History books somewhat unflatteringly sum up the Celts as being nice barbarians who were crushed by the Roman legions for their own good. The reality is different however. They were the strongest nation in Europe whose land stretched from the Black sea to Ireland. Forerunners of non-figurative art, they were the first to work with iron when the Greeks and Romans were still using bronze. They invented all the basic tools used up until recent mechanisation.
Thousands of our rivers, valleys and towns have kept their Celtic names. One of the first and foremost examples of this is "Paris" which the Romans wanted to call Lutèce. King Arthur, Merlin and the Knights of the Round Table all feature strongly in today's global cultural imagination. "Halloween", the Celtic New Year, is back in fashion and these inventive, brave and sometimes revelling ancestors, previously considered to be stifled by history, have sprung back to life.
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