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Sunday, 16 February 2014


The Celts were Indo-European people that originated in Alpine Europe and spread to the Iberian peninsula and beyond.

The Celts' first known territory was in central Europe about 1200 BC, in the basin of the upper Danube, the Alps, and parts of France and southern Germany. In the 6th century BC they spread into Spain and Portugal. Over the next 300 years, they also spread into the British Isles, northern Italy, Greece, the Balkans, and parts of Asia Minor, although they never established a united empire.

Around 300BC, early Celtic language became Europe’s first lingua franca, making it the English of its day.

Celtic languages survive in Ireland, Wales, Scotland, the Isle of Man, and Brittany, and have been revived in Cornwall.

Bards were originally poets of the ancient Celts whose role it was to celebrate national events, especially heroic victories.

“Briton” comes from the Celtic word “Pretani”, a tribal name meaning “the painted ones” or “the tattooed people”

As the Saxon settlers swept across Britain, the Celts, perhaps inspired by the Druids, sang “The Battle Song of Bali Mawr” before a bloody encounter.

Encyclopedia of Trivia © RM 2014. Helicon Publishing is division of RM.

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