Who were the Celts?

Historians have been puzzling over this most enigmatic of ancient peoples for centuries, but are we any closer to establishing their origins? Barry Cunliffe investigates...

White horse of Uffington

This article was first published in the November 2015 issue of BBC History Magazine 

“The whole race… is war-mad, high-spirited and quick to battle… And so when they are stirred up they assemble in their bands for battle quite openly and without forethought.” So wrote the Greek historian Strabo about the Celts at the beginning of the first century AD. It is a generalisation that has coloured our view of the northern neighbours of the Romans and Greeks ever since.

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