24 September 2013

Red Cliff ~ Rode Klif

This was posted on the UM forum in august:

Posted 18 August 2013 - 01:38 PM
In the old thread, on 22 febr. 2011 (post #3175), Otharus said:
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I have been wondering what this Red Cliff of the Frisian legends was, and I still do.

I believe this term was originally referring to a REAL red cliff, namely part of the coast of Helgoland and later the name was moved to something in Friesland.

This may be significant, because toponyms were often re-used when people migrated, resulting in major confusion among historians (example: Troy and Odysseus voyage).

Helgoland was an important source for copper, hence important for bronze production.

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 08:02 PM
View PostVan Gorp, on 18 August 2013 - 05:53 PM, said:
About the cliffs: I remember in Cornwall are also "Red Cliff"s (fe neighbourhood Herne Bay).

I found this:

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 12:51 PM
View Postgestur, on 18 August 2013 - 01:38 PM, said:
I believe this term was originally referring to a REAL red cliff, namely part of the coast of Helgoland and later the name was moved to something in Friesland.

Most of pre-19th century Frisian historiography is rejected because it is assumed to be 'merely fantasy'.
The term used for it is "fantastic Frisian history" or "Frisian mythology".
One main reason for it not being taken seriously is the occurence of a dragon and fire coming out of the earth at the "Red Cliff".

Ocko Scarlensis/ Okko van Scharle (16th century):

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Midzomer in 't voorsz. Jaar van vier/
ontsprong op 't Zuidwest van den Berg/ 
die men het Rode Clif noemt/
omtrent tien treden daar van/
een vuurige vlamme/
drie dagen duurende/
uit der aarden/
en den vierden dag daar na kwam daar eenen groten Draak uit vliegen/
die zig zeer hoog in de lugt verhief/
tot een verschrikkinge van velen;
en na dat hy omtrent een half uur zig zo hoog in de lugt vertoont hadde/
is hy weder nedergedaalt/
vliegende in der aarde/
daar hy uit gekomen was/
en is daar na nooit weder gezien.

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~ Onder dezes regeringe/
te weten Anno 155.
is by den Berg van 't Rode Clif den vuurigen Put weder opgebroken/
en brande zeer vreeslyk agt dagen lang/
zo dat het een grote verschikkinge by yder een maakte/
namentlyk by den genen die daar naast om gelegen waren.

Daar wierde grote neerstigheid gedaan om te weten wat het dog wezen mogte/
dog men heeft'er eigentlyk niet van konnen vernemen/
en na dat het zo agt dagen gebrand en zeer hoog gevlamt hadde/
en men nergens digt by konde komen/
zo is't van zelfs weder toegedaan;
men vermoede daar zoude een grote Sterfte of Pestilentie op volgen/
dog Stavo/
haar voornaamste Afgodt/
van dezen gevraagt zynde/
zeide: dat zulks niet was te vrezen/
want daar zoude na [p.12] langheid van tyd een zeer koude materie na volgen/
zo dat ze door des Afgodts antwoord gepaaid/
en weder getroost zyn geweest.

It is usually assumed that this is about the so-called Red Clif (or clivus ruber) in Friesland:

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I suggest the possibility that this Frisian 'cliff' is named after the old legend and not the other way around.

The legend can then be based on REAL red cliffs, on the island Helgoland, were bronze was made, hence the fire and dragon symbolism: it may have been coded information. (I will argue this in more detail later.)

On the island Sylt, north-east of Helgoland (Nordfriesland near border Germany-Denmark) there is also a so-called 'Red Cliff' (Roten Kliff near Kampen):

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The relevance for OLB is, that when the Frisian mythology is taken more seriously, OLB also will make more sense.

Posted 20 August 2013 - 12:42 PM
View PostAbramelin, on 19 August 2013 - 09:43 PM, said:
The Red Cliff was/is located near Stavoren, in the former Zuiderzee.

Like I said, there are more Red Cliffs, some of which actually look more like a REAL cliff than the one in Friesland:de.wikipedia/Rotes_Kliff

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The dragon part is of course nothing but superstitious nonsense.

When people speak of a capricorn they usually don't mean the real animal or even the fantasy half horned-half fishtailcreature, but a formation of stars.

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Likewise, many mythological symbols may have been based on natural phenomena.
For example electric discharge in the night sky (source: Thunderbolts Project):

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Like the unicorn and phoenix, the dragon can be a symbol.

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The dragon-theme is seen in many ancient mythologies and usually related to fire.

If indeed Helgoland was important for bronze-production (because of its rich copper resourses), its red cliff can easily be associated with fire and thus, dragons.


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