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Celts facts and fiction 

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Celts, a people who dominated much of western and central Europe in the 1st millennium BC, giving their language, customs, and religion to the other peoples of that area. The earliest archaeological evidence associated with the Celts places them in what is now France and western Germany in the late Bronze Age, around 1200 BC. In the early Iron Age, they are associated with the Hallstatt culture (8th century to 6th century BC, named for an archaeological site in what is now Ober,sterreich (Upper Austria). They probably began to settle in the British Isles during this period. Between the 5th and 1st centuries BC, their influence extended from what is now Spain to the shores of the Black Sea. This later Iron Age phase is called La T'ne, after a site in Switzerland.
The word Celt is derived from Keltoi, the name given to these people by Herodotus and other Greek writers. To the Romans, the Continental Celts were known as Galli, or Gauls; those in the British Isles were called Britanni. In the 4th century BC , the Celts invaded the Greco-Roman world, conquering northern Italy, Macedonia, and Thessaly. They plundered Rome in 390, sacked Delphi in 279, and penetrated Asia Minor, where they were known as Galatians. The Cisalpine Gauls of northern Italy were conquered by the Romans in the 2nd century BC; Transalpine Gaul (modern France and the Rhineland) was subdued by Julius Caesar in the 1st century BC, and most of Britain came under Roman rule in the 1st century AD.
In the same period, the Celts of central Europe were dominated by the Germanic peoples. In medieval and modern times the Celtic tradition and languages survived in Brittany (in western France), Wales, the Scottish Highlands, and Ireland.

Way of Life
The various Celtic tribes were bound together by common speech, customs, and religion, rather than by any well-defined central governments. The absence of political unity contributed substantially to the extinction of their way of life, making them vulnerable to their enemies. Their economy was pastoral and agricultural, and they had no real urban life. Each tribe was headed by a king and was divided by class into Druids (priests), warrior nobles, and commoners. The nobles fought on foot with swords and spears and were fond of feasting and drinking. Celtic mythology, which included earth gods, various woodland spirits, and sun deities, was particularly rich in elfin demons and tutelaries, beings that still pervade the lore of peoples of Celtic ancestry.

Celtic Christianity
The Christian faith was well established in Celtic Britain by the 4th century AD, but in the 5th century the Saxons and other Germanic peoples invaded the country, driving most of the Celtic Christians into Wales and Cornwall. At the same time, Saint Patrick and other British missionaries founded a new church in Ireland, which then became the center of Celtic Christianity. The Irish church developed a distinctive organization in which bishops were subordinate to the abbots of monasteries . The Irish monks, devoted to learning as well as religion, did much to preserve a knowledge of ancient Roman literature in early medieval Europe. Between the late 6th and the early 8th centuries, Irish missionaries were active in Christianizing the Germanic peoples that had conquered the Western Roman Empire, and they founded numerous monasteries in present-day France, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. Celtic Christianity in Ireland was weakened by the Viking invasions of the 9th and 10th centuries, and by the 12th century its characteristic institutions, which were incompatible with those of the dominant Roman church, had largely disappeared from Europe.

Celtic Cronology
Animal Birth Signs
Celtic Art
Celtic Astrology
Easter - A Little History and Folklore
Feasts and Celebrations
Gaelic Language
History of Scotland
Illuminated Manuscripts
Ogham
Scottish Myths
Stonehenge
Symbolism
Terminology
The Calendar
Way of Life
All About Shamrocks
irish_funerals_and_wakes
Christmas Traditions
Easter - A little History & Folklore
Halloween Traditions
Irish Easter Traditions
Irish & Scot Myths

Irish Funerals & Wakes
Scottish & English Easter Traditions
St. Patricks Day


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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