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CELTIC-L  February 2008

CELTIC-L February 2008

Subject:

Re: Thinking Celtic (was Re: Old list memories)

From:

vyvyan ogma wyverne <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

CELTIC-L - The Celtic Culture List.

Date:

Thu, 14 Feb 2008 14:25:27 +0930

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (156 lines)

From where I stand the continuation of the interdisciplinarianism commenced
in the late 60s has to happen simultaneously with an exploration of what
people consider to be the boundaries of their disciplines. With
specialization fairly fixed in the early stages of tertiary education (and
sure this is loosening up) we have no clear idea of where sociology begins
and politics starts, or how much they overlap, or how valid it is to use the
current 'taxonomy' at all.  As a case recently in point, who can say where
Celtic Studies starts and finishes while the question of who Celts were and
even who they are today is still widely debated?
vyvyan   

-----Original Message-----
From: CELTIC-L - The Celtic Culture List.
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of John Hooker
Sent: Thursday, 14 February 2008 11:42 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Thinking Celtic (was Re: Old list memories)

Hi K,

> On Wed, 13 Feb 2008 12:18:54 -0700, John Hooker <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
>>Formal academia seems to be lagging a bit in being interdisciplinary, and
>>too often think that it involves having conferences where various aspects
>>of a subject are explored -- but only by specialists speaking of their
>> own
>>subjects.
>
> This is changing (especially at sheffield!) - there are frequent
> conferences, workshops, etc., on broad subjects, that are attended by
> psychologists, philosopers, art historians, historians, archaeologists,
> sociologists, theologists, eg. http://www.shef.ac.uk/matcult/events.html.

It remains to be seen if this will bear fruit -- that is scholars of one
specialty using the data of other specialties synergistically.

>>...This is an
>>obvious attempt to be misleading
>
>>...an outright lie
>
> hope James' lawyers aren't reading! ; )

and I thought I was being nice! I could have added the stupidity option.

>
>>"Similarly, the sparse evidence about Druids ...
>>He does not mention that he is speaking only of written evidence ...
>
> is he just talking of the texts? there's little material that we can
> _confidently_ see as _evidence_ for the presence of Druids

With the given state of the scholarship, it is hard to imagine that he
could have been using anything else. The only type of object that has been
linked to Druids are the spoons or scoops that often show up in pairs and
are mostly from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland, with only one
example coming from France. They are linked, typologically, by the
presence of a cross and/or a small hole near the edge.

What does not seem to have been grouped together as  a class of objects
are the situlae that are variously described as "buckets" or "vats". Their
distribution is more widespread -- one even coming from Denmark. Examples
like this and the Gundestrup cauldron are perhaps misnamed as caudrons
(although "kettle" is also used). These derive from the situlae of
northern Italy and the other side of the northern Adriatic and in at least
one British case shows a confirming stylistic evolution. Also, the "vat"
that is depicted on the Gundestrup cauldron is of the same form as some
Italian pottery situlae and is in combination (on the same plate) with a
fairly typical "procession" that can be seen on a number of so-called
"Venetic" bronze situlae.

Such objects are also found along the Rhine and those made there show
stylistic evolution. This movement of a class of object seems to have
started in the late Hallstatt -- a friend has the remains of one (much
fragmented) from Germany that is decorated rather crudely at the top with
engraved or chased chevrons, a very Etruscan style handle and a rather
simple and crude derivation of the palmette motif at the handle mounts.
The double handle appears typically Etruscan in its style and the
attachment to the vessel was worn out on one side and crudely repaired
with rivets. To me, it seems a bridge between Hallstatt and La Tène.

I don't know if you read my definition of Celtic A and B in a previous
message, but I am connecting the emergence of the La Tène styles with the
influence of the Greek mystery cults -- in which rites, the situla figures
largely. It's prior origin being a well-bucket. To me, the La Tène style
itself indicates a Druid, or proto-Druid religious development, and this
is what I call Celtic B. (Celtic A being the use of a Celtic language and
a religion evolved from the Neolithic with a great number of regional
variations). After the fall of the Druid class, this pre-Druidic religion
again reasserted itself and can at last be visually seen in Romano-Celtic
iconography and inscriptions.

However, religion was just one aspect of the Druids and the paper by Sean
B. Dunham, "Caesar's Perception of Gallic Social Structures", in Celtic
Chiefdom, Celtic State, (1995) equates the Druids to the ruling class. I
think that the history bears this out as the Knight class seems to consist
of private armies for hire.

The Druidic social structure appears to adjust itself to meet the rather
difficult problems caused by a heavy increase in Celtic wealth caused by
the Celtic armies work and campaigns, especially in Italy and when they
returned to their homelands, this was magnified even more. Checks and
balances had to be put into place to prevent the rise of a tyrant who
would have eventually obtained all of the gold and thus ultimate military
power. In the earlier la Tène, gold was fairly plentiful in burials in
Champagne and the Middle Rhine, and these areas both took most of the gold
from Italy and Greece. Eastern sources of gold are identified by platinum
inclusions (Os and Ir) and the gold work from Waldalgesheim and some coins
of the Boii show this trace. Unlike one report, I do not think that this
gold came from melted down Persian darics, but came from gold given by
Croesus at Delphi. Gaulish and British gold shows none of these inclusions
and originates in the gold of the Phillipus type paid out mostly to the
Celts during the Italian campaigns. Irish gold does show platinum
inclusiosn and its source must be via the Rhine directly to Ireland. The
mouth of the Rhine was governed by the Menapii and it is possble that this
tribe was related to the Manapi in Ireland. The only certain chariot part
found in Ireland shows the same types of wood as was found in a chariot
remains from Germany which includes maple pegs. This wood was not native
to Ireland).

>>http://tinyurl.com/244rf7
>>
>>And there is, I think, a valid criticism of James' motives here:
>>
>>http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2386/is_1_111/ai_62685576
>
>>http://tinyurl.com/2283rh
>
>>http://tinyurl.com/2bja89
>
> thanks, i'll check these out

Do let us know if you have any objections to the critiques of James
presented in these links!

Cheers,

John



John's home page:
http://www.writer2001.com
Celtic Improvisations (the on line book):
http://www.writer2001.com/improvisations.htm
Celtic Coin Index On Line:
http://www.writer2001.com/cciwriter2001/index.htm

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