During the many goings on in the ancient near east, the The Ancient Celts were doing their thing in what is known now as southern Germany. Sometime around 500 BC the Celts were the strongest power in Europe. They weren’t united into a nation but were more like a confederation. They had many tribes that shared a lot of common culture. The influence of the Celts spread from Spain to Britain and from Germany into northern Italy and as far away as modern Turkey.
What was ancient Celtic life like? Well for the most part they were farmers and homesteaders, but were also fierce warriors. They had chiefs and often centered their communities around the chief’s stronghold, called an oppidae (Latin for “main settlement”). Frequently they built their oppidae on hills around which their communities would eventually turn into villages, towns and cities. The tribes each had a chief, and over all the tribes was a high king.
Their religion centered around the Druids, of which we don’t know a lot about since the Druids didn’t write their religious teaching down. Much of what was saved was preserved by Druid bards who memorized songs, laws, history, stories and news, much in musical form. The Druids bound all the Celtic tribes together through the priests who were the lawmakers and wise-men as well as bards.
Celts had a society in which each person was free and had individual rights. The justice of the Druids was well known and respected. The chiefs were elected by their tribe members and the chiefs would then elect the high king. If a chief or high king failed to do their job justly and rightly they could be deposed.
The Celts were talented and skillful metal workers. Their jewelry, pottery and weapons have been found by archeologists and shows their skill. They traded with other civilizations such as Rome and Greece.
As I said before the Celts were known as fierce warriors, and they were. The used iron weapons and bronze shields. The women fought as well as the men. Frequently they invaded other nations such as their sacking of Rome in 390 BC and their raiding of Greece and Anatolia (modern Turkey) in 280 BC. Unfortunately they often fought among themselves as well which is what led to their downfall. In the end, Celtic ways survived only in Ireland, Cornwall, Brittany and parts of Wales and Scotland, where once they covered so much of Europe.