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vineri, noiembrie 12

Celts in Europe 400BC - 800 BC

Celts in Europe 400BC - 800 BC

The Celts also expanded down the Danube river and its tributaries. One of the most influential tribes, the Scordisci, had established their capital at Singidunum in 3rd century BC, which is present-day Belgrade. The concentration of hill-forts and cemeteries shows a density of population in the Tisza valley of modern-day Vojvodina, Hungary and into Ukraine. Expansion into Romania was supposedly limited , according to certain sources, yet syncreticsm of Celtic art is evident in contemporary Romanian folk art

Further south, Celts settled in Thrace (Bulgaria), which they ruled for over a century, and Anatolia, where they settled as the Galatians. Then, having taken advantage of easing of Macedon after civil war, the Celts have destroyed an army of its king Ptolemeus Keravn and have plundered Greece. Despite their geographical isolation from the rest of the Celtic world, the Galatians maintained their Celtic language for at least seven hundred years. One of the largest ports on the Lower Danube in Romania is called Galati and Galata is another Celtic toponym in Turkey.

The Boii tribe gave their name to Bohemia (Czech Republic) and to -see above- Bologna (Italy ) and Celtic artifacts and cemeteries have been discovered further east in both Poland and Slovakia. A celtic coin (Biatec) from Bratislava's mint is displayed on today's Slovak 5 crown coin.

Comments and faves

musicorso (34 months ago)
Quite interesting; I see their expansion includes most of Portugal too; I was not aware of that; wonder how much celtic influence remains in portuguese culture.

londonconstant (34 months ago)
Claudio - you are right very few people are aware of the extent to which the Celts belonged really to Continental Europe and that their legacy is still alive in decorative arts and folklore, niot just archaeilology.
The reason for which i have started this group is because i met scores of irish and british who were completely oblivious of the extent of the celtic culture in Central-eastern Europe...
Can you think of examples in France?

musicorso (34 months ago)
Oh yes, most Bretons claim their celtic ascendency; it's quite obvious in the folklore, with celtic harps, etc; I don't know much more, except that they feel quite linked to Wales.
Since I'll be going soon to Portugal, I'll try to inquire about the music (would be unexpected to discover the celtic roots of fado...)

londonconstant (34 months ago)
of course, Claudio, the Bretons, i forgot about their celtic origins - but i was hoping to find more persuasive contemporary signs - no celtic croses, or celtic motifs in the decorative rural arts?
In Romania the presence of celtic croses in rural cemeteries is a genuine and continuous link as it is on the sculpted gates of Maramures (see pool). The harp I did not know that existed in the breton folk music.
What about the bagpipes? are the Celtic?

musicorso (34 months ago)
About the harp, I found this:
Bagpipes are typically celtic. There are lots of varieties in Bretagne: etons-cornem...
Celtic cross is also one main breton symbol: /
Of course it has now more of a political meaning...
Also, you might be interested seeing the bask cross, called lauburu; i have some photographs in one of my sets:

londonconstant (34 months ago)
Claudio, thanks I will look with interest to the links - in the meantime i looked urther to the question of origins of bagpipes in Europe with the general belief that all nations had it, at least in Roman times.
Looking at a linguistic map with the name of "bagpipe" it is interesting to see, indeed quite peculiar that ALL language surrounding Romanian have a similar root for this noun, yet in Romanian the term for a bagpipe is "cimpoi", very close to the biblical Aramaic "Cuwmpown" (soom-po-neh-yaw) ... Compare this with CIMPOI - it defeats speculation being too good a coincidence.
Sounds far-fetched, but as there is an agreement that the origin of the instrument comes from the middle east and that Aramaic was the official language of the Persians, the latter invaded the Danube valley and crossed the river at Galatz - their armies marching to the sund of (bag) pipes as indicated in ancient sources:
Daniel 3:7 Therefore, as soon as all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, all the peoples, nations, and languages fell down and worshiped the golden image which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
It maybe that the Celts knew and played the bagpipe before the Romans did (contrary to the belief that it was the Romans who introduced the instrument in Britain) and the only place in celtic Europe where the original Aramaic "Cuwmpown" was preserved was amongst the shepherds of the Carpathians who call it today "Cimpoi" (pronounced Chimp-oy)

londonconstant (32 months ago)
mikescottnz thanks for the fave

Järnvarg (31 months ago)
In fact, the celts were an heterogeneous cultural manifestation with many origins and no just one, the celts are a mixture betweeen atlantic culture from late bronze age with many local cultural manifestations on central Europe and do not have their origin on central Europe as archaeology and genetics show us today, there is not archaeological evidence about that, many of these avedence belongs to Illiryans and another previous manifestaions fron late bronze age and first half of iron age, the Scordicii were a invasion on balkans and rule many terriotires but they have not an important influence, on central Europe the celtic influence are strong since the second half of iron age, many migratoy movements changes the face of Europe but we need to be careful with the celtic culture and their movements because sometimes an idea can move faster and away more than the people who create it, many "celtic"evidence on Czech republic could be as a part of aculturation phenomena more than product of a real celtic settlement
Many modern scholars denied the Illyrian theory most for modern political reasons more than for the archaeological, linguistic and historiographic evidence, and that is sad, there is a strong evidence to support this theory but we need again to be careful, the peoples of iron age do not had an scripture, on some places on southern Europe they adopt Etruscan, or greek characters to wrote some words but we have not their real names or a complete panorama about this cultural manifestations.
Celts are now an commercial name than a cultural name, i´m a proud celtic descendant but my forefathers have nothing to do on central Europe than on western Europe, the celtic saga were on the first centuries B.C. when many movements searching for terrotories to live become on a huge migratory movements of nordic and western peoples, ther was a vilent age of war and famine rome register some of these movements, the same rome become a victim, they conform many alliances with italic and illyrians to respond the celtic movements on their territories.....

londonconstant (29 months ago)
The archaeologists will carry on following, then refuting the ideas espoused earlier... What is amazing from an artistic point of view is that the decorations and shape of artefacts of a wide area of central and western Europe have a strong resemblance as indicated by this and similar maps; see the Metropolitan Museum's URL -

Järnvarg (29 months ago)
well, the material culture from La Téne period were a very strong influence between many populations around Europe but this is not an indicator of celtic presceence or a celtic identity, this is a very traditional and very political point of view, they were born earlier and do not on the traditional places as on school books says....we need to be again, careful

londonconstant (29 months ago)
Järnvarg thanks for your caveatL am I to believe that the jury is still out on this question? Or, as it maybe this is only one of several schools of thought/? Can you please show us a map indicating the extent of Celtic culture on Continental Europe? Thank you

Järnvarg (29 months ago)
well you can visit an excellent pan-diciplianry priject E-Keltoi in these web you can found many great articlea about celtic culture around Europe, the map as you show us here fals on this points:
1.- The "la tenian" prescence on britain are about 200-100Bc. do not
on 400Bc. as traditional fringe archaeology says.
2.-Hallstatt culture are more close to illyrians tahn celtic peoples,
there is not many links between Hallsttat culture and celts (???)
3.-Where is Galicia on these map? and is an important celtic place
4.-Celtic people on mediterranean France? nop Ligurians with celtic
influence as on Massilia ...íll promise to show a better map soon.

musicorso (26 months ago)
I am the one who mentioned musical instruments, and I don't see why they should be kept out of this discussion, nor of any discussion, unless one forbids freedom of speech.
Neither do I appreciate sarcasm, with or without humor (without is the case right now), mostly under a pedantic tone.

londonconstant (26 months ago)
I am sure you know more about musical instruments origins than anyone else. The remarks made by our asturian "Passionaria" are of a style which is not welcome on flickr especially when it is strident and aggressive. i am sorry.
When i said that musical instruments 'do not come under the incoidence of this group" it was merely to say that the group rules were silent about this. Any contribution on complementary aspects on celtic origins is welcome.
with regard to the map links given by la Passionaria above theyr seem to be full of contradictions which is a reflection on the fact that the jury is still out about the Celts.

sando_angotti (25 months ago)
Järnvarg says:
well, the material culture from La Téne period were a very strong influence between many populations around Europe but this is not an indicator of celtic presceence or a celtic identity, this is a very traditional and very political point of view, they were born earlier and do not on the traditional places as on school books says....we need to be again, careful
I agree with you.
I have heard and read the same thing. That La Téne was spread more by cultural diffusion than by large-scale physical movement/settlement of people. If you look at that map above and see the areas coloured in dark's a vast chunk of Europe. It is very doubtful, if not impossible, that it represents people of one, homogenous ethnicity. No one ethnic group at that point in history was numerous enough to spread themselves over such a great area with a constant density. Sure, they reached those areas, but we are talking more about expeditions and/or small-scale settlements, and not always huge mass movements of migrants.

londonconstant (25 months ago)
Sando I would welcome if you were so good as to post a map of Europe which would reflect more closely your acceptance of the Celtic culture.
So far I would regard the above example a basis for discussion, but if you have a different version which might enjoy a broader acceptance by the cognoscenti it would be nice to have a look at it.
So far one could present any number of these and agree that they differ greatly to each other and even present broad-brush contradictory areas of spread.
Please note that since the above sketch map was published by Wikipedia a NEW modified version has since appeared which vary from the above, which demonstrates how the goal posts are moved during the 'scholarly' disquisitions...

sando_angotti (25 months ago)
Hi londonconstant, I don't have a map per se. I really don't know how it would look. But clearly genetics has suggested that Celtic expansion was to some degree cultural:
The Sunday Times - Ireland
The Sunday Times September 05, 2004
The Irish are not Celts, say experts
Jan Battles
THE long-held belief that Ireland’s population is descended from the Celts has been disproved by geneticists, who have concluded that they never invaded Ireland.
The research at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) into the origins of Ireland’s population found no substantial evidence of the Celts in Irish DNA, and concludes they never settled here en masse.
The study, part-funded by the National Millennium Committee, has just been published in The American Journal of Human Genetics. It was one of four projects funded by the government under the Genetic History of Ireland programme, which aimed to provide a definitive survey of the origins of the ancient peoples of Ireland.
Part of the project’s brief was to “discover whether there was a large incursion by Celtic people about 2,500 years ago” as was widely believed. After comparing a variety of genetic traits in Irish people with those of thousands of European and Near Eastern inhabitants, the scientists at TCD say there was not.
“Some people would go as far as saying there was total replacement of the population (of Ireland) 2,500 years ago,” said Brian McEvoy, one of the authors. “But if that happened we would definitely be more related to people in central Europe, because the Celts were supposed to have come from there. We’re just not seeing that. We’re seeing something earlier. Our legacy is the result of the first people to settle in Ireland around 9,000 years ago.”
About 15,000 years ago, ice covered Ireland, Britain and a lot of northern Europe so prehistoric man retreated back into Spain, Italy and Greece, which were still fairly temperate. When the ice started melting again around 12,000 years ago, people followed it northwards as areas became habitable again.
“The primary genetic legacy of Ireland seems to have come from people from Spain and Portugal after the last ice age,” said McEvoy. “They seem to have come up along the coast through western Europe and arrived in Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It’s not due to something that happened 2,500 years ago with Celts. “We have a very old genetic legacy.”
While we may not owe our heritage to the Celts, we are still linked to other populations considered Celtic, such as Scotland and Wales. McEvoy said: “It seems to be more a cultural spread than actual people coming in wiping out and replacing everyone else.”
A PhD student in Trinity’s department of genetics, McEvoy will present the findings tomorrow at the Irish Society of Human Genetics annual meeting.
He and Dan Bradley of TCD took samples of mitochondrial DNA, which is inherited from the mother, from 200 volunteers around Ireland using cheek swabs. They also compiled a database of more than 8,500 individuals from around Europe and analysed them for similarities and matches in the sequences.
They found most of the Irish samples matched with those around Britain and the Pyrenees in Spain. There were some matches in Scandinavia and parts of northern Africa.
“Of the Celtic regions, by far the strongest correspondence is with Scotland,” said Bradley. “It corresponds exactly with language.” While that could be due to the Plantation of Ulster, Bradley said it was more likely due to something much older because the matches occur throughout the whole of Ireland and not just the north.
The geneticists produced a map of Europe with contours linking places that were genetically similar. One contour goes around the edge of the Atlantic, around Wales, Scotland, Ireland and includes Galicia in Spain and the Basque region.
“This isn’t consistent with the idea of a large invasion here around 500BC,” said Bradley. “You would expect some more affinity with central Europe if we owed the bulk of our ancestry to a movement from central Europe but we don’t.”
Some archeologists also doubt there was a Celtic invasion because few of their artifacts have been found in Ireland.
Of course, this is not to single-out Ireland. I'm sure that other places that are traditionally known as Celtic are not Celtic in terms of genetics, but culture. That's the important thing though, isn't it?

sando_angotti (25 months ago)
I haven't seen the new map.
But on this map, there are some differences. In Turkey, the Celtic kingdom of Galatia was more in the centre part of Anatolia and partially southern. But on that map, Galatia is shown to be in the hinterlands of the northwest, which generally contradicts most other proposed locations of Galatia.
(Not just the Roman Kingdom of Galatia, but also the original Celtic settlements were in central Turkey, with the base in what is modern-day Ankara) ragons/galat...

anneliese120 (23 months ago)
I've been to Hallstatt! It's beautiful and very interesting!

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