Celtic Religion in Pre-Christian Times

Celtic Religion in Pre Christian Times IntroIn dealing with the subject of Celtic Religion the first duty of thewriter is to explain the sense in which the term Celtic will be used inthis work It will be used in reference to those countrie

  • Title: Celtic Religion in Pre-Christian Times
  • Author: Edward Anwyl
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 295
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • IntroIn dealing with the subject of Celtic Religion the first duty of thewriter is to explain the sense in which the term Celtic will be used inthis work It will be used in reference to those countries and districtswhich, in historic times, have been at one time or other mainly of Celticspeech It does not follow that all the races which spoke a form of theCeltic tIntroIn dealing with the subject of Celtic Religion the first duty of thewriter is to explain the sense in which the term Celtic will be used inthis work It will be used in reference to those countries and districtswhich, in historic times, have been at one time or other mainly of Celticspeech It does not follow that all the races which spoke a form of theCeltic tongue, a tongue of the Indo European family, were all of the samestock Indeed, ethnological and archaeological evidence tends toestablish clearly that, in Gaul and Britain, for example, man had livedfor ages before the introduction of any variety of Aryan or Indo Europeanspeech, and this was probably the case throughout the whole of Westernand Southern Europe Further, in the light of comparative philology, ithas now become abundantly clear that the forms of Indo European speechwhich we call Celtic are most closely related to those of the Italicfamily, of which family Latin is the best known representative Fromthis it follows that we are to look for the centre of dissemination ofAryan Celtic speech in some district of Europe that could have been thenatural centre of dissemination also for the Italic languages From thiscommon centre, through conquest and the commercial intercourse whichfollowed it, the tribes which spoke the various forms of Celtic andItalic speech spread into the districts occupied by them in historictimes The common centre of radiation for Celtic and Italic speech wasprobably in the districts of Noricum and Pannonia, the modern Carniola,Carinthia, etc and the neighbouring parts of the Danube valley Theconquering Aryan speaking Celts and Italians formed a militaryaristocracy, and their success in extending the range of their languageswas largely due to their skill in arms, combined, in all probability,with a talent for administration This military aristocracy was ofkindred type to that which carried Aryan speech into India and Persia,Armenia and Greece, not to speak of the original speakers of the Teutonicand Slavonic tongues In view of the necessity of discovering a centre,whence the Indo European or Aryan languages in general could haveradiated Eastwards, as well as Westwards, the tendency to day is toregard these tongues as having been spoken originally in some districtbetween the Carpathians and the Steppes, in the form of kindred dialectsof a common speech Some branches of the tribes which spoke thesedialects penetrated into Central Europe, doubtless along the Danube, and,from the Danube valley, extended their conquests together with theirvarious forms of Aryan speech into Southern and Western Europe Theproportion of conquerors to conquered was not uniform in all thecountries where they held sway, so that the amount of Aryan blood intheir resultant population varied greatly In most cases, the familiesof the original conquerors, by their skill in the art of war and acertain instinct of government, succeeded in making their own tongues thedominant media of communication in the lands where they ruled, with theresult that most of the languages of Europe to day are of the Aryan orIndo European type It does not, however, follow necessarily from thisthat the early religious ideas or the artistic civilisation of countriesnow Aryan in speech, came necessarily from the conquerors rather than theconquered In the last century it was long held that in countries ofAryan speech the essential features of their civilisation, theirreligious ideas, their social institutions, nay, , their inhabitantsthemselves, were of Aryan origin.

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    354 thoughts on “Celtic Religion in Pre-Christian Times

    • This book was written before there was the current archeological finds, it still is a good book to read as a sketch of the Celtic religion. It has an introductory on the Celts, the chief phases of Celtic Civilization, the correlation of Celtic Religion with the Growth of Celtic Civilization, Celtic religion and the development of individualized Deities, the humanized Gods of the Celtic religion, the Celtic priesthood and the Celtic Other-World.If you are expecting an in-depth discussion then thi [...]


    • There are a few nuggets of information that I found interesting in this brief survey of the Celtic religion, so it was not a complete waste to have read quickly through this material. Overall there was not a lot of new insight, perhaps because this book pre-dates many recent archeological finds or because much of this knowledge is commonplace.


    • Kindled for free: Impressively short and succinct this is quite a good little essay by Anwyl. Instead of using archaeology or literature or even folklore he spends most of his time with scraps of topynymy and comparative-superficial studies. He pulls it off much better than Frazer does in his terrible Golden Bough, but I can't help questioning the reliability of his findings, as eloquent and appealing as his arguments are.Anwyl on the continuity of Early Celtic religion:"Among the names of Celti [...]


    • I found this to be lacking in clarity, biased from the Roman sources and from a Christian cultural perspective and would have preferred a clearer and non partisan exposition of the key themes and movements throughout the topic explored.



    • AntiquatedI gave this book a low rating because it was boring and antiquated. I felt like there just wasn't much information.



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