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|Contents by Subject||
Contents in Alphabetical Order
Map of EBER Place Names Superimposed on Map of Celtic Place-Names.
Geographical Locations are not exact but approximate and show only the relative placements compared to each other.
|Hebrews or Yew Trees??
What Did the Celts Call Themselves?
The Ancient Israelites called themselves Hebrews.
This name as far as we can tell was unique to them. Contrary opinions exist based mainly on a misunderstanding of some Middle Eastern sources.
Were the Ancient Hebrews the Same as the Habiru?
Meaning of the Name.
The word Hebrew in the HEBREW LANGUAGE could be pronounced something like Iber or Ivri. Since in Hebrew vowels are somewhat elastic it could also have possibly taken the forms of Hiberi, Eberi, oberi, aberi. The "B" sound could also have been pronounced as v or as p.
The word Hebrew (IBRI, ivri) comes from the root IBR which connotes "over, other, pass over, other side, etc". The word could refer to those who are moving around i.e. nomadic, wandering.
[The English words "over" and "other" also derive from the same source.]
The word aver in Hebrew may also mean a crossing over.
In Hebrew the "Ha-" prefix is the equivalent of the definite article "the" so that "Ibri" and "Ha-Ibri" mean the same.
Indications exist that this name was the ethnonym of an important element amongst the Celtic Peoples. It was their national name. It was what they called themselves.
An ethnonym (from the Greek: , ethnos, "nation" and , onoma, "name") is the name applied to a given ethnic group. Ethnonyms can be divided into two categories: exonyms (where the name of the ethnic group has been created by another group of people) and autonyms or endonyms (self-designation; where the name is created and used by the ethnic group itself).
It would seem that IBERI (EBER) was the endonym of an important element amongst Celtic Peoples.
First of all a few points should be clarified:
Who Were the Celts?
These days there is some debate as to what the word Celtic means? Some claim that the inhabitants of the British Isles were not really Celts. They merely spoke Celtic-type languages and had a Celtic type culture. For the purposes of our study this would qualify them and all others like them as Celts.
Celtic Civilization had emerged from the Urnfield and Halstatt Cultures of Central Europe. On to this was grafted La Tene groups that came from the east, conquered the Halstatt groups, and then progressively moved westward reaching their terminal stations in the British Isles. Other peoples existed in Europe whom the bearers of Celtic Culture were super-imposed upon and influenced.
In the British Isles (including Ireland) and the Atlantic coastline the original inhabitants had spoken a Semitic Language or a Semitic-Hamitic tongue. This may have been similar to Hebrew or a combination of Hebrew and a branch of Egyptian, or of Hebrew and Canaanite with the Canaanites being of Hamitic stock.
The Celts and the Term Iberi meaning Hebrew.
The claim that the Celts of Britain called themselves Iberi is to be found in old "British-Israel" works.
Just for the record, British-Israel, was not, and even today is not, anti-Jewish. There were however, and still are, anti-Jewish elements who in modern times attached themselves to British-Israel and gave it a bad name. It was not always like that. In the past serious scholars were to be found amongst its ranks who did important work. These were often pro-Jewish or at the least not Judaeophobes.
In some older British-Israel sources will be found the statement that Ptolemy reported that the inhabitants of Britain were merchants and called themselves Iberi. We have not been able to trace such a statement in the editions of Ptolemy we have come across. This does not mean it is not there. No authoritative scientific edition of Ptolemy has yet been produced despite the enormous benefit such a work could have for historical research. The statement about the Iberi in Britain may yet turn up in older editions; or it may be a later interpolation; or it may not exist.
Whatever the case we believe it to reflect an historical truth.
Not only that but our impression, and that of scholars who went before us, is that a leading element amongst peoples of Celtic Culture in general called themselves Iberi.
We also consider this term to be derived from the Hebrew word, IBRI, which in the Hebrew Language is how the name Hebrew is pronounced.
Such a notion may sound far-fetched but it fits the facts as the following notes show.
The name of the legendary Ebraucus king of Britain, recalled by Geoffrey of Monmouth (1100-1155 CE), also bears the EBER root. It was recognized that the word-root Eber related to an ancestral figure.
What is Being Proposed? 2 Points!
We are in effect raising two points:
(a) A leading (or at least important) element amongst the Celts called themselves IBERI.
(b) Iberi in Hebrew means Hebrews. This could be a coincidence. We say it is not but that is another point.
Biblical Proof: The Name Hebrew.
The present article will touch on both of the above two points but the emphasis will be on the first one.
Spain and Portugal.
It is believed that in honor of the Ebro River all inhabitants of Spain were later referred to as Iberi by the Greeks who established settlements along the eastern Spanish coast and in southeast Gaul (France).
Iberi or Hiberi was not a name the natives of the Iberian Peninsula had applied to themselves.
Since ca. 1610 CE the areas of Spain and Portugal have been referred to as the Iberian Peninsula.
[Alternately peoples identified as Iberi had dwelt in Spain and then moved out to the north but left their name behind them. This happens often in history.]
Roman explanations of the name Iberia often use such expressions "Other side of" or "this side of " the river Iberos etc. Perhaps we are misreading the Romans. Presumably they mean "the other side" or "this side" is the origin of the name. This would coincide with the root "IBER" in the Hebrew language which gives us "Ibri" meaning Hebrew.
According to Strabo prior historians used Iberia to mean the country "this side of the (Iberos)" as far north as the Rhone river in France but currently they set the Pyrenees as the limit. Polybius respects that limit but identifies Iberia as the Mediterranean side as far south as Gibraltar, with the Atlantic side having no name.
The Iberian Peninsula has always been associated with the Ebro river, Iberos in ancient Greek and Iberus or Hiberus in Latin. The association was so well known it was hardly necessary to state; for example, Iberia was the country "this side of the Iberus" in Strabo. Pliny goes so far as to assert that the Greeks had called "the whole of Spain" Hiberia because of the river Hiberus. The river appears in the Ebro Treaty of 226 BC between Rome and Carthage, setting the limit of Carthaginian interest at the Ebro. The fullest description of the treaty, stated in Appian, uses Iberus. With reference to this border, Polybius states that the "native name" is Iber, apparently the original word, stripped of its Greek or Latin -os or -us termination.
Other names with this root in the Iberian Peninsula include:
Ebora (Evora) Portugal.
Ebora Edcatanum (by Ebro River, Spain).
Eborobrittium (Obidos, Portugal). A similar name was also found in Gaul.
Ebora Baetica (southeast Spain).
Ebora Gallaecia (northwest Spain).
Hubert and others believed that this word-root in the Iberian Peninsula was everywhere it was found an offshoot of Celtic influence. Strabo (in quote above) held that originally Iberia had been the name of Celtic Spain and Gaul but was later re-applied to the region beyond them. The point that the name in Spain and Portugal is found only in areas once held by the Celts would be pertinent to all the above examples except that of Baetica (in the southeast of Spain) where Celts were not to be found. Hebrew settlers or at the least settlers of Phoenician culture from the Syrian coastline had however been dominant in Baetica in the period of ca. 700 -500 BCE after which they moved to the northwest, to Gallaecia which was, or later became, an area of Celtic Culture.
From this area came the Gaels (Milesians) who conquered Ireland and to whom the ancestral figure HEBER (Iber) belonged.
Water Source Root.
The widespread presence of names bearing this root (iber, ober, aber, eber) is widely recognized.
Different explanations have been suggested.
The name has been linked to word roots meaning water source, yew tree, boar. Examples of such suggestions follow below. We believe that the ethnonym IBER does not derive from these sources but in some cases the name may have acquired a secondary meaning in align with them. The points below illustrate the case for these other sources after which we shall reply to them.
River Ebro : (Iberus or Hiberus-Latin, Ebre-Cat)
Answer to the Hydronym (Water Source) Thesis.
Regarding the words we have collected (see below) these all seem to pertain to Celtic Place-Names. Water-sources do not seem to be prominent amongst them. The Ebro River in Spain may have received its name by being mistaken for the nearby Iberos (Tagus, Tajo) River to the west. We thus have only one blatant water source out of the Celtic examples.
Names however undergo secondary usage or reinforced application.
York in England for instance was variously named Eboracum, Eburacum or Eburaci in Roman times. After being conquered by the Angles, York was known as Eoforwic which retains the sound of the former name BUT ALSO may have been understood in the Anglian tongue to be based on a root EOFOR (from EBOR) meaning "Boar".
Similarly in some cases the name may have been re-interpreted to associate it with a water-source name but there is no real evidence that this was the source of the word.
Yew Tree Root
Modern Inventions and the Hebrew Hyperboreans.
Ireland was called Hibernia by the Romans. Recently it has been suggested that the name derives from the Latin word hibernus meaning wintry, i.e. the Winter Country.
Other names given to Ireland included Ierne (Pytheas) and Iouernia (Ptolemy).
It is said that:
# Iouernia was a Greek alteration of the Q-Celtic name * Iweri from which eventually arose the Irish names Eriu and Eire. The original meaning of the name is thought to be "abundant land". #
This, it is sometimes suggested, was changed to make it sound Hibernia and mean Land of the Winter.
These speculations are not, to our mind, serious ones.
Irish tradition said that the name Hibernia came from an ancestor named Iber, or Heber, or Eber, thus showing that the different forms are all considered of the same origin, as in Hebrew.
We also find the Iberni in southwest Ireland and the Eborone people in what is now Belgium as well as the Hiberi soldiers from Dacia. We see therefore that it was an ethnic designation.
Returning to Greek and Roman usage we are reminded that they recorded the Hyperboreans in the far north. These have been identified with the Celts and Scandinavians.
Hyperborea, or Hyperboria, was said to mean "Hyper [beyond] the Boreas [north wind]" .
HyperboreaThe various applications of the term Hyperborean overlap regions where we find the IBER ethonym. The name of ABARIS the Hypoerborean is also derived from the Iber or Aber root.
The Greeks understood the term Hyperborean to be derived from the root Hyper meaning over or beyond. This is the same meaning as the Hebrew word root IBR which gives us the term IBRI (Ivri) meaning Hebrew!!!
We may understand the Greeks as having rationalized the Ethnic Name Iberi (or Ha-Iberi) as parallel to their own word Hyper meaning over or beyond. They were correct. The Greek word HYPER is probably directly derived (like much of Greek vocabulary) from the Semitic IBR.
The early Greeks thus identified the northern peoples as Hebrews.
This should not sound far-fetched.
They (or their Roman successors) also equated the Israelites with descendants of Cronus (Saturn) whom they said had been exiled from the Middle East and gone to live on one of the British Isles.
This legend reflects the Exile of the Ten Tribes of Israel who went to the west and a portion of whom from an early date did indeed settle in Britain.
The IBOR (Boar) Thesis.
It has also been claimed that in areas where Germanic languages prevailed names based on the word-root EBER derive from a Germanic root meaning boar.
It will be remembered that at the beginning most of Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and France, Belgium, and the Netherlands had been occupied by peoples of Celtic Culture who spoke Celtic languages. In the period ca. 200-500 CE these regions were conquered by Barbarians who spoke Germanic dialects. These peoples were called Barbarians. The term German was at firsty applied only to a few of them. Barbarian is from the Greek and is said to have meant someone who is uncultured and wild. It may however had ethnic connotations. The Encyclopedia Judaica quotes from Ancient Mesopotamian sources to the effect that the terms "Habiru" (or "Chaberu") and Barbar were interchangeable. Habiru has been equated with "Hebrew". We however have shown that this is mistaken. Habiru probably originally meant something member of a union, or gang, or a bandit. Later however it may have become conflated with the word for Hebrew.
Were the Ancient Hebrews the Same as the Habiru?
Anyway the possibility exists that the word Barbarian as an ethnic designation is also pertinent to our IBER origin considerations, i.e. Bar-Bar from Ibar?
As for the ibor meaning boar thesis this could have something to it but we doubt that its importance reflected more than a secondary application.
Most places bearing the Iber name root even in Germanic areas are to be associated with the Celts. This is not just our opinion but seems to be also that of the majority of Celtic scholars.
Ibor is a root in Germanic tongues. We saw how York was originally named Eboracum but after being conquered by speakers of Germanic languages the name was altered to suit a possible IBOR connotation.
The same usage being one of secondary application probably held everywhere else.
Places in the Germanic-language shere (Germany, Alsace, and Austria) with the eber element include:
Eboreshemium (Strasbourg, Alsace, east France)
Eberacum (Bamberg, Bavaria)
Eberogomum (Munich, Bavaria, Germany)
Eborodunum (southeast Germany)
Eboresheim, Eporestal, Eburingen: all Celtic place names in Germany.
Ebersdorf (Chemnitz, south-east Germany)
Eburodunon (Brnno, Brunn) in Czechia
Some of these names (e.g. Eborodunum) are similar to those found also in Gaul. Most of the names may be attributed to Celtic influence. Some of them may have been named directly in honor of the boar without having been preceded by a previous Celtic EBER place name.
At all events the Celts had once dominated the region of Bavaria and Austria. It would seem that the word root EBER in these regions is primarily of Celtic origin and the IBOR (boar) association where (and if) it existed was a secondary application.
Other Occurrences of the Eber Names:
Eburini (Lucania in southern Italy)
Eborica (North Italy)
Eporedia (Ivrea in Turin, North Italy).
Ebora (Etruria, central west Italy).
Gaul (France, Belgium, Switzerland):
Eborica (Navarre, southeast France)
Ebronium (Evre, Mayenne, northwest France.)
Eborovices (Veneti, Gaul)
Eburodunum: also known as Embrun in the French Alps of ancient Gaul.
Evorolocum: in Auvergne, Gaul.
Eborobritum: Beira, Gaul, .
Eborovices: Evreux, in Gaul
Eborobriga: Yonne, in Gaul.
Eboromagus: (in the region of Aude, in Gaul) also known as
"Hebromagus" and close to Narbonne .
Eborodunum: Yverdon, in Switzerland, once dominated by the Celtic
Tribe of Helveti.
Eboracensis Comitatus (northeast of Durham in Yorkshire).
Eboracum (York, England).
Hibernia: name for Ireland.
Heber - an ancestral figure in Irish Mythology.
Iberni in southwest Ireland.
Iberni Ocean east of Ireland.
Hebrides: islands off the northwest coast of Scotland, a Celtic region.
Other examples of the name:
Ybora: mouth of Halys River in Anatolia (Turkey), place of a Galatian colony.
Hebros River: in Thrace, scene of Celtic presence.
Iberia: in the Caucasus, north of Assyria, legendary area of exiled
Israelite Ten Tribes re settlement, cultural connections with the proto-Celts.
Dacians also called Hiberi!
What appear to be Dacian soldiers in the service of the Emperor
Aurelian (215-275 CE) on the Danube are referred to as Hiberi.
Dacia was a border area opposite the Celtic and Scythian spheres.
[Footnote 88: Hist. August. p. 222. Aurelian calls these soldiers
Hiberi Riporiences Castriani, and Dacisci.]
Scotland and Wales had Hebrew-Language Meanings for the Word!!!!
In Scotland and Wales one finds numerous names with the root "Aber". This is another form of EBER.
The exact meaning of this word root in these areas is not certain but it appears to be linked with the meaning of crossing over. This is similar to the Hebrew meaning of the word root!
Aberdeen - Obar Dheathain
Arbroath - Obar Bhrothaig
Aberdour - Obar Dobhair
Aberfeldy - Obar Pheallaidh
Aberfoyle - Obar Phuill
This root is said to connote river mouth, junction, or ford i.e. place of or passing into, or crossing over. It is thus quite similar to the Hebrew root IBR which also connotes pass over.
# The a in aber- is thought to be ath, pron. ah, a ford ; for aber- is sometimes found in a name where there is no river-junction or mouth, but where there is or was a ford, e.g., ABERNETHY, near Perth, and ARBIRLOT, the old Aberelloch. #
PLACE-NAMES OF SCOTLAND.
JAMES B. JOHNSTON,
EDINBURGH: DAVID DOUGLAS
The name 'Aberford' is of Celtic and Anglo-Saxon origin, approximately translating as 'the crossing at the confluence' (presumably of Cock Beck and the much smaller River Crow), indicating the once-strategic importance of the settlement.
Aber and Inver (placename elements)
Aber and Inver are common elements in place-names of Celtic origin. Both mean "confluence of waters" or "river mouth". Their distribution reflects the geographical influence of the Brythonic and Goidelic language groups respectively.
[The insertion of an "n" for euphonic reasons is also known from Hebrew.]
Aber and Inver (placename elements)
Place names with aber are very common in Wales. They are also common on the East coast of Scotland. They are found to a lesser extent in Cornwall and other parts of England, and in Brittany.
"Aber" is rendered into Scottish Gaelic as Oba(i)r , e.g. "Obar Dheadhain" (Aberdeen), "Obar Pheallaidh" (Aberfeldy), and "Obar Phuill" (Aberfoyle).
It occurs in Brittany and Cornwall, although with far less frequency. In this case of Cornwall, this may be partly geographical since there are fewer rivers on a peninsula.
Aber and Inver (placename elements)
Logan holds that ABER is not the point of joining of two rivers but rather the strip of land where they join i.e. the point of passing from one to the other. This ties in with the application of the name also to fords or place in the river where it was possible to pass over.
We also had the related usage in Cornwall where the name is found without connection to waterways.
We find this word root EBER or Iber used as an ethnic name amongst Eburones, Eburovices, of Gaul and the Iberi of Ireland.
Elsewhere we find it in place-names mainly of Celtic Provenance.
Suggestions as to the original meaning of the word (hydronym, yew tree, boar) all prove specious or valid only as possible secondary applications.
We did find a confirmed documented application of the name in Britain (Scotland, and Wales) where it connoted a merging point or place of crossing over.
This is similar to the Hebrew Meaning of the word root IBR!!! from which we derive the word IBER meaning Hebrew!!!!
We find the IBER word to be dominant amongst Celtic peoples. This word sounds the same as the Hebrew word for Hebrew. It also apparently once meant the same as the Hebrew Iber as seen from the ABER examples in Scotland and Wales.
In regions where we find the name IBER we find traces of the Celts. We also find other names in the same vicinity that are similar to Hebrew ones as well as Hebraic (and Canaanite) customs and mythology and a linguistic substrate similar (or identical with) to ancient Hebrew.
Furthermore we have proofs from other sources identifying at least part of the peoples in question as of Israelite origin.
Biblical Proof: The Name Hebrew.
See the Ebro Accord and Saguntum in A Companion to the Punic Wars by Dexter Hoyos
quotes from Appian (Iber. 6.24)
Vergleichendes W?terbuch der alten, mitteren und neuen Geographie
Friedrich H. Bischoff , Johann H. M?ler
HUBERT, HENRI. "The Greatness And Decline Of The Celts". London 1934.
HUBERT, HENRI. "The Rise Of The Celt", trans. By M.R.Dodrie, London 1934.
MARKALE, J. "Celtic Civilisation", Paris, 1970, trans.1978.
DE ROUGEMONT, FREDERIC. "L'Age de Bronze, ou Les Semites en
Occident", Paris, 1866.
List of place-names with Aber and Inver
Aberaeron, Aberaman, Aberangell, Aberarth, Aberon, Aberbanc, Aberbargoed, Aberbeeg, Abercanaid, Abercarn, Abercastle, Abercegir, Abercraf, Abercregan, Abercych, Abercynon, Aberdare, Aberdaron, Aberdaugleddau (Milford Haven), Aberdulais, Aberdyfi, Aberedw, Abereiddy, Abererch, Aberfan, Aberffraw, Aberffrwd, Ceredigion, Aberffrwd, Monmouthshire, Abergavenny, Abergele, Abergorlech, Abergwaun (Fishguard), Aberkenfig, Abergwesyn, Abergwili, Abergwynfi, Abergwyngregyn, Abergynolwyn, Aberhafesp, Aberhonddu (Brecon), Aberllefenni, Abermaw (Barmouth), Abermorddu, Abermule, Abernant, Carmarthenshire, Abernant, Powys, Abernant, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Aberpennar (Mountain Ash), Aberporth, Aberriw (Berriew), Abersoch, Abersychan, Abertawe (Swansea), Aberteifi (Cardigan - town), Abertillery, Aberthin, Abertillery, Abertridwr, Caerphilly, Abertridwr, Powys, Aberystwyth, Llanaber
An tInbhear M (Arklow, Co. Wicklow), Inbhear (Inver, Co. Donegal), Inbhear nOllarbha (Larne Lough, Co. Antrim), Inbhear Scone the traditional name for Kenmare Bay, Co. Kerry
Aberarder, Aberargie, Aberbothrie, Abercairney, Aberchalder, Aberchirder, Abercorn, Abercrombie, Aberdalgie, Aberdeen, Aberdour, Aberfeldy, Aberfoyle, Abergairn, Abergeldie, Aberlady, Aberlednock, Aberlemno, Aberlour, Abermilk, Abernethy, Aberscross, Abersky, Abertarff, Abertay, Aberuchill, Aberuthven, Abriachan, Applecross, Arbirlot, Arboll, Arbuthnott, Arbroath, Fochabers, Kinnaber, Lochaber, Obar Neithich (Nethybridge), Slongaber
Ayr (formerly "Inberair" etc), Inbhir Bhr?a (Brora), Inbhir Chalain (Kalemouth), Inbhir Eireann (Findhorn), Inbhir N?ann (Nairn), Inbhir Pheofharain (Dingwall), Inbhir The?sa (Thurso - name of Norse origin), Inbhir ?ge (Wick), Innerleithen, Innerleven, Innerwick (in Perth and Kinross), Inver, Inverarnan, Inverallan, Inveraldie, Inveralmond Inveramsay, Inveran, Inveraray, Inverbervie, Inverclyde, Inveresk, Inverfarigaig, Invergarry, Invergordon, Invergowrie, Inverhaddon (or Innerhaddon), Inverkeilor, Inverkeithing, Inverkeithney, Inverkip, Inverleith, Invermoriston, Inverness, Invershin, Inversnaid, Inverugie, Inverurie, Kilninver, Lochinver, Rossinver
Notes - "Bail' Inbhir Fharrair",( is an uncommon name for Beauly, usually "A' Mhanachain"); Fort William was formerly known as Inverlochy, and a small district nearby is still referred to as such.
Aber Beno, Aber Ildut, Aber Wrac'h
Aberfal (Falmouth, Cornwall), Aberford (West Yorkshire), Aberplymm (Plymouth, Devon).
Isle of Man
Inver Ayre (Ayre)
Appendix: Scottii and Hiberii in Various Sources.
Etymological of the name Iberia
Posted 10 Feb 2003
Maybe related to Celtic: Iveriuu - old name of Ireland ( gr. 'Iernee > lat. Hibernia)
## The name of Ireland according to Rhys [Celtic Britain p.262] is derived from Iber-land (Hibernia) the land of the Iberians or sons of Iber. ##
Joseph Ritson, in the 'Annals of the Caledonians/Picts/Scots', also notes this distinction amongst the Irish: The distinction between these two nations [Hiberni and Scots] is manifested in an ancient treatise, written by saint Patrick, and entitled his "Confession" or "Apology," in which the SCOTTI, as being the conquerors, masters, and MILITARY MEN, appear as the NOBILITY, or gentry; FILII SCOTTORUM ET FILII REGULORUM; which he repeats, joining, in both places,
Nennius, from the information of the most learned Scots (peritlssimi Scotorum), relates, that, when the Egyptians, pursuing the children of Israel, were drowned in the red sea, there was, in those days, a nobleman of Scythia among the Egyp tians, expelled from his kingdom, who would not go in pursuit of the people of god. Being, therefore, banished, and wandering through various countries, he arrived at length in Spain, whence, after inhabiting there for many years, he came to Hibernia, 2000 years after the drowning of the Egyptians in the red sea. This noble Scythian was also son-in-law to Pharaoh, i. e. The husband of his daughter Scota, from whom, as was reported, Scotia (L e. Ireland) was called. (C. 9. ) . U liede
Although the lochs and rivers of Scotland abounded in fish, the Highlanders preferred meat and regarded fish as a rather poor substitute for it. It is noteworthy that PORK WAS ABSOLUTELY DETESTED, and pigs were rarely to be found in the Highlands. They were considered UNCLEAN and anybody raising them was looked upon in the same light. This disgust, of course, reflected the attitude of the Israelites towards unclean meat, particularly pork, which was FORBIDDEN in the food laws of Leviticus 11.
Highland clothing was of necessity more basic the further removed the Highlander was from contact with the outside world, but it was warm, comfortable and well adapted to his needs. He wore the SAFFRON SHIRT OF THE IRISH, a warm garment reaching to the knee and belted at the waist.
The Scots of the Highlands were a different CLASS of people to those living in the Lowlands. When talking of the Irish Scots (from whom the Highland Scots came) Dr. Moore, in his History of Ireland, notes a CLEAR DISTINCTION: "It is indeed evident that those persons to whom St. Patrick applies the name SCOTS, were all of THE HIGH AND DOMINANT CLASS; whereas, when speaking of THE GREAT BULK OF THE PEOPLE, he calls them HIBERIONACES, -- from the name Hiberione, which is always applied by him to the island itself." (P. 72).
Similarly, Dr. Wylie mentions that there were TWO DIFFERENT PEOPLES dwelling in Ireland -- the HIBERNI and SCOTI. There was a MARKED DISTINCTION between the two. "The SCOTS ARE THE MILITARY CLASS; THEY ARE THE NOBLES....The latter [the Hiberni] are spoken of as the COMMONALITY, the sons of the soil." (History of the Scottish Nation, Vol. i., p. 281).
Dr. Wylie goes on to say: "St. Patrick often uses SCOTI and REGULI as equivalent terms. To the term SCOTTUS he adds often the word NOBILIS; whereas he has no other appellative for the NATIVE IRISH but HYBERIONE, or HYBERNI GENAE, THE COMMON PEOPLE." (History of the Scottish Nation, fn. p. 282).
Joseph Ritson, in the Annals of the Caledonians, Picts, and Scots, also notes this distinction amongst the Irish:
The distinction between these two nations [Hiberni and Scots] is manifested in an ancient treatise, supposed to have been written by saint Patrick, and entitled his "Confession" or "Apology," in which the SCOTTI, as being the conquerors, masters, and MILITARY MEN, appear as the NOBILITY, or gentry; FILLII SCOTTORUM ET FILIOE REGULORUM; which he repeats, joining, in both places, the SCOTTI and REGULI, as being SYNONIMOUS EQUIVALENT TERMS; and adding, generally, to the name SCOTTUS, that of REGULUS or NOBILIS; whereas he NEVER calls the native Irish anything but HIBERIONOE, as being the COMMON and ORDINARY PEOPLE. -- Vol. II. Ward D. Laing, Edinburgh. 1828. Pp. 4-5.
The Irish Book of Leinster makes the extraordinary claim that the ancient peoples of Britain and Ireland were the descendants of some of the lost tribes of Israel. They were, surprisingly described as fair-haired, with light eyes. These were the Hiberi, or Iberi, which at least one writer claims means Hebrew. This is the story of Fenius Farsaid, the leader of the Scythians - a region to the north east of the Black Sea bordering on the Russian steppes. Several comments on this story claim that Fenius was the descendant of Noah, via Japeth his son, and that he was active in helping to build the Tower of Babel. The story says that these people left their homeland and wandered to Egypt where they were welcomed by Pharaoh who wanted to learn their language. The son of their leader, whose name was Niul, fell in love with and married Pharaoh's daughter. Her name was Scota. They had a son named Gaedel Glas, sometimes spelled as Goedel. The generations pass, and a great grandson known as Eber Scot, was suspected of having plans to take over Egypt and his people are ejected from that land. They return to Scythia where, it is said, they dwelt in their boats in the marshes.
One day, a holy man, called in the story "a Druid", told them that he had had a vision of a land which he called Irland. He prophesised: "Your people will not rest until they reach this land." Upon reaching the Danube, some of the Scythians decided to follow it, spreading their peoples upon the European lands as they wandered ever westwards. Unfortunately, since neither GPS nor Rand McNally had been invented in those days, the rest went a little off course and ended back in North Africa, likely in the regions of Libya, Tunisia (present day Carthage), or Algeria, where they supposedly stayed for 7 generations, which begs the question as to whether the druid, whose name was Caicher, described the topography of Irland to them very well. But I suppose even Druids make mistakes.
After a while, someone must have mentioned this curious fact, and they set off again, first quite possibly to Sicily, which although an island, did not measure up either, and from there to what later became known as "Spain". They may have actually gone beyond the "Pillars of Hercules" and entered the area by the River Tagus in Portugal; or conversely via the already existing Mediterranean ports. From there they gradually worked their way across the Peninsula until they reached the areas of what is now Northern Portugal, Asturias, and Galicia, either way, this green land appeared as something which even the most dense amongst them must have recognised resembled the land they had been told to expect.
Generations pass. The inhabitants of the land are known as Iberians, and many place names begin to appear including the word "Iber" (which most likely means "River" as "aber" does in Welsh, but why ruin a good story at this point!) We shall refer to it again in due course.
All truth passes through three
stages: First it is ridiculed.|
Second, it is violently opposed.
Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860).
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