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Re: Books of possible interest
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moss wrote:

Her book on Pagan Britain is a classic, but there was a counter argument against the 'three death' end of the Lindow Man in the above book, it was said that the cut to the neck could easily have been inflicted by the peat cutter. Think she wrapped up the theory with the fact that the gold torque he wore could also represent a rope; they are often 'woven' in strands of three. It was interesting, given that the other author was a police pathologist. The best person I've read on the bog people was Seamus Heaney's poems on them and he took them from Glob's Scandinavian bog discoveries.....

I don't agree with Anne Ross on many things, I just found this book to be immensely readable. In the case of that bog body the cut could have been accidental, I suppose. Haven't there been other "triple death" corpses though?

I don't think the triple death was some kind of honour, I personally think the triple death was dealt someone who had committed terrible crimes, so even their soul would not be able to return. Tacitus describes this kind of death, as a punishment for incest and other unspecified crimes. We have bog bodies which resemble his description, so in this instance, I feel fairly secure in thinking Tacitus gave a true account. Then again, in the Irish Annals, there are accounts of one who commits crimes against the will of the gods as being forsaken to a triple death, which Fate then provides in a "Final Destination" perversity of circumstances. One fella, Muirchertach mac Erca, is wounded in battle so he is abed when a fire traps him in the house then finally drowns in a vat of wine when he tries to escape the flames, for instance.

Myrddin Wyllt phrophesied his own ending, killed by the triple death. The single death being one a magician could recover from. Celtic tales are littered with the theme enough for me to think it wasn't an honour and your soul didn't get to any afterlife, making it useless as a sacrifice, for the sacrificed couldnt take any messages to the gods.

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Posted by Branwen
15th September 2009ce

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Pagan Britain - Anne Ross (moss)

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