Koch John T. - Minard Antone - The Celts History, Life, and Culture

Authors : Koch John T. - Minard Antone
Title : The Celts History, Life, and Culture Volume 1 and 2
Year : 2012

Link download : Koch_John_T_-_Minard_Antone_-_The_Celts_History_Life_and_Culture.zip

The Celts: History, Life, and Culture is designed for the use of everyone interested in Celtic studies and also for those interested in many related and subsidiary fields, including the individual CELTIC COUNTRIES and their languages, literatures, archaeology, history, folklore, and mythology. In its chronological scope, this encyclopedia covers subjects from the HALLSTATT and LA TÈNE periods of the later pre-Roman Iron Age to the beginning of the 21st century. Geographically, as well as including the Celtic civilizations of Ireland, Britain, and Brittany (ARMORICA) from ancient times to the present, it covers the Continental Celts of ancient GAUL, the Iberian Peninsula, and central and eastern Europe, together with the Galatians of present-day Turkey; it also follows the modern Celtic diaspora into the Americas. These volumes represent a major, long-term undertaking that synthesizes fresh research in all areas with an authoritative presentation of standard information. The 808 entries, ranging in length from 50 to more than 3,000 words, cover the field in depth; they are fully integrated with a clear system of internal crossreferences and are supported by a select list of 160 items for further reading in the Bibliography at the back of Volume 2. The work of the 263 contributors represents the leading edge of research currently being carried out at all centres of Celtic studies around the world. The name of the contributor of each entry appears at the end of the entry. For several reasons, a project of this scope was felt to be essential at this time. First, as a scholarly, but accessible, comprehensive overview of Celtic studies, this encyclopedia is unique. There is no shortage of popular and semi-popular volumes with ‘Celtic’ or ‘Celts’ in their titles, but none aims to encompass the whole field with balance and scholarly reliability. At the same time, there exists a body of specialist publications that sets standards for the small corps of professional Celticists. In this narrow context, Celtic studies often means little more than the historical linguistics of the CELTIC LANGUAGES. The publications in this category are often difficult to read and difficult to find in print or even in general library collections. Most of the handbooks and edited texts that constitute the core works of Celtic philology date from the mid-20th century or earlier, and have not been superseded. Even by their own rigorous and esoteric standards, the expert reference works are a generation or more out of date—a major pitfall requiring of Celtic scholars an almost superhuman ‘keeping up with more recent advances’ to remain current. To put it metaphorically, the glue holding Celtic studies together as an academic discipline has grown old and brittle. The situation with regard to books in Celtic studies—in which a qualitative gap looms between specialist and more popular works—mirrors divisions between workers in the field. Small numbers of professional scholars, academic departments, and library collections devoted to Celticity contrast with the vast and growing international cohort of enthusiasts. This latter category includes both amateurs and experts in other fields—modern history, comparative literature, ancient and medieval studies, and many other disciplines—who are self-taught when it comes to Celtic studies, owing to the limited availability of formal instruction in the field. In the light of this background, this encyclopedia recognizes a broad need for full and up-to-date information well beyond the limited institutional bounds of Celtic studies per se. My own experience, for example, of teaching Celtic studies to undergraduates in the United States during the years 1985–1998 was a revelation to me: It showed how little material was available, and how much was needed as essential background for newcomers to this fascinating and rewarding field of study—one so near, yet in many ways so unreachably far, from American civilization. Like all subjects in this time of exponentially expanding information, Celtic studies has tended to fragment into specialties, and its experts have neither the resources nor the training to move easily between subfields—between languages and periods, for example. Once again, the unsatisfactory links that bind the field together are either outdated and arcane or semi-popularized and intellectually suspect. Another reason for embarking on a major synthesis at this time is that archaeological Celtic studies in Britain underwent a profound crisis of conscience in the late 20th century, and this debate has continued into the 21st century. The validity of applying the term ‘Celtic’ to any group of people or culture of any period has been questioned—especially in connection with the cultural history of Ireland and Britain, to which the terms ‘Celts’ and ‘Celtic’ were evidently not applied until modern times. On the one hand, in the wake of this episode of ‘Celtoscepticism’, the relatedness and common origins of the Celtic family of languages remain unchallenged scientific facts, and the name ‘Celtic’ for this family—given that all such terms are ultimately arbitrary—is no more misleading or historically unjustified than such well-established and undisputed terms as, say, ‘Germanic’ or ‘Semitic’. On the other hand, the idea that certain types of non-linguistic culture— such as artefacts in the LA TÈNE style—can be meaningfully described as ‘Celtic’ now requires greater circumspection. There are few, if any, types of artwork, weapons, or ritual sites, for example, for which it is likely, or even reasonable, to expect that there would have been a one-to-one correspondence between those who used them and speakers of Celtic languages, or speakers of Celtic languages only, or, conversely, that all speakers of Celtic languages used them. While northwest and central Spain, GALATIA in Asia Minor, and all of Ireland (including Munster) were eminently Celtic linguistically—at least by the Late La Tène period—La Tène objects of the recognized standard forms are thin on the ground in these areas. Thus, while this encyclopedia is not exclusively, or even primarily, about the Celtic languages, the defining criterion of ‘peoples and countries that do, or once did, use Celtic languages’ and an index of connectedness to the Celtic languages have been borne in mind when branching out into other cultural domains, such as art, history, music, and so on, as well as literature produced in the Celtic countries in English, Latin, and French. For areas without full literary documentation, the presence of Celtic place-names and group names has been a key consideration for determining parts that can be meaningfully considered Celtic. Owing to the importance of the study of names as diagnostic of Celticity, the reader will find numerous discussions of etymology in the entries. The policy of this encyclopedia is also to give proper names in their forms in the relevant Celtic language, where this is practical. For the modern Celtic countries, Anglicized or French forms of names prevail. It is often difficult even to find out what the Gaelic form of a Scottish place-name is, or the Breton form of one in Brittany, and this issue, in turn, can become a major impediment for those moving on to research sources in the original languages, as they cannot always be certain whether what they are encountering is the same place or person. The fact that we are used to seeing Anglicized (and Frenchified) forms of names on maps—and these versions only, unlike the place-names of more widely spoken languages—is a major contributing factor to the invisibility of the Celtic languages, their apparent nonexistence, and their seamless incorporation into the core Anglophone and Francophone areas. Another reason for supplying Celtic-language forms for names coined in the Celtic languages is that it is these forms that are most informative with regard to etymology, explaining topographical features, genealogical links, dedications to saints, and other factors. Having thus defined the scope of our subject as the Celtic languages and cultures and the people who used them from the earliest historical records to the present, the content of the encyclopedia has also inevitably been shaped by the history and predominant projects of Celtic studies as a field. Since its dual origins in literary ROMANTICISM and the comparative historical linguistics of the INDO-EUROPEAN languages, the centre of gravity of Celtic studies has recognizably remained in the ancient and early medieval periods, the time of the earliest Celtic texts and history’s opening horizon that constitutes the background for traditional heroes and saints of the Celtic countries. It is, of course, common origins in these early times that define the Celtic languages, and their speakers, as a family—once again, the glue holding the Celtic studies together as a discipline. Thus the prominence given to early evidence and sources of tradition continues here. Also under the rubric of Celtic origins, we have given special attention to the Picts, Scots, and Britons of the north in the early Middle Ages, where Celtic studies contributes to our understanding of the emergence of Scotland. In addition, however, Romanticism and historical linguistics have focused attention on modern times and the future by defining present-day national identities and aspirations and throwing into relief the special significance of the Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Manx, Welsh, Breton, and Cornish languages and their uncertain fates. Here Celtic studies is a vital ingredient in such modern political processes as the birth of the Irish Republic, for example, or the currently unfolding and as yet unresolved developments in devolution within the United Kingdom and the integration of states and regions within the European Union. In the middle, between archaic Celtic origins and modern Celtic identity politics, the current generation of Celtic scholars are now turning their attention increasingly to the long-neglected later medieval and early modern periods, including, for example, recent work on classical Irish (or Gaelic) poetry and the Welsh poets of the nobility, the fruits of both areas of research being fully reflected here. Recent Celtic studies has also shared with other humanistic disciplines a growing interest in contemporary literary theory; it is largely thanks to the influence of feminist theoretical perspectives, for example, that many entries on recently discovered or reevaluated women writers will be found in these volumes. ...

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