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The rise and fall of the Celtic warriors - Philip Freeman

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One summer evening in 335 BCE, Alexander the Great was resting by the Danube River when a band of strangers approached his camp. Alexander had never seen anything like these tall, fierce-looking warriors with huge golden neck rings and colorful cloaks. They were Keltoi or Celts— a collection of independent tribes spread across Europe. Philip Freeman details the rise and fall of the ancient Celts.

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TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Philip Freeman
  • Director Carol Freeman
  • Narrator Addison Anderson
  • Art Director Katie Sherlock
  • Animator Katie Sherlock, Carol Freeman, Ciara Nolan, Chris McLoughlin
  • Music Stephen LaRosa
  • Sound Designer Stephen LaRosa
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Director Alex Rosenthal
  • Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Editorial Producer Elizabeth Cox
  • Fact-Checker Eden Girma
  • See more
Additional Resources for you to Explore
The Celts were a vast group of people who once lived in and ruled over much of Europe before the Roman Empire existed. Archaeologists and scholars have learned much about them in recent decades. Who were they and why did they disappear from so much of their land?

The ancient Celts were a collection of tribes who lived in and ruled over a large part of Europe in the first millennium BCE until most of their territory was taken over by the Roman Empire. From Britain and Ireland in the west to Spain in the south and Asia Minor in the east, the Celts spread across Europe and into Asia. The Celtic tribes shared with each other a common culture, language, and religious beliefs. We know about them from descriptions recorded by from ancient authors like Julius Caesar, but also from modern archaeology which continues to make exciting discoveries every year.

In Celtic society, kings ruled over tribes and warriors fought constant battle with neighbors and foreign enemies. Women were very important in the Celtic world and had more freedom and power than women among the ancient Greeks and Romans.

The druids were the priests of the Celts, but their role and authority in Celtic society was so much more than just presiding over religious ceremonies. They were also teachers, scientists, historians, healers, and judges.

By the end of the first century CE the Romans had conquered all the Celtic lands except Ireland. There the old ways of the Celts thrived until the coming of Christianity in the fifth century CE.

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Create and share a new lesson based on this one.

About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Philip Freeman
  • Director Carol Freeman
  • Narrator Addison Anderson
  • Art Director Katie Sherlock
  • Animator Katie Sherlock, Carol Freeman, Ciara Nolan, Chris McLoughlin
  • Music Stephen LaRosa
  • Sound Designer Stephen LaRosa
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Director Alex Rosenthal
  • Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Editorial Producer Elizabeth Cox
  • Fact-Checker Eden Girma
  • See more