Fall 2016: 70

The World of the Celts

4 units
MWF 2-3
242 Dwinelle
Instructor: Daniel Melia

L&S Breadth:  Historical Studies OR Social and Behavioral Sciences

Did the Druids really burn people in giant wicker statues?  Did they worship a mother-goddess?  Did they worship trees?  Did the Celts build Stonehenge?  Was Britain Rome’s Vietnam?  Who are the Celts anyway (or were they Kelts?)  Who was King Arthur (was there really a King Arthur?)

Celtic Studies 70 is designed to allow you to be able to answer these and other questions about the Celtic world of the past and the present.  The course will present an overview of the history of the Celtic-speaking peoples from Indo‑European times to the present, concentrating particularly on questions of assessing evidence.  How are we to interpret Roman or Greek views of the Celts?  How do we know about languages of which there are no written records?  We will discuss the extent to which Celtic culture can be seen as a unitary phenomenon at various periods.  The course will cover what we know and what we may be able to reconstruct of Celtic belief systems and social structure.  For the later historical period we will discuss Celtic tribal migration, cultural absorption, and linguistic fragmentation.

Course requirements:

1.)  3 short quizzes in class

2.)  1 group report in class

3.)  1 final 3‑hour examination.

James, Simon, Exploring the World of the Celts
Cunliffe, Barry, The Celts: A Very Short Introduction
Caesar, Julius, Seven Commentaries on The Gallic War With an Eighth Commentary by Aulus Hirtius, Translated with Introduction and Notes by Carolyn Hammond
Koch, John, The Celtic Heroic Age
Geoffrey of Monmouth, History of the Kings of Britain

Prerequisites:  None.