Thursday, January 13, 2011

More Triskele reading

I've been reading the book Swastika, the Earliest known symbol and its Migrations, written in 1896 by Thomas Wilson (Why are so many of my current books from the late 1890s?). It refutes the theory that the triskele is a devolved swastika as some had apparently opined earlier. I read some interesting things I wanted to share on the theories of triskelion origin and my "who had it first" argument from an earlier post:

Page 874: "But its migration direct from Sicily to the Isle of Man can be traced through the pages of history..."

Honestly, I started typing it out, but there's a LOT! I can't copy and paste, but you can go check it out for yourself. The summary of points:

•Prior to the thirteenth century the Isle of Man was under dominion of the Norse Vikings
•There are seals with the Norse emblem, a "ship under full sail."
•Isle of Man is conquered by Alexander III of Scotland, who changes the emblem to the Triskelion

(So how'd this Scottish guy come by it? I have to learn about Scotland too? *headdesk* Thankfully the book goes on to make the following points:)

•Frederick II, the Norman King of Sicily, married Isabella, the daughter of Henry III of England
•The Pope winds up giving the crown of King of Sicily to Henry III of England for his son Edmund
•Henry III's daughter Margaret marries Alexander III of Scotland
•Happy family? He was "received with great honors"
•Alexander conquers Isle of Man
•Alexander replaces the Norse ship emblem with the Triskelion, symbol of his brother-in-law's kingdom. •The symbol was unused at the time- Edmund had boxed the triskelion flag when he took over.

Follow that? Yeah, I got a bit dizzy too. The author is convinced that the Sicilians had it first and then it migrated to the Isle of Man. Isn't it a great feeling when your research backs up your hypothesis? Even with tenuous historical connections? I will also be looking for evidence of the opposite argument, that the Manx had it first, I just haven't found it yet.

I happened upon this book in an odd way: The internet gave it to me. Has that ever happened for you? You're searching something and randomly, the perfect link, page, or passage appears? It's high-tech bibliomancy.

I'm going to assume you know what bibliomancy is or can look up the wiki entry (I'm currently a fan of the sortes Virgilianae). My method: I pick a book (any, it doesn't have to be a special one), concentrate on my question while holding it (much like with tarot) and then randomly open it to a page and point. The line pointed to is the answer to my question. The idea of setting the book on its spine and letting it fall open doesn't really work unless you have a huge tome with a big spine, and in a well-used book, favors the most well read pages. I also use this method to figure out if a book in the store is worth buying. I'll use the same prep as above, but ask the book if it should be part of my collection.

Tonight, I put my query into google books. Two simple words: Triskelion origin, and it came back with this fascinating book, written around the same time as the other books I've been referencing lately, and with the exact same hypothesis I brought to the table.

It also pointed me to this picture, of a coin with the head of Proserpina on one side and a triskelion on the other ;) made during the reign of Agothocles, King of Sicily (BCE 304 -289), who the author credits with Sicilian use of the Triskelion as it's official symbol... 1500 years before the Isle of Man used it as theirs...

Tomorrow: Hecate? Lupa? Aeneid? Candle magick? Little known Roman celebrations? Let's see what strikes my fancy.

No comments:

Post a Comment