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Old Celtic Religions - scottish, welsh and irish, any english?


Guest fizzyclare1
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well, have been doing a bit of reading on celtic religions and there is plenty to say about irish, welsh and scottish gaelic stuff but did the english have any celtic deity's/religious beliefs? (back then not now)

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well, have been doing a bit of reading on celtic religions and there is plenty to say about irish, welsh and scottish gaelic stuff but did the english have any celtic deity's/religious beliefs? (back then not now)

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If you go back far enough, the English *were* the Welsh pretty much, or the Welsh were the English... go back further and it all changes still :-) I'm a poor historian, I'm sure others can put it better than me, but I'm pretty sure that when the Romans first got here, the Island was pretty much swarming with P-Celtic-speaking folk. So if you're talking Celtic beliefs, you're talking Brythonic beliefs, as Brythonic tribes occupied most of it

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well, have been doing a bit of reading on celtic religions and there is plenty to say about irish, welsh and scottish gaelic stuff but did the english have any celtic deity's/religious beliefs? (back then not now)

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Sulis, Andraste, Coventina, Brigantia, those are the deities I could find, I think some of the Gaulish ones made it across the channel though...

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Short answer is no, because the English aren't a Celtic people.

 

If you mean are there examples of local customs in England which may derive from pre-English times, well first of all you have to define what you mean by "England" - most Cornish people for example would define themselves as Cornish rather than English. There are areas along the Welsh border which were part of the Welsh-speaking cultural area until the 19th century and are best considered along with Wales. Cumbria was also an area which became part of England later than other areas, was part of the Scottish kingdom, and had its own language related to Welsh and Cornish.

 

Other commentators have found thriving traditional customs in Derbyshire and the Peak District which have something in common with those in the Celtic lands

 

So it depends what you're looking for, really

 

gwyn eich byd

 

Ffred

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Short answer is no, because the English aren't a Celtic people.

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But the idea of a homogeneous "English" people has not always been the case. England is a political entity created by the consolidation of the Saxon heptarchy, the people living in it were pretty much the decendants of the same ones that were living there when the celts arrived around 500CE. Around here Saxons, Danes and Normans were rare enough to have their villages named Saxondale, Denby (Dane-by) and Normanton while "Welsh" names persist to this day (Pentrich, Crich, Mam Tor, Derwent etc.).

 

Being a son of a Cymro-Scottish family born in the Peak District I find it fascinating that England is not a monoculture and never has been, it is still a patchwork of Celtic, Germanic and Scandinavian influence. Just like the rest of the British Isles in fact.

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Very interesting, Celtic people also were in Poland, mainly in South, actuall Celts are from Europe. Some Polish people asking me why I do not worship or not follow Slavic paganism, hmm I do not feel that I belong to Slavic nation, I feel close to Celtic path. :)

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When I was a teen and first got interested in this sort of thing everything was portrayed as being quite clear cut. Nowdays it is far less so. Fredd mentioned the Welsh speaking communities in Shropshire (there were people in Oswestry who had Welsh as their first language into the 20th C), and the people of Cumbria (even the name Cumbria is Welsh). But down here in Devon many of the place names are Celtic in origin and Cornish was commonly spoken here through the Middle ages.

 

England, Wales, Scotland, Cornwall have been neighbours for a very long time and people have moved freely from one to the other. You only have to look at surnames to see how much mixing there has been.

 

There must have been a lot of crossover culturally, although I am going to have to wrack my brains. How can one decide how much the English May Day customs derive from the Celtic Beltane or the customs of Europe.............. and if they come from European traditions could they still not be derived from the European Celts?

 

And then there are things like the Abbots Bromley horn dance....... I think the oldest set of horns were carbon dated as being 12thC! There is something thouroughly ancient about it it might be from the neolithic for all we know.

 

Mike

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Short answer is no, because the English aren't a Celtic people.

 

 

So it depends what you're looking for, really

 

gwyn eich byd

 

Ffred

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Oh come on Ffred!

 

I can agree as far as the word "Celtic" and the word "English" is concerned but that has a very tenuous connection with people and what they do.

 

There wasn't a line that wavered as whole populations with distinct cultures were pushed back over Offa's Dyke [or where it would one day be!] leaving nothing but a cultural scorched earth which was completely filled with the new culture!.

 

Many Celts stayed in what is now England and many English brought their culture into Wales via immigration and trade. Who do you think you sold all that wool to? The churches carried their homogenising effect everywhere blurring the distinction. That is one of the great strengths of these Islands. We have absorbed and mixed races over and over again. There are no frontiers here. Not even where the SLOW ARAFS get squashed into the tarmac.

 

 

As for the northern end of the island:

The Scots (originally Irish, but by now Scotch) were at this time inhabiting Ireland, having driven the Irish (Picts) out of Scotland; while the Picts (originally Scots) were now Irish (living in brackets) and vice versa. It is essential to keep these distinctions clearly in mind (and verce visa).

— - 1066 and All That

 

Sorry Mike :) - I guess you typed faster than I did

Edited by Moonsmith
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um okay, narrow it down a bit, lets say yorkshire, south leeds, kippax.  is that a bit more helpful?

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Really it depends on what period of history you are looking for as to whom was the dominant tribe and thus which Gods they possibly followed!

 

In a very brief and possibly incomplete short space I'll try and post for you a bit of what political changes there have been for your area, from that you can then look into the specific beliefs of the peoples and thus find a focus for your research!

 

Going back much before the Romans invaded is difficult due to the lack of information, but immediately Pre-Roman Yorkshire was split into 2 parts, the North and West were controlled by the Brigantes, the rest was the Parisii, until they were conquered by the Romans in about 71 CE.

 

After the Romans 'left' in the early 5th century your area would probably have fallen into the Kingdom of Elmet, a small Celtic kingdom, until sometime in the 7th century when it was 'annexed' by the Nothumbrian Angles, then in about 866 it was conquered by the Danes, calling the region the Kingdom of Jorvik. This lasted for about 100 years before the upcoming Kingdom of Wessex asserted its influence and took control of the area. After that the main events were in 1066, the failed Viking led invasion of Harald Hardrada and of course the succesful invasion of William the B*stard.

 

So, depending on when you want to focus, your area was Brigantian, who worshipped Brigantia (linked to Breagha, Bride, Morrigan, et al), then ruled by Rome, with their adoption / assumption of the local Gods into their Pantheon (or linked to existing Roman Gods), then christianity at the end of the Roman Period. After that with the influx of Viking influence it would have been a Norse Heathen focus, followed again by christianity.

 

I know this is a very quick and rough summary, probably not complete, but it may just give you some ideas as to where to look for yourself!

 

HTH

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Short answer is no, because the English aren't a Celtic people.

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Oh dear, this is going to get heated.

 

If you are talking linguistically, the you are right but if you're doing the whole 'we were here first because we're Welsh and the Anglo Saxons killed all the Celts in the area now known as England' thing, you might want to check out DNA studies a bit more, not to mention grave finds and the new linguistic research being done.

 

http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/2006/10/...ritishancestry/

 

And his question and answer session:

http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/2007/06/...estryrevisited/

 

Oppenheimer isn't the only one that's backing that theory either, Brian Sykes in his book 'Blood of the Isles' is also in agreement with this.

 

While Anglo Saxon finds are notoriously rare, AS cemeteries have been found at Wasperton, Dorchester and Lankills containing Romano-Britons but buried in the AS way.

 

Theories also looking at the linguistic changes in Anglo Saxon in Britain suggest possible Celtic influence in the sounds:

 

http://www.hum.leiden.edu/news-agenda/infl...n-expected.html

 

Grammar:

 

http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog...ves/004037.html

 

I'm not saying that either theory is right, I just don't think such a determination can be outright made anymore. Then what of the English from Yr Hen Ogledd? When the Anglo Saxons came there, it was a good 2 centuries after everywhere else and was a peaceful entrance because the Anglo Saxons had converted and the Romano-Britons of the area had already been Christian for years. It's just not so cut and dried as saying 'The English aren't a Celtic people' or calling us all Germans (because lets face it, a good chunk of the Anglo Saxons were also Jutes and Frisians). Then what of all the Celtic finds in 'Germany'? There's still a lot of Celtic culture here.

 

At the end of the day, unless you're Chris Burgess and believe that the Celts somehow sprung up from the land of Britain, we're all incommers to these isles. Some just came before others.

 

England, Wales, Scotland, Cornwall have been neighbours for a very long time and people have moved freely from one to the other.  You only have to look at surnames to see how much mixing there has been.

 

I agree, and I think that mixing has been going on from the get go.

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And if we are going to use linguistics as a measure of Celticness then half of Wales and virtually all of Scotand, all of Cornwall, the Isle of Mann and most of Ireland would be considered English. And most Bretons would be French.

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I agree, and I think that mixing has been going on from the get go.

 

Indeed. The extent of AngloSaxon migration and its effect on the Romano-Brits is still a controversal topic in history but we have some evidence for British Gods & cults being co-opted by Anglosaxons. For instance, there's evidence for the Hwicce anglosaxons adopting worship of the Celtic Dobunni's local goddess Cuda plus a hunter God associated with hunting dogs.

 

(Of topic but if you're near Birmingham I strongly recommend visiting Wychbury Hill - the site of a Hwicce hill fort and of course the remains of Wych Elm where they found poor Bella)

 

Marcus

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(Of topic but if you're near Birmingham I strongly recommend visiting Wychbury Hill - the site of a Hwicce hill fort and of course the remains of Wych Elm where they found poor Bella)

 

Marcus

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I used to live not far from there.............. didn't some bastards chop it down? Or am I getting confused.

 

Mike

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And if we are going to use linguistics as a measure of Celticness then half of Wales and virtually all of Scotand, all of Cornwall, the Isle of Mann and most of Ireland would be considered English.  And most Bretons would be French.

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Indeed that is the argument as the DNA one tends to fall pretty flat on most counts as so many people have the DNA but don't belong to 'traditionally' Celtic lands. So how does it get assigned who gets to be considered a Celt and who doesn't?

 

 

I agree, and I think that mixing has been going on from the get go.

 

Indeed. The extent of AngloSaxon migration and its effect on the Romano-Brits is still a controversal topic in history but we have some evidence for British Gods & cults being co-opted by Anglosaxons. For instance, there's evidence for the Hwicce anglosaxons adopting worship of the Celtic Dobunni's local goddess Cuda plus a hunter God associated with hunting dogs.

 

(Of topic but if you're near Birmingham I strongly recommend visiting Wychbury Hill - the site of a Hwicce hill fort and of course the remains of Wych Elm where they found poor Bella)

 

Marcus

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Ahhh but who put Bella in the Wych Elm? :P

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Ahhh but who put Bella in the Wych Elm? :P

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If you ask me - it was British Intelligence but meh. It would be far more interesting to say "a local coven of witches" - especially so close to Halloween.

 

Marcus

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Oh dear, this is going to get heated.

 

I do hope not...

 

If you are talking linguistically, the you are right but if you're doing the whole 'we were here first because we're Welsh and the Anglo Saxons killed all the Celts in the area now known as England' thing, you might want to check out DNA studies a bit more, not to mention grave finds and the new linguistic research being done.

 

I'm actually coming at this from a different perspective.

 

Yes, certainly the linguistic and cultural evidence shows separation.

 

But I'd thought that what I said was that there were certain areas of England (depending on how you define England) where pre-English survivals have been claimed. To a greater or lesser degree, depending on your stance.

 

I'm not saying that either theory is right, I just don't think such a determination can be outright made anymore. Then what of the English from Yr Hen Ogledd? When the Anglo Saxons came there, it was a good 2 centuries after everywhere else and was a peaceful entrance because the Anglo Saxons had converted and the Romano-Britons of the area had already been Christian for years. It's just not so cut and dried as saying 'The English aren't a Celtic people' or calling us all Germans (because lets face it, a good chunk of the Anglo Saxons were also Jutes and Frisians).  Then what of all the Celtic finds in 'Germany'? There's still a lot of Celtic culture here.

 

Rightly said. I've come across the argument that if the Romans hadn't annexed the Celtic sphere of influence to their own, then the proto-German areas in North-Western Europe would have become acculturated to Celtic.

 

Which would mean that we'd be having a completely different discussion today!

 

gwyn eich byd

 

Ffred

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Rightly said. I've come across the argument that if the Romans hadn't annexed the Celtic sphere of influence to their own, then the proto-German areas in North-Western Europe would have become acculturated to Celtic.

 

Which would mean that we'd be having a completely different discussion today!

 

gwyn eich byd

 

Ffred

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:ph34r: I'm so glad this isn't going to become heated!

 

Now that is an interesting point and one I've considered quite a bit. The whole 'what if the Romans never succeeded?' question. I have a lot of UPG on this but nothing I'm going to post in what, is essentially an open-to-the-public forum'. I've read theories that suggest that the meaning of 'Welsh' is AS for 'Romanised foreigner' and I do wonder how the tribes would have gotten on together were Rome not in the picture. I think maybe the invasion would have gone differently.

 

Sometimes I really wish the Boudicca rebellion had succeeded.

Edited by Birka
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I've read theories that suggest that the meaning of 'Welsh' is AS for 'Romanised foreigner'...

I've read that the name 'Welsh' comes from 'Volcae' a Celtic tribal name, the Germanic peoples first encountered a Romanised Celtic tribe called the Volcae and subsequently called all Romanised Celts 'Volcae', or derivatives. The Germans still call Italians Welsche to this day.

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I've read theories that suggest that the meaning of 'Welsh' is AS for 'Romanised foreigner'...

I've read that the name 'Welsh' comes from 'Volcae' a Celtic tribal name, the Germanic peoples first encountered a Romanised Celtic tribe called the Volcae and subsequently called all Romanised Celts 'Volcae', or derivatives. The Germans still call Italians Welsche to this day.

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I live in Germany and usually folks just call the Italians 'Italienisch'.

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I live in Germany and usually folks just call the Italians 'Italienisch'.

Perhaps that needs further qualification?

 

"Till modern times the German-speaking inhabitants of Switzerland call their French-, Italian- and Rheto-Romance-speaking compatriots Welschen."

http://www.orbilat.com/General_Survey/Term...lschen_etc.html

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Ok but that's not a modern thing. Seriously, I live in Germany and work for German employers/with Germans. They usually just call Italians 'Italiener' and things that are Italian are 'Italienisch'. They also usually get a dreamy look in their eyes round here when they think of Italian things. I think it also might depend on region because where I am was very romanised and they are really proud of that fact.

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They also usually get a dreamy look in their eyes round here when they think of Italian things. I think it also might depend on region because where I am was very romanised and they are really proud of that fact.

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Y'see now that is interesting because here in South East Wales were quite proud of of our Roman heritage, Caerleon - Isca Silurium & Caerwent - Venta Silurium. Also there are no shortage of Italian settlers here, I work with a second generation Italian and one of my best friends is 2nd Gen Italian.

 

There was a Roman Tin, or Lead, mine at the end of my street.

 

Marvelous race the Romans. :)

Edited by Therapon
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They also usually get a dreamy look in their eyes round here when they think of Italian things. I think it also might depend on region because where I am was very romanised and they are really proud of that fact.

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Y'see now that is interesting because here in South East Wales were quite proud of of our Roman heritage, Caerleon - Isca Silurium & Caerwent - Venta Silurium. Also there are no shortage of Italian settlers here, I work with a second generation Italian and one of my best friends is 2nd Gen Italian.

 

There was a Roman Tin, or Lead, mine at the end of my street.

 

Marvelous race the Romans. :D

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Doubly interesting. I've been having a discussion with German speaking friends on FB and apparently the term 'ein Welscher' is only really used in Switzerland, Southwestern Germany and Alsace (but depending on the day and political mood of the people). The rest of Germany doesn't use it, they use compound words that involve the word 'welsch', such as 'Kauderwelsch' which means 'gibberish' but most folks don't notice the 'welsch' component in the word or know the real meaning and origins of it.

 

Although the term was originally used to describe speakers of romance languages (i.e latin derived languages...them there Romans again ;)), it's now applied to people that the speaker feels is 'foreign' in some way or 'talks gibberish' or 'talks foreign'. It's more complicated than that, naturally politics come into it but that's a basic outline. One of these friends is currently in the process of writing a book about the folk traditions and language of Switzerland, so he's pretty much the guy to ask about this!

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Y'see now that is interesting because here in South East Wales were quite proud of of our Roman heritage, Caerleon - Isca Silurium & Caerwent - Venta Silurium. Also there are no shortage of Italian settlers here, I work with a second generation Italian and one of my best friends is 2nd Gen Italian.

 

There was a Roman Tin, or Lead, mine at the end of my street.

 

Marvelous race the Romans. :huh:

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When we opened the stretch of the M4 from Newport to Cardiff the road signs were all in English. When it was proposed that £125,000 be spent changing them we did a survey at the Risca roundabout. More people had Italian as their first or second language than had Welsh.

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When we opened the stretch of the M4 from Newport to Cardiff the road signs were all in English.  When it was proposed that £125,000 be spent changing them we did a survey at the Risca roundabout.  More people had Italian as their first or second language than had Welsh.

 

Perish the thought that a road in Wales might have had signposting in Welsh from the outset...

 

And how did the number of first-language Welsh and Italian speakers line up?

 

gwyn eich byd

 

Ffred

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When we opened the stretch of the M4 from Newport to Cardiff the road signs were all in English.  When it was proposed that £125,000 be spent changing them we did a survey at the Risca roundabout.  More people had Italian as their first or second language than had Welsh.

 

Perish the thought that a road in Wales might have had signposting in Welsh from the outset...

 

And how did the number of first-language Welsh and Italian speakers line up?

 

gwyn eich byd

 

Ffred

388038[/snapback]

 

Everywhere I've ever been in Wales has had bilingual signposting.

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When we opened the stretch of the M4 from Newport to Cardiff the road signs were all in English.  When it was proposed that £125,000 be spent changing them we did a survey at the Risca roundabout.  More people had Italian as their first or second language than had Welsh.

 

Perish the thought that a road in Wales might have had signposting in Welsh from the outset...

 

And how did the number of first-language Welsh and Italian speakers line up?

 

gwyn eich byd

 

Ffred

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Ffred I am not attacking things Welsh. My daughter in Law is Welsh and Welsh speaking. My Grandson's are Welsh speaking as far as they have learned to speak at all. Three of my children gained their tertiary education in Wales and one of them now teaches in Wales. I'm Irish. Not at all sure how Celtic they are.

 

I am simply supporting Therapon's suggestion that that the population of that part of Wales has a big Italian influence and others' that the whole of this tiny Island is of very mixed heritage. There are Celts everywhere upon its surface.

 

As to the M4:

I'm not sure what year it was - I'd guess 1978 or thereabouts. Before that the M4 stopped at the Caldra roundabout at Newport. On that very short incursion over the border there had been no comment that it had had no Welsh signage for years. The extension to the capital must have continued in the same vein - It was promptly put right.

 

The answer to your question is "Patiently".

The Argus had made it a major issue. The then Newport Borough Council for whom I worked as Horticultural Officer set up a couple of road blocks on roundabouts and sampled every so many cars.

Edited by Moonsmith
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Ffred I am not attacking things Welsh.

 

Know you well enough to know that you'd not do that - and I'm fairly sure that you weren't the person taking the decision on the signposting...

 

I am simply supporting Therapon's suggestion that that the population of that part of Wales has a big Italian influence

 

Right across South Wales, in fact. "Cafe Italians" have been enormously influential over the years, though more in the past than now.

 

As to the M4:

I'm not sure what year it was - I'd guess 1978 or thereabouts.  Before that the M4 stopped at the Caldra roundabout at Newport. On that very short incursion over the border there had been no comment that it had had no Welsh signage for years.  The extension to the capital must have continued in the same vein - It was promptly put right.

 

Ah, the days when road signs used to be painted green!

 

gwyn eich byd

 

Ffred

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I`m a welsh lass,born and bred,and my first serious lover was Welsh/Italian,I now have a welsh/italian daughter thanks to him.

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