Ancient Celtic Civilization

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A bit of caution is called for in this section.  Celts, ancient Celtic civilization and Celtic culture have been among the more 'manipulated' aspects of history and archaeological science.  Much has been invented to support various nationalistic claims and overlaid with a New Age patina to the point it is often difficult to separate what is true from what is wishful thinking especially when it comes to Celtic religion and Druidism.

A great deal of what is accepted as Celtic history is modern myth, a creation of the 18th century as a basis for many modern nationalisms and religious movements.  

I have tried my best to make the distinction between the two and separate fact from fancy as much as possible but there is the chance some of the 'fancy' may have made it through in light of the fact that many otherwise excellent websites contain a mix of both.

You will have to judge for yourself and select that material which best fits with your own needs.

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ancient Celtic Culture __ A general overview of ancient Celtic civilization which would be a good introduction for the younger student. - From -

Ancient Celtic history __ "The Celtic empire once ranged across Western Europe, and their armies eclipsed even those of Rome. Who were these mighty people, and what became of them?"  An essay. - From -

Ancient Celtic Warfare __ "Caesar may be a biased source, but his statement tells us a lot about the role of war in ancient Celtic society: it was an important part of life, primarily for the nobility, but, to a lesser degree, also for the average man."  A good overview of Celtic warfare and battle equipment. - From -

Ancient Celts __ "Before there was Rome, there were the Celts... ancient temperate Europe was not a blank spot on the map, historically or culturally. With settlements stretching from the Atlantic to the Black Sea, and even beyond Europe into Asia Minor and Egypt, the Celts developed a remarkable and important culture."  A good overview with many topics covered. - illustrated - From -

Ancient Celts __ "Aside from their battle fury the Celts were a simple agrigarian people who felt closeness with the land. Their primary interests seem to have been in the here and now. They only fought when it was necessary and had little interest in the quest for empire. So instead empires were built by others, such as the Romans." A general overview and resources. - From -

Ancient Celts history, Celtic civilization, Celtic culture, Celtic ... __ A general, brief overview of the ancient Celts along with links to additional resources. - illustrated - From - 

Appearance of the Ancient Celts __ You will find several pages dealing with Celtic appearance, religion and history, mostly about ancient Celtic civilization in the British Isles. - illustrated - From -

Celtic Culture __ Here is a resource jam-packed with information about the ancient Celts from history, through culture and much more. - illustrated - From -

The Celtic Druids __ "The question of who invaded Britain in prehistoric times, and when these incursions took place, was much debated by earlier generations of scholars. Bloody battles were imagined, in which one race virtually exterminated another and populated the country anew. Mysterious "Beaker folk" were said to have arrived in the third millennium B.C. introducing metalwork and burying their chiefs in barrow tombs along with their favorite beakers. After them came the Celts; around 600 B.C. was the accepted date for their appearance in Britain." Britannia Internet Magazine's article by John Mitchell. Claims Stonehenge was built by Celtic druids in 2000 BC. - From - 

Celtic Europe __ "The lands occupied by Celtic peoples, whose existence can be traced over more than 25 centuries, were vast. Celts occupied land in modern day Eastern Europe, Greece, Spain, Northern Italy, Western Europe, England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. The Celtic people have mystified anthropologists and historians for generations." A good overview of Celtic history and culture. - By Leigh T. Denault -
Celtic Mythology and Celtic Religion __ "There is a lot of academic confusion and debate about the origins of druidism, some feeling it spread west as the Celts themselves migrated over hundreds of years from the eastern steppes into Europe and, eventually, the British Isles (via Spain for the Irish)."  Aa look at ancient Celtic religion. - From -

Celts __ "The earliest archaeological culture commonly accepted as Celtic, or rather Proto-Celtic, was the central European Hallstatt culture (ca. 800-450 BC), named for the rich grave finds in Hallstatt, Austria."  An encyclopedic article with links to related materials. - illustrated - From wikipedia -

Celts __ "The Celt, also spelled KELT, Latin CELTA, plural Celtae, a member of an early Indo-European people who from the 2nd millennium BC to the 1st century BC spread over much of Europe. The people who made up the various tribes of concern were called Galli by the Romans and 'Galatai' or 'Keltoi' by the Greeks, terms meaning 'barbarian'. It is from the Greek 'Keltoi' that 'Celt' is derived." You will find a good outline and timeline of Celtic history. - illustrated - From Crystalinks -

The Celts __ This page gives a brief overview of the Celts mostly in their relationship to Scotland and Ireland though it does open with the first meetings between the Celts and the Romans. - From ibiblio/Gaelic and Gaelic Culture -

The Celts __ This site covers Celtic history from ancient times to the close of the Middle Ages. - From Washington State University - 

Celts, Consumerism and Caesar __ "Grapes would freeze in northern Europe, so the Celts drank beverages made from what they could grow--grain--until they came in contact with the Romans, whose favorite beverage, well-watered wine, was superior to Celtic ale. The Celts instantly loved the new intoxicating beverage, which they drank undiluted, without moderation. Realizing the potential profits, Roman merchants encouraged trade relations between Rome and their northern neighbors." Learn about the growth of trade and how this led to the absorption by the Romans of the Celts in Gaul. - by N.S. Gill -


Daily Life - Iron Age Celts for Kids __ A good introduction to the ancient Celts for the younger student with many click-to-read articles. - From -

Interesting facts about the ancient Celts __ "Celtic culture, and most probably also language, originated in central Europe, around the Alps. The earliest major Celtic settlement was found in Hallstatt, Upper Austria. It dates from 1200 BCE. Austria, Switzerland, Southern Germany can be seen as the "Celtic homeland".  This and a few dozen more 'facts.' - From -

Meet the Ancient Celts: Feasting, Fighting and Women's Rights __ "The ancient Celts established a complex and fascinating society. Obsessed with fighting and feasting, they nonetheless were far ahead of their time in respect to women’s rights."  An overview and resopurces. - From Wayne Smith/ -

Myth - Celtic Gods and Goddesses __ A list of the major Celtic divinities. - from -

Simon James's ANCIENT CELTS PAGE Introduction and Index __ Learn about the history of the ancient Celts. You will find not only the standard history but a new alternate history which is emerging as knowledge grows and research advances. While this is a presentation from an archaeological viewpoint, the history contained is impressive. - illustrated - By Simon James -

The Society and Culture of the Celts Focusing on Ireland __ "The Celts were a people who originated in central Europe from Indo-European stock and became a distinct people in the Iron Age. They are distinct from their predecessor peoples, archaeologically named the Urnfield cultures, principally in their use of iron, their art style, the role of the horse in their lives, and the social stratification of their society. The people living in the archaeological period called Hallstatt were the first true Celts. The La Tene period is most representational of the Celts at their peak." This paper explores many aspects of Celtic culture in relationship to Ireland. - by Kathryn L. Pierce -


What We Don't Know About the Ancient Celts __ "When one says that one wants to study and, perhaps, reconstruct the religion of the ancient Celts, it is well to be clear about whom one speaks. Celtic describes a language group which, over time, has divided into two strains -- P-Celtic (Brythonic) spoken in Wales, Cornwall and Brittany and Q-Celtic (Gaelic) spoken today in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. Celtic speaking people inhabited much of Europe for millennia and their descendants live on today. Each locale and each time offer different views or hints about the nature of the relationship of the Celtic people to divinity." Learn what tools are available for this study and how different Celtic societies approached the divine. - By Rowan Fairgrove -

Who Were the Celts __ "By the tenth century the 'Celts' had ceased to exist as a completely separate people. Instead they had fragmented into small groups sharing a similar cultural background. It is difficult to guess where the 'Celts' left off and where the British peoples started, which is possibly a more accurate term." An overview of Late Ancient Celtic history. - From Regia Anglorum Publications -

Who were the Celts?  __ A detailed lesson plan about the Celts for middle school years . - From -

World of the Celts ( ancient Celtic civilization ) __ This is a good overview of western regional Celtic civilization. There seems to be a little confusion between the Iron Age and the Bronze Age but overall a very good site. You will find information about many topics from clothing to domestic architecture and a timeline. - illustrated - From Gallica -


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