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contents : Bronze and Iron Ages : Language

Summary: Types of Celtic Language

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The early Iron Age or Celtic people were good story tellers and fili travelled around the country telling stories. By about 300AD these people were speaking Gaeilge but had no books or proper alphabet. Their oral traditions were handed down through generations and were not written down in formal language until the 12th century when the Christian monks were responsible. The earliest writing was on standing stones, called Ogham stones, and was first used to record the names of dead people. The writing on these Ogham stones consisted of a variety of strokes across a vertical line for the consonants; and a series of dots on the line for vowels.

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Drumlohan Ogham StoneMap of Ptolemy's IrelandMap of European Celtic LanguagesOgham Stone (reconstruction)

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