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Celticisation, or Celticization, was historically the process of conquering and assimilating by the ancient Celts. Today, as the Celtic inhabited-areas significantly differ, the term still refers to making something Celtic, usually focusing around the Celtic nations and their languages.
During the first millennium BC, the early Celts expanded from a core territory in Atlantic Europe to Iberia, the British Isles and later also the Balkans and central Europe, and are assumed to have "Celticized" (Pre-Celtic) earlier populations such as Illyrians and Thracians in the Balkans and Basques elsewhere.
Illyria and Pannonia
The Celticization in Pannonia began as early as the 4th century BC.La Tene type finds are characteristic in Pre-Roman Pannonia and are considered a marker to variations in the degree of Celticization. Among the Illyrian tribes some were Celticized to varying degrees(some completely) like the Pannoni and the Dalmatae. A type of wooden oblong shield with an iron boss was introduced to Illyria from the Celts. Illyrian chiefs and kings wore bronze torques around their necks much like the Celts did.
The Celts had two settlements that later became cities in Illyria, namely Navissos and Segestica. In Thrace they had Serdica (modern Sofia, Bulgaria),Tylis, founded by Gauls, Dunonia, Singidunum and Taurunum.
The gradual Celticization of all of Pannonia took place in the 3rd century BC. Names became Celtic, as seen in Roman times, and Celts had established control north of the Sava and south and west of the Danube. In the western half and west of Pannonia the Pre-Celtic language disappeared. By the first half of the 1st century BC the language of the Illyrians in Northern Dalmatia was completely Celticized. There is an abundance of Celtic names in Illyria sometimes making the Illyrian ones seem few. Those parts of Pannonia that had not been conquered by the first Celtic invasion were already Celticized by the beginning of the 3rd century BC. The Dalmatae had been Celticized by the 3rd century BC. In the region of Pannonia as a Roman province Celticization had almost completely eradicated Illyrian culture.
Alps and Italy
In the Alpine region as a whole, there is evidence that the non-Celtic elements had, by the time of Augustus, been assimilated by the influx of Celtic tribes and had adopted Celtic speech. According to Livy, the "sound" of the Raeti's original tongue (sonum linguae) had become corrupted as a result of inhabiting the Alps. This may indicate that at least some of the tribes lost their ancestral Raetic tongue to Celtic. Celticisation also finds support in the Roman practice of twinning the Raeti with their neighbours to the North, the Vindelici, who are regarded by most historians to have been Celtic- speakers.
By the 4th century BC the Veneti had been so Celticized that Polybius wrote that the Veneti of the 2nd century BC were identical to the Celts except for language. The Greek historian Strabo (64 BC–AD 24), on the other hand, conjectured that the Adriatic Veneti were descendant from Celts who in turn were related to later Celtic tribe of the same name who lived on the Belgian coast and fought against Julius Caesar.
In the modern era, there are attempts made to reverse the effects of centuries of Anglicisation and other assimilations and re-introduce Celtic languages. Most particularly in Wales, Welsh language has seen a halt in its decline and even signs of revival, with approximately half a million fluent speakers. There have also been recent attempts to revive the Cornish language, as its last native speaker died in the 1970s, and there are now several schools in Cornwall teaching in Cornish. The Breton language remains endangered as the number of its speakers continues to decline.
- The Thracians 700 BC-AD 46 (Men-at-Arms) by Christopher Webber and Angus McBride, 2001, ISBN 1-84176-329-2
- Pannonia and Upper Moesia. A History of the Middle Danube Provinces of the Roman Empire. A Mocsy, S Frere,page 55,"In Chapter one it was seen that the Celticization of North Pannonia had already began in the 4th century bc.
- Pannonia and Upper Moesia. A History of the Middle Danube Provinces of the Roman Empire. A Mocsy, S Frere,page 26
- Pannonia and Upper Moesia. A History of the Middle Danube Provinces of the Roman Empire. A Mocsy, S Frere
- The Oxford Classical Dictionary by Simon Hornblower and Antony Spawforth,2003,page 1106
- The Oxford Classical Dictionary by Simon Hornblower and Antony Spawforth, 2003, page 426
- A dictionary of the Roman Empire Oxford paperback reference, ISBN 0-19-510233-9, 1995, page 202,"contact with the peoples of the Illyrian kingdom and at the Celticized tribes of the Delmatae"
- The Illyrians: history and culture,History and Culture Series,The Illyrians: History and Culture, Aleksandar Stipčević, ISBN 0-8155-5052-9, 1977, page 174,"Resembling the northern Illyrian oval shield was one introduced into Illyria by the Celts.Apart from the iron boss,nothing was preserved from these Celtic shields. It is known though that they were oblong shaped and made of wood with an umbo in the center"
- The Illyrians by J. J. Wilkes, 1992, ISBN 0-631-19807-5, page 223,"Illyrian chiefs wore heavy bronze torques"
- The Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 3, Part 2: The Assyrian and Babylonian Empires and Other States of the Near East, from the Eighth to the Sixth Centuries BC by John Boardman, I. E. S. Edwards, E. Sollberger, and N. G. L. Hammond, ISBN 0-521-22717-8, 1992, page 600: "In the place of the vanished Treres and Tilataei we find the Serdi for whom there is no evidence before the first century bc.It has for long being supposed on convincing linguistic and archeological grounds that this tribe was of Celtic origin"
- Polybius, History, IV.46.
- Celts and the Classical World by David Rankin, ISBN 0-415-15090-6, 1996, page 188: "of the survivors of Brenus expedition the Scordisci founded Singidunum in Yugoslavia"
- The Oxford Classical Dictionary by Simon Hornblower and Antony Spawforth,2003,page 429,"... Roman fleets, the Pannonian based on the upper course at Taurunum above Belgrade and the Moesian on the lower at Noviodunum ..."
- The central Balkan tribes in pre-Roman times: Triballi, Autariatae, Dardanians, Scordisci and Moesians by Fanula Papazoglu, ISBN 90-256-0793-4, 1978,"Boii are connected with Taurunum, or Bononia"
- Kontakte längs der Bernsteinstrasse: (zwischen Caput Adriae und den ... – page 29, by Zenon Woźniak, Muzeum Archeologiczne w Krakowie – 1996 – ... Taurunum (present-day Zemun), where a long – settled Scordisci community buried their dead in the cemetery at Karaburma
- Pannonia and Upper Moesia. A History of the Middle Danube Provinces of the Roman Empire. A Mocsy, S Frere,page 10,
- Pannonia and Upper Moesia. A History of the Middle Danube Provinces of the Roman Empire. A Mocsy, S Frere, page 12
- Pannonia and Upper Moesia. A History of the Middle Danube Provinces of the Roman Empire. A Mocsy, S Frere, page 27
- Wilkes (1992): "Pinnes and Tato are present, from the Japodes Diteio and Ve(n)do, and a few names are of Celtic origin, Kabaletus, Litus, Nantanius, Sarnus, Sinus, Sisimbrius and Vepus." (p. 76)
- Wilkes (1992): "A few names which occur in the upper Neretva valley around Konjic appear to be of Celtic origin: Bolo, Bricussa, lacus, Mallaius…" (p. 75)
- Wilkes (1992): "The number of Illyrian names in that area, Genthena, Tatta, Dasius and Thana is small compared with the Celtic: Aioia, Andetia, Baeta, Bidna, Catta, Dussona, …" (p. 82)
- Wilkes (1992): "Four names are accepted as definitely Celtic: Nantia, Nonntio, Poia and Sicu. Mellito has a Greek and Celtic element, while the Celtic associations of Ammida, Matera and Seneca remain questionable." (p. 79)
- Wilkes (1992): "The number of Illyrian names in that area, Genthena, Tatta, Dasius and Thana is small compared with the Celtic: Aioia, Andetia, Baeta, Bidna, Catta, Dussona, Enena,laca, Madusa, Matisa, Nindia, Sarnus, …" (p. 82)
- Wilkes (1992): "Apart from some names of Thracian origin, Bessus and Teres, and some Celtic names, Arvus, Belzeius, Cambrius, laritus, Lautus, Madussa and Argurianus (either Thracian or Celtic), the only name of south Illyrian origin is Plares." (p. 84)
- Pannonia and Upper Moesia. A History of the Middle Danube Provinces of the Roman Empire. A Mocsy, S Frere,page 7
- The cult of Silvanus: a study in Roman folk religion by Peter F. Dorcey, 1992, ISBN 90-04-09601-9, page 45
- Alfoldi (1974) 24-5
- Livy V.33
- Holder (1982)
- History of the Roman World: 753 to 146 BC by H. H. Scullard,2002,page 16: "... of healing. In the fourth century their culture became so Celticized that Polybius described the second-century Veneti as practically in- distinguishable ..."
- Strabo, Geography, Book IV, Chapter 4: "It is these Veneti [the Gallic tribe of the Belgae], I think, who settled the colony that is on the Adriatic (for about all the Celti that are in Italy migrated from the transalpine land, just as did the Boii and Senones), although, on account of the likeness of name, people call them Paphlagonians. I do not speak positively, however, for with reference to such matters probability suffices." Book V, Chapter 1: "Concerning the Heneti there are two different accounts: Some say that the Heneti too are colonists of those Celti of like name who live on the ocean-coast; while others say that certain of the Heneti of Paphlagonia escaped hither with Antenor from the Trojan war, and, as testimony in this, adduce their devotion to the breeding of horses — a devotion which now, indeed, has wholly disappeared, although formerly it was prized among them, from the fact of their ancient rivalry in the matter of producing mares for mule-breeding." Book 13, Chapter 1: "At any rate, Sophocles says that [...] Antenor and his children safely escaped to Thrace with the survivors of the Heneti, and from there got across to the Adriatic Henetice, as it is called."
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