> What is the evidence for these tribes with similar names being the same
In the case of Ireland, when you see the names Menapii, Brigantes, and Cauci
the chances of coincidental names becomes minimal. The Menapii were a major
seafaring tribe and their main port was used by Caesar.
Tribes adjacent to the Germans and positioned along the Rhine, both had
considerable inland and overseas opportunities, yet they faced harrasment
from the Seubi. The Aulerci tribes whose name identifies them as immigrants
into Armorica brought the designs of their Rhineland home with them -- lest
there should be any doubt about their origins. Derek Allen was wrong when he
attributes the prototype Armoican issues to the Treveri. These issues
certainly came from around Trier and thus there is justification for the
attribution, but they bear no resemblance at all to the certain issues of the
Treveri. The Treveri could have ousted these tribes or taken over from them
after they were defeated by the Germans. Perhaps the Treveri were called in
by tribes under attack and decided to stay. All of these explanations are
very possible and similar situations are well known.
Perhaps the Rhineland tribe of the Eburones points to a cultural association
with the Aulerci Eburovices. Although ebur in Gaulish, means "yew" in
Germanic it menas "boar" and the most common coins of the Eburones display a
boar as the main type -- not a common device except as a subsidiary type. The
Belgic tribes claim a German mix and I could see that there might have been
some borrowing of terms or associations as "double meanings" That some of
the "people of the boar or yew" might move elsewhere and that area would be
called "the villages of the new boar (yew) people" or some variation is not
All of this reveals general disturbances along the Rhine and various
activities in response to these disturbances among the Belgae: some strong
tribes expand their territory while others move away. The Menapii seem to be
the dominant sailors on the north and even much later, Carausius started out
as a Menapii sailor before he took power in Britain. That a branch of the
Menapii went to Ireland at some point is hardly a far fetched concept.
Raftery seems to speak of it matter of factly.
I think also that the identification of the Fir Bolg with the Belgae is not
beyond the realms of possibility. Confusions over dates and chronologies
occurs in early Celtic written accounts such as with Max Wledig in Wales. One
should not expect neat and accurate histories in this era -- Take Geoffrey of
Monmouth for example! We look through the glass darkly.
All we can do is to look at the models that we build and attach evidence for
or against in an effort to refine or abrogate them. We cannot expect clear
evidence one way or the other so it does no good to hold this as a criterion.
A lack of evidence is to be expected, and does not serve us at all.
The puzzles are the thing. Without the Celts I would probably be immersed in
something like Roman monetary reforms (shudder).
Celtic Coin Index Online
"Celtic Improvisations -- An Art Historical Analysis of Coriosolite