By Kathryn Hinds
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Additional resources for Ancient Celts (Barbarians!)
The main foods were “milk and all kinds of flesh, especially that of swine, which they eat both fresh and salted. ” Indeed, ancient Celtic art shows the important place pigs (especially wild boar) had in Celtic life and culture, and in Wild boar, symmedieval Celtic literature pork is almost always bols of strength the favorite food of heroes. and power, were often portrayed Celtic farmers also raised crops, including in Celtic art. grain. They used hand tools—sickles, scythes, spades, pitchforks, axes—with iron blades fixed to wooden handles by a technique perfected by Celtic craftsmen.
Ambitious young warriors were no doubt fired up by stories about the wealthy cities and richly adorned temples. In 281 three Celtic armies began the invasion of Macedonia and Greece. It faltered for unknown reasons, but one of its leaders determined to try again. Like the chief who led the sack of Rome, he was called Brennus. Brennus’s goal was Delphi, where all the great cities of Greece had their treasuries. In addition, the temples of Delphi contained centuries’ worth of offerings from victorious generals, winning Olympic athletes, and ordinary citizens expressing their gratitude to the gods.
In this form, a tribal council elected one or more magistrates every year, and these officials had absolute authority during their term of office. If, however, two or more tribes joined together to fight a war, they might choose one man to temporarily act as rix to lead the combined armies. When Posidonius visited Gaul, warfare between the different tribes was common. Generally, though, it appears to have been a kind of limited warfare. There was no destruction of towns or crops, no killing or harming of noncombatants.