Celt is a mystical word for many of us. As with so much of our casual knowledge, what we know is often inaccurate and/or incomplete. Simon James has extensively written in history, and gives an interesting insight into Celtic/British history. Below is just a small bit of his writings on Celts. Give it a read.
This is the last post until after Christmas. Merry Christmas all. God bless you each and everyone. Fr. Orthohippo.
Simon James asks just who were the Britons – and did the Celts ever really exist? Uncover the fascinating ethnic and cultural history of the peoples of Briton, and assess the impact of the many invaders of Britain’s shores.
BBC – History: Ancient History in-depth – StumbleUponThe story of early Britain has traditionally been told in terms of waves of invaders displacing or annihilating their predecessors. Archaeology suggests that this picture is fundamentally wrong. For over 10,000 years people have been moving into – and out of – Britain, sometimes in substantial numbers, yet there has always been a basic continuity of population.
Before Roman times, ‘Britain’ was just a geographical entity and had no political meaning and no single cultural identity.
The gene pool of the island has changed, but more slowly and far less completely than implied by the old ‘invasion model’, and the notion of large-scale migrations, once the key explanation for change in early Britain, has been widely discredited.
Substantial genetic continuity of population does not preclude profound shifts in culture and identity. It is actually quite common to observe important cultural change, including adoption of wholly new identities, with little or no biological change to a population. Millions of people since Roman times have thought of themselves as ‘British’, for example, yet this identity was only created in 1707 with the Union of England, Wales and Scotland.
Before Roman times ‘Britain’ was just a geographical entity, and had no political meaning, and no single cultural identity. Arguably this remained generally true until the 17th century, when James I of England and VI of Scotland sought to establish a pan-British monarchy.
Throughout recorded history the island has consisted of multiple cultural groups and identities. Many of these groupings looked outwards, across the seas, for their closest connections – they did not necessarily connect naturally with their fellow islanders, many of whom were harder to reach than maritime neighbours in Ireland or continental Europe.
It therefore makes no sense to look at Britain in isolation; we have to consider it with Ireland as part of the wider ‘Atlantic Archipelago’, nearer to continental Europe and, like Scandinavia, part of the North Sea world.
Peoples of Britain
By Dr Simon James
Last updated 2010-10-15