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Celtic nations

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Celtic nations

The six Celtic nations, as recognised by the Celtic League:
  Ireland
  Scotland
  Wales
  Cornwall
  Brittany

The Celtic nations are territories in Northern and Western Europe where Celtic languages or cultural traits have survived.[1] The term "nation" is used in its original sense to mean a people who share a common identity and culture and are identified with a traditional territory. It is not synonymous with "sovereign state".

The six territories recognised as Celtic nations are Brittany (Breizh), Cornwall (Kernow), Wales (Cymru), Scotland (Alba), Ireland (Éire), and the Isle of Man (Mannin).[1][2] Each has a Celtic language that is either still spoken or was spoken into modern times.[3]

Territories in north-western Iberia—particularly Galicia, Northern Portugal and Asturias; sometimes referred to as Gallaecia, which includes North-Central Portugal—are sometimes included due to their culture and history.[4] Unlike the others, however, no Celtic language has been spoken there in modern times.[4][5][6]

Before the expansions of Ancient Rome and the Germanic tribes, a significant part of Europe was dominated by Celtic culture.[7]

Contents

  • Six Celtic nations 1
    • Other territories 1.1
  • Celtic languages 2
  • Celtic identity 3
  • Terminology 4
  • Territories of the ancient Celts 5
    • Iberian Peninsula 5.1
    • England 5.2
    • Formerly Gaulish regions 5.3
    • Italian Peninsula 5.4
    • Central and Eastern European regions 5.5
  • Celtic diaspora 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • Further reading 9
  • External links 10

Six Celtic nations

Each of the six nations has its own Celtic language. In Wales, Scotland, Brittany, and Ireland, these have been spoken continuously through time, while Cornwall and the Isle of Man have languages that were spoken into modern times but later died as spoken community languages.[8][9] In the latter two regions, however, language revitalization movements have led to the adoption of these languages by adults and produced a number of native speakers.[10]

Ireland, Wales, Brittany and Scotland contain areas where a Celtic language is used on a daily basis – in Ireland the area is called the Gaeltacht on the west coast; Y Fro Gymraeg in Wales, and in Brittany Breizh-Izel.[11] Generally these communities are in the west of their countries and in more isolated upland or island areas. The term Gàidhealtachd historically distinguished the Gaelic-speaking areas of Scotland (the Highlands) from the Lowland Scots (i.e. Anglo-Saxon)-speaking areas. More recently, this term has also been adopted as the Gaelic name of the Highland council area, which includes non-Gaelic speaking areas. Hence, more specific terms such as sgìre Ghàidhlig ("Gaelic-speaking area") are now used.

In Wales, the Welsh language is a core curriculum (compulsory) subject, which all pupils study.[12] Additionally, 20% of school children in Wales go to Welsh medium schools, where they are taught entirely in the Welsh language.[13] In the Republic of Ireland, all school children study Irish as one of the three core subjects up until the end of secondary school, and 7.4% of primary school education is through Irish medium education, which is part of the Gaelscoil movement.[13]

Other territories

Parts of the northern Iberian Peninsula, namely Galicia, Cantabria, Asturias and Northern Portugal, also lay claim to this heritage.[4] Notably, the region's music features extensive use of bagpipes, an instrument common in Celtic music. Musicians from Galicia and Asturias have participated in Celtic music festivals, such as the Breton Festival Interceltique de Lorient, which in 2013 celebrated the Year of Asturias.[14] Northern Portugal, part of ancient Gallaecia (Galicia, Minho, Douro and Trás-os-Montes), also has traditions quite similar to Galicia.[4] However, no Celtic language has been spoken in northern Iberia since probably the Early Middle Ages.[15][16]

Irish was once widely spoken on the island of Newfoundland before largely disappearing there by the early 20th century. Vestiges remain in some words found in Newfoundland English, such as scrob for "scratch", and sleveen for "rascal"[17] There are no fluent speakers of Scottish Gaelic in Newfoundland or Labrador today. Knowledge seems to be largely restricted to memorized passages, such as traditional tales and songs.[17]

Canadian Gaelic dialects of Scottish Gaelic are still spoken by Gaels in other parts of Atlantic Canada, primarily on Cape Breton Island and adjacent areas of Nova Scotia. In 2011, there were 1,275 Gaelic speakers in Nova Scotia,[18] and 300 residents of the province considered a Gaelic language to be their "mother tongue".[19]

Patagonian Welsh is spoken principally in Y Wladfa in the Chubut Province of Patagonia with sporadic speakers throughout Argentina by Welsh Argentines. Estimates of the number of Welsh speakers range from 1,500[20] to 5,000.[21]

Celtic languages

The chart below shows the population of each Celtic nation and the number of people in each nation who can speak Celtic languages. The total number of people residing in the Celtic nations is 19,596,000 people and, of these, the total number of people who can speak the Celtic languages is approximately 2,818,000, or 14.3%.

The Celtic nations and languages
Nation Celtic name Celtic language People Population Competent speakers Percentage of population
Ireland1 Éire Irish
(Gaeilge)
Irish
(Éireannaigh, Gaeil)
6,399,115 (ROI 4,588,252, NI 1,810,863)[22] 1,944,353 total:
Ireland: 1,904,958 (ROI 1,774,437, NI 130,521)[23][24]
United States: 30,000
Canada: 7,500
Australia: 1,895
29.7% (ROI 38.6%, NI 7.2%)
 Wales Cymru Welsh
(Cymraeg)
Welsh
(Cymry)
3,000,000 750,000+ total:
Wales: 611,000[25]
England: 150,000 [26]
Argentina: 5,000[27]
— United States: 2,500 [28]
— Canada: 2,200 [29]
21.7%[30]
 Brittany Breizh Breton
(Brezhoneg)
Bretons
(Breizhiz)
4,300,000 206,000[31] 5%[31]
 Scotland Alba Scottish Gaelic
(Gàidhlig)
Scots
(Albannaich)
5,313,600 92,400[32] 1.2%[33]
 Cornwall Kernow Cornish
(Kernowek)
Cornish
(Kernowyon)
500,000 2,000[34] 0.1%[35][36]
 Isle of Man Mannin
Ellan Vannin
Manx
(Gaelg)
Manx
(Manninee)
84,497[37] 1,662[37] 2.0%[37]
  • 1 The flag of the Republic of Ireland is used by the Celtic League to represent Ireland, although there is no universally accepted flag for the whole of the island.

Of the languages above, three belong to the Goidelic or Gaelic branch (Irish, Manx, Scottish Gaelic) and three to the Brythonic or Brittonic branch (Welsh, Cornish, Breton). Their names for each other in each language shows some of the similarities and differences:

Names of the Celtic nations (and related terms) in the living Celtic languages

(English)
Irish
(Gaeilge)
Scottish Gaelic
(Gàidhlig)
Manx
(Gaelg)
Welsh
(Cymraeg)
Cornish[38]
(Kernowek)
Breton
(Brezhoneg)
Ireland Éire Èirinn Nerin Iwerddon Iwerdhon Iwerzhon
Scotland Albain Alba Nalbin yr Alban Alban Alban/Skos
Mann
Isle of Man
Manainn
Oileán Mhanann
Manainn
Eilean Mhanainn
Mannin
Ellan Vannin
Manaw
Ynys Manaw
Manow
Enys Vanow
Manav
Enez Vanav
Wales an Bhreatain Bheag a' Chuimrigh Bretyn Cymru Kembra Kembre
Cornwall an Chorn a' Chòrn y Chorn Cernyw Kernow Kernev-Veur
Brittany an Bhriotáin a' Bhreatainn Bheag y Vritaan Llydaw Breten Vian Breizh
Great Britain an Bhreatain Mhór Breatainn Mhòr Bretyn Vooar Prydain Fawr Breten Veur Breizh Veur
Celtic
nations
náisiúin
Cheilteacha
nàiseanan
Ceilteach
ashoonyn
Celtiagh
gwledydd
Celtaidd
broyow
keltek
broioù
Keltiek
Celtic
languages
teangacha
Ceilteacha
cànain/teangan
Cheilteach
çhengaghyn
Celtiagh
ieithoedd
Celtaidd
yethow
keltek
yezhoù
Keltiek

Celtic identity

Formal cooperation between the Celtic nations is active in many contexts, including politics, languages, culture, music and sports:

The

  • Celtic League
  • Celtic League International
  • Celtic League – American Branch
  • The Celtic Realm
  • Celtic-World.Net, – Various information on Celtic culture and music
  • National Geographic Map: The Celtic Realm PDF (306 KB)
  • Simon James Ancient Celts Page
  • an article on Celtic Realms by Jim Gilchrist of The Scotsman
  • The Celtic Nations Association

External links

  • O'Neill, Tom (March 2006). "The Celtic Realm".  

Further reading

  1. ^ a b Koch, John (2005). Celtic Culture : A Historical Encyclopedia. ABL-CIO. pp. xx, 300, 421, 495, 512, 583, 985.  
  2. ^ "Constitition of the League".  
  3. ^ Koch, John T. (2006). Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. p. 365. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Alberro, Manuel (2005). "Celtic Legacy in Galicia". E-Keltoi: Journal of Interdisciplinary Celtic Studies 6: 1005–1035. 
  5. ^ Koch, John T. (2006). Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. pp. 365, 697, 788–791. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c "Site Officiel du Festival Interceltique de Lorient". Festival Interceltique de Lorient website. Festival Interceltique de Lorient. 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-15. 
  7. ^ Ian Johnston (21 September 2006). "We're nearly all Celts under the skin".  
  8. ^ Koch, John T. (2006). Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. pp. 34, 365–366, 529, 973, 1053. Retrieved 15 June 2010. 
  9. ^ Beresford Ellis, Peter (1990). The Story of the Cornish Language. Tor Mark Press. pp. 20–22.  
  10. ^ "Fockle ny ghaa: schoolchildren take charge". Iomtoday.co.im. 2008-03-20. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  11. ^ "http://www.breizh.net/icdbl/saozg/Celtic_Languages.pdf" (PDF). Breizh.net website. U.S. Branch of the International Committee for the Defense of the Breton Language. 1995. Retrieved 2008-10-26. 
  12. ^ "BBC Wales – The School Gate – About School – The Curriculum at Primary School –".  
  13. ^ a b "'"BBC News:Education:Local UK languages 'taking off.  
  14. ^ "Les nations celtes". 43e Festival Interceltique de Lorient (in Français). 
  15. ^ Koch, John T. (2006). Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. 
  16. ^ Koch, John T. (2006). "Britonia". In John T. Koch, Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, p. 291.
  17. ^ a b Language: Irish Gaelic, Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage website.
  18. ^ Statistics Canada, NHS Profile 2011, by province.
  19. ^ Statistics Canada, 2011 Census of Canada, Table: Detailed mother tongue
  20. ^ Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales). 27 Dec 2004. Patagonia Welsh to watch S4C shows.
  21. ^ "Wales and Patagonia". Wales.com website.  
  22. ^ The 2011 population of the Republic of Ireland was 4,588,252 and that of Northern Ireland in 2011 was 1,810,863. These are Census data from the official governmental statistics agencies in the respective jurisdictions:
    • Central Statistics Office, Dublin
    • Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (2008). "Population and Migration Estimates Northern Ireland (2008)" (PDF). Belfast: Department of Finance and Personnel. Retrieved 2010-01-11. 
  23. ^ "Central Statistics Office Ireland". Cso.ie. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  24. ^ The figure for Northern Ireland from the 2001 Census is somewhat ambiguous, as it covers people who have "some knowledge of Irish". Out of the 167,487 people who claimed to have "some knowledge", 36,479 of them could understand it when spoken, but couldn't speak it themselves.
  25. ^ "2004 Welsh Language Use Survey: the report – Welsh Language Board". Retrieved 2010-05-23. 
  26. ^ United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. "Refworld | World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples – United Kingdom : Welsh". UNHCR. Retrieved 2010-05-23. 
  27. ^ "Wales and Argentina". Wales.com website.  
  28. ^ "Table 1. Detailed Languages Spoken at Home and Ability to Speak English for the Population 5 Years and Over for the United States: 2006–2008 Release Date: April, 2010" (xls).  
  29. ^ "2006 Census of Canada: Topic based tabulations: Various Languages Spoken (147), Age Groups (17A) and Sex (3) for the Population of Canada, Provinces, Territories, Census Metropolitan Areas and Census Agglomerations, 2006 Census – 20% Sample Data".  
  30. ^ "Publication of the report on the 2004 Welsh Language Use Survey". Welsh Language Board website An increase from the 2001 census results: 582,368 persons age 3 and over were able to speak Welsh – 20.8% of the population.  
  31. ^ a b (French) Données clés sur breton, Ofis ar Brezhoneg
  32. ^ "Mixed report on Gaelic language". BBC News. 2005-10-10. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  33. ^ Kenneth MacKinnon (2003). "Census 2001 Scotland: Gaelic Language – first results". Retrieved 2007-03-24. 
  34. ^ South West:TeachingEnglish:British Council:BBC"'". BBC/British Council website (BBC). 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-20. 
  35. ^ projects.ex.ac.uk – On being a Cornish ‘Celt’: changing Celtic heritage and traditions
  36. ^ Effectively extinct as a spoken language in 1777. Language revived from 1904, though a tiny 0.1% percent is able to hold a limited conversion in Cornish.
  37. ^ a b c "Isle of Man Census 2011" (PDF). Isle of Man Government. Retrieved 17 October 2014. 
  38. ^ "An English-Cornish Glossary in the Standard Written Form". Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  39. ^ "The Celtic League". Celtic League website.  
  40. ^ "Information on The International Celtic Congress Douglas, Isle of Man hosted by". Celtic Congress website (in Irish and English).  
  41. ^ "Welcome to the Pan Celtic 2010 Home Page". Pan Celtic Festival 2010 website.  
  42. ^ "About the Festival". National Celtic Festival website. National Celtic Festival. 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-20. 
  43. ^ "About Us::Celtic Media Festival". Celtic Media Festival website.  
  44. ^ "Celtic connections:Scotland's premier winter music festival". Celtic connections website.  
  45. ^ Hebridean Celtic Festival 2010 – the biggest homecoming party of the year"'". Hebridean Celtic Festival website.  
  46. ^ "Magners League:About Us:Contact Information". Magners League website.  
  47. ^ "scottishathletics-news". scottishathletics website.  
  48. ^ Coulter, Colin; Coleman, Steve (2003). The end of Irish history?: critical reflections on the Celtic tiger. Google Books (Manchester:  
  49. ^ Celtic Tiger" No More – CBS Evening News – CBS News""".  
  50. ^ "BBC News:Scotland:Salmond gives Celtic Lion vision".  
  51. ^ a b "Who were the Celts? ... Rhagor". Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales website.  
  52. ^  
  53. ^ Nathalie Koble, Jeunesse et genèse du royaume arthurien, Paradigme, 2007, ISBN 2-86878-270-1, p.145
  54. ^ The term "Celtic Fringe" gained currency in late-Victorian years (Thomas Heyck, A History of the Peoples of the British Isles: From 1870 to Present, Routledge, 2002, ISBN 0-415-30233-1, p.43) and is now widely attested, e.g. Michael Hechter, Internal Colonialism: The Celtic Fringe in British National Development, Transaction Publishers, 1999, ISBN 0-7658-0475-1; Nicholas Hooper and Matthew Bennett, England and the Celtic Fringe: Colonial Warfare in The Cambridge Illustrated Atlas of Warfare, Cambridge University Press, 1996, ISBN 0-521-44049-1
  55. ^ Ian Hazlett, The Reformation in Britain and Ireland, Continuum International Publishing Group, 2003, ISBN 0-567-08280-6, p.21
  56. ^ "Ethnographic Map of Pre-Roman Iberia (circa 200 b". Arkeotavira.com. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  57. ^ Melhuish, Martin (1998). Celtic Tides: Traditional Music in a New Age. Ontario, Canada: Quarry Press Inc. p. 28.  
  58. ^ The Kingdom of Kernow 'exists apart from England' – Telegraph.co.uk, 29 January 2010
  59. ^ "What Is France? Who Are the French?". Retrieved 15 May 2010. 
  60. ^ a b "Belgium: Flemings, Walloons and Germans". Retrieved 15 May 2010. 
  61. ^ Venceslas Kruta: La grande storia dei celti. La nascita, l'affermazione e la decadenza, Newton & Compton, 2003, ISBN 88-8289-851-2, ISBN 978-88-8289-851-9
  62. ^ "The Golasecca civilization is therefore the expression of the oldest Celts of Italy and included several groups that had the name of Insubres, Laevi, Lepontii, Oromobii (o Orumbovii)". (Raffaele C. De Marinis)
  63. ^ "Manufatti in ferro di tipo La Tène in area italiana : le potenzialità non sfruttate". 
  64. ^ Piggott, Stuart (06-05-2008). Early Celtic Art From Its Origins to its Aftermath. Transaction Publishers. p. 3.  
  65. ^ Schumacher, Stefan; Schulze-Thulin, Britta; aan de Wiel, Caroline (2004). Die keltischen Primärverben. Ein vergleichendes, etymologisches und morphologisches Lexikon (in German). Innsbruck: Institut für Sprachen und Kulturen der Universität Innsbruck. pp. 84–87.  
  66. ^ Percivaldi, Elena (2003). I Celti: una civiltà europea. Giunti Editore. p. 82. 
  67. ^ Kruta, Venceslas (1991). The Celts. Thames and Hudson. p. 55. 
  68. ^ Stifter, David (2008). Old Celtic Languages (PDF). p. 12. 
  69. ^ MORANDI 2004, pp. 702-703, n. 277
  70. ^ Peter Schrijver, "Gaulish", in Encyclopedia of the Languages of Europe, ed. Glanville Price (Oxford: Blackwell, 1998), 192.
  71. ^ Landolfi, Maurizio (2000). Adriatico tra 4. e 3. sec. a.C. L'ERMA di BRETSCHNEIDER. p. 43. 
  72. ^ "Aosta Festival digs up Celtic roots in Italy". Retrieved 15 May 2010. 
  73. ^ "Celtica Festival 2009, Northern Italy". Retrieved 15 May 2010. 
  74. ^ "KurMor Celtic Festival in Ara, Udine, Friuli, Italy". Retrieved 15 May 2010. 
  75. ^ "Celts – Hallstatt and La Tene cultures". Celts.etrusia.co.uk. 2005-10-21. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  76. ^ Celtic Impressions – The Celts
  77. ^ AncientWorlds.net, 27k
  78. ^ authorName. "Vindelici". Ancientworlds.net. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  79. ^ "Boii – Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Britannica.com. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  80. ^ "Prague Celtic History Remains Route Celtic Walk in Prague". Prague.net. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  81. ^ O. Semino et al, The genetic legacy of paleolithic Homo sapiens sapiens in extant Europeans: a Y chromosome perspective, Science, vol. 290 (2000), pp. 1155–59.
  82. ^ "The Early Celts". Angelfire.com. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  83. ^ Catlin, G. Die Indianer Nordamerikas Verlag Lothar Borowsky
  84. ^ "Encyclopedia of New Zealand". Te Ara. 2012-07-13. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  85. ^ Lewis, John (1 December 2008). "Regal poise amid 'Celtic' clime".  
  86. ^ "DunedinCelticArts.org.nz". DunedinCelticArts.org.nz. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 
  87. ^ "OtagoCaledonian.org". OtagoCaledonian.org. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 

References

See also

In addition to these, a number of people from Canada, the United States, Australia, South Africa and other parts of the former British Empire have formed various Celtic societies over the years.

In New Zealand, the southern regions of Otago and Southland were settled by the Free Church of Scotland. Many of the place names in these two regions (such as the main cities of Dunedin and Invercargill and the major river, the Clutha) have Scottish Gaelic names,[84] and Celtic culture is still prominent in this area.[85][86][87]

In his autobiography, the South African poet Roy Campbell recalled his youth in the Dargle Valley, near the city of Pietermaritzburg, where people spoke only Gaelic and Zulu.

A legend that became popular during the Elizabethan era claims that a Welsh prince named Madoc established a colony in North America in the late 12th century. The story continues that the settlers merged with local Indian tribes, who preserved the Welsh language and the Christian religion for hundreds of years.[83] However, there is no contemporary evidence that Prince Madoc existed. An area of Pennsylvania known as the Welsh Tract was settled by Welsh Quakers, where the names of several towns still bear Welsh names, such as Bryn Mawr, the Lower and Upper Gwynedd Townships, and Bala Cynwyd. In the 19th century, Welsh settlers arrived in the Chubut River valley of Patagonia, Argentina and established a colony called Y Wladfa (Spanish: Colonia Galesa). Today, the Welsh language and Welsh tea houses are common in several towns, many of which have Welsh names. Dolavon and Trelew are examples of Welsh towns.

Large swathes of the United States of America were subject to migration from Celtic peoples, or people from Celtic nations. Irish-speaking Irish Catholics congregated particularly in the East Coast cities of New York, Boston, and Philadelphia, while Scots and Ulster-Scots were particularly prominent in the Southern United States, including Appalachia.

In other regions, people with a heritage from one of the Celtic nations also associate with the Celtic identity. In these areas, Celtic traditions and languages are significant components of local culture. These include the Permanent North American Gaeltacht in Tamworth, Ontario, Canada which is the only Irish Gaeltacht outside of Ireland; the Chubut valley of Patagonia with Welsh-speaking Argentines (known as Y Wladfa); Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, with Gaelic-speaking Canadians; and southeast Newfoundland with Irish-speaking Canadians. Also at one point in the 1900s there were well over 12,000 Gaelic Scots from the Isle of Lewis living in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada, with place names that still exist today recalling those inhabitants.

Celtic diaspora

Celtic tribes inhabited land in what is now southern Germany and Austria.[75] Many scholars have associated the earliest Celtic peoples with the Hallstatt culture.[76] The Boii, the Scordisci,[77] and the Vindelici[78] are some of the tribes that inhabited Central Europe, including what is now Slovakia, Serbia, Croatia, Poland and the Czech Republic as well as Germany and Austria. The Boii gave their name to Bohemia.[79] The Boii founded a city on the site of modern Prague, and some of its ruins are now a tourist attraction.[80] There are claims among modern Czechs that the Czech people are as much descendants of the Boii as they are from the later Slavic invaders (as well as the historical Germanic peoples of Czech lands). This claim may not only be political: according to a 2000 study by Semino, 35.6% of Czech males have y-chromosome haplogroup R1b,[81] which is common among Celts but rare among Slavs. Celts also founded Singidunum near present-day Belgrade, though the Celtic presence in modern day Serbian regions is limited to the far north (mainly including the historically at least partially Hungarian Vojvodina). The modern-day capital of Turkey, Ankara, was once the center of the Celtic culture in Central Anatolia, giving the name to the region—Galatia. The La Tène culture—named for a region in modern Switzerland—succeeded the Halstatt era in much of central Europe.[82]

Central and Eastern European regions

The French- and Arpitan-speaking Aosta Valley region in Italy also presents a claim of Celtic heritage.[72] The Northern League autonomist party often exalts what it claims are the Celtic roots of all Northern Italy or Padania.[73] Reportedly, Friuli also has an claim to Celticity.[74]

Italy is home to the Lepontic, the oldest attested Celtic language (from the 6th century BC).[65] Anciently spoken in Switzerland and in Northern-Central Italy, from the Alps to Umbria.[66][67][68][69] According to the Recueil des Inscriptions Gauloises, more than 760 Gaulish inscriptions have been found throughout present-day France – with the notable exception of Aquitaine – and in Italy,[70][71] which testifies the importance of Celtic heritage in the peninsula.

The Canegrate culture (13th century BC) may represent the first migratory wave of the proto-Celtic[61] population from the northwest part of the Alps that, through the Alpine passes, had already penetrated and settled in the western Po valley between Lake Maggiore and Lake Como (Scamozzina culture). It has also been proposed that a more ancient proto-Celtic presence can be traced back to the beginning of the Middle Bronze Age (XVI-XV century BC), when North Westwern Italy appears closely linked regarding the production of bronze artifacts, including ornaments, to the western groups of the Tumulus culture (Central Europe, 1600 BC - 1200 BC).[62] La Tène cultural material appeared over a large area of mainland Italy,[63] the southernmost example being the Celtic helmet from Canosa di Puglia.[64]

Italian Peninsula

The ethnonym "Walloon" derives from a Germanic word meaning "foreign", cognate with the words "Welsh" and "Vlach". The name of Belgium, home country of the Walloon people, is cognate with the Celtic tribal names Belgae and (possibly) the Irish legendary Fir Bolg.

Walloons occasionally characterise themselves as "Celts", mainly in opposition to the "Teutonic" Flemish and "Latin" French identities.[60] Others think they are Belgian, that is to say Germano-Celtic people different from the Gaulish-Celtic French.[60]

Most French people identify with the ancient Gauls and are well aware that they were a people that spoke Celtic languages and lived Celtic ways of life.[59] Nowadays, the popular nickname Gaulois, "Gaulish people", is very often used to mean 'stock French people' to make the difference with the descendants of foreigners in France.

Repartition of Gaul ca. 54 BC

Formerly Gaulish regions

Brythonic and Cumbric placenames are found throughout England but are more common in the West of England than the East, reaching their highest density in the traditionally Celtic areas of Cornwall, Cumbria and the areas of England bordering Wales. Name elements containing Brythonic topographic words, such as: caer 'fort', as in the Cumbrian city of Carlisle; pen 'hill' as in the Cumbrian town of Penrith and Pendle Hill in Lancashire; arfon 'river' as in the River Avon in Warwickshire; and mynydd 'mountain', as in Long Mynd in Shropshire; occur in many areas of England. The name 'Cumbria' is derived from the same root as Cymru, the Welsh name for Wales, meaning 'the land of comrades'.

Movements of population between different parts of Great Britain over the last two centuries, with industrial development and changes in living patterns such as the growth of second home ownership, have greatly modified the demographics of these areas, including the Isles of Scilly off the coast of Cornwall, although Cornwall in particular retains unique cultural features, and a Cornish self-government movement is well established.[58]

In Celtic languages, England is usually referred to as "Saxon-land" (Sasana, Pow Sows, Bro-Saoz etc.), and in Welsh as Lloegr (though the Welsh translation of English (language) also refers to the Saxon route: Saesneg, with the English people being referred to as "Saeson", or "Saes" in the singular). The mildly derogatory Scottish Gaelic term Sassenach derives from this source. However, spoken Cumbric survived until approximately the 12th century, Cornish until the 18th century, and Welsh within the Welsh Marches, notably in Archenfield, now part of Herefordshire, until the 19th century. Both Cumbria and Cornwall were traditionally Brythonic in culture; Anglo-Saxon settlement in these areas was historically small. Cornwall existed as an independent state for some time after the foundation of England, and Cumbria originally retained a great deal of autonomy within the Kingdom of Northumbria. The unification of the Anglian kingdom of Northumbria with the Cumbric kingdom of Cumbria came about due to a political marriage between the Northumbrian King Oswiu and Queen Riemmelth (Rhiainfellt in Old Welsh), a then Princess of Rheged, with only a minor Anglian presence as a consequence.

Principal sites in Roman Britain, with indication of the Celtic tribes.

England

Tenth century Middle Irish mythical history Lebor Gabála Érenn (Irish: Leabhar Gabhála Éireann) credited Gallaecia as the point from where the Gallaic Celts sailed to conquer Ireland.

Some of the Celtic tribes recorded in these regions by the Romans were the Gallaeci, the Lusitanians are categorised by some as Celts, or at least Celticised, but there remain inscriptions in an apparently non-Celtic Lusitanian language. However, the language had clear affinities with the Gallaecian Celtic language. Modern-day Galicians, Asturians, Cantabrians and northern Portuguese claim a Celtic heritage or identity.[4] Although the Celtic cultural traces are as difficult to analyse as in the other former Celtic countries of Europe, because of the extinction of Iberian Celtic languages in Roman times, Celtic heritage is attested in toponymics and language substratum, ancient texts, folklore and music.[4][57] At the end, late Celtic influence is also attributed to the fifth century Romano-Briton colony of Britonia in Galicia.

The Iberian Peninsula was an area heavily influenced by Celtic culture, particularly the ancient region of Gallaecia (about the modern region of Galicia and Braga, Viana do Castelo, Douro, Porto, and Bragança in Portugal) and the Asturian region (Asturias, León, Zamora in Spain). Only France and Britain have more ancient Celtic place names than Spain and Portugal combined (Cunliffe and Koch 2010 and 2012).

Iberian Peninsula at about 200 BC.[56]

Iberian Peninsula

The Continental Celtic languages were extinct by the Early Middle Ages, and the continental "Celtic cultural traits", such as an oral traditions and practices like the visiting of sacred wells and springs, largely disappeared or, in some cases, were translated. Since they no longer have a living Celtic language, they are not included as 'Celtic nations'. Nonetheless, some of these countries have movements claiming a "Celtic identity"

During the European Iron Age, the ancient Celts extended their territory to most of Western and Central Europe and part of Eastern Europe and central Anatolia.

Diachronic distribution of Celtic peoples:
  core Hallstatt territory, by the 6th century BC
  maximal Celtic expansion, by 275 BC
  Lusitanian area of Iberia where Celtic presence is uncertain
  the six Celtic nations which retained significant numbers of Celtic speakers into the Early Modern period
  areas where Celtic languages remain widely spoken today

Territories of the ancient Celts

These areas of Europe are sometimes referred to as the "Celt belt" or "Celtic fringe" because of their location generally on the western edges of the continent, and of the states they inhabit (e.g. Brittany is in the northwest of France, Cornwall is in the south west of Great Britain, Wales in western Great Britain and the Gaelic-speaking parts of Ireland and Scotland are in the west of those countries).[53][54] Additionally, this region is known as the "Celtic Crescent" because of the near crescent shaped position of the nations in Europe.[55]

The term "Celtic nations" derives from the polymath Edward Lhuyd.[51] As Assistant Keeper and then Keeper of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (1691–1709), Lhuyd travelled extensively in Great Britain, Ireland and Brittany in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Noting the similarity between the languages of Brittany, Cornwall and Wales, which he called "P-Celtic" or Brythonic, the languages of Ireland, the Isle of Mann and Scotland, which he called "Q-Celtic" or Goidelic, and between the two groups, Lhuyd published Archaeologia Britannica: an Account of the Languages, Histories and Customs of Great Britain, from Travels through Wales, Cornwall, Bas-Bretagne, Ireland and Scotland in 1707. His Archaeologia Britannica concluded that all six languages derived from the same root. Lhuyd theorised that the root language descended from the languages spoken by the Iron Age tribes of Gaul, whom Greek and Roman writers called Celtic.[52] Having defined the languages of those areas as Celtic, the people living in them and speaking those languages became known as Celtic too. There is some dispute as to whether Lhuyd's theory is correct. Nevertheless, the term "Celtic" to describe the languages and peoples of Brittany, Cornwall and Wales, Ireland, the Isle of Mann and Scotland was accepted from the 18th century and is widely used today.[51]

Terminology

The Republic of Ireland enjoyed a period of rapid economic growth between 1995–2007, leading to the use of the phrase Celtic Tiger to describe the country.[48][49] Aspirations for Scotland to achieve a similar economic performance to that of Ireland's led the Scotland First Minister Alex Salmond to set out his vision of a Celtic Lion economy for Scotland, in 2007.[50]

Competitions are held between the Celtic nations in sports such as rugby union (Pro 12 – formerly known as the Celtic League), athletics (Celtic Cup) and association football (the Nations Cup – also known as the Celtic Cup).[46][47]

Inter-Celtic music festivals include Celtic Connections (Glasgow), and the Hebridean Celtic Festival (Stornoway).[44][45] Due to immigration, a dialect of Scottish Gaelic (Canadian Gaelic) is spoken by some on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, while a Welsh-speaking minority exists in the Chubut Province of Argentina. Hence, for certain purposes, such as the Festival Interceltique de LorientGallaecia, Asturias and Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia are considered three of the nine Celtic nations.[6]

Festivals celebrating the culture of the Celtic nations include the Festival Interceltique de Lorient (Brittany), the Pan Celtic Festival (Ireland), CeltFest Cuba (Havana, Cuba), the National Celtic Festival (Portarlington, Australia), the Celtic Media Festival (showcasing film and television from the Celtic nations), and the Eisteddfod (Wales).[6][41][42][43]

[40] Established in 1917, the

[39]

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