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Thursday, March 22, 2012

St. Patrick the Slaver


"Hey, big fella, you like redheads? How 'bout this one right here? A beauty, trained to unquestioningly serve your every desire! Go ahead, feel her breasts, big and luscious! Any of St. Patrick's Angels of Sin will make you believe you have died and gone to heaven ... surely, they are the next best thing!" Image source: Training of O.com (Image of St Patrick is from a very old painting of the guy.)

As academics often do, academics are making new discoveries about old stuff, and one of the old things they've made new discoveries about is St. Patrick, yes, the very same patron saint whose day we just finished celebrating. Seems he was not the ex-slave who found God and chased snakes out of Ireland. Instead, as reported by this story on CNN.com, a new Cambridge University study suggests that St. Patrick was a former Roman tax collector who fled to Ireland where he was a slaver.

Seems the real St. Patrick was the son of a Roman tax collector who inherited the very lucrative job. Unfortunately, he inherited it at a time when the Romans were losing power in Britain, and since tax collectors in those days were little more than thieves, in the absence of Roman power his future in England looked like it would have been all mobs, torches and pitchforks.

Ireland lacked a monetary system at the time (seems to be headed that way now!) and so in order to finance his move and his life he most likely would have converted his family's wealth to one of the more valuable, portable commodities of the time: human slaves.

So jolly old St. Patrick was a slaver, most likely. And a tax collector. All the stuff about him being a slave who escaped slavery are based on letters St. Patrick wrote late in life, as he tried to set up his legacy. In short ... lies. Well, that's what happens when the gift o' gab goes wrong.

1 comment:

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