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24-04-2019, 12:15   #1
dakan
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Statue of Apollo in Glendalough?

Hi Folks,

In James Bonwick's Irish Druids and old Irish religions there is mention of a statue of Apollo with some doves in Glendalough. I can find no mention of it anywhere other than in this book. Would anybody have any information on that?

Thanks.
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25-04-2019, 23:29   #2
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Sounds very unlikely. Could you fill us in by giving a quote from the book, or a chapter/page reference so we could look it up?
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29-04-2019, 20:42   #3
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Hi Kildarejohn
in James Bonwick's Irish Druids and old Irish religions, in the chapter titled 'sun-worship'. Page 195 in the revised edition states;
"An ancient sculpture in Glendalough represents the long-haired Apollo, or Sun, attended by his doves. These were sun-images in Erin."

An earlier chapter on serpent worship mentions a stone carving of a dog devouring a serpent. Such a carving did exist, George Petrie wrote about it in 1845 saying that it had been stolen in August 1839. He included a drawing of the stone which had been drawn by Gabriel Beranger in 1779. In 1829, local guide Joe Irwin told a visitor that the carving represented St. Kevin’s dog Lupa helping to get rid of the snake which lived in the Lower Lake.

So the book does seem to mention carvings and sculptures that did exist in Glendalough even if the interpretation is not correct. So I'm wondering what the Apollo reference could relate to.
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30-04-2019, 22:33   #4
kildarejohn
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Hi Dakan - might be a good idea to post to Archaelogy forum.
But as we are on History forum, maybe some of the Classical History experts out there might be able to answer this question-
Is "Apollo attended by doves" something that features in Greek/Roman myths? are there Greek/Roman examples of this subject in sculpture?
If this was a classical subject then maybe Bonwick or his informant were looking at a sculpture of another subject and misinterpreting it because they saw a similarity to the classical work.
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01-05-2019, 12:06   #5
pedroeibar1
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I’d search in the RSAI journals first and then the Kilkenny Archaeological and Historical Society for mentions of that statue. Powerscourt demesne has a few Apollos, but they are imports, (early 19th c.?)
Apollo surrounded by doves does not sound very ‘Irish’ – we had Lugh.
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04-05-2019, 18:02   #6
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Thanks for those research suggestions folks. I'll keep searching and report back if I find any explanation.
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