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 Celts in pre-history and the modern World

This potted history is a start to what will be written in future.

The word Celt was used by the Romans to describe the tribes that occupied Gaul (France) and the areas of Switzerland and Southern Germany.  It is suggested that they derived the name from the Greek word Keltoi, which was applied to barbarian tribes to the north of Greece.

The Tribes north of the Alps developed independently of Rome and Greece.  In the five centuries BC several cultures developed known as the Halstadt culture ( near Salzburg, Germany) and this was followed by the related La Tenne culture (French Swiss border). These cultures have left no written documents as far as is known but have left magnificent metal work objects.  These include jewelry, weapons and chariots.

The history of these cultures has been recorded extensively by the Romans, who referred to the people as Celts. The Romans went on to conquer the Celtic world, starting with Gaul (present day France). The result is that most of the recorded history of the Celts is written by their Roman conquerors. 

The Celts of Gaul were said to be related to the Celts in Britain, however, most of the Roman writings dealing with the Celts are actually about the Gaulish Celts.

After the Romans there was no mention of the word Celts until about the 18th century. The term Celt was used to describe people with similar languages to the Irish, Scots, Welsh, people of Cornwall and Brittany. It was a romantic view of the 'Noble Savage'.  Previous to this the peoples of these countries  would not have regarded themselves as Celts.

As stated above, this section will be extended eventually.

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