CKM 2019-20 / Aziz Yardımlı



Celtic expansion.


Roma’nın kuzeyinde uygar dünyadan hemen hemen bütünüyle yalıtılmış ve Romalıların barbarlar olarak gördükleri Keltik ve Germanik kabileler yaşıyordu. Önce Keltler geldiler. Kalabalık idiler ve İÖ 390’da Roma’yı ele geçirip yağmaladılar. Julius Sezar tarafından acımasızca sindirilinceye dek İtalya için gözdağı olmaya son vermediler.


  • Bir Hint-Avrupa etno-linguistik grup.
  • Kelt olarak adlandırılan ilk grup Demir Çağı Avusturyasının “Hallstatt” (exonym) kültürüdür (İÖ 1200-450).
  • İÖ 450 ve Roma’nın fetihleri arasında Keltler İngiltere, Fransa, Orta Avrupa’nın çoğu ve İberya ve Orta Anadolu’ya (Galatya) göç ettiler.
  • “Kelt” adının Κελτοί (Keltoi) olarak ilk kayıtlı kullanımı Miletuslu Hekataeus’a (Ἑκαταῖος Μιλήσιος; yklş. İÖ 550-476) aittir.
  • İÖ 1’inci yüzyılda Julius Sezar Romalıların Galliler (Galli) olarak bildiği halkların kendilerine “Keltler” dediğini yazdı.
  • Roma yönetimi altına giren etnik Keltler Roma kültürüne soğruldular ve Latince’yi kabul ettiler.


📹 Caesar's Gallic Wars (Pt. 1) (VİDEO)

📹 Caesar’s Gallic Wars (Pt. 1) (LINK)

This is an extract from Julius Caesar's 'Commentaries on the Gallic Wars', first published between 58 and 49 BC. This is Book 1, Parts 1-3.

In 60 BC Rome was not yet an empire, but soon it would be. The momentous events of the next decades, many of which were put into motion by the famed politician Julius Caesar, were some of the most important and formative of the Western World. We tell this story directly from the words of Caesar himself. Starting with his masterpiece ‘Commentaries on the Gallic Wars’ — first published over two thousand years ago yet still widely read all over the world today.


📹 Caesar’s Gallic Wars (Pt. 2) (VİDEO)

📹 Caesar’s Gallic Wars (Pt. 2) (LINK)

This is an extract from Julius Caesar's 'Commentaries on the Gallic Wars', first published between 58 and 49 BC.

In 60 BC Rome was not yet an empire, but soon it would be. The momentous events of the next decades, many of which were put into motion by the famed politician Julius Caesar, were some of the most important and formative of the Western World. We tell this story directly from the words of Caesar himself. Starting with his masterpiece ‘Commentaries on the Gallic Wars’ — first published over two thousand years ago yet still widely read all over the world today.


Celts (1)

Celts (1) (W)

Celtic expansion.

The Celts are an Indo-European ethnolinguistic group of Europe identified by their use of Celtic languages and cultural similarities. The history of pre-Celtic Europe and the exact relationship between ethnic, linguistic and cultural factors in the Celtic world remains uncertain and controversial. The exact geographic spread of the ancient Celts is disputed; in particular, the ways in which the Iron Age inhabitants of Great Britain and Ireland should be regarded as Celts have become a subject of controversy. According to one theory, the common root of the Celtic languages, the Proto-Celtic language, arose in the Late Bronze Age Urnfield culture of Central Europe, which flourished from around 1200 BC.

According to a theory proposed in the 19th century, the first people to adopt cultural characteristics regarded as Celtic were the people of the Iron Age Hallstatt culturein central Europe (c. 800-450 BC), named for the rich grave finds in Hallstatt, Austria. Thus this area is sometimes called the "Celtic homeland". By or during the later La Tène period (c. 450 BC to the Roman conquest), this Celtic culture was supposed to have expanded by trans-cultural diffusion or migration to the British Isles (Insular Celts), France and the Low Countries (Gauls), Bohemia, Poland and much of Central Europe, the Iberian Peninsula (Celtiberians, Celtici, Lusitanians and Gallaeci) and northern Italy (Golasecca culture and Cisalpine Gauls) and, following the Celtic settlement of Eastern Europe beginning in 279 BC, as far east as central Anatolia (Galatians) in modern-day Turkey.

Celtic charge. Art by Giuseppe Rava.

The earliest undisputed direct examples of a Celtic language are the Lepontic inscriptions beginning in the 6th century BC. Continental Celtic languages are attested almost exclusively through inscriptions and place-names. Insular Celtic languages are attested beginning around the 4th century in Ogham inscriptions, although they were clearly being spoken much earlier. Celtic literary tradition begins with Old Irish texts around the 8th century CE. Coherent texts of Early Irish literature, such as the Táin Bó Cúailnge ("Cattle Raid of Cooley"), survive in 12th-century recensions.

By the mid-1st millennium, with the expansion of the Roman Empire and migrating Germanic tribes, Celtic culture and Insular Celtic languages had become restricted to Ireland, the western and northern parts of Great Britain (Wales, Scotland, and Cornwall), the Isle of Man, and Brittany. Between the 5th and 8th centuries, the Celtic-speaking communities in these Atlantic regions emerged as a reasonably cohesive cultural entity. They had a common linguistic, religious and artistic heritage that distinguished them from the culture of the surrounding polities. By the 6th century, however, the Continental Celtic languages were no longer in wide use.

“The Taking of the Temple at Delphi by the Gauls,” Alphonse Cornet, 1885.



Celts (2)

Celts (2) (W)

Kneeling Youthful Gaul, Roman copy of a Hellenistic sculpture of a young Celt, Louvre.

The first recorded use of the name of Celts – as Κελτοί (Keltoi) in Greek – to refer to an ethnic group was by Hecataeus of Miletus, the Greek geographer, in 517 BC, when writing about a people living near Massilia (modern Marseille). In the fifth century BC, Herodotus referred to Keltoi living around the head of the Danube and also in the far west of Europe.

The etymology of the term Keltoi is unclear. Possible roots include Indo-European *kʲel 'to hide' (present also in Old Irish ceilid), IE *kʲel 'to heat' or *kel 'to impel'. Several authors have supposed it to be Celtic in origin, while others view it as a name coined by Greeks. Linguist Patrizia De Bernardo Stempel falls in the latter group, and suggests the meaning "the tall ones".

In the 1st century BC, Julius Caesar reported that the people known to the Romans as Gauls (Latin: Galli) called themselves Celts. which suggests that even if the name Keltoi was bestowed by the Greeks, it had been adopted to some extent as a collective name by the tribes of Gaul. The geographer Strabo, writing about Gaul towards the end of the first century BC, refers to the "race which is now called both Gallic and Galatic," though he also uses the term Celtica as a synonym for Gaul, which is separated from Iberia by the Pyrenees. Yet he reports Celtic peoples in Iberia, and also uses the ethnic names Celtiberi and Celtici for peoples there, as distinct from Lusitani and Iberi. Pliny the Elder cited the use of Celtici in Lusitania as a tribal surname, which epigraphic findings have confirmed.

Origins (W)

Overview of the Hallstatt and La Tène cultures.
The core Hallstatt territory (HaC, 800 BC) is shown in solid yellow.
The eventual area of Hallstatt influence (by 500 BC, HaD) in light yellow.
The core territory of the La Tène culture (450 BC) in solid green.
The eventual area of La Tène influence (by 250 BC) in light green.

The territories of some major Celtic tribes of the late La Tène period are labelled.

The Celtic languages form a branch of the larger Indo-European family. By the time speakers of Celtic languages entered history around 400 BC, they were already split into several language groups, and spread over much of Western continental Europe, the Iberian Peninsula, Ireland and Britain. The Greek historian Ephorus of Cyme in Asia Minor, writing in the 4th century BC, believed that the Celts came from the islands off the mouth of the Rhine and were "driven from their homes by the frequency of wars and the violent rising of the sea".

Hallstatt culture

Hallstatt culture (W)

Overview of the Hallstatt and La Tène cultures.
The core Hallstatt territory (HaC, 800 BC) is shown in solid yellow.
The eventual area of Hallstatt influence (by 500 BC, HaD) in light yellow.
The core territory of the La Tène culture (450 BC) in solid green.
The eventual area of La Tène influence (by 250 BC) in light green.

The territories of some major Celtic tribes of the late La Tène period are labelled.

Some scholars think that the Urnfield culture of western Middle Europe represents an origin for the Celts as a distinct cultural branch of the Indo-European family. This culture was preeminent in central Europe during the late Bronze Age, from circa 1200 BC until 700 BC, itself following the Unetice and Tumulus cultures. The Urnfield period saw a dramatic increase in population in the region, probably due to innovations in technology and agriculture.

The spread of iron-working led to the development of the Hallstatt culture directly from the Urnfield (c. 700 to 500 BC). Proto-Celtic, the latest common ancestor of all known Celtic languages, is considered by this school of thought to have been spoken at the time of the late Urnfield or early Hallstatt cultures, in the early 1st millennium BC. The spread of the Celtic languages to Iberia, Ireland and Britain would have occurred during the first half of the 1st millennium BC, the earliest chariot burials in Britain dating to c. 500 BC. Other scholars see Celtic languages as covering Britain and Ireland, and parts of the Continent, long before any evidence of "Celtic" culture is found in archaeology. Over the centuries the language(s) developed into the separate Celtiberian, Goidelic and Brittonic languages.

A 3rd Century BCE gold fibula depicting a Celtic warrior. A Celtic warrior with a sword, oval shield, and pointed helmet is depicted defending himself from a dog.

The Hallstatt culture was succeeded by the La Tène culture of central Europe, which was overrun by the Roman Empire, though traces of La Tène style are still to be seen in Gallo-Roman artefacts. In Britain and Ireland La Tène style in art survived precariously to re-emerge in Insular art. Early Irish literature casts light on the flavour and tradition of the heroic warrior elites who dominated Celtic societies. Celtic river-names are found in great numbers around the upper reaches of the Danube and Rhine, which led many Celtic scholars to place the ethnogenesis of the Celts in this area.

Diodorus Siculus and Strabo both suggest that the heartland of the people they called Celts was in southern France. The former says that the Gauls were to the north of the Celts, but that the Romans referred to both as Gauls (in linguistic terms the Gauls were certainly Celts). Before the discoveries at Hallstatt and La Tène, it was generally considered that the Celtic heartland was southern France, see Encyclopædia Britannica for 1813.


Physical appearance (W)

The fourth-century Roman historian Ammianus Marcellinus wrote that the Gauls were tall, light-skinned, light-haired, and light-eyed:

“Almost all Gauls are tall and fair-skinned, with reddish hair. Their savage eyes make them fearful objects; they are eager to quarrel and excessively truculent. When, in the course of a dispute, any of them calls in his wife, a creature with gleaming eyes much stronger than her husband, they are more than a match for a whole group of foreigners; especially when the woman, with swollen neck and gnashing teeth, swings her great white arms and begins to deliver a rain of punches mixed with kicks, like missiles launched by the twisted strings of a catapult.” (Marcellinus, Ammianus (1862). The roman history of Ammianus Marcellinus: during the reigns of the emperors Constantius, Julian, Jovianus, Valentinian, and Valens, Volume 1. H. G. Bohn. p. 80. ISBN 9780141921501. Retrieved December 15,2017.)

The first century BCE Greek historian Diodorus Siculus described them as tall, generally heavily built, very light-skinned, and light-haired, with long hair and mustaches:

“The Gauls are tall of body, with rippling muscles, and white of skin, and their hair is blond, and not only naturally so, but they make it their practice to increase the distinguishing color by which nature has given it. For they are always washing their hair in limewater, and they pull it back from their forehead to the top of the head and back to the nape of the neck... Some of them shave their beards, but others let it grow a little; and the nobles shave their cheeks, but they let the mustache grow until it covers the mouth.” (James Bromwich. "The Roman Remains of Northern and Eastern France: A Guidebook." Page 341. Citing "Bibliotheca Historica," 5.28, 1-3.)

Jordanes, in his Origins and Deeds of the Goths, indirectly describes the Gauls as light-haired and large-bodied via comparing them to Caledonians, as a contrast to the Spaniards, who he compared to the Silures. He speculates based on this comparison that the Britons originated from different peoples, including the aforementioned Gauls and Spaniards.

“The Silures have swarthy features and are usually born with curly black hair, but the inhabitants of Caledonia have reddish hair and large loose-jointed bodies. They [the Britons] are like the Gauls and the Spaniards, according as they are opposite either nation. Hence some have supposed that from these lands the island received its inhabitants.”

In the novel Satyricon, written by Roman courtier Gaius Petronius, a Roman character sarcastically suggests that he and his partner "chalk our faces so that Gaul may claim us as her own" in the midst of a rant outlining the problems with his partner's plan of using blackface to impersonate Aethiopians. This suggests that Gauls were thought of on average to be much paler than Romans.

Culture (W)

A belt made of 2.8 kilograms (6.2 lb) of pure gold, discovered in Guînes, France, 1200-1000 BC.

Celtic gold bracelet found in Cantal, France.

All over Gaul, archeology has uncovered numerous pre-Roman gold mines (at least 200 in the Pyrenees), suggesting that they were very rich, also evidenced by large finds of gold coins and artefacts. Also there existed highly developed population centers, called oppida by Caesar, such as Bibracte, Gergovia, Avaricum, Alesia, Bibrax, Manching and others. Modern archeology strongly suggests that the countries of Gaul were quite civilized and very wealthy. Most had contact with Roman merchants and some, particularly those that were governed by Republics such as the Aedui, Helvetii and others, had enjoyed stable political alliances with Rome. They imported Mediterranean wine on an industrial scale, evidenced by large finds of wine vessels in digs all over Gaul, the largest and most famous of which being the one discovered in Vix Grave, which stands 1.63 m (5′ 4″) in height.


Under Caesar the Romans conquered Celtic Gaul, and from Claudius onward the Roman empire absorbed parts of Britain. Roman local government of these regions closely mirrored pre-Roman tribal boundaries, and archaeological finds suggest native involvement in local government.

The native peoples under Roman rule became Romanised and keen to adopt Roman ways. Celtic art had already incorporated classical influences, and surviving Gallo-Roman pieces interpret classical subjects or keep faith with old traditions despite a Roman overlay.

The Roman occupation of Gaul, and to a lesser extent of Britain, led to Roman-Celtic syncretism. In the case of the continental Celts, this eventually resulted in a language shift to Vulgar Latin, while the Insular Celts retained their language.

There was also considerable cultural influence exerted by Gaul on Rome, particularly in military matters and horsemanship, as the Gauls often served in the Roman cavalry. The Romans adopted the Celtic cavalry sword, the spatha, and Epona, the Celtic horse goddess.




Senones (W)

The Senones (Ancient Greek: Σήνωνες) were an ancient Celtic Gallic culture.

Senones of Gallia Cisalpina

Expansion of the Celtic culture in the third century BC according to Francisco Villar.

They joined Bellovesus' migrations towards Italy, together with the Aeduii, Ambarri, Arverni, Aulerci, and Carnutes. (Livius, Ab Urbe condita 5.34-35.3.)

Celts attack Etruscans, northern Italy, late 4th century BC, Angus McBride.

In 400 BCE, they crossed the Alps and, driving out the Umbrians, settled on the east coast of Italy. Their territory spanned from Forlì to Ancona and Terni, in the Ager Gallicus. They founded the town of Sena Gallica (Senigallia), which became their capital. In 391 BCE, under the chieftain Brennus, they invaded Etruria and besieged Clusium. The Clusines appealed to Rome for aid. The Romans provided support, which constituted a violation of the law of nations. The ensuing war resulted in the defeat of the Romans at the Battle of the Allia (18 July 390 BCE) and the sacking of Rome.

For more than 100 years the Senones were engaged in hostilities with the Romans, until they were finally subdued (283 BCE) by P. Cornelius Dolabella and driven out of their territory. Nothing more was heard of them in Italy. It is possible that they joined with Gallic tribes who spread themselves throughout the lands of the Danube, Macedonia, and Asia Minor. A Roman colony was established at Sena, called Sena Gallica (currently Senigallia) to distinguish it from Sena Julia (Siena) in Etruria.


  Brennus (4th century BC)

Brennus (4th century BC)

Brennus (4th century BC) (W)

Brennus (or Brennos) was a chieftain of the Senones. He defeated the Romans at the Battle of the Allia (18 July 390 BC). In 387 BC he led an army of Cisalpine Gauls in their attack on Rome and captured most of the city, holding it for several months. Brennus's sack of Rome was the only time in 800 years the city was occupied by a non-Roman army before the fall of the city to the Visigoths in 410 AD.


The Senones were a Gaulish tribe originating from the part of France at present known as Seine-et-Marne, Loiret, and Yonne, who had expanded to occupy northern Italy. About 400 B.C. a branch of the Senones made their way over the Alps and, having driven out the Umbrians, settled on the east coast of Italy from Ariminum to Ancona, in the so-called Ager Gallicus, and founded the town of Sena Gallica (current Senigallia), which became their capital.

In 391 they invaded Etruria and besieged Clusium. The Clusines appealed to Rome. Quintus Fabius Ambustus and his two brothers were sent to negotiate with the Gauls. They allegedly broke their oath of neutrality by participating in hostilities outside of Clusium. Livy and Plutarch say that the Senones marched to Rome to exact retribution for this.

It is possible that the entire story of the events at Clusium is fiction, as Clusium had no real reason to appeal to Rome for help, and the Gauls needed no real provocation to sack Rome. The story, it is hypothesized, exists to provide an explanation for an otherwise unmotivated attack on Rome, and to depict Rome as a bulwark of Italy against the Gauls. Alternately it has been theorized that Brennus was working in concert with Dionysius of Syracuse, who sought to control all of Sicily. Rome had strong allegiances with Messana, a small city state in north east Sicily, which Dionysius wanted to control. Rome's army being pinned down by Brennus' efforts would assist Dionysius's campaign.

Sack of Rome

“Sack of Rome,” Paul Jamin — “Le Brenn et sa part de butin,” 1893.

In the Battle of the Allia, Brennus defeated the Romans, and entered the city itself. The Senones captured the entire city of Rome except for the Capitoline Hill, which was successfully held against them. According to legend Marcus Manlius Capitolinus was alerted to the Gallic attack by the sacred geese of Juno. However, seeing their city devastated, the Romans attempted to buy their salvation from Brennus. The Romans agreed to pay one thousand pounds weight of gold. According to Livy, during a dispute over the weights used to measure the gold (the Gauls had brought their own, heavier-than-standard), Brennus threw his sword onto the scales and uttered the famous words "Vae victis!", which translates to "woe to the conquered!".

Defeat and death

One version of the story states that the argument about the weights had so delayed matters that the exiled dictator Marcus Furius Camillus had extra time to muster an army, return to Rome and expel the Gauls, saving both the city and the treasury and said to Brennus "Non auro, sed ferro, recuperanda est patria" which translates to "not by gold, but by iron, is the nation to be recovered". According to Plutarch, following initial combat through Rome's streets, the Gauls were first ejected from the city, then utterly annihilated in a regular engagement eight miles outside of town on the road to Gabbi.[4] Camillus was hailed by his troops as another Romulus, father of his country 'Pater Patriae' and second founder of Rome.

Livy says that the Senones besieging the Capitoline Hill were afflicted with an illness and thus were in a weakened state when they took the ransom for Rome. This is plausible as dysentery and other sanitation issues have incapacitated and killed large numbers of combat soldiers up until and including modern times.

Silius Italicus claims that Hannibal's Boii cavalrymen were led by a descendant of Brennus named Crixus, who fell in the Battle of Ticinus.[5]



'Vae victis!' Brennus throws his sword onto the scales. Illustration by Paul Lehugeur, 1886

Vae victis
İÖ 390’da Brennus önderliğindeki bir Kelt ordusu Roma’ya saldırdı ve bir bölüm Romalının sığındığı Capitoline Tepesi dışında tüm kenti ele geçirdi. Brennus tepeyi kuşatınca Romalılar kentleri için fidye teklif ettiler. Brennus 300 kg kadar altın istedi. Romalılar kabul ettiler. Plutark’a göre (Camillus), Keltler altının miktarını ölçmek için hileli terazi ve ağırlıklar getirdiler. Romalılar ne olduğunu anlayınca Brennus kılıcını çekerek ağırlıkların üzerine attı ve “Vae victis!” (“Yenilene vah”) diye bağırdı. Romalılar daha fazla altın getirmek zorunda kaldılar. Kimi Roma tarihçilerine göre tam bu sırada Camillus ordusu ile kente girdi ve durumu öğrenince o da kılıcını terazinin üzerine atarak “Non auro, sed ferro, recuperanda est patria” (“anavatan altın ile değil, ama demir ile kurtarılır”) dedi.

📹 Battle of Allia and Sack of Rome (VİDEO)

📹 Battle of Allia and Sack of Rome (LINK)

Most of the documentaries on the Roman history depict Rome at the peak of its glory, during the Late Republic and Early Empire. Yet, Rome started from the humble beginnings, as a singular city-state that struggled for its survival, and was on the brink of annihilation on many occasions. During one of them, the Gallic Senones led by their king Brennus defeated the Romans at Allia and then sacked the city. After a 7 months long siege, the city and the Republic were saved by Marcus Furius Camillus, who would enter history as the second founder of Rome.


Marcus Furius Camillus

Marcus Furius Camillus (c. 446-365 BC) (W)


Marcus Furius Camillus (c. 446 – 365 BC) was a Roman soldier and statesman of patrician descent. According to Livy and Plutarch, Camillus triumphed four times, was five times dictator, and was honoured with the title of Second Founder of Rome.

Early life

Camillus belonged to the lineage of the Furii Camilli, whose origin had been in the Latin city of Tusculum. Although this city had been a bitter enemy of the Romans in the 490s BC, after both the Volsci and Aequi later began to wage war against Rome, Tusculum joined Rome, unlike most Latin cities. Soon, the Furii integrated into Roman society, accumulating a long series of magistrate offices. Thus the Furii had become an important Roman family by the 450s.

The father of Camillus was Lucius Furius Medullinus, a patrician tribune of consular powers. Camillus had more than three brothers: the eldest one was Lucius junior, who was both consul and tribune of consular powers. The Latin noun camillus denoted a child acolyte at religious rituals. During Camillus's infancy, his relative Quintus Furius Paculus was the Roman Pontifex Maximus.

The 'military tribunes with consular authority' or consular tribunes (in Latin tribuni militum consulari potestate), were tribunes elected with consular power during the so-called Conflict of the Orders in the Roman Republic. Consular tribunes served in 444 BC and then continuously from 408 BC to 394 BC and again from 391 BC to 367 BC. The office was created, along with the magistracy of the censor, in order to give the plebeian order access to higher levels of government without having to reform the office of consul. At that time in Rome's history, plebeians could not be elected to the highest magistracy of Consul, whereas they could be elected to the office of consular tribune.

The Gauls and the Second Foundation of Rome (W)

The Gauls, who had already invaded most of Etruria, reached Clusium and its people turned to Rome for help. However, the Roman embassy provoked a skirmish and, then, the Gauls marched straight for Rome (July 390 BC). After the entire Roman army was defeated at the Allia brook (Battle of the Allia), the defenceless Rome was seized by the invaders. The entire Roman army retreated into the deserted Veii whereas most civilians ended at the Etruscan Caere. Nonetheless, a surrounded Roman garrison continued to resist on the Capitoline Hill. The Gauls dwelt within the city, getting their supplies by destroying all nearby towns for plunder.

When the Gauls headed for Ardea, the exiled Camillus, who was now living as a private man, organized the local forces for the defence of the city. He told the city's inhabitants that the Gauls always exterminated their defeated enemies. Camillus found that the Gauls were distracted, celebrating their latest spoils leading to much drunkenness at their camp. So he attacked them during the night and defeated the enemy easily with great bloodshed. Camillus was hailed then by all other Roman exiles throughout the region. After he refused a makeshift generalship, a Roman messenger sneaked into the Capitol and, therein, the Senators appointed Camillus dictator for a year with the task of confronting the Gauls. At the Roman base of Veii, Camillus gathered a 12,000-man army with more men joining from throughout the region.

The Gauls may have been ill-prepared for the siege, as an epidemic broke out among them as a result of not burying the dead. Brennus and the Romans negotiated an end to the siege when the Romans agreed to pay one thousand pounds of gold. According to tradition, to add insult to injury, it was discovered that Brennus was using heavier weights than standard for weighing the gold. When the Romans complained, Brennus is said to have thrown his sword and belt on the scales and shouted in Latin, “Vae victis!” (“woe to the conquered”).

According to some Roman historians, it was at this very moment that Camillus arrived with a Roman army and, after putting his sword on the scale, replied,“Non auro, sed ferro, recuperanda est patria” (“not with gold, but with iron, will the fatherland be regained”), and attacked the Gauls. A battle ensued in the streets of Rome, but neither army could fight effectively in the narrow streets and alleyways. The Gallic and Roman armies left the city and fought the next day. Camillus's army lived up to his hopes and the Gallic army was routed. The Romans dubbed Camillus a “second Romulus,” a second founder of Rome.

Camillus sacrificed for the successful return and he ordered the construction of the temple of Aius Locutius. When plebeian orators again proposed moving to Veii, Camillus ordered a debate in the Senate and argued for staying. The Senate unanimously approved of Camillus's view and ordered the reconstruction of Rome. As the Senate feared sedition by plebeians, it refused Camillus's requests to resign his position as dictator before his term was finished. This made Camillus the longest-reigning of all Roman dictators until Sulla and Julius Caesar.

Vestal Virgins fleeing during the attack by the Gauls.

Painted in the 1480's, this shows scenes from Livy's history of Rome. The Gaul's attack Rome, identifiable by monuments such as the column of Marcus Aurelius and the Pantheon. A citizen, Lucius Albinus, helps the Vestal Virgins to escape with their sacred vessels in his carriage. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images).


  Ancient Celtic religion

Ancient Celtic religion

Ancient Celtic paganism (W)

The torc-wearing "Glauberg Prince", 5th century BCE, perhaps a hero or ancestor figure, with a leaf crown.

Ancient Celtic religion, commonly known as Celtic paganism, comprises the religious beliefs and practices adhered to by the Iron Age people of Western Europe now known as the Celts, roughly between 500 BCE and 500 CE, spanning the La Tène period and the Roman era, and in the case of the Insular Celts the British and Irish Iron Age. Very little is known with any certainty about the subject, and apart from documented names that are thought to be of deities, the only detailed contemporary accounts are by hostile and probably not-well-informed Roman writers.

Celtic paganism was one of a larger group of Iron Age polytheistic religions of the Indo-European family. It comprised a large degree of variation both geographically and chronologically, although "behind this variety, broad structural similarities can be detected" allowing there to be "a basic religious homogeneity" among the Celtic peoples.

The Celtic pantheon consists of numerous recorded theonyms, both from Greco-Roman ethnography and from epigraphy. Among the most prominent ones are Teutatis, Taranis and Lugus. Figures from medieval Irish mythology have also been interpreted as iterations of earlier pre-Christian Insular deities in the study of comparative mythology.

According to Greek and Roman accounts, in Gaul, Britain and Ireland, there was a priestly caste of “magico-religious specialists” known as the druids, although very little is definitely known about them. Following the Roman Empire's conquest of Gaul (58-51 BCE) and southern Britannia (43 AD), Celtic religious practices began to display elements of Romanisation, resulting in a syncretic Gallo-Roman culture with its own religious traditions with its own large set of deities, such as Cernunnos, Artio, Telesphorus, etc.

In Roman Britain this lost at least some ground to Christianity by the time the Romans left in 410, and in the next century began to be replaced by the pagan Anglo-Saxon religion over much of the country. Christianity had resumed missionary activity by the later 5th and the 6th centuries, also in Ireland, and the Celtic population was gradually Christianized supplanting the earlier religious traditions. However, polytheistic traditions left a legacy in many of the Celtic nations, influenced later mythology, and served as the basis for a new religious movement, Celtic Neopaganism, in the 20th century.


Celtic animism

Celtic animism (W)

According to classical sources, the ancient Celts were animists. They honoured the forces of nature, saw the world as inhabited by many spirits, and saw the Divine manifesting in aspects of the natural world.

The sacred land

The Celts of the ancient world believed that many spirits and divine beings inhabited the world around them, and that humans could establish a rapport with these beings. The archaeological and the literary record indicate that ritual practice in Celtic societies lacked a clear distinction between the sacred and profane; rituals, offerings, and correct behaviour maintained a balance between gods, spirits and humans and harnessed supernatural forces for the benefit of the community.

The pagan Celts perceived the presence of the supernatural as integral to, and interwoven with, the material world. Every mountain, river, spring, marsh, tree and rocky outcrop was inspirited. While the polytheistic cultures of ancient Greece and Rome revolved around urban life, ancient Celtic society was predominantly rural. The close link with the natural world is reflected in what we know of the religious systems of Celtic Europe during the late 1st millennium BCE and early 1st millennium CE. As in many polytheistic systems, the local spirits honoured were those of both the wild and cultivated landscapes and their inhabitants. As Anne Ross observed: "... god-types, as opposed to individual universal Gaulish deities, are to be looked for as an important feature of the religion of the Gauls ... and the evidence of epigraphy strongly supports this conclusion." As what some may consider spirits are considered by other authors to be deities, the list of Celtic deities derived from local inscriptions can at times be rather long.

The ancient Celts venerated the spirits who inhabited local mountains, forests and springs. Certain animals were seen as messengers of the spirits or gods. In tribal territories, the ground and waters which received the dead were imbued with sanctity and revered by their living relatives. Sanctuaries were sacred spaces separated from the ordinary world, often in natural locations such as springs, sacred groves, or lakes. Many topographical features were honored as the abodes of powerful spirits or deities, with geographical features named for tutelary deities. Offerings of jewelry, weapons or foodstuffs were placed in offering pits and bodies of water dedicated to these beings. These offerings linked the donor to the place and spirits in a concrete way.




Druid (W)

A druid (Welsh: derwydd; Old Irish: drui; Scottish Gaelic: draoidh) was a member of the high-ranking professional class in ancient Celtic cultures. Perhaps best remembered as religious leaders, they were also legal authorities, adjudicators, lorekeepers, medical professionals, and political advisors. While the druids are reported to have been literate, they are believed to have been prevented by doctrine from recording their knowledge in written form, thus they left no written accounts of themselves. They are however attested in some detail by their contemporaries from other cultures, such as the Romans and the Greeks.

The earliest known references to the druids date to the fourth century BCE and the oldest detailed description comes from Julius Caesar’s Commentarii de Bello Gallico (50s BCE). They were also described by later Greco-Roman writers such as Cicero, Tacitus, and Pliny the Elder. Following the Roman invasion of Gaul, the druid orders were suppressed by the Roman government under the 1st century CE emperors Tiberius and Claudius, and had disappeared from the written record by the 2nd century.

In about 750 CE the word druid appears in a poem by Blathmac, who wrote about Jesus, saying that he was "... better than a prophet, more knowledgeable than every druid, a king who was a bishop and a complete sage." The druids then also appear in some of the medieval tales from Christianized Ireland like the "Táin Bó Cúailnge", where they are largely portrayed as sorcerers who opposed the coming of Christianity. In the wake of the Celtic revival during the 18th and 19th centuries, fraternal and neopagan groups were founded based on ideas about the ancient druids, a movement known as Neo-Druidism. Many popular notions about druids, based on misconceptions of 18th century scholars, have been largely superseded by more recent study.

Human sacrifice / Celts (W)

According to Roman sources, Celtic Druids engaged extensively in human sacrifice. According to Julius Caesar, the slaves and dependents of Gauls of rank would be burnt along with the body of their master as part of his funerary rites. He also describes how they built wicker figures that were filled with living humans and then burned. According to Cassius Dio, Boudica’s forces impaled Roman captives during her rebellion against the Roman occupation, to the accompaniment of revelry and sacrifices in the sacred groves of Andate. Different gods reportedly required different kinds of sacrifices. Victims meant for Esus were hanged or tied to a tree and flogged to death, Tollund Man being an example, those meant for Taranis immolated and those for Teutates drowned. Some, like the Lindow Man, may have gone to their deaths willingly.

Ritualised decapitation was a major religious and cultural practice which has found copious support in the archaeological record, including the numerous skulls discovered in Londinium's River Walbrook and the 12 headless corpses at the French late Iron Age sanctuary of Gournay-sur-Aronde.

Wicker man (W)

A wicker man was a large wicker statue reportedly used by the ancient Druids (priests of Celtic paganism) for sacrifice by burning it in effigy.

The main evidence for this practice is one sentence in Julius Caesar's Commentary on the Gallic war,[1] which modern scholarship has linked to an earlier writer, Poseidonius.

Modern archaeological research has not yielded much evidence of human sacrifice among the Celts, {!} and the ancient Greco-Roman sources are now regarded somewhat skeptically, {!} especially considering the likelihood that Greeks and Romans "were eager to transmit any bizarre and negative information" about the Celts at a time when the latter were feared and disdained.

However, archaeological evidence from Ireland does indicate that human sacrifice was practised in times pre-dating contact with Rome. Human remains have been found at the foundations of structures dating from the Neolithic period to the Roman era,[citation needed] with injuries and in positions that argue for their being foundation sacrifices.

In modern times, the wicker man has been symbolically referenced as a part of some neopagan-themed ceremonies, without the human sacrifice. Effigies of this kind have also been used as elements in performance art, as display features at rock music festivals, and as thematic material in songs (such as Iron Maiden's song, "The Wicker Man"). A wicker man is featured in a pivotal scene of the cult British horror film The Wicker Man, and much of the prominence of the wicker man in modern popular culture and the wide general awareness of the wicker man as structure and concept is probably attributable to this film.

Decapitation / Celts (W)

The Celts of western Europe long pursued a "cult of the severed head", as evidenced by both Classical literary descriptions and archaeological contexts. This cult played a central role in their temples and religious practices and earned them a reputation as head hunters among the Mediterranean peoples. Diodorus Siculus, in his 1st-century Historical Library (5.29.4) had this to say about Celtic head-hunting:

“They cut off the heads of enemies slain in battle and attach them to the necks of their horses. The blood-stained spoils they hand over to their attendants and striking up a paean and singing a song of victory; and they nail up these first fruits upon their houses, just as do those who lay low wild animals in certain kinds of hunting. They embalm in cedar oil the heads of the most distinguished enemies, and preserve them carefully in a chest, and display them with pride to strangers, saying that for this head one of their ancestors, or his father, or the man himself, refused the offer of a large sum of money. They say that some of them boast that they refused the weight of the head in gold.”

Both the Greeks and Romans found the Celtic decapitation practices shocking and the latter put an end to them when Celtic regions came under their control. However, Greeks and Romans both employed decapitation and other horrific tortures, highlighting a tendency to view practices as more shocking when carried out by an outside group, even if the practices are essentially similar. {!}

According to Paul Jacobsthal, "Amongst the Celts the human head was venerated above all else, since the head was to the Celt the soul, centre of the emotions as well as of life itself, a symbol of divinity and of the powers of the other-world." Arguments for a Celtic cult of the severed head include the many sculptured representations of severed heads in La Tène carvings, and the surviving Celtic mythology, which is full of stories of the severed heads of heroes and the saints who carry their own severed heads, right down to Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, where the Green Knight picks up his own severed head after Gawain has struck it off, just as St. Denis carried his head to the top of Montmartre.

A further example of this regeneration after beheading lies in the tales of Connemara's St. Feichin, who after being beheaded by Viking pirates carried his head to the Holy Well on Omey Island and on dipping the head into the well placed it back upon his neck and was restored to full health.

Head hunting / Celts (W)

The iconography of the human head is believed by many archaeologists and historians to have played a significant part in Celtic religion. The Greek historian Diodorus Siculus, writing in the 1st century BCE, described how Celtic warriors "cut off the heads of enemies slain in battle and attach them to the necks of their horses." Strabo meanwhile commented in the same century that until the Roman authorities put a stop to it, among the Celts, "the heads of enemies held in high repute they used to embalm in cedar oil and exhibit to strangers." Archaeological evidence indicating that the Celts did indeed behead humans and then display their heads, possibly for religious purposes, has been unearthed at a number of excavations; one notable example of this was found at the Gaulish site of Entremont near to Aix-en-Provence, where a fragment of a pillar carved with images of skulls was found, within which were niches where actual human skulls were kept, nailed into position, fifteen examples of which were found. Roquepertuse nearby has similar heads and skull niches; the Mšecké Žehrovice Head from the modern Czech Republic is a famous solitary stone head. On smaller decorated objects, heads often appear, or face-masks emerge from what may at first seem to be purely abstract patterning.

The archaeologist Barry Cunliffe believed that the Celts held "reverence for the power of the head" and that "to own and display a distinguished head was to retain and control the power of the dead person" while the archaeologist Anne Ross asserted that "the Celts venerated the head as a symbol of divinity and the powers of the otherworld, and regarded it as the most important bodily member, the very seat of the soul." The archaeologist Miranda Aldhouse-Green meanwhile stated that "I refute any suggestion that the head itself was worshipped but it was clearly venerated as the most significant element in a human or divine image representing the whole." The historian Ronald Hutton however criticised the idea of the "cult of the human head", believing that both the literary and archaeological evidence did not warrant this conclusion, noting that "the frequency with which human heads appears upon Celtic metalwork proves nothing more than they were a favourite decorative motif, among several, and one just as popular among non-Celtic peoples."


📹 Caesar on the Druids / Roman Primary Source (58-49 BC) (VİDEO)

📹 Caesar on the Druids / Roman Primary Source (58-49 BC) (LINK)

This is an extract from Julius Caesar's 'Commentaries on the Gallic Wars', first published between 58 and 49 BC.

In 60 BC Rome was not yet an empire, but soon it would be. The momentous events of the next decades, many of which were put into motion by the famed politician Julius Caesar, were some of the most important and formative of the Western World. We tell this story directly from the words of Caesar himself. Starting with his masterpiece ‘Commentaries on the Gallic Wars’ - first published over two thousand years ago yet still widely read all over the world today.

How do we actually know about history? Voices of the Past is a channel dedicated to recreating the original accounts from the people who lived through events, or who lived far closer to them than we do today. We do this word for word, with an accompanying soundtrack of rousing music and images.


  Social structure, indigenous nation and clans

Gauls / Social structure, indigenous nation and clans

Gauls / Social structure, indigenous nation and clans (W)

The Druids were not the only political force in Gaul, however, and the early political system was complex, if ultimately fatal to the society as a whole. The fundamental unit of Gallic politics was the clan, which itself consisted of one or more of what Caesar called pagi. Each clan had a council of elders, and initially a king. Later, the executive was an annually-elected magistrate. Among the Aedui, a clan of Gaul, the executive held the title of Vergobret, a position much like a king, but his powers were held in check by rules laid down by the council.

The regional ethnic groups, or pagi as the Romans called them (singular: pagus; the French word pays, "region" [a more accurate translation is 'country'], comes from this term), were organized into larger multi-clan groups, which the Romans called civitates. These administrative groupings would be taken over by the Romans in their system of local control, and these civitates would also be the basis of France's eventual division into ecclesiastical bishoprics and dioceses, which would remain in place—with slight changes—until the French Revolution.

Although the individual clans were moderately stable political entities, Gaul as a whole tended to be politically divided, there being virtually no unity among the various clans. Only during particularly trying times, such as the invasion of Caesar, could the Gauls unite under a single leader like Vercingetorix. Even then, however, the faction lines were clear.

The Romans divided Gaul broadly into Provincia (the conquered area around the Mediterranean), and the northern Gallia Comata ("free Gaul" or "long haired Gaul"). Caesar divided the people of Gallia Comata into three broad groups: the Aquitani; Galli (who in their own language were called Celtae); and Belgae. In the modern sense, Gaulish peoples are defined linguistically, as speakers of dialects of the Gaulish language. While the Aquitani were probably Vascons, the Belgae would thus probably be a mixture of Celtic and Germanic elements.

Julius Caesar, in his book, The Gallic Wars, comments:

“All Gaul is divided into three parts, one of which the Belgae inhabit, the Aquitani another, those who in their own language are called Celts, in ours Gauls, the third. All these differ from each other in language, customs and laws. The Belgae are the bravest, because they are furthest from the civilization and refinement of [our] Province, and merchants least frequently resort to them, and import those things which tend to effeminate the mind; and they are the nearest to the Germans, who dwell beyond the Rhine, with whom they are continually waging war; for which reason the Helvetii also surpass the rest of the Gauls in valor, as they contend with the Germans in almost daily battles, when they either repel them from their own territories, or themselves wage war on their frontiers. One part of these, which it has been said that the Gauls occupy, takes its beginning at the river Rhone; it is bounded by the river Garonne, the ocean, and the territories of the Belgae; it borders, Garonne separates the Gauls from the Aquitani; the Marne and the Seine separate them from the Belgae. Of all these, the Belgae too, on the side of the Sequani and the Helvetii, upon the river Rhine, and stretches toward the north. The Belgae rises from the extreme frontier of Gaul, extend to the lower part of the river Rhine; and look toward the north and the rising sun. Aquitania extends from the river Garonne to the Pyrenaean mountains and to that part of the ocean which is near Hispania: it looks between the setting of the sun, and the north star.”


  Roma-Kelt Savaşları İÖ 390-50



  • Kelt kabileleri Alpleri geçerek Fransa’dan İtalya’ya indiler ve Etruria üzerinden Roma’ya doğru yayılmaya çalıştılar. Alplerin İtalyan yanında (Cisalpine) ve Kuzey yanında (Transalpine) yüzyıllara yayılan savaşların sonucu Keltlerin İtalya’ya yerleşmeleri yerine, Roma’nın Galya’nın bütününü ele geçirmesi oldu.
  • İÖ 390’da Brennus önderliğinde Senoneler Etruria’da Clusium’a geldiler. Roma’nın Senones (Σήνωνες) kabilelerini uzaklaştırmak için gönderdiği ordu Allia Savaşında Brennus’un kuvvetlerine yenildi ve bunu Roma’nın kuşatılması, ele geçirilmesi ve yağmalanması izledi.
  • İÖ 302’de Keltler Alpleri geçerek yine İtalya’ya girdiler ve Etrüsklerin bir bölümünün de katılmasıyla Roma topraklarını talan ettiler. Sonra yağmalar ile çekilerek kendi aralarında savaşa giriştiler.
  • İÖ 298-290’de Üçüncü Samnit Savaşı sırasında Samnitler, Keltler, Etrüskler ve Umbrianlar Roma’ya karşı savaştı.
    İÖ 284’te Keltler Arretium’u kuşattılar ve kenti kurtarmaya gelen Romalıları yendiler. Roma’nın daha sonra gönderdiği kuvvetler Keltleri yenerek bölgeden uzaklaştırdılar. 284’te Roma yine kentin üzerine yürüyen bir Boii ve Etrüsk bağlaşmasını Vadimo Gölü savaşında yendi.
  • İÖ 225’te Yine Kelt kabillerin bir bağlaşması Roma üzerine yürüdü. Keltler ilkin Romalıları Faesulae’de yendiler, ama sonra Romalılar Keltleri Telamon’da yenilgiye uğrattılar.
  • İÖ 223-193: Roma Alplerin Güneyindeki Kelt topraklarını ele geçirmek için seferler düzenledi. İkinci Kartaca Savaşı sırasında (İÖ 210-201) Keltler Kartaca’dan yana çıktılar. Savaştan sonra Roma Galleri fethetme savaşlarını sürdürdü.
  • İÖ 58-50’de Prokonsül olan Julius Sezar Fransa ve Belçika’da Kelt kabileleri ile savaşlarda Roma ordularına önderlik etti. Bir dizi seferden sonra İÖ 52’de Alesia Savaşında Roma kuvvetleri Keltleri kesin bir yenilgiye uğrattılar ve Roma Cumhuriyeti Galya’nın bütününü topraklarına kattı. Vercingetorix’in Kelt kabileleri Roma’ya karşı birleştirme girişimi sonuçsuz kaldı.

İÖ 390’larda şarap, zeytin ve incir ile tanışmamış Kelt kabilelerinden biri olan Senones kuzey İtalya’ya girerek Adriyatik kıyılarına yerleşti. Livius ve Halikarnassoslu Dyonisius’a göre, Senonesin Etrüskler ile ilişkileri bir süre sonra sorunlar yaratmaya başladı ve Roma da çekişmelerin ortasına çekildi. Keltler sonunda Roma üzerine yürümeye karar verdiler.

O sıralar 25.000 ile 40.000 bin arasında olabilecek bir nüfus ile Roma’nın denetlediği topraklar kentin ancak 50 km kadar ötesine kadar uzanıyordu. Allia Savaşında Kelt savaşçıların sayısı 30.000 ile 70.000 arasında tahmin edilebilirken, Romalılar için Plutark 40.000 ve Dyonisios 35.000 rakamını verir.


Gallic Wars

Gallic Wars (58-50 BC) (W)

Map of the Gallic Wars..

The Gallic Wars were a series of military campaigns waged by the Roman proconsul Julius Caesar against several Gallic tribes. Rome's war against the Gallic tribes lasted from 58 BC to 50 BC and culminated in the decisive Battle of Alesiain 52 BC, in which a complete Roman victory resulted in the expansion of the Roman Republic over the whole of Gaul(mainly present-day France and Belgium). While militarily just as strong as the Romans, the internal division between the Gallic tribes helped ease victory for Caesar, and Vercingetorix’s attempt to unite the Gauls against Roman invasion came too late. The wars paved the way for Julius Caesar to become the sole ruler of the Roman Republic.

Although Caesar portrayed this invasion as being a preemptive and defensive action, most historians agree that the wars were fought primarily to boost Caesar's political career and to pay off his massive debts. Still, Gaul was of significant military importance to the Romans, as they had been attacked several times by native tribes both indigenous to Gaul and farther to the north. Conquering Gaul allowed Rome to secure the natural border of the river Rhine. The Gallic Wars are described by Julius Caesar in his book Commentarii de Bello Gallico, which remains the most important historical source regarding the conflict.

Vercingetorix Throws Down His Arms at the Feet of Julius Caesar, 1899, by Lionel Noel Royer.




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