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.


Monday, September 12, 2011


On Thursday, September 15, author Minnette Meador will visit The Celtic Rose as part of a blog tour for her new release, The Gladiator Prince.  If you love the history of Roman Britain as I do, you truly do not want to miss her article or the excerpt from her new book, which is the sequel to two smashing books, The Centurion and the Queen and The Edge of Honor.  Minnette is a friend, a multi-talented author and the purveyor of great treats!  I know she will be offering something wonderful during her stay, so please visit back.