The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Morbihan (56) including Carnac



I have been informed by a priest, but I know not how far it may be correct, that Carnac signifies literally, in the Breton language, a field of flesh. If this be the meaning of the word, it would lead one to conjecture that these stories were placed in memory of some great battle, or as memorials in a common cemetery of the dead.

The people here have a singular custom, whenever any of their cattle are diseased, of coming among these stones to pray to St. Cornelius for their recovery. Such a practice may be a remnant of pagan superstition continued in Christian times; but I must remark that St. Cornelius is the patron saint of the neighbouring church.

I cannot learn that the peasantry of this country have any traditions about Carnac; and I must here observe than no relations or accounts given either by the poor or more enlightened people of Brittany can be depended upon.

.. Tradition has given to the site of these stones the name of Caesar's Camp, but tradition in such a question is an insufficient guide. M. Cambry, led by another tradition, reported to him by an old sailor, that a stone was added every year, conjectures, though with hesitation, that the monument has some connexion with the astronomy of a remote age.
From 'The Penny Cyclopaedia' v6 by George Long (1836).
Digitized at Google Books, here:
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
10th January 2008ce
Edited 10th January 2008ce

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