AD 47. This year Claudius, king of the Romans, went with an army into Britain, and subdued the island, and subjected all the Picts and Welsh to the rule of the Romans.

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle[1]



Celts: c100 BC


Proto Indo-Europeans migrated out of Central Asia in c6500-4000 BC. The Asian tribes spread south into India, the Arabian peninsula, northern Africa, and west into Europe.[2] Many of the European tribes moved further westward in successive waves, and occupied most of Europe, which had emerged from the prior ice-age. First of all, apparently, came the Celts, who filled southern Russia, France, and Germany. Amongst the orginal, remnant Europeans were probably the Basques.

The Celts are first recorded as a loosely-associated series of tribes that developed from earlier migrants, who brought farming and metallurgy skills as they gradually moved westward into southern and central Europe from Anatolia and the Middle East by c2500 BC. Farming created surplus food, which enabled the development of a warrior class. At about the same time in c2300 BC two other new peoples appeared in archeological finds: the 'Beaker People', who may have originated in Iberia; and the 'Battle Axe People'. The former are known by their stylistic beaker pottery, which has no handles; and the latter probably migrated from southern Russia and used stone battle axes. Both of these new people are identified by their 'grave goods', which were buried with them.

Because they did not keep written records (there was no written language until c475, their history was memorised), very little direct evidence of the ancient Celtic customs exists.[3] A continuity of design, however, and Greek and Roman observations give us some idea of the Celtic past. The Etruscans are believed to have been Celtic in origin, and archaeological excavations at Hallstatt in Austria and La Tène in Switzerland, document the later, c500 BC, Celtic life. Early, or proto-Celtic people migrated across central and western Europe c3000-2000 BC A farming society, the Celts were defined as socially-stratified tribes each claiming descent from a common ancestor. Led by a later warrior aristocracy, their poets, priests, lawyers and artisans were respected. Without centralized inter-tribal organization, however, the Celts were unable to withstand attacks by other migrations and were gradually driven west and north. Greeks and the Romans knew of a tribe called Keltoi. From that point, all the people that looked or behaved the same were called 'Keltoi', regardless of the true name of the individual tribal group.

Celts loved interwoven maze figures


In order to track Celtic origins, one must know something of the Celtic language. There are two major linguistic divisions, which concern British Celts. The Celtic language divisions are Brythonic and Goidelic Sadly much Celtic history has been lost and little of their oral tradition remains in original written form. Brythonic (p-Celtic): is a Celtic language branch of the Indo-European languages, out of which came Welsh, Cornish and Breton. Goidelic (q-Celtic): is a separate Celtic language branch of the Indo-European languages, out of which came Irish, Scots Gaelic, and Manx Gaelic Much analysis of Celtic history is based on these two separate languages and inferences of historical references.

By 600 BC two separate but related waves of Celts had arrived in the British Isles. Myth and legend suggest that the Celts emigrated from the Iberian Peninsula Purportedly, the tribes of Mil (Milesians) invaded Ireland, while tribes of the Belgae later infiltrated Britain through what is Belgium today.


British colonies: c500


Britain continued to be invaded first by the Romans in the 1st Century AD, then by the Angles and Saxons, the Danes, and finally the Normans in 1066.

In c388 a large number of Britons were probably stationed with the Roman army in Armorica. Magnus Maximus withdrew Roman forces from Britain and settled the troops in Brittany. According to Geoffrey of Monmouth, the British leader was Conan Meriadog and he was supposedly related to Maximus by marriage. Nennius, Since Maximus was leaving Britain to try to sieze the Empire, Maximus set up Conan in Brittany. Gildas mention a second wave of Britons settling in Armorica (Brittany) following later to escape the invading Anglo-Saxons and Irish Scoti. Clearly, this was the origin of Brittany, which later divided into Domnonia and Cornouaille, which eventually became the Duchy of Brittany, and in 1532 Brittany was annexed by France.

The Celtic tribes of Britain were forced into the farthest, most inhospitable areas of Wales and Cornwall, Scotland, Ireland, and some islands. From these embattled areas came the Arthurian legends, based on a Romano-Celtic warlord bearing little resemblance to the storied King Arthur. Waves of refugees fled the Saxon invaders by crossing to Brittany.

Brittany is protected from the rest of France by forest. In Brittany, Welsh and Cornish refugees re-established British traditions. The three areas are still closely related genetically, linguistically, musically, and culturally.

In Scotland, the Scotti tribe of Celts immigrated from Ireland, intermingled with British Celts and the Picts, an older tribe of obscure origin. Protected by the rugged terrain and climate of the Highlands and their particularly ferocious war tactics, the Scots held out against the invaders longer than their compatriots. They, too, however, were driven to the far west and north where Celtic culture survived in the Hebrides, Orkneys and Shetland Islands and the Highlands. The Gaelic heritage of Scotland is directly related to that of Ireland, and the tiny Isle of Man in the Irish Sea.[4]

Celtic Britons

Antonius Donatus Gregorius, King Of Dyfed and Iles of Man. Antonius, (Anawn Dynod in Welsh), was a son of Magnus Maximus. He was established in the South Wales region, which became the kingdom of Demetia, later Dyfed. The larger part of the territory was Dyfed itself, and Ystrad Towy (or Towi) made up the eastern third. This was conquered in around 690 by Ceredigion, but Wales was united under the kings of Gwynedd in the 9th century. Dyfed later came to form the heart of a united South Wales, continuing as Deheubarth. The later kingdom of Brycheiniog also seems to have (at least partially) formed part of the South Wales territory. The Irish Deisi tribe was invited to settle there. They seem to have been brought in successfully to keep the British shores clear of Irish raiders. Many Irish words are mixed into the regional dialect, and there are many memorial stones and Ogham (Irish) symbols pointing to a local Irish influence.

Arthur, King of Camelot. Geoffrey of Monmouth, in his 12th century History of the Kings of Britain, said Arthur was the son of Uther Pendragon and Ygraine of Cornwall. Of course Arthur is a mythic figure in Celtic stories; however, in early Latin chronicles he is also recorded as a military leader, a dux bellorum. In later writing he is postulated as a king and emperor. Queen Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine, left Henry II for Poitiers in 1168 and her daughter by Louis VII of France, Marie de Champagne, created The Courts of Love, to raise the level of manners and behaviour to the legendary Camelot standard. Recent speculation is that someone was the fictional Arthur and that Arthur and Vortigern may be connected, but how is still unknown. Camelot is unlocated and perhaps fictional, but either Arthur, or Vortigern was perhaps the commander at the actual battle of Mount Badon, a decisive British victory over the Saxon King Aelle c495. What are the sources?

There is only one contemporary Arthurian source that can be examined today. Concerning the Ruin of Britain, or De Excidio Britanniae was written by the Northern British monk, St. Gildas, in the mid-6th century. Unfortunately, Gildas was not a historian. He was only interested in lamenting the loss of the Roman way of life and in reproaching the British leaders (Constantine, Aurelius Caninus, Vortepor, Cuneglasus & Maglocunus) who had usurped Imperial power and degraded Christian values. There is no direct reference to Arthur, but Gildas does make reference to a character called 'The Bear', which is the meaning of the Celtic word, Art-. He praises Ambrosius Aurelianus and also mentions the Siege of Mount Badon, though not the name of the victor. Gildas' writings are dated immediately prior to 549 (the death of Maglocunus, one of his usurpers). The passage telling of Badon places the siege forty-four years before this. This places Arthur firmly around the turn of the 6th century. (Although unlocated, the massive, Iron-Age hill-fort known as the Badbury Rings in Dorset appears to be the probable location.) The British did stop the Saxon expansion for perhaps 50 years as a result of the Battle of Mount Badon (also called Mons Badonicus).

The Welsh Easter Annals or Annales Cambriae, supposedly written over the years that they cover, 447-957 (though very early entries were probably written after the events), are amongst the earliest sources to mention Arthur. Used to calculate Easter dates, this document also records historical events alongside many of its yearly entries. Two of these tell of Arthur. AD 516 refers to "The Battle of Badon, in which Arthur carried the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ for three days and three nights on his shoulders and the Britons were the victors". AD 537 records "The Strife of Camlann in which Arthur and Medraut perished". All characters included elsewhere in these, otherwise reliable, annals appear to have been real historical people. It has been suggested that Arthur's appearance in the Badon entry may have been an interpolation. Criticisms of the length of the battle are unfounded though, for Gildas calls the battle a siege. The statement that Arthur carried "the cross of Our Lord on his shoulders" may refer to an amulet containing a chip of the purported true cross. Or more likely it is a transcriptual error of the Welsh "shoulder" for "shield", indicating that the cross was merely an armorial bearing.

Arthur does warrant a passing comment in the early 7th century poem 'Y Gododdin' by Aneirin, the famous bard from the Royal House of the North Pennines. This work praises the efforts of the Northern British armies, headed by those of Din-Eityn and Gododdin, at the battle of Catraeth around AD 600 and one warrior is described as having "glutted black ravens on the ramparts of the fort, although he was no Arthur". It has been argued that this shows the early spread of Arthur's fame. Unfortunately, considering the northern overtones, this may refer to the Arthur's Northern contemporary, King Arthuis of the Pennines.

The last source is the 8th century History of the Britons apparently written by the Welsh historian Nennius, possibly a monk from Bangor Fawr (in Gwynedd). Nennius used numerous chronicles to put together his compilation of a history of the British peoples, followed by genealogies and a list of the 28 Towns of Britain. The work is particularly noted for its chapter concerning the Campaigns of Arthur, telling of his twelve battles. These latter may be a Latin summary of an ancient Welsh battle list, possibly pre-dating the unmentioned Battle of Camlann. Was this sung at Arthur's Court? Each battle is named in turn, but the enemy is not specific and the places are difficult to identify. Nennius states that Arthur fought at all the battles, implying the previously mentioned Kentish Saxons, though this seems unlikely.

Ultimately there is no proof, but increasing modern suspicion that Arthur may have existed as a Celtic leader.

Ceretic Guletic, King Of Strathcluiade. Ceretic was the first king of Strathcluaide, although it may not have been a kingdom at the time. Ceretic ruled from Alcluith (Dumbarton), overlooking the Clyde and the capital became known as the Fort of the Britons, Dun Breaton. Ceretic policed the western half of the Antonine Wall as a Roman client chief. Ceretic and his descendants forged a strong, but poorly recorded, kingdom. Alone amongst British kingdoms outside Wales, Strathcluiade was never conquered. It was ceded to Scotland by marriage.

Coel Hen, King Of Northern Britain. The Roman capital of northern Britain was Eboracum, or York. This was also the capital of the Brigantian Britons who, as pre-Roman Celts had ruled northern England. Archaeological data indicates a period of rebuilding in York c400, when Coel Hen ruled. But Coel Hen’s kingdom covered from a line close to the Humber to Hadrian's Wall. Probably appointed by Magnus Maximus, Coel Hen was the last Roman, dux brittanniarum.[5] He held the north in a strong protective grip, and guaranteed little trouble from the Picts to the north. His descendants divided the kingdom into smaller pieces that fell one by one to the Angles. (Hen means old in ancient Welsh and this Coel Hen is probablt the 'Old King Cole'.)

Cunedda Wledig, King Of North Wales. The earliest Welsh history source is Historia Brittonum (The History of Britain, by Nennius) and it records that a certain Cunedag came from Manau Goutodin, near the Firth of Forth, 146 years before Maelgwyn, prince of Gwynedd, and that he expelled the Irish forever. This was the primary reason behind the decision to invite Cunedda to become King of North Wales as he was later styled. He was not referred to as rex, king, in the Historia. Magnus Maximus reorganised Britain’s defences prior to leaving in 383, and it is likely that Cunedda moved c380. Cunedda and his people quickly settled in Gwynedd, and expelled the Irish. The process of freeing North Wales lasted a few years and the last Irish stronghold was on Ynys Mon (the Isle of Anglesey).

Flavia Caesariensis. The region existed c380, but some sources list its name as Britannia Secunda, and place Flavia Caesariensis as a small province in the area of Carlisle, in modern Cumbria.

Lot Lwyddog, King Of Goutodin. Cunedda Wledig came from this region, but probably moved to North Wales by 383. The first known king of Goutodin is Lot Lwyddog in c480. There seems to be little data on this northern tribe, and it is possible that the Votadini, or Goutodin, chieftains, late in accepting Roman civilisation, united to form a single political entity. It is possible that Coel Hen and his descendants guarded this eastern end of the buffer zone between the two Roman walls. Coel Hen might have commanded, as military governor of north Britain, forcing the Votadini chieftains to deal with only one chief. Goutodin may have been born only in c470, with Lot Lwyddog as its first ruler. The kingdom was defeated at Catreath in c597, and fell in 638 to the Angles of Bernicia.

Owain Finddu, King Of Mid-South Wales (Cernyw). Although many Welsh kings claimed descent from Magnus Maximus, to legitimise their own status, Owain Finddu has one of the better claims. The kingdom of Cernyw emerged with Owain's son, and was renamed after his great-grandson as Glywyssing. It was later renamed after Morgannwg, and is remembered today as Glamorgan.

Maxima Caesariensis. The Celts divided up the countryside tribally, and the Romans adopted something similar in their own organisation. Britannia Superior was created as the south of Britain and Britannia Inferior, the militarised north. Later the administration was further divided to create Britannia Prima (Wales and the West Country), Flavia Caesariensis, and Maxima Caesariensis; and Inis Vectis, or later Ynys Weith - now the Isle of Wight.

Meirchion, King Of Ewyas. The great-grandnephew of Eudaf Hen, Meirchion son of Gwrgant, seems to have been the last king of Ewyas. The kingdom was free in c430 for Vortigern to give it to his eldest son, Vortimer. Vortimer may have claimed this as a great grandson of Eudaf Hen. Ewyas dates from c280, and in c350 became part of the Roman of Britannia Prima, stretching from Cornubia to North Wales and east to the Gloucester and Cirencester area.

Vorimorus, King Of Dumnonia. The Celtic Dumnonii tribe covered the whole of the west from Somerset onwards and probably began to emerge as a distinct region by c300. It became fully independent by 410. Scarcely touched by the Romans, the Dumnonii would have exercised considerable self-rule. Dumnonia was one of the most stable kingdoms until the West Saxon territorial gains of c480. In the remote southwest, English Cornwall derives directly from its British name, Cornouia, which was Latinised as Cornubia.

Vortigern, King Of Pengwern (Powys). Powys appears to have become a kingdom under Vortigern. This was part of his power-base and claim to the High Kingship of Britain. Investigation at Caer Guricon (modern Wroxeter), revealed the construction in c425 of a large, remarkable timber palace. It had a massive hall, many outbuildings and even timber shops. Once Pengwern had emerged as a separate kingdom at the end of the 6th century, this became its early capital. Vortigern's main power base was probably further south than Powys. It seems likely that, once Vortigern was defeated, Ambrosius Aurelianus confirmed the rule of his sons over Powys, Builth and Gwent, and took the Gloucester region to form his own power base in southern Lloegr (England). It is possible that Vortigern is not a name at all, but a title, meaning over-king. Bede uses the term Bretwalda.[6]

Celtic Tribes

The Celtic (or Gallic) tribes are listed below. The tribal areas are divided into Britons, The Belgae of both the Continent and Britain, and the Continental tribes.[7]

British Celts

Many British tribes had roots in Continental Europe, particularly in Armorica (Western France). Confusingly, earlier proto-Celtic tribes are often named as Celtic, since there was an apparent evolution of some of the earlier tribes into the Keltoi (Celts, or Gauls). The Belgic Confederation tribes are separately listed below for both the Continent and Britain.

A Celtic tribe in England.
No details.
A Celtic tribe in Ireland.
A Celtic tribe in England.
A Celtic tribe in England (or tribal confederation) between the Tyne and Humber. (The Brigantes were also in Ireland. The name is from a Celtic godess. Although the Brigantes controlled northern England, they accepted Roman client-state status during Claudius' 43 AD invasion. Queen Cartimandua betrayed the Catuvellaunian king, Caratacus to the Romans in 52 AD. After 60 or 61 AD there was a civil war among the Brigantes. (Source: The World of the Celts, by Simon James and
A Celtic tribe in England.
A Confederation of Celtic tribes, under the leadership of the Caledonii tribe in northern Britain and largely in Invernessshire, northern Scotland. They appear to have adopted Pictish building styles for forts and probably included Picts, northern 'broch-builders', and southern refugees. Led by Calgacus, they were defeated at Mons Graupius in 84 AD by the Roman Governor Agricola, as recorded by Tacitus. In AD 180 they took part in a rebellion, breached Hadrian's Wall and were not brought under Roman control for several years. Eventually the Caledonii signed peace treaties with the Governor of Britannia, Ulpius Marcellus. This suggests that they were capable of making formal agreements in unison despite having many different chieftains. Dio Cassius also mentions the Caledonians.The Romans called what would become Scotland Caledonia. (See
Celtic or Belgic people living in Britain before the Roman conquest, who gave their name to a civitas of Roman Britain. They lived in the area then called Cantium, now called Kent, in south-eastern England. Their capital was Durovernum Cantiacorum, now Canterbury. ("Cantium"). (Sources: Celtic Coin Index,
A Celtic tribe in the western Highlands of Scotland.
A Celtic tribe in Cumberland.
A Celtic tribe in England.
The Catuvellauni were a Celtic/Belgic tribe in south-eastern Britain before the Roman conquest. Their main centre was the town of Verulamium (modern St Albans). The first Catuvellaunian leader to fight major Roman forces invading Britain was Cassivellaunus. In 55 BC Caesar invaded, and he returned in 54 BC, running into a coalition of hostile forces under Cassivellaunus. Caesar prevailed. Meanwhile, the Catuvellauni had encorporated the Trinovantes (around 10 AD) and their capital Camulodunum (modern Colchester), to their east and thus became more powerful. The prince who had accomplished all of this, Cunobelinus, however, perished in 40-41 AD, leaving a power struggle between three sons: Caratacus, Togodumnus and Adminius (the last fled to Rome). The next big Roman invasion force was in 43 AD under Claudius. Caratacus and Togodumnus, led the resistance. Togo died, but Caratacus continued the fighting as a war leader amongst the Welsh tribes (see Silures, Ordovices), but was betrayed in 52 AD by Queen Cartimandua of the Brigantes. He was sent to Rome, and spared by Claudius. (Sources: The World of the Celts, by Simon James, The Catuvellaunians had great coins! No coins of Togodumnus are known, but Caratacus's rare coins suggest that he followed his uncle Epaticcus in completing the conquest of the lands of the Atrebates. It was the exile of the Atrebatic king, Verica, that prompted Claudius to launch a successful invasion. (Source: Celtic Coin Index and
A Celtic tribe in Ireland.
A Celtic tribe in Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, England; their capital was at Ratae Coritanorum (Leicester). The Coritani were a largely agricultural people who had few strongly defended sites or signs of centralised government. They appear to have been a federation of smaller, self-governing tribal groups. From the beginning of the 1st century AD they began to produce inscribed coins: almost all featured two names, and one series had three, (Source: Celtic Coin Index.)
A Celtic Irish tribe.
A Celtic tribe in Northumberland, England.
An early pre-Roman (and Roman) Celtic tribe in north central Wales and earlier in Cheshire and the English West Midlands. Viroconium (Wroxeter) was a large population center of the Cornovii. (Curiously they had sister tribe/off-shoots by the same name in Caithness, Scotland, and in Cornwall.) The tribe developed no known coinage, but their control of the south-Cheshire salt-making industry and parts of its distribution network probably gave them a fair degree of wealth, multiplied by trading and cattle breeding. However, their economy was mainly a pastoral one. Since the early Iron Age they had had a network of paved and semi-paved roads good enough to transport their famous chariots. The Cornovii were not paint-daubed savages; the Romans, who described the British as "vain", noted their attention to appearance and personal hygiene. Gold & bronze torcs (i.e.: heavy necklaces made of twisted strands of metal) have been found at Iron Age sites in the region. They were expert in weaving & dyeing, and loved bright colours. Women wore their hair in two thick thigh-length plaits. After Roman occupation, the lands of the Cornovii became a centre of military and economic operations. Viroconium Cornoviorum became one of the most important cities in Roman Britain, where Legio XIV Gemina was garrisoned for some time. The Romans also exploited metals such as copper, lead and silver in the area. Some Romanised Cornovii are known to have served as Roman legionaries. The tombstone of a thirty-year-old woman of the Cornovii called Vedica has been found at Ilkley in Yorkshire. (See A History of Wales, by John Davies, and
A Celtic tribe in Argyllshire, Scotland.
A Celtic tribe in Strathclyde, Scotland.
A Celtic tribe in Ireland.
Celtic tribe in the north of Wales during pre-Roman times. The Deceangli were apparently not a warlike tribe and did not offer much resistance to the Roman occupation. (See A History of Wales, by John Davies,
A Celtic tribe perhaps in Easter Ross, Scotland. The number and extent of Celtic infiltration in Scotland strongly suggests that the Picts must have been closely allied with the Celts when the Romans tried to push into Caledonia.
A Celtic tribe in the modern counties of Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire (Wales). Fell pretty quickly to the Roman legions. Their capital was Moridunum (modern Carmarthen). (See A History of Wales, by John Davies, and
A tribe whose lands were from Wiltshire across the Severn Valley in west England. They had a massive earthworks at Bagendon in the Gloucestershire Cotswolds, with a large complex and hillfort up the valley at "The Ditches", built in the first century BC They were not a warlike people and submitted to the Romans even before they reached their lands. Afterwards they adopted the Roman lifestyle. (Source: The World of the Celts, by Simon James (1993)). Had coinage. (See The Coinage of the Dobunni by Robert D.Van Arsdell, 1994, Oxford University Commitee for Archaeology England, and
The Dumnonii are thought to have occupied territory in Somerset, Devon and Cornwall and possibly part of Dorset. They do not seem to have been politically centralised: the structure, distribution and construction of Bronze Age & Iron Age hillforts in the Peninsula point to a number of smaller tribal groups living alongside each other. Ptolemy's 2nd century Geography, places the Dumnonii to the west of the Durotriges, and names four of their towns: Isca Dumnoniorum (later Caeresk, now Exeter), Tamara (presumably on the River Tamar), Uxella (perhaps on the River Axe) and Voliba (undentified). The Ravenna Cosmography adds two more settlements: Nemetostatio (North Tawton, Devon) and Durocornavium (unidentified). The name Durocornavium implies the existance of a tribe called the Cornavii, perhaps the ancestors of the Cornish people {although some trace the Cornish to a hypothetical migration of the Cornovii of the West Midlands). In the sub-Roman period a Brythonic kingdom called Dumnonia emerged, covering the entire peninsula, although it is believed by some to be effectively a collection of sub-kingdoms. It is claimed that the Battle of Mount Badon in which Brythonic Dumnonians fought off Anglo-Saxons took place in Devon. Dumnonia's territory was gradually reduced to little more than Cornwall by the expansion of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. As the eastern boundary of Brythonic Dumnonia receded to the west, many scholars believe that the tribe's history eventually became indistinguishable from that of the Kingdom of Cornwall. The mediaeval Breton kingdoms of Domnonia and Cornouaille were probably founded by emigrants from Devon and Cornwall during this period. Brythonic Celtic peoples are reported by William of Malmesbury to have been living in the area of Devon alongside Saxon peoples during the 10th century. A part of Exeter retained the title 'Little Britain' until the eighteenth century. (See
Nevertheless, the Durotriges presented an organized society, based in the farming of lands surrounded and controlled by strong hill forts that were still in use in 43 AD. Maiden Castle is a preserved example of one of these hill forts. Not surprisingly, the Durotriges resisted Roman invasion and the historian Suetonius records some fights between the tribe and the second legion Augusta, then commanded by Vespasian. By 70, the tribe was already Romanised and securely included in the Roman province of Britannia. In the tribe’s area, the Romans explored some quarries and had a pottery industry. (Sources: and Celtic Coin Index.)
A Celtic tribe in Ireland.
Another Celtic tribe in western Scotland - located in Kintyre. (See
A Celtic tribe in Ireland.
A Celtic tribe in Ireland.
A Celtic tribe in Ireland.
Around 50 AD the Iceni were led by Prasutagus in the area of Norfolk. Prasutagus' queen was Boudicca, and they had two daughters. The Iceni revolted against the strict Roman controls in 47 AD. The more violent Boudican Revolt in East Anglia of 60 AD followed Prasutagus' death and the seizure of his entire estate by the Roman Procurator Catus Decianus. Queen Boudicca (Bouadicea) led a large-scale revolt against Roman occupation, sacking Camulodunum (Colchester), Londinium (London) and Verulamium (St Albans) before finally being defeated. The Iceni killed a large number of Romans and Sir Thomas Browne the first British archaeological writer assessed in 1658 that 'Seventy Thousand with their associates slain by Bouadicea'... Archaeological evidence of the Iceni includes torcs - heavy rings of gold, silver or electrum worn around the neck and shoulders. Of the three different types of Iceni coins found so far the boar-obverse type is most numerous near Norwich. The symbol of a horse found on these coins suggests that it was an animal of particular significance to the Iceni. (Sources:, The World of the Celts, by Simon James. The Iceni had some great coins, see the Celtic Coin Index.)
A Celtic tribe located in southern Scotland.
A Celtic tribe in Ireland.
A Celtic tribe in Ireland.
Located in Galloway, in southern Scotland. Little more is known about the tribe, which was a farming, herding and trading society, as opposed to the stereotypical warring clans of Caledonia. (See
An early pre-Roman (and Roman) Celtic tribe that lived in northeast Wales. The name Ordo-vic- probably means "those fighting with a hammer". Irish Ord "hammer", Welsh Gordd "hammer". A Catevellaunian prince, Caratacus, one of the sons of Cubobelinus, fled to the Ordovices who then took up arms against the Romans. They were defeated by the Romans in 51 AD. Notable Ordovician areas were Anglesey and Caernarfon. In the 70s, the Ordovices rebelled against Roman occupation and destroyed a cavalry squadron. This act of war provoked an equally strong response by Agricola, who, according to Tacitus, exterminated the whole tribe. (See A History of Wales, by John Davies, and
A Celtic tribe name in Gaul (located around their capital at Paris, which was named after them). Parisii participated in the general rising of Vercingetorix against Julius Caesar in 52 B.c Following their defeat some may at this time have fled to Britain although it is more likely that Parisii had already colonised part of the island before this time and preceding the waves of Belgic immigration. The Parisii migrated to east Yorkshire. The Romano-British Parisii tribe of East Yorkshire and Humberside in Britain is traditionally seen as being comprised of emigrants from the tribe of the same name based in Gaul. The burial processes of the Gaulish and British tribes differ slightly but the Iron Age Arras Culture which settled around East Yorkshire in the early La Tène period shows distinctive continental influence. There are issues as to the lack of "continental metalwork" in the British graves and no square barrows for the Gallic graves; however, these differences might have been adapted after migration by a small tribal division. The World of the Celts, by Simon James, p. 102, and
Their capital was Noviomagus Regnorum, known today as Chichester in modern West Sussex. Before the Roman conquest their land and capital appear to have been part of the territory of the Atrebates, possibly as part of a confederation of tribes. It has been suggested that, after the first phase of the conquest, the Romans maintained the Atrebates as a nominally independent client kingdom, acting as a buffer between the Roman province in the east and the unconquered tribes to the west. The ruler of the kingdom was Tiberius Claudius Cogidubnus. (For Regni coins, see BEAN, S.c, "The Coinage of Atrebates and Regni" (Studies in Celtic Coinage, number 4, 2000), and also
A Celtic tribe in Ireland.
A Celtic tribe in England.
The Selgovae were a Celtic tribe in northern Britain, inhabiting roughly the central Borders region. They were neighbours of, and perhaps an offshoot of, the Votadini to the east. Their capital was on North Eildon hill near Melrose, near where the Romans later built the fort of Trimontium (Newstead). (See
A Celtic tribe in Lancashire, England.
An powerful and warlike Celtic tribe of pre-Roman (and Roman) Britain that lived in southeast Wales. They made a fierce resistance to the Roman conquest about AD 48, with the assistance of Caratacus, a military leader and prince of the Catuvellauni, who had fled from further west after his own tribe was defeated. The Silures had a large town at Venta Silurum (Caerwent). A Catevellaunian prince, Caratacus, one of the sons of Cubobelinus, fled to the Silures who then took up arms against the Romans. While they defeated the Romans in 52 AD, the Romans eventually brought them under some type of control. Roman forts were built at what are now Gloucester and Usk. (See A History of Wales, by John Davies, and
A Celtic tribe in southern Scotland.
A Celtic tribe in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
The Trinovantes were a Celtic tribe in east Britain. Their territory was on the north side of the Thames estuary in current Essex and Suffolk, and included lands now located in the city of London. Their capital was Camulodunum (modern Colchester). Shortly before Julius Caesar's invasions of Britain in 55 and 54 BC, the Trinovantes were considered the most powerful tribe in Britain. At this time their capital was probably at Braughing. In some manuscripts of Caesar's Gallic War their king is referred to as Imanuentius, although in other manuscripts no name is given. Some time before Caesar's second expedition this king was overthrown by Cassivellaunus, who belonged to the Catuvellauni. The heir to the Trinovantes, Mandubracius, fled to the protection of Caesar in Gaul. During his second expedition Caesar defeated Cassivellaunus and restored Mandubracius to the kingship, and Cassivellaunus undertook not to molest him again. Tribute was also agreed. The Trinovantes had their own coinage. The next identifiable king of the Trinovantes, known from numismatic evidence, was Addedomarus, who took power c20-15 BC, and moved the tribe's capital to Camulodunum. For a brief period c10 BC Tasciovanus of the Catuvellauni issued coins from Camulodunum, suggesting that he conquered the Trinovantes, but he was soon forced to withdraw, perhaps as a result of pressure from the Romans, as his later coins no longer bear the mark "Rex", and Addedomarus was restored. Addedomarus was briefly succeeded by his son Dubnovellaunus c10–5 BC, but a few years later the tribe was finally conquered by either Tasciovanus or his son Cunobelinus. The Trinovantes reappear in history when they participated in Boudicca's revolt against the Roman Empire in 60 AD. (Sources: The World of the Celts, by Simon James, the Celtic Coin Index, and
A Celtic tribe in Scotland.
A Celtic tribe in Ireland.
A Celtic tribe in Scotland.
A Celtic tribe in Ireland.
A Celtic tribe in Britain who had a kingdom located just east of Strathclyde, extending south of the Firth of Forth and extended from the Stirling area down to the River Tyne, including at its peak what are now the Lothian and Borders regions of eastern Scotland, and Northumberland in north east England. Their capital was probably the Traprain Law hill fort in East Lothian, until that was abandoned in the early 400s, moving to Din Eidyn (Edinburgh).In post-Roman times, the area became known as Gododdin (Goutodin). A part was called Manaw Gododdin (an area between the Forth and Tyne). The Gododdin also displaced the Feni, a Welsh tribe, from northwest Wales. Gododdin fell to the Angles in 638 AD. The area was settled as early as 3000 BC, and offerings of that period imported from Cumbria and Wales left on the sacred hilltop at Cairnpapple Hill, West Lothian, show that by then there was a link with these areas. By around 1500 BC Traprain Law, East Lothian was already a place of burial, with evidence of occupation and signs of ramparts after 1000 BC Excavation at Edinburgh Castle found late Bronze Age material from about 850 BC Brythonic Celtic culture and language spread into the area at some time after the 8th century BC, possibly through cultural contact rather than mass invasion, and systems of kingdoms developed. Numerous hillforts and settlements support the image of quarrelsome tribes and petty kingdoms recorded by the Romans, though evidence that at times occupants neglected the defences might suggest that symbolic power was sometimes as significant as warfare. (Sources: The World of the Celts, by Simon James p. 167, and

The Belgae

Entered Gaul from Germany c300 BC The Belgae told Caesar they were Teutonic, but they spoke in a Celtic dialect. Caesar said '...The inland part of Britain is inhabited by tribes declared in their own tradition to be indigenous to the island, the maritime part by tribes that migrated at an earlier time from Belgium to seek booty by invasion...." It appears that they were Celts. The Continental Belgae were a people, not a single tribe, but an amalgamation of several large tribal septs. (Sources: Caesar De Bello Gallico, Nora Chadwick, The Celts, The major Belgae constituents were thus divided between the Continent and Britain.

British Belgae

Major British towns named by Ptolemy as settled by the Belgae: Venta Belgarum (Winchester) was their capital and Aquae Sulis (Bath) a settlement, another, Iscalis, is unlocated.

A Celtic tribe (listed as a Germanic tribe by Caesar--who wasn't?). One of the Atrebatic kings was Commius, King of the Gallic Atrebates, who migrated to Britain. One of the Atrebatic princes, Verica, defected to Rome sometime before the summer of 43 AD. It is presumed that his successor was King Cogidubnus. The Atrebates minted a quarter stater coin in 60-40 BC, found mainly in West Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire. (Sources: The World of the Celts, by Simon James, A History of Wales, by Simon James, Celtic Coin Index; see also BEAN, S.c, "The Coinage of Atrebates and Regni" Studies in Celtic Coinage, number 4, 2000, and
The Ambiani were probably responsible for the coins known nowadays as Gallo-Belgic A, in circulation around the middle of the second century BC, which are found in the Somme valley in northern France, and in parts of southern Britain. An inordinate amount of coinage identified with this tribe has been found in southern Britain, more than can be explained by simple trading with the continental Ambiani. Presumably the Ambiani coins were in common use in parts of Britain, and it seems probable that the Ambiani themselves occupied the land in which their coins circulated. (See
Caesar said the Suessiones had a British connection and that '... Diviciacus had been king, the most powerful man in the whole of Gaul, who exercised sovereignty alike over a great part of these districts, and even over Britain....' The physical evidence is slight, resting on coinage. The coins now known as Gallo-Belgic C, issued c90 and 60BC, have been tentatively identified with King Diviciacus of the Suessiones. This coin is less common in Britain than previous issues, but has a wider distribution, from the coast of Sussex to the Wash, with finds being concentrated around Kent. The uninscribed coins known as Gallo-Belgic F, which were issued between 60 and 50 BC, have a marked concentration of finds to the east of Paris, in the lands of the Suessiones, and are also found in many coastal areas of southern Britain. This coinage issue was the first to bear the design of a triple-tailed horse on the reverse, which became the standard motif of many issues in southern Britain over the next few decades. This has led scholars to believe that the Suessiones represented a considerable proportion of the Belgic peoples which had migrated to Britain during the second and first centuries BC (Sources: Caesar, De Bello Gallico, and

Continental Belgae

The Belgae were a warlike people of ancient Northern Gaul, separated from the Celtae of Gallia Lugdunensis by the rivers Matrona (Marne) and Sequana (Seine). According to Strabo the country of the Belgae extended from the Rhenus (Rhine) to the Liger (Loire). In the opening passage of Caesar's Gallic Wars, the Belgae are described as forming "a third part of Gaul". Belgica was one of the four provinces of Gaul near the Rhine, delineated by Augustus. The British Belgae no doubt descended from a Belgic colony.

Ambiani: Sea-faring nation dwelling along the valley of the Samara (Somme), and on the eastern Belgic coast of the Oceanus Britannicus (English Channel), where it narrows towards the Fretum Gallicum (Straits of Dover). Their tribal capital was Samarobriva, now Amiens on the banks of the Somme, in the Picardy region of France. (See
Atrebates: Bordered to the north, south and west by the sea-faring nations the Menapii, the Ambiani and the Morini respectively, and on all other sides by friendly Belgic states. Their tribal capital was Nemetacum, now known as Arras, on the Scarpe River in the Artois region of northern France. (See
Catalauni:Occupying the central Plaine de Champagne along the upper valley of the Matrona (Marne), this tribe bordered with the Gallic Tricasses to the south and south-west, and the Germanic Lingones to the south-east, but was surrounded on all other sides by friendly Belgic states. Their tribal capital was Durocatalaunum (Châlons-sur-Marne, France). (See
Leuci: Inhabited the uplands of the Lorraine, between the upper reaches of the rivers Mosella (Moselle) and Mosa (Meuse). Though supported by the friendly Belgic Mediomatrici and Catalauni to the north and west, they were surrounded by the Germanic Raurici, Sequani and Lingones to the east, south-east and south. Their tribal capital was Tullum (Toul, France), on the Moselle. (See
Mediomatrici: Inhabited the upper valley of the Mosella in the northern Lorraine, between the Treveri in the north and the Leuci to the south, they also bordered with the Germanic Nemetes on the east. Their tribal capital was Divodurum (Metz, France), on the Moselle. (See
Menapii: Inhabited the southern shores of the Oceanus Germanicus (North Sea) in the area now known as Flanders which lies mostly in Belgium, though their tribal capital Castellum Menapiorum, was at Cassel in France. (See
Morini: Occupied the territory nearest to Britain, overlooking the Fretum Gallicum (Strait of Dover), their major towns were Gesoriacum/Bononia and Tarvenna, known nowadays as Boulogne and Thérouanne, both in the Artois region of France. (See
Nervii: A powerful tribe of central Belgica, bordering on the north with the minor Germanic tribe the Texuandri, but supported on all other sides by their Belgic neighbours, notably the eastern Tungri and the western Atrebates. Their tribal capital was at Bagacum, now Bavai near Maubeuge, on the upper Sambre in France. Listed as a Germanic tribe by Caesar and were extremely warlike, as the Romans learned at the Battle of the Sambre in 57 BC, when the Nervii fought to the death. Listed as a Gallic tribe in The World of the Celts by Simon James, p. 83. (See: The World of the Celts by Simon James, p. 119), and
Remi: Occupied the northern Plaine de Champagne on the southern fringes of the Ardennes, between the rivers Mosa (Meuse) and Matrona (Marne), and along the river valleys of the Aisne and its tributaries the Aire and the Vesle. They were surrounded on all sides by friendly Belgic states, and their tribal capital was at Durocortum (Reims, France), on the Vesle. (See
Treveri: An important tribe inhabited the lower valley of the Mosella, within the southern fringes of the Arduenna Silva (Ardennes Forest). They were bordered on the north, west and south by the friendly Belgic tribes the Tungri, the Remi and the Mediomatrici, respectively, while to the east were the Germanic Vangiones. Their tribal capital Colonia Augusta Treverorum (Trier, Germany), was also the site of a Roman colony, and the provincial capital of Belgica itself. The Treveri provided Caesar with his best cavalry. After Caesar's successful campaigns in Gaul, the Treveri were forcefully integrated into the Roman Empire, losing their political independence and cultural identity. Following the failure of the uprising of 54/53 B.c the leading Treveri families crossed the Rhine, to settle among the Germanic tribes. (Source: The Prehistory of Germanic Europe by Herbert Schutz, The World of the Celts, by Simon James, map p. 119, and
Tungri: Occupied the lands of the northern Arduenna Silva (Ardennes), along the lower valley of the Mosa (Meuse). They shared borders to the north and east with Germanic tribes, but were bolstered by the Belgic Nervii on the west and the Remi and Treveri to the south. Their tribal capital lay at Atuatuca, modern Tongeren in the Limburg district of Belgium. (See

Continental Celts

Gallic tribe from the Saône to the Autun plateau and down to the Loire; became friends of Rome. The World of the Celts, by Simon James (p. 46)
Gallic tribe, lived south and east in the Rhone River valley to the Alps, during the 2nd century BC Fought the Romans in 122 BC The World of the Celts by Simon James (p. 46). Mentioned by Strabo (Strabo 4,1,11) as living in the Alps and Vienne. The World of the Celts, by Simon James (p. 117).
A Celtic tribe in Armorica (Brittany, France).
Occupied territory in Gaul between the Pyrenees and Garonne and were established before Caesar - c60 BC (Source: Caesar, cited by Nora Chadwick, The Celts.)
Gallic tribe west of Rhone River. In 121 BC Arvernian King Bituitus was defeated by the Romans. Vercingetorix was an Arverni chief who rebelled against Caesar, but was defeated at the Battle of Alesia in 52 BC "The World of the Celts" by Simon James (p. 46),
Bell Beaker People:
An identifiable people who may have orginated in Iberia, as attested by their signature grave goods, which included a bell beaker, pottery drinking vessel, flint-tipped arrows and bow-string protection, and an occasional metal knife. As indicated by their grave goods the Beaker People had developed a warrior class and exploited metal. The existence of specialist metalurgists implies a social structure able to raise and distribute food to support a warrior class, who in turn provided security. The Beaker People developed a higher organisation with chief's, and their graves are found from Wessex in England, to Central Europe. The Beaker People arrived in England in c2500 BC They are the apparent builders of the latter stages of the Stone Henge megaliths and are credited with the origins of the Wessex culture. The henge structures imply further social organisation of chiefs, or leaders, and a religious, or educated advisory class. The Beaker People were not Celts, but pre-historic lineal ancestors, perhaps Proto Celts. The reason for their emmigration from Iberia, was probably the need for new sources of copper and tin, required to make bronze. There is archeological evidence that the Beaker People and the Battle Axe People inter-married in the area and produced the Ùnëtice Culture, named from a site near Prague. (Source: Nora Chadwick, The Celts, pp. 17-41.)
A tribe related to the Belgae, who proved to be one of Caesar's toughest opponents. (Source: Caesar, cited by Nora Chadwick, The Celts.)
An early main Gallic tribe whose capital (oppidum) was at Bourges, France. (See
Three Celtic tribes from the areas (Pannonia, Transalpine Gaul, and Cisalpine Gaul) Bohemia, which are now the Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Germany, and Italy. The Boii were also found in Moravia and down into Slovakia. The Boii were an established tribe in 200 BC Sometime between 100 and 44 BCE, Caius Julius Caesar refers to the Boii in his work, De Bello Gallico. Gallic Wars was written c50 BC "They persuade the Rauraci, and the Tulingi, and the Latobrigi, their neighbours, to adopt the same plan, and after burning down their towns and villages, to set out with them: and they admit to their party and unite to themselves as confederates the Boii, who had dwelt on the other side of the Rhine, and had crossed over into the Norican territory, and assaulted Noreia." It seems quite clear that Caesar here refers to the historic Cimbric War of c 115 - 101 BC, during which the Cimbri and Teutones attacked the Roman frontier. The Cimbri were led by the king Boiorix whose name means "King of the Boii". Thus it appears we are dealing with a confederation of the Cimbri and Boii led by the Boii King as over lord. That the Boii survived until the time of Caesar (50 years after the Cimbrian War) indicates that, perhaps, the Roman propaganda of their crushing defeat against the barbarians may be overstated. Noted by Marccius Plautus and Caius Julius Caesar, in De Bello Gallico, cited in
A tribe in Armorica, named by Caesar as Celtic
A powerful tribe between the Seine and Loire rivers in Chartres, Orleans, and Blois. Their principal centres were at Orleans and Chartres. Minted their own coins. In 53 BCE the Carnutes of Cenabum massacred all the Roman merchants stationed in the town as well as one of Caesar's commissariat officers. The uprising became Vercingetorix's failed rebellion, to which the Carnutes contributed 12,000 warriors. (See
In c140 BC, moved south out of Jutland. Strabo and Pliny thought they spoke a Celtic language. The Cimbri were joined by the Tutones (perhaps also Celtic, since Tuath meant people). The Cimbri moved east and attacked the Boii in Bohemia, and were defeated by the Romans at Noreia in 113 BC The Cimbri caused the Helvetii to migrate further into defensive Switzerland. The Cimbri kept moving and via the Brenner Pass arrived in Aquitania, where they were defeated in 102 BC at Aix-en-Provence, and in 101 BC at Vercellae in northern Italy. (Source: Nora Chadwick, The Celts.)
The Conii were a pre-celtic tribe living in today's Algarve and South of Alentejo, regions of Southern Portugal. The main city of the country of the Conii was Conistorgis (in Conii language it would mean "Royal City"), and it was destroyed by the Lusitanians, because the Conii had allied with the Romans during the Roman conquest of the Iberian Peninsula. Some theories classify the Conii has of Celtic origin, while other classify them of Iberian origin, some exotic theories classify them as Phoenician or even one of the lost tribes of Abraham. The Conii were a historical people and, like the Lustianians, they possessed some form of writing that is still undeciphered. (See
Pre-Celtic tribe in Armorica, named by Caesar as Celtic (Source: Caesar, cited by Nora Chadwick, The Celts.)
A Celtic tribe in Romania.
A Celtic tribe in Croatia.
Located in Hungary, a Celtic people, were the original inhabitants of Dunaújváros. The centre of the tribe may be assumed to have been on Gellért Hill in the Budapest of today.
Gallaecia or Callaecia was the name of a Roman province that comprised a territory in the north-west of Hispania (approximately the current Galicia of Spain and the north of Portugal). The most important city and historical capital of Callaecia was the town of Bracara Augusta, the modern Portuguese Braga. The Romans gave the name Gallaecia to the northwest part of the Iberian peninsula after the Gallaeci (Greek Kallaikoi) tribe (or Gallaecians), who had been their foremost enemy in the region. After the Punic Wars, the Romans turned their attention to conquering Hispania. The tribe of the Gallaicoi 60,000 strong, according to Paulus Orosius, faced the Roman forces in 137 BCE in a battle at the river Douro (Latin Duero), which resulted in a great Roman victory, by virtue of which the Roman proconsul Decimus Junius Brutus returned a hero, receiving the agnomen Gallaicus ("conqueror of the Gallaicoi"). From this time, Gallaecian fighters joined the Roman legions, to serve as far away as Dacia and Britain. The final extinction of Celtic resistance was the aim of the violent and ruthless Cantabrian Wars fought under the emperor Octavian from 26 to 19 BCE. The resistance was appalling: collective suicide rather than before surrender, mothers who killed their children before committing suicide, crucified prisoners of war who sang triumphant hymns, rebellions of captives who killed their guards and returned home from Gaul. In 409, as Roman control collapsed, the Suebi conquests transformed Roman Gallaecia (convents Lucense and Bracarense) into the kingdom of Gallaecia (the Galliciense Regnum recorded by Hydatius and Gregory of Tours). (See
A group of 20,000 Celts (three tribes) invited into Asia Minor. Half of the Celts were warriors, invited by Nicomedes I, the king of Bithynia in c270 BC- presumably to help defend his kingdom. Roman authors called the Galatae the Galli. The Galatians also practiced a form of Romano-Celtic polytheism, common in Celtic lands. The Gauls were great warriors, respected by Greeks and Romans (illustration, right). They hired themselves out as mercenary soldiers, sometimes fighting on both sides in the great battles of the times. For years the Gaulish chieftains and their warbands ravaged the western half of Asia Minor, as allies of one or other of the warring princes. The constitution of the Galatian state is described by Strabo:

conformably to Gaulish custom, each tribe was divided into cantons, each governed by a chief ('tetrarch') of its own with a judge under him, whose powers were unlimited except in cases of murder, which were tried before a council of 300 drawn from the twelve cantons and meeting at a holy place, twenty miles southwest of Ancyra, which was likely to have been a sacred oak grove, for it was called 'Drynemeton' the "temple of the oaks" drys + nemed "temple". The local population of Cappadocians were left in control of the towns and most of the land, paying tithes to their new overlords, who formed a military aristocracy and kept aloof in fortified farmsteads, surrounded by their bands.

(Sources: Nora Chadwick, The Celts,
Also called themselves Celtae. Occupied territory in Gaul between the Garonne and the Seine, and were established before Caesar - c60 BC (Source: Caesar, cited by Nora Chadwick, The Celts.)
Hallstatt Culture:
Named after the discovery of their cemetary in the village of La Tène in Switzerland. Developed and used iron for weapons and farming. Known by the Greeks as the Keltoi and succeeded the Hallstatt Culture. Both cultures were known by different writers as Keltoi, Galli, or Galatae. Used horses for transport by riding, or by both four, or the later two-wheeled, chariots. Became active in Central European economics and traded with the Etruscans. (Source: Nora Chadwick, The Celts.)
Celtic-Germanic inhabitants of what is now Switzerland. Julius Caesar mentioned them in De Bello Gallico.
Hispania, after c100 BC, but previously occupied Aquitania. (Source: Nora Chadwick, The Celts.)
A Celtic tribe in Lombardy, Italy.
La Tène Culture:
Named after the discovery of their cemetary in the village of Hallstatt in Austria. Developed and used iron for weapons and farming. Known by the Greeks as the Keltoi and succeeded by the Swiss La Tène Culture. Both cultures were known by different writers as Keltoi, Galli, or Galatae. Used horses for transport by riding, or by both four, or the later two-wheeled, chariots. Became active in Central European economics and traded with the Etruscans. (Source: Nora Chadwick, The Celts.)
A tribe in Armorica, named by Caesar as Celtic
South-east French, Mediterranean coast, running up to Italy and the Etruscan sphere of influence. (Source: Nora Chadwick, The Celts.)
Originated at the head of the Seine and Marne rivers, but migrated c400 BC to the area of the Po River mouth in Cisalpine Gaul. The Lingones may have helped sack Rome in 390 BC The Gaulish Lingones were thoroughly Romanized by the first century, living in a rich and urbanized society in the region of Langres and Dijon, where they minted coins. Participated in the Batavian Revolt of 69-70 AD. Their capital was called Andematunnum, then Lingones, at modern Langres. (See
The Lugian federation was probably formed long before it was first recorded by Strabo (Geographika). The first Celts entered south Poland c400 BC from Bohemia and Moravia and settled along the Odra river in Upper Silesia near GluBCzyce and in Lower Silesia between Wroclaw, Legnica and the Mount Sleza, which was their holy centre. There are still some ancient Celtic-type stone sculptures preserved to this day in the Mt. Sleza vicinity. Another group of Celts from Moravia settled c200 BC in the area of Kraków and another small group in Kuyavia. All these Celts brought with them the dicoveries of La Tene culture and mixing with the local populations played a decisive role in formation of the Przeworsk culture. According to Strabo the Lugians were 'a great people' and—together with other peoples like Semnones and the otherwise unknown Zumi, Butones, Mugilones and Sibini—were part of a federation subjected to the rule of Marbod, ruler of the Marcomanni with their centre in modern Bohemia 9 BC–19 AD. The next mention of Lugii are the times of the Roman emperor Claudius (41–54 AD). According to the Tacitus's Annales, in 50 'a great multitude' of Lugians allied with Romans took part in the fall of the Wannius state of Quadi, located in present Moravia–Slovakia. The next information about the Lugians comes from Cassius Dio's work Roman History, in which he mentions events of 91–92 AD during the reign of emperor Domitian. The Lugii allied themselves with the Romans and asked them for help against their western neighbours, the Germanic Suebi tribe. Domitian sent 100 horsemen to support the Lugians. It is not known if these horsemen really arrived at their destination; if they did, it would be the first recorded presence of Roman soldiers on Polish soil. The Buri, who according to Ptolemy were part of the Lugians, took an important role during the Marcomannic Wars (167–180): the Romans were forced to organized a separate military campaign against them called 'Expeditio Burica', and Marcus Aurelius made a political alliance with them. The later history of the Lugians is uncertain, but some historians assume that the Lugians can be indentified with the 'Longiones' tribe mentioned in Zosimus's New History (Historia Nova), as being defeated by the Emperor Probus in year 279 in the province of Raetia near the Lygis river (usually identified with Lech river in modern Austria and Bavaria). Another mention might be a great people of 'Lupiones-Sarmatae' shown on a Latin map Tabula Peutingeriana generally dated to 2nd-4th century AD. (Source:
The Lusitanians (Lusitani in Latin) were a Celtic tribe from the western Iberian peninsula and are seen as the ancestors of the modern Portuguese. The first area colonized by the Lusitanians was probably the Douro valley and the region of Beira Alta; in Beira they stayed until they defeated the Celts and other tribes, then they expanded to cover a territory that reached Estremadura before the arrival of the Romans. (See
No details.
A Celtic tribe in the channel islands.
Probably a pre-Celtic tribe in Armorica, named by Caesar as Celtic Nantes is named after them. (Source: Caesar, cited by Nora Chadwick, The Celts.)
Pre-Celtic tribe in Armorica, named by Caesar as Celtic (Source: Caesar, cited by Nora Chadwick, The Celts.)
A tribe in Gaul (located on the Seine c250 BC around their capital at Paris) some of whom migrated to east Yorkshire. The Parisii participated in the failed general rising of Vercingetorix in 52 BC The burial rites are different between the two tribes. The Gallic tribe buried the complete vehicle and the body was not flexed, while in Britain the body was flexed and the vehicle dismantled. There are also issues as to the lack of "continental metalwork" in the British graves and no square barrows for the Gallic graves; however, these differences might have been adapted after migration by a small tribal division. (See The World of the Celts, by Simon James (1993), p. 102; and also
Located in Armorica, pre-Roman occupation, the city of Rennes is named after them. (Source: Caesar, cited by Nora Chadwick, The Celts.)
Located in Hungary, and Serbia between the Sava and Danube rivers. It is unclear whether they were an Illyrian, Celtic, or Thracian tribe, or a mixed group. Some Roman authorities consider them a Thracian people, because of their admixture with an older Thraco-Illyrian population. As early as 175 BC they came into collision with the Romans by assisting Perseus, king of Macedonia; and after Macedonia became a Roman province they were for many years engaged in hostilities with them. In 135 BC they were defeated by Cosconius in Thrace. In 118 BC, according to a memorial stone discovered near Thessalonica, Sextus Pompeius, probably the grandfather of the triumvir, was slain fighting against them near Stobi. In 114 BC they surprised and destroyed the army of Gaius Porcius Cato in the western moutains of Serbia, but were defeated by Minucius Rufus in 107 BC (See
A Celtic tribe in Cisalpine Gaul, Northern Italy.
A Gallic tribe who occupied the upper basin of the Arar and into Burgundy. The Sequani participated in the failed general rising of Vercingetorix in 52 BC Merged into the Kingdom of Burgundy c400. (See The World of the Celts, by Simon James, p. 46; and
Driven from their lands by the Suebians, massacred by Julius Caesar's army in 55 BC While Caesar artificially called them Germans because they were east of the Rhine, they were a Celtic tribe. See also Usipetes.
Tumulus Culture:
Identifiable by their burial mounds, they descended from the earlier Ùnëtice Culture and expanded the area controlled in c1400-1050 BC The Tumulus People expanded their use of bronze, but were superceded by their descendants the Urnfield Culture. (Source: Nora Chadwick, The Celts.)
Belgium, Germany, may have been Germanic vice. Celtic tribe.
Ùnëtice Culture:
A central European proto-Celtic tribe in c1700 BC, which developed an aristocractic warrior class. Probably actively involved in trade between Europe and the eastern Mediterranean.
Urnfield Culture: These people spoke an early Celtic language, cremated their dead and buried the ashes in urns; and were probably true Proto-Celts. Archeological evidence suggests that the Urnfield People engaged in war to expand their area of control. The Urnfield People made extensive use of bronze for weapons, jewllery, farming tools (such as a plow), and carpenters' tools. There was probably a large increase in the standard of living. Were introduced to horses by migrants from the East, and became familiar with transport options. The Urnfield People were the direct ancestors of the iron-making Hallstatt Culture and the La Tène People of central Europe. (Source: Nora Chadwick, The Celts.)
Driven from their lands by the Suebians, massacred by Julius Caesar's army in 55 BC While Caesar artificially called them Germans because they were east of the Rhine, they were a Celtic tribe. See also Tencteri.
A pre-Celtic tribe in Armorica (Brittany), which continued into the Roman era, named by Caesar as Celtic
A pre-Celtic tribe in Armorica (Brittany), which continued into the Roman era, named by Caesar as Celtic Vannes is named after them. In 56 BC, the Veneti double-crossed Caesar and he '...put the whole of their senate to the sword, and sold the rest of the men as slaves....' (Source: Caesar, cited by Nora Chadwick, The Celts.)
No details.
May have originated in the Weser River basin. Lived in Gallia Narbonensis, approximating the area of Languedoc The Volcae were divided into two tribes, the Arecomici on the east and the Tectosages. The chief town of the Tectosages was Tolosa (Toulouse), and of the Arecomici it was Nemausus (Nimes). The Arecomici surrendered to Rome in 121 BC The capital of the province and residence of the governor was Narbo Martius (Narbonne). The Tectosages were also one of the three great communities of Gauls who invaded and settled in Asia Minor (modern Turkey), into Galatia. (See


1          See Humanities Web, The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, The Chronicle BC 60 - AD 410 at,

2          There were no convenient written Celtic records and much of their history is taken from their enemies' histories, archeological findings, coins, and smilar sources. The essay above was adapted from a variety of sources including: Ramon L Jiménenez, Caesar and the Celts, Charles Thomas, Britain and Ireland, Prudence Jonesand Nigel Pennick, A History of Pagan Europe, Peter Ellis, The Celtic Empire, Peter Laslett, The World We Have Lost, Peter Heather, The Fall of the Roman Empire, Nora Chadwick, The Celts, David McCullough, Chronicles of the Barbarians, pp. 25-66,, Cornwall at,; Kingdom of Cornwall at,; Dumnonia at,; History of Brittany at,; Cornouaille at,;; and The details of Maximus' departure from Britain are well established as setting up British substitute defences. Conan's role is described in Conan Meriadoc at,

3          See Nora Chadwick, The Celts, and Lloyd Laing, Celtic Britain.

4          Ibid.

5          Roman Titles. By c380, the southeast was governed the Comes Litoris Saxonici, Counts of the Saxon Shore. Controlling the north was the Dux Britanniarum, Duke of the Britons, the last of whom was Coel Hen. The Comes Litoris Saxonici were charged with guarding the coast, from the Humber to the Isle of Wight. Many of the defended areas were settled with Teutonic foederati, to strengthen weakened native defences there. These forces were probably increased after the barbarian raid of 408, and eventually led to the earliest Anglo- Saxon kingdoms.

6          Adapted from Kessler Associates,

7          See Kevin F. Duerinck, DUERINCK’S CELTIC TRIBES PORTAL,,, and

8          Maps from Image:World in 100 BCE.PNG at,

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