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.
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 Links to Other Sites: