Origins of the "double-truth"

Bjarte Kaldhol bjartekal at AH.TELIA.NO
Mon Dec 25 17:40:05 UTC 2000

Dear listmembers,

The Celts, too, looked to Greece and Asia Minor as their cultural focus.
Five hundred years before Caesar's time, Ionian Greeks with the same
background as Parmenides founded Marseille and would have influenced the
Celts in France. One of the first Celtic towns (with a wall of mud bricks
in Near Eastern style!), Heuneburg on the Danube (600-450 BC), already
shows Greek and Levantine influence. When this large Celtic fortess was
first built, Rome was nothing but a small group of villages made of
wattle-and-daub-huts, but the first German excavators believed that
Heuneburg must be Roman, from a much later period! About the middle of the
sixth century, the Celts were subjected to very strong Greek and
Mediterranean influences. One Celtic group, the Galatae, was invited to
Anatolia early in the third century BC and formed a state there. So,
Celtic traditions recorded by Caesar would no longer have been genuinely or
exclusively Indo-European; they were "Mediterranean", that is, they were
strongly influenced by the culturally dominant Ancient Near East, as were
Etruscan traditions.

For possible Greek contacts with India in the time of Pythagoras, see
GNOMON 40 (1968), p. 8f.

Best wishes,
Bjarte Kaldhol

> From: Lars Martin Fosse <lmfosse at ONLINE.NO>
> Subject: SV: Origins of the "double-truth"
> Date: 25. desember 2000 15:48
> Bjarte Kaldhol [SMTP:bjartekal at AH.TELIA.NO] skrev 25. desember 2000
> > I have not read Bruce Lincoln's book and do not know why he places
> > Parmenides in an old Indo-European tradition of which India is also a
> part.
> > Parmenides' background was  the Ionian Asia Minor, where Greek
> > was born, in contact with oriental influences. Indian influence on
> > philosophy remains conjectural, but transmigration of souls might have
> been
> > one such influence, see W. Burkert, ANCIENT MYSTERY CULTS, HUP, 1987,
> > 87: "Transmigration of souls is a doctrine that suddenly appeared in
> > Greek world toward the end of the sixth century B.C. We find the name
> > either Pythagoras or Orpheus attached to it, and we have the word of
> Plato
> > that it was told in mysteries, teletai, and found 'strong believers'
> > there...
> The following quote from Caesar shows that the doctrine was known among
> Celts as well:
> The Druids habitually are absent from war, do not pay tributes along with
> the rest, and have freedom from military service and immunity in all
> things. ... Above all, they wish to convince people that souls do not
> perish (lit. "become lost"), but after death pass from certain bodies to
> others, and this they believe to excite courage most greatly, the fear of
> death being neglected. Beyond this, they dispute concerning the stars and
> their motion, the size of the universe and the earth, the nature of
> and the immortal gods and their power, and this they teach to their
> [p. 149, oversettelse fra Caesar De Bello Gallico, 6.13-15]
> This question was discussed on Indology in 1996. I suggest you have a
> at the mailings in that year and search for metempsychosis and
> transmigration.
> The fact that the theme of transmigration turns up in Greece in the 6th
> century BCE simply means that this was the time when it was first
> *recorded* in Greece. It does not necessarily mean that this was the
> time it *turned up* in Greece! We cannot assume that Indo-European
> was uniforme, and belief in transmigration may have been one of several
> "trends" that survived in different Indo-European areas. When
> transmigration is introduced by Yajnavalkya in the ChandogyaUp. (I
> believe!), it is introduced as a "Geheimlehre". It may not have been a
> universal belief in any of the Indo-European peoples.
> Lars Martin Fosse
> Dr. art. Lars Martin Fosse
> Haugerudvn. 76, Leil. 114,
> 0674 Oslo
> Norway
> Phone: +47 22 32 12 19
> Mobile phone: +47 90 91 91 45
> Fax 1:  +47 22 32 12 19
> Fax 2:  +47 85 02 12 50 (InFax)
> Email: lmfosse at

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