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Кельты. Их влияние ощущается и сегодняAlthough today little is said about them, but in the Western world they have left indelible traces. They became known for more than 2500 years ago. They had an impact on European history, art and religious customs. And - as it may seem strange - they had an impact on our daily lives. They were of Indo-European origin, and, during the height of their fame, they dominated over a huge area of the ancient world, stretching from the Atlantic to Asia Minor, from Northern Europe to the Mediterranean coast. Who were they? - The Celts.

Without realizing it, every day we see their tracks. For example, they spread wearing trousers in the Western world; in addition, they invented and barrels. There are other, conspicuous, evidence of their existence in history. In some areas of Europe are still visible today hundreds of castles in the hills and burial mounds, everything left by the Celts. Many cities or regions today are named Celtic origin, for example, Lyon and Bohemia. If in your area, it is customary to remember the dead at the end of October or in early November, you can be sure that hundreds of years ago, the Celts did the same thing. Also, if you know the stories about the English king Arthur or the well-known tale about little red riding Hood and Cinderella, then you know more or less a direct legacy of the Celtic culture.

Over time about the Celts, like many other Nations, has created different views, depending on who reported them. Plato (Greek, who lived in the IV century BC) described their warlike, loving to drink the people. For Aristotle (Greek, who lived in the IV century BC) they were the people who ignore risks. According to the description Greek-Egyptian geographer Ptolemy (II century BC), the Celts were afraid of only one thing - that the sky will fall on their heads! Their enemies to represent, in General, brutal, uncivilized barbarians. Today, thanks to advances in the study of Celtic civilization, "we can imagine a completely different picture of the Celts than we could imagine it 20 years ago", says Josef Steep, one of the leading scientists in this field.

The Celts, generally consisting of many tribes, were held together "common language and art, and by common military structure and religious beliefs, which was clearly sort through their community" (I Celti {And Salty}, Supplement to La Stampa {Stampa} from 23 March 1991). Therefore correct to speak about Celtic culture than about an ethnic group. Galla, Iberians, Celts, stony, cenomani, InCopy, Boyi are the names of some of the tribes that inhabited the area that is known today as France, Spain, Austria and Northern Italy. Other, over time, the British colonized the island.

The initial group of Celts spread, possibly, from Central Europe. Until the sixth century BC about them was not mentioned in the historical records. The Greek historian Herodotus was among the first who mentioned them, calling "furthest East Europeans". Ancient historians paid attention mostly on their military exploits. Various Celtic tribes went to war against the Etruscans in Northern Italy and in the beginning of IV century BC - against Rome, which, in the end, they won. The Roman historians, for example, Livy, reported that the Celts retreated only after they had paid the appropriate redemption, and after Celtic chief, activities such as the brenne, proclaimed the word "vae victis " " (Woe to the vanquished). Celtic remember even today, when I read the adventures invented Gallic warriors of Asterix and Obelix that appears in comic books in many languages.

The Greeks got acquainted with the Celts around 280 BC, when another Celtic activities such as the brenne stood on the threshold of the famous sanctuary of Delphi, but could not conquer it. In the same period of time some Celtic tribes, which the Greeks called "Galatians", crossed the Bosphorus and settled in the North of Asia Minor, in the area which later was called Galatia.

In ancient times the Celts were known as brave warriors, who had great physical strength. Except that they were handsome body, to frighten their enemies they were wet your hair with a mixture of chalk and water, which made them, when dried hair, extremely fierce. Exactly represent them ancient statues, with hair like a plaster cast". Their physique, their zeal in battle, their arms, the way in which they wore their hair, and their typical long whiskers - all this contributed to the creation of the painting Gallic of fury, which was so afraid of their enemies, and which is transmitted in legends about the Asterix. Probably based on this many troops recruited Celtic mercenaries, including the troops of the Carthaginian General Hannibal.

But by the end of the I century BC the power of the Celts began to weaken. Gallic March of the Romans under the leadership of Julius Caesar and other commanders have put the military apparatus of the Celts on his knees.

The legacy of the Celts, which this people have left for us, for different reasons, consists almost exclusively of works of human hands, these works were mostly found in numerous graves. Ornaments, vessels of different forms, weapons, coins and things like that, "undoubtedly genuine product of their hands," as experts say, have been the subjects of trade is large in size with neighboring Nations. In Norfolk (UK) have been recently found many items of gold; among them were necklaces, typical heavy necklace. Celtic master goldsmith were unusually skillful. "Apparently, the metal has been the preferred material for Celtic art," says one scientist. For the best treatment they had used stoves that were very sophisticated for its time.

In contrast to the modern Greco-Roman art, which tried to imitate reality, Celtic art was primarily decorative. Often strizovice natural shape, and there was an infinite variety of symbolic elements, which were often no magical or religious significance. Archaeologist of Sabatino, Moscati says: "we, undoubtedly, the most ancient, the greatest and most brilliant kind of decorative art, which ever existed in Europe."

In General Celtic tribes led a simple life even in the "oppidum", in their typical fortified cities. Over the tribes dominated aristocrats, and saaristonkatu was considered unimportant people. Because of the harsh climate in the region where they lived, life was not easy. They moved South, probably, not only because of the economic benefits, but also in search of a milder climate.

Religion had a great influence on the daily life of the Celts. "Galla very religious people," wrote Julius Caesar. "Their belief in the afterlife and in the immortality of the soul was so strong, " said the scientist Carlo Karen, quoting Roman historian, that they willingly gave in borrowing money and were willing to get them back even in hell." In many graves were indeed found not only the skeletons, but food and drink, which, obviously, were for the expected journey to another world.

One of the common characteristics of all the Celtic tribes was the caste of priests, which were divided into three categories: Barda, votes and druids. At that time, as the first two groups had less important function, druids, the name of which probably means "very wise"were obliged to transfer the saints and practical knowledge to others. Scientist Jan de Vries explains that "priests were very powerful and is guided by the chief druid, the decisions of which everyone had to obey." Druids at certain times went to the "saints" groves, to make there a ritual cutting of mistletoe.

To become a druid was very difficult. The training lasted for about 20 years, in which we had to memorize almost everything about religion, caste and technical knowledge. Druids never presented anything on religious Affairs in writing. Their tradition was transmitted orally; that is why today we have so little is known about the Celts. But why druids were forbidden to write? Jan de Vries draws attention to the following: "Tradition, transmitted orally, updated every generation; although the original content and remained, but was changed in accordance with changing circumstances. Thus, the druids could keep up with progressing knowledge". Journalist Sergio, Quintino explains: "Priests, being the only Keeper of the sacred knowledge, possessed of limitless power." Therefore, the druids had everything under his control.

About Celtic deities little known. Although many were found their sculptures and images, almost all of them were anonymous, so it is difficult to say what kind of God or goddess is every single artifact. Images of some of these gods are known boiler from Gundestrup in Denmark. Names such as Meadow, Jesu, Carnon, Epona, Rosmerta, Cavtat and Szell have no value for us; but these gods had great influence on the daily life of the Celts. For the Celts were not unusual in honor of their gods and goddesses to sacrifice people (often were enemies captured in battle. Sometimes the head of the victims wore as spooky jewelry, then brought people to the victim with a single purpose: to retrieve a foreshadowing of how the victims died.

A characteristic sign of the Celtic religion was a three-headed God. According to the Encyclopedia of religion", "the most important element in the religious symbolism of the Celts is probably the number three; mystical significance of the Trinity is confirmed in many parts of the world, but in the consciousness Keltow it seems to have had a particularly large and long-lasting value. Some scientists say that to imagine the triune Godhead or three persons meant the same thing to consider his all-seeing and all-knowing. Trechitae statues were displayed at the crossroads of important streets, probably for "surveillance" for commercial trade. Some scientists confirm that the Trinity sometimes conveys the meaning of "unity in three persons". In the same regions in which were opened sculpture Celtic triune gods, today the Christian Church still represent the Trinity in the same way.

Yes, the Celts have an impact on real daily life and thoughts of many people, maybe more than we think.
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