Trousers to Tunics: Examining Cultural Interchange and Conflicts between Celtic and Classical Forces in Ancient Britain
Volume 7 | Issue IV | December 2023
Horace Mann School ’24
New York, USA
My interest in Celtic history dates back to seeing the movie Braveheart, the story of William Wallace (no relation), a Scottish hero. Although not historically accurate, the movie sparked my interest and led me to explore both my own Scottish heritage (sadly the trail went cold after three generations back), and the history of the Celts, ancestors of the Scots. While the history of the Romans in Britain is documented by a number of primary sources and has been discussed in great depth by modern historians, I found a gap when researching Celtic sources. The Celts passed their information through oral tales, lacking the written language necessary to preserve their knowledge. As a result, understanding their place in history requires piecing together information. To get the full picture, I used my school’s databases to find both modern authors covering the Celts, and Roman primary sources describing their “barbarian foe” to research my paper published in The Schola. I was fascinated to learn that, in many respects, Celtic society was extremely progressive and perhaps more advanced than the cultures that followed it. My research of the Celts helped me to understand how British (and by connection American) society came to be and made me realize the importance of studying often forgotten groups to fully understand how we got here. When I am not researching the Celts I enjoy snow skiing and downhill mountain biking, participating in a group that builds trails and promotes the sport in the unlikely location of New York City.