Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Silures

The Silures where a tribe of Celts who according to Roman historians defeated The Second Legion. There's some doubt as to whether the Silures were ever subdued by Roman Forces or whether an agreement was reached. The Silures, apparently were not to be changed as a people by either "clemency or cruelty." They were "born curly haired" and were darker complexion than most Celts of the Islands of Britannia who apparently were a redder variety of Celt and many suggested the Silures were more like the Celts of Gaul and Iberia. The suggestion being that, as a people, they had moved from somewhere like Northern Spain to the South East of Wales, the River Usk and even Gloucestershire, and, the argument goes, they'd have done this by a sea crossing from the Iberian Peninsular to the Severn Estuary rather than nipping across the Straits of Dover. Mind you, Romans were tricky and often very subjective historians.

 For the Victorian investigators, most of whom were gentlemen of leisure, class and race were established categories, the big thing was broadening the mind by reaffirming the overall superiority of the Anglo Saxon. Most considered the earlier inhabitants of the English Islands rather primitive, relative to say Romans or Greeks, so the Celtic Myths took a distant place to someone like Tacitus. One such Victorian investigator's interest in rocks took him to the borders of Wales and England, where he observed layers of rocks, some of which contained fossils and he devised a system for giving rough dates to rock strata which he named The Silurian System, after the curly haired Silures. The Silurian geologic period begins at the end of a major extinction of species, about 60% of all water species were wiped out, and during the Silurian age jawed and bony fish took on a whole new look and vascular plants took a hold on the idea of living on land.

No comments: