Celtic History In Britain
The Celts were a warring community that existed in Britain during the Iron Age. These people are believed to have gained access into Britain gradually over the time period ranging from 500 to 100 BC. Their infiltration cannot be termed as a formal invasion because the Celts lacked cohesion amongst themselves and the conflicts within the community could not allow their unification as one people.
What bound the Celts together were similarities in their language, religion and traditions. They were not governed by any central authority and they were quite satisfied with the state of affairs. History illustrates their glory in the form of their fighting skills and artistic talent. The Romans who finally fought with them regarded the Celts as barbarians, an illustration that is believed by many to have an element of bias. The credit of ushering in the utilization of iron in Britain goes to the Celts.
The usage of iron for trade purposes led to a tremendous positive impact as in contrast to bronze, iron was much cheaper and easily available. This era also witnessed the construction of numerous hill forts. However, there is little clarity on the aspect of the real constructors of these hill forts. While some believe that these were built by native Britons with the aim of safeguarding themselves from the infiltration of the Celts, others suggest the Celts themselves to be the ones who constructed these hill forts as they gradually penetrated into the region. However, these hill forts could not have been utilized for permanent settlement as they lacked source of water.
The social structure incorporated various clans united under a single tribe. Each tribe had its own distinct traditions, social values, religious beliefs and revenue system as well. The Celts resided in huts constructed from arched timber. The walls were made from wicker and roofs from thatch. The Celts followed an extremely unique family system. Children were raised by foster parents instead of the biological parents. A child was usually handed over to the brother of the biological mother, who became the foster father of the child.
In times of peace, the Celts were engrossed in farming. In fact, these people are accredited with the invention of the iron plow. The Celtic women were in no way less than the men in the community. They enjoyed equality in every respect. They had the right to own property, become war leaders and were even allowed to choose their own spouse. A lot is mentioned about the Druids in Celtic history that signified a superior class comprising of priests, political advisors, teachers, healers, and arbitrators. The Celts loved to be at war. However, it was the fights amongst themselves that eventually led to their down fall.
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