Brutal and Intriguing Facts About Celtic Life
Brutal and Intriguing Facts About Celtic Life

Brutal and Intriguing Facts About Celtic Life

Natasha sheldon - September 2, 2019

Brutal and Intriguing Facts About Celtic Life
A complete gold Iron Age stater of the Southern Region Belgae, dating to the period 65-50 BC found in West Berkshire. Portable Antiquities Scheme Oxfordshire County Council Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

33. Meanwhile, the island of Britain remained as one of the last independent Celtic outposts.

However, Caesar had less luck with invading Britain in 54 BC. He eventually gave up his efforts, leaving the island as a place of refuge for continental celts fleeing Rome. Archaeology shows that in the first century BC, a significant migration of continental Celts, the Belgae poured into Britain and settled on the south coast. The Belgae had a considerable influence on existing British Celtic culture. Crucially, they established trade routes with the continent and somewhat ironically Rome. Belgae-led trade exposed British Celts to Roman luxury goods. It was also the start of Celtic Britain’s downfall.

Brutal and Intriguing Facts About Celtic Life
Stater of the Trinovantes or Catuvellauni, Celtic, Britain, the second half of 1st century BC, gold – Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard University. Picture Credit: Daderot. Public Domain.

34. Celtic Britain might have been safe- if King Cogidubnus of the Atrebates had not sold out to the Romans

In 43BC, Emperor Claudius succeeded where Julius Caesar had failed by successfully invading Celtic Britain. The emperor’s troops landed on the south coast and after beating back resistance, established their capital at Camulodunum. Claudius’s invasion succeeded because the Roman’s had already gained a foothold in Britain by winning over some southern tribes. Key to their campaign was King Cogidubnus of the Atrebates. Cogidubnus loved all things Roman, and so he sold out to the Romans, allowing them to build military bases in Atrebate territory where they could mass troops and cavalry. His reward was riches not seen again in Britain until the middle ages.

Brutal and Intriguing Facts About Celtic Life
A panoramic view of the Rivers Wye and Severn, showing boats and ships by Amelia de Suffren c.1802. National Museum of Wales. Wikimedia commons. Public Domain.

35. The Romans may have conquered the Celts. But the Celtic legacy is preserved today

The ancient Celts may be gone, but they are not forgotten, and their legacy survives to this day in many European languages and place names. Two-thirds of England’s rivers have Celtic names, such as the rivers Avon, Severn, Derwent and Trent. So too do many of their continental counterparts such as Germany’s River Neckar which derives from the Celtic for wild water. Celtic languages also still survive such as Welsh, Breton, Cornish, Gaelic and Irish.

 

Where Do we get this stuff? Here are our sources:

The Celts, Frank Delaney, Harper Collins, 1993

Celtic Britain, Lloyd Laing, Paladin, 1987

42 Brutal Facts About The Celts, The Scourge Of Ancient Rome, Kyle Climans, Factinate, January 25, 2019

Indo-Europeans, Livius.org.

Who’s Who in the Roman World, John Hazel, Routledge, 2002

Herodotus: The Histories, trans. Aubrey de Selincourt, The Folio Society, 2007.

Why does Britain Have Such Bizzare Place names? James Harbeck, BBC Culture

Urnfield Culture, The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, Britannica.com, March 1, 2016

Cimmerian People, The Editors of the Encyclopedia Britannica, Britannica.com, July 20, 1998

Cimmerians, Sergei R. Tokhtas’ev, Encyclopædia Iranica, V/6, pp. 563-567, December 30 2012.

Vercingetorix, The Editors of the Encyclopedia Britannica, Britannica.com, August 17, 2017

Celtic Culture: A Historical Encyclopedia, Victoria Simmons, John T Koch (ed)

Celtic Gold Mines in West Central Gaul, B Cauuet, In Morteani G., Northover J.P. (eds) Prehistoric Gold in Europe. NATO ASI Series (Series E: Applied Sciences), vol 280. Springer, Dordrecht, 1995

The Geography, Strabo, LacusCurtius

The Library of History, Diodorus Siculus, Loeb Classical Library, 1939

Roman History Vol IX, Cassius Dio, Loeb Classical Library, 1927

The Gallic Wars/The Conquest of Gaul, Julius Caesar, Penguin Classics, 1982

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