?

Which town should I use?

  1. Kelheim

    2 vote(s)
    100.0%
  2. Nuremberg

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Furth

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. KhalieLa
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    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

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    Place names

    Discussion in 'Research' started by KhalieLa, Sep 29, 2015.

    I spent all summer waiting for Carte métallogénique de l'Europe to arrive via ILL so I could match my characters homelands with the appropriate ferrous metals and period correct archaeological sites. It came yesterday I was totally psyched!

    Silver, Black Forest, Nebringen, Check!
    Copper (& Salt), Alps, Durenberg, Check!
    Tin, Erzgebirge Mountains, Zavist, Check!
    Iron ???? WTF!

    So I find a awesome bunch of Iron deposits. I grab my atlas of the Celtic world and sure enough there are Hallstatt period C & D cart burials all over the area. The problem? No actual archaeological site name. The closest site is Kelheim and it's 110 km away! So I exchange that for my geopolitical map and find the area of interest surrounds the present day city of Nuremberg.

    So, do I use an actual, period correct site, knowing it's geographically incorrect OR do I use the present day city simply because it's geographically correct. Alternatively, in order to be less obvious, there is a smaller city, named Furth, still within the area of iron deposits and cart burials that could be used.

    Bangs head against wall!
     
  2. Robert Musil
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    Robert Musil Contributing Member

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    [I'm assuming you're writing a period piece set in Celtic Europe 2000+ years ago. If that's incorrect, please disregard this...]

    I hate to say it, but I don't see how Kelheim actually is a period-correct name, since it was named by its modern discoverers. It almost certainly wasn't called "Kelheim" by its actual inhabitants. I don't know Celtic history well but I don't think they left any written records to give us a hint about what they would have called it.

    Although I suppose better Kelheim than Nuremberg or Furth, which probably didn't exist in any form back then.

    I guess if I was in your position, I'd just make up a name based on what I knew about the Celtic language of that time and other place-names. It gladdens me to see this level of commitment to historical verisimilitude, but I'm just not sure that any of these names would sound realistic in the midst of an ancient, pre-Germanic setting.
     
  3. KhalieLa
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    KhalieLa It's not a lie, it's fiction. Contributor

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    Yes, Celtic Europe.
    None of the names are period specific. I'm working with a non-literate society (the irony is not lost on me) so place names for early periods are Grecian or Roman at best, and I don't really want to go that route. For place name frustrations look no further that Istanbul; which during the period I'm working with is Byzantium.

    Tribe names are easier, Boii, Nori, etc, but even then I still run into Roman influence. One of the tribe names starts with a C, Ceirnnoi, but the letter C does not exist in their alphabet. I can switch it for a K. After-all the Celts called themselves, Kelto, so that's an easy fix. The language has a provlivity toward the letter o and an excessive use of the hyphen. Ex. woso-, kwe-, Lug-o. I don't think modern readers are up for much of that, though I have a few passages written in proto-Celtic for fun.
     
  4. Robert Musil
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    Robert Musil Contributing Member

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    Hm--yeah, I can see how that would be frustrating. In that case I'm not sure what to tell you, besides maybe reverse-engineering something from the Romanized names. I do know that, personally, if I was reading a story about ancient Celts and saw a reference to Nuremberg, a city of modern Germany, it would really pull me out of the story.
     

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