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achrisvet
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5986 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2005 :  4:05:29 PM  Show Profile Send achrisvet a Private Message
OK history buffs (you know who you are!) What is the realtionship between the Vikings and the Celts? I ask this because of the similarity in design between Viking ornamentation (Viking Knits - Lavold) and Celtic knot patterns. I know the Vikings invaded Great Britain and there is a Viking museum in York. But I would like to know more about the similarities and differences in these patterns. What makes something a Viking patterns as opposed to a Celtic pattern?

Anita
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of troy
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Posted - 05/14/2005 :  4:37:32 PM  Show Profile  Visit of troy's Homepage Send of troy a Private Message
actually its hard to know.. circles, and animal designs were common all through europe.. and both cultures influenced each other..
Runic (the ancient norse alphabet is very similar to Oghram, the ancient Celtic alphabet) and yet there are striking differences.

i suspect there are striking difference (when you go to look for them) between viking and celtic designs. (even if there is a lot of surface similarity)
(Helen who's family can trace 500 years of living in Dublin--which makes her irish..but Dublin was on of the first great norse settlement towns in ireland..who knows if you go far enough back, maybe i'm really scandinavian!)

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mamid
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Posted - 05/14/2005 :  5:01:07 PM  Show Profile  Send mamid a Yahoo! Message Send mamid a Private Message
just asking my friends from the harmless historical nuts. I'll post their replies later.

Craftiness is Sanity
Trailer - Trash to Treasure?
"Knitting is indeed manly. After all you spend a long time poking a rigid object through a flexible opening!" - Mokey
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knottyknitter
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3702 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2005 :  5:58:59 PM  Show Profile Send knottyknitter a Private Message
It will be interesting to find out. Helen, our family has been traced back to the 1300 or 1400s in Norway. And I'm sure those folks were direct decendents of Vikings so we may be related in some round about way:)

Kristi
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mamid
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1568 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2005 :  7:05:38 PM  Show Profile  Send mamid a Yahoo! Message Send mamid a Private Message
And the replies are starting to come in... From Steps, the An Tir kingdom email list.
quote:
Greetings,

In very broad terms, there is no difference between "Celtic" and "Viking" decoration. Both are examples of the Germanic art from the Migration Period to early medieval period. I think that these designs get categorized as "Celtic", even though they originated in Northern Europe and the Celts migrated in from Asia Minor. What tends to get classified as Celtic is the styles that are associated with the Book of Kells and the Lindesfarne school.

Germanic art styles have been defined by two different systems.
Bernard Salin in 1904 divided Germanic Art into 3 periods, Salin I, II, and III. The other system, the Vendel A-E, covers what would be considered Salin II & III. Generally speaking they developed from fairly heavy, realistic designs to a very linear and abstract design style.

The iconography of the earlier pagan era consisted of animal forms, spearmen, horse riders, ships, carriages and fantastic mythological beasts. As paganism gave way to Christianity, the styles became much more linear and abstract and moved away from mythological subjects.

Eventually the only remnant that could be found were small pieces of knot work tucked in here and there in early Christian art styles that came in from Rome and the Middle East.

I can recommend the book, "Vendel period bracteates on Gotland: On the significance of Germanic Art." It not only discusses the iconography and style changes, but also the theoretical framework of interpreting the style.

At least, I think this is mostly right. Please correct me if I am wrong.

Sofia



I'll post more as I get them.

Craftiness is Sanity
Trailer - Trash to Treasure?
"Knitting is indeed manly. After all you spend a long time poking a rigid object through a flexible opening!" - Mokey
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Renee77
Chatty Knitter

261 Posts

Posted - 05/14/2005 :  7:50:28 PM  Show Profile Send Renee77 a Private Message
I was in Norway and Sweden a couple of years ago. In gift shops, they had quite a bit of pewter jewelry for sale, in a style that they called 'Viking', but which we would call 'Celtic'. I wasn't certain if the people in those countries were aware that English speaking people consider that type of style to be characteristic of Ireland.

There were tourist shops in Scandinavia that sold Aran style sweaters, which were described as being 'irlandsk', meaning Irish style.
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of troy
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Posted - 05/14/2005 :  8:11:29 PM  Show Profile  Visit of troy's Homepage Send of troy a Private Message
some years ago, PBS (in NY at any rate) broadcast a scandianavian TV movie (Under the Glacier) (this would have been the late 1980's/early 1990's) it was an interesting tale (unforunately, i missed one complete episode, and part of another.. and yet, what i saw was so compelling..

the 'hero' has an irish wife.. or had one.. and now he has a pet seal.. the story blended scandinavian myths, and irish one.. was the seal his wife? (a silkie?) had she left him? or just found her seal skin, and tried to? he treated the seal well, he fed it well, but he kept it under lock and key.. and seal, it was sad, and always aggitated when he was around..

it was interesting seeing the commonalities of the myths of both people.. the erse (irish) where seen to be 'distant cousins' in some ways..

(my son is nicknamed Eric the red--his blond hair has faded (like mine) to a dingy dirty blond, but his beard is all golden and red..my daughter is a red head too.)

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mbmoody
Gabber Extraordinaire

583 Posts

Posted - 05/15/2005 :  04:28:20 AM  Show Profile Send mbmoody a Private Message
The Vikings and Celts would have had frequent interaction, famously in the form of viking raids on celtic villages. There would have been some free trade as well. The Vikings had a dominant sea force at the time (early medieval period), and the villages where the Celts remained after the invasions of the Angles and Saxons to the east were accessible to viking raiders. Vikings would have established settlements, or at least base camps in those areas, and Celts would have been abducted as slaves or wives, so that there was great intermingling of cultures. The Celts were Christian long before their neighbors, (they were great missionaries, but did not direct their efforts to the Angles and Saxons) and religious imagery could account for some of the differences in prevalent motifs. Christianity also required some degree of literacy than most pagan religions, and needed books to spread, so there were manuscripts to preserve and disseminate the images as well.
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jbug
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234 Posts

Posted - 05/15/2005 :  11:11:54 AM  Show Profile Send jbug a Private Message
Waterford and Wexford in Ireland, supposedly the names come from "Water Fiord" and "Wex Fiord". From Vikings coming into there from the coast.
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hopeknits
New Pal

Ireland
19 Posts

Posted - 05/15/2005 :  1:35:22 PM  Show Profile Send hopeknits a Private Message
below is some brief info on irish history showing the interaction between the celts and the vikings:


Formed by rising seas as the glaciers of the last Ice Age melted, the island of Ireland boasts a long and colourful history that is often interwoven with mythology. Ireland has been populated since circa 7000 BC and by 3000 BC, Neolithic people had spread throughout the land. During the Bronze Age, which began in Ireland around 2000 BC, this Neolithic race of people mined gold and created extraordinary metalwork and megalithic tombs, the remains of which today show a remarkable degree of sophistication. Tribes of Gaels (the Celtic Race) starting arriving from the European continent around 300 BC and they brought with them their own distinctive culture, laws and customs. The Celts were a rural people, built no cities and constantly warred among themselves. By around 400 AD, they had carved the island of Ireland into five main Kingdoms – Leinster, Munster, Connaught, Ulster and Meath.

St. Patrick, the patron Saint of Ireland, arrived circa 432 AD and brought with him the message of Christianity. Monasteries sprang up around the country and began to grow strong and wealthy, even as continental Europe fell into turmoil following the collapse of the Roman Empire. Irish art, literature and scholarship flourished during this period. Drawn by the monastic treasures, the year 795 saw the Viking invasion of Ireland. The invasion was a calamity for the existing order but the Vikings nonetheless founded Ireland’s first towns and cities, including Dublin. The Vikings continued to rule Ireland for over two centuries until Brian Boru, King of Munster united the Irish Kingdoms for the first time in the early 11th century. The Vikings were finally overthrown at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014, when Brian Boru himself was slain by a Viking chieftain while praying in his tent. The Vikings however had almost become as Irish as the Irish themselves at this stage and following the Battle, continued to work and trade as before.

In the 12th century, Diarmaid MacMurrough, the deposed King of Leinster sought help from the Norman conquerors of England in his battle to recover his Kingdom. By 1250, the Norman invaders had the majority of Ireland under British Rule and the native-born Irish were relegated to poorer lands. While the Irish revolted in the 14th century and succeeded in recovering most of Connaught and Ulster, the British influence remained and indeed grew in strength. After King Henry VIII broke with the Catholic Church in 1534, he seized control of the Irish Church and proclaimed himself King of Ireland. Queen Elizabeth I, Henry’s successor, further encouraged English settlement in Ireland and crushed the Irish resistance, led by Hugh O’Neill of Ulster, at the Battle of Kinsale in 1601.

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Lanea
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Posted - 05/19/2005 :  06:53:39 AM  Show Profile  Visit Lanea's Homepage Send Lanea a Private Message
So the crash ate much of this thread. Here are some of the images I linked to:
For actual Celtic design, go here http://www.unc.edu/celtic/imagesindex.html and look at these item numbers in particular: 216614, 231857, 216282, 216994, 216690, 216307, 216308
For Irish ecclesiastical art, look at this: http://celtdigital.org/CeltArtKells.htm and this: http://celtdigital.org/Durrow.htm and this: http://celtdigital.org/Lind.htm

This is a great site on Viking art: http://www.vikingart.com/VikingArt.htm --the Irish monks who made illuminated gospels like Kells and Durrow learned interlace from Viking art forms.

In short, the Vikings were never in contact with "The Celts" because the Celts were pretty much dead by the time anyone was a'viking about. Both Norse and Celtic culture rose out of the same mother-culture, the indo-European roots are what connects them. Norse settlements were in contact with Irish, Welsh, Scottish, Manx, Cornish, and British folks, of course, but by that time those nations had developed linguistic and cultural differences that seperated them from their true Celtic ancestors.


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Sabrina Fair
Seriously Hooked

United Kingdom
639 Posts

Posted - 05/19/2005 :  07:56:46 AM  Show Profile Send Sabrina Fair a Private Message
For very readable books (novels) on and around both traditions try Rosemary Sutcliff. I can recommmend Eagle of the Ninth, The Silver Branch, Lantern Bearers, Sword Song, The Hound of Ulster The High Deeds of Finn MacCool and Beowulf.

Nominally these are childrens books but adults should read them too

Sabrina

Sabrina fair,
Listen where thou art sitting
Under the glassy, cool, translucent wave,
In twisted braids of lilies knitting

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MMario
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Posted - 05/19/2005 :  08:11:17 AM  Show Profile Send MMario a Private Message
I fins it interesting that two Norse derived/influenced cultures (the Irish and the Norman) came into conflict during the 1100's - but this is now typically described as the English subjagating the Irish. the truth may be closer to a family spat.

MMario - I don't live in the 21st century - but I play a character who does.
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(hristinac
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United Kingdom
6054 Posts

Posted - 05/19/2005 :  08:38:27 AM  Show Profile Send (hristinac a Private Message
The Celts are the original native tribes of the UK .
The Vikings invaded from Scandinavia but both were pagan & the symbology is the same pagan symbology .
My home town is Colchester in Essex which was settled by the Celtic Queen Boudicca .Boudicca was one of the most powerful women in history .
The Romans ransacked my home town & pushed the Celts furthur afield .
We learnt all about the ancient history of Eastern England in primary school .
The Shetland Islands were Norwegian territory at one point .
i.e . belonged to Norway till King Harald gave them to Britain or Scotland approximately 500 years ago .
In Northern Scotland many folk who can trace their descendants seven generation back have Viking ( Norwegian / Scandinavian ) genes !
This is why Shetland knitting patterns & intarsia are so similar to Norwegian styles of intarsia .
They are cousins !!!

In a nutshell the Vikings were NOT native to the British Isles originally but the Celts were the ONLY natives of the British Isles ever .
The Celts were rumoured to have dark skin & dark hair & were slight in build .
The Viking gene pool introduced the Anglo-Saxon blonde look & height to the UK.
Among other invaders from Germania etc etc .

( A tall fair woman in the UK may be colloquially described as 'A viking of a Woman ' or a woamn of viking proportions .
A small dark haired person with slim hips & darkish but clear skin & pug type nose may be descrobes as Celtic looking !
( colloquially spoeaking , of course !)



(hristinac

The free pattern maniac.


http://purl-drops.blog-city.com


My vicarious knit-blog .




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MMario
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Posted - 05/19/2005 :  08:52:58 AM  Show Profile Send MMario a Private Message
quote:
but the Celts were the ONLY natives of the British Isles ever .

quote:
The Viking gene pool introduced the Anglo-Saxon blonde look & height to the UK



Oh My. Christinac, the Celts were NOT native to the UK. they displaced people who were indigenous, who probably had displaced previous indigenes themselves.

The history of the British Isles is wave after wave of successive invasions.

And both the Angles and the Saxons were seperate migration/invasions diostinct from the Viking/Norse

MMario - I don't live in the 21st century - but I play a character who does.
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imamshua
Chatty Knitter

USA
300 Posts

Posted - 05/19/2005 :  10:43:26 AM  Show Profile Send imamshua a Private Message
My original post on this subject was lost, but I'll try it again. I recently read a book, Clive Cussler's Torjan Odessy - totally fiction, but I'm certain some research was done because it mentions the name of a book that puts forth a theory that the Trojan war was actually fought in the south of England over mining rights for tin, not for the lovely Helen. Apparently, the Celts populated most of ancient Europe and ushered in the Bronze age by creating an alloy of copper and tin. Unfortunately they apparently did not have a written language or early history would read very differently than it does today.

Sally

If you think you're too small to be effective you have never been in bed with a mosquito - Bette Reese
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Lanea
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5194 Posts

Posted - 05/19/2005 :  11:02:32 AM  Show Profile  Visit Lanea's Homepage Send Lanea a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by imamshua

My original post on this subject was lost, but I'll try it again. I recently read a book, Clive Cussler's Torjan Odessy - totally fiction, but I'm certain some research was done because it mentions the name of a book that puts forth a theory that the Trojan war was actually fought in the south of England over mining rights for tin, not for the lovely Helen. Apparently, the Celts populated most of ancient Europe and ushered in the Bronze age by creating an alloy of copper and tin. Unfortunately they apparently did not have a written language or early history would read very differently than it does today.
Sally


Maybe we are officially off topic? Please feel free to tell me to stop at any point--I can go on and on about my field.

It's tough to claim that the Celts ushered in the bronze age--we know firmly of their existence largely because Greeks and Romans wrote about Celts. We know that the bronze age started in China, and that bronze tech travelled West via people who liked horses and trading. Celts were never a racially-defined group--you can only know a tribe is Celtic by the language they speak and through certain archaeological markers like pottery styles and art. Since they were anti-literate, we can only know a tribe's linguistic history if a literate historian tells us what they spoke. There is little written history from early in the bronze age. Many Celtic tribes were large players in the bronze trade though, and chances are the search for control over tin mines was part of what brought Celtic tribes to Britain (particularly Belgae), and those who controlled tin were very influential in the bronze age--even in the iron age, as many people still used bronze for household items. The Celts really made their mark in the iron age though--that's when there is evidence of Celtic tribes all over the ancient world. As late as 50 BC, the Ordovices, a Celtic tribe in what is now Wales, were relishing the wealth they gained through the tin and gold trade and helping their cousins in Gaul annoy Rome.

Personally, I don't buy the "Troy is in Britain" argument--I think we know where Troy was, and I think the Iliad was relatively accurate in its geographical descriptions. But it's a cool idea for a story, and the wars were likely fought over material wealth rather than a really hot adulterous woman.

Oh, and Celts looked like Europeans look today--tall, short, thin, thick, fair, dark, blonde, brunette, red-headed. There is no traceable racial or ethnic component to "Celticness." The variety of appearances you can trace looking at one Celtic burial after another is astounding. They were all over the continent, they welcomed members from other tribes into their settlements--particularly women--and the only clear membership requirement was learning the language.


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KL
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6041 Posts

Posted - 06/09/2005 :  06:38:36 AM  Show Profile Send KL a Private Message
Not that these books will answer the question as they are novels; read Richard Rutherfurds SARUM and LONDON,followed by the THE PRINCES OF IRELAND. They are well researched and completely entertaining. I believe that the Viking raids influenced most of the overlap in cultural art and language of the ancient times. Much of language used today has it's root words evidenced in Viking history. Some historians also believe that they took to their boats long before any recorded history or found artifacts. Interesting stuff. KL


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jade
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Posted - 06/09/2005 :  06:48:35 AM  Show Profile Send jade a Private Message
It will be a dark day for academia when Clive Cussler is an authority on the Trojan war. Homer's account has been historically verified by a LOT of archaeology.

Cheryl
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Lanea
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5194 Posts

Posted - 06/09/2005 :  06:58:41 AM  Show Profile  Visit Lanea's Homepage Send Lanea a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by jade

It will be a dark day for academia when Clive Cussler is an authority on the Trojan war. Homer's account has been historically verified by a LOT of archaeology.
Cheryl


Halleluiah!

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Mean Mama
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1138 Posts

Posted - 06/09/2005 :  08:18:16 AM  Show Profile Send Mean Mama a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by of troy

(Helen who's family can trace 500 years of living in Dublin--which makes her irish..but Dublin was on of the first great norse settlement towns in ireland..who knows if you go far enough back, maybe i'm really scandinavian!)




You might be interested in participating in the National Geographic genome project. https://www5.nationalgeographic.com/genographic/

Basically, you send in a DNA sample and they will analyze it to determine your ancestral heritage. Not where your grandmother came from, but the distant connections you seem to be interested in.

-- Mean Mama
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