Monday, April 02, 2012

Warfare in Iron Age Britain – Part 1.

The two quotes were written by classical authors describing the Gauls of France as known at the time. Strabo would have been aware of Caesar's excursion to Britain and possibly have read his account of the people he had been in contact with. Diodorus Siculus (V 21, 3-6) describes Britain as, 'Inhabited by tribes that are aboriginal, and in their lifestyle preserve the old ways; for they make use of chariots in the wars….' (Diodorus cited in Ireland 2003).

Due to Britain's isolation it is possible that many of the 'old ways' were still being followed. There are very few eye-witness accounts of the inhabitants of Britain prior to the Roman invasions, and what we do have is from classical writers who believed them to be barbaric, not only in their fighting methods but in other aspects of their culture. Waite (2011) sums it up when he describes Celtic feasting and fighting to the death over the hero's cut of meat.