Facts that Prove the Connection between the Phoenicians and the Irish-Celtic

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Celtic Irish and Phoenician
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The similarity between the early Irish-Celtic and the Second Century, B.C., Phoenician language, as shown by the Penulus of Plautus

Please see, also:  The Phoenicians in West Europe: From Canaan to Cornwall & (?) Cork and Britain, Phoenicia's Secret Treasure

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Language Link

In the 18th century, historians discovered exciting proof of Phoenician-Celtic ties. An ancient Roman dramatist, Titus Maccius Plautus (died 184 B.C.) wrote a play, the Penulus, in which he placed then-current Phoenician into the speech of one of his characters. In the 18th century, linguists noticed the great similarity between that Phoenician and the early Irish Celtic language. In the adjacent box is a sample given by historian Thomas Moore's, History of Ireland, showing the connection between these languages. Leading 18th and 19th century scholars, such as Gen. Charles Vallancey, Lord Rosse, and Sir William Betham, also wrote on this subject. Vallancey, for instance, speaks of, "The great affinity found in many words, nay whole lines and sentences of this speech, between the Punic [Phoenician] and the Irish." George Rawlinson, Phoenicia, p. 327

Note: Ancient Hebrew and Canaanite Phoenician and Punic are the same people. Please see: Matt Giwer, © 2007 [Oct 28]

Biblical references used in this article are not to be considered solid historical truths but, like all biblical material, are to be taken with a grain of salt because they lack archaeological proofs.

Phoenician and Early Irish-Celtic

Byth lym mo thym nociothii nel ech an ti daisc machon
Ys i do iebrim thyfe lyth chy lya chon temlyph ula.

Beth liom' mo thime nociaithe, niel ach an ti dairie mae coinne
Is i de leabhraim tafach leith, chi lis con teampluibh ulla.

In 1772, General Charles Vallancey, a leading Irish scholar of the day, published his famous work, "Essay On The Antiquity Of The Irish Language, Being A Collation Of The Irish With The Phoenician Punic Language." In his opening remarks he states, "On a collation of the Irish with the Celtic, Punic, and Phoenician languages, the strongest affinity, (nay a perfect Identity in very many Words) will appear; it may therefore be deemed a Punic-Celtic compound."Vallancey continues, "from the Canaanite proceeded the Phoenician, from the Phoenician, Carthaginian, or Punic was derived the Aeolian, Dorian and Etruscan, and from these was formed the Latin... Of the Roman Saxon capital letters, the Irish use but three, all the others bear a very great resemblance to the primitive Canaanite and Phoenician." (p. 2-3) Modern language scholars have confirmed that there is a definite connection between the Celtic and Canaanite Phoenician."

Religious Links

Since it is true that Canaanite Phoenicians migrated to Europe in large numbers in ancient times, there must be religious and cultural ties, and in fact, such connections abound. Dr. Thomas Moore's, History of Ireland(p. 40), relates:

"That most common of all Celtic monuments, the Cromlech... is to be found not only in most parts of Europe, but also in Asia," including eastern Mediterranean. Not less ancient and general, among the Celtic nations, was the circle of upright stones, with either an altar or tall pillar in the centre, and, like its prototype at the temple of Byblos, Phoenicia, Gilgal [ancient Israel], serving sometimes as a temple of worship, sometimes as a place of national council or inauguration... The rough, unhewn stone...used in their circular temples by the Druids. Dr. Beauford, in Druidism Revived, says, "It is remarkable that all the ancient altars found in Ireland, and now distinguished by the name of Cromlechs or sloping stones, were originally called Bothal, or the House of God, and they seem to be of the same species as those mentioned in the Book of Genesis, called by the Canaanites, Bethel, or discovered in Byblos, Phoenicia, which has the same signification as the Irish Bothal." The Bible (Judges 9:6; 2Ki. 11:14; 2 Chon. 23:13) indicates that Phoenician kings were crowned either standing upon or next to a pillar of stone. "The practice of seating the new king upon a stone, at his initiation, was the practice in many of the countries of Europe.... The monarchs of Sweden sat upon a stone placed in the centre of twelve lesser ones, and in a similar kind of circle the Kings of Denmark were crowned." (Moore, ibid., p. 42) Note also the significant Bible number, 'twelve', which was common to both European Celts and the Phoenicians.

The book, Identity of the Religions Druidical and Phoenician, adds, "Circular temples...abound in England and other parts of Europe. The most ancient account of them is to be found in the book of Exodus (24:4), "And Moses... builde an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes.." (p.15) In Europe, Stonehenge, Avebury, and many other early Celtic sites were designed in a circular pattern. There is no record that preserves the order in which the pillars or stelae of the temple of Byblos were organized.

Groves were also features of both Phoenician and Celtic worship. Significant importance was paid by the Celts to the mistletoe and Phoenician Libanesis was/is abundunt in it like no other place in the Near East.

The division of time into a seven-day week was practiced by the Irish Celts, identical to the Phoenicians from whom the Israelites learned the practice and used it after coming to Canaan. In Egypt, the week was made up of ten days and the Israelites had to follow the ten day week following their Egyptian masters. It was referred to as the market days. The Romans had an eight day week.

Since early times, the Israelites sinned against God by adopting many of the pagan practices of their neighbors, and so we find evidence of both Canaanite Phoenician and Canaanite culture among their descendants in Europe. The ancient Baal pillar is one of many such religious monuments which have been found from the Middle East to Ireland.

There are many other examples, however, of customs linking the Celtic Druids specifically with Phoenicia. English historian, William Borlase, in his "Antiquities Of Cornwall," (1754) presented many pages of such evidence: Druids worshipped but one God and allowed no graven images, identical to the Phoenicians, and in contradistinction with almost all other ancient religions. Consecration was by sprinkling with blood, as in Canaanite worship. Druid priests were clothed in white, similar to the Canaanite priest's white ephod'sacrificial victims were bled to death, and the blood was collected in basins which served to sprinkle the altars; bulls were sacrificed, and the image of a bull (the heraldic sign of one Canaanite tribe) was carried into war. "While they performed their horrid rites of human sacrifice, the drums and trumpets sounded without intermission, that the cries of the miserable victims might not be heard." (Compare Jer. 7:31-32; the Canaanite/Phoenician place of human sacrifice was called Tophet, meaning 'the drum' -- read more about the controvertial subject of child sacrifice in this site). They prayed with uplifted hands, examined entrails for necromancy, and held the oak in veneration. Further, the standoff between Elijah and the Priests of Baal is another example of the similarity between the Celts and Phoenician priests of Baal. The Druids used the magic wand in imitation of Moses' rod, poured libations, sacrificed upon the tops of rocks, investigated truth by lots, anointed rock pillars with oil, and marked out boundaries with stones. (pp. 104-132, 161) In these and so many other distinctive ways, the religious customs of the Celts and Canaanite Phoenicians bear an unmistakable resemblance!

Geographical Links

The early name of southwestern England was "Dumnoni," or "Danmoni," as shown by a portion of a map in Celtic scholar, John Rhys' book, "Early Celtic Britain." This comprises today the British counties of Cornwall and Devon. Highly respected historian William Camden remarked concerning Cornwall: "That region, which according to the geographers, is the first of all Britain, and... was in ancient times inhabited by those Britons, whom Solinas called, Dunmonii, Ptolomy (called) Damnonii, or (as we find in some other copies), moretruly Danmonii derived from the tin mines of the area. The British call it Moina" (Britannia, p. 183). This compound word is therefore composed of "moina," a tin mine, and "DM" or 'DN which stands for money, blood or lord for the people who mined the tin. So this most ancient region of England is properly called "DNMN," meaning, "THE BLOOD OF MONEY = TIN" or the "LORD OF MONEY = TIN."

Celtic scholar, John Rhys, gives strong evidences of Canaanite Phoenician colonization of the British isles in ancient times. "Ireland was known as IBERION,"he says. (p. 201) The most probable cause for this nominclature is the fact that the Phoenician Punic who lived in Iberia/Spain were the first to colonize that part of the British Isles.

Dr. Rhys discusses a region "just in the vicinity of St. David's or Mnyw, called in the Welsh Chronicle MONI IUDEORUM, which contains an allusion probably to the same people." (ibid., p. 226) Rhys says that some scholars suggest this word, Iudeorum or Judeorum, may relate to the "Jutes," a Germanic tribe in Northern Europe, but that he believes such a view incorrect. Instead,Rhys indicates that it identifies Canaanites Phoenicians,"...lastly we seem to have a trace of the same form in the Welsh Chronicle, sometimes called Annales Cambriae, when it calls Menevia or St. David's MoniIudeorum.

Historic Links

One last fascinating connection with ancient Phoenicia is suggested by Professor Rhys, who says, "the (Celtic) Kymry were for some time indifferently called Cambria or Cumbria, the Welsh word on which they are based being, as now written,Cymru... and is there pronounced nearly as an Englishman would treat it if spelled Kumry or KUMRI." (p. 142) The virtual identity in spelling and sound between the proto-Canaanite "Khumri,"and the Celtic "Kymry," is too much of a coincidence to not have a relationship. Taken with the many other evidences, religious and cultural, the connection between the ancient Canaanites and Celts is too strong to be ignored. In fact, it is no longer a question of, "Did Canaanite Phoenicians (Punic) settle in Europe in ancient times?" but only a question of, "How many of the people of Europe are of Phoenician descent?" With the National Geographic Genographic Study identifying that one out of every seventeen persons in the inner and outer banks of the Mediterranean to be of Phoenician blood, it is evident that the Phoenician-Celtic connection is very significant.

Irish history records three main waves of colonization to that isle in ancient times: the Firbolgs, of whom little is known, the Tuatha de DNN (meaning 'Tribe of Blood or Masters'; tuath means 'tribe'), and the Milesians. The latter two peoples are known to have originated in Asia and may have been related. "The Story Of Ireland," by A.M. Sullivan, tells us this: "The Milesian colonizer an Eastern papulation had passed from land to land, from the shores of Asia across the wide expanse of southern Europe, bearing aloft through all their wanderings the Sacred Banner, which symbolized to them at once their origin and their mission, a blessing. This celebrated standard, the 'Sacred Banner of the Milesians,' was a flag on which was represented a dead serpent..." (p.12) (see The oldest Semitic text ever discovered, a spell by the priests of Byblos to protect a pharaoh's mummy from snakes.) The Milesians traced their ancestry to "Gadelius," whose grandfather was "the King of Scythia."


Therefore we can say that in all of these (and a multitude of other) ways, the Celts and Phoenicians bear a remarkable relationship. Since the Celts were spread over most of Europe, the cultural, historical, and theological implications of this truth are immensely significant.

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