Work and play
Skilled crafts …
In addition to making their clothing, which was said to be quite colourful, and producing objects for everyday use (by potters, woodturners, cartwrights, tanners, saddlers, boat builders, etc.), the Celts held artisan workmanship in high esteem. They perfected the techniques of etching and metal inlays, for example. Plough blades can be traced back to the Celts as well, making it possible for them to till heavy, stony soils.
… and pleasure
Celts and Romans alike put on exhibition fights, which took place in wooden or stone amphitheatres. In Roman times many a gladiator (a professional fighter) achieved widespread fame. Animals were also made to fight each other. Those who preferred more peaceful activities could go to a Roman theatre to watch comedies and tragedies often written by Greek playwrights. Chanting choruses commented on the action on stage. As for the Celts, their bards were held in high regard for their songs of praise and satirical verses.
“The Romans say that we Celts like jewellery. And that’s true – we love ornaments. Celts are very skilled in many kinds of crafts, like making glass. You should see our glass jewellery! Our fabrics woven out of wool and linen are even exported to Rome. The Romans really like our hooded Celtic cloaks which reach down almost to the ground. Even my friend Lucius has got one. But he needs it, and a pair of our trousers. The Romans can forget their thin tunics here in the mountains.”
Which crafts were the Celts well known for? Do you know the answer?