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Subject: Re: Celtic Genicide
From: John Cahill <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:CELTIC-L - The Celtic Culture List.
Date:Fri, 18 Feb 1994 01:21:07 -0800

text/plain (195 lines)

On Feb 17,  1:04pm, Wayne Crotts wrote:
> Subject: Celtic Genicide
> NOTE:  This is a forwarded message from an associate of mine who I
> knew would be quite interested in such a theory.  This is what she
> had to say in response to the celtic-persecution theory.
> __________________
> Well, first off, I would like to know if this fellow could name a few of
> the
> books he read. If I agree or not, it is always nice to hear one's
> sources.
The Celts, Nora Chadwick,
The Celts, T.G.E. Powell
Celtic Heritage, Rees, Alwyn and Brinley
The Gallic War and other Writings,  Julius Caesar
The Complete Works of Tacitus, Translated by Church,Brodribb.
> When talking about Celts or Celtic tribes, it is important to define who
> you mean.  There were Celtic tribes ALL over Europe.  Today, we mostly
> think of the Celts in Britain and Ireland; they often had other names on
> the continent.  SO I think some clarity on who this fellow means is
> important.
I refer to ALL Celts even though there were many different tribes or regions in
western europe which although were pan-celtic were not united as one Celtic
> I think that saying Julius Caesar "ONLY" "set about the systematic
> occupation
> and dominance of western Europe" because he saw the Celts (and I'm
> assuming
> he means Celts in France and Spain) is far too sweeping.  I have no
> doubt that
> part of the reason Caesar did his conquering was to secure the
> Roman borders.
> But that is certainly not the "ONLY" reason. COnsider those classic
> reasons
> for conquering territory -- land to expand and material resources.  You
> can see that this a more complex issue.
If you examine the strategy Caesar used with the Helvetians it was effectively
one of annihilation.  He himself takes credit for the deaths of over 1,000,000
(mainly Celts, various tribes) during his campaigns.
Compare this with the policy of dominating and taking slaves (who had monetary
value) which Rome took in other parts of the Empire, e.g. the Middle East,
 also Caesars approach in the disputes between Ptolemy and Cleopatra in Egypt
after the defeat of Pompey was one of arranged peace through legal
negotiations, and assimilation with control through Roman representatives.
Whereas the Egyptians inter-faction bickering could easily have been used as
means of having the Egyptians defeat themselves. I propose that Caesar thought
that there was no inherent threat and the Egyptians were "predictable" and
could be assimilated.
The Celts by contrast used unpredictability as a psychological weapon such as
spontaneous suicidal charges in front of opposing armies to take them by
surprise.  This posed a constant threat to the Romans as the Celts were equally
unpredictable as to when they were at peace and when they were going to strike.
Consider also, the instances of mass executions by the Romans after their
victories in Gaul, and western Europe under Julius Caesar 1,000,000+, Augustus
Caesar, Paulinus' defeat of Boadicea, 80,000 massacred (Tacitus) indicate that
assimilation was not high on Caesars list.
> they allowed the Celts
> a moderate amount of religious freedom.
Tacitus' writings refer to the druids inciting of the furies in the celtic
hordes as being intimidating to the disciplined soldiers of the Roman legions.
Suppression of the druids was part of this eradication strategy.  Religious
freedom was only freedom to worship as the Romans did.  "When in Rome ...."
> To say that the Normans conquered Britain due to being influenced by
> Roman
> dislike of the Celts seems unjustified.
I don't believe I said that the Romans Disliked the Celts.  The Romans were
very objective and meticulous about eradicating a threat which had plagued them
for hundreds of years.  Past behaviour is always used as a means of assesing
future risks.  It was logical for the Romans to feel threatened by the Celts.
The Normans brought the same attitudes and system of government and beliefs
inherited from the Romans.  The culture clash with the Celts was inevitable and
a repeat of previous history.
> I for one would NEVER minimize the legacy that the Romans
> left
> behind, but I don't think their dislike of the Celts was something that
> influenced William the Conqueror to attack Harold Godwinson; rather,
> it was
> desire for new lands, and to a certain extent, pride over a promise
> presumably
> made by Edward the Confessor (again, here we could start a whole
> new debate).
My premise here is that there is a thread of personality and beliefs and
behaviours that is endemic to each race.  The traits and characteristics of
Celts continued to be underlying differences between the disciplined,
regulated, predictable Normans and the unpredictable, superstitious, celts who
resisted any semblance of societal order that didn't fit in with the grand
scheme of things which joined this world to the next as if death didn't exist.
> The acclimation of Normans to Saxons took a long time, but it is
> generally
> agreed that by the time of Henry II and Becket, the Normans and
> Saxons were
> beginning to think of themselves more as "English" than as seperate
> entities.
> My point in this tangent is simply this:  the Normans had things on
> their
> mind other than "let's get rid of those nasty Celts like the Romans
> want
> us to do."
I don't believe it was a consciuos act at this point.  The stage was set before
Caesar.  The Normans were unconsciuos pawns following through the same pattern
of behaviour.  Their actions were predictable and inevitable because of the
clashes of beliefs and philosophies of the competing cultures.
> As far as Pope Gregory, the same principle holds true.  Perhaps
> keeping those
> randy Irish out of trouble was a MINOR factor in ceding Ireland to
> England,
> but my opinion is he did this to consolidate Catholic lands in Britain.
> And one conglomerate (England/Ireland) was a lot less troublesome
> than
> two.   (as an aside, if this is the same Gregory who had so much
> trouble
> at Canossa and with the Holy Roman Emperor, he probably didn't
> think about
> far away Britain overmuch.)
> Northern Ireland vs the Scots -- this is far too complicated an issue to
> resolve in a mere paragraph, but here's what happened:  the English
> crown
> (this case, Elizabeth I in the very late 1500's and shortly before she
> died
> in 1603; and James I as well) gave lands in northern Ireland to their
> good
> Protestant subjects.  It didn't matter that those lands for the most part
> already belonged to Irish people; they had to move out/off and make
> way for
> the new landlords, period.
The GIVING of the land was the problem here with the obvious different values
placed on the rights of crown subjects versus the rabble Irish.  Still no
attempt at assimilation.  The Irish Celts were brushed aside as part of the
expansionism of the Crown.  The Scottish Celts were again opportunistic pawns
in this scheme.  The logic used at the time was to "civilize" the North and
establish a linen industry to raise the economic standing of Northern Ireland
thus raise more taxes and "plant" loyal subjects with allegiance to the crown.
The intransigence of both groups of Celts was beyond the comprehension of the
classically schooled English ascendent aristocracy.  The social structures here
were based on (1) the Roman system of values in London, England relying on
objectivity and predictability and (2) the peasant Celts in Northern Ireland
and Scotland with social systems based on Clans and traditions, and superstions
more abstract and emotional.  Were the Celts less rational? perhaps.  But it's
difficult to be objective and see the economic long term value of something if
it means being thrown off your land to give it to someone else who has some
valuable skills and allegiances.
> I hardly think Elizabeth would have considered herself a "Roman"
> successor,
> considering that her father Henry VIII broke rather violently to marry
> her mother, Ann Boleyn, and begin the Church of England.  Indeed,
> this set the
> precedent of the British monarch being the head of the COE
> thenceforth.
> I think the northern Irish that were kicked off their lands were
> protesting
> merely for that reason, and those transplanted English/Scots fought
> back to
> retain those same lands.  Sorry, nothing to do with Rome at all!
I think you missed the point here.  The important issue is  Why was this done
Queen Elizabeth??  Perhaps due to an economic lobby in the English equivalent
of the Senate?
A Celtic queen would never have taken action like this.
CONCLUSION: The clash of cultures, beliefs , personalities and different
psychological foundations of the Romans and Celts continued throughout history
and have resulted in systematic erosion of the Celts and the celtic way of
I am not trying to incite any kind of rebellion here but recognizing what has
gone before is reason enough for Celts to understand where we are today.
SUGGESTION:  Celts should recognize the strengths and values and talents that
are common across todays country boundaries.
Celtic ties should transcend problems caused by disputes over who owns what and
who was here first?
Hope this clarification helps.  Does anyone agree or have an alternative view?
Do you think that these events I have tied together in one unifying theory are
really all totally separate stochastic events?  Are the parallels I have drawn
really coincidence?  or misinterpretation?
John P. Cahill

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