Ann Edwards asked me why I think the English are genetically largely
of 'Celtic' descent.
Simply because as I understand it, the archaeological evidence
suggests the Saxons occupied post-Roman Britain largely by peaceful
immigration rather than by war, as they later chose to believe. Their
Teutonic culture took over, certainly, but I don't think they wiped
out the earlier inhabitants, the Romano-Celtic Britons.
This is a fascinating question in its own right. Did the effete
Romano-Celts sit in their hilltop villas watching the foolish Saxons
colonise the soggy valleys, ploughing the clayey soil with their heavy
Gothic horses, and laboriously clearing the swampy forests? Until they woke
up one day and found themselves superseded. Bede explained it away as God's
punishment on the Britons.
Let me acknowledge Ann's earlier contribution on how the colonised
Welsh felt. Her account was emotionally gripping for an Irishman, or
for any member of a colonised nation - and the world is full of those,
today - hey, we're the majority, how about that.
I also acknowledge Danielle Ni/ Dighe's contribution. She wrote
"There's no such thing as Celtic DNA. Celt is a linguistic and
cultural term, not a racial term."
So well put, I can't argue, but stand corrected. Of course, there were
assertions last century and at the start of this one that the
political dominance of the English was due to racial superiority. But
she is right, human evolution is cultural, not biological, Lamarckian,
And I must accept Ray's verdict that there is no connection between
'brehon' and 'briton'.
So how come the Britons' great warrior queen was called 'Boudicca'
(Buadach) which is pretty good Irish Gaelic for 'Victoria'. Or that
the post-Roman British King's name 'Vortigern' is good Irish for 'Mhor
Tigherna' or 'Great Lord'.
And why did the Roman commentators say the peoples of Brittania and
Hibernia were the same people.
And why did they both have the La Tene culture, and the Belgae (Fir
Bolg) etc. etc.