Roman Army's Superiority to the Celts
Sewers, Baths, Toilets, Roads, Theatres and the Cambridge Latin Course
are just a few examples of the wonderful and innovative technology
brought to this country by a much accomplished and conquering Roman
Army. The Roman Army had advanced as far as (Great Britain) conquering
along the way Germania (Germany) and Gaul (France) amongst others.
However their arrival in Britain was greeted by the native Celts who
were 'one of the four great barbarian people (Ephorus 405-330 bc).'
The Celtic tactics and fighting techniques were a stark contrast to
the Roman military and the Celtic philosophy on weaponry and armour
was also different. The battles that emerged were some of the most
intriguing in the history of Great Britain and its people.
In my essay I will be focusing on why the Celts were eventually beaten
by the Roman Army. To do this I will be comparing and evaluating the
Romans and Celts under the general headings of Tactics, Armour and
Weaponry and by doing this I hope to come to conclusions on the Roman
victory over the Celts and how the Romans were superior under those
Firstly lets start with tactics. Not only will I discuss battle
tactics, I will also detail the military setups and organizations
within the two societies.
The Roman Army was one of the first great civilizations to have an
organized and professional military institution. The Roman Army was
similar to our modern British army because it had an army of
extensively trained soldiers who had been organized and were
professionally employed. In other words they got paid and were very
well trained. 'I gave the soldiers their pay and inspected their
weapons. (Periplous 6.1.2)' Also recruits had to go through rigourous
checks (eg.. the minimum height of a soldier had to be 5ft 6in) and
most recruits were there of their own free will because they might
just have wanted to be paid to do something or they might have had
patriotic thoughts (although there was conscription during war time.)
This recruitment policy meant only the strongest and most loyal Roman
citizens became soldiers. 'He made no use of freed men or slaves of
official business' (Tacitus, Agricola chapter 19).
In contrast there was no main Celtic Army. The Celts were instead
groups of 'fierce tribes (Ammianus book XX,1)' that individually
controlled areas of land. This meant in single battles the Celts were
not as strong however this meant progress for the Romans was slow
because there were so many different tribes to defeat. In terms of
military setup this independence meant the tribes were not united
(although Queen Boudicca had most success against Romans by uniting
these tribes) and had very little trained soldiers of any sort or any
organized military army which made it difficult...