Celtic lives are about living in tribes

Chieftains, warriors, bondsmen and slaves

The Celts lived in tribal communities which elected a chieftain, a kind of minor king, as their leader. Together with the tribe’s druids, the chieftains formed the top tier of Celtic society. The elite also included nobles who served as advisers to the chieftain. The rest were bondsmen, non-freemen (slaves) and also debtors. It was their duty to serve the elite but they were also protected by them and rewarded with gifts: generosity was a virtue in Celtic society. In times of war both men and women would fight. In the early days, the Celts were said to have often fought naked and particularly fiercely, which the Romans found astonishing.

Children Text

“Atestas, my father, is chieftain in Argentum. But I don’t live with him and my mother Bucca. As children we are raised by foster families. That’s why I’m growing up in the same household as my aunt. That strengthens the bonds within the tribe. What is more, my aunt is a priestess. I want to be one, too! As I’m living with her, I can learn a lot from her. She is also the tribe’s seer, helping us to foretell the future and get on better with the Romans. My Roman friend Lucius says that the Romans also have a prophetess. She lives in a grotto in the Gulf of Naples, a long way away. So she can’t help the Romans living here with us. Poor Lucius!”


How did the Celts fight in the early days? Do you know the answer? 

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