May 11 2010
The Druids were a part of Celtic society, but the word Druidae was a Greek word used to describe the second tier of Celtic society. The second tier consisted of the educators, philosophers, judges, etc that made up the Celtic intelligentsia. This tier in Celtic society was underneath the leaders of Celtic society much like the Brahmins existed underneath the leaders in ancient India.
They were highly advanced for their time. They began crafting swords and spears and lances with iron and thus dominated everyone else they fought. They also used iron smelting to build tools to clear forests and build roads. The ancient Romans, noted for their road building simply learned from the Celts and improved upon what they learned. Also, they had advanced cavalry tactics for their time and dominated ancient battlefields with them. Alexander the Great formed a peace treaty with the Celts claiming that the Greeks were they equal and sought peace. The Celts agreed to peace with Alexander the Great which allowed Alexander to fight his conquests in Asia and Persia. Upon Alexander the Great’s death, the Celts waged war with the Greeks and conquered Macedon and were about to invade the other city states like Athens when the Celtic leader Brennus killed himself. Three Celtic armies then backed off and disappeared northward.
The Celts also largely fought the Romans and often defeated them in battle, yet never made it as far south as Rome itself, they stayed in northern Italy except for when Hannibal sacked Rome with his mighty war elephants. Hannibal could not have traveled through Celtic lands without Celtic allegiance and the Celts along with Hannibal sacked Rome. The Romans however, were stubborn and learned much from fighting the Celts and adopted their tactics and weaponry and improved upon them and began defeating the Celts in Northern Italy and with Julius Caesar, in Gaul and finally into what is now England. By Hadrian’s time the Celts were left in Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. The Romans built Hadrian’s wall at the height of their Empire and the Celts were on the northern side of the wall and the Romans on the southern. The Celts near Hadrian’s wall on the southern side often revolted and this was a trouble spot for the Romans.
The reason the Celts are often overlooked in history and that the Romans and Greeks and Egyptians are not is because the Romans and Greeks and Egyptians all wrote and had their own written alphabets. The Celts knowledge was all passed down orally so that others would never learn their ways.
In conclusion, the Celts were one of the most successful civilizations of the ancient time period. The Celts used iron smelting to build advanced weaponry and used advanced tactics to dominate their Ancient foes. The Romans, after learning from the Celts and improving upon what they learned began defeating the Celts in battle and established their own Empire with the fall of the Celts.
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