That's a good question! Celtic is a distinct branch of the Indo-European language family. The Celtic language family is also split into two distinct branches: Continental Celtic and Insular Celtic. Continental Celtic consists of Leptontic, Celtiberian and Gallic, although all of these languages have died out a long time ago. Insular Celtic is also branched into two: Goidelic (Irish, Manx and Scots-Gaelic) and Brittonic (Welsh, Cornish and Breton). In our program for Celtic Studies we mostly focus on learning to read, understand and translate Old Irish and Middle Welsh (and there is the option to learn the modern variant of these languages).
Next to learning these two languages, we also dive into the literary world of medieval Irish and Welsh. Some relevant texts that are always covered in the classes are the Irish text Táin Bó Cúailnge (The Cattle Raid of Cooley) and the Welsh quartain of texts known as the Mabinogi
Celtic in Utrecht
The programme Celtic Languages and Culture has existed for quite a while in Utrecht. When Anton Gerard van Hamel became Professor of Old Germanic at the University in 1923, Celtic was quickly added under his wing. That means that the programme is at least a 100 years old!
The Foundation A.G. van Hamel
For more information on Celtic studies next to our program is the foundation A.G. van Hamel for Celtic Studies. The foundation was founded on the 18th of March, 1991. The goal of the foundation is to 'encourage the study of Celtic languages and culture, mostly in the Netherlands, to broaden and conserve a public support for Celtic studies, to ultimately encourage an amelioration of Celtic Studies'. The foundation is in support of a scientific approach to the study of Celtic languages and culture and functions as a coordinator for specialists in the field, as well as a role as an informative organisation for interested parties. The foundation organises the annual Celtic Colloquium, where Dutch and international speakers give lectures. They also host the Van Hamel lecture, with an introduction by an international specialist. They also aid in organising courses, excursions, symposia and other academic functions.
De Stichting geeft viermaal per jaar The Foundation releases 'Kelten: Mededelingen van de Stichting A.G. Van Hamel voor Keltische studies' four times a year. This online magazine keeps interested parties updated on the activities within the Foundation and other updates within the field of Celtic Studies in the Netherlands. They also contain articles, reviews and other informative writing by third parties. uit. Dit online tijdschrift houdt belangstellenden op de hoogte van de activiteiten van de Stichting en andere gebeurtenissen. Tevens zijn er artikelen, recensies en andere wetenswaardigheden in te vinden.
For more information, please check out their site.