The smallest group in Celtic society was the
Fine. A fine is an extended family group that included
grandparents and parents and their kids, and could include aunts,
uncles, cousins and their kids. The individual was not important.
The fine was a unit, and was treated like one person.
Everything belonged to the fine. A person could not break the
law. If a member of a fine broke the law, the fine was
responsible. By the same token, there was no such thing as
individual glory. The fine was victorious.
The next step up was the clan. Each clan
was made up of several fines. In some cases, a fine would be so
large that it was a clan in itself. You were part of a clan for life
and beyond. Clans went back many generations.
Each clan had a leader. You did not inherit
leadership from your father. Any male could be chosen as long as he
had a blood relationship to the clan. Each clan expected certain
things of their leaders. Leaders had to be strong warriors. They had
to be able to work out disagreements with other clans and conduct
trade and raids on neighboring clans. Most importantly, they had to
be rich enough to throw really good festivals.
Celts were loyal to their clans:
stuck together. Members of a clan supported each other. That is one
of the major reasons the Celts never developed an empire. To have an
empire, you need a central government, with one leader who ruled all
the people. The ancient Celts would never had allowed this. Their
loyalty was to their fine and to their clan.
Inside each clan, there were three major groups
At the top were the nobles,
which included warrior leaders and landowners.
In the middle were the artisans,
(priests and teachers), and the bards.
At the bottom were the common people,
Whatever their position in society, all
people lived well. Everyone in Celtic society belonged to a clan.
Everyone belonged to a fine. And everyone had a job to do.
Meet the Celts
were the Celts?
Culture of the Celts
a Celtic home
Presentations in PowerPoint format