Recall reading somewhere a description by Julius Caesar of the Celts(?) as being fast talking, often through gestures and half words. And often saying the opposite of what was intended. Like to find the exact quote and reference to that passage.

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    Welcome to History:SE. What has your research shown you so far? Where have you already searched? What did you find? Please help us to help you. You might find it helpful to review our Help Centre and, in particular, How to Ask. Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 2:48
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    Caesar said a lot of things. Such as that the Belgians were the toughest warriors. This ticked off Vitalstatistix to no end, when we all know it was a little Gaulish village that was the toughest.
    – Marakai
    Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 3:12
  • Try Caesar's "The Gallic Wars", available online: classics.mit.edu/Caesar/gallic.html Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 22:22
  • I really dont remember anywhere in "The Gallic Commentaries" where he says that. Of course my memory isnt perfect.
    – ed.hank
    Commented Dec 3, 2018 at 23:57
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    Caesar may not have. Perhaps Diodorus. Not so much interested in who said it but what was said or is known about how Celts spoke and behaved. Any such info would be greatly appreciated!
    – Kostas
    Commented Dec 4, 2018 at 1:03

1 Answer 1


I think you're recalling a passage from Diodorus Siculus' The Library of History, Book V:

31 1 The Gauls are terrifying in aspect and their voices are deep and altogether harsh; when they meet together they converse with few words and in riddles, hinting darkly at things for the most part and using one word when they mean another; and they like to talk in superlatives, to the end that they may extol themselves and depreciate all other men.

Or else the enigmatical language of Druids in Diogenes Laertius' Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers, which I've seen translated as riddles before:

§5. But they who say that philosophy had its rise among the barbarians, give also an account of the different systems prevailing among the various tribes. And they say that the Gymnosophists and the Druids philosophize, delivering their apophthegmns in enigmatical language, bidding men worship the gods and do no evil, and practise manly virtue.

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    Thanks for that, Charlie. That is the quote I remember seeing. The one by Diodorus Siculus.
    – Kostas
    Commented Jan 5, 2019 at 2:11

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