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Arche Seleukeia








Koinon Hellenon

History Units

In wake of the collapse of the Cubi-Biturge confederation, many of the Celtic tribes fell into near total anarchy. Some, like the Aedui and Arverni took this to advantage. They allied, conquered, or absorbed nearby tribes, forming powerful confederacies and kingdoms. These kingdoms and alliances often came into conflict over lands, rights to resources, etc. They had varied governments, but based along a similar model; an elected leader, over other elected leaders and representatives. The kingdoms were based on a kind of republican-monarchy with amounts of anarcho-capitalism. However, the exact powers of those officials varied. The Aedui and Arverni were capable expansionists with comparatively large dominions in contrast to many of their contemporaries, and was heavily affected (and had a heavy affect upon) mediterranean cultures, and were in great contestation to one another, both feeling they possessed rightful rule of all of Gaul. In 272 BC, the war had been winding down, but constant attacks on Aedui supply lines and merchants by the Arverni kept a kind of underlying war still going. The true 'inheritors' of Gaul would have been the Aedui, who held the rightful descent of power from the Biturges, but the Arverni felt they had the strength and wealth to rule Gaul. Many of their actions they justified through religion, as law and religion were closely tied in Celtic society; they were flagrantly disregarding the law, and needed to ensure their people they were not doing anything evil. The Aedui had controlled substantially more of Gaul at one time, but attacks from the Belgae (beaten back by the Carnutes), and some poor performance against the Arverni, and losses to the Germans, had led to a lack of confidence in the Aedui. At this point, the war could have gone in either's favor, but for the most part, they fought blow for blow, and stalemated repeatedly, leading to intermittent periods of uneasy peace.

Culturally, the Gauls, both the Aedui and Arverni were fond of poetry, metalwork, linens, stonework, music, sports, philosophy, and warfare. Warfare, they favored to such an extent, that most other hobbies centered around it. Poetry and stories often described heroes in vivid detail, works depict soldiers, both their own and foreign enemies, and sports often exemplify skills necessary to combat. Their economic model was a type of anarcho-capitalistic lifestyle, with religion encouraging charity, but never enforcing it. Taxes were taken mostly to provide their leader with a home, improve settlement defenses, and pay their warriors and champions. Soldiers were paid based upon experience, and it was not uncommon for a particular warrior to recieve a large gift for performing a heroic action, such as a pile of silver, or a new weapon or a shirt of mail. Feasts were a common event, with all of a tribe being invited to partake in great dinners, with games and music and duels between champions. These feasts served to reinforce family ties in the tribe, and to other tribes in large intertribal feasts. These helped encourage loyalty; Celtic families were extremely tight-knit, and reinforcing family relations encouraged the tribes to offer more soldiers, and inspired young men to become warriors to defend their family. The chiefs and kings would also attend these feasts, which helped remind everyone that the leaders were part of the tribe, and empathized with them. Gallic sports included indigenous Celtic games, and imitations of Greek games. Some games included hurling chariot wheels, foot races, pugilism, wrestling, and non-lethal duelling.

As in any Celtic kingdom, their leader is elected, not hereditary. The tribes elect a chief, chiefs in an area elect a chieftan, chieftans elect kings over a larger area, and the kings elect the high king. The Aedui also elected magistrates, as their actual kingdom is somewhat small. Their sense of a quasi-democratic 'empire' precluded them from introducing too much land into the direct rule of the Aedui tribe themselves. The magistrates were elected from chieftans and kings, or from experienced judges, priests, or other 'higher' professions. Chiefs and chieftans acted as assembled representatives of their respective tribes, and were expected to act and conduct themselves in a manner to the benefit of their tribe. Despite this, the Aedui themselves continuously held substantial amounts of power over their allied tribes; Aedui were often elected to the positions of the three magistrates, called Gobre, or to that of the high magistrate, the Vergobret. The actual kings had little power outside of business and the military. They were military leaders, and part of the reason for their election was because they had a great deal of money, and often controlled businesses, allowing them to reward their soldiers and champions. The powers of the magistrates were similar to those of a king, as they held power over numerous tribes, though mainly as organizers. Since multiple kings and many noble houses had control of the 'Aedui' regions of Gaul, they required a man to organize them; thus, all kings in a region would answer to an appropriate magistrate, with reports of expedentures, soldiers, income, and other information pertinent to the running of a country. The people also elected local judges, called brehon, who elected higher judges, called verehon. They had power over even the kings and magistrates in matters of legality. The brehons could be removed if they were suspected of being unfair, and were punished most harshly if they abused the law. The higher one's station in society, the worse their punishment under the law. The concept of prisons for domestic criminals did not exist; even foreign prisoners were simply sent to slave markets to be held, and if they were not ransomed, were sold. Criminals would be fined, and if the fine could not be paid, they had to act as a servant of the offended family until it was paid, or be outcast. In the case of murder, if he was outcast, he could be legally killed by the offended family. In any case, the judge oversaw these disputes, and listened to arguments and evidence from both sides, and decided what party was in the wrong. If a prosecutor failed in a serious legal case, such as a murder, they would be fined slightly for false accusation, so as to dissuade false accusers. The elected judges also formed a seperate 'senate', through which they passed and modified law. This was a slow process; this model was still in use in post-Christian Celtic countries, such as the Irish and Welsh kingdoms, and it's notable that almost no laws changed over hundreds of years. A change to a law would be proposed, and the judge would take this proposal to his tribe. The tribe would vote for or against it, by majority rule, and the judge would return to the conclave, and give the tribe's results. A majority of votes on part of the judges' tribes was required to pass or veto the proposal.

The Gauls were conquered or absorbed by the Romans. During the Roman conquests, they fought both as defenders, and alongside the invaders. The Gauls had expanded from their home though, and settled the kingdoms of Tylis and Galatia in Asia Minor. Galatia lasted longer than Gaul, in a cultural sense, though it was a puppet of its Roman allies for a long period, and was peacefully absorbed in 25 BC; however, the Galatian version of Gallic persisted longer than the Gallic language of Gaul. The legacy of the Gauls is quite extensive. It was Gallic influence that introduced many elements into the Roman military, and their proliferation as mercenaries led to their usage in almost every major conflict (whether as Gauls or as Galatians) during the period simulated here. So many Galatians found employ with the Ptolemaic Empire, that the Fayuum region of Egypt is still largely populated by tall, blonde hair, blue-eyed people; blood descedants of the Gauls. Gauls formed a great deal of the early Goidilic culture, in concert with Britons, Belgae, Galaecian Iberians, and the natives. The conquest of Gaul is notable for its difficulty, even after the tribes turned on one another, and the death of the professional warriors. The subsequent, short-lived rebellion by the Arverni chief, recalled by his title (not his name), Vercingetorix, was the last breath of the Gallic lands, and though ill-fated, is a sign of the fortitude of the Gallic people, who, even though they never experienced successes on that scale, continually rebelled or otherwise expressed disobedience for a long period. Even after conquest, Gallic soldiers, poetry, wine, and other crafts and arts were highly favored throughout the Roman empire as some of the finest available.