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Thread: P312 and the Ancient Celts

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    Am just posting this here as the thread on Picts which meandered into origins of the Celts was closed when I was composing it:


    Vettor - you are wrongly attributing motives to Jean. Yes there are a few nationalistic people who desperately want to move the Celts back to the early farmers in places like Ireland but not even they would say the Celts originated there. The concept that some form of western IE or proto-Celto-Italic spread with the beaker phase is not one only held by nationalistic people though. Its been favoured since it was realised that Celtic could simply not have started to spread as late as the La Tene period or even the Hallstatt C/D periods.

    Personally I believe the beakers involved some sort of west IE not yet split into distinct languages like Celtic. I believe that Celtic some time later formed through elite interaction among a subset of the latter located in a position centred on northern France rather than major migration. I think if you subtract the places where Celtic may have been a later intruder or not the earliest language or zones of multiple languages (places like Lusitanian Atlantic Iberia, Ligurian southern France, areas with a lack of Celtic placenames east of the Rhine, borderline Celtic-Germanic areas around the Rhine, areas with mixed populations in central Europe etc, non-IE speaking areas) then that only leaves France from the Alps and Garrone northward as an essentially purely Celtic speaking area. Now, noone can say if that had always been the case but that is the picture in the earliest records. The notion that the Celtic spread into France from Germany is simply a notion of Hubert's based on very poor hydrogeny/river name evidence and misinterpretation of a few classical sources. Placename and classical reference evidence for Celts west of the Rhine is poor and confined to a narrow band in south Germany. The long narrow tail of Celts from the Rhine to SE Europe appears to me to correspond with a late movement from France in the La Tene era that is recorded in classical sources rather than to ancient origin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alan View Post
    Am just posting this here as the thread on Picts which meandered into origins of the Celts was closed when I was composing it:


    Vettor - you are wrongly attributing motives to Jean. Yes there are a few nationalistic people who desperately want to move the Celts back to the early farmers in places like Ireland but not even they would say the Celts originated there. The concept that some form of western IE or proto-Celto-Italic spread with the beaker phase is not one only held by nationalistic people though. Its been favoured since it was realised that Celtic could simply not have started to spread as late as the La Tene period or even the Hallstatt C/D periods.

    Personally I believe the beakers involved some sort of west IE not yet split into distinct languages like Celtic. I believe that Celtic some time later formed through elite interaction among a subset of the latter located in a position centred on northern France rather than major migration. I think if you subtract the places where Celtic may have been a later intruder or not the earliest language or zones of multiple languages (places like Lusitanian Atlantic Iberia, Ligurian southern France, areas with a lack of Celtic placenames east of the Rhine, borderline Celtic-Germanic areas around the Rhine, areas with mixed populations in central Europe etc, non-IE speaking areas) then that only leaves France from the Alps and Garrone northward as an essentially purely Celtic speaking area. Now, noone can say if that had always been the case but that is the picture in the earliest records. The notion that the Celtic spread into France from Germany is simply a notion of Hubert's based on very poor hydrogeny/river name evidence and misinterpretation of a few classical sources. Placename and classical reference evidence for Celts west of the Rhine is poor and confined to a narrow band in south Germany. The long narrow tail of Celts from the Rhine to SE Europe appears to me to correspond with a late movement from France in the La Tene era that is recorded in classical sources rather than to ancient origin.
    There is a big difference between the early arrival of Beaker People (who later joined with the Celts) and suggesting that Celts having originated in the Isles.

    George

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    Any genetic correlation with y DNA and Celtic or Celto-Italic requires all three of the main branches of P312 - otherwise it fails. P312 is the only possible common genetic thread between all the speakers of Celto-Italic. Perhaps it was also involved in Germanic - after all Germanic is an odd mix perhaps of western and eastern IE components. P312 could even relate to a general spread of west IE languages as again it is the only possible YDNA common thread among all the west IE languages.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam_Isaack View Post
    Interesting. Though I'm like you, I'm not entirely convinced. And I don't think that's his intent anyway. I do respect his responsible approach in saying that this isn't the written gospel. I do more or less agree with one part of his hypothesis though..

    "The earliest migration of R1b to Western Europe must have happened with the diffusion of the Bronze Age to France, Belgium, Britain and Ireland around 2100 BCE - a migration best associated with the R1b-L21 subclade. A second migration took place around 1800 BCE to Southwest France and Iberia, and is associated with R1b-Z196. These two branches are usually considered as Celtic, but was probably more distinct than the later continental Celtic were from Italic languages, due to its earlier split. The Northwest Celtic branch could have been ancestral to Goidelic languages (Gaelic), and the south-western one to Celtiberian."

    I don't see how anyone could think otherwise. L21 and DF27 were definitely travel partners and as I've famously said before, are like two sides of the same coin.

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  6. #24
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    It seems to me that the spread of Celtic is about as problematic as the spread of Berber.
    By this I mean that any reconstruction of the actual Proto-Celtic language will point towards the early Iron Age at best... Hardly the time frame we're looking for if we are to ascribe the spread of Celtic to the Bell Beaker horizon.

    We have the exact same problem with Berber: Proto-Berber contains Neo-Punic and Latin loanwords which suggest a date of ~100-200 CE prior to diversification.
    Yet given the remote nature of Proto-Berber's Afroasiatic roots, we're pretty sure that it split from its parent Afroasiatic branch (Boreafrasian) a long time ago (Semitic being its closest relative, it must've split at least 6500 years BP).
    In fact, this situation is even more puzzling if we consider the fact that most Berber "languages" retain a high degree of mutual intelligibility (in a sense, they're dialects of a single Berber language).

    I could say pretty much the same thing for Celtic (although not as extreme in terms of dating and mutual intelligibility), it is an important branch of IE just like Berber is an important branch of AA and also diversified quite late.

    In both cases, I strongly suspect a language levelling process took place... In fact, I'd go as far as to claim that what we've been suspecting with Berber (the existence of para-Berber languages prior to the language levelling process) can already be observed with Italo-Celtic:
    Since Italo-Celtic looks like the best fit for the BB horizon, it is rather tempting to picture the emergence of para-Italo-Celtic or Para-Celtic languages throughout Western Europe which would eventually ease the language levelling process' spread later on (I think Koch & Cunliffe might be onto something with their model associating the spread of Celtic with Urnfield induced elements within the Atlantic Bronze Age).
    This model certainly provides an interesting explanation for the occurrence of Ligurian & Lusitanian, which could possibly be para-Italo-Celtic leftovers reflecting an earlier linguistic landscape.
    Last edited by Agamemnon; 08-22-2014 at 11:25 PM.
    ᾽Άλλο δέ τοι ἐρέω, σὺ δ᾽ ἐνὶ φρεσὶ βάλλεο σῇσιν:
    κρύβδην, μηδ᾽ ἀναφανδά, φίλην ἐς πατρίδα γαῖαν
    νῆα κατισχέμεναι: ἐπεὶ οὐκέτι πιστὰ γυναιξίν.


    -Αγαμέμνων; H Οδύσσεια, Ραψωδία λ

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  8. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by alan View Post
    Am just posting this here as the thread on Picts which meandered into origins of the Celts was closed when I was composing it:


    Vettor - you are wrongly attributing motives to Jean. Yes there are a few nationalistic people who desperately want to move the Celts back to the early farmers in places like Ireland but not even they would say the Celts originated there. The concept that some form of western IE or proto-Celto-Italic spread with the beaker phase is not one only held by nationalistic people though. Its been favoured since it was realised that Celtic could simply not have started to spread as late as the La Tene period or even the Hallstatt C/D periods.

    Personally I believe the beakers involved some sort of west IE not yet split into distinct languages like Celtic. I believe that Celtic some time later formed through elite interaction among a subset of the latter located in a position centred on northern France rather than major migration. I think if you subtract the places where Celtic may have been a later intruder or not the earliest language or zones of multiple languages (places like Lusitanian Atlantic Iberia, Ligurian southern France, areas with a lack of Celtic placenames east of the Rhine, borderline Celtic-Germanic areas around the Rhine, areas with mixed populations in central Europe etc, non-IE speaking areas) then that only leaves France from the Alps and Garrone northward as an essentially purely Celtic speaking area. Now, noone can say if that had always been the case but that is the picture in the earliest records. The notion that the Celtic spread into France from Germany is simply a notion of Hubert's based on very poor hydrogeny/river name evidence and misinterpretation of a few classical sources. Placename and classical reference evidence for Celts west of the Rhine is poor and confined to a narrow band in south Germany. The long narrow tail of Celts from the Rhine to SE Europe appears to me to correspond with a late movement from France in the La Tene era that is recorded in classical sources rather than to ancient origin.

    I did not say this - I said caesar noted that his forefathers stated that the historical movements of the celts was they invaded the gauls across the rhine river from germany, that's the reason he called them germani . while caesar was living, all gaul was celt .

    point form

    Celts originate in central germany
    - Celts push west into gallic lands across the rhine rivers ( lowlands area)
    - celts continue pushing westward in norther france as far as the cotarin peninsula ( i have no ides if they went into brittany at that time)
    - gauls in northern france seeing the celtic push , flee southward, tribes like cenomani, semnoese, limones etc
    - cenomanni settle firstly in south france next to the volcae
    -most of the fleeing gallic tribes invade north italy, cenomanni settling in and around verona, semnones and others along the adriatic sea
    - Belgae celts from northern france push through modern gascony and into northern spain ~300BC
    - french Basque ( original basques ) a decimated and only the pyrennes ones survive, Spanish basques are noted as Pas_Vasco ( means vasconic community , Vasconic is in SW france)


    La tene
    Influenced by the Halstatt culture ( which is not entirely celtic, its mixed with illyrian )
    -celts push across the danube from central germany and merge with the vindelici people ( i see no celtic movement across the alps by celts from halstatt ( east to west), the road is blocked by venetic and raetic tribes ) archeological evidence in Innsbruck to the head of the SILL river states venetic and raetic finds from late bronze and iron age )

    now answer me, if celts where in france as early as some state, then why did they only enter northern spain around 300BC
    if celts where in france as early as some state, then why did they only cross into Ireland very late in time


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  9. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agamemnon View Post
    It seems to me that the spread of Celtic is about as problematic as the spread of Berber.
    By this I mean that any reconstruction of the actual Proto-Celtic language will point towards the early Iron Age at best... Hardly the time frame we're looking for if we are to ascribe the spread of Celtic to the Bell Beaker horizon.

    We have the exact same problem with Berber: Proto-Berber contains Neo-Punic and Latin loanwords which suggest a date of ~100-200 CE prior to diversification.
    Yet given the remote nature of Proto-Berber's Afroasiatic roots, we're pretty sure that it split from its parent Afroasiatic branch (Boreafrasian) a long time ago (Semitic being its closest relative, it must've split at least 6500 years BP).
    In fact, this situation is even more puzzling if we consider the fact that most Berber "languages" retain a high degree of mutual intelligibility (in a sense, they're dialects of a single Berber language).

    I could say pretty much the same thing for Celtic (although not as extreme in terms of dating and mutual intelligibility), it is an important branch of IE just like Berber is an important branch of AA and also diversified quite late.

    In both cases, I strongly suspect a language levelling process took place... In fact, I'd go as far as to claim that what we've been suspecting with Berber (the existence of para-Berber languages prior to the language levelling process) can already be observed with Italo-Celtic:
    Since Italo-Celtic looks like the best fit for the BB horizon, it is rather tempting to picture the emergence of para-Italo-Celtic or Para-Celtic languages throughout Western Europe which would eventually ease the language levelling process' spread later on (I think Koch & Cunliffe might be onto something with their model associating the spread of Celtic with Urnfield induced elements within the Atlantic Bronze Age).
    This model certainly provides an interesting explanation for the occurrence of Ligurian & Lusitanian, which could possibly be para-Italo-Celtic leftovers reflecting an earlier linguistic landscape.
    if you really want to include some linguistic association, then why in france is the linguistic I'Oil language only origins in the north of france and the L'Oc language origin only in the south...........is it due to celtic germanic association or the later germanic franks
    linguistic association is a dangerous tool to predict migration


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    my theory..... on this italic-celtic R group is that the celts brought R-U152 into Italy.
    Unsure if there was another R marker in Italy prior to this, only gioiello can answer this question


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    Quote Originally Posted by vettor View Post
    if you really want to include some linguistic association, then why in france is the linguistic I'Oil language only origins in the north of france and the L'Oc language origin only in the south...........is it due to celtic germanic association or the later germanic franks
    linguistic association is a dangerous tool to predict migration
    I agree, one should not expect the spread of a given language to automatically correlate with a migration... Even if we're dealing with early time frames.

    Occitan derives from the Gallo-Romance branch, just like Oïl languages. Unlike the latter, it went through very limited & isolated episodes of Frankish influence.
    Another interesting trait is the paucity of Gaulish terms in Occitan, though not absent it seems to me that the non-Italic substrate in Occitan isn't Celtic as far as I can tell... In fact, I think this might be a diluted remnant of the para-Italo-Celtic or para-Celtic languages I referred to earlier on.

    I live in an area where Provençal is still spoken by elders, and there are numerous attempts to revive the language right now so I'm pretty familiar with this topic (heck, we even have our own homegrown independentists here).
    ᾽Άλλο δέ τοι ἐρέω, σὺ δ᾽ ἐνὶ φρεσὶ βάλλεο σῇσιν:
    κρύβδην, μηδ᾽ ἀναφανδά, φίλην ἐς πατρίδα γαῖαν
    νῆα κατισχέμεναι: ἐπεὶ οὐκέτι πιστὰ γυναιξίν.


    -Αγαμέμνων; H Οδύσσεια, Ραψωδία λ

  13. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agamemnon View Post
    I agree, one should not expect the spread of a given language to automatically correlate with a migration... Even if we're dealing with early time frames.

    Occitan derives from the Gallo-Romance branch, just like Oïl languages. Unlike the latter, it went through very limited & isolated episodes of Frankish influence.
    Another interesting trait is the paucity of Gaulish terms in Occitan, though not absent it seems to me that the non-Italic substrate in Occitan isn't Celtic as far as I can tell... In fact, I think this might be a diluted remnant of the para-Italo-Celtic or para-Celtic languages I referred to earlier on.

    I live in an area where Provençal is still spoken by elders, and there are numerous attempts to revive the language right now so I'm pretty familiar with this topic (heck, we even have our own homegrown independentists here).
    fantastic area Provencal...a bit too hot sometimes , but wonderful
    I agree ,

    my cousin in Toulouse writes to me in occitan ( he only knows french and occitan ) and I reply in venetian ( as I do not know french )........we understand each other about 70%

    IMO, I can only associate the language to some type of ancient ligures/iberian/gallic pre-celtic ............unless it belongs to the later catalonian/giron/gascon branch


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    One big factor seen in Celtic society, social structure and yDNA is that it is a top down society where all the demographic growth is always at the top with the bottom withering away. Its also important to note that, despite fragmented tribal politics, the Celts are closely associated with a super-tribal mobile learned and sacred class who were protected across boundaries and assembled at times from across wide areas. This has meant that there has been powerful forces that slow down drift and encouraged continuing convergence without any significant migration needed. There is therefore no need to explain shared vocab indicative of contact c. 700BC with a diffusion of Celtic speakers as late as that. All you need to do is look at the way much of western Europe innovated in parallel in terms of metalwork throughout much of the period 2500BC- 0 to see that there was an interlocking network of connections across most of what was the Celtic world throughout.

    Quote Originally Posted by Agamemnon View Post
    It seems to me that the spread of Celtic is about as problematic as the spread of Berber.
    By this I mean that any reconstruction of the actual Proto-Celtic language will point towards the early Iron Age at best... Hardly the time frame we're looking for if we are to ascribe the spread of Celtic to the Bell Beaker horizon.

    We have the exact same problem with Berber: Proto-Berber contains Neo-Punic and Latin loanwords which suggest a date of ~100-200 CE prior to diversification.
    Yet given the remote nature of Proto-Berber's Afroasiatic roots, we're pretty sure that it split from its parent Afroasiatic branch (Boreafrasian) a long time ago (Semitic being its closest relative, it must've split at least 6500 years BP).
    In fact, this situation is even more puzzling if we consider the fact that most Berber "languages" retain a high degree of mutual intelligibility (in a sense, they're dialects of a single Berber language).

    I could say pretty much the same thing for Celtic (although not as extreme in terms of dating and mutual intelligibility), it is an important branch of IE just like Berber is an important branch of AA and also diversified quite late.

    In both cases, I strongly suspect a language levelling process took place... In fact, I'd go as far as to claim that what we've been suspecting with Berber (the existence of para-Berber languages prior to the language levelling process) can already be observed with Italo-Celtic:
    Since Italo-Celtic looks like the best fit for the BB horizon, it is rather tempting to picture the emergence of para-Italo-Celtic or Para-Celtic languages throughout Western Europe which would eventually ease the language levelling process' spread later on (I think Koch & Cunliffe might be onto something with their model associating the spread of Celtic with Urnfield induced elements within the Atlantic Bronze Age).
    This model certainly provides an interesting explanation for the occurrence of Ligurian & Lusitanian, which could possibly be para-Italo-Celtic leftovers reflecting an earlier linguistic landscape.

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