If you’ve even heard of the Kolbrin, you’re in a minority. It has been languishing quietly in print for just a couple of decades. The Kolbrin is a collection of eleven books, six Egyptian and five Celtic, first published in New Zealand in 1994 by the Hope Trust (now dissolved) and the Culdian Trust, a metaphysical organisation based loosely on the original ‘Culdees’ or Celtic followers of Christianity brought to south-west Britain by Joseph of Arimathea in the 1st century AD.
Over the centuries, everything has conspired to bury the books of the Kolbrin, and still does. Try Googling ‘Kolbrin’, and you’ll find yourself face to face with a RationalWiki website standing guard at the top of the page like Cerberus. ‘Here be dragons,’ it proclaims, roundly dismissing the book as so much phooey.
Before I wade into what is known about these mysterious books, let me state here and now that I consider much of what is written in them to be jaw-dropping, mind-boggling and, for me, life-changing stuff. They speak to me. I think they deserve an airing and that their core value should be taken seriously. Read the Kolbrin’s underlying story later on in this article and see if you agree.
No-one knows what the word ‘Kolbrin’ means. It’s probably a garbled version of the Welsh word Coelbren, meaning either the name of a village south-west of the Brecon Beacons National Park, or Coelbren y Beirdd, a supposed ‘druidic’ alphabet allegedly invented by the writer Iolo Morganwg (1747-1826) whose validity has been questioned by scholars. Some have suggested that Iolo Morganwg himself forged the Kolbrin, but my research says no. And yes, I’ve visited the village of Coelbren looking for clues to the Kolbrin, but so far without success.
People also say the Kolbrin and its accompanying book the Kailedy (an ancient British term meaning ‘wise strangers’) are channelled. Not so, says the Culdian Trust. The Trust publishes a number of channelled texts, but insists that both the Kolbrin and the Kailedy come from another source altogether: they were brought over to New Zealand from the UK as typescripts and set out with an introductory history by an elderly merchant seaman who attended gorsedds (councils of Welsh or other Celtic bards and Druids), belonged to a hermetic organisation, and died in the 1990s.
A hardback cloth version of the Kolbrin is available online direct from Goodeys Bookshop in Auckland and via a web link on the Culdian Trust’s website. The advantage of this New Zealand version is that it carries the all-important Dedication, Foreword, Introduction, Salutation and end-matter (which can also be read on the website); the downside is that the paragraphs are not numbered, which makes cross-referencing difficult. E-books of the New Zealand Kolbrin and Kailedy are also available from the Culdian Trust website.
In 2005 the Kolbrin was pirated and published in paperback as a ‘bible’ by Your Own World Books in Nevada, USA. Yowbooks’ versions are available online in laminated hardback and paperback and include:
- The Kolbrin Bible: 21st Century Master Edition (complete edition)
- Egyptian Texts of the Bronzebook: the first six books
- Celtic Texts of the Coelbook: the last five books
- Kindle edition.
These paperbacks have numbered paragraphs for easy reference, but do not include the all-important preliminary and end material. Instead, the US publishers have tried to reconstruct the history of the Kolbrin text. They think it might have been written in Egyptian hieratic script after the Exodus of the Jews, then translated into Phoenician script and taken to Britain (among other ports of call) on trading ships; from there it would have been rendered into Old Celtic/Brythonic, then Old English, then Biblical English and on into modern English. They reckon that the Celtic books were written between 20 and 500 AD. The historical accuracy of their introduction has been questioned.
Reading the Kolbrin
If you were to sit down and read the Kolbrin from start to finish, chances are you’d be utterly baffled, because what now exists is only a patchwork remnant of the original. Although there is a certain chronological rationale to the order of the books, logically I reckon that the Book of Manuscripts ought to appear before the Book of the Sons of Fire rather than after; its present position is rather confusing.
How did so much of the text get lost? Well, according to the Introduction, the Kolbrin manuscripts were salvaged from Glastonbury Abbey at the time of the great 1184 fire which destroyed virtually all the buildings and many of its treasures. We are told that the fire was arson intended to destroy the heretical manuscripts in the library, but the Kolbrin manuscripts – which have been considered heretical on many levels – were secretly housed elsewhere at the time and preserved.
Jumping forward several hundred years, we know that the manuscripts were looked after by a group called the Culdians who were descended from a 14th-century Scottish community led by a man called John Culdy. These later Culdians were travelling smiths and craftsmen, sometimes known as ‘Koferils’, who followed the beliefs of those Celtic Culdees I mentioned earlier, (from the Gaelic Culdich/Domesday Book quidam advanae Culdich or ‘certain strangers’). At an unknown date some of the manuscripts were transcribed on to metal plates and became known as The Bronzebook of Britain; under this title they were written down in book form in the 17th century. The text was modernised in the late 19th/early 20th century, incorporating some salvaged Celtic manuscripts which had not been transcribed on to metal plates, known as the Coelbook. We also know that for a period of time the Kolbrin was buried under a stone cairn in the mountains of Wales.
During the 1920s and 1930s these books were kept by a little-known religious group. During World War II the books were thrown out as worthless junk, then salvaged. Originally, the Introduction tells us, there were five great book-boxes containing 132 scrolls and five ring-bound volumes which comprised The Great Book of the Egyptians. But over the centuries many of the books have been lost or destroyed – the Lesser Book of the Egyptians, the Book of the Trial of the Great God, the Sacred Register, the Book of Establishment, the Book of Magical Concoctions, the Book of Songs, the Book of Creation and Destruction, and the Book of Tribulation have all gone. The introduction to the Kolbrin states, ‘it has not been easy to reconstitute them [the remaining books], even with the assistance of a more knowledgeable co-worker who filled in the few gaps with compatible references to modern works’. The Introduction goes on to say, ‘every possible fragment has been retained; some of the proper names are spelt wrongly and some of the original correct ones replaced by others; no claim is made regarding historical accuracy; and the biblical form of English has been modernised by one who has no scholarly pretensions whatsoever.’
Understandably, reading this tale of woe dampened my Kolbrin enthusiasm considerably for a year or two; it was only when I travelled to Egypt three years ago that gut instinct told me these incredible books had to be genuine and that I must try to authenticate them. Since then I have been researching here, there and everywhere to find links with other ancient works and locate archaeological and DNA evidence. One or two other enthusiasts have also been researching and having Eureka moments so that, bit by bit, the Kolbrin is emerging as a unique voice from the past.
The underlying story
Beneath its overriding metaphysical texts The Kolbrin carries an underlying story – and it’s a fascinating one, with its themes of genetics, global catastrophes and the search for immortality. Below is a rough outline story I have patched together from the various books. Every scrap of information you read has been gleaned from the Egyptian and Celtic books, with brief links in red to a few of the more important discoveries and identifications made since the publication of the Kolbrin in 1994.
Another book which came from the same source as the Kolbrin, entitled The Kailedy: Book of the Illuminators having the authority of the Nasorines, was published separately in the 1990s and is an unusual gospel of the life of Jesus written by John of Luna.
Now to the story that gradually emerges in the Kolbrin (incidentally, no chronological dates are given in the Egyptian books).
The story in the Egyptian Books
At the very beginning of human life, different species of men exist in the world. The Book of Origins states that there were two species:
– ‘The Children of God’. They ‘struggled harder, were more disciplined, because their forefathers had crossed the great dark void’ from ‘another unearthly place far distant’ [outer space?], and they do not ‘inherit death’.
– A primitive indigenous species called ‘the Children of Earth’, known as ‘Yoslings’, ‘half-folk’, ‘not true men’, ‘Sons of Bothas’, and ‘kinsfolk to the beasts of the forest’. They are also called ‘Men of Zumat’, meaning ‘they who inherit death’ [descended from a highly developed ape?].
(The Book of Gleanings, set later in time, lists even more species:
– ‘The Grand Company’, who subsequently withdraw in disgust at the behaviour of mankind.
– ‘The Children of God’, led by a wise father, who ‘knew Truth and lived in the midst of peace and plenty’.
– ‘The Children of Men’, a primitive indigenous species who were wild and savage, clothed in the skins of beasts.
– ‘The Men of Zumat (Yoslings) who were even wilder.)
According to the Kolbrin, the different species should always have stayed separate. [Traces of this mating taboo may still exist in India. Priya Moorjani, a geneticist at Harvard University, has done DNA research to show that all people in India trace their heritage to two genetic groups: a South Indian group closely related to Andaman Islands people, and an ancestral North Indian group originally from the Near East and Caucasus region. The Near East/Caucasus area is traditionally associated with the ancient ‘garden land’ mentioned in the Kolbrin. Could this ancestral group have taken the mating taboo with them when they resettled in (among other places) northern India? Is India’s ancient varna/caste system with its dalit/‘untouchables’ – a system with unknown roots over 3,000 years old – a trace of the genetic taboo mentioned in the Kolbrin? (www.livescience.com/38751-genetic-study-reveals-caste-system-origins.html, 8 Aug 2013)]
But when, eventually, matings start to occur, this is described as the first ‘defilement’. Both the Children of God and the Yoslings fall ill, and a spirit-being tells the Children of God: ‘The greatest of evils has befallen the race of The Children of God… The fetid flow defiling the woman results from the incompatible intermingling, but it is not all, for sicknesses and diseases are also generating from the ferments of the impure implantation… Because you two are now as one the cankerworms of disease and sickness strike both equally.’
The Children of God are then banished from the gardenland and it becomes a desert.
The first Yosling man to mate with a woman of the Children of God dies of his illness, but his lover gives birth to a daughter. This hybrid offspring is described as ‘a cuckoo-child’. She is an unusual female with long red hair – never seen before – and she lives by herself in the forest as a sorceress, preferring the company of Yoslings. Eventually she marries a great hero of the Children of God in the land of Krowkasis (the Caucasus). Versions of her story appear in both the Egyptian and the Celtic books.
The second defilement happens later when woman is tempted by ‘the strength and wildness of the beast, which dwelt in the forest’. We are told that ‘because of the wickedness that was done, there are among men those who are the Children of the Beast, and they are a different people.’ [Compare with the Aramaic version of the Book of Giants found in Qumran – IQ23 Fragment 1+ 6: ‘two hundred donkeys, two hundred asses, two hundred … rams of the flock, two hundred goats, two hundred … beast of the field from every animal, from every bird […] […] for miscegenation (inbreeding of people considered to be of different races)’ and 4Q531 Fragment 2: […] they defiled […] [… they begot] giants and monsters.’
The Kolbrin makes clear that it is woman, and woman alone, who is responsible for the two genetic defilements of the race of the Children of God, for it is she who weakens and mates, first, with a Yosling, then with the beasts of the forest. By defiling her race, she does herself a great disfavour, for the Children of God regard woman as the equal of man – whereas the Children of Men use her as a sex-slave and a chattel, which over time becomes the norm throughout the human race.
Over thousands of generations and endless intermingling, distinctions between the species gradually disappear and the resulting mixture becomes the shorter-lived, disease-prone human beings we are now. [The Kolbrin gives an interesting explanation of the lengthy lifespans recorded in the Old Testament and the Sumerian King List.]
The Earth is destroyed by fire. Man survives, but he is not the same. The sun is not as it was before, and a moon disappears. A subsequent destruction splits apart the eastern and western mountains so that they stand up in the sea, and tilts the northern land mass over on its side. The lands of the Little People [Homo Floresiensis, discovered in 2003 on the Indonesian island of Flores], the Giants [giant human skeletons were found in Ancient Greece – see Adrienne Mayor’s The First Fossil Hunters: Dinosaurs, Mammoths, and Myth in Greek and Roman Times. Giant bones have been discovered all over the world, especially in North America. Most recently, skeletons of 9-foot men are being found near Borjomi in Georgia (Caucasus), and near Cagliari in Sardinia], the Neckless Ones and the land of Marshes and Mists are all destroyed.
1- The late Professor Ilia Vekua with giant-size bones from 2008 expedition in Georgia (source)
2- Homo floresiensis reeconstructed (source)
3- Legendary neckless man from a race which Greek geographer Strabo called the Blemmyes (source)
In the intensely cold age that follows, human beings survive by hiding in caves. They are terrorised by giant beasts until, following ‘heavenly rebellion and turmoil’, a cataclysm hardens the face of the Earth and turns the beasts to stone. Subsequently the Earth is destroyed by the Flood of Atuma, then by the Deluge. [The Kolbrin’s pre-Deluge account contains details linking it to the story of the Watchers in the Book of Enoch. The names Sisuda and Sharapek in the Deluge story lead me to think that the Kolbrin’s version of the Flood story is the earliest Sumerian version. Incidentally, the Kolbrin states that the ‘great ship’ comes to rest ‘upon Kardo (Sumerian name for the land of the Kurds), in the mountains of Ashtar, against Nishim (Nisibin/Nusaybin?) in The Land of God’.]
The Deluge story is followed by a lengthy version of the Gilgamesh story with a hero called Hurmanetar.
When Osireh/Yosira the Great One comes from the West with the People of Light seeking refuge in Egypt after the destruction of his own land, Ramakui of the seven cities, Land of Copper [Edgar Cayce’s Ramaki?], he finds a population living in holes in the ground; following the cataclysm, a plague has wiped out all the adult population and with it all knowledge of basic living skills. The remaining population includes ‘men who were blood kindred with the beasts of the forest or with fowl or with serpent’, who ‘dwelt together according to their kinship, and were divided thereby’.
Osireh teaches the lost generation how to grow corn, to spin and to carve stone, as well as writing and numbers. But when he tries to teach the people about God, they do not understand him, so he invents signs and simple tales (the first-ever myths) to help them understand. He tells them that when he dies, the sun will become their adoptive parent in his place. He is much beloved by the common people. Osireh has brought with him from Ramakui amazing technology: the Sacred Eye and the Firestone ‘which gathers the light of the sun’– forms of knowledge lost to us now, just as we have lost ‘the rituals of sea shells’ and ‘the song of the stars’; above all, he brings with him, out of his people’s transparent temples, ‘the light that shines when darkness falls without being lit’.
Osireh is not like other men. Wearing robes of black linen and a red headdress, he has ‘the likeness of a god’ and his bones are ‘not as those of others’. When eventually he dies ‘in the manner of men’, he leaves behind him a flourishing civilisation.
Later, wise men come to Egypt from Zaidor [Edgar Cayce’s Poseidia?], another land recently destroyed. They are great astronomers, they reject the idea of the sun as a god, and they have a unique mummification practice of covering the bodies of their dead with potter’s clay and leaving it to harden. [In his 2013 book The Ancient Giants who ruled America: the missing skeletons and the great Smithsonian cover-up, Alan J. Dewhurst reproduces among his hundreds of newspaper clippings one from the Syracuse Daily Standard dated July 23, 1897 which reports not only the finding of an old copper spear with an incredibly fine 10-inch point, but also a nine-foot skeleton embalmed in some kind of dried cement. The journalist added, ‘Archaeologists believe that at some prehistoric time the country surrounding Mora was densely inhabited by a race of people who were much further advanced in civilization than the Indians.’ On April 19, 1915, H.E. Davis of the El Paso Herald reported that an ancient eight-foot skeleton discovered near Silver City was encased in baked mud, ‘indicating that encasing the corpse in mud and baking it was the mode of embalming.’]
Under the twin influences of Osireh and the wise men of Zaidor, Egypt becomes a land of two peoples, two streams of wisdom and two hierarchies of gods. A few Egyptians learn how to move outside their everyday consciousness to glimpse what happens beyond death and how, by long spiritual preparation and enduring ‘the awfulness of the false death’, the strongest among them can become fearless Twice Borns.
It is the wise men of Zaidor who build the Great Guardian Rakima [the Sphinx?] and the Great House of the Hidden Places which once contained the Womb of Rebirth used by the Twice Born [the Great Pyramid?] They also build the Temple of the Radiant Ones at Giza [the Valley Temple?] and they write on a great stone above the entrance: ‘From the Children of God to the Children of Men. Behold, we found you in bondage to mortal bodies and bestowed upon you the gift of everlasting life.’ [The description of the Temple of the Radiant Ones, ‘many-pillared and walled about’, fits what we now call the Valley Temple. Robert Temple says in his book Egyptian Dawn, ‘Once you go through one of the doors [of the Valley Temple], you are in one of the granite entrance halls, which are very high … A niche made of granite very far above head height looks down on you; no one knows whether it contained a statue, or what its purpose was.’ ]
Over subsequent centuries, Egyptian scribes wonder where their Motherland could have been. They consider all the geographical options where strange races live, and speculate whether the Motherland might have been Ramakui, Zaidor or some earlier civilisation. The Book of Origins states unequivocably that their cradleland was Krowkasis [the Caucasus. Pliny the Elder in his Naturalis Historia derives the name ‘Caucasus’ from the Scythian kroy-khasis – “ice-shining, white with snow”. In August 2011, scientists at the Zurich DNA genealogy centre iGENEA reconstructed the DNA profile of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun. Results showed that he belonged to a genetic profile group known as haplogroup R1b1a2, to which 70% of British, 70% of Spanish and 60% of French men also belong. Roman Scholz, director of the iGENEA Centre, said, “We think the common ancestor lived in the Caucasus about 9,500 years ago.”]
Egypt prospers. Its rulers put spirituality and duty to their subjects above all else. Their sacred knowledge is carefully written down and preserved alongside the earliest records brought to Egypt by Osireh and the wise men of Zaidor. These sacred texts are stored in four secret geographical locations.
But the land also suffers wars, calamities and cataclysms. One 18th-dynasty scribe looks back at his civilisation and writes, ‘My land is old, a hundred and twenty generations have passed through it since Osireh brought light to men. Four times the stars have moved to new positions and twice the sun has changed the direction of his journey. Twice the Destroyer has struck Earth and three times the Heavens have opened and shut. Twice the land has been swept clean by water.’
Throughout the Egyptian books nearly 30 references are made to the Destroyer [the Destroyer is also mentioned in Exodus 12:23, Jeremiah 48:8 and Job 15:21], an overwhelming destructive heavenly phenomenon that appears regularly every few thousand years and is so terrible as to be beyond man’s understanding. Its appearance and behaviour are described in detail, particularly during an account of the Israelite slave exodus from Egypt [This is described from an Israelite viewpoint in the Book of Exodus. See Manuscripts 6. Chapter 12 verse 23 of the Book of Exodus actually refers to God and the Destroyer as separate entities. The El Arish stele marks the Place of the Whirlpool where the Egyptian chariots fought their last stand against the Israelites before being overcome by rocks and water. Details in the Kolbrin also tally with an Ancient Egyptian text The Lament of Ipuwer. According to the Roman scholar Servius, information about the Destroyer and its link with the Exodus could be found in the works of an Egyptian astrologer called Petosiris, so this could well have been one of the Kolbrin’s sources. The Latin author Pomponius Mela refers explicitly to Egyptian written sources for astronomical details which also appear almost word for word in the Kolbrin.] Over and over, the Egyptian books prophesy the return of the Destroyer, and their precise descriptions of the state of the world at the time of its return are not just a shrill millennial warning, but could well refer to our own time.
Somehow Egypt survives these cataclysms. But as the centuries roll on, the country begins to weaken. The Egyptian religion has always been split in two – into, on the one hand, the open religion of the common people and on the other, the secretive mysteries practised by priests within the inner temples. Gradually Egypt becomes idealistically and spiritually lazy.
At one point, a man called Setshra conceives a plan to allow everyone to participate in the Sacred Mysteries hitherto reserved exclusively for ‘the worthy ones among men.’ He gathers together a following of his own and promises them ‘knowledge of all things sacred’. What follows is ‘strife most grievous’ that is in some way connected to the House of the Hidden Places [the Great Pyramid?]. A scroll described in the Kolbrin as extremely ancient says that “the twin powers drawn down entwined about themselves and grew ever stronger. Even as waters are dammed to be drawn upon, so was the united power built up into a reserve of force. A storehouse of strange energy was prepared.’ [Christopher Dunn suggests in The Giza Power Plant that the Ancient Egyptians might well have developed their own power system.]
The same scribe aims some strong criticism at the establishment of the land: ‘O Egypt… you have turned to gods that are nought but the spirits of men returned to dwell in wood and stone… The ears of rulers are closed to words of wisdom, the doors of their hearts are bolted against Truth.’
Egyptians still remember from their past that Osireh and the priests from Zaidor had astonishing powers and could even bring a form of life back into a dead body ‘so that the soul might commune with the living’. But their memories are vague, and since their priests no longer know how to perform such supernatural feats, they reason that preserving a dead body from decay might mean one day it could be restored to life. So they develop the art of mummification – and charge for it. A scribe writes, ‘Priests grow fat on riches bestowed for the preservation of the body, while those who speak of the preservation of the soul are tormented.’
Religious practice lapses into empty ritual. An attempt by Pharaoh Nabihaton [Akhnaten] to introduce a new sun religion comes to nothing, partly because of his own spiritual inadequacy, partly because of his epileptic fits, and partly because of his licentious behaviour culminating in an incestuous relationship with his daughter which appals everyone who hears of it. [On 26 October 2014, BBC1’s programme ‘Tutankhamun: the Truth Uncovered’ made several surprising claims. Recent CT scans and DNA tests have proved conclusively that Amenhotep III and his son Akhnaten were congenital epileptics and that Tutankhamun’s many medical conditions (necrosis of the bones, club foot, malformed body) were the result of an incestuous relationship between Akhnaten and his sister. Kolbrin readers already knew about the epilepsy; in the book of Manuscripts Akhnaten’s fits are described in detail. But the Kolbrin states that Akhnaten’s incestuous relationship was not with his sister – it was with his daughter Meritaten. It also says that two sons were born of his incestuous relationship. If the mummy of Meritaten were to be DNA tested, we think it might show she was the mother of Tutankhamun and maybe of Smenkhkare too.]
However, some still follow the old spirituality and preserve the ancient written knowledge passed down from Osireh and the wise men of Zaidor. A few Egyptians still go through the long preparation and immense ordeal of becoming Twice Born, but the old ways are increasingly frowned on by the majority. The people who practise them are ostracised; two of the individuals mentioned by name are Pasinesu [two funeral cones for an Egyptian called Pasinesu can be seen in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York] and Panubis [the sarcophagus of a Panubis is in the Natural History Museum of Santiago, Chile]. Other 18th-dynasty Egyptians whose works appear in the Kolbrin include Hapu [High Priest of Amun during the reign of Hatshepsut], Senmut [architect and government official, whose masterpiece was the Mortuary Temple complex for Hatshepsut] and a female poet called Nefertari [who might have been Rameses II’s daughter].
Eventually these people’s lives and the records they treasure are thought to be in grave danger. Knowing from past prophecy that their spiritual path lies in another land away to the north, the guardians of the sacred writings make a crucial decision. They leave Egypt, smuggling out a complete set of their writings, and go into exile. [In May 2014 the skeleton of Qenamun , royal steward and foster-brother to Pharaoh Athomosis II, was discovered. He is mentioned in the Kolbrin as one of those who leave Egypt. From archaeology we know that Athmosis II had prepared a splendid tomb for Qenamun in Thebes which, when it was excavated, was found to be defaced; not a single image of him had survived the chisel attacks of his time. The Kolbrin suggests a sound reason for Qenamun’s disgrace.]
The narrative continues. It has now become the story of the Sons of Fire, whose quest is to guard the Great Book of Egypt and find a safe home for themselves. The Sons of Fire are said to be highly skilled metalworkers of Tyre, people of the ‘twin cities’ [Tyre and Sidon?]. Knowing they must go north, the Sons of Fire make their scrolls and metal-plate texts watertight, load their provisions and set sail. But the place where they try to settle first and build a city is full of wild men; it is on the edge of the known world and the now-destroyed Land of Mists and Kingdom of the Trees, where the dampness causes sickness and many of them die.
After some years, knowing they will all die if they stay there any longer, the Sons of Fire set sail again northwards. They come across a group of Greek refugees from Troy and travel together. Eventually they arrive on the south coast of Britain. At this time, post-Ice Age Britain is still an empty land inhabited by Painted Men (small, tattooed Picts) and a few 6-cubit/9-foot giants – survivors of the cataclysm that destroyed most of the race of giants. The Trojans sail on to Dadana [later called Dodonesse in Holinshed’s Chronicle, now known as Totnes.] with their leader Corineus and, after slaying the few remaining giants still living in Belharia [St Michael’s Bay?] −‘The same giants are builders of great temples and they are six cubits tall’ − the migrants settle in what is now Cornwall. Several different languages are known to have been spoken in Britain at this time.
The Sons of Fire move on and settle in a place named after a brave barbarian fighter called Cluth [this might well be the Clyde valley in Scotland]. They later move ‘not far distant’ and settle by the waters of Glaith [Glasgow?], where they set up a temple [the Temple area of Glasgow?] and establish their own distinctive way of life, adding laws to their existing books.
The Sons of Fire have brought with them five great book-boxes containing one hundred and thirty-two scrolls and five ring-bound volumes, known as The Greater Book of the Egyptians and The Lesser Book of The Egyptians. These books include:
The Book of the Trial of the Great God
The Sacred Register
The Book of Establishment
The Book of Magical Concoctions
The Book of Songs
The Book of Creation
The Book of Destruction
The Book of Tribulation
The Great Book of the Sons of Fire (which contains, among other texts, The Book of Secret Lore and The Book of Decrees).
What we are left with, centuries later, are the Book of Creation, the Book of Gleanings, the Book of Scrolls, the Book of the Sons of Fire, the Book of Manuscripts and the Book of Morals and Precepts. Nothing is known about the Book of the Trojans, once listed with the other books.
The story in the Celtic Books
Celtic texts make up the second part of the Kolbrin. The scribes writing them are clearly impressed by the Egyptian books which they have copied and preserved, for they try to set out the ancient history of Britain in the same format as the Egyptian texts. The Celtic texts do not mention the Egyptian books or their whereabouts, but they do refer to certain treasures stated in the Egyptian books to have disappeared, which seem to correspond to items brought to Egypt by Osireh:
‘The heart of Britain is the moon chalice which was brought here by the hands of the Chief of the Kasini. He came shipborne to Rafinia [Richborough, in Kent], which is by the Mount of Lud [once an island off Dunkirk, covered by rising sea levels in the late Roman period], against Ardmoal [?]. Passing Insdruk [?], he came to Itene [ancient name for the New Forest in Hampshire] where he hid the treasure in Trebethew [?]. It was not captured, as men say, nor could it decay. In the fullness of time it came to Kargwen [Winchester in Hampshire, once called Caer Gwintiquic]. There it was kept secure with the Grailstone and the ever-virgin vessel which brought down the rays of the sun. Thus it was that these treasures of Egypt came to Britain. This was the secret of Britain.’
The Celtic books comprise:
- The Book of Origins or Ferilbook. Included in this book is an important retelling of the Flood Tale brought by early immigrants to Britain known as the Wildland Cultivators who come from Krowkasis (the Caucasus). [The Anglo Saxon Chronicle begins its history of Britain by saying, ‘The first inhabitants were the Britons, who came from Armenia, and first peopled Britain southward’. In ancient times Armenia was a huge kingdom whose territory included half of what is now Turkey plus areas to the south and east] It also describes the indigenous peoples living in Britain when the first immigrants settle there. The flood tale in this book mentions not one, but two ships of flood-survivors: a ship with a house on it, and the ‘Brim-cofer’ [‘Brim’ and ‘cofer’ each having a specific, now-obsolete meaning – ‘Brim’= ‘The Flood’ and ‘Cofer’ = ‘the Ark of the Flood’, in the 1937 Oxford English Dictionary.]
- The Book of the Silver Bough. This has among its writings some prophetic text about the return of ‘the Frightener’ corresponding to prophesies about the Destroyer in the Egyptian books, but with some other details.
- The Book of Lucius
- The Book of Wisdom
- The Britain Book. Two chapters of this book contain an apocryphal gospel of the life of Jesus, stating that he was not divine and giving details such as that he and his disciples would sometimes go down to Tyre to work on Joseph of Arimathea’s ships. There is a full description of how Joseph of Abramatha/Idewin/Ilyid/Elyid [Joseph of Arimathea] and his companions arrive in Britain, Joseph’s subsequent dealings with the druids and King Caradew/Caractacus, and the rocky progress of early Christianity in Britain over the first few hundred years, including the persecution of early Christians by the Romans.
I’ve done my best to decode Joseph’s route from place names provided in the Celtic books:
‘In the Books of Britain it is written: Illyid [Joseph of Arimathea] came seaborne in a ship of Tarsis [Tartessos on the Spanish peninsula] from across the sea of Wicta [Sea of Vectis], setting up at Rafinia [Richborough, Kent] in the land of the Wains [land of the Celtic chariots]. From thence to the river Tarant [River Trent] which flows between the Kingdom of Albany and the Kingdom of Kori [Cornwall], Albany being the land between the Isen [iron-working area to the east?] and the Ikta [isca or trading town of Exeter to the west]. Passing Ivern [Charmouth] and Insels [Looe Island] south of the Kathebelon [?] and then past Dinsolin [St Michael’s Mount] to take water at the town where ships traded standing at the foot of the red cliff between the two white ones [Cligga Head, Perranporth?], around the extreme of the world to the northern Ikta [isca or trading town of Caerleon-on-Usk] in Siluria. Here, they were unwelcome, but were permitted to take water and wood and to trade for meat and grain. Sailing thence towards the rising sun, they came to the place beyond Sabrin [River Severn] called Summerland [Somerset].’
1- St Michael’s Mount – Belharia – Dinsolin, legendary home of the last remaining giants in Britain, covered at high tide (ref. YW)
2- Pre-Roman slipway, wharf and quay at Caerleon-on-Usk (ref. YW)
3- Ancient freshwater well on Roman foundation at Caerleon-on-Usk, the Northern Ikta (ref. YW)
4- Goldcroft Common, last of the nine trading commons at Caerleon-on-Usk
The Britain Book includes a detailed description of the Lake Village near what is now Glastonbury: ‘Now, eastward and to the north there was a lake, and beween this and the Isle of Departure there was a swampland and there was a village of houses that stood out above the water, and the moon-maidens and moon-matrons who served the dead dwelt there…’ [In Models in Archaeology (Methuen, 1971) David L. Clarke states that this lake village clearly contained areas of specialised activities and structures occupied only by women.]
The following text links the Celtic books to early British history:
‘Joseph Idewin was related to Avalek whose kingdom bordered that of Arviragus, through Anna the Unfaithful. He converted Claudia Rufina, the daughter of Caradew previously called Gladys, who married Pudens, a Roman, and had a daughter Pudentia. In his twenty-eighth year, Caradew was betrayed to the Romans by Arisia, queen of Bryantis. He married Genuissa, daughter of Claudius, to bind the peace agreement … [In his 1968 book The Drama of the Lost Disciples, George F. Jowett identifies the ruins beneath the present-day Church of St Pudentiana in Rome with the Britannic Palace in which Caradew/Caractacus lived while under house arrest with his daughter Gladys/Claudia and Pudens, whose daughter Pudentia helped the early Christians; the church was named after her. I have visited the Church and glimpsed the remains of the palace through a grille at the side of the church, though the collapsed remains are too dangerous to venture into.] Gladys, sister of Caradew, married Aulus Plautius, a Roman commander. Caradew/Caractacus held an estate in Siluria and was made warchief when Guiderius, son of Kimbelin [Cymbeline/ Cynfelyn/Kymbelinus, king late 1st century BC-early 40s AD] was slain by a slingshot near the river Thames. In the year 59 of our Lord, the British rose up under Woadica [Boudicca?] the horsefighter, who died nearly three years later when Gulgaes became warchief.’
The unnamed cleric who compiled the Kailedy – the gospel of John of Luna – says at the start that he is uniting in one narrative ‘the diverse accounts brought to these shores by the Kailedy, in the days of battleglory, when the mantle of Herthew descended upon Inhawk Caradew … led by the wise Elyid.’ [Joseph of Arimathea]. He calls his book The Book of John the Enlightened of God and the Book of the Nasorines and the Illuminated Ones. He sends greetings to his ‘brothers in Doiva, the Koferils at Karimba’; he says that he and they have all been ‘cast out’. He states that they are opposed by cunning people who ‘have the support of the dark strangers … Let us who are homeborn stand as one in all things, and not least in belief, for we are surrounded by darkbearded men with strange ways.’
The scribe goes on to say that ‘hundreds of wonderful books, the lifework of diligent hands, have been used to heat the fleshpots, and there is a constant searching of all which does not accord with foreign beliefs. Since there are many versions … I have taken it upon myself to prepare this one for you from the writings saved in flight. Pitifully few are the books salvaged from the great conflagration and brought out under our gowns … I have faithfully copied the accounts of that John whom we call Numa, who knew our earthly father, touching on events of his times according to the books which have been written and left to us.’ [It has been suggested by a Kolbrin reader that the ‘great conflagration’ might have been the burning of the Library of Alexandria in 3rd-4th-century AD.]
The cleric clearly combines druidic and Christian beliefs: ‘I am one who can overcome the distinctions between Jesus and Esures, reconciling the crystal virgin with mystic motherhood. I can place the clear moonfilled chalice beside the golden blood-filled cup. I can combine the stargirt Circles of Eternity with the lowly cross, and the defeated suffering son with the victorious battle-inspiring fighter.’
What distinguishes the Kailedy from the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John is that it contains far more material, including many biographical details not found elsewhere. For instance, there is much more information about John the Baptist/John of the Wilderness which, we are told, was ‘brought to these shores by Aristolas’ (author of a chapter in the Britain Book). We are told that Jesus’ mother Mary was a virgin only in the sense that she had once been ‘a virgin pledged to God and the temple by her father’; that the wise men from the east were ‘men of Sastera, wise in the Books of Heaven, and of Nimrod who carried the cross of fire’; that Jesus, described as ‘Jesus the Nasorine’, was brought up in Genesareth and trained to make ploughs; that at the time his father died he was working as a craftsman among the Kenites; that ‘he was a man of long silences and many thought him strange’; that he was not the only healer in his country – there were others, too; that he did not always heal a person, for ‘in some it created a disturbance, while many were not cured because this would have done them more harm than good’; even that he loved boats and swimming. In the Kailedy the details surrounding his death and resurrection imply that he did not die on the cross. Above all, the Kailedy shows how Jesus’ teachings were grafted on to druidic and Celtic beliefs to create the Celtic Church of Britain which preceded the Roman Church by several hundred years.
Letter found in an old copy of the Kolbrin
At the back of the 1994 New Zealand hardback edition of the Kolbrin there is reproduced a note found inside an old copy of the Kolbrin. Signed by ‘J.McA’, it tells how the Kolbrin was ‘brought back to light’ in ‘the place known to them as Futeril Cairn, beyond the pool of Pantlyn at Carclathan by way of Gwendwor in Wales’. [I have identified the village as Gwenddwr, south of Builth Wells; the pool as Pant y Llin; and the cairn as Cefn Clawdd – the only cairn out of 439 sites recorded in an archaeological field survey of that area, for The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, which was described as ‘disturbed’ .]
The writer remembers his grandfather saying that ‘it was originally written in the old alphabet of thirty-six letters’ and that the books were stored ‘in a tinker’s budget box, the lid of which was not hinged but held with flanges and lifted off after being heated.’ Were a fragment written in the ‘old alphabet’ to come to light, perhaps it would tell us that Iolo Morganwg wasn’t such a forger after all.
If you want to find out what was inside the tinker’s box, you’ll just have to buy the original hardback version online.
My database of archaeological and textual links is steadily increasing (I’ve only mentioned a few above), and there’s almost certainly a book to be written. But first, I need help. I can’t help thinking that someone somewhere out there might have remnants of the manuscripts – maybe even a rusty shard of the Bronze Book. If anyone reading this article has any information which might help me further along the intriguing trail of the Kolbrin and its provenance, please do get in touch via this website or write to me at [email protected].
On a lighter note, I’ll leave you with my favourite Celtic homily from the Britain Book: ‘Do not become a griffin.’ Remember that, and you can’t go wrong.