Collective name for a people who once lived in large parts of Western, Central and Southeastern Europe and Asia Minor. The name means "the brave", "the sublime" or "the high", in Greek they were called "Keltoi", in Latin "Celtae" or "Galli". They came to Palestine and were the ones in the Bible enemies mentioned as "Galatians" Israelites, However, the Celts were never a closed people with top leadership, but consisted of many tribes, often rivaling one another. These were e.g. B. Allobroger, Arverner, Biturigen, Boier, Helvetier, Häduer and Sequaner. The one in today France living Celtic tribes were collectively referred to as "Gauls". The supreme power among the tribes lay with the Equites (knighthood) and the Druids. The earliest mention of the Celts was in the 5th century BC. Chr Herodotus (482-425 BC). At that time, they began to immigrate to the Italian Po Valley and the Balkans.
In Italy there were armed conflicts with the Etruscans, The Celts occupied what is now Lombardy and founded Milan. The cities of Paris, London and Budapest also go back to Celtic foundations. In 387 BC They also defeated the Romans in the Battle of Allia and pillaged Rome. From the beginning of the 3rd century BC The Romans extended their territory to the Celtic populated areas of northern Italy. Julius Caesar's (100-44 BC) fighting in Gaul led to the complete subjugation of the Celts and the incorporation of their territory into the Roman Empire as "Gallia cisalpina". In 16 BC The Romans began to conquer the later provinces of Noricum (Lower Austria), Pannonia (Hungarian lowlands) and Raetia (Alps and southwestern Germany). As a result, the remaining Celtic tribes gradually lost their independence. Many Celts then entered the Roman army as legionaries.
The Celts had great manual skills for wood and metal processing and had a highly developed culture in terms of art, music and literature. A Celtic script was never developed, however, it is unclear whether there was a common language. At their rulers, wine consumption with rituals played an important role in lavish banquets, which was confirmed by many archaeological artefacts from Celtic tombs of the 6th century BC. BC is attested. There have been many places in Germany and France Kettles, jugs and craters (for mixing wine with water) found that those of the Greeks symposia (Festagen) similarly used vessels. The most famous and greatest find is the famous one Vix crater,
In contrast to the Romans, the Celts drank unmixed wine, which later Roman authors found incomprehensible and uncivilized. The historian Livius (59 BC-AD 17) claims that the wine passion of the Celts was the reason for their idea in the 4th century BC. BC was in the Mediterranean. With some tribes, however, wine consumption was forbidden because of fear of masculinity. And the druids were principally critical of the drink. The Celts living in Gaul probably learned wine-growing from the Greeks (and later also the Romans), who lived in the Provence in southern France around 600 BC Chr. With Massalia (Latin Massilia = Marseille) settled. In the rest of Gaul there was probably only occasional viticulture.
At least around 600 BC The Celts used wooden barrels for transport on a large scale. These later ousted the hitherto usual amphorae which were produced in large quantities by the Greeks around Massalia. Especially the Celts in today's area Cahors (South West France) were excellent cooper. The Greeks and later also the Romans adopted this art from the Celts. From the 5th century BC The Gallic Celts began to import wine from Greece and later also in Italy in large quantities. The Greek historian Diodorus Siculus (90-21 BC) writes with astonishment and admiration about the efficiency of the Italian traders: “They negotiate a slave for an amphora of wine and thus exchange the drink for that cupbearer a " . So that was certainly not the real equivalent.
Historians are controversial as to whether the Celts were involved in viticulture before the Greeks, but it is very likely that they can be deduced from their many other skills. The Roman scholar Pliny the Elder (23-79) writes in his work "Naturalis Historia" that the Gauls on the vine the art of grafting ( finishing ) mastered. Celtic wine culture attests to numerous archaeological artifacts in many countries, especially in France. There were also very old finds, for example, in the Austrian communities Stillfried (Lower Austria) and Zagersdorf (Burgenland). See also under the keywords Ancient wines and Ancient grape varieties such as drinking culture,