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Roman conquest, were the Brigantes and Silures. The historical names connected with all the tribes of this division are reducible to modern Irish, and show themselves to be titles. The heroic and ill-used queen of the Iceni, whose name has occasioned so many orthographical conjectures—the nearest the mark being Bounducea—thus becomes bean duci, the woman leader. Our unfortunate acquaintance, Vortigern, turns into fear tigherna (vir tyrannus), the ruling man; and his son, Vortimer, no doubt was fear timthire, his minister or lieutenant.
The Cambro-Celts landed on the south and west of Britain, and wherever else they are found, they probably penetrated from thence. All North Wales was colonised by this division, as well as a part of Scotland, where they were known as the Picts. The latter tribe may have given the name to the Isle of Wight (Vectis), the original form being perhaps Quict; but at least the word is not the Latin pictus, as the Romans invariably adopted the foreign name, and never gave one of their own.
Celtic modes of burial are divided, by the author of the Archæological Index, into Cremation, Interment at full length, and Deposit in a cist bent. Barrows of the first kind contain no vestiges of pottery, in the second are found urns and implements of flint and stone, and in the third metal weapons and ornaments. There is no reliance to be placed on this classification. The second mode of interment seems to belong to the Stone age, the urn being intended to contain the food for the deceased; and the third is perhaps that of a later time and of a mixed people. Cremation is the proper
Celtic mode of burial, and so continued down to the conversion to Christianity.
Several cairns or “barrows" are mentioned in Camden as existing in Wales, from one of which were taken five urns containing bones and ashes. Scott thus describes the cairns which, he says, crown the summits of most of the Scottish hills : “Six flat stones are commonly found in the centre, forming a cavity in which an urn is often placed. The author is possessed of one, discovered beneath an immense cairn at Roughlee, in Liddesdale. It is of the most barbarous construction; the middle of the substance alone having
CELTIBERIANS IN BRITAIN.
been subjected to the fire, over which, when hardened, the artist had laid an inner and outer coat of unbaked clay, etched with some very rude ornaments. The contents were bones and ashes, and a quantity of beads made of coal.”*
In the construction of the Dorsetshire cairns, the cist has been excavated in the chalk, covered with broken flints, then with unbroken flints, with successive layers of brown and black mould, and lastly with a layer of large flints two feet and a half thick. The antiquities found in the Celtic tumuli are urns, stone and bronze celts, daggers, swords and spear-heads, ornaments and coins. These details sufficiently identify the Celts of Britain with the people of the Bronze age of Denmark.
Three distinct peoples have hitherto been traced in Britain; but even prior to the Roman conquest, for linguistic reasons, a fourth must be assumed. It is not a modern opinion that Iberians were amongst the colonists of the British Isles. Tacitus believed that the Silures were of that race, concluding from their dark colour, crisped hair, and the appearance of the country. The evidence here offered, only proposes to show that Celtiberians arrived in these islands, but especially in Britain.
The name of the Iceni is not to be explained from Celtic, the original word being Cent; but in Iberian (Basque) the i is a frequent prefix, and in foreign names causes no change of meaning. The Bibroci (whence Berkshire) is most probably the Spanish Bebryces-containing the Iberian bi, two-and in Britain seems to have meant “ the people of the countries,”—a district divided by the Thames. Many names and corruptions might be adduced, corresponding in etymology and phonetic structure with Iberian; as the Mendip hills, the Grampian hills, which are probably derivations from the Basque mendia, a hill, gara, a height. Hibernia, the west country, is identical with Iberia; and it is impossible to say which language has been the borrower. The Silures and the Brigantes were probably mixed people, or Celtiberians.
* Lay of the Last Minstrel, Notes.
† Archæological Index.
Such were the early colonists of Britain; it remains to enquire where did the first tribes migrate from? when and why did they come?
In ancient Irish history, some mention is made of a people called the Tuadha de Danan, the Tuads of the Dan country (Denmark) a celebrated tribe of enchanters. Their existence has been doubted, yet some of the same people colonised a part of Scotland, and left their name to the river Tweed. The position on the coast of Britain, and the name in Irish history, identify them as emigrants from Denmark, in fact, as the Teutones who were said to inhabit the southern part of Jutland. They may have been slightly mixed with the Scandinavians, who were then probably entering the peninsula; but there is nothing in the Roman accounts of the Teutones to show that they were not Celtic. Nevertheless, as it was from this tribe that the Germans derived the name Teutonic, its identification with the Tuads will be disputed; whilst it is hardly credible that a numerous German people could have reached Ireland at so early a period.*
The Tuadha de Danan could only arrive at the Tweed from the south of Denmark, wafted by a southwest wind. On the same course, the people who inhabited the north of the peninsula, about Liim Fiord, would reach the headland containing the modern Aberdeenshire; and this would account for the original name of Britain, and the present name of Scotland in the Irish language,Albion and Alba, the hill country. Undoubtedly, the name Albion proceeded from the north of the island, and the people who conferred it, belonged to the original settlers.
It is difficult to fix anything near the time at which the first immigration took place. For geognostic reasons, says Worsaae, we may conclude that the Bronze age commenced in Denmark five or six hundred years before the Christian era. About the former of these periods seems to have been the time of the first migration
* Tued and Teut are phonetically identical. The latter represents the pronunciation toyt, and in Dutch is spelled tuit. The Welsh Llwyd has the same diphthongal combination as Tued, and its anglicised form Lloyd furnishes the the modern pronunciation of Teut.
to Albion. The Celts must have been spread about the coast of Denmark, before they could possibly undertake any expedition by
In the third century before our era, Italy was invaded by the Senones,-good evidence that the emigration across the channel had ceased at the time; as the removal to a new country would have been preferable to any warlike expedition by land. In fine, not less than five centuries A.C. would give time for the extensive colonisation discovered by Cæsar, and the change of name from Albion to Britain.
The unaccountable movements of the Senones, Teutones, and and other tribes, as related by the ancient authors, seem to have been an ordinary feature of the time. Mere love of plunder could not have produced the desperate conflicts described by the Latin historians. The only reason ever given by the people themselves
-one which occasioned a bad pun from Marius, the Roman general -was that they were seeking land to settle on; and Florus mentions the report, that the countries abandoned by those people had been inundated by the sea. Judging from modern experience, the marshy tracts of the continent must have been once subject to periodical pestilences sufficiently fatal to drive out the surviving inhabitants en masse. And it is probable that all the migrating tribes of those comparatively late times, had been colonists of such districts.
Our summary of conclusions from what has been said, will be found tolerably free from error, according to the present state of the science. The first inhabitants of Britain were Hiberno-Celts, of whom certain tribes were mixed with the Tatárs of the Stone sepulchres and giants' chambers. The first settlers proceeded from the north of Denmark, about five centuries before the Christian era, being driven out by the unhealthiness of the country, and landed in the mountainous part of the island, whence the name Alba travelled southwards with the people.
Whatever may have been the amount of Tatár and Iberian mixture, all distinctions finally merged into that of the two Celtic divisions. Hiberno-Celtic and Cambro-Celtic names for the same object are found in Cumberland; and wherever the national spirit
remained unbroken by subsequent invasions, this antagonism may be traced. In South Wales I have been told by a native, who certainly had no theory whatever on the subject, that “he could fraternise with an Irishman, but not with a North Welshman.” The same sort of inherited dislike to the inhabitants of Connaught, exists in the other provinces of Ireland, the natives of Athlone, who are separated only by the river, having the strongest feeling on this point. Antipathies of this nature are not the growth of modern times, but commenced with the first crossing of swords between the opposing tribes. Nor is the feeling so strongly reciprocated on the weaker side. And it is on this is founded, if I mistake not, the remarkable proverb, “ Whom we injure we can never endure !"