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Old 09-26-2012, 10:59 PM
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How sophisticated were each compared to one another? Did Romans sources lie about the Barbarians? I read that in many respects, from laws concerning woman, economic trade and production, art, etc. that the Celts had a pretty sophisiticated social network of decentralized tribes. Is one of the reasons Julius Ceasar went to war with the Celts because they controlled gold mining - I read they had coins before any Roman coins and were well supplied with gold. Any insight by you well versed folk?
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Old 09-28-2012, 08:21 PM
 
Location: Winter Springs, FL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiloh1 View Post
How sophisticated were each compared to one another? Did Romans sources lie about the Barbarians? I read that in many respects, from laws concerning woman, economic trade and production, art, etc. that the Celts had a pretty sophisiticated social network of decentralized tribes. Is one of the reasons Julius Ceasar went to war with the Celts because they controlled gold mining - I read they had coins before any Roman coins and were well supplied with gold. Any insight by you well versed folk?
This is a good source on the timeline of the Romans and Celts Historical time line of the Celts As the timeline points out, the name Celts, Kelts, or Keltoi were what the Romans called anyone who looked or behaved like the Keltoi tribe. They weren't just in Britain, Spain and France. The Celtic culture was over most of Europe, the middle east and Asia. They didn't conquer like the Romans, but the culture was strong enough to dominate and take over. The Celts attacked and controlled Rome for a short period of time around 400BC. I think the Roman dislike for the Celts was especially strong after this period.
The Celts were an established culture. They also must have had a sophisticated social network because of that. There were also warriors and barbarians among them. The Picts, Scots, Attacotti and Saxon pirates were among them. These were the people the Romans had great concern for. From around 200AD to about 450AD when Romans were driven out, these groups attacked and invaded relentlessly.
Barbarian is a Greek work that means "whoever is not Greek". The Romans coined everyone as a barbarian, or those that were brutal, cruel or warlike. The Romans adapted the term to refer to anything non-Greco-Roman.
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Old 09-30-2012, 11:14 AM
 
Location: East of the Sun, West of the Moon
17,246 posts, read 19,950,275 times
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Most cultures are sophisticated, but that does not mean they are necessarily civilized in the proper sense.

Read some modern commentaries on Agricola and Germania by Tacitus, and Ceasar's De Bello Gallico, and you will get a good picture of how highly educated, privileged Romans thought of the 'barbarians'.

The Romans were nationalist, imperialist, and chauvinist, but they weren't totally blind (only somewhat :-) to the state of the tribes around them. The Romans praised civilization so thought less of the Celtic and Germanic tribesmen for their bucolic and illiterate lifestyle. But while you will find a lot of insults levied at them, there was some interesting and insightful appraisal of what were considered positive attributes of Celto-Germanic culture in the wild, wooly woodlands beyond the Roman's reach that they themselves looked up to. In short, they considered the tribesmen noble, and themselves decadent.

Finally, in terms of sophistication, the art, language, politics, social structures, philosophy and worldview of the Celts and Germanic tribes were likely every bit as sophisticated as any culture on Earth today. We may have greater technology and busy lives, but can you compose complex alliterative verse in five different metres on any given subject while referencing and allegorizing an entire culture's mythology and history culled from a memorized knowledge base equivalent to a dozen volumes of work at a moment's notice, freestyle? A proper Germanic tribesman was expected to if he was to be considered 'cool' :-)
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Old 09-30-2012, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by ABQConvict View Post
Most cultures are sophisticated, but that does not mean they are necessarily civilized in the proper sense.

Read some modern commentaries on Agricola and Germania by Tacitus, and Ceasar's De Bello Gallico, and you will get a good picture of how highly educated, privileged Romans thought of the 'barbarians'.

The Romans were nationalist, imperialist, and chauvinist, but they weren't totally blind (only somewhat :-) to the state of the tribes around them. The Romans praised civilization so thought less of the Celtic and Germanic tribesmen for their bucolic and illiterate lifestyle. But while you will find a lot of insults levied at them, there was some interesting and insightful appraisal of what were considered positive attributes of Celto-Germanic culture in the wild, wooly woodlands beyond the Roman's reach that they themselves looked up to. In short, they considered the tribesmen noble, and themselves decadent.

Finally, in terms of sophistication, the art, language, politics, social structures, philosophy and worldview of the Celts and Germanic tribes were likely every bit as sophisticated as any culture on Earth today. We may have greater technology and busy lives, but can you compose complex alliterative verse in five different metres on any given subject while referencing and allegorizing an entire culture's mythology and history culled from a memorized knowledge base equivalent to a dozen volumes of work at a moment's notice, freestyle? A proper Germanic tribesman was expected to if he was to be considered 'cool' :-)
I thought this was pretty sophisticated as well:

COLIGNY CALENDAR

Coligny calendar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Nort Seid
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this is a pretty great read:

The Celtic Empire: The First Millennium of Celtic History,1000BC - AD51: Peter Berresford Ellis: 9780786709335: Amazon.com: Books
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Old 10-12-2012, 02:02 AM
 
Location: Glasgow Scotland
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The Romans were far ahead of anyone at their peak.. with housing , armies, lifestyle and trade.. they came to Britain and remained here for 400 years , only returning home to protect Rome.. We still have the remains of Roman Baths at Bearden in Glasgow.. and the Antonine Wall.... When the Romans left. after building new roads etc.... Britain slipped back into their old ways and back to dirt roads..
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Old 10-13-2012, 06:54 AM
 
192 posts, read 220,044 times
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Aren't Germanics just what the Celts became later on? The original Celtic lands were in Austria, Switzerland and Bavaria, and that area became German speaking later in history, just like the formerly Celtic speaking British Isles now primarily speak a Germanic tongue (English).

Of course it's not that simple since some Celtic areas switched not to Germanic but to Latinate, Slavic and Turkic tongues.

Germanic tongues originated in southern Sweden and spread south and westwards from there, assimilating people who before spoke Celtic languages.
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:01 AM
 
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In fact, it can be argued that Romans were partly Celtics, or outright Celtics. When Rome invaded Gallia Cisalpine and formally Celtic areas around Medolanum, they found that their language were mutually understandable. The first people called Germanic by Romans also had an understandable language and were similar, the word Germanus, "brothers" viewed that they were seen as brothers....I'm referring to Carinthians, or Tyrol, than spoke a language related to Venetian and Etruscans.

Modern day "Germans", not historical Germanics (no relation whatsoever) that moved to Western and sunny Europe 1500 years ago, are a "three-hybrid" culture encompassing Scandinavians, Slavs and cultural Celts. The fact that the new non-Germanic settlers of Germania adopted a Germanic culture was probably due to the fact that they were even more barbarians that old Germanics, they probably considered departing Germans as superior that had a consolidated culture thanks to their CONSTANT AND IMPORTANT contacts with the classical world. In fact, during the last days of the empire, historical Germans (to differentiate them from current inhabitants of Germania) professed more love to Roman culture that Roman themselves.
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:18 AM
 
274 posts, read 798,545 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiloh1 View Post
How sophisticated were each compared to one another? Did Romans sources lie about the Barbarians? I read that in many respects, from laws concerning woman, economic trade and production, art, etc. that the Celts had a pretty sophisiticated social network of decentralized tribes. Is one of the reasons Julius Ceasar went to war with the Celts because they controlled gold mining - I read they had coins before any Roman coins and were well supplied with gold. Any insight by you well versed folk?

No, Gold and Silver was in Hispania (Rio tinto mines exploited by Tartessos, Phoenicians and Carthaginians). Spanish silver and gold paid all the Cartaginian wars.

French Celtics were "so so" Barbarians since they were part of the Roman background. They had sophisticated societies, religions and trade but were, according to Roman sources, quite a mess, heavy drinkers, disorganized, given to internal quarrels, etc. For example, the Gallia (current France) fell in Roman hands in a few years, and Spain was the Roman Vietnam, it took them centuries (Celt-Iberians and Celts).

Spain and France has a tremendous Greek influence of the western part, Massilia in France and Emporion in Spain, it seem that the results were Iberians, from Marseilles to Andalusia, that spoke a non.indoeuropean language with a Greek alphabet, they opposed the Romans.
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Old 10-19-2012, 04:22 PM
 
Location: Cushing OK
14,545 posts, read 18,881,316 times
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Originally Posted by Pizarro View Post
In fact, it can be argued that Romans were partly Celtics, or outright Celtics. When Rome invaded Gallia Cisalpine and formally Celtic areas around Medolanum, they found that their language were mutually understandable. The first people called Germanic by Romans also had an understandable language and were similar, the word Germanus, "brothers" viewed that they were seen as brothers....I'm referring to Carinthians, or Tyrol, than spoke a language related to Venetian and Etruscans.

Modern day "Germans", not historical Germanics (no relation whatsoever) that moved to Western and sunny Europe 1500 years ago, are a "three-hybrid" culture encompassing Scandinavians, Slavs and cultural Celts. The fact that the new non-Germanic settlers of Germania adopted a Germanic culture was probably due to the fact that they were even more barbarians that old Germanics, they probably considered departing Germans as superior that had a consolidated culture thanks to their CONSTANT AND IMPORTANT contacts with the classical world. In fact, during the last days of the empire, historical Germans (to differentiate them from current inhabitants of Germania) professed more love to Roman culture that Roman themselves.
This is perhaps the most enduring influence of Rome, its culture. While its government discintigrated into corruption its culture was the glue that held it together. At the point where Rome ceased to expand, the local people in its borders began filling the Legions. They adopted Roman dress and language. When Rome crumbled that influence didn't go away.
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