Hamlet's Mill - Background

Background

Santillana had previously published, in 1961, The Origins of Scientific Thought which greatly influenced Hamlet's Mill - indeed, it could be considered a sequel or elaboration of the 1961 work; further influences can be found in the work of Leo Frobenius (Leach 1970 mentions particularly the 1900 Die Mathematik der Oceaner and the 1904 Das Zeitalter des Sonnengottes).

The proposed interpretation is that:

  1. "Our ancestors of the high and far-off times were endowed with minds wholly comparable to ours, and were capable of rational processes-always given the means at hand"
  2. That they were particularly fascinated by astronomical observations, and that they made many discoveries, particularly:
  3. The precession of the axis was discovered long before the accepted date of the Greek discovery, and that this was discovered by an ancient (perhaps as late as 4000 BCE) civilization of unsuspected sophistication (per #1).
  4. This civilization believed that the world passed through cyclical & Zodiacal stages based on the precession, and that myths which encode this astronomical knowledge symbolically transmit this belief, typically through a story relating to a millstone and a young protagonist - the title, "Hamlet's Mill", comes from a prototype of the Shakespearean Prince Hamlet, the Scandinavian Amlodhi of Saxo Grammaticus or Snorri Sturluson.
  5. And indeed, the majority of myths have to do with astronomy, and are not principally related to sex or the weather.

Careful examination of the "relics, fragments and allusions that have survived the steep attrition of the ages" permit reconstruction. In particular, the book reconstructs a myth of a heavenly mill which rotates around the pole star, and grinds out the world's salt and soil, and is associated with the maelstrom. The millstone falling off its frame represents the passing of one age's pole star (symbolized by a ruler or king of some sort), and its restoration and the overthrow of the old king of authority and the empowering of the new one the establishment of a new order of the age (a new star moving into the position of pole star). The authors attempt to demonstrate the prevalence of influence of this hypothetical civilization's ideas by analysing the world's mythology (with an eye to revealing mill myths) using

"cosmographic oddments from many eras and climes...a collection of yarns from Saxo Grammaticus, Snorri Sturluson ("Amlodhi's mill" as a kenning for the sea!), Firdausi, Plato, Plutarch, the Kalevala, Mahabharata, and Gilgamesh, not to forget Africa, the Americas, and Oceania..."

Read more about this topic:  Hamlet's Mill

Other articles related to "background":

TurboGrafx-16 - Technical Specifications - Display - Color
... Depth 9 bit Colors available 512 Colors onscreen Maximum of 482 (241 background, 241 sprite) Palettes Maximum of 32 (16 for background tiles, 16 for sprites) Colors ...
Young, Gifted And Black - Personnel
... piano, Vocals Donny Hathaway - Organ, Electric piano Billy Preston - Organ Sammy Turner - Background Vocals Hubert Laws - Alto Flute Chuck Rainey ... Bailey - Background Vocals Carolyn Franklin - Background Vocals Erma Franklin - Background Vocals The Memphis Horns - Ensemble The Sweet Inspirations - Background ... Clark - Background Vocals Cornell Dupree - Guitar Jimmy Douglass - Engineer Tom Dowd - Arranger, Producer Chuck Kirkpatrick - Engineer Eric Gale - Bass Lewis Hahn - Engineer Dan ...
Yankee White
... Yankee White is an administrative nickname for a background check given in the United States of America for Department of Defense personnel and contractor employees ... clearance requires, in part, a Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI) which is conducted under the manuals of the U.S ... Yankee White clearances undergo extensive background investigation ...
44 Liquormart, Inc. V. Rhode Island - Background
... In 1985, a liquormart brought a suit against the liquor control commissioner, arguing, among other things, that the first regulation, which prevented the liquormart from advertising its prices, was unconstitutional ... The Rhode Island Supreme Court, however, held that the regulation did not violate the First Amendment, the Commerce Clause, the Equal Protection Clause, or the Sherman Anti-Trust Act ...
Eddie Chapman - Background
... Well along into his criminal career he was arrested in Scotland and charged with blowing up the safe of the headquarters of the Edinburgh Co-operative Society ... Let out on bail, he fled to Jersey in the Channel Islands where he attempted unsuccessfully to continue his crooked ways ...

Famous quotes containing the word background:

    Silence is the universal refuge, the sequel to all dull discourses and all foolish acts, a balm to our every chagrin, as welcome after satiety as after disappointment; that background which the painter may not daub, be he master or bungler, and which, however awkward a figure we may have made in the foreground, remains ever our inviolable asylum, where no indignity can assail, no personality can disturb us.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)

    In the true sense one’s native land, with its background of tradition, early impressions, reminiscences and other things dear to one, is not enough to make sensitive human beings feel at home.
    Emma Goldman (1869–1940)

    They were more than hostile. In the first place, I was a south Georgian and I was looked upon as a fiscal conservative, and the Atlanta newspapers quite erroneously, because they didn’t know anything about me or my background here in Plains, decided that I was also a racial conservative.
    Jimmy Carter (James Earl Carter, Jr.)