INTRODUCTION

I
THE BARBARIANS

THE European borders of the Græco-Roman world were inhabited by barbarians, some of whom have earned a place in history. There were the Scythians in the east, the Iberians and Ligurians in the west, and the Thracians, Illyrians, Germans, and Celts in the centre. Classical authors took the trouble to write down their names, and some inquired with curiosity into their life and manners. Mediterranean merchants visited them, and may have penetrated among the very remotest, in search of amber, tin, furs, and slaves. Barbarians appeared in Greek and Italian cities as slaves or travellers. There were certainly some among them who were prophets of civilization, and some were cited as models of wisdom.

As Greece and Italy expanded, the nearest of these barbarians were-absorbed by them. Others, later, appearing on the horizon like a hurricane, waged furious war on Greece and Rome. In any case, they entered into various kinds of relations with classical civilization and with the Roman Empire, which became its base, and thereby were to some extent incorporated in that civilization and with it helped to make the civilization of the future. We shall attempt to draw a historical outline for the best- known of these peoples, the Celts and the Germans. Some of the others will come into the story incidentally. Those not mentioned in this history of the Celts, nor in that of the Germans, nor in previous volumes of this series dealing with Greece and Rome, belong to the domain of prehistoric archæology.


II
THE CELTS AND THE GREEKS

This is what the Greek writers tell us of their advance. We are given two dates which enable us to judge from the

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