I. women in celtic society a. Background



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WOMEN IN CELTIC SOCIETY
I. WOMEN IN CELTIC SOCIETY

A. BACKGROUND

1. TODAY WE SPEAK OF CELTIC, GAELIC PEOPLE

a. BRITTANY

b. CORNWALL

c. SCOTLAND

d. WALES

e. IRELAND

2. BUT CELTS OCCUPIED CENTER STAGE OF EUROPE & BRITISH ISLES FOR ABUT 800 YRS

a. C. 700 B.C. - 100 A.D.

3. FOUNDED NO EMPIRE

4. SOME HISTORIANS CALL CELTS "FATHERS OF EUROPE"

5. CELTS ORIGINALLY FROM ASIAN AREA

a. FOR SURE FROM INDIA & WHO KNOWS HOW MUCH FURTHER EAST

b. THEIR LANGUAGE HAS MANY COGNATES WITH SANSKRIT

6. BUT SINCE CELTS DID NOT HAVE WRITTEN LANGUAGE UNTIL CHRISTIANIZED

7. WE HAVE LITTLE HISTORICAL RECORDS OF THEM

8. FEW ROMANS LIKE JULIUS CAESAR WROTE ABOUT THEM

9. ROMANS BOTH FEARED & ADMIRED CELTIC STRENGTH & THEIR WOMEN

10. CELTS - LEFT THEIR MARK IN MANY WAYS

a. ARTISTIC DESIGNS

b. PLACE-NAMES

c. FOLKLORE

11. NAMES OF PRINCIPAL FRENCH TOWNS

a. GALLIC TRIBES WHO INHABITED REGION AT TIME OF ROMAN CONQUEST

b. PARIS = PARISII

c. NANTES - NAMNETS

d. RHEIMS = REMI

e. LIMOGES - LEMOVICES

12. OTHERS STILL CARRY OLD NAME FROM BEFORE CONQUEST

a. ROUEN = ROTOMAGOS

b. LYON & LKAON = LUGDUNUM

c. VIENNE = VINDOBONA

d. TOULOUSE = TOLOSA

e. BORDEAUX = BURDIGALA

f. BOULOGNE = BONONIA

13. IT COULD EVEN BE ARGUED THAT IRISH CHURCH SAVED ALL THERE WAS TO BE SAVED OF CELTICISM

a. MONKS WHO TRANSCRIBED PRECIOUS LITERARY MSS


II. STRUCTURE OF SOCIETY

A. GENERAL REMARKS

1. TRIBAL CHIEFTAIN OR LATER KINGS & QUEENS ELECTED FOR LIFE BY NOBLES

2. ARISTOCRACY

a. ENNOBLED EITHER BY BIRTH OR ACCOMPLISHMENT

b. WEALTHY, MOST HONORED WARRIORS

c. & POWERFUL CELTIC PRIESTS KNOWN AS DRUIDS

3. FREEMEN

a. WELL-OFF FARMERS

b. BARDS WHOSE ORAL POETRY & STORIES HELPED PERPETUATE TRIBAL TRADITION

c. HIGHEST-RANKING ARTISANS, SUCH AS BLACKSMITHS

4. REST OF PEOPLE

a. LABORERS, SERFS, SLAVES

B. STATUS OF WOMEN

1. LAWS & CUSTOMS OF CELTS REVEAL EQUALITY & HARMONY BETWEEN MEN & WOMEN - UNIQUE

2. PROPERTY OWNED EQUALLY BY WOMEN & MEN

3. WOMEN ENJOYED WIDESPREAD SEXUAL FREEDOM

4. MUCH EVIDENCE WOMAN COULD CHOOSE HER HUSBAND

a. OR WOMAN COULD CHOOSE TO NOT MARRY

5. WOMAN COULD NOT BE MARRIED WITHOUT HER CONSENT

6. PRELUDE TO MARRIAGE

a. GREAT FEAST FOR ALL YOUNG PEOPLE

7. GIRL HERSELF WOULD CHOOSE, OFFERING WATER TO MAN OF HER CHOICE TO WASH HIS HANDS

8. SOME WOMEN ALLOWED TO TAKE MORE THAN 1 HUSBAND

a. PROBABLY THOSE IN NOBILITY

9. IN IRELAND MAN WISHING TO MARRY WOMAN HAD TO DEPOSIT RIGHT OF PURCHASE = COIBCHE

10. CELTIC WOMAN FROM IRELAND & WALES BROUGHT PERSONAL DOWRY TO HER MARRIAGE

a. THIS COLLECTION OF PRESENTS RECEIVED FROM RELATIVES

b. IT WAS HER PERSONAL PROPERTY

11. IN WALES ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS OF HUSBAND

a. HE TO PAY COWYLL

(1) PRICE OF HER VIRGINITY

12. SIGNIFICALLY COWYLL PAID BEFORE CONSUMMATION

13. IN ROME & GERMANIC PEOPLES GIVEN ONLY ON MORROW

a. MORGENGABE IDEA

14. THIS DIFFERENCE SHOWS RESPECT CELTS HAD FOR WOMEN

15. WHILE MEN EXERCISED PATRIARCHAL AUTHORITY OVER HOUSEHOLD SOMEWHAT IN ROMAN STYLE

a. ACCORDING TO CAESAR

16. MAN NOT ALWAYS DOMINANT MARRIAGE PARTNER

17. IF WOMAN HAD GREATER FORTUNE THAN HER HUSBAND

a. SHE HEAD OF FAMILY

b. HUSBAND'S AUTHORITY ALMOST NIL

18. OLD CUSTOM IN IRISH & WELSH LITERATURE

a. NAMING HEROES AFTER MOTHER - NOT THEIR FATHER

19. BUT SEVERAL AREAS WHERE WOMAN SUBORDINATED

a. IF DEATH OF MAN AWOKE SUSPICION

b. HIS WIFE INTERROGATED

c. & BROUGHT TO JUDGEMENT

d. WOMAN COULD BE KILLED FOR ADULTERY IN SOME TRIBES

C. DIVORCE

1. EVEN AFTER CELTS CHRISTIANIZED DIVORCE EASY FOR CELTS

2. WHY?


3. CELTIC DIVORCE NOT REPUDIATION AS IN ANCIENT ROME OR CHRISTIAN SOCIETY

4. IF HUSBAND GUILTY OF ADULTERY WIFE COULD IMMEDIATELY OBTAIN DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE

5. CELTS ALWAYS WAVERED BETWEEN MONOGAMY & POLYGAMY & POLYANDRY

D. MULTIPLY MATES

1. SOME EVIDENCE IN SCOTLAND OF POLYANDRY

2. WHILE MORE THAN 1 WIFE FOR CELTS ON CONTINENT & IRELAND

a. ONLY ONE COULD BE PRINCIPAL WIFE

3. LEGAL CONCUBINAGE EXISTED TOO

4. BUT RIGHTS OF LEGAL WIFE NOT THREATENED

5. WIFE COULD GET CONCUBINES TO HELP WITH DOMESTIC WORK

6. ALSO WIFE COULD REFUSE ADMITTANCE OF ANY CONCUBINE

E. FOSTERAGE

1. BOTH GIRLS & BOYS TOOK PART IN FOSTERAGE

a. CELTIC SYSTEM OF EDUCATION

2. BEFORE AGE OF 7, CHILDREN SENT TO FOSTER FAMILIES

3. USUALLY IN DIFFERENT SETTLEMENT

a. PAID TO REAR THEM

4. SKILL TAUGHT COMMENSURATE W/THEIR SOCIAL STATUS

5. ALL BOYS TAUGHT PHYSICAL SKILLS

6. GIRLS TAUGHT SEWING, EMBROIDERY, ETC.

a. BUT ALSO MARTIAL ARTS

b. SO VILLAGE OF WOMEN & CHILDREN NOT BE DEFENSELESS

c. IF MEN AWAY ON HUNTING OR FIGHTING MISSIONS

7. GIRLS RETURNED HOME AT 14 TO BE BETROTHED

8. BOYS STAYED UNTIL 17

9. GIRL'S PARENTS PAID ABOUT 1/3 MORE FOR HER EDUCATION THAN BOYS BECAUSE THEY THOUGHT GIRLS NEEDED MORE ATTENTION

10. FOSTERED CHILDREN EXPECTED TO PROVIDE NEW BONDS BETWEEN THEIR FAMILY & FOSTER PARENTS' GROUPROUPS
III. CELTIC RELIGION

A. GENERAL REMARKS

1. DIFFICULT TO RECONSTRUCT BEFORE CHRISTIANIZED

2. IN CHARGE OF RELIGIOUS SERVICES, ETC. DRUIDS

3. PROOF OF DRUIDESSES, SORCERESSES & PROPHETESSES

4. OVER 200 DEITIES

a. SOME PROBABLY DUPLICATE

b. AS ROMANS NAMED THEM

c. DIFFERENT NAMES FOR DIFFERENT TRIBES

5. CELTIC GODDESS OFTEN DAUNTING

a. POWER OVER LIFE, DEATH & FATE

B. GODDESS BRIGIT

1. SEVERAL GODDESSES CONNECTED WITH EARTH MOTHER

2. BRIGIT ONE SUCH WHOSE IDENTITY CHANGED OVER YEARS

3. HER TITLES INCLUDED

a. TRIPLE GODDESS

b. MOTHER GODDESS

c. VIRGIN MOTHER

d. LAWMAKER

e. VIRGIN SAINT

4. POSSIBLY MOTHER OR DAUGHTER OF ORIGINAL TUATHA DE DANANN

a. EDUCATED OTHERWORDLY GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO INVADED ANCIENT IRELAND

b. TUATHA DE DANANN MEANS CHILDREN OF DANU

c. ALTHOUGH DANU MOTHER GODDESS

d. BRIGIT ASSOCIATED WITH HER AND OTHER GODDESSES TO POINT OF CONFUSION

5. NAME IS COGNATE WITH SANSKRIT BRHATI = EXALTED ONE

6. HER TRIPLE FORM

a. SHOWS GREAT POWER OF A DEITY

b. THREE PERSONS OF BRIGIT

(1) THREE BLESSED LADIES OF BRITAIN

(2) THREE MOTHERS

7. BRIDGIT TOTEMS OR ICONS

a. COW

b. SHEEP


c. SUN

d. MOON


e. SACRED FIRES

f. MOST CONTROVERSIAL

(1) SHEELA-NA-GIG

(a) GODDESS HOLDING OPEN HER WOMB

8. BRIGIT PATRONESS OF

a. CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT

b. ARTS

c. SCIENCE



d. DOMESTIC SKILLS

e. FERTILITY

f. HEALING

g. METALWORK

9. TEMPLES ALL OVER EUROPE TO HER

10. IN CELTIC TIMES FESTIVAL KNOWN AS IMBOLC

a. BEGINNING OF LACTATION OF EWES

b. CELTS THOUGHT IT MARKED END OF WINTER

(1) FEBRUARY 1ST

11. FESTIVAL OF GODDESS AT SPRING & PROCESSION OF VIRGINS WOULD HAVE LED TO RITUAL MATING CEREMONY

12. AS ONE OF MOST LOVED DEITY OF ANCIENT CELTS

a. ONCE CELTS CHRISTIANIZED

b. CATHOLIC CHURCH FOUND BRIGIT'S CULT IMPOSSIBLE TO ERADICATE

c. SO CHURCH MADE BRIGIT INTO SAINT

13. WHILE OTHER CELTIC DEITIES DESTROYED

14. AFTER CELTS CHRISTIANIZED EVIDENCE WOMEN TOOK PART IN CELEBRATION OF MASS

15. DENOUNCED & NOT ALLOWED BY CONTINENT BISHOPS

16. MONASTERIES FOR MEN & WOMEN TOGETHER

a. 1 FOUNDED BY ST. BRIDGET

C. WARRIOR GODDESSES

1. HAD HIGH STATUS IN IRISH TRADITION

2. QUEEN MAEVE

a. INSTIGATOR OF CATTLE RAID OF COOLEY

b. SO FEARSOME SHE COMMANDED VAST ARMY OF HEROES & WARRIORS

c. SO POWERFUL HER PRESENCE DEPRIVED HER OPPONENTS OF

(1) 2/3RDS OF THEIR COURAGE & STRENGTH

3. THE MORRIGAN

a. GREAT GODDESS OF BATTLE

b. MORRIGAN MEANS PHANTOM QUEEN

c. NB TO HAVE HER ON YOUR SIDE IF YOU HOPED TO WIN

d. ESPECIALLY ASSOCIATED WITH RAVEN

(1) SCAVENGER ON EVERY BATTLEFIELD

D. GODDESS OF THE SUN - AQUA SULIS

1. IN BOTH CELTIC & GERMANIC LANGUAGE WORD FOR SUN

a. FEMININE

b. WHICH SUGGESTS FEMALE SOLAR DIVINITY

E. CELTIC MOTHER GODDESS

1. COUNTLESS NUMBER OF STATUES OR FIGURINES PRODUCED IN GALLO-ROMAN ERA PROVES MOTHER GODDESS STILL WORSHIPPED AMONG GAULS

2. ONE OF THESE STATUES SUPPOSEDLY WORSHIPPED BY DRUIDS STOOD IN UNDERGROUND SANCTUARY ON SITE OF CHARTRES CATHEDRAL

3. LATER BECAME "OUR LADY UNDER THE GROUND"

4. OTHER SANCTUARIES DEDICATED TO WORSHIP OF VIRGIN MARY

a. MANY SITED IN PLACES CONSECRATED TO FEMALE CELTIC DIVINITY

F. ARIANHOD -

1. GODDESS OF FERTILITY

G. GODDESS EPONA

1. SOME INDICATION ORIGINALLY GREAT MOTHER GODDESS

2. PATRON GODDESS OF HORSES

3. WHITE HORSE OF UFFINGTON MAY BE DEPICTION OF CELTIC GODDESS EPONA


IV. WOMEN WARRIORS

A. GENERAL REMARKS

1. LEGENDS & REAL EVENTS INDICATE CELTIC WOMEN FOUGHT ALONGSIDE MEN IN BATTLE

2. OVERALL ROMAN WRITERS IMPRESSED W/CELTIC WOMEN

a. GALLIC WOMEN ARE NOT ONLY EQUAL TO HUSBANDS IN STATURE BUT RIVAL THEM IN STRENGTH AS WELL

B. BOUDICCA

1. WIFE OF PRASUTAGUS, KING OF THE ICENI

a. 1 OF LEADING TRIBES OF EAST ANGLIA

2. WHEN PRASUTAGUS DIED NO MALE HEIR

a. LEFT HALF OF HIS ESTATE TO HIS TWO DAUGHTERS

b. & OTHER HALF TO NERO & ROMAN EMPIRE

3. THIS WOULD OBLIGATE NERO TO PROTECT HIS CLIENT'S FAMILY

4. ROMAN OFFICIALS CARRIED OUT NECESSARY INVENTORY OF BOUDICCA'S HUSBAND ESTATE ARROGANTLY

5. ROMAN OFFICIALS REFUSED TO HONOR BOUDICCA'S POSITION AS RULER OR HER LATE HUSBAND'S KINGDOM

6. THEY ALSO REDUCED STATUS OF THE ICENI TERRITORY

a. TO CIVITAS

7. WHEN BOUDICCA OBJECTED

a. ROMANS FLOGGED HER

b. & RAPED HER 2 DAUGHTERS

8. ICENI TRIBE LED BY BOUDICCA

9. ROSE IN ANGER & GATHERED SUPPORT OF A NEIGHBORING TRIBE

a. POWERFUL TRINOVANTES

(1) WHOSE LAND HAD ALSO BEEN CONFISCATED

10. IN HER CHARIOT BOUDICCA WENT TO WAR AD 60

11. CASSIUS DIO'S 3RD C AD HISTORIAN FROM ROME DESCRIPTION OF HER:

12. "SHE WAS ENORMOUS OF FRAME, TERRIFYING OF BEARING AND WITH A ROUGH SHRILL VOICE. A GREAT MASS OF BRIGHT RED HAIR FELL DOWN TO HER KNEES; SHE WORE A HUGE TWISTED TORQUE OF GOLD, AND A TUNIC OF MANY COLORS, OVER WHICH WAS A THICK MANTLE HELD BY A BROOCH. WHEN SHE GRASPED A SPEAR, IT WAS TO STRIKE FEAR INTO ALL WHO OBSERVED HER"

13. SHE MOUNTED MOST FEROCIOUS REVOLT AGAINST ROMANS IN BRITAIN

14. IN SHORT TIME HAD SACKED COLCHESTER

a. OLD CELTIC CENTER ROMANS HAD TAKEN OVER

b. MOST ALL INHABITANTS DIED IN SLAUGHTER

15. IN LONDON HER SUPPORTERS GOT OUT OF HAND

a. SKEWERED SOME OF ROMAN WOMEN LENGTH WISE

16. IN END BOUDICCA DEFEATED

a. BUT NOT BEFORE SHE HAD CUT A BLOODY PATH ACROSS SOUTHERN ENGLAND

b. ONLY CELTIC LEADER TO DO SO

17. RATHER THAN SUFFER A HUMILIATING DEATH

a. BOUDICCA TOOK POISON

18. THIS EVENT IN HISTORY FAMOUS TO ENGLISH

19. SO FAMOUS THAT PRIME MINISTER MARGARET THATCHER DEPICTED IN CARTOONS AS DRIVING HER CHARIOT

20. & HORSES OFTEN BRITISH PEOPLE OR PARLIAMENT





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