A Universal History: History through the Symbolic Lens - with Richard Rohlin

Jonathan PageauSymbolic World Icon
May 4, 2023

I interview Richard Rohlin, philologist and co-host of the Amon Sûl podcast. We talk about the "universal history" - ancient people understood themselves to part of fundamentally the same world approachable through different identities and particularities in time. The modern world has lost this natural coherence and instead sees identity and narrative as tyrannical and/or arbitrary. Richard and I talk about hagiography, the Middle Ages as our cultural backdrop, syncretism and how we can rediscover a shared and coherent narrative by understanding historical events symbolically.

Richard’s work:

- Richard Rohlin’s article on The Symbolic World blog: https://thesymbolicworld.com/articles/folk-stories-traditions/the-symbolism-of-st-dionysius-the-areopagite/

- Amon Sûl podcast (Exploring the Tolkien Legendarium with the Christian Faith): https://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/amonsul

- Amid Weeping There is Joy: https://www.amazon.com/Amid-Weeping-There-Joy-Perspectives/dp/1951536126

- 7 & 8 May 2021 Doxamoot online conference: https://store.ancientfaith.com/doxamoot/

Books and podcasts mentioned:

- Apocalypse. An Alexandrian World Chronicle (Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library): https://www.amazon.com/Apocalypse-Alexandrian-Chronicle-Dumbarton-Medieval/dp/0674053079

- The Discarded Image, by C.S. Lewis

- The Aeneid, by Virgil

- Taliessin Through Logres, by Charles Williams

- Edda: Prologue and Gylfaginning, by Snorri Sturluson

- The History of the Kings of Britain (Penguin Classics), by Geoffrey of Monmouth: https://www.amazon.com/History-Kings-Britain-Penguin-Classics/dp/0140441700

- Lord of Spirits, episode on giants: https://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/lordofspirits/land_of_giants

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Universal History playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLVX4HUUPrIY_M2uZP3yW6EEiod3fGD6FD

This article is currently being edited and will be reposted soon

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