The Celts - The construction of a myth by M. Chapman

By M. Chapman

The Celts are usually thought of to be one of many nice peoples of Europe, with non-stop racial, cultural and linguistic family tree from the Iron Age to the modern day 'Celtic fringe'. This ebook indicates, against this, that the Celts, as they've been recognized and understood over thousand years, are easily the 'other' of the dominant cultural and political traditions of Europe. it's this non-stop 'otherness' which lends them obvious continuity and substance.

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The British aspired to be Roman, and their weakness before the Anglo-Saxon threat can largely be attributed to the reckless pursuit of this aspiration. Several expeditions towards Rome were made from Britain, by Roman Britons anxious to set themselves on the imperial throne. '* Internecine strife among opposing barbarian tribes had long been one of Rome's greatest military assets. During her decline and fall, the balance of this advantage shifted to the barbarians, as the provinces vied for power in Rome.

It was Anglo-Saxon England, and later Anglo-Norman England, which set the running in the evolving political and cultural institutions of the British Isles. And it was principally through this polity that the British Isles communicated with the Continent, and acquired Continental fashions and ambitions. The 'Celtic fringe', as historiographically constituted through its opposition to Anglo-Saxon Eng­ land, remained a repository of older ideas and customs. The only thing 'Celtic' about these, however, was that they were not 'AngloSaxon'.

Either we ascribe the consonance between Caesar's Celtae and Herodotus' keltoi to universal features of human classificatory thought, and application of these at a small-scale social and linguistic level. Or we are obliged to consider the possibility of a people occupying most of the European continent, at a period when communications and travel posed the gravest difficulties, who considered themselves to be united, as a people, by their culture and language. Which is the more probable? ' found in south­ west Spain during the Roman period.

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