Tuesday 20 March 2012

Lost Tribe

Breaking news today that the two journalists held in Tripoli had been detained on suspicion of being Israeli spies because their captors mistook Welsh for Hebrew - see the story here.

Before you mock the Libyan militia for an egregious mistake bear in mind that they may know something that we don't. There is a longstanding tradition that the Welsh are one of the Lost Tribes of Israel who were expelled by the Assyrians in about 760 BC and disappeared from history.

But did they? They must have gone somewhere and may have wandered west and become ancient Britons (as the Welsh were known before the Saxons arrived). The Lost Tribe most associated with the Welsh is the tribe of Dan who seem to have been excommunicated by the other tribes for "pagan practices" - whatever that may mean but it sounds quite Druidical.

Dragons (or things very like them) crop up a fair bit in the Old Testament - and uniquely in the world there is a dragon over the door of the synagogue in Thomastown, Merthyr Tydfil, the oldest in Wales and still in use when I lived nearby briefly in the 1980s.

And, now I come to think of it, I had a great uncle Dan who farmed near Tregaron.

The evidence mounts up.