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Jean M
08-02-2015, 03:22 PM
I am in the process of updating my online material on Celtic Tribes of the British Isles http://www.ancestraljourneys.org/celtictribes.shtml

So I would be grateful for another pair of eyes to pick up my typos, point out exciting discoveries that I've missed and generally give it the usual Anthrongenica work-over. :)

J1 DYS388=13
08-02-2015, 05:14 PM
deleted

Kwheaton
08-02-2015, 05:17 PM
Jean,

Jean,
These may not be corrections...just what stuck out for me. Looks very good!

Here's one that may be grammaticly correct but I want it to read "have."

and its subclades, which has

Poured (American spelling perhpas pored is correct in the UK)

appear.6 Clues to some of these changes are scattered around in place-names and pedigrees, coins and commentaries, itineraries and inscriptions. Memoirs, annals and legends have been pored

Capitalize Ogham? (there are a couple of other times this appears.

ogham inscriptions of the 5th and 6th centuries AD. Its spread into Scotland cannot be much earlier than this.13
Kelly

J1 DYS388=13
08-02-2015, 05:22 PM
deleted

Jean M
08-02-2015, 05:53 PM
Regarding the etymology of the tribal name Dobunni, who lived in the area where you live, Stephen J. Yeates in A Dreaming for the Witches, Oxbow Books 2009, pp. 162-3, makes a plausible case that the name refers to the cauldron which was the symbol of the tribe's mother goddess. That would explain why the Saxons called the tribe the Hwicce (sacred vessel). Hwicce became witch in English, but of course the Dobunni were not witches.

I have not read the book, but you can see some sceptical reviews here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tribe_of_Witches
Della Hooke (author of The Anglo-Saxon landscape: the kingdom of the Hwicce) thinks this particular idea is fantasy.

I go along with Patrizia de Bernardo Stempel, Linguistically Celtic ethnonyms: towards a classification, In Juan Luis Garcia Alonso (ed.), Celtic and Other Languages in Ancient Europe, pp. 101-118. Ediciones Universidad Salamanca 2008. She classes both Dobunni and Dumnonii as meaning "The Lowland People". I say that in the introduction, and should add that etymology to the specific tribal names.

Jean M
08-02-2015, 06:00 PM
Jean, These may not be corrections...just what stuck out for me. Looks very good!


Thank you Kelly. Will fix the "has" by taking out "and subclades".

Pour = to flow or cause to flow in a stream
Pore = look at earnestly; be absorbed in studying.


Capitalize Ogham?

I have an urge to capitalise the word, but my dictionary and my editor say not. :)

Jean M
08-02-2015, 06:05 PM
Anybody want to tackle Celtic Tribes of Ireland? http://www.ancestraljourneys.org/celtictribesireland.shtml

I have shuffled some material over there from the introduction.

Agamemnon
08-02-2015, 09:13 PM
No mention of U152? :P Personally, I think the Iceni might've had sizeable R1b-U152 frequencies.

Jean M
08-02-2015, 09:35 PM
No mention of U152?

There is some cautious speculation on U152 in the book. I want to avoid too much duplication between book and online material. The latter should be supplementary. A full list of tribes from Ptolemy is the kind of thing to dip into for reference from time to time. It would be boring as a book, but it is handy to have ready when a particular tribe is mentioned.

Grossvater
08-03-2015, 02:00 AM
Anybody want to tackle Celtic Tribes of Ireland? http://www.ancestraljourneys.org/celtictribesireland.shtml

I have shuffled some material over there from the introduction.

Interesting material...only one typo I see...first paragraph, 4th sentence...

"Goldsmiths flourished in Bronze Age Ireland, leaving a wealth of jewellery and other art work."

To my eye, it should be spelled "jewelry."

David Mc
08-03-2015, 02:24 AM
Interesting material...only one typo I see...first paragraph, 4th sentence...

"Goldsmiths flourished in Bronze Age Ireland, leaving a wealth of jewellery and other art work."

To my eye, it should be spelled "jewelry."

"Jewellery" is the British spelling.

Jean M
08-03-2015, 11:17 AM
Interesting material...only one typo I see...first paragraph, 4th sentence...

"Goldsmiths flourished in Bronze Age Ireland, leaving a wealth of jewellery and other art work."

To my eye, it should be spelled "jewelry."

My publisher, Thames and Hudson, has one foot in the UK and the other in the US, so their house style includes the American spelling of a few words, one of which is jewelry/ jewellery. So you will see jewelry on p. 50 of Ancestral Journeys (2013) or p. 51 of the paperback, wherever you bought it from. But I'm free to stick to UK spelling on my own website.

Thank you anyway. :)

Grossvater
08-03-2015, 01:14 PM
My publisher, Thames and Hudson, has one foot in the UK and the other in the US, so their house style includes the American spelling of a few words, one of which is jewelry/ jewellery. So you will see jewelry on p. 50 of Ancestral Journeys (2013) or p. 51 of the paperback, wherever you bought it from. But I'm free to stick to UK spelling on my own website.

Thank you anyway. :)

The thought had crossed my mind that might be a British spelling along with "labour" and "centre" but I wasn't sure. Glad to learn this. One of my pet peeves is to see it spelled or pronounced "Jewlery." Aaargh!

ADW_1981
08-03-2015, 01:30 PM
"Jewellery" is the British spelling.

Yes, it's the real, correct spelling. Just like there is no language called "American", it's called English.

rms2
08-03-2015, 01:37 PM
Yes, it's the real, correct spelling. Just like there is no language called "American", it's called English.

Yes, it is called English, and one of the problems with it is its spelling, as any person trying to learn it will gladly tell you. Who decides what the "correct" spelling of this or that word is?

Sometime in the late 1940s (1948 maybe?) the Dutch revised the spelling of their language to render it more phonetic and sensible. I wish the Anglophone world (the largest portion of which is outside of the British Isles) would do the same somehow.

Gray Fox
08-03-2015, 02:11 PM
The thought had crossed my mind that might be a British spelling along with "labour" and "centre" but I wasn't sure. Glad to learn this. One of my pet peeves is to see it spelled or pronounced "Jewlery." Aaargh!

Guess you'd hate it here (Kentucky). Our Appalachian speech prevents us from properly (:rolleyes:) pronouncing them thar fancy words :P

rms2
08-03-2015, 02:52 PM
Guess you'd hate it here (Kentucky). Our Appalachian speech prevents us from properly (:rolleyes:) pronouncing them thar fancy words :P

Same here in Virginia, and we don't wear much joolree, neither! ;)

(Unless you count gold teeth.)

Gray Fox
08-03-2015, 03:01 PM
Same here in Virginia, and we don't wear much joolree, neither! ;)

(Unless you count gold teeth.)

They'd love how we pronounce Oil! Hard to type it, but I guess it would go something like this.. Uhl.. That's a pretty quick identifier.

authun
08-03-2015, 03:27 PM
Any mention of the Gabrantovices Jean? They were to the north of the Parisii around Flamborough Head and in the Great Wolds Valley. There is mention of a place on the coast called Gabrantovikon.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabrantovices

They may have also held the large hill fort at the top of Sutton Bank, based on the ancient trackways. It connects with the east, but not with the Brigantes to the west.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/1630905.stm

dsherry
08-03-2015, 04:05 PM
The word "some" appears twice in a row in a sentence in this section.


Domnann: the Fir Domnann (Fir = people) appear in Irish legend as among the invaders of Ireland. They were probably related to the Dumnonii of south-west Britain and what is now the western Scottish Lowlands. The name is based on the Celtic root dumno-, meaning both deep and the world. The name occurs in Inber Domnann (Malahide Bay, Co. Dublin), and more frequently in north-west Mayo as Iorrais Domnann (Erris, Co. Mayo) and the nearby Mag Domnann and Dun Domnann. An early Irish poem describes one of their leaders as the over-king of Leinster.15 At Ballydavis in County Laois (within Leinster), some some 4km north-east of Portlaoise, an extensive Iron Age complex has been discovered, which bears comparison with the Celtic royal cemeteries of Cruachain and Tara. An unusual cylindrical tinned bronze box (image in the online report) from the site is similar to one from the chariot burial of a woman at Wetwang Slack, Yorkshire.16 This does not necessarily imply a relationship, but does suggest contacts between north Britain and Ireland during the Late Iron Age.

Grossvater
08-03-2015, 04:46 PM
Guess you'd hate it here (Kentucky). Our Appalachian speech prevents us from properly (:rolleyes:) pronouncing them thar fancy words :P

Now Sam, I don't feel that way at all! My wife's dad's kin come from Salyersville, Magoffin County, Kentucky and are great folks! I don't judge a person by their accent. In fact, I enjoy different forms of the English language. Its just that one word...OK, maybe there's some more...like "irregardless," and pronouncing the "g" in "poignant" that bugs the teacher in me. I don't know how you are, but I am VERY impressionable when I get around others who speak differently than I. Here where I live, the Indian people I deal with have a distinctive way of speaking English and I have picked it up unconsciously, so I'm sure some would think I was "ignernt." If I was around Kentucky folks much, I'd pick up the local lingo in short order. But I still wouldn't say "joo-ler-y." Call me a word Nazi if you want to!

Sorry, Jean. This has nothing to do with your book.

Grossvater
08-03-2015, 04:49 PM
They'd love how we pronounce Oil! Hard to type it, but I guess it would go something like this.. Uhl.. That's a pretty quick identifier.

I have a friend from Western Virginia who pronounces "oil" as OH-WUL.

Jean M
08-03-2015, 04:50 PM
The word "some" appears twice in a row in a sentence in this section.

Thank you! Well spotted. Fixed.

Jean M
08-03-2015, 04:52 PM
Any mention of the Gabrantovices Jean? They were to the north of the Parisii around Flamborough Head and in the Great Wolds Valley. There is mention of a place on the coast called Gabrantovikon.

Yes they are listed in Celtic tribes of Northern England http://www.ancestraljourneys.org/celticnengland.shtml

Here's what I say:



Ptolemy gives a place-name Gabrantuicorum Bay, meaning "bay of the Gabrantovices", with coordinates which identify it as the present Bridlington Bay. Place-names can linger long after the people they commemorate depart. This appears to be an instance, for the Arras Culture linked to the Parisii extends over the region west of Bridlington Bay, suggesting that the Parisii succeeded the Gabrantovices. The tribal name may mean "goat-fighters".

Jean M
08-03-2015, 04:58 PM
I've just worked over Belgic tribes of South-Eastern England and their neighbours http://www.ancestraljourneys.org/belgicengland.shtml to make matters a bit clearer (I hope). I'm wondering whether to add a map of the archaeological culture I mention (Aylesford-Swarling).

MikeWhalen
08-03-2015, 07:02 PM
as I am often slow on the pick up, I often find maps to be a huge help visualizing/understanding things

so my biased vote is, where a map might fit, put it in

Mike

Jean M
08-03-2015, 07:59 PM
I often find maps to be a huge help visualizing/understanding things

so my biased vote is, where a map might fit, put it in

Done. It will be a bit of a squeeze on small screens, but I agree with you.

Kopfjäger
08-04-2015, 01:52 AM
Same here in Virginia, and we don't wear much joolree, neither! ;)

(Unless you count gold teeth.)

Don'cha ferget the Mossberg, boy.

JohnHowellsTyrfro
08-04-2015, 07:08 AM
"According to Diodorus Siculus:

The Gauls are tall of body with rippling muscles and white of skin and their hair is blond, and not only naturally so for they also make it their practice by artificial means to increase the distinguishing colour which nature has given it. For they are always washing their hair in limewater and they pull it back from the forehead to the nape of the neck, with the result that their appearance is like that of Satyrs and Pans since the treatment of their hair makes it so heavy and coarse that it differs in no respect from the mane of horses. Some of them shave the beard but others let it grow a little; and the nobles shave their cheeks but they let the moustache grow until it covers the mouth."

Jean M
08-04-2015, 10:13 AM
"According to Diodorus Siculus:

Yes I know. That's one of the quotations in my forthcoming book, Blood of the Celts. The online material is supplementary.

rms2
08-04-2015, 02:07 PM
"According to Diodorus Siculus:

The Gauls are tall of body with rippling muscles and white of skin and their hair is blond, and not only naturally so for they also make it their practice by artificial means to increase the distinguishing colour which nature has given it. For they are always washing their hair in limewater and they pull it back from the forehead to the nape of the neck, with the result that their appearance is like that of Satyrs and Pans since the treatment of their hair makes it so heavy and coarse that it differs in no respect from the mane of horses. Some of them shave the beard but others let it grow a little; and the nobles shave their cheeks but they let the moustache grow until it covers the mouth."

Here's one from Strabo's Geography, Book IV, Chapter V:



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, although they were bandy-legged and presented no fair lines anywhere else in their figure. Their habits are in part like those of the Celti, but in part more simple and barbaric — so much so that, on account of their inexperience, some of them, although well supplied with milk, make no cheese; and they have no experience in gardening or other agricultural pursuits. And they have powerful chieftains in their country. For the purposes of war they use chariots for the most part, just as some of the Celti do. The forests are their cities; for they fence in a spacious circular enclosure with trees which they have felled, and in that enclosure make huts for themselves and also pen up their cattle — not, however, with the purpose of staying a long time. Their weather is more rainy than snowy; and on the days of clear sky fog prevails so long a time that throughout a whole day the sun is to be seen for only three or four hours round about midday.

Jean probably has that one in her book, too.

Jean M
08-04-2015, 05:22 PM
Here's one from Strabo's Geography, Book IV, Chapter V: ...Jean probably has that one in her book, too.

Not in Blood of the Celts. There is a snippet from it in Ancestral Journeys:


Strabo marvels that mere lads from milk-drinking Britain were half a foot taller than the tallest people in Rome.

Jean M
08-04-2015, 07:31 PM
I've found a handy paper, new to me, for Ptolemy's place-names in Scotland: Christian Marx, Rectification of position data of Scotland in Ptolemy's Geographike Hyphegesis, http://www.maneyonline.com/doi/abs/10.1179/1752270613Y.0000000085

which he has helpfully put online free: http://www.researchgate.net/publication/261172117_Rectification_of_position_data_of_Scotla nd_in_Ptolemy%27s_Geographike_Hyphegesis

JohnHowellsTyrfro
08-04-2015, 07:40 PM
I wonder whether being "bandy-legged" might relate to a deficiency in the diet, like rickets, although it seems it didn't stop them growing tall. These physical descriptions don't seem consistent with the supposedly short, stocky and dark Welsh celtic type or the brittunculi, "wretched little Britons". :) John

Jean M
08-04-2015, 08:00 PM
I wonder whether being "bandy-legged" might relate to a deficiency in the diet, like rickets, although it seems it didn't stop them growing tall. These physical descriptions don't seem consistent with the supposedly short, stocky and dark Welsh celtic type or the brittunculi, "wretched little Britons". :) John

It's all relative. The milk-fed "Barbarians", whether Celt or Germani, were taller than most of the citizens of Rome at the time, for the latter had a more restricted diet with less protein. (Meat was mainly for the rich in Rome.) Romans would get an impression of whichever Celtic people they happened to personally come across and then generalize it to an entire people, who were no doubt as varied as people are today in reality. Poor people had a more restricted diet than rich people, whether in Rome or in the wilds beyond its frontiers. But milk was a fairly cheap form of protein for those who had suitable pastures i.e. not city folk and preferably in places with more rain than Rome.

razyn
08-04-2015, 08:46 PM
The milk-fed "Barbarians", whether Celt or Germani, were taller than most of the citizens of Rome at the time, for the latter had a more restricted diet with less protein.

And calcium, lack of which I think is what really restricted bone growth among Romans and others who had to skimp on milk as kids. We have Japanese friends of the usual size (born somewhat before 1950), whose children were born in Switzerland and mostly raised in Virginia, and are all tall as adults. Japanese traditional diet had lots of protein, but not much calcium. Can't milk a fish.

JohnHowellsTyrfro
08-04-2015, 09:03 PM
I agree that these descriptions are a generalisation. Bow legs can also be caused, I understand, from spending a lot of time on horseback from a young age. John

moesan
08-04-2015, 09:08 PM
diet doesn't explain everything, there is genetic heredity too, whatever groups of people are always heterogenous, even in different ways. We know social classes and way of life effects but it's not all. the Roman gentry was surely not so badly feed but they were smaller than Celts and Germanics (these last ones, with a diet surely close enough to the Celts ones, were taller than the Celtsas a rule, even than the tallest... Every source of explanation is useful, no need of disciplinary religion (genetics, politics/Socilogy, mesology...).

rms2
08-04-2015, 11:12 PM
I wonder whether being "bandy-legged" might relate to a deficiency in the diet, like rickets, although it seems it didn't stop them growing tall. These physical descriptions don't seem consistent with the supposedly short, stocky and dark Welsh celtic type or the brittunculi, "wretched little Britons". :) John

Still, Strabo says the Britons were tall. I know he was Irish, but the bog body known as Croghan Man (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Croghan_Man) was 6 foot 6 (1.98 m).

GoldenHind
08-05-2015, 12:19 AM
From Strabo's comment, it sounds like the weather in Britain hasn't changed much in the last millennium. Three or four hours of sunshine a day seems to be largely limited to high summer, if in fact there really is a summer there. I think it was Byron who said the winter in Britain starts on September 1 and ends on August 31. A few years ago I finally came to the conclusion that when Shakespeare wrote "Shall I compare three to a summer's day?" he must have meant it as an insult!

rms2
08-05-2015, 12:30 AM
When we were in Wales during the first week of July, the weather was pretty nice, although we did get a little bit of rain here and there. On the day we drove over the Brecon Beacons to the town of Brecon, two men were killed by lightning on Pen y Fan (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/lightning-strike-on-pen-y-fan-in-brecon-beacons-leaves-two-men-with-lifethreatening-injuries-10367198.html). We were passed by the screaming ambulances, but at the time we did not know what was going on.

alan
08-05-2015, 12:39 AM
Here's one from Strabo's Geography, Book IV, Chapter V:



Jean probably has that one in her book, too.

I think most people from the isles well recognise the ring of truth and the description of individuals who are lanky but not very athletically proportioned individuals. Probably pasty white impossible to tan people too and not the sorts you would see doing Mr Universe parades. Generally speaking a lot of tall people in the isles also tend to be skinny too rather than hulk type builds. Seems to be shorter individuals who have broader stronger builds - almost like you either get height or a strong build but rarely both. I think Strabo probably means this when he says tall and loose limbed then goes on to take that comically further. If you think about it there is no real need to be super strong in the upper body to do pastoralism (strong legs and stamina would be more important) whereas arable dominate toil probably does promote a stockier build. In general I think most isles people will have a wry smile at just how much Strabo's description even down to the weather rings true.

rms2
08-05-2015, 12:50 AM
I think most people from the isles well recognise the ring of truth and the description of individuals who are lanky but not very athletically proportioned individuals. Probably pasty white impossible to tan people too and not the sorts you would see doing Mr Universe parades. Generally speaking a lot of tall people in the isles also tend to be skinny too rather than hulk type builds. Seems to be shorter individuals who have broader stronger builds - almost like you either get height or a strong build but rarely both. I think Strabo probably means this when he says tall and loose limbed then goes on to take that comically further. If you think about it there is no real need to be super strong in the upper body to do pastoralism (strong legs and stamina would be more important) whereas arable dominate toil probably does promote a stockier build. In general I think most isles people will have a wry smile at just how much Strabo's description even down to the weather rings true.

It seems likely that the various tribes of the Isles differed from each other somewhat in physical appearance, as Tacitus says they did in his Agricola, Book 1, Paragraph 11:




11. Who were the original inhabitants of Britain, whether they were indigenous or foreign, is, as usual among barbarians, little known. Their physical characteristics are various, and from these conclusions may be drawn. 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. But a general survey inclines me to believe that the Gauls established themselves in an island so near to them. Their religious belief may be traced in the strongly-marked British superstition. The language differs but little; there is the same boldness in challenging danger, and, when it is near, the same timidity in shrinking from it. The Britons, however, exhibit more spirit, as being a people whom a long peace has not yet enervated.

Of course, Tacitus never said of any of the Britons that they were short.

alan
08-05-2015, 01:10 AM
It seems likely that the various tribes of the Isles differed from each other somewhat in physical appearance, as Tacitus says they did in his Agricola, Book 1, Paragraph 11:



Of course, Tacitus never said of any of the Britons that they were short.

some one mentioned the Roman 'wretched little Britons' phrase but certainly in my experience the term little or wee is today used in a derogatory terms (usually followed by an expletive) with no consistent correlation to a person's height.

Of course we do know that all the talk of giants is relative and many Vikings when dug up are found to actually have been about 5ft 8 not 6ft 5 as many imagine them.

ADW_1981
08-05-2015, 01:19 AM
When I think Briton, I am reminded of actors like Andrew Lincoln or GOT star Kit Harrington. Something tells me these guys look the same as they did 2500 years ago. Might be just a hunch though.

alan
08-05-2015, 01:23 AM
It seems likely that the various tribes of the Isles differed from each other somewhat in physical appearance, as Tacitus says they did in his Agricola, Book 1, Paragraph 11:



Of course, Tacitus never said of any of the Britons that they were short.

Interestingly if you read Geraldus (Gerald of Wales)- who wrote a generally very derogatory history of the Norman invasion of Ireland from a Norman perspective - one of the few positive things he credits the native Irish with is that they were taller, more athletically built and healthier than the Normans, even calling them giants at one stage. Of course in reality they were probably barely average modern height- probably less - but it does kind of tally with the incredibly low doors in Norman castles. I once absolutely brained myself on one of them when I tried to walk through a doorway of an early 13th century Irish Norman castle that must have only been about 5ft 6 high at most and got whacked in the middle of the forehead by the lintel!

JohnHowellsTyrfro
08-05-2015, 05:29 AM
The weather in the UK is very variable and this Summer has been particularly poor but it makes the country what it is. If you don't like the weather wait a day or two and you will have something different. :). For the most part the people, like the weather are very varied. :)
My knowledge of things historical and particularly genetics is limited. If the celts partly originated in Germany and given the descriptions mentioned regarding physical appearance, I wouldn't be surprised myself if the genetics of celtic tribes was quite diverse. I suppose we will have to await further research for confirmation.

avalon
08-05-2015, 08:19 AM
When I think Briton, I am reminded of actors like Andrew Lincoln or GOT star Kit Harrington. Something tells me these guys look the same as they did 2500 years ago. Might be just a hunch though.

From my own experience, for what it's worth, Brits and Irish are generally a bit darker haired than other Northern Europeans such as Dutch, Scandinavians, Danes, Poles, etc.

Another thing I've noticed, and I could be completely imagining it, is that everywhere in the British Isles farmers are often stocky.

authun
08-05-2015, 08:19 AM
some one mentioned the Roman 'wretched little Britons' phrase but certainly in my experience the term little or wee is today used in a derogatory terms (usually followed by an expletive) with no consistent correlation to a person's height.

It is meant as a critical remark, not a physical description. Nasty little Brit is a polite translation. More accurately, it means something more like British arseholes, culi being the plural of culus, buttocks.

Regarding height, Strabo wrote:

"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, although they were bandy-legged and presented no fair lines anywhere else in their figure. Their habits are in part like those of the Celti, but in part more simple and barbaric— so much so that, on account of their inexperience, some of them, although well supplied with milk, make no cheese; and they have no experience in gardening or other agricultural pursuits. And they have powerful chieftains in their country" (IV.5.2).

Jean M
08-05-2015, 09:32 AM
For the most part the people, like the weather are very varied. :)

Indeed. I realise that many people on this forum are fascinated by what people look like, but there really is no standard British Isles person, churned out on a conveyor belt by the thousand to look exactly alike. Average height in Europe has varied hugely over the centuries, as shown here: http://www.ancestraljourneys.org/looks.shtml#Height As I say there:


It has long been observed that tall people tend to have tall children, but is the explanation genes or lifestyle? Scientists have managed to disentangle the two by twin studies. Identical twins reared in different households tend to be similar in height, but not absolutely identical. About 80 percent of the difference in height between individuals within a population is determined by genetic factors, and scientists are close to pinning down exactly which genes are involved. The rest of the variation can be explained mainly by nutrition. Yet these figures apply to twins brought up in the same era and generally within the same country, so their diet is unlikely to be dramatically different. What happened when people shifted from hunting to farming? It meant a huge change in diet from one heavy on meat to one heavy on cereals. Archaeologists in Europe can see the result in the human skeletons they find. The early farmers were shorter and slighter than their hunting forebears. Contributory factors may have been higher fertility and early weaning among the settled farmers. Later dairy farming created a cheap and regular source of protein in milk, raising average heights among pastoralists.

The Celtic tribes of the British Isles were not 100% pastoralist. Their economy varied by terrain. Wheat was grown and indeed exported from Britain before the Roman conquest, along with cattle, hides, iron, slaves and hunting dogs, according to Strabo. Ireland was noted for its pasture. Pomponius Mela described the climate of Ireland as hideous for ripening seeds but so luxuriant with grass - not only abundant but sweet - that the sheep stuff themselves in a fraction of the day, and unless they are kept from the pasture, they burst from feeding too long.

Not everyone was a farmer or herder. Some people were artisans, for example metal-workers. Some trades tend to encourage muscle-development; others less so. Chariots were in use and some people must have been building them. Likewise some people must have been breeding and training horses. We may guess that the Epidii were known for that.

avalon
08-05-2015, 09:58 AM
Interestingly if you read Geraldus (Gerald of Wales)- who wrote a generally very derogatory history of the Norman invasion of Ireland from a Norman perspective - one of the few positive things he credits the native Irish with is that they were taller, more athletically built and healthier than the Normans, even calling them giants at one stage. Of course in reality they were probably barely average modern height- probably less - but it does kind of tally with the incredibly low doors in Norman castles. I once absolutely brained myself on one of them when I tried to walk through a doorway of an early 13th century Irish Norman castle that must have only been about 5ft 6 high at most and got whacked in the middle of the forehead by the lintel!

That's interesting. I tend to think of the English aristocracy, who presumably have a lot of Norman blood, as being quite tall.

Jean M
08-05-2015, 11:05 AM
I tend to think of the English aristocracy, who presumably have a lot of Norman blood, as being quite tall.

The English aristocracy had a high meat diet for generation after generation. They tended to be taller than the peasantry on their estates. The amount of Norman genetic heritage that they had diminished dramatically over the centuries. Many Norman lines were lost, as I explain here: http://www.ancestraljourneys.org/normans.shtml The peerage was restocked with families who had risen in Tudor and Stuart times, wealthy lawyers and civil servants, or notable military leaders, such as the first Duke of Marlborough.

The Normans themselves were of mixed origins when they arrived in England. Some of the Norman barons who took parts of Wales intermarried with high-status Welsh families. (One of said barons was Breton anyway). The armies they took to Ireland included Welshmen.

Now back to Celtic tribes, I hope ...

ADW_1981
08-05-2015, 12:00 PM
Indeed. I realise that many people on this forum are fascinated by what people look like, but there really is no standard British Isles person, churned out on a conveyor belt by the thousand to look exactly alike. Average height in Europe has varied hugely over the centuries, as shown here: http://www.ancestraljourneys.org/looks.shtml#Height As I say there:


Height wise I agree. I still think there are only about 15-20 distinct male faces in Britain (or people of British ancestry) with mild variation. Seriously.

JohnHowellsTyrfro
08-05-2015, 12:29 PM
This is just my perception but I believe there are certain physical types in England, but I think it is more pronounced in Ireland where I feel certain people have a characteristic and distinct Irish appearance, which is not to say everyone looks like that. It may be true to some extent in Scotland as well. I think most people would agree there is a distinct Scandinavian type of tall, blond people, but again not saying it is representative of the whole population. To what extent it reflects specific ancestral origins, I leave to the experts. :)

Jean M
08-05-2015, 12:29 PM
I still think there are only about 15-20 distinct male faces in Britain (or people of British ancestry) ...

That would be very bad news for facial recognition technology, but something tells me that the boffins that have devised it know that it works. :biggrin1:

Jean M
08-05-2015, 12:33 PM
This is just my perception but I believe there are certain physical types in England, but I think it is more pronounced in Ireland where I feel certain people have a characteristic and distinct Irish appearance, which is not to say everyone looks like that. ...

I see that yet another thread on the Celts has deteriorated into "spot the Irishman". I'll leave you to it. Don't blame me if it all ends in tears.

avalon
08-05-2015, 12:41 PM
The English aristocracy had a high meat diet for generation after generation. They tended to be taller than the peasantry on their estates. The amount of Norman genetic heritage that they had diminished dramatically over the centuries. Many Norman lines were lost, as I explain here: http://www.ancestraljourneys.org/normans.shtml The peerage was restocked with families who had risen in Tudor and Stuart times, wealthy lawyers and civil servants, or notable military leaders, such as the first Duke of Marlborough.

The Normans themselves were of mixed origins when they arrived in England. Some of the Norman barons who took parts of Wales intermarried with high-status Welsh families. (One of said barons was Breton anyway). The armies they took to Ireland included Welshmen.

Now back to Celtic tribes, I hope ...

I take your point but the English upper classes are still likely to have more Norman ancestry than any other element in British society.

There was a study a few years ago about surnames and social mobility that highlighted this.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/universityeducation/universities-and-colleges/10413798/Same-names-have-attended-Oxbridge-since-the-Norman-Conquest.html

Jean M
08-05-2015, 12:56 PM
I take your point but the English upper classes are still likely to have more Norman ancestry than any other element in British society.

There was a study a few years ago about surnames and social mobility that highlighted this.

Thanks. Found the actual paper.

rms2
08-05-2015, 12:58 PM
I am somewhat fascinated by the Celtic tribe known as the Cornovii, since the Cornovii seem to be the ones who inhabited the area where my own closest y-dna matches are focused.

Here is something relevant from Nora Chadwick's book, Celtic Britain, p. 60:



The kingdom of Powys - beautiful, fertile Powys, 'the Paradise of Wales' as the Llywarch Hen poet calls it - doubtless arose from the old kingdom of the Cornovii, with its capital at Viroconium (Wroxeter) and its sentinel the Wrekin. It was always the gateway to Wales and had to guard its fords jealously.

The Cornovii were honored by the Romans by being allowed to act as auxiliary Roman troops within their own tribal lands, a rare gift, since most tribal auxilia were sent elsewhere, outside their own territory.

alan
08-05-2015, 01:37 PM
I like the corrected Ptolemy map of Scotland. It fits very well although not perfectly which is not surprising. It seems to put Tava somewhat up the east coast from the River Tay which is so big its not one that would be overlooked. Orrea is placed somewhat further east than its normal tentatively suggested position at Carpow major Roman Fort further up the Tay. However over all its pretty remarkable how well it fits when corrected.

One curious thing I often wonder about is that the Romans used the name Caledoni as a general term for the people north of the Forth-Clyde line which later became Pictland. What is curious is that the Roman forts go up the north-east lowland strip while the best evidence (based on placenames and environmental considerations) for the actual territory of that tribe is in the upper Tay/Atholl sort of area where decent land capable of supporting a large tribe penetrates deep into the centre of the highland mass. It also places them in what was (and still is) the main route through the central Highlands from Tayside to the area around the Great Glen. What seems odd to me is that the Romans generalised a name for the northern tribes that probably is based on a tribe that was not located on their main campaigning path up the east coast.

I can only surmise perhaps that the generalised name came into being at an early point when the Romans penetrated north of the Forth-Clyde line towards Perth where they may have encountered the tribes southern extent and experienced trouble from them. it seems unlikely to me that they were encountering the actual Caledoni tribe when Agricola fought them at Mons Graupius because this is usually thought to in or near Aberdeenshire which makes sense in terms of Roman remains and Tacitus. There is some aspects of Tacitus that make it sound very inaccurate.

alan
08-05-2015, 01:45 PM
I am somewhat fascinated by the Celtic tribe known as the Cornovii, since the Cornovii seem to be the ones who inhabited the area where my own closest y-dna matches are focused.

Here is something relevant from Nora Chadwick's book, Celtic Britain, p. 60:



The Cornovii were honored by the Romans by being allowed to act as auxiliary Roman troops within their own tribal lands, a rare gift, since most tribal auxilia were sent elsewhere, outside their own territory.

Something which may have been very useful to them when the empire and its armies collapsed. I think generally the areas which were less Romanised and/or still had martial experience survived a lot more tenaciously than heavily Romanised areas which were disarmed and had no tradition of self defense until the Romans left.

Jean M
08-05-2015, 02:30 PM
The Cornovii were honored by the Romans by being allowed to act as auxiliary Roman troops within their own tribal lands, a rare gift, since most tribal auxilia were sent elsewhere, outside their own territory.

They were not serving within their own tribal lands, as they were posted on the frontier at Hadrian's Wall, where they would be protecting Britannia (their people by this time) from those tribes north of the wall (pesky foreigners by this time). But it is an interesting point, thank you. It has gone in to Celtic tribes of Wales and Western England http://www.ancestraljourneys.org/celtictribeswales.shtml

rms2
08-05-2015, 06:47 PM
Hmmm . . . I know I read somewhere that the Cornovii were allowed to defend their own lands, but whatever; I can't remember the source.

Caburn
08-05-2015, 07:02 PM
It has gone in to Celtic tribes of Wales and Western England http://www.ancestraljourneys.org/celtictribeswales.shtml

Typo: 'Rman' ( 'Roman policy generally was to employ non-Rman recruits away from their homelands.')

Jean M
08-05-2015, 08:09 PM
Typo: 'Rman'

You lot are good! Fixed. :)

Jean M
08-05-2015, 08:11 PM
Hmmm . . . I know I read somewhere that the Cornovii were allowed to defend their own lands, but whatever; I can't remember the source.

Presumably "own lands" meant Britannia in that case, because there is no other mention of the Cohors Primae Cornoviorum. Not unless some inscription has turned up recently that I don't know about.

Heber
08-06-2015, 12:15 AM
I like this idea.

British Museum uses virtual reality to transport visitors to the bronze age

Visitors to the British Museum are invited to walk into a 4,000-year-old roundhouse this weekend, where the fire is lit, the floor swept and some enigmatic objects lie waiting to be discovered.

http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2015/aug/04/british-museum-virtual-reality-weekend-bronze-age?CMP=share_btn_fb

rms2
08-06-2015, 12:36 AM
Presumably "own lands" meant Britannia in that case, because there is no other mention of the Cohors Primae Cornoviorum. Not unless some inscription has turned up recently that I don't know about.

Maybe that's it. I might have read into it that the Cornovii actually defended their own lands as opposed to Britannia itself.

It's hard to tell where one tribe let off and another began anyway. My closest y-dna matches come from the old Rhwng Gwy a Hafren and especially Elfael, which seems to correspond to old Radnorshire. I just read a claim that that territory belonged to the Ordovices. Maybe the Cornovii were too far north and east; I don't know.

avalon
08-06-2015, 11:48 AM
I am somewhat fascinated by the Celtic tribe known as the Cornovii, since the Cornovii seem to be the ones who inhabited the area where my own closest y-dna matches are focused.

Here is something relevant from Nora Chadwick's book, Celtic Britain, p. 60:



The Cornovii were honored by the Romans by being allowed to act as auxiliary Roman troops within their own tribal lands, a rare gift, since most tribal auxilia were sent elsewhere, outside their own territory.

An interesting thing about the Welsh Iron Age tribes encountered by the Romans is that their geographical boundaries largely match the later medieval Welsh kingdoms. The obvious barriers here were the major Welsh rivers that separated Gwynedd, Powys, etc. I wonder how much the medieval Welsh were descended from the Iron Age tribes in the same areas.

Another amusing thing about Welsh medieval history is how the various Welsh lords/kingdoms were often at each others throats and often formed alliances with the English against other Welsh leaders.

One of the best examples was Llywelyn Olaf, the last prince of Wales, and his younger brother Dafydd. Jealous of his brother's inheritance, Dafydd formed an alliance with Edward I against Llywelyn during the Welsh wars of the late 13th century but on Llywelyn's death in 1282 Dafydd changed sides and took it upon himself to continue the Welsh fight against Edward I.

Unfortunately, it didn't end too well for Dafydd as he was eventually captured and suffered a rather gruesome execution in Shrewsbury before his head was taken to the Tower of London.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/29/Wales.post-Roman.jpg

rms2
08-06-2015, 12:19 PM
Sorry, avalon, I know you didn't mean anything by it, but "Iron Age tribes"? That's like fingernails across a chalkboard to me. What's wrong with "Celtic tribes"? How come no one ever refers to the Anglo-Saxons as "Iron Age tribes"?

To which language family does "Iron Age" belong?

R.Rocca
08-06-2015, 12:33 PM
Sorry, avalon, I know you didn't mean anything by it, but "Iron Age tribes"? That's like fingernails across a chalkboard to me. What's wrong with "Celtic tribes"? How come no one ever refers to the Anglo-Saxons as "Iron Age tribes"?

To which language family does "Iron Age" belong?

Duhh......Ironian. :)

alan
08-06-2015, 03:16 PM
An interesting thing about the Welsh Iron Age tribes encountered by the Romans is that their geographical boundaries largely match the later medieval Welsh kingdoms. The obvious barriers here were the major Welsh rivers that separated Gwynedd, Powys, etc. I wonder how much the medieval Welsh were descended from the Iron Age tribes in the same areas.

Another amusing thing about Welsh medieval history is how the various Welsh lords/kingdoms were often at each others throats and often formed alliances with the English against other Welsh leaders.

One of the best examples was Llywelyn Olaf, the last prince of Wales, and his younger brother Dafydd. Jealous of his brother's inheritance, Dafydd formed an alliance with Edward I against Llywelyn during the Welsh wars of the late 13th century but on Llywelyn's death in 1282 Dafydd changed sides and took it upon himself to continue the Welsh fight against Edward I.

Unfortunately, it didn't end too well for Dafydd as he was eventually captured and suffered a rather gruesome execution in Shrewsbury before his head was taken to the Tower of London.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/29/Wales.post-Roman.jpg

Same in Ireland. Every major clan seemed to have a leading branch who were hostile to the English and a rival branch backed by the English who wanted to topple them. This seems to have been a divide and conquer tactic that was commonly used against the Irish from the 12th century onwards.

Jean M
08-06-2015, 04:11 PM
An interesting thing about the Welsh Iron Age tribes encountered by the Romans is that their geographical boundaries largely match the later medieval Welsh kingdoms.

Yes I do mention that in the book, and the Demetae > Dyfed continuity on http://www.ancestraljourneys.org/celtictribeswales.shtml (where I have that map incidentally), but I see I haven't put in Silures > Gwent. I'll add that.

[Added] Done and put in links to the Time Team work at Caerwent.

authun
08-06-2015, 05:07 PM
Sorry, avalon, I know you didn't mean anything by it, but "Iron Age tribes"? That's like fingernails across a chalkboard to me. What's wrong with "Celtic tribes"? How come no one ever refers to the Anglo-Saxons as "Iron Age tribes"?

To which language family does "Iron Age" belong?

Well they do use metal cultures to describe societies, germanic iron age, nordic bronze age, danish iron age but the Late Pre Roman Iron Age in the British Isles terminates with the advent of the Roman Period but the question, did the languages at the end of the roman period have a direct link with those during the LPRIA is a good one.

Calling them celtic could be wrong. Neither the people living on the islands nor the greeks or romans used that term. In fact, Strabo wrote: 'The men of Britain are taller than the Celti'. That's not to say they didn't speak a celtic language, but to say they are celtic is to equate them with continental celts when the relationship may not be equal at all.

Jean M
08-06-2015, 05:35 PM
Calling them celtic could be wrong. Neither the people living on the islands nor the greeks or romans used that term. In fact, Strabo wrote: 'The men of Britain are taller than the Celti'. That's not to say they didn't speak a celtic language, but to say they are celtic is to equate them with continental celts when the relationship may not be equal at all.

That whole argument is dismissed by my forthcoming book Authun. :biggrin1: I never was at all impressed by it. It seems amateurish to be honest, based on a simplistic understanding of how ethnic names were arrived at in the ancient world. "Celtic" seems to be an exonym, bestowed by the Greeks who encountered Gauls when they expanded their trading network along the Mediterranean. There was some Greek knowledge of Celts further north (around the head of the Danube) and in Iberia, but it has come to us in mangled form. There was no requirement for the Celts themselves to adopt the name, though the Gauls seemed to have recognised it at least. By the time of Strabo "Celtica" had become synonymous with Gaul. So the comparison was between Britons and Gauls.

In Ancestral Journeys I simply stated that my ethnic definitions were based on language. Someone speaking a Slavic language was a Slav, someone speaking a Germanic language was Germanic, someone speaking a Celtic language was a Celt, etc. I elaborate in Blood of the Celts. It won't be long before the book is out, and then you can read what I say and argue if you like.

Basically, if it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck and has the DNA of a duck, I wouldn't bother to argue that it could be some other species of waterfowl.

jdean
08-06-2015, 05:51 PM
Calling them celtic could be wrong. Neither the people living on the islands nor the greeks or romans used that term.

But referred to themselves as 'Iron Age' all the time : )

Dubhthach
08-06-2015, 06:58 PM
Duhh......Ironian. :)

:D

That reminds me of the thing about people from UK should really be called UKoians, after all British only ever covered one part of UK in period after 1801 (Act of Union with Ireland).

eg. United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, now known since we won our independence as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

;) *don's flak jacket and hides*

R.Rocca
08-06-2015, 07:01 PM
But referred to themselves as 'Iron Age' all the time : )

Clever, I'll steal that one in the future I'm sure.

avalon
08-06-2015, 07:17 PM
Sorry, avalon, I know you didn't mean anything by it, but "Iron Age tribes"? That's like fingernails across a chalkboard to me. What's wrong with "Celtic tribes"? How come no one ever refers to the Anglo-Saxons as "Iron Age tribes"?

To which language family does "Iron Age" belong?

Fair point. I probably just wrote Iron Age without even thinking about it. The term is so widely used in the literature.

rms2
08-06-2015, 08:51 PM
. . . Someone speaking a Slavic language was a Slav, someone speaking a Germanic language was Germanic, someone speaking a Celtic language was a Celt, etc . . .

That's it.

What they called themselves is nice to know, but what really matters for us is what we call them. We use the collective term Celt because it is a lot easier than listing every last tribal name in the whole NW European "Iron Age" panoply of peoples who spoke languages that were an awful lot alike but which can no longer be called Celtic because it bothers some silly people.

We have names for flowers and trees. I have stood over my wife's roses and listened, but I have never heard a damned one of them call itself Rose (or even Charlotte).

authun
08-06-2015, 09:23 PM
It seems amateurish to be honest, based on a simplistic understanding of how ethnic names were arrived at in the ancient world. "Celtic" seems to be an exonym, bestowed by the Greeks who encountered Gauls when they expanded their trading network along the Mediterranean.

As are many other names, in particular, Saxons. They never existed in the Germanic world but only in the Gallo Roman world, until the Franks decided that there was such a tribe, though in reality, there were probably over 100 different peoples, nordalbingi, ostfali, westfali, ditmarser etc etc. Most names are etic, don't tell the whole story and can mislead. Celtic speakers throughout Europe were known as Walhs by germanic speakers, yet I cannot find a single instance of germanic speakers ever referring to the Irish as such, just terms such as Igbernia, Yrum, Scottas etc.

If we don't have an emic term, I don't think we should be in a hurry to substitute a etic term without being aware of its limitations. I'm with John Koch on this one and his [three way synthesis] 'frayed at the edges'.

And you don't know what the DNA of the Brigantes was between the 1st to 5th cents AD nor do you know what the DNA of their neighbours the Parisii was and we dn't know why the Brigantes show continuity with the Bronze age and where the Arrass Culture of the mid 5th cent. BC came from. Never mind the Picts, whoever they were.

authun
08-06-2015, 09:27 PM
Someone speaking a Slavic language was a Slav, someone speaking a Germanic language was Germanic, someone speaking a Celtic language was a Celt, etc. I elaborate in Blood of the Celts.

By this logic the Irish who now speak english have somehow become Germanic.

avalon
08-06-2015, 09:35 PM
By this logic the Irish who now speak english have somehow become Germanic.

I see both sides in this argument but that is an excellent point.

authun
08-06-2015, 09:36 PM
Fair point. I probably just wrote Iron Age without even thinking about it. The term is so widely used in the literature.

Briton is the term the romans used in their literature.

rms2
08-06-2015, 09:48 PM
By this logic the Irish who now speak english have somehow become Germanic.

No, because we know about the historical process through which the Irish became predominantly English speaking, and there are still plenty of native Irish speakers. As for the ancient Celts, Slavs, etc., we don't know what they were speaking before they took up languages in the family by which we currently designate them. The Celtic peoples first come to our attention bearing Celtic names and apparently speaking Celtic even if their descendants came to speak some other languages, like English, French, or Spanish, later.

rms2
08-06-2015, 09:57 PM
Briton is the term the romans used in their literature.

And the Britons spoke languages in what branch of Indo-European? Isn't the current consensus that the word Briton itself is of Celtic origin?

authun
08-06-2015, 10:03 PM
No, because we know about the historical process through which the Irish became predominantly English speaking, and there are still plenty of native Irish speakers. As for the ancient Celts, Slavs, etc., we don't know what they were speaking before they took up languages in the family by which we currently designate them. The Celtic peoples first come to our attention bearing Celtic names and apparently speaking Celtic even if their descendants came to speak some other languages, like English, French, or Spanish, later.

And you know why the Brigantes show continuity with the Bronze Age whereas the neighbouring Arras Culture suddenly appears in the mid 5th century BC. To use your term, you know the historical processes behind it and what the relationship was? And given the new research into Pictish by Lee, 2010 , you can honestly say that there were no people other than celtic speakers during the roman period despite Bede saying that 4 langages were spoken?

The same processes you refer to above may have happened before. I don't see what you think them to be unique to Ireland..

rms2
08-06-2015, 10:07 PM
And you know why the Brigantes show continuity with the Bronze Age whereas the neighbouring Arras Culture suddenly appears in the mid 5th century BC. To use your term, you know the historical processes behind it and what the relationship was? And given the new research into Pictish by Lee, 2010 , you can honestly say that there were no people other than celtic speakers during the roman period despite Bede saying that 4 langages were spoken?

The same processes you refer to above may have happened before. I don't see what you think them to be unique.

Well, as soon as we discover some actual evidence of non-Celtic languages amongst peoples we otherwise regard as Celtic, authun, we can make the correction and refer to those exceptions properly. Currently, however, the best evidence we have is that the tribes of Iron Age Britain and Ireland spoke Celtic languages. In the meantime, Celtic is a very useful collective term to describe those peoples.

authun
08-06-2015, 10:16 PM
And the Britons spoke languages in what branch of Indo-European? Isn't the current consensus that the word Briton itself is of Celtic origin?

No there is no consensus, far from it. In fact the difference between Pritani and Priteni becomes very confused in old welsh material. Whilst one does lead to the Greeks calling the Tin Islands the Prettenic Islands, later Britannic Islands, the other may mean Pictland.

Although we don't know anything about any other languages, we shouldn't be suprised. We know virtually nothing of Brythonic either and what we conjecture is just old welsh back projected. I just do not think it safe to conclude that Britain was full of people speaking exclusively celtic languages. OK you disagree. Maybe I am just more cautious than you.

glentane
08-06-2015, 10:21 PM
.. where the Arrass Culture of the mid 5th cent. BC came from. Never mind the Picts, whoever they were.
That's a sly one. The Top People in Pictland were at one point very keen on being deposited in square ditched barrows.
With gaps at the corners, or prominent stones. Unlike the layer presumably socially just underneath them, who stuck to extended supine burial in long cist cemeteries, which fitted in archaeologically seamlessly to their eventual Christianisation, once they'd agreed to point the graves in the correct compass direction.

authun
08-06-2015, 10:23 PM
Well, as soon as we discover some actual evidence of non-Celtic languages amongst peoples we otherwise regard as Celtic, authun, we can make the correction and refer to those exceptions properly.

In the last 20 years more toponyms have been taken off the celtic list and placed onto the unknown list than have been added to the celtic list, Amber, Clun, Hodder, Humber, Itchen, Kennet, Nene, Ouse, Parret, Soar, Tees, Test, Till, Tweed, Tyne, Wear, Welland, Witham for example. The Don in Yorkshire has the same etymology as the Don in Russia and the Danube in Germany but is not thought to be celtic.

rms2
08-06-2015, 10:25 PM
Well, Paul (Dubthach) is better at the old Celtic linguistic stuff than I am, but I thought the root of the word Briton was thought to be Welsh pryd, Old Irish crúith, going back to Proto-Celtic *kwritu.

Are you as cautious with the languages of the Germans and Slavs?

It amazes me that only the notion of Celticity is under attack, and mostly by people whose political self interest is forwarded by suppressing the sense of ethnic and national pride of Celtic peoples.

authun
08-06-2015, 10:25 PM
That's a sly one. The Top People in Pictland were at one point very keen on being deposited in square barrows.

I'm referring to their language and Lee's work.

Jean M
08-06-2015, 10:34 PM
By this logic the Irish who now speak english have somehow become Germanic.

The Celtic League defines a Celtic people today as one in which a Celtic language is still spoken or was spoken until recently. That is Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, Cornwall and the Isle of Man.

authun
08-06-2015, 10:43 PM
Are you as cautious with the languages of the Germans and Slavs?

Very much so, with german anyway, I don't know anything about the slavic language group. The germanic language group is characterised by its untreelike IE structure and, since Andrew Garrett suggested that language evolution may not follow divergent tree like structures at all and that celtic languages may be the result of convergent language formation, I have no fixed ideas on any of it. But, I think it is wise to be aware of the different views.

Hence I wrote, "That's not to say they didn't speak a celtic language, but to say they are celtic is to equate them with continental celts when the relationship may not be equal at all."

If you read Garrett's Convergence in the formation of Indo-European subgroups (http://linguistics.berkeley.edu/~garrett/IEConvergence.pdf), you'll get the idea. I am not wedded to pre italo celtic branches sprouting from a PIE trunk. It may be true but Garrett claims to have demonstrated language convergence with his work on ancient greek and macedonian.


It amazes me that only the notion of Celticity is under attack, and mostly by people whose political self interest is forwarded by suppressing the sense of ethnic and national pride of Celtic peoples.

So who is attacking the notion of Celticity? I think I have made it clear that I am only exploring the idea that it is neither homogeneous or unique. It not unusual. The builders of the Oss type houses of the Harpstedt Nienburg Culture sit inbetween the Germanic speaking north and the celtic speaking south. Why try to force them into one group of the other? Is this building a celtic round house of a germanic stallhaus? My view is that it is neither.

http://eisenzeithaus.de/wb/media/haus_gelaende/haus_01.jpg

glentane
08-06-2015, 11:00 PM
given the new research into Pictish by Lee, 2010 , you can honestly say that there were no people other than celtic speakers during the roman period despite Bede saying that 4 langages were spoken?.
Luckily old Bede gave us some Pictish words to chew on as examples. He was up against the coalface so to speak, given the busy correspondence between Jarrow and Kilrymont, and in a prime position to know first-hand. Kinneil (where the SDD (Ancient Monuments Division) used to keep all the wheelbarrows, scaff planks, buckets, shovels, mattocks and so on) was known to the Picts as "peanfahel" meaning "head of the dyke" (i.e, the Antonine (turf) wall, same as the Gaelic term it now enjoys, but p-celtic). Remember it wasn't until scientific linguistic analysis developed during the Enlightenment that Welsh and Irish (including Scottish Gaelic) were recognised as having any connection (by Anglophones, including Bede).

Lee et alii seem to be re-hashing Anthony Jackson's (http://www.amazon.com/The-Symbol-Stones-Scotland-anthropological/dp/0907618162) 1984 position, but this time using Hard Sums to baffle the uninitiated, rather than Structural Anthropology. Which leaves us back at Kenneth A Jackson's 1955 position of inferring a somehow otherwise unrecorded second language as a Pictish secret code. Ain't havin' it.
Four languages, net of Latin. English, Welsh, Pictish and Irish, in his world.

authun
08-06-2015, 11:00 PM
The Celtic League defines a Celtic people today as one in which a Celtic language is still spoken or was spoken until recently. That is Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, Cornwall and the Isle of Man.

With respect, it is a circular argument to say that they all spoke a celtic language recently therefore they spoke all spoke a celtic language in the late pre roman iron age and you have said that they must have been celtic because they all spoke a celtic language.

Where did all those toponyms come from which do not appear on the celtic list? The people who spoke that language were around when celtic speakers entered these islands. That's why we still have the names. If they died out before, they couldn't have transmitted the names. There was a time when both celtic and non celtic languages were spoken here. I am interested in trying to find out what period this was. If anyone denies such a period, they have to explain how those non celtic words got here.

glentane
08-06-2015, 11:04 PM
In the late pre-roman iron age the Picts .. didn't exist. They're a creation of Rome, and various Walls.

authun
08-06-2015, 11:10 PM
In the late pre-roman iron age the Picts .. didn't exist. They're a creation of Rome, and various Walls.

Do you mean the people didn't exist or that they may have existed but that there was no etic name until the romans had better geographical knowledge and came to give them one? Parallels would be the saxons in Germania or the Suionnes beyond the Mare Suebicum.

If you truly believe that a people don't exist because they were not recorded with a particular name, then Celts did not exist in Britain. I find the entire approach facile and I guess you are not attempting to be serious, simply argumentative.

glentane
08-06-2015, 11:14 PM
Is this building a celtic round house of a germanic stallhaus? My view is that it is neither.
I'm with you on that. It's neither, because most (or rather, all) "reconstructions" of prehistoric European timber buildings are a rickety waste of good timber and straw. Ethnographic fantasies predicated on woefully abject misunderstandings of the excavated evidence. Round-houses are a particular victim of this academic join-the-dots syndrome.
The only real evidence is an (incomplete) set of badly excavated postholes.

glentane
08-06-2015, 11:19 PM
Do you mean the people didn't exist or that they may have existed but that there was no etic name until the romans had better geographical knowledge and came to give them one? Parallels would be the saxons in Germania or the Suionnes beyond the Mare Suebicum.
Aye. People were there, but did not have a separate confederate identity from the other Brits until the Empire stuck its oar in. "Saxon" is a the name of a trade, from the oarsman's fighting knife, a bit like "Scot" or indeed "Pict". Imposed by observers/victims.

Jean M
08-06-2015, 11:26 PM
With respect, it is a circular argument to say that they all spoke a celtic language recently therefore they spoke all spoke a celtic language in the late pre roman iron age and you have said that they must have been celtic because they all spoke a celtic language.

No it's pretty simple really. Linguists place the defunct Gaulish in the same family as the (just about) living languages Breton, Irish and Welsh. Since Gaulish was tied to the Celts by Classical authors, this family of languages was labelled Celtic. (Linguists place several other defunct languages in this family, but let's keep it simple.) As it happens the cultural connections between Gaul and the British Isles are as obvious in the archaeological record and literature as the linguistic connections. Plus we have Celtic personal, tribal and place names in the British Isles recorded by Roman authors. Some are recorded by Caesar and Greek sources and so pre-date the Roman conquest. Not that it was remotely likely that Celtic languages entered Britain and Ireland with the Roman conquest. ;)


Where did all those toponyms come from which do not appear on the celtic list? The people who spoke that language were around when celtic speakers entered these islands. That's why we still have the names. If they died out before, they couldn't have transmitted the names. There was a time when both celtic and non celtic languages were spoken here. I am interested in trying to find out what period this was. If anyone denies such a period, they have to explain how those non celtic words got here.

These days I am strongly of the opinion that the Indo-European languages spread across Europe in the Copper Age. Non-IE languages would have been spoken earlier by the descendants of people who brought farming to Europe. Some remnants of farming languages may survive in substrate and non-IE toponyms in various parts of Europe. Plus there are the toponyms classed as Alteuropäisch/Old [IE] European, which I guess can be dated in Britain and Ireland to c. 2400 BC.

rms2
08-07-2015, 01:06 AM
. . . So who is attacking the notion of Celticity? . . .

I was referring to the Celtoskeptics. Peter Berresford Ellis discusses some of their arguments and their political motivations in the preface to his book, The Celts: A History.

Dubhthach
08-07-2015, 08:18 AM
By this logic the Irish who now speak english have somehow become Germanic.

Well technically they are no longer Gael, of course in Irish we see the rise of use of term Éireanach, which literally translates as Irish person, from 17th century onwards. Gael in sense is no longer valid term to just refer to Irish people -- well it's transnational as a Gaidhlig speaker from Lewis is just as much a Gael as a Irish speaker from Conamara.

Given some of the attitudes in Ireland towards language you could get away with calling modern Irish "Anglo-Saxon in outlook", given we've got ourselfs firmly in the "Anglosphere" when it comes to popular culture etc.

That's me playing Devil's advocate, now if ye were to tell some Irish people that they were culturally Anglo-Saxon (even some of those who rail about Irish been a dead language that tax money is wasted on) well than the old proverb "is minic a bhris béal duine a shrón" (It's often someone's mouth broke their own nose) might come true ;)

Dubhthach
08-07-2015, 08:27 AM
Well, Paul (Dubthach) is better at the old Celtic linguistic stuff than I am, but I thought the root of the word Briton was thought to be Welsh pryd, Old Irish crúith, going back to Proto-Celtic *kwritu.

Are you as cautious with the languages of the Germans and Slavs?

It amazes me that only the notion of Celticity is under attack, and mostly by people whose political self interest is forwarded by suppressing the sense of ethnic and national pride of Celtic peoples.

Brittānia (latin) from Πρεττανια ‎(Prettania -- Ancient Greek)) from Πρεττανική ‎(Prettanikḗ) or Βρεττανίαι ‎(Brettaníai) in Pytheas. It's derived from reconstructed Proto-Brythonic (or Pre-Proto-Brythonic) *Pritani which derives from Proto-Celtic *kʷritanī

*kʷritanī is the root word for modern Welsh Prydyn (Picts) and Irish Cruithne.

Thus Britain as a word is ultimately a derivation of a Proto-Celtic word.

Dubhthach
08-07-2015, 08:29 AM
The Celtic League defines a Celtic people today as one in which a Celtic language is still spoken or was spoken until recently. That is Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, Cornwall and the Isle of Man.

Indeed Ireland was majority Irish speaking until around 1800, likewise Man was majority Manx Gaelg speaking until developments in early-mid 19th century (growing tourism business etc.)

authun
08-07-2015, 09:05 AM
Plus we have Celtic personal, tribal and place names in the British Isles recorded by Roman authors. Some are recorded by Caesar and Greek sources and so pre-date the Roman conquest. Not that it was remotely likely that Celtic languages entered Britain and Ireland with the Roman conquest. ;)



These days I am strongly of the opinion that the Indo-European languages spread across Europe in the Copper Age. Non-IE languages would have been spoken earlier by the descendants of people who brought farming to Europe. Some remnants of farming languages may survive in substrate and non-IE toponyms in various parts of Europe. Plus there are the toponyms classed as Alteuropäisch/Old [IE] European, which I guess can be dated in Britain and Ireland to c. 2400 BC.

True, the evidence for a celtic language in Britain tend to be the names recorded by the romans. By the same token, evidence for a pre celtic language is via names passed on by celtic speakers. The question is not when the pre celtic language entered Britain but rather, when did the last speakers of that language die out?

authun
08-07-2015, 09:33 AM
Brittānia (latin) from Πρεττανια ‎(Prettania -- Ancient Greek)) from Πρεττανική ‎(Prettanikḗ) or Βρεττανίαι ‎(Brettaníai) in Pytheas. It's derived from reconstructed Proto-Brythonic (or Pre-Proto-Brythonic) *Pritani which derives from Proto-Celtic *kʷritanī

*kʷritanī is the root word for modern Welsh Prydyn (Picts) and Irish Cruithne.

Thus Britain as a word is ultimately a derivation of a Proto-Celtic word.


Both the P and B are used with many linguists believing that Pytheas used the P. The problem is that Pytheas was the first to record the name in a periplus which is lost but to which many ancient authors refer.

authun
08-07-2015, 09:45 AM
Regarding the age of the celtic languages spoken in Britain and Ireland, Koch explains that the first recorded emic and etic terms are from the 6th century BC: "Iuerni and Albiones are derived from the place-names found classical sources as Iuerio and Albion and the first occurrence of Ierni and Albiones probably goes back to a Coastal Itinerary of Marseille of the sixth century BC." Koch and Sims-Williams differ with their interpretations of this:

"In Emania 9, I proposed that the ethnonym Iuerni proves that Irish—or the Celtic language that was to become Irish—was spoken in Ireland already at the time that the Greeks first heard of the place in the 6th century BC. More recently, Patrick Sims-Williams has doubted this conclusion. Instead, he argues that Iuerio and Iuerni could have been names in use by Celtic speaking peoples on the European mainland for an Ireland that was not yet itself Celtic speaking." (Koch, Celts, Britons, and Gaels—Names, Peoples, and Identities)

The latter argument by Sims-Williams is based on the fact that Iuerio is the cognate of Greek Piería, a district name in Thessaly, with the sense of Fertile Land. Iuerio shows the chracterisitic loss of P from Piería.

Dubhthach
08-07-2015, 10:03 AM
sure because deletion of Proto-IE /p/ is a key diagnostic feature of Proto-Celtic. Another good example been the word Orc (in old irish, pig/boar) which is cognate with latin Porcus both been derived from Proto-IE *pórḱos -- "Orc" is also root word for Orkney islands, which combines thus a "Celtic" element with norse -ey (island)

Albiones survives to this day in modern Irish in the form of Albain -- archaic version been Alba (from Old Irish Albu). This is term for Scotland, of course in earliest texts in Old Irish it had still perserved it's meaning of Britian (Breatain is borrowing of latin Brittōnēs into Irish -- obviously post-christianisation loan word).

So for example in the story of Tuathal Teachtmar the saga story of ancestor of the Connachta/Uí Néill, we see that Tuathal's mother was the "King of Alba" (eg. King of Britain and not King of Scotland) and that she fled while pregnant with Tuathal back to her father, when her husband was overthrown.

The bould Tuathal than comes from Britain with an army as a young man to claim back his rightful claim to high kinship (thence Teachtmar -- "The Legitimate"), if you ask me the true story hidden in the riddle of the saga is that the Connachta/Uí Néill probably have Iron age origins in Northern Britain (which ties in with archaelogical evidence of contact after 300BC)

Jean M
08-07-2015, 10:55 AM
True, the evidence for a celtic language in Britain tend to be the names recorded by the romans. By the same token, evidence for a pre celtic language is via names passed on by celtic speakers. The question is not when the pre celtic language entered Britain but rather, when did the last speakers of that language die out?

There is not a shred of solid evidence of anyone in the British Isles speaking any non-Celtic language by the time the Romans conquered Britain. There is no suggestion in Roman sources that more than one language was spoken (except Latin within Britannia after the conquest).

By contrast in Gaul there was a non-Celtic language - Aquitainian in the southwest - noted by Roman authors and apparent in personal names in inscriptions. In Iberia there were non-Celtic languages apparent in inscriptions, etc. Before Celts entered Illyria or Anatolia, these regions were totally non-Celtic speaking. This does not mean that there were no Celts in Iberia, Gaul, Illyria or Anatolia, or that we cannot talk about Celts there because some of them very probably had non-Celtic genes from mixture with their neighbours. Ethnicity is not some pure, fixed quality. If we are going to look for a definition of it that requires it to be absolute with no overlaps, developments or changes of any kind, we would have to get rid of the concept altogether, because that is not possible in the real world.

moesan
08-07-2015, 11:24 AM
Both the P and B are used with many linguists believing that Pytheas used the P. The problem is that Pytheas was the first to record the name in a periplus which is lost but to which many ancient authors refer.

Alan RAUDE, a Breton, an "hairs splitter", thought there has been confusion in Brittany, between Britannia (latin records) and Brittia, region rstricted to Southern Scotland-Northern England of today. the etymology of Brittia could be discussed, between two roots, *brikt- pr *britt- (tattooed, painted?). the fact welsh has Prydyn (? Prydain?) with an intervocalic -D- is perhaps not a hazard. Seemingly the -TT of Brittia gave -TH- (-ZH- in modenr breton, see brythonic), what is right and regular. the 'brittonic' word seems a possible mix base upon Pretania and Brittia; remains the initial B-, a question because Cruithni dhows very well the stop was previously a hard P-, not a soft B-; that said, Celtic languages already knew consonantic mutations between words in tight contact, even if not written at these times. So, knowing the vocative case caused lenition/vocalizing mutations in celtic (consecutive, maybe, to a 'o' or 'a' preposition or adjective, later faded out), we could suppose a softening of P- into B- occurred? Not proved, of course. A confusion between the 2 names (see above), or a badly hearing could be possible too.
&: some words of celtic origin or passed through celtic, beginning by K- were kept in latine with a G- (ex: welsh 'cleddyf', breton 'klezeñv', gaelic: '---' very close - I fforgot it! - << *clad- >> latine 'gladius' french "glaive" - *catt- >> french 'chat' but romance languages 'gato', 'gatto'; maybe nothing to do with the Pretani-Brittia question??? just to mention.

authun
08-07-2015, 11:51 AM
Alan RAUDE, a Breton, an "hairs splitter", thought there has been confusion in Brittany, between Britannia (latin records) and Brittia, region rstricted to Southern Scotland-Northern England of today.

This is the confusion between Pritani and Priteni in old welsh literature that I alluded to in post 89 (http://www.anthrogenica.com/showthread.php?5062-Celtic-Tribes-of-the-British-Isles&p=100578&viewfull=1#post100578). It's different from the P or B which ancient classical writers seem to use interchangeably which is more to do with how they reference Pytheas.

Procopius of course uses both Brittia and Brettania in Gothic Wars and historians argue what he means in the use of these terms.

Dubhthach
08-07-2015, 11:56 AM
some words of celtic origin or passed through celtic, beginning by K- were kept in latine with a G- (ex: welsh 'cleddyf', breton 'klezeñv', gaelic: '---' very close - I fforgot it! - << *clad- >> latine 'gladius' french "glaive" - *catt- >> french 'chat' but romance languages 'gato', 'gatto'; maybe nothing to do with the Pretani-Brittia question??? just to mention.

Modern Irish: claíomh (post spelling reform) / claidheamh (pre-spelling reform, word internal -dh- in Irish is silent for last 500 years or so)
Old Irish: claideb
Proto-Celtic: *kladiwos

This is also usueful as example of how in Irish Proto-Celtic /kw/ (eg. Q) disapeared in the Old Irish (500-1000AD) period as it merged with /k/, so one could argue that the Goidelic languages are no longer "Q-Celtic" as they lack the phoneme ;)

In comparison "Archaic Irish" as written on Ogham had distinct grapheme for both "Q" and "C" (/k/ is always written as c in irish)

Dubhthach
08-07-2015, 12:03 PM
Modern Irish: claíomh (post spelling reform) / claidheamh (pre-spelling reform, word internal -dh- in Irish is silent for last 500 years or so)
Old Irish: claideb
Proto-Celtic: *kladiwos

This is also usueful as example of how in Irish Proto-Celtic /kw/ (eg. Q) disapeared in the Old Irish (500-1000AD) period as it merged with /k/, so one could argue that the Goidelic languages are no longer "Q-Celtic" as they lack the phoneme ;)

In comparison "Archaic Irish" as written on Ogham had distinct grapheme for both "Q" and "C" (/k/ is always written as c in irish)

I should note that this is the origin of "Clay" in Claymore

http://orig07.deviantart.net/dff9/f/2011/064/d/8/claymore_mine_by_matsucorp-d3ay68q.jpg

Claymore = "Claidheamh Mór" (Claíomh Mór) eg "Great/big Sword"

http://www.100objects.ie/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/galloglass-gravestone.jpg

authun
08-07-2015, 12:14 PM
There is not a shred of solid evidence of anyone in the British Isles speaking any non-Celtic language by the time the Romans conquered Britain. There is no suggestion in Roman sources that more than one language was spoken (except Latin within Britannia after the conquest).

Firstly, that's not the point. The point is that a pre celtic language was spoken at some point and that hydronyms like Wey, Wye, Tamar, Bovey and Don were passed onto celtic speakers and the question is, when did the two populations interact? Our window for the knowledge of celtic being spoken in Britain is only a few hundred years and dates from the Massalia Periplus. It may have existed before that, but we have absolutely no evidence for that either. You cannot assume that the people who named the Humber, Ouse and Don were not living in Yorkshire when the Arras Culture arrived in East Yorks in the 5th cent. BC.

Secondly, Bede describes Pictish as a separate spoken language and, as far as I know, no linguist has demonstrated to date what the nature of that language was. Historians and archaeologists of course have proferred their opinions but even Katherine Forsythe, a historian who suggests in her publication 'The Language in Pictland', that it was a form of P celtic but concludes that "much more waits to be written on the subject of language in Pictland" and that she "has only been able to scratch the surface". She echo's Koch's sentiment that "the extreme import of the topic demands that the pitfalls should be braved" and that her hope is that she has "cleared the deck for the linguists - the next steps will be theirs".

rms2
08-07-2015, 12:20 PM
Firstly, that's not the point. The point is that a pre celtic language was spoken at some point and that hydronyms like Wey, Wye, Tamar, Bovey and Don were passed onto celtic speakers and the question is, when did the two populations interact?

. . .



I thought what was at issue is whether or not it is correct (within reason) to refer to the Iron Age inhabitants of Britain and Ireland as Celts, not that Celtic was spoken there since the glaciers retreated.

There were no Indo-Europeans anywhere if the standard is that they must have always spoken an Indo-European language.

alan
08-07-2015, 12:23 PM
Modern Irish: claíomh (post spelling reform) / claidheamh (pre-spelling reform, word internal -dh- in Irish is silent for last 500 years or so)
Old Irish: claideb
Proto-Celtic: *kladiwos

This is also usueful as example of how in Irish Proto-Celtic /kw/ (eg. Q) disapeared in the Old Irish (500-1000AD) period as it merged with /k/, so one could argue that the Goidelic languages are no longer "Q-Celtic" as they lack the phoneme ;)

In comparison "Archaic Irish" as written on Ogham had distinct grapheme for both "Q" and "C" (/k/ is always written as c in irish)

I think I once read that the Irish form of that sword word appears to have come via Brittonic or Gaulish while the other Irish word Colg (the basis of Tacitus's Caledonian chief Calgacus 'the swordsman' name) seemed native. I think someone suggested that the latter word seems to relate to stabbing motion and the latter might have represented slashing swords.

Looking through the Irish archaeological record, the stabbing type weapons are of course far older in the sense of the development from beaker/EBA dagger to MBA rapier to LBA early swords to the larger leaf shaped combined stab/slash swords of the LBA to the final pre-La Tene swords known in Ireland - the Hallstatt C types of c. 800-700BC. There then followed a period of no known swords for 300ys in Ireland while the continent and Britain moved onto the short stabbing swords of Hallstatt D for a time before the La Tene swords arrived.

The claideb and related forms also of course has a link with the Latin word Gladius which if I remember correctly seems to have been borrowed from the Celts in the Iron Age into Latin and indeed the Roman sword is based on Celtic designs. I would say that all we know for sure about this word is that it was in use in the pre-Roman Iron Age in continental Europe and Britain and made it to Ireland too. I do wonder though if it originally had a specific meaning to distinguish it from a Colg weapon.

alan
08-07-2015, 12:40 PM
Firstly, that's not the point. The point is that a pre celtic language was spoken at some point and that hydronyms like Wey, Wye, Tamar, Bovey and Don were passed onto celtic speakers and the question is, when did the two populations interact? Our window for the knowledge of celtic being spoken in Britain is only a few hundred years and dates from the Massalia Periplus. It may have existed before that, but we have absolutely no evidence for that either. You cannot assume that the people who named the Humber, Ouse and Don were not living in Yorkshire when the Arras Culture arrived in East Yorks in the 5th cent. BC.

Secondly, Bede describes Pictish as a separate spoken language and, as far as I know, no linguist has demonstrated to date what the nature of that language was. Historians and archaeologists of course have proferred their opinions but even Katherine Forsythe, a historian who suggests in her publication 'The Language in Pictland', that it was a form of P celtic but concludes that "much more waits to be written on the subject of language in Pictland" and that she "has only been able to scratch the surface". She echo's Koch's sentiment that "the extreme import of the topic demands that the pitfalls should be braved" and that her hope is that she has "cleared the deck for the linguists - the next steps will be theirs".

Pictish seems to have originally been essentially P-Celtic variation of Brittonic but remember that proto-Pictland was north of the Forth/Clyde line and unlike the Britons did not experience 400 years of the Romans. The influence of Latin has a profound effect on Welsh vocab with loads of borrowings. Pictish was probably less so and had 400 years of divergence. Pictish also soon had permanent Gaelic neighbours who were especially influential in terms of the church. Not enough survives other than placenames and names of kings to analyse exactly how Pictish had diverged or its exact form other than its P-Celtic roots. One thing I have noted though is the Pictish kings had names that were unknown/very rare elsewhere like Bridie/Brude and Gartnait as well as some shared with the Britons like Drest and other that are probably Pictish forms of Gaelic names like Uniust (Oengus). The ones that are not attested or very rare among the Britons or the Gaels seem to me to show the Picts had a distinctive. Although the Picts language seems to come from the same Iron Age roots as British, we cannot overlook the comparative lack of Romanisation and relative seperatness from the emptire for 400 years or the next 400 years when the Picts were a separate entity. It is quite wrong IMO to think of the Pictish language in 400-800AD as some kind of minor variation of Welsh. By the time the Pictish language were being eclipsed by Gaelic they had 800 years to diverge from Welsh. That is a long long time - more than the period between English today and that of Chaucer

Jean M
08-07-2015, 12:49 PM
Our window for the knowledge of celtic being spoken in Britain is only a few hundred years and dates from the Massalia Periplus. It may have existed before that, but we have absolutely no evidence for that either. You cannot assume that the people who named the Humber, Ouse and Don were not living in Yorkshire when the Arras Culture arrived in East Yorks in the 5th cent. BC.

If we had written evidence of Celtic spoken in the British Isles in the Bronze Age, then this whole question would be so simply answered that there would be no scope for my brains to engage with the matter at all. ;) Anyone dealing with this topic has to make the best sense that they can of the available evidence. My thinking is that Gaelic retained archaic features which indicate a relatively early first arrival of Celtic in the British Isles, but followed by later waves from Gaul (P-Celtic and La Tene) which affected Britain more than Ireland, of which the Arras culture is just one piece of evidence. The archaic nature of Celtiberian and lack of La Tene in its region is another piece of the puzzle. Naturally debate will go on.

The river name Don comes from a deduced PIE form. It is wildly unlikely that people were still speaking PIE anywhere in Europe after about 2000 BC. Languages do not remain the same forever. They change. But in this case I presume that the earliest IE speakers to arrive in Britain were Bell Beaker people, who were then reinforced by later waves of BB people who by that time were speaking a recognisable form of Celtic. Because they came in larger numbers they would absorb the descendants of the earlier BB people into their speech community. This pattern of early IE followed by later waves with dialects and gradually distinctive IE daughter languages was probably common across Europe.

authun
08-07-2015, 12:54 PM
I thought what was at issue is whether or not it is correct (within reason) to refer to the Iron Age inhabitants of Britain and Ireland as Celts, not that Celtic was spoken there since the glaciers retreated.

You objected to Avalon's use of the term 'iron age tribes' and stated that they should be referred to as celtic tribes. This however implies a level of linguistic homogenity which cannot be assumed in my opinion.

Dubhthach
08-07-2015, 01:03 PM
I think I once read that the Irish form of that sword word appears to have come via Brittonic or Gaulish while the other Irish word Colg (the basis of Tacitus's Caledonian chief Calgacus 'the swordsman' name) seemed native. I think someone suggested that the latter word seems to relate to stabbing motion and the latter might have represented slashing swords.

Looking through the Irish archaeological record, the stabbing type weapons are of course far older in the sense of the development from beaker/EBA dagger to MBA rapier to LBA early swords to the larger leaf shaped combined stab/slash swords of the LBA to the final pre-La Tene swords known in Ireland - the Hallstatt C types of c. 800-700BC. There then followed a period of no known swords for 300ys in Ireland while the continent and Britain moved onto the short stabbing swords of Hallstatt D for a time before the La Tene swords arrived.

The claideb and related forms also of course has a link with the Latin word Gladius which if I remember correctly seems to have been borrowed from the Celts in the Iron Age into Latin and indeed the Roman sword is based on Celtic designs. I would say that all we know for sure about this word is that it was in use in the pre-Roman Iron Age in continental Europe and Britain and made it to Ireland too. I do wonder though if it originally had a specific meaning to distinguish it from a Colg weapon.

Well as far as I know it's not a borrowing but development of common root word in Proto-Celtic, than again if we are talking about introduction of type of sword after 300BC the difference between dialects that would eventually give rise to Goidelic and Brythonic was fairly minimum (less so that between some dialects of modern German -- sound changes etc.) the point about "Slashing" though seems to be born out when I consult eDIL (electronic Dictionary of Irish Langauge -- covers written texts of Old and Middle Irish periods eg. 500-1200AD)



claideb
Forms: -ib; -bi; claidib;
Meaning: (slashing); sword; puts to the sword, slays;

http://edil.qub.ac.uk/dictionary/index2.php?letter=C&column=213

vs.



colg
Forms: calg; cailg; colg;
Meaning: anything pointed, piercing instrument; spear-point; sword, prob. small sword, rapier:;
DIL 2012 C 325.09

http://edil.qub.ac.uk/dictionary/index2.php?letter=C&column=325

rms2
08-07-2015, 01:11 PM
You objected to Avalon's use of the term 'iron age tribes' and stated that they should be referred to as celtic tribes. This however implies a level of linguistic homogenity which cannot be assumed in my opinion.

Well, there we must strongly disagree. I think the evidence overwhelmingly favors the idea that by the Iron Age the inhabitants of Britain and Ireland were Celtic speakers, and there is little to no reasonable evidence to the contrary, the presence of a few questionable toponyms (that cannot even be classed as non-IE) notwithstanding.

Dubhthach
08-07-2015, 01:12 PM
On Pictish, it's worth noting that on name evidence that it didn't undergo sound change where Proto-Celtic W (often written as U/V) mutated in both Goidelic and Brythonic (but to different sounds).

In Goidelic sound change went to f, in Brythonic it went to gw

Thence Fionn and Gwyn are cognates
Fionn -> Find -> *windos.
Gwyn -> *ˠwïnn -> *windos

Prime example is the name Fergus in Old Irish (Fearghuis) which in Pictish has a cognate Urguist.

Fer (Old Irish) -- Fear (modern Irish, prononunced like Farr) is of course cognate with latin Vir (as in virile) and means Man.

So if you think about Roman's arriving in 1st century driving a wedge within linguistic contuinity of Proto-Brythonic dialects, it's perfectly reasonable to expect that by time of Bede 6-700 years later that you've ended up with two seperate languages. (That sorta timeframe is actually what's argued for spilt of Irish from Scottish Gaidhlig)

authun
08-07-2015, 01:14 PM
If we had written evidence of Celtic spoken in the British Isles in the Bronze Age, then this whole question would be so simply answered that there would be no scope for my brains to engage with the matter at all. ;)

Hardly, because even if there was evidence of a spoken celtic language in the British Isles in the Bronze Age, it would not preclude the existence of another language would it? The evidence is that a pre celtic language and a celtic language coexisted at some point. We have the pre celtic hydronyms transmitted to celtic speakers. I am just trying to ascertain when this co-existence took place.


Anyone dealing with this topic has to make the best sense that they can of the available evidence. My thinking is that Gaelic retained archaic features which indicate a relatively early first arrival of Celtic in the British Isles, but followed by later waves from Gaul (P-Celtic and La Tene) which affected Britain more than Ireland, of which the Arras culture is just one piece of evidence. The archaic nature of Celtiberian and lack of La Tene in its region is another piece of the puzzle. Naturally debate will go on.

And, as I have pointed out Koch and Sims-Williams disagree on the age of celtic spoken in Ireland with Sims-Williams suggesting that it may have been as late as the 6th century BC. If he is right and if what you say above about it being the first arrival is right, what was the language of the Brigantes in northern england around say 900BC? They afterall, show a lot of continuity with the Bronze Age. Of course, the arrival of the Arras Culture in the 5th century BC would be in accordance with your later wave arriving in mainland Britain but it does rather pose a problem for their neighbours in the Pennines. Brigantes too, if it does indeed refer to those wholive in the hills, is an etic term, not an emic term. We don't know what they called themselves.

This is also all rather assuming a divergent tree like model for language evolution which does require language moving around the landscape with some sort of chronology, spreading either culturally or demographically. Convergent dialect models for language development, which in the case of southern europe would converge out of a southern indo european and, in the case of Britain and Ireland, out of an insular indo european, does not require a chronology of waves. As Colin Renfrew states:

"this view may conform more effectively with the family relationships within Indo-European than have earlier proposals"

(Time depth, convergence theory, and innovation in proto-indo-european : 'Old Europe' as a PIE linguistic area)

Dubhthach
08-07-2015, 01:18 PM
What's evident in Ireland is largest collection of inscriptions in a "Old" (archaic compared to written languages of post 500AD) language in Ireland are found in Munster (eg. Ogham) where there is the strongest signs of contuinity from Bronze age, both in archaelogy as well as fact that Munster retains a distinctly different economic/legal tradition into the early medieval period which seems to hark back to Bronze age (priest-king -- "King Bishops of Cashel, ecomomy based around trade/skills as oppose to pastoralism in northern half of Ireland etc.).

Need to dig out the bit in Patterson (Cattlelords and Clansmen) where he talks about that.

authun
08-07-2015, 01:24 PM
the presence of a few questionable toponyms (that cannot even be classed as non-IE) notwithstanding.

You don't have much more than names for evidence of celtic languages at the start of the roman period either.

As far as non-IE languages are concerned, I have not suggested that the pre celtic language of Britain was non IE but, I guess you could,'t bother yourself to read Garrett's Convergence in the formation of Indo-European subgroups. I can't make you read the scholarship afterall.

Why not see if your library has a copy of Renfrew's Time depth, convergence theory, and innovation in proto-indo-european : 'Old Europe' as a PIE linguistic area. It's in Vol 27, Journal of Indo European Studies.

You are making a false assumption when you assume I mean non indoeuropean when I write pre celtic.

Convergent models explain a lot of the anomalies that divergent tree like models cannot.

Jean M
08-07-2015, 01:27 PM
You objected to Avalon's use of the term 'iron age tribes' and stated that they should be referred to as celtic tribes. This however implies a level of linguistic homogenity which cannot be assumed in my opinion.

The Celtic tribes that I was hoping people might help me with are those mentioned by Ptolemy and other authors, mainly in the Roman period. They have Celtic names. Where we have personal names attached to them, these are Celtic. The dominance of Celtic is absolute in the evidence. There is no reason whatever not to call them Celtic tribes.

rms2
08-07-2015, 01:29 PM
What actual evidence is there that any of the tribes the Romans encountered in Britain spoke something other than a Celtic language? A handful of toponyms only recently classed as being of unknown origin? That seems a thin reed on which to base exchanging the linguistically meaningful term Celtic for the linguistically vague and mushy Iron Age (linguistically meaningless, really, except that most of us realize that when a Celtoskeptic uses it, it means Celtic).

Who argues that all the inhabitants of Britain and Ireland spoke Celtic languages all of the time in every age?

Jean M
08-07-2015, 01:31 PM
Hardly, because even if there was evidence of a spoken celtic language in the British Isles in the Bronze Age, it would not preclude the existence of another language would it? The evidence is that a pre celtic language and a celtic language coexisted at some point. We have the pre celtic hydronyms transmitted to celtic speakers. I am just trying to ascertain when this co-existence took place.

I added another paragraph to my post which addressed this, but you probably missed it, so I will repost:


The river name Don comes from a deduced PIE form. It is wildly unlikely that people were still speaking PIE anywhere in Europe after about 2000 BC. Languages do not remain the same forever. They change. But in this case I presume that the earliest IE speakers to arrive in Britain were Bell Beaker people, who were then reinforced by later waves of BB people who by that time were speaking a recognisable form of Celtic. Because they came in larger numbers they would absorb the descendants of the earlier BB people into their speech community. This pattern of early IE followed by later waves with dialects and gradually distinctive IE daughter languages was probably common across Europe.

It is discussed in relation to Baltic and Slavic by Henning Andersen 2003, if I recall rightly.

rms2
08-07-2015, 01:31 PM
You don't have much more than names for evidence of celtic languages at the start of the roman period either.

As far as non-IE languages are concerned, I have not suggested that the pre celtic language of Britain was non IE but, I guess you could,'t bother yourself to read Garrett's Convergence in the formation of Indo-European subgroups. I can't make you read the scholarship afterall.

Why not see if your library has a copy of Renfrew's Time depth, convergence theory, and innovation in proto-indo-european : 'Old Europe' as a PIE linguistic area. It's in Vol 27, Journal of Indo European Studies.

You are making a false assumption when you assume I mean non indoeuropean when I write pre celtic.

Convergent models explain a lot of the anomalies that divergent tree like models cannot.

You're assuming I find your arguments compelling enough to follow up on your recommended reading list. No offense, but I don't.

My time is limited.

rms2
08-07-2015, 01:39 PM
The river name Don comes from a deduced PIE form. It is wildly unlikely that people were still speaking PIE anywhere in Europe after about 2000 BC. Languages do not remain the same forever. They change. But in this case I presume that the earliest IE speakers to arrive in Britain were Bell Beaker people, who were then reinforced by later waves of BB people who by that time were speaking a recognisable form of Celtic. Because they came in larger numbers they would absorb the descendants of the earlier BB people into their speech community. This pattern of early IE followed by later waves with dialects and gradually distinctive IE daughter languages was probably common across Europe.

I agree, and I think this is supported by the y-dna evidence.

It is likely the earliest BB arrivals in Britain and Ireland spoke some form of Italo-Celtic, which, because of its close relationship to what succeeded it, was relatively easily exchanged for a Celtic lingua franca.

authun
08-07-2015, 01:46 PM
You're assuming I find your arguments compelling enough to follow up on your recommended reading list. No offense, but I don't.

My time is limited.

I assumed correctly. You won't read the scholarship despite the credentials of scholars like Garrett, Renfrew or, in this case Lubotsky.

"The foundational theory of historical linguistics remains the 'tree model' (Stammbaumtheorie), championed by Neogrammarians in the late 19th century, which posits a genetic relationship between languages and explains linguistic phenomena in terms of inheritance from or divergence from common ancestors. The isogloss is the stock-in-trade of this theory, where it represents a linguistic phenomenon that was inherited from a common ancestor and is shared by a subset of its descendants.

....

The tree model has provided Indo-European studies, in particular, with its primary methodology and basic concepts and problems, but it is nevertheless clear that there has been contact between the Indo-European languages throughout their history and that some isoglosses must be considered the effects of contact (convergence) rather than inheritance (divergence)."

alan
08-07-2015, 02:01 PM
What actual evidence is there that any of the tribes the Romans encountered in Britain spoke something other than a Celtic language? A handful of toponyms only recently classed as being of unknown origin? That seems a thin reed on which to base exchanging the linguistically meaningful term Celtic for the linguistically vague and mushy Iron Age (linguistically meaningless, really, except that most of us realize that when a Celtoskeptic uses it, it means Celtic).

Who argues that all the inhabitants of Britain and Ireland spoke Celtic languages all of the time in every age?

There is zero evidence. Ancient river names are often fossils of thousand of years earlier and that would have also been true 2000 years ago. So river names tell us nothing about what was spoken at a particular snapshot in time when they were first recorded. People like Nicolaesen???? believe there is an early strata of IE names dating to times before Celtic developed its defining features (which sounds like the beaker era to me) as well as a smaller group which may be pre-IE. However there is zero evidence of non-Celtic languages recorded in personal, tribal and other stuff the Romans noted. Even when a tribal name is obscure, the town within their territory are clearly Celtic.

To be honest there is not evidence anywhere in temperate Europe for anyone describing a non-IE language being spoken other than Basque/Iberian and Uralic. A lot of ink has been spilled about non-IE or pre-IE languages in temperate Europe but no ancient writing from 2500-2000 years ago indicate pre-IE survival at all. I find this hardly surprising as somewhere between 2 and 3 thousand years had passed between the period IE probably arrived and the first classical historical sources describing the peoples in temperate Europe. 2-3 thousand years is plenty of time for an IE elite to have long linguistically wiped out the pre-IE languages. Whoever controlled the elite metalwork in the period 2500-500BC clearly held all the aces in terms of prestige and languages of prestige and status tend to win - not to mention the elites were able to breed like crazy at the expense of the rest as yDNA clearly demonstrates.

To be honest the obsession with a non-IE substrate among the Celts goes back to racial theories and some pretty shady work of the 19th and first half of the 20th century which stemmed from imperialist notions of Anglo-Saxon racial supremacy - most of which was utter nonsense and doesnt stand up to actual reality of phenotypes and genes.

Jean M
08-07-2015, 02:02 PM
credentials of scholars like ... Renfrew ...

Renfrew? You mean Colin Renfrew? He is an archaeologist, not a linguist. In fact he is notorious for ignoring linguistic evidence where it doesn't suit him.

alan
08-07-2015, 02:05 PM
I assumed correctly. You won't read the scholarship despite the credentials of scholars like Garrett, Renfrew or, in this case Lubotsky.

"The foundational theory of historical linguistics remains the 'tree model' (Stammbaumtheorie), championed by Neogrammarians in the late 19th century, which posits a genetic relationship between languages and explains linguistic phenomena in terms of inheritance from or divergence from common ancestors. The isogloss is the stock-in-trade of this theory, where it represents a linguistic phenomenon that was inherited from a common ancestor and is shared by a subset of its descendants.

....

The tree model has provided Indo-European studies, in particular, with its primary methodology and basic concepts and problems, but it is nevertheless clear that there has been contact between the Indo-European languages throughout their history and that some isoglosses must be considered the effects of contact (convergence) rather than inheritance (divergence)."

Certainly the tree model needs supplemented by the aerial contacts at every stage from late PIE. Its more of a lattice than a tree IMO

alan
08-07-2015, 02:07 PM
Renfrew? You mean Colin Renfrew? He is an archaeologist, not a linguist. In fact he is notorious for ignoring linguistic evidence where it doesn't suit him.

He also was filmed on TV crawling into passage tombs in a fancy suit and dicky bow which made me laugh.

Dubhthach
08-07-2015, 02:12 PM
To be honest the obsession with a non-IE substrate among the Celts goes back to racial theories and some pretty shady work of the 19th and first half of the 20th century which stemmed from imperialist notions of Anglo-Saxon racial supremacy - most of which was utter nonsense and doesnt stand up to actual reality of phenotypes and genes.

Indeed as can be seen in this 19th century cartoon, note the emphasis in text about non/pre-IE origins for bulk of population:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fa/Scientific_racism_irish.jpg

Of course you don't have to go back to the 19th century for examples of such cartoons in British newpapers, ye can try the 1980's for example:
http://i.imgur.com/T0otLZD.jpg

authun
08-07-2015, 02:12 PM
I added another paragraph to my post which addressed this, but you probably missed it, so I will repost:



It is discussed in relation to Baltic and Slavic by Henning Andersen 2003, if I recall rightly.


But that's because you are wedded to a divergent tree like model of IE languages where PIE has several branches, for example, a proto italo celtic branch which diverges into proto celtic and proto italic branches which in turn further branch into the various known celtic languages say. Not only does this take time, but the chronology requires a progression around the landscape.

Yet the formation of new languages out of older ancestors in this way is entirely speculative and whilst the evolutionary model of Indo European does work in some cases, it does not work in all cases (Bossong, Divergence, Convergence Contact)

You claim that the hydronym Don is PIE yet claim that it is widely unlikely that PIE was spoken after 2000 BC. When do you suppose insular celtic spakers learned the name. Obviously it would have to be well before 2000 BC according to your argument. On the otherhand Garrett's Convergent model offers a different explanation:

"3.1. Implications of convergence
Insofar as the formation of IE branches was a local process, and their characteristic innovations took place later than usually supposed, their phonological and morphological structures must have been closer in the centuries around 2000 JK than has been thought."

rms2
08-07-2015, 02:13 PM
I assumed correctly. You won't read the scholarship . . .

So that's the scholarship?

You're obfuscating really. Nothing you've cited involves any evidence that the peoples the Romans encountered in the British Isles spoke anything other than Celtic languages and that there is even a shred of a good reason not to refer to them as Celts, opting instead for the insipid and linguistically meaningless term Iron Age.

rms2
08-07-2015, 02:17 PM
. . .

To be honest the obsession with a non-IE substrate among the Celts goes back to racial theories and some pretty shady work of the 19th and first half of the 20th century which stemmed from imperialist notions of Anglo-Saxon racial supremacy - most of which was utter nonsense and doesnt stand up to actual reality of phenotypes and genes.

Well, I mentioned the political motives behind Celtoskepticism, which I think were the original force behind it, but as I recall we started to examine them once before in a thread and were stopped by the mods.

authun
08-07-2015, 02:18 PM
Renfrew? You mean Colin Renfrew? He is an archaeologist, not a linguist. In fact he is notorious for ignoring linguistic evidence where it doesn't suit him.

Well you do yoursef a disservice Jean which may be the result fo you not having even considered Language Convergence in your forthcoming publication. Renfrew's paper is widely cited but, if you don't like him, read Garrett or any of the others who have written on the topic in the last 20 years.

Jean M
08-07-2015, 02:22 PM
He also was filmed on TV crawling into passage tombs in a fancy suit and dicky now which made me laugh.

Ah well. Nowadays archaeologists can wear whatever they like on TV, courtesy of Time Team breaking the mould. But once upon a time it was strictly suits only I believe, as it was thought that viewers wouldn't take seriously what was said by a bloke with (shock, horror) no tie. :biggrin1:

Jean M
08-07-2015, 02:27 PM
Well you do yourself a disservice Jean which may be the result of you not having even considered Language Convergence in your forthcoming publication. Renfrew's paper is widely cited but, if you don't like him, read Garrett or any of the others who have written on the topic in the last 20 years.

I have read Garrett on the topic and found it interesting and do not rule out an element of convergence occurring in Celtic. Far from it. I follow Sims-Williams in the tree that I give, which takes into account the influence of various Celtic languages on each other. I think such convergence explains a number of puzzles. But what has this to do with the point at issue?

alan
08-07-2015, 02:30 PM
Ah well. Nowadays archaeologists can wear whatever they like on TV, courtesy of Time Team breaking the mould. But once upon a time it was strictly suits only I believe, as it was thought that viewers wouldn't take seriously what was said by a bloke with (shock, horror) no tie. :biggrin1:

although my favourite comedy archaeologist is bombastic ultra-continuity guy Francis Pryor who evolved locally spontaneously from some sort of bear.

authun
08-07-2015, 02:30 PM
So that's the scholarship?

No. If you were interested you could start by reading a book such as The Indo European Controversy or even just a chapter or two in it, such as Linguistic Fallacies of the Bayensian Phylogentic Model and Dating Problems of the Bayensian Phylogenetic Model and then use the Bibliography. But, I don't believe that you are interested.


opting instead for the insipid and linguistically meaningless term Iron Age.

That's your interpolation. Avalon used the terms Welsh Iron Age Tribes and Iron Age Tribes but not in a linguistic sense.

authun
08-07-2015, 02:35 PM
I have read Garrett on the topic and found it interesting and do not rule out an element of convergence occurring in Celtic. Far from it. I follow Sims-Williams in the tree that I give, which takes into account the influence of various Celtic languages on each other. I think such convergence explains a number of puzzles. But what has this to do with the point at issue?

I asked the question earlier but it remains outstanding. If Sims-Williams is right and that a celtic language only started to be spoken in Ireland in the 6th cent. BC and if your assertion that it it is the older of the insular celtic languages, brythonic being introduced later, what was the language of the Brigantes say 900BC? As I have pointed out, they show continuity with the bronze age. If both you and Sims-Williams are correct, a pre celtic language must have been spoken in mainland Britain when your later waves started to arrive.

Jean M
08-07-2015, 02:54 PM
I asked the question earlier but it remains outstanding. If Sims-Williams is right and that a celtic language only started to be spoken in Ireland in the 6th cent. BC and if your assertion that it it is the older of the insular celtic languages, brythonic being introduced later, what was the language of the Brigantes say 900BC?

Obviously I disagree with Sims-Williams on dating, for reasons lightly touched on above. Part of the problem, as I see it, is that linguists naturally like to deal with a language for which they have plenty of evidence. Who can blame them? But this means that they are judging the age of Irish by the earliest written form of it, after influence from Brittonic/Gaulish forms. This does indeed pertain to the question of whether one sticks to a rigid linguistic tree or not. I see your point now. The Sims-Williams tree I use does not. The many similarities between Irish and Welsh do not necessarily all date back to the first arrival of Celtic in the British Isles.

Agamemnon
08-07-2015, 03:01 PM
Well you do yoursef a disservice Jean which may be the result fo you not having even considered Language Convergence in your forthcoming publication. Renfrew's paper is widely cited but, if you don't like him, read Garrett or any of the others who have written on the topic in the last 20 years.

I mean no offense, but I'm ready to bet you wouldn't notice language convergence if it jumped on you and bit you in the arse :P

alan
08-07-2015, 03:27 PM
What I would point out is that Celtic in its most basic form is just a few language shifts nothing more. However when you dig deeper you can see the Celts have a whole pile of distinctive social institutions, social classes, rituals, sacred classes like Druids, Vates, Bards etc, military aspects, gods etc in common and many are imbedded in Celtic and even in pre-proto-Celtic. So it is not just language shifts that make the Celts distinctive. The Celts had a number of aspects that made them distinctive. They had a stronger emphasis on lineage, supported a large learned class. The learned class of course is not just a generic resemblance, its very specific with the names of the offices like Druid, Vates, Bard and other variants attested throughout the whole of Celtic Europe and the isles and is embedded in proto-Celtic and even in pre-proto-Celtic. The Celts everywhere in these terms almost look like a photocopy of each other in these institutions and social structure. This includes areas with very little La Tene influence or indeed much Hallstatt influence. These are not the sort of things that would easily simply follow trade routes. They are core social structure, ritual, religion and other building blocks of the pan-Celtic society which persist whether or no they were living in advanced oppida or in very dispersed upland pastoral groups. They clearly pre-date the Iron Age. Some of the institutions and words are shared with very remote pre-proto Germanic. None of the shared vocab indicates post-Bronze Age times as it is very basic social structural stufff. They clearly pre-date the Iron Age and are not the same as borrowings from Celtic to proto-Germanic (then contained only in the area aroudn south Scandinavia and nealry north Germany) in the Iron Age c. 500BC onwards. It seems clear to me that the major social and ritual institutions of the Celts were formed long before the Iron Age.

In all probability many aspects of Celticity with its peculiarities formed in the Bronze Age 2200-1000BC. Also note that Atlantic Iberia was cut off from the Atlantic Bronze Age links to the north Atlantic c. 1000BC so the Celticity of that zone surely must pre-date 1000BC - the idea that the Celts of Atlantic Iberia are somehow a trickle effect from Urnfield has almost nothing to recommend it IMO. There is also the issue of Lepontic which shows P-Celtic by 550BC and its archaeological chain through Golasecca and Canegrate cultures which suggest Celtic in Alpine Italy before 1000BC.

I think there is close to certainty that Celtic was widespread through Europe in 1000BC. To explain that it very hard to simply point to a shared culture because even Urnfield doestn explain Celtic's presence in many areas well beyond its reach. La Tene, Hallstatt C/D and urnfield alone do not cut it in terms of explaining Celtic's distribution.

That all said I believe Celticity by 1000BC was probably achieved over a long period of elite interaction and convergence on an Italo-Celtic base and passing through a long incipient Celtic pre-proto-Celtic base across the whole period c. 2300-1000BC. People are fooled by a Hollywood idea of sudden events and by the exceptional Celtic disintegration/expansion phases in the Iron Age into thinking it was all like that. The reality is probably very complex. However I think essentially Celtic traits commenced deep in the Bronze Age in what is probably best called the pre-proto-Celtic phase c. 2000-1000BC. A couple of linguistic shifts between pre-proto-Celtic and proto-Celtic didnt change the essential ethnicity of the group and you can see in the archaeology that the basic structure of Celtic society existed in the pre-Hallstatt late Bronze Age and even the middle Bronze Age with hints of it in the early Bronze Age. I think the problem people have is they like events and have problems with the idea of long continuous gradual morphing with no sharp edges (clearly the reality in the Bronze Age). People get hung up on the invasion phase of the period 600-100BC and dont see it as it really was - not the beginning but the beginning of the end of the end of the Celts.

authun
08-07-2015, 03:47 PM
I mean no offense, but I'm ready to bet you wouldn't notice language convergence if it jumped on you and bit you in the arse :P

I know the areas that I have read about. My knowledge is limited to the authors that I have quoted and the texts that I have cited but the concept is simple enough. Rather than languages evolving along branched lines, the theory is that languages are created in situ by the convergence of dialects so, for example, the various italic and celtic languages in europe have converged out of a southern indo european language that entered europe and are not the result of further branching of a proto italo celtic branch. As Garrett explains:

"the familiar branches arose not by the differentiation of earlier higher‑order subgroups — from ‘Italo‑Celtic’ to Italic and Celtic, and so on — but by convergence among neighbouring dialects in a continuum."

What I can't follow are the linguistic arguments used to make the claim or indeed if the hypothesis is true. Garrett again:

"If this model is right, it also has ramifications for the problem of IE chronology: When (and where) was Proto‑IE spoken, and what processes led to its spread across a wide Eurasian territory by 1000 BC?

But, it is a linguistic subject which has appeared in the past 2 or 3 decades, partly in response to the failures in the branching model and partly because of new discoveries and it is one given serious consideration by some leading linguists.

Read some for yourself and see what you think, Convergence in the formation of Indo-European subgroups (http://linguistics.berkeley.edu/~garrett/IEConvergence.pdf)

alan
08-07-2015, 04:01 PM
I know the areas that I have read about. My knowledge is limited to the authors that I have quoted and the texts that I have cited but the concept is simple enough. Rather than languages evolving along branched lines, the theory is that languages are created in situ by the convergence of dialects so, for example, the various italic and celtic languages in europe have converged out of a southern indo european language that entered europe and are not the result of further branching of a proto italo celtic branch. As Garrett explains:

"the familiar branches arose not by the differentiation of earlier higher‑order subgroups — from ‘Italo‑Celtic’ to Italic and Celtic, and so on — but by convergence among neighbouring dialects in a continuum."

What I can't follow are the linguistic arguments used to make the claim or indeed if the hypothesis is true. Garrett again:

"If this model is right, it also has ramifications for the problem of IE chronology: When (and where) was Proto‑IE spoken, and what processes led to its spread across a wide Eurasian territory by 1000 BC?

But, it is a linguistic subject which has appeared in the past 2 or 3 decades, partly in response to the failures in the branching model and partly because of new discoveries and it is one given serious consideration by some leading linguists.

Read some for yourself and see what you think, Convergence in the formation of Indo-European subgroups (http://linguistics.berkeley.edu/~garrett/IEConvergence.pdf)

I think there is a certain pointlessness in trying to refine this because the period between the highly inferred pretense of widespread proto-Celtic by 1000BC and the likely proto-Celtic-Italic root c. 2500BC (the pre-proto-Celtic phase) will never be full resolved

authun
08-07-2015, 04:05 PM
I think there is close to certainty that Celtic was widespread through Europe in 1000BC. To explain that it very hard to simply point to a shared culture because even Urnfield doestn explain Celtic's presence in many areas well beyond its reach. La Tene, Hallstatt C/D and urnfield alone do not cut it in terms of explaining Celtic's distribution.

This can be summarised by looking at the salt mining and meat processing areas on the mountain at Hallstatt. The green areas represent the bronze age salt mining and meat curing industries. The red area is the Hallstatt Period salt mining area and the orange is the Hallstatt Period graveyard. The dark blue area is the la Tene salt mining area -= they had to shift it because of the mining subsidence and the light blue is the la Tene settlement area. The romans, when they arrived, appear to have been content in the valley bottom.

The question is, how much continuity is there? The bronze age meat processing appears to stop. This was the whole point in mining the salt in the first place. The bronze age mines may have been worked out, hence the relocation of the Hallstatt mines but why stop processing the meat? Maybe they were just trading salt. There are rich burials at Hallstatt but no princely burials on that mountain. Some of the rich burials do contain amber goods but, is it credible that it was traded for salt? However, there are still a huge number of graves to be excavated so who knows what we may find.

But both continuity and discontinuity models fit on this mountain. Is it the same population but changing what they do to meet new circumstances or did a new population enter the area with new ideas on what to do. Salt is of course the driver at all times.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7c/%C3%9Cbersicht_zu_den_Fundstellen_in_Hallstatt_und _im_Hallst%C3%A4tter_Salzbergtal.jpg

authun
08-07-2015, 04:13 PM
I posted a link to the book (http://www.anthrogenica.com/showthread.php?1243-Kingdom-of-Salt-7000-years-of-Hallstatt&p=11985&viewfull=1#post11985) KINGDOM OF SALT 7000 Years of Hallstatt a couple of years ago. It's a book well worth reading.

Agamemnon
08-07-2015, 04:37 PM
I know the areas that I have read about. My knowledge is limited to the authors that I have quoted and the texts that I have cited but the concept is simple enough. Rather than languages evolving along branched lines, the theory is that languages are created in situ by the convergence of dialects so, for example, the various italic and celtic languages in europe have converged out of a southern indo european language that entered europe and are not the result of further branching of a proto italo celtic branch. As Garrett explains:

"the familiar branches arose not by the differentiation of earlier higher‑order subgroups — from ‘Italo‑Celtic’ to Italic and Celtic, and so on — but by convergence among neighbouring dialects in a continuum."

What I can't follow are the linguistic arguments used to make the claim or indeed if the hypothesis is true. Garrett again:

"If this model is right, it also has ramifications for the problem of IE chronology: When (and where) was Proto‑IE spoken, and what processes led to its spread across a wide Eurasian territory by 1000 BC?

But, it is a linguistic subject which has appeared in the past 2 or 3 decades, partly in response to the failures in the branching model and partly because of new discoveries and it is one given serious consideration by some leading linguists.

Read some for yourself and see what you think, Convergence in the formation of Indo-European subgroups (http://linguistics.berkeley.edu/~garrett/IEConvergence.pdf)

Convergence isn't observed between Celtic dialects, let alone Italo-Celtic as a whole. I have proposed that the spread of Celtic is due to a language levelling process, that in itself is quite different from convergence - though both are contact-induced phenomenons - as language convergence has more to do with typology ("Altaic" is a textbook example of convergence) while language levelling is inherently tied to morphology (which is far more relevant as far as classification goes). While I agree with Garrett that the morphological structure of the different IE branches must have been closer to PIE during the late 3rd millenium BCE than previously thought, this certainly doesn't imply that language convergence was the underlying process at work here. Garrett fails to bring forth any convincing evidence which would validate the existence of a dialect continuum which gave rise to the different branches of IE through convergence... And if you ask me, that's not very surprising, since he's basically arguing against the evidence (which basically highlights divergence as opposed to convergence).

Jean M
08-07-2015, 04:55 PM
as language convergence has more to do with typology ("Altaic" is a textbook example of convergence) while language levelling is inherently tied to morphology (which is far more relevant as far as classification goes).

Oh golly. I've been using the wrong word I see. (Not in the book though, where I try to steer clear of tricky terminology.)

Agamemnon
08-07-2015, 04:57 PM
Oh golly. I'm using the wrong word I see. (Not in the book though, where I try to steer clear of tricky terminology.)

You got that right, linguists just love complicating things with fancy words ;) Used to get on my nerves when I started to study linguistics, but it has its own purpose I guess.

authun
08-07-2015, 05:35 PM
Convergence isn't observed between Celtic dialects, let alone Italo-Celtic as a whole.

Well Garrett's proposal does away with any need for Italo-Celtic as the Celtic languages, he proposes, may have converged directly from a southern Indo European. He does however make it clear that he has no proof of this and that the hypothesis is based on his work on Greek:

"It is thus possible that the dynamics behind the emergence of Celtic, Italic, and other IE branches of Europe refract the same history as those behind the emergence of Greek."

Watkins however does not agree with your comment and favours convergence over divergence for the insular celtic languages.

“My modest proposal is to suggest that it may be very productive to consider Insular Celtic – British and Irish – as a definable linguistic area within Celtic, one in which differences perhaps due to genetic filiation may be and perhaps should be subordinate to similarities resulting from geographic, areal diffusion and convergence.”

Agamemnon
08-07-2015, 07:31 PM
Well Garrett's proposal does away with any need for Italo-Celtic as the Celtic languages, he proposes, may have converged directly from a southern Indo European. He does however make it clear that he has no proof of this and that the hypothesis is based on his work on Greek:

"It is thus possible that the dynamics behind the emergence of Celtic, Italic, and other IE branches of Europe refract the same history as those behind the emergence of Greek."

Watkins however does not agree with your comment and favours convergence over divergence for the insular celtic languages.

“My modest proposal is to suggest that it may be very productive to consider Insular Celtic – British and Irish – as a definable linguistic area within Celtic, one in which differences perhaps due to genetic filiation may be and perhaps should be subordinate to similarities resulting from geographic, areal diffusion and convergence.”

As I said, Garrett is basically arguing against the evidence. Watkins' take is even more dubious, since he assumes that an equally good case can be made for convergence, at least as far as Insular Celtic goes (again, despite the evidence at hand).

vettor
08-07-2015, 07:39 PM
Convergence isn't observed between Celtic dialects, let alone Italo-Celtic as a whole. I have proposed that the spread of Celtic is due to a language levelling process, that in itself is quite different from convergence - though both are contact-induced phenomenons - as language convergence has more to do with typology ("Altaic" is a textbook example of convergence) while language levelling is inherently tied to morphology (which is far more relevant as far as classification goes). While I agree with Garrett that the morphological structure of the different IE branches must have been closer to PIE during the late 3rd millenium BCE than previously thought, this certainly doesn't imply that language convergence was the underlying process at work here. Garrett fails to bring forth any convincing evidence which would validate the existence of a dialect continuum which gave rise to the different branches of IE through convergence... And if you ask me, that's not very surprising, since he's basically arguing against the evidence (which basically highlights divergence as opposed to convergence).

I agree, but too many people have different views of what is Italo-celtic.
some see it as a mix of people and not a language

most see it as a language group , but fail to realise that the Italo does not mean Italian ( an artificial language created in the 13th century ) language but a group of italic languages that does not include venetic
Italic - In phonology, the Italic languages are centum languages, merging the palatals with the velars, thus Lat cenum with a k-, but keeping this combines group separate from the labio-velars. In morphology the Italic languages preserve six cases in the noun and adjective (nominative, accusative, genitive, dative, ablative, vocative) with traces of a seventh (locative), but the dual of both the noun and verb has completely disappeared.

avalon
08-07-2015, 08:10 PM
I mean no offense, but I'm ready to bet you wouldn't notice language convergence if it jumped on you and bit you in the arse :P

So you meant no offence but you went ahead and insulted authan anyway. Hilarious quip by the way.

Fair play to you authan by the way. You're heavily outnumbered in this discussion, and I don't agree with all of your comments but I'd say you were holding your own.

Agamemnon
08-07-2015, 08:59 PM
So you meant no offence but you went ahead and insulted authan anyway. Hilarious quip by the way.

Fair play to you authan by the way. You're heavily outnumbered in this discussion, and I don't agree with all of your comments but I'd say you were holding your own.

First off, I am just stating a fact here, if anyone thinks he's observing convergence between Celtic dialects from a diachronic linguistic POV, you might as well assume this person simply doesn't know what convergence is.

Also, this is not a football game, this isn't about numbers, science isn't democratic.

avalon
08-07-2015, 09:13 PM
Firstly, that's not the point. The point is that a pre celtic language was spoken at some point and that hydronyms like Wey, Wye, Tamar, Bovey and Don were passed onto celtic speakers and the question is, when did the two populations interact?".

This is something I have wondered. The use of the term Celtic ignores the fact that there were once people who inhabited these isles before Celtic languages arrived. Let's call them Neolithic Britons. In terms of dna we know almost nothing about the interaction between these two peoples. I have heard it suggested that the all conquering Indo Europeans wiped out the indigenous people but frankly given the lack of ancient dna we just don't know and I seriously doubt it anyway.

We know about the process by which Ireland became English speaking, we have a pretty good idea how England became English speaking. We don't have the same knowledge about the Celtic transition. 100 years from now when Irish Gaelic dies out will it be OK to refer to the Irish as as a Germanic tribe?

Jean M
08-07-2015, 10:16 PM
100 years from now when Irish Gaelic dies out will it be OK to refer to the Irish as as a Germanic tribe?

Scarcely! :) In the first place, the Irish are not a tribe but a people. They left tribal life behind in the early Christian period. Secondly the usual term is Anglophone for English speakers who adopted the language rather than being descended from the people who created English. Some people living in Ireland are descended from Angles and/or Saxons, but Ireland as a whole has a separate linguistic history.

Jean M
08-07-2015, 10:27 PM
The use of the term Celtic ignores the fact that there were once people who inhabited these isles before Celtic languages arrived. Let's call them Neolithic Britons.

This is not being ignored. It just isn't relevant to the term used for the Celtic language speakers, which is (not surprisingly) Celtic. We presume that the Neolithic people spoke a non-IE language. There has been a good deal of inconclusive discussion of the possible traces of this in the Insular Celtic languages. Like you, I would imagine that some existing farmers were absorbed into the Bell Beaker stock as time went on. This sort of thing seems to have happened on a larger scale though in Greece, while Sardinia managed to resist the IE wave for even longer.

Jean M
08-08-2015, 12:41 PM
I've beefed up the section on the Durotriges in http://www.ancestraljourneys.org/celticswengland.shtml
and the Belgae (civitas of) in http://www.ancestraljourneys.org/belgicengland.shtml

Both had rather short shrift previously. I found helpful Birthday of the Eagle: The Second Augustan Legion and the Roman Military Machine edited by Richard J. Brewer (National Museums and Galleries of Wales 2002).

rms2
08-08-2015, 12:57 PM
. . . But, I don't believe that you are interested.

Well, you got one thing right, but mainly because what you are arguing has nothing to do with the matter under dispute, i.e., whether or not it is proper to refer to the people who were living in the British Isles when the Romans arrived as Celts.




That's your interpolation. Avalon used the terms Welsh Iron Age Tribes and Iron Age Tribes but not in a linguistic sense.

I notice you are still pontificating away in this thread long after I went on to do other things yesterday. Nothing you posted amounts to even a shred of evidence that any of the inhabitants of the British Isles and Ireland were speaking anything other than Celtic languages when the Romans arrived and that therefore it is improper to refer to them as Celtic.

rms2
08-08-2015, 01:21 PM
This is not being ignored. It just isn't relevant to the term used for the Celtic language speakers, which is (not surprisingly) Celtic. We presume that the Neolithic people spoke a non-IE language. There has been a good deal of inconclusive discussion of the possible traces of this in the Insular Celtic languages. Like you, I would imagine that some existing farmers were absorbed into the Bell Beaker stock as time went on. This sort of thing seems to have happened on a larger scale though in Greece, while Sardinia managed to resist the IE wave for even longer.

Right. I personally do not understand the impossibly high bar set for use of the terms Celt and Celtic. It seems that in the areas where Celtic languages came to be spoken, if anyone ever spoke anything else, before or after, then we just cannot possibly risk the trivial inaccuracy of referring to those who obviously did speak Celtic as Celts. Elsewhere, however, and often with much less evidence, it is okay to refer to certain peoples and their cultures as Proto-Indo-European, Anatolian, Iranian, Germanic, Slavic, you name it. But please, let's not toss the word Celt around too loosely! Oh, no! There might have been a Neolithic sodbuster around at some point who spoke something else!

Bizarre. (I read somewhere that word actually has a Basque root.)

Jean M
08-08-2015, 01:46 PM
if anyone ever spoke anything else, before or after, then we just cannot possibly risk the trivial inaccuracy of referring to those who obviously did speak Celtic as Celts.

It is not even a trivial inaccuracy. It simply makes no difference at all. As I pointed out earlier, Celtic tribes were co-existing with non-Celtic speakers in both Iberia and Gaul at the time that these territories were conquered by the Romans. The expansion of the Celts into south-eastern Europe and Anatolia brought them into contact with the speakers of other languages. This makes absolutely no difference to their classification as Celts (or Gauls or Galatoi) either now or in ancient literature. Nor does the existence of earlier languages in any Celtic-speaking region.

rms2
08-08-2015, 01:51 PM
It is not even a trivial inaccuracy. It simply makes no difference at all. As I pointed out earlier, Celtic tribes were co-existing with non-Celtic speakers in both Iberia and Gaul at the time that these territories were conquered by the Romans. The expansion of the Celts into south-eastern Europe and Anatolia brought them into contact with the speakers of other languages. This makes absolutely no difference to their classification as Celts (or Gauls or Galatoi) either now or in ancient literature. Nor does the existence of earlier languages in any Celtic-speaking region.

I agree, except that I was trying to characterize the position of the Celtoskeptics, who seem to fear above all else that we might catch a small, unknown tribe or family band of non-Celtic speakers in our Celtic net. Of course, I think they have other, less noble motives, as well, but we'll let those be for now.

Jean M
08-08-2015, 02:01 PM
I agree, except that I was trying to characterize the position of the Celtoskeptics, who seem to fear above all else that we might catch a small, unknown tribe or family band of non-Celtic speakers in our Celtic net.

If at the time of Ptolemy's Geography we had any clearly non-Celtic tribe anywhere in the British Isles, I would be enchanted to say so. Lots of people would be thrilled that the British Isles could boast even a fraction of the linguistic complexity of Gaul and Iberia. But it would make not one iota of difference to the clearly Celtic tribes.

On a different but related tack we know that the Boii were Celtic, though living east of the Rhine. Later their region, Bohemia, became Germanic speaking. We don't label the Germanic people there as Celtic, or the Boii as Germanic, simply because they inhabited the same region at different times.

Dubhthach
08-08-2015, 02:21 PM
My feeling that Celto-skeptisim in Britain (and with knock over to the "chattering classes" in Ireland) is if anything a response to increase in Nationalism in the periphery of the then UK in late 19th century onwards.

Personally of course most Irish people these days are more concerned by the likes of BBC claiming every other Irish person who wins something (sport, acting etc.) as British. It reminds me about the anecdote about Richard Harris "British Acotor wins Palm d'Or in Cannes", the next week after been arrested due to drunken row "Irish actor arrested for been drunk and disorderly"

;)

rms2
08-08-2015, 02:30 PM
My feeling that Celto-skeptisim in Britain (and with knock over to the "chattering classes" in Ireland) is if anything a response to increase in Nationalism in the periphery of the then UK in late 19th century onwards . . .

Well, that's it right there, IMHO, especially when it comes to recent independence movements.

authun
08-08-2015, 03:26 PM
you might as well assume this person simply doesn't know what convergence is.

The same might be said of you since you refer to the disputed altaic family which supposes convergence of different languages. Garrett's proposal does not include convergence of several languages but of dialects within one language group, eg, southern indo european and Watkins proposes that the development of the goidellic and brythonic languages occurred in situ more by convergence than by filiation. There is no need, according to Watkins, to ask who came first bcause they may have come together, speaking one language but one which converged into the two we know. Maybe even 3 if Pictish turns out to be a form of celtic. I'm surprised that somene who claims to have studied linguistics does not understand the difference. The claimed convergence amongst the supposed altaic family have nothing to do with it.

authun
08-08-2015, 03:27 PM
So you meant no offence but you went ahead and insulted authan anyway. Hilarious quip by the way.

Fair play to you authan by the way. You're heavily outnumbered in this discussion, and I don't agree with all of your comments but I'd say you were holding your own.

Oh I don't worry about corny remarks by people who have had their noses put out of joint. He's less motivated by lingustics and more by the celticity. The Altai thing is a red herring as it applies to separate languages whereas Garrett and the others are talking about dialects within a single linguistic group.

authun
08-08-2015, 03:35 PM
This is something I have wondered. The use of the term Celtic ignores the fact that there were once people who inhabited these isles before Celtic languages arrived. Let's call them Neolithic Britons. In terms of dna we know almost nothing about the interaction between these two peoples. I have heard it suggested that the all conquering Indo Europeans wiped out the indigenous people but frankly given the lack of ancient dna we just don't know and I seriously doubt it anyway.

Many people like to feel safe with what they have decided upon. They don't like loose ends, they hate uncertainty. I am not saying that unknown languages were definitely spoken at the time of the roman period but merely that they some may have still been around.

As long as we don't know what the language of the Picts was, as long as we don't know what the language of the Belgae was, as long as we don't know what the language of the forerunners of the Cherusker was in the 3rd cent. BC and as long as we don't know what language the terp dwellers in the NW Netherlands spoke in the 1st cent. AD, we cannot say for sure that celtic or germanic languages were the only langauge families. Some people don't like this uncertainty. It is neither neat nor tidy.

You will have lots of people claiming that they know but that's not the being certain. The language of the Picts and the language of the Belgae has defeated the best linguistic minds for over a century. But, people feel more comfortable if they can dot all the eyes and cross all the tees, even if they don't do so accurately. We don't know and, as long as we don't know, there is room for the possibility that theese were different languages.

Jean M
08-08-2015, 04:00 PM
The language of the Picts and the language of the Belgae has defeated the best linguistic minds for over a century.

What makes you say that? To the best of my knowledge there is no mystery about either. Both are seen as P-Celtic on the existing evidence. I don't see any modern linguists registering bafflement. Fairly straightforward, I would have thought.

Jean M
08-08-2015, 04:31 PM
I am not saying that unknown languages were definitely spoken at the time of the roman period but merely that they some may have still been around..

As I keep saying, there definitely were non-Celtic languages being spoken in Gaul and Iberia at the time of the Roman conquest. That makes no difference at all to what we call the Celtic speakers there. The Celtic-speakers were Celts. The Iberian-speakers were Iberes etc.

By the way there are increasing numbers of people in England who do not speak English. That does not mean that I can't call myself English. This whole argument is illogical.

alan
08-08-2015, 05:12 PM
Right. I personally do not understand the impossibly high bar set for use of the terms Celt and Celtic. It seems that in the areas where Celtic languages came to be spoken, if anyone ever spoke anything else, before or after, then we just cannot possibly risk the trivial inaccuracy of referring to those who obviously did speak Celtic as Celts. Elsewhere, however, and often with much less evidence, it is okay to refer to certain peoples and their cultures as Proto-Indo-European, Anatolian, Iranian, Germanic, Slavic, you name it. But please, let's not toss the word Celt around too loosely! Oh, no! There might have been a Neolithic sodbuster around at some point who spoke something else!

Bizarre. (I read somewhere that word actually has a Basque root.)

Basically in the UK the state wants to encourage a pan-British identity that is overwhelmingly English (whatever they say) and dislikes and mocks an serious political aspect to Celtic ID. They dont mind a bit of Celticness mixed in safely as pageant or a bit of colour like bagpipers and kilts in the army or the like but they are very hostile when people feel a lot deeper or political about their Irish, Scottish or Welsh ID. The problem is the English are nearly 55 million but the 'Celtic' countries in the UK are about 8-9 Million combined. So British culture is essentially English culture with a bit of Celtic window dressing here and there. What they dont like is when people poke about in history and find it was far from a happy family both before and long after the union.

I personally think it is a certaintly Scotland will break off within the next 10 years as it was only the 60 plus years people and half a million non-Scots in Scotland (two groups who unusually voted 3-1 against independence) who tilted the balance to defeat independence last year. This is backed by the census 2011 results which showed that an identity other than Scottish only like 'Scottish and British' or British not Scottish or British only is only common in the non-Scots born and over 60s. The rest overwhelmingly said 'Scottish only'. The aged 60 plus, especially the 70 plus have a much stronger attachement to the UK due to WWII etc.

The under 30s are about 75 percent for independence and all the under decade long slices of the population age are now majority for independence (its grown further since the referendum), slowly thinning with each older slice until about 60 when the anti-independence becomes the majority. Demographics and the far older average age of the anti-independence voters makes it a virtual certainty Scotland will leave the UK in ten years, perhaps even in 5 years. I would almost bet the house on that. Only something really major and unexpected in the next 5-10 years could stop it. It is virtually certain a 2nd referendum on independence will happen by 2025 and quite likely it will be held by 2020. The pro-independence Scottish National Party won 50pc of the vote and 55 or the 58 parlamentary seats 6 months after the referendum in May. So its on a knife-edge about 50-50 right now.

Anyway that is the background to the hostility to IDs that are not generic British. Ireland of course is another case but no need to discuss this now as its probably a lot better understood across the Atlantic than the Scottish situation.

alan
08-08-2015, 05:16 PM
This is something I have wondered. The use of the term Celtic ignores the fact that there were once people who inhabited these isles before Celtic languages arrived. Let's call them Neolithic Britons. In terms of dna we know almost nothing about the interaction between these two peoples. I have heard it suggested that the all conquering Indo Europeans wiped out the indigenous people but frankly given the lack of ancient dna we just don't know and I seriously doubt it anyway.

We know about the process by which Ireland became English speaking, we have a pretty good idea how England became English speaking. We don't have the same knowledge about the Celtic transition. 100 years from now when Irish Gaelic dies out will it be OK to refer to the Irish as as a Germanic tribe?

again though why apply this only to Celtic. The fact that there was a long existing pre-IE population applies to all European language blocks. We know virtually all IE languages exist on top of the preIE substrate but that doesnt seem to mean people raise doubts if its correct to call Germanic or Slavic populations by those titles. I think people seem to have a beef with the term Celtic that is not applied to other areas.

Agamemnon
08-08-2015, 05:34 PM
The same might be said of you since you refer to the disputed altaic family which supposes convergence of different languages. Garrett's proposal does not include convergence of several languages but of dialects within one language group, eg, southern indo european and Watkins proposes that the development of the goidellic and brythonic languages occurred in situ more by convergence than by filiation. There is no need, according to Watkins, to ask who came first bcause they may have come together, speaking one language but one which converged into the two we know. Maybe even 3 if Pictish turns out to be a form of celtic. I'm surprised that somene who claims to have studied linguistics does not understand the difference. The claimed convergence amongst the supposed altaic family have nothing to do with it.

How so? In fact, Altaic is an invalid phylum precisely because we observe convergence as opposed to divergence from a common ancestor. Convergence in an IE context is rather idiosyncratic if we are to assign the formation of IE language groups to this process, not only because the data suggests the exact opposite (divergence) but mainly because convergence blurs genetic affiliation to such an extent that morphological structure and typology become almost indistinguishable. Of course, this obviously isn't the case here since Brittonic and Goidelic languages have phonological, basic morphological and lexical innovations of their own.
If convergence really occured then we'd simply fail to reconstruct proto-Brittonic using the comparative method.

Jean M
08-08-2015, 07:26 PM
I think people seem to have a beef with the term Celtic that is not applied to other areas.

Well I certainly hope I don't get all this screaming if I tackle the Anglo-Saxons next, but in my experience people always find something to scream about. :biggrin1:

vettor
08-08-2015, 07:39 PM
As I keep saying, there definitely were non-Celtic languages being spoken in Gaul and Iberia at the time of the Roman conquest. That makes no difference at all to what we call the Celtic speakers there. The Celtic-speakers were Celts. The Iberian-speakers were Iberes etc.

By the way there are increasing numbers of people in England who do not speak English. That does not mean that I can't call myself English. This whole argument is illogical.

There is also an ancient language called Vasconic ( modern Gascony areas ) of France which seems to be forgotten , its association with basque and aquitarian and its relevant size and position in modern France must have had an influence on celtic

IIRC, the iberes also where next to vasconic lands

vettor
08-08-2015, 07:45 PM
It is not even a trivial inaccuracy. It simply makes no difference at all. As I pointed out earlier, Celtic tribes were co-existing with non-Celtic speakers in both Iberia and Gaul at the time that these territories were conquered by the Romans. The expansion of the Celts into south-eastern Europe and Anatolia brought them into contact with the speakers of other languages. This makes absolutely no difference to their classification as Celts (or Gauls or Galatoi) either now or in ancient literature. Nor does the existence of earlier languages in any Celtic-speaking region.

We have already had this discussion and some people associate celtic as,
either one of the choices below or both, there is no clear cut answer

a celt is one who speaks celtic language

a celt is one that has celtic material but does not speak celtic

Jean M
08-08-2015, 07:49 PM
There is also an ancient language called Vasconic ( modern Gascony areas ) of France which seems to be forgotten , its association with basque and aquitarian ... IRC, the iberes also where next to vasconic lands

The language which you are calling Vasconic was spoken in Aquitaine, so I called it Aquitainian in a post above. It is indeed now known to be a precursor to modern-day Basque. It used to be thought that Iberes lived in the vicinity of the Basques once upon a time, but there is no place-name evidence of this. They lived further south. None of this has been forgotten or ignored. You can find a large section on the Basques in Ancestral Journeys, if you care to purchase a copy.

Jean M
08-08-2015, 08:00 PM
We have already had this discussion and some people associate celtic as, either one of the choices below or both, there is no clear cut answer

a celt is one who speaks celtic language

a celt is one that has celtic material but does not speak celtic

It seems more to be:

A. A Celt is someone speaking a Celtic language. (Most scholars of Celtic studies e.g. Koch).
B. A Celt is someone identified as such by an ancient source, and since ancient sources point to the place and time of the La Tene Culture, La Tene = Celtic. (A number of archaeologists, but not those opting for Bell Beaker as the vector for Celtic).
C. There is no such thing as a Celt, as this was just a Greek term for anyone foreign (to them) north of the Mediterranean. (Extreme Celtoscepticism of Collis).

However scholars accepting A also accept B as valid, but limited.
Scholars accepting B have no quarrel A in the sense that they accept that people of the La Tene Culture spoke a Celtic language.

avalon
08-08-2015, 08:44 PM
Alan,

As someone with mostly welsh ancestry I am more than happy to be called a celt. But I will also answer to cymry and ancient Briton. The only point I am trying to make is that my ancestry isn't just Celtic. I am also descended from neolithic britons and maybe a small amount of isles hunter gatherer.

That's why I like ancient Briton. It refers to the geographic island of Britain and includes all its inhabitants since the ice age, not just those all conquering indo European horseback warriors from the steppe, that clearly some people love to believe they are descended from.

alan
08-08-2015, 09:16 PM
Well I certainly hope I don't get all this screaming if I tackle the Anglo-Saxons next, but in my experience people always find something to scream about. :biggrin1:

am very glad you have taken the stance you have on Celticity being as valid as the rest. You might get a reaction but it could be a lot of fun watching their tantrums.

alan
08-08-2015, 09:25 PM
Alan,

As someone with mostly welsh ancestry I am more than happy to be called a celt. But I will also answer to cymry and ancient Briton. The only point I am trying to make is that my ancestry isn't just Celtic. I am also descended from neolithic britons and maybe a small amount of isles hunter gatherer.

That's why I like ancient Briton. It refers to the geographic island of Britain and includes all its inhabitants since the ice age, not just those all conquering indo European horseback warriors from the steppe, that clearly some people love to believe they are descended from.

no problem. I also relate to all the periods and we probably all carry some genes from each period. I personally wouldnt call myself anything in particular although vast maj of my ancestors a few centuries ago probably did speak Celtic languages but also probably some Norman and others. We are all mixed to some degree.

I wasnt at all trying to put you in the category of those who think Germanic or Slavic is valid but Celtic is some nationalist fairy tale. However there are a lot of people out there who do treat Celtic as just that and cry 'wicked nationalists' while wearing a union jack suit with no sense of irony. Those people think Celtic identities are nationalist and dangerous while at the same time being patriotic about England or Britain is not nationalism at all. Its a weird irony bypass and just part of this weird inconsistency when it comes to the Celtic fringe identities.

Jean M
08-08-2015, 09:47 PM
am very glad you have taken the stance you have on Celticity being as valid as the rest.

I always have done. So it seems a bit odd that anyone who knows me is getting excited about it now. My online pages on Celtic tribes of the British Isles were begun in September 2010. It's all up front. Authun can probably recall one attempt of mine years ago on another forum to get to the bottom of the question of when the Celts arrived in the British Isles. He was exceedingly helpful, suggesting pertinent books and papers, and recommended me to join the now defunct DNA Forums, as the best place to get the latest gen on relevant genetics. I owe him a lot. That must have been 2008. I'm still in touch with two Welshmen with whom I argued online against Celtosceptism in the 1990s.

alan
08-08-2015, 09:51 PM
Alan,

As someone with mostly welsh ancestry I am more than happy to be called a celt. But I will also answer to cymry and ancient Briton. The only point I am trying to make is that my ancestry isn't just Celtic. I am also descended from neolithic britons and maybe a small amount of isles hunter gatherer.

That's why I like ancient Briton. It refers to the geographic island of Britain and includes all its inhabitants since the ice age, not just those all conquering indo European horseback warriors from the steppe, that clearly some people love to believe they are descended from.

BTW I am totally happy with the term Ancient Britain. Celt is so pan-European that it doesnt help much in some ways and as you say Ancient Britain conveys the layer cake of different pre-Roman peoples that made up the Britons c 0AD. Its just as long as everyone understands that Germans, Slavs, Italics etc all also made up of similar layers of IE and pre-IE genes. We almost all are in Europe. Personally I think I would have enjoyed the lifestyle and society of the Mesolithic hunters best and I also find the ritual/religion orientated Neolithic more group minded societies fascinating and rather cool. The Bronze Age and on through the Iron age is rather too nuts too close to the historic social structures we see to make it so interesting. It also sounds like a rather unpleasant society where a few violent guys at the top get all the women like in the animal kingdom and have 1000 grandchildren while the rest cry into their pots in a dark hut LOL. I personally think I would have fitted far better into the Mesolithic or Neolithic societies.

alan
08-08-2015, 10:00 PM
I always have done. So it seems a bit odd that anyone who knows me is getting excited about it now. My online pages on Celtic tribes of the British Isles were begun in September 2010. It's all up front. Authun can probably recall one attempt of mine years ago on another forum to get to the bottom of the question of when the Celts arrived in the British Isles. He was exceedingly helpful, suggesting pertinent books and papers, and recommended me to join the now defunct DNA Forums, as the best place to get the latest gen on relevant genetics. I owe him a lot. That must have been 2008. I'm still in touch with two Welshmen with whom I argued online against Celtosceptism in the 1990s.

yes you always have been very fair about Celtic. I dont mind really - just think as long as people agree all IE groups are made of layers of IEs and substrates they absorbed 1000s of years ago then its totally fine. Its just when the Celts get the exception treatment/skepticism then all people with a clear head can see how weirdly inconsistent that is. There is simply no rational basis to treat Celtic any different from any other IE group in this respect.

We talk about how Celtic must have formed in stages of all sorts of complex processes from upstream nodes in the language tree but of course this is almost certainly also true of the pre-proto forms of many IE languages. I see IE languages like a lattice of chess board with the vertical growth from roots but also the sideways aerial contact aspects and that was probably the case from the beginning in the interface zones.

Rory Cain
08-08-2015, 10:08 PM
am very glad you have taken the stance you have on Celticity being as valid as the rest. You might get a reaction but it could be a lot of fun watching their tantrums.
Recall when P312 was discovered, with the subsequent discovery that P312 was essentially the mainstream Celtic marker, and to the horror of many who thought of themselves as "English" a Germanic tribe, they were in fact P312, more Celtic, at least in the male line. It was equivalent to being accused of bastardry, I think from the reactions.

Dreams of racial purity are often just that - dreams. The myth of the Germans as a purebred race was shattered when DNA showed the Germans were as mixed as anyone. It seems to have been an even harsher blow for the English not only being mixed, but being more Celtic than Germanic. P312 had those who cling to racial purity then hoping for a saviour in the form of a purely Germanic subclade of P312. It made for amusing reading at the time. But half a decade later, surely it's time to move on.

alan
08-08-2015, 10:12 PM
The language which you are calling Vasconic was spoken in Aquitaine, so I called it Aquitainian in a post above. It is indeed now known to be a precursor to modern-day Basque. It used to be thought that Iberes lived in the vicinity of the Basques once upon a time, but there is no place-name evidence of this. They lived further south. None of this has been forgotten or ignored. You can find a large section on the Basques in Ancestral Journeys, if you care to purchase a copy.

What I say to people who say the high R1b among the Basques must mean that it was originally pre-IE is look at the extremely high non-IE R1a groups in central Asia. Also now we can point to non-IE groups today with high Z2103 despite the fact it is Yamnaya associated in ancient DNA and not old enough to be related to movements of early farmers. Y line language transfer just happens a lot and it is amazing that we still as many good language-y line associations as we do after all this time.

alan
08-08-2015, 10:23 PM
Recall when P313 was discovered, with the subsequent discovery that P312 was essentially the mainstream Celtic marker, and to the horror of many who thought of themselves as "English" a Germanic tribe, they were in fact P312, more Celtic, at least in the male line. It was equivalent to being accused of bastardry, I think from the reactions.

Dreams of racial purity are often just that - dreams. The myth of the Germans as a purebred race was shattered when DNA showed the Germans were as mixed as anyone. It seems to have been an even harsher blow for the English not only being mixed, but being more Celtic than Getmanic. P312 had those who cling to racial purity then hoping for a saviour in the form of a purely Germanic subclade of P312. It made for amusing reading at the time. But half a decade later, surely it's time to move on.

The discovery of P312 was an amazing moment because of the people who tried to make out U152 was Celtic and the rest of the lumped together western M269 were totally different and possibly Palaeolithic hunters. When we could see that L21, U152 and what became DF27 all shared an immediate upstream ancestor that suddenly meant that they could not be sharply contrasted any more. Same of course with L11 linking P312 closely to U106. Generally in the early days there was a lot of superiority coming from people with U152 and U106 compared to the rest of western R1b and that even today leaves a bad taste in the mouth, being redolent of Victorian attitudes. Now we are all a happy bunch of siblings and close cousins. It also meant - and this is something I never expected - that there would be a y line link that led to all the Celtic (and Italic) dominated populations. So, there was a genetic aspect linking both continental and isles Celto-Italic speakers. Again this killed what seemed to be a rival of the old Victorian idea of continentals as proper Celts and isles Celtic speakers as pre-IE aborigines who had learned Celtic. What is especially ironic is it is the isles Celts are coming out autosomally as more north European than both the former continental Celtic areas and even the modern English despite their Germanic language. So much for the old racial ideas.

Agamemnon
08-08-2015, 11:22 PM
Recall when P313 was discovered, with the subsequent discovery that P312 was essentially the mainstream Celtic marker, and to the horror of many who thought of themselves as "English" a Germanic tribe, they were in fact P312, more Celtic, at least in the male line. It was equivalent to being accused of bastardry, I think from the reactions.

Dreams of racial purity are often just that - dreams. The myth of the Germans as a purebred race was shattered when DNA showed the Germans were as mixed as anyone. It seems to have been an even harsher blow for the English not only being mixed, but being more Celtic than Getmanic. P312 had those who cling to racial purity then hoping for a saviour in the form of a purely Germanic subclade of P312. It made for amusing reading at the time. But half a decade later, surely it's time to move on.

I agree, the English have always had a hard time accepting their Celtic roots, which is quite interesting given the fact that they seem to be mostly of Celtic ancestry (at least judging from the recent Schiffels et al. paper). English nationalism relies on a narrative which blows England's Germanic input out of proportion while shunning England's Celtic past, in this sense English nationalism is quite similar to pan-Arabism and pan-Germanism (both of which rely on similar narratives).
Again this is quite interesting given the fact that the English aren't all that different from the Welsh, Scots and Irish from a genetic standpoint.

rms2
08-09-2015, 12:48 AM
Well I certainly hope I don't get all this screaming if I tackle the Anglo-Saxons next, but in my experience people always find something to scream about. :biggrin1:

You have to call that one Blood of the Iron Age, because, you know, not all of their ancestors spoke a Germanic language. ;)

alan
08-09-2015, 12:52 AM
I agree, the English have always had a hard time accepting their Celtic roots, which is quite interesting given the fact that they seem to be mostly of Celtic ancestry (at least judging from the recent Schiffels et al. paper). English nationalism relies on a narrative which blows England's Germanic input out of proportion while shunning England's Celtic past, in this sense English nationalism is quite similar to pan-Arabism and pan-Germanism (both of which rely on similar narratives).
Again this is quite interesting given the fact that the English aren't all that different from the Welsh, Scots and Irish from a genetic standpoint.

I think the problem with the cruder forms of English and closely related British nationalism is it based on a superiority complex more than anything to do with ethnicity or ancient roots. Its more based on a post-imperial sense of wanting to still be top dog and generally disliking or looking down all other peoples. It isnt apparently based on any real depth of love for own culture. They also have a big issue in distinguishing Englishness and Britishness in a way that nationalists in the Celtic countries dont. I dont think the English have a very strong identity with clear blue water between it and their British identity. England has a lot of cultural achievements but its not usually very cultural or educated people who dabble in Anglo-British nationalism so they dont focus on them and instead they seem to focus on an ex-imperial sense of superiority. Its usually a bit zenophonic and very inward looking and hostile. Its more marginal and not considered respectable even in England due to its most obvioius proponents tending to be skinheads and marginal nutters. It very different from the Celtic nationalism forms which nowadays tend to be civic, cultural and also on the opposite side of the political spectrum from skinheads etc.

The Celtic nations within the UK are also incredibly strong left wing voters with for example in the recent general election only 15 percent of Scots voting for the right, about 80pc voting for the left parties and a few for the middle. So they have a very different world view from England and are probably more like Scandinavians in a political sense. In England over 50pc voted for the right wing Conservative or UKIP parties compared to 15pc in Scotland. So there is a chasm in political outlook within the UK. I would actually think Scotland is probably the most left wing voting patterns in Europe if not the world. This tends to feed into the forms of nationalism. Scottish nationalism is left wing and very politically correct/avoids ethnic nationalism like the plague while English nationalism is right wing and reactionary. I am not making value judgments on this before any moderator gets hot under the collar, just quoting rough statistics to explain to those who might be interested.

alan
08-09-2015, 01:00 AM
I agree, the English have always had a hard time accepting their Celtic roots, which is quite interesting given the fact that they seem to be mostly of Celtic ancestry (at least judging from the recent Schiffels et al. paper). English nationalism relies on a narrative which blows England's Germanic input out of proportion while shunning England's Celtic past, in this sense English nationalism is quite similar to pan-Arabism and pan-Germanism (both of which rely on similar narratives).
Again this is quite interesting given the fact that the English aren't all that different from the Welsh, Scots and Irish from a genetic standpoint.

and it appears that the Irish and Scots - have no info on the Welsh - are actually more northern European than the modern English on autosomal polls. However I would say England is a big enough country that even with modern mixing this likely significantly varies if it was broken down by area more finely. I imagine this slight drag southwards among the English could have several sources such as the Romans and the Normans. Certainly the old Victorian ideas are not borne out by genetics.

rms2
08-09-2015, 01:01 AM
I agree, the English have always had a hard time accepting their Celtic roots, which is quite interesting given the fact that they seem to be mostly of Celtic ancestry (at least judging from the recent Schiffels et al. paper). English nationalism relies on a narrative which blows England's Germanic input out of proportion while shunning England's Celtic past, in this sense English nationalism is quite similar to pan-Arabism and pan-Germanism (both of which rely on similar narratives).
Again this is quite interesting given the fact that the English aren't all that different from the Welsh, Scots and Irish from a genetic standpoint.

Churchill was exceptional in that in his A History of the English-Speaking Peoples (http://www.amazon.com/History-English-Speaking-Peoples-Bloomsbury-Revelations/dp/1474216315) he said it was his opinion that the English were mostly the descendants of Celtic Britons who had had English imposed on them by an Anglo-Saxon elite. Of course, given the two world wars, he wasn't overly fond of Germans to begin with. It's been awhile since I read Churchill's A History, and I am working from memory, so I can't supply a quote or a page number.

Anyway, I think the Anglo-Saxons came over in fairly large numbers and comprised more than merely an elite, but there was certainly no total replacement of the Celtic Britons in what is now England.

alan
08-09-2015, 01:04 AM
Churchill was exceptional in that in his A History of the English-Speaking Peoples (http://www.amazon.com/History-English-Speaking-Peoples-Bloomsbury-Revelations/dp/1474216315) he said it was his opinion that the English were mostly the descendants of Celtic Britons who had had English imposed on them by an Anglo-Saxon elite. Of course, given the two world wars, he wasn't overly fond of Germans to begin with. It's been awhile since I read Churchill's A History, and I am working from memory, so I can't supply a quote or a page number.

Anyway, I think the Anglo-Saxons came over in fairly large numbers and comprised more than merely an elite, but there was certainly no total replacement of the Celtic Britons in what is now England.

apparently though the English - the small group of well educated aside - had lost all knowledge of Germanic roots and the ordinary English were horrified when programs about the Sutton Hoo and the Anglo-Saxon Germanic roots of the English informed them they were kin to the dreaded huns LOL

Agamemnon
08-09-2015, 01:12 AM
Churchill was exceptional in that in his A History of the English-Speaking Peoples (http://www.amazon.com/History-English-Speaking-Peoples-Bloomsbury-Revelations/dp/1474216315) he said it was his opinion that the English were mostly the descendants of Celtic Britons who had had English imposed on them by an Anglo-Saxon elite. Of course, given the two world wars, he wasn't overly fond of Germans to begin with. It's been awhile since I read Churchill's A History, and I am working from memory, so I can't supply a quote or a page number.

Anyway, I think the Anglo-Saxons came over in fairly large numbers and comprised more than merely an elite, but there was certainly no total replacement of the Celtic Britons in what is now England.

Indeed, I also tend to agree with Churchill's take, my understanding is that the English are mostly of Celtic ancestry (in that sense "Anglo-Celtic" is a valid label). Of course, he certainly minimised the Germanic input in the Isles, as you said the Germans weren't all that popular after WW1 (my own family can testify to that :P), but in the end the English are bound to be primarily of Celtic descent (hence the abundance of P312 branches, chiefly L21, in England).

alan
08-09-2015, 01:13 AM
It has to be recalled that in the early 20th century most British has a basic education, left school in their early teens etc and it was only a small percentage who had deep educations on history, classics etc. So, the average Englishman had no knowledge of being descended from Germanics. They were the enemy and seen as savage boors. I definitely recall reading the disbelief when popular radio or TV started informing the masses of their Germanic roots. I know for a fact that the English dont see themselves as Germanic and tend to stereotype the Germanics as being rather alien in their ways being humourless, being overly law abiding/obsessed with rules, expensive but naff sensible outdoor clothes instead of a t-shirt and jeans etc LOL. Mind you my overriding impression of nationalistic English is that they hate everyone - the Germans, French you name it they hate them.

rms2
08-09-2015, 01:20 AM
It has to be recalled that in the early 20th century most British has a basic education, left school in their early teens etc and it was only a small percentage who had deep educations on history, classics etc. So, the average Englishman had no knowledge of being descended from Germanics. They were the enemy and seen as savage boors. I definitely recall reading the disbelief when popular radio or TV started informing the masses of their Germanic roots. I know for a fact that the English dont see themselves as Germanic and tend to stereotype the Germanics as being rather alien in their ways being humourless, being overly law abiding/obsessed with rules, expensive but naff sensible outdoor clothes instead of a t-shirt and jeans etc LOL. Mind you my overriding impression of nationalistic English is that they hate everyone - the Germans, French you name it they hate them.

At some risk of being accused of stereotyping, I will say there is some truth to those descriptions of the Germans, but it is my impression that the picture of the rigid, humorless, cold German really only applies to North Germans. South Germans are known for their fun loving, easy going Gemütlichkeit. I have known a fair number of Germans, and it has been my experience that South Germans really are the "good time rock-n-roll" bunch, while North Germans tend to an opposite sort of outlook. Of course, there are probably plenty of exceptions, so I hope I didn't offend anyone.

Agamemnon
08-09-2015, 01:26 AM
and it appears that the Irish and Scots - have no info on the Welsh - are actually more northern European than the modern English on autosomal polls. However I would say England is a big enough country that even with modern mixing this likely significantly varies if it was broken down by area more finely. I imagine this slight drag southwards among the English could have several sources such as the Romans and the Normans. Certainly the old Victorian ideas are not borne out by genetics.

The SE English seem to cline slightly towards the continent, yes, but this can equally qualify as hair-splitting at this point. There are no major genetic differences between the English, Scots and Irish (unless we're talking about uniparental frequencies, where differences are more pronounced). Also, I take issue with the claim that the Irish and Scots are more Northern European than the English, the results of my maternal grandfather's far-flung relative (four grandparents from East Anglia) do a big disfavour to this assumption for example. I think we shouldn't fall into the trap of black & white conjecture, yes on average people from SE England are more "southern" than their Irish and Scottish counterpart, however this pattern certainly doesn't count for all of England.

rms2
08-09-2015, 01:30 AM
I think Alan was talking about the Irish and Scots having a higher proportion of ANE than the English. I'm guessing the Welsh will have higher ANE than the English, too, because IMHO ANE in the Isles increases as one moves north and west, just as lactase persistence does.

alan
08-09-2015, 01:40 AM
Indeed, I also tend to agree with Churchill's take, my understanding is that the English are mostly of Celtic ancestry (in that sense "Anglo-Celtic" is a valid label). Of course, he certainly minimised the Germanic input in the Isles, as you said the Germans weren't all that popular after WW1 (my own family can testify to that :P), but in the end the English are bound to be primarily of Celtic descent (hence the abundance of P312 branches, chiefly L21, in England).

Not to mention practically every English person has a Scottish, Irish or Welsh great grandparent or two. Everyone has poured into England so that it now outnumbers the Celtic part of the UK by about 6 to 1. However if you wind back to the 1841 England has about 15 million compared to a combined Celtic nations combined population of around 11 or 12 million (which included all Ireland at that time) so there wasnt a huge difference. Ireland has halved its pop, Scotland only grown a modest amount and England has quadrupled its population since 1840. In fact the population of England has grown 50pc since WWII when blockades almost starved Britain so would be in huge trouble if it happened again.

Agamemnon
08-09-2015, 01:43 AM
I think Alan was talking about the Irish and Scots having a higher proportion of ANE than the English. I'm guessing the Welsh will have higher ANE than the English, too, because IMHO ANE in the Isles increases as one moves north and west, just as lactase persistence does.

Well, my maternal grandfather's relative is 17.20% ANE, I don't know how that fits in with the English average but my guess is that it isn't all that different from what the Irish and Scots get. And again, he has no known ancestry outside East Anglia, so I'd say we should be careful not to generalise too much.


Not to mention practically every English person has a Scottish, Irish or Welsh great grandparent or two. Everyone has poured into England so that it now outnumbers the Celtic part of the UK by about 6 to 1. However if you wind back to the 1841 England has about 15 million compared to a combined Celtic nations combined population of around 11 or 12 million (which included all Ireland at that time) so there wasnt a huge difference. Ireland has halved its pop, Scotland only grown a modest amount and England has quadrupled its population since 1840. In fact the population of England has grown 50pc since WWII when blockades almost starved Britain so would be in huge trouble if it happened again.

Eh, tell me more about it. That's why I'm reluctant to use my mother's results in the first place, as she's basically a mixture from the four corners of the Isles (my maternal line came from Scotland, for example). I even found out that her father was 1/4 Welsh just by paying attention to his family tree a few months ago, something I was completely unaware of by the past.

alan
08-09-2015, 01:47 AM
The SE English seem to cline slightly towards the continent, yes, but this can equally qualify as hair-splitting at this point. There are no major genetic differences between the English, Scots and Irish (unless we're talking about uniparental frequencies, where differences are more pronounced). Also, I take issue with the claim that the Irish and Scots are more Northern European than the English, the results of my maternal grandfather's far-flung relative (four grandparents from East Anglia) do a big disfavour to this assumption for example. I think we shouldn't fall into the trap of black & white conjecture, yes on average people from SE England are more "southern" than their Irish and Scottish counterpart, however this pattern certainly doesn't count for all of England.

England is a large country with a proportionately even bigger population so I imagine it has far more regional variation in its autosomal DNA.

alan
08-09-2015, 01:53 AM
Well, my maternal grandfather's relative is 17.20% ANE, I don't know how that fits in with the English average but my guess is that it isn't all that different from what the Irish and Scots get. And again, maternal grandfather's relative has no known ancestry outside East Anglia, so I'd say we should be careful not to generalise too much.



Eh, tell me more about it. That's why I'm reluctant to use my mother's results in the first place, as she's basically a mixture from the four corners of the Isles (my maternal ancestors came from Scotland, for example). I even found out that her father was 1/4 Welsh just by paying attention at his family tree a few months ago, something I was completely unaware of by the past.

I agree it is splitting hairs. A lot of Britains DNA project seems to be getting down to hair splitting extremely fine sorting. All I meant is there seems to be a fairly consistent finding the Irish and Scots were a percentage point or so higher in ANE than the English when averaged. However I suspect the English vary regionally much more than say the Irish because England is far larger in population and size and has several extra large phases of population history that were absent or relatively minor in Ireland. The impact of these extra inputs that were primarily England focused also was not uniform within England itself. So I believe the English probably vary a bit more regionally.

rms2
08-09-2015, 01:55 AM
BTW I am totally happy with the term Ancient Britain. Celt is so pan-European that it doesnt help much in some ways and as you say Ancient Britain conveys the layer cake of different pre-Roman peoples that made up the Britons c 0AD. Its just as long as everyone understands that Germans, Slavs, Italics etc all also made up of similar layers of IE and pre-IE genes. We almost all are in Europe. Personally I think I would have enjoyed the lifestyle and society of the Mesolithic hunters best and I also find the ritual/religion orientated Neolithic more group minded societies fascinating and rather cool. The Bronze Age and on through the Iron age is rather too nuts too close to the historic social structures we see to make it so interesting. It also sounds like a rather unpleasant society where a few violent guys at the top get all the women like in the animal kingdom and have 1000 grandchildren while the rest cry into their pots in a dark hut LOL. I personally think I would have fitted far better into the Mesolithic or Neolithic societies.

I forget my exact proportions when I calculated them some time back, but I was 16% or so ANE, some huge chunk WHG, and some percentage EEF that was smaller than my WHG but (if I recall correctly) bigger than my ANE. So, yeah, I am descended from all sorts of ancient people. I tend to identify with my y-dna line. Since it is R1b, and I think the evidence tends to support the idea that R1b arrived in Europe west of Russia and Ukraine with the Indo-Europeans, I kind of identify with them and therefore with the Celtic Britons. I don't like the idea of toiling on the farm, so Neolithic folks are low on my coolometer; however, the hunter-gatherer existence seems attractive (but only as fantasy - I doubt life as a hunter-gatherer was really much fun).

But anyway, identifying with ancient people is something that occurs only in the fun and silly part of my brain. I know where, when, and how I was raised: I am an American of the baby boom generation, for most of the year toiling in my chosen profession, struggling to make ends meet, and trying to have a good time.

rms2
08-09-2015, 02:03 AM
Well, my maternal grandfather's relative is 17.20% ANE, I don't know how that fits in with the English average but my guess is that it isn't all that different from what the Irish and Scots get. And again, he has no known ancestry outside East Anglia, so I'd say we should be careful not to generalise too much . . .

That's exceptionally high. The English average is much lower than that (13-14%, as I recall). 17.20% is more like a Lithuanian or a Scandinavian.

alan
08-09-2015, 02:05 AM
I forget my exact proportions when I calculated them some time back, but I was 16% or so ANE, some huge chunk WHG, and some percentage EEF that was smaller than my WHG but (if I recall correctly) bigger than my ANE. So, yeah, I am descended from all sorts of ancient people. I tend to identify with my y-dna line. Since it is R1b, and I think the evidence tends to support the idea that R1b arrived in Europe west of Russia and Ukraine with the Indo-Europeans, I kind of identify with them and therefore with the Celtic Britons. I don't like the idea of toiling on the farm, so Neolithic folks are low on my coolometer; however, the hunter-gatherer existence seems attractive (but only as fantasy - I doubt life as a hunter-gatherer was really much fun).

But anyway, identifying with ancient people is something that occurs only in the fun and silly part of my brain. I know where, when, and how I was raised: I am an American of the baby boom generation, for most of the year toiling in my chosen profession, struggling to make ends meet, and trying to have a good time.

A British TV channel -Channel 5 -did a series last year called 10000BC and sent a lot of modern Brits with some training and supervision back to that date. They had to send them to the mountain woods of the Carpathians in Romanian or Bulgaria to get the environment right. They gave them a hut to start and some training but they were meant to then sort everything else themselves. They ended up in a shocking state, could catch a cold never mind a wild boar and lost most of their body weight. They only survived the winter because the program makers decided to give them some supplies. Some of them were like skeletons. They caught no meat at all if i recall right except for the odd basket of crayfish. Mind you they were mostly city folks (some of them very annoying people) and I think an outdoors person from the US or perhaps Canada would have done better. Still it was a real eye opener. Think there were about 8 episodes.
This is a link http://www.channel5.com/shows/10000-bc/episodes/episode-1-724

Agamemnon
08-09-2015, 02:08 AM
That's exceptionally high. The English average is much lower than that (13-14%, as I recall). 17.20% is more like a Lithuanian or a Scandinavian.

Interesting, I don't know whether his results are typical for East Anglia, but it's certainly food for thought. He does come up as a mixture of North Dutch and Danish on most calculators though. The figure you gave (13-14%) makes sense as my mother is around 15% ANE (but again, she's a mixture from the four corners of the Isles, therefore she isn't a good English proxy).

alan
08-09-2015, 02:09 AM
That's exceptionally high. The English average is much lower than that (13-14%, as I recall). 17.20% is more like a Lithuanian or a Scandinavian.

East Anglia is proverbial for being an, ahem, close bred rural population hahaha. So it could be that there are pockets of Anglo-Saxon or Danish descended genes in super concentration in the odd corner of that country.

Agamemnon
08-09-2015, 02:11 AM
East Anglia is proverbial for being an, ahem, close bred rural population hahaha. So it could be that there are pockets of Anglo-Saxon or Danish descended genes in super concentration in the odd corner of that country.

That would certainly explain all these Scandinavian (as well as Slavic) matches my mother and her paternal relative get.

alan
08-09-2015, 02:11 AM
Interesting, I don't know whether his results are typical for East Anglia, but it's certainly food for thought. He does come up as a mixture of North Dutch and Danish on most calculators though. The figure you gave (13-14%) makes sense as my mother is around 15% ANE (but again, she's a mixture from the four corners of the Isles, therefore she isn't a good English proxy).

I suppose East Anglia is one of those Danelaw areas that had a double dose of Germanics from around Denmark with Angles and then the Danes arriving.

rms2
08-09-2015, 02:12 AM
A British TV channel -Channel 5 -did a series last year called 10000BC and sent a lot of modern Brits with some training and supervision back to that date. They had to send them to the mountain woods of the Carpathians in Romanian or Bulgaria to get the environment right. They gave them a hut to start and some training but they were meant to then sort everything else themselves. They ended up in a shocking state, could catch a cold never mind a wild boar and lost most of their body weight. They only survived the winter because the program makers decided to give them some supplies. Some of them were like skeletons. They caught no meat at all if i recall right except for the odd basket of crayfish. Mind you they were mostly city folks (some of them very annoying people) and I think an outdoors person from the US or perhaps Canada would have done better. Still it was a real eye opener. Think there were about 8 episodes.
This is a link http://www.channel5.com/shows/10000-bc/episodes/episode-1-724

We have something similar here called Fat Guys in the Woods (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4_zJPcjlhY). The city slickers are only in the woods for a short time, but, as you said, it's an eye opener for them.

Agamemnon
08-09-2015, 02:15 AM
I suppose East Anglia is one of those Danelaw areas that had a double dose of Germanics from around Denmark with Angles and then the Danes arriving.

I recall reading somewhere that there was continuous Scandinavian immigration to East Anglia for several centuries after the arrival of the Angles... Not exactly hard to believe when I see all these relatives from Scandinavia, more than a few of the IBD segments my mother shares with Scandinavians are also shared with Slavic people for instance.

alan
08-09-2015, 02:21 AM
We have something similar here called Fat Guys in the Woods (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4_zJPcjlhY). The city slickers are only in the woods for a short time, but, as you said, it's an eye opener for them.

The 10000BC program was really cool in that it showed all the technique, ancient trapping, fishing techniques etc but the participants kept almost catching stuff but not quite making it. The program producers had to have sharp shooters hiding in the woods later on in the winter though because they got so weak the wolves would have got them. As it turned out it seems hunting is hit and miss - well miss in their case - and it was the gathering and storing of nuts, apples and plants and careful rationing that was more important although they just couldnt get enough energy into themselves. Only meat really gives enough calories and they just couldnt catch anything. They got close to the boars but they were warned not to as they can charge and kill humans if they panic.

rms2
08-09-2015, 02:29 AM
Have you seen this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCKkHqlx9dE)? It's pretty impressive. Let's say this guy is a descendant of the ancient Celts so we're not off topic.

alan
08-09-2015, 02:34 AM
Have you seen this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCKkHqlx9dE)? It's pretty impressive. Let's say this guy is a descendant of the ancient Celts so we're not off topic.

that is seriously impressive. Have long fancied having a go at building a small hut but my garden is tiny and my wife would kill me if I did

Jessie
08-09-2015, 07:04 AM
I agree it is splitting hairs. A lot of Britains DNA project seems to be getting down to hair splitting extremely fine sorting. All I meant is there seems to be a fairly consistent finding the Irish and Scots were a percentage point or so higher in ANE than the English when averaged. However I suspect the English vary regionally much more than say the Irish because England is far larger in population and size and has several extra large phases of population history that were absent or relatively minor in Ireland. The impact of these extra inputs that were primarily England focused also was not uniform within England itself. So I believe the English probably vary a bit more regionally.

The Irish and Scots are more north of the English on any autosomal dna map and they do have a higher ANE percentage. I would say the Northern English would be similar to the Irish and Scots but there is a definite southern pull with the rest of the English. The Hinxton Celtic samples cluster with modern day Irish and Scots and not modern day English. I would love to see more Welsh dna samples as they are a bit of a mystery.

Jessie
08-09-2015, 07:10 AM
That's exceptionally high. The English average is much lower than that (13-14%, as I recall). 17.20% is more like a Lithuanian or a Scandinavian.

Mine is almost 17% and here is my mother's so that is similar to Irish results but much higher than the English average.

ANE 17.17%
ASE 1.75%
WHG-UHG 62.95%
East_Eurasian 0.61%
West_African -
East_African 0.45%
ENF 17.07%

Dubhthach
08-09-2015, 07:48 AM
Churchill was exceptional in that in his A History of the English-Speaking Peoples (http://www.amazon.com/History-English-Speaking-Peoples-Bloomsbury-Revelations/dp/1474216315) he said it was his opinion that the English were mostly the descendants of Celtic Britons who had had English imposed on them by an Anglo-Saxon elite. Of course, given the two world wars, he wasn't overly fond of Germans to begin with. It's been awhile since I read Churchill's A History, and I am working from memory, so I can't supply a quote or a page number.

Anyway, I think the Anglo-Saxons came over in fairly large numbers and comprised more than merely an elite, but there was certainly no total replacement of the Celtic Britons in what is now England.

An analogy I often used is to compare the English with modern South American populations. We know from historic record that there was Spanish "immigration" into region but at no time did they reach a majority (well apart from perhaps in Cuba), over time they intermixed with indigenous population (who had survived introduced disease etc.) to such an extent now that most people have some level of European admixture, ranging from 10%-95%+

And that's only after 500 years, now imagine when you have two "relatively related" (eg. 2 Iron age European populations, only sperated form each by 1500-2500 years) mix.

Dubhthach
08-09-2015, 07:51 AM
Not to mention practically every English person has a Scottish, Irish or Welsh great grandparent or two. Everyone has poured into England so that it now outnumbers the Celtic part of the UK by about 6 to 1. However if you wind back to the 1841 England has about 15 million compared to a combined Celtic nations combined population of around 11 or 12 million (which included all Ireland at that time) so there wasnt a huge difference. Ireland has halved its pop, Scotland only grown a modest amount and England has quadrupled its population since 1840. In fact the population of England has grown 50pc since WWII when blockades almost starved Britain so would be in huge trouble if it happened again.

Indeed, today in Britain there are about 8million people who have at least 1 Irish grandparent (and thus are elligble for Irish passport/dual-citizenship). If you factor in migration since the Great Famine it's reckon that between 12-16million of current British population has some Irish ancestry (circa 20%~ population). About 1 million Irish born currently live in Britain for example.

Dubhthach
08-09-2015, 08:03 AM
If I recall the study from back in 2010, on PCA analaysis the Scots are intermediate between Irish sample and English. Of course the Irish sample happens to come from Dublin ;) (no comment!) and Scottish sample was from Aberdeen (which as we know appear distinct from west scots in PoBI etc.)

http://dienekes.blogspot.ie/2010/06/population-structure-in-ireland-and.html

From what I recall of other studies the English when compared to Irish and Dutch were intermediated between the two, obviously what this implies (in my opinion) is that the english sample population was made up of admixture of two source populations, one that more closely resembles modern Irish (Ancient Britons) and one that more closely resembles modern Dutch (Anglo-Saxon's).

As other's have pointed out I'd reckon the levels of admixture probably varies across Britain, if anything I think alot of the "peripheral" clusters in the PoBI study (say in upland areas) reflected the vary levels of admixture.

(2009)
http://dienekes.blogspot.ie/2009/03/genetic-structure-in-northern-europe.html
http://genome.cshlp.org/content/early/2009/03/05/gr.083394.108.full.pdf
http://genome.cshlp.org/content/suppl/2009/05/01/gr.083394.108.DC1/Supplementary_Figures1-10.pdf

Dubhthach
08-09-2015, 08:10 AM
that is seriously impressive. Have long fancied having a go at building a small hut but my garden is tiny and my wife would kill me if I did

Just tell her ye need a "man-shed" so you can arrange your tools or something!

alan
08-09-2015, 09:05 AM
Indeed, today in Britain there are about 8million people who have at least 1 Irish grandparent (and thus are elligble for Irish passport/dual-citizenship). If you factor in migration since the Great Famine it's reckon that between 12-16million of current British population has some Irish ancestry (circa 20%~ population). About 1 million Irish born currently live in Britain for example.

and I think I read that there about half a million Scots born people in England right now too. So England is hell of a melting pot of isles people without even considering EU and non-European migration. I would guess most nowadays are heading to the south of England where the jobs are rather than the old Industrial (where did that go?) pattern of heading to the big northern cities.

alan
08-09-2015, 09:07 AM
Just tell her ye need a "man-shed" so you can arrange your tools or something!

She'd rearrange my face. These south Armagh women are fierce LOL

Dubhthach
08-09-2015, 09:15 AM
She'd rearrange my face. These south Armagh women are fierce LOL

South Armagh? Ye should have said, ye've two options than. It's for:

Laundering Green Diesel
Storing the smuggled cigarettes


She'll understand then! *gets coat*

alan
08-09-2015, 09:19 AM
If I recall the study from back in 2010, on PCA analaysis the Scots are intermediate between Irish sample and English. Of course the Irish sample happens to come from Dublin ;) (no comment!) and Scottish sample was from Aberdeen (which as we know appear distinct from west scots in PoBI etc.)

http://dienekes.blogspot.ie/2010/06/population-structure-in-ireland-and.html

From what I recall of other studies the English when compared to Irish and Dutch were intermediated between the two, obviously what this implies (in my opinion) is that the english sample population was made up of admixture of two source populations, one that more closely resembles modern Irish (Ancient Britons) and one that more closely resembles modern Dutch (Anglo-Saxon's).

As other's have pointed out I'd reckon the levels of admixture probably varies across Britain, if anything I think alot of the "peripheral" clusters in the PoBI study (say in upland areas) reflected the vary levels of admixture.

(2009)
http://dienekes.blogspot.ie/2009/03/genetic-structure-in-northern-europe.html
http://genome.cshlp.org/content/early/2009/03/05/gr.083394.108.full.pdf
http://genome.cshlp.org/content/suppl/2009/05/01/gr.083394.108.DC1/Supplementary_Figures1-10.pdf

Aberdeen and it shire was a terrible choice in some ways. It has a really unusual pattern of very high y-I and although it has a lot of R1b (little R1a) quite a bit is U106. It quite well know that that area had a fairly influential input of people from north-east England in the high Medieval period - think it was the 12th century. That very high I and significant U106 but low R1a sounds to me like a largely Anglo-Saxon derived population was planted among the natives and that appears to tally with history. The distinctive broad Scots dialect (called 'Doric' for some reason) is meant to show strong links with the high Medieval dialects of north of England rather than the older early Medieval/dark ages Anglo-Saxon of the Angles of SE of Scotland. So it all fits together to suggest the area around Aberdeen has a significant element that is atypical.

Personally I would have chosen somewhere right in the most landlocked part of the central Highlands like north Perthshire where both the Viking and the Norman input would be very minor.

alan
08-09-2015, 09:22 AM
South Armagh? Ye should have said, ye've two options than. It's for:

Laundering Green Diesel
Storing the smuggled cigarettes


She'll understand then! *gets coat*

hahahaha You forgot hot car parts. That is big in the area too. All depends on which way the sterling-Euro balance is.

Rory Cain
08-09-2015, 10:27 AM
Personally I would have chosen somewhere right in the most landlocked part of the central Highlands like north Perthshire where both the Viking and the Norman input would be very minor.

Aye, the tall ruddy farmers of Perthshire would appear to be one of the most logical choices. In addition Perth was the former capital of Scotland, and Perthshire contains the ancient province of Ath Fodhla "New Ireland", now Atholl, and prior to that was the land of the Caledonians as it also contains Schiehallion, or the Fairy Hill of the Caledonians.

glentane
08-09-2015, 12:22 PM
Personally I would have chosen somewhere right in the most landlocked part of the central Highlands like north Perthshire where both the Viking and the Norman input would be very minor.
Provided they were not too badly affected by depopulation/ethnic cleansing during the various mass evictions and enclosures or alternatively, ruin and desertification as a "sporting estate" by the "Improving Landlords", which disproportionally afflicted Gaels, and tended to their replacement with reliable land-hungry recruits from "Inglis" flat lands, usually on his Factor's recommendation.

Where previously a whole kin had (just about) scraped together a living, one man, his wife and now-prosperous children, well-set-up to "swamp" the district with giant Georgian/Victorian families, if they didn't get a place elsewhere or emigrate themselves, and all his farm-servants, shepherds, ploughmen, cowmen etc. Highly skilled trades, frequently 'headhunted' from employer to employer, by better and better "bargains". The Premier League managers complain about this practice as "tapping-up".

The railway exacerbated the situation. Pitlochry for example is basically a steam-age creation in its own small way, as much a "railway town" as Swindon.
http://www.makingthemodernworld.org.uk/learning_modules/history/04.TU.03/illustrations/04.IL.33.gif

authun
08-09-2015, 12:23 PM
What makes you say that? To the best of my knowledge there is no mystery about either. Both are seen as P-Celtic on the existing evidence. I don't see any modern linguists registering bafflement. Fairly straightforward, I would have thought.



That's not my impression Jean. I already gave Catherine Forsythe's comment that she would like a linguist to look at her view as a historian and in 1997 her view was:

‘...on current evidence the only acceptable conclusion is that, from the time of our earliest historical sources, there was only one language spoken in Pictland, the most northerly reflex of Brittonic.’

It's not a view based on linguistics.

In 2005 however, Graham Isaac's view was:

"I conclude that the speech community/ies of North-East Scotland was/were different from those of the rest of Britain. Hypothesis: that difference lay in their use of a different language or languages, which was/were not Celtic or Indo-European."

Here's a list of Isaac's publications on celtic: http://bill.celt.dias.ie/vol4/author.php?AuthorID=426

I simply do not see the consensus that is often claimed, merely the perpetuation of a circular argument.

alan
08-09-2015, 12:54 PM
That's not my impression Jean. I already gave Catherine Forsythe's comment that she would like a linguist to look at her view as a historian and in 1997 her view was:

‘...on current evidence the only acceptable conclusion is that, from the time of our earliest historical sources, there was only one language spoken in Pictland, the most northerly reflex of Brittonic.’

It's not a view based on linguistics.

In 2005 however, Graham Isaac's view was:

"I conclude that the speech community/ies of North-East Scotland was/were different from those of the rest of Britain. Hypothesis: that difference lay in their use of a different language or languages, which was/were not Celtic or Indo-European."

Here's a list of Isaac's publications on celtic: http://bill.celt.dias.ie/vol4/author.php?AuthorID=426

I simply do not see the consensus that is often claimed, merely the perpetuation of a circular argument.

The area of Scotland north of the Forth-Clyde line is full of tribes and placenames of Celtic - sometimes clearly P-Celtic form. All the recorded names of Caledonians in Roman times - there are only a few-are Celtic. Much of Scotland has a clear P-Celtic subsrate including Aber placenames - even places on the north-west coast like Lochaber (originally an alternative name for Loch Linne in what became north Dalriada), Applecross opposite Skye and others. The north-eastern seaboard in particular has many Aber, Peffr, Pit type names of P-Celtic origin. The historic period (the bit that is real) kinglist is full of names of Celtic, especially Brittonic, type. The only pre-Celtic either IE or pre-IE names in Scotland may be some rivers and islands but its notorious how ancient river names can be and remain long after the languages died. I see basically nothing different among the Picts linguistically that makes it differ from the same pattern elsewhere of mostly clearly Celtic tribal, personal and placenames with a smattering of obscure ones - especially rivers. That doesnt make the Picts any different. Note too that many of the once unintelligible Pictish Oghams now have been translated as Latin, Pictish or Gaelic.

Another clear reason for believe the Pictish heartland of north-east Scotland was not some weird isolate is that that part of Scotland is actually very easily accessible with all sorts of easy links by sea nad land along the coast. Its a most unlikely area to have a language isolate. Even the Orkneys had a clearly Celtic name as did many of the most remote tribes in the north-west of Scotland, It just would make no sense for a pre-Celtic language isolate to be found in easily accessible north-east of Scotland from Fife to Inverness but Celtic in the more remote areas. Another reason the isolate idea is gibberish is that Pictish was P-Celtic hence if was far from isolated and still in the loop in terms of language shifts and networking when the Q-P shift happened. So, it was less isolated than Ireland in the period say 700-300BC.

authun
08-09-2015, 02:00 PM
The area of Scotland north of the Forth-Clyde line is full of tribes and placenames of Celtic - sometimes clearly P-Celtic form.

There will be many more celtic placenames as the Pictish Language died out and the Picts started to speak the new languages. We have one celtic toponym in Yorkshire, Pen y Ghent and the others are germanic, but it wasn't always the case. Isaac makes the point quoted in Place Names in Ptolemy's Geography, a CD publication of 2004 and in de Hoz, Lujan and Sims-Williams, New Approaches to Celtic Place-names in Ptolemy's Geography in 2005.

Stephen1986
08-09-2015, 02:31 PM
Interesting, I don't know whether his results are typical for East Anglia, but it's certainly food for thought. He does come up as a mixture of North Dutch and Danish on most calculators though. The figure you gave (13-14%) makes sense as my mother is around 15% ANE (but again, she's a mixture from the four corners of the Isles, therefore she isn't a good English proxy).

I have 15.57% ANE whilst my brother has 15.48% but then again I do have ancestry from other parts of the Isles. Also, a large majority of our ancestry is from Northern England.

alan
08-09-2015, 02:55 PM
There will be many more celtic placenames as the Pictish Language died out and the Picts started to speak the new languages. We have one celtic toponym in Yorkshire, Pen y Ghent and the others are germanic, but it wasn't always the case. Isaac makes the point quoted in Place Names in Ptolemy's Geography, a CD publication of 2004 and in de Hoz, Lujan and Sims-Williams, New Approaches to Celtic Place-names in Ptolemy's Geography in 2005.

York itself is of Celtic origin Eboracum or something like that. Elmet is Celtic. Leeds is Celtic. Catterick is Celtic. Ilkley is Celtic. . Some of the most famous places in Yorkshire. That is just off the top of my head. Then of course there are several names with caster or chester which are Romano-British where Castra has been borrowed into British with other element of Celtic origin.

authun
08-09-2015, 03:23 PM
York itself is of Celtic origin Eboracum or something like that. Elmet is Celtic. Leeds is Celtic. Catterick is Celtic. Ilkley is Celtic.

I referred to a toponym, a geographical feature, although I probably should have used the term oronym as we have many celtic hydronyms as well. The point is, there will have been many hills/mountains with celtic name but Pen y Ghent is the only one which appears to have survived.

There are of course the place names you mention but also many did change, such as Petuaria, now modern day Brough. The ceaster suffix, is from latin castrum and which was mediated by old english which leads to chester. It is often used with a celtic affix. Other words like street or way were also mediated via germanic from latin strata and via.

eg.


Cestre (1086), from Old English Legacæstir (735) "City of the Legions," from Old English ceaster "Roman town or city," from Latin castrum "fortified place" (see castle (n.)). It was the base of the Second Legion Adiutrix in the 70s C.E. and later the 20th Legion Valeria Victrix. But the town's name in Roman times was Deoua (c. 150 C.E.), from its situation on the River Dee, a Celtic river name meaning "the goddess, the holy one."

Mameceastre (1086), from Mamucio (4c.), the original Celtic name, perhaps from *mamm "breast, breast-like hill" + Old English ceaster "Roman town" (see Chester). Adjective Mancunian is from the Medieval Latin form of the place-name, Mancunium.

Old English Exanceaster, Escanceaster, from Latin Isca (c. 150), from Celtic river name Exe "the water" + Old English ceaster "Roman town" (see Chester).

authun
08-09-2015, 03:28 PM
We have already had this discussion and some people associate celtic as,
either one of the choices below or both, there is no clear cut answer

a celt is one who speaks celtic language

a celt is one that has celtic material but does not speak celtic

Koch expands on this in Atlas of Celtic Sudies:

""Thus the Celts have been assumed to be (1) all users of the iron age material culture called La Tene for the swiss type site, (2) all speakers of early celtic languages and (3) all groups called Keltoi or Celtae by Greeks and Romans. (The same ancient writers also repeatedly stated the equivalence of Keltoi/Celtae with Galli or Galatae and generaly regarded the former pair as more ancient and correct). Thus anyone of these three symptoms has often been taken to imply the other two and to be adequate to confirm the presence of Celts.

At best the three way modern synthesis is frayed at the edges. La Tene is rare to non existent in areas with well attested ancient celtic languages in South West Ireland, the Iberian peninsular and Anatolia. Greeks or Romans never used the terms Keltoi or Galli to describe the inhabitants of Britain and Ireland and, so far as we know, the inhabitants never applied such labels to themselves."
(Koch, Atlas of Celtic Studies)

rms2
08-09-2015, 04:27 PM
The Greeks and Romans may never have literally written, "The inhabitants of Britain and Ireland are Celts", but Cassius Dio and Strabo, quoting Poseidonius, clearly included them in the following description of the Celts, which would have been odd if they did not regard them as Celts.



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) is our source for the Greek myth that the Celts were the descendants of Keltos. Keltos was supposed to be 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.

moesan
08-09-2015, 04:45 PM
England is a large country with a proportionately even bigger population so I imagine it has far more regional variation in its autosomal DNA.

It is not automatically linked to land size: Scotland has almost the same within variations as England concerning its population making, spite it is smallest than England... Scotland has a very intricated history concerning colonizators.

Kwheaton
08-09-2015, 05:38 PM
Provided they were not too badly affected by depopulation/ethnic cleansing during the various mass evictions and enclosures or alternatively, ruin and desertification as a "sporting estate" by the "Improving Landlords", which disproportionally afflicted Gaels, and tended to their replacement with reliable land-hungry recruits from "Inglis" flat lands, usually on his Factor's recommendation.

Where previously a whole kin had (just about) scraped together a living, one man, his wife and now-prosperous children, well-set-up to "swamp" the district with giant Georgian/Victorian families, if they didn't get a place elsewhere or emigrate themselves, and all his farm-servants, shepherds, ploughmen, cowmen etc. Highly skilled trades, frequently 'headhunted' from employer to employer, by better and better "bargains". The Premier League managers complain about this practice as "tapping-up".

The railway exacerbated the situation. Pitlochry for example is basically a steam-age creation in its own small way, as much a "railway town" as Swindon.
http://www.makingthemodernworld.org.uk/learning_modules/history/04.TU.03/illustrations/04.IL.33.gif


This is but one fascinating example about assumptions based on current distribution. Its not only the railways---mining (slate, coal, copper, iron) all led to major population shifts. Others include textile production, farming and its related goods (Dairy, leather, meat, wool etc). The idea that people stayed put for generations or hundreds or thousands of years is true for some but not as many as you might think. Thanks for posting this.

Jean M
08-09-2015, 06:54 PM
As someone with mostly welsh ancestry I am more than happy to be called a celt. But I will also answer to cymry and ancient Briton. The only point I am trying to make is that my ancestry isn't just Celtic. I am also descended from neolithic britons and maybe a small amount of isles hunter gatherer.

As we gather knowledge about the past, more and more people will come to think as you do, I hope. It is far more realistic than the idea of a permanent ethnic or national identity that can be traced through time from the Palaeolithic to the present. All modern nations have mixed origins.

If we use my definition of a Celt, obviously that starts when the language develops. No-one can be a Celt earlier than that. But of course we all have ancestors earlier than that. This applies to all the other common ingredients of the British soup.

glentane
08-09-2015, 07:53 PM
There will be many more celtic placenames as the Pictish Language died out and the Picts started to speak the new languages.
It's a bit of a leap to create a Pictish language which wasn't fundamentally a brythonic dialect with a severe gaelic bent (with maybe some gaulish sprinkles (Arras culture?), older undifferentiated IE nuggets (loads more than surviving insular celtic romance-influenced languages, I'd expect, because hating the Romans right down to their boots was what they were all about initially, but crucially inherited from the earlier ubiquitous celtic-ish dialects of the Big Island). Later they came to appreciate Latin culture as a thing of value differentiating them from disgusting barbarians like the Norse and Saxons, but by this time it was too late and gaelicisation was well underway), and even some germanic and even latin adoptions) and call it "pictish".

Whatever pre-existing linguistic stratum pertained (which I'd guess, in a gaily hand-waving way, ought to have some relation to all those odd iberian languages, paleosardinian, "pelasgian", eteocretan and so on, or even later (really out to lunch here) whatever baltic impressed ware people used to speak) had utterly vanished by the time the more-or-less artificial and selfconsciously separate Pictish identity had arisen in the early middle ages as a reflex to former Roman pressure. Possibly one or two thousand years before. Gone, apart from a few toponyms worn down by hard usage to linguistic opacity. And this stratum would have formerly been equally prevalent in the rest of the Isles at some indeterminate time before the Roman Iron Age.

The Picts spoke a british dialect, some over in the west and extreme north spoke a sort of gaelic, and wrote quite happily in Latin and the local celtic languages, in books. Which they depicted on their later monumental and parietal art. Their Cymric contemporaries had no problem viewing them as "combrogi", fellow-Brythons, if the older early welsh poems are not complete fabrications of high mediaeval date.
As a for-instance, the St Ninians Isle treasure (church plate concealed from bad guys and never recovered, in Shetland) has an interesting item claimed as a sword-chape, but too flimsy and more likely a weighted end to an ecclesiastical stola or a fancy bookmark. It has a sort-of-latin inscription that has varying interpretations. If one views it as a local production, its compressed and abbreviated text is held to be a mix of "pictish" and latin. It's more likely to be an anglian piece, inscribed with some pious formula like the Coppergate helmet or that metal strap-thing from the Staffordshire hoard, as the Columban and Roman( English) churches were in keen competition to gain ideological hegemony over the kingdoms of the far north, and seem to have been sending gifts of books and ritual paraphernalia to prove their superiority and good faith.
In which case it would be a brave move to suggest, due to its illegibility, that the Anglosaxons were in possession of a secret and ancient non-germanic substrate.

Long story short. Yes there will have been pre-celtic languages in the Isles. And no, the mediaeval Picts (there's no other kind) didn't speak them/it, and would have been as ignorant of them as we are, so just leave them out of it please.

They weren't curious ethnographic relicts stuck away up by the River Oceanus, but quite the opposite, enjoying wide-ranging contacts through their powerful navy, as well as mercantile traffic within the easy seaways of the Western Isles and the Irish sea province and ultimately Atlantic seaboard. If you like, I'll show you an Etruscan drawing they somehow got hold of and copied onto a cemetery marker, for whatever pagan reason, just like their native and still-obscure symbols.

Jean M
08-10-2015, 12:14 AM
It's a bit of a leap to create a Pictish language which wasn't fundamentally a brythonic dialect with a severe gaelic bent ....

You are a treasure Glentane. Had me giggling. ;) Here's Katherine Forsyth's entry on the topic in Celtic Culture: A historical encyclopedia (2006):

Pictish language and documents

§1. the Pictish language
Heavy weather has been made of the question of the language of the Picts (for a recent summary and bibliography, see Forsyth, Pictish Panorama 7–10). Kenneth H. Jackson’s theory of two Pictish languages, one Gallo-Brittonic, the other non-Indo-European, has been hugely influential (Problem of the Picts 129–66), but is open to serious criticism on several counts. As Nicolaisen has pointed out in several articles, the place-name evidence points overwhelmingly to Pictish being a Brythonic language. Were it not for Beda’s statement that Pictish and British were separate languages, the use of elements such as aber- ‘river mouth’, lanerc ‘grove’ (Welsh llannerch), pert ‘bush’ (Welsh perth), and tref ‘town’ would suggest merely dialectal distinction north and south of the Forth (Foirthe). The lack of P-Celtic place-names in the far north and west is immaterial, since the early names there have been lost under the subsequent blanket of Norse and Gaelic settlement. The (as yet) unetymologized names of certain Scottish islands may turn out to be pre-Celtic, or even pre-Indo-European but against these poorly documented names must be set the positive classical evidence of the Celtic Orcades (Arcaibh) and Dumna (probably Leòdhas [Lewis]), based respectively on Celtic roots meaning ‘young pig’ and ‘deep’, hence ‘world’. Nor should undue emphasis be placed on the survival of pre-Celtic river names in Scotland (Alba) since these are to be found throughout Europe. More important is the 1st-century evidence for Celtic river names such as Tava (Tatha [Tay]) ‘silent one’, D{va (Dè [Dee]) and D{vona (Deathan [Don]), both meaning ‘goddess’. Cognates in Welsh, Cornish, and Breton are found for the names of historically attested Picts, such as Taran (Welsh taran ‘thunder’), Onuist (OW Unust), Naiton (OW Neithon), Drosten (OW Dristan), Uurguist (OW Gurgust), Uoret (OW Guoret), and Alpin (Welsh Elffin). Their Roman-period ancestors have unmistakably Celtic names, e.g. Calg\cus (‘swordsman’), Vepogenus, and Argentocoxus (‘silver leg’, a name which recalls the epithet ‘Silver-Hand’ of the Irish mythological figure Nuadu Argatlám; see N}dons). Some of the 40-odd Pictish inscriptions remain uninterpreted, but, given the technical difficulty of interpreting epigraphic evidence, it is premature to label these ‘non-Indo-European’, as if being (in part) undecipherable were positive evidence, and there is certainly no link with Basque. In the absence of any corroborative evidence a few unintelligible inscriptions are insufficient grounds for positing the survival of a non-Indo-European language into the early medieval period. On the other hand, several Pictish inscriptions may be understood as containing Brythonic forms: for example, the ogam-inscribed slab from Burrian in Orkney reads, in part . . .URRACT C[E]RROCCS ‘X made the cross’ (cf. Welsh gwnaeth, Breton greaz < British *wract(-) ‘he/she made’); the Cunningsburgh and Lunnasting ogam inscriptions from Shetland (Sealtainn) reading EHTECONMORS and [E]TTECUHETTS . . . can be understood as early Brythonic ways of saying ‘this is as great’ and ‘this is as far’, appropriate messages for stones marking boundaries.

§2. Apparent disparities distinguishing Pictish and Brythonic

Jackson discussed the linguistic remains of the Picts and their relation to the other Celtic languages in Problem of the Picts 129–66. A brief general treatment by Koch was published in BBCS 30.214–20. A synopsis of the main points follows.
(1) There is a dearth of examples showing Pictish turning the voiceless geminate (long or double) stop consonants [pp, tt, kk] into simplex spirants [f, q, c] as in Welsh, Breton, and Cornish, but it seems to have treated them more or less as Irish did; see Jackson, Problem of the Picts 160. Pictish apparently did not lenite (soften) voiced stops preceded by liquids (r and l), as in, e.g., the place-name element *carden ‘thicket’ (Problem of the Picts 164). Several early attestations suggest that Pictish had he o-grade *abbor ‘river mouth’ (<*ad-bhor-), perhaps alongside the e-, whereas British shows only the e- (OW, Bret. aper < *ad-bher-): Apur-nethige, Apur-feirc (Pictish king-list, ‘Poppleton’ or A MS); stagni Aporici, stagno Aporum (Vita Columbae 83b, 67b), Aporcrosan (Annals of Ulster 672), Abbordoboir (Book of Deer f. 3a)....

alan
08-10-2015, 12:37 AM
Good point Glentane - the very fact of 'insular' art which the Scots, Irish, Picts, Britons and Northumbrians all were sharing ideas in the Early Christian period is a very good indicator of how the Picts were in no way some sort of isolate. Their population heartland just doesnt have the archaeological traits or geography indicative of that at all.

Rory Cain
08-10-2015, 02:49 AM
... Pictish was P-Celtic hence if was far from isolated and still in the loop in terms of language shifts and networking when the Q-P shift happened....

Some historians have suggested that the Damnonii of Strathclyde may have been a mixture of Strathclyde Britons (a later term from a later Kingdom, so used reluctantly here) mixed with Picts. I am trying to get my head around whether there was actually much difference anyway. As Alan has pointed out, both were P-celtic speakers. Has the supposed differentness of the Picts has been exaggerated?

In Jean's historical model of the settlement of Ireland, she listed the Cruithne at 552 AD, the date of their earliest mention in the Irish annals. Of course she didn't mean that to be their date of arrival, although Anglo-Saxon era movements of P-celtic speakers is not at all impossible. But by 552 AD the term Cruithne can have been little more than a generic term for a P-celtic speaker, their older tribal names and identities having long since been merged into Cruithne or Briton. So while I was reluctant to use the term Strathclyde Briton, ultimately I had to as simply a handy label for a P-celtic group associated with a particular geographical area, I feel tempted a to ask whether the terms Pictish is not also simply a handy label.