Cowart's Common Room
Celtic Lark

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One of the interesting things of being a member of the VOGANTM is that you get to hear interesting talks without the necessity of going on a cruise. This morning we had someone talking about Celtic Art, which was really a misnomer as his talk was all about the Celts themselves - who were they and where did they end up. Turns out that they started in central Europe and expanded outwards to Turkey in the east and Ireland in the West, Iberia in the south and Britain, I suppose in the North. Ireland, never invaded, was their last bastion, though they hang on also in the Celtic countries, though not really in England. The Celtic divide therefore mirrors the Brexit one, which is funny as you would have thought it would be the other way round.

Nevertheless they did live for many centuries in England and the Wandsworth Shield above - an ornament designed not for fighting but as a gift to one of the river gods - was found in the Thames at Wandsworth in London. While we pollute rivers and lakes with plastic the Celts polluted them with gold and silver ornaments. No doubt they would have marvelled at a plastic water bottle.

They weren't though terribly good at organised fighting. Their warriors fought much in the way of the Highland clansmen who were their descendants. So although, we were told, Celtic armies sacked Delphi in Greece, whenever they came up against properly organised Roman armies they got beaten, in Boudicca's case really rather badly. So they retreated ever westwards, bringing their languages with them and throwing their torcs into ponds and bogs along with the occasional sacrificial victim. But of all the ancient civilisations the Celts believed in giving women equal opportunities, which is how Boudicca became a warrioress and Queen, which afronted the Romans even more than her rampaging through London and Colchester.

The Celts did have a fondness though for water, which must have made them uncomfortable living in Anatolia. But if you ever meet a red bearded Turk then it means that his ancestors were Scots or Irish under the skin but had no sense of direction.

Anyway all quite fascinating. Very HappyVery Happy

Posted at 20th Feb 2019 - 06:27PM   Posted by Fennie   Celtic Lark Comments: 3

Re:
Fennie's Avatar I suppose my case is not helped by Cleopatra and Nefertiti, but perhaps the Egyptians were just Celts under the skin.

Posted by: Fennie on 20th Feb 2019 at 06:35PM

Re:
Fairy Nuff's Avatar "If you ever meet a red bearded Turk then... his ancestors... had no sense of direction." LaughingLaughingLaughing

They may not have been very organised in a fight but by golly they were berluddy good at metalwork. Very Happy
I think the Cornish may take umbrage if you suggest there are no Celts left in England. Wink Although something I was watching a while ago was suggesting the "Celts" never really existed and were several different peoples we have lumped into one handy bunch and that the "Celtic" languages don't all have the same ancestry.
Wish I could remember what it was I was watching.

Posted by: Fairy Nuff on 21st Feb 2019 at 10:18AM

Re:
Fennie's Avatar You can't say Cornwall is part of England anymore than Wales is or Scotland is or Ireland was. But clearly it is difficult to imagine that a population stretching across Europe was one homogeneous race of folk. All I would say to your informant was 'tell that to the Greeks and Romans' who were at the wrong end of Celtic swords and who called them Celts in the first place. But for me what was fascinating was the evolution of the Neolithic cultures into the Celtic. You find the same fascination with water, similar burial practices. the same lack of writing - though it occurred to me yesterday that if you write on goatskins and birchbark and live in tents or damp houses, there wouldn't be much left after a few thousand years. But why no names on swords or shields - either of owner or maker? Very Happy

Posted by: Fennie on 21st Feb 2019 at 10:44AM

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