Brit-Am Historical Reports
18 October 2010 10 Cheshvan 5771
1. Evidence of Roman Battles in Northern Germany
2. Celtic Tribes of the British Isles by Jean
3. After WW2 Britain Blew Up Jewish Refugee Ships
by Andrew Roberts Info
4. Archaeology: Brit-Am Version of
5. Henry VIII and the Jews.
Jeremy Rosen's


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1. Evidence of Roman Battles in Northern Germany
German Archaeologists Hail New Find,1518,596720,00.html
Discovery of Roman Battlefield Poses Historical Riddle
By Andrew Curry in Kalefeld, Germany
Archaeologists in Germany say they have found an ancient battlefield strewn with Roman weapons. The find is significant because it indicates that Romans were fighting battles in north Germany at a far later stage than previously assumed.

The wilds of Germany may not have been off-limits to Roman legions, archaeologists announced on Monday. At a press conference in the woods near the town of Kalefeld, about 100 kilometers south of Hanover, researchers announced the discovery of a battlefield strewn with hundreds of Roman artifacts dating from the 3rd century A.D.

Finding evidence of Roman fighting forces so far north is surprising, the archaeologists say. Germany was once considered prime territory for Roman conquest. But in A.D. 9, thousands of Roman legionaries were slaughtered in a forest near modern-day Bremen.

"We thought that with the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, the Romans gave up on this region and pulled back behind the limes," or frontier fortifications further south, says Henning Hassmann, the Lower Saxony Conservation Department's lead archaeologist.

But evidence found in woods outside the small town of Kalefeld may force historians to take a new look at the Roman presence in Germany. More than 600 artifacts, ranging from axe heads and wagon parts to coins and arrowheads, have been found on a forested hill called the Harzhorn. So far, the artifacts indicate that Roman soldiers fought a battle on top of the hill.

At least one arrowhead still contained enough of the original wooden shaft to provide organic material for radiocarbon dating, which place it some time in the 3rd century A.D. Coins and other objects support the idea that the battle may have been fought some time between 200 and 250 A.D.

There is sketchy evidence in the histories for some sort of Roman push into German territory in the 3rd century. Historians like Herodian say the Emperor Maximinus Thrax declared war on the Germans, but this is the first evidence he may have actually carried out his threats. "From what sources say, he did push into Germany," says Eric de Sena, an archaeologist at John Cabot University in Rome. "In a way it seems to correspond with the histories."

The specialized artillery and hundreds of Roman sandal nails found atop Harzhorn Hill is a good indication the combatants were Romans, not barbarians using Roman weapons. Roman artifacts have been found as far north as the Baltic Sea, but have usually been dismissed as trade goods. "Roman sandals on German feet doesn't make sense, at least not in that amount," says Friedrich Lueth, head of the German Archaeological Institute's Roman German Commission. "At this late stage, it's quite surprising to see them so far north."

2. Celtic Tribes of the British Isles by Jean Manco
Interesting, informative, recommended
Celtic tribes of the British Isles

Before the spread westwards of Angles, Saxons and Vikings, Britain and Ireland were inhabited by tribes speaking Celtic languages. Who were they? Their origins probably go back to about 2,400 BC, when the first Bell Beaker material appeared in the British Isles. Genetically their signature is Y-DNA R1b-L21 and its parent and subclades....The famous Geography of Claudius Ptolemy, written in Greek c. 150 AD, provides the framework of our knowledge. It is a shaky scaffolding by comparison with a modern atlas. Yet it was revolutionary in its day. Ptolemy relied on the work of an earlier geographer, Marinos of Tyre, who continually updated his work as new information became available.1J. B. Harley and D. Woodward (eds.),

By the time the inhabitants of the British Isles were producing literature of their own, five languages were spoken within the islands, as Bede recorded: Latin, English, British, Irish and Pictish.5Bede, The Ecclesiastical History of the British People, ed. J. McClure and R. Collins (1994), p. 10.

Ewan Campbell suggested that Gaelic simply remained in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland from early times, cut off by the Grampians from linguistic developments further south.

Ireland Europe moved from the Bronze to the Iron Age. A climate change added to the woes of the Irish. More rain and less sun reduced farming in Ireland to a grim subsistence level. There was a decline in human activity and a related increase in wetlands and forest broadly from about 250 BC until 250 AD. The population must have fallen. Warfare was endemic.

The tribal and place-names in Ireland listed by Ptolemy were Celtic, and many survive in Old or Middle Irish forms. The deduced Celtic name for Ireland - Iverio - from which its present name was derived, was known to the Greeks by the 4th century BC at least, possibly as early as the 6th century BC. The name meant the fertile land. It was Latinised to Hiernia or Hibernia. Its people were the Iverni. Significantly they were restricted to the south-west of Ireland by Ptolemy's day. Here cultural continuity can be traced from the Bronze to the Iron Age. It was the region of Ireland least affected by the incoming Hallstatt and La Tene styles.
The La Tene Culture of the Central European Celts spread into Britain in the late Iron Age. It arrived in North-Eastern Ireland from northern Britain around 200 BC and spread across the north of the island, north of a Dublin-Galway line. ....The Y-DNA haplogroup R1b-M222 is found in Northern Ireland, Lowland Scotland and Northern England and may reflect the arrival of La Tene in Ireland. The swirling La Tene style continued to develop in Ireland after the Continental heartlands of La Tene and most of Britain were absorbed into the Roman sphere.

The Irish annals from the 6th century AD refer to British people - Cruthin or Cruithni in Gaelic - in Ireland, particularly the north-east. ....Derived from *Qritani or *Qriteni, which is the Goidelic/Q-Celtic version of the Britonnic/P-Celtic *Pritani or *Priteni i.e. British. The last use of the term Cruthin in Irish annals is in 773 AD. Were these the descendants of La Tene arrivals centuries earlier? ...The Annals of Ulster distinguish between the Cruthin and the Ulaidh, who vied for power in Ulster....
Other terms are also used in Irish literature to denote a particular class of people, rather than a clan. The aithechthuatha were vassal peoples, whom Philip Rance identifies as the Attacotti who attacked Britain in the 360s AD. Deisi had a similar meaning.18P. Rance, Attacotti, D?si and Magnus Maximus: The Case for Irish Federates in Late Roman Britain, Britannia, vol. 32 (2001), pp. 243-270.

The Irish language was first written in a script called ogham, dating from the 4th or 5th century AD. The ogham alphabet clearly arose from familiarity with Latin....Ogham inscriptions cluster in Munster - the home of the ancient Iverni - and also appear in southern Wales and Cornwall.

Early Irish literature preserves a tradition of the division of Ireland into five provinces or kingdoms..four of which are familiar from historic times: Connachta, (Connaught), Laighin (Leinster), Mhumhain (Munster) and Ulaidh (Ulster). ..The Irish annals record defeats of the Cruthin by the Ui Neill. These descendants of Niall, so prominent on the map of Ireland by 800 AD, gained their ascendancy from around the 6th century AD. .... The Black Pig's Dyke is an intermittant linear earthwork that seems to mark the ancient boundary of Ulster. One stretch of it in Co. Monaghan has been dated to 390-370 BC so we can guess that the whole work was devised around that time. Surviving stretches link natural boundary or defensive features such as rivers, lochs and bogs, creating one long deterrent to invasion or cattle raiding.

Surnames and Y-DNA

A promising line of research arises from the fact that both Y-DNA and surnames are handed down from father to son. Early attempts at this approach were perhaps over-hasty in their conclusions. The Y-DNA haplogroup R1b-M222 was initially thought to mark the descendants of Niall of the Nine Hostages. It is carried by nearly 20% of the men in Donegal today. In early historic times this was the territory of the northern Ui Neill, presumed descendants of the fabled 5th-century warlord. R1b-M222 is particularly common among those with some Ui Neill surnames, such as O'Doherty, though not most of the O'Neills themselves. It also appears among the Connachta, supposed descendants of the brothers of Niall. However its concentration among Lowland Scots (rather than in Gaelic Argyll) and northern English suggests that it is centuries older than Niall.....So it is more likely to be a La Tene marker, present among the people of north-western Ireland long before the Ui Neill established their dominance there, unrelated to the Ui Neill elite.

Domnann: the Fir Domnann (Fir = people) appear in Irish legend as among the invaders of Ireland. They were probably related to the Dumnonii of south-west Britain and what is now the western Scottish Lowlands.

Volunti (Lat.), Ouolountioi (Gr.): lived south of the Darini, according to Ptolemy. This is probably a corruption of Uluti. They appear later as the Ulaidh, who gave their name to the province of Ulster. Their cult centre was at Emain Macha, scene of tales in the Ulster Cycle. It is now known as Navan Fort, Co. Armargh. A huge circular building there has been dated to 95 BC by dendrochronology. It can be identified with the northernmost of the two Irish places that Ptolomy names as Regia - the place of the ruler.


The climatic downturn at the Bronze to Iron Age transition naturally hit Britain as well as Ireland, yet did less damage to agriculture in Britain. .. The overall picture though is one of continuity....The people of the British lowlands were in constant contact with the Continent in the Bronze and Iron Ages. Consequently the form of Celtic spoken in Britain by Roman times was similar to the Gaulish spoken across the Channel. The Iron Age Hallstatt Culture developed north of the Alps from about 700 BC and spread into Lowland Britain by 600 BC. It reached as far north as the Forth-Clyde line. It was superseded by the La Tene Culture from around 450 BC, which again spread to Britain. La Tene metalwork styles are widely distributed in Britain and often have close Continental parallels.

Caesar learned in 54 BC that the tribes of the interior of Britain had an oral tradition that they were indigenous. However oral history is seldom passed down intact for more than three generations. So Caesar's information on the more recent arrivals is more reliable. He was told that Belgae from north-east Gaul had settled along the coast, many retaining the same tribal names as their brethren across the Channel. Caesar, Gallic Wars, 5.12. This is compatible with the archaeological evidence, if we are generous in our interpretation of the coast. From 125 BC Gallo-Belgic coins appear over the whole of south-eastern Britain. New tribal centres appeared, similar to those in Gaul. Known as oppida, these were large, fortified, lowland settlements. ...Caesar's comments on the Belgae have caused confusion over their ethnicity. He describes them as different from the Gauls in language. He says that the bulk of them descended from tribes which long ago came across the Rhine from Germany, and refers to some of the tribes specifically as German.50Caesar, Gallic Wars,1.1, 2.4. Yet their recorded tribal, personal and place-names are Celtic (with very few exceptions), both in Britain and Belgic Gaul. They seem to have spoken a language similar to Gaulish, but even more similar to Brythonic, as one might expect from their impact on Britain. It seems that the Belgae had pushed into North-East Gaul from what had been Celtic-speaking lands east of the Rhine, under pressure from the expanding Germani. Thus their ancestry was from what the Romans called Germania, but they were Celts. They had a late La Tene Culture....
The pressure of the Germani may also explain the arrival of Belgae in Britain. They in turn may have pushed previous inhabitants further north, or even to Ireland. That might be the explanation occurance of Dumnonii in three places. However it is possible for unrelated tribes to acquire the same name simply by chance.

Scottish Highlands
....northern and north-western area was Gaelic-speaking in historic times, as indicated by the distribution of Gaelic place-names in Scotland. ...Pictish place-names were Gaelicized, as Gaelic became the dominant language of Alba. Conversely the Pictish place-name element *pet(t) (land-holding, portion, share) was borrowed into Scottish Gaelic and exported to Lothian. However the concentration of Pit- or Pet- names falls in the coastal and riverine areas (i.e. those most suitable for agriculture) of the eastern Highlands. The distribution of Pictish symbol-stones (6th-9th centuries AD) is remarkably similar, though they also occur in the Western, Orkney and Shetland Isles.

The north-eastern tip of Scotland is notable for its brochs - tall, round, stone-built, hollow-walled Iron Age tower-houses. Brochs are also found in the Orkney and Shetland Islands, Skye and the Outer Hebrides. Brochs were often sited close to the sea. ...In general broch-building societies appear multi-cultural. Some probably had chiefs of distant origin, but subordinates of more local origin. Most brochs were built between 200 BC and 100 AD and some remained in use as late as the 6th century AD.

Scottish Lowlands and Southern Uplands, and North-East England
Votadini: Ptolemy gives the tribal name as Otadini. They lived to the east of the Damnoni. ...he Brythonic form of the tribal name evolved into Goutodin in early Welsh and then Gododdin. ....The kingdom was overrun by the Anglian Kingdom of Bernicia.

Northern England
Parisii: Lived near the Brigantes on Opportunum bay. ... The Arras Culture of the Yorkshire Wolds combines La Tene
material with chariot burials, and burials within a square ditch, similar to those of the Marne Valley, France. So we can deduce that the British tribe was an offshoot of the Continental Parisi, who gave their name to Paris.

South-West England
Dumnonii: Lived west of the Durotriges. Their towns were Voliba, Uxella, Tamara and Isca [Exeter], where the Legion II Augusta was based. Isca was the civitas capital, ...The Roman civitas of the Dumnonii became the Kingdom of Dumnonia after Britain left the Roman Empire, remaining British long after the Anglo-Saxons had taken over south-eastern Britain, which became known as England. In the 6th century Gildas ranted at its King Constantine, the tyrannical whelp of the unclean lioness of Damnonia, punning on the word Latin word for damnation. A Briton himself, Gildas was convinced that the sinful behaviour of the British had brought down the wrath of God upon them, in the form of Germanic invaders. Gildas, The Ruin of Britain, III.28.

Belgic tribes of the East Midlands and South-eastern England
In the two centuries before the Claudian invasion of Britain, the south of the country was subjected first to raiding and then to settlement by an earlier wave of invaders - the Belgae of north-east Gaul - who left no history of these events. We have to piece together the story from comments by Julius Caesar and the clues in the ground. As noted above, Belgic tribes in Britain can be identified archaeologically by oppida, wheel-thrown pottery and the minting of their own coinage. ...the general picture is one of tribes vying for territory, one ousting another, so a colony could have come and gone. The Roman invasion put a stop to inter-tribal warfare and so froze the polities as they happened to stand in 43 AD, except where the Romans restored lands to their allies.

Iceni or Eceni: Lived next to the Catuvellauni and were related to the town Venta.155 Claudius Ptolemy, The Geography, II.2. The name appears on their coins with an initial E. They were mentioned by Caesar as the Cenimagni (great Ceni).

3. After WW2 Britain Blew Up Jewish Refugee Ships
by Andrew Roberts Info
As Jewish survivors of the Holocaust, the pitiful remnants of History's greatest crime, tried to make their way across an often hostile Europe at the end of the Second World War, toward at least a semblance of safety in the Holy Land, they had no shortage of problems with which to contend, including disease and malnutrition, Polish anti-Semitism, Soviet indifference, Allied bureaucracy, and Arab nationalism. Now we discover that they faced yet another peril in the shape of bombs planted on their transport ships by Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, better known as MI6.

4. Archaeology: Brit-Am Version of Explorator 13.26
From: david meadows <>


Elonei Mamre has hopened to the public:


Dr Leen Ritmeyer's Blog:


I think we had some early hints of this in the past couple of weeks ... a
Russian archaeologist
is claiming to have found a 'Caucasian Stonehenge' in southern Russia:

Claim that the White Horse of Uffington is actually a dog:

Using DNA to trace ancient humans' migration to Asia:

Much coverage of a potentially-statistically-questionable study suggesting
cancer was virtually unknown in the ancient world:

Things 'you should know' about Columbus:

Making Tzitzit blue again:
Lycian Way:




Taygete Atlantis excavations blogs aggregator:


... and in case you missed the Oded Golan news:

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson:

5. Henry VIII and the Jews
Jeremy Rosen's Blog

...Marriages between royal families were matters of alliances and balance of power. Katharine of Aragon was the daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, the nasty fanatics who expelled the Jews. At the age of three, she was betrothed to Prince Arthur, the elder son of Henry VII of England. He became king after a long, divisive civil war and needed to consolidate his position in a world dominated, at the time, by Spain. In 1501, shortly before her sixteenth birthday, Katharine married Arthur. But after less than six months he died. Henry needed to keep the alliance alive, so Katharine was then betrothed to Arthur's younger brother, Prince Henry. When he became king in 1509, at the age of eighteen, he married Katharine.

Their marriage produced just one living daughter, Mary Tudor. Henry was desperate for a male heir and he was a notorious philanderer. He wanted Anne in his bed, officially. In a religion where divorce was not allowed, the only option was an annulment. But as the Pope had sanctioned the marriage in the first place he had to be the one to annul it.

Henry tried all sorts of ways of getting the Pope to agree but the Pope was under political pressure from other quarters .... After several years of fruitless negotiations, Henry declared religious independence. He set up the Protestant Church of England with himself as the supreme religious head and got his way, at the expense of not a few clergymen who remained loyal to Rome and lost their lives. ...

Where's the Jewish angle here, particularly since they were expelled from England in 1290 and there weren't any there officially at the time (apart from a few itinerant Marranos, who anyway, outwardly were Christians)?

According to Leviticus 18, a man may not marry his brother's wife and if he does they will be childless. That, thought Henry, was why he had no sons. But the Pope had sanctioned his marriage based on the levirate marriage described in Deuteronomy 25. In the event of a brother dying childless, his brother would marry the widow and have children to carry on the dead brother's name. Henry realized that where texts contradict each other, then interpretation and tradition come into play. If the Pope was not willing to play Henry's game and annul the marriage, he'd have to show the Pope didn?t know his Aleph from his Bet. The obvious people to turn to were the Church scholars except they themselves were split. So who else do you turn to but the Jews? Of course nowadays we know the Jews can't agree on anything and certainly not on matters of Jewish Law. But Henry hadn't spent any time in yeshivah and knew no better.

He sent his men to Italy where a Venetian rabbi, Isaac Halfon, wrote an opinion saying that since the end of the Talmudic period, the Biblical law of Yibum, requiring a brother to marry the widow of a childless brother, had fallen into abeyance and only the divorce, Chalitza was used. Therefore the marriage contacted with Arthur's widow was against Jewish law, regardless of whether it had been consummated or not. Furthermore the same rabbi who had banned polygamy, Rabbeinu Gershom (960-1028) and the later Rabbeinu Tam (1100 -1171) both undisputed authorities of European Jewry, had banned the levirate marriage on principle. More good news came from a contemporary responsum to the same effect by Yaakov Rephael Ben Yechiel Chaim Paglione of Modena supported by other Italian rabbis. Henry wanted the sympathetic rabbis to come to his court to reassure him and his bishops of his case. But Jews, despite Oliver Cromwell's support, weren't allowed back into England officially (and not without heavy opposition) until the reign of Charles II. They couldn't or wouldn't come. Instead Henry had to use a Jewish convert to Christianity one Marco Raphael to come over on a generous expense account to persuade the local opponents that Jewishly speaking Henry was in his rights. Henry incidentally acquired a copy of the Talmud to do his own checking. Some years ago it was discovered in a British library and returned to Jewish ownership when the Valmadonna Trust swapped it for a copy of the Magna Carta.

The Pope knew that Sephardi Jews had other customs. Indeed, Sephardi Jews had not been bound either by Rabbeinu Gershom or Rabbeinu Tam. They could have several wives and divorce much more easily and they had never banned Yibum at all. The Pope got his own rabbis to say so. Poor old 'Enery had wasted his time and money and found himself back at square one. And that, my dears, was why he broke with Rome, established the first Protestant Kingdom and how the reigning monarch to this day is also the Supreme Head of the Church of England.

(If this really excites your interest (and who knows what might) read more about it in, amongst others, David S. Katz. The Jews in the History of England 1485-1850.)


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