Wednesday 27 March 2024

King Arthur Vs Dennis the Peasant

A quote seen online; "To assume that the tribes of West Wales had the technical skills, the mental maps, the motivation, the manpower and raw material resources, and the leadership to make 80 or so monolith transporting expeditions by sea or overland is to enter a quagmire with no escape..... I have argued many times before, the great mass of the population at the time were not driven by rituals, belief systems, political aspirations or economic ambition but by things that were much simpler -- the need for warmth, clothing, food, safety and comradeship within secure family groups. It was all very utilitarian. The locals inhabiting the slopes of Mynydd Preseli  would have had much in common with Dennis the Peasant. They would have had no knowledge at all of Stonehenge, which was at that time in any case just a circular earthwork no more significant than hundreds of others. They would have had no reason to cart lots of stones from here to there, involving a stupendous logistical challenge. They would in any case not have known how to get there."

I am happy to be in that quagmire, I'm with Dennis - I believe that the builders of Stonehenge were just as capable as us and had all the skills and knowledge to transport the stones to Stonehenge. There must be a word for someone who believes a different bunch of people to your own aren't as capable as you are.

But maybe I'm misjudging the writer who by likening the tribal members to Dennis the Peasant, who famously objects that King Arthur unfairly treats him like an inferior and then eloquently demonstrates  an erudite constitutional knowledge, is making that point about stereotyping.

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