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Title: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Bren123 on April 22, 2012, 12:37:48 PM
Wasn't sure where to put this but would like your opinion on this article?

(http://www.kilkennypeople.ie/webimage/1.3726998.1334228484!image/996725071.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/996725071.jpg)


Published on Saturday 14 April 2012 10:00



An enthralled audience which filled the Parade Tower to capacity heard four of Irelands leading Celtic scholars defend and attack the motion ‘The Celts - did they occupy Ireland’. The enthralling debate waxed first one way and then another before concluding with a resounding defeat for the motion.


The question was debated on two levels. The negative, if the Celts did not come to Ireland, then how and why do we have a Celtic language which is a manifest reality. This strong argument was advanced by Professor David Stifter, professor of Old Irish in Maynooth College who was supported in this contention by Dr. Graham Isaac of NUI Galway. There seems little opportunity to set aside the logic and rational of their well argued position.  

LINK (http://www.kilkennypeople.ie/news/local/history-proved-wrong-castle-debate-says-nay-to-celts-1-3726999)


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: alan trowel hands. on April 22, 2012, 02:16:27 PM
Wasn't sure where to put this but would like your opinion on this article?

(http://www.kilkennypeople.ie/webimage/1.3726998.1334228484!image/996725071.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_595/996725071.jpg)


Published on Saturday 14 April 2012 10:00



An enthralled audience which filled the Parade Tower to capacity heard four of Irelands leading Celtic scholars defend and attack the motion ‘The Celts - did they occupy Ireland’. The enthralling debate waxed first one way and then another before concluding with a resounding defeat for the motion.


The question was debated on two levels. The negative, if the Celts did not come to Ireland, then how and why do we have a Celtic language which is a manifest reality. This strong argument was advanced by Professor David Stifter, professor of Old Irish in Maynooth College who was supported in this contention by Dr. Graham Isaac of NUI Galway. There seems little opportunity to set aside the logic and rational of their well argued position.  

LINK
 (http://www.kilkennypeople.ie/news/local/history-proved-wrong-castle-debate-says-nay-to-celts-1-3726999)

Actually all this is really saying is the evidence that Celtic was brought by the Hallstatt and La Tene cultures to Ireland (or indeed that these cultures were the main vector of its spread anywhere) is looking very shaky.  You could extend this lack of convincing evidence for a major migration phase spreading Celtic to most of Britain and IMO much of Gaul too.  From what I know of Gaulish archaeology there is little convincing evidence for a major migration in the Hallstatt and La Tene periods in most of Gaul either.  I think people the realisation is setting in that Hallstatt and La Tene were just regional style changes among an already Celtic Europe.  The whole maps of La Tene and Hallstatt centres with arrows spreading out from them cannot be seen as a population spread in much of Europe.  The problem seems to have come about that migratory phases into Italy and eastern Europe (perhaps triggered by the collapse of the Hallstatt D north-Alpine chiefdoms) was a unique phase and not the norm and certainly not the story of the spread of Celtic in western Europe (bar Italy).  I think it is looking more and more likely that the Atlantic school are right and La Tene and Hallstatt D were late flourishes towards the eastern edge of a much older Celtic world. 


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: rms2 on April 22, 2012, 02:23:09 PM
I agree with Alan. I read about this a few days ago and thought it no great revelation. I think we've known for quite some time that Celtic languages and culture in Britain and Ireland predate Hallstatt and La Tene.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Bren123 on April 22, 2012, 03:05:18 PM
I agree with Alan. I read about this a few days ago and thought it no great revelation. I think we've known for quite some time that Celtic languages and culture in Britain and Ireland predate Hallstatt and La Tene.

There's no evidence for that!


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Jean M on April 22, 2012, 03:16:05 PM
There's no evidence for that!

If you mean that there is nothing in writing from the period - that's true. Hence all the arguments! It is a process of deduction that Celtic languages arrived in the British Isles with metallurgy. There just isn't enough evidence of Iron Age migration into Ireland to make that period likely.  The Copper Age is when we see a new culture arrive over the whole of the British Isles.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: rms2 on April 22, 2012, 03:17:25 PM
I agree with Alan. I read about this a few days ago and thought it no great revelation. I think we've known for quite some time that Celtic languages and culture in Britain and Ireland predate Hallstatt and La Tene.

There's no evidence for that!

Sure there is. Irish Celtic is the arguably older Q-Celtic, and it got to Ireland somehow.

Irish language, culture, and laws contain a number of archaic Indo-European characteristics that suggest it arrived there very early, certainly before Hallstatt and La Tene.

We know that there are Beaker influences in Britain and Ireland that predate Hallstatt and La Tene, and a number of scholars have suggested that early Celtic could have been carried by Beaker Folk.

Ireland and Iberia missed out on the change to P-Celtic that the Continent and Britain experienced.

All of that is not absolute proof, but it is evidence.

It seems likely that Celtic languages were spoken throughout much of western Europe well before Hallstatt and La Tene developed as continental artistic styles.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Bren123 on April 22, 2012, 03:20:37 PM
This is according to Wikipedia:

At present over 100 large-scale excavations of Iron Age sites have taken place,[4] dating from the 8th century BC to the 1st century AD, and overlapping into the Bronze Age in the 8th century BC.[5] Hundreds of radiocarbon dates have been acquired and have been calibrated on four different curves, the most precise being based on tree ring sequences.
 
The precision of the dates in this first millennium BC does not allow a periodisation based on the radiocarbon dates. The range of any one radiocarbon date varies by one Standard deviation; that is, there is a 68% probability of the historical date occurring within the range of a few hundred years. Many schemes have been proposed based on sequences of pottery and other artefacts. The following scheme summarises a comparative chart presented in a recent book by Barry Cunliffe,[6] but it should be noted that British artefacts were much later in adopting Continental styles such as the La Tène style of Celtic art:
 



Earliest Iron Age;   800-600 BC; Parallel to Hallstatt C on the continent
 
Early Iron Age: 600-400 BC:  Hallstat D and half of La Tène I
 
Middle Iron Age: 400-100 BC: The rest of La Tène I, all of II and half of III
 
Late Iron Age: 100-50 BC:The rest of La Tène III
 
Latest Iron Age:50 BC - AD 100

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Iron_Age


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Bren123 on April 22, 2012, 03:23:08 PM
I agree with Alan. I read about this a few days ago and thought it no great revelation. I think we've known for quite some time that Celtic languages and culture in Britain and Ireland predate Hallstatt and La Tene.

There's no evidence for that!

Sure there is. Irish Celtic is the arguably older Q-Celtic, and it got to Ireland somehow.

Irish language, culture, and laws contain a number of archaic Indo-European characteristics that suggest it arrived there very early, certainly before Hallstatt and La Tene.

We know that there are Beaker influences in Britain and Ireland that predate Hallstatt and La Tene, and a number of scholars have suggested that early Celtic could have been carried by Beaker Folk.

Ireland and Iberia missed out on the change to P-Celtic that the Continent and Britain experienced.

All of that is not absolute proof, but it is evidence.

It seems likely that Celtic languages were spoken throughout much of western Europe well before Hallstatt and La Tene developed as continental artistic styles.

I wouldn't argue with any of that my problem is with the dating of the arrival of the celtic language in Ireland and Britain!


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: authun on April 22, 2012, 03:23:45 PM
The article talks of 'the Celtic Race'. I don't think anyone has thought of the Celtic speakers as a single ethnic group for two or three decades now. The article asks the question, Ireland has no Halstatt, why do we speak a Celtic language? This kind of thing is not unusual for no one part of the 'celtic world' enjoys a comprehensive array of celtic cultural indicators. They all miss either this or that. Ultimately, the problem is a misconception of what is meant by celtic. A single race or ethinc group or even religious or lingusitic group is highly unlikely.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: rms2 on April 22, 2012, 03:25:14 PM
This is according to Wikipedia:
 
. . .  but it should be noted that British artefacts were much later in adopting Continental styles such as the La Tène style of Celtic art . . .

Right. Long after they had started speaking Celtic languages. The point is that Celtic is not synonymous with either Hallstatt or La Tene. They came later.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: rms2 on April 22, 2012, 03:28:31 PM
I agree with Alan. I read about this a few days ago and thought it no great revelation. I think we've known for quite some time that Celtic languages and culture in Britain and Ireland predate Hallstatt and La Tene.

There's no evidence for that!

Sure there is. Irish Celtic is the arguably older Q-Celtic, and it got to Ireland somehow.

Irish language, culture, and laws contain a number of archaic Indo-European characteristics that suggest it arrived there very early, certainly before Hallstatt and La Tene.

We know that there are Beaker influences in Britain and Ireland that predate Hallstatt and La Tene, and a number of scholars have suggested that early Celtic could have been carried by Beaker Folk.

Ireland and Iberia missed out on the change to P-Celtic that the Continent and Britain experienced.

All of that is not absolute proof, but it is evidence.

It seems likely that Celtic languages were spoken throughout much of western Europe well before Hallstatt and La Tene developed as continental artistic styles.

I wouldn't argue with any of that my problem is with the dating of the arrival of the celtic language in Ireland and Britain!

You posted the article that is the topic of this thread.

So, when and how do you think Celtic language got to Ireland?


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Bren123 on April 22, 2012, 03:29:52 PM
The article talks of 'the Celtic Race'. I don't think anyone has thought of the Celtic speakers as a single ethnic group for two or three decades now. The article asks the question, Ireland has no Halstatt, why do we speak a Celtic language? This kind of thing is not unusual for no one part of the 'celtic world' enjoys a comprehensive array of celtic cultural indicators. They all miss either this or that. Ultimately, the problem is a misconception of what is meant by celtic. A single race or ethinc group or even religious or lingusitic group is highly unlikely.

This celtic race fad has been made worse by geneitcs! When I think of Celts I'm thinking solely of a linguistic/cultural phenomenon!


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Bren123 on April 22, 2012, 03:30:48 PM
I agree with Alan. I read about this a few days ago and thought it no great revelation. I think we've known for quite some time that Celtic languages and culture in Britain and Ireland predate Hallstatt and La Tene.

There's no evidence for that!

Sure there is. Irish Celtic is the arguably older Q-Celtic, and it got to Ireland somehow.

Irish language, culture, and laws contain a number of archaic Indo-European characteristics that suggest it arrived there very early, certainly before Hallstatt and La Tene.

We know that there are Beaker influences in Britain and Ireland that predate Hallstatt and La Tene, and a number of scholars have suggested that early Celtic could have been carried by Beaker Folk.

Ireland and Iberia missed out on the change to P-Celtic that the Continent and Britain experienced.

All of that is not absolute proof, but it is evidence.

It seems likely that Celtic languages were spoken throughout much of western Europe well before Hallstatt and La Tene developed as continental artistic styles.

I wouldn't argue with any of that my problem is with the dating of the arrival of the celtic language in Ireland and Britain!

You posted the article that is the topic of this thread.

So, when and how do you think Celtic language got to Ireland?

Late Bronze age!


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: alan trowel hands. on April 22, 2012, 03:42:48 PM
I agree with Alan. I read about this a few days ago and thought it no great revelation. I think we've known for quite some time that Celtic languages and culture in Britain and Ireland predate Hallstatt and La Tene.

 The Celtic Ossismi tribe (whose name is Celtic) in NW France seem to be mentioned in Pytheas in the 4th century BC (when very little La Tene material or classic burials are known in the area) and apparently also in the Ora Maritima which is thought to originate in the 6th century BC.  That also implies the Celticity of at least that part of Gaul probably owes nothing to La Tene.  As far as I recall that area was also very marginal in Hallstatt terms.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: rms2 on April 22, 2012, 03:44:09 PM


You posted the article that is the topic of this thread.

So, when and how do you think Celtic language got to Ireland?

Late Bronze age!


So, who was responsible?


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: alan trowel hands. on April 22, 2012, 03:50:28 PM
I agree with Alan. I read about this a few days ago and thought it no great revelation. I think we've known for quite some time that Celtic languages and culture in Britain and Ireland predate Hallstatt and La Tene.

There's no evidence for that!

Well the Ora Maritima mentions the Celtic names of a NW French tribe, Ireland and Britain in pre-La Tene times and there basically not any Hallstatt D material (the period in which the Ora Maritima was apparently originally written or at least draws on) in Ireland despite tons of material in the preceding Bronze Age.  


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: alan trowel hands. on April 22, 2012, 05:38:42 PM
I think the idea of Celts 'arriving' in the main Celtic speaking block of Europe west of the Rhine and north of the Alps is a misnomer.  Indo-European speakers probably arrived and Celtic simply developed as a dialect in the Bronze Age out of that in parallel through all the interacting groups in what was later Celtic speaking Europe.  It is only the spread of Celtic outside this zone into eastern Europe and Italy that requires migration to explain.  I think the initial beaker network probably involved some IE dialect not yet split into languages like Celtic - it was far too widespread to be just one language.  IMO Celtic probably developed in the period 2000-1200BC when the big beaker network broke down into smaller networks.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Bren123 on April 22, 2012, 06:44:55 PM
I think the idea of Celts 'arriving' in the main Celtic speaking block of Europe west of the Rhine and north of the Alps is a misnomer.  Indo-European speakers probably arrived and Celtic simply developed as a dialect in the Bronze Age out of that in parallel through all the interacting groups in what was later Celtic speaking Europe.  It is only the spread of Celtic outside this zone into eastern Europe and Italy that requires migration to explain.  I think the initial beaker network probably involved some IE dialect not yet split into languages like Celtic - it was far too widespread to be just one language.  IMO Celtic probably developed in the period 2000-1200BC when the big beaker network broke down into smaller networks.


Did the atlantic bronze age network have a direct connection to central Europe?


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Bren123 on April 22, 2012, 07:21:15 PM
There's no evidence for that!

If you mean that there is nothing in writing from the period - that's true. Hence all the arguments! It is a process of deduction that Celtic languages arrived in the British Isles with metallurgy. There just isn't enough evidence of Iron Age migration into Ireland to make that period likely.  The Copper Age is when we see a new culture arrive over the whole of the British Isles.

At one time it was argued by archaeologists that the Beaker folk were a continuum of the Neolithic which in turn was from the Mesolithic etc.Also placing the celtic languages that far back into the Beaker period is a bit of a stretch,the late Bronze age is certainly plausible.There's no garantee that the Beaker folk were speaking the Proto Indo-European language never mind Celtic!


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: alan trowel hands. on April 22, 2012, 07:30:40 PM
I think the idea of Celts 'arriving' in the main Celtic speaking block of Europe west of the Rhine and north of the Alps is a misnomer.  Indo-European speakers probably arrived and Celtic simply developed as a dialect in the Bronze Age out of that in parallel through all the interacting groups in what was later Celtic speaking Europe.  It is only the spread of Celtic outside this zone into eastern Europe and Italy that requires migration to explain.  I think the initial beaker network probably involved some IE dialect not yet split into languages like Celtic - it was far too widespread to be just one language.  IMO Celtic probably developed in the period 2000-1200BC when the big beaker network broke down into smaller networks.


Did the atlantic bronze age network have a direct connection to central Europe?

I can see why you are asking that.  Any model for Celtic has to explain the indication of Celtic languages in the west as early as 7th century BC as well as Celts in central Europe from the 6th century BC.  I think the problem may be that people are focussing on 2 periods - the beaker period of c. 2500BC and the Atlantic Bronze period of over 1000 years late.  In fact in between these there was the early Bronze Age and in that period the Wessex (and other isles cultures), the Armorican dagger culture and the Unetice culture of central Europe were in close contact.  So, it may have been that period c. 2000-1500BC when Celtic developed and linked north Atlantic and central Europe.  


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Bren123 on April 22, 2012, 07:40:01 PM
I think the idea of Celts 'arriving' in the main Celtic speaking block of Europe west of the Rhine and north of the Alps is a misnomer.  Indo-European speakers probably arrived and Celtic simply developed as a dialect in the Bronze Age out of that in parallel through all the interacting groups in what was later Celtic speaking Europe.  It is only the spread of Celtic outside this zone into eastern Europe and Italy that requires migration to explain.  I think the initial beaker network probably involved some IE dialect not yet split into languages like Celtic - it was far too widespread to be just one language.  IMO Celtic probably developed in the period 2000-1200BC when the big beaker network broke down into smaller networks.


Did the atlantic bronze age network have a direct connection to central Europe?

I can see why you are asking that.  Any model for Celtic has to explain the indication of Celtic languages in the west as early as 7th century BC as well as Celts in central Europe from the 6th century BC.  I think the problem may be that people are focussing on 2 periods - the beaker period of c. 2500BC and the Atlantic Bronze period of over 1000 years late.  In fact in between these there was the early Bronze Age and in that period the Wessex (and other isles cultures), the Armorican dagger culture and the Unetice culture of central Europe were in close contact.  So, it may have been that period c. 2000-1500BC when Celtic developed and linked north Atlantic and central Europe.  

Circa 1500BCE for Proto-Celtic is much more respectable,IMHO!


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: authun on April 23, 2012, 04:48:01 AM
This celtic race fad has been made worse by geneitcs! When I think of Celts I'm thinking solely of a linguistic/cultural phenomenon!

Linguistically, some of the ancient celtic languages are quite different, eg. Lepontic and Noric and some have had their 'celticity' questioned, eg. Celt-Iberian and there are claims that some non-celtic languages, eg Tartessian, are in fact, Celtic. It's not a homogeneous language by any means. Culturally, the picture is the same with , for example, La Tene being absent in some parts, eg. south west Ireland. In the UK, we have the Brigantes in the north showing a good deal of continuity with the bronze age but their neighbours, the Parisii apparantly appearing on the scene around 450BC with an entirely different culture, one which in some respects is much more 'celtic'.

Finally, as far as we know, neither the romans nor greeks ever referred to the inhabitants of these islands as either keltoi or galatae and, again as far as we know, neither did the people of britain or ireland ever refer to themselves as such. The article is written assuming that everyone understands what is meant by celtic and then points out the disparities. However, many things can be thrown in the pot and called celtic, and they are not always the same.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: authun on April 23, 2012, 04:52:58 AM
Did the atlantic bronze age network have a direct connection to central Europe?

The Nebra Sky disk contains gold and tin from Cornwall according to the most recent analysis.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Jean M on April 23, 2012, 06:30:14 AM
At one time it was argued by archaeologists that the Beaker folk were a continuum of the Neolithic which in turn was from the Mesolithic etc.

Yes indeed. Archaeology is only just emerging (very gradually) from decades of anti-migrationism, starting in the 1960s. Burgess and Shennan 1976 took that view to Bell Beaker, despite the anthropological evidence that Beaker people looked very different from the Neolithic people who preceded them in the British Isles, had different burial customs, etc. Now that we have isotope evidence in Britain and on the Continent that Bell Beaker people had come from afar, some rethinking is going on.  


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Bren123 on April 23, 2012, 11:29:11 AM
Quote from: authun
Linguistically, some of the ancient celtic languages are quite different, eg. Lepontic and Noric and some have had their 'celticity' questioned, eg. Celt-Iberian and there are claims that some non-celtic languages, eg Tartessian, are in fact, Celtic. It's not a homogeneous language by any

Neither are the modern celtic languages

Quote from: authun
a as far as we know, neither the romans nor greeks ever referred to the inhabitants of these islands as either keltoi or galatae and, again as far as we know, neither did the people of britain or ireland

Neither did they refer to themselves has Britons either.This argument is silly and trivai! This has already been discussed.l


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Bren123 on April 23, 2012, 11:38:22 AM
Did the atlantic bronze age network have a direct connection to central Europe?

The Nebra Sky disk contains gold and tin from Cornwall according to the most recent analysis.

Where was it found?


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Jean M on April 23, 2012, 11:59:56 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nebra_sky_disk



Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: authun on April 23, 2012, 12:21:23 PM
Neither are the modern celtic languages

They are however recognisably similar and also similar to Gaulish whereas some of the other continental celtic languages are so very different, that some linguists have questioned whether they should belong to the celtic corpus.


Neither did they refer to themselves has Britons either.

We probably do get the name from the Britons, or at least some of them. At the time of Herodotus, Great Britain was known as the Cassiterides, or Tin Islands. Pytheas of Masallia however wrote in the 4th century BC that the inhabitants themselves referred to it as Πρέττανοι or Prettanike, the source of welsh Prydain and goidelic Cruithne. The roman term Britanni comes from Pretanni.


This argument is silly and trivai! This has already been discussed.

John Koch, http://www.wales.ac.uk/en/CentreforAdvancedWelshCelticStudies/StaffPages/JohnKoch.aspx thinks it may be significant. Perhaps you can inform us why you think he is in error on this? He also cites Cunliffe on this matter by the way. I wouldn't consider myself qualified enough to dismiss it so lightly.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: A.D. on April 23, 2012, 12:24:44 PM
Didn't Cornwall have a massive tin industry. I think it was suggested that they may have exported more to the continent than local areas.  


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: authun on April 23, 2012, 12:35:19 PM
Didn't Cornwall have a massive tin industry. I think it was suggested that they may have exported more to the continent than local areas.  

Cornwall was one of the few sources of tin in europe as can be seen on the map in this paper, Sources of Tin and the Beginnings of Bronze Metallurgy, http://www.aditnow.co.uk/documents/personal-album-272/Sources-of-Tin-and-the-Beginnings-of-Bronze-Metallurgy.pdf (http://www.aditnow.co.uk/documents/personal-album-272/Sources-of-Tin-and-the-Beginnings-of-Bronze-Metallurgy.pdf)

The puzzle about the Nebra disk is that the tin appears to come from Cornwall whereas the Erzegebirge, where the disk was found, is one of the other few sources. It may well be that the areas where tin could be extracted had political connections, in order to control supply, rather than being completely independant. Alternatively, it may be that knowledge of metalurgy was so limited that only a handful of people knew how to exploit it.

The Greek world already knew of Cassiterides from peoples such as the Phoenicians so what you write above is very probably true. We can't quantify the size of the operation but it was obviously big enough for people to talk about it in the Med.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Jean M on April 23, 2012, 01:27:41 PM
John Koch, http://www.wales.ac.uk/en/CentreforAdvancedWelshCelticStudies/StaffPages/JohnKoch.aspx thinks it may be significant.

I would not say that what Celtic-speakers chose to call themselves is insignificant. But we need to ask the right questions about it. We have chosen to identify various peoples as Celtic on the basis of their language, just as we identify other peoples as Germanic, and yet others as Slavic on the same grounds. In all cases these names were selected because at some point in time some of the speakers of said languages identified themselves or were so identified by others in this way. There is a connection. But to expect the peoples of the past to consistently identify themselves in the way that we have chosen to identify them is to misunderstand the relationship between past and present, and the nature of self-identification.

English is the common language of the United States of America, but its inhabitants most emphatically do not identify themselves as English. By the Roman period Celtica had come to be synonymous with Gaul. Some British tribes might have been reasonably happy to be identified as Gauls - those most recently arrived from Gaul. They were happy enough to be labelled Belgae. As for those who were viewed as indigenous at the time of the Roman conquest - they would probably have thought the Romans mad to call them Celts i.e. Gauls, though Caesar thought them similar to Gauls, "who call themselves Celts in their own language". They were the British - the painted people - or the Brigantes or the Parisi or whatever. There is no point in people all over Western Europe  having the  same name for themselves.





Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: authun on April 23, 2012, 02:03:28 PM
I would not say that what Celtic-speakers chose to call themselves is insignificant. But we need to ask the right questions about it. We have chosen to identify various peoples as Celtic on the basis of their language, just as we identify other peoples as Germanic, and yet others as Slavic on the same grounds.

Koch makes the point that neither the Greeks nor the Romans used the term Keltoi or Galatae to describe the Britons, terms which were, as you point out, used to describe other groups. It is not so much that the Britons didn't use it. However, he only states that it might be significant. He doesn't say that it is.

The Germanic speakers used such terms, Walhs, Wends etc but only to describe those speaking a different language along the linguistic borders. Whilst we have Walhs in Belgium, in the Alps and in Britain, the Yrum and Scottas are beyond the Walhs. It may be as simple as that, once across the border, once into Walh speaking territory, then group names, rather than lingusitic names, were used.

There is no point in people all over Western Europe  having the  same name for themselves.

Again, its the reason why romans and greeks used the terms, not the people themselves.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Jean M on April 23, 2012, 03:35:44 PM
. It may be as simple as that, once across the border, once into Walh speaking territory, then group names, rather than linguistic names, were used.

That I think is certainly part of the story. I wish it were that simple though!  What people call themselves will vary over time as well as geography, and migration muddies the waters. I cover the confusion over the Celts in Identifying the Celts (http://www.buildinghistory.org/distantpast/bellbeaker.shtml#Identifying). I too make the distinction between internal and external identification.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Bren123 on April 23, 2012, 04:06:56 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nebra_sky_disk



Thanks!


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Bren123 on April 23, 2012, 04:12:58 PM
John Koch, http://www.wales.ac.uk/en/CentreforAdvancedWelshCelticStudies/StaffPages/JohnKoch.aspx thinks it may be significant.

I would not say that what Celtic-speakers chose to call themselves is insignificant. But we need to ask the right questions about it. We have chosen to identify various peoples as Celtic on the basis of their language, just as we identify other peoples as Germanic, and yet others as Slavic on the same grounds. In all cases these names were selected because at some point in time some of the speakers of said languages identified themselves or were so identified by others in this way. There is a connection. But to expect the peoples of the past to consistently identify themselves in the way that we have chosen to identify them is to misunderstand the relationship between past and present, and the nature of self-identification.

English is the common language of the United States of America, but its inhabitants most emphatically do not identify themselves as English. By the Roman period Celtica had come to be synonymous with Gaul. Some British tribes might have been reasonably happy to be identified as Gauls - those most recently arrived from Gaul. They were happy enough to be labelled Belgae. As for those who were viewed as indigenous at the time of the Roman conquest - they would probably have thought the Romans mad to call them Celts i.e. Gauls, though Caesar thought them similar to Gauls, "who call themselves Celts in their own language". They were the British - the painted people - or the Brigantes or the Parisi or whatever. There is no point in people all over Western Europe  having the  same name for themselves.





Tacitus also mentions the similarity of the Britons to the Gauls!
Tacitus on the Origin and Character of the Britons

Forming a general judgment, however, it is credible that the Gauls seized the neighbouring island. One sees here their sacred rites and their religious beliefs; even the speech does not differ much; there is the same boldness in seeking dangers, and the same shrinking from meeting them when they are present. The Britons show more savageness, as those not yet civilized by a long-continued peace. We have been given to understand that the Gauls, too, were formerly conspicuous for their fighting; sluggishness, however, entered with ease, and bravery was lost together with liberty. The same thing has happened to those of the Britons who were formerly conquered, while the rest remain as the Gauls were.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: authun on April 23, 2012, 04:33:22 PM
Tacitus also mentions the similarity of the Britons to the Gauls!
Tacitus on the Origin and Character of the Britons

Yes,  don't think anyone here disputes that celtic languages were spoken in Britain at the time of Tacitus. Before that Caesar writes in Gallic Wars about what is both known and unknown about Britain and about the cooperation between the two. He is a primary source for our knowledge of druids, something which appears to be peculiar to Britain and Gaul. At least, I am not aware of druids existing in other celtic speaking areas.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: alan trowel hands. on April 23, 2012, 06:24:16 PM
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. 


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: rms2 on April 23, 2012, 06:32:29 PM
The following is something I posted awhile back on another thread, but I think it bears repeating.

Classical authors sometimes referred to the inhabitants of the British Isles in the context of discussing the Celts, where the clear implication is that they also regarded them as members of that same ethnos.

For example, in writing about the Celts, both Diodorus and Strabo quote Poseidonius as follows:

"The women [of the Celts] are as large as the men and as brave. They are mostly very fair-headed when they are born. The tribes of the north are extremely ferocious. The Irish and the British are cannibals. They used to be known as Cimmerioi; now they are called Cimbroi. They captured Rome and plundered Delphi and ended by dominating a great part of Europe and Asia. They mixed easily with the Greeks and this section of them became known as the Gallograeci or Hellenogalatai." (Dio. 5.32-3; Str. 4.43, as quoted in David Rankin's Celts and the Classical World, p. 78.)

Parthenius of Apamea (1st century BC) related the Greek myth of the origin of the Celts as descendants of "Keltos", the son of Heracles by "Keltine", the daughter of King "Bretannos". Interesting choice of name for that king, if classical authors regarded the inhabitants of the British Isles as something other than Celtic.

Much of what we know about the Celts is due to what has been preserved in medieval Irish and Welsh stories and legal codes, literature that scholars believe passes down an oral tradition of much greater antiquity. That literature matches very well what many of the classical Greek and Roman authors had to say about the Celts of the Continent.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Richard Rocca on April 23, 2012, 07:45:41 PM
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. 

I agree completely Alan. The Italics came into being in the same way - the Greeks encountered a southern tribe that called themselves the "Itali" and the rest is history.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: A.D. on April 23, 2012, 08:54:47 PM
In Irish the word 'Gael' means to have the 'Gaelge' (Irish language) as far as I know this is as ancient as the language itself. I think there is a connection between the German Teute (as in Teutonic) and the Irish word Tuatha (the h is silent and softens the t) and means people. The Teutons and the Cimbri are recorded as German tribes by the Romans. Cimbri has connected to the Welsh Cymru (?) thought to mean something like 'brothers in arms'. The 'Teu' in Teutonic has been suggested as   coming from Tue the Germanic god of war amongst other things. These sound more like descriptions that could be applied loosely not as names proper. There has been a lot of talk about  Tribal names being linked to places. So if  'the valley people' moved up the mountain are they still called 'the valley people'? 


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: authun on April 24, 2012, 04:55:22 AM
In Irish the word 'Gael' means to have the 'Gaelge' (Irish language) as far as I know this is as ancient as the language itself.

It is, but Gaeilge is Early Modern Irish derived from Middle Irish Gaoidhealg itself from Old Irish Goídelc. From this root we get:

Irish: Gaeilge
Manx: Gaelg
Scottish Gaelic: Gàidhlig

Some authors make the claim that Gaeilge is related to latin Gallus, the roman term for a Gaul, but it is a misnomer as it would have to be Goídelc that would have to be related to Gallus, being the older form and no linguist has established this.


I think there is a connection between the German Teute (as in Teutonic) and the Irish word Tuatha (the h is silent and softens the t) and means people.

Yes it is a root proto indo european word, *teuta, with many cognates, Old Irish túath, populus, Welsh tud, country, nation, Cornish tus, Breton tud, Gaulish Tout-, Teuto-: *toutâ, people; Latin Umbr. toto, state, Oscan túvtú, populus, Latin tôtus, all; Gothic þiuda, people, Teutonic, Deutsch, German, Dutch; Lettic táuta, people, Old Prussian tauto, land.

On their own, many germanic and celtic words, particularly names, can be hard to tell apart etymologically, eg. the german name Theoderic, ruler of the people and Tudor, from welsh Theodore, from Greek Theodoros via latin Theodorus meaning a gift from God. Some authors, such as Jones, have claimed that welsh Tudur, from Tewdrig, 6th cent. king of Glywysing, is the same as Theoderic but it seems that it was Gregory of Tours who interpreted the name Theoderic, as in the Goth Theoderic the Great, as having the same meaning as Greek Theodoros. Hence welsh took that meaning rather than the sense of ruler of the people as interpreted by Jones.



Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: authun on April 24, 2012, 06:14:09 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.

The term Keltoi may refer to a tribe but may also be an etic term describing a type of culture. Its etymology is uncertain.

We first hear about the Keltoi from Herodotus who recalls Hectateus' account that they lived at the head of the river Ister, which from its description is probably the Danube, near the city of Pyrene, which is not located but which is described as being beyong the Pillars of Heracles. He says that the Keltoi live next to the Kynesians.


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.

Not whether they called themselves Celts but whether the Greeks or Romans called them Celts.

You have written above:

"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."

If what you say is true, why wasn't the term applied to the inhabitants of Britain? It is probably true only some of the time and in some instances where it is applied, it may have also been wrongly applied.

Koch writes that our 'notions of the Celts might be more seriously defective'. If the Greeks took the name of the Iberian Célticos and applied the term to all speakers of a similar language, why did they not do the same in Britain? We have the same etymological difficulties with the Gauls. The Gala in Galatia has the same root as Gaul but Galicia in central europe may or may not contain the Gala root. It may be derived from Lithuanian Galas, end or peak in reference to the Carpathians. In Iberia, Galicia may be a reference to Gaul but may also be a reference to the celtic root cala, having the sense of a watercourse. As with the term Keltoi, the etymology of Gala is uncertain. One proposed etymology even suggests that it means no more than neighbour and does not tell us anything about that neighbour.

Koch is referring to our 'notions of the Celts'. He is not denying their existence. Rather he thinks the tendency to say, this group must be called celtic because ... and this group cannot be called celtic because ... may be flawed. Without knowing why a group has a gala or kelt element in it, his point is valid. We simply end up with puzzling histories. Bren123 has already pointed out that Tacitus describes the language of the Britons as being similar to that of the Gauls but Tacitus also describes the language of the Aestyan nations who dwell "upon the right of the Suevian Sea" who have "the same customs and attire with the Suevians" as having a language that "more resembles that of Britain". Would we conclude from this statement that the people who gave their name to Estonia were Celts?


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Bren123 on April 24, 2012, 11:14:42 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,  

This may be the case for the Britons as well;Pytheus met a tribe which called themselves Πρεττανοί (Prettanoi), Priteni, Pritani;this name was then extended to whole inhabitants of the Island(larger)!


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Bren123 on April 24, 2012, 11:28:16 AM
Bren123 has already pointed out that Tacitus describes the language of the Britons as being similar to that of the Gauls but Tacitus also describes the language of the Aestyan nations who dwell "upon the right of the Suevian Sea" who have "the same customs and attire with the Suevians" as having a language that "more resembles that of Britain". Would we conclude from this statement that the people who gave their name to Estonia were Celts?


There's a difference because when Tacitus mentions the similarities between the Gauls and the Britons,it isn't just the language he's comparing!


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: authun on April 24, 2012, 12:08:11 PM
There's a difference because when Tacitus mentions the similarities between the Gauls and the Britons,it isn't just the language he's comparing!

That's right whereas the Aestyans are described as having the same attire and religion as the Suevians.

However, Caesar states that, "by tradition" the Britons as "were born in the island itself" and that "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," (Gallic Wars V Ch 12). He goes on to explain that the maritime regions differ from the inland regions, "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." So, according to Ceasar, who is silent on the language of those who live in the interior, the similarity with Gauls is limited to the maritime regions.

This makes sense if one thinks of celtic speakers spreading from europe into Britain and Ireland, but tells us nothing of the inhabitants of the interior and of course it doesn't tell us when these events are supposed to have happened. If the Parisii of the Arras Culture are anything to go by, this tribe, who share the same name with a tribe in Gaul, it was in the 5th cent. BC. But, this contrasts with their neighbours the Brigantes, who share their name with a tribe in Ireland. The Brigantes of the north of England show much continuity with the bronze age. Although, by the time of Tacitus, they are thought to have been Celtic speaking, we don't know if they spoke a pre celtic language at the time of the bronze age. This area contains many river names which do not appear to have either celtic or germanic roots.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Jdean on April 24, 2012, 01:17:32 PM

The term Keltoi may refer to a tribe but may also be an etic term describing a type of culture. Its etymology is uncertain.

We first hear about the Keltoi from Herodotus who recalls Hectateus' account that they lived at the head of the river Ister, which from its description is probably the Danube, near the city of Pyrene, which is not located but which is described as being beyong the Pillars of Heracles. He says that the Keltoi live next to the Kynesians.


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.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Jean M on April 24, 2012, 01:41:23 PM
Quote from: authun link=topic=10552.msg129845#msg129845

The Brigantes of the north of England show much continuity with the bronze age. Although, by the time of Tacitus, they are thought to have been Celtic speaking ..

Naturally, since they have a Celtic name. As do the other tribes of the British Isles by the time we have tribal names. We can push that back to the earliest known names of the British Isles both collectively and individually which takes us back centuries before the Roman Conquest. But the crucial evidence for the argument that the Celts arrived in the Bell Beaker period is that this culture spread all over both islands and that there was cultural continuity thereafter. The same cannot be said for the Iron Age.

River names with non-IE roots could date back to the Neolithic. I'd love some examples if you have them to hand. Do you mean http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_European_hydronymy ? Seems heavily contested.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: authun on April 24, 2012, 02:49:09 PM
Naturally, since they have a Celtic name. As do the other tribes of the British Isles by the time we have tribal names.

Not so fast :-) Jackson lists 38 personal and tribal names in the north of the British Isles, 16 of which he claimed were clearly or probably celtic and 22 which he describes as 'not certainly celtic at all'. There is room for manouvre on your 'as do the other tribes'. Katheryn Forsyth takes Jackson to task on his 22 in Language in Pictland.

6 of Jackson's tribes are Creones, Caereni, Caledonii, Vacomagi, Veneciones and Taexali. The nature of Forsythe's argument is that the pre brythonic language of Britain was Pretenic but that Pretenic was a celtic type language. Here she disagrees with Jackson who simply makes the claim, 'not certainly celtic'.

The idea of an early lost celtic language being supplanted by brythonic makes a lot of sense to me and would also explain the problems of attempting to see a clear evolutionary path from pretenic to brythonic. The latter may not have evolved from the former. It may be a later import.

Also, the etymology of names like the Brigantes and Epidii are contentious. The Brigantes may simply mean dwellers of northern hills and be entirely etic. We have no idea if it is what they called themselves. Worshipers of Brigantia is only suggestion.

River names with non-IE roots could date back to the Neolithic. I'd love some examples if you have them to hand. Do you mean http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_European_hydronymy ? Seems heavily contested.

That's really a different subject and is quite involved. I've only ever looked at the distribution of *apa placenames as far as that is concerned. No, the list I refer to is in Cameron's English Place Names which I don't have to hand. From memory though it places hydronyms like the Colne in the pre celtic list. Others included, Tees, recently moved off the celtic list, Tyne, Clun, Hodder, Tame also recently removed off the celtic list but still disputed. Don and Ouse you will probably know about and the disputes too.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: authun on April 24, 2012, 03:07:18 PM
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.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Bren123 on April 24, 2012, 03:44:33 PM
Quote from: authun
This makes sense if one thinks of celtic speakers spreading from europe into Britain and Ireland, but tells us nothing of the inhabitants of the interior and of course it doesn't tell us when these events are supposed to have happened. If the Parisii of the Arras Culture are anything to go by, this tribe, who share the same name with a tribe in Gaul, it was in the 5th cent. BC. But, this contrasts with their neighbours the Brigantes, who share their name with a tribe in Ireland. The Brigantes of the north of England show much continuity with the bronze age. Although, by the time of Tacitus, they are thought to have been Celtic speaking, we don't know if they spoke a pre celtic language at the time of the bronze age. This area contains many river names which do not appear to have either celtic or germanic roots.



Which is what I was trying to say that  they weren't speaking a Celtic language in the Bronze age,well,ar least not in Northern Britain.
As for the tribal nmae itself;
This from Wikipedia:

-while another probably Celtic tribe named Brigantii is mentioned by Strabo as a sub-tribe of the Vindelici in the region of the Alps

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brigantes


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Bren123 on April 24, 2012, 04:00:52 PM
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.

Just because the modern Welsh word is dŵr for water doesn't mean that Brythonic didn't have alt words for water.The modern welsh word for fish is pysgod but that is a Latin borrowing,the Brythonic word was Eskos/Iskos!


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Jean M on April 24, 2012, 04:09:03 PM
Not so fast :-) Jackson lists 38 personal and tribal names in the north of the British Isles, 16 of which he claimed were clearly or probably celtic and 22 which he describes as 'not certainly celtic at all'. There is room for manouvre on your 'as do the other tribes'. Katheryn Forsyth takes Jackson to task on his 22 in Language in Pictland.

6 of Jackson's tribes are Creones, Caereni, Caledonii, Vacomagi, Veneciones and Taexali. The nature of Forsythe's argument is that the pre brythonic language of Britain was Pretenic but that Pretenic was a celtic type language. Here she disagrees with Jackson who simply makes the claim, 'not certainly celtic'.

The idea of an early lost celtic language being supplanted by brythonic makes a lot of sense to me

Authun I know that you like to periodically revive the old idea of the Picts as some weird and wonderful non-Celtic people to keep debate going, but this lost traction in academia over a decade ago. It was sheer happenstance that created the Picts i.e. the Romans never managed to take the whole of Caledonia. So there was an artificial boundary created between Celtic tribes inside Roman rule and those outside. Previously they were neighbours. There is no reason to suppose that the Romans chose to built either Hadrian's Wall or the Antonine Wall along a linguistic divide.

Place-name evidence in eastern lowland Scotland is of a P-Celtic Brythonic language. I confess to not having read the Forsyth monograph, so it's news to me that she proposed that this Brythonic Pictish replaced an earlier version of Celtic, but that is certainly logical, as P-Celtic is a later development as we all know. None of this makes the smallest difference to the fact that the British Isles were full of Celtic speakers when first encountered by anyone capable of writing things down, and all subsequent evidence tells the same tale.  



Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Bren123 on April 24, 2012, 04:11:57 PM
Quote from: authun link=topic=10552.msg129845#msg129845

The Brigantes of the north of England show much continuity with the bronze age. Although, by the time of Tacitus, they are thought to have been Celtic speaking ..

Naturally, since they have a Celtic name. As do the other tribes of the British Isles by the time we have tribal names. We can push that back to the earliest known names of the British Isles both collectively and individually which takes us back centuries before the Roman Conquest. But the crucial evidence for the argument that the Celts arrived in the Bell Beaker period is that this culture spread all over both islands and that there was cultural continuity thereafter. The same cannot be said for the Iron Age.

River names with non-IE roots could date back to the Neolithic. I'd love some examples if you have them to hand. Do you mean http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_European_hydronymy ? Seems heavily contested.


According to Wikipedia the origins of the Beaker culture are in Iberia; "The earliest form of Bell Beaker called the Maritime Bell Beaker probably originated in the vibrant copper-using communities of the Tagus estuary in Portugal around 2800 - 2700 BC and spread from there to many parts of western Europe.[2][7] An overview of all available sources from southern Germany concluded that the Bell Beaker Culture was a new and independent culture in that area, contemporary with the Corded Ware Culture.[8] This conclusion was supported by a review of radiocarbon dates for Bell Beaker across Europe, which showed that the earliest dates for Bell Beaker were 2900 BC in Iberia".  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beaker_culture#Origin

Since Indo-European entered Europe from the East it is highly unlikely that they were speaking Proto Indo-European never mind Proto Celtic!


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Jean M on April 24, 2012, 04:18:47 PM
According to Wikipedia the origins of the Beaker culture are in Iberia ... Since Indo-European entered Europe from the East it is highly unlikely that they were speaking Proto Indo-European never mind Proto Celtic!

This is very confusing at first glance certainly. In fact a lot of people seem to stay confused after I explain it to them. :) But it is quite simple really. IE-speakers went to Iberia taking copper-working skills. In Iberia they turned to making Bell Beaker pottery. The pottery is not as important as the trail that they left all the way from the Pontic Steppe to Iberia in anthropomorphoc stelae and copper working.

See Beaker Folk to Celts and Italics (http://www.buildinghistory.org/distantpast/bellbeaker.shtml)


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Bren123 on April 24, 2012, 04:25:06 PM
Not so fast :-) Jackson lists 38 personal and tribal names in the north of the British Isles, 16 of which he claimed were clearly or probably celtic and 22 which he describes as 'not certainly celtic at all'. There is room for manouvre on your 'as do the other tribes'. Katheryn Forsyth takes Jackson to task on his 22 in Language in Pictland.

6 of Jackson's tribes are Creones, Caereni, Caledonii, Vacomagi, Veneciones and Taexali. The nature of Forsythe's argument is that the pre brythonic language of Britain was Pretenic but that Pretenic was a celtic type language. Here she disagrees with Jackson who simply makes the claim, 'not certainly celtic'.

The idea of an early lost celtic language being supplanted by brythonic makes a lot of sense to me

Authun I know that you like to periodically revive the old idea of the Picts as some weird and wonderful non-Celtic people to keep debate going, but this lost traction in academia over a decade ago. It was sheer happenstance that created the Picts i.e. the Romans never managed to take the whole of Caledonia. So there was an artificial boundary created between Celtic tribes inside Roman rule and those outside. Previously they were neighbours. There is no reason to suppose that the Romans chose to built either Hadrian's Wall or the Antonine Wall along a linguistic divide.

Place-name evidence in eastern lowland Scotland is of a P-Celtic Brythonic language. I confess to not having read the Forsyth monograph, so it's news to me that she proposed that this Brythonic Pictish replaced an earlier version of Celtic, but that is certainly logical, as P-Celtic is a later development as we all know. None of this makes the smallest difference to the fact that the British Isles were full of Celtic speakers when first encountered by anyone capable of writing things down, and all subsequent evidence tells the same tale.  



I thought the Picts were nothing more than an amalgamation of Celtic tribes outside of Roman rule in Northen Britain


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Jean M on April 24, 2012, 04:26:52 PM
I thought the Picts were nothing more than an amalgamation of Celtic tribes outside of Roman rule in Northern Britain

Exactly. The Roman's eye view of that painted lot beyond the wall.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Bren123 on April 24, 2012, 04:29:07 PM
According to Wikipedia the origins of the Beaker culture are in Iberia ... Since Indo-European entered Europe from the East it is highly unlikely that they were speaking Proto Indo-European never mind Proto Celtic!

This is very confusing at first glance certainly. In fact a lot of people seem to stay confused after I explain it to them. :) But it is quite simple really. IE-speakers went to Iberia taking copper-working skills. In Iberia they turned to making Bell Beaker pottery. The pottery is not as important as the trail that they left all the way from the Pontic Steppe to Iberia in anthropomorphoc stelae and copper working.

See Beaker Folk to Celts and Italics (http://www.buildinghistory.org/distantpast/bellbeaker.shtml)

Ok! I can now see where you're coming from,I'll admit there's def a possibility they were speaking a form of  Proto Indo-European but they're extent covered areas which were never Celtic Speaking!


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Bren123 on April 24, 2012, 04:37:36 PM
A question I would like to ask is; what if any evidence is there for migration from the British Isles to the continent,in pre-history?


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Jean M on April 24, 2012, 05:10:44 PM
Ok! I can now see where you're coming from, I'll admit there's def a possibility they were speaking a form of  Proto Indo-European but they're extent covered areas which were never Celtic Speaking!

The Bell Beaker distribution coincides pretty well with regions later Celtic and Italic speaking. The language spoken by people first leaving the IE homeland would of course be PIE or some dialect of same. Some linguists feel that the Celtic and Italic families are so close that they probably had a common ancestor. That ancestor (Proto-Italo-Celtic) was very close to PIE - much closer than IE proto languages which split up much later into families.

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. The culture doesn't seem to have lasted all that long in those places - a couple of centuries maybe. They seem to have been trading/prospecting outposts. How far east of the Elbe Celtic (or an ancestor of same) was ever spoken is a mystery. The expansion of Germani certainly pushed Celtic speakers west across the Rhine.  


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Jean M on April 24, 2012, 05:23:34 PM
A question I would like to ask is; what if any evidence is there for migration from the British Isles to the continent,in pre-history?

Not a lot. The rush to leave for places with a better climate and nick anything worth having (what am I saying!) to educate the rest of the world in the fine game of cricket, golf or hurley (they should be grateful) began in the age of piracy on the high seas (whoops!) of bold adventure and exploration.  


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: authun on April 24, 2012, 05:33:35 PM
Which is what I was trying to say that  they weren't speaking a Celtic language in the Bronze age,well,ar least not in Northern Britain.

May not have been speaking, rather than were not speaking.

This is the point I have made from the outset, our notions of what is and what is not celtic are far from sound. If the language before the brythonic speakers was something other than a pre-brythonic language, lets call it pretentic, we still don't know if it was a pre cursor to celtic or  not.


-while another probably Celtic tribe named Brigantii is mentioned by Strabo

The Brigantii above give their name to Bregenz and we have of course also the Brigantes in Ireland. Brig/briga names are very common in europe and widespread, Auobriga near the mouth of the Mino in Spain, Vindobriga in France, Saliobriga in Germany, Brigetio in Hungary and so on. There are dozens of examples derived directly from this celtic form of the PIE root *bhrgh meaning high. In celtic languages as in germanic languages, it takes on first, the sense of hill and then later, fortified town, ie walled. We get the english word borough from it and in German the suffix burg.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: alan trowel hands. on April 24, 2012, 05:37:39 PM
In Irish the word 'Gael' means to have the 'Gaelge' (Irish language) as far as I know this is as ancient as the language itself. I think there is a connection between the German Teute (as in Teutonic) and the Irish word Tuatha (the h is silent and softens the t) and means people. The Teutons and the Cimbri are recorded as German tribes by the Romans. Cimbri has connected to the Welsh Cymru (?) thought to mean something like 'brothers in arms'. The 'Teu' in Teutonic has been suggested as   coming from Tue the Germanic god of war amongst other things. These sound more like descriptions that could be applied loosely not as names proper. There has been a lot of talk about  Tribal names being linked to places. So if  'the valley people' moved up the mountain are they still called 'the valley people'? 

The word gael and its earlier forms in not a native Irish word.  It is a borrowing from  Welsh Gwyddell.  Its probably no older than the 5th century AD so its vastly younger than the Irish language.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Jean M on April 24, 2012, 05:39:25 PM
A question I would like to ask is; what if any evidence is there for migration from the British Isles to the continent,in pre-history?

Continued ... Of course there was movement within the Roman world and within the Post-Roman Christian world. British slaves were carted off to Rome even before Roman conquered Britain. Christian kings would go on pilgrimages to Rome. Those dedicated to spreading Christianity trotted about. Britons moved to Brittany and Britonia to get away from the Anglo-Saxons.

Before that though movement seems to have been into the Isles more than out.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: alan trowel hands. on April 24, 2012, 05:46:59 PM
Not so fast :-) Jackson lists 38 personal and tribal names in the north of the British Isles, 16 of which he claimed were clearly or probably celtic and 22 which he describes as 'not certainly celtic at all'. There is room for manouvre on your 'as do the other tribes'. Katheryn Forsyth takes Jackson to task on his 22 in Language in Pictland.

6 of Jackson's tribes are Creones, Caereni, Caledonii, Vacomagi, Veneciones and Taexali. The nature of Forsythe's argument is that the pre brythonic language of Britain was Pretenic but that Pretenic was a celtic type language. Here she disagrees with Jackson who simply makes the claim, 'not certainly celtic'.

The idea of an early lost celtic language being supplanted by brythonic makes a lot of sense to me

Authun I know that you like to periodically revive the old idea of the Picts as some weird and wonderful non-Celtic people to keep debate going, but this lost traction in academia over a decade ago. It was sheer happenstance that created the Picts i.e. the Romans never managed to take the whole of Caledonia. So there was an artificial boundary created between Celtic tribes inside Roman rule and those outside. Previously they were neighbours. There is no reason to suppose that the Romans chose to built either Hadrian's Wall or the Antonine Wall along a linguistic divide.

Place-name evidence in eastern lowland Scotland is of a P-Celtic Brythonic language. I confess to not having read the Forsyth monograph, so it's news to me that she proposed that this Brythonic Pictish replaced an earlier version of Celtic, but that is certainly logical, as P-Celtic is a later development as we all know. None of this makes the smallest difference to the fact that the British Isles were full of Celtic speakers when first encountered by anyone capable of writing things down, and all subsequent evidence tells the same tale.  



I agree.  In fact, around 25 years ago the old non-Celtic Picts idea was being dismantled and its been minority to think of the Picts as having a non-Celtic element for around 20 years at least.  The first big blow was struck by A.P Smyth and guys like Leslie Alcock soon followed.  Almost all of Jackson's ideas about the Picts are outmoded today. 


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: alan trowel hands. on April 24, 2012, 05:52:03 PM
I thought the Picts were nothing more than an amalgamation of Celtic tribes outside of Roman rule in Northern Britain

Exactly. The Roman's eye view of that painted lot beyond the wall.

and of course they were described as 'Britons' or by terms like Caledoni which basically used one tribe's name to describe the lot or at least a major block of several tribes.  The term Pict was not used until the Roman's had been around in Britain for ages, just before 300AD.  The term Scot for the Irish also suddenly appeared around then too.  In fact a heck of a lot of these new classical names for peoples appeared around then for confederations of tribes near the borders of the empire.  I dont think they have much real meaning. 


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: authun on April 24, 2012, 05:53:01 PM
Just because the modern Welsh word is dŵr for water doesn't mean that Brythonic didn't have alt words for water.

True, but we have no examples of the brythonic language, it is entirely reconstructed from old welsh. Thus, if it doesn't exist in at least old welsh, we cannot say it existed in brythonic. In Yorkshire for example we have a hill called Pen-y-Ghent. We can reconstruct the 'Pen-y' part, meaning 'Hill of' but Ghent has defied the best attempts. The Oxford dictionary says one thing, the Cambridge dictionary another, and scholars such as Higham and Breeze argue yet different etymologies in papers.


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.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: alan trowel hands. on April 24, 2012, 05:57:01 PM
Ok! I can now see where you're coming from, I'll admit there's def a possibility they were speaking a form of  Proto Indo-European but they're extent covered areas which were never Celtic Speaking!

The Bell Beaker distribution coincides pretty well with regions later Celtic and Italic speaking. The language spoken by people first leaving the IE homeland would of course be PIE or some dialect of same. Some linguists feel that the Celtic and Italic families are so close that they probably had a common ancestor. That ancestor (Proto-Italo-Celtic) was very close to PIE - much closer than IE proto languages which split up much later into families.

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. The culture doesn't seem to have lasted all that long in those places - a couple of centuries maybe. They seem to have been trading/prospecting outposts. How far east of the Elbe Celtic (or an ancestor of same) was ever spoken is a mystery. The expansion of Germani certainly pushed Celtic speakers west across the Rhine.  

I always like Nicolaesan (not sure if thats the right spelling) Placenames of Scotland book in which he discussed an stratum of river names which might relate to the early phase of IE spread when, as you say, something like Proto-Italo-Celtic/early west IE might have been spoken.  He believed many riversnames were of this type.  However, I am not sure about the spread of this strata elsewhere.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Jean M on April 24, 2012, 06:03:36 PM
I always like Nicolaesan (not sure if thats the right spelling) Placenames of Scotland

Thanks! W.F.H. Nicolaisen, Scottish Place-names (2001). I'm very tempted. Just read a bit of the relevant section via Amazon. Have to say that an earlier form of IE does seem more credible than trying to delve back to a Neolithic language. 


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: authun on April 24, 2012, 06:17:47 PM
Authun I know that you like to periodically revive the old idea of the Picts as some weird and wonderful non-Celtic people to keep debate going, but this lost traction in academia over a decade ago.

I wasn't aware that I was advocating that position and am quite happy with the concept of a third more ancient form of celtic language.


Place-name evidence in eastern lowland Scotland is of a P-Celtic Brythonic language.

Yes the Hen Ogledd, the old north, goes as far as the Clyde/Forth line. Upto this point, the toponyms are Brythonic. You can see Bethany Fox's paper 'The P-Celtic Place-Names of North-East England and South-East Scotland' here:

http://www.heroicage.org/issues/10/fox.html

I confess to not having read the Forsyth monograph, so it's news to me that she proposed that this Brythonic Pictish replaced an earlier version of Celtic, but that is certainly logical, as P-Celtic is a later development as we all know.

It's not quite that, ie the use of the term Brythonic Pictish. Kenneth Jackson and Kathryn Forsyth propose an earlier language which they call Pretenic, as opposed to Brittonic. Pretenic is given to us, via Pytheas of Masallia by the Preteni who lived here. Brittonic is the name given to us by the romans, ie later.

Jackson and Forsyth differ inso far as Jackson claims a non celtic element whereas Forsyth thinks that Pretenic can be explained by celtic etymologies but of course, that the overall nature of that celtic language might be different from the pre cursor to welsh, cornish and cumbric.


the fact that the British Isles were full of Celtic speakers when first encountered by anyone capable of writing things down, and all subsequent evidence tells the same tale.

Is that a fact? We have no direct evidence from the celtic speakers. We have no brythonic language. We only have, as you write, what the romans tell us. The same romans who tell us that the Aestii spoke a similar language to the Britons.

And it's not just the Picts. We have the same problem with the Belgae, several tribes of which share similar names with those in Britain and Ireland. I would hazard a guess that these are celtic type languages but I doubt very much that the big five, brythonic, goidelic, celt-iberian, lepontic and gaulish cover them all.



Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Mike Walsh on April 24, 2012, 06:30:36 PM
....
the fact that the British Isles were full of Celtic speakers when first encountered by anyone capable of writing things down, and all subsequent evidence tells the same tale.

Is that a fact? We have no direct evidence from the celtic speakers. We have no brythonic language. We only have, as you write, what the romans tell us. The same romans who tell us that the Aestii spoke a similar language to the Britons.

And it's not just the Picts. We have the same problem with the Belgae, several tribes of which share similar names with those in Britain and Ireland. I would hazard a guess that these are celtic type languages but I doubt very much that the big five, brythonic, goidelic, celt-iberian, lepontic and gaulish cover them all.

I brought this up before.  How certain are we that Britain was 100% Celtic speaking prior to the Roman invasion? 


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: authun on April 24, 2012, 06:34:32 PM
I thought the Picts were nothing more than an amalgamation of Celtic tribes outside of Roman rule in Northen Britain

The people directly beyond the wall are as much Britons as those in the north of England. In fact, they were well connected with Gwynedd in Wales.

The Picts start north of the line from the Firth of Clyde to the Firth of Forth. This is when we start to get into pictish art, brochs and pit names.

Of course, this tells us that they were a bit different but not how different. Contemporary sources such as Bede and Nennius claim that they were different peoples arriving at different times, Nennius claiming that they not the first peoples on these islands but the first of the four peoples at his time of writing, ie Picts, Scots (Irish), Britons and Saxons.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Jean M on April 24, 2012, 06:35:11 PM
I brought this up before.  How certain are we that Britain was 100% Celtic speaking prior to the Roman invasion?  

As certain as it is possible to be. If you want certainty in these matters then you need a linguistic survey carried out by linguists on every single member of the population capable of speech and published in a peer-reviewed journal or by university press.  


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: authun on April 24, 2012, 06:41:33 PM
I brought this up before.  How certain are we that Britain was 100% Celtic speaking prior to the Roman invasion? 

Well you can never be 100% certain but we don't have any evidence of another language save for some toponyms which we cannot explain by celtic etymologies. Unfortunately, these toponyms provide no dates so we have no real idea of when these languages or when this language became extinct. At some point celtic languages entered Britain and replaced whatever was here. How long it hung on is anyone's guess. Linguists cannot even agree on whether it was indo european or not.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: alan trowel hands. on April 24, 2012, 06:49:59 PM
I always like Nicolaesan (not sure if thats the right spelling) Placenames of Scotland

Thanks! W.F.H. Nicolaisen, Scottish Place-names (2001). I'm very tempted. Just read a bit of the relevant section via Amazon. Have to say that an earlier form of IE does seem more credible than trying to delve back to a Neolithic language. 

Its a brilliant book.  I imagine that the date 2001 is a reprint because the book is about decades old.  I think I got a copy in the mid 80s (think it was written in the late 70s).  Another even older book on the same subject but with a lot more historical stuff in W.J. Watson's book on the Celtic placenames of Scotland.
 http://www.amazon.co.uk/Celtic-Place-names-Scotland-W-J-Watson/dp/1906566356

Its one of those rare books that really has 90% stood the test of time (written in the 1920s). 


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: alan trowel hands. on April 24, 2012, 07:01:36 PM
....
the fact that the British Isles were full of Celtic speakers when first encountered by anyone capable of writing things down, and all subsequent evidence tells the same tale.

Is that a fact? We have no direct evidence from the celtic speakers. We have no brythonic language. We only have, as you write, what the romans tell us. The same romans who tell us that the Aestii spoke a similar language to the Britons.

And it's not just the Picts. We have the same problem with the Belgae, several tribes of which share similar names with those in Britain and Ireland. I would hazard a guess that these are celtic type languages but I doubt very much that the big five, brythonic, goidelic, celt-iberian, lepontic and gaulish cover them all.

I brought this up before.  How certain are we that Britain was 100% Celtic speaking prior to the Roman invasion? 

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.  Also the most recent study of Celtic placenames classical sources by Patrick Sims-Williams) shows that contra-Oppenheimer etc the east of Britain was certainly Celtic in the earliest records.  This study essentially confirmed the main block of Celtic was Gaul, north and west Iberia, the isles, north Italy and a narrow tail heading east along the Danube as far as Turkey.  Interestingly the study spots one weird outlier tribe whose name appears to be a version of Tectosages I think somewhere well along the silk route.   

http://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Ancient_Celtic_place_names_in_Europe_and.html?id=pwRmQgAACAAJ


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Jean M on April 24, 2012, 07:12:11 PM
@ Alan - Yes I need that book too. Just bought both 2nd-hand on Amazon.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: authun 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?


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Jean M 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 (http://www.buildinghistory.org/distantpast/celticscothighlands.shtml). 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.  


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Jean M 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.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: authun 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?


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Bren123 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!


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Bren123 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?


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: A.D. 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).


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Bren123 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?


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: authun 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.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Jean M 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 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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  (http://www.amazon.com/Italo-Celtic-Prehistoric-Development-Language-Indo-European/dp/9042021772)(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.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Jdean 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 (http://www.kmatthews.org.uk/arthuriana/severn.html)

which sounds quite informed


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: authun 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 (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.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Jean M 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. 


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Jdean 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 :)


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Bren123 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 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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  (http://www.amazon.com/Italo-Celtic-Prehistoric-Development-Language-Indo-European/dp/9042021772)(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!


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Bren123 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).


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: authun 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.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Bren123 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)


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: razyn 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


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Jdean 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 :)


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Bren123 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


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Jean M 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 (http://classics.mit.edu/Caesar/gallic.5.5.html):

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.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: authun on April 25, 2012, 01:22:16 PM
Sort of, but not exactly.  All this stuff is online folks. Gallic Wars, book V (http://classics.mit.edu/Caesar/gallic.5.5.html):

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.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Jean M 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.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: A.D. on April 25, 2012, 02:01:10 PM
There is from Ireland, the Tuatha De Dannan often translated as people of 'Danu' who in turn has been associated with the moon, the Scottish 'Paps of Anu' even a Hittite deity. I think we can be confident that she predates the 'Celts'. Similarly Brigid is of particular interest she became a christian saint in Ireland has her own feast day and is associated with a cross more a kin to a swastika. The kids still make them at school out of reeds. She is obviously of significant importance. She is also a fertility goddess so I'm wondering if there is any connection with the Bronze-age collapse? If famine was involved it's good to have a fertility goddess on side. I think JeanM posted that Northern Britain may have suffered a similar decline. Possibly to a lesser extent. The British Brigantes were far more numerous the the Irish tribe of the same name. Could these peoples be the descendants of survivors  of  the Bronze-age collapse carrying fragments of their culture into the Iron-age. It has been said that there were no such thing as island Celts (except for the Belgae and Parisi ) but a reconstruction of the collapsed Bronze-age society with cultural and technological in put from the continent. Maybe this has to do with the Q/P split. It does have a plausibility. I kind of feel if this is the case we could be talking about 'Bronze-age Celts'.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Jean M on April 25, 2012, 02:32:57 PM
.. the Tuatha De Dannan often translated as people of 'Danu'... I think we can be confident that she predates the 'Celts'.

Why? I wouldn't be confident of that at all.  

Quote
Similarly Brigid..  associated with a cross more a kin to a swastika.... She is also a fertility goddess so I'm wondering if there is any connection with the Bronze-age collapse?

The swastika was a sun-symbol used by the Indo-Europeans. It is a common symbol found in too many places to be seen as exclusively Indo-European, but I would guess that in this case it's safe enough to see it as Celtic. Fertility goddesses or cults are common across the world. People might get even more keen on them than usual during famine, but they would be part of the pantheon anyway.  

Quote
It has been said that there were no such thing as island Celts (except for the Belgae and Parisi )

Yes but that is just the line Simon James peddled with gusto, based on the "nobody called them Celts" argument which I never bought for a second.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Jdean on April 25, 2012, 03:47:31 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.

Which isn't the best :)


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: authun on April 25, 2012, 05:51:15 PM
Dānu is a Hindu goddess, mother of the Danavas, embodied in the waters; *danu- is a PIE root meaning river found in many european countries, Don, Dnieper, Dniester, Danube, Rhone (Rhodanus).

Irish danu is derived from proto celtic danona, which would probably be connected if we could go back in time but, as it is, it is not quite the same. HOwever, it is interesting to note that the proto celtic danona is a reconsruction based on many names of matrones, many of which are associated with rivers, though not in this case.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: alan trowel hands. on April 25, 2012, 07:40:09 PM
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 (http://www.kmatthews.org.uk/arthuriana/severn.html)

which sounds quite informed


There is also the Strabo observation:

The men of Britain are taller than the Celti, and not so yellow-haired, although their bodies are of looser build. The following is an indication of their size: I myself, in Rome, saw mere lads towering as much as half a foot above the tallest people in the city


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: A.D. on April 25, 2012, 08:35:51 PM
JeanM by 'Celts' I was referring to La Tane/Hallstatt peoples. If we are talking about Celts linguistically Danu probably came with them or any earlier wave of peoples and similar language and religion. I also think that assimilation or transformation of deities happened so a single deity might appear differently in different places. Different aspects of  maybe given in one place than another. e.g The Poseidon type (please take this comparison very loosely) deity god of horses and earthquakes and the sea. I don't think that the ea5rthquake bit was as important in Ireland.   


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Jean M on April 26, 2012, 06:44:17 AM
@ A.D. I have always defined a Celt as a person speaking a Celtic language. We get into a lot of difficulties otherwise, so this is a pretty standard definition these days.

While it is possible that the Celts absorbed into their pantheon deities worshipped by Neolithic peoples in various places where they settled, it is liable to be difficult to prove this if the said deities were given Celtic names or their attributes simply attached to an existing Celtic deity (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celtic_polytheism). The whole subject is so complex that I tend to leave it alone, I must confess. I am no expert!

I see that there was a PBS programme on religion in ancient Ireland (http://www.pbs.org/wnet/ancientireland/religion.html) which referred to the climate change:

Quote
By 2000 B.C., stone circles were built in Ireland and elsewhere in Europe. A population concerned with birth and fertility, the Irish included movements of the sun in their religious monuments. The circles were temples for a solar religion. In 1159 B.C., there are indications that the weather got much worse and the gods and goddesses of water, in streams and lakes, took on greater importance. Material possessions, animals, and even people were sacrificed, probably to appease these gods.

      


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Jean M on April 26, 2012, 06:55:17 AM
I always like Nicolaesan (not sure if thats the right spelling) Placenames of Scotland

Thanks! W.F.H. Nicolaisen, Scottish Place-names (2001). I'm very tempted. Just read a bit of the relevant section via Amazon. Have to say that an earlier form of IE does seem more credible than trying to delve back to a Neolithic language. 

Its a brilliant book.  I imagine that the date 2001 is a reprint because the book is about decades old. 

No there was a 2nd edition in 2001, taking in all the new material published since the 1st edition in 1976. My copy has arrived. :) 


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: razyn on April 26, 2012, 09:52:49 AM
I was surprised to see in his Wikipedia entry that Dr. Nicolaisen seems to be still with us.  I used to see him at American Folklore Society meetings, though we had rather different specialties and didn't hang out together.  He was born in 1927, so simple math would suggest he's not working on revisions now -- but with productive guys like him, one really never knows.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: authun on April 26, 2012, 10:30:11 AM
but with productive guys like him, one really never knows.

2008 he's still contributing, here a paper to Nomina, http://www.snsbi.org.uk/PUBS/AllNomina.html (http://www.snsbi.org.uk/PUBS/AllNomina.html)

Plus, when you get a classic such as his, or Cameron's book on english place names from 1961, many smaller publications subsequently provide extra data but on smaller areas, eg Crowley's Place Names of Arran. It becomes simpler to update the classic than recompile everything and start a new book.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Jean M on April 26, 2012, 10:33:25 AM
He is still an honorary Research Fellow in the Department of English at Aberdeen University (http://www.abdn.ac.uk/elphinstone/staff/details.php?id=w.nicolaisen).


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: A.D. on April 26, 2012, 03:05:42 PM
There a longstanding theory that Ireland (and I would think Britain too) was settled in part(s) by people of North African/Middle Eastern origin. These people are linked to the Formorians in Irish mythology. I think this is based on the Physical  appearance in the main but there is also the deities in particular Balor who is linked to the Phoenician Baal. The month of May in Irish Baltine is composed Baal and tine = fire. I don't know if there is a continental equivalent. I know people say there is but that should be treated with caution as a lot of what is considered Celtic is made to fit the Irish legends winch may not be entirely Celtic.  I've often questioned whether the Celtic 'priesthood' influences retained from the Neolithic Priesthood. The Germans had similar deities but seem far closer to Eurasian Shamanism.           


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Dubhthach on April 26, 2012, 03:27:02 PM
Beltaine isn't connected to Balor, it's connected to solar deity Bel who is pan-Celtic (Belenus in Gaulish). Given that Beltaine is the beginning of Summer in Ireland (to this day our seasons begin on the Celtic feast days) and it's associated with purification of animals -- such as driving of cattle between two bonfires to purify them etc.

The Formorians some suggested basically fill the role of "Titans" eg. Elder gods that were replaced. There is often a lunar aspect to them. For example Elatha the father of Bres the beautiful (half formorian/half Tuatha Dé) has lunar deity type imagery associated with him.

The Tuatha Dé often have a solar aspect. For example Lugh is often equated with the sun (and thus Apollo in greek pantheon). Likewise Mac Gréine one of the three brothers who were kings when the sons of Míl arrived literally means "son of the Sun"

Regarding physical appearance well Elatha was  in the story was  as was his son the tyranical Bres whose kingship was overthrown by the Tuatha Dé ( he took after his father!) when Nuadha regained his whole (by the attachment of a Silver arm). This of course is what led to second battle of Maigh Tuireadh and the fullifilment of the prophecy that Balor would be killed by his own grandson -- Lugh.


Title: Re: History proved wrong - Castle debate says ‘nay’ to Celts
Post by: Bren123 on May 01, 2012, 09:42:01 PM
There a longstanding theory that Ireland (and I would think Britain too) was settled in part(s) by people of North African/Middle Eastern origin. These people are linked to the Formorians in Irish mythology. I think this is based on the Physical  appearance in the main but there is also the deities in particular Balor who is linked to the Phoenician Baal. The month of May in Irish Baltine is composed Baal and tine = fire. I don't know if there is a continental equivalent. I know people say there is but that should be treated with caution as a lot of what is considered Celtic is made to fit the Irish legends winch may not be entirely Celtic.  I've often questioned whether the Celtic 'priesthood' influences retained from the Neolithic Priesthood. The Germans had similar deities but seem far closer to Eurasian Shamanism.           

Baal actually means lord!