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Thread: I would like to know the differences between germanics, celts, and others

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    Luke Evans's Avatar Tiro
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    Default I would like to know the differences between germanics, celts, and others

    The celts were pretty sophisticated in some cases yet still barbaric the germanics seem to have been a little less aquanted with civilization and were very brutal in ugly ways, you people know all these sources tell us the facts. My second thing i wanted to talk about was how eb team should make their own game and crowdsource the funds, you would have eb fans and other fans for the period or type of game, does anybody remember spartan total warrior? Those damn danes in what seemed to be only galatia. You guys have shown that you might have been the real creative assembly
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    Luke Evans's Avatar Tiro
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    Default Re: I would like to know the differences between germanics, celts, and others

    Cenabum was an important gallic settlement, and like a cinabun it must have been some kind of hillfort or something, make a massively multiplayer conan exiles clone
    As long as you live, keep learning how to live.

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    A horse may run quickly but it cannot escape its tail.

    An hour may destroy what an age was building

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    Default Re: I would like to know the differences between germanics, celts, and others

    The celts were pretty sophisticated in some cases yet still barbaric the germanics seem to have been a little less aquanted with civilization and were very brutal in ugly ways, you people know all these sources tell us the facts.
    Since the sources were heavily biased against "barbarians" and in many ways can be considered propaganda which intentionally set out to make them look more savage and primitive than they actually were, we should be leery of some of these "facts". One good example of this was Caesar's claims surrounding the forests of Gaul. Caesar, perhaps in an effort to make the Gauls look more primitive, stated how well-forested Gaul was, but paleoethnobotanical evidence from the region suggests that it was actually rather deforested as a region(possibly due to how urbanized the Gauls were???). Given that Caesar was an eye-witness to what Gaul actually looked like during his lifetime, he was almost certainly lying, or at the very least exaggerating, about the amount of forest cover in the region.

    Well I'm not an expert, just a Celt fanboy, but here are a few differences between them and Germanics that seem readily apparent to me:

    1)The Celts, before their decline and the rise of Roman+the Germanic peoples, were much more metallurgically advanced than the Germans. This is depicted in game via comparison of Germanic elites vs Celtic elites: the Celtic counterparts are significantly more well-armored, wearing bronze/iron helmets and cuirasses more often than not. The amount of armor the Celtic elites wear is also a sign that the Celts were wealthier than Germans on average AFAIK.
    2)The Celts, on average, were more urbanized than the Germanic peoples.
    3)The Celts typically did not wear their hair in "suebic knots" and other hair knots which are characteristic of Germanic peoples for this period.
    4)The Celts, though not universally true, probably put a high premium on moustaches, and many pieces of anthropomorphic Celtic art depict men possessing moustaches. This is why our Celtic FM portraits and units in game have so many moustaches.
    5)The Celts, before their decline, seemed to engage in longer distance trade than the Germanics did. One of the things associated with the end of the La Tene Celts appears to be the collapse of long-distance trade systems which previously was integral to the Celtic economy.
    6)The Celts, like the ancient authors actually correctly stated, practiced headhunting and seen the head as a spiritual object which contained a person's soul. This is not to say that no Germanics practiced headhunting(I'm not sure on the specifics myself, I know VERY little about Germanics in this period), but headhunting as a practice was rather widespread amongst the Celts, in stark contrast to many of their "barbarian" neighbors such as the Geto-Dacians, Illyrians, Germanics and Iberians(these guys were right-hand-hunters rather than headhunters) where evidence for this practice isn't nearly as common(if present at all).
    7)La Tene art is rather distinct and can be roughly grouped into 4 styles: Early Celtic Art, Waldalgesheim, Plastic and Sword. For example, the double-headed dragon is a distinctly Celtic art motif for this time period. Vegetal patterns and designs are also frequently depicted in Celtic art(the Waldalgesheim style is notable for it's vegetal patterns). It should be noted that La Tene culture had a large hand in influencing Germanic culture and art styles.
    8)Swords. La Tene swords are very famous and distinct in nature when compared to Germanic single-edged swords(La Tene swords are double-edged), sicas, Italic swords or etc. The Celts used more long slashing swords than the Germanics did(Most Germans were either too poor, or perhaps too iron poor, to afford swords. Germanic single-edge swords are also totally distinct from La Tene slashing swords, which are double-edged). Of course, the sword was still an expensive weapon, as we all know, so it's not like every Celt and his mother owned one.
    9)Nudists! Though not every Celt fought naked, and the practice declined over time as the end of La Tene drew near, fighting nude is still something some Celts did(hence why the Uexitas, Gaisatoi and Galatian raiders are nude). When compared with the Germanics, Geto-dacians, Illyrians or Iberians, the Celts can be distinguished from these other "barbarians" by this practice of fighting in the nude.

    I'm sure there are many other differences that one of our historians could point out, but these are a few I've noticed.
    Last edited by Genghis Skahn; July 14, 2018 at 09:45 AM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: I would like to know the differences between germanics, celts, and others

    Quote Originally Posted by Genghis Skahn View Post
    9)Nudists! Though not every Celt fought naked, and the practice declined over time as the end of La Tene drew near, fighting nude is still something some Celts did(hence why the Uexitas, Gaisatoi and Galatian raiders are nude). When compared with the Germanics, Geto-dacians, Illyrians or Iberians, the Celts can be distinguished from these other "barbarians" by this practice of fighting in the nude.
    I doubt it was ever a "practice". Polybius says the Gaesatae took off their cloaks to avoid getting them caught in thorns. But it's a stereotype that just refuses to go away.
    Resident Language Geek
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  5. #5

    Default Re: I would like to know the differences between germanics, celts, and others

    Quote Originally Posted by Elmetiacos View Post
    I doubt it was ever a "practice". Polybius says the Gaesatae took off their cloaks to avoid getting them caught in thorns. But it's a stereotype that just refuses to go away.
    Seems they were genre savvy enough to realize that capes can be one's undoing

    *Gaesatae, subverting superhero tropes since 270 BC*

  6. #6

    Default Re: I would like to know the differences between germanics, celts, and others

    Since the sources were heavily biased against "barbarians" and in many ways can be considered propaganda which intentionally set out to make them look more savage and primitive than they actually were, we should be leery of some of these "facts". One good example of this was Caesar's claims surrounding the forests of Gaul. Caesar, perhaps in an effort to make the Gauls look more primitive, stated how well-forested Gaul was, but paleoethnobotanical evidence from the region suggests that it was actually rather deforested as a region(possibly due to how urbanized the Gauls were???). Given that Caesar was an eye-witness to what Gaul actually looked like during his lifetime, he was almost certainly lying, or at the very least exaggerating, about the amount of forest cover in the region.
    Caesar is also the first one to use the term "German" and even at this he totally messed up. Especially in calling germanic several Belgians tribes while they are archeologically not different from the others La Tène regions. There is no reason to think they viewed themselves that much differently, contrary to the account of Caesar where he is writing the situation as opposing identities. He wanted to produce a new barbarian archetype to distract the Roman world from the older archetype, the terrible Gauls that raided their city. Basically, Caesar is saying that the Gallic problem is solved and that they are no more primitive barbarians but potential subjects for the Republic. The homeland of the Gauls was constituted of rich and prosperous regions, contrary to the "Germanic" regions where urbanization and trading where far less intensive. There was clearly an interest to subjugate the Gauls and to make the Germans as new frontier barbarian peoples.

    But the truth is that there isn't opposition between Celtic and Germanic cultures before the Imperial Era. La Tène items are so common in the regions of actual Germany, Netherland and Poland, that is hard to see how the Germans could have rejected the Celtic identity. La Tène culture was simply in its Golden Age, everybody in the "barbarian" world started to use La Tène items and probably behave like Celts because it was kinda "trendy". The Germanic world was probably created after the fall of the La Tène culture and the huge socioeconomic void resulting by their fall. And very probably because there is an exogenous ethnogenesis from the Romans, labelling them as "Germans", even if it probably doesn't mean anything for them. Probably in the same way Celt and Gaul were used before.

    An interesting text to illustrate the discrepancies between Roman account and archeological/anthropological evidences in the book: Ethnic Identity and Imperial Power: The Batavians in the Early Roman Empire

    The tentative conclusion is that there is no archaeological evidence of large-scale discontinuity of habitation in the eastern river delta during the second half of the 1st century BC.The evidence simply does not support Tacitus’ claim that the Batavians settled in an almost uninhabited Rhine delta. Instead, the data suggests that the Batavians, who split off from the Chatti and moved to the Rhine delta, can best be regarded as an elite group (probably a prominent, pro-Roman Chattian leader with his kinsmen and warriors), which subsequently assimilated with former Eburonean subgroups in the Rhine/Meuse delta. This is a case of ethnogenesis with a multi-ethnic origin, probably under Roman supervision or sanctioned by Rome. If we assume that a Batavian identity group was already a fact in the mid-Augustan period, this process must have taken place over a few decades.

    Finally, a long-discussed question is the extent to which Lower Rhine groups, and Batavians in particular, attached importance to a Germanic identity. Did they refer to themselves by this name, or was it merely a label applied by outsiders? I would like to draw attention to Alan Lund’s recent analysis of the development of the term Germani in Roman times. Relevant here is his distinction between the use of this name both as an ethnic macro-term (Oberbegriff) and as a term with a much narrower meaning (Unterbegriff). His central thesis is that the ‘Germans’ – in the sense of the ethnic macro-term – were not discovered but created; in other words, he maintains that the name Germani was not an ethnic label by which a group identified itself, but an external categorisation. Lund sees Caesar as the creator of both the ethno-cultural macro-term Germani, and the geographical macro-term Germania. He regards the name ‘Germans’ as an externally applied ethnic label, comparable to the term ‘Indians’ for the original inhabitants of North America.

    The matter is more complex, however, in that there also seem to have been Germani in a narrower sense. A small group of tribes on the Gallic side of the Lower Rhine, of which the Eburones constituted the principal group, used this ethnic label to refer to themselves. Thus for them the name Germani may well have had an emic significance. What started out as the name of a local federation of tribes was later expanded by Caesar into an ethnic macro-term with a powerful political and ideological dimension. We know for certain that the Roman system of ethnic categorisation included the Batavians with the Germans. After all, they came from beyond the Rhine and were a splinter group of the Germanic Chatti. However, because it was a new Roman construct, the term Germani – in the sense of an ethnic Grossgruppe – meant little to the Batavians themselves. It is possible that they saw themselves as Germans in the narrower sense (i.e. the ethnic umbrella term for a group of east-bank tribes), but there is to date no epigraphic evidence to support this. Nevertheless, it is safe to assume that every Batavian soldier who served in the Roman army was familiar with the Roman clichés regarding Germans: the army was the context par excellence in which they were constantly confronted with this image. The Romans wanted to see the Batavians as Germani.This was particularly true of the Rome-based bodyguard of the Julio-Claudian emperors, which was expected to correspond to the clichéd image of fearsome Germanic warriors. They regularly presented themselves as Germans to the Roman public. In their grave inscriptions, however, they emphasised only their tribal identity.

    Archaeologists have nothing to contribute to the discussion on the Germanic ethnicity of Lower Rhine groups, for the simple reason that this cannot be defined on the basis of material culture. In archaeological terms, Germanic ethnicity is evident only as a Roman construct, and is most apparent in public inscriptions and iconography relating to imperial propaganda. It is of course possible (as Hachmann and many others have done) to proceed from a strictly archaeological concept of Germans, but this is a modern academic construct which says nothing about how people referred to themselves. What then does the archaeological record tell us about the relationship between the Roman macro-ethnic categorisation of the groups in the Northwest European Plain – as outlined above – and the macro-cultural articulation of the region? The archaeology of the Late Iron Age argues for a north-south articulation of the northwest European continent, in which the Rhine does not function as a cultural boundary. On the contrary, groups in the southern Netherlands and northern Belgium as well as in Hessen and southern Westphalia were strongly influenced by the La Tène culture, as is shown by the presence of central places, sanctuaries, specialist glass and metalworking, and the adoption of coinage. However, as part of the new politico-geographic order, all emphasis in Roman Germani discourse came to lie on the east-west articulation, with the Rhine functioning as a boundary between the civilised world and a world of barbarism. This politico-cultural divide was seen as the logical consequence of the distinct ethno-cultural barrier between Celts and Germans

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