Who are the Celts?

Essay by Anonymous UserHigh School, 12th grade November 1996

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Celts is the name given to a culture rather than a race. Celts varied from curly hair brown hair through red hair. They occupied central and Northern Europe including the British Isles in the Pre-roman period, gradually being pushed further north and westwards by the Roman peoples and the Nordic and Saxon peoples. They were a non-urban people. They lived on small holdings, and kept animals, grew crops and hunted. A typical Celtic house probably looked like a thatched log cabin surrounded by a stockade. They didn't trade much, but metals - especially bronze and iron - were rare and precious, and were probably traded. Women seemed to often be of high status in burial sites. There are a lot of women buried with full honors. There are also some examples of bodies well over six foot tall, which suggests that either height was highly regarded, or that it was not uncommon.1

Druids were the means by which the culture probably gained its unity. They would have been the remains of the shamanic hunting religions, adapted to the rural lifestyle. They would have been the repository of tribal knowledge, and probably wandered from settlement to settlement spreading and receiving information. There was not much written down at that time at all ,so most information comes adulterated. Caesar and the Romans mention the Celts, as do one or two other sources. Mediaeval writers wrote down some of the remaining legends of Taliesin, and the Irish Kings but much of what was written was probably corrupted by politics . Women were on more or less equal footing as men, being accomplished warriors, merchants and rulers. Celtic society was typically more equal in terms of gender roles. The bravery of the Celts in battle is legendary. They often spurned body armor, going naked...