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King of the Celts: Arthurian Legends and Celtic Tradition

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First, to become the chief of the Tuatha Dé Danann, Lugh had to present his credentials to the current king, Nuadu, who has a mechanical silver arm which some consider a handicap that makes him unfit to be ruler. Lugh informs the king that he is multi-skilled because he has the capabilities of a carpenter, smith, physician, warrior, sorcerer, and historian, amongst many others. Lugh impresses the court with his strength by throwing a huge flagstone and with his skill at playing the harp. Lugh then defeats Nuadu, and anyone else who cares to play, in a board-game called fidchell - a slightly unfair match since Lugh was credited with inventing it - and so he becomes the king.

Cornish, a branch of the Brythonic Celtic family of languages, belonging to the same linguistic group as Welsh, Breton and extinct Cumric, spoken in the north of England, diverged from Welsh towards the end of the seventh century A.D. Use of the language gradually declined as communication routes with the rest of the country progressed until in Elizabethan times it was confined to the southern limits of the county, west of Truro. Known to the Celts as Caer Uisc, Exeter later became the capital of the Dumnonian Britons up until circa 936 when the Saxon King Athelstan expelled them. The eastern boundary of Dumnonia receeded over time as the gradual westward expansion of the neighbouring Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Wessex conquered its territory. By the middle of the ninth century, during the West Saxon advance, the seat of the kings of Dumnonia may have been relocated further to the west, at Lis-Cerruyt (Liskeard). The tribal kings

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The eventual area of La Tène influence (by 250 BC) in light green. The territories of some major Celtic tribes of the late La Tène period are labelled. Boudicca, Queen of the British Iceni tribe, a Celtic tribe who led an uprising against the occupying forces of the Roman Empire.

Cornwall alone then held out against the Saxons, the natural fortress of Cornwall became a place of refuge for many of the Celts after they were driven westwards by Saxon conquerors. The name Cornwall derives from the old English pre seventh century Cornwealas tribe, from Kernow, the native name that the Cornish used to refer to themselves, it is of uncertain etymology, perhaps connected with a Celtic element meaning "horn" or "headland" compounded with the Anglo-Saxon "Wealas" "strangers", or "Foreigners". The Celtic Kingdom of Dumnonia existed between the fourth and eighth centuries. The name derives from the Celtic tribal people the Dumnonii who inhabited the area which is now known as Cornwall (Kernow), Devon (Dyfneint- meaning 'deep valley dwellers') and Somerset (the 'Summer Land' of the Mabinogion). Meanwhile, the Roman army is busy conquering Wales. But messengers soon bring them news of Boudicca's campaign, and their plans are changed.

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After the Roman conquest of most Celtic lands, Celtic culture was further trampled by Germanic tribes, Slavs and Huns during the Migration Period of roughly 300 to 600 A.C. As a result, few if any people living in Europe and the British Isles identified as Celts until the 1700s, when the Welsh linguist and scholar Edward Lhuyd recognized the similarities between languages like Welsh, Irish, Cornish and the now extinct Gaulish, and labeled them “Celtic.” 8. The embrace of a Celtic identity is relatively recent and tied to opposition to British rule. The Celts were far from savages, as evidenced by the intricate metalwork and jewelry excavated from ancient Celtic hill forts and burial mounds across Europe. One such mound near Hochdorf, Germany, held the remains of a Celtic chieftain and a wealth of artifacts pointing to a complex and stratified Celtic society. Britons outnumber the Romans by up to 20-to-1, but the Roman soldiers are highly trained. Boudicca and the Britons are defeated. Around 80,000 Britons are killed. Rome will control most of Britain for the next 350 years.

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