WHAT THE CELTS WERE
THE NAME AND THE RACE
WHAT, then, were the Celts? We must first have some idea of what they were if we are to find out where they were. Every group of men living together forms a physical, social, and moral unit. Its members know one another and are known to others by their physical type, and, still more, by their manner of life, their language, certain sides of their civilization, their name, if they have a common name implying that they belong to the group, or some other symbol. Let us see how these various indications will help us in our study of the Celts.
THE NAME OF THE CELTS
The ancient Greek writers who have left information about the Celts used the name κελτοί, Latin Celtœ, as a general racial designation applying to large peoples living a long way off. At the beginning of the third century before Christ, a new name, that of Galatians, Γαλάται, appears for the first time in the historian Hieronymos of Cardia,1 who wrote of their invasion of Macedonia and Greece and their settlement in Asia Minor. It appeared in the epitaph of young Cydias, who was killed at Delphi in 279.2 It is probable that the name of Galli came into use among the Italians, as a rival to the old name of Celts, about the same time or a little before. The words Galatians and Galli were likewise used as general terms, and were not the names of small groups which became generalized.____________________