Goths, Celts and Vikings




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    Goths, Celts and Vikings

    So, if I was going to highlight the major differences between these cultures, what would they be?

    The goal is to make stylistic differences between groups of humans; different races, if you will.
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    The Vikings are maritime where as neither the Celts or Goths are.

    The Goths (in the period they are most known for) are a wandering people. The whole population can up stakes, pack everything into wagons and move.
    Their battle tactics can include the use of cavalry and wagon laagers.

    For chieftans/kings Viking and Goth inheritence tends to be father to son but Celtic, every male out to second/third cousins have equal claim and the method of choosing from the claiments is elective, though butchering all opponents is considered legitimate.

    Vikings tend to favour defensive battle tactics and let the enemy come to them and are primarily infantry.

    Goths tend to be more mixed and it is hard to be definitive with regard to the celts. However,the Celtd tend to be agressive on the battlefield but most of the information is from earlier eras than either the Vikings or the Goths. So the Gauls tend to be swordsmen and the Britons were known for the use of Chariots, in the Irish Ulster Cycle of myth Chariots are mentioned all the time but by the time the Vikings hit Ireland, Irish armies are mosty infantry and the same applies in the wars with the Normans/English. In fact the Normans rapidly abandon heavy cavalry in Ireland the gorund was against it.Too much forest and bog.

    That is it from me, off the tp of my head. I would have to rsearch it to tellyou much more.

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    I'm not sure I get what you're asking.

    Rules-wise, there simply wouldn't be any significant differences to warrant separate racial listings. Although IIRC, the Celts both predate and outlasted the Goths who were really just a migratory group that were absorbed and conquered several times over by their own internal squabbles, the Huns and the Ottomans, and the Vikings appeared later than both groups.

    So... firstly, if you're requiring historical accuracy, I'm not sure if all three groups ever appear as definable entities all within the same eras as each other. But if you're just going for flavour, then you kinda have to ask at which point in their respective histories are you talking about? Celts were a very diverse and largely dispersed culture that spanned... well... technically they're still around today, having simply been amalgamated by invading forces, but primarily remaining in Ireland, Wales, Britain, Scotland and France.

    So the largest disparity is going to be technological, but again, what period do you choose? Vikings probably had iron weapons in their earliest incarnations but by the eleventh century had probably managed to adapt to steel, having raided and plundered throughout most of southern europe where steel was more well established, IIRC.

    Point being... I think you need to define your question a great deal more before anyone can really narrow things down to a coherent or succinct answer.

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    Vikings came from Norway and Sweden, then spread to Iceland and Denmark (and Britain).

    Goths came from Sweden, and spread to mainland Europe.

    DNA-wise they're the same people. Norsemen.

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    Some pictures should help define the differences.

    Goth


    Viking


    Celt
    What would Kirk do?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baron Opal View Post
    So, if I was going to highlight the major differences between these cultures, what would they be?

    The goal is to make stylistic differences between groups of humans; different races, if you will.
    Quote Originally Posted by ardoughter View Post
    The Vikings are maritime where as neither the Celts or Goths are.
    Actually the Celts were a maritime nation, at least some of them from before and up to the Roman period. How did the Celts get across the English channel or the Irish sea, but more than that, many peoples on the coast of Britain and Britainny saw the Irish as pirates, though they were all Celts. They lacked the superior clinker style viking ships, still had naval transport that could cross oceans, as the viking ships, but unlike most of the other galley style ships of the Mediterranean that could not.

    Quote Originally Posted by ardoughter View Post
    Vikings tend to favour defensive battle tactics and let the enemy come to them and are primarily infantry.

    Goths tend to be more mixed and it is hard to be definitive with regard to the celts. However,the Celtd tend to be agressive on the battlefield but most of the information is from earlier eras than either the Vikings or the Goths. So the Gauls tend to be swordsmen and the Britons were known for the use of Chariots, in the Irish Ulster Cycle of myth Chariots are mentioned all the time but by the time the Vikings hit Ireland, Irish armies are mosty infantry and the same applies in the wars with the Normans/English. In fact the Normans rapidly abandon heavy cavalry in Ireland the gorund was against it.Too much forest and bog.

    That is it from me, off the tp of my head. I would have to rsearch it to tellyou much more.
    I would consider the Goths to be pre-Germanic peoples, whereas Vikings are a much later Germanic people. They didn't exist at the same time.

    The big difference between Vikings and the other two mentioned human cultures, is that the former existed from about 800 AD to about 1100 AD, where as the Goths were from the early part of Dark Ages, sav 0 AD to about 500 AD - so I doubt a Goth ever met a Viking, they are from two distinctly different historic time periods, though in many ways are the same people.

    Celts continue as an identifiable people up to the modern era, first appeared as a cultural force as far back as 3000 BC in central Europe, then spread outward in all directions, so by 1500 BC covered all of northern, western and parts of eastern Europe, even as far east as Northern India.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kzach View Post
    I'm not sure I get what you're asking.

    Rules-wise, there simply wouldn't be any significant differences to warrant separate racial listings. Although IIRC, the Celts both predate and outlasted the Goths who were really just a migratory group that were absorbed and conquered several times over by their own internal squabbles, the Huns and the Ottomans, and the Vikings appeared later than both groups.

    So the largest disparity is going to be technological, but again, what period do you choose? Vikings probably had iron weapons in their earliest incarnations but by the eleventh century had probably managed to adapt to steel, having raided and plundered throughout most of southern europe where steel was more well established, IIRC.

    Point being... I think you need to define your question a great deal more before anyone can really narrow things down to a coherent or succinct answer.
    While I can agree with much of the latter post, I am building an Iron Age Celtic setting myself, and I have three distinct human nations: the Celts, the Mediterranean culture Etruscan/Mycenaean city-states, and a Germanic people and I have some 'racial' distinctions between them, though technology is the primary differing factor.

    While idiosyncracies exist between those cultures, the most interesting thing for me, is despite how 'modern', literate, and cultured the Mediterranean cultures were compared to the more barbaric northern cultures - social divisions, the distribution of wealth, the presence of slaves, who were the military and the educated were almost the same for all three human groups. Language, custom and technology were what set them apart.

    Its your fantasy world, so you can do what you want, but Viking doesn't belong in a setting with Celts and Gothic tribes. Goths don't belong in a setting with Vikings and Celts - and for my Iron Age Celtic setting, neither Vikings nor Goths belong, as they are from another time 1000 to 2000 years later.

    So it depends on 'when' your setting takes place, if you want to compare to Earth history.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonesy View Post
    Vikings came from Norway and Sweden, then spread to Iceland and Denmark (and Britain).

    Goths came from Sweden, and spread to mainland Europe.

    DNA-wise they're the same people. Norsemen.
    Celts came from the Danube valley regions of eastern central Europe, so DNA wise is actually very close to the Norse peoples as well.

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    This reminds me of a point of contention between a friend and I who identifies himself as a "Greek-Australian". He calls Turkey "occupied Greece" and distinguishes between Macedonians and Greeks and Albanians.

    I love teasing him about it all 'cause it's all really about timing, isn't it? I mean, go back far enough and we're all apes, right? Turkish people mixed blood with Greeks, Celts dominated most of all of those regions at one time, Goths migrated down, Vikings pillaged, plundered and... well let's face it, they got their game on and produced a lot of offspring themselves. All these cultures could trace DNA back to each other at one point or another.

    So I find it amusing that anyone identifies with a particular culture or race simply due to... tradition? You're Greek because you say you are, but your blood may come from Celtic, Goth, Ottoman, or hell, all three and then some

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baron Opal View Post
    So, if I was going to highlight the major differences between these cultures, what would they be?

    The goal is to make stylistic differences between groups of humans; different races, if you will.
    Celts are a bit hard. As others have mentioned, they're around for a very long time - Greek writers record them as early as 500BC, and there are still people around now who consider themselves Celtic though the last independent 'Celtic' state was absorbed towards the end of the middle ages. So, which Celts?

    Goths and Vikings are more definable, though I'd use Norse rather than Viking - Viking is a particular 'career' choice rather than a culture. In both cases the basis of the society is the free farmer, owning their own land and fighting when they have to. They're answerable to lords, who use a variety of titles, who keep professional full-time soldiers in small numbers and adminster justice and taxation. Above that you have kings; the Goths at least were reasonably united, at least once they'd settled in Spain and Italy (Visigoths and Ostrogoths respectively). One noticeable difference is that viking society is a lot less united. More kings, controlling smaller regions, and a distinct tendency for people or small groups who don't like a particular king to head off somewhere else and settle down. Which they did over a large swathe of northern and eastern Europe.

    Art, architecture, costume; these are big subjects. There are definite differences, but also variations within the group that are almost as wide as those between the groups. Superficially, celts prefer roundhouses, vikings longhouses, and goths either travel in their wagons or appropriate local architectural styles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gamerprinter View Post
    Actually the Celts were a maritime nation, at least some of them from before and up to the Roman period. How did the Celts get across the English channel or the Irish sea, but more than that, many peoples on the coast of Britain and Britainny saw the Irish as pirates, though they were all Celts. They lacked the superior clinker style viking ships, still had naval transport that could cross oceans, as the viking ships, but unlike most of the other galley style ships of the Mediterranean that could not.
    The Romans did not walk across the English Channel. By the way do you have references for the ocean going capacity of Celtic shipping. I would be interested to hear of them because as far as I know Celtic shipping was pretty much costal with a quick dash across the Irish sea or the English Channel at best.

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