HOW THE GAULS CAME INTO FRANCE
THE first home of the Celtic or Keltic, people,
thousands of years ago, was probably somewhere in
Eastern Europe or western Asia. As they grew in
numbers, from time to time tribes of them were forced
to leave home to seek new hunting and fishing grounds,
or better pasture for their cattle. Thus at a very
early period some of these Celts made their way to the
land between the Rhine and the Atlantic, which they
disputed with the Iberians, while others settled in the
At a later period, still many centuries
before Christ, they were followed by younger tribes of
Celts, or Gauls. As these newcomers were stronger and
better armed than the earlier settlers, they soon
gained possession of the best parts of the country.
These Gauls were more advanced in knowledge than the
earlier Celts and the Iberians, and were taller and
 better looking, with fair skin, blue eyes, and long
hair. They were strong and active and afraid of
nothing. They spoke in harsh tones, and often boasted
loudly of the deeds they had done or were going to do.
They knew how to work metals, and to spin and weave, so
they owned good tools and weapons, and wore breeches.
Shirts, and cloaks woven from the wool of their sheep.
They liked gay colors and pretty ornaments, and
therefor fastened their plaid garments with bright
metal clasps, some of which still exist, to show that
they were no mean artists. Besides some horses, they
own sheep, cows, and great droves of pigs.
The Gauls generally went bareheaded, their long hair
being gathered together and tied on top of their heads,
whence it streamed loose in the breeze, like a horse's
tail. All the warriors took special pride in the length
and thickness of their hair, which they carefully
combed and often rubbed with rancid butter, so as to
keep it thick and glossy. As they shaved off their
beards and wore long mustaches, they looked very fierce
when they brandished their bronze spears and
battle-axes, and uttered their blood-curdling war cry,
"Off with their heads!"
The Gauls believed that the souls of brave men passed
after death into new, strong bodies; and therefore they
rushed into battle without any fear. When one of their
chiefs fell, his body was placed on a huge funeral
pyre, where it was burned with his horse, his dogs, his
weapons, garments, ornaments, utensils, and booty.
Sometimes some of his slaves were killed and burned
with him, so that the chief should have servants to
wait upon him in his new life. The Gauls fancied, too,
 the souls of cowards passed after death into the bodies
of vile animals. Each father, therefore, taught his
sons to be fearless, so that they should be honored
here on earth, and be happy hereater.
The women were nearly as tall and strong as te men, but
even more handsome, and were greatly respected. They
wore long linen gowns,a nd died their hair red—a
color they greatly admired. They were so brave that
they not only encouraged their husbands, sons, and
brothers to fight, but often went into battle
themselves, side by side with the men.
Most of the warrior went from place to place and fought
on foot; but the bravest and richest rode fine horses,
around whose necks they hung ghastly necklaces, made of
the skulls of the enemies they had slain in battle. A
few also drove in war chariots, which had sharp scythes
fastened to their wheels. These dashed into the enemy's
ranks, mowing them down like ripe grain, if they did
not turn and run away in sudden terror.
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