|Gods & Kings|
|Unique unit||Pictish warrior (replaces Spearman)|
|Unique building||Ceilidh hall (replaces Opera house)|
- Symbol: Celtic knot
- Musical Theme: Lord Gregory/Lass of Aughrim (composed by Michael Curran, orchestrated by Geoff Knorr)
- Music Set: European
- Architecture: European
- Spy Names: Crìsdean, Siobhán, Seamus, Ffion, Pádraig, Deirdre, Mr. Quinn, Éadaoin, Alwyn, Col Ceathar
- Preferred Religion: Christianity () or Catholicism ()
One of the new civilizations added in the Gods & Kings expansion, the Celts are one of the masters of Religion, and will typically be the first founders of a Pantheon (unless someone stumbles early upon a religious city-state). Their unique ability produces Faith from every city bordering an unimproved forest, and their starting bias usually puts them in large forested areas. This means they can form a Pantheon as early as Turn 5. With some skill at placing the first two or three cities, they will eventually found a religion before Turn 30. As if that weren't enough, their unique replacement for the Spearman, the Pictish Warrior, generates Faith from each enemy unit it slays.
Of course, a good Religion on its own doesn't resolve the game - try to form a strategy for the type of victory you want, and tailor your Religion accordingly, then use its early formation to spread it as widely and as aggressively as you can. Their unique building, the Ceilidh Hall - in addition to the bonuses of the Opera House it replaces - gives them a nice boost to Happiness once they reach the Renaissance Era.
For general strategy, play the Celts as a religious civilization. The Piety policy tree is the best recommended social policy tree for the Celts. In Brave New World, with the Piety tree being available right from the Ancient Era, the Celts should be able to get the edge even more easily.
The Celtic tribes of Europe, celebrated today as the ancestors to millions throughout the world, were one of history's greatest ancient societies. Said to have developed from the early Iron-Age cultures of Central Europe, the Celts grew to become a diverse, yet formidable, society made up of hundreds of individual tribes spread across the continent. Thriving throughout the better part of the 1st millennium BC, the Celts eventually became embroiled in a number of fearsome conflicts with the unrelenting Roman Empire, who would come to suppress, but in many cases adopt, aspects of the Celtic culture during their conquest of Europe.
Terrain and ClimateEdit
The area inhabited by the earliest known Celtic people is found in parts of modern-day Germany and Austria, although the Celts would eventually migrate across much of Europe, including France (Gaul), Britain, Ireland and Spain (Iberia). This vast range of climates and geography makes it difficult to narrow down the specific characteristics of their territory, although it does speak to the hardy nature of the Celtic people that they were capable of adapting to such variations.
Although the roots of Celtic ancestry are still debated by historians today, the Celts are thought to have developed out of the Urnfield, Hallstatt, and La Tene cultures of Europe that succeeded one another during the late Bronze and early Iron Ages. These early Celtic people migrated over vast expanses, mixing their languages and religion with those of the existing inhabitants they encountered. In roughly 1300 BC, the first of these proto-Celtic groups, the Urnfield culture, was found primarily in the southernmost regions of present-day Germany. Living during the later stages of the Bronze Age, the people of the Urnfield culture expanded under the rule of primitive chiefdoms, eventually reaching as far as France. As the Urnfield population flourished and their territory expanded, the loosely affiliated tribes often struggled with one another, and it was not uncommon for the tribes to overrun their own outlying clansmen in a continuing cycle of expansion and integration.
The later development of the Hallstatt culture, so named for archaeological finds near the village of Hallstatt, Austria, continued the diffusion of proto-Celtic peoples throughout Europe. These early Celts continued to migrate across central Europe during the 1st millennium BC, further advancing into what came to be known as the La Tene culture, encompassing much of Europe during the late Iron Age. From the La Tene, the first distinctly Celtic societies emerged in several nations throughout the continent.
Celts of Britain and IrelandEdit
The "Insular Celts," being those primarily inhabiting Britain and Ireland, are today perhaps the greatest remnants of the once widespread Celtic population of Europe. United by their common languages and religion, the Celts of the Iron Age settled extensively throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland during the 7th--3rd centuries BC. Thought to have integrated with the indigenous peoples of the region, the Celtic migrants continued to spread, eventually becoming a fixture of the region.
The Celts of Britain would solidify their legacy as fearsome warriors in the 1st century AD, after uniting under the banner of Queen Boudicca of the Iceni. Having suffered unwarranted brutality at the hands of the Romans, Boudicca led a united force of tribes from Britain against the legions of Rome, the greatest fighting force of the age. Not since the sacking of Rome by the Celtic chieftain Brennus in 387 BC had the Romans seen such assemblage of Celtic forces, with Boudicca's army numbering in the hundreds of thousands. Although the Romans were eventually successful in quashing the rebellion (with combined losses from both sides estimated at over 100,000), as history had shown prior, the Romans continually underestimated the might of the Celts and it cost them dearly.
The Celts of the Iberian Peninsula (modern-day Spain, Portugal and Andorra) were migrants from Gaul. Having left their homes in the early 5th and 6th centuries BC, they quickly integrated with the existing Iberian culture of the region. The Celtiberians, as they came to be known, were allied with Carthage against Rome during the First Punic War, a decision that would contribute to their eventual subjugation by the Romans, following the defeat of noted Carthaginian general Hannibal.
The Celtiberians were known for building the "Castro," a type of stone hill fort constructed throughout the Iberian Peninsula. Although various types of hill forts were found in the Celtic inhabited regions of Britain and Central Europe, the examples found today in Spain are particularly well preserved. Numantia, a Castro built by the Celtiberians in the 2nd century BC, is a national monument in modern Spain.
Although the Gauls' history before the Roman conquest is limited by a lack of accurate records, the Gauls are still perhaps the most familiar of the Celts. Living primarily in the region that today constitutes France, the Gauls were described extensively by Julius Caesar in his historical account of the Gallic Wars, the "Commentarii de Bello Gallico." Made up of dozens of individual tribes, the Gauls developed extensive trade routes between their small towns, establishing a culture that would flourish independently for centuries. Their rich culture would be nigh obliterated, though, by the eventual conquest of the Romans.
Although found throughout Celtic societies in Europe, the Druids were a particularly renowned presence among the Gauls. A class of priests held in high esteem among the Celts, the Druids served a number of important roles in Celtic society, acting as both judges and scholars, in addition to their traditionally recognized position as religious figures. Unfortunately, the wisdom of the druids was passed on through an oral tradition, leaving behind a mysterious legacy of rites and rituals, many of which are still unexplained today.
The Roman ConquestEdit
In 390 BC, the Gallic chieftain Brennus attacked the Roman ally Etruria and eventually made his way to Rome, sacking the city and leaving it devastated. Paid a handsome sum to abandon his conquest, Brennus and the Celts would find a momentary windfall in their victory, but this would only serve as the beginning of a longstanding conflict between the Romans and the Celts.
This bitter rivalry could be seen in the alliance between the Iberian Celts and Carthage against Rome in the Second Punic War. The Iberian Celts managed to resist Roman conquest well into the 1st century BC, when they were finally subjugated and absorbed into the Empire, subsequently destroying many of the remnants of Celtic influence in Spain.
Nearly a century later and half a continent to the north, legendary general Julius Caesar would march his legions in the wilds of Gaul, initiating the Gallic Wars in 58 BC. Springing from both the expanding territorial aspirations of the Gauls and the Roman propensity for plundering territories to pay their debts (veteran legions didn't come cheap), the Gallic Wars would be the end of independent Gaul, after which time it would become heavily "Romanized." These conquests would serve as a precursor to Rome's eventual dominion over large parts of Central Europe.
The Romans led by Caesar would make initial excursions into Britain, said to have been in reprisal for the Britons having aided the Gauls. Despite violent resistance, the Romans would continue to make inroads into Britain for more than a century to come, under the leadership of Emperors Claudius, and later, Hadrian. This left Ireland as the last place in Europe where the Celtic culture remained unaffected by Roman Conquest. This remained the case until the introduction of Christianity (famously carried out by Saint Patrick) and the English invasion of Ireland in the 12th century.
Influence of Celtic CultureEdit
With the widespread migration of the Celts and their eventual absorption into Roman society, many uniquely Celtic elements can be found in the artifacts of Rome. At their height, the Celts are thought to have adopted aspects of Roman, Greek and German artistic elements into their work. Following their subjugation by the Romans, many of these elements adapted by the Celts were reconstituted by the Romans. Often featuring highly stylized renditions of animals, deities, and nature, Celtic art was frequently found emblazoned on Roman pottery and carvings. The Celts were also responsible for innovations in the art of warfare, developing unique sword and armor designs which are said to have influenced the development of the Roman Gladius and Spatha swords.
Although we have little in the way of historical records about the ancient religion of the Celts, the priests of the era, known as Druids, have long been the subject of debate and interest among historians and the general public alike. Described by both the Greeks and Romans in the waning years of the 1st century BC, Druidism is thought to have been suppressed and eventually forgotten after the Roman conquest of Europe. Despite their own history of brutal conquests and the ease with which the Romans would take a life for entertainment purposes, they ironically considered the Celtic religion barbaric for the human sacrifices purportedly committed by the Druids. Whether or not the Druids actually used human sacrifice as extensively as the Roman accounts implied is still the subject of debate today.
The Celtic LanguageEdit
The Indo-European languages, a family of several hundred dialects from which the Celtic languages evolved, have been spoken throughout Europe and parts of Asia since the Stone Age. Although the Celtic languages are mainly found today in Scotland, Ireland, Wales and France, at one point they were widely used and actually served to unite the diverse Celtic tribes scattered across continental Europe.
Today, there are six "living" Celtic languages that remain in use (the majority having died off with the passage of time). Irish and Welsh are the most widely used of the remaining dialects, with roughly 1.7 million and 560,000 speakers respectively. Irish, Welsh, Breton, Scottish Gaelic, Cornish, and Manx make up the remaining Celtic languages still found today.
In the present day, "The Celtic League," a non-governmental organization that promotes Celtic heritage and culture, identifies the current "Celtic Nations" as Brittany, Cornwall, Ireland, the Isle of Man, Scotland and Wales. Although these areas serve as the primary bastions of Celtic language and heritage, throughout the world it is estimated that people of Celtic ancestry number in the millions. The six surviving Celtic languages still in use today are attributed to these six corresponding regions.
The "Celtic Knot," a widely recognized artistic motif attributed to the Celts, was also found in both Roman and later Christian works. Consisting of interweaved and often endless knot patterns, the style is still widely recognized today as a hallmark of Celtic culture.
Although known today as the "Celts," it is unlikely this term was the one used by the ancient Celtic people to describe themselves. Historical references to the Greek "Keltoi," and the Latin "Celtae," are the probable origins of the modern name.
Chainmail, the predecessor to many European forms of armor that developed throughout the Dark and Middle Ages, is an invention credited to the Celts of the 3rd century BC.
List of CitiesEdit
- Main article: Celtic cities (Civ5)