Celts and Romans, 2000 BC to 400 AD

Flashcards by franziska.melzig, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by franziska.melzig almost 6 years ago


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Give some information about Britain before the arrival of the Celts. Celts and Romans, 2000 BC to 400 AD
- oldest human settlements discovered in Britain: around 800.000 years old - remains of humans with fixed settlements: dating back 40.000 years - while Ice Age: no isle, part of continent -after Ice Age 10.000 BC : better living conditions (fertile land, warmer weather) Stone Age/ Ice Age
- c. 4000 BC: introduction of agriculture and establishment of settled communities through arable and livestock farming => "Neolithic Revolution"/ Neolithic Era - traces: megalithic tombs (Stonehenge) Neolithic Era
differences to nomadic lifestyle? -settled, agricultured lifestyle -requires given resources -living with neighbors -> social capability improved => prosperous time Neolithic Era
- Bronze Age: c. 2500 - c. 800 BC - introduction of metalworking in bronze -creation of an axe industry - tin and copper needed for bronze - biggest prehistoric copper mines in Wales: Britain as "tin isles" Bronze Age
- axe heads as good trading material - sacred and worshipped: sky and nature (animals like wolves, snakes,...) Bronze Age
- Iron Age: c. 800 BC - c. 100 AD - innovations were iron, but also horse-power was important (chariots) - presence of horses used for riding on the Isles is well attested from 1000 BC (Uffington White horse cut into chalk) Iron Age
- in comparison to Rome/Egypt: Britain had no temples, no palaces, no large cities - findings: cooking pots, pottery, human and animal bones Iron Age
Who settled on the British Isles before the Romans came and how did these societies generally look alike? The Celts
- when the first Romans entered Britain: presence of a Celtic-speaking, iron-using society organized on a tribal pattern - cultures shared a common culture with the Celts of continental Europe, groups who crossed the Alps and defeated Rome in 390 BC The Celts
- Celts as the earliest group of ethnically and culturally identifiable inhabitants of the Isles Culture of the Celts: - wars among themselves The Celts
- biggest achievement: iron (cheap, easy to make) - defendable homes at hilltops - clans bound loosely into tribes - iron plow: agricultural win - buried in holes in the ground The Celts
- Celtic languages: most lasting evidence => still survive in Wales, western part of Ireland and Scotland The Celts
Who were the Celts? - linguistic group, not an ethnic or racial one, Celtic languages as one of the main branches of the Indo-European linguistic family - modern name from Greek "keltoi" ( = strangers) The Celts
war culture and religion: - head cult: located personality in head and decapitated enemies (brought their heads as trophies) - ritual murder: human sacrifices (burnt, drowned, hanged,...) The Celts
-Roman Conquest and later Anglo-Saxon colonization: erased nearly all traces of Celtic cultures in the south and east of England, but not in Ireland The Celts
- Celts in Ireland: static, traditional, oral culture, importance of kinship and local groups: no national identity as "Irish" - Welsh society in pre-Roman period: heavily pastoral, like Irish society The Celts
. Britain around 40 AD: broad contrast between urbanized monarchical societies of the south and aast and the rural, tribal and aristocratic societies of Highland Britain (Scotland) and Ireland The Celts
- many (south) tribes contact to Romans before formal conquest - trade: Roman luxury goods (wine) against British grain, minerals, slaves The Celts
What was the impact of the Romans on the British Isles and its various parts? The Romans
-Julius Caesar: two expeditions to Britain in 55 and 54 BC -first: landed in Kent, was weakened by storm damage to the ships -second: Caesar had troops: some tribes had to pay tribute to installed, local king => no tribute given after C. left (but gained prestige in Rome) Roman Invasion - Context
Roman invasion in 43 AD: -Claudius in Britain 16 days, but in the next 30 years slow, constant conquest (piece by piece) -but after the Roman invasion: the Celts still held the far greater part of the Isles (Romans only ~30%) Roman Invasion - Context
- various Celtic kingdoms lost their importance - Southern England: most Romanised section of Britain (lowlands) - in the North and West: Romans established only a military zone (Rom. vs. Celts), Ireland not conquered at all The Romans - Context
-Romans built one culture to exploit the other -brought government & intercommunical intercourse & economy - oral culture hushed by Romans, no voice in this change Roman Invasion - Impacts
Impacts: -Romans stimulated cultural and economical change -added only a few percent to Britain's population => BUT! gained a lot of influence to culture -imposed one culture upon another Roman Invasion - Impacts
-most important impact: Christianity -opening up of Ireland to the Latin language and to the values of Rome through the coming of St. Patrick Roman Invasion - Impacts
-advantages of Christianity: more personal religion, promised better life in afterlife (more positive, less punishments through God) - first half of the 4th century: "Golden Age" for Roman Britain (villas -> Roman model as idol) Roman Invasion - Impacts
-what's left: few roads, ruins, few genes, Latin names, Christianity, literacy -created centralized economy Roman Invasion - Impacts
How did the Romans try to protect themselves from the hostile tribes in the north? The Romans
-invasion came to a stillstand in the desolate areas of what is now Scotland, where the Romans built Hadrian's Wall as a barrier against the Picts (tribes who lived there) Romans vs. tribes
- Highland (Yorkshire etc.) never completely subdued - required constant military presence - construction of Hadrian's Wall as an indication of that - Britain needed more military resources than any other province within the Roman Empire Romans vs. tribes
Hadrian's Wall: split Britain nearly to half, military base, traffic control, in order to defend their provinces => military forts (settlements next to forts) -most urban foundations in Roman Britain had a military origin Romans vs. tribes
-letters: life in those forts boring, highlightless, no contact with natives -control natives: convincing native elite that you're superior (money, gave them Roman names and architecture) => local leaders gained power, Romans trust and influence Romans vs. tribes
-Rebellion of Boudicca (widow of an Iceni King) in 61 AD was brutally suppressed -Iceni King split kingdom to half: Romans & Boudicca => Romans wanted it whole Romans vs. tribes
-Boudicca was flogged & sisters raped -Boudicca rebelled and killed herself afterwards -Boudicca became icon of resistance Romans vs. tribes
-great barbarian invasion in 367 AD: picts and Scots invaded Roman territories => imperial overstretch - Romans expelled 409 AD, Britain fought against Saxon invaders, broke decisively with Roman rule -end of the Western Roman Empire 476 AD End of Roman Empire in Britain
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