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Celtic Knots | Celtic Knotwork

The people who made up the various Celtic tribes were called Keltoi by the Greeks.
Since no soft c exists in Greek, "Celt" and "Celtic" should be pronounced with a hard k sound.

Information in this article is sourced from Wikipedia

Roman Mosaic Celtic Knot

A small part of the Great Pavement. The mosaic is 48' by 48' and uses 1.5 million pieces of stone, each 1/2 inch square. Once the floor of a main hall of a Roman villa, it was laid around AD 325.

The use of interlace patterns had its origins in the artwork of the late Roman Empire. Knot patterns first appeared in the third and fourth centuries AD and can be seen in Roman floor mosaics of that time. Interesting developments in the artistic use of interlaced knot patterns are found in Byzantine architecture and book illumination, Coptic art, Celtic art, Islamic art, Medieval Russian book illumination, Ethiopian art, and European architecture and book illumination.
Spirals, step patterns, and key patterns are dominant motifs in Celtic art prior to the Christian influence on the Celts, which began around 450 A.D. These designs found their way into early Christian manuscripts and artwork with the addition of depictions from life, such as animals, plants and even humans. In the beginning, the patterns were intricate interwoven cords, called plaits, which can also be found in other areas of Europe, such as Italy, in the 6th century. A fragment of a Gospel Book, now in the Durham Cathedral library and created in northern Britain in the 7th century, contains the earliest example of true knotted designs in the Celtic manner.

Lindisfarne Carpet

Carpet from the Lindisfarne Gospels showing plaitwork, zoomorphics, key & step patterns. Click image for larger view.

Celtic Knot from the Lindisfarne Gospels

St. John Knot from the Lindisfarne Gospels 700 AD

Examples of plait work (a woven, unbroken cord design) predate knotwork designs in several cultures around the world, but the broken and reconnected plait work that is characteristic of true knotwork began in Northern Italy and Southern Gaul and spread to Ireland by the 7th century. The style is most commonly associated with the Celtic lands, but it was also practiced extensively in England and was exported to Europe by Irish and Northumbrian monastic activities on the continent. J. Romilly Allen has identified "eight elementary knots which form the basis of nearly all the interlaced patterns in Celtic decorative art". In modern times Celtic Art is popularly thought of in terms of national identity and therefore specifically Irish, Scottish or Welsh.
The triquetra or Trinity Knot is the most familiar of the Celtic Knot patterns. It is often found in Insular art, most notably metal work and in illuminated manuscripts like the Book of Kells. It is also found in similar artwork on Celtic crosses and slabs from the early Christian period. In manuscripts it was used primarily as a space filler or ornament in much more complex compositions, and in knotwork panels it is a design motif integrated with other design elements. Celtic art lives on as both a living folk art tradition and through several revivals. This widely recognized knot has been used as a singular symbol for the past two centuries by Celtic Christians, Pagans and agnostics as a sign of special things and persons that are threefold. Trinity Knot