… there is a short but intriguing list of facts that link the ascetics of Egypt and the western fringe of Europe. For example, and early Irish litany makes an enigmatic reference to the “seven monks of Egypt”…
An Irish-born monastic, writing in the late seventh century, show a remarkable knowledge of the Middle East, including the Nile and Alexandria. … The abbot presents all this knowledge as information gleaned from a wanderin gpilgrim who washed up on the shores of the Scottish island of Iona …
And in September  the National Museum of Ireland added to the list of clues with an exciting announcement: traces of Egyptian papyrus had been detected in the binding of a 1,200 year old psalter … they lend weight to the idea that Celtic scribes labouring in their rain-swept refuges were not so much saving Roman civilisation as participating in a spiritual movement inspired by the desert hermits of Egypt; a movement that was conceived, in part, as a revolt against civilisation [i.e., the "modern" world of the era]. Or at any rate, against what some was as the jaded decadence of urban life in the twilight of empire.
~ from The Economist, December 18th-31st, 2010 page 150
I want to take this opportunity to address some recent comments. Gornahoor has made it very clear and very often that we are interested in principles rather than contingent historical events. Also, we choose topics first of all to elucidate the Roman Tradition and secondly to protect the honour of our ancestors by demonstrating their understanding of Traditional principles from Ancient time through the Middle Ages and beyond. We are not trying to save “Christianity” per se, which, in any case, does not need any defence from us. First of all, in out day it is an utterly meaningless word. Similarly, “pagan” likewise a meaningless word; it was originally a pejorative used by Christians against the practitioners of the old religions. Nowadays, it just means non-Christian.
Everything historical has to be understood in the light of the degeneration of castes, described by both Rene Guenon and Julius Evola. So what we experience of Christianity today is that of the lower castes. Thus one is “saved” by “faith alone”, that is, by doing nothing. “Salvation” is a legal, or nominal, judgment, requiring no real change in the person. How is that even remotely related to the Christianity of the Alexandrians, from St Anthony to St Clement, who divided men into the the spiritual and the merely psychic? The Alexandrians describe a real change in the being of the Christian.
We have also pointed out that the aristocratic class had their own orders that emphasized warrior virtues such as loyalty, strength, bravery. Once again, that has been lost. And today’s neopagans have done nothing to revive them. What about the metaphysics deriving from Hermes or the philosophy of the Middle Ages which rival in their depth anything from the Orient? What Sunday preacher brings that up? For that matter, what neo-pagan has built on that base.
Gornahoor regards them as wings of one Tradition, not opposites, but someone needs to take ownership of the very real accomplished of our ancestors. No, they were not duped by “Jews” for 1500 years to adopt an alien religion; nothing could be more absurd. In a very real sense the monks from Egypt to Eire were protecting a Tradition had become corrupt and petty.
I won’t dwell on the latter point, but will instead direct anyone interested to the December 2010 issue of Culture Wars. I will simply quote a few relevant passages from The Ciompi Rebellion on 1378, which documents the debasement of currency of the pagan world (see Guenon’s Reign of Quantity) and the quest for “gold”.
Everything which had seemed great and beautiful and honorable for the fathers, was weathered by this corrosive air, and nothing remained but unbounded self-seeking and a craving for pleasure, along with all of the affected sophistry by which people sough to make the empty shell palatable as the fare of life.
Even as far back as Plato, this corrupt influence was present.
The pursuit of gold (chrematistics) became the all-powerful incentive for action for at least a part of society. This change in the public spirit, according to Plato, gives rise, even in an aristocratic society, to a class of people whose gods are money, which they honor secretly with crude passion. The money chest of the rich, filled with gold soon begins to exert its fascination on the whole community. A substantial competition for material possessions is unleashed which constantly increase the avarice; whereas on the other hand, the ideal goods (the arete) sink in the public esteem. For where one bows down before the riches of the rich one must naturally look with disdain on the virtue of the good.
Pace Evola, who describes a similar situation in Pagan Imperialism, this was the situation in late Antiquity, and does not reflect the influence of “Jewish” values as Evola seems to have convinced himself. That was the milieu into which Christianity developed, whatever one may think of some alleged “primitive” Christianity. Besides upholding traditional values and hierarchical society, it sought to correct the self-destructive excesses of Antiquity with its prohibition of usury and its emphasis on a just society and living wage. Little of that religion remains in the modern world and one must even look carefully to recognize it in the past. If the pagans want to reclaim the Roman Tradition, they need to move things forward, not return to old myths. What is required should be clear to those who know.