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Thread: Celtic Influences in the Czech Republic

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    Post Celtic Influences in the Czech Republic

    Hey all, I know very little about Celtic culture since I have never been exposed to it in any great amounts. Here in the Czech Republic though, many rivers and mountains retain the names that were given to them by the Celts who lived here until about the 7th-8th centuries when they were finally assimilated or pushed out by the migrating Slavs. Names like Bohemia (named after the Celtic tribe Boii), Vltava, Otava, Sazava, Morava, Sumava, and many more. Anyway, thats just a little bit of info that I thought you might find interesting...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Premisyl
    Hey all, I know very little about Celtic culture since I have never been exposed to it in any great amounts. Here in the Czech Republic though, many rivers and mountains retain the names that were given to them by the Celts who lived here until about the 7th-8th centuries when they were finally assimilated or pushed out by the migrating Slavs. Names like Bohemia (named after the Celtic tribe Boii), Vltava, Otava, Sazava, Morava, Sumava, and many more. Anyway, thats just a little bit of info that I thought you might find interesting...
    Thanks for sharing Premisyl.
    I have heard of the Boii tribe before.
    Can you tell me where those other names originate from?
    Do they all come from tribal names?

    The same is true of Britain and Ireland.
    Many of the rivers are actually named after Celtic gods and goddesses.
    Even in England after succesive invasions of Saxons, Norse, Normans,etc. The rivers tended to keep their Celtic names.
    Celtic longevity, eh?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Milesian
    Thanks for sharing Premisyl.
    I have heard of the Boii tribe before.
    Can you tell me where those other names originate from?
    Do they all come from tribal names?

    The same is true of Britain and Ireland.
    Many of the rivers are actually named after Celtic gods and goddesses.
    Even in England after succesive invasions of Saxons, Norse, Normans,etc. The rivers tended to keep their Celtic names.
    Celtic longevity, eh?
    The Vltava, Otava, Sazava, Morava, Odra, Ostravice, Opava, and Odra are all fairly large rivers here. I'm sure that there are many smaller ones with Celtic names. I think the suffix "ava" refers to water in some celtic language...maybe you might have heard of it? the Sumava mountains make up one of the largest national parks in Europe. I only know that it's name is celtic in origin, but I'll try to find out what it means. I think I'll try to find out if there are any towns or villages with names which are derived from celtic languages.

    Edit: What was I thinking...Ostrava (which is the 3rd largest city in CR) has a name that almost certainly is derived from Celtic.... It's quite interesting to hear all these similarities between the Celts that live on the British Islands and the celts that used to live here.
    Last edited by Borivoj; Monday, August 4th, 2003 at 09:54 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Premisyl
    The Vltava, Otava, Sazava, Morava, Odra, Ostravice, Opava, and Odra are all fairly large rivers here. I'm sure that there are many smaller ones with Celitc names. I think the suffix "ava" refers to water in some celtic language...maybe you might have heard of it? the Sumava mountains make up one of the largest national parks in Europe. I only know that it's name is celtic in origin, but I'll try to find out what it means. I think I'll try to find out if there are any towns or villages with names which are derived from celtic languages.
    Hey, now that is interesting!
    the suffix "-ava" certainly does look familiar.
    The Irish word for river is "abhainn"
    When you understand that "bh" in Irish is pronounced as "v" then you can see the similarity.

    Many rivers in the British Isles are called "Avon" which is just an anglicised version of "Abhainn".

    So "-ava" / "Avon" / "Abhainn" would all seem to mean "river" in the Celtic tongues!
    Just as guess but perhaps the prefixes such as Ot-, Saz-, Mor-, etc are names of local Celtic deities and the Celts tended to name their rivers after deities. Possibly it was the name of the local tribe.

    "Morava" is interesting.
    "Mor" in Irish means "great" or "big"
    Even in Welsh (which is a P Celtic tongue more similar to the Celtic language spoken in mainland Europe) it is similar as the word "Mawhr"
    It maybe stretching things but if "Morava" was written in Irish as "Mor Abhainn" or more correctly "Abhainn Mor" then it would mean "the big river" or "the great river".
    In Irish because of the syntax it would be "Abhainn Mor", but it is believed that Irish syntax belongs to the pre-Celtic inhabitants, although the vocabulary is Celtic. If that's the case then perhaps "Abhainn Mor" is peculiar to Irish. Perhaps the Continental Celts would have originally said it as "Mor Abhainn"

    If you can find some other Celtic names it would be very interesting
    Last edited by Milesian; Monday, August 4th, 2003 at 09:40 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Milesian
    When you understand that "bh" in Irish is pronounced as "v" then you can see the similarity.
    Wait, that isn't right.
    "mh" is a "v" sound.
    "bh" is more of a "W" sound, right?
    Oh well, close enough still to be relevant :hehe

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    Here's a pic of Zvikov Castle on the Vltava River. Apparently before earlier wooden forts were built in the 11th and 12th centuries, and the construction of the stone castle in the 13th, the site was home to one of the largest known Celtic religious complexes in Europe.
    Last edited by Borivoj; Tuesday, August 5th, 2003 at 10:10 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Premisyl
    Hey all, I know very little about Celtic culture since I have never been exposed to it in any great amounts. Here in the Czech Republic though, many rivers and mountains retain the names that were given to them by the Celts who lived here until about the 7th-8th centuries when they were finally assimilated or pushed out by the migrating Slavs. Names like Bohemia (named after the Celtic tribe Boii), Vltava, Otava, Sazava, Morava, Sumava, and many more. Anyway, thats just a little bit of info that I thought you might find interesting...

    Same with Serbia. We also have a river called "Morava" nicknamed "the Big river". In Serbia the celtic tribe Scordisians settled there and built the now capital city Belgrade.

    Milesian, does "Res" mean anything in gaelic or welsh?
    Last edited by Vojvoda; Wednesday, August 6th, 2003 at 12:46 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by providenje
    Same with Serbia. We also have a river called "Morava" nicknamed "the Big river". In Serbia the celtic tribe Scordisians settled there and built the now capital city Belgrade.

    Milesian, does "Res" mean anything in gaelic or welsh?
    Ah, so Morava is nicknamed "the big river" in Serbia?
    Seems to support the theory then

    "Res"...hmmmm there's nothing springs to mind immediately.
    In what context is "res" used in what you are thinking of?
    Is it also the name of a river?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Milesian
    Ah, so Morava is nicknamed "the big river" in Serbia?
    Seems to support the theory then

    "Res"...hmmmm there's nothing springs to mind immediately.
    In what context is "res" used in what you are thinking of?
    Is it also the name of a river?
    Yes, Morava means nothing in Serbian.For river we say "reka" not "ava" or aqua=water? Yes, as in Resava.

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    Quote Originally Posted by providenje
    Yes, Morava means nothing in Serbian.For river we say "reka" not "ava" or aqua=water? Yes, as in Resava.
    We say "řeka" for river as well. As for "ava" it means nothing in Czech, I heard that it had something to do with water in a Celtic language. I wonder, Providenje, if the name Morava was carried down by migrating Serbs along with many other names during the migration periods? Otherwise it could have been named by the Celts who had lived there before the Slavs. Also, the Morava in the CR is quite a large river that forms a part of the border between Slovakia and farther down between Austria and Slovakia before it joins the Danub.

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