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Re: Excalibar and Eogan's apologizes

Poster: Gene Bonar <gbonar@auspex.com>

At 10:20 PM 4/14/98 EDT, Alysoun wrote:
>Although the Lady's comments about historical (snip) entertain serious
>discussion (snip) For example:

>(1) The Arthur myth/legend along with its subsidiary and related
>myths/legends, such as Excalibar, were part of the literary and cultural
>worldview of the middle ages, so discussion of the origins of such myths
>seem to be a valid topic for historical discussion.

Well put.  There is no question that the kind of discourse you describe has
a great deal of value,  although I don't think this was the kind of
discussion originally intended.

>(2) Because iron and, consequently, steel were more rare than gold in early
>times,  Steffan's speculations might explain the origins of a sword which
>formed the basis for the myths/legends of Excalibar.

I want you to know that I am responding to this with respect for you, and
Stephan and the Merry Rose.  I find this to be not serious speculations but
wishful thinking.  Many people, scientists among them, sometimes want
something to be so badly that they run roughshod of the facts and the
methodology.  It is incumbent, therefore, that we all watch carefully.

Ok, if someone found a piece of meteoric steel in a sufficient quantity,
and they worked it into a sword, and then gave it to their king, and their
king fought against others wielding iron and bronze weapons, then the sword
might take on a magically reputation.  

You should, by the way that I phrased this, get that I feel  that the
speculation has too many if's.  

First, from what little research I have been able to do, meteorites don't
work this way.  Meteors tend hit the earth as close to pure iron as you are
likely to find.  Yes there are meteors with impurities but not a solid
chunk of steel.  To make steel you have to have iron, carbon, nickel,
chromium and what ever else, it would then have to have all brought to
melting point and then mixed, etc etc.  This does not occur while falling
through the atmosphere.

Then there is the question of quantity.  The amount of steel to form a
sword would make a big hole in the ground, such that the Romans would have
mentioned it.  Is there such a hole?  

If you got steel what would you work it with?

Here is where I have to be careful as to not hurt anyone feelings.  It is
my determination that Stephan and others want this to be true so badly that
they ignore the facts and they don't ask critical questions when form their

>It just seems to me that in recreating an era, the beliefs and dreams and
>legends of a people are history, as well. Although understanding the basis of
>such legends may not interest everyone in the Society, the same might be said
>of any individual question someone might raise about the past.

I am trying to live a fantasy.  I only come out of the fantasy long enough
to make money, pay bills and feed the cats.  But knowing whether there was
a steel sword in 500CE doesn't add the importance of the myth or of
Excalibar as a symbol.  

>Respectfully intended,


Gene Bonar                               Auspex Systems 
919.461.2221 (voice)                  TSE, Cary, NC
919.319.9910 (fax)           gbonar@auspex.com
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