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> Insular Celts, What are they?
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Andy88
Posted: 16-Mar-2010, 08:28 AM
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Hello,

This may seem like a stupid question to most of you, but I am completely new to this sort of thing and, as such, I have become rather confused about certain terms.

I have read about Insular Celts and Continental Celts, but I can't quite grasp the difference. Are the Insular Celts just a branch of the Continentals which came over to Britain, and then developed different languages?

Any information you can give me is much appreciated.

Thanks.
               
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Camac
Posted: 16-Mar-2010, 09:56 AM
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Andy88;

If memory serves right "Insular Celt" refers mainly to the languages that evolved in the British Isles as separate and distinct form the Continental Language. Scots Gaelic, Irish Gaelic, Welsh, Manx, Breton,and Cornish.


Camac.

PS. Insular: - Isolated.
               
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Andy88
Posted: 16-Mar-2010, 10:28 AM
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QUOTE (Camac @ 16-Mar-2010, 09:56 AM)
Andy88;

If memory serves right "Insular Celt" refers mainly to the languages that evolved in the British Isles as separate and distinct form the Continental Language. Scots Gaelic, Irish Gaelic, Welsh, Manx, Breton,and Cornish.


Camac.

PS. Insular: - Isolated.

Thanks.

So why then are both groups called "Celts"? Where's the connection if they are two distinct and unrelated peoples with different ancestry?

I heard that the majority of British people are perhaps partially descended from Insular Celts. In that case, would that mean that these people are unrelated to mainland Europeans?
               
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Camac
Posted: 16-Mar-2010, 10:58 AM
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Andy88;

The Celts were not a single people. They were groups or tribes of people united by a common culture and language but not necessarily by Blood. The Scots are Celtic but different from the Welsh who are also Celtic. The Scots are related more closely to the Irish than the Cornish or Bretons.


Camac.
               
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Andy88
Posted: 16-Mar-2010, 11:08 AM
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QUOTE (Camac @ 16-Mar-2010, 10:58 AM)
Andy88;

The Celts were not a single people. They were groups or tribes of people united by a common culture and language but not necessarily by Blood. The Scots are Celtic but different from the Welsh who are also Celtic. The Scots are related more closely to the Irish than the Cornish or Bretons.


Camac.

I see. That's what I was unsure about. That would presumably mean that Insular Celts and Continental Celts share no common ancestry whatsoever.

Thanks for your help.
               
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Camac
Posted: 16-Mar-2010, 01:00 PM
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Andy88;

No they would share a common ancestry. They are Indo-European who migrated voluntarily or forced across Europe. The Celts of Ireland, including the Scots are said to have come from the Iberian Peninusla (Spain/Potugal) The Celts of Britain traded and inter married with the Celts of what is now France.

Camac
               
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Andy88
Posted: 16-Mar-2010, 02:29 PM
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QUOTE (Camac @ 16-Mar-2010, 01:00 PM)
Andy88;

No they would share a common ancestry. They are Indo-European who migrated voluntarily or forced across Europe. The Celts of Ireland, including the Scots are said to have come from the Iberian Peninusla (Spain/Potugal) The Celts of Britain traded and inter married with the Celts of what is now France.

Camac

Oh right, so even those who were to become Insular Celts were originally from mainland Europe but split off from the Continentals?
               
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Andy88
Posted: 16-Mar-2010, 02:33 PM
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Or they both just share a common origin?
               
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Camac
Posted: 16-Mar-2010, 02:35 PM
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Andy88;

Yes. You know there are many fine books out there to read on the subject plus 1000s of web sites. Mayhaps they would be a better source than I am as I am relying on memory of things I read and learned years ago.


Camac.
               
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Andy88
Posted: 16-Mar-2010, 02:55 PM
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Fair enough. Thanks very much for your help.
               
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Andy88
Posted: 16-Mar-2010, 03:45 PM
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Mailagnas maqqas Dunaidonas 
Posted: 24-Mar-2010, 04:04 PM
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The Insular Celts are the Celts of the British Isles. The Celts were a diverse group of tribes with a common culture and language. It should be noted that it is unclear at what point the indigenous tribes of Great Britain acquired Celtic culture and language. DNA studies have shown a continuity of the same people living in the British Isles since shortly after the end of the last Ice Age. During the Bronze Age and/or Iron Age they acquired Celtic culture and language, even though there is no evidence for large-scale migration from the continent. In what is now England, the Celtic tribes (then known as Britons--they did not refer to themselves as Celts) first became Romano-Britons, after the Roman conquest, then they became Anglo-Saxon (after the poorly-documented Anglo-Saxon conquest), then Anglo-Norman, then English. In the process, the English lost much or most of their Celtic heritage and are no longer considered Celts.
Because the Irish resisted foreign occupation far longer than other Celtic peoples and never became "Anglicized" even after being conquered by the English, they have retained far more of their Celtic identity than other peoples with a Celtic heritage.


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Antwn 
Posted: 03-Jul-2010, 06:33 PM
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QUOTE (Mailagnas maqqas Dunaidonas @ 24-Mar-2010, 04:04 PM)
Because the Irish resisted foreign occupation far longer than other Celtic peoples and never became "Anglicized" even after being conquered by the English, they have retained far more of their Celtic identity than other peoples with a Celtic heritage.

Celtic identity is a dubious term, yet that said, I think you'd offend quite a few Welsh with your statement, maybe Scots too. Neither are English nor consider themselves to today. The Welsh have retained their language, a hallmark of culture if there ever was one, since the 6th century and retained it throughout all the conquests you mentioned to the present. If there were not Brythonic, proto-Welsh or whatever you want to call it during the Roman occupation, and had it not survived, there would be no Welsh today. There are between 500,000 and 700,000 Welsh speakers today. Welsh was spoken throughout much of England and north into Scotland. Taliesin and Aneirin, 6th century Welsh poets, both lived in Scotland. Llywarch Hen was another Middle Welsh poet and king of a land in England not Wales. Resisting occupation is one thing, resisting cultural integration and destruction is another, and it can be argued that the Welsh have done better than either Irish or Scots in that regard, particularly with regard to language preservation. That is about all that's left in practical terms of a Celtic identity.

The Angles and Saxons were invaders, not indigenous to Britain any more than the Norse invaders who eventually settled in NE England were. They came in the 5th century and Celtic or proto Celtic languages were already being spoken. The Romans left Britain in 410 when the Emperor Honorious told the Britons they could no longer depend on Roman protection. Since the Romans had been fighting the Celts since they came, even built Hadiran's wall to keep invading Pictish in Scotland, I think we can assume Celts were well established before Angles, Saxons and Norse came almost a century later. The Norman conquest wasn't completed until 1066. I don't see how any of these invaders could be considered any more Insular Celts than the Romans could. They did not speak a Celtic tongue, nor did they ever acquire one. Anglo-Saxon or Old English is of the Germanic branch not the Celtic. English acquired many words from Old Norse in about the 7th or 8th centuries as well as grammatical changes, but had no significant influence from the Celtic tongues, which might suggest a certain lack of involvement with them, and certainly not an acquisition of their culture.


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Camac
Posted: 03-Jul-2010, 07:13 PM
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Antwn;
Your argument in regards to the Brythonic, and the Welsh will also find backing in the historical references of southern and south-western Scotland as the language was also spoken there. The Legendary Arthur, although those of the MacArthur clan will argue that he was not a legend but their progenitor, spoke Welsh and claimed kingship of three realms in that area.The argument that the Irish resisted Anglicization longer than the other celtic peoples of the island is a bit rocky. Not only the Welsh, but the Highlanders of Scotland and the Cornish and the Manxmen have resisted to this day despite the attempts to erase both the language and the culture.


Camac
               
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Antwn 
Posted: 03-Jul-2010, 09:33 PM
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Hiya Camac!! Good to see you...well like this anyway.

Yes, that's what I was saying too, that's why I brought up the Welsh poets Taliesin and Aneirin who lived in Scotland. One can find in placenames in Scotland names of Brythonic origin as well, but don't ask me what they are...forgot. Ravages of age.

Be well my Cannuck friend. Don't spend all your loonies in one place!
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