Date of Award

Winter 12-15-2023

Document Type

Research Paper


Whittier Scholars Program

First Advisor

Jason Carbine

Second Advisor

Scott Creley


When people hear the word Celts or Vikings there seems to be a common stigma or romanticization of them. This seems to stem from the early iron age and has shifted over to the 21st century with the production of movies and franchises. They are often depicted as being savage, barbaric, or warrior based (a term used to describe them) when there is a whole other side to these people. In the Spring of 2023, I took an independent study course that allowed me to examine the available archaeological and other evidence to understand the identities of the Germanic and Celtic people, along with taking in consideration the impact of technology and environmental changes of these people. From these sources there was a common idea that seemed to stem from the antiquity that these individuals were “bloodthirsty warriors.” This is often seen in many of Julius Caesar's writings on his encounter with the Celts during the Gallic war; “he did not see the Celts as natural man, the noble savage uncorrupted by the complexities of urban civilization” and often describing them as noble savages.[1] This concept of noble savagery can be stemmed from their religious beliefs and ways of worship that garner this identity despite them having a more complex identity that is often hidden behind the word “Barbarian”[2]. This paper will examine different primary and secondary sources to help understand the further identity of these people and understand the misconceptions for the Norseman and Celts that are not commonly represented. These topics will range from their history, belief system, ways of worship, political and social structure, economics and trade, and technological advancements.