Collective name for a people that once inhabited large parts of western, central and southeastern Europe and Asia Minor. The name means "the brave ones", "the sublime ones" or "the high ones", in the Greek they were called "Keltoi", in the Latin "Celtae" or "Galli". They came to Palestine and were the ones in the Bible enemies mentioned as "Galatians" Israelites, The Celts were never a united people with top leadership, but consisted of many often rivaling tribes. That was z. Allobroger, Arverner, Biturigen, Boier, Helvetier, Häduer and Sequaner. The in today France living Celtic tribes were collectively referred to as "Gauls". The supreme power of the tribes lay with the Equites (knighthood) and the Druids. The earliest mention of the Celts took place in the 5th century BC. By Herodotus (482-425 BC). At that time, they began to immigrate to the Italian Po Valley and the Balkans.
In Italy it came to armed conflicts with the Etruscans, The Celts occupied what is now Lombardy and founded Milan. The cities of Paris, London and Budapest also date back to Celtic foundations. In 387 BC They also defeated the Romans in the Battle of Allia and plundered Rome. From the beginning of the 3rd century BC The Romans extended their dominion to the Celtic populated areas of northern Italy. Julius Caesar (100-44 BC) Fights in Gaul led to the complete submission of the Celts and the incorporation of their territory into the Roman Empire as "Gallia cisalpina". In the year 16 BC BC, the Romans began with the conquest of the later provinces Noricum (Lower Austria), Pannonia (Hungarian Plain) and Raetia (Alps and Southwest Germany). Thus, the remaining Celtic tribes gradually lost their independence. Many Celts then entered the Roman army as legionaries.
The Celts had great craft skills in woodworking and metalworking and had a sophisticated culture of art, music and literature. However, a Celtic script was never developed, whether or not there was a common language is unclear. At their ruling courtyards, wine tasting with rituals played an important role in lavish festivals, as evidenced by many archaeological artefacts from Celtic graves of the 6th century BC. Is witnessed. There have been many places in Germany and France Kettles, pitchers and craters (for mixing wine with water) found those of the Greeks symposia (Festivals) used vessels closely resemble. The best known and biggest find is the famous one Crater of Vix,
In contrast to the Romans, however, the Celts drank unmixed wine, which later Roman authors found incomprehensible and uncivilized. The historian Livy (59 BC - 17 AD) claims that the wine passion of the Celts was the reason for their invasion in the 4th century BC. In the Mediterranean was. For some tribes, however, the consumption of wine was forbidden, because people feared for masculinity. And the Druids were fundamentally critical of the drink. The Celts were probably taught by the Greeks (and later also Romans) who lived in the Gauls Provence in southern France around 600 BC At Massalia (Latin Massilia = Marseille) settled. In the rest of Gaul, there were probably only a few viticulture at that time.
At least already at 600. The Celts used wooden barrels for transport on a large scale. These later replaced the hitherto customary ones amphorae, which were produced in large quantities by the Greeks around Massalia. Especially the Celts in today's area Cahors (Southwest France) were excellent coopers. The Greeks and later the Romans took over this art from the Celts. From the 5th century BC BC, the Gallic Celts began importing large quantities of wine from Greece and later Italy. The Greek historian Diodorus Siculus (90-21 BC) writes in astonishment and admiration about the efficiency of the Italian merchants: "For an amphora of wine they negotiate a slave and thus exchange the drink for the cupbearer a " . That was certainly not the true equivalent.
Whether the Celts operated winegrowing before the Greeks is controversial among historians, but close to their many other abilities very likely. The Roman scholar Pliny the Elder (23-79) writes in his work "Naturalis Historia" that the Gauls in the vine the art of grafting ( finishing ) dominated. Celtic wine culture testify to numerous archeological artifacts in many countries, especially in France. For example, there were very old finds in the Austrian communities Stillfried (Lower Austria) and Zagersdorf (Burgenland). See also the keywords Ancient wines and Antique grape varieties such as drinking culture,