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The Celts

The Celts were not really a homogenous people.  The group was composed of several different tribes with some similarities of culture, language, and religion.  They were sometimes, though not always, bound in a loose affiliation.  More often they were at war with each other and with the region's new force of arms, the mighty Roman legions.  The most important sources of information about the Celts come from Roman sources.  The most common sources are "The Gallic Wars" notes and letters by Julius Caesar, and the writings of Tacitus, a Roman historian.  These are obviously one-sided accounts and are very opinionated and biased with Roman prejudices and propaganda.  But they do shed some light on a people who did not have a written language, and who have all but disappeared from most of their homelands seen in the map above.

The Celts were a race of Germanic peoples who were forced into Western Europe by Slavs, Magyars and other Eastern races who were fleeing from the advances of the Huns.  These peoples, in turn, fled to Europe while pushing tribes living there further and further West.  This domino effect caused much strain to be placed on the borders of the Roman Empire.  It also gave Romans like, Julius Caesar, an opportunity to show their skills and win fame as a General.  With Roman expansion, these two cultures were destined to clash and clash violently.  The picture to the left is a celtic "type" of picture, although it actually looks more Norse (Viking) than Celtic.  The shield contains runes, or Scandinavian writing characters which would have been absent from Celtic shields.  The shape of the shield is also incorrect.  Both Norse and Celtic shields were round or circular in shape.  This picture is really a romanticized view (no pun intended) of a Celtic warrior, not a really accurate one.  But id does a good job of showing the types of images many have of the earliest group known to have inhabited Europe.
Click Below to Explore the World of the Celts:

     Celtic Symbols, Art, and Weaving

     Celtic Religion and Mythology

     Brief Celtic History

     Celtic Culture

Celtic Links to Other Sites:

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