Tuesday, 2 October 2012
Coifu-Nithing Anglo-Saxon Traitor
Even during the days when I still clung to the desert `god` religion I was always disgusted by the actions of the nithing Coifu, who Bede in his A History of the English Church and People describes as a `Chief Priest`[Chapter 13]. We are not told if he was a priest of Woden but we have no reason to assume he wasn`t. Coifu accepted christianity without any apparent show of resistance although we only have the word of a cleric for this-Bede. Likewise these words attributed to Coifu may very well be the words of Bede which he put into Coifu`s mouth: "I have long realized that there is nothing in our way of worship; for the more deligently I sought after truth in our religion, the less I found." [As an aside that is what I eventually concluded about christianity!] Coifu then went on to suggest to King Edwin that the temple and altars be "desecrated and burned." Coifu also volunteered to be the first to carry out this heinous act. He asked Edwin for "arms and a stallion". Bede tells us that it was hitherto "unlawful for the Chief Priest to carry arms or to ride anything but a mare-and, thus equipped, he set out to destroy the idols. Girded with a sword and with a spear in his hand, he mounted the king`s stallion and rode up to the idols..... "as soon as he reached the temple, he cast into it the spear he carried and thus profaned it." I am not aware of any success or indeed any attempt in carrying out excavations to discover the remnants of the temple but Bede writes that "The site where these idols once stood is still shown, not far east of York, beyond the river Derwent, and is known today as Goodmanham." Goodmanham is an old village situated about 20 miles to the east of York in the East Riding of Yorkshire in the ancient kingdom of Deira in Northumbria. It is said that the old church of All Hallows stands on or near the site of the heathen temple. I would dearly love to see it demolished for a proper archaeological excavation to take place. It would not surprise me if that was the site as we know that it was church policy for heathen temples either to be taken over by the church or be destroyed to be replaced by a christian church building. Most old Anglican[formerly Roman Catholic] churches occupy sacred heathen ground. At least we know that the Anglo-Saxons used temples and idols as part of their worship and had a priesthood. These are things which are often denied by self-appointed `experts` on the subject!