Monday, 8 November 2010

The Ancient Island Celts - are they simply a modern invention?

DCAL is sponsoring a series of talks entitled Exploring Culture and the first is this Thursday evening in W5.  The inaugural lecture ‘The Ancient Island Celts – modern invention or rediscovery?’ will be delivered by archaeologist Dr Simon James from the University of Leicester and the chairman for the series is William Crawley.

Dr James believes there are serious difficulties with some of the common, basic assumptions of Celtic history. He writes that the concept of the Scots, Welsh, Irish and other groups in the British Isles being called 'Celtic' evolved during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Simon James asks how far is it a rediscovery of a forgotten past reality? Or is it simply a modern invention, imposed on the past? His presentation will provide a highly visual and entertaining analysis of these issues.

The word Celtic is the name of a football club in Glasgow but it is also used in many other ways.  Yes there are Celtic languages but are Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Eire really 'Celtic countries' as they are sometimes described?  The word Celtic is sometimes used to link them together and to differentiate them from England and we see this in the names of a range of organisations, networks and competitions.

Is there such a thing as 'Celtic music' and what is 'Celtic art'?  Is a Celtic cross really Celtic?  In what way are 'Celtic spirituality', 'Celtic Christianity', 'Celtic knotwork' and 'Celtic artwork' really Celtic? 

This first lecture takes place at 6pm on Thursday 11 November at W5 in the Odyssey Complex – tea and coffee from 5.30pm.  The lectures are free and you can contact Catherine Lowe at: or 028 9051 5035 for further details.
You can also get an insight into Dr James's research at

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