Feminists iron age

Iron ageThe lives of real women are reflected in the sagas, with all its problems – love, heartache and victories. The fair sex look different there – resourceful and clever, serious and whimsical, vengeful and ambitious – but not empty-headed beauties.

In contrast to the lethargic and weak maidens Greek mythology keltki fought, decided the fate of the tribe and achieving goals, won. Moira Caldicott, a British scholar of Celtic myths, wrote that women in Celtic folklore as intelligent as beautiful.

Social status

Code of Laws Brehon, who came to the Irish from the ancient Celts, gives an idea of the situation of women in Celtic society. The Celts were not matriarchy. Men stood on the dominant positions, but women have a social status that some of our contemporaries do not even dreamed of.

Keltki engaged not only in the home, church and children, but also worked in all areas of the economy and played an active role in the political, social and religious life of their tribes.

Women owned crafts – fashioned kitchen and dining utensils, woven baskets and fishing nets. Started doing leather and woven canvas. Sewed clothes and shoes. Worked in the fields, raised cattle, grinding grain, whipped butter and cooked cheese. Could be female warriors, healers, judges, poet, visionary and priestesses. Known to those who turned back the flow of war – perhaps mirotvoritsy. In addition, women were able to control the army and nation. Keltki owned the property and that is absolutely impossible for the cultures of the time, could save its state for them, even marrying.

Nine kinds of marriage

Celtic Family Partnership was rather than the supremacy of the husband over the wife. Marriage vow spouses for life not given, marriage was considered the economic agreement, and Celtic woman could initiate divorce itself. Celtic forms of marriage was nine, and future spouses to choose between them. The main differences between these forms are to keep a marriage contract, purchased material status and responsibilities of spouses.

To the modern mind, like assorted marriage may seem unromantic. But we must pay tribute to the ancient – financial contracts better love and passion to protect women and children in case of divorce.

For example, when celtic woman married for each year of her married life her husband had to pay the relatives of a certain amount, the amount of which was reflected on the social status of his wife. In the first year all the money were given to the family in-law and mother in law. In the second year the lion’s share of the money was there, but the young wife is left of their own.

For the third year in the parental home dispatched even less, and so on until the entire annual fee wife did not start getting full. It was her own money, and she could spend it as they wish. Husband had no right to personal wealth of his wife, and vice versa.


The initiator of divorce could be both male and female. Last demanded a divorce if her husband left her for another woman or a man; was unable to maintain her and her children, and his wife had to feed my family the most; humiliated, ridiculed her publicly or lied about it; seduced into marriage by cunning or witchcraft; beat her; was powerless as a man; if he so ozhirel that sex has become impossible; if he is sterile and if lied about his exploits and military merit.

Husband reasons that he could divorce his wife were less. This infidelity, theft, abortion, shame for his honor, smothering the child, lack of milk.

It is curious that the Celts believed infertility fault husband, while in many other cultures, the burden of guilt was transferred automatically to his wife. Question about breast milk supposedly applied only to marriages among the poor strata of the Celtic society, where could not afford to hire a nurse.

One of the common reasons for divorce – childlessness. All relationships, and have resulted in children – even if it was rape or one night of love, were transferred to the legal status of marriage to protect the child. Childless as pre-marital sex could stop at any moment.

Nevertheless, marriages saved and for love. So barren wife husband could sleep with another man to get pregnant. It was not cheating, and with the official approval of the law. A child born of such a relationship, admitted belonging to her husband, and not the biological father.

If the spouses divorce on fault husband, wife could leave all the annual fees paid to her during the marriage. If she was guilty, then the funds returned to her husband. Dowry money earned or bought land after divorce wife remained with her.

Celtic contemporaries in other lands financial matters in the case of female infidelity are not discussed. For it in the ancient world was one punishment – death.

Women druids

Mysterious Druids – priests, the intellectual elite of Celtic society – were not only men. Saga Celts and Romans historical records mention priestess druidessy. So, mythological Finn MakKumall studied poetry and magic of a woman druid. Could dig one of the greatest Irish Druids had mentor priestess named Banvuana.

The Romans left information that druidessy participated in rituals and even the human sacrifices. Julius Caesar wrote that among the soldiers during theBattlerushed priestess in black robes. To druidessy for prediction turned the emperor Diocletian, Alexander Severus and Aurelian.

High priestesses made a vow of chastity. The Celts regarded them with awe and believed that druidessy can turn into animals, prophesy, spells create storm cause and suppress wind. Priestesses were considered divine creatures that can heal, help, teach.

Later, with the advent of Christianity, druidessy transformed into the consciousness of mankind in evil witches. For case, the witches in Macbeth by Shakespeare.

Warriors and Queen

Celtic women were fearless female warriors. The Roman historian Ammianus Marcellin wrote: An army of enemies could not cope with a single Celt if he called for help his blue-eyed wife, has tremendous power. Strabo in his Geography spoke of the courageous keltkah and Diodorus of Sicily in the Historical Library noted that the Celts’ wife not only increases the same with men, but they are similar in spirit.

Keltki fought alongside men.

In the descriptions of the ancient Irish battles almost everywhere it is said that in the battle fought and fallen women. In addition to professional women, in case of need, the weapon could take almost any. Preparing girls is not limited by economics. They were taught, in addition to sewing and stryapanya, horse riding and gun ownership. The most famous Celtic warrior – the legendary Boudica, raised a rebellion united tribes of the Celts againstRomein 61 BC

In Irish Celtic has its own character, as embodied in the image of Queen Medb.

Only in 697, at the insistence of the Christian clergy, a law was passed; women are exempt from military service.

Romans, faced with the social system of the Celts were amazed privileges enjoyed by women. This situation undermined patriarchal Greece and Rome, like gender equality had no right to exist. Influence of theRoman Empireand Christianity in conjunction with the Anglo-Saxons began to penetrate the culture and Franks, of course, forced the Celts fundamentally change. Harmony, which was based on mutual rights and obligations of the parties, gradually disappeared from the Celtic family, replaced the traditional to the rest of the world relations.

Such freedom after sunset Celtic culture women did not know for a long time. It was only many centuries later, in the late XIX century, on equal rights for women for the first time in current history spoke English suffragette.

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