Celts — the mysterious people

March 15, 2012 19:29

Celts on the lake Gallshtatt (second half of VI. BC) dick-k.narod.ru

The early European literature, folklore rather, learned a lot of the monuments of art of this ancient people. Heroes of the many medieval legends — Tristan and Isolde, Prince Ayzenherts (Heart of Iron) and Merlin — they were born Celtic fantasy. Their heroic sagas, written in VIII century Irish monk, featured fairy knights of the Grail, such as Parsifal and Lancelot. Today, very little is written about the life of the Celts and the role that they played in the history of Europe. More luck to them in modern entertainment literature, mostly in the French comics.

Celtic draw, like the Vikings, that kind of barbarians in horned helmets, hard drinkers and eat kabanyatinoy. Let the image of rough, though cheerful, carefree savage left to the conscience of the creators of the current comics. Contemporary Celtic Aristotle called them the "wise and skillful."

Wise and skillful

Skillfulness Celtic confirm today archaeological finds. Back in 1853 in Switzerland was found harness; skill with which its parts were made, led scholars to question: whether it is made in the distant past or the Celts is a modern fake? However, skeptical voices long silenced. Upon the presentation of contemporary scholars, Celtic were able to master subtle performance magnificent artistic designs.

German scholar Helmut Birkhan in his book on Celtic culture says about the genius of the then technicians who invented carpentry bench. But theirs is far more important thing — they first laid the salt mines and first learned how to get out of the iron ore and iron and steel in Europe have identified this beginning of the end of the Bronze Age. About 800 BC bronze in central and western Europe displaces iron.

Birkhan, studying and analyzing the latest trophies archeology, comes to the conclusion that the Celts first settled in the heart of Europe, in lavish on fossil Alps, quickly amassed the wealth created by well-armed troops, to influence politics in the ancient world, have developed a craft, and their masters owned high technology of the time.

Here is a list of vertices of production, which were available only to the Celtic craftsman.

— They are the only other nations made from molten glass bracelets with no joints.

— Celts get copper, tin, lead, mercury from deep deposits.

— Their carts for horse harnesses were the best in Europe.

— Celtic metallurgists first learned to produce iron and steel.

— Celts first blacksmiths forge steel swords, helmets and armor — the best weapon in contemporary Europe.

— They have mastered the washing gold in alpine rivers, whose production was measured by the ton.

In what is now Bavaria Celts erected 250 temples and places of worship built eight big cities. 650 hectares occupied, for example, the city of Kelheim, another town Haydengraben was two and a half times more — 1,600 hectares, in the same area and spread Ingolstadt (here are the modern names of German cities that have arisen in the field of Celtic). It is known as a named principal city of the Celts, the site of which grew Ingolstadt — Manching (Manching). It was surrounded by a rampart up to seven kilometers. This ring was perfect in terms of geometry. The ancient builders for precision circular line changed a few streams.

Celts — a great nation. In the first millennium BC, he was the territory of the Czech Republic (on the modern map) to Ireland. Turin, Budapest and Paris (then called Lutetia) was founded by the Celts.

Inside the Celtic revival of cities reigned. Professional athletes and acrobats entertained the citizens on the streets. Roman writers speak of the Celts as a natural-born rider and one and all emphasize the panache of their women. They shaved eyebrows, wearing tight belts that emphasize waist, decorated face frontlet and almost each had a necklace of amber. Massive bracelets and neck rings of gold, rang at the slightest movement. Hairstyle reminiscent of the tower — this hair is moistened with lime water. Fashion in clothes — the Oriental bright and colorful — often changed. Men all wore a mustache and gold rings on the neck, the women — bracelets on his feet, which are chained in the girls' age.

The Celts had the law — should be thin, so many for sports. Who does not nalezaet "standard" zone of fines.

Manners in the home were distinctive. In the campaigns of homosexuality was the norm. Woman enjoyed more freedom, it was easy to get a divorce and take back with him brought a dowry. Each tribal prince kept his squad, which protected its interests. Frequent reason for fighting could be even a minor cause — who will get the first of the senior, the best piece of deer or wild boar. For the Celts it was a matter of honor. Such disagreements are reflected in many Irish sagas.

Celts could not be called a nation, they were fragmented into separate tribes, despite the common areas (more than one million square kilometers), a common language, a common religion, trade interests. Tribes numbering about 80,000 men acted separately.

Journey to the Past

Imagine that in a helmet equipped with a miner's lamp, you go down the ramp into the development of the mountains, to the mine, where from time immemorial in the eastern Alps, the Celts mined salt. Travel back in time began.

Fifteen minutes later found the transverse development, it also, like the drift, where we were going, trapezoidal in cross section, but all four of its sides five times less, only a child can crawl into this hole. At one time there was held a full-length adult. The rock in the salt mines is very plastic and over time, like delaying the wounds of her people.

Now do not produce salt mine, mine turned into a museum where you can see and learn, as once people get here all the much needed salt. Archaeologists working near their fences off from tourists and iron bars with the words: "Attention! Go study. " Lamp lights going down sloping wooden tray on which you can sit down for the next drift.

Mine is a few kilometers away from Salzburg (translation — Salt Fortress). Municipal Museum of History is full findings extracted from mines scattered throughout the area known as the Salzkammergut. Salt from the area of the Alps millennia delivered to all corners of Europe. Peddlers carried it on their backs in the form of 8-10-kg cylinder, overlaid with wooden slats and tied with ropes. In exchange for the salt value in Salzburg flocked from all over Europe (in the museum you can see the stone knife, made in Scandinavia — the mineral content it proves — or jewelry from Baltic amber). This is probably why a city in the eastern foothills of the Alps since ancient times was known for his wealth, fairs and festivals. They still exist — the world famous annual festivals of Salzburg, which wants to visit every theater, every orchestra.

Findings in the development of salt gradually reveal to us the remote and largely mysterious world. Wooden shovel, but at the same iron picks, puttees, the remnants of woolen sweaters and fur caps — all archaeologists have found in the long-abandoned tunnels. Wednesday, containing in excess of salt prevents the breakdown of organic materials. Therefore, scientists were able to see the tips cut sausage, cooked beans and hardened waste digestion. Couches suggest that people not long out of the mine, slept next to the slaughter. It is estimated that in the mine at the same time employing about 200 people. In the dim light of the torches grimy soot people cut down the salt blocks, which are then on a sled pulled to the surface. Sleigh glided along paths of damp wood.

People cut through drifts interconnect shapeless caves created by nature. It is estimated that people have gone to the mountain more than 5,500 meters of drifts and other workings.

Among the discoveries made by modern archaeologists in the mines, there is no human remains. Only in the chronicles relating to years 1573 and 1616, says that in the caves found two bodies, their tissues, like mummies, were almost petrified.

But those findings that are now come to archaeologists, are often forced to smash his head. For example, an exhibit under the code "V 480" reminds stall made from pig bladder. The open end of this little bag can be tightened using to attach the cord. What is it — guess scientists — protection for wounding a finger or a small purse for valuables?

Sacred plant — mistletoe

"In the study of the history of the Celts — says historian Otto-Herman Frey from Marburg — unexpected dropping, like drops of rain." The Irish cult place "Emayn Mach" was found monkey skull. How he got there and what role do? In 1983, archaeologists came across the board with the text. It partially decoded and understood that this is a dispute of two groups of rival witches.

Another sensational discovery made in recent months, adding thinking about what spiritual culture of the Celts. At 30 kilometers from Frankfurt was discovered stylized human figure above life-size, made of sandstone. In the left hand panel, right-hand pressed against his chest, one of the fingers is seen ring. His costume is complete neck ornaments. On his head — something like a turban in the shape of a leaf mistletoe — a sacred plant of the Celts. The weight of this figure — 230 pounds. That it represents? While specialists are two ways: either it is a figure of a deity, or is it the prince, dressed even religious duties, perhaps, the chief priest — druid is called Celtic clergy.

I must say that there is no other European nation, which would deserve such grim assessments, when it comes to the Druids, their magic and commitment to human sacrifice. They sacrificed prisoners and criminals countrymen, they were judges, engaged practice of medicine, taught children. Important role they played and as diviners of the future. Along with tribal notables Druids were the top layer of society. Roman emperors after the victory over the Celts have made them their tributaries, have banned human sacrifice and took away many of the privileges of the Druids, and they have lost the significance of the halo that surrounds them. It is true that for a long time, they still exist as itinerant prophets. Even now, in Western Europe, you will find people who say that as if inherited wisdom of the Druids. Go books like "The doctrine of Merlin — 21 lecture on practical magic Druids" or "Celtic tree horoscope." Winston Churchill in 1908, entered the circle of followers Druids.

No other grave druid not met archaeologists, so information about the religion of the Celts are extremely scarce. It is therefore clear how interested historians study found near Frankfurt figure in the hope that science will move forward in this area.

Statue with a turban, apparently, was in the center of the funeral complex, which is a mound of earth to him led a 350-meter walkway, along the edges of which were deep ditches. In the back of the hill found the remains of a man about 30 years old. Burial took place 2,500 years ago. Four restorers very carefully freed from the soil skeleton and moved it to the lab, which gradually remove the remaining land and remnants of clothing. One can understand the impatience of scientists, when they saw the complete agreement of the late outfit to the one depicted in the statue: the same Neck decoration, the same board and the same ring on his finger. One might think that the ancient sculptor repeated appearance of the deceased, it was in the day of the funeral.

European workshop and dark rituals

Elizabeth Noll — Historian of the prehistory of Europe, welcomes the level of development of the Celts: "They did not know the alphabet, did not know the overarching state organization, but still they stood on the threshold of high culture."

At least in the technical and economic terms they are far superior to their northern neighbors — the Germanic tribes that occupied the right bank of the Rhine swampy and partially populated south Scandinavia. Only through the neighborhood with the Celts, these tribes, who knew no account of time, no fortified towns, shortly before the birth of Christ was mentioned in the story. And in these times of Celts just reached the zenith of its power. South of the Main River flow boiling commercial life, have been built by the time the big city, which rang smithy, pottery spinning wheels, and the money flowed from buyers to sellers. It was a level that did not know the then Germans.

1,000 meters raised his Celtic ritual temple Karintskih Alps near Magdalensberga. Next to the church, even now you can find heaps of slag dvuhsotmetrovoy length, three-meter width — are the remnants of processing iron ore. Here stood domnitsy furnace in which ore is turned into metal, and here were the smithy, where shapeless casting, called "bloom" — a mixture of metal and liquid waste — became steel swords, spears, helmets and tools. No one in the Western world, then do not do that. Steel products enriched Celts.

Experimental play Celtic metallurgy made Austrian scientist Harold Straube, showed that in these early furnaces could bring the temperature up to 1400 degrees. By controlling the temperature and skillfully handling the molten ore and coal, the ancient masters of the desire to receive, or soft iron, or solid steel. Straube publication of «Ferrum Noricum» (the "Northern iron") provoked further studies Celtic metallurgy. Gernot Rikkochini archaeologist discovered inscriptions speak of a busy steel trade with Rome, which is bought in bulk steel in ingots resembling bricks or strips, and through the hands of Roman merchants went to the metal gunsmith eternal city.

More monstrous against the brilliant achievements in the art seems almost manic passion Celts sacrificed human lives. This theme permeates many works of the time of Caesar. But who knows, maybe the Romans deliberately put emphasis on it to conceal their own crimes in the wars they fought in Europe, for example, in the Gallic?

Caesar describes a group burned, applied by the Druids. Already mentioned Birkhan researcher reports the custom to drink wine from a cup made from the skull of the enemy. There is a document which shows that the Druids guessed the future by the sight of blood flowing from the stomach after a man stabbed. Those priests instilled in people the fear of ghosts, reincarnation, the revival of the dead enemies. And to prevent the arrival of the defeated enemy, Celt or decapitating the corpse is cut it into pieces.

For deceased relatives Celts treated as suspicious and tried to keep the deceased did not return. In the Ardennes found the grave, in which 89 people were buried, but 32 skulls missing. In Durrenberg found a Celtic burial, in which the deceased completely "removed": sawed-off basin lies on his chest, his head separated and standing next to a skeleton, the left hand is not at all.

In 1984, excavations in England brought scientists prove how was a ritual murder. Archaeologists lucky. The victim was lying in the soil saturated with water, and because the soft tissues are not decomposed. His cheeks were killed shaven, well-groomed nails, teeth, too. Date of death of the man about 300 BC Examining the corpse, it was possible to restore the circumstances of this ritual murder. At first, the victim received a blow on the skull with an ax, and then he was strangled loop and, finally, he cut his throat. The stomach was found by accident mistletoe pollen — it says that the sacrifice had been involved druids.

British archaeologist Barry Ganlayf notes that the life of the Celts inordinate role played by all sorts of prohibitions and taboos. Irish Celts, for example, did not eat the meat of cranes, the Celts, the British did not eat rabbits, chickens and geese, and certain things can be done only with the left hand.

Every curse, and even the desire, in the opinion of the Celts, had magical powers and so terrifying. Feared and curses, as if spoken by the deceased. This is also pushed to separate the head from the body. The skulls of enemies or embalmed head decorated temples, exhibited as trophies veterans or stored in their chests.

Irish sagas, ancient Greek and Roman sources speak of ritual cannibalism. Greek historian and geographer Strabo wrote that the sons ate the meat of his late father.

Sinister contrast appears archaic religiosity and high at the time technical skill. "Such a diabolical synthesis — concludes Huffer, a researcher of ancient customs of people — we find yet the Maya and Aztec."

Where did they come from?

Who are the Celts? Scientists learn a lot about the life of ancient people by studying their funeral ritual. About 800 years ago BC residents of the northern Alps burned their dead and buried them in the boxes. Most researchers agree that the ritual burial urns Celts slowly gave way to a funeral is not the ash, and bodies, however, as already mentioned, mutilated. The clothes of the buried guessed Oriental motifs: sharp-nosed shoes, know wore bloomers. Necessary to add another round conical hat, which still bear the Vietnamese peasants. In the art of decoration prevalent animal figures and grotesque ornaments. According to the German historian Otto-Herman Frey, clothing and art of the Celts seen undoubted Persian influence. There are other signs that point to the East, the land of their ancestors the Celts. Druid teachings about the revival of the dead remind Hinduism.

About whether they were natural-born Celtic horsemen of modern specialists ongoing controversy. Supporters of the answer to the question turns to the residents of the European steppes — Scythians — these hunters and riders born — not where you came ancestors of the Celts? One of the authors of this point of view, Gerhard Herm, commented on it in such a humorous question: "Are we, all Russian?" — Meaning by this that the hypothesis on which the settlement of the Indo-European peoples came from the center of Eastern Europe.

The first tangible signal of its presence in Europe, the Celts have filed in the year 550 BC (At that time Rome was formed only Greeks were busy with their Mediterranean, the Germans have not yet emerged from the prehistoric darkness.) Then the Celts have made themselves, creating gravestones in the Alps Hills for the peace of their princes. The hills were up to 60 meters, which allowed them to survive until today. Burial chambers were full of rare things: Etruscan castanets, a bed made of bronze, ivory furniture. In one of the tombs found the biggest (to ancient times) bronze vessel. He belonged to the prince fixes and could hold 1100 liters of wine. The body was wrapped in the prince a curtain of red. Filament thickness of 0.2 mm thickness are comparable with horsehair. Nearby stood a bronze vessel with 400 liters of honey wagon, assembled from 1450 parts.

Remains of the prince moved to the museum in Stuttgart. 40-year old leader was growth of 1.87 meters, it affects the bones of the skeleton, they are extremely massive. Commissioned by the museum factory Skoda took the bronze to make a copy of the vessel, which was poured honey. The thickness of its walls 2.5 millimeters. But the secret of ancient metallurgists and can not open: in the manufacture of modern masters bronze vessel always torn.

Trade routes

Masterovitye Celts were interesting to the Greeks as trading partners. Ancient Greece by then colonized the mouth of the Rhone and the named port based here Massilia (now Marseilles). Around the VI century BC Greeks began to climb up the Rhone, selling luxury goods and wine.

In response to offer them the Celts? Popular goods were slaves, blonde, thin metal and fabric. Moreover, the way the Greeks Celts created, as would now be said, "niche markets." In Manchinge be exchanged Greek goods on metal products and iron and steel. In its product offering Hochdorf Celts-textile workers. In Magdalensberge not only produce steel, but traded alpine stones — rock crystal and other rare natural wonders.

Special attention Greek merchants enjoyed Celtic tin — an indispensable element in the smelting of bronze. Tin mines were only in Cornwall (England). The whole Mediterranean world was buying here this metal.

In the VI century BC, the Phoenicians reached the shores of the brave Britain across the Atlantic, overcoming six thousand kilometers of the sea route. Greeks otherwise get to the "tin islands", as it was called England. They moved north along the Rhone, and then moved into the Seine. In Lutetia (Paris) paid tribute to the fare on the Celtic territory.

Confirmation of such distant trade contacts with the three arrows are sharp points, like a fork or a trident found on the banks of the Rhone. This weapon is typical of the Scythians. Maybe they escorted merchant ships as protection? In ancient Athens, the Scythians were hired guards.

Industry and trade high on the then standards, improve the economy of the Celts. The princes of the tribes have targeted population for the production of products that had sales. Those who could not master the craft, as well as the slaves, and performed a secondary hard work. Said salt mine in Holleyne — an example of an environment in which there were people condemned to slave labor.

Joint expedition of four German universities researched findings in the salt mines, staffed by the lower strata of Celtic society. Its findings are as follows. The remains of fires in mines speak of "a large open fire." So excited by the movement of air in the mine — and people can breathe. Fire diluted in specially dug for this purpose the mine.

Found underground toilets say that salt miners was a constant indigestion.

In the mines, worked mostly children. Found there spoke of a shoe of its owners — six years old and worked here.

The invasion of the south

Such conditions could not generate dissatisfaction. Researchers are convinced that occasionally shook the empire druids serious riots. Archaeologist Wolfgang Kittig believes that it all started with the peasants' demand to give them freedom. And some in the IV century BC disappearing tradition lavish funeral, and all the Celtic culture is undergoing radical changes — gone is a big difference in living standards between rich and poor. Again the dead were burned.

At the same time there is a rapid expansion of the area occupied by Celtic tribes, who moved to the south and south-east Europe. In the IV century BC they are from the north crossed the Alps, and in front of them appeared heavenly beauty of South Tyrol and the fertile valley of the Po. This land was the Etruscans, but the Celts had military superiority, thousands of their two-wheeled carts stormed the Brenner Pass. In the cavalry used a special technique: one horse carrying two riders. One controls the horse, the other throwing spears. In the melee, both dismounted and fought with lances helical edges, so that the wound gets bigger and the ruined usually conclusions enemy out of the battle.

In 387 BC gaudily dressed Celtic tribes led Brenniusa to march on the capital of the Roman Empire. Seven months of siege lasted, and then surrendered to Rome. 1,000 pounds of gold tributes paid residents of the capital. "Woe to the vanquished!" — Brennius exclaimed, throwing his sword on the scales, measure the precious metal. "It was the deepest humiliation suffered Rome in its history" — welcomed the victory of Celtic historian Gerhard Herm.

Mining disappeared in the temples of the winners: the laws of the Celts, the tenth of the spoils of war was supposed to give druids. In the centuries that have passed since then, as the Celts were born in Europe, in the temples have accumulated tons of the precious metal.

In the geopolitical and military Celts reached by the time the peak of its power. From Spain to Scotland, from Tuscany to the Danube ruled their tribes. Some of them came to Asia Minor, and laid there city of Ankara — the capital of present-day Turkey.

Back in the long-settled regions, druids updated their churches or build new, more richly decorated. In the Bavarian-Czech space built for the third century BC, more than 300 religious, sacrificial sites. All the records in that sense has broken funerary temple in Ribemont, he was considered the central cult place and occupied an area of 150 by 180 meters. There was a small area (10 by 6 meters), where archaeologists found more than 10,000 human bones. Archaeologists believe that this is evidence of one-time sacrifice of about a hundred people. Druids of Ribemont monstrous tower built from the bones of the human body — from the legs, arms, etc.

Near present Heidelberg archaeologists discovered a "sacrificial mine." Man tied to a log thrown down. Found mine had a depth of 78 meters. Archaeologist Rudolf Reiser called bigotry Druids' most horrific monuments in history. "

And yet, despite these inhuman practices in the second and first centuries BC, the Celtic world again flourished. North of the Alps, they built cities. Each is fortified settlement could accommodate up to ten thousand people. Had money — coins made by the Greek model. Many families lived in prosperity. At the head of the tribes was a man chosen for the year of the local nobility. English explorer Cunliffe thinks that joining the oligarchy in control "was an important step on the road to civilization."

In 120 BC came the first herald of misfortune. Hordes of barbarians — the Cimbri and Teutons — from the north across the border to the Main and invaded the land of the Celts. Hastily built earthworks Celts, other defenses to shelter people and livestock. But the onslaught from the north differed incredible force. Trade routes that pass through alpine valleys were cut, advancing from the north, the Germans ruthlessly pillaged villages and cities. Celts retreated to the southern Alps, but it is strong again threatened Rome.

Rival of Rome

As already mentioned, the Celts did not know writing. Maybe the blame for this druids. They argued that the letters are destroying the sanctity of spells. However, when I had to fix the contract between the Celtic tribes, or to other states, used the Greek alphabet.

Druids cast, despite the fragmentation of the people — in one of Gaul were more than one hundred tribes, — act in concert. Once a year the druids gathered together to discuss the pressing issues that concerned not only the religious sphere. Meeting a high image and secular affairs. For example, the Druids could stop the war. The structure of the religion of the Celts, as noted above, very little is known. But there are suggestions that the supreme god was a woman that the people worshiped the forces of nature and believed in the afterlife and even a return to life, but in a different manner.

Roman writers left no impression in his memoirs about the contacts with the Druids. These certificates mixed respect for the knowledge of the priests and the aversion to the bloodthirsty nature of the magic of the Celts. In the 60 years before the Common Era Archdruid Divitsiakus peacefully conducted conversations with the Roman philosopher-historian Cicero. And his contemporary Julius Caesar two years later went to war against the Celts of Gaul and captured the territory of modern Belgium, the Netherlands and part of Switzerland, and later he won the part of Britain.

Caesar's legions destroyed 800 cities, according to the latest estimates by French scientists, legionnaires killed or taken into slavery around two million people. Celtic tribes in western Europe have gone from the scene.

Already in the beginning of the war, the attack on the Celtic tribes casualties they surprised even the Romans: from 360 000 people survived only 110 000. In the Senate of Rome Caesar even accused in killing people. But all this criticism was drowned in a stream of gold, rushed to the front to Rome. Legions plundered treasures accumulated in places of worship. His legionnaires Caesar doubled the salary for life, and the citizens of Rome built the arena for gladiatorial combat for 100 million sesterces. Archaeologist Haffner writes: "Before the military campaign Caesar himself were all in debt, after the campaign, he became one of the wealthiest citizens of Rome."

Six years Celts resisted Roman aggression, but fell last leader of the Gallic Celts, and ending this shameful war of ancient Rome was the collapse of the Celtic world. The discipline of the Roman legions, coming from the south and head north German barbarians milled culture metallurgists and miners — miners salt. In Spain, Britain and France, the Celts lost their independence. Only in the far corners of Europe — in Brittany, Cornwall peninsula in English and in parts of Ireland survived the Celtic tribes, saved from assimilation. But then they have adopted the language and culture came the Anglo-Saxons. Still to this day preserved Celtic dialect and myths about heroes of the people.

True, in the I century AD traveling druids carriers Celtic spirit and the idea of resistance, were persecuted by the Roman state for "political reasons."

In the writings of Roman authors Polybius and Diodorus Roman Empire glorified as the pioneer of civilization, and the Celts in them in the role of stupid people, nothing but war and the cultivation of arable land that can not discern. The authors of the later time of the second Roman chronicles: Celts always gloomy, clumsy and superstitious. Only modern archeology has refuted these views. Not miserable huts residents defeated Caesar, but the political and economic rivals, who have for centuries before the technically far ahead of Rome.

However, the panorama of Celtic life today is not fully opened, it has a lot of white spots. Many places where once flourished Celtic culture, have not been explored by archaeologists.

Author: G. Alexander

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