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View Diary: Mostly Forgotten History: The Celts of Gaul (41 comments)

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  •  I come to quote Caesar not to Praise him (0+ / 0-)

    Well, this is an old source and Caesar describes what he saw from his perspective.  Everyone has bias, no exceptions.

    The Romans took by force and saw everyone else as inferior.   Ok.  Start there.  Why would JC make up these comments?

    Source for JC's motives?   Quote something.  I don't recall offhand--they would run putative expeditions to forestall invasion of the Italian peninsula-- other than JC's desire to make himself look good.   I'm sure there is more.

    The Celts are described as a blond fair skinned race.  Best evidence seems to put them as coming out of central Asian steppes and spreading all over.  That why Indian sanskrit often has very similar root words to our modern English.  British scholars went very excited over that in the 1800's.

    In 550 BC, a Celt chieftain was buried in southern germany with chinese embroidered silk robes.  There was movement and trade across the entire eurasian continent.  

    I think its not correct to confuse country origin with JC's view that around his time people from France were going to England to study.

    “Everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects.” ― Will Rogers

    by MugWumpBlues on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 05:58:05 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  "Celts spreading all over" is NOT the reason (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RunawayRose, liz

      ..that Sanskrit and English and many other languages have similar words. The Indo-European languages as a whole originated on the western steppes and went "spreading all over" according to currently prevailing theories. The Celtic languages apparently started differentiating from other I-E languages in eastern and central Europe, and spread from there mostly to western Europe. The Germanic languages, of which English was one, were evidently northern neighbors splitting off from the I-E stem, possibly a bit earlier. Sanskrit is part of the Indo-Iranian branch of the I-E languages. Celts didn't have to "spread all over" to have word-roots in common with Germans and Indians - they all spoke languages descended from a common ancestral language. As did/do speakers of Italic, Baltic, Slavic, Greek, Hittite, Tocharian, and Phrygian languages.

      I just finished re-reading David Anthony's The Horse, the Wheel, and Language, which is about the interplay of archaeology and linguistics that is revealing what may be the origins of the Indo-European languages. I commend it to your attention.

      Cogito, ergo Democrata.

      by Ahianne on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 10:47:22 AM PDT

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      •  Curious (0+ / 0-)

        Ahianne, I'm not familiar with Anthony's book.

        It seems to me these countries have a common ancestral language because the people speaking the indo aryan languages moved about.  They used horses and so could move long distances;  since they were displacing earlier inhabitants who tried to protect their turf, the people moved as groups.  

        Seems logical to conclude that the Celts were groups of IA's that went West.

        A more recent example would be the Alains.  Strange tale that.

        Maybe I'll be convinced if I read Anthony, or I'm missing a nuance, but I just cannot see that trade would account for so many similarities.   Its got to be groups of people moving  and conquering to have so much influence on the languages.

        “Everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects.” ― Will Rogers

        by MugWumpBlues on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 09:25:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's not trade. (0+ / 0-)

          It's not one subgroup, the Celts, moving around. It's a whole bunch of languages descended from a common ancestral language. And among language scholars, Indo-Aryan is a synonym for Indo-Iranian - the subgroup of Indo-European speakers that went south and east towards India and Iran, as well as some who stayed on the ancestral steppes until supplanted by/assimilated by speakers of Turkic languages.

          Yes, people from the original homeland of the Indo-European speakers moved out in several directions and split up into the various IE families that exist now, as well as several that died out. Sometimes they conquered other groups. There's some evidence for more peaceful assimilation of others at other times and places. No, the Celts are not Indo-Aryans who went west. They are a different branch on the IE tree, close to the Italic branch.

          Cogito, ergo Democrata.

          by Ahianne on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 07:41:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, and where did the reference (0+ / 0-)

          ..to trade come from anyway? There was nothing in my initial comment about trade.

          Cogito, ergo Democrata.

          by Ahianne on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 07:45:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  His motives? He killed about 1/2 the population (0+ / 0-)

      during the conquest of Gaul.  He had plenty of reason to say they had it coming.

      Don't worry! I'm an atheist. I won't leave anyone behind!"

      by ban48 on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 02:37:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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