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How Greek and Roman artists saw the Celts

Tadhg Gaelach

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Some Classical depictions of the Celts - mostly warriors of course. The Celts were taller and fairer than the Greeks or the Romans, and were regarded as fierce and noble in their appearance. The Greeks and the Romans were half in awe and half in fear of them for most of the time. These depictions show the Celts in defeat, though still with great nobility. I don't think Greek or Roman artists would be encouraged to show undefeated Celts.



The Dying Gaul. Roman copy of an earlier Greek statue. Marble. 3rd Century BC. Capitoline Museum, Rome.
 
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Tadhg Gaelach

Tadhg Gaelach

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Roman bronze statue of a captured Gaul. 2nd Century AD. It's interesting that the conflict was still going on in Gaul three hundred years after the invasion of Julius Caesar
 
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The Gauls were typically 4/5 inches taller than the average Roman
 
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Tadhg Gaelach

Tadhg Gaelach

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Bronze statue of a naked Celtic warrior with horned helmet and torc. Originally from northern Italy, and presently in the Antikensammlung (SMPK), Berlin (3rd c. BC). The artist in this case could have been Celtic, but clearly under very strong Greek influence.
 
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Tadhg Gaelach

Tadhg Gaelach

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This is a 1st Century BC Roman copy of Greek statue in marble from the 3rd Century BC. It shows a Celtic warrior about to commit suicide after defeat in battle. His wife is already dying beside him. The original statue adorned the Temple of Athene at Pergamum. Sadly, the original Greek statue is now lost.
 
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Tadhg Gaelach

Tadhg Gaelach

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The Gauls weren't still fighting naked at the time of Julius Caesar. This is a 1st Century Roman statue of a Gaul. You can see he is wearing chain mail, which was actually more advanced than what the Romans had at the time. Celtic steel manufacture was far more advanced than Roman manufacture, and it was only with the conquest of Gaul that Roman steelwork became advanced. Many Gauls has adoped Roman \ Greek hairsyles by this time.
 
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all the best stuff the Romans had, they had nicked from somebody else.

celtic sword - the gladius
cement-concrete technology
greek gods, architecture, town planning
tin from Cornwall

all fecked by the feckin thieving Romans
 
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Tadhg Gaelach

Tadhg Gaelach

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all the best stuff the Romans had, they had nicked from somebody else.

celtic sword - the gladius
cement-concrete technology
greek gods, architecture, town planning
tin from Cornwall

all fecked by the feckin thieving Romans


Actually, the Romans didn't even have saddles for their horses - they learned to make saddles from the Gauls. Likewise, they stole the chariot from the Celts. The Celtic word for chariot is carbad - which we get "car" from today. What really turned the tide between the Romans and the Celts was that the Romans learned Greek military tactics and put a professional army in the field. Even if the Celts had superior technology, they did not have a disciplined professional army with Greek battle formations.
 

El Chaval.

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Cleopatra used 300 captured Celtic slaves as personal bodyguards 50 years before Christ.
They we're most likely Balkan Celts.
 
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Actually, the Romans didn't even have saddles for their horses - they learned to make saddles from the Gauls. Likewise, they stole the chariot from the Celts. The Celtic word for chariot is carbad - which we get "car" from today. What really turned the tide between the Romans and the Celts was that the Romans learned Greek military tactics and put a professional army in the field. Even if the Celts had superior technology, they did not have a disciplined professional army with Greek battle formations.

i would agree with you but add that the Punic wars ( against Cartage) made the Romans tough and cruel. Paradoxically, the attempts of Hannibal Barker to destroy Rome was the making of Rome - he taught them how to fight. Funny you mentioned the saddle. I was thinking i saw a programme that mentioned this but couldnt remember from whom they robbed it. The birth of Rome is a fascinating story shrouded in myth and legend. For sure, their neighbours had a pastoral mindset and the Romans were like a bunch of modern narco-terrorists.

If you were a 'foreigner' (non Roman) but willing to fight and work hard, you were welcome to join their club. As a gang of marauding angry blokes, they took pride in robbing women from neighbouring tribes. The Etruscans never figured what they were dealing with until it was too late. Hannibal was good at winning battles but rubbish at controlling the peace and capitalising on his victories.

The Roman's expansionary mindset worked very well until they had conquered most of the known world, and then they fell apart. Robbing new territory to award it to your loyal soldiers was a brilliant business model.
 
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Tadhg Gaelach

Tadhg Gaelach

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i would agree with you but add that the Punic wars ( against Cartage) made the Romans tough and cruel. Funny you mentioned the saddle. I was thinking i saw a programme that mentioned this but couldnt remember from whom they robbed it. The birth of Rome is a fascinating story shrouded in myth and legend. For sure, their neighbours had a pastoral mindset and the Romans were like a bunch of modern narco-terrorists.


It was a great pity for the world that Europe didn't stay Celtic. This narco-terrorist mindset was unleashed on the whole world, once Celtic Europe faded.
 
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