This was supposed to be quick as I’m trying to do a worrying amount of revision in about three days… but then I stumbled across the fact that the Roman’s word for the Celts was Keltoi and this post was born.
For those of you who don’t know me well I should preface this by explaining that as a Pagan I follow and have always followed the Celtic pantheon, am currently studying Druidry and am generally obsessed with all things Celtic- I even did half a GCSE on the Ancient Celts, their mythology and how they related to their Gods.
So this may not be a short post…
There are a hell of a lot of misconceptions about the Ancient Celts floating around, and I’m going to attempt to get rid of them.
This stems from the fact that I’ve been to a couple of Celtic museum places (okay, one) on holiday and they (it) annoyed me so much as it was covered with false information. I’d give it a link of shame but I can’t for the life of me even remember where it was I was on holiday (which is worrying when you take into account the fact that the holiday in question took place about ten months ago…)
So, without further ado:
MYTH: Human sacrifice
FACT: there’s really no archeological evidence for this one, so we’ll confine it to the ‘myth’ bucket, not that I really think there’s anything wrong with the whole human sacrifice thing… but that’s for another post.
MYTH: Head hunting of enemies
FACT: The Ancient Celts believed that the head was the most important part of the body- that I’ll put money on, and it’s therefore highly probable that they collected heads of slain enemies, we know (I think) that they displayed these heads around their homes and settlements but I think (I wouldn’t put much money on this claim, I forget where I heard it and can’t find any evidence supporting this claim with my quick google-ing) they seem to have put heads of their respected leaders on display too… but please don’t quote me on that one!
MYTH: Dirty savages
FACT: Bullshit… the Celts invented soap. They were a lot cleaner than the Romans!
FACT: The Celts had a system of social security that didn’t exist in our society until the late 1940s… actually, possibly the 1980s…
MYTH: Poor technological advancement
FACT: Really? You really think this?? Oh, for the sake of the Gods… the Ancient Celts invented and developed *takes deep breath* soap, social security, roads, trousers (I don’t know about that last one but they certainly wore them a lot) chain mail, iron working, horses bits, Celtic harp, horse shoes, whiskey, the jig… I could keep going but I actually need to do other stuff tonight.
MYTH: They feared their Gods
FACT: This is just rubbish, the Celts highly respected their Gods and you can tell from even a quick glance at their mythology that they had a very amiable relationship with their Gods. This thing comes from the whole non-Pagans not understanding Pagan Gods.
Some general other notes about the Ancient Celts would be that they didn’t invent Celtic knot-work, that came later; women could be equal or of higher status than men, but it wasn’t a rule; the Druids didn’t build Stonehenge, but they did use it for their own purposes and that the Celts were not a solid group of people but rather a load of interconnected tribes… can’t think of many more at the moment so I’ll leave it there.