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Bringing the Tales and Stories of the Ancient Celts to your Fireside

The Forgotten Ancient Civilization – The Celts

Pic: Unknown Artist
The Celts were a powerful ancient civilization that influenced all that they dominated militarily. They existed before the Roman Empire and around the same time as the Greeks and Alexander the Great and Philip of Macedon. The Celts also existed before the Greeks and started their civilization on the Danube River.

The Celts shared many similarities with the Indians from India. One is in their religious beliefs and the Celts believed in Karma and reincarnation and the Otherworld. Another similarity between the Celts and the Ancient Indians was their social levels.

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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Author: Edward Carr
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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The picture used to accompany this article was found on a website that we credited until it was pointed out that their political agenda  is most certainly *not* in line with this website’s, the podcast’s or anyone else that we personally know come to think of it. I have removed the credit to the website but left the image as I’m sure one of their members would not be the original artist of the piece. I have assumed the image to be, therefore, in the public domain unless or until the artist contacts us at which point he/she will have my deepest apologies and the image will be withdrawn. I thank the sharp-eyed reader for spotting the link and apologiser to any other reader who may mistakenly have been given the impression that we have any sort of relationship wioth this organisation or any other of its ilk.

— Gary


Clarsarch workshop in West Yorkshire


Child-centered law in medieval Ireland


  1. Sean

    I’m a great fan of your blog and podcast but am very disheartened that the photograph used here is linked and credited to a website of fascism and hate that is stormfront.org

  2. Hi Sean,

    Thank you so, so much for spotting this!! It was a great shock to me to realise the nature of the source from which I had used the image. The link has been removed immediately and I have written an apology and explanation at the end of the article above.

    Thank you again for bringing this to my attention – their goals are so diametrically opposed to our own, that I can only apologise again to anyone who has made the link!

    All the very best and many blessings,

    Gary x x x

  3. Allegory

    Actually, the macedonians were celts from East Europe. There are many celtic tribes mentioned in the Balkan, along with their illyrian allies originally from Rhetia, north of the Alps.

    Macedonians even had celtic names. The orientals in the form of persians and greeks later changed those celtic names, to hide the Macedonian’s heritage as Celtic originally.

    They were ashamed that simple celts from Macedonia conquered the highly arrogant greek and persian cultures south of them, who already invaded most of the mediteranean basin.

    Later the celtic people of macedonia, created slavic tradition. Evolving their celtic traditions into slavic ones.

  4. Thank you so much for this extra information! When you are trying to learn the history of the Ancient Celts, you need as much information as you can get your hands on so this is much appreciated, thank you,



  5. Alex

    The Celts reached Rome in 327 B.C. under the leadership of Brennus. They sacked the city and temples and laid seige to those who had stayed behind and took refuge in the Citadel.
    Livy “The Early History of Rome”, book 5. 36 onwards gives a great account of the capture of Rome by the Celts and Gauls of northern Italy.
    These are the same Celts whom which Alexander the Great made a treaty with back in 335 B.C. enabling the Macedonians to follow Alexander into Asia. Antipater stayed behind to defend Macedonia and although he had a few skirmishes with Greeks and Thebans the Celts never took advantage of what would have been a very visible weakness.
    Alexander died in 323 and within four years the Celts, looking for new land, had swept down from the Po valley and captured Rome.

  6. Alex

    Actually it was 391 B.C. and I have just clipped the bearer of bad dates and info around the ear-hole. The fact still remains that the Celts and Gauls reached into Italy as far as Rome, sacking the city, as it was what you did back then to impress the ladies.
    My apologies for the actors and dates.

  7. Brilliant, thank you Alex :)

  8. McIrishman

    Hannibal never sacked Rome. After Crossing the alps in 218 BCE he lost most of his elephants and all his siege equipment leaving him incapable of an attack on the city of Rome itself. He was using many mercenaries of which a large portion were Celtic in culture. What he did do was smash one roman army after another in open field combat for fifteen consecutive years untill Carthage called for his aid back home in 203 BCE. It was when he got home that he was defeated by one Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus at the Battle of Zama Oct. 19, 202 BCE.

  9. Hiya,

    Thanks for the clarification. It seems he only got as far as northern Italy. “In his first few years in Italy, he won three dramatic victories — Trebia, Trasimene, and Cannae, in which he distinguished himself for his ability to determine his and his opponent’s strengths and weaknesses, and to play the battle to his strengths and the enemy’s weaknesses—and won over many allies of Rome. Hannibal occupied much of Italy for 15 years, but a Roman counter-invasion of North Africa forced him to return to Carthage.” Wiki

    Many blessings

    Gary xxx

  10. heather

    what would a typical day be for the celts

  11. Hi Heather,

    What a really good question that is – and how hard it is to actually give you an accurate answer!

    We know that Celtic society was, at least in its later years, highly stratified an this would mean that folks would have different jobs depending n their status. A farmer, for example, would no do9ubt rise and sleep with the sun and plant or herd depending on season. His/her whole family would be involved in the tasks. When a major task was called, for it would be fair to guess that many people from different groups would all chip in to help – building a large hall might be such a task. Raiding would, at a guess, be the province of the Warrior class until actual warfare broke out, when I expect that all able bodied men and women (both genders were seen as largely equal in all walks of life) would fight for the life of the tribe.

    Other difficulties in answering this question arise from the scarcity of archaeological and historical material as well as the hundreds of years that the Celtic “Empire” survived and the vast area covering most of Europe that the tribes covered. It is highly likely that many of the tribes would have had different customs as well. Tribes from Gaul would probably have had different routines from those in Connaught as well.

    Hope this gives you some ideas – the more time you spend in research, the greater fun it is finding out as well! :)

    Many blessings

    Gary (& Ruthie) xxx

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