Week 2

The Celts were an ancient people who flourished in central Europe during the millenium preceding the conquest of Gaul by Julius Caesar. He fought the Gauls. The Gauls were just one variation on Celts. The Celts descended from the same Indo-European invaders who settled in Greece and Italy and gave to the whole Mediterranean world Indo-European based languages. Latin in Italy and Greek in Greece are both Indo-European languages. The two best documented sites for ancient Celti culture is La Tene on the north side of Lake Neuchatel in Switzerland, and Hallstatt, in Upper Austria in the Salzkammergut of Austria. The Celts spread all over Europe including Spain. The presence of the Celts in Spain is attested by a number of Roman historians. Archaeologically, the Spanish Celts were part of the Hallstatt culture in what is now north-central Spain. The term Celtiberi appears in accounts of the Roman historians Diodorus Siculus, Appian and Martial who recognized intermarriage between Celts and native pre-Celtic Spanish Iberians after a period of continuous warfare. The fact that Spain has this ancient Celtic past is important since it unites Spain with other European nations such as France, Germany, and Britain, alll sharing these international Celtic roots.


Simon James,

The World of the Celts,

Thames & Hudson paperback (October 1, 2005),

ISBN 0500279985

Product Description:

"Richly illustrated sheds a strong light on the art and life of a gifted people."—Houston Chronicle. Warlike, flamboyant, courageous, ”the ancient Celts had a fearsome reputation. For five hundred years they dominated the lands north of the Alps, before being largely absorbed into the Roman Empire. But Celtic culture survived and achieved a glorious flowering in the post-Roman, early Christian era. Today Celtic influence can be found in arts and crafts, in legends, in place names, and even in languages. In this generously illustrated introduction to the world of the Celts, Simon James charts their way of life from farming to feasting, their wars, their gods, and their superb craftsmanship in metal, wood, and stone. He covers the neglected subject of Celtic life under Roman rule, particularly in Gaul and Britain, and the continuing traditions in Ireland after AD 400, when a Celtic renaissance gave birth to heroic tales, masterpieces of enameled metalwork, and renowned illuminated manuscripts. Over 300 illustrations, 59 in color

About the Author: Simon James is Senior Lecturer in the School of Archaeological Studies at the University of Leicester and an authority on the Roman military.