What did George Bernard Shaw mean in his Saint Joan

KorbenDallas

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George Bernard Shaw has the following exchange in his Saint Joan. Apparently the Nobleman had hard time considering some people as French, or English. Any ideas as to why?

THE CHAPLAIN. He is only a Frenchman, my lord.

THE NOBLEMAN. A Frenchman! Where did you pick up that expression? Are these Burgundians and Bretons and Picards and Gascons beginning to call themselves Frenchmen, just as our fellows are beginning to call themselves Englishmen? They actually talk of France and England as their countries. Theirs, if you please! What is to become of me and you if that way of thinking comes into fashion?
 
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KorbenDallas

KorbenDallas

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To me it looks like this "Nobleman" does not consider Burgundians and Bretons and Picards and Gascons to be Frenchmen. Same goes for some "fellows" in England. The question is why?
 

whitewave

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The 5th century Gallo-Roman poet and landowner Sidonius, who at one point lived with the Burgundians, described them as a long-haired people of immense physical size:
"Why... do you [an obscure senator by the name of Catullinus] bid me compose a song dedicated to Venus... placed as I am among long-haired hordes, having to endure Germanic speech, praising often with a wry face the song of the gluttonous Burgundian who spreads rancid butter on his hair? ... You don't have a reek of garlic and foul onions discharged upon you at early morn from ten breakfasts, and you are not invaded before dawn... by a crowd of giants."​
The others mentioned by the Nobleman seemed to be nomadic tribes or refugees running from Roman conquest. The Gascons are an interesting "melting pot" of tribes that withstood the might of the Roman army for quite a while and whose lands were considered a prize by the Romans. One wonders what sort of technology they possessed to hold their own against the Roman military.

An owl was generally considered a symbol of Minerva worship. "She was the virgin goddess of music, poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, weaving, and the crafts.[3] She is often depicted with her sacred creature, an owl usually named as the "owl of Minerva",[4] which symbolized her association with wisdom and knowledge as well as, less frequently, the snake and the olive tree." The Roman Minerva was apparently adopted from the earlier Estrucan Minrva. " Menrva (also spelled Menerva) was an Etruscan goddess of war, art, wisdom, and medicine. She contributed much of her character to Roman Minerva, when that culture evolved. Often, she is depicted in a more essentially Etruscan style, as a lightning thrower. Martianus mentions her as one of nine Etruscan lightning deities." (Associated with the 9 Worthies?).


U.S. Capitol building held by an owl.


Owls on the dollar bill.


A copper weathervane, from Pennsylvania depicting Lady Liberty weather vane; she wears a PHRYGIAN cap and holds the American flag. (Museum of Fine Arts)

The Seal of California depicts the Goddess Minerva. In the early twentieth century, Manuel José Estrada Cabrera, President of Guatemala, tried to promote a "Worship of Minerva" in his country. According to John Robison's Proofs of a Conspiracy (1798), the third degree of the Bavarian Illuminati was called Minerval or Brother of Minerva, in honor of the goddess of learning. Later, this title was adopted for the first initiation of Aleister Crowley's OTO rituals. Minerva is displayed on the Medal of Honor, the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. Minerva is featured in the logo of the Max Planck Society. Minerva alongside Mars is displayed on the cap badge of the Artists Rifles Territorial SAS Regiment of the British Army. Kingston upon Hull's oldest Masonic lodge is named The Minerva Lodge. Minerva is the patron goddess of the Theta Delta Chi and Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternities, the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and the Kappa Kappa Gamma and Delta Sigma Theta.

For supposedly Christian nations we certainly give much homage to the old gods.

As for your original question about why they might think that way, the next few lines of the text address the issue. What is to become of me and you if that way of thinking comes into fashion? Men can not serve 2 masters. If this cant of serving their country once takes hold of them, goodbye to the authority of their feudal lords, and goodbye to the authority of the Church. That is goodbye to you and me.

It looks like then (as now) the regions we've come to know as France and England (home of the Franks and Anglos, respectively) had an immigration problem and were absorbed and culturally consumed by them.
 
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KorbenDallas

KorbenDallas

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We have considerably more forum members these days vs. the date when this thread was created.

Basically was hoping for some additional input.
 

anotherlayer

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Without much context, is it possible he was saying something along of the lines of "why do these people consider themselves *french* or *english*"? I get that from this line: They actually talk of France and England as their countries. Did he mean, the country of France is not yours, why call yourself french?
 
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KorbenDallas

KorbenDallas

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Burgundians, Bretons, Picards and Gascons were supposed to be French from the get go. I'm just not sure why Mr. Shaw appears to be thinking otherwise.

Also he uses this line "our fellows are beginning to call themselves Englishmen".

In my understanding, there was either no England or France prior, hence his displeasure with them accepting these new country names, or "Burgundians, Bretons, Picards and Gascons" were not originally French, and "our fellows" were not originally English.
 

Red Bird

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I guess I equated these statements to mean something broader and somewhat tongue in cheek. That nations starting forming where people considered themselves sovereign units/representatives of themselves , not a vassal of the king/elite or the Catholic Church. Just like the reasons and the push for global, NWO (no national borders) now.
 

Jef Demolder

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The European nation states as we know them today, are a creation of the 19th century. National historians and writers of schoolbooks of the 19th century have created the national myths, pretending that something like France (in history called Gallia) already existed in the time of Julius Caesar. The same in Belgium. In my childhood I learned at school about the ancient Belgians who, according to Julius Caesar (himself a myth created in the 15th century) were the most brave among the people of Gallia. National unification around a central government, has been realised in the 19th century. Before that, in "France", you had Bretons and Picards and Occitans, and so on, each people with its own language. This local languages have been killed by central government. At school, children speaking their own language were severely punished.
 

Mabzynn

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Reminds me of this book on the origins of the French. This book was published around 1500 supposedly.

The guy was pretty spot on though, the destruction of the various "city states" definitely consolidated power to a select few compared to many "nobleman" over various smaller regions while also taking away their cultural history. If I had to guess it's a deeper statement on the destruction of what we know as the Cathars today.

In their own story line they leave little bread crumbs that these people were actually Cathars... I mean they have the Occitan cross on their heraldry.

23098

From wiki: From the beginning of his reign, Pope Innocent III attempted to end Catharism by sending missionaries and by persuading the local authorities to act against them. In 1208, Innocent's papal legate Pierre de Castelnau was murdered while returning to Rome after excommunicating Count Raymond VI of Toulouse, who, in his view, was too lenient with the Cathars.[11] Pope Innocent III then abandoned the option of sending Catholic missionaries and jurists, declared Pierre de Castelnau a martyr and launched the Albigensian Crusade which all but ended Catharism.[11][12]

Count Raymond VI, his second wife was Beatrice of Béziers, sister of Roger II Trencavel;[2] they divorced in 1189 and she was said to have become a Cathar parfaite (or perfect level Cathar) after the divorce.

These are the last people we have accounts of openly defying the Pope's wishes against the Cathars.

Pope Innocent declared Raymond anathematized and released all of his subjects from their oaths of obedience to him. However, Raymond soon attempted to reconcile with the Church by sending legates to Rome. They exchanged gifts, reconciled, and the excommunication was lifted. At the Council of Avignon, in 1209, Raymond was again excommunicated for not fulfilling the conditions of ecclesiastical reconciliation. After this, Innocent III called for a crusade against the Albigensians.

Eventually, Queen Blanche offered Raymond VII a treaty recognizing him as ruler of Toulouse in exchange for his fighting the Cathars, returning all church property, turning over his castles and destroying the defenses of Toulouse...

Sounds like he straight up abandoned his own people to me... I believe he was quite literally fighting Cathars in their own defenses at Toulouse. That is to say if any of these people ever even really existed.
 

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