Thursday, 11 September 2014

Grange circle

In several of my previous posts I have been talking about sun circles. I talked about their origin in my post about Henges - rondel enclosures. I talked about how they were used as solar observatories for determining the beginning of the lunisolar calendar in my post about Calendars. In my post about Stone circles on mountain Devica, I talked about the solar observatory called Bogovo Gumno from Serbia, and I said that this sun circle can help us understand the purpose of the stone circle complex known as Grange circles from Ireland and the meaning and significance of the term Grange itself. In this post I will finally talk about Grange circle.

Grange stone circle (Lios na Gráinsí or Fort of the Grange) 300m west of Lough Gur in County Limerick, Ireland, is situated beside the Limerick-Kilmallock road, 4 km north of Bruff. Composed of 113 standing stones, the Grange Stone Circle is the largest and finest in Ireland. Seán P. Ó Ríordáin excavated the Grange Stone Circle in 1939. During the excavations he found more than 4,000 shards of pottery, dating from the Early Neolithic to the Late Bronze Age, spanning a period of some 2,600 years.





Seán P. Ó Ríordáin concluded that the Grange circle was a site of great importance, most likely of a ritual nature, from possibly as far back as the Early Neolithic period.


I believe that Grange circle was originally a threshing floor. I also believe the Grange circle is an example of a threshing floor which was eventually turned into a temple dedicated to the Thundering Sun, the god of weather, god of grain, Crom Dubh, Hromi Daba, Grom Div, the Thunder Giant. 

Threshing floor is a flat, smooth and hard surface used for threshing, a process of separating the grain from the straw and husksThe process of threshing is performed generally by spreading the sheaves on the threshing floor and causing oxen, cattle or horses to tread repeatedly over them. The animals are made to walk in a circle. In order to make the animals walk in circles, a man needs to stand in the center of the pile of grain which is being threshed and restrict and direct the movement of the oxen, cattle or horses using reins or rope. Alternatively a central pole can be erected, to which the animals are tied and then they are urged to walk in circles by a man walking behind them.The threshing floors also usually have walls built around them to prevent the grain from being blown off the threshing surface by the wind. This is done to mark the edge of the threshing circle and to prevent the grain being blown away. This creates a flat shallow pan like circular enclosure with a compacted hard surface and a central pole.



The Grange stone circle comprises a ring of continuous upright stones up to 2.8m high, with a diameter of 45m and backed by an earthen bank 9m wide and about 1.2m tall (the wall). The entrance on the eastern side is paved and flanked by upright stones. Clay has been packed down to a depth of 60 cm across the whole area of the enclosure (compacted hard surface). Its near perfect shape and the discovery of a post hole in the very centre of the enclosure, indicates that the circle was measured out from a central stake with a rope (central pole). Here is the picture of the Grange circle.



This creates a flat shallow pan like circular enclosure with a compacted hard surface and a central pole, a threshing floor, a grange. 




In my post called Bogovo Gumno - God's threshing floor I explained how in the Balkans the threshing floors are linked to solar cereal farming agricultural cults. I explained how they were until very recently used not only for threshing grain but also as solar observatories and as religious ceremonial grounds. 

Agriculture is shaped around the weather. At certain times of the year, certain things had to be done by peasant farmers or crops would not have grown. Farming, in this sense, is  controlled by the weather and the weather is controlled by the Sun and its cycle.

In order to know when certain activity needed to be done, the farmers needed to know the exact date. To determine the exact date, the farmers used threshing floors as a solar observatories.

Grange circle in Ireland was also used as a solar observatory. The stone circle is aligned with the rising sun at the Summer Solstice on the morning of which the sun shines on top of the largest stone in the stone circle known as Crom Dubh's stone casting the shadow directly into the centre of the circle.




If you are able to determine the exact date of the summer solstice, you are able to determine the beginning of the solar year. And that allows you to use 12 months lunar calendar for calculating time and determining the exact date repeatedly and accurately. Being able to determine the exact date, gives you the power to predict the weather, to predict "the will" of the Sun god. 


And this is why it is important for the cereal farmers to determine the exact date. The cereals can only be sown after the soil thaws and the temperature of the soil reaches certain temperature. The minimum germination soil temperature for wheat, barley and oats is about 5 degrees Celsius but the optimal germination temperature is about 20 degrees Celsius. So the sowing has to be done at the time of the year when the temperature is rising between 5 degrees and 20 degrees Celsius. This is the temperature of the period between the end of March and the end of April. After the cereal germinates, it then takes, depending on the temperature,  approximately 103 days for spring wheat to grow and ripen. This is why the harvest time is the end of July beginning of August.

And this is why it is "the will" of the Sun that people plow and harrow in March, sow in April, and harvest in August.  

Here is the list of the main agricultural activities per month. The dates are most appropriate to central and northern Europe. In southern Europe the growing season is going to be longer and drier and the winter not as harsh. 

Month work that needed to be done weather the farmer expected (wanted)

January
mending and making tools, repairing fences showers, snow

February
carting manure and marl
showers, snow

March
plowing and spreading manure dry, no severe frosts

April
spring sowing of seeds, harrowing showers and sunshine

May
digging ditches, first plowing of fallow fields showers and sunshine

June
hay making, second plowing of fallow field, sheep-shearing dry weather

July
hay making, sheep-shearing, weeding of crops dry early, showers later

August
cereal harvesting, threshing warm, dry weather

September
legumes harvesting and threshing, plowing and pruning fruit trees showers

October
last plowing of the year dry, no severe frosts

November
collecting acorns showers,snow and sunshine

December
mending and making tools, killing animals showers, show and sunshine

In the above list you can see the list of the agricultural activities and the weather that the farmer expected, wanted. But we all know that the weather we expect and want is not always the weather that we get. Agriculture is extremely sensitive to climatic oscillations. Particularly sensitive to weather changes is grain farming. Grain farming is a long drawn out process which spans over four months from plowing to threshing. During that time the weather can turn bad and the late frost can kill the seeds, the heavy rain or hail in late summer can break the stalks, the drought during the growing season can burn the plants and the crops will be ruined. This means that even if you are able to determine the day of the year and even if you know what needs to be done and when it needs to be done, and even if you do it all right, you are still not guaranteed the bountiful harvest.

If you are a cereal farmer, and if your life depends on grain yield, and if grain yield in turn depends on the weather, and if the weather depends on the Sun, then sun very quickly becomes your God, the God of weather, the God of grain.

In Serbian tradition, Sun is called the "Višnji Bog", the High God, and is perceived as a living being. Sun is born every year in the winter on the winter solstice day. He then grows into a young man Jarilo on the 6th of May. The 6th of May is the day of the strongest vegetative, reproductive power of the sun. This day marks the middle of the growing season. This day also marks the beginning of the summer. Sun then becomes the powerful ruler Vid on the day of the summer solstice, the 21st of June the longest day of the year. This is the end of the growing season and the beginning of the ripening season. The sun then becomes the old man and terrible warrior Perun on the 2nd of August the hottest day of the year. This day marks the end of the summer, the beginning of autumn and the beginning of the harvest season.


These three gods are just different ages, faces of one god, the Sun god, the god of weather, the god of Grain, Dabog, the God that gives. He has three faces (Jarilo, Svarog (fire), Svetovid (light), Perun (thunder)) and this is why he is also Triglav, Trojan, Trinity, Trimurti. 


In his most powerful incarnation, at the end of summer and beginning of autumn, in the middle of the light part of the year, at the beginning of the harvest season, he is becomes the Thundering Sun Ilios, Hromi Daba, Crom Dubh, Grom Div, the Thunder Giant. This thunder giant has many names in many cultures. He is Slavic Perun and Celtic Lugh, Breton luc'h and Cornish lughes, Serbian Luč meaning spark, lightning. The proof that the thunder good represents the cumulative power of the sun, that he is Triglav, Trojan, can be seen from the representations of the Celtic god Lugh. He is represented as three headed, Triglav:


And from the Irish tradition and the fact that Lughnasad and Domhnach Crom Dubh are one and the same, we can conclude that Lugh and Crom Dubh are also one and the same. Lugh is the lightning face of the Thundering Sun, Thunder Giant, Grom Div, Crom Dubh

It is to this Three Headed Thunder Giant that the final, the most important prayer is uttered on the threshing floor just before the harvest, on the first (second) of August, Lughnasad, Domhnach Crom Dubh

"Please god give us enough grain so that we can survive through the winter".

Then the grain is harvested and threshing starts. The threshing is the moment when the months of hard work and fervent pray are finally supposed to turn into food. Threshing time is the moment when the people will find out whether they will feast or whether they will starve through the winter. The threshing time is also the time of truth. The threshing floor is the place where every year the relationship between the farmers and their God of Grain is tested. If the harvest was bountiful, the Thunder Giant, the God of Weather and the God of Grain did hear the prayers and did receive the sacrifices and was pleased with both and that is why the threshing floor is full of grain. But if the threshing floor is empty, that means that the Thunder Giant, the God of Weather and the God of Grain is angry and displeased and that more prayers and more sacrifices are needed to please him, and maybe next year he will give good weather and the threshing floor will be full of grain. 

The harsher the climate is the and more unpredictable and volatile the weather is, the more and more uncertain the outcome of the harvest becomes and more and more likely are people to starve. This makes people more and more dependent on the apparent "will of the weather god" and more and more desperate. In Europe this eventually lead to the creation of the God of Weather, the God of Grain. And to the conversion of a threshing floors into temples of Grom Div, Crom Dubh, Hromi Daba.

The largest stone in the Grange stone circle is known as Rannach Cruim Duibh which suggests that the circle was associated with the festival of Domhnach Crom Dubh, Lughnassa. Cruim Duibh, Crom Dubh is according to the Irish annals credited with bringing grain to Ireland. The stone is estimated to weigh more than 40 tons and was transported over a distance of three miles. It is very significant that the Crom Dubh stone is cuboid, an obelisk with orthogonal sides. I will talk about that more in one of my next posts.


Next to the massive Crom Dubh stone is a smaller stack of stones said to represent the grain child. I would suggest that the small stack of stones represents a stack of breads like this one:


Bread is the grain child. It is bread that Crom Dubh brought with him. It is bread that people are praying for. It is bread that will be made from the grain threshed on this holy ground, the threshing floor. This is why a representation of a stack of breads was placed next to the Crom Dubh stone.

Here I have to ask a question: What does "Rannach Cruim Duibh" actually mean? The Irish dictionary says that the word "rannach" means apportioning, sharing; open-handed, departmental. Put together with Cruim Duibh, this name is both ungrammatical and 
meaningless. But what if these are just the names for the small stack of stones representing breads and for the big stone representing Crom Dubh? The word "gráinne" in Irish means corn, grain. In Serbian word for food is "hrana" but it is often pronounced as "rana". I believe that the word was originally "grana" and that it comes from times of the first neolithic farmers and which is based on the ancient root "gra" meaning something small round. Word gra is still used in Serbian as a word for legume seeds. I will talk about this in detail in one of my next posts. So "Rannach Cruim Duibh" should really be "Rannach, Hrana, Grana", "Cruim Duibh" meaning "grain, food", "grom div, god". 

Professor Ó Ríordáin postulated that the circle dated from the Late Neolithic and that it was built c. 2,200 B.C. Archaeologist Helen Roche, however, has suggested that the Grange stone circle was constructed in the Late Bronze Age (c. 1000 BCE) on a site that may have been sacred for thousands of years.

I believe that the building date proposed by Seán P. Ó Ríordáin (2200 bc) is much closer to the actual building date. I believe that the Grange circle was contemporary with the Newgrange and that was certainly built between 3200 bc and 2200 bc. However, additions and changes were probably made in the following millenniums as the worship of Crom Dubh persisted in Ireland up until the arrival of Christianity. 

The worship of Crom Dubh or Crom Cruiach, the old Irish god of agriculture, is most closely associated with Tigernmas, sometimes called Tiernmas, the Irish high king who is said to have perished while worshiping this god. Tigernmas is sometimes referred to as the “culture king”, because it is said that he was the one who brought aspects of civilisation to Ireland including the cereal farming, smithing of gold and silver, the dyeing of fabrics, and the making of music and art.

Grain farming arrived in Ireland in the fourth or third millennium bc. The Grange circle, the temple of Crom Dubh, the god of grain was built in the third millennium bc. Metallurgy was brought to Ireland in the third millennium bc. 

There is a well established cultural distribution path Balkans - South Baltic (Pomorje, Pomerania) - Ireland which has been in operation since at least fifth millennium bc. I wrote about this in my posts about henges and in my post about tochars.  

In the 6th millennium bc, in Serbia, mixed together we find highly developed metallurgical Vinča culture and highly developed grain farming Blagotin culture. These two cultures had to be in contact with each other. Vinca houses had grinding stones and bread baking ovens. Is it possible that from the 6th millennium bc, metallurgy and grain farming spread together into Europe from Serbia? And if so did they reach Ireland together, brought by the same people, Fomorians, people from Pomorje, the land by the sea, South Baltic, known today as Pomerania?




If this is the case, then Tigernmas lived in the 3rd or 4th millennium bc. Is it possible that the Irish oral tradition has preserved records of events that happened 5000, 6000 years ago? Is it possible that metallurgy arrived in Ireland earlier than we think, at the same time when grain farming arrived? Or did grain farming arrive in Ireland later than we think, at the same time with metallurgy? Is Crom Dubh 5000 thousand years old deity and is Crom Dubh, Hromi Daba, Grom Div the oldest European God who is still celebrated in Ireland and Serbia? Did Grom Div arrive to Ireland from the Balkans with the first metallurgists to reach Ireland? Did he then in Ireland turn into Crom Dubh over the following milleniums as the meaning of the name was lost? And did he then arrive back to the Balkans with Celts where he finally became Hromi Daba?

Appart from the biggest stone in the circle being called Cruim Duibh, we have another clue that the Grange circle functioned as a temple of Crom Dubh. The Grange circle has a ceremonial entrance. 


This ceremonial entrance is lined with stones in the same way as the Grange circle itself. The very entrance of the circle is marked with two large stones.



This ceremonial entrance is aligned with the sunrise on the first or second of August, the Day of Crom Dubh, Lughnassa, the day of Perun, Thundering sun Ilios.This following picture gives you the azimuth of the sun path on the first of August 2014. My drawing is not precise so i could be one day off on either side. You can see that the ceremonial entrance looks directly at the sunrise. 




The entrance was made in such a way that on the day of Crom Dubh, Hromi Daba, Grom Div, The Thundering Sun, both the people and the God would enter the threshing floor together so that people can pray in the presence of the God and offer him their sacrifices. 


According to an Irish dinsenchas ("place-lore") poem in the 12th century Book of Leinster, Crom Dubh's, Crom Cruach's cult image, consisting of a gold figure surrounded by twelve stone figures, stood on Magh Slécht ("the plain of prostration") in County Cavan. In the 9th century Tripartite Life of Saint Patrick the deity is called Cenn Cruach, and his cult image consists of a central figure covered with gold and silver, surrounded by twelve bronze figures. Jocelin's 12th century Life and Acts of St. Patrick tells much the same story. Here the god is called Cenncroithi, interpreted as "the head of all gods". 

In the Grange circle, twelve large stones have been placed at intervals around the stone ring, each standing directly opposite one of the other 'axial' stones. This corresponds to the 12 lunar months of the solar year. Are these the 12 stones which eventually became 12 stone idols from the Irish legends? In central Serbia, on the first day of threshing, the first sheaf of grain is stuck on top of the stožer, the central pole of the threshing floor, and it stays there until the end of threshing. As I said in my post about threshing floors, I believe that originally the god of grain lived in the stožer, the central pole of the threshing floor. I believe that the cuboid obelisk representation of Crom Dubh is a later development. The sheaf of wheat stuck on top of the stožer central pole is Crom Dubh carrying a sheaf of grain, which eventually became the golden idol of Crom Cruach from the Irish legends. Cruach means a sheaf, a stack of corn, a heap of grain. In Serbian "kruh" mean heap of grain, bread.


Is the Grange circle the temple of Crom Dubh (Cruach) that the Irish annals talk about? Or Is Grange circle just one of many similar holy threshing floors strewn across pre-Christian Ireland?

Grange circle was a threshing floor which was at the same time also a solar observatory and a temple dedicated to Crom Dubh. Crom Dubh was the main god of pre-Christian Ireland and it is not a surprise to find many Grange place names around Ireland. Here is the map showing the distribution of place names with the root gráinsí, gráinsigh, gráinseach, Ghráinseach in Ireland:


What does the word grange mean and where does it come from? Official etymology says that the word grange comes from Irish gráinsí, gráinsigh, gráinseach, Ghráinseach. It is said that it means "granary, monastic farm"). Is there a reason why "grange" means a monastic farm and just a farm? Is it possible that many Monasteries were built on the grounds of old Granges, holy threshing floors dedicated to Crom Dubh, the god of grain? I believe that the word "gráinseach" originally meant threshing floor.  Gráinne in Irish means corn, grain. In my post about the people of the blade i talked about the ancient "sk, sek" root meaning to cut. In Irish it survived as a small cluster represented with the word "scean" (pronounced shkian) means knife but also to crack, split, sever. Is it possible that "gráinseach" is "gran" + "sek" = grain + cut = harvest, the place where cut grain was brought to be threshed, threshing floor, granary?

In the end, the dual use of Granges as both threshing floors and solar observatories, and the link between the Sun and Granin is embedded in the Irish language. In Irish "grian"  means sun and "gráinne" means corn, grain. But I will talk about that in my next Post. Until then stay happy.

10 comments:

  1. You asked if someone could explain how it is possible for the Irish word to heat/burn/shine could possibly be associate with the meaning of the word grey. One possibility is that in French this word means Farran from the old French word for ferrant. This means iron grey. Iron was used since ancient times as ferrous metallurgy. So the grey iron is burning/shining. You can also have iron minerals which shine. The ferrous metallurgy of iron is the most likely explanation.

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    1. You are right of course. Gray things can be shiny. I actually talk about this in my post about fire word cluster. This is what I said about gray in that post: Even natural shiny grey objects, like moon, stars are linked with cold, night and darkness, not heat, day and light. And all man made grey shiny objects like metal and mirror reflect light, they don't generate it. Plus all the man made shining grey things are much younger than the word for sun. The only gray thing that gives off light is lightning. In Serbian word for lightning is "seva" and the word for gray is "siva"...

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  2. Why precisely 113 stones, like the 113 "lunations" of the labyrinth at Nôtre Dame in Chartres?

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  3. Regarding our conversation on twitter (as NeoPteridomania) yesterday:

    Alas, I just lost a quite lengthy comment (complements & insight/footnotes) when I pressed preview! I'd forgotten to lift the Privacy Badger blocks. Forgot to make a copy so complete #Fail! Will try to rewrite at some point.

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  4. Try again, try again ~

    You've compiled so much material! I am quite taken with your research on the possibilities of a neolithic/archaic aspect of Serbian threshing floor practices as applied to your theory of the Irish Grange sacred space. Thoughts of the threshing floor being a model for stone circles is so intriguing. I'll continue reading yr blog & scout for more info.

    I've compiled a few footnotes which may be of interest though you may already be aware of them. I've shortened these entries somewhat since the 1st draft to save time! Caution with the older material and/or the wiki entry.

    Footnotes:

    "... the stars are called Septemtriones, the seven threshing-oxen..." The Bear in Hellenic Astral Mythology, The Journal of American Folklore. https://archive.org/stream/jstor-533806/533806#page/n1/mode/2up/search/threshing+floor

    Sacred place name - The Threshing floor of Uz, Journal of Biblical Literature. https://archive.org/stream/jstor-3259169/3259169#page/n3/mode/2up/search/threshing+floor

    THRESHING FLOORS AS SACRED SPACES IN THE HEBREW BIBLE https://jscholarship.library.jhu.edu/bitstream/handle/1774.2/37005/WATERS-DISSERTATION-2013.pdf

    Threshing floor - The First Temple, The Temple of Jerusalem, Lundquist (of the New York Public Library) https://books.google.com/books?id=R9VeCEwbNvsC&lpg=PR1&pg=PA1#v=onepage&q&f=false

    "Book XVIII of Homer's Iliad mentions it as "the Bear, which men also call the Wain".[16] In Latin, these seven stars were known as the "Seven Oxen" (septentriones, from septem triōnēs).[17] Triōnēs is a hapax legomenon, occurring only in a single passage by Varro, where he glosses it as meaning "plough oxen". The derivation is acceptable[18] but the meaning, if Varro is right that it derives from terō ("thresh grain by rubbing"), is surely "threshing oxen": the seven stars wheel around the pole star like oxen on a threshing floor. The name is the origin of septentriōnēs the Latin word for north, from which came the adjective septentrional ("northern") in English, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Dipper

    Sickle - "Primitive Agriculture Implements" The Antiquary, G L Gomme (notable member of the British Folklore Society. Parts 1 https://books.google.com/books?id=7-A-AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA140#v=onepage&q&f=false and 2 https://books.google.com/books?id=7-A-AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA189#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Head to Head: Sacrifice V’s Acoustics. Paul Duffy discusses some differing interpretations for a horse skull deposit at Haynestown, Co. Louth. http://www.iac.ie/heady-days/

    Neolithic and Bronze Age migration to Ireland and establishment of the insular Atlantic genome http://www.pnas.org/content/113/2/368.abstract

    Ancient X chromosomes reveal contrasting sex bias in Neolithic and Bronze Age Eurasian migrations http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2017/02/17/1616392114.abstract

    All for now, thank you!

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    1. Wow. Thank you so much for these links. I till take some time to go through all this. The thing about the big dipper is very very interesting indeed.

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  5. Yes, indeed! Sent me off on a line of exploring stars & oxen, lol ... wondering about the very beginnings of farming,animal domestication, and invention of the wheel. Pure speculation, of course, but might the stone rings on hill tops or broad plains have been consecrated as celestial mirror? The threshing floor of the heavens recreated, or modeled, as sacred space on earth? Centered on Polaris, the pole star, the threshing pole? At the least there is literature referencing the plough, the ploughman, and ox cart as constellation which define and sanctify neolithic agricultural, post dating the image of the constellation of the Great Bear.
    It leads me, no linguist, into uncharted waters however, so care must be taken. Some of these footnotes are from sources which must be taken with a grain of salt. Lots of experts' disagreement on some points. I wonder did the commentators mistake threshing (rubbing) for ploughing in their interpretation? The former makes more sense in terms of the stars wheeling around the pole star, some agree. I suppose Latin scholars have been sniping at each other for hundreds of years.

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    1. In Serbian trti, tariti means to rub, to scrape. Like when you are threshing...The root is the same. No disagreement there. Here is the link:

      https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/terh%E2%82%81-

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  6. Footnotes on the Oxen as stars:
    - "Then one of them, who had devoted himself to ancient literature and antiquities, replied: "The common run of grammarians think that the word septentriones is derived solely from the number of stars. For they declare that triones of itself has no meaning, but is a mere addition to the word; just as in our word quinquatrus, so called because five is the number of days after the Ides, [The quinquatrtus, or festival of Minerva, was so called because it came on the fifth day after the Ides (fifteenth) of March]. atrus means nothing. But for my part, I agree with Lucius Aelius [Fr. 42, Fun.] and Marcus Varro, [De Ling. Lat. vii. 4. 74.] who wrote that oxen were called triones, a rustic term it is true, as if they were terriones, A word made up from terra, earth ; the derivation is a fanciful one. Triones is connected with tero, rub, tread, etc. that is to say, adapted to nominibus regionibusque docere nos ipse vellet ploughing and cultivating the earth. Therefore this constellation, which the early Greeks called ἅμαξα merely from its form and position, because it seemed to resemble a wagon, the early men also of our country called septentriones, from oxen yoked together, that is, seven stars by which yoked oxen (triones) seem to be represented. http://perseus.uchicago.edu/perseus-cgi/citequery3.pl?dbname=LatinAugust2012&getid=1&query=Gell.%202.21
    - another key translation of Varro's passage: https://archive.org/stream/L333VarroOnTheLatinLanguageI57/L333-Varro%20On%20the%20Latin%20Language%20I%3A5-7#page/n385/mode/2up/search/oxen

    - "The first of the signs is Arctos, which, fixed on the pole, rotates with its seven stars revolving around it. Its name is Greek (i.e. arktos, 'bear'), and in Latin it is called the Bear (Ursa). Because it turns like a wagon, we call it the Septentriones (i.e. septem, 'seven' + triones). For triones, strictly speaking, are plowing oxen, so called because they tread (terere) the soil, as if the word were teriones. Their proximity to the pole causes them not to set, because they are on the pole.” [The Etymologies of Isidore of Seville, 7th century AD, p.104.] ... With the Wain and Plough naturally came the Plough Oxen, the Triones of Varro, Aulus Gellius, and the Romans generally, turned by the grammarians into Teriones, the Threshing-oxen, walking around the threshing-floor of the pole. Martial qualified these by hyperborei Odrysu and Parrhasii, but also called the constellation Parrhasium Jugum; and Claudian, inoccidui, "never setting." Cicero, with contemporary and later Latin writers, said Septem- or Septentriones, as did the long-haired Iopas in his Aeneid song of the two Northern Cars; and Propertius wrote of them... http://www.constellationsofwords.com/Constellations/UrsaMajor.html
    - another and seemingly contradictory position on 'threshing' here: https://books.google.com/books?id=3MztCwAAQBAJ&lpg=PP1&pg=PA153#v=onepage&q&f=false
    - Max Muller's disagreement at length: https://books.google.com/books?id=I_UIAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA400#v=onepage&q&f=false

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  7. Footnotes on the dating of wild ox/domesticated cattle:
    - DNA traces cattle back to a small herd domesticated around 10,500 years ago https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120327124243.htm
    - The invention of the wheel used in transportation most likely took place in Europe. Evidence of wheeled vehicles appears from the mid 4th millennium BCE near-simultaneously in the Northern Caucasus (Maykop culture), and in Central Europe. The earliest vehicles may have been ox carts.[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chariot
    - Genetic origin, admixture and population history of aurochs (Bos primigenius) and primitive European cattle, 2017. Population admixture analysis indicates a zebu gene flow in the Balkan and Italian Podolic cattle populations. Our analysis supports the previous report of gene flow between British and Irish primitive cattle populations and local aurochs. In addition, we show evidence of aurochs gene flow in the Iberian cattle populations indicating wide geographical distribution of the aurochs. http://www.nature.com/hdy/journal/v118/n2/full/hdy201679a.html
    - Taming the Past: Ancient DNA and the Study of Animal Domestication, 2016. In this review, we show how our understanding of the genetic basis of animal domestication and the origins and dispersal of livestock and companion animals during the Upper Paleolithic and Neolithic periods is being rapidly transformed through new scientific knowledge generated with paleogenomic methods. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/articles/27813680/
    - History and legend of the Wild White Cattle of the British Isles https://archive.org/stream/cu31924024779203#page/n228/mode/1up
    - as above "...the Kymry,a Celtic tribe first inhabited Britain; before them were no men there, but only bears, wolves, beavers, and oxen with high prominences." https://archive.org/stream/cu31924024779203#page/n31/mode/1up

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