Brennos II and the Balkan Celts / Keltoi sack Delphi 279 BC in their tribal moves and occupation of SE Europe and later to Hellenistic Asia minor, Anatolia .

    Newer Older

    Delphi was founded in the 'navel' of the known world by the Greek father god Zeus , he released two eagles that circumnavigated the world, where the two eagles met became the place to talk to their gods via the oracles or pythos. Apollo had a temple here.Before this, the major ancient site, a place of pilgrimage for Greeks
    had been the Gates of Hades or the Underworld.

    These Gauls (later some became Galatians) reached Delphi, to attack the Temple of Apollo in mid winter.An inscription near the oracle perhaps from older times was 'Know Thyself'.Delphi became the site of a major temple to Phoebus Apollo, as well as the Pythian Games and the famous prehistoric oracle. Even in Roman times, hundreds of votive statues remained, described by Pliny the Younger and seen by Pausanias.

    Carved into the temple were three phrases: γνῶθι σεαυτόν (gnōthi seautón = "know thyself") and μηδέν άγαν (mēdén ágan = "nothing in excess"), and Ἑγγύα πάρα δ'ἄτη (eggýa pára d'atē = "make a pledge and mischief is nigh"), In ancient times, the origin of these phrases was attributed to one or more of the Seven Sages of Greece.

    Additionally, according to Plutarch's essay on the meaning of the "E at Delphi"—the only literary source for the inscription—there was also inscribed at the temple a large letter E.Among other things epsilon signifies the number 5.

    According to one pair of modern scholars, "The actual authorship of the three maxims set up on the Delphian temple may be left uncertain. Most likely they were popular proverbs, which tended later to be attributed to particular sages."

    A great actual and mythic battle began, recorded well after Greece was under Rome's dominion.
    The Greeks had asked the gods for help to protect their sacred temple and treasury which was a focal point of their lives. Accordingly ,the pleas were 'answered' and there were earthquakes and thunderbolts and even rock slides from nearby Mount Parnassus upon the enemy. Still the Celts or Gauls fought on , a famous earlier story to Alexander the Great when he went north of the Danube briefly and met chieftains of the Gauls or Celts , who implied they were only fearful of the sky falling he might have considered them too reckless rather than brave ...he may have thought they might fear him?

    The Greeks again asked for divine help. During the night, the Celts were said to 'panic' and fight each other. Pausanias,writing over 300 years later in Roman times ,described the mayhem as "causeless terrors are said to come from the god Pan". Eventually the Celts retreated after suffering grievous losses, 26,000 dead, according to the Greek historian Pausanias in later times. Here is Pausanias describing the battle which was fought with symbolic divine aid (or knowledge of a primal fear of the Celts) as mentioned earlier to Alexander the Great of Macedonia :

    Pausanias (geographer), Greek traveller, geographer, and writer (Description of Greece) of the 2nd century AD. As a Greek writing under the auspices of the Roman empire, he found himself in an awkward cultural space, between the glories of the Greek past he was so keen to describe and the realities of a Greece beholden to Rome as a dominating imperial force. His work bears the marks of his attempt to navigate that space and establish an identity for Roman Greece.
    Pausanias has the instincts of an antiquary.

    Ptolemy Keraunos (Greek: Πτολεμαῖος Κεραυνός, died 279 BC) was the arrogant ,murderous King of Macedon from 281 BC to 279 BC. His epithet Keraunos is Greek for "Thunder" or "Thunderbolt". See more on him here:
    However, although Keraunos was at the zenith of his power, he did not live long afterwards. In 279 BC he was captured and killed (beheaded) during the wars against the Gauls led by Bolgios ("Lightening" ) who conducted a series of mass raids against Macedon and the rest of Greece.His death brought anarchy to the Greek states, since none of his successors were able to bring stability. This situation lasted about two years, until Antigonos Gonatas defeated the Gauls in the battle near Lysimachia, Thrace, in 277 BC, After this victory he was recognized king of Macedon and his power extended eventually also to south Greece.
    The Antigonid dynasty was a dynasty of Hellenistic kings descended from Alexander the Great's general Antigonus I Monophthalmus ("the One-eyed"). It was one of four dynasties established by Alexander's successors, the others being the Seleucid dynasty, Ptolemaic dynasty and Attalid dynasty. The last scion of the dynasty, Perseus of Macedon, who reigned between 179-168 BCE, proved unable to stop the advancing Roman legions and Macedon's defeat at the Battle of Pydna signaled the end of the dynasty.

    Spanish language source internet illustration on ancient tribal attire.
    Several versions out there, if copyrighted please let me know.
    Source is likely to be.... from an interesting book called 'Rome's Enemies 2 Gallic and British Celts', #158 in the Ospreys , Men-At-Arms Series, by Peter Wilcox and Angus MacBride (ISBN: 0850456061), 1985. The paintings, done by McBride, (see his picture here)
    are based on literary descriptions and archeological finds and are said to be as accurate as possible at this time.

    (NO , Not a~vik~ing, they who came from the north, hundreds of years later).See theTaking of the Temple at Delphi by the Gauls, 1885 by Alphonse Cornet a French Academic Classical artist born 1814 - died 1874.

    The earliest directly attested examples of a Celtic language are the Lepontic .Lepontic is an extinct Alpine language that was spoken in parts of Rhaetia and Cisalpine Gaul between 550 and 100 BC. It is generally regarded as a Celtic language, although its exact classification within Celtic, or even within the western Indo-European languages, has been the object of debate...
    inscriptions, beginning from the 6th century BC.The Continental Celtic languages were spoken by the people known to Roman and Greek writers as Keltoi,...
    are attested only in inscriptions and place-names. Insular Celtic is attested from about the 4th century AD in ogham inscriptions, although it is clearly much earlier. Literary tradition begins with Old Irish from about the 8th century. Coherent texts of Early Irish literature. Early Irish literature-The earliest Irish authors:It is unclear when literacy first came to Ireland. The earliest Irish writings are inscriptions, mostly simple memorials, on stone in the ogham alphabet, the earliest of which date to the fourth century..., such as the Táin Bó Cúailnge (a legendary tale from early Irish literature, often considered an epic, although it is written primarily in prose rather than verse)...(The Cattle Raid of Cooley), survive in 12th-century recensions. According to the theory of Professor John T. Koch is an American academic, historian and linguist who specializes in Celtic studies, especially prehistory and the early Middle Ages....
    and others.The Tartessian language, also known as Southwestern or South Lusitanian, is a Paleohispanic language once spoken in the southwest of the Iberian Peninsula: mainly in the south of Portugal , but also in Spain...may have been the earliest directly attested Celtic language with the Tartessian written script used in the inscriptions based on a version of a Phoenician script in use around 825 BC.

    GREEK RELIEF writing on tablet 3RD BCE
    Decree of the town of Cos, Greece. Inscription on stone about the conquest of Delphi by the Gauls under Brennus in March 278 BCE, followed by news of the expulsion of the Gauls from Delphi in the Archaeological Museum, Istanbul, modern Turkey.

    Synonyms: Bryth, Gaul: The Raven King

    A Brennos , Brennos of the Senones, first appears as the Celtic or Gaulish hero who led the Celtic sack of Rome. During the third century BCE the Celtic expansion led them to the Po valley in Italy. Fearful of this expansion the Etruscans called , on their adversaries, Rome for assistance. The Romans sent three envoys to meet the Celtic leaders. However, one of the Roman envoys killed a Celtic chief and Rome sent an army of 40 000 to meet these 'barbarians'. When the Celts learned of the Roman army moving towards them, Brennos (most likely a chiefly title rather than a real name, like a Duke, see below) marched the Celts off to meet the Romans. The Celts met the Romans at the River Allia, the Romans panicked at the sight of all those crazed Celts, and many Roman soldiers even drowned in the River in attempt to escape. A few made it back to Rome and informed the Senate about the battle at Allia (the date of the battle, July 18, became known as Alliaensis, and was considered thereafter to be a very bad day to do any public activity). The Roman citizens, rightfully fearing that the Celts were headed toward Rome, fled in a panic (much like the soldiers at Allia). By the time the Celts/ Gauls arrived, Rome had been deserted, with the exception of several elderly patricians. These old patricians were sitting in a courtyard, believing that if they were to sacrifice their lives for Rome in its most dire hour of need, Rome's enemies would then be thrown into panic and confusion, and Rome thereby saved. This nearly worked, but the spell of quietude was broken and Rome was looted and the old men killed. They advanced on the Capitol, but were thwarted by plague and a night-time attack was spoiled by cackling of geese. However, about seven months, later the Romans decided to negotiate and the Celts agreed to leave if the Romans would pay them 1,000 pounds of gold. The Celts were accused of using false weights, upon which Brennos (the Celtic chieftain) is said to have thrown his sword on the scales and loudly declare, "Vea victus", or "woe to the defeated".

    The early 4th century BCE a vast group of Gauls sacked the city of Rome. Romans gave it up rather easily, actually. Most fled to neighbouring cities like Veii while the Senate, priests, and what was left of the Roman army migrated to the Capitol - defending and taking refuge in the temples there. The Gauls made easy pickings of what they found in the city. According to Livy:

    For several days they had been directing their fury only against bricks and mortar. Rome was a heap of smouldering ruins, but something remained - the armed men in the Citadel, and when the Gauls saw that, in spite of everything, they remained unshaken and would never yield to anything but force, they resolved to attempt an assault. At dawn, therefore, on a given signal the whole vast horde assembled in the Forum; then, roaring out their challenge, they locked shields and moved up the slope of the Capitol." (5.43)

    The Romans, however, used the advantage of being at the top of the hill and managed to beat the Gauls back. Yet the Gauls were determined and even though they had destroyed most of the food and supplies in their initial sack of the city, they began a siege on the hill.

    During all of this, officials in Veii were determined to get a message through to the Roman Senate - despite the fact that the Senate was under siege. As the old saying goes, 'if there's a will, there's a way', and a young Roman soldier named Pontius Cominus managed to do it. "Floating on a life-buoy down the river to Rome, he took the shortest way to the Capitol up and over a bluff so steep that the Gauls had never thought of watching it." (5.46) But the Gauls did find out about it and figured if he could do it, then they should all be able to do it too.

    One starlit night, they made the attempt. Having first sent an unarmed man to reconnoitre the route, they began the climb. It was something of a scramble: at the awkward spots a man would get a purchase for his feet on a comrade below him, then haul him up in his turn - weapons were passed up from hand to hand as the lie of the rocks allowed - until by pushing and pulling on another they reached the top. What is more, they accomplished the climb so quietly that the Romans on guard never heard a sound, and even the dogs - who are normally aroused by the least noise in the night - noticed nothing. It was the geese that saved them - Juno's sacred geese, which in spite of the dearth of provisions had not been killed. The cackling of the birds and the clapping of their wings awoke Marcus Manlius - a distinguished officer who had been consul three years before - and he, seizing his sword and giving the alarm, hurried, without waiting for the support of his bewildered comrades, straight to the point of danger. (5.46)

    And that is either Roman spin or real history of how the sacred geese of Juno saved Rome - since after that last attempt, the lack of food forced the Gaul to accept payment from the Romans to leave the city alone.

    While Brennus I was evil personified to the Romans, he was a hero to transalpine people.

    "Other Greek and Roman synchronisms have a more obvious historical symbolism, as may be the casewith the Polybian synchronism we saw above, between Dionysius’s siege of
    Rhegium and the Gallic sack of Rome."

    The city of Rome has now been successfully founded in historical time—whether
    that time is focalized as Greek or Roman—but we have not yet reached the end of
    the story. As everyone knows, the city of Rome kept having to be re-founded, and
    the patterns of refoundation drastically reconfigure the trajectory of movement
    from myth to history that we have been following so far.188
    Ennius’s most explicit surviving allusion to the date of the foundation of the city
    in fact comes at the moment when the city had just been virtually destroyed, and
    was on the verge of vanishing from history, after the sack by the Gauls in 387/6
    b.c.e.189 The context is a speech in which Camillus persuades the Senate not to
    move to Veii, but to refound the city instead (154–55 Skutsch):
    Septingenti sunt paulo plus aut minus anni
    augusto augurio postquam incluta condita Roma est.
    It is seven hundred years, a little more or a little less,
    since famous Rome was founded by august augury.
    How this seven-hundred-year period between Romulus’s foundation and the sack
    of Rome by the Gauls actually worked remains a mystery, at least to me.190 Still, we
    should not overlook the symbolic significance of this number in its own right. The
    importance of the seven-hundred-year period has been very well illustrated in the
    fascinating book Die rhetorische Zahl, written by a scholar with the gloriously apt
    name of Dreizehnter.191 Dreizehnter does not mention this passage of Ennius, but
    he collects a great deal of interesting material about seven hundred years as the life
    span of a city or an empire from foundation to extinction, or from foundation to
    virtual extinction or only just-escaped extinction. In various traditions that he
    examines there were seven hundred years from the foundation to the destruction
    of Melos, Carthage, and Macedonia, or from the foundation to the virtual extinc-
    (Myth into History I: Foundations of the city)
    tion of Sparta.192 What we see in the Ennius passage, in other words, is that the city
    was virtually destroyed and came within an ace of fulfilling the seven-hundred year
    doom. The point will have been accentuated by Ennius’s book divisions.
    Camillus’s speech comes at the end of book 4, and the regal period ended with
    book 3, so that up to this point in the Annales we have had only one self-contained
    volume of Republican history, and if things had gone differently that might have
    been all we had.193
    Livy activates the power of this Ennian symbolic numeral, even as he corrects
    Ennius’s dating, with his allusion to the seven hundred years of Rome (Pref. 4):
    Res est praeterea et immensi operis, ut quae supra septingentesimum annum
    repetatur et quae ab exiguis profecta initiis eo creuerit ut iam magnitudine
    laboret sua.
    In addition, the matter is of immeasurable scope, in that it must be taken back
    past the seven hundredth year, and having started from small beginnings has
    grown to the stage that it is now laboring under its own size.194
    Chaplin has argued that Livy’s preface is constructing recent Roman history as a
    death, with a possible rebirth to come:195 the Republic has been destroyed, and the
    Romans of Livy’s time are like the Romans of Camillus’s time, faced with the task
    of refounding the city after it has only just escaped its seven-hundred-year doom.
    In Livy’s treatment of the Roman response to the sack of the city by the Gauls,
    we can see him returning to the Ennian theme of rebirth from destruction,
    although this time using different significant numbers. Having exploited the numinous
    associations of Ennius’s seven hundred years in his preface, Livy now produces
    another numinous numeral for the span from foundation to sack, one that
    conforms with the modern orthodox chronology. Livy has Camillus deliver a
    mighty speech to convince his fellow citizens not to abandon Rome for the site of
    Veii (5.51–54).196When Livy’s Camillus echoes Ennius’s by counting off the years
    since the foundation, it appears that some kind of great year has gone by. From
    Romulus’s foundation down to the sack by the Gauls there have been as many
    years as there are days in a year: Trecentensimus sexagensimus quintus annus urbis,
    Quirites, agitur (“This is the 365th year of the city, Quirites,” 5.54.5). This is of
    course a calculation that fully resonates only after Caesar’s reform of the calendar,
    when a Roman year for the first time had 365 days.This counting places
    Camillus’s refounding of the city at a pivotal point in time, precisely halfway
    (Refounding the City: Ennius, Livy, Virgil . 101)
    between the first founding of the city, in 753, and the refounding that faces Livy
    and his contemporaries 365 years after Camillus, in the 20s b.c.e.198 Exactly the
    same structuring appears to underpin the panorama of Roman history on Virgil’s
    Shield of Aeneas, where the barely averted destruction of Rome by the Gauls (Aen.
    8.652–62) comes midway in time between the foundation of the city (8.635) and
    the barely averted destruction of Rome by Antonius and Cleopatra (8.671–713).199
    In all of these authors, city destruction, whether achieved or barely averted,
    leads to refoundation and consequent reconfiguring of identity, in a process that
    begins with Troy and continues through the fates of Alba Longa, Veii, and Rome
    itself.200 As Kraus has shown, when Livy begins his next book after the Gallic sack,
    he refounds his narrative along with the city, capitalizing on the annalistic tradition’s
    identification of the city and history.201 In an extraordinary moment, the
    opening sentences of book 6 tell us that only now is real history beginning. All of
    the material in the first five books, Livy now declares, has been “obscure because
    of its excessive antiquity” (uetustate nimia obscuras), and because there were few
    written records in those early days, while the ones that did exist “for the most part
    were destroyed when the city was burnt” (incensa urbe pleraeque interiere, 6.1.2).
    Everything up until this point, from Troy to the Gallic sack, is suddenly reconfigured
    as prior, prefoundational. In his preface Livy had drawn a line between myth
    and history around the time of the Romulean foundation of the city (ante conditam
    condendamue urbem, 6), but “the fresh start in 390 redraws the limits of the historically
    verifiable.”202We now have a new entry into history, with a newly rebuilt city
    and a newly solid evidential base for its written commemoration (6.1.3):
    Clariora deinceps certioraque ab secunda origine uelut ab stirpibus laetius
    feraciusque renatae urbis gesta domi militiaeque exponentur.
    From here there will be a more clear and definite exposition of the domestic
    and military history of the city, reborn from a second origin, as if from the
    old roots, with a more fertile and fruitful growth.203
    Livy here is picking up on the annalistic history of Claudius Quadrigarius, who
    had written about fifty years earlier. We know that Claudius began his history with
    the sack of Rome by the Gauls, no doubt on the grounds we see alluded to in Livy,
    that no history was possible before then, thanks to the destruction of monuments
    and archives.204
    We have already seen how the Roman tradition picks up demarcations that are
    102 . Myth into History I: Foundations of the City
    crucial from the Greek tradition—Troy and the first Olympiad—and recasts
    them as transitions into a new, Roman, phase of history. The Gallic sack is a vital
    addition to this series of watersheds. The first key fixed synchronistic point in
    Timaeus and Polybius that makes it possible for Roman history to be properly connected
    with Greek history, the Gallic sack is itself made to serve as the “beginning
    of history” in Claudius Quadrigarius and Livy book 6.205 The very event that almost
    expunged Rome altogether is the one that put the city on the world stage—
    just as the destruction of Troy led to the city’s existence in the first place.206
    Ovid intuited the power of these associated watersheds of foundation and Gallic
    sack, and his subtle deployment of them in the Metamorphoses is proof of their
    understood significance. Before he arrives at the foundation of Rome in book 14,
    he has a very small number of proleptic references to the as yet nonexistent city.
    Book 1 contains two forward references to his own day, with the poem’s first simile
    referring to the reign of Augustus (1.199–205), and the story of Apollo and
    Daphne likewise anticipating the reign of Augustus, as Apollo prophesies the use
    of his sacred laurel to grace Roman triumphs and adorn Augustus’s house (1.560–
    63). His only other proleptic references to the city before the foundation in book
    14 occur in book 2, and they are both references to the city only just escaping total
    catastrophe, catastrophes that would have ensured the city was never part of world
    history. One is in a cosmic setting, when the natural site of the city is almost
    expunged, as the Tiber is dried up along with other rivers by Phaethon’s chariot
    (2.254–59); the other is an allusion to the geese that “were to save the Capitol with
    their wakeful cry” (seruaturis uigili Capitolia uoce/ . . . anseribus, 2.538–39).207
    Again, in the Fasti, when the gods meet in council to deliberate how to save Rome
    from the Gauls, Ovid takes as his template the Ennian council that deliberated over
    the foundation of the city: in both cases, Mars expostulates with his father, Jupiter,
    and is assured that all will be well.208
    It is highly significant that these two events, the city’s foundation and near
    destruction by the Gauls, are the only “historical” events commemorated on the
    Republican calendar, the Fasti Antiates.209 Calendrical fasti from the Principate
    mention all kinds of events, but the Fasti Antiates, the only calendar we have surviving
    from the Republic, mark only two historical events: 21 April, the Parilia and
    the foundation of the city, and 18 July, the dies Alliensis, the day of the battle of the
    Allia, when the Roman army was scattered by the advancing Gauls on their way
    to the city, which they entered on the next day.210
    The foundation of the city and its near extinction by the Gauls are symbolically
    joined events, linked by significant numbers, either 700 or 365, linked by themes of
    Refounding the City: Ennius, Livy, Virgil . 103
    refoundation and rebirth. The history of the city keeps getting restarted at such
    crucial transition moments, when repetitive patterns of quasi-cyclical destruction
    and refoundation replay themselves, in a fascinating interplay between a drive for
    onward narrative continuity and the threat of eddying, repetitious, circularity.211 It
    is poignant to observe the power of this theme still persisting in the fifth century
    c.e., when Rutilius Namatianus, six years after the sack of Rome by the Visigoths
    in 410 c.e., can hail Rome’s potential to bounce back from disaster, citing its eventual
    defeat of Brennus, who led the Gauls to the sack of Rome, and of the Samnites,
    Pyrrhus, and Hannibal:212 “You, Rome, are built up,” he claims, “by the very thing
    that undoes other powers: the pattern of your rebirth is the ability to grow from
    your calamities” (illud te reparat quod cetera regna resoluit:/ordo renascendi est
    crescere posse malis, 139–40). Each of these key marker moments in time may become
    a new opportunity for the community to reimagine itself, as the epochal moment
    produces a new beginning point from which the community may imagine its
    progress forward into time, measured against its backward extension into time.213

    _______________________________ __________________________

    The Gauls in the Italia peninsula .Clusium was reached by the Gauls, who had invaded most of Etruria already, and its people turned to Rome for help. However, the Roman embassy provoked a skirmish and, then, the Gauls marched straight for Rome (July, 387 BC). After the entire Roman army was defeated at the Allia brook (Battle of the Allia), the defenseless Rome was seized by the invaders. The entire Roman army retreated into the deserted Veii whereas most civilians ended at the Etruscan Caere. Nonetheless, a surrounded Roman garrison continued to resist on the Capitoline Hill. The Gauls dwelt within the city, getting their supplies by destroying all nearby towns for plunder.When the Gauls went for Ardea, the exiled Camillus, who was now a private man, organized the local forces for a defense. Particularly, he harangued that, always, the Gauls exterminated their defeated enemies. Camillus found that the Gauls were too distracted, celebrating their latest spoils with much 'crapulence' at their camp. Then, he attacked during a night, defeating the enemy easily with great bloodshed.He is thus considered the second founder of Rome.Camillus was hailed then by all other Roman exiles throughout the region. After he refused a makeshift generalship, a Roman messenger sneaked into the Capitol and, therein, Camillus was officially appointed dictator by the Roman Senators, to confront the Gauls.At the Roman base of Veii, Camillus gathered a 12,000-man army whereas more men joined out of the region. The occupying Gauls were in serious need, under quite poor health conditions. As the Roman Dictator, Camillus negotiated with the Gallic leader Brennus, and the Gauls left Rome, camping nearby at the Gabinian road. A day after this, Camillus confronted them with his refreshed army and the Gauls were forced to withdraw, after seven months of occupation (386 BC).
    Camillus sacrificed for the successful return and he ordered the construction of the temple of Aius Locutius. Then, he subdued another claim of the plebeian orators, who importuned further about moving to Veii. After ordering a Senate debate, Camillus argued for staying and the Roman house approved this unanimously. The reconstruction extended for an entire year.

    By this one-year office, Camillus was the longest of all Roman dictators. Basically, the Senators had been persuaded by the disturbing social clashes, which could be better managed by Camillus. Instead, Camillus disliked this and, vainly, he requested the dismissal.

    Roman dictator (367 BC)
    As the Gauls were, again, marching toward Latium, all Romans reunited despite their severe differences. Camillus was named Roman dictator for the fifth time then (367 BC). He organized the defense of Rome actively. By the commands of Camillus, the Roman soldiers were protected particularly against the Gallic main attack, the heavy blow of their swords. Both smooth iron helmets and brass rimed shields were built. Also, long pikes were used, to keep the enemy's swords far.
    The Gauls camped at the Anio river, carrying loads of recently gotten plunder. Near them, at the Alban Hills, Camillus discovered their disorganization, which was due to unruly celebrations. Before the dawn, then, the light infantry disarrayed the Gallic defenses and, subsequently, the heavy infantry and the pikemen of the Romans finished their enemy. After the battle, Velitrae surrendered voluntarily to Rome. Back in Rome, Camillus celebrated with another Triumph.

    A deadly pestilence struck Rome and it affected most Roman public figures. Camillus was amongst them, passing away in 365 BC.

    Source: Plutarch, The Parallel Lives - The Life of Camillus:

    In popular culture
    Marcus Furius Camillus was played by Massimo Serato in the 1963 film 'Brennus, Enemy of Rome'.

    BC 400's Celts from the Alps flowed into Italy ....
    Herodotus of Halicarnassus reported a merchant from Samos named Colacus was driven off course by tides and winds when trading off the African shore. He landed at the Tartessus (modern River Guadalquivir in southern Spain) where he found tribes of Keltoi working the silver mines
    396 BC Celts defeated the Etruscans at Melpum (Melzo, west of Milan)
    390 Senones Celts ('the veterans') led by Brennos (Latinate: Brennus) defeated the Romans in Rome (July 19) so badly it took the Romans 200 years to recover from the 'terror Gallicus'. After seven months and a ransom of 100 pounds of gold, the Celts moved along to Picenum on Italy's eastern seaboard.
    Ephoros of Cyme reported the Celts occupied an area the size of the Indian sub-continent.
    334-335 Alexander of Macedonia met the Celts on the Danube banks to make an agreement: The Celts would not attack his empire while he was off conquering in the east. Only after his death they expanded to Moravia and Thrace .

    ----------- ----------

    Along with Bolgios, Brennos II was the legendary leader of other Celts on their invasion of Macedonia in the second century BCE. Though Bolgios led the invasion of Macedonia , Brennus succeeded in crossing his whole army over the river Sperchios into Greece proper, where he laid seige to the town of Heraclea and, having driven out the garrison there, marched on to Thermopylae where he defeated an army raised by a confederation of Greek cities. Brennus then avanced across Greece, where he decided to go on to Delphi, which was reported as the treasure house of Greece. Brennus and his army of 30,000 set off to attack the temple of Apollo, the ultimate goal of his expedition. Here it is said that Brennos was defeated by earthquakes and thunderbolts that reduced the soldiers to ashes; snow storms, showers of great stones, and "ancient heroes appearing from the heavens". In the midst of this snowstorm, Brennos and his men were attacked near the Parnassus mountains. The Celts were soundly defeated and Brennos was mortally wounded. As he lay dying, he gave the order for all of the wounded to be killed, and all the booty to be burned, as the army would never make it home if they had to carry the wounded warriors and their plunder. After giving the order, Brennos drank some wine and then took his own life. (? Source)

    The Description of Greece
    Pausanias (fl. 2nd c. CE) XIX.
    [5] "I have made some mention of the Gallic invasion of Greece in my description of the Athenian Council Chamber. But I have resolved to give a more detailed account of the Gauls in my description of Delphi, because the greatest of the Greek exploits against the barbarians took place there. The Celts conducted their first foreign expedition under the leadership of Cambaules. Advancing as far as Thrace they lost heart and broke off their march, realizing that they were too few in number to be a match for the Greeks. "...........

    10]" When the Gallic horsemen were engaged, the servants remained behind the ranks and proved useful in the following way. Should a horseman or his horse fall, the slave brought him a horse to mount; if the rider was killed, the slave mounted the horse in his master's place; if both rider and horse were killed, there was a mounted man ready. When a rider was wounded, one slave brought back to camp the wounded man, while the other took his vacant place in the ranks.

    [11] I believe that the Gauls in adopting these methods copied the Persian regiment of the Ten Thousand, who were called the Immortals. There was, however, this difference. The Persians used to wait until the battle was over before replacing casualties, while the Gauls kept reinforcing the horsemen to their full number during the height of the action. This organization is called in their native speech trimarcisia, for I would have you know that marca3 is the Celtic name for a horse. "

    (Addit :we know from Celtic myth this was indigenous to the confederacy of Celtic tribes as on Gundestrup Cauldron ,warrior plate)

    [12] "This was the size of the army, and such was the intention of Brennos, when he attacked Greece. The spirit of the Greeks was utterly broken, but the extremity of their terror forced them to defend Greece. They realized that the struggle that faced them would not be one for liberty, as it was when they fought the Persian, and that giving water and earth would not bring them safety. They still remembered the fate of Macedonia, Thrace and Paeonia during the former incursion of the Gauls, and reports were coming in of enormities committed at that very time on the Thessalians. So every man, as well as every state, was convinced that they must either conquer or perish. "

    Attalus I (Greek: Ἄτταλος), surnamed Soter (Greek: Σωτὴρ, "Savior"; 269 BC – 197 BC) ruled Pergamon, an Ionian Greek polis (what is now Bergama, Turkey), first as dynast, later as king, from 241 BC to 197 BC. He was the second cousin and the adoptive son of Eumenes I, whom he succeeded, and was the first of the Attalid dynasty to assume the title of king in 238 BC.He was the son of Attalus and his wife Antiochis.

    Attalus won an important victory over the Galatians, newly arrived Celtic tribes from Thrace, who had been, for more than a generation, plundering and exacting tribute throughout most of Asia Minor without any serious check. This victory, celebrated by the triumphal monument at Pergamon, famous for its 'Dying Galatian' or 'Gaul' statue , and the liberation from the Gallic "terror" which it represented, earned for Attalus the name of "Soter", and the title of "king". A courageous and capable general and loyal ally of Rome, he played a significant role in the first and second Macedonian Wars, waged against Philip V of Macedon.

    Etymologically Brennos is related to Brân and is related to the reconstructed proto-Celtic lexical elements *brano- (raven) -n- (the deicific particle) and os (the masculine ending). Thus Brennos is literally the 'Raven God'. However, the bren part of the name is also the root for one Cymric word for king brenhin and Brennos can be rendered as 'Raven King'. Which also leads to the supposition that 'Brennos', rather than being a proper name is actually an honorific denoting 'battle lord'. Raven gods being tribal leaders in the time of war so a Celtic war leader would take-on the name of such a deity. Indeed, the modern Cymric for king is brenin a word derived from 'Brennos'.
    An actual late Iron Age helmet like this has been located in ancient Dacia , Translyvania , now modern Roumania/ Romania the Helmet of Ciumeşti.
    As one of the styles depicted on the Celtic Gundestrup Cauldron.
    Wilcox and McBride mentioned that their illustration of the iron Gallic warrior's helmet of the middle La Tene period had been reconstructed the on the basis of the Ciumesti helmet.[45]

    birketted and vermeergirlz and Seamen added this photo to their favorites.

    View 20 more comments

    1. mikescottnz 21 months ago | reply

      The Delphi Temple was later damaged severely by the earthquake of 83 B.C.E during the Roman Empire occupation **.


      The Treasury of Athens, built to commemorate their victory at the Battle of Marathon

      From the entrance of the site, continuing up the slope almost to the temple itself, are a large number of votive statues, and numerous treasuries. These were built by the various states—those overseas as well as those on the mainland—to commemorate victories and to thank the oracle for her advice, which was so important to those victories. The most impressive is the now-restored Athenian Treasury, built to commemorate the Athenians' victory at the Battle of Salamis. According to Pausanias, the Athenians had previously been given the advice by the oracle to put their faith in their "wooden walls"—taking this advice to mean their navy, they won a famous battle at Salamis. Another impressive treasury that exists on the site was dedicated by the city of Siphnos, whose citizens had amassed great wealth from their silver and gold mines and so they dedicated the Siphnian Treasury. The most extensive and well preserved treasury at Delphi was the treasury of Argos. Built in the late Doric period, the Argives took great pride in establishing their place amongst the other city states. Completed in the year 380 B.C.E., the treasury draws inspiration mostly from the Temple of Hera located in the Argolis, the acropolis of the city. However, recent analysis of the Archaic elements of the treasury suggest that its founding preceded this.

      As a result of these treasuries, through the protection of the Amphictyonic League, Delphi came to function as the de-facto Central Bank of Ancient Greece.

      It was the abuse of these treasuries by Philip of Macedon and the later sacking of the Treasuries, first by the Celts, and later by Sulla, the Roman Dictator, that led to the eclipse of Greek civilization and the eventual growth of Rome**.

    2. mikescottnz 21 months ago | reply

      Again from the great Balkans Celts site...
      Chain main in the Eastern Celts of the Balkans and Galatia in Anatolia.....

      The popular image of naked barbarians rushing headlong into battle depicted by ancient and neo-classical historians, and encapsulated in classical works of art such as ‘The Dying Gaul’ or ‘The Galatian Suicide’ may have fitted the preferred stereotype of the Celts as naked savages in the eyes of the ‘civilized’ Greco-Roman world, but archaeological evidence indicates that the real Iron Age Celtic warrior was a much more formidable figure.

    3. mikescottnz 21 months ago | reply

      Ritual 'killing of the objects' in the Celtic world from Gaul to Thrace
      Besides weapons and other artifacts found in Celtic burials, the ritual of ‘killing the objects’ is also to be observed at Celtic cult sites across Europe.
      Though not all Celtic burial sites show bent , destroyed or killed weapons-hero myths may give us a clue?

    4. mikescottnz 21 months ago | reply

      Could this obscure tribe from Gaul name be derived from the "raven folk"

    5. mikescottnz 19 months ago | reply

      BRENNUS, the name given in history to two kings cr chiefs of the Celtic Gauls, probably not an appellative, but a title, the Cymric " brenhin"= king. (Dr Pritchard thinks it more probably the equivalent of the Welsh proper name "Bran.") The first Brennus crossed the Apennines into Italy, at the head of 70,000 of the tribe of Gauls known as Senones, and ravaged Etruria, 391 B.C. Some envoys from Rome, sent to watch their movements, were said to have taken an active part in a skirmish before the walls of Clusium ; and the Gauls, failing to obtain the surrender of these men, marched at once for Rome. A Roman army of about 40,000 men was hastily despatched to meet them, and took up a position on the banks of the little river Alija, within twelve miles of the city. Here Brennus attacked and defeated them with great slaughter ; and if he had pressed on at once, Rome would have lain at his mercy ; for the greater part of the beaten army had placed the Tiber between themselves and the conquerors. But the Gauls lingered on the field of battle, mutilating the dead, and drinking to excess? The Romans gained time to occupy and provision the Capitol, though they had not force sufficient to defend their walls ; their women and children were sent off to Veii ; and when on the third day the Gauls marched in and took possession, they found the city occupied only by those aged patricians who had held high office in the state. Too old to be of service in the little garrison, and too proud to fly, they had all solemnly devoted themselves to death, and sat each in the porch of his house, in full official robes, awaiting the invaders. For a while these withheld their hands from them, out of awe and reverence ; but the ruder passions soon prevailed, and they were all slaughtered. The city was sacked and burnt ; but the Capitol itself withstood a siege of more than six months, saved from surprise on one occasion only by the wakefulness of the sacred geese and the courage of Marcus Manlius. (See MANLIUS.) At last the Gauls consented to accept a ransom of a thousand pounds of gold. As it was being weighed out the Roman tribune complained of some unfairness. Brennus at once threw his heavy sword into the scale ; and when asked the meaning of the act, replied that it meant " Yee rictis" - " the weakest must go to the wall." The Gauls returned home with their plunder, leaving Rome in a condition from which she took long to recover. A later legend, most probably an invention, represents Camillus as having suddenly appeared with an avenging army at the moment when the gold was being weighed, and having defeated and cut to pieces Brennus and all his host (Livy, v. 49).

      The second Celtic chief who bears the name of Brennus in history is said to have been one of the leaders of an inroad made by the Gauls from the coast of the Adriatic into Thrace and Macedonia, 280 B.C., when they defeated and slew Ptolemy Ceraunus, then king of Macedonia. Whether Brennus took part in this first invasion or not is uncertain; but its success, and the rich spoils brought home, led him to urge his countrymen to a second expedition, when he marched with an army of 150,000 foot and 60,000 horse through Macedonia, defeating such forces as were brought against him, and passing thence into Thessaly, ravaging as he went, until he reached the historic pass of Thermopylae. To this point the united forces of the Northern Greeks - Athenians, Phocians, Bceotians, and Etolians - had fallen back; and here the Greeks a second time held their foreign invaders in check for many days, and a second time had their rear turned, owing to the treachery of some of the natives, by the same path which had been discovered to the Persians two hundred years before. Their land force, however, succeeded in getting on board the Athenian fleet, which was lying off the shore to co-operate with them. Brennus and his Gauls marched on to attack Delphi, of whose sacred treasures they had heard much. But the little force which the Delphians and their neighbours had collected - about 4000 men - favoured by the strength of their position, made a gallant and successful defence. With or without the help of Apollo, who is said to have come to the aid of his sanctuary, they rolled down rocks upon the close ranks of their enemies as they crowded into the defile, and showered missiles on them from their vantage ground. A thunderstorm, with hail and intense cold, increased their confusion, and when Brennus himself was wounded they took to flight, pursued by the Greeks all the way back to Thermopylae. Brennus killed himself, "tunable to endure the pain of his wounds." says Justin ; more probably determined not to return home defeated. Few of the invading force eventually escaped.

    6. mikescottnz 19 months ago | reply


      ‘To these men death in battle is glorious,
      And they consider it a crime to bury the body of such a warrior;
      For they believe that the soul goes up to the gods in heaven,
      If the body is exposed on the field to be devoured by the birds of prey’.
      (Silius Italicus (2nd c. AD) Punica 3 340-343)

    7. mikescottnz 15 months ago | reply

      One of the most powerful and beautiful women of her day, the life of the Gallo-Greek Princess Camma is an extraordinary tale of obsessive love, murder and ultimate justice.

      Born a princess of the Celtic Tolistoboii tribe in Galatia (central Anatolia today'sTurkey), Camma was renowned ‘for her form and beauty, but even more admired for her virtues. She was also quick-witted and high-minded, and unusually dear to her inferiors by reason of her kindness and benevolence’ (Plutarch, On The Bravery of Woman. XX Camma*). These attributes appear to have been accompanied by good fortune, for the princess fell in love with, and married, one of the most powerful men in Galatia – a tetrarch called Sinatus. In addition, she was elevated to High Priestess of the Mother Goddess (Cybele-Artemis) at Pessinus – the highest position that could be attained by a woman at that time. It appeared that Camma was truly blessed by the Gods.

      However, in true Celtic fashion, what began as a fairy tale soon descended into nightmare.

    8. mikescottnz 15 months ago | reply

      A condensation of some of the material here about, birds of prey-goddess , again from the 'Balkancelts' site...

      Journal of Celtic Studies in Eastern Europe and Asia-Minor.

      ‘In dama huair ann ba rigan roisclethan ro alainn;

      Ocus in uair aill… na baidb biraigh banghalis’.

      (At one moment she was a broad-eyed, most beautiful queen,

      And another time a beaked, white-grey badb)

      (Harleian manuscript 4.22)

      The central tenant of Celtic religion was metempsychosis – the transmigration of the soul and its reincarnation after death (Caesar J. De Bello Gallica, Book VI, XIV). This belief is probably best summed up by the Roman poet Lucanus (1st c. AD):

      While you, ye Druids, when the war was done,
      To mysteries strange and hateful rites returned:
      To you alone ’tis given the heavenly gods
      To know or not to know; secluded groves
      Your dwelling-place, and forests far remote.
      If what ye sing be true, the shades of men
      Seek not the dismal homes of Erebus
      Or death’s pale kingdoms; but the breath of life
      Still rules these bodies in another age-
      Life on this hand and that, and death between.
      Happy the peoples ‘neath the Northern Star
      In this their false belief; for them no fear
      Of that which frights all others: they with hands
      And hearts undaunted rush upon the foe
      And scorn to spare the life that shall return.

      Pharsalia Book 1, (453-456)

      In the transportation of the soul from one world to the next Birds of Prey played a central role:

      ‘to these men death in battle is glorious;

      And they consider it a crime to bury the body of such a warrior;

      For they believe that the soul goes up to the gods in heaven,

      If the body is exposed on the field to be devoured by the birds of prey’.

      (Silius Italicus (2nd c. AD) Punica 3 340-343)

      ‘those who laid down their lives in war they regard as noble, heroic and full of valour,

      And them cast to the vultures believing this bird to be sacred’

      (Claudius Aelianus. De Natur. Anim. X. 22)

    9. mikescottnz 14 months ago | reply

      Gallic groups, originating from the various La Tène chiefdoms, began a southeastern movement into the Balkan peninsula from the 4th century BC. Although Celtic settlements were concentrated in the western half of the Carpathian basin, there were notable incursions, and settlements, within the Balkan peninsula itself.

      From their new bases in northern Illyria and Pannonia, the Gallic invasions climaxed in the early 3rd century BC, with the invasion of Greece. The 279 BC invasion of Greece proper was preceded by a series of other military campaigns waged toward the southern Balkans and against the kingdom of Macedonia, favoured by the state of confusion ensuing from the intricated succession to Alexander. A part of the invasion crossed over to Anatolia and eventually settled in the area that came to be named after them, Galatia.

      From the end of the 4th c. BC wave after wave of Celtic tribes arrived in Eastern Europe, settling largely peacefully among the local population. This migration was to fundamentally alter the cultural and geo-political status quo in this part of Europe.

      In the tide of nationalism which has marked the last century, our common European heritage has been systematically deconstructed. To balance this phenomenon, BALKANCELTS presents the archaeological, numismatic, linguistic and historical evidence pertaining to the Celts in Eastern Europe and Asia-Minor, within the context of the pan-European Celtic culture – a heritage which belongs to no nation, yet is common to all.

      From a Turkish site on the ancient Hellenistic /Greek ,Hittite (Bronze Age), Persian, and later Roman crucible of Anatolia or Asia Minor in the late Iron Age.

      In mainland Greece Apollo and Pan were held, in myth, to have personally assisted in the rout of the Galatians at Delphi. In Asia Minor there are various dedications referring to gods who miraculously saved individuals trapped outside of the city walls when the Galatian tribes appeared in the vicinity.

      The fear of Celtic tribes was put to an end when the army of Antiochos I and some Indian war elephants forced the majority of the tribes to settle in an area east of the Halys River which was henceforth known as Galatia. It was for this very service that Antiochos was given the epithet Soter ('Saviour').

      Although this victory lifted much of the 'classical' Greco-Roman cultures 'terror gallicus' that had afflicted the cities, there still remained some reason to fear, recorded after Greece was under Rome's dominion.

      Not all of the Galatian bands had been forcibly settled in Galatia, and many of those remaining at large were precariously employed as mercenaries by kings and dynasts throughout the Hellenistic world. Antigonos II Gonatas, the kings of Pontos, and even Ptolemy II Philadelphos used them in their wars. Nevertheless, the Galatians were often seen as unruly allies and being independent often were 'repressed' by their own employers. Ptolemy II was forced to terminate all 4,000 of his Celtic troops when they threatened to run amok in Alexandreia. For this brutal act the poet Kallimachos made the king out to be a great hero holding the breach against the forces of 'barbarism'. Dread of the Galatians fell once again upon Asia Minor in 240 BC when Antiochos Hierax began to enforce his will through the use of the Celtic mercenaries. Their defeats at the hands of Attalos I gave him the opportunity he needed to take up the diadem and proclaim Pergamon an independent kingdom. It is ironic that by 217 BC Attalos was employing his own band of Galatians to convince the cities under the hegemony of Achaios to join the Attalid cause. From this point on Galatians are a commonplace in most armies in Asia Minor and the East.

    10. mikescottnz 14 months ago | reply

      In 278 BC a group of Celts broke off from Brennos’ (II) main force in the Balkans and, under two chieftains called Leonnorius and Lutarius, crossed into Asia-Minor (277 BC), where a Celtic state was founded which subsequently became known as Galatia.

      Despite the popular misconception that these ‘Galatians’ represented a large proportion of the Celts /Gauls who had migrated into southeastern Europe in the previous decades, they were originally a relatively small group consisting of 20,000 people (Livy 38.16:9). Indeed, while historians have traditionally translated the testimony of Livy as 20,000 men (latest Delev 2003:108), the Roman author actually speaks of ‘homines’ not ‘viri’ – i.e. people, not men (see Boteva 2010: 37), and we are further told that ‘of these 20,000 people, not more than 10,000 were armed’ (Livy op cit). Thus, the Celts who migrated into Asia-Minor in 277 BC consisted of no more than 10,000 warriors, accompanied by their families. To put this into context, the central Celtic army in the Balkans in 279 BC had consisted of 150,000 infantry and at least 10,000 – 15,000 cavalry (on the statistics pertaining to these Celtic armies see ‘The Thunderbolt’ article). Nonetheless, the small Celtic force who migrated into Asia-Minor was to have a significant geo-political impact on the region.

      One question which has never been satisfactorily addressed is the exact ethnic origin of the ‘Celts’ who migrated into southeastern Europe and Asia-Minor at the end of the 4th / beginning of the 3rd c. BC. In the case of the Galatian tribes this answer to this question is clearly given in ancient sources. Of the 3 tribal groups which broke off from the main Celtic force on the Balkans – the Tolostobogi (-boii), the Trocmi (/Trogmi) and the Volcae Tectosages – the latter are the key to identifying the exact ethnic origin of the Celts who would become the Galatians.

      The Volcae Tectosages, one of the Belgae tribes (see Mac Congail 2007), ‘were named after the tribe in Celtica’ (Strabo xii, 5:1). Of this tribe, Caesar tells us that they had originally been settled north-east of the Rhine, in what is now western and central Germany in the basin of the river Weser, and he mentions that the Volcae Tectosages still remained in western Germany in his day (Caesar BG 6.24):

    11. mikescottnz 11 months ago | reply

      In 'the Celts: A History
      By Dáithí Ó hÓgáin' ; Another account of Brennos here ,

    12. mikescottnz 10 months ago | reply

      BALKANCELTS In the tide of nationalism and revisionism which has marked the last century, our common European Celtic heritage has been systematically deconstructed, manipulated and denied. To balance this phenomenon, the BALKAN CELTS organization presents the archaeological, numismatic, linguistic and historical facts pertaining to the Celts in Eastern Europe and Asia-Minor, within the context of the pan-European Celtic culture – a heritage which belongs to no nation, yet is common to all.

      "While many attributes have been associated with the Ancient Celts, modesty is certainly not one of them. From their very first appearance in recorded history classical authors note their tendency for exaggeration and boasting. In 335 BC a Celtic delegation met with Alexander the Great on the Danube during armistice and alliance negotiations. Of this encounter we are informed – ‘And Ptolemaeus, the son of Lagus, says that on this expedition the Celti who lived about the Adriatic joined Alexander for the sake of establishing friendship and hospitality, and that the king received them kindly and asked them when drinking what it was that they most feared, thinking they would say himself, but that they replied they feared no one, unless it were that Heaven might fall on them’ (Strabo vii, 3,8; see also Arrianus Anab. I, 4, 6-8).

      This supreme self-confidence is duly reflected in Celtic personal and tribal names, which tend to be particularly descriptive. Compare, for example, names such as Esumaro meaning ‘He Who Is Great As (the God) Esus’ (Ellis Evans (1967) = GPN – p. 449-450), Atepomarus - ‘He Who Has A Very Great Horse’ (GPN 52-53), Branogeni – ‘He Who Is Born of the Raven’ (McManus/1991:105), Cunorix = ‘The Hound-King’ (Wright/Jackson 1968), Sumeli (f.) – ‘Sweet as Honey’ (GPN:114-116; Matasovic 2009 = EDPC:163) or Catumarus (EDPC:195), whose name means ‘He Who Is Great in Battle’.

    13. mikescottnz 6 months ago | reply

      The Celtic helmet from Silivaş (Transylvania) was first published in 1925 as part of the inventory of a warrior burial which also included two spearheads, a sword, dagger, brooch and a ‘sickle’ (actually a curved dagger), all of which had previously been in the private collection of Count Teleki Dromokos of Transylvania.

    14. mikescottnz 5 months ago | reply

      One of the most iconic symbols on Celtic coinage, the oval shield appears either alone or as a central element in the artistic composition on Celtic coins (and other artifacts) across Europe and Asia-Minor in the 3-1 century BC period, as well as being represented on numerous Greek and Roman images depicting Celtic military equipment.
      Also connected to the Tyle state are the Apros Celtic shield coins minted in today’s European Turkey in the second half of the 3rd century BC, which provide further archaeological evidence, again confirmed in ancient sources, that the area of south-eastern Thrace, including the immediate environs of Byzantium, was under Celtic control during this period (Manov 2010, Lazarov 2010, Mac Gonagle 2013). Exactly which tribe minted the Apros coins remains unclear, but one possibility is that that they were produced by the Aegosages tribe prior to their migration into Asia-Minor in the summer of 218 BC.

    15. mikescottnz 4 months ago | reply

      The century , earlier, chieftain with similar raven title Bren or Brennos , who humiliated and sacked Rome.

      Brennus (4th century BC), chieftain of the Senones, a Gallic tribe originating from the modern areas of France known as Seine-et-Marne, Loiret, and Yonne; in 387 BC, in the Battle of the Allia, he led an army of Cisalpine Gauls in their attack on Rome.
      Brennus (3rd century BC), one of the leaders of the army of Gauls who invaded Macedon and central Greece and defeated the assembled Greeks at Thermopylae.

      The recurrence of the name Brennus makes it likely that it was a title rather than a proper name.

    16. mikescottnz 2 months ago | reply
      The First Sacred War (595–585 BC), or Cirraean war, was fought between the Amphictyonic League of Delphi and the city of Kirrha in ancient Greece. The conflict arose due to Kirrha's frequent robbery and mistreatment of pilgrims going to Delphi and their encroachments upon Delphic land. The war resulted in the defeat and destruction of Kirrha. The war is notable for the use of chemical warfare at the Siege of Kirrha, in the form of hellebore being used to poison the city's water supply.

    17. mikescottnz 2 months ago | reply

      Some were JUST plain BAD though we have to partly rely on the 'classical' writers accuracy and integrity.

      "No discussion of Celtic mercenaries would be complete without mentioning one particular group who operated in the 2nd half of the 3rdc. BC. This force, originally 3,000 strong, had apparently been expelled by their own tribe -
      a rare ‘honour’ for Celtic warriors. They were initially hired by the Carthaginians to protect the town of Agrigentum

      which they immediately pillaged. They were subsequently dispatched to defend the town of Eryx, which was under Roman siege at the time. No sooner had they arrived than the Celts betrayed the city and ‘those who were suffering in their company’ ,and deserted to the Romans.
      (Polybius Hist. II, 7)
      Welcoming their new allies, the Romans entrusted them with the guardianship of the prestigious temple of Venus Erycina

      which the Celts immediately desecrated and plundered. As soon as the conflict with Carthage had ended, Rome took the first opportunity to disarm them and banished then from Italy forever (loc. cit.). Shortly afterwards, this same group turns up in the western Balkans in the service of the city of Phoenice in Epirus. The city was besieged by the Illyrians led by Queen Teuta, who had taken over after the death of her husband Pleuratos in 230/229 BC. When Teuta approached the Celts who were defending the city, a deal was quickly struck and the Illyrians ‘landed and captured the town and all its inhabitants by assault with the help from within of the Gauls’
      (loc cit.)".

      Despite all this, during this period Celtic warriors were a ‘necessary evil’ for any ruler in the region who had aspirations to power, and they were a vital element in all the major military conflicts from Thrace to Babylon, from the Danube to the Nile

      sometimes forming substantial parts of both armies in the battles. This continued rightup till the 1stc. AD.
      For example, the Egyptian queen Cleopatra had Celtic mercenaries in her army. After her death 400 of them entered the service of the Jewish king Herod the Great, forming part of
      Herod’s personal bodyguard, and figuring prominently
      in his funeral service in 4 BC.
      (Josephus. The Wars of the Jews. Book 1, 20.3)

      However, employing Celtic mercenaries was a double edged sword. They were quick to enter the service of any ruler who could pay them, and fearless in battle. But ultimately, as many kings and generals discovered to their cost, the Celts served no masters but themselves.

      BATTLE OF THE PHANTOMS– Lysimachia 277 BC
      “the avengers of murder overwhelmed them sooner than the enemy, and the ghosts of the slain rising up before their eyes …”. (Justinus: Epitome of Pompeius Trogus’ “Philippic histories” Book 26:2)

      One of the key turning points in ancient history was the Battle of Lysimachia in 277 BC, in which the Macedonian forces of Antigonus Gonatas destroyed the Celtic armies which had been sweeping through southeastern Europe, thereby halting the 'barbarian' expansion in the region, and saving the
      ’civilized’ world from destruction.
      (Fol et al, Ancient Thrace, 2000, Delev 2003, Boteva 2010, Emilov 2010, Dimitrov 2010, Stoyanov 2010, Megaw 2004, 2005, Emilov/Megaw 2012).
      Or was it?

      For centuries the Battle of Lysimachia has been presented to us as one of the most important events in the ancient history of southeastern Europe. However, an analysis of the geo-political context and ancient sources on this period, in particular the text of the Roman historian Justinus, upon which modern accounts of the battle are based, clearly
      indicates that this ‘decisive’ battle probably never happened.
      In fact, Justinus actually tells of two successive victories by the Macedonian king over
      the barbarians at this point. Antigonus’ first victory was over a Celtic army of 15,000
      infantry and 3,000 cavalry. This barbarian hoard, according to the Roman author, were
      now ‘slaughtered’ by
      “sailors, and a part of the army that had fled thither with their wives and children”
      (Justinus 25:2).
      Leaving aside the plausibility of a Celtic army which had shortly before ‘destroyed’ two powerful Thracian tribes
      – the Getae and Triballi (Justinus 25:1), being defeated by some sailors and deserters fleeing with their wives and children, there are a number of notable contradictions in this account. Justinus also informs us that

      “The king had also ordered his elephants to be shown them, as monsters unknown to those barbarians”
      (loc cit), which is remarkable in light of the fact that the Celts had shortly before annihilated the Macedonian army of Ptolemy Ceraunos which had included battle elephants
      (see ). It should also be noted that no archaeological evidence of such a battle has ever been found and, more importantly,the latest archaeological evidence completely contradicts Justinus’ claim of a Celtic
      attack on the Thracian Getae and Triballi tribes during this period, i.e. in the territory of these tribes no destruction layers or other archaeological data has been discovered that would indicate such a devastating attack
      (see Balkancelts ‘Ethnic Cleansing?’ article).

      However, the most important evidence contradicting the Roman’s account is to be found in the testimony of other classical sources (Polyaen. Strat, IV; Plutarch Pyrr. 26)
      who clearly tell us that during this period the Macedonian army of Antigonus Gonatas itself consisted largely of Celtic mercenaries, drawn from the same tribes whom Antigonus supposedly slaughtered at Lysimachia.
      (On Antigonus’ Celtic Mercenaries see:

      Part of a Macedonian bronze shield, spoils of Pyrrhus’ victory over Antigonus in 274 BC, found in the Bouleuterion at Dodona. (Ioannina Archaeological Museum, inv. # 1951) (Both armies in the battle were made up of substantial numbers of Celtic mercenaries. The inscription under the shields read:
      ‘These shields now suspended here as a gift to Athena Itonis,
      Pyrrhus the Molossian took from valiant Gauls,
      After defeating the entire army of Antigonus’.)
      (Plut. Pyrr. 26:5; see also _Celtic_Mercenaries)

    18. mikescottnz 5 weeks ago | reply

      Best associated with the spectacular chieftain’s helmet with Bird of Prey attachment, in fact the Celtic settlement at Ciumeşti (Satu Mare) in Transylvania has yielded a wealth of archaeological information on Iron Age settlement and society in southeastern Europe, and the Celtic warrior culture during this period.

      Small bronze boar, originally possibly attached to the crest of a Celtic warrior helmet, from Luncani (Cluj), Romania.
      (1st c. BC)

    keyboard shortcuts: previous photo next photo L view in light box F favorite < scroll film strip left > scroll film strip right ? show all shortcuts