Gog And Magog Patron Icons Of British Isles

Gog And Magog Patron Icons Of British Isles

In folklore, Gogmagog was a mighty giant of the few remaining on the island known today as Britain.  Brutus of Troy landed at Totnes on the Dart River to discover fertile land and decided the country should be his own.  Britian is named after Brutus according to legend.  Wikipedia informs:

The Historia Regum Britanniae relates that Albion was only inhabited ‘by a few giants’ when Brutus and his fellow Trojans arrived. Corineus was given Cornwall to govern, where there were more giants than in any other province. Among these giants ‘was one detestable monster, named Goëmagot (Gogmagog), in stature twelve cubits, and of such prodigious strength that at one shake he pulled up an oak as if it had been a hazel wand’.

When Brutus is holding a feast with his companions in Totnes, (or more likely Dartmouth which is much nearer the sea) some twenty giants led by Goëmagot descend on the company ‘among whom he made a dreadful slaughter’. At last the giants were routed and slain except for Goëmagot who is captured so that Corineus can wrestle with him. The giant breaks three of Corineus’s ribs, which so enrages him that he ‘ran with him, as fast as the weight would allow him, to the next shore’ and ‘getting upon the top of a high rock, hurled down the savage monster into the sea; where falling on the sides of craggy rocks, he was torn to pieces’. The place where he fell ‘is called Lam Goëmagot, that is, Goëmagot’s Leap, to this day.'”

Perhaps, less familiar, Gog and Magog stand as patron icons at the stairs exiting Guildhall which remains the administration building for the City of London, England. “Today, the words of Thomas Boreman in his ‘Gigantick History’ of 1741 are as appropriate as ever. He declared that ‘;…the City of London, by placing these, their representatives in their Guildhall, emblematically declare, that they will, like mighty giants defend the honour of their country and liberties of this their City; which excels all others, as much as those huge giants exceed in stature
the common bulk of mankind,'”
observes a blog at The Calm Before the Storm. Brutus and Corineus may have defeated and put to death Gogmagog, but the legend lives on!  What deeper meaning lies behind two icons Gog (picture, above left) and Magog (picture, above right)?  The giant Gogmagog represented by two figures as patron icons of the British Isles?

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