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Jean M
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« Reply #75 on: April 24, 2012, 07:12:11 PM »

@ Alan - Yes I need that book too. Just bought both 2nd-hand on Amazon.
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authun
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« Reply #76 on: April 24, 2012, 08:00:27 PM »

Well lets put it this way the Orkneys already had their present (Celtic) name in the 4th century BC.  I think if somewhere that far flung and in possession of a peculiarly local Iron Age culture were Celtic speaking as early as that then it likely Celtic was uniform.

Pytheas writing around 325 BC tells us that these islands at this point "extend out into the open sea and is named Orkas" but what is there to point to a celtic etymology?

Nicolaisen makes the point about the 'awesome antiquity' of many Scottish islands, (Arran Place Names 1992) and states that practically all the major islands in the Northern and Western Isles have ancient placenames. They are linguistically and lexically opaque and have no referents from anywhere else. He lists Arran, Islay, Tiree, Mull, Rum, Uist, Lewis, Unst, Yell and the Hebrides. If Orkas is celtic, it stands apart from this list. Nothing unusual in that, but interesting in itself. Are there any other places that use this element, either as prefix or suffix?

Modern irish torc is a boar, but it is from an indo european root, *porko. If its 4th cent BC form is goidelic, rather than P celtic torch (Cornish), that would be quite something. Other p celtic forms are Breton tourc'h and welsh twrch. Normally in these instances, etymologists look for similar examples. What does Nicolaisen have to say about it?
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Jean M
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« Reply #77 on: April 24, 2012, 08:17:53 PM »

6 of Jackson's tribes are Creones, Caereni, Caledonii, Vacomagi, Veneciones and Taexali.

OK. I have updated my page on the Celtic tribes of the Scottish Highlands and Islands. Only Creones and Taexali resist etymological effort. The former is in a normal Celtic format i.e. with the suffix -ones, the latter tribe has a town with a Celtic name.  
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Jean M
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« Reply #78 on: April 24, 2012, 08:20:09 PM »

Pytheas writing around 325 BC tells us that these islands at this point "extend out into the open sea and is named Orkas" but what is there to point to a celtic etymology?

The orc- element means "piglet" in Middle Irish, but may mean "wild boar" here, perhaps a case of a place-name springing from a tribal one. See the references on the page linked in my previous post.
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authun
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« Reply #79 on: April 24, 2012, 08:50:08 PM »

The orc- element means "piglet" in Middle Irish, but may mean "wild boar" here, perhaps a case of a place-name springing from a tribal one. See the references on the page linked in my previous post.

Yes but it is from an indo european root so what is there to identify it specifically as celtic and not from any other IE language?
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Bren123
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« Reply #80 on: April 24, 2012, 09:24:13 PM »

The orc- element means "piglet" in Middle Irish, but may mean "wild boar" here, perhaps a case of a place-name springing from a tribal one. See the references on the page linked in my previous post.

Yes but it is from an indo european root so what is there to identify it specifically as celtic and not from any other IE language?

Because Celtic lost the initial P from PIE!
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« Reply #81 on: April 24, 2012, 09:28:22 PM »



The modern welsh word for fish is pysgod but that is a Latin borrowing,the Brythonic word was Eskos/Iskos

It's the same word, from PIE *peisk

fish, Irish iasg, Old Irish íasc, g. éisc; *eisko-, *peisko-; Latin piscis, fish; Gothic fisks, English fish.

We don't know what the exact brythonic word was but it was esc in Gaulish, very similar to old high german fisc.

Yes P>F Grimm's law:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grimm's_law

What is your point?
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LDJ
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« Reply #82 on: April 24, 2012, 09:31:26 PM »

I always thought Brigantes (in Ireland) came from the Goddess Brigid. The fact there is a similarly named tribe in Britain may simply mean they're patron was Brigid (or form of) and named themselves after her too. It could also mean they were the same people or anything in-between. The name Brigid is probably pre- iron age. The  Brigantes (both) quite away from the Belgic Britons. Some have said that the  Britannia figure is taken from the Brigantes hence Brigid. My opinion of the Picts is that more people know about them from the Robert E Howard novels and that image has stuck. I think most scholars look at the pictish identity from much later (correct me if I'm wrong).
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« Reply #83 on: April 25, 2012, 12:01:03 AM »

Of course there is no trace now of Proto-Italo-Celtic in some of the places we see Bell Beaker, such as north Jutland, Norway and Morocco

I remember asking about an Italo-Celtic language prior to the Proto Celtic/Italic languages and I don't think it's very well accepted in Acedemia;what common inovations are there for Italo-Celtic to form a Genetic Node?
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« Reply #84 on: April 25, 2012, 05:38:14 AM »

I always thought Brigantes (in Ireland) came from the Goddess Brigid. The fact there is a similarly named tribe in Britain may simply mean they're patron was Brigid (or form of) and named themselves after her too.

That is an alternative etymology yes. Matres and Matrones are common in north western europe between the 1st and 5th cent. AD and are mostly found on dedication stones. Romans would often make dedications to locally venerated deities. Where I live four that refer to Brigantia are:

DEO BREGANTI ET N AVG T AVR QVINTVS D D P ET S S (Huddersfield)

D VICT BRIG ET NVM AVG T AVR AVRELIANVS D D PRO SE ET SVIS S MAG S (Halifax)

DEΛE VICTORIΛE BRIGΛNT A D ΛVR SENOPIΛNVS (Castleford)

DEΛE BRIGΛN D CINGETISSA P (Leeds)

In addition, a few miles to the north east of Leeds was Isurium Brigantum, modern day Aldborough, where the name exists as an important place for the tribe of the Brigantes.

The point is that these instances are grouped tightly together in one small area of the territory of the Brigantes. The vast majority of the territory of the Brigantes has dedications to other matrones. It's hard to tell what is going on.

Many authors think that the Brigantes are not one tribe but a confederation. We have one other name, the Gabrantovices, of whom we know nothing and some claim that the Setanti belonged to the confederation. The notion of a confederation the reasoning behind the 'dwellers of the northern hills' etymology, but you are quite correct, it is by no means certain.
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Jean M
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« Reply #85 on: April 25, 2012, 05:53:50 AM »

I remember asking about an Italo-Celtic language prior to the Proto Celtic/Italic languages and I don't think it's very well accepted in Academia

It's one of those fashion things. Italo-Celtic was accepted, then it was attacked and went out of fashion, then it was revived again. So some IE trees show it. Others don't. I'm following the latest thinking. See F. Kortlandt, Italo-Celtic Origins and Prehistoric Development of the Irish Language (2007), which is a collection of his papers, including "More evidence for Italo-Celtic" (1980) and "Italo-Celtic" (2006).

From Wikipedia:

The principal Italo-Celtic forms are:

    the thematic Genitive in i (dominus, domini). Both in Italic (Popliosio Valesiosio, Lapis Satricanus) and in Celtic (Lepontic, Celtiberian -o), traces of the -osyo Genitive of Proto-Indo-European have also been discovered, which might indicate that the spread of the i-Genitive occurred in the two groups independently (or by areal diffusion). The i-Genitive has been compared to the so-called Cvi formation in Sanskrit, but that too is probably a comparatively late development. The phenomenon is probably related to the feminine long i stems (see Devi inflection) and the Luwian i-mutation.
    the ā-subjunctive. Both Italic and Celtic have a subjunctive descended from an earlier optative in -ā-. Such an optative is not known from other languages, but the suffix occurs in Balto-Slavic and Tocharian past tense formations, and possibly in Hittite -ahh-.
    the collapsing of the PIE aorist and perfect into a single past tense. In both groups, this is a relatively late development of the proto-languages, possibly dating to the time of "Italo-Celtic" language contact.
    the assimilation of *p to a following *kʷ.[6] This development obviously predates the Celtic loss of *p:

        PIE *penkʷe 'five' → Latin quinque; Old Irish cóic
        PIE *perkʷu- 'oak' → Latin quercus; Goidelic ethnonym Querni
        PIE *pekʷ- 'cook' → Latin coquere; Welsh poeth 'hot' (Welsh p presupposes Proto-Celtic *kʷ)
        PIE *ponkʷu- 'all' → Latin cunctus; Irish (and Old Irish) gach, Welsh pob 'every'.

Other similarities include the fact that certain common words, such as the words for common metals (gold, silver, tin, etc.) are similar in Italic and Celtic but divergent from other Indo-European languages.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2012, 06:01:03 AM by Jean M » Logged
Jdean
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« Reply #86 on: April 25, 2012, 06:34:59 AM »

Caerleon in SE Wales was named Isca Silurum by the Romans, Isca after the name of the river (it's now called the Usk) and Silurum from the local tribe to differentiate it from other similar sounding places.

According to Wikipedia the name Isca came from Brithonic for water which is also the derivation for whisky.

Thanks, thats interesting. The Ister mentioned by Herodotus by the way flows into the Black Sea, hence the identification with the Danube.

The modern welsh word for water is dŵr and although I don't know what the primitive welsh word was, Old Irish uisce means water. As you say, it's where we get whisky from, iskie bae in 1580.

I've seen the claim in your wiki link that Usk is derived from brythonic but given that modern welsh is dŵr and the roman name was Isca, it sort of makes me wonder if the territory of the Silures spoke a different type of celtic, possibly goidelic. Unless of course brythonic also had a similar word.

It's possible the Silures came from a different area to other Celts, Alan has posted a few times that Julius Caesar described them as looking quite different from the other inhabitants of Britain with dark skin and dark curly hair.

This is a look that still persists in the area today and was recorded by John Beddoe in 'The Races of Britain' minus the curly hair which he said was no more prevalent than elsewhere.

I came across this page today when trying to find the etymology for the river Severn

http://www.kmatthews.org.uk/arthuriana/severn.html

which sounds quite informed
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« Reply #87 on: April 25, 2012, 07:35:47 AM »

It's possible the Silures came from a different area to other Celts, Alan has posted a few times that Julius Caesar described them as looking quite different from the other inhabitants of Britain with dark skin and dark curly hair.

This is a look that still persists in the area today and was recorded by John Beddoe in 'The Races of Britain' minus the curly hair which he said was no more prevalent than elsewhere.

Tacitus' famous statement in Agricola was:

"The red hair and large limbs of the inhabitants of Caledonia point clearly to a German origin. The dark complexion of the Silures, their usually curly hair, and the fact that Spain is the opposite shore to them, are an evidence that Iberians of a former date crossed over and occupied these parts. Those who are nearest to the Gauls are also like them, either from the permanent influence of original descent, or, because in countries which run out so far to meet each other, climate has produced similar physical qualities."

I came across this page today when trying to find the etymology for the river Severn

http://www.kmatthews.org.uk/arthuriana/severn.html

which sounds quite informed

I had a quick look at Mills' Concise Oxford Dictionary of British Place Names. These concise versions lack the etymological detail of research papers and provide only the briefest of summaries but concludes, 'an ancient pre celtic river name of doubtful etymology.'

Watts, The Cambridge Dictionary of English Place Names, provides rather more detail. Watts starts off with the various recorded names, Latin Sabrina, Middle Irish Sabrann, Welsh Sabren, Habren etc, English Saberna and so on.

Watts writes, Sabrina is probably the name of the divinity of the river. Its origin is unknown but it seems to belong to a family of European river names which may be pre IE in origin, on a root , liquid, eg. Sambre, Belgium; Saba, Savis Sevre, Seine, France' Savara, Ireland; Saferon (now lost) Bedfordshire.

Watts claims that the *sab root, whatever its origin was taken into celtic with an r extension and the regular celtic suffix *ina. He thinks it may be indo european if it is cognate with Sanskrit sabar, - milk, but gives no other IE cognates.
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Jean M
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« Reply #88 on: April 25, 2012, 09:02:46 AM »

It's possible the Silures came from a different area to other Celts, Alan has posted a few times that Julius Caesar described them as looking quite different from the other inhabitants of Britain with dark skin and dark curly hair.

It wasn't Caesar, but Tacitus in Agricola 11:

Quote
Who the first inhabitants of Britannia were, whether native or immigrants, remain obscure, as one would expect when dealing with barbarians. But their physical characteristics vary, and that variation is suggestive. The reddish hair and large limbs of the Caledonians proclaim a Germanic origin; the swarthy faces of the Silures, their generally curly hair and the fact that Hispania lies opposite, all lead one to believe that Iberians crossed in ancient times and occupied that land. The nearest to the Gauls are also like them. Perhaps their common origin still has force, perhaps their common situation under the heavens has shaped the physical type ...

On a general estimate, however, it is likely that Gauls took possession of the neighboring land. In both lands you find the same rituals, the same superstitious beliefs, the language doers not differ much...

As you can see, Tacitus did not say that Silures were different from the other tribes of what is now Wales and SW England. He simply uses them as an example to contrast with Caledonians and those nearest Gaul i.e. Belgae. His suppositions on origins were speculation, though shrewd on the topic of immigration from Gaul. It is possible that physical differences reflected to some extent the different flows of Bell Beaker into Britain, with Dutch Bell Beaker entering along the eastern coast right up to Scotland, and Iberian BB coming up the Atlantic coast. But there are unknowns here. Colouring is not directly related to Y-DNA. So it can't be tracked that way. 
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Jdean
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« Reply #89 on: April 25, 2012, 09:17:33 AM »

It's possible the Silures came from a different area to other Celts, Alan has posted a few times that Julius Caesar described them as looking quite different from the other inhabitants of Britain with dark skin and dark curly hair.

It wasn't Caesar, but Tacitus in Agricola 11:

Quote
Who the first inhabitants of Britannia were, whether native or immigrants, remain obscure, as one would expect when dealing with barbarians. But their physical characteristics vary, and that variation is suggestive. The reddish hair and large limbs of the Caledonians proclaim a Germanic origin; the swarthy faces of the Silures, their generally curly hair and the fact that Hispania lies opposite, all lead one to believe that Iberians crossed in ancient times and occupied that land. The nearest to the Gauls are also like them. Perhaps their common origin still has force, perhaps their common situation under the heavens has shaped the physical type ...

On a general estimate, however, it is likely that Gauls took possession of the neighboring land. In both lands you find the same rituals, the same superstitious beliefs, the language doers not differ much...

As you can see, Tacitus did not say that Silures were different from the other tribes of what is now Wales and SW England. He simply uses them as an example to contrast with Caledonians and those nearest Gaul i.e. Belgae. His suppositions on origins were speculation, though shrewd on the topic of immigration from Gaul. It is possible that physical differences reflected to some extent the different flows of Bell Beaker into Britain, with Dutch Bell Beaker entering along the eastern coast right up to Scotland, and Iberian BB coming up the Atlantic coast. But there are unknowns here. Colouring is not directly related to Y-DNA. So it can't be tracked that way. 

Thanks for the correction (and Authun) funny thing is I'm sure I remember Alan saying something slightly different, probably my memory playing tricks on me again :)
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Bren123
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« Reply #90 on: April 25, 2012, 09:32:06 AM »

I remember asking about an Italo-Celtic language prior to the Proto Celtic/Italic languages and I don't think it's very well accepted in Academia

It's one of those fashion things. Italo-Celtic was accepted, then it was attacked and went out of fashion, then it was revived again. So some IE trees show it. Others don't. I'm following the latest thinking. See F. Kortlandt, Italo-Celtic Origins and Prehistoric Development of the Irish Language (2007), which is a collection of his papers, including "More evidence for Italo-Celtic" (1980) and "Italo-Celtic" (2006).

From Wikipedia:

The principal Italo-Celtic forms are:

    the thematic Genitive in i (dominus, domini). Both in Italic (Popliosio Valesiosio, Lapis Satricanus) and in Celtic (Lepontic, Celtiberian -o), traces of the -osyo Genitive of Proto-Indo-European have also been discovered, which might indicate that the spread of the i-Genitive occurred in the two groups independently (or by areal diffusion). The i-Genitive has been compared to the so-called Cvi formation in Sanskrit, but that too is probably a comparatively late development. The phenomenon is probably related to the feminine long i stems (see Devi inflection) and the Luwian i-mutation.
    the ā-subjunctive. Both Italic and Celtic have a subjunctive descended from an earlier optative in -ā-. Such an optative is not known from other languages, but the suffix occurs in Balto-Slavic and Tocharian past tense formations, and possibly in Hittite -ahh-.
    the collapsing of the PIE aorist and perfect into a single past tense. In both groups, this is a relatively late development of the proto-languages, possibly dating to the time of "Italo-Celtic" language contact.
    the assimilation of *p to a following *kʷ.[6] This development obviously predates the Celtic loss of *p:

        PIE *penkʷe 'five' → Latin quinque; Old Irish cóic
        PIE *perkʷu- 'oak' → Latin quercus; Goidelic ethnonym Querni
        PIE *pekʷ- 'cook' → Latin coquere; Welsh poeth 'hot' (Welsh p presupposes Proto-Celtic *kʷ)
        PIE *ponkʷu- 'all' → Latin cunctus; Irish (and Old Irish) gach, Welsh pob 'every'.

Other similarities include the fact that certain common words, such as the words for common metals (gold, silver, tin, etc.) are similar in Italic and Celtic but divergent from other Indo-European languages.

I read that before which is why I broufgt it up in a discussion with someone else;I was someone who thought it was an actual proto language but now I just think it was down to a close areal proximity between the two groups!
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« Reply #91 on: April 25, 2012, 09:37:49 AM »



This is a look that still persists in the area today and was recorded by John Beddoe in 'The Races of Britain' minus the curly hair which he said was no more prevalent than elsewhere.


Oh really? That is funny because I'm actaully from and live in the area{Caerphilly).
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« Reply #92 on: April 25, 2012, 09:38:52 AM »

I remember Alan saying something slightly different, probably my memory playing tricks on me again

Caesar's account is that the people in the martime districts are more like Gauls and that they differ from the Britons in other districts.
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« Reply #93 on: April 25, 2012, 09:41:02 AM »

Watts writes, Sabrina is probably the name of the divinity of the river. Its origin is unknown but it seems to belong to a family of European river names which may be pre IE in origin, on a root , liquid, eg. Sambre, Belgium; Saba, Savis Sevre, Seine, France' Savara, Ireland; Saferon (now lost) Bedfordshire.

Watts claims that the *sab root, whatever its origin was taken into celtic with an r extension and the regular celtic suffix *ina. He thinks it may be indo european if it is cognate with Sanskrit sabar, - milk, but gives no other IE cognates.

Thanks for that info;it was very interesting! 8)
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« Reply #94 on: April 25, 2012, 09:59:53 AM »


I had a quick look at Mills' Concise Oxford Dictionary of British Place Names. These concise versions lack the etymological detail of research papers and provide only the briefest of summaries but concludes, 'an ancient pre celtic river name of doubtful etymology.'

Watts, The Cambridge Dictionary of English Place Names, provides rather more detail. Watts starts off with the various recorded names, Latin Sabrina, Middle Irish Sabrann, Welsh Sabren, Habren etc, English Saberna and so on.

Watts writes, Sabrina is probably the name of the divinity of the river. Its origin is unknown but it seems to belong to a family of European river names which may be pre IE in origin, on a root , liquid, eg. Sambre, Belgium; Saba, Savis Sevre, Seine, France' Savara, Ireland; Saferon (now lost) Bedfordshire.

Watts claims that the *sab root, whatever its origin was taken into celtic with an r extension and the regular celtic suffix *ina. He thinks it may be indo european if it is cognate with Sanskrit sabar, - milk, but gives no other IE cognates.

Idly wondered if this has anything to do with the goddess Sequana, into whom I ran last fall in the Dijon archaeological museum:

http://i197.photobucket.com/albums/aa140/razyn_photo/DSCF0018.jpg

One would have to mind one's Ps and Qs to make her fit some of these other hydronyms -- maybe fiddle with Grimm's Law, too -- but anyway this one is associated with the Seine, and that's one of the rivers on Watts's list, cited above.

I apologize for the poor quality of the photo, hand-held for a long exposure with available light (no flash allowed there).  I have a sharp photo, in a guidebook, but it's under copyright.  The Wiki entry for this lady mentions the statue, but doesn't illustrate it.  I really like the duck on the prow of her boat.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sequana
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« Reply #95 on: April 25, 2012, 10:08:51 AM »



This is a look that still persists in the area today and was recorded by John Beddoe in 'The Races of Britain' minus the curly hair which he said was no more prevalent than elsewhere.


Oh really? That is funny because I'm actaully from and live in the area{Caerphilly).

Alright Butt, just down the road from you :)
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« Reply #96 on: April 25, 2012, 11:20:25 AM »

I have always felt it is pretty clear that the Greeks took a name of one tribe or group of tribes that contained the Celt name, I strongly suspect this from the tribes in Atlantic Iberia of that name, and extended it to the rest.  I doubt they actually thought of themselves as having any collective name like Celt ANYWHERE.  So, I think whether or not the isles Celts called themselves Celts is irrelevant.  Its a very lame point IMO and is of absolutely no significance. 

Alan,what is your view on this;
Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2011.09.57
It deals with the Celtic from the west!
http://bmcr.brynmawr.edu/2011/2011-09-57.html
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« Reply #97 on: April 25, 2012, 12:50:34 PM »

Caesar's account is that the people in the martime districts are more like Gauls and that they differ from the Britons in other districts.

Sort of, but not exactly.  All this stuff is online folks. Gallic Wars, book V:

Chapter 12

The interior portion of Britain is inhabited by those of whom they say that it is handed down by tradition that they were born in the island itself: the maritime portion by those who had passed over from the country of the Belgae for the purpose of plunder and making war; almost all of whom are called by the names of those states from which being sprung they went thither, and having waged war, continued there and began to cultivate the lands. The number of the people is countless, and their buildings exceedingly numerous, for the most part very like those of the Gauls: the number of cattle is great. They use either brass or iron rings, determined at a certain weight, as their money. Tin is produced in the midland regions; in the maritime, iron; but the quantity of it is small: they employ brass, which is imported. There, as in Gaul, is timber of every description, except beech and fir. They do not regard it lawful to eat the hare, and the , and the goose; they, however, breed them for amusement and pleasure. The climate is more temperate than in Gaul, the colds being less severe. ...


Chapter 14

The most civilized of all these nations are they who inhabit Kent, which is entirely a maritime district, nor do they differ much from the Gallic customs. Most of the inland inhabitants do not sow corn, but live on milk and flesh, and are clad with skins. All the Britains, indeed, dye themselves with wood, which occasions a bluish color, and thereby have a more terrible appearance in fight. They wear their hair long, and have every part of their body shaved except their head and upper lip. Ten and even twelve have wives common to them, and particularly brothers among brothers, and parents among their children; but if there be any issue by these wives, they are reputed to be the children of those by whom respectively each was first espoused when a virgin.
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« Reply #98 on: April 25, 2012, 01:22:16 PM »

Sort of, but not exactly.  All this stuff is online folks. Gallic Wars, book V:

I sort of took it forgranted that Alan and Jdean were talking soundbites and didn't feel there was any need to repeat the reference I had already given in #44.
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« Reply #99 on: April 25, 2012, 01:51:25 PM »

@ Authun. Sorry - I see that came across like a criticism of you. I was intending to hint that we don't need to rely on JDean's memory of what Alan might have quoted ... etc. Fortunately for me, as my memory is useless, the classical sources tend to be readily accessible.
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