Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Celtic History

  1. Sep 15, 2005 #1


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    So how about those Celts?

    They existed in parallel with the Greeks, Romans, Germanic and Norse tribes (not forgetting peoples of Central Asia, e.g. the Slavs and Turkic peoples). There is still a lot of mystery and perhaps some misinformation, but such happens with an incomplete or partial record.

    One statement I found - "By the time the Celts first appear in history in the 6th century BC, they were already the dominant people of western and central Europe."

    "Great migrations carried the Celts into Italy, the Balkans, Greece and as far east as the steppes of Ukraine and across the Bosporus to settle in Asia Minor (Anatolia). Smaller groups served as mercenaries for Greek rulers in Italy, Syria and Egypt. Although living as separate tribes, the Celts shared a common culture. Among the population were skilled farmers and metalworkers.

    The "Atlas of the Celtic World" divides the discussion into the Continental Celts and the Atlantic Celts, the latter including Britain (England) and Ireland, then finishes with a discussion of modern Celts.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 15, 2005 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    "T he name Celt originated with the ancient Greeks, who called the barbarian peoples of central Europe Keltoi. Rather that being a broad cultural genetic 'race,' the Celts were a broad cultural-linguistic group. The area where they lived became a constantly changing collection of tribal 'nations.' The Celts were never an 'empire' ruled by one government.

    The ancestors of the Celts were the people of the Urnfield culture, so-called because they buried their dead in cremation urns in flat ground. Between 1200 and 700 BC, they spread westward from their eastern European homeland into the area of modern Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and France. Here, there culture developed into a recognizably Celtic form. The earliest stage of Celtic culture is called the Hallstatt, after a village in the Austrian Salzkammergut where archeologists discovered important artifacts. At hallstatt and other places with the 'hall' (salt) name - Hallein, Helle, Schwabisch Hall - the Celts' wealth was based upon salt extraction and sale. The technology of iron, too, was embraced by innovative Celtic blacksmiths, who produced the best metal in Europe, that was in great demand outside Celtic Areas. An important two-way trade developed between the Celts and the Greeks, both in their homeland, and their colonies inwhat is now southern France.

    By the seventh century BC, the Hallstatt people had become prosperous in the salt and iron businesses. In around 650 BC, the Celts began to re-exchange raids with the Greeks and Etruscans, elements of whose culture they adopted. By adding and adapting Graeco-Etruscan elements to the Hallstatt culture, the characteristically Celtic style of art came into being. As a result of this, in northeastern France, Switzerland, and the middle Rhine, a new stage of Celtic development took place.
    Archeologists call it the early La Tene period, after the definitive artifacts found at La Tene, on Lake Neuchatel in Switzerland. During the Classical period of Greece and Rome, Celtic culture was predominant north of the Alps. Celtic technicians of the La Tene period were technically superior to their Greek and Roman counterparts. Their superior weaponry, including a new type of sword, chain mail, and chariots, enabled the Celts to mount miliatary expiditions against neighboring tribes and nations, including the Greeks and Romans. Celtic fighting men had such a good reputation that they were in great demand as mercenareis. The warrior culture was at the heart of Celtic society, as the heroic sagas of ancient Ireland record.
  4. Sep 15, 2005 #3


    User Avatar
    Gold Member


    This page paints a colorful picture of the Celts, they were a powerful
    fighting force, preferring to fight naked with sword and spear, severing
    the heads of their victims for trophies.
  5. Sep 15, 2005 #4


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    :rofl: I know the feeling. :biggrin: Just kidding. Actually, I do prefer a minimal amount of clothing when in combat, which is essentially limited to sparring. BTW, I abhor violence.

    Celts were definitely a warrior culture, well at least some. I suspect there were those who preferred farming, trades, and perhaps religious activities, like the Druids.

    Here a little on Druids and Celts - http://www.lost-civilizations.net/celts-druids.html

    and - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Druids

    and - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celts which has:
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2005
  6. Dec 10, 2005 #5
    I think most of them where warriors the Druids did Human scarfices for religous porpous they might of captured people from other tribes.I think some of them might of been farmers or traders but thats somthing that what more civilsed cultures do you need cities where you can have an advance ecconmy.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: Celtic History
  1. History Paper (Replies: 20)

  2. History lesson (Replies: 3)

  3. Physics History (Replies: 3)

  4. Changing History (Replies: 6)