Celts do not exist

Celts do not exist

No Celts. Such a nation never existed. There was no Celtic nation, region, tribe or language. The name comes from the Greek word for “stranger”. Keltoy, The 17th-century Welsh antiquarian Edward Lwyd resurrectedE century He thought that people who spoke languages ​​that knew each other closely must actually be one person. Everything else is myth and conjecture, and the Irish, Scots, Welsh and Cornish believe they are anything but English.

Yet, as decades of academic work has shown, the Celts refuse to die. Their incorporation into the “non-English” people of the geographical entity called the British Isles is a poison that has poisoned the fabric of the United Kingdom, making it one of the few states in Europe. Integrity is constantly unstable. Its union was broken in 1922 with the independence of the Irish Free State [devenu la république d’Irlande en 1949]It is durable Asked again [par les velléités indépendantistes en Écosse et les nationalistes nord-irlandais]. [En septembre]Charles III’s tour of the three “nations” was disappointing.

Double Occupancy Theory

Since Lwyd’s time, many have suggested that a large-scale invasion of “Celts” took place at some point in II.E Or ier millennium BC, possibly the North Sea. Excavation was done on 19E century in Austria and Switzerland seem to provide evidence of a single European civilization extending from Asia Minor in the east to Portugal in the west. The theory was that she took full possession of the British Isles. Long after the fall of the Roman Empire, V.E century of our era.

Later, other peoples from the European continent, the “Anglo-Saxons”, replaced the Celts in a very destructive invasion, speaking a language that was not spoken by the people who lived in the area that would become England within a few generations. Long Celtic: Old English. This story of an archipelago with a dual cultural heritage shaped by two distinct conquests and enslavements has been popular for decades.

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Seasonal gap filling

Over time, scholars have come to regard both invasions as fictional. Since the 1950s, JRR Tolkien — Professor of Old English at Oxford — There is only an absurdity in the notion of a single Celtic people, “A Bag of Tricks” And then one “Legendary Twilight”, Before making beautiful hobbits out of them. In the 1990s, anthropologist Malcolm Chapman ruled that the Celts had invented it. “To fill a chronological gap”. The word has now caused confusion and it is better to ban it.

With the development of DNA-supported archaeology, in the 1990s, the debate seemed over. Although there have been periodic internal migrations, there is no evidence of invasions or population displacements. The inhabitants of the British Isles mostly arrived on the Atlantic coast from Iberia at the end of the last ice age. Barry Cunliffe, an archaeologist and historian of Celtic culture, concluded this. “People of the Sea” spread across the various islands and adopted versions of a language “Iberian Celtic” Through trade, probably in the Bronze Age. According to him, these people did not become Celts, but “Celtic speakers”, He later regretted not baptizing them instead “Atlantic speakers”.

This left open the question of whether Celtic languages ​​had spread across the British Isles. Where the eastern shores of the islands were largely settled from northern Europe, DNA shows that these people likely spoke a version of the language they had always spoken. In other words, the Proto-Germanic language of the people living along the North Sea.

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