Celtic Britain: Its Art and Influence

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Celtic Britain, its Art and influence, we look at the way the Celts changed the life of the inhabitants of the British Isles

I want to talk about Celtic Britain; the Celts were the most powerful people in central and northern Europe and ruled Britain around five hundred years before the birth of Christ, for approximately three hundred years,

Unlike the Romans, Anglo Saxon, Vikings and Normans who invaded Britain with an army the Celts who were already one of the most powerful forces in Europe came to Britain over several centuries, in wave after wave, they spread outwards from central and Western Europe taking over France and Belgium, before finally crossing into Britain.

This warring group of barbarians fought anyone in their way, in fact they loved war and when they couldn’t find anyone to fight they fought amongst each other, which is one is the reasons they could never have formed a unified army, the word Celt comes from the Greek word, Keltoi, which means barbarians.

Each clan was very much for itself, sometimes charging into combat fully naked, dyed blue from head to toe, and screaming like madmen to terrify their enemies.

Reconstruction of a Celtic warrior's garments

When they weren’t fighting, which wasn’t very often The Celts were farmers, the land they had, was owned communally, woman were seen as equal to men and owned property and choose they own husbands, the woman were just as warlike as the men and often rode into war with the men, indeed many women became war leaders Boadicea comes to mind.

Now I might be given you the impression that the Celts were an ignorant lot just out for a punch-up but they had a common Language, and had their own Bards and poets their work being handed down through the generations until a time came when it was able to be written down, they also had a group of more influential members, the Druids, a sort of higher echelon made up of mainly clerics, political advisors, educators, healers, and mediators.

The Druids used anything they could in the progress of teaching one of the main places was Stonehenge this is thought to have been standing long before the Druids used it, it is thought it was built around three thousand one hundred years before Christ, but as to who build it and whether it was ever finished is lost forever, by the time the Druids used Stonehenge it had already been standing there for around two thousand years

Celtic Designs

They had their own universities and because it was the Iron age they learnt to make good use of Iron, making weapons and improving many farm implements, they also made jewellery and the Celtic designs are very much revered even today. The name Celts is a 'modern' name we give to that group of people that lived during the Iron age, in fact the Romans called the Celts “Britons”

The 1905 mass initiation ritual held by the Ancient Order of Druids at Stonehenge.

I mentioned Clans because the Celtic way of life was just that, to say there was Celtic family’s is a bit of a misnomer the children were cared for by foster parents the real mothers and fathers were far too busy fighting to have time to take care of their offspring, in fact the fosters father was often the brother of the birth mother.

Because of their constant warring with the former occupants of Britain and of course with themselves was probably the main reason why they lost control when the Romans finally invaded.

Celtic tattoo often used today.

7 comments

Auron Renius
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Posted on Jan 24, 2011
Lady Samantha
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Posted on Jan 20, 2011
M 5446
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Posted on Jan 15, 2011
Abdel-moniem El-Shorbagy
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Posted on Jan 15, 2011
James R. Coffey
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Jerry Walch
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Posted on Jan 15, 2011
Colin Dovey
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Posted on Jan 15, 2011