| The Story of the Celts
The Celts were the creators of the original system of organized agriculture brought
about from 1300 to 800 BC. There astounding artisan skills were shown through
the body armor and weapons that they produced. The word Celts come from
Keltoi, which the Greeks referred the people as around 500 BC. During the
expansion period from 750 until 50 BC, the Celts invaded Rome and attacked Greece.
The original style of the Celtic art has been copied for over 1500 years. Many
finds came from a town in Austria named Hallstatt. The first artistic phase which
began around 700 BC got its name from this town. Many finds came out of a
town in Switzerland named La Tène. The climax of the phase occurred during
the La Tène period.
The Celtic tribe created one nation that controlled the majority of Europe and
spread from Ireland in the northwest, across to Eurasia, and down to Turkey
in the east and Spain in the southwest. However, they were later struck back by
the merged forces of the Greeks, Romans, and Germans. The rest of Europe
benefited from the Celts skills as miners, artisans, traders, and inventors.
The Celtic Philosophy
The Celts were different than many other religions, as they believed that they
were part of creation itself. They felt that the soul could return in any way and
was eternal. The Celts existed in one with nature, and, therefore, are still in
They believed that they had to make sacrifices due to their upsetting nature
through their trades. The Romans and Greeks viewed the Celts with extreme
brilliance and felt that especially Britain was a supernatural island. The Romans
first invaded in 54 BC with an amount of apprehension. The highest strength of
the Celts was their myth and magic. They were once amused with stories that we
now would understand having unhappy endings. Song, poetry, and music tell
the stories of Celtic myths containing such topics as battles, deceit, and death.
The religion, Druidism, had a great desire to value the world around it, its followers,
and its land. However, the center of the religion was on the worship of nature
gods and goddesses. Since proof has been left by Greeks and Romans, it is
widely thought that they brought civilization to Western Europe. However, the
Druids are really the ones to be rewarded for civilization; they just refused to
leave written documents.
The Druids high social status provided them with the privileges of overseeing
education systems, religious ceremonies, and legal decisions. They were in charge
of maintaining the balance of the Celts lives in the living world and the Otherworld.
The Druids were looked up to as the leaders of the Celtic culture.
Celtic Jewelry Designs
The Celts were not shy about showing off their wealth and often did so through
their jewelry. Some of the most elaborate jewelry and ornaments of the past
have come from Celtic artists. The jewelry is still precious and timeless today.
Objects for everyday use such as weapons, pots and pans, buckets, etc were also
created by the astounding craftsmen. These objects were just as detailed and
elaborate as the jewelry they created. The Celts believed in the afterlife, and, therefore,
were often buried with their most prized pieces of jewelry and weapons. Some of
the most intricate works of time have been found in tombs for people of status.
Animals in Celtic Culture
As shown in their art, the Celts viewed all living things with high importance.
Celts sometimes hunted, but they still had great respect for the animals. The strong
relationship that the Celts have with the sea comes from the belief that it divides
the living world from the Otherworld. Signs of the relationship between the two
include aquatic animals such as seals, whales, and dolphins.
The Celts' farm animals, which were much smaller than they are today, were
mostly goats, cattle, sheep, ducks, chickens, and horses. Most animals were used
for only their byproducts, whereas animals such as pigs were kept for their meat.
Many animals had symbolic meanings to the Celts and represents various qualities.
The Celts were very skilled horsemen and women. They were associated by the
Greek, Egyptian, and Romans as being extremely fearsome. The horse, which
provided a means of transportation when fighting since the 7th century BC, was
the symbol for Macha (Celtic goddesses of sovereignty, fertility, and death) and
Epona (the origin of the word pony). A great shrine to Epona currently exists in
Uffington, Oxfordshire, England.
The Celtic Nations
The Celtic Nations- Many of the Celtics call areas around Europe's western
edge home. There are currently around 16 million Celtics. Another 50 million
Celts in the United States and a few million others spread out across the world.
Scotland- Following the Romans fleeing Britain, Celt moved into Scotland.
Scotland got its name from the Irish being know by the Latin as Scotti.
Christianity was united as a single system in Scotland by both St. Columbine
and St. Ninian.
Ireland- Ireland is currently the purest Celtic nation since it was the sole region
to escape the Roman conquest. Christian monks from the Celtic Ireland spread
the word of the Irish Myths by being the first to write the stories down. Much of
the Celtic art that remains originated in Ireland. A great deal of this art is now
used in Celtic jewelry and is seen worldwide.
Wales- The Christian word was impacted and spread throughout the Celtic
nations by the people of Wales. Many of the Saints who spread the word of
God were in fact Welshmen.
Cornwall- Cornwall has the best argument for possessing the Celtic warlord
named Arthur. Cornwall is the home of many of the megalithic monuments in Europe.
Brittany- After fleeing from the Saxons, many of the Celtic Britons fled to
Brittany. Now, the majority of the Bretons are related to the late Celtic Britons.
Isle of Man- Celtic nationalist groups exist in the Isle of Man and Cornwall
that assist in letting others know the importance of their culture, language, and
history when still possessing their own parliament.
Galicia- Galicia is one of the most recent additions to the modern Celtic Nations;
however, the awareness of the Celtic culture is just as powerful as the elder parts
of the Celtic Nations.