John Dee and the Foundations of Mormonism

The catch-all forum for general topics and debates. Minimal moderation. Rated PG to PG-13.
_Kishkumen
_Emeritus
Posts: 21373
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:00 pm

John Dee and the Foundations of Mormonism

Post by _Kishkumen »

Since the other thread has ground to a halt, but there are many questions that remain to be explored, I thought I would start this new thread to cultivate our continuing study into the evolution of Mormonism from John Dee's New World Atlantean Imperialism. These are exciting times for Mormon Studies. We are only beginning to understand its historical, philosophical, political, and spiritual roots in Early Modern England. Professor Royal Skousen has laid the linguistic foundation for our studies, and for that we owe him a great debt of gratitude.

Following on Prof. Skousen's observations that 1) the Book of Mormon is loaded with Early Modern Englishisms, 2) that this was likely because of the work of an Early Modern translation committee, and 3) Tyndale is too early to be the head of such a committee, I proposed that John Dee is a much better candidate to be the guiding light of this committee. I will assume that all those who are curious about the first steps in that argument will take the time to review Dean Robbers' wonderful thread.

Now, I have delved just a tad further into Dee's interest in expanding the Imperium Britanniae into North America, which was so helpfully raised by Prof. JJ. (Welcome, Prof. JJ! We are always happy to connect with scholars making contributions to this exciting new field of inquiry.) Now, Prof. JJ opined that the Gentile who came across the many waters was none other than Sir Francis Drake:

1 Nephi 13:12 wrote:And I looked and beheld a man among the Gentiles, who was separated from the seed of my brethren by the many waters; and I beheld the Spirit of God, that it came down and wrought upon the man; and he went forth upon the many waters, even unto the seed of my brethren, who were in the promised land.


This was a fine suggestion, and it is worthy of further exploration. I would ask, however, that we also consider the very strong possibility that the Gentile in question is not someone so late as Sir Francis Drake, but instead the Welsh prince, Madoc, whom John Dee believed had visited America in the 12th century, thus justifying Britannia's claim to the the New World. Dee made several interesting marginal comments on Madoc in his copy of Columbus' writings on the discovery and occupation of the New World.

We are fortunate to have been previously enlightened on the subject of Prince Madoc by veteran Spalding scholar, Uncle Dale. Those interested in Madoc and the Welsh Indians that were descended from his party may consult his writings.

Also fascinating is Dee's interest in opening up trade with the Iroquois of New France at Hochelaga (on the St. Lawrence) and in settling in their area. The Iroquois of this region came into conflict with the Micmac of hieroglyphic fame. More to come....
Last edited by Guest on Sat Aug 20, 2016 9:20 pm, edited 3 times in total.
"Petition wasn’t meant to start a witch hunt as I’ve said 6000 times." ~ Hanna Seariac, LDS apologist
_Maksutov
_Emeritus
Posts: 12480
Joined: Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:19 pm

Re: John Dee and the Foundations of Mormonism

Post by _Maksutov »

Reverend, you have opened up a new and fascinating front in Mormon Studies. I salute your courage, your transformative insights and painstaking scholarship and am impatient for more. :smile: Let the hermetic and Enochian sources of the Book of Mormon be revealed.
"God" is the original deus ex machina. --Maksutov
_jj
_Emeritus
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:37 am

Re: John Dee and the Foundations of Mormonism

Post by _jj »

Kishkumen wrote:Since the other thread has grounded to a halt, but there are many questions that remain to be explored, I thought I would start this new thread to cultivate our continuing study into the evolution of Mormonism from John Dee's New World Atlantean Imperialism. These are exciting time for Mormon Studies. We are only beginning to understand its historical, philosophical, political, and spiritual roots in Early Modern England. Professor Royal Skousen has laid the linguistic foundation for our studies, and for that we owe him a great debt of gratitude.


Great, looking forward to hearing more on the EmodE Imperial Atlantis Book of Mormon geography model.

Just a quick thought as I'm running out the door. I recall a story told by William Hyde (If I recall correctly) about Joseph Smith Sr. recounting his belief in a sunken continent/island somewhere in the Pacific. It struck me that this could have been Jacob's Blessed Isle in the sea.

"We have been driven out of the land of our inheritance; but we have been led to a better land, for the Lord has made the sea our path, and we are upon an isle of the sea."

So little about the geography of the New World was known in Early Modern England. Did our translation committee work from an existing map of an island? Kircher did sketch Atlantis once and some have noted the similarities with the shape of South America on a 1592 map by Abraham Ortelius.

Image
_jj
_Emeritus
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:37 am

Re: John Dee and the Foundations of Mormonism

Post by _jj »

And might I suggest another curious lurker at the Sibly bookshop?

Meet Roger O'Connor, Irish author living in London in 1801. known for his translation work on the Chronicles of Eri, ancient manuscripts written in the Phoenician dialect of the Scythian language, which have, "fortunately for the world, been preserved through many ages, chances and visissitudes".

“Having regained my liberty shortly after my arrival in London, so far as going abroad, I did not resume my favorite object during my abode in England, which was until 1803, when I returned to my own country, and having availed myself of the earliest opportunity of reclaiming from the bowels of the earth the most ancient manuscripts of the History of Eri, I recommended my pursuit upon a more enlarged scale, and had completed the work down to the memorable era of 1315 since Christ.”

“Should any captious person be inclined to entertain suspicion of the antiquity of these manuscripts, I beg leave to observe, that I do not presume to affirm that the very skins, whether of sheep or goats, are of a date so old as the events recorded; but this I will assert, that they must be faithful transcripts from the most ancient records; it not being within the range of possibility, either from their style, language, or contents, that they could have been forged.”


The first volume is presented as a translation of text written from 1368-35 BC which describes the origin and migrations of the Gaels. According to this text, the Gaels originated among the Phoenicians, and migrated to Sythia and Sidon, where the people who would become the Ancient Britons split off from the group that would become the Gaels. Recall Mitchill's proposition that the Detroit Manuscript was written in a form of Gaelic.

One strength of an EmodE ur text is that it plants the Book of Mormon in a unique environment wherein a number of authors employed the Biblical style in their "translations" of ancient histories. In 1817, James Hogg offers us one of the most interesting examples of the Chaldee Manuscript genre through his recovery of the ancient Chaldee MS and the even weirder Chronicles of Charles the Young Man.

“And it came to pass in the eight month, even in the month of August, in the year 1745, that the young man landed at Moidart, in the wilderness of Lochaber. That the prophesies of John the Scribe might be fulfilled, who prophesied, saying, In the eighth month, that is in the month of August, the young man will come again, and many will go out after him. But the people laughed him to scorn, and believed not the words of John the Scribe; for they said, He is a false prophet, and prophesieth for filthy lucre; for their hearts were hardened.”
Last edited by Guest on Sun Aug 21, 2016 9:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
_grindael
_Emeritus
Posts: 6791
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:15 am

Re: John Dee and the Foundations of Mormonism

Post by _grindael »

Outstanding, jj.
Riding on a speeding train; trapped inside a revolving door;
Lost in the riddle of a quatrain; Stuck in an elevator between floors.
One focal point in a random world can change your direction:
One step where events converge may alter your perception.
_Blixa
_Emeritus
Posts: 8381
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2007 12:45 pm

Re: John Dee and the Foundations of Mormonism

Post by _Blixa »

grindael wrote:Outstanding, jj.


No kidding.
From the Ernest L. Wilkinson Diaries: "ELW dreams he's spattered w/ grease. Hundreds steal his greasy pants."
_jj
_Emeritus
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:37 am

Re: John Dee and the Foundations of Mormonism

Post by _jj »

Kishkumen wrote:This was a fine suggestion, and it is worthy of further exploration. I would ask, however, that we also consider the very strong possibility that the Gentile in question is not someone so late as Sir Francis Drake, but instead the Welsh prince, Madoc, whom John Dee believed had visited America in the 12th century, thus justifying Britannia's claim to the the New World. Dee made several interesting marginal comments on Madoc in his copy of Columbus' writings on the discovery and occupation of the New World.


Ah yes. Which could explain why the Welsh Saints under Brigham Young besieged the Hopi mesas "wanting them to utter Celtic words" in the hope they could prove descent from Madoc.

"Their tradition says that over three hundred years before the conquest of Mexico by the Spaniards, some white men landed in Mexico and told the Indians that they had come from the regions beyond the sea to the east. They say that from these white men came the ancient kings of Mexico, from whom Montezuma descended. These white men were known to the Indians of Mexico by the name of Cambaraga; and are still remembered so in the traditions of the Zuni Indians. In time those white people became mixed with Indians, by marriage, until scarcely a relic of them remained. A few traditions of the Mexican Indians and a few Welsh words among the Zunis, Navajos, and Moquises are all that can be found of that people now.

I have the history of the ancient Britons, which speaks of Prince Madoc, who was the son of Owen Guynedd, king of Wales, having sailed from Wales, in the year 1160, with three ships. He returned in the year 1163, saying he had found a beautiful country, across the western sea. He left Wales again in the year 1164 with fifteen ships and three thousand men. He was never again heard of."


http://welshmormon.byu.edu/Resource_Info.aspx?id=1200

In the minds of the earlier saints, Madoc was indeed the first gentile to cross the great waters.
_Kishkumen
_Emeritus
Posts: 21373
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:00 pm

Re: John Dee and the Foundations of Mormonism

Post by _Kishkumen »

jj wrote:One strength of an EmodE ur text is that it plants the Book of Mormon in a unique environment wherein a number of authors employed the Biblical style in their "translations" of ancient histories. In 1817, James Hogg offers us one of the most interesting examples of the Chaldee Manuscript genre through his recovery of the ancient Chaldee MS and the even weirder Chronicles of Charles the Young Man.

“And it came to pass in the eight month, even in the month of August, in the year 1745, that the young man landed at Moidart, in the wilderness of Lochaber. That the prophesies of John the Scribe might be fulfilled, who prophesied, saying, In the eighth month, that is in the month of August, the young man will come again, and many will go out after him. But the people laughed him to scorn, and believed not the words of John the Scribe; for they said, He is a false prophet, and prophesieth for filthy lucre; for their hearts were hardened.”


The James Hogg material is remarkable. Anywhere one dips in there is a strong resemblance to the Book of Mormon:

TRANSLATION FROM AN ANCIENT CHALDEE MANUSCRIPT wrote:1 And I saw in my dream, and behold one like the messenger of a King came toward me from the east, and he took me up and carried me into the midst of the great city that looketh toward the north and toward the east, and ruleth over every people, and kindred, and tongue, that handle the pen of the writer.


32 But certain that were there present said unto him, Why art thou dismayed? and why is thy countenance fallen? Go to now; gird up thy loins like a man, and call unto thee thy friends, and the men of thine household, and thou shalt behold and see that they that are for thee are more and mightier than those that be against thee.


34 And he took from under his girdle a gem of curious workmanship of silver, made by the hand of a cunning artificer, and overlaid within with pure gold; and he took from thence something in colour like unto the dust of the earth, or the ashes that remain of a furnace, and he snuffed it up like the east wind, and returned the gem again into its place.
"Petition wasn’t meant to start a witch hunt as I’ve said 6000 times." ~ Hanna Seariac, LDS apologist
_Kishkumen
_Emeritus
Posts: 21373
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:00 pm

Re: John Dee and the Foundations of Mormonism

Post by _Kishkumen »

This description of Roger O'Connor's work is pure gold:

R. A. Stewart Macalister dismissed the book as "an amalgam of bombastic paraphrases of Irish annalistic matter, irreverent parodies of Biblical exerpts, 'etymologies' (which have to be seen to be believed), and wildly irresponsible inventions resembling those in the closely analogous Book of Mormon."
"Petition wasn’t meant to start a witch hunt as I’ve said 6000 times." ~ Hanna Seariac, LDS apologist
_jj
_Emeritus
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:37 am

Re: John Dee and the Foundations of Mormonism

Post by _jj »

Kishkumen wrote:
The James Hogg material is remarkable. Anywhere one dips in there is a strong resemblance to the Book of Mormon:


One of my favorites:

41 And he that was like unto the messenger of a king, said unto me, Cry. And I said, What shall I cry? for the day of vengeance is come upon all those that ruled the nations with a rod of iron.

And is it just me, or does the introduction to the Chaldee MS foreshadow something marvelous?

The present age seems destined to witness the recovery of many admirable pieces of writing, which had been supposed to be lost for ever. The Eruditi of Milan are not the only persons who have ta boast of being the instruments of these resuscitations. We have been favoured with the following translation of a Chaldee MS. which if preserved in the great Library of Paris (Salle 2d, No 53, B.A.M.M.), by a gentleman whose attainments in Oriental Learning are well known to the public. It is said that the celebrated Silvester De Sacy is at present occupied with a publication of the original. It will be prefaced by an Inquiry into the Age when it was written, and the name of the writer.

I've not yet been able to determine if Silvester De Sacy (the father of Arabic studies in the west) ever "published the original" and revealed the age it was written and the name of the writer. Given the strong semetic-oriental content of the Book of Mormon (a topic for another thread) and Sacy's early study of Pahlavi inscriptions and the Druze religion, I've got a hunch about the Hogg/Sacy relationship.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antoine_I ... re_de_Sacy

This is the most detailed analysis of the Chaldee Manuscript I've found.
Post Reply