“We fight another day to live ” or “Axe-time! Sword time! Shields and splintered” Can you recognize this?
Well, if you can, you will get a round of applause. If you don’t, then don’t worry. We’re here to tell you. Vikings and Celts, we often heard this in movies or games. But are these two men made, or do they exist?
Well, Vikings and Celts are two ancient European tribal groups. They are not related to each other. But they had lived next to each other approximately 1000 BC. But in reality, they had a clash for centuries. Let’s get to know about Celts VS Vikings.
- Celts VS Vikings – Different Tribes Tradition & Way of Living
- Did the Celts fight Vikings
- Expansion of Province:
- Custom and Habits
- Animal Farming
- Handicraft Industry
- Language and Religion
- Viking Conquests:
- The Norwegian Vikings
- The Danish Vikings
- The Sweedish Vikings:
- Custom and Habits
- Similarities and Differences Between the Two Ethnic Groups
Celts VS Vikings – Different Tribes Tradition & Way of Living
The community which was active around 2000 BC is named the ts or the Celtic ethnic group. It is one of the ancient ethnic groups of European culture.
It was also connected with ancient Greece and ancient Roman civilization. Celts are then called “Barbarians” associated with Germanian.
The originator of the word Celt is Caesar. He gave this Latin name to this group. The celts are usually linked with the British islands, bagpipes, tartan, ginger hair, and fairy and monster stories of classical times right into the early modern era.
According to the war diaries of Caesar, Celts have a unique physical feature: their hair color is red.
But the Celtic culture today is closely linked to Ireland. It is hard to remember that celts were Celtic speakers throughout Germany, Poland, Switzerland, Austria, France and the British Islands.
However, the Celts had an organized druid community that influenced their culture, government, and decision-making. Even today, celts descendants like to follow their own culture and language.
In the long history, Celts were very active in the primitive age, but as time went on, it started weakening.
The birthplace of Celts was the Seine Basin. It is the upstream area of eastern France along with the upstream areas of the Rhine and Danube. Around the primitive age of 10 the century, Celts appeared for the first time there.
They were the first ethnic groups to learn iron-made weapons and their uses. With those weapons, they defeated other small, weak groups and started settling in France in the early 7th century BC.
Did the Celts fight Vikings
Yes, the Celts and Vikings did wage war against one another. The conflict began in the 8th century AD and lasted until around 1000 AD. The reason for this disagreement is unknown, but it likely had to do with land or trade issues.
In any event, both cultures left behind a number of interesting artifacts and stories as a result of their interactions. The conflict began on Norway’s southern coast in the 700s AD.
A Norseman named Erik Bloodaxe led raids that resulted in a massacre and became known as “Black” or “Blodþarfan”. He ruled from 789 until he was killed by his half-brother Sigurd after a battle near modern day Trondheim, Norway.
Expansion of Province:
After that, they started expanding all across the European continent from the 5th century BC. They invaded British isles and conquered it. Some of them started living there, and others went to Scotland.
Later, in 387 and 289 BC, the Celts invaded and destroyed Rome and Greece. Some of the tribes invaded Anatolia, a region of Turkey. Again they also conquered Portugal to the black sea.
In 385 BC, Celts looted Rome. This was one of the painful historical parts for Romanians. Later then, between 59 BC to 49 BC Julius Caesar took their revenge by utterly winning against the Gaulish Celts.
After that, Gaul, the cultural centre of Celts, became a province of the Roman Empire. For this, one million celts were killed, and many of them became slaves.
However, after that Roman empire took all of England under its control except Ireland and Scotland. Celts culture started vanishing.
At the beginning of the Middle Ages, the Celts in Ireland maintained living in small groups. Four Irish provinces: Leinster, Munster, Connaught and Ulster, were not united until around 800 AD.
In 795, Vikings invaded Ireland and began to establish their province. Then, in around 1000 AD, Brian Boru has crowned the first king of all Irishmen. After that, in 1014 AD, he led Irish battalions to beat Danes in Clontarf outside Dublin.
After so many bloody wars then, in 1314, under the ruling of Robert Bruce, today’s Scotland got victory and recognition of a free country.
Custom and Habits
Celts dwelled in large families. They broadened their living place as they broadened their tribe. Celtic chief rules over the whole tribe.
At the age of 14, Celtic boys could join the battle. At the same age, girls were allowed to get married and have kids.
However, Celts were the first to proclaim gender equality. A Celtic woman could not only become a queen but also could take part in religious activities. They also accepted homosexuality and other unusual sexual exposures.
Celts or Celtic economy was based on agriculture, animal farming, and now it is largely dependent on handicraft business.
Before celts started military operations, they used to run their economy by agriculture. They were good farmers, and they knew how to grow their crops.
Celts had a good sense of selecting the right natural product for the right area. They used to grow Beet, Onion, Garlic as well as Wheat, Oat, Barley, and many more.
Their good sense of harvesting and hard work provided them with a sufficient harvest. This is one of the reasons for their population expansion.
As you see, in 400 BC, their population was three million, which was seven hundred thousand in 1000 BC.
After agriculture, animal farming is the second choice for Celtics. They used to raise horses, sheep and, in some places, pigs.
Certain tribes only raise a particular type of animal. Like, in particular places, glades are used for raising pigs, oak groves are used for semi-domestic pig raising.
In the 5th century, Gaul(today France) peoples painted their economy by mixing agriculture and animal farming. They used to live in that place permanently. They have tombs beside their houses where they stored grains for selling later.
In the later phase of Hallstatt culture, celts started splitting from agriculture and animal farming.
They started handicraft industries to contribute to the economy. Mining, smelting and processing were the three major categories in the Celtic handicraft industries.
Apart from these, they also involved potteries, yup glasses, enamels and so on. Day by day, Gaul started becoming perfect.
In the 2nd century BC, they expanded Gaulish pottery workshops worldwide. They were popular for elegant styles and incredible arts.
Geographically, celts lived in Europe, where all types of cultures are introduced.
Celts had also been introduced to other ethnic groups and their particular cultures. They acknowledged everything, enriched them and soon they created their very own unique culture.
Their culture periods are:
- The ball beaker culture and battle-axe culture(middle 30th century – early 20th century BC)
- The unetician culture(7th-14th century BC)
- The urnfield culture(13th-8th century BC)
- The Hallstatt culture(1140 BC-450 BC)
- The La Tene Culture(middle 5th-late 1st century BC)
Language and Religion
Celts people’s language is the Celtic language. It is a group of languages that is under the Endo-European family.
In the primitive age, a large number of people used this language. But today, only a limited number of people speak it.
Well, there are mainly four ethnic groups. Two of them are extinct now. They are
- Gaulish language
- Celtiberian language
- Goidelic language
- Brythonic language
Druidism is the religion of ancient celts. This religion was named after Druid. The core of this religion is reincarnation.
Here they believed,” if a person dies, his soul will not perish. But the soul will move from one body to another.”
Vikings are also known as Normans. They were the ancient Nordic people. They are the purest German people. The descendants of Vikings are Danes, Norwegians and seeds.
The word Viking was named after “Vik”, which means “small bay”. In the primary age, Scandinavians used this word to address their scenery voyage.
Later, people started addressing this nation as Vikings due to their endless destruction and panic in Europe.
In the time of long conquest, Vikings went across Europe. During the conquest, the Viking civilization linked with local cultures and formed many new nations, such as Normans, Russians. Gradually they started losing their civilization and belief in the same way.
The force of Christianity entered into the thought of these brutal “barbarians”, and then they expanded everywhere in Europe.
The Scandinavian peninsula is in the northern part of the European continent. Three seas named the Barents Sea, Norwegian Sea, North Sea, and Baltic Sea separated the continent from this part. This was not an easy place to live as it was situated at a high place.
Vikings were involved in piracy. Nordic countries often engaged in battles due to a shortage of resources, food, man forces and other basic needs. To stay safe from this arbitrary situation, citizens used to set sail and settle in other places.
The same scenario was seen generation after generation. For this, exploring spirit was their inherent nature, and they became valiant.
At first, in piracy, they intensively plunder mountains. They also destroyed Churches and other valuable places nearby coastal Europe and. England. But in the back, they were also creating.
They were expanding business, enriching their countrymen’s lives. So, they were creating, on the other hand, destroying.
As early as 6000 BC, the northern tribes shuttled between islands near the coast and fed on fish. After 2000 years, people are engaged with agriculture here. Even so, as there were so many islands, ships were the main transport for Vikings.
Because of the forest density on the peninsula and nearby islands, they started finding the best equipment for house building and shipbuilding. Besides, as the land was not cultivated nicely, fish and shellfish were their main food sources.
After some decades, because of rapid population growth, young people started conquesting. During the conquest, three Viking countries had their particular path.
Such as – Norwegian Vikings raided British isles, Danish Vikings looted western Europe. Whereas, Swedish Vikings attacked eastern Europe and founded a new nation.
The Norwegian Vikings
In June 793, several boats appeared on the English coast. The Vikings soon came down ashore and destroyed nearby lands.
The destruction marked the entrance of Vikings. They also raided Paul’s Monastery along with the English coast, some British coast areas such as Scotland and the Isle of Man.
In middle age, churches inherit large amounts of wealth. For this, Vikings also raided there and looted wealth. Sometimes they captured aged people and women for slavery.
In 837, danish Vikings came to the northern part and started ruling there. Then Norwegian Vikings had a head to head counter with danish Vikings and lastly founded Irish Viking country.
However, in 1000 AD, under the ruling of Brian Bòrú, Irish people drove Vikings away.
The Danish Vikings
In 797, guided by Charlemagne, the danish Viking leader, they invaded the Carolingian Empire for the time and continued invading. Most of the invasions were guided by Charlemagne and his son Louis I.
In 834, Danish Vikings made another huge invasion, raided Frisian economic and business centre Dorestad, looted Rouen and Tours.
In 840, the heir of Charlemagne Louis I died, and the Carolingian Empire started to decline and break, providing Danish Vikings with a great opportunity.
The Sweedish Vikings:
Swedish Vikings were invading eastern Europe, where others were invading Western.
In the 9th century, they appeared in the Slavic region in eastern Europe. Here the Swedish leader Vikings Rurik created the famous Rurik Dynasty in the history of Russia.
After the death of Rurik, in 882 his heir Oleg raided the Dnieper region and captured Kyiv. Later it was designated as the capital. Oleg had done a lot for the expansion of his territory and conquered many Slavic tribes.
After the death of Oleg, Sviatoslav was the new leader. When Sviatoslav was murdered in an ambush, his son Vladimir repelled the enemy and consolidated the growing Russian Empire.
In 988, in a marital proposal of the Byzantine Empire’s sister to Vladimir, he became Christan. It was one of the conditions for marriage.
Soon the sweetened Viking’s regime quickly linked with the Christian culture and became a new nation, the Russian nation.
Custom and Habits
There are three categories of status in Viking society. Such as – slaves, freemen and headmen. Later, another category arises: blacksmith.
To Vikings, the blacksmith is a respectful professional work. Blacksmiths’ work is related to irons. They processed the iron into weapons and other necessary daily commodities.
Vikings were serious about their families. Men were allowed to polygamy means a man can have many wives.
Among the wives, the responsible one will be in charge of all household, and family-related issues and others will be slaves.
Vikings largely depended on boats whether for battles or livelihoods. Their economy largely depended on their looting, invading and exploring places.
In the 8th century, in the Scandinavian peninsula, only 2 million inhabitants lived. But soon, for great weather and climate, and of course for polygamy, their population started growing.
But their residing place was too small to hold extra populations. For this, they started migrating. But their real target was not migration. Rather, they started destroying and conquering places where they stopped.
Again, they are harsh. They like destruction and sea voyages. For this, they depended on their boats. Their economy was also related to boats. Even today, Vikings made great advances in shipbuilding technologies.
Usually, their boats had two upward indicating edges and a dragon-shaped bow. That’s why their boats are called ” dragon boats”.
The name of Vikings Parliament is “Thing”. In this place, all types of decisions were given, even life decisions. Before they became Christians, kings and headmen were elected in ” Thing”.
Similarities and Differences Between the Two Ethnic Groups
Celts and Vikings, two vital ancient groups, lived for 1000 BC next to each other. They had common in their traditions. Also, they had some differences too.
- Both of them are invaders. They don’t have their lands.
- Both of them made clothes and accessories
- Both of them had some common lifestyles because of Germanic cultures.
- Celts are more civilized than Vikings. They built cities, had a complex trade system, and used automobiles. They also relied on automobiles.
- By 500 AD, all the Celts were Christianized. But north Germanic Vikings wouldn’t be Christianized until 1000.
- The Vikings were harsh and brutal conquerors. The Celts were slow and careful about expansion.
- The Vikings had Berserkers, the Celts didn’t.
- The Celts had chariots and wood riders – the Vikings didn’t.
Vikings Invasion to Celtic Society
There are many Scandinavian effects on the province of Celtics. Norwegian Vikings mainly invaded Scotland, Ireland and the Isle of Man. There Norwegian created crucial settlements and many provinces.
Recorded Viking invasions and some evidence of small settlements are found in wales. Strategic alliances are set with Danish Vikings to protect the Cornish from Anglo-Saxons invasion.
Brittany also experienced Viking assaults and occupations. Sometimes, strategic alliances were made.
Are British Vikings or Celts
No, British Vikings are not Celts. The term “Viking” is often used to describe the Norsemen who invaded and settled in Britain, but this is an inaccurate claim. The Viking people were actually descended from traders and pirates who sailed along Europe’s coastal towns and villages during the 9th century.
They became renowned for their fearless attacks on ships, ports, settlements and monasteries across Northern Europe. They were very brutal in their raids and attacks, but they also brought invaluable new ideas as well. Vikings often pillaged monasteries for resources, including grain and cattle.
Hopefully, you may have acknowledged all the details about Celts vs Vikings. They both existed in real life. Even today you may see their descendants around you.
In this blog, we compared and contrasted the two most prominent cultures in medieval Europe: the Celts and the Vikings. We looked at their history, culture, and achievements, as well as their respective weaknesses. At the end of the day, we came to the conclusion that the Vikings were the victors in this battle. However, we think that there is still much to learn about these two fascinating cultures, so stay tuned for more.
1. Who Came First Celts or Vikings?
This is a difficult question to answer definitively. There is no certain evidence that can point decisively one way or the other. It’s possible that the two groups interaction began earlier than 8th century AD, but it’s also possible that there was a preexisting conflict between them before then. In any event, by 1000 AD both cultures had largely vanished from the face of Earth and their legacy remains today.
2. Are Celts Related to Vikings?
Again, this is a difficult question to answer definitively. There is no direct evidence linking Celts and Vikings together genetically or historically. However, there are some similarities between the two groups that may suggest a connection. For example, both Celtic and Viking cultures were strongly focused on warfare and raiding. They also shared common religious beliefs and practices, such as paganism (Celtic) or Norse Christianity (Viking).
3. Where Do the Celts Live?
The Celtic peoples lived primarily in the British Isles, France, Spain and Germany. The Vikings lived in Scandinavia and North Africa. The Celts inhabited high, mountainous regions and settled in ecologically rich areas. The Vikings lived all around the map. What is interesting about this geographical distribution is that it does not necessarily have to do with ethnicity or genetic ties, but rather indicates cultural continuity as well as inter-cultural interactions between peoples unique to each region at different times in history
4. Were the Celts or Vikings Better Warriors?
There is no one answer to this question. It depends on the context in which it was asked and the criteria used to measure performance. Some people may place more emphasis on Celtic strengths such as horsemanship or invulnerability to attack, while others may view Viking capabilities such as naval power or strategic planning as more significant. Ultimately, it’s up to the individual reader to decide which group they believe was superior in terms of military prowess.
5. Are Vikings Irish or Scottish?
No, the Vikings did not originate from either Ireland or Scotland. The term “Viking” is actually derived from the Old Norse word vikill meaning “to pillage,” and refers to Viking raiders who sailed around Europe attacking coastal towns and settlements. The Norse people did originate from Norway and Iceland, but they weren’t part of the Viking culture.