Celts and Europe

Usually, Celts are related to Ireland, Scotland, Wales and this is all true. They settled in Britain and Ireland around 500BC and after a few hundred years Celtic culture was dominant one across this island. However, Celtic people were great travellers and cultural influencers who were spread amongst the central Europe, Germany, France, Belgium, the north of Spain, Portugal and into the Balkans as far as Turkey. So, what ‘s the difference between Anglo-Celts and European Celts and what influence these tribes had on the modern European culture and languages?

Celts and Europe
Celts and Europe

Living Areas

As the living area of Celts was wide, a few main branches were distinguished. Speaking broadly, the main branch is called just Celts and this term describes all people who lived in the British Isles at the time of the Roman conquest and have been using languages of old Breton, Gaul and Irish. Sometimes, this branch of Celts is called Anglo-Celtic in order to recognize them better.

Another three very similar branches are Gallic, Franks and Normans. During the first centuries, all north-western part of Europe was called Gallia, as a result, people from modern France, Belgium, Holland, German and Switzerland were called Gallic but originally, they all were Celts.  The tricky part is to describe Franks because these were people from modern France and Germany who used to speak in the old German language. Therefore, it is difficult to outline living areas of Gallic and Franks as they were blended in some central parts of France and Germany. Normans lived in Normandy which is a part of modern France as well. Normans were local Celtic people who used to speak in Gaul language and assimilated with Vikings after the conquest. Later, Gaul language was blended with old languages of Vikings, as a result, a new language was formed and became a dialect of the modern French language. Keep in mind that during the medieval ages all Christian people from the western part of Europe were called Franks by the Muslims. As a result, the terms can be very confusing according to the sources and topics.

The last one wide branch was called Celtiberians. These are people who lived in the central and western parts of Iberian Peninsula (modern Portugal and Spain). The Celtiberian language was used in this part which was a blended mix of Roman and Gaul languages. It is also known as Hispano-Celtic or Iberian-Celtic. The most settled parts were Aragón and Asturias between the regions of Galicia and Cantabria in modern Spain.

Old and Modern Languages

The fact is that the Celtic language is one of the Indo-European languages and it became a base of many other modern languages. The Celtic language is divided into Continental and Insluar dialects by the scholars. The Continental dialect was used by Gallic, Franks and Normans, as a result, it had a great influence on the modern French and German languages. The Insluar dialect was the main one in the British Isles and gave the sparkle for modern English, Scottish, Irish and Welsh dialects.