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Old December 9th, 2011 #1
Steven L. Akins
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Default Celtic vs. Gallic Ethnic Origins

Our understanding of who the Celts were and are is very much based on speculation that has circulated among scholars and academians over the past 300 years, and has changed a great deal during that time, as it is likely to continue to change in years to come as archaelogists and anthropologists reexamine their notions and conclusions by comparing their theories with the evidence.

In fact, it was not until 1707 that the Gaelic and Brythonic speaking inhabitants of the British Isles and their cousins in Brittany and Galacia on the European continent came to be identified as "Celts" by the 17th century antiquarian Edward Lhuyd, who first hypothesised that the Irish, Scots, Manx, Welsh, Cornish and Bretons represented the descendants of the ancient tribes referred to as the "Keltoi" by the Greeks and the "Celtae" by the Romans, who learned of these people through the writings of early Classical explorers.

These ancient accounts offer reason to doubt that the original early Celts even spoke languages that are related to those that we consider to be "Celtic" today, as the Gaelic/Gaulish/Galacian languages along with Cymraeg (Welsh) belong to the Indo-European family of languages that first evolved in Eastern Europe and the Near East; whereas the original Celts may have spoken an older, non-Indo-European language, more closely related to Basque. In fact, the Gaels/Gauls/Galacians as well as the Cymry are said in ancient records to have come to the British Isles from a region once known as Scythia, which covered a vast territory in Eastern Europe located roughly in the area of the present-day Ukraine, very near the original homeland of the ancient Aryan or Indo-European root language

Only one tribe in the ancient era called themselves by a name resembling "Celts" and these were the Celtici, a tribe located in southwestern Spain. These are in fact the first "Celts" mentioned in history by the writer Herodotus in 450 B.C.E., who reported:

Quote:
"For the Ister (Danube river), beginning in the land of the Celts and the city of Pyrene, flows through the middle of Europe. The Celts live beyond the Pillars of Hercules (straits of Gibraltar) and border on the Cynetes (Conii), who are the westernmost inhabitants of Europe."
Below: Map of the Iberian peninsula (present-day Spain) showing the location of the native Celtic tribes along with the Gallic and Iberian tribes that had invaded the region from Eastern Europe by 200 B.C.


Below: Map showing the location of the original homeland of the Iberians along the coast of the Black Sea. The Iberians later migrated west across Europe along with the Gallic and Cimmerian tribes, before eventually settling in present-day Spain:



Later, as the Gauls (known by tribal names such as the Galli and Galaeci) spread into Western Europe infiltrating lands originally occupied by the indigenous Celts, they would have introduced their Indo-European language and culture to the pre-Indo-European Celts who were most likely the descendants of the earliest native inhabitants of Western Europe whose ancestors were responsible for erecting the many megalithic monuments and barrows found throughout the territories inhabited by the Celts.

Writing in the first century B.C.E. Diodorus Siculus spoke of how the Celts and Gauls were originally two distinct people, but had become merged, saying:

Quote:
"It is useful now to point out a distinction unknown by most. Those tribes that live inland from Massalia (Marseilles) as well as those around the Alps and on the eastern side of the Pyrenees are called Celts. But those tribes in the northern area near the ocean, those near the Hercynian mountain (probably in today’s Czech republic) and those beyond as far as Scythia are called Galatae. The Romans, however, group all these tribes together as Galatae."
In his Description of Greece, the writer Pausanias explains the how the adoption of the Gallic culture by the Celts led to confusion between the identities of the two groups, saying:

Quote:
“These Gauls inhabit the most remote portion of Europe, near a great sea that is not navigable to its extremities, and possesses ebb and flow and creatures quite unlike those of other seas...It was late before the name “Gauls” came into vogue; for anciently they were called Celts both amongst themselves and by others.”
One of the most famous references comes from Julius Caesar in his description of the Gallic Wars, De Bello Gallico, written in the middle of the first century B.C.E.:

Quote:
"Gaul is a whole divided into three parts, one of which is inhabited by the Belgae, another by the Aquitani, and a third by a people called in their own tongue Celtae, in the Latin Galli. All of these are different one from another in language, institutions, and laws. The Galli are separated from the Aquitani by the river Garonne, from the Belgae by the Marne and the Seine...The mainland of Britain is inhabited by a people who claim to be indigenous to the island, on the coast live the immigrant Belgae, who crossed over for war and pillage, but settled to cultivate the land...Those living inland do not sow grain but live on milk and meat and wear clothes of animal hides. All Briton paint their skin with woad which makes them blue and more terrifying to confront in battle."
Thus the Gaelic/Gaulish/Galacian and Cymric languages are identified as "Celtic" today because they were adopted by the Celtic inhabitants of Western Europe when they absorbed the Galatae and Cimbri (Cimmerian) tribes from eastern Europe who settled amongst them, as similarly the Anglo-Saxon (English) language was adopted by the Celtic Britons when they absorbed the Germanic Angles and Saxons who settled in their country in the 400's A.D. The people themselves did not become genetically "English", they were still predominately Celtic, but adopted the language of the Germanic Anglo-Saxon ruling class, who were a minority compared to the native Britons.

If we look at genetics through DNA research, we find that the majority of the people living in countries like Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Cornwall are predominately of the R1b genetic haplogroup. The R1b haplotype is in fact the predominant haplogroup in Western Europe and occurs among a majority of the population in the same areas where the ancient megalithic monuments (dolmens, cromlechs, menhirs, and barrows like Newgrange, Callanish, Maes Howe, Avebury, Stonehenge, and Carnac) are found - which suggests that the majority of the people who we identify as "Celtic" are in fact descended from an aboriginal population that was native to Western Europe all the way back to the Stone Age.

Below: Map showing the location of the highest concentration of Stone Age megalithic monuments in Europe:


Below: map showing the areas of Europe which have the highest concentration of R1b DNA in their population


Another interesting thing to consider is that Indo-European languages like Gaelic and Cymraeg would not have evolved among these people, but would have been introduced from Eastern Europe - the Aryan/Indo-European homeland, where the predominate haplotype is R1a - a fact which perfectly fits the old histories that record the Gaels as having originated in Scythia (present day Ukraine).

Below: Map showing the origin and routes of distribution of the Aryan/Indo-European family of languages


So the Gaels/Gauls/Galacians who we think of today as being "Celtic" would not originally have been, as the real "Celts" - the prehistoric R1b haplotype megalithic culture would have spoken a non-Indo European language probably very closely related to Basque. In fact, the Basque people who have remained a relatively isolated population in the Pyrenees mountains between Spain and France have one of the highest percentages of R1b DNA in all of Europe, exceeded only by the inhabitants of Western Ireland, Scotland, Cornwall and Wales, while among the remaining populations of both France and Spain R1b is still the predominate haplotype, though not found in the excessively high levels as it is among the Basques and the populations of the Western portion of the British Isles.

This leaves us to draw the conclusion that while the Gaelic and Cymric languages evolved among an R1a population native to Eastern Europe, that these languages were at some point brought to Western Europe by their speakers who settled amongst the R1b Celts (who were the native population of Western Europe) and were eventually absorbed by the indigenous Celtic population that they settled among, though their language survived and was adopted by the Celts.

The original Scots were not native to the country now called Scotland (which did not exist until the High Middle Ages), but were a tribe of Gaels who inhabited the north of Ireland.

These Gaels or Scotti, as they were known to the Romans, eventually established an outpost colony called Dalriada in what is now Argyllshire around the year 500 A.D. About 350 years later, Kenneth MacAlpine, a descendant of both the royal lines of the Irish Scots of Dalriada and of the Picts (who were descendants of the native Britons that inhabited the non-Romanized northern third of Britain) united both tribes to form the Kingdom of Alba, which would eventually become known as "Scotland" several centuries later.

At one time Ireland was referred to (in Latin) as Scotia after the Gaels or Scotti. When the Scotti emigrated to the northern third of Britain, that part of Britain came to be known as Scotia Minor while Ireland was known as Scotia Major.

These Irish Scots, together with the Picts and some Viking admixture, became the ancestors of the Highlanders. The Lowland Scots were descended mainly from the native Celtic Britons and Picts together with a bit of admixture from the Angles who came to Britain from Germany during the Dark Ages and settled in Bernicia (Northumbria).

The majority of the population of Britain however is descended from the native Celtic Britons, a people who the Germanic Anglo-Saxons referred to as Welas meaning "strangers", from which the modern words Welsh and Wales are derived. The Britons of Ystrad Clud, Rheged, and Goddodin, which were located in the Scottish Lowlands were ethnically and culturally the same people who are known as the Welsh today, though in Scotland they became the ancestors of the Lowland Scots.

According to their own accounts the Gaels who first came to Ireland from the European continent by way of Spain were of Scythian origin. Scythia was a vast region that in ancient times encompassed much of Eastern Europe including present day Ukraine and the Caucasus.

The Scythians were known by many names: Scyths, Sacae, Skuthes, Skuda, Scoloti, etc. (meaning "archers") and from them the Gaelic tribe known as the Scotti or Scots is descended. It was in that part of Scythia, located along the current Polish-Ukranian border, that the ancient province of Galicia is found.

Below: map of the original Gallic kingdom of Galicia located in ancient Scythia (present day Ukraine/Poland)



Galicia was the original homeland of the Gallic people, who were the earliest ancestors of the Gauls of Europe, and the Gaels of Ireland and Scotland. This history is recalled in the words of the Scottish Declaration of Arbroath, addressed to the Pope in 1320:

Quote:
“Most Holy Father and Lord, we know and from the chronicles and books of the ancients we find that among other famous nations our own, the Scots, has been graced with widespread renown. They journeyed from Greater Scythia by way of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Pillars of Hercules, and dwelt for a long course of time in Spain among the most savage tribes, but nowhere could they be subdued by any race, however barbarous. Thence they came, twelve hundred years after the people of Israel crossed the Red Sea, to their home in the west where they still live today. The Britons they first drove out, the Picts they utterly destroyed, and, even though very often assailed by the Norwegians, the Danes and the English, they took possession of that home with many victories and untold efforts; and, as the historians of old time bear witness, they have held it free of all bondage ever since."
The "chronicles and books of the ancients" referred to in the Declaration are undoubtedly the annals contained in the medieval Irish text known as the Lebor Gabala Erenn (Book of the Conquest of Ireland), which describes how the Gaels originated in Scythia and made their way across Europe until they at long last reached Ireland, their prophesied destination:

Quote:
“Now Feinius had two sons: Nenual, [one of the two] whom he left in the princedom of Scythia behind him; Nel, the other son, at the Tower was he born. Now he was a master of all the languages; wherefore one came [to summon him] from Pharaoh, in order to learn the multiplicity of languages from him. But Feinius came out of Asia to Scythia, whence he had gone for the building of the Tower; so that he died in the princedom of Scythia, at the end of forty years, and passed on the chieftainship to his son, Nenual. At the end of forty two years after the building of the Tower, Ninus son of Belus took the kingship of the world…..Now that is the time when Gaedel Glas (from whom are the Gaels descended), was born......Now Sru son of Esru son of Gaedel, he it is who was chieftain for the Gaels who went out of Egypt after Pharaoh was drowned with his host in the Red Sea of Israel: Seven hundred and seventy years from the Flood till then. Four hundred and forty years from that time in which Pharaoh was drowned, and after Sru son of Esru came out of Egypt, till the time when the sons of Mil came into Ireland.….Forty and Four ships' companies strong went Sru out of Egypt. There were twenty-four wedded couples and three hirelings for every ship. Sru and his son Eber Scot, they were the chieftains of the expedition. It is then that Nenual son of Baath, son of Nenual, son of Feinius Farsaid, prince of Scythia, died; and Sru also died immediately after reaching Scythia....Eber Scot took by force the kingship of Scythia from the progeny of Nenual, till he fell at the hands of Noemius son of Nenual.....For that reason was the seed of Gael driven forth upon the sea, to wit Agnomain and Lamfhind his son, so that they were seven years on the sea, skirting the world on the north side. More than can be reckoned are the hardships which they suffered....they had three ships with a coupling between them, that none of them should move away from the rest. They had three chieftains after the death of Agnomain on the surface of the great Caspian Sea, Lamfhind and Allot and Caicher the druid....It is Caicher who spoke to them,….Caicher the druid said: Rise, said he, we shall not rest until we reach Ireland. What place is that 'Ireland' said Lamfhind son of Agnomain. Further than Scythia is it, said Caicher. It is not ourselves who shall reach it, but our children, at the end of three hundred years from today....Thereafter they settled in the Maeotic Marshes.....It is that Brath who came out of the Marshes along the Torrian Sea to Crete and to Sicily. They reached Spain thereafter. They took Spain by force.....Four ships' companies strong came the Gael to Spain: in every ship fourteen wedded couples and seven unwed hirelings.....Brath had a good son named Breogan, by whom was built the Tower and the city - Braganza was the city's name. From Breogan's Tower it was that Ireland was seen; an evening of a day of winter Ith son of Breogan saw it.”
Below: map of the Gallic kingdom of Galicia in Spain



The Scythian origin of the Scots is also recorded in the text known as Chronica de Origine Antiquorum Pictorum (The Pictish Chronicle), which is based on an earlier work, dating to the 7th century, entitled Etymologiae by Isidore of Seville, who wrote:

Quote:
“The race of the Picts has a name derived from the appearance of their bodies. These are played upon by a needle working with small pricks and by the squeezed-out sap of a native plant, so that they bear the resultant marks according to the personal rank of the individual, their painted limbs being tattooed to show their high birth. The Scots, now incorrectly referred to as Irishmen, are really Scotti, because they originated from the land of the Scythians…..It is a well known fact that the Britons arrived in Britain during the third Age of Man (the time between Abraham and David), while the Scotti, that is the Scots, migrated into Scotia or Ireland during the fourth Age of Man (the time between David and Daniel). The Scythian people are born with white hair due to the everlasting snow; and the colour of their hair gives name to the people, and thus they are called Albani: From this people both Scots and Picts descend. Their eyes are so brightly coloured that they are able to see better by night than by day. The Albani people were also neighbours with the Amazones. The Scythian territory was once so large that it reached from India in the east, through the marshland of Meotidas (the Sea of Azov), till the borders of Germania.”


The Picts were simply non-Romanised Britons, as the Romans didn't conquer the entire island of Britain, they ended up building a coast to coast fortification (Hadrian's Wall) to separate Romanised Britain from the non-Romanised Britons living in the northern third of the island of Britain. Because the Britons living north of Hadrian's Wall were not under Roman control, they retained their own indigenous native Celtic culture and language, whereas the Britons living south of Hadrian's wall were more influenced by Roman ways and manners.

The names Briton and Britain themselves come from the Celtic words Pretani and Prydain, which the Britons used to refer to themselves and their island. These words are derived from the Celtic root word Pryd, meaning "to mark" or "draw" and refer to the native Briton practice of painting or tattooing their skin with designs using a dye or ink obtained from the woad plant which produces a blue color; a trait described by Herod of Antioch in the 3rd century A.D., who wrote:

Quote:
"The Britons incise on their bodies coloured pictures of animals, of which they are very proud."
So the Britons (or Prytani, as they called themselves in their own language) were the "painted" or "tattooed people". This is something Julius Caesar himself remarked about in his journals when he invaded Britain in 54 B.C.:

Quote:
"The mainland of Britain is inhabited by a people who claim to be indigenous to the island, on the coast live the immigrant Belgae, who crossed over for war and pillage, but settled to cultivate the land...Those living inland do not sow grain but live on milk and meat and wear clothes of animal hides. All Britons paint their skin with woad which makes them blue and more terrifying to confront in battle."
The immigrant Belgae, mentioned by Caesar as having settled on the coast of Britain, were a group of Gallic tribes which included the Cimbri, who had formerly inhabited the Himmerland in the Jutland peninsula of Denmark, prior to the occupation of that region by the Germanic Danes The Greek historian Plutarch mentions the Cimbri in his Life of Gaius Marius, written in 75 AD:

Quote:
"There are those who say that Gaul was once wide and large enough to reach from the furthest sea and the arctic regions to the Maeotic Sea eastward, where it bordered on Pontic Scythia, and from that point on the Gauls and Scythians were mingled together....so that the whole legion was generally known by the name of Gallo-Scythians. Others say that the Cimmerii, anciently known to the Greeks, were only a small part of the nation, who were driven out upon some quarrel among the Scythians, and passed all along from the Maeotic Sea to Asia, under the conduct of one Lygdamis; and that the greater and more warlike part of them still inhabit the remotest regions lying upon the outer ocean. These are said to live in a densely wooded country hardly penetrable by sunlight, the trees being so close and thick, extending into the interior as far as the Hercynian forest....and from this region the people, anciently called Cimmerii, and thereafter, by a slight change, Cimbri"
Below: A silver-ritual cauldron of Thracian manufacture decorated with Gallic pagan deities that was once possessed by the Cimbri; recovered from a peat-bog located in the Himmerland of the Jutland peninsula in Gundestrup, Denmark



Somewhat earlier, in about 60 B.C., Diodorus Siculus wrote:

Quote:
"the valour of these people [the Britons] and their....ways have been famed abroad. Some men say that it was they who in ancient times overran all of Asia [Minor] and were called "Cimmerians" - time having corrupted the word into the name "Cimbrians" [Brythonic: "Cymru"] as they are now called."
Below: map of the Cimmerian kingdom of the Crimea



The Cimbri, or Cymric tribes as they were known in Britain, were descendants of the ancient Cimmerians who originally inhabited what is now the Crimea on the northern shores of the Black Sea bordering Scythia, until they were scattered after generations of intramural struggles for rulership with competing Scythian tribes; not unlike the events described in the Lebor Gabala Erenn.

Below map of The Cymric kingdom of Wales, known anciently as Cambria in Latin:


While the Britons living in the southern two-thirds of Britain became more "civilized" under Roman military rule and adopted Roman ways and manners, the Britons living in the northern third of the island beyond Roman control retained their own native Celtic customs and practices, which included tattooing their skin with woad. Thus by the end of the third century AD, the Romans began to refer to the Britons living in the northern third of the island as the "Picti" or Picts (from the Latin word Pictus, meaning "painted").

The term Pict first appears in a in a verse praising the emperor Constantius Chlorus written by the Roman orator Eumenius in 297 AD; while in 416 A.D. the Roman poet Claudian wrote:"This legion, set to guard the furthest Britons, curbs the savage Scot and studies the designs marked with iron on the face of the dying Pict".

Below: map showing the ethnic divisions found in the North of Britain after the 5th century A.D.

 
Old December 9th, 2011 #2
cillian
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cillian
Default tl;dr version

Celtic and Gallic, two very broad terms for various iron age peoples of North-West Europe.

Good article btw.
 
Old December 9th, 2011 #3
Steven L. Akins
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cillian View Post
Celtic and Gallic, two very broad terms for various iron age peoples of North-West Europe.

Good article btw.
Broad terms for the tribes of two ethnic groups that were originally distinct, but became merged through migration and assimilation.
 
Old September 14th, 2012 #4
Yar
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Yar
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Greetings to You!
Dear and Honourable Sir,
Noble Mister Steven L. Akins!
Last year I was able to order the "Lebor Feasa Runda" via amazon.com and to carefully readt it.
That is actually an amazing sacred scripture book.
Thank You very very much for Your great work.
I shall be very grateful You if You kindly will find a time and an opportunity to write me does the original Druid Order exist which one does follow the "Lebor Feasa Runda" as the sacred scripture foundational book?
Thank You!
With the kind personal regards,
Yours very respectfully and truly,
Yaroslav.
(Russia).
P.S.Noble Sir, I sent You an e-mail on address which is on Your website.
 
Old September 15th, 2012 #5
Steven L. Akins
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: The Heart of Dixie
Posts: 13,170
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yar View Post
Greetings to You!
Dear and Honourable Sir,
Noble Mister Steven L. Akins!
Last year I was able to order the "Lebor Feasa Runda" via amazon.com and to carefully readt it.
That is actually an amazing sacred scripture book.
Thank You very very much for Your great work.
I shall be very grateful You if You kindly will find a time and an opportunity to write me does the original Druid Order exist which one does follow the "Lebor Feasa Runda" as the sacred scripture foundational book?
Thank You!
With the kind personal regards,
Yours very respectfully and truly,
Yaroslav.
(Russia).
P.S.Noble Sir, I sent You an e-mail on address which is on Your website.
Hello, nice to hear from you and that you have read the Lebor Feasa Runda.

The Order of Siabran Druids is a spiritual brotherhood that I conceived to give a religious identity to those who choose to follow the teachings of the Lebor Feasa Runda. There is no membership fee or application process, and association is a matter of self-identifying with the Order of Siabran Druids as an adherant of the tradition revealed in the Lebor Feasa Runda itself.
 
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