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Women Among the Celts - Research Paper Example

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Women Among the Celts
The Celtic people remain embedded in the global history for their remarkable independent thinking minds, and natural mysticism that stands outstanding in history. …
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Women Among the Celts
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Download file to see previous pages The Celtic life remains today a historical masterpiece of ancient communities and how such an ancient community differentiated itself from the rest through its beliefs, practices and cultures. Similarly, unlike in other ancient communities, the Celtic woman was much different, and played much more roles in the community than women in other communities at this time. Though the current history might have been badly tainted by the Christian monks through Christian moralizing, conquering of such communities, and interpreting their practices in determining what was acceptable and what was not, the Celtic practices and culture regarding women stands as a unique culture, where women played a central role and earned great respect. The Celts were an ancient community occupying the major parts of the British Isles and Europe for more than 800 years, between 700 BC and their last mentions before they were completely assimilated into the Roman Empire around 100AD.1 According to Fox, the Celtics had no established empire, hand no known cities, did not develop any written language, but their culture had a great impact in Europe, spreading all over from Ireland to the Black Sea. In fact as fox explains, their name is derived from the Greek word ‘Keltoi,’ meaning a hidden people; a reference given due to the lack of an elaborate written language. All tales were memorized and carried from generation to generation by the wise men, or the Druids, who were committed to a rigorous study to commit everything in their memory. The druids as explained above included both men and women. The history of the Celtic people was transcribed between 6th and 7th AD by Irish Monks forming the famous collection known as the Ulster Cycle, which is thousands of years old and from which much of the Celtic people history is learned and well conceptualized. Spence argues that in the ancient Celtic society, the Druids and Druidess were members of an intellectual elite group with knowledge and advanced training, which qualified them to practice as priests in the Celtic pagan religion.2 Interestingly, the above elite group underwent a rigorous training of more than 20 years studying astronomy, law, poetry, literature, and history of the community. Female druids had a role of mediating for their community, performing sacrifices, presiding over religious functions, and interpreting omen in the community; they were therefore important religious mediators held in high esteem among the Celtics. Mainly, the Druids and their male counterparts the Brads and Vates monopolized community rituals (Jones, 84).3 Moreover, as Jones noted, no ancient sources explains women as having played any important part as priestesses. This has been problematic in that as Jones argues the Roman observers, mainly males and having come from a male dominated culture could have ignored the recognition of Celtic women in power. This was because; in the Roman Empire, a woman was observed as a possession of a man; the idea of having a female in such a leadership position was not worth any thought to them. The history of having Celtic women as both rulers and chieftains was therefore a greater probability, noting that they were prominently involved in religious practices and rituals; the lack of any evidence to show their roles in power could have been affected by the Roman men’s ego, through which the myths of the Celtics were passed down through generations. This is more probable noting that Tacitus in the first century CE claimed that “the Celtics made no distinction between female and male rulers,” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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