Mon 24 Aug, 2009 06:43 pm
So, like, the Franks were a confederation of German tribes who had been ground between the millstones of the Roman Empire and the Germanic tribal migrations to the East. Ditto for the Saxons. The Danes are descended from a Nordic Bronze Age people. The Norge (or Norwegians, as the English have it) are Germanic people, and so are the Goths, who now call themselves Swedes and speak English better than we do.
North Africa was conquered by Vandals and Visigoths, and Vandals, Visigoths, Suebi and some renegade Alans (related to the Persians, and ancestors of the modern Ossetians) invaded what is now Spain.
So, can somebody tell me how it is that there is any significant choice to be made among a parcel of Dutchmen who overran the Empire west of Greece? What significant difference in flavor is there between an Englishman, a Frenchman, a Dane and Ferdinand and Isabella?
For those who are unaware, Isabella was a blonde, and her daughter Juana was batshit crazy.
Why would anyone want to marry Juana ?
Oh, but somebody did . . . and it just made things goofier. They married her off to Philip the Handsome of Castile, whose father was the Holy Roman Emperor, and whose mother was the Duchess of Burgundy. Their son, Carlos, liberally bribed the German electors, who in a fit of unbridled greed, elected him the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, and he promptly set out to get Martin Luther.
History is an all day party, i'll tell ya.
Juana la Loca, they called her. Now there's yer original "livin' la vida loca" for ya . . .
you can always tell a dutchman, you just can't tell them much
Set, with your name, I hope you'll ignore my ignorance and take this as a serious inquiry.
I read that genetically, the people of Western Ireland, Wales and the Basques have more in common with each other than the English, Scottish and the Celts from northern France (Brittany). The later having a great deal of Germanic blood, especially on the coasts.
This is my question.
Where did the Picts come from, were they a distinct people?
I've heard they were a dark coloured people, not skin so much but hair, so where did the red hair come from. What are your opinions on the Celts as distinct race that may or may not have migrated from somewhere else..
This may be too broad a question, but I've read a great deal on the subject and I've read one too many conflicting accounts.
If you could shed any light on this I would be grateful.
That's a whole bunch'a questions, Ceili.
I know you addressed them to Set, but, until he arrives, I hope you don't mind if I try and answer a couple of them.
Most obvious first. Where does the red hair on many Scots and Irishmen come from? Most sources seem to agree that this is a legacy from the Northmen, the vikings who repeatedly attacked the British isles at the end of the first millenium of the current era and, in fact, set up a number of colonies (including Dublin which was entirely a Norse project, built by vikings).
I don't know a whole hell of a lot about the Picts except that they seem to be the aboriginal inhabitants of those islands, not ethnically related to the Celts at all. The Celts came over from mainland Europe. Their original homeland seems to have been Austria, Switzerland, Southern Germany (Bavaria) and parts of the Balkans. The Greeks called them Keltoi, a name which the Romans corrupted to Galii (hence -- Gauls).
Btw, I don't think the Basques are a Celtic people. Their language, to the best of my knowledge, isn't even Indo-European, which all the Celtic tongues are.
This is what I've read too Merry. So why are the Basques genetically the same as the Welsh and Irish? not the Spanish?
I realize there is no Roman genetic marker but is there a celtic or perhaps Pict marker? If so, where did the picts come from? Are they a continuation of the Basque migration...
I once heard an interview with the leader of The Chieftains, Paddy Maloney state he thought the Celts migrated from the same stock as the Aryans (Pakistanis) as similar names, musical instruments, jewelery (metal work) and language "sounds"(not sure what he meant by that) could be seen in both cultures. He and his band are apparently quite well studied in the area.
But I've never seen or heard anyone else corroborate his findings.
Just curious. thx
The Keltoi arrived in Europe around 4,000 to 5,000 years ago, perhaps. Based on language, all of the Europeans, with some notable exceptions such as the Basques, are descended from Indo-European tribes. The dark skinned Aryans of India are our distant cousins, as are the Persians. The earliest cultural artifacts are those of the "hill fort people," who are considered to have been Celts based on the cultural artifacts they left behind. The term hill fort people tends to confuse the issue, though, since the Celts were building hill forts and living in them right into historical times. The first named Celtic culture is the La Tene or Hallstatt culture, which dates to the period in which the Greeks seem to have become aware of the Celts, about 2600 years ago.
It is very difficult to know if the hill fort people were actually Celts, because they might be more than one culture, and later Celts simply copied their lifestyle. It is an inference from later Celtic cultures that Celts were the original hill fort people, but they just as well could have conquered whoever the hill fort people were, and then simply have assumed their cultural artifacts and way of life, if it appeared superior to their eyes. La Tene artifacts have been found from Ireland to Austria, from Bavaria to Burgundy and in Spain. If the current dates for La Tene are correct, they were moving into the areas where they would collide with the Romans two centuries earlier, or even more recently.
It also suggests that the Germanic tribes arrived and began to displace the Celts of central Europe, probably in the century before Caesar. Rome was sacked in about 390 BCE by "Gauls" as the Romans called them, who had been hired by the Tuscans (aka "Etruscans") who felt that they could no longer deal militarily with the Romans. By the time Caesar became one of the Consuls, he was given control of Cisapline Gaul (Gaul below the Alps) and took a resolution to conquer Transapline Gaul (Gaul across the Alps) at a time when the Helvetii (traditionally considered the ancestors of the modern Swiss) were driving into Cisapline Gaul (northern Italy). It is very likely that the Romans blundered into a very fluid situation.
Although illiterate, the Celts were very highly developed culturally. Their metallurgy was superior to that of the Romans. The advantage the Romans had over all their enemies was social organization. When Vercingetorix attempted to destroy Caesar and his legions, his problem was getting the Celts to come up to the mark, and fight in the long haul. Man for man, the Celts were probably better equipped and armed than the Romans. However, the Romans were better organized than anyone in the ancient world. They were prepared to fight all year, and to fight year after year. One of their signal advantages, apart from the discipline of their troops (who were even physically smaller than the Celts) was their logistical organization. Caesar in his Gallic Wars commentary takes note of the provisions he made to supply his troops with grain before each campaigning season. In the darkest days of his wars in Gaul, his troops routinely got olive oil, wine, woolen cloth, leather and bronze from home--much as you would expect a modern, sophisticated army to do. The Celts were lucky to get everyone to show up on the same day, pissed off and ready to fight.
I'll let this go for now, this is one of those subjects i can go on about for pages and pages.
At least my people weren't no Dutchmen.
Don't get me started on those goddamned Picts . . .
Don't get me started on those goddamned Picts . . .
I'd like to get you started on the Picts as I know damned little about them.
See this is why I'm curious. The basque language is unique, an island amoungst roman and germanic languages. In my minds eye I can see a migratory path between Spain and Irleand/Wales and I can understand a nation adopting the tongue of invaders but did this happen. Are basques Picts? Genetically speaking? Where did they come from? Was it the first great migration? From africa up the european coast while the germanic/celtic tribes cames up through the middle east and on through eroupe?
Am I completely wrong?
The subjects about which you are enquiring (enquiring minds want to know!) are, properly, not a part of history, but of pre-history, and therefore are properly to be answered by someone well informed about paleo-anthropology, ethnology and linguistics--subjects about which i am not sufficiently well informed to choose between competing claims. My recollection is that what i have read about the Basques, the Picts and prehistoric Celts is often contradictory, and therefore i don't feel that i can give you completely reliable answers.
Perhaps the title of the thread will sufficiently irritate Walter that he will show up--he is probably better informed on these matters than am i, or knows resources which can answer your questions.
Goddamned Picts. Goddamned Basques.
Irish is just a different term for Basque, or Dutch - to give a short reply
I really only just now noticed this thread ...
I actually knew a bit about the Picts history ... but forgot most. (Wasn't really my main point of interest when I was in Scotland as teen/twen.)
The abstract from a recently published essay
in medical history
about the Basques:
For decades, biological and cultural pecularities of the Basques represent major points of interest for scholars. Studies on biological anthropology began in the mid XIXth century with anthropometry and craniology. From the 1930's, hemotypology revealed characteristics (ABO and Rhesus groups) existing also within the surrounding zones of the North-Western Pyrenees (Gascony) which seem to share the same toponymic elements or successoral rights anterior to the Romanization. Current molecular biology techniques exploring mitochondrial DNA or Y chromosome have strengthened the scenario which considers the present Basques as the most direct descendants of a preneolithic Pyrenean people. During the last glacial maximum, the aquitanocantabric area would have served as a refuge for human groups who contributed thereafter to the repopulation of Western Europe. The genetic profile argues in favour of a strong degree of endogamy and drift. These two elements explain the presence of numerous cases of inherited disorders related to founding effects. The origin of the genetic heterogeneity is not yet established.
Thank-you Walter. I fear I now have even more questions.
This thread is useless without Picts.