The Developed Celtic World
THE migratory movements which began towards the end of the fifth century BC were largely, but not entirely, over by the beginning of the second century, by which time the immense energy spent on conquest and raiding was being turned to more productive activities. The result was that throughout the Celtic world intensification in production and exchange becomes evident on an unprecedented scale. The reasons for these changes are complex, and their pace and trajectory differed from place to place and over time, and yet the generalization holds good for a vast territory from the Middle Danube to south-eastern England and from northern Iberia to Bohemia. In attempting to draw out the causal threads running through these developments we must begin by considering the impact of the extension of Roman influence, both direct and indirect, on the communities around the Mediterranean core.
Rome survived the threat of the Second Punic War ( 218-202 BC) and in the aftermath embarked on the first significant stage of its territorial expansion. On all fronts--in Iberia, southern Gaul, the Po Valley, Illyria, and Asia Minor-- Rome confronted Celtic peoples. While the pace and nature of the interactions varied, the barbarian periphery cannot have failed to have undergone some change as a consequence of contact with the energetically expanding economy of the Mediterranean. These factors, together with the internally generated social dynamics of the different Celtic communities, led to the emergence of societies very different from those existing at the height of the migration period.
The Second Punic War was a turning-point in Rome's relations with the wider world. Before the war began, Rome's interests were focused on peninsular Italy and the seas around, the command of which required the control of the islands to the west and the coasts of Illyria to the east. The conflict with Carthage totally