A TV programme about Celts tonight

  john bunyan 17:53 12 Oct 2015

Some on here say they are Celts. I find this curious as it mainly is claimed by our Scottish friends, as if they still live at the time of Braveheart, forgetting that genetic dilution has occurred throughout the British Isles. In England few describe themselves as "Anglo Saxons". If one looks up the DNA and other studies that have been done you will see that in Scotland the original Picts, and their language, were subsumed by migrants from Ireland, but since then there have been waves of other folk, from the Vikings onwards, and indeed many from England. I believe my own family came to the UK at the time that the Huguenots were expelled from France - where the Celts were strong in Roman times.

The differences in the constituent parts of the UK seem to reflect political and historic causes rather than "Tribal" ones. Clearly , some of us may have physical features that reflect ancient origins but I believe we are mostly of very mixed descent. The TV programme is on BBC 2 at 9pm.

  Forum Editor 18:11 12 Oct 2015

Lots of people claim to be 'Celts', but there isn't a uniquely Celtic person anywhere in the UK. There are Celtish traditions and cultural influences, but no people of pure Celtish descent. Welsh people are genetically closest to the people who first settled in Britain around 10.000 years ago, but all of us share most of our DNA with France and Germany.

  morddwyd 19:55 12 Oct 2015

It's a repeat series and not very good, surprisingly for Neil Oliver.

  john bunyan 20:06 12 Oct 2015

I do not recall it before. I used to like Latin at school, mainly for the Roman history - Caesar wrote about Vercingetorix with some admiration as a worthy enemy. I do ,usually, like Neil Oliver as a presenter on ancient history programmes.

  Runabout 21:48 12 Oct 2015

Forum Editor

I believe that you are confusing the peoples who were in Great Britain when the Romans arrived with the term Celts.

When the Romans arrived in Great Britain there were two major groups - the Brythonic (who gave their name to the British Isles) were mainly in England and Wales and the Picts were mainly in Scotland - both were Celts.

The Vikings were mainly from Denmark, Norway and Sweden (but mostly from Norway) - they were Celts.

The Norsemen who gave their name to Normandy were mostly from Norway and inter-married with the existing population - they were Celts.

France which included (Normandy) consisted mostly of Gauls (hence the name given to the area by the Romans) - they were Celts.

Brittany in France also contained a great many Brythonic people which is how it gets its name.

The people who are normally referred to as "the Anglo-Saxons" consisted primarily of three groups:

The Angles from Southern Denmark.

The Jutes from Northern Denmark.

The Saxons from the Netherland and Germany.

They were all Celts.

Ireland was populated mostly by Gaels who were also Celts.

It is not generally realised that most of the peoples of Western, Northern and North-Eastern Europe were Celts.

  Runabout 22:12 12 Oct 2015

My apologies, I should also have include john bunyan in the heading.

Incidentally, tonight's programme was the second in the series of three, the first is still available on the BBC catchup.

  Matt. 23:16 12 Oct 2015

Runabout - I expect the Romans were Celts too ?

  Forum Editor 23:29 12 Oct 2015


"I believe that you are confusing the peoples who were in Great Britain when the Romans arrived with the term Celts."

No I'm not - I made no reference to those people being Celts. I said that Welsh people are genetically closest to the people who first settled in Britain around 10.000 years ago, but they weren't Celts.

My comments related to the claims made by some British people that they are Celts. It isn't true, and I pointed that out. There is Celt DNA in lots of us, but no genetically pure Celts at all. They don't exist anywhere.

Most of your post talks about Celtish origins - I didn't refer to that either. For what it's worth, Celts, Belgians, Angles, Jutes, Saxons, Vikings and Normans were all immigrant minorities here, we have more in common with the Basques, genetically.

  Quickbeam 05:56 13 Oct 2015

I see myself more in a Viking horned helmet than a basque...

  Quickbeam 05:58 13 Oct 2015

I thought the programme wasn't bad, the docudrama format brings dull documentary too life.

  Runabout 06:56 13 Oct 2015


I doubt it.

The Romans of that period appear to have been smaller and less muscular than the Celts and no one is sure where they came from but they do seem to exhibit more East Mediterranean physical characteristics.

Many of the Roman Cities were 'taken over' from the Greek settlements which had existed well before the rise of the Roman Empire.

The average Roman seems to have spoken Greek rather than Latin which was much more common amongst 'the elite'.

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