MYTHS & SYMBOLS
Image for Enlarged Photo of Medallion
Knot I, II, III
While Celtic knots were being created in pre-Christian times,
these knots are most known for their use in the ornamentation
of Christian monuments and manuscripts like the 8th century
Book of Kells.
Not much history of the knots is available prior to the beginning
of the Christian influence on the Celts in about A.D. 450.
There is much evidence for the use of geometrical patterns
as ornamentation particularly in jewelry before that time.
Some historians have theorized that early Celtic religion prevented
their depicting creatures realistically, similar, then, to
the Islamic prohibition, which gave rise to the development
of Arabic calligraphy. Still, Chinese and Japanese calligraphy
seemed to arise simply from an aesthetic sense and needed no
such prohibition to encourage its development.
The same pre-Christian designs found their way into early
Christian manuscripts and artwork with the addition of
life, such as animals, plants and even humans. In the beginning
the patterns were intricately interwoven cords, called plaits,
which can also be found in other areas of Europe, like Italy
in 6th century. The Lindisfarne Gospels, created in northern
Britain in the early 8th century, contains the earliest example
of true knotted designs in the Celtic manner, with colorful
and intricate illuminations.
analysis of the knots seems to point to 8 basic types, there
is no evidence to indicate that a knot had any specific
philosophical or religious significance beyond perhaps the
most obvious: the intricacy of God's creation and man's circuitous
path through life. Modern wiccans have taken up the creation
of Celtic knots, attributing to them ideas and magical properties.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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