Why is History important?

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wolf560
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Why is History important?

Post by wolf560 » 01 Feb 2011, 17:35

Simple one this time... and this is why I am asking;

I am reading "True Magick; a Beginners Guide" and in the preface she talks about the Egyptians and their Deities.

She says that the Egyptians believed in multiple things as a way of guaranteeing something 'Magic' would happen. If an item in ritual was designed to bring on the rain then flood the ritual with dozens of these things to guarantee it. If a Deity was good at doing something then have multiple Deities all working towards that goal to ensure its success.

She could not have been more wrong about the Egyptians and if she got that wrong what else in her book was going to be a "best guess"?

Rosemary Clark is an archaeologist that also follows the spiritual faith of the Ancient Egyptians. Her books explore both the history and the real life practices of the Ancient Egyptians. To see a tradition lovingly scooped out of the Earth and brought to life is truly a wondrous thing to behold. Everything she writes down is directly from the archaeological evidence scholars have excavated.

The Egyptians had so many multiple Deities because they had four Great Cities each doing their 'own thing'. Alexandria, Memphis (Cairo now), Thebes, and on the other side of the river Karnak and Luxor; each with its own rich set of Deities and traditions. Two of these Great Cities were more Greek than Egyptian because the Greeks had liberated Egypt from the Persians and had stayed afterwards. One of these Great Cities was actually built by the Greeks and named for that Macedonian conqueror "Alexander the Great".

Maybe I delve too deeply into history but I feel that it forms my bulwark against which the waves of fiction crash. This book seems to have a lot of good things to say, but I can already tell that it bear watching because the author has taken short cuts.

This is how History helps me and why I consider it to be so important for me to learn and keep up with. I find reputable authors and series of texts and books that I can use as a litmus test when I read something else. Stuart Piggott, Miranda Green, Peter Ellis, Rosemary Clark, Kenneth Johnson, Stephen Blamires just to name a few. I also remember the ones that don't "check out" so I don't waste any more money buying their books since what they write is just fiction.

References (some good reading here)
Sacred Tradition in Ancient Egypt by Rosemary Clark
Sacred Magic in Ancient Egypt by Rosemary Clark
Ancient Egypt http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/geo ... cities.htm
Egypt http://www.tomnobles.com/Subject_Direct ... ities.html
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The Druids wrote nothing down, and memorized everything...
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lavouivre
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Re: Why is History important?

Post by lavouivre » 03 Feb 2011, 18:24

I studied history of art, and one of the things we had to learn was that the "squeleton" of dates, events, names etc were just a convenient way of learning but by no means true or always entirely reliable. Of course, the more ancient the period, the more un-reliable, especially with pre-historic times. We constantly revise, through new archaeological findings, the dates, events, beliefs and stories of our ancestors. We also revise history just because we look at it through the glasses of our own times. But we shouldn't forget that after all, archaeology is just the tip of the iceberg and we try to define our history from whatever remains and ruins have emerged or stayed.
Even the history of Egypt, which is one of the most documented, is full of holes, 2 centuries holes, 2 milleniums holes, 10 years here or there, broken pharaoh's lineages,...
However, what else do we have? This is the most solid we can lean upon, and so I say, with you, that it is important to know history, or what we think we know, and constantly update, because shortcuts are so easy to take and to mislead us even more.
I believe in learning or rediscovering from the past. And we should alsways confront what we know with what is written, be it articles in newspapers, or books.

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