With the word Celts we usually refer to various population tribes living in several parts of Europe from the Late European Bronze Age onwards. The Celtic culture started to evolve from 1200 BC with the Hallstat culture, and had its apogee around the 4th-3rd century BC, a period identified with La Tene culture (5th-1st century BC). The world Celt is actually a ‘modern’ name, used to generally describe all the many tribes of people living during this period. Celtic tribes across Europe shared a similar language, religious beliefs, tradition and culture.
The Celts Across Europe
Between the 4th century BC and the 3rd century BC, the Celts were inhabitating many European territories, ranging from the Iberian peninsula to Romania. Many Celtic tribes did also spread across east Europe, arriving in Macedonia and Asia Minor. The Galatians, as they were called in ancient times, colonised areas of central Asia Minor, bringing them later into direct conflict with both the Hellenistic kingdoms and Rome. The Celts gradually migrated into Britain over the course of the centuries between about 800 and 100 BC, in the period known as Iron Age.
Celts at War
The Celts were described by testimonies of the time as warriors with long hair and imposing physique, and they were usually depicted in Ancient Greek and Roman art with their distinctive long shields, made of wooden panels covered in decorated hide, and long iron swords. Celtic warriors were also said to fight on foot or on horseback, sometimes wearing helmets with animal and bird crests.