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Introduction

We don't know how long we have lived here, but these mountains and valleys are our home. It is here our sheep graze, our crops are grown and our people live good lives. Our neighbours look on our prosperity and they send their warriors to seize it from us, but our people will not give up what we have gained and we fight back with vigour our foes can not match. And we never let a slight go by, as our enemies learn when we bring our spears and swords to their lands. Once the clans lived each on its own, moving with the sheep or living in simple hamlets throughout the lands. Now, the clans live together in oppida, large towns with sturdy stone walls, where they are safe should the enemy invade in great numbers. Here, the craftsmen do their work, merchants ply their wares, farmers bring their crops and herders the sheep for slaughter.

In the days of our grandfathers, only some of our people were allowed to bear arms and fight for the clan. Those who fought for our protection were also the ones who ruled our clans, by virtue of being warriors. But times change. More of our men carry weapons and learn to fight. Our warriors are many and they are renown. Each year, young warriors travel south or east to fight in the wars of the Phoenicians or the Greeks, peoples who live far away across the sea. Each year, older and more experienced warriors return with tales and much wealth, strengthening our people. The wealthiest and noblest among us lead us in battle and fight at the front, protected by strong armour and sturdy swords, be it falcatas or gladius'. With them march warriors with spears and shields, skirmishers who pepper the enemy with javelins and cavalry who will harass or flank. Whatever foe we face, he will learn to fear our warriors.

We, the Arevaci, live in the heart of these lands surrounded by the sea on all corners, except in the northeast where high mountains separate us from the Gauls, whom we share some kinship with. Numerous tribes live here, fighting or trading each other. To our north fellow Celtiberi, as we are called, live and also to our immediate east. To our northeast live the Vascones and Ilergetes, powerful tribes, while along the eastern coast the Greeks have built cities. To our south, the Phoenician cities dot the coastlands and they might come north should their lust for wealth ever tempt them. In the western mountains and plains the Lusotannan live, a people who speak almost like we do and who are renowned warriors as us. They might find our lands tempting to raid, so always keep an eye out for them. To strengthen our people and gain power, you will have to fight all these peoples and numerous tribes more. It will be a hard struggle, but to the worthy goes the spoils. May our enemies never find reprieve should he cross us.

History

EARLY CELTIBERIAN SOCIETY

There has been much debate as to the origin of the Celtiberian culture. It was originally believed that the Celtic language and the unique culture of Celtiberia, had been introduced to Iberia by invading Celts from Gaul. The differences in culture between the La Tène Gauls and Celtiberians were that the result of the majority of Celts who settled in Iberia having arrived during the Hallstatt period, and only a few invading during the La Tène period. Presently the majority of scholars, rather than see the Celtiberians as the result of Gallic invasions, argue that the Celtiberian culture developed out of the indigenous Bronze Age substratum of Iberia and that the Celtic language developed along the Atlantic seaboard as a result of trade. The current model of indigenous development, rather than invasion, theorises that the early Celtiberian aristocracy did not arrive but were able to elevate themselves to positions of power as a result of the landscape and climate of the Meseta, the modern region of Spain in which the Celtiberians lived.

The Meseta is a mountainous region of north-east Spain. It can become particularly harsh during summer months and during the Iron Age this necessitated a culture of pastoralists who were able to bring their livestock into the upland mountain pastures before summer and successfully bring them back in time for autumn. It is theorised that this resulted in the development of a Celtiberian elite who maintained and built upon their prestige by raiding other tribes’ herds and controlling access to the winter grazing lands. The population of Celtiberia at this time inhabited hillforts which archaeologists call castros. Castros began to be constructed c. 1000BC and would remain a feature of the settlement pattern among the north western tribes such as the Asturi and Cantabri until the campaigns of Augustus. They invariably covered less than a hectare and probably contained between 80 and 250 inhabitants with a rectilinear enclosing wall constructed of stone, which formed the outer wall for some houses, and a central street running down the middle. It is thought, based on the lack of differentiation in houses sizes within castros, that Celtiberia (and Celtic society in Iberia in general) at this time was fairly egalitarian and homogenous, the difference between aristocrat and non-aristocrat being that the only the latter were allowed to own weapons. The fact that castros do not show signs of expansion, no houses occur outside the walls and in the case of the castra at El Ceremeño the site was rebuilt after a fire to fit within the confines of the original walls, has been interpreted as evidence that the any growth in the population of Celtiberia at this time was not occurring in the castors. If population growth was not occurring within the castros, it must have occurred outside, and it seems likely that, in keeping with the historical Celtiberian ver sacrum (sacred migrations) rite, that men and women would have left their castra and moved elsewhere to begin families. Travelling around Celtiberia, with its seasonal cattle drives and associated acts of raiding, would have been a dangerous activity and it is likely that the hospitality for which the Celtiberians became renowned developed during this period. Travellers being accorded safety by the communities of different castros on the understanding that the favour would be returned should an inhabitant of that castra require protection whilst travelling.

The castra of El Ceremeño of Herreria, Guadalajara

Graves from this period provide archaeologists with a fairly detailed picture of Celtiberian warfare. Raiding was the norm, practised seasonally so as to coincide with the cattle drives in the area. The small populations of the castros and the lack of social complexity would not have permitted the existence of large scale, standing armies. These early Celtiberian armies would likely have been led by an elected commander, an individual selected, by an unknown authority, because of his supposed connections with the supernatural world or because he had experience in combat. Those who served in these early armies would have been admitted upon successful completion of a prolonged initiation rite involving sweat lodges and certain acts, and the archaeological record suggests that only a small proportion of the population during this time ever served as warriors. Two of the initiation acts mentioned above are recorded in the archaeological and historical record. One was the decapitation of an opponent, attested to in a relief from Binéfar and the Celtiberian equine fibulae which show decapitated human heads beneath the fibulae’s horses. The other rite was the removal of enemies’ hands, which is discussed in more detail elsewhere in this preview. Tactics would have been restricted to skirmishing and ambushes and, based on historical evidence both from Iberia and elsewhere in the Celtic world, duelling between champions appears to have been an important aspect of war. An example of this is when the army of Scipio Aemilianus was approached by a Celtiberian noble, Lucullus, who offered single combat to any Roman who would accept. When no Romans took up the challenge the Celtiberian jeered and insulted them for their cowardice until at last Scipio accepted the offer and killed the Celtiberian. Strabo compared the warfare of the castro-inhabiting Iberian Celts (by the time of Roman contact with the Celtiberians the castro culture was restricted to the north-west of Iberia) to the cattle raiding culture of the early Lacedaemonians.

The equipment of Celtiberian warriors at this time was generalised and lightweight. The early Celtiberian spear was a fearsome weapon with an extremely long iron blade. The reason for the length of blade may be that the spear was also used for slashing (as well as stabbing) as swords were, which although present in Iberia since the Bronze Age, appear to have been very rare among the Celtiberians. Smaller spear points have also been recovered and it is likely that these were projectile rather than melee weapons. In contrast to subsequent periods of Celtiberian history, metal armour does not appear to have been worn. Armour if it did exist was likely constructed of perishable materials such as leather whilst the lack of large shield bosses suggests that shields were either the small circular types used in later times or that shields were dispensed with altogether. However considering how formidable the early Celtiberian spear was it is unlikely that warriors would have gone without protection.

THE RISE OF THE OPPIDA AND CELTIBERIAN POLITIES

There were probably a number of stimuli which prompted the changes in Celtiberian society and warfare which archaeologists have detected in the later Iberian Iron Age. Cultural exchanges with the increasingly urbanised Iberian culture is certainly one (as described below), exchanges with the Celts of temperate Europe as evidenced by grave goods was likely another but perhaps the greatest stimulus was an increase in population. During this period the ox drawn plough came to be used on a more widespread basis, thus enabling the Celtiberians to cultivate greater tracts of land whilst the new Celtiberian urban centres, the largest indicator of social change in this period, have names which indicate they emerged as a result of population movements from the surrounding countryside; Contrebia, Complutum/Iplacea and Appian’s story of how Segeda was founded by dispossessed Celtiberians who lacked homes. Many of the castros excavated dating from this period show signs of destruction and were subsequently abandoned, never to be reoccupied. Classical authors utilise a variety of terms to describe the Celtiberian urbans centres: Appian described them as polis, Valerius Maximus oppidum whilst Ampelius termed them civitates. As polis and civitates are terms with associated juridical meanings, and as oppidum is a term used for other Celtic urban centres of comparable development, archaeologists term these new Celtiberian towns oppida. The Celtiberian oppida supplanted the earlier castros but preserved many of the features of the castros such as stone walls, rectilinear houses and a central path running through the settlement. They varied in size to include giant examples such as that at Ulaca which enclosed an area in excess of 60 hectares. At what date the Celtiberian oppida emerged is still contentious with some arguing it was as early as c. 500 BC and some as late as c. 300 BC. One thing is certain, though: the Celtiberian oppida emerged before the Celtiberians had had substantial contact with either the Romans or Carthaginians, thus the Celtiberian oppida are not the result of contact with either of these powers.

There was never such a thing as a Celtiberian state; the major Celtiberian tribes such as the Areuakoi and Belloi, despite constructing oppida and developing urban societies, did not form unified polities in the same way the Gauls and later Britons did. Among the La Tène Celts it appears that all the oppida in the territory of a civitate, such as that of the Boioi, Aedui, Auernoi or Bituriges for example, was controlled from a central, capital oppidum; the Boioi had Závist, the Aedui, Bibracte; the Auernoi , Gergovia; and for the Bituriges had Avaricum. By contrast, each Celtiberian oppidum was independent of the others even though many Celtiberian oppida shared a common tribal identity. This is illustrated by the fall of Numantia when, in 134BC, a Numantine warrior named Rhetogenes tried to appeal to the Areuakoi for support against the Romans. Rhetogenes embassy failed despite the fact the Numantines were themselves Areuakoi. The reason for this difference between the Celtiberians and the La Téne is likely a result of the cultures from which the two groups developed their concepts of urbanism. The rise of Celtiberian oppida is closely linked with that of the neighbouring Iberian states. The Celtiberians and Iberians shared a long border which served to facilitate a wide variety of exchanges. Surviving Celtiberian inscriptions often include both Celtiberian and Iberian names, the rise of the Celtiberian oppida is broadly contemporaneous with the rise of the Iberian urban sites, c. 400-200 BC, and many new developments in Celtiberian society such as the rotary quern, potter’s wheel and Celtiberian script appear to have been adopted from the Iberians. This cultural exchange is the reason we differentiate the Celtiberians from the other Celtic-speaking populations in the peninsula by name. The fact the Iberians were themselves organised into independent city states is probably due to the fact that Iberians urbanism seems to have been stimulated by contacts with Phoenician and Greek traders beginning c. 800BC. The Phoenician and Greek traders and settlers who arrived in Iberia, although still identifying with the cities they had departed from (Tyre and Sidon for the Phoenicians and primarily Phocaea for the Greeks) established settlements and outposts (Gader, Malaka and Ebusus in the Phoenician case and Rhode, Emporion and Massalia for the Greeks) which did not owe political allegiance to the Phoenician or Greek homeland. The Greek term for these settlements apoikia, a home away from home, gives some idea as to the independent nature of these sites. Only with the rise of Carthage c.550-525BC were the Phoenician colonies brought under the leadership of a single government, whilst the Greek settlements would remain independent until the rise of Rome. By contrast the main influence on the development of oppida in Gaul and Britain was Rome. When the Romans established new settlements, termed colonia, they were still subject to the rule of Rome. This contrast in influences would likely explain why the Celtiberians became organised into city states whilst the Gauls and Britons became tribal nations. This political organisation did not mean that Celtiberian society was militarily inferior to that of Gaul and Britain; if anything, it made the Celtiberians more difficult to defeat than the Gauls and Britons; whereas the Transalpine Gauls were conquered in the space of 7 years, it took the Romans almost 200 years to subdue the Celtiberians.

Celtiberian armies at this time likewise underwent major changes. Graves dating to this time contain increasing numbers of weapons and armour. Ceramic and stone depictions show that the famous Celtiberian leather cap with its crest remained in use; however bronze helmets also appear in the archaeological record at this time. These helmets were initially similar in design to a modern motorcycle helmet (without the visor) but during the later stages of Celtiberian history a type not too dissimilar from the Gallic Montefortino style also began to be used. Metal body armour, in the form of bronze discs, was also produced and its use is attested to in sculpture, ceramics and from warrior graves. Swords too become increasingly common during this period. Initially the antenna type, a straight stabbing sword with coiled decorations emanating from the hilt, was favoured (c.500-300BC) but it was subsequently replaced by the deadly curved falcata and the original form of the Gladius Hispaniensis. Towards the end of Celtiberian independence long slashing swords similar to those of the Gauls began to be used partially replacing the types which had preceded them. Spear points decreased in length but showed a greater variety in blade shape. Pilum-like javelins also began to be used during this period. The long infantry shield, which classical writers associated more with temperate Celtic armies, also began to be used at this time alongside the older Iberian buckler style shield (the caetra), the existence of which is attested to in historical documents, sculpture, ceramics and from excavations. Towards the end of the period of Celtiberian independence weapons become increasingly rare in graves. It has been theorised that this reflects the need for Celtiberians to retain their weapons for use in their struggles against Rome. However it is more likely that, as the Celtiberians urbanised, the importance of warfare declined and individuals chose to identify themselves instead as practitioners of different activities. This process is mirrored in Gaul where the later emergence of oppida caused a change in burial practices, warrior graves becoming restricted to the Rhine region and southern Belgica. The disappearance of weapons from Celtiberian cemeteries does not mean that weapons lost their symbolic importance among the Celtiberians, historians from this period describing how Celtiberian warriors preferred death to the shame of being stripped of their weapons.

Although military activity would initially have been limited to a small section of society, funerary data demonstrates that with the rise of the oppida and decline of the castros increasing numbers of men took part in military activity, or at least chose to identify themselves as such from their grave goods. For example the cemetery from the oppidum of Arcobriga, dated to the earlier phases of this period, contained 300 graves, 42 (14%) of which contained weapons. Cemeteries from La Mercadera and Ucero, dated to the later stages of the construction of oppida, were found to contain much higher proportions of warrior graves: 44% and 37.4%, respectively, than those dated to the earlier stages of the oppida construction. The number of warrior graves becomes even higher in the border regions of Celtiberia although on balance some regions such as Las Cogotas have a very small proportion of warrior graves (2.69%). The general increase in the number of individuals interred as warriors, as well as historical references to Celtiberian armies of the 3rd and 2nd centuries, shows that at this time Celtiberian armies were far larger than they preciously had been. For example at the siege of Carabis the Celtiberian army numbered 20,000 men, whilst the siege of Contrebia was relieved by 17,000 Celtiberian infantry and 400 horse. The classical authors indicate that warfare was no longer the preserve of a select few, but instead, by the later stages of Celtiberian history, the entire male population could be called upon. The references to successful sieges also demonstrate that during this later phase the Celtiberians had developed siege warfare tactics. Warfare by this stage had also ceased to be seasonal, Celtiberian armies could now stay in the field throughout the year.

The vast majority of the warriors interred in these graves during this phase were infantry men, with the sword replacing the spear as the weapon of choice. Despite this Celtiberian warriors, unlike their Gallic or Iberian contemporaries, remained light infantry in general. Celtiberians continued to rely on ambushes, scorched earth and guerrilla tactics as their lack of heavy equipment and discipline hindered their ability to overcome the armies of Carthage and Rome. Duels also remained an acceptable form of combat for Celtiberians, as illustrated by the tale of Scipio Aemelianus fighting a Celtiberian noble in 151 BC. Cavalry became increasingly common in Celtiberian armies at this time, as evidenced by the increased number of horse harnesses from graves of this period. The number of cavalry in Celtiberian armies at this time is unusual as it tended to be quite high. The typical ratio of infantry to cavalry in armies of Antiquity was 10:1, but in Celtiberian armies it could be as high as 4:1. Although the emergence of the oppida allowed the rise of powerful noble families who controlled aspects of social life, Celtiberians continued to choose their military leaders democratically. Celtiberian warriors during this period were in great demand by both Rome and Carthage. The story of the Celtiberian warrior Moericus, a mercenary captain in Syracusan service during the 2nd Punic War, is but one example of how widely Celtiberians served, providing excellent service in the armies of such generals as Hannibal, Scipio Africanus and Julius Caesar.

Units

Arezages Gustoi (Celtiberian General Bodyguard)

'Battle Horses'

When a Uramos (war leader) of the Areuakoi sits atop his steed and surveys the men assembled before him or examines the enemy yonder, he needs to be assured that the men who ride by his side will do so to the end, even if they must escort him into the otherworld. The Uramos need not worry, for not only is it illegal to survive one's leaders in battle, but it is a thought abhorrent to all but the most craven Keltiberoi. Selected from among the ranks of the regular Arezages Gustoi, these men are an elite corps. Their bravery, loyalty and ferocity cannot be equalled. These Arezages Gustoi live, breathe and drink the heroic mantra; that it is better to enjoy a heroic and glorious death at a young age, than to suffer to live to be an old and forgotten man. The bards sing songs of how many a Arezages Gustoi, upon seeing their Uramos hard pressed and near overwhelmed, have used their bodies as shields, thrown themselves in front of charging horses, or stripped nude and charged to certain death upon hearing of the death of their leader. The generals of foreign lands might wear more armour, or surround themselves with a larger retinue, or even ride to the battlefield in hulking chariots, but few can claim to have a bodyguard as fanatically devoted and loyal as the Arezages Gustoi.

Historically, the law that Keltiberoi were forbidden to survive their leaders in battle, was a feature which was by no means unique to the Keltiberoi: the Gallic soldurioi and ambaktoi are recorded as having done the same, as are the bodyguards of German war leaders. The story of the Numantian Retogenes who broke through the Romani siege defences with five comrades, in order to try and raise help from among the Areuakoi, may belong to this tradition of dedicated bodyguards. Likewise the story of the Areuakoi leader Karos may be another example of this type of dedicated service. When Karos was killed pursuing a Romani force, 6,000 of his followers, according to Appian, fell with him as he performed acts of valour. The leaders who led these bodyguards likely did so at the request of their retainers. Keltiberoi generals attained their positions through election rather than birthright. Karos, for example, was elected to lead the armies of Numantia and Segeda; two generals named Ambón and Leukón were also elected to lead the forces of Numantia, and in 153 BC the Areuakoi voted for war. This combination of ferociously loyal bodyguards and a command system based on democracy would prove ideally suited to Romanisation, with many Keltiberoi later enjoying prominent careers in the Romani army and government.

Ekualakoi Trehsas (Celtiberian Lancers)

'Battle Horses'

Carried into battle on the finest cavalry in all of Iberia, the Ekualakoi Trehsas are an awe inspiring site as their capes flutter behind them, their plume- and crest-adorned helmets catching the rays of the sun. Wheeling around near the enemy they proclaim their deeds and exploits, hurling abuse and insults at their pitiful foe. Then, in a portent of the vultures which will feed on the enemy at the end of the day, they unleash a flock of javelins. Should the enemy, tired of such humiliating and deadly treatment, attempt to charge the Ekualakoi Trehsas, then these Keltiberoi lancers will spin their steeds around, spurring them back to their own lines. Now is the moment that the enemy dreads. Should they continue into the dusty haze kicked up by the hooves of the Ekualakoi Trehsas, or should they turn and reform their lines? If they continue their pursuit it will be in vain, for only the swiftest of warriors can hope to catch the Ekualakoi Trehsas. However, should the enemy turn their backs then they will find themselves, like rabbits far from their burrows, pounced upon and devoured by the lupine Ekualakoi Trehsas, the lances of these Keltiberoi horsemen dispatching many an impetuous fool to the otherworld.

Historically, the equites, as the Romani would term the cavalry of the era of Keltiberoi oppida, appear to have been composed of the ruling classes of Keltiberoi society and their retainers. They issued coinage in their name, displaying themselves as cavalry warriors, and were the first section of society to Romanise. This correlation between cavalry and power was by no means unique to the Keltiberoi; this pattern can be observed across the late Keltoi world. Just as with the Keltiberoi, the nobles of Gaul and southern Britain issued coinage displaying themselves as cavalry warriors, equipping themselves with the panoply required to fight on horseback (typically longswords) and, like the Keltiberoi nobility, were the first to enter the ranks of the Romani army and political establishment. What is unique about the Keltiberoi, however, is their fondness for cavalry. Whereas the normal ratio for infantry to cavalry in Mediterranean armies was 10:1, in some Keltiberoi armies it could be as low as 4:1. The "horseman" brooch is a further example of this Keltiberoi liking for cavalry. "Horsemen" brooches typically depict a cavalry warrior riding over the head of a foe, and the overwhelming majority of these brooches have been found in the Keltiberoi heartland of north eastern Spain.

Ekualakoi Sunimoum (Celtiberian Riders)

'Horsemen'

Anyone who has fought against the Areuakoi and lived to speak of it will describe, with wide-eyed terror, the sight which emerges once the ground begins to rumble. As swift as arrows, and just as deadly, Keltiberoi cavalry are renowned for their speed, discipline and deadly skill. These warriors, hailing from the upper strata of society, can afford excellent weapons and armour, and their mounts are some of the finest in Western Europe. Being from the upper crust of society also affords these warriors plenty of time to practise, and it is reported by observers that Keltiberoi horses will remain stationary even when their riders have dismounted and wandered into the fray. Possessing as they do excellent stamina, they can harry enemy columns, weakening them before launching a deadly charge to break the enemy lines.

Historically, Keltiberoi cavalry developed as a result of contact with the armies of Roma and Karthadastim. Like the Native Americans of the plains some fifteen hundred years later when they were introduced to horses from Spain, the Keltiberoi rapidly became cavalry masters. Keltiberoi cavalry was one of the few forces of antiquity which could fight effectively nocturnally, as evidenced by the story of the Romani general Lucullus who was pursued through the night by Keltiberoi cavalry. Cavalry was held in high esteem by the Keltiberoi and became the subject of jewellery, as evidenced by the Keltiberoi horseman fibula; money, such as those coins minted at Sekobrikes; and sculpture, like the statue from Porcuna. To be a cavalryman was also a mark of status, and funeral reliefs, such as two from Lara de los Infantas, allow archaeologists to identify the occupants of graves as cavalrymen. Both the Romani and Karthadastim made use of Keltiberoi cavalry and Keltiberoi would participate in many foreign campaigns including the Second Punic War and Caesar's conquest of Gaul.

Redoi (Celtiberian Skirmisher Cavalry)

Not every man who rides into battle in Iberia is blue blooded. Although the glory of the thunderous charge is reserved for those who have the wealth and time to purchase and train a war horse, this has not prevented many a well-to-do farmer from throwing a woollen cloth across the back of his faithful nag and setting off on campaign. Hardened by a life of scratching a living from the ebony soil of Iberia, seated upon a sinuous and dogged steed, these men and their mounts are no strangers to the hardships of life. Preferring to keep what iron they have for ploughshares and scythes, they arm themselves lightly; a few javelins and a light shield are all these men require in order to harass the enemy before the nobles steal the glory of the day. These men rarely find themselves in real danger, their ponies being fast enough to escape all but slingstones and the most determined enemy horseman.

Historically, purchasing a horse large enough to be an effective charger, having sufficient time to train it to charge into enemy lines and being able to afford the panoply to perform such a tactic (lance, body armour, helmet, Celtic saddle, etc.) was no mean feat. It was simply beyond the means of many men. Even after so much money and effort, some troops still preferred to fight as infantry. At the Battle of Ticinus in 218 BC, for example, the Romani cavalry, finding themselves hard pressed by Numidian and Karthadastim cavalry, simply dismounted and fought as infantrymen rather than attempt a cavalry charge. Although many men in Keltiberoi society probably had access to a horse, only a fraction of those who rode did so as heavy cavalrymen. Many instead likely performed a role similar to that of the Redoi: harassing the enemy and retreating from danger. This type of warfare was preferred by the Keltiberoi to set-piece battles. The Kantabroi of the north-west of Iberia became so adept at this form of riding that they would become famous for the formation they employed; the Cantabrian circle. This form of mounted cavalry would continue to be used in Iberia long after it had vanished from elsewhere in Europe. In Medieval Iberia, troops known as Jinetes would continue to fight just as their ancestors had done. Only the arrival of effective pistols in the 16th and 17th centuries AD would cause javelin-armed riders to disappear from the Iberian Peninsula, and that was only because the men who had previously wielded javelins now fired guns and fought as Carabiniers.

Brigantinoi (Celtiberian Champions)

'Princes'

The first into battle, last the leave the fray, the bravest of the brave. With the strength of a bull, the ferocity of a wolf and the agility of a lynx, these men are without par among the ranks of the Areuakoi warriors. They stand as giants in their community, the envy of lesser men, the dreams of maidens and the idols of children. It is these men upon whose shoulders the honour of the Areuakoi rests, and they seldom fail to live up to their reputations. Hailing from the nobles of Areuakoi society, these men are unaccustomed to sweat behind the plough or bake their own bread. Instead, they live off the labour of others, perfecting their deadly art, practising their skills from sunrise to sunset. Their wealth also allows them to equip themselves with the finest arms and armour the smith can produce. Donning a well made bronze helmet which projects a plume of horse hair, wielding a terrifying "Spanish sword" beaten from the best iron in Iberia, grasping a beautifully decorated iron bossed shield, and clad in bronze armour and fine woollen battle garments, these men present an awesome sight on the battlefield. Their élan ensures that no man will shirk from his duty but will instead commit to the fight with the energy of an enraged bear.

Historically, warriors such as the Areuakoi Brigantinoi appear to have had a very old pedigree within Keltiberoi society. Warrior elites are present in the funerary record of Celtiberia from the Bronze Age, and would have been a catalyst in transforming the indigenous Bronze Age substratum into the Keltiberoi society of the Iron Age. Due to the low social complexity of late Bronze Age society, warfare would have been seasonal, likely ritualised and probably settled by duels between "champions" similar to the Brigantinoi. It is theorised, based on the etymology of the names of Keltiberoi gods, that such champions would have belonged to warrior fraternities, initiation thereinto requiring the completion of acts of physical endurance and religious ceremonies. Such fraternities are recorded as having existed in societies as those of the Dorian Greeks, Gauls, Scythians and Dark Age Irish, among others. As the proto-Celtiberian society of the late Bronze Age transformed into the early Keltiberoi society of the 7th-6th centuries BC, the funerary record of the Keltiberoi homeland attests to the increasingly prominent role that warriors such as these played in society. The weapon of choice for these early Keltiberoi champions was a long spear, likely intended for use as an infantry weapon, a theory which based on the lack of horse harnesses recovered from graves.

Keltiberoi champions began to equip themselves in the way they are depicted in EBII from the 5th century BC onwards; cemeteries from the area of the upper Tagus river have been excavated containing bronze helmets, bronze cuirass discs and embossed shield umbos. The formidable slashing sword of the type this unit uses was likewise adopted by Celtiberian warriors during the 5th century. The high regard with which the owners of such swords were held in society can be seen in the sculptures from the contemporary Iberian haroon (hero cult shrines) at Porcuna. As the armies of the Keltiberoi expanded with the emergence of oppida, champions such as the Brigantinoi became a minority within the ranks of warriors. Despite this, duels between champions appear to have remained an important feature of Keltiberoi warfare, as evidenced by the tale of Scipio Aemelianus and a Keltiberoi noble engaging in single combat in 151 BC. Ceramics from the final stages of occupation of Numantia also show warriors similar to the Brigantinoi engaging in single combat with other, comparably equipped, foes.

Mezugenoi (Celtiberian Swordsmen)

'Mead Born'

With skin made tough as leather by the Iberian sun and hearts made hard by ceaseless inter-tribal warfare, the Mezugenoi swordsmen form the core of any great Keltiberoi army. These men, supported by the revenues from trade and the lands they have won for themselves, have the leisure time required to enable them to train to a standard which the Romani and Karthadastim would describe as "professional". This wealth also means that, unlike less affluent Areuakoi, the Mezugenoi can afford to quench their thirst not with water, but with honey sweetened, intoxicating mead. Armed with the feared "Spanish sword", a weapon as formidable and fine as that which any enemy wields, a fistful of javelins, well crafted helmets of leather and bronze (although some choose to demonstrate their courage by entering the fray without a helmet) and a circular shield, these determined warriors pepper the enemy with projectiles before launching into a spirited charge intended to immediately break the enemy's lines. Their reputation as warriors is such that they may be found working as mercenaries as far away as Sicily.

Historically, the Keltiberoi had a long lasting affinity for swords from c. 500 BC onwards. The designs of Keltiberoi swords changed much over the years. Initially, antenna swords, so called because of the two nodules which emanated from the hilt, were employed. By c. 300 BC the straight-edged antenna sword had evolved into the formidable Gladius Hispaniensis (literally the Spanish Sword), as described by Diodorus of Sicily: "The iron of their double-edged swords, shorter than the Keltoi great sword, is capable of cutting anything" (Hist. 5.33). The Gladius Hispaniensis attained such a formidable reputation that the Romans adopted it themselves. By this time in history the Keltiberoi were also making use of long slashing swords of the La Tène variety and the falcata of their Iberian neighbours.

Gaizoskezantes(Celtiberian Spearmen)

'Straight Born'

No longer can disputes be settled by duels alone. Raids may bring wealth and new cattle, but what use are cattle when you have no land on which to graze them? Already the armies of Karthadistim have laid claim to the southern cities and the Hellenes have planted their emporia upon the coasts. If we are to expand and defend our lands, it cannot be done by the champions and nobles alone. Fortunately, we Areuakoi being the martial people that we are, there is no shortage of men who are willing to swell the ranks and bolster our armies. Do not be fooled, however, these men are not simple levies. Although they may be potters, cobblers and farmers when not called to arms, this should not give one reason to dismiss their potential as warriors. The spirit of battle flows in the blood of every citizen of the Areuakoi. Even in the wombs of our women, fertile as the soil of our lands, grow wolves and lynx; children more formidable than any others born into this world. The Gaizoskezantesmay not have the blue blood of their comrades, nor the swords and high-crested helmets, but they will still hold the line when asked, they will still pepper the enemy with javelins and run down and trample all those who seek to put a yoke on our people.

Historically, as the Keltiberoi population and the social complexity of Keltiberoi society increased with the rise of the oppida, so too did the size of Keltiberoi armies. Historical accounts of the size of these late Keltiberoi armies provide numbers comparable to those of the armies being fielded by Roma and Karthadastim. At Carabis in 188 BC, for example, the Keltiberoi fielded 20,000 men, whilst Karos, the leader of the Areuakoi and Segendenses, commanded 20,000 infantry and 5,000 horse. Not even the richest Keltiberoi oppidum could hope to field enough champions to make up such number. Instead, increasing numbers of warriors were drawn from the middle and lower classes of Keltiberoi society. The cemeteries of this period reflect this demographic change. Whereas in previous periods of the Keltiberoi archaeological record, warrior graves had accounted for, on average, 1% of those buried there, during this period in some cemeteries warrior graves account for as many as 44% of those interred. Despite the effects of urbanisation, Keltiberoi armies were not citizen armies like those of the Hellenes and Romani. Weapons and armour from this period show no signs of standardisation, and although capable of siege warfare and winter campaigning, discipline was lacking, as shown by the events following the defeat of Mummius' army by the Lusotannan Kaisaros. The command structure likewise remained one of familial ties and personal loyalties, rather than a formalised general staff. These later Keltiberoi warriors, unlike the citizen armies of the Mediterranean, were primarily light infantrymen, ill suited to facing the legions in pitched battle; the graves of many of these warriors tend not to contain helmets, pectoral plates or the large embossed shields of preceding periods. Despite these limitations, these enlarged Keltiberoi armies proved adept at scorched earth and guerrilla tactics, and even operations at night. Many a Roman met his death at the hands of a Keltiberoi ambush and even Scipio Aemilianus, the man who destroyed the Areuakoi capital of Numantia, found himself the victim of an ambush.

The shield type with which this unit, and several other EBII Keltiberoi and Iberian units, is equipped is known as the caetra, and deserves a special note here. Diodorus describes the use of these shields by Keltiberoi warriors saying that "...other [Celtiberians use] a round shield of the kind more familiar in the Greek world" (Hist. 5.33). The sometimes beautifully decorated bronze shield bosses of caetra appear in the Keltiberoi funerary record from c. 500 BC until the Romani conquest. Caetra are also depicted on several stone sculptures, such as the infantryman from Castro di Lezenbo, Portugal and the mounted warrior from Porcuna, Spain as well as ceramics from the Areuakoi capital Numantia and metalwork from El Amarejo, Spain. Caetra were unlikely to have been much use in protracted melee, their small size being ill suited to absorbing heavy blows and deflecting missiles. Instead, they were likely used either in duels or to allow their owner sufficient speed and mobility to effect deadly ambushes.

Neizes (Iberian Levy Spearmen)

The Neizes are composed by the richest among the poorest population. Unlike the Iberian reguli that have productive crops and export to the Greek and Phoenician cities their abundant surplus of wine, oil, wheat, barley, esparto grass and flax with those they defray their great sculptures and their expensive weapons, or the Celtiberian elites that concentrate the wealth through the control of the grazing areas, the saltworks and the iron production or the Lusitanian chiefs that gain wealth for his community through his loyal band of clientes; shepherds-warriors, who take care of his plentiful cattles through the transhumance, and in this way take advantage of their march in foreign lands plundering the fields, obtaining booty and trading their products, only a small part of the Hispanic levy are fortunate enough to have a piece of infertile soil where they cultivate some basic cereals and legumes like field bean, chickpeas or lentils for the personal consumption or have a poor cattle. The remaining part of the group are less fortunate; they work the richest elites' lands or they take care of the cattle, however all them engage in fishing and in hunting, in this way they supplement their economic livelihoods. The Hispanic levy enter battle with a small caetra, some javelins with amentum and a spear, they are capable to use their abilities to annoy the enemy with a hateful rain of javelins, however they also can fight in close formation beside their comrades, like the better equipped Iberian, Celtiberian and Lusitanian warriors do, if necessary. However the Hispanic levy will not withstand a charge by heavier infantry and are easy prey for most cavalry, but they are not soft men: maybe their equipment is poor but their souls are rich. They prefer to fight only when their lands are in danger because they cannot afford to lose what little they have, however they are able to participate in the regional plundering against their neighbours if they can obtain some additional wealth through the distributing the loot after the battle. A precarious life with a simple diet makes a man dangerous; he becomes as cruel as the necessity he calls life. His wanderings at the side of cattle or his fighting against Mother Earth to obtain foodstuff, give him a stamina which many others lack. If employed as skirmishers, scouts and ambushers these men can prove their worth in battle; sowing the furrows of the enemy lines with javelins, before withdrawing to the trees to cut down foes who seek refuge there.

Historically the spear was the main weapon in the Ancient Mediterranean until the success of the gladius hispaniensis and the emergence of the Roman cohort. Spears were used by Celtiberian and Iberian societies from before the Iron Age until the Romanization. Since the Iberian "Early Phase" (c. 550 BC - c. 400 BC) the thrusting spear was the main weapon, it had a spearhead up to 60cm long with a heavy spear butt, at the same time the soliferrum (a throwing all-iron javelin that played the same role that the roman pilum played) appeared. During the "Middle Phase" (c. 400 BC - c. 230 BC) the right to bear arms had been extended to an extensive part of the Iberian and Celtiberian society, in this way from that time until the Romanization the warriors from the Iberian Peninsula were able to make some effective ambushes (especially against Romans), however they always fought in pitched battles in sort formation by a multitude of warriors, this fact was not the exception but the rule in Spain (for example time later, Hannibal trusted his Iberian mercenaries to hold position in the centre of his line against the Romans and Scipio used his Iberian allies as the second class line infantry in the battle of Ilipa). Returning to the subject of the spears, during this period this weapon became shorter (the iron spearhead was 20 cm to 40 cm), in addition their blades became wider. During the "Late Phase" (c. 230 BC - c. 100 BC) the spearheads became of small size and many of them without central rib and the soliferra and the javelins were still used, finally during the Romanization, the warrior from the Iberian Peninsula was used as an auxilia, that fought as a light soldier, by the Romans.

Iberi Equites Scutarii (Iberian Medium Cavalry)

The, at times, grey grasses of eastern Iberia may not appear as verdant and lush as those of Gaul or Campania, but as the men of Sparte will tell you, the simplest meal may breed the strongest of men. What is true of a meal is true of grass. Beneath the sapphire skies and bronze sun, their green tinted teeth clipping the pasture, roam horses of world renown. And when a land produces such fine steeds, it is expected that the people of the land be masters of the saddle. The men of Iberia are indeed such men. With silvery steel tipped spears couched beneath their arms, and gripping the long shields from whence they take their name, these men are renowned beyond their lands for the skills they bring to the battlefield. A common site in the armies of foreign powers, but still all the more determined to defend their homelands from foreign domination, these horsemen combine endurance, loyalty and discipline to form a corps of warriors which any army would eagerly have guard its flanks.

Historically horses appear to have been held in high regard among the Iberian civilization. They were frequently depicted in sculpture, such as the 160 votive offerings in the shape of horses which were recovered from the sanctuary at El Ciggarelego. Other fine examples include the horse sculpture from La Losa and the warrior and his horse from Porcuna. These depictions provide archaeologists with a clear picture of how the Iberians dressed and equipped their horses, and enables accurate reconstructions of Iberian cavalry to be produced. We know that, in contrast to their Keltoi contemporaries, the Iberians do not appear to have employed leather saddles, instead they made use of fabric of some form to cover the horses back, sometimes with stylistic adornments such as bands of fabric or intricate patterns. Likewise, no doubt to emphasise the status of the rider, Iberian horses were often adorned with other decorations, such as a criniere of tassels which covered the horses chest. Excavations have demonstrated that the Iberians made use of two types of bridle bit. The first of these was similar to those used by the Keltoi, being composed of hoops through which to thread the leather or fabric reins. The second type was composed of rods, either in the shape of a bow or what might be termed a lightning bolt. Again there existed hoops through which to thread the reins, but they were much smaller than on the Keltoi type bridle bit. In some reconstructions of Iberian cavalry, the reins are depicted as being attached to the bottom of the rods, meaning that when the rider pulled on the reins he pulled the horses head downward, rather than pulling the horse bit into the mouth of his mount. This approach would probably have been kinder on the horse but it may also have been slightly less effective in control the horse, although, considering the praise which ancient historians gave to Iberian cavalrymen, it appears a lack of control was certainly not a problem.

Iberi Equites Caetratii (Iberian Light Cavalry)

The Equites Caetrati are a very useful light skirmishing cavalry. Their surefooted, agile Iberian horses and ability to fight in a melee for a limited duration make up for their lack of armour or heavier weaponry. The Equites Caetratii are armed with several javelins and the standard Iberian "falcata" and "caetra" combination. They are very good horsemen, but do not have any armour at all other than their shields and caps. This could be a disadvantage to less hardy horsemen, but the Equites Caetratii make up for it by trading protection for agility, stealth and resistance. They are excellent skirmishing cavalry, able to carry many javelins and hurl them at enemy formations while staying out of that formation's reach.

Historically, Equites Caetratii were used many times to great effect by the Carthaginians. The Iberians used them more as stealthy, mobile guerilla troops to harass and cut down a few unwary enemies before disappearing back into the hills. This was possible due to one of the surprising characteristics in Iberian armies: their peculiar training of horses. They were taught to keep silent and laying down, in all situations when their rider told them to. As such, many of the deceptive ambushes performed by Iberian tribes were even more surprising to the incautious enemy.

Centuries of feuding among the Iberian tribes hardened the people in such a way that there was no shortage of tough and cunning warriors. Iberians used varied weapons, shields and armour, differing according to region, wealth, specific battlefield tasks and personal preference - most swords ("falcatas" and "gladius hispanniensis") were custom built to suit the arm length, weight and strength of it's owner.

Even though Iberian tactics were generally constant and specific, they were also unpredictable and very effective when properly used. The Iberians' ability to hide, while keeping their enemy under close watch, before performing coordinated attacks followed by swift retreats, allowed them to surprise enemies when least expected. These Iberian hit and run tactics were called by the Romans "concursare", and sometimes described as "simple absence of tactics". It is known, however, that to perform these coordinated attacks and retreats, across an entire army, in simultaneous different areas, needed an impressive amount of organisation and signalling that was probably performed through the use of rounded ceramic horns.

Although the many tribes that populated Iberia never became united under a single ruler before the Roman invasions, several temporary alliances against foreign enemies were known. These alliances, linked to the Iberians' great determination to remain independent of any foreign power, constituted a unenviable obstacle that put Carthage and Rome at check for more than a century.

Iberi Scutarii (Iberian Medium Swordsmen)

NOTE: The text below refers to Scutarii in general, but this version is armed with soliferrum and swords.

They are well-equipped medium spearmen, being armed with the dreaded all-metal soliferrum, a spear as their main weapon, a short straight sword and a small dagger for backup. They protect themselves with a combination of esparto, leather and bronze scale armour. When all this equipment is put together you are left with an extremely versatile and quick infantry.

As more permanent warriors than the Caetratii, they are more experienced and skilled, as well as better equipped and protected, generally forming the main line in Iberian armies. They use their "soliferrum" before closing in for hand-to-hand combat. Although being considered by enemies as heavier troops then the Caetratii, they are, nevertheless, fast and come in handy when springing tactical ambushes on enemy units. Most Iberian warriors were known for their determination and skill and Scutarii are no exception. They are, with the traditional Iberian ferociousness, quite determined.

Historically, the design of the later Roman legionary sword (or "gladius") was influenced by the blades carried by these men (known by the Romans as "gladius hispanniensis"). This design was adopted after Roman armies had faced large formations of Scutarii during the First Punic War.

Centuries of feuding among the Iberian tribes hardened the people in such a way that there was no shortage of tough, determined and cunning warriors. Iberians used varied weapons, shields and armour, differing according to region, wealth, specific battlefield tasks and personal preference - most swords ("falcatas" and "gladius hispanniensis") were custom built to suit the arm length, weight and strength of its owner. Even though Iberian tactics were generally constant and specific, they were also unpredictable and very effective when properly used.

The Iberians' ability to hide, while keeping their enemy under close watch, before performing coordinated attacks followed by swift retreats, allowed them to surprise enemies when least expected. These Iberian hit and run tactics were called by the Romans "concursare", and sometimes described as "simple absence of tactics". It is known, however, that to perform these coordinated attacks and retreats, across an entire army, in simultaneous different areas, needed an impressive amount of organisation and signalling that was probably performed through the use of commonly found rounded ceramic horns. Although the many tribes that populated Iberia never became united under a single ruler before the Roman invasions, several temporary alliances against foreign enemies were known. These alliances, linked to the Iberians' great determination to remain independent of any foreign power, constituted a unenviable obstacle that put Carthage and Rome at check for more than a century.

Iberi Scutarii (Iberian Medium Spearmen)

NOTE: The text below refers to Scutarii in general, but this version is armed with only a spear.

These Iberian spearmen are referred to as Scutarii by the Romans because of their large oval shields (the Latin word for shield being "Scutum"). They are well-equipped medium spearmen, being armed with the dreaded all-metal soliferrum, a spear as their main weapon, a short straight sword and a small dagger for backup. They protect themselves with a combination of esparto, leather and bronze scale armour. When all this equipment is put together you are left with an extremely versatile and quick infantry.

As more permanent warriors than the Caetratii, they are more experienced and skilled, as well as better equipped and protected, generally forming the main line in Iberian armies. They use their "soliferrum" before closing in for hand-to-hand combat. Although being considered by enemies as heavier troops then the Caetratii, they are, nevertheless, fast and come in handy when springing tactical ambushes on enemy units. Most Iberian warriors were known for their determination and skill and Scutarii are no exception. They are, with the traditional Iberian ferociousness, quite determined.

Historically, the design of the later Roman legionary sword (or "gladius") was influenced by the blades carried by these men (known by the Romans as "gladius hispanniensis"). This design was adopted after Roman armies had faced large formations of Scutarii during the First Punic War.

Centuries of feuding among the Iberian tribes hardened the people in such a way that there was no shortage of tough, determined and cunning warriors. Iberians used varied weapons, shields and armour, differing according to region, wealth, specific battlefield tasks and personal preference - most swords ("falcatas" and "gladius hispanniensis") were custom built to suit the arm length, weight and strength of its owner. Even though Iberian tactics were generally constant and specific, they were also unpredictable and very effective when properly used.

The Iberians' ability to hide, while keeping their enemy under close watch, before performing coordinated attacks followed by swift retreats, allowed them to surprise enemies when least expected. These Iberian hit and run tactics were called by the Romans "concursare", and sometimes described as "simple absence of tactics". It is known, however, that to perform these coordinated attacks and retreats, across an entire army, in simultaneous different areas, needed an impressive amount of organisation and signalling that was probably performed through the use of commonly found rounded ceramic horns. Although the many tribes that populated Iberia never became united under a single ruler before the Roman invasions, several temporary alliances against foreign enemies were known. These alliances, linked to the Iberians' great determination to remain independent of any foreign power, constituted a unenviable obstacle that put Carthage and Rome at check for more than a century.

Iberi Caetratii (Iberian Light Infantry)

Caetrati are a deceptive type of infantry. Well able light troops, they can skirmish while softening their enemy before closing in for hand-to-hand combat. Although sometimes they use their mobility to keep them out of the reach of enemies, they are quite often able to produce very unpleasant surprises to units not normally vulnerable to light troops. Four things contribute to this capability: their agility on the battlefield, their all-metal heavy javelins ("soliferrum"), the traditional Iberian ferociousness and their superb swordsmanship. They are not, however, due to their light equipment and occasional warrior status, designed to face experienced heavy troops and should be spared to those types of combat. Their lack of anti-cavalry weapons and armour also makes them very vulnerable to such enemies.

Historically, the Caetratii were one of the most numerous type of troops in Iberian armies. They were multi-purpose light infantry made up of non-professional soldiers that filled several roles generally reserved to various types of troops. Although most Iberians were not professional soldiers, they were very used to constant tribal warfare and, as such, became skilled and resolute. Caetratii were known for their unique style of swordsmanship that employs two specific types of equipment: a curved heavy-tipped sword known as "falcata" and the small, agile buckler the Romans called "caetra". Hannibal lavished upon his Caetratii, and many of them wore white linen tunics with a crimson border.

Centuries of feuding among the Iberian tribes hardened the people in such a way that there was no shortage of tough and cunning warriors. Iberians used varied weapons, shields and armour, differing according to region, wealth, specific battlefield tasks and personal preference - most swords ("falcatas" and "gladius hispanniensis") were custom built to suit the arm length, weight and strength of it's owner.

Even though Iberian tactics were generally constant and specific, they were also unpredictable and very effective when properly used. The Iberians' ability to hide, while keeping their enemy under close watch, before performing coordinated attacks followed by swift retreats, allowed them to surprise enemies when least expected. These Iberian hit and run tactics were called by the Romans "concursare", and sometimes described as "simple absence of tactics". It is known, however, that to perform these coordinated attacks and retreats, across an entire army, in simultaneous different areas, needed an impressive amount of organisation and signalling that was probably performed through the use of rounded ceramic horns.

Although the many tribes that populated Iberia never became united under a single ruler before the Roman invasions, several temporary alliances against foreign enemies were known. These alliances, linked to the Iberians' great determination to remain independent of any foreign power, constituted a unenviable obstacle that put Carthage and Rome at check for more than a century.

Fondacorate (Iberian Slingers)

The taste of battle is sought by all Keltiberoi. The thirst which only combat can quench taunts the tongue of even those who tend to the flocks and sup on goat's milk and mutton. With a robe of coarse wool, a sling made from rawhide and a shield fashioned out of reeds from the rivers and streams of the land, these men may appear wretched compared to their noble comrades, but their art is a deadly one. A lifetime of corralling beasts and driving off predators has made these men as much a part of the land as the grasses and bushes their flocks feed on. Their aim is superb, and even the highest born warriors clad in the finest armour may meet a bloody end from one these men's slingstones, their heads dashed to pieces as a slingstone passes through their eye and out of the back of their skull. Able to unleash a deadly storm of stones and baked clay upon their foes, before withdrawing fast as rabbits to the safety of the woods or the rear of their armies, they are a unit that commands respect. Fondacorate are likewise indispensable when a Keltiberoi army sets itself to the task of besieging an enemy stronghold. Despite their aim and speed, however, their equipment is of little use in melee. Capable of killing from a distance, these men stand little chance should their foe catch them. The knives they carry may be useful for skinning rabbits, but they fair poorly against the spears and swords of trained warriors.

Historically, antiquarians and early archaeologists were quick to ascribe a martial purpose to many of the items they discovered. One British antiquarian, writing in the 18th century, was so sure of the purpose of the Neolithic polished stone axe he described, that he concluded that it had been used by an ancient Briton to attack one of the Emperor Claudius' elephants (he was writing at a time when scholars had not yet realised that there was a difference between the Stone Age and Iron Age). As time progressed, archaeologists have applied new and different approaches to their analyses of the material past, including the role of weapons. Today, many weapons are viewed not solely as implements of war and battle, but also as prestige items and objects with domestic as well as martial roles. The sling is one such weapon. Previously, discoveries of slingstones were readily interpreted as stores of ammunition, placed where they were in preparation for an attack. Analysis of the ammunition of slings, and experimental archaeology using the various types of ammunition, has shown that the sling was, in fact, a versatile tool. The fact the sling was used in war is beyond doubt: historical texts mention the use of slingers in battle as far apart as Rhodes and the Inca Empire; vernacular texts such as those from Ireland mention its use as a weapon; it is depicted in Hellene and Romani sculpture and other works of art as a weapon; and even the Bible describes how David used his sling to slay Goliath. The ammunition which slingers used for battle varied. The most effective, but also the most costly, was lead shot. However, sizeable rocks could be just as deadly. Analysis of slingstones made from baked clay has also shown that this type of ammunition was likely used for battle.

Apart from the above described types of ammunition, two other types of slingstone appear to have been regularly used. One comes in the form of pebbles (the exact difference between a pebble and a rock relies more on common sense than a precise, agreed upon, weight) and the others are balls of unbaked clay. It has been argued that the first of these, pebbles, were employed in driving off birds and other predators. The Eurasian golden eagle is large enough to carry off a lamb or kid with ease, whilst other raptors such as the Griffon vulture (a year-round resident of Iberia) would have been a risk in the presence of newborn calves. Ravens, too, have been recorded as feeding off the open wounds of sheep and even consuming sheep's eyeballs while they were still alive (a rare occurrence, but one of the associated problems of domesticating an animal is that it does not put up much of a fight). Pebbles would have been ideal for precision shots, intended to either harm a predatory bird or just scare it away. Pebbles would likely have been effective against other Iberian predators such as wolves and the Iberian lynx. However, only a suicidal shepherd would have launched one against a bear. Unbaked clay was likely used for corralling flocks. When baked, clay can become as hard as some rocks and just as deadly when loosed from a sling. However, if left unbaked it shatters on impact, producing no lasting damage. Shattering clay and a sore rump would have been sufficient to bring stray animals back into the herd or flock, and much more precise than using a dog to round up stragglers.

Qala'im Balearim (Balearic Slingers)

Trained from a very early age in the use of their various types of slings and projectiles, they have reached an extremely rare proficiency in long range skirmishing. Fast, due to their light equipment, and with much more precision and power than other slingers, they are ideal mercenaries to have in any army that can afford their services. Contrary to most light skirmishers, their experience can be used effectively to strike down any unorganised foes in hand-to-hand combat. As any light infantry, they are vulnerable to cavalry.

Historically, the Balearic Slingers became famous throughout the Mediterranean world due to their incredible skill in battle. These skills prompted the Carthaginians and Romans to use them whenever they were able to do so. A good example of the skill that won them renown is Diodorus Siculus' chronicle of the Battle of Eknomos in 311BC: "But when Hamilcar saw that his men were being overpowered and that the Greeks in constantly increasing number were making their way into the camp, he brought up his slingers, who came from the Balearic Islands and numbered at least a thousand. By hurling a shower of great stones, they wounded many and even killed not a few of those who were attacking, and they shattered the defensive armour of most of them. For these men, who are accustomed to sling stones weighing a mina, contributed a great deal toward victory in battle, as they practised constantly with the sling since childhood. In this way they drove the Greeks from the camp and defeated them.

Their equipment for fighting consists of three slings, and of these they keep one around the head, another around the belly, and the third in the hands. In the business of war they hurl much larger stones than do any other slingers, and with such force that the missile seems to have been shot, as it were, from a catapult; consequently, in their assaults upon walled cities, they strike the defenders on the battlements and disable them, and in pitched battles they crush both shields and helmets and every kind of protective armour. And they are so accurate in their aim that in the majority of cases they never miss the target before them. The reason for this is the continual practice which they get from childhood, in that their mothers compel them, while still young boys, to use the sling continually; for there is set up before them as a target a piece of bread fastened to a stake, and the novice is not permitted to eat until he has hit the bread, whereupon he takes it from his mother with her permission and devours it!!".

Kinnetoi Kallaekoi (Callaecian Medium Infantry)

Fog crowned cliffs and brine rich seas, a mountain realm of stone wrought homes where life is tough and rough as the rocks which abut the turquoise waves. This is the land of the Kallaekoi, folk of the fields and mountains who fight not for need or want, but because it is expected of them. They may take cattle in their raids, or plunder sheep, but the greatest prize to be seized is the honour of having stood in the field, faced your foe and made him flee. From the granite of their hill strewn land they carve statues of their finest warriors, who stand guard immortal upon the gates and ramparts of their hill-top homes. For as long as the granite warriors keep watch, the warriors of flesh and blood will fight.

Historically the Kallaekoi were one of several Iron Age Iberian communities who belonged to what archaeologists term the castro culture. Castros, the Spanish for castle, were small hillforts which were abundant in northern Iberia during the Iron Age. One interesting feature of castros, in addition to their stone architecture, evidence for internal planning and, in the area of the Kallaekoi, bathhouses, was the enclosing wall of a castro was never expanded or enlarged after it had been constructed. Instead, unlike contemporary populations in British hillforts or Gallic oppida, the population of a castro would remain within the original confines of the walls. Thus castros typically could hold no more than 200 persons. Castros tended to be self-sufficient, with the surrounding landscape offering sufficient environments and resources that the only external requirements for groups such as the Kallaekoi were trade items or, more commonly, warfare. Warfare in this region appears to have been endemic. Warfare within Kallaekoi society was, considering the self-sufficient nature of their settlements, most likely conducted as part of social expectation which came with being male, rather than for the sake of enrichment or territorial conquest. We have a very good idea of what Kallaekoi warriors looked like on account of the statues they produced, such as the example from the Castro de Lesenho. In the 2nd and 1st centuries BC such statues appear to have adorned the entrances to castros, as well as the oppida which began to be constructed around this time. Typically they portray Kallaekoi warriors with a roundshield, sword and torc, although some, like the example from Sanfins, are also depicted with helmets.

Kantabrae Ekuoreda (Cantabrian Cavalry)

By sapphire ocean bays, in mountain shadows and verdant hills, in sun sewn fields and rain blessed trees, here ride the horsemen. This is Asturia-Cantabria, from its fields ride folk of world renown. The Kantabrae Ekuoreda, though they lack the steel scales of the mounts of the east, or kythos lance of the Hellene horse, are no less formidable. Unruly, impetuous, a band of thieves at times, the Kantabrae Ekuoreda likewise have a reputation as fine mercenaries and light cavalry par excellence. The sound of their hooves, like thunder riding within storm clouds, is enough to turn the bowls of many a man to water. To see such men ride down from their mountain strongholds is, for many, to witness one's own death on the hoof.

Historically the Kantabrae Ekuoreda were one of the most famed groups of horsemen of the Europa Barbarorum II time frame. Hailing from the modern region of Cantabria, theirs was a society of factious kin groups inhabiting the hillforts, or castros, of northern Iberia. Likely as a result of this landscape and social conditions it fostered by the 3rd century BC, if not earlier, certain members of Kantabroi society had become adept light cavalrymen. The Kantabrae Ekuoreda initially found service in the armies of Qarthdastim during the 2nd Punic War, and as with their contemporaries in the Iberian city states, it appears that mercenary service soon became a sought after vocation among the Kantrabroi. We are told of Kantabrae Ekuoreda serving not only for Qarthdastim, but also the Vakkaei, Keltiberoi and Romani, in some cases simultaneously. The Kantabrae Ekuoreda developed effective hit and run tactics, the most effective of which was the famed "Cantabrian Circle", a tactic which involved circling around and hurling javelins towards the enemy. Such was the renown of the Kantabrae Ekuoreda that the Romani consul Gaivs Hostilivs Mancivs, upon being told of the impending arrival of a relief force consisting of Kantabroi, abandoned his siege of the Areuakoi capital Numantika and surrendered his army of 20,000. The heyday of the Kantabrae Ekuoreda drew to a close at the end of the 1st century BC. Under the leadership of the chieftain Korokotta the Kantabroi raided the neighbouring Vakkaei, Turmodigoi and Autrigones, all the while supporting the Vakkaei in their own conflict against Roma. Faced with their troublesome northern neighbour, Avgvstvs launched a campaign of conquest against them between 29 and 19 BC. However, even after the conclusion of this arduous and bloody war the Kantabroi continued to be troublesome, and it would not be until the 1st century AD that they can be considered to have been pacified.

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