The King cracks Time’s 100 list (and no, it’s not Elvis!)
I am always amused as I watch pompous self-important historians pontificate on various aspects of history. The Hittites, they argued, never existed but were in fact the products of over active imaginations in the writing of Hebrew Scriptures. There never were a people known as the Hittites, they argued, and therefore The Bible (yet again) was wrong!
Then those same pompous nits were left scrambling to explain themselves when irrefutable proof came to light showing that the Hittites did indeed exist and were actually an empire bigger than Egypt and one of Egypt’s greatest enemies.
All of this to say that it is very interesting to read this month’s latest list from Time Magazine. It is a list of the 100 most significant people in history. Now, we can argue about the criteria that the magazine used to compose the list and we can certainly argue about placement on the list. But what is most interesting to me is that King Arthur made it onto the list.
Yes, Arthur, who was High King of Britain, comes in at number 85! This king, whom many argue is a myth and either never existed or is a compilation of various other warlords and chieftains in the Dark Ages, made it onto a list of significant historical figures in the year of our Lord 2014. He places just below such other significant individuals as President John F. Kennedy (76) and Richard Nixon (82).
But he places ABOVE such notables as Michelangelo (86), President Harry Truman (94), Pope John Paul II (91), Otto Von Bismarck (97) and theologian John Calvin (99).
Some others on the list: Henry VIII (11), Queen Elizabeth I (13), Queen Victoria (16), Julius Caesar (15), King David of Israel (57), the Apostle Peter (65), and William the Conqueror (70).
All of this is interesting to me. When I wrote my novel The Excalibur ParchmentI noted that a sea change is beginning to occur amongst some historians. Slowly, as they begin to really study and understand the so-called Dark Ages, they are picking up strong evidence that King Arthur did in fact exist and was indeed High King of all Britain. And, if Arthur was real, why could Excalibur also not be real. They are beginning to figure out that the so-called \’Dark Ages\’ were only dark because the people of the day lived mostly by oral tradition rather than written. Thus there was very little \’hard\’ proof of peoples\’ existence, lives or achievements. Yet as they now probe deeper and use modern technology and processes they are finding out that these dark age peoples were in fact creative, advanced, interesting and very, very real. And not just in Britain, but in other parts of the non-European world as well. New civilizations are coming to light and we are \”amazed\” at how progressive and intelligent they all were. Or is it that our academics are just so tunnel-visioned that when things don\’t line up in pre-conceived patterns they prefer to ignore rather than explore? Just saying.
And I am intrigued that it is not just Time underscoring The Excalibur Parchment, when I see the spread of pantheistic and even pagan religions such as Wicca. Here in Canada there is a renewed emphasis on First Nations\’ spirituality and Shamans are often included in ceremonial events that normally called for Protestant, Roman Catholic and Jewish participation. Now the Shamans also participate in \’blessing\’ an event along with representatives of the Sikh, Hindu, Buddhist and other religions. All in the name of inclusion, of course.
Specifically, in the past few years Druidry has been recognized by the British government as an official religion. A group known as The Druid Network won charity status as a religion and is listed in the official survey of religious beliefs in Britain. While various Celtic cultural events such as the famous Welsh Eisteddfods always included people dressed in Druid garb and reading poetry, these are often cultural druids (or people dressed up and performing) rather than worshippers of the Druid religion. But today, across Britain and Ireland and in Brittany, France, real Druids exist and the Druid religion with its worship of the old gods is increasing.
So Arthur is real. Excalibur is (probably) real and Druids are indeed a recognized religion.
Fiction and non-fiction are beginning to collide methinks!
(Oh, and for those interested. Number one on the list of most significant historical figures was Jesus Christ. Elvis Presley came in at 69)