The Celtic Thread, how to explain…

How can I even begin to explain…

Pipes. They “speak to me”. They simply hit some primordial chord.
It can not be denied. It simply is. I think it speaks to others, too.

For example, the Indian, Gurkha and Pakistani pipe and drum bands.

We saw in an earlier posting that there were pipes in Argentina.

We’ve found Celts in Anatolia.

We’ve found that Celts formed a foundation of northern Italy.

We’ve found Celts at the center of France and all over England, and obviously, Scotland, and Ireland.

We found hints of Celts in the Tocharians on the edge of ancient China.

We even found that Celts were in the Bavaria / Czech area making beer about 4000 years ago.

Yet I was not prepared for a Czech band still playing the pipes… How many generations ago? How many languages and cultures? How many empires have come and gone. Yet Auld Lang Syne on the pipes persists. Even in Czech. And Spanish. And English. And…

The Celtic Thread (c) is a strong one indeed…

Czech

Argentina

Even dancing at a festival.

Africa

How about a Swiss take on Celts in, well, everywhere? (Note that the drum has a South Africa Cape Town location on it while the speaker says they are ‘massed pipes and drums’ from all over, Scotland, Australia, Canada, England, South Africa. In German. ) A people who are everywhere, happy in any language and just getting on about the business of living life.

Italy

From small stands

to larger gatherings

Then there are bits still showing up in Turkey. With folk dances and at weddings. Even Islam doesn’t manage to break that thread. Though I think their pipes a bit high pitched…

And need I state that Celtic Women have been warriors from the beginning of time until even today when The Celtic Thread has Woman Warriors as part of the US Military?

There is a power and elegance blended in the Celtic Thread…

While her name, Caitlin van Pyre, speaks of Germanic roots, the way she plays a violin speaks to me in a Celtic voice. Is there a Celtic root somewhere in her past? Persisting even thorough Africa?

Celts. We live, we love, we fight, and we die together.

Roman Imperialists, eat your heart out, you can never be Celts.

Celtic Britain carries on.

I think the proper name of this group is Escala (there are more videos under that name)

Epilog

We live on many (all?) continents.

We speak many (all?) languages.

We support many cultures on our backs.

We influence cultures around the world.

We are Celts, in all our glory. Even if we don’t have a big ‘hang up’ on speaking any particular language… And as Celts have been spread around the world, more peoples have taken on Celtic ideals. More tribes choose to be part of The Celtic Thread. It is particularly striking when you see things like the police pipes bands in places like the USA where there are folks of many races, colors, and ancestries choosing to follow the old Celtic traditions.

No, I can’t explain it; but I would follow the pipes into Hell itself if asked to do so…
It is in my genes. Add a bit of violin and it becomes heaven anyway ;-)

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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31 Responses to The Celtic Thread, how to explain…

  1. DocMartyn says:

    Don’t forget Tattoo’s. Pipers have Tattoo’s the world over

  2. dougieh says:

    you’ve done it again E.M.

    just as i was about to retire to bed knackered you go and give some celtic music to tempt me.

    the pipes & drums do something to me which as you say -

    I can’t explain it; but I would follow the pipes into Hell itself if asked to do so…
    It is in my genes. Add a bit of violin and it becomes heaven anyway ;-)

    you can see why the army (any army) make use of this :-0

  3. Doug says:

    There’s something about the pipes at a funeral. I’ve been to way too many and every time I hear Amazing Grace on the pipes my knees turn to jelly and I just loose it.

  4. dougieh says:

    ps – thanks for the Basil link, made my night, loved it.

    believe it or not in the uk (scotland), we do not get this good new year music anymore.
    or am i missing something anybody?

    your the best celt promoter going :-)

  5. adolfogiurfa says:

    Great post E.M.! Though it is more universal than you imagine. It is not about only of Celts, but it translates a deeper, wider and older feeling, it relates to an epoch of humanity, before it was spoiled…
    It is about life and nature, and life, nature and an intimate relation to the universal laws…
    It made me remember, also, of the “ley” lines, sacred engineering, number and measure, a harmonious life from which we have been alienated.
    Revisit John Michell´s “The New View over Atlantis” (“Yet the clues to the nature of life and death, to the structure of the universe itself, are freely available to men on earth, for they lie within the range of the natural human senses”…)
    Now, “in times of the deepest darkness”, it becomes much more important to revive these feelings, to hasten up the necessary apocalypse.
    Thanks again.

  6. sandy mcclintock says:

    We accidentally found a pipe band festival in New Zealand – very high standards … http://www.captivatedbybeauty.com/events/christchurch-highland-pipe-band-2011-02-11

    My daughter used to play ‘electric-techno-celtic-rock music’ with this Australian band; they are all very good musicians but not really my scene ;) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxa1Ib7sUyc&feature=related

    My son plays fiddle with an Irish band (I like this stuff) http://www.celticcrossroads.ie/music/mp3player.html
    The first and last sample tunes on this page used the Irish pipes ( uilleann pipes) as opposed to the Scottish war pipes.
    At the risk of advertising ;) … he will be touring the USA again in Feb 2012 http://www.celticcrossroads.ie/tourdates.php

  7. j ferguson says:

    Last June’s visit to the UK included driving cross the highlands from Inverness westward and down to Glasgow. With visions of Macintosh and Watt dancing in my head, while spouse perused the map plotting our visit, the words “Piping Museum” were mentioned.

    My early career was spent designing buildings for wastewater treatment plants in which piping was an essential part. So thinking thus, i began to speculate on what might have driven the Scots to immortalize piping with a museum and what aspects would be displayed. How had piping evolved? Hollow logs, ceramic links, lead? Would there be valves? Was there some marvel of plumbing invented by the Scots?

    We parked the car on the periphery, and took the underground to a stop not far from the piping museum, me still thinking that the subject would be plumbing. For some reason this misapprehension hadn’t been voiced and so SWMBO had been denied the opportunity to set me straight on this issue.

    I only came to my senses as we walked through the front door, i saw bagpipes and realized that there were other pipes in the world.

    The place is an excellent museum, has a shop where instruments, reeds, practice chanters, and articles of clothing associated with piping may be purchased. There is also a hotel which is somehow connected with the museum where we will surely stay on our return to Glasgow in the early summer.

  8. R. de Haan says:

    Thanks for the article E.M, bagpipes and electric ladies, you can’t do any better.

  9. Pingback: Scala | Sullivan's Travelers

  10. Pascvaks says:

    Adam was of the Clan Neanderthal. Eve was of the Clan Denisova. Both were Celts. Go figure!

    PS: Cain was English.

  11. Vinny Burgoo says:

    ‘Roman Imperialists, eat your heart out, you can never be Celts.’

    Those poor dead Romans are probably muttering something about Celtic imperialism right now. They invented the bagpipes and introduced them to Celts in Britain and elsewhere. Nasty Norman imperialists introduced them to Ireland, so we can thank Roman, Norman and Celtic imperialists for this:

    http://www.mediafire.com/?f7p6xx1efeofj34

    (Donal Lunny. 4MB MP3.)

  12. Vinny Burgoo says:

    Sorry, try this instead:

    http://www.mediafire.com/file/f7p6xx1efeofj34/05 Port Luascaigh Donal Lunny – claps cut.mp3

  13. Kevin B says:

    Great links EM. My favorite Celtic fiddler, Mairead Nesbit, features in this Battle of the Violins and also with Celtic Woman, though she’s not playing on my favorite version of Amazing Grace.

  14. Kevin B says:

    Oh, and my favorite of all the various singers in Celtic Woman, Meav, sings the best song about seaweed ever written which features another great Celtic tradition, percussion.

    While this irish group sing a capella while demonstrating the great Celtic gift of a fast mouth!

  15. colliemum says:

    Yes – let’s hear it for the Celts!

    Mind – you left out one huge tribe, full of passion and patriotism, reviving and speaking their own language: the Welsh!

    Perhaps this happened because we don’t do pipes, as do those in your examples. But then – why would we, given that Wales is the Land of Songs.

    Here’s an example:

    … and then there are the famous hymns, this one is well known:

    Oh – the Celts in Argentinia – pure Welsh! They even still speak the old language in some places in Patagonia … and sing … and exported our national game: rugby …

    Cymru am Byth!

    :-)

  16. cm says:

    The pipes they are a calling!!!
    The Germans claim to have invented “bagpipes” ,they call them “fluggelsachs”..
    I think the “skirl” of the pipes might be one of the few things that has a worldwide appeal,no matter what your musical tastes are.
    I remember being dragged to the Edinburgh Tattoo as a youngster in the 70′s and it was all boring,except when the Lone Piper stood on the battlements and blasted his tune out.Certain notes on the pipes seem to make the hairs on your arms stand on end.Fantastic.

  17. Aussie says:

    The question here is: what came first? The Celts or the Romans or the Anglo-Saxons? The language is Gaeilic, not Celt.

    The answer is migration. Did you know that Queen Margaret of Scotland (known as St. Margaret of Scotland) was from Hungary? There would have been a lot of boats going backwards and forwards between these islands. It is no wonder that the bagpipes found their way to those European countries.

    The Celts were around in the days of the Romans and they were considered fierce with their use of the Irish wolfhound.

    Many of us who have not even been to the UK have ancestors in common because it was our ancestors who migrated from Scotland, Wales, Ireland and England to the 4 corners of the earth. Thus the Scots and Irish brought to Australia their pipe bands and their forms of dancing. It is a part of our heritage!!

    For reference: my ancestry is Irish, English, Scots and German (Saxony).

  18. dougieh says:

    E.M.

    on the “They simply hit some primordial chord” side.

    i recall the oldest (maybe) human musical artefact to be a vulture wing bone with holes (pipes) & they must have had a drum of some kind, they knew how to party back then. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/06/090624-bone-flute-oldest-instrument.html

  19. Hillbilly33 says:

    Love then or hate them, there’s nothing better to march to than the pipes and drums and they’ve probably been one of the greatest army recruiting tools ever, over the centuries. Being half-Scotch, I love them! Thanks particularly for the Basel tattoo link E.M as my best friend was travelling with The Tasmania Police Pipe band which performed there. Her daughter is a Police piper and her 14year-old grand-daughter a talented drummer who was the youngest pipeband member in the Tattoo. She’s an accomplished musician, sports mad and a very inspiring young lassie as she has Cystic Fibrosis but has represented her State in soccer, rows very competetively and tackles everything with great enthusiasm and considerable success.

    One of my all-time favourites is Highland Cathedral and there are many versions. Try this one.

  20. E.M.Smith says:

    @Hillbilly33:

    You might want to take a look at this:

    http://healthland.time.com/2011/11/04/a-powerful-new-cystic-fibrosis-drug-shows-promise/

    @Doughie:

    I keep telling folks that Beer was the foundation of civilization (as attested by the oldest written records and old digs showing brewing along with Egyptian texts and artifacts) and that Stonehenge was not some dour religious rite but a Winter Solstice Party call… The odd person found buried there was NOT some religious sacrifice, just the usual result of 20,000 folks having a Rave for a week+ …

    Look at what people do now, that’s what they did then. What happens in New York and around the world on New Years Eve? Yeah. Big party. Lots of music…

    @Aussie:

    The early Celts were in central Europe. They lived in northern Italy (and Austria and Switzerland and…) and were well inside the territory that was to become Roman (the republic formed in about 500 BC while the Celts were around about 800 – 500 BC) See this map:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Celts_in_Europe.png

    so one must ask, since the Romans were fond of copying technology from folks the ran into / fought with: Were these perhaps Roman occupied territories with Celt culture in them that lead to any particular Roman invention?…

    @cm:

    And would that “German” invention be from the Bavaria area that was Celtic back when some Germans showed up to the party and learned how to make beer from the local Celts? ;-) (That we found a major brewery / party spot right smack dab on top of the Bavarian / Czech beer culture center – BUT dated from Celtic times, is just too precious to not keep bringing up ;-)

    So “sure the ‘Germans’ invented them… right after that blow-out party in Bavaria with those strange red haired guys” ;-)

    @Vinny Burgoo:

    I use them as a “possible Celt ancestry” marker, not as definitive… but take a look at that Celt area map. Then realize the Celts were foundational to the cultures in most of central Europe AND invaded Rome a time or two early on. It would be virtually impossible to say how an old Roman got the idea, or even if he was a Celt himself (and as the Celts didn’t write much down… the one who writes the history book gets to claim everything…)

    Basically, Northern Romans WERE Celts. Just occupied.

    @Kevin B:

    Ah, the Celtic voice…

    @DocMartyn:

    Yes, but their kind of Tattoo doesn’t hurt ;-)

    @Adofo:

    Are you SURE it isn’t a Celtic Thread in your Iberian Ancestry?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celtiberians

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Spanish_words_of_Celtic_origin

    Yes, it speaks to those issues of humanity, but perhaps with a bit more “connection” to some… It wasn’t just Irish and Scots who brought a bit of Celtic with them to the new world…. They just had an English language overlay instead of a Latin one (as the Gaulish French do to… )

    So look at how the French, Italians (especially northern Italians), Spanish, Portuguese, Welsh, Cornish, Irish and Scots (and even some southern “Germans” and western “Czechs”) like to party. Some significant musical and beverage similarities, no? Now look around “Latin” America. LOTS of immigrants from those places. Yeah, mixed and blended with other peoples and other cultures from all over too. But then that Celtic Thread still pulls at the heart…

    The more northern Celts were a lighter hair folks, but the original Iberian Celts that moved to Ireland (and then on to Scotland) were darker haired. That’s why so many Scots have dark hair. They started in Iberia.

    So admit it, the pipes speak to you, you enjoy a good party, don’t take well to folks pushing you around, have an emotional center – but think well too, and sometimes like skirts. ( I’ll leave it for you to decide ‘on whom’ ;-)

    @Colliemum:

    I only left them out as I’d lumped them in with “Britain” even though I know that is wrong. The Britons were not Welsh, Manx, nor Cornish, but folks now tend to think of them all as “British”, even though not true.

    I actually have an ongoing fixation with Welsh. There is an assertion that it has strong similarities with Hebrew, and I’d like to find a native Welsh speaker who also knows Hebrew and can say yes / no to the idea. If some similarities exist, it could mark the linkage between Semitic and Indo-European language families. There are curious similarities ( 3 genders, cases ) between the two families, and Celtic has some word order similarities and other things too. The “thesis” is that Phoenicians were all over coastal Iberia (and perhaps even England / Ireland) and that Celtic shows that ancient link.

    So omission was not from lack of interest… just trying not to write a posting so long it would never finish…

    But if you know of anyone who speaks both Welsh and Hebrew (especially any older or biblical form) it would be interesting to know if they think them alien or similar in odd ways…

    FWIW, my grammar school principle (headmaster) was Welsh… and spoke it to the class some times as an example of a very different language.

    @Kevin B:

    Oh Boy, more links! ;-)

    @Sandy McClintock:

    In America, much of our Bluegrass and Country Fiddle traces back to The Celtic Thread. There are some bands that move between “country”, Australia, and New Zealand… and others come this way too… A cowboy from America is at home on a station in Australia and a fiddler from New Zealand can slide right in to an American Country band…

    @J Ferguson:

    Oh, the joy of a surprise encounter with double entender. ;-)

    @R. de Haan:

    Remember that the ancient Celts were in Belgium too ;-) Oh, and some of the Netherlands:

    http://www.angelfire.com/me/ik/celt.html

  21. E.M.Smith says:

    @R. de Haan:

    Oh, and there were some buff lads in there with the electric ladies (for the lassies who like a bit ‘o eye candy too…) But just to make it a bit more balanced, this one is from the same source as the next to last, but with a more “masculine” theme (per the author):

  22. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M. My Iberian ancestry?, Pita (pronounced: Pytha) is a well known last name goes to:
    Pythagoras of Samos (Ancient Greek: Ὁ Πυθαγόρας ὁ Σάμιος Ho Pythagóras ho Sámios “Pythagoras the Samian”, or simply Ὁ Πυθαγόρας; c. 570–c. 495 BC[1]) was an Ionian Greek philosopher, mathematician, and founder of the religious movement called Pythagoreanism
    I believe some old names in greek should be translated, thus Pythagoras would mean : The Pytha of the Agora, the Pytha of the plaza, where citizens of Athens used to gather to chat (or to philosophy); which would translate in our times to: Pytha of the Blog (E.M´s blog!!), also:πιτανοσ (pythanos): persuasive and, Aγορα (Ágora) “Plaza, Market”…
    We all have what C.G.Jung called the “collective subconscious”, that memory hidden perhaps in our DNA or in our blood, which sometimes (specially in times of “apocalypse”- a revelation from above-) speaks to us, awaken us to those “perennial truths”, the simple laws of nature, despised by the ignorants..
    So, read, my friend, John Michell´s “The New View over Atlantis”…and build some trilithons or some monoliths in your garden….

  23. adolfogiurfa says:

    This, I guess, relates to the feeling we have been uprooted from our connection with the ground, with the wide and open fields of nature….
    Deprived from fruits of the land by a general land reform, promised by the merchants of a more comfortable life in towns and cities, graciously provided by printed money, plastic, hedge funds and so on….

  24. suricat says:

    adolfogiurfa.

    I can’t digest the Greek, but surely “Pythagoras the Samian” should read ‘Pythagoras the Sumerian’ [a member of a people who established a civilisation in ‘Sumer’ during the 4th millennium BC?

    Also, What of the derivation of ‘Pythagoras’?

    Quote; “thus Pythagoras would mean : The Pytha of the Agora, the Pytha of the plaza, where citizens of Athens used to gather to chat (or to philosophy); which would translate in our times to: Pytha of the Blog (E.M´s blog!!), also: (pythanos): persuasive and, A (Ágora) “Plaza, Market”…”

    Apologies for the lack of my Greek script definition, but ‘Pyth’ (also ‘pith’) evokes connotations of ‘core’ (the ‘heart’, or ‘central issue’) because the ‘pith’ of any ‘growing wood/tree/shrub’ isn’t at the extremity where the plant ‘grows’, it’s at the ‘heart’ of the ‘already established growth’.

    Agreed that “Agora” is a widely used term for ‘Market Place’, but relative to ‘what market’ and ‘where’? I accept your conclusion of “Plaza, Market” as the ‘descriptor’, but this could equally (and more descriptively) be described as ‘the modern understanding’ of ‘school of thought (or scientific concessus)’. Do we really have a ‘name’ for the guy that came up with this theory? No, it’s a ‘consensus’ when we look into the semantics of the histories related to science!

    Show me where the understandings of ‘Pythagoras’ relate to an ‘individual’ and not to a ‘general conception’ (understanding)!

    Best regards, Ray.

  25. Hillbilly33 says:

    E.M. Thanks so much for the ivocaftor CF link. The research had just recently been reported briefly here.in the papers. I was after more info and will pass that on to her parents. We’re very hopeful for her as she does have one of the rarer genetic CF mutation combinations and has only had one ten day stay in hospital so far. She has also been able to stay on top of most infections, particularly the pseudomonus aeruginosa which can do so much damage, but It has involved heavy use of antibiotics and other treatments when needed and they of course have their limits in effectiveness..

    However, with all the ongoing research, I think there will be continued rapid breakthroughs in cures or better control of many genetic disorders ..

    On a lighter note, one leading resident genetic expert in Australia says that if there is a gene for brightness and personality, It’s CF. Our lass certainly bears that out as she is just a delight!

    Thank you once again for your thoughtfulness and concern. As we all know, you’re one very special Celt !!

  26. Wow! How can you keep producing such awesome posts, time after time!

    FWIW the biggest pipe band I ever saw was at a gymkhana in Lahore in West Pakistan (as it was then) in 1956. Over 450 kilted folks playing bagpipes and drums while marching. They were marching into the wind so the huge cloud of dust they created did not hide them from the crowd. A truly stunning sight and sound.

    If there is anything about British culture that appeals to the hill tribes in Pakistan and Afghanistan it is the bagpipe with the kilt close behind (no pun intended).

  27. colliemum says:

    Chiefio – once various people are back from their holidays, i.e. back sitting at their PCs, I’ll try and find a native Welsh speaker (not too difficult, that!) who also knows or studies Hebrew, and who can answer your question.

    A bit OT, but thrown in for a little giggle, and to show that Welsh is a living, i.e. evolving language:
    a microwave oven is called ‘popty-ping’ in Welsh, where ‘popty’ is oven, and ping is self-explanatory for all who use this kitchen implement .

    ;-)

  28. Pascvaks says:

    Wonder what Christmas Caroles played to pipes would sound like. Has anyone ever heard such a thing?

  29. suricat says:

    adolfogiurfa.

    Your ‘online reference’ was to an ‘online purchase’ and not a reference at all (bad netiquette, but what the heck). Here’s a reference that’s still under discussion:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pythagoras

    I guess it’ll continue to be discussed for a long time, as there isn’t enough ‘real data’ to ‘flesh-out’ a ‘true profile’. :)

    The guy’s ‘Mum and Dad’ (Mother and Father) didn’t have an association with a ‘generic name’ (name bestowed by ‘title’) of ‘Pythagoras’, or a name derived from the region of their birth that equates to this. Thus, ‘Pythagoras’ is a ‘given name’, of some description, that was bestowed by some ‘regulatory authority’, or other, at a time post his self-establishment into a quasi-religious sect.

    IMHO the ‘term/descriptor/name’ of ‘Pythagoras’ links/associates only with the ‘RMS’ (root mean squared) rule (that was ‘disclosed’ by the ‘sect’). Have I missed something?

    The ‘assimilation’ aspect of Pythagorean culture seems to ‘reflect’ ‘Celtic tradition’.

    Best regards, Ray.

  30. E.M.Smith says:

    @Adolfo:

    So, you saying you’re Iberian Greek? Well, there were some…

    BTW, the spouse just LOVES city life and hates the idea of being ‘connected’ to the dirt or country… It’s a big world and lots of folks LIKE cities…

    @GallopingCamel:

    Just what the brain does. I’m just along for the ride, too. It just happens and I just watch… ( I think it’s a right / left brain issue with ‘self’ on one side and ‘product’ on the other…)

    I do find it interesting that the Pakistani / Indian / misc. folks of the Old Empire have embraced the Celtic part of the culture…

    @Colliemum:

    Thanks! I’ll likely make a posting out of it when the answer comes in. There are some pages that draw interesting connections, but I’d like a “real person” confirm before running with it… It’s an old itch I’ll be happy to have scratched ;-)

    @Pascvaks:

    Here ya go:

    http://www.youtube.com/embed/5rvPS8NezN0

    @Adolfo and Suricat:

    Golly, now I’ll need to look into “Greek Celts” ;-)

    An interesting note from the wiki:

    The Greek historian Ephoros of Cyme in Asia Minor, writing in the 4th century BC, believed that the Celts came from the islands off the mouth of the Rhine and were “driven from their homes by the frequency of wars and the violent rising of the sea”.

    Gee, sounds like “climate change” to me… perhaps back in that ending of the Ice Age Glacial time…

    The Proto-Celtic language is usually dated to the Late Bronze Age. The earliest records of a Celtic language are the Lepontic inscriptions of Cisalpine Gaul, the oldest of which still predate the La Tène period. Other early inscriptions are Gaulish, appearing from the early La Tène period in inscriptions in the area of Massilia, in the Greek alphabet. Celtiberian inscriptions appear comparatively late, after about 200 BC.

    Looks like, at a minimum, “they’ve met” ;-)

    The La Tène culture developed and flourished during the late Iron Age (from 450 BC to the Roman conquest in the 1st century BC) in eastern France, Switzerland, Austria, southwest Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. It developed out of the Hallstatt culture without any definite cultural break, under the impetus of considerable Mediterranean influence from Greek, and later Etruscan civilisations.

    Considerable influence. Hmmm… Influence usually runs both ways. Along with a certain amount of genes… Wonder how many red haired Greeks there are ;-)

    . From the 3rd century BC the Gauls adopted coinage, and texts with Greek characters are known in southern Gaul from the 2nd century.

    Greek traders founded Massalia in about 600 BC, with exchange up the Rhone valley, but trade was disrupted soon after 500 BC and re-oriented over the Alps to the Po valley in Italy.

    Well, how about that, Greek Letters and Coinage in Celtic lands from “way back”…

    Then we have the Celtic expeditions into various areas where folks now call themselves something else. I expect you will find some fair number of folks just changed language and culture and are still ‘derived from Celts’. But it would take a tribe by tribe run through history to see which ones died out, which ones assimilated, and which ones were half assimilated with the Redhead Women taken home as prizes…

    The Celts also expanded down the Danube river and its tributaries. One of the most influential tribes, the Scordisci, had established their capital at Singidunum in 3rd century BC, which is present-day Belgrade, Serbia. The concentration of hill-forts and cemeteries shows a density of population in the Tisza valley of modern-day Vojvodina, Serbia, Hungary and into Ukraine. Expansion into Romania was however blocked by the Dacians.

    Further south, Celts settled in Thrace (Bulgaria), which they ruled for over a century, and Anatolia, where they settled as the Galatians (see also: Gallic Invasion of Greece). Despite their geographical isolation from the rest of the Celtic world, the Galatians maintained their Celtic language for at least 700 years. St Jerome, who visited Ancyra (modern-day Ankara) in 373 AD, likened their language to that of the Treveri of northern Gaul.

    For Venceslas Kruta, Galatia in central Turkey was an area of dense celtic settlement.

    The Boii tribe gave their name to Bohemia, Bologna and possibly Bavaria, and Celtic artefacts and cemeteries have been discovered further east in what is now Poland and Slovakia. A celtic coin (Biatec) from Bratislava’s mint was displayed on the old Slovak 5-crown coin.

    As there is no archaeological evidence for large-scale invasions in some of the other areas, one current school of thought holds that Celtic language and culture spread to those areas by contact rather than invasion. However, the Celtic invasions of Italy and the expedition in Greece and western Anatolia, are well documented in Greek and Latin history.

    There are records of Celtic mercenaries in Egypt serving the Ptolemies. Thousands were employed in 283-246 BC and they were also in service around 186 BC. They attempted to overthrow Ptolemy II.

    Wonder if THAT’s why I have a fixation with Egypt ;-) Hey, maybe I’m part Egyptian ;-)

    I’ll stop there, lest I be accused of “overkill”… but when you have things like 700 years of language preservation and lots of physical artifacts, there was usually a lot of genetics left about. So are you REALLY sure that every single one of your Greek ancestors traces back to pre-Celtic contact Greeks? None of them “getting along well” with those Celtic neighbors?

    Never going over to the beer bash or taking a fancy to the Fair Haired Celt next door? (Or the darker haired ones from some of the other regions)…

    Frankly, IMHO, pretty much everywhere in Europe is going to be populated by various levels of Mutt (almost as much as America). After a few generations, all the offspring will have SOME ancestor / relative from every “tribe”. (That’s the way the math tends to work out… I’ve got somewhere over 400 cousins and 2nd cousins at this point, all married to God Only Knows What other tribes. So their kids are pretty much “everything”…)

    So while I enjoy tracing ancient Celts over most all of Europe, they long ago blended in with Germans, Czechs, Slovaks, Bulgarians, Phoenicians, Etruscans, Italians, and yes, even Greeks. Largely evaporating from the cultural record AS Celts, but still living on and changing the world as other cultures and hybrids.

    How much of Greece is now Celtic Related? You can make a case for none (little cultural influence carried to today) or all (take 30 year generations and 2100 years, that’s 70 generations. 2^70 “ancestors” mixed to a person today. That’s pretty much everyone alive then… (though in reality you start to have ‘with replacement’ instead of ‘without replacement’ odds… Different lines start sharing common ancestors so actual counts drop).

    But that’s part of what makes it fun to “find the Celt”. You could do the same thing with “Find the Greek” today too. And you would find that most people today are related to some Greek or other (with the possible exception of small isolated populations which substantially only exist outside of Europe…)

    So a person like me:

    English [ Viking, Danish, Norse, Swedish, Breton, Angle, Saxon, Roman,...],

    Irish Celt [ but who all wandered through Ireland over several thousand years including Vikings and Spanish and...],

    German [ But the Amish wandered around Switzerland and other places on the way over; and we had other tribes wander through German areas pre-Christian too],

    French [ which ones? The Roman, Frankish or Gauls? Brittany?]

    THEN you get to swim up stream in lines like Romans and Franks and even Danish and German and find THEY are various blends of ancient Mutts too…

    Now the spouse is about as varied, so what are the kids? Euro-Mutt at best… Add in that the Greeks and Romans “shared” a lot, and both of them ran over to Iberia and wandered into Italy, Celtic central Europe, etc…

    The point? Yeah, I’m “Celtic” to some small degree and by choice. I could just as easily lay claim to German (and do, along with Viking per Mom) and Roman. Without too much trouble I could tease out a Greek connection, I’m pretty sure.. By the same token, just about anyone can claim to be a Celt ;-)

    FWIW at a St. Patty’s Day party in Sacramento once we were having a grand old time. One of the party was quite black… and with an Irish grandparent… Whole new meaning to Black Irish ;-)

    So go ahead and “Embrace Your Inner Celt”, it’s OK (even if you want to claim to be pure Greek most of the time ;-)

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