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Our Library consists of many different resources that you may find useful. It is intended as an educational center run by the Red Branch Society but compiled with help from various authors and resources. It's historical focus is based around the Iron Age culture of the British Isles, but on accasion extends as far back as the Bronze Age and as far forward as the 9th Century CE.


Who does this library research?
We research the Ancient Celts, meaning the enhabitants of the Celtic lands. These include Celts, Gauls, Picts, and sometimes the Norse, Romans, and Greeks.

What are the British Isles and Celtic lands?
The British Isles were origionally known as the Pretanic Isles prior to the Roman Conquest of Britain. They became known as the British Isles when Caesar misprounced the word. The isles consist of modern day Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, and England.

In the height of the Celtic Golden Age, Celtic inhabited lands included much of Europe. Historians sometimes site the Boii (a celtric tribe) that originated in what was known as Bohemia (and is now the Czech Republic) as one of the first Celtic tribes. The Celts are believed to have come from the Alps. While the Celts mainly moved north, they also spread out all over Europe, co-inhabiting other lands with the inhabitants. The term "celtic" encompasses the peoples of Brittany (Northern France), Cornwall, Galicia, Ireland, Mann, Scotland, Wales, and ancient Gaul (modern day France, Belgium, Switzerland, and norther parts of Italy).

Why CE and not AD?
Modern scholars (since the 19th century) have adopted the use of BCE (before common or current era) and CE (common or current era) in place of BC (before Christ) and AD (anno Domini) due to its religious neutrality. The Red Branch Society also puts this into practice.


Basic Gaelic and Celtic History

In the days before history there was a culture made up of farmers, warriors, crafts people, and druids that spread all across Euorope during the Bronze Age and especially the Iron Age. These were the people of Galicia, Brittany, Cornwall, Mannin (Isle of Man), Cymru (Wales), Eire (Ireland), and Alba (Scotland). The Celts, a term they did not use to refer to themselves but was given to them by the Greeks, had a vibrant culture and fascinating history. Some believe they were the descendants of the Bronze Age Urnfield people because their cultures were so similar. Over time, much of the ancient Celtic culture was either absorbed by another culture or remains in the lands many ancient conquerers did not find formidable enough to stay. These people that made those lands their home became the Gaels and the closest remaining culture to that of the ancient Celts. The remnants of their culture live with them in Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man (England has had many different inhabitants- Celts, Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Danes, etc. -and is not considered Gaelic). Today, poeple of Gaelic blood have made their homes elsewhere as well, either because they were at some point forced to leave their homes or they sought out new places. Many Gaelic nationals and descendants inhabit Nova Scotia, the Americas, and Australia in addition to Ireland, Scotland, and Man.