The Book of Kells

This past weekend I ran across a movie – Animation – which immediately became one of my all time favorites.  Now, I usually do not write a post about movies, but this one has historical fact, mixed with Christianity and ancient Irish Religion (Druids?).  Therefore, it is right up my alley and I’m sure that readers of this blog would really enjoy it!

 

The movie is based on the very real “Book of Kells” which is described by the following Wikipedia entry.

The Book of Kells is anilluminated manuscript Gospel book in Latin, containing the four Gospels of the New Testament together with various prefatory texts and tables. It was created by Celtic monks ca. 800 or slightly earlier. The text of the Gospels is largely drawn from the Vulgate, although it also includes several passages drawn from the earlier versions of the Bible known as the Vetus Latina. It is a masterwork of Western calligraphy and represents the pinnacle of Insular illumination. It is also widely regarded as Ireland’s finest national treasure.”

This movie is called “The Secret of Kells” and is a wonderful story based on historical fact.  Simply reading the description and looking at the movie cover may not impress you (you will think it is for children) but let me tell you, watching it will.

Please have a look at the trailer then I’ll tell you some of the significance.

Significance

In the movie you will see these monsters with horns coming to raid the villages.  These are Vikings that did raid the coastal areas of Ireland and spread quite a lot of fear due to their brutality.  In fact, they also settled and became part of the population.

Oh man, I just came to the realization that since I have quite a bit of Irish heritage and my clan is mostly from the Coastal areas, I might have Viking blood in me!  Therefore, my ancestors might be both the natives being attacked as well as the monsters attacking them!   See, it just goes to show what you can learn when you start to study history and how interesting things become.  I could go off like I usually do about how we are all interconnected, peace, love and all that but I won’t do that to you with this post.  ;)

Ireland used to be a pagan society and I have to admit I must learn so much more about the ancient religions but believe it has something to do with Druids, the Sun and so on.  Then St. Patrick comes along, chases all the snakes out of Ireland *wink* and turns the population Christian.

In the movie, you will see that the main characters are monks trying to fortify their monastery against the inevitable raids of the Vikings and protect the Book of Kells.

I had thought the Book of Kells might be a sacred text for the native religion of Ireland (pagan) but I was wrong, it is the Christian Gospels beautifully portrayed by what is called “Insular Art.”

Now, in the story a young boy goes against the wishes of the Abbot and into the forest which is not allowed as the outside world is “dangerous.”  He does anyway and meets a magical being (fairy) who at times is a young girl and at others a white wolf and leader of the dangerous black wolves.

If you are a child or unaware of the historical significance, you may not know that this story is mixing Christianity with the ancient beliefs.  Again, I’m not knowledgeable enough about the ancient religion but from what I can gather, you have nature worship, Druids (form changers) and the battle between light and dark (Sun and Night (Pagans), Christianity (Light) vs. No knowledge of Christianity (Dark))

Further, what really makes the movie is the SPECTACULAR imagery so you really have to see this in High Definition and I promise you will be spellbound!!!

In this masterpiece you get it all!!

1.  A simple story for children
2. A truthful historical summary for adults
3. Christianity and Pagans for the religious scholar
4. A masterpiece for the artist

It is too bad that this was so widely missed by the mainstream movies in the USA!

Well, that is all I have about that, but in true form for a Global Citizen post, remember that the Vikings came from the Scandinavian countries – Norway, Sweden – and maybe Finland, Iceland, Denmark.  So if you have any friends from those countries please be sure to let them know that their ancestors were – as the movie portrays – Evil black apparitions with horns, red eyes that did many bad things.   LOLOLOLOLOLOL……    no seriously…   ROFL..   ;)

2 thoughts on “The Book of Kells

  1. Yonanu

    We are still like that… evil and black with horns and what not.

    No seriously. The Vikings that raided Ireland in particular where mostly from present-day Norway. They went there both on extensive raids but also, in fact, founded many of present day cities such as Dublin and Limerick. I don't think the development of organised society was as advanced as other places (such as England).
    They also abducted a lot of women. Many of who ended up as slaves in Iceland. So maybe you have some family there as well?

    Also, Finland is not usually counted as a place of Viking origins. But Denmark and Iceland are definitely. http://schools-wikipedia.org/images/530/53057.png

  2. El Guapo Post author

    Was waiting for you to pick up on that Jonas, the comment was just for you. LOL :)

    Thanks for the comments and info. Did not realize I might have family in Iceland,, but If you go back far enough it looks like many of us would be related. Ancestry.com has a nice little feature that shows how you are related to famous people. Imagine my surprise when George W popped up. No worries though, so did many other famous (infamous) people.

    Don't think I'll be taking a trip to Iceland anytime soon though. I wonder if Naoko is still there?

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