> I think your idea of classification being the problem
> is very near the crux of the biscuit so to speak, but
> I think it can extend beyond Ireland, even though, as
> you say, Ireland is a Special Case.
Oh yes, I intended it to be pan-Celtic and thus applicable to Ireland. I
think it works everywhere, save for Galatia and Celt-Iberia and some
so-called "eastern Celtic" areas that are often not Celtic at all.
> Many scholars state: "The Celts were a tribal people."
> And that is usually as far as that discussion
> goes...but scholars then go on to use broad sweeping
> generalizations to describe (whatever thier particular
> specialization is) in terms of "the Celts, or Celtic"
> without paying any attention to tribal/regional
> differences, as if all of the various Celtic tribes
> expressed thier material culture in the same way
> across time and space.
This is where it gets tricky. Some motifs are pan-Celtic, some are
Pan-Celtic with regional variations, and others are purely regional. I
could show you a coin or two where all types are present! The underlying
tenets of La Tene composition are pan-Celtic. What goes in Ireland also
goes in Britain, France, Switzerland and Hungary, to name just a few. How
these tenets are expressed can have regional variations that are apart
from political or other cultural affiliations: some coins of northern
Celtica can bear Belgic characteristics, while the reverse is also true --
this gets very, very, complex.
John's home page:
Celtic Improvisations (the on line book):
Celtic Coin Index On Line: