Saturday, August 02, 2008

A Celt by any other name.

So many people erroneously believe that the Celts are a people native to Ireland and mainland Britain.
Which is quite untrue, the Celts came from central Europe, and began to arrive in Britain in the pre-christian millenium.
The yellow portion of the map shows the extent and homeland of the Celts, 600 years "before christ", and the light green shows their expansion over the next 300 years, after which began the rise of the Romans, and the "fall of the Celts".

As can be seen, the Celts were principally Germanic, just like the Saxons, who invaded Britain after the Romans had left, which is another tale for another time.

They were certainly neither monotheistic, nor monogamous, nor particularly peaceful.

Here`s how Wikipedia relates the tale of the Celtish folk.

In battle, as warriors...

"They cut off the heads of enemies slain in battle and attach them to the necks of their horses. The blood-stained spoils they hand over to their attendants and striking up a paean and singing a song of victory; and they nail up these first fruits upon their houses, just as do those who lay low wild animals in certain kinds of hunting. They embalm in cedar oil the heads of the most distinguished enemies, and preserve them carefully in a chest, and display them with pride to strangers, saying that for this head one of their ancestors, or his father, or the man himself, refused the offer of a large sum of money. They say that some of them boast that they refused the weight of the head in gold".

Their sexual mores...

The remark is reported to have been made by the wife of Argentocoxus, a Caledonian, to Julia Augusta. When the empress was jesting with her, after the treaty, about the free intercourse of her sex with men in Britain, she replied:
"We fulfill the demands of nature in a much better way than do you Roman women; for we consort openly with the best men, whereas you let yourselves be debauched in secret by the vilest."
Such was the retort of the British woman.

Their laws, which incidentally saw women as equal to , and even as better than men.

Under Brehon Law, which was written down in early Medieval Ireland after conversion to Christianity, a woman had the right to divorce her husband and gain his property if he was unable to perform his maritial duties due to impotence, obesity, homosexual inclination or preference for other women...

Naturally, when the Romans came with their militaristic empire of patriarchal mono-theism, the Celtic lifestyle retreated to the peripheries of the mind.
However, it must be said that the "old ways" are certainly making a welcome return.
Monogamous lifestyles, and unquestioning monotheism are no longer seen as the prevailing factors in our social structure.
I suppose in olden days one would thank the Gods, today, an inward smile must suffice.


Paul said...

You trying to fool us or what?
Everybody knows the Celtics are from...........Boston. :-)

landsker said...

With little green hats, drums and whistles, and bright red socks;)