I’ve always been annoyed by those who hold to the belief that Northern Europeans were barbarians until pacified by the civilized conquerors from Rome.
Webster’s dictionary defines civilization as “a relatively high level of cultural and technological development.” Unfortunately, the definition continues on to specify, “the stage … at which writing and the keeping of written records is obtained.”
In an essay from my book Irish-American Chronicle, I take issue with such a shortsighted definition. I believe the key words to define civilization should be: “commonly held beliefs, organization, development, and accomplishment.”
In France’s Lascaux Cave, art existed for 20,000 years before the birth of Christ.
Thousands of years before Egypt’s first pyramids; over 50,000 megaliths, Greek for great stones, existed in Europe’s Mediterranean and Atlantic coastal regions from the Göbekli Tepe in Turkey to Sweden. In order for the ancients to accomplish such monumental tasks—universal belief in a Superior Being had to have been widespread.
Before the approach of recorded history, in circa 500 BCE, Northern European Celts, crossed the Alps and invaded Rome. In my eBook, Druids, Celts, and Romans, I portray these people from the Steppes of Russia, who brought the horse to Europe, invented the spoke wheel with its iron tire, and developed the iron plow which enabled the nomadic Europeans to settle in communities. Before their advanced society was overrun by the Romans who adapted many of their inventions, the Celts had developed the wheeled harvester, pioneered the use of fertilizer, and crop rotation. Permitted women to become tribal leaders and own property. The Celts not only used iron, but also invented steel.
Developed a society organized in classes according to their skills:
craftsmen, warriors, priests, musicians, poets, and intellectuals.
In Chapter 10 of Druids, Celts, and Romans, entitled the “German Intrusion”, I used the Mayri triplets, two males and a female now in their teens, to illustrate the accomplishments of this remarkable race.
By the year 300 BCE, the Celts ruled a swath of Europe from the British Isles to Turkey. Most major European cities were originally Celtic settlements including: London, Paris, Milan, and Budapest. Today, people from countries as diverse as Spain and Hungary still consider themselves to be Celts.
The Celts, the Founders of Europe, may have been illiterate, but they were not uncivilized. These ancients left as their legacy everything—but … a written language.