Yes, in the U.S. we have a professional basketball team named the Boston Celtics (pronounced with a soft “c” sound as in the word “certain.”) However, in this article I’d like to tell you what I’ve learned about the Celts (pronounced with a hard “c” sound like a “k” as in “curtain.”)
According to the site, Wikipedia, the Celts are a collection of ethnic groups of Europe identified by their use of the Indo-European Celtic languages and cultural similarities. Otherwise, the history of the Celts is shrouded in controversy, uncertainty and quite a bit of mystery.
Although the two are often referred to as one group of people, the Vikings and the Celts have no genetic relationship. They merely lived next to each other around 1000 B.C. while the Celtic culture had started to evolve only 200 years previously. When reading about Irish history I discovered that the Vikings not only looted and pillaged the Irish countryside, but they liked the people of Ireland so much that many of them married the Irish women and decided to stay, becoming, as one author described them, “more Irish than the Irish.” On an important side note for my family of the Trants, we were directly descended from the Vikings who married into the Irish and produced such strong warriors as “Strongbow” and Brian Boru, two of the most interesting of the warlords who wanted to strengthen and unite the Irish people.
There are mainly six Celtic peoples in the world today, divided into two groups, the Brythonic (or British) Celts and the Gaelic Celts. The Brythonic Celts are the Welsh, Cornish and Bretons, while the Gaels are the Irish, Scots and Manx from the Isle of Man.
Now, for our purposes related to the “Irish series” as I’ve begun to call my books, let’s fast forward to the 1700’s when the term “Celtic” was not in use in the English language. It was the historians of the 18th century who linked the native languages of Ireland, Scotland, and Wales to the continental language of the people whom Julius Caesar referred to as “Celtae.” The word “Celtic” originally came from the Greeks who, around 600 B.C., called the people who lived to the north of Greece, Keltoi.
Then in the 19th century the culture of the Celts was being promoted in Ireland because of all the losses from starvation, disease, and emigration the Irish people had endured to “create a sense of identity and self-respect.” Thankfully, the world is now blessed with the beautiful music, dance and literature of the Irish. My husband and I enjoy accessing the Irish music and dance on various sites including YouTube and I imagine most of you have read and studied the works of James Joyce, Keats, and Jonathan Swift, just to name a few of their famous writers. Also, I must add the current music of Ed Sheeran whose duet with Andrea Bocelli on the song entitled “Perfect” describes my personal thoughts about it.