Mode of Roman Costumes
The people known as the Celts were made up of many different tribes, but they all shared the same language and manner of life.
The Celtic culture began in Austria around 800 BCE and the Celts gradually spread across most of Europe, settling as far north as Scotland and as far south as Turkey.
As the Roman Empire grew, the Celts fought hard to defend their lands, but in the end most of them were conquered. However, Celtic culture survived in Ireland and remote parts of Scotland and Wales, while in Cornwall and Brittany some Celtic traditions remained.
Celtic men wore short, belted tunics and baggy pants tied at the ankle with strips of leather, while women wore long dresses with belts. Both men and women often wore chunky neckbands, known as torcs, made from twisted bands of gold.
In battle, Celtic warriors wore bronze helmets, which were sometimes crowned with horns or animal ornaments. They carried bronze shields, fought with spears, and blew on tall war trumpets decorated with animal heads.
To make themselves appear more intimidating to their enemies, some Celtic warriors stripped to the waist and painted their bodies with swirling patterns, using a blue dye called woad. They also combed lime through their hair to make it stand up in spikes.
“Celtic warriors usually wore thick woolen clothes with bold patterns of checks and plaids”
Checks and Plaids
Celtic clothes were woven from wool and dyed bright colors, and often featured patterns of stripes, checks, and very simple plaids. These simple designs were probably the origin of the traditional plaid patterns later used in Scottish kilts.
The Celts were skilled metalworkers who made strong weapons and tools. They also created beautiful cups, shields, and items of jewelry from bronze, silver, and gold. Some of these objects, dating from around two thousand years ago, are decorated with intricate swirling patterns, and the same sort of patterns appeared much later in Celtic medieval art.