En 08e The Gola

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    8e. The Idolatrous Gola

    [060/12] What became of these things:

    In the northernmost corner of the Middle Sea lies an island near the coast. The Tyrians now came and asked to buy it, for which a general assembly was called. The mother’s advice was sought, and she preferred them to be far away; she therefore gave her blessing.[1] But when we later saw what a mistake we had made, we named the island ‘Missellia’ (Massalia) — ‘bad deal’.

    The following will explain what reason we had for this:

    The Gola,[2] as the missionary priests of Sidon were called, were well aware that the land in this southern region was sparsly populated and far from the mother’s reach. In order to create the illusion that they were benign, they made themselves known in our language as ‘Tro-wids’ (Druids) — ‘adherents of truth and loyalty’ — though a more fitting name would have been ‘abhorrers of truth and loyalty’, [061] in short ‘Tro-wends’, as our navigators later called them.

    When they were well settled, their merchants traded fancy copper weapons and all variety of jewelry for our iron weapons and hides of wild animals, which were plentiful in our southern lands. But the Gola celebrated many vile idolatrous rites, attracting the coast-dwellers with their whorish girls and the sweetness of their venomous wine.

    If one of our folk committed an offense so bad that his life was in danger, the Gola afforded him refuge and shelter, and brought him to Phoenicia — that is ‘Palmland’. When settled there, they instructed him to write his family, friends, and allies about how the land was so good and the people so happy that one could hardly imagine.

    In Britannia, there were plenty of men, but few women. When the Gola realized this, they abducted girls from everywhere and gave them to the banished men for free. But all of these girls became servants of the Gola and offered up the children of Wralda to their false gods...

    Notes

    1. ‘gave her blessing’ (MÉNDE ... THAT ER NÉN KWÁ AN STEK) — more literally: ‘thought it would do no harm’.
    2. ‘Gola’ (GOLA, elsewhere also GOLUM, singular GOL) — possibly related to Hebrew 'galut' (exile); Ashkenazic/​Yiddish pronunciation 'golus'. Later fragments also suggest a relation to Gauls and Gaels; compare ‘Gaal Sciot Iber’ in “Chronicles of Eri” (1822) by Roger O’Connor.

    Sandbach 1876

    [p.85 cont.] What the Consequence of this was.

    In the northernmost part of the Mediterranean there lies an island close to the coast. They now came and asked to buy that, on which a general council was held.

    The mother's advice was asked, and she wished to see them at some distance, so she saw no harm in it; but as we afterwards saw what a mistake we had made, we called the island Missellia (Marseilles). Hereafter will be seen what reason we had. The Golen,[1] as the missionary priests of Sidon were called, had observed that the land there was thinly peopled, and was far from the mother. In order to make a favourable impression, they had themselves called in our language followers of the truth; but they had better have been called abstainers from the truth, or, in short, "Triuwenden," as our seafaring people afterwards called them. When they were well established, their merchants exchanged their beautiful copper weapons and all sorts of jewels for our iron weapons and hides of wild beasts, which were abundant in our southern [p.87] countries; but the Golen celebrated all sorts of vile and monstrous festivals, which the inhabitants of the coast promoted with their wanton women and sweet poisonous wine. If any of our people had so conducted himself that his life was in danger, the Golen afforded him a refuge, and sent him to Phonisia, that is, Palmland. When he was settled there, they made him write to his family, friends, and connections that the country was so good and the people so happy that no one could form any idea of it. In Britain there were plenty of men, but few women. When the Golen knew this, they carried off girls everywhere and gave them to the Britons for nothing. So all these girls served their purpose to steal children from Wr-alda in order to give them to false gods.

    Note Sandbach

    1. Gola are the Galli or Gauls.

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