The Origin of the Celts - Worksheet

QUESTIONS

A. General.

1. Identify the following and indicate where they belong geographically:

Tylis
Noricum
Allobroges
Aedui
Insubres
Ordovices
Atrebates
Gallaeci
Tolistobogii
Carnutes
Morini
Salyes
Scordisci
Boii

2. Identify the following figures and discuss their historical role:

Vercingetorix
Dumnorix
Diviciacus
Acichorius
Deiotaros
Bellovesus and Segovesus
Viriathus
Commius
Caratacus
Boudicca


3. Discuss the circumstances that led to Caesar's campaign in Gaul. What tribal migration
precipitated Roman intervention?

4. Which Celtic community in Spain resisted Rome with particular fierceness? Name it
and place the story of its defeat in historical context.

5. Describe the historical circumstances of Celtic military expeditions to: a) Rome; b)
Greece; c) Asia Minor.

6. Compare the battles of Gergovia and Alesia in the context of the conquest of Gaul.

7. What happened to Celtic communities in Eastern Europe in the course of the 1st
century BCE?

8. What archaeological sites illustrate the political importance of the region between the
Marne and the Moselle after the mid-5th century BCE? Describe some of the evidence.

9. What is the Arras culture? What makes it particularly distinctive in its contemporary
context?

10. Why did Barry Raftery subtitle his book "The Enigma of the Irish Iron Age"? What
distinguishes Ireland during this period?

B. Society

1. From the information in Classical sources, describe a typical political unit of the late
Iron Age Celtic world. In what ways is it like a "tribe", and in what other ways is it like
a "state"?

2. What does the evidence from burial sites tell us about Celtic society at this time?

3.

i] From both archaeological and Classical sources, describe typical houses of the
period.
ii.] What might have distinguished aristocratic from commoners' houses?


4.

i] Compare the fortifications of the following settlement types:1) a broch; 2) a
wheelhouse; 3) a ringfort; 4) an oppidum.
ii] What does this suggest about the social arrangements implied in each model?


5.

i] What were the principal crops being farmed?
ii] What types of animals were domesticated?


6. Fosterage was an important institution in aristocratic Celtic communities of the Early
Middle Ages. What evidence suggests that it may already have been in practice in the
Later Iron Age?

C. Warfare

1.

i]Describe the typical panoply of a Celtic warrior in terms of: a. helmet; b. shield; c. sword.
ii] How (if at all) did the shape and size of these articles change between the 5th
and the 1st century BCE, and what were some of the regional variations?
iii] What would distinguish ornamental or ceremonial weapons from practical
ones?

2. Which Celtic practices in battle struck Classical writers as particularly unusual or
alien?

i] What was it that bound Celtic warriors together as a unit?
ii]Describe the similarities and differences between warrior-bands defending a
territory, and warrior-bands on an expedition for plunder.
iii] Give specific examples of both.


3.

4. Give examples of the importance of cavalry in Celtic warfare, and describe
archaeological evidence of the relationship between warriors and their horses (especially
in the realm of adornment).

5.

i] Discuss chariot warfare.
ii] What historical evidence do we have of it?
iii] What later literary evidence?

6. What was it that the Romans called a _murus gallicus_?

D. Religion

1.

i] What are the Classical sources that refer to the Druids?
ii] Which parts of the Celtic world do they concern?

2. According to the Classical sources, what were the specifically religious duties of the
Druids?

3. Describe what it is that convinces us of the religious associations of the following
archaeological sites:
Entremont
Roquepertuse
Ribemont
Gournay-sur-Aronde
Fellbach-Schmiden
Hayling Island

E. Art and Technology

1. What is the "Vegetal Style"? Describe its origins and its evolution within the Celtic
world.

2. Describe metalworking techniques of the Celtic Iron Age.

3.
i] List at least six kinds of animals commonly represented in Celtic art, giving
specific examples for each one.
ii] What, given the context of the representation, might each animal symbolize?


4. Give examples of the use of the disembodied human head as a decorative motif.

5.

i] Which motifs in Iron Age Celtic art have a clearly Oriental origin?
ii] How did they change when they became a part of Celtic tradition?

i] Discuss some of the images used on Celtic coins.
ii] What are their Classical models, and how do the Celtic representations diverge
from them?
iii] Name some of the motifs that were used as distinguishing images in the
coinage of different Celtic groups.

6.

7. Compare styles of pottery from different parts of the Iron Age Celtic world.

i] Describe evidence of extensive road-building in the pre-Roman Celtic world.
ii] What other very important aspect of Celtic technology developed in tandem
with this project?

8.

9.

i] What was Late Iron Age clothing like?
ii] What textiles were used?