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Irish Druids And Old Irish Religions

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Author Topic: Irish Druids And Old Irish Religions  (Read 5750 times)
Crissy Herrell
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« Reply #240 on: February 22, 2009, 12:48:39 am »

It is obvious enough, as has been pointed out, that "St Patrick and his followers almost invariably selected those sacred sites of paganism, and built their wooden churches under the shadow of the Round Towers, then as mysterious and inscrutable as they are to-day."

Mrs. S. C. Hall, noting the carvings on the Devenish Tower, writes, "Some of the advocates of the Christian theory, on looking at these carvings, and at those of Cormac's Chapel in Cashel, and on the corbel stones in the interior of the Ardmore Tower, would argue a Christian period of ****. We confess we cannot see them in same light."

The anchorite theory was mentioned by the Rev, Thomas Harmer, in 1789. He saw a parallel in the hermitage of St. Sabba; saying, "The height of the door the Tower belonging to St. Sabba is a circumstance which it appears to agree with the Scotch and Irish Towers." A bell on the top served as a warning of approach of foes to the hermits. Some saw them serving to sustain such self-martyrs as Simon Stylites.

Wright, the antiquary, observed, "Some will have them to have been watch-towers or beacons; but their low situation seems rather to argue against it. Others are opinion that they are purgatorial pillars, by which penitent was elevated, according to his crime, by a ladder to fast and pray, and so purge away his sins." "They certainly are not belfries," says Higgins; "and the fire-tower scheme being gone, I have not heard anything suggested having the slightest degree of probability." To Bede they were an enigma.

H. O'Brien, on the Round Towers, held that they were built by the Tuath de Danaans, and "were specifically constructed for a twofold purpose of worshipping the Sun and Moon, as the authors of generation and vegetable heat.

p. 267

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