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Author Topic: Golems  (Read 21546 times)
Psychopomp Valentine
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« Reply #15: June 10, 2011, 06:20:59 am »

Yeah that seemed iffy to me too but wasn't sure how to comment on it as I literally only know what I know from like a circa 1930s film version of the Golem of Prague I caught on the Sci Fi channel like well over ten years ago (back when it was decent).

That'd be the German-made 1915 "Der Golem," probably--silent, black and white?  It's considered one of the forerunners of the monster-movie genre, and much of it is missing today.  And yeah, it's based on the Prague Golem of Judah Loew ben Bezalel, called the "Maharal."  There's also, I think, a French film from the 30s, "Le Golem," much more loosely based on the same tale.


Thanks for the reminder, SunflowerP.  I was trying to reply to, like, the whole thread at once, and I totally spaced the quote thing.  My nerd-fu is strong, and sometimes my attention span isn't.
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monsnoleedra
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« Reply #16: June 10, 2011, 08:48:39 am »

.. Frankenstein's monster is a "flesh golem" only in the "Dungeons and Dragons" sense, but not a golem in the traditional sense--though Shelley based her story in part on the tale of the Golem of Prague, which is the most famous golem story, and which probably also helped inspire the play "Rossum's Universal Robots," which coined the word "robot."  Similarly, Talos in most accounts is not a golem--an artificial person ritually vivified by a human via divine invocation--but a leftover of an earlier order of creation, and is traditionally made of bronze, not iron.  (Iron wasn't in enough supply in ancient Hellas to consider making a giant man out of.)  Similar traditions include the ancient Arabian story of magicians drawing down power from the stars to give life to stone statues. ..

I agree that Talos is not a golem in the sense that the Golem Of Prague was.  I usually place him there as he is a construct even though he is a left over from the Bronze Age.  I admit I error when I place him as an Iron Golem though admit that is normally because I recall him being listed as "Brazen" in most accounts but forget that "Brazen" and "Bronze" are pretty much the same thing in the early Greek stories.
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« Reply #17: June 10, 2011, 09:03:44 am »

That'd be the German-made 1915 "Der Golem," probably--silent, black and white?  It's considered one of the forerunners of the monster-movie genre, and much of it is missing today.  And yeah, it's based on the Prague Golem of Judah Loew ben Bezalel, called the "Maharal."  There's also, I think, a French film from the 30s, "Le Golem," much more loosely based on the same tale.

I think that's one of the problems with the Paul Wegener films.  He made "Golem" in 1915.  Then another was re-released or made around 1920 (Derr Golem) (I say re-released or made as I have heard the Golem was re-released to theatre's though I can not prove that.)  A total of three were probally made though no one has ever found a copy of two of them to my understanding.
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« Reply #18: June 10, 2011, 03:08:27 pm »

I agree that Talos is not a golem in the sense that the Golem Of Prague was.  I usually place him there as he is a construct even though he is a left over from the Bronze Age.  I admit I error when I place him as an Iron Golem though admit that is normally because I recall him being listed as "Brazen" in most accounts but forget that "Brazen" and "Bronze" are pretty much the same thing in the early Greek stories.

I think part of why I make the distinction is that inasmuch as Talos was constructed, according to the story he was constructed by Hephaistos, and I feel like once you're directly created by a god, you're about as much of a construct as any of us.  By that token, you could argue that all of humanity are really well-made clay golemim.

I guess I am unclear on why you are consistently using Dungeons & Dragons terminology and information (Flesh Golem, Iron Golem, Stone Golem, Brazen Golem as capitalized taxonomies, which are straight out of the Monster Manual, and associated background) when the original question was, as I understood it, about the actual folklore and magical tradition.  (I also helpfully, not at all snarkily or cattily, want to point out that the word "brazen" means "made of bronze" in early Greek stories and anywhere else, and that I can see where there would be confusion.)  I mean, if you're a chaos magician and D&D floats your boat, I understand, but that's another kettle of fish, I think.
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« Reply #19: June 10, 2011, 03:17:28 pm »

I think part of why I make the distinction is that inasmuch as Talos was constructed, according to the story he was constructed by Hephaistos, and I feel like once you're directly created by a god, you're about as much of a construct as any of us.  By that token, you could argue that all of humanity are really well-made clay golemim.

I guess I am unclear on why you are consistently using Dungeons & Dragons terminology and information (Flesh Golem, Iron Golem, Stone Golem, Brazen Golem as capitalized taxonomies, which are straight out of the Monster Manual, and associated background) when the original question was, as I understood it, about the actual folklore and magical tradition.  (I also helpfully, not at all snarkily or cattily, want to point out that the word "brazen" means "made of bronze" in early Greek stories and anywhere else, and that I can see where there would be confusion.)  I mean, if you're a chaos magician and D&D floats your boat, I understand, but that's another kettle of fish, I think.



Psychopoomp I'm not really replying to you just trying to follow the quote rules.  Undecided

I never heard of a golem outside of the Lord of the Rings.
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Psychopomp Valentine
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« Reply #20: June 10, 2011, 03:26:41 pm »



Psychopoomp I'm not really replying to you just trying to follow the quote rules.  Undecided

I never heard of a golem outside of the Lord of the Rings.

There is a character named "Gollum" in Lord of the Rings, but not, as I recall, any golems.  He is, rather than an artificial clay person, a squinchy little fisherman with hygiene issues.  They sound pretty similar, though.
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« Reply #21: June 10, 2011, 03:37:45 pm »

I think part of why I make the distinction is that inasmuch as Talos was constructed, according to the story he was constructed by Hephaistos, and I feel like once you're directly created by a god, you're about as much of a construct as any of us.  By that token, you could argue that all of humanity are really well-made clay golemim.

For me it has more to do with the fact Talos was not created to be a human but more of a guardian and left to watch over an area.  The Island of Crete specially if I recall correctly.  As such he tends to be used in the manner that one attributes a Golem to.

Quote
I guess I am unclear on why you are consistently using Dungeons & Dragons terminology and information (Flesh Golem, Iron Golem, Stone Golem, Brazen Golem as capitalized taxonomies, which are straight out of the Monster Manual, and associated background) when the original question was, as I understood it, about the actual folklore and magical tradition.


Mostly due to the fact when ever I get into one of these type conversations it seem's the D&D terminology is what always comes out.  Myself I prefer the notion of and usage of the word "construct" but have found more people know and understand the D&D usage.  Even the usage of the word Golem itself seem's better known via AD&D than the actual legends in many instances.  Well AD&D or Hollywood as it seem's many have seen one of the many golem based movies.

It's sort of like speaking on dragon lore.  Mention a color and the AD&D associations almost always rise as to good, evil and metallic being good and the base colors evil.

Quote
(I also helpfully, not at all snarkily or cattily, want to point out that the word "brazen" means "made of bronze" in early Greek stories and anywhere else, and that I can see where there would be confusion.)


No, I didn't take it as being snarky or cattily.

I know brazen means bronze, sort of like the concept of "burnt" also means bronze in some stories.  I suppose for me it's a left over from the notion that the creation of the gods was iron (as in swords and such) where man used bronze and copper in the period in question.  Since Hephaistos was a god he would work in iron.

Its probably ironic but I always think of the Colossus of Rhodes as a bronze man but for some reason Talos always registers in my mind as Iron.  I suppose its due to the colossus being made by man.
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« Reply #22: June 10, 2011, 04:00:10 pm »

I know brazen means bronze, sort of like the concept of "burnt" also means bronze in some stories.

No, not at all like that.  More "brazen" means "bronze" like "monstrous" means "sort of like a monster". Wink
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« Reply #23: June 10, 2011, 04:15:09 pm »

No, not at all like that.  More "brazen" means "bronze" like "monstrous" means "sort of like a monster". Wink

Not sure what your trying to say but "brazen" is used in place of bronze.  In the Argonautica Talos is called the Brazen Man it's only in later translations that he becomes the Bronze Man.  Though I do admit there is some speculation that he is called brazen from the brazen tablets that held the law he is mentioned to have carried in some tales. 

The Brazen Bull is also a Bronze device that goes back to anceint greece though it served a different purpose.  It's not until much later that it becomes the known as the bronze bull or Sicilian bull.

Burnt is also used in the sense of saying something was a burnt metal.  Sometimes refering to Bronze that has turnt a greenish color, other times possibly refering to a blackened brass
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« Reply #24: June 10, 2011, 04:27:47 pm »

No, not at all like that.  More "brazen" means "bronze" like "monstrous" means "sort of like a monster". Wink

If you desire you can do a search and find the various usages of Brazen in place of Bronze in the older transcripts.

http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/
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Psychopomp Valentine
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« Reply #25: June 10, 2011, 04:28:49 pm »

Not sure what your trying to say but "brazen" is used in place of bronze.  In the Argonautica Talos is called the Brazen Man it's only in later translations that he becomes the Bronze Man.  Though I do admit there is some speculation that he is called brazen from the brazen tablets that held the law he is mentioned to have carried in some tales. 

The Brazen Bull is also a Bronze device that goes back to anceint greece though it served a different purpose.  It's not until much later that it becomes the known as the bronze bull or Sicilian bull.

Burnt is also used in the sense of saying something was a burnt metal.  Sometimes refering to Bronze that has turnt a greenish color, other times possibly refering to a blackened brass

She is saying that the word "brazen" LITERALLY means "made of bronze."  That is what "brazen" means.  The adjective form for "bronze" is "brazen," as the adjective form for "gold" is "golden."  It is just a matter of old-fashionedness of word choice.  "Brazen Bull" and "Bronze Bull" mean the same thing, just as "gold ring" and "golden ring" mean the same thing.  "Burnt" is used figuratively, but "brazen" is literal.
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« Reply #26: June 10, 2011, 05:46:31 pm »

She is saying that the word "brazen" LITERALLY means "made of bronze."  That is what "brazen" means.  The adjective form for "bronze" is "brazen," as the adjective form for "gold" is "golden."  It is just a matter of old-fashionedness of word choice.  "Brazen Bull" and "Bronze Bull" mean the same thing, just as "gold ring" and "golden ring" mean the same thing.  "Burnt" is used figuratively, but "brazen" is literal.

I would disagree to the point that by the archaic defination brazen either means made of bronze / brass or resembles bronze / brass as in color or strength.  In some instances even refering to the notion of sounding like struck bronze / brass as in a bell or gong.  Hense why some references speak of brazen arms or shoulders when it is clear it is a bronze hue to the flesh as in tanned.
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« Reply #27: June 10, 2011, 05:50:21 pm »

I would disagree to the point that by the archaic defination brazen either means made of bronze / brass or resembles bronze / brass as in color or strength.  In some instances even refering to the notion of sounding like struck bronze / brass as in a bell or gong.  Hense why some references speak of brazen arms or shoulders when it is clear it is a bronze hue to the flesh as in tanned.

As in the way use 'bronzed' to describe a tanned person or golden to describe hair? I don't see that there's much difference in your usage than what was previously stated.
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« Reply #28: June 10, 2011, 05:54:56 pm »

As in the way use 'bronzed' to describe a tanned person or golden to describe hair? I don't see that there's much difference in your usage than what was previously stated.

I was replying to the specific usage of 'Brazen = made of bronze"  as such brazen holds a broader meaning and usage than the stickly speaking "made of bronze".
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« Reply #29: June 10, 2011, 05:59:34 pm »

I would disagree to the point that by the archaic defination brazen either means made of bronze / brass or resembles bronze / brass as in color or strength.  In some instances even refering to the notion of sounding like struck bronze / brass as in a bell or gong.  Hense why some references speak of brazen arms or shoulders when it is clear it is a bronze hue to the flesh as in tanned.

Both Darkhawk and myself understand the concept of figurative language.  We may also metaphorically describe someone's prospects or luck as "golden" or say that blonde hair is "golden" by being colored like gold.  You may figuratively described your tired, heavy limbs as "leaden," because it compares them to lead, and so on.  It does not change that "golden" literally means "of gold," and metaphorically can mean "like gold."  "Brazen" literally means "of bronze," and metaphorically can mean "like bronze."  (We use it sometimes to talk about an audacity of character, but it is again in comparison to bronze.)  Saying a statue is "bronze" or "brazen" is not a meaningfully different translation.  It means "made of bronze."  It does not have another meaning except by way of figurative comparison to bronze.

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