views updated May 29 2018

Celtic. Epithet of the peoples now identified as Bretons, Cornish, Irish, Manx, and Scots Gaels, originally Aryans. Early Celtic art seems to have become widespread, or widely influential, from c. C5 bc throughout the Rhineland, Central Europe, the Balkans, and Northern Italy, then in France, Ireland, and Britain c. C3 bc. Later, during the first millennium ad, its art-forms embraced influences from Byzantium, Early Christian, Etruscan, Greek, Oriental, and Syrian precedents. Characteristic elements are abstract patterns such as the triquetrac (triangular three-lobed form of interlaced crescents), triskele (Y-shaped forms), and trumpet-pattern (trumpet shapes with sinuous forms between), complex interlaced stalks and ribbons, knots, spirals, and highly stylized flora and fauna. Celtic art influenced other styles, especially Anglo-Saxon, Hiberno-Romanesque, and Romanesque architectural enrichment, and reached its highest architectural development between c.650 and c.1150 with masterpieces such as the Bewcastle Cross, Cumb. (C7).


Lewis & Darley (1986);
Jane Turner (1996).


views updated May 14 2018

Celt·ic / ˈkeltik; ˈsel-/ • adj. of or relating to the Celts or their languages, which constitute a branch of the Indo-European family and include Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, Breton, Manx, Cornish, and several extinct pre-Roman languages such as Gaulish.• n. the Celtic language group. See also P-Celtic, Q-Celtic.DERIVATIVES: Celt·i·cism / ˈkeltəˌsizəm; ˈsel-/ n.Celt·i·cist / ˈkeltəˌsist; ˈsel-/ n.


views updated May 23 2018

CELTIC. [Pronounced ‘Keltic’ or ‘Seltic’.]
1. Of the Celts, their languages, and culture.

2. An inclusive term for the CELTIC LANGUAGES, particularly the Common Celtic of ancient Europe and the British dialects of the first millennium AD. The term sometimes occurs in combinations: ‘The Norman-Irish and the Celtic-Irish were drawn nearer to one another by common sorrows’ ( G. Bancroft, History of the United States, 1876).