Wednesday, September 14, 2011



There is very little known about the Celtic tribes of Roman Britannia living in the first century AD, except what Greek and Roman historians wrote about them. The Celts themselves had no written language, so their history was passed generation-to-generation and story to story. When the Celts were finally “absorbed” by the Romans, Saxons, and Anglos, very little was left of their civilization, except accounts by their enemies. It is a sobering fact to think that this highly advanced, sophisticated society fell victim to the Roman prejudice that all people not of the empire were barbarians. It could not be further from the truth.

While researching the Centurion series it was difficult at best to find kernels of truth from amongst the stacks of misconceptions. Fortunately, there are several books written that throw some light onto this civilization. Since I research to the book, I do not claim to be an expert; I leave that to the wonderful people who delve deeply into these people’s past. What few things I did glean from the experts was enlightening, to say the least, and much different than I originally thought. This is just a handful of information pertaining to a very short time period (60AD-65AD) in England.

Celts of Britannia were hunter/gatherers for most of their history, who lived off the land they occupied. By the first century AD, Hillforts sprang up around the country. These were royal fortresses for their Kings and Queens. Of the dozens of tribes in Britannia, many had kings or queens ruling them and some had chieftains. The fortresses represented centralized living on the island and were well established when the Greeks and Romans first started trading with them. Yes, I said trading; the Celts of Britain had been trading with the mainland for many years before Rome “invaded.” Around the Hillforts of this time, small farms sprang up and the society was moving from hunter/gatherers to an agrarian base.

Although they did not have their own written language, they learned Latin very quickly while trading with the Romans and Greeks. Many of them traveled the world and visited Egypt, Rome, and other areas just as we do today. Wealthy Celts of this time often had Greek tutors who taught them to read and write. Women as well as men were well-educated, good fighters, and on equal terms with each other. Women warriors fought next to their male counterparts. This was disconcerting to the Romans who felt women were one step above slaves in society. Because of their prejudice, they often underestimated the very powerful queens that ruled many of the tribes. This led to one of the bloodiest battles on Britannia soil between the Celts and the Romans. It was brought about when a local Roman procurator decided that a woman, then queen of the Iceni, had no right to her own land. In many ways, it was the beginning of the end for the Britannia Celts and is chronicled in The Centurion & The Queen and The Edge of Honor.

Unlike the Romans, Celts were allowed to marry for love, though there were some arranged marriages amongst the royals. Likewise, they were much more promiscuous (at least outwardly) than the Romans; sleeping with partners of their choice before marriage was not unheard of. Sex to the Celts was as natural to them as breathing. They didn’t have the taboos the Romans and Greeks had. They were also fiercely loyal to their families.

Most Celts on Britannia followed the Druid religion and worshiped several gods and goddesses. There seems to have been a god or goddess for every aspect of life: the woods, water, thunder, the underworld, labor, fertility, etc. It doesn’t seem they all followed rigorously, but I think they may have been very superstitious; talismans were common among them.

Generally speaking, the Celts of Britannia around this period were articulate, generally well-educated, artistic, with strong familial loyalties and fierce pride in their way of life. When the Romans and Greeks first came to their island, they were friendly and traded freely with them. In fact, the Romans brought them so many wonders from the rest of the world, the Celts found it difficult to turn down the luxuries offered by the Romans. Foods, wines, spices, fabric, medicine, roads, sanitation, and education were strong incentives to form alliances with the Empire, as many tribal rulers did. Since the Romans left them to rule their own tribes with little interference, the tribute they paid in coin and goods to the Emperor seemed small price for the goods provided. Plus, when there was a border dispute with a neighbor (which happened quite frequently), it was common to accept weapons and troops from the nearby Roman garrisons to help quell them. Many Romans stationed on the island also took Celtic brides. However, after the Boudicca revolts, a lot of that changed, and the Celts found themselves struggling to hold onto their lands (see The Centurion & The Queen).

I think the one thing that has struck me is the parallels between the Romans and Celts and the Europeans and Native Americans of this country. Europeans moved into this country and made peace with the native tribes, traded with them freely, helped them fight off their enemies, and then methodically, took over their culture and land by sheer numbers.

I hope you get a chance to read The Centurion & The Queen, The Edge of Honor and now the new stand alone book in the series, The Gladiator Prince to get an intimate look into the contrasts between these two cultures.

On Saturday, September 17th, I will be hosting a forum called: Life in Ancient Rome - The Gladiator Prince Chat from 11:00am-11:00pm EST over at Coffeetime Romance. We will be talking about everything Ancient Rome and Britannia and I will be giving away a $100 GC to Amazon at the end of the day. Would love to see everyone over there to talk about Celts, Romans, and anything else you’d like to know OR can bring to the discussion.

Thanks so much to the Celtic Rose for hosting me today! Don’t be afraid to ask questions… I am giving away signed copies of both The Centurion & The Queen and The Edge of Honor to one commenter here today, so make sure to leave a comment! Minnette :o)


Somewhere between thirty and hair, blue eyes...six kids, one slightly used husband, and any number of pets from time to time... wanttabe hippy... wanttheirmoney musician and actress for 20 Years... native Oregonian... lover of music, beauty, and all things green. Willing slave to the venerable muse. Minnette currently resides in Portland, Oregon with her husband, having replaced the children with one dog. The dog, Pierre, pretty much runs the show.


Prince Thane is the last surviving royalty of the Trinovantes Tribe in Roman Britannia, having surrendered to the Romans after the Boudicca Revolt to save his two daughters, whose identities he sacrifices his freedom to protect. He is condemned by Nero himself to become a gladiator, to fight until he dies in the arena. When his two daughters are taken in a slaver's raid, Thane escapes, forcing the daughter of his master to take him to Rome to save his children. Little does he know that the beautiful Syrian woman holds not only the key to his passion, but a secret that triggers a disaster that ignites the world. Will this spoiled willful girl betray him in the end or sacrifice herself to save them all? Book III of the Centurion Series.



  1. Loved this. I must admit I Googled "BRITANNIA ALBION" to find the meaning.


  2. Good morning, Marybelle! I'm glad you did... It's pretty close to what the native Celts called the island.

    Good morning, everyone else! Isn't this site beautiful? My special thanks to my good friend Mariam who worked her fingers to stubs to get it up and running! Make sure to leave a comment.. today's gift is The Centurion & The Queen and The Edge of Honor in paperback and both signed. :o)

  3. Great post! Very interesting. Thank you for shairng with us. And i did the same thing as marybelle. I didnt know what Britannia Albion was either. Hope you have a wonderful day! Im enjoying your tour and stalking ya! :P

  4. I only have stubs left because my computer was being such a colossal pain, but it was well worth it. Welcome, Minnette. Folks, you will love her books if you're fortunate enough to win them. I have them both!

  5. Good Morning :D I'm here hoping to win your books :D
    and you know me I love your signature lol :D
    #1 Stalker ;)


    GFC Follower Leanne109

  6. This site is gorgeous, just love the background and would love to visit there. Have always been fascinated by the Celts and the druid religion. Thanks for sharing this.

  7. Thanks for the compliments about the site, ladies. The Cliffs of Moher are my favorite spot in all of Ireland. Hope you'll come back and visit us again. Authors of Celtic themed material are featured here and always welcome.

  8. Miriam, I'm so glad you announced this on Celtic Hearts loop this morning! I have your first book, Minnette and it's wonderful. If your second one is available for Nook, I'll run right over to B&N and grab it. If not, I'll grab it anyway and put it up on my Kindle site--although I'll have to read it on my laptop (sob). Thanks so much for sharing this interesting post with us today!

  9. Celtic history is one of my passions, and it was nice to read your perspective on their history, Minnette. Have you read the books by Peter Berresford Ellis on Celtic history? He writes mostly of Irish Celtic History, but they offer interesting insight in the culture as a whole.

  10. afternoon! #2 stalker reporting in:P

  11. Minnette--Your post was wonderful! Interesting and thought-provoking. Imagine if all our personal histories were told by our enemies? There wouldn't be an accurate portrayal of us anywhere. (Unauthorized biographies come to mind. Lol.)
    Thanks for a great post. I'm glad I stopped by.

    Best--Adele Dubois

  12. What I love most about the Celts is the strong-willed Celtic women. In some cases, they were fiercer than the men.

    Good luck with your new release!

  13. OH, WOW, that's some hawt cover. I love history and enjoyed getting to learn a part I've never heard about before. Isn't it amazing how they all mingled like that. Also nice to get to know you better.

  14. I'm so sorry I'm late! Couldn't get on at work today :o( - But I'm here now! Thanks everyone for coming over...

    Thanks so much for letting me share this beautiful blog, Miriam... I'm with everyone else; it's fabulous here!

    Hi, Leanne - I'm sending good luck thoughts your way, L!

    I agree, April!

    Hi, MM - Thanks for joining us!

    You made my day, Donna! Thanks so much for the compliment. The second one (The Edge of Honor) is available in both Nook and Kindle. Gladiator Prince should be out on both soon...

    AF Stewart?! I haven't talked to you in an age. How are you doing, darlin'? I LOVE Peter's book and everyone should read it if you're interested in these amazing people. I bow to the expert.

    Hi, Stalker #2 - I LOVE my stalkers!

    Hi, Adele - As they say; history is always written by the victorious... You'd be amazed at the discrepancies!

    I'm with you, Celtic Chick! I LOVE my warrior queen in Centurion and Edge, and Phaedra in my current book. :o)

    Hi, Paisley! I'm so glad you came over! :o)

  15. Hi, Minnette and all!
    Love these interesting blogs and all of the research you've done for your fiction.
    I agree, the background for your blog, Miriam, is awesome! Someday. The needlework piece I use for the "Follow" is M Designs' Celtic Heart.
    Thanks, muchly! juleejadams (at) gmail (dot) com

  16. I am continuing to follow right along... I can't express enough >BUY THESE THREE BOOKS< you will not regret it! I read these back to back and hated to put them down!

  17. The cliffs are absolutely gorgeous, in person and on this site. I knew I loved the Celts for some reason. That was some wonderful information Minnette. Thanks for sharing it.


  18. Thanks, Julee... The Celtic Heart needlepoint is beautiful... You should share it on FB (if you haven't already).

    There's my favorite cheerleader! Thanks, Netta!

    You've seen these in person, Toni? I am SOOOOO jealous! You are more than welcome.

  19. Wow Minette, what an article. I really enjoyed reading it and I always enjoy your books! :)

  20. Minnette, here's a post via me from someone who was having trouble getting her comment posted: "Just stopped by to wish you well. I think Miriam is a wonderful hostess and one of the best editors I've ever worked with. Regards, Heide"

    Well, that didn't hurt me too much to post... :)

  21. Thanks, Denise... It' weird to write an article about what I research only because I'm used to adapting them for fiction. I wonder if those who write non-fiction about this period feel the same way only in reverse? Hmmmm...

    What a lovely message from Heide and she is absolutely right; you are an amazing editor! :o)

  22. First, I love the background picture for this blog. It's my first time visiting the Celtic Rose and I like what I see :)

    Minnette, thank you for a fascinating look into the Celts of Britannia. It sounds like a complex and rich history. It has piqued my interest enough that I want to immerse myself in the world. Have a great night!


  23. Evening Minnette, I can't believe I almost missed a very enlightening post, because I forgot you were here as well today.

    Miriam, I love your site, the image definitely breeds creativity!


  24. Thanks, Na! These people were amazing and I hope I did them justice. But, just as in life, there were good Celts and bad Celts; good Romans and bad Romans. I tried to show both sides in these books.

    Hi, Christiana - I'm really glad you made it over! I LOVE this image! :o)

  25. Thanks so much to everyone who came over yesterday to make this stop such a success! It was really a blast and I especially want to thank Mariam for inviting us to her beautiful site...

    Now, without further ado, the winner of the 2 signed books is.....


    Congratulations, darlin'! Just send your name and address to and I'll make sure those go out to you this week.

    To everyone else... See you at the next stop!!! :o)

  26. Hi Minnette,

    Because what we know about the Celts is from their conquerors, it's a bit suspect. I believe that one day some old documents or stone tablets or whatever will be discovered that were written by the Celts themselves that may change our view of them as the Romans portrayed them. Sort of like the discoveries of the Nag Hammadi codex or the Dead Sea Scrolls.

  27. Thank you!! This is just wonderful.