Celtic Warrior

A Celtic warrior was considered a fearsome opponent. Thought to have been barbaric and quarrelsome by nature, they managed to maraud their way across much of Europe, conquering other nations by way of several tribes, or clans, banding together.

Celtic Warrior

Although a Celtic warrior wasn’t considered a specific social class, in comparison to modern day societies, they were on a par with aristocracy. Both men and women were allowed to follow a warrior’s path, training in combat from a young age.

One of the main Celtic war tactics appears to have been based upon stimulating fear in their enemies. Stories abound of naked warriors, covered in daub (a type of blue paint), swords held aloft, screaming and charging into battle with wild abandon.

As far as history is concerned, there was only one tribe known to have behaved in such a manner. However, what is known about the Celts is the fact that they were a large, heavily built people, often blonde or red headed.

Celtic Warfare

Celtic Warrior

Celtic warfare consisted of a lack of basic military discipline. The Celtic warriors were known more for their barbaric style of war-mongering, in as much as they fought almost like a horde of beserkers. At best fearless and worst, chaotic, they were known as head hunting barbarians in battle.

They wore horned helmets, possibly as means of adding to their fearsome look as much as for protection. They would beat their heavy swords against their shields, shrieking at their opponents. Their swords were used for slashing and hacking and the Celts held little regard for finesse when it came to hand to hand combat.

It is entirely likely that when it came to battle, Celtic warriors were, for want of a better word, crazy. Which would explain why, despite their lack of discipline, they were a relatively successful opponent in open warfare.

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Comments 20 comments

Justine76 6 years ago

Good to see you!! I hope you have time to keep the series up!


Pacal Votan 6 years ago

It's interesting how we think that ancient folks were different from us. Why is it that they were so violent and war-like in nature? Actually, I don't think they were.

One important thing to note with paganism is that it is a religion 'much stronger' than Christianity. In the pagan era there was no such category as 'religious' or 'believer' simply because everyone was a believer. Leaders were 'priests' and they held their sway so strong that they could not (would not) be questioned. People were not violent by nature, but they lived according to the principles of their religion. In a culture of fighting.

One interesting concept that I ran across when studying the Indo-Aryan culture, one that the Celts might stem from, is that the only honourable way for common man to live was to fight. Fight, however, did not have to mean grabbing a socket-axe and leaping at your neighbour, it was a term having a much wider meaning. So, for instance, a farmer could be considered just as honourable as a warrior, because he too was fighting - to cultivate the tracts of land.

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This is a great series, frog. Wonderfully written! :D


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada

Keep the series coming Froggy I've always found the Celts an interesting bunch.

another great hub

regards Zsuzsy


frogdropping profile image

frogdropping 6 years ago Author

Justine ... hello again!

Pacal - hey hey :) How are you?! I'm glad you like what I've done so far. Funny you should pick out the pagan side of the Celts. I'm just editing a piece about the Druids (a general piece mind) and how they worked with and for those that they lived among.

A very powerful 'class', in regard to how much sway they carried in tribal lore and it's quite amazing what they were actually responsible for.

And thankyou, as always :)

Zsuszy - I'm keeping them coming. I should have published the three over three days but I had a moment of madness ;)


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 6 years ago from West Virginia

Your sentence, "One of the main Celtic war tactics appears to have been based upon stimulating fear in their enemies.", is exactly what the Christians are doing with ther End Of World crapola. They think that they have gotten better because they can steel and call it their own and then come back and tell those whom they stole from that they are wrong---yet this proves they stole and they have not learned one durned thing or become elite as they portray themselves.


frogdropping profile image

frogdropping 6 years ago Author

Lady - fear is a wonderful motivator, unfortunately!


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 6 years ago from West Virginia

Yes and so is anger.


frogdropping profile image

frogdropping 6 years ago Author

Lady ... absolutely!


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 6 years ago from West Virginia

I just wrote on your FB Wall. I love your hubs.


frogdropping profile image

frogdropping 6 years ago Author

Lady - I take it you mean Facebook? I do hope you wrote something deliciously gossip-like ;)


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 6 years ago from West Virginia

Yes I mean Face Book. I don't know about gossipy stuff lol


frogdropping profile image

frogdropping 6 years ago Author

Lady - Ahhh shame. Still, I shall pop over to facebook and have a look see :)


keira7 profile image

keira7 6 years ago

Very interesting series, looking forward to the next one.:)


frogdropping profile image

frogdropping 6 years ago Author

keira - the next one will be either Celtic Britain or the decline of the Celts after AD61 :)


jaw dropper 6 years ago

lack of discipline not at all mate, if you've ever seen celtic battle reenactments you would which i was lucky enough to see. its not really every man for himself the way you describe it, but rather fighting in kind of disorganized ranks in which the man in front and the man behind him would fight and protect each other from their enemy, making a very deadly front line. Light chariots would also be used to cause fear and chaos in the enemy often warriors would quickly exit the chariot and attack with spears or claymores, which would be a terrify enemy troops. Can you imagine a screaming Celt leaping out of a chariot with a 6 foot sword (likely bigger than yourself) armoured with nothing but war paint. I think I would stain my armour.


frogdropping profile image

frogdropping 6 years ago Author

Jaw dropper - celtic re-enactments are based upon a fair amount of conjecture. I have yet to read anything that defines the Celtic warriors discipline when at war. That they were fearsome and brutal is not in doubt. I'm aware of their loyalty to each other (usually related to fellow clansmen and/or family members) when they fought against others.

Further, I didn't say they lacked discipline completely. It just wasn't high on their agenda when in battle preparation. Many were thought to have fought naked and painted and of course factoring in their size and overall (considered) barbaric appearance, they were proven to be a formidable enemy.

Of course to some extent they understood battling as a collective - they did manage to maraud and conquer much of continental Europe in their heyday.

And the above was a generalization of the Celtic way re battles not an absolute :)

Thankyou for stopping by though, your comment is valid and welcomed ;)


Mystique1957 profile image

Mystique1957 6 years ago from Caracas-Venezuela

Andria...

Fascinated by these clans. I have always loved history of warriors. Much has been said about the Celts and I have found them to be very unique. Were they considered Highlanders?

Two thumbs up!

Warm regards and blessings to you,

Al


Aussie Holiday profile image

Aussie Holiday 6 years ago from New Zealand

Awesome hub, im a bit of brute so i like historic information like this!


Jbullis 6 years ago

The celts were gorilla fighters


Annabeth 6 years ago

Perfect! I need all this for school! Oh and by the way, by the time it was 75 BC, the Celts had dominated Britain. Bet you could use that info! Does anyone have any good Celt Warrior pics website?

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