The Celts - Origin, Religion, Language
OF THE CELTS including Spread of the Celts, Caesar's years in Gaul, Celtic the great general's arrival does not make quite the difference to which he has. The Difference Between the Celts and the Gauls. Celt is a term applied to the tribes who spread across Europe, Asia Minor and the British Isles from their. Thus began the association of the Celts with the structures of the remote past. . Certainly in the centuries post BC Celtic in one or other of its two main forms Cornwall (until recent times), Gaul, England, Scotland until Roman times.
Much Greek and Roman literature has survived and it ought to be easy to pinpoint the Celts on their home ground. Herodotus, a Greek historian of the 5th century BC, refers to the Danube "which has its source among the Celts near Pyrene - the Celts live beyond the Pillars of Hercules Gibraltar next to the Cynesians who are the most Westerly people of Europe". What is happening here is confusion between the Celtic homeland on the Upper Danube and the limit of their influence - Iberia.
Scottish Celts or Gaul Celts?
Another Greek geographer Pausanias 2nd century AD tells us that the Gauls "originally called Celts live in the remotest region of Europe on the coast of an enormous tidal sea. Okeanos the River of Ocean which surrounds the world is the most distant part of the sea - the people who live beside it are Iberians and Celts - it contains the island of Britain.
- The Celts - Origin and Background
The remotest Celts are called Kabares who live on the edges of the ice desert - a very tall race of people. Julius Caesar 1st century BC in his account of his campaigns in Gaul gives us a very clear picture of Celtic culture in one region in which it was dominant Gaul.
He also makes a statement which perhaps deserves more attention than it has generally received - "The Druidic doctrine is believed to have been found existing in Britain and thence imported into Gaul: Caesar goes on to refer to the areas of Gaul under greatest Celtic influence but does not include the territory of the Belgae in the North.
It is the Belgae who migrated in large numbers to the South and East of Britain.
So Caesar associates a large area of Gaul with Celtic influence but again makes no reference to a Celtic homeland. Half a million speak it as a second language. Gaelic language is on street signsstorefronts, phone books, etc.
In the west, some areas are posted in Gaelic only. Gaelic radio and TV stations operate in Ireland.
The "Celtic" aura is not only an authentic cultural element but a big marketing angle in Ireland and elsewhere. Watch out for new-age products and web pages that play loud Irish music! How do we know about the ancient Celts? Celtic culture stretched over much of Europe and lasted several centuries, so the evidence and the culture itself that is represented varies widely.
We know about them in three ways: Artifacts from all over Europe and Asia Minor: And since the Romans had tried to help with an embassy and not with arms, they themselves would not reject the offer of peace, provided the [Etruscans] ceded part of their seperfluous agricultural land; that was what they, the Celts, wanted If it were not given, they would launch an attack before the Romans' eyes, so that the Romans could report back how superior the Gauls were in battle to all others The Romans then asked whether it was right to demand land from its owners on pain of war, indeed what were the Celts going in Etruria in the first place?
HISTORY OF THE CELTS
The latter defiantly retorted that their right lay in their arms: To the brave belong all things. Roman historian Diodorus notes: Their aspect is terrifying Their hair is blond, but not naturally so: The Celts are great story-tellers, great drinkers and great fighters - with a liking for single combat, after which the victor proudly displays the severed head of his opponent.
Soon they begin to trouble their very different neighbours, the sober and disciplined Romans. The Celts push south through the Alps, raiding and marauding. In about they even reach and sack Rome.
Many of them stay in Italy, settling in an area from the Alps to south of Milan. The Romans call them Gauls, and distinguish their two nearest territories as Cisalpine Gaul 'this side of the Alps', as seen from Rome and Transalpine Gaul 'across the Alps'.
Much of Cisalpine Gaul comes under Roman control after a campaign inbut the Celts here remain unreliable; a few years later many of them side with Hannibal.
Beyond the Alps, southern Gaul becomes a Roman province in The rest of Gaul escapes the grasp of Rome until the arrival of Caesar. Caesar's years in Gaul: During this time he systematically subdues the Celtic tribes in Gaul, making separate alliances with their many independent chieftains. He even adventures beyond the natural boundaries of Gaul - the region framed by the Alps, the Rhine, the Atlantic and the Pyrenees.
In 55 and again in 53 he bridges the Rhine for brief campaigns into Germany.
Twice in the same period he crosses the Channel to test the mettle of the Celts in Britain see Caesar in Britain. According to Plutarch, writing years later, this expedition is the first to prove to certain sceptical scholars in Rome that Britain really exists.