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 The Celts !!!

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The Great LEO

The Great LEO

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The Celts !!! Empty
PostSubject: The Celts !!!   The Celts !!! EmptyMon Apr 12, 2010 5:33 am

The Celts (pronounced "kelts")
were the ancient inhabitants of Northern Europe and the builders of Stonehenge
5000 years ago. Julius Caesar had battled them during his conquest of Gaul. The
Romans eventually took most of Britain and the Iberian Peninsula from them as
well. At the end of the ancient Roman Empire, the Celts occupied only parts of
northwestern France, Ireland, Wales, and parts of Scotland. During the course
of the Middle Ages, they strengthened their hold on Scotland and made several
attempts to take more of England.

The Irish remained in small bands during
the early Middle Ages. By 800 the four provinces of Leinster, Munster,
Connaught, and Ulster had risen to power under "high kings." Viking
raids began in 795 and then Viking settlements were established in the middle ninth
century. The most important of these was at Dublin. Brian Boru became the first
high king of all Ireland around 1000. In 1014 the Irish defeated the Danes of
Dublin at Clontarf, although Brian Boru was killed.

An Irish tribe called the Scotti invaded
what is now southern Scotland during the early Middle Ages, settling
permanently and giving the land its name. They pushed back and absorbed the
native Picts who had harassed the Romans to the south. The Scottish kingdom
took its present shape during the eleventh century but attracted English
interference. The Scots responded with the "auld (old) alliance" with
France, which became the foundation of their diplomacy for centuries to come.
Edward I of England (Longshanks, or "hammer of the Scots") annexed Scotland
in 1296.

William Wallace (Braveheart) led a revolt
of Scotland, winning virtual independence at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in
1297. Defeated the next year at Falkirk, Wallace waged a guerrilla war until he
was betrayed, captured, and executed in 1305. Robert the Bruce declared himself
king of Scotland after murdering his main rival. He drove out the English,
winning the battle of Bannockburn in 1314. Edward III of England recognized
Scotland's independence in 1328, but war between the Scots and English carried
on for several centuries. The crowns of the two countries were united in 1603,
long after the Middle Ages were over.

No prince in Wales proved strong enough
to unite the country. In the late thirteenth century, Edward I took over the
government of Gwynedd, one of the strongest Welsh principalities in Wales. He
proceeded to build five great castles in Wales, effectively placing the country
under English rule.
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