for Hidden Women
You are cordially invited to watch “The Quest for Hidden Women,” the story of how an endeavor to understand the past is uncovering Europe’s rich Celtic heritage. Told by the author and her husband, the tale begins with a passion for 15th century Flemish tapestry that is leading the couple to places few international travelers know.
CASE STUDY ONE
You Too Can Sleuth!
Startling evidence points to the fact that Europe’s early leaders like Clovis and Charlemagne did not convert, but that “conversion to Christianity” actually meant they had been killed and their realm overtaken. Whether Roman, Hapsburg or otherwise, it becomes ever clearer that conquerors hid behind royal and religious façades to invade and occupy Europe and enslave its residents. Two of the strongest and most obvious signs of this: (1) Franks notoriously fought their invaders to the death and (2) Christianity and royalty openly used deadly means to terrorize, overtake, subdue and mischaracterize their victims.
This webpage acts as an open forum to voice insights into the massive deceptions that use religion as their mask. Germans, for example, are really Franks and Burgundians who brought down Roman strongholds in the Rhinelands. For that reason, conquerors vilify the Germans again and again. Caesars portrayed Germans as ferocious warriors because they fought so fiercely against his takeover. It is also likely that they contrived the German language to separate people by class, imposed differences of nationality and pinned atrocities like mass executions on them.
Similarly, even those well-versed in all things French decline to associate the Franks with France and Frankish realms. Consider 7th century Carantania, Francia and the East Reaches (Österreich, or Austria). Arguably “Reich” originally meant the eastern parts of Celtic Europe, consistent with the Celtic penchant for naming descriptively, and then later changed to the sense of material wealth prized by empires and the aristocracy, or “rich.”
The view propounded by those reluctant to connect France and the Franks relies on false attributions, like uncouth pre-Christian pagans. These old derogations shatter with one look into an Iron Age burial chamber. A walk through a reconstructed village leaves no doubt that these pre-Christian Franks and Burgundians form a vital part of Europe’s heritage.
Even the most modern techie would find these idyllic places irresistible. Add modern conveniences and move into these charming enclaves amid rolling hills of vineyards, all ready with a wine cellar in the middle.
The word pagan, too, wrongly associates Celts with barbaric rituals. In earlier times, when entire families were slain it probably indicated an enemy attack rather than ritual. Today the first thought is mafia, and in those days the most likely suspect was an outside foe too.
Similarly, the word pagan derives from the concept of countryside. To mitigate against attackers and slave hunters, living scattered in rural areas made it more difficult to round people up in large numbers. Also, the Iron Age preceded the Current Era, so it is impossible to denounce these people as unchristian. Unchristian connotes tolerance and inclusivity, though, since by Biblical dictates Christians must be intolerant and exclusive.
Christianize and civilize have been used interchangeably, but now those designations need to be revisited as to whether both words are euphemisms for enslavement.
CASE STUDY TWO
Where IS Burgundy and Why Care?
To see glimpses of a 15th century Burgundian library collection that had been hidden away for centuries, please click on video. This slide presentation features illuminated manuscripts with subject matter that was banned in Europe for some 1400 years by heresy laws. Imposed by church state officials and enforced by imperial military apparatus, these laws were used to annihilate non-religious materials and punish those who possessed or created any such work.
Of particular note, the beauty of this heretofore unseen world allows views into the 15th century everyday life. Scenes of authors presenting their work (likely to officials for inclusion in this library collection), scholars at work, foreign delegations being welcomed under heavy guard, an elderly gentleman being helped with his bath, geometric gardens, grape harvest and wine production, finely crafted ceilings, refuge castles, thermal baths, intricately designed fabrics - reflect the many aspects of a previously unknown pre-Renaissance world.
Characteristics present in these images relate back to Celtic times and connect to the present era as well, particularly the elevation of family and the representation of females. Instead of the typical bowed head and contrite posture shown in church-related artwork, these women stand tall and splendidly clad. The lively, colorful portrayals contrast markedly with the usual medieval themes of death and subservience, and support the thesis of 15th century Burgundy as the last stronghold of Celtic culture in Europe.
Once the Hapsburg Empire breached Belgium's massive fortifications and tore down the refuge castles, the church state effectively erased the most obvious evidence of the flourishing civilization that had connected Europe for some 2000 years since the Iron Age.
Remarkably, the same attitudes toward women that the church state imposed on Europe in the Middle Ages appear to have been carried down to the present day. Laws in 21st century Europe and the US continue to suppress women in ways that seem surprisingly similar to the medieval heresy laws, and far from the balanced approach that is apparent even from these tiny glimpses into 15th century Burgundy.