In contrast to modern day, a Celtic warrior was not considered a part of a specific social class, but they were equal to aristocracy. Also different from other civilizations of the day, both men and women were allowed to train to become warriors, which began at a young age.
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Considering that Celtic warfare lacked any real military strategy, it is hard to imagine training for combat requiring any degree of true discipline. The main war tactic was creating fear in enemies by charging naked into battle with their bodies covered in blue paint and the swords aloft. As for their armor, they wore horned helmets and carried shields and swords.
It is indeed quite remarkable how successful the Celts were in battle, considering their crazy and chaotic ways. In addition to this overview, here are some other noteworthy facts about Celtic armor and warfare:
Celtic Anthropomorphic Sword:
- The Celts were responsible for inventing chainmail and helmets later worn by Roman legionaries. Celtic weapons and swords were also high quality, at least as good as the ones used by the Romans, if not better.
- The Celts became great warriors and had victories in many European conquests for centuries because of their development of prime iron weapons and armor, which in turn gave them a big military advantage.
- Known as barbarians, the Celts instilled fear in the Greek and Roman people. They overtook many territories in northern Italy and went on to invade Rome around BCE. They were such a force to be reckoned with that even Alexander the Great signed a peace treaty with them to avoid invasions in 335 BCE. After Alexander’s death, the Celts once again became a Greek threat.
- During the time of Julius Caesar, Celts were known to sport shiny, gold-like armor and swords. Also, 1 out of 10 million Celts in Gaul are estimated to have been massacred by Caesar while another million were forced into slavery.
Celtic Lamellar Leather Armour:
Beyond just being warriors, the Celts also proved to be resourceful and artistic people. Aside from inventing armor, they also invented horse shoes, mechanical harvesters and rotating flour mills, iron ploughs, and iron rimmed wheels to name a few. As for their artistic endeavors, they made intricate bronze and gold jewelry, brightly colored and patterned clothing, and added embroidery and decoration to a variety of other items. As you can see, the Celts were a people of many facets, both fierce and innovative!
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