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CELTIC-L  September 2004

CELTIC-L September 2004

Subject:

Re: Otherworld, was RE: Invitation

From:

John Hooker <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

CELTIC-L - The Celtic Culture List.

Date:

Sun, 12 Sep 2004 12:52:00 -0600

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (112 lines)

Fhiona writes:
>
>John replied:
>> I don't disagree, but I think it got easier as time
>> progressed. At the time
>> of Caesar we hear about people eagerly joining the
>> Druidic schools, and
>> this would have given them the required status.
>
>F/|\ It would also have given them exemption from
>taxes and service in war, upon attainment of a druidic
>degree- which may have been a large attraction.

Yes, it reminds me of an article by Bryan Ward-Perkins in the English
Historical Review, June 2000, where Ine's law in Wessex made it an economic
and legal advantage for native Britons to assume Saxon identities. The
article stresses the adoption of a more powerful culture in a region for
such reasons.

>> (snipped some of mycomments) the elite
>> class were well on the way to losing absolute power
>> to Roman influence --
>> and I don't mean because of invasion, but because of
>> ever increasing
>> opportunities for even those of humble origins to
>> benefit through trade.

>F/|\ Seems it comes down to the almighty drachma (?)
>or whatever the coin system was at the time...

Some things never change ;-)

>> In the outlying areas of Britain the Roman influence
>> was, of course, much
>> less. In Ireland, it would be almost non existent.
>
>
>F/|\ A Roman invasion of Ireland was planned, but
>never acted upon, and Roman (trad?) artifacts have
>been found in and around Dublin. To what extent then,
>can we say that the Irish were influenced by Rome- or
>external trade?

There is evidence that Romans did visit Ireland, but I think "invasion"
would be stretching it too far. The most recent evidence, I believe is
Drumanagh:



http://www.britarch.ac.uk/ba/ba14/ba14feat.html

The presence of Romans and even of a later Roman influence in the
manufacture of certain articles does not, for me, indicate invasion as the
evidence lacks the adoption of the identity and customs that one might
expect. It might all only indicate that Roman, or Roman trained artisans
set up a successful workshop or two.

As for influence through external trade, this is a scapegoat often used
without a shred of evidence. While one can import an article, the knowledge
of its manufacture and of its stylistic affinities does not go with it. I
prefer the idea that designs arrived with artisans rather than with traders
and this is the view that Jope stresses in tyhe case of La Tene art in
Britain. I think that the same applies to Ireland.nthere is a continuation
of some some British styles in some later Irish La Tene art and I am
convinced that British artisans, finding a shrinking market for their
skills in an ever increasingly Romanized Britain, would have gone to
Ireland where there was no Roman influence among the elite at all.

There is far too much emphasis on genetics when it comes to Celtic culture
and despite its scientic apparency, it is entirely un-scientific. The idea
that material and habitual culture can be passed through genetics is false.
Learned, or habitual activities are just not incorporated into dna. Also,
with regard to material culture, Artisans move around looking for new
markets and they bring their styles with them. What set Simon James off was
a Roman belt mount that he describes on his web page:


http://www.le.ac.uk/ar/stj/research.htm#wh

This style originated with Celtic artisans in Britain who found a market
for such small bronze objects among Roman troops. They often took Roman
objects as these would be saleable, but decorated them in their own styles.
By the 2nd to 3rd centuries, these objects were scattered all over Europe
-- anywhere where Roman soldiers went. I have seen such designs from
Romania in fairly large quantities. James gives a Syrian provenance for
this one. I think it far more likely that it was brought to Syria than the
idea that it came from a Syrina workshop. I have a Pannonian brooch that
has a limited range in its homeland, yet it was found in the Thames. Such
items were bought by roman soldiers who were stationed in Pannonia and were
subsequently lost elsewhwere, probably by the soldier who had bought it. In
short, James argument is weak when he says that the designs are not Celtic.
While the owner of the belt mount would have no idea about it being of
Celtic design, the person who made it likely did. The capped trumpet, Jope
says, was a design that first appears in the late 1st cent B.C. So far,
there is no original focus to the design in Britain and it became
widespread fairly early. It is one of the more problematial designs that
cannot yet be pinned to an original workshop.

Cheers,

John


Home page:
http://www.writer2001.com

Celtic Coin Index Online:
http://www.writer2001.com/cciwriter2001/index.htm

"Celtic Improvisations -- An Art Historical Analysis of Coriosolite Coins":
http://www.writer2001.com/CeltImp.htm

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