Timeline of Celtic History

by Alexei Kondratiev

1100 BC

ca. 1100 BCE

Emergence of original Celtic culture in Central Europe; "Urnfields" period

ca. 900-800 BCE

Celtic culture spreads west to Atlantic coast, Spain, Britain and Ireland

ca. 800 BCE

Beginning of Celtic Iron Age; influence of Eastern equestrian cultures

650 BCE

Beginning of "Halstatt" period

600 BCE

Foundation of Massalia (Marseilles) by Greeks on south Gaulish coast, creating major trade conduit

450 BCE

Overthrow of political power centres in Central European Celtic heartland. Beginning of "La Tene" period. Spread of Celts (Boii) east into Bohemia

400 BCE

Gaulish settlement of North Italy

390 BCE

Celtic raids south through Italy. July 18: Dies Alliensis, Romans defeated on the banks of the Allia. Gauls sack Rome

380 BCE

Celts invade and settle Balkans

335 BCE

Alexander the Great meets Balkan Celtic emissaries on the Danube

281 BCE

Celtic raids into Thrace: establishment of Celtic kingdom of Tylis (on Black Sea)

279 BCE

Celtic raid into Greece: sack of Delphi

278-7 BCE

Landless Celtic tribes settle in Asia Minor at invitation of King Nicomedes of Bithynia: beginning of "Galatia"

232 BCE

Defeat of Galatians by Attalus of Pergamum ("Dying Gaul" monument)

225 BCE

Major defeat of North Italian Celtic coalition by Romans at Telamon

212 BCE

Destruction of Tylis

191 BCE

Defeat of Boii: end of Celtic resistance to Rome in Italy

179-8 BCE

Conquest of Celtic Spain by Tiberius Gracchus; widespread massacres

154 BCE

Revolt of Iberian Celts under Viriathus

149-6 BCE

Third Punic War: Celts play important role as allies of Carthage

133 BCE

Fall of Numantia: end of Celtic resistance to Rome in Spain

123 BCE

After Romans conquer, southern Gaulish tribes and Greek trading cities on Mediterra-nean coast of Gaul, the "Province" is established

88 BCE

Massacre of Galatian aristocracy at orders of Mithridates IV

60-59 BCE

Eastern European Celts decimated by Dacian king Burebista

58-51 BCE

Julius Caesar’s conquest of Gaul, culminating in defeat of Vercingetorix

54 BCE

Unsuccessful invasion of Britain by Romans. Germans begin to occupy many Celtic lands north and east of the Rhine

27 BCE

Establishment of Roman Empire

15 BCE

Kingdom of Noricum (Austria) annexed by Romans

15-9 BCE

Roman conquest of Balkan and Danubian Celts

20 CE

Gaulish revolt under Sacrovir and Florus

43-51 CE

Roman conquest of Britain, ending with betrayal of Caratacus

59-60 CE

Revolt of Vindex and Civilis. End of Celtic resistance to Rome in Gaul

60 CE

British revolt under Boudicca. Destruction of Druid centre on Mona by Suetonius Paulinus

84 CE

Battle of Mons Graupius: Agricola defeats northern British tribes. End of Celtic resis-tance to Rome in Britain (although Romans later abandon North)

319 CE

Edict of Milan: emancipation of Christians in Roman Empire

ca. 350 CE

Beginnings of Celtic Christianity. First British settlers in Armorica (later Brittany)

410 CE

Sack of Rome by Visigoths. Political turmoil in Roman Empire: Britain abandoned by Roman legions

440 CE

English invade Britain

ca. 450 CE

North British tribes re-establish Celtic rule in Wales

475 CE

End of Western Roman Empire

ca. 500 CE

Kingdom of Dal Riada (eventually Scotland) established in Britain by Irish settlers from Ulster

560 CE

First Christian High King in Ireland

563 CE

Establishment of Iona by Colm Cille

575 CE

Assembly of Druim Ceat in Ireland: Colm Cille argues for retention of pre-Christian bardic institutions within Christianised framework

577 CE

Battle of Dyrham: English victories separate Celts of Devon and Cornwall from Celts of Wales

590 CE

Columbanus goes to Gaul: beginning of Celtic Christian missions to Continent

597 CE

Augustine of Canterbury (Roman emissary to evangelise the English) alienates British Celtic Christians. Death of Colm Cille

603 CE

Synod of Chalon-sur-Saone: first major clash between Celtic Christians and Roman Church hierarchy

615 CE

Battle of Chester, massacre of Celtic Christians at Bangor Is y Coed: English cut Celts of Wales away from North British kingdoms

635 CE

Irish mission to English of Northumbria. Foundation of Lindisfarne by Aidan

655 CE

English conquer Celtic kingdom of Elmet (now Yorkshire). Swift disappearance of other North British kingdoms

660 CE

Synod of Whitby: Celtic Christians over-ruled by Roman Church in Northumbria

685 CE

Battle of Nechtansmere prevents English invasion of Pictland

712 CE

Iona submits to Roman Church demands

736 CE

War of the Scots and Picts

793 CE

Beginning of Viking invasions

802-6 CE

Iona destroyed by Vikings (in several raids). Decline of Celtic monasticism

841 CE

Beginning of Viking settlements in Ireland

843 CE

Union of Scotland and Pictland under Kenneth MacAlpine

851 CE

Battle of Ballon: native chieftain Nomenoe defeats Franks, ensures independence for Brittany

913 CE

Viking raids destroy Landevennek, main centre of Celtic monasticism in Brittany. Native manuscripts lost

927 CE

English establish protectorate over Cornwall

946 CE

Cornwall comes under English crown

981 CE

Viking raids destroy Celtic Christian centres in Cornwall; English (Roman Church) founda-tions replace them

1014 CE

Battle of Clontarf: defeat of Vikings of Dublin. Beginning of assimilation of Viking settlements into Celtic society

1066 CE

Normans under William the Conqueror invade Britain

1070 CE

Malcolm III of Scotland marries Margaret of England, who fights to purge the Scottish church of Celtic customs. Decline of Gaelic influence as southern elites adopt English language (helped by English refugees from Norman invasion)

1081 CE

Beginning of Norman settlement in Wales

1140 CE

Malachi founds Cistercian abbey of Mellifont. Implantation of continental religious orders with for-eign hierarchy stifles native forms of Christianity in Ireland

1149-52 CE

Synod of Kells: all differences between Celtic Irish and Roman church are abolished. End of Celtic Christianity

1169 CE

Beginning of Norman rule in Ireland

1282 CE

Death of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd of Gwynedd, last native ruler of Wales. Wales comes under Anglo-Norman rule

1286-1320 CE

Norman expansionism; William Wallace, Robert the Bruce; Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 decisively sets back English invasion

1348 CE

Black Death devastates and destabilises Europe, including Celtic lands

1366 CE

Statutes of Kilkenny forbid Anglo-Normans in Ireland to follow Celtic customs: largely ignored

1400 CE

Welsh revolt under Owain Glyn Dwr

1411 CE

Scottish Gaelic revolt against Lowlander rule defeated at Harlaw

1485 CE

Tudors establish modern English state

1488 CE

Battle of St-Aubin-du-Cormier: Bretons defeated by French

1491 CE

Charles VIII of France marries Anne of Brittany: forced Union of Crowns

1497 CE

Cornish revolt under Thomas Flamank and Myghal an Gov

1532 CE

Treaty of Union between Brittany and France (Brittany to retain its native parliament and laws)

1536 CE

Annexation of Wales by England: Welsh language and customs proscribed

1541 CE

Annexation of Ireland by England

1553 CE

Beginning of Leinster Plantation

1570 CE

Beginning of Ulster Plantation

1603 CE

Flight of the Earls: after an unsuccessful rebellion, Ireland loses its native aristocracy and the main sustainers of its native institutions. James VI of Scotland becomes James I of England: Union of Crowns

1609 CE

Statutes of Iona: Gaelic language and customs lose all official status in Scotland

1649 CE

Cromwellian massacres in Ireland

1675 CE

"Red Bonnets" revolt in Brittany. Severe repression

1695 CE

Penal Laws take away civil rights of Catholics in Ireland

1707 CE

Abolition of Scottish Parliament

1746 CE

Battle of Culloden: destruction of clan system in Gaelic Scotland

1790 CE

Abolition of Breton Parliament

1792 CE

Iolo Morganwg creates Welsh Gorsedd

1798 CE

Revolt of United Irishmen

1800 CE

Abolition of Irish Parliament

1838 CE

First Pan-Celtic assembly at Abergavenny Eisteddfod in Wales

1839 - 49 CE

Lady Charlotte Guest publishes her translation of the Mabinogion

1845-9 CE

The Great Famine in Ireland: severe blow to native culture

ca. 1850 CE

The Highland Clearances: Gaelic Scotland loses much of its population

1893 CE

Gaelic League founded in Ireland

1900 CE

Henry Jenner launches Cornish language revival

1901 CE

First Pan-Celtic Congress in Dublin

1916 CE

Easter Rising in Ireland

1921 CE

Partition of Ireland: creation of Free State, followed by Civil War

1944-6 CE

Major persecution of all Breton cultural activities by French government (on pretext of punishing Nazi collaborators). Decline of Breton culture follows

1949 CE

Free State becomes Republic of Ireland

1962 CE

Formation of militant Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg (Welsh Language Society)

1977 CE

First Diwan (Breton language) schools in Brittany

1997 CE

Scotland votes to restore its Parliament; Wales votes for an Assembly