Another “Celtic” Illusion Shattered

This may come as a shock to some, but the Asterix the Gaul comics do not present an accurate view of the ancient Gaulish people, according to a new museum exhibit in Paris.

No dolmen-moving, etc.

Next thing, they will be telling us that Vikings did not wear horned helmets like Hägar the Horrible.

Shocking.

2 Comments

  1. Pitch313 says:

    Oh darn! And I thought that I had the perfect and historically authentic magical name with the Asterix-inspired–“Pitchafitix!”

  2. Rombald says:

    France has a strange obsession with the Gauls. There’s all this patriotic stuff about descent from “les Gauls”, Gaulois cigarettes, etc. My guess is it’s 19th century – I wouldn’t have thought it goes as far back as the Revolution.

    When I’ve visited pre-Roman sites in France, the visitors’ centres sell loads of books about one’s Gaulish heritage, the Gaulish roots of place-names, the Gaulish elements of French culture, Gaulish cooking, etc.

    The whole thing’s rather strange. The only part of France with a Celtic heritage is Brittany, but Breton is suppressed by centralised French nationalism – they’re still at the stage that the UK was at in the 1930s. In any case, Breton is not a Gaulish survival, but the result of the Dark Age Cornish conquest.

    In reality, the roots of Franch civilisation are really a mixture of Roman (most of the language, Catholicism, etc.) and Germanic (the institutional roots, many cultural aspects, the word “France”). I think that the obsession with the Gauls is because the French don’t want to identify with the Romans, because of anti-Catholicism, and looking down on the Italians and Spanish; and neither with the Germanic peoples, because of the traditional enmity with England and Germany. The Gauls constitute convenient mythic roots.