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Thread: Question About The ''Celtic" Cross

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    Senior Member Dohtig's Avatar
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    Question About The ''Celtic" Cross

    Was the Celtic cross influenced by Germanic tribes at all, or is it purely a Celtic thing? I know that knot work was common among Germanic tribes, but was the circle cross ever used? Also was it ever used by Germanics outside the British isles?

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    Senior Member Sigyn's Avatar
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    From what I know, the Celtic cross is uniquely Celtic and from the British Isles.

    However, the almost identical symbol of the "sun-wheel" existed among Germanic tribes as well (it's an old Indo-European symbol, if I remember right). However, I can't think of the sun-wheel shape ever being worked into a Christian symbol by the Germanics, as it was by the Celts.

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    It's called the Celtic Cross for a reason. Germanics would not have had any influence on it, none the less would have used it. You can find some variations of them outside of Britain, namely Galicia and Brittany, but those are historically Celtic regions.

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    Senior Member Dohtig's Avatar
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    What about Anglo Saxon crosses like these?









    Or these Viking crosses?





    I have read that the when the Germanic tribes invaded Britain they fused their artwork with the Celts and that is what created Insular Art. Prior to the Germanic invasion Celtic art looked completely different.

    Something like this.


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    If anything, it's the other way around, Anglo-Saxons were influenced by the prexisting Insular art styles, as is evidenced in particular artefacts, not only their crosses

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    Senior Member Dohtig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elessar View Post
    If anything, it's the other way around, Anglo-Saxons were influenced by the prexisting Insular art styles, as is evidenced in particular artefacts, not only their crosses
    But isn't true that zoomorphic forms were common in continental Germanics? Sutton Hoo comes to mind. I can't imagine the early Anglo Saxons in East Anglia were influenced by the Celts.




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    Quote Originally Posted by Dohtig View Post
    But isn't true that zoomorphic forms were common in continental Germanics, especially Vikings?
    Yes. But some are believed to be influenced or made from Celtic lands. Both Zoo and Anthropomorphic, early Anglo-Saxons knotwork especially. As is the case with the Oseberg Buddah, posited to be crafted by Irish hands. Boars, wolves, eagles, dragons, bears are all common artistic specimens for both Celts and Germans, both springing from the same well, ethnically speaking.

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    Senior Member Dohtig's Avatar
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    The reason I ask is because I have many Insular tattoos based off of Anglo Saxon art, like the Lindisfarne gospels and Sutton Hoo. Most people that see the circle cross ask me if I'm Irish. It gets annoying sometimes.

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