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Thread: The Celts of Iberia

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    Quote Originally Posted by spongetaro View Post



    Well, let's assume that Iberian, Basque, Lusitanian and Tartessian were not Celtic languages, the Iberian peninsula is hardly 50% Celtic
    Lusitanian is generally considered as Para-Celtic. Culturally, the archaeological and historical evidence suggests that Lusitania was Celtic, sharing many elements with neighboring Gallaecia. The ancients even referred to Lusitanian territory as Celtica. No need to split hairs on this.
    Last edited by Cambrius (The Red); 18-03-11 at 03:11.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spongetaro View Post
    Genetically speaking, Iberia is far from sharing the bulk of its haplogroup with the main celtic cores. To a genetic point of view, Celtic and non Celtic population (Basque, Iberian, Lusitanian, Tartessian) don't differ at all
    Actually I didn't say the S116* is the celtic subclade. What I said the S116 branch that is proto-Celtic, which also encompases the S116*, but the S116* and the S116 are NOT THE SAME. Anyways, the S116* is also high in East France, Ireland, Switzerland, etc. And now see this schemas :




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    Quote Originally Posted by spongetaro View Post
    How would you define Celticity ?
    It is a complex construct and can mean different things to different people.

    The most common notion of "Celticity" is essentially dominated by a logical positivist mode of thinking. We always assume that "the Celts" (representing Celticity), was an existing "thing". It is very much an essentialist view in that it requires a specific SET of features, historical, cultural and ideational that signify Celticity. For many, having (or having had) a Celtic or Celtic influenced language combined with other key cultural considerations, (music, religion, art...) and buttressed by a lengthy and well-accepted archaeological and historical body of evidence is what defines Celticity.

    What should be taken as key here is that Celticity is actually a type of spirit driving one's way of life (perhaps akin to Wittgenstein's "forms of life"); impacting notions of self and group identity that have been built on long established traditions and social norms - the habitus, a social group's epistemological cache that develops diachronically. From this comes modes of socio-cultural identification with firm identifiers as described above.

    See Raimund Karl (2010).
    Last edited by Cambrius (The Red); 18-03-11 at 03:18.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cambria Red View Post
    Lusitanian is generally considered as Para-Celtic. Culturally, the archaeological and historical evidence suggests that Lusitania was Celtic, sharing many elements with neighboring Gallaecia. The ancients even referred to Lusitanian territory as a home of the Celtici. No need to split hairs on this.
    Ah nope, I'm sorry, but you're definitely getting inaccurate here. The Celtici lived inside the borders of the Roman province of Lusitania, which was much larger than the area inhabited by the Lusitani tribe, or by related Lusitanian-speaking peoples (the Vettones), which generally lived in the Tejo area. The Celtici lived further to the south, and even further to the south (from the Algarve to the Guadiana) lived the Turdetani, which are thought to be the descendants of the Tartessians. On my map, I tried to mark that with the green isolated area which is marked as "Celtic".

    Otherwise CambriaRed, I must severely disagree with your concept of "Celticity", and I prefer to take a look at linguistic perspective (the Celtic language family). But I have mentioned that before, and I do not like to argue here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilhelm View Post
    . What I said the S116 branch that is proto-Celtic, which also encompases the S116*, but the S116* and the S116 are NOT THE SAME. Anyways, the S116* is also high in East France, Ireland, Switzerland, etc. And now see this schemas :



    According to this map,
    the fact that the main R1b S116 in the Iberian Peninsula is entering Spain at the same time of M167 in Catalonia and BEFORE R1b S28 in Central Italy (Italic tribes) shows us that R1b S116 is Iberian, LUsitanian, Italic, Basque, Tartessian, Aquitanian and ultimately Celtic. When the Celtic cultural area spread later from Cnetral Europe, the bulk of Haplogroup in the Iberian Peninsula was mainly that of the bronze age

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    Ah nope, I'm sorry, but you're definitely getting inaccurate here. The Celtici lived inside the borders of the Roman province of Lusitania, which was much larger than the area inhabited by the Lusitani tribe, or by related Lusitanian-speaking peoples (the Vettones), which generally lived in the Tejo area. The Celtici lived further to the south, and even further to the south (from the Algarve to the Guadiana) lived the Turdetani, which are thought to be the descendants of the Tartessians. On my map, I tried to mark that with the green isolated area which is marked as "Celtic".
    Otherwise CambriaRed, I must severely disagree with your concept of "Celticity", and I prefer to take a look at linguistic perspective (the Celtic language family). But I have mentioned that before, and I do not like to argue here.
    Sorry, I meant Celtica. Discussed in Wodtko (2010).

    You certainly are not alone in seeing Celticity as driven essentially by Celtic language (although Celtic, or Celtic influenced language is an important component). Many linguists hold such a view. However, I perceive the concept to be much more complex and so do others, especially those in the fields of sociolinguistics and social and linguistic anthropology. My belief is that Celticity is a unique corpus of culture; linguistic, physical, ideational, with a long and enduring history. Genetics can also play a part, although such may be somewhat problematic because Celts were not homogeneous.

    A social group cannot be defined simply by language behavior. And language is just that, behavior. ALL behavior patterns are affected by sociocultural practices and are molded over time by the social community's habitus (the social group's epistemological core). A person may speak a Celtic language perfectly but that hardly means he is a Celt, or has Celtic heritage (if he cannot access a particular habitus). Much, much more is involved.
    Last edited by Cambrius (The Red); 18-03-11 at 03:13.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spongetaro View Post
    According to this map,
    the fact that the main R1b S116 in the Iberian Peninsula is entering Spain at the same time of M167 in Catalonia and BEFORE R1b S28 in Central Italy (Italic tribes) shows us that R1b S116 is Iberian, LUsitanian, Italic, Basque, Tartessian, Aquitanian and ultimately Celtic. When the Celtic cultural area spread later from Cnetral Europe, the bulk of Haplogroup in the Iberian Peninsula was mainly that of the bronze age
    What ? The S116 is the most common branch of M269 in Western Europe, and the M167 in Iberia is only 3.5% of the population, not even in Catalonia is the majority : There the M167 is 20% while there is close to 80% of R1b. Plus the fact that it entered in different times doesn't change that the carriers of these subclades were related people

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    Have we resolved the question of how M167 relates to Iberian speakers? As in, do we have an idea regarding whether all/most M167 people were Iberian speakers during the peak of the Iberian language, or whether all/most Iberian speakers were M167?

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    I'll respond shortly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkey View Post
    I am curious as to what you think of the Celtic League's criteria for describing a place as a "Celtic Nation." If I recall correctly, it requires something like (1) it must be a historically Celtic region with a unique Celtic language and (2) it must have some speakers of that language nowadays. Hence, Cornwall and Man make the cut, but not, say, Galicia or Cumbria.
    Will respond shortly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkey View Post
    I am curious as to what you think of the Celtic League's criteria for describing a place as a "Celtic Nation." If I recall correctly, it requires something like (1) it must be a historically Celtic region with a unique Celtic language and (2) it must have some speakers of that language nowadays. Hence, Cornwall and Man make the cut, but not, say, Galicia or Cumbria.
    In my opinion, the standards for a region's admittance to the CL are unreasonable. Technically, if a population group boasts just one or two Celtic speaking natives, it qualifies for membership. Places such as Gallaecia (Galicia / Galiza and N. Portugal / Bracara) and Asturias have had a very long and enduring Celtic heritage, even though no Celtic language has been spoken in any of these lands for centuries. Despite their obvious Celticity, they have not been offered ingress to the Celtic League. However, Vincent Pintado, with support from the Celtic League of Galicia, is currently attempting to reconstruct Gallaic, the Celtic language spoken in ancient Gallaecia. It will be interesting to see what happens if Pintado is successful in his efforts.

    I believe that Galicia and North Portugal (Gallaecia) should be admitted as a single nation, along with Asturias (possibly combined with Cantabria) and Cumbria as well. Having a Celtic identity and a long, sustained history of Celtic culture (and obviously language even though it may no longer be practiced) is more than enough.

    IMO, a more legitimate Celtic League would be as follows:

    Scotland
    Ireland
    Wales
    Cornwall
    Isle of Man
    Brittany
    Cumbria
    Gallaecia (Galicia and N. Portugal as one nation)
    Asturias (with Cantabria?)
    Last edited by Cambrius (The Red); 18-03-11 at 16:39.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cambria Red View Post
    In my opinion, the standards for a region's admittance to the CL are unreasonable. Technically, if a population group boasts just one or two Celtic speaking natives, it qualifies for membership. Places such as Gallaecia (Galicia / Galiza and N. Portugal / Bracara) and Asturias have had a very long and enduring Celtic heritage, even though no Celtic language has been spoken in any of these lands for centuries. Despite their obvious Celticity, they have not been offered ingress to the Celtic League. However, Vincent Pintado, with support from the Celtic League of Galicia, is currently attempting to reconstruct Gallaic, the Celtic language spoken in ancient Gallaecia. It will be interesting to see what happens if Pintado is successful in his efforts.

    I believe that Galicia and North Portugal (Gallaecia) should be admitted as a single nation, along with Asturias (possibly combined with Cantabria) and Cumbria as well. Having a Celtic identity and a long, sustained history of Celtic culture (and obviously language even though it may no longer be practiced) is more than enough.

    IMO, a more legitimate Celtic League would be as follows:

    Scotland
    Ireland
    Wales
    Cornwall
    Isle of Man
    Brittany
    Cumbria
    Gallaecia (Galicia and N. Portugal as one nation)
    Asturias (with Cantabria?)
    IMO northwestern Iberia is as celtic as central Iberia is: something close to zero. We are romance speakers with a roman culture and the elements that could have been attributed to an ancient celticity aren't necessary celtic and are widespread all along Iberia (bagpipes, mouras/moras...)

    I bet celts weren't the first IE's in Iberia -toponyms indicates a previous substrate non compatible with the celtic languages-, but were someway related to them. Celts as we know them -with their linguistic innovations- arrived probably around Hallstat period, being the core of their settlements in central Spain. Obviously there were celts in NW Iberia, but the elements shared with other atlantic regions can be result of a previous cultural koiné linked to maritime connections.

    Those IE pre-celtic elements were related to celts in a similar way italics were: close but differenciated. Other interesting issue is how and when western IE dialects could split.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cambria Red View Post
    In my opinion, the standards for a region's admittance to the CL are unreasonable. Technically, if a population group boasts just one or two Celtic speaking natives, it qualifies for membership. Places such as Gallaecia (Galicia / Galiza and N. Portugal / Bracara) and Asturias have had a very long and enduring Celtic heritage, even though no Celtic language has been spoken in any of these lands for centuries. Despite their obvious Celticity, they have not been offered ingress to the Celtic League. However, Vincent Pintado, with support from the Celtic League of Galicia, is currently attempting to reconstruct Gallaic, the Celtic language spoken in ancient Gallaecia. It will be interesting to see what happens if Pintado is successful in his efforts.

    I believe that Galicia and North Portugal (Gallaecia) should be admitted as a single nation, along with Asturias (possibly combined with Cantabria) and Cumbria as well. Having a Celtic identity and a long, sustained history of Celtic culture (and obviously language even though it may no longer be practiced) is more than enough.

    IMO, a more legitimate Celtic League would be as follows:

    Scotland
    Ireland
    Wales
    Cornwall
    Isle of Man
    Brittany
    Cumbria
    Gallaecia (Galicia and N. Portugal as one nation)
    Asturias (with Cantabria?)
    I like your list, and I know that, for Cumbria, Cumbric has also been the subject of a reconstruction effort but nothing that would seriously get anybody to fluent levels yet. Most Cumbrians I have read discussing the subject prefer to be thought of as English (Germanic) and don't like people thinking of them as Scottish or Welsh. Maybe they would be more OK with being thought of as a distinct Celtic ethnicity, I don't know.

    Maybe good will come of the restrictiveness of CL membership, though, by encouraging further study of Gallaic and Cumbric. Is there an analog in Asturias?

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    I don't care the least about the Celtic league. It's just a modern construction. Because for example Castile has had more celtic settlement than any other of these so-called celtic nations. Today there are no celtic nations, no celtic people. The scottish, irish or welsh are ethnically more germanic and nordic than Celtic, and they are majority english speakers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Segia View Post
    IMO northwestern Iberia is as celtic as central Iberia is: something close to zero. We are romance speakers with a roman culture and the elements that could have been attributed to an ancient celticity aren't necessary celtic and are widespread all along Iberia (bagpipes, mouras/moras...)

    I bet celts weren't the first IE's in Iberia -toponyms indicates a previous substrate non compatible with the celtic languages-, but were someway related to them. Celts as we know them -with their linguistic innovations- arrived probably around Hallstat period, being the core of their settlements in central Spain. Obviously there were celts in NW Iberia, but the elements shared with other atlantic regions can be result of a previous cultural koiné linked to maritime connections.

    Those IE pre-celtic elements were related to celts in a similar way italics were: close but differenciated. Other interesting issue is how and when western IE dialects could split.
    I would say that Celts may have been the first IEs in the entire Atlantic zone.

    There is a strong debate evolving concerning the possible Celticity of Tartessian (SW Iberia). The focus has been on Tartessian inscriptions that ostensibly predate anything in Central Europe (the putative Celtic cradle) by more than 500 years. However, Tartessian as Celtic is still a minority view among linguists and philologists.
    Last edited by Cambrius (The Red); 18-03-11 at 19:41.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilhelm View Post
    I don't care the least about the Celtic league. It's just a modern construction. Because for example Castile has had more celtic settlement than any other of these so-called celtic nations. Today there are no celtic nations, no celtic people. The scottish, irish or welsh are ethnically more germanic and nordic than Celtic, and they are majority english speakers.
    The Celtic League is certainly a modern construction but it does promote the preservation of Celtic heritage - a good thing.

    In the end it has to do with which cultural identity a population group considers to be dominant, more than anything else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkey View Post
    I like your list, and I know that, for Cumbria, Cumbric has also been the subject of a reconstruction effort but nothing that would seriously get anybody to fluent levels yet. Most Cumbrians I have read discussing the subject prefer to be thought of as English (Germanic) and don't like people thinking of them as Scottish or Welsh. Maybe they would be more OK with being thought of as a distinct Celtic ethnicity, I don't know.

    Maybe good will come of the restrictiveness of CL membership, though, by encouraging further study of Gallaic and Cumbric. Is there an analog in Asturias?
    I believe Gallaic was spoken in Western Asturias at one time. I don't think Asturias is pursuing linguistic reconstruction.

    There is no logic to some of the restrictions on CL membership and it makes the organization look less than legitimate in the eyes of some.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cambria Red View Post
    I would say that Celts may have been the first IEs in the entire Atlantic zone.
    How can we explain the presence of IE p* in some toponyms of the atlantic façade living alongside with other placenames that have lost it? All celtic languages lack IE p*; it's common sense to mantain that this kind of innovation occured during the ethnogenesis of celtic language.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Segia View Post
    How can we explain the presence of IE p* in some toponyms of the atlantic façade living alongside with other placenames that have lost it? All celtic languages lack IE p*; it's common sense to mantain that this kind of innovation occured during the ethnogenesis of celtic language.
    Seconded. In my opinion, the Lusitanians were far more probably amongst the first wave of Indo-Europeans in the Atlantic Façade*, rather than any Celtic-speaking people. The best explanation for Gallaecia is that the area used to be Lusitanian-speaking (possibly in the Bronze Age, but that's a wild guess), and was subsequently Celticized, resulting in the strange mixed Celtic-Lusitanian character of Gallaecia. One very interesting aspect here is also that the Gallaecians continued to worship Lusitanian gods.

    *the Atlantic Façade of the Iberian Penninsula, that is. We obviously do not know what the situation was like in early Aremorica or the British Isles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    Seconded. In my opinion, the Lusitanians were far more probably amongst the first wave of Indo-Europeans in the Atlantic Façade*, rather than any Celtic-speaking people. The best explanation for Gallaecia is that the area used to be Lusitanian-speaking (possibly in the Bronze Age, but that's a wild guess), and was subsequently Celticized, resulting in the strange mixed Celtic-Lusitanian character of Gallaecia. One very interesting aspect here is also that the Gallaecians continued to worship Lusitanian gods.

    *the Atlantic Façade of the Iberian Penninsula, that is. We obviously do not know what the situation was like in early Aremorica or the British Isles.
    Yes, I'd like to add that this p* IE toponyms are found in most of Iberia and subsequently seem to be a previous stage to the celtic problem. It's possible that these languages were closely related to celtic, but we'd never say -using an analogy- that oscans or umbrans were latins.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Segia View Post
    Yes, I'd like to add that this p* IE toponyms are found in most of Iberia and subsequently seem to be a previous stage to the celtic problem. It's possible that these languages were closely related to celtic, but we'd never say -using an analogy- that oscans or umbrans were latins.
    This is something I have noticed too, and didn't get my head around. For instance the Pelendones, which were a sub-tribe of the Celtiberians (the Celtiberians "proper" of the upper Ebro area, that is), and we know from the Celtiberian inscriptions that Celtiberian was a Q-Celtic language (for instance, the Celtiberian word for horse was "Ekuos"). Another bizarre aspect I noticed is that neither the Celtic languages nor Iberian did have the phoneme "p".

    Regarding relationship, in my opinion, Lusitanian was closely related with Common Celtic, but has a number of innovations that are absent in Common Celtic (and vice versa).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilhelm View Post
    Today there are no celtic nations, no celtic people. The scottish, irish or welsh are ethnically more germanic and nordic than Celtic, and they are majority english speakers.
    Uh... really? I can follow the argument that Scotland, Ireland, and Wales have all been infused with Germanic language and culture to the point where they're not purely Celtic. But take the case of a rural old Welshman from Gwennydd whose first language is Welsh, who uses Welsh significantly more than he uses English, and whose ancestors have been in Wales since the beginning of his known family tree... he's not Celtic? Or by "no Celtic people," do you mean that no ethnic groups are predominantly Celtic?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wilhelm View Post
    -The scottish, irish or welsh are ethnically more germanic and nordic than Celtic, and they are majority english speakers.

    Majority English speakers, yes. Ethnically more Germanic and Nordic?
    That is very off-base.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Regulus View Post
    Majority English speakers, yes. Ethnically more Germanic and Nordic?
    That is very off-base.
    Agreed... even the overwhelmingly English-speaking "Celtic nations" (Cornwall, Man) are distinctly Celtic in many other things that make up ethnicity... not the least of which is identity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Regulus View Post
    Majority English speakers, yes. Ethnically more Germanic and Nordic?
    That is very off-base.
    No, it's not off-base. Autosomally the irish, welsh, and generally british, cluster very close with other germanics (Germans, Danes, Dutch, and pull towards Scandinavians)

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