- Cerne Abbas giant
The Cerne Abbas giant, also referred to as the Rude Man or the Rude Giant, is a
hill figureof a giant naked man on a hillside near the village of Cerne Abbas, to the north of Dorchester, in Dorset, England. The convert|180|ft|abbr=on high, convert|167|ft|abbr=on wide [http://www.sacred-destinations.com/england/cerne-abbas-giant.htm Cerne Abbas Giant at Sacred Destinations] ] figure is carved into the side of a steep hill, and is best viewed from the opposite side of the valley or from the air. The carving is formed by a trenchconvert|12|in|cm|abbr=on wide, and about the same depth, which has been cut through grass and earth into the underlying chalk. In his right hand the giant holds a knobbed club convert|120|ft|abbr=on in length.
Like several other chalk figures carved into the English countryside, the Cerne Abbas giant is often thought of as an ancient creation. However, like many of the other figures, its history cannot be traced back further than the late 17th century, making an origin during the Celtic,
Roman or even
Early Medievalperiods difficult to prove. Above and to the right of the Giant's head is an earthwork known as the "Trendle", or "Frying Pan". Medieval writings refer to this location as "Trendle Hill", but make no mention of the giant, leading to the conclusion that it was probably only carved about 400 years ago. In contrast, the Uffington White Horse— an unquestionably prehistoric hill figure on the Berkshire Downs — was noticed and recorded by medieval authors.
The earliest written reference to the Giant was made in 1694, in a record for payment in the Cerne Abbas
churchwarden's accounts of three shillings toward the re-cutting of the giant. The first survey of the giant was published in "Gentleman's Magazine" in 1764,cite book |title=Hidden History: Lost Civilizations, Secret Knowledge, and Ancient Mysteries |last=Haughton |first=Brian |year=2007 |publisher=New Page Books |location=Franklin Lakes, NJ |isbn=1564148971 |pages=p. 136 ] cite news |first=Richard |last=Lewis |title=Celebrating May Day the Pagan Way |url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/2005/may/01/unitedkingdom.culturaltrips.observerescapesection1 |work= |publisher="The Observer" |date=Sunday May 1, 2005 |accessdate=2008-06-20 ] and in 1774, John Hutchins wrote in his book "The History and Antiquities of the County of Dorset" that the carving had only been done the previous century.cite book |last=Hutchins |first=John |others=Robert Douch (Contributor) |title=The History and Antiquities of the County of Dorset |origdate= |origyear=1742 |origmonth= |url= |format= |accessdate= |accessyear= |accessmonth= |edition= |series= |volume= |date= |year=1973 |month= |publisher=Rowman & Littlefield Publishers |location=Oxford |language= |isbn=0874713366 |oclc= |doi= |id= |pages= |chapter= |chapterurl= |quote= ]
Some believe that the giant was carved during the
English Civil Warby servants of the Lord of the Manor, Denzil Holles, and was intended as a parodyof Oliver Cromwell. Cromwell was sometimes mockingly referred to as "England's Hercules" by his enemies. The Hercules connection is strengthened by the recent discovery of an obliterated line perhaps representing an animal skin (see below). The suggestion that the figure is Hercules was first made in 1764 by William Stukeley. [The modern antiquarian,Julian Cope, Thorsons 1998]
Local folklore states that a Danish giant who was leading an invasion of the coast was beheaded by the people of Cerne Abbas while he slept on the hillside. [cite book |title=The Social Circulation of the Past: English Historical Culture 1500-1730 |last=Woolf |first=Daniel R. |year=2003 |publisher=Oxford University Press |location= |isbn=0199257787 |pages=p. 348, footnote 178 ] The chalk line represents the location of his body.
Nineteenth century sources describe the giant as having "between his legs are three rude letters, scarcely legible, and over them in modern figures, 748", ("rude" meaning "roughly cut") [cite book |title=The London Encyclopaedia: Or, Universal Dictionary of Science, Art, Literature, and Practical Mechanics, Comprising a Popular View of the Present State of Knowledge. Illustrated by Numerous Engravings, a General Atlas, and Appropriate Diagrams |last=Curtis|first=Thomas (ed.)|year=1829|publisher=T. Tegg|location= |isbn=|pages=768|url=http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=7n9MAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA290&dq=%22trendle+hill%22&lr=&num=100&as_brr=1#PPA291,M1] [cite book |title=The Beauties of England and Wales, Or, Delineations, Topographical, Historical, and Descriptive, of Each County |last=Britton|first=John, et al|year=1803|publisher=Thomas Maiden, for Vernor and Hood|location= |isbn=|pages=|url=http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=cqQMAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA483&dq=%22trendle+hill%22&lr=&num=100&as_brr=1#PPA483,M1] and being the representation of Cenric, the son of Cuthred, King of Wessex.
In 1920, the giant and the convert|1|acre|m2|abbr=on on which he sits was acquired by the National Trust and is listed as a
Scheduled Monument. [ [http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/webpack/bin/webpack.exe/livebase?object=LiveBase1&itemurn=1964&mode=wbFullItem National Trust carries out first ever Giant survey] ] During World War IIthe giant was disguised in order to prevent his use as a landmark for enemy aircraft. [http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-chl/w-countryside_environment/w-archaeology/w-archaeology-places_to_visit/w-archaeology-cerne_abbas_giant.htm Cerne Abbas Giant] ]
According to the National Trust, the grass is kept trimmed on a regular basis and the giant is re-chalked every 25 years. Traditionally, the National Trust has relied on sheep from surrounding farms to graze grass at the site. [cite news |first=Lucy |last=Cockcroft |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Cerne Abbas giant in danger of disappearing |url=http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2008/06/19/eagiant119.xml |work= |publisher="The Daily Telegraph" |date=June 19, 2008 |accessdate=2008-06-20 ] However, in 2008 a lack of sheep, coupled with a wet spring causing extra plant growth, forced a re-chalking of the giant, [cite news |first= |last=BBC |authorlink=BBC |coauthors= |title= Sheep shortage hits Giant's look |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/dorset/7465329.stm |work= |publisher="BBC" |date=June 20, 2008 |accessdate=2008-06-20 ] with 17 tonnes of new chalk being poured in and tamped down by hand. [cite news|url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2008/sep/16/heritage.ruralaffairs|title=Volunteers restore historic giant of Cerne Abbas to his former glory|last=Morris|first=Steven|date=2008-09-16|work=The Guardian|publisher=Guardian Newspapers|accessdate=2008-09-17]
Very much a phallic symbol on account of the figure's distinct erect
penisand testicles, for hundreds of years it was local custom to erect a maypoleupon the earthwork about which childless couples would dance to promote fertility, and even today childless couples are known to visit the site in order to copulate in the hope that they might conceive a child.
In 2008, a group of archaeologists using special equipment found that part of the carving had been allowed to be obliterated. [cite web |url=http://www.weymouth.gov.uk/main.asp?svid=465 |title=Cerne Abbas Giant & Cerne Abbas, Dorset |accessdate=2008-06-20 |publisher=Weymouth & Portland Borough Council |date= ] According to these findings, the free arm should have held a depiction of an animal's skin, giving credence to the theory that the giant was a depiction of a hunter, or alternatively, Heracles with the skin of the
Nemean lionover his arm. It has also been suggested that his large erection is, in fact, the result of merging a circle representing his navelwith a smaller penis during a Victorian re-cut. [Grinsel, Leslie "The Cern Abbas Giant 1764-1980", "Antiquity," Vol 54 No 210, March 1980, pp. 29-33 (2001 ed, p.73)]
In modern times the Giant has been used for several
publicity stunts and as an advertisement for "...condoms, jeans and bicycles." A low-key example was the sponsorship of the 1983 scouring by the brewers Heineken. As a publicity stunt for the opening of " The Simpsons Movie" on the 16 July 2007, a giant Homer Simpsonbrandishing a doughnutwas outlined in water-based biodegradable paint to the left of the Cerne Abbas giant. This act angered local neopagans, who pledged to perform rain magic to wash the figure away.cite news|title=Pagans have a cow over Homer|publisher=The SunOnline|date= 2007-07-16|url=http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2007320865,00.html] cite news|title=Wish for rain to wash away Homer|publisher=BBCNews|date= 2007-07-16|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/dorset/6901543.stm] The Pagan Federationsubsequently distanced themselves from a misquote by an unnamed tabloid concerning the supposed rain dance, whilst at the same time confirming that they could not condone such commercial usage.cite news|title=Cerne Abbas Clarification|publisher=Pagan Federation|date= 2007-07-19|url=http://www.paganfed.org/weblog/?p=36]
In August 2007 a report in the
Dorset Echosaid that a man claiming to be the "Purple Phantom" had painted the Cerne Abbas Giant penis purple. It was reported that the man was from Fathers 4 Justicebut the group said that they did not know who it was. [ [http://www.thisisdorset.net/news/tidnews/display.var.1645001.0.giant_daubed_by_vigilante.php Giant daubed by 'vigilante'] ]
Long Man of Wilmington
* [http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-chl/w-countryside_environment/w-archaeology/w-archaeology-places_to_visit/w-archaeology-cerne_abbas_giant.htm Cerne Abbas Giant at the National Trust]
* [http://services.westdorset-dc.gov.uk/websites/cerneValley/index.htm Cerne Abbas village website]
* [http://www.mysteriousbritain.co.uk/majorsites/cerne_abbass.html Cerne Abbas giant at Mysterious Britain]
* [http://www.weymouth-pictures.co.uk/dor/cen/cer/pic_giant.htm Pictures of Cerne Abbas Giant]
* [http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&time=&date=&ttype=&q=cerne+abbas+giant&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=103.719597,106.875&ie=UTF8&ll=50.813668,-2.474796&spn=0.001391,0.004227&t=k&z=19&om=1 Aerial view from Google Maps]
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Cerne Abbas Giant — Layout of the Cerne Abbas Giant as seen from directly above The Cerne Abbas Giant, also referred to as the Rude Man or the Rude Giant, is a hill figure of a giant naked man on a hillside near the village of Cerne Abbas, to the north of Dorchester … Wikipedia
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Cerne Abbas Giant — On a hillside above Cerne Abbas, Dorset, stands the figure of a giant, 55 metres (180 feet) high, waving a huge knobbed club, and with an erect penis measuring 26 feet (7% metres). Its age is hotly disputed. There is no reference to it before… … A Dictionary of English folklore
Cerne Abbas — Cerne redirects here. For other uses, see Cerne (disambiguation). Coordinates: 50°48′34″N 2°28′52″W / 50.8095°N 2.4810°W / 5 … Wikipedia
Gigante de Cerne Abbas — El Gigante de Cerne Abbas al atardecer. El Gigante de Cerne Abbas es una figura de colina situada en las proximidades del pueblo de Cerne Abbas, en el valle del río Cerne, 10 km al norte de Dorchester (Dorset, Inglaterra). La figura también… … Wikipedia Español
Abbas I. — Abbas ist der Vorname folgender Personen: Abbas (* 1944), iranisch französischer Fotojournalist Abbas I. (1813–1854), Vizekönig von Ägypten, genannt „Hilmi“ Abbas I. (1571–1629), persischer Herrscher, genannt „der Große“ Abbas II. (1633–1667),… … Deutsch Wikipedia
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giant — giantlike, adj. /juy euhnt/, n. 1. (in folklore) a being with human form but superhuman size, strength, etc. 2. a person or thing of unusually great size, power, importance, etc.; major figure; legend: a giant in her field; an intellectual giant … Universalium