Fall 2017: Celtic Studies 70

The World of the Celts

4 units
109 Dwinelle
TuTh 9:30-11
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:
3 short quizzes in class; 1 group report in class; 1 final 3 hour examination

Caesar, Julius, Seven Commentaries on The Gallic War
With an Eighth Commentary by Aulus Hirtius,
Translated with Introduction and Notes by Carolyn Hammond
Oxford University Press, ISBN: 0192835823

James, Simon, The World of the Celts; Thames & Hudson; 3rd edition (October 1, 2005), ISBN-10: 0500279985; ISBN-13: 978-0500279984

Koch, John, The Celtic Heroic Age, Celtic Studies Publications,1997, 4th edition, August 2003, ISBN 1891271091. Order from Oxbow Books/David Brown: www.oxbowbooks.com

Kinsella, Thomas, The Tain, Oxford University Press, ISBN: 0192803735 Nov 2002

Prerequisites: None.