PART TWO
MOVEMENTS OF THE CELTIC PEOPLES

CHAPTER I
THE ORIGINS OF THE CELTS

I
THE SEPARATION OF THE GOIDELS AND THE BYRTHONS

WE now have to try to find out whence they came, where they went, how they expanded, and where they stopped--in short, to trace their history--and that will be the second part of our inquiry.

The fact which dominates the whole history of the Celts, and apparently starts it, following as it did closely upon the breaking-up of the Italo-Celtic community (if that abstract concept ever corresponded to the existence of a definite social group), is their separation into two groups of peoples, whose langueges became different as has been explained above--which includes the Gauls.

The separation of the Celtic dialects is a fact of far greater importance than the supposed distinction between the Celts and the Gauls.1 It implies a fairly deep division between the peoples which spoke these two groups of dialects, and also a fairly long separation,2 a fairly long interval between the migrations of the two Celtic bodies, a rhythm in those migrations not unlike that assumed by those historians who speculate on the distinction between Celts and Gauls, but much ampler. In other words, it leads one to believe that the occupation of the British Isles by the Celts and of Ireland by the Goidels took place long before--centuries before-- the historical movements of the Brythonic peoples. These latter expanded about the sixth century before Christ. We must go back to the Bronze Age for the earlier invasion.

____________________
1
Dottin., CCCXXII, pp. 12ff.
2
Sir John Rhys once thried to explain the phenomenon of labialization by the absorption of the Continental Celts by non-Aryan peoples (CCXX). Cf. S. Reinach, Origine des Aryens, pp. 108-112. D'Arbois has refuted this theory (CXL, 1891, p. 477).

-131-

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