A Basque Fairy Tale.

The Basques live in Northern Spain, along the Pyrenee Mountains. A fiercely proud and independent people, like many others (including the Scots! LOL).

But, one thing that is unique about them is their language. It bears no known connection to any other language, in Europe or anywhere else in the world.

And likewise their oral history; it too has stories that are unconnected with the rest of Europe.

One of those stories I’m just about to tell:

Once upon a time the Basques say, they had cousins, a related people speaking the same tongue who lived in the eastern Pyrenees on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea.

Those people were called by the Basques “The Sons of God”, although they called themselves “The Sons of The Son of God”.

Over a thousand years ago, the Basques say, those people were wiped out. Totally. Every last one of them, every trace of their existence, their towns, temples, even the very memory of them, was destroyed.

The Basques themselves were hunted down too, but by hiding in the mountains, remnants of them survived.

And the Basques have another story about the sons of god, the story of how they got that name.

Many many generations before the Sons of God were destroyed, back in the days when Rome ruled the world, a boat arrived at the shores of one of their villages.

In it were three people; an old man, a young man and a young woman. They were from the eastern Mediterranean, and had travelled all this way by sea.

The young man was grievously injured and near death, but the villagers took him into their care.

And the old man told them to take care of him, because this was “The son of god” he said.

The story the old man told was thus:

The young man had been a prophet in his own county, no, more than that, the son of god, who had come to give god’s word to his people. But the Romans had feared him. The Romans had crucified him, then to ensure his death, the Romans had cast a spear into his side.

Thinking he was dead, the old man and the young woman had taken the body from the cross and removed it for embalment. But, they discovered he was not dead at all. The spear had not entered his heart, but just his stomach.

They knew they had to take him away, because if he was found to be still alive, the Romans would kill him.

So, with the aid of others, including a Greek doctor, they gave what aid they could to the severely injured prophet, and the three of them had taken a boat westwards along the great sea.

And here they were.

Anyway, the story continues that the man recovered and began to preach to the people, and was revered as the son of god.

But, he didn’t live long, his injuries were too severe, but before he died, he fathered a son on the young woman.

And that son became a great leader among the people, and eventually everyone could claim descent from him.

But, after the man died, the old man and the woman sailed westwards, never to be heard from again. But they left behind four things; the body of the prophet, the son of the prophet, the word of the prophet, and the pole ladder which they’d used to remove him from the cross, and subsequently used as a stretcher for him.

The pole ladder (gradule in Latin, or graal in the Germanic language the people had partially adopted) became a symbol of the Son of God for them, and they revered that Holy Graal.

So, is this story true?

Or was it just the product of boring evenings around ancient cook fires, and merely some story-teller’s attempt to enlighten those evenings?

Or is the story a real remembrance of something that actually happened? Were those three people Mary Magdalene, Joseph of Arimathea, and Jesus of Nazareth?

But, whether the story is true or not, one can understand the determination of the Christian Church to destroy all traces of the story and the people who told it…

Any suggestion that Jesus had not died and been reborn challenged their whole faith and power base.

Well, there is no trace of the supposed destruction of these people or their story in the Vatican or any other part of the Holy Roman Empire.

So, that suggests the whole story is a myth. There again, it could also suggest that it’s very very true.

Thoughts anyone?

I’ve been hanging out at this forum for years, and try very hard not to participate in any of the religious or faith type discussions. Guess I think microphones are more fun to talk about. But…

These kinds of stories I find fascinating. You ask if it’s a myth or if it’s true. My question is “how is this story any more or less mythical than any of the stories presented in the Christian Bible?” The obvious follow up question is "does its reality or mythic nature matter if someone believes it and uses it somehow, either for good or bad?"

Seriously. Yes, it seems based on the story of a prophet that’s presented in the Christian text. Other parts of that same text have prophet stories. Other religions have prophet stories and creation stories and flood stories and apocolypse stories, just like the Christian text as well. Humans tell stories…it’s a little thing we do. We tell 'em and retell 'em and change 'em subtly or not so subtly to fit the times or the mood or the politics or the culture in which the stories get told.

Gilgamesh. Beowulf. Illiad. Vedda. Bible. All stories, told and retold. All true and all mythic. All at the same time. Believe one to the exclusion of the others, believe them all, or say they’re all crap. They’re stories and we make them what we want to make them, because we…the Royal WE…we as a race of sentient beings…made the stories in the first place. To illustrate a point, to explain the world around us, to try to get a handle on the Great Unexplainable Something that hovers just beyond our comprehension. Gravity. Light. Action at a distance. Stories. So cool…

Now, about that Shure 300 I got a while back…

It is an interesting story, but I (obviously) don’t think it’s true. The problem for me is more the count of the bible where they saw Him after He’s risen (or ‘healed’ as this may be !). The problem with that is then obviously that (if He was only human) He couldn’t heal that fast, and that He couldn’t be back in his homeland that quickly either. That obviously have belief in the bible’s truth as a starting point. There’s obviously the option that the deciples and everyone that saw Him risen afterwards were all part of the big coverup and conspiracy, but again, that doesn’t account for Paul’s experience. He didn’t even know Jesus before His death and ressurection.
There’s also another option that was presented in Dan Brown’s book that says that Mary Magdelene wasn’t a prostitute and a friend, but Jesus’ wife, and that there were offspring (God’s grandchildren if you will !)

But I prefer (like I said before) to take the account of His death and resurection in the new testament to be the absolute truth.

Now let me be the 1st one to say that some of the middle age churches really missed the plot. Heck, even in South Africa as recently as the 1960’s - 80’s the government (in a way) got their apartheid policies’ evil justified out of the bible. I cannot tell you enough how it disgusts me that people try and justify their personal f#@%ed up views out of the bible, and that is excactly what those churces did with the incuisition.
Oops - that’s another story.

There’s also the option that early (or not so early) people oposing Christianity made up different stories against the same background to confuse the issue and try and get people to stop believing. Some socalled Christian churches (even today) did it, why wouldn’t the oposition ?

As for me and my house ? We will server the Lord !

Just my .2 $



'I came to the conclusion that if I wanted to retain my integrity as a human being and as a Christian, I had to stick clearly, unequivocally and fearlessly in Whom I believed in, what I believed in and why I believed.'

Beyers Naude - One of the 1st Afrikaans pastors that stood up against apartheid in South Africa in the 60’s, and was ostracised and almost killed for it.

Clava, good and very thoughtful post, thank you.

Wihan, when you say that the “story isn’t true”, do you mean that none of it is true, or just that Jesus was not the person they talked about?

After all, the Roman Empire was rife with prophets and rebels and crucifixion was a common too.

And there’s nothing in the story that says it was Jesus; the myth doesn’t make that claim nor name that name.

So even if the story does have a real historical basis, it could’ve been about some other prophet.

But I agree with you that it could have been artificially generated. Around that time, the Islamic Arab Empire controlled much of Spain, and there were great disagreements and power struggles within the Christian church itself, so who knows the source of the story?

But, still makes ya wonder dunnit? :)

Could have been another prophet … maybe.


But, still makes ya wonder dunnit?

Yes it does !

It is good to look at other things every now and then.
I’ve gone through an excercise about two weeks ago with a close friend that decided to ‘change religion’ becuase of the ‘love of her life’. Interesting discussions we had. The good thing about it ? I had to go and do a little research and look at (and question) the core of what I believe. Reafirming myself a little more again.

It is good to question these things every now and then …


Btw are you Ali ?

Septic Tank is one of the Travelling Aliburies, Wihan. I’ve been recently studing my family history and think I may be a Aliburie long lost in the transitional move to the new lands, called America. Just from the observation of my great great great great grandfather on my fathers side named Cess Pool! :D

Funny how most religious stories and folk lore have the same basic story structure, eh?

Did Hollywood produce all of these stories?


Did Hollywood produce all of these stories?



You may be on to something…


Btw are you Ali ?

Apprehensive Wihan.

Making fundamental and radical changes in one’s life is much easier when one is young; old age increases the need and the desire for stability, and the consequent fear of change. Especially when that change is forced upon you.

There again, now that the decision is made, I feel a certain lightening of the load, and the possibility of greater freedom is a welcome one.

But I’ll be happier when everything is sorted out, so for now, I swing between depression and hope. So what’s new? :D

The worst thing is Denise is refusing to take her medication or to self blood test.

She has a real phobia about needles, and I mean the full blown phobia.

It was only because she was semi-conscious in the hospital that they were able to insert an IV and carry out blood tests, but even then, it was traumatic for her, for me, in fact, for the whole damm hospital.

After she came home, I spent a whole day using the tester on virtually every part of my body to show her that it doesn’t hurt, (well, not in selected places anyway). I must have lost about 2 pints of blood that day. :D

But it’s no good. She knows it’s stupid, and she agrees completely with me and the hospital counsellor, but, she still won’t stick a needle in herself, and will fight like a tigress if anybody else tries.

Apart from that, things are fine. :D (Except, I picked my guitar up yesterday for the first time in ages, and after 5 minutes of warm-up exercises, my fretting hand was agony! LOL).

My dad went through the needle fear thing when he first started on insulin. He got over it when he started to have vision problems and tingling in his fingers, and when we pointed out what a lousy way to die that would be. He eventally gave in, and now its absolutely nothing to him. Keep trying.

Ali-Tank, the phrase “son of God” was a common one in antiquity, indeed, in nearly all religions you’ll find something like this. . In hellenic culture one might talk about “sons of gods” like Hercules. When the romans got going with the cult of the divine emperor, one of the titles given to Augustus was “son of god” He was also “god of gods, father of gods” and a lot of other things. There is nothing in the phrase “son of god” to connect it with the Christ myth. There is lots, on the other hand, to connect the development of the Christ myth with hellenic ideas common in 1st century middle east.

The langauge problem is an intersting gone. What it tells us is that they come from a migration earlier than, say, the indo-european one. But it is a mistake to use it along with a myth to draw soem odd conclusions about Jesus.

BTW, its also inconssitent with scholarly usage to equate myth and fiction. A myth is usually thoguht of as a story that has a certain narrative function in structuring a worldview. It might be true historically, it might not be, but that is irrelevant to its function as myth. That’s the standard usage, anyway.

It’s intriguing that a story like this one can get summarily dismissed, while an admitted work of fiction like the “Da Vinci Code” is touted as entirely possible.

As I said to Wihan Tom, neither I nor the myth make any claims as to that particular “son of god” being Jesus. :)

It just strikes me as an interesting possibility, that’s all.

And “The Holy Graal” has to make you think, yeah?

And I was not using the Basque’s language as validating evidence , rather just to explain a possible reason for them not sharing a common mythology with the rest of Celtic/Latin/Germanic Europe.

As for the differences between myth and fiction, well, I suppose you’re right.


A myth is usually thoguht of as a story that has a certain narrative function in structuring a worldview. It might be true historically, it might not be, but that is irrelevant to its function as myth. That’s the standard usage, anyway.

So, which parts of the massive complex of the Arthurian legend is myth, and which is fiction? :D

And which category does A.E. White’s fictional/mythical work, “The once and future king” fall into? :p

EDIT: (Only one phone line, so keep getting booted. :( )

Tom, I’ve always been very sceptical about the divisions between history, legend and myth.

To me, that’s an artificial and often arbitrary grouping.

So, is it possible that fiction is just another shade of those greys?

Continuing Clava’s post on myth, I wonder what Jung would have to say?

In the past, you’ve called me an empiricist, and that is probably true. I’ve never made the conscious decision to be one, but by nature, I suppose I am one.

So, if I do not accept the validity of a priori ideas; can I accept the idea that “fiction” can arise spontaneously?

I’d say “No”.

Racial unconscious, memories of stories heard in childhood, life experience, maybe all of these contribute to “fictional works”.

And here’s some evidence of that:

I’ve written many songs, all I’d like to believe, purely mine.

But when I look honestly at the lyrics, at the musical structure, they’re all very derivative. I don’t use Japanese nor Mongolian scales, instead they’re all Celtic or Western scales and harmonies. Likewise the lyrical elements are either very standard “boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy buys a new piece of hardware as a substitute” type of thing. Either that, or I rely on very mythical elements; fairy rings, doomed warriors, and plenty of lager! :D

So, my fictional lyrics are really very mythical.

Anyway, that’s not proof, but to my mind, it is supporting evidence.


What is the da Vinci Code Ks?
Quote (ksdb @ June 29 2005,14:58)
It's intriguing that a story like this one can get summarily dismissed, while an admitted work of fiction like the "Da Vinci Code" is touted as entirely possible.

Man, that book really bugs me, he gets the whole non-cannonical scripture thing absolutely backwards, and the real story is so much more interesting.

Aaaaah - I was wondering where my PM’s to you went.

Good to know you didn’t ignore something you didn’t get !

No worry, you answered my question in your post anyway.


It’s intriguing that a story like this one can get summarily dismissed, while an admitted work of fiction like the “Da Vinci Code” is touted as entirely possible.

Yes, but in certain instances it is so close to the real thing that it almost seems real. And i’m sure the story Ali posted about wasn’t a best seller like this one.

Ali, check it out - very good read. Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, but as Tom said, take it for fiction. They’ve got a whole new swing on the holy grail …

Tom, I take it one of the ‘1st century religions’ you talk about would maybe be the worshop of the worrior god Mithras ?

Cheers !


Sorry for not responding to your PM’s Wihan. :)

I can’t recall my password and it’s stored on my main PC, which is now itself stored in a selection of cardboard boxes. (Like most other things :D).

I’m using a laptop now, so I thought it’d just be easier to start a new screen name.

Oh, by the way, my apologies for my weird answer in my previous post.

I misread your “are you Ali?” as “how are you Ali?”.

So, I’d better add “growing senile” to my list of other moans! :D

Anyway, as I introduced the subject of myth, and also introduced the Arthurian legends; there’s a connection there with the “fabrication” of history.

Documentary evidence about Arthur is very scarce; two contemporary mentions by Roman writers, and all the other written stuff seems to originate much, much later.

From the contemporary stuff all we see is a shadow. A Romanised Celtic war leader, who was probably a major military commander during and leading up to the departure of Rome from Britain.

And, presumably, although he was a Roman citizen, when the Romans left, he stayed and remained in command of the British forces.

Much more interesting is the circumstantial evidence.

The mountains outside Edinburgh are called Arthur’s Seat. But Scotland has never had a king Arthur, nor any other notable of that name. In fact, it’s not even a Scottish name, it’s British (Welsh).

And all over southern Scotland, England, Wales, northern France, you’ll come across; Arthur’s this or Arthur’s that. And the evidence suggests that the names go back a long long way.

Another interesting fact is that when the Romans were leaving Britain, King Niall of Ireland was poised to invade, and in Europe, the Jutes, Angles and Saxons were likewise ready to take over Britain.

But this never happened, not for almost a hundred years anyway.

So, who, or what kept them out?

Well, we now move into the area of myth, and I’m sure that most people are familiar with some aspects of the story at least.

But one of the myths is that Arthur and his knights lie sleeping, and whenever Britain needs them again, they will awaken once more.

Obviously, (and this is where it connects to the rest of the topic), this myth was very distasteful to the Christian Church. As far as they’re concerned, only one person has ever “risen again” and it certainly wasn’t Arthur.

So, if you visit Glastonbury Abbey, you can see Arthur’s grave.

The reason you see it is that the body was put there in the middle ages by the monks. They planted the evidence, and started the story that it was Arthur to prove that he was truly mortal, and well and truly dead.

Yet this story of Arthur’s grave is and was widely accepted. The hippies who hang around Glastonbury will assure you that Arthur lies there, (and assumedly, if you partake of an adequate number of the correct magic mushrooms, you’ll see him rise again too! LOL).

So, history, legend, myth, fiction, damm lies; often it’s hard to figure out which is which. :D

Wowsers, now we’re talking mushrooms! This is getting deep, or maybe I’m shrinking, or did we come here at all…

Feed your head… Feed your head… :D