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Peopling of the World: Europe

Homework #4
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What did one Neanderthal say to the other Neanderthal?
The Aesthetic Ambivalence of the Neanderthals
The Origins of Mediterranean Cave Art
The Muslim Expansion into Europe
Celts in the British Isles
European Language Development

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Probably the most important factor of the Celtic age, pre and post Christianity, is the information gathered from the Dark Ages. The Celtic church was a huge influence to the rest of Europe culturally at this time (Ellis 1990). During the time of war and barbaric happenings occurring throughout the rest of Europe, those one the British Isles lived in peace, separated from the fighting occurring throughout the rest of the continent. During this untouched period, Monks and other scholars busily worked away at copying books, pieces of literature, the Bible, and so on. They lived a life unaffected by the hostilities surrounding their islands. Because of their luck and of the fact that their existence was unknown to the fighters in Europe, civilization was kept intact (Cahill 1995).
Although the Celtic Church was reputed to be of great literal standing in the past (Ellis 1990), that view has been dying quite a bit as time goes on. In large part it is due to the war and fighting that has been a constant companion to those living in Northern Ireland. Many people believe the main factor to this is the religious prejudices between the Protestants and Catholics that live side by side in the upper region of Ireland. Though religion is certainly a building stone of the fighting that has been occurring, all the disagreements have stemmed from political differences. In studying the Celtic tradition, we can reconstruct the once high standing of this ancient institution. It would also show that the Irish history is not all war and bloodshed (though the Celts were lovers of fighting), but that there is still a very real culture in the Irish population today which has stemmed from the Celtic culture.
The next step, I believe, in the study of the Celts is tying it in their history with our current culture. Not only would it help clear up the bad regard of the warlike areas of the British Isles, but would also help build our own history. Though current Celtic tradition may be dying out, there will always be Celts (Tymoczko 2002). Much of the population of the United States as well as Australia can trace their ancestry from Britain, Scotland, and Ireland, where many years ago the Celtic people thrived. In other words, many people today (including myself) are descendents from this “uncivilized” people. By learning about their society, we essentially are learning what makes us who we are today, even if in a very distant way.

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