George Buchanana – 1582 – firstb ook that talks about the Scots as celts Rerum scotticarum
PaulYves Pezron – L’antiquité de la langue et de la nation des Celtes (1703) (The Antiquities of
Nations, more particularly of the Celtae or Gauls, Taken to be Originally the same People as our
Ancient Britons, 1706). Was there already a military British colony in the late Roman era? We don’t
know. Pezron was a Breton.
Books about Celts are coming from people with backgrounds in Celtic countries
Edward Lluyd, Archaelogia Britannica, 1707, Welsh.
So far, everyone but the Irish writing about this!
Identity of Britishness, idea of Briton, taken away from Scots and Welsh and reassigned for all
people of the island.
John Toland – A History of the Druids, 1726, 1747 (Toland was Irish) – working up this druidmania,
connecting druids with ancient monuments
William Stukeley, History of the Ancient Celts, 1740, 1743. First volume about Stonehenge as a
druid monument, second volume about another megalithic stone circle in Southwestern Britain
What’s happening is increasing enthusiasm for Celtic past, and that gives rise gradually to a kind of
fascination with the Celticspeaking peoples understood to be their descendants.
Mid 18 century comes the big deal –
James Macpherson, 17361796. Born in Scottish highlands.
Fragments of ancient poetry, collected in the highlands of Scotland and tr. From the Galic or Erse
15 short poems translated into a rhythmic prose. This was an enormous success. These books,
along with Fingal and Temora, translated into every European language, extolled by famous people
of the era, Napoleon carried Fingal with him aound to battle, Goethe was a fan of Macpherson.
Macpherson said that these poems he translated, that he translated them from ancient manuscripts
1200 years old (so, claiming manuscripts from 500 and something CE). But, criticisms – a lot of
questioning of his authenticity in Ireland, Wales, London, where his most famous critic, Samuel
Johnson, having been to western Isles to see what was going on re: manuscripts and poetry, said
Macpherson was a fraud and that the poems were forgeries. He said any man, woman, or child
could write it, Ossian (hero of Fingal/Temora) was a waste of time, and Galic was a barbaric
language of which there were no manuscripts. Still, Macpherson was very successful.
He later wrote that many of his sources were from oral tradition, that Celtic peoples didn’t come into
their own written language until middle ages but that they had a very strong oral tradition. He
backed off claim a bit from having found written sources, which he had claimed early because
people found it most reliable. After Macpherson, the collection of folklore or oral tradition became a
very important literary activity.
Privileging of long, heroic, narrative poetry because if there is great ancient poetry, it’s Homer. We
want a Scottish, Celtic homer, basically. Are there long, epic, narrative poems in Celtic tradition?
Not so much. Long heroic stories? Yes. Poems? Yes, but not particularly narrative.
Temora, 1763 James II of England who was James VI of Scotland converted to Catholicism – did not make
English Parliament happy at all because reformation established under Elizabeth. Parliament
deposed him and invited his daughter, Mary and her husband William of Orange. But, many in
Scotland remained loyal to James, especially Catholics of Scotland. But not entirely on Sectarian
lines, more highlanders than lowlanders supported James, more highlanders than lowlanders were
Catholic, but the attraction of James was both that he was Catholic (if they were Catholic) and that
he was Scottish. Several risings against William and Mary in 1689. There was a battle the
highlanders won, and then s