The Celts originated
thousands of years ago and held dominion over Middle and Western Europe
for centuries. The true Celts have long since vanished as a whole except
for sections in Ireland and the Scottish highlands where the Celtic way
is still strongly followed, as the languages and customs still thrive.
The Celts had no written history and very little is known of them until their contact with the Greeks and Romans.The reason being is that the Celts preffered oral records.The Celts were however highly educated especially in the subjects of religion,philosophy,geography,astronomy,alchemy and other sciences.
Celts were known mostly for their ferocity in combat and skill in tactics.Celtic society allowed that women and men were equals and as such both served as rulers and as warriors.Celtic men and women often went into battle together totally nude wearing only facepaints in any weather.Marriage customs allowed for both married women and men to have several lovers now and then but only one spouse.
of The Celts
Part One-Ancient Europe
The first strong evidence of Celtic history came around the year 600 BC when the Greek geographer Herodotus wrote of a race living beyond "the Pillars of Hercules" (Spain) and the upper Danube.The name Celt came from the name they gave themselves when communicating with the Greeks which was the name Keltoi.450 BC made way for the La Tene tribe which lived around Switzerland.The Celts first came up from Austria.
Celtic tribes such as the Pritani (England),Picts (Ireland and Scotland), Scotti (Scotland),Galli (France),Belgae (Belgium) and the Galatians (Turkey).
Celtic Golden Age
During the 4th and 5th centuries BC the Celts were at their strongest in 500 BC they took over Spain,in 400 BC they controlled North Italy and at the close of that same century they conqured the Illyrians at Pannonia.
The Celts were closely allied with the Greeks having saved Greece by attacking Carthage and keeping Greece safe ,during the abscence of Alexander the Great, from attacks from the north. The Celts often fought the Phonecians and Persians at the side of the Greeks.
Livy Ambicatus led the celts around the year 400 BC and they were united with Rome in battle against the Etruscans but the Romans had a secret hatred for the Celts which was to show itself at the siege of Clusium in 391 BC. The Romans betrayed the Celts.The Celts in retaliation mustered an army and marched non stop to Rome passing cities and towns without plundering or attacking anyone. Finally they reached Rome and after three days of combat the city fell and the Celts stayed there for a year. The Romans would not attack the Celts again for almost a century.
Fall of the Celts
The Celtic empire like all empires fell into decline. Around 300 BC Celtic tribes searched for new lands while others came into Greece. The Celts took Delphi in 273 BC.Some tribes attacked Rome in alliance with the Etruscans but met defeat at Sentinum in 295 BC and at Lake Vadimo in 283 BC. Eventually the Celts assimilated with Germadic tribes or fought each other by the time Christianity came the only Celtic strongholds were Britain and Gaul and Britain fell into the rule of The Roman Empire.
The Celts were all but totally vanished by the time Julius Caesar attacked Britain on July 8 54BC. The Britons and other tribes of that realm met the Roman army of over 2,000 soldiers,5 legions and 800 ships. The first battle in what is now Canterbury was to be an omen. The Romans easily routed the Britons despite the bold efforts of Cassivellaunis leader of the Catuvellauni tribe.Various tribes resentful of Cassivellaunis aided the Romans but pressing matters in Gaul caused Ceasar to leave Britain and the Romans did not return again until 97 years later this time with knowledge of the land and people.
Emperor Claudius was the one who in 51 AD defeated the British tribes and again it was the Catuvellauni tribe who led the resistance against Roman occupation. Emperor Claudius who respected the Catuvellauni king Caratacus allowed him to live and sent him and his family to Italy as guests of the empire and by 77 AD the Romans had annexed Britain to the Roman Empire completing Hadrian's Wall in 122 AD.Roman occupied Britain was attacked several times by Picts,Saxons and Scots with the brunt of the attacks occuring in 409 AD, the next year the Britons were free from Roman rule.
Not very long after the Romans left Briton the island was attacked by the Saxons. Close to this time a religious movement known as The Pelagian Heresy began and was widely promoted by Pro-Celtic factions but denounced by the Roman Church.The Saxons attacked a Britain that was divided by religion,politics and famine.Pelagian belief was so popular that it was made illegal for a 100 mile radius around Rome.The Saxons attacked continously and around 485 to 496 the Saxons faced continual defeat at the hands of a king named Arthur (yes THE King Arthur) and after 496 AD a generation of peace came as did the rise of the Celtic Church.
The stage had been set for a return to many of the old Celtic ways with the Romans gone and the Celtic church thriving at Iona.Many believe it was the Celtic Church that kept civilization alive for after Rome fell it was the Celtic Church that kept many records alive.Things had indeed changed in a land where it had been custom to keep only spoken records now it was written records that so aided mankind.
Northern Scotland was ruled by hereditary clans and eventually small tribes became kingdoms ruled by such Kings as Kenneth MacAlpin,Aiden the False,Malcolm II,MacBeth and Malcolm III.
Part Seven-An Ending
In 1071 William the Conqueror attacked Scotland after having defeated England and Malcolm III was forced to pay homage to him.Malcolm nevertheless attacked William's armies in Alnwick and was killed his wife Queen Margaret died of a broken heart several days later and was canonized.It was in the early half of the next century that Celtic influence was pretty much forgotten and the Celts themselves as an identifiable group had been all but memory.....
...or has it?