Hot answers tagged

30 votes

How likely is it that any non-Celtic language was spoken in the British Isles when the Romans invaded?

The answer appears to be "We don't know." We're sure that there were spoken languages in the British Isles before the arrival of the Celtic languages, because the archaeology tells us that ...
user avatar
  • 28.1k
24 votes
Accepted

Do we have any surviving texts by Romano-Celtic authors?

Since I have a good memory, I remembered and/or looked up a few names of Roman citizens who lived in Gaul or Britain or came from Gaul or Britain to other parts of the empire, and who wrote. These ...
user avatar
  • 16.8k
21 votes

Was there significant interbreeding between Romans and Native Britons?

The answer to your question is actually to be found in the two articles you have mentioned. Official figures show that the UK population was 65.6 million in June 2016. A little under 50% of the ...
user avatar
  • 76.2k
19 votes

Why were Germanic languages able to spread over much of northern Europe after 500BC? Did they mostly replace Celtic?

I'm seeing two different questions to address in here: What happened to the Celts, and Where did all these Germanics come from? What happened to the Celts? They got culturally absorbed by the Romans. ...
user avatar
  • 109k
19 votes
Accepted

Was Celtic society promiscuous?

The perception that the Celts were promiscuous seems to be based on, at least in part, ancient writers’ interpretations of marital relationships and / or a superficial knowledge of Celtic customs and ...
user avatar
18 votes

Do we have any surviving texts by Romano-Celtic authors?

There is a certain Rutilius Namatianus who lived in the early 5th century Gaul. I do not know how much Celtic ancestry he had. He admired Rome and considered his family part of its "sacred Genius", ...
user avatar
  • 4,326
17 votes
Accepted

In the biography of Turing by Hodges an ancient Celtic tradition is mentioned of killing the last to arrive

It's a well known fact (or legend), told by Julius Caesar in his Commentaries on the Gallic War (Original title, "De Bello Gallico") Chapter 5-56: quo lege communi omnes puberes armati convenire ...
user avatar
  • 1,884
17 votes

What is the primary source for this quote by Julius Caesar's on Celts and Germans?

I would suggest reading Book 1 of The Gallic Wars (link has both English and Latin if you want to see the untranslated text), which is as much a political history of the conquest of Gaul as it is a ...
user avatar
  • 5,902
16 votes
Accepted

Did the Romans ever deploy troops to, or try to conquer, Ireland?

Ireland was not a threat to Rome By the time the Romans had reached Britain, their empire covered most of western Europe and their resources were becoming stretched. For most of the time they spent ...
user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

How much did the culture of Anatolian Gallic settlers differ from their kin in Gaul?

Those Galatians, or tribes in Anatolia of Celtic origin, sometimes even Gallic origin, were part of the south-eastern migration of Celts. This migration might also be called an invasion of the Balkans ...
user avatar
15 votes
Accepted

Did iron age Britons still use the "ritual" sites built by their neolithic predecessors?

That is a really good question. The truth is that evidence for any sort of "cultural continuity" is scant. One word of caution though. I generally hesitate to use the word "ritual" in an ...
user avatar
  • 76.2k
15 votes

Was there significant interbreeding between Romans and Native Britons?

From both a narrative (general history) and scientific (genetics), the answer is No (there was not a lot of interbreeding). (We get more precise as we go from narrative history to genetics, as shown ...
user avatar
  • 6,195
12 votes

Is there any evidence that Celts produced chain mail?

There is extensive documentary and archeological evidence for Celtic chain mail; one Classical writer (Varro) even specifically named the Celts as the inventors of chain mail. You can take a look at ...
user avatar
  • 2,177
12 votes

What is the primary source for this quote by Julius Caesar's on Celts and Germans?

Performing first a search for all occurrences of "German" and then of "civiliz" in The Gallic Wars suggests that the most relevant passage is from Chapter 24 from Book 6 (my ...
user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

What would a Roman education include in the years 77 - 85?

Among the best primary sources for this are Institutio Oratoria by Quintilian (c.35 to c.100 BC) and Dialogus de oratoribus, usually attributed to Tacitus (c.56 to c.100). Both of these are cited ...
user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

Was there a tax on being fat in Gaul?

I think you're remembering a comment in Strabo's Geography, Book 4, Chapter 4, where he quotes Ephorus saying: Ephorus, in his account, makes Celtica so excessive in its size that he assigns to ...
user avatar
11 votes

Were/are the Gaels, Picts and Britons physically distinct?

This area has evolved much in the past few decades of research. You are asking 'ethnicity' not race (there are only 3, possibly 4, 'races' of humans on the world. I should include as an edit that ...
user avatar
  • 2,689
10 votes

Did Celtic druids teach in Greece?

I don't know of any source that discusses Druids coming to Greece to teach and learn, however, there certainly were plenty of opportunities for Greek and Celtic teachers to interact. For example, the ...
user avatar
10 votes

Did the Romans ever deploy troops to, or try to conquer, Ireland?

To invade Ireland, the Romans would first have needed to gain full control of either Wales or the Clyde estuary in Scotland, something they never succeeded in doing. The Romans very much wanted to ...
user avatar
  • 37.2k
8 votes

Were/are the Gaels, Picts and Britons physically distinct?

Note: I read the question this morning, then wrote my answer tonight. Somehow I came to think it included language and culture. It's now a bit of TMI, but I'm going to let it hang out there for a ...
user avatar
  • 3,207
7 votes

Did iron age Britons still use the "ritual" sites built by their neolithic predecessors?

From watching the old series "Time Team" it is common to find Iron Age and even Saxon graveyards built in and around old neolithic mounds. I don't think that this indicates great continuity in ...
user avatar
  • 11.8k
7 votes

Where did the Gaels originate?

Late to this discussion, but relevant, is that the Gaels of Ireland claim to have migrated from Galicia in Spain. In the most popular legend, the son of the King of Galicia climbed a tall tower and ...
user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Is there any historicity to the concept of Ghost Fences / Walls?

'Ghost walls' is a concept that is used in archaeology. But maybe not just so fanciful as in these historical fiction books: Meanwhile, trial trenches at the north end of the adjacent long and ...
user avatar
6 votes

What age were these Britons in A.D. 43?

This is a community wiki. Feel free to add and / or improve on this answer. As Semaphore noted in his comment, "the information simply isn't there for a lot of cases" but here are some estimates or '...
6 votes

When did the round house fall out of vernacular use throughout Britain and Ireland?

The names and dates of these archaeological periods can be contested, but as a preliminary, we are concerned here with the: Nordic Bronze Age (c. 1700 BCE - c. 500 BCE) Pre-Roman Iron Age (c. 500 BCE ...
user avatar
  • 27.3k
6 votes

Caesar's comments on Celts(?)

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 ...
user avatar
5 votes

Where did the Gaels originate?

The use of the word 'Celts', or the non Roman spelling, 'Kelts' (Romans had no K in their alphabet and so used C) is very confusing. The Britons were not Kelts, the Romans record that the Britons or ...
user avatar
  • 67
5 votes

Group term for the Celts around the Alps?

The Romans typically referred to them as Gauls, and the Roman name for the area of northern Italy they held was "Gallia Cisalpina" (or "Cisalpine Gaul" in modern English. The part of Gaul on "this ...
user avatar
  • 109k
5 votes

Do we have any surviving texts by Romano-Celtic authors?

There are surviving excerpts and an epitome (summary) of the Gallo-Roman historian Gnaeus Pompeius Trogus who was active during the 1st century BC. He was of the Celtic Vocontii tribe in Gallia ...
user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Significance of division of Caledonia by Northumbrian Advance

Yes, that's roughly what he's saying. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to run a unified country, or even a unified armed resistance, between two entities separated by hostile territory. Here'...
user avatar
  • 109k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible