Trade in Ancient Celtic Europe

Typical goods traded by the Celts included salt, slaves, iron, gold, and furs. Introduction Trade in raw materials and manufactured goods in ancient Celtic Europe was vibrant and far-reaching, particularly regarding the centre of the continent where there was a hub of well-established trade routes. As the Celts’ territory expanded, so their trade networks encompassed the Mediterranean cultures (Greeks, Etruscans, and Romans), Iberia, and Britain.[…]

Manufacture, Design, and Functions of Ancient Celtic Coinage

An enormous number of Celtic coins have been found in burials and as part of ritual treasure hoards across Europe. Introduction The coinage of the ancient Celts, minted from the early 3rd century BCE to the 1st century CE, at first imitated Greek and then Roman coins. Celtic engravers then soon developed their own unique style, creating distinctive coins with depictions of stylised horses,[…]

Sacred Sites and Rituals in the Ancient Celtic Religion

The religious leaders in Celtic communities were the druids. Introduction In the religion of the ancient Celts who lived in Iron Age Europe from 700 BCE to 400 CE, certain natural sites like springs, river sources, and groves were held as sacred. These places, as well as some urban sites, often had purpose-built temples, shrines,[…]

A History of Ancient Celtic Religion

Besides gods, animals were also important to the Celts and were perhaps themselves regarded as sacred. Introduction The polytheistic religion of the ancient Celts in Iron Age Europe remains obscure for lack of written records, but archaeology and accounts by classical authors help us to piece together a number of the key gods, sacred sites, and cult practices. Variations existed across regions and the[…]

Celtic Warriors, the ‘Barbarians’ of Antiquity

Our best view of the Celts in terms of written sources is the works of Greek and Roman writers. Introduction The warriors of Celtic Europe were amongst the most distinctive of any fighters in the ancient world. With their great height, long hair and moustaches, frequent nakedness, painted and tattooed bodies, and fondness for collecting[…]

The History, Culture, and Religion of the Celts

Little is known about their lifestyle due to the numerous conflicts and combinations of cultures that occurred in European history. Introduction The term Celt, normally pronounced /kɛlt/ now refers primarily to a member of any of a number of peoples in Europe using the Celtic languages, which form a branch of the Indo-European languages. It[…]

Celtic Christianity in the Early Medieval British Isles

The term is misleading since it implies a notion of a self-identifying unity that did not exist. Introduction Celtic Christianity (also called Insular Christianity) refers to a distinct form of Christianity that developed in the British Isles during the fifth and sixth centuries among the Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Cornish, and Manx (Isle of Man) peoples.[…]

Conflict and Celts: The Creation of Ancient Galatia

Galatia was situated in eastern Phrygia, a region now within modern-day Turkey. By Jeffrey KingHistorian Introduction Galatia was the most long-lasting and powerful Celtic settlement outside of Europe. It was the only kingdom of note to be forged during the Celtic invasions of the Mediterranean in the 4th and 3rd centuries BCE. From its foundation,[…]

The Celtic Invasion of Ancient Greece

While in the Balkans, Celtic tribes managed to conquer several Greek, Illyrian, and Thracian armies, carving out territories in short order. By Jeffrey KingHistorian Introduction Between the 5th and 4th centuries BCE, Celtic tribes moved en masse into southern Europe, intent on seizing land and wealth to feed their swelling numbers. As these tribes began[…]

Celtic Warfare, from the Ancient Hallstatt to La Tene Cultures

Warfare was interwoven into Celtic social structures, art, religion, and lifestyle. By Jeffrey KingHistorian Introduction The Celts were a linguistic group which spanned across a wide geographic area and included numerous cultures and ethnicities. Because of this fact, the traditions, practices, and lifestyles of Celtic-speaking peoples varied considerably. The importance of warfare and the traditions surrounding war were one common thread of[…]