Joe Murphy asked:
> Am I to infer that the> Gauls actually were Celts? I'd always
>thought of them as more, well, Gallic, that is to say, French...
Yes, they were. At its greatest extent (c200BC??) the Celtic "Empire"
spread from Galatia (Turkey) in the East to Ireland in the West. That
is to say, "Celtic" tribes were found across these areas. However
they were not united in their government, so "Empire" is a misleading
word. They seem to have practised a similar religion, followed the
same sort of laws, used the same art styles and spoke related
"Celtic" languages. Gaulish was one of these - related to the Celtic
languages that have survived, but it is now extinct. The only traces
of it are in place names, inscriptions and the famous Coligny
By the way, the Celtic peoples of Brittany are not entirely Gaulish;
many of them descend from Celtic refuges from Cornwall (and
possibly Wales) at the time of the Saxon incursions into Britain.
Their language is closer to Cornish and Welsh. What survives of
Gaulish seems to have been closer to the Gaelic (Irish, Scottish,
Manx) Celtic languages.
John Rylands University Library of Manchester