>F/|\That could be as well- or conversely, Irish
>mercenaries in Britain, took designs home with them,
>and either improved them, or varied them, using the
>designs as a jumping off point, or as an inspiration
>in their own creativity.
I think that designs could have been brought back by Irish artisans
visiting Britian, perhaps as apprentices as Ray has suggested as a general
liklihood -- although not specifically Ireland to Britain. I'm not so sure
about the mercenary aspect, though. By that time, coin was the usual form
of payment for military service among the southern tribes as far west as
the Dobunni, although tribes from the Brigantes northward never used
money. If mercenaries were in the pay of Romans, the coin paid to them
would most likely have been in gold, although silver was used in some
special cases -- especially when there was a political cause, like the
silver legionary denarii of Marc Antony. Roman gold coins have been found
in Ireland in small quantities at Newgrange and Raftery gives a reference
to gold coins in his Index of Pagan Celtic Ireland that points to a page
talking about coins at Drumanagh, although the page does not mention the
coins as being gold. With such slim evidence for mercenary activity, it
seems unlikely to me that metalsmiths would also be among those
mercenaries. I tend to think of of mercenaries and smiths as different
sorts of people entirely. If a number of gold coins were found at
Drumanagh, these seem more likely to have been the pay of Roman soldiers
at the fort. I wonder if there is a connection between the fort there and
the proximity to British Dobunnic settlers at Lambay Island off Dublin?
>People tend to forget that the Celts were great
>innovators. They could take an idea, and make it
>better, or take it in directions as yet unconceived-
>and this would be a valuable marketing edge in a
>society that seems to have valued "one upmanship".
Yes, and much of the Irish La Tene is not just a continuation of British
styles, but a great improvement, aesthetically as well as it being more
sophisticated. It indicates a very lively art and not a degenarate copying.
One of the Bann Scabbards, in my opinion, is one of the ultimate
expressions of Celtic La Tene Art anywhere.
>> 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.
>F/|\ I have not heard that theory, but based on what
>you are saying, it seems ridiculous.
I was using reductio ad absurdum, but it does point to Sheldrake's
"morphogenetic fields", just as Edward V. Foreman perceived. The genetic
identity of Celts falls apart when you consider their customs of
intermarriage and fosterage. Lets take the Atrebates in Britain who were
Belgic. According to the Belgic tribes, their descent came from both Celtic
and Germanic stock. The Dobunni were the Atrebates neighbours in Britain so
it is reasonable to imagine some mingling of the gene pool in that case.
Also, if you look at the earliest coins of the Ambiani, a Belgic tribe, you
see the same styles and iconography as the the early coins of the Parisii
-- a Celtic tribe. Of course, it might turn out that the Parisii were
really Belgic and allied themselves with the Celtic Senones long before
Caesar, but that is a stretch, not to mention a an embarrassment to
Parisians, who might just be a tadge miffed to imagine themselves
descendant from Belgians! ;-)
There is, essentially, a broad regional style that spans "genetic"
boundaries. The Dobunni also adopted the Belgic style of the Atrebates who
originally took their styles from the Ambiani.
>> Learned, or habitual activities are just not
>> incorporated into dna.
>F/|\ Nope. Nature vs nurture,...and one that
>researchers tend to forget- necessity.
>Necessity is the mother of invention afterall. Perhaps
>the largest problem is that we try to simplify a
>complex process, which may have been influenced by
>many factors, as well as by individual genius.
Oversimplification is a common problem in Celtic studies (especially when
as seen by non Celticists!)
Hooker & Perron Home page
Celtic Coin Index Online
"Celtic Improvisations -- An Art Historical Analysis of Coriosolite Coins"