Submit Response


Submit Response is a weblog by Jack Mottram, a journalist who lives in Glasgow, Scotland. There are 1308 posts in the archives. You can subscribe to a feed. This post was made on and belongs in the books category. The previous post was , and the next post is .

Godly Mot

Since Christmas, I’ve been slowly working my way through Hamlet’s Mill: An Essay Investigating The Origins of Human Knowledge And Its Transmission Through Myth by Giorgio De Santillana & Hertha Von Dechend. It’s a fascinating read, despite being esoterically organised, bone dry and, frankly, riddled with much bunkum.

In brief, De Santillana & Von Dechend reckon that common themes in the mythology of unconnected cultures are not evidence of the collective unconscious Chinese-whispering records of cataclysmic events in pre-history, but proof that myths are codified memetic transmission devices for detailed astrological and pseudo-scientific knowledge from the earliest human civilisations. Something like that, anyway.

They seem to be on to something, or at least capable of forging links between myths and astronomical knowledge - they’re certainly convincing when it comes to, say, the assertion that all primitive cultures understood equinoctal precession, and that the structure of a whole host of myths can be interpreted as relating to that knowledge - but I’ll save further notes for a future post when I’ve finished the book.

For the time being, I’ll just share this snippet quoted from the Ras Shamra texts, myths of the Ugarit (better known as Canaanites), those clever folk who invented the 30-letter ur-alphabet from which all phonetic alphabets derive. For obvious reasons, it made me piss myself:

She seizes the Godly Mot
With swords she does cleave him
With fan she does winnow him
With fire she does burn him
With hand-mill she grinds him
In the field she does sow him
Birds eat his remnants
Consuming his portions
Flitting from remnant to remnant.

(Concerned readers will be pleased to learn that my godly namesake somehow manages to spring back to life a couple of clay tablets later.)

Posted at 6pm on 24/01/05 by Jack Mottram to the books category.
Permalink · Add to
Tags: , ,

Comments are closed

Comments are currently closed on this entry.
  1. when you finish there will then be three people in the whole world who have read it - assuming de santillana and von dechend read each others contribution. i tried but after three pages my head started spinning off its own axis. precession?

    Posted by godlymotdad at 11pm on 24.01.05

  2. It’s good to know that you’ve been around that long. Maybe this is the second coming of Mot.
    It all started here, on Submit Response.

    Posted by Donny at 10am on 25.01.05

  3. Dad - my friend Guy, who got me the book for Christmas, is actually re -reading it at the moment. You should’ve seen his attempt to explain the wobbling of earth axes through the medium of hand gestures in the pub the other day…

    Don - yeah, I’ll be battling the mighty god Baal on top of some mountain this weekend. If I win, we enter the age of Aquarius. Quite a resposibility, but someone’s got to do it…

    Posted by Jack Mottram at 2pm on 25.01.05

  4. now that you are our saviour mot, we promise not to crucify you and will worship at the mighty alter of submit response for all eternity*


    Posted by badgergirl at 10am on 26.01.05

  5. eek

    that should say altar not alter

    Posted by badgergirl at 11am on 26.01.05

Recent Posts