So what have you heard about the ancient Celts? Beautiful
art in bronze with swirling, whirling lines? Lots of swords? Did they dance
around Stonehenge at the summer soltice? Did they stand up to the Romans?
Julius Caesar wrote the the druids burned hundreds of people in huge wicker
cages shaped like men. So much heroism but so much cruelty? Seriously?
Who were the ancient Celts really? In this course you will
learn something of their story or something of what is known.
Today Celtic languages are only spoken in Scotland, Ireland,
Wales and Brittany. However, over 3000 years ago their languages and cultures
spread through western Europe, and was spoken in Turkey in the 3rd century BC.
The latter language was Galatian, the language of a people of the Bible. Their
society was heroic which meant that a warrior elite was supported by farmers
and herders. Raiding and trading was their game. Centuries later the Norse
elite made their living in a similar way—as vikings.
The Celts left huge evidence of their presence on the
landscape. In many places they built hillforts enclosing 60 acres or more.
Inside were precincts for the elite; heroes promised mighty feats of valour at
feasts in the roundhouses of the kings. There were also residential houses and
structures for the manufacture of tools and weapons. On such sites the
beautiful bronze work was created.
They didn’t leave written accounts of their lives, but from
reading about medieval Gaelic Ireland and Scotland (the ‘clan system’) you will
understand something of the ancient Celts and their way of life. From the
panorama of life among the ancient Celts you will surely find many ideas for
1. Origins of the Celts
2. Raiding & Trading
3. Celtic artwork
4. Roundhouses & Hillforts
5. Scaring the Romans & Greeks
6. Druids & Christians
Instructor: Sheila Currie
Sheila Currie lives on the west coast of Canada, and teaches
Irish, Scottish & Medieval History as non-credit university courses. She
has also taught online courses for CHRW, HHRW & Savvy Authors. She has a MA
(honours) in Scottish History and Celtic Studies from the University of
Glasgow, and is currently writing a trilogy of historical fantasies–set in
Scotland of course!