The Celts (said "Kelts") were a European cultural group first evident in 1000BC. The Romans called them Galli and the Greeks called them Keltoi; both meaning "barbarians". It was not a term that the ancient celts called themselves. The ancient Celts were never a single kingdom or an empire, but a collection of hundreds of tribal chiefdoms with a shared culture and distinctive language.

During the height of their expansion of 200 - 400 BC, the Celts spanned through much of Europe north of the Alps. The Celts were subsequently almost wiped out of most of Europe with the rise of the Roman empire, Germanic tribes, Slavs and Huns.

Celtic WarriorCeltic Warrior. Source

Today, the Celtic language and respective cultures survives in what we now refer to as the "Celtic Nations" of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, the Isle of Man, and Brittany.

It is important to note that Celts were not a race of people, but a group of ethnicities that share Celtic languages, cultures and artistic histories. 

The oldest archaeological evidence of the Celts comes from Hallstatt, Austria, where excavated graves of chieftains have been discovered dating from about 1000 BCE.

Timeline summary of the Celts:

  • 1000BC Hallstatt – Austria – Artefacts found of the Earliest Celtic Culture – the 3000 year old Salt mines were mined by Celts. Celts were masters of Iron swords and weaponry. 20,000 artefacts found.
  • 600BC Celts arrive in Ireland during the Iron Age.
  • 500BC Celts reach Italy.
  • 400BC Celts at the peak of their Cultural and Military power. Celts in Switzerland – La Tene. Artefacts found. Evidence of bloody offerings to their gods.
  • 300BC Celts settle in Gaul
  • 300BC Celtic burial grounds in Germany.
  • 387BC  First Celtic VS Roman battle at Clusion (Tuscany/Italy/100 miles north of Rome). Celts burnt Rome to the ground.
    Celts and Romans fought then for the next 400 years. (Romans eventually the victor).
  • 150BC Rome was rebuilt and prospering – dominating Europe. Celts were in Gaul peacefully bartering and trading with Romans.
  • 58BC – Julius Caesar is charged to take Gaul.
  • 52BC – The Celts in Gaul fight back – Celtic Warrior Getrix. Battle of Alesia - Caesar won. Celts begin to fall.
  • 43AD – Romans settle Brittan and start building cities.
  • 60AD – Last stand of the Celts with British Woman Celtic Warrior Bodica (Boo dee ca) from the Iceni Tribe. British Celts used Chariots in war. When Bodica was a Queen, the Romans took her land, publicly flogged her and raped her daughters. This started the British Celtic uprising. While the Romans were hunting down Druids in Mona, Anglese, the Celts under Bodica took back the British cities and slaughtered the roman citizens. The Romans and Bodica’s armies met – the Romans were outnumbered 20 to 1 – but the Roman mechanical and disciplined strategy succeeded over the Celtic individual warrior fighting style - and the Romans won.
  • 367 AD: Roman Empire starts to fall. Scottish Picts enter Britannia with Saxons.
  • 400 AD: Medieval Period
  • 432 AD: St Patrick and Celtic Christianity began. (Ireland)
  • 700 AD: Brehon Law. Ancient Celtic laws of Ireland in Gaelic Language. Clan Society.
  • 795 AD: First Viking raid against the Irish Celts (Ireland).
  • 800 AD: Book of Kells Written
  • 852 AD: Vikings establish a fortress in Dublin Bay (Ireland).
  • 1000 AD: Flutes and Whistles found in Dublin, Cork, Waterford (Ireland).
  • 1014 AD: Battle of Clontarf. Brian Boru, High King of Ireland, won the battle, with the power of the Vikings and the Kingdom of Dublin largely broken.