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Intro... In dealing with the subject of 'Celtic Religion' the first duty of the writer is to explain the sense in which the term 'Celtic' will be used in this work. It will be used in reference to those countries and districts which, in historic times, have been at one time or other mainly of Celtic speech. It does not follow that all the races which spoke a form of the Celtic t Intro... In dealing with the subject of 'Celtic Religion' the first duty of the writer is to explain the sense in which the term 'Celtic' will be used in this work. It will be used in reference to those countries and districts which, in historic times, have been at one time or other mainly of Celtic speech. It does not follow that all the races which spoke a form of the Celtic tongue, a tongue of the Indo-European family, were all of the same stock. Indeed, ethnological and archaeological evidence tends to establish clearly that, in Gaul and Britain, for example, man had lived for ages before the introduction of any variety of Aryan or Indo-European speech, and this was probably the case throughout the whole of Western and Southern Europe. Further, in the light of comparative philology, it has now become abundantly clear that the forms of Indo-European speech which we call Celtic are most closely related to those of the Italic family, of which family Latin is the best known representative. From this it follows that we are to look for the centre of dissemination of Aryan Celtic speech in some district of Europe that could have been the natural centre of dissemination also for the Italic languages. From this common centre, through conquest and the commercial intercourse which followed it, the tribes which spoke the various forms of Celtic and Italic speech spread into the districts occupied by them in historic times. The common centre of radiation for Celtic and Italic speech was probably in the districts of Noricum and Pannonia, the modern Carniola, Carinthia, etc., and the neighbouring parts of the Danube valley. The conquering Aryan-speaking Celts and Italians formed a military aristocracy, and their success in extending the range of their languages was largely due to their skill in arms, combined, in all probability, with a talent for administration. This military aristocracy was of kindred type to that which carried Aryan speech into India and Persia, Armenia and Greece, not to speak of the original speakers of the Teutonic and Slavonic tongues. In view of the necessity of discovering a centre, whence the Indo-European or Aryan languages in general could have radiated Eastwards, as well as Westwards, the tendency to-day is to regard these tongues as having been spoken originally in some district between the Carpathians and the Steppes, in the form of kindred dialects of a common speech. Some branches of the tribes which spoke these dialects penetrated into Central Europe, doubtless along the Danube, and, from the Danube valley, extended their conquests together with their various forms of Aryan speech into Southern and Western Europe. The proportion of conquerors to conquered was not uniform in all the countries where they held sway, so that the amount of Aryan blood in their resultant population varied greatly. In most cases, the families of the original conquerors, by their skill in the art of war and a certain instinct of government, succeeded in making their own tongues the dominant media of communication in the lands where they ruled, with the result that most of the languages of Europe to-day are of the Aryan or Indo-European type. It does not, however, follow necessarily from this that the early religious ideas or the artistic civilisation of countries now Aryan in speech, came necessarily from the conquerors rather than the conquered. In the last century it was long held that in countries of Aryan speech the essential features of their civilisation, their religious ideas, their social institutions, nay, more, their inhabitants themselves, were of Aryan origin.


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Intro... In dealing with the subject of 'Celtic Religion' the first duty of the writer is to explain the sense in which the term 'Celtic' will be used in this work. It will be used in reference to those countries and districts which, in historic times, have been at one time or other mainly of Celtic speech. It does not follow that all the races which spoke a form of the Celtic t Intro... In dealing with the subject of 'Celtic Religion' the first duty of the writer is to explain the sense in which the term 'Celtic' will be used in this work. It will be used in reference to those countries and districts which, in historic times, have been at one time or other mainly of Celtic speech. It does not follow that all the races which spoke a form of the Celtic tongue, a tongue of the Indo-European family, were all of the same stock. Indeed, ethnological and archaeological evidence tends to establish clearly that, in Gaul and Britain, for example, man had lived for ages before the introduction of any variety of Aryan or Indo-European speech, and this was probably the case throughout the whole of Western and Southern Europe. Further, in the light of comparative philology, it has now become abundantly clear that the forms of Indo-European speech which we call Celtic are most closely related to those of the Italic family, of which family Latin is the best known representative. From this it follows that we are to look for the centre of dissemination of Aryan Celtic speech in some district of Europe that could have been the natural centre of dissemination also for the Italic languages. From this common centre, through conquest and the commercial intercourse which followed it, the tribes which spoke the various forms of Celtic and Italic speech spread into the districts occupied by them in historic times. The common centre of radiation for Celtic and Italic speech was probably in the districts of Noricum and Pannonia, the modern Carniola, Carinthia, etc., and the neighbouring parts of the Danube valley. The conquering Aryan-speaking Celts and Italians formed a military aristocracy, and their success in extending the range of their languages was largely due to their skill in arms, combined, in all probability, with a talent for administration. This military aristocracy was of kindred type to that which carried Aryan speech into India and Persia, Armenia and Greece, not to speak of the original speakers of the Teutonic and Slavonic tongues. In view of the necessity of discovering a centre, whence the Indo-European or Aryan languages in general could have radiated Eastwards, as well as Westwards, the tendency to-day is to regard these tongues as having been spoken originally in some district between the Carpathians and the Steppes, in the form of kindred dialects of a common speech. Some branches of the tribes which spoke these dialects penetrated into Central Europe, doubtless along the Danube, and, from the Danube valley, extended their conquests together with their various forms of Aryan speech into Southern and Western Europe. The proportion of conquerors to conquered was not uniform in all the countries where they held sway, so that the amount of Aryan blood in their resultant population varied greatly. In most cases, the families of the original conquerors, by their skill in the art of war and a certain instinct of government, succeeded in making their own tongues the dominant media of communication in the lands where they ruled, with the result that most of the languages of Europe to-day are of the Aryan or Indo-European type. It does not, however, follow necessarily from this that the early religious ideas or the artistic civilisation of countries now Aryan in speech, came necessarily from the conquerors rather than the conquered. In the last century it was long held that in countries of Aryan speech the essential features of their civilisation, their religious ideas, their social institutions, nay, more, their inhabitants themselves, were of Aryan origin.

30 review for Celtic Religion in Pre-Christian Times

  1. 5 out of 5

    Maya

    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 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 this is not the book for you it is only a sketch of the religion. Also the style of writing is a bit old so expect to read these pages slowly. I still recommend this book because it does discuss interesting ideas about the evolution from spirit worship to actual deity worship. It talks about totems and how they could have developed and why. Read it after you have read a few beginner books.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    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.

  3. 4 out of 5

    dragonhelmuk

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 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 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 Celtic gods, too, like those of other countries, we find roots that are apparently irreducible to any found in Indo-European speech, and we know not what pre-Aryan tongues may have contributed them…. We are thus compelled, from the indications which we have of Celtic religion, in the names of its deities, its rites, and its survivals in folk-lore and legend, to come to the conclusion, that its fundamental groundwork is a body of ideas, similar to those of other lands, which were the natural correlatives of the phases of experience through which man passed in his emergence into civilised life…. Whether palæolithic man survived the Ice Age in Britain has not so far been satisfactorily p. 9decided. In Gaul, however, there is fair evidence of continuity between the Palaeolithic and Neolithic periods, and this continuity must obviously have existed somewhere." Anwyl on Palaeolithic Cave paintings. Whether from an effort by means of ‘sympathetic magic’ to catch animals, as M. Salomon Reinach suggests, or to the mere artistic impulse, is a standing reminder to us of the scantiness of our data for estimating the lines of man’s religious and other development in the vast epochs of prehistoric time. We know that from the life of hunting man passed into the pastoral stage, having learned to tame animals. How he came to do so, and by what motives he was actuated, is still a mystery. It may be, as M. Salomon Reinach has also p. 10suggested, that it was some curious and indefinable sense of kinship with them that led him to do so, or more probably, as the present writer thinks, some sense of a need of the alliance of animals against hostile spirits. In all probability it was no motive which we can now fathom. The mind of early man was like the unfathomable mind of a boy." Anwyl on a link between Y Gododdin and Llywarch Hen! Never saw that before! In the Welsh poem called ‘Y Gododin’ the poet Aneirin is represented as expressing his gratitude at being rescued by the son of Llywarch Hen from ‘the cruel prison of the earth, from the abode of death, from the loveless land."

  4. 5 out of 5

    Titus L

    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.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nikki Wilson

    A solid overview - hard to get into at times.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Em Wilson

  7. 4 out of 5

    Robyn Moore

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

  8. 4 out of 5

    Chris Wolf

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kris

  10. 5 out of 5

    Edwin

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mickey

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

  13. 5 out of 5

    Allesandra Bell

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Cook

  15. 4 out of 5

    Claire Pingel

  16. 4 out of 5

    Agatha C Reads

  17. 5 out of 5

    Karen Mienke

    Textbook type info.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Geoff Cartwright

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kellie Wilson

  20. 5 out of 5

    chris roeder

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nate

  22. 4 out of 5

    NormaCenva

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jorge Montas

  24. 5 out of 5

    Teresa Realing

  25. 4 out of 5

    Olivia Ramirez

  26. 4 out of 5

    Haley Gibson

  27. 5 out of 5

    James Burt

  28. 5 out of 5

    jonathan boyd

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kevin A.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Divinity

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