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Early Names of Britain*

  • Eilert Ekwall (a1)
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The earliest names of Britain known are Celtic. We know that the islands were inhabited before the coming of the Celts, but nothing about the language of the earlier inhabitants or the names by which they designated the islands.

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The following notes, which are in substance identical with a lecture given to the Lund English Society a good many years ago, only claim to be a brief summary of the present stage of research in this field. For more detailed information I refer to Holder, Alt-celtischer Sprachschatz; McBain, Etymology of the Principal Gaelic National Names, etc. (Stirling, 1911); Sir J. Morris-Jones, A Welsh Grammar; Müllenhoff, Deutsche Altertumskunde I (Berlin, 1870); Rhys, Celtic Britain; Watson, History of the Celtic Place-names of Scotland (1926); Windisch, Das keltische Britannien bis zu Kaiser Arthur (Leipzig, 1912).

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* The following notes, which are in substance identical with a lecture given to the Lund English Society a good many years ago, only claim to be a brief summary of the present stage of research in this field. For more detailed information I refer to Holder, Alt-celtischer Sprachschatz; McBain, Etymology of the Principal Gaelic National Names, etc. (Stirling, 1911); Sir J. Morris-Jones, A Welsh Grammar; Müllenhoff, Deutsche Altertumskunde I (Berlin, 1870); Rhys, Celtic Britain; Watson, History of the Celtic Place-names of Scotland (1926); Windisch, Das keltische Britannien bis zu Kaiser Arthur (Leipzig, 1912).

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Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquity
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