Before looking at the Roman invasions, it is important to set the scene and get a picture of life in Britain in the first century BC, which was a time when the country was divided into regions, each occupied by a tribe.
The Britons, also known as Celtic Britons or Ancient Britons were the Celtic people who inhabited Great Britain from at least the British Iron Age and into the Middle Ages, at which point they diverged into the Welsh, Cornish and Bretons (among others). They were loosely tied by similar language, religion, and cultural expression. They spoke the Common Brittonic language, the ancestor of the modern Brittonic languages.
They were not centrally governed, and quite as happy to fight each other as any non-Celt. They were warriors, living for the glories of battle and plunder. They were also the people who brought iron working to the British Isles.
In 390 BCE, the Gauls defeated the Romans at the confluence of the Tiber and the Allia rivers, and then marched on to Rome. In late July of that year, the undefended city fell to the invaders and was burnt and sacked. The only resistance was from a small number of Romans on Capitol Hill, who held out until they were forced to surrender due to famine.
Warfare was deeply ingrained in Celtic social structures, art, religion, and lifestyle, and the Celts had a reputation as fierce warriors among their neighbours in the ancient world. Why did they excel at warfare?
During the Iron Age (c. 800 BC - AD 43), many people in Britain lived in settlements called hillforts. A hillfort could be home to hundreds of people. These settlements were on higher ground because it made it easier to defend their tribe against attacks from other tribes.
The Celts were a group of peoples who expanded throughout Europe during the Bronze and Iron Ages. The origins of the Celts are still a topic of ongoing debate among historians. How was Celtic Society structured?