The Celtic World

David Francis Jones describes how, among primitive peoples encountered by the Romans, the fair-haired, blue-eyed Celts made a particularly deep impression.

Archaeologists date the emergence of a group of tribes with distinctive Celtic characteristics to the sixth century B.C., when the iron-using chieftains, whose tombs have been found in Bohemia, Bavaria, and at Hallstatt in Austria in particular, seem to have expanded throughout southern Europe. Ancient writers from the time of Herodotus applied the name Celts or Gauls to a recognisable group of tribes who occupied territories to the north and west of the Mediterranean basin from Spanish Galicia and Ireland in the west to Galatia in modern Turkey. The Celts of historical times were distinguished by characteristics remarked by classical historians and geographers; and their descriptions, often derived from eye-witness accounts, generally confirm the archaeological evidence for this war-like people whose forays brought them into conflict with the widening sphere of Roman influence.1

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