Skimming through a message by Melcir, I saw him mention "previously"
Celtic lands, or something to that extent, specifying part of the UK....this
leads me to ponder a point.
In my (IMHO) little research that I have done on Early Celtic culture,
I quickly found two things: 1) a tendency for everyone to think of the Celts as
being from the British Isles, since that's where the culture survived the
longest, and 2) that that idea was wa-a-a-ay off base.
Around the turning point of the millennia (where BCE becomes CE, or BC
becomes AD), the Celtic people were scattered ALL OVER Europe, from Spain to
the lands that later became the province of Slavic cultures in Eastern Europe,
and from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean. As a matter of fact, round about
that time, a number of Celts got sick of the Romans, and went down and
conquered them. Sacked Rome. ALSO, they were not all dressed in simple clothing
by a long shot. There has been archeological proof from a dig that the Celts of
Northern Europe had access to silk thread for embroidery already by 3rd century
CE! A lot of them in the first millennium were part of the Byzantine Empire,
and/or took some of their fashions, which emphasized a lot of decoration.
I guess I just get tired of people thinking that Celts are all Irish,
or that the single-digit centuries were times of barbarism (however they were
called) for the Celts. Early Celts were some of the best artisans of the times,
and they were ALL OVER THE PLACE! There are some good books out there if you'll
dig. I'd question the Tim Newark books on accuracy and sources (a lot of them
seem to be secondary), but they give a general overview for the beginner, if
they are not taken as Gospel. Also, _Celtic_Miscellany_, which someone else
mentioned earlier with the proper publishing info., gives a nice variety of
tidbits. The best article I've seen so far, by far, was in an issue of National
Geographic, which issue and year I can go find if someone is interested, as
well as the source book describing the archeological dig that found the silk
I guess my advice as a beginning Celticist is Don't narrow your scope!
---There is a lot of stuff out there that you'd find surprising, and a lot that
is impressive as heck, too. (like the strict code of honor the Celts
followed,...I am still looking for more info. on that)
University of Florida