A concept drawing for the Celtic Women Warriors, representing the Irish/Scottish (Gaellic) and the Welsh culture in the Historically Wrong sketch Series: Medieval Revisited, which is roughly based on the Middle ages covering 800 AD to 1400 AD. In the series, the celts of British Isles (Irish, Welsh and Scots) are represented as loose federation of tribes, clans and petty kingdoms united into a single alliance to defend their homeland.
You see, representing the celtic cultures of Britain as a single unity is rather hard, because each have their own unique histories, cultures and langauge. It took me a while to think of a proper way representing the various celtic culture into a single drawing, and alas, i managed to come up with this one. The lady on the left, Deirdriu Nic Domnhail de O'Lochlann
, is represented as an Irish Gallóglaigh, while the one on the right, Lady Gwenhwyfar ferch Cadfan de Caerfyrddin
, is represented as Welsh Longbow(wo)man.
To me, these celtic people had been the earliest inhabitants of the British Isles, long before the Roman came, as such, these people were the true inheritor of the land, so they should deserve their mention in the series
Now, for something else other than Fish and Chips and Big Ben, the History part!
The Celtic civilization, especially that which exists in the British Isles, had been an ancient one, whose many histories were shrouded in myths and legends. But it was pretty understandable, given that most of their historical accounts were written Roman, their conqueror and the one who succeeded in destroying their civilization. To the eyes of the Roman, these were primitive, backward unwashed savages unworthy of the Roman way of life....or were they? The Celt posessed a complex mathematical calendar, much more accurate than that which the Roman had. They were also the first Road Builders of Europe, connecting various cities and trade routes, long before the Roman had built theirs. They also had laws that protected the rights of the young, the weak, the old and the handicapped, a concept which is Alien to the roman of that time. They were also quite wealthy as well, which is one of the reasons why the Roman conquered them in the first place. But alas, the succeeded in invading and settling down in Britain, eliminating the last powerful Celtic civilization with the defeat of Boudicca, the queen of the Iceni.
When the Roman left Britain in around 5th century, the land was left open for another invader from Europe, the Anglo-Saxons. The society underwent many changes, and the local inhabitants splintered into several distinct cultures, the largest of which, is the Welsh. They established rule over the land, not as single unity, but rather a different petty kingdoms wrestling for power over the centuries. Their disunity became their downfall when the another conqueror arrived on the island in the 11th century, the Normans. In just a few centuries later, their successor, the English, conquered Wales and fully incorporated the land into the Kingdom of England in the 16th century.
What about Ireland? the famed island of legend and myths? Well, the Irish did made contact with the Roman, but was never part of the empire. They ruled independently, preserving their traditions and cultures even after the fall of Rome. But Ireland was not a land ruled by a single king, in fact, it was ruled by various rival clans, and were often at each others throat. These kept the Irish busy, and no one dared to venture into the land given the hostility...until the arrival of the Normans. At first, they pretty much left the Irish alone, but when the descendant of the Normans, the English king Henry VIII rose to power, he wanted Ireland to be part of the Kingdom of England. His ambition was met with stiff resistance but ended in Irish defeat. Alas, the land was tamed by the English, the event which would left deep scar to the Irish, and the basis on which the conflict between England and Ireland could be felt to this day.
As for the Northern part of Britain? Much of their history before the arrival of Roman was pretty scarce. The Romans referred the land as Caledonia, and called its inhabitants "Picts". The word itself derrived from Picit, which meant "the painted ones", from the tradition of its warriors to fight with painted body tattoos. They were quite ferocious and hostile to the Romans, which lead them to abandon any attempt of settling up north and constructed the Hadrian Wall. The picts may have succeeded in establishing their independence from their first foreign invader, but as centuries goes, they came into conflict with the Anglo Saxons and the Viking who came to invade their land. This lead the Picts to unite together, forming the Kingdom of Scotland to fight off the invaders, which includes the English themselves.
Celtic Woman Warriors are no stranger to anyone's ears. Generally speaking, the classical laws such as that used by the Irish, gave women more rights that their European neighbors rarely had. Also, it was a common sight for women to fight alongside the men in Celtic society, bust as the age progress and their society became more complex and sophisticated, Women pursued more political ambition, than martial ambition.
Given the nature of the Historically Wrong Sketch, the Celts will have plenty of enemies to fight with
The Anglo Saxons
, The Normans
, and the Viking
I think a 4 way battle between all four would be quite interesting!
A Part of the Historically Wrong Sketch Series: Medieval Revisited - You can find more on the various faction on the map here:
You can check out browncoatmando
page where he has written a heroic story with some light side touch featuring Deirdriu and Gunnhildr
- You can find the story here browncoatmando.deviantart.com/…