flash. A captain on a ship on the River Volga said he could see vessels on the river two miles away by the uncanny astral light. One golf game in England almost went on until four in the morning under the nocturnal glow, and in the following week The Times of London was inundated with letters from readers from all over the United Kingdom to report the curious 'false dawn'. A woman in Huntingdon wrote that she had been able to read a book in her bedroom solely by the peculiar rosy light."
Scientists were puzzled when the natives told them they could hear the meteor before it impacted/exploded. The Eskimos claim to be able to hear the Northern Lights too.
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