Ancient Celts (Barbarians!) by Kathryn Hinds

By Kathryn Hinds

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From the hilltop the besieged watched the battle rage for five days and saw far more Celts die than Romans. ” The deci- [ 52 000000000000000000000000000000 ancient celts ] sion was made: “Vercingetorix, after putting on his most beautiful armor and decorating his horse, rode out through the gate. ” With that, the last great hope for Celtic independence in Gaul was crushed. By the time Caesar left Gaul in 50 BCE, he had destroyed more than eight hundred settlements and had killed or enslaved more than 2 million Celts.

The Carthaginian general Hannibal when he invaded Italy. But Hannibal was finally defeated, and the Romans turned back to ending the Celtic threat. The Romans now felt secure in their ability to overcome the Celts. As Polybius wrote, They had learned from former engagements that Gallic tribes were always most formidable at the first onslaught, before their courage was at all damped . . and that the swords with which they were furnished . . could only give one downward cut with any effect, but that after this the edges got so turned and the blade so bent, that unless they had time to straighten them with their foot against the ground, they could not deliver a second blow.

Other parts of the Greek world, however, did not get off so lightly. THE CITY OF APOLLO By 300 BCE many waves of Celtic immigrants had followed the Danube River eastward from the Celtic heartland and settled in the northern part of the Balkan Peninsula. In 298 a Celtic chief led his warriors south into Macedonia, but was driven back. In the following years, however, the Celtic desire to win gold and glory in the Greek lands increased. Ambitious young warriors were no doubt fired up by stories about the wealthy cities and richly adorned temples.

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