Here are notes associated with the early Celtic tribes who wandered Europe in late Classical times and the early Dark Ages. This catalogue should not be considered complete - there are a great many smaller Celtic tribes not listed; as I develop more data, I will add to what is here, but what follows can be considered at least a broad sampling of the largest and most significant. This file can be considered a companion to my files on eastern Nomads and Teutons - each can be studied with a view toward analyzing the different sorts of pre-literate nomads (barbarians, in popular parlance) to have wandered Eurasia.
This file contains...
Britain, Galatia (Anatolia), Gaul, Ireland, Italy, Proto-Celts.
Aduatuci, Ædui, Allobroges, Ambarri, Ambiani, Andes, Arverni, Atrebates (Br), Atrebates (Ga),
Aulerci Cenomani, Aulerci Diablintes, Aulerci Eburovices, Ausci, Belgæ, Bellovaci, Bituriges,
Brigantes, Brixii, Cadurci, Caletes, Canti, Carnutes, Carvetii, Celto-Ligurian Culture, Cenomani,
Coriosolites, Coritani, Cornovii, Catuvellauni, DalRiada, Damnonii, Deceangli, Demetæ, Dobunni, Dumnonii, Durotriges, Eburones, Hallstadt Culture, Helvetii, Iceni, Insubres, La Tène Culture,
Lemovici, Leuci, Lexovii, Mediomatrici, Menapii, Morini, Namnetes, Nervii, Ordovices, Orobi,
Osismi, Osraige, Parisi (Br), Parisii (Ga), Petrocorii, Pictones, Regnenses, Remi, Ruteni, Salassi,
Santones, Segusiavi, Senones (Ga), Senones (It), Sequani, Silures, Suessiones, Tarbelli, Tarvisii,
Tectosages, Tolistoboges, Treveri, Trinovantes, Trocmes, Turones, Unelli, Urnfeld Culture, Veliocasses, Veneti, Votadini.
BRITAIN The British Isles have seen elements of every phase of Celtic people and, indeed, are the homeland of the last living remnants of this once-mighty folk.
ATREBATES (British) The Atrebates were orginally a Gallic tribe living in far northern France around Calais. Their leader Commius was allied to Gaius Julius Caesar during his early Gallic campaigns but deserted him to join Vercingetorix's revolt. Following the defeat of the Gauls Commius, with many of his followers, fled to Hampshire, in southern Britain, where they established a new tribal kindom.
BELGAE In southern Britain, along the coast of western Sussex.
BRIGANTES In northern England, Yorkshire generally.
CANTI In far southeastern Britain, around the county that still bears their name - Kent.
CARVETII In far northern England and southern Scotland.
CATUVELLAUNI A pre-Roman tribal kingdom located north of the Thames, and extending north and northwest; essentially, the modern regions of Hertford, Buckingham, and Oxford. The Catuvellauni were probably the wealthiest and most influential of the British tribal states. See also, a putative list of the traditional High Kings of Britain as a comparison.
CORITANI In east-central England, around the county of Lincolnshire.
CORNOVII In west-central England, the counties of Shropshire and Staffordshire.
DAMNONII The Damnonii (sometimes, confusingly enough, referred to as "Dumnonii") were a tribe of southern Caledonians located in Strathclyde (southwestern Scotland) north of the Selcovii and west of the Votadini. They cooperated with the Romans when Antoninus Pius extended the frontier northward in 138/42, and when that extension was abandoned in 160, continued to ally themselves with Rome, being granted Fœderate status and acting as something of a buffer between Roman Britain and the Picts in the north.
DECEANGLI In northern Wales, the counties of Gwynedd and Clwyd.
DEMETAE In Dyfed, the region of southwestern Wales.
DOBUNNI In central England, around Warwickshire.
DUMNONII In far southwestern Britain, Devon and Cornwall.
DUROTRIGES In southwestern Britain, the base of the Cornwall Peninsula in Wiltshire, Somerset, and Dorset.
ICENI In eastern England, involving the county of Norfolk.
ORDOVICES In central Wales, the county of Powys.
PARISI In eastern England, the coastal region around Humberside.
REGNENSES In far southeastern Britain, the region of eastern Sussex.
SILURES A powerful tribal state in southern Wales in pre-Roman times. The names of these sovereigns should be approached with considerable caution - several are well-known Celtic deities. See also, a putative listing of the traditional High Kings of Britain in ancient times.
TRINOVANTES In eastern England, the counties of Suffolk and Essex.
VOTADINI A later people of Romano-Celtic origin, dwelling in the north of England near Hadrian's Wall.
GALATIA In the early 3rd century BCE, a loose confederation of three Celtic tribes (Tolistoboges, Tectosages and Trocmes) migrated southeastward through the Balkans and into Anatolia. They devastated the region and formed an immediate threat to every state in the area until they were defeated by Pergamum. Thereafter, they retreated into ancient Phrygia (central Turkey) and settled a large district which took their collective name, Galatia, "Land of the Gauls". They organized themselves into a system of "Tetrarchies", four per tribe. Each Tetrarchate sent 25 representatives to a Great Council for matters of national importance. By the mid-1st Century, their considerably Hellenized descendants formed a kingdom which quickly became a client state of the Roman Empire.
AMBARRI On the western flanks of the Jura Alps in eastern France, the Franco-Swiss frontier near Geneva.
AMBIANI In northern France, around modern Amiens.
ANDES West-central France in the Loire Valley between Angers and Tours.
ATREBATES (Gallic) The Atrebates were a Gallic tribe based in far northern France near Boulogne and Calais - their leader Commius was allied to Julius Caesar during his early Gallic campaigns but deserted him to join Vercingetorix's revolt. Following the defeat of the Gauls Commius, with many of his followers, fled to southern Britain where they established a new tribal kindom.
AULERCI CENOMANI In west-central France, Maine province around Le Mans.
AULERCI DIABLINTES In southern Normandy, around Alençon.
AULERCI EBUROVICES In Normandy, around Falaise.
AUSCI Along the northern slopes of the Pyrenees Mountains in far southern France, the départements of Hautes-Pyrenées and Ariège.
BELLOVACI In eastern Normandy and western Picardy, north of Paris.
BITURIGES In central France, between Orléans and Bourges.
CADURCI In southern France, the region between Toulouse and the Massif Central.
CALETES In northeastern Normandy, between the coast and the Seine River.
CARNUTES In north-central France, the area between Paris and Orléans.
CORIOSOLITES In the angle between southwestern Normandy and eastern Brittany, the region around Rennes with Mont St. Michel on the coast.
HELVETII In southwestern Switzerland. It was the attempt by the Helvetii to migrate into the lowlands and exert control over other Gallic tribes that commenced Julius Caesars campaigns in Gaul resulting in the eventual annexation of France into the Roman state.
LEUCI In eastern France, the regions of Alsace and Lorraine west of the Rhine.
LEXOVII In Normandy between Caen and Rouen.
MEDIOMATRICI In eastern France, the Moselle Valley around Luxembourg and Metz.
MENAPII In southwestern Netherlands, the estuary of the Rhine and Maas between Rotterdam and Antwerp.
MORINI Along the coast of Belgium in Flanders.
NAMNETES Around Nantes and the Loire estuary in western France.
OSISMI In far northwestern France, the Breton Peninsula.
PARISII Along the Seine Valley around, well, Paris.
PETROCORII In Aquitaine, southwestern France, the area north of the Garonne in the region of Dordogne.
PICTONES In western France, the region of Poitou.
REMI In northern France between Champagne and the Ardennes, around the city of Reims.
RUTENI In the south of France, the region fronting on the Golfe du Lion.
SANTONES In western France, in a region between the Garonne and Angoulême which is still called Saintonge.
SEGUSIAVI In southeastern France, the upper Rhone Valley around the city of Lyon.
SENONES In north-central France, along the Seine Valley southeast of Paris, where the Yonne River meets it. It isn't clear whether this nation is identical to the Italian Senones of a somewhat earlier era, or if the two are divergent septs of the same folk, or if their shared name is purely coincidental.
SUESSIONES The Suessiones were a Belgic people of northeastern Gaul in the 1st century BC, inhabiting the region between the Oise and the Marne, based around the present-day city of Soissons. They were conquered in 57 BC by Julius Caesar. The town mentioned by Caesar as their capital, Noviodunum ("New hill-fort"), was near the present city of Soissons, which bears their name.
TARBELLI In the southwestern corner of France, facing the Gulf of Gascony along the north flank of the Pyrennes.
TREVERI In southeastern Belgium within the Ardennes Forest.
TURONES In central France, based around Tours, in the province of Touraine.
UNELLI Western Normandy, involving the Cotentin Peninsula and the area around St. Lô and Caen.
VELIOCASSES The lower Seine Valley between Rouen and Paris.VENETI Along the southeastern coast of Brittany, between Vannes and St. Nazaire.
DalRIADA A large and powerful sept in northern Ireland, which migrated as a people into southwestern Scotland and established a kingdom in Galloway and Argyll c. 475 CE. This nation eventually became known as the Scots, and created Mediaeval Scotland when Dalriada absorbed the kingdom of the Picts in 843.
OSRAIGE A tribal entity in southeast Ireland - the name means "People of the Deer". The district encompasses most of the present-day diocese of Ossory, based at Kilkenny. In the 6th century CE, this group established a small kingdom in the region, which endured until 1176.
ITALY It is perhaps not well-remembered by some that northern Italy was a Celtic stronghold for centuries, ca. 400-193 BCE. The Romans remembered them, though - Celtic incursions out of the Po Valley were to a large degree responsible for the disintegration of Etruscan culture, and the Roman themselves were caught in a struggle for their very existence; Rome itself was sacked and occupied by Celtic raiders in 390.
BRIXII At the edge of the Orobian Alps, between Milan to the west and Verona to the east.
CENOMANI In the Po Vallet near Mantua and Cremona.
INSUBRES In the area around Milan.
OROBI In the region around Bergamo - that section of the Alps is still called by their name.
SALASSI In northwestern Italy, at the edge of the Graian Alps north of Turin.
SENONES On the Adriatic coast, between Rimini and Ancona. It isn't clear whether this nation is identical to the French Senones of a somewhat later era, or if the two are divergent septs of the same folk, or if their shared name is purely coincidental. This folk are said to be the ones who led the successful attack on Rome in 390 BCE.
TARVISII In the Venetian plain, somewhat north of Venice itself.
PROTO-CELTS Celtic folk arose in central Europe in the Second Millenia BCE, out of a late Stone-Age environment. They participated fully in the development of Bronze-Age and Iron-Age technologies, and at the summit of their influence (c. 500-300 BCE) they were the major force to be reckoned with throughout Europe, and there were Celtic nations from Ireland to central Anatolia.
CELTO-LIGURIANS (ca. 2000-400 BCE) The cultural matrix out of which later Celtic cultures arose, these people were late neolithic, with some knowledge of copper-working. Emerging in very early times out of central Europe, and spreading in time both east and west, they were gradually replaced by Urnfeld types on the continent. They continued in Britain, though, and remained there albeit pushed ever-northward by successive waves of migrants and invaders - their remote descendants in the Isles were the Pictish people, who inhabited Scotland at the end of the Classical Era and beginning of the Dark Ages.
HALLSTATT CULTURE (ca. 600-25 BCE) An intermediate group of early Celts, early Iron Age in technological achievement. They arose in central Europe out of previous Urnfeld groups. At their height they had expanded into Britain and Spain, but their presence in Germany and France was gradually superceded by later La Tène peoples, though Hallstatt groups remained isolated in northwestern Spain until conquest by the early Roman Empire. Like other early Celtic peoples, they were fragmented into local clans and tribes, almost no trace of which remains today.
La TÈNE CULTURE (ca. 400-55 BCE) A later Iron Age class of Celtic peoples, occuring throughout western and central Europe - these are the immediate antecedents of the Gaulic nations present in northern Italy and France just prior to Roman occupation. Many of the above-detailed nations are, in fact, to be regarded as later La Tène cultures.
URNFELD CULTURE (ca.1250-600 BCE) The earliest proto-Celtic group, arising in central Europe north of the Alps out previous Celto-Ligurian peoples, and expanding thereafter both east and west. They are named thus from their habit of cremating their dead and placing the remains in large urns. They had a well-developed Bronze-Age warrior culture strongly uniform in most salient characteristics throughout their reach - presumably they were fragmented into localized clans and tribes, but no names have come down to us inasmuch as they were not in contact with literate neighbours.