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Who were the Celts?

Horned Celtic helmetThe people who lived in Britain before the Roman conquest are known as Celts. They were actually a number of different tribes and often fought against one another. Around 700 BC, the Celtic peoples of the British Isles started to make weapons and tools out of iron. This period in British history is called the Iron Age.

 


Vercingetorix, the leader of the Gauls, surrenders to Julius Caesar

Celtic peoples

The name “Celts” was first used by the ancient Greeks and Romans to describe peoples living in other parts of Europe. They were thought of as uncivilized barbarians—even though they produced beautiful art. The Celts were actually many different peoples. Among them were the Gauls, who lived in what is now France and Belgium. They were the people the Roman leader Julius Caesar fought and conquered in 50 BC.

The Celtic peoples in Britain were made up of many different tribes, each with their own chieftains, kings or queens. They often fought against one another. Tribes included the Trinovantes, Silures, Cornovii, Catuvellauni, Selgovae and the Iceni.

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