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Celts

Celts


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Celts are tribes of Indo-European origin in antiquity and at the turn of the eras that occupied vast areas in Western and Central Europe. Let's try to understand who they really were.

The Celts lived in what is now Britain and Ireland. It is difficult to say anything definite about the origin of the Celts. Some historians believe that they inhabited Britain as early as 3,200 years ago, while others believe that long before that. But one thing is clear - the migration of the Celts began around 400 BC. from Central Europe. The tribes began to spread in all directions, but to the south they had to face the strong Romans. It turned out that the militant, but scattered Celts were opposed by a single unified empire. The tribes, on the other hand, constantly fought with each other, without thinking about uniting against a common enemy. As a result, some of the tribes were completely destroyed, others submitted to the Romans, adopting their culture, and still others went to the remote corners of that world - to Ireland, Scotland and Wales. There are still communities of modern Celts who even strive to preserve their culture. And in their travels the Celts even reached Greece and Egypt.

The Celts fought naked. When mentioning the Celts, there is always someone who mentions their tradition of fighting naked with a gold band around his neck, a neck gryvnia. This Celtic myth is one of the most popular. But one has only to think about such a statement, as its absurdity immediately becomes clear. And this false statement appeared thanks to the Romans. Today, almost all information that we have about these ancient tribes is obtained from the records of the historians of Rome. There is no doubt that they exaggerated their exploits, and described the enemy as absolutely primitive savages. In this case, history was made by the winners, was it worth expecting honesty from her in relation to the defeated? But there is another side to this story. The Celts lived in a period of history called the Iron Age. Then, instead of bronze, they just began to use iron. It went into the manufacture of armor, weapons and tools. The Celts had the opportunity to arm themselves with swords, axes, hammers, create metal armor, chain mail, rivet leather. Given the existence of armor, it would be foolish to assume that the warriors abandoned them and fought naked.

Druids were ancient wizards. For that time, the Celtic Druids were truly powerful characters. They didn't just wear white robes and perform human sacrifices, but they did some really incredible things. Druids acted as advisors for tribal leaders and even kings. With their help, laws were born, just as today the English parliament "invites" the Queen to sign acts. Druids often acted as judges, enforcing their own rules. For the Celts, Druids were the personification of wisdom. It was not for nothing that one had to study for 20 years to deserve such a title. Druids possessed knowledge of astronomy, they kept folk legends and cultivated natural philosophy. The Celtic sages informed the villagers when they should start sowing. Druids even believed that they could predict the future.

Celtic traditions died with them. Thanks to the Celtic druids, one interesting tradition arose and survived, which we know today. The fact is that in those days the oak was considered a sacred tree. Druids believed that the gods lived in everything that surrounds us, including rocks, water, plants. No less holy thing than an oak was the mistletoe, which just grew on it. Beliefs in the power of these plants persist today. It is no coincidence that in the English-speaking world there is a tradition of kissing under the mistletoe at Christmas.

Celtic women were morose. Based on the assumption that the Celts were savages (thanks to the Romans!), It is logical and women to consider them sullen and downtrodden. But this is a myth. In fact, Celtic women could be very powerful and influential, own their own land and even divorce at will. For those times, such freedoms seem incredible. Roman women were essentially limited in their rights, but among the Celts, women could make a career by climbing the social ladder. High status could be inherited or acquired through merit. Among the Celts, the landowners followed the leader into battle. If a woman turned out to be such, then she went into battle. In fact, among the Celts, female warriors even taught boys and girls the art of war. Women could even become druids, creating the laws of society. These norms protected everyone in the Celtic tribe, including the elderly, sick and infirm, children. It was believed that the latter were still innocent, so they should be protected. But in Roman society, children were often abandoned, leaving them to die hungry in the garbage. So the Celts were not savages at all, as the Romans convince us.

The Celts didn't build roads. It is difficult to argue with the fact that it was thanks to the Roman engineers that a network of roads appeared that enveloped the whole of Europe. In fact, one cannot agree with this. After all, long before the Romans, the Celts built a whole network of wooden roads connecting neighboring tribes. These routes of communication allowed the Celts to trade with each other. It's just that the wooden roads turned out to be short-lived, practically nothing remained of this material - it rotted away. But today in the swamps of France, England and Ireland, there are still some wooden boards, parts of the road. Based on the fact that the Romans were never able to conquer Ireland, we can safely assume that the old boards were created by the Celts as part of the roadway. In the same Ireland, there is the Corlea Trail, on which there are many parts of the old road. In some places it was even reconstructed so that one could see the path along which the Celtic tribes moved at one time.

The Celts had strange but monotonous helmets. Based on the fact that the Celts had metal armor, it is logical to assume the existence of the corresponding helmets. They were often unusual - the Celts did not hesitate to experiment with designs. One such piece of equipment was found in the Romanian village of Chumeshti, where these tribes also climbed. Here archaeologists have found an old cemetery dating back to the Iron Age. Among 34 graves, there was also one that belonged to the Celtic leader. He was buried along with numerous objects, among which were bronze axes and rich armor. It was believed that they were supposed to help the deceased in the afterlife. But an unusual helmet stood out among all the vestments. On it, an unknown master forged a large bird of prey, spreading its bronze wings. The design of this decoration looks unusual - the wings of the bird turned out to be suspended on hinges, so when the owner of the helmet walked, the creature seemed to fly. Historians believe that a fluttering helmet in battle was still quite impractical and the leader wore it only on special occasions. But the helmet has become one of the most famous and copied masterpieces of Celtic art. Even Asterisk with Obelix has something similar.

The Celts only thought about who to fight. This people became famous not only for their travels, but also for their love of battles. However, the Celts fought on anyone's side, but not at all for free. Even Tsar Ptolemy II, a representative of the glorious Egyptian dynasty, took these soldiers as mercenaries. And the European tribes turned out to be such cool soldiers that the king was afraid that they might take over his country. Ptolemy therefore ordered the Celts to be landed on an uninhabited island in the Nile. The Greeks also met the Celts. In those days, the tribes just expanded their territories. Those events are known in history as the Gallic invasion of the Balkans. Its culmination was the Battle of Delphic, which ended in the defeat of the intruders. The fact is that again the scattered Celts were opposed by trained united armies. So in 270 BC. the Celts were expelled from Delphi.

The Celts cut off the heads of their enemies. This fact is almost the most famous about the Celts, it is still true. Indeed, the tribes were on a real bounty hunt. It was this part of the body of a defeated enemy that was considered the most coveted trophy for the Celts. The reason for this is religion, which asserted the existence of spirits in all things. So the human head was presented as a place where the souls of defeated enemies live. The warrior who had such a collection was honored. And the heads of the enemies around gave the Celts self-confidence, a sense of significance. It was customary to decorate the severed heads of enemies and saddles, and the doors of houses. It was something of owning a collection of luxury luxury cars in the modern world. Today, people boast of a stylish new car, and then they boasted of the head of a powerful hostile leader that appeared in the collection.

The Celts were a poor people. To debunk this myth, it is worth plunging into history a little. For the time being, the Celts and Romans coexisted peacefully next to each other. But then Julius Caesar appeared on the scene. His political career did not work out, besides, he was burdened with burdensome debts. It seemed clear that a small victorious war against the primitive barbarians, the Celts, could rectify the situation. The Gaulish Wars are often considered the most important military manifestation of Julius Caesar's genius. Thanks to that campaign, the empire's frontier began to expand rapidly. At the same time, Caesar, one after another, defeated the Celtic tribes and seized their territories. This victory changed the fate of the region, known in the ancient world as Gaul, with the Celtic tribes living there. Caesar himself gained fame and influence. But why exactly did he attack Gaul? The Roman himself wrote that he was trying to push back the barbarian tribes that threatened Rome. But historians see the reasons for something else. One of these conquering tribes were the Helvetians, who lived near the Alps. Caesar promised them protection when they moved to Gaul. But then Rome changed its mind, and the barbarians decided to act independently. Caesar declared that it was necessary to protect the Celts living in Gaul. As a result, the Romans exterminated more than a quarter of a million "invaders", in the process of protecting the territories, almost all the Celts were destroyed. Gaul itself became part of a powerful empire. And this has the most direct relation to wealth. Caesar needed money to pay off debts and gain influence for his career. Not only did Gaul bring him the fame of a commander, this territory was very rich in gold deposits. The Celts were known to have gold coins and jewelry, but they were believed to have been obtained through trade. But Caesar did not believe it. It turned out that there were more than four hundred gold-mining mines in Gaul. This testified to the incredible wealth of the Celts, which was the reason for Caesar's interest in them. Interestingly, Rome began minting its gold coins just after the conquest of Gaul.

The Celts were poorly educated. And again, it is worth understanding that the Romans in every possible way sought to expose their rivals in the most bad light. In fact, these people were not at all as simple as they are presented. Moreover, the Celts possessed something that even the Romans did not have - an accurate calendar. Yes, there was a Julian calendar, but the Celts owned their own calendar from Coligny. It was found in this French city back in 1897, which gave the name to the discovery. Not only does it have an unusual look, but the calendar turned out to be made of mysterious metal plates with numerous marks: holes, numbers, lines, a set of Greek and Roman letters. For a hundred years, scientists could only understand that they were dealing with a calendar, but the principle of its operation remained a mystery. Only in 1989 the invention of the Celts was successfully deciphered. It turned out that the find was a solar-lunar calendar, which, based on the cycles of the appearance of heavenly bodies, calculated the time of the year. For that state of civilization, the calendar was very accurate, being an advanced invention. With it, the Celts could predict where the sun will be in the sky in the coming months. This find clearly proved that the Celts had developed scientific and mathematical thinking. It would be interesting to compare the invention of the "barbarians" with the calendar used by the Romans. It was also considered fairly accurate for its time, with an error of only 11.5 minutes per year with the actual solar calendar. But over the centuries, this error is rapidly accumulating. As a result, in our time, the Romans would celebrate the beginning of spring when August was in our yard. But the Celtic calendar, even today, could correctly predict the season. So the Romans had a lot to learn from the "uneducated" barbarians.


Watch the video: History of England - Documentary (July 2022).


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