England - Periods - Pre-history- Pottery

Celts

Placeholder image

The Celts were a diverse group of people who lived in Europe during the Iron Age and Medieval period, from approximately 1200 BCE to 1500 CE. They originated from a group of Indo-European peoples who migrated from the Pontic-Caspian steppe region of Eastern Europe around 2500 BCE, spreading across Europe and forming distinct cultural groups.

The Celts settled in Britain sometime around the 5th century BCE, though they had contact with the British Isles as early as the Bronze Age. They were not a homogeneous group, but rather a collection of tribes with different cultures and languages, who shared certain common characteristics, such as a love of war, craftsmanship, and storytelling.

The Celts who settled in Britain were known as the Britons, and they established several powerful kingdoms, such as the Brigantes, Cornovii, and Catuvellauni. The Romans conquered much of Britain in the 1st century CE, but Celtic culture continued to thrive in Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. The legacy of the Celts can still be seen today in the languages, art, and traditions of these regions.

Religion was an important aspect of Celtic life, and the Celts worshiped a pantheon of gods and goddesses who represented various aspects of nature, such as the sun, moon, and earth. They also believed in the existence of spirits and the afterlife. Celtic religious practices included animal and human sacrifice, divination, and the veneration of sacred sites such as stone circles and burial mounds.

Celtic society was organized into tribes, each with its own leader or king. The tribes were often in competition with one another, and warfare was a common feature of Celtic life. Celtic warriors were highly valued and respected, and they were often buried with their weapons and other symbols of their status.

The Celts were skilled craftsmen and artisans, and they were known for their metalworking, especially in gold and silver. They also produced elaborate decorative art, such as intricate knotwork designs and stylized animal motifs.

In terms of social structure, Celtic society was hierarchical, with a ruling class of nobles who held political and economic power. However, there was also a class of common people who worked as farmers, artisans, and laborers. Women played an important role in Celtic society and could hold positions of power and influence, such as queen or priestess.

Overall, the Celts were a complex and multifaceted group of people with a rich culture and history. While they were eventually absorbed into the cultures of the peoples who conquered them, their legacy can still be seen in the traditions and customs of modern-day Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and other regions of Europe.

The Celts did not "dominate" Great Britain in the way that a conquering army would, but rather settled and established their own communities and kingdoms over a period of centuries. The exact timeline of the Celtic settlement of Britain is not well documented, but it is generally believed to have occurred gradually over several centuries, beginning around the 5th century BCE.

The Celts who settled in Britain were known as the Britons, and they established several powerful kingdoms, such as the Brigantes, Cornovii, and Catuvellauni. These kingdoms were often in competition with one another, but they also formed alliances and shared cultural practices.

The Romans invaded Britain in 43 CE and established their own rule over much of the island, but Celtic culture continued to thrive in Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. In the 5th century CE, the Anglo-Saxons began to invade and settle in Britain, eventually pushing the Celtic Britons to the western parts of the island. The Welsh, Scottish, and Irish today are the descendants of the Celtic Britons who remained in these areas.

The Celts did not come to dominate Great Britain through military conquest, but rather through migration and settlement over a long period of time. Their cultural influence can still be seen in the languages, art, and traditions of the British Isles today.

Celts - Timeline

Sure, here is a timeline of the Celtic presence in Britain:

750 BCE: The Celts begin to arrive in Britain, establishing small settlements and communities.

500 BCE: The La Tène culture, characterized by intricate metalwork and stylized designs, begins to spread across Britain.

55 BCE: Julius Caesar attempts to invade Britain, but is repelled by the Celtic tribes.

43 CE: The Roman Empire invades Britain and establishes their own rule over much of the island, but Celtic culture continues to thrive in Scotland, Ireland, and Wales.

410 CE: The Roman Empire withdraws from Britain, leaving the island vulnerable to invasion from Germanic tribes such as the Anglo-Saxons.

450 CE: The Anglo-Saxons begin to invade and settle in Britain, eventually pushing the Celtic Britons to the western parts of the island.

500 CE: The Celtic kingdoms of Cornwall, Wales, and Scotland are established, and the Gaelic language becomes dominant in Scotland and Ireland.

600 CE: The Welsh king Arthur, legendary figure of Welsh mythology and literature, is said to have lived during this time.

793 CE: The Viking raids on the British Isles begin, bringing new waves of cultural and religious influences to the region.

1066 CE: The Normans, descendants of the Vikings who had settled in Normandy, France, invade and conquer England, bringing a new wave of cultural and linguistic influences to the region.

1282 CE: The last independent Welsh kingdom is conquered by the English, marking the end of Welsh political autonomy.

1603 CE: The Union of the Crowns joins Scotland and England under one monarch, James VI of Scotland and I of England, creating the Kingdom of Great Britain.

While this timeline is not comprehensive and leaves out many important events and details, it provides a general overview of the major events and changes that occurred in Britain during the Celtic period.

If you have a suggestion regarding additional topics you would like to see included - please let us know

Reference: Article by Greg Scott (Staff Historian), 2023

Placeholder image

History Highlights

Placeholder image

History & Heritage Tours & Travel

Tour Reviews

History Attractions

Submit Tour Suggestions

2024 Departures

Spotlight Tours

Events and anniversaries

i

History & Heritage

Access History creates and posts content, articles, and subject matter relating to history and heritage
Copyright 2022 to Access history. All rights reserved and images and logos are created and presented for the general use of the public and educational institutions All content is the responsibility of Access.
Use of this website constitutes acceptance of Access terms and conditions
Placeholder image

All content and images are protected by copyright to Access History