The name Celt originated with the ancient Greeks, who called the barbarian peoples of central Europe Keltoi. The Celts were a broad cultural-linguistic group. The area where they lived a constantly changing collection of various tribal 'nations.'
The Celts were never 'one people' of an 'empire' ruled by one government. Rather a collective of shifting tribes.
The ancestors of the Celts were the people of the Urnfield culture, called such because they buried their dead in cremation urns in flat ground. Between 1200 and 700 BC, they spread west from their eastern European homeland into the areas of modern day Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and France. Here is where their culture started to develop into what today would be a recognizably Celtic form.
The earliest stage of Celtic culture to develop is what is known as the Hallstatt, after a village in the Austrian Salzkammergut where archeologists discovered important artifacts. At hallstatt and other places with the 'hall' (salt) name - Hallein, Helle, Schwabisch Hall - the Celts' wealth was based upon salt extraction and sale.
The technology of iron, too, was embraced by innovative Celtic blacksmiths, who produced the best metal in Europe, that was in great demand outside Celtic Areas. An important two-way trade developed between the Celts and the Greeks, both in their homeland, and their colonies inwhat is now southern France.
By the seventh century BC, the Hallstatt people had become prosperous in the salt and iron businesses. In around 650 BC, the Celts began to re-exchange raids with the Greeks and Etruscans, elements of whose culture they adopted.
By adding and adapting Graeco-Etruscan elements to the Hallstatt culture, the characteristically Celtic style of art came into being. As a result of this, in northeastern France, Switzerland, and the middle Rhine, a new stage of Celtic development took place.
Archeologists call it the early La Tene period, after the definitive artifacts found at La Tene, on Lake Neuchatel in Switzerland.
During the Classical period of Greece and Rome, Celtic culture was predominant north of the Alps. Celtic technicians of the La Tene period were technically superior to their Greek and Roman counterparts. Their superior weaponry, including a new type of sword, chain mail, and chariots, enabled the Celts to mount miliatary expiditions against neighboring tribes and nations, including the Greeks and Romans.
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Well, in the previous discussion I was introduced to quite a pantheon. I have a comment and another question to get the ball rolling... 1) Thanks to everyone who participated in the last discussion and are still participating! I kinda/sorta knew…Continue