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Celtic Myth by John Howe

Celtic refers either to the Celtic languages, including Breton, Cornish, Gaelic, and Welsh, or to the Celts, an historic group of people.[1]

Tolkien had noted the ambiguity of the word "Celtic" as an arbitrary catch-all term:

'Celtic' of any sort is, nonetheless, a magic bag, into which anything may be put, and out of which almost anything may come.

Scholarly interest

Tolkien was thanked for having helped "untiringly with problems of Celtic philology" in preparing the book Roman Britain and the English Settlements (1936).[3]

Celtic influences on the legendarium


Tolkien claimed knowledge of Celtic languages and legends, but expressed a dislike in Celtic legends and denied that his legendarium is "Celtic".[4]

However, Celtic concepts are present in some views about the Elves (see Elves - Celtic influence).

Other names

While the Westron world displays Germanic and Old English elements, Tolkien mentioned that the survival of traces of the older language of the Stoors and the Bree-men in Eriador resembled the survival of Celtic elements in England.[5] Tolkien said to the Dutch Translator, Max Schuchart, that there were "'Celtic' elements in Buckland and East-farthing names."[6]

These analogies are present mostly relating to Pre-Númenóreans and the Stoor hobbits, which is evident in placenames such as "Bree" and the personal names of the Bucklanders. According to Paula Marmor, the Celtic elements in Stoorish names represent an earlier language, related to that of the Bree-landers.[7]

In The Lord of the Rings, the majority of genuine Celtic names is seen in the family trees of the Brandybucks. Names such as Rorimac, Dinodas, Gorbadoc, Meriadoc and Marmadoc are Celtic.[8]

Other names having (or have been suggested as having) a Celtic influence include:

Edward Crankshaw, a reader for Allen & Unwin, was assigned to review the current draft of the "Quenta Silmarillion" in 1937. He had a mostly favourable attitude to it, but he said that the names were "eye-splitting Celtic names". Tolkien denied Celtic influences in his Elvish names, and he showed distaste for Celtic words.[9]

External links