The Label Celt and Celtic Society

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The Label Celt and Celtic Society

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Scholars find a logical explanation for how the word Celt, in reference to the western branch of the steppe people, originated. Some conclude that the ethnic label Celt is another form of the Goidelic Irish word ceilt, which means "concealment" or "hidden." The Scottish word kilt is of a similar derivation.

This fits the Celts' strongly held religious prohibition against setting in writing their folk traditions, knowledge and understanding. The traditions were to be communicated only orally, and we can be sure the purpose of the prohibition was not to cover illiteracy. Many Celts spoke and wrote Greek and used it in private and public business. But they staunchly refused to divulge to outsiders any information about their most revered beliefs and traditions.

Even Julius Caesar, during his invasion of Gaul, could only marvel at this strong Celtic religious prohibition. Some scholars conclude the word keltoi, or Celt, is an appropriate label for people who kept much about their past and traditions hidden.

In spite of the Celts' characteristic secrecy, enough history was recorded for us to come to the conclusion that the Celts and Scythians came from a common Israelite heritage. Their migrations had taken them in different directions.

In the end, however, these descendants would find themselves together again in Europe.