Celtic mercenaries 3rd century bc

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Celtic mercenaries 3rd century bc

Postby Aerdernix MacDane on March 2nd, 2017, 11:36 am

Hi I know that is might be a topic already in discussion, Celts and other "barbarians" could become mercenaries. How common do you think celtic mercenaries were? Also, do you think that they would adapt to their clients equipments (weapons, armour) or keep their own stuff?
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Re: Celtic mercenaries 3rd century bc

Postby Denis Grabow on March 6th, 2017, 7:04 am

I know Hannibal had them, and I am quite certain Alexander the great had them too. They would probably have fought with their own weaponry, as far as they had them. Celtic cavalry was especially sought, since they were deemed the best riders of all people.

I read somewhere that young warriors travelled to the mediteranian to fight as mercenaries to gain prowess and return as experienced heroes.

Also, if I recall correctly, the gallateans went to the greek peninsula to fight for some king, then kept travelling until they settled in what is now turkey.
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Re: Celtic mercenaries 3rd century bc

Postby Matthew Amt on March 6th, 2017, 1:15 pm

In Hellenistic warfare, I would say VERY common. Mind you, it's a little out of my usual area of interest! Apparently Galatia was a heavy recruiting ground for Alexander's Successors, to the point where a whole new type of infantry became common, the thureophoros or "door carrier". From the Greek word for that tall oval shield, of course. They were simple cheap infantry, spear-and-shield men, generally not heavily armored from what I've seen but helmets were "standard equipment".

Though by some point I suspect that a lot thureophoroi were simply whatever locals were available, not necessarily Gallic or Celtic at all. We know there were forces of Greek thureophoroi, for example.

Before that, sure, Hannibal is only the best-known example of a Mediterranean general hiring Celts. The Romans certainly used them as allies even before enlisting them as auxiliaries. It wouldn't surprise me if a lot of indigenous Celtic warfare included bands of mercenaries, fighting for whichever tribe or warlord would hire them.

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Re: Celtic mercenaries 3rd century bc

Postby Edwin Deady on April 23rd, 2017, 5:31 am

How one was recruited as a mercenary or recruited them intrigues me. Were there ancient Condottiere?
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Re: Celtic mercenaries 3rd century bc

Postby Luka Borščak on June 15th, 2017, 4:54 pm

Syracuse also used celtic mercenaries. Whole tribes could be recruited, but also smaller warbands. Individual recruitment would be too complicated.
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Re: Celtic mercenaries 3rd century bc

Postby Edwin Deady on June 16th, 2017, 1:57 am

Whole group enlistment, sure, but I wonder if any likely lad with weapons and appropriate armour would also be taken on. Thus mixed warbands even in the alleged late Iron Age of "Saxon" England, for example.
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