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Ancient Britain and the Invasions of Julius Caesar

Ancient Britain and the Invasions of Julius Caesar
Title: Ancient Britain and the Invasions of Julius Caesar
Release Date: 2018-06-15
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
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i

ANCIENT BRITAIN
AND
THE INVASIONS OF
JULIUS CAESAR

BY
T. RICE HOLMES
Hon. Litt.D. (Dublin)
AUTHOR OF ‘A HISTORY OF THE INDIAN MUTINY’
‘CAESAR’S CONQUEST OF GAUL,’ ETC.

‘There seems no human thought so primitive as to have
lost its bearing on our own thought, nor so ancient as to
have broken its connection with our own life’.—E. B. Tylor.

OXFORD
AT THE CLARENDON PRESS
1907

ii

HENRY FROWDE, M.A.
PUBLISHER TO THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
LONDON, EDINBURGH
NEW YORK AND TORONTO
iii


PREFACE

This book is in one sense a companion of my Caesar’sConquest of Gaul; and much that was written in the prefaceof that volume is equally applicable here. The last threechapters of Part I, and the later articles in Part II, areintended to do for Britain what I formerly tried to do forGaul; but whereas the main object was then to illustratethe conquest, and the opening chapter was merely introductory,my aim in these pages has been to tell the story ofman’s life in our island from the earliest times in detail.What has been called ‘prehistory’ cannot be written withoutknowledge of archaeology; but from the historical standpointarchaeological details must be handled, not for theirown sake, but only in so far as they illustrate the developmentof culture. The two books are constructed on thesame principle: in this, as in the other, the secondpart is devoted to questions which could not properly bediscussed in narrative or quasi-narrative chapters, thoughI am encouraged by the judgement of expert critics, British,American, and Continental, of Caesar’s Conquest of Gaul, tohope that general readers who are interested in these mattersmay not find the articles which deal with them tedious. Thoseon Stonehenge, Ictis, and the ethnology of Britain, althoughthey controvert certain opinions which are commonlyaccepted, will, I hope, tend to place facts in their true light.Two articles deal with well-worn themes,—the identity of thePortus Itius, and the place of Caesar’s landing in Britain.These problems have been pronounced by eminent scholars,ivincluding Mommsen, to be insoluble; nevertheless, I ventureto affirm that in both cases the inquiry has now been workedout to demonstration. Critics who may be disposed toregard this claim as arrogant or frivolous will, I trust, readthe articles through before passing judgement upon them.The questions would have been settled long ago if any competentwriter had bestowed upon them as much care as hasbeen expended in investigating Hannibal’s passage over theAlps.

Books and articles on various branches of the study ofancient Britain are practically innumerable; no otherbook, intended to treat it comprehensively from the beginningto the Roman invasion of A.D. 43, has, so far as I know,yet appeared.

I wish to express my gratitude to all who have in any wayhelped me. I am indebted to Sir John Evans for figures1-6, 8-11, 14, 15, and 18-29, as well as for an opinion, mostkindly given, in regard to certain coins which are not mentionedin his Coins of the Ancient Britons; to the Directorof the British Museum for figures 30, 36-9, 41, 43, and 44;to the Society of Antiquaries for figures 7, 13, 16, 31, 35,and 40; to the Delegates of the Oxford University Press forfigures 12 and 32-4; to Dr. Joseph Anderson for figure 17;and to Canon Greenwell for a proof of a valuable and interestingarticle—‘Early Iron Age Burials in Yorkshire’—which,I believe, is to appear in Archaeologia. Captain Tizard, R.N.,F.R.S., kindly answered various questions which I askedhim about tidal currents. Mr. E. J. Webb, Sir GeorgeDarwin, Professor Postgate, Professor Haverfield, Mr. ClementReid, F.R.S., Mr. George Barrow, F.G.S., Captain J. Iron,Commander Richmond, R.N., and Commander Boxer, R.N.,gave me information, which, in every instance, will be found,acknowledged either in footnotes of Part I, or in Part II,on various points of detail.v

It is vain to plead that work would have been better ifcircumstances had been more favourable. But if any indulgencemay be accorded to an author who, except on holidays,can only find leisure for writing or research after he hasfulfilled the duties of an exacting profession, and who, inorder to gain time, has worked steadily throughout hisvacations for nearly thirty years, I am entitled to it.

11 Douro Place, Kensington, W.
October 19, 1907.vi


CONTENTS

PAGE
Preface iii
List of Illustrations xv
PART I
CHAPTER I
Introduction 1
CHAPTER II
THE PALAEOLITHIC AGE
Reasons for devoting a chapter to the Palaeolithic Age 13
Tertiary Man 13
The Ice Age 14
Continental Britain 19
The relation of palaeolithic man to the Ice Age 22
‘Eolithic’ man? 25
The environment of palaeolithic man in Britain 30
Whence did he come? 30
Chronological puzzles 31
Palaeolithic skeletons 33
Palaeolithic artists 35
Range of the palaeolithic hunters in Britain 35
Where their tools have been found 36
Inhabited caves 37
Cave implements and river-drift implements 38
Divers forms of tools 41
Palaeolithic workshops 42
Handles 44
Uses of tools 45
Culture of the palaeolithic inhabitants of Britain 45
Religion 49
Totemism 51
Was the domestication of animals a result of totemism? 55
Magic 57
Was there a ‘hiatus’ between the Palaeolithic and the Neolithic Age? 59vii
CHAPTER III
THE NEOLITHIC AGE
The early neolithic immigrants 62
The origins of British civilization were neolithic 63
Geography of neolithic Britain 64
Who were the later neolithic invaders? 64
Evidence from dolmens 65
Relics of the neolithic population: their settlements 67
Flint mines and implement factories 69
Difficulty of determining age of stone implements 71
Indefiniteness of the prehistoric ‘Ages’ 72
Stone implements 73
The two main divisions of flint implement 73
How flint implements were made 73
Celts 75
Their uses 77
Chisels and gouges 77
Axes, axe-hammers, anvils, and mullers 78
Implements made of flakes 79
Javelin-heads and arrow-heads 80
Bone implements 82
Pygmy flints 82
Specialization of industries 83
A lost art 83
Dwellings 84
Food and cookery 88
Agriculture 89
Treatment of women 91
Duration of life 91
Clothing and ornaments 91
Trepanning 92
The couvade 94
Hill-forts 95
Primitive writing 99
Sepulture: barrows and cairns 100
Inhumation and incineration 110
Human sacrifice 112
Traces (?) of cannibalism 113
Interment of animals 114
Religion 115
An alien invasion: period of transition 119viii
CHAPTER IV
THE BRONZE AGE AND THE VOYAGE OF PYTHEAS
A Copper Age preceded the Bronze Age in certain countries, but has not been proved to have existed in Britain 121
Bronze implements used for many centuries in Europe before the Iron Age 123
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