31 Jan 2010

Lyrics: "The Return Of Pan" by Mike Scott

I stood upon the balcony with my brand new bride
the clink of bells came drifting down the mountainside
When in our sight something moved
- lightning eyed and cloven hooved -
The great god Pan is alive!

He moves amid the modern world in disguise
it's possible to look into his immortal eyes
He's like a man you'd meet anyplace
Until you recognise that ancient face
The great god Pan is alive!

At sea on a ship in a thunder storm
on the very night that Christ was born
A sailor heard from overhead
a mighty voice cry Pan is dead!
So follow Christ as best you can
Pan is dead! Long Live Pan!

From the olden days and up through all the years
from Arcadia to the stone fields of Inisheer
Some say the Gods are just a myth
but guess who I've been dancing with
The great god Pan is alive!

24 Jan 2010

Sertorius and the White Hind

A 19th-century cartoon showing a classics teacher impersonating Sertorius.

Following reports of the White Stag that appeared in the British media recently, I was reminded of Plutarch’s Life of Sertorius, the first-century-BC Roman statesman and general who rebelled against Rome. He attempted and almost succeeded in establishing an independent republic in Iberia before he was assassinated in 72 BC. One of the keys to Sertorius’s transitory success was his ability to win over and inspire the Celtic or semi-Celtic peoples who inhabited Northern, West, and Central Iberia through an understanding of their culture, traditions, and pagan religion.