Peter G (sinetimore) wrote,
Peter G

Where Legends Come To Life

People from times of legend -- do they actually exist, or are they just folklore?  Paul Bunyon, for example, is folklore.  Historical records were pretty well established and disprove his existence.  The stories of the Mormon church about life in the New World are also soundly trounced.  Go back further, though, and things get murky.  Did Jesus really exist?  There are all kinds of books and DVD's that will tell you no, he's just a legend created by the Church.  And this permeates many historical figures.  Among them, Robin Hood.

There has been a lot of debate about whether or not Robin Hood really existed.  There is also a school of thought that Robin was actually a practicing witch and what he was doing wasn't robbing the rich and giving to the poor, but a religious revolution (the meeting place of the Merry Men was under an oak tree, the traditional meeting place of a coven, there were 13 Merry Men, the number of a coven, ceremonies required a defrocked priest (presumably Friar Tuck) and a virgin (Maid Marian)...I'm not saying this is true or not, just mentioning one of the theories).  And there is some reference that he was a bounty hunter for the King.

Well, something has turned up, and it seems to confirm not only that ol' Rob was a real person and the closest thing the English had to a ninja, but that the stories of his altruism and revolution may be spot on.

Julian Luxford is an art history lecturer at Scotland's University Of St. Andrews.  Like all us bookworms, he was in the library, just looking up stuff, reading, and acquiring knowledge.  He was doing this, however, at Eton College, which was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI.  He was reading the Polychronicon, a history book that dates back to the 1340's.  This one was from around 1460.  Scribbled into the margins was a 23 word message in Latin from a monk.  Translated into English, it reads as follows:

"Around this time, according to popular opinion, a certain outlaw named Robin Hood, with his accomplices, infested Sherwood and other law-abiding areas of England with continuous robberies."

Luxford plans to publish this, along with other extrapolations about the note, in the Journal Of Medieval History.  So, we have probably the best indicator yet that Robin Hood really existed.

No, I don't think they'll find proof that he was a fox.

Tags: history, news
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