Richard Rudgley explores the history and myth of the Celts, the first masters of Iron Age Europe. They were sidelined by the Romans, but their influence still lives on.
The Celts were the first masters of Europe. Their leaders were men and women of legend: Arthur of the Britons, the warrior queen Boudica and Vercingetorix the Gaul. They had powerful priests called Druids who memorised the secret knowledge of generations.
But it all ended in tragedy. This vibrant culture was wiped out of Europe and the Celts were driven to the Atlantic fringes by the legions of Rome. They became the eternal victims, the romantic underdogs of history. Yet, 2,000 years later, their impact still casts its spell today. But how much is myth and how much is true?
This investigates what ‘Celtic’ actually means, from the first time the term was used in the 7th century BC to the ‘Celtic Christianity’ of the early Middle Ages. There are also insights into various aspects of ‘Celtic’ life and language taken from interviews with a number of historians.