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CELTIC-L  May 2012

CELTIC-L May 2012

Subject:

Re: flood of email and coins

From:

John Hooker <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

CELTIC-L - The Celtic Culture List.

Date:

Thu, 24 May 2012 07:39:04 -0600

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (113 lines)

Hi Dave,

Thanks for clarifying some of my "shorthand" -- "The Celts leaving..." I 
give as the events leading up to the Roman mopping up operations of 192 
BC in Italy.

Cheers,

John

On 5/24/2012 5:43 AM, [log in to unmask] wrote:
> Hi folks,
>
> Just a few things that I think need clarification.
>
> First off the Celts--taking them as a whole--do not move away from the Mediterranean region.  They were seen as a constant threat to the Romans in Italy, Gaul, Asia Minor and Spain for much of the era of the Republic, inflicting a number of defeats on the Romans along the way.  In fact, one could make the argument that the Romans fought the Celtic peoples for a longer period of time and conquered a larger area of their lands than any other people they faced.
>
> The Romans generally perceived them as barbarous, but that does not mean that they were nomadic.  It is a common misconception that the Celtic peoples whom the Romans encountered were primarily engaged in transhumant agriculture rather than putting land under the plow.  Not true.  In fact, in most cases, they were in settled communities tilling the soil.
>
> The Romans were forever ticked off at the Celts for the disastrous sacking of Rome by Brennus in 387 BC.  Afterwards, the Romans treated the Celts very harshly, though would often use them in a variety of allegiances if it was to their advantage (see the campaigns against the Carthaginians in Spain).
>
> With regards to Britain, Caesar did cross the Channel as part of his Gallic campaign, but it was up to Claudius to put on a full scale invasion.  The usual reasons given are that Claudius needed a triumph of some kind to secure his position in Rome, and Britain was chosen.  In this way, Claudius could claim that he had extended the frontier of the Empire to the furthest reaches of the known world as a "new Alexander".
>
> Be that as it may, the process was slow.  After some initial successes, the province was in rebellion until Agricola became governor and made his famous conquests, as recorded by Tacitus, in 77 AD.  He more or less pacified the Britons in the West and made a punitive expedition through Caledonia.   Famously, he looked over to Ireland, which he could see from the Scottish shore, but decided that was for another day.
>
> Hope that helps clear a few things up...
>
> Best,
>
> Dave
>
> "Some men see things as they are and say 'Why?' I dream things that never were and say, 'Why not?'" George Bernard Shaw/Teddy Kennedy at the eulogy of RFK, 1968
>
> ---------- Original Message ----------
> From: John Hooker<[log in to unmask]>
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: flood of email and coins
> Date: Wed, 23 May 2012 15:40:54 -0600
>
> Hi Fiona,
>
>
> On 5/23/2012 11:56 AM, FIONA GIOLLARUA wrote:
>> Hi John
>> Thank you for your discourse!
>> It certainly seems , in some ways, that the downfall of the Celtic
>> British tribes was due to greed (wanting to dominate trade with Rome
>> in thier own tribal area, and diminish or delete existing Roman trade
>> with neighbouring tribes.)
> Well, the concept of greed is so subjective. To the people involved, it
> might have been seen as economic survival. Everyone was doing that sort
> of thing back then. The Celts first got to see it when providing troops
> for Dionysius I of Syracuse in about 400 BC. Dionysius was a tyrant who
> sold out other Sicilian cities to the Carthaginians to favor his own.
> Yet, he was also the sort of person who would invite one of his laborers
> home for lunch if he thought the man was hard working or conscientious.
> He was also a bit of  a "Nero", thinking of himself as talented in the
> arts. He paid well for the best people, but would also loan them to his
> allies (He loaned troops, most likely including Celts, to the Spartans
> against the Athenians). Taras was a Spartan colony, and much later, the
> Celts help defend that city. Carthage (Phoenician Colony) was concerned
> about Massalia (Phokaian, Asia Minor Colony), and the Etruscans (orig.
> somewhere in Asia Minor) It was all about resources and trade control.
>
> After the Celts left the Mediterranean area, the successes of their
> private armies must have been diminished. As Rome started to trade
> further north, inter-tribal disputes could be resolved better by
> bestowing or denying trade advantages. Military solutions might still be
> needed, so you would expect a number of smaller armies to merge and
> serve ever-more powerful leaders. These same leaders would understand
> that their own survival depended more on trade than on warfare and would
> be looking for ways to "diversify". Being warriors at heart, they would
> tend to be inspired by military precedents used as metaphors for
> economic power. The coin evidence supports this picture in many ways. We
> have to ask where Cassiuellaunos got all of that gold, making coins
> whose designs copied Gallo-Belgic C, but whose metallurgy shows the
> primary source of the metal to be Gallo-Belgic E -- The Belgic tribes
> contemporary wartime currency.
>
>> Did Rome invade Britain for economic reasons, such as  inter-tribal
>> warfare and squabbles interupting trade with Rome? Or did Rome invade
>> on the premise of Roman might and the need to ever expand the
>> frontier? (not to mention personal glory for the Emperor)
> As Caesar said, it was because the British had been supplying
> reinforcements to the continental Celts. It would seem most likely that
> Cassiuellaunos was at the apex of that business. Caesar might have also
> wanted to impress, but that could have been just icing on the cake for him.
>
>
>> How much trade between Rome and Ireland occurred? Or do we know? There
>> seems to be some scant evidence that there was some kind of trade
>> going on...
> There seems to have been at least a couple of Roman military visits, but
> nothing seems to have come from them. A number of Roman artifacts could
> have arrived, second-hand by visits from Britons and been given as
> souvenirs and the like.
>> And perhaps the whole picture is far more complex.
> I don't doubt it!
>
>
> Cheers,
>
> John
>
>


-- 
When I read the newspaper today, I see dead people. I see vampires feeding on my country. I have no power to make them stop. What I can do, however, is to shine a light on them.
Phil Agre, Former prof. of information studies, UCLA

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