Disclaimer: This is an example of a student written essay.
Click here for sample essays written by our professional writers.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UKEssays.com.

Celtic myths and sagas

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 5405 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

Reference this

What was the importance of the Celtic myths and sagas on everyday life of the Celts at the time of the fall of the West-Roman Empire?


Since our essay is about the Celtic peoples, we would like to discuss more than just their myths and normal life. Therefore we want to research the history of the Celts. We want to find out where they came from and when and where they settled in Great Britain. That is what this chapter is about.

What Is The Origin Of The Celts?


Before 800 BC the Celts were not known as a separate tribe. Their forbears were part of several tribes in Central- Europe. Their first clear appearance would be around the 9th century BC. Around 3000 BC a group of people speaking a language called Old-European, lived around the Caspian Sea in Russia. This language would evolve into other languages and eventually they evolved into Indian, Persian, Greek, Latin, Welsh and Gaelic. These people are called Kurgans. Around 2400 BC the Kurgan people domesticated horses and made Jewels out of gold and silver. They also began to spread to the south. Around 2000 BC a group settled in Turkey and another group settled in Greece. But another group settled around the downstream of the Donau. They are called Corded Ware People by Archaeologists. They then spread farther West and North until they came in the regions of Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Great-Britain. They settled permanently around 1200 BC. But around 1000 BC they came across the Scythes, another Russian group. They taught the group, who eventually would evolve to Celts, a lot about warfare and art.

Get Help With Your Essay

If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!

Essay Writing Service

Around 800 BC the Celts flourished in an area north of the Alps up to the Baltic and Atlantic shores. This flourishing culture is called Hallstatt culture. Hallstatt culture was nothing more than a stage in the development of the Celtic culture. Hundreds of Celtic oppida, fortified cities, dominated an area north of the Alps around 600 BC. From this time up to the beginning of our calendar is Celtic culture called La Tène culture. This culture was more developed than Hallstatt culture. Archaeologists found a lot of weapons, tools and other artefacts in the North of Switzerland on the banks of lake Neuchâtel. These weapons and other artefacts proved that La Tène culture was far more developed than Hallstatt culture. Archaeologists found these artefacts across the whole of Europe and concluded that La Tène culture indicated a whole new period in Celtic culture. Around 600 BC Celtic smiths learned how to make cheap and sustainable tools and weapons out of iron. In Hallstatt period, the production of iron was hard. Hallstatt culture mainly used iron for weapons. But because it was possible in La Tène culture to use iron for tools, like ploughs, they lived more prosperous. There was more food and so the Celtic population grew bigger and little villages turned into cities. In this time, the first conflicts between the Celts and the Greeks and Romans took place.

Important Battles

On 18 July 390 BC the army of Rome was defeated by the Celts on the banks of the River Allia, a river not far away from Rome. For the Romans this moment was devastating. They saw their beloved city being ransacked by these ‘barbarians’ called Celts. This was the first battle of the Gallic’s in order to invade Italy.

Before the battle a single tribe of the Gaul, called Senones, travelled over the Appennines searching for land to settle. The eventually camped outside a town called Clusium. Clusium lies in the Etruscan province of Siena. They began negotiating about land rights. Because the Clusians felt threatened by the Senones, they called for help. Rome was weakened by previous wars but sent three ambassadors. The three ambassadors were called: The Fabii Brothers. They were there to negotiate the situation. Because this didn’t work out so well, Quintes Fabius, one of the Fabii brothers, killed one of the Gallic leaders. Then the Senones sent their ambassadors to Rome. They demanded that the Fabians would be handed over to them for justice. The Romans refused and according to Roman historian Livy writes:

“those who ought to have been punished were instead appointed for the coming year military tribunes with consular powers (the highest that could be granted)…. The Celtic (Gallic) envoys were naturally – and rightly – indignant!”

The Senones were furious and began a war against the Romans. The Senones marched 130km from Clusium to Rome to take revenge. Livy describes their journey:

“Contrary to all expectation the Celts (Gauls) did them [the people of the countryside] no harm, nor took aught from their fields, but even as they passed close by their cities, shouted out that they were marching on Rome and had declared war only on the Romans, but the rest of the people they regarded as friends.”

And so the battle of the Allia started.

The Celts eventually won the battle, and left with 1000 pounds of gold.

Around 279 BC the Celts went via the Balkan to Greece, where they attacked the Greece Temples for the gods in Delphi. The Greek called the intruders keltoi or Galatae, that is why they called that region Galatia. The poets and writers were so appalled by the Celts that they compared the Celts with mythical titans, cruel godly giants who fought with the gods of Olympus.

In 225 BC there was a battle in Italy, the battle of Telamon, involving the Celts. Around the 3rd century BC, Celtic tribes were surrounded by two expanding cultures: the Romans south and Germanic tribes north. The battle of Telamon and the battle of Alesia (52 BC) are associated with the end of the Celts on the mainland of Europe.

Migrations And Reasons For Migrating

The migration period took place between the years 300 BC to 700 AD in Europe. The peoples migrating where the Goths, Vandals, Bulgars, Franks, Frisians, Suebi, Alans, Celts and other Germanic and Slavic tribes.

Around 400BC Celtic tribes started to migrate. The Celts migrated because of overpopulation. An increase in population would have led to instability because Celts had a society living of raiding and war. The problem of a growing population could be dealt with very easily. The Celts could let a small entourage with a leader move out from their homeland, in order to search for a new place to settle. Some of the Celts migrated to the Po valley. They wanted to negotiate about the land were they wanted to settle, it gave some problems. This was the beginning of the battle of the Allia I described earlier.

This attack on Rome made Italy weaker for the next half century. During this time Celtic raids took place. Raiding can be better understood if you look at it in the context of Celtic society system. Raiding was a way of maintaining and getting status and respect.

After some time Rome had recovered and wanted to expand again. They signed a peace treaty with the Senones, but the peace did not last long. Celtic raids became more and more frequent. After the first Punic war (264-41BC) Rome wanted to expand up to the north. In 232 BC the territory of the Senones was confiscated, and it changed into an Italian settlement. Some years later the battle of Telamon took place. The Romans slaughtered the Celtic warriors during the battle.

Then the Roman armies moved quickly to the Po valley. Thus, the Celtic tribes living there moved away. They migrated northwards into Transalpine Europe. In 186BC Celts, including 12000 warriors, moved through the Carnic Alps plundering and settling. The Roman army fought them. The Romans forced the few survivors to go back to their home. Around 100BC the Roman Empire conquered most Celtic settlements. Many Celts were murdered or romanised. Later Celts only lived on the British Isles. They lived in Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

To understand the motivation for migrating, we have to know more about ‘the raid’. If a Celt wants to enhance his status, he had to demonstrate his ability to lead, his courage and his generosity, by sharing the booty of the raid. When the raid had become a part of the Celtic status system, it was necessary to intensify raiding. A successful raid and sharing the booty enhanced the leader status. Thus, it was easier to attract more followers on the next raid. Younger men, wanting to enhance their status, would be attracted to compete and so the cycle goes on. It is easy to see the limit to raiding neighbours. There was need for more adventurous expeditions, long distance-raiding. The need to raid was the central point of Celtic society.

The Celts were forced to migrate when their population grew too big or when their territory became too small for expanding. Then they migrated to other places to raid and settle. Take the Helvetii around 59BC. The Helvetii lived in Switzerland and were surrounded by mountains and the Rhine. This meant it was difficult to live over a wide area and in making war on neighbouring tribes. Because the Helvetii enjoyed fighting, they wanted to expand. They knew their territory was too small for their population. They eventually set of for a new territory on the Atlantic coast of Gaul.


Celts have a long history starting from Central-Europe . Around 3000BC Celtic forebears lived around the Caspian Sea in Russia. They spread south and even settled in Turkey and Greece. They also reached Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Great-Brittain around 1200BC. Celts flourished around 800BC North of the Alps, Hallstatt culture. Around 600BC they formed La Tène culture. Then after 400BC Celtic tribes started to migrate, some to the Po Valley. Eventually Celts vanished from the mainland of Europe and only existed on the British Isles. Celts lived there in Ireland, Wales and Scotland. The reason why they migrated is because of they way they lived. They needed to raid to get more status. This is described more thoroughly later.


Because of the fact our main question is set in a certain period, the period of the fall of the West-Roman Empire, we want to know a little more about the political and demographical situation of Europe. That is why we are going to research the Migration Period and the decline and fall of the West-Roman Empire. Because these were very important happenings in this period we also want to research if Celtic people were involved with them. We expect they were involved with the Migration Period and therefore the fall of the West-Roman Empire.

So this chapter is about the political and demographical situation in Europe and the involvement of the Celts.

What Was The Political And Demographical Situation In Europe In The 5th Century?

What Caused The Migration Period?


In this paragraph will the causes of the Migration Period discussed. The purpose of this paragraph is to find out the political and demographical situation of Europe and if the Celts were migrating in this period as well.

The Migration Period took place between the years 300 to 700 AD. This period can be divided into two phases. The first phase occurred from 300 to 500 and the second phase from 500 to 700. During the first phase the following peoples migrated: the Goths, Vandals, Bulgars, Alans, Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Franks and other Germanic and Slavonic tribes. The Celts had migrated far before the Migration Period and settled on the British Isles. They moved approximately around 100 BC because the Roman culture and the Germanic tribes encircled them. However, in the south of England some Celtic tribes decided to migrate because they were in conflict with the Anglo-Saxons. Only the first phase has any importance for us, therefore we will only discuss that phase.

There can be pointed out several causes for the Migration Period. Some of them lie within the Roman Empire and others are merely caused by Germanic tribes.

From the 3rd century on the (West) Roman Empire gradually declined, which will be discussed in great detail later on. The 3rd century was a period wherein the Roman Empire suffered from civil wars, economical depressions, outbreaks of diseases and several invasions from Germanic tribes. Roman generals who fought for the right of succession after Emperor Alexander Severus was assassinated caused the civil wars. Because of these civil wars the frontiers were not as highly protected as they should have been, which offered Germanic tribes such as the Vandals and Goths a chance to enter the Empire. These invasions weakened the Roman Empire even more and caused it to fall apart into three states; a Gallic Empire, Palmyrene Empire and in between those states the Roman Empire. In 270 Aurelian became Emperor and he was able to fight back the Vandals and Goths. He even managed to reunite the Roman Empire in 274. But the frontiers were clearly weakened, which would make it even harder to keep the Germanic tribes from invading.

Besides the central authority was considerably weakened as well. The Roman Empire had become too large to be ruled centrally. That is why there were also a lot of local authorities. Because of the local administrations the Roman ‘identity’ became less and less, which means the population did not feel specifically Roman. The decisions made in Rome were far away. Therefore the local administrations made decisions that were more in their advantage rather than beneficial for the entire Empire. In the border regions Germanic tribes could easily settle because the local population did not object.

Another cause for the migrations is that the population of the Germanic tribes significantly increased. Therefore they had to spread and move into the borders of the Roman Empire.

A lot of Germanic tribes in the border areas depended on the Roman wealth because they were ‘hired’ by the Romans. The Romans namely used Germanic warriors as a defence against more hostile tribes. In exchange the tribes obtained gifts and support. This is how the Germanic tribes obtained more power. As the wealth of the Roman Empire decreased because of the crisis in the 3rd century, the support and gifts given to the Germanic people also decreased. The Germanic tribes feared they would lose power. They wanted to remain powerful, which caused them to enter the Roman Empire in search for new fortunes.

This coincided with the rise of the Huns, a nomadic people originating from Central-Asia. These Huns had tried to conquer the Empire of China in vain in the 4th century. After their defeat, they moved towards the west to try the same. The invasions of the Huns caused other Germanic tribes to migrate as well. The Huns caused a domino effect. They invaded Europe in 374 and defeated the Alans, a people of shepherds. The Alans joined the Huns and together they invaded the Gothic Empire. The Gothic Empire extended from the Danube to the Black Sea and also covered a large area of Southern-Russia. The Visigoths and Ostrogoths inhabited the Gothic Empire. The Ostrogoths were defeated easily by the armies of the Huns. The Visigoths were afraid to get into a fight with the Huns, so they crossed the Danube to settle within the Roman Empire. The Goths made other tribes move as well. They soon got into a conflict with the Roman Emperor and because of that they took over Thrace. After 7 years of war Emperor Theodosius managed to make the Goth settle. However, around the year 400 the Goths started to plunder again under the leadership of Alaric. The Goths marched to Northern-Italy. The Vandal Stilicho, who was in charge of the West-Roman Empire, did not have any military forces in that area. Therefore he had to call for legions from Gaul and Britain. These area’s therefore were not protected well and that enabled the Picts and Scots to settle in Britain and the Germanic people in Gaul. Stilicho did defeat Alaric and the Goth retreated from Italy.

In 406 the Vandals, Suebi and Alans crossed the Rhine close to Mainz and settled in Gaul too. Some of the Vandal tribes moved to Spain and Northern-Africa as well. For that matter Stilicho was murdered and his successor weakened the Roman army severely because he took some very unfortunate measures, which caused many Goths in the army to cross over to the army of Alaric. Besides he had replaced many higher officers with fewer capabilities. Alaric knew the Roman army had been weakened and that is why he planned another attack on Italy. In 410 the Goths sacked Rome. In the same year Alaric died and was succeeded by his brother-in-law Athaulf. Under the leadership of Athaulf the Goth gradually moved out of Italy and moved to Spain where they founded a Gothic kingdom. During the founding of that kingdom, many Alans were wiped out. The Suebi and Vandals were forced to move to the north of Spain. Not all of the Goths settled in the Gothic kingdom, some of them moved to the area around Toulouse. In 410 the Romans retreated from Britain permanently. This meant that the Scots and Picts could settle in Britain. Around 425 many provinces were not under the authority of the Roman Empire anymore. In 425 the Roman Empire consisted only of Italy and Africa.

Back to the Huns. After they had gained the victory over the Goths, they gradually moved towards the west. The Emperor of the East-Roman Empire, Theodosius II, gave a lot of money to the most important among the Huns for years to maintain peace. Then in 434 Attila became the leader of the Huns. He had a strong will and he was imperious. He wanted to expand his power. Attila did this quite successfully, since he was able to found an empire that reached from Northern- and Central Europe and a large area of Asia. Attila made Slavonic, Sarmatians and Germanic tribes join him. In 446 and 447 the Huns invaded Greece and they even mover towards Constantinople, but they were never able to take over the city. In 451 the Huns moved even further to the west. They crossed the Rhine and moved to Gaul. The Huns besieged Orléans, but during the siege Aetius, leader of the Roman Empire, approached with a large army. The Huns raised the siege and moved to Chalons because the landscape there was more in their favour. The battle that took place in 451 is known as the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains. The Roman army was supported by the Visigoths and the Huns by the Ostrogoths. The battle was a massacre and it sort of ended in a draw. The Huns retreated somewhat to the east. In 452 they invaded Italy. They murdered everyone in their way and those who were fortunate to escape, fled to the marshes of the Adrian Sea. In 453 Attila died and with his death his empire fell apart too.

The stadtholder of the province Africa, Bonifacius, got into a conflict with Rome. Bonifacius called on the Vandalic king Genseric for assistance. The Vandals moved from Spain to Africa and settled around Cathage. This took place in 439. When Emperor Valentinian was assassinated in 455, Genseric decided to go to Rome to plunder the city. In 455 the Vandals sacked Rome and plundered the city within 14 days. After they had left Rome they ravaged the coastal region. The Vandals were able to do so because they had a fleet. In 457 Anthemius became Emperor of the West-Roman Empire and together with Emperor Leo I of the eastern half of the Empire he decided to fight against the Vandals and conquer Africa. From 461 to 468 they tried to defeat the Vandals, but they failed miserably. The Vandals were able to continue plundering.

Find Out How UKEssays.com Can Help You!

Our academic experts are ready and waiting to assist with any writing project you may have. From simple essay plans, through to full dissertations, you can guarantee we have a service perfectly matched to your needs.

View our services

In Northern-Europe the Angles, Saxons and Jutes migrated to the British Isles in the years 450 and 451. The Celtic tribes were forced to move to the northern and western corners of Britain. The Celts founded their own kingdoms in these areas. In the south of England the Bretons, a Celtic tribe, got into a conflict with the Anglo-Saxons which caused them to migrate to Brittany.

In the 5th century the Franks migrated to Gaul. This happened quit peacefully.

With that, the first phase of the Migration Period ended.

The research shows that there are many causes for the peoples of Europe to migrate. Because the Roman Empire had weakened the Germanic tribes had more opportunities to invade the Empire. Also their population had increased, so they needed more space. There was also a domino effect; when the Huns invaded Europe they made several tribes migrate. These tribes again made other tribes to migrate. Some migrations were caused by certain political situations. It can be concluded that the Celtic tribes were not really a part of the Migration Period. They lived in Britain and only a few tribes moved away when they got into a conflict with the Anglo-Saxons.

Were The Celts Involved With The Fall Of The West-Roman Empire?


This paragraph is about finding out the reasons of the collapse of the West-Roman Empire. We also want to research if the Celts were a reason for the fall of the West-Roman Empire

Many causes can be pointed out for the fall of the West-Roman Empire. It was a process of centuries of decline, which resulted in a split of the empire and later on in the fall of the West-Roman Empire. When the West-Roman Empire exactly started to decline, cannot precisely be told.

It is important to discuss the centuries of decay, because in those centuries lie the causes of the fall.

Many historians think the decay started in the 3rd century, a period of Imperial Crisis. This period began in 235 and ended in 284 AD. The crisis began when Emperor Alexander Severus was assassinated. A period of 50 years followed wherein more than 50 emperors ruled. Because generals and emperors were preoccupied with fighting each other, the frontiers were severely neglected. This made it possible for tribes to invade. In 258 the Empire fell apart in 3 states because of the civil wars. It was divided into a Gallic, Roman and Palmyrenic empire. In 270 Aurelian became Emperor. In his 5-year reign he defeated the Vandals, Goths and Palmyrenics and in 274 he was able to reunite the Empire. However, the Empire still suffered under more fundamental problems such as the right of succession. The right of succession still was not properly organised, which caused the civil wars to continue.

The Roman Empire had grown too big, which made it hard for an absolute ruler to rule efficiently. In the 3rd century the Roman economy suffered from hyperinflation. The inflation caused the economy to collapse. The inflation was caused by the alternation of emperors. Each new emperor wanted to strengthen his position by gaining the support of the army. This could be accomplished by paying the legions more money. The easiest way of doing that was simply cutting coins into smaller pieces with less value. This made the coin almost valueless. Because the Roman coin almost lost all its value, the trade network collapsed as well. The unrest made it dangerous for merchants to travel. Obviously, this damaged the economy.

The period of crisis ended in 384 when Diocletianus became Emperor. He reformed the Empire administration by dividing it into 4 prefectures that were divided into dioceses. This made it possible to rule the Empire more efficiently. He also tried to recover the economy by reforming the coinage.

Still there were a lot of fundamental problems. The economy was in a crisis, which made it necessary to have a large budget to maintain key elements such as infrastructure. However, such a budget did not exist. Moreover the economy of the Roman Empire existed only out of the product that were produced in the colonies and there were hardly any innovations or exportations.

On political and military domain the unrest remained. Constantine the Great moved the capital from Rome to Constantinople in 330 because the eastern part of the Empire did not suffer from great problems and there was far more wealth. After the death of Theodosius in 395 the definitive split of the Roman Empire was a fact. His son Honorius became Emperor of the West-Roman Empire and his other son Arcadius became Emperor of the East-Roman Empire. Honorius was not that much of an emperor and because of his weak reign Germanic tribes could settle within the Empire quite easily. Because of the split the 2 empires developed quit differently. The decline of the West-Roman Empire continued whereas the East-Roman Empire existed a 1000 years longer.

There were also problems in the military. Many soldiers of the Roman army were Germanic. These Germanic soldiers barely had any bonding with the Roman civilization and merely took jobs in the army for the money. This does not make the army very reliable. After all, when another party offers more the mercenaries will cross over. These Germanic soldiers gained more power as well, because at a certain point they were able to become officers. The emperors tried to keep the soldiers in line, but when they thought the emperor was crossing the line they would simply dismiss him and chose another emperor. This obviously stimulated the political unrest.

The migrations are seen as results of the decline of the Roman state rather than a cause. However, the migrations might have amplified the decay somewhat.


It can be concluded that the Roman Empire simply had become too large at a certain point, which caused political and military problems. These problems caused economical problems. The Roman Empire consisted too many different people with their own languages and customs etc. and the long frontiers simply could not be secured against invasions at a certain point, especially with a weakened army.

The internal problems caused a long period of decline that resulted in the dismissal of the last West-Roman Emperor Romulus Augustulus by Odoacer in 476.

Now the causes of the fall of the West-Roman Empire are known, it can be concluded that the Celts were not involved whatsoever. They had moved to Britain long before the Migration Period and hardly were involved with the Roman Empire.


With the results of the research we can conclude that against our expectations the Celts were involved nor with the Migration Period nor with the fall of the West-Roman Empire. The research of both the origin of the Celts as the Migration Period shows that the Celtic tribes had moved to Britain around 100 BC, long before the Migration Period. That means that they could not have possibly caused the Migration Period. The research of the fall of the West-Roman Empire shows us that there were several political and economical causes for the slow decline of the Empire. The Migrations amplified the decline somewhat, but since the Celts were not migrating they were also not involved with the fall of the West-Roman Empire.


If we want to know whether the myths and sagas influenced the everyday life of the Celts we need to know more about the everyday life. That is what this chapter is about; finding out what everyday life was about. We consider the following aspects as everyday life: means of existence, primary and secondary necessities of life, warfare and religion.

We think that Celtic life was quite basic because they were living in tribes. Our expectation is that they were agriculturists and therefore did not trade a lot. Even though that means they were probably not rich, if rich means having money, we do think they made a lot of art. It is probably a prejudice that the Celts liked fighting, but we do think that warfare was quit important because we think tribes competed with each other. Also we want to know what their warfare was like. We expect that the Celtic religion was a polytheistic one because basically all religions from that time except for Christianity and Judaism were polytheistic.

How Did The Celts Live?

What Were Their Means Of Existence?


If one wants to research what everyday life was like, one should know what the means of existence were since that is the most important thing of life. Everything else is secondary. So in this paragraph we will discuss what the Celts did to provide for food.

How a community produces food depends on different processes like the climate, soil and the technological capability. All three things vary. Climate can change, even over a short period of time. Soil can degenerate and lose it nutrients and better tools can improve the amount of food that is produced. These three control the food-producing strategy. The food-producing strategy is never the same though. Because Britain has an immensely varied geomorphology and climate, there are many food-producing systems.

In the most parts of south-east Britain, the inhabitants mostly produced grain. Throughout the second millennium the main crops were: emmer wheat (Triticum diccocum) and naked barley (Hordeum tetrasticum). But this changed in the early first millennium. Naked barley was replaced by the hulled barley (Hordeum hexasticum) and emmer wheat became less popular due to diversification. Later emmer wheat was replaced by spelt in central and the southern regions of Britain. By the middle of iron age spring-sown barley crops were introduced. This meant that fresh grain was available for a longer period of time.

In late iron age there was more diversification. Now they also cultivated Oats and Celtic beans. The decline in fertility of the soil is a factor that influenced the diversification. At the end of the Iron age, more bread wheat (Triticum aestivocompactum) is used. Apart from these cereals, Celts grew other cereals as well but a lot less. Rye (Secale cereale) occurred in Wessex. Rye is a hardy crop and grows in all kinds of circumstances. Thus, Rye is found at all different sites.

When Celts harvested their crops, they first uprooted their crops. Secondly, they grabbed the crop below the ear and cut it below the hand, using small iron cutting hooks. The balanced sickle was introduced in the late iron age. After this, the crops had to be dried. They made temporary ovens to dry the crops. Then the crops could be stored. Archaeological evidence implies two storing methods: below-ground storage and above ground storage. Those below storage pits were mostly beehive, or barrel shaped. They used to be small but later on they got larger, about 2 m deep. The above ground storage are buildings made from timber. They were square or rectangular buildings. Those buildings were always situated against the boundary of the settlement. They did this, because food would be save from fires.

The grain stored in the pits had to be consumed rather quickly, because once they opened up a storage, the food would degenerate very fast. But food was shared between all members of the community, or used as a trading good. Food did not had a change to degenerate.

Before anything could be harvested, the farmers had to make the ground ready for their crops. Firstly, they ploughed their fields using simple iron-shod crook or bow ard. The field was ploughed in two directions at right angels, breaking up the soil to be able to sow. The field was approximately 64 m square. The fields were ploughed by an ard drawn by two oxen. It would take a day to plough one field.

Harvesting crops was not possible without the use of flocks and herds, they provided manure for the fields. Cows and sheep were most kept and pigs were not mainly kept. The cows were small Celtic shorthorns. The sheep were also small. Dogs were also used, mainly as a working dogs and sometimes as pets. Small horses, ponies (1,2 m high) like an Exmoor pony, were reared for pulling.

Sheep were essential for the manure needed for the fields. They also provided for wool, milk and meat. In the first year there were not many sheep slaughtered. Most of the flock lived at least 2 years and more. There are some differences between regions in the use of sheep for meat. Mutton was not consumed very much compared with beef.

Cows a


Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Related Services

View all

DMCA / Removal Request

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have your work published on UKEssays.com then please: