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Re: USAGE: USAGE north-west IE diffusion (Re: USAGE:Yet another few questions about Welsh.)

From:Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Wednesday, July 7, 2004, 4:54
On Tuesday, July 6, 2004, at 08:32 , Andreas Johansson wrote:

> Quoting Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>: > >> What I find a little strange is that none of the ancient authors ever >> refer to the inhabitants of Britain or Ireland as Celts; yet the ancient >> Romans & Greek had first hand encounters with actual Celts in mainland >> Europe. > > I'm under the impression the ethnoym "Belgae" was used for groups on both > sides > of the Channel, tho. Is this correct?
Well, yes and no. It was applied by the Romans to peoples both in Britain and in Gaul. But in Gaul it was not applied to an individual 'ciuitas' ("tribe" - bad, but traditional, English translation) but to a collection of 'ciuitates', some with Germanic elements. Several of the British 'ciuitates' were artificial creations of the Romans for administrative purposes. There is no reason to suppose that the _ciuitas_ the Romans called 'Belgae' with their capital at Venta Belgarum (Winchester) was not just such an artificial Roman creation. There is no archaeological evidence for any pre-Roman invasion of the area by continental peoples. See "The Place-Names of Roman Britain" by A.L.F. Rivet & Colin Smith (I'm afraid I don't have the ISBN)
>> So, I have a few questions :) >> 1. Is there any actual evidence of the language of those people the >> Romans >> called 'Celtae' & the Greeks called 'Keltai'? > > Exactly whom did the Ancients include in these terms? In particular, did > they > include the Gauls?
=================================================================== On Tuesday, July 6, 2004, at 02:06 , Doug Dee wrote:
> In a message dated 7/6/2004 3:32:23 AM Eastern Daylight Time, andjo@FREE. > FR > writes: > >> Exactly whom did the Ancients include in these terms [Celtae/Keltai]? >> In particular, did they include the Gauls? > > Julius Caesar famously wrote that one of the three parts of Gaul was > inhabited "by a people called in their own language Celtae, in the Latin > Galli > [Gauls]." [H.J. Edwards' translation]
Yes - but they were only one of the several peoples of ancient Gaul. I don't have the passage to hand & need to check it out. But significantly, the same Caesar visited Britain twice, getting as far as Londinium, on the 2nd occasion IIRC. He does not record that any of the peoples of Britain were Celtae (or Galli). He did note, I grant, similarities of the coastal districts with Gaul, but recorded that the peoples of the interior of Britain believed themselves to be indigenous to the island. All the ancient authors are agreed that the peoples of Britain are not homogeneous. None call them Celtae; indeed, Strabo actually contrasts the Britains & the Celts. Ray =============================================== (home) (work) =============================================== "A mind which thinks at its own expense will always interfere with language." J.G. Hamann, 1760