The Celts of Iberia

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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?)
 
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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.
 
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?
 
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.
 
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.
 
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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.

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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
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.
 
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).
 
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?
 
-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.
 
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.
 
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)
 
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)

I don't get how you think that's relevant. The Celts and Germanics are closely related to begin with, and that doesn't even get us into how much they share in terms of paleolithic and neolithic origin non-patrilineal lines. And the Germanicization of many closely-related Celts is well documented. We expect British Celts to be closely related to nearby non-Celtic Europeans... that doesn't make them non-Celts. There are people in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales with no significant Germanic-speaking ancestry at all who still speak their native tongue as a first language. They aren't Germanic.
 
I don't get how you think that's relevant. The Celts and Germanics are closely related to begin with,
Celts didn't settle in Scandinavia. The north-europeans are the least celts of all of western Europe

and that doesn't even get us into how much they share in terms of paleolithic and neolithic origin non-patrilineal lines.
Actually autosomal is non-patrilineal. And autosomal tells us that the british isles are predominantly north-euroepan, as seen in the Dodecad Project were British and Irish people have over 60+% north-euroepan, close to the level of Scandinavians.
 
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)


I am the new guy for DNA, but I will go out on a limb here:

If 'I' or R1a was found in any appreciable amount in Scotland, Ireland, Wales etc., then I would not have a problem with your statement. Yes, I am aware of lowland Scots and those in the North, so besides those (which can be easily explained).


Is your comment intended to speak more of a language issue?
 
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.

Galicia and Gallaecia being as Celt as Brittany and Ireland is also a modern construction.
 
Celts didn't settle in Scandinavia. The north-europeans are the least celts of all of western Europe


Actually autosomal is non-patrilineal. And autosomal tells us that the british isles are predominantly north-euroepan, as seen in the Dodecad Project were British and Irish people have over 60+% north-euroepan, close to the level of Scandinavians.

I think you misunderstood me. I didn't mean that there was a Celtic expansion into the Germanic heartland, I meant that their cultural history is closely related, as they are both come from IE origins. IE, of course, is quite young in the grand scheme of things. And I brought up shared non-patrilineal lines to help explain why their autosomal DNA would be similar. Regardless, many modern Welsh, Irish, etc. are clearly Celts. Genetics wouldn't exclude that even if we found that they were all 99% Germanic in origin... I find that genetics helps us understand how they came to be Celtic, and how they relate to other historically Celtic peoples and non-Celtic peoples. It doesn't determine whether or not they are Celts.
 
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