Celtic culture. Nearly three thousand years ago in the hectic start of the Iron Age surfaced in Europe the powerful and hardened Celtic culture.
Being a conglomerate of nomadic tribes of diverse origins that settled in the territories of Austria and Bohemia.
They were then extended throughout the European territory which they dominated thanks to the surprising management of iron.Years later, with the expansion of the Roman Empire. The Celtic peoples assimilated many customs and languages of their conquerors.
Periods and territorial division of the Celtic culture.
The Celtic culture was developed in two periods:
Hallstatt it iemerged at the end of the Bronze Age with the name of a locality of Upper Austria.
They were the forerunners of the use of iron in Europe. Making articles such as swords, spears, axes, containers and knives.
They came to use the proceltic language. Considered the ancestor of the Celtic languages.
The Téne: It was the second Celtic culture that developed during the Iron Age. They perfected the use of the iron initiated by the Hallstatt. This stage is recognized as the pinnacle of Celtic culture.
One of the main features of the Celts is that their tribes had common traits like language. Mystery and writing. but with territorial differences.
Britons. inhabited the island of Great Britain.
Helvètes. They were located in the lands of the Upper Rhine. the Swiss massif Jura. the Lake of Geneva and the Alps.
Gauls. Located in what is today France, Belgium, the west of Switzerland. Some regions of Holland and the west of the river Rhine in Germany.
Galatians. It was the Gauls who emigrated to Asia minor. Settling in the so-called Galatia.
Celtiberians. They were located to the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula until the formation of the Roman province Hispania Citerior.
Social organization of the Celtic culture.
The social organization of the Celtic culture was constituted by family clans divided into three strata.
Nobility. They represented the aristocracy that normally occupied military headquarters could be:
Warriors. They were the main representatives of society, their only function being to battle.
Druids. They took care of everything that affected the people, their power was based on that they knew how to read and write, they made sacrifices, rituals and funerals, according to their functions they were classified in:
– Vates or priests. for their great amount of knowledge were the counselors of the Warriors, verbally transmitted the myths. Beliefs and knowledge to the people.
– Bards. represented by singers and poets.
- Free men. Class composed of peasants, farmers, artisans and metalurgos.
- Slaves. People bought to put them to work in the home and the field.
There was also a territorial hierarchy where the Oppida or main cities. They concentrated on the elite classes of the Celtic culture.
The Celtic peoples never came to form a kingdom. in this case all the members of a tribe were descendants of a common ancestor. Who used to be a mythical hero. Being the great bond that linked them.
Religion in the Celtic culture.
Each territory of the Celtic culture was characterized by having gods and myths according to the local peculiarity.
Generally their gods that had the shape of an animal ruled the forces of nature.
They possessed the belief of immortality and reincarnation of Souls. Because when someone died, their soul was reborn in the body of a newborn.
They offered human sacrifices to appease the wrath of the gods.
The practice of divination and the cult of the dead was common.
The Druids used stone monuments or dolmens as altars and temples.
Among the most important Celtic deities are. Tutates (God of the Thunderbolt), Esus (God of War and cattle), Belenus (God of the Arts) and Cernumnos (God of the Dream and death).
The religion of Celtic culture. disappeared after the invasion of the Roman Empire, which led many to follow Christianity.
The legacy of Celtic culture.
The Roman dominion over the Celtic culture did not prevent the expansion of a legacy full of magicians, warriors, Giants and gnomes.
Their cultural expressions were always closely linked to their religion. So his art melted between the mystical and the warlike.
Musical sounds were a part of their culture. Being the music esteemed as a manifestation of the spiritual world. Inspired by nature and staying present in interpreters of our age.
They not only made objects for personal decoration, metal weapons or cauldrons, but they adopted important monuments buried vertically, among which are the great rocks such as menhirs. Dolmens and Crómlech. These monoliths that were integrated into their world of beliefs with scriptures and runes, giving them worship as abode of sacred spirits.
Other monuments that are part of the heritage of Celtic culture are.
stewing Bulls. Sculptures made in granite that by their form are associated with a pig or bull.
The Stone of Turoe. Having a magical connotation, the Celts carved in it a series of abstract drawings.
Uffington White Horse. It is a work located at the top of a hill in Oxfordshire. England, being the most expensive work of Celtic culture.