Moses was a prophet according to the teachings of the Abrahamic religions. Scholarly consensus sees Moses as a legendary figure. According to the Hebrew Bible, he was adopted by an Egyptian princess, in life became the leader of the Israelites and lawgiver, to whom the authorship of the Torah, or acquisition of the Torah from Heaven is traditionally attributed. Called Moshe Rabbenu in Hebrew, he is the most important prophet in Judaism, he is an important prophet in Christianity, the Bahá'í Faith, a number of other Abrahamic religions. According to the Book of Exodus, Moses was born in a time when his people, the Israelites, an enslaved minority, were increasing in numbers and the Egyptian Pharaoh was worried that they might ally themselves with Egypt's enemies. Moses' Hebrew mother, secretly hid him when the Pharaoh ordered all newborn Hebrew boys to be killed in order to reduce the population of the Israelites. Through the Pharaoh's daughter, the child was adopted as a foundling from the Nile river and grew up with the Egyptian royal family.
After killing an Egyptian slavemaster, Moses fled across the Red Sea to Midian, where he encountered The Angel of the Lord, speaking to him from within a burning bush on Mount Horeb. God sent Moses back to Egypt to demand the release of the Israelites from slavery. Moses said that he could not speak eloquently, so God allowed Aaron, his brother, to become his spokesperson. After the Ten Plagues, Moses led the Exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt and across the Red Sea, after which they based themselves at Mount Sinai, where Moses received the Ten Commandments. After 40 years of wandering in the desert, Moses died within sight of the Promised Land on Mount Nebo. Jerome gives 1592 BCE, James Ussher 1571 BCE as Moses' birth year. In the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses was called "the man of God". Several etymologies have been proposed. An Egyptian root msy, "child of", has been considered as a possible etymology, arguably an abbreviation of a theophoric name, as for example in Egyptian names like Thutmoses and Ramesses, with the god's name omitted.
Abraham Yahuda, based on the spelling given in the Tanakh, argues that it combines "water" or "seed" and "pond, expanse of water", thus yielding the sense of "child of the Nile". The Biblical account of Moses' birth provides him with a folk etymology to explain the ostensible meaning of his name, he is said to have received it from the Pharaoh's daughter: "he became her son. She named him Moses, saying,'I drew him out of the water.'" This explanation links it to a verb mashah, meaning "to draw out", which makes the Pharaoh's daughter's declaration a play on words. The princess made a grammatical mistake, prophetic of his future role in legend, as someone who will "draw the people of Israel out of Egypt through the waters of the Red Sea."The Hebrew etymology in the Biblical story may reflect an attempt to cancel out traces of Moses' Egyptian origins. The Egyptian character of his name was recognized as such by ancient Jewish writers like Philo of Alexandria and Josephus. Philo linked Mōēsēs to the Egyptian word for water, while Josephus, in his Antiquities of the Jews, claimed that the second element, -esês, meant'those who are saved'.
The problem of how an Egyptian princess, known to Josephus as Thermutis and in Jewish tradition as Bithiah, could have known Hebrew puzzled medieval Jewish commentators like Abraham ibn Ezra and Hezekiah ben Manoah. Hezekiah suggested she either took a tip from Jochebed; the Israelites had settled in the Land of Goshen in the time of Joseph and Jacob, but a new pharaoh arose who oppressed the children of Israel. At this time Moses was born to his father Amram, son of Kehath the Levite, who entered Egypt with Jacob's household. Moses had one older sister and one older brother, Aaron; the Pharaoh had commanded that all male Hebrew children born would be drowned in the river Nile, but Moses' mother placed him in an ark and concealed the ark in the bulrushes by the riverbank, where the baby was discovered and adopted by Pharaoh's daughter, raised as an Egyptian. One day after Moses had reached adulthood he killed an Egyptian, beating a Hebrew. Moses, in order to escape the Pharaoh's death penalty, fled to Midian.
There, on Mount Horeb, God appeared to Moses as a burning bush, revealed to Moses his name YHWH and commanded him to return to Egypt and bring his chosen people out of bondage and into the Promised Land. During the journey, God tried to kill Moses because he had not circumcised his son, but Zipporah saved his life. Moses returned to carry out God's command, but God caused the Pharaoh to refuse, only after God had subjected Egypt to ten plagues did the Pharaoh relent. Moses led the Israelites to the border of Egypt, but there God hardened the Pharaoh's heart once more, so that he could destroy the Pharaoh and his army at the Red Sea Crossing as a sign of his power to Israel and the nations. After defeating the Amalekites in Rephidim, Moses led the Israelites to biblical Mount Sinai, where he was given the Ten Commandments from God, written on stone tablets. However, since Moses remained a long time on the mountain, some of the people feared that he might be dead, so they made a statue of a golden calf and worshiped it, thus disobeying and angering God and Moses.
Moses, out of anger, bro
British Iron Age
The British Iron Age is a conventional name used in the archaeology of Great Britain, referring to the prehistoric and protohistoric phases of the Iron Age culture of the main island and the smaller islands excluding prehistoric Ireland, which had an independent Iron Age culture of its own. The parallel phase of Irish archaeology is termed the Irish Iron Age; the Iron Age is not an archaeological horizon of common artefacts, but is rather a locally diverse cultural phase. The British Iron Age lasted in theory from the first significant use of iron for tools and weapons in Britain to the Romanisation of the southern half of the island; the Romanised culture is considered to supplant the British Iron Age. The Irish Iron Age was ended by the rise of Christianity; the tribes living in Britain during this time are popularly considered to be part of a broadly Celtic culture, but in recent years this has been disputed. At a minimum, "Celtic" is a linguistic term without an implication of a lasting cultural unity connecting Gaul with the British Isles throughout the Iron Age.
The Brythonic languages spoken in Britain at this time, as well as others including the Goidelic and Gaulish languages of neighbouring Ireland and Gaul certainly belong to the group known as Celtic languages. However it cannot be assumed that particular cultural features found in one Celtic-speaking culture can be extrapolated to the others. At present over 100 large-scale excavations of Iron Age sites have taken place, dating from the 8th century BC to the 1st century AD, overlapping into the Bronze Age in the 8th century BC. Hundreds of radiocarbon dates have been acquired and have been calibrated on four different curves, the most precise being based on tree ring sequences; the following scheme summarises a comparative chart presented in a 2005 book by Barry Cunliffe, but British artefacts were much in adopting Continental styles such as the La Tène style of Celtic art: The end of the Iron Age extends into the early Roman Empire under the theory that Romanisation required some time to take effect.
In parts of Britain that were not Romanised, such as Scotland, the period is extended a little longer, say to the 5th century. The geographer closest to AD 100 is Ptolemy. Pliny and Strabo are a bit older. Attempts to understand the human behaviour of the period have traditionally focused on the geographic position of the islands and their landscape, along with the channels of influence coming from continental Europe. During the Bronze Age there are indications of new ideas influencing land use and settlement. Extensive field systems, now called Celtic fields, were being set out and settlements were becoming more permanent and focused on better exploitation of the land; the central organisation to undertake this had been present since the Neolithic period but it was now targeted at economic and social goals, such as taming the landscape rather than the building of large ceremonial structures like Stonehenge. Long ditches, some many miles in length, were dug with enclosures placed at their ends.
These are thought to indicate a desire to increase control over wide areas. By the 8th century BC, there is increasing evidence of Great Britain becoming tied to continental Europe in Britain's South and East. New weapon types appeared with clear parallels to those on the continent such as the Carp's tongue sword, complex examples of which are found all over Atlantic Europe. Phoenician traders began visiting Great Britain in search of minerals around this time, bringing with them goods from the Mediterranean. At the same time, Northern European artefact types reached Eastern Great Britain in large quantities from across the North Sea. Defensive structures dating from this time are impressive, for example the brochs of Northern Scotland and the hill forts that dotted the rest of the islands; some of the most well-known hill forts include Maiden Castle, Cadbury Castle and Danebury, Hampshire. Hill forts first appeared in Wessex in the Late Bronze Age, but only become common in the period between 550 and 400 BC.
The earliest were of a simple univallate form, connected with earlier enclosures attached to the long ditch systems. Few hill forts have been excavated in the modern era, Danebury being a notable exception, with 49% of its total surface area studied. However, it appears that these "forts" were used for domestic purposes, with examples of food storage and occupation being found within their earthworks. On the other hand, they may have been only occupied intermittently as it is difficult to reconcile permanently occupied hill forts with the lowland farmsteads and their roundhouses found during the 20th century, such as at Little Woodbury and Rispain Camp. Many hill forts are not in fact "forts" at all, demonstrate little or no evidence of occupation; the development of hill forts may have occurred due to greater tensions that arose between the better structured and more populous social groups. Alternatively, there are suggestions that, in the latter phases of the Iron Age, these structures indicate a greater accumulation of wealth and a higher standard of living, although any such shift is invisible in the archaeological record for the Middle Iron Age, when hill forts come into their own.
In this regard, they may have served as wider centres used for social contact. Either way, during the Roman occupation the evidence suggests that, as defensive structures, they proved to be of little use against concerted Roman attack. Suetonius comments that Vespasian captured more than twenty "towns" during a campaign in the
Tuatha Dé Danann
The Tuath Dé Danann known by the earlier name Tuath Dé, are a supernatural race in Irish mythology. They are thought to represent the main deities of pre-Christian Gaelic Ireland; the Tuatha Dé Danann constitute a pantheon whose attributes appeared in a number of forms throughout the Celtic world. The Tuath Dé interact with humans and the human world, they are associated with ancient passage tombs, such as Brú na Bóinne, which were seen as portals to the Otherworld. Their traditional rivals are the Fomorians, who seem to represent the harmful or destructive powers of nature, who the Tuath Dé defeat in the Battle of Mag Tuired; each member of the Tuath Dé has associations with a particular feature of life or nature, but many appear to have more than one association. Many have bynames, some representing different aspects of the deity and others being regional names or epithets. Much of Irish mythology was recorded by Christian monks, they depicted the Tuath Dé as kings and heroes of the distant past who had supernatural powers.
Other times they were explained as fallen angels who were neither evil. However, some medieval writers acknowledged, they appear in tales set centuries apart, showing them to be immortal. Prominent members of the Tuath Dé include The Dagda, they have parallels in the pantheons of other Celtic peoples: for example Lugh is cognate with the pan-Celtic god Lugus, Nuada with the British god Nodens, Brigid with Brigantia. The Tuath Dé became the Aos Sí or "fairies" of folklore; the Old Irish word tuath means "people, nation". In the earliest writings, the mythical race are referred to as the Tuath Dé. However, Irish monks began using the term Tuath Dé to refer to the Israelites, with the meaning "People of God". To avoid confusion with the Israelites, writers began to refer to the mythical race as the Tuath Dé Danann; the Old Irish pronunciation is and the Modern Irish pronunciation is in the West and North, in the South. Danann is believed to be the genitive of a female name, for which the nominative case is not attested.
It has been reconstructed as Danu. Anu is called "mother of the Irish gods" by Cormac mac Cuilennáin; this may be linked to the Welsh mythical figure Dôn. Hindu mythology has a goddess called Danu, who may be an Indo-European parallel. However, this reconstruction is not universally accepted, it has been suggested that Danann is a conflation of dán and the goddess name Anann. The name is found as Donann and Domnann, which may point to the origin being proto-Celtic *don, meaning "earth". There may be a link with the British Dumnonii; the Tuatha Dé Danann were descended from leader of a previous wave of inhabitants of Ireland. They came from four cities to the north of Ireland—Falias, Gorias and Finias—where they taught their skills in the sciences, including architecture, the arts, magic, including necromancy. According to Lebor Gabála Érenn, they came to Ireland "in dark clouds" and "landed on the mountains of Conmaicne Rein in Connachta", otherwise Sliabh an Iarainn, "and they brought a darkness over the sun for three days and three nights".
They burnt the ships "so that they should not think of retreating to them. Therefore it was conceived that they had arrived in clouds of mist". A poem in the Lebor Gabála Érenn says of their arrival: It is God who suffered them, though He restrained themthey landed with horror, with lofty deed, in their cloud of mighty combat of spectres, upon a mountain of Conmaicne of Connacht. Without distinction to descerning Ireland, Without ships, a ruthless course the truth was not known beneath the sky of stars, whether they were of heaven or of earth. Led by their king, they fought the First Battle of Magh Tuireadh on the west coast, in which they defeated and displaced the native Fir Bolg, who inhabited Ireland. In the battle, Nuada lost an arm to Sreng. Since Nuada was no longer "unblemished", he could not continue as king and was replaced by the half-Fomorian Bres, who turned out to be a tyrant; the physician Dian Cecht replaced Nuada's arm with a working silver one and he was reinstated as king. However, Dian Cecht's son Miach was dissatisfied with the replacement so he recited the spell, "ault fri halt dí & féith fri féth", which caused flesh to grow over the silver prosthesis over the course of nine days and nights.
However, in a fit of jealous rage Dian Cecht slew his own son. Because of Nuada's restoration as leader, Bres complained to his family and his father, who sent him to seek assistance from Balor, king of the Fomorians; the Tuatha Dé Danann fought the Second Battle of Magh Tuireadh against the Fomorians. Nuada was killed by the Fomorian king Balor's poisonous eye, but Balor was
Bragança is a city and municipality in north-eastern Portugal, capital of the district of Bragança, in the Terras de Trás-os-Montes subregion of Portugal. The population in 2011 was 35,341, in an area of 1173.57 km². Archeological evidence permits a determination of human settlement in this region to the Paleolithic. During the Neolithic there was a growth of productive human settlements which concentrated on planting and domestication of animals, with a nascent religion. There are many vestiges of these ancient communities, including ceramics, agricultural implements, weights and modest jewelry, all carved from rock. Many of these artefacts were found in funerary mounds, such as the tumulus of Donai. There are many signs of megalithic constructions dotted throughout the region, it is believed that the larger prehistoric communities developed in Terra Fria in the final part of the Bronze Age. During this period, the Celtic or Castro culture of fortified urban structures resulted in walled settlements, situated in elevated areas, with a panoramic view for defense.
These communities survived on subsistence agriculture. Roman colonization, which occurred late in the Roman era, resulted in the establishment of private property and movement away from the forests, in addition to organizational changes resulting administrative and cultural evolution. Remnants of the Luso-Roman castro societies are evident in Castro of Sacóias and the Castro of Avelãs. In these excavations, modern archaeologists have discovered funerary remains and implements; the Castro of Avelãs was an important centre on the military road to Astorga, although there are many examples of the Roman presence. The area was dominated by two ethnic communities: the Zoelae, with their seat in Castro de Avelãs, a Lusitanian civitas under the stewardship of the Baniense in the southern part of the district. A Latin map, Atlas de Gotha by Justus Perthes, mentioned three settlements within this region: Aquae Flaviae and Zoelae without mentioning any reference to a name similar to Bragança. During Roman colonization, it was part of Gallaecia and dependent administratively on Astorga, on the Atlantic axis of a Roman highway from Meseta, that controlled the gold and silver trade.
The references to a settlement with the name similar to Bragança occurred in the acts of Council Lugo regarding the Vergancia. A similar reference by Wamba referred to Bregancia, where two Christian martyrs were born. Records of the proto-Germanic Suebic and Visigothic kingdoms are few an indication of advancement in rural agrarian and pastoral communities during their occupation and settlement. Toponymic references such as Gimonde and Samil are some of the remains from this period. Although some placenames remained, the influence of the Islamic civilization to the northern regions and Douro was small. There is but one passing reference to a Pelagius Count of Bragança during the Council of Oviedo. Owing to the Reconquista, this region was integrated into the Kingdom of Asturias, the economy, ecclesiastical organization, architecture and language was influenced by the Asturo-Leonese. During the 11th and 12th century, in the books of genealogy, the Bragançãos family of Castro d'Avelãs dominated Bragança, its abbot Mendo Alãm, who married Princess Ardzrouri of Armenia (who passed through the region on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, originated the hereditary line.
Legend holds that Fernão Mendes kidnapped married, daughter of Afonso Henriques and Teresa, obtaining with his dead the important defense of the region. Fernão Mendes and Sancha would find the ruins of the ancient village and rebuilt from the ground in the Realenga das Terras da Bragança. Fernão Mendes was referred to as the Brave for his gallantry during the Battle of Ourique, yet the region of Bragança would become a property of the Crown as no heir would develop from their union. The Bragançãos contributed to the foundation of the settlement, its importance would remain integral to the defense of the country, owing to the geopolitical position in the northwest frontier with the Spanish Kingdoms of León and Castile. By the seventh generation, around 1258, the Bragançãos lose their hereditary title, Afonso III transfer the title to Nuno Martins a descendent of the line; the origin of the city of Bragança dates from the 10th or 11th century, developed from a Romanized castro, although archaeological evidence is still under-discovered.
The strategic importance of Bragança, to military control of access, resulted from its localization and was reinforced by administrative institutions established by the King. Sancho signed a foral in June 1187, renovated by King Afonso III, in May 1253, by Manuel I on 11 November 1514; the foral demonstrated the importance of the city, the first in the Trás-os-Montes to receive the title of town. In his proclamation, Afonso III specified that the municipality of Bragança pertained to the Church of Braganza, not the crown, that its represents should motivate the settlement of all unpopulated lands; this conflicted with the Military O
Breogán is a character in the Lebor Gabála Érenn, a medieval Christian history of Ireland and the Irish. He is the son of Brath, is described as an ancestor of the Gaels; the Lebor Gabála purports to be an account of how the Gaels descend from Adam through the sons of Noah and how they came to Ireland. It tells us that they spent 440 years wandering the Earth and underwent a series of trials and tribulations, based on the tale of the Israelites in the Old Testament, they sail to Iberia and conquer it. There, one of their leaders, Breogán, founds a city builds a great tower. From the top of the tower, his son Íth glimpses Ireland; the Gaels, including some of Breogán's sons, sail to Ireland from Brigantia and agree to divide it between them and the Tuatha Dé Danann, the Irish pagan gods, who take the Otherworld. Brigantia refers to A Coruña in present-day Galicia and Breogán's tower is based on the Tower of Hercules or the Tower of Babel; the idea that the Irish Gaels came from Hispania may be based on the similarity of the names Iberia and Hibernia and the names Galicia and Gael.
Medieval pseudo-historians made similar claims about other nations based on their names. A similar story about a monk who voyaged to a marvelous island he saw from the top of the tower of Brigantia was written in the first years of the eleventh century in Galicia; the story, preserved in two 14th-century manuscripts, is known as Trezenzonii de Solistitionis Insula Magna. His son was Bile, in turn the father of Milesius, said to be the ancestor of the Irish people. Although this is regarded as myth, the conquering of Ireland by people coming from the Iberian peninsula in prehistoric times fits in with a genetic study conducted in 2006 at Oxford University, which concluded that the majority of people in the British Isles are descended from neolithic farmers coming from the coastal north regions of Spain; the Lebor Gabála was a hugely influential work. Galicia itself is sometimes described poetically as the "Home" or "Nation" of Breogán; the land is so described in the anthem of Galicia, "Os Pinos".
A large statue of Breogán stands near the Tower of Hercules in Coruña. The professional basketball club of the Galician city of Lugo is called CB Breogán in its honor. In the Spanish capital Madrid, there is a park called Parque de Breogán, named after this legendary figure. Breogán had nine other sons besides Bile father of Milesius. Of these, Íoth came to Ireland first and was murdered by the sons of Cermait, prompting his family to arrive for revenge. Íoth's son Lughaidh is commemorated in the placename Corca Luighe, Íoth's brothers in other placenames: Breogha, Cuailgne and Cualu in the territories of their descendant peoples. Media related to Breogán at Wikimedia Commons Historical timeline of the Tower of Brigantia, whence the Milesians left for Ireland Why is Galicia Breogan's Nation
Celtic mythology is the mythology of Celtic polytheism, the religion of the Iron Age Celts. Like other Iron Age Europeans, the early Celts maintained a polytheistic mythology and religious structure. For Celts in close contact with Ancient Rome, such as the Gauls and Celtiberians, their mythology did not survive the Roman Empire, their subsequent conversion to Christianity and the loss of their Celtic languages, it is through contemporary Roman and Christian sources that their mythology has been preserved. The Celtic peoples who maintained either political or linguistic identities left vestigial remnants of their ancestral mythologies that were put into written form during the Middle Ages. Although the Celtic world at its height covered much of western and central Europe, it was not politically unified nor was there any substantial central source of cultural influence or homogeneity. Inscriptions of more than three hundred deities equated with their Roman counterparts, have survived, but of these most appear to have been genii locorum, local or tribal gods, few were worshiped.
However, from what has survived of Celtic mythology, it is possible to discern commonalities which hint at a more unified pantheon than is given credit. The nature and functions of these ancient gods can be deduced from their names, the location of their inscriptions, their iconography, the Roman gods they are equated with, similar figures from bodies of Celtic mythology. Celtic mythology is found in a number of distinct, if related, subgroups corresponding to the branches of the Celtic languages: Ancient Celtic religion mythology in Goidelic languages, represented chiefly by Irish mythology Mythological Cycle Ulster Cycle Fenian Cycle Cycles of the Kings mythology in Brittonic languages Welsh mythology Cornish mythology Breton mythology As a result of the scarcity of surviving materials bearing written Gaulish, it is surmised that the most of the Celtic writings were destroyed by the Romans, although a written form of Gaulish using Greek and North Italic alphabets was used. Julius Caesar attests to the literacy of the Gauls, but wrote that their priests, the druids, were forbidden to use writing to record certain verses of religious significance while noting that the Helvetii had a written census.
Rome introduced a more widespread habit of public inscriptions, broke the power of the druids in the areas it conquered. Although early Gaels in Ireland and parts of modern Wales used the Ogham script to record short inscriptions, more sophisticated literacy was not introduced to Celtic areas that had not been conquered by Rome until the advent of Christianity. Indeed, many Gaelic myths were first recorded by Christian monks, albeit without most of their original religious meanings; the oldest body of myths stemming from the Heroic Age is found only from the early medieval period of Ireland. As Christianity began to take over, the gods and goddesses were eliminated as such from the culture. What has survived includes material dealing with the Tuatha Dé Danann and the Fomorians, which forms the basis for the text Cath Maige Tuired "The Battle of Mag Tuireadh", as well as portions of the history-focused Lebor Gabála Érenn; the Tuatha Dé represent the functions of human society such as kingship and war, while the Fomorians represent chaos and wild nature.
The leader of the gods for the Irish pantheon appears to have been the Dagda. The Dagda was the figure on which male humans and other gods were based because he embodied ideal Irish traits. Celtic gods were considered to be a clan due to their lack of specialization and unknown origins; the particular character of the Dagda was as a figure of burlesque lampoonery in Irish mythology, some authors conclude that he was trusted to be benevolent enough to tolerate jokes at his own expense. Irish tales depict the Dagda as a figure of power, armed with a club. In Dorset there is a famous outline of an ithyphallic giant known as the Cerne Abbas Giant with a club cut into the chalky soil. While this was produced in modern times, it was long thought to be a representation of the Dagda; this has been called into question by recent studies which show that there may have been a representation of what looks like a large drapery hanging from the horizontal arm of the figure, leading to suspicion that this figure represents Hercules, with the skin of the Nemean lion over his arm and carrying the club he used to kill it.
In Gaul, it is speculated that the Dagda is associated with Sucellus, the striker, equipped with a hammer and cup. The Morrígan was a tripartite battle goddess of the Celts of Ancient Ireland, she was known as the Morrígan, but the different sections she was divided into were referred to as Nemain and Badb, with each representing different aspects of combat. She is most known for her involvement in the Táin Bó Cúailnge
Samhain is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the "darker half" of the year. Traditionally, it is celebrated from 31 October to 1 November, as the Celtic day began and ended at sunset; this is about halfway between the winter solstice. It is one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals, along with Imbolc and Lughnasadh, it was observed throughout Ireland and the Isle of Man. Similar festivals are held at the same time of year in other Celtic lands. Samhain is believed to have Celtic pagan origins and there is evidence it has been an important date since ancient times; some Neolithic passage tombs in Ireland are aligned with the sunrise around the time of Samhain. It is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish literature and many important events in Irish mythology happen or begin on Samhain, it was the time when cattle were brought back down from the summer pastures and when livestock were slaughtered for the winter. As at Bealtaine, special bonfires were lit.
These were deemed to have protective and cleansing powers and there were rituals involving them. Like Bealtaine, Samhain was seen as a liminal time, when the boundary between this world and the Otherworld could more be crossed; this meant the Aos Sí, the'spirits' or'fairies', could more come into our world. Most scholars see the Aos Sí as remnants of the pagan gods and nature spirits. At Samhain, it was believed that the Aos Sí needed to be propitiated to ensure that the people and their livestock survived the winter. Offerings of food and drink were left outside for them; the souls of the dead were thought to revisit their homes seeking hospitality. Feasts were had, at which the souls of dead kin were beckoned to attend and a place set at the table for them. Mumming and guising were part of the festival, involved people going door-to-door in costume reciting verses in exchange for food; the costumes may have been a way of imitating, disguising oneself from, the Aos Sí. Divination rituals and games were a big part of the festival and involved nuts and apples.
In the late 19th century, Sir John Rhys and Sir James Frazer suggested that it was the "Celtic New Year", this view has been repeated by some other scholars. In the 9th century AD, the Western Christian church shifted the date of All Saints' Day to 1 November, while 2 November became All Souls' Day. Over time and All Saints'/All Souls' merged to create the modern Halloween. Historians have used the name'Samhain' to refer to Gaelic'Halloween' customs up until the 19th century. Since the 20th century, Celtic neopagans and Wiccans have observed Samhain, or something based on it, as a religious holiday. Neopagans in the Southern Hemisphere celebrate Samhain at the other end of the year. In Modern Irish as well as Scottish Gaelic the name is Samhain. Older forms of the word include the Scottish Gaelic spellings Samhuinn. In Manx Gaelic the name is Sauin; these are the names of November in each language, shortened from Mí na Samhna, Mì na Samhna and Mee Houney, meaning "month of Samhain". The night of 31 October—Halloween—is Oíche Shamhna, Oidhche Shamhna and Oie Houney, meaning "Samhain night".
The day of 1 November, or the whole festival, may be called Lá Samhna, Là Samhna and Laa Houney, meaning "Samhain day". These names all come from the Old Irish Samain or Samuin, the name for the festival held on 1 November in medieval Ireland; this comes from Proto-Indo-European *semo-. One suggestion is that the name means "summer's end", from sam and fuin, but this may be a folk etymology. In 1907, Whitley Stokes suggested an etymology from Proto-Celtic *samani, Joseph Vendryes suggested that it is unrelated to *semo-, because the Celtic summer ended in August; the Gaulish month name SAMON " Summer" on the Coligny calendar is related to the word Samhain. A festival of some kind may have been held during the'three nights of Samonios'; the Gaulish calendar seems to have split the year into two-halves: the first beginning with the month SAMON and the second beginning with the month GIAMONIOS, related to the word for winter, PIE *g'hei-men-, cf. Old Irish gem-adaig. Samonios may represent the beginning of the summer season and Giamonios the beginning of the winter season.
The lunations marking the middle of each half-year may have been marked by festivals. Samain or Samuin was the name of the feis or festival marking the beginning of winter in Gaelic Ireland, it is attested in some of the earliest Old Irish literature, from the 10th century onward. It was one of four Gaelic seasonal festivals: Samhain, Imbolc and Lughnasadh. Samhain and Bealtaine, at the witherward side of the year from each other, are thought to have been the most important. Sir James George Frazer wrote in The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion that 1 May and 1 November are of little importance to European crop-growers, but of great importance to herdsmen, it is at the beginning of summer that cattle are driven to the upland summer pastures and the beginning of winter that they are led back. Thus, Frazer suggests that halving the year at 1 M