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Posted: 03-Jan-2004, 09:03 AM
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Here is a nice little article I found on Celtic History. The website is called Galatia.

History of the Celts
The story of the Celts begins in prehistory, the time before written records were kept. Originating in what is now Eastern Europe, the Celts appear to have moved west along the main trading arteries of the time, especially the river Danube, into modern Germany, Austria, Switzerland and France. By the beginning of the classical period (about 500 BC), they were a large group of tribes and races spread over a wide area of Europe, from Scotland and Ireland in the north-west to Russia in the east, and to the Mediterranean in the south.

By the time the existence of the Celts was recorded by the Greek writer Ephorus in the fourth century B.C., they were so numerous that he named them as one of the four great barbarian peoples in the world. Their unity was not that of a nation or empire in the Greek or Roman sense, but was more cultural in nature, with no clear central authority. Celtic tribes dominated a huge area, and had their own individual identities, but they shared many common roots including similarities in language, religion, and lifestyle. They probably called themselves something similar to Celts, from which the Greeks got their word for 'stranger' - keltoi.

Much of what we know about the Celtic culture of this period comes from two great archeological sites - one near Lake Halstatt in Austria, and the other at La Tène on the river Thielle in Switzerland. These sites have been a rich source of artifacts, and have provided us with some of the most beautiful artistic works of the Pagan Celtic era.

It is around 800 BC, with the Halstatt culture, that we can see the emergence of a distinctive and highly developed culture of craft and decoration - the first Golden Age of Celtic art. The decorations on the jewelry and other artifacts found at Halstatt had already developed the characteristics that we associate with Celtic art - spirals, animal designs (zoomorphs), knotwork and fretwork were all in evidence. Styles developed rapidly as the tribes and their chieftains became richer, sometimes through conquest, but also through trade. One German chief of around 550 BC was buried wearing a silk cloak which must have come originally from China.

From 500 BC to 100 AD, in what we now know as the La Tène period, the rate of stylistic development and innovation slowed, while the number of decorated items being produced increased greatly. This implies a small number of innovators and a lot of copiers, as the style became more popular and the general population wealthier. Oddly, the majority of artifacts are weapons, though this was not a time of great wars. Many of those which have survived were offerings, thrown into sacred wells and other shrines. This may mean that the weapons were not needed for real wars, especially if offering them to the gods kept the peace.

La Tène culture was profoundly affected, and in some areas completely displaced, by the advance of the Roman Empire. But the Celtic tribes survived, and in some cases thrived, during the Roman occupation - while most tribes initially fought against the Roman incursion, most were quickly defeated, and their people assimilated into the new Roman society. But in the furthest reaches of the Empire, the Celtic tribes resisted more firmly, especially in western areas of Britain, France and Asia Minor, where the tribes retained much of their culture and independence. And despite subsequent invasions, occupations and population displacement, this continuity of Celtic culture is maintained right through to the present day by the Celtic languages, which are still spoken in these areas. This is why our modern perspective associates the term Celtic with Wales, Ireland, Scotland, western England, and Brittany. It is also a major reason why the later Christian flowering of Celtic art arose in the British Isles.


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Aon_Daonna 
Posted: 05-Jan-2004, 12:48 PM
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Just to add... alot of Celts under the Roman occupation of Britain actually lived the roman ways (more comfort etc)...


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Armo 
Posted: 11-Jan-2004, 12:47 AM
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I am very facinated by Celtic History. Thank you for the information.
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Aon_Daonna 
Posted: 11-Jan-2004, 08:04 AM
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Just ask if you have more question.. I read alot of books about the Celts and also know a few websites of interest
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Faileas 
Posted: 17-Jan-2004, 05:56 PM
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Aye, the Celts are a fascinating people. Although its probably wrong to speak of "The Celts" as one united group of people; they were actually a pretty large number of tribes linked by language, culture and religion. They were feudal in society, with a chief at the head, with warriors, and druids ranking just little underneath the Chief, and then artists and farmers, and they had slaves as well; mostly prisoners of other tribes they had conquered (could b fellow Celts as well).

Having lived in Southern Germany made it possible for me to get to some of the German Celtic Sites in that area, one near Sigmaringen of which I shamefully have forgotten the name even tho its the largest and best preserved site of the kind grr, and had the luck to see the exhibition of Hochdorf when that carriage was found. We have a smaller but quite important site at the Magdalenenberg in Villingen, the sister - town of my birth town. And I was in Hochdorf itself too. smile.gif

Unfortunately I have not made it to Hallstatt yet, but hopefully mebbe sometime if i get myself to go South and leave my Island in the mist wink.gif

As for books, there is a really good informative one by Martin Helm called "Die Kelten" but I dont think its in print any longer as its pretty old, but theres a good collection about . From a small book called "The Celts - first Masters of Europe" by Christiane Elouère to "Celtic Britain" by John Rhys there's a wide range of books.
Not to mention the first two "Avalon" - Books by MZB hehe



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Aon_Daonna 
Posted: 19-Jan-2004, 06:05 PM
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(which I found quite boring.. I liked most of her other works better *grins* )

If you're talking concise celtic history it's probably alright just to say "The Celts" (can't remember how many bronze-age things I visited.. ever been to that reconstruction in the bodensee?), even though they weren't much of a homogenic group.
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Kiwi Gael 
Posted: 01-Feb-2004, 02:40 AM
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There's abundant evidence, including settlement sites, inscriptions, skeletons, and artefacts showing that the Ancient Celts even voyaged to and settled in NZ (around 300AD), as well as Phoenician/Hebrews, Ptolemaic Greeks, Arabs and other peoples.
Sadly, however, our corrupt 'Men In Black' politicians, 'learned' historians, and small corrupt sectors of Maoridom are ignoring, covering-up, suppressing, and even destroying such evidence, all in order to further their sinister agenda for control and power of our land. They're butchering our Waitangi Treaty, and in the process creating a big rift between the races. The majority of Maoridom are disgusted with what's happening down here. The rich oral traditions of the Maori elders, telling of the Celts, are being confined to the past and discarded in the name of politics and money. There's way too much to write here, but folk may be interested to check out these NZ sites;

http://www.celticnz.co.nz

http://www.kilts.co.nz/mitlink3.htm

http://www.zealand.org.nz/history.htm


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