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Contents

Back to the front: click here to go back to the intro
Legends of the Celts: the legends real and imaginary of the Celtic people
Song of the Celts: a source for great Celtic music
Legacy of the Celts: assistance can be found here to trace your Celtic heritage
Special Announcements: info on Celtic events updated weekly organized monthly.

Who Were The Celts?

The Celts originated thousands of years ago and at one time held dominion over Middle and Western Europe for centuries even into parts of Turkey.Today the Celtic progeny can be found mostly in Ireland,Scotland,Nova Scotia,the United States and other parts of the world.

The Celts kept no written history and not much is known of them until their contact with Greeks and Romans the Celts preferred to keep verbal records of their history rather than writing it down.The Celts however were highly educated in matters of science and agriculture.The Celts are mostly recognized however for ferocity in combat in fact both men AND women went into combat together totally naked in any weather sun,rain or snow.

Now i will tell you of the Celts' history as seen by them as best i can.

Part One-The Dawn of the Celts

The first strong evidence of the Celts comes from the Greek philosopher Herodotus who spoke of a race living beyond the Pillars of Hercules (Spain)and the Upper Danube.The name Celt came from the Hallstatt tribe when referring to themselves to the Greeks they used the word "Keltoi".In 450 BC came the La Tene tribe which lived in what is now Switzerland and in Austria other tribes included the Pritani(England),Picts(Ireland & Scotland),Scotti(Scotland),Galli(France),Belgae(Belgium) and the Galatians(Turkey).

Part Two-The Celtic Golden Age

During the 4th and 5th centuries the Celts were at their height of power.They held Spain in 500 BC,in 400 BC they had taken over North Italy and in the close of that same century the had defeated the Illyrians at Pannonia.The Celts were closely allied with Greece having saved Greece by attacking Carthage and by keeping Greece safe during the abscence of Alexander the Great the Celts often helped Alexander incampaigns against the Phoneicians and the Persians.Livy Ambicatus led the Celts around 400 BC when the Celts were allied with the Romans against the Etruscans however the Roman armies held contempt for the Celts whom they saw as uneducated barbarians and at the Siege of Clusium in 391 BC the Romans betrayed the Celts and turned against them.The Celts had their revenge in the worst way possible.Mustering their forces the Celts marched non-stop through Italy they did not pillage nor attack they just marched silently and straightforward to Rome.Once the Celts reached Rome they attacked the mighty city without any planning or method of attack and in 3 days Rome fell.The Celts stayed in Rome for a year until they left on their own accord the Romans would not attack the Celts again for almost a century.

Part Three-The Decline of the Celtic Empire

The Celtic Empire could not last forever and around 300 BC the end began.Celtic tribes began looking for new land and some attacked their old ally Greece where they took Delphi in 273 BC.Some tribes attacked Rome in alliance with the Etruscans but met defeat in Sentinum during 295 BC and at Lake Vadimo in 283 BC.Eventually Celtic tribes merged with Germadic tribes or fought amongst each other.Soon enough around the time Christianity came the only Celtic strongholds were Britain and Gaul and Britain was in the hands of the Roman Empire the Celts' old enemies.

Part Four-The Celts and the Roman Empire

The Celts were all but vanished when on July 8th 54BC the Roman emperor Julius Ceasar came to Britain with 2,000 soldiers,5 Legions and 200 ships the Romans engaged the Celtic tribes in battle around what is now Canterbury.The Celts were defeated despite the efforts of Cassivellaunis the leader of the Cantuvellani tribe of Celts.Rome would not stay long for there were more pressing matters in Gaul.The Romans would not return for almost 97 years. The Romans led by Emperor Claudius led an attack once more against the Cantuvellani tribe the main resistance to Roman occupation but the Cantuvellani were defeated in 51 AD.Claudius respected Caratacus the leader of the Cantuvellani so much that he allowed him not only to live but to live in Rome as a guest of the Empire.77 AD was the year when Rome finally annexed Britain to the Roman Empire and finished Hadrian's Wall in 122AD.Occupied Britain was attacked at various times by other Celtic tribes such as the Picts and the Scottis and even the Saxons with the full force of the attacks occuring in 409AD.Rome left Britain the next year.

Part Five-The Saxons and Arthur

Rome had left Britain in terrible shape there was famine and infighting amongst who would rule this was indeed the time known as the Dark Ages the time when the Saxons attacked.The Pelagian Heresy was in full swing supported by the Celtic church but denounced by the Roman Church to such a degree that to even speak of it was forbidden within a 100 mile radius of Rome.The Saxons attacked mercilessly until around 485 to 496 AD when a king from the south of England close to Wales named King Arthur continually beat the Saxons (yes THAT King Arthur) and in 496 AD there was peace again and the Celtic Church rose in strength.

Part Six-Beyond The Dark Ages

The dark ages were said to be a time of lawlessness and when learning took a downward spiral.However the Celtic church still thriving was a great center of learning and it has been argued had not the Celtic church still been around then the Dark Ages would have lasted much longer.The Celts were as a whole gone now and by the time the Middle Ages came about the True Celts were a memory.Christianity came and the power of the Druid was gone.William the Conqueror stormed England and thus began a new life for the people of Britain and things would never be the same.

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